Esther Ojulari: National Strike in Buenaventura Colombia

Mass action closing down port in Buenaventura, Colombia May 21

Esther Ojulari for Black Alliance for Peace. The city of Buenaventura on Colombia’s Pacific coast is home to the country’s main international port through which billions of dollars of imports and exports pass every year. Since last Tuesday 16th May the community of Buenaventura (along with communities in the Chocó region of Colombia) has been on general strike demanding that the government fulfils basic human rights to water, education, health, culture, land and freedom from racism and violence. Businesses were closed, road blocks were set up at several points along the main road and peaceful protestors chanted, sang, danced and banged cooking pots to call attention to the desperate situation. On the first day along the Chamber of Commerce reported the strikes had caused up to 10,000 million pesos (about $3.5 million USD) in losses.

This Is What Emboldened White Supremacists Look Like

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By Douglas Williams for The Guardian. Charlottesville, VA – It was a scene out of the darkest days of the civil rights movement. A couple of dozen white supremacists rallied around a statue of Robert E Lee, a Confederate army general, in Virginia, carrying torches and chanting: “You will not replace us.” But this was no black-and-white newsreel, relaying the horrors of a time long since past. This grotesque scene played out on Saturday, at a rally headlined by the white supremacist Richard Spencer. The cause for this neo-Klan rally? The city of Charlottesville’s decision in February to remove the Lee statue from the park that bears his name in the city’s downtown area. The white supremacists also demonstrated at the city’s Festival of Cultures earlier in the day.

Louisiana (Finally) Seeking To Reduce Prison Population

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By Matt Higgins for Occupy.com. In a recent op-ed on nola.com, Lafourche (pronounced La-Foosh) Parish Sheriff Craig Webre wrote, “We shouldn’t incarcerate people just because they’re poor. Or just because they’re addicted. Or just because they don’t have a home. But we’ve done that for way too long.” Lafourche Parish, about an hour’s drive southwest of New Orleans, is a reliably conservative parish where more than three-quarters of voters voted for Donald Trump. Webre has served as sheriff of the parish for almost 25 years and was president of the National Sheriffs Association. Most of Webre’s op-ed focused on the report from the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force, formed in 2015 by the state legislature to study ways to reduce incarceration. Louisiana incarcerates more people per capita than any other state in the union. According to the Task Force report, 8 percent of the state’s population is incarcerated, yet this “tough on crime” approach has failed to reduce it. One-third of inmates released return to prison within three years.

Mississippi County Cops Engage In ‘Systematic Targeting Of Black Residents’

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By Nick Wing for The Huffington Post – The sheriff’s department of Madison County, Mississippi, methodically and often brutally targets black residents with a coordinated system of checkpoints and unconstitutional searches, the American Civil Liberties Union alleged in a federal lawsuit filed Monday. These alleged tactics have left the black community of Madison “under a permanent state of siege,” the suit says. In an 86-page complaint, the ACLU of Mississippi and the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP accuse the Madison County Sheriff’s Department of abusing its power to uphold racial segregation and oppression in Mississippi’s wealthiest county. “For Black residents, Madison County is a Constitution-free zone where their right to equal protection under the law and against unreasonable searches and seizures is nonexistent,” Jennifer Riley-Collins, executive director of the ACLU of Mississippi, said in a statement. Madison County is approximately 57 percent white and 38 percent black, according to the 2010 Census. The population remains starkly divided along both racial and economic lines, however, with “predominantly Black towns, neighborhoods, and business districts and predominantly white towns, neighborhoods, and business districts,” according to the suit.

The Left Radical Who Will Likely Be Jackson, Mississippi’s Next Mayor

Chokwe Antar Lumumba

By Kate Aronoff for In These Times. The city of Jackson, in the heart of staunchly Republican Mississippi, might seem an unlikely place for a municipal revolution. Yet Jackson’s radicalism has been forged in the crucible of massive disinvestment, both by private industry and by a conservative state legislature. Led by the Black nationalist organization Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, organizers in Jackson have backed experiments in everything from worker-owned businesses to participatory, neighborhood-by-neighborhood democracy. A leader of this movement, Jackson Councilman Chokwe Lumumba, helped start people’s assemblies in the city, inviting residents to hash out the kinds of changes they want to see. He was elected mayor in 2013, only to pass away months later. In an effort to carry on his father’s legacy, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, 33, ran to succeed his father and lost. Now, with his second run, he hopes to continue the work his father began.

Unarmed 15 Year Old Killed By Police In Texas

Jordan Edwards family. Father , Odell Edwards wipes away tears as he sits with his wife, Charmaine Edwards, listening to their attorney Lee Merritt talking about the death of their son. (GUY REYNOLDS for AP)

By Staff for Popular Resistance. On Monday, the police department of the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs, Texas, changed its story on the shooting of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was killed by a police officer on Saturday. Edwards was a a freshman at Mesquite High School. The story changed after Chief Jonathan Haber watched body-cam footage of the shooting. The video tape has not been released and police say a decision on its release will be made by the police and prosecutor. The Balch Springs police Tuesday fired Oliver who fatally shot Jordan Edwards. In a statement the family said “Over the past 24 hours Chief Haber has made commendable strides toward justice. However, there remains a long road ahead. We anxiously await this officer’s … arrest for the crime of murder. . . The magnitude of his horrible actions cannot be overstated. We fully expect an equivalent response from those responsible for investigating and punishing the crime. We also know that although his actions were the most wicked and consequential, he was not the only officer responsible for dreadful behavior that evening.”

How Black Lives Don’t Matter In Israel

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By Abby Martin for The Empire Files. While the Israeli state espouses multiculturalism and diversity, it oppresses not just the Palestinian population, but also any Black person within its borders. From warehousing African asylum seekers in giant prison camps, to criminalizing and carrying out eugenics programs against its Ethiopian Jewish citizens, Israel’s treatment of Black people reveals that the Zionist project is not just about Jewish supremacy, but also white supremacy. In this on-the-ground investigation, Abby Martin talks to Osman Ali, a refugee from Darfur, at Holot prison camp about the treatment of refugees by the government, and Tehune Maharat, an Ethiopian Jewish activist whose cousin was killed in an apparent hate crime by Israeli police, about the rampant and institutional racism in the country.

Police In Maine Treat Black And White Protesters Differently, Attorney Claims

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By Kyle Jaeger for ATTN – The jail came under fire in August after it released photos of two other black Muslim women without their hijabs. Department policy requires Muslims wearing head scarves to take two mugshots — one with the covering and one without — but it also stipulates that photos of Muslims without their head scarves will not be released. Activists called the decision to release the photos “a form of public shaming” and “a violation of their First Amendment religious rights.” Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce apologized for releasing the photos in September 2016, The Portland Press Herald reported. Courthouse records show that the five black protestors received more charges than the dozen white protestors who were arrested.

Tear Gas, Bottles Fly As Paris Police & Anti-Brutality Protesters Clash For 3rd Night

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By Charlotte Dubenskij for Russia Today. Paris, France – Hundreds of protesters have gathered in front of police station in Paris for the 3rd consecutive night to vent their anger over the killing of a middle-aged Chinese man over the weekend. Tensions quickly escalated into clashes with police again firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse the angry crowd. RT’s correspondent at the scene, Charlotte Dubenskij, reports that police used tear gas to break pockets of protesters as the crowd continues to shout “Police assassins!” Paris, France – Hundreds of protesters have gathered in front of police station in Paris for the 3rd consecutive night to vent their anger over the killing of a middle-aged Chinese man over the weekend. Tensions quickly escalated into clashes with police again firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse the angry crowd. RT’s correspondent at the scene, Charlotte Dubenskij, reports that police used tear gas to break pockets of protesters as the crowd continues to shout “Police assassins!” “We’ve been seeing bottles thrown. We’ve got tear gas flown, pepper spray. I actually had it right in my face, we’ve been sort of with the crowd as it’s moving,” Dubenskij said.

Expanding The Slaveocracy

Union soldiers during the US civil war. Library of Congress

By Matt Karp & Eric Foner for Jacobin Magazine – One of the cottage industries in the historical profession right now is studying the relationship between capitalism and American slavery. This is an old discussion; it goes way, way back. Karl Marx said things about it. That’s not exactly the subject of your book, but I’m wondering how you think your study, which is a study of slaveowners and their vision of America as a great power in the world, fits into the ongoing debates about slavery and capitalism nowadays? The book joins a whole series of works that explore the slave South in a transnational sense. That’s another fashionable aspect: reemphasizing the dynamism and brutality of antebellum slavery.

NYC Protest Against White Supremacist Slaying Of Black Man

Protesters makeshift memorial in memory of Timothy Caughman, killed by white supremacst. By CHRISTOPHER MATHIAS for THE HUFFINGTON POST

By Christopher Mathias for Huffington Post. Nelini Stamp wants America to say Timothy Caughman’s name ― not the name of the man who killed him. “Timothy was killed by a white supremacist, by a white terrorist,” Stamp told a crowd of about 300 protesters Friday evening in Manhattan’s Union Square. This man, she said, “came from Baltimore to New York City ― our city ― to kill black people. He killed Timothy. We will not say this man’s name because he wants to be known. Instead we will say Timothy’s name to make sure no one ever forgets Timothy.” Stamp, of the progressive social justice group Resist Here, then led the protesters on a solemn, 22-block march north. “All across NYC!” they chanted. “Resist white supremacy!” “Say his name!” they yelled. “Timothy Caughman!”

Fight For $15 And Movement For Black Lives Plan Nationwide Action

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By Fight for $15 and Movement for Black Lives. MEMPHIS — The Fight for $15 and the Movement for Black Lives will take to the streets nationwide April 4 – the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination – in a two-dozen-city “Fight Racism, Raise Pay” protest. Thousands of underpaid workers, local racial justice activists, elected officials and clergy will hold rallies, marches, teach-ins, and other demonstrations to stress that the push for economic and racial justice remains as deeply linked today as when Dr. King was killed in 1968 supporting striking black sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn. The coast-to-coast protests will culminate in a march by thousands of workers, national civil rights leaders and politicians on the Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis, where they’ll hold a memorial at the site of Dr. King’s assassination 49 years ago.

Maryland: African Cemetery Protests Win Government Response

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By Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo for Black Agenda Report. Bethesda, Maryland – After months of public pressure and protests, Montgomery County Government has reluctantly suggested to “bring all parties together to address the various concerns that have been expressed and seek a solution that all can agree upon before we move forward.” The suggestion was made in a March 16, 2017, joint letter from County Executive, Isiah Leggett, and Council President, Roger Berliner, issued to Casey Anderson, Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board. Black Agenda Report has covered this struggle extensively. From outward appearances, the casual observer would never be able to discern the presence of the cemetery as every day hundreds of cars drive over what now is the Housing Opportunity Commission (HOC) apartment parking lot.

Defunding Police—How Antiracist Organizers Got Seattle To Listen

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By Melissa Hellmann for Yes! Magazine – Seattle City Council members took their seats on Sept. 19 with the unhurried pace of business as usual. One of them called for public comments, but after a few people spoke, a commotion erupted in the back of the chambers. Six black and brown people shuffled down the central aisle, bounded by chains on their wrists, ankles, and stomachs. Some were clad in orange jumpsuits, while others wore black shirts bearing the phrase “Block the Bunker” in white letters. White activists donning police hats and pig noses trailed behind, nudging them forward with toy batons. “I’ll throw you around if I want to throw you around!” one of them screamed.

London Anti-Racism March Draws Tens Of Thousands Of Protesters

Participants in the Stand Up to Racism march make their way down Regent Street in central London. Photograph: Peter Cary/PA

By Staff of The Guardian – As many as 30,000 people have joined a march against racism in London during which campaigners voiced their opposition to the wave of populism they say elected Donald Trump, saw Britain vote to leave the EU and fuelled the rise of far-right politics around Europe. The former Guantánamo Bay prisoner Moazzam Begg, one of the speakers at the Saturday protest, said Trump was one of the “bad dudes” who should be sent to the internment camp in Cuba. Speaking from a stage in Parliament Square, Begg referenced a speech by the US president in which he said he would be sending more inmates to the controversial facility.