Fetishizing Violence: Mass Shootings To Violent Uprisings

1ao1

By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy.com. This week on Act Out! you may not want to politicize mass shootings but they – like everything else in this life – is already political. Adding on to last week’s show on white male dethronement, Marine veteran and community organizer Vince Emanuele joins us to take a look at the issue of America’s violent culture and how it affects the ENTIRE political spectrum – and indeed, what that means for the left as we battle the empire.

Malcolm’s Chickens Have Roosted In Shootings Across United States

HAIPHONG_Roosting_845x400

By Danny Haiphong for Black Agenda Report – Mass casualty, civilian-led shootings are a uniquely US phenomenon. The most recent headline shooting in Las Vegas took over fifty lives and injured many more. Since the War on Terror was declared in 2001, mass shootings have served as a barometer of the profound confusion and fear that exists in the US. Corporate media outlets and their allies in the US military state have shown little interest in finding actual policy solutions to the problem beyond more state repression. That’s because any real investigation of the causes of these events would expose how Malcolm’s chickens have roosted across the blood-soaked nation. Mainstream discourse has once again failed to ask the right questions. Sympathetic accounts of white assailants have also served to place attention on individual suspects rather than systemic causes. Sympathetic accounts have been absent for Arab, Muslim, and other oppressed peoples who are instead deemed “terrorists” whenever they commit acts of mass violence on US soil, which isn’t often. Then there is the superficial discussion about mental health and mass shootings, leading to few conclusions other than the stigmatization of the mentally ill. And of course, gun control lobbyists and weapons manufacturers have rehashed their superficial conflict to forward their particular political agendas.

Organizers Of White Nationalist Rally In Charlottesville Sued

1cville

By Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker for Reuters and by Brett Eadkins for Integrity First for America. Two people who say they were injured in a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia sued the man charged with killing a woman by driving his car through the crowd as well as the event’s organizers on Tuesday for $3 million. Tadrint Washington and Micah Washington said in papers filed in Charlottesville circuit court that they had been among the people hurt when James Alex Fields drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one. Another lawsuit filed in federal court in Charlottesville states that neo-Nazis and white supremacists terrorized and harmed residents of Charlottesville, Virginia during the violent marches of August 11-12, 2017, violating the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and various other statutes.

America Not Immune From Chaos

Hurricane Irma as seen from space. (NASA photo)

By Ann Wright for Consortium News – “Exceptional” America views itself as largely immune from devastating storms and the violence that infect much of the world, but recent weeks show that there is no protection against natural and human catastrophes, writes Ann Wright. Over the past two months – between natural disasters and the actions of a heavily armed gunman firing from a high-rise hotel – citizens of the United States have faced the kind of havoc and violence that people in other parts of the world have been enduring routinely. Of course, other places in the Caribbean suffered their own devastating blows from these major hurricanes: Cuba, Barbuda, Dominica, Antigua, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Island, St. Martin, Monserrat, Guadaloupe, St. Kitts and Nevis.Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas killed 59 and left more than 500 wounded. In previous weeks, American citizens have faced loss of life and massive property damage in Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands from Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey. In other parts of the world, one-third of Bangladesh has been under water from monsoon rains; parts of Nigeria have been flooded; Mexico has endured killer earthquakes.

DATA RELEASE: “Unite The Right” Planning Chats Demonstrate Violent Intent

1-8 (1)

By Staff of Unicorn Riot – Charlottesville, VA – As white supremacist groups continue to hold “free speech” events in the wake of the deadly hit-and-run attack in Charlottesville, many elements of the self-named “alt-right” have come under increased scrutiny. Organizations have been refused service by web providers and payment processors. Many individuals are facing personal consequences at home and work. The insurgent neo-fascist movement is being repeatedly shamed, confronted, and rejected in the wake of the murder of Heather Heyer by neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, Jr. after the Unite The Right rally ended in failure on August 12 in Virginia. We are releasing another 428 screenshots from the main white supremacist chat server used to organize the Charlottesville rally, highlighting the web of far-right racist organizations involved and their extensive preparations for violence. While the aftermath of Heather Heyer’s death still unfolds, many people are also wondering why so many of the racist assaults captured on camera in Charlottesville, including several beatings of black men by white supremacists with clubs, remain unaddressed. As many locals and antifascists had told Charlottesville authorities for months, the racist groups planning to converge there had been openly preparing a violent offensive.

Is Violence The Way To Fight Racism?

1baltantifa

By Peter Singer for Project Syndicate. PRINCETON, NJ – Should rallies by neo-Nazis and white supremacists be met with violence? That question was raised by the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12. White supremacists held a rally to protest the planned removal from a public park of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the leader of the Confederate army during the Civil War. A counter-protest was organized, and street fighting broke out. A woman, Heather Heyer, was killed and 19 people injured when James Fields, a white nationalist, drove his car at high speed into a crowd of counter-protesters.

Author Of Antifa Handbook Defends Antifascist Violence

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.25.04 AM

By Ana Radelat for The CT Mirror – Washington – The death of Heather Heyer and the wounding of 19 others by a neo-Nazi at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., has become a recruiting call for a little-known group with an anarchist bent called the antifa. Antifa members fought with white supremacists in Charlottesville and attend many counter-demonstrations to white power rallies to shield protesters from neo-Nazi violence. But in doing so, the antifa, a contraction of the word “anti-fascist,” sometimes uses violent tactics of their own. The loose affiliation of radical activists has for years clashed with white supremacists and right-wing extremists. The presence of antifa members among the mostly peaceful counter-protesters in Charlottesville led President Donald Tump to compare the angry white supremacists – one of whom allegedly killed Heyer – to the counter protesters, saying there was violence “on both sides” and prompting a national furor. Connecticut GOP party chairman J.R. Romano has said the antifa is close to neo-Nazis, on a “scale of evil.” “All these neo-Nazis are assholes,” Romano said. “Where Trump missed the mark, and the only way I can explain this, in the grand scheme of things, this white supremacy Nazism, on a scale of evil, that’s a 10. But the antifa guys are like at an eight.”

Newsletter: The Movement Must Respond To Racial Violence

1cville1

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. We had planned to focus on climate change this week given the contradiction between not just the science of climate change but our lived-reality of it getting stronger while the Trump administration denies this reality. An impressive government report on the climate crisis was recently leaked out of fear that the Trump administration would prevent its publication. At the same time, a wide variety of resistance actions are being taken by people across the country to stop the construction of more carbon infrastructure and people are working to increase the use of cleaner, more sustainable energy sources. The events in Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday required us to change course and attempt to put the racist violence that occurred into historical and political context as well as to discuss what the movement should do to respond to aggressive racism by extremist groups.

One Dead After Car Plows Into Anti-Racist March

1cville

By John Zangas for DC Media Group. Charlottesville, VA – Anti-fascist and anti-racist counter-protestors confronted a planned white nationalist gathering in downtown Charlottesville on Saturday. Multiple angry clashes between groups in the morning resulted in many injuries. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and Virginia State Police moved in to end the protest. The Virginia National Guard was deployed and began patrolling Charlottesville. But, in the early afternoon, a silver Challenger driving at high speed plowed through a march of anti-racist counter-protestors forming on 4th Street, tossing several people into the air like rag dolls before ramming into the rear end of another car. It appeared the car was driven deliberately into the crowd, then reversed and sped backwards.

One Mexican Town Revolts Against Violence And Corruption

Josefina Estrada, a petite grandmother who helped lead the revolt in Cheran. (Cecilia Sanchez / For The Times)

By Patrick J. McDonnell for Los Angeles TImes – Checkpoints staffed by men with assault rifles, camouflage and body armor greet visitors at the three major entrances to this town. The guards are not soldiers, police officers, drug enforcers or vigilantes. They are members of homegrown patrols that have helped keep Cheran a bastion of tranquillity within one of Mexico’s most violent regions. The town of 20,000 sits in the northwest corner of Michoacan, a state where authorities say at least 599 people were killed between January and May, an increase of almost 40% compared with the same period last year. Cheran hasn’t had a slaying or other serious crime since early 2011. That was the year that residents, most of them indigenous and poor, waged an insurrection and declared self-rule in hopes of ridding themselves of the ills that plague so much of Mexico: raging violence, corrupt politicians, a toothless justice system and gangs that have expanded from drug smuggling to extortion, kidnapping and illegal logging. Six years in, against all odds, Cheran’s experiment appears to be working. “We couldn’t trust the authorities or police any more,” said Josefina Estrada, a petite grandmother who is among the women who spearheaded the revolt.

Beyond Violence And Nonviolence

1vnv

By Ben Case for Roar Magazine. The argument over violence and nonviolence — one of the oldest and most divisive on the left — is back. Broken windows, mass arrests and one well-timed punch marked Donald Trump’s inauguration alongside massive nonviolent marches. In the weeks since, demonstrators converged on international airports, adding weight to a heated judicial fight over a sweeping ban on refugees and immigrants from seven countries, and fiery protests outside a famed hate-monger’s talk at Berkeley cancelled the event and forced the speaker to flee under police escort. Against the backdrop of a renascent fascist menace, the mix of tactical approaches has brought renewed fervor to the violence-vs-nonviolence debate. The dispute has been calcified into fixed positions, where it becomes less about persuading others to a strategic position and more about winning a point for one’s team.

Neighborhood Medics Saving Lives In Chicago

Neighborhood Medics class in Chicago from the Trace

By Shannon Hefferan for WBEZ Chicago. The program is called Ujimaa Medics, or UMedics. Ujimaa means “collective work and responsibility” in Swahili. In 2013, the city’s inspector general released a report on how often paramedics took more than five minutes to get to a medical emergency. The results: longer response times were more common in some parts of the South Side. UMedics co-founder Martine Caverl said the city’s violence, along with health disparities and ambulance response times, can make people feel powerless. So she helped found the UMedics group, which led its first training in 2014. “We wanted to say to people … this is one thing we can do,” Caverl said. “You know, when we hear the gunshots we are going to make sure we are safe, but then we are likely to see what is going on because we have something we can offer.”

Violence Erupts In Portland Amid Alt-Right, Anti-Fascist Rallies

SCOTT OLSON VIA GETTY IMAGES
An man raises his hands as Portland police lob explosives at anti-fascist protesters. Officers say the protesters were throwing projectiles at them as they attempted to clear the area.

By Andy Campbell and Lydia O’Connor for Huffington Post – This city has been preparing for war for a week. PORTLAND, Ore. ― For days, Portland has served as ground zero for American hate, heroism and healing. Today, it served as America’s battleground. What started Sunday as two counterdemonstrations outside City Hall between anti-fascist protesters and members of the alt-right during a “Trump Free Speech Rally” evolved into an impromptu march and standoff with police. As police began closing off Chapman Square, where the anti-fascists had staged their protest, at around 3:45 p.m., officers lobbed loud explosives in the protesters’ direction. It’s unclear whether they were concussion or tear gas grenades, but there was a yellow smoke emanating from some of them. At least five explosions were heard as police pushed people back from that square. Portland police said the explosives were in response to projectiles thrown at its officers.

Right-Wing Terrorism In Venezuela

1bus

By Frederick B. Mills and William Camacaro for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Venezuela – One May 20, the 21 year old vendor from the shanty town of Petare, Orlando José Figueras, was beaten, stabbed, doused with gasoline and set on fire by opposition militants in the middle class neighborhood of Altamira during an anti-government demonstration reportedly because they took him for a Chavista or a thief. This atrocity has sent tremors throughout the popular barrios and raised the profile of terrorism from the right in Venezuela. The horrific scene was captured on video and by professional photographer, Marco Bello, and described in testimonies of the victim and his parents. Other demonstrators at the scene reportedly urged the attackers not to kill Figueras as he pleaded for his life.

What Was The Trigger For Violence In Syria?

An anti-war demonstrator is seen outside the White House before President Photo By Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty

By Kim Petersen for Dissident Voices – If the base upon which an edifice is arranged is defective, then the edifice will topple when the base crumples. In the case of the violence raging in Syria, western governments inimical to the Syrian government have blamed the violence, through their monopoly media organs, on the Syrian government security apparatus using lethal force to put down unarmed domestic protestors. If this depiction is false, if it is disinformation, then the subsequent killing and the millions of refugees displaced by the violence is a monstrous crime — a crime for which western governments and their media bear criminal culpability. Given the lethality of the crimes being perpetrated against Syria, it is a must that people of conscience scrutinize monopoly media skeptically (or better still abandon it. Other than being aware of the lies, why willingly subject oneself to disinformation?).1 One must also be aware of imperialist reverberations within purportedly independent media. I wrote of one example of this recently concerning the “independent” Democracy Now!