A crowd of youth organizers have mastered this call and response chant, a unanimous voice talking back to a potential Cop City. Nearing the end of Defend the Atlanta Forest’s Week of Action, the energy from the In Defense of Black Lives rally held at the Atlanta Police Foundation Headquarters is palpable. There is laughter, chanting, a fire of hope that electrifies the air — folks have just finished roasting the heavily militarized police, who eye the crowd through the slits of their helmets. The solidarity between these kids is their biggest threat. Black youth organizers were at the center of this rally that was organized by the Stop Cop City Coalition, In Defense of Black Lives Atlanta (IDBL), which is a coalition movement based in Atlanta that works to defend Black life and to defund the Atlanta Police Department.
The easiest way to find local White antiracist groups is to look at SURJ’s list – which includes SURJ chapters as well as other White antiracist groups – organized by state and city. SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) is a nationwide network of White antiracist groups, with chapters in roughly 100 cities. For building White working-class antiracism, see SURJ’s commitment to such organizing, as well as the more explicitly radical, self-defense oriented group, Redneck Revolt. White antiracist groups, historically and in the present, tend to be predominantly female. White women and LGBT people are far more likely join antiracist groups than men, and especially straight men. STAND is one example of an organization working to bring White men into antiracist work.
By Richard Moser for Counter Punch - During the 1960s and 1970s, radical activists set out to organize the white working class. They linked the pursuit of working class interest and economic democracy with anti-racist organizing. They discovered, and helped others realize, that white supremacy and racism are not a friend to white people but one of the main obstacles to fulfilling our own destiny as a free people. The context was the last revolution. The civil rights, black power, feminist, student movements and community organizing set the stage for working class whites to make important contributions to the democracy movements of the time. While these efforts were initiated by various groups, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), radicalized working class youth, and the Black Panthers, they all eventually depended on the leadership of working class communities. The organizers had been deeply radicalized by the social upheavals of the time. Yet, their own working class backgrounds often placed them on the margins of the New Left. But the activists knew the white working class had enormous untapped potential. The movement to stop the War in Vietnam, fight the bosses, and win the battle against racism needed the hard work and political vision that everyday working people could help provide.
By Greg Kaufmann for Moyers and Company - “Structural racism” has become a buzzword in white progressive circles. But every time I push a white writer to break down the meaning behind the words without success, or I see a Black Lives Matter sign in an apartment window in a gentrified neighborhood where longtime residents of color are now priced out, I have to ask myself: How much we really know about the theoretically woke words we’re throwing around? We’re finally starting to call out racial disparities, but do we understand the history that creates them? We’re finally starting to call out racial disparities, but do we understand the history that creates them? We pledge our allegiance to inclusiveness and shared power, but do we examine the roles our own lives play in maintaining policies, practices and cultures that continue to harm African-American friends and family, neighbors and co-workers? It is for these reasons that I believe every white progressive (and, really, every white person) should see Bob Herbert’s new documentary, Against All Odds: The Fight for a Black Middle Class.
By Kathy Kelly for Counter Currents - This morning, here in Minneapolis, six jurors decided beyond a reasonable doubt that I am guilty as charged and my co-defendant, Dan Wilsonwas found innocent. The court case stems from an action protesting the execution of Jamar Clark, age 24, who died in the early morning of November 15, 2015 outside a north Minneapolis apartment complex. Two Minneapolis police officers, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, were involved in the shooting. Jamar Clark died after a bullet was fired directly into his head. Several witnesses say that he was handcuffed and motionless when he was shot dead. The police officers have been cleared of all charges and are back on the job.
By Staff of Radical Faggot - Last Sunday afternoon, Joshua Beal was fatally shot by an off-duty sergeant with the Chicago Police Department in the South Side neighborhood of Mt. Greenwood. He was visiting from Indianapolis for the funeral of a cousin, and was actually killed while driving in the funeral procession. After the initial shooting, tensions quickly rose in the largely white, working class neighborhood–one which is home to many CPD families, and carries a long history of violent racism.
By Greg Kaufmann for Talk Poverty - The night after Alton Sterling was killed by police, I got home from work late. When our three children were asleep, my wife and I finally had a moment together. The first thing she said, as if she had been sitting on it all day, was: “I feel like we need to get a Black Lives Matter sign for our yard. I know it would be unusual in our neighborhood.” We live in Chevy Chase, D.C., in one of the wealthiest zip codes in the city. There are about 30 houses on my block, and only one African-American family that I know of.