From Portside <[email protected]>
Subject Tidbits - May 28, 2020 - Reader Comments: I Can't Breathe - Again; Trump Second Term Means Tyranny; Reader's Respond on Tara Reade; Open Churches?; Vietnam; Indonesia; Chile; Nuclear Testing, Nuclear Cold War - Again; announcements; resources
Date May 29, 2020 4:25 AM
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[Reader Comments: I Cant Breathe - Again; Trump Second Term Means
Tyranny; Readers Respond on Tara Reade; Open Churches?; Vietnam;
Indonesia; Chile; Nuclear Testing, Nuclear Cold War - Again;
Resources; Events:COVID and mass incarceration; June 20th]
[[link removed]]

TIDBITS - MAY 28, 2020 - READER COMMENTS: I CAN'T BREATHE - AGAIN;
TRUMP SECOND TERM MEANS TYRANNY; READER'S RESPOND ON TARA READE; OPEN
CHURCHES?; VIETNAM; INDONESIA; CHILE; NUCLEAR TESTING, NUCLEAR COLD
WAR - AGAIN; ANNOUNCEMENTS; RESOURCES  
[[link removed]]

 

May 28, 2020
xxxxxx

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[[link removed]]
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_ Reader Comments: I Can't Breathe - Again; Trump Second Term Means
Tyranny; Reader's Respond on Tara Reade; Open Churches?; Vietnam;
Indonesia; Chile; Nuclear Testing, Nuclear Cold War - Again;
Resources; Events:COVID and mass incarceration; June 20th _

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons -
May 28, 2020, xxxxxx

 

George Floyd's murder -- cartoon by Clay Jones
Donald Trump's social media threat  --  cartoon by Steve Bell
Re: A Trump Second Term: Tyranny by Another Name (Stephan Franciosi;
Gordon Galland; Lydia Brady; Jose Perez)
Re: We Should Take Women's Accusations Seriously. But Tara Reade's
Fall Short. (Laurie Litman; Michael Luis Ristorucci; Maria Elena
Gomez; Bernadette Feris; Clare Max; Eleanor Roosevelt; Susan Harrell;
Robin Jones)
Re: We Need a Party That Tells the Truth and Represents Workers
(Laurel MacDowell)
Re: Federal Judge Strikes down Restrictions on Florida Felon Voting
(Hope de Waardt-Jemerson)
Re: Trump Ordered States to Open Churches. Can He Do That? (John
Mendez; Aida Rivera; Kay Eshelman; Rich Cardia)
Being Black In America: If the cops don't get you, the Corona will
 --  cartoon by Eric J. Garcia
Re: In a Pandemic, Military Spending is an Extravagant Waste (Ed Ott)
Re: Jacinda Ardern Calls for Four-Day Week: No Wonder She's Popular
(Peggy Dobbins; William Leffingwell)
Re: Cuomo is Letting Billionaires Plan New York's Future. It Doesn't
Have to be This Way (Jose Hernandez; Mariecel Maldonado)
Only Banks Worth Bailing Out  --  cartoon by Drew Sheneman
Re: "Reconstruction Never Ended": A Review of Eric Foner's Second
Founding (Pensar lo contempor neo)
The Taint  -- poem by Seymour Joseph
Re: Internationalism in Vietnam, Then and Now (Joseph Kaye; Frank V
Martinez; John Gehan)
Re: How `Jakarta' Became the Codeword for US-Backed Mass Killing (B
Fearn; Dan Morgan)
Remembering Those Leftists That Came Before..... (Daniel Millstone)

RESOURCES:

Historically Reckless Resumption of Explosive Nuclear Weapons Testing
- Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) letter to President Donald Trump
Thank goodness for cell phones  --  cartoon by Mike Luckovich
APALA Enraged by Asian American Officer Who Stood as a Bystander
During George Floyd's Violent Murder (Asian Pacific American Labor
Alliance, AFL-CIO)
New York Assemblywoman Fahy Wants Federal WPA-Style Program (Nick
Reisman - State of Politics)
New Book from The Democracy Collaborative: The Future is Public
Police killings of Black citizens - A different training and
understanding needed (Bernard Demczuk, Ph.D. and Sharita
Jacobs-Thompson, Ph.D.)

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

California Beyond Recovery / Northern California Renter Assembly - May
30 (Right To The City Alliance)
Film Screening and Discussion: "We Cried Power" - June 2 (United for
Peace & Justice)
Webinar - June 3 - COVD-19 and the global fight against mass
incarceration (Transnational Institute)
21st Century Imperialism: Theory and Practice - Webinar - July 18
(Liberation Road & Committees of Correspondence for Democracy &
Socialism)

 

I CAN'T BREATHE - GEORGE FLOYD'S MURDER -- CARTOON BY CLAY JONES
 

Clay Jones
May 27, 2020
Tucson Weekly
[[link removed]]

 

Donald Trump's social media threat  --  cartoon by Steve Bell
 

Steve Bell
May 28, 2020
The Guardian
[[link removed]]

 

RE: A TRUMP SECOND TERM: TYRANNY BY ANOTHER NAME
 

I'm not convinced that simply removing Trump will stop a trend that
has been developing most notably since the patriot act, unabated under
Obama. This looks bigger than one president. Sanders was the best
chance for a more liberal democracy, but the democrat leadership
crushed his movement. Thanks for the help, "liberals."

Stephan Franciosi
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

If Trump deputizes or otherwise grants official status to these
militias, and if Stephen Colbert is replaced by Jim Gaffigan; then
run, don't walk, to the nearest exit.

Gordon Galland
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

This is certainly a must read for those who are thinking of voting for
a third party.

Lydia Brady
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

If our nation continues to weaken our human rights and not fallowing
the rule of law, the over 200 years of legislative work will go down
the drain. Trump & his Republican (Trump Party) will destroy our way
of life. The American Nightmare.

Jose Perez
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: WE SHOULD TAKE WOMEN'S ACCUSATIONS SERIOUSLY. BUT TARA READE'S
FALL SHORT.
 

I am very disappointed in xxxxxx for deciding to promote this
rape-apologist article. No, we don't need to support a racist rapist
sexist just because Trump is a disaster. You generally run substantive
articles that I find very thought provoking and educational. Sad to
see you selling out to the DNC and Dem establishment. This should have
been way below your standards. 

Laurie Litman

     =====

What a disgrace that xxxxxx published that piece on Tara Reade.

Michael Luis Ristorucci

     =====

The choice is between Biden and Trump. Each person has to make their
choice and live with the consequences.

Maria Elena Gomez
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

I just wonder why she is stepping out with this now?? There is also a
lot of conflicting versions of what she claims "happened" in light of
fellow co-worker accounts and also testimony by her immediate
supervisors. I would think a detailed, impartial investigation should
be done to determine the facts that can be supported by docs,
testimony, e-mails, etc.

Bernadette Feris
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

Nothing like throwing women's rights under the bus for political
efficacy to show us that Trumpism is alive and well.

Where is the 'booo this' reaction?

Clare Max
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

Ignoring the question doesn't make it go away. I don't know about you,
but I don't want to see the young women I care about living their
lives in a world where you can get away with anything if you're The
Right Kind Of Scuzzy White Man. The system is the problem. Trump and
Biden both are symptoms of a system that is profoundly diseased. And
if you're not fighting it, you're part of it. That's *your* decision.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

Susan Harrell
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

I wonder why she didn't come forward when Biden was running for vice
president.

Robin Jones
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: WE NEED A PARTY THAT TELLS THE TRUTH AND REPRESENTS WORKERS
 

A very true article! Let us hope new leaders emerge from the working
class who are honest and can mobilize people to fight for themselves.
Haven't had that since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Trump is a
disgrace and a bad President and Biden is not very progressive and
will not be a great reformer. Bernie is beaten and tired. He educated
many younger people politically and hopefully some will emerge to lead
the Democrats and transform it into a real reform party. The
billionaire class in business and in politics not only is destroying
American democracy but they are destroying the planet .

Laurel MacDowell

 

RE: FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN RESTRICTIONS ON FLORIDA FELON VOTING
 

"Throughout his 125-page ruling, Hinkle chided the state for a
"pay-to-vote" system that he said was Byzantine because, in some
instances, former felons could not even figure how much money they
owed."

Hope de Waardt-Jemerson
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: TRUMP ORDERED STATES TO OPEN CHURCHES. CAN HE DO THAT?
 

So if the States say ok open. Can the church say not now for the
safety of their people. That's where separation of state and church
comes in.

John Mendez
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

I don't think so... is up to the states to decide, not him.

Aida Rivera
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

No as it was the states that closed them. He has no authority in this.
Also he and his family DO NOT attend church. Does he (I wonder) want
more people to die. A church is where you pray and sing to your higher
being, it does not need to be a large congregation of people.

Kay Eshelman
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

" open them churches"
No,I wont be attending,I have golf"
Yes,I realize cases are spiking.
No, we don't have a test or tracing plan.
But hallelujah...open them doors !
And then watch everyone stop and congregate at the entrance and chat
with their long lost Christian friends.
Come on..wake up...its not time.
Church on line works just fine.

Rich Cardia
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

BEING BLACK IN AMERICA: IF THE COPS DON'T GET YOU, THE CORONA WILL
 --  CARTOON BY ERIC J. GARCIA
 

Eric J. Garcia
May 28, 2020
Pocho.com [[link removed]]

 

RE: IN A PANDEMIC, MILITARY SPENDING IS AN EXTRAVAGANT WASTE
 

A total waste. Medicare for All!

Ed Ott
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: JACINDA ARDERN CALLS FOR FOUR-DAY WEEK: NO WONDER SHE'S POPULAR
 

Maybe this isn't the right time, but when is? My only, but recurring,
disappointment with Warren's campaign was never seeing a Warren PLAN
that made the case for delivering at least some of the advances in the
real productivity of labor to real laborers in the form of more real
freedom (free time, shorter hours no cut in pay or time off a secure
job). 

I think it important to what Biden understands as the "soul of America
to bring out the link between real freedom, as opposed to "leisure"
and preserving the value of labor to our human species'
interdependence and evolution of civil discipline. Maybe someone could
bring this out? I'd be delighted to brain storm with them

Peggy Dobbins

     =====

Decades ago my father finished his civil service career as a computer
programmer with a four day work week.

William Leffingwell
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: CUOMO IS LETTING BILLIONAIRES PLAN NEW YORK'S FUTURE. IT DOESN'T
HAVE TO BE THIS WAY
 

They are doing the same everywhere... they appoint private officials
to make the important decisions that affect us all and don't have to
be accountable to the people.

Jose Hernandez
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

Terrible what this article poses. Don't stop reading it.

Mariecel Maldonado
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

ONLY BANKS WORTH BAILING OUT  --  CARTOON BY DREW SHENEMAN
 

Drew Sheneman
May 27, 2020
Newark Star-Ledger

 

RE: "RECONSTRUCTION NEVER ENDED": A REVIEW OF ERIC FONER'S SECOND
FOUNDING
 

[Eric] Foner confidently asserts at the beginning of the book that "we
are still trying to work out the consequences of the abolition of
American slavery. In that sense, Reconstruction never ended." Foner
wants us to acknowledge that the Reconstruction Era is responsible for
the constitutional rights that are most fiercely contested in the 21st
century. This should encourage us all to teach Reconstruction and not
just because it's important to understand how history informs the
present. We should teach Reconstruction because it empowers students
to confront the legacies of slavery that persist into the present.

Pensar lo contempor neo
[[link removed]]
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

THE TAINT  -- POEM BY SEYMOUR JOSEPH
 

The poem in honor of Ahmaud Arbery was moving. Here is a poem I wrote
recently about what has happened to white people as a result of
slavery.

Seymour Joseph

 

THE TAINT

I am four-hundred years
and racially removed from it,
a bedrock of where we went,
what we did and how we felt.

The subtleties of its transmission
through the centuries has come down to us,
not consciously but no less here
in forms obscure yet traceable.

And so I go with marks it gave me
and all who insist they're free
of any taint of slavery.

May 28, 2020

 

RE: INTERNATIONALISM IN VIETNAM, THEN AND NOW
 

An excellent article, but marred by the omission of the period when
China adopted a hostile policy toward Vietnam, even going so far as to
invade it.  It may be inconvenient to include this under present
circumstances, but our political education requires absolute fidelity
in our historical narrative.

Joseph Kaye

     =====

Suppressed by colonialism now free at last, they still have to look
over their shoulder at China.

Frank V Martinez
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

"Vietnam is building on the internationalist traditions of Ho Chi
Minh. True patriotism, is quite different from narrow, selfish
nationalism - it should always respect the rights and interests of
other nations without harming common interests, while at the same
facilitating one's own just and legitimate national interests.

International solidarity made a significant contribution to the
ultimate victory of the Vietnamese people in an uneven fight against
the aggression of the most powerful imperialist country.

By winning significant victories against the imperialist forces in
Vietnam, the Vietnamese Resistance diminished the overall capacity of
these forces to expand their military operations in other parts of the
world, and in this way, too, contributed indirectly to the world
struggle for peace and justice."

John Gehan
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: HOW `JAKARTA' BECAME THE CODEWORD FOR US-BACKED MASS KILLING
 

This excellent article by Vincent Bevins reminded me of a quote by
William Blum, "No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are,
what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." 

B Fearn

     =====

The very word 'Yakarta' or 'Jakarta' was graffiti on walls in the
richer areas of Santiago before the coup in Chile, 1973 - threats of
what was to come.

Dan Morgan
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

REMEMBERING THOSE LEFTISTS THAT CAME BEFORE.....
 

Judith Montell
Photo of Judith Montell from Connie Field's post on Facebook
The sad death reported here by Connie Fiel
[[link removed]]d of film-maker Judith Montell
brings up two issues. Judy Montell made movies that were and are
important to me and my family about the Veterans of the Spanish Civil
War, about the Jewish Communist (and non communist) chicken farmers of
Petaluma, about Saul Wellman, of blessed memory. We don't see these
movies enough. How do we help ensure that these and their like remain
in the library of work we use? The other issue, which I have raised
before? How do we, on the left, memorialize our dead? Judy was
moderately well known (a C-list celebrity Margot Adler said of
herself). Shouldn't some institution on the left host an obituary
library of dead leftists. A few years ago, I asked Katrina Vanden
Heuvel [[link removed]] whether The
Nation Magazine [[link removed]] would be
the host and she said: no. too much work. Any other outfit willing to
try this? xxxxxx [[link removed]]?
In These Times [[link removed]]?

Daniel Millstone
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

HISTORICALLY RECKLESS RESUMPTION OF EXPLOSIVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTING
- SEN. EDWARD J. MARKEY (D-MA) LETTER TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
 

May 23, 2020

I write to oppose in the strongest possible terms a historically
reckless resumption of explosive nuclear weapons testing.

According to the Washington Post, on May 15, 2020, senior Trump
administration officials discussed the possibility of ending the
nearly three-decade-long U.S. nuclear weapons testing moratorium.[1]
This reporting comes as your Administration has engaged in a concerted
campaign to dismantle the nuclear treaty architecture that has held
off nuclear conflict and prevented a new nuclear arms race. These
officials are reportedly searching for ways to coerce both Russia and
China into a trilateral agreement to limit nuclear arsenals despite
the availability of other commonsense options to preserve and enhance
the global arms control regime. Should your Administration conduct a
test, the United States would join North Korea as one of only two
countries known to have tested a nuclear weapon in the last two
decades.[2]

There is simply no justification for such a dramatic shift in U.S.
nuclear policy. First, it would fail to achieve the reported
objective, as there is no logical connection between a resumption of
testing and China's propensity to join a trilateral arms control
agreement. Second, there is no apparent technical basis to take the
extraordinary step of testing any warheads or bombs in the enduring
U.S. nuclear stockpile. The Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratories, along with the United States military, must
annually affirm the safety, security, and effectiveness of our nuclear
weapons. Advances in computing and surveillance have further enhanced
the ability of scientists to model nuclear phenomena without resorting
to tests. In fact, former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz noted in
2015 that "lab directors today now state that they certainly
understand much more about how nuclear weapons work than during the
period of nuclear testing."

Read full letter here
[[link removed]]

1. John Hudson and Paul Somme, Trump administration discussed
conducting first U.S. nuclear test in decades, Washington Post (May
22, 2020),
[link removed]
[[link removed]].

2 Anita E. Friedt, Building Towards a Nuclear Weapon Free World,
Remarks by the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms
Control, Verification and Compliance, U.S. Department of State (Aug.
29, 2016), [link removed]
[[link removed]]

 

THANK GOODNESS FOR CELL PHONES  --  CARTOON BY MIKE LUCKOVICH
 

Mike Luckoviuch
May 27, 2020
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
[[link removed]]

 

APALA ENRAGED BY ASIAN AMERICAN OFFICER WHO STOOD AS A BYSTANDER
DURING GEORGE FLOYD'S VIOLENT MURDER (ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN LABOR
ALLIANCE, AFL-CIO)
 

For Immediate Release
[[link removed]]:
 May 26, 2020
Contact: [email protected]

On Monday, May 25th, George Floyd, a 46 year old Black man, died after
being violently arrested and pinned to the ground in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. Floyd had just moved to Minneapolis a few years prior to be
closer to his family. He was a bouncer at a local restaurant but was
hoping to train to become a truck driver. The news of his violent
murder is heartbreaking for many who knew him, and for the nation that
continues to grapple with racial injustice. 

It was just a few weeks ago that our communities had to rally for
justice for Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. It has been six years
since we heard Eric Garner cry "I can't breathe." We will not see
justice for Black people until we address our nation's violent
carceral system, which is more clear than ever with the COVID-19
pandemic. Transforming our nation's harmful carceral system means that
police officers should maintain social distancing by decreasing their
presence in our communities and that folks jailed, incarcerated, and
detained should be released so that they can practice social
distancing and better hygiene. 

Alvina Yeh, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor
Alliance said, "We are equally enraged and ashamed to learn that an
Asian American police officer, Tou Thao, just stood watch as his
co-worker treated George Floyd inhumanely. This hits home for us as we
close out Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a time when so many
of us reflect on our Asian American identity and how it had emerged
from the Black liberation movement. We've said this before and we'll
say it again because the work continues; we all have a role in
responding to atrocious acts of violence. As Asian American and
Pacific Islander working people, we commit to leveraging our power to
dismantle oppressive systems, addressing anti-blackness in the AAPI
community, and loving and fighting for our black siblings."

 

NEW YORK ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY WANTS FEDERAL WPA-STYLE PROGRAM

Courtesy: Library of Congress  //  WGBH/American Experience
By Nick Reisman 
April 27, 2020
State of Politics
[[link removed]-]

Assemblywoman Pat Fahy is reaching back to a Depression-era jobs
program to jumpstart the economy and aid the millions for people who
have become unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fahy, an Albany Democrat, wants a modern-day version of the Works
Progress Administration, a creation of President Franklin Roosevelt's
administration meant to boost employment during the depths of the
depression.

Fahy made the proposal in a letter released on Saturday to the state's
congressional delegation.

One area to begin: Hire and train thousands of people to be public
health contact tracers, who would be part of the effort to halt the
virus's spread in the second phase for the response.

The effort could also include the hiring of people for green
infrastructure projects, habitat restoration and other clean energy
transitions.  

Adjusted for 2020 dollars, the WPA was a $92 billion jobs program.

"We need a new short-term WPA-style program to create jobs to bolster
America's struggling creative arts and cultural institutions, and for
building our clean-energy infrastructure at a time when it is
desperately needed," Fahy said. "In order to provide the immediate
economic security and relief New York and American working families
need - we need a federal WPA-style initiative to begin building the
economy of tomorrow."

 

NEW BOOK FROM THE DEMOCRACY COLLABORATIVE: THE FUTURE IS PUBLIC
 

The impact of COVID-19 on the global economy has helped underscore a
growing recognition that the privatization wave of the past several
decades has been an abject failure. This new book from the
Transnational Institute, co-published by The Democracy Collaborative
and numerous other international partners, chronicles the global
advance of municipalization, or bringing essential services under
democratic, public control.

The book details more than 1,400 successful municipalization and
remunicipalization cases involving more than 2,400 cities in 58
countries around the world. The book includes a chapter on municipal
broadband in the United States co-written by Democracy Collaborative
Research Director Thomas Hanna and Christopher Mitchell, Director of
the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the Institute for Local
Self-Reliance. 

Read more here
[[link removed]].

Democracy Collaborative
1200 18th Street NW
Suite 1225
Washington, DC 20036

 

POLICE KILLINGS OF BLACK CITIZENS - A DIFFERENT TRAINING AND
UNDERSTANDING NEEDED
 

History hurts. But it can also heal Teaching police 400 years of Black
history and culture 

There are many new and effective police training exercises and rules
popularized of late due to rampant police killings of unarmed Black
citizens. Implicit bias training, lesser use of force training, real
community engagement, civilian violence interrupters, and procedural
justice seminars - all valuable and all necessary but not sufficient.
Police need to know their history. They need to know that Black
Americans know police history but police do not know Black history,
and, just as important, Black culture. 

During the summer, DC residents naturally come out of the house into
our streets enjoying pleasant weather. With more people occupying
sidewalks, streets, parks, backyards and communities, more interaction
between citizens and police organically occurs. Before streets fill
with more history on policing in our city, let us pause to reflect on
American history of policing Black communities. Fair warning, history
hurts. But, if we teach it "without anger or apology," as Congressman
John Lewis says, it can teach, liberate, rectify, empower, and, even
heal. 

Teaching the hurtful history of police and the Black community is long
overdue. But DC police are taking a bold leap into the future by going
back into history. They first learn about Sankofa, a peculiar bird in
West Africa that walks forward along the beach looking backwards.
Sankofa means "fetching the past." Police learn from the old African
proverb that we cannot understand where we are and where we are going
unless we know where we have been. "Know thy history, know thyself"
says the proverb. 

Since 2018, we have taught 3800 sworn DC police officers, 660
civilians and a monthly class of 25 new recruits. Class starts at 6:00
AM with a three hour lecture/dialogue on 400 years history and culture
of the African American experience in America. emphasizing police
history in Black communities. We then, for six hours, tour the
National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)
graphically examining the Black experience and contributions in
America as it relates to policing in America. 

New recruits study Black history sixteen hours with a two-hour tour of
a popular Black community named Shaw (yes, named after Union Commander
Robert Gould Shaw of the all-Black troops of the Massachusetts 54th),
examining police brutality and culture in DC during the 1950s-1970s
when the DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) was over 80% White
and the city over 70% Black. What's wrong with that picture? 

By examining our history and culture, we come to understand our
current situation and project our future. We teach police students
that we cannot change history, but if we understand and analyze the
past, we can change the future. Make no mistake about it, the history
of policing in America has not been a pretty picture. This truthful
interpretation of American history is fraught with police being on the
wrong side of history for over 310 years. 

Historians have identified 1706 as the first slave patrols established
around rice and tobacco plantations in Virginia and South Carolina to
thwart run-away enslaved Africans. Thus, began the first police
patrols targeting Black Americans. From then on, police were used to
enforce Slave Codes in the Antebellum period to prevent Africans and
African Americans from learning to read, marry, gather in groups more
than three, possess tools that could be used as weapons and to prevent
run-aways, revolts or rebellions. 

The military institutes, Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and The
Citadel, were established, in 1839 and 1842 respectively, as
paramilitary training centers to stop Black rebellions and runaways
escaping to freedom as a result of the Nat Turner Rebellion in 1831.
Police were used after emancipation to enforce new Black Codes, laws
that monitored and crushed Black aspirations for equality and justice
in their new freedoms after slavery. Black Codes enforced by police
locked Black men, women and children into penitentiaries to be
leased-out as convicts to cut sugar cane, pick cotton, build levees
and clear and drain swamps to establish massive cotton and sugar cane
plantations in the Deep South. 

It was slavery by another name. These convict-lease systems were the
beginning of mass incarceration begun in the 1870s that continues
today, a result of over-surveillance and over-policing Black
communities imaging Black youth as "super-predators". No wonder the
Great Migration brought six-million African Americans to northern
cities between 1895-1970. This is how DC became the first major
American city majority Black in 1955. 

Police were used to support the lynching of 4,743 Black people from
1877 - 1968. Many police wore law enforcement uniforms during the day
and KKK regalia at night. During the Modern Civil Rights Movement
police were used to terrorize and halt civil rights activists from
petitioning for equality and voting rights. Exhibits at the NMAAHC
tell these story poignantly. 

Which brings us to today. Stop and Frisk, police shootings of unarmed
Blacks, enforcing drugs laws that target Blacks and ignore a larger
more hidden drug use and abuse in white communities, police have been
on the wrong side of history targeting Black people and
over-criminalizing them. And people wonder why Freddie Gray ran away
from police when they approached him in Baltimore in 2015 or why
19-year old Anton Black ran away from police recently in Caroline
County, Maryland in 2018. Both apprehended after a foot race and
killed by police thereafter. 

Black men in particular have been viewed in our white supremacist
society as predators from day-one enslaved in 1619 on the shores of
Point Comfort in Newport News, Virginia, 400 years ago last August. 

Driving while Black in the suburbs, napping while Black in a college
lounge, walking your dog while Black in a gentrified neighborhood,
sipping coffee too-long while Black in a cafe and shopping while Black
anywhere in the USA can and will get the police called on you for
being - well - Black. 

Last week, a white lady called the police on a Black birdwatcher for
requesting her dog be leashed in an area of the park clearly marked by
signs saying "Lease Your Dog." 

In the last two weeks, we have been watching in horror two more Black
men killed by a Brunswick, Georgia retired police vigilante and
Minneapolis police smothering a suspect with his knee while
hand-cuffed calling out "I can't breathe". Where have we heard that
before? 

MPD teaches the above is over-policing. MPD is the first police force
in America to adopt this training curriculum. Understanding our
history and our culture leads directly to a better understanding of
implicit biases, knee-jerk escalation of force, and the distrust of
police in the Black community. History hurts. But history can also
heal if we are willing to face the truth and confront its reality. MPD
has been a leader in police training since 1869 when it became the
first police force in America to hire African American officers. 

In 1948, MPD was first to create civilian reviews listening to citizen
complaints. MPD created the concept of "community policing" in the
early 1970s led by a young upstart in the Shaw community named Marion
Barry who forced an honest dialogue between police and the Black
community in 1969. DC hired the first major-city African American
police chief, Burtell Jefferson, in 1973. By the 1980s, MPD led the
country in hiring and promoting Black, Hispanic, women, gay & lesbian,
and Muslim police officers. MPD train police for hours in implicit
bias and de-escalation of force. 

Our police force looks like our city population. They wears locks,
beards, heads scarves and rainbow badges on their uniform. They are
every color, shape and size. They are stepping up their own insight
into how and why some members of the Black community distrust them.
Fortunately, most people join MPD today to "do the right thing" and be
of service to their community. MPD is considered by criminal justice
experts as the best big-city police agency in America. 

Remember May 12, 2107, the mayhem that occurred by the Klan and
Neo-Nazis demonstrating for white supremacy in Charlottesville,
Virginia? When they came to DC a year later on that anniversary, the
whole wide world was watching our police force and how it handled
those Klansmen/Nazis and 40,000 DC protestors against them. On that
day the world watched the DC police force perform brilliantly
permitting everyone to have their First Amendment Rights honored yet
with no violence. The Washington Post opined afterwards that MPD
showed the world what "smart policing" looks like. 

Attending this training have been police officers and trainers from as
far away as Sacramento, California and Denver, Colorado, and as close
as the FBI, the US Capitol and Hyattsville, Md. police. Recently, the
chiefs of police from Prince Georges County and Anne Arundel County
took our course to adopt it to their police forces. On the side of
each MPD squad car is their work motto: "We are here to help."
Interaction with our MPD men and women for intense and tough dialogues
and on dozens of night shift ride-alongs, has given us a deep
appreciation of just how curious and engaged our police force really
is. 

We have seen grown men cry during tours of the NMAAHC and in class
discussing their past and coming to grips that they are saddled with
this untoward history. History, like their equipment belt, hangs heavy
on them. History does hurt, but if taught appropriately, it can also
teach, liberate, rectify, empower and heal. Summer is here. We will be
out and about. Let's make good history, not bad history. 

Bernard Demczuk, Ph.D.
Sharita Jacobs-Thompson, Ph.D.

_[Drs. Demczuk and Thompson are both professors of African American
history and culture at the University of the District of Columbia
teaching DC police at the MPD Police Academy and NMAAHC since January
2018.]_

 

CALIFORNIA BEYOND RECOVERY / NORTHERN CALIFORNIA RENTER ASSEMBLY - MAY
30 
 

Greetings all! Homes for All California and Tenants Together invite
you to join the campaign to #CancelRents #CancelMortgages and
#HomesForAll.

We wanted to remind everyone that there will be no campaign call this
week or next week. Instead, we hope that you can register and
participate in the NORTHERN CALIFORNIA RENTER POWER ASSEMBLY (ONLINE)
TAKING PLACE ON SATURDAY, MAY 30TH FROM 10:00AM - 1:00PM. The
Assembly is open to renters from all across the State (was originally
set to be an in-person event in Nor Cal), and will include important
workshops on CLT's and Tenant Opportunity to Purchase campaigns,
updates on current renter policies that are moving through the
California legislator right now, and workshops on how to organize
tenants and build tenant unions. The final hour of the Assembly will
be a Know Your Rights workshop where renters can ask questions of
legal allies.
 
Please Register Here!
[[link removed]]
MAY 30, 2020 10:00 AM IN PACIFIC TIME (US AND CANADA)

Right To The City Alliance
388 Atlantic Avenue 3rd Floor | Brooklyn, New York 11217
844.RTT.CITY (788.2489) | [email protected]

 

FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: "WE CRIED POWER" - JUNE 2 (UNITED FOR
PEACE & JUSTICE)
 

UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE INVITES YOU TO FIND INSPIRATION AND
MOTIVATION AS WE HOST A SCREENING OF “_WE CRIED POWER_
[[link removed]] ”ON
TUESDAY, JUNE 2 AT 8:00-9:30 PM EDT; 7:00 – 8:30 PM CDT; 6:00 –
7:30 PM MDT; 5:00 – 6:30 PM PDT.  

We’ll watch and discuss this documentary about the Poor People’s
Campaign’s 40 Days of Moral Action in Summer 2018. And we’ll also
catch up on organizing for the mass Poor People’s Digital Assembly
on June 20. Don’t miss this! ...
[[link removed]]Click
here to register
[[link removed]].
 

United for Peace and Justice is proud to be a national mobilizing
partner in the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral
Revival. RSVP for June 20, 2020 – Digital Mass Poor People’s
Assembly and Moral March on Washington
[[link removed]].

HERE ARE SOME ADDITIONAL ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO SUPPORT THE Poor
People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
[[link removed]]:

*  CALL 
[[link removed]]SPEAKER
OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI AND SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL
AND EMAIL STATE GOVERNORS
[[link removed]] to
demand that they provide real solutions for this public health and
economic crisis.
*  FRIDAYS THROUGH JUNE 19TH AT 11AM PST/2PM EST: Join us for our
weekly “Get Organized, Get Online!” training, open to all state
coordinating committee members, state leaders, and partners organizing
toward June 20. Last week we talked about tagging on social media,
cross posting on Facebook, and sending syndicated emails. Click here
to watch the recording.
[[link removed]] This
week we’ll cover new digital organizing techniques as well as plan
for the June 1 Cultural Arts Day of Action. Register here for this
week's training.
[[link removed]]

United for Peace & Justice (UFPJ) [[link removed]]
UFPJ
P.O. Box 71523
Oakland, CA 94612

[email protected]
(917) 410-0119

 

WEBINAR JUNE 3 - COVD-19 AND THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST MASS
INCARCERATION (TRANSNATIONAL INSTITUTE)
 

Our weekly Wednesday COVID Capitalism series continues next week on 3
JUNE 2020 4PM (CEST) on COVID-19 AND THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST MASS
INCARCERATION. Register here
[[link removed]].

The webinar will bring activists and researchers from across the globe
to analyse the impact of COVID-19 and share strategies to reverse the
long-standing trend of mass incarceration as a response to crime. What
strategies for action have been effective? What drug policies need to
change? How can we ensure that short-term prison releases mark a shift
towards long-term structural reform and an end to mass incarceration?

We are deeply encouraged that our webinars have been so well received.
A record 2469 people registered for our most recent _Feminist
Realities_ webinar. It was another rich international conversation
with some amazing feminist thinkers and activists, providing critical
analysis of the intersections between patriarchy and this pandemic and
sharing strategies on how to make this a turning point towards radical
democratic systems that care for our planet and wellbeing. You can
listen to a recording here
[[link removed]].

Our earlier webinars are also available as videos
[[link removed]] and podcasts
[[link removed]].
We're committed to providing these webinars and materials for free,
but it does cost us time and resources. Please consider supporting
[[link removed]] our
work. We appreciate any contributions.

Ahead of next week's webinar, TNI has been delighted to work alongside
Penal Reform International, International Drug Policy Consortium and
the Washington Office on Latin America to explore strategies to build
a global movement against mass incarceration.

JUNE 3 AT 4PM CEST.(AMSTERDAM TIME; EDT IS 6 HOURS EARLIER)

REGISTER HERE
[[link removed]]

(French and Spanish interpretation will be available)

Panelists 

* OLIVIA ROPE, Director of Policy and International Advocacy, Penal
Reform International
* ISABEL PEREIRA, Principal investigator at the Center for the Study
of Law, Justice & Society (Dejusticia), Colombia
* SABRINA MAHTANI, Advocaid Sierra Leone
* MAIDINA RAHMAWATI, Institute of Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR),
Indonesia
* ANDREA JAMES, Founder and Exec Director, National Council For
Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, USA

This webinar is organised by Transnational Institute and co-sponsored
by IDPC (International Drug Policy Consortium), WOLA (Washington
office on Latin America) and Penal Reform International.

Transnational Institute [[link removed]]
PO Box 14656
1001 LD Amsterdam
The Netherlands

tel: + 31 20 662 66 08
email: [email protected]

For media enquiries contact Denis Burke on +31 6 22 12 39 08 or email
[email protected]

 

21ST CENTURY IMPERIALISM: THEORY AND PRACTICE - WEBINAR - JULY 18
(LIBERATION ROAD & COMMITTEES OF CORRESPONDENCE FOR DEMOCRACY &
SOCIALISM)
 

SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2020  --  NOON TO 8 PM EST
via Zoom

Featuring

SESSION 1: IMPERIALISM TODAY

MEDEA BENJAMIN, Code Pink; JERRY HARRIS, Global Studies Association;
VIJAY PRASHAD, Tricontinental

SESSION 2: SYSTEMIC CONFLICTS

SANGEETA KAMAT, UMASS-Amherst; ALFRED MCCOY, U of Wisconsin; TARSO
LUIS RAMOS, executive director of Political Research Associates

SESSION 3: A TALK SHOW ON INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

Host: BILL FLETCHER, JR.
Panelists: LISA BROCK, Cuba Solidarity Work; OSCAR CHACON, Immigrant
Rights; MEREDITH TAX, Feminist and Kurdish Rights Advocate; CINDY
WIESNER, Grassroots Global Justice

THE TELECONFERENCE will consist of 3 two-hour sessions, each with 45
minutes for Q&A. The first will begin at noon EST, followed by an hour
break. A second will be from 3-5pm EST. A final session will take
place from 6- 8 pm EST. A headset & webcam, or a smartphone, is
recommended

TO REGISTER, GO HERE
[[link removed] ]

THE 21st CENTURY HAS BROUGHT NEW FORMS OF CAPITALISM - from the
globalization of production, to financial speculation, to new kinds of
cross-national class formations. Paralleling these changes in the
nature of national and global capitalism have been new resistance from
Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, to the Pink Tide in Latin America,
to international boycott campaigns, to global worker mobilizations to
fight Covid 19. Given the rise of neoliberal globalization, drone
warfare, crippling economic blockades, a burgeoning climate crisis,
and new forms of rightwing populism organized around racism, sexism
and revanchism, it is time for the left to have a serious conversation
about twenty-first century imperialism.

For more details contact Bill Fletcher <[email protected]> or
Harry Targ <[email protected]>, or Janet Tucker <[email protected]>

*
[[link removed]]
*
[[link removed]]
*
* [[link removed]]

 

 

 

INTERPRET THE WORLD AND CHANGE IT

 

 

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