Dakota Access Pipeline halted! U.S. DOJ sides with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe! (from Ruthie Sakheim)

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 9, 2016

Joint Statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued the following statement regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“We appreciate the District Court’s opinion on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.  However, important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain.  Therefore, the Department of the Army, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior will take the following steps.

The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws.  Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time.  The Army will move expeditiously to make this determination, as everyone involved — including the pipeline company and its workers — deserves a clear and timely resolution.  In the interim, we request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.

“Furthermore, this case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects.  Therefore, this fall, we will invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions:  (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals.

“Finally, we fully support the rights of all Americans to assemble and speak freely.  We urge everyone involved in protest or pipeline activities to adhere to the principles of nonviolence.  Of course, anyone who commits violent or destructive acts may face criminal sanctions from federal, tribal, state, or local authorities.  The Departments of Justice and the Interior will continue to deploy resources to North Dakota to help state, local, and tribal authorities, and the communities they serve, better communicate, defuse tensions, support peaceful protest, and maintain public safety.

“In recent days, we have seen thousands of demonstrators come together peacefully, with support from scores of sovereign tribal governments, to exercise their First Amendment rights and to voice heartfelt concerns about the environment and historic, sacred sites.  It is now incumbent on all of us to develop a path forward that serves the broadest public interest.”

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Urban Shield 2016 Scenario 11 Workplace Violence

If a photo is worth a thousand words…. what’s a short video, uncut and unedited worth?
THANKS for watching!!! If you like my work and would like to help support a truly free press and getting me to marches or other events for LIVE coverage giving you UNcut videos, and a contact “ON the street” as well as expanding this network of Citizen Journalists, I accept donations mailed to a veterans service (Swords to Plowshares).

Mail to:
James D Cartmill
3126 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705

For those of you that would like to make a donation online I now have a PayPal account active…. Thank you!

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Here are all my media links and social networks, please feel free to follow, join, subscribe for all my latest updates, videos and other news. Thank you
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OccupyForum presents . . . The History of Socialism in America (Monday, Sept. 19)

OccupyForum presents…

Monday, September 19th, 2016  from 6 – 9 pm at Global Exchange

2017 Mission Street near 16th Street BART

Information, discussion & community! Monday Night Forum!!

Occupy Forum is an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue

on all sides of these critically important issues!

The History of Socialism in America:
from Robert Owens’ utopian experiment

of 1825 to Bernie’s political revolution of 2016

By Eugene Ruyle, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology,

Cal State, Long Beach Institute for the Critical Study

of Society in Oakland

As a democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders began a political revolution to transform a political system run by the billionaire class into one that represents working and middle class Americans and creates more opportunity for everyone. This workshop will take a closer look at Bernie’s socialism by placing it within the global context of two centuries of working class struggle against capitalist rule. This will allow a better understanding of how Bernie has adapted socialism to the United States in the Twenty-First Century, and how to improve our struggles for a better world for all humanity. Now that Bernie is no longer a candidate, it’s up to us to continue the struggle.

Gene Ruyle is author of “Rethinking Marxist Anthropology,” and other essays. He is active with the Oscar Grant Committee, Veterans for Peace, and the Peace and Freedom Party.

Q&A and Announcements will follow. Donations to OccupyForum to cover our costs are encouraged; no one turned away!

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American Autumn: What Occupy Did For America – Dennis Trainor Jr.

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, Lee Camp catches up with “American Autumn” filmmaker and Jill Stein’s past press secretary Dennis Trainor Jr about just how close Occupy Wall Street came to rupturing our corrupt economic system. The two discuss the current political climate, in which people are voting from a place of fear and polls in the mainstream media are capitalizing on that fear. This and more on tonight’s episode of Redacted Tonight VIP.

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“It Can’t Happen Here” at Berkeley Rep

It Can’t Happen Here

It Can’t Happen Here

Adapted by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen from the novel by Sinclair Lewis
Directed by Lisa Peterson
Main Season · Roda Theatre
September 23–November 6, 2016
World premiere

Written in 1935 during the rise of fascism in Europe, Sinclair Lewis’ darkly satirical It Can’t Happen Here follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. Witnessing the new president’s authoritarian tyranny from the sidelines is a liberal, middle-class newspaper editor from Vermont who is caught in the chaos of social upheaval. Sound familiar? Called “a message to thinking Americans” upon its publication, this eerily prescient book receives a new adaptation just in time for election season.

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Weekly calendar for activists (from Patricia Gray)

There will be an Occupy Anniversary and picnic with open mic on Saturday Sept. 17th.  We will have a chance to meet old friends and discuss future plans.  I think we need to discuss getting ‘political’, as if we were not always trying to change the government to be more attentive to the 99% over the 1%.  Shall we be active in the election in November?  Should we sign a petition to open up the Presidential Debates to more candidates than the corporate two?   Please mark your calendar and plan to attend the anniversary gathering.

____________________________________________________________
Wednesday Sept. 7
1:00 am           19th and Shotwell St.
                       lUIS GONGORA PAT KILLED BY SFPD
                       This is the five month anniversary his death.
12 noon      Glide Church, Ellis and Taylor S.F.
                  NO ON P & U (PEE-YOO!)
                  Please join Seniors and Disability Action and allies in
                  stopping the Realtor funded attacks on affordable housing.
                  Prop P sets another obstacle to affordable housing.
                  Prop U will allow private developers to double the rents
                  at existing and future affordable housing and fuel
                  evictions and displacement.
                  info  tony@sdaction.org
5:00 – 8:00 pm    Intertribal Friendship House
                         523 International Blvd, Oakland
                         PROTECT THE SACRED
                         Join us for a group exhibition of indigenous artivist
                         design.  Protect the Sacred is a voice of protest.
                         The exhibit will be up until Sept.30th.
                         more info by email IFHtomahawk@gmail.com
5:30 – 6:30     Corner of Montgomery and Market St.
                     PEACE VIGIL
                     We must continue to stand for peace as things get
                     more threatening in world affairs.  The United States
                     is involved in more wars than we count and the
                     threat is very real that “we” may attack Russia.
                     sponsored by Code Pink, the World Can’t Wait and
                     the Occupy Action Council
7:00 pm     2969 Mission St. 
                 43 YEARS OF INJUSTICE!
                 Albert Woodbox, one of the Angola 3, was finally released
                 from prison after 43 years in solitary confinement.  He was
                 subjected to horrific abuse for decades for organizing the
                 Black Panther Party inside Angola State Prison.  He will
                 be speaking across the nation, calling for an end to
                 solitary confinement and mass incarceration.  Join us in
                 welcoming this heroic fighter for Justice to San Francisco.
                 sponsored by Answer Coalition.  refreshments will be
                 served.  $5. donation requested–no one turned away for
                 lack of funds.
7:00 – 9:00    Grand Lake Theater   3200 Grand Ave.  Oakland
                    screening and speakers
                    GREG PALAST FILM – THE BEST GOVERNMENT
                    MONEY CAN BUY
                    Premier of Greg Palast’s new documentary with
                    appearances by comic Will Durst, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.,
                    actress Rosario Dawson, Greg Palast and guests.
                    tickets at Brown paper tickets .org
                    advance tickets $15.00 or $18.00 at the door
                    KPFA Benefit
__________________________________________________________
Thursday Sept. 8
9:30 am – 12:30 pm   Alemeda Board of Supervisors
                               2121 Oak St. Oakland
                               DUE PROCESS RESOLUTION HEARING
                               Protect immigrant communities.  Pass the
                               resolution to uphold due process and protect
                               from deportation, criminalization and civil
                               rights violations.
10:00 am      S.F. offices of the Army Corp of Engineers
                    1455 Market St.
                     STANDING WITH STANDING  ROCK AGAINST THE
                     DAKOTA ACCESS PIPE LINE
                     There will be a press conference and some people
                     will go inside to deliver a letter.
                     Sponsor:  Idle No More
10:00 am  – 2:00 pm    UU Center, 1187 Franklin St. S.F.
                                 TOWN HALL FORUM ON SENIOR ISSUES
                                 Speaker – Senator Mark Leno
                                 topics:  future of Medicare and Social Security
                                             Prescription drug benefit
                                             Health Care for all
                                             Long term support services
                                             safer streets for pedestrians
                                             affordable housing
                                 $10.00 includes lunch and snacks. call
                                           510-663-4086 to register
                                 sponsored by California Alliance for Retired
                                 Americans and Senior and Disability Action
1:00 pm – 10:00 pm     Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Ave. Oakland
                                 9/11 TRUTH FILM FESTIVAL EXPOSING THE
                                 LIE OF THE CENTURY
                                 Speakers and film makers Tony Rooke, Charles
                                 Ering Smith,  Graeme Masc Gween, Peter Phillips,
                                 Mickey Huff, John Meaders, hosted by Bonnie
                                 Faulkner of KPFA Guns and Butter.
                                 details   www.sf911truth.org
                                (I did not write down the price but I am sure it
                                 will be well worth it!)
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm     McKesson Plaza,  57 Post St. at Montgomery
                                rally and march to 1455 Market St. to the office
                                of the Army Corp of  Engineers
                                STOP THE DAKOTA PIPELINE!
                                Join the indigenous people to protect the water.
                                March with the people from the camp of Sacred
                                Stones calling for allies to join the protest.
                                info  www.diablorisingup.net
2:30 pm    S.F. City Hall, Board of Supervisors rm 200
                SUPERVISOR JANE KIM’S ENCAMPMENT HEARING
                an ordinance for how to remove encampments
                sponsor:  Coalition on Homelessness
4:00 public comment                        City College of San Francisco,
                                                      Multi purpose building on west side of
                                                      Phelan Ave.
6:45 Board of Trustee’s meeting
                               PRIORITIES FOR BALBOA RESERVOIR
                               There is concern that CCSF ‘s interests are not
                               protected.  There is concern that the PUC is
                               using “undue influence or political pressure”
                               against the interests of City College.
6:30     Omni Commons  4799 Shattuck Ave Oakland
           PEOPLE’S COMMUNITY MEDICS
           A training for you to learn how to provide first aid to victims
           of gun shot wounds.  Too often help is not there for so long
           that people die—as did Oscar Grant.
           At the training people will get a first aid kit that has gause,
           gloves, and an instruction sheet in English, Spanish and
           Chinese.
           more info:  510-239-7722
_________________________________________________________
Friday Sept. 9
8:00 am – 1:00 am       Alameda County Fairgrounds
                                  4501  Pleasanton Ave.  Pleasanton, CA.
                                  event – protest
                                  STOP URBAN SHIELD: MASS MOBILIZATION 
                                   AGAINST MILITARIZATION 
                                  Join us in saying NO to the militarization of our
                                  local police.  People are coming from all over
                                  the state.  Urban Shield is an annual SWAT TEAM
                                  police training and weapons expo that brings
                                  together local, regional and international police.
                                  as well as military units for Israel which trains
                                  local police in methods of crowd control.  They
                                  show ways to colaberate with surveillance, and
                                  increased state violence.
                                  WE MUST RESIT PROGRAMS LIKE URBAN
                                  SHIELD!
5:00 pm   rally and press conference      Regency Ball Room
                                                           1290 Sutter St. S.F.
6:00 pm  doors open
                         ROCK AGAINST THE TPP!
                         Featuring Jello Biafra, La Santa Cecilia, Built for
                         the Sea, Ryan Harvey, Bonfire Madrigan, Evan Greer
                         and more!
                         more info:  www.team@fightforthefuture.org
6:00 – 9:00       East Side Arts Alliance   2277 International Blvd
                       Oakland.
                       COUNTER POINTS: RESISTING DISPLACEMENT
                       Come and build power for resisting displacement in
                       Alameda County.  The Anti eviction Mapping Project
                       and Tenants Together host a night of food, music,
                       conversation and insurgent art.
                       The location has wheel chair access but is not
                       fragrance free.  Please do not wear scents.
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm    Mosswood Park Rec Center
                                corner of Broadway and Mac Arthur right near
                                highway 580
                                PRISON STRIKE BEGINS!
                                Come and make banners on the 45th anniversary
                                of the Attica Uprising.  Prisoners are calling for
                                an end to slavery.
                                Sponsored by Incarcerated Worker’s Organizing
                                Committee.
_____________________________________________________________
 Saturday Sept. 10
 10:00 am – 12:00 pm  Mid Town Park Apartments
                                 1415 Scott St. San Francisco
                                 COMMUNITY BBQ AND FUNDRAISER
                                 Celebrating one year of tenant struggle and
                                 over 50 years in the Western Addition. Come
                                 join us for an afternoon of food, music and
                                 community/  We have been co cooperatively self
                                 managed but now the city suddenly terminated
                                 our lease to redevelop the complex and evict all
                                 the tenants.  We have been on a rent strike to
                                 save Mid Town.
                                 No one turned away for lack of funds.
                                 SAVE MID TOWN!  They want us out on
                                 September 27th.
1:00 pm      Latham Square  Broadway and Telegraph, Oakland
                  SOLIDARITY WITH US WIDE PRISON STRIKE!
                  Prison strike against modern day slavery. Prisoners have
                  requested that people make noisy protests in support
                  of their work strike.  It is not just better wages or conditions,
                  it is a strike against white supremacy itself.
                  Bring banners, noise makers, friends and co workers.
                  more info:  510-368-3426
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm     1999 Bryant St. San Francisco
                                a teach in and raining on
                                HOW TO FIGHT THE TPP
                                Featuring national experts and local organizers.
                                Learn about the corporate power grab and get
                                involved in the growing movement to stop it.
                                contact www.team@fightforthefuture.org for
                                questions and RSVP
__________________________________________________________
Monday Sept 12
1:00 pm – 10:00 pm     Grand Lake Theater  3200 Grand Ave. Oakland
                                  9/11 TRUTH FESTIVAL 2016: EXPOSING 
                                  THE LIE OF THE CENTURY
                                  films
                                  Incontrovertible UK
                                  Decade of Deception  Canada
                                  Demolition of Truth   USA
                                  More info  www.sftruth.org
__________________________________________________________
Tuesday Sept.13
1:00 – 4:00 pm     San Francisco City Hall front stairs
                           MEMORIAL FOR ALEX NIENTO
                           Meet on the front stairs for a press conference
                           and then go to the Board of Supervisor’s meeting.
                           A resolution for a permanent memorial for Alex is
                           being sponsored by Sup. Avolos and David Compos.
                           The memorial is planned on Bernal Heights where
                           he was unlawfully killed by the S.F.P.D.
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Action Council Announcements for Tuesday, Sept 6th & Wednesday, Sept. 7th (from Adrienne Fong)

Send items for posting by Tuesday Noon to: pat1936@gmail.com 

OccupySF

~ Action Council ~

Occupy San Francisco Bulletin Board

 http://www.occupysf.net

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tuesday, September 6

S 6, Tuesday, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, Uplift Her Safety: Women of Color Resisting State Violence in California

SF City Hall
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place
SF

An Art Protest & Self-Defense Rally

We are women of color and allies committed to the safety and human rights of Black, Brown, Indigenous and API women and condemn the multi-layered state violence targeting women and girls of color in California such as police brutality, sexual assault, abuse in prisons/immigration detention centers, historical revisionism and institutional disregard for the deceased.

We’ll take to the steps of City Hall to call attention to six incidents of state violence against women of color and list six correlating demands.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/957008354405769/

S 6, Tuesday,  5:00pm, Mission Night Walk

Meet at:

City Church
23rd & Capp Streets
SF

We’ll remember all those killed and injured in violence in our neighborhood, stopping as well to remember Amilcar Perez Lopez and Luis Gongora Pat, both killed by SFPD, at the sites where they were killed.

Info: http://webmail.earthlink.net/wam/msg.jsp?msgid=181289&folder=INBOX&isSeen=true&x=1361873185

Wednesday, September 7

S 7, Wednesday, 10:00am – 11:00am, 5 months – Luis Demetrio Góngora Pat Killed by SFPD April 7

19th & Shotwell Sts.
SF

Five months ago on April 7, 2016, Luis Demetrio Góngora Pat was unjustifiably killed by SFPD’s Sgt. Stegner and Officer Mellone at 10am.

Luis was sitting on the ground with his back against the wall when he was first approached by these two officers. Officer Mellone used a bean bag shotgun to hurt him as they yelled commands in English that he could not understand.

Confused, Luis stood up, shielding himself from the hits, and walked towards the street. Even as the fourth bean bag was shot, Sgt. Stegner begun firing his firearm, and Mellone began firing as well.

Sgt. Stegner begun firing his firearm, and Mellone began firing as well. Within less than thirty seconds, the officers had shot four bean bag rounds and seven bullets. Security camera footage, shows the officers firing towards the ground as they walk backwards, given that Luis is already falling to the ground. Luis’s autopsy shows that they murdered him.

Info: FB https://www.facebook.com/events/1092740360808675/

More information about the case: www.justice4luis.org

S 7, Wednesday 5:30pm – 6:30pm, PEACE VIGIL

One Post Street in San Francisco.
(on the steps facing Market Street, below Feinstein’s office,
directly above the Montgomery BART/Muni station)
SF

JOIN CODEPINK, WORLD CAN’T WAIT, OCCUPY SF  and others for our weekly (most Wednesdays)

Focus varies each week on current events / and state of our world.

S 7, Wednesday, 5:30pm, SF Police Commission Meeting

SF City Hall
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place. (usually in room 400)
SF

Hear reports from SFPD Toney Chaplin and updates on the “search for new SF chief of police”

Voice your opinions!

Agenda Site: http://sanfranciscopolice.org/meeting/police-commission-september-7-2016-agenda

S 7, Wednesday, 6:00pm – 7:00pm, Vigil for Amilcar: The waiting and watching continue

Mission Police Station
Valencia & 17th Streets
SF

Weekly vigil – all are welcomed!

Info: http://webmail.earthlink.net/wam/msg.jsp?msgid=181289&folder=INBOX&isSeen=true&x=1361873185

 

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Books by Jill Stein, M.D.

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Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging:  With a Closer Look at Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Diseases

Authors:
Jill Stein MD
Ted Schettler MD MPH
Ben Rohrer
Maria Valenti

Editor:
Nancy Myers

Full book online: http://www.agehealthy.org/pdf/GBPSRSEHN_HealthyAging1017.pdf

In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Childhood Development

Principal Authors:
Ted Schettler MD, MPH
Jill Stein MD
Fay Reich PsyD
Maria Valenti

Contributing Author:
David Wallinga MD

Full book online: http://www.rachel.org/files/document/In_Harms_Way_Toxic_Threats_to_Child_Developmen.pdf

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“National Anthem Is a Celebration of Slavery” by Jon Schwarz

ColinK

August 28, 2016 (TheIntercept.com)

Before a Preseason game on Friday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” When he explained why, he only spoke about the present: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. … There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Twitter then went predictably nuts, with at least one 49ers fan burning Kaepernick’s jersey.

Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today, it would be bizarre to expect African-American players to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans.

Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why “The Star-Spangled Banner” is not just a musical atrocity, it’s an intellectual and moral one, too:

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

“The Star-Spangled Banner,” Americans hazily remember, was written by Francis Scott Key about the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. But we don’t ever talk about how the War of 1812 was a war of aggression that began with an attempt by the U.S. to grab Canada from the British Empire.

However, we’d wildly overestimated the strength of the U.S. military. By the time of the Battle of Fort McHenry in 1814, the British had counterattacked and overrun Washington, D.C., setting fire to the White House.

And one of the key tactics behind the British military’s success was its active recruitment of American slaves. As a detailed 2014 article in Harper’s explains, the orders given to the Royal Navy’s Admiral Sir George Cockburn read:

Let the landings you make be more for the protection of the desertion of the Black Population than with a view to any other advantage. … The great point to be attained is the cordial Support of the Black population. With them properly armed & backed with 20,000 British Troops, Mr. Madison will be hurled from his throne.

Whole families found their way to the ships of the British, who accepted everyone and pledged no one would be given back to their “owners.” Adult men were trained to create a regiment called the Colonial Marines, who participated in many of the most important battles, including the August 1814 raid on Washington.

Then on the night of September 13, 1814, the British bombarded Fort McHenry. Key, seeing the fort’s flag the next morning, was inspired to write the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

So when Key penned “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” he was taking great satisfaction in the death of slaves who’d freed themselves. His perspective may have been affected by the fact he owned several slaves himself.

With that in mind, think again about the next two lines: “And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

The reality is that there were human beings fighting for freedom with incredible bravery during the War of 1812. However, “The Star-Spangled Banner” glorifies America’s “triumph” over them — and then turns that reality completely upside down, transforming their killers into the courageous freedom fighters.

After the U.S. and the British signed a peace treaty at the end of 1814, the U.S. government demanded the return of American “property,” which by that point numbered about 6,000 people. The British refused. Most of the 6,000 eventually settled in Canada, with some going to Trinidad, where their descendants are still known as “Merikins.”

Furthermore, if those leading the backlash against Kaepernick need more inspiration, they can get it from Francis Scott Key’s later life.

By 1833, Key was a district attorney for Washington, D.C. As described in a book called Snowstorm in August by former Washington Post reporter Jefferson Morley, the police were notorious thieves, frequently stealing free blacks’ possessions with impunity. One night, one of the constables tried to attack a woman who escaped and ran away — until she fell off a bridge across the Potomac and drowned.

“There is neither mercy nor justice for colored people in this district,” an abolitionist paper wrote. “No fuss or stir was made about it. She was got out of the river, and was buried, and there the matter ended.”

Key was furious and indicted the newspaper for intending “to injure, oppress, aggrieve & vilify the good name, fame, credit & reputation of the Magistrates & constables of Washington County.”

You can decide for yourself whether there’s some connection between what happened 200 years ago and what Colin Kaepernick is angry about today. Maybe it’s all ancient, meaningless history. Or maybe it’s not, and Kaepernick is right, and we really need a new national anthem.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER SHIFTS POLICE BRUTALITY FOCUS TO BRITAIN by Charlotte Dingle

September 1, 2016 (Occupy.com)

Early last month, Black Lives Matter protesters across the U.K. laid down in the road to obstruct traffic, including motorways leading to main airports. The reaction from much of the media and general public was one of bafflement and disdain. Wasn’t Black Lives Matter a U.S. problem – one in which cops carry guns and black lives really are in danger? As Britain has since discovered, the movement is bigger and broader than many initially believed.

Clive Henry is a U.K. Black Lives Matter organizer based in Nottingham, the scene of one of the August protests. “The mainstream media just doesn’t cover [black oppression] here the way it does in the U.S.,” he told Occupy.com.

“There’s this idea that Black Lives Matter activists in the U.K. are just jumping on a bandwagon and campaigning about a problem that doesn’t exist, but it really does exist. There’s a lot of prejudiced treatment of black youth, black workers, black people in custody in the U.K.”

Even without the use of guns, said Henry, police in the U.K can still wreck lives. “If you’re a black male and you walk down the street in a hooded top, you are very likely to get targeted by the police, even if you’re just minding your own business,” he added. “It’s very difficult to live in Britain as a black person on a daily basis. There have been over 1,500 cases of black deaths in police custody since 1990. A film about these deaths, Injustice, was actually banned for a while.”

Not one of these deaths has ever resulted in the arrest of a police officer or prison guard.

Perhaps the most high-profile case happened in 2011, when 29-year-old Mark Duggan was shot and killed by police in London’s Tottenham. The killing prompted investigations into police misconduct and sparked riots across London, which resulted in five deaths and large-scale looting and arson.

“After Duggan, the youth took the law into their own hands,” Henry said. “But we don’t want to live in a society that is a war zone.”

His interest in the Black Lives Matter movement originally came from his own personal experience – in this case, with an employment tribunal. “I was a victim of firsthand direct racism from my employer. I took them all the way up to the European court,” he said. But Henry lost his case, and “the way the legal system treated me made me feel as if my life didn’t mean anything.”

Dr. Kehinde Andrews, an associate professor of sociology at Birmingham City University, founder of the Organisation of Black Unity and co-chair of the [Black Studies Association]http://www.blackstudies.org.uk/), said there were sharp comparisons to draw between the BLM movements in the U.K. and America.

“I’d say America is a more extreme version of Britain in terms of racism,” he told Occupy.com. “We have the same problems, they’re just worse in the States. For instance, black people are three times more likely to be killed by the police in America. But that’s because the police don’t carry guns here, which is one of the main reasons why people say that BLM doesn’t matter as much here.”

Andrews’s fear is that this may change, however. “Calls for more armed officers to tackle terrorism could easily bring us closer to the way things are in America,” he warned. At their core, the movements mirror one another.

“Young black people in the U.K. have exactly the same problems as young black Americans – if you look at educational attainment, if you look at the school-to-prison pipeline, if you look at unemployment rates. Young black men in the U.K. are just as likely to be stopped by the police as young African-American men,” he added, predicting U.K. Black Lives Matter could escalate faster than some anticipated.

“Thousands of people came out in Birmingham, in Manchester, in Nottingham and in Liverpool in protest. I see continued disruptions. Black Lives Matter is also trying to connect with other groups such as those campaigning about deaths in custody, to join forces [with them].”

Emma Dabiri, a teaching fellow at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, has written extensively about the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.K. press. Speaking recently with Occupy.com, after leading an all-female round table discussion of Black Lives Matter with the fashion magazine Wonderland, Dabiri said:

“It’s clear to see the reach the movement is having when we can speak about these matters on a platform such as this. We discussed the differences between the U.S. and the U.K., what is needed in moving forward and what type of society it is in which we would actually want to live. I challenged the concept of achieving ‘equality,’ asking how equality can ever be achieved in a neoliberal system which not only requires, but which deepens, inequality in its unremitting expansion.

“I think anti-blackness in the U.K. is more pernicious than in the U.S. and in fact might even be [considered] more sophisticated for its stealth-like nature,” Dabiri concluded. “There is definitely a need for black organizing in the U.K. but it very much has to be adapted and responsive to the particular ways in which anti-blackness manifests in the U.K. context.”

Black Lives Matter, U.K. Black Lives Matter, police brutality, police killings, racism, Mark Duggan, police violence, Organisation of Black Unity, Black Studies Association

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