June 05, 2020 by Common Dreams

He said we better get our shit together, he is losing his fucking patience.

by Camillo Mac Bica


He said that no species or people are chosen and no nation exceptional. (Photo: Creative Commons)

He said that no species or people are chosen and no nation exceptional. (Photo: Creative Commons)

With Donald Trump violently dispersing peaceful protestors with teargas and pepper spray so he could have a photo op (even Fox called it that) fondling “a” bible (not even his) in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, a place of worship he had visited only twice before in his over three years in office, I think it fitting, important, and an act of charity that I share with him a conversation I had with the Christ last night.

Yes, the Christ spoke with me last night. I call him that rather than the more familiar “Jesus” because I think it fair to say that we are not on a first-name basis. After all, judging by what I see around me, I am not by any stretch of the imagination what many, perhaps even most, would consider a practicing Christian, or even remotely religious as commonly understood. I guess you can imagine my surprise, then, when of all the people in the world he could have spoken with—clergy members, Presidents/political leaders, Fox “news” commentators, etc.—he chose me.

We should listen to those sane voices, religious or otherwise, of Francis, the Dali Lama, Malala Yousafzai, and Greta Thunberg who advise that we bring an end to inequality, poverty, and economic systems that breed greed, hatred, corruption, climate change, and war.

But who am I to question the will of the Son of God? Maybe he just needed to rant a bit, to blow off steam. Or maybe he wanted to talk with someone he could trust to just listen and not distort his words for their advantage or to the disadvantage of other human beings. I can certainly understand his frustration given the state of the world and the way his teachings have been ignored, misinterpreted, and exploited by those who claim to be his spokespersons and followers.

He began by asking me, and these are his words, not mine, to tell those fucking idiots who profess to be Christians that Christianity is not a tool to be exploited for political purposes or personal gain. Nor is it a cloak of self-righteousness with which to arrogantly claim dominance.

Now perhaps you may be as shocked as I was to hear the Christ use such language. But if you truly knew him, what he was like, what he stood for, I think you would realize, as I did, that such “colorful language” was perfectly in character as the Christ was truly a rebel, a homeless vagabond who disregarded convention and sought the company of activists, revolutionaries, prostitutes, criminals, and lepers. Now I am not sure if this is his normal manner of speaking, after all as I mentioned earlier, we do not converse very often, but it was clear to me, again in his own words, that he was really pissed.

But let me continue. He said that to “know” him is to be humble and to accept the sanctity and intrinsic worth of all members of the human community. It is to love all people, no matter their color, religion, sexual preference, or country of origin and to concern themselves with the welfare of ALL living beings and with the earth he entrusted to their care. He said that no species or people are chosen and no nation exceptional. He said it is time to clear his temple (this world) of moneychangers, banksters, and Wall Street criminals. That we should listen to those sane voices, religious or otherwise, of Francis, the Dali Lama, Malala Yousafzai, and Greta Thunberg who advise that we bring an end to inequality, poverty, and economic systems that breed greed, hatred, corruption, climate change, and war.

As our conversation drew to an end (I guess he had other places to be and other people to talk with), the Christ offered what I took to be a warning of sorts, to all of us but especially to Donald Trump and other bigots, racists, warists, homophobes, and those who preach hatred and intolerance, that we had better get our priorities in order, our shit together, and we had better do it now not later, as he is losing his fucking patience. His words, not mine.

Camillo Mac Bica is an American philosopher, poet, activist, and author.Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.


Coronavirus restrictions and China’s encroachment on the territory changed the annual vigil.

By Jen Kirbyjen.kirby@vox.com  Jun 4, 2020 (vox.com)

Activists Participate In A Candlelit Remembrance In Hong Kong
Activists participate in a candlelit remembrance outside Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2020.

Thousands of people in Hong Kong defiantly commemorated the Tiananmen Square massacre on Thursday, holding a vigil despite a police ban as the territory witnesses Beijing stamp out its freedoms in real time.

Each year, the pro-democracy protesters killed by Chinese government forceson June 4, 1989, are honored in Hong Kong — one of the few places in China, along with Macau, where the day is usually allowed to be recognized. China has tried to erase and rewrite the history of the massacre, and in the mainland, little is known of how the Chinese military crushed the democracy movement.

But this year, for the first time, Hong Kong authorities refused to grant a permit for the candlelight vigil, which is traditionally held in Victoria Park. The reason given was the coronavirusMass gatherings of more than eight people are restricted under current social distancing rules. However, many other restrictions have been lifted in Hong Kong, and the territory has very few cases — on June 4, the government reported six infections; the day before, zero. (Activists in Macau were also denied a permit.)

But thousands of Hongkongers gathered on June 4 anyway outside of Victoria Park, which had been barricaded off by police. Many tried to observe social distancing rules by sitting or standing apart as they chanted pro-democracy slogans and, in some instances, rallied for Hong Kong’s independence from China, once a radical idea.

Kinling Lo 盧建靈✔@kinlingloReplying to @kinlinglo

Instead of “End to the one-party dictatorship!” “Vindicate June4th!”

Attendees of the vigil are now chanting:
“Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time!”
“Five demands, not one less”
“Hong Kong independence, the only way out!”

Embedded video

2515:24 AM – Jun 4, 2020

Daniel Victor✔@bydanielvictor

Defying a government ban and threats to prosecute attendees, thousands of people in Hong Kong have shown up at a Tiananmen vigil (but are still social distancing)

Embedded video

16K4:53 AM – Jun 4, 2020

Others brought candles to other parts of the city, as organizers of the vigil had encouraged Hongkongers to “light a candle wherever they are.”

Kong Tsung-gan / 江松澗@KongTsungGan · Jun 4, 2020

Across #HK, in churches & other institutions, #June4 candlelight vigils were held, including in this church, where Martin Lee & @JimmyLaiApple attended, as can be seen in @sarah_wu_‘s thread linked to the tweet below. #TiananmenMassacre #6431truth https://twitter.com/sarah_wu_/status/1268552019410923525?s=20 …Sarah Wu@sarah_wu_Replying to @sarah_wu_Worshippers attend a June 4 service at Holy across Church in Hong Kong to commemorate those killed in the 1989 #TiananmenMassacreKong Tsung-gan / 江松澗@KongTsungGan

People in every corner of #HK marked #June4 with candlelight, defying police ban on candlelight vigil in Victoria Park (where thousands came out regardless). This is the #HK spirit of the resistance of ordinary people that one day will prevail. #6431truth

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

2510:06 AM – Jun 4, 2020

“We fight for the same things as they did [in Tiananmen Square] 31 years ago,” 24-year-old Hammond Tong told the Washington Post. “The Chinese Communist Party has not changed one bit — the oppression, suppression and persecution have only increased. We must not forget, nor can we stop fighting.”

The vigil this year, even in its more fragmented form, has added weight as China moves to undermine the “one country, two systems” framework, which allows Hong Kong to have a degree of autonomy for its democratic system, and freedoms of press and speech not afforded to the rest of mainland China, until at least 2047.

China has long been trying to pull Hong Kong closer into its orbit. Shortly after last year’s Tiananmen Square vigil, Hong Kong erupted into protests against a controversial extradition bill that many saw as an attempt by Beijing to restrict Hong Kong’s freedoms. The first massive protest, on June 9, kicked off nearly a year of sustained pro-democracy demonstrations in the territory, which only died down earlier this year because of pandemic fears.

But last month, Beijing passed a national security law intended to curtail foreign interference or activities that undermine the state. Many critics say that Beijing — and officials in Hong Kong — are likely to interpret that broadly, which could potentially criminalize any dissent or perceived resistance to China. And that would almost certainly include Hong Kong’s protesters.

The passage of the law sparked massive resistance once more, as thousands defied lockdown measures to protest against the legislation.

But Hong Kong’s future, and its freedoms, are perhaps more precarious than they’ve ever been.

On Thursday, Hong Kong’s mostly pro-China legislature voted to adopt a law that would make it illegal to mock or disrespect China’s national anthem, with penalties of up to three years in prison. The bill would also allow police to investigate violations for up to two years, the Wall Street Journal reported, giving authorities time to scour social media for videos and images of large crowds.

The crowd at the vigil sang “Glory to Hong Kong” — the unofficial anthem of the Hong Kong protests — in apparent defiance of the new law.Hong Kong Free Press HKFP@HongKongFPReplying to @HongKongFP

The crowd chants for democracy and sings the protest anthem Glory to Hong Kong.

Embedded video

4915:05 AM – Jun 4, 2020

The international community has condemned China’s move. But unrest in the US is complicating the message.

China’s national security law has not yet been implemented, but when it is, many fear it could chill protests and even mark the official end of gatherings like the Tiananmen Square vigil, which Beijing seems determined to stop.

Which is why this year’s vigil almost became not only about the pro-democracy activists who died in 1989 but also about Hong Kong, both its past and its future. Amid China’s aggressive moves to assert authority over the territory, calls for Hong Kong’s independence are growing louder, as pro-democracy advocates see dwindling options to preserve its autonomy.

And the international community may not be much help. The United Kingdom, which once controlled Hong Kong, has promised to expand the number of Hongkongers who can come to Britain with visas — a move that many advocates support, but that will do little to save Hong Kong’s institutions.

The United States has announced it will consider revoking Hong Kong’s special trade status because it is no longer fully autonomous from China, a move that could damage Hong Kong’s position as a global financial capital. That special status once deterred China from taking too heavy a hand in Hong Kong — though that has changed, too, as Hong Kong’s economic importance to China has diminished. But now there may be even less reason for China to rhetorically honor “one country, two systems.”

America’s rebuke of China for “absolutely smothering” the freedoms of Hong Kong also rings hollow amid America’s own unrest.

President Donald Trump is still considering sending active-duty military forces to help control the George Floyd protests taking place across the country, which have been largely peaceful and, in some egregious instances, met with force. The Chinese government has pointed out the hypocrisy of US lawmakers who criticized Hong Kong police for cracking down on and tear-gassing protesters while the same thing happens in American cities — including in Washington, DC, where peaceful protesters were cleared with chemical irritants to make way for a presidential photo op.

This is especially stark on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Some US lawmakers who have been highly critical of China’s military response to pro-democracy protesters have openly advocated for using the US military to control protests on American streets.

That disconnect will make it harder for the US, and the rest of the world, to take meaningful action to protect Hong Kong — and to keep honoring, as Hongkongers tried to do today, what happened in Tiananmen Square three decades ago.

Appeal ~ Articles ~ Action ~ Events, Friday, 6/5 – Sunday 6/7 (from Adrienne Fong)

An appeal:

Looking for local volunteers who know ASL & can translate for the upcoming BLM march in Walnut Creek on Friday & Concord on Saturday. Both of these events have been organized by Black youth & I want to prioritize accessibility so please reach out/share if you know any translators! Let me know at afong@jps.net. and Ill let the person who is putting out the appeal know.

Thank you!

– Please post events on Indybay even if event is digital: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12

      See Indybay for other events.

Am not back posting on a regular basis!


A. SF officer involved in shooting death of homeless man quit while facing discipline, landed new job in Antioch – June 4, 2020

   Article is about one of the cops who killed Luis Gongora Pat.

B. Retired top general joins Mattis dissent from Trump, warns of ‘beginning of the end’ for democracy if troops are used against protests – June 4, 2020


C. 17-year-old Mission District teen leads protest of thousands in San Francisco  June 3, 2020


D. SF resident was kneeling when fatally shot by Vallejo police during civil unrest  – June 3, 2020


   Rest in Power and Peace 

      ♥ Sean Monterrosa ♥

   Please see event # 1

E. San Francisco DA to prohibit officers with history of misconduct from being hired – June 2, 2020

F. ‘Lay down your arms’: Bronze Star-decorated veteran in Congress urges military to ‘be on the right side of history’ – June 1, 2020



  SIGN: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/2005_email_blm_defund?source=em20_200603_DefundKickerFacebook&fbclid=IwAR2Jf8XP6_6PHVxb6kh8K7_mU6Qtgxl99-B4GgcEo-1Av0PVbVgLal7kdPg


Friday, June 5 – Sunday, June 7

Friday, June 5

1. Friday, 3:00pm, March for the JUSTICE of Sean Monterrosa

Meet at

24th & Mission Sts.

Walk is to Mission District Police Station on Valencia & 17th Street.

2. Friday, 4:00pm – 6:00pm, DIE IN


Host: San Jose / Silicon Valley NAACP

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/277643133377348/

3. Friday, 4:30pm – 7:00pm, Ready To Listen

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

a peaceful protest, please also wear face mask and please do your best to practice social distancing. Also bring your loud voice, your creative signs

Too much energy has been spent trying to fix the same problems, fighting with the same people.

Due to the tragic murder of George Floyd and the murder of other unarmed Black members of society, we as Black LGBTQ community members need to speak out about not only the deadly use of force at the hands of police officers but also speak about antiblackness in the LGBTQ community.

Our voices are being silenced by all the hate and violence, and it needs to stop.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/252805072478472/

4. Friday, 5:30pm – 6:30pm, George Floyd Solidarity Ride in San Francisco


Embarcadero & Market St.

Justice for #GeorgeFloyd. End police violence. San Francisco solidarity ride. Start from Embarcadero, we ride Critical Mass style.

Bikes, trikes, handcycles, scooters, skates, roller blades, boards, unicycles all welcome.

Bring your signs, music, chants, and spirt. Bring your friends. The intention is non-violent. 6′ apart. Wear masks.

Event – Critical Mass

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/06/01/18833588.php

Saturday, June 6

5. Saturday, 10:00am – 11:00am, Healthcare for Black Lives

Meet at intersection of:

Berkeley Way & Walnut

Calling all Bay Area healthcare workers to join UCSF-UC Berkeley Joint Medical Program’s White Coats for Black Lives Saturday 6/6/20 at 10am at intersection of Berkeley Way and Walnut St in Berkeley to demonstrate for Healthcare for Black Lives. Please come wearing scrubs, white coats, or other symbols of your profession.


– Declare racism and police violence as a public health emergency

– Stop and reverse militarization of law enforcement

– End policing that is violent against marginalized populations – particularly Black Communities

– Immediately end violence and use of rubber bullets against incarceration of protesters

– Immediaely end use of tear gas use in midst of a pandemic that causes severe respiratory health outcomes

See site for more demands

Info: https://www.facebook.com/pg/donoharmcoalition/posts/?ref=notif

6. Saturday, 10:00am (PT); 1:00pm (ET), Forging An Abolitionist Strategy For Defending Black Communities

Webinar registration:


national call about the current resistance and how we can show up In Defense of Black Lives.

Cities across the country have erupted in protest and many are in flames. The horrific and violent murders of George Floyd, Nina Pop, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and Dreasjon Reed are inexcusable.

The compounding crisis of COVID-19 and increased police brutality speaks to the interconnected nature of white supremacy, racial capitalism, and the role of state sanctioned terrorism. Our communities continue to be overpoliced and under-served. That is the backdrop to righteous anger and uprisings we have seen these past few weeks.

Info fr. Adalah Justice Project

Saturday, 11:00am – 1:00pm, Know Your Rights Training

Register for the Zoom meeting:

Open to the public.

Host: Berkeley Copwatch

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1419148114958895/

7. Saturday, 12Noon – 3:00pm, Refuse Fascism: Protest in San Francisco, D.C., and Everywhere

Gather at:

24th & Mission St.

Day after day, night after night, coast to coast, the streets fill with Black youth refusing to face another day in fear and people of all backgrounds who have had enough of white supremacy and a culture of soul-crushing cruelty. Millions have been shaken awake.

Trump has thrown down a heavy gauntlet to the people who have been heroically protesting in the face of heightened repression. Yet the people have not cowered. For the first time under this regime, the people have seized the initiative and have not let go. In contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence regime, these protests are infused with a love for humanity, and those in power seem more out of touch and illegitimate by the day.

This fascist regime poses a catastrophic danger to the whole world, and the whole world will take heart if we rise to another level of determined resistance. Let us change the course of history, not for ourselves alone but for all humanity.

Hosts: Refuse Fascism Bay Area & Refuse Fascism

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/253819339220825/   & https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/06/04/18833724.php

8. Saturday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Hayward Solidarity Protest


Hayward City Hall

We are standing in solidarity with the families who have lost their loved ones to police violence/brutality. We are standing up in support of #BlackLivesMatter and demand that we end the Police State that we are in.

Our Demands:

1. #DefundThePoliceDepartment: Black Lives Matter National is calling for the local and state governments to Defund the Police Department.
2. Holding the Hayward Police Department Accountable: We must hold the Hayward Police Department accountable for their actions. They recently shot Eric “Gato” in his own front yard without any de-escalation. As well as the shooting of a “Augie” Agustin Gonsalez.
3. The Hayward Unified School District must terminate its relationship with the Hayward Police Department: We do not need the police in schools. This only causes more young black and brown youth to fear for their lives.

as we come together in the City of Hayward for Justice. Lets keep some of this important information with us:

1. Please wear a mask and try to maintain a 6 feet distance.
2. Please try to not come alone, bring a partner with you for Safety persuasions.
3. Please follow the crowd.
4. Please follow the security team in place that we have, along with the leaders of the march to insure the safety everyone.


– Signs, Noise makers, Drums, and Bullhorns.
– Water & Milk.
– Bandages & First Aid Supplies.
– Sage or other incents
– Cash/ Change & ID (Not your whole wallet or purse, only bring what you want incase of being arrested)

*Please come with a mask on and please try to maintain a 6 feet distance from each-other*

For more information or If you’re organization would like to co-sponsor this protest contact:

Michael, 415-254-7070

Hosts: South Bay Resistance, Together We Stand

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/910370879426639/

9. Saturday, 1:30pm – 3:00pm, Naming The Lost, Fighting for Our Lives

Register here: https://www.actionnetwork.org/forms/join-us-to-grieve-and-take-action-on-june-6

Online vigil with In-person component to be captured live. ASL and Closed Captioning will be provided.

Join us on Saturday, June 6th to grieve those lost in nursing homes, and to call for policy, testing, and PPE that will protect nursing home workers and residents alike.

Join us to envision a future long-term care system that honors and affirms the lives of Black and Brown people, of people with disabilities and older adults, rather than endangers them through racist, ableist and ageist policies that allow nursing homes to put profits before their residents or workers.

Together, we will:
Honor those who have died from Covid-19 inside nursing homes

Call for protection for residents and workers–increased staffing, full testing, needed protective equipment, sick leave and hazard pay for workers, and all necessary medical care for residents

Demand that nursing home companies put people before profits, rather than seek immunity for deaths in their facilities.

Urge Governor Newsom to accept the Senate and Assembly’s budget proposal that would protect critical long-term care programs and make cuts to prisons.

Hosts: Hand in Hand Domestic Employers Network, Choice in Aging, Disability Organizing DoNetwork, San Francisco Disability Action

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/3474258382603315/

10. Saturday, 4:00pm – 6:00pm (PT), We Can’t go Back to Normal – Normal is the Problem!

Zoom Townhall

To Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 857 1315 4502
Password: 302942

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The racist police murder of George Floyd, the soaring death toll from the pandemic, and the explosion in unemployment and hunger all show the kind of future we can expect under the system of capitalism. As people take to the streets to protest the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, a different possibility is posed.

We are beginning to see the power we have. We can do more than disrupt this system. We do the work to make it run.  We can change it to work for us all.

We don’t want to go back to normal because normal was the problem!

Join us for a discussion about these important times.

Host: Speakout Socialist

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/06/03/18833698.php

11. Saturday, 4:00pm – 7:00pm, BlackBrownShutItDown

Meet at:

Southside Park 8th St.
2115 6th St.

#BlackBrownShutItDown is a coalition of self-identified Brown community members who stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We recognize the disproportionate impact of police violence against our Black communities and demand that City and County elected officials, including the Sacramento Mayor, City Council, Board of Supervisors, and District Attorney, immediately abolish curfews, withdraw the National Guard’s occupation of our city, release and drop all charges of arrested protestors, and reallocate police funding to community based programs for youth, outdoors, education, healthcare, the arts, and community enrichment.
The time to end massive policing budgets, and the militarization of local police, is now.

 Local budgets face a looming shortfall due to COVID 19. We urge city and county leaders to grasp this historic opportunity to change our local budget priorities in order to center the health and well-being of all Sacramentans. To further this end, we demand city leaders cut police funding, which currently represents approximately 45% of the general budget, to 20% or less. We expect to see CARES Act funds used to protect our most vulnerable communities, rather than to increase the militarization of local police. And finally, we demand that the 2020/21 Measure U funds allocated to funding police activities, $41,727,000 (52% of the budget) be reallocated to youth, parks, and community enrichment.

Militarized police, behaving as an occupying force, do not make us safer. Sacramento police and sheriffs must be demilitarized. They must stop killing and brutalizing our Black and Brown communities. And they must be held accountable for acts of violence perpetrated under guise of law. Officers who have engaged in violence against members of the community must be removed immediately. City and county officials have a responsibility to stop
capitulating to the demands of law enforcement unions, and ensure that officers can be swiftly removed when they engage in egregious acts.

Hosts: Black Brown Shut it Down + 8 Other groups

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/262050921874989/

12. Saturday, 8:00pm – 10:00pm, 6 Feet & Grieving : A COVID 19 Remembrance

3401 East 12th St.
Oakland, 94601

Gather at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater on Saturday, June 6th, at 8pm for a candlelight vigil.

An evening to remember and honor the lives lost to COVID-19. As the death toll approaches 100,000 in the US, and social distancing restrictions are lifted in a patchwork fashion nationwide, we will safely gather to grieve and remember those lost.

Gather at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater on Saturday, June 6th, at 8pm for a candlelight vigil. We will remember individuals and groups of people who have passed, due to both action and inaction. Bring your memories, your joy, and your pain. Bring candles, flowers, and pictures, or anything else to hold or add to a community altar. Together we will honor our people while wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, because Solidarity is Safety.

Artists with the SF Projection Dept. will honor victims lost to the virus by projecting outdoor #COVIDmemorial messages and photos shared by loved ones.

For more info: @COVID19Remembrance / covid19remembrance@gmail.com

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/211227750211284/

 Sunday, June 7

13. Sunday, 6:00pm – 7:15pm, From Katrina to Corona-PoLice Murder & kkKurfews on StolenLand

Online event

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Meeting ID: 840 5724 2429
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Meeting ID: 840 5724 2429
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keoP0cOKeK

Background on the Series
From Katrina to Corona- government Solutions to Homelessness & Covid 19- Join Poverty, Disability Skolaz Leroy Moore, & Lisa Tiny Gray-Garcia wit special guests for a weekly special live zoom broadcast of Pnn-Kexu 96.1fm-Po Peoples Revolutionary radio/TV news hour that deals with different “government” response to Covid 19 versus poor people-led self-determination movement solutions created by /for us.(All past shows were recorded and are available on PoorNewsNetwork’s channel on Youtube

Week#7 PoLice Terror, kkkurfews and Control on Stolen Land –
Join Leroy Moore & Lisa Tiny Gray-Garcia as they speak with Adante Pointer from John Burris Law Firm, Rebecca Ruiz from Anti Police-Terror ProjectJoey Villarreal from #FreeAztlan on Pnn-Kexu 96.1fm-Po Peoples Revolutionary radio/TV the Mama of poLice Murder Victim Augie Gonzalez, Geral Smith from #SlaveRevolt Radio & more TBA…to get into not only the pig problem but the actual solutions –

Hosts: POOR Magazine + 3 Other groups

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/249512019478926/



Buffalo Police Said Protester With Head Wound “Tripped and Fell.” Video Shows They Lied.

Robert Mackey June 5 2020, 5:47 a.m. (theintercept.com)

POLICE OFFICERS IN Buffalo, New York used excessive force to disperse a protest against police brutality on Thursday, shoving a 75-year-old protester who posed no threat to them so hard that he fell to the ground and sustained a bloody head wound.

Although the incident took place outside Buffalo’s City Hall, in daylight and in full view of witnesses, including at least five journalists, the Buffalo Police Department initially said in a statement that, during a “skirmish involving protestors, one person was injured when he tripped & fell.”

However, that account of what happened was quickly revealed to be a lie. Just over 20 minutes after the police statement was made public, the local NPR affiliate WBFO released distressing video of the incident, which clearly showed that the man only fell to the sidewalk in Niagara Square and hit his head because two officers he tried to talk to shoved him roughly.

Although the masked, elderly man hit his head hard on the pavement, and immediately began bleeding from his ear, one officer who had pushed him was stopped from aiding him by another officer who pushed him toward a younger protester, who was sitting on the city hall steps holding a “Black Lives Matter” sign. None of the other officers made any immediate effort to help the injured man. One officer did, however, order the reporter who was filming the incident, Mike Desmond of WBFO, to clear the area.

The injured man was hospitalized in serious, but stable condition, according to local officials. He was identified as the veteran activist Martin Gugino by his friend Mark Colville, one of seven Catholic anti-nuclear activists affiliated with Plowshares, a nuclear-abolition movement, currently awaiting sentencing for breaking into the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia, in 2018, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“This is my good friend, Martin Gugino,” Colville wrote on Twitter. “A longtime activist and political thinker; has struggled to close Guantanamo as a member of Witness Against Torture; a man of deep faith who spends much of his free time visiting prisoners in Attica. And he’s battling a catastrophic illness.”Mark Colville@AmistadObrero

Here’s Martin Gugino (holding the “Resist Racism” sign) in 2016 outside the DOJ in Washington, DC, where Witness Against Torture was demanding murder charges be brought against the Cleveland police officers who executed a child named Tamir Rice. Today he fights for his own life.

View image on Twitter

Last week, Gugino posted a YouTube statement addressed to the federal court in Brunswick, Georgia where Colville is awaiting sentencing in support, in which he had cited Martin Luther King’s belief that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Gugino added: “What he doesn’t say there, is that it doesn’t bend itself; we have to bend it. We have to go out into the culture and act justly, act morally, do good, and little by little it will bend the culture towards justice. And some of the times, the culture doesn’t want to be bent, and so there’ll be conflict, and that’s just part of it.”

Martin Luther King’s belief that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Gugino added: “What he doesn’t say there, is that it doesn’t bend itself; we have to bend it. We have to go out into the culture and act justly, act morally, do good, and little by little it will bend the culture towards justice. And some of the times, the culture doesn’t want to be bent, and so there’ll be conflict, and that’s just part of it.”

–Martin Gugino

Earlier on Thursday, Gugino had tweeted a photograph of an event in Niagara Square at which state and local officials called for police reform. He also wrote that “COVID is a factor,” for protesters against police brutality and racial injustice to consider and noted that he had a cough. “I can take extra measures to counteract” the risk of infection, he added, but noted there is also a risk “of getting pummeled.”

Video of the incident recorded from across the street by a photojournalist named Anthony Nelson showed just how disproportionate the forceful police action to clear the square was. As the 8 p.m. curfew passed, the officers advanced in military formation despite facing just a handful of protestersKatie Gibas@KatieGibasTV

Current situation in #Buffalo as police work to enforce the 8 p.m. curfew in Niagara Square. Caution: there is some vulgar language in the video. Tune to @SPECNewsBuffalo for the latest. Video Courtesy: Photojournalist Anthony Nelson

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About 90 minutes after the close-up video was posted online, and prompted national and international condemnation, the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown, announced that the two officers had been suspended without pay, pending an investigation.

Brown, however, appeared to endorse the police perspective that force was required to clear the square. The man was injured, Brown wrote, “after a physical altercation between two separate groups of protesters participating in an illegal demonstration beyond the curfew.” There was no evidence in the videos from the scene of any altercation before the police surged forward at the few protesters who remained in Niagara Square. An earlier demonstration, demanding justice for George Floyd, the black security guard murdered by a white police office in Minneapolis, had ended peacefully, after fist bumps between police officers and protesters.Ali Ingersoll@Ali_IngNews

Police came over to talk to people who have become familiar faces to them, saying if they stay on the sidewalk and leave by 8, there won’t be issues.

Police just left.

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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued a more forceful statement than the city’s mayor. “Simply put, the officers must be held responsible for their actions, not just fired,” he wrote on Twitter.

The incident, just one of dozens of examples of excessive force caught on camera in the past two weeks, stirred outrage both because the target was an elderly, peaceful protester and because the initial police statement made it obvious that the incident would have been covered up but for the presence of a witness with a video camera.

The two suspensions were denounced by the president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, John Evans, in an email obtained by Madison Carter of the local ABC News affiliate, WKBW. “I can tell you they tried to fuck over these guys like I have never seen in my 54 years,” Evans wrote. “It is despicable.”Madison Carter@madisonlcarter

WOW. email sent from PBA President John Evans to members.
“I can tell you they (@BPDAlerts) tried to f*%k over these guys like I have never seen in my 54 years.”@WKBW

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Evans argued that since the officers “did nothing wrong” and were “simply following orders,” he had decided that the association would not pay for the legal defense of any officers from Buffalo’s Emergency Response Team who might be charged with wrongdoing “OVER BULLSHIT… related to these protests going forward.”

Following that email, all 57 members of the police department’s Emergency Response Team reportedly resigned from the unit, although not from the police force. Spectrum News in Buffalo reported that Evans confirmed that the officers had quit their unit “to support the two suspended officers, and in disgust of how the administration is handling the entire incident.”

“These guys did nothing but do what they were ordered to do. This is disgusting!!!” Evans wrote in a public post on the Buffalo PBA website.

“These protest’s/riots should not be taken lightly!!” he added in a text message with idiosyncratic punctuation. “Last nights rioters were from Bflo NY- Not out of towners… We still don’t have a rifle equivalent to the criminals AR’s and AK’s.”

The injured protester, Martin Gugino, issued a statement through his lawyer on Friday afternoon confirming that he remains in serious but stable condition but is “alert and oriented.”
Jeff Russo✔@JeffRussoWKBW

JUST IN: Statement from Martin Gugino, the man pushed by Buffalo Police Officers, via his attorney. “He appreciates all of the well wishes he has received and requests that any further protests continue to be peaceful.” ⁦@WKBW

View image on Twitter

Updated: Friday, June 5, 2:55 p.m. PDT
This article was updated to report remarks from the president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association and to note that the injured man was identified as the veteran activist Martin Gugino by his friend Mark Colville, one of seven Catholic anti-nuclear activists affiliated with Plowshares known as the Kings Bay 7.


Robert Mackey robert.mackey@​theintercept.com @RobertMackey

Mark Zuckerberg Believes Only in Mark Zuckerberg

Why is he abetting Trump while civil rights leaders and his own employees rebuke him? It’s about dominance.

Mark Zuckerberg
Zuckerberg believes in himself so completely, his vision of how the world works so completely, that he is immune to cognitive dissonance.PHOTOGRAPH: ABDULHAMID HOSBAS/GETTY IMAGES

June 3, 2020 (wired.com)

WHAT DOES MARK Zuckerberg believe? What does he really care about? How could a man who marched in a gay pride parade, who advocated for increased immigration to the United States, who hired a high-profile Democrat and feminist as his second-in-command, sit and eat with Donald Trump?

Why, at a moment of global and national crisis, when more than 100,000 Americans have died of a virus that could have been contained by a competent government, a quarter of Americans are in danger of being evicted or thrown into poverty, and thousands of Americans are facing off against violent police forces in the streets of cities and towns of all sizes, does Zuckerberg get on the phone with Trump for a nice chat?

Like other billionaires, Zuckerberg has the money, power, and influence to take a stand against such malfeasance and malevolence. With three global platforms—Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp—capable of structuring the cultural and intellectual experience of billions around the world, Zuckerberg chooses to do the opposite. He chooses to bolster Trump and other authoritarians, despite all the harm they do to the world.

Zuckerberg knew in 2016 that Trump was a racist. He knew that Trump boasted of sexually assaulting women. Yet Zuckerberg allowed Facebook employees to help Trump use Facebook more effectively, certainly contributing to the electoral college win.

How could a person who seems so cosmopolitan let his company effectively support the campaigns of authoritarian nationalists like Narendra Modi in India or Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines? Why does he let them use his platforms to terrorize critics, journalists, and scholars?

Over the past two weeks these questions have taken on a new urgency as Facebook employees have for the first time publicly voiced anger and frustration with Zuckerberg’s decision to protect Trump’s calls for state violence against those who are protesting racist police violence. While Twitter took a modest stand against Trump’s hyperbolic threats, Zuckerberg announced that he sees the posts as different from those that threaten violence because they were about the use of “state force.” Seriously.

In a leaked staff phone call on Tuesday, Zuckerberg defended his decision to angry Facebook staffers. “We basically concluded after the research and after everything I’ve read and all the different folks that I’ve talked to that the reference is clearly to aggressive policing—maybe excessive policing—but it has no history of being read as a dog whistle for vigilante supporters to take justice into their own hands,” Zuckerberg said of Trump’s posts that taunted protesters with, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

And after some civil rights leaders spoke with Zuckerberg on Monday they left “disappointed and stunned,” convinced that Zuckerberg does not—or refuses to—understand basic issues like voter suppression and racism.

Now, as the United States faces its greatest threat since the Civil War, Zuckerberg panders to the authoritarian in the White House.

You have to ask yourself why. “It’s about the money” does not quite track. He would have all that money regardless. Zuckerberg and Facebook are deeply embedded in the global economy and power structure. He does not need Trump.

Trump has no direct or immediate power to regulate Facebook or constrict its actions in the short term. Perhaps Zuckerberg is hedging, assuming that Trump and the Republicans will go easier on him if they prevail in November. Zuckerberg already has purchased the support of some powerful Democrats, so he doesn’t have to work so hard to keep them at bay.

So what does Zuckerberg really believe? What does he really want for the world?

These are questions that for years have been perplexing those of us who write about Facebook. After going through hundreds of speeches, letters, and Facebook posts by Zuckerberg during the research for my latest book, I thought I had him nailed down.

I considered Zuckerberg an idealist, someone who naively believed in the positive power of human connectivity, communication, and community. Being largely uneducated and inexperienced, Zuckerberg was untroubled by facts, history, or complexity. Connectivity was just good—always and completely.

Never having grown beyond the bubbles of prep school, Harvard, Silicon Valley, and Davos, Zuckerberg had no grasp of the varieties of human cruelty, I thought. Being a straight, white, American man, Zuckerberg was oblivious to the ways in which “community” could oppress as well as comfort.

And after years of rich white men throwing money at him and calling him a genius, Zuckerberg, I assumed, was just enthralled by rich white men.

Despite, as Steven Levy describes in detail in his essential new book on Facebook, relinquishing much control of day-to-day and commercial operations of Facebook to COO Sheryl Sandberg for much of the past decade, Zuckerberg still embedded his values into the company. He did so imperfectly, though. Despite his claims to support free expression, Facebook has notoriously and enthusiastically executed the censorious wishes of authoritarian governments around the world.

So I expected that Zuckerberg was experiencing cognitive dissonance while watching his dear company be exploited to empower genocidal forces in Myanmar, religious terrorists in Sri Lanka, or vaccine deniers around the world.

I was wrong. I misjudged Zuckerberg. Another thing I learned from Levy’s book is that along with an idealistic and naive account of human communication, Zuckerberg seems to love power more than he loves money or the potential to do good in the world.

Having studied just enough Latin in prep school to get him in trouble, Zuckerberg was known to quote Cato, shouting “Carthago delenda est” (Carthage must be destroyed) when referring to Google. Emperor Augustus was a particular inspiration, Levy reports, and Zuckerberg named his child after Augustus, the adopted son of the tyrant Julius Caesar who ruled over the greatest and most peaceful span of the Roman Empire as its first emperor.

It was not Zuckerberg suffering from cognitive dissonance. I was. As I watched him cooly face questions from congressional representatives about the Cambridge Analytica debacle, he never seemed thoughtful, just disciplined.

That Facebook could serve people well—and it does—and that it could be abused to contribute to massive harm, pain, and death, didn’t seem to generate that one troublesome phenomenon that challenges the thoughtful: Contradiction.

Zuckerberg continued and continues to believe in the positive power of Facebook, but that’s because he believes in the raw power of Facebook. “Domination!,” he used to yell at staff meetings, indicating that everything is a game. Games can be won. He must win. If a few million bones get broken along the way, his game plan would still serve the greatest good for the greatest number.

He believes in himself so completely, his vision of how the world works so completely, that he is immune to cognitive dissonance. He is immune to new evidence or argument. It turns out megalomaniacs don’t suffer from cognitive dissonance.

Zuckerberg continued and continues to believe in the positive power of Facebook, but that’s because he believes in the raw power of Facebook.

Considered this way, one might see how Zuckerberg and Trump might get along. Trump, as well, sees life as a series of competitions that he must win, even if that means he has to cheat. Not only must Trump convince himself he won (even when he loses), he must convince himself that he dominated his opponent (even when he failed to).

There are more differences between Trump and Zuckerberg than similarities, of course. Zuckerberg actually wins most of the games he plays. The younger man has legitimate intelligence and prowess, demonstrable success, and earns far more money in one year than Trump has lost in his entire life. Zuckerberg is a dominator and an idealist. He’s an idealist about himself and his vision for how the rest of us must live.

Like the notorious architect Philip Johnson, Mark Zuckerberg is a social engineer. He knows what’s best for us. And he believes that what’s best for Facebook is best for us. In the long run, he believes, Facebook’s domination will redeem him by making our lives better. We just have to surrender and let it all work out. Zuckerberg can entertain local magistrates like Trump because Zuckerberg remains emperor.

The only hope we have to depose this emperor is that his troops might rebel and refuse to do his bidding. That might be starting to happen. But it might be far too late.

Whoopi Goldberg’s Dramatic Call For Climate Action | Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion Whoopi Goldberg has teamed up with Extinction Rebellion in a beautiful new animation set in the future, entitled ‘The Gigantic Change’. The film, released as part of World Environment Day, looks back from 2050 to show how people came together to save the world from the climate and ecological crisis. Visit https://www.thegiganticchange.com to find out how you can take action today. As we start to plan how to rebuild our world post-Covid, the film shows that a brighter future really is possible. But this won’t happen on its own; we must all take action today. The climate and ecological crisis is an existential threat to people of all ages and backgrounds. The need for collective action has never been greater. The team behind The Gigantic Change, together with Passion Pictures – who created the famous Orangutan advert for Iceland – knew that Whoopi’s iconic voice would bring a perfect sense of gravitas to the performance. She is a prominent campaigner on environmental issues, so she had the power to inspire many of her followers to take action. The urgency of the situation clearly resonates with her, and many others, but the challenge is to communicate this urgency to the wider public. This is the primary purpose of The Gigantic Change. After seeing the film, viewers are invited to visit https://www.thegiganticchange.com, a simple website outlining the most effective actions they can take to save the environment. Whoopi Goldberg has appeared in such films as The Color Purple, Ghost, and Sister Act. She became the first African American woman to host the Academy Awards and only the second African American woman to actually win one. Today she has a strong voice on climate issues and is an active supporter of the School Strikes. Full List of Cast & Crew: Grandmother: Whoopi Goldberg Granddaughter: Livia Nelson Co-Directors: George Lewin & Nicola Jane Francis Original Story: George Lewin Co-Writers: Nicola Jane Francis & Josh Hughes Producer: Serena Schellenberg Executive Producer: Belle Palmer at Passion Pictures Designer & Animator: Nicola Jane Francis Sound Designer: Chris Banks Music Composer: Simon Chamberlain Casting Director: Nicci Topping Casting (CSA) Livia Nelson represented by Creative Kidz & Co Voiceover Recording: Factory Studios Special thanks to all those who supported our GoFundMe campaign to get this important project off the ground. Help XR mobilise and donate here: https://rebellion.earth/donate/ Extinction Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/ International: https://rebellion.global/ 1. #TellTheTruth 2. #ActNow 3. #BeyondPolitics World Map of Extinction Rebellion Groups: https://rebellion.global/branches/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/extinctionre… Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/extinctionr…


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