Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Fixing Pandemic-level U.S. Racism: a Matter for Law or Re-education

(Note: Art Matters:  Murals depicted below were painted on the plywood boarded up store fronts in Minneapolis following the cop murder of George Floyd.)



The U.S.A. history of policing, so-called “law enforcement,” starts with slave patrols, home-style militias dedicated to catching runaway slaves, and returning them to their “owners.” With such roots, can “law enforcement” ever be reformed?

And, now that  law “enforcement” has become the war at home is reform even possible?


1033 is the name of the war-come-home in pilot cities like Minneapolis and Portland, both of which are fully occupied 24/7 by our domestic armed forces known as national guard and municipal police. It is the name ascribed to the federal program which allows municipal police forces to buy “surplus” battle-grade equipment such as tanks, half tracks, armored vehicles, and sound canons, prompting police to morph from “serve and protect”  (the wealth of others) to a fully militarized force. The Pentagon has funneled more than $7.4 billion worth of military weaponry to domestic law enforcement throughout the U.S.  Provide the appropriate costume, and  the actor learns to swagger.  So too with police.



To bring 1033 to a city near you two forces were at work in tandem. The first, the insatiable  need for profits by America’s good-for-business  great portfolio booster,  the munitions industry; the second, by our apartheid bedfellow Israel which for the past two decades has been using its armed forces (the IDF) to inculcate our own municipal police both here at home and abroad in Israel in the refinements of “crowd” control like “accidental” shootings, kneecappings, beatings, arrests, and kidnappings, all in response to peaceful demonstrators. These methods are useful in Israel which aims to steal more and more Arab land for proliferating Zionist settler communities; and in the U.S. which needs to deter resistant protest wherever it crops up, whether in response to a knee to neck cop murder in Minneapolis (George Floyd), or a police shooting In Columbus, Ohio, which just happens to have occurred as the Chauvin guilty verdict was handed down.



I quote from an April 25 bulletin issued by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network: “Testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the depraved murder of George Floyd began on March 29. In the 19 days that followed, police in the U.S. killed at least 64 people, with Black and Latino people representing more than half.” 




Moments before the verdict came in, 15-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was killed  by police in Columbus, Ohio. That same morning, Mario Gonzales was killed by police in Alameda, CA, and the following morning, police shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. in the small town of Elizabeth City, N.C.




Following the murder of George Floyd, caught on camera by a courageous teenager, anti-police-terror demonstrations are occurring nationwide. “My daddy has changed the world,” proclaimed George Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter. His brother, Philonise, reported receiving messages of support from well wishers throughout the world.  Black Lives Matter proponents are declaring that the unwillingness of Americans to accept cop lynchings any longer is the culmination of the BLM movement.  But nowhere is the press reporting that the backlash, as it is experienced in Minneapolis is terrorizing the black community as KKKers and their sympathizers move in from around the country, threatening Black-owned small businesses, and private citizens who fear for their lives.



A recent analysis by the Movement to Stop Mass Incarceration takes a hard look at The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (JPA), calling its role an effort “to diffuse the righteous anger and rebellion against the brutality and murder by the police, and [to] protect politically the same system that the pigs protect violently.” Although it purports to bar the use of chokeholds, they have been used with impunity for the past 28 years in N.Y.C., despite there being 1,100 complaints about their use to the civilian review board, which dismissed all but ten.  A chokehold was used to kill Eric Garner, but the only person arrested was Ramsey Orta who took the video of the killing.


JPA purports to bar no knock warrants, but it still permits “quick-knock” warrants. All cops have to do is knock and shout “police“ before breaking down a door. JPA purports to end cop militarization, ending the 1033 program. But  the DOD has already distributed some 7.4 billons in weapons of war to 8000 police departments nationwide. And it allows armored vehicles to continue to be transferred if the Secretary of Defense “considers it necessary.” JAP purports to end qualified immunity, which makes it difficult to sue cops for violations of people’s civil rights. In the past ten years cities have paid billions to settle  such lawsuits and consider it just the cost of doing business.  JPA aims to increase federal supervision of municipal police to discourage racial profiling, a broadening of policies already in existence, and which can lead to “consent decrees.” Under such a decree the LAPD boasted that in 2019 it had only killed 12 people, down from 25 in 2015. But its use of batons in this same period increased by 38%, resulting in fewer murders, but increased beatings.



Had the JPA been designed to really mean business, ending the victimization of POC, its terms would have been air tight. 


The big question really has to do with culture.  If we recognize that culturally, racism is deeply embedded in the United States, we need to question whether the law is the appropriate modality to encounter it.


As things now stand, the question remains, how can the “law” be a little bit pregnant and still be the law?


Tonite’s headline:  Police go missing as Proud Boys shut down park in Oregon for armed far-right rally





DEMAND DOJ act to hold all law enforcement accountable.


URGE Congress to implement police “reforms” to stop extra-judicial executions.


PASS the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act


SIGN petition to all U.S. mayors to defund police, reallocate funds to serve communities.


DONATE to 16 Black-led organizations working to end racism and oppression.


SIGN petition addressed to john  Kerry to connect militarism and the climate crisis.


PROHIBIT military ‘aid’ to Israel


CEASE Israel’s forced displacement of Palestinians from E. Jerusalem.


DONATE to support The Intercept’s investigation of police crack downs on demonstrators.





Venezuela reiterates its commitment to human rights and justice.


Palestinian Human Rights Organization Council , Cairo Institute for Human Rights, and Habitat International Coalition submit joint submission to UN special rapporteur over Israel’s settler-colonial apartheid.


Jordan releases note of protest against Israel attacks in al-Aqsa mosque.


UK court acquit Extinction  Rebellion ‘in emergency break glass’ demonstrators.


Human Rights Watch  designates Israel’s crimes as apartheid.


Human Rights experts denounce Israel violence, confiscation of homes in E. Jerusalem as violation of international law.


Warning of threat to ‘humanity and the natural world’ Hawaii state legislature becomes first in U.S. to declare climate emergency.


‘We need to act now’: study reveals glaciers melting at unprecedented pace.


Climate experts applaud as U.S. govt. approves largest offshore wind farm in nation’s history.


In ‘critical and doable first step,’ EPA proposes phasedown of climate super-pollutants, delivering huge health and climate benefits..


80 organizations decry U.S. pressure to derail Mexico’s banning of  glyphosate and GMO corn.


New Washington law prevents seabed mining.


Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson orders release of secret memo in which Barr laid out his decision not to prosecute #45.


Biden supports suspension of COVID vaccine patents.


In ‘huge step toward justice,’ Biden cancels #45 border wall projects using diverted funds.


Biden officially raises refugee  admissions cap to 62,500 following intense blowbacks.


Senate votes to repeal #45 rule helping predatory lenders trap people in debt.


Dingell and Markey introduce $10 trillion THRIVE Act to tackle ‘our biggest emergencies.’


Warren, Sanders propose permanently expanding food stamps for college students.


Sanders slams holy Pentagon for ‘waste, fraud *& abuse,’ vows more stringent oversight.


House Dems call on chamber’s appropriations chair to defund flawed and racist ICE policy that allows local law enforcement to act like mass deportation agents.


Over 50 Dems support $8 billion fund for USPS to electrify its fleet.


Confirming GOP fears, poll shows For the People Act is popular with GOP voters.


In major progressive win, former CFPB chief Richard Cordray tapped to oversee federal student loans.


National lawyers guild urges Biden to align U.S. Israel-Palestine policy with international law.


Under pressure Biden back COVID vaccine patent waiver.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says ‘yes’ to ‘narrow’ patent waivers.


Biden’s Labor Dept. withdraws #45-era independent contractor rule.


Despite weeks of union –busting, workers at Imperfect Foods vote to unionize.


As hiring undershoots expectations, Biden urged to go big with $10 trillion jobs plan.


Amidst calls to audit super rich,  Yellen says tax dodging could cost U.S. $7 trillion over next 10 years.


Rejected in 1941, Richard Wright’s novel, The Man Who Lived Underground depicting graphic descriptions of police brutality, has just been published.


The four Minneapolis cops charged have been charged with federal civil rights crimes in George Floyd case.


Ohio judge has to force Columbus police not to brutalize nonviolent protesters.


Drivers forced to drive around Extinction Rebellion protesters in Swansea, Wales.


Sanders, Dems push for free school meals bill.


Hope for critically ill COVID patients with advent of new drug leronlimab.


Number of unaccompanied kids in harmful border facilities has dropped nearly 90% since March.


Families separated since late 2017 to be reunited in U.S. this week, Biden administration announces.


With just 4 migrant families to reunite, ACLU calls for citizenship and no future separations.


Demanding papers, not crumbs, undocumented immigrants risk arrest outside Biden White House.


Military spouse deported by previous administration to return home.

On May day, gig workers organize an intersectional movement.


N.J. landlord sues to end lease with private prison company that jails immigrants at property.


As world economic conditions deteriorate, immigrants come to the rescue.


‘Keep your promise’: Any Barkan urges Biden to support COVID vaccine patent waiver.


Third round of COVID relief checks led to largest monthly rise in household income since 1959.


Green groups sue army corps of engineers over nationwide pipeline permit.


Supporters rally for Steven Donziger as Chevron’s trial aimed at silencing critics begins.


Michigan orders closure of pipelines in escalating dispute with CAnada.


Mountain Valley Pipeline protester blocks truck and locks himself to truck’s underside.


Women run 415 miles to protest Mountain Valley Pipeline.


Calls for Biden to stop Enbridge Line 3 continue unabated.


Indigenous Rights groups join MI Gov. Whitmer in demanding shutdown of Enbridge Line 5.


Congress introduces corporate tax transarency legislation to support informed investor decisions.


Shareholders demand Dominion Energy clean up its reporting.


98% of shareholders want GE to take climate action.


Whistleblower groups push Congress for stronger whistleblower protections in AML Act.


Coalition mobilizes to protect billions of WhatsApp users from Facebook’s privacy invasion.


44 attorneys general call on Zuck to nix plan for Instagram for kids in rare bipartisan rebuke.


Huntington W.V. community flooded with opioids takes big pharm to  court in landmark trial.


Lakota Law sues South Dakota over voter suppression.


Mijente joins lawsuit with other organizations and Black congregations in Georgia to stop SB2020 anti-voter bill in its tracks.


NRA’s lawsuit-dodging strategy backfire as TX judge dismisses bankruptcy claims.


California tells Nestlé to cease and desist its free water-pumping activities on federal land.


Demonstrators against Trident nuclear weapons in Bangor ME block main entrance to base.


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