Ongoing events, updates, photos, videos: http://tinyurl.com/morz9kehttp://jennapope.com/
American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) National Vice President of Women’s and Fair Practices Augusta Y. Thomas has released the following statement (http://tinyurl.com/nzw44d8):
“The events in Ferguson, Mo. have shown us that challenges we’ve faced in the past still endure – that the struggles of communities of color and other marginalized groups are based on systematic injustices that are woven into the fabric of our nation. Across the country and around the world, our communities are angered, saddened and frustrated by the case of Michael Brown and many others whose lives ended much too early.
“The outpouring of anger, grief and pain isn’t just in Ferguson. It’s shown up in the streets of L.A., New York, Washington D.C. and many other communities across our nation. The hurt around the grand jury’s decision is shared by activists, protestors and anyone who has been worried their child won’t get equal treatment because of the color of their skin.
“Many institutions and systems that govern our society are wrought with racism, classism, sexism, ableism and other characteristics that are designed to marginalize and disenfranchise specific groups of people. That imbalance yields power to the privileged and at best, an unequal playing field for the rest of us.
“Having been a civil rights activist for more than 50 years, I am reminded of the words and actions of Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks. Looking back, I am given hope that even in the darkest moments we can create a new reality for our country. It is time again to march and to protest and most of all, to raise our voices. It has been through organizing – from those who marched on Selma to the Dream Defenders today – that have declared ‘black lives matter.’
“Through labor organizations and workers’ rights groups we must continue to advance issues of equality and justice on the workroom floor. We will work with policy makers at every level of government to change the inequalities that are a blight on the promise of our democracy.
“AFGE and the Women’s and Fair Practices Departments will continue our goal of fair and equal treatment. We stand in solidarity with the Brown family and with those who have the passion, courage and strategies to continue to change the world.”
“…The name “Ferguson” joins an ancient line of place names of pain, loss and black death. Places like Birmingham, Philadelphia, and now, Ferguson. It will have a meaning on its own…”
For more audio recordings from political prisoners in the United States: http://www.prisonradio.org/
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine stands with the people of Ferguson, and throughout the streets of the cities of the United States, who have taken to the streets once more after the prosecution and the U.S. legal injustice system as a whole failed to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown in cold blood, meaning that he will not face trial or prosecution for this state-sanctioned murder of a young Black man by the police.
This comes as no surprise; the United States’ legal system is historically and at present a perpetrator of massive violence and imprisonment against Black people, just as U.S. imperialism is such a perpetrator against people and nations around the world.
As Palestinians, we are familiar with the injustice of colonial, racist courtrooms, mechanisms of a racist state, that sentence our people to prison en masse while wrapping the perpetrators of crimes, murders and genocide against our people in a cloak of “legality.”
And this system which we recognize all too well from the occupation regime in Palestine has learned well from this same system and structure which has existed for centuries in the United States, the key ally and strategic partner of the occupier.
We see the police forces in the United States, long a mechanism of state terror against Black people and other oppressed communities, escalating their oppression and impunity with massive militarization and military equipment – and we know that the occupation state is working hand in hand with US security agencies to provide training in yet more aggressive “security” tactics, tested in Palestine on our people for export around the world, particularly the United States, to be used against oppressed peoples and movements in struggle.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine salutes the family of Mike Brown and all of the countless Black martyrs whose lives are taken by police in the United States, including Tamir Rice, 12 years old, and Akai Gurley, 28, in the past week. And we stand with the resistance of all of the people taking to the streets, in Ferguson and across the United States, demanding justice, and with the Black liberation movement and its long struggle, and urge all Palestinians and their friends and supporters to join these demonstrations and build stronger and deeper links of mutual struggle with these critically important movements.
We reaffirm and repost below our statement on the struggle in Ferguson and the Black movement for liberation.
By WI BOPM
In response to the Ferguson Grand Jury decision to not indict killer cop Darren Wilson, numerous protests including direct action events, took place throughout Wisconsin November 24 and 25.
“We are here to stand in solidarity with the efforts of Ferguson where it is about justice for Michael Brown. However, it is also more broadly about the issues of state violence against Black communities. In Madison it looks like mass incarceration. We outnumber every city in the nation in terms of locking up Black men, and Black women. That’s a problem. Something needs to be done about it,” said Brandi Grayson of the Young, Gifted and Black Coalition at a community event in Madison November 24.
On November 25, hundreds of multinational protesters from the coalition and members of numerous student, labor and community organizations such as Freedom Inc., (http://www.freedom-inc.org/) protested at the City Jail in Madison, circled the state capitol chanting “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” and then occupied the County Board meeting room. The South Central Federation of Labor (http://www.scfl.org/) issued a call to support the majority youth and students leading the protests, many of whom were from local campuses including the Madison Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In Milwaukee November 25, members of the immigrant rights organization Youth Empowered in the Struggle (https://www.facebook.com/YESstudents), the Black Student Union, Progressive Students of Milwaukee , the ACLU, the IWW, the MGAA, AFSCME Local 82 and others participated in a “Solidarity with Ferguson Die In” at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Student Union. Students gathered in the rotunda of the Student Union chanting “We are Michael Brown,” and “Hands Up Don’t Shoot,” and then dozens fell to the floor for a few moments for the die in and then a speak out took place.
“I am not a target,” said Lavelle Young, 22, president of the BSU. “I should not be a target because I’m a Black male. I look at Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin as my brothers and it hurts me to see them gone,” said Young.
YES and Voces de la Frontera (http://vdlf.org/) issued a statement November 25 encouraging its members to participate in protests against the Grand Jury decision. Their statements reads in part: “…Our struggles are connected, and from Ferguson and Ayotzinapa to Milwaukee and Racine, and we must stand together as one to stop police violence against our communities. Voces and YES urges community members to join the protest movement led by Milwaukee families affected by police killings, the Coalition for Justice.”
Following the UWM protest November 25, a multinational rally of hundreds sponsored by the Coalition For Justice (https://www.facebook.com/justicefordontre) led by youth and students and supported by members of many labor and community organizations, took place at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee. A march to the Grand Avenue Mall, the Bradley Center and other locations followed. Red Arrow Park is the site of where Dontre Hamilton, a 31-year-old Black man was shot 14 times and killed by Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney April 30 who has yet to be charged with any crime. The rally, sponsored by the Coalition For Justice, led by the Hamilton family, demanded justice for Mike Brown, Dontre Hamilton and all the other victims of police terror.
Upon the news of the Grand Jury decision on November 24, Maria Hamilton, Dontre Hamilton’s mother said: “My heart goes out to Michael’s mom and family members. I’m going to pray that God will uplift them in their time of need and I would love to say at this time, I feel what she’s going through and I would like to tell her to keep her head up and let her know that we’re fighting with her.”
Other protest actions took place at the Kenosha County Courthouse steps November 25 and in Oshkosh.
Future actions are in the planning stages.
Voces de la Frontera and Youth Empowered in the Struggle condemn the Grand Jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson, and District Attorney Robert McCullough for not doing more to secure an indictment. We stand in solidarity with the Brown family and all families victimized by police violence.
Black and Brown communities are targeted daily by culturally biased police, who disproportionately enforce criminal laws against Black communities. Police officers profile immigrants as well, looking up their license plates and pulling them over because they think they “look” undocumented and don’t have driver’s licenses.
“In our system of mass incarceration and mass deportation, the law has too often become a tool of oppression against people of color, and it happened again in Ferguson,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “Our hearts go out to Michael Brown’s family, and we stand in solidarity with his family, with the families of Dontre Hamilton and Corey Stingley here in Milwaukee, and with all the families who have lost loved ones to the police.”
“We understand as an organization that unless we stand up and fight for justice for the people of Ferguson, these kinds of things will continue to happen not just in the black community, but in the Latino and undocumented communities as well,” said Mario Gómez, a member of YES at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
Our struggles are connected, and from Ferguson and Ayotzinapa to Milwaukee and Racine, and we must stand together as one to stop police violence against our communities. Voces and YES urges community members to join the protest movement led by Milwaukee families affected by police killings, the Coalition for Justice. We will join them today at Red Arrow Park at 5pm. We also urge all of our members in Racine to join the students of YES at Monument Square at 6pm, where community members will be gathering to demand justice for the victims of police brutality.
“…As this is being written, the forces of repression are gearing up for mass outrage if, as expected, the grand jury rules not to indict Wilson for murder or even manslaughter. The people of Ferguson will not take it lying down; nor will their sisters, brothers and allies around the country and the world. They will resist. And they should receive the broadest support possible from the progressive and working-class movements.”
Other news coverage on mass rebellions in response to no indictment of Darren Wilson, murderer of Michael Brown:
BLACK LIVES MATTER: https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatter