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Member since: Sat Jun 23, 2012, 06:03 PM
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Angela Davis condemns the prison industrial complex in campus talk

Civil and women’s rights activist Angela Davis spoke about the prison industrial complex in the Fine Arts Center Monday night at the University of Massachusetts. Davis called for a thorough re-evaluation of many elements of the American prison system and examined the relationship of the PIC to prominent political issues in other nations.

“Prison abolitionists not only want to end mass incarceration – we have to end incarceration,” Davis said. “Imprisonment only produces the problem it is designed to solve.”

* Much of Davis’ talk focused on the PIC as it relates to foreign countries like Israel, which Davis claimed were responsible for training American police. Davis also mentioned the introduction of weaponry developed for use in the war on terror to local and college police departments."

*Davis was also critical of the way the media treated recent American protest demonstrations, which emerged in response to events such as the death of Michael Brown, claiming that the lack of a central male leader in the movements caused them to be taken less seriously.

“Sustained Ferguson demonstrations happened largely because of black women,” Davis said.

Davis also discussed problems with the way the American police system handles trans women and the mentally disabled. She stated that the division of American prisons into merely male and female institutions and the concentration of mentally ill inmates in county jails aggravates these conditions.

In an event bookmarked by standing ovations from the sold out Fine Arts Center crowd, Davis was greeted with tremendous applause when she demanded an end to modern police systems."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Mar 31, 2015, 11:49 AM (1 replies)

We Are Responsible for the Prison Industrial Complex

I have been thinking a lot about violence at the hands of the state -- the police state we have become -- and the prison industrial complex (PIC) that we've developed. And since I work in higher education, I have been thinking especially of everyday abolition in the college setting. Police violence has become more acceptable to us, reinforced by the training we get in school. To abolish the PIC, we must change our daily interactions and ways of being. And we cannot just tweet about abolition. We need to live it."

*On Last Week Tonight John Oliver had a segment about municipal fines. The core of his argument was that fines and punishment for minor crimes are part of living in community. Oliver says he's not advocating that minor offenses go unpunished, but that we should have the "right to fuck up once in a while without completely destroying our lives." He describes the "fuck barrel" as a system of fines added when someone is unable to pay the original fine, which might land the person in jail for failure to pay the fines. My question is, why are we ok with these fines for minor infractions in the first place? Do municipal fines make our communities safer? Do police make our communities safer?

Incite! reminds us to always ask, "How do we commit to an ongoing development of all members of the community, and the community itself, to transforming the political conditions that reinforce oppression and violence?" For me, without this community transformation, abolishing the PIC is not possible."

Here are some examples that range over a wide field of harmful patterns of thought and actions that contribute to the prison industrial complex:

"Calling out" instead of calling into dialogue and accountability about harmful speech and actions.
Teaching children that some people are "bad people" instead of teaching that it is the actions that are harmful, not the humanity of the person.
Our calls for more police instead of better education and greater equity.
Punishing drug use instead of setting up better resources to end poverty, like livable wages!
Hostile communication with neighbors about such matters as their dog wandering.
Misogynistic and sexist language
Labeling people "aliens"
Outsourcing labor "we" don't want to do

Questioning and changing these everyday patterns will help set up stronger and safer communities, one step in working towards a world without cages. "

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Mar 30, 2015, 11:14 PM (4 replies)

Officer William Melendez: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

1. Melendez Put Dent Into a Chokehold & Hit Him in the Head 16 Times"

2. He Fatally Shot an Unarmed Man in 1996 While He Was on the Ground"

3. He Was Accused of Planting Evidence & Has Been Sued At Least 12 Times"

4. Protesters Have Called for Justice for Dent"

5. Dent Plans to Fight the Drug Charges"


Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Mar 30, 2015, 06:39 PM (12 replies)

Feds Rediscover Police Brutality In City of Brotherly Love…er…Beat City

"17 Years and Still Corrupt"

The report slammed the Philadelphia Police Department for its historically flawed use of fatal force, directed primarily at non-whites, underscoring a repeated finding that Philadelphia’s Police Department has long owned one of the worst reputations of any police department in the United States.

The “persistence and regularity” of brutality and corruption in the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) indicate that “the city and its police force are failing to act to hold police accountable,” that report stated.

The almost total failure of officials in Philadelphia to hold errant police officers accountable, the report noted, solidifies a “culture of impunity” that leads to new generations of police officers learning quickly that “their leadership accepts corruption and excessive force.”

Those tough assessments of “shortcomings” within the Philadelphia Police Department are not contained in the damning report on deadly police practices in Philadelphia released on March 24th by the U.S. Justice Department. Rather, the harsh assessments of PPD failings, which would seem to merit prompt attention and reform, were in a report issued in 1998 by the organization Human Rights Watch."

*While Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane (herself the subject of a criminal investigation over charges of leaking grand jury testimony) appears intent on retaining the recalcitrance of prosecutors, fellow Democrat and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, nearing the end of his last term as mayor, has announced his intention to address reported failings within the city’s police department.

Nutter, following release of the Department of Justice report, quickly appointed a panel
to oversee implementation of the recommendations made in the report. If successful, Nutter’s initiative would do something the majority of his Philadelphia mayoral predecessors have not: bring accountability to policing in the city that birthed America’s democracy.

If it happens, it will be a reform long overdue, especially for the hundreds who may have died unnecessarily at the hands of Philadelphia cops."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Mar 30, 2015, 12:59 PM (1 replies)

Police Stop Leads To Bizarre Arrest

Three people remain in custody after being arrested on Saturday morning following a traffic stop in Canton. In what was described by Lt. Paul Sullivan as “the most bizarre traffic stop” that he has seen in his 23 years on the force"

We spotted the green Hyundai Elantra traveling at approximately five miles-per-hour in the passing lane with a huge shower of sparks coming from the rear of the vehicle. As we got closer we noticed that the rear end of the vehicle was dragging on the ground due to the fact that there were no rear tires or axle on the vehicle,” said Lt. Sullivan of the Canton Police. “After the vehicle pulled over, we approached it and found that the driver was not only drinking a can of beer, but that he was not wearing any pants and that he had urinated on himself.”

After not one, but two, brief foot chases, Francis Fasher, 45, of Foxboro, was placed under arrest.

“There were also two female passengers in the back seat,”

Because of the size of the two women, police were unable to pull the women out of the rear doors of the vehicle. After members of the Canton Rescue Squad cut the roof off the vehicle, and with the help of a crane supplied by Shaugnessy Crane, the women were lifted out of the car. Police estimate the weight of each woman was between 300 and 450 pounds."

*We followed the drag marks and found that the axle and tires had separated from the vehicle some four miles back. The axle, wheels and tires were found in the parking lot of the Ancient Lounge located in Foxboro,” stated Canton police officer James C. West. “At this time we believe that the three individuals had patronized the Ancient Lounge for the better part of the day, and that at closing time, they decided to continue the party at Mr. Fasher’s apartment.”

Upon entering the vehicle, the combined weight of the occupants caused the axle and wheels to separate from the vehicle.

“It is unbelievable that an individual could drive over four miles and not realize that there were no rear tires on the car,” says West.

During the search of the vehicle, police came up with an unexpected find.

“The interior of the vehicle was very messy. There were beer cans, food wrappers, rib bones, and other rubbish in the car. Under the driver’s seat we found a nest of mice."


Must have been a heck of a party...

Posted by damnedifIknow | Sun Mar 29, 2015, 01:29 PM (17 replies)

Does the disability community need a documentary on police brutality from a retired cop

Police brutality is at epidemic levels nationwide. Every day a new report of someone brutalized or killed by the police is blasted about on social networks and in mainstream media. While this trend is hardly new, we were just not as aware of the immense scope of it as a community. It has been in the forefront of people’s mind lately, because of all the recorded incidents that are posted on video sharing sites such as YouTube."

Many people have been rudely awakened when they suddenly realize that their peaceful everyday dreams are in fact paralyzing nightmares. Their friendly neighborhood cops have been quietly laid to rest over the past few decades and almost secretly replaced with a brand new post-911 edition. This version comes with no instructions and is not user friendly at all."

So what has all this to do with a documentary? This documentary we are talking about is not your grandfather’s documentary. This is a dynamic tool being built specifically for a community of people with disabilities for a targeted purpose. The film will be put together by someone who can see all sides of this issue – someone who can move between two currently adversarial forces to help bridge the communication gap.

That is what a retired Black disabled police officer brings to a documentary project on police brutality. This film is not meant for a Saturday night at the movies enjoying popcorn with butter. This is meant for community centers, artist venues and home gatherings. No popcorn required."

*Our documentary is an opportunity to finally throw the gauntlet down and our hat into the ring. We can address our particular goals and needs in these films as they relate to this issue. We can utilize this powerful tool to expose our realities around police brutality. The documentary will be like an unyielding rock in our unrelenting pursuit to rectify this injustice. Our documentary will be the warning shots to let everyone know that a movement has been born and its growth will be televised."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Sat Mar 28, 2015, 09:48 AM (1 replies)

Fox News Outraged That A Lawmaker Compares Police Brutality To ISIS

It seems like just yesterday that Scott Walker made an appearance at CPAC and, in a display of bravado that seems too crazy to be believed, he compared the unionized teachers in Wisconsin to the terrorist group ISIS. "

That being said, if a black legislator from a nearby state, after countless police-involved shootings of unarmed black men, believes that the cops present a far more imminent threat to his constituents' safety than ISIS, the same people who thought nothing of Walker's comparison shouldn't be too upset, should they? Wrong, we are talking about a black legislator, thus the same rules do not apply.

Ernie Chambers (I), a lawmaker out of Omaha, Nebraska, said a few controversial remarks

during a public hearing Friday about a bill involving concealed handguns, Chambers said residents of his north Omaha district were more in fear of police than of extremist groups such as the Islamic State.

“My ISIS is the police. Nobody from ISIS ever terrorized us as a people as the police do us daily. And they get away with it,” the African-American senator said, using an acronym for the militant group."

* Even with all the outrage, Chambers is holding his ground. He believes that the police are a direct threat to people like himself. After calls to apologize, he doubled down on his previous comments.

Chambers, in an interview with The World-Herald and later on the floor of the Legislature, stood his ground, calling on McCoy and other critics to listen to the entire recording of the committee’s hearing to “hear what I actually said.”
“I will continue strongly and vociferously to criticize police,” Chambers said. “I will continue to condemn the police when they are wrong. And in my community, they are wrong.”


Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Mar 27, 2015, 10:48 PM (3 replies)

Meet Ted Cruz's Karl Rove: "He Leaves a Path of Destruction"

It was no surprise on Monday when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) formally announced his presidential bid. By last summer, he was making key hires for his campaign crew. And this included recruiting a controversial Missouri-based political operative named Jeff Roe, who is known for his ruthless, bare-knuckled style and who has recently been in the news due to a tragic death.

Following the apparent suicide last month of Missouri state auditor Tom Schweich, who was a Republican gubernatorial candidate, Republican legislators and party elders in the state denounced the toxic culture within the state GOP and pointed to it as a cause of Schweich's death. And some cited Roe as a prime purveyor of the political hardball and scorched-earth tactics that have transformed many Missouri elections into mud-drenched campaigns of personal destruction. There's no evidence linking Roe to the anti-Semitic "whisper campaign" that seems to have deeply troubled Schweich in the days prior to his death. But Roe's merciless style has been legend in Missouri for over a decade. And now he is poised to practice his brand of political blood sport against Cruz's 2016 rivals."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Mar 26, 2015, 09:52 PM (8 replies)

Police Secrecy Lead to Murky Details Surrounding the Death of Yet Another Unarmed Man

Only a few weeks after a naked unarmed Black man was fatally shot by police officers in DeKalb County, another unarmed Black man in Georgia has fallen victim to what some have already deemed excessive use of force by police.

Nicholas Taft Thomas, 23, was fatally shot on Tuesday by a police officer in Smyrna. Officers on the scene claimed he tried to run them over with his vehicle when they arrived at the Goodyear Tire where he worked to serve a felony probation violation warrant from Clayton County."

The only details anyone can be sure of at this point are that officers fired at Thomas’s vehicle and killed him.

Why the officers fired, how many shots were fired, where they fired and many other details surrounding the incident are murky.

Conflicting reports by both police officers and alleged eyewitnesses are leaving the details even further shrouded in a cloud of mystery."

*In Thomas’ case, two different reports have emerged about where the officers were in relation to the vehicle that they initially claimed was speeding towards them when one officer opened fire.

The Smyrna officers involved claimed they feared for their life because Thomas was driving his Maserati “directly at them.”

Smyrna police Sgt. Ed Cason supported the claims, telling The Marietta Daily Journal that the officers “were in fear for their lives and shot rounds into the vehicle, killing the suspect.”

In an emailed statement to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, however, Cason’s version of events creates a scene where officers wouldn’t have been standing in the vehicle’s path when they fired."

It is unclear if this attempt was what led to Thomas being fatally shot, but witnesses who claimed to have seen the entire incident unfold said one thing is certain.

They claim the officers were not at any risk of being run over when Thomas was fatally shot.

“The car was not moving when they began to shoot at him,” Brittany Eustache, who was inside the Goodyear when the shooting happened, told WSB-TV. “The car had been stopped. He hit a curb. He couldn’t go any further.”


Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Mar 26, 2015, 08:57 PM (3 replies)

Run The Jewels feat. Zack de la Rocha - "Close Your Eyes (And Count To F**k)"

"When Run The Jewels sent me this track, I knew we had the opportunity to create a film that means something. I felt a sense of responsibility to do just that. We had to exploit the lyrics and aggression and emotion of the track, and translate that into a film that would ignite a valuable and productive conversation about racially motivated violence in this country. It's provocative, and we all knew this, so we were tasked with making something that expressed the intensity of senseless violence without eclipsing our humanity. For me, it was important to write a story that didn’t paint a simplistic portrait of the characters of the Cop and Kid. They're not stereotypes. They're people - complex, real people and, as such, the power had to shift between them at certain points throughout the story. The film begins and it feels like they have been fighting for days, they’re exhausted, not a single punch is thrown, their violence is communicated through clumsy, raw emotion. They've already fought their ways past their judgements and learned hatred toward one another. Our goal was to highlight the futility of the violence, not celebrate it.

I am really proud of where we ended up, and I am very thankful that our actors Shea Whighamand Keith Stanfield committed to these characters 100%. They breathed complex life into two people who are usually portrayed in simplistic ways - as archetypes. I can tell you it was an emotional shoot day. It is tough to re-create moments that are so fresh and prevalent in our world today. It affected all of us in deep ways. But I believe that it is important that the way we feel when we see these events in real life has an effect on us. That we resonate with what we know to be right and we don't numb ourselves out so those feelings can simply be swept away, we must confront them and take some action, however small, or we’ll be stuck in the same cycle of violence and hate." - AG Rojas

Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Mar 26, 2015, 12:13 PM (0 replies)
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