GO BIG OR GO HOME. MINNEAPOLIS GOES BIG!!!

A veto-proof majority of Minneapolis City Council members will announce their commitment to disbanding the city’s embattled police department, which has endured relentless criticism in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.

“We’re here because we hear you. We are here today because George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis Police. We are here because here in Minneapolis and in cities across the United States it is clear that our existing system of policing and public safety is not keeping our communities safe,” Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said Sunday.

“Our efforts at incremental reform have failed. Period.”

CLICK

THE AUDACITY OF TA-NEHISI COATES

I think one of the mistakes made is to view “rioting” or “uprising” as political strategy.

What you often see is this comparison between what’s happening right now or what happened in Baltimore or Ferguson with, let’s say, Martin Luther King in Selma. And people will say, what is most effective?

But that’s not what rioting actually is.

If you look at communities of human beings as natural creatures who tend to react a certain way when put under X number of pressures, I think it becomes a lot more sensible. What happens to a community of people who are policed arbitrarily and with violence, not just in the moment, but historically? Whose great-grandfathers and grandmothers can tell stories of police officers either not stopping lynchings or jumping into lynchings?

They see law enforcement as illegitimate, and other members of the community as more legitimate than cops.

And then you see like a video like that, and that could have been you or your son or your husband. What is the natural reaction? Is it to form a committee and present a list of possible reforms? Is it what we will call “nonviolent protest?”

Well, we tried that — that was Colin Kaepernick taking the knee. And he was driven out of his job and out of his profession, not just by the NFL but by the president of the United States. So what is the natural reaction? Black people are human beings too. They get angry. They get sad. They get depressed. They have natural reactions to things.

I think it bears repeating that it was only weeks ago that we had armed white men showing up at the Michigan legislature, literally shutting the organs of democracy down, and we saw a very different reaction to that. Not just by the police, but by the White House and by the larger society.

And that wasn’t the first time.

I think of the Bundy standoff, where federal troops decided to retreat. So I think at the root of this is an inability to extend the kind of humanity that we extend to white people in this country to people who are not white, and specifically to black people.

CLICK

GEORGE FLOYD LOCKDOWN: Federal Bureau Of Prisons Locks Down Prisoners

After protests broke out in response to George Floyd’s death, the agency ordered the first nationwide lockdown in 25 years.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons ordered prisoners confined to cells and stripped of outside communications.

“You’re kind of confirming why we’re in the situation we’re in as a country, where the rage has erupted because people are sick of the oppression, particularly against minorities. Cops were comfortable with the actions they were taking against George Floyd with someone filming so closely.”

“Just imagine what goes on inside prisons.”

CLICK

SURRENDER: Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng & Tou Thao

A majority of Americans sympathize with nationwide protests over the death of an unarmed black man in police custody and disapprove of President Donald Trump’s response to the unrest.

The protests have deepened the sense of crisis for a country already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent devastating economic downturn.

While many daytime demonstrations have been peaceful, some have led to violent clashes at night between police and protesters.

CLICK

GLOBAL AWAKENING

The most powerful thing about the mural is its location, in the rubble of a building that was likely destroyed in the civil war that has been heavily influenced by the US government.

Police brutality is a global problem, so it makes sense that people around the world are resonating with the movement for police reform that has been inspired by the death of George Floyd.

In Syria, two artists painted a mural dedicated to George Floyd, because racism and police brutality are issues that they have faced as well.

CLICK

MOVEMENT TO DEFUND THE POLICE

Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, is not merely an activist — she’s a modern-day abolitionist. And as protests over racism, inequality and police brutality have exploded worldwide, Cullors says the answer does not lie in holding police accountable with better training and body cameras.

Instead, she demands defunding law enforcement so that black and brown people can be free from what she calls a well-funded army that occupies them.

“For hundreds of years, black communities have lived under state terror — be it police or vigilante violence,” says Cullors. “An abolitionist believes in a world where police and prisons are no longer weaponized as a tool for public safety.”

“Our vision is for a world rooted in the care and love and humanity for every human being. A world that relies on an economy of care versus one with an economy of punishment. An abolitionist believes in freedom.”

CLICK

UNHOLY NIGHT IN AMERICA

As the hours ticked down to prime time, the White House prepared its unholy production. It was Monday afternoon, and President Trump was getting ready to deliver his first speech on the massive protests sweeping the country.

After unflattering reports that he had spent Friday evening in a bunker, Trump summoned the press corps to the Rose Garden for maximum effect. Never mind that the chaos had given way to peaceful demonstrations outside the White House. Men and women, along the sunny edge of Lafayette Park, chanted and knelt.

A young boy and girl, flanking their father, held protest signs. A vender touted coronavirus masks bearing the grim slogan of our time: “I Can’t Breathe.”

In the course of the day, the city had started mending the wounds of the night before. A worker power-washed graffiti from the stone wall of a steak house. Crews mounted plywood over the shattered windows of a jewelry store and a battered A.T.M. Spray-painted slogans—“George Floyd” and “Fuck the Police” and “Free the People”—offered a condensed history of yet another grievous week in America, which began on May 25th, when Floyd died, on video, with the knee of a Minneapolis police officer on his neck.

CLICK

GODLESS PHOTO OP

Donald Trump has threatened to deploy the US military to quell civil unrest – even as teargas was fired against nearby peaceful protesters to grant him a photo opportunity.

In a highly choreographed move, the president gave brief remarks in the White House Rose Garden on Monday while, a short distance away, military police and law enforcement suddenly used teargas, rubber bullets and flash-bangs to chase away demonstrators protesting against the death of George Floyd.

TV footage showed people running, falling and scrambling for safety as officers removed them by force. One woman was carried away by fellow protesters because she was injured and unable to walk.

Military vehicles rolled out on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The unprovoked action cleared the way for Trump to cross the street and visit St John’s church, which since 1816 has been the “Church of the Presidents”, and where a fire burned in the basement amid unrest on Sunday night.

Trump held aloft a Bible and posed for cameras.

CLICK

SIMULTANEOUS PANDEMICS: COVID-19 & RACIST INSANITY

If we are to examine what and who killed George Floyd, we have to talk about racism, America’s pre-existing condition. It is a cultural pandemic that has been steadily killing this country and, indeed, rotting away the very idea of America since chattel slavery began more than 400 years ago.

Much like the people who were exploited for free labor in order to build this country, the cause of its death may have been more natural had racism not introduced certain comorbidities.

Right now, the coronavirus and the police are posing lethal threats to protesters. COVID-19 is still killing black people disproportionately, at about three times the rate of white people nationwide.

How many people took risks with the virus on Memorial Day weekend, carelessly disregarding the provably inordinate risk to black communities? How many then joined the protests this past week and actually claimed that they’re fighting for black survival? How many cops keep shooting tear gas at people during a pandemic that strikes at the lungs, giving a newly tragic resonance to…

I Can’t Breathe.

CLICK

TEAR GAS & RUBBER BULLETS: Weapons Of Terror

Senator Brian Schatz is proposing cracking down on the military’s ability to transfer weapons to local police departments. 

“I will be introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to discontinue the program that transfers military weaponry to local police departments,” Schatz said.

The Democratic senator made the announcement as protests escalated around the nation in response to the death of George Floyd.

Clashes between protesters and officers have led police in several cities to fire tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

“Combine this with a president who appears enthusiastic about making it worse, and weaponry transferred from the Department of Defense, and here we are.”

CLICK