Thursday, 28 June 2012


Twelve Ways That YOU Can Be Part of Building the Movement for Revolution – Right Now

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  1. Begin listening to the Revolution talk, Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, by the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian, available on DVD and at Listen to some of the talk every day. Read BAsics, the book of quotations and short essays by Bob Avakian. These enable you to get deeper into the ideas that guide the revolution.
  2. Donate money to building the movement for revolution. Arrange each month to give something. Be part of building the campaign to spread BA Everywhere – letting everyone know about, and get into, the new synthesis of communism that he's brought forward and the leadership he's giving to the movement for revolution.
  3. Tape up a revolutionary poster or a palm-card or a flier or even an article from Revolutionnewspaper in a hallway, in a bathroom stall, wherever you can... If you have a business, or work in a restaurant or beauty parlor etc. with a friendly owner, or know someone who does, put it up there. This gets the word out, and it lets people see that there are other people who support the revolution. Five or ten posters in the hallways of a large building or on street corners will be seen by thousands.
  4. Read Revolution newspaper every week. Learn what's really going on in the world and stay connected to the movement for revolution. Get a subscription.
  5. Leave cards or fliers or copies of Revolution newspaper on bus seats, in a laundromat, a library, a classroom, or a barbershop. Watch how people respond. This also gets the word out and builds support for the revolution, and it lets the movement learn how well it is doing at influencing people. Talk about people's responses with someone from the movement for revolution.
  6. Get the image of Bob Avakian around everywhere you can – tape it up, or leave palmcards with it. This will make those who don't know about BA curious, and for those who do it will give them encouragement to get more into this.
  7. Play the Revolution talk where you live when people come over. This lets people learn about the revolution and what it stands for. See what it sparks in people, and talk it over with them.
  8. Talk with others you trust about the revolution, and then give feedback to people in the revolutionary movement. Let them know what questions the newspaper should be addressing. Share what you are learning, and be part of the movement that is learning how to speak more deeply and clearly to the people.
  9. Stand with the movement for revolution. When you see the movement for revolution in your area, be part of the crowd that supports the revolutionaries. Find out where they will be regularly and when they will be there, show up. You will let other people know that there is support, and you will encourage them to step forward and hear what the revolutionaries have to say.
  10. If you are in a neighborhood where there is a people's neighborhood patrol, travel with the patrol when they go out. You can begin by being part of the crowd that is watching them, and watching out for them, or letting them know where there are regular patterns of police harassment and brutality in the neighborhood.
  11. Raise money for the movement for revolution. Do a yard sale, sell dinners, have a party or find ways to enable people to support the revolution.
  12. Come to a meeting called by the movement for revolution in your area. Learn about and be part of making the plans for fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution.
If you do any or all of these, you will be part of the thousands who are influencing millions toward revolution today... you will be challenging and changing the way people see things, and preparing those millions to make revolution, when the conditions emerge to do so.


Wednesday, 27 June 2012


In a society that says it is the ultimate picture of freedom, here and worldwide, this quote and picture says it all. 2.5 million people locked down in their dungeons, the invasion and occupation of sovereign countries, accompanied by the killing of millions of civilians, one of three women in her lifetime  sexually assaulted, rampant child(and other, more accepted) pornography, people being kicked out of social housing while billions are spent on their terrorist wars, homelessness, the fucking list goes on and on. It is time to support the Revolution.


As if it needed to be restated ,  the fucking new york pig squad does it once again. An unarmed 18 year old Black "suspected drug dealer" is shot down in his own apartment bathroom, in front of his grandmother and 6 year old brother. There was no fucking gun found in the home, and some marijuana was found in the toilet. Fuck the police.

New York cop pleads not guilty in deadly shooting of unarmed Black teen


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NEW YORK - A police officer was indicted recently in the death of an unarmed drug suspect, the first time a New York City officer has faced criminal charges in a fatal shooting since a groom was killed in a 50-shot police barrage on his wedding day in 2006.
New York Police Department Officer Richard Haste, 31, surrendered June 13. Ofc. Haste pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges in a courtroom filled with other officers, relatives of 18-year-old victim Ramarley Graham and their supporters.
“Ramarley was only 18,” his mother, Constance Malcolm, said outside court. “We have too much of this going on and it has to stop. We need it to stop. We can’t keep killing our kids. It has to stop. Something has to come out of this.”
As Ofc. Haste left the courtroom after posting $50,000 bail, dozens of officers applauded him. He was on crutches because of an unrelated accident and walked slowly to a car, while a small group of protesters chanted anti-police slogans behind him.
The February shooting stemmed from an NYPD investigation of a persistent drug trade in the Bronx neighborhood where young Graham lived. At the time, police said investigators identified Mr. Graham as a potential suspect and radioed to other officers that he appeared to be armed with a pistol.
A witness told police that around the same time, two officers wearing NYPD jackets pulled up and yelled at a man—apparently Mr. Graham—“Police! Don’t move!”
After the man ducked into the Graham’s three-family home, the officers found a back entrance, climbed some stairs and broke down the door to a second-floor apartment where Mr. Graham lived with his grandmother and other relatives, police said.
An officer positioned behind Ofc. Haste reported seeing Mr. Graham run toward a bathroom. He also heard Ofc. Haste yell, “Show me your hands!” and “Gun! Gun!” before a shot rang out, police said.
Crammed together in the tiny bathroom, Mr. Haste yelled for Mr. Graham to hold up his hands, and when the teen reached for his waistband, the officer fired, according to his lawyer, Stuart London.
“I thought he was going to shoot me, so I shot him,” Ofc. Haste said in a court statement read by Atty. London.
Mr. Haste fired one shot at close range from his 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, police said. Mr. Graham was struck in the upper chest and collapsed in the bathroom. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
A search of the apartment didn’t turn up any weapons. Police said they found marijuana in the toilet.
Officers are allowed to use deadly force when they have a reasonable belief that they are facing an imminent threat of serious injury or death.
But in the small Bronx bathroom, it was obvious there was no gun, and Ofc. Haste should not have fired, District Attorney Robert Johnson said.
“He had to know that he did not see a gun,” he said.
The family has said Mr. Graham was shot as his grandmother and his six-year-old brother looked on.
Outside court, a large group of supporters said they are holding vigils every Thursday in the Bronx for 18 weeks to celebrate the teen’s life.
His father, Frank Malcolm, broke down weeping when he said the boy wouldn’t be home for Father’s Day.
“Haste is going home to his family. When we leave here we’re going to the cemetery,” he said. “I keep asking why. Why did he kill our son?”
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered a review of whether training and tactics were sufficient in the street narcotics division, where Ofc. Haste worked. The division differs from full-time narcotics police, who are more specialized. Mr. Haste had been on the force for four years and in the unit just weeks before the shooting. He had never before fired his weapon in the line of duty.
“Today, we’re here to show support for a New York City police officer who was put in a terrible position doing a difficult job,” police union president Patrick Lynch said outside courthouse as protesters chanted, “NYPD. KKK. How many kids will you kill today?”
Supporters of Graham’s family said they worry officers were expecting trouble simply because Mr. Graham was Black. They also say Ofc. Haste, who is White, used excessive force.
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Monday, 25 June 2012


Obviously, this young officer is just tired from keeping society safe. It's not easy being the thin blue line between order and chaos....

Photo of cruiser snoozer cop goes viral 


sleeping officer
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. -- A photo of an unidentified Niagara Regional Police officer, apparently asleep in her cruiser, has become a local Internet sensation.
The undated photo taken at an unidentified location shows a blond police officer sitting in her unlocked cruiser, hands folded across her lap, mouth open, evidently asleep.
A person in a grey sweater taking a picture of the officer can be seen in the reflection of the cruiser's driver's side window. The camera hides the person's face.
An Niagara Regional Police (NPR) spokesman had little to say about the photo, which has made the rounds on Facebook and Twitter. But he did say the officer in question has been identified.
"From a performance and officer safety perspective, NRP will be looking into the circumstances in which the photo was taken," NPR spokesman Const. Derek Watson said in an e-mail.
The source of the photo is unknown, but the photo appears to have been posted by a Facebook user named Stephanie Gogo on a page called, "People Unite Against Police Brutality" on June 12.
Gogo could not be reached for comment.
This weekend another Facebook user, Pat Hudak, who goes by the handle "Pat Niagara," a self-identified member of a protest group called Canada Court Watch, circulated the photo to the Facebook pages of Niagara newspapers, including the St. Catharines Standard, owned by Sun Media.
Hudak said he posted the photo as part of court watch's mandate to protest what he called "the mush sector" of police, the courts and other public agencies.
However, he said he does not want the officer to lose her job.
"We absolutely do not want to see this lady fired. Absolutely not," Hudak said. "I think she needs to be taken aside and given a strict talking to.
"Being asleep with her door unlocked is dangerous to her and the public. But she shouldn't be fired."

The only thing I actually object to is the liberal idiot saying he didn't want the cop to get fired. Fuck that. Who fucking cares? Everyone else (outside of politicians) would get fired, but he's insisting that she shouldn't be? This is especially fucked in light of the fact that she could have had her gun stolen, and used for who knows what? Still, it's a funny story. Have a good one, eh.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


And so here we go again. Another one of Victoria's finest creative talents, and all around great person, is taken away from us far too early. John was found deceased in his apartment, apparently due to complications because of his diabetes. 
   I first met John when he was playing with local crossover legends, Mission Of Christ, in the mid-late 1980's. Despite the reputation most of the people involved in that scene, they were really friendly, and of course, amazing musicians. John actually started his musical ventures far earlier, when he and some very young friends decided to form the now legendary Jerkward(RIP Randy). Way the fuck ahead of their time, these 14 year olds were playing the thrashiest of thrash music, with songs coming in well under the one minute mark. I actually used to own the "Death Of A Cow" tape, which came out in 1984. John went on to play in bands such as Colour Out Of Space, Onionhouse, Giblet, Leech Harvest,Lummox, Budokan, and many more.
John in My Photos by
No matter what anyone said about him as an individual, it was universally acknowledged that he was one of Victoria's finest drummers. Throughout all of his ups and downs, I've never known John to be anything but a wonderful person to be around. I just recently saw him at a Breach show at Logan's, being the usual John London, hanging out and having a good time. This once again brings us back to the fact that so many of the best people go at such a young age, whether it's due to addiction, or other health problems. Time to reassess again how we treat each other, and to not take anyone for granted.
  Last night's AK-47 practice was a little more somber than usual, all of us having known John for greater or lesser periods of time. Kent has actually been in two bands with Mr.London, so the news has been rough on him.
   I don't have much else to say, except that we've lost another great one. It's been a difficult fucking year, and we're only halfway through it. Take care of each other. Rest In Peace, John.
Randy, John, Steve    Jerk Ward

Thursday, 14 June 2012


The most fundamental freedom a person can have, is the right to control one's own body. The united states military goes all over the world denying this freedom to entire populations of any given country. From Pakistan,Yemen, to Afghanistan, Iraq, and countless others they happen to be bombing,blockading, or threatening  at any given moment. There are over 2.4 million people locked down in amerikkkan prisons. And now, the fucking racist, misogynistic, fucked up u.s. government is denying this very right to their own female troops. Troops who have been raped by their own comrades, who are supposed put their lives on the line for each other. I don't see how anyone can still support or want to join these fucking animals after reading this. And this is canada's number one ally. This article is taken from Mother Jones Magazine.

House GOP Blocking Abortion Access for Raped Soldiers

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) wants to expand access to abortion for servicewomen who are raped. Only a few Republicans are willing to help.

| Wed Jun. 13, 2012 3:00 AM PDT
Republican Senators John McCain, Scott Brown, and Susan Collins all support an effort by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, to expand abortion access for military women who are raped. But despite bipartisan support in the Senate, Shaheen's proposal may not make it into the final version of the 2013 defense authorization bill—because House Republicans oppose it.
If Shaheen's measure passes, military families will finally have the same access to abortion that other federal employees already receive. Unlike the rest of the federal government, the Department of Defense currently only provides abortion coverage if the life of the mother is at stake. Under current law, if a State Department employee is raped, her government health insurance plan will pay for an abortion if she wants one. But if an Army medic serving in Afghanistan is raped and becomes pregnant, she can't use her military health plan to pay for an abortion. If she does decide to get an abortion, she will have to pay for it with her own money. And if she can't prove she was raped—which is difficult before an investigation is completed—she may have to look for services off base, which can be dangerous or impossible in many parts of the world.
"We have more than 200,000 women serving on active duty in our military," Shaheen tellsMother Jones. "They should have the same rights to affordable reproductive health services as all of the civilians who they protect."
In late May, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved Shaheen's amendment, attaching it to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. McCain, the committee's top Republican, voted in favor, as did Brown and Collins. Shaheen is "hopeful" her proposal has enough support to be included in the final bill. The NDAA still needs a vote on the Senate floor. But for Shaheen's amendment, there's a bigger problem: the Republican-controlled House.
"We don't really understand why anybody would oppose [Shaheen's bill]," says Sharon Levin, the director of federal reproductive health policy at the National Women's Law Center. "The only reason it wouldn't go through is if the Republican leadership in the House tried to block it." 
That appears likely. A GOP staffer "familiar with defense issues" told Army Times last week that the Shaheen amendment "stands little chance of surviving" when the House and Senate meet to work out their differences on the defense bill. "Historically, social provisions that are not reflected in both bills heading into conference don't survive," the staffer said—conceding that the House version of the defense bill will not include anything like Shaheen's proposal.
Shaheen says the story of a young woman stationed in Korea who was raped by a fellow soldier demonstrates why this law needs to be changed. The woman's military health insurance wouldn't cover an abortion, and she could not find a safe place to have one off base. In the end, she lost her job, and later had a miscarriage. "This is somebody who wanted to make the military her career, and she was ultimately forced out because of a situation that was not of her making," Shaheen says. "Most of the women affected here are enlisted women who are making about $18,000 a year. They're young, they don't have access to a lot of resources. Many of them are overseas." 
Current Pentagon policy is more restrictive than the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being used to provide abortion services except in the case of rape, incest, or if the woman's life is endangered. The DOD enacted its stricter, life-of-the-mother-only limiton abortions in 1979. In 1988, the law was tightened again—Congress now forbids women from using their own money to pay for abortions in military health centers unless they are a victim of rape or incest, or if their life is at risk.
The military reported 471 rapes of servicemembers in 2011 alone. The true number is likely far higher—the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office estimates that only about 13.5 percent of all rapes and sexual assaults in the military are actually reported. The Women's Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress estimates thatseveral hundred women in the military become pregnant as a result of rape each year.
But despite numerous reform efforts over the past several decadesincluding failed proposals in 2010 and 2011, the Pentagon's strict anti-abortion policies endure today.
Shaheen hopes that this year will be different. The Stand with Servicewomen campaign, organized by retired military men and women in partnership with a coalition of civil and reproductive rights groups, is backing her effort. "When a woman comes in the military comes in the military, she's guaranteed health care," says Col. Elizabeth Fleming, a retired Army veteran who now practices law in Alaska, who was in DC recently to lobby senators on Shaheen's amendment. "If this is excluded, she's not getting it."
Another vocal vet is Joellen Oslund, who became the Navy's first woman helicopter pilot in 1974, and in 1993 was one of the first female aviators promoted to the rank of captain. Now retired, she says she hopes that granting access to abortion care for women in the military—at least for victims of rape—will be relatively non-controversial. "We lost these privileges and these rights a little bit at a time, we're going to have to get them back a little bit at a time," Oslund says. "This is the one piece that's probably the least controversial, and helps the most people."

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


Liars. Fucking assholes say they have had no reports about civilian casualties, while everyone on the fucking ground who experienced their bloodthirsty calloused indifference to human suffering says different. NATO are losing. They have the airpower, they have troops on the ground, but they view the entire country's inhabitants as the enemy, and behave accordingly. They are losing, and are lying to you about it. Fuck them.

NATO strike blamed for wedding deaths in Afghanistan

Afghan villagers gather at a house destroyed in an apparent NATO raid in Logar province, south of Kabul.
Afghan villagers gather at a house destroyed in an apparent NATO raid in Logar province, south of Kabul. Picture: AP Source: AP
A NATO airstrike was blamed for the deaths of 18 civilians yesterday in one of the worst days of violence in Afghanistan this year.
Hours after the airstrike in the eastern province of Logar, two suicide bombings in Kandahar killed a further 22 people, while separately, two Nato service members died in a helicopter crash.
The airstrike killed a number of insurgents and slightly wounded two women civilians, according to Nato, but local security and government officials said that 18 guests at a wedding were killed when the building in which they were celebrating was hit.
The bodies of five women and seven children were brought to the provincial capital in the back of vans, according to an Associated Press photographer. The head of the local council of Sajawand village, Mohammad Wali, said that a number of families had gathered in a house on Tuesday night for a wedding party.
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An airstrike hit the house at about 1am, he said. "The house is completely destroyed. Everyone is shovelling to try to get the bodies out," Mr Wali said.
Nato said that it had no operational reports of civilian casualties but was looking into the allegations.
Hours later, in one of the most brutal attacks on civilians this year, a Taliban suicide bomber on a three-wheeled motorbike blew himself up at a road-side stop for truck drivers delivering supplies to the nearby Nato-run Kandahar Airfield.
After the first attack, at least one more bomber approached the scene on foot and detonated an explosive vest, witnesses said. Officials said 22 people were killed, all of them civilians. The tactic of using secondary bombers, which aims to kill security personnel who attend the initial blast site, has been used sparingly in Afghanistan.
Condemning the attack, President Karzai said that "the enemy was getting weaker because they are killing innocent people".
Civilian deaths were down significantly in the first four months of this year, according to United Nations statistics released last week, but yesterday's bloodshed is a reminder that ordinary Afghans remain at risk from both insurgents and Nato-led forces. The issue of air attacks resulting in civilian casualties has become increasingly thorny for the US and its allies across the border in Pakistan.
Speaking in India yesterday, the US Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta, vowed to continue drone attacks on al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan despite criticism from Islamabad about sovereignty.
"We have made it very clear that we are going to continue to defend ourselves," Mr Panetta said, after confirmation that the US had killed the terrorist group's deputy leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi.
"This is about our sovereignty as well," he added, noting that the leadership of those involved in the planning of the September 11 attacks remained in Pakistan tribal areas.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Taliban said that insurgents had used a rocket to shoot down an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior reconnaissance helicopter over Ghazni province, killing two Nato service members. Nato said that it was investigating the cause of the crash. No one else was in the helicopter at the time.
The US is expected to rely more on its air power in coming years as most ground troops leave the country before the end of 2014.

Monday, 4 June 2012


In light of the recent killing of unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin by racist coward vigilante george zimmerman, check out the following story from The Final Call newspaper. Whatever your feelings about the  Nation Of Islam, this story sheds light on the true nature of amerikkan democracy. To think that they feel they have a right to claim any kind of moral authority over anyone else on the planet, is a sick fucking joke to say the least. Please read.

When Blacks stand their ground


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Florida cases of mother, elderly man reminders of long history of assaults, denial of Black right to preserve life
(L) This undated family photo provided by Lincoln B. Alexander shows, Marissa Alexander in her car in Tampa, Fla. Alexander had never been arrested before she fi red a bullet at a wall one day in 2010 to scare off her husband when she felt he was threatening her. Nobody got hurt, but this month a northeast Florida judge was bound by state law to sentence her to 20 years in prison. Photo: AP Wide World Photos/Lincoln B. Alexander (R) Trevor Dooley leaves the courtroom of Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ashley Moody on May 17, 2012 after setting a September 4th trial date. Dooley, who fatally shot a younger neighbor during an argument over a skateboarder in 2010, thinks he is under Florida’s “stand your ground” law. AP Wide World Photos/Daniel Wallace

( - The right to self-defense is human nature and a fundamental principle of law.
But with a harsh prison sentence handed to a Black mother and the upcoming trial of an elderly Black man—both declared ineligible to claim Florida’s Stand Your Ground law—the truth remains that in America the right to self defense appears reserved for Whites only.

When George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, it took protests, massive media attention and a national campaign for any charges to be fi led. Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense was quickly accepted. There is no respect for Black right to self defense as shown in two current Florida cases Trevor Dooley Marissa Alexander as well as historical attempts to protect Black men, women and children, say analysts.
When George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin in late February, it took protests, massive media attention and a national campaign before any charges were filed. The Sanford, Fla., neighborhood watch volunteer’s claim of self-defense was quickly accepted initially. Following intense media scrutiny, a major campaign and even a statement from the president, Mr. Zimmerman was charged with manslaughter and is out on bail in the highly charged case.
But consider the plight of Marissa Alexander: In August 2010, the Black mother and her parents say she fired a warning shot to stop an attack from her abusive husband. Yet in early May she was sentenced to 20 years in prison under Florida’s 10-20-life law. The bullet she fired hit no one but she was charged under mandatory minimum sentencing laws after firing the weapon. It was ruled a felony.
Consider the case of senior citizen Trevor Dooley: A Florida judge recently denied immunity to Mr. Dooley under Stand Your Ground, which allows citizens who feel threatened to defend themselves, even to the use of deadly force. The judge ruled there was no reasonable belief that deadly force was required when he shot neighbor David James in 2010. The fatal encounter began with a dispute over a youth skateboarding on a basketball court. It escalated into a fight. Mr. Dooley, who was 69 at the time, said he felt threatened by Mr. James and was being choked. The confrontation started after Mr. Dooley had left his home and walked across the street to the playground. It ended with Mr. Dooley fatally shooting the war veteran in front of the victim’s daughter. Jury selection in the Dooley manslaughter trial is set for Sept. 4. A pre-trial conference in the case is set for Aug. 22.
“Thirty states have Stand Your Ground laws or similar and these cases demonstrate without any doubt that no Black person was ever intended to benefit from this law. The difference we see between now and 20 years ago is how blatant the contempt is for us,” said Dr. Ava Muhammad, a lawyer and also national spokesperson for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
Separation as offered by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Min. Farrakhan, his national representative, is the only solution but people continue to refuse it as the natural and inevitable outcome, Dr. Muhammad said.
She views the Alexander, Zimmerman, and Dooley cases as classic examples of an enemy’s mischief-making by means of the law. When outcomes look favorable to Blacks, Whites simply change the laws, she argued.
Human right to self preserve life
“All people have a legitimate right to defend themselves under assault and history is replete with such efforts, dating back to the Haitian Revolution, when the Haitian Army defeated France, Spain and England, the top three militaries of that time,” said Dr. Conrad Worrill, former chairman of the National Black United Front and college professor. It’s not about advocating violence, but the right to self-preservation, he said.
Selina Gray, of Sanford, Fla., shows her sign at the rally. Thousands of supporters attend a march, lead by NAACP, from Crooms Academy to the Sanford Police Station for a rally in support of Trayvon Martin. Photo: AP Wide World Photos/Julie Fletcher
“Non-violence shouldn’t be a way of life. Non-violence is not a belief system. Non-violence is a tactical maneuver in a movement to accomplish a certain set of demands and it has proven to be somewhat effective but even Gandhi engaged in armed struggle himself,” Dr. Worrill toldThe Final Call. His reference was to the Indian leader whose non-violent civil disobedience movement against British colonial rule inspired the strategy of the civil rights movement.
“The Black Wall Streets, the Rosewoods, all come into context as good examples of we didn’t have a military to defend ourselves when White people dropped bombs on Wall Street. We had an example in Philadelphia in ’84 when Mayor Wilson Goode dropped bombs on the MOVE people. Our history is replete with people using violence against us and we have not been in a position to defend ourselves,” Dr. Worrill continued.
Black Wall Street was a section of Tulsa, Okla., destroyed by Whites in 1921, following false reports of the attempted rape of a White woman by a Black male. There is strong suspicion that the assault on the thriving commercial area was due to White jealousy over Black success. In 1922, there was the destruction of the Black enclave Rosewood, Fla., spurred again by reports of a Black male’s rape of a White woman. Whites burned down the small community, lynching and hunting Black residents. In Tulsa and in Rosewood, Blacks had attempted to defend themselves from White assaults.
In 1985, police dropped an incendiary device destroying the home of MOVE and 60 houses in a Philadelphia neighborhood. Killed in the fire ignited by the infamous attack on the house on Osage Avenue were 11 people, with five children and MOVE founder John Africa among the victims. Tensions between MOVE and Philadelphia police had brewed since the late 1970s and included an encounter in which an officer was killed and nine MOVE members were jailed. The 1985 massacre occurred under the administration of Black mayor Wilson Goode, who would later admit he feared his own police department.
When the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense invoked the right to openly bear arms in the 1960s, the group was targeted by federal and local law enforcement officials, with members jailed and killed in encounters with police officers. In an infamous example, Chicago Panther leader Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were shot to death in a 1969 police raid on the city’s West Side.
When the Nation of Islam declared the right to self-defense, in particular, as police officers attacked Muslim houses of worship, the movement was falsely maligned for violent hate teachings—though there is no history of Muslim aggression against law enforcement. As early as 1934, Muslims in Detroit were attacked by police, in addition to attacks on temples in Monroe, La. and Los Angeles in the early 1960s, with Minister Troy X Cade beaten and left for dead in a swamp. He survived the attack. In Los Angeles, however, Ronald T. X Stokes was shot to death by police in their raid on the temple. Then in 1972, police attacked the temple in Harlem and an officer was left dead in the attack under a hail of bullets fired by NYPD. In 1994, there was another standoff with armed officers prevented from entering the mosque in New York. Then in 2010 the Nation of Islam mosque in London’s Brixton neighborhood was broken into by officers claiming it was a cannabis factory. Later officials said the policemen did not know the building was a mosque.
John H. White, who was 57 at the time, had a prison sentence for manslaughter commuted in December 2010 by David Paterson, New York’s only Black governor, as he left office. Mr. White had been convicted of manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon for shooting Daniel Ciccario, 17, on August 9, 2006. A drunken group of White teens had threatened Mr. White’s son, forcing him to leave a party and then came to the family home. The group yelled racial slurs and threats, according to the White family as the father stood at his driveway with a handgun. Though Mr. White argued he was defending his wife and family, he was convicted of the fatal shooting in Suffolk County, N.Y.
A Washington D.C. March 24 rally in support of justice for Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman, Trayvon’s killer, is free on bond after claiming he was acting under the Florida “Stand your ground” self-defense law. Photo: Ashahed M. Muhammad
Mr. White said the White youth lunged for the gun and it went off. He also testified that the incident reminded him of stories of White mobs, lynchings and KKK destruction of his grandfather’s business in Alabama.
Denying protection to Blacks
According to Akinyele Umoja, historian and Georgia State University professor, laws preventing Blacks from owning guns have existed since slavery. Even when Blacks and Whites were indentured servants, laws still passed denying all Blacks the right to own guns and various things were done to keep Blacks from getting ammunition if they acquired a weapon, he said.
“When you had communities and organizations like the Deacons for Self-Defense and Justice (a Black armed self-defense organization of the 1960s), often times they had to go outside of the community for what they knew would be a sustained battle between White supremacists and defenders of the Black community,” he said.
Prof. Umoja said there’s always been inequality on the issue of gun ownership advocacy for Blacks in America. The Black Panther Party fought for the right to bear arms as a first campaign during their patrols of abusive police in Oakland, Calif., and one of the first acts of the legislature was to create more restrictive gun laws, he said.
The battle for Blacks’ right to defend themselves has resulted in the imbalance in the criminal justice system playing out in the Zimmerman, Dooley, and Alexander cases, activists said.
“It’s like being in a bad dream that we hope we wake up from but unfortunately, it’s reality,” said Helen Jenkins, Ms. Alexander’s stepmother. Ms. Jenkins once saw her daughter and grandchildren almost every day but it’s been a struggle since visits were stripped away as a result of Marissa Alexander’s incarceration.
A march and rally scheduled for May 29 in Jacksonville, Fla., to support Ms. Alexander and to help raise money for her rising legal bills was cancelled however the family’s efforts to support her continue.
Raoul Jenkins called his daughter’s ordeal a mess and finds it difficult to accept. “To be quite honest with you I have issues trying to sleep. I wake up and shake my head in disbelief to things Marissa had to endure in terms of the abuse she had to go through and for it to continue on with being incarcerated,” he said.
“I’m really disappointed in the justice system. I’m not happy with the prosecutor’s office at all. I tried to trust that the justice system would work in our favor once the facts came out. ... After the verdict on that day when the halls were cleared, I cried on my parents’ shoulders because I was hurt very badly,” said Ms. Alexander.
Florida prosecutor Angela Corey told The Final Call the Alexander incident was a firearm case and the minimum mandatory sentence was appropriately applied under law. Ms. Alexander’s family and activists say she should have had the ability to stand her ground, particularly because of her history as a battered woman and the active protective order she had against husband Rico Gray. Supporters say the incident happened nine days after the mother of a toddler and twins had given birth. They also point out that Ms. Alexander was a legal gun owner.
States Attorney Corey charged there was no warning shot and Ms. Alexander fired at her husband and his two sons. When asked about Ms. Alexander’s ability to stand her ground compared to Mr. Zimmerman’s use of the law, the prosecutor replied, “There is no comparison.”
“Stand Your Ground” is a procedural process heard before a judge who can dismiss the state’s case if the judge believes a person acted in self-defense, said Ms. Corley.
“We can’t have children being shot at in our community and whether it’s a man or a woman firing a gun it doesn’t matter if they’re not firing it in self-defense,” Ms. Corey told The Final Call in a phone interview. She insisted the state showed mercy to Ms. Alexander and took her background into consideration by offering a three-year deal in exchange for pleading guilty.
Ms. Jenkins says her daughter received no mercy, just cruel and unusual punishment.
Ms. Corey would rather send an innocent person to prison than admit she might have rushed to judgment and made a mistake, said Ms. Jenkins.
According to Ava Muhammad, Whites in Florida are sending a message, which could only happen in a construct of White superiority and Black inferiority. The message is Blacks have no rights that Whites are obligated to respect, she said.
Mr. Jenkins said when he visited his daughter immediately after sentencing, her words were, “Okay. Next step!” Helen Jenkins feels her stepdaughter has become a catalyst for changes in gun laws.
New laws, old legacy of oppression
Professor Marcella Washington of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists said U.S. laws have historically been used as a cover for racism. “This is Jim Crow all over again. This is old wine in a new bottle and new oppression of Black people,” she said.
Part of the issue is federalism, the idea that states can do their own thing, Prof. Washington explained. The issue of power of states over the federal government is what led to the Civil War, the civil rights movement, and Stand Your Ground today, she told The Final Call.
“In the minds of many, these laws are written to protect White people, for White men to have arms. These laws have been written and the way they are applied seems as for Whites only,” Professor Washington added.
Dr. Muhammad feels recent so-called revelations in the Zimmerman case are about conditioning the public’s mindset to accept the lowest possible conviction. There have been reports that evidence released by the police show Mr. Zimmerman had a broken nose and injuries that night he killed Trayvon Martin. “The judicial system in Florida has decided an acquittal may result in what they call rioting and have decided they’re going to need a conviction, though it may be involuntary manslaughter, which is similar to driving recklessly and killing somebody,” Dr. Muhammad argued.
It’s just like the Oscar Grant case where the cop ultimately did 11 months for execution, Dr. Muhammad explained. Oscar Grant was an unarmed, handcuffed Black male shot in the back by a transit cop New Year’s Day 2009, while laying face down on a train platform.
“I want people to understand the futility and really it becomes self-destructive. ... It’s not rational. We’ve been doing this not for years, not decades, but centuries. We’re in our fifth century with these people expecting different or better treatment,” Dr. Muhammad said.