How Seattle police aided the neo-Nazis in the anti-Sharia protest

Multiple credible sources have reported that the Seattle police harassed counter-protesters but protected anti-Sharia marchers participating in Saturday’s anti-Sharia law march in Seattle.

https://patch.com/washington/seattle/seattle-anti-sharia-protest-counter-protest-15-pictures

http://komonews.com/news/local/anti-muslim-rally-counter-protests-expected-in-seattle

I got permission to copy the post of a friend of  friend, below.   My apologies for the anonymity and “hearsay” nature of this evidence.  Someone at my work attended the counter-protest and says that the post below is accurate: the police were aiding the neo-Nazis.

From a friend’s post:

“Report on Seattle events today. Multiple times fascists attacked a peaceful protest and were released by police each time. Cops arrested the peace keepers. The fascists were belligerent and picking fights in a totally peaceful crowd. Don’t believe the hype that antifa and the left are instigating violence. These guys were looking for a fight and we tried to not give it to them. (PS to join these so-called Proud Boys you are REQUIRED to attack people)

“Regarding the “anti-Sharia” action organized by a hate group and counter protest today [in Seattle] :

I was a part of the marshal team for the counter protest today and feel it is critical that I get my perspective out there on what happened. The marshal team was comprised of individuals from the Greater Seattle General Defense Committee as well as numerous folks from other organizations from the coalition that organized the action.

Our job was to facilitate the counter protest’s march to and from City Hall Plaza and help work to de-escalate situations and keep participants safe throughout the duration. We had two fantastic, designated police liaisons who before the march started, went to City Hall and spoke with multiple SPD commanders regarding our intentions to keep the rallies separated and safe. They were told by SPD that if the fascists wanted to march, they could, and that we would be expected to keep a block away from them which was in accordance with our own intentions anyways.

Unfortunately, the fascists were NOT held to the same standard by SPD.

While at City Hall Plaza, I personally escorted multiple groups of alt-righters, Proud Boys, and even Joey Gibson himself with his violent motorcycle club buddies through our crowd and helped them safely get to their rally without causing a scene on our end.

One particular group, mostly comprised of Proud Boys, crossed through our lines multiple times. I personally witnessed one of them unplug one of our speakers and violently push multiple people out of his way. During their last foray into our crowd, people moved to stop them from coming in and starting a fight and were immediately hit in the face by two of the Proud Boys. This all happened mere feet from at least 2 dozen SPD officers.

As a marshal, I immediately went to them, identified myself as one of the marshal team, and asked that they help get the assailants away from us. I was met with a response of “If you aren’t letting them march through your crowd, then we can’t stop them from hitting you.” The assailants were both pulled to safety by SPD and allowed to wander off. It’s safe to say that if any group of counter protestors would have tried to shoulder their way through the fascist rally, SPD would NEVER respond in such a manner.

In fact, just last week Portland Police Bureau and DHS officers cooperated with far-right militia members in arresting peaceful anti-fascists for merely being in the vicinity of their rally space. It is clear that they have no actual interest in free speech or peaceful engagement.

Around 12-12:30, we began assembling to escort our community members from MAPS and CAIR who were running an “Ask a Muslim” booth at the rally safely to our dispersal point at Occidental Square. As our march departed, the opposite direction from the hate rally, SPD allowed a group of around 20 of them (including the same Proud Boys, Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer, and “Tiny”, a violent biker) to stalk our march a block away. This group then went to the Central Saloon and began drinking.

We arrived at Occidental Square and had a few more speakers before we began dispersing. While this was happening, a group of about 10 of the fascists attempted to come down and into the park. While this situation was arising, another group of them led by the same assaultive Proud Boys from before came from the other direction, walked by SPD officers, and went straight into the park and began attacking people. During this altercation, 3 members of the General Defense Committee were violently arrested while the SAME INDIVIDUALS WHO HAD ALREADY ASSAULTED PEOPLE EARLIER IN FRONT OF SPD WERE ALLOWED, AGAIN, TO GO FREE”.

SPD needs to be held accountable. The individuals who assaulted our people, who were part of a beautiful, rowdy, yet very peaceful protest need to be held accountable.

Please, if you can, start contacting your city council members, mayor, and police chief demanding accountability for allowing these assaults to happen. Help get the story of what actually happened today out to all of the standard bullshit media outlets. We all need to be strong and support the folks who got hurt and arrested today while taking action against hate in our community by violent thugs from out of town”

Image #1 from the anti-Sharia rally in Seattle on June 10, 2017
Image #2 from the anti-Sharia rally in Seattle on June 10, 2017
Image #3 from the anti-Sharia rally in Seattle on June 10, 2017
Image #4 from the anti-Sharia rally in Seattle on June 10, 2017

Another source, my coworker who said the facebook post was accurate, shared the above pictures from the rally and commented:

After the white supremacist rally dispersed, we marched back to Occidental Park, where we started the last part of our counter-protest, a set of speeches. Soon afterwards, I saw groups of white supremacists coming into Occidental Park, and starting to assault the counter-protestors. They had no business to be there because the counter-protest had obtained a city permit to rally in Occidental Park. The police had no business to let them come there, but they stood by and allowed the white supremacists to approach the park, and actually enter. These guys were definitely looking for trouble, and they knew exactly where to find it. I was busy with the speeches, so I missed the early part of the action, but as soon as the speeches ended, I headed out to where trouble had broken out, and took some pictures, which I’m sending you.

Descriptions for the 4 pictures:

1. Picture of two counter-protestors, who were part of the safety committee, being arrested by Seattle Police

2. On the left you can see the arrests in progress. On the right you can see that the two policemen have removed their pepper spray cans from their holsters, and are ready to use it on counter-protestors if “needed”

3. See how heavily armed the police were. They had 4 magazines each – over 50 rounds – on them, in addition to pepper spray, and they were probably carrying flash bangs in those pouches hanging from their uniforms

4. Seattle Police formed a roman-style phalanx, and literally pushed us back, away from the site where they were making arrests and using pepper spray. Can you believe this s happening in Seattle?

 

Black history, U.S. history are inseparable

Image: Community College of Aurora (Source)

Image: Community College of Aurora (Source)

This month is Black History Month. In reality, every month is Black History month, because without black people, there would be no United States.

Black history is tied up with slavery and capitalism, territorial expansion, annihilation of native Americans, the Civil War, Jim Crow, and ongoing inequality. It is tied up with these elements not as a peripheral happening on the margins of America, but as central to American development.

The first person killed in the American Revolution was a black man in Boston; Crispus Attucks, born a slave, was shot during the Boston Massacre. What is more telling about the American revolution is the thousands of blacks who fled to the British to gain their freedom. In England slavery had never been authorized by law. In the American colonies, slavery was sanctified by the colonies.

The founders of our country embedded slavery into the American legal system. They continued the trans-Atlantic slave trade. They gave extra political power to the slave south by counting each slave as three-fifths of a person for purposes of apportionment and representation. They mandated that escaped slaves must be returned to their original owners. That’s all in the constitution, written by the founders, white men from both the North and South.

Thomas Jefferson opened up new pathways for slavery with the Louisiana Purchase, bringing parts of Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and New Mexico into the nation. This territorial expansion resulted in tremendous agricultural development, enabled through slavery.

Who were the slave owners? Our presidents, to start with. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, James Polk, and Zachary Taylor. Washington owned more than 250 slaves, Jefferson 200 slaves, Madison over 100, Andrew Jackson 200. But really, to own just one other person as property is damning all by itself. These men did not just own slaves, they sold slaves, whipped slaves, broke up the families of slaves, and raped slaves. This is not just part of black history, it is an essential part of American history.

Who is an American hero? Is it James Monroe, a signer of the constitution, our fifth President, and the absentee plantation owner whose overseers whipped slaves to work harder? Or is it Denmark Vesey, the free black organizer of a slave rebellion in South Carolina who was executed for this attempted act of liberation when Monroe was president? Is it Nat Turner, who led a slave rebellion in 1831 in Virginia? Or is it Andrew Jackson, the president during this rebellion, who owned a prosperous Hermitage plantation built on the backs of hundreds of slaves, who waged war on the Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee Indians, and who signed and put into force the Indian Removal Act, forcing tens of thousands of Cherokee from Georgia, opening up the southeast for the expansion of slavery.

Black people turned the American civil war into a war of liberation. Once the war began, hundreds of thousands of blacks fled to union lines. They forced Abraham Lincoln to make this a war for the emancipation of slaves. And as white men faltered and refused to sign up to fight, black soldiers took their places, fighting for the union, for emancipation, for themselves.

The acts of black people, both free and slaves, to overcome slavery, to liberate themselves, to become people who could actually strive for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, these were and are acts of utmost patriotism.

During Black History Month we celebrate the accomplishments of black people who are not threatening, people like the former slave George Washington who founded Centralia, or George Washington Carver, the famed botanist. But in telling black history as the integral part of American history, we could and should be celebrating those people who fled the colonies to gain their freedom, who led the rebellions against American slavery and the expansion of slavery, who enabled slaves to escape to freedom on the “ underground railroad.”

We should be celebrating Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, the 54th Massachusetts (colored) infantry from the Civil War, and 20th century leaders who made the establishment uncomfortable, people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. These are the Americans who were brave and strong and lost their lives to help our country become, indeed, a more perfect union.

And we still have a long way to go.

Originally published at EOIOnline

Apparent anti-semitic headline on TheMarketBusiness, recommended by google

On April 25, the news aggregation site news.google.com included among its top headlines a link and summary to an article from TheMarketBusiness.com with the following headline.

To Meet Jew Donors, Ted Cruz heads to Vegas

Here’s an image of the article as it appeared on April 25 at TheMarketBusiness.com, 2015 at 8:10AM PST:

Antisemitic headline mom TheMarketBusiness.com

The first paragraph is largely ungrammatical:

Ted Cruz, The Texas Firebrand didn’t stand out in the previous poll about the presidential election in 2016, but since he was approached by some Jewish giant donor [sic], his name began to be taken into account. He will meet some Jewish donors in the next meeting in [sic] Semi Jewish [sic] Republican Coalition meeting. With him, there are several other Republican candidates are [sic] Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Mike Pence. The meeting was attended by a group of “low candidates”, as well as members of the above is group of candidates of the lowest in the polls, because top candidates like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker will not participate in the meeting.

Here’s an image of part of  news.google.com page:

Antisemitic headline in news.google.com

Notice that the headline there is slightly different and also ungrammatical: “To Meet jews Donors…”

I realize that google can’t be held responsible for the content of every article their news aggregator links to, but you’d hope the programmers at google can tune their algorithms in the future to exclude such substandard content.

Black Lives Matter – Seattle (Video)

(Raw video, my editing computer is dead)
Stop Police Brutality: Time to build a mass movement!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Africatown Center, Columbia City Seattle
Organized by Socialist Alternative

Moderator Ramy Khalil

– Guest Speaker from NAACP

– Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant

– Devan Rogers, Youth Undoing Institutional Racism and Ending the Prison Industrial Complex

– Celia Berk, Youth Undoing Institutional Racism and Ending the Prison Industrial Complex

– Dr. Will Washington, activist against community violence

– Julia Ismael, Africatown Education and Innovation Center

Since Officers Darren Wilson, Daniel Pantaleo, and Adley Shepherd were not indicted, protests have erupted against the violence regularly inflicted on black communities by police. The anger, grief, and desire for a better world are palpable among young people and communities of color. We need to build these protests into a sustained mass movement strong enough to pressure elected representatives to address the racist police violence and brutal economic inequality experienced by people of color and working-class people every day.

Socialist Alternative called this 2nd public meeting to build upon the December 10th public meeting to further discuss effective strategies for this movement.

What tactics at our protests are most effective?

What concrete demands should we and City Councilmember Sawant fight for together? A democratically elected oversight board with full powers over the SPD? Scrap plans to build a new King County youth jail?

How can we uproot the underlying system that breeds police brutality, institutionalized racism, and inequality?

Black Lives Matter!

Part 1

Part 2

Systemic injustice threatens democracy

One hundred fifty one years ago today the pivotal battle of the Civil War was fought, as Union soldiers succeeded in holding off Confederate charges on Little Round Top at Gettysburg. If the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment had been overrun by southern troops, the Confederacy may very likely have prevailed in the Civil War, embedding slavery even deeper into the fabric of our country.

I have been thinking about Gettysburg a lot over the past week. Just eight days ago, my 95-year-old father died, after a great and productive life. His great grandfather, Ira Meserve, was a union soldier wounded at Gettysburg, shot through both knees and not discovered until a couple of days later when the dead were being picked up off the field of battle. Ira survived, and our family still has the bullet that brought him down. Ira was one of 46,000 casualties of Gettysburg, including almost 8,000 dead.

President Abraham Lincoln declared, “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”

And yet, when my father was born, the new birth of freedom for black Americans had been turned back by Jim Crow laws, lynchings, withholding of the franchise, and just plain mean discrimination, fear-mongering, and white-on-black violence.

Fast forward to 1964. Fifty years ago Freedom Summer was launched in Mississippi to attempt to register black citizens to vote. This threat of equality was met by terrorism from the white power elite. Four civil rights workers and three Mississippi blacks were killed, 80 Freedom Summer workers were beaten, 1,062 people were arrested, 67 churches, homes and businesses were bombed or burned.

Freedom Summer was part of the civil rights movement that led us to a new nation, in which racial equality was possible, indeed, the law. But underneath the cover of equality and the seemingly racial blindness of the law, a different reality has emerged. Another layer of disenfranchisement, discrimination, and outright kidnapping of democracy has taken place.

Ronald Reagan signaled the start of this new reality when he launched his campaign for the presidency at a county fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi, near where civil rights workers were murdered in 1964. Reagan promised to “restore to states and local governments the power that properly belongs to them.” Welcome back, Jim Crow.

But Reagan was more sophisticated than this. He launched the War on Drugs in 1982, when the country was suffering through a recession and needed a scapegoat. Reagan targeted urban areas with large black populations. He increased the budgets of federal law enforcement by over tenfold, while slashing the budgets of agencies focused on drug treatment and prevention by 80 percent. With a series of Supreme Court decisions, we all lost significant constitutional rights regarding search and seizure, witness coercion, and legal representation. With a focus on drugs, but not drugs more habitually used by whites, the United States ramped up its policing. State and federal prisons now hold over 2.2 million people. Another 4 million are on probation. Almost another million are on parole. Altogether, over two and a half percent of the total population of our country are ostracized into a second-class caste, stripped of rights and responsibilities, and unable to vote. That includes almost one out of every 12 blacks.

The Civil War was a battle cry for freedom, not incarceration. And yet, we live in a country in which we deny six million Americans the right to vote. In Washington state, 30,000 people are incarcerated, 90,000 are on probation, and 8,000 are on parole. Of these, 53,000 are denied the franchise.

We like to think that we rehabilitate criminals, but we don’t. We punish them, we force them into a lower caste, and deny them the right to vote. As we celebrate our independence, we can draw a line from the Civil War and Gettysburg, to the Civil Rights Movement, and on into our own future. We can create a nation that indeed shall have a new birth of freedom, so we can realize a government of the people, by the people, for the people … including all of the people of our great country. It is our arc of history to make.

Via The Everett Herald 

Bundy, Sterling: GOP dream ticket for 2016

Deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy, the new poster boy for the Republican Party.

Photo by George Frey

The radical right here in America now boasts two fresh heroes: Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling. With their eager penchant for plainspoken hypocrisy and outright bigotry, they ought to be a swell choice for the Tea Party/Republican presidential nomination come 2016.

First, good old boy Cliven Bundy rode heroically onto the public scene, proudly waving the American flag and spouting anti-government propaganda—the kind of twisted nonsense that made the right-wing kings of talk radio sit up and take notice. In fact, Sean Hannity was so smitten by Cowboy Cliven that he vowed to stand with Bundy and his patriotic gun-wielding minions if the dastardly Feds should dare try to force those fine Americans to obey the law of the land.

And that’s one hallmark of right-wing ideology: law and order! Unless, of course, the law orders you to actually pay what you owe from grazing your cattle on land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the United States of America. So aw-shucks Cliven is really stealing from us. But he blames it on The Government, which is of course the ultimate evil in Tea Party extremist parlance.

It’s a bit convoluted, as blatant hypocrisy always is. You see, right-wingers “believe in” the Constitution. Or at least their version of it; the one that says government is bad. Not sure where the founding fathers wrote that, but it must be in that doggone Constitution somewhere, right? Right-wingers adore those “We the People” signs planted on their lawns. “We the People” being angry white folks who yearn for frontier justice, the days of the old west, or any other place and time where they weren’t forced to be part of civil society or look out for other folks. God forbid!

It’s all part of the cult of rugged individualism. Seems these flag-wavers have conveniently forgotten that communities built America. And that without the cooperation of honest, hard-working folks helping each other out, raising barns, building towns, caring for the less fortunate, the frontier would have been littered with the starved, lifeless bodies of countless rugged individualists. Without community and representative government there would be no United States of America. Which would probably suit this continent’s aboriginal population just fine.

But logic aside (which is where the Tea Party prefers it), Cliven Bundy’s racist ravings endeared him all the more to the right wing. Just a hard-workin’ rancher a-speakin’ his mind, right? Make that a deadbeat hypocrite who despises diversity and wraps himself in the flag of a country he doesn’t even believe in.

So Cliven Bundy would make a perfect presidential candidate for the reconstituted Republican Party. And who better to complete the ticket than a bigoted billionaire? Enter Donald Sterling.

A fellow hater of folks who don’t look or talk like he does, Don Sterling would bring an extra dimension to this right-wing hypocrisy fest. After all, who better to champion the Republican cause of “Family Values” than a brash billionaire bold enough to boast a mistress fifty years his junior in addition to a loving wife? Well, maybe not so loving. But picture this: a powerful leader with little sense of shame, a wife and a concubine? Why, it’s positively biblical!

A couple of old white guys ready and willing to espouse the thinly-veiled conservative gospel of hatred, anger, fear, and division? What’s not to like? Bring on Hilary, the Republicans are ready!

The Changing Face of the Northwest Electorate

An aging population means a more diverse electorate.
By Clark Williams-Derry on November 27, 2012 at 9:15 am

Yesterday’s Seattle Times brought news of a trend that will shape the Northwest electorate for decades: the steady increase in the share of minority voters. Compared with some parts of the nation, the Northwest isn’t particularly diverse. Still, the latest census figures show that nearly one-fourth of Washington residents over the age of 18 now self-identify as Hispanic or non-white. In Oregon, 18 percent identify as Hispanic or non-white; in Idaho, it’s about 13 percent.

But every respectable demographic projection shows that the Northwest’s voting age population will continue to diversify over the coming years. And that’s true regardless of what happens with future immigration trends. That’s right: you don’t have to assume that there will be an influx of non-white voters to be confident that the region’s electorate will diversify. You just need to look at what will happen as today’s Northwest residents continue to age.

Throughout the Northwest states, youth is strongly correlated with diversity: preschoolers are roughly five times as likely to be non-white as octogenarians, with a fairly steady gradient in between. Over the coming decades—as older folks pass on and today’s teens hit voting years—the aging of the population will steadily ratchet the Northwest electorate towards greater and greater diversity.

The process will happen fastest in Washington, which is already the most diverse of the three Northwest states. Factoring in both death and aging in Washington, I expect that the gap between the “white alone” and minority voting-age populations will narrow by about 1.2 percentage points every 2-year election cycle, for at least the next few cycles. (For death rates by age, I use data from the Washington State Department of Health. For race and ethnicity by age, I use data from the American Community Survey for 2009-2011.)

It remains to be seen whether the electorate itself will follow the same trends. In the 2008 election, most minority groups had lower voter-registration rates, and lower voter turnout, than non-Hispanic whites. If this minority voter under-representation continues, then the demographic shifts among voters will be more muted than the shifts among the population as a whole. On the other hand, even modest increases in political participation among the Northwest’s non-white population could diversify the electorate far more rapidly than demographic trends alone would suggest.

Either way, the reality is clear: Northwest voters are growing more diverse. The question now is, how will our politics respond to the growing clout of the region’s non-white voters?

Originally published at Sightline Daily

Pat Robertson's Extremist Fantasies

Pat Robertson Fantasy

“(T)he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

“I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that’s the way it is, period.”

“How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators, greedy money changers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals are on top?”

“It may be a blessing in disguise. … Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. Haitians were originally under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it’s a deal. Ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other.” –Pat Robertson, on the earthquake in Haiti that destroyed the capital and killed tens of thousands of people, Jan. 13, 2010

Source