Black Lives Matter

“Trump’s America,” wrote a leading African American journalist, Charles Blow in the New York Times, January 30, “is not America: not today’s or tomorrow’s, but yesterday’s.

“Trump’s America is brutal, perverse, regressive, insular and afraid. There is no hope in it; there is no light in it. It is a vast expanse of darkness and desolation.”

There is a lot of disgust toward Trump and his white nationalist strategist Steve Bannon, former executive chairman of Breitbart News, a leading promoter of conspiracy theories and white supremacists.

Days of angry protests have hit Paris and other French cities after police raped and bashed a 22-year-old Black man on February 2.

Windows were smashed and fires were started in Paris's Menilmontant district on the night of February 8, TeleSUR English said the next day. Activists took to the streets to call for justice for “Theo” after French police were charged over his rape and abuse during a raid on a housing estate in the working-class department of Seine-Saint-Denis. One of the police officers has been charged with rape, while three others were charged with assault.

Serena Williams and Common discuss race, gender and sport in an ESPN interview.

One of the best tennis players and athletes of all time, US star Serena Williams has been scrutinised so much for being a strong, Black woman that she herself began to doubt her own strength and body, the star told her long-time friend and rapper, Common, in a special ESPN interview last month.

“There was a time where I didn’t feel incredibly comfortable about my body because I felt like I was too strong,” Williams said during the one hour-long ESPN special, The Undefeated In-Depth: Serena with Common.

Fidel Castro meeting with Malcolm X.

Black Lives Matter, the US anti-police brutality group formed to oppose racist police killings, mourned the death of former Cuban president and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in a statement reflecting on his life. In it, the group discussed the lessons it has learned from his struggle against racism and imperialism.

Denasia Lawrence kneels while singing the anthem.

Singer Denasia Lawrence knelt while performing the national anthem at a Miami Heat basketball game on October 21 and opened her jacket to reveal a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt.

It was a variation on a protest that has punctuated many US sporting events in recent times against racist police violence. Like other anthem protests, the gesture by the Black singer Denasia was intended to highlight the unfair police treatment of people of colour in the United States amid ongoing killings of unarmed Black people.

At least 2000 Seattle teachers sported Black Lives Matter shirts at schools across the city on October 19, TeleSUR English said. The action was part of several rallies under the banner of “Black Lives Matter at School” to push for racial justice in education in the United States.

The protests were organised by Social Equality Educators, a group of educators within the Seattle teachers union.

Sylville Smith (left) and protests against his killing in Milwaukee. With the media awash 24/7 with the charges and counter-charges between the two candidates for president from the major capitalist parties, police murders of African Americans and protests against them continue apace — receiving only cursory media attention.
An Australian version of an open letter from Asian Americans in solidarity with Black Lives Matter has been circulating on social media. “Letters for Black Lives” is a project that began in the United States to initiate cross-generational conversations between young Asian Americans and their families about anti-Blackness and police violence. The original letter has since gained 200 contributors, 30 translations, and dozens of audio and video recordings.
The death of yet another Black man at the hands of police — this time in Milwaukee on August 13 — touched off nights of rebellious protests as crowds of people confronted officers and demanded justice. The bitter discontent was years in the making. It is the result of systematic racism and discrimination that has left Black residents in Wisconsin's largest city as second-class citizens.
The US’s first Black swimmer to win a gold medal, Simone Manuel, dedicated her win to ending police brutality on August 11. Manuel tied with Penny Oleksiak from Canada at 52:70 to win gold in the 100 metre freestyle race at the Rio games that day.
"And, no, it's not going to end today. I can't tell you it's going to end tomorrow. I don't know when it's going to end. But it's for y'all to start." This is what Sedan Smith, the brother of Sylville Smith, the 23-year-old African American man shot dead by police, told Democracy Now! on August 15. "This is what you get! We're not the ones killing us! You're killing us! We can't make a change if you all don't change."
Chace Hill is a young Koori man who lives in Perth. He recently completed an honours degree in criminology at Murdoch University looking at racism. He is also a Resistance Young Socialist Alliance member. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Zebedee Parkes about racism in the justice system and the recent Four Corners program about the abuse of Aboriginal children in the Don Dale detention centre in Darwin. * * * Tell us about your honours thesis.
The killing of two African American men in Minnesota and Louisiana in early July created an uproar across the US and around the world. In Australia there was lots of social media commentary and letters to the press about US racism.
A Black Lives Matter protest in New York on July 9. Once again the deep racism and racial divide in the United States has burst upon the national scene, dominating newspapers, TV and social media. Since 2014, videos taken by witnesses of police murders of Black people spurred the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. In spite of the overwhelming visual proof of the guilt of the police murderers, they have almost all gotten away with it.
“Protesters in Chicago, New York and St Paul, Minnesota, took to the streets on July 7 to express outrage after the second fatal police shooting of a Black man in the United States in two days,” Reuters said that day . Reuters said the protests were peaceful but tension was evident after the shooting of Philando Castile, 32, by police near St Paul on July 6. His girlfriend posted live video on the internet of the bloody scene minutes afterward, which was widely viewed.

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