police killings

Charlotte, North Carolina, September 22.

Protests and tear gas have filled the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina nightly since the murder on September 20 of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African American, at the hands of police in yet one more case of racial profiling.

A coalition of about 60 Black Lives Matter groups from around the United States issued “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice” on August 1.

The document is long and detailed. It is the most important Black independent political action program since the National Black Independent Political Party and Black Power conventions of the early 1970s. It also is a reflection of the leading role of Black young people in the still-nascent radicalisation of US youth in general.

Irish republican party Sinn Fein has condemned the British government’s non-apology over police collusion in a 1994 massacre in the six northern Irish counties still claimed by Britain.

On June 18, 1994, masked men armed with assault rifles burst into a pub in Loughinisland in County Down as Catholic civilians watched a Republic of Ireland World Cup football match. Opening fire, they killed six people and injured five.

“While police tactics and accountability measures are being examined, many black people are also questioning their safety and place in society,” the San Francisco Chronicle wrote on July 31. “They worry about the next time they interact with police, and about the difficult conversations they must have with their children.” Black people make up 6% of San Francisco's population — and suffer 40% of the city's shootings by cops. The city's statistics on police stops of Blacks and violence mirror other cities, especially in the Midwest and South.
Professional athletes provide a flicker of hope during these agonising days by speaking out against police violence. “Shut up and play” clearly doesn't fly when black bodies are falling at the hands of those whose job is to serve and protect. In fact, it's almost surprising now when football and basketball players — the two sports most dependent on black labour — do not speak out.
Three young African-American women started a blog in 2013 entitled “Black Lives Matter” in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman, a racist vigilante backed by the police, for the murder of unarmed Black youth Trayvon Martin. The blog started a movement that took the same name, as young Blacks launched mass actions that broke through the wall of silence concerning police murders of Black people.
On April 1, police opened fire on indigenous and rural poor protesters who were blocking the highway into Kidapawan in the landlocked province of Cotabato on the island of Mindanao, killing three protesters and injuring at least 116. While no investigation of the police action has yet taken place, 71 protesters remain detained. On April 4 a police spokesperson announced that Cotabato police chief Alexander Tagum would be suspended pending an investigation.
Film director Quentin Tarantino at #BlackLivesMatter protest in New York City on October 24. Ever since the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement emerged on the streets to protest repeated police killings of African Americans, there has been a backlash, spearheaded by the police mutual benefit societies mislabelled labour unions.
I had no intention of going to Ferguson, the flashpoint of the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality. It was the United States’ dirty problem, not Australia’s. Then I read a piece about Black Lives Matter activists taking the mic from Bernie Sanders while he campaigned for Democratic presidential candidacy. Parts of the crowd booed.
#BlackLivesMatter activists Marissa Johnson and Mara Willaford stormed the stage as Sanders began speaking and demanded an opportunity to address racial injustice. Seattle, August 8. There is a lull in the large mass mobilisations associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, but the campaign targetting racism and police brutality remains central to politics in the US.

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