Police State Repression
Know Your Rights!
Ten Years Later: Surveillance in the Homeland (a joint project of the ACLU of Massachusetts and Truthout)
Debra Sweet | July 19, 2015
Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Rekia Boyd, Andy Lopez, Tamir Rice...
One after another — and so many others, precious Black and Brown lives — victims of police murder. We think of their faces, and furiously ache for justice. Over 1000 people a year killed by police – yet since 2005, less than 60 indictments, less than 25 convictions! * (see footnote)
Millions languish in prison, generation after generation, Black and Latino brothers and sisters. The spearpoint of a whole matrix of oppression.
On June 2, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to extend key elements of the USA Patriot Act through 2018. Passed in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Patriot Act, and its interpretation by courts and application by government agencies, has set loose almost unlimited secret government spying on everything people do. This kind of secret spying on American citizens has been used to facilitate illegal assassination of U.S. citizens abroad without trial, by presidential decree. And it is used to monitor the most minute, personal, and especially oppositional activity, communication, and thinking of nearly everyone on the planet who has access to a phone or the Internet.
St. Louis, MO. Veterans For Peace would like to extend our condolences to the family of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old Black man who died in police custody from a fatal spinal cord injury. The loss of a child under any circumstance is tragic. However, losing a child to violence adds a deeper pain.
NOTE FROM DEBRA SWEET: Ray McGovern learned in criminal court February 4 that he's not going to jail for resisting arrest or trespassing,and that if he isn't arrested in the next six months in New York City, the charges will be dismissed. Ray is now free to pursue his own charges of excessive force against the NYPD, as well he should.
On Black Friday, activists from the World Can't Wait - Bay Area chapter united with other groups including The Light Brigade to protest the non-indictment of Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown. A hundred people converged on the municipal tree-lighting ceremony with the message “Black Lives Matter,” with many thousands viewing the Light Brigade signs, and hearing powerful messages.
The first article of this series’ main point was that the unjust and murderous actions of officers such as Daniel Pantaleo and Darren Wilson are not aberrations but in fact a logical outgrowth of, entirely consistent with, inspired by, and necessary corollaries to, US governmental policies, both here and abroad.
This is the dilemma that those who run this political and economic system confront with the incredible popular upheaval in city after city, the likes of which I have never seen, even when comparing it to the 1960s:
If authorities were to do anything that would in any way cause the police to feel that they did not have complete license to constantly harass, brutalize, and kill, then this system could not continue.
Officer Darren Wilson has announced that he's resigning. That's great. He will no longer be wearing a badge when he looks at black people and thinks "demon, I must kill it." All of the blacks who have been dying at the hands of police, at a rate of one every 28 hours in the US, can now rest easily. Because Officer Darren Wilson has been responsible for each and every one of those deaths, past and future, and black and brown lives will now matter finally, right?
If we take Officer Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony and treat it as 100% true and he really was so frightened and intimidated by unarmed 18 year-old Michael Brown that he just had to shoot him to death, then this must also mean:
you have an officer who, despite being specifically trained to handle difficult and at times violent incidents – precisely what a cop’s job is – is too afraid to do his job and is the last person who should be given a gun and a license to kill.