Police State Repression
A two-year secret federal investigation of the U.S. anti-war movement has been conducted by the Obama administration, apparently with a federal grand jury in Chicago hearing evidence from Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, looking into “possible links between U.S. anti-war groups and foreign terrorist organizations,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Fitzgerald issued subpoenas beginning in September 2010, delivered via FBI raids to their homes, for activists to appear before the grand jury. With all the records sealed by court order, it is impossible to know about the scope and intent of the probe. 23 anti-war activists have now been targeted by the FBI, many through September raids that confiscated a wide range of personal material. Activists who have been summoned to testify before grand juries have righteously refused.
Lynne Stewart: Subpoenas
Download Flier: Bush, Now Obama: “Anti-War Protests are a Form of Terrorism”
Know Your Rights!
Ten Years Later: Surveillance in the Homeland (a joint project of the ACLU of Massachusetts and Truthout)
By Dennis Loo | November 27, 2014
If we take Officer Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony and treat it as 100% true and that 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.
As a colleague of mine put it in making this point to me recently, this would be like her going into class and saying “I’m sorry, I just can’t give a lecture.” This is her job. Lecturing is one of the things we do as professors. Handling physical altercations and conflict is what cops are supposedly trained explicitly to do without always resorting to unnecessary or disproportionate, including lethal, force. If, as my colleague further went on to point out, Wilson was indeed being physically assaulted by Brown while in the driver's seat of his police car while the car was running, then all he had to do is step on the gas pedal.
This is, of course, a conclusion that you will hear from almost none of those who are commenting on this case in mainstream media. Instead, you will hear again and again that police officers are trained to use their guns to kill if they use them at all and that the presumption under the law in Missouri and in general is always if the police used deadly force that they must have felt threatened enough to kill.
By Dennis Loo | November 26, 2014
Many years ago when a group of political activists (dubbed in the press the “Mao Zedong Defendants”) were arrested and put on trial for allegedly attacking a large group of police officers, I sat in the courtroom in Honolulu State Court on the defendants’ bench and listened with fascination at the parade of cops telling their version of the events of that day of our arrests.
I was fascinated by it because the cops’ accounts were a) all entirely consistent with each other, with not a single detail in any degree at variance or in contradiction to the others’ details (multiple eyewitness testimony is never entirely consistent when they're trying to tell the truth given the vagaries of individuals' observations and memories), and b) very vivid descriptions of how powerful my comrades were, two-thirds of them Asian females no taller than 5’ 1” tall and less than 100 pounds a piece, since according to these officers of the law, the officers had all been victims of a brutal assault by these Amazons.
To underscore how powerful and fierce my female activists must have been, the cops were to a man, at least 6' tall and weighed no less than 200 pounds a piece. It must be the intense study sessions of revolutionary science that my fellow activists spent so much time on because they had behemoth-like powers against these poor, defenseless officers of the law.
Tofu and veggies must beat coffee and donuts.
By Dennis Loo | November 25, 2014
Officer Wilson, why did you shoot and kill Michael Brown, when he had his hands up and was telling you he gives up, why did you have to shoot him six times?
“The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked. He comes back towards me again with his hands up.”
Officer Wilson, what do you mean “it” looks like a “demon”? Why do you call Michael Brown “it”?
“At this point it looked like he was almost bulking up to run through the shots, like it was making him mad that I’m shooting at him.
“And the face that he had was looking straight through me, like I wasn’t even there, I wasn’t even anything in his way.”
Updated November 18: Upon hearing that Missouri's governor Jay Nixon has today called upon the National Guard, declaring a state of emergency for Ferguson and St. Louis, even before the grand jury issues its findings on whether or not to indict officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown, do you think to yourself:
“The Drug War was indeed the New Jim Crow”
This is a transcript of Dennis Loo’s prepared remarks at a Cal Poly Pomona Symposium on Stop Mass Incarceration, Police Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation on the evening of October 21, 2014.
Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, all of which he could have survived, including the terrible bullet to his eye, save for the likely final fatal wound, a shot through his skull originating from the top of his head penetrating down to his chin. This final kill shot is consistent with witnesses’ accounts that Brown was trying to surrender when he was murdered in cold blood.
The following are accepted rules of practice and do not constitute legal advice.
When demonstrators are in the streets of NYC they are confronted by one of the largest armies in the world – the NYPD. The goal of the NYPD is to contain and control the presence of demonstrators in the name of public safety and order. Our ability to express our views is our knowledge that we have rights, under the First Amendment of the Constitution, to gather, be seen and be heard.
Recently, the Center for Constitutional Rights held a press conference, hosting lawyers Steve Downs and Kathy Manley of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms. Based in Albany, NCPCF's mission is to educate the public about ongoing civil and political freedoms eroding, while police commit abuses both in society and to prisoners in jails.
‘Inventing Terrorists’ Study Offers Critical Examination of Government’s Use of Preemptive Prosecutions
Nearly ninety-five percent of individuals on a Justice Department list of “terrorism and terrorism-related convictions” from 2001-2010 included some elements of preemptive prosecution, according to a study by attorneys which they say is the first to “directly examine and critique preemptive prosecution and its abuses.”
Students Against Surveillance has begun a nationwide campaign against Internet spying by the National Security Agency (NSA). The campaign began on June 5, the one-year anniversary of the day the newspaper Guardian UK first published articles based on files released by Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, exposing massive NSA spying.