(Photos: Ian C. Bates, Posted at 2013-07-15 "Protests in S.F., Oakland over Zimmerman verdict", "San Francisco Chronicle" [link]. Original caption "Percy and Genevieve Humphrey embrace during protests in San Francisco's Mission District".)
(Photo: Carlos Avila, Posted at 2013-07-15 "Protests in S.F., Oakland over Zimmerman verdict", "San Francisco Chronicle" [link]. Original Caption, "Vira Johnson raises her arms as people upset with the verdict in the trial of George Zimemrman marched in downtown Oakland" )
(Photo: Mathew Sumner, Posted at 2013-07-15 "Protests in S.F., Oakland over Zimmerman verdict", "San Francisco Chronicle" [link])
"The Socialist Worker" [www.socialistworker.org] (Photo: Carlos Avila, Posted at 2013-07-15 "Protests in S.F., Oakland over Zimmerman verdict", "San Francisco Chronicle" [link])
"Party of Socialism & Liberation (PSL)" [www.PSLWeb.org]
Opi Santos, a street-organizer with the "Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP)" [link], gets down with the message at Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland. These cadre know how to get down, and are found driving a large truck blasting music to get the party started! (Photo: Carlos Avila, Posted at 2013-07-15 "Protests in S.F., Oakland over Zimmerman verdict", "San Francisco Chronicle" [link])
2013-07-14 "Spontaneous March takes over streets after Zimmerman verdict" [www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qtlctk-zfs]: Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the Mission district in San Francisco just an hour after Zimmerman's not guilty verdict. It was the first uprising that's currently sweeping across the country in the response to the outrageous verdict that further exposes the racist nature of the judicial system.
If you live near or can make it to Anaheim, CA on SUNDAY, JULY 21st, there will be a state-wide march against Police Brutality at City Hall @1pm. This action is supported by over 30 families who are victims of Police Brutality. Trayvon Martin, though not killed by officers, was by definition another victim of the racist law enforcement system when officers chose not to arrest George Zimmerman until 44 days after he murdered another human being. For more information about the upcoming march & rally, please visit answerla.org
But individuals desperate for money abound, and are employed to act like sports fans after a bad home-game, leading to the accusation that ALL the gatherings were "riots", in other words, engaging in "rebellion", with an automatic DHS classification as "hostile enemy / domestic". There are indications that the rebellious acts, interestingly having had no known attached political statement posted online, were employed simply to divide a community & demonize all the protesters, lending credence to the observation that these undisciplined acts serve only the DHS in it's ongoing war against domestic dissent. More info here [link]
No organization wanted to distort their carefully organized message with acts of rebellion that scare away the people who have come out in righteous indignation against all Human Rights abuse suffered by them in the Bay Area and beyond!A typical call-to-action for the protests contains no call for rebellion (2013-07-15, it appears not a single statement supporting open rebellion had been issued):
Call-to-action from San Francisco Bay Area ANSWER Coalition [www.answercoalition.org/sf/news/justice-for-trayvon-sunday.html]:
July 13, 2013
Justice for Trayvon Martin!
People say George Zimmerman is guilty!
Protest Sun. July 14, 4pm
Powell and Market Sts., SF
In response to the Zimmerman acquittal, the ANSWER Coalition, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and over 450 people immediately took to the streets. In San Francisco, we picketed at 24th and Mission St. before marching to 16th and Mission St., up to Valencia St. and back to 24th and Mission. The march grew and grew, eventually taking the entire street from sidewalk to sidewalk, as the community came out of their homes and stores to stand for justice for Trayvon Martin.
Join us tomorrow, Sunday, July 14, at 4pm at Powell and Market in San Francisco for a rally and march demanding justice for Trayvon Martin, jail George Zimmerman. People will also gather to protest at Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland at 4pm.
On Saturday, July 13, George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in a second-degree murder trial. Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a young Black man, in cold blood on the streets of Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. After killing Martin, Zimmerman roamed free for 44 days before the angry response of millions of people forced the state to take action.
The sequestered jury of six women, all white except for one, came back with a not guilty verdict after only two days of deliberations. The verdict is a travesty, a continuation of the complicity of the racist, so-called criminal justice system that refused to treat the murder as a crime and has now left a vigilante free to roam the streets. The system of racist brutality carried out against poor people and people of color in communities from Florida to New York to California to Texas and elsewhere is on the offensive.
The acquittal of George Zimmerman means there will be more George Zimmermans. They have encouraged the growth of racist vigilante attacks on Black people. This is a pattern of racist violence that allows the cops to get away with murders like those of Oscar Grant, Alan Blueford and Manuel Diaz and countless others.
JOIN US THIS SUNDAY, 4PM AT POWELL AND MARKET!
JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON!
JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN
San Francisco WORD [415-375-9502] [sf@DefendWomensRights.org] [www.defendwomensrights.org/news/justice-for-trayvon-martin.html]:
Stop the war on our children! Watch this short video of WORD organizer Peta Lindsay demanding justice
for Trayvon Martin on July 14:
"When the whole system tells you that your child, that your life and the life of anyone who looks like you can be taken without consequence, your only response can be to shut that system down!"
The women of WORD are heartbroken and outraged by the racist acquittal of George Zimmerman. Throughout this mockery of a trial it has been clear that a racist judicial system cannot and will not serve justice.
We are united in our stand against racism and bigotry. We are in this fight because it affects the lives of all women. When one mother loses her son, we all feel the loss. This is our fight.
In Florida and across the United States, mothers have been forced to explain to their sons how this verdict could happen. This is a tragedy for all Black people who now have to tell their children that they don't matter, that their lives can be taken with impunity and that the racist justice system will choose to protect the life of a racist killer rather than the life of an innocent Black child.
As women who have organized themselves to resist and defend, it is our duty to stand and struggle in solidarity with the Black community and all women of oppressed communities who have been dealt a heavy blow by this racist verdict.
We know that our strength lies in our unity and this the only way to fight back and effect actual change. Every right we hold as women, we won by fighting together. Now is the time to stand together - women of all backgrounds, ages, ethnicities and cultures - to defend the lives of Black children and all children who live in a system that tells them some lives are more valuable than others.
If more proof that the system is racist were needed, consider the way women - especially women of color - are treated when we dare to fight back against the violence that is part of our everyday lives. Marissa Alexander stood her ground and fired a warning shot trying to escape her abuser and was sentenced to 20 years. Her children will grow up without their mother because the courts devalue and punish women who stand up, while allowing criminals like George Zimmerman to go free.
We demand justice for Trayvon Martin, Marissa Alexander and all victims of this racist system. We demand an end to the war on Black and oppressed youth. These are our children and our sisters' children.
George Zimmerman's trial was a farce. This is not justice. That is why we say, "The people's verdict is 'GUILTY!'" because this injustice cannot stand.
Stand with us against racism and demand justice for Trayvon Martin. Jail George Zimmerman, free Marissa Alexander, and end the war on women and our children!
DEMAND JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN
STOP MODERN DAY LYNCHINGS
DEMAND JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN
It should come as no surprise that George Zimmerman goes free for the murder of Trayvon Martin. This killing of an unarmed Black teenager who was shot by a white adult male is not new, nor is the lack of punishment if the perpetrator is white and the victim is not. It is an ongoing tragedy played out many, many times in a country based on and defined by racism since its inception.
The Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement reports (mxgm.org/trayvon-martin-is-all-of-us) “the use of deadly force against Black people is standard practice in the United States, and woven into the very fabric of the society” and their research shows that extrajudicial killings of black people by the police, security guards and unauthorized vigilantes like Zimmerman take place every 28 hours in the U.S.
The “Stand Your Ground” laws proliferating around the country are the 21st century manifestation of American lynch law. The Florida statute conveniently allowed Zimmerman to claim “self-defense” even though it was he who attacked Martin. The police originally accepted his story and declined to pursue charges. Conversely, if Martin had the gun and shot a strolling white young man, there is no question that he would have been immediately arrested. Were it not for the tenacious demands of Trayvon Martin’s parents and ensuing national outrage, Zimmerman would never have been arrested and charged.
Everyone knows the difference is race -- that racism was always the central issue -- yet this unspoken elephant in the room was not allowed to be named in the trial or considered pertinent to the prosecution. Instead, the deceased Trayvon Martin and his key witness were put on trial and discredited.
In addition to noting who does not go to jail for their crimes, we must not forget those who are jailed because they fight to right injustice like Lynne Stewart, Bradley Manning, Mumia abu Jamal, Leonard Peltier and Oscar Lopez Rivera; or Muslims who are scapegoated in the name of the “War on Terror” like the Holy Land Five, Yassin Aref, and Tarek Mehanna; or the victims of the drug wars and mass incarceration inflicted on the Black and Latino youth population.
This case and the millions of other examples of racial injustice must not be forgotten. The Obama administration announced a review of this case which may lead to the filing of federal charges. The NAACP has initiated a petition demanding the Justice Department file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman (www.naacp.org). There must be unrelenting demands upon the president and attorney general to secure justice for Trayvon Martin and to take action in the hundreds of other extrajudicial killings of unknown black people which took place in the past year.
Regardless of justice department action in this case, the Obama administration must not be allowed to claim innocence when it routinely kills people, including children, all over the world. Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was a teenager like Trayvon Martin. This young American citizen was killed by our government’s extrajudicial drone murder in Yemen as a direct result of Obama administration policy.
We should advocate for the elimination of America’s war of terror, all racist and unjust laws, mass incarceration, and the torture of solitary confinement.
But most importantly, we must take to the streets and build a mass movement to protest this gross miscarriage of justice and all racist laws and practices endemic to the “American way of life”.
"JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN"
message from "People's Power Assemblies" [www.peoplespowerassemblies.org]:
George Zimmerman found NOT GUILTY!
The verdict is a racist denial of justice, we will #riseup4trayvon #wearetrayvon
SHOW YOUR OUTRAGE IN THE STREETS!
Organize Protests on SUNDAY JULY 14 & MONDAY, JULY 15
* No to racism, police brutality and racial profiling!
* Jobs and schools, not jails!
* End mass incarceration and deportations!
* End stop & frisk and the war on youth!
Plan to hold justice assemblies in downtown squares, in communities, at schools and at busy street corners in your city or town. Distribute flyers; hold youth and community speak outs, marches and protests. The murder of Trayvon Martin should be generalized with other local cases of atrocities against youth, especially youth of color.
It's critical at this moment for the movement to define this issue rather than the big business media or those who have little interest in defending Black, Latino/a, Indigenous and poor youth.
We are issuing this emergency call because the justice system has failed. It is riddled with racism and class bias. It is a system that jails over 2.3 million mainly people of color and keeps another 5 million under the repressive thumb of parole and probation status and a system that is not successfully prosecuting racist police or wanna'be cops like Zimmerman.
Show your outrage and solidarity in the streets & on social media. Use the hashtags: #Riseup4Trayvon #Justice4Trayvon #WeareTrayvon #millionhoodies
Send us your rally, speak out and event information along with general support for this call to:
email@example.com Post to us on Facebook at [https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesPowerAssemblies]
This call was issued by the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, founded at the 10,000 person March 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin demonstration in Baltimore City which shut downtown Baltimore and City Hall down for five hours. Organizers called for a people's vote and the convening of the June 30, 2012 Peoples Assembly to Stop Police Terror and Abuse. Go to www.PeoplesPowerAssemblies.org
Call: 410-218-4835 or 410-500-2168 or 212-633-6646.
Rev. Edward Pinkney [bhbanco.org] [269-925-0001]
BANCO (The Black Autonomy Network Community Organization)
CALLING FOR A BOYCOTT TO REPEAL THE "STAND YOUR GROUND LAW" FOR TRAYVON MARTIN!
BOYCOTT ALL FLORIDA PRODUCTS! BOYCOTT DISNEY WORLD!
UNITED WE CAN WIN!
Prosecutor Takes A Dive Because Trayvon Martin Was Black
The defense team and the prosecuting attorney were working together to allow George Zimmerman to get away with murder.
The jury consisted of six racist women who had no intention of seeing justice served. We must hold that jury accountable for their action and inaction.
Juror number #B-37 SAID George Zimmerman heart was in the right place(REALLY). The evident is out about Juror # B-37. She is a born racist. It was discovered she had been a racist all her life.
The group of white juror's was motivated by something other than the truth.
The facts are clear. George Zimmerman saw an opportunity when Trayvon Martin was walking back to his father's house in a gated community with a hoodie on. Zimmerman decided Trayvon was a criminal only because he was black.
This outrageous verdict of not guilty is a declaration of war. It places targets on the backs and in the hearts of a whole generation of Black youth. The system has failed our community.
We must force Eric Holder to charge George Zimmerman with a civil rights violation in federal court as soon as possible.
The most important question is what are we going to do? We must not allow the NAACP, Rev. Jessie Jackson, and Al Sharpton to stop us. They will be paid by corporations to control the organizing and stop the movement.
The Trayvon Martin case is a call to action to expose injustice in the black community and take action to alleviate injustice.
We must repeal the stand your ground law!
Boycott, Boycott ALL FLORIDA PRODUCTS, FLORIDA ORANGE JUICE,FLORIDA ORANGES
DISNEY WORLD, MIAMI HEAT BASKETBALL TEAM, MIAMI MARLIN BASEBALL TEAM,
TAMPA BAY RAY'S BASEBALL TEAM, TAMPA BAY BUC FOOTBALL TEAM, MIAMI FOOTBALL TEAM. ORLANDO MAGIC BASKETBALL TEAM. ALL ENTERTAINMENT,INCLUDING BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING.
BOYCOTT ! BOYCOTT! EVERYTHING FROM FLORIDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We must organize, organize, and organize among ourselves with one agenda.
Note that not a single poignant point in the Calls-to-Action is reflected in the monopolized San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, read by voters, commuters, and middle-class workers:
2013-07-15 "Protests in S.F., Oakland over Zimmerman verdict"
by Michael Cabanatuan, Meredith May and Demian Bulwa from "San Francisco Chronicle" [www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Rallies-in-S-F-Oakland-over-Zimmerman-case-4665088.php]:
(07-14) 23:17 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- The acquittal of George Zimmerman in Florida sent hundreds of people into the streets in San Francisco and Oakland on Sunday to decry what they called the persistent racism that allowed the neighborhood-watch volunteer to beat a second-degree murder charge in the fatal shooting of unarmed African American teenager Trayvon Martin.
Protesters listened to speeches and carried signs with such messages as "We are all Trayvon Martin" and "Zimmerman: the people say guilty." The rallies were spirited and mostly peaceful, though a small group of people in Oakland - many hiding their faces with bandannas - kicked and punched an Oakland Tribune photographer and also attacked a KTVU-TV cameraman at about 10:30 p.m.
Police officers tried to thin the crowd, reading a series of orders to disperse, but there was no immediate word of any arrests. They were seeking to avoid a repeat of Saturday night, when a small group of vandals reacted to the jury verdict by starting fires, slashing tires and breaking the windows of several businesses in downtown Oakland.
[ ... ]
Many at the Bay Area rallies said Saturday's acquittal of Zimmerman - whose attorneys argued that he had acted in self-defense when he killed 17-year-old Martin after pursuing him - laid bare an unjust court system and a society that often views young men of color as threats.
"We're both new parents, and we can't believe we live in a country where a man can follow and shoot a 17-year-old boy and face no consequences," said Hillary Ronen, a 37-year-old legislative aide from San Francisco who went downtown with her husband and 8-month-old daughter. "We're outraged and sad, and we don't want to raise our child in a world like that."
[ ... ]
The San Francisco rally drew a few hundred people, who brought bongo drums and bullhorns. They briefly blocked some intersections as police officers formed lines beside them, and then listened to speeches in Justin Herman Plaza along the Embarcadero.
At the Oakland gathering, several hundred people listened to speeches made over a megaphone and painted signs before embarking on a long march into West Oakland, receiving applause from some residents as they walked. One older woman on the porch of a Victorian home held up a fist in a black power salute. They returned downtown, blocking the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway.
"I don't think it's right for people to think it's OK to kill black and brown children and not pay for it," said Dina Suarez of Oakland, a 36-year-old preschool teacher. "It's enraging. It happens here in Oakland. It happened in Florida. I'm here in solidarity for the family (of Martin) and for all people of color who are tired of this repression."
Later in the night, a smaller group of protesters burned an American flag. A few shouted at downtown motorists and pounded on their cars, and a window of Awaken Cafe on Broadway was smashed before the attacks on the photographer and the cameraman.
[ ... ]
Saturday night's vandalism in Oakland prompted some businesses, including Foot Locker, to board up and close on Sunday. Many merchants and protesters were upset about the damage, which extended to locally owned restaurants and businesses that celebrate the city, like the Oaklandish retail shop on Broadway.
Tamara Gossett, a 38-year-old mother of four living at a downtown shelter, said she awoke Sunday to find all four tires slashed on her 1988 Toyota Camry, one of her most important possessions.
"Of course, everyone's upset about this young boy, and I am too," Gossett said of Martin. "But the knuckleheads out here are tearing up the city in his name, and I don't think his mother would want that."
What a contrast in so-called journalism compared to what really was happening in the minds of the People participating in the protests! What happened to the message of the protesters? One of the best reflections over the fall-out from Trayvon's death, provided below in it's entirety, was sent to us from a Community Liberation organizer from tiny Santa Cruz, a tourist town at the Monterey Bay Area which suffers from an intense regime of Human Rights abuse [link]...
2013-07-15 "Justice for Trayvon Martin! There is No Justice in The Capitalist Courts!"
by Steven Argue from Liberation News (RT-SP), subscribe free: [lists.riseup.net/www/info/liberation_news]
[Family photo of Trayvon Martin (left) from GlobalGrind]
Saturday night, the killer of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman walked free from a Florida courthouse after being found “not guilty”. Yet, the case is far from over.
While going to the store to buy candy, 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by racist cop wannabe George Zimmerman. According to a co-worker, in 2005 Zimmerman was fired from a job as a security guard at illegal house parties when he assaulted a woman for being too drunk, throwing her and injuring her ankle. The police knew Zimmerman because he was the sole member of a police supported neighborhood watch group who was constantly calling the Sanford Police when he saw “suspicious” people in his neighborhood. Knowing nothing of Treyvon except that he was a Black male wearing a hoody in the rain, Zimmerman began following him. On the day of his death, Trayvon spotted the suspicious, armed, and dangerous Zimmerman in racist central Florida and took off. Trayvon was able to temporarily escape him and at that point Zimmerman then complained in his call to the police, “these assholes...always get away.”
Get away with what? That’s simple. Being young and Black and wearing a hoody in the rain.
Except on February 26, 2012, Zimmerman made sure that the alleged "asshole" didn't get away. Without cause or authority, Zimmerman pursued, shot, and killed the unarmed Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman absurdly claimed that this was an act of "self-defense". The pursuit of Trayvon Martin was both by car and on foot. While being pursued, Trayvon Martin talked to his friend Rachel Jeantel on the phone, telling her he was scared because he was being chased by a “creepy-ass cracker.”
Trayvon Martin was shot through the chest at close range. Immediately after police arrived on the scene they began their cover-up for Zimmerman. They would not even arrest the shooter. At least three eyewitnesses said they heard the “desperate wail of a child, a gunshot and then silence.” Yet, police tampered with this evidence immediately, "correcting" an eye-witness by saying it was Zimmerman who wailed, not Trayvon Martin. Police also improperly bagged clothing, destroying DNA evidence. Thus began the police defense of the racist stalker Zimmerman, 100 pounds heavier than Trayvon Martin, who we are told only followed the innocent Trayvon Martin by car and on foot to shoot him in self-defense.
Evidence was shown at the trial of injuries to Zimmerman that may or may not have been the result of a fight between Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. A law used on behalf of George Zimmerman was Florida’s racist 2005 “stand your ground law”, which gives the right to kill instead of retreating even when retreat is a possible alternative. Even if Zimmerman’s injuries weren’t created after the fact, the question arises, at what point of pursuit by a scary “creepy-ass cracker” by car and on foot did Trayvon Martin have the right to stand his ground? Obviously, the law doesn’t apply to Black people being stalked for no reason by dangerous cop wannabes in Florida.
Months after the murder, the police and DA refused to act in bringing a case against Zimmerman. To finally get a trial it took protests and outrage at this racist injustice including the signatures of 2,280,000 people demanding justice.
In April 2012, heavily armed neo-Nazis took-up where Zimmerman left off and began patrolling the streets of Sanford, supposedly to defend white people from the Black hoards. They became the new neighborhood watch. Despite the major media reporting this with photos to back it up, the Sanford Police denied there was any such activity in Sanford. In addition, the racist media outlet FOX News actually called these neo-Nazi patrols a “civil rights group” and in another report a “white rights group”. FOX News has also been one of the most ardent defenders of George Zimmerman.
Despite attempts by the far right to portray Zimmerman as the victim, heavy pressure from the other direction finally forced action in May of 2012. At that time Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder and manslaughter.
Unfortunately, the prosecution was carried out by the Florida State Attorney’s Office. They were dragged into the case kicking and screaming after a mass movement pressured the governor to do so. At the beginning of the case, State’s Attorney Norman Wolfinger interfered against prosecuting Zimmerman. He did this by personally intervening against a detective who expressed that there was enough evidence to prosecute Zimmerman. It was only after mass pressure that a new state prosecutor was assigned to the case, Angela Corey.
Hated Florida Governor Rick Scott was the one who assigned Angela Corey to the case. For some background on Rick Scott, when asked why there are so few Blacks in his cabinet, Governor Rick Scott responded that this is not due to racism, but due to differences in philosophy. Rick Scott is infamous for his efforts to privatize Florida’s prison system, efforts that make America’s mass incarceration of the poor profitable to the ruling rich. Rick Scott is also infamous for his law forcing welfare recipients to pass drug tests in order to collect their extremely meager benefits in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. One reason why the United States is so hateful and mean in regards to social welfare programs is the racist idea that Black mothers might benefit from those programs. This is coupled with racist assumptions of drug abuse in the Black community. Of course, more white people than Black people benefit from the meager amounts of welfare that are available, and Blacks by proportion, aren’t using drugs any more than whites. These are the kinds of hatreds that Governor Rick Scott taps into.
Yet, Rick Scott was under political pressure to change course in the Trayvon Martin case, so he assigned Angela Corey to be the new prosecutor. Angela Corey’s first role was to switch course, but pretend that nothing had changed. So she immediately claimed, “We do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition” and argued that the case was finally being prosecuted due to the accumulation of new evidence.
Since Saturday, after the loss of her case, it has been widely noted that Angela Corey couldn’t stop smiling and thanking everyone while discussing the case with the media. In addition, she showed no remorse for her loss of the case. Her emotions and statements seem to reveal the true side she was on all along. If she deliberately threw the case, she certainly wouldn’t be the first attorney to do so.
Likewise, the police were also on the side of the defense. At the trial the police, who almost always testify for the prosecution, testified that they believed Zimmerman’s story, despite its inconsistencies. The U.S. criminal injustice system systematically watches, targets, terrorizes, arrests, murders and incarcerates people of color at alarming rates, even when they haven't committed a crime. And Blacks who commit “crimes” are far more likely to be busted and do time. For instance, people of color and whites use marijuana at about equal rates, but people of color are 3.73 times more likely to be incarcerated for marijuana than white people. Every 36 hours a Black person in America is killed by law enforcement. Police profile and target Blacks, even routinely getting away with murders of unarmed Black victims. Naturally, the police feel strong solidarity with George Zimmerman when he carries out the same routine racist crimes as cops.
America’s courts are racist as well. The verdict acquitting Trayvon Martin comes less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the 1965 Voting Rights Act which helped to finally give southern Blacks the right to vote. Zimmerman’s trial was carried out in same racist court system.
The Judge presiding over the Treyvon Martin case was Debra Nelson. She was appointed to the bench by racist Governor Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush is infamous for his role in the 2000 elections when he helped secure a victory for his brother in the presidential elections by illegally striking people from the voting rolls who had Black or Hispanic sounding names. This was, by the way, a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, even before that act was overturned. Yet, unfortunately, Al Gore had more in common with George Bush than the multi-racial working class he would have had to have mobilized to do something about the electoral fraud of the 2000 election.
America’s racist and anti-poor courts make sure that juries are not fairly selected. More intelligent jurors are systematically removed leaving us to the mercies of juries that are more easily prejudiced by racism, faith in cops, and a general backward law and order mentalities. Race is also a key factor in jury selection. In the case of Trayvon Martin, the jury did not include a single Black person. Instead, it was composed of five whites and one Hispanic.
The American courts are also a place where evidence is not fairly heard except on those rare occasions when one can afford an expensive lawyer, or one is a cop, or a wannabe cop like George Zimmerman. Through this system the rulers of America have systematically imprisoned millions of the poor with a disproportionate number being people of color. Meanwhile, murderous cops and racist cop wannabes like George Zimmerman are consistently allowed to walk free despite their crimes.
In response to the verdict, Chief Overseer of the Plantation Obama has urged respect for the rule of law while he considers a federal investigation. Under Obama’s rule, nothing has been done to stop the mass incarceration of the poor which particularly targets Blacks, to stop racist police violence in the streets, to end double the unemployment for Blacks, to end lower life expectancy for Blacks, and or to end higher infant mortality for Blacks. Frame-up victims of racist criminal injustice remain in prison like Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier without a peep from Obama. In addition, Obama freely carries out extra-judicial executions of entire families through the use of drones in countries where people are brown and traditionally Muslim. Instead of fighting racism, Obama has helped create the myth of a “post-racial” America with his silence on almost all issues of racism. In the case of Trayvon Martin, Obama speaks-up to urge calm.
Protests began across the country immediately after the verdict, including in Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, New York, and Atlanta. Traffic was brought to a standstill in Los Angeles and Manhattan. More protest is guaranteed.
Justice is extremely rare under America’s racist capitalist government. In the case of Rodney King, despite videotape showing the cops using enough force to kill a man, the police were acquitted in their first trial. In that case it took a mass six day uprising in 1992 that destroyed over a billion dollars in property to win a new trial for the criminal cops. In the subsequent trial, two cops, Koon and Powell, were found guilty. For a change, two brutal cops went to prison for their crimes. In addition, the 1992 uprising forced the resignation of LA’s Chief of Police. On a small scale, property was also redistributed through “looting”. Yet, the people paid a heavy price for this action with all kinds of repressive government forces mobilized in the streets including the Marines, 53 people were killed, around 2,000 people were injured, and nearly 20,000 people arrested. Yet, the destruction of a billion dollars in property was not without sense, because much of what was destroyed was owned by the ruling capitalist class, our oppressors and exploiters.
Another rare case where a small amount of justice was won was the case of Oscar Grant in Oakland California. Oscar Grant was clearly shown in video being handcuffed and executed by Oakland’s BART Police. Yet, to jail the guilty cop took a mass movement that included protests and a strike by the Oakland Longshore union (ILWU) shutting the Port of Oakland down. The killer of Oscar Grant got off easy with a conviction on a manslaughter charge, but the case was unusual in the fact that the cop did any time at all for his crime.
The true predators in America span from the politicians and judges who hold the highest positions of power all the way down to their badged minions and racist wannabes who patrol the streets, killing with impunity. They represent the wealthy capitalists who own America. Obviously, in capitalist America for those who hold power, the lives of young Black men are cheep. No protest, no strike, and no rebellion by itself will change these facts. To truly jail all of the criminals who are responsible and bring racial justice to America will take a proletarian revolution carried out by America’s multi-racial working class. That revolution must completely smash the capitalist state, at its heart the police, courts, prisons, and military to build new institutions based on racial equality and economic justice. Instead of destroying the property of the capitalists, our goal needs to be one of completely expropriating the entire capitalist class and using our ownership of the economy to guarantee everyone a job, housing, education, healthcare, security, and a clean environment through a new socialist economy based on human needs rather than profit. Building the kind of revolutionary party capable of leading such a revolution is a goal of the Revolutionary Tendency.
2013-07-16 A nation divided in court, on streets and in movies Feelings evoked by Florida trial, 'Fruitvale Station' don't lie"
by Chip Johnson from "San Francisco Chronicle" [http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/johnson/article/A-nation-divided-in-court-on-streets-and-in-4667407.php]:
In one part of Oakland on Monday, people lined up outside the Grand Lake Theater to watch a film about Oscar Grant's final 24 hours before being killed by a white police officer on a BART platform.
In another part of Oakland, people swept away the shards of a destructive protest over the latest injustice: the acquittal of the Florida man who shot and killed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
For the moviegoers, the reality outside the theater doors confirmed the disturbing and ugly truth about American society that was being portrayed on the silver screen.
Justice is not blind.
Because it seems as if it's OK in America to shoot a young black man first and ask questions later. It seems as if it's OK to stand your ground, unless you're black.
"It's ironic that this movie came out this weekend," said Donnie Harris, 62, a retired Oakland firefighter who attended the film with his wife, Michelle.
[ ... ]
"The way I feel about it, man, it boils down to racism," said John Brown, 55, an AC Transit driver and an Oakland native.
"I have two sons, adult sons," Brown said. "They are not perfect sons, but they are good sons," he said. In the Martin case, Brown said, the entire episode revolved around the fact that Martin was black.
Sadly, I cannot disagree with him.
Brown's view is not idiosyncratic, trendy or tailored to match the angry rhetoric surrounding the case. It's a viewpoint shared by others from all walks of life who were outside the Grand Lake Theater on Monday.
Brown is an African American man, but his opinion was matched by Sandra Breaum, a 70-year-old white woman from Oakland.
The verdict in the Martin case "shows a prejudice against young black males," Breaum said.
"Had Martin been white, he never would have been shot," she said.
What bothers me most - let's be honest - enrages me, is that Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin were just kids whose lives were snatched away in a moment's time. They may have made some poor decisions, but they never got the opportunity - as adults - to address them, correct them and live full, meaningful lives.
And in a country where everyone is supposed to get a fair, if not equal, shot at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, what happened to those young men is about as un-American as it gets.
Photo by Brant Ward, The Chronicle. Original caption: A bus stop that features a poster advertising the movie "Fruitvale Station," about the Oscar Grant killing, was vandalized during protests against the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.