The way media, including a CBS special, are portraying it, police departments are under violent siege. The CBS special actually had a parade of celebrities come on & chide the Black community against violence. There was also blithering about polarization between Blacks & whites as if Black resistance to systemic violence against them represents polarization rather than persecution.

That’s why it’s so great to know that tens of thousands protested today across the US against violence not from but against the Black community. Those smart phone videos & social media change everything. Even media distortions don’t make it possible to fool all the people all the time.

Emergency situation in Kashmir: killings, injuries, curfew, & internet block

Party time

There’s an emergency situation in Kashmir where Indian occupying forces have fired on protesters, killing several & wounding dozens of others. Indian authorities have also imposed a curfew & blocked the internet which is expected to be down for several days.

My attention was taken up with the shootings in Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, & Dallas but Kashmiri activists working outside the country let me know in no uncertain terms that the situation is urgent & needs to be addressed. They have provided me with many links so that post will be done tomorrow.

Those who follow the occupation & want to be au courant on developments may want to check out the Kashmiri solidarity sites or the FB walls of Kashmiri activists to see some of the background to this volatile situation which is the murder & massive funeral of a young Kashmiri freedom fighter by Indian soldiers.

Untitled drawing by Rollie Mukherjee: Kashmir is mourning & occupier is celebrating.

Media tries to smear Philando Castile as a misdemeanor traffic criminal

Media thinks they’ve really got the goods on Philando Castile, the Black man stopped for a routine traffic violation in a Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb who ended up shot to death. They’re reporting that he had been pulled over at least 31 times in the past 14 years & charged with a string of 63 misdemeanor violations like speeding, not wearing his seat belt, no proof of insurance, improper display of license plate, & other such nonsense, including parking violations.

Well let me tell you my experience in Ramsey County traffic court–& I wasn’t Driving While Black. In the 25 years I drove in Boston, I did not have a single moving violation but in the ten years I lived in St. Paul, I racked up at least 25 & hundreds of dollars in fines. On one instance, I was legally parked in front of my house before they put up street cleaning notices. When I saw a traffic cop issuing a ticket I ran out to plead with him not to & just let me move the car about 100 feet into a parking lot. He refused & handed me the ticket. I’m smart enough not to lip off to police so I got in my car & drove into the lot–followed by a motorcycle cop who issued me a second ticket for over $400. So don’t give me the baloney about Philando Castile having a misdemeanor criminal record.

I am also unable to work at any job requiring a criminal background check because in 2001, I participated in a peaceful rally in Minneapolis against experimenting on animals. I drew the attention of FBI undercover cops present because I negotiated stentorian-style with the head of the 800 riot cops encircling us to prevent us from getting our heads beat in. If we were going to get beaten up, I wanted witnesses to know we were willing to peacefully & quietly go even if our right to assemble was being denied.

Ninety protesters were arrested, half of whom were later released as undercover agents. Those of us who refused to sign away our rights were put on trial for several misdemeanors & acquitted of all charges. I was on trial for a week on misdemeanor charges like unlawful assembly. But when I applied for work as a substitute teacher in Texas 8 years later, I received a letter from the state school board saying the FBI had flagged my criminal record for using a weapon for mass destruction.

Charged with using a WMD & still allowed to roam the streets & leave the state. My later research showed that the smallest WMD is 40 pounds heavier than I am. But the accusation prevents me from working at any jobs that require a criminal background check or from adopting or fostering children & it costs hundreds of dollars to remove from my criminal record.

So don’t try to pawn off chopped liver as chateaubriand to this women. I know the score about traffic & criminal court in Minnesota. Philando Castile is no more criminal than I am & the only crimes I am guilty of in my entire life are parking violations & speeding when there are no traffic cops around to catch me.

Conflicts & confusions in the Dallas police story about the shootings on Black Lives Matter protesters

Micah Johnson

Conflicting, or at least confusing, Dallas police reports are not making it easy to understand what happened at the Thursday protest where a sniper killed five policemen & injured seven others. Police arrested three people & originally claimed multiple snipers coordinated the attack where some officers were shot in the back. Police now claim Micah Johnson was the lone sniper & after a stand-off that lasted hours, they blew him up with a robot bomb. So many questions, so few answers that make sense.

According to the Dallas chief of police, the sniper Micah Johnson told police negotiators during the stand-off that “he was upset at white people” & “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” He told them he was upset about the recent police shootings in Minneapolis & Baton Rouge & “he was upset about Black Lives Matter.” That’s not a clear statement from the police chief. Was Johnson opposed to Black Lives Matter protests & angry at the protesters? Because the fact is that he shot into the crowd of mostly Black protesters who had to run for their lives. This might suggest he was not just targeting whites or white policemen but Black protesters also. Does any of that make any real sense outside of a derangement scenario? But of course it doesn’t answer why only policemen were shot & killed. Or were there others also gunned down?

We don’t yet know anything about Micah Johnson or what motivated him to start shooting but he was a combat veteran deployed in Afghanistan. The US military trained him to use assault weapons & does not provide sufficient social services to re-acclimate trained killers back into civil society. It’s more likely he was psychologically unhinged & looked to violence to resolve his psychic & political conflicts & less likely that he was politically motivated. Analysts can pick through his resume looking for reasons for such extreme hatred but his deployment as a trained killer for the US Pentagon is likely where most of the answer lies.

The response of Texas politicians to the shootings is nothing short of vile. On a Fox News interview Friday, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said “All those protesters last night, they turned around & ran the other way expecting the men & women in blue to protect them. What hypocrites!” What did he expect them to do when they were being shot at? Stand in the line of fire rather than run for their lives? Did they know it was a deranged sniper shooting at them or is it possible they thought they were being shot at by police?

But the Lt. Governor goes on in his interview, apparently thinking he can say anything on Fox News because it’s a place where anything irrational & racist flies. He blamed those protesting against the police execution of two unarmed men for the shootings of the police, “for putting police lives in danger” by protesting. He also lashed out at “people on social media with their hatred toward police.” Unfortunately, police officers might not be the top echelons deciding to conduct war against the Black community but they are the front lines of the assault. Criticism & protest are not expressions of hatred but a demand for justice.

It is now beyond dispute that the violence is against the Black community not from Black drug gangs, as the narrative went for many years. But nevertheless the Lt. Governor said the violence against police has to stop. Nice try, but there are videos all over social media showing police executing two unarmed men this week in Baton Rouge & Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott took a less strident tone toward the shootings by saying “Every life matters.” Even though it’s an attempt to undercut the civil rights mantra that Black Lives Matter, Abbott is right. All lives do matter, not just the policemen who were shot but the hundreds of Blacks shot down–now nearly one every day in the US.

Our sincere condolences to the families of the police who lost their lives. Protesters had nothing to do with their deaths. May they RIP.

(Photo is Micah Johnson in uniform)

Burqa ban in Switzerland & the “Burka Avenger”

Burka Avenger

As of July 1st, a section of Switzerland imposed a public burqa ban with fines up to €9,200 (£7,890). It’s no mystery why the veil has become a target of legislation & persecution while sexual exhibitionism for women is aggressively promoted. It’s a political amalgam of misogyny with war mongering.

What’s particularly malignant about these bans is that persecution of Muslim women & their religious practices is postured as progressive, as standing up for women against male & religious domination. There are male politicians & academics who strut about pontificating against the oppression of women in veils. There are even feminists who do but it’s no coincidence they are also pro-war under the guise of emancipating women. The men are either war-mongers or garden variety misogynists.

“Burka Avenger” is an award-winning Pakistani animated TV series featuring a superwoman who fights villains in a veil. Contrast that to western TV superwomen whose costumes are hyper-sexualized & objectified. It can’t be easier to fight evil in a bustier & hot pants than it is in a burka which provides no prurient distractions for the villains.

Let it be repeated till the cows come home: what women wear is nobody else’s business. Revolution is a come as you are affair.

In a report issued in June, the UN human rights agency said Rohingya may be victims of “crimes against humanity” by the Myanmar regime under Aung San Suu Kyi because they are subjected to forced labor, sexual & other violence, persecution.

In July 2014, when Israel was bombing Gaza to smithereens & directly targeting hospitals, schools, refugee centers, residential areas, the same UN body said there was “a strong possibility” of Israeli war crimes

We could ask what it would take to get this deadbeat organization off its ass to speak with a little decision against human rights crimes but why bother after they put Saudi Arabia–notorious for beheadings & crucifixions of dissidents–in charge of their human rights committee? It’s all over but the derision & the crying.