Fight Back! - News and Views from the People's Struggle http://www.fightbacknews.org/ This newspaper exists to build the people's struggle! We provide coverage and analysis of some of the key battles facing working and low-income people. en Students for Justice in Palestine holds 4th National Conference http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/29/students-justice-palestine-holds-4th-national-conference <p>Boston, MA - Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held the 4th National Conference at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts from Oct. 24 to Oct. 26. The conference, titled “Beyond Solidarity: Resisting Racism and Colonialism from the U.S. to Palestine” emphasized the importance of solidarity with all liberation struggles, both inside and outside of the U.S. Nearly 500 students gathered to discuss how to free Palestine, stand in solidarity with the African American and anti-police brutality struggles in Ferguson, Missouri and effectively fight all systems of oppression.</p> <p>One important focus throughout the weekend was the upcoming trial of Rasmea Odeh, the Palestinian American community organizer who is currently a target of the U.S. government’s witch hunt against activists and members of the Palestinian solidarity community. Odeh is being criminalized for her solidarity work within the Arab American community. SJP recognizes that, “as Palestinian solidarity activists, we have a duty to support her.”</p> <p>During one packed session at the conference, panelists discussed Rasmea Odeh’s case and ways SJP chapters can lend support. SJP leaders called for students to attend her trial in Detroit starting on Nov. 4 and to organize solidarity rallies on campuses across the country. Responding to the call, the University of Florida’s SJP chapter is coordinating with student activists at Florida International University, the University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University, the University of South Florida and other campuses in the South and nationwide. </p> <p>As Amanda Nelson of University of Florida’s SJP summed up, “To stand with Rasmea is to stand with hardworking Americans who were not born in this country but have worked to establish their lives here. Most of all, to stand with Rasmea is to condemn the torture and human rights abuses committed by Israel.”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/29/students-justice-palestine-holds-4th-national-conference#comments International Palestine Palestine Rasnea Odeh Students for Justice in Palestine Students for Justice in Palestine 4th National Convention Thu, 30 Oct 2014 02:30:20 +0000 Fight Back 4403 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Vicious, unjust rulings in case of Rasmea Odeh - Come to Detroit Nov. 4, Stand Up for Justice! http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/28/vicious-unjust-rulings-case-rasmea-odeh-come-detroit-nov-4-stand-justice <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Oct 28 statement of Rasmea Defense Committee:</em></p> <p>Judge Gershwin Drain handed down a series of outrageous and unjust decisions, Oct 27 – 28, in the case of revered Palestinian American leader Rasmea Odeh. The government is going all out to railroad Rasmea, to jail and deport her. There was nothing fair about her being indicted on trumped up immigration charges in the first place. The recent rulings by Judge Drain indicate that there will be nothing fair about Rasmea’s trial either.</p> <p>Determined and collective action by those of us who yearn for justice, and civil and human rights, is imperative. We must fill the streets around the courthouse in Detroit, pack the courtroom during the trial, and organize demonstrations around the country. If there is to be a measure of justice in this case, we are the ones who must provide it.</p> <p>In the late 60s, Rasmea Odeh was jailed by the Israeli occupiers of Palestine, where she was tortured and raped. She has spent the past 20 years in the U.S., making huge contributions to not only the Arab community of Chicagoland, but also the immigrant rights, racial justice, women’s rights, and many other movements. She is being victimized for a second time in Detroit.</p> <p>Judge Drain agreed that Rasmea’s assertion that she faced torture and sexual abuse at the hands of her Israeli captors is “credible,” then contradicted himself and ruled it cannot be brought up in the course of her trial—even though this was at the heart of her defense. Her attorneys had planned to call an expert witness to the stand, but now will not be allowed to. Clinical psychologist Dr. Mary Fabri, who has decades of experience working with torture survivors, would have testified that an error Rasmea allegedly made in filling out immigration forms (the basis for the charge against her) was the result of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).</p> <p>Instead, Judge Drain will allow the prosecution to use documents provided by the Israelis as evidence in the case, even though these documents are the products of Israeli military courts and a “legal” system that routinely uses torture. He has even gone so far as to rule that when Rasmea testifies, she can only address issues that the prosecution agrees to allow.</p> <p>No fair minded person can accept any of this. That is why we have to go all out for Tuesday, November 4th, in Detroit.</p> <p>Rasmea Odeh has devoted her entire life to making this world a better place. The U.S. government wants to criminalize those that stand up for Palestine. We cannot allow this to happen. We do not know how long Rasmea’s trial will last, but due to the extreme limits that Judge Drain has placed on the scope of the trial, we are urging supporters to prioritize attending the first week—Tuesday, Nov 4th, through Friday, November 7th.</p> <p>Pack the courtroom! Don’t let them win!</p> <p>Visit <a href="http://www.stopfbi.net/" title="http://www.stopfbi.net/">http://www.stopfbi.net/</a> to register your plans to attend the trial.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/28/vicious-unjust-rulings-case-rasmea-odeh-come-detroit-nov-4-stand-justice#comments Committee to Stop FBI Repression Palestine Political Repression political repression Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Tue, 28 Oct 2014 23:15:32 +0000 Fight Back 4401 at http://www.fightbacknews.org MN protest challenges Senator Franken’s support for Israel http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/28/mn-protest-challenges-senator-franken-s-support-israel <p>Minneapolis, MN - On Oct. 27 a coalition of Minnesota community organizations working to raise awareness about injustices against the Palestinian people protested outside of Senator Al Franken’s campaign office. As Senator Franken prepares for reelection, the anti-war movement condemns Franken’s unconditional support for Israel’s human rights violations, including his introducing legislation to extend U.S. military aid to Israel. Protesters called on Franken’s supporters to express their disapproval of his stance towards Israel.</p> <p>On July 30, while the bombardment of Gaza was raging, people of conscience held a protest at Franken’s campaign office to urge him to “see Gaza” and end his support for Israel’s attacks. A group of 20 people went into Franken’s campaign office to speak with Franken on the phone and demand that he make a statement calling on Israel to stop the attacks. When his campaign staff refused to put Senator Franken on the phone, the protesters staged a sit-in while reading the names of the hundreds of people who had been killed in Gaza that month in the attacks. At one point the campaign leadership put Senator Franken on the phone to speak to the protesters, at which time he reiterated his support for Israel’s “right to self-defense” and bombing of the Gaza Strip. When asked whether Palestinians had a right to self-defense, Franken had nothing to say. The protesters continued their sit-in in commemoration of those killed, prompting the arrest of 15 people for civil disobedience.</p> <p>The 15 participants of the sit-in have their first court appearance on Oct. 28 at the Ramsey County Courthouse. The arrestees joined the Oct. 27 protest outside Franken’s campaign headquarters to denounce again Franken’s continued support for Israeli war crimes.</p> <p>Jennie Eisert, of the Anti-War Committee, spoke to the protest, “As a Colombian I am here and was arrested in there to try and shed some light on what was, has, and still is happening to the Palestinians. I consider many to be brothers and sisters. I know that nothing good comes from the aid of the U.S., it is all for military purposes. The Colombian people, just like the Palestinians, want their freedom and our task in the U.S. is to be in solidarity with them. We need to hold politicians like Franken accountable when they vote to send weapons to repressive governments - whether it be Israel or Colombia - and to say money for human needs and not for war.”</p> <p>The protest was organized by the Anti-War Committee and endorsed by MN Break the Bonds, the Coalition for Palestinian Rights and the MN Peace Action Coalition.</p> <p>The next action will be at the last debate between candidates running for Minnesota’s seat for U.S. Senate on Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange Street in Saint Paul. Anti-war protesters will be there to ask audience members to press candidates on whether they support U.S. aid to Israel.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/28/mn-protest-challenges-senator-franken-s-support-israel#comments Antiwar Movement Palestine Senator Al Franken Tue, 28 Oct 2014 20:21:51 +0000 Fight Back 4400 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Final pre-trial conference to address key issues in case of Palestinian-American leader Rasmea Odeh http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/27/final-pre-trial-conference-address-key-issues-case-palestinian-american-leader-rasmea-ode <p>Detroit, MI - Just one week before trial begins, new rulings will determine whether the prosecution will be allowed to bring Israeli conviction and allegations of ‘terrorism’ at trial, and whether Odeh can present evidence of torture in her defense.</p> <p>On Tuesday, Oct. 28, Judge Gershwin Drain will hold a closed chambers session to address a number of questions that will define the terms for the trial of Palestinian American activist Rasmea Odeh. Supporters will gather outside the courthouse beginning at 2:00 p.m. A prominent Palestinian American community leader from Chicago, Odeh’s trial for alleged immigration fraud begins on Tuesday, Nov. 4.</p> <p>The Department of Homeland Security arrested Odeh on Oct. 22, 2013, and charged her with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, for allegedly failing to disclose, in her 2004 application for U.S. citizenship, that she was arrested in Palestine in 1969 and tried in an Israeli military court that convicts 99.74% of Palestinians who come before it. Odeh’s conviction in 1969 was based on a confession that was forced in the wake of vicious physical and sexual torture by the Israelis. Defense attorneys contend that as a result of this torture, Ms. Odeh suffers from PTSD, which caused her to suppress the horrible recollection of the arrest when she filled out her naturalization application in 2004. </p> <p>With just one week before the trial is set to begin, attorneys are awaiting rulings on several key motions that will determine the course of the trial, including whether Odeh can present evidence of torture and PTSD, which attorneys have said is key to her defense. Other important rulings are expected to determine whether prosecutors will be barred from raising the specter of ‘terrorism’ and evidence from the Israeli military tribunal responsible for Odeh’s conviction in 1969.</p> <p>Supporters from across the country are mobilizing to fill the courtroom for every day of Rasmea Odeh’s trial and a team from the Rasmea Odeh Defense Committee is working full-time to mobilize supporters from the Detroit area. Jess Sundin described the outpouring of support, “The community is united behind Rasmea and against this unjust prosecution. From as far away as California, people are committing to be at the courthouse in Detroit, and demand that this trial deliver justice for Rasmea Odeh.”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/27/final-pre-trial-conference-address-key-issues-case-palestinian-american-leader-rasmea-ode#comments Committee to Stop FBI Repression Drop the charges Political Repression political repression Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Tue, 28 Oct 2014 01:17:50 +0000 Fight Back 4399 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Protest against police killings, brutality in Salt Lake City http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/26/protest-against-police-killings-brutality-salt-lake-city-0 <p>Salt Lake City, UT - Over 100 activists gathered at the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building, Oct. 22, to protest police brutality. The protesters demanded justice for Darrien Hunt, the most recent victim murdered by officers of the Saratoga Springs Police Department, as well as all victims brutalized by police. Carrying signs that read “Comply or die is not the law” and holding photos of their loved ones murdered by the police, the crowd chanted slogans including, “From Ferguson to SLC, end police brutality,” and “Not a penny, not a dollar, we won’t pay for police to slaughter.”</p> <p>The rally, organized by Utah Against Police Brutality, had a list of three demands. The first was that District Attorney Sam Gill follows through on his promise to create an independent task force dedicated to investigating police officers involved in acts of brutality. The second demand was the police end the use of deadly force against unarmed civilians. The third demand was that the police officers who shot Darrien Hunt be charged with murder.</p> <p>“We are here because justice has not been served,” stated Christopher Manor, a member of Utah Against Police Brutality and the main organizer of the event. “I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for a police officer to get a paid vacation because he shot somebody down.”</p> <p>Another speaker was Lex Scott, the president and founder of United Front Party, a Black civil rights organization that originated in Utah and has chapters nationally. “I’m here to stand against police brutality,” said Scott. “Police are not the judge, jury, and executioners.”</p> <p>Gregory Lucero, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, talked about the origins of police brutality. He said, “What most people don’t realize is that many police departments started as slave patrols that would kidnap escaped slaves and return them to slave owners.” He continued, “This police system is not a few bad eggs. It’s systemic oppression from a system made to keep the African American and Chicano nations in chains.”</p> <p>One of the protesters, Melinda Tucker, carried a photograph of her brother Joey who was murdered by police in 2009 after his family called for help while he suffered a medical emergency related to his diabetes. Tucker attended the protest wearing a shirt that bore a list of victims murdered by police. “My shirt keeps growing with names” Tucker said, referring to the numerous people slain by SLCPD officers since her brother’s death.</p> <p>“We’re a little too comfortable in our oppression, aren’t we?” Lex Scott asked. “We’re going to stand up, and never sit down again.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/26/protest-against-police-killings-brutality-salt-lake-city-0#comments Police Brutality Utah Against Police Brutality Mon, 27 Oct 2014 02:51:34 +0000 Fight Back 4398 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Rasmea Defense Committee office opens in Detroit http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/25/rasmea-defense-committee-office-opens-detroit <p>Dearborn MI – The Rasmea Defense Committee office opened near Detroit Oct. 23. Located in the Beit Hanini Outreach Community Center, at 4045 Maple Street, the office will serve as center for mobilizing for Rasmea Odeh’s Nov. 4 trial.</p> <p>Odeh is a prominent Palestinian American leader facing jail and deportation on trumped up immigration charges.</p> <p>Jess Sundin, of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression is a Minneapolis anti-war activist who is in Detroit to organize support for Rasmea Odeh. “We are doing a huge amount of outreach locally and nationally to make sure the courtroom is filled with supporters of Rasmea each and every day of the trial,” said Sundin.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/25/rasmea-defense-committee-office-opens-detroit#comments Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:55:04 +0000 Fight Back 4396 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Rasmea Defense Committee office opens in Detroit http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/25/rasmea-defense-committee-office-opens-detroit <p>Dearborn MI – The Rasmea Defense Committee office opened near Detroit Oct. 23. Located in the Beit Hanini Outreach Community Center, at 4045 Maple Street, the office will serve as center for mobilizing for Rasmea Odeh’s Nov. 4 trial.</p> <p>Odeh is a prominent Palestinian American leader facing jail and deportation on trumped up immigration charges.</p> <p>Jess Sundin, of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression is a Minneapolis anti-war activist who is in Detroit to organize support for Rasmea Odeh. “We are doing a huge amount of outreach locally and nationally to make sure the courtroom is filled with supporters of Rasmea each and every day of the trial,” said Sundin.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/25/rasmea-defense-committee-office-opens-detroit#comments Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:55:04 +0000 Fight Back 4396 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Protest, die-in targets Tallahassee Police Department tasing http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/25/protest-die-targets-tallahassee-police-department-tasing <p>Tallahassee, FL - Dozens of African American students joined with community members to protest and then conduct a die-in at the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) on Oct. 22. Protesters held signs reading “Black lives matter,” and “Justice,” while chanting against police brutality.&nbsp;</p> <p>Angelique Fullwood, with the Tallahassee Dream Defenders led the rally with, "We are ready for change, Police Chief DeLeo. We don't care about your press conferences. We care about the lives of Black people in this country and in this city that are subject to police violence daily.”</p> <p>Protesters want Police Chief Michael DeLeo to arrest TPD Officer Terry Mahan. Mahan is the corrupt police officer that tasered 61-year-old African American woman Viola Young in the back earlier this month. Tallahassee Dream Defenders rallied two weeks earlier, demanding State Attorney Willie Meggs' file charges against Mahan. Meggs' office dropped charges against Viola Young the next day. Meggs even called the tasing of Young "unnecessary." Now the matter is in the hands of Police Chief DeLeo. DeLeo came out to see the protest, but refused to discuss the case, claiming the case is under investigation.</p> <p>"It's like the police have another special privilege in how they are protected even if they break the law," said Delance Burnsides, a Florida State University Dream Defender. "That's why we came here to the belly of the beast. To demand Chief DeLeo and the police address the people's concerns."&nbsp;</p> <p>Protesters read off the names of those killed by law enforcement as they staged a die-in in front of Police Chief DeLeo and other police officers.&nbsp;Many cities held rallies against police brutality on Oct. 22.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/25/protest-die-targets-tallahassee-police-department-tasing#comments Police Brutality Tallahassee Dream Defenders Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:43:59 +0000 Fight Back 4395 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Protest, die-in targets Tallahassee Police Department tasing http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/25/protest-die-targets-tallahassee-police-department-tasing <p>Tallahassee, FL - Dozens of African American students joined with community members to protest and then conduct a die-in at the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) on Oct. 22. Protesters held signs reading “Black lives matter,” and “Justice,” while chanting against police brutality.&nbsp;</p> <p>Angelique Fullwood, with the Tallahassee Dream Defenders led the rally with, "We are ready for change, Police Chief DeLeo. We don't care about your press conferences. We care about the lives of Black people in this country and in this city that are subject to police violence daily.”</p> <p>Protesters want Police Chief Michael DeLeo to arrest TPD Officer Terry Mahan. Mahan is the corrupt police officer that tasered 61-year-old African American woman Viola Young in the back earlier this month. Tallahassee Dream Defenders rallied two weeks earlier, demanding State Attorney Willie Meggs' file charges against Mahan. Meggs' office dropped charges against Viola Young the next day. Meggs even called the tasing of Young "unnecessary." Now the matter is in the hands of Police Chief DeLeo. DeLeo came out to see the protest, but refused to discuss the case, claiming the case is under investigation.</p> <p>"It's like the police have another special privilege in how they are protected even if they break the law," said Delance Burnsides, a Florida State University Dream Defender. "That's why we came here to the belly of the beast. To demand Chief DeLeo and the police address the people's concerns."&nbsp;</p> <p>Protesters read off the names of those killed by law enforcement as they staged a die-in in front of Police Chief DeLeo and other police officers.&nbsp;Many cities held rallies against police brutality on Oct. 22.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/25/protest-die-targets-tallahassee-police-department-tasing#comments Police Brutality Tallahassee Dream Defenders Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:43:59 +0000 Fight Back 4395 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Frank Chapman speaks out against police terror http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/23/frank-chapman-speaks-out-against-police-terror <p>The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression held a public forum on the campaign for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) on Oct. 16 at Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s South Side. Over 50 activists attended this meeting, including families of victims of police crimes, prominent attorney Stan Willis, and labor and community activists.</p> <p>Frank Chapman, who has a long history of labor organizing, is a now a field organizer for the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. He is the former Executive Director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and lead many of the Alliance’s campaigns in the 70’s and 80’s.</p> <p>The following is the text of Chapman’s Oct. 16 speech:</p> <p>The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression has launched a campaign for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) and I submit that this CPAC campaign is in reality the equivalent of an anti-lynch campaign. We say this because the police and vigilantes are operating under the color of state laws to do the same thing that lynch mobs did and often with the same racist fervor. In point of fact when George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin he (Zimmerman) was supported by a white racist mob organized by right wing extremists that raised nearly a million dollars for his defense fund. The same thing happened with the white cop, Daren Wilson, who killed Michael Brown. Immediately the organized, ultra-right wing extremists organized a defense fund and raised $400,000 for Wilson.</p> <p>In the period Jan. 1, 2009 to June 30, 2014 there have been 86 people killed by Chicago police officers acting under the color of law. They - the people killed - were among the more than 294 people shot by police officers. African Americans were 78.1% of the shooting victims and Latinos were 13.2%, while 7.1% were white.</p> <p>Police crimes of murder and torture have been made acceptable police practices in spite of the public outrage against them. The politicians and the fraternal order of police justify these lynch like tactics by criminalizing the entire African and Latino communities. All people of color are suspects.</p> <p>If we are to avoid morphing into a fascist state then we must stop this present state of siege in our communities by fighting for community control of the police. Police repression is an integral part of racial oppression and that is why people of color can’t just call for the police to police the police or for federal intervention. The best intervention is the democratic intervention of the masses and that is why we must fight for a Civilian Police Accountability Council that will be elected by the residents of any given police district. This elected body would not be a police review board but a police control board.</p> <p>Since the events of Sept. 11, 2001 the U.S. criminal justice system has become a massive machine for arrest, detention and mass incarceration. ‘National security’ and the fight against ‘terrorism’ was the reasons given by the Bush administration for empowering the criminal justice system to arrest non-citizens and circumvent the court system and the right to due process provided by the U.S. Constitution. History has already demonstrated that these assaults on our civil liberties have been primarily the burden of immigrant communities and people of color. In Chicago we have over 100 documented cases of torture by the Chicago Police Department. The victims are 99% African American and Latino and none of them were accused of terrorism. Of the more than two million people in jails and prisons a large percentage is people of color (mostly African American) and they are charged with the non-violent crime of drug dealing. Of course this takes place in communities hard hit by the current economic crisis and the government’s austerity budget cuts.</p> <p>Let us now take a deeper look into solutions.</p> <p>While the city, state and government must be held accountable for not addressing the underlying causes of violence in Chicago, Reverend Jesse Jackson and the Mayor Rahm Emanuel cannot hold them accountable. There is a Stop The Violence Movement that mainly focuses on gangbanging violence and the need for policing. This movement ignores racial oppression and at best sees the police as a necessary evil so they end up calling for more police. Reverend Jackson (who is walking the tightrope on this issue) is calling for a reconstruction plan for Chicago and Mayor Emanuel (who is clearly for more police) is calling for the creation of a partnership for peace. Reverend Jesse Jackson is calling for government action, chiding President Obama to ask Congress for $2 or 3 billion for economic and social reconstruction in the blighted areas of Chicago. The mayor is saying that as a community we need to demand more of ourselves and give our youth alternatives to street life.</p> <p>This is rhetoric coming from a mayor whose policies of budget cuts have left the poor and the working class people even more desperate. Closing 50 schools and repeatedly enforcing mass austerity doesn’t address the problem but compounds it. Consequently, the suffering masses know that this is just talk. But since there is really no organized social protest movement demanding that he push youth programs that provide alternatives to the streets he can always fall short of a program of action and blame the victims.</p> <p>We get a different kind of rhetoric from Reverend Jackson. He actually speaks of our communities as zones of disaster characterized by massive unemployment, foreclosure on houses vacant lots and fewer schools and he calls upon the president to lead the charge in attacking these problems.</p> <p>What’s wrong with both of these approaches in my opinion is that neither one is about organizing the people to protest and demand the changes that will give our youth alternatives to the streets through education, recreation and jobs. We are asking the government to do something as opposed to protesting and demanding that they do something. Power concedes nothing without a struggle.</p> <p>The violence in Chicago is appalling. But we also know that it is largely a consequence of the drug war which is a smoke screen for mass incarceration and police crimes. The violence takes place in the absence of justice in our communities. We believe it can be ended by a movement for justice which demands democratic community control of the police. Community control of the police will give the people the much needed organizing space to fight for social-economic justice and the abolition of institutionalized racism. The violence cannot be ended by more police or a ‘partnership for peace’ that ignores the need for justice.</p> <p>This brings me to the position that our organization takes on the question of violence. First of all, let us talk about the different kinds of violence. What makes news in Chicago and gets everybody on the platform is the violence perpetrated by gangbangers. Each time someone is killed by a gangbanger the tocsin is sounded for war but not so when the purveyor of violence is the police or the criminal justice system.</p> <p>Gang violence and police violence take place in the larger context of the violence of poverty and institutionalized oppression. Cutting food stamps for children is violent. Forced closing of 50 schools did violence to thousands of children. Evictions are sometimes violent but they are nearly always carried out by the threat of violence. Without a shot being fired our communities look like they’ve been shell bombed. Without a shot being fired our infant mortality rate is up and trauma centers are being closed. These problems of violence are the direct result of deliberate government policies that reinforce social and economic conditions that impoverish the many and enrich the few.</p> <p>The way to get rid of injustice is to organize and rally the people suffering from injustice. That is why we are presently engaged in a campaign to have the city council enact legislation that will create an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council. Such an ordinance will not only empower the people to hold the police accountable; it will also give the people a firm voice in how their communities are policed.</p> <p>Unlike the mayor and his political cohorts we firmly believe that the organized might of the masses can and should force the system to change.</p> <p>Police tyranny has cast a dark and sinister shadow over our lives for far too many years. Too many parents are burying their children, it’s time to fight back and win.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2014/10/23/frank-chapman-speaks-out-against-police-terror#comments Police Brutality Frank Chapman Political Repression In-Justice System Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:55:17 +0000 Fight Back 4394 at http://www.fightbacknews.org