Tag Archives: police

This Is War- From Cuddle Puddles and Hot Pants #5

17 Oct

<!– @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>This is an essay from the 5th issue of Cuddle Puddles and Hot Pants. If you want to get the whole zine you can mail me 2 bux to Mo Karnage P.O. Box 6025 Richmond, Va 23222

This is War

 

This is War. We exist in a state of war. I strongly suspect that stating “This Is War” is going to be taken by some as a declaration of war. It is not. This is an observation of war. This is an acknowledgment of war. Anarchists are at war. People of color are at war. The poor are at war. Women are at war. Queers are at war. Animals, the environment, differently abled folks, and the elderly are at war.

This war was declared on us. And I think it might have always been a factor, since the beginning of human history, at least for some of these groups. Capitalism is a major factor in the way that today’s situation is played out- it defines the format of the struggles/war.

Let me break it down some. War is defined as- 1- a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations or -2- a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism- a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end.

Without even stretching the definition of war it is clear that the capitalist/straight/white/rich/male powers that be are at war with the rest of us. The capitalist system, as well as the governing system in the United States of Amerikka, depend on hierarchy to exist. And hierarchy is maintained by keeping certain people down/oppressed.

Memes like the War on Terror and the War on Drugs make this situation even more explicit. The bottom line is that for centuries people have been enslaved, hurt, tortured, harassed, sexually assaulted, imprisoned, massacred, murdered, executed, assassinated, assaulted, and generally speaking really fucking oppressed. Our side is losing and it hurts.

Memes like the War on Terror and the War on Drugs are also important to understand as meaning more than simply fighting drugs and fighting terror. Because there are basically certain groups of people who are more effected by these concepts than others. The War on Drugs is basically a cover for a racist and classist war against people of color and poor people. The War on Terror is racist, colonial and Islamaphobic, as well as clearly an oppressive political tool.

Why does this matter? Might be the question running through your head. I strongly believe that we need to conceptualize this situation as war in order to understand fully the gravity of it, as well as in order to develop appropriate and effective tactics and strategies. Continue reading

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May 20th: Junior Alexander Manon

20 May

On May 5th in Toronto, Canada, an 18 year old ran from the cops. The punishment he received for running? Death.

Junior Alexander Manon was a Dominican living in Toronto.

Junior was in a car that was randomly pulled over by the police. He ran out of the car, away from the police. Police chased him down, tackled him, and beat him to death.

The police are claiming that Junior died from a random heart attack. However, aside from how rare heart attacks are for 18 year olds, the pool of blood left behind at the scene. Family members say Junior’s neck was in a brace and face showed signs of beating.

The case is being investigated by the Special Investigations Unit, which unfortunately has many ex-cops as members. The media is also presenting reports that Junior had no visible injuries.

May 17th: Mario Madrigal Jr.

17 May

On August 25, 2003 in Mesa Arizona, Mario Madrigal Jr., 15, was threatening to kill himself with a knife. His parents called the police in a panic, looking for help. They ended up watching the police shoot and kill Mario. He was not a threat to anyone but himself. However, a police squad lacking training and understanding to deal with both mental illness and the hispanic population of Mesa is turning to murder to deal with situations they fail to understand.

An internal investigation cleared the police in the shooting of any wrong doing. The family is conducting a private investigation and plan to take the officers to court.

Mental health is a huge area of concern where the police almost across the board fail to do the best thing for the patient. The ignorance of the police compounds the problems that the individual person with a mental illness already has, and can often lead to that person being in a worse situation than before the police arrived. Our communities need competent people to help folks with mental illnesses when they are in crisis. We do not need to handcuff, arrest, jail, or shoot these people. Traumatic situations should be avoided.

May 16th: Aiyana Jones

17 May

I’m really sad to add this name to the list of people killed by cops. This happened on May 16th, 2010 in Detroit. Police  were searching for a suspect, and entered a home by use of flash grenade. Aiyana Jones, a 7 year old, was asleep on the couch. When the cops entered the home one of them bumped into a Aiyana’s grandmother, and fired his gun, killing Aiyana. She was hit in the neck and pronounced dead on arrival. While the police conducted their search of the home, Aiyana’s father, Charles Jones, was forced onto the ground with his head in his daughter’s blood.

The news reports about this incident are dancing around the fact that the officer fired his gun and killed a child. They are using phrases such as “gun went off” as if guns just went off on their own. This clearly reveals media bias. Police are supposed to be trained on how to use their weapons, and their guns should not go off uncontrollably. This whole tragedy could have been avoided if the police had just entered the house in a civilized manner. Flash grenades disorient, frighten, and terrify people, which makes it understandable as to why Aiyana’s grandmother would have bumped into an officer.

There are protests in Detroit over this incident. Al Sharpton said he is going up there to join in.

Additionally- apparently the suspect the police were searching for was not even suspected of being in the apartment where Aiyana Jones lived. There were 2 apartments in the house, and so it was unnecessary for the police to raid both. Other reports have said that the raid was being filmed for a TV show, which is why the police were acting so irrationally, and intentionally trying to make a good show. I have also heard that the flash grenade they threw through the front window landed on Aiyana.

May 14th: MOVE 11

14 May

The MOVE Organization was a black liberation group whose members adopted the last name AFrica, and promoted a back-to nature lifestyle. They were based in Philadelphia. They were something of a primitivist group, who promoted the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

There were 2 instances where the Philadelphia Police confronted them- once in 1978 and once in 1985. In 1978 police came to evict the MOVE members from their communal house. During the incident, there was a shootout. One pig was killed. 7 other pigs, 5 firefighters, 3 MOVE members, and 3 bystanders were injured.

9 MOVE members were found guilty of 3rd degree murder. THEY ARE STILL IN PRISON. 7 of the 9 became eligible for parole in 2008, but have been denied. They come up for parole every year.

On May 13, 1985 the Philadelphia Police Department again tried to evict the MOVE organization from their new house, based on neighbor complaints over things like Bullhorn announcements and compost piles. When the MOVE members refused to leave the police attacked the house with tear gas, and the fire department sprayed it with water cannons. After that a burst of gunfire came from the house, which resulted in 90 minutes of return fire from the police- thousands of rounds were shot at the house. Then, the  Philadelphia Police dropped a BOMB on MOVE headquarters. The bomb set the house, and eventually an entire city block on fire.

John Africa, 5 other adults, and 5 CHILDREN died in the fire. There were only 2 surviving children.

The city was found to have overreacted, and money was paid out to a survivor and relative of someone who died. However, there does not appear to have been any culpability given to individual police involved- none of them have served jail time for the 11 murders.

May 11th: Jackson State

11 May

10 days after the Kent State Massacre in 1970, in Jackson, Mississippi there was a similar but much less publicized tragedy.  At Jackson State College on May 14/15, students had gathered to protest the US invasion of Cambodia. As the evening went on there were fires and turned over cars. Close to midnight, the police decided to disperse the crowd of Black student protesters. They approached and then for no apparent reason opened fire on the protesters- shooting 140 rounds.

Two people were murdered by the police that night- Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, 21, and James Earl Green, 17. 12 others were also injured. Continue reading

Mayor’s response to May Day Petition

29 Apr

After signing the petition I got a form response back from someone in the Mayor’s office:

Mayor Jones is in receipt of your concern regarding the Richmond May Day Parade.  The Mayor has asked that I respond regarding your concerns.  The Richmond Police Department advises that a permit has been issued allowing the parade to proceed on sidewalks, grass, and other public property (absent in the roadways) at no cost.

For safety reasons, a parade which requires that streets be closed also requires that officers be deployed.  Our policy requires that the cost of officers (two are needed for this event) must be borne by the parade organizers. The organizers of the event have indicated they do not want to pay for the officers; therefore we are unable to close the streets. We must be concerned first and foremost for the safety of everyone.

Thank you.

Cheryl Ivey Green

Assistant to the Mayor

City of Richmond

900 E. Broad Street

Richmond, VA  23219

Mayor’s Office

804-646-7970

cheryl.green@richmondgov.com

Building a Better Richmond

So I replied back- to inform her of some of the other relevant details in this issue:

Would you please inform Mayor Jones that there is not mention in the relevant city ordinance that parades in the street require purchase of officers. And also that there have been multiple assemblies in the streets in Richmond in the past years, including the Virginia People’s Assembly this January which had permits for a street march but were NOT required or even asked to pay for police presence.

I strongly believe that the decision on the part of the Richmond Police to ask for money in this instance is a deliberate one meant to silence the free speech of the worker’s movement in Richmond.

Mo Karn