On December 4, 1969, Fred Hampton was murdered while he was sleeping in his bed. He was shot in the arm, shoulder, and twice through the head. He was just 21 years old. Mark Clark was also killed that morning. Right after the shootings, State’s Attorney Hanrahan called a press conference where he announced that the Black Panthers had organized a “vicious, unprovoked attack” on the police who had appeared at an apartment at 4:45 that morning to supposedly search for illegal weapons. Seven survivors of the targeted murder, including Hampton’s fiance Deborah Johnson who was 8 months pregnant, were arrested and charged with attempted murder. After 13 years of litigation, Flint Taylor, Jeffrey Haas, and other lawyers at the People’s Law Office were able to prove that the shootings were actually assassinations organized by the F.B.I. as part of its Cointelpro program.
The following excerpts, collected by Henry Hampton and Steve Fayer for the Eyes on the Prize documentary series, feature Deborah Johnson recounting the shootings that killed Fred Hampton.
“The first thing that I remember after Fred and I had went to sleep was being awakened by somebody shaking Fred while we were laying in bed. Saying, “Chairman, Chairman, wake up! The pigs are vamping. The pigs are vamping.” About the same time, I looked up and I saw what appeared to be flashes of light going across the entranceway to the back bedroom. It looked like a million flashes of light, because the apartment was pretty much dark. I rolled over to Fred — he sill hadn’t moved at this point, as I recall — and then slid down to Fred’s right side, so that put me closest to the wall in the bedroom […]
Someone else was in the room with me and kept yelling out, “Stop shooting, stop shooting, we have a pregnant sister in here.” Eventually the shooting stopped and they said we could come out. I remember crossing over Fred and telling myself over and over. Be real careful. Don’t stumble, they’ll try to shoot you. Just be real calm. Watch how you walk. Keep your hands up. Don’t reach for anything. Don’t even try to close your robe.
I’m walking out of the bedroom, there are two lines of policemen that I have to walk through on my right and my left. I remember focusing on their badge numbers and their faces. Saying them over and over in my head, so I wouldn’t forget. As I walked through these two lines of policemen, on of them grabbed my robe and opened it and said, “Well, what do you know, we have a broad here.” Another policeman grabbed me by the hair and pretty much just shoved me — I had more hair then — into the kitchen area. It was very cold that might. I guess that it snowed. The back door was open. Some people were on the floor in the kitchen.
I heard a voice come from the dining room area. Someone said, “He’s barely alive. He’ll barely make it.” The shooting, I heard some shooting start again.”
Is $25k/yr too much for #WalmartStrikers to ask for? Santa didn’t think so…then he got arrested.
Six students were arrested Tuesday evening in an unprovoked police attack against a peaceful protest lead by City University of New York (CUNY) students and faculty decrying the University’s appointment of former CIA chief and ex-General, David Petraeus as an adjunct professor to the Honors College. Students were punched, pushed against parked vehicles and thrown to the pavement by police captains and officers after the NYPD forced them off the sidewalk and into the street. Tuesday’s demonstration was called for by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY.
“As students were chanting ‘War Criminal Petraeus Out of CUNY Now,’ I was shocked to see several police officers grab and brutalize one of the demonstrators,” said City College student Yexenia Vanegas. “This was completely unprovoked, as demonstrators made [it] clear that they were there to defend our university in a peaceful protest.”The arrested students were arraigned Wednesday evening, September 18, at the Manhattan Criminal Court located at 100 Centre Street. The courtroom was flooded with supporters ranging from activists, to fellow students, to CUNY faculty outraged at the NYPD’s response to their student’s attempts to peaceably assemble.
The attack occurred in front of CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, where Petraeus has been appointed to teach a class on public policy. “Protestors were marching in a circle on the sidewalk and chanting, but the police forced them into the street and then charged. One of the most brutal things I saw was that five police officers slammed a Queens College student face down to the pavement across the street from Macaulay, put their knees on his back and he was then repeatedly kneed in the back,” said Hunter student Michael Brian. “The student was one of those pointed out by ‘white shirt’ officers, then seized and brutalized. A Latina student was heaved through the air and slammed to the ground.”
(the following video depicts the NYPD confrontation beginning at 1:56)
A broad range of CUNY students, faculty and staff members, have been carrying out a campaign of “protest and exposure” against the Board of Trustees’ appointment of Petraeus, whose documented actions as Iraq/Afghanistan war commander and CIA chief include drone strikes on civilians, the use of “enhanced interrogation” centers and the use of white phosphorus weapons in Fallujah, despite international restrictions on their use.
CUNY organizers state that this “blatant use of police brutality against peaceful protestors will not intimidate or deter those who expose the truth about the actions of David ‘Death Squad’ Petraeus and oppose attempts to turn the City University into ‘a war college.’”
these students need our support and we can give it by simply BOOSTING This Post. Support The CUNY 6 !!!
US spending on intelligence has doubled since 9/11, with the National Security Agency and the CIA taking the biggest share, according to the top secret budget leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Details of the $52.6bn request for 2013 by America’s 16 spy agencies were revealed by the Washington Post on Thursday.
The budget shows the US targeting predictable rivals such as Russia and China but also countries regarded as allies, such as Israel. 1 in 25 federal employees is indicated to work in intelligence.
Pakistan, a long-time though troublesome ally, is described as “an intractable target”, while counter-intelligence operations are focused against “priority targets of China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel”.
Huge gaps in knowledge about Iran, China and Russia are acknowledged, with North Korea identified as the most difficult to penetrate, mainly because of its relative lack of internet and other modern communications.
The intelligence agencies, according to the budget, aim to “maintain and support existing collection and exploitation capabilities, infrastructure, and operations” for internet and phone communications. Targeted communications include “fax, telex, modem, email, webmail, instant messaging, VoIP, Virtual Private Network (VPN), mobile and land-line voice, and video teleconferencing.”
The document also reveals an apparent shortage of staff who are proficient in languages spoken in the regions that are the focus of much of the intelligence communities’ work.
While there are almost 3,000 Spanish speakers – unsurprising, perhaps given the large Hispanic population in the US – there are just over 1,100 Arabic speakers, and tiny numbers of Pashto and Urdu speakers. There are 900 Chinese speakers, according to the document."
Florida won’t investigate Ibragim Todashev shooting
Chechen was killed by FBI agent while being interviewed about ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing accused
State investigators in Florida have rejected a request for an independent investigation of the fatal shooting of a Chechen man while he was being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Florida’s department of law enforcement declined the request by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida to look into the death of Ibragim Todashev.
Todashev was killed in May while being questioned by FBI agents and others. Officials originally said Todashev lunged at an FBI agent with a knife. They later said it was no longer clear what happened.
Tuesday’s letter said it would be inappropriate for the Florida agency to intervene.
ACLU of Florida director Howard Simon said he found the response extremely disappointing. “Secrecy fosters suspicion and the people of Florida deserve better than to be left without an explanation from their government about what led to a person being shot to death,” Simon said in a news release.
"This means it is more likely that the family of Ibragim Todashev will have to file a lawsuit in order to get answers about how their son died."
Dzokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged over the Boston Marathon bombings of 15 April in which three people died and more than 260 were injured. He was captured by police four days later after a gunfight and chase in which the other suspect, his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed.
The FBI had been questioning Todashev about links to Tamerlan Tsarnaev and their possible involvement in a triple murder in the Waltham area west of Boston when he was killed by an agent. Authorities have said the agent retaliated after being attacked by Todashev who had just confessed to the murders – though the details given by officials have varied.(Source)
The Shot Glass Heard Around The World
In 1969, the Stonewall riots — precipitated when the NYPD burst into the famed gay bar and started being their usually abusive selves — defined the modern gay movement.
Among the first to physically resist the police was Marsha P. Johnson, the now infamous transgender rights activist who co-founded S.T.A.R. (Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the ’70s.
At 1:20 in the morning on Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes police officers entered Stonewall Inn and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!"
Officers forced the customers to form into two lines divided by perceived gender and show them their genitals to confirm if it matched the gender on their identification card.
At some point during the raid, Marsha Johnson proclaimed, ‘I got my civil rights!’ and then threw a shot glass into a mirror, adding on to the tension and creating an atmosphere of resistance. Some witnesses and historians believe her action is what instigated the riot.
Patrons began to refuse to produce their I.D. and police decided to arrest everyone still at the bar. Those who were not arrested gathered outside the bar and quickly drew a crowd of over 1,000 queers. As rumors spread through the crowd that those inside were being beaten by cops, they began throwing pennies, beer bottles and other items at police.
A drag queen who was shoved by an officer in front of the crowd responded by hitting him on the head with her purse as the crowd began to boo.
Soon after, an unidentified lesbian was hit on the head with a billy club after complaining that her handcuffs were too tight. She faced the bystanders and shouted, “Why don’t you guys do something?”
Police threw her into the back of a patrol wagons, at that point the crowd became a mob and collectively resisted the police.
Along with Sylvia Rivera, the two transgender revolutionaries created S.T.A.R. and STAR House in which they housed, fed and clothed homeless drag queens and trans* youth by hustling in the streets of NYC so that their children didn’t have to.
Marsha P. Johnson is often credited for inciting the Stonewall Riots, yet she receives close to no recognition by mainstream Gay Organizations and the queer community. I have no doubt that the erasure of Marsha’s participation in the riots and the Gay Liberation Movement is due to her being a black, transgender radical. Had she’d been a white gay cis-male, her name would be permanently embedded in every queer’s mind.
I know Marsha as a courageous queer revolutionary, a queen of Queens, a Stonewall Veteran, a dedicated activist, a mother of S.T.A.R. and a personal idol. She deserves more than anyone I know, to be recognized by the queer community.
In July 6, 1992, Johnson’s body was found floating in the Hudson River off the West Village Piers shortly after the 1992 Pride March. Friends of Johnson claims she was harassed near the spot where her body was found. The police disregarded this and ruled her death a suicide without any evidence. However, in November 2012, the NYPD re-opened the case.
Click here to watch “Pay It No Mind”, a documentary on Marsha P. Johnson.
There is a commonly held assumption that the police are a necessary presence in a civilised society, one that ensures the preservation of social order. And yet this assumption is deeply ideological, blurring the distinction between the act of policing with the existence of an institutional police force. Polite Ire queries the supposed necessity of the police, asking how they gain their legitimacy and whether this is deserved.
This article will also consider how such legitimacy fluctuates according to the political, social, and economic context, both by looking at historical examples of police (de)politicisation (within the UK), and upon the situation under the coalition government and austerity measures. The majority of information regarding police history and theory, and the accompanying statistics, is taken from The Politics of the Police by Robert Reiner.
While anthropologists have found policing to be a common feature of all societies, studies have shown that the founding of a police force only occurs in conjunction with the development of class and monetary systems (Reiner, 3-7). The establishment of an institutional police service is thus a manifestation of an ascending dominant class securing their interests against those inhabiting a society’s lower strata. What Adam Smith says of ‘laws and government’ is thus equally true of the police force:
“Laws and government may be considered in this and indeed in every case as a combination of the rich to oppress the poor, and preserve to themselves the inequality of the goods which would otherwise be soon destroyed by the attacks of the poor, who if not hindered by the government would soon reduce the others to an equality with themselves by open violence.”
This political role of the police was well recognised by the working classes of the UK, with their formation met with much hostility. Indeed much of what is quintessential to the ‘British bobby’ was in fact carefully constructed in an attempt to depoliticise the service – thus the British police were set up as unarmed, low key and legalistic, authorised only to use minimal force and to stand accountable under the same laws as the general public. Despite this, the deaths of the first two police officers killed on duty were ruled ‘justifiable homicide’ by juries.
— a career U.S. intelligence officer on the U.S. government, in a Washington Post exclusive on how the NSA and FBI is tapping into the central servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. (via washingtonpoststyle)
In a move that makes clear the direction that our country is increasingly heading towards, the Department of Defense has published an update to a US code that outlines military power during civil unrest.
[It’s a PDF, by the way || Here in HTM text]
SUMMARY: This rule implements DoD regulations and legislation concerning restriction on direct participation by DoD personnel. It provides specific policy direction and assigns responsibilities with respect to DoD support provided to Federal, State, and local civilian law enforcement agencies, including responses to civil disturbances.
The legal authority for this rule is 10 U.S.C. 375 (wherein the Secretary of Defense “shall not” permit the military from engaging in domestic affairs unless “otherwise authorized” by law. Effective May 13th, 2013, the State Department of the United States of America announces its policy to prepare for “civil disturbances” in fear of the consequences of these events. What is a civil disturbance?
“Prejudicial to public law and order”
Wow that’s not that vague. So for further clarification the DoD offers this:
(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders.
This is law now - this was published on the federal register. I’m still sifting around myself but the changes herein to Title 32 (National Defense) are pretty substantial; the U.S. military has officially been sanction for domestic police work.
This is what US backed imperialism in the Middle East looks like!
ISRAEL. WEST BANK: East Jerusalem, Hebron and Gaza.
Feb. 17, 1997. Arrest of a seven year old Palestinian boy accused of breaking a settler’s car mirror.
© Larry Towell
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