Civil Rights

‘If You’re Not Terrified about Facebook, You Haven’t Been Paying Attention’

July 28, 2020 by Source

By Carole Cadwalladr / The Guardian / July 26, 2020

In 2016, we didn’t know. We were innocent. We still believed social media connected us and that connections were good. That technology equaled progress. And progress equaled better.

Four years on, we know too much. And yet, it turns out, we understand nothing. We know social media is a bin fire and that the world is burning. But it’s like the pandemic. We understand in outline how bad things could get. But we remain hopelessly human. Relentlessly optimistic. Of course, we believe there’ll be a vaccine. Because there has to be, doesn’t there?

In Facebook’s case, the worst has already happened. We’ve just failed to acknowledge it. Failed to reckon with it. And there’s no vaccine coming to the rescue. In 2016 everything changed. As for 2020… well, we will see.

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Trump Threatens to Send Federal Law Enforcement to More (Democratic) Cities in Election Ploy

July 21, 2020 by Source

By David Smith / The Guardian / July 21, 2020

Donald Trump has vowed to send federal officers to several American cities led by Democrats in what critics say is an attempt to play the “law and order” card to boost his bid for re-election.

The president’s threat came after a federal crackdown on anti-racism protests in Portland, Oregon, that involved unmarked cars and unidentified forces in camouflage.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday, Trump identified New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland as places in need of federal agents, describing those cities’ mayors as “liberal Democrats”.

“We’re sending law enforcement,” he said. “We can’t let this happen to the cities.”

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Federal Agents Using Gestapo Tactics in Pulling Americans Off the Streets in Portland, Oregon

July 17, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Federal officers from the U.S. Marshals Service and Department of Homeland Security have stormed Portland’s streets as part of President Trump’s promised strong response to ongoing protests. These officers drive around in unmarked vehicles, storm out in camouflage uniforms, with no name-tags and a generic “police” patch, grab American citizens right off the streets, cover their heads without explanation – clearly gestapo tactics.

It’s becoming so out of control in Portland that local political leaders have called for the federal agents to leave town. Those calls intensified since agents severely wounded a peaceful protester on Saturday, July 11.

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General Strike in Support of Black Lives Matter Planned for Monday, July 20

July 17, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

A nationwide general strike has been called by a raft of labor unions and racial and social justice groups in support of Black Lives Matter for this upcoming Monday, July 20. Called “Strike for Black Lives”, it’s expected that tens of thousands of working people in 25 cities will walk off their jobs as part of a nationwide walkout to confront systemic racism in America.

Fast-food, nursing home, rideshare and other workers will go on strike Monday and will be joined by thousands more who will walk off their jobs for eight minutes, 46 seconds to remember George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and other Black people killed by police.

The protests represent actions to demand corporations and governments do something to confront what’s called the “triple threat of white supremacy, public health emergency, and broken economy.” Some of the sponsoring organization include:

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800 Hate Incidents Against Asian Americans in California During Pandemic

July 8, 2020 by Source

by Chris Jennewein / Times of San Diego / July 5, 2020

Asian Americans in California have reported 832 incidents of discrimination and harassment in the last three months as the coronavirus stoked racial tension, according to a summary by the coalition Stop AAPI Hate (Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate).

The incidents listed in the study released last week were self-reported and included 81 assaults and 64 potential civil rights violations.

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Genocide in California’s History

July 6, 2020 by Source

Junipero Serra1Originally published on August 15, 2008

by gjohnsit / DailyKos / August 14, 2008

What do you think of when someone says “California”? Beaches? Sunshine? Hollywood?

How about the largest act of genocide in American history?

“The idea, strange as it may appear, never occurred to them (the Indians) that they were suffering for the great cause of civilization, which, in the natural course of things, must exterminate Indians.”
– Special Agent J. Ross Browne, Indian Affairs

California was one of the last areas of the New World to be colonized. It wasn’t until 1769 that the first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, was built.

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San Diego Black Panther on Current Black Lives Matter Protests

July 1, 2020 by Source

By Beth Accomando / KPBS / June 30, 2020

San Diego Black Panther Party chairman Henry Lee Wallace V looks to the 1960s to provide context for today’s protests.

If you grew up in the 1960s like I did, then the image of young Black men in black leather jackets and berets, and carrying guns and chanting “Power to the People” was a powerful image that you don’t forget. It was also an image that scared a lot of mainstream white America and immediately got the attention of those in power who wanted to maintain the status quo.

But what was even scarier to someone like the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover was the way the Black Panther Party focused on providing free meals to kids and education that could help people in the Black community become self-reliant.

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Kumeyaay Tribe Blocks Border Blasting in Burial Grounds

July 1, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

On Monday, June 29, members and supporters of the Kumeyaay Nation in Campo blocked construction of the border wall by standing in front of an area where pre-construction blasting was scheduled to take place.

Community members sang and chanted peacefully to express their concerns about explosives planned to be used to blast away portions of the old border fence.

Construction contractors working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were scheduled to begin Monday, blasting the old portions of the border fence to clear the way for the construction of new sections of the border wall, a project championed by the Trump administration. The planned construction area is located along the U.S.-Mexico border in far east San Diego County, about 75 miles from the city of San Diego.

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Surfing Confronts Its Racist Past

June 22, 2020 by Source

“Behind the aloha vibe was the other vibe — a locals-only, whites-only vibe,” said Sharon Schaffer, the first African American female pro in the U.S.

By Dennis Romero / NBCNews / June 21, 2020

One day 40 years ago, actor and stuntwoman Sharon Schaffer returned to her SUV after riding the waves at Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, California, to find a racial epithet written in dirt on its windows.

In surfing, “there was always the good, aloha vibe,” she said recently, “but behind the aloha vibe was the other vibe – a locals-only, whites-only vibe.” “I shrugged it off,” said Schaffer, of Los Angeles and celebrated as U.S. surfing’s first African American female professional. “But I don’t think I would shrug that off so easily today.”

U.S. surfing, still viewed as largely white and advantaged, may be undergoing a new awakening

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Massive Uprisings Confront White Supremacy

June 22, 2020 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / Jurist / June 19, 2020

That’s not a chip on my shoulder.
That’s your foot on my neck.
– Malcolm X

On May 25, a Minneapolis police officer tortured George Floyd to death in what his brother, Philonise Floyd, called “a modern-day lynching in broad daylight.” Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in all 50 states and Washington D.C.; the anti-racist uprisings continue.

Why do a majority of people in this country now support the Movement for Black Lives? Why have calls to defund and abolish the police entered the mainstream discourse? Why are people risking the deadly coronavirus to join the protests? And why are we seeing what may be the broadest popular movement in the history of the United States?

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Summer Chronicles 2020 #1: Hope Is in the Streets

June 22, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Hope is in the streets. In the midst of a pandemic that brought an economic collapse during which a series of police murders inspired an international wave of protests, a new era is being imagined, one that would rise out of the ashes of a dying, corrupt order. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Yes, the ugliness is still very much with us in all its myriad forms, but amidst the teargas, rubber bullets, fascist tweets, and posturing, the young are demanding the impossible. What is wonderful about this is the fact that they don’t care what those who “know better” are telling them. They don’t care about what’s realistic or likely to move the needle in the November election. And they certainly don’t care whether you approve of their rhetoric and demands.

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Happy Juneteenth! – An American Holiday to Celebrate the End of Slavery

June 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Today June 19 is Juneteenth – so happy Juneteenth – it is an American holiday – or should be.

Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day – Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the liberation of African Americans who had been held as slaves in the United States.

Originating in Texas, it is now celebrated annually on the 19th of June in every state, except three (Hawaii, North Dakota and South Dakota) with varying degrees, however, of recognition. Only Texas, Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania are states that recognize it as an official paid holiday for state employees.

Juneteenth (a combo of the words June and nineteenth) commemorates Union army general Gordon Granger announcing federal orders in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, proclaiming that all people held as slaves in Texas were free. President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation which had officially outlawed slavery in the south nearly two and a half years earlier, but for whatever reason, slaveowners in Texas had trouble notifying their former slaves they were now free. So, it wasn’t until the Union army arrived did the enactment become known.

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If You Don’t Believe that Police Need Reforms, Watch This Video

June 15, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

If you’re one of those who don’t believe there needs to be wholesale reforms of the police (as there’s just a few bad apples) you need to watch this video. Warning: it ain’t pretty – and it’s from August 2019 in New Mexico.

The video shows a squad of police officers fully armed approach a homeless man sleeping at a bus stop. They received a call about him. They put on their full combat gear and at least 4 officers approach the man, with rifles leveled at him. They demand that he raise his hands, which he does, and they demand that he lays flat on his stomach. He refuses.

It’s a very disturbing video – prepare yourself.

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Know The Signs: How to Tell if Your Grandparent Has Become an Antifa Agent

June 15, 2020 by Source

By Alexandra Petri / WaPo / June 10, 2020

Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
President Trump on Twitter

For your birthday, she knits you an unwanted scarf. To be used as a balaclava?

She belongs to a decentralized group with no leadership structure that claims to be discussing a “book,” but no one ever reads the book and all they seem to do is drink wine.

Is always talking on the phone with an “aunt” you have never actually met in person. Aunt TIFA???? Always walking into rooms and claiming

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Tierrasanta Tipping Point?

June 9, 2020 by Source

Tierrasanta Tipping Point?

By Nat Krieger

“People feel like they don’t have anything to lose. We might die anyway from the virus, so we may as well go all out for justice now.”

Trey is one of about 30 neighborhood folks who have gathered on a traffic island in Tierrasanta in the twilight hours of June 4 to show their support for Black Lives Matter and police reform. An African American about to graduate from Serra High, Trey’s articulation of the ancient wisdom recognizing that confrontations with death can lead to clarity about what counts in life is testament to the reality young people of color are facing as they come of age in this nation.

Trey’s three friends on the island, Mariana, Ezekiel, and Junior all graduated from Serra (just half a block away) last year.

The times have made these young San Diegans grow up fast.

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Police as Community – a Challenge for Us All

June 8, 2020 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Antonin Scalia, the late Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, was fond of reminding people that he and other American children of immigrants were not responsible for slavery. His folks had emigrated from Italy, he said; they had nothing to do with the subjugation of Black people in America.

This was not the only point on which the revered Justice was grossly ignorant, despite his celebrated intellect, but it was a point he shared with many of us white Americans.

For nearly 400 years, with very little interruption, we white people have taken refuge in this and other morally bankrupt justifications for how things have turned out for yesterday’s and today’s Black Americans. And even today, most white Americans allow Black youth and their supporters to march without our visible presence behind them, allowing them to bear the full brunt of rage by police departments desperate to remain as they are, militarized and polarized into an “us-versus-them” idea of their role in our communities.

Police argue they are doing all they can.

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A Voice from the Frontlines of the George Floyd Protests – Interview with Khalid (Paul) Alexander of Pillars of the Community

June 8, 2020 by Jim Miller

Alexander Is the Founder and President of Pillars of the Community

By Jim Miller

As the activism and protests in response to the murder of George Floyd intensified both nationally and locally last week, I thought I would check in with my City College colleague and community activist Khalid (Paul) Alexander, whose work with Pillars of the Community (insert link: puts him in the heart of the struggle to break down institutional racism in the criminal justice system and elsewhere in San Diego on a daily basis. Here he speaks to the work of his organization and the deep inequities Pillars of the Community is struggling to address.

Question: Tell me about Pillars of the Community? What kind of organization is it? What inspired you to found it? What kind of work do you do in the community?

Answer: Pillars of the Community is an organization dedicated to advocating for people who are negatively targeted by law enforcement. We do this advocacy through community building and policy work.

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Polls: Most Americans Support George Floyd Protests and See Racism as Large Problem

June 5, 2020 by Source

By Giovanni Russonello / New York Times / June 5, 2020

Beyond the scenes of protest and resistance playing out in cities across the country, a movement of a different sort has taken hold.

The American public’s views on the pervasiveness of racism have taken a hard leftward turn over the past few years. Never before in the history of modern polling have Americans expressed such widespread agreement that racial discrimination plays a role in policing — and in society at large.

Driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, this shift has primed the country for a new groundswell — one that has quickly earned the sympathy of most Americans, polling shows. As a result, in less than two weeks, it has already forced local governments and national politicians to make tangible policy commitments.

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Veterans and G.I. Rights Groups Condemn Use of National Guard in George Floyd Protests as Some G.I’s Refuse to Go

June 5, 2020 by Source

The people who do G.I. hot-line counseling across the country, veterans’ groups and G.I. rights organizations are condemning the use of the National Guard in the George Floyd protests occurring nationwide. Meanwhile, some G.I.s are telling these counselors they will refuse to comply with orders directing them to go to the cities where protests are happening.

Here is the statement by the the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild:

Statement opposing use of National Guard against anti-racist protests

The Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild strongly condemns the use of National Guard and active duty troops to police anti-racist protesters. ,

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Ocean Beach Paddle Out for Peace and Unity in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter – Sunday, June 7

June 5, 2020 by Staff

On Sunday, June 7, there is a paddle out in Ocean Beach for Peace and Unity in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. It’s at 9 am at the OB Pier near the front of the Lifeguard Station.

It’s being hosted by a group called We Be OB and here is what their facebook says:

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Thousands March From Downtown to North Park in Latest George Floyd Protest

June 4, 2020 by Staff

Check out these photos, taken around 7:15 pm tonight in North Park. Thousands marched from downtown near the SDPD station up to North Park and along University Avenue.

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After Protests, County Sheriffs and Most San Diego Law Enforcement Now Ban the Carotid Restraint

June 4, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

After six days of protest in San Diego and a week and half across the nation, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and many local law enforcement agencies up and down San Diego County announced Wednesday they would immediately ban the use of the carotid restraint. Two days earlier the San Diego Police Department stated its officers would no longer use the chokehold or neck hold.
Those agencies are:

  • Carlsbad Police Department
  • Chula Vista Police Department
  • Coronado Police Department
  • El Cajon Police Department
  • Escondido Police Department
  • La Mesa Police Department
  • National City Police Department
  • Oceanside Police Department
  • San Diego Community College Police Department
  • San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
  • San Diego Harbor Police Department
  • San Diego Police Department
  • San Diego State University Police Department
  • San Diego Unified School District Police Department
  • University of California San Diego Police Department
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Sixth Day of George Floyd Protests in San Diego – Including in Midway, OB, Mira Mesa, Broadway Heights – and Paddle Out in Encinitas

June 4, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Wednesday, June 3 was the sixth straight day of protests in San Diego County over the George Floyd murder. All were peaceful and all were respectful of this local and national moment of push for needed change.

The protests included a march from the Midway area into Ocean Beach, one in Mira Mesa, a vigil in Broadway Heights and a massive paddle-out at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.

A mostly young crowd rallied in the Midway Area for Black Lives Matter and several San Diego Police officers joined them in prayer; the crowd chanted, “SDPD! SDPD!” and the officers actually led the marchers through the area. The marchers continued into Ocean Beach and down several streets around Newport Avenue, past boarded up windows of businesses, some of whose owners sprayed supportive statements (some would call them “graffiti”) onto those boards.

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San Diego Protests for George Floyd Continue for 5th Day

June 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Protests in San Diego for George Floyd continued for the fifth day in a row on Tuesday, June 2, with the largest demonstration in downtown San Diego.

Dozens of people had been protesting in the afternoon, then joined others for a short rally at Sixth and Laurel in Balboa Park. There they spread out on the grass and listened to a few speeches, keeping proper physical-social distance.

Around 6 pm the crowd marched into downtown, where they were joined by another group. After marching down Broadway and through downtown streets, the combined crowd of at least 500 then rallied at the County Administration Building. At one point on Broadway, the marchers were being pushed along by a phalanx of police SUVs. Participants said the crowd was larger than the day previous,

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La Mesa Grandmother Out of Coma After Being Hit by Police Projectile at Protest – Calls for Officer to Be ID’ed and Charged

June 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

In all the initial stories and reports of what happened in La Mesa at the George Floyd protest in front of the police department, the subsequent bank burnings and lootings, and then the clean-up afterwards, a key story of a La Mesa grandmother almost being fatally injured or blinded by a police projectile wasn’t present.

Now, it has emerged. Leslie Furcron, a 59 La Mesa resident was hit between the eyes by a police rubber bullet and severely knocked momentarily unconscious. She was on her cellphone when the incident occurred and was not engaging in anything but peacefully protesting. Bystanders rushed her to the hospital where she was at first placed in an induced coma. Police did not call her an ambulance or otherwise respond to her injury

Furcon has now come out of the coma and her family called Tuesday for the officer involved to be publicly identified, fired and charged with attempted murder. There is a gruesome cell phone video

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Anybody Else Upset that Trump Just Threatened America With Martial Law?

June 2, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

About 6:30 pm ET yesterday, June 1, 2020, President Trump – speaking for the first time publicly about the George Floyd protests – and calling himself “the president of law and order,” threatened Americans with martial law. Trump said if the governors and mayors around the country couldn’t “dominate” the protesters – who Trump called “domestic terrorists” – that he would send in the US military into those states and cities.

Because “our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa and others,” and because “a number of state and local governments have failed to take necessary action to safeguard their residents,” he would deploy the US military. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

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In Response to Protests San Diego Police End Use of Choke-Hold, Sheriffs Continue to Use It

June 2, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Police Department announced Monday, June 1 that it is immediately ending its use of the chock-hold or carotid restraint, a move motivated by the George Floyd protests, both locally and nationally.

San Diego Sheriffs will continue to utilize it on suspects, as Sheriff Bill Gore told KUSI Tuesday.

The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted numerous elected officials and the police chief praising the decision. Mayor Kevin Faulconer, at a press conference Monday, stated SDPD officers “will be stopping the use of the carotid technique, effective immediately.”

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Martial Law or Sopas?

June 1, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Sunday was the Feast of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost Sunday.

The morning started off at 2 a.m., with 11 fire trucks (lights and sirens blazing) and 9 police cars, speeding down Rosecrans to Shelter Island.

Fear and courage addressed the billowing smoke and flames that could be seen from downtown to the coast.

That afternoon, hundreds of vehicles backed up for blocks on those same streets, surrounding Portuguese hall. With popped trunk lids, drivers waited patiently in line, for hot plates of homecooked Sopas.

Great expectations and faith motivated them. For over 700 years, Portuguese worldwide have celebrated this Festa de Espirito in thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit for help in “times of danger or calamity.”

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‘White Silence Is Violence’ Fliers in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

June 1, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

This flier was seen posted on telephone poles in OB and Point Loma Heights.

“White Silence Is Violence” also says “Get educated. Do something.”

It reads, “Donate to anti-white supremacy work such as your local Black Lives Matter Chapter

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Some Thoughts on the Murder of George Floyd

June 1, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Watching Minneapolis burn and the country explode in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by police in the midst of a global pandemic and subsequent economic depression that have both disproportionately harmed black and brown working-class folks was one of those moments that makes America’s brutality painfully clear — yet again.

In the same week that one of the Trump administration’s economic advisors caused a minor uproar by dehumanizingly referring to his fellow Americans as “human capital stock”, we see the President of the United States race past his nanosecond of concern for the Floyd killing to threaten protesters with “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Welcome to the United States of Disposable People.

Back in 2014 in the wake of the Michael Brown murder, I observed in this space that the dehumanization that makes racist police murders possible is linked to the economic system that reduces people to objects in the marketplace, and I quoted one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speeches that questioned our society as “an edifice which produces beggars”:

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