Category: Protestors

Dangerous Republican Anti-Protest Laws Grant Drivers License to Kill | The Smirking Chimp

Clearly jarred by the power and the depth of the protests against systemic racism and against police brutality that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis Police last year, right-wing, Republican-controlled state legislatures are passing laws specifically targeting dissent. At the same time, chillingly, many of these laws include provisions legalizing violence against protestors, granting immunity to people who drive their cars into crowds.

Source: Dangerous Republican Anti-Protest Laws Grant Drivers License to Kill | The Smirking Chimp

A Short History of U.S. Law Enforcement Infiltrating Protests

That brings us to the present day. On the one hand, this history doesn’t mean that the FBI or local police are currently acting as provocateurs during the current unrest. But it does mean that such activity is clearly one avenue that is open to U.S. police forces looking to undermine protests and escalate violence.

via A Short History of U.S. Law Enforcement Infiltrating Protests

Politicians are making themselves irrelevant – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The more politicians lie to us, the more they think advertising replaces substantive debate, the more they rely on talking points rather than considered informed opinion, the more they use their position to reward their mates, the less relevant they become.

Scott Morrison can say until he is blue in the face that we will meet our emissions reduction targets but we can actually look up the facts for ourselves.

Tony Abbott can keep spinning on his arse doing the Paris hokey pokey – no-one is listening to him.

Matt Canavan and George Christensen can pray for more coal-fired power stations but no-one will put up the money.

Peter Dutton can cry wolf till he is hoarse but the citizens of Melbourne continue to enjoy its culinary delights.

The “better economic managers” myth is a persistent one but how long can they even hang onto that when we are in a per capita recession because of stagnant wage growth and increasing cost of living?  I know company profits are high, but companies don’t vote.

Trade unions are habitually attacked because we can’t have the workers having a voice about the value of their labour. Groups like GetUp! and Greenpeace are likewise vilified. They seem to fear ordinary people having a say.

But our children have had enough. Girls are fleeing the oppression in Saudi Arabia. Schoolchildren in America are fighting for gun laws. They are bemused by the intolerance of some adults to diversity. And around the world, children will march tomorrow to demand that we put the health of the planet before profit.

More power to their arm. Politics is not confined to the Canberra bubble boys much as you may have fought to keep it that way.

We are people hear us roar

In numbers too big to ignore

Cause we know too much to go back and pretend.

via Politicians are making themselves irrelevant – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Donald Trump: Millions assemble for protest marches against new US President – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Millions of people from all over the world march in opposition to President Donald Trump.

Source: Donald Trump: Millions assemble for protest marches against new US President – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Chanting ‘Black Lives Matter,’ White Protesters Take Philadelphia Streets

Black Lives Matter supporters marched the streets of Philadelphia for the sixth day in a row on Monday. This time, most of the participants were white.

Source: Chanting ‘Black Lives Matter,’ White Protesters Take Philadelphia Streets

I Was There When an Undercover Cop Pulled a Gun on Unarmed Protesters in Oakland. Here’s How It Happened.

Over the past 24 hours, photos showing a plainclothes police officer pulling a gun on unarmed protesters in Oakland have gone viral. Tens of thousands of people, and news outlets like Gawker, Buzzfeed, The Guardian, and NBC have shared them, often including outraged comments. But there have been few accounts of what exactly happened, and how the incident came to pass.
I was one of the few reporters with the protesters at that point, around 11:30 p.m., and what I saw may add some useful context.

The protest was the latest in a series that have filled the streets of Berkeley and Oakland in the past couple of weeks in response to the lack of indictments for the officers who had killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner. (I covered most of them via Twitter.) Marchers generally remained peaceful. Sometimes they overtook highways and blocked intersections. Parents pushed strollers, students kept stride with older marchers, and people from all across the Bay Area joined in. But there was also infighting among the crowds, and breakaway factions looted stores, smashed windows, and burned trash cans. Police officers responded with tear gas, flash-bang grenades, and fired non-lethal bullets*, and their actions were often met with outrage.

Protesters run after police set off flashbang grenades in Oakland, Calif. Gabrielle Canon

Wednesday night seemed as if it was going to end differently. Organizers with hoarse voices rallied the crowd of some 150 with updates on the movement that they said was building across the country. They presented a petition listing demands, including for Darren Wilson to be indicted and protesters who’d been arrested to be released without charges. Starting at the Berkeley campus, the group marched peacefully toward Oakland as a rainstorm approached.

A little girl rides along on her stroller, chanting in a march last week. Gabrielle Canon

About 10:30 p.m., a small group from within the march broke windows at a T-Mobile store and smashed Bank Of America ATMs. Protesters blocked photographers documenting the violence, pushing us and putting their hands in front of lenses.

Marching floods into the streets in Berkeley, CA early on Wednesday night Gabrielle Canon

Shortly after this, police presence increased. Squad cars and white vans full of officers followed the march slowly as announcements rang out over a police intercom informing protesters that police were there for their protection and that their right to demonstrate was being respected. They also warned that any vandalism or violence would lead to citation or arrest.

According to reporter David DeBolt, writing for Inside Bay Area, officials say it was then that two undercover officers joined the march, both wearing dark handkerchiefs and hoods that covered their faces. I had not seen them earlier, and they did not appear in any of the photos I took.

A marcher does a different take on “Hands up don’t shoot” Gabrielle Canon

Suddenly, behind me, someone started to yell. A protester had discovered the undercover cops and shouted an alarm. Others began to join in, calling them pigs and telling them to go home. The two men passed me in silence, at a hurried pace. Suddenly, a scuffle erupted as one protester attempted to pull off one of the officer’s hoods. The officer tackled someone involved, and was quickly surrounded by a small crowd and kicked from several directions while on the ground. (That officer, who was African American, is who you see in the ground in the photo above.) The other officer stepped in front of his partner and brandished a baton. When the crowd did not back up he drew his gun, pointing at protesters and photographers. Moments later, police flooded the area, scattering marchers and blocking others, as the undercover officers arrested the man who had been tackled in the skirmish.

Protester in Oakland, CA Gabrielle Canon

DeBolt reports the undercover officers were later identified as members of California Highway Patrol, assigned to follow the march on foot. They had been following in a vehicle providing information to stop protesters from blocking highways. Officials said in a press conference that the agency is investigating the incident, but believes the officers did what was necessary to protect themselves. They said that undercover cops had been deployed in prior protests and would be again, and that Twitter accounts had also been used to gather information.

The incident and photo have sparked anger and questions about police tactics in crowd control. Protesters are expected to resume marching over the weekend throughout the Bay Area and I will send out updates on Twitter as events unfold.

Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated the location from which nonlethal bullets were fired. The language has been changed to fix the error.