'Baltimore unrest' thread

Submitted by Juan Conatz on April 27, 2015

Figured Id get this started. Theres been clashes with police and protests for the last week there due to the police killing of Freddie Gray. From what Ive read, he suffered a severed spinal cord while in police custody but they havent explained this.

I know we got a couple posters from that area, maybe theyd like to post updates?

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

headed over in a lil bit so i don't have a ton of time but this has not been the work of "external agitators" - it is a bunch of pissed off youth.

state troopers and armored vehicles have headed to west baltimore

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

National Guard has been placed "on alert". Supposedly the Nation Of Islam brokered a truce between the Bloods & Crips. Police put out an alert that this truce has killing cops as its goal.

Lots of videos of cops retrating from showers of bricks and rocks. On my phone so cant share em tho

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

there was a truce called from what i understand in effect saturday, crips and bloods were at the protest on saturday

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

governor of Maryland declared a state of emergency. ive been seeing stuff about "activating" the National Guard but not sure how this differs from putting them "on alert". Havent seen anything about deployment yet.

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/04/27/gov-hogan-puts-maryland-national-guard-on-notice/

News says dozens of officers are injured, some with broken bones, and one was "unresponsive"

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

national guard was coming up 695 about an hour ago

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

curfew imposed by mayor apr 28th-may 4th 10 pm-5am

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

7 hours in Baltimore

I’m just a working class guy—a property manager. I have some properties on North Avenue. I did attend the demonstrations on Saturday, because I’ve been pulled over a few times, and the police treat me like shit every time I’m pulled over. But it shouldn’t be like this. All the right wingers—this is exactly what they want. Fox News, Breitbart. We look like hooligans.

For the 'academic' thread: Are property managers an impediment to revolution?! :p

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I see the citywide curfew was mentioned. A Wob in Baltimore mentioned there arent really protests going on, just a lot of street fighting. Havent had time to get to a computer today but tomorrow Ill throw more links and pics Ive seen yp on here

EDIT: Theres some decent info in here, despite the sensationalizism http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-freddie-gray-violence-chronology-20150427-story.html#page=1

bastarx

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.anarchistnews.org/content/last-night-baltimore

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wire creator David Simon pleads for order http://davidsimon.com/baltimore/

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

While Ta-Nehisi Coates gets it:

When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is "correct" or "wise," any more than a forest fire can be "correct" or "wise." Wisdom isn't the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the rioters themselves.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/nonviolence-as-compliance/391640/

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Crowds have reportedly captured police horses:

(haven't been able to verify this, and I dunno where you'd learn to ride horses in Baltimore, but I hope it's true)

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have to say, out of all the recent police brutality protests, watching the footage of this appeared to be most similar to what I experienced during the Gezi.

Anyway, I think the stuff about the gangs establishing a truce (which we also saw, apparently, during the London riots), I think is really one of the most interesting developments to come out of this. It really points to the way a militant class movement or revolutionary situation could transform those most marginalized elements of society.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So apparently there were no protests planned yesterday (the day of the funeral), but school kids walked out (there were conflicting reports as to whether this was a walkout, or whether cops cancelled buses and classes were let out, or some combination. Someone on twitter was saying they're a teacher and, 'their' kids were pulled off buses then 'dispersed' by cops).

bastarx

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

Wire creator David Simon pleads for order http://davidsimon.com/baltimore/

Saw this on facebook: "Season 6 of The Wire has been great so far."

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How long until a foreign government proposes arming the anti-regime moderates in Baltimore?— Jo (@jo_bouk) April 28, 2015

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org


National Guard outside City Hall

Gangs dispute truce is for attacking police: http://m.wbaltv.com/news/gang-members-we-did-not-make-truce-to-harm-cops/32609810

Some images: http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2015/04/baltimore-riots-photos/391613/#img05

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

DeRay and Netta (#blacklivesmatter activists with lots of twitter followers*) have set up a site with key information for people resisting in Baltimore: http://baltimoreuprising.org/

* What's the terminology here; not really leaders. High degree nodes?

ocelot

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

High net-worth individuals? Link-lords? (only kidding)

In peer-to-peer networking the term for the more highly connected nodes that serve as relays and wider network access for more sparsely connected nodes, is "supernode". But that doesn't seem appropriate in context.

edit: The Harry Halpin & Kay Summer article on this in Turbulence 4 suggested "hubs".

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have been following this as it unfolds. Let's talk about it...

The first thing I want to point out was how these confrontation started. High School students in West Baltimore organized on social media to meet at a well known and large bus stop. Police decided to "ride out" and confront them there, for whatever reasons, maybe because of the students allusions to the film "The Purge".

Self-organized action without much outside influence. "Spontaneous". Hopefully we can frame the discussion around these issues.

I also think it's interesting that it seems most baby boomers have labeled the youth revolters "thugs" and their is this akward tension between the youth and their parents as highlighted by this youtube video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5V0YpGn6wo

Edit: Thanks admin for merging threads ;) I'm a newbb

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Law, Order, Property. These are the rallying cries of counter-revolution. I don't mean to suggest that these riots are revolutionary, but of course looting and property damage steps on the toes of bourgeois society. It is my understanding that all the old, conservative, "leadership" groups are calling for non-violence, and a peaceful solution.

The irony of that shit is that there is a relatively "simple" solution, but it is not a politically viable one: Disarm regular police. Not every cop ought to have a gun. We all know this would not fix class society, and it would not outright end police murders, but it would significantly reduce them and signal to people that police "trust" their citizens and citizens SHOULD trust their police.

But instead, in moments like these, the most conservative of perspectives erupt. The petit-bourgeois desire for counter-revolutionary violence against those who would profane property, the racialized denigration of protesters as animals, the complete mystification of their actions. "Why are they looting? Who does that?!" It's treated like a weather event.

On Imgur, a popular image sharing site, the top voted comment for THIS IMAGE:

Was:

That woman with the black power shirt and smiling in the midst of a loot should feel incredibly ashamed of herself.

Why does a website that consists mostly in making fun of almost everything, suddenly get serious, and start policing the activity, attitudes, of rioters?

Here is the list of images: http://imgur.com/gallery/ReITb

That girl looks like a champ to me. I guess I bring this stuff up because my co-workers tend to vocalize and intone the petit-bourgeois response. So I usually try and walk them through the chronology and then get to the point that any of us (people with small means) would grab some food or a tv if the repercussions were slim. When did we all get so moral about fucking snack food?

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i was out last night until 10pm, by lexington market passing out water and snacks, as well as the legal aid number that we had to anybody we came across, as well as treating one person for pepper spray contact. we arrived after the main looting had happened, so the police presence was heavy, with a line of riot cops in front of the market. the pigs were looking for any excuse to harass any black youth in the area, so we hung out for a while observing to make sure that they behaved themselves.

i didn't grow up in baltimore, but i should put it in perspective for y'all - the impoverished neighborhoods in baltimore are the worst that i have seen in the us; there are often more abandoned row houses on a street than occupied houses. i have visited a number of these neighborhoods while helping with organizing for a mainstream union, and the conditions of occupied houses are usually terrible, compounded by the terrible slumlord landlords who do jack shit to repair or fix anything, with many people living in a house since it is the only way to make it affordable.

there are no jobs, and any entry level job will get hundreds of applicants, all for the honor of making $8-$9 an hour.

to be black and young in baltimore is to invite yourself to open harassment from the store owners, cops, and anyone who thinks that you look suspicious. there are very few 'public' spaces for youth to go to, compounded by the closing of the rec centers and after school programs, as well as the very rational desire of the youth to not want to hang out in their neighborhoods. a lot of the places that were targeted for looting are places where youth constantly faced a base level of harassment - 7-11s, lexington market(which always has a huge police presence), the downtown gentrified area by the harbor - which i saw happen fairly regularly as a bystander, such as cops tailing kids around the downtown mall area; i've even seen cops chasing groups of kids with their truncheons out while loudly yelling threats at them. there is a daily base level of violence by the police that i think may be hard for people to understand if they have not seen it themselves.

i will echo jamal and say that most of what i saw & heard of happening was spontaneous, and usually was able to stay one step ahead of the cops because they had mainly stationed themselves in defense of the downtown wealthy areas.

there is another march scheduled at 3pm at the location that freddie gray was picked up at; i'm about to go pick up some more first aid supplies, but i will try to update what else i see today.

ocelot

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think you need to take a many-sided view to looting.

On the one hand, for people on low incomes with some experience in shop-lifting, they have a chance to directly appropriate stuff to satisfy some of their own material needs. However, despite what some of the more giddy and less astute "communizers" might think, the problem with proletarian shopping is that it's still shopping - i.e. seeking your own individual material advancement in a competitive (or at least, devil-take-the -hindmost) fashion - i.e. it's not that really that far outside the bourgeois horizon. (And this needs acknowledging in dialogue with all those people who live within that horizon that see looting solely in that way - i.e. still capitalist, but just more selfish and more violent - i.e. even worse than playing by the rules).

But on the other hand, a lot of what goes on in mass looting situations is people who've never stolen a thing in their lives, pitching in a grabbing armfuls of stuff - much of which turns out later to be of little value (use or exchange) to them - cf the many tales of inexperienced 2011 looters who ended up with bottles of water, packs of crisps or junk food (like the schoolkid in the foreground of the picture above). Here people are taking part because they're seeing other people doing it, and it's the joy of suddenly being able to break the taboos against the respect for commodity-right. On the one hand this can be seen just as commodity-fetishism unleashed. But on the other hand it can begin the process of a collective de-fetishisation. You can see this sometimes when people start throwing out the loot to the rest of the crowd (and not just their cohorts). Or one of the stories from St Paul's in the early '80s that stuck in my mind, where during the riot a camera shop window got done and the crowd emptied it of (then very expensive) early-80s video cameras. Which they then appropriated for an entirely different use-value of chucking at the riot cops (early-80s video cameras had a lot of metal in them) in joyful disregard to their market-value.

But the more strategic aspect is this. What can a few hundred unarmed schoolkids do against legions of US paramilitary robocops. If they do the "decent" thing (according to the values of those weird freaks who seem to think that fighting the police is honourable, but looting is shameful) and try and fight the cops directly (aside from a bit of missile throwing) then the only damage that will be done will be to their own bodies and families. But by smashing windows and looting, they can potentially cause millions of dollars of damage to the class enemy (the store owners claim insurance or compensation from local or national government). If the object of the exercise is to turn the slogan "no justice, no peace" into something other than an empty threat, then causing real damage, financial damage, to the powers that be, means that looting is a basic guerilla tactic of asymmetrical warfare.

Steven.

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks everyone for the updates here, especially to those of you on the ground in Baltimore. Stay safe and please continue to let us know what's going on!

Ocelot, very good point about looting

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Don't worry about Reddit, Imgur, etc. They are not real people with real upvotes. Since their systems are anonymous it's nothing but shady elements intentionally provoking reaction. These sites are burnouts for militants in the political sphere. Great points by Pennoid about their "middle class" perspective.

This sums up their views:

Here's a flic I noticed on Imgur:

Dudes lips are chapped as fuck, probably from fighting the cops all day...and we've had a cold snap. He's got some sweet tea and diapers. I mean c'mon what kind of bourgeois asshole criminalizes a person like this? In the words of Bruce Bruce: "You don't want no sweet tea??"

It's the petite bourgeois interveners who are making the racialist comments, too. Youll notice theres plenty of working class black folk on the web right now talking about how middle and upper class black folks money is being used to pay for the police violence against, who??, poor people.

The middle class pundits also have their dead end historical perspectives reflected in their perspectives of these events in Baltimore. Thats why to them the heroes here are those defending the constant capital and state institutions, not the "rioters".

They even get the narrative wrong because of this. "Just thugs" is the prevailing mantra of dumbassness.

What really happened is the anarchistic forces of state capitalism unleashed a torrent of children and workers from urban Baltimore at around 2 pm yesterday for chaotic purposes unknown to me. Maybe as a part of a bigger attempt to squash protests? There was no transportation for the majority of these people. The buses, trains, etc. were shut down, multiple sources have confirmed this. This reminds me a lot of the "Brooklyn Bridge" incident of occupy. Make a mental note of these tactics.

The cops had reasons to "ride out". Check this out. It's the original flyer from Instagram & FB:

Fleur

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Can I suggest that people are careful with which images they share on social media. The police will be trying to identify people from pictures shared. Try not to dump anyone in it by showing easily identified faces. I know these pictures are already out there but personally speaking, I don't really want to contribute to someone's prosecution.

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, Imgur and the like were just examples of perspectives I've seen others express in real life, so I figured I'd point to them.

It is bizarre that the cops were stopping buses and forcing the kids off. Seems like they were antagonizing students etc. Perhaps just a dumb tactical mistake by cops?

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

Can I suggest that people are careful with which images they share on social media. The police will be trying to identify people from pictures shared. Try not to dump anyone in it by showing easily identified faces. I know these pictures are already out there but personally speaking, I don't really want to contribute to someone's prosecution.

yeah, can we be more mindful of this?

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Settle down guys those pics all had over a million views and are all over twitter, reddit, etc. In fact the last two were all taken from a set of news articles I just read.

Maybe his mom ripped his mask off?? (No disrespect to either fellows)

I agree though and will abstain from posting faces here out.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here's a face I don't mind sharing. Some racist fuck who loves 'murica:


"This photo is in response to all those un-American black punks in Baltimore."

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On pix: the stuff on major media is too late, but the stuff on social media/small leftist or liberal websites Id be wary of posting as it very well could amplify peoples faces

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Have the police had any success in the past in arresting people based on images found on social media? What do they arrest for? Theft, inciting riot? If I sound dickish, I don't mean to be, I'm genuinely curious. Maybe that discussion could be split into another thread, I dunno.

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can't imagine the photographer gave him a fair layout of what was going to happen with the photo. If the was charged he could probably sue the Baltimore newspapers circulating the images.

Pennoid, and also gram negative, do you think that the Baltimore police may have intended to proactively engage the protesters before they assembled with the intention of dispersal, and then lost the ensuing battle, retreated and the burning and looting followed?

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There were some interesting comments by @KeremBrulee on twitter, about observers rushing to fit events into a (whitened) narrative:

Soapy

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

Have the police had any success in the past in arresting people based on images found on social media? What do they arrest for? Theft, inciting riot? If I sound dickish, I don't mean to be, I'm genuinely curious. Maybe that discussion could be split into another thread, I dunno.

This happened in at least one case in occupy with a 17 year old kid hitting a policewoman in the head with a snare drum. The kid was identified and arrested because video of him doing it was put on youtube. poor guy

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal, I'm observing purely through media, and am quite far, so I'm just making guesses. It seems like gram might be able to speak more accurately to that.

It does seem a reasonable chain of events though.

Fleur

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

Have the police had any success in the past in arresting people based on images found on social media? What do they arrest for? Theft, inciting riot? If I sound dickish, I don't mean to be, I'm genuinely curious. Maybe that discussion could be split into another thread, I dunno.

I don't know about in the US but I believe this was the case in the London 2011 riots and also here in Canada in the Vancouver (Hockey) riots, when people were identified from facebook postings. I appreciate that these images have already been widely shared but we don't need to make the cops' jobs any easier for them by pushing these pictures any further up the google rankings.

jef costello

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

Have the police had any success in the past in arresting people based on images found on social media? What do they arrest for? Theft, inciting riot? If I sound dickish, I don't mean to be, I'm genuinely curious. Maybe that discussion could be split into another thread, I dunno.

It has happened, it obviously depends on the image. A single image of a man holding some diapers and tea doesn't prove he has stolen them, but people put on and take off masks and police search for people in uncovered moments, happened in London riots.

There was also debate about allowing journalists on demos as they handed over all their images after london riots to help police identify people, specifically people who had been filmed breaking the law wearing masks but had gone unmasked earlier on. I'm not against journalists, but they should not be collaborating with the cops.

Jamal Rayyan

I can't imagine the photographer gave him a fair layout of what was going to happen with the photo. If the was charged he could probably sue the Baltimore newspapers circulating the images

Photographer doesn't have to do anything, it's in a public place so it's allowed. (unless you're a cop, legislation pending to ban filming cops)
Feasibly he could sue the paper if they called him a looter and couldn't prove that he was. Which is why the labels often avoid showing too much.

Also IF you sue you don't get much. If he can find someone to take the case, which is expensive, if he wins then he might get a large punitive sum that will get appealed down based on the fact that as a non-famous, non-rich black person publicly calling him a criminal isn't considered to have caused expensive damage to his reputation.

Fleur

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The photographer is protected by the First Amendment and suing a newspaper is pretty much unaffordable for most people.

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cause media companies stand up for their employees when they face litigation, right?

I realize we're way past 1984 but I thought you still need consent to sell peoples faces?

Hieronymous

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

gram negative

i didn't grow up in baltimore, but i should put it in perspective for y'all - the impoverished neighborhoods in baltimore are the worst that i have seen in the us; there are often more abandoned row houses on a street than occupied houses.
[...]

there are no jobs, and any entry level job will get hundreds of applicants, all for the honor of making $8-$9 an hour.

Thanks for your excellent and insightful reportback.

Was just listening to a Democracy Now interview with Jesse Jackson on the radio. He reported these factoids:

Jackson

...in that same area, unemployment is 30 percent. There are 18,000 vacant homes or abandoned lots, because government—because banks ran subprime lending and predatory lending on people.

Which all seems pretty accurate, no?

And as you point out, Baltimore seems like one of the most bottomed-out deindustrialized cities in the U.S. with wide tracts of foreclosed homes.

Hieronymous

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

John Angelos, Baltimore Orioles chief operating officer and son of owner Peter Angelos, used Twitter to defend the Baltimore protests after they were attacked on local sports radio:

John Angelos

my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

O.K., the anti-Chinese xenophobia is fucked up and the geopolitical analysis is severely flawed, but the sentiment shows an honest capitalist.

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the other day

Video of schoolkids and police exchanging rocks/bricks
https://www.facebook.com/wjlatv/videos/10153285419203734/

Hieronymous

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts comes to his position with baggage and lots of skeletons in his closet:

-he received his initial training from infamously militarized and brutal LAPD

-after 27 years with Long Beach PD, the last 7 as chief, he was forced out by blackmail attempts to reveal the coverup of at least 4 domestic violence charges where Batts battered women -- including his Congress Rep ex-wife

-he took the job as chief of police in Oakland under the completely fabricated story that he wanted to heal the city after an ex-con, Lovelle Mixon, killed 4 pigs in a single day (March 21, 2009). The real reason Batts took the Oakland job was because he was turned down for chief of police in San Jose because his history of domestic abuse caught up with him

-he quit as top pig in Oakland the day Occupy began; here's a revealing interview that shows what a bullshiter he is, from "Portraits of the Occupation: Anthony Batts"

-he has been part of the suppression of the Rodney King Rebellion in 1992, Oscar Grant Riots in Oakland in 2009-2010, and now Baltimore. Perhaps he's been groomed for this position

bastarx

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://gawker.com/baltimore-is-a-shithole-undisturbed-peace-at-the-mar-1700526944

ZooTrouble

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yesterday the coppers shut down a public transit station (Mondawmin station) in Baltimore. Baltimore City doesn't provide transportation for the school kids, so the kids have to use the buses and what not to get to and from school. The coppers decided to shut it down and so far they've claimed different BS reasons for shutting it down. In turn, this lead to school children/kids having no way to get home and if they tried, they'd most likely violate the curfew that was put in place, and get beat. Anyways, from what I understand, when they shut it down, the coppers, decked out in their riot gear, decided to surround a bunch of school children/kids and started to beat, tase, and pelt them with rocks. The school kids didn't really pre-plan a protest, but it was rather them protesting that they were essentially being held captive.

Tonight, the police have been dousing people with chemicals for not abiding by the curfew. I believe it may be tear gas and some unknown chemical. Before they were using mainly tear gas and mace against people, but when the curfew went into effect, they added some other chemical. The national guard is in the downtown part of Baltimore City and in the wealthy white liberal areas, but aren't really found elsewhere in Baltimore. The news and a lot of people in Maryland seem more concerned about property and windows than black people.

I live in the Baltimore area, so I'd thought make a post about what i've observed and what the word is on what's occurring in the city. I think this is the first time I've posted something on here. So, yeah, I hope that was somewhat coherent.

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks ZooTrouble

Anything you can confirm/reject from my post #40 that you haven't touched on? I'm writing an article and need some first hand accounts.

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Bastarx, that article is fucking bonkers. Those fucking people should eat some concrete.

Hieronymous

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ZooTrouble

Tonight, the police have been dousing people with chemicals for not abiding by the curfew. I believe it may be tear gas and some unknown chemical. Before they were using mainly tear gas and mace against people, but when the curfew went into effect, they added some other chemical.

They might be "pepper balls," described on Baltimore TV news as projectiles releasing a flash of sparks and pepper-based tear gas.

Fuck the media. Click on this gem to see a video of moronic media hack Erin Burnett just doing her job.

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ZooTrouble, thanks for posting, it was plenty coherent!

Steven.

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal Rayyan

Thanks ZooTrouble

Anything you can confirm/reject from my post #40 that you haven't touched on? I'm writing an article and need some first hand accounts.

sounds good, please consider posting the article up to the libcom news section!

ZooTrouble

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal Rayyan

Thanks ZooTrouble

Anything you can confirm/reject from my post #40 that you haven't touched on? I'm writing an article and need some first hand accounts.

The police shut it down before school ended and were waiting for the kids. When the kids got there to catch their bus home, the cops decided to corral the kids up by force and wouldn't let them leave. The cops instigated it, then claimed a "riot" broke out. It was a trap, I suppose one could say. They've also been stopping buses and yanking kids and adults off of them for unknown reasons and then roughing them up some. That much has pretty much been confirmed.

I don't know anything about some photographer.

When I was down there this morning, I noticed the coppers were hesitant at using violence towards white people. Although,I was temporarily "detained" and the police basically robbed me and a friend and told us to leave, but we weren't beat. They seem to be specifically targeting black people for beatings.

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://redjamal.wordpress.com

Chilli Sauce

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So, I see there's been some sort of movement towards a "community" response towards, well, effectively policing the protests - lines of people separating the cops and the protesters, encouraging the youth to abide by the curfew, and participating in clean-ups.

Has there been any response to this on the ground? How widespread is this? What's the class composition of these groups? Do they have links to "dissident" establishment politics? I suspect there's an age element here as well, but would be really keen to hear from folks or groups in the city.

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chili I mentioned that in my story at the link above. It seems some of the guys were gang members following orders from gang leaders to help enforce curfews and assist the police.

Another sad development-- one of the teenagers who smashed a police car on film was encouraged by his family to turn himself in. He complied and is now faced with long prison time and bail of half a million dollars. Good job, family, good job.

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

So, I see there's been some sort of movement towards a "community" response towards, well, effectively policing the protests - lines of people separating the cops and the protesters, encouraging the youth to abide by the curfew, and participating in clean-ups.

Has there been any response to this on the ground? How widespread is this? What's the class composition of these groups? Do they have links to "dissident" establishment politics? I suspect there's an age element here as well, but would be really keen to hear from folks or groups in the city.

there has been policing of the protests from the march that was called saturday - no attempt was made to block any highway despite having over 1000 people before reaching city hall, and during the action at camden yards some were trying to get between the protesters and the police. this only increased on monday, where the NOI, the various gangs, and some members from the western baltimore communities have been trying to act as internal police to the mainly young participants. the pastors, community activists and the aforementioned groups were all demanding 'peace' on monday and an end to the looting, to little avail since most of the youth seem to have little interest in the platitudes of those groups. honestly, it appears that the events of monday by youth freaked out most of these groups, with the actions of the youth exposing that those groups are as little respected as the police are by the youth.

after monday, volunteer cleanup and in west baltimore has come in to full force, with churches and community groups spearheading the activities, but that doesn't mean that cleaning was restricted to official events. the media has jumped on the cleanup activities as well as any friendliness seen between black baltimoreans and police. any of the marches or demos that i have seen since monday have had increasing numbers of 'protest police' working to keep the protests within the bounds of acceptability. my sketchy analysis of the protest police would break them up into older community activist types (http://news.yahoo.com/baltimore-protests-300-men-group-aims-neutral-force-031046430.html) from more sociologically middle class backgrounds, younger college activist types (http://www.ibtimes.com/baltimore-youths-protest-freddie-grays-death-student-led-march-city-hall-1902462), and also local community members who may be of more diverse class compositions.

i went to the march in the last article, and despite again having well over 1000 people with police keeping a far distance, the protest marshals were trying to keep people in the street rather than on the sidewalks, which was ridiculous. after bringing that huge crowd of people to city hall with calls to 'shut down the city' and 'the whole damn system is guilty as hell', this incredibly diverse group of people (many of whom probably had never been to any kind of demo before) were told that all of this energy should diverted into to pressuring the maryland state legislature (which is in recess) to pass some bills to reform police accountability, bills which had already failed in the last session - which would be almost a whole year away. even the police were praising the march yesterday (https://twitter.com/BaltimorePolice/status/593530121803276292)! as part of pushing those bills through, the organizations that called the protest yesterday are holding voter registration drives.

i think that the fury and rage of the youth displayed on monday has terrified many of these groups as well as shown them to be bankrupt and useless, when in the face of the largest social movement in recent baltimore history, what is being offered is passive politics as usual and the jockeying of activists to place themselves as spokespeople and leadership to the indifference of the youth who fought the police on monday.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Went to Baltimore solidarity march in Minneapolis last night. Unlike last winter's highway march, which blocked highways, had the cops struggling to keep up with us, and had a preplanned route that was mostly ignored by youth that had done a school walkout, this was very different. I do not know for sure, but it seemed like the route was preplanned and run by the police, it was very slow, the police had blocked traffic ahead of time. An impromptu picket of Whole Foods I heard was aggressively shut down by marshalls. It reminded me of one of those A to B antiwar marches from the Bush years. A lot of talk of peace and happiness by organizers, which was somewhat infuriating.

I think partnof this is that some of the key Black Lives Matter organizers are facing charges for the Mall of America action. The court date is tomorrow. Also, I think the white backlash on this stuff is forcing more moderate black organizers to cede ground and be as nonthreatening as possible. I mean, there was a massive American flag at tje front of the mar h. I dont remember that from the past actions.

Chilli Sauce

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks Gram!

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Latest cover of TIME

A Whole Foods in Baltimore posted the following picture, which backfired and they ended up deleting it.

As usual, The Onion is spot-on.

There is a bail/legal fund started by Baltimore United, which I've never heard of, but I suppose this is legit.

I didn't know they were still around, but Iraq Veterans Against the War put out a statement calling on the Maryland National Guard to stand down.

I'm sure people have already seen some of the fake images circulating that claim to be of Baltimore. I believe Fox News posted a picture, that was actually used 3 years prior (and was fake then) by the Venezuelan opposition. There's other pictures going around that are BS, as well.

Right-wing media was putting on a unsourced article claiming that Freddie Gray had spinal surgery not long ago. The Baltimore Sun pointed out this was false. Another story going around, but more widespread, is that Gray basically severed his own spinal cord by thrashing about in the police van. Now you wouldn't think that something like that would need to be refuted, but apparantly black people have magical, superhuman abilities, so someone had to refute it.

boomerang

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan Conatz

Latest cover of TIME

Never have I so bad wanted to read TIME magazine.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They've apparently arrested the guy who filmed the Freddie Gray arrest: http://countercurrentnews.com/2015/04/police-just-arrested-man-who-filmed-the-freddie-gray-arrest/

I wonder what bullshit charge they'll concoct. Ramsey Orta again?

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

‘Get out of Baltimore': Geraldo Rivera and Dutty Fox News!www.jamrockvybz.com I http://j.mp/KingItal

Posted by JamRockVybz on Thursday, 30 April 2015

Geraldo Rivera schooled by a local

bastarx

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Wire writer David Simon on the failure of the Baltimore cops counter-insurgency practices:

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/04/29/david-simon-on-baltimore-s-anguish

Edit - from the same site, article about cops Bill of Rights, interesting to see there are still some legal rights the state takes seriously: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/04/27/blue-shield?ref=tsfb_stream

jef costello

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bastarx

Edit - from the same site, article about cops Bill of Rights, interesting to see there are still some legal rights the state takes seriously: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/04/27/blue-shield?ref=tsfb_stream

Basically cops are not allowed to have any of the tactics they use in interrogations used on them.

wojtek

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Amia Srinivasan - In defense of anger
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04fc70p

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The 6 officers were had charges filed against them ranging from second degree murder to manslaughter.

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

we just had at least two wobs arrested for breaking curfew at city hall, with one definitely beat black and blue by the pigs - all after the largest march i've seen in baltimore.

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

also the police have been corralling media away from where they are making arrests, and revoking the observer badges of the national lawyer's guild and amnesty international observers

Chilli Sauce

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Let us know what we can do in solidarity, Gram.

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

Let us know what we can do in solidarity, Gram.

this is just developing, but if any group, us or international wants to start talking about either releasing a statement or signing onto one in support of those arrested and against the special curfew, i think that would be greatly appreciated - either post here or pm me

gram negative

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The two wobs arrested last night have been released this afternoon.

Steven.

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

gram negative

The two wobs arrested last night have been released this afternoon.

hope they're okay, let us know if there is anything we can do internationally to support

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Succinct comment on structural racism leaves news anchor stumped...

Melissa Harris-Perry, DROPS THE MIC. #Baltimore Community Activist, #DayonLove's Live dissertation on the comparison of corporate structured #MayorRawlings VS. State Attorney Marilyn Mosby, leaves the TV host speechless.>>> Rick Party

Posted by Rick Party on Saturday, 2 May 2015

(it's kinda defending the prosecutor, but still pretty sharp for mainstream media comment)

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Good Novara FM on the Baltimore uprising:

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay...that CNBC clip was charming, reminds me of when the President "dirts off his shoulders". Anyways...

The fellow who gives the break down is so close to putting forward a revolutionary perspective. But notice he blames "white supremacy" and the white power structure for the problems of the community INSTEAD of capitalism and the bourgeoisie, even while incorporating an analysis of the class character of the Mayor of Baltimore versus the Chief Prosecutor. Strange and frustrating to hear

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well its not either/or. Obviously white supremacy and the white power structure are some if the primary reasons here. But yeah I agree otherwise.

boomerang

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal Rayyan

The fellow who gives the break down is so close to putting forward a revolutionary perspective. But notice he blames "white supremacy" and the white power structure for the problems of the community INSTEAD of capitalism and the bourgeoisie, even while incorporating an analysis of the class character of the Mayor of Baltimore versus the Chief Prosecutor. Strange and frustrating to hear

I very much agree with you, and it frustrated me too. On the other hand, I can also understand how white supremacy can be given the full blame here. Racism manifests itself largely by magnifying the impact of class. If there were no white supremacy, the problems facing African-Americans would still exist but only to the same degree that they currently exist for white Americans. Capitalism of course would still be causing them shit, but no more shit than anyone else.

Still, it would have been way more awesome if he had also talked about how capitalism shares the blame!

Juan Conatz

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That aint confirmed, seems like a lot of conflicting reports.

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan, boomerang...I agree that structural racism is an essential feature to American capitalism. But how does pointing that out help foster class consciousness/unity?

boomerang

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal Rayyan

Juan, boomerang...I agree that structural racism is an essential feature to American capitalism. But how does pointing that out help foster class consciousness/unity?

Because then those who want to abolish racism will understand that this will require abolishing capitalism.

Unfortunately, the guy in the video didn't point out that racism is embedded in capitalism, despite his pointing out that black faces in high places doesn't solve shit... which itself is still pretty awesome for a tv news show!

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We need to have a critical view of these movements. Qualitatively it ended up having a lot of the same rhetorical content and effect as Occupy and other past social movements. Ever notice how both this movement and Occupy happened the year before major elections?

Sure tragic events happen all the time. One thing I've definitely learned this past year is cops are beating, shooting and killing all different types of people everywhere all the time.

What comes to mind is the unity of the ruling class. When events like these happen in the social arena it's the bourgeoisie who influences the consciousness of workers and not militants. This all fits perfectly into their picture. They probably even "let it unfold" to some degree. Either way mark it down as a win for the Democrats and capitalism.

boomerang

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal, can you expand on those thoughts? I haven't been following the Black Lives Matter movement beyond what I see on these threads and brief news headlines I read. So I know hardly anything about its "rhetorical content" and can't really have an opinion on it one way or another. If you have some constructive criticisms I'd like to hear em!

Why is it a win for Democrats and capitalism?

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal Rayyan

They probably even "let it unfold" to some degree. Either way mark it down as a win for the Democrats and capitalism.

Are you talking about black lives matter as a whole? That seems to strip the agency out of it. There seems quite a widespread feeling that 'black faces in high places' isn't enough to stop the state murdering black people, and that's all the Democrats have got, surely? (I mean, they could disarm the police, but I would expect the police to go on armed strike before they'd surrender their firearms to appease angry black people).

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If we define "agency" as "the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices", we can see how complicated of an issue "agency" becomes in capitalism.

In a way, I'm referring to all social movement that are not explicitly anti-capitalist. Explicitly communist or anarchist. So basically I'm referring to all social movements.

In these movements and all other places in society today, workers have no political power, no class awareness, not much unity. What unity that does happen is dissected along the lines of whatever broad social category is relevant.

The people at the protests for the most part considered themselves good "citizens" standing up for "their community". They don't identify as proletarians standing up against a system, even if we as militants are smart enough to codeswitch and understand the core issues. But I think we then project onto these social movements.

Chilli Sauce

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If we define "agency" as "the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices", we can see how complicated of an issue "agency" becomes in capitalism.

FWIW, I define agency as utilizing the admittedly limited "capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices" in spite of the hierarchies of capitalism, patriarchy, etc.

And, while I'm not cheerleading what's happening in Baltimore as some sort of revolution, I think it's worth remembering that, more often than not, action precedes consciousness. And, outside of an established radical current, people express their ideas in the language of the dominant ideology, so I think some codeswitching, as you put it, is probably going to be necessary.

Again using the Occupy Movement - which needed and needs a deep critique - as an example, their methods were far, far ahead of their rhetoric in terms of having a class character.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes agency is constrained in all sorts of ways, but that doesn't mean movements are just puppets of the bourgeoisie (maybe that's exaggerating your position? If so, it's not intentional). I mean I agree we should be critical, but critique is about close engagement with tensions and possibilities and limits, not dismissing things out of hand or just 'being against'.

What material difference would it make if a social movement said it was explicitly anti-capitalist? (I mean, Syriza say that). How would a movement (as opposed to a formal membership organisation) even make such a claim? I mean if Deray or someone said they were a communist, what would change (apart from his FBI file)? Slogans of most revolutions have had more to to with bread or land than the commodity form, even where the movements have gone far beyond them, imho.

Maybe I'm misreading you, but I'm wary of setting communism up as this pristine ideal possessed by an enlightened few, against which all really existing movements are just capitalist pawns.* In my (admittedly limited) experience of mass movements, there's (i) no means to speak with one voice, (ii) practice is often more advanced than rhetoric, (iii) identities are open to change and often do, permanently, and (iv) communists have no better idea of 'what is to be done' than anyone else (and often are more comfortable skulking at the back and writing up a critique after the fact, something I've been guilty of too, but consider problematic).

I'm not saying we should project communist fantasies onto social movements, but neither do I think we should dismiss them as always-already recuperated (or even 'allowed to happen' or actively orchestrated by the bourgeoisie). Movements are generative of new identities, ideas, analyses etc. I think it's a mistake to assume (I'm not sure if you do?) that communists have got it all figured out, have nothing more to learn, and that real movements inevitably fall short (especially based on them not using the right communist shibboleths - 'they say community, but the only community is capital - gotcha!').

* In fact if we want to talk about bourgeois ideology, the idea that I see through it all with my critical consciousness but they are all just uncritical followers seems like bourgeois ideology par excellence ;)

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm headed off to work but just wanted to thank Joe and Chili for the thoughtful and provocative responses. Too much to respond to in a rushed before work post BUT...

I have to say I agree that communism isn't an ideal.

“Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality will have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things.” (Marx, German Ideology via PBJ)

How much are these social movements "abolishing the present state of things"? How much are they enforcing the present state of things?

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Maybe I'm misreading you, but I'm wary of setting communism up as this pristine ideal possessed by an enlightened few, against which all really existing movements are just capitalist pawns.* In my (admittedly limited) experience of mass movements, there's (i) no means to speak with one voice, (ii) practice is often more advanced than rhetoric, (iii) identities are open to change and often do, permanently, and (iv) communists have no better idea of 'what is to be done' than anyone else (and often are more comfortable skulking at the back and writing up a critique after the fact, something I've been guilty of too, but consider problematic).

I think these are some of the most important points, but I feel iffy on the fourth one. I mean, I think a lot of communists have good ideas about what is possible/what to do, we just our in a bind in terms of implementing most of the tactics/strategies. Further, there were historical movements, that did raise to the mass level demands for communism/anarchism, or even a step back were organized enough to raise concrete demands on a class basis (End of death penalty, end of conscription, 8-hour day, abolition of child labor). Why should we accept as a substitute unfocused and unclear rhetoric?

Once defined, understood, the question is: How do we identify people within those groups/movements who find themselves coming up against those limits and encourage them, work with them, or pull them forward, developmentally? And this does not = shibboleths, obviously. It's not like they're striking and calling it something else. They're engaged in a particular set of activities that are very limited.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bastarx

Joseph Kay

Wire creator David Simon pleads for order http://davidsimon.com/baltimore/

Saw this on facebook: "Season 6 of The Wire has been great so far."

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

I think these are some of the most important points, but I feel iffy on the fourth one. I mean, I think a lot of communists have good ideas about what is possible/what to do, we just our in a bind in terms of implementing most of the tactics/strategies.

I see what you're saying, but this is kind of what i'm getting at. So e.g. when my bosses announced they were outsourcing a bunch of workers, it was easy for me to say 'we need a strike that shuts things down', but what it takes to actually achieve that... I don't think being able to quote chunks of Capital put me in any better position than anybody else.

Now sure, aiming at a strike is better than say, appealing to the boss' moral sense, or writing to the local MP. But in terms of doing it, i.e. the actual choices movements face, I don't think communists have any special insight (or at least, not as communists; they may additionally be creative tacticians or whatever).

So in the case of Black Lives Matter, it seems to me there is an understanding of the need to bring pressure to bear. There's various tactics being explored (road blocks, mall occupations, riots, mass curfew-breaking), and an understanding that it's a long game. There's also quite a lot of wariness at professional leaders (Sharpton, NGOs) trying to coral and make the movement respectable.

Pennoid

Further, there were historical movements, that did raise to the mass level demands for communism/anarchism, or even a step back were organized enough to raise concrete demands on a class basis (End of death penalty, end of conscription, 8-hour day, abolition of child labor). Why should we accept as a substitute unfocused and unclear rhetoric?

I'm not saying we should 'accept a substitute', I'm more saying that isn't the choice. It is what it is; it may become things yet to be determined. Fwiw, I don't think Black Lives Matter is unclear, it's basically 'stop killing us'. And that's a class demand, cops ain't rolling round rich neighbourhoods beating on black millionaires (or nowhere near as much, and if they did there'd be consequences, since those millionaires fund the cops bosses' campaigns).

Pennoid

Once defined, understood, the question is: How do we identify people within those groups/movements who find themselves coming up against those limits and encourage them, work with them, or pull them forward, developmentally?

In light of the above, why do we assume that we have the answers, and we just need to get others to come around to them? Like I say I'm wary of a paternalistic attitude (not saying you have one, just that's what I'm wary of here). The collective intelligence of struggles, if not captured by would-be representatives, usually explores and pushes the available possibilities. Maybe this is me being (a) white and (b) across an ocean, but I'm not sure what development would look like, nor how best to achieve it. And I'm sure there are participants with a better idea than me, working on that right now.

I mean I think it's the same as anything, get involved in ways you can; if you're white don't deign to lead, maybe do support like legal observing/street medic stuff. As you build up relationships with people, ask questions, float suggestions. Help to counter attempts at co-optation without trying to co-opt things yourself...

Pennoid

And this does not = shibboleths, obviously. It's not like they're striking and calling it something else. They're engaged in a particular set of activities that are very limited.

I'm an anarcho-syndicalist, and I wouldn't say striking's the be-all and end-all. I mean in the part of Baltimore where Freddie Gray was picked up, unemployment's like 1 in 3 or something. In any case, there's been highway blockades, school walkouts, and mall occupations. There's a developing tactical repertoire and what seem like open conversations on what to do. That seems healthy to me. A lot healthier than a set-piece, one-day, top-down union strike imho.

Jamal Rayyan

How much are these social movements "abolishing the present state of things"? How much are they enforcing the present state of things?

I love that Marx quote as much as the next person, but the question is what kind of 'abolish'. A wildcat strike movement forcing a doubling of the minimum wage wouldn't abolish wage labour, but it would abolish the prior conditions, and get most people on here pretty excited I suspect.

It seems to me that racist police harassment and violence is very much part of the present conditions for a large section of the proletariat. And people are fighting back against that. I'm not even sure their modest demand to 'stop killing us' can be met without serious changes to the state apparatus which will be vigorously opposed by the cops, the right, and many chauvinistic whites. Is there a state in the world that doesn't racialise and brutalise a section of its population?

Chilli Sauce

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Crimethinc may be less shit than they used to be, but they're not the fucking Situationists and I wish they'd realize that.

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Largely, I agree with what you're saying, but I think these organizations are much more limited, and are as on the "outside" as we communists are. They may have more black and latino members, but my understanding is that they are still largely student based, and obviously ideologically very liberal. In the sense that they continue to use race-centered lines of discussion and demand, they will end up being the counter-revolutionary wing of anything else that develops on a more class-focused basis. My sentiment is that there is no "autonomous" movement of the class. It is always a disjointed movement, impressed upon by various ideas about what's possible etc. As groups of communists/anarchists, we ought to be perfectly clear about where we stand, and yes offer practical assistance. You're also right that we're as lost on like, short-medium term vision as anyone else, while we have plenty of medium-long-term vision. This is the most persistent problem.

Erm, I guess I'm just trying to disentangle the groups from the class more generally, and point out the limitations of he groups. From afar, I think this is a good strategy. That way, students don't get roped into Maoist front groups, capitalist rackets, etc. Not exactly a super radical cause, but useful? I'm saying that unless we put our ideas and critiques out there, we cede ground to shitty groups.

boomerang

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

In light of the above, why do we assume that we have the answers, and we just need to get others to come around to them? Like I say I'm wary of a paternalistic attitude (not saying you have one, just that's what I'm wary of here).

I agree with Joseph Kay's post @ #105.

There've been a few people on here either saying or hinting at having some ideas for tactics or strategy that would make the Black Lives Matter movement more effective. So what are these great ideas?

I hope that doesn't sound sarcastic or rude or rhetorical, it's an honest question.

Edit: I wrote this post as Pennoid was writing theirs and only now read it. Seems for them their idea for improvement isn't about tactics or strategy but about there needing to be more of a class analysis?

Chilli Sauce

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spreading it to workplaces seems like a good idea, for one. Taking that anger and energy and using it to tackle other issues of race and class - housing, for example - that can then have an anti-police/anti-police brutality element built into them, for another.

Say, for example, if there was some sort of tenants' union built, it could not only deal with the dire state of housing in Baltimore but could have some sort of mechanism where if the police showed up on the block, the member of the tenants' union could have trained-up legal observers who keep the pigs in line.

The only mass protest movement I've (sort of) been a part of was the Gezi park stuff in Turkey. And what I took away from that is that that sort of street politics only have a certain lifespan. Either people will burnout or the state repression will eventually take its toll - most likely a combination of both. If that struggle doesn't become practically integrated into people's day-to-day life, it's incredibly difficult to keep up that momentum.

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry, I'll try to be clearer: My particular tactic is critique of limits of existing orgs because from afar there is little concrete that I can do. In my area, the tactics are 1. Engage rank and file members of liberal/racket-esque groups, as well as anyone that just shows up, with our ideas. 2. Try and figure out ways to offer practical support (legal aid, immediate safety) if similar things happen. 3. Push for the education of ourselves and other workers. 4. Think about how to organize in a more direct, powerful, effective way. (Direct action, Solnets, syndicalist-unions) which has it's it's own set of logical necessary premises.

Again, I think we're all on the same page with this stuff, I just think maybe I'm more doubtful (from what I've seen) about a lot of these "movements" and their relationship to the class.

There is definitely potential though. And I haven't said a lot about that (mostly because that's hard to identify from afar). Even in Occupy there was potential. So I don't mean to be a curmudgeon. Does that make sense?

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

In the sense that they continue to use race-centered lines of discussion and demand, they will end up being the counter-revolutionary wing of anything else that develops on a more class-focused basis.

Why are race and class mutually exclusive? I don't think you can really separate race and class like that, in the context of the US proletariat at least. There are shit liberal race politics, but there are also shit liberal class politics. I don't think communists should be trying to juxtapose race to class, as if they can be separated out like that. Like I say, imho the demands around police violence, incarceration, housing, unemployment/shit jobs are all class demands; race is articulated through class, and class relations are racialised.

On the other points; yeah I'm not saying radicals should hide their politics or anything. Just that - especially white ones, but anyone really - shouldn't be acting like we've got nothing to learn from movements however supposedly limited (especially since communist politics on race are usually no more than platitudes that 'racism is bad but also class struggle').

In terms of whether it's 'super-radical', well it doesn't really effect me, as I'm white and in the UK. But it seems as least as radical as economic demands over wages or rent (i.e. not inherently, but potentially). In fact you could argue that every state is a racial state, and the demand by those subjected to racialised state violence for the violence to stop - if followed through - necessarily challenges the state.

On ceding ground to shitty groups, that's true. But we should bear in mind that anarchist/communist groups are usually very white, and most of the analysis of race I've seen is really weak, and may well come across as 'shitty' to BLM participants. So we also cede ground by having weak zero-sum 'class not race' politics imho. And standing caveat that movements aren't just potential audiences for 'us' to proseletyse to, but generative, and we should be open to that.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

There is definitely potential though. And I haven't said a lot about that (mostly because that's hard to identify from afar). Even in Occupy there was potential. So I don't mean to be a curmudgeon. Does that make sense?

Yeah I'm not sure we disagree, but I think it's worth talking through this stuff 'out loud'. Obviously I'm mainly following it via twitter/blogs/media, and have no direct experience.

boomerang

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

the demands around police violence, incarceration, housing, unemployment/shit jobs are all class demands; race is articulated through class, and class relations are racialised.

I very much agree here.

Joseph Kay

communist politics on race are usually no more than platitudes that 'racism is bad but also class struggle'

Fair critique, but given the first quote (that class demands are also anti-racist demands), what are we supposed to do? What does it mean to develop better race politics, and to become better in fighting the anti-racist struggle, if racism mostly manifests itself by making class issues more brutal and widespread for the racially oppressed? Doesn't this indicate that class struggle is then the best way to address race issues?

And yet, the crude class focus that minimizes and marginalizes race bothers me. I feel like there needs to be more to it, but I don't know what that more should be.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

boomerang

Fair critique, but given the first quote (that class demands are also anti-racist demands), what are we supposed to do? What does it mean to develop better race politics, and to become better in fighting the anti-racist struggle, if racism mostly manifests itself by making class issues more brutal and widespread for the racially oppressed? Doesn't this indicate that class struggle is then the best way to address race issues?

And yet, the crude class focus that minimizes and marginalizes race bothers me. I feel like there needs to be more to it, but I don't know what that more should be.

I'm probably not the best placed to say, but I tend to find myself reading either academics, or black/brown radicals who want little to do with the existing radical groups when I want to learn about this stuff. I dunno, just feels like there are plenty of commies who'd write about the difference between the relative and equivalent forms of value, but lump e.g. anti-black racism, anti-immigrant racism, anti-indigenous racism, anti-muslim racism etc into a single category, and even then don't really specify either the lived experience or the structural aspects of it. Exaggerating only slightly there. Not exempting myself here, was sorting my books last year and realised like <5% weren't by white people. That absence has to filter through into theory/analysis/practice (insofar as reading affects anything, I guess).

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By shitty groups I mean the array of lefty-liberal groups out there, the NOI, the democrats, NGO's focused on helping kids out of the ghetto via grooming them for mid-level management positions and petit-bourgeois positions etc.

Joseph - You're right, I didn't mean to counter-pose race and class as such, but what I might have said is that race-specific politicing tends to run into the problem of raising an abstract "community" of interests that don't exist, or at least gloss over class conflict. You mentioned the no community but that of capital line in a way that implied that it is somewhat passe. I know it's likely repeated a lot. Is it untrue though? I'm open to the idea that race has something of a social-objectivity, operates like a mystification of social relations, but I haven't read enough theory in this regard. What social relations manifest necessarily as "race"? (Maybe this framework is hopeless to apply here, tho).

As a point of further clarification, I think there can be race-focused demands made that unite the class. Police brutality has that potential. Discriminatory housing and hiring practices as well. But potential is to be emphasized. I'm not sure if they are even tendencies. Those demands could be taken in a really compromising direction, or a really intense and class-conflict direction.

Again, I do think class and race are intimately intertwined. But that's a truism.

I am sort of searching for a better look (as I mentioned above) at the role of race in capitalist society. One thing I've seen mentioned is that is also part of the logic of a social division labor, but to what end? A pool of cheap labor? A socialheuristic/group to target the worst parts of sinking wages onto?

Further, I think that the appeals to the "authentic black experience" are kind of weird. I mean, certainly there are unique experiences, and certainly there are plenty of accounts of them. It doesn't mean they're any more correct at getting to the heart of the matter of social relations, ideology etc. I mean what can Thomas Sowell tell us about the black experience more informing than Thomas Sugrue?

Also, the idea of every state being racial, and the potential for the internal-other being a revolutionary subject really smacks of post-colonial natlib hogwash. Not saying you buy into that stuff whole cloth, but it seems really similar. Then again, it might play into the above stated question, what is the relationship between race/ethnicity/etc. and class in capitalism?

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nah, I would say most communist "groups" are a little less than groups. We're still trying to figure out effective methods of organizing. A lot of the groups I'm referring to are perfectly comfortable and effective with their racketeering, their business enterprises, their party politicking, etc.

My terms aren't like, super rigid, sorry.

Nothing but love for my comrades in the "name-of-that-movie-with-the-shins-music" place.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

You mentioned the no community but that of capital line in a way that implied that it is somewhat passe. I know it's likely repeated a lot. Is it untrue though?

Yes and no, imho. I think the critique is technically correct, but often in a way that misses the point. E.g. usually the 'community' people are defending is actually a product of the struggle, erroneously attributed some primordial status.* But it's often nonetheless, real, a community of struggle. The error is in thinking there was some prior community, but I don't think it's necessarily a consequential error, unless it leads to defining e.g. 'community business leaders' as on-side, which hasn't seemed to be the case too much afaics. And plenty of people have noted the community is created in the struggle:

Pennoid

I'm open to the idea that race has something of a social-objectivity, operates like a mystification of social relations, but I haven't read enough theory in this regard.

Me neither. I think a start is recognising that 'socially constructed' ≠ 'not real'. Race is a real social force - has social-objectivity if you like - because processes of racialisation create some people as less human than others, more killable than others. Often these processes are bound up with property ownership (e.g. racially restrictive covenants), labour markets (discrimination in various forms), policing (cops use skin colour to spot people to jump out and harass - anthropologist Didier Fassin observed this riding with French banilieu cops, and concluded racialisation's essential to the dehumanising treatment required by policing), the state (e.g. war on drugs mandatory sentences)... I suspect these processes are historically specific and have their own logics in each case.

Pennoid

One thing I've seen mentioned is that is also part of the logic of a social division labor, but to what end? A pool of cheap labor?

I can't remember the US stats off the top of my head, but I'd imagine poverty is disproportionately black (and latino?). So that would be one function, though it isn't necessarily a conscious function. I suspect it's more the outcome of various institutional/structural racisms which reproduce themselves over time, of which police harassment/criminialisation is one aspect.

Pennoid

idea of every state being racial, and the potential for the internal-other being a revolutionary subject really smacks of post-colonial natlib hogwash. Not saying you buy into that stuff whole cloth, but it seems really similar.

Why's it hogwash? Can you think of a state that doesn't racialise an 'other' population? The home secretary here had vans driving round London with 'Go Home' written on them recently, while the border cops conducted illegal document checks on black people at transport hubs. Sure, that doesn't prove it's essential to the state, but it's certainly ubiquitous. I don't see why recognising states are institutionally racist implies national liberation politics; anti-statist surely? I mean, national liberators the ANC are now overseeing a racialisation of South Africa's 'foreign' blacks, leading to xenophobic violence.

Achille Mbembe

Chains of complicity go further. South African big business is expanding all over the Continent, at times reproducing in those places the worse forms of racism that were tolerated here under Apartheid. While big business is “de-nationalizing” and “Africanizing”, poor black South Africa and parts of the middle class are being socialized into something we should call “national-chauvinism”. National-chauvinism is rearing its ugly head in almost every sector of the South African society. The thing with national-chauvinism is that it is in permanent need of scapegoats. It starts with those who are not our kins. But very quickly, it turns fratricidal. It does not stop with “these foreigners”.

(Mbembe's usually labelled a post-colonial thinker; it's a label he rejects, fwiw. still, seems a sharp account of what's been going on)

* This is probably a more defensible claim outside of major urban contexts, where you quite often have people there for generations who all know each others' families etc.

Sharkfinn

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the context of racism in the U. S. (and I think pretty much elsewhere as well) the project that unites the class has to be race specific sometimes (or “race-centered”). This means organising as a community to confront racism as an issue in itself, not just something embedded in shared, cross-ethnic economic struggles.

The problems those economic struggles deal with, take their current form because of historic racism and how it has been used to divide the class. One of the main perpetrators of this is not just the state or the bourgeoisie, but the historical American white worker –organised worker, particularly in the south.

The white worker and his trade union displaced black labour on street railways, in firemen’s job on railroads, in the jobs of switchmen and shopworkers, in contruction work and shipbuilding, and in hotel service and barbering. […] Blacks who had spent years acquiring the skills needed for craftsmen’s work were denied membership in white unions, which had signed closed-shop or union-shop agreements with the employers, and were forced into menial service at low wages. -Philip Foner (1982) “Organized Labour and the Black Worker 1619-1981”, NY, IB.

Class solidarity has to include the whole class, but historically it has often been reciprocal only within certain ethnic communities (white, black). White working-class doesn’t necessarily give equality for the black worker, even if it would mean higher bargaining power in the future versus the destruction and impotence of the labour movement in the long term, if they think that racism secures relatively better conditions for themselves. In economic terms, it’s a case of quick short term gain versus long term interest.

Heroic attempts to bridge the gap within the class by left organisations (like the IWW and many black political organisations) have been smashed though racist state violence many times in the past, which puts black political movements into a difficult position. Class solidarity isn’t always strong enough for basic demands if a precondition for them is to deal with racial (or other privileges) dividing the class.

They have to be ready to fight against racism autonomously, as a black community because cross ethic solidarity from whites can’t be taken for granted.

Pennoid

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It seems really similar to natlib hogwash to suggest that there is a revolutionary agent (in the communist sense of the term, not that used by political science to mean personnel change of rulers) that is, as an ethnic/racial group "against the capitalist state". I think immigrants are kind of a different case. But it should be clear the the category "African American" and "Immigrant" do not thoroughly overlap.

Again, I don't think you're suggesting natlib politics, but much like "the community" (not the one in struggle, but the one that politically organized forces in Baltimore are using to beat rioters over the head with constantly) the framework does seem to suggest some possibility that the racialized "other" could unite and rule, just like the "community" can be restored and sanctified.

EDIT: But also maybe we should split this or end it or keep this thread for news reports etc?

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

EDIT: But also maybe we should split this or end it or keep this thread for news reports etc?

Maybe. Baltimore seems to have quietened down for now, but if it starts distracting from updates we can start a new thread?

Pennoid

It seems really similar to natlib hogwash to suggest that there is a revolutionary agent (in the communist sense of the term, not that used by political science to mean personnel change of rulers) that is, as an ethnic/racial group "against the capitalist state"

I think it's a leap to go from 'structural racism exists' to 'X ethnic group is the revolutionary class'. The whole point of structural racism is you can have black cops, black mayors, and a black president, and the machine still (disproportionately) murders black people. To me that suggests (i) you can be a black member of the ruling class in a way you can't be a proletarian member of the ruling class (a proletarian mayor is an ex-proletarian - i wouldn't follow some black nationalists in saying a black mayor is white); (ii) the state itself is the problem; therefore (iii) no racialised group forms a revolutionary class, rather the class relation and thus the (potentially) revolutionary class is racialised in various ways.

Pennoid

I think immigrants are kind of a different case. But it should be clear the the category "African American" and "Immigrant" do not thoroughly overlap.

Yeah this is true, though I think they're different modes of racialisation, and they can be fuzzy. The anti-immigrant campaigns here mainly involve hassling non-white people in the street, the overwhelming majority of whom aren't 'foreign'. See also 'where are you from? no, where are you really from?' (which might be more a British racism thing with the former colonies, I doubt people ask African Americans if they're 'really' from Ghana?). It seems like in the US anti-black racism has far more to do with the history of slavery, then de facto slavery in the post-emancipation period, i.e. very much bound up with class relations, exploitation, and post-industrially, a racialised surplus population. Though my knowledge of US history is pretty thin, so I'm guessing.

Jamal

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Re: Sharkfinn's post #121 and similar sentiments...

Having lived in the US south for 25 years now, I've learned there are plenty of historical examples of Black/white working class unity around labor issues in the early 20th century up until WWII. You just need to look.

Read about the workers movements in Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia and other states around these times you might be surprised. Workers in these states were uniting not just in spite of racial difference but also national and linguistic barriers.

Flint

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For those who don't know, I posted a lot of stuff about what was going on in Baltimore during the uprising publicly to my facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/flintsparc

Latest news that the Mayor's right to call a curfew (instead of the Governor) has been challenged. The City's District Attorney office has dropped all charges in regards to curfew violations.

Pennoid

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph, you said you could argue that every state is a racial state, and that "other" fighting for rights, would challenge that state. I think that sounds like natlib garbage. It isn't the same, it is like a softened liberal/anarchist-y version, but I don't see A) how "challenging the state" is inherently positive B) Any "racial state" existing now wherein the other is not in some way incorporated into the bourgeoisie, wither formally, or within their own spaces.

As for the white-worker: I think a discussion of the white worker and racism needs to take as it's point of departure the span of the last 60 years, in stead of always beginning and ending prior to that. But there are examples, from Philly Local 8, to Louisiana and so many more than the IWW, of interracial organizing. But so many people think that white supremacy and racism take the form they took like 60 years ago. They do not, and that is important. Certainly, awful racist strikes, riots, and lynch mobs are the history of the white working class back then, but what are our problems now, and their more recent roots of development?

Joseph Kay

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Pennoid

Joseph, you said you could argue that every state is a racial state, and that "other" fighting for rights, would challenge that state. I think that sounds like natlib garbage.

I wonder if it sounds like that because we don't have a shared vocabulary to talk about this stuff? So other more familiar politics are used as a reference point, understandably enough. But analogy isn't identity, and maybe this is a symptom of the fact that (afaik) there isn't much contemporary black communist analysis/theory, or if there is I (and many others) are ignorant of it.

What I suggested was it's arguable that all states racialise, and therefore challenging racialisation challenges the capacity of the state to rule. I don't know if that's true. Racialisation seems a ubiquitous part of state governance*, but that doesn't mean it's an essential one. And it doesn't mean any particular group has to get shuffled to the bottom of the hierarchy; the South Africa example shows how anti-Apartheid black identity has fractured into chauvinist nationalism/xenophobia against non-national blacks. That seems like the fruit of the ANC's national liberation approach, as they transformed themselves into a black bourgeoisie. Something like Abahlali baseMjondolo seems more like a form of black struggle that's simultaneously internationalist class struggle, as opposed to a natlib 'race not class' one.

Pennoid

I don't see A) how "challenging the state" is inherently positive B) Any "racial state" existing now wherein the other is not in some way incorporated into the bourgeoisie, wither formally, or within their own spaces.

A) The state is the political form of class society. When tens of thousands of black proletarians are challenging its capacity to exercise violence, that seems positive. B) Of course. It's not either/or. The state is necessarily a class apparatus, it can simultaneously be a racial one (either contingently, or necessarily, depending on how we theorise it I guess). Like I say, the incorporation of black faces into high places is a hallmark of the contemporary state that's nevertheless shooting black people every 28 hours.

On the white worker stuff I obviously don't disagree with cross-racial class solidarity! I just don't think a colour-blind class analysis is conducive to that. I don't know so much about contemporary US race relations so I'm gonna have to skimp on specifics.

* Back in the day, before 'race' and 'class' emerged as clearly distinct categories, the proletariat was racialised as a savage, uncivilised mob. That kind of language still comes back now and then, I guess because when you need to e.g. repress a crowd, dehumanising it does a lot of ideological work.

Flint

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

iexist

Ur not Gram Negative?????

I don't know who is behind the Gram Negative user name. Though the odds are we probably know each other.

Sharkfinn

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

First of all a clarification: I did not say there hasn’t been cross ethnic unity in labour struggles. I didn’t mention it in detail, because this being libcom, I assumed that the history behind the American IWW and anti-racism would be self-evident for most posters. It is however, irrelevant concerning my previous post which was intended as a response to the opposition against “race-centric” rhetoric.

In the sense that they continue to use race-centered lines of discussion and demand, they will end up being the counter-revolutionary wing of anything else that develops on a more class-focused basis.

Stop and search, the prison system, housing discrimination, ext. -are race-centric working class issues. I find it unclear what kind of non-race-centred demands should be used when talking about these issues so as not to become “the counter-revolutionary wing” of the anti-racist working class movement.

The labour movement has an existential need to fight against racism and all divisions within the working class but this cannot be done exclusively through “shared working class issues” in the name of class unity (perhaps we all agree on this, and it’s just the wording that throws me off).

The civil rights movement, race riots & black liberation organisations didn’t achieve their aims through union organising with white workers but through demands made as a united black community and direct action. Revolutionary worker’s movement needs to understand that specific problems (discrimination by race, gender, disability) usually demand specific solutions and the movement has to be able to facilitate and encourage that.

Pennoid

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Class =\= labor movement. But in any case I think we mostly agree, I just don't think "X race community" can much sustain a revolutionary framework without dealing with class.

I further think that class consciousness is not purely spontaneous; learning history and theory is important.

Joseph Kay

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Maybe another way to think about this is:

1) You can't explain state violence/policing without reference to class
2) You can't explain police killings (and the movement against them) without reference to race

Therefore, neither 'class not race' colourblind communism, nor 'race not class' natlib style politics are adequate. How we go about thinking race and class* simultaneously is an open question, there's various theoretical approaches, but any reductionism of race to class or class to race seems untenable.

* and not only race and class

Pennoid

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fair enough

:D

Jamal

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Police are killing everybody. 40% of unarmed victims are Black. Three times more than white people. Still though, 26% of all police victims are Black.

http://www.mappingpoliceviolence.org

Flint

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal Rayyan

Still though, 26% of all police victims are Black.

Yes, and only 12.2% of the U.S. population is Black, but 63.7% of folks are non-hispanic White. Further the black population is concentrated in certain urban centers and rurally in the south. So the perception is that where black folks exist in the U.S., they are disproportionately the victims of police violence (with being killed by the police the most egregious thing). So in a Black majority city like Baltimore you would expect blacks to be the majority killed by the police, except its overwhelmingly the case. Its also the experience that black folks are overwhelmingly the victims of any murder. And not just black folks in general, but specifically black men.

So that's why it seems like a huge race thing, because it is.

Baltimore Murder Map: 2014: Blacks

Baltimore Murder Map: 2014: Whites

Baltimore Murder Map: 2014: Women

Baltimore Murder Map: 2014: 21217 (Sandtown-Winchester + my neighborhood of Reservoir Hill)

Back in my neck of the woods growing up in relatively white-homogeneous rural West Virginia, its usually white folks who have run ins with the police; because its overwhelmingly just white folks who live there.

White privilege (like the privilege not to be harassed by the police to the point of being murdered by them) is a RELATIVE rather than ABSOLUTE privilege. It doesn't matter or really apply to homogeneously-white poor area.

bastarx

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a good article about Baltimore:

http://www.ultra-com.org/project/rites-of-passage/

And for fans of riot porn, here's a cool video linked in the article:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLp2RCnxjFA

boomerang

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal did say that US cops kill blacks three times more than white people. So he's not denying the racialization of police violence. And he's making a good point on pointing out that people of all 'races' are victims of police brutality and murder.

It's important for people to be aware of both things - the racial disparity in police violence, and also it being a general problem. If people lose sight of it being a general problem, then it blocks them from understanding that the police are a problem in themselves, rather than just their racism being a problem.

I've been thinking about all this with the Black Lives Matter movement. How to highlight this reality without taking the spotlight off of racism? Can the spotlight be widened rather than moved? And how?

I remember when the #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag got popular, I felt very ambivalent about it. On the one hand it helped people in denial about racism who took the view that "Well those blacks must've been up to no good if the cops did [insert terrible thing] to them!" So that's good. On the other hand, it gave this very false impression that cops letting whites get away with shit is the norm. A dangerous view, and one that inhibits a proper understanding of cops, their role in society, etc.

I remember I actually used to believe this, that cops were not a threat to white people. I remember even thinking that whites should experience MORE police brutality so that it would help them wake up about the fucked up nature of this society! A despicable and shameful view!

When I found a website that archived various police brutality videos, I remember being shocked to see how many white people were getting brutalized by police for no damn reason. Even a frail little old white lady who was bed ridden was tasered in her bed. Hell, there was even a video of a cop pepper spraying a friggin baby squirrel in front of school children begging him to stop! These videos are when I realized that cops aren't just racist... many are bullies with god-complexes who break into narcissistic rage if you don't bend over and lick their boots. That's when I finally developed a healthy fear of the cops.

Flint

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This jail has been politically controversial from the beginning. The Algebra Project fought it, as did Occupy Baltimore. Supposedly, it was a dead project.

The Board of Public Works unanimously approved the deal without discussion on Wednesday, a marked shift from the debates that consumed plans to build a $70 million youth jail twice as large two years ago.

Advocates say they hope plummeting populations of young offenders charged as adults and changes in state law will eventually render the $30 million project obsolete.

State of Maryland approves $30 million for new youth jail

Occupy Baltimore – and media – booted from public sidewalk near youth jail site (2012)

Juvenile jail scrapped, but state still plans $70M for facilities (2013)

First day of Occupy Baltimore

They can find $30 million for a unneeded Youth Jail, but not for recreation centers,

the city had spent too much on policing compared to providing rec centers, alluding to the 2011-12 battles when Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake closed down or privatized more than 20 recreation facilities. The city has since opened a center in Morrell Park and rehabilitated several facilities in East and Northeast Baltimore.

Closing rec centers and slashing youth programs were root causes of riot, councilman asserts

ACLU: police seizure of protesters’ Rec Center sign “spectacularly improper”

Mayor proposes rec center closings and transfers in 2013 budget

Flint

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Also, it should be noted that the new Republican Governor Larry Hogan's proposed budget would cut $144 million from Maryland schools.

source

Baltimore City would get $11+ million in school cuts, while black-majority Prince George's County would get $20+ million in school cuts.

source

Jamal

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've been thinking about the demand to disarm the police. Considering the US bourgeoisie would never, ever go for that, it could be an interesting fight. It would expose a lot of the contradictions of capitalism in ways many don't understand.

But of course if the whispers became shouts and the US ruling class did "reform" the police enough to quell mass dissatisfaction that would just restore confidence in capitalism and the state.

So what do we do?

Flint

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"Right Back", Comrade

Comrade just put out a track for the Baltimore Uprising.

(Comrade actually preformed at this winter's holiday party at UNITE HERE Local 7. We also had Dimitri Reeves.)

ChumpChange

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"Baltimore"

Beat-up little seagull
On a marble stair
Tryin' to find the ocean
Lookin' everywhere

Hard times in the city
In a hard town by the sea
Ain't nowhere to run to
There ain't nothin' here for free

Hooker on the corner
Waiting for a train
Drunk lying on the sidewalk
Sleeping in the rain

And the people hide their faces
And they hide their eyes
'Cause the city's dyin'
And they don't know why

Oh, Baltimore
Ain't it hard just to live?
Oh, Baltimore
Ain't it hard just to live?
Just to live

Get my sister Sandy
And my little brother Ray
Buy a big old wagon
To haul us all away

Live out in the country
Where the mountain's high
Never gonna come back here
Till the day I die

Oh, Baltimore
Ain't it hard just to live?
Oh, Baltimore
Ain't it hard just to live?
Just to live

Nina Simone

boomerang

7 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamal Rayyan

But of course if the whispers became shouts and the US ruling class did "reform" the police enough to quell mass dissatisfaction that would just restore confidence in capitalism and the state.
So what do we do?

Well this is the problem with any movement that wins reforms.

What to do? I have no specific plan, but I believe trying to win people over to revolutionary and anarchist goals through education (done within the context of organizing and struggle) is the general thing to do.