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Tamir Rice’s Family to Receive $6 Million From Cleveland

NBCommentary: So that’s how it’s done. To avoid a federal civil rights trial, the Rice Estate gets $6million. Meanwhile, no criminal charges against the officers that killed Tamir. For some reason this just seems a bit strange to me.

By MITCH SMITH APRIL 25, 2016

Cleveland Mayor on Tamir Rice Settlement

By REUTERS
Cleveland Mayor on Tamir Rice Settlement
Mayor Frank Jackson announced a $6 milllion settlement with the family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old killed by the police, but said no price could be put on the life of a child.
 By REUTERS on Publish Date April 25, 2016. 
Photo by Tony Dejak/Associated Press. Watch in Times Video »
CHICAGO — The family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy whose fatal shooting by the Cleveland police in 2014 prompted national outrage, is set to receive $6 million from the city in a settlement announced Monday in federal court records.
The settlement, which would be the latest in a series of seven-figure payouts by major American cities to the families of African-Americans who died at the hands of officers, spares Cleveland the possibility of a federal civil rights trial that could have drawn new attention to Tamir’s death and to the city’s troubled police force. It also allows the city to avoid the possibility of an even larger judgment.
Cleveland officials said the settlement was the city’s largest in a police-related lawsuit, though under the terms of the agreement, the city does not admit wrongdoing. The $6 million figure is in line with settlements in the deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

Lawyers for the Rice family had been meeting with Cleveland officials to discuss a settlement since early last month. The agreement must still be approved by a probate court.

For the Rice family, which had called for criminal charges against the rookie officer who opened fire almost immediately after encountering Tamir on Nov. 22, 2014, the settlement means a significant payment and an end to civil proceedings. But it does nothing to change the decision by a Cuyahoga County grand jury last year to not indict the officer, Timothy Loehmann. Lawyers for Tamir’s estate said Monday that “no amount of money can adequately compensate” the boy’s relatives for their grief.

By Brent McDonald and Michael Kirby Smith
After Death of Tamir Rice, Pain Lingers
Family and friends of Tamir Rice, 12, struggle with their loss five months after a Cleveland police officer fatally shot the boy as he played with a toy gun in a park.
 By Brent McDonald and Michael Kirby Smith on Publish DateApril 22, 2015. Photo by Brent McDonald/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »
“In a situation like this, there’s no such thing as closure or justice,” the lawyers, Jonathan S. Abady and Earl S. Ward, said in a statement. “Nothing will bring Tamir back. His unnecessary and premature death leaves a gaping hole for those who knew and loved him that can never be filled.”
The Rice settlement provides another example of a city choosing to settle for millions of dollars rather than to contest a wrongful-death lawsuit in court.

This month, Chicago aldermen approved paying $4.95 million to the family of a man experiencing a mental health crisis who died after being dragged from his cell in handcuffs and shocked repeatedly with a Taser. They also approved $1.5 million to the estate of an asthmatic man who died after a police foot chase; witnesses said he had been denied access to his inhaler.
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Baltimore Riots: A Product of the Soros Machine

Baltimore Riots: A Product Of The Soros Machine

Image source

By Brandon Turbeville

While Baltimore burns, the city has proven itself to be yet another staging ground in a long line of scenes involving “violent protests,” riots, and racial violence following an incident concerning police brutality, real or otherwise.

Although the issues that have set off the spark in most of these protests were entirely legitimate, government agencies, foundations, organizations, and NGOs immediately swooped in to divert the protests into racially charged fit throwing and often violent riots.

With a carefully orchestrated network that was capable of organizing large numbers of individuals on a moment’s notice, and a simultaneous media campaign that cleverly showed violence and riots but ignored peaceful or appropriately-directed violent acts, these organizations were able to turn what could and should have been a national movement into a racially-oriented hate-filled display of unrestrained destruction.

With this in mind, one might justifiably ask how these organizations might have such an effective network that operates in concert with a national corporate media apparatus in order to wreck legitimate movements and, out of those movements, create a counter-productive act of mindless fit-throwing?

The answer is the same as it has often been in Europe – the color revolution apparatus and George Soros.

Indeed, George Soros has been heavily involved in the social unrest and movement-wrecking activity that has taken place all across the United States in recent months. From Florida to Ferguson and now to Baltimore, George Soros’ Foundations have been involved in making sure that not only are American citizens unable to overcome racial divisions with mutual cooperation but that even the racially isolated participants are unable to accomplish anything of substance.

As Kelly Riddell of the Washington Times reported in January, 2015, regarding Soros’ involvement in Ferguson,

There’s a solitary man at the financial center of the Ferguson protest movement. No, it’s not victim Michael Brown or Officer Darren Wilson. It’s not even the Rev. Al Sharpton, despite his ubiquitous campaign on TV and the streets. 

Rather, it’s liberal billionaire George Soros, who has built a business empire that dominates across the ocean in Europe while forging a political machine powered by nonprofit foundations that impacts American politics and policy, not unlike what he did with MoveOn.org. 

Mr. Soros spurred the Ferguson protest movement through years of funding and mobilizing groups across the U.S., according to interviews with key players and financial records reviewed by The Washington Times. 

In all, Mr. Soros gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson, according to the most recent tax filings of his nonprofit Open Society Foundations. 

The financial tether from Mr. Soros to the activist groups gave rise to a combustible protest movement that transformed a one-day criminal event in Missouri into a 24-hour-a-day national cause celebre. 

“Our DNA includes a belief that having people participate in government is indispensable to living in a more just, inclusive, democratic society,” said Kenneth Zimmerman, director of Mr. SorosOpen Society Foundations’ U.S. programs, in an interview with The Washington Times. “Helping groups combine policy, research [and] data collection with community organizing feels very much the way our society becomes more accountable.”

Indeed, the Open Society Institute has been promoting “democracy” all over the world if, by democracy, one means the overthrow of governments unfriendly to Anglo-American banking interests and installing new and more corrupt leadership in its place.

Riddell continues by writing,

Soros-sponsored organizations helped mobilize protests in Ferguson, building grass-roots coalitions on the ground backed by a nationwide online and social media campaign. 

Other Soros-funded groups made it their job to remotely monitor and exploit anything related to the incident that they could portray as a conservative misstep, and to develop academic research and editorials to disseminate to the news media to keep the story alive. 

The plethora of organizations involved not only shared Mr. Soros‘ funding, but they also fed off each other, using content and buzzwords developed by one organization on another’s website, referencing each other’s news columns and by creating a social media echo chamber of Facebook “likes” and Twitter hashtags that dominated the mainstream media and personal online newsfeeds. 

Buses of activists from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference in Chicago; from the Drug Policy Alliance, Make the Road New York and Equal Justice USA from New York; from Sojourners, the Advancement Project and Center for Community Change in Washington; and networks from the Gamaliel Foundation — all funded in part by Mr. Soros — descended on Ferguson starting in August and later organized protests and gatherings in the city until late last month. 

All were aimed at keeping the media’s attention on the city and to widen the scope of the incident to focus on interrelated causes — not just the overpolicing and racial discrimination narratives that were highlighted by the news media in August. 

“I went to Ferguson in a quest to be in solidarity and stand with the young organizers and affirm their leadership,” said Kassandra Frederique, policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, which was founded by Mr. Soros, and which receives $4 million annually from his foundation. She traveled to Ferguson in October. 

“We recognized this movement is similar to the work we’re doing at DPA,” said Ms. Frederique. “The war on drugs has always been to operationalize, institutionalize and criminalize people of color. Protecting personal sovereignty is a cornerstone of the work we do and what this movement is all about.” 

Ms. Frederique works with Opal Tometi, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter — a hashtag that was developed after the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida — and helped promote it on DPA’s news feeds. Ms. Tometi runs the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, a group to which Mr. Soros gave $100,000 in 2011, according to the most recent of his foundation’s tax filings. 

“I think #BlackLivesMatter’s success is because of organizing. This was created after Trayvon Martin, and there has been sustained organizing and conversations about police violence since then,” said Ms. Frederique. “Its explosion into the mainstream recently is because it connects all the dots at a time when everyone was lost for words. ‘Black Lives Matter’ is liberating, unapologetic and leaves no room for confusion.”

It should be noted that The Gamaliel Foundation, which is described as a “net-work of grassroots and interracial organizations,” is not only funded by George Soros, it was the Foundation where President Barack Obama began his career as a “community organizer” in Chicago. Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright who drew Conservative ire for a fiery sermon condemning America’s actions (his famous “Goddamn America speech), is a trustee of the Soros-funded Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference, an organization that sent representatives to Ferguson early on.

In Ferguson, the use of clergy and ministers became a major part of the social movement as funded by Soros as well. Riddell reveals as much when she writes,

Representatives of Sojourners, a national evangelical Christian organization committed “to faith in action for social justice,” attended the weekend [Gamaliel’s weekend protest event in Ferguson]. The group received $150,000 from Mr. Soros in 2011. 

Clergy representatives from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference, where the Rev. Jeremiah Wright serves as a trustee, also showed up. Mr. Wright was Mr. Obama’s pastor in Chicago before some of his racially charged sermons, including the phrase “God damn America,” forced Mr. Obama to distance himself. SDPC received $250,000 from Mr. Soros in 2011. 

During Gamaliel’s weekend protest event, Sunday was deemed “Hands Up Sabbath,” where clergy were asked to speak out about racial issues, using packets and talking points prepared for them by another religion-based community organizing group, PICO.

PICO is also supported by the Open Society Foundations, according to its website.

The Washington Times article also serves to shed light on a number of other more profile “national” organizations funded by Soros that descended upon Ferguson, now explaining some of the reasons that the protest movement on the ground in MO became such a disgraceful failure. Riddell further demonstrates this by writing,

Larry Fellows III, 29, a Missouri native, did find his voice in the chaos of Ferguson with the help of outside assistance backed by Mr. Soros

Mr. Fellows is co-founder of the Millennial Activists United, a key source of video and stories developed in Ferguson by youth activists used to inspire other groups nationally.

Mr. Fellows explained how he started his organization in an interview with the American Civil Liberties Union (another Soros-backed entity that sent national representatives to Missouri) in November. 

“Initially, it would just be that we would show up for protests, and the next day we’d clean up the streets. A lot of the same people were out at the protests and going out to lunch and talking about what was happening. That became a cycle until a lot of us figured out we needed to have a strategy,” Mr. Fellows explained to the ACLU, which posted the interview in its blog. 

“Then a lot of organizers from across the country started to come in to help us do the planning and do the strategizing. That helped us start doing it on our own and planning out actions and what our narratives were going to be,” he said. 

MAU has listed on its website that it has partnered with Gamaliel network churches. They’ve also received training on civil disobedience from the Advancement Project — which was given a $500,000 grant from Mr. Soros in 2013 “to build a fair and just, multi-racial democracy in America through litigation, community organizing support, public policy reform, and strategic communications,” according to the Foundation’s website. 

The Advancement Project, based in Washington, also arranged the meeting between community organizers in Ferguson and Mr. Obama last month to brief him on the situation in Ferguson and to set up a task force that examines trust between police and minority communities. 

In addition, the Advancement Project has also dedicated some of its staff to lead organizations in Ferguson, like the Don’t Shoot Coalition, another grass-roots group that preaches the same message, links to the same Facebook posts and “likes” the same articles as DPA, ACLU, Hands Up Coalition, OBS, MORE and others.

It should also be noted that the Open Society Institute, one of Soros’ main NGOs, has worked closely with Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Google in making Baltimore one of their “test cities” for smart technology and new fiber cables. Rawlings-Blake has had pleasant things to say about Soros in the past.

While the above information addresses the involvement of #blacklivesmatter groups and similar organizations active on the ground inside Ferguson as a matter of historical precedent, these organizations and similar operations such as the Black Youth Project (funded by Soros) and the Open Society Institute and its subsididiaries have had a sizable presence inside Baltimore in the time leading up to the Freddie Gray protests and continue to do so as we speak.

For instance, Baltimore United Viewfinders has received a sizeable grant from the OSI for the purpose of working with a coalition of community partners and the Maryland Institute College of Art to use digital media to engage East Baltimore youth in peer-to-peer arts and social justice programming. Other organizations and individuals have received grants from the OSI to promote “social justice” and “democracy” through theatre and the arts while others operate on a more charitable basis, providing guidance in healthcare matters and community organizing skills. As one will see from the discussion of the methodology of color revolutions below as well as the discussion of the preparation that goes into these social phenomena, the structure of “community organizations” and “community influence” is important to the color revolution apparatus. The ability to take advantage of unemployed, under-educated, lonely, and hopeless youth is one of the greatest opportunities that the Soros color revolution organizations understand and firmly grasp.

The relevance of the Soros connection may seem confusing to many. Certainly, however, no one in their right mind will suggest that a man that has made his fortune bankrupting nations and impoverishing their peoples lies awake at night wringing his hands over concerns for black people in America.

Soros is most well-known for playing a major role in the funding and facilitating of the “Bulldozer Revolution” in Serbia that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, Georgia’s “Rose Revolution” of 2003, the 2006 push to move Turkey toward a more Islamist governing structure, and even the Occupy movement in the United States among a great many others – none of which brought anything other than greater misery, impoverishment, and police state mechanisms to bear on the general public. The Occupy movement, being the only exception, still brought nothing to its participants except the opportunity to burn off excess anger and energy along with a few cracked protester skulls. It was otherwise an incredible waste of time.

Regardless, the methods being used by the Soros machine in terms of the #blacklivesmatter and other related campaigns across the country are much the same as those used in Europe to usher in greater austerity, police states, and fascism through government-coup and social protest – i.e. a coordinated media campaign to provide the general public with a false perception of events as well as a false narrative, the use of social media and slogans, and the deployment of “swarming adolescents” in the streets.

When media campaigns alone are not enough, there are other methods that are able to be implemented if need be. For instance, a Mother Jones report revealed the fact that in some areas where rioting began, there appears to have been a concerted effort on the part of the authorities to create an environment in which riots would be inevitable. For example, in an instance where it was reported that teens in Baltimore attacked police by throwing rocks, it was never mentioned that police had corralled these teens – who should have been on their way home – off the bus and into an area in between the mall and the high school. According to onlookers, it appeared that both the teens and the police were surprised at the situation – the police surprised at the lack of violence and the teens surprised that they were kept from going home. Eventually, rocks and bottles were reportedly thrown at police and the situation deteriorated from there. Of course, the entire story was never fully reported in the mainstream press. Still, while the rocks and bottles may have started from those in the crowd, others may justifiably wonder if there were not provocateurs already placed simply waiting to cause violence as soon as the tension had reached a boiling point. As it is, it is very likely that protesters and police alike were dupes in a devious game.

Consider also the fact that the Baltimore authorities, despite implementing heavy-handed tactics against high schoolers on their way home, allowed criminals, thieves, and violent thugs to prey upon innocent people, private property, and communities for quite some time without a serious effort to stop them. In fact, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake even openly admitted that the looters were allowed to riot when she stated that “We also gave those who wish to destroy space to do that as well.” The police were prevented from actually stopping the riots and were kept largely unequipped as well. In other words, the riots were both allowed and encouraged until they had reached a boiling point and the National Guard was called in.

Of course, the color revolution and destabilization is not merely some communiqué presented to a small group of people that organically takes on a life of its own. There is an entire science behind the application of a movement of destabilization both when it takes place overseas as well as when it takes place domestically. As Pottenger and Frieson of Color Revolutions and Geopolitics write,

Many are the professions that utilize this type of understanding, including (but not limited to) marketing, advertising, public relations, politics and law-making, radio, television, journalism and news, film, music, general business and salesmanship; each of them selling, branding, promoting, entertaining, sloganeering, framing, explaining, creating friends and enemies, arguing likes and dislikes, setting the boundaries of good and evil: in many cases using their talents to circumvent their audiences’ intellect, the real target being emotional, oftentimes even subconscious.

Looking beneath the facade of the color revolutionary movement we also find a desire-based behavioral structure, in particular one that has been built upon historical lessons offered by social movements and periods of political upheaval.

It then makes sense that the personnel of such operations include perception managers, PR firms, pollsters and opinion-makers in the social media. Through the operational infrastructure, these entities work in close coordination with intelligence agents, local and foreign activists, strategists and tacticians, tax-exempt foundations, governmental agencies, and a host of non- governmental organizations.

Collectively, their job is to make a palace coup (of their sponsorship) seem like a social revolution; to help fill the streets with fearless demonstrators advocating on behalf of a government of their choosing, which then legitimizes the sham governments with the authenticity of popular democracy and revolutionary fervor.

Because the operatives perform much of their craft in the open, their effectiveness is heavily predicated upon their ability to veil the influence backing them, and the long-term intentions guiding their work.

Their effectiveness is predicated on their ability to deceive, targeting both local populations and foreign audiences with highly-misleading interpretations of the underlying causes provoking these events.

With this explanation in mind, consider the description provided by Ian Traynor of the Guardian regarding the “revolutions” and “mass movements” which was taking place in Ukraine, Serbia, Belarus, and Georgia in 2004 and the time of the writing of his article. Indeed, Traynor’s depiction of the methodology used by the Foundations, NGOs, and government agencies stirring up dissent and popular revolt is equally illuminating. Traynor writes,

In the centre of Belgrade, there is a dingy office staffed by computer-literate youngsters who call themselves the Centre for Non-violent Resistance. If you want to know how to beat a regime that controls the mass media, the judges, the courts, the security apparatus and the voting stations, the young Belgrade activists are for hire. 

They emerged from the anti-Milosevic student movement, Otpor, meaning resistance. The catchy, single-word branding is important. In Georgia last year, the parallel student movement was Khmara. In Belarus, it was Zubr. In Ukraine, it is Pora, meaning high time. Otpor also had a potent, simple slogan that appeared everywhere in Serbia in 2000 – the two words “gotov je”, meaning “he’s finished”, a reference to Milosevic. A logo of a black-and-white clenched fist completed the masterful marketing.

In Ukraine, the equivalent is a ticking clock, also signalling that the Kuchma regime’s days are numbered.

Stickers, spray paint and websites are the young activists’ weapons. Irony and street comedy mocking the regime have been hugely successful in puncturing public fear and enraging the powerful.

These slogans and symbols are the product of mass marketers employed by State Departments and intelligence agencies for the sole purpose of destabilizing and/or overthrowing a democratically elected or unfavorable (to the oligarchy)government.

The details and techniques of the manipulation of mass numbers of people have only continued to become more and more advanced and sophisticated, particularly with the advent of social media.

As Jonathan Mowat wrote,

As in the case of the new communication technologies, the potential effectiveness of angry youth in postmodern coups has long been under study. As far back as 1967, Dr. Fred Emery, then director of the Tavistock Institute, and an expert on the “hypnotic effects” of television, specified that the then new phenomenon of “swarming adolescents” found at rock concerts could be effectively used to bring down the nation-state by the end of the 1990s. This was particularly the case, as Dr. Emery reported in “The next thirty years: concepts, methods and anticipations,” in the group’s “Human Relations,” because the phenomena was associated with “rebellious hysteria.” The British military created the Tavistock Institute as its psychological warfare arm following World War I; it has been the forerunner of such strategic planning ever since. Dr. Emery’s concept saw immediate application in NATO’s use of “swarming adolescents” in toppling French President Charles De Gaulle in 1967.[1]

[…]

In November 1989, Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio, under the aegis of that university’s “Program for Social Innovations in Global Management,” began a series of conferences to review progress towards that strategic objective, which was reported on in “Human Relations” in 1991. There, Dr. Howard Perlmutter, a professor of “Social Architecture” at the Wharton School, and a follower of Dr. Emery, stressed that “rock video in Kathmandu,” was an appropriate image of how states with traditional cultures could be destabilized, thereby creating the possibility of a “global civilization.” There are two requirements for such a transformation, he added, “building internationally committed networks of international and locally committed organizations,” and “creating global events” through “the transformation of a local event into one having virtually instantaneous international implications through mass-media.”[2]

The American people must quickly learn the formula behind color revolutions, destabilizations, and the agendas of the world oligarchy before it becomes too late for us all. They must learn that simply because “leaders” appear to them, attempt to speak the same language and articulate rage does not mean that these leaders are men of the people.

Protests are necessary. Directed rage may also be necessary. But the wanton destruction of communities belonging to you or your neighbors is not only counterproductive, it produces rage that will be aimed back at you, and justifiably so. The entire country is being played like a fiddle. Baltimore is not an isolated collection of dupes, it is a microcosm. It is time the American people wise up and become street smart before it is too late.

The Economic Destruction of Baltimore, by Rob Urie

    Baltimore, Police Violence and Economic Justice
    by ROB URIE
    “We need more police, we need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders. The ‘three-strikes-and-you’re-out’ for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets.”
    Hillary Clinton 1994
    The Economic Backdrop
    American politics is the realm of Immaculate Conception where actual policies and accumulated history disappear behind a veil of personal characteristics and unrelated acts. The (mis)leadership class pretends that ruling class machinations— trade agreements, financial deregulation, imperial wars, surveillance and policing have no bearing on social outcomes. American cities bear the imprint of these policies plus the residuals of slavery, genocide and the particulars of Western capitalism that have embedded history into current social relations. This is to argue that the individualist explanation of Western history may be interesting for those so-inclined, but it fails as description in every conceivable dimension.
    Freddie Gray. Original Image source: cnn.com
    Political explanations of public policies like trade agreements and financial deregulation put a political face on fundamentally economic arrangements. When Bill and Hillary Clinton instituted the ‘tough-on-crime’ policies that so exacerbated mass incarceration there was a political explanation— pandering to White suburban voters’ manufactured fears of a Black urban underclass to garner votes, but the policies tied closely to American economic history as well. From slavery to convict leasing to urban dispossession, racial repression has produced economic value that has been expropriated. The Clinton’s neoliberal trade policies exacerbated the urban industrial exodus while deregulation of finance ‘monetized’ Black wealth for the taking. Seemingly unrelated ‘political’ policies often have economic explanations.
    Economic history ties America’s cities to political and economic hierarchy through the dimensions of this hierarchy. Washington to Baltimore to Philadelphia to New York was the land route North for Southern Blacks fleeing slavery. This was also one of the routes to industrial jobs following WWII. Sequential (engineered) oil crises in the 1970s roiled industrial America. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Federal Reserve policies decimated the industrial economy by increasing the value of the U.S. dollar. Bill Clinton passed NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and his deregulation of Wall Street provided the money needed to finance the relocation of a large portion of the U.S. industrial base overseas. None of these policies were crafted by the inner-city residents.

    Modern day Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit and Chicago have neighborhoods left behind by policy decisions that decimated the economic bases that once supported them. When there were jobs people worked. When the jobs left people either stopped working or found other, less remunerative work in the service sector. The housing boom and bust monetized inner-city houses until the bubble burst. Rather than forcing Wall Street to clean up the mess inner city residents were left with their former wealth in the hands of bankers and an economy that imploded in the Great Recession. While this story is full of malefactors, Bill Clinton has major policy responsibility for mass incarceration, for neoliberal trade deals and for bank deregulation.
    The bankers who destroyed Baltimore discuss their bonuses
    with Congress. Image source: google images.
    The Murder of Freddie Gray
    The wholly implausible storyline that Freddie Gray severed his own spine being put out by the Baltimore police is a Rorschach test for social accountability. The political strategy of officialdom is to peel away those who will accept any explanation in favor of police actions, no matter how implausible, to marginalize protestors. That a significant portion of the population, both Black and White, wants to believe that the police always act in good faith illustrates a preconception that will only be effectively challenged through political estrangement. The fabrication adds insult to Freddie Gray’s murder and as such, to the conduct that the Baltimore police department needs to be held to account for. Freddie Gray was murdered in police custody. Technocratic explanations of the particulars only serve to obscure this basic truth.
    When videotape revealed the brutal beating the Los Angeles police inflicted on Rodney King the defense was able to convince a jury and a substantial portion of America that Mr. King had assaulted the police ‘batons’ with his head. One might wonder how graphic footage of a group of cops beating Rodney King within an inch of his life in plain public view could be construed otherwise. The tactic used was similar to the comments from officialdom, including the Black (mis)leadership class, toward protestors in Baltimore. Mr. King was alleged to have been in an angel dust rage that made him impervious to pain and to rational thought— he was an ‘out-of-control’ Black man. Likewise the protestors in Baltimore were deemed irrational ‘thugs,’ criminals with no legitimate right to political action.

    Graph (1) above: the official storyline has unknown forces producing intractable poverty in American cities when many of the forces are quite visible. Mass incarceration is racially targeted and causes wholesale immiseration by precluding meaningful employment. Wall Street’s subprime lending fiasco racially targeted neighborhoods and emptied them of residents as local wealth was transferred to the bank accounts of the already wealthy. It is paradoxical that public discussion of ‘looting’ in Baltimore has focused on angry citizens without deep discussion of what they are angry about. Home foreclosures in Baltimore (Graph (1) above) have followed the national housing boom – bust because Wall Street made predatory mortgage loans targeting neighborhoods of color. Rather than charging bankers with making fraudulent, predatory loans the citizens of Baltimore were forced to bear the consequences of banker malfeasance. Source: Baltimore Homeownership Preservation Coalition.

    In telling form, officialdom’s concern for property overshadowed care for the life of Freddie Gray and the many other Black, Brown and poor White youth and men murdered by the police. These misplaced priorities are thinly veiled socio-cide, concern with what can be replaced in place of what can’t be. The rapid vilification of protestors was accompanied by Immaculate Conception politics, denial of responsibility for the circumstances being protested. However, made apparent by events in Baltimore is that police murders only enter the American consciousness when buildings and police cars burn. Assertions that peaceful protests are the only legitimate form face the burden of history and official hypocrisy. Moral suasion through peaceful protest assumes a capacity that divergent class interests render improbable.
    Democracy Now! illustrated one such experiential divide when a Baltimore mother refused to join local youth who had volunteered to clean a burned CVS store because, as she put it, the police need to be made to understand that they can’t murder Black youth with impunity. Left unexplored, and apparently unconsidered by the youth who saw the local CVS outlet as ‘their’ store, is that through direct purchase and their Caremark consulting business CVS has put hundreds of locally owned pharmacies in inner city neighborhoods out of business and replaced them with minimum wage jobs and extractive economic practices. Likewise, the Ace Cash Express that was burned is a payday lender whose business model is to make usurious loans in poorly banked communities under terms that lead to permanent debt servitude.
    State police or police state? Original image source: spaulforrest.com.
    National Mis-Leadership Meets Local Mis-Leadership
    When President Obama called protesters in Baltimore ‘criminals and thugs’ he neglected to mention the class divisions that have as his major campaign contributors the Wall Street bankers who engineered the housing boom – bust still devastating Baltimore and whose subsidiaries are the payday lenders who destroy lives and neighborhoods there. Some fair portion of these campaign contributors would have been ‘criminals’ if Mr. Obama’s Justice Department had not shielded them from prosecution for their crimes. The term ‘thugs’ is widely used as racist code for Black and Brown youth and could be more appropriately applied to American drone operators so regularly slaughtering wedding parties across the Middle East. And the term most certainly applies to the police who murder Black and Brown youth with alarming regularity and officially sanctioned impunity.
    Much of the reaction to events in Baltimore harkens to the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s quip that “justice is incidental to law and order.” Implied is that justice may be set to the side if order can be maintained through systematic injustice. The conceptual problem is that, as with President Obama’s and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s slander of protestors as ‘thugs,’ class interests lie behind class-based policing. Heavily armed, militarized police could storm Wall Street (as metaphor for geographically dispersed finance) and corporate executive suites kicking in doors, handcuffing everyone they meet and opening fire on those who aren’t immediately compliant under the same theorized justification they have for doing so in Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia or Los Angeles. That they don’t is evidence that neither law nor justice is behind police actions in poor communities.
    If peaceful change is possible, why have the police been militarized to prevent it?
    The Department of Homeland Security calls protestors ‘terrorists’
    and the Ferguson, MO police department calls them ‘the enemy.’
    Original image source: google images.
    The economic crises affecting communities of color in Baltimore and elsewhere tie directly to government policies like trade agreements that benefit financiers, upper class ‘professionals,’ industrialists and the owners of capital. Official indifference to the social consequences of industrial relocation has produced economic dead zones in major cities since the 1960s. Wall Street’s predatory mortgages decimated black wealth in cities like Baltimore and with it the capacity for economic investment. Elite chides that citizens are destroying their future prospects through rebellion provide cover for the economic forces they control for their own benefit. In the last decade Wall Street has destroyed more of urban America than citizen rebellions ever could.
    The problem of the economic capture of the mis-leadership class suggests that political resolution is unlikely to come through the ballot box. Blacks have joined this mis-leadership class with co-optation being the singular result. American political economy is set up to perpetuate existing class relations with the racial residual of history as a component. Martin King began addressing economic justice with the understanding that it is a prerequisite to social justice. He was murdered shortly thereafter. The interest in ‘property’ in the face of the loss of life at police hands is clear indication of what drives official concerns. Therein lies the political paradox— economics is the more dangerous dimension of social injustice to address but it is also the most necessary. The U.S. has subverted democratic movements and invaded countries to prevent implementation of a minimum wage. But how is life possible without a living wage?
    Rob Urie is an artist and political economist.  
    Weekend Edition May 1-3, 2015

Why Do People Riot? Baltimore? Boston Tea Party?

NANA BAAKAN”S COMMENTARY


In reality, when folks are connected to that which is around them, they are less likely to tear it up. But when you have disenfranchised people who are neither cared about or engaged and encouraged to be apart of what is around them in their environment, but instead are told to walk here, be there, leave this and don’t interfere with that, they are alienated. How many of those who riot are gainfully employed by the establishments that surround them? How many of them own the property? How many of them are even co-owners? How many of them care and how many of them are “unaware” that these establishments have insurance to cover damages.

What Ferguson Cops Can Learn From LAPD Response to Rodney King Riots

By Monica Alba

“The Los Angeles Police Department’s response to the Rodney King riots 22 years ago could provide a blueprint for what happens in the coming months and years in Ferguson, Missouri, as police work to repair their reputation in the wake of Michael Brown’s fatal shooting, according to experts on the LAPD’s transformation.” READ MORE


When people are policed and restrained, ordered and separated, they will not feel attached to their environment. They will see the environment as much of the enemy as they will see the Police or the so-called “Authority that Polices them”. They will not see or feel a connection to their environment but will feel caged and imprisoned by it.

Systemic racism and re-gentrification alienates the inhabitants of the community, particularly as business and corporations set up shop in the communities they do not live in. They are more representative of the oppressors than they are considered neighbors. The businesses set up in these communities have an ingrained attitude about the inhabitants of the communities that they are financially benefited by. They do not see them as humans but more as commodities. They are as alienated from those whom they depend on to support them financially as those who spend their money there.

19 Shocking Images from the Baltimore Riots

Apr 28, 2015 at 1:20 pm | By  

EXCERPT: “There was an uprising on social media calling for a violent protest to take place, and resultantly things exploded yesterday afternoon in northwestern Baltimore around the area where Gray’s funeral had taken place that morning. Images of looting, destruction, arson, and violence have since streamed from the area as the city was placed under a state of emergency.”

It may appear reckless to riot but rioting is a deeper sign of an even deeper chasm between the haves and the have-nots. When people are actively involved in their own communities that they feel an ownership of and an ability to control, they are less likely to be destructive. It’s simply human nature, and to expect what happened in Baltimore to fall outside of the confines of human nature is cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is denial of what is truly the cause of what is happening when people riot.

Black Time Travel | Rioting isn’t new. In fact, America was founded on rioting

By Evette D. Champion
EXCERPT: In the midst of the rioting that is going on in Baltimore, many people are thinking that rioting and looting is something that has only been done within the past 50 years to show civil unrest. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Did you know that this country was founded on looting and riots?
During the 1760s in Boston, Massachusetts, there was a lot of political activity going on that rose a lot of eyebrows and ruffled a few feathers. The early settlers were in the midst of constant and violent protests against the British. A lot of the credit for the Revolution belongs to Sam Adams and the group called “Sons of Liberty.” READ MORE

EXCERPT“A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation’s busiest port,” the part of the curriculum pertaining to the Boston Tea Party reads, according to CBS Houston. “Although no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities.” READ MORE

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