Category Archives: Surveillance

Free Joy Powell!  America’s Political Prisoner for Fighting Police Brutality

If you protest against police brutality in America, you are definitely going to get brutalized by the police.  And lately, federal marshals, homeland security, ICE officers, and assorted militarized federal goons and thugs will pile on.  If you led a movement against police brutality in Rochester, NY in 2006, like Rev. Joy Powell did, you will be set up on felony burglary and then murder charges, and spend a long time in prison—doing very hard time as a female, African-American, political prisoner.  It’s important to make sure Rev. Powell’s story is out there, because she was in the forefront of the black effort to protest this most lethal form of white supremacy, and as the only political prisoner jailed for directly fighting police brutality, is paying dearly for it.

Joy Powell recently wrote about the killing of George Floyd:

We live in a system which blatantly displays “White Justice and Black Laws” with random killing of Black and Brown people based upon the color of their skin. . . [T]he world is enraged after the traumatic news aired of an unarmed black man named George Floyd being brutally murdered by a Minneapolis officer named Derek Chauvin who strangled him to death as his knee pressed in this unarmed victim’s neck while George was handcuffed on the ground.  This evil and diabolic murderer didn’t treat George Floyd with dignity and humanity. . . [It] has me disgusted and totally vexed.  We’re pushed to the brink and forced to protest.  It’s really happening;  it’s called “CIVIL UNREST”!

Rev. Powell knows all about the lack of dignity and humanity of the police.

Powell is in solitary at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women—harassed by guards, and, typically for prisoners, especially political prisoners, denied medical treatment for diabetes and asthma.  Born in 1962, she grew up in bad conditions in Rochester, NY, and started young, dealing drugs, for which she was jailed at the Albion Prison—where she was raped and then stalked by a corrections officer.  In spite of that trauma, she came out determined to devote her life to advocating for the mentally ill and then organizing protests against violence.  By 2002, this included the lethal violence of the Rochester Police Department.  By then a Pentecostal pastor, Powell organized demonstrations criticizing the police when six people died in police custody and when a man was beaten to death.  The police beat a mentally ill black man to death, and then they “maced, beat with billy clubs, stomped and arrested” those who tried to intervene to prevent his death.  It was all on tape, but not only did the police go unpunished, they were commended by the police department and the mayor.  All this sounds very familiar.   It certainly is to Joy Powell.  She has recently written:  “African-Americans are subjected to the harshest laws. The color of my skin seems to be the only crime:  racial profiling comes to white supremacist minds.”  The harshest punishment was definitely meted out to Powell.

Powell’s activism against police brutality and racism resulted in her being framed for serious crimes.  The Rochester PD had warned her she was a “target.” She was not to get away with speaking out “against corruption, police brutality, and police justifications,” as the Jericho political prisoner organization put it.  She was set up:  falsely charged with burglary in 2006, and convicted—getting 16 years—and then, in 2011, convicted of killing a man back in 1992, given 25 years to life, with no credible evidence and witnesses who later admitted to lying.  She will be eligible for release in 2022.

That is, she will if she survives that long.  It’s been reported that at Bedford Hills Prison, women with corona virus symptoms are housed virtually on top of each other in isolation.  After two weeks, they’re released into the general population.  There’s no widespread testing; each prisoner gets one disposable mask.  At Carswell “Medical” Prison for Women in Ft. Worth, there have been at least 500 cases.  One of the women politicals I’ve written about, Red Fawn Fallis, in for resisting the pipeline poisoning of indigenous lands, has been transferred to Dublin (California).  But fellow Native-American prisoner Andrea Circle Bear was not as fortunate.  She died of the virus at Carswell, after delivering her baby.  Earth Liberation Front (ELF) political transgender Marius Mason was also transferred, to Danbury (Connecticut), but not Aafia Siddiqui.  Siddiqui is a victim of horrific injustice, tortured as an alleged Muslim activist, and is still at Carswell, serving her 86-year sentence as a “terrorist.”  All political prisoners should immediately be released.

As Joy Powell said in her recent statement on Floyd’s murder:  “My people came here in shackles and chains, yet nothing has changed.  It remains the same. . .  They maced a 9-year-old girl and busted a 75-year-old man’s head open in Buffalo.”  In Powell’s own Rochester NY, her struggle continues and the response is still brutality.  In July of 2018, 16 people were arrested at a Black Lives Matter Rochester march.  The marchers were met by Rochester riot police with “guns, batons, and helicopters” and with no mainstream press coverage.  In June of this year, after yet another violent police response to their George Floyd rally, the Rochester BLM released a statement criticizing the RPD’s “disregard for our basic humanity” and insisting the city of Rochester must “divest from police and invest in our communities.”  The dissent goes on and so do brutal police riots.

As of the end of June, at least 10,000 protesters have been arrested.  And as ever, police certainly do not spare women when it comes to their brutality—many, many videos can be seen online where women are knocked down, held down, maced at close range—very young women and women from the Wall of Moms in Portland.  And also as ever, black women can count on special attention from police as they defiantly protest against faceless, heavily armed storm troopers.  In early July, in Des Moines, protest organizer and African-American Jasmine Johnson, 19, was charged with “criminal mischief.”  She told of two officers holding her handcuffed arms while she said to them:  “Let go.  I have handcuffs on.  I can’t do anything.  You’re holding me too tight and it hurts.  Let go of me!”  According to Des Moines’ BLM, law enforcement “became violent” at that demonstration.  They tackled a woman, while other protesters tried to push away the cops.  And they put two black women in chokeholds—one of them was then slammed up against the side of a van, causing her injury.  Such police violence is way too common.

Another egregious example is the experience of Miracle Boyd, a black 18-year-old activist, a recent high school graduate, who is an organizer for Chicago’s Good Kids Mad City.  She advocates defunding the police and using the money to help black and Latinx communities.  She has also worked against gun violence and poverty.  On July 20th she was filming the cops’ violence at a rally to protest the Christopher Columbus statue.  She was filmed when she was punched in the face by an officer—the blow knocking out several of her front teeth.  She’d been recording the violence around her where the CPD struck at least 32 people with their batons, some on the ground when being hit.  After the incident she got hate mail, racist messages and threats, all of which blamed her and thought she deserved to be punched.  Boyd said, at a news conference, that she was attacked by the CPD, “who value a supremacist statue over my life, safety and well-being.”  Her lawyer, Sheila Bedi, a law professor from Northwestern, says the officer was using “lethal force” illegally.  They want him fired, and Boyd is bringing a civil lawsuit.  The social media visibility of the incident, as with other filmed violent incidents, means that perhaps at least some of these police crimes might face punishment.

The Black struggle against the lethal force unleashed by white supremacy to keep them in line dates back to slave patrols, but in terms of more recent movements, the Black Panther Party was very important, and very dangerous as far as the government was concerned.  The Black Panthers, begun in 1966 (over 50 years ago!), demanded an end to police brutality and had armed patrols to ensure it.  According to the BPP’s Safiya Bukhari (another female political prisoner), the Panthers’ “10 Points” featured “an end to police brutality and murder of blacks” and “black men freed from jails.”  The US systemic white supremacist government has not lost that fight yet.  Famed political prisoner—until she escaped to Cuba—Assata Shakur, member of the BPP and its underground military wing, the Black Liberation Army, clearly saw that their enemy was, as Shakur said in her Autobiography (1984), “the capitalistic, imperialistic oppressors.”

The Panthers put their analysis in the global context of American imperialism abroad.  Truths about capitalism and imperialism cannot be admitted by the US, because of the necessity of maintaining the Big Lie of America personifying freedom, equality and democracy.  So when Julian Assange tore back the curtain to reveal the true nature of the US war to “help” the people of Iraq with the revelation of the “collateral damage” tape, it had to be quickly contained and those responsible for the truth-telling harshly punished.   Similarly, when the tape of George Floyd’s murder was widely broadcasted, the corporate government and media tried to contain and co-opt the horrible truth of unchecked police violence, and has now moved to forcibly suppress the anti-racist/anti-government protesters.

As Joy Powell puts it:  “Unity, shame and fear, has moved in weeks what centuries couldn’t.  Acknowledgement is power.”  There’s hope in that recognition.  Assata Shakur talked of “political, social and economic oppression” of black people.  And then “where there is oppression, there will be resistance.”  So many black women political prisoners have fought white racism—from anarchist Lucy Parsons in the 1870s, to Communist Claudia Jones in the 1950s, and SNCC’s Diane Nash, MOVE’s Janine and Janet Africa and the Black Panther women of the 1960s and 70s—and now for BLM.  BLM’s politicals include the jailed (in 2016) Jasmine Richards from Pasadena, and Sandra Bland, who was quite possibly murdered in a Texas jail in 2015. All political prisoners must be freed—this is even more urgent as prisoners confront the corona virus.

And Rev. Joy Powell, jailed for exposing police brutality, is one who should be released.  It was good to see that the Black is Back Coalition, in advertising their August conference, pictured Joy Powell with Mumia Jamal, Sundiata Acoli and Mutulu Shakur; she was there with all the black male political prisoners, many in jail since the age of the Black Panthers. The Coalition argues that during this latest uprising, it would be a good time to free all these prisoners.  Joy Powell’s statement on the uprising is moving:  “We need love, peace and the police abuse to cease! . . . THE GIG IS UP IN 2020, like thunder we sing!  No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police!”  She wants to be free—to have justice.  She wonders—as do the protesters in Seattle, Portland, NYC, Des Moines and Rochester—“why can’t I exercise my first amendment right of ’free speech’?”  In Powell’s case, she wants to exercise her right “without being set-up, and beaten, with trumped-up charges, a couple of wrongful convictions and a 6’ by 8’cell.”  She’s the only political prisoner jailed directly for fighting police brutality.  Free Joy Powell!

Government Attacks Media As People’s Media Reveals The Truth

An Omaha police officer escorts freelancer Megan Feeney, a camera dangling from her zip-tied hands, on June 1, 2020. (Aaron Sanderford/Omaha World Herald).

NOTE: We are taking next weekend off to take care of personal needs. The newsletter will be back in two weeks. – KZ and MF

Government attacks on the media are escalating as the battle for the narrative grows in importance.

For the last decade, stories produced and amplified by the democratized media have put the power structure at risk. People saw government documents showing war crimes and violations of international law. We all saw police killing unarmed people and extreme militarized violence in response to nonviolent protests. These stories have been magnified by people realizing they are the media and sharing stories in their networks on a variety of platforms.

To maintain control, the power structure needs to stop people from knowing the truth. The recent RAND Report on the future of warfare cites the following concern: “As smartphones and social media saturate the developing world, militaries will find themselves harder pressed to control both what images the public sees and the narrative surrounding operations.”

Powerholders are striking back. This article focuses on two aspects of this conflict – the new indictment brought against Julian Assange this week and the attacks on media by the police during the nationwide uprising against police violence. Part of the job of each of us is to let them know we see what they are doing to try to hide the truth of their actions. We must hold them accountable for the false narrative they produce and their efforts to criminalize those who are the truthtellers and work to put out the true narrative those in power want to suppress.

Collateral murder video provided to Wikileaks.

Federal government’s new indictment against Assange based on smears

The leading truthteller who is under attack is Julian Assange. The prosecution of Assange will define freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and our right to know in the 21st Century.

This week the federal government sought to bolster its bogus case against Assange with more false and misleading claims in another superseding indictment. The centerpiece of the indictment remains the 17 Espionage Act counts for the publication of documents leaked by Chelsea Manning exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and illegal global diplomatic intrigues. The federal government did not add new charges but instead sought to mischaracterize Assange as a hacker because the charges based on the Espionage Act are problematic. The Espionage Act has never been used against a journalist and extradition from the UK is not allowed for political prosecutions. The prosecution of a journalist for reporting the truth about US foreign policy is clearly a political prosecution.

The federal government sought to define Assange as a hacker using speeches he gave at conferences calling for transparency and describing the power of government whistleblowers who share documents and hackers who acquire them. The government twists important political arguments made by Assange about the need to expose corruption and crimes of government, especially the US government, as conspiring with hackers.

To achieve this feat, they produced an indictment that “is riddled with inaccuraciesglaring plot holes, and amateurish errors, relies heavily on testimony from a literal convicted pedophile and diagnosed sociopath, and appears to be little more than a feeble attempt to legitimize the injection of the words ‘hacking’ and ‘hackers’ into the prosecutorial narrative,” as Caitlin Johnstone writes.  In addition, the prosecutors leave out important details including the FBI’s own complicity in hacking in an effort to set people up, including Assange, for prosecution.

They also sought to claim Assange and his colleagues at Wikileaks were conspiring with hackers because of the assistance they gave to Edward Snowden to avoid capture by the US government and move to Russia for political protection. Sarah Harrison of Wikileaks is described as a co-conspirator for her heroic role in saving Snowden from prosecution even though she is not charged with any crime. Other Wikileaks members are included as co-conspirators.

The new indictment points to statements made by Assange and other Wikileaks members at the Chaos Computer Club conference in Germany on December 31, 2013. Assange, Jacob Appelbaum, and Harrison participated in a panel discussion called, “Sysadmins of the World, Unite! A Call to Resistance.” This effort to turn a public speech by Assange into a hacker-conspiracy shows the desperation of the government to convict Assange. Kevin Gosztola writes in Shadowproof that “At no point does the Justice Department attempt to connect the alleged ‘recruitment’ of ‘hackers’ or ‘leakers’ to an actual individual, who heard these words and acted upon them.”

The original indictment, which claimed Assange assisted Chelsea Manning in acquiring classified documents, was obviously false. Manning had security clearance and legal access to the documents she leaked and did not need to hack the files. She had already downloaded the documents on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanomo Bay, and State Department cables before contacting Assange. During the extradition hearings it was revealed she asked Assange to help her acquire prohibited video games and music for her military colleagues. Assange did not even provide help to accomplish these innocuous objectives.

The government’s desperation is made glaringly clear in this new indictment as almost all of the new material has been on the public record in one form or other, for six years or longer. They date back to Assange’s speeches to public conventions of computer experts in the Netherlands and Malaysia, in 2009 and 2010.

As has been true with each of these indictments, the government is seeking to criminalize normal journalistic practices. This includes encouraging people with inside information to provide the media with documents that are in the public interest. Assisting whistleblowers with avoiding prosecution is common practice. Glenn Greenwald says you can find very detailed instructions on the New York Times and Washington Post websites about how to safely be a whistleblower.  He describes it as the “duty of a journalist to help their source not get caught.”

The investigation of Julian Assange began in the Obama-Biden administration. While Trump praised Wikileaks during his campaign, Mike Pompeo made it his goal to prosecute Assange and destroy Wikileaks to prevent any journalist anywhere in the world from reporting on US war crimes and corruption.

This prosecution is a threat to the fundamental purpose of the First Amendment that allows people freedom of speech to criticize the government without being punished for doing so. The First Amendment is not a protection of corporate media or some narrow classification of journalists but protects all people. The Assange case is important because Wikileaks has democratized the media by giving people a method to expose crime and corruption of governments and corporations. And, it is important because the US is prosecuting an Australian journalist, writing from the UK about the United States, thereby putting people at risk not just in the United States but anywhere in the world.

Police assault Australian media crew in front of the White House.

National uprising exposes attacks on media

The national uprising against police violence and the killing of people in communities of color are exposing more efforts to suppress the truth. This comes from arrests, harassment, and violent attacks on media reporting on the protests and showing police violence. Newsrooms are also complicit by suppressing reporting.

Charles Baker writes in Business Insider that in early June, “in Minneapolis, local law enforcement took aim at Linda Tirado, a photojournalist, and shot her in the eye as she covered protests over the police killing of George Floyd. They later subjected a black journalist from CNN to wrongful arrest. In Louisville, TV reporter Kaitlin Rust and her crew were targeted by local cops who peppered them with non-lethal bullets during a live broadcast.” This led to an open letter to police endorsed by groups such as the Society of Professional Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the National Press Club to stop the devastating targeting of journalists.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, there have been 499 journalists affected in over 400 cases of press freedom violations in the United States since May 26.  The US Press Freedom Tracker reports more than 440 aggressions against the media during the protests, including 116 journalists attacked and 36 arrested. An example of this involved two journalists for the Associated Press who were assaulted by six police officers and ordered to leave the scene of protests in New York City. The police claimed they were violating the curfew; the reporters said they were essential workers and therefore allowed to be there. A video shows an officer responds, “I don’t give a shit.” Another reporter was violently arrested in New York and held for two nights in Manhattan Central Booking. And, another reporter was violently attacked while he held up his press credentials and shouted he was with the media, as shown in footage captured by the Associated Press.<

In Los Angeles, an independent journalist was arrested for covering protests after the curfew after he responded to the police who asked if he was press, saying “Yes, sir.”  In Oakland, a reporter covering a protest was arrested as the curfew approached despite her press credentials being visibly on display. There have been reports from many parts of the country including Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Atlanta, Worcester, Omaha, Dallas, Lincoln, Santa Monica, Des Moines, Denver, and Minneapolis among others.

The police also served a subpoena from the county prosecutor’s office for videos, photos, and audio captured by reporters for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com during recent protests in downtown Cleveland, thereby making journalists into an arm of the police. Also in Cleveland, police banned the media from covering protests.

Commercial media outlets have taken actions to restrict coverage of protests. US-controlled media outlets, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, have been censoring and downplaying the uprising and the violent police response. A Black reporter is suing the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for not allowing her to cover the protests because of a tweet she made. In response to a long history of media suppressing the voices of oppressed people, there is a growing revolt among Black journalists at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Times.

Knowledge is Power

This century there has been a dramatic increase in awareness of government and corporate corruption, state violence, and systemic oppression. The internet and social media platforms have given everyone the tools to expose what is going on. It is this awareness that has fueled the rise in consensus that there are significant crises, that the current systems can’t address these crises and that we need new systems. The facade of democracy is fading. That we live in a failed state is becoming obvious. And now we have a summer of rebellion beginning with the Memorial Day murder of George Floyd.

Sign-up on our home page for the Popular Resistance Daily Digest and use the reports to be the media. Share articles in social media and with your networks. A key task for activists is to be the media by building up their networks and reaching more people. 

The powerholders are afraid because they can no longer control the narrative. Even those within their institutions, the corporate media, are breaking ranks and refusing to be complicit. The ruling class will do whatever it can to wrest that control back even if it means arrests and intimidation of people, breaking the law, and violating the Constitution.

The prosecution of Julian Assange, assaults on the media, and censorship of alternative voices are all an attack on our right to know. Knowledge is power. We must not lose the right to know what our government, state actors, and corporations are doing.

Julian Assange’s extradition hearing will be in September. The latest superseding indictment is another attempt to smear Assange’s reputation and weaken his public support. It is no coincidence that it came out just as the revelation of his two young children was garnering greater sympathy and Australian 60 Minutes did a favorable show on him. We must defend Assange by countering the smears, getting the truth out, and showing up for him. DefendWikileaks.org is one place to get information about what is happening and how to take action.

In this era, we all are protectors of the right to know. We encourage you to question what you see in the corporate media (and that includes the so-called public media like NPR), support independent media, and make it your responsibility to share information that counters false narratives. Learn how to be the media by covering injustice where you see it. It’s as simple as writing a letter to the editor or a blog, taking photos and videos with your phone, and sharing articles on social media.

The Global Reset: Unplugged

Imagine, you are living in a world that you are told is a democracy – and you may even believe it – but, in fact, your life and fate is in the hands of a few ultra-rich, ultra-powerful and ultra-inhuman oligarchs. They may be called Deep State, Illuminati, or simply the Beast, or anything else obscure or untraceable, it doesn’t matter. They are less than the 0.0001%.

For lack of a better expression, let’s call them for now “obscure individuals”. These obscure individuals who pretend running our world have never been elected. We don’t need to name them. You will figure out who they are, and why they are famous, and some of them totally invisible. They have created structures, or organisms without any legal format. They are fully out of international legality. They are a forefront for the Beast. Maybe there are several competing Beasts. But they have the same objective: A New or One World Order (NWO, or OWO).

These obscure individuals are running, for example, The World Economic Forum (WEF – representing Big Industry, Big Finance and Big Fame), the Group of 7 – G7, the Group of 20 – G20 (the leaders of the economically” strongest” nations). There are also some lesser entities, called the Bilderberg Society, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Chatham House and more. The members of all of them are overlapping. Even this expanded forefront combined represents less than 0.001%. They all have superimposed themselves over sovereign national elected and constitutional governments, and over THE multinational world body, the United Nations, the UN.

In fact, they have coopted the UN to do their bidding. UN Director Generals, as well as the DGs of the multiple UN-suborganizations, are chosen – mostly by the US, with the consenting nod of their European vassals – according to the candidate’s political and psychological profile. If his or her ‘performance’ as head of the UN or head of one of the UN sub-organizations fails, his or her days are counted. Coopted or created by the Beast(s) are also the European Union, the Bretton Woods Organizations, World Bank and IMF, as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and – make no mistake – the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. It has no teeth. Just to make sure the law is always on the side of the lawless.

In addition to the key international financial institutions, WB and IMF, there are the so-called regional development banks and similar financial institutions, keeping the countries of their respective regions in check. In the end it’s financial or debt-economy that controls everything. Western neoliberal banditry has created a system, where political disobedience can be punished by economic oppression or outright theft of national assets in international territories. The system’s common denominator is the (still) omnipresent US-dollar.

The supremacy of these obscure unelected individuals becomes ever more exposed. We, the People, consider it “normal” that they call the shots, not what we call – or once were proud of calling, our sovereign nations and sovereignly elected governments. They have become a herd of obedient sheep. The Beast has gradually and quietly taken over. We haven’t noticed. It’s the salami tactic: You cut off slice by tiny slice and when the salami is gone, you realize that you have nothing left, that your freedom, your civil and human rights are gone. By then it’s too late. Case in point is the US Patriot Act. It was prepared way before 9/11. Once 9/11 “happened”, the Patriot Legislation was whizzed through Congress in no time – for the people’s future protection – people called for it for fear – and – bingo, the Patriot Act took about 90% of the American population’s freedom and civil rights away. For good.

We have become enslaved to the Beast. The Beast calls the shots on boom or bust of our economies, on who should be shackled by debt, when and where a pandemic should break out, and on the conditions of surviving the pandemic, for example, social confinement. And to top it all off, the instruments the Beast uses, very cleverly, are a tiny-tiny invisible enemy, called a virus, and a huge but also invisible monster, called FEAR. That keeps us off the street, off reunions with our friends, and off our social entertainment, theatre, sports, or a picnic in the park.

Soon the Beast will decide who will live and who will die, literally – if we let it. This may be not far away. Another wave of pandemic and people may beg, yell and scream for a vaccine, for their death knell, and for the super bonanza of Big Pharma and towards the objectives of the eugenicists blatantly roaming the world – . There is still time to collectively say NO. Collectively and solidarily.

Take the latest case of blatant imposture. Conveniently, after the first wave of Covid-19 had passed, at least in the Global North, where the major world decisions are made, in early June 2020, the unelected WEF Chairman, Klaus Schwab, announced “The Great Reset”. Taking advantage of the economic collapse – the crisis shock, as in “The Shock Doctrine” – Mr. Schwab, one of the Beast’s frontrunners, announces openly what the WEF will discuss and decide for the world-to-come in their next Davos Forum in January 2021. For more details see here.

Will, We, The People, accept the agenda of the unelected WEF?

It will opportunely focus on the protection of what’s left of Mother Earth; obviously at the center will be man-made CO2-based “Global Warming”. The instrument for that protection of nature and humankind will be the UN Agenda 2030 – which equals the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It will focus on how to rebuild the willfully destroyed global economy, while respecting the (“green”) principles of the 17 SDGs.

Mind you, it’s all connected. There are no coincidences. The infamous Agenda 2021 which coincides with and complements the so-called (UN) Agenda 2030, will be duly inaugurated by the WEF’s official declaration of The Great Reset, in January 2021. Similarly, the implementation of the agenda of The Great Reset began in January 2020, by the launch of the corona pandemic – planned for decades with the latest visible events being the 2010 Rockefeller Report with its “Lockstep Scenario”, and Event 201, of 18 October in NYC which computer-simulated a corona pandemic, leaving within 18 months 65 million deaths and an economy in ruin, programmed just a few weeks before the launch of the actual corona pandemic. See COVID-19, We Are Now Living the “Lock Step Scenario“; and Global Capitalism, “World Government” and the Corona Crisis; and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: Moderna’s Clinical Trial Results for its Groundbreaking Covid 19 Vaccine could not be much worse“.

The racial riots, initiated by the movement Black Lives Matter, funded by Soros & Co., following the brutal assassination of the Afro-American George Floyd by a gang of Minneapolis police, and spreading like brush-fire in no time to more than 160 cities, first in the US, then in Europe – are not only connected to the Beast’s agenda, but they were a convenient deviation from the human catastrophe left behind by Covid-19. See  The “Corona Hoax”, The Proliferation of Racial Riots: Towards a Military Lockdown?

The Beast’s nefarious plan to implement what’s really behind the UN Agenda 2030 is the little heard-of Agenda ID2020. See The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic: The Real Danger is “Agenda ID2020“. It has been created and funded by the vaccination guru Bill Gates, and so has GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations), the association of Big Pharma – involved in creating the corona vaccines, and which funds along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) a major proportion of WHO’s budget.

The Great Reset, as announced by WEF’s Klaus Schwab, is supposedly implemented by Agenda ID2020. It is more than meets the eye. Agenda ID2020 is even anchored in the SDGs, as SDG 16.9 “by 2030 provide legal [digital] identity for all, including free birth registration”. This fits perfectly into the overall goal of SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

Following the official path of the UN Agenda 2030 of achieving the SDGs, the ‘implementing’ Agenda ID2020 – which is currently being tested on school children in Bangladesh – will provide digitized IDs possibly in the form of nano-chips implanted along with compulsory vaccination programs, will promote digitization of money and the rolling out of 5G – which would be needed to upload and monitor personal data on the nano chips and to control the populace. Agenda ID2020 will most likely also include ‘programs’ – through vaccination? – of significantly reducing world population. Eugenics is an important component in the control of future world population under a NOW/OWO – see also Georgia Guidestones, mysteriously built in 1980.

The ruling elite used the lockdown as an instrument to carry out this agenda. Its implementation would naturally face massive protests, organized and funded along the same lines as were the BLM protests and demonstrations. They may not be peaceful – and may not be planned as being peaceful. Because to control the population in the US and in Europe, where most of the civil unrest would be expected, a total militarization of the people is required. This is well under preparation.

In his essay “The Big Plantation” John Steppling reports from a NYT article that a “minimum of  93,763 machine guns, 180,718 magazine cartridges, hundreds of silencers and an unknown number of grenade launchers have been provided to state and local police departments in the US since 2006. This is in addition to at least 533 planes and helicopters, and 432 MRAPs — 9-foot high, 30-ton Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles with gun turrets and more than 44,900 pieces of night vision equipment, regularly used in nighttime raids in Afghanistan and Iraq.” He adds that this militarization is part of a broader trend. Since the late 1990s, about 89 percent of police departments in the United States serving populations of 50,000 people or more had a PPU (Police Paramilitary Unit), almost double of what existed in the mid-1980s. He refers to these militarized police as the new Gestapo.

Even before Covid, about 15% to 20% of the population was on or below the poverty line in the United States. The post-covid lockdown economic annihilation will at least double that percentage – and commensurately increase the risk for civil turbulence and clashes with authorities – further enhancing the reasoning for a militarized police force.

None of these scenarios will, of course, be presented to the public by the WEF in January 2021. These are decisions taken behind closed doors by the key actors for the Beast. However, this grandiose plan of the Great Reset does not have to happen. There is at least half the world population and some of the most powerful countries, economically and militarily – like China and Russia – opposed to it. “Reset” maybe yes, but not in these western terms. In fact, a reset of kinds is already happening with China about to roll out a new People’s Bank of China backed blockchain-based cryptocurrency, the crypto RMB, or yuan. This is not only a hard currency based on a solid economy, it is also supported by gold.

While President Trump keeps trashing China for unfair trade, for improperly managing the covid pandemic, for stealing property rights – China bashing no end – that China depends on the US and that the US will cut trading ties with China – or cut ties altogether, China is calling Trump’s bluff. China is quietly reorienting herself towards the ASEAN countries plus Japan (yes, Japan!) and South Korea, where trade already today accounts for about 15% of all China’s trade and is expected to double in the next five years.

True, China’s exports did decline by about 3% in April 2020 as a result of the covid-lockdown, but US exports decreased by almost 8% in the same period. It is clear that the vast majority of US industries could not survive without Chinese supply chains. The western dependence on Chinese medical supplies is particularly strong. Let alone Chinese dependence by US consumers. In 2019, US total consumption, about 70% of GDP, amounted to $13.3 trillion, of which a fair amount is directly imported from China or dependent on ingredients from China.

The WEF-masters are confronted with a real dilemma. Their plan depends very much on the dollar supremacy which would continue to allow dishing out sanctions and confiscating assets from those countries opposing US rule; a dollar-hegemony which would allow imposing the components of The Great Reset scheme as described above.

At present, the dollar is fiat money, debt-money created from thin air. It has no backing whatsoever. Therefore, its worth as a reserve currency is increasingly decaying, especially vis-à-vis the new crypto-yuan from China. In order to compete with the Chinese yuan, the US Government would have to move away from its monetary Ponzi-scheme, by separating itself from the 1913 Federal Reserve Act and print her own US-economy- and possibly gold-backed (crypto) money – not fiat FED-money, as is the case today. That would mean cutting the more than 100-year old ties to the Rothschild and Co. clan-owned FED, and creating a real peoples-owned central bank. Not impossible, but highly improbable. Here, two Beasts might clash, as world power is at stake.

Meanwhile, China, with her philosophy of endless creation, would continue forging ahead unstoppably with her mammoth socioeconomic development plan of the 21st Century, the Belt and Road Initiative, connecting and bridging the world with infrastructure for land and maritime transport, with joint research and industrial projects, cultural exchanges – and not least, multinational trade with “win-win” characteristics, equality for all partners – towards a multi-polar world, towards a world with a common future for mankind.

Today already more than 120 countries are associated with BRI – and the field is wide open for others to join – and to defy, unmask and unplug The Great Reset of the West.

Police Violence and Racism Have Always Been Tools of Capitalism

The system-wide challenges the United States faces with policing are entrenched and deeply rooted. When the historical and current practices of police are examined, it is evident police have been designed to uphold the status quo including racial injustice and class inequality. Whenever political movements develop to respond to racial and class unfairness, the police have undermined their politically-protected constitutional rights.

Police have used infiltration, surveillance, and violence against political movements seeking to end injustices throughout the history of the nation. It is the deeply embedded nature of these injustices and the structural problems in policing that are leading more people to conclude police must be completely transformed, if not abolished.

We advocate for democratic community control of the police as a starting point in addition to defunding the police and funding alternatives such as programs that provide mental health, public health, social work and conflict resolution services, and other nonviolent interventions. Funding is needed for the basic human needs of housing, education, employment, healthcare, and food especially in communities that have been neglected for years and whose low-wage labor has enriched the wealthy in this unequal society.

An alleged fugitive slave being seized (Getty Images)

The Roots of Policing are Rotten

The needs of the wealthy have been the driving force for the creation of police. Policing developed to control workers, many who were Irish, Italian and other immigrants seeking fair wages in the North and African people who were enslaved in the South. Victor E. Kappeler, Ph.D writes in “A Brief History of Slavery and the Origins of American Policing” that “Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities.”

Police detain protesters as they march down the street during a solidarity rally for George Floyd on Saturday, May 30, 2020 (AP Photo: Wong Maye-E) 

A. Southern Police Created to Protect Slavery

In the south, the driving force of the economy was slavery where people kidnapped in Africa were brought to the Americas as chattel slaves, workers who created wealth for their owners. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database lists 12.5 million Africans who were shipped to the Americas, 10.7 million of which survived the dreaded Middle Passage. Of that, 388,000 were brought to North America. African slaves were forced to reproduce for their owners and to sell.

From the start, African people revolted against slavery and fought to escape it. This 400 years legacy of racist injustice that helped form the United States is the history we must confront. The roots of policing in what became the Confederacy and later the sheriffs who enforced Jim Crow grew out of the containment of slaves, the most valuable ‘property’ in the nation.

Olivia Waxman describes this history writing that in the South, “the economics that drove the creation of police forces were centered . . . on the preservation of the slavery system.” She describes “slave patrols tasked with chasing down runaways and preventing slave revolts” as one of the primary police institutions.

Gary Potter writes in “The History of Policing in the United States,” that:

Slave patrols had three primary functions: (1) to chase down, apprehend, and return to their owners, runaway slaves; (2) to provide a form of organized terror to deter slave revolts; and, (3) to maintain a form of discipline for slave-workers who were subject to summary justice, outside of the law, if they violated any plantation rules.

The purpose of slave patrols was to protect the wealth of the white people who owned slaves.

Potter writes:

The first formal slave patrol had been created in the Carolina colonies in 1704. During the Civil War, the military became the primary form of law enforcement in the South, but during Reconstruction, many local sheriffs functioned in a way analogous to the earlier slave patrols, enforcing segregation and the disenfranchisement of freed slaves.

Hundreds of laws were passed in the South around slavery and its enforcement but laws were also passed in northern colonies including Connecticut, New York, and others to control slaves. The US Congress passed fugitive Slave Laws allowing the detention and return of escaped slaves, in 1793 and 1850. Racist police made up the “kidnap gang” in New York City in 1830 who would capture Africans and bring them to a rubber stamp court that would send them to the South as captured slaves – often before their families knew they were arrested. Throughout this history, there were people who fought police violence and abuse as is discussed in The Black New Yorker Who Led The Charge Against Police Violence In The 1830s.

The history of racist policing did not end with the abolition of slavery. Police forces were involved in enforcing the racist Black Code, the Convict-Lease System, and JimCrow segregation. The terrorism of white supremacist groups like the KKK, the burning of black schools and churches and lynching became the common realities of the south. White police often did not stop, or seriously investigate these crimes; some even participated. In the era of Civil Rights, southern police used violence against nonviolent protesters – beatings, fire hoses and dogs.

This also occurred in the north. For example, Minnesota was infamous for arresting indigenous people on charges like vagrancy and forcing them to work for no pay.  This spurred the formation of the American Indian Movement. Dennis Banks describes, “The cops concentrated on the Indian bars. They would bring their paddy wagons around behind a bar and open the back doors. Then they would go around to the front and chase everybody toward the rear. ” They would be taken to stadiums and convention centers and forced to work for no pay. The police did not do this at white bars, only bars where Native Americans gathered.

The War on Drugs became the new disguise for police violence against black people. “We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news,” said President Nixon’s domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman to Harper’s Magazine. Mass incarceration of the 1980s, begun under President Reagan and continued under President Clinton with Joe Biden leading efforts in the Senate, disproportionately impacted black and brown people. Now slavery legally continues as prison labor.

AT&T workers on strike (Socialist Worker)

B. Northern Police Protect Commercial Interests, Hold Down Wages

The history of policing in the northern colonies was also driven by economics. Commercial interests protected their property through an informal, private for-profit form of hiring people part-time. Towns relied on a “night-watch” to enforce laws. Boston started a night-watch in 1636, New York followed in 1658 and Philadelphia created one in 1700.

As cities become more populated, the night-watch system was ineffective. Commercial interests needed more regular policing and so they hired people to protect their property and goods as they were transported from ports to other areas. Boston, a large shipping commercial center, became the first city to form a police force when merchants convinced the government that police were needed for the “collective good” thereby transferring the cost of maintaining a police force to the citizens.

A driving force for police expansion was workers, who were often immigrants, seeking better pay and working conditions. Abolishing The Police: A Radical Idea That’s Been Around For Over A Century, describes how the first state police force was formed in 1905 in Pennsylvania to combat workers forming unions. According to a study in 1969 by the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, the United States has the bloodiest and most violent labor history of any industrial nation in the world.

Sam Mitrani, author of The Rise of the Chicago Police Department: Class and Conflict, 1850-1894, writes in In These Times that “as Northern cities grew and filled with mostly immigrant wage workers who were physically and socially separated from the ruling class, the wealthy elite who ran the various municipal governments hired hundreds and then thousands of armed men to impose order on the new working-class neighborhoods. Class conflict roiled late-19th century American cities like Chicago, which experienced major strikes and riots in 1867, 1877, 1886, and 1894. In each of these upheavals, the police attacked strikers with extreme violence, even if in 1877 and 1894 the U.S. Army played a bigger role in ultimately repressing the working class.”

Martha Grevatt points out that:

Throughout labor history, one finds innumerable accounts of cops engaging in anti-union violence. Police viciously attacked unarmed pickets during the 1994 Staley strike in Decatur, Ill., as well as the 1995 Detroit newspaper strike, to name a few examples. They arrested and harassed UAW members during last year’s strike against GM.

This is not only a time of growing protest against police violence but also against the mistreatment of workers. Over the last two years, there has been a record number of strikers not seen in 35 years. PayDay Report counts more than 500 strikes in the last three weeks with a peak number on Juneteenth at “29 ports across the West Coast” and the UAW stopping production on all assembly lines “for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd.”  They have tracked more than 800 strikes since March.

Protesters march in a Black Lives Matter demonstration organized by the Dallas Black Firefighters Association on Juneteenth 2020 in Dallas (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Historic Time Of Uprising and Unrest Rattles the Police and Power Structure

The rebellion by workers and anti-racism activists is unprecedented in the lives of most people alive today. There is a nationwide uprising in every state and in thousands of cities and towns.  Repression by the power structure with militarized police and the National Guard has failed to stop the protests. Democrats have failed to divert the movement of the energy into the elections, as Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi have offered inadequate reforms such as more police training. Fundamental changes are needed.

Police will continue to make efforts to shut down the unrest. The FBI and local police have a long history of combatting movements. In addition to the violent response that has been well documented against the current rebellion, we should expect infiltration, surveillance, creation of internal divisions, and other tactics, even murder.

All of these acts against labor, civil rights, peace, environmental, and other movements have happened before and we should expect them again. Documents show a nationwide effort of police and the FBI to defeat the Occupy Movement that included entrapment of activists in crimes. There has also been aggressive police violence against people protesting pipelines and seeking climate justice.

Black activists continue to be a major focus of the FBI and law enforcement. Media Justice and the ACLU reported last week that one million pages of materials on FBI surveillance were discovered in a FOIA request showing widespread surveillance of black activists.

The small victories that have been won by the movement are already causing repercussions. Police are threatening to quit because they are being held accountable for violence, even though they remain protected by immunity from prosecution. A survey last week found 3 out of 4 Washington, DC police were ready to leave the force. CNN reported police in Minneapolis, Atlanta, South Florida, and Buffalo quitting. In Atlanta, police got the “flu” after felony murder charges were brought against the officer who killed Rayshard Brooks.

New York City police are planning a strike on the Fourth of July to show people what life would be like without police. However, this may backfire as during a 1997 slowdown and also during a 2014–2015 slowdown, crime did not spike, and may even have declined a bit. The nation’s top law enforcement official, Attorney General Bob Barr threatened in December 2019 that if some communities don’t begin showing more respect to law enforcement, then they could potentially not be protected by police officers.

New York Police Department (NYPD) officers guard the main entrance of the Trump Tower in New York on November 14, 2016 (Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images)

To Transform the Police, The Economy Must Be Transformed

The US Constitution, written by slaveholders and businessmen who profited from slave products, puts property rights ahead of individual rights. The Bill of Rights was an afterthought. The result of treating people as property, Jim Crow laws, redlining, and other racially unfair economic practices has left Black Americans with a $13 trillion dollar wealth gap.

Max Rameau told us in a recent podcast, To Deal With Police, We Must Understand Why They Even Exist, that when we understand the purpose of police is to protect property, it becomes more evident why they cannot be reformed. Unless we confront neoliberal capitalism that creates inequality and a hyper-class-based society, the wealthy will always find someone to pay to protect them.

In fact, the call to defund the police can be easily thrown off course by getting activists fighting for small gains of cuts to police budgets, while the police are increasing their funding from private corporations. Already, as reported by Eyes on the Ties, “Police foundations across the country are partnering with corporations to raise money to supplement police budgets by funding programs and purchasing tech and weaponry for law enforcement with little public oversight.” Their report documents support to police from Wall Street and finance, retail and food industries, Big Tech, fossil fuel corporations, sports, and universities.

It is fantasy to believe police exist for public safety. As Justin Podur writes, “Society doesn’t need a large group with a license to kill.” Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report advocates for community control over police but he doesn’t stop there, writing “communities should control, not just the police, but much of the rest of their neighborhoods’ vital services and resources.”

As Richard Rubinstein writes in ThePolice May Pull the Trigger but it is the System That Kills:

Racism, police brutality, and economic injustice can be thought of as separate boxes, but they are part of one self-reinforcing system. And that system’s defining characteristic – the feature most resistant to change – is that it is based on the production of goods and services for profit, not to satisfy basic human needs.

Like many conflicts in the United States, the problems of police violence comes down to corporate-capitalists vs. the people. Racial separation and inequality are ways the ownership class keeps people divided so the people can be controlled. This is the reality of the US political system and the reality of policing in the United States, but we can change that reality by continuing to organize, staying in the streets and building our power.

Do Not Belittle Protesters in the U.S. by calling their Struggle a “Color Revolution”

For almost a decade, I have been covering “Color Revolutions” in virtually all parts of the world. While making a film for TeleSur, I was facing Egyptian tanks, risking my life under sniper fire, getting roughed-up in the middle of clashes of the supporters of al-Sisi and Morsi.

Together with Syrian commanders, I was also facing the terrorists in Idlib; challenged the Ukrainian fascists; encountering Bolivian indigenous elders high in the Altiplano after the revolution of Evo Morales and MAS was crashed by the U.S.-sponsored coup in 2019. I regularly worked in Venezuela, Lebanon, and Iraq. And, of course, again and again, I have been returning to Hong Kong, reporting on systematic Western attempts to radicalize SAR’s youth and to harm China.

I mention all this just in order to establish that I am very well aware of how those “Color Revolutions” are triggered and implemented.

“Color Revolutions!” Unlike many “analysts” who are now tossing this term left and right, often without ever experiencing the events first hand, I spoke with the people on the ground, examining dynamics, asking endless questions. On many occasions, I was risking my life to get a philosophical context and the story right.

Frankly, I am sick of conspiracy theories, ignorance, clichés, and arrogance of those “analysts” who, from the comfort of their couch, somewhere in Europe or North America, are passing judgments and conclusions, with that proud look of superiority.

Since the police murdered Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis, since the United States literally exploded, since the African Americans, Native Americans and other appallingly oppressed people went to the streets in hundreds of the cities demanding justice; a substantial group of mainly white ‘we-know-everything’ ‘analysts’ began belittling protesters, calling them ‘violent,’ calling them ‘riots,’ calling them ‘creations of Soros and the Zionists’! And at the end, with dark sarcasm, declaring that the United States itself is now suffering from what it has been spreading all over the world for years – from the so-called “Color Revolution.”

Many of those ‘analysts’ became so aggressive and vocal that they literally managed to monopolize the ‘alternative narrative.’ Suddenly, there was hardly any space left for those of us who were continuously writing, using traditional internationalist, left-wing perspective.

*****

First of all, even the term itself – “Color Revolutions” – became a bad cliché.

The Western empire has been destroying the world for some 500+ years, in the most brutal ways imaginable. Hundreds of millions of lives were lost. Entire continents were plundered. People have been enslaved.

At the end of the colonial era, in various parts of our planet, at least some semi-independence was achieved. But countless governments in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America were still taking diktat directly from Washington, London, Paris, and other Western capitals.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the situation looked desperate. But with the rise of China and Russia, as well as Iran, great hope returned, and many countries embarked on the second stage of de-colonialization.

The process was confused and confusing. Each country was different. There were attempts to trigger real revolutions (Egypt), but there were also some clearly anti-revolutionary and right-wing movements (Syria, Ukraine) born.

In many countries where genuine grievances of the people brought masses to the streets, masses which were demanding mainly social and political reforms, the West quickly infiltrated several movements and literally kidnaped the revolutions. This is what happened in Egypt, but also, a few years later, in Lebanon and Iraq.

But to claim that Egypt had not attempted a revolution would be insulting, patronizing, and incorrect! Egypt was suffering from the terrible pro-Western regime and from the military. Egyptian people rose. I was working with a group of Marxist doctors during the process; I saw it all, from the ground, so to speak. But the revolution was infiltrated and finally destroyed.

Cairo battles

In Lebanon, too. For five years, I was based there; in Beirut and Asia. People were fed up with the so-called ‘confessional democracy,’ of the religions tearing-apart the nation, of savage capitalism, collapsed infrastructure, and non-existent social services. Hezbollah, hated by the West and Israel, has been the only solid provider of social services to all deprived Lebanese people, for years and decades. And so, in Lebanon, too, people rose. Late, in 2019, but rose. Sure, a few weeks after, I began spotting clenched fists of “Odpor” and “Canvas” on the Martyr’s Square (those used in Serbia, when President Milosevich was forced out of power, with full sponsorship of the West). Sure, the West began supporting rebels, because it wanted to get rid of Hezbollah, which has been part of the ruling coalition. But people of Lebanon do have thousands of legitimate grievances; reasons to rebel. However, the West has been skillfully infiltrating and, to some extent, manipulating the uprising, which is still going on until this day. And we have no idea where it is all going to lead.

Lebanon

Do you see how complex the situation is? It does not fit any of the simplifications, and clichés! And, of course, it is even more complicated than how I describe it here. It takes entire books to explain.

Syria

Syria: another totally different story, and absolutely distinctive species of “Color Revolutions,” if it is how you want to call it. Some grievances, yes. But also, a solid pan-Arab socialist state, which the West, Saudis, Qataris, Israelis, and other allies of Washington wanted desperately to destroy; government they were aiming to overthrow. After a relatively mild rebellion in Aleppo and Holms, supported by Gulf states coalition, and the West, Saudis and Turks began injecting monstrous, murderous combat forces into Syria from ISIS to Uyghurs, and everything in between.

All these cases of interference from the West are totally distinctive, although some patterns can be detected. And we are still in the same cultural and geographical area.

Maidan from above

Now look further away: Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Hong Kong (China).

In all these places, there are direct interventions, clear counter-revolution! It is financed, supported, and coordinated from Washington, London, Berlin, Paris, and other Western capitals.

Victims of the coup: indigenous elders

In Bolivia, white, racist, fundamentalist Christian elites overthrew, with the full support of the White House, the legitimate multi-cultural, democratic, and enormously successful government of President Evo Morales. It was done after agitation by a small sector of Bolivians, clearly financed from abroad and by the local elites. One month after the coup, I was working all over the Altiplano, taking down testimonies of indigenous people who were humiliated, tortured, abused, even killed by a new illegitimate regime.

That’s quite different ‘scenario,’ isn’t it; different from that in Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt? Is it really legitimate to hide it all under one single “Color Revolutions” label?

Look at Cuba: decades and decades of terror against this marvelous island! Passenger airplanes being blown out of the sky. Countless assassination plots against its leaders. Chemical warfare, biological warfare, the bombing of cafes, restaurants, and hotels. All proven and documented. And constant attempts to recruit, radicalize Cuban citizens – to force them against their own government.

Venezuela, a nation that offered tremendous hope to the entire divided continent. Venezuela compassionate, brave, built on solidarity. Look what has been done to her. One coup attempt after another. Embargos. Recruitment of treasonous cadres. Attacks from neighboring Colombia. Another “Color Revolution?” Or merely a campaign of terror?

Hong Kong love for the US

Hong Kong:  a city, former British colony, which has been ‘sacrificed’ by the West, while literally converted into a battleground against the most optimistic country on Earth – China. There, the symbol used to be umbrellas, not colors. Now, there seems to be no symbol, whatsoever, just spite and violence and hate.

It is easy to understand that somehow the label of “Color Revolutions” is trivializing everything.

I am surprised that some conspiracy theorists did not come up with a scheme yet that would say that the very term – “Color Revolutions” – has been invented to belittle what has been done to the world by the imperialist West. To throw everything to one bag and to confuse everything.

*****

Back to the United States.

“Color Revolution” there, too? For heaven’s sake, really?

After the murder of Mr. Floyd, protests are being discredited, again and again, by the people who, one would believe, should be standing by the side of the oppressed. Instead, they call rebellion ‘riots,’ they claim that they are backed by Soros, Gates, others!

The terrible truth emerged: in the United States, there is almost no left anymore. No real left. No internationalist left.

Instead, there are tons of conspiracy theory sites.

Significantly, on the streets of Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, black people are not just demanding justice for themselves; they have been shouting internationalist slogans, demanding justice for the world. It is something new, something marvelous, something you hardly hear in Paris or Berlin.

But this fact goes unnoticed, hardly reported.

The explosion of rage, brave uprising all over the United States, has been targeting those basic foundations of over 200 years long monstrous history on which the country is based. First, the colonialist invasion by the genocidal Europeans, then extermination of the great majority of native people, and simultaneously the most repulsive slavery which was endorsed and used by the founding fathers.

The state of the oppressed people in the U.S.A. today is clearly and directly related, connected to that past. But not only that: the entire state of the world could only be comprehended if viewed in the context of what has been done to the native people and brutalized black slaves in the United States, itself.

Colonialism, extermination campaigns in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, are inter-connected with the plight of non-white people in the United States.

Now, black people in the United States are fighting for themselves and their children, but also for their brothers and sisters in all corners of the world, which is still colonized and plundered by Washington and London.

Do all of the protesters know this? Some do, some don’t, and many feel it, intuitively.

Now, to the point which is made by those who are trying to discredit this uprising: is all this also a power-struggle inside the U.S. establishment? Are Democrats, for instance, trying to manipulate the situation, using it to their advantage?

I have no doubt that there are such attempts. Almost everyone in the United States is always using things, looking for advantages. This is what people are taught to do, living in a savage capitalist system.

But these are two distinct issues!

Even if Gates, Soros, deep state, Democrats, mass media outlets, and who knows who else, wants to kidnap the narrative and derail the uprising, it changes nothing on the fact that the peoples whose lives were, for generations, ruined, are now pissed off no end, and that their rebellion may shake the foundations of the entire country, and the terrible world order!

Even now, as this is being written, the uprising in the U.S. already inspired new movement @PapuanLivesMatter, which is referring to an ongoing genocide in West Papua, performed by the Indonesian state on behalf of Western governments and mining companies.

And this is just a beginning.

Grievances are legitimate. Struggle for justice is legitimate. The essential thing now is to separate the fight against racism, colonialism, and imperialism, from the political interests of the establishment, or part of it.

This separation can only happen on the barricades. And since the education has been kidnapped by the regime, there has to be an accelerated injection of the revolutionary education administered to both protesters and the general public. Education about both the past and the present.

But we should not give up on the protesters!

And calling their uprising “Color Revolution” is disrespectful and, yes, racist!

Their rage is legitimate. And, of course, the rage of the people all over the world is legitimate, too, without any doubt.

Conclusion

Point one: Blanket term “Color Revolutions” is wrong. Those who are promoting it are actually confusing the situation. During the last years and decades, the West has been using many different tactics on how to overthrow governments, subvert legitimate movements and revolutions, and deter revolutionary and anti-colonialist struggle. Each has to be examined and exposed separately, individually. Otherwise, it would create indigestible, on purpose confusing mass, and further damage independence struggle. Otherwise, nihilism would be spread, and revolutionary zeal deterred.

Point two: in the United States – the ongoing struggle against racism, segregation, and imperialism is a legitimate struggle, which is having a tremendous and positive influence on the entire world. If there are political interests that are trying to undermine and derail it, they should be exposed by the people in the United States. But it does not mean at all that the protesters should be discouraged, let alone ridiculed. Those who are fighting for justice, and for the entire world, should be embraced and full-heartedly supported!

• All photos by Andre Vltchek

Beware the hijacking of U.S. Protests into a “Color Revolution”

The May 25th killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota shocked the world and set off mass protests against racism and police brutality in dozens of cities from the mid-western United States to the European Union, all in the midst of a global pandemic. In the Twin Cities, what began as spontaneous, peaceful demonstrations against the local police quickly transformed into vandalism, arson and looting after the use of rubber bullets and chemical irritants by law enforcement against the protesters, while the initial incitement for the riots was likely the work of apparent agent provocateurs among the marchers. Within days, the unrest had spread to cities across the country including the nation’s capital, with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening to invoke the slavery-era Insurrection Act of 1807 to deploy the military and National Guard on American soil, federal powers not used since the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King case.

The debate over the catalyst for the uprising into its period of lawlessness has drawn a range of theories. The suspicious placement of pallets of bricks in the proximity of numerous protest sites have spurred rumors of sabotage by everything from white supremacist groups to “Antifa” to law enforcement itself. Predictably, liberal hawks such as Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor in the Obama administration, made ludicrous assertions suggesting “Russian agents” were behind the unrest, a continuation of the narrative that the Kremlin has been behind inflaming racial tensions in the U.S. that began during the 2016 election. While Democrats like Rice and Senator Kamala Harris of California have revived an old trope dating back to the Civil Rights movement of Moscow exploiting racial divisions in the U.S., Trump and the GOP have similarly resurrected the ‘outside agitators’ myth attributed to segregationists of the same era. Hypocritically, many of those claiming to be in support of the protests have denounced the latter theory while endorsing the former, when both equally show contempt for the legitimate grievances of the demonstrators and deny their agency. However, both false notions overlook the more likely hidden factors at play attempting to hijack the movement for its own purposes.

Believe it or not, there could be a kernel of truth in accusations coming mostly from the political right as to the possible role of the notorious liberal billionaire investor and “philanthropist” George Soros and his Open Society Foundation (OSF). Ironically, if any of the right-wing figures of whom Soros is a favorite target were aware of his instrumental role in the fall of communism staging the various CIA-backed protest movements in Eastern Europe that toppled socialist governments, he would likely not be such a subject of their derision. The Hungarian business magnate’s institute, like other NGOs involved in U.S. regime change operations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is largely a front for the CIA to shield itself while destabilizing U.S. adversaries, the spy agency’s preferred modus operandi since the exposure of its illicit activities in previous decades by the Rockefeller Commission and Church Committee in the 1970s. In the post-Soviet world, nations across Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and beyond have become well acquainted with the political disruptions of the international financier and his network. In particular, governments that have leaned toward warm relations with Moscow during the incumbency of President Vladimir Putin have found themselves the victims of his machinations.

Under Putin’s predecessor Boris Yeltsin, Soros made a killing off the mass privatization of the former state-run assets in the Eastern Bloc, as journalist Naomi Klein explained in The Shock Doctrine:

George Soros’s philanthropic work in Eastern Europe — including his funding of (Harvard economist and economic advisor Jeffrey) Sachs’s travels through the region — has not been immune to controversy. There is no doubt that Soros was committed to the cause of democratization in the Eastern Bloc, but he also had clear economic interests in the kind of economic reform accompanying that democratization. As the world’s most powerful currency trader, he stood to benefit greatly when countries implemented convertible currencies and lift capital controls, and when state companies were put on the auction block, he was one of the potential buyers.

 In contrast, the Putin administration over a period of two decades has since restored the Russian economy through the re-nationalization of its oil and gas industry. Its two energy giants, Gazprom and Rosneft, are state-controlled companies serving as the basis of the state machinery‘s reassertion of control over the Russian financial system, a move that has gotten Mr. Putin branded a “dictator” by the West. As a result, most of the notorious Russian oligarchs enriched overnight during the extreme free market policies of the 1990s have since left the country, now that such rapid accumulation of wealth to the rest of the nation’s detriment is no longer permitted. While economic inequality in Russia may persist, it is nowhere near that of the Yeltsin era where the average life expectancy was reduced by a full decade.

In the last decade, the United States has gotten its own taste of the incitement and agitations that have previously fallen upon governments across the global south. Instead, domestically the CIA cutouts in the non-profit industrial complex have played a pivotal counterrevolutionary role in co-opting and ultimately derailing such uprisings meant to bring systemic change to the U.S. political system. In late 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement emerged at Zuccotti Park in New York City’s financial district against the deepening global economic inequality following the Great Recession and the protests quickly spread to other cities and continents. In just a few months, the sit-in was expelled from Lower Manhattan and the anti-capitalist movement itself largely was diverted towards reformism and away from its original radical intentions. It was also revealed the origins of OWS and its marketing campaign were traced to Adbusters, a media foundation that was the recipient of grants from the Democratic Party-connected Tides Foundation, a progressive policy center which receives significant endowments from none other than George Soros and the OSF.

Emerging just two years later, the roots of Black Lives Matter were not just in community organizing but partially took inspiration from the Occupy movement. Unfortunately, the similarities between them were not limited to a shared lack of clarity in their demands but facing the same dilemma of being absorbed into the system. While OWS was quickly suppressed after hopeful beginnings, the BLM leadership became career-oriented apparatchiks of the Democratic Party and left grass-roots organizing behind. Through the non-profit industrial complex, the Democratic Party has mastered bringing various social movements under its management on behalf of Wall Street in order to funnel public funds into private control through various foundations. Along with the Ford Foundation which has given BLM enormous $100 million grants, Soros and the OSF have been one of the principal offenders. Still, many who correctly identify right-wing protests such as the Tea Party movement and the recent ‘anti-lockdown’ demonstrations as the work of astro-turfing by the Koch Brothers and Heritage Foundation seldom apply the same scrutiny to seemingly authentic progressive movements assimilated by corporate America.

One figure who mysteriously appeared on the scene in the early days of OWS connected to Soros was the Serbian political activist Srđa Popović, the founder of Otpor! (“resistance” in Serbian) and the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) political organizations which led the protests in 2000 which ousted the democratically-elected President of Serbia, Slobodan Milošević, known as the “Bulldozer Revolution.” Not long after Popović’s consulting of activists in Zuccotti Park, Wikileaks documents revealed the Belgrade-born organizer’s significant ties to U.S. intelligence through the global intelligence platform Stratfor (known as the “shadow CIA”), exposing the real motives behind his involvement in U.S. politics of outwardly supporting OWS while trying to sabotage the popular movement. Since their role as instruments of U.S. regime change in Serbia, Otpor! and CANVAS have received financial support from CIA intermediaries such as the NED, OSF, Freedom House and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as the Boston-based Albert Einstein Institute founded by the American political scientist, Gene Sharp.

Despite ostensibly professing to use the same civil disobedience methods of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., Gene Sharp‘s manual for “non-violent resistance” entitled From Dictatorship to Democracy has been the blueprint used by political organizations around the world that have only served the interests of Western imperialism. Beginning with the Bulldozer Revolution in Serbia, the successful formula which ousted Milošević spread to other Central Asian and Eastern European nations overthrowing governments which resisted NATO expansion and the European Union’s draconian austerity in favor of economic ties with Moscow. These were widely referred to in the media as ‘Color Revolutions’ and included the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine and its 2014 Maidan coup d’état follow-up, as well as the 2005 Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, among others.

Subsequently, Srđa Popović and CANVAS also lent their expertise in Egypt during the predecessor to its Arab Spring in the April 6 Youth Movement which appropriated Otpor!’s raised fist logo as its emblem. In preparation for the organization of anti-government demonstrations, the activists pored over Gene Sharp’s work in coordination with Otpor! whose fingerprints can be found all over the Arab Spring uprisings which began as protests to remove unpopular leaders in Egypt and Tunisia but were carefully reeled in to preserve the despotic Western-friendly systems that had put them to power initially. Where Sharp’s “non-violent” template failed, countries with U.S. adversaries in power such as Libya and Syria saw their protests rapidly morph into a resurgence of Al-Qaeda and a terrorist proxy war with catastrophic consequences. This recipe has also been exported to Latin America in attempts to remove the Bolivarian government in Venezuela, with self-declared ‘interim president’ and opposition leader Juan Guaido having received training from CANVAS.

While the right seems to have a bizarre misconception that the parasitic hedge fund tycoon is somehow a communist, there is an equal misunderstanding on the pseudo-left where it has become a recurring joke and subject of mockery to naively deny Soros’s undeniable influence on world affairs and domestic protest movements. Less certain, however, are the claims from conservatives that Soros is a supporter of “Antifa” which Trump wants to designate as a domestic terrorist organization, a dangerous premise given the movement consists of a very loose-knit and decentralized network of activists and hardly comprises a real organization. Various autonomous chapters and groups across the U.S. may self-identify as such, but there is no single official party or formal organization with any leadership hierarchy. While the original Antifa movement in the 1930s Weimar Republic was part of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), the current manifestation in the U.S. has a synonymous association with black bloc anarchism (even inverting the colors of the original red and black flag), though it is really made up of a variety of amateurish political tendencies.

Amidst the ongoing nationwide George Floyd protests, the demonstrations in Seattle, Washington culminated in the establishment of a self-declared “autonomous zone” by activists in the Northwestern city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood — known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). In response, Trump doubled down on his threats to quash protests with the use of the military while blaming “anarchists” in “Antifa” for the unrecognized commune occupying six city blocks around an abandoned police precinct. Anyone who has paid close attention to the war in Syria for the last nine years will find this highly ironic, given the U.S. military support for another infamous “autonomous zone” of Kurdish nationalists in Northern Syria’s Rojava federation. The Kurdish sub-region and de facto self-governing territory purports to be a “libertarian socialist direct democracy” style of government and has been the subject of romanticized praise by the Western pseudo-left despite the fact that the autonomous administration’s paramilitary wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), were until recently a cat’s paw for American imperialism as part of the U.S.-founded coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Not coincidentally, many of those who use the Antifa vexillum are enthusiastic supporters of and even volunteer mercenaries fighting with the YPG/SDF in an ‘International Freedom Battalion’ which claims to be the inheritors of the legacy of the International Brigades which volunteered to defend the Spanish Republic from fascism in the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, these cosplayers forgot that the original International Brigades were set up by the Communist International, not the Pentagon. Meanwhile, despite their purported “anti-fascism”, there are no such conscripts to be found defending the Donetsk or Luhansk People’s Republics of eastern Ukraine against literal Nazis in the War in Donbass where the real front line against fascism has been. Instead, they fight alongside a Zionist and imperial proxy to help establish an ethno-nation state while the U.S. loots Syria’s oil.

Prior to Trump’s decision last October to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria which preceded a Turkish invasion, Ankara and the U.S. repeatedly butted heads over Washington’s decision to incorporate the Kurds into the SDF, since the YPG is widely acknowledged an off-shoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the militant and cult-like political group regarded as a terrorist organization that has been at war with Turkey for over forty years. It is also no secret that jailed PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan’s theories of “democratic confederalism” are heavily influenced by the pro-Zionist Jewish-American anarchist theorist, Murray Bookchin. So when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Trump that there were links between the U.S. protests and the PKK, there was a tiny but core accuracy in his exaggerated claim. As Malcolm X said, “chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad.”

The George Floyd protests, like previous uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore, certainly began spontaneously, nor does any of this discount the legitimate issue of ending the militarization of U.S. law enforcement which disproportionately victimizes black Americans. Nevertheless, time and again we have seen how bona fide social movements become political footballs or quickly go to their graves. Like BLM, it is practically inevitable the protests will become a partisan tool for the Democratic Party in the coming 2020 election when it has no concrete political articulations of its own, even if it does bring substantive change to domestic policing. In January, Trump was impeached for temporarily withholding security aid to the Ukraine and Democrats advocated his removal because he is regarded as insufficiently hawkish toward Moscow. Since 2016, they have actively diverted all opposition to Trump into their own reactionary anti-Russia campaign and soft-coup attempt in the interests of the military- intelligence community, a shared agenda with Soros. When all of corporate America, the media, and even the NED have publicly declared their support for a movement, it is no longer just about its original cause of getting justice for Mr. Floyd, whose funeral became a virtual campaign rally for Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden. It is too early to say determinedly whether what is taking place in the U.S. is indeed a ‘Color Revolution’, but by the time we realize it, it may too late.

Why This is Not an Emmett Till Moment

Why is this not an Emmett Till moment?

The quick, simple response is because the Democratic Party is where social movements go to die and this will be absorbed into their own conservative narrative.

The open casket for Emmett shocked the nation, the white nation that is. It was neither shocking nor surprising for the majority of black Americans. They’ve seen it all too often before, just not with the exposition that Mrs. Till orchestrated in order to shock the world with an open casket. Many would rightfully say the civil rights movement truly began with this horrific murder and necessary showcase.

Attitudes were different back then. Polite society (liberal whites) knew the black American was being treated unfairly but for many it was an acceptable situation. Of course, many people in the mainstream abhorred the treatments and fought along with their brothers and sisters to reign in the oppression. But for the longest time after Reconstruction, there was a status quo.

Lynchings rarely made the papers but how many editorials regularly railed against Jim Crow enough to change attitudes? All Americans had to deal with WW1, the booming 20s, the Great Depression, and then WW2. The plight of the poor and minorities was of little concern to all who held power, as it is in many ways still today, thanks to our capitalist system.

Then came the horrific killing of Emmett Till and the subsequent kangaroo court trial that acquitted the murderers. There were many sensational cases throughout the 20th century but often it involved either the rich and famous or those already of national fame, or infamy. There was Sacco and Vanzetti, Leopold and Loeb, Scopes Monkey Trial, Hauptmann’s trial for allegedly killing Lindbergh’s baby, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and a few others involving heirs and big name custody fights. When it came to the Emmett Till trial, race was the issue and the first of its kind to kindle the flames of social revolution or upheaval.

The brutal murder of George Floyd was very different. We won’t know until the trial, but it could very well be that race may actually have played a minor role. Chauvin knew Floyd and there was talk of bad blood between them, especially regarding pay at the club where both served as bouncers. And, yes, he may have had animus for him just because he was black. The reaction by the entire world, enhanced by an already existing Black Lives Matter movement, is clearly focused on race, as it should, and police brutality against all, as all are seeing how thuggish the police are to all protesters for social change, regardless of color. What we’re seeing is the conflation of the issue that the police are the greatest threat to civil society that specifically targets blacks and the poor, because they know they can get away with it, and the larger picture that the police primarily serve the interests of the wealthy, of property, and the economic system of capitalism that requires a substandard living for many to prevent any form of egalitarian society and true upward mobility for the masses.


Many would say that there is a sea change. “Defund the police” is popping up everywhere. Billboards and buildings throughout the world, not just in the US, are defaced with this slogan. Racist statues are being taken down or torn down in larger numbers than before. Many go so far as to say abolish the police, and even the right wing, capitalist, war mongering paper, the New York Times, had an editorial arguing for its abolition. City councils are taking the defunding to heart. Of course, Minneapolis is the most prominent but we see it being proposed in, of course, Seattle, home of the modern day Paris Commune, known as the CHAZ, and Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Detroit, Baltimore and DC now, etc. Almost sounds like “Dancing in the Streets”. Mayors are called to resign for supporting the police.

It’s very likely that there will be budget cuts and perhaps re-allocations of funds to social services that do a hell of a better job than police work in order to alleviate the causes of crime. But overall, that’s window dressing. Will training by Israeli IDF thugs stop? Will enough school boards nation-wide cancel their school police presence? Certain tactics might not be permitted, like choke holds and maybe even tear gas, a weapon outlawed by the Geneva Convention, but will they return their tanks and other weapons of war as to not appear as an occupation army?

At a protest, will they continue to be dressed for war? Will peaceful and unarmed white and black protesters be treated in the same respectful way as armed white, right wing, often white supremacists, protesters?

The icing on the cake is time. Time is ripe for revolution like very few times in our past. And it looks like our brothers and sisters in the streets have the upper hand. Considering that schools (public and universities) are out for the summer, there’s still a pandemic keeping people away from leisurely living, and so many are out of work, one would expect our American Spring to roll into summer. But there’s something else on the calendar which will kill the momentum. November’s election. With Bernie Sanders playing the dutiful role of sheepdog for the Democratic Party and giving up on the idea of revolution, and Trump becoming more insane by the minute, the focus of so many, including the protesters, might very well be centered on removing him. Like it or not, Biden will probably be the Democratic nominee and so many noses will be held as they pull the lever or mail in their ballots, just to remove Trump. It doesn’t matter that Biden opposes everything, including defunding the police, that the protesters demand. It doesn’t matter that his heroes are America’s past, notorious racists. It doesn’t matter that people are losing their jobs and health care and Biden openly opposes universal, tax paid, health care. And it doesn’t matter that so many black people are so threatened, not just by the police, but by the entire judicial system, that Biden past legislative history will be momentarily forgiven, just so that a Democrat can remove Trump.

It’s also very likely that more black Americans than ever before will refrain from voting for the Democrat, but strategically, they don’t really count all that much. The big cities with large black populations are in states that normally vote Democratic, but they are a minority within. Where they may be majority in certain cities are often located in the South, which would mostly vote for Trump, anyway. It is the white liberal, the suburban white moms, the Blue No Matter Who people, who will divert attention away from George Floyd and all the others, as they have been doing for so many years. And considering that many of these horrific murders before Floyd also happened under the Obama/Biden administration, with no long lasting consequences, it’s hard to see Mr. Floyd being the start of something real and long lasting. Maybe the rest of the world that has seized this moment in history will carry through to see that their demands are met. But as stated above, the Democratic Party is where social movements go to die. This is not an Emmett Till moment. It’s just another footnote in American history.

The Uprising Is Only Beginning: Building Power To Win Our Demands

The current uprising against police violence and racism is just beginning. It is rapidly shifting public consciousness on issues of policing, violence against Black people and others, and systemic racism. The movement is deepening and becoming broader as well as putting forward solutions and making demands.

The confluence of crises including recent police violence, the COVID-19 pandemic, and economic collapse along with the ongoing crises of lack of healthcare, poverty, inequality, homelessness, personal debt, and climate plus awareness of mirage democracy in the United States have created a historic moment full of possibilities. If we continue to organize and build power, the potential for dramatic change is great.

As we wrote last week, there are dangers coming from liberal Democrats and the black misleadership class who are trying to quell the protests with distractions and weak reforms. To achieve changes that will solve the crises we face, demands must address the root causes of them. And, we must understand the dynamics of demands in social movements – what it takes to win and to hold the ruling class accountable for enacting them.

Anti-police violence protester confronts militarized police at the White House on June 3. 2020 (By Oliver Douliery from Getty Images)

Demands to Defund and Abolish the Police

The demands to defund and abolish police are now part of the national dialogue. This is a major advancement for the movement against police violence. The pushback against these demands is coming from across the mainstream political spectrum from Donald Trump to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

When the bi-partisans unite, they are often wrong as they represent two parties funded by the millionaires and billionaires who put their interests first. Bipartisan means the various wings of the ruling class, represented by the two corporate parties, are uniting and that means a united attack on the people. They seek to protect systems that have created horrendous inequality and injustice. The police are the enforcement arm that protects the ruling class from the population impacted by that inequality and injustice.

Christy E. Lopez, a professor at Georgetown Law School who co-directs the Program on Innovative Policing, has worked inside the government on efforts to reform and control police for 25 years. Her conclusion: “it has become clear to me that ‘reform’ is not enough. Making sure that police follow the rule of law is not enough. Even changing the laws is not enough.”

There is tension within the movement against police violence between those who seek reform and those who want to change the whole system – to abolish policing as it exists and create alternatives. In 2016, activists across the country built encampments to heighten awareness for the demand to abolish the police, provide reparations for victims, and invest in black and brown communities. They demanded “community-based forms of policing in its place that are accountable to residents.”

Advocates of abolition consistently make the point that “abolition requires more than police officers disappearing from the streets. . . Police abolition could mean and require society to decrease and eliminate its reliance on policing.” It also means decriminalizing many activities that result in police abuse; i.e. decriminalizing or legalizing drugs and the untaxed sale of cigarettes that create illegal markets. Police spend more than 90 percent of their time on things people find annoying or social and health issues that police are ill-equipped to handle. These lead to police interactions that result in police violence, especially in black and brown communities.

Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson writes that the movement needs to become more radical, not more moderate. He points out that the solutions to the current crisis are deeper than reforming the police, explaining there are “calls to eradicate white supremacy, capitalism, heteropatriarchy, and settler-colonialism that have been on clear display.” The founding of police came out of the most extreme form of capitalism, slavery, where those with money owned other people as unpaid workers. Slave patrols developed into modern-day police so the very root of policing is rotten.

Max Rameau and Netfa Freeman write:

The core issue is POWER, not racism. We cannot change our reality by ending ‘racism,’ or the attitudes and opinions others hold of us. Our conditions will only change when we shift power into our own hands and exercise self-determination, thereby rendering the opinions of racists irrelevant.

When it comes to changing the power dynamic, one demand — democratic community control of the police — stands out among the others. Communities being able to hire and fire police officers, review their budgets, impanel a grand jury to investigate crimes, and approve police contracts among other changes, reverse the power dynamic. The people would be in democratic control of how their communities are policed and by whom. This is a long-term demand dating back to the Black Panthers, as Green presidential candidate Howie Hawkins points out. This transition to people-power over police is seen by many as the key transition step to abolition or replacement of the police.

Rameau and Freeman conclude that “the police MUST exist in order to protect property and wealth from those who do not have.” They argue that defunding police without changing that dynamic means the wealthy elites will find other ways to protect themselves, private police who are even less accountable than the public institution.

Akuno urges “the demand for abolition should be raised to heighten the contradictions. But, it must be accompanied by the call for revolution, and the organizing effort to dismantle the entire system.” He adds we “have to resist the elevation of the liberal and Democratic party narratives and positions. We have to assert a counter-narrative in all arenas — one that aims towards transforming the Floyd rebellion into something potentially transformative.”

People stand in front of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct sign in the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” while continuing to demonstrate against racial inequality and call for the defunding of Seattle police in Seattle on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (By Lindsey Wasson, Reuters)

Building Power for Positive Change

The power structure has started to make some concessions over the past few weeks of protests, but none of these has altered the systems that maintain the current inequalities and injustices.

Some police have been fired and charged for committing violence and murder. It remains to be seen if they will be convicted and kept from policing anywhere in the future. Some cities are talking about defunding or disbanding the police, but it remains to be seen what the details will be. Schools are breaking contracts with police. More segments of the population from the media to athletes to tech companies are challenging racism and oppression in our society. These changes are happening because the people power being displayed has exposed injustice, garnered support and put the elites in a panic. The elites need to give the people something to stop the protests.

The widespread actions of militarized police using extreme violence across the country backfired and resulted in the protests growing. Federal courts in Colorado and Washington ordered governments to stop using chemical warfare against US citizens. Adding 17,000 National Guard troops in 23 states caused the National Guard troops’ morale to plummet in embarrassment over using military force to stop people from exercising their constitutional rights. President Trump’s threat of military force caused divisions in the military as retired and active generals, GI’s and National Guard troops spoke out against it.

Popular power is growing in the United States, but to build enough power to win demands that significantly alter the economic and political systems will require sustained effort. While some reforms are significant because they may meet some needs of those in the movement, we can’t stop there.

As we describe in the second class of the Popular Resistance School, if movements make concessions too early, before they have the power to make sure their demands are met and to hold leaders accountable for their actions, they will fail. The ruling class will often feign concessions to quiet the rebellion knowing all along that they are still in control.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, after signing a police reform bill, exemplified this when he said, “You don’t need to protest, you won. You accomplished your goal.”

When negotiating demands, it is all about power. If the sides coming together to negotiate do not have equal power, then the weaker side will lose. They may be given promises, but they can’t force the power holders to keep them. It is significant that elements in the society are opposed to military attacks on people expressing their First Amendment rights, but we must continue to heighten the conflict until there are real splits within the power structure.

In order to maintain their power, the ruling class requires support from the people.

  • They require people to give them authority. That is why the autonomous zone in Seattle is so powerful, it is challenging that legitimacy.
  • They require people to do the actual work, from the bureaucrats to city maintenance workers to other essential workers. That is why the call for a general strike is so powerful. If workers slow down or withhold their labor, governments and cities won’t function.
  • They require skills and knowledge of people. The ruling elites don’t know how to run the machines or systems on which they depend.
  • They require control over material resources such as energy, water and property. Last December, electrical workers in France cut off power to the police stations, big businesses and management and turned the power on for workers and the poor.
  • They require the ability to punish people who disobey them. If guards and police refuse to stop people, courts refuse to prosecute and jails refuse to hold people, the power elites lose that control.

The bottom line is that we have the ability to remove power from the ruling class and that must be our goal if we are to win the changes we need in this moment of multiple crises. The seeds of transformation have been planted, now it is our task to nurture them.

We do that by putting out a vision of the changes we require and continuing to protest in support of that vision. We need to build relationships with others in our community to raise awareness of the crises and how to stop them. We need to support each other through mutual aid and building alternative systems to meet basic needs. Through our collective effort, we can stop the destructive machine and create a new world.

Of Republics and Empires

If I’m gonna die I’ll die now, right here, fighting you.

— Muhammad Ali to a white college student who challenged his opposition to the Vietnam War

As has been made plain to the entire world, things are not going very well in the Land of the Free. Extreme police violence, normally reserved for poor people, and poor minorities in particular, is now being inflicted indiscriminately across the nation. Mainstream journalists (including foreign press), Hollywood actors, elderly men with cancer, you name it: if you’re attempting to exercise your Constitutional right to peaceably assemble, expect to be attacked with nightsticks, rubber bullets, tear gas, and the rest of the weapons of terror in the policeman’s arsenal.

Expect also to be branded a terrorist by Republican politicians, including, of course, our gruesome president. In their view, the police aren’t being tough enough; in their view, it’s time to deploy the military against American citizens. An “overwhelming show of force” is in order, to quote from Senator Tom Cotton’s notorious New York Times op-ed. As for Antifa, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz says the government ought to “hunt them down like we do those [terrorists] in the Middle East.”

Let that one sink in for a moment. According to a member of the US House of Representatives, the federal government should unleash the hounds of empire on American citizens, tracking and killing them using military drones, illegal cluster bombs, and other munitions. Given what we know about “precision” drone strikes, lots of innocent Americans who happen to be standing near a suspected Antifa member when he or she is summarily executed will also be killed—collateral damage, as they say at the Pentagon. And if Mosul, Raqqa, Fallujah, etc., are anything to go by, the federal government will also pulverize a few American cities in its campaign to root out Antifa.

Those captured alive will be arbitrarily detained without trial at Guantanamo Bay, and they’ll be tortured a bit for good measure, just to keep ’em honest. Trump, circa 2016: “I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”

Twitter refused to take down Gaetz’s fascist call to violence, choosing instead to slap a warning label on it, just as they did when Trump threatened to have looters shot in the street. (Remember when Twitter purged thousands of accounts, many of them owned by Americans critical of US foreign policy, under the Orwellian rubric of “inauthentic behavior”?)

In a perverse way, the police are doing us all a favor. By clubbing everybody in sight they are throwing into sharp relief their real purpose, namely, to intimidate and suppress popular social movements on behalf of the folks Adam Smith unlovingly termed “the masters of mankind.” Whether they see it or not—but everyone who isn’t a police officer sees it now—their job is to uphold a system of corporate tyranny for which people like George Floyd routinely pay with their lives. Police are, after all, armed tools of the state, and what is the state if not an armed tool of corporate power? (Ask cui bono? of every war the US has fought over the past seventy-five years, the answer is always the same.) Police are the shock troops of American class warfare.

And yet their martial tactics are failing to work this time, just as they failed to work in the 1960s. En masse, the American public is rejecting police claims to authority, and that’s why we see them—the cops—lashing out with such fear and loathing. They’re experiencing a collective psychological crisis. The state has conferred enormous power on them, and now, thanks to sustained popular pressure, it is going to be forced to pull some of that power away. Rogue officers are being disciplined, fired, charged with crimes, and a number of cities are readjusting their police budgets downward. It only took a couple weeks of widespread demonstrations to get here.

We hear it all the time: democratic improvement requires organized, determined and sustained effort on the part of the public. Things are changed between, not during, elections. This can sound abstract, particularly for a generation of Americans that thinks activism consists of posting slogans on Twitter and Facebook, or of wandering around D.C. wearing hats that look like vulvas. But no longer—now it’s sparkling clear to anyone paying attention what it takes to penetrate the system. Hats off to Black Lives Matter for that.

It is easy to despair of the State of the Union when well over half of our discretionary budget goes to the military; when real wages for American workers haven’t gone up since the ’70s; when, because of a wicked arrangement put together by our corporate masters, millions of people lose their health insurance in the middle of a pandemic; when there are over 400 mass shootings in a single year; when we have more people incarcerated than China and India combined; when we continue raping the planet to maximize short term corporate profits; when police get away with murder; when Donald Trump is president; when … well, you know the story.

With such a critical mass of issues, it’s a matter of time before popular anger and resentment explode. We’re seeing that explosion in real time—along with the implosion of an empire. This is good news. The cracks in the foundation of the American empire are widening, and the whole edifice is beginning to teeter. Inevitably it will come down, collapsing from within. Empires and republics cannot coexist. The interests of one have to be subordinated to the interests of the other. For too long the empire’s interests have won out, at a massive cost, both to America and the world.

That trend is slowly reversing. The American people want out of the empire enterprise; the rest of the world wants us out of it, too, with good reason. That the emperor is wearing no clothes is more glaring now than ever before. For example, our repeated, ham-fisted attempts at a coup in Venezuela. For another example, the maximally-absurd Mike Pompeo “remembering” Tiananmen Square while police attack protesters in the streets of American cities.

It’s all very embarrassing, but also slightly encouraging. Realizing that the state will never voluntarily address the diseases afflicting American society, the people have decided to address them themselves. They’re done watching the United States go to pot while the hoodlums in Washington spend trillions of dollars bombing and invading countries that never did us injury. The enemy is within. To hell with the empire. All we can do now is hasten its demise and hope that there are still some pieces of a republic left to work with when it finally falls.

“Don’t boo, vote.”

These, the derisive words of then-President Obama to an unruly crowd at a campaign stop for Hillary Clinton in 2016. They would become, in the years that followed, a calling card for Democratic operatives, printed on stickers and hats and coffee mugs, taken up as organizational slogan and event title. They are words which would become particularly relevant after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers and subsequent protests which erupted in the Twin Cities and across the country and world. As people poured into the streets, Democrats like 71-year-old white millionaire Senator Ron Wyden, insisted, don’t protest, vote!

Of course, when Democratic politicians like Obama and Wyden say ‘vote,’ they don’t simply mean ‘participate in the electoral process.’ They mean, vote for Democrats.

Perhaps nowhere in the country has this advice been taken to heart quite like the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis. The state is led by a Democratic Governor and has had a Democratic Attorney General, that is, a Democrat as its chief legal officer, since 1971. The Mayor of Minneapolis is a Democrat, and has been since 1978, while 12 out of 13 seats on the Minneapolis city council are held by Democrats (the final seat is held by the Green Party).

Minnesota Nice’ may or may not involve booing, but it has certainly included voting for Democrats.

The results of this approach are well documented. A 2015 study revealed Minnesota to have “some of the worst racial disparities in the country,” gaps larger than most or all other states in education, employment, household income, home ownership, and poverty. African Americans in Minneapolis are nearly five times more likely than their white counterparts to live in poverty, and nearly three times more likely to be unemployed. They are nearly ten times more likely to be arrested for low level offenses and 13 times as likely as white Minnesotans to be killed by police, a disturbing fact born out in the high-profile killings of Jamar Clark in 2015, Philando Castile in 2016, and now, George Floyd.

It is telling to note that the state’s current Democratic Senator, and, perhaps until this week, the presumptive vice-presidential frontrunner to join Joe Biden atop the Democratic ticket, has been an integral part of the construction of the way Minneapolis functions today. From 1999-2007, Amy Klobuchar was the chief prosecutor for Hennepin County, encompassing the city of Minneapolis. During this period, Klobuchar declined to bring charges in over two dozen cases where people were killed by police, instead, focusing her attention on aggressively prosecuting low-level offenders, disproportionately people of color, for whom she sought longer-than-recommended sentences. Summed up by longtime Minneapolis community activist Michelle Gross, “she’s a racist who basically made our prisons the blackest place in this state.”

As part of her agenda, Klobuchar declined in 2006 to bring charges against six Minneapolis police officers who had shot and killed a man. Among those let off the hook was an officer Derek Chauvin; the same Derek Chauvin who murdered George Floyd.

Incredibly, over his 19-year career, Chauvin has been the recipient of no less than 17 official complaints, all closing without discipline, but for one letter of reprimand. In 2008, he was involved in an altercation during which he shot a man twice, though the man survived, and then again, in 2011, he was placed on a three-day leave of absence after a non-fatal shooting of an indigenous man. Many police officers say they never use their gun over the course of their entire career; Chauvin had been involved in three questionable shootings in five years. And yet still, in a city run by a Democratic Mayor, in a state overseen by a Democratic Attorney General, this dangerous individual was left to prowl the streets, until finally, he killed an innocent person.

Perhaps here, a step back should be taken before things get too heated. Perhaps President Obama’s 2016 calls to vote rather than boo, echoed now by Democratic politicians in the face of an uprising, were more innocuous than they seem. The booing in question, that which precipitated Obama’s famous remark, was, in fact, in response to mention of Donald Trump. Most literally, Obama was saying, in his usually charismatic way, don’t boo Trump, vote for Hillary. It was a continuation of “when they go low, we go high,” the same unsubtle mandate as always – stay away from uncouth Republicans, a Democrat must be President!

It goes without saying that Republicans are not the answer; unlike Democrats, they do not even pretend to be. When protesters took to the streets after the murder of George Floyd, they were called “thugs” by President Trump, that familiar racist dog whistle, consistently used to mute the anguished voices of the oppressed.

A Democrat must be President. No one has followed this suggestion more doggedly than the good people of Minnesota. Literally, no one – they are the only state in the nation won by the Democratic candidate for President in each of the last 11 elections, the only state to go for Mondale over Reagan in 1984. And yet, their current plight, like that of the rest of the country, has grown under Presidents Democrat and Republican.

Consider, after the murder of Freddie Gray by police in 2015, then-President Obama called protesters in Baltimore exactly the same thing as President Trump called those in Minneapolis – “thugs.” While in the White House, the proprietor of ‘don’t boo, vote’ oversaw the continuing militarization of American police forces, and stood idly by while the jackboot of the state hammered down on the people of Ferguson and Standing Rock and elsewhere.

In 2016, President Obama was insisting that we didn’t boo Trump, but rather vote for Hillary Clinton, a woman who, while championing arguably the most racist piece of legislation in the modern history of the country – the 1994 crime bill – called African American youth “superpredators,” a woman whose racism permeated her career up to and beyond when her campaign used racist literature against Obama in their 2008 Democratic primary. Now, President Obama insists that we should not boo, but vote for Joe Biden, a former segregationist who literally wrote the racist 1994 crime bill, a man who casually used racist remarks as recently as last week.

In order to satiate the unheard, Obama suggests a vote for the architects of the current situation.

There is a curious quote in a recent Politico article on the shocking levels of racial inequality in Minnesota:

It seems illogical that inequality could thrive in one of the country’s most liberal states.

Yes, it does seem illogical, but only for those still clinging to the fantasy that Democrats are somehow the opposite of Republicans. The state of Minnesota, to say nothing of the careers of people like Obama, Biden, Clinton and Klobuchar, has quite clearly shown that this is simply not the case.

If a vote for either party delivers the same results, then ‘vote’ is removed as an option for the oppressed to have their voices heard.

That leaves ‘boo.’

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “a riot is the language of the unheard.” Over 50 years later, a younger generation might say, “fuck around and find out.”