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#BlackLivesMatter Takes the Field: A Weekend of Athletes Speaking Out

Dave Zirin TheNation.com Blog
This movement is not only explicitly about the right to live a life with more opportunity, but the right to simply live. As Howard Zinn said, "You can't be neutral on a moving train." The train is leaving the station, even in the world of sports. The marches in the streets are not done. The die-ins disrupting traffic are not done. And, as part of this moment, athletes are speaking out, with African American sports stars in the lead.

They Fear and They Kill

Marge Piercy MRzine
Official government statistics document that African American young men are killed by the police at a rate quadruple that of the whole population. In the period 1999 through 2011, police officers killed 4,531 people. Marge Piercy, in poem, captures that reality of being young, African American, Hispanic, Asian or Native American Indian, and a police victim.

Tidbits - December 11, 2014

Portside
Reader Comments - CIA Lied About Torture; A New Civil Rights Movement?; Grand Jury Injustice - Justice Demanded; Members of Congress (and staffers) join protest; Illegal Cop Murders; Police Reform? - Bolder Steps Needed; Low Wage Workers: 'We Can't Breathe'; Slavery, Founding Fathers and Torture; Congress Plots against Pensions; Pardon Snowden, Manning and Leonard Peltier; Israel Lobby and Ukraine; War on Terror; Israel, U.S. and space weapons; New Republic; Correction

Demand Justice - Federal Action Needed in Grand Jury's Failure to Hold Police Officer Accountable for Death of Eric Garner

Justice for Eric Garner and an end to discriminatory policing - New York City Council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus; Center for Constitutional Rights Exec Director Vince Warren; Donna Lieberman, Exec Director, New York Civil Liberties Union. Sign your name - Demand the Department of Justice and Pres. Obama do everything in their power to indict Officer Pantaleo on federal criminal charges.

10 Ways the System Is Rigged to Protect Cops Who Kill; The American Justice System...Broken

Steven Rosenfeld; Albert Burneko
The system is substantially rigged in favor of letting officers off the hook for using excessive force in the line of duty. Policing in America is not broken. With the video of Eric Garner's death, it is impossible not to conclude that the justice system is institutionally biased in favor of using excessive and sometimes lethal force....The judicial system is not broken. American society is not broken. All are functioning perfectly, doing exactly what they have done.

Prosecutor Manipulates Grand Jury Process to Shield Officer

Marjorie Cohn Truthout
In a normal grand jury proceeding, the prosecutor presents evidence for a few days, then asks the grand jurors to return an indictment, which they nearly always do. Of 162,000 federal cases in 2010, grand juries failed to indict in only 11 of them. The standard of proof for a grand jury to indict is only probable cause to believe the suspect committed a crime. It is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is required for conviction at trial.

Race inequality between US Whites and African-Americans by the Numbers (Again)

Juan Cole informed Comment
African-Americans are disproportionately likely to be poor, they are only a quarter of Americans living in poverty; whites make up about 41% of the poor. Those white Americans who don't want to help the poor because they'd be helping people of another race are actually screwing over white people big time. The wealth gap between /white and African-American families tripled between 1980 and 2009.

Why We Won't Wait

Robin D.G. Kelley CounterPunch
We've all been waiting for the grand jury's decision, not because most of us expected an indictment. District Attorney Robert P. McCulloch's convoluted statement resembled a victory speech. For a grand jury to find no probable cause even on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter is a stunning achievement...If the police contributed to the "epidemic" of violent deaths, a case can be made for the complete withdrawal of the police from Black and Brown neighborhoods.

Tidbits - November 27, 2014

Portside
Reader Comments - Darren Wilson Acquittal - Reader Responses; Black Friday Protests; Election Lessons for the Left; Immigration Reform; Ursula K. Le Guin, Pension Reform(?); Water Grab; Facebook Drivers Vote Union; Berlin Wall's Fall - Reflections from the GDR; Israel Lobby and Ukrainian Fascists; Mexico - 43 students murdered; Israel, Palestine and Rasmeah Odeh; The Selfless Gene; Announcement - New Politics Forum on the Environmental Crisis - New York - Dec. 9

In Memory of Dr. King: Stand Up for those Without Work

Carl Bloice, Black Commentator Editorial Board The Black Commentator
On the line are the lives of decent hardworking Americans, trying to cross over into the dignity of work but still caught in the barbwire of an historic global recession. The jobless rate for young African Americans (16-19 years old) was 35.5 percent in December.
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