Tag Archives: Philando Castile

Why the Minnesota Vikings win is disheartening to some Minnesotans

Written by Carol Benedict

In case you have not heard, the Minnesota Vikings won the NFC Divisional Game on Sunday, after a near-defeat in traditional Vikings playoff style. Fans were ecstatic. “WE WON!” was shouted everywhere in Minnesota.

Except a few places. Not many of the homeless people were celebrating the win in a warm cozy home with game food laid out for an afternoon of face-stuffing. Not many of the unvisited residents of the state’s nursing homes thought as much about the game as they did about where their families were. A good portion of the minority communities facing possible deportation thought less of a football game than spending perhaps the last day possible with loved ones they might never see again.

By Monday, people in the state’s employment sector that worked on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, were still talking about the big game. The office coffee pots were constant witness to the sometimes hour-long reflections on “where I was and what I was doing” during the big moment of the final play. The first 5 minutes of local news broadcasts focused on people who had left the stadium or turned off the television before victory was clear. As of Tuesday, the 5 most read stories in the Minneapolis Star Tribune are all centered on the Vikings win last Sunday.

In preparation for the SuperBowl, Minneapolis has agreed to several “policies” that the people of Minneapolis were never given a voice, choice or opinion about. Those with annual permits to park near where they work have had those permits pulled so the space can sell for $100 or more for the SuperBowl events. Homeless people within the “security perimeter” are supposed to be “re-located” to other shelters. Even stray cats and dogs are being sent to other shelters. Local news also reported, “…MACC needs to “keep the shelter as empty as possible because in the event of an emergency, the building could be used for an influx of animals, or even to shelter people.”

“Snipers will be on rooftops and in buildings in strategic places. Officers in head-to-toe commando gear will be on the streets gripping assault rifles against their chests. Minneapolis Police Cmdr. Scott Gerlicher said the influx of federal agents to Minnesota will be the largest in the 52 years of Super Bowl history,” reports the Star Tribune.

All these moves and decisions are being done to protect people going to a sporting event. Remember that sporting events at the professional level are nothing more than a corporation (NFL) selling you their product (football team) as an entertainment vehicle to encourage participation through purchases of tickets, game gear, trinkets and other such memorabilia. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the business model or the consumers of the products.

What would happen if Minnesotans would put the same amount of time, effort, energy and money into causes for the good of Minnesota? What would it look like to have as many people cheer a win for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in it’s fight for life against a foreign corporation intending to build a copper and nickel mining operation in the middle of it? How many fewer attacks would the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center have experienced if the same amount of people came out to support the rejection of hate as came out for a Vikings game? How many people spent more time waiting in traffic and lines on game day than they did being stopped by a Black Lives Matter protest in the past, yet still are unable to recognize the injustices that the black community faces on a daily basis?

There was, and still is, a place in our society to come out and enjoy America’s favorite pastime; sports events. But shouldn’t it be done with more balance to the other things that matter greatest in life? If you are fortunate enough to be able to get to the end of your life to gather those that mean the most to you during your final moments, will you ask for your football team or your family?

About the Author:
Carol Benedict is an independent researcher and human rights activist. She is also an independent Journalist and a professional member of the US Press Association.

 

 

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UN: Americans’ Right to Protest is in Grave Danger Under Trump

At least 19 U.S. states have introduced bills that attack the right to protest since Donald Trump’s election as president

By Common Dreams. Published 4-2-2017

Demonstrators in Arizona, such as these workers striking for higher wages at a Walmart in Phoenix, could face racketeering charges and asset forfeiture under the law passed by the state senate. (Photo: Deanna Dent/UFCW International Union/flickr/cc)

At least 19 U.S. states have introduced bills that attack the right to protest since Donald Trump’s election as president, an “alarming and undemocratic” trend, U.N. human rights investigators said this week.

Maina Kiai and David Kaye, independent U.N. experts on freedom of peaceful assembly and expression respectively, are calling on lawmakers in the United States to stop the “alarming” trend of “undemocratic” anti-protest bills designed to criminalize or impede the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression. Continue reading

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Outcry Kills Anti-Protest Law in Arizona, But Troubling Trend Continues Nationwide

Rash of anti-protest laws and effort to dismiss demonstrators as ‘paid agitators’ are ‘standard operating procedure for movement opponents,’ says expert

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-28-2017

Approximately 50 protesters gather outside of the Pentagon City Mall in Arlington, Virginia on Saturday, November 29th, 2014 to show solidarity with Ferguson, Missouri protests. (Photo: Joseph Gruber/cc/flickr)

An Arizona bill that sought to prosecute protest organizers like racketeers is officially dead after widespread outcry forced state lawmakers to put that effort to rest, marking a victory for the national resistance movement currently facing a rash of legislation aimed at stifling dissent.

Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard announced late Monday that the bill, SB 1142, would not move forward in the legislature.

“I haven’t studied the issue or the bill itself, but the simple reality is that it created a lot of consternation about what the bill was trying to do,” Mesnard, a Republican, told the Phoenix New Times. “People believed it was going to infringe on really fundamental rights. The best way to deal with that was to put it to bed.” Continue reading

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Kurdish Emissaries to share details on ISIS outside both National Conventions

Written by Carol Benedict.

Kurds & Americans fighting together together in Rojava, Syria. Image via Reece Harding News Agency screen shot.

Kurds & Americans fighting together in Rojava, Syria. Image via Reece Harding News Agency screen shot.

 

 

The war against ISIS in the Middle East rages on with no end date set. The majority of the fighting on the ground that is winning back territory and pushing ISIS back is being done by Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq.

Following the Dallas shootings and the murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, a suburb of Minneapolis, the Kurdish women fighters made a public statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

“To our black sisters and brothers! The people of Kurdistan stand with you! Here are the women who fight ISIS in Rojava (northern Syria) – saluting your honorable struggle for freedom, dignity, and resistance!”

This follows a recent action in Washington DC, staged across the street from the Turkish Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue. Named “A Vigil for King’s Dream in Kurdistan,” the organizers drew the comparisons between the history of the black people in America and that of the Kurds within the borders of Turkey. In the words of the event organizer. Kani Xulam of the American Kurdish Information Network (AKIN). The Vigil enraged the Turkish Embassy for 92 days before the group left the site.

Now, a trip to both National Conventions has been organized by the AKIN to provide information to Americans on the war against ISIS and how the American-Kurdish alliance strengthens both America and the stateless nation of Kurdistan. The media advisory issued by the group includes the following:

Information on how Kurds can help America win the war against ISIS will be available for the press at both:
–The Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, beginning Saturday, July 16, 2016.
–The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, beginning the following Saturday, July 23, 2016.
Kurdish Americans and their friends will be on hand to provide details on how Kurdish freedom fighters can beat ISIS overseas—before it can bring large scale attacks to America.
“Kurds are fighting ISIS tooth and nail and we want Americans to help us prevail,” said Kani Xulam, the director of American Kurdish Information Network (AKIN), an organizer of the trip.

Banner to look for at both National Conventions to offer solidarity with Kurdish Americans. Image via Facebook.

Banner to look for at both National Conventions to offer solidarity with Kurdish Americans. Image via Facebook.

 

Xulam continues, “It may be viewed as a Cassandra like observation, but Kurds hold the key to the peace of American cities like Cleveland and Philadelphia.

Helping Kurds is an investment in peace in America.”

We challenge you to find these people at the National Convention of your choice. Their message of Peace is nonpartisan and welcoming.

Sometimes you have to take the extra effort to understand how peace can be attained. The choice is yours, the message is truth.

About the Author:
Carol Benedict is an indépendant researcher and human rights activist who has been studying Kurdish history, culture and politics for over three years. She currently writes for Occupy World Writes exclusively.

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Bahamas to Its Citizens Traveling to the US: Beware of out of Control Cops

By Clarice Palmer. Published 7-9-2016 by The Anti-Media

The International Arrivals Hall at Boston Logan International Airport's Terminal E. Photi: hildgrim/flickr/CC

The International Arrivals Hall at Boston Logan International Airport’s Terminal E. Photi: hildgrim/flickr/CC

It appears even foreigners are scared of United States law enforcement.

The Bahamian government is warning its citizens to use extreme caution when traveling to the United States. The recommendation follows the “extrajudicial killings” of blacks, Caribbean outlet Antillean Media Group (AMGreports, “which have spurred increased unrest across America.” Continue reading

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Legal Experts Raise Alarm over Shocking Use of ‘Killer Robot’ in Dallas

‘The fact that the police have a weapon like this…is an example of the militarization of the police and law enforcement—and goes in the wrong direction’

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-8-2016

Dallas Police Chief David Brown giving a press conference on Friday morning. (Screenshot)

Dallas Police Chief David Brown giving a press conference on Friday morning. (Screenshot)

As news emerges that police officers in Dallas, Texas used an armed robot to kill the suspected shooter in Thursday night’s ambush, experts are warning that it represents a sea change in police militarization that only heightens risks to human and constitutional rights.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Friday morning during a press conference that police “saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate” where the suspect had taken refuge in a parking garage as police tried to negotiate with him, adding that he was “deceased as a result of detonating the bomb.” Continue reading

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