Glen Ford on the Black Community Policing, #LaborAgainstPoliceTerror Port Shutdowns, & NYC2 Baltimore Protests

(the transcript, if you’d rather read)

This is the #BlackIsBack Coalition on Twitter

Examples of the information, documents, and petitions that Glen mentioned you can find on their Facebook pages:

Day 2 Report from the Black Community Control of Police National Conference’; there are plenty of conference videos on various pages.

Via Bella Eiko on Twitter, bless her ‘keepin’ it real’ heart, and Woot!:

#LaborAgainstPoliceTerror  Local 10

From their Facebook page:

“The labor force has played an integral part in social justice movements throughout United States history and beyond. ILWU, Local 10 in particular, has been at the forefront of many monumental events including, but not limited to the Big Strike of 1934, the 1984 Anti-Apartheid action against South Africa, and the 2010 Oscar Grant rally and port shut down.

Police terrorism in the United States is out of control. We have witnessed an endless onslaught of police brutality and police killings of innocent and unarmed people. These assaults have been mainly directed towards Black men and Black communities. We as union and non-union workers alike cannot standby and become desensitized to these great injustices.

ILWU, Local 10 is leading a Day of Action on May 1st, 2015 to call national attention in order to STOP POLICE TERROR. There will be no longshoremen working on that day in the Port of Oakland. The port will be SHUT DOWN. Disrupting commerce in this country is one means to find viable solutions to STOP POLICE TERROR. Please join us in this action and stand up against police terror.

We will gather at the ALREADY SHUTDOWN port at 9am for an hour long rally which will be at the APL gate near berth 62 close to the overpass (parking is available along Adeline close to 6th & 7th).
After the rally, WE MARCH! We will march from the port to Oscar Grant Plaza as we demonstrate that AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL!
There will be another rally at noon when we reach OGP.”

Endorsing community organizations include:

Onyx Organizing Committee
The Alan Blueford Center For Justice
Anti Police-Terror Project
Community Ready Corps
Black Power Network
Workers World Party
Stop Mass Incarceration Network
Transport Workers Solidarity
Love Not Blood Campaign
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Bay Area
AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center
Oakland Socialist
International Socialist Organization – Northern California
Oakland Sin Fronteras
UC Student-Workers Union, UAW Local 2865
Oscar Grant Committee
Alameda County PFP and Socialist Organizer
Black Lives Matter–Bay Area
SEIU Local 1021
San Francisco Electrical Workers Minority Caucus
Oakland Education Association

You’ll no doubt remember the West Coast Port Shutdowns were aided by various Occupy groups, and that eventually the ILWU local in Portland shut down that port in defiance of the AFL-CIO, their ‘parent organization’.  That local finally pulled out of that ‘family’s’ organization, noting what a cowardly liar Richard Trumka had been.  Obama had called in the Coast Guard to escort the grain ships to the odious EGT’s terminal for off-loading.  A long and ugly standoff it was, but the Longshoremen/women are the real deal.

Meanwhile, From the Guardian:

‘Baltimore imposes bail bonds of half a million dollars in legal crackdown:

“Republican governor extends 24-hour detention-without-charge limit ‘to protect public safety’ while courts impose sky-high bail bonds for minor offences’

“Baltimore’s under-fire criminal justice system risked antagonising its already seething local community on Wednesday by suspending legal procedures and imposing bail bonds of up to half a million dollars on the city’s most impoverished residents.

In one especially stark case, a 19-year-old charged with eight offences allegedly committed on Saturday, including riot, theft and disorderly conduct, was set a bail of $500,000. Court records show the defendant, a black man, was sent to jail after failing to produce the funds.

 Meanwhile, most of the 235 people arrested during riots and protests in the past week still have not been charged, after Maryland’s new Republican governor, Larry Hogan, effectively suspended the state’s habeas corpus law – which limits detention without charge to 24 hours – in a move he said was “necessary to protect the public safety”.

The tough treatment meted out to the more than 200 people arrested after unrest in the city was implemented by the governor as part of a state of emergency that also involved a 10pm to 5am curfew on Tuesday, enforced by 1,500 national guard troops.”

They were apparently aided in the curfew enforcement by the Crips and the Bloods, as well as some fairly spectacular vehicles.

(read more here)

The Free Republic’s rumors about Freddie Gray having sustained cervical spine injuries earlier have been debunked (the abject liars).

Reuters: ‘#Baltimore police say they will not publish report into death of #FreddieGray but will give findings to state’s Attorney General’ (insert sick jokes here)  Remember: there is allegedly an ongoing federal investigation into his murder by police; stay tuned.

Hmmmm; interesting, and quite creepy, via the Gothamist, while announcing a protest demanding justice for Freddie Gray at Union Square tonight at 6 EDT:

“Some protesters who were arrested during the demonstrations in New York City last November and December were subjected to an intense form of interrogation by the NYPD that may have been illegal.

After the NYPD was found to have been illegally monitoring the political activities of New Yorkers in the 1960s and ’70s, a federal judge placed strict guidelines on how the police could retain information on political speech, allowing it only if it directly relates to terrorist or criminal activity.

After 9/11, the NYPD repeatedly crossed these boundaries, especially with respect to their widespread Muslim surveillance program that generated zero leads and was deemed by the FBI as too odious to be involved with.

Now, the New York Times reports that protesters arrested during Black Lives Matter demonstrations are being asked about their political activities, amounting to what one prominent civil rights attorney calls “an infringement of the right to be free from government interference in your political activities.”

A heartbreaking story from the FTP: Deputy Kills Autistic Man For Disorderly Conduct by Smashing His Skull

Here is the Offishul Police version, including: ‘he came to us with a head injury!’  Not unlike this ‘leaked’ fukkery,about Freddie Gray’s ‘injuries’, is it?

Rest in peace, David Dehmann; go for the light, brother.

Killed by Police reports that corporate media accounts of citizens killed by police have now reached these numbers:

At least 383 people have been killed by U.S. police since January 1, 2015.
At least 1,101 were killed in 2014.
At least 2,251 have been killed since May 1, 2013.

20 responses to “Glen Ford on the Black Community Policing, #LaborAgainstPoliceTerror Port Shutdowns, & NYC2 Baltimore Protests

  1. a little bitta ‘har har’!

    DeBlasio had said that if ya want change, be peaceful™

    the great orange satan:

    NYPD Justice:

    The late night Tweets from #NYC2Baltimore are saying that protestors weren’t allowed to leave when they wanted, as the blasted cops surrounded them. One woman mentioned that this must have all been by way of Billy Bratton’s Strategic Response Team for handling terrorists/protestors, including absolutely no regard for human and civil rights. There are a number of Twitter pics of the evidence of that, including snatch and grabs and utter brutality. These two rankle mightily.

    And speak of the devil; this is a counter-insurgency:

  2. Meanwhile the sheriff of Milwaukee County, WI, David A. Clarke, nominally a Democrat but resented by the local party because of his gun-nut stands, has called for citizens of Milwaukee County to arm themselves for protection against riots–because the sheriff’s office is not getting a large enough budget to protect them. Also, in January 2014, Clarke announced he was running for mayor. I think a retry is on the horizon. FoxNews is nationalizing his message and making him some sort of hero.

    Watching the May 1 events carefully. Not just Oakland but also Chicago.

    The right-wing has recovered their sense of message and are pushing the Obama is dividing us by race, class, and sexual orientation trope at the moment. And the protesters are losers who are making excuses for their failure of individual responsibility. At least that’s what my friends in the South are telling me.

    Thanks for the excellent coverage. I have gotten behind and my sojourn here allowed me to catch up on a lot of details.

  3. well, how nice; look who the north wind blew in! welcome, thd.

    the sheriff might get a larger budget, then, eh? ;-) otoh, a few black groups are calling for blacks to arm themselves, but i dunno if that’s catching on much. as to the right-wing’s messages about obama, i swear i could give a fig, as he and his administration have continued to be a large part of the current situations for blacks, imo. hillary better than R ___? who can say?

    as to the second meme, it’s the same one all over ‘centrist liberal’ blogs, as well, as is the heavy use of the term “thugs” (thanks, mr. president, and mayor hyphenated of baltimore.

    did you hear, though? now “it’s the bolt in the van” that killed freddie gray just before one of the other two stops we hadn’t known about!

    but srsly, comments on these matters are on both the last to posts, and you would likely love barbara grothus’s exhibit in ‘burque. good stuff, and rather by way of ‘the family business’. ;-)

    good on ya for mentioning more actions tomorrow; the ferguson response letter came to my inbox just ahead of your comment. both it and #baltimoreuprising note events today and tomorrow. and woot! on the ILWU and their affinity groups!

    as an aside, i wish deray and nettaaa could broaden their angle to: “blacks and their allies”, but…what do i know? ;-)

  4. What we now call wingnuts, armed themselves after the Detroit riots and within a few years it was evident that no Black mob was coming to their neighborhoods to torch their stuff so they started killing each other.

    Some Liberals today are showing similar reactions to these incidents but because most are afraid of guns they will call on the State to express their violent tendencies on the untermench. Some are enraged that these Black folk don’t know how to behave especially after all the Liberal democrats sacrificed for their benefit, ungrateful thugs indeed.

    If the insurrections continue these Good Amerikans will be screaming for more police, National Guard and probably drones to quell this untidy explosion of righteous rage.

    • i assume you mean the ’67 riots, and i agree that things have changed little over the decades, and about liberals and guns. (and god and gays, as well).

      but you made me crow with “Some are enraged that these Black folk don’t know how to behave especially after all the Liberal democrats sacrificed for their benefit, ungrateful thugs indeed.” oh, those negroes! don’t they understand what the democrats stand for?

      it looks as though the insurrection will keep apace over the summer, and the counter-insurgency will as well. just my guess, of course. “blackSpring” folks have dubbed it, though “RabbleSpring” might say it better. but X was right, if a bit early.

  5. oopsie; my apologies if you’d been addressing thd. but as a note: i enabled nested comments for the time being, and at the top of each comment box is a Reply option.

  6. The difference today compared to ’67 is that the people are facing a Black Democrat power structure in many of these cities so if there is insurrection it must be more creative and organized.

    Many people would love to see a Race War with Black Cops and soldiers shooting Black kids and anyone else who gets in the way.

  7. today may be a bit of a harbinger of insurrection, added to which it may be a long hot summer for kicking back against killings/brutality by police, failures to prosecute, and capitalism itself (according to the tumbler list).

    it’ true that many cities have black democrat power structure, and cops who put on white power skins with their uniforms. glenn ford covered that well, i thought. but the ‘anyone else who gets in the way’ is why i love the rainbow of complexions arrayed in these protests. that’s another difference from the late 60s race riots: more non-black folks are aware of what’s afoot, and with loving-kindness that mlk and brother cornell feel a stronger connection than was true back then, it seems.

    but i’m having a hard time imaging all the different possible permutations/scenarios of anti-insurgency efforts committed by blacks only. somewhere up the power chain are others who seem to call the shots (so to speak), no? and believe me, i’m just feelin’ my way along this scenario you’ve described.

  8. Things in Baltimore have passed ridiculous and are into absurd. Leave it to Elon James White to highlight the nonsense:

    #BaltimoreDispatch 10:24pm A video posted by Elon James White (@elonjames) on Apr 30, 2015 at 7:24pm PDT

    [Don’t know whether the embed will work or not, sorry if it screws things up…]

    The confrontation between hundreds of police and dozens of media mixed with tens of protesters has become a nightly ritual, so it seems. But it’s Baltimore. It’s how they do things in the Charm City… ;-) Absurdity is ingrained.

    Glen Ford goes a bit awry with his “black community control of police” business. I understand the motivation (no, I haven’t studied conference material and likely won’t for quite a while), but what he seems to miss is that Baltimore is a largely black-run city and and black-controlled police department, and they behave just as poorly as in Ferguson or anywhere else you’d care to name whether or not blacks are “in charge.” Black community control does not and cannot by itself solve the problem of police violence.

    So, no. Glen. A far better solution, to my mind, is to self-police. In other words, make the official police irrelevant. Do not call them; do not allow them to patrol in communities that have been under police oppression for generations; instead form neighborhood and community safety committees (call them what you will) that provide appropriate intervention when necessary — but only when necessary — and have as their fundamental purpose the protection and preservation of human lives, including the lives of the so-called bad guys.

    Glen appears to want black communities to have control of existing police forces, and that won’t work — viz: Baltimore right now, where black elected and appointed leaders are in control, and the situation is as sucky as anywhere else.

    The demonstrations all over the country in solidarity with the people of Baltimore have brought tens of thousands of Americans into the streets. They’re united in calling for an end to police violence and murder. That’s enormously inspiring. More and more Americans are willing to take a risk to see this monstrous era of violent policing come to an end.

    The ILWU — bless them every one — knows what it takes and are willing to do what it takes to bring an end to police terror: you have to discommode the comfortable and make it impossible for “business as usual” to continue. And you have to hit the powerful in their pocketbooks. Port shut downs, like street and freeway blockades, is one way to do that. Highlighting the problem and demanding correction — “stop killing us” — is also necessary.

    So far, the political apparatus is unable to grasp such simple thoughts, however. Hillary wants body cameras and a review of incarceration practices, good. But not a word from her to end violent policing. Bernie has nothing to say about it at all. Obama is worse than useless on the issue, parroting as he does the “thug” meme about protesters but never ever criticizing police violence. (BTW Ms. Mayor of Baltimore took back her “thug-this” “thug-that” statement a few days after making it, and now claims “there are no thugs” in Baltimore. Progress! Absurd!)

    Despite all, I’m more hopeful than I was at this time last year.

    • thanks for the link to elon’s instagram; he does cut to the chase so often. it may be that i’m reading too much into what glen said, or that i’ve read more before, but this echoes my own thoughts, and speaks to wayoutwest’s thinking: ”
      ‘They kill because black people have no power in their own communities, or those communities are *run by people who are accountable to folks outside of the communities*, who are of course, the status quo gatekeeping dems, including their pundit mouthpieces, lookin’ for love in all the wrong places…and finding it. the police unions, judges, and DAs, too, of course.

      yes to all of that about the ILWU, and yeppers; i read the obama statements about thugs, but hadn’t know miz mayor backed off her verbiage. yep: so many protests yesterday, so many to come today. i’m pressed for time today, but hope to bring images from some of the national fun in a bit in a separate diary (and hope to put up a new open menu/links post as well.

      thanks, ché.

      • My quibble with Glen Ford over black community control of police is that he seems to be coming from an old line Black Power perspective that presumes an absence of political power in black communities, which is often completely wrong. This is not 1965.

        On the other hand, he’s very vague regarding what “black community control of police” would look like, and I can’t say just what he means.

        Baltimore is a prime example of a majority black city with a black majority political class, black plurality of police, black police commissioner, on and on, as close to black community control of the police as you can get under the current political system, and what happens is that the black political class as well as the appointed black police authorities are almost as supportive of violent policing “against their own people” as their white peers — with whom they tend to identify.

        The problem of violent policing is more a matter of the dynamics of power than it is one of race, at least where there already is black political/administrative control of police as is the case in Baltimore.

        What happened today, with the charging of all the cops involved in Freddie Gray’s death, is most unusual. Stephanie Ms-Mayor came out and said that police brutality would no longer be tolerated. The WBAL investigative reporter just said that the charges would be presented to a grand jury and the grand jury would issue the indictments. 5 of the 6 officers are in custody. There are questions regarding the 6th — speculation is it’s the driver who is facing the most serious charges.

        We seem to be seeing a case where officials and administrators — who happen to be black — are breaking ranks with the power dynamic which until now has enabled the kind of violent policing that led to Freddie Gray’s death. Whether it will lead to sustained changes in the methods of policing in Baltimore remains to be seen.

        There are still so many Baltimorons being held in deplorable conditions and facing outrageous bail demands, and I worry about them.

  9. The first liberation and it’s consequences. From the First Memorial Day to gentrification.

    Happy May Day. One hundred fifty years ago today, there was a memorial day for the US soldiers who died at the Confederate prison camp, which had commandeered Washington Race Course for the duration of the war. This was then outside the City of Charleston development. In 1871 the soldiers interred in haste during the war were re-interred at the US Cemeteries in Beaufort and Florence. In 1900, the Jockey Club, which had owned the race course and disbanded in 1899, gave the property to the Charleston Library Society, dismantled all of the grandstands and other racing structures and sold the gates to Belmont Park in New York. In 1901 and 1902, the grounds were the site of the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition, one of the several world’s fairs that civic boosters put on in the period between 1876 and World War I. After the Exposition, the City acquired the land for a park, designed by Olmestead, Olmstead, and Elliott of Boston and named in honor of the Confederate general, Red Shirt supporter, and first “home rule” governor Wade Hampton III. In 1932, the City opened a zoo on the site, which closed in 1975. From 1984 until recently, the park was the location of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.

    This is a historical site that illustrated how complicated the history of the South is and how contradictory and sometimes intentionally vengeful the idea of “heritage” really is. The city fathers’ decision to name the park after Wade Hampton was a way of “cleansing” the place of Yankee soldiers no matter in what polite tones it was framed.

    Nonetheless the origins of the US Memorial Day are here — on May Day. And likely the thought of May Day as a day of liberation itself.

    • happy may day to you, as well, amigo. thank you for the fascinating history i’ll need to read more slowly soon.

      here’s a link, ché. amazing it is, but her belief that his death was caused inside the van, although she mentions medical neglect, may not be so.

      “The state’s attorney of Baltimore, in a unexpected announcement, said Friday that she had probable cause to file homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against the police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody.

      In a news conference, the state’s attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby, described repeated mistreatment of Mr. Gray. She said that time and again police mistreated Mr. Gray, arresting him with no grounds, violating police procedure by putting him in cuffs and leg cuffs in the van without seat belting him and then repeatedly failing to get him medical attention. She said that when he was removed from the wagon, “Mr. Gray was no longer breathing at all.”

      but we were told that the autopsy results would be another 8 weeks, so… i dunno.

  10. Update: Mosby charges all the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death with various crimes, from murder to manslaughter to assault.


  11. A key charge for the officers who apprehended Freddie Gray was “false imprisonment.” According to Mosby, it was an illegal arrest as Freddie Gray was not engaged in any criminal activity and there was no probable cause to pursue and arrest him. The knife which was found in his pocket was a legal folding pocket knife, not as previously reported a switchblade.

  12. These charges will calm people somewhat but charges are not convictions. I t will be a few years before this is resolved and in the meantime many of the arrested demonstrators will join the Prison/Industrial Complex to show that law and order still prevails.

    I agree with CP about community control of cops, it won’t happen and even if it did the cops would never be loyal to the community.

    • the timing of mosby’s announcement is suspiciously convenient, isn’t it? but of course charging is easy, convicting is not. does maryland have a GJ system, or can a prosecutor head straight to preliminary hearings? i’ve forgotten, if i ever knew.

      so far, the word in the Twittersphere is “well, we’ll see” for the most part.

      don’t count on it, but as i’d remembered it, both omali yeshieyla and glen ford have spoken of black citizens with the power to hire and fire police, but no, that’s not ‘self-policing’. but apparently there must have many arguments presented at the conference that came under the ‘black power.
      and policing’ conference umbrella.

      it’s cops that need to be turned toward the needs of the people, that’s for certain, and we’ve seen it…occasionally.

      on edit: on the #freddiegray account, waaaaay too many folks are doin’ happy dances for my comfort.

  13. The most interesting charges are those tied to the 8th Amendment, which says: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    The misconduct in office likely relates to the “cruel and unusual punishment” clause. The false imprisonment charge likely relates to some court precedent that considers it “cruel and unusual punishment” or something related to the excessive bail and fines clauses. If there is solid evidence that Freddie Gray was not committing a crime and was arrested falsely, those should be provable. That is probably the hand slap that the police will get at a minimum. The video, if admissable proves assault. The fact that the injuries occurred in a vehicle in which the seat belts had not been secured on a person in custody (putatively violating BPD policy) proves either one or both of the manslaughter by vehicle charges. What is needed there is the autopsy report that injuries sustained in the vehicle were the cause of death and they were not consistent with the WaPo stenography of the BPD story that he broke his own spine. The hardest one to prove is the “depraved heart” second degree murder charge. I understand from other stories that this hinges on demonstrating that the driver of the van operated recklessly; it does not require premeditation. The delay getting to the police station will play a large part in the evidence here, especially given evidence that Freddie Gray was yelling in pain about being hurt. But this highest charge will be the most difficult to convince a jury of without some pretty graphic forensic evidence.

    If the case looks strong, it can be sidetracked in these ways: the governor can appoint a special prosecutor to replace a States Attorney whom the Baltimore FOP asserts has multiple conflicts of interest (although they “respect her integrity” la-dee-da…). The States Attorney can choke like the one did in the Zimmerman case in Florida. The judge can so constrain the admission of evidence and the instructions to the jury as to ensure acquittal or mistrial. An appeal can throw out the verdict on God-knows-what basis. The governor can immediately pardon all six officers on conviction. I wonder if one of those political markets have handicapped this.

    Meanwhile the movement lives and grows and more people become aware of what the issue is despite the efforts of the media. And the NRA lays the groundwork of an armed civil war, with folks like the Sheriff of Milwaukee County leading the circus parade. What is his reaction going to be if a copy of the Dallas Huey P. Newton Brigade conducts a #blackopencarry legal demonstration of arms in front of his office or the county court house. Will they use it as a “See this approach works” moment or will they freak out as they always have with armed, disciplined, independent black men and women? Of all the interesting quesitons, that is the one upon which unwinding this garbage rests. And if white working men and women join in solidarity, what happens? I’m not advocating this as a strategy; I am identifying one of the ways that the complexity of the situation unfolds. At the moment, it belongs to the less hot-headed and those with the most people available.

    • Shaun King has done a good job detailing the direct route to the police precinct vs the route the van took — many miles and many minutes after Gray was picked up.

      According to the charges, the arrest was illegal because not only had Gray done nothing to establish probable cause to arrest him, but the knife found in his pocket after he was arrested was not a switchblade as claimed by police but was a legal folding knife.

      Thus, there was no legal reason to chase him, apprehend him, and transport him. His injury and death was entirely egregious.

      Now whether any of this will lead to convictions and serious jail time is still a wide open question…

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