#BaltimoreUprising Is Evolving: a Storify

baltimore uprising

(All of the following Tweets and links came either from #BaltimoreUprising, plus two from #Baltimore.  Again, if you can’t see them in their entirety, hold down Control while pressing -, then +, and they should justify.)

The Baltimore Uprising – Part 1:

#Baltimore, My Baltimore, Grit Teevee  A moment to a movement

[WATCH] The roots of #Baltimore’s uprising—and the forces that can move us forward  from @openSociety: ‘Baltimore Rising: Policing After Freddie Gray’

(Text by Bryan Stevenson at this link.  It’s a bit old-guard soporific for my tastes, and what he doesn’t say is noteworthy (as in: The Police Must Stop the Killing!)  None of them in the video make a case for continuing radical civil disobedience, as does this next essay:

‘After the uprising: lessons from Rojava for Baltimore’ (Roar magazine)

Some bits of an important essay by Ben Reynolds:

“The Baltimore uprising evoked these reactions because it was the essential symbol of our era’s struggle: a battle between the most oppressed sections of society and agents of the state defending white supremacy and capitalism.

It is no accident that the most intense struggles in the past year have emerged in cities like Ferguson, Oakland and Baltimore, which have been devastated by de-industrialization and the prison-industrial complex. These sites are not echoes of a dying past but a vision of the future of the entire working class — a carceral society designed to police an increasingly superfluous labor force”[snip]

We have learned that the police can be outflanked and outmaneuvered by teenagers armed with rocks. We have learned that direct action is the only reliable way to force concessions from the state.

But we still have no coherent strategy to dismantle a social system that allows the wholesale murder, imprisonment and oppression of people of color and working people. We can block bridges and highways, but we cannot yet expel the police entirely from our communities.

We still have no strategy to replace capitalism with a system that values humanity over commodities. We have become aware of our strength, but we have yet to develop the means to use it to its full potential. [snip]

It is time to stop thinking about the revolution in hypothetical terms and start building a revolutionary alternative now. The world has been in a state of permanent political and economic crisis for seven long years. Millions have taken to the streets, forged new connections and alliances, and organized new initiatives in their communities.”

‘Border City Blues’, Dissent Magazine.

This we know, as in especially: Baltimore, but AP: ‘FBI Using Low-Flying Planes for Surveillance’

Via Carl Dix: ‘Report on Revolution/revcom Forum on Baltimore Uprising’

Action NC brought Taibbi’s ‘Why Baltimore blew up; It wasn’t just the killing of Freddie Gray. Inside the complex legal infrastructure that encourages — and covers up — police violence’

Mmmmm…by my lights, (not that they should count) I believe we can rule out Baltimore rapper/entrepreneur Ja Rule as advocating for any ‘what’s next?’ usable contributions: ‘Ja Rule Talks 2016 Election, Baltimore Uprising On Fox News

“On the latter topic (Baltimore protests), Ja Rule called it a “very sad situation” and said that the issue isn’t confined to Baltimore. In terms of the presidential race, Ja endorsed Hilary Clinton but said that Jeb Bush was also a “good candidate.”

Heh, Ya think he may have missed the significance of  the meaning of ‘Babylon‘?

Never underestimate the power of art under oppression:

Baltimore Art and Justice Project with host Kalima Young.  It contains an internal link: ‘Y-LLEAD: Youth Learning Lab of Education and Applied Design is a youth-led design program that uses architecture, product and graphic design as a tool for social justice and self-actualization.’

the Baltimore rappers and hip hop artists are tellin’ it:

*Tyrone West.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *


When even the Guardian calls bullshit on the ‘reason’ for a po-po killing a citizen, one knows how absurd that ‘reason’ is: ‘Iowa police officer kills unarmed man who ‘walked with purpose; Police still investigating why officer Vanessa Miller shot Ryan Keith Bolinger through the rolled-up window of her patrol car’

How can one not hear the echoes of Obama’s Terror Tuesdays friend in the Oval Office showing him satellite images of ‘terrorists’ ‘walking in a tactical fashion’, thus needing assassinating by drone?  Yes, they were children tending their families’ sheep in Afghanistan.

Horrifying Video Shows Cop Choking 13-Year-old Boy as He Tasers Him in the Spine’

Via @keeganNYC: Police in Tennessee shot & killed #JasonNash yesterday as he reached for his cell phone case: http://www.courierpress.com/gleaner/news/ksp-investigating-officer-involved-shooting-in-ohio-co_99395535 …

No, killings by police aren’t stopping, they don’t even appear to be slowing down.  MDR: 3 a day?  Who’ll stop the rain?  (stay.tuned.)

7 responses to “#BaltimoreUprising Is Evolving: a Storify

  1. “Who’ll Stop the Rain?” indeed.

    We live in a police state. Sometimes it’s more severe than at other times, but it was a police state when Credence sang of stopping the rain and fortunate sons and running through the jungle all those many years ago, just as it is a police state now. Who is targeted remains the same:

    The poor, the marginal, the minority and uppity Other — always the same, always the Existential Threat to… Power.

    The police state doesn’t end without a revolution, but as has happened so often, the Revolution — when it comes — can easily, seamlessly replace one police state with another. This is where I take issue with our Revolutionary Socialist/Communist comrades. They see so clearly what needs to be done (“dismantle capitalism…”) yet they would replace it with its mirror image, a dark mirror in too many cases.

    Too often, they’re locked in the 19th Century, much as Zionists are, trying to replicate or recapitulate a social-economic-political revolution based in competitive nationalism, and that’s where things go wrong. All the horrors of colonialism and racism and Other-izing, demonizing, and destroying go right along with it.

    Something else entirely is necessary if there is to be a successful Revolution against the overwhelming madness of Power.

    I don’t know the answer, no. But many are seeking something else again, based in principles of Dignity, Justice, Community, and Peace.

    “Who’ll Stop the Rain?”

    What must happen to Power to stop the madness and stop the killing?

  2. “Who is targeted remains the same”. it seems so, and one of the blessings i’ve seen to this iteration of civil rights justice and equality movement is that the histories are coming to the forefront, as well as some critiques of how and why (for instance) the black churches end up self-kettling a more expansive and thorough movement. well, libruls, as well, but i was just reading this piece that came in on the popular resistance newsletter.

    i’m interested in your having said ‘yet they would replace it with its mirror image, a dark mirror in too many cases’. could you, would you, have a bit of time to edjumicate me/us (expand your thinking?) on that? are you referencing ben reynolds (ack! anarchist) or the communist party of great britain in the tweet i just er…rebuilt? i confess that the format and colors of the piece made it nigh onto impossible for me to read, but there it was on the hashtag.

    but yes; so often i forget to add ‘dignity’, of which there is precious little for far too many of our brothers and sisters here, and around the world. but true community seems to be at the core, and that, imo, has at its base the sort of loving respect (which does not preclude *not liking*) one another as deserving the best world we can create.

    but it all of a piece, isn’t it, from the empire’s wars and lies, the rabble as cannon fodder, dissenters going to prison…or being murdered in the name of not upsetting the capitalist profiteering status quo of the state.

    on edit: are you also referencing post-revolutionary france and russia, for instance? same brutality, different masters?

    added on edit: this is worth a gander, at least to me, as i know next to nothing about leninist v. stalinist russia. i swear i’ll try to save time to read, but the scan made me think of viet nam and ‘domino theory’. i lost my father over that war, and made enemies of a few friends’ fathers, partly due to my youthful ignorance and inability to articulate what i’d intuited to be…relevant to the discussions.

    • As for the anachronisms of Revolutionary Communism (and/R-Socialism as the terms are sometimes interchanged), no, I am trying not to get into the weeds of “leftist-anti-communism,” or what have you.

      If the people want to set up a Marxian or Leninist or even Stalinist state apparat, that’s up to them. Those ways of operating a state structure have their merits and demerits — just as the form of the burdensome and oppressive imperial state operated by Power in the US does.

      The Revolutionary analytic of our Communist and Socialist comrades, however, comes from a time and place that’s long past. The problem with militant Zionism is similar. It all comes out of a reality we don’t live in anymore, and attempts to preserve the revolutionary spirit of those days or recreate it or to live a lifestyle based on those revolutionary principles are physical and moral disasters in the modern world. It doesn’t work because it comes out of a 19th Century reality and competition with or opposition to or resistance to that reality rather than the reality we face today.

      In many ways the imperial-oppressive US is even worse and even more of an anachronism. At root the US is a throwback to ideas and ideals of the 18th Century, and not so much to the Enlightenment, but to its obverse.

      We need something new, or at least something else again to really move forward.

      Elements of Anarchism, de-nationalism, de-colonialism, de-capitalism, de-oppression, pro-community, self-sufficiency and sustainability etc. are all very appealing under the circumstances.

      When we accept that the System is the Problem, as it most clearly is with policing and so-called “justice,” then taking over the System (as in Black control of Police) is not going to help. It’s ultimately, in my view, going to make things worse.

      When we accept that the System is the Problem, then we have to get rid of the System. It can’t be reformed. It can’t be taken over and operated by a different group of power players without essentially the same result or a worse one.

      When we accept that the System is the Problem then we need something different altogether — and not try to replicate the System on a “better” basis (which I believe was the fundamental error of our Revolutionary Communist and Socialist comrades.) They knew full well what was wrong with capitalism — and they were right about that — but they set out to do it “better.” They preserved competitive nationalism and economic competition with capitalists, they preserved the imperial state apparat in both the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China, and they preserved the System of rule by oppression — with predictable results.

      The Color Revolutions and the Arab Spring and other coordinated post-communist revolutionary efforts were supposed to be an alternative to the oppressions of both capitalism and communism, but they have turned out to be frauds, deliberate frauds perpetrated to enable the triumph of neo-liberalism, which is effectively neo-Fascism — in other words, the worst aspects of the anachronistic System on hyper-drive.

      A revolution against that hasn’t come yet… but I don’t doubt it will…;-)

      • thank you for such a thoughtful and cogent answer, and i wish that i were up to understanding all of it. i’ll start by saying i do like the elements you’ve listed as worthy.

        but can you explain: ‘The Revolutionary analytic of our Communist and Socialist comrades’? is this a modern cohort (gads, i loathe that term as much as ‘intersectioanlism’; shoot me please) of which you speak, but still harkening back to those times? obviously, i’m very poorly read on all of this. and the US harkening back to the 18th century, but not the enlightenment? but please, i don’t expect you to run a remedial tutorial for me, but…if you’d care to expand…i’d love to listen.

        do you see black community control of police, then, just skipping to the same oppression of blacks and other rabble, but not being challenged by everyday blacks for *mirroring the same system*, thus being even worse? echoes of those who’ve said: ‘when a black person dons the uniform, he or she puts on white skin with it’ are ringing in my mind and ears.

        yes, it turned out that the color revolutions were astroturf, maybe aided by gene sharpe, the cia, and of course…the US, it’s ironic that at least first in tunisia, it was growing objections to the IMF and neoliberalism that
        were the prime instigators of the movement. come to think of it, we hear little from tunisia lately.

  3. often noted by the #BlackLivesMatter twitterverse, but: White Riots VS Black Protests • BRAVE NEW FILMS oh, look: there’s kevin gotztola!

    and deray mcKesson in the WaPo: ‘The Outrage Machine: Opinion: Washington needs to tell the truth about police violence’

    yes! bless them all!

  4. out of bloody control: ‘Ohio cops accused of brutality for arresting pregnant woman, 12yo girl at swimming pool’

    Police used excessive force and pepper spray on a pregnant woman and several children, who allegedly resisted arrest at a Fairfield, Ohio pool. The woman’s attorney accuses the officers and pool staff of racism.

    Almost nine minutes of video footage recorded by the Dixons was made public, with the women’s attorney Clyde Bennett saying the evidence clearly shows his clients not breaking the law or acting violently.”

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