Archive for September, 2011

Morning Links

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Police Militarization Since September 11

Monday, September 12th, 2011

That’s the topic of my new piece at HuffPost.

National Chalk The Police Day

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Pete and I, along with six others, were arrested by the Manchester Police Department in June. The alleged crime(s) that took place that day depend on who you ask. The eight arrested, dubbed the Chalking 8, were charged with graffiti, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and more. Yet, most would agree that in the ‘land of the free’ (or anywhere for that matter) you SHOULD have the right to peacefully demonstrate against government abuses.

While brainstorming things we, the Chalking 8, could do to bring awareness to police issues (and our arrest) in Manchester a

IMG 0132 150x150 National Chalk The Police Day

“Chalk The Police” event came up. It’s a simple, cost effective way to demonstrate against police abuses while exercising your right to free speech/expression. After sharing the ideas with others, we decided to make it a National Event.

October 1st, 2011 is the first ever Chalk The Police Day (join the event on Facebook - remember to invite your friends). The idea is simple. Find an area on public property, a police station would be most fitting, and hold a demonstration. Bring children’s chalk and write chalk sayings, websites, quotes or anything you’d want the police to know on the sidewalk (or public property). Remember to bring your video camera and to contact us so we can put your event on the Chalk The Police page here at

This is a decentralized event so feel free to add, tweek or make your event about whatever issues fit your area. Again, feel free to spread the word on’s Social Networks (FB, Twitter and YouTube).

Let the Chalking begin.  National Chalk The Police Day

National Chalk The Police Day is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights


Monday, September 12th, 2011

The Elizabethton, Tennessee, police department reported Teresa Tryon to Child Protective Services for allowing her 10-year-old daughter to ride her bicycle one mile to school and back. Police Chief Matt Bailey said the woman violated no laws but officers don't think it's safe for the girl to ride to school.

Afrosphere Bloggers Urge Financial A$$istance to CoC, to Stop Planned Execution of Troy Davis in Georgia, September 21

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Donate money at Color of Change, to save Troy Davis' life
this week.

Over the last four of years that I have been participating, we in the afrosphere, often with the leadership and political acumen of Color of Change, have come together and reached out to the public at large, and specific politicians, to fight cases of injustice in the color-aroused political injustice system.   We have sometimes achieved unexpectedly rapid successes by organizing across professions, income levels, skin colors, and unrestrained by geographical boundaries.

We have realized that "the system," from 911 calls to the gallows, is stacked against Blacks, and so we have fought back with electronic weapons of communication and organization that were never before available to us on this scale. 

              "Indifference is the essence of inhumanity".                       ~George Bernard Shaw~

Today, Field Negro brings our attention to a case that we have fought long and hard.  We have won over and over again, by postponing the execution, and seeking new consideration for a probably-not guilty man, but we are down to the wire again.  We have to reach out to the Black and progressive public, in the state of Georgia, through mainstream and targeted media, to delay the work of the guillotine, save the life and postpone the death of Troy Davis.

Color of Change has a new paid media publicity strategy, aimed at the Georgia Parole Board:
The day we’ve dreaded is finally here:a Georgia judge issued a death warrant for Troy Davis. It shocks the conscience, but despite all the doubt hanging over the case – all the evidence that Troy is likely innocent – Troy is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection as soon as September 21.

One of the most powerful things we can do for Troy is making sure that his story gets told in the state of Georgia. Can you chip in $10, $20, or $50 to help buy advertisements with the potential to reach thousands of Georgia residents?  Please give, while Troy Davis still has a few days of life left.

Field Negro documents the pleasure of Republican color-aroused antagonists from all over the country, now, as the doors between life and death threaten to close with a quickness behind Troy Davis.
( . . . ) a man who very well could be innocent of the charges brought against him, but who, nevertheless, the state of Georgia plans to put to death on September 21,2011. *more applause*

Oh field, there you go playing defense attorney again.

Well, please consider the following:

# Almost all of the nine witnesses who gave evidence at his trial have recanted or changed their testimony

# A state's witness now says another guy murdered the officer, Mark Allen MacPhail

# No DNA evidence link him to the crime

# No fingerprints, either

# Nobody ever found the murder weapon

# Davis has maintained his innocence since his arrest (h/t Gawker)

Not good enough to put reasonable doubt in your mind? How about the following?

"...upon reviewing his case a federal court held in 2010 that he hadn't proven his "actual innocence" because his post-conviction body of evidence was either "not credible and would be disregarded by a reasonable juror," too general, or both. The presiding judge didn't allow Davis's lawyers to call any of the recanting witnesses—who pinned the murder on a different man at the scene named Sylvester "Redd" Coles— because they hadn't subpoenaed Coles to testify. However, the judge asserted that, even if the lawyers had called Coles to the stand, he might have confessed to the crime just to enhance "his reputation as a dangerous individual." Based on this logic, we should now assume that everyone who's ever confessed to murder probably did so only to enhance their badass reputations and therefore should be released from prison, because they're innocent.

In March the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to give Davis more time to prove his innocence. Despite all the evidentiary issues, Georgia's superior court has scheduled his execution for September 21. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has scheduled a hearing two days before Davis's government-issued death; Davis' lawyers will call some of the recanting witnesses, and maybe the board will be influenced by what they hear. If not, then Davis will be executed.." [Source]

Congrats Governor Deal, if you put Troy Davis down, you too can run for president and get all the adoration and applause from your party loyalist.

We are one day away from September 11th. And the psychos who flew the planes into those buildings were inhumane and had no empathy for their fellow human beings. They represented the worst of what humanity has to offer.

Come September 22, 2011, we will find out if they have more company.

*Sign the petition to save Troy Davis, here.
Many readers have already signed the petition with their name.  Now, we need to $$$$$$$$$$$$$$sign the petition with our money, to support Color of Change's strategy of pressuring the Georgia Parole Board through paid media buys.  This is the only known change that Troy Davis might have left.

Peace is the Way: Remembering 9/11 and the Decade Since

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Like many other people, I will never forget what I was doing on the morning of September 11, 2001.  I was returning home after visiting my brother and his new roommate (unbeknownst to me at the time, my future husband) at college.  I listened to the events unfold on the car radio.  The initial reports were chaotic and confusing, and I wanted to get home to see the images for myself.  I got to my apartment just in time to see the first tower fall.  I was in an utter state of shock, completely numb.  This numbness would last for two weeks, and then I finally sat down and cried.

The memories of that day are so vivid that it is hard to believe that 10 years have passed. Personally, I have experienced great joy in the decade since that day.  Shortly after 9/11, I fell in love with an amazing man.  I have had career success, traveled to and worked in one of the most remote places on earth, and I have welcomed two beautiful children into the world.  It has been the best decade of my life, but there are many things that have happened in the last decade that bring me sadness and many times, outrage.

The death toll on that day was staggering.  But the death toll and the steady erosion of individual rights since that day is beyond comprehension.  In the quest for vengeance, there has been more than 25,000 innocent Afghans killed, at least 100,000 innocent Iraqis killed, hundreds of innocent men, women, and children killed by drone attacks in Pakistan, 6,026 U.S. soldiers killed, and millions of people injured or displaced.  In the quest for security, we have been given The Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, torture and the suspension of Habeas Corpus, The Department of Homeland Security, The Transportation Security Administration with their naked scanners and “gate rape”, and the undeniable militarization of the police.

MilitarizedPolice2 Peace is the Way: Remembering 9/11 and the Decade SinceFor the last decade the American people have been force fed a big dose of fear and the overwhelming majority has eaten it up.  In the wake of the immense vulnerability most of us felt on 9/11, Americans seemed willing to let the government do anything in the name of security.  Most have turned a blind eye to the death and destruction abroad and welcomed the intrusive nature of the War on Terror at home.  Few have batted an eye at invasive pat downs at the airport or border checkpoints nowhere near the border.  Few have shown concern with the fact that police departments across the country are procuring armored vehicles, military grade assault rifles, grenade launchers and unmanned drones that are far more likely to be used against Americans than terrorists. Few have protested the inevitable and rapid increase in paramilitary raids for nonviolent offenses that has occurred as the police have become more militarized.  Even fewer have called for the one thing that is most likely to bring us both security and prosperity; the pursuit of peace.

If we learned anything from the bloody history of the 20th century it should be that war will not bring peace; it will only bring more violence and more war.  World War I, the war to end all wars, led to the rise of Hitler and World War II.  World War II led to the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and half a century of a meddling foreign policy that culminated in the events of 9/11.  Even the domestic War on Drugs has led to nothing but more dangerous drugs and more violence, committed by street gangs and gangs wearing badges.  If history really does repeat itself, the War on Terror will not be our salvation, but our downfall.

Individuals in the government have not learned the lessons history has taught.  We should not make the same mistakes.  From time to time, comments on this site, call for reacting to the violence of the police with more violence.  It is easy to see the aggression and the atrocities committed by individuals in the government who purport to protect us both at home and abroad and want to lash out and return violence with violence, but we should be careful not to become what we despise.  Violence is the refuge of thugs and tyrants.  Violence is the tool of religious zealots who fly planes into buildings, murdering 3000 people.  It is the tool of generals who order bombs dropped on civilians.  It is the tool of presidents who order drone attacks on houses full of children.  It is the tool of thugs in blue who cage peaceful people.  Let it not be our tool.

This is not a call for pacifism.  You have every right, perhaps even a moral obligation, to proportionally defend yourself from aggression.  But wholesale aggression against an entire group of people, whether it is a group defined by their borders, their uniforms, or a shiny piece of metal on their chest, in response to the actions of individuals who belong to the same group cannot withstand any moral reasoning. You have every right to seek justice when you have been harmed.  The victims of 9/11 had every right to seek those responsible for the death and destruction of that day and hold them accountable for their actions.  You do not need to be a pacifist to live in peace with your neighbors, any more than the U.S. government needs to be isolationist or pacifist to live in peace with theirs.

On the tenth anniversary of September 11th, we will no doubt once again face the images of that terrible day.  We will hear the names of the dead and we will be reminded to never forget. We should also take the time to reflect on the images of 10 years of war.  We should reflect on not just the names of those who died in those towers that terrible Tuesday morning, but of the unknown, nameless people who have been killed by our bombs and bullets abroad.  We should take time reflect on how we can be the peace that we seek.  We should take time today and everyday to remember that “There is no way to peace, peace is the way.”

Peace is the Way: Remembering 9/11 and the Decade Since is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Forensic Psychology Writer Seeks to Publish Article on Black Communities and Violence

Saturday, September 10th, 2011
The American Journal of Color Arousal blog, or the Police Brutality Blog, has received an offer and request from Allison, of, for her to write and publish an article here discussing the topic:
why is there so much violence in the black community? The article will include: statistics on crime in impoverished neighborhoods, explain why violence is more prevalent, and explain how Its not just because one race is more violent than another but because the way people are oppressed and through oppression comes coping mechanisms to get through life.
This Journal's response is as follows (but is subject to public comment from all quarters):

I believe that one of the reasons there is so much crime in some Black communities is that some whites (and even some Blacks) hate, despise, subjugate and marginalize Blacks, and Blacks have turned that anger inward.  Take, for example, your use of the word "race."  What do you mean when you use the word "race"?  Are you suggesting that people with white skin and people with brown skin are from different species?  If you are, then I think that insults Blacks more than the "N" word does.

Whether it comes from Black or white people, I believe the assertion that "race" exists at all is a profound insult to Blacks that can only be based in malice or ignorance.  I, quite frankly, am sick and tired of the "R" word.  It is, in my opinion, anachronistic and anti-science.

If you would like to write an article explaining why you still use the "R" word, even though the US Government's Human Genome Project has declared conclusively that "race" simply does not exist, then I would be very interested in reading and publishing your article on that topic.  I think we all will learn something, no matter what you say about what you mean when you use the "R" word. 

Having said that, if you want to write about Black people and crime, and you demonstrate that you have something new and original to bring to the topic, then I'll gladly publish what you write.  I would just request that you either define "race" as a factor in your research or find a way to describe what you mean to say without using the "R" word and without asserting that I and other people with brown skin belong to a species that is separate and distinct from that comprising the white-skin-color-group.
If you insist that you cannot discuss this topic without using the word and the concept of "race," then I insist that you explain and support your definition of the "R" word in light of the findings of the US Government's Human Genome Project and the following articles that the Nature.Com website offers as suggested further reading on the topic, based on scientific genomic research completed within the last decade:

'Race' and the human genome ppS1 - S2
Ari Patrinos
doi:10.1038/ng2150Full text | PDF (103K)
Editorial Top
The unexamined population pS3
doi:10.1038/ng2151Full text | PDF (50K)
Commentaries Top
Changing the paradigm from 'race' to human genome variation ppS5 - S7
Charmaine D M Royal & Georgia M Dunston
Published online: 26 October 2004 | doi:10.1038/ng1454Abstract | Full text | PDF (95K)
Forensic genetics and ethical, legal and social implications beyond the clinic ppS8 - S12
Mildred K Cho & Pamela Sankar
Published online: 26 October 2004 | doi:10.1038/ng1594Abstract | Full text | PDF (104K)
What we do and don't know about 'race', 'ethnicity', genetics and health at the dawn of the genome era ppS13 - S15
Francis S Collins
Published online: 26 October 2004 | doi:10.1038/ng1436Abstract | Full text | PDF (330K)
Perspectives Top
Conceptualizing human variation ppS17 - S20
S O Y Keita, R A Kittles, C D M Royal, G E Bonney, P Furbert-Harris, G M Dunston & C N Rotimi
Published online: 26 October 2004 | doi:10.1038/ng1455Abstract | Full text | PDF (102K)
Implications of biogeography of human populations for 'race' and medicine ppS21 - S27
Sarah A Tishkoff & Kenneth K Kidd
Published online: 26 October 2004 | doi:10.1038/ng1438Abstract | Full text | PDF (270K)
Genetic variation, classification and 'race' ppS28 - S33
Lynn B Jorde & Stephen P Wooding
Published online: 26 October 2004 | doi:10.1038/ng1435Abstract | Full text | PDF (850K)
Will tomorrow's medicines work for everyone? ppS34 - S42
Sarah K Tate & David B Goldstein
Published online: 26 October 2004 | doi:10.1038/ng1437Abstract | Full text | PDF (161K)
Are medical and nonmedical uses of large-scale genomic markers conflating genetics and 'race'? ppS43 - S47
Charles N Rotimi
Published online: 26 October 2004 | doi:10.1038/ng1439Abstract | Full text | PDF (118K)
Assessing genetic contributions to phenotypic differences among 'racial' and 'ethnic' groups ppS48 - S53
Joanna L Mountain & Neil Risch
Published online: 26 October 2004 | doi:10.1038/ng1456Abstract | Full text | PDF (226K)
Implications of correlations between skin color and genetic ancestry for biomedical research ppS54 - S60
E J Parra, R A Kittles & M D Shriver
Published online: 26 October 2004 | doi:10.1038/ng1440Abstract | Full text | PDF (1,666K)  | Supplementary Information

Keene Law Enforcers Use Violence to Shut Down “Live Free or Dance”

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

This story was written by Jason Talley, of Talley.TV, and posted on

KEENE – A peaceful and fun evening for the Keene community devolved into chaos when law enforcers, employed by the city of Keene, showed up to make threats and eventually kidnapped three people, Ryan Maddox, Roz and Derrick Freeman.

I was in Central Square to dance but instead my evening was spent livestreaming the violence that is unfortunately becoming more commonplace with militant law enforcers “just doing their jobs.” I was able to broadcast the following seven video playlist live:

Police interrupted the celebration in Central Square at around 10:15. According to Jason Repsher, “The music had only been playing for a minute and it wasn’t very loud.” [Video:Live Free or Dance Begins Peacefully] Keene native Jacqueline Lemieux commented on a Keene law enforcer’s claim that “a citizen complained” about the noise:

That is a flat out lie. The music had just been turned on and I was walking in front of The Stage and over towards the common and was not able to hear any music at all until I arrived a few feet from the gazebo. KPD is quickly developing a habit of lying and abusing its public and I will not stand for it!

Jason Repsher stated in the description of the video he recorded (below) that:

The cops make up a story that they were called because of a complaint and the cops insist on permits and licensing in order to play music in the park. The cops wanted someone to claim the equipment so they could check ID.

Repsher continues:

The cops knew it wasn’t his, but apparently the kid had gotten into trouble earlier in the night and they wanted a reason to arrest this kid. After the kid was arrested and hauled off, the cops proceed to take it upon themselves to seize the equipment. At which point, Derrick Freeman, Ryan Maddox and Roz get arrested in the attempt to prevent the property from being stolen by the Keene PD (for holding onto the property while the cops pry it away). After Derrick Freeman is handcuffed one of the officers maces and puts him in the patrol car. In the video you can see the officer shake his pepper spray at which point two officers come over and attempt to block my video.

When you watch the above video take note of how at least two law enforcers shine their flashlights at cameras just before Derrick gets maced. It seems obvious that they were attempting to censor the recording of their violent colleague. It’s unknown if this technique is taught during their training, is department policy or just the actions of two law enforcers who want to hide their aggressive actions from the public.

294305 201495496582988 110761348989737 548118 99819540 n 250x197 Keene Law Enforcers Use Violence to Shut Down “Live Free or Dance”Another witness, Nick Ryder, posted the following on the Free Keene Forum along with his video:

1. Police show up on a noise complaint and inform people to tear down the lights, speakers, etc and not use city power.
2. Police ask who owns the equipment. Nobody answers.
3. After a while, random other guy (non-activist) claims to own them. He is arrested.
4. Police come to confiscate said equipment under the baseless claim that random guy owns it.
5. Derrick contests the claim, saying he owns it, and does not let the police take it.

All three were eventually released after many hours in solitary confinement. There are reports that Derrick was able to continue the dance party at the Cheshire County House of Corrections for four hours. He was able to eventually able to return home to shower out the mace before going to work. Stay tuned for more information about future court dates and danceobedience.

Photos used in this post were taken by James Schmill of

Escape Banner 03 Keene Law Enforcers Use Violence to Shut Down “Live Free or Dance”

Keene Law Enforcers Use Violence to Shut Down “Live Free or Dance” is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Police Accountability Report – Episode 39

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Below are links to the stories in episode 39 of the Police Accountability Report:

If you would like to submit a story or record a segment for the Police Accountability Report (on lack of accountability for police in your area) please email podcast[at]copblock[dot]org. We also welcome feedback.

You can also hear the podcast and other great liberty minded programs on LRN.FM. If you have an Apple iPhone or iPad, you can download the free LRN.FM app and have access to the live LRN stream as well as quick and easy access to the podcast archives for all of the shows in the LRN family.

Police Accountability Report – Episode 39 is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

CoC Urges Phone Calls to Chicago Prosecutor to Free DNA-Innocent Black Men

Saturday, September 10th, 2011
Afrosphere Action Alerts has received the following e-mail from Color of Change.

Having read the e-mail, I have called Cook County (Chicago.IL) State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez' office (312 325-9200), demanding that she move to release Black men whom DNA has proved innocent, even after confessions that may have been the result of rampant and notorious torture by the Chicago Police Department.
Here is the slightly edited letter from Color of Change
Dear Atty,
You and more than 64,000 members have demanded that Cook County (Chicago.IL) State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez immediately acknowledge the innocence of 10 falsely accused Black men and vacate their convictions.
Last week, we delivered the petition signatures at Alvarez's office in downtown Chicago. But Alvarez so far remains silent. We need to step up the pressure.
Can you make a quick call to Alvarez's office (312 325-9200) and demand that she vacate the convictions of these innocent men? If enough of us call, it will let her know we're not going away and increase the pressure on her to act. Just click the link to make your call — we'll give you the number and a short script you can use:
Attorney Alvarez needs to know that we will hold her accountable for blocking justice and supporting law enforcement practices that compromise all of our safety. Please take a moment now to call Alvarez and ask her to immediately correct these outrageous wrongs.
Thanks and Peace,
-- Rashad, James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the team
   September 9th, 2011
Help support our work. is powered by YOU--your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don't share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here: