The Disappeared Reply

Current faux Sinophobic rhetoric aside, China is just a province in global capitalism, a loan and labor mine for Western governments and corporations, and a test market in state repression. Far too many Western radicals promote China, Russia, Syria, Iran, North Korea, etc. as model societies or as alternatives to the Empire. No, they are merely exotic Klingon territories (from a Western perspective) that function as occasionally rebellious provinces in the Empire. The imperial overlords hate them because, unlike the other 3/4 of the world’s nations, they have not been fully consolidated into the Empire in terms of political control, i.e. there are no US military bases in their countries, their domestic economies are not fully under the control of US corporations or global bankers,  or because their nuclear weapons make them immune to invasion.

By Zach Dorfman

Foreign Policy

Before he disappeared from his luxury apartment at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong on Jan. 27, 2017, Xiao Jianhua, a Chinese-Canadian billionaire, favored female bodyguards. Why, exactly, was unclear: Perhaps he simply liked being surrounded by women; perhaps he trusted them more than men.

Whatever the reason, those guards weren’t much help when a group of mysterious men showed up at his apartment that January day and took him away. According to anonymous sources who viewed the hotel’s internal video feed and later spoke to the New York Times, Xiao, who may have been sedated, was rolled through the Four Seasons lobby in a wheelchair, a sheet covering his head. He was then reportedly loaded onto a boat and ferried to the Chinese mainland.

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“It Changes Who Has the Power”: How Bail Funds Across the Country Are Responding to Protests Reply

I am 100% in favor of many of the ideas being pushed by criminal justice “reformers” such as the abolition of cash bail, repealing mandatory minimum sentencing, civilian review boards, body cameras, police accountability, de-escalation training, etc. But let’s not pretend these are “radical” ideas or even particular far-reaching “reformist” proposals. For example, where is the “Defund the FBI” movement?

The Ringer

Rahim Buford knows what a night in a cage feels like. He can count about 9,490 of them in his lifetime. The 49-year-old manager of the Nashville Community Bail Fund grew up in a family of 19 children in Nashville. There were times when he didn’t have enough food to eat, and his classmates mocked the clothes he wore to school. His family circumstances drove him to trouble. At 18, he shot a gun at the floor of a store he was robbing, and the bullet ricocheted into an employee, killing them. Buford spent the next 26 years of his life between seven different Tennessee prisons, contemplating how he ended up there.

“I educated myself, I learned about the system, and I realized that the choices that I made were not just because I was a bad person,” Buford told me. “I learned about the history of the country I live in and then it all made sense.”

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Why filming police violence has done nothing to stop it Reply

Because the police don’t care if someone is filming them if the wider apparatus of the state is backing them up. Why does anyone think Derek Chauvin choked George Floyd to death knowing full well he was being filmed the whole time? Because he thought the department, prosecutor’s office, and the union would back him up. Unluckily for Derek, the combination of the pandemic, the depression, months of house arrest, the Ahmaud Arbery shooting, the Breonna Taylor shooting, canceled sports and concerts, closed clubs and a lack of summer parties caught up with him.

By Ethan Zuckerman

The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers was captured on video, not once but half a dozen times. As we try to understand why a police officer continued compressing a man’s neck and spine for minutes after he’d lost consciousness, we have footage from security cameras at Cup Foods, where Floyd allegedly paid for cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. As we wrestle with the sight of three officers standing by as their colleague killed Floyd, we have footage from the cell phones of witnesses who begged the officers to let Floyd off the ground. In the murder trial of Officer Derek Chauvin, who was patrolling despite 17 civilian complaints against him and previous involvement in two shootings of suspects, his defense may hinge on video from the body cameras he and other officers were wearing.

None of these videos saved George Floyd’s life, and it is possible that none of them will convict his murderer.

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Tucker: Black Lives Matter is now a political party Reply

LOL. This is so predictable. The progressives insincerely co-opt a genuinely radical idea, and then the right-wing actually takes them seriously, and points the finger saying, “Look at those extremists over there!” What’s interesting about Carlson is that on economics and foreign policy he often sounds like Bernie Sanders and even ventures into Chomsky territory at times, but on “culture war” questions he always falls back on the predictable Nixonian line.

What’s Really Going On With “Defund the Police”? Reply

Our own Vince describes what is really happening with the “defund the police” movement. This is entirely predictable.

This is a huge issue nationwide: the movement being co-opted by liberal/democratic forces. Essentially what has happened is the movement is being forked. There are heavy government resources being thrown at promoting and organizing “peaceful protests” that are more palatable to the middle class and the rich. These protests make piecemeal demands through city councilmen/women (usually of color) and others who do not experience the every day violence of the police state.

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Cuomo speaks out on calls to defund the police: “They’re right” Reply

Well, that didn’t take long. When America’s own Prince Andrew picks up on “defund the police” we know something’s up. This is like some regional feudal overlord or lower strata royalty from the Middle Ages saying, “Defund the King’s knights!” in the aftermath of a peasant revolt. Obviously, you would know something is up.

WARNING About “Abolish the Police” Reply

David Pakman is obviously concerned that “abolish the police” rhetoric is going to scare the hell out of suburban swing voters and undermine Biden’s electoral chances. I would agree with that if I gave a shit about Biden’s electoral chances.  Predictably, the policing system that David is advocating is more or less what they have in some Scandinavian countries like Norway (i.e. police as professional class social workers). However, he is correct that the defund the police movement is going to not only be co-opted by progressive welfare-statists (which David favors) but also by “conservatives” (plutocrats) who would simply replace the conventional police with Blackwater-like mercenaries as “private police” (which is more or less the system they have Latin America).

–As “abolish the police,” “defund the police,” and other similar slogans quickly spread, we explore whether this is the right approach to fix the problems with our police departments

“Defund the Police?” Reply

Tom Woods raises some important questions about “defunding the police” that left, right, and center libertarians (along with honest socialists and dissident rightists) should consider. The “progressives” aren’t going to give up on their beloved managerial state and social engineering this easily. And the now-hated suburbanite “Karens” are certainly not going to do so. Nor are the “liberal” champions of the federal police state (yeah, Nancy Pelosi is really going to defund the FBI, DEA, and BATF). Nor will the ruling class proper give up the private police that surrounds their gated communities. As Vince points out, the progressives/liberals are going to try to co-opt the defund the police movement and bend it toward expanding the welfare state, and while ignoring the actual anti-policing part.

By Tom Woods

Defund the police?

Sure, and everything else the state does.

And there’s the problem.

If you want to defund the police, but still expect 64,722 victimless crimes to be punished, well, violent enforcement is going to have to be reintroduced somewhere.

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How racist policing took over American cities, explained by a historian 1

Modern policing systems were developed in England in the early 19th century, during the early period of the Industrial Revolution, for the purpose of controlling what were called the “dangerous classes,” i.e. workers. In America, the racial caste system was enacted parallel to the system of class stratification, so class subordination overlapped with racial subordination. A cop once told me that the purpose of the police is to protect the middle class from the lower class in order to secure the loyalty of the middle class to the ruling class.

By Anna North

Eugene Williams, a 17-year-old black boy, was stoned to death by white people in 1919 after he swam into what they deemed the wrong part of Lake Michigan.

In response, black people in Chicago rose up in protest, and white people attacked them. More than 500 people were injured and 38 were killed. Afterward, the city convened a commission to study the causes of the violence.

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Minneapolis disbands police department, author explains what it really means 1

This doesn’t really sound like “defunding police” at all. It sounds like merely shifting some of the resources used for municipal policing to social services, and perhaps easing on the enforcement end on some things.  Basically, the European model. In other words, very mild reformism (at best). And it only seems to apply on the local level and, presumably, only in poor and minority communities.

Ken Cuccinelli says he believes even if George Floyd had been white his life would not have been spared Reply

Cuccinelli is both a Republican and an Italian Catholic, neither of which are known for their love of black folks. But the real issue with this kind of stuff seems to be a matter of status. All other variables being equal, I’d say that it is still more advantageous to be white than to be any other Crayola category. Whites are still the largest group numerically, and the majority of power-holders are still white, even if these things are changing. There may be exceptions in some cultural sectors, institutional sectors, socioeconomic levels, and geographical areas.

In some highly diverse major cities, being white may mean being just another minority. Some institutional sectors (particularly academia) seem to bend over backward to promote minorities and other traditionally disadvantaged groups, while traditional racism is still the norm in some institutions. There are still country clubs in my area where blacks are de facto banned. Trailer park and rural Appalachian whites have a sum total of fewer advantages than minority educated professionals.

Also, not all minorities are equally advantaged. East Asians (depending on their nationality), Jews, Persians, Nigerians, and Indians fare much better in the US than Puerto Ricans, African-Americans, Native Americans, Haitians, and Salvadorans. And there is social stratification within all groups as well. There are Mexican-Americans who are upper-class people and there are Mexican migrant workers in the US as well. Obviously, a black transgender drug-addicted street prostitute has less “privilege” than a wealthy white martini-swizzling businessman, physician, or attorney.

But to really fight the state, it is necessary to demonstrate how the state is the enemy of virtually everyone except for a very small number of people. If I had the time, I could compile encyclopedia volumes documenting cases of excessive state actions that targeted people from all across the cultural, racial, religious, political, and socioeconomic spectrum, including some that would be considered “rich” by conventional standards.

The right-wing typically ignore the race, class, and disparities when it comes to these things, while the left-wing embraces race, class, etc. reductionism.  A better way to look at it would be to make comparisons to the Third Reich or the Stalinist/Maoist regimes. The former specialized in race genocide, the latter in class genocide. But both types of regimes carried extreme repression against all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. There was certainly ethnic and religious persecution in Communist states (often extremely so) and there was class-based repression in fascist regimes (once again, often extremely so).

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Protesters hope this is a moment of reckoning for American policing. Experts say not so fast. 4

As I would have predicted, the System’s response to the insurrection is to call for greater centralization of the police state, which “progressives” are happy to oblige. Some examples from the article:

Charles H. Ramsey, a former chief in the District and Philadelphia and co-chair of President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, said perhaps the biggest obstacle to nationwide change is the unwieldy way in which police departments are organized. With every city, town, state and county fielding its own force, he said, it’s hard to standardize training and policies.

“Regionalizing them would be a solid first step,” Ramsey said. “But then you get into the politics. Every county and every mayor; they want their own police force, they want their own chief.”

“With so many police departments, it is important that there is federal action,” said Vanita Gupta, a former head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Even the “Defund the Police” talk needs to be approached with some degree of skepticism. It seems that some such proposals merely want to replace the conventional police with armies of social workers, which may actually have the effect of entrenching soft totalitarianism to an even greater degree. Also, there is not going to be any “defunding” for the federal alphabet soup agencies, police in affluent suburban areas, or private police in gated communities. Instead, the army of social workers will simply be the latest control mechanism that is imposed on the lower socioeconomic strata.

By Kimberly Kindy, Michael Brice-Saddler

The Washington Post

Glimmers of hope have emerged for Americans demanding action on police violence and systemic racism in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, the black man who gasped for air beneath the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer last month.

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Tear Gas Is Banned in International Warfare––Why Are Police Using It On U.S. Civilians? Reply

Because the US is run by serial war criminals. Duh?

By Janea Wilson

In These Times

On June 2, President Trump threatened to deploy military troops against Americans in response to nationwide protests after the recent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Trump’s suggestion to use military force against U.S. civilians shocked many—but in fact police already have been using a weapon banned in international warfare against protesters: tear gas.

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Black Trans Protesters Are Marching for a Police Killing That Cis People Aren’t Talking About: Tony McDade Reply

By Tomas Navia and Sam Donnenberg
VICE

As protests surrounding the killing of George Floyd and police brutality entered their eighth night, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the historic Stonewall Inn in New York Tuesday yelling the name of another black man killed in a confrontation with police: Tony McDade.

McDade, a 38-year-old black trans man, was shot and killed by police in Tallahassee, Florida, on May 27, two days after Minneapolis police kneeled on Floyd for almost nine minutes until he couldn’t breathe. Tallahassee police said in a press release that McDade was the suspect in a local stabbing and was armed, which led to the shooting.

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Protests about police brutality are met with wave of police brutality across US Reply

By Adam Gabbatt

The Guardian

The nationwide anti-police brutality protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in the US have been marked by widespread incidents of police violence, including punching, kicking, gassing, pepper-spraying and driving vehicles at often peaceful protesters in states across the country.

The actions have left thousands of protesters in jail and injured many others, leaving some with life-threatening injuries.

From Minnesota to New York, Texas, California, Washington DC and many places beyond, from small towns to big cities, police officers have demonstrated just how problematic law enforcement is in the US, drawing condemnation from international groups as well as domestic civil rights organizations.

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Police are Killing Native Americans at Higher Rate than Any Race, and Nobody is Talking About It Reply

By Matt Agorist

Free Thought Project

Americans are up in arms right now over the near epidemic number of deaths of African-American at the hands of police, and rightfully so. African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the population, yet they are the victims in 26 percent of all police shootings. That is nearly 3 times the rate of whites.

The outrage by the #Black Lives Matter movement is founded in statistical evidence which shows that the system inherently and with extreme bias disproportionately targets blacks.

That being said, there is one group who no one is talking about that is targeted more than everyone else. The racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans. While Native Americans only make up 0.8 percent of the population, they make up 1.9 percent of all police killings.

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Minneapolis City Council announces intent to disband police department Reply

By Estefan Saucedo

MSN

A veto-proof majority of Minneapolis City Council members announced during a rally at Powderhorn Sunday that they are planning to disband the police department.

City Council members said they will invest in community-led safety initiatives instead of the police department.

“Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, to end policing as we know it, and to re-create systems of public safety that actually keep us safe,” Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said at Sunday’s community meeting.

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Mitt Romney joins Black Lives Matter march in D.C. Reply

Axios

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joined a group of nearly 1,000 Christians marching toward the White House on Sunday.

What they’re saying: Asked why it was important for him to be out protesting, Romney told NBC News: “We need a voice against racism, we need many voices against racism and against brutality. And we need to stand up and say that black lives matter.”

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A Message Written in Fire: In Defense of Social Upheaval Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

It always ends this way, you can almost set your watch to it. A glamorous soirée rambling into the wee hours of the morning in an opulent townhouse on a tony tree lined street of any given international city. The kind of event held for some obscure charity to save a species of bird that likely never existed as anything but excuse for a deceptively benevolent orgy like this. Glamorous beautiful people with household names, dressed to the nine in three-piece-suits and silk gowns that cost more than most people will see in a lifetime. Ornate ballrooms echo with the bellowing sounds of the kind of excess that only this kind of downright flammable income can afford. Senators and Wall Street bankers dry hump underage courtesans, slurping Champaign twice their age and snorting Scarface-grade amounts of the same kind of narcotics they have twelve year old children of color locked up for decades for peddling in dime bags. Obnoxious plastic debutantes force theatrical laughter at racist jokes delivered by the direct descendants of Mayflower monsters and slave drivers. The only people of color are token police chiefs dressed like ornate African dictators. The only poor people are servants and the victims of white slavery, but suddenly they become very scarce.

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An 18-Year-Old Said She Was Raped While In Police Custody. The Officers Say She Consented. Reply

The killing of blacks by police under dubious circumstances is only the tip of the iceberg as far as problems with the police state. However reasonable and justified, the protests against police killings of blacks need to escalate into protests against police misconduct generally, including non-lethal misconduct involving all skin colors. And then protests need to start against overcriminalization and state repression general, whether “legal” or officially sanctioned or not.

By Albert Samaha

Buzzfeed News

Anna was sitting in the parked car with two friends when a charcoal gray van pulled up and flashlight beams momentarily blinded her. The 18-year-old had grown up in south Brooklyn and spent many Friday nights like this driving around the city with friends, looking for places to hang out away from home. On this night, though, September 15, 2017, sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., she crossed paths with the cops.

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Mapping Police Violence Reply

This is an interesting website.

Law enforcement agencies across the country have failed to provide us with even basic information about the lives they have taken. And while the recently signed Death in Custody Reporting Act mandates this data be reported, its unclear whether police departments will actually comply with this mandate and, even if they do decide to report this information, it could be several years before the data is fully collected, compiled and made public.

We cannot wait to know the true scale of police violence against our communities. And in a country where at least three people are killed by police every day, we cannot wait for police departments to provide us with these answers. The maps and charts on this site aim to provide us with the answers we need. They include information on 1,106 known police killings in 2013, 1,050 killings in 2014, 1,103 killings in 2015, 1,071 killings in 2016, 1,093 killings in 2017, 1,142 killings in 2018 and 1,098 killings in 2019. 95 percent of the killings in our database occurred while a police officer was acting in a law enforcement capacity. Importantly, these data do not include killings by vigilantes or security guards who are not off-duty police officers.

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