By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare
A small protest on front of the Valencia street police station in the Mission District of San Francisco.
The people peaceful gathered to demand justice for Amilcar Perez Lopez, who was an 21 year-old immigrant from Guatemala.
The leadership in Michigan, officially ended a program that was subsidizing water bills in Flint.
The program that was originally implemented to subsidize water cost for those most affected by the Flint water lead contamination.
According to Abc news:
Anna Heaton, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder, told ABC News today that tests conducted on Flint’s tap water in the past three months found that it meets all federal standards, although state officials recommend the use of filters as a precaution. The state is providing the filters.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver stated the “city was caught off guard,” and claimed they state had originally promised to continue payments until the 31st of March.
There is a war going on today, and it’s not in some far off land, rather it’s being fought here in the United States.
Not for oil or gold, but for justice, freedom and liberty.
This war has been fought since the creation of this nation.
This war and its many forms has been fought through protests, like the Boston Tea Party, the Abolitionist Movement, Women’s Suffrage Movement, the L.G.B.T.Q Movement, to the movements being fought today.
Today, I will explain how this war for justice, freedom and liberty is being fought today, between protesters and the rich and powerful.
I was deeply troubled when I heard of Republicans in Republican-controlled states, writing new laws to punish peaceful protests.
This is socially relevant, because in a time when we have a White House full of white supremacists, this is a dangerous time to have our 1st Amendment rights violated.
Today, I will tell you how peaceful protesters in states like New York, Minnesota and North Dakota are having their rights violated and freedom threatened by politicians trying to silence dissent.
In New York, a city that has a giant statue dedicated to liberty, protesters are having that very right violated by the men and women paid to protect it.
According to the New York Daily News ” protesters said the NYPD used undercover surveillance at the demonstrations over the chokehold death Eric Garner on Staten Island and shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.”
When Black Lives Matter protesters discovered this possible constitutional violation, they took the NYPD to court to discover what was collected and why.
A later New York Daily News article states ” the NYPD must disclose documents and video surveillance of Black Lives Matter protesters at Grand Central Terminal in 2014 and 2015, a judge ruled.
At this time the NYPD has not complied with the orders of the judge.
According to the same New York Daily News article ” the NYPD had argued that revealing its tactics would interfere with with law enforcement work.”
Now that you know about the illegal spy tactics being used against Black Lives Matter protesters by NYPD, let me inform you of the treatment of protesters in North Dakota.
If you were given two black and white photos, one of civil rights activists in Alabama in 1963 and the other Standing Rock Sioux activists in North Dakota in 2016.
It would be hard to tell they were taken 53 years apart. Both groups of people were attacked by armed men with trained attack dogs.
According to RT.com “Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access pipeline were reportedly attacked by security officers and their guard dogs.”
To my knowledge, not one person has been arrested for those harsh crimes.
Now that you know about North Dakota, let me tell you about Minnesota.
Republicans in Minnesota are advancing a Bill that will allow city governments to sue protesters.
The law if passed will profile African-Americans some people believe.
According to theGuardian.com ” Both critics and supporters of the Bill agree on one thing, it is a response to Black Lives Matter-inspired protests in the Twin-cities area over the last two years, particularly after an officer shot and killed Philando Castile in July” of 2016.
Minneapolis Branch President, of the NAACP called the Bill ” highly racialized “.
The Bill recently passed a Republican-controlled committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
In other Republican-controlled states…..
According to the Intercept.com ” Republicans in Washington state have proposed a plan to reclassify as a felony civil disobedience protests as economic terrorism.”
“Republicans in Michigan introduced and then last month shelved an anti-picketing law that would increase penalties against protesters and would make it easier for businesses to sue protesters.”
” And in Iowa a republican law maker has pledged to introduce legislation to crackdown on highway protests.”
Today I informed you on the current political war being fought between political activists and politicians.
I described how local police have spied on protesters, and how state governments have written new Bills to silence dissent.
One of the worst things any American can do is remain silent in the face of injustice.
A judge in Texas temporarily blocked the Longhorn state from removing Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood.
Sam Sparks, the United States District Judge, who issued the preliminary injunction claimed there was not enough information to prove Planned Parenthood ” Warranted termination from the medicaid program,” according to Dallas Morning News Report.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said ” the decision is disappointing and flies in the face of basic human decency.”
Two law firms and a civil rights committee filed a lawsuit monday. The suit claims black residents have had their voting rights violated, in North Carolina.
According to NewsOne: Attorneys from the Washington-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and two private law firms filed the suit…The suit alleges that the black residents who account for about a third of the population in Jones County, N.C., are prevented from electing candidates who represent their needs because the county elects commissioners at large rather than by district. The complaint alleges the at-large system prevents black residents from electing black candidates from their communities, and says the at-large system dilutes black voting power.
A black person reportedly has not served on the Jones County board since 1998 and white commissioners have constantly made decisions that benefit whites and disenfranchises blacks.
Rich White people continue to riot, this time at #UCBerkeley after white supremacist troll attempts to give speech.
My question is, where were most of you when #BlackPeople were marching for justice, when it seems like on a weekly if not daily basis an unarmed black person would be killed by a cop or some random white supremacist?
Where were you when black people were protesting in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other cities and the the white supremacist news media like #FoxNews called them all thugs?
When you allow injustice to happen to other people, it will eventually happen to you,
According to the NAACP, via Twitter, on tuesday several civil rights activists, including NAACP President Cornell William Brooks were arrested on tuesday.
Brooks was one of as many as 20 activists from the civil rights organization, who began staging a sit-in early tuesday at the Mobile, Alabama office of Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s controversial and very conservative nominee for attorney general.
Brooks said the group was ready to be arrested if sessions did not withdraw his name from the selection process for the position of the country’s top prosecutor.
President Barack Obama, on December 16, 2016, signed legislation that will get rid of time limitations on civil rights cases that happened prior to 1970. This will allow cold cases that happened during the Jim Crow era, to be reopened by local, state and national law enforcement officials.
This is an expansion on a bill titled the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime bill. The bill was originally introduced in 2005, by activist Alvin Sykes. He named the proposed bill after Till, after he promised Till’s mom that he would have the case of her son ( who was brutally lynched and murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman in 1955) reopened. The lynching of the 14 Till, by two white men who would ultimately be found not guilty by a racist all-white jury, is believed by many to be the last straw the sparked the civil rights movement.
In 2008, the bill was made into law.