by Gloria Tatum……………………………..
Millions of U.S citizens continue to peacefully protest the murder of thousands of African Americans who every year are killed by violent, racist police officers, vigilantes, and white supremacists who are rarely ever held accountable.
“I don’t care if I lose my life if it means my nieces and nephews don’t have to deal with this racism and violence, ” a young protester said to national news.
“The movement is bigger than one person or one issue, it encompasses, ” police brutality, mass incarceration, denial of democratic rights, health inequalities [and] generations of dispossession…….Generations of injustice are coming to bear on our streets today,” Rev. William Barber said in an email to the Poor People’s Campaign.
This powerful Movement for Justice calls for police reform, criminal justice reform, policy change, laws changed, and the same justice system for everyone. Not one justice system for rich and white people; and another for poor and Black people; and yet a third justice system for police and powerful well-connected people who are too often above the law.
The Movement demands an end to systemic racism aka institutional racism that is ingrained in all political, legal, and societal organizations until it seems normal to many people.
“Systemic racism is state-sanctioned violence that dehumanizes black and brown people. Whether through police brutality, mass incarceration, denial of democratic rights, and health inequalities, ” Rev. Barber said.
Some of the most often heard demands from social justice activists and Black leaders are: Repeal Citizen’s Arrest Law, Stand Your Ground Law, Remove Qualified Immunity, pass a Hate Crimes Bill, prohibit the choke hole or anything that restricts breathing, stop passing laws to criminalize the poor, the homeless, and the most vulnerable in society, end cash bail, defund and demilitarize the police, stop training police in countries that violate human rights, stop training police to be soldiers, police should live in the community and know the people they serve and protect, and implement former President Obama’s 21st Century Policing Initiative.
“As long as police are sent into war zones to train, there will continue to be Tamir Rices, Trayvon Martins and Kathryn Johnstons,” Dawn O’Neal of Us Protecting US, formerly Black Lives Matter Atlanta, said in The Progressive.
“Georgia and other states continue to participate in a police exchange program with the state of Israel …..and with other governments including China, Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan that violate human rights,” as reported in The Progressive.
Trump’s Authoritarian, Racist & Fascist Inclinations on Display in Lafayette Park
Trump continues to divide the country by his focus on a few lawbreakers instead of the message from millions of peaceful protesters who are calling for change, justice, and police reform.
He is trying to divide the country into lawless protesters and patriotic law and order citizens. He calls the peaceful protesters terrorists, and orders the police to “dominate the streets”.
Trump’s fantasy of power and domination played out in Lafayette Park where a group of citizens peacefully protesting police violence chanting “Don’t shoot, Hands Up” were viciously attacked.
With national cameras rolling the country watched in horror as the Secret Service, Park Police, and National Guardsmen and other troops aggressively moved in and fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash-bang grenades on civilians violently knocking young women and men out of their way.
All this chaos and violence toward civilians was to clear a path for Trump to walk across the street for a bizarre photo opportunity in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church holding a Bible.
Trump was flanked by Mark Esper, Defense Secretary; Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and William Barr, Attorney General of the United States, who functions as Trump’s personal lawyer.
Lafayette Square Loosened the Lips of Military Leaders
Trump threatened peaceful protesters with ten thousand troops in Washington to “dominate the streets.”
This abuse of power and violations of the Constitution fueled outrage among military leaders who criticized his use of the military against peaceful civilians.
“We cannot afford to have a future Lafayette Square end up looking like Tiananmen Square,” James Stavridis, retired Navy Admiral said in Task and Purpose, an online publication that serves the military community.
General James Mattis, former Defense Secretary, accused Trump of violating the Constitutional right of fellow citizens in the Lafayette Square attack. He calls Trump’s leadership immature and compares his divide and conquer technique to the Nazis.
Link to Mattis full speech:https://www.npr.org/2020/06/04/869262728/read-the-full-statement-from-jim-mattis
General Mattis is not alone. Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agrees and says what happened in Lafayette Square made him sick.
“You’re not going to use, whether it is the military or the National Guard or law enforcement, to clear peaceful American citizens for the president of the U.S. to do a photo opportunity. There is nothing morally right about that,” Retired Navy Admiral, William McRaven said in Task & Purpose.
Here is a link to about a dozen other military leaders who found the courage to tell the truth about Trump https://taskandpurpose.com/news/trump-generals-protests
Religious Leaders are Outraged by Trump’s Use of the Bible and Church as Political Props
“He held up a Bible after speaking [an] inflammatory militarized approach to the wounds of our nation. He did not pray …or offer a word of condolence to those who are grieving…or seek to unify the country, but rather he used our symbols and our sacred space as a way to reinforce a message that is antithetical to everything that Jesus and the gospel texts represents,” Bishop Mariann Edgar Buddle of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington tell National Public Radio.
“This is an awful man, holding a book he hasn’t read, in front of a church he doesn’t attend, invoking laws he doesn’t understand, against fellow Americans he sees as enemies, wielding a military he dodged serving, to protect power he gained via foreign interference, exploring fear and anger he loves to stoke, after failing to address a pandemic he was warned about, and building it all on a bed of constant lies and childish inanity,” Rev. Robert Hendrickson, Rector at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Tucson, Arizona said in the Urban News.
Protests in Atlanta and Georgia
On Saturday, June 6 there were over a dozen peaceful protests in different locations in Atlanta, starting at 9:30 AM until 4:00 PM. These protests are growing in numbers and larger every day. With more protests all over the state of Georgia – from the coast in South Georgia to the mountains in North Georgia.
It is no longer one huge protest, it is multiple large, medium, and small protests every day in Atlanta.
“There are protests all over Georgia. … It’s time for the state senate and house to hear the message – we need the Hate Crime Bill passed, comprehensive civil rights legislation, and police reform in Georgia,” Gerald Griggs, NAACP Atlanta Vice President, said in a video update.
“Black people are tired of being killed in extrajudicial killings…. It is time for all the politicians to put their ‘thoughts and prayers’ into votes and pass comprehensive police reform…. The Obama 21st Century Policing Initiative which is the solution, but it still needs to be codified on the state and city level, Griggs said.
This movement is youth-led, and they are voters that are registering other young people to vote. If these young people have their way, it is goodbye to old, pale, and stale politicians in Georgia for a better world is possible.
Many Georgia politicians seem to believe the answer to all societal problems are more laws to criminalize more people and more people in prison. This so-called “law and order” approach does not work and only makes matters worse.
Trump’s Threats, Fits, and Fears
Trump’s fantasy of stopping the movement – with what he thought was his very own personal toy soldiers – has backfired. His threats and attacks only made the movement larger and stronger.
His delusion of domination fails but his fantasy of a wall has been realized. Trump has two walls around the White House, the second higher, larger, and longer than the first. Behind this fortress, Trump rages in uncontrolled childish fits and fears the American people who he can not dominate like his subservient Republicans in Congress.