Archive for December, 2014

Black Lives Matter, Know Your Rights/Safe Work Environment Act Report

December 23, 2014

This column appears in the December 24 – 31 edition of the Hartford News… “I do not condone the killing of the two NYPD officers today. I do not condone the killing of unarmed black people. I do not condone killing.” ~ DeRay Mckesson, Ferguson activist

Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, denounced the murders of New York Police Department officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos despite the fact that three men, possibly NYPD cops, were photographed wearing shirts mocking her son’s last words. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TevcCM_hwyA&feature=youtu.be Unlike the racists who ridicule Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, the other Black victims of extrajudicial killings and their supporters, I don’t celebrate the murder of cops. The message of #NYPDLivesMatter on Twitter is that murder is ok when the perpetrators are police officers and the victims are Black. Murder is murder. The last shooting death of an NYPD officer was December 2011. Blacks in the United States are killed every 28 hours by police, security guards and vigilantes. http://www.operationghettostorm.org/ There has only been one conviction in 179 NYPD killings since 1999. The officer who was convicted did not serve any jail time. http://www.democracynow.org/2014/12/10/headlines/report_1_conviction_in_179_nypd_killings_since_1999

Check out our Resources section for a documentary on the NYPD stop-and-frisk policy. The film includes racist, criminal behavior by NYPD officers caught on tape, and NYPD cops speaking out against stop-and-frisk. One officer revealed that the department assigns cops to high crime areas alone as punishment for failing to meet a stop-and-frisk quota. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGc505WuxpE&feature=youtu.be Officer Adhyl Polanco risked his job to speak out against stop-and-frisk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I50idoJ4PUw&list=SP50BDB9BCCFAF09CA&index=5 Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, an 8-year veteran who received a Meritorious Police Duty Medal, recorded evidence of a quota driven stop-and-frisk policy, as did Polanco. The NYPD has declared that they’re now a ‘wartime’ department. These megalomaniacs are too crazed to see that they’re about to turn a fire into an inferno.

Local and state police will be stepping up traffic enforcement (e.g. speeding, seatbelt violations, DUI) during the next week. Being informed about your rights is crucial to surviving traffic stops. See Resources for video tutorials on how to handle police encounters and the definitions of legal terms such as probable cause. Remember to NEVER consent to a search during a traffic stop or in your home. The Community Party will introduce our Trayvon Martin Act (written by Mary Sanders) in 2015. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/community-party-trayvon-martin-act-bill-language/ Rep. Matt Ritter’s racial profiling bill, which will also be introduced during the upcoming legislative session, will include our traffic stop receipt provision. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/rep-matt-ritters-essay-on-his-2015-legislative-objectives/ The session will run from January 7 to June 3. http://www.cga.ct.gov/ The next CP column will appear in the January 8 – 15 edition of the Hartford News, due to the Arts and Heritage special edition of the paper next week.

Know Your Rights: How to Handle Police Encounters

Courtesy of attorney Peter M. Baskin who practices law in Arlington, Virginia.

DEALING WITH COPS ON THE STREET

If approached by a police officer, ask if you are free to leave: if yes, walk away immediately. If approached at home, stay inside.

Refuse to answer all questions except about your identity.

Refuse to consent to any search, or home entry, unless shown a warrant.

Refuse to admit to anything or to explain anything.

Refuse to take any sobriety or other tests on the street.

Demand to have a lawyer present when questioned.

TRAFFIC STOP DO’S AND DON’TS

DO: Be calm and keep your hands visible at all times.

DO: Identify yourself fully and agree to come to court.

DO: Give your license to the police officer as soon as possible.

DO: Tell the officer you will talk only about your identity and a court date without a lawyer present.

DO NOT: Admit to anything, explain anything or consent to any search.

DO NOT: Take any sobriety tests or other tests on the street.

DO NOT: Answer any questions except about your identity.

DO NOT: Believe any statement that you will “help” yourself if you “cooperate”. Cooperating means giving up these rights and only helps the police by giving them evidence they will use against you!

IF ARRESTED

DO NOT RESIST: You will be handcuffed, searched and pomptly taken to a Judicial Officer for bond. Identify yourself and agree to come to court. SAY NOTHING ELSE AND CALL A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY!

Sen. Gary Holder-Winfield will introduce the Community Party’s Safe Work Environment Act in 2015. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/coming-in-2015-safe-work-environment-act/ In the coming months we’ll share information on the legal aspects of workplace bullying. Workers must educate themselves about the law in order to empower themselves. A study found that 15% of total adult suicides in the U.S.are related to abusive workplace conduct, which the Department of Health and Human Services says is the equivalent of domestic violence. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/hhs-workplace-bullying-domestic-violence_764508.html

This week we’ll share the final installment of a three-part series from the Undercover Lawyer website (http://www.undercoverlawyer.com/) on the definition of a hostile workplace environment.

*****

Lenora’s Journey Through a Hostile Workplace

In two previous articles a 52 year old nurse named Lenora was harassed and abused by her new (younger) boss and former co-worker Michelle. Feeling distressed and sick, Lenora stayed home from work and called her brother in law, a corporate employment lawyer named Curt.

Although he usually works on the side of the employers, he wanted to help his family member. Talking on the phone and over lunch Curt explained the difference between legal and illegal hostile work environments, and explained why the concept of “employment at will” is so crucial to fighting back against a bullying boss.

Lenora wants to turn her boss Michelle into the hospital’s human resources department for “unfairly” attacking Lenora at work. Curt is trying to persuade Lenora to let go of the idea of “unfairness”, because U.S. employment law does not require supervisors to be fair.

It is shocking to Lenora that employment “at-will” actually allows employers to terminate workers at any time, for any reason or no reason (even a bad reason), just so long as it’s not an illegal reason. As we re-join their conversation, Curt is trying to explain to Lenora that the best way to fight back against a hostile work evnironment is to focus on the “illegal reasons” instead of focusing on “fairness”.
Fight With Fairness, or With a Protected Class?

Curt Urges Lenora to Forget “Fairness”

“Thanks for returning my call, Curt; you’ve been very generous with your time,” said Lenora.

“Anything for family, Lenora. And besides, I don’t want you to go and screw yourself by thinking you can get what’s ‘fair’”, said Curt.

“Said like a true lawyer,” Lenora replied. “Right, I shouldn’t believe that fairness matters. Do people really pay you hundreds of dollars an hour to tell them stuff like this?”

“The pay me many hundreds per hour, because I know what works. It may not sound like what you want to hear, but it will get you where you want to go. Fighting back against an abusive boss is not path down a flowery trail marked ‘Fairness: this way’. It’s a tough journey that requires you to take up arms and fight.”

“Now you sound like a football coach.”

“Okay, I’m going to hang up the phone now–”

“No no no! Sorry. I’m just frustrated. Michelle can treat me like crap, and when I turn to attorney for help what’s the first thing out of his mouth? ‘It’s perfectly legal for you boss to treat you like crap.’”

“But there’s more to the rule!” said Curt. “There are exceptions to the rule that it’s legal for your boss to treat you like crap. That’s what I’m trying to tell you about: the exceptions.”
Your Protected Class is the Key

“But you are also telling me that one of the exceptions is NOT fairness, right?” “Yes, right,” said Curt. “Well I still say that’s stupid, ” said Lenora. “Supervisors should not be able to drive you out your job and some tiny little mistake while allowing other people to gossip their entire day away.”

“And what I’m trying to tell you is that the law doesn’t allow supervisors to do that if the people getting run out of their jobs are all older men, and the gossipers are all younger women. Or if it’s Asians getting run out of their job, while all the gossipers are Caucasian. Or pregnant women getting run out, or veterans or… well do you see what I mean?”

“I think so. Even though I’m upset Michelle is getting away with attacking me unfairly, I can’t say that.”

“Right,” said Curt. “You have to say, ‘Michelle is attacking me and singling me out because of my age. Because THAT is illegal. THAT will get H.R.’s attention. They don’t care about unfairness because no law prohibits unfairness. Saying all this crap Michelle is putting you through at work is happening because of your age is what will turn you from a whiner into a warrior.”

“Okay, I get it and I’ll do it. Even though I still think the law should be different. Don’t complaint about unfairness. Complain about mistreatment because of age.” Lenora smiled to herself. “I can’t wait to get back to work and do this.”

*****

Follow CP on Twitter @CommunityParty1 for state, national and global headlines and updates on the Trayvon Martin, Safe Work Environment and Jane Doe Acts. Visit our No Sellout blog for the archive of CP Hartford News columns ( https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) and Northend Agent’s for selected columns. http://www.northendagents.com/ Check out the CP Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/CommunityPartyAction Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcement on our social justice platform. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or samuelssloflo@aol.com

Resources:

Food for thought for the NYPD:

NYPD stop-and-frisk documentary:

Flex Your Rights traffic stop tutorial:

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaCe6nQUX5c

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDJrQBwJpqk

Flex Your Rights – How to handle police encounters:

David Samuels

Founder

Community Party

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Luis Anglero Jr., Al Sharpton & Ferguson / Safe Work Environment Act Report

December 18, 2014

Luis Anglero Jr., Al Sharpton & Ferguson / Safe Work Environment Act Report

This column appears in the December 18 – 24 edition of the Hartford News… Criminal charges against police brutality victim Luis Anglero Jr. were dropped last week. Luis was the victim of a barbaric taser attack by Hartford Police detective Shawn Ware that was caught on video, but Ware was cleared by an internal HPD ‘investigation’. As nationwide protests continue in response to the extrajudicial killings of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, Luis’ case is yet another example of the need to dismantle the system that protects the police from being held accountable for brutality and murder. Luis should never have been charged in the first place and Ware should have been charged with assault. This is not a time for celebration: the system that victimized Luis twice is still in place and inflicting pain and terror on people of color in this city as you read these words. I have spoken to North Hartford mothers and grandmothers who told me horrific tales of their children/grandchildren being brutalized by the police, but these residents are terrified of coming forward because they rightfully fear that their loved ones will face retaliation from cops in the streets. The only reason that Luis’ case drew attention is because it was caught on tape. He must now deal with the trauma and fear of knowing that he can be attacked by the police and NOTHING will be done to hold them accountable.

The United Nations Committee Against Torture recently released a report slamming the United States for its failure to address police brutality and murder. http://www.democracynow.org/2014/12/3/united_nations_panel_slams_us_record Last week Democracy Now! reported on the record of criminal convictions against the New York Police Department. “According to the New York Daily News, NYPD officers have killed at least 179 people over the past 15 years. Of those 179 incidents, only three led to an officer indictment, and only one led to a conviction. For that one conviction, the officer served no jail time.” We cannot pray our way out of the state sponsored violence against Black people in the U.S. The Community Party will introduce our Trayvon Martin Act (written by Mary Sanders) in 2015. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/community-party-trayvon-martin-act-bill-language/ Rep. Matt Ritter’s racial profiling bill, which will also be introduced during the session, will include our traffic stop receipt provision. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/rep-matt-ritters-essay-on-his-2015-legislative-objectives/ Check out our Resources section for Black Agenda Radio and The Real News Network reports on President Obama surrogate and former FBI informant Al Sharpton’s attempt to hijack the Ferguson movement with his Farce on Washington last weekend. Here’s an excerpt from the BAR report. “Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the noted whistleblower and activist with Hands Up Coalition DC, said the Sharpton rally was an attempt to co-opt the growing movement. ‘The Obama administration has used a surrogate, Rev. Al Sharpton, to help corral that kind of energy and those kinds of issues back into the political system where those kinds of passions can die an unnatural death.’ ” TRNN interviewed Ferguson youth activist Erika Totten and other protestors.

Sen. Gary Holder-Winfield will introduce the Community Party’s Safe Work Environment Act in 2015. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/coming-in-2015-safe-work-environment-act/

In the coming months we’ll share information on the legal aspects of workplace bullying. Workers must educate themselves about the law in order to empower themselves. A study found that 15% of total adult suicides in the U.S.are related to abusive workplace conduct, which the Department of Health and Human Services says is the equivalent of domestic violence. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/hhs-workplace-bullying-domestic-violence_764508.html

This week we’ll share Part 2 of a three-part series from the Undercover Lawyer website (http://www.undercoverlawyer.com/) on the definition of a hostile workplace environment.

*****

What is the Definition of a Hostile Work Environment? (PART 2 of 3)

August 24, 2011 By UndercoverLawyer 1 Comment

A Bully Boss Can Turn What Was Once a Great Work Place into a Hostile Work Place

Step One to Fighting Back: Understand Employment At-Will

In a previous post, a 52 year old nurse, Lenora, felt sick and distressed about the hostile work environment her new supervisor (and former co-worker) was subjecting Lenora to. The new supervisor and head nurse, Michelle, was acting like a tyrant, but only toward Lenora and not the other nurses. Feeling alone and dreading going into work, Lenora stayed home and called her brother-in-law, a corporate employment lawyer named Curt.

Curt explained that an illegal hostile work environment has to be based on a protected class like race, religion, national origin, gender, disability or age.

Lenora was even more despondent, because she and Michelle were both women, so Lenora doubted the law would protect her. In Lenora’s mind, Michelle was simply “out to get me.”

Don’t Quit Your Job Before You Learn the Exceptions to Employment At-Will
Curt met Lenora for lunch near his downtown office. “So you don’t I should just quit before she fires me?” Lenora said to Curt as she pulled a chair up to their table.

“Not at all,” said Curt. “I’ve been thinking about your situation, and I think you just may be in a protected class. Now you are both women, and nursing is still a predominately female profession, so your gender won’t work. I know you’re 52. How old is this awful person Michelle?”

“She’s in her mid 30’s I’d say. I think she’s 34. This whole Head Nurse title has really gone to her head.”

“Well, how many other nurses are there over 40 years old that Michelle supervises?” said Curt.

“Just me and Clara. Clara’s about to quit though,” said Lenora.

“Why is she about to quit?”

“Because Michelle cut her hours back and gave Clara all nights on every schedule since becoming Head Nurse. Clara needs to be working days so she can watch her grandson at night.”

“Lenora,” said Curt, “has it occured to you that this 30-something boss of yours has a big problem with employees who are older than she is, and that’s why she’s out to get you and Clara?”

“I hadn’t. I just thought she had it in for me. But you’re right. It could be age. But why do we have to diddle around with this protected class business? So what if it’s not illegal, what she is doing is wrong. I’m going to turn her in to human resources.” Lenora smiled to herself at the thought of Michelle getting called into H.R. to explain the reason for her unfair attacks.

“Lenora,” Curt said, “Human Resources will side with Michelle. They will tell you nothing is wrong. They will spin the whole situation around make it about your job performance.”

“That’s impossible,” said Lenora, “what that bitch is doing is so obviously unfair. She’s going to ruin the whole place for everyone. How could they try to make it about me? I do a good job. I always have.”

“It’s good that you’ve always done well there. That will help,” said Curt. “But you have to understand that H.R. is not concerned about making sure that Michelle treats you ‘fair’. The law doesn’t require ‘fair’ and they know that. It may sound strange, but the law doesn’t guarantee that your boss treats you nice, or fair, or even respectful. Michelle can terminate you right now, for any reason she wants, or for no reason at all.”
Learn to Look for Exceptions to Employment At-Will That Can Apply to You

Learn to Look for Exceptions to Employment At-Will That Can Apply to You

Employment “At Will” Means Employment “At Whim”

“I hate lawyers” said Lenora. “Where do you get this crap?”

“Listen” said Curt, “I know it sounds harsh, but employment at-will is the starting place for all employment law in the United States. It means that an employer can terminate any employee at any time for any reason, even a bad reason or no reason, just so long as it’s not an illegal reason. In other words Michelle could let you go on a whim, and there’s nothing illegal about it. She could let you go for a ridiculous reason like you were one minute on a day there was a major traffic accident right in front of you on the way to work. Or she could fire you because you use the word ‘fabulous’ too much.”

“I hate that word,” said Lenora. “Michelle says it a lot.”

“Yes, well the point is that she could terminate you for any conceivable idiotic reason, or she could just walk up to you and say ‘your fired’ for absolutely no reason at all. And it would be perfectly legal.

“Well that sucks” said Lenora. “And that’s stupid. No one gets fired for no reason at all. There’s always a reason. And it’s usually because the person screwed up or is lazy.”

“Well I agree with you,” said Curt. “But there is an exception to employment at will that makes a bit of sense. And that is, Michelle can’t fire you for an illegal reason. That’s why I brought up age discrimination. Firing someone because of their age is illegal. Age is a protected class that you might be able to use here to protect yourself.”

“So Curt, you are telling me that little bitch Michelle could fire me on a whim, for no reason what so ever, and the law says she is in the right. But if she fires me because I’m older than her, the law says I’m in the right?”

“Right. But listen, I can tell you how to use age to protect yourself. You can fight back against Michelle. You just have to drop the notion that you are going to get her in trouble for being “unfair” and accept that you have to get her in trouble for doing something that looks to outsiders like age discrimination. I have to get back to the office, but we can talk on the phone later if you want. I’ll tell you more about protected classes, the ‘illegal reasons’ for terminating an employee.”

“Okay Curt, let’s talk later. But I still don’t like this. I want to take Michelle on, head on, and get her in trouble for how she’s ruining my career that I’ve worked so hard for.”

“Don’t do it,” said Curt. “Just trust me. You don’t want to take this to H.R. yet. Let me explain protected classes first and then you can really fight back, with the law on YOUR side.

*****

Follow CP on Twitter @CommunityParty1 for state, national and global headlines and updates on the Trayvon Martin, Safe Work Environment and Jane Doe Acts. Visit our No Sellout blog for the archive of CP Hartford News columns ( https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) and Northend Agent’s for selected columns. http://www.northendagents.com/ Check out the CP Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/CommunityPartyAction Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcement on our social justice platform. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or samuelssloflo@aol.com

Resources

The Real News Network – Al Sharpton – Led March Alienates Youth Activists:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12829

Black Agenda Radio report on Al Sharpton’s Farce on Washington:

http://blackagendareport.com/node/14567

first and then you can really fight back, with the law on YOUR side.

*****

Follow CP on Twitter @CommunityParty1 for state, national and global headlines and updates on the Trayvon Martin, Safe Work Environment and Jane Doe Acts. Visit our No Sellout blog for the archive of CP Hartford News columns ( https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) and Northend Agent’s for selected columns. http://www.northendagents.com/ Check out the CP Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/CommunityPartyAction Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcement on our social justice platform. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or samuelssloflo@aol.com

Resources

The Real News Network – Al Sharpton – Led March Alienates Youth Activists:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12829

Black Agenda Radio report on Al Sharpton’s Farce on Washington:

http://blackagendareport.com/node/14567

Margaret Kimberley – Don’t March with Sharpton:

http://blackagendareport.com/node/14564

Malcom X Grassroots Movement report on the extrajudicial killing of Black people:

http://www.operationghettostorm.org/

Trayvon Martin Act Report

December 11, 2014

This column appears in the December 11 – 18 edition of the Hartford News…                                                                      

“Ambulance chasing, sometimes known as barratry, refers to a lawyer  soliciting for clients at a disaster site. The term ‘ambulance chasing’ comes from the stereotype of lawyers that follow ambulances to the emergency room to find clients”.[1] ~ Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage via Wikipedia
While many of the people involved in the Connecticut protests of the police murders of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice are sincere, among them is an element of ‘activists’ I refer to as hearse chasers. These people have not lifted a finger to change public policies regarding racial profiling and police containment of low income communities of color, but you will see them come out of the woodwork to organize and participate in protests related to the high profile extrajudicial killings of Black people. Much of the work to stop state violence against Blacks takes place when there are no TV cameras and reporters around. The Community Party will introduce our Trayvon Martin Act (written by Mary Sanders) in 2015.  https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/community-party-trayvon-martin-act-bill-language/   CP supports the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement racial justice demands. This week we’ll share the MXGM policy plan. MXGM’s Operation Ghetto Storm report found that Blacks in the United States are killed every 28 hours by police, security guards and vigilantes.  http://www.operationghettostorm.org/  Justice for Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and all victims of state violence against Black people.
                                                                                                                *****

National Demands for Racial Justice

Preliminary Demands
  1. We call for the elimination of the Police Bill of Rights and the numerous civil service rules and judicial policies and procedures that give the police anonymity, freedom from having their behavior recorded and virtual immunity from accountability and prosecution.
  2. End to the various polices of containment such as racial profiling, stop and frisk, gang injunctions, secure communities, etc.
  3. End the “War on Drugs” and all of its related laws, policies and programs
  4. Enact democratically elected “Police Control Boards”, with the power to fire, subpoena, and indict police officers for human rights violations
  5. Demilitarization of domestic law enforcement, including eliminating the use of Drones and various surveillance operations and institutions.
  6. The redirection of military funding to social programs, such as public education, housing, health care, public transportation, and grassroots-controlled programs to prevent domestic and intra-communal violence.
  7. Legislate and enact a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice that will make the United States government compliant with all the norms and standards of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on all levels
Suggested Strategies, Tactics, and Targets.
Boycott
  1. Boycott Black Friday and all Major Commercial Stores and Outlets until the government meets the aforementioned demands on a municipal, state, and federal level.
  2. Boycott various Missouri based businesses.
Divestment
We call on all unions, churches, investment groups, and all the various forces of civil society to divest from any Missouri state bond holdings until the aforementioned demands are meet.
Proposed Demands and Campaigns in Depth (from Let Your Motto Be Resistance found at http://mxgm.org/let-your-motto-be-resistance-a-handbook-on-organizing-new-afrikan-and-oppressed-communities-for-self-defense/)
  • Police Control Boards – Grassroots Police Control Board’s are intended to serve as directly elected oversight and disciplinary committees on a city or municipal level. They have the power to monitor and reform policies and to discipline, fire, subpoena and prosecute police or other law enforcement agencies operating within their jurisdiction. Campaigns to institute Police Control Boards are designed to avoid the pitfalls of Citizen Review Boards. Over the last 50 years various movements and communities have demanded Citizen Review Boards that have been taken over by Mayors and other local officials. Mayors have appointed their own political cronies to protect the police and the status quo. We propose that our movement organize electoral campaigns or referendums that transform the Charters of Cities and Counties to establish Police Control Boards via the limited democratic means that presently exist. Electoral campaigns for Police Control Boards become vehicles for extensive outreach and education to move our base and shape public opinion. Campaigns of this nature will require grassroots fundraising to retain the integrity of the initiative and pay for media ads, etc.  They will also require forming alliances with various forces in the city or region that share similar interests and the development of a comprehensive strategy that builds enough power to institute this structural reform.
  • Anti-Containment Campaigns – These campaigns focus on stopping local, statewide, and national policies and programs that repress and displace our communities like racial profiling, check points, stop and frisk, weed and seed, gang injunctions, drug war policies, three strikes and zero-tolerance policies, etc. In addition to stopping these reactionary policies, we should also engage in proactive campaigns, like those that seek to abolish prisons.
  • Anti-Surveillance Campaigns – These campaigns should focus on forcing the state to become transparent about its extensive surveillance infrastructure and operations, and organizing campaigns that demand that they be wholly dismantled. These campaigns can start with initiatives that publically expose the methods and tactics used by various government agencies to monitor our social activities. We must also develop and effectively utilize a national database that exposes the undercover agents and provocateurs used by the government to infiltrate, disrupt, and discredit our social movements (this must be done through extensive factual documentation and not innuendo which can be and is very destructive to our movements).
  • Demilitarization Campaigns – These campaigns should focus on ending the military weapons and tactics used by domestic law enforcement.  Law enforcement agencies throughout the US empire have enhanced their military capacities since the 1960’s, primarily focused on containing and repressing the national liberation and progressive social movements. For their arsenals they have acquired and incorporated military assault rifles, tanks, combat ready helicopters, grenades, hollow point bullets, camera and satellite integrate surveillance systems, infrared equipment, and sonic and microwave crowd control equipment, etc. Tactically, they incorporated various strategies of counterinsurgency and pacification, including envelopment tactics that surround communities, check-points that control traffic in and out of a community, “weed and seed” programs that deliberately divide communities, gang injunctions that criminalize social relationships and customs (youth fashions, informal associations, etc.), “stop and frisk” tactics that allow for illegal searches and seizures on a massive scale, and initiatives like “Operation Ghetto Storm” intentionally designed to terrorize oppressed communities.  These campaigns are intended to heighten the contradictions between the people and the state (i.e. the government) and put the questions of institutional racism, national oppression, and US imperialism at the center of public debate within the empire.
  • Anti-Drone Campaigns – The introduction of surveillance and military drones over US held territories marks a critical new phase in the development of the repressive capacities of the US government. In order to preserve any notion of democratic space, we must launch local campaigns to resist the use of drones at the local and municipal levels and join or start campaigns that challenge their legitimacy and utilization throughout the empire.
  • Prisoner Defense Campaigns – These campaigns should focus on defending a) our political prisoners, prisoners of war, and political exiles from ongoing prosecution and violations of international law, b) our prisoners from unjust prosecution and human rights abuses, and c) community members from entrapment, false imprisonment, and false prosecution. These campaigns should employ every means of struggle we have available to us, but should rely first and foremost on methods of mass struggle, rather than legalistic methods that appeal to the enemy’s courts rather than the people.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Initiatives – Dr. Mutulu Shakur and other New Afrikan political prisoners, prisoners of war, and political exiles are demanding that the US government commit to a process of Truth and Reconciliation similar to that employed in post-Apartheid Azania (South Africa) to address the governments human rights violations during the COINTELPRO era and provide amnesty for the political prisoners, prisoners of war, and political exiles whom the US government transgressed against during this era. These Truth and Reconciliation campaigns can and should be launched on a local and regional level, following the model of organizers in Omaha, Nebraska regarding the Defense of the Omaha 2, which have targeted the role of local police forces in collaboration with the FBI in infiltrating organizations like the Black Panther Party and the Revolutionary Action Movement, and setting these organizations up via provocateur actions. These campaigns are essential to holding the US government accountable and fortifying the will and confidence of the people in their right and ability to successfully resist. On the Federal level people should link with and support the Truth and Commission organizing process being driven by Dr. Mutulu Shakur.
  • National Plan of Action for Racial Justice and Self-Determination – This campaign should be focused on building a movement with enough strength and power to force the Federal government to implement broad social reform program based on international law to combat institutional racism and it various manifestations and legacies in the US empire. The National Plan of Action for Racial Justice and Self-Determination is an outgrowth of the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa and the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA), and calls on the Federal government to commit to a transformative program of action to combat inequality caused by the legacies of colonialism, genocide, enslavement, and economic exploitation.  In addition to campaigning for this demand on Federal level, we should also demand that city, county and state governments pass similar measures that respect, protect, and fulfill the full human rights of oppressed and exploited
  • peoples.
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Follow CP on Twitter @CommunityParty1 for state, national and global headlines and updates on the Trayvon Martin, Safe Work Environment and Jane Doe Acts. Visit our No Sellout blog for the archive of CP Hartford News columns ( https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) and Northend Agent’s for selected columns. http://www.northendagents.com/  Check out the CP Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/CommunityPartyAction Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcement on our social justice platform. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or samuelssloflo@aol.com
David Samuels
Founder
Community Party

Ferguson & the Black Misleadership Class

December 4, 2014

This column appears in the December 4 – 11 edition of the Hartford News… The announcement that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the fatal shooting of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown has only served to fuel the mass movement in that city, which should be used as a model for urban communities nationwide. MSNBC commentator Lawrence O’Donnell blasted the prosecutors for giving the grand jury an outdated, unconstitutional definition of justifiable use of force. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZiegNiE6f0&feature=youtu.be  An uprising led by community residents is the only hope to force systemic change in this country. Ferguson residents have made the connection between the street execution of Michael Brown and the socioeconomic conditions in their community. The Arch City Defenders co-authored a report that found the disproportionate fines of Black Ferguson residents for traffic and low-level offenses generated $2.7 million in 2013, the second highest source of revenue for the city. http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/27/is_ferguson_feeding_on_the_poor#  Several weeks ago Mary Sanders and I sent a Freedom of Information request to the Hartford Police, requesting information on the number of fines for traffic and low-level offenses in the North, South and West End of the city. The HPD has not responded to our request. We will be sending a follow up request via certified mail. Biased policing is a cash cow for Ferguson. The $2.7 million question is how many other urban cities, which are predominantly controlled by the Democratic Party, employ busting people of color as a primary source of revenue.

This nation is a corporate state. The Democrats and Republicans are two wings of one corporate controlled party. I have written in this space about how the Black Misleadership Class has used the lynchings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown to generate votes for the Democrats, while diverting attention away from how the party’s public policies have contributed to the socioeconomic conditions which lead to the extrajudicial killing of Blacks every 28 hours in the United States.  http://www.operationghettostorm.org/  Poverty, Black unemployment, wage/wealth disparity and disenfranchisement of residents in urban neighborhoods have transformed them into commodities for the prison industrial complex. Before the grand jury announcement in Ferguson, Black Agenda Report commentator Margaret Kimberley talked about how Barack Obama, the First Black President, and Eric Holder, the First Black Attorney General, have done NOTHING to hold the police accountable for the street executions of Blacks, while Obama administration sycophants Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are used to keep Blacks in check.
“After the grand jury verdict is announced, there is only one demand that these three (Holder, Jackson and Sharpton) should hear. The Justice Department must prosecute Darren Wilson. Jackson and Sharpton’s presence in Ferguson will be proof of presidential inaction and an attempt to evade and avoid doing anything that might bring justice to black people. There should be no worry, no anxiety, if Darren Wilson is not indicted. After all, we have a United States Department of Justice, and they have the authority and resources at their disposal to carry out their own prosecution. There shouldn’t be any doubt that the Justice Department will prosecute Wilson except for one very big problem. The Obama Justice Department has never seen fit to carry out a prosecution in cases of police murder. The police execution of Milton Hall in Saginaw, Michigan was caught on a squad car dashboard camera, and yet the Justice Department declined to prosecute. If there is no federal prosecution of Darren Wilson, the political disaster of the Obama presidency will be made crystal clear. Black people in this country have exulted over Barack Obama since his 2008 campaign and have nothing to show for their unrequited love. Demands went unmade, insults were overlooked, and the result is an escalation of the official violence that black people have always been subjected to. No excuse, no rationale should be accepted if Wilson doesn’t face federal prosecution. Obama can’t run for re-election, so there is no longer a need to appeal to white voters willing to vote for a black man as long as he isn’t too black. There will be no more mid-terms that require black people to disappear and take their demands with them. The president and attorney general don’t need Republican permission to use the powers they have under the law. It is time to make good on the often stated but phony intention of making Obama accountable to black people.”
Black Misleadership Class bs was on display during a recent Central Connecticut State University forum on policing in the Black community, hosted by corporate media shill John Dankosky. http://www.northendagents.com/opinion-roundup-jane-doe-act-and-the-failure-of-where-we-live-host-john-dankosky/  A Better Way Foundation Director of Strategic Relations LaResse Harvey launched into an elitist rant, saying that Black folks are too busy camping outside of sneaker stores to accompany her to the State Capitol and push for policy reforms which would benefit communities of color. That’s the equivalent of saying that Blacks are too busy eating chicken and watermelon. You can listen to her comments at about the 41:55 mark of the WNPR podcast. http://wnpr.org/post/policing-black-community  If a white person uttered Harvey’s slur, they would rightfully be called a racist. Harvey co-signed the ruling class stereotype of Blacks as shiftless spooks who are responsible for their current condition. This is the same person who defended Obama during a previous panel discussion, blaming Republican obstruction for Obama’s failure to implement reforms which would address racial inequities. The Democrats controlled the House and the Senate during Obama’s first two years in office, yet Obama did not introduce any racial justice initiatives. Obama rejected a 2009 demand from members of the Congressional Black Caucus that he formulate a plan for targeted job creation in low income communities of color. Obama could have followed the recommendations in the United for a Fair Economy urban policy plan, which would provide effective remedies for racial economic disparities, while also sparking economic recovery in poor/working class white communities (see Resources).There wasn’t a damn thing stopping Obama but himself. Obama lied to single payer healthcare supporters when he was running for president, promising that he would push for Medicare for All if he was elected and the Democrats took control of Congress. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpAyan1fXCE  After Obama won and the Democrats secured the majority in the House and the Senate, Obama excluded single payer advocates from his so-called bipartisan healthcare summit.
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/2/26/healthcare_summit_ends_in_deadlock_single
In 2010 Harvey was a member of a coalition which allowed Democrats on the Norwich city council and Republicans in the General Assembly to remove a crucial provision from Ban the Box. BTB is supposed to prevent employer discrimination against formerly incarcerated individuals. BTB includes a conditional job offer provision, which requires an employer to make a job offer to a qualified candidate prior to a background check. If the employer decides to withdraw the job offer after the check, they must present the applicant with an explanation in writing. Because this provision was removed, employers outside of Hartford and New Haven currently can conduct the background check after the job interview and do not have to provide a reason for rejecting an applicant, which is a huge loophole. Harvey said nothing about the hypocrisy of Mayor Pedro Segarra, who withdrew a job offer to Kennard Ray. Last year Segarra hired Ray as his Deputy Chief of Staff. Segarra took the job away from Ray following sensationalized corporate media reports about Ray’s legal history. Segarra blamed Ray for not talking about his legal issues during his interview. BTB stipulates that an applicant doesn’t have to discuss their legal history. Segarra said that Ray must be “held to a higher standard”.
Deputy Chief Auditor Craig Trujillo subsequently discovered that Segarra had employees in his office who had not undergone background checks; some had not even filled out a job application. Segarra made a mockery of BTB and gave city employers the green light to emulate his discriminatory actions. Harvey talks real tough until it’s time to hold a Democrat accountable. In my opinion, a Black person would be better off camping outside of Foot Locker for a new pair of Jordans than accompanying a Democratic Party stooge like Harvey to the Capitol.
The people of Ferguson have shown us the way. True systemic change for Black people will come from those who are most affected by structural racism. Political hustlers like Jackson, Sharpton and Harvey are traitors who serve the ruling class and themselves.
Follow CP on Twitter @CommunityParty1 for state, national and global headlines and updates on the Trayvon Martin, Safe Work Environment and Jane Doe Acts. Visit our No Sellout blog for the archive of CP Hartford News columns ( https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) and Northend Agent’s for selected columns. http://www.northendagents.com/  Check out the CP Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/CommunityPartyAction Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcement on our social justice platform. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or samuelssloflo@aol.com.
Resources
Community Party Urban Policy Analysis:
Medicare for All Act (single payer)
David Samuels
Founder
Community Party