Category Archives: trayvon martin

Ferguson and Palestine: Different Issues, Same Problem


Last week was inspiring. Since coming to New York two years ago, I have been working to build a community for myself. In many ways I have succeeded — I found people that I am honored to call friends, I have good neighbors, and I enjoy the community of my school. But last week was different. Last week, I felt part of a larger community, a community that “gets it,” a community that I share many values with, and a community that inspires me to action.


US And Israeli Exceptionalism


Recently, the US House of Representatives voiced unanimous support for the Israeli onslaught on the people of Gaza. Many opponents of Israel’s continued occupation and oppression of the Palestinians pointed, like they always do, to the disproportionate influence the so-called Israeli Lobby has in Congress. While this is an established and verifiable fact, I would argue that the Lobby is just a manifestation of a less obvious but essential reason for the never-ending support Israel receives from Washington and its apologists in the US media.

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Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.


When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Mo., during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an unarmed African American male. But that has it precisely backward. What we’ve actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless.


Africatown members arrested at Horace Mann released

KIRO 7 cameras take you behind the barricades and inside a Seattle School
Police arrest a man on trespassing charges for being inside the vacant Horace Mann school in Seattle’s Central District.

Four men arrested for squatting in the Horace Mann School were released hours later, vowing their battle is not over.
The men are part of a group called Africatown that occupied the Horace Mann School since the beginning of summer.

Seattle Public Schools plans to remodel it and turn it into an alternative high school. The folks from Africatown wanted it devoted to a school with a culturally-based curriculum for African-American students.

Most of the group reached an agreement with SPS to find another facility for their programs, but four men decided that wasn’t enough. They remained in the Horace Mann building.

Early Tuesday afternoon, SWAT teams from Seattle Police moved in.
The school district notified police last week that they were at an impasse with the remaining Africatown members, and they wanted them removed.
Detective Renee Witt said police chose to move in “when there would be no children and the least amount of people.”
Officers swarmed the school.  Chopper 7 even saw some officers on the roof. Police say they had “received intelligence” that the remaining squatters might have firearms or might booby trap the building with explosives.
A thorough search turned up nothing but the men themselves.
All four were arrested without incident and will face criminal trespass charges.  They were released this afternoon at the East Precinct on Capitol Hill to a small crowd of supporters.
Many in the small crowd were recognizable to those who are familiar with various protests around the city.  They immediately targeted KIRO 7’s photographer, blocking her lens and trying to force her to stop filming, even while each one of the four men arrested said they wanted to talk to KIRO 7.

The leader of the group, Omari Tahir-Garrett said he thought the occupation of Horace Mann –and the arrests — were worth it.
“Since we’ve occupied this building, now all of a sudden, this issue of the black achievement gap is back on the table,” he said.

He added that he plans to keep pressing the school district for changes, “The curriculum needs to be so everyone feels good about their culture and themselves.”

Meanwhile, Seattle Public Schools says now it can move ahead with the remodeling of Horace Mann.  The project was significantly delayed because of the squatters, but they’re unsure whether they will have to pay any fees to the contractor for the delay.

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Rallies Against Zimmerman Verdict Being Held in US


From New York to California, outrage over the acquittal in George Zimmerman’s murder trial poured from street demonstrations and church pulpits Sunday as protesters called for justice for the unarmed youth he killed and demanded federal civil rights charges against him.

Protests were planned later Sunday in Boston, Detroit, Baltimore, San Francisco and other cities over the Florida case, which unleashed a national debate over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice. One protest in California hours after the verdict late Saturday ended with vandalism while police dispersed another crowd by firing beanbag rounds.

In Washington, the Justice Department said it is looking into the case to determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case.

Trayvon Martin’s DNA Not Found On George Zimmerman’s Gun

ORLANDO, Fla. — Forensic tests made public Wednesday show that George Zimmerman’s was the only DNA that could be identified on the grip of the gun used to fatally shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The question of whose DNA is on the gun and holster could play a role in Zimmerman’s defense.

Zimmerman says Martin had been on top of him, slamming his head against the ground and smothering his mouth and nose with his hand and arm when he grabbed his gun from a holster on his waist before Martin could get it. He shot the teenager once in the chest.


Zimmerman back to jail; judge says he lied

Trayvon Martin’s shooter must return to jail, a judge ordered Friday in a strongly worded ruling that said George Zimmerman and his wife lied to the court about their finances to obtain bond in a case that hinges on jurors believing his account of what happened the night the teen was killed.