Signal boosting Baltimore. UPDATED. UPDATE #2, #3, #4, #5, #6.

Statement of Iris Vander Pluym – Perry Street Palace
7:30 EST April 28, 2015

The Palace stands in solidarity with communities of color around the country and around the world, in opposition to state violence and murder, militarized policing, unprecedented mass imprisonment and surveillance, social and economic and environmental injustice, and imperial wars.

“Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”
Emma Lazarus

I found the words below waiting for me this morning, via email and links from Facebook friends. I couldn’t possibly express any of it any better, so I am amplifying these voices here.

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Statement of Carl Dix Stop Mass Incarceration Network
8:00 pm EST April 27, 2015

On the Uprising in Baltimore

The uprising in Baltimore tonight has delivered an unmistakeable and powerful message that the time is over when people will just take the unending and outrageous murder and brutality carried out by police. The torture and murder of Freddie Gray for nothing – and the ongoing, infuriating lies and coverup — is only the latest in a long line of such horrors in not only Baltimore but all over the U.S. From North Charleston, SC to Ferguson, Missouri from Pasco, Washington to New York City and beyond – THIS MUST STOP!

The authorities and the media grunt about “violence.” They get outraged about broken windows, but not the broken neck of Freddie Gray. They get mad about the destruction of property, but not the destruction of Black and Brown children. Violence? What about the unending violence carried out against the masses of Black and Latino people all over America by the police? What about the world-record violence embodied in a society in which a young Black boy has a 1 in 3 chance of spending time in prison before he dies? The violence in which nearly one million Black men and increasing numbers of women are now languishing in prison? The violence in which police behave like occupying armies in the ghettos and barrios – and the occupying armies of the US behave like police all over the world? This is America, and this whole system was built on vicious, unjust, endless violence here and around the world and it continues to carry this out. These world-class criminals, and apologists for criminals, have absolutely no right to say anything about what the masses of people do when they are fed up, when they can’t take it anymore, and when they must express this. In the face of murder and terror, is not resistance justified?

They insult those who rebel as thugs, while the real thugs go unpunished, on paid vacation… and those who give orders to those thugs not only get no punishment, but sit at the highest reaches of government. Here – in the land of the thief and home of the slave — they accuse those who rebel of looting, when the powers-that-be have looted Black people as a people for centuries, along with and as part of looting whole continents. They promise justice from the Department of INjustice, and from their rigged court system – this is just a ploy to throw mud in people’s eyes. Bringing in the National Guard means only one thing – more wanton violence against the people. NO! NO! NO!

History and present-day reality show that unless and until people stand up and refuse to go along with it, injustice, outrage and horror will continue. Everyone should stand with the defiant ones in Baltimore, refuse to condemn them, and to step up the struggle to STOP police murder and mass incarceration. This is a cry and clarion call to all of society to stand up and say NO MORE! THIS MUST STOP!

end of statement

[Kick in here if you can.]

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Orioles COO John Angelos offers eye-opening perspective on Baltimore protests

by Ted Berg

After protests in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray turned violent on Saturday, Baltimore sports-radio broadcaster Brett Hollander took to Twitter to argue that demonstrations that negatively impact the daily lives of fellow citizens are counter-productive. Orioles COO John Angelos, son of owner Peter Angelos, seized the opportunity to respond with a qualified and brilliant defense of those protesting.

You can read the whole thing in Angelos’ Twitter replies, but it’s transcribed here for clarity. It’s all here because it’s all so good. Read the whole thing:

Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

Gray, a 25-year-old Baltimore resident, suffered a spinal injury while in police custody after his arrest on April 12 and died seven days later. Six city police officers have been suspended pending an investigation into Gray’s death.

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10,000 Strong Peacefully Protest In Downtown Baltimore, Media Only Reports The Violence & Arrest of Dozens

10,000 people from across the country peacefully protested in Baltimore in support of the seeking of justice of the death of Freddie Gray. Despite the fact that 100 of the 10,000 acted up and approximately 35 people  were arrested after the peaceful protest, (that’s about 1%), much of the mainstream media used attention grabbing words in their headlines like ‘Protest Turns Destructive, (USA Today)’ ‘Scenes of Chaos In Baltimore… (NY Times), Dozens Arrested After Protest Turns Violent (WBAL TV). One website BreitBart.com’s headlines read: 1,000 Black Rioters In Baltimore Smash Police Cars, Attack Motorists In Frenzied Protest.

The truth is you had 10,000 plus people come together in unity in support of the fight for justice for Freddie Gray. While the numbers vary, 100 or so were the ones you saw acting up on the news and the 35 persons who were arrested were the ones you read about. But reporting that won’t bring in the ratings that attract a heavy advertising revenue.

CNN reported: Protesters angry over the death of Freddie Gray got into physical altercations with police Saturday night in downtown Baltimore near the city’s famed baseball stadium.

Some of the hundreds who confronted lines of police officers got into shoving matches with helmeted cops while other demonstrators threw objects. At least five police cars were damaged by people who smashed windows and jumped on them.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was profoundly disappointed by the violence, adding that 95% of the protesters were respectful but a “small group of agitators intervened.”

Time.com reported: The demonstration was aimed at police, who had Gray in their custody when he suffered injuries that would prove fatal. Baltimore police said 35 people, including four juveniles, were arrested and six officers suffered minor injuries during the latest protest.

As you read most of the nationwide coverage, the various news media and websites do admit that most of the protesters were peaceful as you read further down their stories, despite the attention grabbing headlines that speaks of only the violence, destruction and criminal mischief of a few. Unfortunately there will always be a few agitators in any crowd this size. Some of which are purposely positioned among the peaceful protesters for just that reason.

After what has been going on with black men being killed nationwide without any justice taking place even after grand juries, video evidence, incidences being ruled homicide by medical examiners, No officers go to jail, very few cops lose their job and the Ferguson officer who killed Mike Brown was allowed to retire and protect his pension, there is a sense of frustration in these protests, yes!

What happened in the streets of Ferguson was worst by comparison. But let’s be very clear, the scene the media is describing, the picture being painted with all headlines are something no one, I repeat NO ONE wants to see. What they’re showing you are the actions of 100 or so people, there were 10,000 people there, and despite some of the headlines, and you can see by the pictures below all the protesters were not black and out of control. And despite what a local pastor would have you believe, some of those who were acting up the most were doing so before those (he called outsiders), who came to town in support showed up.

Words have power, they create perceptions that make other actions possible and allow the most outrageous of  explanations why they kill black people believable and acceptable by other groups of people. Let’ be clear here, NO ONE wants to truly see Scenes of Chaos: 1,000’s of Frenzied Protesters Rioting In Baltimore, the city would truly still be burning. But they media will show the worst or the worst, you know if it bleeds it leads. It’s true it’s great for ratings which leads to heavy advertising revenue, but it is not good for our community or the race relations nationwide.

Just like the media takes the liberty to show the worst of the worst like they did in Baltimore, I am taking the liberty to show the worst of the worst in their reporting and calling them out. It’s important to not allow the mass media to distort the narrative and take away from the message of this fight for justice.

What they don’t report was there were, “Muslims, Christians, Jews, Blacks, Whites, Asians, Young and Old, Rich and Poor people all united and standing harmoniously against common oppression,” shared one of the organizers Frank ‘Sha’ Francois. The demonstration was sponsored by a wide coalition of social justice groups, including Malik Shabazz of Black Lawyers For Justice (BLFJ), Carl Dix of Stop Mass Incarceration (SMIN) and brother Ted Freedomfighter Sutton of Sutton House, just to name a few who came in support of their brothers and sisters in Baltimore. Support for justice of Freddie Gray, 25, who was arrested one week ago, in West Baltimore. Who died on April 19th, from injuries sustained while he was in police custody.

[Amazing pics at that link.]

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UPDATE:

didyouhear

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UPDATE 2:

11 Stunning Images Highlight the Double-Standard of Reactions to Riots Like Baltimore
-Derrick Clifton, Mic.com.

But when a mob of mostly white people take to the streets, vandalizing cars, storefronts and street signs in the process it usually means someone either won or lost a game.

As Mic‘s Zak Cheney-Rice noted in January, these rioters are usually called “revelers,” “celebrants” and “fans.” They’re not even called “rioters” in many cases. They’re not derided as “criminals,” “thugs,” “pigs” or even “violent.” Those descriptors, as events in Baltimore Monday night reveals yet again, are only reserved for black people. They’re the ones who need to be quelled by militarized police forces. They’re the ones who need to be off the streets, immediately. They’re diminishing the validity of their cause. Yet, somehow, reckless behavior over a sports team, not a systemic matter of life and death, is viewed as a costly nuisance.

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Baltimore Been Burning.
-Jamilah Lemieux, Ebony.

Referring to protestors as “thugs” who are “destroying the city in a senseless way” speaks to the inability of so many of us to really do the emotional and intellectual labor of getting past the good/bad binary, and recognizing how hurt and righteously indignant our people really are.

If the sight of a burning drugstore can do so much to change the perception of people who claimed to be “down for the cause” beforehand, then one can be pretty sure you haven’t done that work. If your assumption is that anyone who riots or destroys property is a “thug” and on the same plane as a violent police officer who’d beat someone ultimately to death for no other reason but “he ran from me,” then you’re still missing a few things here.

[Just go read the whole thing. PLZ.]

Nonviolence as Compliance.
-Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic.

The money paid out by the city to cover for the brutal acts of its police department would be enough to build “a state-of-the-art rec center or renovations at more than 30 playgrounds.” Instead, the money was used to cover for the brutal acts of the city’s police department and ensure they remained well beyond any semblance of justice.

How drunk sports fans helped spark Saturday night’s post-protest violence.
-Brandon Soderberg, City Paper.

Here were drunk, angry, white baseball fans and bar-goers who were equally guilty for the violence that happened that night and embraced the chance to fight and provoked some of it, and any accurate narrative must acknowledge that and barely anyone has acknowledged that. If you’d like to call Baltimore County whites and Boston Red Sox fans “outside agitators,” then you’ve got your outside agitators.

The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore.
-Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic.

What’s crucial to understand, as Baltimore residents take to the streets in long-simmering frustration, is that their general grievances are valid regardless of how this case plays out. For as in Ferguson, where residents suffered through years of misconduct so egregious that most Americans could scarcely conceive of what was going on, the people of Baltimore are policed by an entity that perpetrates stunning abuses. The difference is that this time we needn’t wait for a DOJ report to tell us so. Harrowing evidence has been presented. Yet America hasn’t looked.

I include myself.

[The referenced 2014 Baltimore Sun piece is here—well worth a read.]

Powerful video interview of Crips and Bloods disputing claims of the Baltimore police.
Shaun King, Daily Kos via NBC-WBALTV.

“We did not make truce to harm cops.”

Via US Uncut:

destroyingtea[See also: “Why do they burn down their own neighborhood?”]

Via Elyse:

riotlanguageunheard__________

UPDATE 4:

Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think.
-Sam Brodey and Jenna McLaughlin, Mother Jones.

Meg Gibson, another Baltimore teacher, described a similar scene to Gawker: “The riot police were already at the bus stop on the other side of the mall, turning buses that transport the students away, not allowing students to board. They were waiting for the kids.…Those kids were set up, they were treated like criminals before the first brick was thrown.” With police unloading busses, and with the nearby metro station shut down, there were few ways for students to clear out.

Several eyewitnesses in the area that afternoon say that police seemed to arrive at Mondawmin anticipating mobs and violence—prior to any looting. At 3:01 p.m., the Baltimore Police Department posted on its Facebook page: “There is a group of juveniles in the area of Mondawmin Mall. Expect traffic delays in the area.” But many of the kids, according to eyewitnesses, were stuck there because of police actions.

The Baltimore Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.

29 Moments That Show Another Side Of The Baltimore Riots.
-Ryan Broderick, Buzzfeed.

“Our people were not only trying to stop the acts of violence, but also saving and helping those in need.”

“Show this on @CNN.”

[Extraordinarily moving photos and short videos.]

Many organizers at the forefront of protests are women, despite men taking center stage. -Caitlin Goldblatt, City Paper.

A female member of Baltimore Bloc…said it is “kind of a natural habit to not realize the lack of acknowledgment of women,” but that those habits vary from group to group, and that media tend to focus on the presence and actions of men more than those of women.

For example, she marshaled protesters all day during Saturday’s protests, but noted the lack of images of her and fellow women marshals in media coverage of the events. Instead, many images of a dozen or so black men surfaced, decontextualized from the hours of peaceful marches prior to the return to Camden Yards after the rally at City Hall. This caused many groups and individuals, including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, to focus on the images of protesters clashing with the sports fans who antagonized them, placing the blame squarely on young black men. The organizer I spoke with simply stated that, regardless of how the rest of the day had gone and the vocalization of different people and groups, “Nothing mattered [in the news] after the riot.”

Crips, Bloods Call Truce, Not to Harm Cops But to Protect their Community from Violence & Looting.
-John Vibes, The Free Thought Project.

In the interview, gang members displayed immense intelligence and understanding for the situation. They stated that they called a truce to protect their communities from violence and looting, and to protect their community from anyone who should put it in danger. They were reportedly attacked by police when they were attempting to defend properties throughout the city from rioters.

The gang members announced that they were forming a “new faction” which will be concerned with protecting the community, and stopping the senseless violence that is carried out by both private and public individuals.

In another video published by The Baltimore Sun, rival gang members were shown meeting in churches speaking of peace and justice. One gang member told reporters that “They don’t want to see us call a truce because they want us out there killing each other.”

Baltimore Residents Come Together To Clean Up City After Riots.
-Cameron Keady, The Huffington Post.

Local businesses and community centers offer safe spaces and free meals.

“84% of Bmore students get free/reduced lunch. Schools are closed, but @ophelporhush is feeding them.”

freelunch[Inspiring.]

Baltimore Riots 2015: Schools Closing Sparks Free #BaltimoreLunch Movement For Students After Freddie Gray Protests.
-Julia Glum, International Business Times.

Baltimore City Public Schools were closed Tuesday after riots against police brutality erupted in the streets Monday night, but community leaders were banding together to make sure students from low-income families could eat. Several groups were organizing around the Twitter hashtag #BaltimoreLunch to serve children who rely on schools for food.

[This is a community in pain, coming together to clean up their city and feed their kids. AMAZING.]

palaceheart#Baltimore.

UPDATE 5:

Jon Stewart: “Maybe We Should’ve Cared About Baltimore Before It Was ‘On Fire'”

lootingiswrongPoor teens in Baltimore face worse conditions than those in Nigeria – study.
RT.com [Nigeria, people. NIGERIA.]

Carl Stokes to CNN’s Erin Burnett: Thugs? Just call them N#ggers then
-Frank Vyan Walton

Did she or anyone else at CNN use the “T”-Word when the Denver Broncos won the Superbowl and this happened? (1998)
Or when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, again? (2012)
Or the Vancouver Canucks Lost the Stanley Cup? (2011)
Or the University of Kentucky Wildcats Won? (2012)
Or the Boston Red Sox Won? Three. Seperate. Times. (2004)
Or the West Virginia University Mountaineers Won? (2014)
Or when Penn State Fired Coach Joe Paterno for Looking the Other Way While His Assistant Coach Sexually Molested Children? (2011)
Or when a Surfing Competition Takes Place in Huntington Beach? (1986, 2013)
Or they have a Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire? (2014)

Just doing a quick google search and I come up blank on all those where Erin Burnett is concerned…All these Riots and not a single “Thug” among them?

Amazing. I wonder exactly how that happened?  Could there be something significantly different about all these Riots, and the Riots in Baltimore?

Via US Uncut:

wellsfargobaltimoreWells Fargo Bank first pushed sub-prime mortgages on thousands of black families in Baltimore (referred to as “Mud People” by loan officers), then foreclosed on their homes. But unlike Baltimore’s black youth who threw rocks, not one single banker was arrested for destroying the community. SHARE if you know who the real Looters are!

mdpolicekill11[Related: ACLU: 109 people in Maryland died after police encounters in 2010-2014. Justin George, The Baltimore Sun.]

How to help: Donation and volunteer opportunities in the aftermath of riots.
-Rachel Cieri, The Baltimore Sun.

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UPDATE 6:

A complete takedown of the lies spread by the Baltimore PD and Washington Post on Freddie Gray.
-Shaun King, Daily Kos.

15 Baltimore neighborhoods have lower life expectancies than North Korea.
-Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post.

Activist smacks down Wolf Blitzer: ‘You are suggesting broken windows are worse than broken spines’.
-David Edwards, Raw Story.

From Quelling Looters to Saving Lives, Baltimore Gangs Are Doing A Better Job Than Police.
-John Vibes, The Free Thought Project.

As we reported earlier this week, during the recent riots in Baltimore, rival gang members have called a truce to protect their communities. Police initially panicked when hearing about the truce and put out a warning that gang members were teaming up to “target cops.” It was quickly revealed that these claims were entirely fabricated and that the gang members did not have ill intentions by calling their truce.

Members of the Crips, Bloods and BGF, Baltimore’s three largest gangs, even stood with city council members during a press conference this week. The council members spoke very highly of the gang members and their recent efforts.“These men have been out on the street quelling the senseless violence that has consumed our city. After meeting with them today it is clear that the notion they were planning on harming our police officers is false and simply deterred the resources we needed to focus on the individuals who instigated these riots. I applaud these young men for standing here and speaking out for our city.” City Council President Bernard C. Young said.

The Dominant White Response to Baltimore Shows Why Black Residents are Justified in their Anger.
-Grizzard, Daily Kos.

These are young people who live in communities torn to pieces by the War on Drugs, where violence is the norm. They’re young people who are considered a “success story” if they achieve what people in my community would call the base level of productive existence – graduating high school without dying or being sent to prison. They’re young people who, if they were to achieve what my parents would call success, will be a story so rare that Hollywood might come calling for the movie rights. The handful of young people who escape horrible Baltimore neighborhoods and find themselves in the middle class are the exception that proves the rule.

kentuckyriotBaltimore Protesters and Senate Leader Shut Down Fox News, Ask Them To Leave.
-Jackson Marciana and Shante Wooten, Counter Current News.

Geraldo [Rivera] tries to dodge the confrontation, but a young man on the scene persisted and keeps calling him out.

“You want to report that we’re thugs and breaking sh-t down!”

“I want you and Fox News to get out of Baltimore City, because you’re not here reporting about the boarded up homes and the homeless people under MLK,” he continued. “You’re not reporting about the poverty levels up and down North Avenue.”

He asked further where Fox was during the 300 Man March, noting that Fox only turned out to catch a glimpse of anecdotes of destruction.

“You’re not here for the death of Freddie Gray! You’re here for the story!”

Morgan Freeman on Baltimore Coverage: “F*ck the (Mainstream) Media”.
The AntiMedia.

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