Black Lives Matter, Other Activists Protest to Stop Jail Expansion

Dozens of people gathered outside the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration on Tuesday to protest the expansion of jails in the county, while inside the building the Board of Supervisors finalized next year’s budget. Wearing prison-orange T-shirts that read “I am not the property of L.A. County jail,” activists from a coalition of anti-incarceration groups perched on and around 100 steel-frame jail bunks that had been arranged on the street outside the Hahn Hall of … [Read more...]

White Silence Equals Violence: Awaiting a Verdict

This morning, here in Minneapolis, six jurors decided beyond a reasonable doubt that I am guilty as charged and my co-defendant, Dan Wilson, was found innocent.  The court case stems from an action protesting the execution of Jamar Clark, age 24, who died in the early morning of November 15, 2015 outside a north Minneapolis apartment complex. Two Minneapolis police officers, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, were involved in the shooting. Jamar Clark died after a bullet was fired directly … [Read more...]

Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline

When the Los Angeles Unified school board voted in May 2013 to ban the practice of suspending students for “willful defiance,” the blogosphere roiled with outrage. “Moron” was one of the mildest words used to attack school board president Monica Garcia and her colleagues. Students were referred to as thugs and animals, with black and Mexican American students singled out for particular abuse. Teachers said they wouldn’t be able to teach if they couldn’t remove disruptive students from the … [Read more...]

Building a #BlackXmas

Why #BlackLivesMatter Is Dreaming of and Building for a #BlackXMas in the Wake of Donald Trump and Why You Should Too Since its inception in 2013, Black Lives Matter has recognized the killing of Black people at the hands of the police as not simply a question of a few rogue officers, but a part of a system that is built on the backs of Black people. Chattel slavery sought to reduce our Ancestors to workhorses, mules, and dehumanized beings whose labor could be exploited and whose own bodies … [Read more...]

Black Lives Matter: Good at Raising Awareness — But That Won’t Reduce Police Killings

South Los Angeles this weekend, protests erupted over the LAPD killing of a black man long before there was enough information to say why, exactly, the officer had used lethal force or if he was justified in doing so. About two weeks earlier, the police killing of a black man in Charlotte, N.C., also triggered protests — again before all the relevant details were public. Both of the men who died were armed. It’s not hard to understand why some protesters act before all the facts are in. They … [Read more...]

Californians Split Over Extent of Police Abuse

A new survey commissioned by a consortium of public radio stations including KPCC has found Californians, like much of the nation, are divided by race when it comes to their views of police profiling and excessive use of force. When asked about racial profiling in the U.S., 68 percent of Californians said it is a “huge” or “significant” problem in the U.S. Twenty-five percent of state residents polled said it was a minor problem or not one at all. The survey was conducted by the … [Read more...]

Will Black Lives Ever Matter?

My son left the United States for a job in Japan last week. Even though he’s always had an interest in other cultures, I can’t help but wonder how much the pressure of living in America as a Black man influenced his decision to leave. Today, the stories are so frequent, the headlines so repetitive, the loss of life at the hands of police or others acting under the color of law so steady that we know the next one is as sure to come as Monday will follow Sunday. These things weigh heavily on … [Read more...]

A Powerful Night Out for Safety & Liberation!

Justice Not Jails thanks all attendees and participating organizations for making last Tuesday's Night Out a stirring experience. We learned that despair and fatigue run deep but also that there is a dawning awareness that something is drastically wrong about thinking that heavy-handed law enforcement will deliver safety in communities ravaged by lousy schools, crumbling housing, and sky-high joblessness. We are asking all Night Out Attendees and all Justice Not Jails to take action this week … [Read more...]

Black Activists Don’t Ignore Crime

It has become a standard conservative talking point: Black activists focus on police brutality but ignore violent crime in black neighborhoods. Last month Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News: “If they meant ‘Black Lives Matter,’ they would be doing something about the way in which the vast majority of blacks are killed in America, which is by other blacks.” Claims like Mr. Giuliani’s aren’t just offensive or misplaced — they’re demonstrably wrong. While Black Lives Matter receives deserved … [Read more...]

Two-Thirds of Young Blacks Cite Problems with Police

Two-thirds of young African Americans and 4 in 10 Hispanics say that they or someone they know has experienced violence or harassment at the hands of the police, according to a new GenForward poll, the Associated Press reports. That includes about 2 in 10 in each group who say that was a personal experience, including about 3 in 10 black men who say the same. The poll also shows that young people still desire a police presence in their communities. GenForward is a survey of adults 18 to 30 by … [Read more...]