On the 22nd of February, DC Ferguson met at the Congress Heights Metro in Anacostia and marched on the 7th District police station. Protesters were demanding justice for Ralphael Briscoe, who was shot in the back by a police “jump-out” squad back in 2011 without having even been suspected of having committed a crime. The shooting was described by one speaker as being a “drive-by.” As usual, the police involved in this murder have been cleared of all charges and returned to duty. DC Ferguson is demanding that these murderers be punished-and that police jump-out tactics be ended in DC forever.
Video recently emerged of the Ralphael Briscoe shooting and has been cited as proof that police jump-outs exist in DC. At first MPD tried to claim to have discontinued the use of jump-outs 15 years ago, now they try to claim this is only the “vice squad” in the face of flatout proof that jump-out tactics are in use. One speaker asked “if jump-outs don’t exist, how come everyone in DC’s African-American neighborhoods knows exactly what they are?”
Video of march on 7D and speakers in front of 7D
In front of the 7th District headquarters of MPD
Marching up Alabama Ave on the way to 7D
On the 18th of February, Obama began his “countering violent extremism” summit, which is mostly an event to coordinate police efforts to spy on and infiltrate Muslim communities. Outside, both Muslims and DC Ferguson activists called out this event for hypocrisy. The US itself was called out for the drone strikes used for extra-judicial executions throughout the Muslim world. This was compared to the routine and never punished street executions of African-Americans by killer cops, often by jump-outs in DC. Lastly everyone was reminded that the profile of almost every terrorist in the US has been an angry, armed white male. This includes last week’s murder of three Muslims by a terrorist in North Carolina. No doubt Obama’s summit will pay little attention to the ongoing drumbeat of mass murders by angry white men in the US.
Protesters also reminded everyone that police offensives against the Muslim community use the tactics of Coointelpro. The Patriot Act was pointed to as a reminder that what is done today against Muslims legalizes what was done yesterday and will be done tomorrow to African Americans. There has also been a considerable use of the same “sting operation” tactics the FBI uses against Muslims against pro-Earth and animal rights activists. Earlier this year Eric McDavid was released from prison after an appeal court found the testimony of FBI informent “Anna” to not be credible and her tactics to be unacceptable. She went so far as to fake a romantic relationship with Eric while pushing everyone she recruited to take up production and use of IED’s. This same tactic is used every day by the FBI in an effort to railroad as many young Muslim men into prison as possible and is one of the same tactics used in the “war on drugs” by undercover cops.
In short, this “countering violent extremism” is a far bigger threat to Palestinian activsts and mainstream US Muslims than it ever will be to ISIS/Daesh, and a bigger threat to African-American organizers than Daesh ever will be as well. Considering how little striking power both Daesh and al-Qaeda have demonstrated in the US post 9-11, it seems to me this summit is also far more dangerous to antiwar, pro-Earth, and animal rights activists than it ever will be to Daesh.
Selected video highlights of the protest
On the 13th of February, there were Global Divestiment Day actions in over 200 cities just on Turtle Island demanding that institutions divest from fossil fuel corporations. Here in DC, AU students and many others demanded that American University withdraw all of their investments from the fossil fuel industry. One speaker bluntly invoked the sucessful divestment campaign that forced South Africa to dump Apartheid. Another model, not mentioned at the protest would be the campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences that made them too hot for almost all financial institutions to handle.
Organizers of the DC rally for Global Divestment Day included DC Divest, 350 DC, Fossil Free American University, Fossil Free GWU, GU Fossil Free, 350 Montgomery County, 350 Loudoun, and several others.
Video highlights of the rally
On the 7th of February, DC area animal rights activists managed to storm Neiman-Marcus, a notorious fur selling upscale department store. The march made one pass through the store and then back out the door before police could respond. Then everyone went down the block, back up the other side of the street, and over the state line into MD for a rally held in front of Bloomingdales, another retailer known for selling fur.
Protesters condemned ALL of the animal products sold in these stores, but store security and managers know damned well it is the presence of fur on their racks that has made them a target for animal activists for almost two decades.
Video-protesters storm “Neiman-Carcass,” speaker on remembering Walt Rave
The Montgomery County Park Police are shooting deer in Rock Creek park and elsewhere in MD, once again claiming there are “too many” of them in an area dominated by human overpopulation. On the 6th of February area residents outraged by these “culls” showed up at the intersection of Beach Drive and MD rt 410 with banners denouncing the killing. Many of the banners advocated “birth control instead of bullets,” a population control measure sucessfully used in other areas that have decided they have too many deer.
There is still the towering hypocrisy of humans, with about 7 billion people on the planet claiming any jurisdiction over whether or not any other species is overpopulated its native area. Unlike the invasive, non-native vines that are choking the life out of trees in Rock Creek Park, the deer were here before people were. Many studies have found these invasive plants to be the number one threat to the park, above even car traffic. While tax money pays for deer “removal,” removal of invasive plants in Rock Creek Park is limited to unpaid volunteer efforts. Perhaps Park Police and rangers consider shooting deer to be more entertaining that digging up invasive weeds and pulling vines off of trees?
Video of the protest
Dominion has hired ten Calvert County sheriff’s deputies and two armed patrol boats to protect their plans to export fracked gas at Cove Point. The patrol boats were shown to the media during a string of peaceful protests at Dominion’s construction sites. Word at one of the protests was that the ten deputies draw their paychecks from Dominion, not from the Calvert County taxpayers. This implies they also take their orders from Dominion. That in turn makes them mercenaries like Blackwater and not police at all.
Video of armed patrol boats set to “warpigs”