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Facebook shuts down far-right group planning to bring weapons to protests –

Posted By on June 3, 2020

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Facebook shuts down far-right group planning to bring weapons to protests -

ADL Says Anarchists, Nonideological People Are Behind the Violence at the George Floyd Demonstrations – Jewish Journal

Posted By on June 3, 2020

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Center on Extremism Associate Director Joanna Mendelson said extremist groups are participating in the protests over the death of George Floyd.

Mendelson told the Journal that although most of the protests around the country have been peaceful, there are some extremists attempting to take advantage of the situation to further their agenda. We are seeing a host of extremists rhetorically try to insert their violent agenda into this national crisis, she said.

Mendelson cited the neo-Nazi group Nationalist Social Club, whose members were handing out stickers during demonstrations in Boston over the weekend. An individual also allegedly shouted Heil Hitler! during a peaceful protest on May 29 in Denver.

According to a June 1 ADL report, right-wing anti-government groups, militias and antifa (anti-fascist) groups also have participated in protests. However, Mendelson said the ADL hasnt seen antifa behind any of the recent violence.

She noted the ADL has documented some instances of anarchists perpetuating the violence. [Anarchists] view it as a chance to destroy what they perceive as this corrupt system, Mendelson said. So, theyre not motivated by the cause [of police brutality] and much more interested in wanton destruction of society.

We are seeing a host of extremists rhetorically try to insert their violent agenda into this national crisis. Joanna Mendelson

Other instances of violence during the protests have not been ideological, Mendelson said. There are some who are interested in the thrills of the confrontation. Theyre not necessarily ideologically oriented.

She added, Were closely monitoring the rhetoric and are concerned for extremist groups to also fully embrace and engage [in the protests].

These protests emerged out of an expression of despair and anger about the perceived systemic racism and inequality, and unfortunately the violence that is devolving in protests around the nation are distracting from the clarion call for change.

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ADL Says Anarchists, Nonideological People Are Behind the Violence at the George Floyd Demonstrations - Jewish Journal

15 Classroom Resources for Discussing Racism, Policing, and Protest – Education Week

Posted By on June 3, 2020

By Sarah Schwartz and Madeline Will

As nationwide protests against police brutality continue, teachers in their virtual classrooms areonce again searching for ways to help their students process the killings of black people in police custody in the United States.

Speaking with Education Week on Monday, teachers said that they and their colleagues have a responsibility to address these protests, which erupted when George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

"Teachers cannot be silent during this time," said Patrick Harris, a 6th and 7th grade English and social studies teacher at the Detroit Achievement Academy. "Teachers have to take a stand. Students are absorbing this, [and] they're going to ask themselves later on in life or even now, 'What was my teacher doing during this time?'"

Talking with students about these events, as they experience them, is top priority right now, saidAbdul Wright, who teaches 8th grade language arts in North Minneapolis."I have to find a way to make meaning of this in a way that creates a better society for them," he said.

Some teachers whose classes have already ended for the school year are reaching back out to students, particularly their black students, giving them space to talk about their emotions and ask questions.

Other teachers in schools still in session are seeking materials and resources to teach about this moment,such aslesson plans that engage students in conversations about racism, policing, and protest.

On Monday, Chicago Public Schools released "Say Their Names," a collection of lessons and materials designed "to help foster productive conversations about race and civil disobedience."

The toolkit linksto other organizations' resources on supporting black students' mental and emotional health, discussing the Black Lives Matter movement, and talking about anti-black racism with non-black students. And it encourages teachers to educate themselves on racism in the U.S. before broaching these topics with students.

In California, theLos Angeles Unified School District posted a collection of resources for teachers,fortalking about race with children and addressing trauma. The superintendent of education in the state, Tony Thurmond, said the California Department of Educationwill also be releasing online materials and trainings.

For teachers looking for more classroom resourcesfor themselves and their studentsEducation Week has compiledthe following list:

PBS NewsHour Extra released a lesson plan for grades 6-12 about the death of George Floyd. The plan includes a news video (that omits the footage of Floyd's death) and discussion questions about the protests, police brutality, and media literacy.

The New York Times' Learning Network shared an article about the protests, along with discussion questions, and opened comments for students to share their opinion.

The Anti-Defamation League has created a short lesson on Floyd's death and police killings of black people, which includes a reading, discussion questions, and action steps for students aged 11 and up.

Black Lives Matter at School, a national coalition, created an anti-racist curriculum guide with English/language arts, math, social studies, and arts materials. The guide has lessons for early childhood through high school students that align with the principles of the Black Lives Matter movement.

D.C. Area Educators For Social Justice, an initiative of Teaching for Change, has a collection of lessons, videos, readings, books, and general teaching guides for students in early childhood through high school.

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture launched an online portal called Talking About Race that's designed to help steer conversations about racism, racial identity, and the way these forces shape every aspect of society.

The Pulitzer Center partnered with the New York Times to turn the 1619 Project, a collection of essays and literary works observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery, into a curriculum for teachers of all grade levels. The curriculum includes reading guides, activities, and other resources about the history of race in America.

In addition to addressing race and racism in lesson plans, experts and advocates have urged teachers to build a diverse classroom library with protagonists who look like their students.

The group Embrace Race compiled a list of 31 children's books that address race, racism, and activism. And the nonprofit Teaching for Change put together a list of social justice books for teens.

Joe Truss, the principal of Visitacion Middle School in San Francisco Unified and a consultant on racial equity in schools, has curated a list of books for teachers who want to engage in anti-racist work.

Starting these classroom conversations can be uncomfortable and challenging. But for black teachers, talking about police brutality and anti-black racism can be particularly emotionally draining. The Practice Freedom Project, founded by Atlanta educator Tamara Pearson, is hosting virtual meditations and reflections for black educators.

Image:Hundreds of people gather in downtown Benton Harbor, Mich., on May 31 during a peaceful protest march held concerning police brutality and the death of black men, including George Floyd. Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP

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15 Classroom Resources for Discussing Racism, Policing, and Protest - Education Week

Here’s why some of the armed counterprotesters at the Alamo wore Hawaiian shirts – mySA

Posted By on June 3, 2020

Military-style groups brandished firearms to protect the Cenotaph in front of the Alamo.

Military-style groups brandished firearms to protect the Cenotaph in front of the Alamo.

Military-style groups brandished firearms to protect the Cenotaph in front of the Alamo.

Military-style groups brandished firearms to protect the Cenotaph in front of the Alamo.

Here's why some of the armed counterprotesters at the Alamo wore Hawaiian shirts

On Saturday, protestors marching in memory of George Floyd faced off with counterprotesters armed with assault-style rifles and sporting tactical gear.

Some of the armed group wore baseball caps or cowboys hats. Others wore something more unusual: Hawaiian shirts.

The men wearing the shirts Saturday were among those organized by groups like Texas Freedom Force, which urged its members to "defend the Alamo & Cenotaph if the need arises."

READ ALSO: Police investigating after graffiti was found on Alamo Cenotaph

The day before, anti-white supremacy slogans had been sprayed on the white-marble Cenotaph. Police formed a barrier between the armed protesters and the Floyd marchers.

Why were some of the armed group wearing Hawaiian shirts? The sartorial choice is the signature look for the "boogaloo" anti-government movement.Such shirts and leis became commonplace in crowds protesting COVID-19 lockdown orders.

The loose movement uses the name of a 1984 movie, "Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo," as a code word for a second civil war, the Associated Press reports. Another derivation of "boogaloo" is "big laua" hence the Hawaiian garb.

"Whereas the militia movement, radical gun rights activists typically promote the boogaloo as a war against the government or liberals, white supremacists conceive of the boogaloo as a race war or a white revolution," according to The Anti-Defamation League.

While some boogaloo followers maintain they arent genuinely advocating for violence, law-enforcement officials say they have foiled bombing and shooting plots by people who have connections to the movement or at least used its terminology.

A 36-year-old Arkansas man whose Facebook page included boogaloo references was arrested on April 11 by police in Texarkana, Texas, on a charge he threatened to ambush and kill a police officer on a Facebook Live video.

I feel like hunting the hunters, Aaron Swenson wrote on Facebook under an alias, police say.

Mark Dunphy is a breakingnews and general assignment reporter for ||@m_b_dunphy

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Here's why some of the armed counterprotesters at the Alamo wore Hawaiian shirts - mySA

Dating Apps Address Racism On and Off the Platforms – Adweek

Posted By on June 3, 2020

Letter to the editor: Maine must acknowledge racist history, present – Press Herald

Posted By on June 3, 2020

Maines history and present are built on racism. It is urgent to articulate this as the Black Lives Matter uprising happens across this country. Maine needs to validate and enact protesters calls for action. We are culpable.

Discussions of race between White Mainers, if they happen, follow a similar pattern. A mention that our history is less entangled with the obvious sins of racism like slavery and Jim Crow. We say there are few Black people in Maine. The Maine Freedom Trail in Portland is mentioned to alleviate guilt. No questions about why there are few Black people in Maine. Indigenous people arent acknowledged.

Maine exists because of the forceful removal of Indigenous people from Maine. Until the 1970s, White people violently removed Indigenous children from their homes and placed them into boarding schools to solve the Indian problem.

Mainers sold slaves into the mid-1800s. The Ku Klux Klan was a force in Maine politics in the 1920s. Their preferred candidate for governor, Ralph Owen Brewster, tacitly sought their support and won election in the 1920s.

The Klan had an estimated 40,000 members in Maine in the 1920s. Rallies were held at Rumford in 1987. The Anti-Defamation League says the Klan is currently active. Slave patrols in the South created our modern criminal justice system. Keeping Black citizens from Maine was and is an active choice.

History is not static: It actively informs the present. Ending White supremacy, heeding protesters call to action, urgently depends on acknowledging our history.

Tyler Kalahar




Letter to the editor: Maine must acknowledge racist history, present - Press Herald

State bill would provide training to better identify hate crimes J. – The Jewish News of Northern California

Posted By on June 3, 2020

David Chius personal background made him an ideal partner for a hate crimes-related bill authored by fellow Assembly member Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino), vice chair of the California Jewish Legislative Caucus. Chiu, a Democrat from San Francisco, describes it this way: I was raised by a Protestant mother and Buddhist father, and schooled by high school priests and four Jewish college roommates.

It is his diverse upbringing, coupled with the recent rise in hate crimes against the Jewish community and his own Asian-Pacific Islander community, that led Chiu to co-introduce the proposed legislation with Gabriel and two others.

Chiu said he and Gabriel talk frequently about issues that impact our respective communities. Hate crimes are, unfortunately, high on that list.

If signed into law, AB 2236 will provide comprehensive training to law enforcement officers about hate crime trends, enforcement practices and identifying and tracking such crimes more effectively. Officers will be required to enroll in a refresher course every five years. The bill has the support of numerous Jewish organizations, as well as a diverse coalition that includes members of the Asian-Pacific Islander, LGBTQ, Sikh, Hindu, womens rights and disability rights communities.

Gabriel, who serves as assistant majority whip, introduced the bill as follow-up to AB 1548, which was signed into law in 2019 and established the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program. The program recently awarded $15 million in a second round of funding to protect houses of worship, schools, community centers and other vulnerable institutions across the state that are at risk for hate-motivated violence. Gabriel notes that with 500 applicants, the demand far exceeded the funding.

AB 2236 is a different approach, but getting to the same concern, which is hate-motivated violence, he said.

The bill is also in response to a 2018 state audit finding that law enforcement agencies routinely failed to report and respond to hate crimes, or improperly classified them, making them impossible to prosecute.

What were doing is based on a recommendation by the state auditor to improve the response of what is probably significant underreporting of hate, Gabriel said. The Department of Justice estimates that hates crimes are between 24 and 28 percent more frequent than reported.

Chiu, a civil rights attorney and former prosecutor, added, We have to educate police officers about what is convictable and prosecutable. It is more important than ever to pass this bill to make sure hate crimes dont go unreported.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 2,107 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in 2019, a 12 percent increase from 2018 and the highest number of incidents since the ADL began collecting data in 1979. California had the third-highest number of incidents with 330 behind New York (430) and New Jersey (345). Recent recorded incidents in the Bay Area include online death threats in Concord; swastikas, racist and homophobic graffiti on the Peninsula; and, in Marin County, posters claiming that Jews masterminded the 9/11 attacks.

For Jewish Assembly member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), the Concord case hit home. Ross Farca, the 24-year-old accused of making the threats, is facing felony counts in Contra Costa County on weapons charges and making criminal threats. Bauer Kahan, a Bay Area native and a co-author of AB 2236, began receiving calls at her office after the suspect was released on bail in June 2019.

When we see incidents like that, permission has been given to speak in hateful ways, she told J. The ADL did a presentation to the Jewish caucus where they spoke about the lack of data and reporting. We need that information to know whats going on. Its critical for law enforcement to know what they are seeing.

All three legislators interviewed are disturbed by the rise of hate crimes in recent years and laid responsibility at the feet of the current presidential administration.

It was a scary and eye-opening moment in the [Jewish] caucus to see what happened in Charlottesville [in 2017], with people chanting, Jews will not replace us and people in positions of power failing to condemn it, Gabriel said. Two years later, the Chabad of Poway shooting crystallized for my legislative colleagues how real it is for folks in the community.

And with Covid-19, some marginalized communities are feeling more vulnerable. Noting that the staggering unemployment due to the pandemic has created fertile ground for increased hate, Gabriel noted that as history has taught us, hate and bigotry increase in times of economic uncertainty.

Referring to Jewish values that demand standing up against hate for everyone, Bauer-Kahan mentioned participating in a recent forum with Chiu to highlight the experiences of the Asian-Pacific Islander community, including references to coronavirus as the Chinese virus.

Citing 1,700 hate incidents against his community in just six weeks, Chiu said, As far along as we think we have come, more work needs to happen.

Adds Gabriel, We would love nothing more than to wake up tomorrow and live in a different world, but until then, our caucus and our community will continue to work on this in the coming years, because a fundamental aspect of government is to protect our communities.

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State bill would provide training to better identify hate crimes J. - The Jewish News of Northern California

PERSPECTIVE: Why Branding Antifa a Terror Group Is a Diversion – HSToday

Posted By on June 3, 2020

In the wake of protests against police brutality sweeping the nation, the name Antifa abounds online as the political rights bogeyman, blamed even by U.S. President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr as the group upon which to pin all of the blame without acknowledging the very real grievances of the African-American community.[1] Before discussing what Antifa is not, it is worthwhile to discuss what the movement is, how they define themselves, and how they have been described by scholars of militant groups. Researchers define Antifa as afar-left militant and anarchist movement. They have also been referred to as left-wing extremists. Their name dates back to 1946, to describe Germans opposed to Nazism.[2] There is no doubt that they engage in violent behavior, almost exclusively aimed at far-right demonstrators, such as those at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. However, the movement also protests far-right speakers at universities and disrupts parades that celebrate far-right causes. [3] Antifa has been compared to both activists and vigilantes, and it ascribes to an ideology aimed at resisting forces of hate and oppression and the institutions that enable them.[4]

This last statement concerning Antifas opposition to what far-right extremists stand for may have been why the son of Minnesotas attorney general tweeted that he believes white power terrorists are actually the ones engaging in the looting, arson and other riot activities as violent sects hijack some of the protests against racial inequality and police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day.

I hereby declare, officially, my support for ANTIFA, Jeremiah Ellison tweeted. Unless someone can prove to me ANTIFA is behind the burning of black and immigrant owned businesses in my ward, Ill keep focusing on stopping the white power terrorist THE ARE ACTUALLY ATTACKING US!

While Ellison was expressing his sarcastic anger, Antifa, which has no official membership and no mechanism for joining, labels itself antifascist, and is aligned with other anarchist movements that aim to destroy existing governance in order to build something better, purer, and more equitable. Although they are not affiliated with more mainstream left-wing activists, their views often coincide with those who stand for civil rights and against income inequality. They admit that they engage in violence, but argue that such violence against bigoted, homophobic, transphobic, and xenophobic forces is by definition self-defense, given that all of Antifas violence is intended to defend the oppressed. This line of logic defending violence as defensive in nature is, however, much like the narrative of actual terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda who urge defensive jihad and acts of violence against the West, claiming that the West is attacking Muslims, Islamic lands and Islam itself.

Anarchists often rally against capitalism and against government structures, such as the police, as the anarchists work to destroy a system that they believe needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up. Protests against police brutality unite Antifa with groups like Black Lives Matter in a shared cause, albeit not a shared method.[5] Antifas methods of violent counter-protest include physical confrontations with far-right demonstrators as well as the police, as well as throwing objects intended to destroy property or injure their opponents. Online, they engage in an action known as doxxing, which involves exposing far-right extremists identities and social media accounts, leading to public shaming and aimed at their targets losing their jobs or social standing.[6] Despite Antifas ideological overlaps with mainstream left-wing movements such as the Occupy movement and Black Lives Matter, Antifa is not widely accepted by left-wing activists or by the Democratic Party. Despite some Republicans claiming that Antifa is supported by Democrats, the Democratic Party has in fact denounced their actions and called for those who engage in violence to be arrested.

According to the Anti-Defamation League [ADL], Antifa reject racism but use unacceptable tactics. However, the ADL points out that there is no equivalency between Antifa and those against whom they protest, stating, White supremacists use even more extreme violence to spread their ideologies of hate, to intimidate ethnic minorities, and undermine democratic norms [] They have murdered hundreds of people in [the United States] over the last ten years alone. To date, there have not been any known antifa-related murders.[7] Thus, Antifa is a violent movement aligned with anarchists that also adheres to mainstream left-wing ideologies but acts on behalf of those ideologies in a manner most outside the group see as extreme and broadly unacceptable.

Antifa is not, however, a terrorist group. At the most basic level, it is not even an organized group but rather a set of ideas and behaviors coalescing into a social movement. In addition to lacking any membership lists, they have no organizational structure or designated leader, nor does it have an official headquarters like the Aryan Nations compounds in Idaho and Oklahoma[8] or the Knights of the Ku Klux Klans headquarters in Arkansas.[9] While some far-left groups may consider themselves to be part of the Antifa movement, there is also no formal structure that links these groups to each other or to other individuals who participate in violent counter-protests.

Likewise, Antifa has no financing mechanisms. Terrorist groups require financing to plan attacks, buy weapons, and pay soldiers, and they raise this money by engaging in different types of illegal trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, oil sales, as well as donations from supporters, and all of these are generally targeted when a group is formally designated a terrorist group by government bodies such as the U.S. State Department.[10] In contrast, an online fundraiser for The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund, linked to Antifa, stated that donations would be used for medical bills, legal fees, replacing damaged or stolen property, and other emergency support to anti-fascists anywhere in the world, whenever they find themselves in a difficult situation as a result of their stand against hate. At the time of this writing, the fundraisers organizers boasted donating over $75,000 to over 400 anti-fascists and anti-racists in 18 countries.[11] This is a far cry from the billions of dollars ISIS made through its criminal enterprises and oil sales, including to the Assad regime.[12] It also stands in stark contrast to far-right terrorist groups, which raise funds through robberies, money laundering, and illegal trafficking.[13]

Antifa, therefore, does not meet the generally accepted criteria for classification as a terrorist group, not that it could be classified as such even if it did. President Trump tweeted over the weekend that he would be declaring them a domestic terrorist group, however, as is often the case with the current presidents tweets being inaccurate, the president has no such power. It is the U.S. State Department that designates individuals and groups as terrorists. Antifa, with regard to its actions at protests and demonstrations, exists entirely within the United States, and there is also currently no framework for classifying domestic groups or individuals as terrorists, despite pushes to develop one in order to more effectively investigate and prosecute far-right terrorists.[14] Indeed, law enforcement professionals agree that far-right groups are a far greater threat than Antifa and would be the most frequent targets of domestic terrorism charges.[15]

The presidents tweet was, of course, in specific reference to the protests against police brutality directly triggered by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor but also attempting to address systemic racism within U.S. institutions and the repeated and not well addressed killing of unarmed Black people, mostly men, by law enforcement. The president, Attorney General Barr and others have claimed that the protests are led and the violence in them is incited by Antifa, which completely disregards and delegitimizes the widespread anger felt among Black communities and their supporters over very real grievances for Black communities in the U.S.[16]

Likewise, the protests have given rise to people all over the world asking about the legitimacy of U.S. policing.

And even for Iran to denounce U.S. and glorify victims of police violence in the U.S. making room for disinformation campaigns to divide Americans even further:

The Iranian regime has turned the late #George_Floyd into Saint George, Shiite-style! #Beware_Foreign_Influence

Dr. Reza Parchizadeh (@rezaparchizadeh) June 1, 2020

VIDEO#Irans FM Spockesman @SAMOUSAVI9 addressed a presser in English for 1st time, speaking to the American people:

The world has heard your outcry over the State oppression. The world is standing with you. Stop violence against your people & let them breathe.#GeorgeFloyd

Iran (@Iran) June 1, 2020

It is no secret that Antifa demonstrators have been known to travel across state lines to engage in vandalism, looting and other forms of violence in places where there is civil unrest.[17] This has long been a technique also used by anarchists in Europe, who traversed international borders to bolster and infiltrate rallies occurring elsewhere. For instance, anarchists and anti-fascists traveled to Spain in the late 1930s to fight against fascist dictator Francisco Franco. In Italy and Greece, recent years have seen spikes in anarchist attacks and there is evidence that anarchists from the two countries have coordinated and entered each others countries to assist in the attacks. Indeed, protests in Greece in recent years were regularly infiltrated by protestors streaming in from anarchist groups in France and other countries in Europe. During the 2008 Greek riots, anarchists used the civil unrest to incite violence, loot, and recruit new supporters among the disenchanted youth.[18] Moreover, some of these anarchists also traveled as foreign fighters to join the International Revolutionary Peoples Guerilla Forces [IRPGF], a Marxist-Leninist faction of the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units [YPG], which fought ISIS in Syria, sometimes breaking their domestic national laws to do so.[19] That they would also cross state lines to bolster and infiltrate protests should thus come as no surprise.

The claim that Antifa is responsible for the violent outbreaks in the protests carried out this weekend comes from law enforcement in Minneapolis, New York, Attorney General Barr, President Trump and elsewhere. Law enforcement officials in Minneapolis and New York state that the majority of their arrests are from out of state residents, an unusual statistic for city-wide protests, giving rise to the question of whether outside infiltrators were agitating among the peaceful, which certainly seems to be the case.[20] U.S. federal laws prohibit incitement of violence or travel to carry out violence across state lines as a federal offense[21] and law enforcement authorities were warning this past weekend that they will prosecute infractions. Police have made clear, also, that incitement, looting, and vandalism have not been limited to the far left. There are also anti-government groups and Boogaloos that identify with white supremacist ideology who have taken advantage of the protests as an opportunity to attack law enforcement or, in the case of the latter, incite a second civil war.[22]

In general, extremists of any ideology thrive off of chaos and will take any opportunity to create violence where there is none. However, it is important to acknowledge that most of the peaceful protesters are just that: peaceful protesters. Placing so much attention on Antifa gives right-wing politicians license to dismiss the legitimate grievances of the protesters and gives law enforcement justification to pepper spray, beat, shove, kick and shoot rubber bullets into crowds of otherwise angry but nonviolent citizens. These protesters have publicly condemned looters for opportunistically exploiting the demonstrations as well as heroically tried to prevent them from doing so.[23] A few out of the many such incidents include in Brooklyn, where protesters stood in front of a Target to prevent it from being looted and vandalized.[24] In Washington, D.C., protesters apprehended an inciter who was breaking up paving stones to throw at police. Once apprehended they turned him into the police.

Protesters in DC intercept a saboteur

Benjamin Franklin11/4 (@benFranklin2018) June 1, 2020

Such heroic and noble actions were repeated across the nation.

As looting takes place in Santa Monica on Sunday, a couple of protesters put their lives in danger by standing in front of the REI store to stop the ransacking. More info:

FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) May 31, 2020

It is also noteworthy that at demonstrations where police have joined the protesters, rather than arriving in paramilitary garb, there have been far fewer arrests and acts of violence, indicating that the violent inciters take advantage of the already combative attitudes among the police and protesters.[25] One touching example demonstrating this occurred in Flint, Mich., where Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson removed his riot gear in response to the crowd shouting walk with us, and began to converse and walk among the protesters, joining them in their concerns versus threatening them.

Genesee County Sheriff (Flint, Michigan) Chris Swanson put down his helmet and baton and asked protesters how he could help.

The protesters chanted "walk with us" so the Sheriff joined and walked alongside the protesters in solidarity.


Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) May 31, 2020

These actions all show a clear way to make it more difficult for groups like Antifa to incite because if they are following their ideology that views their violent actions as purely defensive, if it is clear that law enforcement stands in solidarity with, rather than oppresses, the protesters there is less opportunity for them to attack in pure defense. However, given President Trumps announcement and threatening to invoke the Insurrection Act, allowing him to deploy military police on our nations streets, and police deploying tear gas near the White House even during his talk, things may be heading in the other direction.

Among the right and far-right, the Antifa label is used to attack the left and to demonize protesters. While there is no argument that Antifa is violent and its tactics are unacceptable, it is not a terrorist group and cannot be classified as such. Antifa claims to protect the oppressed, and the protests this past weekend are evidence that the oppressed in many cases did need protection from angry and aggressive law enforcement and that the oppressed are angry and determined to be heard. However, when they are heard, that is, when law enforcement is demilitarized and politicians support protesters in peaceful expressions of their grievances, they are for the most part peaceful. However, many daytime peaceful protests have turned violent, particularly once night fell, but it is also clear that among the looters and inciters are many from the far-right.[26] In one video circulating on Twitter, black protesters in fact angrily filmed white young women defacing a store with Black Lives Matter graffiti, narrating their video with complaints that black protesters would later be blamed for it. Likewise, police have repeatedly been filmed charging on peaceful groups, attacking and beating peaceful protesters and journalists alike.

Black Protestor caught 2 White Protestors tagging Starbucks.

gregarious (@gryking) May 31, 2020

What is concerning in this wave of nationwide protests is the continued ignoring of legitimate grievance among the masses going out to protest and the claim by Trump supporters that Antifa is the problem rather than social inequities, police violence and racism that continue to plague America. Likewise, the streets of our nation have featured police outfitted in military gear and using vehicles obtained from the military following 9/11 now being utilized against U.S. citizens, and now military police and National Guard are also on the streets. Likewise, both politicians and police in some cities have declared that journalists have no rights to be at the protests, with police repeatedly violently attacking journalists with clearly displayed press credentials while they were peacefully going about their business. Legal observers have been subject to the same. Thus, the diversion of claiming Antifa is a terrorist group while ignoring the violence carried out by the police in recent days against protesters is deeply disturbing. It also speaks volumes in terms of the erosion of freedom of the press, freedom of speech and the right to assemble in peaceful protests in this country and does very little to reassure anyone that the grievances that first brought the protesters out to the street, which in some cities resulted in violence and looting, will be well addressed in the coming days and months.

The views expressed here are the writers and are not necessarily endorsed by Homeland Security Today, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints in support of securing our homeland. To submit a piece for consideration, email Oureditorial guidelines can be found here.

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PERSPECTIVE: Why Branding Antifa a Terror Group Is a Diversion - HSToday

‘We Will Not Sit Idly By’: Jewish Organizations React to Demonstrations Over George Floyd’s Death – Jewish Journal

Posted By on June 3, 2020

Multiple Jewish organizations have released statements reacting to the demonstrations occurring all over the country and in the Los Angeles area after the death of 46-year-old George Floyd.

Floyd, an African American, was declared dead at a hospital on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyds neck for nearly nine minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on May 29 and charged with third-degree murder.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Los Angeles tweeted on May 30, ADL is heartbroken at the ongoing horror of racism in our country and among elements of police forces. We acknowledge the right to protest peacefully. But destruction is not the answer; community empowerment is.

American Jewish Committee Los Angeles (AJCLA) said in a May 30 Facebook post, As some protesters in Los Angeles today have resorted to violence, vandalism, and destruction of property, we join with Mayor Eric Garcetti in appealing for calm across our city. However justifiable their outrage over the murder of George Floyd earlier this week, there is no justification for lawlessness in LA or anywhere.

In a subsequent May 31 post, AJCLA condemned President Donald Trumps rhetoric, stating, We need our leaders to summon the best in us. President Trump, dividing a country and pouring fuel on the fire are not the ways to go. We need to unite and, yes, honestly confront our shortcomings.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted on May 30 that nobody has the right to use this tragedy to commit acts of violence, looting and theft. This desecrates the memory of #GeorgeFloyd. Looting and burning private property is not a legitimate form of protest, adding, Icons of civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King + other leaders [such] as Caesar Chavez + Americans who gave their lives to the fight for equality, must be crying tonight. We support our elected officials + police in bringing back law + order to the streets of American cities.

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein similarly denounced the violence and looting. Praying for peace and safety for all our community, he tweeted on May 30. Injustice and racism is worth protesting. Violence and looting is wrong and immoral. Those who are looting and burning are terrorizing all of us.

He added in a subsequent tweet that while Shavuot was peaceful, those who observed the holiday in Los Angeles could see the helicopters swirling above the city and knew all was not OK with Los Angeles.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles issued a statement after Shabbat and Shavuot on May 30 stating, Our tradition teaches us that all humans are created in the image of G-d. We mourn the senseless death of George Floyd. Our tradition calls upon all of us to work alongside our neighbors to create a more just world. We stand with the black community and all communities of color.

StandWithUs issued a May 31 statement condemning the killing of Floyd.

The video showing a (now former) police officer kneeling on George Floyds neck while three others stood by and let it happen is disturbing beyond words, the statement read. It illustrates the urgent need for accountability and justice in this and other similar cases.

The pro-Israel education group added, It is clear that the killing of George Floyd, following the shootings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, has once again ripped open deep wounds in America, particularly for the black community.We hope this will become a catalyst for people of all backgrounds to come together and work towards a morejust society that willheal those wounds.

Union for Reform Judaism Senior Vice President Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner also said in a May 30 statement, The national rage expressed about the murder ofMr.Floyd reflects the depth of pain over the injustice that people of color and particularly black men havebeen subjectedto throughout the generations.In recent months we have seen, yet again, too many devastating examples of persistent systemic racism, leading to the deaths not only of Mr. Floyd but of other precious souls, including Breonna Taylor andAhmaudArbery.

Pesner went on to honor other unarmed black men who have died at the hands of law enforcement, including Eric Garner, Walter Scott and Michael Brown.

The list feels endless, and so,too, is our despair, Pesner said.But as we recite the mourners Kaddish for them all, we say now, again:We will not sit idlyby.

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'We Will Not Sit Idly By': Jewish Organizations React to Demonstrations Over George Floyd's Death - Jewish Journal

Underlying Conditions of Presidents Andrew Johnson’s and Donald Trump’s Racism – High Plains Reader

Posted By on June 3, 2020

by Charlie Barber | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Last Word | June 2nd, 2020

#4 of On Tyranny: Take Responsibility for the Face of the World - The symbols of today enable the reality of tomorrow. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away, and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so. - Timothy Snyder

(Abraham Lincoln) would have proven the best friend the South could have had, and saved much of the wrangling and bitterness of feeling brought out by reconstruction under a President (Andrew Johnson) who at first wished to revenge himself upon Southern men of better social standing than himself, but who still sought their recognition, and in a short time conceived the become their Moses to lead them triumphantly out of all their difficulties. - Ulysses S. Grant, Complete Personal Memoirs

The past is always rewritten to serve the needs of the present.... - Sara Paretsky

Anti-Semitism is a virus. It is like a disease, and it persists...Its sometimes known as the oldest hatred. It never seems to go away. There truly is no single antidote or cure. - Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO, Anti-Defamation League

Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. John Stuart Mill

The property which every man has in his own labour, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable. - Adam Smith

Men believe themselves to be free, simply because they are conscious of their actions, and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined. Baruch Spinoza

Long live death! Spanish Falange (Fascist) Slogan

...once people learn to love destruction for its own sake, evil leadership gets its chance. Agatha Christie

Racism is as racism does, whether in Minneapolis, Ferguson, MO, Louisville, KY, Chicago, NYC or Georgia. In this, President Donald Trump never disappoints the legacy of President Andrew Johnson of Tennessee (1865-1869), Nathan Bedford Forrest, founder of the KKK, Governor George Wallace of Alabama, and other notable racists in American history. However, the perennial virus of American bigotry has met, in Covid-19, a contagion that will go down in history as the truth serum virus for how it has exposed our racial inequities in dramatic display.

Moral morons and ethical idiots among my well pensioned, well heeled, white male octogenarian contemporaries are a singular disappointment. These public high school rads are beneficiaries of de facto Affirmative Action policies in the 1950s, inherent in the GI Bill of Rights following World War II and college admission policies of elite universities formerly catering mostly to WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) clientele. No sooner did these guys benefit from policies combatting the hidden injuries of class and religious bias, than many of them pulled up the social and economic ladder for other ambitious ones. They whined as early as the 1960s about statutory Affirmative Action, required to grapple with more visible biases of skin color and gender. Their Amen chorus now features Trump-McConnell-Bill Barr-Republicans. These garden variety ingrates of all ages dismiss the Covid-19 death toll as exaggerations by the media of annual flu rates among folks with underlying conditions, ie. black, brown and red folks.

I needed a break from ignorant, arrogant cynicisms of people who, in the 1960s, had cared more about the brand of (Vietnams Leader) Ho-Chi-Minhs cigarettes (American made Phillip Morris and Salem Filters) than his turning to Communism, after his wish for national self-determination was rejected by yet another racist President, Woodrow Wilson, at the Treaties of Paris in 1919. A friend and I drove west of Mandan last week, past fields and cattle to a bucolic setting beneath the huge New Salem, ND cow on a hill just south of I-94. Not to escape; just to breathe deeply.

While enjoying the view, we met a couple from Louisville, KY, headed east in a camper towards the Twin Cities, via Ft. Ransom, south of Valley City. As their 4 kids scrambled to rocks above, they told of their delight in travelling back roads from Mt. Rushmore, through North Dakotas Big Sky country, to this site, via Mandans Butcher Block. There they stocked up on locally slaughtered meats: a traditional, healthier alternative to flu inducing, chemically questionable, worker killing, packing plants south of us. Their own courageous Governor, Gavin Newsom (D- KY) was simultaneously facing down equality deniers evoking the KKK, while our Governor, Doug Burgum (R-ND), dared to show emotion in facing down science deniers and mask- shaming idiots in his own Party from Bismarck to the White House. But we did not bring that up. They would soon enough pass by the raging, grieving scene of a black man, George Floyd, murdered by white police in Minneapolis on May 25; on their way home to the raging, grieving scene of a black woman, Breonna Taylor, a first responder nurse, wantonly killed by police in her home in Louisville last March 13. We were happy they came to North Dakota, and said so.

Shortly thereafter, a young couple from Illinois pulled in, headed West towards Medora. We told them where they might sight a live buffalo, and I shared some memories of Sweet Home Chicago, where my children and grandchildren are faced with realities and challenges of Covid- 19. Upon wishing these folks a safe journey, I glanced again at 100s of wind turbines twirling north of I-94, belying bunk waiting for me in my mailbox from Republican candidates about how they were going to save the coal and oil industries in our State, and demonstrate adoration of their beloved President Trump. Later that evening I watched the History Channel documentation of our first Equal Rights President, General Ulysses S. Grant. He won the military war that saved American freedom and unity, but lost the political war against racism and corporate greed, because Americans, in the North as well as the South, did not value freedom of others as much as he did. I turned, once again, to my KGB animal friends for answers to the underlying conditions eating away at our democracy over the years, and brought to light by the politics of Covid-19.

High Plains Reader: Dear Friends. Lincoln and Grant fought the virus of racism, but failed. White cops and vigilantes still kill black people in plain sight, North, South, East and West. Woodrow Wilson fought Christianitys racism of anti-Semitism by appointing Jews to the U.S. Supreme Court and other high Federal positions. But he failed, as the anti-Semitic virus mutated in Henry Fords U.S. and Hitlers Europe to monstrous proportions, and is coming back in Trumps America. TR and FDR took on greed of giant corporations, but also failed. We still see the virus of CEO greed and coopted Republican Governors crowding immigrants into unhealthy working conditions, shielded by bodyguards of lies of dark money media, and regulations put in place by cynical Business and Law school graduates from around the country. Why is that?

Putin: Its the aristocracy virus. The slave-owning virus becomes the KKK virus, becomes the Nazi virus, and so on and so forth. That sort of thing is why Lincoln never smiled.

HPR: What?

Rasputin: Lincoln had to choose between the Southern, plantation aristocracy, based on chattel slavery and color, and the Northern Industrial, Robber Baron aristocracy based on wage slavery of people of any color; folks who lacked the color of money; people like Ulysses S. Grant. Lincoln and Grant could save the Union for visions of a country rid of aristocracies of church and bloodlines, but not from aristocracies of the skin and the divine right of money bags.

Mr. Swamp Fox: Southern aristocrats were more desperate. They fired first. Northern industrial aristocrats waited, piling up war profits, while ordinary folks provided cannon fodder for the Union. Fat cats then turned on equal opportunity for blacks in 1876 when their cannon fodder stopped caring about such things. Bolshevik and Fascist mutations of technology and terror in the 20th Century made traditional political viruses that much more lethal.

Schickelgruber: Hitlers hatreds differed from other European Fascisms in style, organization and intensity, but they shared the common political goals of a self-anointed aristocracy based on coercion, fraud and terror. These viral traits he shared with Stalin and Mao, who managed to kill even more people than he did. They had more time, and more availability of victims.

HPR: Oh dear! Surely, even a hint of such carnage could not be wreaked by Trump, even in a second term stolen by fraud and intimidation by a nihilistic West Wing and their allies, could it?

Kim Dog Un: Unfortunately, it could, if electoral results in critical States were tainted in Trumps favor where he clearly was losing in pre-election and exit polling. There also could be violence if your Inciter-in-Chief refuses to accept election results that deny him a second term.

Corporal Kangaroo: Violence is not the point, however. It is better angels in Americans, building on dreams of Founding Fathers in the 18th, Lincoln and Grant in the 19th, Labor, Civil Rights, anti-imperialism, pro-climate/science movements in the 20th and 21st Centuries: bulwarks against incipient aristocracies of greed in each generation, like yearly visitations of the flu. Some mutations of the latter are more lethal than others. Theres never been a cure for small pox, for example. Only the development of a vaccine was effective in its eradication.

Omar Khayyam: It will take strong medicine to combat the Trump-McConnell-Barr, hard right virus; one of the deadliest assaults on American freedom, democracy and rule of law since the days of General and President Grant. As the search for a Covid-19 vaccine proceeds, vaccines of tolerance have been strengthened and widely deployed. One, an energized, forensic free press, is taking on propaganda from the wimp who would dominate, with real time coverage of horrors of race warfare against black citizens in Georgia and Minneapolis, and against brown, aspiring citizens in Stephen Millers ICE concentration camps on our Mexican border; as well as corporate warfare against working communities caught in the snares of their meat packing plants.

Seor Perro: Mass reaction to police murdering civilians in plain sight could force AG Barr to try to make DOJ look like a real Department of Justice, but I doubt it. It will have to be Mayors and Governors, working with cooperative Federal officials in defiance of the White House.

Torquemada: A second vaccine is provided by main line Protestants and many Catholics against crude attempts by political, Bible thumping Trump supporters to endanger the health of worshipers, war against science, and against a womans right to control her own body.

Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: Indifference towards old folks and their staff/helpers, prisoners and their guards by Trump Republicans and their willing gubernatorial executioners is truly appalling. There are likely more badass grandmas in the making as we speak. In addition the vaccines of human decency, common sense humor, and determination at the local level, to have elections that do not threaten the physical or voting health of average citizens.

Chicago Dog: Another promising vaccine, using core ingredients of transparency, ostracism and prosecution, has developed in the wake of unprecedented, nationwide repudiation by other police officers of a murderous warrior culture of fellow cops in Minneapolis. Its overdue, but vital.

HPR: I find it hard to believe that there are as many underlying conditions that threaten the health of the American democracy as those which threaten the physical health of its citizens.

Headless Horseman: Foremost of those underlying conditions is the decapitation of the Executive Branch of the U.S.: Replacing heads of former Presidents, at their worst with a few ounces of common sense; with the head of a narcissistic, incompetent, un-teachable, un- reachable, sociopath like Donald Trump, supported by a puppeteer, Attorney General William Barr, turning rule of law on its head to protect an aristocracy of nihilists, clever solely in ways of destruction. John Wilkes Booth and Osama Bin-Laden could only dream of such results.

Mr. Crying Wolf: Even deadlier, Majority Leader McConnell fashions a Judiciary that is not a conservative, but a hard right (see Bertram Gross, Friendly Fascism) turn to Koch, DeVos, and professionally anti-democratic forces in this country. These guys dont have to be competent in the law; just obedient to their bosses among dark money CEOs and in hard right think tanks.

Chicago Dog: Hard right power freaks, and Bill Barrs ploys wont survive the wit of real lawyers and civil servants, however. One wag just posted a poem from inside the DOJ by a renegade staffer. It got to the House Oversight Committee before it was destroyed by Barrs bloodhounds:

We Are the Hard Right Warriors We are the hard right warriors; Great and Wise; Unlike Conservatives of olden days; We seek to change the laws to suit our ways Of limitless control oer peoples lives.

Some people call us fascists. Maybe so; But if we make that legal, we wont care Whatever folks might think. They wouldnt dare; Without the force to tell us where to go.

Well re-enslave this country; thanks to Mitch And darkest money; phony think tanks too; And Trump, of course, until his sorry rear; Goes down the drain; the country in the ditch; The foolish voters left without a clue Of where their freedom went; Replaced by fear. Benito Bill, The Badass Barracuda

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Underlying Conditions of Presidents Andrew Johnson's and Donald Trump's Racism - High Plains Reader

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