Official Title: N.J. state police seek return of cop killer Joanne Chesimard now in Cuba

Real Title: Hours after U.S. and Cuba attempt to strengthen relations, Police opportunistically seek the black woman they framed as a cop killer and recently put a 2 million dollar bounty on her head

New Jersey state police hope that the U.S. plans to normalize full diplomatic relations with Cuba will help bring about the capture and return of a woman convicted in the slaying of a state trooper more than 40 years ago.

Joanne Chesimard was convicted of murdering Trooper Werner Foerster during a gunfight after being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973. But she escaped from but escaped from prison and eventually ended up in Cuba, where she was granted asylum by Fidel Castro and has been living under the name Assata Shakur.

"We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring her back to the United States to finish her sentence for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973," State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said in a statement posted Wednesday on the agency’s Facebook page.

Look at these fuckin bastards jumpin at the first chance to torment black people and our own for crimes the PD themselves committed on us. Please keep Assata Shakur in your minds and be ready to organize and mobilize should the time come to stand up for this sister who did so much for our community. Opening relations with Cuba should not be an excuse to torment innocent Black women.

Brittany Cooper Ponders “Where Do We Go From Here?”

How is it that 50,000 people showed up to march in the streets of New York City to protest racialized police brutality in the same week that white confidence in the police reached a new record?

What kind of America is this? How are white people so oblivious to black pain and frustration? How are they so lacking in empathy?

I think I have to conclude that they aren’t oblivious. They are no more oblivious to black pain than slave masters were when they ripped families apart. They are no more oblivious than the white families I see on those old lynching postcards, hoisting children on their shoulders, smiling for a better look at the camera.

I know these are extreme examples. But this is my point. We are told to believe that white America has learned the lesson of these past eras. We are told to believe that the majority of the country understands these acts to be unconscionable. We are told that white barbarism is a thing of the past. And yet, what we have seen over the last few months is a case study in 21st century white barbarism. Alongside a procession of lynched black bodies, we have witnessed sham grand jury proceedings that sound exactly like the sham trials that used to precede lynchings. 

And much like our white forebears reassured “outside agitators” that all was well, most of white America moves along thinking not only that all is well, but that this is how things should be. They ignore the way that our current system of mass incarceration is simply a remix of the convict leasing system that grew out of slavery.  They ignore the increasing wealth gap between white families and black families. They are oblivious to all the ways the old playbook has been not discarded but simply updated for a new era…

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The I Can’t Breathe Movement by Dana Lonehill

Being shot and killed by police is nothing new to people with darker skin. Maybe some people think it is because of the recent civil rights movement dubbed I Can’t Breathe, in honor of the many killed by police and justified. Natives, Blacks, and other minority groups alike all know this story. They make up most of the prison system to this day and have never been under represented in anything to do with acts of genocide. Police brutality and militarization of police are something that date back slave days and days of putting Indians on a reservation.

In researching and preparing to write this, I asked many people their opinions or for quotes. I found many. I could and should post them here, but instead in the simplest terms, I will just throw it down like this. This country was founded on brutality and racism, resulting in genocide. This country was never about apple pie and baseball.

And all the muddy, messed up past is not recorded in the history books. Sure they talk about slavery and praise Lincoln for “freeing the slaves” but do the schoolbooks include Lincoln signing the death sentences of 264 Dakota prisoners? Or the mass hanging of 38 of those prisoners in what is now the largets mass execution in America? The history books will tell you what they want you to think, like you will remember or care, but they won’t tell you the truth.

Violence in the form of brutality and death is nothing new in this country. It has been happening for hundred of years, it is the foundation of this country. If we care so much we would be protesting and signing petitions for the way us Natives are depicted in the Declaration of Independence.


The discourse surrounding the announcements that the police officers who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY will not be facing indictments is not something that can be framed as though we are speaking of isolated events.

It also cannot be, as is so often done, from a place of “us” vs. “them.”

Too often Canadians rationalize our issues by saying that, “it’s okay — because we are not America.” Playing identity politics with the crux of our identity being about not being tolerant — just tolerant relative to the U.S. has created an environment wherein complacency is easy and activism and striving for social change is difficult. Because of this, we are having our own dialogue-turned-heated-debates on racism’s place in this country.

Internationally, Canada is known to be a welcoming and accepting nation — Toronto is constantly being referred to as one of the most multicultural cities on the planet. Aside from good PR, we must ask ourselves how many variables are at play here.

These conversations about race relations in Canada are sparking the question: “Do Black communities have similar experiences of racism in Canada?”

The answer is: yes.

Prompted by the no indictment announcements, demonstrations in Toronto and Ottawa have sparked bigger conversations about racism and white privilege by asking white and non-Black people of colour to stand at the side or at the back of the rallies.

Black communities have been vocalizing their frustrations with the consistent trends of police brutality and violence against them. However, some anti-police brutality protests in Canada have been shut down and declared illegal.

Looking at trends not only in the U.S. but in Canada as well, shows us that what we are witnessing is not an isolated incident. As time progresses the recent conversations prompted by Ferguson are becoming even more personal and closer to home; shifting away from relative moral superiority and closer to reality. 

However, discussions of institutional racism and police violence against Black communities are difficult to have in a country that is always touting itself as being ‘multicultural and accepting’. Canadians are always reminded that our country is this way, not just because of a supposed peculiar Canadian mindset, but because we went as far as to adopt ‘multiculturalism’ as an official policy in 1971.

Institutional inequalities are of course, not limited to Black communities. The history of the oppression of Indigenous peoples is ingrained into Canada’s history and identity.

Attempting to control Indigenous status, education and resources by implementing theIndian Act (1876) and later physically removing children for the purpose of isolating and resocializing them in Residential Schools has had numerous residual effects such as persistent poverty, lack of adequate housing, lack of access to quality health care, lack of access to food and safe drinking water and violent relations with law enforcement and the judicial system.

As conversations continue, Canada is slowly coming to the realization that law enforcement have histories of unfriendly relations with Black communities in this country as well. This is caused by not only a systemic divide, but a re-writing of history wherein we view ourselves as the contributors.

In our history classes we learn of Canada being a land that American slaves sought after. However, we don’t learn about early colonial settlements of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, New France (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario) allowing and even encouraging slavery.

Even as recently as the 1990s, a poll by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association found that 83 per cent of Canadians were not aware that slavery had been a practice in pre-Confederation Canada. And, of course, that disparity in power has had lasting effects. 

Economically, studies show that Black people make, on average, less money than white people do in this country. A 2006 Census data suggests that 75 per cent of the Black population in Toronto are first generation, with 22 per cent being second generation and three per cent being third generation.

And, the gaps in wealth between immigrants and settled communities are the largest in big cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal with a wage gap of approximately 26 per cent.

These conditions have created distrust between Black communities and Canada’s institutions — law enforcement being one of them.

In 2010, the family of 25 year old Reyal Jardine-Douglas called the police to get Reyal, who suffered from mental illnesses, admitted to the hospital. After a confrontation with police, Reyal was shot dead. In a statement it was noted that he, “was not exhibiting any violent behaviours at the time.”

Sadly, there have been countless other people of colour fatally shot by Canadian law enforcement while unarmed.

In addition, racial profiling has caused a proposed $125-million class-action lawsuitagainst the Peel Police Department and a $100-million class action lawsuit by the Black Action Defense Committee against the Toronto Police Department for their ongoing discrimination and harassment based on race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, citizenship, ethnic origin and age.

Moreover, since 2000 there has been a 52 per cent increase in Black offenders in Canada’s federal system.

Although standing in solidarity with Ferguson, with the families of victims such as Michael Brown and Eric Garner is imperative, shifting our attention to Canada and having conversations about institutional barriers and the policing of bodies here is important as well. It is necessary because not only is there injustice in this country — but we owe it to those who have been and continue to be affected by it to talk about it and mobilize against it.

The anger and disappointment caused by injustices can be and is productive, but only if we look at bigger systems at play. And, only if we discontinue rationalizing our flawed systems because we see them as “good” relative to other nations.

The events we are witnessing in U.S. and Canada, are not mistakes — they are products of a flawed and faulty policing and judicial system.

#Privilege is when you think something is not a #problem Because it’s not a problem to you personally.

As the ruling class destroy the planet and do their best to drive down the living standards of the people my friends and I have decided to leave the capitalist system behind. And create an ecovillage based on the feminist Novel Herland.

Cleveland Browns' Andrew Hawkins won't apologize for Tamir Rice statement.

"My wearing of the [Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford] T-shirt wasn’t a stance against every police officer or every police department.  My wearing of the T-shirt was a stance against wrong individuals doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason to innocent people."

— Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland Browns wide receiver


Of course the Cleveland Police Department is unhappy about that, but given the fact that Rice’s murderer was deemed unfit to carry a weapon by a neighboring precinct, you’d think CPD would gladly distance themselves from this shooting and side with common sense.

Watch Hawkins’ video.

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