Our terror is delivered to the wretched of the earth with industrial weapons. It is, to us, invisible. We do not stand over the decapitated and eviscerated bodies left behind on city and village streets by our missiles, drones and fighter jets. We do not listen to the wails and shrieks of parents embracing the shattered bodies of their children. We do not see the survivors of air attacks bury their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. We are not conscious of the long night of collective humiliation, repression and powerlessness that characterizes existence in Israel’s occupied territories, Iraq and Afghanistan. We do not see the boiling anger that war and injustice turn into a caldron of hate over time. We are not aware of the very natural lust for revenge against those who carry out or symbolize this oppression. We see only the final pyrotechnics of terror, the shocking moment when the rage erupts into an inchoate fury and the murder of innocents. And, willfully ignorant, we do not understand our own complicity. We self-righteously condemn the killers as subhuman savages who deserve more of the violence that created them. This is a recipe for endless terror.
You practice a false goodness. You make yourself look good, kind. You force yourself to be generous, forgiving. You suppress your jealousies and your angers, turn them against yourself. You show great self-control over them. You must express them, get rid of them, and then find another way to rid yourself of them, but not by repression. For a time, for the present at least, screw repression; act as angrily or vengefully as you wish to.
—  Gertrude Stein, Complete Writings

From Bryan Pfeifer:

Today is the 8th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina; there are still tens of thousands of mostly Black people displaced across the U.S., and many poor people in New Orleans are still suffering in the wake of Katrina — and because of U.S. government, banking and corporate racist indifference and neglect.

We’re also on the eve of a possibly historical low-wage worker strike. At the same time, the Pentagon, the White House and their Wall Street bosses are on the verge of bombing and invading Syria in an attempt to steal that nation’s and the regions resources and for geopolitical control.


Historically, the police force has been the breeding ground for racist white men looking for a socially sanctioned arena for inflicting violence against black people. This is not a side effect of a flawed institution; it is a necessary weapon for maintaining an exploitable race-caste in an capitalist economy built upon the accumulated capital generated by slavery and colonial genocide.

While an organized body of violence is permanently entrenched in the structure of this increasingly fascist government, racist attack is not limited to these state sponsored thugs. The black community has been the target of racist white opinion, white supremacist hate groups, and brutal state repression. All of these violent dynamics contribute to maintaining white socio-economic hegemony.

Where tensions have risen and black communities demonstrate the strength of their solidarity against racist repression, the state has been forced to relinquish and dissolve exclusionary and repressive methods under the pretense that we live in a democratic society. Most notably, the abolition of Jim-Crow segregation and the establishment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 represent a serious reduction and limitation of institutional racism.

Following this action, federal involvement in southern communities introduced a powerful mediating body capable of checking local police forces.

Today, in Ferguson, we see the association of black citizen rights evoked alongside federal intervention in the St. Louis Police force due to the extreme brutalizing tactics deployed by the police following the police lynching of Mike Brown.

Racist White Citizens and Bloodthirsty Police are mobilizing around the right to murder black citizens without consequence which has been a long standing trend with a strong legal precedent excusing cops who commit murder.

Where the racism is similar in some ways, several things are different, as the police have gained access to new weapon technology and the media has become more sophisticated in its structuring of political perception.

  • The media attention around this incident and many others like it, focuses around the conduct of community protests and reactions to these racist attacks while refusing to acknowledge that the right to assemble is increasingly restricted, denied, and at all times subjected to the presence of a highly militarized modern police force.
  • The communities mobilizing peaceful resistance are characterized as silent martyrs overshadowed by the few people involved in looting or resistance to the increased police presence.The media suggests that justice would be had were it not for these few. The dangerous implication here is that destruction of for-profit private property is more significant than the murder of black people. To take it a step further, those who challenge the oppressive economic conditions are deserving of extreme violence if we follow this line of reactionary thought to its logical conclusion.

These dynamics all have a number of consequences in the growing political movement against racist police violence. With St. Louis police under the supervision of the FBI during a latent investigation of the murder, we can expect more efficient and restrained tactics for dispersing protesters. This will likely involve strategic arrests and collusion with media journalists (if they are receptive to collaborating) as they are good points of contact for securing information on “volatile” protesters.

Aside from on the ground tactics, the spontaneous reactions by the community are united around the demand to Jail Killer Cops and end police violence against black people. These are very modest, but perhaps too limited in scope. If these are the demands to be sanctioned by the federal forces, protesters with demands and criticism outside of this investigation can expect to face repression. 

The call made by Lewis for martial law to be called in collusion with the federal forces to protect protesters seems to be a bit naive given the circumstances and the aim of such a “protected” movement would no doubt be narrowly enforced.

The telling circumstance in all of this is the fact that ONLY the ST. Louis Police department is being investigated. This matter is being restricted to a localized concern in a southern neighborhood with a defined and apparent racial divide. However, this is a nationally systemic trend that is observed in even the most ostensibly liberal neighborhoods.

This is not to say that a better demand is to call on the FBI to suspend police enforcement nationally for such an investigation (although this itself is an absurd color-blind fantasy).  

Moving forward, we should be standing for and supporting a movement to Abolish the Racist Prison industrial Complex because these issues are systemic and the racist disparities in police enforcement are necessary for the growth and maintenance of prisons as we know them in a fascist country that has created the largest population of prisoners on Earth.

If you go to see ‘Catching Fire’ this weekend, don’t miss the opportunity to remind everyone that the Capitol cut food stamps for the hungry while giving corporate welfare to the rich, that the police ruthlessly suppress all dissent against the Capitol, and that the ‘Hunger Games’ is actually based on our current situation.
—  Via US Uncut

London’s biggest university bans student protests
December 9, 2013

The University of London - a body representing London universities including University College London, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Birkbeck and the London School of Economics - has banned protests on its campus for the next six months.

Students who hold sit-in protests in an area in Holborn, central London, including the Senate House, the student union building, and the buildings of SOAS and Birkbeck, can be imprisoned.

The president of the University of London student union, Michael Chessum, told Channel 4 News it was a “draconian” reaction and “a sign that the university had lost the argument”.

The court order obtained on the 4 December by the University of London bans “occupational protest” in the area for the next six months. Anyone breaching the order can be charged with contempt of court.

Chris Cobb, Chief Operating Officer at the University of London said: “This is a regrettable but necessary step that we have taken in order to prevent the type of violent and intimidating behaviour that we have seen by protesters at Senate House recently.”

Protest ‘ended in violence’

The University of London obtained the court order just after a sit-in protest at the student union on the 4 and 5 December. It was ended by police in violent scenes which resulted in 41 arrests. So far one protester has been charged with common assault, and the remaining 40, including three members of the union leadership, have been released on bail pending further investigations.

The protest had a series of demands calling for the university to pay sick pay to cleaners and asking the university to take a stand on the “marketisation” of higher education. It was supported but not organised by the student union.

The Metropolitan Police said that three police officers suffered minor injuries in the events that unfurled on the 4 December. The Met described what happened that evening this way: “The officers became aware of a large group, of up to 300 people, gathered and making their way along Malet Street. Some had their faces covered, others carrying home made shields. Smoke bombs and other unknown objects were thrown at police.”

Mr Chessum said that police behaviour in dispersing the protest was “at a level of violence beyond anything I’d ever seen before.”

Mr Chessum described the behaviour of some officers and security guards as “like a pub brawl”. He said: “I’ve seen people having their teeth punched out. The police were not turning up with horses and batons they were just swinging punches.”

An official statement from the student union reported violent scenes: “Initial reports indicate that protesters were assaulted by both police and security: thrown to the ground, kicked and punched, and dragged to the ground by their hair. When supporters gathered outside to show support for the occupation, they were beaten back and assaulted.”

Mr Chessum said that the union were also looking into the role that university security staff and administrators played in ending the protest. The union were compiling evidence with a view to making complaints he said.

The police said they have received no complaints regarding the behaviour of officers from anyone involved in this week’s protests and so are not investigating anything. But they have added that they will review what happened.

"As with all large public order incidents, a range of material will now be subject to review in order to establish the full facts," a statement said.


New York City: 6 CUNY Students Violently Arrested Protesting Ex-General David Petraeus

Six students were arrested Tuesday evening in an unprovoked police attack against a peaceful protest lead by City University of New York (CUNY) students and faculty decrying the University’s appointment of former CIA chief and ex-General, David Petraeus as an adjunct professor to the Honors College. Students were punched, pushed against parked vehicles and thrown to the pavement by police captains and officers after the NYPD forced them off the sidewalk and into the street. Tuesday’s demonstration was called for by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY.

“As students were chanting ‘War Criminal Petraeus Out of CUNY Now,’ I was shocked to see several police officers grab and brutalize one of the demonstrators,” said City College student Yexenia Vanegas. “This was completely unprovoked, as demonstrators made [it] clear that they were there to defend our university in a peaceful protest.”The arrested students were arraigned Wednesday evening, September 18, at the Manhattan Criminal Court located at 100 Centre Street. The courtroom was flooded with supporters ranging from activists, to fellow students, to CUNY faculty outraged at the NYPD’s response to their student’s attempts to peaceably assemble.

The attack occurred in front of CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, where Petraeus has been appointed to teach a class on public policy. “Protestors were marching in a circle on the sidewalk and chanting, but the police forced them into the street and then charged. One of the most brutal things I saw was that five police officers slammed a Queens College student face down to the pavement across the street from Macaulay, put their knees on his back and he was then repeatedly kneed in the back,” said Hunter student Michael Brian. “The student was one of those pointed out by ‘white shirt’ officers, then seized and brutalized. A Latina student was heaved through the air and slammed to the ground.”

(the following video depicts the NYPD confrontation beginning at 1:56)

A broad range of CUNY students, faculty and staff members, have been carrying out a campaign of “protest and exposure” against the Board of Trustees’ appointment of Petraeus, whose documented actions as Iraq/Afghanistan war commander and CIA chief include drone strikes on civilians, the use of “enhanced interrogation” centers and the use of white phosphorus weapons in Fallujah, despite international restrictions on their use.

CUNY organizers state that this “blatant use of police brutality against peaceful protestors will not intimidate or deter those who expose the truth about the actions of David ‘Death Squad’ Petraeus and oppose attempts to turn the City University into ‘a war college.’”