I can’t handle this level of fuckery. If Jason Berthel, the Indiana cop who designed this shirt, seriously wanted to unite people, he wouldn’t have done so with a shirt that makes a mockery of Eric Garner’s last words. Of course, racist conservatives on Twitter are in love and have offered to buy his entire stock. Disgusting. #staywoke #farfromover

U.S. Dismisses Lawsuit Against Chiquita For Hiring Paramilitary Groups To Kill Colombians

July 25th, 2014

A US appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit against banana grower Chiquita brought by at least 4,000 Colombians who accused the company of supporting paramilitary forces who killed or tortured their relatives.

In the 2-1 decision on Thursday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found a 2013 US Supreme Court ruling limited foreign nationals’ ability to seek damages against corporations in US courts.

Chiquita, the world’s largest banana producer, pleaded guilty in 2007 to making over 100 payments beginning in 1997 to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a right-wing paramilitary group the United States considered a terror organization. Chiquita handed AUC $1.7 million in cash and checks before ending the practice in February 2004.

In 2001, Chiquita was identified in invoices and other documents as the recipient of a shipment from Nicaragua of 3,000 AK-47 assault rifles and 5 million rounds of ammunition. The shipment was actually intended for the AUC.

Banana giant Chiquita has spent around $780,000 in the past year and a half to block a 9/11 victims’ bill in the US Congress. The legislation aims to aid victims and families in their claims against supporters or sponsors of terror attacks.

The bill would attempt to impose civil liabilities on those found to have aided and abetted US-designated terrorist groups overseas.

Now-Attorney General Eric Holder represented the fruit company in the previous lawsuit.


BREAKING: Justice Dept. find that the Ferguson police routinely violated civil rights of black residents. A new Justice Dept. report shows widespread racism and bias among the Ferguson Police Department:

  • “Ferguson, Mo., is a third white, but the crime statistics compiled in the city over the past two years seemed to suggest that only black people were breaking the law. They accounted for 85 percent of traffic stops, 90 percent of tickets and 93 percent of arrests. In cases like jaywalking, which often hinge on police discretion, blacks accounted for 95 percent of all arrests. Those findings reinforce what the city’s black residents have been saying publicly since the shooting in August, that the criminal justice system in Ferguson works differently for blacks and whites.” The New York Times:
  • “Above all, they said, the report serves as vindication. Their protest chants following the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown declared that Ferguson police were racially discriminatory. Now, they noted, DOJ has said they were right.” The Washington Post:
  • “There is an epidemic of racial bias, police violence, and a lack of accountability in our country’s police forces. Thousands have been killed. Millions more have been sucked into the criminal justice system by racially-biased practices — stripped of their rights and unable to gain employment because of discrimination.” Color of Change:
  • “Probe Of Ferguson Police Uncovers Racist Comment About Obama” NPR:

The Washington Post is reporting that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to launch a broad civil rights investigation into the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department. 

Chris Hayes, of MSNBC, indicated the probe will officially be announced Thursday. The investigation will be conducted by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and follow the protocol the department has used to investigate other police departments across the country.

The U.S. Justice Department is already investigating the shooting death of 18-year-old African-American, Michael Brown, by white Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson. Officer Wilson claims he acted in self-defense. This Ferguson Police probe will be a separate and more wide-ranging investigation. 

Looking forward to the further dragging of these racist, tyrannical police departments. Now if only we could get some charges brought against Darren Wilson…

Timeline of Ferguson

At the bequest of those who think we aren’t talking about Ferguson enough, I’m going to try and formulate a rough timeline of what has been happening. I will be citing sources as I go. Maybe a little commentary. Almost definitely actually - I can’t help it. 

August 9: 18-year-old recent high school grad Michael Brown was shot in Ferugson, MO at about noon. He was declared dead in the middle of the street. Brown was with a friend, Dorian Johnson, was with him before and at the time of the shooting. On the same day, a robbery was reported as QuikStop and Brown identified was a potential suspect. [x] 

August 10: Public unrest related to the event picks up. The Ferguson PD announces that Brown was unarmed, and claims he resisted/assaulted the officer. Citizens of Ferguson held a candlelight vigil in honor of Brown. During the vigil, others, considered unrelated, committed lootings and property damage. Citizens claim the rioters were from outside the town. [x] [x]

August 11: The investigation of Michael Brown’s death is turned over to the FBI. A news conference is held in which Brown’s parents speak about his death. The first official protests in Ferguson occur. Police and SWAT teams were brought in and broke up crowds using tear gas. There are reports police also used rubber bullets to disperse crowds resulting in many documented injuries. [x] [x]

August 12: Dorian Johnson, a witness and friend of Brown’s, does an interview with MSNBC. Johnson claims the officer continued to shoot Brown even as he surrendered. Protests and police clashing continues. 

August 13: Photographs surface of police pointing rifles and snipers at protestors, and begin limiting media presence, including arrested two journalists (Wesley Lowry and Ryan Reilly). At least one man is reported to be critically wounded. [x] [x] [x] [x]

August 14: Governor Jay Nixon visits Ferguson and announces that security in the city is being handed over to Captain Ron Johnson and the Highway Patrol. Johnson speaks to and marches with the protestors. President Obama addresses the events in Ferguson. [x] [x] 

August 15: Ferguson police name Darren Wilson as the officer who shot Brown. The police also release video surveillance of the QuikStop which was robbed, identifying the robber as Michael Brown. However, the police also claim that Wilson was not aware of the robbery, and that he approached Brown and Johnson because they were walking in the street. Protests once again become violent as the Ferguson police return. A pastor is reported shot by a rubber bullet leaving a large gash. [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x]

August 16: Governor Nixon announces a state of emergency and begins enforcing a curfew ending in several arrests and more use of tear gas. [x]

August 17:  Attorney General Eric Holder demands another autopsy of Michael Brown’s body. The autopsy determined that Brown had been shot six times, twice in the head (once in the top of the head). [x] 

August 18: Obama dispatches Eric Holder to Ferguson. Michael Brown’s mother demands the arrest of Darren Wilson. The autopsy of Michael Brown is still being analyzed by generally believed to support the story of witnesses, but not of the officer. Photographer Scott Olson is arrested. Another journalist, Robert Klemko, live tweeted his own arrest. SWAT teams attempted to drive through the crowd after a protester reportedly started throwing rocks at the police line. The police fell back into line and the crowd was calmed in part thanks to Malik Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party. Governor Nixon calls in the National Guard. [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x]

At around 8:45-9:00PM (PST or EST? I’m not sure) Tweets poured in claiming the police had once again began using flashbombs and tear gas to disperse the crowds, as well as stun grenades. Some claimed to hear gunshots which the police claimed were not the police. At least one man rushed the police line and was shot. Protesters are seen returning tear gas to police. Journalists were caught in the gas as well. At about 9:45PM police demanded all non-journalists leave the area. [x]

August 19: Citizens of Ferguson begin demanding Attorney Bob McCulloch be taken off Michael Brown’s case because of his history representing Ferguson police. Huffington Post revealed that another member of the Ferguson police force who was fired from the St. Louis police for multiple occasions where he hit a child. Details about the man shot on August 18 is revealed - reports indicate the 23-year-old black man charged at police with a knife and had been behaving erratically prior. [x] [x] [x]

Photographs taken in Ferguson during the protests
PolitiFact on Governor Nixon’s claim he’s been in Ferguson “almost every day”. (Rated Mostly False)
List of live Ferguson Tweeters
PolitiFact on comedian John Oliver’s claim on SWAT raids. (Rated Half True).
Sybrina Fulton’s (mother of Trayvon Martin) open letter to the Brown family

Petitions and Resources: Petition to Require Ferguson Police to Wear Cameras.
White House Petition to Require All Police to Wear Cameras
Feed the Children of Ferguson Fund
Michael Brown Memorial Fund to pay for legal and memorial costs
Ferguson protester support fund
“Leave a Porch Light On” Awareness Event. (This has ended, but some people are still participating).

Updated 7:31PM PST, 8/19

This will be updated and reblogged as more occurs. 

- Mod Dawes Sr. 

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is set to announce Monday that low-level, nonviolent drug offenders with no ties to gangs or large-scale drug organizations will no longer be charged with offenses that impose severe mandatory sentences.

The new Justice Department policy is part of a comprehensive prison reform package that Holder will reveal in a speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco, according to senior department officials. He is also expected to introduce a policy to reduce sentences for elderly, nonviolent inmates and find alternatives to prison for nonviolent criminals.

Justice Department lawyers have worked for months on the proposals, which Holder wants to make the cornerstone of the rest of his tenure.

“A vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities,” Holder plans to say Monday, ­according to excerpts of his ­remarks that were provided to The Washington Post. “However, many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate this problem rather than alleviate it.”

Holder is calling for a change in Justice Department policies to reserve the most severe penalties for drug offenses for serious, high-level or violent drug traffickers. He has directed his 94 U.S. attorneys across the country to develop specific, locally tailored guidelines for determining when federal charges should be filed and when they should not.

“Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no good law enforcement reason,” Holder plans to say. “We cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation.”


The Washington Post, “Holder Seeks to Avert Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Some Low-Level Drug Offenders.”

Cue the moral outrage on the right.

Confirmed: Fast and Furious docs show Obama admin was using the program to promote gun control

It is what was widely suspected by cynical critics of the Federal government such as the writers of this blog, but now we have official confirmation that the Obama administration was using Operation Fast and Furious as an excuse to advocate for stricter gun control measures, even as the program funneled thousands of rifles to Mexican drug cartels. 

from Sharyl Atkisson:

  • ATF’s internal Public Affairs Talking Points show the agency was using Fast and Furious to help justify new gun control regulations–without telling the public that ATF was actually facilitating the delivery of weapons to Mexican drug cartels.
  • The talking points (p. 15) state:

“These cases demonstrate the ongoing trafficking of firearms by Mexican DTO’s and other associated groups operating in Arizona and the need for reporting of multiple sales for certain types of rifles in order to ferret out those intent on providing firearms to these criminal groups.”

The newly released collection of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious also clearly show that this was not a botched operation by “rogue” agents as previously espoused by the Obama administration:

  • While the Department of Justice was still insisting the gunwalking was a renegade operation conducted by rogue agents in Phoenix, the documents make clear ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. knew that weapons were being allowed to flow to Mexican drug cartels.
  • For example, Fast and Furious began in October 2009. Washington D.C. talking points recount (p. 17) that:

“From October 2009 through October 2010, this organization, through the use of numerous straw buyers, purchased approximately 1.25 million dollars in firearms from FFLs [Federal Firearms License’s] in the Phoenix area and trafficked the firearms into Mexico and other locations within the United States.”

  • Another example is an October 12, 2010 funding request to ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. (p. 40) from Phoenix Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell. It stated, in present tense (making clear that ATF was aware, in real time, that the weapons were being transported by ATF suspects to cartels on a continuing basis):

“The firearms are then being trafficked into Mexico using non-factory compartments in various vehicles through various Ports of Entry (POE’s) in Arizona and Texas. Since the ATF case was initiated, agents have identified approximately twenty-seven straw purchasers who have purchased a large amount of AK-47 style rifles and pistols from various FFLs in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and Prescott, Arizona, since September 2009.”

read the rest

You would think that any reporter with even a hint of dignity would be reporting on this story by now, especially with so much overwhelming evidence that the Obama administration’s corruption and law-breaking lead to the death of hundreds of Mexican civilians and at two US Federal agents.  But no; it’s still just Sharyl Atkisson, who had to leave her network to continue reporting on the story, and a handful of bloggers on the right like yours truly.


No Justice, No Peace (1/22/14): Federal Investigators have found insufficient evidence to file civil rights charges against Darren Wilson. Investigations are still open against the City of Ferguson itself and calls are still being made for further investigation into Bob McCulloch. #staywoke #farfromover

Photo: Monday, December 1st, 2014, Atlanta youth activists and students walkout on Eric Holder. (Left to Right: Dean Steed, Aurielle Lucier, Simba, and Bri Carter, Photographer: Tiffany Smith)

A Statement from Atlanta Students and Youth Activists in Solidarity with Ferguson.

On Monday, December 1st, 2014, individuals around the country walked out of their schools and places of work in solidarity with Ferguson and other communities across the country that have been affected and inflicted by police violence. We felt it a necessity to abandon the same oppressive institutions that have chosen, both now and historically, to abandoned us.

We, the students of six institutions inside and outside of Atlanta - Morehouse and Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Kennesaw State University, and Georgia State University — have joined together to answer Ferguson’s call for a national non-violent radical resistance.

We, the students, individuals, and community members, living in Atlanta believe that the time has come to openly call for action and radical change in the way our systems are operating in this country and blatantly disregarding the lives of Black, Brown, Undocumented, Queer, and Trans* bodies. This is not just a problem at the individual level, this problem is systemic in its existence and is continuously and harmfully affecting the safety and livelihoods and safety of a large number of individuals living in the U.S.

As students and youth activists, who are doing this work in the Atlanta area, we condemn the actions of the Atlanta Police Department for the violence that it has inflicted upon the lives of Black, Brown, Undocumented, Queer, and Trans people living in Atlanta. On Tuesday, November 25, in downtown Atlanta, thousands of people gathered in non-violent opposition to the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury’s decision. In response to the protest, the state of Georgia deployed hundreds of officers in riot gear, armed with batons, riot shields, and large rifles. Innocent people engaged in nonviolent protest, were brutalized by the police in the streets, beaten with batons, and nearly forty people were unjustly arrested. Atlanta and it’s surrounding cities are not exempt from police and state violence. The Atlanta, Cobb County, and Union City Police Departments are responsible for the murders of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnson, 19-year-old Ariston Waiters, and 18-year-old Tendai Nhekairo. Black, Brown, Undocumented, Queer, and Trans people living in Atlanta and it’s surrounding cities continue to be brutalized, murdered, unlawfully arrested and targeted by the state. We, the students of Atlanta, regard the actions as of the police against Black and Brown people here, in Ferguson, and across the country as a violation of human rights and believe it is necessary to put an end to police murder and brutality, everywhere!

Stay Updated:


They Think It’s A Game (10.23.14): Even the Department of Justice is calling foul on this whole autopsy leak business. While Darren Wilson will likely remain a free man, I’m confident that Eric Holder will be bringing some sort of charges against the Ferguson PD in the subsequent aftermath. Looking forward to seeing that deep corruption exposed. #staywoke #farfromover

BREAKING: Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General

Eric Holder Jr., the nation’s first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and five and a half years of fights with Republicans in Congress.

Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

*UNREAL* El Chapo’s stash contained powerful rifle from Obama’s ‘Fast & Furious’ program

The same guy who is trying every conceivable method to prevent law-abiding Americans from obtaining simple handguns is the guy who is literally providing powerful, .50 caliber rifles to violent, Mexican outlaws. Yay, Obama!

read the rest