birmingham protesters


Saffiyah Khan, who comes from a Muslim background, said: “I ended up going to the EDL demo because there is a history of harassment and assault of Muslims, vulnerable members of the public, and people of colour at the demos and outside of it.”

She added: “I went with the intent of showing support for anyone who was assaulted or harassed by them.”

the gov moving trump’s “state visit” [how can you call it a state visit without a stay at buckingham palace and an address to parliament] to autumn when the weather’s “colder” to “avoid protests”… in britain… because apparently british people are scared of cold weather… and thus won’t protest… 

On This Day: June 5

World Environment Day

  • 1832: The June Rebellion, an unsuccessful uprising by Republicans begins in Paris in an attempt to overthrow Louis-Philippe.
  • 1868: Socialist James Connolly born in Edinburgh. He was an Irish revolutionary and a key figure in the Easter Rising.
  • 1870: Mikhail Bakunin breaks relations with Sergey Nechayev.
  • 1871: Anarchist Michele Angiolillo born in Foggia, Italy. He was a typographer and a proponent of propaganda of the deed.
  • 1873: Proclamation of the First Spanish Republic. Francisco Pi y Margall assumes Presidency. Advocates Federalist program inspired by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, becoming popular among Spanish anarchists. Andalusia and several cities in the southeast establish a libertarian federalism. Pi y Margall is promptly overthrown by Monarchist forces. The town of Carthagène resists a government takeover for several months.
  • 1878: Pancho Villa born in La Coyotada, Mexico. He was a Mexican Revolutionary general and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution.
  • 1906: Leaders of Cananea copper strike in Sonora, Mexico, arrested.
  • 1915: Denmark amends its constitution to allow women’s suffrage.
  • 1919: 67 anarchists are arrested and face deportation in the wake of a bomb explosion marking the beginning of the Palmer raids in the USA.
  • 1919: Winnipeg General Strike: Winnipeg mayor disallows parades.
  • 1919: Merchants and workers strike in Shanghai in support of students in May the Fourth movement.
  • 1925: Mine owners attack striking workers in nitrate mine encampment in La Coruna, Chile. Over 500 workers tortured in Iquique.
  • 1945: John Carlos born in Harlem. He and Tommie Smith made the Black Power salute while on the medals podium at the 1968 Olympics.
  • 1951: The Japanese Anarchist Federation reconstituted this month. Simultaneously, the anarchist communists set up the Japan Anarchist Club (Nihon Anakisuto Kurabu).
  • 1956: The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) is founded at a mass meeting in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • 1963: Protests against the arrest of Ayatollah Khomeini by the Shah of Iran. In several cities protesters confronted by tanks and paratroopers.
  • 1966: James Meredith begins a solitary March Against Fear from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi. Shortly after starting, he is shot with birdshot and injured. Civil rights leaders and organizations rally and continue the march leading to, on June 16, Stokely Carmichael first using the slogan Black power in a speech. Twenty-five thousand marchers entered the capital.
  • 1966: Mass demonstration in London in support of national seafarers strike.
  • 1967: Israel attacks Egypt and Syria leading to illegal occupation of Sinai Peninsula, West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.
  • 1969: 250 imprisoned US soldiers, arredted for going AWOL during the Vietnam War, riot at stockade in Fort Dix over barbarous conditions and torture.
  • 1998: GM workers strike in Flint, Michigan over fears of job losses. Leads to 7 week strike at plants across US.
  • 2005: Spanish militant trade unionist and anarchist. Pepita Carpeña dies in Marseille.
  • 2013: Anti-fascist activist Clement Meric murdered by fascists in Paris.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place…but your statement fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations.

I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with the effects and does not grapple with the underlying causes.

Martin Luther King Jr.  |   Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963


Can we just STOP with the “Martin Luther King, Jr., Didn’t Riot But He Changed the World” Thing?

First, MLK was relentlessly investigated by law enforcement authorities on suspicion of being a Communist. His supporters were abused and murdered by both civilians and law enforcement over the years. The FBI spent vastly more resources trying to demonstrate that he was causing riots as a paid agent of Soviet Communism than they ever spent investigating the endless murder threats to his life. And, of course, the FBI mounted multiple sting and other investigations to expose and exploit his all too human flaws, particularly his cheating on his wife. His life is hardly a good model of police-citizen relations.

Second, King faced endless, brutal criticism for the peaceful protests he led. Lots and lots of (mostly) white people insisted that now was not the time to protest, that social and political change would best happen at its own pace, over a long period. Heck, has anyone actually read “Letter from Birmingham Jail”? The whole thing is a response to a letter published in the Birmingham paper in which white ministers asked why an “outsider” like King would come to Birmingham to lead protests, leading to his famous response “I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.” There is never a convenient time for protest, or an acceptable way to demand change from majorities that like things the way they are. Martin Luther King may be an American saint now. But he wasn’t when he was alive. Let’s not kid ourselves.

Third, is it now required that we all be Martin Luther King? Is it required that we all have the patience to endure endless harassment and violence in order to be “worthy” to protest? Do remember that King himself had largely abandoned the philosophy of nonviolence at the time of his assassination. For example, he was only in Memphis in April 1968 supporting a direct action strike by sanitation workers in the city, an action LOTS of people would have called violently disruptive to the health of the community. His movement only seems beatific in retrospect, through the lens of the rioting and social chaos that ensued his marginalization in the later 1960s and 1970s.  There are no perfect protestors even when there is much to protest.

I do not think the Martin Luther King, Jr., you remember is the Martin Luther King, Jr., who actually lived. 

Me at the Birmingham anti austerity protest last week!!! Thousands showed up to protest against the Conservative party whom have more or less illustrated that they are completely unfit to not only rule the country but ever return to power, as they stifle the situation for the British working class daily. The right wing in Britain has continued to scapegoat refugees and as a first generation refugee, it was nice to see so many protest against the racist scapegoating of migrants!