police abuse

8

Ruth Hopkins updates on the illegal evictions at Standing Rock

[TWEET #1: Helicopters, humvees, assault rifles, being used by police against women and elders on U.S. soil. #NoDAPL

TWEET #2: Armed searches, camp is being swept. This is the raid. #NoDAPL

TWEET #3: They’re arresting the veterans #NoDAPL

TWEET #4: Guns drawn #NoDAPL

TWEET #5: Arresting people praying #NoDAPL

TWEET #6: Grandmother arrested. Please don’t strip her and number her and put her in a dog kennel like you did the rest #NoDAPL

TWEET #7: The people are unarmed, singing and praying in front of police with guns drawn #NoDAPL

TWEET #8: This is not the end. This is just the beginning.]

Feb. 23rd, 2017.

The rules about responding to call outs aren’t working

Privileged people rarely take the voices of marginalized people seriously. Social justices spaces attempt to fix this with rules about how to respond to when marginalized people tell you that you’ve done something wrong. Like most formal descriptions of social skills, the rules don’t quite match reality. This is causing some problems that I think we could fix with a more honest conversation about how to respond to criticism.

The formal social justice rules say something like this:

  • You should listen to marginalized people.
  • When a marginalized person calls you out, don’t argue.
  • Believe them, apologize, and don’t do it again.
  • When you see others doing what you were called out for doing, call them out.

Those rules are a good approximation of some things, but they don’t actually work. It is impossible to follow them literally, in part because:

  • Marginalized people are not a monolith. 
  • Marginalized people have the same range of opinions as privileged people.
  • When two marginalized people tell you logically incompatible things, it is impossible to act on both sets of instructions.
  • For instance, some women believe that abortion is a human right foundational human right for women. Some women believe that abortion is murder and an attack on women and girls.
  • “Listen to women” doesn’t tell you who to believe, what policy to support, or how to talk about abortion. 
  • For instance, some women believe that religious rules about clothing liberate women from sexual objectification, other women believe that religious rules about clothing sexually objectify women. 
  • “Listen to women” doesn’t tell you what to believe about modesty rules. 
  • Narrowing it to “listen to women of minority faiths” doesn’t help, because women disagree about this within every faith.
  • When “listen to marginalized people” means “adopt a particular position”, marginalized people are treated as rhetorical props rather than real people.
  • Objectifying marginalized people does not create justice.

Since the rule is literally impossible to follow, no one is actually succeeding at following it. What usually ends up happening when people try is that:

  • One opinion gets lifted up as “the position of marginalized people” 
  • Agreeing with that opinion is called “listen to marginalized people”
  • Disagreeing with that opinion is called “talking over marginalized people”
  • Marginalized people who disagree with that opinion are called out by privileged people for “talking over marginalized people”.
  • This results in a lot of fights over who is the true voice of the marginalized people.
  • We need an approach that is more conducive to real listening and learning.

This version of the rule also leaves us open to sabotage:

  • There are a lot of people who don’t want us to be able to talk to each other and build effective coalitions.
  • Some of them are using the language of call-outs to undermine everyone who emerges as an effective progressive leader. 
  • They say that they are marginalized people, and make up lies about leaders.
  • Or they say things that are technically true, but taken out of context in deliberately misleading ways.
  • The rules about shutting up and listening to marginalized people make it very difficult to contradict these lies and distortions. 
  • (Sometimes they really are members of the marginalized groups they claim to speak for. Sometimes they’re outright lying about who they are).
  • (For instance, Russian intelligence agents have used social media to pretend to be marginalized Americans and spread lies about Hillary Clinton.)

The formal rule is also easily exploited by abusive people, along these lines:

  • An abusive person convinces their victim that they are the voice of marginalized people.
  • The abuser uses the rules about “when people tell you that you’re being oppressive, don’t argue” to control the victim.
  • Whenever the victim tries to stand up for themself, the abuser tells the victim that they’re being oppressive.
  • That can be a powerfully effective way to make victims in our communities feel that they have no right to resist abuse. 
  • This can also prevent victims from getting support in basic ways.
  • Abusers can send victims into depression spirals by convincing them that everything that brings them pleasure is oppressive and immoral. 
  • The abuser may also isolate the victim by telling them that it would be oppressive for them to spend time with their friends and family, try to access victim services, or call the police. 
  • The abuser may also separate the victim from their community and natural allies by spreading baseless rumors about their supposed oppressive behavior. (Or threatening to do so).
  • When there are rules against questioning call outs, there are also implicit rules against taking the side of a victim when the abuser uses the language of calling out.
  • Rules that say some people should unconditionally defer to others are always dangerous.

The rule also lacks intersectionality:

  • No one experiences every form of oppression or every form of privilege.
  • Call-outs often involve people who are marginalized in different ways. 
  • Often, both sides in the conflict have a point.
  • For instance, black men have male privilege and white women have white privilege.
  • If a white woman calls a black man out for sexism and he responds by calling her out for racism (or vice versa), “listened to marginalized people” isn’t a very helpful rule because they’re both marginalized.
  • These conversations tend to degenerate into an argument about which form of marginalization is most significant.
  • This prevents people involved from actually listening to each other.
  • In conflicts like this, it’s often the case that both sides have a legitimate point. (In ways that are often not immediately obvious.)
  • We need to be able to work through these conflicts without expecting simplistic rules to resolve them in advance.

This rule also tends to prevent groups centered around one form of marginalized from coming to engage with other forms of marginalization:

  • For instance, in some spaces, racism and sexism are known to be issues, but ableism is not.
  • (This can occur in any combination. Eg: There are also spaces that get ableism and sexism but not racism, and spaces that get economic justice and racism but not antisemitism, or any number of other things.)
  • When disabled people raise the issue of ableism in any context (social justice or otherwise), they’re likely to be shouted down and told that it’s not important.
  • In social justice spaces, this shouting down is often done in the name of “listening to marginalized people”.
  • For instance, disabled people may be told ‘you need to listen to marginalized people and de-center your issues’, carrying the implication that ableism is less important than other forms of oppression.
  • (This happens to *every* marginalized group in some context or other.)
  • If we want real intersectional solidarity, we need to have space for ongoing conflicts that are not simple to resolve.

Tl;dr “Shut up and listen to marginalized people” isn’t quite the right rule, because it objectifies marginalized people, leaves us open to sabotage, enables abuse, and prevents us from working through conflicts in a substantive way. We need to do better by each other, and start listening for real.

anonymous asked:

What do you do if you see police brutality? Like I know stand back and film it if you can but then what? What do you do with the film? Is there anything else you can do?

Alright I’m going to answer this for people who document police brutality against themselves and what someone who observes this violence can do. 

1. DO NOT start telling the officer(s) what you are going to do to them. If you start telling them that you know your rights have been violated and you’re going to sue, they aren’t going to cower in fear. Instead, they’re more likely going to arrest you as a means to cover the violations and work to cover up what they did/build their case to WHY they needed to use violence against you. If you were injured and need medical attention tell them “I am in need of medical assistance,” but don’t mention you are recording and documenting with plans to bring this abuse to light. 

2. To people who are victims of police violence and those who witness it: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. When cops are exposed for their misconduct one of their defenses will be that the victims cannot clearly remember the details of the event and therefore the narrative is untrustworthy. If you are the victim, try to remember exactly what happened and document it ASAP. Try to remember important details as much as possible and write it down before you forget everything. Try to answer the place where the abuse happened, who witnessed the abuse, what did the cop(s) do, what did the cop(s) say, and try to timeline the events. Even if you don’t know the names of people who might have witnessed it, try to write down any detailed descriptions about the person.  

If you are a bystander try to film and/or document the incident. Again, don’t try to draw attention to the fact you are filming because cops will go into cover up mode. Also make sure to install and app and set up your phone so that the footage is automatically uploaded to your cloud. This is so you for sure have the footage and if any cop does try to stop you or unlawfully confiscates your phone/deletes your video it’s still there. And try to make sure you get the cop’s name and number. 

Tips for recording the police:

  • Keep calm but prepare yourself if you are confronted by a police officer. 
    If a police officer asks if or why you are recording you have the right to remain silent. The police might tell you that you are “interfering” with the scene, they might demand you move back, they might try to lower your camera down or block it. Remember that you ARE allowed to record police officers and as long as you are not being detained you can walk away.

  • As long as you, the recorder, are not suspected of a crime you do not have to show ID or give them any information. They might try to get your device handed to them or get you to show ID but you can ask “What crime am I suspected of,” and “Am I being detained.” If they say “no,” then you don’t have to give over any of this. 

  • If you have a smartphone, consider downloading an app that will stream and store the recordings offsite. For both Android and iOS you can use apps like Bambuser, Fi-Vo Film, Justin.TV, Ustream, and Vimeo. These live streaming apps will capture both audio and video and (as long as you’re able to get an Internet signal) push the content offsite. If you are in a location with no Internet access, many apps will save the streaming data to your phone, and upload once the device has signal.Here’s some other apps that might come in handy in this situation.

  • Understand the laws in your state when it comes to recording an officer. It’s legal in every state to film the police, they might try to tell you it’s not but it is. However, there are some state with restrictions related to the recording of audio. Some states require two-party consent, and some states aren’t explicitly clear on this so if you are in one of these states or the legislation isn’t clear in your state inform the other parties present that you are recording. 

3. Now what do you do with this documentation? Collect yourself, calm down and then organize your case. When you’re still in a state of shock you might miss crucial information or sound confusing. Use all your documents and notes and thoughts to organize a refined summary of events. If you are taking this to a lawyer they want to see that you can sell this case. By the time you give these notes to a lawyer, your information should include a chronological story or what happened, what you saw, and any potential witnesses. Answer those who, what, when, where, why questions. 

Now, don’t just go to any lawyer. They are already hesitant to pick up cases regarding police violence so be prepared for some rejection. Also, try not to find a lawyer that works with cops or does cases for them - find ones in your state that specialize in handling police misconduct. This will require some questions and research. Here’s a small list of some to help you out, but there are many more out there. Even if you weren’t arrested by the police but experienced abuse, it’s recommended that you report the cop(s). 

4. Another option is to file police complaints. Internal police divisions will RARELY find that their officers did anything wrong but there are other ways you can file complaints. After criminal charges and civil actions have been resolved you can start filing police misconduct reports, if you weren’t charged of a crime and you’re not suing then you can file ASAP. Your area will usually have a citizen review board, an office within your local police department that accepts them, or you can find what your options are by Googling “police complaint [name of town/city].“ 

Look at what the various options are and send the complaint to all of the ones you find within your area. Make sure to see what you have to do when filing a complaint, you might need to fill out certain forms or send over the information you have. Pay attention to what’s needed so your complaint isn’t outright rejected. Note, some areas might require you obtain some forms through the police department. Avoid discussing your case and who is involved at all costs, they might try to convince you that your case has no merit, they might intimidate you, and they might warn the officers involved. 

5. You probably won’t get a quick response from the police department or civilian monitoring agency but it DOES create an official record of the incident and it could become relevant in future cases against the same officer. You can also send the complaints and documentation to your local ACLU and other civil rights groups in your area. Some might even deal exclusively with police abuse.

6. Go public. Note, if you have an attorney, this might not be recommended so talk to them about it but if you’ve filed your complaints or don’t want to do that you can just bring the incident to light. There are websites that take your stories, photos, videos, etc. like Cop Block. Cop Block also has local organizations and they might have websites that direct you how to file complaints specifically in your area. (Here’s the list)

5

The last picture roughly translates to: “Abusive police officer Velazquez #24208 throws pepper spray in the face of Professor Bernat Tort, for the crime of trying to peacefully enter Capitol Hill. Today, Tuesday April 18, 2017. Share!!”
In the Puerto Rican constitution it is establish that the public has the right to be present in any of the Senate’s sessions.
So, that professor (my professor, btw) got pepper prayed for nothing….

By the way, in case you don’t know, Auditing the debt basically means, GET ME THE RECEIPTS. Who took the loans, who gave them, what was that money used on, how much of it was illegal and WHO is responsible for the illegal part of it?
All of this, because Puerto Rico is in a 70 BILLION dollar debt, and everything is worst than before. If we owe all that money, they why wasn’t that money used on public education? On Health Care? In fixing the roads?
That’s ALL we want. The government decided, with DOORS CLOSE, to eliminate the auditory group. The protest yesterday are only one of the many forms of protest going on right now in Puerto Rico. The students are leading the protest, and the media are painting us as the bad guys.

Yes, some people in yesterday’s protest threw PAINT at the police officers… and the governor dare say that that is a disrespectful act, but FAILED to mention the disrespectful act of the police, throw pepper spray at peaceful protesters. They fail to mention the police officer that hit a girl with a piece of wood so hard she apparently ended up at the hospital.

Please, do not turn your backs on this. The protest and strikes and violence isn’t half as bad as what is happening in a Venezuela, BUT, it is still pretty horrible. Please share, let it be known! If you want to know more, PLEASE message me. I’ll try to find articles in English if you need to. If not, I have tons of Spanish articles and resources.

We, the students, do not trust the traditional media and newspapers, because it is widely known that they are own by certain political parties. So my resources are independent media made by students and other civic groups.

I'm so fucking upset. Police brutality in Venezuela

As many of you know i live in Caracas the capital city from Venezuela. Venezuela has being living a horrible time because of the government and we have had 4 months with lots of protests. Of course this makes the policie and the military abuse it’s power because Nicolas Maduro orders them to attack anyone who’s against him and his movement. But, why am i so upset right know? The fucking police grab my twin sister’s bag pack in order to check it AND THEY FUCKING CRACK HER PHONE SCREEN AND STOLE HER MONEY FROM HER WALLET. THIS IS SO WRONG IN SO MANY LEVELS. She is a 5'0’’ girl and some big fucking guys attacked her while she was alone. Fuck every police officer in Venezuela and fuck this dictatorship

abcnews.go.com
Georgia officials dismiss 89 cases linked to fired officers shown kicking, punching motorist
The Gwinnett County Solicitor said she is dropping all cases in which Robert McDonald or Michael Bongiovanni were either the principal officer or a necessary witness. Sixty-three cases were dismissed in Gwinnett County Recorder's Court and 26 in Gwinnett County State Court
By ABC News
theguardian.com
US admits DEA lied about Honduras 'massacre' that killed four villagers
The US Drug Enforcement Administration lied about its role in a bungled anti-narcotics operation in Honduras that left four innocent villagers dead, then misled Congress, the justice department and the public as it tried to cover its tracks
By Nina Lakhani

Honduran officers under the command of DEA agents fired at unarmed passengers traveling by taxi boat in May 2012, killing four people – including two pregnant women and a schoolboy – and seriously injuring three others. The operation, which left several children orphaned, was part of a militarized DEA programme that led to a series of deadly confrontations and has now been abandoned.

The shooting took place after a passenger boat with 16 people on board collided with a disabled vessel carrying American and Honduran agents and large quantities of cocaine that had been seized. The ground troops were escorted by four state department helicopters equipped with mounted door guns.

The DEA said two Honduran officers on the disabled boat had fired at the river taxi in self-defense after they came under gun attack. There is no evidence to suggest any shots were fired from the taxi boat, or that the passengers were involved in drug trafficking

In fact, the officers – who included a DEA agent – shot first, and even aimed at passengers who had jumped or fallen into the river. Then at least one DEA agent in a circling helicopter ordered a Honduran door gunner to fire his machine gun at the passengers from above.

The self-defense motive claimed by the DEA was based, at least in part, on fabricated testimony from a confidential DEA informant who later admitted she had lied.

anonymous asked:

Tell me, do you have any actual proof that "The FBI actively sabotaged and dismantled the American Indian Movement, the Chicano Movement, and the Black Power movement"? Because that just sounds like a bullshit conspiracy theory to me.

(TW murder) 

The FBI has a program called COINTELPRO short for counter intelligence program. It was started to sabotage communist parties in the U.S. but in the sixties the expanded it to spying on and sabotaging certain political groups often using illegal avenues. 

They murdered a prominent leader of the Black Panther Party Fred Hampton in his home via the Chicago police. They fired over 100 shots into his apartment and room where he was sleeping with his pregnant girlfriend who survived by the grace of god.  

Body of Fred Hampton, national spokesman for the Black Panther Party, who was killed by members of the Chicago Police Department, as part of a COINTELPRO operation” 

He was 21


In 1890 American Indians had form a group to protest against white colonizers who had stripped them of their land and unjustly killed millions of their people. The infamous Battle of Wounded Knee took place on December 29th, 1890. U.S. soldiers heard a tribe of Indians taking part in the Ghost Dance and that they surrender all of their weapons. After they refused they killed 150 Indians more than half were women and children. 

Some 200 AIM members and their supporters decided to occupy the symbolically significant hamlet of Wounded Knee, site of the 1890 massacre. During the 71 days of the siege, which began on February 27, 1973, federal officers and AIM members exchanged gunfire almost nightly. Hundreds of arrests were made, and two Native Americans were killed and a federal marshal was permanently paralyzed by a bullet wound. The leaders of AIM finally surrendered on May 8 after a negotiated settlement was reached. In a subsequent trial, the judge ordered their acquittal because of evidence that the FBI had manipulated key witnesses.

The FBI also went after the Chicano Movement, which became known as the Brown Berets and the Puerto Rican Liberation Movement. Carlos Montes was one of the original Brown Berets. Montes told RT “The FBI worked with the LAPD and the sheriffs to keep the Brown Berets and local Chicano movements under surveillance. We were victims of agent provocateurs, police infiltration. They tried to incite our members to commit violence, so they would get arrested, and they did and we found out after we got arrested.”

According to attorney Brian Glick in his book War at Home, the FBI used four main methods during COINTELPRO:

  1. Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.
  2. Psychological warfare: The FBI and police used myriad “dirty tricks” to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists. They used bad-jacketing to create suspicion about targeted activists, sometimes with lethal consequences.[55]
  3. Legal harassment: The FBI and police abused the legal system to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers of the law gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatorily enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, “investigative” interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters.[5][56]
  4. Illegal force: The FBI conspired with local police departments to threaten dissidents; to conduct illegal break-ins in order to search dissident homes; and to commit vandalism, assaults, beatings and assassinations.[5][6][7][57] The object was to frighten or eliminate dissidents and disrupt their movements.

They also: 

- Bugged Martin Luther King Jr’s home and hotel rooms on numerous occasions

- They also sent him a letter telling him to kill himself and that they would release proof that he was having extramarital affairs to the world and his wife, which they acquired by illegally taping his conversations. 

- Unjust arrest and imprisonment of Leonard Peltier who is a citizen of the Anishinabe & Dakota/Lakota Nations who has been unjustly imprisoned for nearly three decades.

No bullshit here babe just facts 

Alright, so maybe I shouldn’t care about this so much, but-

The fuck you mean, “human Signless is a homophobic fire and brimstone preacher?”

The Signless’s movement was one of revolutionary kindness and acceptance in the most intolerant possible world, don’t tell me he’d be a part of that same hate.

Human Signless is a young man of color protesting police brutality on the streets and getting arrested once or twice a month

Human Signless comes to visit people on death row and won’t leave until he’s made their wardens sit down with them and talk, and learn about them, and feel disgusting for upholding this system

Human Signless steps between a mugger and their victim and talks the conflict out, and hands the mugger a $20 bill because it’s all he has

He doesn’t have time to spread hate because he’s too busy smuggling victims out of abusive homes, and going on loudly publicized hunger strikes until wrongly-incarcerated protesters are released from prison, and empowering people who’d have every right to be hateful to instead help make things right.

There is only ONE acceptable excuse for making him an angry, jaded asshat, and that is if he’s undergone some trauma so intense that he’s already the Sufferer.

cnn.com
Dallas school police use handcuffs to restrain 7-year-old boy
A Dallas school district is being accused of using extreme force to restrain a 7-year-old special needs student last week.
By Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN

Yosio Lopez was handcuffed, Tased and bruised by Dallas Independent School District (DISD) Police after the boy started banging his head against a wall in class.

Yosio is a special needs student who suffers from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and another mood disorder. He has experienced similar outbursts in the past but has always had a trained school aide nearby to help calm him down. But the aide wasn’t there.

The boy told his mother, April Odis, that he was put on a desk with his arms cuffed behind his back while the school principal put her elbow on his neck and choked him to restrain him.

After the incident at school, Dallas ISD Police transported Yosio to a mental health facility without his mother’s permission and committed him for nearly a week. Yosio was heavily sedated during his stay at Dallas Behavioral Hospital and was restricted from seeing his mother under the claim that he was “a danger to himself and those around him”.

prejudice in fantasy lit and the use of metaphor

reallybigshadowhunterstvfan said:

what can you say about making Simon a shadowhunter, Mrs Clare? it seemed odd to me that after a whole series of battling for equality between species/races, the downworlder had to become a shadowhunter. not only he basically ceased being a minority, he also became a part of a privileged community, and it just didn’t sit well with me.

Just for the record — I’m not Mrs. Clare; there is no Mr. Clare. I am married, but my pen name is not my husband’s property. :-) 

I think this is a very interesting question that brings up a ton of issues, but there are some aspects of it I’d love to clarify — for instance, I am puzzled at calling Simon “the Downworlder.” Is he more a Downworlder than Magnus? Things like that actually are really important when discussing stories — if he were the only Downworlder in the story, that would be one discussion, but he isn’t, and therefore his story does not speak for the experience of all Downworlders or even a small fraction. 

I am sorry you were surprised negatively by Simon’s story in TMI. Simon never wanted to be a vampire — he always hated it, and unlike Raphael and Lily, he never joined the community of vampires but instead spent all his time with Shadowhunters. Being a Daylighter had already changed him from being any kind of regular Downworlder, as did bearing the Mark of Cain: both made him even less “the Downworlder” and more of an anomaly. It also separated him from the other Downworlders, who treated him with distrust. In my experience, very few readers expected Simon to remain a vampire, given that it was something he never wanted or got used to, and that it was not his dream. More on that in a bit.

As to the question, to me the suggestion that Shadowhunters are “the privileged” and Dowworlders are as a block “the marginalized” — instead of being a complicated metaphor in which they sometimes but not always stand in for people who have had their rights curtailed —  overly simplifies the situation. It is an argument seems to ignore the fact that in fact, humans exist along axes of privilege and marginalization: that people can be privileged in one way and marginalized in another and that when Simon becomes first a Downworlder and then a mundane and then a Shadowhunter, he is not moving clearly from marginalization to privilege, but rather exchanging some types of privilege for others (he remains white as a Downworlder, and is a Daylighter), and exchanging some types of marginalization for others (the marginalization of being a Downworlder for the marginalization of being a mundane-born Shadowhunter and a Jew in a world where Shadowhunters are meant to have one religion). 

Because the argument disclaims spectrums of privilege and marginalization, it also suggests that the world of the Shadowhunter Chronicles is one in which there are no gay or POC or trans people in existence; one in which there is no racism, homophobia, ableism, cis privilege, or bigotry against the neuroatypical. But that is both problematic erasure, and also not true of these books. Downworlders don’t stand in for people of color or LGBTQ+ people because people of color and LGBTQ+ people are in the books; they have not been subsumed into metaphor. (I know the showrunners said there was no homophobia in the Shadowhunter world, only warlock-phobia, but that’s the show, not the books, and it has a different world and world-building. I notice this is a question I get since the show came out, and I sometimes wonder if it’s a question of confusion between the two different universes? It’s easy for that to happen.)

Fantasy prejudice metaphors are complex and confusing and they rarely work as a one to one comparison (in other words, there is a difference between saying that this fantasy situation is reminiscent of this real world thing and saying this fantasy situation is exactly the same as this real world thing. For instance, one of the really interesting things about True Blood is that it made many deliberate parallels between “vampire rights” and GLBT+ rights — referring to vampires “coming out of the coffin” and “God Hates Fangs” on church signs. However, its vampires were also often violent predators who killed and ate people. The argument that Simon “basically ceased being a minority” (while, somehow, remaining Jewish) is similar to making an argument that True Blood was saying that gay people kill and eat their neighbors; I’m fairly sure in fact, they weren’t. They were reaching for a resonance — the echo of a real world situation that would give a layer of relatability and meaning to their points about difference. But they were not creating a literal “these things are the same” comparison or they wouldn’t have had vampires chewing off people’s heads.

So: are Downworlders discriminated against? Yes, sometimes, by Shadowhunters, who are a small specific group. Do they “stand in” for a specific minority group? No, they cannot, because they are accessible as a metaphor to any marginalized group or groups whose rights have been abridged. Also: the world at large does not discriminate against Downworlders because they do not know they exist, nor do they privilege Shadowhunters because they don’t know they exist either. It would be one thing if this was a high fantasy and Shadowhunters and Downworlders were all there was, but these books are set in our world, and the characters experience real-world bigotry, racism, homophobia etc. because of it.

Alec sighed. “Sorry to wreck your vision of our happy family. I know you want to think Dad’s fine with me being gay, but he’s not.” 

“But if you don’t tell  me when people say things like that to you, or do things to hurt you, then how can I help you?” Simon could feel Isabelle’s agitation vibrating through her body. “How can I—” 

“Iz,” Alec said tiredly. “It’s not like it’s one big bad thing. It’s a lot of little invisible things. When Magnus and I were traveling, and I’d call from the road, Dad never asked how he was. When I get up to talk in Clave meetings, no one listens, and I don’t know if that’s because I’m young or if it’s because of something else. I saw Mom talking to a friend about her grandchildren and the second I walked into the room they shut up. Irina Cartwright told me it was a pity no one would ever inherit my blue eyes now.” He shrugged and looked toward Magnus, who took a hand off the wheel for a moment to place it on Alec’s. “It’s not like a stab wound you can protect me from. It’s a million little paper cuts every day.”

 *** 

“He hurt you. It was a long time ago, and I know he tried to make up for it, but—” Bat shrugged. “Maybe I’m not so forgiving.” 

Maia exhaled. “Maybe I’m not either,” she said. “The town I grew up in, all these spoiled thin rich white girls, they made me feel like crap because I didn’t look like them. When I was six, my mom tried to throw me a Barbie-themed birthday party. They make a black Barbie, you know, but they don’t make any of the stuff that goes with her—party supplies and cake toppers and all that. So we had a party for me with a blonde doll as the theme, and all these blonde girls came, and they all giggled at me behind their hands.”

***

If we carry the theory through (Shadowhunters are THE privileged, Downworlders are THE marginalized) that means that Alec, as a gay Shadowhunter, is more privileged than Simon, a straight vampire. That Ty, who would be locked in a mental institution if the Clave discovered his autism, is privileged beyond white, rich, immortal and powerful Malcolm Fade. It’s saying that when Cristina encounters a wealthy, white, straight, misogynist male werewolf in Lady Midnight who tries to force sexual attention on her, she, a Latina woman, is the one who is the privileged character because she is a Shadowhunter and he is a Downworlder (though Sterling has arguably, given that he lives outside the supernatural world, never experienced a whit of prejudice because of it.) So I’m sure you can see where the problem lies.

It also erases Simon’s Judaism entirely. Stating without caveat that Simon has become “part of a privileged community” means ignoring the fact that Simon is Jewish; that he decides in Tales that he will continue to practice, and that he was the only Jewish protag written by two Jewish authors that I’m aware of having been on the bestseller lists last year. He didn’t think about being a vampire as he was preparing to transform — he never wanted to be one or consented to be one, nor was he part of the community, as Raphael constantly pointed out — though he does later think of having previously been a Downworlder when interacting with vampires and Shadowhunter prejudices. He thought of the important thing to him: his Judaism, which he both couldn’t and wouldn’t give up. To me it is personally painful to think that for any reader, Simon’s status as a vampire is more significant than his status as a practicing Jew.

I think sometimes it is possible to invest yourself so heavily in a metaphor that you forget the real world that surrounds the metaphor and the flexibility of metaphors in general. The Shadowhunter/Downworlder situation could stand in for the systemically privileged and marginalized of our world: sometimes it does. However it also can stand in for the way totalitarian governments abuse their own people: there are echoes in Shadowhunter history and current events of the Cambodian genocide, of Stalinist violence against intellectuals and resistors. There are also echoes of police brutality — what Shadowhunters have is the privilege of the Law, specifically: the Law is what allows them to enact bigotry in the name of justice, and when they abuse their jobs, it has resonances of the way police can abuse their jobs and use the privilege conferred on them by their authority to murder and abuse the helpless and marginalized. There are also echoes of the way soldiers carry out immoral orders given by superiors: the Shadowhunters are taught to be obedient to the Clave, and one of the ways we know who our Team Good is in any TSC series that they question that obedience. All of these are echoes and resonances: they are not saying that the Shadowhunters are the police, or the US military, or the Khmer Rouge; the resonances provide context and hopefully add a sense of realism to a situation that is fantastical in its nature.

 (It’s also a wise idea not to so totally buy what the Shadowhunters are selling about themselves. They think they’re special and better and awesome, but the books constantly question and problematize that. Shadowhunters also pay a high high price for their runes and their sense of superiority: they die young and often and experience brutal constant violence and the pressures of a repressive society that allows for little divergence from an idealized norm.)

There are reasons that the Downworlders were never constructed to be a specific marginalized group and their situation was never meant to be limited in its relatability to one situation— for instance, it’s very hard to not look askance at the argument that Downworlders are meant to be specific “race” when you can become a Downworlder and then stop being one: when you can, as Simon does, change what kind of magical creature you are, because there is absolutely no correlation between that and what race or ethnicity means in our world. 

 So yes, Simon becomes a Shadowhunter: however, what I don’t see acknowledged here is not just his ethnicity and religion, but the fact that he becomes a Shadowhunter partly because he is aware of the prejudice of Shadowhunters, and fights against the bigotry they show not just to Downworlders but also to their own. He is part of Magnus and Alec’s Shadowhunter-Downworlder Alliance. He continues to work for change from within the system, arguably something almost no one else could do, because there are almost no other Downworlders who have become Shadowhunters. It is odd to me to consider Simon as simply ascending to a height of blithe privilege when he is fact much more like someone who has become a police officer in order to root out corruption and racism in the police, and brings his own knowledge of marginalization (which he still experiences) with him.

That is why Simon in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy is constantly fighting and bending the rules in the name of his evolving social conscience, though I understand if you haven’t read TfTSA. One of the things about having had a flood of new readers enter fandom because of the TV show is that I’ve seen a lot of arguments based on the idea that TMI is the entire story of Downworlders and Shadowhunters, or the entire story of these characters. I see people talking about characters getting a happy or sad ending in TMI even when those characters go on to feature heavily in the sequel books and could by no reasonable account be considered to have any ending, happy or sad — unless you thought TMI were the only Shadowhunters books that existed rather than a chunk of a larger ongoing mythology. In no sense has Simon’s story ended: you have no idea if he will remain a Shadowhunter or not. Perhaps if you consider the fact that TMI is not a story that has ended for Simon, but rather one that continues, the fact that he has now been two magical species and might well move on to become another will sit less poorly with you? After all, this is not “after a whole series of battling for equality between species/races” this is “in the middle of a whole series of battling for equality between species/races.” Usually the middle of a story isn’t the place it’s best to draw all your conclusions from. :-) 

wanna hear how shitty the juvi i went to was when I was a kid, and it wasn’t even a bad juvi. lmao okay so first things first, its strange fucking adults who watch you, a minor shower, pee, etc. pretty much every time you do it.

they blasted music all night, loud music, all night, so the workers wouldnt get “bored” your cell was single and had a light on at all hours of the day, so you have to try and sleep with a bright light on you all the time, if you don’t wake up up at 6am to eat they take away your bed padding and pillow from you until you wake up at the right time, so you have to sleep on concrete.

if you don’t do what they tell you to do [like wake up at 6am after having music and bright light blasted at you all night] they’ll take away your only solace: books. You’re locked in a cell by yourself for the majority of the time you’re there. 

You didn’t have a roommate, so you were just alone, for the majority of the day with nothing to do. It was torture, I don’t care what you say, children don’t deserve this, and I shouldn’t have even been sent to juvi in the first place because it literally wasn’t even my doing that got me there I had to take the fall for someone else the first time, and so on. 

They torture children in juvi, don’t fucking think they don’t, they absolutely do.

rethink the caregivers who:

— don’t spend time getting to know you
— keep you in little space constantly
— rarely praise/always point out flaws
— encourage self-deprecating behavior
— make you feel like you have to tip-toe around them
— don’t take “no” for an answer
— force their body on you
— constantly use suggestive phrases
— make you cautious of what you say around them
— don’t respect your boundaries because it conflicts with their rules
— ignore you as punishment
— use “annoying” as an insult & “just shut up” as a default comeback
— get physical without permission
— offer money rewards for pictures or actions
— threaten to leave for misbehavior

caregivers have bad days - sometimes we break rules just like you or our mental illnesses set us back - but please be weary when these bad days are every day. abuse is consistent & very easy to get addicted to if you overlook the signs. stand tall & know your worth when confronting suspicious behavior - if the caregiver you’re confronting gets more aggressive or denies actions instead of trying to resolve the issue, it’s time to leave. if you can’t find the strength to walk away on your own or your fear gets the better of you, please seek help from a trusted person, hotline, or even a local police station. abuse is not the “love” any of you deserve so please rethink if someone is making you feel worthy of pain.

6

The founding members of The Young Lords party grew up in the NYC projects as the children of working class, Puerto Rican migrants. They were known for their proactive social protest and community activities like burning garbage piles and taking over a church to run a free breakfast program.

The Young Lords began as a Puerto Rican turf gang in the Lincoln Park, Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park in the fall of 1960 and as a civil and human rights movement on Grito de Lares, September 23, 1968. During Mayor Daley’s tenure, Puerto Ricans in Lincoln Park and several Mexican communities were completely evicted from areas near the Loop, lakefront, Old Town, Lakeview and Lincoln Park, in order to increase property tax revenues. When they realized that urban renewal was evicting their families from their barrios and witnessed police abuses, some Puerto Ricans became involved in the June 1966 Division Street Riots in Wicker Park and Humboldt Park. They were officially reorganized from the gang into a civil and human rights movement by Jose Cha Cha Jimenez, who was the last president of the former gang and became the founder of the new Young Lords Movement

Latinos of all shades and hair texture came together, not phased by the petty discrimination rife within their community. The Young Lords grew into a national movement through the leadership of activists like Angela Lind Adorno who met with Vietnamese women, Omar López, David Rivera, Field Marshall, Dr. Tony Baez a leader in Bi-lingual, Bi-Cultural Education and Richie Pérez who established the Puerto Rican Student Union (PRSU) in a number of college campuses and high schools.

The Young Lords’ supported independence for Puerto Rico, all Latino nations and oppressed nations of the world and also neighborhood empowerment. This is clear by the original symbol with a map of Puerto Rico and a brown fist holding up a rifle and the purple lettering reading, “Tengo Puerto Rico en mi Corazon” (“I have Puerto Rico in my heart”). They saw themselves as a people’s struggle, a vanguard connected with the masses and it is why they began in Chicago fighting against the displacement of Puerto Ricans from Lincoln Park. While the national symbol and YLO (Young Lords Organization) appeared on buttons, the New York chapter began the local “Garbage Offensive”, which was an organizing vehicle and city-service concern. The Young Lords also addressed the local issues of police injustice, health care, tenants’ rights, free breakfast for children, free day care, and more accurate Latino education. The urban renewal campaign was framed by the Chicago office as the modern day land question, since Emiliano Zapata, who said, “all revolutions are based on land”

Young Lords Party

13-Point Program and Platform:

1. We want self-determination for Puerto Ricans–Liberation of the Island and inside the United States.

For 500 years, first spain and then united states have colonized our country. Billions of dollars in profits leave our country for the united states every year. In every way we are slaves of the gringo. We want liberation and the Power in the hands of the People, not Puerto Rican exploiters.

Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!

2. We want self-determination for all Latinos.

Our Latin Brothers and Sisters, inside and outside the united states, are oppressed by amerikkkan business. The Chicano people built the Southwest, and we support their right to control their lives and their land. The people of Santo Domingo continue to fight against gringo domination and its puppet generals. The armed liberation struggles in Latin America are part of the war of Latinos against imperialism.

Que Viva La Raza!

3. We want liberation of all third world people.

Just as Latins first slaved under spain and the yanquis, Black people, Indians, and Asians slaved to build the wealth of this country. For 400 years they have fought for freedom and dignity against racist Babylon (decadent empire). Third World people have led the fight for freedom. All the colored and oppressed peoples of the world are one nation under oppression.

No Puerto Rican Is Free Until All People Are Free!

4. We are revolutionary nationalists and oppose racism.

The Latin, Black, Indian and Asian people inside the u.s. are colonies fighting for liberation. We know that washington, wall street and city hall will try to make our nationalism into racism; but Puerto Ricans are of all colors and we resist racism. Millions of poor white people are rising up to demand freedom and we support them. These are the ones in the u.s. that are stepped on by the rules and the government. We each organize our people, but our fights are against the same oppression and we will defeat it together.

Power To All Oppressed People!

5. We want community control of our institutions and land.

We want control of our communities by our people and programs to guarantee that all institutions serve the needs of our people. People’s control of police, health services, churches, schools, housing, transportation and welfare are needed. We want an end to attacks on our land by urban removal, highway destruction, universities and corporations.

Land Belongs To All The People!

6. We want a true education of our Creole culture and Spanish language.

We must learn our history of fighting against cultural, as well as economic genocide by the yanqui. Revolutionary culture, culture of our people, is the only true teaching.

7. We oppose capitalists and alliances with traitors.

Puerto Rican rulers, or puppets of the oppressor, do not help our people. They are paid by the system to lead our people down blind alleys, just like the thousands of poverty pimps who keep our communities peaceful for business, or the street workers who keep gangs divided and blowing each other away. We want a society where the people socialistically control their labor.

Venceremos!

8. We oppose the Amerikkkan military.

We demand immediate withdrawal of u.s. military forces and bases from Puerto Rico, Vietnam and all oppressed communities inside and outside the u.s. No Puerto Rican should serve in the u.s. army against his Brothers and Sisters, for the only true army of oppressed people is the people’s army to fight all rulers.

U.S. Out Of Vietnam, Free Puerto Rico!

9. We want freedom for all political prisoners.

We want all Puerto Ricans freed because they have been tried by the racist courts of the colonizers, and not by their own people and peers. We want all freedom fighters released from jail.

Free All Political Prisoners!

10. We want equality for women. Machismo must be revolutionary… not oppressive.

Under capitalism, our women have been oppressed by both the society and our own men. The doctrine of machismo has been used by our men to take out their frustrations against their wives, sisters, mothers, and children. Our men must support their women in their fight for economic and social equality, and must recognize that our women are equals in every way within the revolutionary ranks.

Forward, Sisters, In The Struggle!

11. We fight anti-communism with international unity.

Anyone who resists injustice is called a communist by “the man” and condemned. Our people are brainwashed by television, radio, newspapers, schools, and books to oppose people in other countries fighting for their freedom. No longer will our people believe attacks and slanders, because they have learned who the real enemy is and who their real friends are. We will defend our Brothers and Sisters around the world who fight for justice against the rich rulers of this country.

Viva Che!

12. We believe armed self-defense and armed struggle are the only means to liberation.

We are opposed to violence–the violence of hungry children, illiterate adults, diseased old people, and the violence of poverty and profit. We have asked, petitioned, gone to courts, demonstrated peacefully, and voted for politicians full of empty promises. But we still ain’t free. The time has come to defend the lives of our people against repression and for revolutionary war against the businessman, politician, and police. When a government oppresses our people, we have the right to abolish it and create a new one.

Boricua Is Awake! All Pigs Beware!

13. We want a socialist society.

We want liberation, clothing, free food, education, health care, transportation, utilities, and employment for all. We want a society where the needs of our people come first, and where we give solidarity and aid to the peoples of the world, not oppression and racism.

Hasta La Victoria Siempre!

The Young Lords were a target of the FBI’s COINTELPRO, which had long harassed Puerto Rican independence groups. The New York-Chicago schism mirrored the “Divide and Conquer” divisions within other New Left groups like the Black Panther Party, Students for a Democratic Society, Brown Berets and many other new left movements. All of these organizations were repressed. At first, the splits were believed to be the result of growing pains, as this movement was very young and spread quickly. But it is now documented that it was primarily due to police infiltration by informants and provocateurs, and planned and shaped by the ongoing undercover work of the FBI’s COINTELPRO

The leaders were framed, beaten, given high bonds, imprisoned, harassed, and discredited. The entire Chicago leadership was forced underground in order to reorganize itself. Tactics against the movements included negative rumor campaigns, pitting groups against each other and the creation of factionalism, distrust and personality conflicts. In Chicago, COINTELPRO created an official anti-Rainbow Coalition component. Members were interviewed in public view in front of the church. The Red Squad was also parked 24 hours a day in front of the national headquarters. Other harassment included inciting quarrels between spouses and between members and allies. The founder and chairman, Jose Cha Cha Jimenez not only was indicted 18 times in a six-week period for felony charges such as assault and battery on police to mob action; he was kept in the county jail, or in court rooms fighting the charges, and received constant death threats. 

While the Young Lords advocated armed strategies similar to those advocated by the Black Panthers, it was as a right of self-defense and rarely arose. It did after the shooting of Manuel Ramos and the implications of police foul play in the circumstances surrounding the beating death of José (Pancho) Lind, the supposed suicide of Julio Roldán in the custody of the NYPD and the fatal stabbings in Chicago of the United Methodist Church Rev. Bruce Johnson and his wife Eugenia, who pastored in Lincoln Park at the Young Lord’s first People’s Church in Chicago. 

The documentary Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords, produced by Young Lord Iris Morales, aired on PBS in 1996. Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords, documents the period from 1969 through the organization’s demise in 1976. The Young Lords represented another cycle of militancy, write Andres Torres and Jose Velasquez in The Puerto Rican Movement: Voices From the Diaspora, a collection of personal narratives from activists of the period. 

In 2015, The Young Lords was the focus of a new art exhibit organized by The Bronx Museum of the Arts called “¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York.” It is on view at three different cultural institutions in New York.

reuters.com
Philippine court upholds guilty verdict on U.S. Marine in transgender woman's killing
The Philippine Court of Appeals has upheld a guilty verdict on a U.S. Marine for killing a transgender woman nearly three years ago

A lower court had found Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton guilty of killing Jennifer Laude in a hotel in Olongapo, outside a former U.S. navy base northwest of the capital, in 2014. He was jailed for 6-10 years on a Philippine military base.

The Court of Appeals denied Pemberton’s appeal due to “lack of merit”. It also raised the compensation he must pay Laude’s family to 150,000 pesos ($3,000) from 80,000 pesos.