Day 1/3. Johnson City, TN

I go to a PWI in East Tennessee.  Today was my first protest. A group of us at school have been pushed to the breaking point after seeing hashtag on hashtag of innocent Black women, children and men being wrongfully murdered on a daily basis. We are tired and demand for Black Lives to be respected.

 One small voice can change the world. I’m tired of just reblogging, tweeting, retweeting, sharing, and posting about the social injustice that goes on around America and the world. Change and Justice is the only option, America. Quit ignoring what’s going on.
Dirty water at Potlotek First Nation 'disgusting,' say residents
Rally held Tuesday in Cape Breton's Potlotek First Nation about ongoing water issues.

​A rally at Potlotek First Nation in Cape Breton protested ongoing dirty water issues in the community Tuesday afternoon. Residents say the thick, black liquid coming out of their taps is “really gross” and “disgusting” and they want the federal government to intervene.

“I showered with dirt or metal or rust or whatever it was this morning,” said Patricia Paul, who was one of nearly 40 protesters at the reserve’s community centre Tuesday. “I still have shampoo in my hair.”

Paul is one of the many people in the Potlotek community near St. Peter’s who turned their taps on Tuesday to find the thick, black liquid coming out. She said her water didn’t change colour until halfway through her shower.

Paul has three children. She rinses her baby bottles with bottled water because she doesn’t trust the tap water.

“I have to brush their teeth with bottled water in a pot,” said Paul. “I have to sponge bath them. My kids love baths and they haven’t been able to take a bath in weeks.”

Continue Reading.
12-Year-Old Boy Takes On Thousands Of Anti-LGBT Protesters In Mexico
The boy later revealed, "I have an uncle who is gay. I hate that they hate him."

Over the weekend, thousands of members of Mexico’s “pro-family” hate group Frente Nacional por la Familia took to the streets across the nation to protest the impending passage of marriage equality.

Though these homophobic demonstrators faced their fair share of opposition, perhaps the most powerful moment came at a rally in Celaya, Guanajuato when a 12-year-old boy jumped in front of a crowd of 11,000 protesters.



Photo by Tommy Kearns for Under The Radar magazine’s Protest Issue.

Under The Radar magazine’s Protest Auction begins today auctioning off all of the autographed protest signs created by musicians for The Protest Issue of the magazine. All profits made from the auctions will go to the War Child charity and includes an auction of a hand made and autographed sign Amanda made for the issue featured in the photos above. 

Click HERE for more information on Under The Radar’s The Protest Auction.
And CLICK HERE to directly bid on Amanda Palmer’s protest sign.
BREAKING: A Handful of New Bills Prompted By Killings of Unarmed African-American Civilians & The #BlackLivesMatter Protest Movement Are Being Heard Before Congress This Year: Turning Action Into Law to Stop Police Killings

A handful of new bills prompted by the killings of unarmed African-American civilians will go before Congress this year.

Federal legislation related to police brutality and inspired by the spate of killings of unarmed African Americans, particularly men, will be making its way through Congress in 2015. The large demonstrations related to the #BlackLivesMatter movement are sure to mean even more bills in the 114th Congress. Many assume that the new Republican Congress will continue to stop all progressive legislation, but with fewer than 700 days to the next presidential election, Republicans may be out to prove that they can govern.

The recent Senate passage of H.R. 1447, the Death in Custody Reporting Act, was an early win for #BlackLivesMatter. The bill—which requires police departments to report all deaths during arrests and in custody to the Department of Justice—was authored by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 18. “Hopefully when we get information, we can figure out how to reduce the numbers of people dying,” said Scott about the legislation. The bill requires the DOJ to review deaths at the hands of police and to make policy recommendations.

There are five other pieces of federal legislation set to be presented.

1. The Grand Jury Reform ActIn cases of officer-involved shootings,this bill, introduced by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), would require the appointment of a special prosecutor charged with conducting a public probable cause hearing when there is evidence of a crime. After the revelations that St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch allowed a witness who had already been discredited by the FBI to appear, several experts have said that an independent-prosecutor bill is essential.

2. The Camera Authorization and Maintenance ActRep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) will author a bill requiring all state and local law-enforcement agencies that receive Department of Justice grants to have their officers wear body cameras. The bill also requires that cameras be studied for effectiveness and mandates a report to Congress on the Department of Defense’s 1033 Program, through which excess military equipment is turned over to many local police departments.

3. The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement ActA week after Michael Brown was killed,Rep. Johnson announced that he would draft a bill to end the DOD 1033 Program. On Sept. 16 Johnson offered his bill. Johnson was joined by four Republicans on the legislation. Unlike Cleaver’s legislation, Johnson’s is designed to end the 1033 Program, not just provide oversight. The bill would prevent transfers of high-caliber weapons, long-range acoustic devices, grenade launchers, armed drones, armored vehicles, and grenades or similar explosives.

4. The Transparency in Policing ActThis bill, introduced by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), would be a lightweight alternative to the bill offered by Cleaver on body cameras. Often, especially in a gridlocked Congress, a bill with fewer oversight requirements is an easier sell. Green’s legislation requires body cameras and also requires the DOJ to study the use of these cameras by law enforcement. Numerous police departments around the country have conducted studies on body cameras and have gotten positive results.

5. The End Racial Profiling ActAs the name indicates, this legislation seeks to protect minority communities from the use of racial profiling by law enforcement. The bill mandates training on racial-profiling issues and links state grant money to effective policies on the issue. In a statement, co-sponsor Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said, “Recent events demonstrate that racial profiling remains a divisive issue that strikes at the very foundation of our democracy. Though the death of Trayvon Martin was not the result of a law-enforcement encounter, the issues of race and reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct are so closely linked in the minds of the public that his death cannot be separated from the law enforcement profiling debate.”

Even though Attorney General Eric Holder issued new racial-profiling guidelines in December, they restrict profiling only in federal cases, and many elected officials were not happy that the guidelines still allow profiling by many local jurisdictions.

Source: Lauren Victoria Burke for The Root
Why This Jailed Trans Woman of Color Hasn't Eaten for 37 Days
San Francisco County Sheriff's Department officials have promised changes in how the jail houses trans people, but they have been slow in coming.

A transgender woman of color incarcerated in San Francisco County Jail has refused to eat for 37 days — and plans to continue her hunger strike until she is housed with women. Athena Cadence, 29, a trans woman of color and a U.S. combat veteran, was arrested last November for misdemeanor assault, according to S.F. Weekly. She is currently being held in a private cell away from other inmates — and has not eaten since June 1.

Transgender Law Center staff attorney Shawn Meerkamper is in regular contact with Cadence and is helping to monitor her general well-being.

“[She is] remarkably strong and clear-headed, given how long she’s gone without food,” Meerkamper, who uses the gender-neutral pronouns they/them, told The Advocate.



#ICantBreathe: 22 Of The Best Twitter Reactions To The Eric Garner Decision

De ja vu time: Another police officer has been indicted after killing an unarmed black man. Yesterday, a New York grand jury decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge officer Daniel Pantaleo with a crime after his fatal chokehold killed 43-year-old Eric Garner during an arrest attempt back in July. Despite the fact that the entire event was caught on camera, despite the fact that Garner stated 11 times that he could not breathe and despite the fact that the Officer Pantaleo wasn’t allowed to put a suspect in a chokehold in the first place according to the NYPD rule book, Pantaleo won’t be charged with a single crime.

All I have to say is W…T…F?


Ferguson/St. Louis Protester Deray McKesson Speaks Some Truth About Blackness & Being African-American In America: I’ll let Deray’s word speak for themselves. No commentary needed. His words say it all. If you want to read more of Deray’s coverage of Ferguson & St. Louis, click here to access his Twitter.

The image above is an illustration about implications of Net Neutrality. Here’s what is going on today:

There’s a protest organized by a number of large websites, including etsy, Netflix, dailydot, Tumblr staff and Twitter; organizations like the thehpalliance (alongside a lot of youtube filmmakers/vidders - you can add a video too!) are supporting it as well. 

Over the last few months, the FCC has been taking comments on a proposal that would require telecom providers to ensure that “all users have access to an internet experience that is sufficiently robust, fast and effectively usable”. 

Tech and content companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter, wrote to the FCC claiming the rules “would enable phone and cable internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against internet companies and to impose new tolls on them”.


In other words, what you’re seeing today is important, and changes to the nine-months-ago status of Net Neutrality could be problematic (I’m not saying “would be” because codification of Net Neutrality in the FCC’s rules would actually be a change, and awesome) but it doesn’t mean that there’s something newly threatening that’s happened in the last few days. 

Sign the petitions if you want - although the FCC comment period is closed - and make your voice heard, but don’t panic that there’s something new that you may’ve missed in the last week. 

ETA: And check out the tumblr staff post about why your images and icons may look like they’re loading slowly.
Day 50, and BLM's Los Angeles Protest Is Still Going Strong
The national media so far hasn't paid much notice, but Black Lives Matter has been protesting in Los Angeles for 50 consecutive days.

Tuesday marked an important anniversary for the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter. It’s been exactly 50 days since the L.A. chapter first began its occupation of City Hall. The group is calling for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to fire LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. In early August, the group delivered more than 8,000 petitions to the mayor’s office from citizens seeking Beck’s ouster.

Jasmine Richards, an out Black Lives Matter organizer who was arrested in June on a “felony lynching” charge, reflected on the group’s 50-day effort to “Decolonize City Hall.” 

“The Panthers have been around for 50 years, so that’s why its a significant number to me,” Richards told The Advocate on Tuesday.

2,500 Native Americans Successfully Block Oil Pipeline Construction -- State of Emergency Declared
The media is silent amid the declaration of a state of emergency over a peaceful and successful protest by Native Americans to block a pipeline.

Beyond Bodycams — What to Do After Garner and Brown

The grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case in New York City – the second in just over two weeks in which a grand jury in the United States failed to indict a white police officer in the killing of an unarmed African American – has raised important questions about one of the few concrete solutions that US officials (President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, among them) have proposed for dealing with police brutality: the increased use of body cameras.

In theory, and with adequate protections in place for privacy rights, body cameras could provide a useful check on police abuse, though their effectiveness will depend on whether they operate independently of the officer wearing them.

But US and local officials should not treat them as a one-size-fits-all solution to police brutality. After all, Garner’s death in July – which the New York Medical Examiner ruled a homicide – was caught on video by a bystander. Given the prevalence of cell phones, police officers should assume that anything they do in public is likely to be caught on video, and if that was the case for the officer in the Garner case, it did not deter him from using an apparent chokehold, a tactic forbidden by the New York Police Department.

As with the Michael Brown case, it’s hard to assess the content of the Garner grand jury decision without more information. But it’s understandable that many view the verdict as one more example of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, and that the news set off a wave of (peaceful) protests throughout the city. Political leaders should take note. The protests are not just about these two cases: they’re about a criminal justice system in which police killings of people – and, the limited available data suggests, particularly young black men – are all too frequent and hardly ever prosecuted or sanctioned; a system that many African Americans feel, often with good reason, disproportionately targets them for arrest and prosecution.

President Obama has announced a task force to look at policing, though it’s not obvious that it will be looking at the deeper issues the protesters are raising. And Attorney General Eric Holder plans soon to issue an updated guidance to curb racial profiling in federal law enforcement, which – assuming it makes certain key improvements, and doesn’t include new loopholes – should help to address certain federal law enforcement abuses.

But until federal, state, and local governments all deal squarely with the larger problem of a criminal justice system warped by pervasive racial discrimination and impunity for police abuse – by, among other things, improving data collection on police brutality; reviewing and, where necessary, overhauling accountability mechanisms in cases involving police; and reforming police practices that result in abuse or that disproportionately burden African American communities – many of the speeches and proposals policymakers are making will ring hollow.

Photo: People sit and block the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City as they protest the grand jury decision not to indict the police officer under investigation in the death of Eric Garner on December 3, 2014. © 2014 Reuters
DeRay Mckesson Sues Louisiana Police for 'Unconstitutional' Arrest
Out activist DeRay Mckesson filed a federal class-action lawsuit Thursday against the City of Baton Rouge for what he alleges was “excessive force” used by law enforcement during Mckesson’s July 9 arrest in Louisiana.

Mckesson, a prominent organizer within the Movement for Black Lives who has been at the front lines of nationwide protests against police brutality, was one of the 200 activists detained in Baton Rouge during protests following the death of Alton Sterling. Activists took to the streets after the 37-year-old black man from Louisiana was shot and killed by police while officers had him pinned to the ground on July 5.

Mckesson is the named plaintiff in the federal class action lawsuit, which claims that officers “employed unconstitutional tactics to disturb, disrupt, infringe upon and criminalize plaintiffs and class members’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly.” These tactics included “attacking, battering, beating and assaulting plaintiffs and class members without provocation or the need for defense,” the suit continues.

Mckesson and other activists were charged with “simple obstruction of highway commerce,” after police claimed that protesters were blocking traffic on a local highway. But Mckesson’s lawyer, Roy J. Rodney Jr., refutes that claim, saying activists organized in areas that would not impede the flow of traffic. In the live video Mckesson streamed through Periscope during his arrest, a fellow demonstrator can be heard telling police that there is no sidewalk for them to traverse, and explaining that activists were walking on the shoulder, not directly in the road.

What’s more, the highway in question had been closed by police during the protest, Rodney said.

“How can you obstruct a highway that’s closed to traffic?” Rodney asked the Baltimore Sun. “[Police] arrested people who had left the highway and entered private houses or gathered on private property.”

Those arrested included activist and 2016 Socialist Party presidential candidate Gloria La Riva, but charges against her were later dropped.

BREAKING: Police In Ferguson Committed Human Rights Abuses, Report Argues

A new Amnesty International report accuses the agencies that policed the Ferguson protests of improperly using force, among other things.

Police in Ferguson committed an array of human rights abuses during the protests that followed the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, according to a new report.

The 26-page Amnesty International report “outlines some of the human rights abuses and other policing failures” that were observed by a delegation that was sent to Ferguson on Aug. 14. BuzzFeed News journalists saw and spoke with members of the delegation on several occasions during the protests.

A spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department — which was one of several agencies with officers at the protests — responded to the report by telling Reuters that law enforcement “had one mission, and that was the preservation of life.”

Here are some of the alleged abuses detailed in the report:

Police used force, including tear gas and rubber bullets, against peaceful protesters.

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A protester amid tear gas on Aug. 17. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

The report mentions several times police fired tear gas at protesters, including one instance (p. 13) during which “it appeared that flash bangs and tear gas were thrown directly in front of the line of protestors, forcing” them to run down W. Florissant Ave. The report also recounts instances in which police used rubber bullets (p. 13), pepper spray (p. 12), and “long range acoustic devices” (p. 14) to disperse crowds.

The report — which lists the examples of police force in a section on “human rights concerns” — acknowledges that some looting and vandalism took place. However, it adds that the police response punished protesters and vandals alike (p. 6). It also was unclear if police gave lawful orders to disperse, the report adds (p. 12).

Police forced protesters to “keep moving or be arrested.”

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Protesters march down the middle of a street on Aug. 15. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Officials began forcing protesters to keep moving at all times or face arrest on Aug. 18 (p. 7). It was a shift in tactics that largely worked for police — but one that also happened to be illegal.

The report criticizes the tactic on a variety of grounds, including that it was arbitrarily applied and that a “protest zone” for people to rest in was an improper solution. The report also notes that some felt the order to keep moving was designed to tire out protesters and get them to go home. Several people at the scene mentioned similar concerns to BuzzFeed News reporters as well.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon imposed a curfew during the protests.

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People run as police start to fire tear gas at a crowd on the street after a midnight curfew on August 17. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The curfew was in effect Aug. 16 and 17, before the National Guard arrived (p. 7). The report argues that the curfew limited people’s rights to demonstrate peacefully, and “also the freedom of movement of the general public in Ferguson who were required to be off of the streets after midnight each night.”

Police intimidated protesters and the media.

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A law enforcement officer in Ferguson aims his rifle on Aug. 17. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

The report mentions (p. 10) several instances when police at the protests were armed with semiautomatic weapons and had police dogs — both things witnessed by BuzzFeed News reporters as well. Police also were equipped with riot gear, batons, shields, and helmets, and the response served to escalate tensions at the scene, the report argues. It also recounts an instance in which an officer pointed a gun at journalists and threatened to kill them.

The report also details ways in which police restricted the media, including arresting at least 19 journalists (p. 16).

The report expresses skepticism that Brown posed a threat to police before he was killed, and calls for a thorough investigation into his death.

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A memorial near the spot where Michael Brown was shot to death by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

After noting that the events leading up to Brown’s death remain unclear, the report calls for a thorough investigation (p. 3). It also states that force should only be used “to save life” (p. 2), and that because he was unarmed, Brown was “unlikely to have presented a serious threat to the life of the police officer.”

Amnesty International did not receive any official response from Capt. Ron Johnson, who commanded law enforcement during the protests.

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Adrees Latif / Reuters

The report describes a 15-minute meeting (p. 16) with Amnesty delegates and Johnson, pictured above, in the back of an unmarked police car on Aug. 21. In order to secure the meeting, delegates had to promise that media would not be included, and that they would not use social media while it was happening.

The delegates presented Johnson with a series of questions, but neither he nor a spokesperson of the Missouri Department of Public Safety — who also attended the meeting — had responded by the time the report was written.

To read the full report, click here, or read it below.


Source: Jim Dalrymple II for Buzzfeed News

Catholicism is not Christianity

“Catholicism believes in the traditions they hold being as sacred as the Bible they read.“In the supremely wise arrangement of God, Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others.”(Vatican Council II) Jesus plainly says in the Bible that there are people whose hearts are far from Him even though these people claim to worship Him. He says that these people follow the traditions of men instead of their own Lord. (Mark 7.6-9) So from this, one can see a denial of a decree from Jesus Himself that traditions will take away from the word of God. Catholicism is based on a few things though: The Bible, Tradition, and the works that Catholicism has added. These traditions that Catholicism follows range from how they proceed with their church service to the kissing of the pope’s hand to catechism. With tradition defying God in Mark, we can also see it in Matthew: “Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” (Matthew 15.6b). Catholicism not only adds tradition to the Bible, but it also adds works.

In Catholicism, you are to work toward salvation, forgiveness for sins is through another sinner (called priest), and that the pope is the representative for God on earth. This is where Catholicism is denying sound Biblical doctrine again and the Gospel itself. The Bible clearly says how it is that a Christian is saved and from this salvation, reborn through Christ Jesus: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2.8–9), but from Catholicism we can clearly see a denial of THE GOSPEL. “The Sacrament of Baptism…Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life…through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn [born again] as sons of God…” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sec. 1213, p.342). Catholicism has added the Baptism as a requirement for, and the basis for, salvation when clearly Holy Scripture tells us that it is our Lord and Savior’s Grace alone by our faith alone that caused salvation. This isn’t the only work that the Catholic church has added to the Bible.

According to Catholicism you need to be constantly doing good works in your life to be saved but, from previous scripture, one can see this is Doctrinally wrong. To be forgiven of one’s sins, one has to talk to a priest and he can forgive them.“The forgiveness of God can be obtained only through the supplication of priests.” (Pope St. Leo the Great) A great question arises here as a Christian and it was asked in the Bible. “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2.7b) This is a great rhetorical question which also leads one to question priesthood as well, but the Bible has a distinct answer in just who priests are.“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood… a people belonging to God…”(1 Peter 2.9, a referring to the Christians). The pope claims to be THE representative for God on earth, “The entire body of society is sick; all it’s most noble parts are infected; the very sources of life have been tainted. The one refuge, the one remedy, is the Pope.”(Pope St. Pius X), but according to sound Biblical Doctrine, one can learn something quite different. “he that hath seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14.9) Here, Jesus says that he is the form of God walking the earth. That if you have seen God, you have seen Jesus, and that if you have seen Jesus, then you have seen God. This would make him the representative of God, and God, on earth whom the pope claimed to be. Claiming to be the representative of God sounds mildly all right until you realize that it means you are claiming to be God.

When looking at the beliefs of Christianity compared to Catholicism, one can see the difference in the two. Denial of the Gospel should have been a key sign. Claiming to be the representative of God, a role placed only for Christ Jesus, should have been another sign. Traditions taking away from the word of God can be seen as yet another indicator. With these reasons out in plain sight with sound Biblical Doctrine to earnestly contend for the faith of Christianity, one can see why Catholicism isn’t Christianity.”

-Ryan Patterson

#BlackLivesMatter Bring In The New Year With Fresh Protests

The recent police killings of numerous black men have sparked outrage and prompted nationwide responses from activists seeking to bring about change – and New Year’s Eve was no exception.

As revelers nationwide bid goodbye to 2014, protesters brought in the new year by rallying in major U.S. cities, proving that the fight to end police brutality against black lives will not vanish anytime soon.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered to coincide with the evening’s celebrations. While the protests were more subdued than those held in recent weeks, many continued to rally and spread awareness of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

About 100 protesters marched through New York City to Times Square on Wednesday evening where thousands were gathered to participate in the city’s popular New Year’s Eve celebration. However, police reportedly blocked protesters from entering crowded areas and demonstrators instead staged “die-ins” in nearby areas.

“Blow your whistle, raise your fist. We refuse to live life like this!” protesters chanted as they marched through the city.

In Boston, activists held a peaceful protest outside the Boston Public Library where dozens of people staged a “die-in” to speak out against the recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice and Ezell Ford – all of whom are black men who have lost their lives to police killings in the past year.

Never in recent history has the concern over police brutality and racial profiling been more prevalent than it was in 2014.

“There’s a lot of pressure for us not to do this but we thought it was a fundamental right that we have in this country,” one protest organizer, Brock Satter, told CBS Boston.

A small group of protesters gathered in Cleveland, Ohio, where 12-year-old Rice was shot and killed by a police officer in November. However, temperatures hit 20 degrees and the crowd reportedly began to disperse shortly before 11 p.m.

“No New Year under this old system. We can’t breathe,” signs read, a reference to Garner’s death.

Many of the night’s protests were organized by The Stop Mass Incarceration Network, which is a group committed to bringing an end to racial injustice in policing. The protests were planned to “Rock in the new year with resistance” as part of a collective effort to show the issues will not lose steam.

Earlier on Wednesday, about 75 protesters stormed police headquarters in St. Louis with an “eviction notice” and called for amnesty for protesters charged with non-violent crimes. Five people were arrested while several other protesters were pepper-sprayed on camera.

Meanwhile, signs posted on walls around the building read:

“We are informing you that the police department is scheduled to be reclaimed by its citizens today, December 31, 2014.” It was signed, “We the people.”