Sunday, May 31, 2020

Despite Pandemic, La Mesa and San Diego Join A Chorus Of Protests Against Police Brutality Across The United States

Forgive this picture of Mission Trails from 12.10.2019.
I never use stock photography or any photos I don't have direct permission to share. 
I recently started reading a book called Writers & Lovers by Lily King and things have been moving a million miles a minute, so I haven't gotten too deep, but I already know I love it. Through the protagonist she says, "I don't write because I think I have something to say. I write because if I don't, everything feels even worse."
And I guess that's where I am today.
I'm speechless at the images and live video I witnessed last night. Locally and nationally it is so much to take in, and on the one hand, "silence is violence" and on the other hand, there is so much listening (reading) to the voices of the people who are in so much pain that needs to be done. On one hand, seeing people's businesses destroyed is heartbreaking, on the other hand, those same business owners calling people "animals" and "thugs" and "cockroaches" demonstrates how many of us just don't get it.
There are more calls for peaceful protests today, and if you choose to go, please be safe and plan ahead. In the time I've taken to compile this post, news is already coming in about protests in San Diego and street and freeway closures as a result.
We are seeing images from all over the country and even from La Mesa that law enforcement has seen "unlawful assembly" or minor vandalism as cause enough to openly attack with tear gas, pepper spray, and other chemical agents, as well as rubber bullets, wood pellets, tasers, batons, and other means of violence. We are also seeing image after image of "instigators" and "accelerators" which may include law enforcement, anarchists, and alt-right operatives creating havoc.

I've read dozens of articles and stories in the past 24 hours, and I'm going to share much of that below. after the jump.

I'm doing my best to properly attribute articles and links, but please forgive if some posts have been incorrectly attributed.

Update: La Mesa Has issued a 7pm-7am curfew tonight.
  • Facebook Pages/Live Feeds to Follow
  • Civil rights lawyer, former public defender, and Civil Rights Corps founder Alec Karakatsanis made the following statement about the protests that are currently sweeping the nation following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police:

    “American policing is an instrument of white supremacy and wealth preservation – from its roots in slave patrols to the lynchings by strangulation and gunshot we see by mobile phone video today. George Floyd, Breona Taylor, and countless others should still be with us, but our racist punishment bureaucracy has taken them from us and protects the government employees who murder them every day. As a white ally, I stand with each and every black organizer, protestor, and person who is crying out and sick and tired of this senseless suffering. My organization, Civil Rights Corps, has sent resources to immediately support demonstrators in Minneapolis and other cities.

    Divestment from policing and the punishment bureaucracy must happen if the United States is going to be serious about healing these wounds. No more platitudes about 'justice' – we must shift money from punishment, surveillance, military-style policing, and human caging and invest those resources in the holistic public health and wellbeing of our communities."
  • A post from Legal Observer Kylee Belanger about La Mesa events:
    "They were completely peaceful, from everything I observed, right up until LMPD/SDSO started firing indiscriminately. Without arrests to back them up, no order was restored, just chaos and county/city sponsored cruelty. The officers who gave the orders to fire should be charged with inciting a riot - BECAUSE THEY FUCKING DID. every business looted, all the people hurt, the further spread of COVID - it is on these officers that gave the order - or perhaps took it upon themselves - to fire the first shot." 
  • I was pleased with NBC San Diego's coverage of the events last night as they repeatedly made the clarifications that (1) the people who peacefully protested in the day were not necessarily the same people at night and (2) that from their own reporters, it was La Mesa PD who started the tear gas spraying, without warning, on to the crowd. This was the title to their story last night. La Mesa Police Deploy Tear Gas as Crowd Grows Outside HQ - NBC San Diego (5.30.2020) I'm disappointed that the title has since been changed to "Banks Ablaze, Stores Looted Amid Unrest in La Mesa"
  • Black Protesters Who Want To Demonstrate Peacefully Are Calling Out White People Who Instigate Violence - BuzzFeed (5.30.2020)
  • Violent protests are not the story. Police violence is.  - The protests will eventually end. But state-sanctioned violence against black Americans won’t.- Vox (5.30.2020)
  • A post from Erica Carmen Kaye in response to the oft-asked question, “How does looting, rioting, and destroying your OWN community bring justice for anyone?"
  • Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide - Slate (5.31.2020)
  • Opinion: Fire, pestilence and a country at war with itself: the Trump presidency is over by Robert Reich for The Guardian (5.31.2020)
    "You’d be forgiven if you hadn’t noticed. His verbal bombshells are louder than ever, but Donald Trump is no longer president of the United States.
    By having no constructive response to any of the monumental crises now convulsing America, Trump has abdicated his office.
    He is not governing. He’s golfing, watching cable TV and tweeting."

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