Posted 5 years ago on March 23, 2013, 7 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Sunday 3/24 3PM:
Occupy Wall Street and Strike Debt
Stand in Solidarity With the Community of East Flatbush
and the Family of Kimani Gray
March from 55th & Church to the 67th Precinct
This Sunday, people of conscience from across the city will gather in East Flatbush, Brooklyn to show solidarity with the friends, family and community of Kimani “Kiki” Gray as they express their grief, voice their anger, and demand justice. Gray was killed on March 9th by the NYPD, the latest in a systemic pattern of police violence against black and brown communities across the United States. The officers who killed Gray have a documented history of abuse. In order to legitimize the killing, these officers claimed that Gray pointed a gun at them. Eyewitnesses to the killing contest this claim. Gray was shot seven times, three of which were in the back. According to witnesses, Gray was left lying on the ground pleading for his life–“please don’t let me die.”
We call upon all Occupy networks and allies to participate in the Justice for Kimani event this Sunday as an intentional step to amplify this local community action, as well as the nation-wide movement against police violence, mass incarceration, and economic injustice. We stand with our allies who are organizing around Stop and Frisk, implementing Copwatch programs, conducting Know Your Rights trainings, and more. The crisis has been building, and the time is long overdue for people of all races, colors, and creeds to come together for racial justice. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
We also recall the words of Malcolm X: “You can’t have capitalism without racism.” This analysis remains as true today as it was three generations ago, even as oppression has taken on new forms. Predatory debt, public austerity, emergency restructuring, climate crisis: the disasters of Wall Street hit black and brown people the hardest, magnifying the history of racism in the United States and undoing the progress made after the Civil Rights movement. In our urban zones of emergency, there is no justice, only law enforcement; no prosperity, only poverty; no future; only prisons. The harassment, incarceration, and killing of young people like Kimani Gray, Shantel Davis, Oscar Grant, Manuel Diaz, Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham, Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, and countless others bring the depths of this collective racial trauma into horrific relief. We refuse not to look when the NYPD tells us “move along, there is nothing to see here.”
Things have come to a head in East Flatbush: riot gear, horses, helicopters, barricades, mass arrests, intimidation, divide-and-conquer tactics. Bloomberg and the NYPD want to sow fear and enforce silence – especially among the young friends of Kimani who had the courage to take the streets and confront the police on the night of March 14th.
The blood marking the streets of Flatbush, Bronx, Anaheim, Oakland, and beyond fuels a movement already in motion. The movement combines indignant rage with militant love. The actions in East Flatbush and other neighborhoods are sparking something big that strikes at the heart of the system.
The affirmation of life, healing, and community is the true threat presented by the movement, as it charts a path from protest to reconstruction–the repayment of debts owed to communities for generations of stolen lives and incalculable sums of stolen wealth. Why are there plenty of resources for the Stop and Frisk patrols, while physical spaces in the neighborhood lie fallow that could be used as commons for the community?
Looking to the legacies of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Marcus Garvey, WEB Dubois, Martin Luther King, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm X, James and Grace Lee Boggs, and untold freedom fighters throughout history, our shared dream is the worst nightmare of the 1%: a People’s City liberated from the violence of the police and the violence of Wall Street alike.
Justice for Kimani!
Drop the Charges Against the Flatbush 45!
Another World is Possible!
Posted 5 years ago on March 23, 2013, 12:24 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
We are calling on comrades around the world to help raise awareness of the NATO 5 cases and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests. Please read the call-out below and start planning your action or event today!
On May 16, 2012, Chicago cops raided an apartment in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago in an all-too-common attempt to scare people away from the imminent protests against the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit. With guns drawn, the cops arrested 11 people in or around the apartment and quickly disappeared them into the bowels of the extensive network of detention facilities in Cook County, Illinois.
After a few days, a few things started becoming clear: 2 of the arrested “activists” were actually undercover Chicago cops who had targeted the real activists for arrest, 6 of them were illegally held and released at the last possible minute before court action could be taken to force their release, and 3 had been charged with trumped-up, politically motivated terrorism charges. These three—Brent Betterly, Brian Jacob Church, Jared Chase—are now known as the NATO 3. They were ultimately charged with 11 felony counts, including material support for terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism, and creating Molotov cocktails. They face up to 40 years in prison and are expected to go to trial in September. Their lawyers recently filed a motion to dismiss the terrorism charges for being unconstitutional.
Two other Chicago-area activists—Mark Neiweem and Sebastian Senakiewicz—were also preemptively arrested. Mark was arrested in a spectacular snatch-and-grab as he was leaving a restaurant. He was charged with soliciting materials for an explosive device and is facing up to 30 years in prison; his trial date has not yet been set. Sebastian was arrested in another spectacular house raid and charged with falsely making a terrorist threat for allegedly claiming that he had explosive materials and wanted to use them during the convention. Facing 15 years in prison followed by deportation to his native Poland after serving his sentence, he took a non-cooperating plea deal last November. He was sentenced to 4 years with a recommendation of 4 months in boot camp. He is expected to begin his immigration proceedings immediately after completing his sentence.
As the one-year anniversary of these preemptive, politically motivated arrests draws near, we are calling for a week of solidarity actions and fundraisers for the NATO 5. All five defendants have been incarcerated since their arrests last May. Being held hostage in jail is extremely expensive for prisoners, as they are forced to purchase all their hygiene products, writing supplies, additional food to supplement the starvation portions given to them each day, and other basic necessities from the jail’s commissary at exorbitant prices. The legal defense costs for the defendants is also mounting, as their lawyers are working hard to help them win their freedom and there is a ton of evidence to sift through and other preparations to make.
This May, stand in solidarity with the NATO 5! Organize a house party, bake sale, silent auction, cabaret, raffle, rally, noise demo, art auction, street theater performance, concert…whatever you and your friends want! Send us an email at nato5solidarity(A)gmail.com to let us know what you have planned and then send us photos afterwards! You can also write the defendants to let them know what you have planned (https://nato5support.wordpress.com/contact/).
The NATO 5 cases are linked by a few common threads. People around the world have come together to protest NATO’s role in worldwide military expenditures and operations, the organization’s penchant for wantonly killing civilians for the benefit of its member nations—particularly the United States—and its disregard for human rights. Additionally, undercover Chicago police officers targeted and entrapped the activists because of their politics, which is part of a broader pattern of state repression against political activists, in which charging activists as terrorists is one of many strategies being used to silence dissent and dismantle activist communities. Other recent cases in which activists have been targeted include the Cleveland 4 (http://www.cleveland4solidarity.org/), the Green Scare cases (http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/), and the Pacific Northwest Grand Jury resisters (http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/).
Many of these prisoners need your financial support and solidarity as well. The Pacific Northwest Grand Jury resisters are calling for a week of solidarity actions from April 24–May 1 (http://saynothing.noblogs.org/call-for-coordinated-week-of-solidarity-actions/) and the Tinley Park 5 are calling for a day of solidarity on May 19 (http://www.anarchistnews.org/content/one-year-anniversary-arrest-tp5). And don’t forget about June 11th, the International Day of Solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners Eric McDavid and Marie Mason (http://june11.org/).
Make this spring and summer a time of solidarity for the NATO 5 and all targets of state repression!
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