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What is happening in America and Europe bears study and reflection. On the surface, we see a rightist drift, as fearful, resentful publics empower forms of politics that promise safety, especially regarding terror attacks that have blown up and bloodied world capitals recently. If we look closer, however, we see how economic insecurity, driven by the investor class, has waged an austerity war against working-class and poor people. For economic insecurity begets political insecurity.
The Land Action 4 are four people who were arrested after actively reclaiming neglected property. I was made aware of this case by housing activist Tim Killings, who organizes around housing rights in Oakland. I conversed with one of the members of the Land Action 4, Patrick Xu, about their case, their beliefs, human rights and the history of reclaiming property internationally. Check out Patrick Xu in his own words, and support the dropping of charges for the Land Action 4.
Berrien County Judge Sterling Schrock sentenced the leader of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization, Rev. Edward Pinkney, to 30-120 months in prison based on an all-white jury’s verdict of guilty on five felony counts of forgery. The charges stemmed from a successful recall petition drive against Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower, who is perceived as a tool of the Whirlpool Corp. and the political power structure in the area.
It’s a damn shame to see this sort of abuse of power, especially when you consider Mayor Lee, who was largely applauded for being the City’s first Asian-American mayor, was a long-time civil rights attorney. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, as many traditional civil rights organizations and leaders have turned the concept upside down.
A press conference will be held Wednesday, April 18, at 3:30 p.m., on the spot where Fly Benzo (DeBray Carpenter) was arrested in October, in Mendell Plaza at Third Street and Palou in the heart of Bayview Hunters Point. Fly Benzo, resistance leader for justice for police murder victim Kenneth Harding, is campaigning against trumped up misdemeanor charges. He faces probation or up to three years in county jail at his sentencing hearing on Friday, April 20, 9 a.m., in Department 27 at 850 Bryant, San Francisco.
"Damn Detroit Police Department! You burned, shot and killed Aiyana Jones, a little 7-year-old girl. You threw a stun grenade through the front window and lit the little girl’s blanket on fire! And then you shot off a bullet that landed in her neck!" - Read this account by Kimora Lee Simmons, another by a 12-year-old girl and the full story by veteran Detroit journalist Abayomi Azikiwe.