December 2015 Archives
"My family and I are in pain and devastated by the non-indictment of officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback for the murder of our beloved Tamir. After this investigation--which took over a year to unfold--and Prosecutor McGinty's mishandling of this case, we no longer trust the local criminal-justice system, which we view as corrupt.
Prosecutor McGinty deliberately sabotaged the case, never advocating for my son, and acting instead like the police officers' defense attorney. In a time in which a non-indictment who have killed an unarmed black child is business as usual, we mourn for Tamir, and for all of the black people who have been killed by the police without justice. In our view, this process demonstrates that race is still an extremely troubling and serious problem in our country and the criminal-justice system.
I don't want my child to have died for nothing and I refuse to let his legacy or his name be ignored. We will continue to fight for justice for him, and for all families who must live with the pain that we live with.
As the video shows, Officer Loehmann shot my son in less than a second. All I wanted was someone to be held accountable. But this entire process was a charade.
I pray and hope that the federal government will investigate this case."
Bay Area Residents Protest AIPAC Fund-raiser
Elaine Pasquini, Washington Report On Middle East Affairs
Demanding an end to Israel's suppression of Palestinian human rights, some 200 San Francisco Bay Area residents protested the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) fund-raiser dinner at the Westin St. Francis Hotel December 14. Opposed to AIPAC's influence on U.S. foreign policy, activists also demanded an end to the $3 billion in annual U.S. aid to Israel, which amount is scheduled to increase in 2016.
Attendees entering the hotel walked by activists holding signs reading "Boycott Israeli Goods" and "Free Palestine." One man displayed his placard stating "Jews Say AIPAC Doesn't Speak For Us." Many passersby showed support for the protest. Passing motorists honked their horns and a cable car conductor rang his bell in solidarity.
The powerful pro-Israel lobbying group solicited for even more funds while Israel escalated its level of attacks on Palestinian civilians in East Jerusalem, Hebron and other areas of the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Health Ministry reports that since October 1, 2015 Israeli military forces have killed at least 118 Palestinians and injured more than 2,500. The number of Palestinian children in Israeli detention has doubled, with many being tortured and denied adequate food and medical services in violation of Israeli law.
In solidarity with community concerns, several San Francisco supervisors rejected invitations to the gala, including John Avalos, London Breed, David Campos, Jane Kim and Eric Mar.
"We asked public officials to join the effort to challenge apartheid and racist policies in Israel, just as San Francisco did during apartheid South Africa," said Omar Ali of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, one of the coordinators of the protest. Others included Bay Area Women in Black, Jewish Voice for Peace, ANSWER, National Lawyer's Guild, General Union of Palestine Students and Northern California Friends of Sabeel.
Praising Israeli security forces as "the best" in counter-terrorism, a group of 15 senior U.S. police officials just came back from studying Israel's occupation-and-counter-insurgency-style policing - complete with militarized gear, tactics and mindset - in hopes of emulating their expertise in racial profiling, excessive force, mass incarceration, collective punishment and other human rights abuses. The Americans, including several big city police chiefs, sheriffs and US Customs and Border Protection personnel, met with elite units from the Jerusalem Police, border police and Israeli Security. This trip was sponsored by the U.S. Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a security think tank that works primarily with military personnel; similar training trips have been organized in recent years by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee's Project Interchange.
"Hundreds gathered in San Francisco Thursday night, calling for justice for the man killed by city police officers in a shooting that sparked nationwide outrage after it was caught on video and widely circulated on social media," reports Jenna Lyons, sfgate.com.
"Mario Woods, 26, died Wednesday shortly after at least five police officers fired at him about 15 times in the Bayview neighborhood about 4:30 pm Wednesday...
"Police Chief Greg Suhr has scheduled a community meeting to discuss the incident at 6 pm Friday at the City College of San Francisco Southeast Campus, 1800 Oakdale Avenue."
..British lawmakers voted 397 to 223 to support Prime Minister David Cameron's plan for air strikes. The warplanes took off from an airbase in Cyprus. They struck oil fields in eastern Syria controlled by the self-proclaimed Islamic State...
click on image to enlarge
forwarded by Nizar Manji:
What happened in Paris last night was awful. I stayed up late following the news in disbelief and I am so sorry to anyone who has been affected by these horrible attacks. The international community has responded, as predicted, by showing their unwavering solidarity with Paris.
The night before that, a bomb went off in my country, Lebanon, killing 43 people. No one prayed for us. No one kept us in their thoughts. No world leaders made late-night statements about us. No one changed their profile pictures. There was no hashtag. No option to be "marked as safe" by Facebook. Just silence.
Syria has suffered more than can be quantified in words and distilled into a Facebook status. They get nothing. Just more silence.
73 Palestinians were killed by Israel in October alone. Silence.
Nearly 100 people were killed by explosions at a peace rally in Ankara last month. Just silence.
At least 3,500 people have been killed in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger in conflict this year. Silence.
I'm not even angry at this point, just tired. Exhausted. Exhausted that an assault on an open air prison like Gaza which leaves 2300 people dead gets little to no attention but the minute something happens in Europe, something happens to white people, everyone is so (I think quite genuinely) broken up about it. I'm not saying don't be. I'm not saying that the people who lost their lives last night do not deserve to be mourned because of course they do.
They were innocent and now they are dead. As an Arab, we know better than anyone how it hurts and we should all continue to keep them in our thoughts. But what about us? Don't we deserve to be mourned? Are we not human enough? Are we too Arab for you? Too black for you? Too Other for you? Do you find it impossible to empathise with us because of the colour of our skin?
There's a word for that.
And then, after all of this, after all is said and done. After it hits us, just how little we matter. Just how insignificant and inferior we are as human beings. That's when the best part comes. My favourite part.
Apologise. We are told to apologise. It is demanded of us. WE need to apologise for the actions of barbarians who have been doing their worst to us for so long now. We are the victims. What you experience at the hands of these extremists is a fraction of what Syria experiences. Of what Lebanon experiences. We put up with it every single day. And now, in some kind of sick, twisted joke, we are asked to apologise. We are to be held accountable. The main victims and refugees of this tragedy must pay. As if we have not yet paid enough in blood and land and dignity.
Sorry. We're sorry that you have occupied our lands, pillaged them, divvied them up between you like gold. We're sorry that you've robbed us of our wealth, dignity and freedom. We're sorry that you've left nothing in your wake except rubble and anger. We're sorry that those disillusioned and disenfranchised people you left in your wake hurtle into extremism. We're sorry that you benefit from their barbarity. We're sorry that you allow them to do these things to us, that you encourage them and provide them with the resources they need to do us harm. We're sorry they turn against you in the end. We're sorry they came back for you. We're sorry.
We hope you can find it in you to forgive us.
The only reason that these [killings by police] keep happening is because most of American society tacitly approves or willfully tolerates it. There is no other explanation. If America wanted this to end, it would end...