- Afropunk Army
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- Corporate Accountability
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- Drop/Bring Charges
- Economic Justice
- Employment Discrimination
- End The War on Black People
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Fire and Charge the Officers who Killed Desmond PhillipsChico Police Officers Alex Fliehr and Jeremy Gagnebin shot and killed Desmond Phillips. On March 17th, 2017 Desmond's father, David call 911 for medical assistance. David had made such a call twice before in a few months time. At 25 years old Desmond struggled with mental health challenges including PTSD from being beaten by Sacramento police for being unresponsive. That police assault put him in the hospital ICU for 4 days. The Chico 911 dispatch, Chico Police, and Chico Behavioral Health Department were familiar with Desmond's background and had successfully taken him in for mental health treatment twice before. On March 17th the first responders who arrived at David's apartment removed Desmond's headphones and sunglasses which is how he was coping with the crisis he was in. When he became agitated in response, they first responders called in the police. The police arrived at the scene with a non-lethal beanbag gun and shield, but those things were never used. When Desmond saw the police he panicked and locked the front door. The police broke down the door, tased him and within seconds Officers Gagnebin and Fliehr fired 16 shots total from their two semi-automatic handguns. The police claim that Desmond got back up after being tased and charged at them with a knife. But David was there and witnessed the officers murder his son. Desmond's nephews 10 and 12 year nephews were also in the apartment. The neighbors heard what can be heard on the 911 tape as well, the taser was deployed and only a few second passed before the gunshots began, Every shot was in his face and chest area, and the highest blood or bullet holes in the wall were at 4 feet high. Desmond was 6'1', clearly showing that he could not have been standing when he was shot as the police claimed. A couple of the bullets passed through a wall into the neighboring apartment. what they found in Desmond's hand was not a knife but a piece of the door jam that had broken when the police entered. Both officers were rookies, one with 2 years and the other with one year on duty. It was negligent and reckless for Sergeant Lefkowitz to send 2 rookies into a mental health crisis and potentially violent situation. The 911 dispatcher, the first responders, and the police NEVER called in ANY mental health professionals. Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey has ruled that the murder was "justified" and will not be pressing criminal charges. During each public statement DA Ramsey gave during the investigation, his version of what happened has changed in multiple ways. Chico Police Chief O'Brien and DA Ramsey claimed that the Officers involved had gone through Critical Incident Training. Sheriff Duch, who teaches de-escalation training, resigned citing that the Police and DA were lying about the training Officers Fliehr, Gagnebin, and others have had. The two Officers who killed Desmond got a paid vacation (administrative leave, during the investigation) and are now back on duty. The Phillips family and the Community demand that they be fired. They are a danger to the Community. The Phillips family and the Community want the CA State Attorney General to launch an independent investigation and press criminal charges against Officer Alex Fliehr, Officer Jeremy Gagnebin, and Sergeant Todd Lefkowitz. How many Black people must be killed by law enforcement before we see justice for their families, serious consequences for the killers, and changes in policy and procedure that continue to enable these tragedies?
Investigate the Bail Bond Industry in New YorkDear Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Schneiderman, Each year in New York State, as many as 100,000 people are imprisoned for their inability to afford bail. For some families, the only way to buy a loved one’s release from jail is through the for-profit commercial bail bond industry. The commercial bail bond industry is inherently exploitative, and bail agents take advantage of lax regulations to gouge vulnerable consumers in a moment of crisis, desperate to get a loved one out of jail. They charge a nonrefundable fee of about 10 percent of the bond amount, may require unlimited amounts of collateral, and often impose onerous and invasive check-in requirements as well as illegal fees and conditions. No one should be profiting off the hardship of others, or relying on people in jail for a revenue stream. The commercial bail bond industry is highly profitable, in large part because it is virtually unregulated, leaving unscrupulous bail agents free reign. Bail corporations prey on some of our most vulnerable communities that have the least political power- specifically people of color and those too poor to afford a lawyer. Similar to payday loans, the bail industry extracts millions of dollars a year from the neighborhoods that can least afford it. Bail bondsmen are lobbying elected officials regularly to ensure that bail and mass incarceration remain the status quo. However, we are fighting back and we’re gaining momentum. With an investigation into this industry, the Governor and Attorney General will have the opportunity to expose an industry that is working to hurt their constituents. The bail bond industry has corrupted our constitutional freedoms for the purpose of profit. By investigating the bail bond industry the state of New York can unwind one of the most unjust aspects of the criminal justice system. By signing the petition you will be telling Gov. Cuomo that we will no longer allow the bail bond industry to prey on Black communities without any oversight. Due to how vulnerable of a position people are placed in when being in jail for even a short amount of time the bail bond industry is using this as an opportunity to make huge profits off the backs of poor people. Investigate the bail bond industry today! Thank you, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and VOCAL-NY
Prosecute Police Who Kill Our PeopleDuring her terms in office, nearly 300 Los Angeles County residents have been killed by police, including #EzellFord, #KendrecMcDade, #NephiArreguin, #MichelleShirley, #RedelJones, #WakieshaWilson, #JRThomas, #KeithBursey, #JesseRomero, #EdwinRodriguez, #KennyWatkins, #BrendanGlenn, #BrotherAfrica, #ZelalemEwnetu, #CarnellSnell and literally hundreds of others. In the case of Brendan Glenn, the officer was actually recommended for charges by the Los Angeles Police Department. NO OFFICER HAS EVER BEEN CHARGED FOR THE KILLING OF A RESIDENT BY LACEY. Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriffs, and the policing units throughout the County lead the nation in the killing of community residents. For at least the last five years, LAPD and LA County Sheriff have led the nation in police killings. Yet, the District Attorney has not charged a single officer in any of these killings. The message sent to Los Angeles County law enforcement units is that they can kill residents and get away with it. Police cannot be relied on to hold themselves accountable, this is the work of the District Attorney. We are demanding that Jackie Lacey do her job and prosecute corrupt, abusive, and murderous police.
Jamarion Robinson - Shot 76 Times in Atlanta, GAThis is important because we are tried of them killing our son's, nephews, father's, daughters and mother's. Police Killings are at an all time high. Police officers are committing hate crimes against our children. I don't ever want a mother to experience the pain of losing a child to such a hateful act.. Enough Is Enough! Police need to be held accountable.
Tell Santander to Stop their racist lending practices!Santander Consumer, the largest and most recognized name in subprime auto lending, is the poster child for predatory practices in the industry. Here’s why—Santander Consumer is actively preying on vulnerable elderly consumers and people of color with wildly high fees and interest rates. Their laundry list of fines, violations, and lawsuits proves it: - They were recently subpoenaed for racist and discriminatory interest rate markups related to auto lending and securitizations by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). - Twenty-eight state attorneys general are also investigating Santander Consumer for predatory and discriminatory practices in auto lending and securitizations. - They recently paid over $40 million in fines and restitution to settle lawsuits over their illegal lending, collection, and repossession practices. Predatory auto loan practices disproportionately affect communities of color, deepening poverty levels, limiting access to credit and perpetuating centuries of inequality. People of color are more often given misleading information and African Americans and Latinos are nearly twice as likely to be sold unnecessary add-on products than white consumers. Predatory loans increase the chance of loan delinquency and auto repossession, which have serious consequences for the financial health of communities of color. Even former Santander workers have said that the they’ve seen “unbelievable” interest rates and business practices that target and prey on communities of color with unaffordable loans with toxic fees. The trend is clear. Santander Consumer lending practices aren’t just bad business, they’re racist and immoral. Join us in demanding Santander stop their racist lending practices and sign our petition.
Stop the state takeover of the Jackson Public School District by the state of MississippiThe state of Mississippi is moving to take over the Jackson Public School District (JPS). JPS is the state's second largest district, the only urban one and is about 97% Black. Mississippi has continually under-funded Black and poor districts for many years. Last year, JPS was under-funded by about $11.5mil during the last school year, while the conservative state leaders have continually changed laws and regulations to make it easier to privatize public dollars (i.e. charter, vouchers, tax credits), starting with 3 charter schools in Jackson. This is a national trend that disproportionately affects Black and Brown communities and has shown negligible gains for our children. We are asking for your support in pushing our state leadership to prevent this takeover. The state of Mississippi has never cared about the Black children of Jackson, and they aren't about to start, so we need your support in letting the leadership know this and allow us to keep local control (achieved through a democratic process). JPS went through an unfair, and unprecedented audit in order to create the sense of chaos in the district. On Aug 31, we got the results of the year long audit and it was completely off base. We had the opportunity to respond in hearings on September 13 and 14, but the state board still recommended takeover to the governor, without ever reading our responses, documentation, and exhibits. These are the most pressing reasons why this is an unjust and unfair takeover that is very clearly about the re-colonization of our city and pulling away our resources: Specifically, we are requesting the governor make a decision to not sign the take over of the Jackson Public Schools for the following reasons: 1. The Jackson Public School District has addressed and corrected a substantial number of the audit findings in the Audit Report released Thursday, August 31. 2. The students, parents and community members stand ready to work in partnership with the district to address those remaining issues within their purview. 3. Many of the audit findings that form the basis of this proposed takeover are administrative and procedural, not educational in nature; yet, a state takeover will directly and negatively impact the instructional capacity and effectiveness of the district. 4. Fact, state takeovers of school districts do not yield improvements in student achievement; rather, more often than not, student achievement is stagnated during the short term and delayed over the long term. 5. State takeovers diminish community engagement and involvement, necessary ingredients to increase and enhance district and student success. 6. Extracurricular activities are important components to student, school and community life. Students in Jackson deserve the right to participate in activities that will enhance their academic, social and emotional wellbeing while preparing for life after graduation. These activities often keep students in school. A take over will affect opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities. 7. The students, parents, community leaders, faith leaders and business leaders should determine the future Jackson Public Schools.
Justice for Ville Platte Pedestrians"A Ville Platte man and two teenagers are recovering after all three were hit by a truck. However, they are facing charges, and the driver isn't. Police have fined the three for not wearing reflective clothing at night and charged them with obstructing a public passage." From a story by Kendria LaFleu at KATC an ABC affiliate. Twenty-one-year-old Deonte Williams, 19-year-old Cody Mayes and 17-year-old Kevin Wilson need justice. If you're a victim of a crash, you shouldn't be the one charged with a crime. The fact that they are being charged with a crime after a crash is a gross miscarriage of justice. Charges need to be dropped on the two teenagers and young man, the laws and ordinances that is allowing for charges and fines need to be struck from the books, and Ville Platte needs to actively apply for Complete Streets funding, since clearly there are serious street design issues if people are being mandated to wear reflective gear for walking. My name is Teka-Lark Lo I am an alternative transportation advocate in New York City. My focus is Complete Streets for hypersegregated communities. The Black community has historically been and continues to be home to the most hypersegregated communities in the United States. We do not have equity in many areas, including areas of active transportation, such as walking and bicycling. I am joined with longtime Ville Platte Civil Rights Activist Arthur James Sampson Jr. and the NAACP Lafayette, La Branch # 6060. We all deserve the freedom to walk and bike in our communities without fear of being run over and charged with a crime. This situation is a clear example of transportation injustice. The Ville Platte, Louisiana, Police Department (VPPD) and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) was found by the Department of Justice in December of 2016 "to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution" and instead of its politicians condemning the police and sheriff for such behavior they support and encourage it and actively use the police and sheriff for punitively enforcing mobility limiting and Civil Right violating policies, such as the walking curfew and mandating reflective clothing when walking. Regardless of where you're Black, whether it be in the metropolitan cities of Los Angeles & New York or in rural Ville Platte, Louisiana, you deserve justice. You deserve #TransportationEquity #BicycleEquity. Give Transportation Equity to Ville Platte. Help the citizens of Ville Platte walk home without fear of being run over by a truck and charged with a crime. Tell Mayor Vidrine to drop the charges against Deonte Williams, Cody Mayes, and Kevin Wilson.
Don't Demolish our Homes: Keep Minneapolis Public Housing Public!My name is Ladan and I am a mother and organizer with Defend Glendale & Public Housing Coalition. I've lived in Glendale public housing for over 12 years with my daughter. Now Glendale and the rest of our public housing in Minneapolis are at risk of going to private developers! This would result in the displacement of 26,000 low-income residents, if we don’t stop Minneapolis Public Housing Authority's (MPHA) privatization plans at the City and State level. We must stop MPHA’s Board of Commissioners & Executive Director Gregory Russ from implementing “Guiding Principles for Redevelopment and Capital Investment.” The aim of these "Guiding Principles" is to sell, lease and/or demolish 730 family homes, 42 high-rises , 184 homes at Glendale Townhomes, and 6000 units so private developers can take over. MPHA not only wants to privatize Glendale but the rest of the public housing units all over the city. The majority of the residents who live in Glendale and other public housings units are Black immigrants, refugees, and poc. Residents already facing extreme poverty, and now are at risk of loosing their public housing. Please join me in my fight to keep my neighborhood and city by defending Glendale and public housing in Minneapolis. The new “public-private” partnership model that our city is trying to make status quo, will inevitably transfer public funding and tax dollars for housing to the pockets of landlords and corporations through various schemes like low-income tax credits and corporate welfare. Once public buildings become private, the income requirements for residents will rise, meaning that most of the current Black, immigrant, and low-income residents will no longer be able to afford to live there because the buildings are no longer publicly owned. This is a classic example of displacement happening around the country. This is how Black people are being pushed out and displaced from cities nationally, and this is what we must fight against. According to the Ben Carson led U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Average Median Income of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area is $85,800 for a family of four. However, the average income for people like me, who live in MPHA households is only $20,656 (not including residents on fixed incomes, who make less). The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funded “affordable” housing leaves working class Minneapolis residents behind, and disproportionately excludes people of color, especially Black people. A May documentary by Frontline and report by NPR revealed that developers receiving Low Income Housing Tax Credits ( LIHTC) have very little accountability, and are rarely held accountable by the government. The Frontline documentary reveals that many developers have made millions of dollars building LIHTC affordable housing, some using bribery, fraud, or secret bank accounts to hide stolen funds to increase their profits. Please join me as we work to Defend Glendale and the rest of public housing and STOP the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority from displacing residents from their homes and communities. MPHA is doing this so that they can make a profit by doing business with private developers. STOP MPHA FROM DISPLACING RESIDENTS from their homes and communities! STOP GIVEAWAYS TO PRIVATE EQUITY LANDLORDS! KEEP Public housing under land trust! FULLY FUND PUBLIC HOUSING! REPLACE the MPHA Executive Director and Board of Commissioners with an Executive Director and Commissioners who fully support preserving public housing! DEFEND PUBLIC HOUSING! AN ATTACK ON PUBLIC HOUSING IS AN ATTACK ON HUMAN RIGHTS! Thank You, Ladan Yusuf and the rest of the Defend Glendale & Public Housing Coalition
Tell Vegas PD: Release the video and names of officers that assaulted NFL player Michael BennettPolice brutalizing Black people is endemic in the United States. Last Saturday police terrorized 6'4 ft, 274 lbs NFL star Michael Bennett “for walking while Black”. This latest incident stands as a testament to the police violence targeting Black people in the United States. Last Saturday, I received an urgent call from Michael Bennett immediately after he was assaulted by police officers in Las Vegas. Michael was leaving the Mayweather-McGregor fight and walking back to his hotel when reported shots fired. He ran for cover and continued walking once he believed he was safe. Unexpectedly, Michael was ordered to lay on the ground by an officer who then held a gun to his head yelling, "Don't move or I will blow your fucking head off!" Officers then tossed Michael into a squad car, only to later release him once he was identified as a famous NFL star. Immediately fearing retaliation for their use of excessive force, the officers lied and told Michael they assaulted him for his own protection. As a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Network, I receive countless calls from victims and families of police violence. We’ve worked relentlessly to provide folks with emotional support and connect them to policy advocates and lawyers. Yet, often our efforts to hold police accountable are prevented by the state’s lack of transparency. But for Michael’s case, transparency is the first step in the fight for justice. Demand the Las Vegas Police Department releases Michael Bennett's police footage and the names of the officers involved now!
#ResignBrannigan : Hate Has No Home In Our Community, Palos Township!The hate rhetoric spewed on social media over the past few years by current Palos Township Trustee, Sharon Brannigan, is alarming. These false and misleading allegations, and the spewing of hateful, racist rhetoric, are not only concerning to the Arab and Muslim residents of the Township, but to all residents who value diversity and the many contributions our diverse communities bring to U.S. society. Ms. Brannigan launched her most recent assault on Middle Eastern students over social media, writing, “What is Palos doing? Why are all our schools filling with Middle East [sic] students without proper documentation?” In another post on Facebook, she wrote, “In the 3rd district here in Illinois, our demographics include 25% Muslims of which very few integrate within the communities keeping themselves and their activities hidden from the general population. Everywhere you turn, from Orland Park to Bridgeview, those numbers are increasing in leaps and bounds. We are allowing these people whether they have peaceful intentions or not into our country without question.” Make no mistake, hate rhetoric spewed from our elected officials during our current political climate is contributing to the spike of hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims, LatinX, Black, LGBTQIA and many other marginalized communities. We are demanding Brannigan’s immediate resignation, and are asking you to join us! Let's take a stand against hate and make it clear, Hate Has No Home In Our Community! #TakeOnHate #ResignBrannigan This effort is led by the Campaign To TAKE ON HATE along with AM Vote, Arab American Action Network (AAAN), Arab American Democratic Club, Arab American Family Services (AAFS), OrganizeFor powered by Color Of Change, Kiswani Law, P.C., Law Offices of Reem Odeh, MPower Change, along with concerned community members, residents and activists.
Tell Democrats to Return Money From Donor at Center of Scandal Involving the Death of Gemmel Moore26-year-old Gemmel Moore died July 27, 2017, of a crystal meth overdose in the West Hollywood home of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck. Moore was a Black gay male who worked as an escort. His death, was immediately classified as an accidental methamphetamine overdose by the coroner, but now the Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau is taking a closer look after his personal journal was published. In addition, numerous young Black gay men have stepped forward making allegations against Buck recounting similar stories about a man who they say has a Tuskegee Experiment like fetish which includes shooting drugs into young Black men that he picks up off the street or via dating hookup websites. In his journal, Gemmel Moore wrote, “I honestly don’t know what to do. I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” a December entry reads. “Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful, but after all the troubles, I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy.” “My life is at an alltime [sic] high right now & I mean that from all ways. I ended up back at Buck [sic] house again and got munipulated [sic] into slamming again. I even went to the point where I was forced to doing 4 within a 2day [sic] period. This man is crazy and its [sic] sad. Will I ever get help?” His last entry, dated Dec. 3, 2016, reads: “If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself, but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now. Buck has given hundreds of thousands of dollars of Democratic causes and candidates over the years. His Facebook page boasted dozens of photos of him with everyone from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to Governor Jerry Brown, Los Angeles County Democratic Party and California Democratic Party chairman Eric Bauman and even Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. In online ads soliciting young Black gay men, Buck has referred to them as being a “6-foot” n-word. On his Facebook page, he joked with friends using the n-word. Most of Los Angeles’ Democratic and LGBT community–which are often one in same–has had nothing to say publicly about Moore’s death. Politicians who have received thousands of dollars from Buck over the years have been curiously silent. Democrats are often the first to call on Republicans to return money at the slightest hint of impropriety — there seems to be a double standard when a Democratic donor is involved in the wrongdoing. It’s troubling to see that so many Los Angeles-area Democrats who have taken donations from a man who has allegedly stalked and preyed on the most vulnerable of society have nothing at all to say. Just the fact that the allegations have been made and reported on in the news that these politicians are most influenced by should — and normally would — be enough for Democrats to return their donations and issue statements distancing themselves from the accused. But for the most part, nothing. Is it because Ed Buck is white? Is it because he is white and gay? Is it because he often maxes out on contributing to their campaigns? Is it because the accusers are black gay men? Is it because the accusers are black? As Democrats we are often the first to call on Republicans to return money at the slightest hint of impropriety — there should not be a double standard when a Democratic donor is involved in the wrongdoing. There can be no conflict of interest in the quest for justice for Gemmel Moore and all of Ed Buck’s victims. Gemmel Moore’s life and the lives of all of Ed Buck’s victims should matter more than a political contribution. The Black LGBTQ community deserves better.
Tell Gov. Cuomo: Return Racist Donor's Money"The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman,” Malcolm X once stated. Fifty-five years later, women leaders of color are still under attack, from Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Senator Kamala Harris, to the racism and Islamophobia launched at the women of color that co-chaired the Women’s March. As a Black Muslim woman, mother of 7 daughters and 2 granddaughters, I will not sit idly by and allow attacks on Black and Brown women to continue. And now a hedge fund billionaire has accused the highest ranking African American elected official — the highest-ranking African-American woman to hold elected office in the history of New York State — of being worse than the Ku Klux Klan. As reported in the New York Times on August 10, Dan Loeb, one of the wealthiest men in America, launched a viciously racist attack against New York State Democratic Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, saying she has done “more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.” Loeb is a hedge fund billionaire who has contributed over $170,000 to Governor Cuomo’s campaign accounts, according to The New York Times, and this does not even include pass-through donations from political action committees. This attack on Senator Stewart-Cousins is nothing new for him. From public education to the economy, Loeb has repeatedly used his wealth to promote an agenda that has devastated communities of color and working families. Governor Andrew Cuomo positioning himself to run for President in 2020. If Cuomo wants us to believe he has what it takes to challenge Donald Trump and his racist worldview, he needs to have the political courage to break ranks with Loeb now! If he wants have Democratic Party support, he needs to stand with the most important and dedicated bloc of Dem voters: Black women! There is no place for Cuomo’s alliance with Dan Loeb in American politics. From the State House to the White House, from Main Street to Wall Street, NO MORE! Join me in demanding that Governor Cuomo immediately break all ties with Loeb, and refund every dollar he has ever received from Loeb and from political action committees that Loeb finances.