• Walmart Associates deserve $15/hour and a full time schedule
    As the largest private employer of Black people in the country, Walmart has the opportunity to greatly improve the lives of millions of Black people. Following actions across the country from brave associates, Walmart announced earlier this year that it was raising wages to $9/hour. That was a tremendous first step but doesn't go nearly far enough. For one of the most profitable companies in the world, working at Walmart is harder than it should be. Even with the raise, too many of my coworkers are on medicaid and food stamps. The schedule changes make it hard to raise a stable family. Some of my fellow associates even experience homelessness while working. A full time schedule and $15/hour for Walmart associates is what we need to make working at Walmart a little easier. It will allow us to take time off to attend to sick family members, purchase groceries, and cover increasingly skyrocketing housing and healthcare costs. Walmart has the means to make that a reality. And this is important not just for Walmart workers but for hourly workers in every sector. After Walmart raised wages earlier this year several other large employers followed suit. When Walmart makes changes for the better, everyone benefits. I'm a member of OUR Walmart because I know when we stand together and demand change, we can all live better. That's why I'm traveling this week from my store near Tacoma, Washington to Walmart Headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas to tell the Board of Directors that associates deserve better. I hope you'll join me by signing this petition demanding the Walmart Board announce $15 an hour wages and full time schedules. -Mary Watkines, OUR Walmart
    67,288 of 75,000 Signatures
    Created by Our Walmart Civil Rights
  • Protesters Are Not Criminals! Drop The Charges Against The Jacksonville 19
    On Monday December 8, 2014 during a national protest demanding justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown, 19 activists and organizers in Jacksonville, FL (The Jacksonville 19) were arrested and charged with obstruction of traffic and were threatened with an egregious restitution fine. State officials in Florida join a sickening trend that is spreading across the nation, where protesters face harsh penalties for speaking out against police violence. From the 70k restitution charge against protesters in Oakland, CA (1) to a Baltimore protester who has a 500K bail (2), it becomes all too clear that our 1st amendment rights are under attack. We won't stand for it. And we need widespread public pressure to expose and stop State Attorney Angela Corey’s discriminatory and the outrageous attempts to profit off and punish the growing movement for Black liberation. Instead of working to end the discriminatory pattern of police violence that continues without pause, Angela Corey wants monetary reimbursement from those standing up for the inviolability of their lives. There’s something terribly wrong with this picture. How is it that protesters are being criminalized for speaking out against grave injustices and killer cops continue to walk free with no consequences for the lives they have stolen? The answer is simple. The entire criminal justice system is entrenched with discriminatory practices that further perpetuate white supremacy, which couldn’t be more true for the state of Florida who has struggled with decades and decades of racism and brutal violence against Black people. The Jacksonville 19 was arrested on December 8th, handcuffed, placed in a police cars, and driven to jail where they waited for four hours while State Attorney Angela Corey decided her plan with what to do with them. Now, State Attorney Corey has decided to harshly penalize 19 peaceful protesters with misdemeanor charges and high restitution fines for exercising their first amendment rights. This is not the first of State Attorney Corey’s abuses. Angela Corey tried to convict Christian Fernandez, a 12-year-old child, to a life time in prison; Angela Corey did not support the true judgment for Zimmerman in defense of Trayvon Martin and Angela Corey unjustly tried to convict Marissa Alexander with 60 years for defending herself in her home. This is a crisis of integrity in the Florida justice system that requires your intervention. This case is also the first time that a Jacksonville social change group comprised of organizers, mothers, students, and women are being charged and asked to pay restitution for an action calling for an end to discriminatory policing that severely impacts the lives of Black residents in Florida. We cannot allow the State Attorney to repeat this treacherous, autocratic Southern narrative model anymore. Florida has a long history of deep seated racism which has produced rampant brutal violence against Black people.The history of a young man, Jordan Davis, being shot at a gas station in Jacksonville in 2012 for playing his music too loud is an echo of white racist violence from 1960 when up to 200 members of the Ku Klux Klan carried ax handles, baseball bats and other kinds of clubs, threatening to organize citywide boycotts if the stores made an agreement to serve food to Black customers in downtown Jacksonville. The police stayed away until members of a group known as the Bomerangs began assisting the demonstrators. The Jacksonville 19 reflects the courage of that group, coming together to stand up for communities under attack. Let’s start by demanding that State Attorney Angela Corey, Mayor Lenny Curry, and Governor Rick Scott dismiss the charges against the Jacksonville 19! Shut it Down! Support the Jacksonville 19 during their trial and demand that Florida officials #DropTheCharges! This petition is also supported by: Burnpile Press, Veterans for Peace, Jacksonville, Chapter 174, Strengthen Our Sisters, Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign, Black Women's Lives Matter, Project South, Mad Moms, The CHESS Foundation, The New Jim Crow Movement - Jacksonville, Malcolm X Center for Self Determination, SCLC, Free Marissa Now (FMN), Black Lives Matter, Ferguson Actions, Southern Movement Alliance, and New South Network of War Resisters. References, 1) Bart Directors: When It Comes to Ending The War On Black Communities, Which Side Are You On?, 01-2015 http://bit.ly/1AfqfUG 2) Baltimore rioter slapped with $500k bail as cops charged in Freddie Gray murder walk free, 05-03-2015 http://bit.ly/1G88tsL
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    Created by Southern Movement Alliance
  • End ICE’s Unjust Indefinite Detention of Kwesi Amuzu!
    It has been more than a year and Kwesi Amuzu is still unjustly locked up! Kwesi was detained by immigration authorities at the U.S./Mexico border in August 2013. He spent six months in immigration detention while his asylum case was adjudicated. Although he was denied asylum in March 2014 and received a final order of removal, it cannot be carried out because there is no documentation of his birth in Ghana. In effect, Kwesi remains imprisoned because he is stateless. Most recently, he was transferred from West County Detention Facility in Richmond, CA to a for profit prison in Bakersfield, CA that is run by one of the world's most abusive private prison companies. In effect, Kwesi remains imprisoned for profit because he is stateless. ICE’s ongoing imprisonment of Kwesi is deeply inhumane and unjust. If enough people take action, we can pressure ICE to do what is right and release Kwesi immediately. Will you join us? Instead of releasing Kwesi to his support network in the Bay Area who has been following his case and advocating for his release, ICE has chosen to hold him indefinitely with no end in sight. Kwesi’s case highlights a disturbing and systemic problem; low income immigrant and Black people are being incarcerated in wildly inhumane prisons to meet the 34,000 detention bed quota. This disturbing and discriminatory practice sends a chilling effect to communities of color in the U.S. who are disproportionately impacted by mass criminalization. (1) Every year, over 400,000 people disappear and are bought and sold into the U.S. immigration detention system. Private Prison corporations lobby Congress to ensure themselves a steady stream of profit, at taxpayer expense. The immigration detention bed quota requires that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detain 34,000 people every day. No other law enforcement agency operates under a quota that is mandated by Congress. Kwesi’s case reminds us that Black Lives Matter in the Migrant Rights Movement. Black Immigrant populations have been made invisible while being targeted and terrorized by ICE, police, and other law enforcement agencies at significantly high rates given their population size within the larger Immigrant community in the U.S. Black Immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America are overrepresented in immigration detention and deportation proceedings at a rate 5 times their actual presence in the undocumented community. (2) African Americans are also impacted by ICE terror and violence which was made evident in the recent killing of Terrence Kellor who was murdered in his home by an ICE agent part of an inter-agency enforcement team in Detroit. (3) We are not for sale! Our bodies should not be used to boost the profits of the prison industry and meet an unjust bed quota! Fighting for Kwesi’s release is about centering the struggle of Black Immigrants in the Migrant Rights Movement in order to strengthen the fight against the criminal-immigration system and special interests, both public and private, who profit and sustain power by criminalizing our communities. References: 1. The Drug War, Mass Incarceration and Race: http://www.drugpolicy.org/resource/drug-war-mass-incarceration-and-race 2. BAJI, The Real Crime: http://www.blackalliance.org/therealcrime/ 3. Terrence Kellor killed in his own home by ICE agent: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/29/terrance-kellom-shot-dead-in-detroit-by-ice-agent.html?utm_content=main&utm_campaign=ajam&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=SocialFlow
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  • Hold the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Accountable, Demand Civilian Oversight WITH POWER!
    http://youtu.be/YBCfIs3YoGg On December 9th, 2014 our two plus year fight for civilian oversight erupted in an enormous victory for the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence, a project of Dignity and Power Now. On that day the supervisors voted 3-2 in support a civilian oversight commission. That was the first step. The next step is making sure that this commission is effective and not simply another department rubber stamp. Your support is necessary if we are going to push the county to create the most powerful model of oversight possible for Los Angeles. Spread across Los Angeles County are 8 facilities that make up the largest jail system in the world, run by the largest sheriff's department in the country. That very system has been the site of a long history of brutality against our loved ones being held in these facilities. In a county that is 9% Black, Black prisoners make up 30% of the county jail population, and almost 50% of the county jail population with a "serious mental health condition." The history has come to a head in Los Angeles where in the past three years the county has been shaped by three significant events. 1) Deep reaching exposure of patterns of "hyper violence" against our loved ones and a corrupt culture inside the department that has covered up these abuses. Story after story has revealed patterns of prisoners being beaten while restrained, physical attacks that continue after prisoners have lost consciousness, fractured bones, denial of medical care, and retaliation for filing complaints. Exposure of these widespread abuses took the form an ACLU class action lawsuit, a thorough and scathing year long investigation initiated by the county's Citizens' Commission on Jail Violence, a Department of Justice civil rights probe into the jails, an FBI investigation that has resulted in 18 indictments for corruption and abuse, and the courage of countless survivors of sheriff violence who have continued to come forward with their stories and have become leaders in this growing movement. This movement includes the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence which has brought together over 20 organizations across Los Angeles County with the leadership of formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones at the forefront. At the height of the exposure, it was found that 57% of use of force incidents in the jails were initiated be sheriff's deputies. The persistent exposure of the departments "force first" approach and the corruption that kept it hidden resulted in the formal resignation of Sheriff Baca. His resignation paved the way for a highly contested election where Jim McDonnell, one of the commissioners on the Citizens' Commission on Jail Violence, claimed the position as sheriff. While he has publicly stated that he is invested in reform, our communities cannot lay our faith, nor the fate, of our families solely in the hands of the department that for decades built a culture of unchecked abuse in the jails. 2) A groundswell of organizations and community members has built a movement to hold law enforcement in Los Angeles accountable. This heightened momentum comes at a time where communities around the country are pushing back against law enforcement misconduct, excessive and lethal force, and national trends in anti-Black state violence are being challenged. 3) The countywide demand for civilian oversight is a demand to break from the long history of unchecked law enforcement brutality hidden behind the walls of the county jails and taking place in our communities. For years, the sheriff's department denied the need for civilian oversight and even went so far as to claim that effective independent oversight "already existed." While the last few years have produced important reforms in the sheriff's department, including a new sheriff, the community has endured violence long enough. Without independent civilian oversight, there is no effective county body that is rooted in the voices of our families inside the jails. That voice, given the legal authority that independent oversight provides, is the only thing that will ensure that recent reforms become lasting deterrence against one of the most brutal jail operations in the country. Nationwide, from St. Louis and Newark to Salinas and Los Angeles, communities are moving their local governments to create independent civilian oversight bodies. Los Angeles is one of many county's where Black people are targets of law enforcement violence at alarming rates. Winning civilian oversight alone won't stop these abuses. However, a legally empowered oversight commission is a powerful means of securing the power and dignity of Black people across Los Angeles.
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    Created by Dignity and Power Now
  • Fire Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin
    On March 21, 2012, Detective Dante Servin fired shots into a group of unarmed young Black people, killing then 22-year-old Rekia Boyd. Though he was off-duty, witnesses have testified to him announcing himself as a police officer, and he should be scrutinized for his misconduct as such. It is a police officer's sworn duty to serve and protect, and Servin violated that oath in this murderous act. Servin has yet to be held accountable for his actions. The courts failed to deliver justice, as Judge Dennis Porter publicly acknowledged that Servin was intent in his actions and thus guilty of a more serious charge, but ultimately opted to not convict on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. It is now up to the Police Board to hold Servin accountable and show they are not complicit in vigilantism by continuing to employ a murderer. This petition is supported by Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100). BYP100 is a national organization of 18-35 year old Black activists and organizers dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a collective focused on direct action organizing, advocacy, education, and transformative leadership development. This petition is also supported by We Charge Genocide, Project Nia, Chicago Light Brigade, International Socialist Organization, Assata's Daughters, National Lawyers Guild, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Love and Protect, and Chicago Task Force on Violence Against Girls and Young Women.
    9,515 of 10,000 Signatures
    Created by Black Youth Project 100 Picture
  • #NoNewNYPD Petition
    We have calculated that with $100 million in many of these priority areas, we could accomplish the following: - $100 Million could be invested to employ 310,000 youth this summer. - $100 Million could be invested to hire 2,000 social workers or special education teachers. - $100 Million could be invested to provide 62,500 people in low-income households with free transportation. - $100 Million could be invested to increase resident association budgets by $281,437 in all 334 NYCHA buildings. Our communities are defining safety beyond policing. New York’s elected officials have the opportunity and duty to do the same. Communities of color are being systematically over-policed while also being displaced by rising rent and gentrification. Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and City Council -- We demand that you serve the best interests of the people and redirect the $100 million currently in the proposed budget for additional police, to programs that will make our communities stronger. For more information go to www.safetybeyondpolicing.com
    936 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Safety Beyond Policing Campaign
  • Demand UN Intervention Now: Stop the War on Black People!
    Trayvon Martin. Mike Brown. Aiyana Jones. Eric Garner. Tanisha Anderson. John Crawford. Tarika Wilson. Tamir Rice. And now Tony Robinson. Law enforcement and racist vigilantes are killing unarmed Black youth at an alarming rate--one every 28 hours (1)--and are getting away with it. Not only are officials in cities such as Ferguson, New York, Cleveland, and Beavercreek refusing to hold discriminatory and violent police accountable, the United States Department of Justice has failed to issue indictments for killer cops who take innocent lives (2). With nowhere else to turn, it is now up to us to take matters to the next level in order to stop the brutal killings of our families and loved ones. On March 6, 2015, 19-year-old Tony Robinson was shot five times and killed by Officer Matt Kenny in a stairwell at a friend’s apartment. Tony’s friend called the police seeking help for his friend, who was allegedly jumping in and out of traffic. However, instead of helping him, Officer Kenny broke into the apartment and fatally shot him five times (3). It was not the first time Kenny had killed (4). This was not just the fault of a single ‘bad apple,’ it is part of a systemic problem in the greater Madison area, where Black people confront some of the highest rates of structural racism and inequity in the United States. According to the ground breaking Race to Equity report, the Black unemployment rate in Dane County, Wisconsin is 25.2%, compared to 4.8% for Whites and the median income for Blacks is less than ⅓ that of Whites (5). Most alarming is the excessive policing of Black youth in the area, which fuels racially motivated incarceration in jails and prison. Black youth are 10% of the youth in Dane county, but almost 80% of all imprisoned adolescents. In addition, Black people are just 4.8% of adults in the County, but 44% of new jail inmates, the greatest racial incarceration disparity in the entire country (6). Madison is America. Over the last year, a series of police killings of unarmed Black youth has been met by a series of non-indictments by local officials (7). And while some are calling for a federal investigation, the harsh reality is that we cannot rely on the feds to deliver justice. Justice Department investigations are led by the FBI, an organization with it’s own deep history of racial profiling and abuses of power that virtually never result in murder indictments(8). Law enforcement kill Black Americans at nearly the same rate as Jim Crow Era lynchings and the justice system is unable to keep our communities safe from state-sanctioned violence(9). That’s why we are calling on the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS) to launch an independent investigation into the murder of Tony Robinson and racial disparities in Madison, WI, particularly the way police are used as an occupying force in Black communities. However, because they only go where they are wanted, the UN and OAS will only investigate if there is significant support for their intervention. We need your help to show the UN and OAS that we want and need an independent investigation into the death of Tony Robinson and the gross racial disparities in Madison, WI. In the final campaign of his life, Malcolm X argued that “we need to expand the civil-rights struggle to a higher level — to the level of human rights,” and urged people to take the issue of oppression, exploitation, discrimination and police brutality to the United Nations. The Young, Gifted and Black Coalition, Freedom, Inc. and want to pick up where Malcolm X left off. Join the fight for human rights by calling for an independent UN investigation. REFERENCES 1. “Operation Ghetto Storm” report by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, 11-2014, http://www.operationghettostorm.org/uploads/1/9/1/1/19110795/new_all_14_11_04.pdf 2. “Why it's Impossible to Indict a Cop,” The Nation magazine, 11-24-2014, http://www.thenation.com/article/190937/why-its-impossible-indict-cop# 3- 4. “Will Wisc. stay peaceful after cop kills unarmed teen?” CBS News 03-08-2015, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tony-robinson-shooting-protests-unarmed-black-teen-wisconsin/ 5-6. “Race to Equity Plenary Report,” Race to Equity 02-06-2015, http://racetoequity.net/dev/wp-content/uploads/Race-to-Equity-Plenary-Session-PDF.pdf 7. “Garner, Brown Decision Spark Calls for Grand Jury Reform,” U.S. News & World Report 12-12-2014, http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/12/12/after-eric-garner-michael-brown-decisions-calls-for-grand-jury-reform 8. “The FBI COINTELPRO Program and The Fred Hampton Assassination,” The Huffington Post 12-03-2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/g-flint-taylor/the-fbi-cointelpro-progra_b_4375527.html 9. “Mike Brown’s shooting and Jim Crow lynchings have too much in common. It’s time for America to own up” The Guardian 08-25-2014, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/25/mike-brown-shooting-jim-crow-lynchings-in-common
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    Created by M Adams, YGB & Freedom, Inc.
  • Mall of America: Show you believe that Black lives matter
    On December 20th, 2014, over 3,000 people gathered in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, to protest the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and the thousands of other Black Americans brutally killed by police. Chanting “Black Lives Matter!” and reaffirming the value of Black humanity, the protestors challenged our law enforcement and legal system to own up to and stop their racist attacks on Black lives. Unfortunately, what protestors got in response was a declaration of war. The police showed up in full riot gear, shut down parts of the mall and arrested 25 protestors. Since then, the mall owners, Canada-based Triple Five Group, have been working with the Bloomington city prosecutor to “make an example” of 11 “ringleaders” of the protest (1). This is a clear example of why protestors were in the mall in the first place: discriminatory, militarized policing and the criminalization of people of color by both law enforcement and the justice system. Bloomington city authorities have a chance to continue in this racist tradition or reverse these practices going forward. 70,000 educators, 170,000 Amalgamated Traffic Union members, 100+ clergy members, and the Minnesota AFL-CIO have urged for change, asking the city prosecutor, Sandra Johnson, to drop the charges against the protestors (2). They point out that peaceful protest is a cornerstone of our democracy and the precedent that this prosecution sets is both shameful and dangerous for the future of dissent in this country. When private property is legally valued over Black lives, we know our country has a problem. Instead of wasting public funds quashing this critical voice, Johnson could be engaging in an effort to make the justice system work for those who do not receive fair and equal treatment. Despite all of these calls from the public to stop heavy-handed tactics used against these protestors, Sandra Johnson has maintained that she will prosecute the defendants no matter what (3). Indeed, eleven of the purported organizers were arraigned on March 10th and charged with six misdemeanors, including trespassing and disorderly conduct. Perhaps most disturbing is that Johnson is demanding $40,000 in restitution for police overtime and lost revenue (4). This is dangerous to our democracy and our first amendment right to protest. When public protest, shown throughout history to be one of the most effective forces for social change, is criminalized and monetized, how can we hope to address major inequities in our society? This is why we are hoping you will join in asking the mall owners, the Triple Five Group, to tell the prosecutor to drop the charges against the Black Lives Matter protestors. If the Group tells the attorney to discontinue this aggressive, unjust pursuit, she will be forced to stay true to her word or listen to the overwhelming voice of the people and back down. Yes, Johnson has said that she must do her job without paying attention to public opinion; she must uphold justice and the law, immune to outside influence. But what about when our laws are unjust? When “justice” consistently, negatively, and disproportionately affects people of color? This is a crucial moment in our nation’s movement for racial justice, and the justice system is a crucial site of struggle. That is why we all must collectively put pressure on the system. It is time for change. Join me in urging the Mall of America owners to demand that Sandra Johnson drop the charges against the protestors so that she is forced to listen to the call for racial justice. (1) https://www.minnpost.com/glean/2014/12/bloomington-city-attorney-wants-make-example-out-moa-protesters-filing-charges (2) http://educationminnesota.org/news/education-headlines/black-lives-matter-resolution https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatterMinneapolis/photos/pcb.891246207585840/891244177586043/?type=1&theater http://theuptake.org/2015/03/02/city-of-bloomington-100-faith-leaders-want-a-word-with-you/ http://www.mnaflcio.org/press/minnesota-afl-cio-calls-bloomington-city-attorney-not-prosecute-blacklivesmatter-activists (3) http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_27682265/11-mall-america-black-lives-matter-protesters-plead (4) http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2015/03/10/black-lives-matter-calls-boycott-mall-america-following-first-hearing
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    Created by Nicole Follmann
  • A danger to Black lives: #StopMcCulloch
    St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch is the prosecutor who was supposed to make sure Officer Darren Wilson faced justice for killing Mike Brown. Instead, he acted in bad faith and rigged the process to protect Wilson and prevent justice. We cannot allow this type of discrimination and corruption to continue without consequence in Missouri’s justice system. It’s time to demand that a special prosecutor investigate McCulloch’s outrageous, unethical, and potentially illegal conduct, and hold Darren Wilson accountable for the murder of Mike Brown. Missouri law allows for a special prosecutor to investigate when elected officials knowingly or willingly fail to fulfill their public duties. A group of concerned community members and I have filed a petition now before St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Joseph Walsh to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Bob McCulloch, but he will likely only do so with widespread public pressure.1 Take action today urging Judge Walsh to appoint a special prosecutor today. McCulloch could have decided to arrest and prosecute Darren Wilson the day he killed Mike Brown. But instead, as is all to common when the victim is Black and the killer is a police officer, McCulloch convened a grand jury for political cover – and did everything he could to make sure they choose not to bring charges against Wilson.2 The list of McCulloch’s errors is long. McCulloch and his team gave the grand jury unconstitutional guidance on police use of force. They presented testimony favoring Officer Wilson that was known to be perjury, such as Sandra McElroy, an avid racist who drove to Canfield drive in order to “understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks N****** and Start calling them People.”3 McCulloch also allowed Wilson to defend himself to the grand jury in a way that’s not usually allowed. And prosecutors failed to challenge significant contradictions and inconsistencies between Wilson’s testimony, his earlier statements to police, and the physical evidence. The grand jury was a sham. In practice, prosecutors can usually get a grand jury to file whatever charges they want – there’s an expression that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. But McCulloch didn’t even ask the grand jury to file charges against Wilson – he simply gave them a lot of evidence and asked them to make their own decision. Legal experts across the country said it was outrageous.4 As we all know, no charges were filed against Wilson, and instead of taking responsibility for this, McCulloch can just say “it was the grand jury’s decision.” Join us in demanding that McCulloch face accountability for engineering this miscarriage of justice. As long as McCulloch remains in office with no oversight, the lives of Black Missourians are in grave danger. McCulloch’s history is clear: he is unable to hold law enforcement that abuse and kill Black residents accountable. In 2001, McCulloch failed to charge two police officers that killed unarmed Earl Murray and Ronald Beasley in a storm of 21 bullets, later calling the victims "bums" at a press conference. 5 Since Mike Brown was killed, Kajieme Powell, VonDerrit Myers and Antonio Myers were fatally shot by police in the St. Louis area. And nationwide, countless other Black loved ones have been lost to the systemic crisis of discriminatory police violence. A new racial justice movement to end these tragic killings is growing stronger each day. And freedom requires a complete overhaul of the justice system’s business as usual--starting with McCulloch. References 1. "Activists Seek Investigation Of How McCulloch Handled Grand Jury" St. Louis Public Radio 01-16-2015 http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/activists-seek-investigation-how-mcculloch-handled-grand-jury 2. "Ferguson tragedy becoming a farce," Washington Post 09-12-2014 http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-ferguson-tragedy-becoming-a-farce/2014/09/12/e52226ca-3a82-11e4-9c9f-ebb47272e40e_story.html 3. "Why won't McCulloch charge Witness #40 with perjury? Time for a special prosecutor, new grand jury," Daily Kos 12-19-14 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/19/1353052/-Under-pressure-St-Louis-prosecutor-Bob-McCulloch-admits-he-called-witnesses-who-were-lying# 4. "Experts Blast Ferguson Prosecutor’s Press Conference, Legal Strategy," ThinkProgress 10-25-14 http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/11/25/3596884/ferguson-legal-experts/ 5. "St. Louis prosecutor has faced controversy for decades," St. Louis Today 08-16-2014
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    Created by Montague Simmons
  • BART Directors: When it comes to ending the war on Black communities, which side are you on?
    Across the country, hundreds of thousands of people have made a resolution to fight for Black lives. Now, businesses, police departments, and other government agencies are trying to make us pay. Sign the petition, then take a selfie of yourself holding a sign that says, “Not one dime” or “We’ve already paid with our lives” and tweet it to @SFBart on Twitter. On Black Friday, November 28, 2014, in response to a call to action from the Black community of Ferguson, Missouri, a team of 14 members of the #BlackLivesMatter network, dubbed the Black Friday 14, joined hundreds of thousands of others nationwide using civil disobedience to protest a discriminatory pattern of police and vigilante violence that has taken too many Black lives – including, most recently, the lives of Michael Brown, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Antonio Martin, and Eric Garner.(1) Instead of citing and releasing protesters, or charging them with the same minor infraction applied to the thousands of multiracial allies that have blocked busses, trains, and traffic -- the Alameda County Deputy District Attorney has capitulated to aggressive pressure from the BART Board of Directors to apply a harsher penalty, that of misdemeanor criminal trespass, which requires these 14 protesters to pay tens of thousands of dollars -- up to 70,000 -- in “restitution” to BART. The BART Board of Directors claims they are owed payment for lost fares on Black Friday 2014, but for decades the Bay Area Rapid Transit system has cost local Black communities our homes, jobs, safety, and even our lives. Who will pay for that? In the 1950’s, Eminent Domain was used to displace Black businesses and homes along the once vibrant Black community of 7th street to build the BART system. (2) More recently, BART police have recklessly endangered and stolen Black lives. In January 2014, BART police attacked and tasered an unarmed Black man twice, then dragged him off the train. (3) In March, BART police beat and arrested Nubia Bowe, a 19-year old student and a Black woman suspected of dancing on the train; and in September BART police slammed a Black woman to the ground and charged her with resisting arrest. (4) (5) On January 1st, 2009, BART Police shot and killed Oscar Grant, a 24-year-old unarmed Black man. (6) Since then, BART police officers have taken little to no corrective action, joining police departments and their representatives across the nation in escalating a war against Black communities instead. (7) Now, as justice-seeking people sing out on every street corner "which side are you on?" the Bay Area Rapid Transit is targeting courageous Black people who put their bodies on the line to fight for their lives, and unjustly fining them thousands of dollars for exercising their constitutional right to free speech. We won't stand for it. And we need widespread public pressure to expose and stop BART's discriminatory and outrageous attempts to profit off and punish the growing movement for Black liberation. Instead of working to end the discriminatory pattern of police violence that continues without pause, the BART Board of Directors wants financial compensation from those fighting for the sanctity of their lives. There’s something terribly wrong with this picture. This isn’t the first time BART has been targeted for its crimes -- but it is the first time an all Black group comprised of organizers, mothers, students, queers and women are being charged and asked to pay restitution for an action calling for an end to the war on Black lives. We cannot allow the BART Board of Directors to set this dangerous, undemocratic precedent. References: 1. Breaking: Black Lives Matter Protesters Shut Down BART at West Oakland Station, 11-28-14 http://goo.gl/ibbgis 2. Eminent Domain in West Oakland, http://goo.gl/e8Snd6 3. Depressing video: Black Man Tased and Dragged Off BART , 02-10-14 http://goo.gl/L3N1wn 4. BART police arrest, assault young woman for riding train while black, 04-29-14 http://goo.gl/e2jhYz 5. VIDEO: BART Police Officer Slams Woman to Floor, Incident Captured on Video, 09-05-14 http://goo.gl/V3OcB9 6. Oscar Grant’s Mother: ‘We Have to Be Relentless in the Vindication of Our Slain Sons’, 08-26-14 http://goo.gl/GQSjeX 7. BART Director: Cell Phone Shutdown Didn't Go Through Proper Channels, 08-11-13 http://goo.gl/4JEnTy
    11,463 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Black Lives Matter
  • Justice for Dontre: Demand Federal Charges!
    On April 30, 2014, my brother Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times and killed by Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney. After almost eight months of foot-dragging, District Attorney John Chisholm refused to indict Manney. Eight months of mourning while working day and night to demand justice for my brother. Eight months of demonstrations on the streets, in City Hall, and at the park where my brother was killed. To make the non-indictment even worse, Chisholm announced it on December 22, in direct violation of our family's request that he not do it right before the holidays. The Milwaukee police department and District Attorney's office failed to release any evidence supporting the officer’s claims that my brother was a threat. Photos of Christopher Manney showed no indication of injury. It only proves to us that Dontre’s death was unjustified and totally preventable. This unbearable situation has led me to fight for justice for Dontre, who deserves to rest in peace with the truth revealed. No officer should be above the law, especially when he violates policy and procedures over and over again. Christopher Manney had a history of complaints against him for excessive force before he killed Dontre Hamilton. [1] If the local DA refused to consider this, then we need the federal government to step in. We cannot stand for injustice. Police violence doesn't just hurt one individual or family. When the community lives in fear of the police, good police work is impossible. The Coalition for Justice is organized to end this pattern of injustice in Milwaukee. Our mission is to inspire courage and build a movement to transform the city of Milwaukee. We support the empowerment of marginalized communities and dismantling of systems of oppression that erode community trust, dignity, and agency. By focusing on racial and social justice we hope to create innovative and sustained solutions that make our communities safer and equitable places to live. It is our goal to build alliances among community organizations and mobilize people dedicated toward the fight for justice. Join us in demanding federal action in this miscarriage of justice. Let's empower ourselves by having a voice. Help support the cause against police brutality and laws that protect the Police when they take a life unjustly. We also seek donations in any form to move ahead in getting justice for Dontre and help those who get arrested for protesting. https://www.crowdrise.com/coalitionforjustice-bailfund/fundraiser/thecaolitionforjusti One Love in One Nation is the goal. Lets reach this together. References 1. "Officer Manney: Six citizen complaints filed against him in his 13 years," Fox6 News, 10-22-14, http://fox6now.com/2014/10/22/officer-manney-six-citizen-complaints-filed-against-him-in-his-13-years/ Photo credit: Joe Brusky Stay in Touch with the Coalition for Justice! Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/justicefordontre Follow us on Twitter @justice4dontre and Instagram @thecoalition4justicemke
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    Created by Nathaniel Hamilton Jr. Picture
  • Stop racist threats of violence at Walmart
    Markeith Washington was working on the overnight remodeling crew at the Richmond, CA Walmart Store which was supervised by Art Van Riper. Van Riper was notorious among associates for screaming insults, calling the crew "a bunch of lazy ass workers." During one night of work in September of 2012 while Markeith was tying a rope around his own waist to aid in moving a heavy counter, Van Riper said to him, "if it was up to me, I'd put that rope around your neck." Shocked at this hateful comment, Markeith simply responded, "That's not right." Markeith and his fellow remodel crew associates were understandably outraged by Van Riper's threat. They bravely joined together to demand discipline for Van Riper and respect on the job by taking actions including talking to management, sending a letter to Walmart and even participating in a work stoppage strike. More than two years after threatening to lynch Markeith, Art Van Riper still has a job with Walmart. Associates who stood up to Van Riper's unacceptable conduct have been fired and none rehired by Walmart. In early December, an administrative law judge ruled that Walmart illegally disciplined workers who went on strike because of Van Riper's behavior. It is unacceptable that Walmart, the country's largest employer of Black people, would conduct an investigation into this incident and continue to employ Art Van Riper. By refusing to take action--even in the face of a judge's ruling-- Walmart is complicit in Art Van Riper invoking the traumatic, racist violence of lynching. Walmart must set a precedent that this type of behavior from management is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Walmart must fire Art Van Riper, rehire all the associates who protested the incident and put human resources practices in place to ensure racist threats of violence never again happen in a store. As Demario Hammond, one of Markeith's coworkers who witnessed Van Riper's verbal attack and was disciplined for fighting back, puts it, "We grew up learning from our mistakes, but only because when we did something wrong our parents would check us. Managers like Art continue to work at Walmart, and will continue treating associates with disrespect unless Walmart’s upper management or Home Office does something about it. His behavior deserves consequences."
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    Created by Our Walmart Civil Rights