teleSUR & ColorOfChange and MoveOn.org – 2016-08-03 00:22:46
Black Lives Matter in Palestine to Protest US-Funded ‘Genocide’
(August 1, 2016) — Activists from the Black Lives Matter movement in the US joined a protest in the Palestinian village of Bilin near Ramallah city in the West Bank in an effort to put an international spotlight on the Israeli oppression, occupation and “genocide” of Palestinians.
“Today, delegates from the Movement for Black Lives join organizers and activists in Bil’in, a territory in occupied Palestine where resistors are engaged in nonviolent protest,” the Black Lives Matter movement said in a statement through its official Facebook page Friday.
“In the fight for dignity, justice and freedom, the Movement for Black Lives is committed to the global shared struggle of oppressed people, namely the people of occupied Palestine and other Indigenous communities who for decades have resisted the occupation of their land, the ethnic cleansing of their people, and the erasure of their history and experiences.”
At least two people were arrested during the peaceful protest by Israeli forces as they crack downed on the demonstration, which takes place every week. Palestinian news agency Ma’an said those arrested were taken to an unknown location and their citizenship remained unidentified.
Bilin has become a well-known site for action against Israeli occupation and settlement activity in the region and its residents have been organizing a weekly Friday protest for the past 11 years. Protests at the village are often met with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades from occupation forces.
Meanwhile, the Black Lives Matter movement argued that police violence and killings against Black people in the US are connected to the decades-long Israeli oppression of Palestinians.
“In this violent, political climate, it is urgent that we make clear the connection between violence inflicted on Black people globally that is encouraged and permitted by the state and the profiling, harm, and genocide funded by the United States and perpetrated by Zionist vigilantes and the Israeli Defense Forces on Palestinian people.”
The group further stressed its support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, or BDS, and its work “to fight for freedom, justice and equality for Palestinian people and to end international support of the occupation.”
In recent weeks BLM activists has been intensifying their international efforts against the killings of Black people and other non-white minorities around the world.
Last week the group joined activists in Brazil to protest police killings as they joined a ceremony at Candelaria cathedral, the infamous site of a 1993 massacre in which a death squad, including off-duty policemen, killed eight children and adolescents who slept on the church steps.
Also last week, BLM activists traveled to France to join more than 1,000 protesters against the death of a young Black man in police custody July 19.
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ACTION ALERT: Defund Killer Police Departments
Tell Pres. Obama and Congress:
Defund Bad Police Departments
Rashad Robinson / ColorOfChange and MoveOn.org
(July 29, 2016) — This month, we’ve witnessed the brutal murders of several Black people by police — including Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Delrawn Smalls, and Alva Braziel.  And guess what? The federal government has been bankrolling the police departments that killed all four of them.
Yes. Congress and the Obama administration are spending millions of dollars every year giving grants to the same police departments that are killing and over-incarcerating Black people — and it has to stop.
Politicians can’t keep promising the change we need in local police departments and quietly maintain the status quo by failing to take real action. Pres. Obama and Congress have real power to hold police departments accountable with their funding — if they are really about stopping police terror in Black communities, this is how they show it.
Baton Rouge PD, the very police department that killed Alton Sterling, has been under investigation by the Department of Justice for civil rights violations TWICE — including for its harassment of Black people following Hurricane Katrina.  Yet, federal officials continue to give them money. In fact, Baton Rouge PD has received 3 million dollars from the DOJ over the past five years. 
In the aftermath of his death, it was revealed that Philando Castile had been stopped by police 52 times in 14 years — and subject to the same profiling, criminalization, and extraction of wealth detailed in the Department of Justice’s report on Ferguson police and replicated everywhere in the US. [4, 5]
The federal government knows exactly how police departments are terrorizing Black communities — it’s past time they do something about it and hold these police departments accountable.
After thousands of people spoke out against the Department of Defense giving police military equipment, following the highly militarized brutalization of Ferguson protesters, Pres. Obama signed an executive order banning the federal government from providing certain kinds of military gear to local and state police. 
So we’re calling on President Obama and Congress to take action again and pull all grant funds from any police department that doesn’t make reforms to protect Black lives.
The reforms we’re calling for are simple ones that President Obama himself has supported and funded research to create with the 21st Century Policing Task Force.  It’s time for Pres. Obama to step up and ensure these critical reforms actually happen — and he can do that by withholding funds from any police department that doesn’t do the following:
Embrace a culture of transparency
* Make all department policies available for public review, and publish demographic data on all stops, frisks, summonses and arrests.
* Collect, maintain, and analyze demographic data on all officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths.
Hold the police accountable
* Adopt policies that require all officers to seek written consent before any search & provide their name, reason for stop or search, and contact information for the civilian complaint board.
* Police cannot and should not police themselves. Require independent criminal investigations into all officer-involved fatalities and in-custody deaths.
* Enforce policies prohibiting profiling and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, housing status, occupation and/or language fluency.
With four Black deaths in a matter of days, we’re in — and have been in — a state of emergency. We can’t afford to spend millions of dollars on police departments that will continue killing, criminalizing, and incarcerating Black people.
ACTION: Tell Pres. Obama and Congress: Stop funding police departments that fail to make critical reforms for Black lives.
Sign the petition: Withhold all federal funds from police departments that don’t adhere to simple reforms.
Until justice is real,
–Scott, Rashad, Arisha, Clarise, Enchanta and the rest of the ColorOfChange team.
1. “Why Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Are Dead,” The Nation, 07-07-2016
“Video surfaces of NYPD cop’s road rage shooting,” New York Post, 07-08-2016
“Police Said They Shot A Man Because He Pointed A Gun At Them, Video Shows He Had His Hands Up,” ThinkProgress, 07-10-2016
2. “Feds: We’re Investigating Baton Rouge Police Too,” Pro Publica, 03-26-2010
“Alton Sterling Shooting Exposes Racial Fractures in Baton Rouge,” NBC News, 07-07-2016
3. “Audit of the Office of Justice Programs Justice Assistance Grants Awarded to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office,” Office of the Inspector General, 11-01-2014
4. “Philando Castile stopped by cops in Minnesota 52 times in past 14 years for a slew of misdemeanors,” NY Daily News, 07-09-2016
5. “The 12 key highlights from the DOJ’s scathing Ferguson report,” The Washington Post, 03-04-2015
6. “Obama bans some military equipment sales to police,” USA Today, 05-18-2015
7. “Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,” U.S. Department of Justice, 05-01-2015