by Edward S. Herman
Michael Mandel.s How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage, and Crimes Against Humanity (Pluto: June 2004) is my favorite book of 2003-June 2004 (for the record, numbers two and three are Chomsky.s Hegemony or Survival and Frank Ackerman.s and Lisa Heinzerling.s Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing). Mandel.s book is a scholarly but eminently readable and completely convincing demonstration that the U.S. wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and the institutional apparatus that has given them legal support, such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY, Tribunal ) and the UN, have made a travesty of the law and are returning the world to the law of the jungle. The book is a perfect antidote to the .humanitarian intervention. claims of the spokespersons and apologists for a resurgent U.S. and Western imperialism.
Mandel is a Professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in Toronto, Canada, with a specialty in international law and with some enlightening experience as the individual who, in May 1999, in the midst of NATO.s 78-day bombing war against Yugoslavia, presented a petition for the indictment of 68 NATO leaders for their war crimes to Louise Arbour, then prosecutor of the Tribunal. His account of this experience and his analysis of Arbour.s and her successor Carla Del Ponte.s handling of this petition is crushing, and even funny, as he contrasts their finely-tuned adjustments to NATO.s needs for public relations service to its military plans with their crude and often laughable modes of evading even an official investigation of the documented evidence of NATO crimes.
A main theme of Mandel.s book is the huge and now underrated importance of the .supreme crime. of aggression as a source of mass killing, a crime that was the focal point of the Nuremberg trials and the basis of the UN Charter with its primary design to end the .scourge of war.. Mandel points out that the Nuremberg court regarded other war crimes and horrors as commonly derivatives of aggression, a crime that .contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.. War has horror-enhancement built-in as mutual destruction and killings escalate and restraints give way in the course of the struggle. (Mandel notes that the Holocaust occurred in the midst of war, with 97 percent of the murdered Jews living outside German territory in war-conquered land).
The problem for the United States (and the world) has been that this country is now in the business of aggression and its commission of the .supreme crime. is standard policy, thereby bringing the .scourge of war. across the globe in direct violation of the UN charter. Mandel.s first three chapters, on Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, center on the fact that each was a case of aggression by any credible definition of the word, hence a supreme crime. Thus, getting the rest of the world to accept and even facilitate its aggressions has been a major task for U.S. leaders and their official and unofficial propagandists. Mandel.s book is an account of how the United States has gained acceptance, toleration, and even help for its aggressions.
One way it has done this is by claiming humanitarian goals or .self-defense. that justify its bypassing the UN, violating the UN Charter, and committing the supreme crime. Mandel makes mincemeat of these claims, which is not difficult to do but which Mandel does with an effective melding of relevant facts and an analysis of the law. He goes to pains to show that in each of these cases there was no attempt to resolve the problems by peaceful means.aggression was intended and was carried out, with pathetic intellectual and untenable legal cover. And it was swallowed by the UN and G-8, first easily (Kosovo, then Afghanistan) but with some foot-dragging on Iraq. Mandel stresses the importance of the U.S./NATO Kosovo war law violations as a major step on the road to a breakdown of any international law obstruction to the supreme crime, when carried out by the United States.
Another apologetic route has been the claim that what the United States does as it kills civilians in its wars of aggression is .collateral damage,. in contrast with the intentional killing of civilians in 9/11 and other attacks by retail terrorists. Mandel shows clearly that collateral damage is not .unintentional,. as it is well understood that civilians will die in the raids even if the exact identities and number of victims is unclear. He has an excellent analysis showing that killing innocent bystanders when targeting someone else has long been considered murder in Western law, even in the state of Texas. Mandel also shows how much the downgrading of killing labeled collateral is linked to a downgrading of the importance of the victims. He notes Brookings analyst Michael O.Hanlon.s charactererization of 1,000 civilians killed as .a mercifully low number,. .Not, .O my God, we killed innocent people!..
Mandel also stresses that discussions of collateral damage and violations of the laws of war in the U.S. assaults regularly fail to take account of the fact that these lesser crimes are being committed in the context of the .supreme crime..which makes them inherently indefensible as parts of an illegal and immoral whole. It is as if a discussion of an armed robbery should debate only the modalities of the robbery, not the crime of robbery itself. Mandel points out that with the start of the Iraq invasion, Human Rights Watch and even Amnesty International .issued stern warnings..to all the .belligerents,. reminding them of their duties under the laws and customs of war. But neither said a single word about the illegality of the war itself or the supreme criminal responsibility of the leaders of the countries that had started it.. Human Rights Watch has even swallowed the NATO propaganda distinction between deliberate and collateral killings. These were all important gifts to the aggressor.s propaganda needs.
A further apologetic route is the use of tribunals to deal with target country war crimes. Mandel has excellent chapters on the War Crimes Tribunal (4), The Trial of Milosevic (5), and How America Gets Away With Murder (6), the last with Mandel.s description and analysis of how the Tribunal dealt with his petition on NATO war crimes. There is no finer account of the structured bias of the Tribunal, its de facto control by the United States, the integration of its work to the needs of U.S. political objectives in the area, and its judicial failings, which characterize it at every level of its operations. Mandel is no fan of Milosevic.s, but he makes it very clear that he is on trial strictly because he was the political target of the NATO war, and the supreme criminals needed his demonization, arrest and show-trial guilt to prove the justice of their cause. The abuses of the rule of law in his seizure and shipment to The Hague, and the judicial malpractice in his trial and his struggle in the face of these abuses, have made him a hero by default as he has regularly made the Tribunal court look bad.
The Tribunal was obligated by its charter to investigate and prosecute all credible charges of war crimes in Yugoslavia, which would include any by NATO forces. Thus in May 1999 Mandel presented Arbour with a compilation of evidence on NATO war crimes, with an accompanying legal analysis of why these constituted serious crimes. But Arbour and Del Ponte stalled for over a year, with Del Ponte eventually announcing that there was no basis for even opening an investigation with a crime base of only 500 dead, although Arbour.s May 1999 indictment of Milosevic was based on a crime base of 340 victims, mostly from a war zone, following the provision of information by one side in the war (the United States and Britain), information not verified by the Tribunal, and with only a three week lag to an indictment. Arbour had earlier stated that she would .only disregard unsubstantiated conclusions,. but this was only one of many principles set aside in the interest of service to her sponsor and funder.
Mandel traces in fine detail Arbour.s and Del Ponte.s (and before them Richard Goldstone.s) stream of actions and public relations announcements closely geared to precise NATO needs of the moment.indicting some Serbs to remove them from participation in political negotiations, but most often doing it to demonize target leaders and put some planned NATO act of violence in a more positive light. Mandel.s analysis of Del Ponte.s rationale for not investigating NATO.s acts, including the openly expressed belief that NATO officials only tell the truth..I accept the assurances given by NATO leaders..--that their press releases are reliable evidence, and that all of their killings of civilians and destruction of civilian sites were .genuine mistakes,. is devastating and amusing. For anybody reading this account with a half-open mind it will be very clear that the Tribunal was (and remains) a political and public relations arm of NATO, providing NATO with a convenient judicial façade.
An important theme of Mandel.s account of the work of the Tribunal is that, as an institution serving NATO aims, the Tribunal was an integral part of a war machine, .an instrument for the legitimation of war and the undermining of peace.. Mandel shows that the Tribunal was established and began operations in the same 1992-1993 time frame as the Clinton administration.s subversion of a series of efforts to settle the Bosnian conflict by negotiations, and he makes an excellent case that it was created in .an obvious attempt to derail the peace process.. Just prior to the Tribunal.s formation State Department official Lawrence Eagleberger publicly named the major Serb leaders as candidates for a war crimes trial, and suggested that bringing them to justice must be a high NATO priority. A regular theme of NATO and Tribunal officials was that we must not sacrifice .justice. in the interest of some political settlement.
Underlying this bias was a NATO aim of weakening and destroying an independent and Serb-predominant Yugoslavia. This required warfare, and was eventually successfully achieved by warfare. But meanwhile it was necessary to cover this over with the demand for .justice,. with the Tribunal (and the propaganda army of Rieff, Ignatieff, Sontag, Hitchens et al.) serving well in providing this cover for war. Mandel points out that many thousands of the dead in Bosnia followed the decision to sacrifice peace in the alleged interest of bringing justice.
It goes almost without saying that the substance of Mandel.s account and analysis of the role and work of the Tribunal is not to be found even in trace elements in mainstream accounts, as the propaganda system has geared itself completely to the NATO-friendly portrayal of the Tribunal as an independent instrument of justice. This is well illustrated by Marlise Simons. work on the Tribunal in the New York Times, strictly in the apologetic mode, as I.ve described with David Peterson in .Marlise Simons on the Yugoslavia Tribunal: A Study in Total Propaganda Service. (http://www.zmag.org/simonsyugo.htm)
The recent apology by the editors of the New York Times for their performance in the run-up to the Iraq invasion-occupation (.The Times and Iraq,. May 26, 2004) could no doubt be extended to other matters, but none would be more urgent than an apology for their coverage of the Tribunal and Balkans. conflicts where the news-truth gap has been and remains astronomical.
In accord with his main theme, Mandel stresses the fact that the Tribunal charter carefully exempts the supreme crime of aggression from prosecution, leaving only the lesser crimes. These lesser crimes have been pursued with thorough-going political opportunism, exempting NATO and its Bosnian Muslim and Croatian clients from indictment for the same acts that bring Serbs into the dock, as Mandel demonstrates. Mandel argues that there was no justification for the Tribunal ignoring the NATO leaders. commission of the .supreme crime,. as this is a key element of international law even if not part of the Tribunal.s mandate. So the ultimate irony of the Tribunal.s role is that it was an instrument aiding in the commission of the supreme crime, a remarkable testimonial to the U.S. ability to manipulate international institutions to service its needs.
In his last chapter (7), and one of his best, .Rounding Up the Usual Suspects While America Gets Away With Murder,. Mandel discusses the International Criminal Court (ICC) and various other developments bearing on the evolution of international law and justice, such as the Pinochet case, the Belgian law reaching out to international criminals, the Rwanda court (ICTR), and the general problem of justice and truth in the New World Order. He shows how the ICC.s jurisdiction was structured once again to exempt the .supreme crime. from the list of crimes it would address, in accord with U.S. demands. This did not prevent Kofi Annan from claiming that under the new ICC .no state.can abuse human rights with impunity.. Thus, while the ICC has not, like the ICTY, been .handicrafted for the specific task of legitimating aggressive war.it leaves a great swath of international crime untouched, supreme crimes and crimes of the great powers..
Mandel shows how strenuously the Clinton administration worked during the period of formation of the ICC to water down its reach. Clinton never intended to join, he merely wanted to weaken it and make sure any U.S. actions would never be interfered with. To this end, he and his agents like David Sheffer made sure that war crimes did not include nuclear weapons, cluster bombs and land mines, and they obtained the Section 98 (2) right to negotiate bilateral exemptions from ICC prosecutions. They tried hard to arrange for Security Council control of the ICC agenda, which might have made the ICC acceptable because of the U.S. veto. Without it there was the threat of .politically motivated. prosecutions! Clinton.s actions flowed easily into the hardline Bush stance on the ICC.
Mandel describes the great pains to which the ICC has gone to make entry by the United States appealing, groveling almost without limit. He concludes that, .this is a court desperate for credibility, not with the world but with the world.s supreme international criminals. The Americans were very wise to stay out of this court, because this court is going to spend the rest of its life trying to convince them that they have nothing to fear from it. We can.t possibly look to a court like this for anything but the roundup of the usual suspects..
Mandel shows that only the usual suspects are likely to be rounded up across the globe. In analysing the Pinochet case, he tears to shreds the claims of the Human Rights Watch and other humanitarian interventionists that it marks the end of the era of impunity. His careful examination of this episode shows how crudely the Blair government managed to assure that the West.s own mass murderer would not be subjected to a trial for war crimes. The hypocrisy here of the .anti-impunity gang, fresh from their Kosovo crusade, and still howling for the arrest of Milosevic. could not be surpassed (Mandel points out that Pinochet was not released till a year after the end of the Kosovo war, and a year before the kidnapping of Milosevic, a spacing helpful to avoiding notice of the contrast in treatment between ally and target).
The Belgian universal anti-impunity law of 1994 saw Sharon, Blair, Bush, and U.S. general Tommy Franks threatened with prosecution, but.big surprise!.under U.S. pressure that law was emasculated and none of these villains will be brought to trial. The only people actually tried and given prison sentences under this .universal. law were four Hutus, two of them nuns. Mandel quotes both a Hutu and a Tutsi on the political nature of this proceeding, the Tutsi saying .They [the Belgians] ought to put themselves on trial.. But only the people of the South are brought to trial, not their former colonial masters, whose crime record in their former domains was and remains impressive.
As Mandel demonstrates, the performance of the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda fits into his overall analysis very comfortably. The United States was not interested in the mass killings in Rwanda, and in fact sided with the Tutsi invaders who subsequently devastated and killed vast numbers in the Congo as well as large numbers in Rwanda. Because of the U.S. disinterest, the ICTR was poorly funded, and because of the pro-Tutsi tilt of its principals the serious Tutsi killings of civilians were off the ICTR agenda, just as NATO crimes were off the ICTY agenda. Mandel notes that Arbour justified this ignoring of the thousands of Tutsi killings on the ground that if the ICTR pursued Tutsi killers .they would shut us down.. But Mandel points out that .These are the people, remember, who wouldn.t allow justice to be compromised by mere peace [in Bosnia and Kosovo]..
In short, it remains true today that to escape criminal proceedings for mass killing it is necessary to choose .to be with us. (Bush); whereas .they. and their allies had better watch out as the selective impunity laws and implementing institutions will not protect them. This does not produce a system of justice.not even partial justice.as the supreme criminals can use these compromised tribunals and courts to facilitate their own larger crimes and justify the serial implementation of these major crimes from which the lesser ones flow.
Michael Mandel.s book is a best buy and must reading for those who want to understand how the United States is ignoring, using and reshaping international law to serve its imperial needs..
First published in Z Magazine
Edward S. Herman is Professor Emeritus at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
The UNDERCOVER WAR is continueing!! USA still mames and murders
in the name of the state!!
National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation
October 23, 2007
On October 22, 2007, protests against Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation were called in over twenty cities. Parents and families of people murdered by police, students, movement activists, and people of all nationalities marched. In New York City, Cindy Sheehan spoke of being brutalized by police, and of the death of her son in Iraq, and Marcus Jones, the father of one of the Jena Six spoke by phone of his son Mychal Bell being re-jailed. In Atlanta, the city.s main newspaper reported that as the protest went past the city jail, .prisoners could be seen waving white T-shirts inside in an apparent show of support..
Protests were planned for Atlanta; Cleveland; Denver; Detroit; Eureka, CA; Flagstaff, AZ; Fresno, CA; Guelph, ON Canada: Houston; Kansas City, TX; Knoxville; Los Angeles; Louisville; Minneapolis; Montreal, QC (Canada); New Haven, CT; New Orleans, LA; New York City; Olympia, WA ; Pittsburgh; San Antonio, TX ; San Diego; Santa Rosa, CA; Seattle, WA; and St. Louis.
Following are some initial reports from correspondence received at Revolution and from other news sources:
Los Angeles Los Angeles
Protesters rallied at police headquarters at Parker Center, and marched to Mac Arthur Park where on May First, police shot rubber bullets at, and beat protesters and reporters at an immigrants rights demonstration.
More than 300 people entered MacArthur Park in Los Angeles this October 22nd chanting: .We.re fired up! Can.t take it no more! Police brutality has got to go!. Marchers carried signs protesting ICE raids on immigrants, and demanding Free the Jena Six. The march ended with a candle-light vigil for victims of police brutality.
Families who have lost loved ones to police murder, high school and college students, members from various organizations, and some residents from Pico Union marched across the same soccer field where the police brutally beat immigrant protestors and journalists on May 1st. They marched past the same picnic benches where the LAPD fired 150 rubber bullets into the park. One woman wrote her message in plain black letters: .Ya Basta! No Mas!. [[Enough! No more!]
High school students and other youth played an important part in organizing and bringing friends to the National Day of protest. A 14 year old student from Jordan HS in Watts said, .I couldn.t stay quiet. That.s why I came. People can.t be scared. We need to stand up.. Another student from Eagle Rock High school wasn.t able to bust out of school in a .walk-out. like she had hoped, so she staged a .climb-out. to participate in this .can.t miss. day.
Some youth marched with members of a Revolution Club, behind their banner, .Humanity Needs Revolution and Communism.. Other students came from as far away as Victorville, located about 100 miles outside of L.A.
Javier Quezada whose son was killed at a hospital where he was being treated, Norma and Norberto Martinez whose son was shot down on Valentine.s Day, and Lilian Mitchell spoke from the stage of how their children.s lives were stolen by the police. Lilian Mitchell, whose son Charlie Wilson was murdered by the Torrance Police Department in July, said that all the people at October 22nd gave her strength to speak about what the police did to her son. She told Revolution Newspaper, .I don.t know what Charlie was doing out there, but the neighbors called the police. He was with a friend and they hid in a shed from the police. They sent out the dogs to find him. His girlfriend called him to give himself up. All he had was a cell phone. When they found them they shot that shed up, they tore it up [with bullets.] Charlie was shot from the back . . . The other young man [Shaun McCoy] was shot so much and his back was tore up so bad that they couldn.t fix him up [for the wake], the embalming fluid couldn.t stay in. . . They killed them. They had dogs, they shot them from behind, they killed them with the first shot, but they shot them more. They killed them. Why did they shoot him in the first place? He only had a cell phone on him..
Some residents from the neighborhood around MacArthur Park also known as.Little Central America.came out despite what some residents called a week-long attempt by the police to intimidate people from participating. One woman said, .This is where we were brutally beaten and I.m here to say the same thing [we said on May 1].we.re human beings, we.re not criminals. Criminal is how the police kill defenseless people. Criminal is how immigration [ICE] is taking parents away from children and then left alone like they are worthless. We shouldn.t take this anymore. We can.t keep silent about this!.
NEW YORK CITY
Los Angeles New York City
Margarita Rosario, Cindy Sheehan, Lynne Stewart
Credit: IndyMedia, NYC
At a rally of about 150 in Marcus Garvey Park, in Harlem Marcus Jones.whose son Mychal Bell, one of the Jena 6, was sent back to prison earlier this month.spoke to the crowd via a phone hook-up: .I just want to say thanks to everybody up there who are supporting Mychal. And I.ve been hearing about the racial profiling that the police have been doing up there. Jena is everywhere. I see that on a map of New York there.s no name Jena, New York.but I know it.s Jena up there somewhere..
Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan told about how the Bush regime had stolen the life of her son Casey, a U.S. solider killed in the Iraq war, and said, .I.ve gotten in trouble with the mainstream media because I called George Bush .the No. 1 terrorist in the world.. People say, oh, no, he can.t be because he.s an elected leader of a state. Well, first of all, who elected him? Did any of you vote for him? No. He is an illegitimate leader of this brutal state..
Margarita Rosario, whose son and nephew were killed by the NYPD, said: .My son received 14 shots to his back while he was face down on the floor. And my nephew the same thing. They destroyed my life. I.m still standing and I will continue to stand. Let.s tell the community of Harlem today that we need to fight!.
As the multinational group of protesters took off on a march down 125th Street, 20 students from a charter school in the neighborhood, joined in, contributing their own chants on: .We stand with the Jena 6!. and .NYPD go to hell! We remember Sean Bell!. Members of the Harlem Revolution Club carried a colorful banner saying, .Humanity Needs Revolution. Stop Police Brutality. No More Nooses..
At a rally during the march, Travis Morales of the Revolutionary Communist Party said, .The immigration police, la migra, with their cowboy hats and shotguns, busting down the doors of homes, rounding up people and deporting them, terrorizing and tearing families apart, leaving children and babies stranded with their neighbors. Nooses hung from a whites-only tree in Jena, Louisiana, on a Black professor.s door at Columbia University, outside a Black cultural center at University of Maryland. A wave of nooses across this country, and 6 Black youth facing decades in prison for standing up to the nooses, the symbol of lynching of thousands of Black people.Don.t tell me we don.t need a revolution!.
At a rally at the end of the march, Sean Bell.s father, William Bell, said he was happy to see a movement against police brutality and that it was crucial for more youth to become involved.
Chicago. Credit: Li Onesto, Revolution
In Chicago, family members rallied with signs and posters and t-shirts honoring loved ones murdered by police: Meliton Recendez, 15, shot going out for a juice. Johnny Goodwin, 21, shot in the back. Lester "Roni" Spruill, 43, beaten and found dead in a jail cell. Steve Womack, 22, killed from a high-speed police chase. A young man spoke with a broken arm, spoke, explaining how the police shoved him out a window when they raided his home.
One man described how cops from the scandal-ridden "Special Operations Section" - known as "Shoot on Sight" put a bullet in his nephew's neck while the young man lay handcuffed on the ground. Deborah Thompson, who's brother Fred Hendersen was shot by a suburban cop point blank in the side of his head, told the crowd of 200 she would not let the killer of her son intimidate her. Mae Green, made a promise to her son Tony, who choked to death after being arrested by the police, .They will not give the police department a standing ovation for killing my son..
Ashunda Harris who's nephew Aaron Harrison was shot in the back as he ran away from the police, spoke clearly to the urgency of the situation: "If we don't make this movement and this revolution happen, it's going to continue and it's going to reach down to our grandchildren, and our grandchildren's children. We need to put an end to this..."
Among the 150 people rallying and marching in Oakland were many family and friends of Gary King, Jr., the 20 year old youth who was murdered on September 20. Gary King was grabbed by the dreadlocks, brutalized tasered and shot in the back by officer Patrick Gonzales, who had mistaken King for someone else. Gonzeles, who has been responsible for shooting several other young Black men in the last few years, stood with his foot in Gary's back as he lay dying on the ground.
Stolen Lives Wall in Oakland. Credit: IndyMedia SF Bay Area
Other family members of people killed by police present included Alade Djehuti-Mes (whose father, Charles Vaughn, Sr. was murdered by police in Seaside); Danny Garcia (brother of Mark Garcia, who died after being sprayed repeatedly with pepper spray and beaten by San Francisco police); Rashida Grinnage (whose husband, Raphael Grinnage, a well known jazz musician, and son, Luke Grinnage were both shot and killed by Oakland police); Cinnamon, (whose son, Lorante Studesville, was shot and seriously wounded by the OPD earlier this year); Frank Rosenberg (whose son Richard Rosenberg was shot and killed in front of his house); Meesha Irazarry, (mother of Idriss Stelley, a 23-year-old African American student killed by SFPD at the SF Sony Metreon Theatre in San Francisco in 2001); and Marylon Boyd (mother of Cameron Boyd killed by SFPD).
AROUND THE COUNTRY.
Atlanta. Credit:Special to Revolution
The October 22nd protest in Atlanta got significant coverage in the mainstream and alternative media. In an article titled, .'We All Live In Jena' Say Marchers Protesting Dekalb Shootings,. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that protesters .wearing black T-shirts proclaiming .We All Live In Jena. marched on Memorial Drive Monday to call attention to shootings by DeKalb County police and other cases of what they regard as injustice. One theme of the protest was the .criminalization of a generation.. As demonstrators chanted .What do we want? Justice!. in front of the county jail, prisoners could be seen waving white T-shirts inside in an apparent show of support.. Iffat Muhammad, who has organized protests over police shootings since her brother was shot and killed by police said, "This is a day of remembrance and a day of acknowledgment that brutality will not be tolerated."
Fresno. Credit: Mike Rhodes
Among those rallying on October 22nd in Fresno, CA was the family of Everardo Toreres. Everardo had his life stolen on the night of October 27, 2002. He was arrested, handcuffed, and put into the back of a Madera, CA police car. A short time later, police officer Marcy Noriega came over to the car that Torres was in, pulled her service revolver and shot him to death. Noriega says she thought she was using her Taser gun. Torres.s family says Everardo was murdered by the police and they want justice.
Many protesters in Detroitwere family and friends of Jevon Royall, a young man killed in July on the 40th Anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion, blocks from where the rebellion started over police brutality, and they described how he was killed by police when he stepped outside of a family celebration. People marched to the site where Jevon was killed and held a Stolen Lives/Memorial service, with participants giving testimonials remembering and honoring Jevon and reading the names and stories of other victims of police brutality and murder.
In Santa Rosa, CA, organizers told Revolution that several hundred people were part of a rally and march. The march went through Roseland, a poor and mainly Latino community, where police have been setting up DUI checkpoints -- not set up late in the evening when people might be leaving bars -- but at rush hour when people are returning home from work. People in the community suspect that the roadblocks are aimed instead at immigrant workers without papers. Ben, an organizer with Copwatch in Santa Rosa, told Revolution that as the march went through Roseland, .There was an incredible response. People were honking their horns and raising their fists. People pulled over on the spot and parked their cars and joined the march.. Over the past year nine people have been killed in Sonoma County by local police and sheriffs, and in a recent nine-week period, local police shot and killed five. At a rally after the march, Ann Gray Byrd, chairwoman of the Sonoma County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said, "The families of those shot down in our communities have not been heard."
Dorothy Chappell, calls out the cops
who killed her 15 year old grandson
Credit: Donald Black Jr
In Cleveland, Dorothy Chappell, whose grandson, Brandon Mc Cloud was murdered by Cleveland cops, September 1, 2005, called out the cops who killed her 15 year old grandson at the 4th district police station where the October 22nd protest was held.
In Seattle, family members of people killed by the police joined activists and proletarians of all nationalities- many with experiences of being brutalized or harassed by police to march through Seattle.s Pike Place market. All the way, people chanted .Hey cops, whaddya say, how many kids did you kill today?. A Seattle cop had just shot a 13 year old kid in the leg the week before.
Credit: Communities United Against Police Brutality
A volunteer at Communities United Against Police Brutality in Minneapolis told Revolution that an October 22nd protest was held outside the Minneapolis Juvenile .Justice. Center in solidarity with the Jena Six, and because the police .are targeting and criminalizing the children.. Parents and youth coming out of the Juvenile Detention Center stopped and joined the rally and spoke out.
Activists in Minnesota have worked to document 85 deaths at the hands of police over the past ten years. Among them are several Native Americans: Franklin J. Brown, a 21-year-old American Indian man, was killed May 15, 2005 in his home on the White Earth reservation when police entered to conduct a search. He was shot 17 times. Some of the shots went through a closed door. He was unarmed. David Croud, an American Indian, was slammed into a stone wall and otherwise abused as he was arrested by six Duluth police officers on October 12, 2005. He slipped into a coma and never recovered. He was 29 years old. Benjamin DeCoteau, a Native American, was killed on January 22, 2005. He was unarmed when he was shot by officer Mark Beaupre under suspicious circumstances. He was 21 years old at the time of his death. On November 6, 1994, Richard LeGarde, an Anishinabe rights activist, was illegally arrested and then driven home to by a deputy, who was the last person to see him alive.