Prisons and Policing

The four youth killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963.

One of the most tragic acts of U.S. terrorism occurred September 15th, 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. The murderous bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church is a story that very often goes untold. The lives of four little girls—Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley—were unmercifully snatched away by the Ku Klux Klan just after their Sunday school lesson had come to a close.

Turkish Activists Protest in Gezi Park. Photo By: Sarah Liz Perrich

There has been a great misconception in Western media that the protests in Turkey died down after the initial Gezi Park protests. In fact, Western media consumers, rather puzzled why people were making such a fuss over trees, turned their attention to other stories after a day or two. Egypt had problems, Syria had problems, and Turkey was forgotten. In fact, through most neighborhoods there were marches every night. In an effort to curb them, the Prime Minister banned banging on pots and pans.

Protesters detained today in Thessaloniki. Photo: Alexandros Avramidis

Today, the world learned of the stabbing death of Greek antifascist hiphop artist Pavlos Fissas, who performed under the name MC Killah P, at the hands of thugs affiliated with the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. His death is just the most recent since the party’s rise in recent years, but may have tipped a country teetering on the brink of civil war into incredibly volatile territory.

Tyrone West pictured with dreadlocks. Photo by Bonnie Lane.

Edith Fletcher is one of the strongest women I know. Fletcher’s son, Anthony Anderson Sr. would have been 47 today, August 31, 2013. He was murdered by BCPD officers: Detectives Todd Strohman, Gregg Boyd, and Michael Vodarick on September 21, 2012. We set on her steps with many of the rest of her family and talked about what happened that day and what isn’t happening now.

On August 28th 1963, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom galvanized hundreds of thousands in the streets of the nation’s capital. On August 25th 1925, A. Philip Randolph helped to establish the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in Harlem, NY. It was in August 1791 that the Haitian Revolution first broke the chains of French colonialism. August marks the Nat Turner Rebellion of 1831 and Watts Uprising of 1965.

Sketch of Chelsea Manning's trial. (Drawing by Clark Stoeckley)

“I want people to see the truth … regardless of who they are … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” – Chelsea Manning weeks after she leaked the “Collateral Murder” video and just days before military police arrived to arrest her on May 29, 2010.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the North American Board Meeting for the Union for Reform Judaism on May 31, 2013, in New York City.  Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images. Photo source: www.slate.com

It is poverty that kills. But Mayor Bloomberg, defending his stop-and-frisk policy that was shot down by federal Judge Shira Scheindlin as racist and unconstitutional, would have us believe it is blacks and Latinos who are the murderers. While claiming to be protecting black and brown people, Bloomberg drags them out as the bogeyman in the stop-and-frisk controversy to scare whites. His words sully minorities, but the numbers don’t lie.

Demonstrators for Justice for Trayvon Martin. July 14, 2013. Photo By: Bill Hughes

On July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman was acquitted on the murder of Trayvon Martin. The nation disrupted and thousands rose in protest. Baltimore demonstrated that very night with actions like Luminous Intervention's projection over Route 83 Southbound reading "Justice for Trayvon" (they also demonstrated, via their enormous light projections, the following evening at the Eastern District's Supreme Court building calling for "Justice for Trayvon").

About three years ago, Stephen Pitcairn, age 23, a medical student at Johns Hopkins University, was murdered on North Charles Street, only blocks from his home in Charles Village, Baltimore, MD. On Wednesday evening, July 24, 2013, poet Shirley Brewer read from her book, “After Words.” It deals with the tragedy of Mr. Pitcairn’s death. Ms.

PFC Bradley Manning. (Source: Getty Images)

Bradley Manning's court martial for the Wikileaks leak of military and diplomatic documents is taking place at Fort Meade, only about 30 miles from where I live in Baltimore. The trial is open to the public, and I've attended the trial on two and a half days over the past several weeks, including for the prosecution's closing arguments on Thursday, July 25. I wanted to observe what I think is a historic event in person, and also to show support for Manning, whom I consider a hero.

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