Yesterday, the jury in the Freddie Gray manslaughter trial against the first of six Baltimore police officers involved in Gray’s wrongful death passed a note to the judge declaring themselves deadlocked following a first day of deliberation. Gray died of injuries sustained either during his arrest, or while being transported in the back of a police van, and he joins Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, and Alonzo Smith as another of the better known in a too long list of black people killed by police in suspect circumstances.
Thanks to the proliferation of cell phone cameras, and the increasing effectiveness of social networks, public consciousness of how Black America is policed is reaching outside the Black community; but it’s not news to those within it.
Long before cell phones, Facebook, or Twitter hashtag campaigns, Carl Dix was fighting for the rights and dignity of all people. He spent two years in a military prison for refusing to fight in Vietnam, emerging to become a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and long before Hands Up and Black Lives Matter became a part of the modern media landscape, Carl initiated the ‘October 22 Coalition to STOP Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.’
Twenty years later, Carl Dix has joined with Cornel West and many others to create the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and its campaigns Stop ‘Stop-and-Frisk,’ and #RiseUpOctober that brings almost 100 families of police murder victims together in New York City. #RiseUpOctober was out in the streets this week, standing in solidarity with Hollywood film director, Quentin Tarantino, whose latest film release faces the threat of a boycott organized by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, and the Fraternal Order of Police because of Tarantino’s support of #RiseUpOctober and its call to “Stop the Police Terror.”
Carl Dix in the first half.
And; as reports of Turkish complicity in the oil trade that sustains IS, or Islamic State, connections that go to the very top of the Turkish ruling elite, become more widely disseminated, new allegations of that country’s involvement in supplying to its “terrorist” allies the sarin gas used in the infamous Ghouta gas attacks of 2013. You may recall, those attacks were blamed on the Syrian government, and were very nearly conflated then into a pretext for an all-out American attack against Syria. If nothing else, these new revelations remind, we have a very murky understanding of what’s going on way over there; certainly not sufficient to make the life and death decisions going to war demand.
Brad Hoff is an author, journalist, educator and Managing Editor of Levant Report.com. The former Marine has taught ancient and modern history at the college and high school levels, and has lived and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, spending most of his time in Syria prior to the 2011 uprising. His articles also appear at Antiwar.com and Foreign Policy Journal among other on-line sites. Brad’s latest article charts the curious career of ISIS commander, Omar “the Chechen” al-Shishani. I spoke to Brad in late September…
Brad Hoff getting a better idea of the players the Great Syrian Game in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good things coming to the streetz of our town in the coming week, and beyond there too. But first, Carl Dix and the fight to #Stop Police Terror.