A staff member of the Community Relations Service mediating at a march in Memphis in 2009. His jacket and hat displayed the Department of Justice seal. (Community Relations Service)
Posted in Analysis Black Lives Matter Civil Rights Pro Publica

How a Key Federal Civil Rights Agency Was Sidelined as Historic Protests Erupted

Launched by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, the Community Relations Service has been without a director and short-staffed during recent unrest. The Trump administration has repeatedly tried to eliminate the agency. by A.C. Thompson and Robert…

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Black Lives Matter protesters gather in front of the Confederate carving in Stone Mountain Park on June 16, 2020 in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The march is to protest confederate monuments and recent police shootings. Stone Mountain Park features a Confederate Memorial carving depicting Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, President Jefferson Davis. (Photo by Jessica McGowan)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News

Stone Mountain, Georgia: The flashpoint now at center of Confederate monument removals

The mountain, known for its massive Confederate memorial carving, was the location of the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915. by Common Dreams staff Sunday, July 5 The planet’s largest Confederate monument—Stone Mountain outside…

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Protestors rally outside of Lambeau Field prior to the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins on December 8, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo: Stacy Revere)
Posted in Common Dreams First Nations First Peoples News News Racism

Corporate sponsors join Native American call for Washington Redskins name change

Investor coalition worth $620 billion pushed FedEx, Pepsi, and Nike to change stance, prompting team owner to announce a review of the name. by Julia Conley, staff writer Friday, July 3   Washington Redskins owner Dan…

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A protester raises her hands near a line of National Guard soldiers deployed near the White House on June 1, 2020. (Photo: Roberto Schmidt)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News US Military

US Military confirms bayonets were issued to troops responding to George Floyd protests

“It is insane to issue bayonets to soldiers for crowd control.” by Jake Johnson, staff writer Friday, July 3 “Are they supposed to stab protesters?” That was Rep. Ted Lieu’s (D-Calif.) response Thursday to a letter…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Columns Racism Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Reparations qualifications and confusion

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   As a Nikole Hannah-Jones fan, I followed her arguments carefully and approvingly in a recent piece in the New York Times as she demolished one quick fix after another that…

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Posted in Columns Economy Racism Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Dismantling the false paths to equity

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   I’ll never forget the surprise on a colleague’s face who was working to build a nonprofit community development organization in the Mississippi delta several years ago when we first met….

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Posted in Columns Public Policy Racism Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Signs of Caution and Hope from Conservative Critics

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   Watchwords for all of us in this work have always included “know your enemy” and “keep them close.” It is impossible to keep up in these days and times with…

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Demonstrators took to the streets in Tuscon Wednesday night over the killing of Carlos Ingram Lopez. (Photo: screenshot/KVOA)
Posted in Common Dreams News Police Killings Racism

Graphic video from April police killing of Carlos Ingram Lopez in Tucson draws outrage

“Carlos Ingram Lopez should still be alive today.” Huge demonstrations into the night in Tuscon on Wednesday by Eoin Higgins, staff writer Thursday, June 25 Video of the police killing of Tucson, Arizona resident Carlos Ingram…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Columns Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Reparations vs. Greenwashing

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   A common occurrence on the road to freedom from the “peculiar institution” of slavery, as some termed it, was yet another promise broken. General Sherman’s promise of “40 acres and…

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Robert and Melissa Williams, and their young daughters, appeared in a video circulated Wednesday by the ACLU. (Photo: ACLU/YouTube)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Facial Recognition News Privacy

ACLU demands lawmakers act after Michigan man wrongfully arrested ‘Because face recognition can’t tell black people apart’

“It’s past time for lawmakers to prevent the continued use of this technology. What happened to the Williams family should never happen again.” by Jessica Corbett, staff writer Wednesday, June 24 The ACLU on Wednesday urged…

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The technology has been criticized for racial bias in identifying subjects. (Photo: Fight for the Future)
Posted in Common Dreams Facial Recognition News Policing Privacy

Boston City Council bans facial recognition surveillance

“Boston should not use racially discriminatory technology that threatens the privacy and basic rights of our residents.” by Eoin Higgins, staff writer Wednesday, June 24 The Boston City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to ban the…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Justice News

Poll shows overwhelming US support for police reform, increased accountability.

86% say require police to behave or send them to jail. Among other major changes, large majorities of the American public want clear standards for police misconduct and prosecution of officers guilty of excessive force. by…

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Protestors are tear gassed as the police disperse them near the White House on June 1, 2020 as demonstrations against George Floyd's death continue. (Photo: Roberto Schmidt)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Justice News

IG to investigate violent police clearing of Lafayette Square

“The White House narrative is contradicted by video evidence, eyewitness accounts, and even its own past statements. Frankly, it has no credibility at this point.” — Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) by Andrea Germanos, staff writer…

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U.S. Park Police forces back protesters using batons and pepper spray after some attempted to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square near the White House on June 22, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Tasos Katopodis)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News

Secret Service forces press to leave the White House as police use pepper spray and batons to beat back protesters

“The move to force members of the media off White House grounds is highly unusual,” CNN reported after two of its journalists were removed. by Jake Johnson, staff writer Tuesday, June 23 Without initially offering an…

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Police officers pepper spray a woman next to the Colorado State Capitol as protests against the killing of George Floyd continue on May 30, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo: Michael Ciaglo)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

New Amnesty International map documents ‘shocking extent’ of US police violence against black lives matter protesters

Denying people’s constitutional rights “with physical violence, tear gas, and pepper spray is a hallmark of repression,” said one Amnesty researcher. by Jake Johnson, staff writer Tuesday, June 23   An extensive new report released Tuesday…

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Posted in Columns Democracy Rathke: Chief Organizer Report While we were looking elsewhere

We are all protesting in Hong Kong now

We need to follow the lead of our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong and make masks, hats, and even googles semi-standard wear for protests and demonstrations. by Wade Rathke Pearl River    The big reveal…

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Posted in News Race for the White House 2020

Six Trump Campaign staffers setting up for Tulsa rally test positive for Covid-19

  The news comes just hours before the president holds a campaign event in the city. by Common Dreams staff Saturday, June 20, 2020 The public health impact of President Donald Trump’s Saturday rally in Tulsa,…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Race for the White House 2020

Trump threatens violent police crackdown against ‘any protesters’ who gather to denounce him in Tulsa

“The president expresses his intention to violate the Constitution by denying Americans’ First Amendment right to peacefully assemble.” by Jake Johnson, staff writer Friday, June 19, 2020 President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that “any protesters, anarchists,…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Essay The Conversation

From grandfather to grandson, the lessons of the Tulsa race massacre

“More than 1,000 businesses and homes were burned to the ground, scores of black families were herded into cattle pens at the fairgrounds, and one of the largest and most prosperous black communities in the United…

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Workers at APM Terminals on Pier 400 in the Port of Los Angeles were among International Longshore and Warehouse members paying tribute to George Floyd Tuesday, June 9, on the day he was laid to rest. (Photo: Robin Doyno via ILWU)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Labor News Workers

Longshoremen shut down West Coast ports for Juneteenth: ‘The loudest voice we have’

  “A movement requires sacrifice, and that’s what we’re doing as longshoremen.” by Andrea Germanos, staff writer Juneteenth — Friday, June 19, 2020 Longshoremen and women across the West Coast are set to use “the loudest…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Columns Democracy Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Juneteenth is having its day

It’s time that Juneteenth got its due. We need a formal holiday that is centered around our national original sin, slavery, and especially one that celebrates its abolition.     by Wade Rathke Junteenth — Friday,…

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A police officer prepares to fire rubber bullets during a protest over the death of George Floyd, Friday, May 29, 2020 in Los Angeles. Floyd died in police custody Monday in Minneapolis.
Posted in Black Lives Matter Kaiser Health News News Policing

Fractured skulls, lost eyes: police often break own rules using ‘rubber bullets’

Liz Szabo, Kaiser Health News and Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY and Donovan Slack, USA TODAY and Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY June 19, 2020 Warning: Graphic images and video below. Megan…

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In his work with black teenagers, pastor and mental health caseworker Darnell Hill teaches an unofficial guide to what he calls “living while black.” Though many black families have their own sets of rules to navigate others’ racist assumptions, Hill says he hopes that following his “do’s and don’ts” will allow kids to survive as unscathed as possible to realize their life ambitions. “Let’s just make it home,” Hill tells them. (Cara Anthony/KHN)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Kaiser Health News News Racism Social Justice

‘Just Make It Home’: The unwritten rules Blacks learn to navigate Racism in America

Cara Anthony June 18, 2020 ST. LOUIS — Speak in short sentences. Be clear. Direct but not rude. Stay calm, even if you’re shaking inside. Never put your hands in your pockets. Make sure people can…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Justice News Policing

‘Now is not the time for more studies’: Sanders rips weak GOP bill and demands end to police immunity

“Now is the time to hold racist and corrupt police officers and police departments accountable for their actions.” by Jake Johnson, staff writer Thursday, June 18 Slamming the GOP’s newly unveiled policing reform bill as inadequate…

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