From Rikki Cheese and Spencer Lubitz at ABC 13
Civil rights advocates want those treated unfairly by police to speak out
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) — A group of civil rights advocates want to hear from people who feel they’ve been mistreated by Metro police.
People have been shot, beaten and tasered by Metro officers across the department’s jurisdiction. Civil rights groups hope airing those stories in public forums could help change police behavior.
Mitchell Crooks was beaten by a cop for videotaping a burglary investigation across the street from his home near Desert Inn and Maryland Parkway. Erik Scott was shot and killed at a Costco in Summerlin. Both Caucasian men. Civil rights advocates say they’re not Metro’s usual suspects in officer-involved shootings, or accusations of excessive use of force.
I can’t say whether there’s a conscious racial bias, but certainly the evidence reveals a disproportionate impact on minority populations, and that’s just brought out by the data, Staci Pratt with the ACLU said.
Pratt says 2010 census data shows the largest proportion of officer-involved shooting occur in African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods in Clark County.
Advocacy groups also want to hear from people who feel they’ve been mistreated by law enforcement in all ways, and who feel their complaints have not been heard.
Pratt applauds Metro’s recent changes in their use of force policy and for accepting recommendations from the ACLU and NAACP but says officers need to be more sensitive to the people they police.
That may not be a conscious thing on Metro’s part, Pratt said.
But it certainly is an issue that needs to be raised and addressed.
It is good that they are doing this. Legal reforms and
use of force policies don’t do a damn thing, but here and elsewhere they may be reflections of, and concessions to, something much more poewrful. The only thing that is ever going to restrain police abuse is a culture of popular resistance, public exposure and social accountability for abusive cops, and hard driving community activism.
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Received to-day via the North American Anarchist Studies Network e-mail list. Feel free to distribute widely.
From: Michael Loadenthal
Subject: CFP: “Challenging the rhetoric of non-State actors, political violence, and ‘terrorism’”
Date: 28 May 2012 11:49am
Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action
Call for papers for Issue #6: “Challenging the rhetoric of non-State actors, political violence and ‘terrorism’”
Affinities, a journal of contemporary radical politics, is now accepting submission proposals from individuals or collectives
interested in contributing to a special edition focused on non-State actors, political violence and ‘terrorism.’ The purpose of this
special edition of Affinities is to reengage critical anti-authoritarian scholarship with themes that challenge Statist
attempts to control discourses around violence. Who is a terrorist? What is terrorism? When does resistance become violence? How does
one label direct action movements? This special issue seeks to create space for an evolving discourse beyond the ‘violence versus
non-violence,’ debate. How can we move stagnant conversations about tactical efficacy, the ethics of non-violence, the strategy of
economic sabotage and direct action forward?
Submissions are warmly invited for this special issue as it our intent
to open up a space for reflection, critique and revolutionary
analysis. Submissions can come from any and all ‘disciplines’
including but not limited to: anarchist studies, critical theory,
Marxist studies, Queer theory/LGBT studies, public anthropology,
cultural studies, terrorism studies, security studies, peace studies,
conflict analysis or others. We also accept nonpeer reviewed
submissions from artists, activists, journalists and others outside of
Possible topics for submission include (but are not limited to):
- Effective challenges to statist monopolization of discourses involving violence, terrorism, and the ethics of state vs. non-state violence
- Anti-statists and their relationships to nationalist (liberation?) movements
- What is militant non-violence and can it be effective?
- Anarchist and other perspectives or critiques of violence in the Palestinian intifada, the Chechen jihad, the Angry Brigade, the Occupy movement…
- How can radical communities respond to State terrorism and/or non-State violence?
- What role can horizontal direct action movements have in mediating conflict?
To see previous issues of Affinities, or for more information on the journal, please visit www.affinitiesjournal.org. To propose a paper, please submit an abstract (500 words max.) no later than June 30, 2012, to Michael.Loadenthal@gmail.com. Authors whose abstracts are accepted for the special issue will be contacted by mid-July, with final articles to be due mid-October.
Please direct inquiries & abstracts to the issue editor: Michael Loadenthal (Michael.Loadenthal@gmail.com)
From a recent submission to Reason’s Brickbats column:
Mark Chase got a federal court order allowing him to paint on Ocean City, Maryland’s boardwalk without a license. That didn’t impress Baltimore police, who arrested him for painting at the Inner Harbor without a permit. When Chase complained that the permit requirements violated his constitutional rights, and officer told him “Your constitutional rights have nothing to do with the law.”
And of course the officer was right. So: to hell with the law. And to hell with paper constitutions that can do nothing effective to restrain it.
You can quote your constitutional rights all the way to the station-house, but it won’t stop you from getting good and due-processed whenever a cop feels that you’re on the wrong side of The Law. Which, of course, means nothing more or less than
on the wrong side of Law Enforcement. Paper constitutions don’t do anything to hold back police abuse; only a culture of popular resistance, social accountability for abusive cops, and hard-driving community activism do that.
Inasmuch as the Constitution was never signed, nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never bound anybody, and is now binding upon nobody; and is, moreover, such an one as no people can ever hereafter be expected to consent to, except as they may be forced to do so at the point of the bayonet, it is perhaps of no importance what its true legal meaning, as a contract, is. Nevertheless, the writer thinks it proper to say that, in his opinion, the Constitution is no such instrument as it has generally been assumed to be; but that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the government has been made in practice a very widely, and almost wholly, different thing from what the Constitution itself purports to authorize. He has heretofore written much, and could write much more, to prove that such is the truth. But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
— Lysander Spooner (1870). No Treason No. 6. The Constitution of No Authority
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Happy Sunday y’all. Time to get down, get down, get down, get Shameless.
This week I’ve mainly been working, and gardening and writing, and, lately, spending a lot of time arguing elsewhere about Rand Paul. Not because I like Rand Paul — I think in the interview he proved himself to be both mendacious and ignorant; I have other, preexisting reasons for thinking of him as a ridiculous conservative tool. I’m arguing about it, rather, because I do like the sit-in movement, and the rigged debate between Paul’s side and Maddow’s has completely obliterated what that movement actually did, by means of grassroots direct action, without the assistance of federal antidiscrimination laws, Equal Opportunity bureaucracies, or Title II lawsuits.
Here as elsewhere, both conservatives and progressives have shitty arguments that presuppose that
free markets mean only stereotypical forms of commerce and cash exchange, while
politics means only organized attempts to achieve goals through government lawsuits or government legislation; but if those are the options, where does that leave grassroots social movements? Thus we are given the counterfactual and patronizing claim that without white Democratic politicians handing down a federal Civil Rights Act, the grassroots social movement to dismantle Jim Crow could not have gotten anywhere—in spite of 6 years of repeated grassroots victories for the sit-in movement before the Civil Rights Act even existed. If so profound a transformation cannot easily fit into traditional categories of thought, e.g.
political, it is not because these categories do not apply but because they are not big enough: the Freedom Movement bursts through them.
And you? What have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.