As it may
Sucks quite a bit.
Far be it from me,
An American you see,
To call your P.M. shit.
As it may
Sucks quite a bit.
Far be it from me,
An American you see,
To call your P.M. shit.
Alright, plenty has been written and analyzed about Black Lives Matter, racial justice, and cases like Stephon Clark. They have been written more stringently and better than anything I am capable of writing.
However there is one thing I do have to point out about the aftermath of the Stephon Clark shooting or rather I have a question to ask; how fucking stupid are the people running Sacramento’s law enforcement, and how stupid do they think we are?
Black Lives Matter has organized over five weeks of protests outside of Sacramento District Attorney Anne Schubert’s office demanding charges be brought against officers Terence Mercedal and Jared Robinet who were caught on video murdering Stephon Clark. During those five weeks BLM Sacramento has had a series of non violent protests and community picnics, mostly outside her office while other groups have been arranging vigils for Stephon.
Now, how has Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones, D.A. Schubert, and Sacramento Police Chief Hahn reacted to the public’s demands for justice?
1. At one of the vigils for Stephon a disabled woman in her 60s was hit by a sheriff’s department SUV and taken to the hospital. Sheriff Scott Jones suggested that the deputies in the car were scared of “paid protesters” who Jones said broke the car window. This was proven to be a lie when video evidence proved no one at the protest broke the window before the SUV sped off.
2. Weeks later, two black women were arrested at one of the protests for Stephon Clark at the D.A.’s office after Sac PD officers were hitting protesters with batons and bikes and verbally abusing them. One of the two women is trans and was intentionally put into holding with male prisoners.
3. At the end of week 4 of the protests outside her office D.A. Schubert responded to the protests saying the justice protest “would not be swayed” by the public outrage and erected a metal fence around her office, a piece of public property.
4. Meanwhile, not only have Officers Mercadal and Robinet not been charged they are still on duty. Chief Hahn does not even have the courage to suspend these officers for more than a few weeks despite them being caught on camera committing murder. When asked why the two officers would mute their cameras before the shooting, Hahn replied there are “several reasons” why an officer might mute his camera on duty, he then failed to actually list any.
Now let’s review, after 5 straight weeks of protests, instead of just listening to public demands for justice, Chief Hahn let two men who are on camera committing murder keep their jobs. Sacramento’s D.A. put up fences to ignore protesters, and Sacramento’s sheriff spread conspiracy theories. Meanwhile a woman was run over and two other women were arrested and harassed.
So after over a months of protests, getting caught running over protesters, arresting and discriminating against trans protesters, and god knows how many hours of blocked traffic, you would think that maybe just maybe it would be a little easier to just listen to the public, to fire and arrest Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet instead of making excuses for why you won’t do it.
But, you know, fuck me right? 🤷🏼♂️
It might just be easier for the public to replace the D.A. and Sheriff, both up for reelection this year. Primary voting starts on June 5th.
Started to wince,
when he heard them scream,
With a stupid air,
He did not care
Who he killed with HIV.
Sacramento District Attorney Marie Ann Schubert responded to four weeks of protests outside her office by erecting a fence around the DA building. The protests were hosted by Black Lives Matter Sacramento demanding that the officers who shot Stephon Clark be fired and prosecuted. For the last two weeks the protests have taken the form of a public picnic that focused on feeding the community while demanding justice for black lives. Last Thursday two black women were arrested outside her office at one of these events, one of them endured abuse while in holding at the Sacramento County Jail because they were trans.
Schubert responded to the month of protests with a press conference saying she “would not be swayed” by public demonstrations.
News of the fence broke just hours after it became public that the officers who shot Stephon Clark, TERRENCE MERCADAL AND JARET ROBINET, have been allowed back on duty. Within 24 hours of that news breaking, Stephon Clark’s brother Stev’ante Clark was arrested and held without bail.
Stephon Clark marks the 22nd death by police violence since Schubert took office. No officer has been charged or prosecuted during that time.
The Left of the United States and the current anti imperialist movement has a big problem that could damage the progress of our dialect. That problem is Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria.
It is a fact that Assad has sabotaged revolution in his country, quite actively so with state violence. I do not doubt there is some misrepresentation by the corporate media on the subject of the current regime in Syria. Although the conspiracy theories that Assad has never used state violence against his own people are factually not true and can be verified via testimony by refugees. Many refer to the fact U.N. investigators have found “no evidence” of the Assad regime using chemical weapons; however, while doing so they ignore the other fact that these are the same U.N. investigators who said there was no evidence of ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia or in Rwanda. They were wrong on both accounts.
There is no doubt some form of misrepresentation in the stories regarding Syria but this misrepresentation happens when discussing US foreign policy in any country, and it is simultaneously true that these misrepresentations are used as a tool by the media to justify interventionism. However what remains a harder truth is that Assad is not a Leftist, and he has been actively sabotaging Leftist uprisings in Syria. This is where the majority of Assad’s use of state violence has been directed. Assad’s use of violence has been a tool for suppressing the Kurdish Revolution in Rojava where the Kurdish people have declared autonomy from Syria and are creating a true socialist democratic confederation. As an autonomous region they do not recognize Assad as their head of state.
While some on the Left ignore Rojava and liberals and neocons bang the drums of war, several Leftists in the U.S. have taken the problematic stance which personifies the shallow “with us or against us” mentality that is all too common of U.S. politics. Certain radicals have perpetuated a problematic dialogue about Syria that ignores the Y.P.G. and Y.P.J. as Leftist units. This ignores the Syrians that Assad has in fact killed, and quite frankly will delegitimize the Left by perpetuating the exact form of “selective solidarity” which we see from neoliberals. Just as neoliberals express support for Malia of Pakistan but say nothing of the children in holding by I.D.F. forces, Leftists who support Assad are actively ignoring the people Assad has killed, especially the Kurdish people. They are therefore perpetuating a problematic dialogue.
This problematic dialogue is as such; that to be either anti-imperialist or pro-Syria one also needs to be Pro-Assad. This is nearsighted in countless ways. The most blatant of them being that it is an outright false equivalency. To be anti-imperialist does not mean one must support every leader who is against U.S. imperialism because those leaders in question might themselves still be imperialist, as is Assad. If Assad were not an imperialist he would have no problem seceding Rojava to the Kurds. To be a Leftist is to be anti-imperialist, but it is a bastardization of Leftism if we just outright support every leader who gives the middle finger to the U.S.
Further, this “either or” false dichotomy that to be anti-Assad is to be pro-imperialist blatantly ignores my first point, that Assad is not a Leftist and as far as my research shows the only Leftist movement with any steam in Syria is the Kurdish Revolution being protected by the Y.P.G. and Y.P.J. units. The fact that the word “socialist” appears in the name of Assad’s party is no different than the fact Hitler called himself a “National Socialist.”
Not only does this dialogue ignore a genuine Leftist revolution in Syria but it does nothing to help refugees. No matter who we try to paint as the good and evil in this situation it will be Syrian civilians who die. It will be Syrians who die no matter if it is Assad’s, Trump’s, or Putin’s bombs. We hurt refugees in two ways when we put Assad’s sovereignty ahead of the needs of Syrian victims of war. True working class solidarity should not be directed at protecting Syria and Assad’s “national sovereignty,” but rather directed at getting resources to refugees and fighting the anti refugee legislation constantly being enforced by the Trump presidency. Further, if the Left defends Syria and Assad along lines of “national sovereignty” then we lose legitimacy to our argument when we stand up for humanitarian rights in other nations. In Israel and Palestine for example, we cannot claim to stand for Palestinian rights if our concern is sovereignty because as far as international law is concerned Israel is a sovereign state. If solidarity is drawn along state lines then it loses legitimacy and we risk losing that legitimacy with selective solidarity directed at Assad and not the working class victims of Syria’s civil war. The Left’s dialogue about Syria must focus on helping refugees not on protecting state powers. It is selective solidarity if Leftists say they support Palestine but turn their backs on Syrian refugees.
Lastly this dialogue is the epitome of the shallowness in U.S. politics. It is no different than the idea that “you are either liberal or conservative,” or “with us or against us” as I mentioned above. It is not that complicated of a concept to argue that both U.S. imperialist interventionism and the Assad regime are things that the Left should stand against.
We must not support a dialogue about Syria that defends Assad as a leader. NATO forces have no right bombing any country and the idea that we are getting involved in Syria to spread democracy and not destabilization is laughable. However it is not so laughable that we can ignore the Assad problem that has infected the Leftist dialect and risks hurting our legitimacy especially when our energy is focused on protecting Assad’s power and not focused on helping Syrian refugees in any way we can.
The Syrian government has not allowed U.N. investigators onto the site in Damascus where Assad has been accused of using chemical weapons against his own people.
This damages the claim that there is “no evidence” that Assad has never used chemical weapons against his people because it means that the investigators in charge have literally not been allowed to gather the evidence in question.
Many are making the claim that the accusations that Assad has used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians is either overhyped or not true. This claim is made despite the testimony of numerous refugees about state violence in Syria made since the revolution in 2012. This testimony is as easy to find as anything you can type into Google search. There is also consistent evidence of Assad using state violence in Syria against the Y.PG. And the Y.P.J.