Protesters gather outside of South Minneapolis enraged Wednesday night and confirm and confront officers due to a black man from a traffic stop.
This fatal shooting is the first time a black man has been shot and killed by law enforcement since the George Ford killing in May. In response to the shooting, a group of protesters gathered outside a gas station to confront the police.
Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey released a statement late on Wednesday, in which he said he was working with Mr Arradondo to get information on the shooting.
“Events of this past year have marked some of the darkest days in our city,” the mayor said.
He added: “We know a life has been cut short and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile...We must all be committed to getting the facts, pursuing justice, and keeping the peace.”
The will be a protest held 12/31 at 11:00pm at Park Ave & 4th St. For more information join our community by clicking here.
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In Oakland, California, Breonna Taylor's statue was vandalized in an act of hatred, and now the community is furious.
The sculpture was installed two weeks ago in Latham Square near City Hall by Leo Carson, a sculptor. Breonna Taylor was a Kentucky woman killed during a police raid. "Say her name, Breonna Taylor" has become a civil rights call for justice.
Carson said he would rebuild the bust and has started a GoFundMe page to raise money to recast the art in bronze. On Sunday afternoon, the GoFundMe page had raised $3,370 from 73 donors, giving between $10 and $200 each.
On Sunday night, Joe Cotchett came forwarded and said his Burlingame law firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, would fund the damaged sculpture's restoration.
Oakland police are still investigating an act of vandalism.
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A mother and father hurriedly ushered their children towards a minivan as a group of heavily armed men and women, some wearing camouflage, some dressed all in black, and most carrying a variety of firearms, converged on the steps of the capitol on August 30, 2020.
Although white armed militias show up to counter many racial justice protesters, openly carrying firearms, the general (re:white) public still isn’t used to seeing people of color, especially Black people, carrying guns. Many protesters do not normally exercise their second amendment rights.
“I want to make sure I keep myself safe when I’m going out protesting, and also say, hey, I can also express myself the same way that you can. I can speak your language. I can carry guns as well,” said John Sullivan, the organizer of the March on the Capitol protest and the creator of Insurgence USA and the Black Fist Militia.
Sullivan often openly carries when he protests, part of his ongoing efforts to “bring awareness to lawful intent and how the public views Black people.”
As unusual as it is to see armed protesters marching peacefully, especially those demanding an end to violence and government oppression, the real difference on this day was the feeling of the event, or the vibe.
Multiple “militias” marching did not segregate themselves, instead, uniting in solidarity and in a spirit of cooperation, to understand one another and to work toward common goals.
Sean Abundance, of the Utah Constitutional Militia (UCM) said,
“This is beautiful. This is what people all over the country need to do. Got somebody you don’t agree with? Guarantee you, you sit down and talk to them for 20 minutes, you’ll find something, some common ground. That much I can promise you.”
Participants from both sides of the political spectrum spoke about injustice, constitutional obligation, and about their own experiences with government oppression and unfair treatment.
“I want this country to live up to its ideals. I want this to be the land of the free. I want it to be the land of the free for everybody,” stated Josianne Petit, activist, organizer, and founder of Mama and Papa Panthers.
“I want our children to grow up together and not fear each other,” she continued.
Richard Bennett III, another member of Insurgence USA, addressed law enforcement and government officials directly, urging them to apply “every law and rule equally to every individual.”
“Then you will let our light shine,” he said.
A small group believed to be members of the Utah Citizens Alarm, an armed militia who often shows up to various events to intimidate protesters, initially heckled speakers and attempted to disrupt the event.
Individual UCA members with a history of making threats and inciting violence were not allowed to speak, but organizers allowed another member to speak after Petit challenged them at the microphone.
“It’s about time y’all be about something,” she said. “If you have an issue, create your own damn event and speak up there, and we do not troll y’all. But we’re going to be the bigger person and let you have the mic; just understand that this is how we feel about it.”
The UCA member who took the microphone said he doesn’t see any actionable plans from Insurgence organizers.
Sullivan responded, “The fact that you don’t know what our call to actions are and what we want to change through legislation and through police reform shows your lack of education and doing the proper research, because it’s out there. Right on our website.”
The event capped off with a march back to Washington Square, with a continued spirit of cooperation and concern for fellow participants.
Ultimately, attendees came away with exactly what they expected. Those seeking to divide were deaf to the messages, and those seeking to unite found common ground.
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The sad reality is that the activism community is not what it seems. My first thought would be that everyone wants to join together in the fight to end Racial Discrimination and Police Brutality. I was quickly shown that this was not the case.
I had organizations reach out to me and tell me if I did not see eye to eye on their methods that we could not work together. Most of these were other white organizers trying to capitalize on their stance in the movement. Some were black organizers with a power trip only seeking clout in this movement rather than effectively making change.
Then rumors and false information were spread about me and used to discredit my character and integrity. This was done by Community Organizers, White Supremacist Groups, Government Entities, and even Family Members. With no regard for the validity of the information presented and no factual evidence to back it up either.
I have been called a:
I received thousands of death threats with people saying
I have had white supremacy groups follow me home, park outside, and my house. It got to the point where I and the other organizers in my group had to buy bulletproof vests, and guns to protect our self's.
I wanted to write this because I needed to shed light on the toxicity that is in our community. That we can not effectively create change and destroy this hatred from our culture if we are not on a unified front!
Join us in the fight: https://www.insurgence.us/become-a-member.html
How Does a Racist White Militia Get Away With Pepper-Spraying a Veteran with PTSD and A Black Woman? When Peaceful Protesters Get Slapped With Felonies.
By: John Sullivan
Founder of The Black Fist Coalition
On August 7, 2020, Black Lives Matter supporters rallied at the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. They were protesting against the police brutality shown to peaceful protesters in Cottonwood Heights just five days earlier. During this protest, they were met with opposition by a group called Utah Citizens’ Alarm (UCA), which was formed to protect the community from “violent” protesters.
The protesters formed in the middle of the square, surrounded by the white militia group. Many of the Utah Citizens’ Alarm members tried to instigate responses from the Black Lives Matter organization.
An older UCA member stood, lifting his shirt to expose his hairy white chest, rubbed his stomach. Other UCA members tried to force themselves into the crowd to cause conflict with protesters. Armed individuals encircled the group, carrying AR 15s, shotguns, bats, and other weapons.
Thanks to the composure and tolerance of the protesters, the protest remained mostly peaceful for a time. As the event concluded, many of the protesters left to go home. A few individuals stayed, including a former Marine. UCA started making various noises that sounded like gunshots, and the veteran had a PTSD attack. Witnesses say the source of the noises was clear: Landon Buttars, a long term member of UCA, had assaulted multiple people with pepper spray.
On-site law enforcement did not intervene in this altercation until many of the protesters approached them with videos of the incident. They then detained the Buttars temporarily, but later released him on no charges.
Now, this wouldn't be an issue if the Blue Pigs held everyone accountable for their actions.
When protesters simply march through the street, Utah district attorneys collaborate with police to slap them with rioting charges, a third-degree felony in Utah. Other protesters, further expressing their frustration, pour red paint onto the street outside a corrupt district attorney’s office, and now face life in prison because of first-degree felony charges of “gang enhancement.”
Time and time again, the police show their internal bigotry when they uphold the law. Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall’s Executive Order 5 on police reform validates protesters by exposing huge issues within Utah law enforcement, issues that demand immediate attention. But why release these new policies now? Why not two months ago, a year ago, or even a decade ago? These are long-standing issues that require societal change on every level, more than just press releases that read like publicity stunts.
We want to reiterate our concern to local lawmakers, including Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall:
Landon Buttars assaulted multiple people on August 7, including a veteran with PTSD, making him more criminal and violent than any of the protesters the district attorneys have slammed with felony charges. The fact Buttars was let go with no charges is absurd.
If a person of color or other protesters expressing their first amendment right were to do what Buttars did in self-defense against white supremacists or violent cops, they would be arrested. They would be slapped with charges that far outweigh the actual offenses. This is not speculation, it is fact because far more peaceful individuals than Buttars have been charged and face life in prison.
We call on Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall, Cottonwood Heights Mayor Michael Peterson, and elected officials all around the state to use their political clout to uphold justice for protesters expressing their first amendment rights and to unroot police brutality, corruption, and racism in every corner in Utah. We have had enough of the double standards benefiting white supremacy, and enough of political passivity in the name of moderation. It is time to take action.
Insurgence USA decided to hold a protest against police brutality and racial discrimination in Provo, Utah on June 29th, 2020. Our full intent was to go out and spread awareness. When we went out we decided to meet outside the Provo Police Station. There was also a Blue Lives Matter Rally happening at the same time. The organizer of that rally even said they were just doing a food drive and there would be no protesting. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
The Blue Lives Matter people were gathered together on the street with their big trucks, flying the Blue Lives Matter flags, and honking at us the entire time. There was no drive-by of food donations that day as we stood there facing them. Then, all of a sudden, they got in their trucks, turned around and left.
At that point, we started questioning:
Where did everybody go in such a rush? I knew that they were going to come back, and they all left at once. Were they going to come from behind our group? The way they left seemed systematically planned, with one car following behind the other.
Unfortunately, my assumption was right, but I did not see that until 20 to 30 minutes later. As we started to march down Center Street, the Blue Lives Matter people had gone home. But as I realized later, some only went home to change their cars or license plates, to make it look like they were different people.
You see, what they failed to realize is that you should remove your Blue Lives Matter sticker off the back of your bumper, if you’re going to try to pass as a different driver in a different car. I saw cars trying to run us over that were exactly the same as the ones at the Blue Lives Matter rally. There is no coincidence that those cars were trying to run us over in Provo; they went home, and traded their big-ass trucks in for minivans so that they could run us over!
But who actually showed up? Just the ambulance.
Where was the Provo Police Department when we needed them?
After marching up University Avenue, we came back to our meeting spot outside the Provo Police Station. We prepared to leave but were instead greeted by policemen in riot gear. The amount of time it took them to put on riot gear instead of coming to an emergency situation is baffling, to say the least, especially when people were trying to run over protesters with cars!
Now, the right-wing media would like to tell you a different narrative about the shooting, about how the protesters were trying to incite violence. That is completely inaccurate. We stated before, during, and after our protests that we came with peaceful intent to spread the message of unity and equality!
After that night, a group of racist white supremacists fabricated further rumors against us! They gained around 7,000 members in under 24 hours and now, just a couple of weeks later, have over 15,000 members in their Facebook group. This group, Utah Citizen’s Alarm, claims they are for peace and justice.
But they meet us at our protests with AR-15s and tactical gear as if we are terrorists. Their whole organization is built on propaganda and fear. They say our organization is led by a riot communist leader. The fact that they even built a petition around arresting our leader for doing nothing more than organizing a peaceful protest is sickening. The members of their organization are nothing less than morally unsound.
For anyone to say that I or Insurgence is against the United States of America is bullshit. I was training for the Olympics to represent my country for years. To say that my organization embodies those beliefs is just delusional. Unfortunately, it is easier to believe lies then it is to do the research yourself, to understand who someone really is. Casey, the leader of the racist Utah Citizens Alarm group, is nothing but a manipulative, white supremacist leader. He is a living example of everything that we are fighting against.
The members of his organization are sick. People within their community say that they will hang Black people from trees. They say they will go home, get their cars, and run people over in the streets. Perhaps it’s even out of curiosity, one member wanting to see if Black people bleed just like white people do. I guarantee you, we do.
I see no peacefulness in those comments. I see no peacefulness in using and manipulating my own brother to speak out against me. No real man that wants peace will go out of their way to create such conflict and contention between two groups or especially between family members.
If Casey and UCA were really about peacefulness and unity, they turn the other cheek just like Jesus did, and embrace the protesters and the causes we are fighting for.
I hope this provides everyone a little bit more insight into how the local media portrays Black people in our community as criminals, terrorists, and as riot communist leaders. They use it to suppress us by running with their own narrative.
Our country was not founded on the freedom of African-American People. Our country was built on racism and discrimination which we had to fight to overcome. Even after the Constitution supposedly gave us equal rights, we still had to fight for those rights. We are still fighting for those rights.
Passing laws does not erase racism within people’s hearts and minds. What happened in Provo only solidifies that statement and unveils it to our community’s eyes.
We still have so much work to do, and unfortunately, even the police department in Provo, Utah supports the systemic racism that we see today.
Open your motherfucking eyes! Climb out from underneath your goddamn couch where you hide and watch Netflix, and instead, see what is going on in this world. See what is going on inside your own community. And then do something to fix it.
Hold the drivers and the police responsible! Sign this petition: http://chng.it/HwRmm6ZPK6
I hope that you will join us on July 27th in Provo Utah:
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July 1st, 2020 - Many groups recently came out to protest both for and against police brutality and racial discrimination of Black Americans in Provo, Utah.
The conflict originated on Monday, June 29, 2020, when several cars tried to run over protesters who blocked busy intersections. It escalated quickly when Jesse Taggart, 33, of Salt Lake City, tried to protect innocent protesters from a vehicle adamant on killing them by firing several shots into a car.
The 60-year-old man who was driving the vehicle was later found wounded with bullet wounds to his arm and shrapnel in his eye and stomach.
A day after the events transpired a white supremacist group called Citizens Alarm formed on Facebook, aiming to hunt the protesters down and kill any organizers who were part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
We are raising money for a defense fund due to the amount of members in our organization receiving death threats! Please help us raise the necessary funds for equipment to protect our members lives! Click Here To Donate
Saturday June 27th - Hundreds of protesters show up with cans of red paint painting the streets in front of the District Attorney's office. Sofia Alcala walked across the sea of red paint flowing across the asphalt and shouted "much more fucking accurate,” a reference to the values displayed on the building.
The crowd chanted, "Too Much Blood," referencing the deaths of members of the community who have died at the hands of police.
The organizers used the growing public outrage shown for George Floyd's death to shed light on the killing of Bernardo Palacios. They were able to receive crowds of allies because Floyd’s death brought national attention to police brutality. Their community is only able to seek justice for a brown person because a Black person died.
A memorial commemorating George Floyd in downtown Salt Lake City was found vandalized Sunday morning. The Memorial is located at 800 South and 300 West and was found splattered with black tar!
This memorial was in remembrance of his death due to police brutality. The community is hard at work trying to restore this symbolic memorial for the injustice in America against the black community.
PROVO, Utah – A statue of Brigham Young that stands in front of the Abraham O. Smoot Administration Building at BYU was vandalized sometime between June 14 – 15, police said.
BYU police Lt. Rich Christianson said the vandals used red spray paint to write the word “racist” on the statue.
The suspects also attempted to cover the statue in red latex paint. Christianson said it appeared to have been “done in haste.”
“It was kind of a hit-and-run type of deal,” he said.
Campus crews were able to clean the statue off the morning of June 15.
Christianson said the vandalism is currently under investigation, and no suspects have been named.
A group of university students recently started a petition to rename the administration building due to its namesake’s ties to slavery. As of Friday afternoon, the petition had garnered nearly 400 signatures.
Abraham O. Smoot was the first head of the Board of Trustees of Brigham Young University, as well as a Provo mayor. According to the Third District Court in Salt Lake County, three individuals were listed as “property” of Smoot upon his death.
“There is a big push around the country to remove all statues or anything that commemorates somebody who basically didn’t stand for what we stand for now,” BYU student Cole Stewart-Johnson said. “Although [Smoot] did make a big contribution we can talk about him, we can mention him, but we aren’t going to idealize someone who enslaved others in the past.”
The petition focused on renaming the Smoot Administration Building and does not call for the removal of the Brigham Young Statue.