Tag Archives: Black Lives Matter protest at Kelley Square

Rally tonight, 6 pm, Worcester City Hall! BE THERE If, ultimately, you want a MORE EQUITABLE WOO!

 

 

Today’s rally in support of the Kelley Square Black Lives Matter protesters will happen  at 6 p.m. at Worcester City Hall, Main Street. Before the Worcester City Council meeting.

Be there!

Bring your wife! Your husband! Your kids! Your pals! Your pup!

Do NOT be fooled! The deniers want to say all is well in Woo! If so, why such an effort to stifle our BLM protesters?  Why intimidate folks? (So they don’t go out again, that’s why!)

This is EXACTLY what happened to Martin Luther King Jr. years ago, when thousands marched – and yes, shut streets down to traffic – for racial justice in their hometowns and America.

The  Kelley Square protesters were doing the same thing. They were saying: IN AMERICA THE POLICE KILL TOO MANY BLACK, UNARMED MEN. This must stop.

THIS MUST STOP!!!!

IT MUST STOP IN AMERICA!!!!

WE CHOOSE TO REACT TO THIS AMERICA IN 2015!!!!

Ferguson, NY, and now many more. Recently caught on video: A black man being shot 8 times in the back by a police officer. In the back. As he was running away. Dead. No effort to do CPR. And the cop MOVED what could have been damning physical evidence against him. Caught on video camera…

In Worcester, most of our cops are good guys/gals doing a very hard, exceedingly shitty job. Every day they deal with people ON THE EDGE. Desperate people with drugs, guns, knives and a deep distrust of the world around them. The job takes its toll – physically, emotionally. It follows that a few cops go bad, get bad, wear down, wear out, overreact … . But this doesn’t give a police force the right to go rogue, treat an entire community as if they were criminals in waiting.

Our Black Lives Matter protesters were saying: DON’T KILL UNARMED BLACK GUYS. … and a CIVILIAN POLICE REVIEW BOARD IN WORCESTER is a good thing. LESS VIOLENCE. MORE DIALOGUE.

Adding to this, the BLM, in Worcester and America, is saying: Please! Look at the big picture! Race relations in the USA are still challenging. We’re still struggling to get race RIGHT in America.

In Worcester, too! Worcester a city where many of our elementary schools have ZERO minority teachers. Worcester is a majority-minority school district.

And for years the Worcester Public Schools had scores of UN-CERTIFIED teachers! Friends/relatives of city movers and shakers who … slid into our system while properly certified teacher applicants were locked out of good paying, benefit-rich, secure jobs …  

Worcester where :

We should have had a new city manager, possibly by the name of Gonzalez, if we were following the hiring process we laid out for ourselves. But the same white guy politicians who pull all the levers in this town, shit on the PROCESS and rammed their guy in – Ed Augustus. He’s our city manager now, probably for years and years. A guy who’s been at the city trough for decades collecting hundreds of thousands of $$$ but who DOESN’T EVEN LIVE IN WORCESTER. Ed owns his home far away in Millis. Lives in Millis,15 or so miles OUTSIDE OF BOSTON. Cuz the group of white guys who run this city broke the rules and let Augustus break city policy – which only stands for some people! Like people who aren’t in their circle of trust. 

City of Worcester policy is flouted constantly by this group of Worcester politicians TO INCLUDE THEIR PEOPLE and exclude all others. To give jobs to their people and not to others.

And everyone falls in lock step out of fear … fear of job loss (theirs), retaliation (against family members)…

We got problems, Worcester. And the problems, because of poverty and life circumstances, often mean RACIAL ISSUES.

I, growing up in Green Island and living the life that few city leaders have ever experienced, say: IT’S CLASS, TOO. IT’S ECONOMIC, TOO. In a big way.

Go, Robert Blackwell Gibbs, Julius Jones, Kevin Ksen and Sonya Conner! Go!!!!! 

– Rosalie Tirella 

 

 

On Worcester’s faith community’s press conference against hate speech

By Gordon Davis

Worcester District 4 City Councillor Sarai Rivera is a good and sincere person. She has fought against racism since I have known her. She was a leader in the Justice for Chirstino Hernandez Committee in the 1990s, and she has taken courageous positions subsequently. Like Sarai Rivera, others in the community who took part in the Clergy against Hate Speech press conference this afternoon are good people seeking social justice.

That being said, I question the timing and organization of the so called press conference. There was almost no publicity before the event in the community … possibly to prevent people who might disagree with the City’s scripted lines or who might embarrass the City Manager? What working person can go to a 2:30 PM meeting? Was this press conference called by the. City Manager or his friends as a preemption of the Black Lives Matter demonstration tomorrow?

Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus  is under some pressure for his oppressive application to the Clerk Magistrate to charge Black Live Matter protesters. There is no evidence that can be used in court, which is why the City Manager or Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme did not go to the District Attorney.

A large demonstration is planned for TOMORROW –  TUESDAY,  April 14, at Worcester City Hall to protest the continued killing of unarmed Black men by the police.

These demonstrations, including the demonstrations in Worcester, have compelled a change in police policy. Now the police are arresting police officers for violations that they commit while on duty.

This Clergy group has been absent when hate speech has appeared in Worcester previously. It was absent when the Nazis used the Worcester Public Library as their bunker headquarters in 2011. It was absent during the Tea Party’s racist activities against immigrants. It has been absent as a group at the Worcester City Council meeting, when Black Lives Matter protesters called for better scrutiny of the Worcester Police Department.  

In fairness, the Clergy group is relatively new and seems to have taken on some of the goals of the City Manager’s Committee against Bias and Hate.

It is my hope that this group is not being used by the City as a wedge to divide the Black Lives Matter new civil rights movement – the same way that the Department of Justice discussion on race might be used. Let city officials talk directly with the people and … hear their ideas, experiences. I believe there is no need for an interlocutory.

I would like to see who from the Clergy goes to the Black Lives Matter demonstration tomorrow …

During the civil rights movement, some of the clergy disassociated themselves from the protesting street people in the hopes they would be perceived to be more respectable.

I am hoping that this Clergy group is real and not pawns for the City Manager.

BLACK LIVES MATTER protesters get the run-around from CM Augustus and the WPD

By Gordon Davis

Did you know? … Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus and Worcester Deputy Police Chief Sargent  met at least one of the protesters from the MLK Day Black Lives Matter protest at Kelly Square and that the City Manager and the Deputy Chief proffered the deal that if there were no more of the same protests, then the City of Worcester would not seek criminal charges against the 40 to 50 people who participated in that Kelley Square protest?

The Black Lives Matter people turned down the deal.

The protesters told City Officials that the civil rights movement would not be intimidated by threats of arrests. At that point the City Officials said they would seek charges against the protesters. They did not say which charges they would seek.

In the meeting there was no discussion of the reform of the Worcester Police Department. Or any remedy to the claims of Black Lives Matter protesters re: racial profiling and police misconduct by the Worcester police.

Over a 12 month period, October 2013 to October 2014, there were at least 134 complaints made against the Worcester Police by “civilians.”

Most of these complaints were adjudicated as unsubstantiated by the City Police’s Standards Department.  

What is interesting is that the number of complaints seems to be increasing.  

This might be a sign that the Black Lives Matter protests are mitigating the fear of so called “communities of color” to step up and speak our grievances.

Although not racist on its face, the threats of arrest made by City Manager Augustus and the WPD Deputy Chief will likely have a disparately racist impact on the community.

The outcome of the meeting was predictable.

The public announcements by City Manager Augustus and Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme, which preceded the meeting, were not predictable.

Police Chief Gemme said in a news article he was compelled to seek charges against the BLACK LIVES MATTER protesters because of a video he saw on Youtube.

A day later the City Manager said Police Chief Gemme did not act on his own when he said he was going to charge the protesters. The City Manager said in his interview that he had public safety concerns.  The City Manager then said he had not seen the video because it was locked on YouTube.

This raises the question of the accuracy of City Manager Augustus and Police Chief Gemme’s statements. How is it possible for Police Chief Gemme to look for something for which to charge the protesters based on a video when the City Manager said that he ordered Chief Gemme to do so – before the City Manager ever saw the video?

Sometimes it is hard to get their story straight! Especially when the Worcester City Council asks for the “protocols” of protests.

After reviewing the YouTube video, here is my inexpert opinion: There is nothing on which to charge the BLACK LIVES MATTER protesters at Kelley Square.

The Worcester City Council will have to make up a new ordinance on which to charge the protesters! Such as “spending too much time in a public cross walk”!

As with the Worcester panhandling issue, the Worcester City Council will use the pretext of “public safety.”

It’s not just the BLACK LIVES MATTER protesters … Poverty in Worcester, homelessness in Worcester, racism in Worcester – these are all issues that Worcester City Officials would prefer to keep out of sight.