Tag Archives: racial justice

Gordy – always in style! … 21st Century Lynching …

Demo at City Hall 7-7-16
Worcester protest – July 7, 2016. Lots of folks participated in this collective call to stop racial killings by police and to create a more equitable Worcester.

… and Racism in Worcester

By Gordon Davis

On July 6, 2016, two Black men were murdered by the police. Alton Sterling was killed in Baton Rouge. Philander Castile was killed in Minneapolis. As of this date 509 people have been killed by the police in 2016.

The majority of the people killed by the police are white people, people with dark skin are killed disproportionately more often. This is evidence of racial profiling. The inference is that stopping racial profiling will help everyone including white people.

In the late 19th Century and earlier 20th Century the Jim Crow laws of the racist Southern USA were enforced by the means of lynching Black people from a tree. Today the so called New Jim Crow, such as mass incarceration and the school to prison pipeline, is being enforced via the 21st Century’s new form of lynching, police killings.

On July 7, 2016, about 100 Worcester residents protested the racist killings of the day before. The protest was organized by Massachusetts Human Rights Committee, and the Progressive Labor Party organized the event. Other groups and individuals participated.

The protest in Worcester was one of several protests nationwide. There will be at one more protest in Springfield at its City Hall on Monday, July 11, 2016 starting at 3 PM.

One young man, apparently from Clark University, led the chant “No Justice, No Peace.” A lady protestor shouted out several times “‘racist cops’ means ‘fight back.’ ” Another speaker made the connection between income disparity and racism. This speaker sought economic equality as a means to abolish racism and other forms of discrimination.

Worcester’s problems with race relations were also raised in the speeches: the racist incident in which a City official used racially offensive language during a road rage incident, the malicious prosecution of the Black Lives Matter protesters and Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney’s attack on the Mosaic Complex were mentioned.

A lady came up to me and congratulated me for my opposition to City Coucilor Gaffney. She said he was arrogant, privileged and a frat boy. I told her I agreed.

The protesters made plans to meet again. Some wanted to discuss body cameras for the Worcester Police and the details of WPD Chief Sargent’s “Broken Windows” policing policy.

As the protest was winding down, a group of mostly young people started to walk to the Worcester police station as a means of venting the anger at the police. I would not be surprised should they demand and got a meeting with Chief Sargent. Sometimes the militancy of the young is quite amazing.

As I am writing this column I heard on the news that two police officers were killed in Texas. I personally condemn this type of individual “lone wolf” activity. Political action is done by the people in a mass way: demonstrations, rallies, petitions, meetings, etc.

The struggle for justice is a class struggle usually lasting decades. The same can be said for the struggle for racial and gender justice.

The Green Rainbow Party Convention: 5-21-16

Workshop-1
Gordon Davis, center, at a Green Rainbow workshop; it was one of several held during the political party’s recent convention.

For the “Third Party,” Neither Trump Nor Clinton

By Gordon Davis

The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts held its annual convention May 21 in Worcester.

The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts is the official state affiliate of the Green Party US. The national Green Party has made unofficial overtures to Senator Bernie Sanders to form a left-of-center third party should he not win the Democratic nomination.

There was some discussion of how the Reds (Green for Republican) and the Blues (Democrats) were breaking up, similarly to what happed to the Whigs before President Lincoln. I do not think this is the election of the third party. It might, however, be soon.

Jill Stein of Lexington is the favorite daughter of the Green Rainbows. All of its delegates seemingly are committed to Dr. Stein for the national convention of the Greens in Houston, TX, in August. The national Green Party platform included basic income for all regardless of work status, single payer health insurance similar to Medicare,  universal good free public education from kindergarten through college, and replacement of fossil fuels by renewable fuels.
 
The Green Rainbow convention also endorsed the candidacy of Charlene DiCalogero, running for state rep in Worcester’s 14th District and Danny Factor, vying for state rep in Worcester’s 12th District.

There were two informational speakers at the convention:

The first was Jonathan Simon who talked about electric vote counting. He pointed out statistical anomalies between the hand counted ballots and electronically counted ballots. The software for the electronic counters is proprietary, and no election commission anywhere can review the software. Even in Massachusetts the Secretary of State does not allow a comparison of hand counted ballots to the quantity of votes counted electronically.

The second speaker was Mary Lawrence who spoke on animal rights. She made an interesting observation. Ms. Lawrence said when farm animals are treated badly, the workers on those farms are also treated badly. This bad treatment eventually finds its way into society.
      
The Green Rainbow Party adopted a support resolution for BlackLives Matter during its 2015 convention. This was well ahead of the Democratic and Republican parties. As a part of this convention, the Green Rainbows organized a workshop on racism and BlackLives Matter.  The workshop leader was scheduled to be Julius Jones, who confronted Secretary Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire last year. Unfortunately, he had to cancel.

Something of a crisis was handled well by the convention coordinator, David Spanagel. He recruited Darlene Elias, a leader of the BlackLives Matter civil rights movement in Holyoke. A local activist from Worcester assisted her.  The discussion was energized and focused on how to interrupt offense behavior. Merelice, a town representative, from Brookline spoke of her efforts to fight racism at City Hall. 

merelice
Merelice, standing, discussed efforts to eliminate racism in her town.

Other workshops included a discussion of the fight against the gas pipelines through Massachusetts and a workshop on global climate change.

The upcoming presidential election will be a test for the Greens nationally. The party may grow as more people express their disgust for candidate Donald Trump and their mistrust of candidate Hillary Clinton. Regardless, the Green Rainbows seem on the verge of a break-through on several local levels.