The Stand

Protests won’t stop ● Pleading for virus aid ● A real president on real change

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

 


COMBATING RACISM

 

► From the Seattle Times — George Floyd protests continue in Seattle area; one turns chaotic on Capitol Hill — Protests over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck in Minneapolis, continued for a fourth day Monday in Seattle, with one having an all-too-familiar outcome: a violent confrontation with police. Videos of the officers spraying the crowd and deploying flash bangs quickly spread on social media Monday night; many of those who shared them said the footage showed the police were responsible for escalating the confrontation.

► MORE LOCAL COVERAGE of Monday’s peaceful protests from the (Longview) Daily News, The Olympian, (Spokane) Spokesman-Review, (Tacoma) News Tribune, Tri-City Herald, (Vancouver) Columbian, Wenatchee World, and the Yakima Herald-Republic.

► From the News Tribune — “We can’t allow violence to hijack peaceful protest,” Inslee says

► From the NY Times — America’s protests won’t stop until police brutality does (editorial) —  George Floyd. And Breonna Taylor. And Laquan McDonald. And Eric Garner. And Michael Brown. And Sandra Bland. And Tamir Rice. And Walter Scott. And Alton Sterling. And Philando Castile. And Botham Jean. And Amadou Diallo. The list goes on and on, and on and on. Black Americans brutalized or killed by law enforcement officers, who rarely if ever face consequences for their actions. In the name of all these men and women and countless more, this is why thousands of Americans have taken to the streets — to express a rage born of despair. Despair that their government has failed to provide one of the most fundamental protections in the Constitution: the right to life, and to not be deprived of that life without due process of law. Stop killing us. … In too many police departments there is a culture of impunity. Until that culture is changed, there will continue to be rightful rage at its existence. Rather than just condemning or applauding protesters, Americans should listen closely to what they’re demanding.

► From the Washington Post — We are the governed. We no longer consent to let the police kill us. (by Eugene Robinson) — This coast-to-coast uprising is not about terrorism, foreign or domestic. It’s not about arson, looting or carpeting streets with broken glass. It’s about a powerful phrase in the Declaration of Independence: “the consent of the governed.” Police in this country no longer have our consent to kill African Americans unjustly and with impunity.

► From The Guardian — Anger as local police union chief calls George Floyd a ‘violent criminal’ — Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, has written to its members calling George Floyd a “violent criminal,” complaining that Derek Chauvin and three other police officers involved in Floyd’s killing “were terminated without due process,” describing those protesting over his death as terrorists, and criticizing the city’s political leadership for not authorizing greater use of force to stop the rioting.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Shame on Lt. Bob Kroll. It’s one thing to advocate for members’ rights, but it’s another to defend murderous police officers who have brought shame upon the police department, the city of Minneapolis, their noble profession, and this entire nation. Read more about Kroll here. He should resign immediately.

ALSO TODAY at The StandTeamsters condemn murder of George Floyd — The union, which includes 30,000 police officers, says institutional racism “threatens our very freedom.”

► From Reason — Even police unions trash the actions of the cop who killed George Floyd — Police unions are coming forward not to defend Derek Chauvin, the police officer who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes, but to agree that Chauvin’s behavior was inappropriate and unacceptable.

► From the Seattle Police Officers Guild — An open letter to Seattle regarding the death of George Floyd — This incident is in complete opposition to everything we stand for, and everything we are trained to do. There is no law enforcement or self-defense rationale for the prolonged use of the officer’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck… As officers, we must speak out against injustice, but our actions will speak even louder than words.

► From McClatchy — Tense protest turns emotional as 60 N.CV. police kneel before demonstrators

► From The Hill — Police officers shot, hit by car amid protests

► From The Hill — Twitter takes down fake antifa account linked to white nationalist group

 


MEANWHILE…

 

► From TPM — Louisville is a tinderbox: BBQ owner dead, no body cam footage, police chief fired — Law enforcement officers and Kentucky National Guard troops arrived at a barbecue stand to disburse a large crowd that was violating the city’s curfew. Authorities “returned” fire after someone in the crowd opened fire, police said. The BBQ’s owner, 53-year-old David McAtee, known as a community pillar who fed police and others for free, was killed. None of the officers who responded to the incident activated their body cams… McAtee is the second African American Louisvillian killed in a police shooting in recent weeks whose death has rocked the country: Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was shot and killed by police during a no-knock raid in March.

 


NO SUCH THING AS ROCK BOTTOM

 

► From the AP — Trump threatens military force against protesters nationwide

► From CNN — Pentagon officials express concern as Trump threatens to use military to ‘dominate’ protestors — Defense officials tell CNN there was deep and growing discomfort among some in the Pentagon even before Trump announced Monday that he is ready to deploy the military to enforce order inside the United States.

► From the Washington Post — Trump’s snarling demands for rough policing are the opposite of law-and-order (editorial) — Having torn up his predecessor’s blueprint, Trump now has nothing to offer — no prescriptions, no healing and no vision beyond a status quo many Americans abhor. In reality, his slogans and impulses signal a disrespect for law, and path away from order.

► From the Washington Post — Inside the push to tear-gas protesters ahead of a Trump photo op — The evening’s events were the product of a president who favors brute strength and fears looking weak, yet finds himself reeling from a duo of crises — a deadly pandemic that has left more than 100,000 Americans dead and racial unrest that has led to protests and riots across the nation. He has also been consumed by his faltering poll numbers against former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

 

When Trump had returned safely to the White House less than an hour later, the verdict seemed clear: The president had staged an elaborate photo op, using a Bible awkwardly held aloft as a prop and a historic church that has long welcomed presidents and their families as a backdrop. In the process, protesters had been tear gassed and attacked… “I am outraged,” said the Rev. Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. “I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call that they would be clearing with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop, holding a Bible, one that declares that God is love and when everything he has said and done is to inflame violence.”

► From the Washington Post — Trump must be removed. So must his congressional enablers. (by George Will!) — This unraveling presidency began with the Crybaby-in-Chief banging his spoon on his highchair tray to protest a photograph — a photograph — showing that his inauguration crowd the day before had been smaller than the one four years previous. Since then, this weak person’s idea of a strong person, this chest-pounding advertisement of his own gnawing insecurities, this low-rent Lear raging on his Twitter-heath has proven that the phrase malignant buffoon is not an oxymoron… The measures necessary for restoration of national equilibrium are many and will be protracted far beyond his removal. One such measure must be the removal of those in Congress who, unlike the sycophantic mediocrities who cosset him in the White House, will not disappear “magically,” as Eric Trump said the coronavirus would. Voters must dispatch his congressional enablers… Those who think our unhinged president’s recent mania about a murder two decades ago that never happened represents his moral nadir have missed the lesson of his life: There is no such thing as rock bottom. So, assume that the worst is yet to come.

 


LOCAL

 

► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, June 2 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 21,977 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 273) and 1,124 deaths (7-day average of deaths per day: 8).

► From the WSLC Twitter —

► From the Seattle Times — West Seattle Bridge is a surprise crisis, but plenty of other aging Seattle bridges are also vulnerable — The abrupt turnaround for the West Seattle Bridge, which carried 125,000 travelers a day, underscores how even structures deemed sufficient by federal authorities can face serious problems and create new transportation crises. And in Seattle, dozens of other bridges have lower overall ratings than the now-closed span, some with key vulnerabilities the West Seattle Bridge never had.

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From The Olympian — Inslee to extend moratorium on COVID-19 evictions — The statewide moratorium on evictions of residential tenants for nonpayment of rent will be extended, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday. The governor said he plans to sign a proclamation to extend the moratorium on Tuesday, but did not say how long it will last. The moratorium, which Inslee initially announced on March 18, has been extended once and was set to expire Thursday.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From the AP — States, cities plead for virus aid as Congress faces crises — As local leaders are pleading for more federal aid — even before protests over police violence erupted in almost every corner of the country — the Senate resumes session Monday with no immediate plans to consider a fresh round of relief. The House’s staggering $3 trillion package is mothballed in the Senate, but Republicans are focused instead on ending the pandemic’s stay-home economy by trimming unemployment benefits to push some of 41 million suddenly jobless Americans back to work when jobs return. As the Senate gavels in, Republicans who control the chamber will focus on investigations Trump wants of the Obama administration’s handling of the probe of Russia interference in the 2016 election interference and ties to Trump’s campaign.

► From Roll Call — Workplace infection rule could backfire, Labor Department says — Forcing the Labor Department to adopt an emergency temporary standard to protect workers against COVID-19 infections could result in an “ineffective or counterproductive” regulation that would be difficult to modify if necessary, the department said in court documents. The AFL-CIO, in a complaint filed May 18, pleaded for speedy consideration because of the “grave danger” COVID-19 poses to workers. “Grave danger” is the key trigger for Labor Department action under 1970 law. The court ordered the AFL-CIO to file its reply to the Labor Department response on Tuesday, after which the court will decide whether to schedule oral arguments.

EDITOR’S NOTE — It’s too hard and complicated to protect workers, argues the federal agency created to protect workers.

 


TODAY’S MUST-READ

 

► From Medium — How to make this moment the turning point for real change (by Barack Obama) — As millions of people across the country take to the streets and raise their voices in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing problem of unequal justice, many people have reached out asking how we can sustain momentum to bring about real change. Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape strategies that best fit the times. But I believe there are some basic lessons to draw from past efforts that are worth remembering… The elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels. It’s mayors and county executives that appoint most police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions. It’s district attorneys and state’s attorneys that decide whether or not to investigate and ultimately charge those involved in police misconduct. Those are all elected positions.

The bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Register to vote or update/confirm your voter registration.

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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