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Paying for the gun that shoots you – the Congressional Black Caucus

16 Aug
Historian Thaddeus Russell provides a tabulation of which members of the Congressional Black Caucus have voted to weaponize police departments with military armament:

The 8 members of the Congressional Black Caucus who voted FOR an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have banned the transfer of military vehicles and weapons to local police departments:
John Conyers, Jr. (D-Michigan – 13th)
Donna Edwards (D-Maryland – 4th)
Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota – 5th)
Hank Johnson (D-Georgia – 4th)
Barbara Lee (D-California – 13th)
John Lewis (D-Georgia – 5th)
Bobby Scott (D-Virginia – 3rd)
Maxine Waters (D-California – 35th)

The 30 members of the Congressional Black Caucus who voted AGAINST the amendment:

Karen Bass (D-California – 37th)
Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio – 3rd)
Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia – 2nd)
Corrine Brown (D-Florida – 5th)
G. K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina – 1st)
André Carson (D-Indiana – 7th)
Yvette Clarke (D-New York – 9th)
William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-Missouri – 1st (INCLUDES FERGUSON))
Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri – 5th)
Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina – 6th)
Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland – 7th)
Danny K. Davis (D-Illinois – 7th)
Chaka Fattah (D-Pennsylvania – 2nd)
Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio – 11th)
Al Green (D-Texas – 9th)
Alcee Hastings (D-Florida – 20th)
Steven Horsford (D-Nevada – 4th)
Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York – 8th)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas – 30th)
Robin Kelly (D-Illinois – 2nd)
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas – 18th)
Gregory Meeks (D-New York – 5th)
Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin – 4th)
Donald Payne, Jr. (D-New Jersey – 10th)
Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana – 2nd)
David Scott (D-Georgia – 13th)
Terri Sewell (D-Alabama – 7th)
Marc Veasey (D-Texas – 33rd)
Mel Watt (D-North Carolina – 12th)
Frederica Wilson (D-Florida – 24th)

National Moment of Silence for Mike Brown

15 Aug

Beauteous Meridian Hill Park (also popularly and locally known as Malcolm X Park, but not on maps and such) was the location for tonight’s DC protest of policy brutality, weaponized police forces, the killing of Mike Brown, and the attitude that black lives don’t matter.

Both reason magazine and various local TV news crews were there, and we are hoping to scoop them with our bad IPad-to-YouTube coverage (Hey Charles Koch Institute, since we do this every day, fund us!)

The protest organizers, who I believe were a group of fairly non-ideological Howard University grad students (Howard is only 7 blocks or so from Meridian Hill Park) had a bad sound system and a disorganized program of chant and response and a reading of names of victims of police killings.  (As to names, one odd fact for this protest in DC is that we actually have two elected politicians named Michael Brown – one white, a perpetual candidate for “shadow” offices (pretend Senator), and one black, the son of the deceased Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, now in prison for corruption.  I’ve actually been to the imprisoned Brown’s house for a fundraiser when he first ran for office.)

There were a sprinkling of libertarians at the event – me in a Vote Libertarian hat, Steve Silverman (founder of Flex Your Rights) with a “Film the Police” Sign, Todd Krainin of reasonTV (who lives within walking distance).  A young guy handing out flyers for the Socialist Party skipped me twice because of my Libertarian hat, so I stopped him when I realized the flyer was about Green Party candidate Eugene Puryear and made him give me one, as Puryear and I actually get along when we meet.

Some ruffians off camera were screaming at the group.  We couldn’t see them or make out what they were saying.  At first I was worried they were white supremacists and there might be trouble.