Black Lives Matter

Violence is man re-creating himself.
Mastery of language affords remarkable power
When people like me, they like me in spite of my color.
When they dislike me; they point out that it isn’t because of my color.

Either way, I am locked in to the infernal circle. – Franz Fanon

Protests have spread to 140 US cities after police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Forty million people unemployed in the US. Police violence, racist judges, limited health care and housing, high incarceration rates to name some of the issues. There is a lot of poverty.

It is easy to plant a few provocateurs among the protestors to harmlessly discharge a weapon. Good excuse to respond with a hail of bullets. Are they trying to start an all-out race war with massive casualties? Or maybe just enough of a race war to quash the protests in a short space of time. It is hard to predict where this is going…..and if it will get out of hand or not?

Clearly, systemic racism and white supremacy is at the core of the current wave of protests across the country…..along with all the related factors that are closely tied in with that…..poverty, incarceration, education, opportunity, health, disenfranchisement, and so on. And I would argue a big factor is the collapse of democracy and democratic processes that would lead to improvement and reform. The way forward is extremely limited for Black Americans. Indeed, the way forward is extremely limited for most Americans.

Large cities across America have mandatory curfews from 6:00pm to 6:00am.

Accounts about the uprising dominate mainstream news bulletin’s here in Australia. The Protests are mostly yet mainstream media portray them as being violent. Trump has blamed radical groups like Antifa when there are that it actually really exists as a formal organisation. For example CNN, the news agency imbedded with US military during shock and awe in Iraq, has played up the violence as shown in the video.

Normally, military troops are forbidden by law to be involved in law enforcement within the U.S. But that prohibition has some exceptions. The main one involves the Insurrection Act, first passed early in the country’s history, under which a president can order active-duty troops to be used for domestic law enforcement if doing so is needed to suppress an insurrection or civil disturbance. In most cases, the law allows the president to do that only if he is asked to do so by a state governor or legislature.

Meanwhile in Brisbane a large rally on Saturday 6 June is expected. The Lord Mayor has given organisers access to electricity in King George Square. There are posters circulating on social media regarding the rally Blak Lives Matter hosted by Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance.

The democratic rights struggle in Queensland during the late 1970s won back rights to assemble, march and organise.

The poster (pictured below) appears to refer to laws in NSW. Different laws apply in Queensland. For example ‘a person has the right to assemble peacefully with others in a public place‘. No permit is required, simply written notification within 5 business days of the event. Under the Peaceful Assembly Act 1992 participants may have legal immunity (within certain conditions) in a public assembly.

This is a political and economic struggle not a legal one.

Ian Curr (with thanks to Peter from Radical Times Archive)
4 June 2020

Peaceful Assembly Act 1992

The ‘Valley of Death’ Albert Street Brisbane 1977 where over 2,000 arrests were made.

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