Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Los Angeles protests Zimmerman acquittal

The Los Angeles police department (LAPD) has long distinguished itself for racist violence, harassment, & complete disregard for the Bill of Rights in the Black community--often turning Black neighborhoods into martial law zones. Under the guise of the war on drugs, they once conducted frequent dragnets through “gang-ridden neighborhoods” arresting hundreds of youth on minor violations including curfew, loitering, littering, & spitting. 'Suspected gang members' are frequently stopped, frisked, & arrested even when there is no evidence of criminal activity.

This young man named Ebony Pirtle was protesting the acquittal of Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin. He is here being denied entry to a shopping mall to retrieve property he left inside. Is that even legal!? In the face of LAPD violence against Black youth, young Pirtle’s defiance is remarkable & bodes well for the future of civil rights & civil liberties in this country.

For those who polemicize against “identity politics,” as long as nationality (or gender or sexuality) is a license to kill or assault or deny rights then identity politics retain as much power as they did in the 1960s with the great social movements of that era--from civil rights to women’s rights to sexual orientation.

(Photo by Ricardo Dearatanha/LATimes)

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