By Cathey Stanley and Alissa EllisCharlotte, N.C.“We are freedom fighters and we must be in the street with our people!” With this powerful statement, Lamont Lilly kicked off the People’s Caravan from Durham to Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 24. Lilly’s statement foretold of the powerful people’s presence in the national march unfolding that day as part of the Charlotte Uprising.Lilly is the vice presidential candidate of Workers World Party in the 2016 elections. WWP had scheduled a southern regional conference on socialism, liberation and revolution titled “Hard Times Are Fighting Times” for Sept. 24. After the struggle erupted in Charlotte, organizers decided to cancel the conference and mobilize all participants to join the Charlotte march.Charlotte Uprising is the movement led largely by The Tribe CLT and the Charlotte Trans and Queer People of Color Collective, which jointly responded to the Sept. 20 shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Scott was a Black man with disabilities killed while waiting for his son to be dropped off from school.Many organizations pledged support to the Charlotte Uprising and mobilized, including Charlotte SURJ, Ignite NC, Black Youth Project-Durham Chapter, Beloved Community Center, Youth Organizing Institute, Southern Vision Alliance, Durham Solidarity Center, Workers World Party, Queer People of Color Collective GSO, NC TROUBLMakers, Million Hoodies and Black University.Scott’s murder is not the sole police killing Charlotte is rising up to protest. The CMPD has a history of killing people of color and killed only Black people during 2015, according to Charlotte Uprising. During the first night of the uprising, the CMPD killed protester Justin Carr, shooting him at close range in the midst of a peaceful protest in plain view of the marchers.Charlotte Uprising’s statement calls for the tangible eradication of all forms of oppression. Their list of ten demands focuses on the demilitarization and defunding of the police, as well as justice and reparations for the murder of Keith Scott and Justin Carr (see demands on page 6).March takes to streets Hundreds of people met Sept. 24 at Marshall Park to begin a march in the streets. Speakers at the rally before the march placed the murders of Scott and Carr in the historical context of the hundreds of years of oppression faced by people of color.“We’ve been having sleepless nights for a while,” said march organizer Bree Newsome at the opening rally. “This isn’t just about what happened to Keith Scott. This is about what has been happening for 400 years.”Energy was high and chants strong as over 2,000 people filled the streets of Charlotte with demands for justice and an end to racial oppression. The beats of the percussionists of Cackalack Thunder energized the protesters, while banners and signs spread statements of anti-oppression throughout the city.Folks marched past the capitalist corporations of uptown Charlotte. Protesters shared water, resources and checked in with one another throughout the march. Many on the march were white allies demonstrating their support for dismantling the racist police system.In contrast to the love, solidarity and militancy of justice shared among the marchers was the threat from police and National Guard soldiers, large weapons gripped in their hands. They lined menacingly along the sides of the streets and particularly focused on protecting the Bank of America headquarters and the posh Omni Hotel.Cops serve capitalist classThe police and military presence, designed to intimidate and deter fighters for social justice, once again demonstrated clearly that the cops’ role is only to serve the capitalist class — to protect the property of the capitalists over and at the expense of the masses of people.The root of the problem of racist police brutality lies not within individuals, but within the structure of the capitalist system. To survive as an economic system, capitalism needs police to maintain the wealth of the few while maintaining racism and all forms of oppression.The march wound its way past the major institutions of violence in Charlotte: the courthouse, the jail and police department headquarters. Marchers reconvened at the end of the route in Marshall Park, which has continued to remain a space held for convergence and pre-action unity.At the post-rally at Marshall Park food was provided for the people. Speakers and musicians were invited to the mic, uplifting the voices of the people. The release of the tapes of Scott’s murder were once again demanded and the crowd echoed the call. Before the event closed, marchers were invited to celebrate and relax after the march and called to reconvene at Marshall Park at 8:30 p.m.Shortly after the march, the CMPD conceded to the people’s demands and released a clip of the brutal murder of Scott. The clip was missing audio, but it clearly showed the murder of Scott in cold blood.In response to the incendiary video recording of Scott’s death and the lack of responsibility for Carr’s murder in the streets, marchers again took to the streets that night. The Charlotte Uprising has sustained continued support from the people, and actions are planned through the week to demand justice for Keith Scott and Justin Carr.For more information on Charlotte Uprising and to sign a petition to police and government officials pledging support for the ongoing struggle against killer cops, go to charlotteuprising.com.The writers are members of the Durham, N.C., WWP branch.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Missing MendyLeft-back has also been a problem position, even as City enjoyed great success last season, due to Benjamin Mendy’s knee troubles.The Frenchman’s return to fitness and form in the early weeks of the season promised to give City an extra dimension to their attacking play, but he has been sidelined again since early November.Fabian Delph, a central midfielder by trade, has filled in at left-back, but is now facing a three-match ban, including the Liverpool game, after being sent off late on at Leicester.Defending the Premier League difficultGuardiola won three consecutive league titles at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but retaining the title in England has proved impossible for any team in the past decade.A Manchester United side containing Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney were the last to do it in 2008/09.City’s record haul of 100 points last season led many to believe they would buck that trend, but it is proving tougher than expected.“Last season, everyone said it was so easy, but I know how difficult it was,” insisted Guardiola.“Last season we were so consistent and made a lot of points. They (Liverpool and Spurs) are both so consistent.”Can City chase?The question remains whether a Guardiola side is capable of chasing down a title rival to win the league in the manner Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United made routine in the 1990s.In most of Guardiola’s seven title triumphs, his Barca, Bayern and City sides have been well in front by this stage of the season.Now they have to play catch-up and their lack of reaction to going behind to Chelsea, Palace and Leicester leaves City’s mentality open to question.“We have to find an explanation,” said Bernardo Silva. “It’s mathematically possible, but we have to be almost perfect from now.”Share on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | English champions Manchester City slumped to a third shock defeat in four Premier League games at Leicester on Boxing Day to slip to third in the table and seven points adrift of unbeaten leaders Liverpool.Just a few weeks ago City seemed unstoppable as they started their title defence with a 15-game unbeaten run.However, a 2-0 reverse at Chelsea has sparked a run of three defeats in 18 days as Crystal Palace and Leicester both came from behind to hand Liverpool a huge advantage in the title race ahead of their trip to face City on January 3.Here, AFP Sports looks at what has caused City’s sudden collapse:Fernandinho irreplaceableCity coped admirably in Kevin De Bruyne’s absence for most of the campaign through injury thanks to an array of creative midfielders, but have badly missed Fernandinho’s ability to play the more destructive role in midfield in the last two games.The 33-year-old Brazilian had started every league game until Palace’s visit on Saturday and is the one player in City’s squad without a natural replacement.Centre-back John Stones deputised at the weekend, while the more attack-minded Ilkay Gundogan was deployed at the base of the midfield in Leicester.“We have to try and find solutions. Ferna was not able to play because he’s injured. We have to overcome this problem,” said coach Pep Guardiola, who tried to sign Chelsea midfielder Jorginho from Napoli in the summer as cover for Fernandinho.“You have to think about how to solve it when you don’t have players in a position.”Four competitions take their tollEven for a squad as deep as City’s, English football’s unique combination of a packed festive period and an extra cup competition can stretch resources.Just eight days ago a strong City side beat a much-changed Leicester to reach the League Cup semi-finals and stay alive in four competitions.Leicester boss Claude Puel claimed victory on Wednesday was vindication for his criticised team selection in the cup tie with the Foxes fresh to spring surprises over both Chelsea and City in the past five days.As well as De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero didn’t start against Chelsea or Palace due to injury, while David Silva has also been sidelined by injury in recent weeks.
Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Feb. 14———TRUDEAU TO LAY OUT VISION FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his Liberal government plans to overhaul the way Ottawa relates to Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Trudeau tells the House of Commons the Liberals will devise a new legislative framework to help pave the way toward stronger Indigenous rights and greater control over their own destiny for First Nations, Inuit and Metis people. Trudeau says it’s important to get the framework right to ensure Indigenous Peoples can enjoy lasting success in Canada at last. He says the new approach, to be developed in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, is necessary to tackle challenges like overcrowded housing, unsafe drinking water and high suicide rates. The new framework will be unveiled later this year following consultations led by Carolyn Bennett, the minister for Crown-Indigenous relations, and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.———PATRICK BROWN CHALLENGES ACCUSERS TO PRESS CHARGES: The former leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party is accusing CTV News of defaming him. Patrick Brown stepped down from the role last month amid allegations of sexual misconduct made by two women in a CTV report. In late January, CTV reported that one woman, who is now 29, claimed she was still in high school and under the legal drinking age when Brown allegedly asked her to perform oral sex on him. Another woman said she was a university student working in Brown’s constituency office when he sexually assaulted her at his home, CTV reported. Late Tuesday, CTV reported that the first accuser now said she had not been in high school or under the legal drinking age during the alleged incident. The woman said the altered timeline did not change the core of her allegations and noted she had been subject to demeaning and misogynistic comments online since the story broke. In a statement on Facebook on Wednesday, Brown urged the two unnamed women to contact police so the accusations can be dealt with through the legal system. CTV says it stands by its reporting, which has not been independently verified by The Canadian Press.———NO PAROLE FOR 25 YEARS IN ALBERTA TRIPLE MURDER: An Alberta judge has ruled that two men found guilty of murdering three family members will not have to spend additional time in prison before they can apply for parole. Jason Klaus, who is 42, and 32-year-old Joshua Frank have instead been sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years — which is automatic under the Criminal Code for first-degree murder. Justice Eric Macklin told court in Red Deer, Alta., that the factors in the case were not particularly uncommon compared with other murder cases and did not warrant consecutive sentences. The bodies of Klaus’s father and sister were found in their burned-out farmhouse near Castor, Alta., in December 2013. His mother’s body was never found but police believe she also died in the house. The Crown had argued that the two men deserved the maximum of 75 years without hope of parole for what the prosecution called a “contract killing of sorts.” The defence said the murders weren’t as gruesome as other cases that resulted in consecutive parole ineligibilities. There are provisions in the Criminal Code to have sentences served one after the other for multiple murders, but Macklin said delaying parole for Klaus and Frank would be “a decision out of the ordinary.”———TORY SENATORS BALK AT SPEEDING UP POT BILL: Conservative senators are balking at an attempt to speed up consideration of a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, which the Trudeau government hopes to have in place this July. Sen. Larry Smith, who leads the Conservative caucus in the Senate, insists his senators aren’t being obstructionist but they are determined to do their duty, which is to provide “constructive evaluation” of legislation. The government’s representative in the Senate, Sen. Peter Harder, says he wants second reading debate on C-45 wrapped up by March 1, after which it would go to committee before returning to the Senate for a final debate and vote. If the various Senate factions don’t agree to that timetable, Harder says he’ll move a motion to impose time allocation to cut off debate — a tactic he’s avoided using before now. Smith says he’s got 17 senators who want to speak during second reading on the complicated bill. He says he hopes Harder will agree to be “flexible” about the March 1 deadline.———MISSING FIREFIGHTER FOUND IN CALIFORNIA HAS MEMORY LOSS, COPS SAY: A Toronto fire captain who was found at a California airport six days after vanishing from a New York state ski slope likely sustained some sort of head trauma along his puzzling journey across the country, American authorities said Wednesday. Constantinos (Danny) Filippidis was unable to provide officers with many details about his route from Lake Placid, N.Y., to the Sacramento, Calif., airport other than that he believed he travelled most of the way in a transport truck and was not the victim of any crime, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said a day after the firefighter was found. Filippidis, a 49-year-old captain with Toronto Fire Services, was on an annual ski trip with friends and colleagues when he disappeared from Whiteface Mountain.———HEDLEY SAYS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CLAIMS ‘UNSUBSTANTIATED’: The Junos have dropped Hedley from the televised awards bash as the rockers face allegations of sexual misconduct that they call “unsubstantiated.” Organizers of the annual music show say it was a joint decision with Hedley “after careful consideration of the situation.” The move by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences came as band members issued a statement addressing claims of impropriety involving young fans. “We realize the life of a touring band is an unconventional one,” reads the statement, which was issued mid-afternoon Wednesday, minutes before the Junos announcement. “While we are all now either married or have entered into committed, long-term relationships, there was a time, in the past, when we engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock ‘n’ roll cliches. However, there was always a line that we would never cross.” The statement followed a flurry of claims on Twitter from anonymous users who alleged inappropriate encounters with the band. Some social media users called on the Juno Awards to drop Hedley as a performer at the upcoming show.———UNDERCOVER TAPES PART OF TINA FONTAINE MURDER CASE: The man accused of killing Tina Fontaine told an undercover officer there are three rules in crime: deny, deny, deny. Raymond Cormier, who is 55, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of the 15-year-old Indigenous girl whose body was found wrapped in a duvet filled with rocks in the Red River in August 2014. Court heard that Cormier was given a free apartment in Winnipeg and it had been bugged by police. The undercover officer moved into a suite on the same floor and became friends with Cormier over about six months. In recorded audio played in court, Cormier told the undercover officer he wanted to have sex with Tina the first time he met her. Cormier also said he regretted telling Tina to jump off a bridge when they got in a fight over her bike.———DEAL WITH RACISM IN PRISONS, SENATORS URGED: The chairwoman of the Senate’s human rights committee says Canada needs to deal with systemic, anti-black racism in its prisons and help inmates better integrate with society after they’re released. Nova Scotia Sen. Wanda Thomas Bernard says the committee’s hearings have shown a need for systemic and structural changes to prevent former prisoners from getting back into trouble with the law. As part of a special meeting to look at the experiences of black female inmates, the committee heard that pardons for past crimes would help some inmates find work. Black Canadians make up 8.6 per cent of the population of federal prisons, even though they account for just three per cent of the overall Canadian population. And while their numbers have declined, the corrections watchdog’s most recent annual report found that black inmates were more likely to be in maximum security, placed in segregation and disproportionately involved in violent incidents.———FEDS TO STUDY POT HABITS BY TESTING SEWAGE: The federal government is taking a somewhat noxious approach to studying just how much pot Canadians are consuming: researching our sewage. Statistics Canada will spend up to $600,000 a year for a contractor to regularly test waste water from 15 to 20 municipalities across the country for traces of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and other drugs. The survey could be the best way to collect precise data on the amount of pot Canadians consume, according to Anthony Peluso, an assistant director at Statistics Canada. Peluso said that by using the same methodology from sewage analysis surveys in Europe that have proven accurate in the past, Statistics Canada believes it will be able to fill some of its information gap that way. After cannabis is metabolized by the body, traces of THC are left behind in human waste. Samples of waste water from sewage treatment plants can then be collected and tested for the substance.