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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


To Trump, Black Protesters Are ‘Thugs,’ But White Gunmen Are ‘Very Good People’

Donald Trump on Friday called protesters in Minneapolis "thugs" as they demanded justice for a black man killed after being manhandled by a police officer, and threatened to shoot the protesters who were rioting in the streets.

"These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!" Trump tweeted in the early hours of Friday morning. Twitter deemed the comment to violate its policy against glorifying violence, and limited access to the tweet.

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Minneapolis Just Adopted A $15 Minimum Wage In A Landslide Vote

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

The Minneapolis City Council passed a law Friday making it the first Midwestern city to adopt a $15 minimum wage, increasing the salaries of 71,000 workers by 2024.

With the historic vote, Minneapolis joins a growing wave of progressive U.S. cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C., where the Fight for $15 movement and other grassroots organizations have scored major labor victories.

Before the vote, which passed 12-1, Minneapolis city council members credited activists and organizers from Fight for $15 and Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha for pushing the bill forward.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) tweeted a video of himself singing “Money (That’s What I Want)” in celebration of the news.

“Keep it up. We’re going to fight here in Washington, you guys are fighting there in Minneapolis, we’re fighting all over the country so the American people can get a raise,” Ellison said.

In May, Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, alongside Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Senate introduced a $15 minimum wage bill that has little chance of passing in a Republican-controlled Congress.

In the face of austerity and social safety net cuts in the federal government, grassroots organizers and activists are looking more and more to local and state arenas to implement policies that combat poverty and inequality.

Lauren Kaori Gurley is a freelance writer and master’s candidate in Latin American studies and journalism at New York University. Her work has been published in In These Times, the American Prospect and the American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Follow her @laurenkgurley.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

Could The Police Have Saved Philando Castile’s Life?

At a rally following the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, someone in the crowd shouted: “If police had helped him, he would have survived.”

Diamond Reynolds, Philando’s girlfriend, told the crowd that police did not even take his pulse, but rushed their colleague off to the side.

The disturbing footage, posted live to Facebook by Reynolds, initially shows the blood-stained Castile sitting upright, groaning at least once. He is then seen slumping to the left. The footage runs just over 90 seconds before Reynolds is ordered out of the car.

During that minute and a half, while Reynolds is broadcasting via her phone, there is sporadic back and forth between her and a police officer. There is brief glimpse of the officer holding a gun, still pointed at the vehicle.

Reynolds is told at one point to keep her hands where they can be seen.

This is a live situation, a shooting has just happened. There is a gravely injured individual in the driver’s seat, a second adult, and a child who witnessed the whole thing.

Other footage, from a witness, shows Castile lying on the ground just outside the vehicle, with officers around him. It is not known yet exactly how long after Reynolds was ordered from the car that this was filmed.

Police officers are not required to give medical assistance in an emergency. They do not, as a rule, have the training. They are required to “render” assistance, which means calling for paramedics as soon as possible.

Witnesses describe a scene of pandemonium within minutes of shots being fired, with multiple squad cars, and an ambulance arriving.

A black man being pulled over for a broken tail light, in what is an overwhelmingly white and Asian suburb, seems vaguely like some dangerous cliche.

He is asked for his drivers’ license and identification, by an officer described, variously at the rally and in the footage by Reynolds, as nervous and Chinese.

Castile reaches down to his side, and as he does, according to Reynolds, he tells the officer he has a concealed carry gun.

Then, the police officer has the safety catch off his holster, and his gun out, and he is shouting “don’t move,” and he is firing multiple rounds into the car, within what must have been seconds..

One of the speakers at the rally, held outside the Minnesota governor’s office, strongly suggested mental health evaluations should be standard for police officers.

There was madness, indeed, on the street in the suburbs of Minneapolis Wednesday, but you can be sure it is not confined to the state of Minnesota, that evening or this.

#EndorseThis: After Dallas, Messages Of Unity And Peace Across The Country

This morning, political leaders and citizens responded to last night’s sniper shooting of police officers in Dallas during a demonstration prompted by the recent killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by police in Minnesota and Louisiana. Five officers were killed and an additional seven were wounded, and many were quick to speak out on television and social media.

There is now an interfaith prayer vigil taking place in Dallas. You can view a live stream of the service here.

Among the most stirring responses came from the families of Castile and Sterling themselves. Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Sterling’s son, appeared almost speechless in a CBS News interview, saying that she was thinking about “the hurt of those families [of the officers], the pain that they feel, because I’m going through it. It hurts.”

Philando Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds — who captured his death on her cell phone — wept in an interview but urged reporters not to connect Castile’s death with the killings of the officers. “We have absolutely no control over anything that’s happening in this world,” she said. “My deepest, deepest condolences go out to those families and to those officers in Dallas, because I’m here in Minnesota and I’m mourning.”

Speaking from a NATO summit in Poland, President Obama struck a somber note as well, calling the act “despicable,” paying tribute to the police officers, and stating that there was “no possible justification for these kinds of attacks.” He concluded his speech by turning to the issue of gun violence and alluding to the need for stronger measures against it.

House Speaker Paul Ryan also made oblique reference to the political battles over policing and guns that are likely to occur in the days ahead, but he made a case for unity and “humanity” across political divisions: “There will be a temptation to let our anger harden our divisions. Let’s not let that happen.”

However, despite these messages of unity, legislative fights are soon to break out once again over guns. At another news conference today, the Congressional Black Conference called for legislative action on gun violence and police shootings.

Perhaps the most powerful remarks came from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who articulated the national mood “of helplessness, of uncertainty, and of fear” after the grim week. But in her address, she urged Americans to “turn to each other,” continue protesting for what they believed in, and abstain from violence.


Photo: Twitter/CBS Evening News