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Monday, June 29, 2015

Bree Newsome and Other News

Brittany Newsome is a hero. She courageously expressed her disagreement with the flying of the racist Confederate flag by climbing up the 30 ft. flagpole to peacefully take down the flag. She did this action outside of the South Carolina statehouse. She worked with James Tyson in order to accomplish this action. Bree was arrested and Tyson was arrested too. They are charged with defacing a monument, which is a misdemeanor. A freebree crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo raised almost $100,000 in less than 24 hours. Bree is now bailed out and she is free. Bree’s actions come in a long tradition. Black people decades ago did similar actions like those from SNCC, the SCLC, etc. who protested injustice. Thousands of people went into jail for civil disobedience. We know that Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Dr. King, and others were arrested for civil disobedience or violating unjust laws. We are all in solidarity with Sister Bree. Bree is an artist and a film maker. She is also a social activist of the Black Lives Matter Movement, which is growing every day. That’s great. Bree has promoted voting rights and encouraged young people to vote. She quoted the Psalms as she was being arrested. The Confederate flag is a symbol of hate, bigotry, white supremacy, and treason. Therefore, we have the free speech and moral right to publicly oppose that flag. Hopefully, that flag will come down not only in the South Carolina capitol grounds, but all across America. It is time now to end racism, exploitation, and any form of oppression in the world. Racial oppression and genocide is linked to the capitalist system. The class struggle is expansive and it deals with the elimination of racism, sexism, etc. There should be no worship of material wealth, especially since imperialism is based on the theft of resources of others for the benefit of a few. In a statement through activist group #BlackLivesMatter, Newsome explained her actions, saying, "We can't wait any longer." "We can't continue like this another day," Newsome said. "It's time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality." I agree with Bree 100 percent in her statements.


Major terrorist attacks have been happened in a Tunisian beach resort, a Shia mosque in Kuwait, and in a chemical plant in France. The Kuwait attack was carried out by an organization which is tied to the Islamic State or IS or ISIS and the three attacks on the same day raised concerns about the offensive by ISIS affiliates. They came after ISIS issued an international appeal to its supporters to carry out attacks. “Muslims, embark and hasten towards jihad,” IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani said in an audio recording this week. “O mujahedeen everywhere, rush and go to make Ramadan a month of disasters for the infidels.” There were no confirmed operational connections between the attacks, however. “It’s too soon to know whether these attacks were all coordinated, or whether they were all just completely separate,” said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren. In Tunisia, gunmen stormed the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba in the Port El Kantaoui district of Sousse. The gunmen fired assault rifles at tourists who were sunbathing on the beach. They attacked the hotel itself with hand grenades. The murderers killed 37 people and wounded 36. The Tunisian officials said that they couldn’t identify the nationalities of the victims. There are initial press reports saying that the victims included Britons, Germans, Belgians, Norwegians, and Tunisian hotel staff. Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi promised “painful but necessary” security measures and said that the government would consider banning the Islamist group Hizb Ut-Tahrir. There is conflicting information about the shooting. Security official Rafik Chelly claimed that there was a lone gunman, a student from the city of Kairouan who hid his weapons inside a folded-up parasol. Other officials said that two or three gunmen were involved. One was killed, they reported, another arrested, and the last had either been arrested or escaped. Tunisia-live.net identified the gunman who was killed as Seifeddine Yacoubi, 23, an aviation student from Gaafour. This attack in Sousse was Tunisia deadliest one ever. This came months after the March 18 massacre at the national Bado museum, claimed by ISIS. Tunisia’s tourism industry will suffer. The attack near Lyon, France was done by the commercial driver Yassin Salhi, who is 35. The place of the attack is in Saint-Quentin-Fallavir. He allegedly decapitated his boss at the ATC Transport Company. He attacked a factory run by Air Products, which is a U.S. company specializing in the production of industrial gases. There were black jihadist flags surrounding the factory gate. Salhi was arrested and his sister and wife were placed in preventive detention. Also arrested was a 33-year-old man whom security forces accused of having links with Islamist groups and monitoring gas plants in the region. Salhi himself was the subject of a special “S” intelligence file between 2006 and 2008, though police surveillance was ended in 2008. According to some reports, however, he was again monitored starting in 2013 after he entered into contact with Islamist groups. The ISIS-affiliated Najd Province organization claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in a Shia mosque in Kuwait. The attack killed 27 people and wounded at least 227 people. The target was the Imam Sadiq mosque in the al-Sawabir neighborhood of the capital of Kuwait City. ISIS came about after the U.S. occupation. Many terrorist groups were supported by the US and NATO as a way to fight the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. All three attacks will build up reactionary “law and order” polies in all three nations.

The speech from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Antioch College in 1965 was inspirational. This speech proved that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. opposed the Vietnam War as early as 1965 which was before his famous Riverside speech. Dr. King courageously in his words here wanted an end to the Vietnam War back in 1965. This speech was heavily international since the freedom of humanity must be an international affair. Democracy is a legitimate goal for all of us which we are fighting for. There is still massive poverty in places of the nations of Asia, Africa, the Americas, etc. There are still workers suffering lax wages (as a product of the economically regressive policies from the oligarchy) and massive amounts of war in the world over. There is still gender discrimination and we must oppose these injustices as heroes (known and unsung) have fought against. Equality means freedom excluding oppression. We must defeat imperialism and capitalism is a system based on the evil exploitation of humanity too. It's our responsibility to create action programs and to continue to make a continued fight for racial justice and social justice. The common wealth and the general welfare must be advanced, so society can fulfill its full, prodigious potential. We are against injustice, so we want justice for humanity. Many in the modeling industry have promoted certain limited, smaller images (including more Eurocentric images) for a long time. Models of diverse phenotypes and diverse sizes should have the opportunities to model. There is nothing wrong with being a skinnier model, but most of the world’s population isn’t skinny. Likewise, since we live in a new era, the young models should be encouraged and mentored on business avenues, and other ways to build up their talents. I think Tyra Banks said what she said, because some ignorant people disrespected her years ago about her weight. She went on her talk show to refute those haters and she said that there is nothing wrong with being a bigger woman. I think that is where she is coming from. She knows about the modeling industry. That industry can be cruel, so it is important to say that the beauty of the human family is diverse not monolithic.

Asian culture in New York City has a long history and it is very multifaceted as well. The New York City Metropolitan area has the largest ethnic Chinese population in America outside of Asia. It has 735,019 people as of 2012. In New York City, there are at least 9 Chinatowns (or communities with a majority of a Chinese population). Some of them are found in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, etc.  The New York City Chinese cultural Center (or the NYCCC) has been dedicated in giving scholarships to Chinese Americans, to promote the arts, to offer classes to people, to promote summer camps, and be a great repository of Chinese culture. The NYCCC was created in 1974 by artists, students, parents, and community activists. There are about 82,313 Filipinos in New York City. There population has grown. Immigration from the Philippines began mostly after 1965. 1965 was the year when the national Immigration Law was passed, which gave more of an opportunity for immigrants (especially for non-European immigrants) to come into America. The law changed society for the better.  A lot of the Filipino immigrants are doctors, nurses, engineers, accountants, and other medical professionals.  New York City annually hosts the Philippine Independence Day Parade, which is traditionally held on the first Sunday of June at Madison Avenue. The celebration occupies nearly twenty-seven city blocks which includes a 3.5-hour parade and all-day long street fair and cultural performances. A “Little Manila” can be found in Woodside, which is in the borough of Queens. Filipinos are found all over Queens like in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and in Jamaica, Queens including parts of Brooklyn. About 100,000 Koreans live in NYC with about two-thirds of them living in Queens. There are Korean towns found in New York too. Southeast Asians include those from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Inia, Sri Lanka, etc. All of these human beings live in New York City. There are about 600,000 Indian Americans who live in the New York City Metropolitan Area. In Queens, the South Asian population is almost 200,000 and growing. South Asian people live in Jackson Heights, Flushing, City Line, Ozone Park, Jamaica Queens, etc. There are also Japanese, Arabic, and other Asians living in New York City as well. One of the greatest Japanese American human rights activists, who worked in New York City, was Yuri Kochiyama. She was a victim of the Japanese internment camps, which was instituted wrongly by the U.S. government. He moved to Harlem in 1960 to be part of social movement.

She was a great friend of Brother Malcolm X. She worked with Malcolm X in fighting for racial justice and she was a member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity (which was created in 1964 after he left the Nation of Islam). She was able to form a bond with Malcolm X because she knew African Americans were being oppressed as well. She was present when he was assassinated on February 21, 1965 at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem.   In 1977, Kochiyama joined the group of Puerto Ricans that took over the Statue of Liberty to draw attention to the struggle for Puerto Rican independence. Kochiyama and other activists demanded the release of five Puerto Rican nationalists who were jailed in the United States for more than 20 years. According to Kochiyama, despite a strong movement enabling them to occupy the statue for nine hours, they intended to "give up peacefully when the police came." The five Puerto Ricans were eventually released. Kochiyama was involved in the Asian American human rights movement and was crucial in allowing the government to send apologies for injustices done to Asian Americans. Japanese Americans received reparations for their mistreatment at internment camps during WWII. President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act in 1988 which, among other things, awarded $20,000 to each Japanese American internment survivor. The process of issuing reparation checks is ongoing. She fought for the rights of political prisoners, nuclear disarmament, etc. She passed away on June 1, 2014 at the age of 93 years old. Irish culture in New York City has been around for centuries. New York City’s St. Patrick Day Parade dates back to 1762. The Irish people made up a large proportion of the overall population of New York. By the year 2000, there are about 520,810 New Yorkers with Irish ancestry. The Great Irish Famine lasted from 1845 to 1851. Irish families were forced to emigrate into America form Ireland. By 1854, between 1.5 and 2 million people were forced to leave Ireland. Many of the Irish worked in the cities of America when they arrived into New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc. The ethnic Irish back then and today are influential in the Roman Catholic Church in America. They have created a strong network of churches and parochial schools which support their communities. Many Irish Americans in New York City play a huge role in the NYFD, and other services. A massive amount of Irish communities in NYC are found in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, Woodside, Queens, Maspeth, Queens, Riverdale, Bronx, etc. The late mayor Robert F. Wagner was Irish. Mathew Broderick, George Carlin, Jennifer Connelly, Edward Burns are famous Irish New Yorkers. Today, we see the growth of the Irish community.  There is the Irish Repertory Theater. It deals with showing classic and contemporary theater, music, and dance performances created by Irish-American and Irish artists. It has promoted many theater works. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one staple of Irish culture as well. It has existed for a long time. It has religious artwork and it was the place where the funeral of Irish American Robert F. Kennedy has taken place. The American Irish Historical Society has thousands of pieces of information that relate to Irish and American history. One of the greatest lessons that we can learn from these cultures in New York is that we ought to build up progressive institutions as a way for us to grow ourselves individually and collectively.


By Timothy