George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, Democrats' police reform bill, passes in House & heads to Senate

“House approves sweeping police overhaul from Democrats, responding to national outcry over George Floyd's death.” — AP

Goodbye to the racist statue of Roosevelt and two people of color outside NYC's Natural History Museum

Since 1940, a statue of President Theodore Roosevelt on a horse flanked by a Native American man and an African man on foot has stood outside New York City's American Museum of Natural History. After years of protests against the statue's composition, the museum has now decided to remove it. This decision follows a special exhibition last year, titled "Addressing the Statue," about the disturbing monument and its historical context. (See exhibition video below.) From the New York Times:

“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue." [...]

A Roosevelt family member released a statement approving the removal.

“The world does not need statues, relics of another age, that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice,” said Theodore Roosevelt IV, age 77, a great-grandson of the 26th president and a museum trustee. “The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward.” [...] Critics, though, have pointed to President Roosevelt’s opinions about racial hierarchy, his support of eugenics theories and his pivotal role in the Spanish-American War. Some see Roosevelt as an imperialist who led fighting in the Caribbean that ultimately resulted in American expansion into colonies there and in the Pacific including Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam, Cuba and the Philippines.

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Donald Trump threatens protesters while promoting Oklahoma campaign rally during pandemic

He seems eager for violence.

Yes, now Trump is personally threatening protesters with violent harm. It's very presidential. Read the rest

How to safely topple a statue using science

During the anti-racist uprising, protestors in the US and England have been toppling statues of historical figures connected to slavery, colonialism, and oppression. (Above, Christopher Columbus taking a dip in Richmond, Virginia last week.) With these bronze figures weighing around 3,500 to 7,000 pounds, pulling them off their pedestals isn't an easy task to do safely. So Popular Mechanics asked for advice from mechanical engineer Scott Holland. And in case you're tempted, "Popular Mechanics is not encouraging anyone to remove any statues." From PopSci:

...The OSHA-mandated upper force limit for horizontal pulling per person is 50 pounds of force—“but that’s for working every day,” he says, “so you could probably do twice that.”

At 100 pounds of force, then, we’re talking about a 35-person job to drag the statue, Holland says. But to pull it down, “let’s assume twice the force—so you’ll need twice as many people.” So before you start toppling, you’d better recruit 70 buddies with a bit of muscle.

Now that you have your crew, you’ll need the right tools. Holland suggests grabbing a few 4x4 recovery straps, which can be rated to over 32,000 pounds and are far less cumbersome than a chain. Once you’re properly equipped, you want to get leverage, Holland says, “so you need to get the straps around the head or the neck [of the statue].”

To break the statue from its base, split into two teams on either side and work in a back-and-forth motion. Most statues are attached to the base by 2 to 3 feet of rebar, so you’ll actually be breaking it at the bronze above the rebar—not the rebar itself, says Holland.

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General Mark Milley sorry for posing with Trump in combat uniform after protesters gassed by goons

• "I should not have been there.” • Milley said his presence “created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”

America's top general said that showing up in combat fatigues with impeached President Donald Trump after a violent dispersal of protesters outside the White House last week was a "mistake." Read the rest

Seattle mayor to Trump: 'Go back to your bunker'

She's good. She's really good. Read the rest

Trump's cowardly fence becomes a powerful message board for protestors

In early June, about a week after George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis — followed by the Trump administration gassing and shooting at peaceful protesters — Trump scuttled into a bunker to hide. He then built an ugly fence to cower behind. Now the eyesore has transformed into a wonderful collage of flowers, art, and messages like "Fuck Trump," "Black Lives Matter," "Let Them Breathe," "8:46," "The Media is Not the Enemy," and "Fund the Black Community."

Thanks for the free cork board Trump!

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Walmart takes guns off shop floor

Walmart is removing guns from shop floors, according to Fox News and CNN. The move was prompted by nationwide protests over the killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by cops in Minneapolis.

The company has faced criticism over its decision to continue selling guns after 22 people were killed in a mass shooting at Texas Walmart and two store managers were fatally shot at a Mississippi Walmart in August.

The retailer amended its policy in September, asking customers to not openly carry firearms in its stores. It stopped selling assault-style rifles in 2015 and in 2018 stopped selling firearms to anyone younger than 21.

If you've been wondering all these years what it would take for big box stores to stop selling guns, the answer is "lots of black people suddenly interested in guns." Read the rest

If you see the police, start recording

T.C. Sottek writes that this week's protests, marked by soaring levels of police violence against demonstrators, show that we have a responsibility to record them when we can. Last night's horrific attack on an unarmed, elderly man by Buffalo police is only the latest and sharpest example of a lie—the officers claimed he tripped—exposed by video.

You have a right to record the police

Everyone in the United States — citizen or resident — has a constitutional right to record police who are performing their public duties. The police don’t have the right to stop you as long as you’re not disrupting their business, and they aren’t allowed to confiscate your phone or camera just because you were recording them. This is the consistent opinion of federal courts and the Supreme Court, which affirmed in 2014 (in a 9-0 decision) that cops need a warrant if they want to seize and search your cellphone.

Many excellent tips. Extra batteries! Read the rest

'It sickened me', says fmr Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mike Mullen on Trump's church gassing stunt

Former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said today in an interview with ABC News anchor Martha Raddatz, "We are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent." Read the rest

Autopsy shows George Floyd tested positive for COVID-19 in April

An autopsy of George Floyd, who was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, shows that he'd tested positive for COVID-19 in April, and had recovered -- only to have his life cut short by those who vow to “protect and serve.” Read the rest

CNN and Sesame Street to address racism in town hall special

Parents can send their family's questions in about protests, racism and diversity HERE.

CNN:

The 60-minute special "Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism. A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Families" will air on Saturday, June 6, at 10 a.m. ET. The show will talk to kids about racism, the recent nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding.

Big Bird will join CNN commentator Van Jones and CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill to moderate the event. They will be joined by "Sesame Street" characters -- including Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Rosita -- and other experts answering questions submitted by families...

How to watch: The town hall will air on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. It will stream live on CNN.com's homepage and across mobile devices via CNN's apps, without requiring a cable log-in.

You can also watch on CNNgo, and subscribers to cable/satellite systems can watch it on-demand.

image via CNN Read the rest

'MARCH WITH US' — Keke Palmer brings armed National Guard members to their knees during LA protest in viral video

Her name is Keke Palmer.

She is amazing. She's an actor in Los Angeles, and an activist. Read the rest

Watch this awesome young dancer at a protest in Puerto Rico

Here is what a protest in Loiza, Puerto Rico looked like yesterday. Read the rest

NYPD traps protestors on bridge for hours after curfew

Last night, police in New York city kettled hundreds of protestors on the Manhattan Bridge, preventing them from dispersing for hours, even after curfew fell. The New York Times reports that the protestors "found a way" around police blocking access to the Brooklyn end of the bridge, which seems an unlikely scenario, but nonetheless offers details on them being subsequently held there.

As the curfew descended on Tuesday, hundreds of protesters made their way from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn onto the Manhattan Bridge with the goal of continuing their march on the other side. They wound up hemmed in from both ends for roughly two hours.

Two New York Times reporters who followed with the protesters onto the bridge documented the episode, which ultimately ended peacefully, in a series of tweets.

The police tried to block entry to the bridge on the Brooklyn side. Some people found a way on anyway A large group walked across toward the Manhattan side. Once they reached Manhattan, a police blockade kept them from exiting. The crowd became increasingly restless as police vehicles arrived. The demonstrators were eventually allowed to return to Brooklyn.

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D.C. man welcomed over 60 protesters overnight into his home

On Monday night, Washington, D.C. resident Rahul Dubey gave refuge to some 60+ strangers last night during the protests. Read the rest

Mike Mullen, former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman: 'I Cannot Remain Silent'

“I Cannot Remain Silent,” former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen writes in an Atlantic op-ed today, “Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.” Read the rest

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