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Baltimore Rising

The uprising in Baltimore represents how people are hurting not only in the great city of Baltimore,
but all over America. The masses of the people (who are black, Hispanic, white, Asian, Native
American, Indian, etc.) got tired of witnessing the status quo. People are tired of poverty, of
racism, of police brutality, of economic oppression, and of injustice. Therefore, Baltimore is a
place where human beings have stood up against the whims of the establishment. This uprising was
decades in the making. Baltimore is just 40 miles from Washington, D.C. First, I will show the
chronology of the events of Freddie Grays passing and then I will show information about this new
front of the black liberation struggle in Baltimore (yes, I will discuss about the mayor, the President,
poverty, etc. You know me). The tragedy of the death of 25 year old Freddie Gray should never be
forgotten in our consciousness. On Sunday, April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray was arrested by the
Baltimore police. The police admitted that Gray fled after just making eye contact with the police
officer. So, the cops had no legitimate reason to assume that Gray was a direct threat to them at all.
Witnesses say that the officers put excessive pressure on his neck. Video footage shows his body
suffering.

Freddie Gray was begging for medical assistance multiple times, but the cops refused to give him
any medical assistance immediately. That was despicable, disgraceful conduct on the part of those
officers. Gray screamed for his life. 2 officers drag him into the van. Even the officers admitted that
Freddie Gray didnt receive a safety belt while he was in the van, which is a violation of police
procedure. His spinal cord suffered massive injuries. His voice box was crushed. The van travels to a
stop without going immediately into a hospital. It would be a half of an hour until Freddie Gray was
hospitalized. While in the hospital, tubes were all over his face, but he experienced a coma. He died
later in the hospital. Freddie Gray passed away on April 19, 2015, which was a week after he was
arrested and injured. Grays family mourns and say that his spine was 80 percent severed at the
neck.

We all send prayers and condolences to the family of Freddie Gray.

The Sister and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Monday April 20, 2015 immediately announced
the suspensions of the six officers involved in the custody of Mr. Freddie Gray. On that day, she
gave a speech desiring to show accountability. The police commissioner (a Brother) named Anthony
W. Batts in the same press conference said that he wants transparency to be established as in
dealing with this case. People in Baltimore soon hold demonstrations and protests against police
brutality. They stood up for the human dignity of Freddie Gray.

On Tuesday, April 21, 2015, the Justice Department announced a Civil Rights investigation into the
case of Freddie Grays passing. On April 22, 2015 (on Wednesday), protesters call for justice outside
of the police station in Baltimore. On the next day, the protesters marched all over Baltimore city.
Many organizational political leaders, activists, and preachers rallied for the people of Baltimore. I
want to mention that it is right to resist evil. Don't let anyone tell you that you have no right to
resist oppression. You have right to be angry at tyranny and you have every right to demand
justice by any means necessary. On Friday, April 24, 2015, Baltimores police commissioner
Anthony W. Batts conceded that mistakes were made in Mr. Grays arrest. Peaceful demonstrations
continued all across Baltimore and America on Saturday April 25, 2015. On the same day, some
people (not peaceful protesters) damaged cars and buildings and arrests were made. Here is some
information about the events. On April 25, thousands of protesters proceeded without incident as
the police stayed away. After the demonstrations ended at City Hall, a group marched to Camden
yard baseball stadium (where the Orioles were playing). They were met by phalanxes of riot police.
As the cops pushed them back, the windows of a police car was broken. There was also a
confrontation with drunken fans at a bar and these fans shouted racial slurs at people. A second
group went to the Inner Harbor tourist area where a journalist reported that he saw whites jeer,
spit, and throw things at protestors and try to hit them. Store windows were broken. Hundreds of
mourners attend a wake for Freddie Gray. There are protests on the same day. Grays funeral was
emotional. Hours after the funeral, there are confrontations between the police and many people.
Violence developed on Monday April 27, 2015. Many properties are burnt (whose owners are
capitalists). Many protesters have courageously confronted the police in riot gear.

Now, it is important to show the truth about how this rebellion really happened on April 27. First,
high school students left school in West Baltimore. They were met by hundreds of riot cops. There
was a fake rumor circulating on social media about calling for a purge. Also, there was the lie
promoted by some in the media that some gangs were uniting as a way for them to target cops
explicitly. The following sources showed what happened next:

When school let out that afternoon, police were in the area equipped with full riot gear. According
to eyewitnesses in the Mondawmin neighborhood, the police were stopping buses and forcing
riders, including many students who were trying to get home, to disembark. Cops shut down the
local subway stop. They also blockaded roads near the Mondawmin Mall and Frederick Douglass
High School, which is across the street from the mall, and essentially corralled young people in the
area. That is, they did not allow the after-school crowd to disperse.

Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didnt Start the Way You Think, Mother Jones, April 28, 2015

This was confirmed by several teachers who witnessed the events, including one who wrote:

There were police helicopters flying overhead. The riot police were already at the bus stop on the
other side of the mall, turning buses that transport the students away, not allowing students to
board. They were waiting for the kids. As I sat at the intersection of Gwynns Falls, I saw several
police cars arriving at the scene. I saw the armored police vehicle arrive. Those kids were set up,
they were treated like criminals before the first brick was thrown.

Gawker, April 28, 2015


Therefore, the young people were prevented from going home in a quick manner by the local
authorities. On Monday April 27, 2015, Marylands Governor declared a State of Emergency in
Baltimore at the request of Baltimore city. The Governor activated about 5,000 National Guard
troops on the same day too. For days, militarized police and the National Guard occupy Baltimore
city streets. There was the burning of the CVS convenience store. I dont agree with it being burned,
but a human life has more value than property. There ought to be no worship of property. A senior
housing building was burnt next to the Southern Baptist Church, which sponsored it. Some people
cut hole on fire truck's extinguishers. There is no evidence that peaceful protesters were
responsible for the burning. West Baltimore had businesses being trashed and small fires set. Also,
it is wrong for multi-billion dollar corporations to gouge the black poor with high prices. It is the
capitalists and the neo-liberal state that destroyed jobs, disinvested in poor neighbors, and grew
mass incarceration (via overtly discriminatory drug laws). Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on
Monday instituted a mandatory week long curfew for everyone in Baltimore (with exceptions for
some workers, the press, and people with medical emergencies). Most people followed it and some
rejected it. There is a picture of National Guard vehicles enforcing the curfew on April 29 in
Pennsylvania Avenue. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama called the violence
counterproductive. Both the Mayor and the President made a mistake by calling people (who are
hurting, but unfortunately damaged some property) as thugs. Capitalist politicians among both
parties debate on how better to suppress protests. On Tuesday, Baltimore residents cleaned places
up in the city. Also, the atmosphere becomes more festive as Baltimore residents dance and enjoy
themselves. People prayed, united, and stood together via unity with calls for justice. We don't
have justice now. We don't have justice when some cops kill our Brothers and our Sisters in the
streets with impunity. We don't have justice when our black people are being slandered by
extremists and when we don't even see an arrest of the murderer of Tamir Rice (and other victims
of police terrorism).
On Thursday, April 30, 2015, Baltimore Police Department completed their internal investigation. By
April 30, soldiers and other police (from Maryland and from other states) are found in the Baltimore
Harbor. On Friday, May 1, 2015, the State Attorney of Baltimore and African American Marilyn
Mosby announced charges for all six officers involved in the custody of Freddie Gray. The charges
are serious and of course the police union repudiates the charges. The police union (including the
local president of the Fraternal Order of Police named Gene Ryan) wants the charges dropped since
they promoted the lie that the officers did nothing wrong. People like Ryan want Mosby to recuse
herself, because he accused her of having a conflict of interest (since her husband is a council
member of Baltimore). Yet, Marilyn Mosby works in the judicial branch and her husband works in
the executive branch of government. Mosbys colleagues have talked about her fairness,
intelligence, and integrity. Obviously, the officers did many things wrong even admitted by the
police commissioner. Attorney Marilyn Mosby gave a passionate speech and she said that Freddie
Gray was arrested without probable cause (which that charge was later dropped). The charges that
Attorney Mosby made include: murder, involuntary manslaughter, assault, and misconduct. Now,
indictments are not equivalent to convictions. These charges came about, because of the pressure
from mass protests. Some folks have to know that we have an epidemic of police terrorism.
Amadou Diallo back in 1999 was killed by 41 shots when he stood on his doorstep. Oscar Grant was
killed in 2009 and the murderer Johannes Mehserle got only a slap on the wrist with the conviction
of involuntary manslaughter. Also, many Sisters have been killed by the police too like Aiyana Jones.
African American communities have faced police occupation for decades.
These are paramilitary police forces that faced off against peaceful protesters outside of Baltimore City
Hall after the then 10 pm. Universal curfew on May 1, 2015 (on Friday). Baltimore experienced a hyper
militarized police state. 3,000 National Guard troops were deployed to Baltimore.

In Baltimore alone, at least 127 people were killed by the police from 1992 to 2012. The population
of Baltimore is 64% black, but last year 100% of the people killed by the cops were black. So, we
should still use vigilance and advance the cause of justice for the family of Freddie Gray. On Sunday,
May 3, 2015, tons of people rally at Baltimore City Mall. They hold hands and called for real change
in society. Since April 23, at least 486 people have been arrested in Baltimore and a fifth of them
were held for 48 hours without explanation and released without charge. We know that there is a
double standard in the legal system. Allen Bullock has been accused of smashing police windshield
with a traffic cone. He had a half a million dollar bail, but the officers (who severed Freddie Grays
spine and killed him) received bails no greater than $350,000. Also, Rania Khalek from Electronic
Intifada has documented information about how for years the Baltimore police had studied crowd
control, and coordination with the media from Israeli security forces (which has been supported by
the neoconservative Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs or JINSA). The brutal occupation of
Palestinians is certainly wrong. Even many progressive Jewish people oppose the oppression against
the Palestinians. We dont want Arabic people, Jewish people, or any other people to experience
injustice. So, we want all people to be free. That is why we have to use cameras to record incidents
of police conduct all of the time.
The Real Baltimore
Now, here are more facts about this situation. The system has been used to oppress black people,
people of color, and all freedom loving people (while the oligarchy is enriched by reactionary
economic policies and imperial foreign policies). The police institution is an extension of the
capitalist, oligarchical order. And that is precisely what Baltimore has lived under for decades. As a
black writer described growing up in the city: To us, the Baltimore Police Department is a group of
terrorists, funded by our tax dollars, who beat on people in our community daily, almost never
having to explain or pay for their actions (D. Watkins, In Baltimore, Were All Freddie Gray, New
York Times, 29 April). The Baltimore Sun reported on more 100 cases of people who won court
judgments or settlements for police brutality or civil rights violations in the city of Baltimore. The
city of Baltimore had to pay out at least $5.7 million in settlements since 2011. Dallas paid $6
million since 2011, Denver $13 million over ten years, Minneapolis $21 million since 2003 and Los
Angeles $20 billion in 2013 alone.
Baltimore is 12 miles inland from the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay stretches from
Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, etc. Baltimore originally have inhabited by Native Americans. During
the colonial period, it was central port of the original colonies. Baltimore soon became a strong
force in manufacturing, commerce, and shipping. It is home to the nations first railroad with key
rail links to the west, north, and south. The Battle of Baltimore in 1814 (which was part of the War
of 1812. This war was about the UK trying to overtly re-conquer America literally) caused the defeat
of Britains naval armada. Local citizens manned the guns of Fort McHenry. This was the battle
where Francis Scott Key penned was would later become the U.S. National Anthem. The
Confederates tried to rule Baltimore, but they were defeated. By the late 1800s, Baltimores
Sparrows Point plant produced tons of steel. During WWII, Baltimore employed 260,000 workers in
manufacturing activity. 3 shipyards employed 77,000 workers and the aircraft industry (which
included a converted GM assembly plant) employed 50,000 human beings. The Sparrows Point
integrated steel complex employed 29,000 people. Thousands of African Americans from the rural
South traveled to Baltimore for high paying manufacturing jobs. Germans, Poles, the Irish, Italians,
and others went into Baltimore for the same reason as well. The black freedom struggle has a long
history in Baltimore. On the eve of the Civil War, Baltimore has the largest free black population in
America. There was a strong pro-Confederate element in Baltimore and Im glad that the
Confederates were defeated after the Civil War. During the Reconstruction period, black people in
Baltimore formed militias to defend themselves against white racists. The NAACP had strong roots
Baltimore. Thurgood Marshall was a native of Baltimore too. The NAACP, black churches, the Afro-
American weekly newspapers, and other groups organized and publicized demonstrations to fight
Jim Crow apartheid. Baltimore organized its sit-ins as well. Desegregation ended and new problems
existed in its place.

The history of deindustrialization has a long history in Baltimore. Baltimore was one of the many
cities that experienced rebellion after the evil, unjust assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in
April 4, 1968. It lasted from April 6th-14th, 1968. Back then, then Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew
ordered thousands of National Guard and state troopers into the city. The uprising was suppressed
in 1968 via 3,000 Army soldiers and almost all of the Maryland National Guard. Over 5,000 people
were arrested and hundreds were injured in the 1968 rebellion. About 700 people were injured.
The urban uprisings in America from 1964 to 1968 were about people being against police brutality,
racial discrimination, lack of decent jobs, and economic oppression. Even the Johnson
administrations Kerner Commission on Civil Disorders documented the causes of the rebellions and
called for a commitment to national actioncompassionate, massive and sustained, backed by the
resources of the most powerful and the richest nation on this earth. Baltimore in the 1950s and in
the 1960s was a seaport city filled with massive steel and auto production (plus shipbuilding).
There were good union jobs for people. Yet, factories were shut down and moved elsewhere. Black
people suffered massively since black people suffered classism and racism. The Bethlehem Steel mill
at Sparrows Point was a great manufacturing hub in Baltimore.

Huge layoffs started in 1971 (there was the shrinkage of steel, shipbuilding, auto, and other
industrial producers) and even General Motors shut down in 2005. By 2012, there were 160,000
fewer manufacturing jobs in Baltimore than in 1957. Many U.S. capitalists have looted the resources
of the people for a long time. From the mid-1970s onward, the Democratic Party establishment has
shifted to the right. Many Democrats (some people ignore how Bill Clinton gutted welfare
programs, and passed the 1994 Federal Crime Bill with its three strikes provision in it to help
create the largest prison population on Earth in America) and Republicans have repudiated previous
social reforms and embraced free market policies and law and order repression. We cant minimize
the extremism of the GOP either. The Republicans readily support evil voter ID laws which some of
them stop Sunday voting, limit early voting days, stop same day registration, cut the number of
polling stations, and stop the usage of student IDs. These laws are wrong and are overtly anti-voting
rights. Some Republicans openly support and welcome racists like Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent,
Cliven Bundy, etc. Some of them love propaganda from FOX News, Ann Coulter, Glen Beck, Hannity,
etc. The Republican ex-President George W. Bush advanced the unjust war in Iraq, messed up in his
response to Hurricane Katrina, and passed the Patriot Act. The GOP created the Southern Strategy,
some of them oppose a living wage, many of them oppose higher tax rates on the super wealthy,
increased the War on Drugs, and advanced misogynistic plus xenophobic policies. So, both major
parties in their leaderships especially are allied with the interests of the 1%.

So, since 1968, we have seen the growth of the upper middle class and the rich, while the poor
suffers. Therefore, many mayors of Baltimore would have sympathy for the evil War on Drugs, for
school privatization, and submitting to corporate interests unconditionally. Today, 90 percent of the
work in service industries relate to tourism and the John Hopkins Medical complex, which is now
the citys largest employer.

One initiative, the Westside Master Plan, demolished over 100 buildings in an effort to clear room
for tourist attractions such as Camden Yards, home to the Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball
franchise. Efforts to revitalize decaying neighborhoods, such as Sandtown-Winchesterthe home
of Freddie Graywere abandoned, as public money was poured into construction projects to
benefit wealthy real estate developers and the most affluent layers of the upper middle class. There
was the growth of Baltimores prosperous Harbor East neighborhood, which was developed by John
Pateraskis Sr., a multimillionaire business owner in the city. This massive development of office
buildings, upscale shopping centers, restaurants, etc. was overseen by Mayors Schmoke and Martin
OMalley (who is running for President today). OMalley approved tax breaks and millions of dollars
in loans to private corporate interests as Chairman of the Baltimore City Councils Taxation and
Finance Committee. This private-public partnership agenda is a slick way of describing corporate
handouts from city and state governments and promises of tax exemptions and lax regulations in
hoping to attract business investments. OMalley was mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. He
implemented the failed zero tolerance policy. During that time, people who even littered or loitered
were arrested. In 2005, arrests in Baltimore reached 108,447, about a sixth of the population. The
following year, the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP brought a lawsuit against the city,
alleging a trend of pervasive police violence against citizens. Baltimore settled the suit in 2010 for
$870,000.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake became Mayor in 2010. She would continue the austerity tradition in
Baltimore. She talked about eliminating the deficit and making modern investments, so the tax
structure can cause Baltimore more competitive for growth. Her administration carried out many
austerity measures like cuts to public pensions, the closure of recreational centers for the youth in
West Baltimore, and the downsizing of the city workforce. She once vetoed a police camera bill and
now she supports body cameras on officers. There has been the risk of more water shutoffs in
Baltimore. We know that the growth of economic inequality is a nationwide problem. Austerity
nationwide has been enforced by police forces too. The mayor has called on the DOJ to investigate
police corruption in the Baltimore police department. Baltimore has many problems like crime and
the War on Drugs. Tons of people in Baltimore love their families and want solutions. The legacy of
Mayor Rawlings-Blake is uncertain. I will not disrespect the Sister Rawlings-Blake like some
reactionaries have done (reactionary extremists want to scapegoat the Sister for all problems in
Baltimore, which is silliness. We know the other reason why they hate her. Thats self-explanatory),
but she has to be experience true accountability for the good policies (like supporting the
mentorship program Third Grade Reads) and the bad polices (which does include the water shut off
policy in some locations) that she has done. The recent events and her future response to these
events will definitely outline her total legacy as mayor.

We need progressive solutions (like investments in infrastructure, fighting poverty, creating policies
to make great housing more affordable, and finding ways to develop more jobs for people) without
neoliberalism. One reason why we have this situation in the first place is because of Wall Street
financial interests stealing the wealth of Americans (along with deindustrialization and modern
neoliberal policies for the past five decades in Baltimore. These policies have caused a massive
destruction of social programs) and these interests dont care for the poor or the oppressed in
general at all. So, the large central banks are involved in financial corruption while numerous
corporate enterprises receive record profits at the expense of the working class and the poor.
Thats the point. I have no problem with the reinstitution of Glass-Steagall. We do have the
responsibility to stand up and speak up for social justice and freedom for all.

Many cities like Baltimore have the growth of low wage jobs instead of jobs with living wages. There
were once over 900,000 people in Baltimore. Now, it has about 622,000 people. Yet, the people of
Baltimore are strong and they will continue to stand up for what is right.

Baltimore is a location with many revolutionary voices and we are all in solidarity with those who
abhor police terrorism, poverty, and any injustice. Yes, Im going to keep it real. The establishment
has promoted the myth that we must be respectable to their interests, act like good house
servants, wear colonial clothing, and behave submissively (in loving the capitalist system), then we
can have change. Thats fantasy. We are born free and we must fight for our freedom via struggle
not appeasement. No matter how much wealth we have, no matter our gender, and no matter
our socioeconomic situation, we are somebody. We are deserving of dignity and respect
regardless. We are against the system of white supremacy. We want human rights. We are not
"outside agitators" (that phrase ironically was used by the reactionary, racist Southern
segregationists decades ago) and we are not "thugs." The real "thugs" are those of the 1 percent
who used their neoliberalism to oppress others throughout the world. We dont desire an
oppressive system of law and order. We desire freedom and justice. The lie of reactionaries is
that the progressive activists don't advance solutions. The truth is that living wages, ending police
terrorism, community development, ending the war on terror, universal health care, and other
solutions have been advanced for a long time. I dont have any allegiance to the corporate parties
of the Republicans or the Democrats (whose leadership serve the interests of the 1%).
We know who makes up the real Baltimore. It is the youth in Baltimore who work in charities and
love their families. It includes the grown adults who talk about change and are actively involved in
making that change happen (with their work in education, with their work in social activism, with
their work in other community development programs, which has not been readily reported by
some in the mainstream media. These people's lives matter). The real Baltimore is filled with
dynamic culture, great people, and excellent food. So, the real Baltimore includes people like some
of my relatives and other individuals who love wisdom and believe in authentic social change in our
world. That's the real Baltimore.
Since 2011, Baltimore has lost or settled more than 100 lawsuits related to police
brutality.
The LEOBR

The problem is definitely rooted in the system (as the police institution is an extension of the
establishment). There is Marylands Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights." The LEOBR in
Maryland is very reactionary and many protesters want it to be revised or eliminated. One provision
in the states LEOBR prohibits investigators from even attempting to interview an officer suspected
of a crime until a lawyer has been hired. The law gives the officer 10 days to do so, effectively
granting a 10-day cooling off period, in which the suspect is allowed to concoct a cover story.
Also, the Maryland LEOBR says that departments have no obligation to even investigate brutality
allegations that are filed more than 90 days after the incident. That is totally wrong. There is a
culture in the police institution where some cops view themselves as infallible and some use the
badge as a way for them to brutalize people. We must combat racism and economic oppression
(which is a form of violence against oppressed people). Any cop, regardless of their skin color, who
brutalize or kill a human being unjustly ought to be punished.
An Important Issue
There is a paradox. We have a huge amount of black political leaders in Baltimore, yet decades
later, we face the similar conditions in Baltimore and throughout America (as our people faced
during the 1960's). So, the conclusion is that we need progressive, revolutionary, and strong black
political power (not just any black leader being advanced since some black leaders are reactionary
and permit class oppression) in order for us to be free. Yet, the establishment of black people in
the political establishment is never a guarantee that Black America will be truly liberated.
Manufacturing jobs in Baltimore have fallen by 90% since the late 1960s. In the neighborhood of
Sandtown-Winchester (where Freddie Gray lived), 52% of the population aged 16 to 64 is jobless.
This is depression level unemployment. High unemployment is found in the Upton-Druid Heights
neighborhood too. According to the 2010 census, more than half the households in Sandtown-
Winchester had incomes less than $25,000. Unemployment was double the city average (already
one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation). A more recent study found that Sandtown-
Winchester had the highest rate in the city of residents who were incarcerated. Long before Freddie
Gray was treated to the nickel ride that led to his death, he and his twin sister were plaintiffs in a
lawsuit against the city because they suffered lead-paint poisoning in substandard city housing. This
is a national problem. The combination of racial and class oppression are evils that must be
defeated. In order for racism to end, we have to get rid of racial oppression, which is major part of
American capitalism. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and the 50th
anniversary of the Watts Rebellion, we have to reflect. Not only that, but we have to institute
creative, strong strategies that can help humanity in Baltimore and all over the globe via workers'
solidarity. The recent uprising in Baltimore was a reflection of pain and hurt. People are tired of
poverty, economic inequality, the War on Drugs, and police brutality.

We have the first African American President today, who is President Barack Obama. There are 43
Black members of the U.S. House and two black Senators. These are the highest number of
members of U.S. Congress throughout American history. Also, Loretta Lynch is the first Black
woman to be appointed Attorney General of the United States. The Mayor in Baltimore is a Black
woman whose name is Sister Stephanie Rawling-Blake and the Police Commissioners is a Brother
named Anthony Batts. Baltimores City Council has 15 members of whom 8 are African Americans
(while Ferguson once had a lack of black political power and representation). Therefore, these
problems in Baltimore exist beyond just racism.

They exist also because of classism and economic exploitation too. We know that policies that strip
wealth from the poor and working class and sending it to Wall Street banks are not right. It is not
right to witness stagnant wages for over 3 decades and to see the rising of economic inequality in
America. The bourgeoisie of every color has oppressed others. The bourgeoisie historically have
collaborated with the oppressors in maintaining the oppressed's oppression. As Keeanga-Yamahtta
Taylor wrote in an article for In These Times:

"...Black elected officials have largely governed in the same way as their white counterparts,
reflecting all of the racism, corruption and policies favoring the wealthy seen throughout
mainstream politics...This is not just a product of contempt for the Black poor, but also the result
of the pressures of governing big cities in an age of austerity. Cities have been thrust into
competition with each other to attract capital, resulting in a race to the bottom to cut taxes and
essentially shove out those in need of social services...."
So, we live in historic times along with historic challenges. Regardless of the racial composition of
cities or towns, we as a community still face racial discrimination and economic inequality unless
real social change comes about. Many black political leaders of the establishment have failed to
address these issues. In fact, some members of the black political elite class make it their mission to
demonize the black poor and lecture about personal responsibility instead of fighting the system
of white supremacy (and fighting capitalist exploitation). Some of them even are funded by the big
multinational corporations who fund privatization projects or should I say schemes (in urban areas)
at the expense of the suffering of the masses of black people. The poor readily experiences
decaying schools and decaying homes (while the super-rich benefit from the exploitation of capital).
Rawlings-Blake said of violence in the city, "Too many of us in the black community have become
complacent about black-on-black crime...While many of us are willing to march and protest and
become active in the face of police misconduct, many of us turn a blind eye when it's us killing us."
It is common for some white reactionaries (and even some black people) to blame the problems of
society on African Americans collectively, but there are black organizations that condemn crime no
matter who does it. Also, we know that we must address socioeconomic issues if we want further
community development. The police institution is the armed enforcers of the oppressive,
capitalistic power structure (which executes racism and economic exploitation). President Barack
Obama and Mayor Rawlings-Blake even called the youth who rebelled thugs which inappropriate.
To her credit, Baltimores Mayor apologized for her statement.

We know that the crisis in Baltimore can about because of decades of neglect, poverty,
unemployment, deindustrialization, and police violence. We dont need the black youth to be
vilified. We dont need austerity. Even some Democrats refuse to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund
social programs to help the poor and working class. The real thugs are the predatory corporate
elites who created the social misery in the ghettos and in other communities in the first place. The
real thugs are crooked cops who oppress people of every color in American society. We dont need
to resurrect tired, old narratives that indict Black families and black culture for racial inequality.
Over one hundred people that had been arrested during the Baltimore uprising were released with
no charges, prompting deputy public defender Natalie Finegar to tell the Los Angeles Times, It
looks like a lot of folks were just flat-out illegally detained, from our perspective. We need to
revolutionary change where people have living wages, we need our civil liberties and human rights
strengthened, we need an end to mass incarceration, and we need economic justice. We want mass
organization for empowerment and we want cops who commit evil to be punished (and held
accountable for their actions). We will fight oppression. We want black people to have freedom and
liberation. This is not a moment, but this is a movement.
The Mainstream Media
Much of the mainstream media have been obsessive with the rebellion while not giving fair
coverage to the problems going on in Baltimore. Some refuse to report on the people doing positive
work in their own communities. Some of the news coverage on CNN is similar to the reactionary
propaganda shown by FOX News. There debate between the sellout Geraldo Rivera of FOX News
and the eloquent young black man shows the world about the disconnect between the mainstream
media and the truth. The young man told Geraldo to his face that:

I want you and Fox News to get out of Baltimore city. Because youre not here reporting about the
boarded-up homes, and the homeless people on the MLK. Youre not reporting about the poverty
levels up and down North Avenue. But youre here for the black riots. Youre not here for the
death of Freddie Gray. Fox News dont give a damn about these people. This is the real Baltimore.
This is where people wake up and wonder where theyre going to go to get a meal.

Yet, Geraldo slandered the young man as a vandal when people have the right to demonstrate
against police brutality and any injustice. We know about Obamas Task Force on 21st Century
Policing report. Also, the mainstream media has not massively reported on how many innocent
protesters (over 200 people in one day) were arbitrarily arrested by the Baltimore police too. A
Facebook post highlighted the illegal and inhumane conditions for those arrested in the vicinity of
Baltimores Mondawmin Mall, which is in the neighborhood of Frederick Douglass High School,
Coppin Academy High School, Coppin State University, as well as a major public transit center.
Geremy Faulkner was one out of many people in Baltimore who was violated of habeas corpus
human rights. Faulkner was just filming the police and he was unjustly arrested for 44 hours.
Attorney Marci Tarrant Johnson documented the inhuman and unjust conduct prisons of male and
female inmates.

It is also true that the crime rate has declined in the black community over the course of 40 years.
The fact is that only about 1 percent of African Americans and no more than 2 percent of black
males will commit a violent crime in a given year. Black male homicide rates now are one-third
below the rate in 1950 and 60 percent below the rate in 1970. Since 1970, fertility rate for black
girls 15-17 down 81%. We have a massive decline in black teenage pregnancy rates since 1992.
There were roughly 200,000 fewer violent crimes committed by blacks in 2008 than there were in
1978: a drop of about 14 percent, numerically, and a massive drop in the violent crime offending
rate, from 75.3 violent offenses per 1000 black people in 1978 to 41.7 per 1000 by 2008: a decline
of 45 percent in the rate at which blacks commit violent crimes.

Baltimore Rising
Im in full solidarity with Mothers for Justice United, Hands Up Coalition, and other organizations
that are opposed to the extrajudicial murder of black people. It is heartbreaking to witness how
young people have died before the life expectancy of their own mothers. The death of Tamir Rice
was truly evil and furthermore the police once blamed Tamir for his own death (which is the height
of disrespect to Tamir Rices family. The city had to issue a token apology for those blatantly
insensitive, evil comments). The mothers involved in this movement are right to say that Enough is
Enough. No crooked cop or racist vigilante should oppress and murder anyone period. Black women
also have been killed too.

We should never forget the names of Rekia Boyd, Miriam Carey, Shelly Frey, Sheneque Proctor,
Aura Rosser, Aiyana Jones, and other Sisters who were killed by the police. Their stories are our
stories. When one black person suffers injustice or is murdered unjustly, then we all suffer. We are
all in this today. Black women are being killed by the cops not only black men. The life of black
people, regardless of gender, has equal value. The topless women protesting police terrorism
against black women (I heard of this story days ago) are certainly courageous in making the point
that the human dignity of black women is sacrosanct and should never be degraded. So, the
#SayHerName campaign and so many other campaigns make this point clear. Yes, Black Women
Lives Matter. Black women have stood on the front lines in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York City,
and throughout America in standing up against police terror, racism, economic injustice, etc.
Young Black Women coined the phrase Black Lives Matter also. Ferguson activist Erica Totten grabs
the microphone at Al Sharptons Dec. 13 protest in Washington DC to ensure that Ferguson
activists voices were heard. Racism and sexism are evils that must be condemned and ended.
These are brave human beings.
Structural racism is still a problem in America. Even the DOJ report documented the massive racism
found in the police department of Ferguson, Missouri. The lives of both black males and black
females matter. Following the ethos of altruism, cooperative activity, and unity can further change
the world. Not to mention while Karl Marx gave excellent analysis on issues of class, Karl Marx has
no monopoly on socialism. Africans have been establishing principles of socialism and practicing
forms of socialism long before Marx was born. So, we need to embrace our intellectual diversity
while rejecting strict ideological dogmatism. The masses of the people are standing up and they
desire real change. We need more mobilization, organization, economic power, and true political
action. These mothers and other activists have been courageous. They seek economic inequality
(which comes about via the structural capitalist exploitation of society) to end and for racial justice
to develop. Angela Davis and George Jackson documented the evils of the prison industrial complex
and we know that our criminal injustice system must be radically changed. Fascist cops and the
predatory corporate elite (who created the social misery in the ghettos, etc. in the first place)
should be condemned. Also, we don't want some token, reactionary black capitalism where
economic fiefdoms or corporate enterprises exist where workers are exploited. The worship of
individualism has never worked to benefit the masses of the people at all. An economic system,
which has directly been involved in the Maafa and the further oppression against our people,
should be rejected. Even Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. criticized capitalism by their own
words. We want economic power that is fairly disturbed, where workers have economic justice, and
where black people will have their economic rights maintained (in using our resources in building
our power and ending the system of white supremacy).
We need to expand our minds to appreciate our differences. See color and celebrate it.
See our differences and celebrate it.
-Ava DuVernay
We want an end to environmental degradation and we dont agree with imperial aggression
overseas too. These mothers definitely desire working people to have living wages and for police
terror to end. This movement is comprehensive and strong (in focusing in decolonization mentally,
so that we always love our blackness and oppose the system of white supremacy. For we not only
want human rights. We want justice unconditionally too). We will not be intimidated. It is blatantly
hypocritical and offensive for some to condemn the uprising of people (who are the victims of
oppression), but refuse to condemn Western imperialists looting and bombing territories overseas.
So, the working class, the poor, and all oppressed people should fight this evil system. We are in a
liberation struggle to end oppression. Every human being should be liberated and free without
question. We have to give too. We are not islands. In all in our lives, someone sacrificed for us to be
here. Life was given to us without a price. Therefore, the principle of life is love, giving, caring, and
standing up for justice basically. We must sacrifice and resist oppression. Resistance against
oppression is holy. We have to love each other and give our time and effort to help people. We will
speak our minds and help our communities. We should never lose hope.

The black community are standing up for our rights (in advancing self-determination, the
development of our infrastructure, and growth of the power of the workers including the poor, and
establishing racial including economic justice). This is an international movement too. So, we should
unite with Brothers and Sisters globally as we are all family regardless of our nationality. Malcolm X,
before he passed away, advocated international unity among black people globally. I agree with him
100 percent on that point. There should be an end of the War on Drugs and the mass incarceration
system. We know that the state will continue to try to pass laws to restrict demonstrations and so
forth. Wall Street bankers who committed criminal actions ought to be tried in trials and put in
prison. Living wages ought to exist and real programs to rebuild houses and schools must be
enacted. We must have hope and express legitimate action.
#Black Lives Matter
In the final analysis, we want human rights and social justice.

RIP to the victims (who passed away) of the shooting in Charleston,


South Carolina. We send prayers and condolences to all of the victims of
this tragedy.

By Timothy