Disha Ravi: The jailed Indian activist linked to Greta Thunberg

By Soutik Biswas
India correspondentPublished8 hours agoShareRelated Topics

Disha Ravi and her dog
image captionMs Ravi shared a document first posted by climate activist Greta Thunberg

In India’s southern city of Bangalore, Disha Ravi was a cheerful, familiar figure among local climate activists.

The sprightly 22-year-old helped clean up lakes, plant trees and campaigned against plastic. She attended workshops, walked the streets demanding climate action, loved animals and spoke out against sexism and capital punishment. A vegan and the sole-earning member in her family, she worked with a local company that makes plant-based food.

Ms Ravi is also one of the founders of the local wing of Fridays For Future, a global movement begun by climate change activist Greta Thunberg. Here, she participated in campaigns to preserve the lion-tailed macaque in an Indian bio-diversity spot, and stall a hydro power plant, among other causes.

Living in a low-lying neighbourhood in a city which would get easily flooded during rains, she worried about climate change. Bangalore, she said, was experiencing severe rainfall and flooding these days. She had lived in the family home for 13 years, and found that the city had never experienced such heavy rains as it had in recent years.

Ms Ravi did not mince her words. “People of colour are suffering from the climate crisis first-hand – a lot of people don’t give us attention that we need. The fact that you would choose to listen to a white person on the same issue rather than a person of colour, to me, is environmental racism,” she told Vogue magazine last year.

Disha Ravi
image captionThe 21-year-old has helped clean up lakes, plant trees and campaigned against plastic

Friends and fellow campaigners say she is a law-abiding activist. During a recent campaign to save trees in her city, Ms Ravi went to the police and sought permission. “We have interacted during many campaigns to protect the environment. I always noticed she never transgressed the law,” said Tara Krishnaswamy, a veteran activist.

At the weekend, Ms Ravi was arrested after sharing a document intended to help farmers protest against new agriculture reform laws. The police say she was a “key conspirator” in the formulation and dissemination” of the document. The so-called “toolkit”, which suggested ways of helping the farmers, was tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. “The call was to wage economic, social, cultural and regional war against India,” the police said.

They say Ms Ravi “collaborated” with separatist groups to “spread disaffection against the Indian state”.

In court, Ms Ravi, accused of sedition and conspiracy, broke down and told the judge she had merely edited two lines of the document. But police believe she shared the document with Ms Thunberg, and then asked her to remove it after it was “accidentally” leaked. The court remanded her to police custody.

Ms Ravi’s arrest has sparked a firestorm of protest and shocked many Indians. The chief minister of Delhi, run by an opposition party, has called the arrest “an unprecedented attack on democracy”. A journalist wondered how “editing publicly available documents that help people coordinate views disagreeing with those of the government can be an act of sedition”. Yet another journalist tweeted: “The message is clear: lock up your children, stop them protesting, or we will”.

Climate change activist Disha Ravi is escorted by police officials as she walks out of the court in New Delhi, India February 14, 2021 in this still image taken from video.
image captionMs Ravi is escorted by police officials as she walks out of the court in Delhi

Last July, the Delhi police temporarily blocked the website of Fridays For Future India, describing its content as “objectionable” and depicting an “unlawful or terrorist act”. Members said all that it had done was swamp the environment ministry with thousands of emails in protest against an environmental law.

“In India, people continue to suffer because of laws that are anti-people. We live in a country where dissent is suppressed. We in Fridays For Future India were labelled terrorists for objecting to the law]. Only a government that puts profit over people would consider asking for clean air, clean water and a liveable planet, an act of terrorism,” Ms Ravi told an interviewer at the time.

In September, she told The Guardian: “Countries like India are already experiencing a climate crisis. We are just not fighting for our future, we are fighting for our present. We, the people from the most affected [regions], are going to change the conversation in climate negotiations and lead a just recovery plan that benefits people and not the pockets of our government”.

In a video interview, the feisty and outspoken young campaigner made it clear that she is no fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Read more by Soutik Biswas:

“Mr Modi has convinced everybody that everything he is doing is good. There are so many questionable things about his governance. Not just in terms of equal rights but environmental rights or human rights.”

“My parents support him, I know.”

Her friends describe Ms Ravi as a bright student, who won debates in college, where she graduated in business administration with a specialisation in finance. Like many young people of her generation, she loves Bollywood songs, binge-watches Netflix shows, loves cooking and pampers her dog. She plans on doing a masters in conservation: her role model is the world-famous conservation activist, Jane Goodall.

Ms Ravi’s friends and co-workers say she is a “funny, goofy girl” who is often late to events. “We get irritated but we never say anything to her because she is so passionate about what she does,” a friend said.

The website of the Bangalore-based food company where she works mentions her as the “youngest member” who joined as an intern and then came on “full time to work her magic on our customers by leading the company’s direct-to-consumer efforts”.

On social media, Ms Ravi has posted about Olive Ridley turtles, doing away with plastic and posed for pictures with her kitten and her dog. A Harry Potter fan, she has also shared pictures of Evanna Lynch. On Facebook, she calls herself a “carrot enthusiast”. On Instagram, she describes herself as “climate worried.”

Her profile says: “People united will never be defeated.”

With additional reporting by Imran Qureshi in Bangalorehttps://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.39.18/iframe.htmlmedia captionMillions of people join the environmental strike led by schoolchildren across the world on Friday

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‘Capitalism not working,’ says marcher about what is fueling ongoing protests in Seattle


https://komonews.com/news/local/capitalism-not-working-says-protester-about-what-is-fueling-ongoing-demonstrations

by Matt Markovich, KOMO News reporterFriday, January 22nd 2021AASheena talks about the ongoing protests in Seattle and what is behind them.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.435.0_en.html#goog_1818643241Volume 90% Sheena talks about the ongoing protests in Seattle and what is behind them.

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SEATTLE — The original rallying point for a protest that began Wednesday night in Seattle’s Occidental Park was to support calls to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, but it transformed into what participants describe as a direct action event.

The protest resulted in the arrests of three people, several buildings tagged with graffiti and multiple shattered windows.

Sheena was one of those marchers participating in the Wednesday night protest.

“Direction action is beyond the picket signs in the streets,” she said. “It’s taking that a step further (and) it’s willing to be confrontational, if needed.”

Sheena’s has been participating for months in the direct action marches, along with others who all dress from head to toe in black and wear helmets so they are ready for a confrontation with counter protesters or law enforcement officers.

The group marches in a tight pack with the intent of staying within an arm’s length of each other for tactical reasons and protection.

“The reason people dress in black bloc is not to be scary,” she said. “If we are all (dressed) similar, then we are safer together. And people have legitimately had death threats made against them and threats against their family.”

Sheena said she has marched and demonstrated without black bloc during rallies for Black Lives Matter and Defunding SPD. There are several reasons why the participants are protesting, including because they are anti-Capitalism, want to defund police, support the Black Lives Matter movement and want immigration reform.

“Capitalism is not working,” she said.

But the direct marchers have gotten a reputation for the constant confrontations they have had with police along with the vandalism that follows their protests.

During Wednesday’s demonstration, the windows of Starbuck stores, Amazon Go shops and the federal courthouse in Seattle were vandalized.

There is no organizational leader for the march, and participants do so as individuals but take collective action as a group to make their point, which critics say usually ends in violence.

Sheena said they are disruptors.

“Sometimes you have to be willing to be uncomfortable and make others uncomfortable because that’s where growth happens,” she said. “I don’t think you can be violent against a window.”

She said there is a deep distrust of the media among the group.

“It doesn’t matter what we do, we are going to be shown in a bad light,” she said. “You can’t paint all Republicans and Democrats with the same brush, so you can’t paint all activists with the same brush.”

Sheena rejects the statement that she is participating in domestic terrorism.

“If you say everybody who does something that is perceived to be bad or makes me uncomfortable is a terrorist, I think people need to really need to take stock of why they think that,” she said.

What marks direct action marchers is their willingness to take the extra step that invites confrontation with police but it’s also the belief that it’s a necessary step to get their message across.

“I’m prepared to put my life on the line for black and brown bodies,” she said.

After another violent night of protests, Seattle police speak out about their tactics


https://komonews.com/news/local/after-another-violent-night-of-protests-seattle-police-speak-out-about-their-tactics

by Kara Kostanich, KOMO News reporter Thursday, January 21st 2021AASeveral protesters in Seattle on Wednesday night.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.435.0_en.html#goog_378559604Volume 90% Several protesters in Seattle on Wednesday night.

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SEATTLE — On a day when communities across the U.S. were celebrating the swearing in of a new commander-in-chief for the country, Seattle again garnered national attention because of a destructive protest that wound through downtown streets.

The group of demonstrators, known as “Black Bloc” protesters because they are all dressed from head to toe in dark clothing, have been linked for months to chaotic protests.

City residents said they have grown weary from the destructive demonstrations.

“It was just disgusting,” said Brent Haverman, who lives near the Seattle Police Department West Precinct building and has watched violence play out for weeks since the summer. “Yesterday was a day of peace and unity.”

Haverman said police need to do more to quell the protests.

“This should be such a simple process for them to stop these violent offenders that are destroying public, personal and federal property,” he said.

When the Wednesday protest, which started at Occidental Park, began with about 100 people calling for an end to actions by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, there were no Seattle police officers in sight.

But police said Thursday that the protest was on their radar.

“We were monitoring them from early on,” said Seattle Police Sgt. Randy Huserik. “We were aware of the number of demonstrations that indicated they were going to be active on Inauguration Day.”

But when the number of demonstrators started to dwindle, that’s when the destruction began.

The original Starbucks in Pike Place Market, an AmazonGo store and the federal courthouse on 5th Avenue all suffered damage during the march.

That has raised questions about why police didn’t step in earlier to diffuse the situation.

“You are running on tactic and logistics, evaluating and re-evaluating how we need to approach a group of that size,” Huserik said. “Once property destruction and damage starts to occur, then the next challenge is get people out safely, in and out of the group, and make sure we arrest the right people with a minimal use of force because we have to factor in safety for everyone involved (including) our officers and people in the crowd.”

Seattle police arrested three people, booking them on suspicion of property damage, burglary and assault.

Only one of the suspects was in court Thursday for a first appearance hearing and he was released by the judge.

Residents say they want the cycle of violent protests to end.

“Allowing this to continue because this has been going on since June is, again, unacceptable,” Haverman said.

Seattle police Chief Adrian Diaz declined a request by KOMO News for an interview about the protest. And several city leaders also declined to speak in person about the protests.

The Trumps Have Fueled a Far-Right Media Monster That Is Not Going Away

Trump loyalists clash with police trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Trump loyalists clash with police trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

BYMike LudwigTruthoutPUBLISHEDJanuary 9, 2021SHAREShare via FacebookShare via TwitterShare via Email

On January 3, just three days before President Trump incited and cajoled the predominately white mob that invaded Congress, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a video of a scuffle between police and residents of Gatineau, Quebec who were holding a private gathering in violation of local pandemic restrictions. Cops and residents blamed each other for the altercation, but regardless of the details, the president’s oldest son and potential political heir warned “this insanity is coming here if you don’t wake the hell up.” Trump Jr.’s tweet was then retweeted by Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was shot dead by police on Wednesday after storming the Capitol Building with violent extremists and angry Trump fans. “Nothing will stop us,” Babbitt tweeted the day before her death, warning that a “storm” was “descending” on Washington, D.C. Babbitt is now a martyr on far-right message boards where racists obsess about avenging the death of a white woman.

The video Trump Jr. retweeted was posted by a Canadian far-right journalist who recently asserted the Black Lives Matter is “sponsored by Nike, CNN, and many mayors and local police departments.” In reality, Black Lives Matter is the banner for a broad movement, as well as an umbrella for a range of organizations; it is not a single organization, let alone one with corporate sponsors. It is a movement directly in opposition to police departments. And, of course, police in many cities violently cracked down on protests for racial justice last summer. However, on Trump Jr.’s Twitter feed, reality takes a backseat to red meat. A day before the assault on the Capitol, Trump Jr. urged Republicans voting in Georgia’s Senate runoffs to “save America as you know it from the communists.” That statement feeds false conspiracy narratives about congressional Democrats that drove Trump fans to violence. Narratives about a hostile takeover of the country are also fundamental to the white nationalist thinking that has gained traction on the right under Trump, who tweeted “we love you” to his supporters after his lies about the election convinced them to trash the Capitol.

“White supremacist hate groups often justify their violent ideologies under the guise of love — love for their families, for their communities, for their nation, which are perceived to be under existential threat by encroaching ‘Others,’” said Margaret Huang, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, in a statement after the Capitol breach.

The two Democrats who prevailed in the Georgia runoffs and others in the Senate are not authoritarian communists, of course, but this and other false narratives can be found supplanting facts across the right-wing media universe. A growing sea of bloggers, podcasters, message board moderators, conspiracy theorists, social media pundits, extremist preachers and “news” outlets feed off Trump directly, using the president’s lies and, until this week, latest tweets to garner likes, hits, donations and ad revenue. To gain followers, they repost trending conspiracies loved by Trump fans on social media and attack racial justice activists whose calls for social change generate resentment on the right.

The relationship is symbiotic. Trump constantly paints the mainstream and left-leaning media as illegitimate, boosting demand for conspiratorial, right-wing alternatives that recycle Trump’s lies into content and affirm his follower’s beliefs. The Trump family and its right-wing celebrity allies then use the far right to bypass the rest of the media and feed conspiracies theories to millions of people. None of this is new. Trump has attacked the media for years, and the disinformation he spread about the COVID-19 pandemic provided a preview of the contested election.

With the president’s election challenges thrown out of courts and, more recently, some Republican leaders turning against his effort, far-right media became Trump’s sharpest tool for undermining the election he lost. A poll in late December found that 68 percent of Republicans believe the November election was not “free and fair,” and 36 percent say Trump should not concede “no matter what,” even if he is unable to present evidence of widespread voter fraud. It doesn’t matter that the supposed “evidence” did not hold up in court. More than half of Republicans said the courts are biased against Trump, even though the president appointed some of the judges who threw out his campaign’s lawsuits. The Trumps, along with right-wing pundits and conspiracy hucksters, have convinced a large share of the electorate that anything defying their narratives is a lie told by Democrats, the media or the “deep state.”

Those who follow the right-wing media saw plenty of warning signs ahead of the violence in Washington D.C. this week. Between January 1 and January 4, posts with calls for violence were found on Parler, Twitter, TikTok and the pro-Trump message board The Donald, according to analysis by Right Wing Watch. Posts calling for violence — including the arrest and execution of politicians — on The Donald alone received 40,000 engagements. Some of the calls for violence are linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that Democrats are an elite cabal of Satanic pedophiles, among other bizarre beliefs. On January 6, an armed ultra-nationalist with zip-tie handcuffs was photographed storming congressional chambers.

In the days before the violence at the Capitol, organizers of the Stop the Steal rally took to social media and various far-right outlets to argue that Democrats had stolen the election. They also increasingly mentioned “civil war” while attacking anti-fascist and Black Lives Matter activists, according to Right Wing Watch. Pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood was simultaneously spreading QAnon lies about child rapists and calling for Vice President Mike Pence to be arrested and executed for his disloyalty to Trump. Memes of nooses made the rounds, and a hangman’s gallows was erected outside the Capitol during the mob attack. (Wood also represents Kyle Rittenhouse, who became a right-wing hero after shooting three people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.)

With Trump unwilling to concede the election and coddling his supporters who attacked Congress, Facebook suspended the president’s account for an indefinite period of time. On Friday afternoon, Twitter finally kicked Trump off for good. As of this writing, Wood’s Twitter account is suspended as well. Their posts crossed a clear line with speech that led to harm. However, Trump is not the only one in his orbit whose public statements foment hate and violence. Should Trump Jr.’s account be suspended? What about Rudy Giuliani, who used Twitter to peddle false conspiracy theories about a stolen election before urging Stop the Steal protesters to hold a “trial by combat” at the Capitol? While both Trump Jr. and Giuliani asked the Trump loyalists to remain peaceful after the violence erupted, it was the widespread belief among Trump supporters that the election — if not their perceived white Christian way of life — is being stolen from them that sparked the violence.

Trump Jr. and Giuliani would not take deplatforming on social media well, but their public influence outside of the diehard Trump movement is waning as the Trump presidency reaches its end. There would be plenty of yelling, as there has been in the past, about the First Amendment and big-city, tech-industry “socialists” censoring conservatives. (Of course, the First Amendment protects speech from the government, not social media companies.) More MAGA fans and QAnon trolls would leave Twitter and Facebook in protest, joining other right-wingers on Parler, where Trumpian conspiracy theories spread unfiltered.

The Trumps have helped to normalize white nationalist narratives on the right, making it difficult for social media platforms to police right-wing voices without appearing biased.

When Facebook removed hundreds of QAnon groups and accounts for right-wing militias that glorify violence, the company also shut down left-wing pages, potentially to dodge accusations of ideological prejudice. While the anarchists and anti-fascists who lost their pages have a radical perspective, they were not spreading hate or disinformation, and they argued that Facebook had effectively equated anti-fascist and anti-racist organizing with dangerous conspiracies and white nationalist militias. As the anarchists at Crimethinc. wrote, “Suppressing the voices of those who seek to protect their communities from institutional and white supremacist violence is an intentional decision to normalize violence as long as the ones employing it hold institutional power.”

The right-wing media universe that helped Trump foment the violence we witnessed this week will not disappear when the president leaves the White House. In fact, Trump, his family and his remaining allies will likely rely on far-right media to stay relevant until the next campaign season. New ultra-right stars will likely be born online and ride Trump’s coattails, as did the two QAnon proponents who were recently elected to Congress. The Proud Boys and white nationalist groups will likely continue using conspiracies and far-right media as recruiting tools, and anti-fascists will continue confronting them online and in the streets. However, after the attack on the Capitol and the suspension of Trump’s social media accounts, the far-right media may become increasingly isolated, as Democrats and even some Republican leaders call for Trump’s early removal from office. However, even within its own bubble, the force and power of far-right media must not be underestimated; after all, it played a seismic role in paving the way for Trump’s presidency.

2 LA County deputies ‘fighting for their lives’ after ambush shooting; Search for suspect underway

https://abc7.com/lasd-sheriffs-deputy-shot-deputy-involved-shooting-compton-blue-line-metro/6420532/?fbclid=IwAR0jZp-o72YdJhGxzUuXAGAaqekLRZ7-kKaCB51K2-R5-WWW9Rb5FZnIo40

Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies were shot at a Metro station in Compton Saturday evening, officials say.

COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) — A massive search for a gunman is underway as two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies are “fighting for their lives” after they were shot in the head in an ambush at the Metro station in Compton, officials say.

The incident happened Saturday at the Metro Blue Line station at Willowbrook Avenue and Compton Boulevard around 7 p.m. The location is a short distance from the Compton sheriff’s station.

Surveillance video of the shooting shows the suspect ambush the deputies as they sat in the patrol vehicle.

A man clad in dark clothing walks up to the parked vehicle at the Metro station, approaches the window on the passenger’s side and fires several times at close range. The suspect then runs off on foot. One deputy is seen emerging from the passenger side and stumbling around on foot for several seconds before the video ends.

Both deputies sustained multiple gunshot wounds and underwent surgery at a local hospital. They were described as alive but in critical condition.

“That was a cowardly act,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. “The two deputies were doing their job, minding their own business, watching out for the safety of the people on the train.”

“To see somebody just walk up and start shooting on them. It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time. There’s no pretty way to say it.”

One deputy was described as a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old boy. Her husband came to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood after the shooting.

The other deputy was a 24-year-old man and his girlfriend and parents came to hospital.

Villanueva said he swore in both deputies to office just 14 months ago in the same class.

Officials were not able to get a detailed description of the shooter other than a man. Officials cautioned that the surveillance video released from the scene uses a fisheye lens so the suspect’s height and weight may be slightly distorted from reality.

The department tweeted: “Moments ago, 2 of our Sheriff Deputies were shot in Compton and were transported to a local hospital. They are both still fighting for their lives, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Deputies blocked off streets in the area and are searching for the suspect.

Massive manhunt launched for shooting suspect

Dozens of deputies were searching the area near the Compton metro station where a lone gunman ambushed two sheriff’s deputies, leaving them in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds.

The department had at least 14 homicide detectives on scene to investigate along with forensic specialists, the Special Enforcement Bureau, K-9 units and other department personnel.

President Donald Trump also reacted to the shooting, retweeting the sheriff’s department video and commenting: “Animals that must be hit hard!”

Compton Mayor Aja Brown posted a statement on Instagram: “I am devastated to learn of the tragedy that occurred in our city tonight. Both deputies and their families will remain in our prayers.”

A small crowd, including some apparent demonstrators, gathered near the hospital in Lynwood where the deputies were transported. Witnesses say members in the group were chanting anti-law enforcement slogans and at one point tried to get inside the hospital.

It appears a radio reporter was caught up in the chaos. Sheriff’s deputies were seen tackling a woman, later identified as reporter Josie Huang for 89.3 KPCC who had been covering the earlier press conference, to the ground and then taking her into custody. She appeared to be wearing media credentials as deputies took her into custody.

Hours after her arrest, Huang tweeted that she was headed home and said she would share more about the incident “after a little rest.”

Protesters show up at hospital where deputies are being treated for gunshot wounds

Several anti-law enforcement protesters showed up to a hospital where two deputies were being treated for gunshot wounds and a radio reporter was caught up in the chaos when deputies went to control the group.

Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call LASD homicide detectives at (323)890-5500.

Chicago unrest and looting sees 100 arrests, 13 officers hurt: “This was an assault on our city”

More than 100 people were arrested Monday following a night of looting and unrest that left 13 officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city, authorities said. CBS Chicago reports Police Superintendent David Brown said it was “an incident of pure criminality” that was prompted by the shooting of a person by police the previous day in the city’s Englewood neighborhood.

“This was straight up, felony criminal conduct,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “This was an assault on our city.”

Those arrested were expected to face charges including looting, disorderly conduct, battery against police. Lightfoot said that the city has activated a neighborhood protection program that will be in place “for foreseeable days until we know our neighborhoods are safe.”

Many of the businesses that were ransacked had recently opened after Chicago protests of George Floyd’s May 25 death in Minneapolis devolved into chaos. Chicago businesses reported $66 million worth of damaged or stolen property to police during the looting and unrest after Floyd’s death, according to public records obtained by CBS Chicago.

CBS Chicago reports that former Bears player Patrick Mannelly witnessed the looting from his high-rise condo and saw cars driving up to a U-Haul truck and putting stolen goods into the trailer.

Apparent looting of a Walgreens was also caught on video by Frank Calabrese:

The unrest began shortly after midnight in the Magnificent Mile, which is one of Chicago’s most-visited tourist attractions. Hours earlier, dozens of people had faced off with police after officers shot and wounded a person Sunday in the Englewood neighborhood, located about 10 miles away.

Brown said after a crowd dissipated following that shooting “we are monitoring social media and we come across a post of a caravan of cars being prompted to go to our downtown and loot.”

Along the Magnificent Mile, people were seen going in and out of stores carrying shopping bags full of merchandise as well as at a bank, the Chicago Tribune reported, and as the crowd grew vehicles dropped off more people in the area. On streets throughout the downtown area, empty cash drawers from stores were strewn about and ATMs were ripped open.

Stores miles from downtown were also ransacked, with parking lots littered with glass and items from inside the stores. Clothes hangers and boxes that once contained television sets and other electronics were seen – evidence that thieves had taken racks of clothes and removed them from the hangers.

“This was obviously very orchestrated,” the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a prominent Roman Catholic priest and activist on the city’s South Side, told WBBM-TV as cameras panned the downtown area.

There was a large police presence Monday morning outside an Apple store located north of Chicago’s downtown area. Blocks away, debris was strewn in parking lots in front of a Best Buy and a large liquor store.

Train and bus service into downtown was temporarily suspended at the request of public safety officials, the Chicago Transit Authority said on Twitter. Bridges over the Chicago River were lifted, preventing travel to and from the downtown area, and Illinois State Police blocked some expressway ramps into downtown. Access was being restored later Monday morning.

Chicago and its suburbs, like many other cities, saw unrest following the death of Floyd. Chicago’s central business district and its commercial areas were shut down for several days after violence erupted and stores were damaged in the wake of marches protesting Floyd’s death. Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, died after a white officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

In the Sunday shooting in Englewood, police said in a statement that they responded about 2:30 p.m. Sunday to a call about a person with a gun and tried to confront someone matching his description in an alley. He fled from officers on foot and shot at officers, police said.

Officers returned fire, wounding him, and a gun was recovered, police said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and three officers involved also were taken to a hospital for observation, the statement said.

More than an hour after the shooting, police and witnesses said a crowd faced off with police after someone reportedly told people that police had shot and wounded a child. That crowd eventually dispersed.

Seattle Police Chief Slams City Council After Activists Target Her Home: ‘You Must Forcefully Call For The End Of These Tactics’

Seattle’s Chief of Police called on Seattle’s City Council to stand up against “mob rule” after “aggressive” activists reportedly targeted her home over the weekend, which scared her neighbors.

“I wanted to update you on recent events, particularly those that occurred late last night,” Best wrote in a letter addressed to City Council President Lorena González and Public Safety Chair Lisa Herbold. “A residence of mine in Snohomish County was targeted by a large group of aggressive protestors late last night. My neighbors were concerned by such a large group, but they were successful in ensuring the crowd was not able to trespass or engage in other illegal behavior in the area, despite repeated attempts to do so. Currently, the local sheriff (not SPD resources) is monitoring the situation.”

“I urge both of you, and the entire council, to stand up for what is right. These direct actions against elected officials, and especially civil servants like myself, are out of line with and go against every democratic principle that guides our nation,” Best continued. “Before this devolves into the new way of doing business by mob rule here in Seattle, and across the nation, elected officials like you must forcefully call for the end of these tactics.”

“The events of this summer were initiated in a moment of grief and outrage over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and so many other Black and Brown people suffering at the hands of injustice,” Best concluded. “All of us must ensure that this righteous cause is not lost in the confusion of so many protestors now engaging in violence and intimidation, which many are not speaking against.”

Seattle Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan had previously defended left-wing activists earlier in the year who camped out in a so-called “autonomous zone” for a couple of weeks, famously describing the situation as a potential “summer of love.”

However, Durkan’s rhetoric about the activists changed when they showed up to her home, which she responded to by going after far-left Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, who reportedly led the protest to Durkan’s home.

“Mayor Durkan and her family are in the state program to keep their address confidential because of the death threats mostly related to her work as Seattle’s U.S. Attorney under President Obama,” Durkan’s office initially said in a statement. “Instead of working to make true change, Councilmember Sawant continues to choose political stunts. Tonight she did so without regard for the safety of the Mayor and her family. The Mayor was not even home — she was working at City Hall. Seattle can and should peacefully demonstrate but should not put families and children at risk.”

Durkan later sent a letter to González calling for an investigation into Sawant and suggested that councilmember should be expelled from the city council.

Durkan called for an investigation into the following incidents:

  • Relinquishing authority of her office and disregarding City employment and hiring rules. In Councilmember Sawant’s case the media has uncovered documents suggesting that she may have effectively delegated decisions regarding hiring and termination of City employees to an outside political organization. According to the documents, the National Executive Committee and the Seattle Executive Committee of the Socialist Alternative party had authority over staffing decisions for the City Council office. At least one employee was allegedly fired as the result of a decision of the Executive Committee of this political organization, and that employee protested that the firing was the result of political retaliation.
  • Using her official office and equipment to promote and raise money for a ballot initiative (or other electioneering), and for failing to comply with public disclosure of all funds raised and spent in those activities including a website registered to her husband and promoted by Councilmember Sawant. While the SEEC (and possibly the PDC) continues to investigate, I believe it is imperative that Council conduct its own inquiry. This is important for public confidence and because it could also impact Council’s work on proposed related revenue ordinances pending before Council, as one is explicitly tied to the proposed ballot initiative. The public has a right to know that public resources of the Council are not being used in violation of campaign and ethics laws.
  • Using her official position, gave access to City facilities to admit hundreds of individuals at night into City Hall when it was closed to the public because of COVID-19 and failing to follow the City’s COVID-19 precautions for the visitors. Her actions put the safety of individuals and City workers at risk, and it led to janitorial staff making complaints about the incident because of safety concerns.
  • Using her official position and possibly staff to encourage attendants at a rally she led on June 28, 2020 to illegally “occupy” City property, the East Precinct, at a time the City has been trying to de-escalate the situation and ask individuals to depart because of violence in the area. Days earlier, members of the Black community had asked that this facility be restored as an active police facility, particularly in light of the fact it was created at the request of the Black community by actions of former Councilmember Sam Smith to serve the Central District. We have had a series of devastating gun violence around this location, including early yesterday morning on Capitol Hill.
  • Using her official position to lead a march to my home, despite the fact that it was publicly known I was not there, and she and organizers knew that my address was protected under the state confidentiality program because of threats against me due largely to my work as U.S. Attorney. All of us have joined hundreds of demonstrations across the City, but Councilmember Sawant and her followers chose to do so with reckless disregard of the safety of my family and children. In addition, during or after Councilmember Sawant’s speech at that rally, her followers vandalized my home by spray-painting
  • obscenities.https://www.dailywire.com/news/seattle-police-chief-slams-city-council-after-activists-target-her-home-you-must-forcefully-call-for-the-end-of-these-tactics

Federal Agents in Portland to Leave the City, Oregon Governor Says

The federal agents who have wielded tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang devices against protesters nightly for the past two months in Portland, Oregon, will soon be leaving the city, according to an announcement from Gov. Kate Brown.

Earlier on Wednesday, President Donald Trump, responding to reports that negotiations on removing the federal officers had begun, insisted that those officers would remain in the city until the nightly demonstrations came to an end.

“You hear all sorts of reports about us leaving. We’re not leaving until they’ve secured their city,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“After my discussions with [Vice President Mike] Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland,” Brown tweeted.

The governor described federal agents in Portland as “an occupying force” that “brought violence” to the city.

“Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers will leave downtown Portland,” she added.

As part of the agreement, Brown explained in a subsequent tweet, federal agents would be replaced with Oregon State Police officers. She also insisted that those officers would “protect Oregonians’ right to free speech” while keeping the peace.

“Let’s center the Black Lives Matter movement’s demands for racial justice and police accountability,” Brown added. “It’s time for bold action to reform police practices.”

While Brown insisted that federal agents would be removed right away, others reported a slightly different scenario, causing some confusion on the matter. According to reporting from the Associated Press, for example, the agents’ removal would be a “phased withdrawal.”

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf also gave a conflicting statement as to whether the agreement, as Brown had laid out, was to be carried out in the terms she had mentioned.

“As I told the Governor yesterday, federal law enforcement will remain in Portland until the violent activity toward our federal facilities ends,” Wolf tweeted out.

In a lengthier statement, Wolf did state that an agreement was reached, but again emphasized that “augmented federal law enforcement personnel” would remain “in Portland until we are assured that the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and other federal properties will no longer be attacked.”

Clashes between federal agents and demonstrators taking part in uprisings in Portland have happened nightly for the past two months. The actions of federal officers have been widely criticized, in the U.S. as well as around the world, for being violent and disproportionate toward those engaging in protest in support of the Movement for Black Lives.

Although a number of people have filed lawsuits against the federal government, there is no comprehensive list of how many demonstrators have been injured due to the forceful and violent actions of the federal agents.

Still, videos recorded by news organizations, as well as posted on social media by demonstrators themselves, showcase a number of troubling practices by federal agents, including their indiscriminate use of tear gas and weapons like rubber bullets to suppress lawful protest.

At least 45 arrested in Seattle protests that police declared a riot

(CNN)Seattle police declared a riot on Saturday night and arrested at least 45 people in demonstrations against police violence and the presence of federal law enforcement in cities like Portland, Oregon.

Seattle police said protesters threw large rocks, bottles, fireworks and other explosives at officers during demonstrations. Others set fire to a portable trailer and a construction site, police said in a series of tweets.
At least 45 people were arrested on charges of assaulting officers, obstruction and failure to disperse, police said.
Twenty-one officers have been injured from having projectiles thrown at them, according to police. Most officers were able to return to duty, the department’s Twitter said. One officer was hospitalized with a leg injury caused by an explosive.
The protests were held in solidarity with demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, where federal law enforcement officers and protesters have violently clashed in a small area near the federal courthouse. In Portland, local and state officials have said the federal officers, who wear camouflage fatigues and have used tear gas to disperse crowds, are exacerbating the protests.
Police push demonstrators back atop a Black Lives Matter street mural in the area formerly known as CHOP during protests in Seattle on July 25, 2020 in Seattle, Washington.

Seattle has been the scene of protests over police brutality and systemic racism, including in a six-block area controlled by protesters after police abandoned their precinct — the Capitol Hill Organized Protest or Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.
The zone known as the CHOP was started by demonstrators calling for justice in the death of George Floyd. But the demonstration devolved over time, and after a series of shootings, police cleared the zone on July 1. As CNN wrote at the time, CHOP’s failure was a case study in human nature, violence, mental illness, homelessness, and the difficulty in imagining a world without police.
On July 4, a 24-year-old protester was killed during a demonstration when a man drove his vehicle into a group of protesters.

Bone-chilling video shows speeding car hit 2 BLM protesters on freeway in Seattle

 

Bone-chilling video shows speeding car hit 2 BLM protesters on freeway in Seattle
A speeding car, which drove around vehicles blocking a road in Seattle in an area where a Black Lives Matter protest was taking place, has hit and seriously injured two women. The terrifying moment was caught on camera.

The two victims of the hit-and-run were taken to the Harborview medical center, one of them with life-threatening injuries, Washington State Patrol spokesperson Trooper Rick Johnson said on Twitter.

The graphic video shows a white car maneuvering around a couple of vehicles blocking the road and hitting the protesters in the process. The collision sends the victims flying as the car struggles to get back to the middle of the road.

WARNING! GRAPHIC CONTENT

Johnson posted pictures of the vehicle involved, showing extensive damage to its windshield and radiator grill. The driver was apprehended by the police.

The white Jaguar reportedly stopped about half a mile away from the scene. Some protesters caught up with it and took its plate number before trying to confront the driver, who drove away.

Washington State Patrol Captain Ron Mead identified the victims as a 32-year-old woman from Bellingham, and a 24-year-old woman from Seattle who is now in a critical condition.

The suspect is a 27-year-old man from Seattle, who is facing multiple felony charges. He is believed to have slipped through police closure points that keep traffic off the freeway and taken a wrong turn before driving around the protester vehicles.

“At the end of the day, the interstate is not a safe place for pedestrians. We’ve been very clear about that for all 19 days that the protesters have taken the freeway,” Mead said. “My hope is that as a result of this tragedy the protesters will reconsider their desire to be on the interstate, because I cannot guarantee their safety.”

The US city has been gripped by anti-racism protests since the May killing of black man George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. Interstate-5 has been closed at times for the rallies.

There have been several similar collisions at protests throughout the US. One notorious case was in Minnesota when a fuel truck found its way onto a freeway and ploughed through a crowd of protesters.

ALSO ON RT.COMHundreds scatter in panic as tanker truck nearly PLOWS into crowd of protesters in MinneapolisFortunately nobody was seriously hurt in that incident, but the driver himself was roughed up by outraged activists before being rescued and arrested by the police.