‘We don’t accept their apology, we want action!’

first_imgAfter 27 days of nonstop protests against police brutality in Philadelphia, city officials finally apologized for their decision to let police and SWAT units use tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets on protesters June 1. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw held a joint press conference June 25, where they admitted the use of force against people demonstrating on I-676 was “unjustifiable.” Both claimed they changed their minds about the police attacks on protesters based on videos that surfaced since the June 1 demonstration.Philly REAL Justice at protest against police May 30.Most likely the video that forced their hand was a 10-minute clip posted earlier in the day by the New York Times, in which Philadelphia police are clearly shown attacking protesters. By late afternoon June 1, around 1,000 protesters had peacefully entered the highway. With no warning, SWAT teams moved in from both sides, trapping the protesters between the two units. SWAT, state and local police fired tear gas and pepper spray toward the crowd, even as people tried to escape, but they were trapped on the steep embankment.Officers repeatedly pepper-sprayed demonstrators, in some cases pulling down people’s face masks before spraying their faces. Many people were injured during the police attack and dozens were arrested. Workers World photographer Joe Piette was injured and his camera destroyed when police fired a rubber bullet directly at him from 20 feet away. Police in tanks later pepper-sprayed him and other demonstrators who were walking home, blocks away from the highway.A key unanswered question is whether Kenney and Outlaw would have issued an apology had the Times not covered the police attack. Incidentally it took place the same day that Washington, D.C., police, reinforced by local National Guard troops, at the behest of Trump pushed peaceful demonstrators with tear gas, pepper balls and munitions from in front of the White House before Trump’s notorious photo op.Kenney and Outlaw also failed to address an outrageous 14-3 vote by the City Council on June 26 that approved Philadelphia’s fiscal budget for  2021, but took no action to decrease police funding — a key demand of multiple protests. Many see this action by a Democratic mayor and Democratic city council as a betrayal of Black Philadelphians and the entire working class of the city.Police:  Occupying force in Black communitiesOn June 26, members of the Black Philly Radical Collective held their own press conference across from the Liberty Bell. The group includes Philly REAL Justice, the Human Rights Coalition, Mobilization 4 Mumia, MOVE, the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement and Reclaim Philadelphia.Speakers denounced Kenney and Outlaw for their refusal to apologize for a police attack on May 31 against peaceful protesters in the predominantly African-American area in West Philadelphia around 52 and Market Streets.  Ant Smith, with REAL Justice, stated,  “There were about 15 of us demonstrating.  Police, SWAT teams and National Guard units quickly moved in, firing tear gas and pepper spray at random people just standing on 52 Street. Police went down the streets in the hood as an army — an occupying force. “They had a tank, and as it rolled down the streets, a man in the turret just fired pepper spray and tear gas back and forth. At the end of the day we got shot at by the National Guard using rubber bullets. Several people were injured, including one woman hit in the eye and a man hit in his chest. They didn’t use this kind of force against Center City protesters the day before.”After Smith was arrested by police later in the evening of May 31, he was driven around in a police van until 3 a.m., then dropped off miles from his neighborhood in the middle of a city curfew. He called for “police out of our communities.”Kamau Mshale denounced Kenney’s and Outlaw’s press conference, noting, “Kenney is not being honest. Outlaw is not being honest. Kenney says that police were justified when they attacked protesters in the Black community. We don’t accept their apology. We want action!”YahNé Ndgo challenged those who attack Black residents because of “looting,” which  took place following the police attack. “People who went into stores to take things wouldn’t be doing this if their needs were being met. They also distributed items to community residents in need. This was not capitalist hoarding.“We call for funding of communities — not cops.  We want a decrease in funding for the Philadelphia Police Department over a five-year period until it is completely defunded.”Many Black Lives Matter activists and supporters across the city also denounced the PPD for their openly biased coddling of violent, white right-wing protesters who were allowed, on several occasions, to punch, kick, shove and threaten counterdemonstrators as police stood by, some even laughing at the attacks. The first instance of this fascist mob violence took place on June 1 in the Fishtown area of Philadelphia, with white men carrying bats, axes and even guns, threatening Black residents. Reporters who tried to cover the scene were beaten by the pro-Trump demonstrators.  In a similar scene on June 23, when 50 Black Lives Matter protesters marched to the statue of Christopher Columbus, they were confronted by 100 people with baseball bats, golf clubs and hammers. After repeatedly hurling racist slurs at a Black photographer covering the protest, one white man punched him in the face as police did nothing. Attorney Kevin Mincey, who represents some of the BLM protesters who were pepper-sprayed on June 1, stated, “If there was a Black Lives Matter protest where all the participants were carrying baseball bats, hammers and other makeshift weapons, that protest wouldn’t make it 10 feet down the street before police stopped them.” (Philly.com, June 26)FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Green Flag flying proudly over Limerick’s People’s Park

first_imgLimerickNewsGreen Flag flying proudly over Limerick’s People’s ParkBy Alan Jacques – July 30, 2019 314 Twitter WhatsApp Previous articleConcerns raised over Punches Cross student developmentNext articleO’Connell Street revitalisation plans lack ambition Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Linkedin Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival TAGSGreen FlaglimerickLimerick City and County CouncilPeople’s Park Email WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads center_img Green Flag flying proudly over Limerick’s People’s Park. It was raised by Mayor of Limerick City and County, Michael Sheahan and Michael Sheehan, Park Superintendent Limerick City and County.Picture: Keith WisemanA Green Flag now flies proudly over the People’s Park after the park was chosen as one of the latest recipients of the internationally recognised Green Flag Awards.The Green Flag Award scheme recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces around the world.It aims to encourage the provision of good quality public parks and green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways and encourages high environmental performance and good management. Parks and green spaces are judged against eight key criteria.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The People’s Park in Limerick city and the Páirc Cois Féile in Abbeyfeale have received the Green Flag Award.This year participating countries included Australia, Belgium, England, Finland, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Wales.The 2019 awards were available to public town parks, country parks, gardens, cemeteries, and green spaces from across the whole country.They are judged every year by a peer jury of green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against the strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, and community involvement.This international award is a recognition that the People’s Park meets the highest possible environmental standards.Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Sheahan said: “This award is a huge honour for all who work in the Parks Section of the Council. The People’s Park plays an integral part in making Limerick city an attractive place to live and people strongly identify with it. City parks improve our physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities, and make our cities and neighbourhoods more attractive places to live and work.”“We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in our city for people to enjoy. I would encourage everyone to get outdoors this summer and enjoy the parks and green spaces that we have on our doorstep in Limerick City and County.” RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Print Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Advertisement Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Facebook Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League openerlast_img read more