Out d’Coup | Defund Police; Return of Trump Rallies; Statues Come Down; Return of Janus; Summer Lee’s Stand; PASSHE Plans for Fall; Bye-Bye Turzai; Space Force; Just Reads; Free Will Stands Up
Calls to defund police departments across the country gain traction. Alex Vitale, the author of The End of Policing and a professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College, has been making the media rounds making the case for divesting from policing and reinvesting in our communities. While defunding the police is freaking out failed state extremists on the right, we’ll talk a little about what defunding the police actually means. When you consider the U.S. police budget is bigger than nearly every other nation’s military budget - $115 billion - you begin to see the kind of funding we’ve channeled to police while cutting community investment.
And the statues came tumbling down. Statues of Christopher Columbus, John Colston, slave traders, and confederate soldiers were toppled all over the US this week. And, and, and...even NASCAR has outlawed the confederate flag.
Go get your shine box because all three NYPD cop unions went on a media blitz this week asking Trump to bring in the troops to stop the peaceful protesting. And they were also advertising that these white cops are willing to be Trump's fascist street fighters in order to suppress the Black Lives Matter movement and protect the Trump regime.
Trump announces a return to in-person mega rallies. The first will be held in Tulsa, OK on June 19th. That’s right, Trump’s first rally since the COVID-19 quarantine is being held on Juneteenth - the holiday to commemorate the day the Emancipation Proclamation was read out in Texas to newly freed black Americans. Texas was the last Confederate state to announce the proclamation. This year is the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre in which white mobs burned and looted black-owned businesses on Tulsa’s Black Wall Street. Over 6,000 black Americans were hospitalized and at least 36 people were killed. What do you think the chances are that Trump chose that city on that day so that he could offer a message of racial reconciliation?
Chicago police were caught on tape lounging around U.S. Representative Bobby Rush’s district office as the streets outside the office were being looted and damaged. At least 13 officers were caught making popcorn, brewing coffee, taking naps, and lounging with feet up on desks. Oh, did I mention they did not have Rush’s permission to be in Rush’s office? He only found out after he got a notice of a break into his office. The security tape revealed the truth. Bobby Rush was co-founded the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers in the 60s and had to go into hiding after Chicago police assassinated Fred Hampton. Coincidence, huh?
Activists declare an autonomous zone in a six-block area in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle, declaring it a “no-cop zone.” Trump looks to be gearing up to militarize the repression, calling the activists “domestic terrorists.” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tells Trump to “go back to your bunker,” even as she faces calls by activists for her resignation.
Remember Janus? You know, that Supreme Court decision that took aim at gutting public-sector union? Yeah, well, the guy who brought the suit, Mark Janus, now works for the right-wing Liberty Justice Center, and he’s got a new case moving through the courts. This time, Janus wants public-sector unions to make the Court’s 2018 Janus decision retroactive, forcing public-sector unions to refund millions of dollars of fair-share fees collected before the 2018 decision. The Court will decide next week if it will hear the case.
And today is the 4th anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando. 49 people were killed and 53 were wounded. The shooting stands as the deadliest attack against the LGBT community in U.S. history. And yet another sober memorial. Medgar Evers was assassinated on this day in 1963 by a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
While large Black Lives Matter protests in Pennsylvania’s large cities made national news, this past week saw more than 100 protests in at least 61 of the state’s 67 counties.
The Pennsylvania House Legislative Black Caucus pulled a coup at the start of the session on Monday. They took over the House Speaker’s rostrum out of protest and shared their feelings on the House Republicans’ inaction on police reform since Antwon Rose was murdered by an East Pittsburgh cop. Turzai promised the Black Caucus a special session to combat police violence, but...
Speaker Turzai announced he was resigning on Wednesday and while failing to follow through on his promise of a special session. However, the House Judiciary Committee will meet next week to potentially vote some of these bills out of committee.
PA State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors announced plans to return to “some form of” face-to-face instruction in the fall. Chancellor Daniel Greenstein says that plans will be finalized in the coming weeks. Who’s making those plans? Based on what criteria? It would be good to know, right?
The Senate Armed Services Committee passed a bill on Wednesday that established a Space Force National Guard.
And, remember when we told you that the Space Force was seeking over 7,000 volunteers to transfer from their Air Force commission to the Space Force? Well, this week Space Force officials announced that they far exceeded expectations, More than 8,500 airmen and women volunteered to join the Space Force. Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force said the new volunteers “made the bold decision to volunteer to join the U.S. Space Force and defend the ultimate high ground.”
Speaking of the Space Force, did you check out Netflix’s Space Force? We’ll have a little breakdown.
Free Will Brewing joins the wave of voices speaking on in support of the protests following the police murder of George “Perry” Floyd. They said, “In the past, we have always kept our message about beer and stayed out of social and political issues. We told ourselves we should only be judged by our actions. No more being quiet.” We’ll have their full statement for you.
And the people have spoken and Free Will has responded - Safeword is back in stock, ready for pick up or shipping to your door. Safeword is an Imperial IPA w/ Mangoes & Habaneros coming in at a big 10.2% ABV. It’s one of my favorites. You can get 4 packs of Safeword and several other selections - including Haymaker Mead - at their online store https://freewillbrewing.store/.