'Black Lives Matter' was the message advocated Saturday (1-17-2015) by the hundreds who rallied in Austin, TX and across the country. They began at the Martin Luther King Jr. statue on the East Mall of the University of Texas campus. Their mission was to march to the Capitol to protest police brutality. Walking a mile didn't take the breath away from these demonstrators, who stormed the Texas State Capitol building Saturday afternoon. They're a group that's calling for an end to police brutality and for the firings of both the Austin Chief of Police and a Houston Police officer, who shot an unarmed black man. "The first part in making an impression in making a difference, is that we have to show unity," said activist Treasje Mitchell. "We have to let them know that it's not just the young black people that this is effecting." Similar protests have happened around the country recently. They came in wake of the high-profile deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City at the hands of police officers. Filmed / Edited by Jeffry Zavala & Grace Alfar. Music by K.R.U.E “Police Brutality” Story by Amber Downing An Austin Indymedia Production. http://Austin.Indymedia.org
The People’s Task Force and the Campaign to End the Death Penalty organized a demonstration at the Capitol as a part of the National Day Against Police Violence. This protest was held to honor those who have died by the force of police, such as Michael Brown and Eric Garner. If you haven’t yet, please watch the video from the planning meeting and our interview with Snehal Shingavi on the 11th and 12th here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csaSV... As families decorate Christmas trees in their homes, a group of protesters gathered at the Texas State Capitol Saturday afternoon to decorate the Capitol’s tree with the names of those who have been killed by police and leave gifts that will never be opened. “The protest is a way to channel people’s frustrations and anger into a productive way of demonstrating what we think is wrong with how cops behave and that they’re held completely unaccountable,” said Snehal Shingavi, an organizer of the protest and member of the People’s Task Force and assistant professor at UT Austin. He added, “We are now approaching the number of black men lynched annually during Jim Crow, same number are being killed by police officers. This has to be a call to arms.” The People’s Task Force and the Campaign to End the Death Penalty organized the protest to participate in the National Day Against Police Violence. This event was held in honor of those who died due to police brutality, such as the nationally popular cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the local Larry Jackson Jr. case. Protesters and supporters used the hashtags #shutitdownatx, #justice4jackson and #blacklivesmatter to share photos, videos and comments. Demographics of the activists ranged from babies to high school students, undergraduates to professors and hobbyists to professionals. Filmed / Edited by Jeffry Zavala & Grace Alfar. Music by B. Dolan “Film the Police” An Austin Indymedia Production. http://Austin.Indymedia.org
Snehal Shingavi talks about the state of racism and police brutality in America. He outlines how the government spends money on a police force that works to divide the poor from the rich and further gentrify America. This allows the rich ruling class of society to do what ever they want and get away with it.
Snehal highlights the need to properly protect and serve the population instead of just protecting the rich and their private property. Institutions need to be created to help civilians hold police accountable for the crimes they commit.
Shehal Shingavi also outlines a few organizations worth getting involved with here in Austin:
- The People’s Task Force
- The Peaceful Streets Project
- National Lawyers Guild
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
All of which are working to watch police or implement police accountability measures.
In this video members of the People’s Task Force met up at Resistencia Bookstore to discuss, plan and create strategies for the National Day of Action against Police Violence Protest taking place on 12/13/14. If you haven’t yet, please watch and share the video from the protest on the 13th here: https://youtu.be/DRtOkHw8ep0
On October 22, 2012 at the University of Texas, Tricia Rose, professor of Africana Studies at Brown University, discusses hip hop's retreat from politics and the potential for that music to help tell the stories of the dispossessed today. Rose is author of the ground-breaking 1994 book Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, Longing To Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy, and The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop--and Why It Matters. http://www.triciarose.com/index.shtml
Video produced and edited for Austin Indymedia by Jeff Zavala. A ZGraphix production. http://zgraphix.org
Lynch Law U.S.A.: State Defends Murderer of Trayvon Martin
MARCH 26 – Outrage over the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin compounds daily as the killer remains free, facing no criminal charges for gunning down the unarmed black youth from Miami Gardens, Florida. On February 26, George Zimmerman, 28, a white self-appointed captain of a “neighborhood watch” team in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated community in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, shot Martin, a black high-school student, who after going out to buy a bag of Skittles and an ice tea at a convenience store was returning to the home in the development where he and his father were staying. As many have noted, Trayvon Martin was killed for the “crime” of “walking while black.”