Sanford Florida Police Department Closes Amid Protest On Their Doorstop

April 9, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – A group of students protesting the Trayvon Martin shooting on Monday blocked the entrance to the Sanford Police Department by kneeling in front of the doors, forcing the department to close.

No arrests have been made in the protest, which comes a day after the students, who call themselves the Dream Defenders, completed a 40-mile, three-day march from Daytona Beach to Sanford, where Martin, 17, was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in late February.

City officials and members of the U.S. Department of Justice were observing the demonstration, which consisted of a handful of students — some wearing hoodies — blocking the entrance, with dozens of others standing nearby.

“The city of Sanford hopes the actions of the students will be as peaceful and orderly as the previous rallies and marches have been,” said city manager Norton Bonaparte, Jr. “We want to be accommodating to all our visitors proving they act in a manner that is respectful to the people of the city.”

Special prosecutor Angela Corey, who announced earlier Monday that she will not bring the case before a grand jury, spoke to the students via a conference call. Corey asked the students for patience and ensured that she is conducting a fair investigation.

Sanford officials said the closing of the police department will have a minimal effect on police and fire responses to emergency calls. Citizens who need to do routine police business can go to Sanford City Hall to see a representative at the city clerk’s office, officials said.

The Dream Defenders said they are composed of a diverse array of young leaders from across the country with one common goal — to work in solidarity to incite generational change and make global impact.

On Sunday night, the nearly 50 students made a call for non-violent civil disobedience while speaking at the Allen Chapel AME Church in Sanford.

The students demanded Zimmerman’s arrest, an overhaul of the justice system and the ouster of elected officials.

“Do you know who (your elected officials) are?” asked Dream Defender and Florida A&M student, Ciara Taylor. “I bet you do now. I bet you didn’t know they would stand by idly while George Zimmerman has been on the loose for 40 days.”

Martin’s mom, Sybrina Fulton, spoke to the students via cellphone.

“This is not only about Trayvon, this is about your future as well, and we just want to say thank you. We really appreciate you,” said Fulton.

The Dream Defenders took Fulton’s gratitude to heart as they passionately demanded a revolution.

“If Dr. (Martin Luther) King were alive today, he would know that his dream has not come true,” said Stetson University student Jelissa Conway. “Because if it had, we would not have to be here and Trayvon Martin would still be alive.”

Sanford police said Zimmerman, 28, shot and killed Martin, who was wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag of Skittles, an iced tea and his cellphone, during a confrontation. Zimmerman said he shot the teen in self-defense after Martin punched him and slammed his head against the sidewalk.

Zimmerman has not been arrested or charged, prompting numerous marches and rallies across the country. Florida’s “stand your ground law,” which allows someone to meet “force with force,” has also come under fire.

Zimmerman is currently in hiding, according to his attorneys.

It remains unclear when Corey will announce her decision on whether charges will be filed in the case.

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Bay Area California Riot Police Attack Oakland Protesters With Tear Gas And Grenade Weapons

November 3, 2011

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Police have used tear gas and “flash bang” grenades on a large crowd of demonstrators that lit a massive bonfire in the streets of downtown Oakland, Calif., in a conflict following a day of action that saw the city’s port closed after demonstrators. blocked it

Dozens of police in riot gear advanced on protesters who had pushed together several large metal and plastic trash bins to start a fire that reached 15 feet in the air, according to The Associated Press. Police reportedly warned protesters to clear out before firing several rounds of tear gas and “flash bang” grenades.

Several protesters, many of whom wore gas masks, chanted “We Are Scott Olson” as the police fired at them early Wednesday. Olson is the Iraq War veteran who suffered a fractured skull last month after he was hit in the head by a projectile during a conflict with police.

The conflict came hours after thousands of Occupy Oakland protesters marched on the Port of Oakland, disrupting operations at the nation’s fifth largest port and causing all maritime operations in the city to be shut down.

Officials at the Port of Oakland said Wednesday that they hope to resume normal operations in the morning after protesters marched through the city all day and into the night on a “general strike” that saw banks and stores picketed and disrupted the flow of traffic.

Demonstrators began marching to the port at 4 p.m. Wednesday, and by 5 p.m. all work had been halted at the port. A message on the website OccupyOakland.org said that the goal was “to stand in solidarity with the longshore workers and shut down the evening shift of the port.”

Omar Benjamin, the director of the Port of Oakland, confirmed the closing of the port at a late-evening news conference.

“Maritime operations remain effectively shut down. And the port is working to ensure that all workers in the harbor area can get home safely. … It is our hope that the work day can resume tomorrow and port workers will be allowed to get to their jobs without incident,” Benjamin said.

“Continued missed shifts represent economic hardship for maritime workers, truckers and their families as well as lost jobs and lost tax revenue for our region,” he added.

Wednesday’s march through Oakland was largely peaceful according to Oakland’s interim police chief Howard Jordan.

“There’ve been no arrests, there have been no injuries. Earlier today at about 7:46 we received a call of a pedestrian that was struck by a vehicle,” Jordan said late Wednesday.

Several banks were vandalized and a dozen windows were shattered at the Wells Fargo branch, while an area of Whole Foods was vandalized after rumors spread that employees who participated in the strike would be fired, according to ABC News affiliate KGO.

Conflict among protesters arose as some scrubbed graffiti from a branch of Wells Fargo bank and a group of protesters attempted to stop another from vandalizing a Whole Foods, KGO reported. A police spokesperson said that five businesses were vandalized throughout the day.

Late Wednesday Oakland Mayor Jean Quan confirmed that the protesters were leaving the city’s port.

“Literally thousands of people have demonstrated today in Oakland primarily peacefully. We are disappointed that a small group created some vandalism,” she said. “It looks like this was a good day for demonstrators and for the 99 percent movement.”

Quan’s support of the protests has created controversy amongst city workers. After ordering officers to clear protesters last week, Quan now supports the movement and gave city workers other than police the day off to join the work stoppage.

In an open letter from the police union, officers accused her of sending mixed messages.

“As your police officers, we are confused,” the letter read. “Is it the city’s intention to have city employees on both sides of a skirmish line?”

The Occupy Oakland has quickly become one of the largest movements in the country after the Occupy Wall Street movement began in mid-September. The movement in Oakland became a flashpoint last week when police used teargas to disperse crowds and Iraq War veteran Scott Owen was hospitalized with a critical skull fracture after he was hit with a projectile during a clash with police.

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Protester Takes A Dump On A New York City Police Car

October 8, 2011

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Whites Hold Rally In West Allis Wisconsin After Packs Of Savage Negros Beat Innocent Whites At State Fair

September 4, 2011

WEST ALLIS, WISCONSIN – Members of a white supremacy group plan to rally in West Allis this weekend. The National Socialist Movement says it wants to call attention to what it deems growing violence by black youth against white people. As WUWM’s LaToya Dennis reports, the plans have created a stir. Organizers are calling Saturday’s scheduled gathering at West Allis City Hall, “In Defense of White America.” The person coordinating the event is Harriet Paletti – a resident of New Berlin and member of the National Socialist Movement. She says the rally is in response to what she views as racially-motivated attacks in the Milwaukee area.

“Honestly, it is about the black-on-white crime. If it was the other way around, there would be plenty of outrage from the black community, while the white community tends not to have any organization standing up for them,” Paletti says.

Paletti says she decided it was time to act after a mob of black youth beat white people leaving the Wisconsin State Fair on opening day. A few weeks earlier, black teens roughed up people in a park following 4th of July celebrations, and another group ransacked part of Mayfair Mall earlier this year.

“Obviously we don’t want our city to be destroyed or mass amounts of deaths. While that may seem a little extreme, they claim that the flash mobs are the start of that. I think that if we don’t take a proactive stance on addressing the racial violence on both sides, you know it’s never going to stop,” Paletti says.

Not everyone believes Saturday’s rally is about stopping the violence. TJ Leyden is a former white supremacist who recently wrote a book about his experiences.

“They always go wherever they can get the most publicity. Wherever there’s an incident where there’s possible racial tension or anything of that nature, they’re going to try to exploit it,” Leyden says.

Leyden says the rally is really about recruiting new members, so he urges protestors to stay away.

“You’re going to have people yelling racial slurs at the racists. You’re going to have people screaming and hollering and calling them stupid and idiot. And all the name calling is just going to help them recruit the young kids who are with them. They’re going to say look, those are the same people who won’t let you be proud of being white,” Leyden says.

Leyden says at these sort of events, it’s typically the counter-protestors who end up getting arrested, not members of the supremacy groups. Charles Padgett is a deputy chief with the West Allis Police Department. He says officers from around the area will work to keep things civil.

“We work with various surrounding agencies here, county and state, and also contacted departments in different cities throughout the country that we were aware had similar types of events or rallies, if you will, occur in their jurisdictions. And we’re taking information from them on how they prepared, and we’re implementing that into our plan to prepare to maintain control and security and the safety of everyone in the city,” Padgett says.

Organizers of the rally say so far, around 50 people have committed to attending. They may find themselves greatly outnumbered by counter-demonstrators.

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