President Trump has “Black Lives Matter” all up in his face, metaphorically, as another giant yellow street mural is being completed outside Trump Tower on NYC’s Fifth Avenue. The street mural painting process began early Thursday morning, and a…-
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo believes she knows what her county needs to fight back against COVID-19. But because of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, she says she isn’t able to follow through. “I'm at the mercy of what powers he positively gives us,” Hidalgo told The Daily Beast. “As opposed to being able to use my own tools.” As Texas faces a resurgent coronavirus and some officials have emphasized concerns about hospitals in the state becoming potentially overrun or overwhelmed, Hidalgo can find plenty of reasons to worry. Hospitalizations started to increase in late May, she says, and haven't come down since. And recommending that people should stay home just isn’t enough. “We need a stay at home order in Harris County,” she said of her area that includes Houston. “And we need to be able to do that until the curve comes down on the other side.” Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, is resisting calls to give local authorities more control to fight the coronavirus themselves after COVID-19 cases spiked in the state recently. Texas reported more than 10,000 new cases Tuesday, marking a new one day record for the state according to state health department data. Both Hidalgo and Steve Adler, the Democratic mayor of Austin, Texas made their case on national political shows Sunday that they wanted more local control. But at the moment, they’re limited in what they can do locally and say they would need the governor’s help to make aggressive moves, like a stay at home order. In interviews with The Daily Beast this week, the leaders of both areas feared for what harm could come to their communities without being given the ability to have more local control by the state’s Republican governor. “He's putting at risk the ability for economies to stay open and he's putting lives at risk,” said Adler. “I feel like we're responding with one hand tied behind our back,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, also a Democrat. “We know what works. We ought to do that, and that's what the community deserves. I think anything short of a stay home order is a gamble, and we don't have time for that.” Texas has become a major hotspot for the coronavirus in recent weeks, with the governor himself halting the state’s reopening push over the mounting cases. Total current hospitalizations have risen sharply in the state, according to The Texas Tribune, with new cases also spiking according to the news site. But in an interview Monday night with local television station KFDM News at 6, Abbott responded to the push by instead chiding local officials, saying that the county judges or mayors that are looking to take more action have “absolutely refused to enforce the current executive orders that are already in place. What they need to show is action, not absenteeism.” “They need to show up, enforce the law as it is, before they are given any further authority,” Abbott said in the interview. “They ask for more and more, but they do absolutely nothing." Texas Gov. Moves to Stop COVID-19 but It’s Already Out of ControlAbbott’s approach was quickly mocked by Beto O’Rourke, a former presidential candidate and Texas congressman, on Twitter. He tweeted late Monday night: “Abbott opens Texas too soon, issues mask order too late, denies local leaders authority to contain the virus — causing uncontrolled covid spread, many hospitalized & soon dead because of his negligence — and then blames local officials? Pathetic. Resign.” Locally, the mayor of Austin said Abbott was wrong to not give him and other cities local control and is still pushing to have that ability. “It's the best way for the state to be able to ultimately tamp down this virus and to figure out what is the right balance in each community between keeping the economy open in a sustainable way and saving lives,” Adler said. “…The governor's suggestion that he's not going to do it for those reasons because he thinks that cities and counties are not enforcing the existing rules is just not right.” And while Adler said Tuesday he would not automatically make a stay at home order if he was given the power to do so today, he still wants to the right be able to use that tool. Elsewhere in the state, Harris County, which includes Houston, is now at a severe COVID-19 threat level according to the county’s coronavirus website. And on Sunday, the mayor of Houston appeared on Face the Nation warning that “if we don't get our hands around this virus quickly in about two weeks our hospital system could be in serious, serious trouble.”Abbott’s resistance comes as the public health situation in Texas has taken a terrifying turn in recent weeks. Late last month, Abbott paused the state’s reopening push, citing rises in hospitalizations from COVID-19 and new cases. Soon after, he rolled back even further by imposing an executive order for bars to close down. And before the fourth of July weekend, the governor signed an executive order that put in place a statewide mask requirement for public locations that applies to “counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases,” according to a statement from the governor’s office. Battles between local officials wanting to be more aggressive and statewide officials emphasizing a more lax approach have become common during the pandemic. In late March, the governor of Mississippi quickly drew the ire of local officials over a confusing executive order that they said hampered their local power. A similar complaint later came from the Democratic mayor of Savannah, Georgia who said in May that the state’s Republican governor had superseded his ability at the local level, creating a situation that meant his city essentially “could do absolutely nothing.” That same month, as states moved into reopening, the attorney general of Texas sent letters to the mayors of Austin, San Antonio and a trio of counties chiding them over specific measures and the raising the potential of a legal battle. The issues targeted included local mask requirements, which went farther than what the state would allow, and shelter-in-place orders. In Dallas County, another area of the state hit hard by the virus, Judge Clay Jenkins is not calling for a local stay at home order this week. But in a letter to Abbott Sunday, he urged for the governor to close locations like gyms and inside restaurant dining after warning the GOP leader that “multiple hospital systems are reporting the largest volumes of COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic.” After calling for Abbott to implement a variety of requirements across the state, or at least regionally, Jenkins implored the governor to roll back an earlier order “restricting local control” so that his county could make the moves to try and “slow the spread of the rampant and devastating COVID-19 virus.” “Governor Abbott has stripped local officials of their authority that's worked well in past emergencies and made Texas a leader until he took over in this emergency,” Jenkins, a Democrat, told The Daily Beast. “So it hasn't worked out well at all.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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The special police-free zone set up by protesters has now been cleared, but activists say they won’t stop the fight for justiceThe occupied protest zone near downtown Seattle known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or “Chop”, effectively came to a swift end early on Wednesday morning when officers largely cleared the area of people and encampments, despite some protests lingering overnight into Thursday.Now activists say the relationships built and lessons learned over the last three weeks in the self-proclaimed police-free zone have already had a lasting impact that will live on past the physical presence of Chop.“We won, we’re winning, we made history,” said Rick Hearns, who had become head of security at Chop. “Look what we did here. The world saw it.”But the protest area also became the location of a series of night-time shootings, which left a 16-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man dead and several others seriously injured.In a series of tweets on Wednesday afternoon, Seattle’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, highlighted the violence in the zone, saying “the recent public safety threats have been well documented” and “this violence demanded action”.She said: “Our conversations over the weekend made it clear that many individuals would not leave, and that we couldn’t address these critical public safety concerns until they did.”The autonomous zone emerged organically following a series of dangerous clashes between protesters and law enforcement during marches against police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd, and African American, by a white police officer, in Minneapolis in May.Officers in Seattle abandoned their east precinct building as demonstrations closed in, after which protesters camped out around it, with the intention of protecting the building from possible destruction that might be blamed on them.In the days that followed, hundreds more joined, and suddenly several blocks of the city’s streets were teeming with people of different ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds, focused on calling for the defunding the city’s police department – echoing such protest cries emerging coast to coast, which can mean diverting money budgeted for police departments to social and education services, or even dismantling an entire department and restructuring the law enforcement system.And they wanted an end to police brutality against black people, explained Tarika Powell, an organizer with Seattle Black Collective Voice.> We’re going to organize sit-ins, we’re going to spam the city officials, we’re going to show up> > Jessie Livingston“It was a space where people came to learn. We screened documentaries, we put on people’s assemblies every day where people had the opportunity to speak and share their feelings and ideas … we put on educational events every single day,” she told the Guardian.“We had a space called the conversation cafe where people could come to learn about racism and to talk about it in ways they don’t get to do in their daily lives.”It spurred not only important conversations and learning, but also lasting bonds, which have since resulted in the organizing of anti-racist protests and the creation of social justice groups.The Seattle Black Collective Voice, for example, was formed after a group of organizers and protesters met in the Chop, explained Powell.Today, there are about 40 people involved with the collective, and they hold weekly educational events, and organize neighborhood cleanups and mental health outreach for people in the African American community.“We would have not been able to come together and engage in the work that we’re doing if it had not been for Chop,” she said.Pay the Fee Tiny Library was launched in a tent at the Chop, and now organizers have set up the library, which includes black, indigenous and people of color and LGBTQ literature, around the city and held events. And a garden started in the Cal Anderson Park is now expected to become a permanent addition to the neighborhood.Protesters have repeatedly stressed that the shootings and violence was not directly connected with Chop, and may have happened anyway . But it resulted in a dramatic decline in occupiers, it concerned local businesses and residents, and amplified officials calling on occupants to disperse.By the time police cleared Chop on Wednesday, following Mayor Durkan’s emergency executive order, the area had largely been reduced to a small number of activists and many homeless people, explained Powell.The truth is they “went in and did a violent sweep on homeless people, throwing away their tents and belongings”, she said.“Those homeless people had come into Chop to be safe from the sweeps. That is the vast majority of people that were in that space since the shooting started.”Officers reported on Twitter that they arrested 31 people during the sweep.Some activists have argued that the police precinct was needed as a bargaining chip in order to get their three main demands met, which involve defunding the police, using that money to invest in community health and services, and dropping criminal charges against protesters. Others say another occupation in the city could be a future possibility.Jessie Livingston, 36, a protester who has been camped at Chop almost every day since it was founded, said she didn’t know exactly the form the movement might take, but said: “We’re going to organize sit-ins, we’re going to spam the city officials, we’re going to show up to city council meetings, we’re going to do everything we know how to do.”She added: “We’re not going anywhere.”
A Catholic priest in Indiana has been suspended from his public ministry, after he called Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters “maggots and parasites".Reverend Theodore Rothrock, assigned to St Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel, Indiana, was suspended on Wednesday, after he disparaged BLM protesters in a bulletin published on Sunday, according to Huffpost.
A recent Harvard graduate who threatened to “stab” anyone who told her “all lives matter” has been fired from her job, she announced in a tearful video.Claira Janover, who said in a viral but since-deleted TikTok post that she would “stab” those with “the nerve” to say “all lives matter,” posted several tearful videos explaining that her new employer, Deloitte, had fired her.“I know this is what Trump supporters wanted because standing up for Black Lives Matter put me in a place online to be seen by millions of people,” Janover explained. “The job that I worked really hard to get and meant a lot to me just called me and fired me because of everything.”In a second video, Janover claimed that “Trump supporters took my job away from me.”“I have gotten death threats, rape threats, violent threats and it's okay — but now it's just like my future is entirely compromised because Trump supporters have decided to come for my life,” she stated. “I'm too strong for you. I am too strong for any of you, ‘all lives matter’ racist Trump supporters. It sucks but it doesn't suck as much as systemic racism.”Janover also criticized Deloitte, calling out the company for “cowardice.” The firm has not publicly commented on the situation.In the video that led to her firing, Janover warned “all lives matter” supporter that she would stab them. “While you’re struggling and bleeding out, I’ma show you my paper cut and say, ‘My cut matters too,'” she stated. After the video was picked up and circulated on Twitter, Janover posted a message on the video stating that “For legal reasons this is a joke.” She also explained in subsequent videos that her threat was “clearly” an “analogous joke.”“Apparently I’m threatening the lives of people — unlike cops, obviously,” she added.“Anyway, so If I get an email from the Department of Homeland Security or I get kicked out of Harvard or I get arrested or whatever — or I get murdered, according to the many death threats that I’m receiving right now — know that I appreciate you guys standing up for me,” she said.
The founder of a gaming company is seeing the light — she’s aborting efforts to create a “Black Lives Matter” board game, and admits, despite good intentions … there’s a better way to fight racism. Shari Spiro’s the owner of AdMagic Inc., and…
A supervisor with Philadelphia's Family Court was fired after a video circulated online showing him tearing down Black Lives Matter signs and telling bystanders that black lives don't matter to him.The video shows Michael Henkel marching along a sidewalk tearing Black Lives Matter signs from fences and walls. When a bystander yells "black lives matter" at him, Mr Henkel replies "not to me, they don't."
Throughout the U.S., protesters have been chanting George Floyd’s name … and the rest of the world has followed suit in honor of his memory. Tons of protesters have flooded the streets around the globe visiting makeshift memorials in Floyd’s…
Lil Nas X coming out is going to have a ripple effect that will save the lives of LGBT youth across the country … so says Milan Christopher. We got the ex-“Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” star in Los Angeles and ask his thoughts on the rapper…
Reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership and bravery.
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