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John Passant

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April 2015
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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)



Baltimore rises up against deadly racism

From Socialist Worker, one of a number of articles on Baltimore.

On Monday night, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the National Guard to move into Baltimore to quell protests that erupted after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a Black man who died on April 19, one week after his spine was nearly severed and his voice box crushed following his arrest by Baltimore police officers. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also ordered schools closed and instituted a 10 p.m. curfew.

After days of demonstrations, inflamed by an increasingly militarized response from police that included deliberate provocations against protesters expressing their frustration and anger at Freddie Gray’s death, the protests reached a new stage on April 27. Several stores and police cars were damaged, and police officers were reportedly injured in clashes where bricks and rocks were thrown at them.

Right-wing pundits like Tucker Carlson labeled the protests a “threat to civilization itself,” but the media have been less willing to show police provocations, including cops driving armored vehicles onto the sidewalk as a means of “crowd dispersal,” and the deliberate closure of portions of Baltimore’s transit system, which stranded high school students and forced them into confrontations with heavily armed police as they tried to get home.

In a press conference on Monday, Rawlings-Blake decried “senseless” property damage caused by “thugs.” But the anger provoked by Freddie Gray’s death has been building for years–the result of entrenched racism and economic inequality, not to mention the long history of police brutality and killings, mainly of African American men.

As Rev. Graylan Hagler, a civil rights activist born in Baltimore and based in Washington, D.C., wrote on social media: “[The] media may call it rioting, but the confrontations are targeted against law enforcement. It is clear that law enforcement has created such animosity and anger among young Black males here in [Baltimore] that the killing of Freddie Gray was the proverbial straw to break the camels back. Also, [Baltimore] political leaders cannot speak with any moral authority because they have presided all these years over increasingly devastated neighborhoods, unemployment and despair.”

In an article published earlier on Monday, Dave Zirin, sports columnist for The Nation and a participant in last weekend’s protests in Baltimore, wrote about the tensions that led to the eruption of anger in the city. Stay tuned to in the coming days for continuing coverage of the struggle for justice.

Zirin says, among other things:

Let’s make one thing clear: Most everything the media reported about the Baltimore protests has skirted the line between the highly sensationalistic and the libelous. Every headline and photo has focused on property damage, allegedly done by those protesting for Freddie Gray. Played down or ignored is the Baltimore I saw: a place where more than 2,000 people—including families and children—marched resolutely while helicopters and visible surveillance drones flew overhead.

To read Zirin’s article in the Nation, (and republished in Socialist Worker), click here.



Comment from Ross
Time April 29, 2015 at 4:02 pm

It is deliberate provocation by the Govt so they can bring in martial law. They know the US economy is collapsing and the elites want everyone under total control.