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All People Matter

Chad Holley Verdict By All-White Houston Jury A Source Of Concern For All Houstonians Concerned With Justice—An All-White Jury In The Most Diverse City In America?

Former Houston police officer Andrew Blomberg was found innocent by an all-white jury of any criminal role for his part in the videotaped police beating of black teen Chad Holley.

(Above–A scene from the 2010 Chad Holley beating.) 

I was not a juror in this case and I did not hear all the evidence.

I can say that it is frustrating that the jury was all-white in what is by some measures the most diverse city in America.

Given our national history, our local history here in Houston and Texas, and the fact of strong divisions of all kinds in America, it is a given that an innocent verdict in the case from an all-white jury would provoke a strong reaction.

Given the present day role of our so-called justice system as a new Jim Crow that incarcerates black men at an alarming rate, it is a given that an innocent verdict in this case from an all-white jury would provoke a strong reaction.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Republican Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos disagree with the verdict.

Some local black activists and local black ministers have reacted angrily to the verdict.

Just imagine if these leaders spoke up consistently on a broad range of issues of justice that impact all people and not just one group of people in Houston.

If they did, they would be listened to with greater respect when issues seen in a conventional and narrow sense as mostly impacting black folks were before the public.

At the same time, where are the voices of people of all kinds in voicing concerns on this matter?

If a broader cross-section of Houston white and Latino progressives and liberals would speak up with concerns about the verdict of an all-white jury in this trial, maybe this would help lay the groundwork for a more energetic and hopeful progressive coalition in our city.

The freedom of all people is connected.

Here is a link to the video of the Chad Holley beating.

Three former Houston Police officers are awaiting trial for their roles in the Chad Holley beating.

May 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Felony Charges Against Occupy Houston Protestors—When Will We Realize That The Freedom Of All People Is Connected?

The Occupy protestors arrested by Annise Parker’s police and charged with a felony  for engaging in civil disobedience by alleged moderate DA Pat Lykos are a matter of concern for every liberal, progressive, and civil libertarian in Houston and Harris County.

(Above–A scene from the day the arrests in question took place.) 

The freedom of all people is connected.

This is the case if the issue is the Houston police beating of Chad Holley, or anti-gay slurs by a member of the Houston school board.

Everybody is connected. The freedom of all people is connected.

When are civil rights groups in Houston and progressive voters in Houston going to realize this most basic fact?

When will all people realize this most basic fact?

Here is the latest report on the felony indictments from the Houston Chronicle.

Here is the Occupy Houston response to the indictments.

December 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Occupy Houston Commentary On Felony Charges For Civil Disobedience

Occupy Houston and Occupy Austin protestors are facing felony charges for taking part in civil disobedience earlier this month outside the Port of Houston. The felony charges had at first been dismissed by a judge, but have now be reinstated by a Harris County grand jury empanelled by the Harris County District Attorney’s office.

There is little doubt in my mind that these charges are about scaring off further acts of protest in our county. This is an issue that should be of concern to politically involved people on all sides of the aisle. The rights of all are at risk when any group of people is singled out for excessive punishment by those in power.

These excessive charges should be recalled when anybody gets to thinking that incumbent Harris County DA Pat Lykos is somehow more moderate or reasonable than others who have held her office in recent years.

While we are all busy with the holidays, we cannot forget these Occupy patriots who are now facing serious jail time for charges that were at one point dismissed.

Below is the full Occupy Houston website commentary on the arrests —

Now that we’ve hit national news, thanks to MSNBC, I believe it’s worth collating some pieces of reality together for anyone confused about the happenings of GULFPORT ACTION and #D12 here in the mighty H-Town.

The inspiration came from the first of recent port shutdowns in Oakland. In Houston,  though less fierce, we were still interested in getting noticed. Interestingly, it may make for different news than we originally planned for (which is okay).  For both Austin and Houston, on December 12th, Occupy Gulf Port day, arrestees were detained and jailed for “use of a criminal instrument” (according to legal record), something that didn’t get reported by Oakland or the other port occupations across the nation. The schedule for the day was set down like thus.

If you aren’t yet familiar with this “criminal instrument” in reference here, the tactic is called the “sleeping dragon.”  Protestors on #D12 used this to stay chained (voluntarily) by PVC pipe, arm by arm, while laying down in the road. This way, they make it much harder to individually zip-tie and arrest in isolated fashion.

example of the sleeping dragon tactic which has sparked a controversy over what is considered a felony

All things come to a close; in this case, the doors were literally closed. In the midst of the human mic loud at work, HPD officers block off the crowd from the people in the street and erect an inflatable red isolation room, as seen in this video. Interestingly, this was also the first example, at least in Houston, of the Police and Fire Dept working together to erect an inflatable tent (ah the irony). Why?

According to John Cannon, HPD Spokesman, it “was placed over the protesters to prevent sparks” while Houston Fire Dept. cut through the PVC links. Really? I feel like there’s more to it than that. This is a great tool for crowd control and privacy from the omnipresent electronic eye, determined to record every piece of the happenings of the day, bound to wind up on the internet for thousands to view and rally next to. It’s a shiesty method to block off news cameras–even the choppers in the sky had issues seeing in. I can’t help but remember Nov. 15th, the night  #OWS got ousted from Liberty Square and the NYPD literally corralled the media crews to prevent them from seeing the whole scene. Hey, even a woman got punched that morning, after they already had a court order to come back into the park. I was listening to my police scanner app and tweeting until 3am CST. Continue reading

December 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Houston NAACP Holding Meeting On Chad Holley Beating

The Houston branch of the NAACP will be holding a community meeting this evening–February 8– to discuss the video-taped beating of 15 year-old Chad Holley by some members of the Houston Police Department.

The Houston NAACP says—

“City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Houston Police Chief, Charles McClelland and District Attorney, Pat Lykos are invited to address the community’s concerns….”

I don’t know if these leaders are attending, but they have been invited.

The meeting will be held tonight at 7:00 PM at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church. Good Hope is located at 3015 North MacGregor Way in Houston.

Here is the web home of the Houston NAACP. The Houston NAACP also has a Facebook page.

The beating of Chad Holley is a matter of concern for people in Houston. What happens to one person can happen to anybody.

Houston-area U.S. Representative  Al Green has called for a Justice Department investigation of the Chad Holley incident.

February 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Deport Everyone In Houston & Harris County Who Has Employed Or Benefited From The Employ Of An Undocumented Person

Harris County Texas District Attorney Pat Lykos wants to stop the practice of cutting any deals or plea bargaining with undocumented persons who show up in our county courts.

Houston is part of Harris County.

Here is the Houston Chronicle story on the issue.

That should satisfy the nutball population of our county. 

We’re just going to lock these folks up and send them back.  (After any number of months of expensive proceedings.) I guess our jails will be full of people arrested on the most minor offenses.

I say that what we do is deport any person in Harris County who has hired an illegal alien, or who has economically benefited by shopping at a business or eating at a restaurant that was able to hold down prices because it hired an undocumented person.

That would be just about everybody who lives in Harris County.    

When I come up for deportation under this new law, I’m going to be asked to be sent to Corfu. (photo below)

(Off of the request in the comment space,  here is a Corfu link. And here is another.)

April 3, 2009 Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , , , , | 2 Comments