[The following excerpt is from Levers of Power, or the Ghost of Peter Cooper in All His Glory. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]
BY KEITH M. JUDGE
[The following journal entries have been edited for style.]
30 Jul 2020, no time signature
We’re not talking about someone who respects laws. We’re talking about a sociopath who takes direct pleasure in the transgressive act of breaking laws, natural human laws, and a coward who knows he’s guilty of breaking these laws.
28 Jul 2020, 19:30
Trump already broke The Constitution. What’s stopping him from canceling the election? Will he? Who knows. The question is, if he does, who will oppose him, and how? It’s not an outcome any sane, rational person cares to see or imagine. Unfortunately, we’re surrounded by insane, irrational people, many of whom are in positions of authority.
28 Jul 2020, 19:15
I can’t stop anyone from physically confronting their oppressors, and when they do, I support them, but I can’t help feeling and thinking it’s a poor strategy. It reminds me of the Polish cavalry confronting the Nazi Panzer division. Who defeated the Blitzkrieg? Russia, by retreating and digging in.
28 Jul 2020, 15:15
I’ve been thinking about the right to assembly. Is it necessary for us to physically confront illegal bad actors or brutalizing cops for our voices to be heard? What if we gathered beneath the wide branches of an oak to listen and discuss a path forward? Powerful speakers have been present at several marches, but we need to do more. We need to vote, plan and draft a new society. We need to build a new world from scratch. Too many thoughtful, courageous Americans are being taken to hospitals, prisons and black sites.(1)
Break out the drafting tables! Really flesh this fucker out. Use the right to assembly to create free office space on public property. Perhaps that was its original intention: the ol’ meeting at the docks. Draft a plan of action to kick out your local officials, and invite your local officials! Hold a town hall meeting and summon your so-called representative.
Be a sport and give it a roll of the dice!
28 Jul 2020, 15:00
Trump wrote his own law when he forged his ghost division of Nazis, cherry-picked from The US. prisons system, BORTAC, Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshals, The U.S. Coast Guard(2) and the furthest reaches of Hell. Their actions aren’t lawful by any standard. They’re bad actors who kidnap because they don’t have the authority to arrest. We don’t even know how they’re being paid.
27 Jul 2020, 10:00
My cousin’s husband asks, “When did we start seeing each other as the enemy?”
Around the time people began rationalizing their racism, worshiping sociopaths, callously hardening themselves to the pain of others, looking the other way when high crimes are committed in their name, or just looking away and blaming other people for their own problems. Oh, and then there was that concerted effort by fascists to infiltrate police departments and branches of the military! They’re some of Trump’s largest donors,(3) police unions, and he goes around sowing hatred and fear.
Fox News doesn’t help, not to mention Jim Crow, human captivity, Native American genocide, The Pinkertons, etc. The list goes on. We were raised in an aberrant period of this nation’s history. Prior to World War Two, the United States was a minor player on the world stage. A lot of cultures considered the United States a backwards, ignorant place brimming with avarice.
If you really want to know what’s happening, recall Nazi Germany. The Nazis were eating pork and laughing over lager while Jews were being shoved into ovens. Whoever cheers the orange wart’s decision to send paramilitaries into cities across the country don’t live in those cities: out of sight, out of mind. Those same people have cultivated the perception that we’re lazy, incapable and dangerous. Ignorance comforts them because they’re insecure and weak, and their hatred excuses their ignorance. In defense of ignorant, insecure, weak, hate-filled people, most have been groomed that way since birth.
Only sociopaths like Trump are emotionless manipulators born to transgress.
26 Jul 2020, 12:00
Today, my depression treated me to something I never experienced. I felt like I wanted to sleep, run, eat, shit and vomit all at once. Yesterday, my depression treated me to something I never experienced. I trembled uncontrollably until I reflected on my grandparents in Germany, and then I started violently sobbing. I’ve been violently sobbing on and off for the last three days.
26 Jul 2020, 11:00
Anyone who wants to invite deputized Nazis into our city because they’re scared should go out, buy a pacifier and shut the fuck up.
24 Jul 2020, 17:45
So, did I ever tell you The Story of The Sword? It’ll be quick.
Congress is the smithy. She forges the sword. The President wields the sword, and the Supreme Court tells the President when he can use that sword. If the President forges his own sword, it’s immediately unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court must either hear one among a series of cases in the formation of an important decision, or suspend the law of the land. If, let’s say, the City of Philadelphia loses a case to expel paramilitaries from its city to a swing vote from a rogue justice, allowing the Mussolini-in-chief to forge his own sword, the Constitution is a dead letter. I can’t emphasize that enough. The letter is veritably dead already and the fucker knows it.
24 of Jul 2020, 16:30
Oma was 13 when the Nazis staged the Reichstag Fire. Opa was 18. (Some of us may have children, nieces or nephews that age right now!) Opa was drafted into the war, and his knee was blown to bits by an American grenade. He walked with a cane for the rest of his life and said it was the best thing that ever happened to him. Before Oma passed, she warned me that what happened to her country could happen anywhere, any time. She said it with the sort of gravity that sucks the air out of the room. I’ve spent many waking hours studying fascism and related topics to better understand what happened to my family, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that Oma was right.
Trump and those who use him could not have emulated the Nazi playbook with any more specificity than they already have.
If it weren’t for the Red Cross, my Oma and Opa would never have been reunited and I would never have been born. He found her name on a list of inmates in a Russian prisoner-of-war camp. Russian soldiers made Oma cook and darn their socks. She said they didn’t mistreat her. After the war, Opa moved our family to the German hinterland. His city, Cologne, no longer existed in any recognizable way; he had enough of men and cities.
My worst fears are alive today.
24 Jul, 2020, 14:00
Police Unions are de facto fascist cults.
The President is a de facto fascist.
The Constitution is a veritable dead letter.
We know why, and who is responsible.
do you think
Racist cops and
racist paramilitaries are coordinating?
It’s a distinct possibility.
Racist cops do control the crime scene.
What couldn’t they perpetrate?
They already pledged money and allegiance to their glorious leader.
And where is Serpico?
They murdered him in the seventies, bro.
24 Jul 2020, 13:30
Remember how all the intellectuals and artists fled Nazi Germany? We may witness something like that in our lifetimes.
23 Jul 2020, 16:30
Fucking prison guards.(4)
“Prison guards!” someone exclaimed. “That’s what we need!”
Get the fuck out of town!
The Feds may as well have directly contacted the KKK.
23 Jul 2020, 10:15
I won’t leave until our lives are in immediate danger, but I told my wife I’m considering expatriation. We’re going to renew her passport as soon as possible. I don’t mind dying for my values, morals and beliefs, but only in a fair fight. I’m not going to become some victim in a slaughter. The wannabe dictator in the White House keeps citing “violence in our streets,” and he wants to send a “surge” into our communities. He’s going to target working class, minority and poor neighborhoods.(5) He’s trying to start some shit and make this all worse.
23 Jul, 2020, 09:15
Some of you are so worried about “the violence in our streets,” you’re willing to invite paramilitaries into our city to help people who need jobs, homes, education, self-government and real security. Riddle me this: how are a bunch of unaccountable, hired mercenaries going to improve their circumstances?
If this were a real democracy, we would be holding drills, learning how to take apart and reassemble a firearm blindfolded, not volunteering ourselves to the enemy and begging them to kidnap us.(6) Freedom marched in the civil rights era, but when protesters engage in violence, it never ends well. We can’t condemn corporations, racists and politicians for ritualistically endorsing policies that elicit violent results in poor neighborhoods across the nation if we don’t condemn violence in our own homes as well. Self-defense is sometimes necessary, but looting and violent acts of “protest” are not self-defense.
Don’t mistake my words for a justification of the violence of our oppressors.
In democracies, citizens don’t beg for their rights; they claim them, and don’t mistake my words for the fool’s errand of armed insurrection. The right to assemble was never intended to be confused with protest, which takes many forms. Surrendering en masse to violence is merely the most obvious form of protest. Why not assemble to discuss how we’re going to fix this situation instead of chanting slogans?
22 Jul, 2020, 21:00
They’re paramilitary; not employees of the government. They’re contract agents and have no legal basis for their activities. If a local government is performing poorly, replace the government; don’t invite a dictator to send armed, unaccountable strangers into our city. I’ve lived here my whole life – damn near – and there’s not one day I haven’t been reminded that the murder rate in Chicago is “out of control.” No mayor has succeeded in quelling that violence in my thirty-odd years.
What did we do to earn such special attention from the Feds today?
22 Jul, 2020, 17:00
Is this not a constitutional crisis?
22 Jul, 2020, 15:30
They’ve hired unaccountable mercenaries to attack and kidnap us. Those mercenaries know no legal cover for their actions, which means we’re within our right to defend ourselves however we deem necessary. There’s no conceivable constitutional legal basis for their actions. If you encounter a paramilitary, you would be correct to consider him or her a hostile assailant or enemy agent. They’re civilians paid to police fellow Americans far from home, not bound by any law created by Congress. They’re a fiction of the executive branch: the product of one man’s dark, disturbing mind.
This is no government of laws.
21 Jul, 2020, 11:15
Trump is picking a fight with the American people and threatens the city where my family has lived for 140 years, where I was raised and reside with my wife. I want children, but now I’m not sure I want to raise them here. Either our circumstances will improve, or I’ll be socially and financially sequestered, brutalized, imprisoned, killed or all of the above in that order. I’m white, so I suppose I’ll last a touch longer than my friends of color, who are already being socially and financially sequestered, brutalized, imprisoned and killed . . .
18 Jul, 2020, 01:00
I was hanging with the fam. MSNBC aired a segment. I don’t think they spent nearly the amount of time they should on the paramilitaries. They have 24 hours. They should’ve filled at least 20 of those hours with coverage of the paramilitaries attacking and kidnaping protesters in Portland.(7) They were more interested in Mary Trump’s book.
5 Jul, 2020, 12:30
After reading Clint Lorance’s story,(8) I’m reminded of the day I nearly enlisted after 9/11. I’m grateful I didn’t. Never made a lick of sense, invading Iraq. I remember feeling an unanswered desire to help, and it’s sad to consider how someone twisted that into this horrific, ongoing nightmare and tragedy of endless war.
Clint Lorance is a psychopath.
Repeal the AUMF.
4 Jul, 2020, 10:30
I wouldn’t trust Trump to scrape the gum off the bottom of the bar, but I might employ him as a doormat and pay him in dog treats if he consented to it in writing.
22 Jun thru 31 Jun 2020
Trump began branding organizers of The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone as terrorists. CHAZ, a/k/a CHOP, the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, occupied Seattle’s city hall building for a day and chased the Seattle Police from the East Precinct building and the four-block area surrounding it. Reports covering the protest zone were spotty, suspect and either hyper-sensitive or hyper-insensitive, offering little in the way of facts. The experiment ended in failure. Go figure, a community of anarchists opposed to the idea of a state proved incapable of forming one, without which self-government is impossible. There were as many as six shooting victims and three homicides before the Seattle police department returned. Two survivors of the shootings refused to speak with the authorities. One survivor claimed to be the victim of a hate crime.(9)
I learned about “spit masks” for the first time. Spit masks are used in “mental health facilities” when patients threaten orderlies with spit. The use of these masks is reminiscent of hooding, the practice of placing a hood over someone’s head prior to execution. Masks are made from a combination of materials with varying textures and permeability. Plastic is frequently used in their construction. Spit masks have been in regular use all our lives because mental health professionals have yet to realize hoods only agitate we who might be described as dissociative, bipolar, depressive, neurotic or anxious. If someone wants to remove your finger with their teeth, a hood is unlikely to stop them, and under the pretense of public health, police officers are now hooding juveniles(10) when a mask is clearly more humane.
An appeals court threw out the case on Michael Flynn(11) and the bastard confessed. This is the living definition of lawlessness. Trump is dusting off the ol’ Panzermobile: kicking the tires and revving the engine. Trump is drooling in anticipation of taking Hildy for a spin! Republicans weren’t sure the engine would start, but oh boy! Once they heard that engine roar, “hold onto your hats, Nazis!” Fascist goons are isolating our children online, feeding fears with hatred.(12) Hollow thralls to the Cult of Self, grown men groom gullible saps for sabotage, then target businesses owned by immigrants and people of color.(13)
The Minneapolis police offers “Warrior Training” to their members against the wishes of the mayor.(14) Cops could perpetrate a crime they failed to prevent. Police unions regularly engage in questionable behavior.(15) Police union presidents offer numerous gross examples of callous disregard,(16) deceit(17) and overt racism.(18) Some police union presidents, like John Catanzara in Chicago, appear to coordinate with fascist white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys.(20) Both criminals and cops exhibit similar psychological profiles.(21)
When the pandemic first hit, a young man from the barrio threatened to kill me in a message on Facebook. I went to the police station; they told me to call 311. Interaction with the public was prohibited in precinct stations after the pandemic began, so I called 311 and talked to a police officer over the phone. “Since the threat was made on Facebook, you’re going to have to contact Facebook,” he said. CPD passed the buck to an algorithm.
Other than beating the shit out of protesters, what do they accomplish? They don’t stop looters, they don’t stop shooters, and they don’t stop police brutality. They beat the living shit out of anyone who disagrees with them, hand out tickets to subsidize corporations and whine like little bitches when they discover they’re generally unpopular.
Than Tsídéh, age 19 of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo tribe, danced on an empty platform where a statue of Juan de Oñate once stood. We should build a monument to the young man and his people to replace the abominable homage to mass-murdering sociopathy that previously stood in the City of Albuquerque. It would have been no worse if a statue of Hitler were lying about. The Ohkay Owingeh have had to suffer that statue for lifetimes.(22)
15 Jun thru 21 Jun 2020
Nazis injured a BLM protester in New Mexico. It’s surprising to see everyone in arms over folks stealing shoes and vandalizing commercial buildings while “The Civil Militia”(23) takes it upon themselves to guard the statue of a brutalizing conquistador who “killed 800 indigenous people in Acoma Pueblo and ordered his men to cut off the foot of at least 24 male captives.”(24) They guard the statues of those who reflect their values: murdering psychopaths like Juan de Oñate, the sort of filth who win elections thru violence and division.(25)
“Well, what about them darned Antifa! They’re workin’ with the deep state on 5G and it’s gunna fry my grandson’s brain! Lizard people have infiltrated the Democoratic Party and they’re drinking our precious bodily fluids!”
What’s going to happen when the only jobs left are the ones where you’re paid to beat the shit out of sick, unemployed, abused and neglected people? And what’s going to happen to the abusers when their jobs are replaced by robots? This is happening in one form or another right now.(26)
Numerous articles floated to the surface of the inter-waves read almost uniformly as follows: “Police find body of man . . . ahem, a ‘person of color’ . . . hanging from a tree in a public place. Police suspect no foul play. Suicide.” Thanks to Democracy Now, I found to my horror that 80 or more unsolved hangings of African American men have been uncovered since 2000.(27)
There were two drive-by shootings in Atlanta in predominantly African American communities. “A witness told officers a vehicle drove through the complex and started shooting, he said. About 30 to 35 shell casings from what is believed to be a semi-automatic weapon were found scattered across the parking lot.”(28) The MO was identical in both instances: the shooter used a semi-automatic while riding shotgun in a pickup.(29)
Black and Brown Unity banners were unfurled at The Village gates in Chicago.(30) A new community-led initiative to broker a tentative peace between warring gangs focused attention on a common obstacle. SKB told me “shorties stopped warring with each other and started warring with the cops.” It shouldn’t be difficult to convince our neighbors of the dangers posed by institutionalized racism and white supremacy, but some of my Mexican neighbors are still quick to condemn “the blacks.”
I’m exhausted by bored, distracted, uninquisitive minds, by status quo indolence and callous indifference.
Everyone is collapsing statues of racists and colonizers, and racist colonizers. Good. Fuck ‘em. Cry me a river. We should be wary of statues of people in general, and if you’re worried about history, shove the remains in a museum. Place them there in lieu of a pissoir and write, “Here lie the remains of a statue built by bigots. You may urinate on it.” For obvious reasons there should be some sort of drain, and regular sanitary inspections. We should be pissing on Robert E. Lee’s face on a regular basis.
It disturbed me to find Trump’s campaign communicated his desire to imprison persons opposed to fascism by broadcasting an actual Nazi symbol to Trump supporters; specifically, a symbol for domestic, political prisoners used during the Holocaust.(31) I mentioned this to my father and he said, “I resent you for inquiring into my politics.” Sure threw a wet blanket on our already diminutive flame of a relationship . . .
Juneteenth was celebrated with fanfare. A sea of bodies moved as one in Chicago’s Loop. Fireworks marked the occasion. There was a parade, a momentary reprieve. The following day, Trump held his Tulsa rally, a sort of political grotesquery on wheels or circus of depravity. There is a rot at the root of this godforsaken country.
08 Jun thru 14 Jun 2020
In the space created by the collaboration of state actors and police unions, the likelihood of a gross miscarriage of justice is high. We’ve already witnessed coordination among the Trump administration, white supremacist hate groups and racist cops to undermine our safety and well-being. Russia’s fifth column is composed of fascist, wealthy turncoats; the Quiet Confederacy, otherwise known as the bright, vanilla quilt of white supremacy; their brain-addled, fasci-lite Libertarian brothers and sisters; hate-mongering false Christians; and social Darwinist intransigents who’ve infiltrated police departments and branches of the military across the globe.
Police union presidents shit on every opportunity for reconciliation with communities they claim to serve. They foster violent, transgressive behavior, and lawbreaking is rampant in their ranks. White supremacists with connections to hate groups and military backgrounds are attacking and killing protesters.(32) Military personnel have attacked and killed fellow officers of color,(33) or they’re aiding and abetting enemies to set ambushes in the field.(34) Footage from the West Coast reveals entire neighborhoods in Portland and Seattle draped in thick blankets of tear gas at night. Gross lapses in the electoral process have revealed a grave fraud taking place throughout the South in the wake of Shelby County v. Holder.(35) In Georgia, officials called for investigations before the polls closed.(36)
In Chicago, the Feds charged Timothy O’Donnell(37) with arson. Bean’s friend told me locals in Pilsen called O’Donnell, “la Rata”: the Rat. Reportedly, he had a swastika tattooed on his chest. Bean’s friend was born and bred in Pilsen, so I’m inclined to believe her. Jacob Fagundo, who set fire to a cop car in Rogers Park, faces similar charges.(38) Reports that police scanners were scrambled on March 30 were true:(39) rioting in the Loop on the 30th may have been planned. Assailants even attempted to torch a police officer’s house in Chicago’s affluent Beverly community while his family was home.(40)
I learned about Benjamin Lay,(41) a Cynic, ardent abolitionist and friend of Benjamin Franklin, displaced in time and space, confined to the body of a disfigured dwarf in colonial New England. He kidnapped children to teach their parents important life lessons about the evils of slavery. He rode his balls like a boy on a tricycle and plowed thru the prejudices of his day. We need more role models like Benjamin Lay.
I learned about the Campaign to Defund the Police, which corresponds nicely with what I’ve learned about real democracy. In a real democracy, citizens police themselves.(42) In a real democracy, the economy doesn’t impoverish the people, nor do state and society coordinate to blatantly oppress, humiliate and systematically eliminate the people.
The Campaign to Defund the Police is a movement to replace policing with something more effective and humane. Policing should be an option of last resort rather than the hammer for our every problem. The movement tacitly acknowledges realities overlooked by the status quo. They recognize “budgetary shortfalls” are an inadequate excuse for abandoning natural human rights. They recognize that the parameters of our social lives are constructs of the mind that can easily be re-arranged, and they understand the absolute, immediate need for positive transformation. The movement doesn’t accept prior assumptions about state, society and politics, and they shouldn’t. Those assumptions are a demonstrable failure. The movement understands we can’t remove police without buttressing the social bonds of community, and that’s its starting point. The movement tips the first domino in a chain reaction of questions that should’ve been asked a long time ago.
Why not write our own laws?
I never knew abolitionists were active in the United States. I feel at home among their words.(43) It’s all very human. That being said, something must replace the police in the interim, which is why I support compulsory, municipal civil service. Enforce the Second Amendment and return our militias, so we may regulate them.
Wave after wave of massive protests, day after day, city after city.(44) I know several who attended the peace marches. They were joined by others from around the world, who gathered in the streets on behalf of people of color and the working class everywhere. Statues are being torn from their perches and tossed into the water, obliterated or repossessed. Breonna Taylor’s incident report is a blank sheet of paper.(45) The Arctic is melting.(46) A young woman in Chicago, younger than I, received a double lung transplant.(47) Her lungs were so riddled with holes from extended ventilation and exposure to the virus, her lungs grafted to her ribs. Trump’s official campaign literature discusses the formation of a “Trump Army” to act as “the first line of defense when it comes to fighting off the LIBERAL MOB.”(48) CPD broke into Representative Bobby Rush’s office, made coffee and popcorn, and slept while a nearby strip mall was looted.(49) The Chicago Freedom School, a political activist organization for Chicago youth, was targeted by CPD and disrupted in its activities as it attempted to provide aid to protesters.(50)
Mayor Lightfoot is another shill for the Death Cult of World Capital.
I’ve been burning bridges. I no longer feel obliged to bite my tongue when someone spouts ignorant bullshit. All that crested the brim of what we tolerate in our household a long time ago. My address book was overdue for cutting. I began with the narrow and obtuse, the prejudiced and cold, people I once considered family and friends. Enlightenment comes slowly to stubborn mules, and perhaps the best way to lead a horse to water is to wait. If the United States survives the next several months to several years, I imagine we shall bear witness to a grand realignment of relationships and reappraisal of values. If this is her untimely demise, I’ll either escape, or I’ll be isolated, apprehended and killed.
I don’t imagine dictators tolerate political dissidents for long.
We’ve invited too many people into our family circle by calling them “friend.” Perhaps the size of our family circle is best understood in its natural context; the idea of “family” belies a coordination of purpose that’s often missing in postmodern “friendships.” Real friendship is a gesture of goodwill, an air of conviviality or a spirit of welcome; not some unspoken, preconceived, self-absorbed contract of perceived mutual obligation. I’m interested in public and civic relationships, which have all but disappeared from society.
My most recent attempt to engage in American civic life proved what I suspected: Americans are unfamiliar with the fundamental concept and building blocks of self-government. We’ve been conditioned to accept a caretaker government that fails to care for the economy, fails to care for our health and fails to care for our communities. We no longer craft the tools we use and we work longer hours for less pay with fewer benefits. The powers that be workshopped a “gig economy” that accepts a precipitous decline in work standards as a matter of course, with laissez-faire abandon. At best, the “gig economy” offers free agents a springboard into a cooperative economy founded on principles of self-employment and monetary self-determination, but anything mired in the profit motive should be viewed with skepticism.
01 Jun thru 07 Jun 2020
Early morning, June 1st, 2020: our neighborhood sounded like a war zone. Reports of arson, looting, B&E(51) and armed robbery sounded from every direction while sirens blared and flurries of dull cracks exploded across the sky.(52) A dull orange haze simmered on the horizon. My anxiety was matched by every resident in every neighborhood that wasn’t rich and white. The richer and whiter the neighborhood, the safer you were on the night of May 31.
In Chicago, we were worried about armed assailants entering our homes. In the suburbs, they shuttered windows when they saw what was happening here, then blamed us for the inconvenience. The mayor girded the Loop and Gold Coast with the National Guard, who rolled in atop their joint, light tactical assault vehicles.(53) Lightfoot raised the canal bridges and used them as a defensive weapon: a moat.(54) The majority of their time was spent blocking intersections and aiming their sites at apartment windows in Pilsen, off the 90/94 off ramp, east of Union, in the vicinity of Cermak.(55)
Grocery stores on the South Side were subject to what appears to be your run-of-the-mill Viking raid, particularly in recognized food deserts.(56) In working-class, mixed, minority-dominant neighborhoods, properties were vandalized, stores were looted and pharmacies were torched.(57) Nearly every Target or Walmart in a two-mile radius of our home was ransacked, yet “Chicago Police arrested more people for protesting than looting.”(58) Footage of looters and arsonists from the 31st revealed culprits of all ethnic backgrounds in relative equal number, but when several shoe outlets were looted by predominantly African American crowds, these images flooded major television outlets on the 24-hour news circuit.(59)
I remember telling the Sphinx, “I was okay when I could write. Now they took that from me too.” I was unable to write for a week after the riots. My nerves were raw. Over the next two months, I would lose 10 pounds. The city was shaken. On the morning of the first, I slept little, but I roused myself early to load the car with trash bags, brooms and a large, industrial-sized, standing dustbin. I departed for a nearby strip mall that was destroyed in the night, unloaded my gear and began cleaning. Such was my personal form of protest.
A middle-aged, African American man wore a bewildered expression as he leaned on his cane and soaked in the wreckage. His name was Jerry. We spoke briefly, he asked if he could help, and for the next few hours, Jerry and I swept the parking lot together. A truck pulled up as we worked, and a construction crew of five men disembarked. I neglected to bring gloves and asked to borrow a pair to handle some large shards of glass.
Jerry and I were nearly finished when a member of the work crew approached. My Spanish is broken at best, but I hear more easily than I speak the language and was able to understand him. They heard looters rummaging in the store they were hired to secure. I don’t know why they passed the hammer to me, but I also don’t know their legal status. They were hired to board up windows, not chase thieves. My mother is an immigrant, many of my childhood friends were immigrants, I’ve worked similar jobs and was unemployed, so I chased the thieves.
Plastic video game sleeves littered the floor. I walked gingerly between them, evoked Jack Nicholson’s performance in The Shining, summoned the primeval rage necessary to violently attack the door separating the storefront from the manager’s office and gave chase. Behind the strip mall, I found myself in a standoff with a skinny, African American lad in the parking lot. He threatened me with a piece of metal debris while his fat, white friend scurried to recover the phone he had dropped. (It’s evidence, after all.) They were an odd pair, not a day past fourteen, and I was forced to contemplate the unwelcome prospect of braining one of them in front of four lanes of stop-and-go traffic. We circled each other in our own personal, deadly staring contest. The fat one took his sweet-ass time picking up his phone, but the moment he recovered it, his partner abandoned the scrap metal and they skipped away.
The whole event lasted no more than a minute, but that minute felt like five. I contemplated how someone their age was willing to risk their well-being for a sack of video games, but why did I risk my well-being? I was trying to help the workers, I rationalized, but what the fuck was I doing, really? I returned the hammer. They stared at me incredulously and shared a laugh. I bid farewell to Jerry, mind ablaze, and drove to a Walgreens that had been firebombed in the night. It smoldered as I idled in the intersection.
There was nothing to be done and I drove onward.
A crowd had gathered in a parking lot of a nearby convenient store, so I pulled over and parked, stood and listened. A pair of coordinators from the Neighborhood Watch communicated a strategy to guard against whatever-the-fuck-happened-last-night. Drivers would patrol the neighborhood with their hazards blinking and coordinate with police. Hundreds signed up in less than 12 hours.
I returned home, opened a beer and sat in the yard before Local OG rolled up on his bike.
“Why so glum?” he asked.
“A bunch of fucking ingrates are destroying the city,” I said.
“You want to come with me tonight?”
He was going on patrol with his bike, he explained.
“Guys five blocks away,” he motioned west. “A whole arsenal.”
The neighborhood was strapping up.
“Let me get the bike in working order,” I told him.
I spent the next half-hour dusting off the ol’ gal. I sprayed her down, put air in the tires and failed to find a key to remove a lock affixed to the body. Local OG returned by sundown, as promised.
“You can see more on the bike,” he instructed. “You can see even more on foot.”
We turned a corner, and he waved to a crew that congregated on the porch of a framed house a block away. They called to each other by their street names as we passed. Local OG shot the shit, introduced me and we were on our way. We turned down a major road and he nodded in the direction of several humming, urban war machines, gilded in chrome and neon. This was no Neighborhood Watch! These were vigilantes, and for a few days, I too rode a tight circuit around the barrio.
We need our medicine and groceries, after all.
Vigilante vehicles carried a mark. At a gas station robbed the night prior by two men wielding shotguns, three to five marked vehicles revved engines. Hyper-militant, clean-shaven young men scoured for information on their phones. Their faces glowed in the flash of their displays. Strings, halos, plumes of thick, resinous smoke circled their delicate, twisted features. Helicopters hovered low to the ground.
Four Palestinians guarded a shop on my route. They always gestured affably. One night, I shot the shit with three of my neighbors. The most vocal among them called himself NATO.
He guarded a nearby smoke shop on a major street on the 31st of May. I mentioned the possibility that white supremacist provocateurs were involved in the attacks, and he corroborated my suspicions. “Every car that passed, in both directions, had an out-of-state license plate, and they were driving fast,” he said. His buddy never appreciated the need for a firearm until now and recently applied for his FOID card.
For the next two weeks, the Neighborhood Watch reported multiple instances of B&E, trespassing and looting throughout the neighborhood. Buddies in Pilsen guarded storefronts at night, 8 to 10 strong, with pit bulls and blunt objects. Racists in Bridgeport were deputized by the cops, who let ‘em loose on the neighborhood like a pack of wild dogs.(60) Latin Kings set up street checkpoints all across the Southwest Side. Vigilantism spilled into a full-blown gang war in Little Village and North Lawndale. Local law enforcement encouraged the bloodshed.(61) Chueco tells me Two-Six issued SOS, Shoot on Sight orders.
Violent disinformation was propagated across social media, encouraging people of color to kill each other.
Trend/Trend: Starts at 3:45. Everyone else be safe. [Image of an American flag besides an image of African Americans] V. [Image of a Mexican flag, also besides an image of African Americans]. Get Here! Mexicans got on boots! And us blacks got on are [sic] ones! Let’s get ready to rumble! We on Cicero with it! It’s time to have some fun! Don’t come if you’re not putting your life on the line!(62)
This post was shared with members of a neighborhood group on Facebook. Someone named “Bonnie Bella” shared the flyer, which appears to have been designed by some racist shitheel from Southern Illinois. “N I hope all us black mf come together n go beat the shit out of any Mexican they see 100% 100% 100% I bet not see one corn man in our neighborhood I’m taking all his shit!!!!!!” Meanwhile, a prolonged police riot slammed the nation. Images of police brutality barraged us on the daily. At the urging of Attorney General Bill Barr, mounted police were deployed to attack protesters peacefully gathered in front of a church with bombardments of tear gas canisters and volleys of rubber bullets for a presidential photo-op with a Bible that appeared entirely ad hoc. Fuckers sure made a big deal out of it. “We have the greatest country in the world,” Trump said. “Keep it nice and safe.”(63)
Confusion over who the troops in Washington, D.C. actually are turned into anger today. The mayor of the city, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, rejected the White House push to take control of D.C. police, and did not request any help from outside the city. Nonetheless, the streets have been full of men in unidentifiable uniforms without name tags, both customary on military personnel.(64)
Dark-clad soldiers ringed the Capitol after it killed the lights as the orange pestilence otherwise known as “Donald” cowered in the White House basement. Trump blames every misfortune in all of human history on Antifa, but his own FBI refutes him. There’s no evidence individuals opposed to fascism coordinated to orchestrate the riots on May 30 or 31 in 2020,(65) and it should go without saying because “Antifa” isn’t an organization, or a coordinating group of any kind; it’s a sentiment. People confuse “Antifa” with Black Bloc, an anti-authoritarian movement that began in Hamburg, where leftists resigned themselves to violent confrontation with police and occasional acts of vandalism to combat perceived encroachments on their rights, or to war with Nazi hooligans from cities in the former DDR.(66)
Journalists are being assaulted at every turn.(67) People are being attacked by police officers in their own homes.(68) Minneapolis police officers are shooting rubber bullets at residents who film them from their front stoop. Prolonged violence in the aftermath of riots across the nation has reached apoplectic proportions.(69) The town of Cicero erupted with a now legendary degree and volume of criminal, social unrest.(70) DMan told me a coworker of his nearly found herself in the middle of a shootout between rival gang members while she waited at a stop light in the early morning hours on her way to work. She avoided calamity by hightailing it down an alleyway.
One sorry resident of Cicero was assaulted in broad daylight after a car backed itself through his fence, into his backyard. Two assailants unloaded and trespassed. Footage captures the sound of an altercation followed by the resident who spills into the open, spinning like a top, squirting strings of red all over a bright green lawn on a sunny, summer day. They skewered him like a fish. A four foot, metal toothpick hung from the dude’s torso.(71)
A police riot broke out at the Brickyard Mall on the Northwest Side.(72) What appeared to be ten to twenty police officers attacked an African American family that sat in a car parked in an empty strip mall on a cloudy afternoon. Cops forcibly removed and detained the entire family before assaulting onlookers. I found the scene particularly disturbing since the confines were so familiar and the guy who captured the footage resembled an old friend. I watched atrocities take place in familiar, nearby settings, to familiar, nearby people.
On multiple occasions, law enforcement created conditions well suited for COVID transmission. They refused to wear masks and crammed protesters ass-to-dick onto buses so overcrowded, they were unsafe to drive. This, by itself, might qualify as voluntary manslaughter. White supremacist provocateurs probably planned and executed the riots on May 31, and may have been involved in the execution of riots on May 30, which impacted commercial districts across the country.(73) Evidence is scattered across the internet, among articles from disparate publications, all repeating the same theme: fascists are violently extorting our politics.(74)
One of those domestic provocateurs was exposed Tuesday. A Twitter account that claimed to represent a national antifa organization and that urged protesters to loot ‘white’ neighborhoods was actually run by white nationalist group Identity Evropa, according to a Twitter spokesperson.(75)
31 May 2020, 19:30
This is controlled, weaponized barbarism. These are war tactics.
31 May 2020, 19:00
A barbarism to match the callous indifference of our employers and government. It’s as if we’re being fucked over twice . . . thrice!
31 May 2020, 17:00
At this point, there are too many places being looted in Chicago for it to be wholly the work of outside agitators. This is one part attack, one part spontaneous failure of epic proportions.
31 May 2020, 13:00
National Guard is on the way . . .
31 May 2020, 12:30
Wouldn’t it be better to take over the house, and kick out the slaver who owns it?
31 May 2020, 12:00
The Ruling Order of World Capital is more invested in these riots than the rioters. They’re the only people who serve to benefit from damaging our cities, spreading disease, compromising elections and rolling tanks thru our neighborhoods.
31 May 2020, 11:30
Imagine we’re generals at war. This is when I stop you and say, “We just got played.”
31 May 2020, 11:00
Rioters are disorganized, directionless and desperate, the perfect cocktail of emotion for white-supremacist agitators to exploit in their bid to manifest Charles Manson’s dream of a race war. People from out of town are preying on our sensitivities, stoking anger. The Loop, our commercial and tourism center, will be economically blighted, and I bet government comes down on us with some draconian shit.
31 May 2020, 08:30
“Light ‘em up.”
Police open fire with nonlethal projectiles on Minneapolis residents filming from their front porches.(76)
31 May 2020, 1:00
It would appear a coordinated effort to compromise the protests and attack our cities is being orchestrated by fascist conspirators. No joke; the governor of Minnesota went on about it.(77) Sounds like a war zone out here.
30 May 2020, 23:00
If you want to intimidate the powers that be, take over a city and protect it. Rioters and looters have supplanted nothing. Maybe they scored a free pair of shoes, but besides that, they’ve lost far more than they’ve gained. I understand the anger, and how these are in part the actions of a desperate people whose voices have gone unheard in a world plagued by hate, fear and violence for far too long, but more of the same isn’t going to fix that.
30 May 2020, 22:00
. . . The violence and destruction is NOT being driven by local people. The cars on the streets have either removed their license plates, or have out of state plates. Here is a post from a neighbor: “Everybody! We need to get our heads around what’s happening, Minneapolis and St. Paul are being attacked by fascist ‘accelerationist’ white crazies. Trying to divide and destroy us.”
“. . . We are fighting an enemy within. These ‘accelerationists’ burned down the 5th Police Precinct, our post office, every pharmacy. The Walgreens and CVS within a few blocks of our house are still burning this morning. The grocery stores were all hit. Every bank has been hit. Every liquor store, every gas station.”
“. . . When [the] National Guard show[s] up, they disappear into the neighborhoods and have been setting fires. It is a violent game of arsonist whack-a-mole. There is no longer any fire fighting service available – overwhelmed. So neighbors are using garden hoses to put out the fires and save homes. Pictures neighbors are sharing – these are young white men, heavily armed. According to authorities there are over 10,000 of these ‘accelerationists’ in the city.(78) St. Paul arrested over 50 people last night. ALL OF THEM were from out of state.(79) The authorities are checking phones of the people they have arrested, doing contact tracing of sorts on these people. These people are connected to right wing militia style groups with a civil/race war fantasy. They are opportunistically using the legitimate, peaceful George Floyd protests as a cover to actualize their neo-nazi fever dream.”
30 May 2020, 21:30
“We done got curfewed,” my wife says.
30 May 2020, 21:00
These riots are a setup.
30 May 2020, 20:30
Cops are forcing protesters onto overcrowded buses and are threatening to crowd them in jails during a pandemic.
29 May 2020, 15:00
The Prince and The Art of War are current best sellers on Amazon. I know because I just purchased them.
29 May 2020, 14:45
Our judiciary is compromised . . . we are so fucked.
29 May 2020, 14:30
“Biological warfare,” that’s what I’ve been telling people for the last month.
29 May 2020, 12:00
The powers that be are instigating this violence.
29 May 2020, 08:30
They arrested an African-American journalist for reporting on protests while in the employ of a major news network before they arrested a white cop for lynching an African-American man who accidentally purchased something with a fraudulent 20 dollar bill.(80)
28 May 2020, 19:30
Police unions are a good example of the union’s limits. I’m all for collective bargaining rights, but unions too often resemble glorified lobbyists, partisan bureaucrats and violent cults. We could do one better: the workers’ cooperative, which is what we should be building; a network of workers’ cooperatives.
28 May 2020, 15:00
Corporate America and World Capital are doing a fine job of destroying lives and have been for centuries. Whoever can’t see that is brainwashed.
28 May 2020, 14:45
Everyone should stop going to work so we can drag this chickenshit society back to the Stone Age.
22 May 2020, 18:00
Dr. Birx says states seeing ‘dramatic decline’ in percent of coronavirus positive cases as reopening gets underway.(81)
She had to say it now before they go up again.
22 May 2020, 12:30
These fascist yes-men and hate-mongering false Christians are going to be awfully surprised when the country turns on them for welcoming wave upon wave of pestilence into our communities.
22 May 2020, 6:00
As Trump Says “Voting Is An Honor” in Rant Against Mail-In Ballots, Progressives Respond: “Voting Is a Right”(82)
I don’t know what offends more: when Donald Trump misuses the word “honor,” or what he actually said, which has nothing to do with honor.
21 May 2020, 06:00
We’re all part of a painful metamorphosis.
17 May 2020, 18:00
Donald Trump is an enemy of the American people.
14 May 2020, 05:00
CPD is a pit of racism and fascism, and they don’t do shit. They’re the biggest waste of taxpayer money in town. Half of ‘em aren’t even from Chicago, yet they’re allowed to police us.
13 May 2020, 12:30
Go out, kill yourselves and endorse a bullshit economy that reduces you to a disposable object. Act callously toward your neighbors, ignore your own selfish, reckless behavior and call folks lazy for not filing your nails, cooking your food and fixing your bed.
11 May 2020, 11:00
Bullshit, low-income, hospitality jobs were created when a bunch of multimillionaire and billionaire turncoats broke our unions and exported our manufacturing. The same despots promote snakes to debase our politics and regulate the law so it always leans in their favor. World Capital has proven itself to be incompetent, incapable and a hotbed of pestilence, and yet it produces most of our frivolous, low-income, wage-slavery preoccupations.
8 May 2020, 09:30
Trump supporters are totally fine voting for a rapist and pedophile.(83)
8 May 2020, 09:00
The Washington Post conducted an analysis. On average, Trump lies to the American people about 15 times a day.(84)
8 May 2020, 08:45
Lightfoot’s COVID19 response consists of propagating social media with self-congratulatory memes(85) and baking cakes while her police officers terrorize the citizens of Chicago or sit on their hands while actual crimes take place.(86) She’s a tool.
7 May 2020, 11:00
I too prefer civil society, but is civil society possible when intolerance and the postmodern, cognitive dissonance of hate and fear are leveraged to unbalance it, as we see today?
7 May 2020, 07:15
What are you going to do? Tend bar in the middle of a pandemic? That’s fucking stupid.
6 May 2020, 20:00
In pagan cultures, when there was plague, people sacrificed their leaders.
2 May 2020, 15:15
Everyone is cowering at home with their masks on, and our infection rate keeps climbing . . . Holy shit! Maybe it’s the virus, YOU RUBES! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY CITY!(87)
30 Apr 2020, 18:00
Michigan’s fascists are storming their own castle.(88) What do they think they’re going to accomplish? Their Death Cult cronies are already in charge. It’s not going to stop their world from collapsing in on itself. They’re 10 to 20 percent of the population at most,(89) and the remainder of the country is slowly unifying against them.
30 Apr 2020, 17:30
They’re the most obedient, little bootlickers around.
30 Apr 2020, 17:15
The solution is not to parrot their asinine, myopic and cowardly antics.(90) The strategy is to organize our firearms, grow food, boycott the system, hunker down and support our families, friends, neighbors and community. Once people can secure their own food and shelter, this whole house of cards is coming down.
30 Apr 2020, 13:15
The Democrats have rolled over for Trump, the wealthiest of sociopaths and their goons. It’s a Weimar Republic on its last legs. The people are alone.
30 Apr 2020, 09:00
It’s a bipartisan, corporate coup.
30 Apr 2020, 06:15
The Feds are stockpiling supplies to create a bidding war. They and Congress used the bailout package to bail out the donor class. Trump put an insurance company in charge of doling out $100 billion in aid to hospitals that was blockaded by departments under his authority. The Feds are barring highly populated states from access to life-saving equipment, and they’ve attempted to repossess PPE legally purchased by our governors.(91)
It’s a function of this disease: the case fatality rate increases with any comorbidity. People with chronic and lesser ailments are unable to see doctors regularly anymore.(92)
30 Apr 2020, 06:00
Are American politicians itching for a bloodbath?
29 Apr 2020, 13:00
The U.S. judiciary sucks at the teats of wolves and the Democratic Party yields to Trump’s beck and whim. He has every tool he needs to adjourn Congress and suspend elections.(93) If Cuomo and Pelosi crawled any further up his ass, they’d be dangling out of his mouth.
29 Apr 2020, 06:30
It’s never going back to normal.
28 Apr 2020, 23:00
Both Democrats and Republicans made a show of their bipartisan support for the raiding of public coffers, our future tax revenue. It appears they’re disassembling the country together.(94)
28 Apr 2020, 20:00
It’s a corporate coup. The Ruling American Establishment is disassembling the central government and delegating responsibility to the Federal Reserve and the corporations it serves,(95) stripping workers of protections,(96) holding aid money hostage,(97) enacting draconian measures,(98) employing invasive technologies,(99) all while economically laying siege to highly populated states. This corporate relief bill, The CARES Act is bipartisan and Cuomo gave Trump the perfect excuse to suspend elections when he indiscriminately removed Sanders from the ballot in New York.(100)
28 Apr 2020, 19:30
A Federal Reserve program approved by Congress is intended to provide emergency relief to large companies, but the bill contains a “catch” that permits corporations to lay off employees and spend the money on executive pay, according to a The Washington Post report.(101)
27 Apr 2020, 17:30
She killed herself while several states are blockaded by the central government and others reopen their economies.
She martyred herself. R.I.P. Dr. Lorna Breen.(102)
He martyred himself. R.I.P. John Mondello.(103)
27 Apr 2020, 12:00
We’re dealing with an enemy that’s invisible, larger than us and reproducing faster than us. So long as trade is global, and power and resources are centrally located, COVID19 will return year after year with the comorbidities of the flu and common cold.
26 Apr 2020, 17:00
I’m writing about the virus and feel like I’m writing about the genocide of the Native Americans, except I’m living it and may be among those who are exterminated. This whole poisoned-blankets strategy is familiar. Nature created the virus; our government is weaponizing it.
25 Apr 2020, 08:30
When trade is global, and power and resources are centrally located, COVID will remain. It’s bigger than us, learning us faster than we’re learning it, and reproducing faster than us. It already mutated several times.(104)
22 Apr 2020, 12:00
Capitalism depends on distributing resources piecemeal from a stockpile jealously guarded by a small group of cowardly misers. Global trade is dead. What you are witnessing are the death spasms of a dying epoch.
This isn’t my opinion. This is an observation.
21 Apr 2020, 21:00
He’s trying to create chaos to suspend elections. He doesn’t care who dies.
15 Apr 2020, 14:30
Mark my words: leaders across the country know easing the quarantine will lead to another swell in infections and deaths, but they’re determined to do it anyway.(105)
(1) Thompson, Juan. “Chicago’s “Black Site” Detainees Speak Out.” The Intercept. 26 Feb 2015. Website verified on 8 Jul 2021. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
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In Chicago, we see an unprecedented rise in crime against fellow citizens,” said Chad Wolf, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security. “The DHS mission in Portland is to protect federal property and our law enforcement officers. In Chicago, the mission is to protect the public from violent crime on the streets.
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Although details on how many agents will be deployed to the city and when remain unclear, several state and local officials signaled their wariness at federal intervention ordered by President Trump, who frequently disparages Chicago and politicizes its gun violence epidemic.
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(6) Marcus, Ruth. “Opinion: Trump’s agents are sweeping peaceful citizens . . .”
(7) Nuyen, Suzanne “Federal Officers Use Unmarked Vehicles To Grab People In Portland, DHS Confirms.” NPR. 17 Jul 2020. Website verified 25 Jul 2021.
Selsky, Andrew; Flaccus, Gillian. “Mayor of Portland to Trump . . .”
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(41) Lay, Benjamin. All Slavekeepers that keep the Innocent in Bondage, Apostates. Philadelphia: 1737.
(42) Classical Athenians delegated responsibility for policing to world-renowned Scythian archers, employees of the state subordinate to the citizens they served, who would’ve been unlikely to suffer immediate harm or death at their hands for an alleged criminal act, whereas fellow employees, or slaves, fared less well. In this regard, Classical Athens was an imperfect large-scale democratic experiment, extinguished before it could reach full maturity. Democracies create nodes of community strewn across a web of goodwill founded on principles of mutual defense and benefit. In this regard, the indigenous often demonstrate a more replete, foundational example of natural democracy.
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(49) Spielman, Fran. “Rush says cops lounged in his burglarized campaign office as nearby stores were looted.” Chicago Sun Times. 11 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(50) Laurence, Justin. “The Chicago Freedom School Is Suing The City After Inspectors Cited Them For Offering Food To Protesters Trapped Downtown.” Block Club Chicago. 25 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(51) Breaking and entering.
(52) Kerr, Justin. “Looting, Arson, Attempted Home Invasions Mar McKinley Park Neighborhood.” McKinley Park News. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(53) Lazare, Sarah. “The National Guard Crushes Protests Just Like the Military Does.” In These Times. 8 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(54) Dukmasova, Maya. “Lightfoot turns city’s infrastructure into weapons against protesters.” Chicago Reader. 18 Nov 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(55) Footage rescinded or not found.
(56) Shepherd, Carrie; Ramos, Elliott; Karp, Sarah. “After Unrest, Groceries Become Scarcer On Chicago’s South Side – And Volunteers Stepped In.” WBEZ. 2 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(57) Lewis, Sean. “As small businesses Across Chicago get looted or damaged, fundraising campaigns aim to help.” WGN. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(58) Eads, David; et al. “Chicago Police arrested more people for protesting than looting in early days of unrest, contradicting city claims.” Chicago Sun Times. 17 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(59) Fry, Paige. “Lootings spread into neighborhoods as Chicago sees one of its most violent weekends with more than 80 shot.” Chicago Tribune. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(60) Chiarito, Bob. “Bridgeporters Say Bat-Wielding Vigilantes Are Terrorizing Peaceful Protesters, Neighbors.” Block Club Chicago. 4 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(61) Staff. “Chicago PD Scanner: Cops Allegedly Let Gang Members Shoot Each Other.” TMZ. 3 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(62) Black on Brown Race War Disinformation Flyer.
(63) Gjelten, Tom. “Peaceful Protesters Tear-Gassed To Clear Way For Trump Church Photo-Op.” NPR. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(64) Richardson, Heather Cox. “Secreting Behind the Barricades in the ‘People’s House.’” Bill Moyers. 4 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(65) Klippenstein, Ken. “The FBI Finds ‘No Intel Indicating Antifa Involvement’ in Sunday’s Violence.” Nation. 2 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(66) Deutsches Demokratische Republic; former East Germany.
(67) Owen, Laura Hazard. “U.S. police have attacked journalists at least 140 times since May 28.” Harvard’s Nieman Lab of Journalism. 1 Jun 2020. Also available online, verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(68) Costello, Darcy; et al. “Minute by minute: What happened the night Louisville police fatally shot Breonna Taylor.” USA Today. 15 May 2020. Website verif;’ied on 25 Jul 2021.
(69) Peña, Mauricio.“Black Chicagoans Being Harassed In Some Latino Neighborhoods, Officials Say: ‘We Are In This Struggle Together.’” Block Club Chicago. 2 Jun 2020.
Staff. “85 shot, 24 fatally, over Chicago’s most violent weekend of 2020.” Chicago Sun Times. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
Staff. “Gun violence continues to surge in Chicago with more than 20 shot in 12-hour span.” WGN Channel 9 via Associated Press. 3 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
Staff. “28 shot, 2 fatally, Tuesday in Chicago.” Chicago Sun Times. 3 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
Malagón, Elvia; Charles, Sam. “Trouble follows some residents’ plan to guard their neighborhoods after unrest.” Chicago Sun Times. 2 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
Peña, Mauricio; Sabino, Pascal. “Latino And Black Leaders Unite Across Neighborhoods To Denounce Hate: ‘We’re Stronger Together.’” Block Club Chicago. 3 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
Fry, Paige. “Lootings spread into neighborhoods as Chicago sees one of its most violent weekends with more than 80 shot.” Chicago Tribune. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on Jul 2021.
Hasson, Peter. “A War Zone": Leaked Audio Reveals Chicago Mayor Clashing With Aldermen Over Riots.” Yahoo News. 11 Jun 2020.
London, Matt. “Gianno Caldwell calls out Chicago mayor for abandoning African-American residents amid riots.” FOX. 10 Jun 2020. Website verifiedon 25 Jul 2021.
Wilusz, Luke. “Overall Chicago crime down, but shootings and murders up in May 2020: police.” Chicago Sun Times. 6 Jun 2020. Alternate headline: “Chicago May 2020 crime stats: Overall crime down, but . . .” Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(70) Staff. “Man arrested in fatal shooting during Cicero looting.” WGN Channel 9 Chicago. 4 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
De Mar, Charlie. “Chaos In Cicero: 2 Bystanders Shot Dead In One Incident, Liquor Store Looting Suspects Caught Hiding In Another.” CBS Channel 2 Chicago. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
Francisco, Tonya. “Recent unrest shines spotlight on racial divide between some in the Latinx and black community.” WGN9. 3 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
Staff. “Man charged with attempted murder in Cicero stabbing.” Fox 32 Chicago 7. Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
Ramos, Manny. “Cicero residents accuse police department of letting gangs roam during looting.” Chicago Sun Times. 2 Jun 2020. Website verified on 25 Jul 2021.
(71) The event occurred on the 1st of June, reportedly around 5:00 in the afternoon near 21st and Cicero Ave. No newspaper covered the event, but it can yet be found in remote niches of the internet.
(72) Bloom, Mina. “Officers Who Violently Pulled Woman Out Of Car At Brickyard Mall Stripped Of Police Powers During Investigation.” Chicago Block Club. 5 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Sabino, Pascal. “Prosecutors Drop Charge Against Black Woman Left Partially Blind By Police Attack At Brickyard Mall.” Block Club Chicago. 30 Sep 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Lowe, Mike. “Lawsuit accuses Chicago police of civil rights violations in May arrest of women outside Brickyard Mall.” WGN Channel 9 Chicago. 23 Dec 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Staff. “FBI Investigating Violent Arrest at Brickyard Mall, State's Attorney Says.” NBC Channel 5 Chicago. 5 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Staff. “Two Witnesses To Brickyard Mall Incident Say Police Attacked Them For Filming Officers Who Dragged Two Women From Car.” CBS Channel 2 Chicago. 9 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(73) Staff. “Fiery Clashes Erupt Between Police and Protesters Over George Floyd Death.” The New York Times. 2 Jun 2020. Also available online, verified on 26 Jul 2021.
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Graves, Howard. “North Carolina Protest Shooting Suspect Appears To Have Ties to Organized Neo-Confederacy, Hate Groups.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Brewton, Dara. “Exclusive: Video reveals white agitators bringing arson to a George Floyd protest.” Front Page Live. 4 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
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Collins, Jon; Shockman, Elizabeth. “Outsiders, extremists are among those fomenting violence in Twin Cities.” MPR News. 30 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Long Colleen; Miller, Zeke; Balsamo, Michael. “Officials see extremist groups, disinformation in protests.” Star Tribune. 31 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Norwood, Kalyn. “Video Shows Looters Destroying Minority-Owned Business in Downtown Austin.” KVUE. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Calvert, Scott; Simon, Ruth. “‘Everything Is Gone’: Looting Strikes a Second Blow to Reeling Businesses in Minority Neighborhoods.” The Wall Street Journal. 3 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Orlow, Emma. “Artists are raising funds for black-owned businesses subjected to looting.” Time Out New York. 2 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
O’Keefe, Makenzie. “Minority-Owned Businesses On Colfax Hoping For Violence To Stop.” CBS Denver. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Wilson, Wes; Bailey, Todd. “Which businesses in Austin were looted and vandalized.” KXAN. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Whittler, Alex. “Looters hit popular black-owned business in Buckhead.” Fox 5 Atlanta. 31 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Rao, Maya. “Riots, arson leave Minnesota communities of color devastated.” Star Tribune. 2 Jun 2020. Website verified 26 Jul 2021.
La Raza Minnesota Staff. “Rebuild South Minneapolis.” GoFundMe. 29 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Johnson, Ashley. “Some Philadelphia Black-Owned Businesses Destroyed; Activists Call for Action.” ABC 6 Philadelphia. 2 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
White, Chris. “Minority-owned business seeks help after ransack during Columbus protests.” ABC 6 Columbus. 2 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(75) Elder, Jeff. “Foreign actors and extremist groups are using disinformation on Twitter and other social networks to further inflame the protests across America, experts say.” Business Insider. 2 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(76) Papenfuss, Mary. “‘Light ’Em Up’: Minneapolis Cops Appear To Fire Paint Rounds At People On Their Porch.” Huffington Post. 1 Jun 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(77) McGreal, Chris. “The governor says Minneapolis is 'under assault'. Who is behind the protests?” The Guardian. 30 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(79) Later reports on this were less definitive. The number of out-of-state arsonist-vandals dwindled from 50 to maybe half, but my account verifies what the anonymous author communicated in a message relayed to me by way of several orders of separation over the hospitality industry grapevine.
(80) Staff. “Black CNN reporter arrested on air at protests over George Floyd killing.” The Guardian. 29 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(81) Fung, Katherine. “Dr. Birx Says States Seeing 'Dramatic Decline' In Percent of Coronavirus Positive Cases As Reopening Gets Underway.” Newsweek. 22 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(82) Johnson, Jake. “As Trump Says 'Voting Is An Honor' in Rant Against Mail-In Ballots, Progressives Respond: 'Voting Is a Right'.” Common Dreams. 21 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(83) “Jane Doe v. Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein; Case 1:16-cy-04642.” U.S. District Court Southern District of New York. 20 Jun 2016.
(84) Kessler, Glenn; et al. “Trump’s false or misleading claims total 30,573 over 4 years.” The Washington Post. 24 Jan 2021. Also available online, verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Kessler,Glenn; Rizzo, Salvador; Kelly, Meg. “President Trump made 18,000 false or misleading claims in 1,170 days.” The Washington Post. 14 Apr 2020. Also available online, verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(85) Feller, Madison. “Mayor Lori Lightfoot Is More Than Just A Meme.” Elle. 6 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(86) Wallace, Richard. “Open letter to Chicago’s top cop: COVID-19 police ‘surge’ terrorizing West Side black communities.” Injustice Watch. 1 May 2020. Alternate headline: “Covid-19 Police 'Surge' Terrorizing West Side Black . . .” Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Gorner, Jeremy. “Chicago police issued more dispersal orders on West Side in early days of stay-at-home order than other parts of the city, including the lakefront.” Chicago Tribune. 24 Apr 2020. Also available online, verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(87) Porterfield, Carlie. “Nazi Slogans At Coronavirus Lockdown Protest Draws Rebuke From Auschwitz Museum.” Forbes. 2 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(88) Judge, Keith M. “America’s Fascists do the Astroturf.” Optimist Press. Aug 2020.
(89)Balz, Dan; Guskin, Emily. “Americans widely oppose reopening most businesses, despite easing of restrictions in some states, Post-U. Md. poll finds.” The Washington Post. 5 May 2020. Also available online, verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Beaumont, Thomas; Fingerhut, Hannah. “AP-NORC poll: Few Americans support easing virus protections.” Associated Press. 22 Apr 2020. Also available online, verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Saletan, William. “Republicans Still Sympathize With the Insurrection.” Slate. 15 Apr 2021. Also available online, verified on 26 Jul 2021. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(90) Judge, Keith M. “America’s Fascists do the . . .
(91) Hansen, Sarah. “Trump Suggests That Federal Bailouts For States Could Depend On Sanctuary City Policies.” Forbes. 29 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
McNichol, Elizabeth; Leachman, Michael; Marshall, Joshuah. “States Need Significantly More Fiscal Relief to Slow the Emerging Deep Recession Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 14 Apr 2020. Available online, verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Wallace-Wells, David. “The White House Has Erected a Blockade Stopping States and Hospitals From Getting Coronavirus PPE.” Intelligencer. 19 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Perez, Matt. “Trump Encourages Pence To Ignore Democratic Governors: ‘If They Don’t Treat You Right, I Don’t Call.’” Forbes. 27 Mar 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Rose, Joel. “A 'War' For Medical Supplies: States Say FEMA Wins By Poaching Orders.” NPR. 15 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Staff. “U.S. Unemployment Claims Soar to 33.3 Million Amid Pandemic.” Democracy Now. 8 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Goldberg, Michelle. “Putting Jared Kushner In Charge Is Utter Madness.” The New York Times. 2 Apr 2020. Alternate headline: “Opinion | Jared Kushner Will Not Save Us From the . . .” Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Visser, Nick; Fang, Marina “Trump Rejects New York’s Plea For Ventilators: ‘I Don’t Believe You Need’ That Many.” Huffington Post. 26 Mar 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Staff. “Russia's Putin accepted U.S. offer of ventilators: Trump.” Reuters. 7 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Rudnitsky, Jake; Kravchenko, Stepan. “Ventilator Model Russia Sent to U.S. Blamed For Deadly Fires.” Bloomberg. 12 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021
Eoin Higgins. “'150,000 Americans Sacrificed for the Stock Market': Kushner Reportedly Advised Less Covid-19 Testing to Calm Wall Street.” Common Dreams. 14 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Samuels, Brett. “Trump: Government will start withholding funds from sanctuary cities after court ruling.” The Hill. 5 Mar 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Strohm, Chris. “Barr Threatens Legal Action Against Governors Over Lockdowns.” Bloomberg. 21 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
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Karnowski, Steve. “Trump backs protesters against Minnesota’s COVID-19 response.” Associated Press. 17 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Johnson, Jake. “‘He Doesn't Want You to Vote:’ Trump Threatens to Block Funding to Michigan for Sending Absentee Ballot Forms to All Voters Amid Covid-19.” Common Dreams. 20 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
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LeBlanc, Paul. “Illinois governor says he's 'given up' on coronavirus help from the Trump administration.” CNN. 15 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Staff. “Maryland National Guard Defends Coronavirus Tests from Feds in ‘Undisclosed Location.’” Democracy Now. 1 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
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Subramanian, Courtney. “How a frantic trek to a McDonald’s parking lot shows the scramble states face for coronavirus supplies.” USA Today. 18 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
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(92) Villanueve, Marina. “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vows to seize ventilators and PPE from private hospitals and companies not using them: ‘Let them sue me.’” Chicago Tribune. 3 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Brown, Nick. “New York City crematories work overtime as coronavirus brings backlog of bodies. Reuters. 2 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Campbell, Jon. “Some struggling New York hospitals can resume elective procedures. Here's where.” Democrat & Chronicle. 21 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Mogul, Fred. “Shortage Of Dialysis Equipment Leads To Difficult Decisions In New York ICUs.” NPR. 19 Apr 2020. Alternate headline: “Dialysis Equipment in Short Supply For New York COVID-19 . . .” Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(93) Carney, Jordain; Samuels, Brett. “Trump threatens to adjourn both chambers of Congress.” The Hill. 15 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
(94) Judge, Keith M. “The Death Cult Robs, then Kills the Taxpayers.” Optimist Press. Aug 2021.
(96) Gremillion, Thomas; Berkowitz, Deborah. “Risking food safety, USDA plans to let slaughterhouses self-police.” The Hill. 17 Sep 2019. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Case No. 3:20-cv-00256. CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY; FOOD & WATER WATCH, INC.; PETER VAN GORDER; and ROBIN MANGINI V. SONNY PERDUE, in his official capacity as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; MINDY BRASHEARS, in her official capacity as the Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; and FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE. “Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (Administrative Procedure Act Case).” United States District Court for the Northern District of California San Francisco Division. 13 Jan 2020. PDF available online, verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Ludwig, Mike. “Despite COVID-19, Trump Keeps on Gutting Protections for Workers.” Truthout. 25 Apr 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Taylor, Marisa. “Exclusive: U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak.” Reuters. 22 Mar 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
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(97) Hansen, Sarah. “Trump Suggests That Federal Bailouts. . . .”
Samuels, Brett. “Trump: Government will start withholding funds . . .”
(98) Kanno-Youngs, Zolan; Karni, Annie. “Under the Virus’s Cloak, Trump Pursues Long-Sought Policies.” The New York Times. 20 Mar 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
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Cohn, Marjorie. “Israel’s New Government Is Exploiting Pandemic to Annex 30 Percent of West Bank.” Truthout. 2 May 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
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Staff. “Coronavirus: US to halt funding to WHO, says Trump.” BBC. 15 April 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
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Wade, Peter. “DOJ Wants to Suspend Certain Constitutional Rights During Coronavirus Emergency.” Rolling Stone. 21 Mar 2020. Website verified on 26 Jul 2021.
Minsky, Esq, Adam S. “Dept. Of Education Discloses It Is Illegally Seizing Wages Of 54,000 Borrowers.” Forbes. 11 May 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
Johnson, Jake. “With US and Iran 'A Spark Away' From Devastating Conflict, Trump Vetoes War Powers Resolution.” Common Dreams. 7 May 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
Kanno-Youngs, Zolan; Karni, Annie. “Under the Virus’s Cloak, Trump Pursues Long-Sought Policies.” The New York Times. 20 Mar 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
Mackey, Robert. Trump PR Stunt Falls Flat, as White House Video Exposes His Failure to Prepare for Pandemic. The Intercept. 14 Apr 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
(99) DeRose, Cara. “Collins casts deciding vote allowing access to Americans’ browsing histories without warrant.” Maine Beacon. 14 May 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
Fang, Lee. “Small Business Rescue Money Flowing To Major Trump Donors.” The Intercept. 24 Apr 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
Cauchi, E.D.; Arkin, William. “Trump’s Secret New Watchlist Lets His Administration Track Americans Without Needing A Warrant.” Newsweek. 18 May 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
Emmons, Alex. “Lawsuit Aims To Stop Baltimore Police From Using War-Zone Surveillance System to Spy on Residents.” The Intercept. 9 Apr 2020. Alternate headline: “Baltimore Police Want to Use War-Zone Surveillance on . . .” Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
(100) Lewis, Rebecca. “Cuomo cancels most June special elections.” City and State New York. 25 Apr 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
(101) Stein, Jeff. “The U.S. plans to lend $500 billion to large companies. It won’t require them to preserve jobs or limit executive pay.” The Washington Post. 28 Apr 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
(102) Corky Siemaszko. “E.R. doctor on 'front lines' of coronavirus fight in N.Y. dies by suicide.” NBC. 27 Apr 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.
(103) Annese, John. “Prominent Manhattan E.R. doctor on coronavirus front lines kills herself.” New York Daily News. 27 Apr 2020. Website verifiedon 27 Jul 2021.
(104) Burris, Sarah K. “Alarming new study indicates coronavirus has mutated into an even more more contagious version.” AlterNet. 5 May 2020. 27 Jul 2021.
(105) Vertuno, Jim; Weber, Paul J. “Texas governor begins easing restrictions to reopen economy.” Associated Press. 17 Apr 2020. Website verified on 27 Jul 2021.