From Reagan to Obama: Forced Disappearances in Honduras

Source: teleSUR English

The 1980s saw widespread political violence and countless forced disappearances in many countries in Latin America, and Honduras was no exception.

Hundreds of political opponents of the 1980s U.S.-backed regime were kidnapped, tortured, and assassinated by the CIA-trained secret army unit Battalion 316, while at the same time Honduras served as a military base and training ground for U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in the region, especially in neighboring El Salvador and Nicaragua.

With the Reagan Administration turning a blind eye to the brutality of Battalion 316, intentionally downplaying or denying its violence in order to continue backing Honduras financially and using the country as a key U.S. military outpost, the details of this death squad’s operations did not become clear until years later. A historic expose published in the Baltimore Sun in 1995, which included interviews with ex-Battalion 316 torturers and details from declassified U.S. government documents, revealed the full extent of the secret unit’s atrocities and its close links to Washington.

However, torture and disappearances aren’t just a tragic reality of the past in Honduras. Human rights defenders have drawn disturbing parallels between Battalion 316 and the present day situation in Honduras, saying the current level of human rights abuses and political repression is just as bad, if not worse than the era of forced disappearances in the 1980s.

In the wake of the 2009 U.S.-backed coup ousting democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, forced disappearance, torture, and targeted assassinations re-emerged as state terror tactics to intimidate and repress a broad-based resistance. Conspicuous and even conscious links to 1980s tactics since the 2009 coup, as well as ongoing U.S. complicity, show a continuity of state sponsored terror, with new elements for the post-coup context.

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The First Memorial Day Was Black

Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865, in Charleston, S.C., to honor 257 dead Union soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in an upscale race track converted into a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for two weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 3,000 Black children, where they marched, sang and celebrated.

Posted on San Francisco BayView

By James DeWolf Perry

As we pause to remember the nation’s war dead, it’s worth remembering that Memorial Day was first celebrated by Black Union troops and free Black Americans in Charleston, South Carolina at the end of the Civil War.

As historian David Blight recounts in his masterful book, “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” (2001), Charleston was occupied by Union troops in the spring of 1865, most white residents having fled the city. In this atmosphere, the free Black population of Charleston, primarily consisting of former slaves, engaged in a series of celebrations to proclaim the meaning of the war as they saw it.

The height of these celebrations took place on May 1, 1865, on the grounds of the former Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, an elite facility which had been used by the Confederates as a gruesome prison and mass grave for unlucky Union soldiers. Following the evacuation of Charleston, Black laborers had dug up the remains of Union soldiers, given them a proper burial, and built the trappings of a respectful cemetery around the site to memorialize their sacrifice.

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Garbage collectors are more likely to die on the job than police patrol officers

Originally Posted on Quartz
by Gwynn Guilford

This weekend, Americans will remember their fallen soldiers, a holiday traditionally observed with barbecues and the Indianapolis 500 car race. The US military isn’t the only industry that often asks the ultimate sacrifice of its workers. Some 4,585 American civilians died in the line of duty in 2013, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (pdf). Certain jobs in particular are alarmingly risky:

Strangely, police patrol officer—a job the American public commonly recognizes as one of the riskiest gigs around—doesn’t even break the top 15.

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Tonight In Oakland: Emergency Protest Against Mayor Libby Schaff And “Protest Curfew”

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 3.04.34 PMOakland, California

TONIGHT AT 8PM I OSCAR GRANT PLAZA – (SUNDAY 24th 2015)

Information Below is from Saturday May 23rd

[ Join In Facebook: Call to Action: We Will Not Bow Down; We Will Not Stop Marching ]

BYP100: Bay Area , in collaboration with The BlackOut Collective , #BlackLivesMatter Bay Area, Anti Police-Terror Project, The Alan Blueford Center For Justice, and Onyx Organizing Committee are putting out a call to action on the behalf of all Black women and girls everywhere!

On the night of Thursday, May 21st, while marching and chanting, and standing up for the lives of all Black women everywhere, Oakland Police Department informed us that there was a new ordinance in place: not only were we told that we are not longer allowed to march at night, but we were not allowed to march in the streets. Who’s streets?! Our streets! They chose the national day of action for the rights of Black women against police violence to enforce aggressive policing of our right to peacefully convene and protest. Continue reading

May 23rd Statewide Coordinated Actions To End Solitary Confinement- Locations & Details

Originally posted on Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity:

fill in the details for your action!

Saturday, May 23 ACTIONS by location (alphabetical order)

If you don’t see your locale listed here, we haven’t received the details yet or YOU just might need to organize a simple action where you are!!

Statewide Coordinated Actions To End Solitary Confinement (SCATESC) has a PHSS Facebook Event page.  SCATESC’s long list of Co-sponsors and Endorsers is below.


May 23 Locations & Details (so far)

ARCATA / MANILA, CA:
We will be gathering at the Manila Community Center in solidarity with the other statewide coordinated actions that are happening on the 23rd of every month.  Solitary confinement is rampantly used in California. We are a part…

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[Oakland] Anti-Protest Curfew Implemented Tonight Against “Black Night” / #SayHerName March

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 11.26.16 PMFrom Davey D Cook

So tonight the Black women who organized the #SayHerName march in Oakland to bring attention to the scores of Black women being brutalized and terrorized by police were informed by OPD about a new PROTEST CURFEW.. Yes you read that right.. Oakland Police said there is a new protest curfew via Mayor Libby Shaaf

According to Cat Brooks who heads up the Anti Police-Terror Project Oakland police stopped them and informed them there is new ordinance that mayor Libby Shaaf had put in place and that there will be no night time protests.. Marches were warned to get on the sidewalk or risk arrest if they continued their protests..

According to Cat, the marches were followed and warned via loud speaker…Brooks also noted that she was told by an insider off the record, this was the first stage of a crack down..

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