‘What’s Up Babe?’ Brooklyn Teacher Claudia Tillery Says She Shouldn’t Be Fired for Having Sex With Her 12-Year-Old StudentPosted: May 23, 2015 | |
In her decision, DOE officer Haydee Rosario notes that a DNA test revealed both the student’s and the teacher’s saliva were on the teacher’s comforter cover
Julia Marsh reports: A Brooklyn public-school teacher whines in a new lawsuit that she was unfairly fired from her job for bedding her 12-year-old student — even though DNA, videotape, text and financial records pin her to the dirty deed.
“Rosario also says the student recorded a video that shows his teacher putting her pants on in a motel room.”
Claudia Tillery, who spent her 15-year career at the Stephen Decatur Middle School, wants back in the classroom because a jury cleared her of criminal charges.
“Tillery and her young charge exchanged 8,000 text messages over two years using pseudonyms. In one message the teacher texted, ‘What’s up babe?'”
But a Department of Education hearing officer found in April that a “preponderance of the credible record evidence” proves that Tillery raped the youngster — then painted him as a “master manipulator” to duck a criminal conviction.
In departmental hearings, the standard of proof is lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard required for a criminal conviction. Tillery was arrested in 2011 and acquitted in 2014.
“…the officer sided with the DOE, which scoffed at Tillery’s claims that a 12-year-old ‘concocted a grand conspiracy and coerced her, a middle-school teacher, to ignore sound judgment and to put him into a fleabag motel and give him hundreds of dollars.’”
The mother of two argues in her Manhattan Supreme Court suit against the DOE that she was deprived of due process because the hearing officer used sealed evidence from her criminal case and didn’t give proper credit to her own witnesses.
The suit doesn’t mention that Tillery’s witnesses were her own children and her homeless, schizophrenic baby daddy. Read the rest of this entry »
She has been identified as Chiara Rose, a Western Washington University student.
“We have spoken with the ship, the Port and the female and will not be taking action to remove her,” a police spokesman said….(read more)
KOMO News has more:
…20-year-old Chiara Rose D’Angelo is suspended in a climber’s harness from the anchor chain of the ship in Bellingham Bay, and has a support vessel nearby.
“Chiara is there to protest Shell’s plans for Arctic drilling, and the Arctic Challenger is a key component of those plans,” Eric Ross with the Backbone Campaign said.
“Chiara’s spirits are reportedly high, and she is digging in for the night.”
A group of supporters gathered on a nearby beach by nightfall, some holding signs in protest of Shell and Arctic drilling.
“Apparently, she has had conversations with a security guard. He asked her what she was thinking, and she said she’s not thinking of herself, but focusing on the needs of the Arctic, and keeping in mind the needs of future generations for a stable, flourishing planet.”
Laurie Burkitt reports: China’s capital city has a grand total of 4.19 million smokers, each of whom inhales around 15 cigarettes per day, just shy of a pack, according to a new survey from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning.
To give some perspective on the smoking scale, Beijing’s smokers outnumber the population of the city of Los Angeles. About one in five people in the capital smoke, and the number of people they subject to secondhand smokeis around 10 million in addition to themselves, according to health officials cited in the Beijing News.The survey of nearly 8,500 Beijingers found that smokers on average spend around 160 yuan a month on cigarettes.
Beijing’s officials are drawing attention to the city’s full ashtrays ahead of a new ban on smoking indoors that will take effect June 1. The citywide ban takes aim at restaurants, bars and other indoor locations.
The latest survey is an improvement over the previous one six years ago, which found that 27.4% of Beijing’s people smoked.
Still, some people, even health experts, are skeptical that Beijing’s ban will take hold, particularly given the high numbers of smokers. Beijing passed a ban previously, but it was all (cough) smoke and mirrors. Read the rest of this entry »
A Couple from Cottage Grove, Minnesota discovers a man living inside a secret laboratory inside their basement. On Tuesday, officers with the Warrington County Sheriffs Office went to the
Morgan family’s home after receiving a call of a possible break in. When the officers pulled up they saw the Morgan Family standing by the road.
“He had clearly been living down there for a long time and had suffered severe psychological trauma probably from not socializing with anyone for a while. I don’t know if he had been living down there since the 80’s but I wouldn’t doubt it.”
“They ran up to use and said they heard a man shouting inside their basement and that’s when they called it in to 911.” Said Captain Bruce Normans with the Warrington County Sheriff’’s Office.
Officers say they could hear the man yelling in the basement the moment they entered the Morgan’s home. But when they moved cautiously into the basement they saw nothing but could hear banging sounds coming from behind the northern wall of the Morgan family’s basement, specifically echoing from behind a large storage cabinet.
“It was a very odd situation. We assumed the possibility that a vagrant may have been trapped behind the cabinet and needed help.” Officer Jim Catelli told Channel 6 news.
When the Officers moved the large metal cabinet they uncovered an entry way to a large basement room that was full of various science equipment along with a terrified, elderly man. The 83 year old man was identified as Dr. Winston Corrigan, a chemistry professor from the University of Minnesota who went missing in the fall of 1984 and was a previous resident of the home. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] WAGE GAP PANIC: Gavin McInnes Gleefully Baits Tamara Holder: ‘Thank U for Making @tamaraholder Head Xplode’Posted: May 15, 2015 | |
Or, as Ace puts it:
Gavin McInnes, Tamara Holder Have Respectful, Thoughtful Exchange of Ideas on Feminism
[Note: broken video link updated]
Mediaite gets the vapors:
While debating the gender wage gap, McInnes asserted that women earn less “because they choose to” and are “less ambitious.” Tamara Holder was pretty taken aback, flatly telling her counterpart: “Your comments are absolutely deplorable.” (read more – Mediaite)
Even Fox host Sean Hannity squirmed (and laughed) during Gavin’s gleefully over-the-top rant. HuffPo‘s takedown:
“Women do earn less in American because they choose to. They would rather go to their daughter’s piano recital than stay all night at work, working on a proposal, so they end up earning less. They’re less ambitious.”
“What?” replied an incredulous Holder.
“This is sort of God’s way — this is nature’s way — of saying women should be at home with the kids,” he said. “They’re happier there.”
“If you were a real feminist you would support housewives and see them as the heroes and women who work wasting their time.”
“Why am I sitting here?” Holder asked at one point.
“You’re making a mistake,” he responded. “You would be much happier at home with a husband and children.”
Even host Sean Hannity did a face palm at that comment. “Oh boy,” he said, laughing…(read more)
Most predictable freakout? Salon. Of course. Fox News should maybe be concerned about Gavin McInnes’ mental stability
Gavin McInnes Gives a Master Class: How to Troll a Feminist Til She’s Shaking with Rage
During a “Hannity” panel debate about the “gender wage gap” on Thursday night, Fox News regulars Gavin McInnes and Tamara Holder predictably locked horns. Then it went downhill from there. Way downhill…(read more)
— Barbara Gonzalez (@BarbiG_tea) May 15, 2015
— C-Shellن (@Isla_78) May 15, 2015
Hey young people, get off Twitter and get into some real trouble. http://t.co/6TNHAWDTFu
— Gavin McInnes (@Gavin_McInnes) May 15, 2015
Who the hell is Gavin McInnes?
Regular watchers of Fox News late night show Red Eye, and readers of Takimag are familiar with Gavin McInnes’ wicked sense of humor. Browse Taki‘s archives and you’ll see that he’s not afraid to write or say anything.
[VIDEO] #ForMyBaby: Bainbridge Island Teacher Accused of Sex with Student, Boy’s Mom Called the Cops, Teacher PregnantPosted: May 12, 2015 | |
The Bainbridge Island Police Department has concluded its investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct between Bainbridge High School teacher Jessica Fuchs and a BHS student. Police arrested the 26-year-old female teacher at Bainbridge High School. UPDATE: Jessica admitted she was pregnant and searching paternity tests… More here
It Must Be Spring: Bainbridge High Teacher Jessica M. Fuchs Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Misconduct with StudentPosted: May 12, 2015 | |
A 25-year-old Baingbridge High School teacher pleaded not guilty Monday to alleged sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old boy.
“Fuchs’ bail was reduced from $100,000 to $25,000, despite the victim’s mother’s pleas to keep the bail high, fearing Fuchs would try to get in contact with her son.”
Jessica M. Fuchs appeared in Kitsap County court Monday. She pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, communication with a minor for immoral purposes, and tampering with a witness.
“Well protect me as best you can. Remember NOTHING COMES OUT EVER! About anything you have been to my house only once. Lie like you have NEVER lied before. And try to get your mom to side with you completely and say this was all a misunderstanding! And tell the investigator that!”
— Fuchs, in a message, attempting to convince the student to lie to detectives
Fuchs’ bail was reduced from $100,000 to $25,000, despite the victim’s mother’s pleas to keep the bail high, fearing Fuchs would try to get in contact with her son.
Fuchs’ is scheduled to next appear in court on June 9.
According to probable cause documents, police were contacted in late February by a Bainbridge Island High School Associate Principal who believed Fuchs was in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student. [KIRO News Video HERE]
“Fuchs also did an Internet search for “how to permanently delete cellphone records” on a school laptop. She also searched ‘Paternity Tests.'”
Police contacted the boy’s parents, and uncovered evidence that the boy communicated with Fuchs via the popular social media app SnapChat.
“Police received a warrant to investigate Fuchs’ electronic devices, and allegedly uncovered illicit text messages and graphic videos that Fuchs sent to the boy.”
At first, documents show, the boy denied anything sexual occurred between himself and Fuchs. However, the boy allegedly later admitted to his mother that he engaged in sexual relations with Fuchs at her home, saying that Fuchs’ husband even walked in and caught them in the act.
Detectives further investigated the case, allegedly discovering that Fuchs had done an internet search on how to permanently delete cell phone records in late February. Read the rest of this entry »
…These slickly produced videos, which depict a hand drawing cartoon figures, are likely not aimed at young ones, but instead at parents searching for narratives to pass on to their children: The rapid-fire voiceovers use some high-school level vocabulary, including two bleeped cusswords hopefully outside most primary school students’ lexicon. Given a widespread reluctance to talk birds and bees — in China’s version of the stork story, parents often tell children that they were picked up “out of a garbage dump” — the Nutcracker narrator is something of a myth-buster for the young and for the ill-informed. The language and visual illustrations have amused adult viewers with hilariously off-color comparisons: In the first video, the narrator explains insemination by comparing it to an injection received at a hospital. The second clip, called “Why Are Boys and Girls Different?” addresses anatomical differences by likening male and female reproductive organs to electrical outlets and plugs. (The caption on the photo, from the second video, states: “Why does that boy have a little pee-pee and you don’t?”)
Because of China’s long-standing need for accessible, accurate sex ed, young adults might also find them edifying. On Sept. 29 Hu Zhen, an academic specializing in sex education issues, told China’s largest state-run news agency, Xinhua, that sex education in Chinese schools lagged “at least 60 years behind” Sweden and other developed countries, and emphasized that only about ten of China’s 180,000 primary schools, and only 500 to 600 of China’s approximately 500,000 secondary schools, were providing sex education.
Read the rest of this entry »
#ForMyBaby! Jessica M. Fuchs Sexual Misconduct Arrest Update: Teacher Caught by Her Husband Tried to Convince Student to LiePosted: May 8, 2015 | |
Documents just released allege that she was caught in a sex act with the student by her husband, and later tried to convince the 16-year-old boy to lie to investigators
“Well protect me as best you can. Remember NOTHING COMES OUT EVER! About anything you have been to my house only once. Lie like you have NEVER lied before. And try to get your mom to side with you completely and say this was all a misunderstanding! And tell the investigator that!”
“At first, documents show, the boy denied anything sexual occurred between himself and Fuchs. However, the boy allegedly later admitted to his mother that he engaged in sexual relations with Fuchs at her home, saying that Fuchs’ husband even walked in and caught them in the act.”
Now, documents just released allege that she was caught in a sex act with the student by her husband, and later tried to convince the 16-year-old boy to lie to investigators.
“Detectives further investigated the case, allegedly discovering that Fuchs had done an internet search on how to permanently delete cell phone records in late February.”
The Bainbridge Police Department said Jessica M. Fuchs was booked into the Kitsap County Jail on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, communication with a minor for immoral purposes, and tampering with a witness. She is being held on $100,000 bail.
“Police received a warrant to investigate Fuchs’ electronic devices, and allegedly uncovered illicit text messages and graphic videos that Fuchs sent to the boy. She allegedly sent videos titled ‘ForMyBaby!,’ that show her without clothes.”
According to probable cause documents, police were contacted in late February by a Bainbridge Island High School Associate Principal who believed Fuchs was in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student. Read the rest of this entry »
CEUTA, Spain — A young woman faces charges after Spanish airport officials say they found an 8-year-old child concealed inside her luggage when she tried to cross the border Thursday morning.
“The operator noticed something strange, which seemed to be a person inside the case.”
Fátima E.Y, 19, was traveling from Morocco to Ceuta, a Spanish territory, when border patrol agents noticed her acting anxiously. “The operator noticed something strange, which seemed to be a person inside the case,” a Civil Guard spokesman told Spanish newspaper El Pais.
“…agents spotted the boy’s father trying to cross the border into Ceuta and arrested him as well. Authorities believe he likely paid the woman, who isn’t related to the boy, to smuggle him into Spain.”
After passing the pink suitcase through an x-ray machine, agents saw what appeared to be a human frame. Upon opening the case they found an 8-year-old boy identified as Abou, who told authorities he was from the Ivory Coast. Read the rest of this entry »
GARLAND, Texas— Nathan Koppel and Ana Campoy report: Two men were killed Sunday night in this Dallas suburb after they opened fire outside an art exhibit that featured cartoon drawings of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, according to city officials.
The men drove up to an events center hosting the exhibit by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which was offering an award of $10,000 for the top Muhammad cartoon, and began shooting at a security officer, according to a Garland city spokeswoman.
“This is a war. This is war on free speech.”
— Pamela Geller
Garland police who were helping with event security returned fire, shooting and killing the two gunmen, who weren’t immediately identified. The security officer, who worked for the Garland school district, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.
Police suspect the vehicle used by the suspects may also contain an incendiary device, and a bomb squad was on the scene Sunday evening.
Following the shooting Sunday evening, all entrances to the Curtis Culwell Center, which is owned by Garland Independent School District, were blocked off by police cars and flares. A helicopter hovered above the complex’s main pavilion.
“The American Freedom Defense Initiative had chosen the site specifically because the facility had previously booked another event called “Stand With the Prophet” on Jan. 17 by a group trying to combat Islamophobia.”
One of the organizers of the event, Pamela Geller, took to social media to condemn the gunmen Sunday evening, saying that participants were merely practicing free speech. Read the rest of this entry »
Two people were shot and killed by police outside of an event billed as the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest” in Garland, Texas, Sunday night, according to Garland Mayor Douglas Athas.
According to the City of Garland Facebook’s page, “two males drove up to the front of the building in a car,” as the event was coming to an end. “Both males were armed and began shooting at a Garland … security officer. Garland Police officers engaged the gunmen, who were both shot and killed. ”
Athas said the security guard was shot in the leg and transported to a local hospital. His condition is unknown.
CNN producer Chris Lett, who was covering the event, said there were about 40 people gathered when police announced there had been a shooting.
Authorities are investigating whether explosives were involved.
“Police suspect the vehicle may contain an incendiary device and the bomb squad is on the scene,” according to Garland Facebook’s page.
Obama Mute After May Day Riot Re-Ruins Seattle
Unlike Baltimore, Seattle is not governed entirely by members of the president’s Democratic party. One Seattle city council member belongs to the Socialist Alternative party
Tim Cavanaugh writes: The morning after hipster rioters turned a May Day demonstration into a replay of the 1999 Battle in Seattle, President Obama boarded Marine One and departed for an overnight retreat without commenting on unrest in U.S. cities that has spread to the Pacific coast.
“We’ve seen too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals — primarily African-American and often poor — in ways that raise troubling questions.”
— President Obama, last Tuesday
The president stopped to fist bump with the child of an Associated Press staffer on a sunny Saturday before choppering out of the capital. But he made no comment on the Friday night rioting in Seattle, Wash.
“But he provided no such context for Friday’s confrontation between Seattle police and a crowd of largely white anarcho-syndicalists.”
Seattle rioters threw bottles and bricks at police; smashed and tagged property; and attacked reporters and other civilians in unrest that left three officers injured. Police Chief Chris Fowler declared Friday evening that the situation had “turned into a riot.”
“Obama beguiled readers of his exquisitely wrought memoir Dreams From My Father with tales of his youthful friendships among Marxist poets and punk rockers….”
Obama’s silence on the mayhem in one of North America’s most progressive cities contrasted with his loquacity earlier in the week, when the president as well as his staff spoke at length after Baltimore erupted in destructive but non-lethal rioting.
“But the president has been less eager to attach himself publicly to historic economic-justice movements, or to their extensive legacies of violence.”
“We’ve seen too many instances,” the president announced Tuesday, “of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals — primarily African-American and often poor — in ways that raise troubling questions.”
“He is presently lobbying Congress for a bill that would give more power to the executive branch in order to conclude a Pacific Rim trade treaty — an agreement strongly opposed by his own party’s left wing.”
But he provided no such context for Friday’s confrontation between Seattle police and a crowd of largely white anarcho-syndicalists. White House pool reporters did not ask the president about the violence in the Emerald City, and the White House has not issued a statement. Read the rest of this entry »
Even in an age of science, we cannot escape lunacy’s long history of frippery and superstition
Andrew Scull Modern psychiatry seems determined to rob madness of its meanings, insisting that its depredations can be reduced to biology and nothing but biology. One must doubt it. The social and cultural dimensions of mental disorders, so indispensable a part of the story of madness and civilization over the centuries, are unlikely to melt away, or to prove no more than an epiphenomenal feature of so universal a feature of human existence. Madness indeed has its meanings, elusive and evanescent as our attempts to capture them have been.
Western culture throughout its long and tangled history provides us with a rich array of images, a remarkable set of windows into both popular and latterly professional beliefs about insanity. The sacred books of the Judeo-Christian tradition are shot through with stories of madness caused by possession by devils or divine displeasure. From Saul, the first king of the Israelites (made mad by Yahweh for failing to carry out to the letter the Lord’s command to slay every man, woman, and child of the Amalekite tribe, and all their animals, too), to the man in the country of the Gaderenes “with an unclean spirit” (maddened, naked, and violent, whose demons Christ casts out and causes to enter a herd of swine, who forthwith rush over a cliff into the sea to drown), here are stories recited for centuries by believers, and often transformed into pictorial form. None proved more fascinating than the story of Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty king of Babylon, the man who captured Jerusalem and destroyed its Temple, carrying the Jews off into captivity all apparently without incurring divine wrath. Swollen with pride, however, he impiously boasts of “the might of my power,” and a savage and jealous God has had enough: driven mad, he “did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagle’s feathers, and his nails like bird’s claws.” The description has proved irresistible to many an artist: above, an unknown German artist working in early fifteenth-century Regensburg provides a portrait of the changes madness wrought upon the sane.
Disease was rife in the ancient, medieval, and early modern world. It was often interpreted through a religious lens, and the spread of Christian belief through pagan Europe was often facilitated by the use of miracles and wonders to demonstrate the power of the Christian God. The ability to cure sick and tortured souls was increasingly brought about by the intercession of saints and martyrs, whose relics were believed to have miraculous power to heal the sick, reanimate the halt and the lame, and restore sight to the blind. The tombs of saints like St. Margaret of Antioch and St. Dymphna of Geel, who had both been beheaded, were popular choices for those seeking relief from mental distress, as was the shrine of St. Thomas à Becket, whose murder in Canterbury Cathedral is here shown in a mid-thirteenth-century codex. The saint’s blood was thought to cure insanity, blindness, leprosy, and deafness, not to mention a host of other ailments.
Naturalistic accounts of madness, those that saw its roots in the body, had an ancient lineage as well. Though many in classical Greece and Rome still embraced supernatural accounts of mental disturbance and had recourse to the temple medicine of the god Asclepius, with its purification rites, charms, and spells, others were attracted to the humoral model of disease embraced by the followers of Hippocrates and later systematized by the Graseco-Roman physician Galen—a model of illness, both mental and physical, that would survive in Europe into the nineteenth century. Hieronymus Bosch’s satirical painting of The Cure of Folly: The Extraction of the Stone of Folly, which dates from c. 1494, suggests that skepticism about medical claims remained widespread despite physicians’ best efforts. A doctor dressed in a dunce’s cap uses a scalpel to draw forth the supposed cause of madness from the scalp of a patient.
Though religious interpretations of mental disturbance persisted in both polite and popular circles well into the eighteenth century (and among hoi polloi even longer than that), medical models of mental disorder gradually became the dominant and then almost the only legitimate interpretation of the sources of mental distress. The eighteenth century saw the rise in England, the first consumer society, of a private trade in lunacy. Mad-doctors, as they were then called (the double entendre would later cause specialists in the management of lunacy to search for a more respectable name), marketed their madhouses as ways to save affluent families from the travails and potential disgrace of keeping a lunatic at home, and over time began to claim the ability to cure as well as immure the insane.
The technological inventiveness of the Industrial Revolution was soon extended to devices intended to shock and startle the mad back to their senses. Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin’s grandfather, suggested a swinging chair, and soon a variety of such devices were marketed, one promising that by “increasing the velocity of the swing, the motion be[ing] suddenly reversed every six or eight minutes … the consequence is, an instant discharge of the stomach, bowels, and bladder, in quick succession.” Others promoted a variety of devices designed to simulate drowning—though sometimes, unfortunately, the drowning proved all too real. And the American mad-doctor, Benjamin Rush, created a special chair, one that “binds and confines every part of the body … Its effects have been truly delightful to me. It acts as a sedative to the tongue and temper as well as to the blood vessels. I have called it a Tranquillizer.”
Aristotle had seen the heart as the seat of the emotions and the intellect. By contrast, the Hippocratics saw the brain as their center. The anatomical investigations of the late seventeenth-century Oxford physician Thomas Willis (the man who coined the term neurologie) had given new impetus to the study of the role of the brain and the nervous system, and by the early nineteenth century, few medical men doubted that the etiology of insanity could be traced to disorders of the nerves and the brain. Among the most talented early nineteenth-century anatomists of these organs were the Austrian physicians Franz Gall and J.G. Spurzheim, who viewed the brain as a congeries of organs, each region corresponding to particular psychological functions. They asserted that the relative size of a particular organ was indicative of the strength of a particular mental function and that its size could be increased or decreased through mental exercise, rather as muscles can be developed or can atrophy. As the cranial bones developed, they allegedly conformed to the underlying comparative development of the brain’s different parts. Thus, a person’s mental capacities could be deduced from the confirmation of the head. Phrenological claims to provide a guide to human capacities and a somatic account of the origins of insanity soon became the butt of ridicule (as can be seen in this caricature, where Gall himself examines the head of an attractive young woman, while three gentlemen wait their turns to have their own characters read). Yet Gall’s underlying doctrine of cerebral localization enjoyed a long half life in neurology.
The handful of profit-making madhouses that emerged in the eighteenth century were dwarfed by the Great Confinement of the insane that marked the nineteenth. States all across Europe and North America embraced the asylum solution, prompted in part by the assurances of the medical men who soon monopolized the running of these places that they were architectural contrivances uniquely suited to the management and cure of the mentally disturbed. Read the rest of this entry »
Shinzō Abe Protest in L.A.: People Who Weren’t Wronged Demand Apology from Person Not Responsible for WrongdoingPosted: May 1, 2015 | |
Protestors demand apology from Japanese PM for his nation’s role forcing women into sexual servitude during WWII. pic.twitter.com/5u2O9YxyEO
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) May 1, 2015
2:45 p.m. During a press conference Thursday, Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalcyzk said 98 officers reported injuries this week, including 43 who required hospitalization.
Nine adults and two juveniles were arrested between midnight and 3 a.m. for curfew violations, according to police.
Of the 201 people initially arrested, 106 have been released without criminal charges. The remaining 95 have been criminally charged, Capt. Kowalcyzk said.
Capt. Kowalcyzk says they continue to investigate video footage of those who have been released from custody in hopes of filing criminal charges in the future…(read more)
Still riven over strategy, tactics, and core values, many now consider the 2014 protests a failure
HONG KONG – Suzanne Sataline writes: The activists from last year’s massive democracy occupation have splintered. Nowhere is this clearer than on college campuses represented by the Hong Kong Federation of Students, one of the architects of the fall 2014 pro-democracy protests that roiled the Chinese territory. Students at three local universities have voted to quit the league of university students; more vote drives are underway. Critics, some swayed by rising nativist anger, say student leaders’ insistence on passive resistance at the height of the protests doomed the push for open elections for the city’s chief executive, instead of a slate of candidates pre-vetted by Beijing. As the wounded student group tries to shore up its membership, its allies worry that the loss of a united student front will push the already anemic pro-democracy camp closer to irrelevance.
“Today, many participants from last year’s occupation consider the movement a failure. After all, the strike did not achieve its stated goals of toppling the chief executive, C.Y. Leung, or jettisoning the election system in which 1,600 business and trade groups chose him. In fact, the campaign won no material concessions.”
Since February, students at three local universities have voted to leave the federation; balloting at another campus is underway and more drives are expected. The results could re-shape the future of the Hong Kong protest movement, just as the city’s government is debating a new elections law. It would, for the first time, let citizens cast ballots for the chief executive, albeit only among candidates that pass muster with Beijing.
The division among democracy protesters began shortly after police fired teargas at demonstrators in September 2014, during discussions under the tarpaulins shielding protest camps from the rain. Many protesters blamed the federation for being opaque, passive, and shackled to the city’s old guard liberals – the so-called pan-democrats. Some in the sit-in chided the federation’s leaders for taking no action when the government refused to negotiate, and for the student leaders’ “greater-China bias,” a focus on bringing democracy to the nation, rather than addressing Hong Kong concerns.
Today, many participants from last year’s occupation consider the movement a failure. After all, the strike did not achieve its stated goals of toppling the chief executive, C.Y. Leung, or jettisoning the election system in which 1,600 business and trade groups chose him. In fact, the campaign won no material concessions. The federation had kicked off the protest with a week-long class boycott, and has become an easy target for those disappointed. “Students felt betrayed by the federation,” said Leonard Sheung-fung Tang, a political science student leading the campaign to end federation ties at City University. The federation has lost the trust of students, and if it urged people to stand up to the police again, Tang said, most students wouldn’t listen.
Throughout the protest, student federation leaders preached non-violence even as they faced withering criticism for that tactic – especially online and on social media — as a more radical faction grew in prominence, if not number. Months after police cleared the democracy encampments, several veterans of the occupation urged people to join rallies to protect Hong Kong against a mainland incursion. Hundreds of angry people attacked mainland visitors and confronted police. Read the rest of this entry »
Baltimore man fist bumps Maryland State Troopers in the wake of riots
— BRYAN VOLTAGGIO (@BryanVoltaggio) April 28, 2015
Police officers injured in clashes; mayor imposes overnight curfew starting Tuesday evening
BALTIMORE— Scott Calvert and Kris Maher report: Violent confrontations between demonstrators and police broke out in this city for the second time in three days, hours after thousands of people attended Monday’s funeral for Freddie Gray , a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody this month.
“Right now, we’re seeing unprecedented violence throughout the city.”
— Darryl DeSousa, chief of patrol for the city police department
Fifteen officers were injured and two were hospitalized, police officials said. Earlier Monday a police spokesman said the injuries included broken bones. One patrol car was attacked and at least one more engulfed in flames as looters ransacked stores. A CVS store was looted, then apparently set on fire. At least 27 people were arrested.
“It is so frustrating that people think that this makes sense, to destroy our community.”
— Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
The altercations took place along several busy intersections near the Mondawmin Mall in northwest Baltimore, in a neighborhood near the church where the funeral was held. Demonstrators pelted lines of police in riot gear with rocks, bricks and other objects.
Police responded with tear gas and set up a cordon seeking to restore order. Chunks of bricks, rocks and broken glass littered the streets, and smoke from burning cars and trash cans rose into the sky. The Maryland Transit Administration closed several subway stops near the unrest, and the Baltimore Orioles baseball game was canceled.
“It began as a cause and is ending in pure ignorance.”
— Sean Berry-Bey, a 33-year-old resident of West Baltimore
“Right now, we’re seeing unprecedented violence throughout the city,” said Darryl DeSousa, chief of patrol for the city police department.
Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency Monday evening, activating the Maryland National Guard. Maryland State Police troopers arrived on the scene earlier in the evening, as did police from several counties, including Prince George’s County, outside Washington.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake imposed a citywide 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew beginning Tuesday evening and lasting at least a week. “It is so frustrating that people think that this makes sense, to destroy our community,” the mayor said. Read the rest of this entry »