Black and Brown unite to reclaim MLK

first_imgThe bold, dynamic street actions which have characterized the Black Lives Matter movement are being adopted in the struggle against mass deportations of refugees — most notably in the Jan. 8 shutdown of Manhattan traffic, a fierce, militant action carried out by ICE-Free NYC.This Martin Luther King Day in New York, the two struggles united: ICE-Free NYC joined forces with Black Lives Matter activists in a Black-Brown “Reclaim MLK Day” rally which protested outside — and disrupted — Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reading of Dr. Martin Luther King’s last speech, “I Have Been to the Mountaintop.”De Blasio was attempting to do what so many capitalist politicians do on MLK Day: use the revered mantle of King to establish a phony connection with the very communities they are oppressing. De Blasio chose St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn for this desecration. But New York activists weren’t having it. As de Blasio began reading King’s words, KaLisa Moore of the People’s Power Assembly stood up and said, “No! Do not use the words of Dr. Martin Luther King!”As two pew rows of Black, Brown and white activists stood up, Moore then mic-checked over de Blasio, saying, “In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we, the Black-Brown community, stand together to reclaim Black and Brown power! We will continue to fight our oppressors!”Moore continued, “The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and the New York Police Department continue to terrorize our communities,” and here she pointed a finger at de Blasio as she said, “at the hands of you!”Demonstrators called out the collaboration between the NYPD and other New York agencies to deport migrant workers, a practice that has long predated 2016’s mass raids of refugees. Also, the mayor backs New York’s Police Commissioner Bratton’s racist “Broken Windows” policy, known as “de Blasio’s Stop-and-Frisk.” As the NYPD rushed to usher out the protesters, Mike Bento of “NYC Shut it Down” said, “‘Broken Windows’ policing is not in the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King! Deportation of immigrant children that are fleeing violence is not in the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King!”Outside, a militant crowd of 250 rallied with placards that read, “End ICE/Police Terror Against Black and Brown People,” “There Are No Borders in the Workers’ Struggle,” “No Human Being is Illegal” and “Stop Police Terror” — among other placards bearing the names of people whose lives were cut short by racist police killings. Despite the evening’s frigid temperatures, the activists then marched through Brooklyn, accompanied by the people’s band, The Rude Mechanical Orchestra.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Group sets out to bring back LB’s lost waves

first_imgThe breakwater reduced the famed 10-foot-high breakers into grayish brown, listless ripples that crawl up the sand and retreat just as pitifully. Only on rare days can a swell sneak through a small opening in the breakwater to create rideable waves. The enclosure has also trapped urban debris that floats down the Los Angeles River and dumps into Long Beach harbor. The first time Robert Palmer took his 7-year-old daughter to the beach, she emerged from the murky water with plastic bags wrapped around her legs. “You can walk out to the water here, be knee deep and you can’t see your toes,” Palmer said. Over time Long Beach went from seaside resort to thriving port town. The silhouette of giant cranes and cargo containers are now fixtures in its skyline. In the mid-1990s, the Navy moved to San Diego but left the breakwater behind. Changing any part of the federally owned rock wall, however, will be tough. It helps protect one of the country’s busiest ports, as well as housing and businesses that have grown up near the beach. Orange garabaldi fish thrive near the breakwater along with lobster, birds, sea lions and other animals. “The biggest concern for us is if it created all these waves in here and made it difficult to move cargo all the time – it would be a disaster for us,” said Art Wong, a spokesman for the Port of Long Beach, which reported annual revenue of $400million to $450 million. The initial $100,000 study is expected to begin within the next few months to determine, among other things, if changing the breakwater would restore the ecosystem and improve water quality by opening up the flow of water. More in-depth studies could eventually determine the cost and whether parts of the breakwater could be removed or partly knocked down. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who represents part of Long Beach and bills himself as the surfing congressman, is doubtful the breakwater will ever be changed unless it would dramatically improve the water. “I don’t think it will because the expense of it is enormous – we’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said. And even if they are successful, Tracy Egoscue, a Long Beach resident who heads a nonprofit group working to ensure clean water in Santa Monica Bay, said it would be unrealistic to expect a quick fix to “the toxic soup we’ve all created.” Egoscue, the executive director of the Santa Monica BayKeeper, believes the focus should be cleaning up the Los Angeles River upstream. “Dilution is not the solution,” she said. “If you open up the ocean and push the problems out, you’re just pushing the problem out.” On a recent summer day the city’s beaches and parking lots were largely empty in stark contrast to other Southern California beach cities famous for their bluish-green waters and classic curls. Just south, in the self-dubbed “Surf City” of Huntington Beach, idling cars waited for coveted spaces. Members of the Long Beach chapter of the Surfrider Foundation realize 10-foot waves will never roll back into town, but bringing cleaner waters and an occasional set of breakers would be just fine. “Best case scenario another 10 years,” said the octogenarian Hendricks. “At least I’d be able to be here to watch it. I might not be able to walk, but they could roll me into the ocean and away I’d go.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I don’t like to go down there because I can see what it was,” said Hendricks, 82, who learned to ride the waves there in the 1930s. The world’s biggest breakwater wiped out the “Waikiki of California” more than 50 years ago and replaced it with a stagnant pond that rarely kicks up any surf – something Hendricks and the Surfrider Foundation have been working to change. The decadelong effort got an unexpected boost this year when the city gained the dubious distinction of having the state’s most bacteria-polluted beaches, prompting embarrassed city officials to fund a study that could be the first step in reconfiguring the breakwater to let in some surf. “Some action needs to be taken to restore our shore,” said Councilman Patrick O’Donnell, who promoted the study. “I was down at the beach at 11 a.m., and it was just me and the lifeguard.” In better days, Long Beach hosted the first national board surfing contest in 1938 but has seen only sporadic surf since Harry Truman was president. In 1949, the federal government completed a 60-foot-tall, eight-mile wall of sand and granite boulders to protect a Navy base. By Noaki Schwartz THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Over seven decades of body surfing, Ed Hendricks has mastered the art of catching the perfect wave: kick as fast as possible, get a deep gulp of air and make like a bullet as the wave arches up and thrusts you along its face toward shore. Most important, don’t look for your wave in Long Beach. last_img read more

French Open: Tearful French favourite Kristina Mladenovic dumped out in Paris

first_imgChants of “Kiki-Kiki-Kiki” resonated around Court Philippe-Chatrier on Tuesday, but the echoes of that sonic support are all that remain of the local fans’ big hope for a French Open champion.Home favourite Kristina ‘Kiki’ Mladenovic failed to handle the atmosphere, the wind or the rain, as well as Timea Bacsinszky  who checked into the semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-4 win.Thirteenth-seed Mladenovic had played with tears in her eyes. She left the arena in a similar state.Swiss Bacsinszky was thrilled.”I knew she would be a formidable opponent,” the 30th seed said grinning. “We had everything today: a hurricane, and sand storms, nice weather, and almost snow…it was really complicated to stay focused throughout the day.”I am knackered.”Addressing the disappointed French crowd she said: “I am sorry, thank you for the atmosphere.”She now has time to regroup before meeting 19-year-old Latvian Jelena Ostapenko who ousted Caroline Wozniacki.Mladenovic had high hopes of becoming the first French champion since Mary Pierce in 2000, but never really clicked.”Today I was very, very far from my best tennis and it was still a close two sets, I’d be silly not to be positive about that,” said Mladenovic, who believed her opponent’s game was more suited to the tough conditions.EMOTIONAL KIKIWhile not looking especially anxious, ‘Kiki’ had looked emotional throughout.She dropped serve straight away. The expected sonic wave of support had not yet materialised, although at each change of ends more and more spectators flooded in, sated by their sacred French lunches.advertisement”Kiki-Kiki-Kiki” rumbled around the stadium, and the 24-year-old levelled matters up with a break of her own.Eighty kilometre per hour winds gusted through the grounds as both players, skidding through clouds of clay, picked grit out of their eyes.The conditions were far from perfect. Both players struggled to hold serve but, leading 5-4, Bacsinszky fired down an ace to seal the set against the local favourite.Always rigidly upright, with a clenched right fist to celebrate a point won and a long, blonde, plaited ponytail swinging down her back, there are many similarities between Mladenovic and Pierce, the last home-grown champion.But so too are the hints of the same brittle fragility that occasionally hijacked Pierce’s game.”There’s no clay left on this court,” a vexed Mladenovic shouted to herself towards the end of that first set.Bacsinszky simply got on with business, cracking groundstrokes from side to side.The pair held serve to open the second set and, with Mladenovic facing a break point in the third game, the players were called off court after the dark grey clouds finally broke and heavy rain swept the stadium.BACSINSZKY BREAKSIt was more than three hours before play could resume, and, when it did, Mladenovic fought off that break point to nose into the lead, then broke herself for a 3-1 advantage.Once more that “Kiki-Kiki-Kiki” chant was the soundtrack to Court Philippe-Chatrier, but it was a short-lived affair, with Bacsinszky breaking twice either side of a held service game, to be leading 4-3 and serving.Mladenovic was playing with tears in her eyes.The Frenchwoman won the first point of the game, but the pair were then called off court again as the skies darkened.Mladenovic slammed her racket into her bag and left the arena as the rain started spitting, and groundsmen hauled the big, orange tarpaulin across the court.They returned about half an hour later. A backhand bunted wide gave Bacsinszky a 5-3 lead, and forced Mladenovic to serve to stay in the hunt.She held to force Bacsinszky to serve it out, and the Swiss was equal to the task, ensuring she gets to play in the semi-finals on her birthday.Quirkily enough, while Bacsinszky turns 28 on Thursday, her opponent Ostapenko will be 20 the same day.Two birthdays, one present — someone will be crying into their cake.last_img read more

Massive fire erupts at multistoreyed building near Exide Crossing

first_imgKolkata: A major fire broke out at a multi-storeyed building near Exide crossing on Friday morning. Twelve fire tenders were pressed into action and the flames was doused after almost three hours. None was hurt or trapped in the building.On Friday morning, around 9:30 am, fire broke out at an office of an interior decoration company on the 4th floor of a multi-storied building located on 60, Chowringhee Road, popularly known as Mukherjee Building. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataWithin a few minutes thick black smoke covered the entire Exide crossing and Bishop Lefroy Road. Occupants of the building ran out of the apartment in panic and people residing in adjacent buildings also got frightened seeing the thick black smoke and they too rushed out of their homes. Police and fire brigade were immediately informed. Primarily three fire tenders were sent to douse the flames but fire fighters realised that the intensity of the fire is quite high and therefore fire brigade control room was asked to send more fire tenders. Later, in two phases eight more fire tenders were sent at the incident site. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAt the first, fire fighters evacuated all the apartments adjacent to Mukherjee building. While a section of firefighters sprayed water from the ground floor, other firefighters divided into two groups sprayed water from other buildings. The Disaster Management Group (DMG), Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) also joined the fire fighters to bring the flames under control. The situation turned serious when a major vertical crack developed on the building due to the heat. Soon, a huge portion of the building collapsed. According to firefighters, the building was weak and therefore it collapsed but necessary safety precautions were taken in this regard. Fire minister Sujit Bose and Director General of Fire Jag Mohan arrived at the spot to take stock of the situation. After an elaborate discussion with the fire officials, Bose said: “Senior officials have visited the spot. The flames were brought under controlled after two hours. Though a part of the building collapsed, no one is trapped or injured. Some parts of the apartment need to be demolished. KMC will take a decision on that. An inquiry will be conducted to find out whether the building authorities have mandatory fire license and no objection certificates. Stringent action will be taken if negligence is found on anybody’s part. Some residents told me that they were alerted by the fire alarm.” According to CESC, engineers reached the site within 20 minutes and found that the fire erupted on the 4th floor of the multi-storied building. After consulting the fire brigade officials, power supply to the affected building was re-energised within 5 minutes. CESC engineers and workers kept a minute-to-minute watch till the fire was completely doused. Later, after the clearance given by the fire brigade, power supply was restored.last_img read more