As anger erupted again on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, a human rights team from Amnesty International worked on the ground in the US for the first time ever.
Confrontation flared up after an autopsy found that Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was fatally shot by an officer on 9 August, had suffered at six bullet wounds including one in the top of his head.
Eye-witnesses report seeing police, with no visible ID badges, hurling tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters and threatening members of the press in another night of demonstrations.
Amnesty International, said it would be observing police and protester activity and gathering testimonies as well as training local activists “on methods of non-violent protest” in an “unprecedented” move by the campaigners.
Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director, Steven W Hawkins said that the “people of Ferguson have the right to protest peacefully the lack of accountability for Michael Brown’s shooting”.
Jasmine Heiss, one of the 13-strong team sent by Amnesty, told Buzzfeed that the limits placed on the organisation’s access to post-curfew areas was indicative of “the overall lack of transparency in this investigation”.
“Law enforcement, from the FBI to state and local police, are obligated to respect and uphold the human rights of our communities,” Mr Hawkins said in a statement on 14 August.
“The US cannot continue to allow those obligated and duty-bound to protect to become those who their community fears most,” said Amnesty International USA’s executive director, Steven W. Hawkins.”
S.e. Ward, SadG’s, Tesla’s Revenge at Fletcher Free Library, The Mountain Says No, Wave Of The Future, Burning Monk at Nectar’s August 16, 2014
I just got home from a great night of music. If I’d known the timing, I could have made the Waylon Speed & ROUGH FRANCIS boat, but working until 6, when the boat leaves at 7, was a bit iffy.
I got home around 6:20, made some food, got ready and left around 7. I went to the Fletcher Free Library, and right there, in front of the windows, was S. e. Ward playing electric guitar. The sound was a bit sparse but evoked a full band. The songs seemed to rock harder and harder as her set played out. The 20 or so people were sitting on the floor. I joined them, hard as it was. Many of her songs got me bouncing, and I need to check out her music soon!
After her show, SADGs played a hip hop set. One guy filled the sound with scratches, and the other fired out nicely articulated super-fast rhymes. I was way out of my comfort zone, but they were pretty solid.
I thought Better Things would be up next, but they said they would end the show with an acoustic set, and that NY’s Tesla”s Tesla’s Revenge would be on next. With two guitars, bass and drums they kicked out a killer set of punkish indie rock. The guitars played mostly rhythms, with a couple of hot licks here and there. The drums were powerhouse, but fluid enough to slip through all the songs changes. The bass player was pretty spectacular, and often grabbed the songs and threw them a new way. I loved everything about them, and seeing them play in a library was beautifully surreal
They wrapped up at 9:10 and The Mountain Says No were set to go on at 9:15 at Nectar’s. Thinking I had the time perfect, I walked over and stopped in front of Nectar’s and did not hear the band yet. I enjoyed chatting with Jake Styles out front for a bit, then headed in.
I got in and waited, and it was almost 10 when Mountain went on. During the wait I got to chat with Marc Scarano and Darlene Scarano for a bit, but after a while, one of those random loud jams from the stage was the band going on. They played a killer set of heavy jams and fluid open rock songs, and had me rocking from first note to last. A few songs into the set, Eric and Nathan Curtis from Gardener’s showed up. The band just got better and better including some massive guitar interplay between Jedd Kettler and Ben Maddox. I loved everything, especially Statistic and the one two closing punch of The Mountain Says No and I’m With The Bomb,
Nathan and Eric were pizza hungry, so we wandered down to Mr Mike’s for a slice. On the way back we met Theo and Erin, from Gardener’s, and talked them into coming back to the show. We hung out for a bit, then Wave of the Future sounded like they were going on. I headed as close as I could get and rocked from first note to last, minus one song. They played a couple of classics, like Super Sexy Science Party. They did a killer cover of Rock Lobster->Mesopotamia. They played the whole new EP song for song. The whole show was high energy dance music with a heavy driving rock edge. At times Luke Richer had his hands on the laptop table, but his feet were jumping. At times, Samara Lark Brown was spinning her head round and round and her hair making a centrifugal circle. The bass was driving, the drums were fast and steady. The full audience was dancing and having a great time. They rocked us hard, until we were spent, and called it a night. I always let loose when I seen them and tonight they were in perfect form.
We were getting ready to head out, but the next band, Burning Monk, a Rage Against The Machine cover band, took the stage quickly. I don’t know Rage’s music all that well, but Monk were super tight and played it really hard. Drummer Jeremy Gartner was blistering and Matthew Bryan Hagen‘s guitar kept the songs surging. After the second song, I took the easy ride home, since Nathan lives so close. It’s going to be a short/long work day tomorrow, but I have so much joy that flowed through my ears and into my heart, that I’ll find my way through.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — County police in riot gear and armored tanks gave way to state troopers walking side-by-side with thousands of protesters as the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teen was shot by a city police officer overwhelmingly avoided violence Thursday after nearly a week of unrest and mounting public tension.
The dramatic shift came after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon assigned oversight of the protests to the state Highway Patrol, stripping local police from the St. Louis County Police Department of their authority after four days of clashes with furious crowds protesting the weekend death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“All they did was look at us and shoot tear gas,” said Pedro Smith, 41, who has participated in the nightly protests. “This is totally different. Now we’re being treated with respect.”
I just got back from my local music radio show on Wbkm Dot Org. I played a lot of different music from a lot of different times, and talked a bit about those who have left us recently, either for natural or unjust causes.
Song before: Police On My Back – The Clash
From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds Of Burlington. It’s getting cool in the Champlain Valley but the music is still hot. I just saw two punk trios at 242 Twofourtwo Main, 5 girls and 1 guy. It’s great that girls are rocking today, but they did back in the ’90’s too. Here is the next song from Ninja Jane on WBKM and this is Burlington’s Kind Of Music.
Another great song from Wave’s new EP. Wave are playing Nectar’s on Saturday, after the ROUGH FRANCIS, Waylon Speed boat cruise. Wave are playing with Burning Monk and The Mountain Says No, I’m very psyched. Love the Ninja song and Zola have always been a favorite. This next band just played at The Monkey House this evening, but the timing was bad and I could not be there. I bet they played this one
I just got the Anais album Young Man In America and loved Ships immediately. Same with the Parmaga EP. Up next is a song that I keep finding myself humming.
7.) Our Work Is Never Done – PossumHaw
8.) Pretty Little Things – Maryse Smith
9.) People Get Ready – Kip Meaker Trio
10.) Mystery Blues – Zoot Wilson
Zoot was a legend when I was learning about music in Burlington. Kip was one of the greats, and sadly, just passed away. I’ve had a lot of Maryse songs running through my head since her show at The Precipice: A Vermont Music Festival. The other album I just picked up is Crown Pilot.
11.) Julianne Wait – Lowell Thompson and Crown Pilot
12.) Make Me See Stars – The Lonestar Chain
13.) Coming Down Again – Waylon Speed
14.) Staring Out The Window – Rough Francis
That’s going to be a heck of a show on the boat with both Waylon and RF. I have to work late enough that I don’t think I will quite make it, but will see. Great song by Burette Douglas and the gang, and that’s a pretty solid backing band with Lowell. Here’s another song from the new Crazyhearse album. It features Rebecca Rogers, who is no longer in jail in Cleveland.
15.) A Bottle Of Whiskey Later – Crazyhearse
16.) Toe Jam – The Toes
17.) Paper Train – David L. Jarvis
18.) New Age Woman – Pinhead
That was a couple of classics. Pinhead played in the ’80’s and Dave in the ’90’s. The Toes are always crazy fun. They are playing a fundraiser for the Psychedelicatessen. I stopped by, around 11:25, but the guy was saying they would have some quieter acts on, so I assumed I missed them. I’m loving the new Crazyhearse. This next band played the Monkey House tonight too, and I missed them too.
Gorgon and Poxy played a couple of beautiful sets at 242 Main. I had just enough time to check them out before this show. Madelines and Tokyo were great loud rock bands from the ’90’s. Let’s keep the rock going.
There’s only so much time indeed. Whether if’s people like Kip and Lauren Bacall who lived full lives or Robin Williams or the completely senseless killing of Michael Brown, we only have a limited amount of time. I like listening to music, like what Vedora have shared with the world, and following Peg Tassey‘s advice and choosing to love. I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Let’s do it again next week, shall we?
Song after: Credo – Fish
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will announce that St. Louis County law enforcement will be relieved of duty in Ferguson, which has been roiled by protests after the shooting death by police of an unarmed teenager, according to Representative William Lacy Clay.
“The governor just called me, and he’s on his way to St. Louis now to announce he’s taking away St. Louis County police out of the situation,” Clay, a Missouri Democrat, said in a telephone interview. He added that Nixon may ask the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to step in.
A popular piece of legislation that seeks to honor Pope Francis is stuck in Congress.
With time running out on the Capitol Hill calendar, the lawmakers who crafted the bipartisan measure are getting impatient with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
The resolution, written by Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.), congratulates Francis on his March 2013 election and recognizes “his inspirational statements and actions.”
The seemingly innocuous resolution was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which hasn’t acted on it. The panel didn’t comment for this article.
The inaction and the lack of a white smoke signal from Boehner have sparked speculation that politics is at play.
Only 19 of the 221 co-sponsors are Republicans. The dearth of GOP members on the measure could be attributable to assertions that the pope is “too liberal,” according to a Republican backer of the legislation.
The source noted that Francis last year denounced “trickle-down economics.”
Some Republicans believe the pope is “sounding like [President] Obama. [The pope] talks about equality — he actually used the term ‘trickle-down economics,’ which is politically charged,” the GOP official said.
President Obama August 7, 2014
First, I said in June — as the terrorist group ISIL began an advance across Iraq — that the United States would be prepared to take targeted military action in Iraq if and when we determined that the situation required it. In recent days, these terrorists have continued to move across Iraq, and have neared the city of Erbil, where American diplomats and civilians serve at our consulate and American military personnel advise Iraqi forces.
To stop the advance on Erbil, I’ve directed our military to take targeted strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys should they move toward the city. We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Erbil and our embassy in Baghdad. We’re also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL.
Second, at the request of the Iraqi government — we’ve begun operations to help save Iraqi civilians stranded on the mountain. As ISIL has marched across Iraq, it has waged a ruthless campaign against innocent Iraqis. And these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yezidis, a small and ancient religious sect. Countless Iraqis have been displaced. And chilling reports describe ISIL militants rounding up families, conducting mass executions, and enslaving Yezidi women.
In recent days, Yezidi women, men and children from the area of Sinjar have fled for their lives. And thousands — perhaps tens of thousands — are now hiding high up on the mountain, with little but the clothes on their backs. They’re without food, they’re without water. People are starving. And children are dying of thirst. Meanwhile, ISIL forces below have called for the systematic destruction of the entire Yezidi people, which would constitute genocide. So these innocent families are faced with a horrible choice: descend the mountain and be slaughtered, or stay and slowly die of thirst and hunger.
When we face a situation like we do on that mountain — with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale, when we have a mandate to help — in this case, a request from the Iraqi government — and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye. We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide. That’s what we’re doing on that mountain.
I’ve, therefore, authorized targeted airstrikes, if necessary, to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege of Mount Sinjar and protect the civilians trapped there. Already, American aircraft have begun conducting humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help these desperate men, women and children survive. Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, “There is no one coming to help.” Well today, America is coming to help. We’re also consulting with other countries — and the United Nations — who have called for action to address this humanitarian crisis.
I just got back from my local music radio show on internet only Wbkm Dot Org. I played a lot of music that has been played in our town recently, and a couple of oldies.
Song before: Far Escape – Active Heed
From our…(nothing on the vocal meter, play song, reset microphone, realize song is in the setup phase, stop and reset it) From out small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds Of Burlington. Sorry I was out last week, but I’ve seen a ton of music in the last few days. I’m going to play a bunch of bands who played The Precipice last week. Tonight’s show is dedicated to my brother Ken who went to the show with me. Let’s start with a band I saw a couple of weeks ago. This is Demon Moon by Crazyhearse on WBKM, and this is Burlington’s Kind Of Music.
Swale played a killer set at The Precipice: A Vermont Music Festival last week, including a killer version of that song. I love the new Crazyhearse song and something in the sound made me want to play it into the Cush. OK, it’s time to continue with Ninja Jane. I’ve always loved this song.
4.) It’s Purple And It Sparkles – Zola Turn
5.) Miss Vermont – Chin Ho!
6.) 1.21 Jiggawatts – Wave of the Future
Wave’s EP will be released next week, but Luke Richer sent me a copy today. Nice recording by the band and Ben Maddox. Classic songs from Chin and Zola. Friday at the Precipice there were a lot of staggeringly talented bands that make you want to dance. This is one of them.
Barika and ISB had people dancing all Friday night. Swale did a set of covers with various singers. One was Dan Bolles, so I wanted to play one of the songs by his old band to give you a hint of what it sounded like. Also, in the cover set, Nichole sang I Love Rock And Roll. Here’s one of her songs.
Gregory sang a song with Jane Bee during her marimba set. That was a song with his voice and the one before was Jane solo. Nice song from Great Western who are playing tomorrow at Nectar’s. I saw Maryse Smith last week at Radio Bean and at the Precipice where she played with Michael Chorney. She played this both times and I’ve been singing it all week.
14.) 15 Steps – Maryse Smith
15.) Guitar – Michael Chorney
16.) This Isn’t Your Parade – Crazyhearse
17.) The Globe – Landlady
I still remember clearly the show Landlady played at Signal Kitchen a couple of weeks or months ago. I wanted to play it because I love it, I saw Guardians Of The Galaxy today, and when listening to the Crazyhearse song, it made me think of that song. Wow, two songs from their new album made me think of great songs. That’s pretty impressive. Backing vocals on that song are by Rebecca Rogers. Michael and Maryse were great at the Precipice. Hey, you know who else played a song with Swale in the Swaleoke set? That’s right, James Kochalka Superstar.
RF played a killer set at the Precipice. They also did the Swaleoke thing with Amanda Gustafson on keys, Tyler Bolles on bass, Eric Olsen on guitar, Paul Comegno on guitar, Julian Hackney on guitar, Urian Hackney on vocals, and Bobby Hackney Jr. on drums. Their collective version of Now I Wanna Be Your Dog might be my top local music event ever. Maybe not, but it’s way up there. Barbacoa played a killer version of Trans at the Precipice. Saturday, we had to leave a bit early, since Ken had to work in the morning. We missed most of this band’s set, but did catch this song.
Thanks to Mike Luoma for turning me on to, and getting me a ticket to see Midlake when they played Higher Ground last week. As an acoustic three-piece, they sounded very close to the full band version, when they played Antiphon. Peg Tassey did not play the Precipice, but did show up to check out some of the music. The Bondes played a killer show Friday night. Too bad Becky was in jail in Cleveland, but Diane Sullivan did a great job with the vocals. I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Let’s do it again next week, shall we?
One more song before I go. If more people understood what this next song means, the world would be a happier place. We are groot.
Song after: What Color Is God? – Fish
Reporter July 8, 2014 “The White House today asked Congress for 3.7 billion dollars to deal with the flood of unaccompanied children coming into the United States illegally.”
Jon Stewart “3.7 billion dollars. That’s a lot of money. Congress?”
Rep Michael McCaul (R-TX) “We’re not going to write a blank check for over 4 billion dollars.”
Stewart “Real quick, you do realize, house chairman of homeland security, that a blank check can’t be for a specific number. You know that. Once you write a specific number, 4 billion, 2 billion, whatever it is, it looses the vital quality of blankness. It’s not blank anymore. I don’t know if we should really elect people that don’t know how checks work.”