In Cambridge MA, where BLM protestors have been demonstrating since the 2020 police killing of George Floyd, more protests over police shooting of a Bangladeshi student

Police shootings in the USA claim over a thousand lives a year, with many going unreported, and 2021, the year after George Floyd’s murder, recorded as one of the deadliest years on record. A disproportionate number of those killed in such incidents are persons of colour.

The summer of 2020 saw massive Black Lives Matter protests across the USA. Although these protests have largely died down, a small group has continued to demonstrate in Cambridge MA, standing at the corner of Prospect and Broadway streets every Friday afternoon. No media outlet has picked up the story of these peaceful demonstrators holding up BLM signs, including: ‘All lives matter but not all lives are threatened with racist violence’.

In Spring 2022, one of my students at Emerson College did a video report on these Stand-outers as they call themselves. It includes comments from two of the group’s members, retired pediatrician Dr. Alan Meyers and history professor Dr. Tom Johnson (erroneously mentioned as Robinson in the video) on why they continue demonstrating. Report below, shared with the student’s permission:

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Reflections: Baba Bujha Singh, revolution, poetry, and democracy

Sharing below an informative, moving and insightful piece by friend Jaspal Singh in Cambridge commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Baba Bujha Singh’s extrajudicial murder in Punjab, India. The story is reflected in other instances of police brutality elsewhere too. And so is his comment on democracy. He regularly dispatches his ‘Reflections’ to friends via email; a list I feel privileged to be on. Over to Jaspal ji:

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The importance of history and being human

With rising racial tensions in the USA exacerbated by bigots like Trump and easy availability of weapons, I wanted to share my friend Jaspal Singh’s recent ‘Reflections’ that he emailed to a few friends from his base in Cambridge MA (visuals added). Also see this post by Partha Banerjee, an activist friend in New York City, on the racism of South Asians (he talks about Indians but it applies equally to others in the region) and the need to contexualise injustice and violence and demand “justice for all the sufferers” and “punishment for all the criminals”.

Andover PD-Jul 8-2016

#Edhism #BlackLivesMatter #Kashmir #Police We could all use a bit more humanity. A powerful little story shared on Facebook by the Andover Police Department about what happens when we see each other as human beings first.

REFLECTIONS

July 10,2016

By Jaspal Singh

A wave of protests against police brutality has engulfed the US. Thousands of people have come out in the streets against the killing of black men by police in several cities. In Dallas Texas, a sniper killed five police officers.People are demanding that these police officers who are killing black men with impunity , be brought to justice and be punished. The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the plight of the black people in the US.They can be killed by the law enforcement officers without any accountability as black lives are not considered to have any value. Every year hundreds of black men are killed in police shootings and nothing comes out of it, no police officer is punished. People are incensed against this kind of impunity. Continue reading

‘My years with WAF’ – Zohra Yusuf on the Pakistani women’s movement

Guest post: Zohra Yusuf, my first editor at The Star Weekend 1981-82, outlines the birth of the women’s movement in Pakistan

Lahore, Feb 12, 1983: Police brutality on the women's demonstration against the 'Law of Evidence' catapulted the nascent women's movement into the limelight. Photo: Rahat Ali Dar

Lahore, Feb 12, 1983: Police brutality on the women’s demonstration against the ‘Law of Evidence’ catapulted the nascent women’s movement into the limelight. Photo: Rahat Ali Dar

“My years with WAF” 

By Zohra Yusuf | Article written for a souvenir on WAF’s 25th anniversary, Oct 2006

Certain memories are etched on the mind. The birth of Women’s Action Forum is, for me, surely among them. It was on an afternoon in September 1981 that Aban Marker (Shirkatgah) called. She told me about the distressed call she had just received from Najma Sadeque (another SG founding member) regarding the case of Fehmida-Allah Bux. Pakistan’s first sentence of death by stoning and public whipping handed down to a couple under the Zina Ordinance of 1979. We had all read about the sentence and in our individual capacities felt deeply disturbed. After a bit of discussion, we decided to call a meeting of all women’s organizations at Aban’s place. The rest, as they say, is history. Continue reading

Egypt police then and now – remembering May 25, 2005

Egypt is the second biggest recipient of American aid and military hardware, long used by the Mubarak regime to brutalise the people. The Egyptian police are even more brutal than in Pakistan. Watching the situation now on Al Jazeera livestream, when the police have been forced to retreat before the might of the people, I remembered the time some years back when they humiliated and stripped women protestors in public – I posted a message out to my yahoogroup back in May 2005 Eyewitness testimonies: Molestation of Democracy in Egypt. Around the world people observed solidarity with the protestors in Egypt, responding to a call to wear black on Jun 1, 2005. I later wrote this article, posted to my yahoogroup as Personal Political: Women, public space, Cairo and Lahore – copied below. Imagine if there had been twitter and facebook then… Continue reading

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