This summer, while a lot of attention was focused on the aftermath of the police killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, another young black man was shot to death by the LAPD. Following the police killing of Ezell Ford, his cousin Ceebo, among others, demanded answers about what had happened to him. He recorded a song and video which caused the police to send out a special alert; and he started organising community protests demanding justice for victims of police violence. And now, having been convicted of burglary on the basis of some very questionable evidence, this young man is facing 4-24 years in prison. Nearly a hundred years after Joe Hill was executed for a similarly sketchy conviction, the state is once again using some very dubious charges to silence a musician and organiser for speaking out against power. His sentencing is on November 20th, and his supporters are calling for people to turn up and pack the court then. For those of us who live far from Los Angeles, there’s a few things you can do to help: if you’d like to ask the judge for clemency, write a letter asking Judge George Genesta to show mercy in the case of DaMonte Marquise Shipp Sr., and send it to freeCeebo@gmail.com. You can also donate to help cover his legal costs, expenses while in prison, and the needs of his family here.
Over on this side of the Atlantic, there’s also a fair amount of police-related stuff going on. On Friday 28th, G, a a young Asian man, is facing trial for monitoring a police stop and search, and the London Campaign Against Police and State Violence is calling on people to turn up and support him. On a more historical note, the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign are going to be picketing the Independent Police Complaints Commission on Friday 14th to highlight the IPCC’s continued foot-dragging over Orgreave, two years after South Yorkshire Police first referred themselves to the IPCC. Staying on the theme of police repression, anarchists in Bristol have recently put out a strong response to the ongoing campaign of police harassment of anarchists in that city. Defend the Right to Protest are also holding a national conference this weekend, although I’ve never been able to work out quite how far they’re an independent organisation and how far they’re a SWP front. You can make your own mind up about whether you think it sounds worth attending. The Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance definitely seem pretty sound, and they’re also holding a public meeting in London this Wednesday, with several victims of police spying and misconduct sharing their experiences, including blacklisted construction worker Dave Smith – in case you missed it, some recently leaked minutes have revealed the extent of police collusion with employers blacklisting militant workers.
Also coming up in the capital is a day-long discussion of workplace organising hosted by Feminist Fightback, which looks really interesting. In other news, the Care UK strike may be reaching an end as the affected workers are now voting on a new pay offer after 90 days of action, and Plan C have published an overview of the exciting new wave of housing struggles taking place in London. Finally, some reading recommendations: Someday We’ll Be Ready, and We’ll Be Enough is an interesting long piece from Seattle thinking about movement-building and how to avoid activist burnout, and SolFed have just published a post-mortem on the Pop-Up Union that briefly flourished in Brighton last year, which is a pretty detailed look at one of the highpoints of autonomous class struggle in the UK in recent years.