This is a reminder that Sandra Bland’s documentary is coming soon!
Say Her Name: The Life and Death Of Sandra Bland (TV-MA, 1 HR 43 MIN) will air Monday, December 3 at 9:00 pm CST on HBO, HBO GO and HBO NOW. Available On Demand Tuesday, December 4
This is a reminder that Sandra Bland’s documentary is coming soon!
Say Her Name: The Life and Death Of Sandra Bland (TV-MA, 1 HR 43 MIN) will air Monday, December 3 at 9:00 pm CST on HBO, HBO GO and HBO NOW. Available On Demand Tuesday, December 4
Weeks ago, Mayor Turner announced a plan to get Houston’s homeless off city streets. A program that will mirror the San Antonio’s homeless initiative, The Way Home. The program will consist of a safe area where the homeless can sleep nightly, take showers, use the restroom and utilize services for housing, etc. The program will be considered a safe haven for the homeless. In that same press conference led by Mayor Turner, he also confirmed that he was looking to pass an ordinance that would prohibit the use of tents on public property. This immediately affects those living under the bridge at 59 near San Jacinto called the Wheeler homeless camp. Homeless advocates were recently successful in pulling back Houston police officers who were violating the rights of the Wheeler homeless for merely sitting at their spot, doing nothing criminal that would have police demanding ID’s without probable cause. The property belongs to TXDOT because it’s property located under a Texas highway bridge. The City of Houston cannot cite trespassing laws at that location at this time. For years, the homeless have been living under the 59 bridge so learning that the city was attempting to pass an ordinance that would prohibit use of a tent grew disturbing among homeless advocates.
Homeless advocates pushed for supporters to attend the March 28th City Council meeting and to speak out against the ordinance. Below outlines the ordinance the city looks to implement. The ordinance is poorly written and completely opens the flood gates for harassment of the homeless community led by Houston police.
ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 21 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, HOUSTON, TEXAS, relating to encampments in public places; declaring certain conduct to be unlawful and providing penalties therefor; containing findings and other provisions relating to the foregoing subject; providing for severability
Homeless advocate Em Payton spoke to the city council with great passion letting city leaders know that “we treat stray animals better than our homeless” which was recognized by CM Kubosh who thanked her for the speech and that he would keep her statement in mind when voting. CM Knox was drilling in on advocates looking to formally confirm whether we agreed or disagreed with the ordinance.
Shere Dore spoke to council reminding city leaders that “Houston is better than this” and that removing tent structures will only further expose the homeless leaving opportunity for more police harassment due to public lewdness, exposure, etc. CM Boykins spoke of the ordinance citing that the ordinance is there because of transient criminals. Claiming inmates get out of prison, are dropped off at Greyhound then they mix in with the homeless community creating trouble. This is based on “his research”. Homeless advocates are awaiting a response on what exact research was done and how the info was obtained because the assumption and excuses are far from the truth. Above it all, to criminalize the entire homeless community due to a possible few transient criminals is simply wrong.
Houston Activist Photographer gave a very moving speech to council. This was the first time in 6 years that Burnell McCray spoke to city leaders. That is how disturbed he was over the ordinance. His speech left several council members such as CM Christie and CM Kubosh in awe and thanked him for reminding them of how to be compassionate towards the poor. During McCray’s speech, CM Boykins took Dore outside to have a discussion once again outlining the criminal element of homelessness, using terms like con artists. He stated that the ordinance would be delayed because we came forward in concern over this matter but that it could be passed in the next session.
All of this has been presented because of the gentrified area located next to the Wheeler homeless camp. The last few years, expensive condo’s have been built near downtown, taking over areas of historic value, including homeless communities who’ve long been there before gentrification. Now the neighborhood wants the homeless out of their community in the worst way. The homeless community has been accused of being an eye sore, bringing down property values. Individuals of the community are on a 24 hour watch of the Wheeler camp, calling the cops any time an individual brings food to share, any time a homeless individual lights up their grill and even calling the police when homeless advocates take photo’s of the gentrifiers harassing the homeless under the bridge. Neighborhood men and women have been seen walking under the bridge, taking photo’s and filming the homeless and homeless advocates. At Wednesday’s council meeting, Mark McDermott who represents the neighborhood, spoke to council against the homeless, even accusing homeless advocates of harassment towards them.
Later that evening a women residing in the area who frequently films, takes photos, flips off homeless advocates for helping the homeless, drives erratically through the streets at Wheeler, called Houston Police when homeless advocate Payton took a photo of the frequented woman who was sitting at a stop sign taking photo’s of homeless advocates. Minutes later Houston police arrived questioning the incident, advising to the woman that on public property we can take photos. Also reminding the woman that they have no power under the bridge unless something criminal was taking place and in the eyes of the officer, there were no laws being broken. The woman took her walk of shame back to her car moments later after wasting tax payer dollars on such a call to 911.
Homeless advocates are once again asking public supporters to attend next weeks Tuesday April 4th Council meeting, assisting advocates in pulling back the ordinance altogether. You can speak to council by calling the City Secretary at 832-393-1100. Ask to speak on the tent/encampment ordinance. AN ID IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND THE COUNCIL MEETING.
If you cannot attend the council meeting and are unhappy with the ordinance, we are asking people to email your respective leaders. Info provided below. ALL At Large positions along with your district rep, mayor and most of all, Dist D rep of the Wheeler camp, Dwight Boykins, are all crucial in contacting each to let them know how you feel about the ordinance.
Mayor Turner email@example.com
Dist A: Stardig firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist B: Davis email@example.com
Dist C: Cohen firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist D: BOYKINS email@example.com
Dist E: Martin firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist F: Le email@example.com
Dist G: Travis firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist H: Cisneros districth@@houstontv.gov
Dist i: Gallegos email@example.com
Dist J: Laster firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist K: Green email@example.com
At Large1: Knox firstname.lastname@example.org
At Large2: Robinson email@example.com
At Large3: Kubosh firstname.lastname@example.org
At Large4: Edwards email@example.com
At Large5: Christie firstname.lastname@example.org
Houston City Council Agenda link: http://houstontx.swagit.com/play/03282017-1690
Houston, TX – In April 2012, the City of Houston, including Mayor Annise Parker passed an anti – food sharing ordinance which made it illegal for any group or individual to feed the homeless or those in need without risking a fine of $500 – $2,000 or even jail. The ordinance states that if you feed more than 5 individuals, you can be subjected to breaking the law. To date, there are groups and homeless advocates who continue to feed the homeless without a permit that’s required to share food. Food Not Bombs Houston has been feeding Houston’s homeless over 23 years. FNB was at the forefront fighting the city over the ordinance and through today is the only food sharing group who doesn’t have to have permission from the city to feed those in need of a meal. FNB is made of up volunteers who are involved in church, activism, homeless advocacy or not involved in anything but just wants to come help. Individuals come from all diversities and share food M, W, F at 8 p.m. and Sun at 7 p.m., rain or shine, holiday or not. FNB refused to adhere to the city ordinance and that is why I’ve enjoyed working with the group for 5 years. The majority of volunteers who are committed truly have a heart for our homeless community. That is what makes this work so well, serving roughly 90 – 120 people. FNB is a vegetarian food sharing and prides itself on serving a healthier alternative. Homeless are not the only ones who come to eat. We’ve had scores of people throughout the years who have homes but don’t have enough food in the home so they come eat with FNB. Even volunteers are encouraged to eat, hence why we call this a food sharing and not a feeding.
Look behind FNB and that’s where you find a brightly lit of building that is Houston City Hall now run by Mayor Sylvester Turner who has also refused to reverse the anti – food sharing ordinance. Back in June 2016, Houston was dealing with a KUSH epidemic that impacted our homeless for months after Houston Police seized 9 tons of KUSH after making a bust the 3rd week of May. Within one week of the bust, Houston’s homeless were heavily impacted by KUSH use that flooded the streets of downtown and local parks around the downtown area. Coincidence? No. However, no police agency or city dept would admit that the flow of KUSH came by the same people who claim to serve and protect. Once the KUSH ran out, so did the issue of the concerns of our homeless who were on it, impacting communities. Mayor Turner used the KUSH matter at part of the reason for not reversing the food sharing ordinance. I’ve heard Turner defend the homeless through words however through action, I’m not seeing the same. December 22, 2016 at two different locations that happened nearly the same time, two homeless downtown hotspots were hit by police. Near Minute Maid Park, Houston Police caved into the homeless camp with city waste, trashing homeless items by the bulk. Several homeless claimed that their personal possessions were trashed without permission. HPD told the homeless to stand back or get arrested. At the Wheeler camp at the same time, Pct 7 police questioned whether I fed the homeless, reminding me it is illegal to feed. Admitting that I fed the homeless and wished they were 5 minutes earlier so I could receive a ticket, it left the officer dumbfounded. (Link below)
Mayor Turner had sent out a press release to the public concerning the Wheeler homeless camp. While originally I was glad that items belonging to the homeless were left untouched and that the city focused on the heavy trash under the bridge, I was disappointed by his use of stereotypes in the release. “Drug use” AND “crime” won’t be tolerated. No shit! It shouldn’t be tolerated by any citizen, not just the homeless however this is the continued stigma that city officials continue to push. This could be the words led by Janice Evans (his Communications Director & who hates me with a passion) however the words were approved by the Mayor and to continue to spew rhetoric that condition people to be scared of the homeless and continue this outlook. These are one of the reasons why we are here facing off.
The entire press release can be linked here: http://www.houstongovnewsroom.org/go/doc/2155/2912434/
Fast forward to the last few months where homeless in the downtown area have been hearing rumors that the city is going to ensure their presence will no longer be during Super Bowl week, has caused homeless advocates and homeless advocate supporters to come out and determine how to handle this matter. In San Francisco last year during their Super Bowl, it was illegal to be homeless in or around the area where Super Bowl festivities were taking place. In Houston, activists and advocates are refusing to let that happen. The Wheeler homeless camp has become a fighting ground between advocates, police/city of Houston and gentrified snitches. Gentrification has been a problem in Houston for years now. Areas of town where once white money wouldn’t dare drive in the communities are now throwing $200k – millions for gentrified housing in the same areas spoken the worst of over decades like 3rd Ward, Midtown, 4th Ward and so on. Executives who once flooded newly built territories in the suburbs like Sugar Land, Cinco Ranch, all the CY – areas and more have now come back into the city to buy homes near downtown. There’s only one problem… the homeless had that territory first. However, white money continues to build these aluminum boldly painted homes and while some tend to gravitate towards money and the “finer things of life” the truth is, we still have a homeless population that needs to be handled with care. If anything, just to receive a meal or proper healthcare. The gentrified snitches refuse to see it that way. Their idea and concerning revolves around money and their property values. Here are a couple of examples of gentrified snitches:
These are the typical people who are walking zombies of society. They don’t have a compassionate bone in their body. They believe the world revolves around them only. They also swear they’ve visited with these same homeless several times and that all of them are healthy looking without mental issues so why can’t they go get a job? In reality, these are the kinds who eat up our planet with their inhumane bile and ego’s that stand taller than any of the buildings they work in, they decide to call the police anytime a group of people are seen at the Wheeler camp. The last 3 trips I’ve taken to Wheeler camp in a week has led to being confronted by police 3 times, asking if we’re feeding the homeless. On Sunday afternoon a family in a red truck came out to hand out blankets to the homeless when Pct 7 came out, questioning the family.
The weekend prior, a gentrified snitch called the police which led to 5 HPD units questioning whether we were feeding the homeless when we were out there to clean up the Wheeler camp.
A Latino family, children included, had walked through the Wheeler camp to hand out sandwiches, cold drinks and chips. As the family made their way back, a gentrified snitch stopped the family, scolding them in front of their children advising that they are not allowed to feed the homeless. She was not friendly either. She has been seen driving around the Wheeler camp in a newer model Cadillac and is described as an older white haired white woman. While gentrified snitches are attempting to rid the homeless from the area, a group of activists have enacted their official “Homeless Watch” that has begun. These watches will ensure that our homeless are not mistreated because they are homeless whether it is in a gentrified area or areas where Super Bowl festivities will be taking place. Several Houston police officers have been independently telling several homeless men and women that they will not be allowed to be downtown or in areas near NRG Stadium where the Super Bowl will be held next month. Some officers have stated that the homeless are to stay outside a 3 – 5 mile radius of downtown and NRG. Homeless advocates met with a Sgt Herndon under HPD Assist Chief Troy Finner on Jan 5th who confirmed that no orders were set out for Houston officers to relay such information to the homeless. According to HPD, any officer outlining any rules at this time, are making these claims on their own and are not backed by HPD. We’ve been advised that if or when a time comes that rules will come forward, that we will be made aware of these rules so that we can communicate them to the homeless. Houston Officer Cuffy who works at The Beacon, which is a homeless service located in downtown Houston, was filmed telling a homeless man that if the homeless are downtown at the time of Super Bowl, that they would be going to jail. The man tells the officer, “But you cannot arrest someone just because they are homeless”. Cuffy replies, “You’re right, we can’t. But we can find something else to charge you with.” Because the man in the video is the one who brought this to my attention, is why it is important for me to keep him anonymous, for his safety. The video was very real and very chilling which caused me to initiate a homeless watch and bring together others who would assist in watching and defending those who are defenseless. Homeless watches have already begun in different hotspots around downtown, to NRG Stadium, to Hobby Airport. These watches will continue through the night of the Super Bowl so the gentrified snitches should get themselves ready. The homeless may not be able to stand up for themselves but we’ve stepped in and are quite ready to take on any challenges offered. In the end, is this really about keeping law and order concerning the food ordinance? Or is it the City of Houston who is caving to white money? White money being the gentrified areas creating havoc and those complaining because they are worried about Houston’s image during Super Bowl? I do know that each time I go check on the homeless, I nor anyone else, should be subjected to a cops who’ve been tattled to by a bunch of snobs. Since when did Houston because “that city”? – END
“Until we begin to deal with mental issues surrounding homelessness (i.e. ptsd from becoming and living homeless on top of possibly having other mental disorders) we will continue to have this problem.” – Shere Dore
Burnell McCray has been photo documenting Houston for over 30-years. He’s sharing his album concerning the Wheeler homeless camp up close and personal. You can see the engagement with the homeless and engagement with the powers that be when police arrive.
***I will be addressing City Council Wednesday morning to discuss the continued harassment by these gentrified snitches and to also question actions led by police towards our homeless lately***
It is important for people to be aware of their surroundings, but more so, to be aware when you have hate groups who usually end up going to their jobs at some point, or other places where non-whites usually go. Just as the FBI has their Most Wanted posters of those we should be aware of, it was necessary for the public to be made aware of members of the white supremacist group that call themselves “White Lives Matter II”. The “II” are actually to signify two lightening bolts (a white supremacist hate symbol) but social media doesn’t recognize lightening bolts so the group chose to use the double I’s. Cute, huh?
QUICK UPDATE ABOUT THE BLM COUNTER PROTEST OCT. 1, 2016
The White Lives Matter group initially protested at the NAACP Houston Chapter on a Sunday afternoon when the business was CLOSED. Black Lives Matter Houston chose to not counter that protest however when WLM decided to protest at the Anti Defamation League, BLMHOU decided to step up and counter this time around. Both the NAACP Houston Chapter and the Anti Defamation League here in Houston have NOT graced their support to Black Lives Matter/Black Lives Matter Houston. The NAACP held a press conference the day following the WLM protest asking for money. A journalist/writer for Free Press Houston even attempted to get a straight answer from James Douglas, President of the NAACP Houston Chapter concerning the support for BLM Houston and she was met with deflected answers, never getting the answer that was desired. But again, they had no problem asking that money be sent to continue to support the NAACP so they could continue to combat racism, etc, although the NAACP has been extremely quiet concerning police violence in the Houston and surrounding areas. The protest was about BLACK LIVES MATTER. Had the WLM group been smart and actually done some research, they would have learned that BLM Houston held their own protest against the NAACP earlier in the year after the ALEX Award was given to Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson who has built her career on incarcerating black men and women. WLM has yet to do proper research, like the NAACP, the Anti Defamation League (ADL) has also been extremely quiet where it concerns support of Black Lives Matter Houston. This time around, BLM and other Houston groups were not going to let WLM host their action without a counter action. In front of the ADL, Houston police had both groups separated by barricades. In the middle originally, was media set between both groups in order to gain footage and obtain interviews from both sides until an organizer from Black Lives Matter Houston jumped the barricades and made his way over to the WLM group, who was taunting BLM activists like small children tend to do when they know they’re protected. Police ran to Greg Chatham, the BLM organizer, and had him placed back over the barricades without arrest. Later the same WLM children taunted two Black Panthers as they made their way back to their vehicles which nearly led to a brawl. Of course a few members of WLM stayed well behind the barricades but stood in place acting as if they were going to buck up to the two Panthers, knowing the police would protect Hitler’s minions. As the protest continued, both sides yelled back and forth. Most of the time WLM leader Ken Reed kept fiddling with the siren on his bullhorn, seemingly more interested in playing with his toy rather than to stand up and be a real man, facing the group he hates most. Cece Von Girton was seen dancing often when BLM would chant insults at the WLM group. The BLM side held at least 50 protesters while WLM was lucky if they had 15 participants. WLM initially set up the protest for 5.5 hours, hosting it on a Saturday, again when the business was CLOSED, from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. The WLM group decided to pack up their protest and leave close to 3 p.m. Black Lives Matter withstood the protest, refusing to stand down, refusing to be the first ones to depart. Days after, WLM took to social media, patting themselves on the back, one moment claiming a win over BLM but shortly after, they were pleading to the public that more people needed to show up to their events, and how they didn’t have a good turnout. Boo hoo.
We set out to build a family photo album detailing who each of these participants were, within White Lives Matter. Each of these photo’s were taken from every single Facebook account that belongs to the person listed below. None of the photo’s were altered as you will see. Many of them fit descriptions of meth heads or just a really bad scene taken out of the movie Deliverance or Wrong Turn. See for yourself.
Because Facebook originally BANNED me for sharing the family album using the Facebook photo upload, I felt it was better to group them here then share. Freedom of press? We shall see in the coming days whether Facebook will side with the Nazi group as they’ve been doing lately. On another note, the White Lives Matter II page looks to be taken down. There looks to be a WLM III page now up however it’s pretty buttoned up. Cowards generally don’t believe in being transparent but link here if you want to see why they’ve been labeled a hate group.
If you want to connect to Black Lives Matter Houston, link here:
If anything, I hope you enjoyed the family album! I’m sure we’ll be adding more family members here soon.
Many people generally don’t care about elections concerning county district attorney’s. Some trust that the county attorney is doing their jobs accordingly but never really take the time to research just who they are electing into office. Well, it is time that everyone got to know who Devon Anderson is and why she is so dangerous for Harris County.
Devon Anderson was married to Mike Anderson who originally led as Harris County’s top attorney. Mike succumbed to cancer in August 2013. By September 26, 2013, then Governor Rick Perry appointed Devon Anderson as Harris County District Attorney. Devon said she wanted to fulfill promises made by her husband to restore confidence in the DA’s office. Devon went on to say “We fight for justice for crime victims. We follow the law. We base our decisions on the law and the evidence, not on politics, not on popularity.” That statement echos continuous manipulation, lies, and deceit told by Devon, as we would see years later after taking office. In 2014, Devon Anderson won her first election. By then, Devon began making herself comfortable, hell bent on ignoring needed justice for victims killed by racist police while criminalizing the black and brown communities in record numbers.
Monday, September 26, Devon Anderson, who is fighting to keep her position as District Attorney agreed to her one and only DA debate against Kim Ogg, who ran against Devon in 2014 and is running ection cycle. Devon controlled the entire platform of the debate with the exception of allowing Kim to utilize Facebook Live on her page so that the the debate could be seen live by Kim supporters. Black Lives Matter Houston chapters #BLMHOU and #BLMHTX were both in attendance. Both entities have joined forces to push the #ByeDevon campaign which focuses on removing Harris County’s top prosecutor from her position. In March 2016, Chicago activists moved forward with their #ByeAnita campaign to remove DA Anita Alvarez from office. Their efforts gained them a big win as Anita was ousted from the DA’s office, losing to Kim Foxx. Anita was most known as the DA who his the Laquan McDonald video from the public for 13 months defending Laquan’s murders, the police in this case. The video later proved that officers murdered him in plain view. It was at the time the video was released that the community had enough and chose to work to remove Anita from office. The same is happening now in Houston, Harris County. Houston activists have been working feverishly to have Devon removed from office in November. A lot of information provided at Monday’s DA debate was already known however there was crucial information which the public is simply unaware. It is important to push what was learned in order to make an educated voting decision. Devon also hired 5 personal security agents, assuming Black Lives Matter was planning on rioting at the debate. This was not the case of either chapter but that didn’t stop the usual ‘activist officer detail’ (HPD & CID) from attending the debate to watch over activists.
Devon recently came under fire for re-victimizing a victim of rape. The young woman was placed in Harris County jail because Devon wanted to ensure a ‘win at all cost’ against her rapist. Devon continued to defend her action by stating, ” the victim testified, and her bravery helped get a serial rapist off the street.” Meanwhile the victim had been beaten and ridiculed while in jail. After the beating, she was placed in solitary confinement, worsening the victim’s mental condition. Harris County medical staff did not properly care for the victim, not offering her mental healthcare treatment. Rather than Devon own up to her mistakes and the mistakes of ADA’s, Devon continued to point the finger at the victim claiming that she was homeless and concerned that they wouldn’t be able to locate her. As news spread of the incident, Devon became more defensive and erratic, attempting to deflect inquiries, constantly placing blame back on the rape victim. She also continued to brag about the rapist conviction in spite of all of this. But at what cost? A young woman was raped, thrown in jail so that a DA could score a win, beaten, bullied, held in solitary confinement and then blamed by the same DA for the actions led by Devon. This could happen to any of our loved ones. For a DA to utilize this horrible treatment towards rape victims, shows Devon to be at least, inhumane. At most, she should be jailed, stripped of her license by the Texas Bar Association. During the debate, Devon had an opportunity to make the matter right. Instead, Devon became angry and defensive, once again deflecting by pointing out flaws of Kim Ogg. Devon never took full responsibility of her actions. That is extremely dangerous!
HUMAN SEX TRAFFICKING
Houston leads the country as number one in human trafficking. To hear that was staggering. To hear how Devon is treating this matter was astonishing. In 2015 only 7 cases of human trafficking were filed in Harris County. In 2016, only 4 cases were filed. However, Devon had no problem targeting prostitutes. She filed 4,000 prostitution cases. Only 100 cases were filed against pimps. Most cases were dealt with on FEDERAL level so Devon has had little to no impact in Harris County, helping Houston jump to the number one spot for human trafficking. Devon’s primary focus has been on prostitutes, not the men running these women on the streets. 4,000 prostitution cases vs 100 pimp cases shows obvious corruption.
Recently the US Supreme Court ruled that defendants should not be held in jail because they cannot afford to pay a bondsman to get out. Over 75% of people in Harris County jail are pretrial detainees. Individuals can be in jail for the smallest of things. Devon has continued to oppose PR (personal recognizance) bonds, falling back citing it’s policy to push back against PR bonds. However individuals who have murdered another can bond out for $30k and if they have the money to get out, they can. This is clearly a case of targeting the poor for simply being poor. It is the poor who will suffer most. In many cases, a trial isn’t set for 6 months to even a year. This means the person must sit in jail the entire time, separating them from work and loved ones while conditioning their mindset to prison status. Black males make up 43% of the prison population at Harris County Jail as charged by the DA’s office in 2015. Meanwhile only 13% of whites have been prosecuted in 2015 although whites are the majority in Harris County. By now we know that the system is about money. It is no joke that Devon continues to squeeze x, y, z taxpayer to house pretrial detainees. It costs $202 a day to house detainees. Annually taxpayers pay over $73k for one inmate. Harris County jail is over populated so much that officials had to move many inmates to neighboring Fort Bend County jail. People should be outraged that their money is being wasted as it is however Devon isn’t concerned about the taxpayer dollars as Devon has increased the DA budget by 20%, now to $79 million., making no apologies to the public, only excuses. The DA budget for 2015-2016 was originally set for $67 million.
Just to give a quick overview of criminal cases in Harris County and the continued lacking of cases filed by Devon. Burglary and robbery prosecution cases have decreased while both categories have increased in rate.
Maybe Devon is too busy prosecuting prostitutes and black people to pay attention to robbery and burglary cases in Harris County.
POLICE VIOLENCE & BLACK LIVES MATTER
In Harris County there have been 300 no-bills (non indictments of Houston police) since 2005. Though Devon has only been in office since 2013, she supports law enforcement 100% with no questions asked or any doubt in her mind to any wrongdoing by police. She freed Jordan Bakers killer. Jordan was a 26 year old black man who was murdered by HPD Officer Castro in January 2014. Castro used the typical “I feared for my life” excuse as he claimed Jordan reached for his waistband. Castro was no billed right before Christmas in 2015. Ashtian Barnes was a 24 year old black male who was murdered by Pct 5 Officer Roberto Felix in April 2016. Video shared to the public only after the grand jury ruling showed Ashtian was also murdered when shooting the young man was unnecessary. Officer Felix was no-billed in August 2016. Alva Braziel was murdered by Houston Police in July 2016. A grand jury has not met to determine whether an officer will be indicted however history has proven that Harris County does not like holding police officers accountable. The Harris Co ME (Medical Examiner) office is refusing to release the autopsy report to Alva’s wife, further concerning local activists and the public that something more sinister took place the night Alva was murdered. If no-billing murderous police officers wasn’t enough, Devon took to media on August 2015 shortly after Officer Darren Goforth was murdered, blaming Black Lives Matter for his death. Her claim caused death threats and personal public information shared online towards activists. Demands for an apology were constructed but Devon refused, telling KHOU channel 11 news “I am not apologizing to Black Lives Matter!” During her Monday night debate, Devon continued the rhetoric, claiming that it (the blaming of BLM) would be presented at the trial against the Shannon Miles who murdered Goforth. Without any real proof or evidence that BLM had anything to do with the murder of Goforth, Devon continues her blasphemous gossip. Instead of Devon holding police responsible for actually killing people, she would rather divert responsibility to Black Lives Matter. It is safe to say that Devon Anderson doesn’t care about black people.
LEADERSHIP OF THE DA’S OFFICE
Quick numbers just to give you an idea of how white our DA’s office is:
I think the numbers speak for themselves. White Lives Matter to Devon Anderson.
THE DEVON LIST
Hopefully this sheds some light (or darkness) on what we are currently dealing with in Harris County. NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OF KIM OGG.
To connect with Houston activists, link below:
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
With the presidential election nearing, it is important that individuals become aware of specific terms, ideologies, background support, etc. If you’re anything like me, then you already know that no matter which presidential candidate wins, whether it be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, we are pretty much screwed. While some can sleep at night voting the lesser of two evils, my take is that you’re still choosing an evil. I personally cannot do that. While Hillary is belting out the same old tired rhetoric we hear from old, bought out, corporatism leaders, Donald Trump is standing out in a way that has many thinking that America is about to become the new Germany.
Some hear the term, “alt-right” and don’t give it much thought, making an assumption that it’s some type of extreme right-wing garbage used by GOP heads and move about their day. However, the term has become so popular that it has trended on the internet a few times now. Many wouldn’t guess that the Alt-Right is actually a movement, a growing group of Americans with very specific ideas, beliefs, and actually has serious political power. The Alt-Right is defined as a group segmented of right-wing ideologies presented as an alternative to mainstream media conservatism – a movement of unified support for presidential candidate Donald Trump. The Alt-Right ideologies are aligned with white nationalism, white supremacy, right-winged populism, white nativism and neo-reactionary types. One might include White Lives Matter heavily supported and backed by the Alt-Right. The Alt-Right is mainly known to push their movement online using social media to push their well-known meme’s to express their beliefs. The group is largely seen as racist and hateful. That is only the beginning of what the Alt-Right truly is and what it could mean for America.
Jared Taylor is an American white nationalist who is the founder and editor of American Renaissance magazine which is noted as a white supremacist publication. Taylor is also one of the many self proclaimed leaders of the Alt-Right movement. Taylor is also the former director of the National Policy Institute, a Virginia based white nationalist think tank. Taylor is involved in numerous organizations associated with promoting racist ideologies. He has questioned the capacity of blacks to live in a successful civilized society claiming that blacks generally create chaos everywhere, using New Orleans after hurricane Katrina and the violence in Chicago as his backdrops to further his opinions. Taylor was noted as saying:
“When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, any kind of civilization disappears.” – Jared Taylor, Alt-Right
Taylor goes on to say “Racially conscious whites tend to be suspicious of Jews because Jews have been prominent in the effort to demonize any sense of white identity.” He has also spoken out against women’s rights, other races and cultures, and the need for white men to not only lead America but lead in every aspect of life across the country. It’s worth stating that Taylor is an avid supporter of Donald Trump and believes that Trump can certainly lead America back to being a white nationalist country again.
Matt Forney who is another self proclaimed leader of the Alt-Right movement considers himself (according to his website) blogger, author, journalist and entrepreneur of all things extreme conservative. Forney recently cited that for decades. globalists have sought to destroy white nations by flooding them with foreigners. The Alt-Right fights for continued white nations and white people. He supports the idea that anyone who is not white needs to go back to their “own” countries (sound familiar?) and argues that the problem can only be addressed by mass deportations.
“If Latino’s become the majority, we will no longer be the United States. We will be just another Latin country. Whites should have a country of their own. Whites don’t have a country of their own while everyone else does.” -Matt Forney, Alt-Right
The important concept to the Alt-Right movement is “White America First”. They believe that America was, is, and should be a nation for white people, by white people, led by white people only. By now I’m certain the name that keeps coming up in mind is Trump. Trump is heavily supported by the Alt-Right. Deeper research shows that the CEO of Trump’s campaign is Beitbart’s former head, Steve Bannon. In fact it was Bannon who popularized the Alt-Right through Breitbart media during his tenure and was brought on board by Trump to lead as CEO. Bannon has also re-popularized the word cuckold (defined as a husband who is married to a cheating spouse). The term emerged from white supremacist movements which is a term of abuse: white conservatives who are deemed “race traitors” unwillingly to defend the interests of white America. Bannon believes that it is a “glorious and effective insult” to white American leaders which he believes has sold out to white America and white people.
Alt-Right extremists even call this branch of the Alt-Right “extreme”: the 1488ers. The 1488ers references the 14 words of neo-nazism (14 words: We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children) and the 88 is the doubling of the 8th letter of the alphabet, H, which represents “Heil Hitler“. The 1488ers consists of white purity enthusiasts who assemble on 4chan and Twitter. They were once a fringe portion of the Alt-Right but are now a dominant power to the movement. Beginning in 2015, mobs within 1488ers began purging moderates of Alt-Right who followed non white people on Twitter, who took vacations to non white countries like Asia, or flirted with women who were non white. Shortly after, becoming more extreme after becoming a more vocal force within the movement, they continued to examine blood purity of Alt-Right members by demanding genetic testing of those members, their girlfriends/wives and anyone closely associated with those members. Roosh Valizadeh who is a former leader of Alt-Right believes that the 1488ers are now the driving force behind the movement.
Alt-Right embraces opposition to feminism which they call this opposition “manosphere”. This is their own pushed propaganda that idealizes “white alpha male masculinity” and notably caters to white men’s rights. They are focused on concerns of the “heterosexual masculine white male” and is not to be challenged anything that isn’t described as listed. Their beliefs go on to keeping women as subservient to the white heterosexual males in America.
Basically this is about the white man’s fragility taking place and the possibility that white men won’t run this country alone sets fear among those who are involved in the Alt-Right, as if minorities are incapable of leading. Donald Trump exudes all the above behaviors. Learning that a leader of the Alt-Right is also heading Trump’s campaign makes much more sense seeing that the beliefs that surround Alt-Right is the exact bile we see coming from Trump’s mouth on a near every day basis. The Alt-Right has been deemed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center as will be White Lives Matter come February 2017. One cannot help but have flashing images of what took place in Germany in the late 1930’s through 1940’s as Hitler rose to power using a lot of the same rhetoric Trump uses today, only to see what happened to millions of Jews after his rise to power. They say history repeats itself and unfortunately because we are dealing with so many poorly educated, conditioned Americans, we could very well have a Hitler 2.0 on our hands come Wednesday, November 9th.
Sunday, September 11, 2016, 11:48 p.m.
Chances are, if you’re involved in community activism, Black Lives Matter, social awareness, anti police brutality or just about anything that calls out corruption of the system and/or government, you are going to get put in Facebook jail a time or two, or three, or more. Facebook started out as being the building block of real social media, connecting people worldwide by sharing photo’s, post updates about life in general. You were not required to use your full government name and Facebook certainly didn’t censor or punish you as they do today. Mark Zuckerberg made his billions off of stolen ideas then became a publicly traded company. I knew then that Facebook was going to shift and not in a positive way.
Social media has played an intricate role in spreading social awareness and protests that sparked up all over the world. Social media was crucial in helping the Occupy movement grow worldwide as it did. With the help of Twitter and YouTube, more and more information began pouring out about corruption in our own system whether it was concerning posts that informed the public of x, y, z violations taking place against protesters or video’s of police officers manhandling peaceful protesters all over the country or the seering images of a college police officer intentionally spraying peaceful protesters in the face with pepper spray. Not long after, video’s would go viral of various police officers abusing their power by brutalizing a minority or even downright murdering an unarmed man as we saw with Walter Scott and Eric Garner. Then Facebook demanded that an individual with a Facebook account be required to use their government name otherwise the individual would no longer be able to access their account. Facebook also tested out their own facial recognition program that is still used today. Take a photo, upload it and test it out to see for yourself. Many photo’s uploaded have already pre-tagged people in the photo without you ever clicking a button. Does it sound like “Big Brother” to you yet?
As some movements faded out, more movements sparked ahead. In America, Black Lives Matter came to be a popular term among the movers and the shakers who wanted to see police violence change in this country – for police officers to be held accountable for misuse of power and outright murdering of the black community. Social media continued to be used to spread the word like wildfire informing others of the ongoing’s taking place. Faceboo soon came out with the “Facebook Live” feature that allowed people to record live events taking place by the user. For most people, it’s just a cool feature to post mindless chatter. To others, this tool would be used to document police once again misusing their power. For example, Philando Castile was murdered live on Facebook after his girlfriend began recording the interaction between the officer and Castile. Castile’s girlfriend is heard saying that Castile told the officer he has a CHL and had a gun concealed in his vehicle. When the officer demanded his ID, Castile reached for his wallet and was immediately shot by the officer. The video of Castile’s murder went viral within minutes. Not even an hour after the video was spreading across the world, Facebook removed the content from the girlfriend’s account. Later Facebook would claim it was just a “glitch”.
A few months ago Mark Zuckerberg announced that he would be running an investigation internally within his company over several complaints of censorship, especially where it concerned Black Lives Matter activists. Many cited that their posts would be taken down by staff of Facebook claiming that the posts “didn’t comply with community standards” although many posts never violated those standards. Unfortunately as quickly as Zuckerberg announced the investigation, the issue went dead and we never heard anything more about it. Clearly this was a ploy to save face and pretend that Facebook wasn’t acting as fascists, censoring free speech among users because to date, Facebook staff has continued to remove content that doesn’t violate community standards while turning a blind eye to other users who use open, blunt racial slurs, threats, and explicit sexual comments.
December 2015 I had been banned 6 times by Facebook. What happens is that an individual sees a post or a photo/meme they deem inappropriate and they “report” the content to Facebook. Facebook generally reviews the report within 6 hours and makes a determination whether they’re going to remove the content or let it remain. Take into account if you have an individual who is constantly trolling your page daily reporting every item you post, including photo’s, video’s and comments, it is easy for Facebook to ban you. Since December, my primary account was banned a couple more times but most recently, I received a 30 day ban by Facebook and their reason for the ban was astonishing! At this point I realized that Facebook employee’s are not only censoring material, but taking posts personal and banning a person because of it. A couple of weeks ago racial slurs were tossed at a group of black individuals who had enough of these slurs. Seeing the reactions of these white supremacists were quite comical and I posted a comment “They are MAD! White ppl mad. That’s scary!” Within 4 hours I was banned 30 days from Facebook.
The problem is that the Facebook employee lacks any real training on how to do their job without being a biased, racist, fascist asshole. I’ve reported content when called a “ni**er lover” and received feedback claiming that it didn’t violate community standards. Recently a man was upset with a mattress company in San Antonio because they recorded a commercial that basically made light of the 9/11 event by using mattresses as the twin towers only to have people fall into the mattresses, resembling the towers coming down. This commercial was advertised by the owners daughter who was in the video with two male employees, attempting to push a 9/11 sale. It backfired and since the commercial aired, the company has been closed indefinitely. People across the country have taken to Facebook to air their issues with the mattress company by writing one star reviews on the company Facebook page. I crossed several posts that all mimicked the same sentiments until I crossed one that really upset me. A man by the name of Bert Falcor had written that he hoped that the children of those in the commercial were to get raped. That statement alone sent me boiling. You just do not say that about children. What kind of sick person would wish that on a child? It was one thing to be upset with the participants of the commercial but to echo these sentiments towards innocent children really struck me. Though I rarely report content on Facebook, I couldn’t help but report this to Facebook. Above that, Bert was commenting on other reviews telling one user how if “they came to New York, he’d f*ck them in the ass”. Basically bullying anyone who had an opinion that didn’t align with his. By morning Facebook responded stated that the post did not violate community standards.
By Sunday evening I received a notification from Facebook once more claiming that they removed my post because it violated community standards. When I saw the post, I realized that a Facebook employee took my post personal when I spoke out against Facebook for refusing to remove the content posted by Bert Saturday night. I included FB workers being pedophiles for refusing to remove content referring to the rape of children as well as calling them Fascists. Facebook didn’t take that too kindly and removed the post.
Moments later I received another notification from Facebook citing that the images they’ve chosen “might contain nudity” and I needed to verify whether the photo’s contained any nude images.
Petty is a word that comes to mind when I think of Facebook these days. As frustrating as it has become to be under a microscope via Facebook, it almost impossible to communicate with anyone if you’re not using social media so what do we do here? I’ve heard some say that we the people should create our own Facebook. As good as it sounds, anything that will bring a million users will eventually be corrupted by Big Brother/our government for the sake of spying or keeping tabs on individuals who refuse to conform to being a sheep. As a kids born in the 70’s, I miss the days of the use of telephones, pagers, personal communication. Analog wasn’t as easy to track and though social media has been wonderful for connecting many people, it has also blown the door wide open for constant surveillance, for internet trolls who hate anything out of the social norm and much more. I guess one way of dealing with the insanity of Facebook is just to deactivate the Facebook account and walk away or… there is always MySpace.
Houston Harris County: Across the nation groups and movements have been protesting against police violence for at least a couple of years now. The constant reports of minorities being gunned down by trigger happy officers mixed with the daily images that blanket social media with video’s of black/brown men/women being brutalized and murdered in cold blood has become the norm. It is almost expected and excepted today. These images continue to desensitized the masses who are eagerly looking for any tiny excuse to demonize the victim, echoing their strong support for the murdering gang in blue. The excuses for that support are pretty mind numbing. We live in a society where mainstream media pours disinformation and lies 24 hours a day. It doesn’t take much research to learn the truth and/or facts but this is our world today. The lazy, uneducated, desensitized, overly emotional, self centered, hypocritical, closed minded, biased, anti anything that’s not “Christian” or not white United States of America and many people are getting fed up with these types of individuals who continue to make our country look its worst.
I’ve constantly stated that education is key to waking up the masses. But as it seems, many of us are having to work overtime to fight against systematic racism and a judicial system that caters to the white community. Our numbers are small in comparison to other countries where a whole nation will show up to oust their corrupted gov’t or officials. Sadly, in Houston it’s even worse because of the laid back atmosphere and attitude of “well, I’m not affected so why bother”. Problem is, a large amount of people know someone who has been directly affected by systematic racism which had a domino effect into the oppressive judicial system, especially in Texas.
Meet Harris County DA Devon Anderson
Governor Rick Perry appointed Devon Anderson as Harris County District Attorney on September 26, 2013 after Devon’s husband who was the original sitting District Attorney, had passed away. On November 4, 2014, Anderson was reelected to her first term which officially began in January 2015. In less than 3 years of her career as DA, Anderson has tarnished the city of Houston Harris County’s image when it comes to the judicial system and especially minorities. June 9, 2015 Devon Anderson dropped capital murder charges against Alfred Dewayne Brown and he was released shortly thereafter after being accused of murdering Officer Clark. The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals overturned Brown’s conviction in November 2014 because of evidence withheld during his trial in 2005. On August 2015, Anderson alongside Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman held a press conference after Officer Darren Goforth was murdered in Northwest Houston. In that press conference, both Anderson and Hickman pointed fingers directly at Black Lives Matter activists. This dangerous rhetoric caused many threats to trickle down to local Houston activists and forced a plea deal with the State by two local activists who would not have had a fair jury trial due to the sentiments led by Anderson and Hickman. Hickman later apologized for his statement however Devon Anderson went on record citing that she “refuses to apologize to Black Lives Matter” when local media contacted her office for a response to the demand for an apology by Houston activists. To date, BLM has yet to receive any kind of apology by Anderson. Anderson nearly leads the country in jail overcrowding and incarceration of black men in the Harris County Jail located in downtown Houston. Jail overcrowding has been so bad that there has been talk of moving some inmates to the Fort Bend County jail to help with the overflow of inmates. Not only does the overcrowding prove that Houston has a problem, but it is costing the taxpayer millions annually to house inmates in jail for something as small as jay walking, being homeless, not updating an address on a drivers license. Not to mention, Anderson’s overcrowded population comes largely by inmates who are waiting for trial but cannot afford to get bailed out. Basically it is an issue of the system oppressing the poor for the smallest of crimes. Though many complaints were launched to Devon Anderson, she continued to ignore these cries by inmates affected most along with their families. The most recent damning evidence of oppression by Anderson comes by a young rape victim who was placed in Harris Co jail after having a breakdown on the witness stand. Anderson claims that she was using this young woman as a witness to convict her rapist. Instead of seeing to it that the victim was cared for, to receive psychological treatment and more, Anderson threw the young woman in jail and tossed the key. The prosecutor was more worried about the victim disappearing, not testifying against the rapist so they put her in jail. The young woman received a black eye after being attacked by another inmate then was placed in segregation for protection. This only did more damage to the victim. Since it was learned that this took place, a lawsuit has been filed against Anderson/Harris Co. A District Attorney was more worried about her career and convictions than a rape victim. That alone should speak in volumes of her professional and personal character. Anderson has offered nothing but excuses since the lawsuit was filed and media began raking Anderson over the coals.
ANDERSON CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR MURDEROUS POLICE OFFICERS
January 16, 2014, 26 year old Jordan Baker was riding around on his bicycle in northwest Houston. An off-duty officer Juventino Castro of considering Baker a suspect because he was a black man in a hoodie. Video released 13 months later by former city of Houston Mayor Annise Parker shows Jordan at a strip center, riding his bike. The grainy video doesn’t show any kind of confrontation however Officer Castro claimed that he “feared for his life when Jordan reached for his waistband”. The typical rhetoric that we hear each time a person is murdered by police. Jordan was unarmed. On January 23, 2014, Officer Castro was no-billed by a Harris Co Grand Jury. A civil lawsuit against the city was filed a month later by Janet Baker, mother of Jordan Baker.
April 28, 2016 Harris Co Pct 5 Officer Roberto Felix pulled over 23 year old Ashtian Barnes claiming that the vehicle had “toll violations” although Ashtian stated that the car he was in was a rental car. Video footage nor the officers name was never released until after a grand jury no billed officer Felix on August 31, 2016. Information was intentionally kept from the public because the county stated that they didn’t want the outcome of the hearing to be affected by releasing the name of the officer or the dashcam video. Felix claimed that Ashtian reached for his hand that was on his gun, which caused Felix to fear for his life and shoot Ashtian in the chest. Felix also claimed that Ashtian began to drive off which caused the officer to retrieve his weapon and begin shooting. Then the video was released on August 31st by Tommy Barnes, father of Ashtian Barnes. Tommy handed the video over to Black Lives Matter Houston who then made it public. In the video you see the officer bring up the toll violations. Ashtian explains that he’s in a rental car as he’s fishing through to find the rental contract for the officer. The officer then claims that the car “smelled of marijuana”. Again, we are all aware of the rhetoric used by officers who are racially profiling black and brown men/women. Moments later you see Felix pull out his weapon, killing Ashtian then the car starts moving which the officer jump onto the vehicle before the car came to a stop. Felix murdered Ashtian before the car began moving. It only began moving because the car was not placed in park. Once Ashtian was murdered, it caused his foot to come off the break, lunging the car forward. You also never see Ashtian’s hand anywhere near the officers belt, or anywhere outside. However a Harris Co Grand Jury announced around 10:15 a.m. that they no-billed the officer. The grand jury waiting room fell in silence by the many supporters who came to be with the family. Again, no justice for another black man murdered.
(Alva Braziel was murdered on July 9, 2016 however a grand jury has not formed to conclude whether the officers involved will be indicted for murder)
Time and time again, Anderson has issued statements in support of grand jury findings and police officers. It is business as usual for Houston’s top attorney. The redundancy has weighed on the Houston community, especially among the millennial generation. Fed up with a systematic racist and corrupted DA, it was decided that Houston launch their own campaign against Devon Anderson called #ByeDevon. In Chicago the people were fed up with their District Attorney building her career off the black community. They launched a #ByeAnita campaign and won! Anita was ousted out of the running for DA. Then days ago, a Florida State Attorney, Angela Corey, one of the most polarizing political figures in Jacksonville history who generated national attention and enormous criticism for her prosecutions of ( or lack thereof in Zimmerman’s case) George Zimmerman, Marissa Alexander, 12-year-old Cristian Fernandez and many others. Corey is noted as the cruelest prosecutor in the U.S.
Now it’s Houston’s turn to get rid of one of the worst DA’s Houston has ever seen. Anderson comes with a lot of excuses, throwing ADA’s under the bus to cover herself. As November nears, more and more people are learning about the DA and they are not happy, including individuals who are of her same party line, the Republicans. Through social media, there has been a large amount of Republicans who’ve spoken out against Anderson. We hope that the day following election night, we will have reason to celebrate. Gutting the system from within is crucial in changing this system. Make no mistake about it, Black Lives Matter Houston is NOT endorsing any candidate for DA. So whoever beats out Anderson better take heed of our complaints. We are always watching!
You can link onto the #ByeDevon campaign Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ByeDevon/
Groups involved with the #ByeDevon campaign can be linked here on Facebook:
Black Lives Matter Houston https://www.facebook.com/BLMTexas/
It was May 22, 2016 where a group of Nazi White Supremacists who call themselves “White Lives Matter” appeared to protest at a Mosque located in downtown Houston attempting to intimidate the Muslim community. Of course Muslim supporters in Houston out numbered the Nazi group by far. This same group attended the action with automatic weapons, bullet proof vests, white laced boots, shoots with red laces, a “White Lives Matter” banner, Confederate flags, and a lot of ignorance, spewing bile about Muslims that mirrored the same narrative led by Fox News.
What stood out most was their “14 Words” banner which many are unaware. The “14 Words” refers to the most popular white supremacist slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for WHITE children.” The slogan was coined by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist group known as The Order. Lane died in prison in 2007.
Fast forward to August 21, 2016 where the same Skinhead Nazi’s who call themselves White Lives Matter II decided to host a protest in front of the NAACP building off of Wheeler St. Take note: Instead of the II to be assumed as #2, it is actually an alliance to the two strike lightning bolts, commonly used among the white supremacist groups all over the world. White Lives Matter II was founded by Kevin Harris and Rebecca Barnette who fill their social media’s with hate for anything non-white. They also tend to push support for other WLM groups around the country to step up and protest against black people, not just Black Lives Matter alone. Rebecca, who is from Surgoinsville, Tenn, proudly displays pages that are riddled with tons of hate propaganda. Rebecca is also affiliated with the “Loyal White Knights” and the “Aryan Nation” commonly referred to “AN” on social media.
Further from that comes a group of White Lives Matter zombies in Houston who protested on August 21, 2016, a Sunday afternoon when the NAACP building was closed. The group was led by Ken Reed, another white supremacist who was surrounded by 12 individuals and less than a handful of Houston Police officers. This time, as they did back in May, the very same individuals brought automatic weapons, bullet proof vest, the WLM banner, their 14 Words banner, Confederate Flags, boots, laces, bottled water, and a lot of stupidity once again.
Many found their action to be cowardice. Protesting an empty building on Sunday was almost comical. What wasn’t so funny is that their action was held in Houston’s 3rd Ward area, which is a heavily populated black community. The WLM action was utterly disrespectful to black individuals living in the community. WLM shouted their hate speech across the street from a church and a school. It’s worth noting that although individuals with WLM showed up with weapons and hate propaganda, Houston police did not show up as an army as they do any Black Lives Matter Houston actions. The protest was held one block from 288 South, Houston police did not block the feeder road. There were barely any Houston cops on the scene. There were no barricades, no helicopters, initially no horses, no riot gear and no armor trucks close by. July 14, 2016 Black Lives Matter Houston held a protest at Southmore and Dowling, south of downtown Houston. The location was one block from 288. Black Lives Matter protested against Houston Police who had just murdered Alva Braziel on July 10, 2016 after claiming that Braziel pointed a gun at police. He was flagging down police to get assistance when Houston police shot Braziel 10 times (could be more). Nikki Braziel, widow of Alva Braziel, also claimed that the Houston officer came back and shot him a 2nd and 3rd time when Braziel was begging for his life. Police released a video that looked doctored. Body cams on police were magically turned on only after the shooting occurred. Black Lives Matter Houston decided to host an action in response to the lack of accountability and the continued police attitude of “shoot first, ask questions later”. Though the Southmore protest started out slow with 15 participants, long before the protest even began, Houston police had partially closed off the 288 feeder near Southmore, a helicopter was seen flying constantly, armored police trucks, horses, several police cars throughout the area and 300+ police on standby with more than 30 cops surrounding the protest along with CID tagging along. Not one participant had any kind of weapon. Not one sign echoed racial hate speech. Not one chant cited violence of any kind. Houston protests have generally been passionate yet laid back. Several arrests that have occurred have done so due to aggravated police officers who already have issues with Black Lives Matter so at times, a few cops will attempt to incite a confrontation. It comes with the territory of calling out police violence however none of the above mentioned dealing with BLM was presented to the White Lives Matter protest. In fact, Houston cops were seen chatting, laughing, obtaining bottles of water from the WLM group, even offering extra protection for the terrorist group. Shortly after WLM started, members of the 3rd Ward community began showing up, questioning the motive for WLM to be at the NAACP office. More and more counter participants showed up when Houston police began to put up barricades, even fencing in the WLM group for that added protection. Horses arrived and several police officers showed up. It is obvious that Houston police was sending a clear message to counter protesters.
The most interesting piece of the WLM protest is that Ken Reed and his followers assumed a connection between Black Lives Matter Houston and the NAACP Houston chapter. Had any of the individuals done proper research or even Googled the connection, they would find that there is no correlation between the two groups. Through the murder of Sandra Bland, Alfred Wright, Jordan Baker, Symone Marshall and Alva Braziel the NAACP remained completely silent. When Robbie Tolan was shot on his own driveway by a Bellaire police officer, the NAACP remained completely silent. When Jesse Valez was manhandled and falsely accused by police in Harris County, the NAACP remained completely silent. When Black Lives Matter Houston, The People’s New Black Panther Party, NBPP, National Black United Front, Truth2Power and a slew of independent activists/activist groups banned together to fight back against police oppression and violence, the NAACP remained completely silent. Harris County Officer Darren Goforth was murdered back in August 2015, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson and Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman came forward in a press conference blaming Black Lives Matter on the murder of officer Goforth. It was later learned that Goforth was having an affair with a well known badge bunny who happened to be servicing several Harris County officers and investigators for quite some time and that BLM had nothing to do with the officers death. Nonetheless, the rhetoric spread by Anderson and Hickman had already done its damage as several activists within Black Lives Matter Houston began receiving threatening messages, full on harassment, even death threats. Personal and private information was posted publicly. Again, the NAACP stood by in silence, never uttering disappointment in such a highly sensitive matter.
Instead, the NAACP awarded Devon Anderson the ALEX Award on February 11, 2016. Anderson built her career by the high incarceration of the black community (along with the brown community) while overlooking criminal acts led by whites. Statistics show that Anderson has a high incarceration rate of African Americans and Latinos over whites. Black men and women are incarcerated 5 times the rate of a white person. In Texas alone, there are more incarcerated black men in jail/prison than there are in the education system. Partly because Anderson has pushed harsher prosecution against the black community throughout her career. Recently Anderson attempted to enact the Southlawn Gang Injunction that would have permanently banned black men from their homes for life. Thankfully due to a massive blowback by the Southlawn community and Houston activists, especially Truth2Power, the suit was dropped which was a blow to Anderson. That didn’t stop the NAACP from brown nosing Harris County’s top attorney. Most likely there were some incentives and kickbacks for the NAACP and Anderson… a few special favors… the typical under the table hush, hush corruption.
To date the NAACP has yet to lend their support to Black Lives Matter. After the White Lives Matter protest went national via media outlets all over the U.S., the NAACP decided to host a press conference in front of their building the following day addressing media. NAACP Houston President James Douglas stated that the Houston Police contacted them in regards to the protest being held in front of their building prior to WLM showing up. Douglas’ response was “let them do it”. Though the sidewalk in front of the building is public space and protected by the First Amendment, it was disturbing that Mr. Douglas was so passive of this event. Douglas went on to denounce racial hatred of any groups combined with the typical speech you’d see coming from a person who isn’t being sincere. Next stood Rodney Ellis who took the opportunity to tell media that people who want to offer support for the NAACP should do so by sending a check. He went on to cite that the NAACP office was old and needed repairs. In reality, it allowed the NAACP the ability to capitalize from White Lives Matter. Later in the press conference, a reporter with the Houston Press questioned Douglas on his support for Houston’s Black Lives Matter. Douglas offered a blanketed statement indicating that the NAACP supports black lives, going into detail how the civil rights movement in the 60’s were comprised of people of many nationalities and the same goes with Black Lives Matter but on his ending statement, Douglas never sounded any level of support for Black Lives Matter/Houston.
Black Lives Matter Houston took a stance on Sunday, choosing to not counter protest the WLM protest. A statement issued by the BLM Houston chapter:
RE: “White Lives Matter” Protest
It came to our attention earlier this week that there would be a “White Lives Matter” protest today. While it is always tempting to go and challenge those White people who come out and attack our movement, it is more important that we teach Black people that #BlackLivesMatter. People like these White supremacists are a waste of space and time, their minds are already made up and so are ours, What would we need to discuss with them?
The hard truth is that the Houston Police Department has been waiting to pounce on us. The situation would have endangered us in a way that dishonors why one would die for the liberation of Black bodies. The moment we would have arrived, they would have protected those white folks who came to a Black community to protest not just BLM but all Black people and perpetuate the racism that has always been part of their ideology.
Hate is a powerful thing, but only IF you give it power and narrative.
The lasting impression: We have a white supremacist terrorist group protesting at the NAACP when the NAACP has zero ties or collaboration with Black Lives Matter Houston. Epic failure. WLM gains national attention for being cowards at best. Various social media’s were trending the protest as many laughed off their efforts protesting on a Sunday in front of an empty building. The NAACP will now get a little money from sympathizers who truly have no idea that the WLM protest was about Black Lives Matter which the NAACP doesn’t support so essentially, White Lives Matter did the NAACP a favor by thrusting them into the spotlight. Their own protest backfired on them. The best that the WLM group has so far is making sure that they spell words correctly on their signs. It’s almost like watching the Republican Debate all over again. At the end of the day we can proudly hold our heads high with knowledge that BLACK LIVES STILL MATTER in Houston, Ferguson, Baltimore, everywhere!
Synthetic marijuana has been a problem over the years in Houston and nationwide. Through mainstream media, the stories are few and far between where it concerns overdoses and serious affects from use of this dangerous “drug” so much that the City of Houston and media didn’t rake real notice to the problem until there were 16 overdoses a week ago at Hermann Park. However, there has been a group of local activists who’ve already been at work, surveying the epidemic, assisting the homeless, gathering information on treatment programs, confronting store locations that sell synthetic weed, calling for medical help when needed, and much more. This group has far more experience with this crisis than city leaders, treatment centers, and local churches.
For the last couple of months, a group of activists from various local groups banded together to fight against this massive problem. “Kush” is the commonly used name however is labeled incorrectly. Kush is a form of real cannabis marijuana and isn’t harmful to anyone who uses it. The name “kush” was adopted by sellers so that it could appeal to users. Some users make the purchase assuming they are buying real marijuana when in reality, they are buying synthetic weed with absolutely no ties to original and real marijuana.
WHAT IS FAKE KUSH?
First off, again I want to make it clear that the synthetic weed is not in any form of real marijuana. It is crucial that if an individual is buying marijuana from someone, that they know who they are buying from otherwise they could receive synthetic weed and after 1 – 2 puffs, it can cost a person their life. Synthetic marijuana has various names: K2, Spice, Kush, Climax, and Space Cadet just to name a few. Synthetic weed also has levels of potency. Lower levels of potency start at 6x. It climbs to 10x, 15x, 50x, and 100x. Space Cadet contains the highest potency and most likely is the synthetic marijuana used at the time that 16 individuals overdosed at Houston’s Herman Park on June 23rd. The higher the potency, the more likely one is to have constant seizures, vomit, aggressive behavior, body temperatures rise, irregular heart beat whether it increased or decreases the beats per minute, impaired motor skills, paralysis, coma, and even death. The more frequent chemicals involved in the synthetic marijuana is Raid (roach spray), rubbing alcohol, cat nip, and potpourri incense which is sold in packages similar to what is pictured below. The high itself only lasts 10 – 15 minutes. It only costs $1 to purchase a kush blunt compared to a marijuana blunt which runs $5. Synthetic weed is much cheaper to buy and is easily accessible. We see cases where an individual displays aggressive behavior. In those cases, most likely the kush blunt was laced with meth, which causes their aggression and can put others in danger. Though we are always on guard because of the laced drug, for the most part we generally see individuals on 6x – 10x levels of potency. Most will sleep it off for 20 – 30 minutes then be right back up like nothing happened. Most times the person will not remember what took place while they were high.
ER visits to local hospitals since Sept 2015 drug count:
MASSIVE DRUG BUST AND EMERGENCY PERSONNEL
On May 16, 2016, the DEA and HPD seized 9.5 TONS of synthetic marijuana from a drug ring which included a professor from the University of Houston. The DEA arrested 16 people linked to the drug ring which should have crippled the sale of “kush” for a few weeks at least however that isn’t the case. On May 23, 2016 we saw the use of “kush” jump in record numbers. EMT’s/Houston Fire Dept are called all day, every day to assist with individuals who react to “kush”. This takes away from other emergencies taking place in the community. Not to mention it desensitizes EMT workers who have to see this multiple times a day. For example, the evening of June 26, 2016, an older man was seen staggering on Lamar Street in downtown Houston. He managed to get back on the sidewalk then fell onto his side as he began to have seizures. We contacted 911 to obtain medical assistance in the event that this individual could go into cardiac arrest. EMT’s arrived on the scene where one worker, Erica Czyz, was seen using her radio communicator to literally dig into the ribs of this man, yelling at him to wake up. She did not display gentle use of the object as she continued to push her radio harder, digging further into his ribs, once again demanding that he wake up. One worker was overheard laughing and saying “Y’all should take him to Southeast Memorial hospital so that way we won’t have to deal with this problem for a couple of days.” In other words, move kush users further outside the city so that no one is bothered with another user. That is not the answer. We continue to request the faithful diligence and professionalism of our EMT workers/fire fighters which we see so often.
We are currently looking into why synthetic marijuana has hit the streets in mass quantity after Houston Police and the DEA obtained 9.5 tons of synthetic weed back on May 16, 2016. Five weeks ago (specifically 5/23/16) the use of “kush” drastically rose. Synthetic marijuana was seized awfully close to the time the quantity of “kush” in massive doses hit the streets, specifically targeting the homeless community in the downtown area 6 months before Houston hosts the Super Bowl. We continue to ask the question: Who is bringing it downtown in such high quantity?
(For the most part, those who smoke lower levels of potency to kush react in this manner – sitting upright, sleeping off the drug after their 10 – 15 minute high)
HOUSTON POLICE DEALING WITH THE CRISIS
On June 8, 2016 it was a hot Wednesday afternoon. A homeless black male (Mike) who I’ve known for a couple of years appeared with his longtime girlfriend, who I know as well. Both had told me how they spent the majority of their day trying to get on the housing list while also trying to look for a place to stay. Both of them were clearly exhausted from the heat and humidity. If you don’t live in Houston then you don’t know that temps get up to the high 90’s in June with humidity levels over 70% most days. There is no dry heat here. You’re guaranteed to sweat and if you’ve been walking around all day, you’re going to be exhausted the moment you sit down to cool off. That is exactly what happened to this couple after walking around Houston throughout the day. Houston Police Officer Pham, badge# 8193, frequents the library plaza/west end of downtown Houston. He is not liked. Why? Because Officer Pham has a history of being aggressive and has every intention of baiting individuals into an argument so that he can arrest them and take them to jail. Several people have claimed that they saw Pham “kick a homeless woman” as she was laying down one afternoon. Outside of his behavior with the homeless, Pham is combative with homeless advocates. He’ll attempt to argue when he realizes he’s being filmed. Pham has forced us to film him because his professionalism is lacking and he’s known to be aggressive in his personal dealings with the homeless community.
On this particular day, Pham along with two reps from the Sobering Center approached Mike who was leaned up on his girlfriend as he sat on a ledge. He was questioned several times whether he was on “kush” or whether he “intoxicated”. Many times he cited that he was neither kushed out or intoxicated. One of the reps asked him 5 times whether he wanted to be medically evaluated. Each of those times Mike said “no”. At this time it’s clear he’s not high nor is he drunk. Anyone with experience, especially in the drug abuse field, could see that Mike was fine. Not every person who is resting is high or drunk. This is when inquiries turn into harassment. I began filming the incident. How many times does a man have to say “no” to get another to leave him alone? Officer Pham asked for his ID which Mike questioned his reasons. Pham refused to give one, just continued to request his ID. Pham began to ask additional questions while the Sobering Center reps are standing near, watching, not saying anything. Mike was clearly upset, feeling his rights were being violated. By that time I advised Mike to not give any consent to searches nor answer anymore questions without an attorney since it was clear Pham had no intention of backing off Mike. Officer Pham pulled out his handcuffs and detained the man immediately after my suggestion. After Mike was placed in the car, he gave his name which came back clear – no warrants. He was free to go after. The very next day the very same man was done the very same way by Officer Pham, this time without the Sobering Center reps. At what point is this considered “helping the homeless” or attempting to combat the kush crisis? Everything that took place on June 8 screamed violation of civil rights. It is not illegal to lay your head on your girlfriends shoulder. In fact, it is not illegal to rest at all. However, Houston officers are using this as leverage to stop and harass homeless that are not intoxicated in any way.
(Officer Pham detains a homeless man after wrongly profiling and harassing the man)
On June 10, 2016 Officer Caster, badge# 8746, profiled a black Muslim male who was sitting on a ledge at the downtown library plaza. She too assumed he was intoxicated. The same reps from the Sobering Center came and assessed the man. like the others, he fell victim to untrained officers. The man was cleared by Caster and free to leave. Moments later, Officer Pham appeared and became combative when he saw that we were filming the incident. That same night at 9:08 p.m., Officer Pham accused three homeless men of jaywalking across the street in the downtown area although the men had the signal to “walk” when the light changed. Officer Pham arrested one of the men when he asked why was it that Pham was harassing him all the time. Pham uttered “I’ll show you” then placed the homeless man under arrest claiming he was jaywalking the street.
On June 10, 2016 at 7:12 p.m., not long after Officer Caster and Officer Pham left the plaza, Officer Hill, badge# 4879 appeared profiling two homeless men. He claimed they looked intoxicated when both men were resting on their arm, waiting for the 8 p.m. food sharing to begin. Had he engaged the two men appropriately, talking to them a couple of minutes, he would have learned that neither were intoxicated or high. Officer Hill demanded their ID’s which each complied. Hill returned their ID’s after the men were cleared (no warrants) then went back to his car and began to take photo’s of us who were standing out there witnessing further violation of a individuals civil rights. It is clear that common sense is lacking with these officers. This cannot be reduced to a lack of training. To demand ones ID for merely sitting down is wrong. To constantly do this to the homeless community because officers are allowed to get away with it downright shows these officers as being bullies. Picking on people who cannot defend themselves.
(Officer Hill profiles two homeless men in downtown Houston)
MAYOR TURNER’S PLAN TO TACKLE THE KUSH EPIDEMIC
June 30, 2016 Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner called a press conference to give a plan of action in effort to handle the kush issues. The press conference was held at the Hermann Park pavilion, right where 16 individuals were taken to the ER from an overdose the week prior. Aside from the Mayor, the interim HPD Chief of Police, Metro Police, Pastor Rudy from St John’s Church, Mr. Kincaid from the Sobering Center were just a few who spoke in front of local media and concerned homeless advocates.
Mayor Turner expressed that there is a problem in Houston with “kush”. However, because Turner and others involved in the press conference are not knowledgeable of the details of this epidemic, their plans to combat the crisis leave lots of room for error. Mayor Turner wanted to make it clear that the City of Houston wanted to partner with other medical facilities in effort to get real treatment to those who are addicted to kush. Unfortunately, there are no immediate treatment facilities or programs for kush users at this time. In fact, state funding doesn’t even recognize kush as a drug which requires treatment. The Mayor announced the deployment of 175 Houston police officers, many being pulled from desk jobs and investigators, being placed on the street to assist with the “kush clean up effort”. I specifically asked the interim Chief of Police whether these officers would be trained. I was never given a direct answer. Seeing the officers were being deployed the following day, it is clear these officers are not going to be trained to deal with anyone using kush, including the homeless who will be profiled due to the stereotype. Bottom line: If an officer comes across an individual who is high on kush, the best he/she can do for that person is take them to the Sobering Center which the person will spend the night to sober up then be released the very next day just to go out and do it again. There is no real help right now. Calling 175 cops to the streets who are untrained is a recipe for disaster. One must take a humane approach no matter how frustrating the situation is. Being compassionate to the persons needs is a requirement. If one lacks people skills and holds little empathy for others, they cannot do this job. We cannot assume all homeless are kush users. While the majority of kush users are located in the downtown area, you can see the map below that pin points other kush hot spots around the city, including the suburbs. Lastly: Who is bringing it downtown? Homeless people aren’t transporting massive amounts of synthetic marijuana to the downtown region.
(Left: The red signifies kush hot spots. Right: Green dots indicate how many kush users in that area visited an ER facility. You can see in downtown Houston alone, there were 347 cases since Sept. 2015)
There is a lot of work to be done here. None of us have all the answers however we need to be smart about this epidemic. Addressing the needs of mental disorders, depression, PTSD, and much more is crucial at this point. Whether Houston have the capacity to balance mental health still remains unknown. Until we begin to understand that using drugs of any sorts mainly focuses of embedded mental pain that is being masked by drug or alcohol use, we are going to continue to see drug use rise. Of all the homeless individuals I’ve worked with over the last 5 years, 95% of those I’ve spoken with have some sort of mental issue they are dealing with that has been left untreated and prohibits them from moving forward to get housing or use resources offered to help some of the homeless. The majority of homeless I’ve interviewed over the years do not want to be homeless however one should recognize that a form of PTSD takes place when one is thrusted to the streets to survive day to day, minute by minute because the streets are not always safe. The majority of those smoking kush do it to escape the reality which they call “hell”. We truly have no idea what it is like to be on the streets day after day, trying to survive. Many assume help is there but that is not always the case. For example, if you’re a healthy person between the ages of 25 – 64 with no real mental or physical disabilities, or not a parent with children, nor a military veteran, you can be on a housing list for years. In Houston to be placed on a housing list, one must get a homeless letter stating they are homeless and be on the streets for one year before they go on that housing list. Shelters are not the answer either. Shelters in Houston are deplorable. Aside from bed bug infestations and TB, food is extremely inadequate and the volunteers who staff these shelters lack any real compassion or empathy. When a person is forced to a shelter, their dignity is all one has left however too often many of the volunteers strip that from the person as well. I always challenge others to volunteer at the local city shelters to see for themselves just how bad it really is and why it is that so many would rather live on the streets rather than a shelter. This is going to take a lot of us to stay committed if we want to truly resolve the epidemic. If you want to get involved in assisting the homeless in any way, please contact us at email@example.com