Thursday, September 10, 2015

Minnesota Stands United Against White Supremacy

Taken from Unicornriot:

A Facebook event to counter-protest the permitted confederate flag rally, named Unity Against White Supremacy & the Confederate Flag, and organized by the IWW GDC (Industrial Workers of the World | General Defense Committee), drew the RSVP of over 400 people. 
On the early morning of Saturday, September 5th, 2015, the counter-protest marched to the capitol from a location close to the site of Marcus Golden’s death by the bullets of St. Paul police officers.
Before the march took off to the capitol, a speaker announced that the confederate flag rally had been cancelled and that the action was victorious in not allowing space for racists. 
While reaching the Christopher Columbus statue on capitol grounds, the crowd chanted of “tear it down”, referring to the statue, which is a representation of white supremacy to many of the participants. XX
Speakers ranging from Black Lives Matter organizers to Native Lives Matter to IWW and others spoke about the importance of collectively combating racism while a confederate flag was torn apart and burned.

Police Identify Juvenile Suspect in Beating of Sikh Man in Darien

Taken from ChicagoTribune:

Police have identified a suspect, but no charges have been filed as of early Thursday afternoon in a case Darien police are investigating as a hate crime against a Sikh-American man.
The incident occurred about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, police officials said. 
The Sikh Coalition reported that Inderjit Singh Mukker, a 53-year-old Darien resident, said he was driving to a grocery store on South Cass Avenue when another driver began yelling comments to him, such as “Terrorist, go back to your country, Bin Laden.” The driver reportedly kept cutting him off.
According to the coalition, Mukker pulled over near 69th and Cass to let the other vehicle pass, but the driver got out and approached his vehicle. He then allegedly reached in and repeatedly punched Mukker in the face. The coalition said Mukker, 53, lost consciousness, was bleeding and suffered a fractured cheekbone. He was taken to the hospital, where he received six stitches, the coalition reported. 
The police have identified a 17-year-old suspect from a description the victim provided of the offender and the license plate of the vehicle he was driving, Darien Police Chief Ernest Brown said. 
Police officers “briefly” questioned the suspect, Brown said. Sometime after their initial questioning, the suspect was hospitalized, Brown said. The suspect was in the hospital Thursday morning, though Brown would not discuss the reasons he is in the hospital.
“There will certainly be charges filed” once the juvenile is released from the hospital, Brown said. The DuPage County State’s Attorney Office’s juvenile division is reviewing the case to determine what the appropriate charges should be. 
Mukker released a statement through the coalition saying, “no American should be afraid to practice their faith in our country ... Without this being fully investigated as a hate crime, we risk ignoring the horrific pattern of intolerance, abuse and violence that Sikhs and other minority communities in this country continue to face.”
Brown said he is responsible for making sure “everyone gets the best and most professional police service possible. And if one person feels they were not treated fairly, that becomes a problem.”
No one should feel victimized, Brown said.
“It’s essential we nip it in the bud, so that any group, no matter what their origin, does not feel it’s open season on them.”
Mukker’s lawyer, Harsimran Kaur, said the Sikh Coalition is pressing for hate crime charges against the suspect.
“We want the attacker to understand that when he attacked Mr. Mukker, it was an attack against the entire community and the entire community grieves and feels afraid,” Kaur said.
Kaur said that, as one the core tenets of their faith, Sikhs stand up for justice and for those who are in need or oppressed. In fact, the turbans worn by Sikh men symbolize this tenet. 
“Ironically wearing a turban has become a lightning rod but it signifies the exact opposite,” Kaur said. “We hope that when people see a Sikh or meet a Sikh, they understand the purpose of maintaining the Sikh articles of faith is out of love for humanity.”
The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) and several other national civil rights organizations released a statement Thursday joining The Sikh Coalition in calling for a full hate crime investigation and charges.
Chicago Tribune reporter Manya Brachear contributed.