Violence erupts during white supremacist rally in Charlottesville
by Vice News, Southern Poverty Law Center, agencies
Aug 12, 2017
Car driven by white supremist kills and injures Black Lives Matter anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville, by Tess Owen. (Vice News)
One protester was killed and 19 injured when a speeding car plowed into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters during a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday.
The car struck two other cars that were surrounded by protesters and not moving, in what appeared to be a deliberate act. The impact sent bodies into the air. Then the driver threw the car into reverse, reportedly hitting more protesters and drove away.
“We heard a loud crunch of metal hitting bodies,” said VICE News’ Joe LoCascio, who witnessed the incident on the corner of Water and 4th street “A lot of screams while people were running away from the scene. People were crying, saying they saw bodies flying when the car collided with people.” The driver was later arrested by police.
The incident capped what turned into deadly day of violence where 34 people were reported injured in addition to the one fatality.
“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” wrote Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer on twitter.
Mayor Signer blamed Mr Trump''s political rhetoric during the election campaign for inflaming racial prejudices.
"I place the blame for a lot of what you''re seeing in American today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the President."
White supremacist David Duke, speaking on camera, said: “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump.”
Virgina Gov. Terry McAuliffe gave a press conference condemning the organizers of the Unite the Right rally, who chose Charlottesville to stage what is believed to be the largest white nationalist gathering in a decade.
“I have a message for all the white supremacists and all the nazis who came into Charlottesville today,” he said. “Our message is plain and simple: go home. You are not wanted. Shame on you.”
The car attack came hours after Gov. McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in response to the escalating chaos. White supremacists and members of the “Alt-right,” many of whom were armed, clashed with counter-protesters and law enforcement, leaving several people injured.
The day’s events followed Friday night’s “Unite the Right” rally at the University of Virginia, which drew hundreds of white supremacists, many of whom carried torches, in a nod to Ku Klux Klan rallies of the past.
“The acts and rhetoric in Charlottesville over past 24 hours are unacceptable & must stop,” Gov. McAullife wrote. “A right to speech is not a right to violence.”
The University of Virginia condemned the Friday night gathering. “I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behavior displayed by torch-bearing protestors that marched on our grounds this evening,” UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan said in a statement. “I strongly condemn the unprovoked assault on members of our community, including University personnel who were attempting to maintain order. ”
Saturday’s rally was organized in protest to the Virginia governor and city council’s plan to remove a confederate monument, and was scheduled to start at noon. Charlottesville’s downtown was roiled by white supremacists hours ahead of schedule, many whom were chanting things like “white lives matter” and “Jews will not replace us,” and facing off violently with Black Lives Matter protesters and anti-racism groups.
Others chanted “blood and soil,” a Nazi slogan, pepper-sprayed counter-protesters, and waved flags painted with swastikas.
Many of the white supremacist groups were “very well organized,” in combat gear, with security, and vans, according to a VICE News team at the scene.
Unidentified militia in combat gear, some toting assault rifles, were also in the mix. It is legal to carry guns openly in Virginia for anyone over 18.
http://news.vice.com/story/armed-white-supremacists-march-in-charlottesville-state-of-emergency-declared http://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/12/charlottesville-far-right-crowd-with-torches-encircles-counter-protest-group http://bit.ly/2ieigbr http://bit.ly/2uQS38E http://bit.ly/2wUB2aW http://www.splcenter.org/news/2017/08/12/trump-again-refuses-take-responsibility-resurgence-white-nationalism
16 August 2017
''Racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or Islamophobia are poisoning our societies'' – UN chief. (UN News)
Urging people everywhere to speak out against hate speech and hate crimes, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today reiterated his call for tolerance, respect for the other and the importance of recognizing diversity.
“Racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or Islamophobia are, as I mentioned yesterday, poisoning our societies,” the Secretary-General told journalists today at a briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York.
“It is absolutely essential for us all to stand up against them everywhere and every time,” he added.
Addressing questions from a journalist about the situation in the US, where a weekend protest and counter-protest over the removal of a Civil War statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked discussions about race, Mr. Guterres said “these demons are appearing a little bit everywhere.”
Mr. Guterres underlined the values of tolerance, respect for the other, and the importance of recognition of diversity.
“To be able to stand for these values at the same time, to condemn all forms of irrationality that undermine those values is essential, at the present moment, be it in the United States or everywhere else in the world,” the head of the UN said.
16 August 2017
Racism on the rise, UN experts warn in wake of Charlottesville violence.
Racism and xenophobia are on the rise across the USA, a group of United Nations human rights experts has warned in the wake of the far-right demonstrations and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“We are outraged by the violence in Charlottesville and the racial hatred displayed by right-wing extremists, white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups,” said the experts in a joint statement.
“We view these events as the latest examples of increasing racism, racial discrimination, Afrophobia, racist violence and xenophobia observed in demonstrations across the USA.
“We are deeply concerned at the proliferation and increasing prominence of organized hate and racist groups. Acts of hatred and racist hate speech must be unequivocally condemned. Hate crimes must be investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted.”
The human rights experts made an urgent renewed call to the US authorities to step up its work to tackle the issue.
“We call upon the US Government and State authorities to adopt effective policies as a matter of priority, to urgently tackle the manifestations of incitement to racial violence, and to understand how they affect social cohesion,” the experts said.
“The government must be vigilant in combating all acts of racism, xenophobia and racist violence, wherever they occur. Recent incidents in California, Oregon, New Orleans and Kentucky, as well as Charlottesville, demonstrate the geographical spread of the problem.”
The experts noted that the Charlottesville far-right demonstrators had chanted anti-Black, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant slogans, and said it was of critical importance for those who had committed racist crimes or violence to be held to account.
“We call for the prosecution and adequate punishment of all perpetrators and the prompt establishment of an independent investigation into the events,” they noted.
The experts condemned the “horrific” act of a car being driven into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring others. http://bit.ly/2w9I3HJ
UN rights chief urges governments to target hate speech, crimes. (OHCHR)
On the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the United Nations human rights chief has reminded Governments around the world that they have a legal obligation to stop hate speech and hate crimes, and called on people everywhere to “stand up for someone’s rights.”
“Politics of division and the rhetoric of intolerance are targeting racial, ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities, and migrants and refugees. Words of fear and loathing can, and do, have real consequences,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said.
The UN High Commissioner’s statement comes ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, marked annually on 21 March. The theme for this year is ending racial profiling and incitement to hatred, including as it relates to people’s attitudes and actions towards migration.
At the Summit for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016, UN Member States adopted a Declaration strongly condemning acts and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
In his statement, Mr. Zeid said that States do not have any excuse to allow racism and xenophobia to fester.
States “have the legal obligation to prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination, to guarantee the right of everyone, no matter their race, colour, national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law,” the senior UN official said.
He urged Governments to adopt legislation expressly prohibiting racist hate speech, including the dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination, and threats or incitement to violence.
“It is not an attack on free speech or the silencing of controversial ideas or criticism, but a recognition that the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities,” Mr. Zeid said. http://bit.ly/2wc9uki
Former President Barack Obama''s response to Charlottesville race row is most liked tweet of all time.
"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion".
Mr Obama, quoting late South African president Nelson Mandela''s 1994 biography, Long Walk to Freedom: "People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite".
* A short film excerpt from a Anti-Fascist film made by the U.S. War Department in 1943 has been viewed 18 million times in the last 4 days: http://theatln.tc/2uU3Mi5
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The science is clear carbon dioxide pollution is a principal agent of global warming
by John Cushman
Inside Climate News, agencies
An internal review by the Environmental Protection Agency has found that its administrator did not violate its scientific integrity policy when he contradicted a fundamental tenet of climate science by denying that carbon dioxide pollution is the principal agent of global warming.
The policy "explicitly protects differing opinions" held by any agency employee, including Administrator Scott Pruitt, on any matter of science informing agency policy decisions, said a review panel convened by the EPA''s Scientific Integrity Committee.
The panel addressed its finding to the Sierra Club, which had filed a complaint after Pruitt, whose views of climate science often skirt around the mainstream consensus on the causes and the urgency of the climate crisis, said in a television interview that he "would not agree" that carbon dioxide "is a primary contributor to the warming that we''re seeing."
"The freedom to express one''s opinion about science is fundamental to EPA''s Scientific Integrity Policy even (and especially) when that point of view might be controversial," wrote Thomas Sinks, an agency science official, in a letter to the Sierra Club.
In a caustic thread dissecting the letter on Twitter, John Walke of the Natural Resources Defense Council called it a "gambit" designed to give Pruitt and other agency officials "the right to have wackadoodle beliefs tolerated as ''opinion''."
The intense argument is over a momentary, if brazen, moment of public climate denial, a seemingly offhand answer to a simplistic question on the business cable channel CNBC. But it goes to the heart of one of the crucial matters on Pruitt''s extensive deregulatory agenda: whether the agency ought to stand by its scientific determination under President Obama that carbon dioxide is a harmful pollutant that must by law be regulated under the Clean Air Act. (Energy Secretary Rick Perry has said much the same thing, and the two are hardly alone in an administration replete with climate deniers of various shades.)
The ruling comes at a time of mounting dissent among government scientists and President Donald Trump''s political appointees at the EPA and also at the Interior Department, the Energy Department, the Agriculture Department and elsewhere.
One manifestation came this week when a 30-year EPA veteran, Elizabeth Southerland—a career scientist—left the agency with a stinging, personal blast at Pruitt and his policies, which she called "a temporary triumph of myth over truth."
In a resignation letter posted by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, she declared: "The truth is there is NO war on coal, there is NO economic crisis caused by environmental protection, and climate change IS caused by man''s activities."
The irony is that the plainest of truths are under assault while the protections afforded those who insist on speaking them to the powerful are co-opted by those whose views are most readily demonstrated to be false.
In this setting, mainstream scientists are frustrated that it''s hard for them to get a hearing, and anxious that Pruitt is contemplating a "red-team, blue-team" scientific tug-of-war as a way of amplifying the kind of dubious claims he''s being challenged over.
In a letter about this notion sent to Pruitt on Monday, leaders of 16 scientific societies cautioned that "the integrity of the scientific process cannot thrive when policymakers—regardless of party affiliation—use policy disagreements as a pretext to challenge scientific conclusions."
http://www.noaa.gov/news/international-report-confirms-2016-was-warmest-year-on-record-for-globe http://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/climate/climate-change-drastic-warming-trump.html http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/07/climate/document-Draft-of-the-Climate-Science-Special-Report.html
EPA reverses Ban on Neurotoxic Pesticide.(American Academy of Pediatrics, agencies)
In March, the Trump administration’s Office of Pesticide Programs—which last year received 30 percent of its operating budget from the pesticide-manufacturing industry—canceled the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed ban of chlorpyrifos, a common pesticide used on crops that was derived from nerve gas developed by the Nazis.
The Obama administration had called for the ban after “three long-term, independently funded studies showed the substance was toxic,” according to Reuters. Particularly vulnerable are farmworkers, and the brain development of children, infants, and fetuses.
“Chlorpyrifos has been shown beyond any shadow of a doubt to damage the brains of children, especially those of fetuses in the womb,” said Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician and dean for global health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. The American Academy of Pediatrics also urged EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to reconsider his decision.
Yet Pruitt saw fit to hail the ban reversal as “returning to using sound science in decision-making.”
Dow Chemical whose CEO leads a White House manufacturers working group sells the chemical. More than 6 million pounds of it are used annually in the United States on crops like apples, oranges, broccoli, berries, and tree nuts.
http://www.ewg.org/testimony-official-correspondence/nation-s-pediatricians-ewg-urge-epa-ban-pesticide-harms-kids#.WX9WwBPyt60 http://reut.rs/2vNtPfr http://www.nrdc.org/chlorpyrifos#sec-youcando
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