When the San Francisco Police Department shot and killed Alex Nieto on Bernal Hill in March 2014, they didn't just do away with some anonymous, no-count, young Brown male -- they killed a City College student pursuing his dreams, raised in the neighborhood, embedded in a family and an extended Mission community that loved him.
Yesterday friends, community and family came together on the windy steps of the old Federal Building to celebrate a judge's decision to allow to allow a civil suit against the killers to go forward. Trial date is now set for March 1, 2016. The two dignified persons on the right are Alex's parents.
Members of Danzantes Xitlali invoked the earth's directions.
Mission activist and poet Tony Robles read a poem for homeys.
And Benjamin Bac Sierra reported the sworn testimony of a witness, an individual unknown to any of Alex's friends, who had seen the killing and whose story convinced a judge to send the case to trial.
Under sworn testimony and critical examination, a neutral third party witness of the killing swears Alex Nieto never pointed or activated a taser at Officers. The witness observed Alex walking casually and coolly as though he had no idea that the police were after him (and we now know that Alex had no idea that anyone had called the police on him BECAUSE ALEX NIETO HAD DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG).
It is undisputed that the Officers did not give any warnings before they opened fire on Alex Nieto with 48 shots that ultimately killed him.
My musings on current events, current projects, current anxieties and current delights.
I started this under the Bush regime when any grain of sand thrown into the gears of the over-reaching imperial state seemed worthwhile.
I have worked to elect more and better Democrats -- and to hammer the shit out of them once we get them in office so they do the things their constituents want and need. It's a big job.
I have endured the dashed potential for a more transformational regime under Obama. The man has made himself an accomplice in the imperial crimes of his predecessor as well as committing his own. He has also almost certainly been the most progressive president most of us will live to see. I fear we'll look back on his years in office with mild gratitude for a respite from national leadership that was habitually stupid and vicious, as well as wrong.
Visitors here will find a lot of commentary on books I'm reading. I am very intentionally reading intensively offline these days. When it feels hard to find direction, it's time to learn something new.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. I am currently an independent consultant to organizations seeking "help when you have to make a fight."