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Baltimore Riot the New Watts

Watts Riots Fifty Years Ago

The fourth paragraph on the Watts riot of 1965 wiki recalls events after 1951 when the Los Angeles police force adapted a structure like the military. Unfortunately, while this is said to have made them more professional, they also began to be more racially biased in their tactics. The wiki cites a drunk driving arrest of a black man by white police where a nearby mother and brother of the black man got involved in the initial scuffle, then the community poured in. Another account I read suggested that the riots broke out after an unusually hot period longer than a week, the day the weather cooled off was the start of the riots, thus a precursor to the riots may have been the breaking open of fire hydrants to cool people off with the water. So racism, militarism, and weather may all have played a role in events. Nevertheless, it is striking that that this first big race riot of the sixties occurs one 54 year cycle ago but for a four year difference. The Rodney King riots of 1992 also hit Los Angeles one half cycle later. The cycle changes from warming trend with poor economic growth to cooling trend with strong economic growth every 27 years. So those riots were right on time for the half cycle repetition every 27 years. Unfortunately racial housing restrictions forced blacks into either the Watts area slum or the Compton area for middle class blacks.

Ferguson Riots

The much more extensive damage of the Baltimore riots represents a significant escalation of the scattered fires of the Ferguson unrest. And Ferguson may have had agents provocateurs used in a much more militarized response by authorities in that situation. At least one video shows police officers leaving a car they were gathered around that suddenly burst into flames a few seconds later in front of a building that was later torched without any video evidence. New York had a major peaceful outburst between the Ferguson and Baltimore situations. New York had the lowest military economy of the three cities, with Saint Louis the highest of the three followed close behind by Baltimore. In Saint Louis the prosecutor protected the racist murdering policeman citing one angry white woman supported the policeman’s standard lies and ignored the extremely credible black businesswoman’s account of the scene on the Rachel Maddow show. Hannity just a couple nights ago restated the big lie that there was no evidence the black victim’s hands were raised in surrender. Then the Michael Brown companion’s account disputes the allegation that Darren Wilson’s gun was ever reached for, cites the initial vulgarity used by the officer and the reckless disregard of the officer backing his car into the two black men, forcing them to jump aside to avoid being hit. This interview was by Chris Hayes, host of the MSNBC show just before Rachel Maddow’s. Then pro prosecutor Nancy Grace of CNN is clearly outraged by the obvious lies of the officer in his interview with George Stephanopoulos. This is where an immediate police report requirement could have prevented Darren Wilson from coming up with his carefully crafted false story. Policemen do this all the time in my experience with them, come up with stories and framing that works to convict people. The difference between the South Carolina officer accused of murder thanks to videotape evidence and Darren Wilson in Ferguson is that the lying and assistance in the cover up by other officers is exposed by videotape evidence. With out video tape evidence Michael Brown was not only murdered holding his hands up in surrender, but prosecutor McCulloch assisted the criminal officer by letting him testify first to the grand jury. Just in, I googled this: “A woman who swore she saw teenager Michael Brown pummel Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson and charge him “like a football player,” was lying about being at the scene of the controversial police shooting, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Friday in a radio interview. Dec 19, 2014”

Baltimore Riots

Clearly the Baltimore riots are more severe than those in Ferguson, making them more comparable to Watts. The differences are many, but the clearest difference is the prosecutor, who has hopefully put a stop in rioting with the intent to prosecute six officers. In Kondratiev Wave time, this is 1961, 54 years ago from 2015. The civil rights struggle was well under way by then seven year after the 1954 Brown desegregation court case and the 14 month 1956 Montgomery bus boycott of five years before 1961. The riots were still to come four years later in Watts or seven years later after the murder of King in 1968. Selma and “I have a dream” were in 1963. Today, the civil rights struggle and the riots have come together in this 2014 to 2015 period. Thanks to the marijuana decriminalization movement, Rand Paul, and the new Hillary Clinton speech, the prison industrial complex is coming under serious bipartisan challenge. As Jimmy Carter points out, there are six times as many black men in prison today as when he was president 35 years ago, often referred to as the “New Jim Crow” thanks to the book by Michelle Alexander. Nixon’s Southern Strategy has transformed the nature of the Republican Party from the Party of Lincoln to the Party of Jefferson Davis. The deepening penetration of empire into our political system has led to a movement away from policing to “protect and serve” to a strict “enforcement” policing model. These invidious trends are evident even here in Madison, Wisconsin where I live and work and most police are quite humane and the military spending is low. The problem as I see it is to find a non lethal non tazing way to stop people without shooting them. Tranquilizer darts are used with wild zoo animals. Body cameras and back ups should also reduce the use of lethal methods against unarmed people. But the gun is the first resort in too many situations, and human indifference is too often justified in police culture. Multiple shots may overprotect the officer but ensure death of the suspect. The attitude is that’s what these criminals deserve anyway. Can’t we invent some kind of stun gun?

Militarism, Crime, and Blacks are covered in these papers:
https://www.academia.edu/4862977/CRIME_and_the_Military

Hint: to read this paper for free, you must click on the tiny word “read” in the middle of the bottom of the screen after you go to the above link on academia.edu.

This list of cycle events includes riots and other civic events in one section:
https://www.academia.edu/4101856/EVENTS_Weather_Economy_War_List56

Hint: to read this paper for free, you must click on the tiny word “read” in the middle of the bottom of the screen after you go to the above link on academia.edu.

Dr. Peace, Dr. Bob Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute
best contact to ask Bob to speak to your group: bobreuschlein@gmail.com
to leave message: 608-230-6640
for more info: http://www.realeconomy.com
(Real Economy and/or Peace Economics free pdf on request by members of the press)
An archive of this yearlong press release campaign can be found at: https://bobreuschlein.wordpress.com/

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