December 5, 2015

The recent murders at Planned Parenthood in Colorado by Robert Lewis Dear reminded me of the first wave of murders against Planned Parenthood in the 1990s, particularly the one in Brookline, Massachusetts, where, on December 30, 1994, John Salvi murdered two people in two separate clinics on Beacon St. within a few blocks of each other. (Brookline is about a mile from where I live, just over the Charles river.)

What I recall at the time was the daily, relentless, and sometimes violent protests at the clinics under the banner of Operation Rescue, a group strongly and vocally supported by the Catholic Church, and in particular, Bernard Law, the Cardinal of Boston at the time.
Here is a link to the transcript of Frontline, the PBS documentary that assembled this discordant, paradoxical, and dis-jointed narrative that finally, made “sense” of the 1994 murders. It is not unlike what is happening today. As Mary Daly (one of the interviewed), the feminist-professor at Boston College at the time said, “It is part of the same continuum.”
In jurisprudence there is the material author and an intellectual author of a crime: the material author commits the crime, while the intellectual author is the person or persons who inspired and persuaded them to do it. This was a “perfect fit” in the 1994 murders, as it is in the one that just happened.
Since this summer, the Right—individually and collectively—in all its spiritual, political, and cultural manifestations, have charged up the rhetoric and hate speech against Planned Parenthood until it’s wavelength struck a chord in one particular individual who was moved to take the action he did.
Bernie Sanders was out front with the clearest assessment of all the candidates, “explicitly call[ing] out the lies propagated by Republicans this summer stemming from fraudulent videos released by pro-life activists.” (Jameson Parker, Addicting Info)
“While we still do not know the shooter’s motive, what is clear is that Planned Parenthood has been the subject of vicious and unsubstantiated statements attacking an organization that provides critical health care for millions of Americans. I strongly support Planned Parenthood and the work it is doing and hope people realize that bitter rhetoric can have unintended consequences.”
In my view, all the attacks, woundings, murders, burnings of clinics and all-out assaults against Planned Parenthood, past, present, and (sadly) no doubt, to come, are clearly intended.

Richard Cambridge


Robert Lewis Dear, the terrorist who killed three and wounded nine at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, cannot be associated with specific anti-abortion groups at present. How are we then to answer the question of why shoot up and murder at Planned Parenthood?

Dear is being portrayed as a loner who lived without electricity; shot a neighbor’s dog, leered at women through bushes and wouldn’t look people in the eye. In Colorado he lived alone in a trailer and is reported to have little contact with people. The anti-abortion group that pickets and obstructs the PP clinic denies knowing or ever seeing him.

It is often the case that shooters like the ones in Minneapolis or Charleston, South Carolina are identified as relating to right wing militia or white supremacist organizations or websites. So far that is not reported for Dear so what is another explanation?

The implication for motivation in the PP shooting may be concerning in a different and in some ways even are more worrisome way. Dear is surely a bitter loner however there have been reports of his distributing material blaming Obama for ruining the nation and other reports of him speaking with hostility parroting extremest right wing positions.

In his supposed rambling statements after arrest and from witnesses at the scene he is reported to have said the his actions would end the selling of baby parts, a clear reflection of recent propaganda falsely characterizing PP activities. So if he wasn’t associated with known anti-abortion groups or sites where did he get his motivation and direction?

He got his inspiration and focus not from one place but from the poisonous and violent endless evil pouring our from Fox News, Republican candidates and the relentless and opportunist media war waged by so many right wing voices. This is the reality, the poison spewed out about women, race, false patriotism, Obamacare and all the other issues they are so fond of creates a world where losers like Robert Lewis Dear can find not meaning but an avenue for their just under the surface waiting to explode violence.

It is right wing propaganda and the evil atmosphere it creates killed the people in Colorado Springs as much as Robert Lewis Dear did. Poison creates violence, death and hatred.

Don’t look deeper for the weirdness in Dear, look at Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush. Look at Fox News, Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and the list goes on. These are the murderers.

Police and White Supremacists

November 25, 2015

Minneapolis and Chicago. One city where the cops stood by when white supremacists shot 5 at the camp of Black Lives Matter activists responding to the police killing of unarmed Jamar Clark and the other where the execution of Laquan McDonald by a known brutal cop was finally addressed after a year long cover up. The cop, Jason Van Dyke, was indicted for first degree murder hours before the release of the video showing the cold blooded execution of McDonald. McDonald is shown in the video walking away from the police when Van Dyke shot him 14 times in a few seconds. The shots came from more than 10 feet away and at no time did McDonald make any moves toward the police.

Minneapolis. White supremacists had been trolling for days at the Black Lives Matter encampment. A video of such scum had been posted on a 4chan site days before of 2 men in a car making racist insults and waving a weapon. The men in the video are known and yet nothing was done until one was arrested (and released) after the shooting. It is obvious from the video of two masked cowards and other postings on the site that there were numerous other white supremacists active in words and even deeds as it turned out.

The FBI has concluded that home grown white supremacists and neo-nazi types are the main threat of terrorism in this country. Yet all we hear about from candidates is how we should fear and prohibit refugees fleeing from war and famine. How many local or state police intelligence units are focused on the right wing  terrorists? How much police action is directed at the gun carrying wanna be defenders of the white race? Minnesota had open carry madness but those carrying must have their permit on them. The police stop cars for driving while Black but they give a pass to armed terrorists. Some police no doubt are in cahoots with these evil doers but still the practice of live and let live hangs heavy around the necks of cops in the whole country.

Chicago: the execution of Laquan McDonald was captured on a CPD dashboard camera and showed clearly that McDonald was no threat and was brutally shot. The Chicago authorities knew this within hours of the murder and yet nothing but lies and denials were the order of the day for over a year! The police union, in spite of the evidence of the video, were complicit in the killing by stating the McDonald “lunged” at Van Dyke and the city went along. How about charging the head of the police union with aiding and abetting a murder with these lies? Within weeks of the murder the city  paid the family 5.2 million dollars still claiming that McDonald was the culprit.  Only after much effort to get the video released was action taken.

Police and white supremacists, an alliance or just business as usual, we will not know in-spite  of the fact  that there is smoke and smoke while fire is denied.

A new movement on campuses and communities is calling out the racism rampant in our country and we can count on violent resistance from fearful and cowardly forces who want to hang on to privilege and the past. They will not succeed but how many will die to defeat them will be tragic.

Stand with Black Lives Matter and demands for campus justice and expose police and fascist terrorists.







To read Jule Ezelle Patton and Patricia Spears Jones collaborative poem “Tender,” click HERE

Julie Ezelle Patton recycles words, thumbs green texts body leaves and spit (“any thing eye
can get hands on”). She is author of Writing with Crooked Ink, forthcoming from Belladonna
and (Notes for Some (Nominally) Awake, and [Breathing] on Type, a land and hand
conservationist “making do”. Most notably in a terrific piece in Black Earth Institute’s About
Place Journal # 2: “Rust Belt Tales”.

Patricia Spears Jones is a poet, playwright, educator, activist and author of three collections, most
recently Painkiller (Tia Chucha). She is a Senior Fellow at Black Earth Institute and the recipient
of awards from The New York Community Trust and The Foundation for Contemporary Art and
grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Getting Down

Thinking of national debt and a coup d’etat,
I drive west and see above me in the cobalt sky
twelve vapor trails streaming an abstract pattern
of angles and drift, ribboning some lines, rubbing out
others. People are flying high up there.
Down here, the fierce sun carmines the horizon,
warns that everything comes from loving
light, even what we need–the rain.
Stooped by drought, corn grows crammed together
Like a population sinking without space. The fields
look soft as amber pools against these surging hills,
acres without cob or tassel.

The shock and awe we sent South drifts
down from the atmosphere. After all, we know
the earth is round. Pine and poplar yellow from more
than autumn. No rain. No clouds in the growing dark.
We piece together fractured news, note polls, listen to
Talking heads who value the stern old ways
of plunderers or the vision of changing
whatever hasn’t yet and won’t. No rain for a nation
of nomads made of corn and wind. Let’s take
The heat of our own hands for sharing bread,
Writing books, growing flowers, helping one another,
whether or not we curse cold, drought and debt.
Two ways hath November: stand up or bend over.

Roberta Hill, an Oneida poet and writer, is a Professor of English and American Indian Studies and an affiliate of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison CICADAS, a new and selected poetry collection, is forthcoming from Holy Cow! Press in April 2013. She is a Fellow of the Black Earth Institute.


Don’t join a party, be a party,
said the boy with the lil’ lisp.
How prescient, how presidential
can a man or woman be. My love
and I are two voters in Georgia,
god bless us. Cynical maybe,
we vow to drive vans on the big
rig day. We vow that our party is
naked poetry on a Saturday night.
That, and a little kindness when
we can muster it through the din.

Originally from New York, Erika Jo Brown currently lives in Savannah, GA, where she curates the Seersucker Shots poetry reading series. Her chapbook “What a Lark!” was published by Further Adventures Press in 2011.

To read Seamus Cashman’s poem, click HERE.

Poet and publisher Seamus Cashman founded the Irish
literary publishing house Wolfhound Press (1974-2001).
He has three poetry collections, the most recent, That
Morning will Come: new and selected poems (Salmon
Poetry, 2007) and his next volume will be a book length
poem, The Sistine Gaze, due in 2013. He was the first
International Fellow at the Black Earth Institute and is
editing the third online issue of About Place on the theme
of “Peaks & Valleys” due for release is November.


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