Uprising’s guest expert Chenjerai Kumanyika, an Assistant Professor of Communications Studies at Clemson University, SC, analyzes today’s news headlines:
The US and its allies have launched major bombing strikes in northeast Syria today, targeting the Islamic State group which has reportedly kidnapped hundreds of Syrian Christians. Reports claim that ISIS has captured 10 Assyrian Christian villages inside Syria. ISIS has captured and killed many non-Muslim groups in the past although it is not clear what their intention is for this latest mass kidnapping. Meanwhile, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are continuing their battle against ISIS in a nearby area of Syria in an attempt to cut the group off from its Iraqi affiliate. And the Washington Post reported this morning that it has identified the masked ISIS member who has appeared in a number of beheading videos and known only as “Jihadi John” by his captives. Mohammed Emwazi is a UK citizen who obtained a degree in computer engineering and comes from a well-off family in West London. He is thought to have traveled to Syria in 2012 when he joined ISIS. Click HERE for a Washington Post article, and HERE for a NY Times article on this story.
An internal police investigation into the fatal shooting of a 35-year old undocumented immigrant Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco, Washington, has revealed that officers fired 17 bullets. Zambrano-Montes was killed on February 10th after police confronted him for throwing rocks at parked cars. A bystander’s cell phone video of the shooting which has been viewed over a million times, shows police chasing the unarmed man with his hands up in the air before he was shot. The fact that 17 bullets were discharged strengthens the case against police for overuse of force. The Mexican government, the ACLU, and others have lodged complaints over his death. Zambrano-Montes’ mother traveled this week to Pasco, Washington to view her son’s body. The FBI is apparently monitoring the internal police investigation. The news comes just 2 days after the Department of Justice and the FBI formally closed their investigation into the 2012 fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, and decided not to file any civil rights charges against the shooter George Zimmerman. Click HERE for a Guardian article on this story.
*And finally, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to cast a historic vote today to classify the internet as a public utility, in what will be a huge victory for net neutrality advocates. The vote which is happening in the morning hours as this program is being recorded, represents the culmination of years of work by grassroots organizations. The 3 Democrats on the 5 member FCC are expected to vote to preserve the internet as a free and open arena. Malkia Cyril of the Center for Media Justice said in an interview on Truthout, “[O]ur digital rights are as important to us as our rights around incarceration, and our rights around policing, our rights around food and housing. Our right to communicate is on par with these other rights.” [*BREAKING NEWS: FCC Adopts Net Neutrality]. Click HERE for a CommonDreams article, and HERE for a Thruthout article on this story.