General

After many nights of demonstrations and revolts in the America due to the killing of George Floyd, president Trump, from a bunker in the White House, announced that he would designate “Antifa” as a terrorist organization. Trump seeks to frame a spontaneous and manifold movement as an organization, not only assigning it an ideology but also a functionality that is hierarchical and in consonance with state logic.

Once again, terrorism is used as an alibi for the criminalization of wide sectors of our collective struggle, which at the same time completely exceed “anti-fascism”. But beyond denouncing and fighting against the repressive advance that this signifies, it’s necessary to reject the polarization that is sought to be introduced at the heart of the struggle.

Also here in the UK people have been standing and kneeling in solidarity with demonstrators in America. 

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By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

HSG note: We have “lifted” the article below from the New York Times. It says things far better than we could.

Ready or not, life is returning to some sort of normal in the United States, and normal inevitably includes police officers killing an unarmed black man in their custody, followed by street protests. The country is working its way back into its familiar groove.

This time it’s Minneapolis. Thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd by a police officer who pressed his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck for a breathtaking eight minutes as he lay pinned on the ground in handcuffs. Mr. Floyd’s pleas for help — repeating that he couldn’t breathe, calling out for his dead mother — were ignored. The three other police officers who watched seemed uninterested in the life they were violently snuffing out in front of a crowd gathered in disgust.

Elected officials from Minnesota denounced the brutality. Jacob Frey, the mayor of Minneapolis, said, “Being black in America should not be a death sentence.” Others, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, who hopes to emerge as Joe Biden’s running mate, expressed a range of public emotions that have become commonplace: shock, horror, promises of investigation and pleas for calm. In a rare rebuke, the four officers involved have been fired.

But the fact that Mr. Floyd was even arrested, let alone killed, for the inconsequential “crime” of forgery amid a pandemic that has taken the life of one out of every 2,000 African-Americans is a chilling affirmation that black lives still do not matter in the United States.

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The following is a heartfelt response from a frontline worker in the NHS. We would like to add that some of the comments in the article wouldn’t be shared by all of us in HSG. Nevertheless it is a compelling read which highlights the incompetence and pure disregard of those in power.

 

 

I am a deputy sister (nurse) in intensive care (ICU) in a major London hospital, and I am angry. 

(Please read until the end, the second part is an insider’s view of ICU right now. My use of I/me/us/we/our can apply to all healthcare workers and ICUs worldwide. And these views are my own and not that of my employer.)

22nd April 2020
 I am a deputy sister in intensive care in a major London hospital, and I am angry. 
I am angry at the UK government for their COVID 19 response, or lack-of. 
I am angry at the Chinese government for their cover up of COVID 19, amongst many other things they have done. 
I am angry at the members of the public in the UK that are flouting lockdown rules and continuing to spread the virus. 
I am angry for my patients and their families. 
I am angry for myself and my colleagues in healthcare all over the world. 
I am angry for everyone affected by COVID 19, so everyone.

There are also lots of things I am grateful for and amazed by too, but sometimes it’s hard to remember or appreciate them. Last night on my way home from 13 hours in ICU was one of them.
I am aware of how lucky I am to have a job at the moment, I do not take this for granted. And I am also aware of how lucky I am to live and work in the UK, before and during this pandemic. I can’t even imagine what it’s like in Italy and Spain, and ‘less-fortunate’ (I hate that phrase) countries than them and the UK at the moment and always. 
And I am relieved I’m not in the USA, what we’re seeing on the news from their ‘leader’, the lockdown protestors and the way hospital staff are being forced to reuse PPE is truly scary and bewildering. 

Why am I angry at the UK government’s response?
Where to start…
• The non-evidence based ‘herd immunity’ approach at the start of the UK response that was a complete farce
• The delay in starting the UK lockdown and not actually enforcing the lockdown (I live in south London and I can promise you many are not in lockdown mode)
• They ‘missed out’ on the EU scheme to provide ventilators and other equipment (which now sounds like it could’ve been a political move rather than just a ridiculous show of ineptitude)
• The PPE shortages across the NHS and care sector (not the NHS’ fault, it’s nationally at government planning level). 
• The changing of PPE guidelines based on what is or is not available, not WHO guidance, thereby covering their incompetent backs
• The fact that healthcare staff are dying due to these PPE shortages and it’s not being spoken about enough, or being addressed anywhere near quickly enough

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