(TMU) — Community members in the San Francisco Bay Area are outraged after video went viral depicting a commuter being arrested by public transportation police for eating a breakfast sandwich on a train platform.
In the video, the commuter—who identified himself on Facebook as Bill Gluckman—can be seen getting detained by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police officer for eating the small item. Gluckman protested being singled out by the BART cop before the officer is joined by backup, who eventually handcuff him for resisting arrest.
The incident, which occurred on Monday at 8 a.m., shows Gluckman arguing with the officer whose name tag identifies him as D. McCormick. In the video, McCormick says:
“You’re eating … It’s against the law.”
Gluckman then questioned why he was being singled out as McCormick held onto his backpack. As the cop demands that he cooperates, an agitated Gluckman responds, “Are you going to let go of my bag?” to which McCormick responds, “You’re going to jail.”
“For eating a fucking sandwich?”
Just out of curiosity.. has anybody ever got arrested and written a ticket for eating a breakfast sandwich on a Bart…
While Gluckman wasn’t taken to jail, he was handcuffed and issued a citation at a nearby police substation. KRON 4 reported that the incident escalated due to his refusal to give his name or show identification to the officer.
While BART has maintained that state law prohibits people from eating or drinking in paid portions of the station—an infraction carrying fines of up to $250—BART rarely issues food-related citations.
Local residents are angry about the clearly discretionary use of the officer’s time to harass a black man who was clearly just going about his day in a manner that didn’t harm anybody.
On Saturday, local station KGO-TV reported that BART riders held a defiant “eat-in” protest at lunch in protest of the BART officers’ actions.
J.J. Naughton of San Francisco said:
“I’ve got my lunch here, it’s very threatening as you can see.”
John Jacobo from San Francisco added:
“I wanted to make sure I showed up and ate on the plaza which I’ve done hundreds of times before to show what they did to us was embarrassing for BART Police.”
Local resident Kelly Groth passed out breakfast sandwiches for what she called the “brunch on BART,” commenting:
“People should be able to eat on the platform without getting harassed.”
BART Board of Directors Member Janice Li was also in attendance. Carrying her own lunch, she commented that the issue wasn’t so much about the breakfast sandwich but bigger issues at play. She said:
“I realize some things are illegal with our penal code, but I want to be mindful of how we’re using resources to enforce our system.”
In separate comments to the San Francisco Examiner, Li said:
“To see yet another young black man impacted by law enforcement like this is extremely troubling to me.
This is a question of what we are putting our BART police towards. We know how to make the system better and safer, and this ain’t it.”
John Reimann of Oakland commented that the protest reminded him of the Civil Rights era. He said:
“My first political awakening was back at a lunch counter in the ’60s, now we’re back to ‘eat-ins …To me, I have no doubt this guy was treated differently because he is a young black man.”
As SFist notes, the majority of cases where people are drinking or eating in BART paid areas go unpunished—as is often the case with people smoking, doing drugs, and engaging in other prohibited activities.
One Twitter user angrily commented:
“This is fucking bullshit!! You can piss and shit on yourself while smoking a crack pipe on Bart but god forbid you eat a breakfast sandwich on the platform.”
— 🇲🇽SaBreezie🇮🇪 (@SF_Gamerbabe11) November 8, 2019
And on Friday, the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness sent out a tweet saying:
“It reminds us of the time SFPD issued a $234 citation to an unhoused senior for eating pizza at a bus stop.”
#BART cops out here getting someone for eating a sandwich on the platform.
It reminds us of the time SFPD issued a $234 citation to an unhoused senior for eating pizza at a bus stop. https://t.co/4Lq87AJLbx
— Coalition on Homelessness (@TheCoalitionSF) November 8, 2019
Officials with the transit authority have confirmed that they will be investigating the incident.
BART police have an atrocious reputation with the black community in the Bay Area, especially following the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant by BART officers.
In that incident, BART Officer Anthony Pirone called Grant the “N-word” while punching the young 22-year-old in the face as he arrested him before his partner, Officer Johannes Mehserle, shot Grant in the back. The murder became famous across the world after the release of Ryan Coogler’s 2014 film Fruitvale Station, which was named after the site of Grant’s death.
This latest incident also comes a bit more than a year after the infamous “BBQ Becky” incident, when a white woman, Jennifer Schulte, called the police on two black men last April for barbecuing at Oakland’s Lake Merritt using a charcoal grill in a non-charcoal area. The incident became a symbol of the gentrification of the Bay Area and of the broader problem of white people attempting to criminalize every mundane action by black people.
After video of the incident went viral, hundreds of black residents held their own massive BBQ to protest what they saw as further attempts to drive black people out of their own neighborhoods.
Since the incident with Ms. Schulte, the popular Oakland park has become a reinvigorated hub for the black community while the “Barbecuing While Black” party at Lake Merritt has shaped up to become an annual tradition that upholds the fight against racism while stressing belonging for a community facing the constant threat of displacement.
Shortly after last year’s BBQ Becky furor, another incident went viral after a woman dubbed “Permit Patty” called police on a black child selling water on a sidewalk in San Francisco. The woman, identified as Alison Ettel, eventually resigned from her position as CEO of cannabis company TreatWell Health following community backlash.
— Jefe (@_ethiopiangold) June 23, 2018
Akon Finally Breaks Ground On His Futuristic $10 Billion Solar Powered “Crypto City”
The rapper, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Akon has been making significant progress on his development plans in Africa, which involve the creation of a futuristic city that runs on clean energy and cryptocurrency.
In January of last year, Akon revealed that his agreements with Senegal President Macky Sall were going forward, and a few months later it was announced that the engineering and consulting firm KE International was awarded a $6 billion contract to build the city. The company previously said it had already received $4 billion from investors for the first two phases of Akon City’s construction, giving the project a price tag of at least $10 billion.
The project goes much further than just this one city and it has already begun to make an impact across the continent. In the short time since the deal was finalized last year, a large number of solar street lights, and solar home lighting units, have been installed across 14 African countries, according to Akon Lighting Africa.
The effort was made possible by a private-public partnership model and a well-established network of partners including SOLEKTRA INT, SUMEC, and NARI.
Phase 1 of construction on the city is expected to be completed in 2023, and will include roads, a hospital, residences, hotels, a police station, a waste facility, a school, and a solar power plant. The entire city is expected to be finished around 2029. The city’s economy will be facilitated by Akon’s cryptocurrency “Akoin,” which runs on the Stellar blockchain. Stellar is a crypto ecosystem that includes its own cryptocurrency XLM, and also allows for the development of other projects, such as decentralized exchanges and additional currencies like Akoin. Banks around the world have also been considering using the Stellar blockchain for stablecoin deployment.
Akon believes that cryptocurrency is the solution to the corruption problems that create widespread inequality in Africa because the blockchain provides a record that would make corruption extremely obvious if it were to take place. With an independent cryptocurrency, governments are unable to print money and devalue the currency, and the control of the money is decentralized.
In an interview with TMZ last year, Akon compared the vision that he has for the city with the fictional “Wakanda” from the movie Black Panther.
“This movie literally made an idea of what Africa could really be. It’s just ironic that I was already working on this before the movie came out, but it’s something that helped me a lot when I was trying to explain to explain to people what I was trying to do,” Akon said.
The city’s crypto-economic system will also solve many problems specific to the developing world, like instantly calculating conversation rates for currencies, which is often an obstacle because there are so many different regional currencies and methods of trade. In some cases, people even use prepaid cellphone minutes as a currency because it is easier to use and exchange than traditional currencies. Akon says that the Akoin wallet will allow users to trade between cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and cellphone minutes instantly without having to go through a major exchange using Atomic Swap technology. The app will also teach users to become more familiar with the technology in general.
Florida Man Uses Stimulus Check to Start Thriving Home Garden to Feed His Community
When millions of people across the United States received their federal stimulus checks to help them cope with the devastating economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown, most people spent their checks on basic necessities like food, rent, mortgage, utilities, and other basic necessities
However, one man from East Tampa, Florida, decided to use his funds to invest in a much more long-term project: building his own garden at home and using it to help provide food for himself. He’s now teaching his community about the massive benefits of food independence.
Michael Chaney, who goes by the nickname “Spirit Mike,” has long been interested in gardening. It wasn’t until the pandemic struck and local supermarkets were struck by the crisis that he was able to muster the self-motivation and time to fully pursue what began as a hobby and now has turned into his passion.
When he received his first stimulus check, he immediately used the funds to purchase some pots and start growing his first tomato plant. He also spoke to seasoned gardeners at the nearby A Land of Delight Natural Farm to pick up some materials and advice that would enable him to begin growing his own food, he told local radio station WMNF.
Now, Chaney is growing not only tomatoes but also collard greens, ghost peppers, mustard greens, strawberry guava, eggplants, onions, papaya, cashew apples, sugar cane, lemon, yucca, and lettuce, among other plants on his .3 acres of land.
“I do biointensive gardening, which means planting as much as you can in a small space,” Chaney told Atlanta Black Star. “I specifically picked these types of fruits [dwarf plants] because they grow fruit fast.”
Chaney derives the most pride from his moringa trees, which he values for its high viamin C content and celebrated medicinal properties as well as its antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant qualities.
“That is the Michael Jordan and the Kobe Bryant together,” Chaney told WMNF with pride.
“If you were stranded somewhere and all you have his this and water you would not only survive, you would thrive,” Chaney added. “I don’t work out. All I did was add this to my diet and add flax seed fiber and I lost 65 lbs.”
Chaney also has nine chickens that he purchased for only $3 per chick.
“My aim is to make my food cost zero,” he explained. “So, my food scraps go into the soldier fly larvae bin, they eat that and produce more larvae. Those larvae get fed to the chickens. The chicken produces eggs, I sell the eggs and eat the eggs; life is good.”
Chaney made sure to meticulously plan his garden so that actually managing it and ensuring its success would be much easier.
“It’s very important that you plan your garden. Do your research before you put a dollar down because you want your dollar to go as far as it can,” Chaney said.
He is now upholding the garden – which he has named New World Growers – as an example of community self-determination and food independence at a time when food insecurity is sharply on the rise.
Edward Snowden Applies For Russian Citizenship As He Announces He’s About To Be A Dad
U.S. NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has announced that he is going to be a dad and that he has applied for Russian citizenship due to the coming change in his life. Snowden said the move is to prevent separation from his unborn son.
Snowden and his wife are applying for Russian citizenship in order not to be separated from their future son in an era of pandemics and closed borders, he said on Monday. Snowden’s wife, Lindsay, is expecting a child in late December, the RIA news agency said, citing his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, Reuters reported.
Snowden fled the U.S. and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret NSA files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency where he was a contractor. Snowden exposed various capabilities by the NSA by revealing various extensive privacy violations. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently found one such program was unlawful and that the U.S. intelligence directors who publicly defended it had lied to the public. The court determined that the warrantless telephone dragnet that secretly collected millions of Americans’ telephone records violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
U.S. authorities have for years wanted Snowden to return to the U.S. to face criminal charges on espionage brought against him in 2013.
“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son. That’s why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship,” Snowden wrote on Twitter. “Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love, including the freedom to speak his mind. And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited. Our greatest wish is that, wherever our son lives, he feels at home.”
Russia has already granted Snowden permanent residency rights, his lawyer said last month, a requisite step towards Russian citizenship.
Snowden’s wife recently publicly announced her pregnancy last week in a photograph posted to Instagram. “A long time in the making,” she wrote. “Our greatest collaboration coming soon.” Snowden said; despite applying for Russian citizenship, he hopes to one day return to the U.S. to reunite his family.