Noam Chomsky on Media’s “Shameful Moment” in Gaza & How a U.S. Shift Could End the Occupation

August 22, 2014

TUP速報982号  「忌わしい暴虐」――イスラエルによるガザ攻撃と占領を支援する米国についてノーム・チョムスキーが語るURL
http://www.tup-bulletin.org/?p=1705

なお、日本版【デモクラシーなう】http://democracynow.jp/about/dnj
の「今週の お勧めトピックス(英語のみ)」に英語版の映像が紹介されています。、
○ノーム・チョムスキー:ガザめぐるメディアの「恥ずべき瞬間」、そして米国の変化がいかに占領を終わらせられ るのか

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/11/noam_chomsky_on_medias_shameful_moment

○ノーム・チョムスキー:BDS運動、そして「アパルト ヘイトよりももっとひどい」イスラエルによる占領

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/11/noam_chomsky_on_bds_and_how○「サディスティックでおぞましい」:イスラエルによるガザ地区での食糧と医療品の制限についてノーム・チョム スキーが語る

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/11/sadistic_grotesque_noam_chomsky_on_how
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/11/noam_chomsky_on_medias_shameful_moment

 

What They Saw: 5 Eyewitnesses to the Michael Brown Shooting

August 22, 2014

limitlesslife:

These individuals gave their versions of the Ferguson, Mo., teenager’s last moments.

Posted: Aug. 19 2014 12:10 PM
eyewitnesses_michael_brown_cover

Dorian Johnson; Piaget Crenshaw; Tiffany Mitchell

MSNBC SCREENSHOT; CNN SCREENSHOT; MSNBC SCREENSHOT

As of press time, at least five eyewitnesses in the Michael Brown shooting case have come forward. All five witnesses had distinct vantage points: One person was with Brown during the incident, one woman was inside her vehicle, another woman observed the incident from her apartment balcony, one man was inside his apartment and another man was standing outside.

None of the eyewitnesses in this roundup—save for two—knew each other prior to the shooting. They could not have imagined that their lives would forever be intertwined as a result of what they allegedly witnessed that sunny afternoon in Ferguson, Mo.

1. Dorian Johnson, Michael Brown’s friend.

dorian_johnson

Dorian Johnson (center)SCREENSHOT FROM LOCAL FERGUSON NEWS STATIONS

Johnson was with Brown when they were stopped by police.

During interviews with reporters, Johnson recounted the chilling confrontation. He said that a police car pulled up alongside Brown and him, and the officer—who has been identified as Darren Wilson—allegedly told Johnson and Brown to “get the f–k on the sidewalk.”

The two men told the officer that they were only minutes away from their destination. Johnson said that Wilson backed up his car and asked Brown and Johnson what they just said. Johnson claimed that Wilson then tried to open his car door but the door ricocheted off of Brown’s body and closed again.

Johnson said that Wilson pulled Brown through the car window by his neck, and Brown began to try to pull away. Johnson said that Wilson shot Brown during the scuffle, and Brown managed to break away from Wilson’s grip. Brown and Johnson then began to run away from the police vehicle.

Johnson said that Wilson got out of his car and began to shoot at Brown while Brown was running away. Brown then stopped, put his hands in the air, turned around and pleaded with the officer to stop shooting, since he didn’t have a gun.

Johnson said that Wilson continued to fire several more shots before Brown’s body fell to the ground.

2. Tiffany Mitchell, who was visiting her employee in a nearby apartment complex.

tiffany_mitchell

Tiffany Mitchell alongside her attorneyCNN SCREENSHOT

Mitchell had never met or seen Michael Brown or Dorian Johnson. In fact, she’s not even from the area and was on her way to pick up an employee when the incident occurred.

During an interview with MSNBC, Mitchell said she was driving when she saw the confrontation at the point when Brown and Wilson were wrestling through the window. “Brown was pushing, trying to get away from the officer,” Mitchell explained, “and the officer was trying to pull him in.”

Mitchell’s and Johnson’s versions of events match up from that point on. A shot was fired, and Brown broke away and started to run down the street away from the police car. Mitchell said the officer then got out of his vehicle and started to pursue Brown, all the while shooting at him.

“Michael’s body jerked as if he were hit,” Mitchell said. “Then he turns around and put his hands up, and the officer continued to walk up on him and shoot him, until he goes all the way down to the ground.”

3. Piaget Crenshaw, the woman who saw the incident while standing on her apartment balcony.

piaget_crenshaw

Piaget CrenshawKSDK SCREENSHOT

Crenshaw was the employee that Mitchell was coming to pick up. She was standing on her apartment balcony and saw Brown running away from Wilson.

“I witnessed the police chase after the guy—full force,” Crenshaw told local news reporters in Ferguson. “[Brown] put his arm up to let them know that he was compliant and that he was unarmed, and they shot him twice more, and he fell to the ground and died.”

Crenshaw explained to reporters on the scene, “[Brown] was running this way, but his body is laying this way because he turned around to tell the police that he was unarmed.

“He didn’t have no weapon on him at all,” she continued. “They killed this boy for no reason, and there should be justice about this.”

4. Emmanuel Freeman, who reportedly tweeted about the shooting right after it happened.

bruh_twitter

@TheePharoah’s TweetsHUFFINGTON POST SCREENSHOT

Freeman, whose Twitter handle is @TheePharoah, was sitting in his home in Ferguson when he heard gunshots outside his window. He began to tweet his reaction.

Freeman soon tweeted a photo of Brown’s body lying facedown on the floor. A police officer can be seen standing over him. He again tweets:

He later tweets about the gunfire, saying:

In a tweet that has supposedly been taken down but was captured by a few news sources, including the Huffington Post, Twitter user @_amourlace asks Freeman if Brown was running away or if he was in a car.

Freeman tweeted back, “no reason! He was running!”

5. The man who spoke to Brown right before he left for the convenience store.

453698446

Demonstrators protest on Aug. 16, 2014, at the site where Michael Brown was killed on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Mo.JOSHUA LOTT/GETTY IMAGES

A man, who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity, told Fox2 News that he and Brown had seen each other right before Brown went to the convenience store. The man said Brown told him that he was “feeling some bad vibes” but that the “Lord Jesus Christ” would help him through it. The man said that Brown said he’d return to continue their conversation after making a stop at the store.

Approximately 25 minutes later, the man heard gunfire and looked up and saw a man, who he didn’t know at the time was Brown, “staggering and running.”

The man said that Brown put his hands up and started screaming, “OK! OK! OK! OK! OK!” The witness claims that the police officer didn’t tell Brown to get on the ground or anything.

“He just started shooting,” the man continued, estimating that the officer shot Brown six or seven times after he turned around to seemingly surrender. “There’s no way you can justify it.”

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beatsa Web series that features expert advice for TV and film’s most complex characters. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.

Originally posted on Global Ethics:

みなさまへ    (BCCにて)松元

ノーム・チョムスキーが今回のガザ攻撃について、デモクラシーナウ!で長いインタビューに答えています。そのパート1をTUPが翻訳紹介していま す。

TUP速報982号  「忌わしい暴虐」――イスラエルによるガザ攻撃と占領を支援する米国についてノーム・チョムスキーが語るURL
http://www.tup-bulletin.org/?p=1705

なお、日本版【デモクラシーなう】http://democracynow.jp/about/dnj
の「今週の お勧めトピックス(英語のみ)」に英語版の映像が紹介されています。、
○ノーム・チョムスキー:ガザめぐるメディアの「恥ずべき瞬間」、そして米国の変化がいかに占領を終わらせられ るのか

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/11/noam_chomsky_on_medias_shameful_moment

○ノーム・チョムスキー:BDS運動、そして「アパルト ヘイトよりももっとひどい」イスラエルによる占領

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/11/noam_chomsky_on_bds_and_how○「サディスティックでおぞましい」:イスラエルによるガザ地区での食糧と医療品の制限についてノーム・チョム スキーが語る

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/11/sadistic_grotesque_noam_chomsky_on_how
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/11/noam_chomsky_on_medias_shameful_moment

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New study finds radiation dose for US West Coast from Fukushima over 500% of recent gov’t estimate

August 22, 2014

ENENews


Top US Nuclear Officials Visit Fukushima: “The pain they’ve inflicted… innocent lives impacted forever… children” — “Sick to my stomach… as if I were in a science fiction movie” — “Very sobering” — “We raise the standard of living for millions… without us, heart surgery isn’t possible” (VIDEO)

Posted: 21 Aug 2014 10:57 PM PDT

NHK: Scientists to use detectors ‘deep underground’ to look for Fukushima fuel; It’s ‘believed’ to have cooled down, but no one can check — Officials: We don’t know if water is covering fuel — Expert: Water must be circulating around fuel or it will melt again (VIDEO)

Posted: 21 Aug 2014 02:00 PM PDT

New study finds radiation dose for US West Coast from Fukushima over 500% of recent gov’t estimate — Release from Japan disaster could exceed Chernobyl (MAP)

Posted: 21 Aug 2014 11:22 AM PDT

Report: “No one wants you to know how bad Fukushima might still be… gaining traction as the worst case of nuclear pollution in history” — Physician: “This is a global contamination of wide swaths of the biosphere” (VIDEO)

Posted: 21 Aug 2014 08:24 AM PDT

One Month Countdown Until Major Climate Marches in NYC and Around the World

August 22, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Jamie Henn, jamie@350.org, 415.890.3350

Nell Greenberg, nell@avaaz.org, 510.847.9777

One-month out from what’s expected to be the largest march on climate change in history, groups launch massive recruitment push

 

NEW YORK – With just one month to go until the People’s Climate March in New York City this September 21, more than 100 organizations are taking part in an online recruitment drive to sign people up for the demonstration. In the first hours of the push, thousands of new signups have already begun to flow in.

The People’s Climate March is expected to be the largest demonstration for climate action in history. The march takes place just two days before President Obama and world leaders gather for an emergency Climate Summit at the United Nations. Marchers are demanding leaders go beyond rhetoric and commit to bold action at the summit.

More than 750 organizations around the world are supporting the People’s Climate March, from the largest transit workers union in New York City to a coalition of buddhist monks. In total, the groups represent roughly 100 million people worldwide.

The scale of organizing for the march now rivals that of a major electoral campaign, with thousands of volunteers, daily phone-banks and canvasses in NYC, and a major online operation to turn out marchers. Updates from the field include:

  • Trains and hundreds of buses will be bringing people from across the country for the march. Including a dedicated train from San Francisco to New York, a dedicated train from D.C. to New York, and buses from multiple points outside of New York.
  • More than 45 labor unions have signed onto the march, pledging to turn out members in New York City and from surrounding areas.
  • Connecticut alone has over 40 different groups confirmed to attend.
  • Renowned artist Shepard Fairey, whose Obama Hope poster has become world famous,  has donated a poster design for the march
  • At a warehouse in Bushwick, artists are creating giant sculptures, floats, and banners for the march.
  • The global campaigning group Avaaz has secured 10% of the subway ads in NYC for the month before the march. The ads were chosen after a poster design contest that netted over 400 entries worldwide.
  • Groups are planning a major student recruitment push for college campuses as classes resume in September.

The People’s Climate March has also gone global, with other major marches and solidarity events being planned worldwide:

  • In New Delhi, thousands will take over the streets on September 20 to demand a renewable energy revolution.
  • In Australia, organizers are expecting hundreds of individual events to take place across the country, including a major march in Melbourne.
  • In London environment organisations and faith groups are combining forces to create a historic march through the city to the steps of Parliament.
  • In Berlin three parallel marches will combine forces in a colourful festival.
  • Events are already being planned in Ghana, Kenya, DRC, Nigeria, and Guinea, along with a major march in Johannesburg.
  • In Paris, local groups will create the “Paris Marche pour le Climat,” with parades, marches, and bicycle rides planned across the bridges of the Seinne.
  • Reports are also coming in of large mobilizations planned in: Kathmandu, Rio, Sao Paulo, Jakarta, Dublin, Manila, Seoul, Mumbai and Istanbul.

Organizers are confident that the sheer scale and diversity of the People’s Climate March events, from the headline demonstration in New York City to the simultaneous events worldwide, will show politicians that there is a massive, energized movement demanding immediate action to address the climate crisis.

In New York City, the message will be difficult to ignore: marchers have come to an agreement with the NYPD for the march to flow directly through the middle of Manhattan. The march will begin at Columbus Circle at 11:30am on Sunday, proceed over on 59th Street to 6th Avenue, down 6th Avenue to 42nd Street, then right on 42nd Street to 11th Avenue. The route passes by some of New York City’s most famous landmarks, from Rockefeller Center to Times Square.

The march and the Climate Summit in New York mark the beginning of a busy 18 months of crucial international negotiations. Climate negotiators will head to Lima, Peru, in December 2014 to make progress towards a global climate deal. Then, in September 2015 world leaders will meet back in New York to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals, the global post-2015 development agenda. Three months later, the world will gather in Paris to try and sign a new international climate treaty.

For more information on The Peoples Climate March and participating groups, please see here: http://peoplesclimate.org/about/

###

350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

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Children of US Navy sailors suffering from cancers after Fukushima exposure — “I couldn’t move… so much pain… I have leukemia”

August 22, 2014

ENENews


VIDEO: Children of US Navy sailors suffering from cancers after Fukushima exposure — “I couldn’t move… so much pain… I have leukemia” — More kids with thyroid cancer — Father: “We couldn’t figure it out… his body was changing” — Sailor: Right side of my body is shriveling up, one arm now almost 5 inches smaller than other

Ferguson Police Busted – Attempt To Defame Shooting Victim Blows Up In Their Face (VIDEO)

August 21, 2014

AUTHOR: AUGUST 18, 2014 5:00 PM

Mike_Brown_Paying

When the Ferguson police department released the name of Darren Wilson, they also chose to release video footage which they claimed was of Michael Brown robbing a convenience store for some cigars.

The problem is, the video shows Michael Brown at the register, paying for the cigars.

From observation, it looks as if he had tried to buy more, but then was unable to afford it, hence why he left several packets on the counter. This prompted the store owner to come out from behind the counter and have a discussion with him, which prompted the shove witnessed in the full video.

Whatever words were exchanged between the man in the video and the store owner, they were not considered very serious, as the store owner nor the employees did not report a theft at the store. According to the stores attorney, the owners were bewildered when the police approached them demanding the surveillance tapes.

The store owners are now afraid of themselves becoming a target, due to the Ferguson PD’s attempt to tie their store to the fateful shooting. A gross abuse of police authority, one which now puts someone else at risk.

Even if Michael Brown were a petty thief, this does not excuse the cold-blooded shooting death of the 18-year-old. Of course the right-wing took the robbery claim at face value, and began labeling Michael Brown as a ‘thug‘ who did not deserve due process.

But instead it looked like he was a teenager who was enjoying a few cigars which he purchased at the local store. The store owners did not claim he stole from them. Video evidence shows him paying for the cigars found on him. The police attempt to paint Michael Brown as anything but a victim is a complete and total fraud.

Michael Brown was to start college last Monday, and was preparing to start his own business upon graduation. Officer Wilson cut short a promising young man before he could truly get his start in the world. It is a story so tragic due not to this isolated case, but for how common this is in America.

The United States is racing the results of decades of legitimized racism. Ever since President Reagan made it ok to bash the poor, so long as they were black, the progress in race relations in this country has been undone. Now we are facing the obvious result of this criminalization of African-Americans in the US. Is it not time to say enough is enough, and stop putting the blame on the victims?

People’s Climate Mobilisation: A Global Invitation

August 21, 2014
Published on
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As heads of state from around the world head to New York City in September, the People’s Climate March and Mobilization will assemble to challenge the status quo and give voice to the vision of a better future. (Image: 350.org)

To change everything, we need everyone.

This September, world leaders are coming to New York City to talk about how to address the climate crisis. This is a crucial moment; we’re at a crossroads. We can and must change course by building a new economy through efforts to reconceive corporations and redefine economic progress. We need to do this in order to address the greatest crisis in the history of mankind.

Put simply: we need to break free from the shackles of the fossil fuel industry in order to address the climate crisis. We’re already seeing the devastating impacts of climate change around the world, with the poorest and most vulnerable being the hardest hit.

There can be no climate justice without economic justice, but there won’t be any economic justice without facing up to our climate reality.

“Together, we can create a world with cleaner air, healthier communities, and more economic opportunities. This is what we mean when we talk about climate justice. We know this world is within reach, but we’re going have to fight for it.”

Scientists tell us we’re running out of time to avoid planetary catastrophe. If we can’t get our politicians and leaders to act soon, it’s going to be too late.

Let’s get real about implementing the solutions we need to solve this crisis. We can power the world with 100% renewable energy and make our economy more sustainable. The transition to this clean energy future will create millions of new, good jobs around the world.

Together, we can create energy that’s democratically controlled by our communities, instead of major corporations. But we need real investment in this future and disinvestment from the fossil fuel industry.

Tackling the climate crisis is good for our communities, good for the planet, and good for the economy. But right now, the fossil fuel industry is standing in the way of progress.

Fossil fuel companies have made it clear that their business plan is to wreck the planet. They don’t care about our communities or our children’s future, they just care about making a profit. Even worse, they’re spending millions of dollars every year to spread denial and block solutions.

The fight against climate change is also a fight against inequality. It’s time to end their stranglehold over our economy and our democracy.

We need to come together to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and fight for our common future. No one is immune to the impacts of climate change. But everyone can benefit from the solutions.

Together, we can create a world with cleaner air, healthier communities, and more economic opportunities. This is what we mean when we talk about climate justice. We know this world is within reach, but we’re going have to fight for it.

That starts with taking to the streets this September to show our politicians that they need to choose a side. It’s either the people or the polluters.

As heads of state from around the world head to New York City in September, there will be an unprecedented climate mobilisation – in size, beauty, and impact. Both in New York and globally.

The demand is for Action, Not Words: taking the necessary action to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet – now. In short, we want a world safe from the ravages of climate change.

It’s either leaders stand with the fossil fuel industry or stand with our communities, our children, and our future.

We’re fighting to save the entire planet from destruction. It’s time to choose sides.

Register your event or join scheduled events throughout the world here.

Hoda Baraka is the global communications manager for 350.org.

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‘This is the Story of Power in this Country': Ferguson, Institutionalized Racism and the Militarization of Police

August 21, 2014
Published on
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‘They’re willing to sacrifice the lives of the community members based on the actions of a few’ — CCR Bertha Fellow Chauniqua Young

Police officers in Ferguson, Missouri arrested 31 people during protests Monday night (Photo: Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)

Last week, after days of violent police rampages in Ferguson, Missouri, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Michigan) said the Senate will “review” the Defense Department program that gives military weapons and equipment to civilian police departments for free.

It took five apocalyptic nights in Ferguson for Levin to make that statement, but the national dialogue on the militarization of police has begun.

Only it didn’t just take Ferguson. It took years of violent arrests. Exposés that revealed small towns being patrolled by tanks and big cities controlled by force. Rampant and institutionalized violations of citizens’ human and constitutional rights. Protests and demonstrations around the country suffocated by intimidation, brutality, and weapons only ever seen in warfare.

The most recent crackdown came in response to a march that grew out of a vigil for Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was shot to death by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. The community of 20,000 wanted justice for another young black man killed with impunity; the police did not want to answer for their actions.

“There’s a real problem in this country in thinking systematically about power,” Chauncey DeVega, founder and editor of the blog We Are Respectable Negroes, told Common Dreams. “We need to emphasize that racism and police brutality are not separate things.”

Harrowing images and videos from Ferguson’s ongoing protests showed tense days turning into chaotic nights as police forces descended on the demonstrations, dressed in army camouflage and black helmets, wielding attack dogs and assault rifles, straddling armored tanks. They arrested reporters, refused to answer questions, and confiscated and dismantled news cameras. They fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets at groups of protesters, eerily backlit by sporadic street-lamps and tank headlights. The smoke grenades sent heavy, billowing clouds through crowds of people who recoiled from the gas and held their empty arms in the air with the simple, pleading message, “Don’t shoot.”

handsup.jpg“Hands up, don’t shoot” (Photo: The Independent)

On Thursday, after almost a week of nightmarish standoffs documented with equal reverence by reporters and social media users, Attorney General Eric Holder made a statement on the excessive and violent police response to the protests.

“[It] is clear that the scenes playing out in the streets of Ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue,” Holder said. “At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message.”

The 1033 program

How did we come to this? The reasons are complex and deeply ingrained in America’s troubling racial history, but the source of the problem is simple: widespread partnerships between law enforcement and government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

The quiet militarization of police departments began in 1990, when Congress passed theNational Defense Authorization Act, a provision of which — known as the 1033 program — allowed the Secretary of Defense to “transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition.”

In 1996, during the peak of the War on Drugs, Congress expanded the program and incentivized active use of the equipment, making it free for recipient agencies and simultaneously requiring them to use it within a year. The expansion of the 1033 program also required agencies to give preference to transferring equipment for “counterdrug and counterterrorism activities.” And it hasn’t stopped there.

But equally concerning as the 1033 program itself is the recent opportunity Congress had to end it — which it didn’t take.

On June 19th, almost two months before the death of Michael Brown, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida), introduced an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to “transfer aircraft (including unmanned aerial vehicles), armored vehicles, grenade launchers, silencers, toxicological agents (including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment), launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets, torpedoes, bombs, mines, or nuclear weapons (as identified for demilitarization purposes outlined in Department of Defense Manual 4160.28) through the Department of Defense Excess Personal Property Program.”

The amendment failed in a House vote 355-62. One of the votes against the amendment came from Rep. William Lacy Clay, a Democrat who represents Ferguson, Missouri.

As political finance research organization MapLight points out, Clay is one of the many members of Congress who receives a large chunk of campaign donations from the defense industry — $25,000 in Clay’s case. The representatives who voted against the amendment receive, on average, 73 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted to de-fund the militarization program.

The Center for Investigative Reporting found in 2011 that more than $34 billion in federal grants have gone to stocking police forces with tanks, riot gear, and assault weapons.The relationship between government and the defense industry is unmistakable. The Center for Investigative Reporting found in 2011 that more than $34 billion in federal grants have gone to stocking police forces with tanks, riot gear, and assault weapons. The number could well be higher, but neither the federal government nor the state and local governments keep close track of what they sell or obtain, the Center said.

In 2011 alone, approximately 12,000 police organizations procured $500 million in firearms, helicopters, and other equipment. A highly publicized moratorium imposed by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) in 2012 to prevent inappropriate weapons transfers was lifted — this time without fanfare — in 2013 with no new safeguards.

As the ACLU reported (PDF) in June, the DLA, which is responsible for transferring the equipment to civilian police forces, “can simply purchase property from an equipment or weapons manufacturer and transfer it to a local law enforcement agency free of charge.”

The phenomenon of surplus of military weapons making their way into the supplies of city police forces is not always visible to the public, as it has been in Ferguson. The turmoil is all too often private, witnessed only by people inside their homes and the SWAT teams that kick down their doors in the middle of the night to serve a warrant. Michael Brown’s tragic death is part of a much more pervasive trend of police brutality on large and small scales that is strengthened and perpetuated by militarization — one that encourages the police to see the people as an enemy, and vice versa.

Racial disparities in policing

Michael Brown’s death — and Eric Garner’s, John Crawford’s, Ezell Ford’s, and Dante Parker’s — are the most recent examples of a historic trend with deep, troubling roots.

“There is a historical precedent” to racism in policing, DeVega told Common Dreams. “Modern police can trace their origins back to slave patrols.”

As Eastern Kentucky University professor Victor E. Kappeler writes, “The institution of slavery and the control of minorities… were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing.”

“[T]he St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols,” writes Kappeler, who is Associate Dean of the School of Justice Studies at EKU. “Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property.”

Institutional racism in policing is not a new development, but militarization is. During the 1980s and 90s, the government took advantage of the public fear of drugs to gain support for ramped up military-grade policing programs. Apart from 1033, federal support also came in a variety of DOJ and DHS grants that bolstered state and local law enforcement agencies, which used them to purchase lethal weapons, body armor, and vehicles built to withstand roadside bombs in war zones. Joint operations between police departments and the federal agencies like the FBI became common.

But the changes caused by militarization were not equal among all communities. Racial disparities were rampant. Black communities were disproportionately targeted for policing and arrests — and the increasingly militarized equipment and conduct that went with it — despite evidence pointing to higher levels of drug crimes among whites.

“Police are now being trained by military,” DeVega told Common Dreams. “They try out their programs on poor black communities.”

Militarization gave police forces a “warrior” mentality that gradually normalized the use of assault weapons on routine patrols, ACLU found. Legalized racial profiling programs, like the SB1070 bill in Arizona and the Stop and Frisk policy in New York City, quickly followed.

To see the warrior mentality in one single, heartbreaking example, look no further than Michael Brown’s recently released autopsy report. The bullet path indicates that he was in a position of surrender when he was shot. Brown might even have survived the first five hits, forensic expert Dr. Michael Baden said — it was the final shot to his head that killed him.

EKU criminal justice professor Pete Kraska, who has studied the rise of paramilitary policing for decades, wrote in a report (PDF) that the mentality is also fueled by “[t]he allure of police paramilitary subculture… the enjoyment, excitement, high status, and male camaraderie that accompany the heavy weaponry, new technologies, dangerous assignments, and heightened anticipation of using force in most PPU [Police Paramilitary Unit] work.”

Harsh sentencing policies, such as the three-strikes law in California, have led to a 40 percent black prison population, compared to a 12 percent black U.S. population — an example of the kind of institutional racism that feeds into the “cycle of cruelty,” as DeVega puts it.

“Most people likely assume this must be due to rising crime rates, but the explosion in the prison population, as well as its changing complexion, are better explained by harsh criminal justice policies,” said Rebecca Hetey, a Stanford University psychology researcher. Joshua Correll and Tracie Keesee, psychology researchers at the University of Chicago, likewise discovered that police officers are more likely to shoot black targets, whether they are armed or unarmed.

Outside of prison, many poor black communities found themselves subject to a different kind institutionalized control, which Yale University assistant professor Vesla Weavercalled “custodial citizenship.”

“Criminal justice interventions transform how people understand their government… their citizenship,” Weaver wrote for the Boston Review. “[T]hose who have been exposed to criminal justice tend to have low levels of trust in politicians and public institutions and a diminished sense of standing. They don’t believe the state will respond to their needs.”

“Their relationship to the state looks more like that of an undocumented person than that of a citizen,” Weaver wrote.

A study (PDF) by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement published in April 2013 discovered that police officers, security guards, or self-appointed vigilantes “extrajudicially” killed at least 313 black men in 2012. That means a black person was killed by an officer, without trial, every 28 hours in one year. However, as these statistics come only from reported deaths, the real number could be much higher, MXGM said.

The report, Operation Ghetto Storm, quoted New York State Senator and former NYPD police captain Eric Adams, who testified that police commissioner Ray Kelly focused Stop and Frisk on young black and Latino men because “he wanted to instill fear in them every time they leave their home.”

A recording made at a Brooklyn police station captured Kelly telling NYPD officers, “If you get too big of a crowd there, they’re going to get out of control, and they’re going to think that they own the block. We own the block… We own the streets here.”

Ferguson as a front line

Militarization shows that police and governments are “willing to sacrifice the lives of the community members based on the actions of a few.”
— Chauniqua Young, Center for Constitutional Rights
The police response in Ferguson poses another question: Why is it that, with years of reports on tanks and weapons being funneled into small town police forces, the first time we see widespread coverage of these doomsday armies emerging is in a town that happens to be majority black?

Chauniqua Young, Bertha Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, told Common Dreams that “the excessive force by the police demonstrates disrespect for black lives” at an institutional level. “It was justified based on the alleged actions of individuals… in reality, it affected families.”

Young, who was present during the protests in Ferguson, said many of the residents running from tear gas were parents with strollers.

Militarization shows that police and governments are “willing to sacrifice the lives of the community members based on the actions of a few,” Young said.

Operation Ghetto Storm’s authors write that “police, sheriffs, security guards and, to a certain extent self‐appointed enforcers of law (vigilantes) ARE ‘authorized’ by governments and paid for by taxes” to kill black people. Many cities see police forces killing black citizens without trial in numbers that greatly outweigh their black populations. Roughly 71 percent of them were, like Brown, either unarmed or “allegedly” armed, a status that MXGM says is used by police forces that are “infamous for planting weapons or declaring that a cell phone, wallet or other harmless object is a gun.”

Statistics compiled by the National Safety Council and the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011, and immortalized in social media memes ever since, showed that an individual is eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist. Added together, the presence of racism and militarization in the institution of law enforcement have combined to target minorities at unprecedented levels.

fuckthepolice_2.jpgRacism and police militarization go hand-in-hand (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty)

A study published in December 2013 found that, from 1997 to 2008, 49 percent of black men in the U.S. were arrested by age 23. That was the same year that the U.S. Bureau of Justice published the shocking estimate that 40.2 percent of all inmates in the corrections system were black — at 846,000 inmates, that statistic meant that there were more black men in jail that year than there were enslaved in 1850, before the start of the Civil War.

As Deadspin writer Greg Howard wrote for The Concourse, “If officers are soldiers, it follows that the neighborhoods they patrol are battlefields. And if they’re working battlefields, it follows that the population is the enemy. And because of correlations, rooted in historical injustice, between crime and income and income and race, the enemy population will consist largely of people of color, and especially of black men.”

SWAT teams as police

Paramilitary policing in majority-black neighborhoods doesn’t stop with supplying war-grade weapons to local departments and giving cops free rein to target minorities for illegal search and seizures. It also includes the widespread, excessive, and often deadly use of SWAT teams to conduct low-risk operations.

In theory, Special Weapons and Tactics teams are specialized units only called in for missions considered too dangerous for ordinary police departments, like hostage situations and shooter standoffs. But as the ACLU discovered, more than 800 SWAT deployments — roughly 62 percent — between 2011 and 2012 were drug searches in people’s homes. Only 7 percent of deployments were in response to the very situations SWAT teams were created for.

What is a SWAT raid like? As described by the ACLU, they begin when officers armed with grenades and assault rifles break down suspects’ doors and windows with battering rams, often in the middle of the night, often with children present. On far too many occasions, they include SWAT officers opening fire into residential homes with no cause and no warning; on far too many occasions, they end in death.

SWAT raids have killed at least seven civilians and injured 46 since 2010, ACLU reports. Among them were Eurie Stamp, a grandfather of 12; seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones; Tarika Wilson, a young mother whose baby was also wounded by the gunshots; and Jose Guerena, an Iraq veteran. The injured also include 19-month-old Bou Bou, who was put into a medically-induced coma after a grenade that landed in his crib gave him third-degree burns and chest wounds.

None of them were suspects. None of the raids turned up drugs. Few of the officers involved were ever held responsible for killing innocent civilians.

But SWAT teams turning low-risk operations into deadly missions is only one aspect of police militarization and its direct consequences for communities of color.

“There is a collective consciousness that black men are criminals,” DeVega told Common Dreams. “And there is a reluctance to say, ‘Why these communities?'”

“Who are some of the people who are invested in militarization?” DeVega said. “Who are they trying their tactics out on? Innocent black people are more likely to encounter police than guilty white people. It’s not coincidental.”

Vincent Warren, CCR executive director, said the killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests are “part of a continuum of racial profiling and state violence.”

The future of militarization

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) on Thursday introduced the first tangible action to defund 1033 since Grayson’s failed bill in June. Garnering immediate support from Sen. Claire McCaskill, who represents Missouri, Johnson announced that he would soon propose a Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (PDF) in the House of Representatives.

“[A]re MRAPs [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles] really needed in small-town America?” Johnson wrote for USA Today. “Are improvised explosive devices, grenade attacks, mines, shelling and other war-typical attacks really happening in Roanoke Rapids, a town of 16,000 people? No.”

“Militarizing America’s main streets won’t make us any safer, just more fearful and more reticent,” wrote Johnson, who supported Grayson’s previous bill to de-fund 1033.

Other supporters of the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act include Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), who also voted in favor of Grayson’s effort in June.

The program is unlikely to go down without a fight. Pentagon spokesperson and Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told the U.S. News and World Report that 1033 is “a useful program that allows for the reuse of military equipment that would otherwise be disposed of, that could be used by law enforcement agencies to serve their citizens.”

There is also the rhetoric of fear. “The problem is always [in the] public safety argument… that it would disempower [police] to enhance public safety,” Young told Common Dreams. “People need to understand that there are alternatives to militarization, like community policing.”

“This is the story of power in this country.”
— Chauncey DeVega
Ferguson’s brief window of calm, led by Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, was a working example of community policing. On August 14th, Johnson and other officers — who dressed in plain uniforms and did not carry assault weapons — walked side by side with protesters, hugged and took photographs with them, and assured residents that the police were there to protect their rights, not to threaten their safety. Mutual cooperation ensured a night of peaceful marches and a joyful, party-like atmosphere, as many reported.

Tensions rose again the following day as Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson releasedsurveillance footage of Brown allegedly stealing cigars from a convenience store a few hours before he was shot. The information was irrelevant to Brown’s death, but the police department’s smear campaign against him had begun. As St. Louis County officers were allowed back on the ground, tear gas poisoned the air again and more violent arrests were reported. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon instituted a city-wide curfew that the ACLU called “a  lockdown  on  the  residents  of  Ferguson  who  have  done  no  wrong  and  seek  nothing  more than justice.”

Many media outlets called the protests and the subsequent crackdown “standoffs” and “clashes,” but those terms are misleading, Young said. “The narratives are simply not true,” Young continued. “The over-escalation has been by the police, not the protesters.” Photographs surfacing on Twitter showed residents — mostly young black men — standing guard in front of storefronts that had been targeted for looting. “Who you out here for? Better be for Mike Brown,” one said.

Some critics say the problem with community policing is that the institution is too problematic at its core — that police threaten the community with or without military weapons. As Ed Kilgore wrote for the Washington Monthly, “even with conventional weaponry (indeed, probably more so since the outrages in Ferguson might not have attracted so much national attention if not for the Fallujah imagery), the shooting of Michael Brown and the handling of the whole situations would have illustrated a systemic problem that all the tanks and tear gas and riot gear made worse but did not create.”

Johnson, who helped create the sense of calm in Ferguson that lifted spirits earlier this week, on Monday began subtly changing his tone about protesters after police once again began using brutal tactics against them. “We are not going to let groups congregate and build into larger groups because that’s what causes problems,” Johnson said during a press conference.

On Monday, officers told protesters that they were not allowed to stand still unless they were in an approved protest area.

In the meantime, it seems at least a small faction of the government has finally noticed the power differential. “Before another small town’s police force gets a $700,000 gift from the Defense Department that it can’t maintain or manage, it behooves us to press pause on Pentagon’s 1033 program and revisit the merits of a militarized America,” Rep. Johnson wrote in his letter.

DeVega notes that no poor community is immune from excessive police force. “When people think about white supremacy… the police are a part of that,” he told Common Dreams. “This is the story of power in this country.”

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The Beginning Is Near

August 21, 2014

The end is near for World Beyond War’s fundraising campaign for billboards and other advertisements to expand our movement to abolish war worldwide. Only through this Thursday, the 21st, can you or anyone you’re able to reach help. Please go to http://igg.me/at/worldbeyondwar and share it widely!
Did you see the New York Times column on ending war? Did you find it encouraging but disappointingly weak? Go here: http://worldbeyondwar.org/causes-war-krugman-overlooked

Would you like to see videos of a terrific and thoughtful peace conference just held? Go here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLusyT86b06StkTil0ZFvD8Hn-aYzNYesV

Concerned about the militarization of police? So are we! http://worldbeyondwar.org/local-police-much-else-will-militarized-long-federal-government

EVENTS

Let us know about any event you’re planning.

Resources with which to create an event.

Events list:100yearswbwgraphic400

2014

August 27, 86 Years Since Signing of the Kellogg Briand Pact related book, essay contest

August 30 – September 5, Protest NATO in South Wales.

September 21, International Day of PeaceLet us know about any event.Here’s a list of events in the U.S. arranged on a map by Campaign Nonviolence.Work with Campaign Nonviolence andGlobal Movement for the Culture of Peace and Peace One Day and A Year Without War.
Participate in People’s Climate March in New York City, September 20-21. (See the Peace Appeal, and the Global Climate Convergence.)
Let people know how war destroys the climate. (Flyer: PDF.)
Begin marking 100 years since the Christmas Truce.
Find great information on World War I at 100 on NoGlory.org
Joyeux Noel: a film about the 1914 Christmas truce.
Script for reenactment of Christmas Truce: PDF.
Christmas Truce information and videos.
If you’re in the Northeast U.S. or the U.K. you might be able to attend or even set up a production of The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth: Info in PDF.

Also, schools can join a video streaming project between schools in different countries. This project was started by the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities: http://iapmc.org .

Let us know about any event you’re planning.

Here’s one: September 22, International Peace Day Celebration in Washington, D.C.

This September 26 is the first UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

UNFOLD ZERO has established a platform for promoting actions and events to commemorate the day. In addition to the UN resolution establishing the day, it has been supported by resolution of the member parliaments of the Inter Parliamentary Union (164 parliaments including most of those of the nuclear-armed States and their allies) and by resolution adopted by the US Conference of Mayors.

Sep 26 is very close to the International Day of Peace on Sep 21. Thus, we encourage campaigners to consider linking the two and organising events in the week of Sep 21-26 that commemorate both.

October 4, Global Day of Action Against Dronesinfo.

November 6, International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
info.

December 10, International Human Rights Day

December 25, 100 Years Since the Christmas Truce

2015

April, Global Day of Action Against Military Spending

Let us know about any event you’re planning.

If you’d like to help plan events, email events@worldbeyondwar.org

Nuclear Expert: Fukushima fuel suspected to be in ground… “it’s going to melt right down into the ground” when heat isn’t removed

August 19, 2014

ENENews


Experts: Plutonium and uranium flow into ocean from Fukushima — “Heavily contaminated” water is leaking out of plant — Melted fuel releasing hundreds of different radioactive materials — Officials refuse to investigate 90% of these (VIDEO)

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 11:59 PM PDT

Nuclear Expert: Fukushima fuel suspected to be in ground… “it’s going to melt right down into the ground” when heat isn’t removed, that’s why these are so dangerous — Physician: “3 of Fukushima’s reactors melted through containment… the crisis is clearly ongoing” (VIDEO)

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 02:48 PM PDT

Gov’t: Radiation level 60 km from Fukushima plant is as high as the most contaminated areas in Chernobyl — “Fukushima far exceeded any crisis previously encountered” — “A risk of destruction of the society” — Expert: “It’s unprecedented in scale and duration” (VIDEOS)

Posted: 18 Aug 2014 08:48 AM PDT


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