Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (TFC)— In recent months, echoes of the opioid crisis throughout Milwaukee County have increasingly crept into the news. Each municipality is all too familiar with vague reports of heroin raids, fentanyl busts, and overdose clean ups. Whereas…
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (CopBlock)— After over 60 days, the Wauwatosa (Tosa) Police Department finally released an ex-detective’s 2013 resignation letter. However, WPD redacted large swaths in an admitted effort to protect their officers’ reputations. Its unaltered portions included accusations of systematically…
The incredible litany of publicly exposed incidents of police use of force against African American males in the past two years is both a testament to the power of social media and an exposé of the deficits of state, local and federal government accountability. Yet, the brutalization of African American males by law enforcement agents is not a new phenomenon. It was chronicled after the riots of the 1960s in the Kerner Commission Report and remains a historical legacy of the power of law enforcement agencies over the lives and bodies of black men. Whereas W.E.B. DuBois used his brilliant essays published in the NAACP’s The Crisis magazine to expose the horrors of lynching in early 20th Century America, contemporary movements such as Black Lives Matter and their allies have used Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, FaceTime and related social networking platforms—along with the ever-present video phone—to expose police excesses.
UN peacekeeping is big business, but is it achieving its aims? asks Louisa Waugh.
The last time I met Sultan Ibrahim Senoussi, he was at home in the town of N’délé, sitting beneath his favourite tree, holding court from his armchair. Waiting my turn to speak, I noticed a book on his lap and surreptitiously read the title upside-down.
After we exchanged greetings, I asked why he was learning English. ‘Because of the peacekeepers!’ The sultan waved his book. ‘Those Pakistanis don’t speak French. If they can’t talk to us, we must learn to talk to them!’
In the Central African Republic, traditional leaders wield both political and moral authority. As a sultan, Ibrahim Senoussi oversees local administration, including humanitarian works, so is familiar with the UN peacekeepers, whom Central Africans call casques bleus (blue helmets). The Pakistanis in N’délé are part of the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission to the Central African Republic (or MINUSCA), launched in September 2014.
If you have a concern about any form over government overreach, the movement for police accountability is your fight. Even if you’ve never had a run in with law enforcement, it’s your fight. If you are concerned about the government removing your right to homeschool your children, it’s your fight. If you’re worried about forced vaccinations, it’s your fight. If you’re fighting for an end to prohibition, it’s your fight. If you want to keep your firearms, it’s your fight. If you want to aid the homeless or alleviate poverty, it’s your fight. If you want to stand against imminent domain, it’s your fight. It doesn’t matter what form of government overreach you want to end, it’s your fight.
It may seem difficult to connect some of these to the movement for police reform. All of these, indeed every single government regulation is enforced by the barrel of a gun. No matter how trivial the law, an infraction places you at the wrong of end of a cop’s gun. Even the act of feeding the homeless can in some areas put you seconds from death. When the police arrive and the person feeding the homeless resists having his rights violated, he will be shot. If he simply moves to quickly to pack up his kitchen utensils and the officer fears for his life because of the fork or knife, he will be shot.
Five months ago, 21 year old Christopher Davis was shot dead by police in Muskego, Wisconsin. Today, his family wrestles with the frustrating reality that Chris’s killer won’t be charged with a crime. Key details gleaned during federal investigations, however, bring that decision into sharp questioning.
During February of 2016, Christopher Davis accompanied friends driving from Milwaukee Wisconsin to Muskego. Driver Jose Lara told investigators they’d gone to inspect a car for purchase. At the time of the shooting Davis’ cousin, a US Army private, stated this as well. Being uncomfortable with freeway driving, Davis allowed Lara to drive his car. Davis and Lara were accompanied by a third individual, Roberto Juarez Nieves, MJS reports. Nieves’ name, however, was redacted in the investigative report.
We live in a time where the fragile, finite nature of surrounding ecosystems has never been more apparent. That’s why environmentalists find the US Navy’s reputed disregard for marine life, in it’s endless rhyme of testing and training, beyond disturbing. Recently, a group found the Navy’s been given impunity to harm up to 12 million marine mammals, and asks military brass if it’s worth it.
West Coast Action Alliance, a multi-state, international citizen watchdog group, did a recent tally of the number of “takes” allowed to the US Navy. According to Truthout, a “take” is a form of harm to an animal ranging from harassment, to injury, to death. The data WCAA examined came directly from the Navy’s own Northwest Training & Testing EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), and authorizations to commit “takes”.
“The numbers are staggering”, proclaims Karen Sullivan, spokeswoman for WCAA and a former endangered species biologist. “When you realize the same individual animals can be harassed over and over”, she continues, “as they migrate to different areas, there is no mitigation that can make up for these losses except limiting the use of sonar and explosives where these animals are trying to live.”