A series of essays by high school students about police brutality.
Tensions flare once more as North Dakota officials graduate their militarized tactics against protesters. Sheriffs have now threatened a blockade of people, food, and medicine to the camps.
The threats comes on the heels of the US Army Corps of Engineers warning protesters to leave by December 5th. Anyone remaining stay under fear of prosecution for trespassing. Fines have also thrown into the basket of incentives for the water protectors to surrender.
Establishing a blockade represents yet another ultra-militarized tactic used against peaceful American citizens. Denying nourishment and medical treatment is a classic strategy to degrade will and resolve. Combined with harsh weather conditions, water protectors are faced with a tormentingly deadly roulette.
Millions around the world are again gawking over police brutality against water protectors. Following DAPL’s (Dakota Access Pipeline’s) corporation dishonoring Obama’s requests the to halt construction, a new wave of violence hit the protest camps. However, whereas these acts are obvious, those of contracted intelligence firms remain more insidious.
“Do not believe that your cellphones or your computers are clean and uncompromised”, said journalist Jeremy Scahill. “I guarantee you that they’re using the entire suite of surveillance devices.” Scahill was giving water protectors, and fellow journalists in Standing Rock advice on Democracy Now.
“I know that people have been complaining that their cellphones have been down”, he continued, “their internet has been down. That can be caused by surveillance weaponry targeting their devices.” Scahill describes how phones and computers belonging to water protectors can be used as “geo-tracking devices.”
The drug war’s casualties reach far beyond bloated penitentiary yards, fractured rehab facilities, and its own endless perpetuation. America’s opioid crisis, and its scale, is straining police, the policed, and the decades old rhetoric between them.
Heroin use and overdose in particular is climbing, indiscriminately rocking towns with barbaric fervor. Milwaukee Wisconsin is no stranger, nor its numerous nearby suburbs–like Wauwatosa. Perhaps now is the time for law enforcement to consider drug enforcement nuances cropping up elsewhere in the country.
“888 bodies and counting”, a morbid but fitting title to a recent report by Milwaukee’s alderman’s office. In 14 pages, the document presents detailed analysis of a overdose plague striking the city. “Milwaukee county alone has seen a 495% increase in heroin related deaths between 2005-2015”, it reads. As a point of perspective, Milwaukee’s opioid deaths, heroin and others, exceed deaths by car accidents and homicide.
Authorities have only amplified an already ultra-militarized presence against water protectors at Standing Rock. Supporters and journalists are targeted, arrested, and charged with various crimes on a daily basis including renowned reporter Amy Goodman. Amy’s charges were recently dropped, but surveillance and abuse continue without halt by the government.
Democracy Now! has been on the forefront of Dakota Access coverage since construction of the pipeline began. The $3.8 billion dollar project has already destroyed sacred Native American lands and threatens water supplies. Although focus on water tainting revolves around native communities, they certainly aren’t the only one’s in danger. Dakota Access also flies in the face of pleas by climate scientists that literally no more oil or gas can be harvested from the earth, if we want to prevent climate catastrophic.
Don’t let headlines pacify you into tuning out of the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Why? Well, because authorities just conducted a military-style raid on peaceful protesters. This is a story quickly being censored, with few beyond those on the ground really certain what’s happening.
The targeted group were actually in a prayer circle when authorities ambushed them. Several sources, including Native American Here, report police in military-style gear and vehicles held prayer goers at gunpoint. At the ends of shotguns and rifles were they arrested, despite the efforts of protesters nearby. Those who attempted to film the “crackdown” stated their Facebook access was blocked.
An American priest and lecturer said African Americans should continue their resistance against US police brutality and violence in a non-violent way.
John Dear, also a former member of the Society of Jesus, called on the black community in the US to continue to resist the culture of racism, police brutality and gun violence through non-violent means.
“We have no leadership now; our country is in a terrible crisis, but the roots of racism and violence, poverty and greed, are so deep,” he told the Tasnim news agency on the sidelines of an anti-war conference in Washington, DC.
As eighteen-year-old Paul O’Neal lay facedown with a pool of blood collecting at the back of his t-shirt, police officers gathered around. None of the officers attempted to administer first aid. None attempted to call for medical assistance. None evidenced even the smallest degree of concern for the young man dying at their feet.
Instead, they restrained him in handcuffs. But not before one spat at him: “Bitch-ass mother f***er.”
So much for “protect and serve.”
Paul O’Neal isn’t the only black American who has been denied the dignity of medical attention. This trend follows in many of the recently exposed cases of police brutality.
Cesar Muñoz and João sat down in the living room to talk. Cesar knew a little about João – he worked as a military police officer in Rio de Janeiro, the type of police who regularly storm into the city’s 1,000 or so favelas, or slums, with assault rifles and armored vehicles.
Cesar, the Human Rights Watch Brazil senior researcher, didn’t know that what was to come was one of the most shocking interviews of his life.
In the beginning João talked about relatively minor misconduct (by Rio de Janeiro standards), like keeping guns confiscated from suspects that should have been handed over as evidence, but it didn’t take long before he told of torture and murder.