The Militarized Assault On Our Right To Protest

| Featured Campaign, Podcast

The Trump Administration sent federal law enforcement, including the paramilitary squad of Customs and Border Patrol, BORTAC, which has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, to the streets of Portland, OR to stop the ongoing demonstrations against racist police violence. Federal law enforcement, working with local police, is also being sent to other cities where anti-racist protests are going on. We speak with constitutional lawyer Mara Verheyden-Hilliard about the legality of this and how activists can fight back to protect the rights of everyone and end police violence and lawless impunity.

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Our guest:

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard is a constitutional lawyer and the co-founder and co-director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a public interest legal organization that brings a unique and cutting edge approach dedicated to the defense of human and civil rights secured by law, the protection of free speech and dissent, and the elimination of prejudice and discrimination. Read more about PCJF here.

  • Southern

    Nice podcast.

    How can you protest when you need to be practicing social distancing? – Doing so becomes an act of civil disobedience.

    It’s not that our ”Western” government are out of touch per se they’ve been doing everything that’s required by them from their true masters who ordered the shut down the global economy while bailing out the tax avoiding already filthy rich – the real price is yet to pay by the full privatization of government services [with a for profit motive that will make a bee sting appear like a fun experience, if there are any bees left that is.

    I’d argue that collectively ”WE” are out of touch since we’ve never learned to turn the tables by holding our political representatives accountable when they’ve stepped across the line.

    Invisible enemies, invincible disease, keep your distance, wash your hands and keep your burka oops mouth cap on – You can no longer trust anyone, any strangers bacteria could be infectious – CV19 provides the ultimate divide and concur.

    China isn’t working against the US it’s the other way round, the trouble is that they’re far better at Capitalism considering the US needs to wage economic warfare.

    US military/special forces operating in the US – this quote by Chomsky comes to mind – whatever the US does to people it doesn’t like abroad it will eventually do to people it doesn’t like at home.

  • Bill Rood

    You’ve hit on a blind spot of Popular Resistance. They’re pretty good at seeing the perfidy of the US government when it comes to foreign/military policy, but they’re blind to the deep corruption in other areas such as Health and Humany Services. The scamdemic has been a wakeup call to many people, but not to Margaret, who piled on to the corporate media/Big Pharma/HHS smears of Judy Mikovits. You won’t see PR publish any articles skeptical of this WHO orchestrated, fraudulent reaction to a virus that should have killed no more than a seasonal flu. Even I had forgotten this 60 Minutes segment on the 1976 Swine Flu scam when this p-l-andemic was first announced. I initially supported a voluntary lockdown and even distributed a pattern for DIY face masks, but try as they might, YouTube has been unable to totally censor skeptical information that has totally destroyed the WHO/CDC narrative. PR is totally blind to this. Here is Mike Wallace’s 1979 report. Just delete the brackets: https://www[.]youtube[.]com/watch?v=fhiyML3zwkk

  • SupernaturalCat

    “I’d argue that collectively ”WE” are out of touch since we’ve never learned to turn the tables by holding our political representatives accountable when they’ve stepped across the line.”

    Nailed it …and yes, I recall an interview w/Chomsky back during the BushCo era where he did give that exact warning.

  • Lee Stanfield

    Bill Rood, you are so wrong, I don’t know where to begin! This pandemic is NOT a scam by any stretch of imagination! People are dying in large numbers and many of those who are surviving have severe lasting damage to lungs, kidneys, hearts, and other organs… including the brain. But I am likely wasting my time replying to you, because you are obviously not in touch with reality.

  • floyd gardner

    I made a similar warning, at about that time, in regard to drones – that Afganistan was being used as a testing and research project, to be used here at home. The adult college group just laughed [but it was a kind of nervous laugh.]

  • floyd gardner

    Margaret and Kevin’s prime thrust is “Power to the People”; I can see why this is frightening to some.

  • iowapinko

    Thanks for serving as a link to reality, LS.

    We live in an era and within a social structure that inspires insecurity. Circumstances are changing much more rapidly than the typical human psyche can comfortably compute/comprehend.

    And here in the U$, within the belly of the capitalist beast, where narcissism is endemic and greed and personal profit surmount all else, it is easy and probably psychologically healthy to develop a tendency to question authority.

    But this current trend to challenge the foundation of established scientific knowledge comes from a fundamentally anti-social foundation. It emphasizes right-wing libertarian concepts of free choice above the social welfare of community.

    It is a simplistic form of identity political culture that (in a fashion eerily similar to the on-going challenge of the scientific foundations of climate change) is ultimately used by corporate interests to promote their agenda, be it forcing people back into unsafe work environments or continuing the unfetteres pillage of the planet for profit.

    We live in dangerous but interesting times. Thanks for sharing sanity.

  • SupernaturalCat

    For the record, I don’t consider the virus to be a “scam” insofar as that term – to my ears – sounds similar to the “no planes” or “flat Earth” disinfo jive.

    Think about it… it would require an inconceivable, insurmountable degree of theater and propaganda to orchestrate such a worldwide “scam” (that could only be a potential if the affected area were isolated, and all info regarding it largely being crafted and disseminated via one govt’s media bullhorn) and as it’s a global dilemma, if it weren’t ‘true’ there would be too many persons and organizations the world over pointing out red flags and discrepancies. It’s ridiculously implausible to think that the virus is non-existent and not actually impacting countless peoples …hell, I work with a gal who caught it early on down in Las Vegas, and it took her months to get well enough to return to work.

    Now, as to its origins, and how/why we’re in this mess, exactly, even then I haven’t any real pet theory I hang my hat on …although on general principles I view all/any info that stems from corp/state sources through a skeptical lens, and with good reason.

    And that represents a cornerstone of the problem you bring up re the breakdown of social systems: we cannot trust the mainstream media and its ‘expert’ sources on nearly any topic or subject over the past twenty yrs, so how then to evaluate the current situation accurately?

    And even when accurate data is presented to the public via those typically untrustworthy corp/state sources, the fact remains that it wouldn’t be far fetched to suppose that they’ll nonetheless intentionally blur the lines and inject some degree of fear-mongering into the mix, as that is the lifeblood of American media (“if it bleeds, it leads”) used to keep the populace anxious and unsettled; frightened, nervous people are easier to coerce and manipulate.

    I haven’t taken seriously the mainline media since the brazen installation of Bush/Cheney’s PNAC admin, and subsequently, Sept 11th 2001, and there have been too-numerous-to-list subjects and incidents since then that only reinforce my profound distrust in the mainstream media. However, to reiterate, I don’t consider the virus to be a scam …as to its origins and how it was unleashed, I’m obviously more willing to speculate well beyond the perimeters of the mainline media.

  • Shlomo Orr

    Bill Rood, you seem to be confused and misinformed. The virus is real (despite lots of skepticism by Trump’s gang on YouTube), and Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zees have been fearless and effective fighters for free healthcare for all for years – see http://[health][overprofit].org/ (remove parentheses). And they have sacrificed tremendously for free speech and free press, so please….

  • Shlomo Orr

    BTW, the “tear gas” used on the protesters in Oregon was not just tear gas, but
    rather chemical-biological weapons, closer to nerve gas. One “tear gas” causes a shock to a few biological functions, including destroying
    fertility organs, miscarriages, and bleeding. The other gas used (with a
    green color) caused severe nausea and vomiting. In fact, these chemical-biological warfare are prohibited even in a
    war, on the battlefield!

  • Southern

    Who ultimately gives the order to shut down the global economy while fattening the bank accounts of the already very wealthy?

    The bailout of Wall Street was a scam and so is all subsequent profiteering including incorrectly attributing causes of death caused by CV19 for the sole purpose of attracting more funds.

    Not least the simulation exercise carried out by the John Hopkins institute a short time before the virus appeared all over the globe.

  • Lee Stanfield

    Southern, I agree that the Wall St. bailout was a blatant crime against all working people and their families. And I agree that the subsequent (and previous) profiteering of that situation has been criminal!!! In addition, the exploitation of the current pandemic is (if anything) an even MORE egregious crime against all humanity (as is the refusal to do anything significant re the climate emergency).

    However, even though there may be some deaths incorrectly attributed to Covid-19, there have also been some deaths that were due to Covid-19, but were incorrectly attributed to other causes because so many people were never tested for Covid-19. In addition, in the earlier phase of this pandemic, the full spectrum of symptoms was not realized, and were thought to be confined mostly to the respiratory tract. Therefore, many people who had Covid-19 were misdiagnosed. Some of those people died and some survived. So my point is that at least for now, there is no way to know for sure whether the overall numbers have been significantly skewed in one direction or another, and even in the future, when we will have a better understanding, there may not be a way to get an accurate count.

    The reason our country is faring so poorly compared to most others is because Trump (for political & sociopathic reasons) denied that it was a serious problem and convinced his followers that it was all a “Democratic Party Hoax”. He then refused to take the precautions that would have nipped the spread in the bud. His subsequent actions and those of many of the GOP Governors have only made a bigger mess of his original travesty!

    As for the simulation exercise… you really need to read up on the history of the WHO and the CDC and other scientific communities, all of which have (for decades) been predicting just this sort of pandemic. And because of the SARS outbreak (2002-2003), scientists were even predicting that it would originate almost precisely as it did.

    In fact (even though I very rarely credit the Obama administration for anything, because Obama was almost as corporate-owned as the GOP administrations) I do have to give Obama credit for setting up an agency and a strategy playbook specifically to deal with the pandemic that was known to be coming. The only thing that was unknown was precisely when it would occur and the exact virus that would jump from wild animals to humans. It was even theorized that it would be one of the coronaviruses.

    But instead of utilizing that invaluable resource… the narcissist currently in the Oval Office literally disbanded the agency Obama had set up to deal with the coming pandemic and threw out the playbook!!!

  • iowapinko

    I pretty much share your thinking, SC, thank you for articulating your perspective so effectively. The corruption of the corporate media indeed represents a crux of the confusion.

    But the public health community is remarkably consistent on the foundations of this epidemic (although, due to the novel character and our evolving understanding of the virus, info is in flux). Public health professionals are probably the least profit-oriented and strongest and most consistent patient advocates of all of the different components of the medical community.

    I have a socialist world view, and I think the ruling class care more about their profit than the welfare of the people. They want to push us back into the work environment without concern for safety. This is the same ol’, same ol’ strategy they have always presented. So they want to open schools/business up at the risk of the people.

    Follow the money. Those who maintain that Covid-19 is not a danger, that masks and social distancing are unnecessary are foolishly catering to a corporate agenda that is killing thousands.

  • s k

    Testing 123

  • Tony

    Looks like the IDF in action, in the streets of America.