By John Knefel for TruthOut. As much of the United States waits in collective distress to see exactly what the presidency of Donald J. Trump will bring, it is already clear that the country is in for an unprecedented assault on ethics regulations and legal obligations from the White House. At the same time, all the signs point to a renewed era of harsh law enforcement for the rest of the country, focused primarily on already heavily policed and marginalized communities. An ominous statement posted to the official White House website today reads: “The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.” It remains to be seen exactly how law enforcement will change under Trump, and whether he will actively pursue some of his most discriminatory campaign promises, like subjecting Muslims to increased surveillance and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants.
By Ali Abunimah for EI – An Israeli soldier facing trial for the killing of an unarmed Palestinian teenager that was shown on TV screens around the world may now get away with a slap on the wrist. Israeli Border Police combatant Ben Dery is charged with manslaughter in the slaying of 17-year-old Nadim Nuwara on 15 May 2014 – Nakba Day, when Palestinians commemorate their 1948 ethnic cleansing from much of their homeland. But Israeli media are reporting that the manslaughter charge may now be dropped. Dery’s lawyer told the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz this week that prosecutors are discussing a plea bargain in which his client would admit only to “negligence”
By Diana Johnstone for Counter Punch – In 2016, the fundamentally undemocratic U.S. two-party system presented the public with the two most hated candidates in history. The choice was so dismal that over forty three percent of the voters could not bring themselves to go to the polls. Everyone hated one or the other of the candidates, or both. Whoever won was bound to face vehement opposition.
By Semih for CMOY WRI – Young peoples’ experiences of the military, and exposure to militarist values, differ around the world. In this webinar, we will gather examples from two countries, Israel and Germany, and discuss with activists about their campaigns and strategies to counter youth militarisation in their own contexts. Join us in this webinar to hear from Michael Schulze von Glaßer from DFG-VK (Germany), and Elisheva Gavra and Gilad Ben David from New Profile (Israel) on their ongoing projects and campaigns.
By Sheren Khalel for Mondoweiss – In March, 12-year-old Ramzi Abu Ajamia got word that Israeli forces were looking for him. Terrified of getting arrested, Ramzi stopped sleeping at home and going to school. He succeeded in dodging Israeli forces for five months before he was spotted at clashes during an Israeli night raid on Dheisha refugee camp, where the now 13-year-old was born and raised. It all happened within seconds, Ramzi recalled to Mondoweiss. Israeli forces spotted the boy on the streets around 1 a.m., and fired.
By Ryan Devereaux for The Intercept – The officers, members of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department tactical team, were descending on a modest one-story house looking for drugs and guns. The team smashed through the windows of the home with iron pikes, then stormed the front door with rifles raised. Inside, they found a terrified family of four, including an infant. As the family members were pulled outside, Atkinson’s camera captured a scene that plays out with startling regularity in cities and towns across the country
By Pat Elder for World Beyond War – Countering military recruitment in the nation’s high schools confronts an ugly mix of a distinctively American brand of institutionalized violence, racism, militarism, nationalism, classism, and sexism. It confronts the greatest problems in American society. I will spend a few minutes on the despicable public policy involving tens of thousands of American government employees both in and out of active duty, whose job it is to persuade high school kids to enlist in the Armed Services. It is an extraordinarily deceptive and reprehensible psychological pursuit.
By William Hartung for Tom Dispatch – As is often the case, I opened the Monday newspaper curious to find out how the weekend had gone at the movies. The headline read, “‘Ghostbusters’ Is No. 2 Behind ‘Secret Life of Pets.’” That meant Universal Studios’ animated film had again been the big winner, taking in an estimated $50.6 million for a two-week domestic total of $203.2 million. In the industry, it was feared that China, the world’s number two market and gaining fast, might not let another hit, Ghostbusters, be shown, given its paranormal themes.
By Dan Grazier for POGO – The Senate Armed Services Committee issued a severe blow to transparency and fiscal responsibility last month. In a closed-door vote, they eliminated a requirement to disclose the development cost of the Air Force’s new B-21 stealth bomber. The committee members voted 19 to 7 to prevent the American people from knowing how much of their money will be sunk in this latest questionable weapons project. Price estimates released for the program so far should give taxpayers cause for concern.
By Sarah Lazare for AlterNet – Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton are teaming up with the NYPD to request high levels of funding for a federal “counter-terror” program that is directly bankrolling the militarization of police forces nationwide. To secure the funds, they are invoking the threat of terrorism and exploiting the climate of fear and incitement that has come to define the 2016 election cycle. At issue is the the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), which was created in 2003 as a Department of Homeland Security grant program aimed at assisting “high-threat, high-density Urban Areas…
By Shane Burley for Waging Nonviolence – As the student leaders of the Portland State Student Union, or PSUSU, began leading chants to “disarm” the university, hundreds of students and community leaders had already begun circling the steps of the library. The rally was the meeting point for a planned student and faculty “walkout” on May 10, where more than 400 students promised to leave class to protest the Board of Trustees’ decision to arm campus police officers — which organizers see as just a piece of the larger trend towards the militarization of police officers around the country.
By Sarah Lazare for AlterNet – A coalition of Los Angeles high school students and grassroots organizers just accomplished the unthinkable. After nearly two years of sit-ins and protests, they forced the police department for the second-largest public school district in the United States to remove grenade launchers, M-16 rifles, a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle and other military-grade weaponry from its arsenal. But the coalition did not stop there. Members took over a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board meeting in February to call for proof that the arms had been returned to the Department of Defense…
By Claire Bernish for Anti Media – (ANTIMEDIA) Fascism doesn’t often sweep in overnight and take over some hapless nation’s government; rather, it gradually seeps into the cultural fabric — as is quietly taking place all around the globe, evidenced by an upsurge in sales of riot equipment that has gone largely unnoticed. A new report from analysts with industry research group, Sandler Research, forecasts the Global Riot Control System Market for the next four years — but beyond a burgeoning market to parallel the expanding global police state, it appears world governments are also keenly aware of civilian discontent.
By Rory Fanning for TomDispatch – Early each New Year’s Day I head for Lake Michigan with a handful of friends. We look for a quiet stretch of what, only six months earlier, was warm Chicago beach. Then we trudge through knee-deep snow in bathing suits and boots, fighting wind gusts and hangovers. Sooner or later, we arrive where the snowpack meets the shore and boot through a thick crust of lake ice, yelling and swearing as we dive into near-freezing water. It took me a while to begin to understand why I do this every year, or for that matter why for the last decade since I left the military I’ve continued to inflict other types of pain on myself with such unnerving regularity.
By Sharat G. Lin for Los Angeles Indymedia. Santa Clara, CA – As the biggest sporting game in the United States, thousands of law enforcement and security personnel from nearly every conceivable agency have converged on Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California for Super Bowl 50. But the outfits, weapons, vehicles, and communications equipment are increasingly those of the military. Santa Clara Police were seen dressed in military camouflage and army helmets as if prepared for urban warfare. They were riding around in new all-terrain vehicles purchased especially for the Super Bowl. Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies wore new green uniforms.