Empire’s Day Of Reckoning

Popular Resistance, Revolution, Rebellion, Capitalism

By John Rohn Hall for Dissident Voice – Dawn. Another day amidst the crumbling walls of Empire. Mired in the middle of its Misinformation Machine. Sharing fouled air with mindless, misguided, huddled masses. Electronically hypnotized zombies, grossly overfed on dead flesh and chemicals, arteries clogged, welcome mats for every known disease. Bodies pierced in each available spot, covered head to toe with inky, ill-conceived epidermal etchings, bizarre, flowing rainbow locks, fluorescent-painted lips and nails, sewn-on eyebrows, glazed, hopeless, expressionless, but highly decorated young faces, facing meaningless futures. Pawn shops, porn shops, gun shops. Temporary solace from creeping moral and financial decay. Big box stores and shopping malls, once prosperous, now homes for roaches, rats, pigeons, and echoes. Empty of merchandise, void of jobs. Bridges crumbling, highways potholed and cracked. Once-buzzing factories filled with cobwebs and despair. Desperados, stealing what they can, selling drugs to equally unfortunate contemporaries, trying only to survive, meeting with increasing violence from burgeoning armies of law enforcement. Flimsy, tin homes on wheels or crowded tenement apartments for the fortunate. Shelter under bridges, in arroyos, in parks for the less.

Comply Or Die: The Police State’s Answer To Free Speech Is Brute Force

Photo by Tony Webster | CC BY 2.0

By John W. Whitehead for Counter Punch – Unfortunately, this is how the government at all levels—federal, state and local—now responds to those who choose to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in public and challenge the status quo. This police overkill isn’t just happening in troubled hot spots such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, Md., where police brutality gave rise to civil unrest, which was met with a militarized show of force that caused the whole stew of discontent to bubble over into violence. A decade earlier, the NYPD engaged in mass arrests of peaceful protesters, bystanders, legal observers and journalists who had gathered for the 2004 Republican National Convention. The protesters were subjected to blanket fingerprinting and detained for more than 24 hours at a “filthy, toxic pier that had been a bus depot.” That particular exercise in police intimidation tactics cost New York City taxpayers nearly $18 million for what would become the largest protest settlement in history. Demonstrators, journalists and legal observers who had gathered in North Dakota to peacefully protest the Dakota Access Pipeline reported being pepper sprayed, beaten with batons, and strip searched by police.

Terrorizing The Vulnerable

Screenshot 2017-04-29 at 8.38.20 AM

By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig – The acceleration of arrests by the Trump administration among the estimated 11 million undocumented people in the United States is spreading panic throughout communities such as Elizabeth, where at least half of the population is foreign-born. Elizabeth police officers in February joined ICE agents in raiding a popular small business in an unsuccessful attempt to arrest a woman, who at the time was there with her two small children. The February raid, especially because of the participation by the police, along with the call by the Trump administration for widespread deportations, has radically reconfigured life in this depressed New Jersey city outside of New York City, as it has in many other immigrant communities. Undocumented parents of U.S. citizens are signing power-of-attorney papers so that if they are seized by ICE agents someone will have the legal authority to care for the children they leave behind. Businesses in immigrant communities have seen a precipitous drop in sales as families hoard what little money they have so they will have some resources if they are deported.

Protesters Vs. State Repression: Challenging Ruling Class Nationalism

static1.squarespace.com

By Pierre Tristam for Flagler Live. for We surround ourselves with like-minded media, like-minded friends, like-minded believers and scream heresy at anything that transgresses our little world. We’re a nation of intellectual cowards, uncurious but for the reaffirming dogmas we know best. There’s so much of what we’re comfortable with anyway (every pretend marketplace of our own making is intellectual sugar), it’s easier to skip doubt. Making the effort to transgress is itself heresy. It’s what makes it so easy to live in alternate realities, and so dangerous: we’ve cozied up to extremes in our own way of looking at the world, and are now surprised that extremists are in charge. No wonder we look at protesters as the worst of heretics. But they may well be the last patriots. Freedom for the thought we agree with is as cheap as a Facebook click on the “like” button. “Freedom for the thought that we hate,” to quote Justice Holmes’s phrase—now that’s what separates Americans from thuggery.

Don’t Be Passive Observers Of Last Night’s Terrorization In Standing Rock

Water fired from the water canons that battered protesters in freezing temperatures last night froze to the razor wire of a police barricade. (Photo: Redhawk)

By Kelly Hayes for Transformative Spaces – This afternoon, hundreds of water protectors, many of whom were injured by law enforcement last night, are peacefully assembling in downtown Bismarck to protest the egregious colonial violence inflicted upon Water Protectors on Highway 1806 last night. When gathering in Bismarck, which is 90 percent white, Protectors are frequently met with calls to “go back” where they belong — the irony of which is apparently lost on the white residents of Bismarck.

Israeli Forces Arrest 13-Year-Old Palestinian Weeks After Shooting Him

Ramzi Abu Ajamia holding a photo of his left leg taken the day previously, when Palestinian doctors were fixing the work done on his leg during his Israeli detention, which left the wound infected and at risk of amputation. (Photo: Sheren Khalel)

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.

605 Military Vehicles Later: Police Militarization A Year After Ferguson

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.03.52 AM

By Kanya Bennett in ACLU – Last August, Ferguson and Fallujah had a lot in common. Those protesting the death of Michael Brown were met with “armored vehicles, noise-based crowd-control devices, shotguns, M4 rifles like those used by forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, rubber-coated pellets and tear gas.” The scene looked more like a foreign warzone than a Midwestern American town, and no one could tell why local police were taking up arms against those they are sworn to protect and serve. The world was shocked by this highly and dangerously militarized response by local law enforcement. Foreign leaders equated Ferguson to combat zones in Iraq and Gaza. Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars expressed horror at the reality that they had been less heavily armed while on active duty abroad. President Obama reacted by saying “[t]here is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don’t want those lines blurred.”

D.O.J. & F.B.I. Admit No-Fly Lists Use “Predictive Assessments”

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.00.39 AM

By Spencer Ackerman in Occupy – The Obama administration’s no-fly lists and broader watchlisting system is based on predicting crimes rather than relying on records of demonstrated offenses, the government has been forced to admit in court. In a little-noticed filing before an Oregon federal judge, the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI conceded that stopping U.S. and other citizens from traveling on airplanes is a matter of “predictive assessments about potential threats,” the government asserted in May. “By its very nature, identifying individuals who ‘may be a threat to civil aviation or national security’ is a predictive judgment intended to prevent future acts of terrorism in an uncertain context,” Justice Department officials Benjamin C. Mizer and Anthony J. Coppolino told the court on May 28. “Judgments concerning such potential threats to aviation and national security call upon the unique prerogatives of the Executive in assessing such threats.”