One Mexican Town Revolts Against Violence And Corruption

Josefina Estrada, a petite grandmother who helped lead the revolt in Cheran. (Cecilia Sanchez / For The Times)

By Patrick J. McDonnell for Los Angeles TImes – Checkpoints staffed by men with assault rifles, camouflage and body armor greet visitors at the three major entrances to this town. The guards are not soldiers, police officers, drug enforcers or vigilantes. They are members of homegrown patrols that have helped keep Cheran a bastion of tranquillity within one of Mexico’s most violent regions. The town of 20,000 sits in the northwest corner of Michoacan, a state where authorities say at least 599 people were killed between January and May, an increase of almost 40% compared with the same period last year. Cheran hasn’t had a slaying or other serious crime since early 2011. That was the year that residents, most of them indigenous and poor, waged an insurrection and declared self-rule in hopes of ridding themselves of the ills that plague so much of Mexico: raging violence, corrupt politicians, a toothless justice system and gangs that have expanded from drug smuggling to extortion, kidnapping and illegal logging. Six years in, against all odds, Cheran’s experiment appears to be working. “We couldn’t trust the authorities or police any more,” said Josefina Estrada, a petite grandmother who is among the women who spearheaded the revolt.

Beyond Violence And Nonviolence

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By Ben Case for Roar Magazine. The argument over violence and nonviolence — one of the oldest and most divisive on the left — is back. Broken windows, mass arrests and one well-timed punch marked Donald Trump’s inauguration alongside massive nonviolent marches. In the weeks since, demonstrators converged on international airports, adding weight to a heated judicial fight over a sweeping ban on refugees and immigrants from seven countries, and fiery protests outside a famed hate-monger’s talk at Berkeley cancelled the event and forced the speaker to flee under police escort. Against the backdrop of a renascent fascist menace, the mix of tactical approaches has brought renewed fervor to the violence-vs-nonviolence debate. The dispute has been calcified into fixed positions, where it becomes less about persuading others to a strategic position and more about winning a point for one’s team.

Neighborhood Medics Saving Lives In Chicago

Neighborhood Medics class in Chicago from the Trace

By Shannon Hefferan for WBEZ Chicago. The program is called Ujimaa Medics, or UMedics. Ujimaa means “collective work and responsibility” in Swahili. In 2013, the city’s inspector general released a report on how often paramedics took more than five minutes to get to a medical emergency. The results: longer response times were more common in some parts of the South Side. UMedics co-founder Martine Caverl said the city’s violence, along with health disparities and ambulance response times, can make people feel powerless. So she helped found the UMedics group, which led its first training in 2014. “We wanted to say to people … this is one thing we can do,” Caverl said. “You know, when we hear the gunshots we are going to make sure we are safe, but then we are likely to see what is going on because we have something we can offer.”

Violence Erupts In Portland Amid Alt-Right, Anti-Fascist Rallies

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An man raises his hands as Portland police lob explosives at anti-fascist protesters. Officers say the protesters were throwing projectiles at them as they attempted to clear the area.

By Andy Campbell and Lydia O’Connor for Huffington Post – This city has been preparing for war for a week. PORTLAND, Ore. ― For days, Portland has served as ground zero for American hate, heroism and healing. Today, it served as America’s battleground. What started Sunday as two counterdemonstrations outside City Hall between anti-fascist protesters and members of the alt-right during a “Trump Free Speech Rally” evolved into an impromptu march and standoff with police. As police began closing off Chapman Square, where the anti-fascists had staged their protest, at around 3:45 p.m., officers lobbed loud explosives in the protesters’ direction. It’s unclear whether they were concussion or tear gas grenades, but there was a yellow smoke emanating from some of them. At least five explosions were heard as police pushed people back from that square. Portland police said the explosives were in response to projectiles thrown at its officers.

Right-Wing Terrorism In Venezuela

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By Frederick B. Mills and William Camacaro for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Venezuela – One May 20, the 21 year old vendor from the shanty town of Petare, Orlando José Figueras, was beaten, stabbed, doused with gasoline and set on fire by opposition militants in the middle class neighborhood of Altamira during an anti-government demonstration reportedly because they took him for a Chavista or a thief. This atrocity has sent tremors throughout the popular barrios and raised the profile of terrorism from the right in Venezuela. The horrific scene was captured on video and by professional photographer, Marco Bello, and described in testimonies of the victim and his parents. Other demonstrators at the scene reportedly urged the attackers not to kill Figueras as he pleaded for his life.

What Was The Trigger For Violence In Syria?

An anti-war demonstrator is seen outside the White House before President Photo By Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty

By Kim Petersen for Dissident Voices – If the base upon which an edifice is arranged is defective, then the edifice will topple when the base crumples. In the case of the violence raging in Syria, western governments inimical to the Syrian government have blamed the violence, through their monopoly media organs, on the Syrian government security apparatus using lethal force to put down unarmed domestic protestors. If this depiction is false, if it is disinformation, then the subsequent killing and the millions of refugees displaced by the violence is a monstrous crime — a crime for which western governments and their media bear criminal culpability. Given the lethality of the crimes being perpetrated against Syria, it is a must that people of conscience scrutinize monopoly media skeptically (or better still abandon it. Other than being aware of the lies, why willingly subject oneself to disinformation?).1 One must also be aware of imperialist reverberations within purportedly independent media. I wrote of one example of this recently concerning the “independent” Democracy Now!

Ranchers Mutilate Indigenous People Demanding Land Back

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By Survival International. Brazil – Thirteen Brazilian Indians have been hospitalized after a brutally violent attack by men armed with machetes in the Amazon. One man appears to have had his arms severed in disturbing photos released to Survival International. The attack was in retaliation for the Gamela Indians’ campaign to recover a small part of their ancestral territory. Their land has been invaded and destroyed by ranchers, loggers and land grabbers, forcing the Gamela to live squeezed on a tiny patch of land. The Gamela are indigenous to the area in Maranhão state in northern Brazil. Powerful agribusiness interests – reportedly including the Sarney landowning family – have been in conflict with the tribe for some time. The family includes a former president of Brazil and a former governor of Maranhão state.

Trump March In Huntington Beach Turns Violent

A Trump supporter, who appears to be wearing brass knuckles, reaches around another supporter to slug a counter protester in Huntington Beach, on Saturday, March 25, 2017. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

By Deepa Bharath for Orange County Register – A day after several videos surfaced of angry marchers punching and cursing at protesters, journalists and others at the Make America Great Again rally in Huntington Beach on Saturday, those who were assaulted are asking why police didn’t act to stop the violent brawl that broke out minutes into the march. The event, billed as the “MAGA March,” was one of about 50 organized across the country to support President Donald Trump, the military, veterans, law enforcement and emergency responders. Organizers said they were hoping for a family-friendly, kid-friendly march. But that wasn’t what they got.

Resisting Donald Trump’s Violence Strategically

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By Robert J. Burrowes for Information Clearing House – February 28, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – It is already clearly apparent, as many predicted, that Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States would signal the start of what might be the final monumental assault on much of what is good in our world. Whatever our collective gains to date to create a world in which peace, social justice and environmental sustainability ultimately prevail for all of Earth’s inhabitants, we stand to lose it all in the catastrophic sequence of events that Trump is now initiating with those who share his delusional worldview. Starting with the appointment to his administration of individuals, such as Steve Bannon, Rex Tillerson and Scott Pruitt, who share his warped view of the world, and continuing with the policy decisions he is now implementing via executive orders, Trump threatens our biosphere with ecological catastrophe

Arizona Senate Votes To Seize Assets Of Those Who Plan, Participate In Protests That Turn Violent

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By Howard Fischer for Arizona Capitol Times – Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened. SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others. But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated. And what’s worse, said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is that the person who may have broken a window, triggering the claim there was a riot, might actually not be a member of the group but someone from the other side.

White Silence Equals Violence: Awaiting A Verdict

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By Kathy Kelly for Counter Currents – This morning, here in Minneapolis, six jurors decided beyond a reasonable doubt that I am guilty as charged and my co-defendant, Dan Wilsonwas found innocent. The court case stems from an action protesting the execution of Jamar Clark, age 24, who died in the early morning of November 15, 2015 outside a north Minneapolis apartment complex. Two Minneapolis police officers, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, were involved in the shooting. Jamar Clark died after a bullet was fired directly into his head. Several witnesses say that he was handcuffed and motionless when he was shot dead. The police officers have been cleared of all charges and are back on the job.

25th November – International Day For Elimination Of Violence Against Women

A demonstrator participates with her daughter in the demonstration 'Ni una menos' (Not One Less) against feminicide (a sort of genre violence consisting in the murder of women) in Buenos Aires, on June 3, 2015. AFP PHOTO/Eitan Abramovich (Photo credit should read EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP/Getty Images)

By Lakshmi Puri for IPS – NEW YORK, Nov 25 2016 (IPS) – Each year on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is commemorated. A commemoration in essence is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges, prove that progress can be made and celebrate victories. It is also a reminder of the obligations and the responsibility we all must own at both the private and the public level to ensure that every woman, every girl, in all corners of the world lives in a world free of violence and fear.

Many Forms Of Violence Against Women

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By Rene Wadlow. 25 November is the day designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.” Violence against women is a year-round occurrence and continues at an alarming rate. Violence against women can take many different forms. There can be an attack upon their bodily integrity and their dignity. As citizens of the world, we need to place an emphasis on the universality of violence against women but also on the multiplicity of the forms of violence. We need to look at the broader system of domination based on subordination and inequality. The value of a special Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is that the day serves as a time of analysis of the issues and a time for a re-dedication to take both short-term measures – such as the creation of a larger number of homes for battered women – and longer range programs.

Man Shot At Anti-Trump Rally

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By Jim Ryan of The Oregonian. Portland, OR – The fourth round of mass demonstrations in Portland against Donald Trump’s election came to a violent end early Saturday morning when someone shot a protester on the Morrison Bridge. Police said the protester, who wasn’t publicly identified, suffered injuries that weren’t life threatening. The shooter left the area, likely in a car, Portland police said in a news release. The shooting appears to be the only one reported at an anti-Trump protest nationwide. More than 225 people have been arrested at demonstrations in various cities, the Washington Post reported. Most demonstrations across the country have remained peaceful, but some violence has been reported, the Post said. In Oakland, California, protesters reportedly threw rocks and fireworks at police officers, injuring three.

DOJ Investigating Violence And Rape Inside Alabama Men’s Prisons

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By Kent Faulk for Alabama Media Group – The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation into violence, rape, overcrowding and other problems within the men’s prisons in Alabama, the DOJ announced today. The investigation will focus on whether prisoners are adequately protected from physical harm and sexual abuse at the hands of other prisoners; whether prisoners are adequately protected from use of excessive force and staff sexual abuse by correctional officers; and whether the prisons provide sanitary, secure and safe living conditions, according to the DOJ announcement.