kubel
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Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas on Media

Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:32 pm

The sight of militarized police disbanding and dismantling a free press so blatantly just disturbed me in a way that I've never felt before. And I've seen plenty of videos of police abuse, many far worse than this.



"For What It's Worth" wasn't a Vietnam protest song. It was actually written in reaction to the Sunset Strip riots in LA in 1966, three years before the Kent State massacre. It's a perfect fit for the events in Ferguson, MO. A reminder that we should stop and examine what is wrong here.
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AndyH
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Re: Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas on Media

Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:04 pm

Thanks for bringing this here, Kubel. I've been tied-into this for the past few days and agree - it's sickening and heartbreaking.

I'll list some resources and 'background' info. The single best live-stream coverage has come from the folks at Infowars.com. I don't agree with much of their politics, but have to give them tons of credit for showing in gory detail what it's been like in Ferguson.

Anonymous - Operation Ferguson
http://operationferguson.cf/
http://operationferguson.cf/OpFergusonInfo.html

#NMOS14 Minute of silence for Mike Brown
https://twitter.com/hashtag/NMOS14
https://twitter.com/feministajones
https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/nmos14
Full list of NMOS14 locations/Facebook pages
http://revolution-news.com/anonymous-ca ... -protests/

Recordings from today's march in NYC (this is Anonymous, Occupy Wall St., and National Minute of Silence at least)
http://new.livestream.com/JamesFromTheI ... ts/3277196

Recordings from Ferguson - Wednesday, 13 Aug. Clearly shows crowds and the lack of hostility until the MRAPs arrived to close the streets and confine those assembled. This was the day that Al Jazeera America was gassed, that a MO state senator was gassed, members of clergy were injured by rubber bullets and wooden shotgun slugs, a ST Louis alderman was arrested, and journalists either kept out of the area or assaulted/arrested.
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/51342599

St Louis Alderman Antonio French - constant reporting from Ferguson until he was arrested
https://twitter.com/AntonioFrench
https://vine.co/u/912223639460524032

Liberals and Libertarians speak out:
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/08/1 ... -ferguson/

First Amendment to the US Constitution wrote:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
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AndyH
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Re: Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas on Media

Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:50 pm

Interview with Al Jazeera America journalists that were targeted.

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/show ... guson.html

National Journal reporters kept away from protests
http://www.nationaljournal.com/domestic ... n-20140814

HuffPo and WaPo journalists arrested
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/1 ... 1408030697
"You know you always see cops yelling, 'stop resisting, stop resisting,' and that's something that happened here -- but I wasn't resisting," Reilly said. "This is just something that these cops yelled no matter what you were doing. I let my arms go limp ... wasn't trying to resist anything."
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kubel
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Re: Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas on Media

Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:18 pm

Thanks for the links, and for the one to the interview.

I'm kind of confused as to why the police are escalating the situation such as they are. I don't see what they have to gain, tactically, from assaulting the press and disabling cameras- except that they do not want their activities documented. And that's just scary and very telling when agents of the state want their actions hidden from public view.

But this quote in one of the articles above gives an interesting psychological explanation for their behavior:
Police hostility is always highest when journalists are covering protests against something an officer has done, he says, such as the shooting of Michael Brown. This is a demonstration against police behavior and they see it as 'us against them.' That changes the dynamic.
If this is indeed an "us verses them" fight in their minds, it gives a huge insight into police collectivist behavior in situations where public opinion is against them.
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Re: Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas on Media

Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:21 am

Kubel, I stumbled on an indie documentary that gave a protester's view of the 2003 Miami free trade agreement protests. It appears that the tactics used in Ferguson are similar though the hardware is more modern. The difference today is smart phones and social media - and makes a serious difference!



edit... More related info. This is beyond f'd up...

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2003/ ... k-iraq-its
The Miami Model: Paramilitaries, Embedded Journalists and Illegal Protests. Think This is Iraq? It’s Your Country
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2003/ ... hdad-miami
The War on Dissent: Heavy-handed Police and Propaganda Tactics Brought Baghdad to Miami
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2007/1 ... protesters
With little discussion and no formal admission of wrongdoing, Miami city commissioners on Thursday approved City Hall's share of the largest legal settlement to date stemming from police conduct during 2003's Free Trade Area of the Americas summit.
Also last year: Broward Sheriff's Maj. John Brooks apologized for derogatory comments he and other officers made in a police training video after the summit.

The tape shows Brooks and other deputies praising themselves over shooting nonlethal rubber projectiles at protesters. They congratulated one another for shooting Elizabeth Ritter, a middle-aged Coral Gables attorney, five times as she cowered in the street.
(The shots fired at Ms. Ritter are covered in the documentary starting about 51 minutes in.)
Last edited by AndyH on Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AndyH
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Re: Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas on Media

Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:36 am

kubel wrote:Thanks for the links, and for the one to the interview.

I'm kind of confused as to why the police are escalating the situation such as they are. I don't see what they have to gain, tactically, from assaulting the press and disabling cameras- except that they do not want their activities documented. And that's just scary and very telling when agents of the state want their actions hidden from public view.

But this quote in one of the articles above gives an interesting psychological explanation for their behavior:
Police hostility is always highest when journalists are covering protests against something an officer has done, he says, such as the shooting of Michael Brown. This is a demonstration against police behavior and they see it as 'us against them.' That changes the dynamic.
If this is indeed an "us verses them" fight in their minds, it gives a huge insight into police collectivist behavior in situations where public opinion is against them.
I've not lived in Ferguson or St Louis proper. I did live just across the river in Illinois for a bit more than 9 years. There was a pretty strong race-based 'us VS. them' even on the good days. Nothing says 'comfort' like a community of color with an 'Archie Bunker' police chief... ;)

The first time I saw an FAA no-fly zone was over the Mayflower, AR tarsands pipeline spill - the police were restricting the press there as well. Indie media ended up getting some of the story out by hopping fences and crawling through the woods.

It appears from Wednesday's Infowar's live stream that some 'professional protesters' came in from other areas - one ex-con 'screw the establishment' gent came down from Chicago, for example. I'll bet they were primarily the folks raising hell at night, including the looting incident and fire at the QT gas station/mini-mart, but don't know for sure. It could be that the police's tactical deployment was a seriously overpowered response to the nighttime looting.

Civil rights can go away very quickly, eh? :(
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kubel
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Re: Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas on Media

Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:41 am

I'm not a believer in traditional rights anymore- you know- the kind that are magically bestowed upon us by a deity and then secured by some document that a state promises to obey. The only rights you have are the ones that you are successfully able to defend against a more powerful and more equipped state. The constitution doesn't guarantee rights. The state doesn't protect them. In the end, it's just what they decide to allow us to have.

And then by the time a group of people realize this and are willing to fight back, it's too late- because every police department- from a major city to a tiny village, have been militarized. It's suicide. Not to mention, all the while, they will be up against government apologists, which overwhelmingly outnumbers not just the wacky voluntaryists like me, but pretty much anyone that remotely has libertarian views.

So what's left to do? Vote? Ha! There's no way to win this in my lifetime.
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Re: Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas on Media

Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:08 am

As an outsider, erstwhile frequent visitor, and neutral observer of the US - might I ask if you feel I'd be too wide of the mark if I suggest the US still has deeply-rooted racial divisions at its core? I'm not suggesting any particular parties are explicitly racist, though there are sure to be such examples, but when tensions mount it seems to me that old wounds are where social division opens up, and the US seems incapable of putting these things behind them for good.

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Re: Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas on Media

Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:29 am

donald wrote:As an outsider, erstwhile frequent visitor, and neutral observer of the US - might I ask if you feel I'd be too wide of the mark if I suggest the US still has deeply-rooted racial divisions at its core? I'm not suggesting any particular parties are explicitly racist, though there are sure to be such examples, but when tensions mount it seems to me that old wounds are where social division opens up, and the US seems incapable of putting these things behind them for good.
Our society has been described as a "melting pot".

But really, it's more like a bag of mixed nuts. :lol:
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Re: Ferguson Police Use Tear Gas on Media

Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:34 pm

I just watched the Ferguson police chief's press conference. They state that the young black man was shot multiple times because he was obstructing traffic (jaywalking, essentially).

Here's a cell phone video from the neighborhood immediately after the event. CNN played a very short clip. The raw video is probably NSFW due to language/content.

http://crooksandliars.com/2014/08/uncut ... on-michael

How many people think that under normal circumstances anyone should be stopped by the police for walking in a street such as this?

edit... A look at the social environment in Ferguson - talks to the "us VS. them" perception.

http://crooksandliars.com/2014/08/drivi ... k-ferguson
http://www.archcitydefenders.org/index.html
The ArchCity Defenders works to break the cycle of "revolving door justice" in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The ArchCity Defenders strives to provide holistic criminal and civil legal services to the homeless and working poor in the St. Louis Region.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vwptqn3mhq9xv ... epaper.pdf
Our direct representation of clients in these courts and the stories they shared of their experiences led us to conduct a court watching program to more closely observe the impact the municipal court system had on our clients’ lives.
Overall, we found that by disproportionately stopping, charging and fining the poor and minorities, by closing the Courts to the public, and by incarcerating people for the failure to pay fines, these policies unintentionally push the poor further into poverty, prevent the homeless from accessing the housing, treatment, and jobs they so desperately need to regain stability in their lives, and violate the Constitution.
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