For all the protesters out there:
So next time you’re in a situation where you are recording an officer and fear for the safety of your video evidence, try using the Bambuser app.
It uploads your video online to your Bambuser account while you record it. You can also stream the video live. This way your videos are saved online, safe from the hands of the uniformed pigs.
The school board in Compton, California, has voted to arm campus police officers with AR-15 rifles, according to the Los Angeles public radio station KPPC. Some parents and students are expressing discomfort, citing the same sorts of concerns sparked by the militarized police force of Ferguson, Missouri. In Compton, the local police union says its officers are hardly alone in seeking such weapons:
Currently, the following School Districts authorize their Police Officers to deploy these weapons; Los Angeles School PD, Baldwin Park School PD, Santa Ana School PD, Fontana School PD, San Bernandino School PD.
The police union goes on to defend the semi-automatic rifle for campus police officers:
If we encounter an active mass murderer on campus with a rifle or body armor, our officers may not adequately be prepared to stop that suspect. School Police Officers will undergo a training course, followed by a shooting proficiency test on a firing range and a written exam. The rifles are designed for increased accuracy and use rifled ammunition than can pierce body armor. The safety of our Students, Staff, and Parents are very important to us.
In a recent New York Times item, Ross Douthat rebutted just that sort of argument.
He says of school shootings:
…the evidence that such sprees are sharply increasing is shaky and debatable, and the evidence that a more militarized police is necessarily crucial to stopping such killers seems thin as well. In Sandy Hook, for instance, the killer committed suicide about ninety seconds after the cops arrived; in Aurora, the killer surrendered to police; at Virginia Tech, the killer shot himself rather than engage with police. (At Columbine, things were more complicated: there were cops surrounding the school who didn’t fully engage until the SWAT teams arrived, which could be a case that the average cop should be trained more like a SWAT member … except that then the SWAT teams moved extremely slowly through the school as well, because even heavily armed and armored cops can be—understandably—loath to rush in without knowing how many active shooters they’re facing.)
From the D.C. sniper (picked up at a rest stop) to the Isla Vista killer (dead by suicide after a car chase), there just aren’t that many recent cases where a spree killer has gone down, Symbionese Liberation Army-style, after a long siege or in a hail of bullets that only a militarized police unit could deliver, or where specialized equipment has made all the difference to the cops. It’s much more common for such killers to either take their own lives or surrender, and when they’ve been stopped by return fire from cops, it’s usually been regular police units rather than SWAT teams that have done the necessary work.
None of this means, again, that SWAT teams shouldn’t exist; it should just cast doubt on the idea that every police department needs SWAT equipment and lots of it, and that arming them accordingly will make all the difference when a psychopath comes calling.
The campus officers in Compton are expected to be trained and have the new weapons within a month. And the nationwide trend of militarized police officers continues, even in schools with heavily armed city and county police agencies nearby. It’s easy to imagine a lot of areas where extra training would benefit Compton’s school resource officers—and hard to imagine AR-15 training is high on the list.
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/AmericaWakieWakie)
If you’re protesting abortion, the Supreme Court says you can get right in women’s faces and scream at them on their way into the clinic. Because freedom of speech.
But if you try and protest the murder of a black man, you get tear gas fired at you.
Officials in Georgia’s Habersham County are refusing to pay for the mounting medical expenses of a toddler seriously injured by a flash grenade after a failed SWAT team raid earlier this year.
Bounkham ‘Bou Bou’ Phonesavanh was just 19 months old when a Habersham SWAT team initiated a no-knock warrant at his family’s home at around 3 a.m. on May 28. Bou Bou was asleep in his crib at the time, surrounded by his family and three sisters. The toddler was severely injured when SWAT team officers broke through the house’s door and threw a flashbang grenade that ultimately landed in the Bou Bou’s crib.
Today in Ferguson, cops (without riot gear) oversaw a rally in support of Darren Wilson. I wish I could say this is unbelievable, but it’s not.
These are like the people who held picnics, smiling as families while black people swung from trees behind them.
I don’t know why anyone is surprised.
Ex-Israeli soldier speaks out… what he says will change everything you think you know about Israel
The talk by Eran Efrati was filmed in Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014 as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind. Eran talk about his experiences in the IDF and then more broadly discusses Israel, its relationship to the U.S. and the global expansion of militarism.
Eran Efrati, 28, was born and raised in Jerusalem. After graduating high school he enlisted in the IDF, where he served as a combat soldier and company sergeant in Battalion 50 of the Nachal Division. He spent most of his service in Hebron and throughout the West Bank. In 2009, he was discharged and joined Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers working to raise awareness about the daily reality in the Occupied Territories.
He worked as the chief investigator of the organization, collecting testimonies from IDF soldiers about their activities. He also guided political tours and to the West Bank and worked to educate Israeli youth about the reality of being a soldier in an occupying army. His collected testimonies appear in the booklet “Operation Cast Lead” and their most recent release “Our Harsh Logic”. Since leaving Breaking the Silence, his investigative reports appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian. Today he is active with the Israeli groups Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott from Within.
Key points from this lecture
- There is a heavy indoctrination in Israel, from an early age in schools, which uses the holocaust to create paranoia and fear against ‘the enemy’
- Israeli soldiers are trained intensively for a war, whilst their actual military duties are to subdue and control Palestinians
- Israeli soldiers routinely humiliate, intimidate, arrest, beat and kill civilian Palestinians to ‘protect’ illegal Jewish settlers in occupied territories
- Many Israeli soldiers are aware what they are doing is wrong, but have no way out and feel pressured to continue
- Palestinians who require medical attention, have to go through military checkpoints – to do this they require permits
- They give these permits to lawyers of ‘Doctors without borders’ and then prevent them from going to the West Bank – meaning Palestinians do not receive permits
- Israel uses a clever process to cover itself legally to the world
- During Operation Cast Lead, Israeli soldiers were traumatised and confused the atrocities they saw in Gaza
- Israel would bomb civilian areas to clear the way for Israeli ground forces, use tank shells, air-strikes and illegal white phosphorus
- When wanting to speak out, via the ‘Breaking the Silence Campaign‘ the Haaretz newspaper refused to publish soldier testimonies after pressure by IDF Spokesman
- Breaking the Silence campaign itself was censored by the IDF Spokesman
- All media in Israel has to go through the IDF censorship
- The Israeli government and military make a lot of money by selling its weapons to other repressive regimes around the world,
- Israel tries and tests its weapons on Palestinians – ‘this is not (just) an occupation’ this is a laboratory for Israeli military weapons
- Israel uses undercover units in the occupied territories to start riots, and then justify the use of weapons against Palestinian protesters
- All police departments in the US are trained by the Israeli military and are taught the same brutal tactics used against Palestinians
- US police departments have already used such tactics in suppressing protests in the US, such as the Occupy movement
- Hit Israel where it hurts the most, boycott Israel
“Everybody knows, the apartheid regime will stop. The question is how fast, and how many people are going to die… until it will happen?”