“On July 3rd, 1863 Mdewakanton Dakota Sioux Little Crow and his son Wowinapa were foraging for berries on their traditional lands in Minnesota, when they were spotted by Nathan Lamson and his son. Minnesota had recently enacted a law that paid a bounty of $25 for every Sioux scalp. Little Crow was killed while his son escaped; Little Crow’s scalp was put on public display in St. Paul, Minnesota while his body was transported back to Hutchinson where it was again mutilated by the citizens. His body was dragged down the town’s Main Street while firecrackers were placed in his ears and dogs picked at his head. After their celebration, the town disposed of the body in an alley, where ordinary garbage was regularly thrown.”
A fragment from an Israeli missile, extracted from 15 year old Palestinian girl …
… a premature baby, rescued from her dead mother’s womb after the latter was killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Photo credit: Samar Abu Elouf, July 2014 [source]
(by Dawn Paley, via Media Co-op)
It appears that a mass grave found near Iguala, Guerrero, over the weekend which is said to contain up to 34 bodies, contains the remains of at least some of the 43 students who were kidnapped by police on Friday.
The students were rural youth studying to become teachers. Their student association is known to be one of the most organized and combative in the country. They were brothers, sons, and friends, and some of them were fathers. They were tortured, dismembered and burned before being buried.
This isn’t the first grave of its kind to be dug in Mexico, far from it.
There have been hundreds of clandestine mass graves dug and filled with corpses since Felipe Calderón declared the war on drugs in December, 2006. The discovery of some of these graves garnered international attention, while others went under the radar almost completely. There’s no solid, reliable count of bodies, or of graves. Then there are those which have yet to be discovered. Migrant activists go so far as to call Mexico a giant cemetary, claiming that as many as 120,000 migrants could be secretly buried across the country.
The US media is struggling to tell the story of the bad Guerrero police who passed detained students off to crime gangs. The first thing we can do to break the silence about what is happening in Mexico is call things by their name.
The killers in Iguala were not drug gangs. They were cops and paramilitaries. Paramilitaries are non-state armed groups who work with state forces. There can be no clearer example of the horrors of state and paramilitary violence than what has happened to these students.
Parts of Mexico are deeply paramilitarized, a process which was accelerated and fortified by the Merida Initiative as well as internationally sponsored police professionalization programs.
I’m a grad student in Mexico, and in talking with my peers over the past couple days, the fear and the rage is tangible. On Wednesday, students around the country will bravely march against this barbarity, this terror at the hands of the state. The worst thing we can do is to be silent about this.
via Peter Frase at Jacobin:
Defenders of the warrior cop in situations like the one in Ferguson, Missouri argue that all of these trappings of military occupation are necessary because of the oh-so-dangerous environment the police supposedly face.
Policing is not the country’s safest job, to be sure. But as the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows, it’s far from the most dangerous.
The 2012 data reports that for “police and sheriff’s patrol officers,” the Fatal Injury Rate — that is, the “number of fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers” — was 15.0.
That includes all causes of death — of the 105 dead officers recorded in the 2012 data, only 51 died due to “violence and other injuries by persons or animals.” Nearly as many, 48, died in “transportation incidents,” i.e., crashing their cars.
Here are some occupations with higher fatality rates than being a cop:
* Logging workers: 129.9
* Fishers and related fishing workers: 120.8
* Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 54.3
* Roofers: 42.2
* Structural iron and steel workers: 37.0
* Refuse and recyclable material collectors: 32.3
* Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers: 24.3
* Electrical power-line installers and repairers: 23.9
* Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers: 22.8
* Construction laborers: 17.8
* Taxi drivers and chauffeurs: 16.2
* Maintenance and repairs workers, general: 15.7
And for good measure, some more that approach the allegedly terrifying risks of being a police officer:
* First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers: 14.7
* Grounds maintenance workers: 14.2
* Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers: 13.0
While being a cop might not be all that dangerous, being in the presence of law enforcement certainly is. In 2012, there were a minimum of 410 people killed by police, and that includes only those voluntarily reported to the FBI under the creepy category of “justifiable homicide.” Nobody keeps full and accurate statistics, and the real number is probably closer to 1000.
To put this level of violence in perspective, the total number of murders committed in 2012 by anyone in Canada — a country of 35 million people, with a murder rate that isn’t even particularly low by rich country standards — was 543.
The United States is a dangerous place, and the workplace in particular is far too dangerous for far too many. But if you want to thank someone for bravely facing down danger in order to make your way of life possible, thank your garbage collector or your taxi driver. When it comes to the cops, they’re mostly a danger to others.
Instead of issuing them heavier armor than the occupiers of Iraq and Afghanistan, we should be talking about disarming them in the name of public safety.
Via Electronic Intifada:
“As each day brings new horror in Gaza, Palestinians in the besieged Strip have become largely cut off from the outside world as Israeli bombing has badly damaged the electricity infrastructure and telecommunications network.
The bodies of at least sixteen Palestinians were pulled from the rubble after an Israeli strike hit a United Nations school in Jabaliya refugee camp on Wednesday. Approximately 3,300 displaced people were taking refuge in the school.
Later that same day, Israeli forces shelled an open market in the Shujaiya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City, the site of a terrible massacre last week, killing at least seventeen. Residents had ventured out to the market during a four-hour humanitarian truce unilaterally declared by Israel. The victims included a journalist — the seventh media worker killed in Gaza since the onslaught began on 7 July — and emergency health care workers.
Monday night was one of the heaviest nights of shelling during the last three weeks of Israel’s all-out military offensive on Gaza. On that night alone, dozens of Palestinians were killed.
Many areas across the Gaza Strip came under random tank shelling, and Israel bombed the only power plant, leaving much of Gaza without electricity. Most households in Gaza City currently receive only up to two hours of electricity per day, according to the United Nations, and other areas in central Gaza are receiving no electricity at all.
Officials say the damage done to the power plant could take up to one year to repair — that is if Israel allows Gaza to import the necessary spare parts and allows engineering experts to enter.
These power outages mean that water pumps and sewage stations have stopped functioning, leading to a serious humanitarian and environmental crisis in terms of lack of clean drinking water and basic sanitation.
The only mobile network in some areas failed as well, not only due to power cuts but because many transmission towers have been damaged since the start of Israel’s military aggression against Gaza on 7 July.
Meanwhile, hospitals and other vital facilities remain at serious risk as their generators cannot provide safe, sustainable electricity and power. Twenty-three health care facilities have been damaged by the Israeli military, according to the UN.
“We have been suffering from frequent power cuts since 2006, and now the bombing of the power station will worsen our miserable life given that we cannot find fuel to power small electrical generators,” said Nader Daher, a 35-year-old who was displaced from his home in Gaza City.
“Everyone tries to conserve his mobile battery; we also can’t keep food in the freezer and [we’re] running out of canned food,” he added.
More than 240,000 residents from different cities and towns across Gaza have become internally displaced, many of them seeking shelter at United Nations-run schools, according to the UN. Some are staying at relatives’ homes, dozens packed into one house.
“We do not have electricity nor water,” Khamis Jabali, 27, a displaced resident of Gaza City, said. “We wait for the water tanker to come to this school to fill our bottles. It’s hot, and we have not had showers for weeks now. Hundreds of us here we share water and toilets. […]”
Read the rest of the article here.
Source: Hillel, M. “Israel has discovered that it’s no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media“. The Independent. 22 July 2014.