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Naomi Klein: Any efforts to equate hateful violence with Trump resistance ‘Are Lies’

“This is a nonviolent movement and committed to being so.” – Naomi Klein

“I have no doubt that this horrific event is going to be exploiting for political ends,” Naomi Klein said of Wednesday’s shooting in Virginia. “It already is.” (Photo: Christopher Wahl/The Observer)

Common Dreams by Jon Queally, staff writer 

June 14, 2017

The word “shock” has been used a lot on cable news over the course of the day.

And though it is not quite the kind of large-scale “shock” she explores in her new book, author and activist Naomi Klein says that people should stand firm against anyone who tries to exploit for political purposes the “horrific” violence that took place Wednesday morning when a lone gunman targeted Republican lawmakers and others during practice for a congressional baseball team.

“I think there will cynical and dishonest attempts to associate this economic populist movement with this kind of hateful act. But there is no connection. And people just need to be very clear about that and not be bullied.”
—Naomi Klein
“I have no doubt that this horrific event is going to be exploiting for political ends,” Klein told Common Dreams by phone. “It already is.”

After details emerged showing the assailant in the attack—identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois— held negative views of the Republican Party and President Donald Trump, many progressive organizations and individuals involved with the anti-Trump resistance movement quickly denounced the violence. And when Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) learned that Hodgkinson may have volunteered for his presidential campaign last year, he took to the Senate floor nearly immediately to say he was “sickened” by the assault which he described as a “despicable act” of violence.

“I think the very swift and clear response from Bernie Sanders, absolutely repudiating violence of all kinds, is precisely what’s needed,” Klein said. “This is a nonviolent movement and committed to being so.”

Klein continued by saying that Sanders swift rebuke to the violence underlined for her “the fact that we haven’t seen such clear and immediate responses from Trump, when his name has been invoked by killers.”

The president has been roundly rebuked for his selective response to acts of violence—quickly and loudly condemning attacks he perceives as being perpetrated by Muslims or immigrants but going noticeably silent when assailants are white males or those expressing xenophobic vitriol, like in the case of a white supremacist who murdered two men in Portland, Oregon last month.

Klein said nobody in the social justice movement that has converged to confront Trump and his agenda should be cowed into feeling responsible for the hateful violence of one disturbed man.

“This person,” she said, “has absolutely nothing to do with the values of the movement that I am a part of, and attempts to claim otherwise are lies. I think there will be cynical and dishonest attempts to associate this economic populist movement with this kind of hateful act. But there is no connection. And people just need to be very clear about that and not be bullied.”

Klein’s new book—entitled No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need—is out this week and she says those who identify as “economic populists” recognize at this point in history that there are actual powerful interests, in this case Trump and his neoliberal backers, that do need to be countered. “[Those forces] need to be confronted,” she told Common Dreams. “Not violently, but clearly.”

These neoliberal forces, she explains in the book, are driving the major crises the world is now facing: unbridled capitalism, outrageous levels of inequality, and climate change.

But because “not everybody has the same interests” when it comes to battling against theses crises, she says, advocates of the dominant neoliberal order—which places corporate power and profit above all else—would use any opportunity to undermine those fighting back. And while she emphasized that Wednesday’s attack is not the kind of event she thinks of when she talks about the “shock doctrine” formulated in her previous book—and warned against people viewing it as such—the idea that powerful forces would still attempt to take advantage of it was treated as a given.

And so even as some on the political right were already trying to associate the isolated violence in Virginia with the countless non-violent citizens who for months have been mobilizing against Trump, Klein said, “I think people will have the fortitude to recognize how cynical that is.”

See article here………

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Canada’s Indigenous communities need action, not symbolism

How many suicides will it take before real changes are made?

Ricochet by Toula Drimonis  /June 1, 2017

The truth, though, is that it does. The problem is that recently the Canadian government has been all talk and no action — speaking about how it has treated Indigenous people in the past while failing to take meaningful action to address the problems currently facing our Indigenous communities.

Last year’s report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a recently launched inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, have forced Canadians to deal with the dark and uncomfortable history of how Indigenous people were treated in this country. Canadians are slowly waking up to an unsanitized version of what they read in their history schoolbooks and learning that the truth is not so flattering.

Much more needs to be done to educate Canadians on this front, including passing the microphone to Indigenous communities so they can have their say. But the danger of focusing too much on the past is that you can conveniently lose sight of what the Canadian government is doing, or failing to do, in the present to make things better for these communities.

Racism in health care

Consider, for example, a recent ruling of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The tribunal determined that the federal government’s continued failure to implement repeatedly requested changes to the way it delivers health care for Indigenous children may have contributed to the recent suicides of two 12-year-old girls from Wapekeka First Nation. These reforms, known as Jordan’s Principle, are named after a five-year-old Indigenous boy who died after failing to get the specialized care he needed due to an ongoing dispute between provincial and federal authorities over who would pay for his care.

Canada’s Indigenous communities need meaningful and lasting solutions, stronger leadership from Ottawa and a commitment from all to collectively address these issues.

Racism in health care is a real issue though many won’t acknowledge it, and how Indigenous people are perceived and eventually treated (or mistreated) plays a huge role not only in the quality of their lives, but also their duration, as demonstrated in last year’s annual report of the Alberta Ministry of Health, where it was reported that the province’s First Nations have a life expectancy that is 12 years shorter than the provincial average.

Just this week, the foster mom of a young Indigenous girl denounced the unequal treatment of the teenager, who is being denied coverage for dental implants needed to correct a cleft palate. While costs for dental procedures are routinely covered under the Alberta Cleft Palate Dental Indemnity Program, the prosthodontist who performed the procedure has yet to be fully compensated.

These children are living in a no-man’s land, falling through the cracks of our nationalized medical system, while provincial and federal authorities argue over who should pay the bill. Although Canadians take pride in their supposedly universal health care system, it’s clear that two-tier health care is already a reality for some of the most vulnerable patients.

Unfulfilled promises

Nearly two years into his term, many fear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not live up to his promises with regards to Indigenous issues. Although moving to rectify centuries of damage brought on by colonization and decades of institutional neglect is a complex and time-consuming process, the wheels need to start turning more quickly.

Ottawa has only spent a fraction of what was initially earmarked for Indigenous health care disparities ($11.4 million as opposed to a planned $127.3 million, according to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and Health Canada documents), and any improvements and desperately needed changes are progressing at a snail’s pace.

Meanwhile, Indigenous children and adults who need medical and mental care are denied access because they can’t rely on provincial help, and federal help is hampered by limited funds. Numerous Indigenous communities are still waiting for permanent access to mental care, crisis centres, youth centres, and better access to basic medical care. As litigation and intergovernmental squabbling over money go on, the help that’s urgently needed today isn’t arriving.

All this comes with its own share of dire consequences: reduced life expectancy, disturbing suicide rates, and an over representation of Indigenous adults in Canadian prisons. In Canada the Indigenous incarceration rate is so high — 10 times higher than the non-Indigenous population — it prompted a recent Maclean’s article to refer to Canada’s prisons as the “new residential schools.”

Apologies are not enough

In Canada it has become a tradition, and practically protocol, to begin public governmental or academic events with an acknowledgement that we are standing on traditional Indigenous territory. While it’s both respectful and educational to do so, as it serves as a potent reminder of the colonialism that destroyed communities, I don’t want to see symbolism be the only thing at which we excel.

Trudeau’s recent request to Pope Francis for a formal apology to Canada’s Indigenous community from the Catholic Church for its treatment of Indigenous children in residential schools is perhaps a necessary step towards reconciliation and admittance of profound guilt, but is also another example of pure symbolism.

There are remote First Nations communities in dire need of drinking water, fresh produce, hospital beds for seniors, crisis support, and basic medical care. I doubt that they care about an old man in the Vatican issuing an apology as much as they do gaining access to the care that they need.

While it’s important and necessary to focus on past wrongs and potential future apologies, it’s no substitute for real action in the present. Canada’s Indigenous communities need meaningful and lasting solutions, stronger leadership from Ottawa and a commitment from all to collectively address these issues. How many more children have to go to an early grave before we act?

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Artic temperatures soar to 30 C above normal

“What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic.”


The Arctic climate is changing, alarming climatologists. (CBC)

Bizarre weather continues in the North

By Nicole Mortillaro, CBC News Posted: Dec 23, 2016

The Arctic continues to run a fever.

On Thursday, the temperature there was almost 30 C warmer than average, and it continued into Friday morning. Ocean buoys recorded temperatures near the North Pole of 0 C or warmer. That’s right: It’s warmer in the Arctic than it is in Thunder Bay, Ont.

This isn’t an isolated event. Arctic temperatures have been unusually warm for the past few months, though perhaps not quite as dramatically different as we’re seeing now.

Arctic warmth anomaly

Map illustrating temperature anomalies around the world on Dec. 23 shows the Arctic is far warmer than normal. (University of Maine)

In November, the region was 20 C warmer than average.

“The temperatures there of the atmosphere are on … any given day, like 20 C warmer than they should be for this time of year,” Jennifer Francis, a marine and coastal sciences research professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, told CBC News at the time.

“The ocean temperatures there are also warmer than they should be. I’m really, really worried, and I think everyone should be.”

Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, told CBC News the warming is a sign that climate change is happening and is part of a changing world.

And as it warms, older ice melts, leaving thin ice in its wake. This allows the ice to melt faster.

Antarctic Arctic sea ice

Sea ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic is declining. (Reuters)

In fact, models — which Scambos says are “fairly generous” — anticipate an ice-free Arctic by the 2050s or 2060s, though it could happen sooner.

“There’s an inertia to the climate system,” Scambos said. “We still are not seeing the world we’re in for.”

David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada , said that instead of the air flow moving west to east, as it typically does, patterns are changing. Now there is more of a north-south interaction where warm air moves up from the south. However, the northern air can also dip further down, as we saw the past two weeks with unusually cold temperatures across the country. The change in air flow can cause the wild swings we are seeing more often.

In this case, warm air over Greenland and Norway is being pulled up to the Arctic, causing the unusual weather.

There was a similar event last winter, said Jim Overland, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). At the time they thought it was just a strange occurrence, but with a second one in just a year, it’s left them wondering if this is what they can expect more often.

As for how long this will last, it’s anyone’s guess.

“It’s not inconceivable that it could last another couple of months or the chaos that exists will wipe out the pattern in a week or so. We don’t know which one. We think, though, long-term that we’re loading the dice in terms of these warm and cold events.”

Canada’s North

Though it’s far warmer than average, it’s still cold.

“It’s not like we’re seeing Miami of the North up there: it’s still dark, it’s still cold by southern standards,” Phillips said.

Fortunately for Canada, that big warmth hasn’t made it too far south. As of Friday morning it was still –21 C in Iqaluit and –33 C in Yellowknife.

‘Southerners think it’s just about whether we’re going to have a white Christmas and skinny polar bears. But for northern people, it’s a life or death situation.’ – David Phillips, Environment and Climate Change Canada 

Still, the Arctic is the fastest-warming place on the planet. And what’s troubling is the effects the warming Arctic is having on the people who live there, Phillips said.

“It’s affecting life there: they can’t fish or hunt like they did; buildings are falling apart; windows don’t fit in frames any more. It’s all because the environment is changing. And of course, they’re not the ones who caused it. In a way, they’re the first victims of it.

“Southerners think it’s just about whether we’re going to have a white Christmas and skinny polar bears. But for northern people, it’s a life or death situation.”

Such anomalies will eventually have consequences for everyone else across the country, Phillips anticipates.

“What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic.”

See article here……

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What is Standing Rock and why are 1.4m ‘checking in’ there?

More than 1.4 million people have “checked in” on Facebook to support protesters fighting against a new oil pipeline in Standing Rock, a Sioux Native American reservation in North Dakota.

Activists have camped out in Standing Rock for months in protest against the pipeline

Activists have camped out in Standing Rock for months in protest against the pipeline.

1 November 2016 / BBC News

Activists say the Sioux Indians are under threat as the pipeline could contaminate the tribe’s water source.

Protesters are worried police might be tracking them on social media, igniting concerns over digital privacy.

Why are so many people checking in on Facebook?

Their aim is to confuse the police.

They believe the local police department is using Facebook’s location feature to compile a list of activists who are protesting about the pipeline.

The location feature allows users to tag themselves at a specific location or “check-in” and add related photos and videos.

Over the weekend, activists asked people to falsely “check in” on Facebook to confuse police about the number and identity of those actually protesting.

Supporters put out a call for help on Facebook.

“The Morton County Sheriff’s Department has been using Facebook check-ins to find out who is at SR [Standing Rock] in order to target them in attempts to disrupt the prayer camps,” said the earliest publicly traceable version of the post, shared by a Facebook user from North Carolina on Sunday.

“SO Water Protectors are calling on EVERYONE to check-in at SR to overwhelm and confuse them.”

What do the sheriffs say?

They deny they are using social media to track protesters’ movements.


Snopes, a website that investigates internet rumours, said they had contacted police who denied using social media to track protesters.

“An officer explained that the metric [Facebook data] presented no intelligence value,” one article on the website said.

“If police were using geolocation tools based on mobile devices, remote check-ins would not confuse or overwhelm them,” it added.

Snopes did not confirm who started the viral Facebook post initially.

Are there issues with the police possibly using Facebook to monitor protesters?

Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported that police had been using social media to track protesters during the Ferguson and Baltimore riots last year.

They said police had sourced information from Geofeedia, a data-providing company based in Chicago. The ACLU said this type of monitoring can “disproportionately impact communities of colour”.

They also called upon social media executives to restrict access to data mining companies who would provide information to the police.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have since shut off access to Geofeedia.

What are people protesting about?

The $3.7bn (£2.8bn) Dakota Access pipeline has drawn huge protests in North Dakota where thousands of people are trying to halt its construction, most notably the Sioux Native Americans.

The tribe says the pipeline will traverse over their sacred ancestral burial grounds, archaeological sites, and could pollute their main source of water.

 standing-rock-protestersImage caption Protesters say the pipeline could pollute the tribe’s main water source.

Environmental activists have shown solidarity with the Sioux tribe saying the pipeline, which can transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day, will greatly increase fossil fuel emissions.

The company behind the pipeline, Energy Transport Partners, has said the project will boost local economies and is much safer than transporting oil by rail or road.

Have the protesters been treated fairly?

Critics say the police have used unnecessary force on activists.

They have contrasted the police treatment of North Dakota protesters to the recent acquittal of seven members of an armed militia who led a 41-day standoff at a wildlife refuge in Oregon over federal land ownership.

Some Native American activists have criticised the acquittal saying the Oregon protesters were given special privilege because they were white.

Native Americans in Standing Rock say they are committed to being unarmed.

Despite this police have used attack dogs on activists, sprayed pepper spray, and shot rubber bullets – hitting some of the protesters in the face. They have also arrested nearly 150 protesters.

Xhopakelxhit, a Native American activist at Standing Rock, told the Guardian: “If native people were armed like the Bundy militia, we would be killed.”

How have Native Americans been treated in the past?

Historically, the treatment of Native Americans has been brutal.

Spanish, British, and French colonisers all fought vicious wars with native tribes. And as the American nation state moved west, settlers and landowners fought bitter battles with tribes across the continent.

During the formation of states across America, the federal government made land deals with individual tribes. The reservation lands were agreed to under treaties and tribes were given autonomy to govern themselves on these lands.

The Sioux Indians have claimed the land they are protesting on is rightfully theirs under a 1851 treaty which was subsequently dishonoured. The police say they are on private land.

In September the federal government temporarily blocked pipeline construction under the Missouri River, close to the Standing Rock Reservation. Although this ruling is binding until further notice, construction elsewhere along the pipeline’s route is not prohibited and has continued.


Read article here……

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‘Life goes stronger now’ say members Power of Women’s group

Downtown Eastside drop-in program an experience of ‘empowerment’ and building a voice for the women in the neighbourhood.

 David P. Ball / Metro Order this photo Photo cutline: Three long-time members of the Power of Women group. From left, Elaine Durocher, Stella August and Shurli Chan.

David P. Ball / Metro Order this photo. Photo cutline: Three long-time members of the Power of Women group. From left, Elaine Durocher, Stella August and Shurli Chan.         
Vancouver Metro  :  By: Metr                                               Fri Sep 30. 2016


August said being part of the Power of Women has strengthened her “healing journey.”

“In the Residential School, we were taught to be silent,” she said. “Now I’ve got a voice from the group.

“I’m grateful for them, for all the members of the Power of Women. They’re spiritually strong, kind and friendly.”

Every week’s drop-in meeting — held Wednesdays except when social assistance cheques arrive and they move to Mondays — looks different. But August said the conversations range from talking about challenges in members’ lives to issues facing the Downtown Eastside community.

“We also joke around,” August said as her fellow members nod and chuckle. “And we cry.”

Chan chimes in, adding that some controversial discussions can get heated, “but there’s always a sense of safeness, comfort and compassion,” she said. “When you speak from your heart, it means that you’re vulnerable.”

For her, the violence that most of the drop-in group’s members have experienced in their lives taught a tragic lesson in survival: “Don’t say anything — to be safe.”

In the weekly group, Chan’s seen first-hand what can happen when a feeling of “emotional and spiritual” safety is nurtured.

“I’ve seen eyes opened in different people over time, including myself,” she revealed. “When you’re able to speak from your heart and not get bashed, (there’s) an amazing sense of confirming one’s purpose for being in life.”

August concurred, describing how joining the group turned her around and how even when there are “little dysfunctions” from time to time between members, through “chit-chat” and listening members learn to move through conflict with compassion. “Life goes stronger now,” she mused.

Although all three women described how the group helped them develop self-esteem and a voice, it’s not about self-help, they insisted. They attend talks and protests together, and help plan the annual Women’s Memorial March every February 14, which has honoured missing and murdered Indigenous women for 25 years.

The Power of Women serve as the “guardians” of the massive march, wearing yellow vests and walking arm-in-arm at the front and sides “to keep people in one marching direction … to keep people safe,” Durocher said. “You have a reason to live when you’re fighting poverty or homelessness, or for justice for the murdered and missing women, to me that’s empowering.

Despite meeting every week with the support of its facilitator Harsha Walia, a part-time Downtown Eastside Women’s Center staff member, the program doesn’t receive any funding.

“We want to make sure that’s available to other people as well,” Chan said.

The Power of Women fundraiser is on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. at 1803 East 1st Ave. The event includes dinner and a showcase of poetry, performance and talks, tickets are a sliding scale up to a suggested $20.


See facebook event page for ……..



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Food supply fears spark China’s land grab

With the impacts of climate change threatening food supply as population grows, China is buying land on other continents to grow more crops.
A farmer in China spreads pesticide on her crops. Image: IFPRI via Flickr


Farmer in China spreads pesticide on her crops. Image: IFPRI via Flickr

September 26, 2016,                            Climate News Network by Paul Brown
LONDON, 26 September, 2016 – China is protecting itself against future food supply problems caused by climate change by buying or leasing large tracts of land in Africa and South America, a leading UK climate scientist says.
Professor Peter Wadhams, an expert on the disappearing Arctic ice, says that while countries in North America and Europe are ignoring the threat that changing weather patterns are causing to the world food supply, China is taking “self-protective action”.
He says that changes in the jet stream caused by the melting of the ice in the Arctic are threatening the most productive agricultural areas on the planet.
“The impact of extreme, often violent weather on crops in a world where the population continues to increase rapidly can only be disastrous,” he warns.
“Sooner or later, there will be an unbridgeable gulf between global food needs and our capacity to grow food in an unstable climate. Inevitably, starvation will reduce the world’s population.”

Protect food supply

Professor Wadhams, former head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, says China has already realised this is a threat to its future stability and has been taking over large areas of land in other countries to grow crops to protect its food supply.
The drawback, he says, is that the Chinese are introducing industrial agricultural practices that damage the soil, the water supply and the rivers.
“But China is positioning itself for the struggle to come − the struggle to find enough to eat,” he says. “By controlling land in other countries, they will control those countries’ food supply.”
Professor Wadhams, who is a former director of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, is the UK’s most experienced sea ice expert.
In his new book, A Farewell to Ice, he describes a number of serious threats to the planet resulting from the loss of Arctic ice. These include much greater sea level rise than estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), resulting in the flooding of cities and of low-lying deltas where much of the world’s food is grown.

“China is positioning itself for the struggle
to come − the struggle to find enough to eat”


He says China has seen the unrest in parts of the world caused by food price increases in 2011 during the Arab Spring, and has sought to guard against similar problems at home by buying land across the globe.
His warnings are echoed in Brazil, where there are concerns about Chinese plans to build a 3,300-mile (5,000km) railway to get soya, grain and timber to the coast to supply China’s needs.
But fears over land grabs by China are only a small part of the changing world that will be created by the loss of ice in the Arctic discussed by Wadhams in his book.
He attacks the last four British prime ministers − John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron − for talking about climate change and doing little. And he says his fellow scientists on the IPCC are failing in their duty to speak out about the full dangers of climate change.
Professor Wadhams told Climate News Network that colleagues “were too frightened of their jobs or losing their grants to spell out what was really happening”. He said it makes him very angry that they are failing in their duty through timidity.
Based on his own measurements and calculations, he believes that summer ice in the Arctic will disappear before 2020 – which is 30 years before the IPCC estimate. He also believes that sea level rise has been badly underestimated because the loss of ice from Greenland and the Antarctic was not included in the IPCC’s estimates.
“My estimates are based on real measurements of the ice in the Arctic – the IPCC rely on computer simulations. I know which I believe.”
He is also concerned about the large escapes of methane from the Arctic tundra and the shallow seas north of Siberia – again, something that has not been fully taken into account in the IPCC’s calculations on the speed of warming.

Bordering on dishonest

“They know it is happening, but they do not want to frighten the horses [alarm people]. It is bordering on the dishonest,” he says.
Professor Wadhams has concluded that there is now so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that dangerous warming is inevitable unless more drastic action is taken. He says reducing emissions will help, along with planting forests, but it will never be enough.
“What is needed is something that has not been invented yet − a large-scale method of passing air through a machine and taking out the carbon dioxide,” he says.
“In the long run, only by taking carbon out of the air can we hope to get the concentrations down enough to save us from dangerous climate change.
“It is a tall order, but if we spend enough money on research we can find a way. Our future depends on it.” – Climate News Network
Read article here……….

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KING: Introducing a 25-part series on how to reduce police brutality following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

We have reached a saturation point with police brutality. It’s real. Reasonable people know it’s real and more people than ever before have seen the ugly evidence that it is not only real, but deeply traumatic and constant.


Philando Castile (L) of Minnesota and Alton Sterling. (Facebook)
 NEW YORK DAILY NEWS :  by Shaun King                                          Saturday, 23, 2016
“I an effort to really dig deeply to some of the root causes of the sad reality of black men being afraid jut walking down any street in a U.S. city. It seems that concealed weapons or having a gun on his/her person makes those laws obsolete for black citizens, just for the white.” – ss
 For those of you who have known full well the reality of police brutality in America for your entire life, or even for the past few years, it may very well seem outrageous to even consider that millions of Americans doubt its existence. But everything I see suggests the number of people doubting whether or not police are ever brutal is dwindling by the day.

It’s hard to deny it when you see an unarmed behavioral therapist laying down on the ground with his hands in the air get shot by police.

It’s hard to deny it when you see Walter Scott being shot from behind.

KING: Black Lives Matter opposes police brutality, not police

It’s hard to deny it when you see Eric Garner being choked to death.

It’s hard to deny it when you see Philando Castile bleeding to death from repeated gunshot wounds live on Facebook.

It’s hard to deny it when you see Sandra Bland being arrested and slammed to the ground after she failed to put on her turn signal.

Charles Kinsey, a therapist, was shot by police while he was trying to help his patient with autism.

Charles Kinsey, a therapist, was shot by police while he was trying to help his patient with autism.

(Hilton Napoleon II)

It’s hard to deny it when you see a second grade teacher thrown around by Texas police like a rag doll.

Mayor de Blasio’s ‘exemplary’ son Dante fears police brutality

It’s hard to deny it when you see a body-building officer pick a shy young student up and throw her across a South Carolina classroom.

Denying the existence of police brutality, at this point, would be like denying the existence of gravity or the sun or the moon. It’s an obvious, inescapable fact of life in this country.

In this July 10, 2015, file frame taken from dash cam video provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia confronts Sandra Bland after a minor traffic infraction in Waller County,Texas.

It actually does affect all types of Americans, including white folk, but the data shows us that it disproportionately impacts three people groups – people of color (particularly African-Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos), the poor and homeless, and people battling through mental illness. If you happen to be black, poor and mentally ill, you live in a full-fledged danger zone in this country.

We’re at the point, though, where millions of us are ready for hardcore solutions. Since the brutal police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La. and Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minn. earlier this month, the one refrain that I hear over and over and over again is – “what in the world do we do about this?”


Protests in Baton Rouge, NYC, St. Paul; DeRay McKesson arrested




Starting on Monday, I am going to begin a 25-part series answering that very question. I’ve spent the past two years, almost to the day, searching and studying and debating the answers. What I’ve come to accept, and what I must first unpack here, is this.

Eric Garner died while being arrested by police in Staten Island on Thursday, July 17, 2014.
Eric Garner died while being arrested by police in Staten Island on Thursday, July 17, 2014. (New York Daily News)

Police brutality is complicated. The solutions are complicated. Bringing about substantive change on this issue is complicated. The opposition to progress on this issue is fierce. Our law enforcement and criminal justice system is not broken. It is hundreds of years old, its systems and structures are deeply engraved, and making moves that actually move the needle on police brutality will not be easy.

I’m doing a 25-part series because the problem has so many nuances and layers that need unpacking that it will take me a full month to do so. For every weekday for the next five weeks, I will chug along here and do my best to identify the problem points and point us to practical, reasonable, achievable solutions. In the end, we will lay out the problems, but will have solutions and action steps for each one.

Here’s the thing – while police brutality is a national crisis, the problem and its solutions are as local as it gets. Think Flint. Federal oversight of the water programs there wasn’t inconsequential, but the problem was deeply local in the city and with state government.

Al Sharpton, Eric Garner’s mom lead anti-police brutality march

A video shows white South Carolina police Officer Michael Slager fatally shoot a black man, Walter Scott, in the back as he ran away.
A video shows white South Carolina police Officer Michael Slager fatally shoot a black man, Walter Scott, in the back as he ran away. (HANDOUT)

Police brutality is even more local than the Flint water crisis. Police departments, sheriff’s offices, and district attorneys each play a major role in the issue and the federal government has very little power to be deeply influential on the issue. Executive orders, federal legislation and constitutional amendments are not impossibilities, but they are long shots at best.

While some of the action must be federal, most of this series will be highly local and will require us to accept the reality that this country has nearly 20,000 police departments — with most of them marching to the beat of their own drummer. While the prospect of sweeping federal legislation is dreamy, I think we have a real opportunity at actually impacting the problem one district at a time with truly achievable actions.

Even with a 25-part series, we won’t cover it all. Other solutions will exist that I fail to mention. However, I am confident that with this plan, we could drastically reduce police brutality in this generation by well over 50%. Push up your sleeves and let’s get to work.”


Full article here………

Will try to post the following 24 exploratory articles to answer and bring up discussion questions and hopefully find some workable solutions.