Tag Archives | Violence

A Call to Militant Empathy

swong95765 (CC BY 2.0)

swong95765 (CC BY 2.0)

Peijman Kouretchian, writing at the Metta Center for Nonviolence, from December:

The streets look like war. Two NYPD police officers were just “assassinated” apparently as revenge for the Eric Garner chokehold death. This is the first major physical attack on actual police officers after the Ferguson riots ignited the #blacklivesmatter movement. Though this was just the act of one troubled person and doesn’t represent the mostly physically nonviolent movement that has been going on, it is absolutely paramount to be clear on what principles we are aligned with as we fight for justice.

Recently I became certified as a Kingian Nonviolence (a system of conflict reconciliation built on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) trainer. The protests bring to mind two important principles from what I learned:  “Avoid internal violence of the spirit, as well as external physical violence,” and “Attack systems of injustice, not individuals within those systems.”

When protests breakout there is often an abundance of rage.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

What Would Happen if the Int’l Criminal Court Indicted Israel’s Netanyahu?

Benjamin_Netanyahu_2012

Juan Cole writes at Informed Comment:

If the International Criminal Court takes up Israeli government actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, it could well find specific officials guilty of breaches of the Rome Statute of 2002. Article 7 forbids “Crimes against Humanity,” which are systematically repeated war crimes. Among these offenses is murder, forcible deportation or transfer of members of a group, torture, persecution of Palestinians (an “identifiable group”) and “the crime of Apartheid.”

The Israeli government murdered Palestinian political leaders (not just guerrillas) and have routinely illegally expelled Palestinians from the West Bank or from parts of the West Bank illegally incorporated into Israel. They deploy torture against imprisoned Palestinians. Their policies on the West Bank, of building squatter settlements on Palestinian land from which Palestinians are excluded, is only one example of Apartheid policies. Getting a conviction on Article VII should be child’s play for the prosecutor.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

A Fascist Spectacle in New York City

André Gustavo Stumpf (CC BY 2.0)

André Gustavo Stumpf (CC BY 2.0)

Norman Pollack writes at CounterPunch:

The funeral of Officer Ramos on Saturday, Dec. 27, turned into a Fascist spectacle as many in the ranks of the police turned their backs on NYC Mayor de Blasio—a Fascist spectacle because, already heavily militarized, already implicated in wanton killings of blacks nationwide, the police, many coming from far and wide, used the funeral to demonstrate their demand for acting with impunity and their contempt for authority to reign them in. The funeral symbolized the police as enemies of the rule of law, unable and unwilling to bear scrutiny for lawless acts of an ongoing nature but brought to national attention through a sudden condensation of events over the last several weeks. We stand in fear of our own public servants, just as we do toward the CIA on the international plane, a militarization of American life which internalizes, collectively, the repression America as a nation presents to and imposes on the world and internally demands of itself lest its global/domestic Power be questioned.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Refusing To Wage War

"Critics of police violence, all those who call for demilitarized law enforcement and an acknowledgement of America’s institutional racism, are, yet again, but with even more self-righteous ferocity, declared the enemy." (Photo: The All-Nite Images/flickr/cc)

“Critics of police violence, all those who call for demilitarized law enforcement and an acknowledgement of America’s institutional racism, are, yet again, but with even more self-righteous ferocity, declared the enemy.” (Photo: The All-Nite Images/flickr/cc)

Robert C. Koehler writes at Common Dreams:

And so we grieve over another national tragedy.

Two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot — assassinated — as they sat in their patrol car this past weekend. Let the needlessness of their deaths rip our hearts open. Let the humanity come first.

“Now is a moment for empathy and deep listening.”

The words are from a statement issued by #BlackLivesMatter, a grassroots movement emerging this year over the spate of police killings of young men of color. The murder of the officers is part of the same tragedy. Black lives matter. Blue lives matter. All lives matter. Any thinking that embraces less than this is part of the problem, not the solution.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

NYPD Union Vows ‘Wartime Policing’

"It is irresponsible to draw connections between this movement and the actions of a troubled man who took the lives of these officers and attempted to take the life of his ex-partner, before ultimately taking his own," said Ferguson Action in a statement issued Sunday. (Photo: Webfan29/Wikimedia Commons)

“It is irresponsible to draw connections between this movement and the actions of a troubled man who took the lives of these officers and attempted to take the life of his ex-partner, before ultimately taking his own,” said Ferguson Action in a statement issued Sunday. (Photo: Webfan29/Wikimedia Commons)

Sarah Lazare writes at Common Dreams:

A declaration by the New York Police Department Union that it will engage in “wartime policing” in response to Saturday’s killing of two city law enforcement officers has raised alarm among protesters and civil rights advocates, who ask: “Have we learned nothing?”

A statement released Saturday by the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association—the union for the NYPD—reads, “The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.”

Steven Thrasher, writing for the Guardian, responds, “Wartime?

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Assassination as Art? Or Simply Wrong?

brzbzbbabababababababa

Gabriel Elizondo, writing at Al Jazeera in 2010:

What is art?

That is the question many Brazilians have been forced to ask themselves after the country’s most important alternative art show displayed nine drawings depicting the assassination of world leaders.

Each charcoal drawing shows the artist, Gil Vicente of Recife, Brazil, holding a weapon moments before assassinating a world leader.

The exhibition is titled “Enemies” and is seen in the photo above.

One drawing depicts Vicente, the artist, holding a knife to the throat of Brazilian President Lula da Silva. Others show the artist pointing a gun at Pope Benedict XVI, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Queen Elizabeth. Many have their hands and feet bound by rope.

The first piece in the series, completed in 2005, is a drawing depicting former US President George W Bush being shot. The most recent drawing, completed this year, depicts Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

A Nation Built on the Rule of Lawlessness

Paul George (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Paul George (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rick Salutin writes at the Toronto Star:

Barack Obama looked at his most clueless, responding to the riots and rage in Ferguson, Missouri. He hasn’t seemed so callow since the BP oil spill. Like he just wished it was over and could get on to the delights of his post-presidency. Or back to immigration reform and stalling that damn pipeline.

Using his slow voice, as if he’s explaining something so basic that it’s hard to understand, he declared that the U.S. is a “nation built on the rule of law” and added next day, he has “no sympathy” for those who go violent. The problem with this, at least for those in the streets, is the U.S. is not a nation of laws and resorts to official violence and/or illegality routinely.

In U.S. inner cities, this means surviving your dealings with cops. It is agony for a dad to tell his son, as Michael Brown Sr.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Violence Against U.S. Homeless on the Rise

David Blackwell. (CC BY 2.0)

David Blackwell. (CC BY 2.0)

Ehab Zahriyeh writes at Al Jazeera America:

Despite a decrease in the U.S. homeless population, new research by an advocacy group for the homeless indicates an alarming increase in violent crimes targeting those living on the streets.

In 2013, homeless Americans experienced a 23 percent increase in violence compared with the year before, according to preliminary figures by the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). The U.S. homeless population declined over the same period, with 610,000 people going without shelter on any given day in 2013 — 20,000 fewer than in 2012.

The homeless “are targeted solely because of their circumstances,” coalition director Jerry Jones told Al Jazeera. “People who are in shelters and marginalized are often preyed upon.”

Because the NCH bases its research on reported crimes covered in news media, the actual number of violent attacks targeting the homeless may be much higher, since many go unreported.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Myth of Religious Violence

323px-Siege_of_NándorfehérvárKaren Armstrong, author of Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, says in a lengthy essay in The Guardian that “the popular belief that religion is the cause of the world’s bloodiest conflicts is central to our modern conviction that faith and politics should never mix. But the messy history of their separation suggests it was never so simple”:

…[P]erhaps we should ask, instead, how it came about that we in the west developed our view of religion as a purely private pursuit, essentially separate from all other human activities, and especially distinct from politics. After all, warfare and violence have always been a feature of political life, and yet we alone drew the conclusion that separating the church from the state was a prerequisite for peace. Secularism has become so natural to us that we assume it emerged organically, as a necessary condition of any society’s progress into modernity.

Read the rest
Continue Reading