External resources relating to Resistance

The aftermath of the coup in Myanmar illustrates how important digital technology has become in the struggle for political power. Social media has fueled nationwide anti-coup protests; the junta has responded with combined online and offline repression. Research shows that autocratic leaders seek control of online information through censorship, disinformation campaigns, and surveillance. At the same time, digital communication is important for democracy activists and protest mobilization.

Environmental groups sued the Department of Homeland Security and its acting secretary, Chad Wolf, in federal district court today over their use of what the suit called “a vast arsenal of weapons” on Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland.

While calls to defund the RCMP in the wake of widespread protests against police brutality have left some people incredulous, it’s worth considering a comparatively recent historical precedent.

After the murder of two Somali men by members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment in 1993, the federal government disbanded the unit. A public inquiry revealed widespread racism, brutal hazing rituals and a concerted effort to cover it all up. Defence officials argued a familiar line – a few bad apples – but it was hard to believe when weighed against the damning video and photographic evidence. Rex Murphy summarized it neatly when he said, “We promised them peacekeepers, and, in some cases, we sent them thugs.” Indeed, some of our supposedly elite soldiers were ill-tempered sadists, the unit a dumping ground for discipline cases and white supremacists. Public support for the military plummeted: What kind of Canadian soldiers keep a Confederate flag in their barracks?

A British university which trains Bharani police studying at a base that activists say is a well-known “torture hub” is teaching a blood-stained degree, a rights group has said.

The University of Huddersfield runs a masters course in security science for officers and recruits at the Middle East country’s Royal Academy of Policing.

But witness statements suggest a prison there may have been the scene of electrocutions, rape and beating of inmates – many of them political prisoners.

As the showdown between police and protesters in Hong Kong has intensified, officers have used increasing force, deploying an arsenal of crowd-control measures and weapons, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, sponge grenades and bean bag rounds.

“I just wanted to remind them [the police] that we are here with peaceful purposes and without weapons, but they are not,” the high school graduate told the Riga-based Meduza website.

“It never even occurred to me that someone other than them would hear it … I sat on the ground and began to read out our constitutional rights, specifying that what is happening here [police arresting protestors] is illegal.”

Indigenous protesters in Canada have called a growing police presence near their makeshift checkpoint “an act of war”, as tensions mount over a stalled pipeline project in northern British Columbia.

In defiance of a court order, dozens of protesters have gathered on a logging road nearly 700km (430 miles) north-west of Vancouver, to block the construction of a natural gas pipeline.

The ongoing demonstrations continue to call for Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to step down, and for the National Elections Commission to finalize an announcement.

Honduran elite police, known as "Cobras", are now refusing to confront the protesters and are demanding an end to the crisis.

What is the logic behind increasingly militarised protest policing? What are the costs of this strategy? And in what ways is resistance to aggressive policing growing?

Security forces killed at least 28 people in rare protests in the Eritrean capital, an opposition group has claimed, raising concerns from human rights groups and activists.

The violence witnessed in demonstrations in Asmara on Tuesday also prompted a safety warning from the US embassy in Eritrea, which confirmed receiving reports of gunfire and advised people to stay away from areas where protests were taking place.

Since then, every corner of St. Louis has erupted in protests. In response, St. Louis’ law-enforcement community has engaged in a no-holds-barred effort to thwart the protests by any means necessary. Venturing outside the normal boundaries of policing and public safety, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has used questionable tactics to attack, criminalize and intimidate activists into silence and compliance.

 

From the Force Science Institute in Mankato, Minnesota to the ecological reserve outside Rio de Janeiro that houses Condor Non-Lethal Technologies’ police training center, the “use of force” industry has grown into a worldwide marketplace. Beginning on October 9, Hoffman Estates will host the five-day conference of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association, or ITOA. To greet them, a coalition of community groups and organizations from the Chicago area are assembling under the banner #StopITOA. These diverse groups, including AFSC-Chicago, CAIR-Chicago, Assata’s Daughters, Black Lives Matter-Chicago, the Arab American Action Network and War Resisters League, argue that government officials should prioritize spending for human needs not for militarization and violence.

PLEASANTON — A gathering of more than 5,000 law enforcement workers next week at the Alameda County Fairgrounds also is expected to draw about 1,000 protesters.

Urban Shield, billed as an emergency preparedness exercise, is set to take place Thursday through Sept. 12. at the fairgrounds in Pleasanton. The event, hosted by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office since 2007, will this year also include national police from Mexico and Taiwan, said Alameda County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly.

Israeli military companies such as Elbit Systems appear invincible, yet Israel’s arms industry is more vulnerable than it seems. Al-Shabaka guest author Maren Mantovani and Policy Advisor Jamal Juma’ examine both national and global trends and identify avenues for human rights activists to pursue to hold Israel accountable under international law.

Israel’s biggest military companies last year rang alarm bells over a decline in international contracts, citing smaller budgets, more competition, and less desire for Israeli-made products as among the reasons. Is this an indicator that Israel’s arms industry might not be as invincible as it seems? What led arms deals with Israeli companies to fall through? What was the role of the Palestinian-led movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which has called for military sanctions as part of its campaign to promote human rights? 1

In this Al-Shabaka policy brief, Maren Mantovani and Jamal Juma analyze some of the trends facing Israel’s military industrial complex with a particular focus on the campaign against Elbit Systems. The brief examines the tough times facing the industry, the myth of Israeli technological superiority, the industry’s local and global shifts, and the alliances emerging to reverse the militarization and securitization of societies. Based on this analysis, they draw valuable lessons and identify avenues for the global Palestine solidarity movement to pursue.

As an organization dedicated to peace, justice and nonviolent liberation, the War Resisters League stands firmly in solidarity with the Movement For Black Lives' newly released Vision for Black Lives Platform...

El Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, a leading voice in Egypt's struggle against police violence since 1993, is facing imminent threat of closure by the government. According to the independent Egyptian website Mada Masr: 'The state justified the [closure] decision by claiming the center's clinic issues reports "condemning police violations against terrorist groups," said Suzanne Fayyad, a doctor at Al-Nadeem.' They are fighting the threat though telling Mada Masr: "Ideas don't have licenses," Magda Aly from the center said defiantly. "Even if the center is shut down, efforts to combat torture will never cease."

This interview with Executive Director Aida Seif al-Dawla of the El Nadeem Center was conducted over e-mail in the Fall of 2015 and originally published in January of this year in The Abolitionist, a publication of Critical Resistance.

Here in Canada and throughout the Americas, many governments have embraced resource extraction as the key sector to fuel economic growth, neglecting other sectors – or even at their expense. This is creating unprecedented demand for land and other resources, such as water and energy. In Latin America, economic dependency on intensive primary resource extraction has become known as ‘extractivism’.

Increasingly, when Indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples, farmers, environmentalists, journalists, and other concerned citizens speak out against this model for economic growth, particular projects and/or their impacts, they become the targets of threats, accusations, and smears that attempt to label and punish them as enemies of the state, opponents of development, delinquents, criminals, and terrorists. In the worst cases, this leads to physical violence and murder.

Guatemala, Peru, and Mexico provide examples of intensified criminalization, where there has been little pause in neoliberal deregulation of the mining sector since the 1990s...

The past year has been one of high-profile growth for Black-Palestinian solidarity. Out of the terror directed against us—from numerous attacks on Black life to Israel’s brutal war on Gaza and chokehold on the West Bank—strengthened resilience and joint-struggle have emerged between our movements. Palestinians on Twitter were among the first to provide international support for protesters in Ferguson, where St. Louis-based Palestinians gave support on the ground. Last November, a delegation of Palestinian students visited Black organizers in St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit and more, just months before the Dream Defenders took representatives of Black Lives Matter, Ferguson, and other racial justice groups to Palestine. Throughout the year, Palestinians sent multiple letters of solidarity to us throughout protests in Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore. We offer this statement to continue the conversation between our movements.

The clouds of tear gas, flurries of projectiles and images of police officers outfitted in military-grade hardware in Ferguson, Missouri, have reignited concerns about the militarization of domestic law enforcement in the United States. But there has been another, little-discussed change in the training of American police since the 9/11 attacks: At least 300 high-ranking sheriffs and police from agencies large and small – from New York and Maine to Orange County and Oakland, California – have traveled to Israel for privately funded seminars in what is described as counterterrorism techniques.

When tear-gas was first fired into the streets of Ferguson, Missouri at people angry at the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Palestinian activists sent out messages on Twitter giving people tips for how to deal with tear gas’ effects.

And there was another direct connection between events in Missouri and the West Bank, as Palestinian activist Mariam Barghouti noted: the company that supplies the Israeli army with tear gas is the same company supplying the police in Ferguson.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) has called for this campaign for ISDS and other companies complicit with Israeli apartheid to be banned from the Olympics, for pressure until the Olympics will be free of apartheid.

Israeli military exports to South America have been on the rise in the recent years. Brazil is gearing up to become the gateway for Israeli military technology and companies. Israel continues to be a top supplier of the Colombian military. Ecuador, while not having extensive military ties with Israel, has recently purchased drone aircraft. Chile, already a buyer of Israeli arms, also has expressed interest in similar drone technology.

It is the goal of this report to analyze these trends, both in light of recent events and also as they relate to the history of Israeli involvement in South America. We will highlight that it is impossible for South America’s democratic governments to reconcile protection of human rights - whether at home or abroad - with military ties and arms trade with Israel.

Any military ties with Israel support the state’s policies of occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, policies whose sustainability depends on Israeli military capacities and the profits deriving from its military industry,  and adversely affect the Palestinians and their struggle. Israel has developed an indigenous military industry that produces much of the equipment used by its military.  International buyers help ensure the survival of the Israeli military industry.

Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold Inc., an international mining company headquarted in New Orleasn, plays a major role in the exploitation of the Papuan people.  Freeport became interested in West Papua in the 1950s and in 1965 negotiations between Freeport and Indonesia began one month after a military coup and widespread massacres brought General Suharto to power.  Freeport was the first foreign corporation to sign a deal with Suharto's regime, negotiating amid widespread armed resistance by the West Papuan people and even prior to Indonesia legally controlling West Papua.  Freeport's Grasberg mine, located near Tembagapura, is the world's largest gold mine and is now one of the most militarized areas of Indonesia...