Police militarisation https://wri-irg.org/en en Australia: activists target Thales factory in solidarity with West Papua https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/australia-activists-target-thales-factory-solidarity-west-papua <div data-history-node-id="42384" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2021-04/mwps_thales.jpg?itok=jV4Xkj8V 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-04/mwps_thales.jpg?itok=5OATes2H 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-04/mwps_thales.jpg?itok=5OATes2H" alt="A number of people hold banners in front of a Thales building. One person is on the roof holding a banner." typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">[node:field_image:title]</div> <time > 20 Apr 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On 1st April, activists the Make West Papua Safe (MWPS) campaign occupied the lobby of a Thales Australia building, and displayed images of West Papuan activists killed by security forces in the last year. Thales is among one of many arms companies to arm Kopassus, Indonesia's special forces group, which have been instrumental in human rights abuses against West Papuans. For example, Thales has worked with Indonesia's state arms company Pindad to manufacture 50 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, a four-wheel armoured vehicle.</p> <p>The group returned to Thales on 6th April, occupying the roof and hanging banners. This time the Make West Papua Safe were acting in solidarity with West Papuan activists taking part in a rally ro demand the closing of the Freeport mine. Freeport is the world's seventh largest gold mine and second largest copper mine, and has been linked to "poverty, disease, oppression and environmental degradation" for indigenous West Papuans since it opened in 1973.</p> <p>West Papua is the western half of the island of New Guinea and has been under Indonesian occupation since 1961, when the Dutch colonial occupation ended. A popular and overwhelmingly nonviolent movement for self-determination has faced regular oppression from the Indonesian army and military.</p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/251" hreflang="en">Australia</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/501" hreflang="en">West Papua</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Police militarisation theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/repression-protest" hreflang="en">Repression of protest</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/resistance" hreflang="en">Resistance</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Companies</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/303" hreflang="en">THALES</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42384&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="KJ4j5uN0A4aj8OwN3nu_KKbLmeJKeQ3rFAbbTA0GAjU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Tue, 20 Apr 2021 12:39:19 +0000 Andrew 42384 at https://wri-irg.org https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/australia-activists-target-thales-factory-solidarity-west-papua#comments Statement: In support of the nonviolent opposition in Myanmar https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/statement-support-nonviolent-opposition-myanmar <div data-history-node-id="42381" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2021-04/2021_myanmar_protest_in_hleden.jpg?itok=GRJoy1KX 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-04/2021_myanmar_protest_in_hleden.jpg?itok=a-k_jTSa 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-04/2021_myanmar_protest_in_hleden.jpg?itok=a-k_jTSa" alt="A large crowd of people march down a street. The photograph is taken from above." typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">[node:field_image:title]</div> <time > 06 Apr 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><b>WRI denounces the military oppression and violence in Myanmar, calls for a nonviolent civil response to the crisis, and demands recognition and safety to the conscientious objection of military/police personnel who have refused to participate in such atrocities.</b></p> <p>The War Resisters' International (WRI) is closely following the ongoing military coup in Myanmar that began on 1st February 2021 when the Tatmadaw - Myanmar's military - overthrew the democratically elected government and declared the military rule in the country.</p> <p>Since then, the people of Myanmar have repeatedly come out on the streets to nonviolently resist the military coup, and the Tatmadaw have carried out horrendous acts of killing, torture, violence and oppression. Despite facing severe oppression, the people of Myanmar have continually found powerful and creative ways of nonviolently resisting the military. We want to offer them our solidarity and support.</p> <p>We are aware of cases of conscientious objectors within the military and police who are choosing to use their conscience to reject orders from the military to use weapons, violence and cruelty over the nonviolent protesters, and instead have fled the country for their safety. The trauma being imposed on the families of these conscientious objectors and others in general, especially women and children, is severely damaging the peaceful life of families and communities in Myanmar for generations to come. This is what history teaches us.</p> <p>We believe that there are better and more humane ways to deal with conflicts and govern peacefully, other than by imposing violent and militarized methods of controlling and silencing people. Therefore, the WRI denounces the ongoing military oppression and violence in Myanmar, calls for a nonviolent civil response to the crisis, and demands recognition and safety for the conscientious objection of military and police personnel who have refused to participate in such atrocities. We also support calls for an immediate <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/02/24/joint-call-global-arms-embargo-myanmar">arms embargo of Myanmar</a>.</p> <p>WRI is an international network of more than nineteen pacifist/antimilitarist organizations in about forty countries. Our founding declaration in 1921 says 'War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war'.</p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programmes/wri-statement" hreflang="en">WRI Statement</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/118" hreflang="en">Myanmar</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Police militarisation theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/resistance" hreflang="en">Resistance</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/repression-protest" hreflang="en">Repression of protest</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42381&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="trFjLlHEree0hKeQuDI5NcPyyFUfFib6W8nx-7nCN4M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Tue, 06 Apr 2021 06:45:44 +0000 Andrew 42381 at https://wri-irg.org New resource: the Database of Israeli Military and Security Export https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/new-resource-database-israeli-military-and-security-export <div data-history-node-id="42348" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2021-02/dimsephoto.jpg?itok=nr6sR5Qj 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-02/dimsephoto.jpg?itok=ng40IXGz 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-02/dimsephoto.jpg?itok=ng40IXGz" alt="A screen shot from the DIMSE website" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">[node:field_image:title]</div> <time > 12 Feb 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>A new database of Israeli military and security exports – <a href="www.dimse.info">www.dimse.info</a> - has been launched. The new database, developed by the American Friends Service Committee, is a tool for journalists, academics, campaigners, and other civil society actors critical of Israel’s arms export and its effect on human rights around the world.</p> <p>DIMSE gathers information about Israeli military and security exports listing information by country, by weapons, and by companies. The database presents information about Israeli military and security exports between the years 2000-2020. Beside a detailed list of arms deals for each country, the database analyses the economic and military relations with Israel and shows how Israeli arms were used in the different countries. It also collected instances of human rights violations committed with Israeli arms both in Israel, and by the receiving countries. Among the 46 countries that have been investigated in the database you can find Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India, Azerbaijan, South Sudan, Morocco, Mexico, Colombia, Germany and many more. For example, by combining different information and sources, the database shows how drones that were used by the Israeli air force in Gaza and were involved in the killing of Palestinian civilians, were presented later as “combat-proven” and then sold to different countries, among them, countries that are involved in multiple violations of human rights.</p> <p>Israel is one of the world’s major exporters of military equipment. In 2019, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) ranked Israel as the 8th largest arms exporter in the world. According to different reports, Israel has sold arms to over 130 countries over the past few decades, most of them are unknown to the public. The new database includes data on 46 counties, and more will be updated in the future.</p> <p>Contact person: <a href="mailto:JHempel@afsc.org">JHempel@afsc.org</a></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programme/war-profiteers" hreflang="en">War Profiteers</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/228" hreflang="en">Israel</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/63" hreflang="en">arms trade</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/62" hreflang="en">small arms</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Police militarisation theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/equipment-training-and-tactics" hreflang="en">Equipment, training and tactics</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42348&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="_Pk7r1Y-khqBXXo92fWVwDvBeF3L1urX0SqpPi_7xDw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Fri, 12 Feb 2021 11:09:23 +0000 Andrew 42348 at https://wri-irg.org Interview: the experience of Wet’suwet’en land defenders in Canada https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/interview-experience-wetsuweten-land-defenders-canada <div data-history-node-id="42337" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2021-01/dwwc8g8v4aas-kw.jpg?itok=jYjCPPcS 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-01/dwwc8g8v4aas-kw.jpg?itok=MbSY3roH 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-01/dwwc8g8v4aas-kw.jpg?itok=MbSY3roH" alt="Several police officers wearing combat fatigues climb over a barrier. In the fourground a large number of activists try to stop them" title="RCMP police officers climb over a checkpoint " typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">[node:field_image:title]</div> <time > 25 Jan 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-dynamic-twig-fieldnode-author-name-twig field--type-ds field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Author(s)</div> <div class="field--item"> <span>Jennifer Wickham, interviewed by Andrew Metheven</span> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p class="western"><span style="line-height:100%"><b>Maybe you could start by introducing yourself, and the people you represent?</b></span></p> <p></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-right"> <div alt="An image of Jennifer Wickham" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_1_3" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="edb983df-490e-4296-bc3d-d6e6b7ded958" data-langcode="en"> <img alt="An image of Jennifer Wickham" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/medium/public/image-1.jpg?itok=XX62XGNl" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_325x325/public/image-1.jpg?itok=_togDJIa 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Jennifer Wickham</figcaption> </figure> <p class="western">I’m Jennifer Wickham, and I’m a Cassyex member, which is a member of the Grizzly Bear House of the Gidimt’en clan, which is part the Bear Wolf clan of the Wet’suwet’en people. I’m also the media coordinator of the Gidimt’en camp, which is a reoccupation site out on our territory, at 44km on the Morice River forest service road. The name of the territory for us is Lhudis Bin and the site we have reoccupied is at Lamprey Creek, which is actually an ancient gathering space. Its a really beautiful spot, right by the river - we call the river Wedzin Kwa – and currently she is under threat.</p> <p class="western">The thing that kicked us into action was the defence of our neighbours, the Unist’ot’en, which is a separate house group, part of a separate clan. They had a permanent injunction granted against them by the Coastal Gaslink company. We really wanted to show our relatives and our neighbours that they were not alone. All five clans of the Wet’suwet’en nation have stood up in our governance hall, the bahlats, and basically declared pipelines illegal in our 22,000 square kilometres of territory. So, Unist’ot’en have been out on the territory, taking action against all the proposed pipelines for almost ten years now. Two years ago we decided to join them, and help them, and protect them, because we knew the RCMP – the police force here – were going to go in and try and enforce the injunction against them.</p> <p class="western"><b>Could you describe the governance structure of the Wet’suwet’en people, and its relationship with the Canadian state, and the pipeline company?</b></p> <p class="western">The provincial and federal government – the province of British Columbia – and the government of Canada have actively contested our jurisdiction, despite the supreme court of Canada ruling in favour of the Wet’suwet’en and the Gitxsan in the 1997 Delgamuukw vs Gitxsan<i> </i>court case. That decision affirmed we had never ceded or surrendered jurisdiction to our territory.</p> <p class="western">[A publication called] The Narwhal applied for freedom of information documents, and received proof that the day after the court decision on September 10<sup>th</sup> 1997, the provincial and federal governments, and industry – all the extractive industries that have vested interest in Wet’suwet’en territory, and I assume Gitxsan territory – formed a committee on how they were going to suppress the decision of the court case, so they could still have free access to our territory.</p> <p class="western">Obviously its always been about the land. For us, its about the health of the land, and the water, and everything on it. For them its about the resources, and how much they can take from the land. And that’s really what it comes down to – there’s no legal dispute the government can make about who has jurisdiction over this territory. It’s clear that we do. Whatever plan they came up with to suppress the outcome of that court case, they essentially stopped us from implementing the outcome of it, so they could still have access to our territory and our resources. Well, we haven’t gone anywhere! We’re still here, we’re still practicing our governance system, and we’re still accessing and utilising our territories. There are people who live on the territories. I don’t think they’re going to willingly give it all up, so then they will go bankcrupt! I did some research, around the CN rail that comes through our territory, and in 1914, the first year they had the railway, they took out CAN$2m worth of resources [equivalent to CAN$45.6m in 2020].</p> <p class="western"><b>The current flashpoint is around the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline (CGL)– could you say what that is, and why it’s so important its being resisted now?</b></p> <p class="western">They’re selling it as a natural gas pipeline, but its actually fracked gas. And the fracking process, to get the shale gas is horrific. It’s so detrimental to fresh water, and the environment, it causes earthquakes, and so many countries have banned fracking.</p> <p class="western">There have been multiple projects proposed - I think at one point there were seven different proposed pipelines that want to follow the same route – and the route they would follow would take them directly under the river. They all want to put pipelines under Wedzin Kwa. We believe that when one of these pipelines is successful, it would mitigate the environmental impacts of all the other pipelines, and then they would develop what they call an “energy corridor”.</p> <p class="western">For us, this is first and foremost about jurisdiction. This is something that the mainstream media has shied away from, because it puts into question the entire idea of Canada, and what it means to be Canadian – that the government have been doing something wrong? And the government has been stealing all of these resources? And the government has been committing genocide? A friend of mine was saying just the other day – if you guys wanted the pipeline, that’s your business. The issue here is that you have the right to say what happens on your territory.</p> <p class="western">And so with all of these projects, even if by some miracle there wasn’t a spill, because there’s always a spill, putting a pipeline underneath that river would destroy our ability to drink the water, and we have no idea what it would do to the salmon spawning grounds. It’s our headwaters, and we know all the salmon that feed all of the people from here down to the coast, spawn in those headwaters. When – or if – they build a pipeline and dig under there, they will destroy all of those spawning grounds. It’s a balanced system, and it’s something we have been managing for millennia. Our ancestors understood the connection between everything, and successfully managed it – there’s evidence of how we managed berry patches, and did annual burns, and how we would transplant medicines, and we literally managed the territories. It wasn’t just by chance that we would gather in specific places, and that we would alternate where we did our hunting. We managed the populations, and we really understood how things worked together, and how things were connected.</p> <p class="western"><b>So you’ve been resisting this pipeline by reoccupying, and blocking roads into the territory, and there are people maintaining a long term blockade – what’s the situation now?</b></p> <p class="western">Previously we had a checkpoint, so everyone coming into our territory was stopped, and asked who they were and what they’re doing, and whether they had permission from the hereditary chiefs to be there. There was a similar set up at Unist’ot’en, so they had their checkpoint in place for a lot longer. After the first raid in January 2019, they came in and destroyed our camp, so we had to rebuild. – and we did, because we’re not going anywhere – We built a cabin for our house chief, out on the reoccupation site. So, we have people who are holding that space. We did have a couple of other sites out on the territory out of necessity.</p> <p class="western">When the hereditary chiefs evicted Coastal Gaslink employees and contractors [in January 2020], they [the company] set up what they call an exclusion zone. At first, we set up a camp at 39km, to watch the road and activity, to see when the RCMP were going to be going in to try and enforce the injunction. So they set up an exclusion zone and blocked us off from <i>that</i> camp, so we had to setup another camp at 27km. Each successive camp was a watch camp to keep an eye out on the camp up the road. After the raids we took down the camp at 39km because it wasn’t needed anymore, but we kept the space because there were more permanent structures. In the summertime someone burned down one of our structures. The reoccupation site at 44km is still very much occupied, and growing. We now have three tiny houses at Lamprey Creek, that are nearly finished. And they’re beautiful. There’s one that is quite large for a tiny house, built in the style of a longhouse. One of the other ones is going to be for our House members – so when our house group members are out on the territory that would be a place for them to stay. So we’re still doing everything we can to stop the construction of the pipeline at this point.</p> <p class="western"><b>What is the RCMP? What was it organised for? And what is its role now?</b></p> <p class="western">The Royal Canadian Mountain Police started as the North West Mounted Rifles. Their mandate has always been to protect the crown and its interests. They were tasked with clearing land for settlers, of any “Indians”. They were also responsible for enforcing the Indian Act against indigenous people. If any of our people left the reserve they would be arrested and put in jail. If you did anything that they thought you could be incarcerated for then you were not allowed back on the reserveA lot of our hereditary chiefs now can remember their parents houses being burned down. They remember the RCMP showing up and saying “you have to leave”. They remember that, as children – so it was in their lifetime that this was happening. The RCMP was also responsible for taking indigenous children to residential schools. The RCMP has always been mandated with facilitating genocide.</p> <p class="western">They have a specific division, who are on the Community Industry Response Group (CIRG), who work out of the Community Industry Safety Office (CISO). RCMP officers volunteer and request to be on this team – so we get the gung-ho guys, who have specially requested to come out there and harass us. They get extra training in “cultural sensitivity” and injunction law. The same teams also go out and harass our friends who are resisting the Trans Mountain pipeline, which is a bitumen pipeline in southern British Columbia.</p> <p class="western"><b>Could you describe the militarised response you’ve faced? Could you describe your communities experience of militarisation?</b></p> <p class="western">So, we expected the RCMP to come in, because they were tasked by the courts to enforce the injunction. We didn’t expect people to come in with semi-automatic weapons. We found out afterwards through a freedom of information request that they had “lethal overwatch”, so they had snipers on site.</p> <p class="western">When they went into the camp at 39km they went in at 5 o’clock in the morning. The camp at 39km was strictly a watch camp. They were not on the road; they were about 20 feet back from the road and were not blocking access. A drone came in at 4:45am, followed immediately by the “guys in green” and RCMP with semi-automatic rifles. The media were told they had to wait down the road, about 100m down the road, so they didn’t have direct eyes on what was happening, and they were also told that if they took any photos of the “guys in green” then they would have their equipment confiscated and be escorted out.</p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gxs9PFMtEBE" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p class="western"><b>When you say the “guys in green”, is that the RCMP, or another unit?</b></p> <p class="western">We don’t really know. I believe they were military. I don’t know of any RCMP units that wear green, and I don’t think the RCMP would be concerned about knowing they were there if it was RCMP. People did get photos of them though!</p> <p class="western"><b>Why do you think they came in in that manner? </b></p> <p class="western">Because they didn’t want any witnesses to the level of force that they were going to bring in to the 44km, and to 66km. There was one person who locked themselves in a truck, trying to communicate with other people about what was happening. They smashed the windows of the truck and dragged that person out. They took the radio, the GoPro camera, and other equipment that was on site, and it hasn’t been returned. No one who was arrested at any of the camps, in any of the raids, have been charged. Nobody has been convicted.</p> <p class="western"><b>Is it fair to say that they’re using intimidatory tactics?</b></p> <p class="western">Oh yes, absolutely. Every time we go out on the territory we’re threatened with arrest. If we’re doing ceremony, or going hunting – first of all CGL security will show up, and then ten minutes later the RCMP will show up.</p> <p class="western">In their mind, in their world, being arrested and going to jail is the worst possible thing that could happen. Apart from them shooting us, and killing us, which is also a very real threat, I think. That’s why they keep threatening us with arrest. They really don’t understand that the worst thing that could happen to us – apart from being shot and killed – is the poisoning of our river, and the destruction of our territory. I really don’t give a shit if I get arrested, if I’m defending Wedzin Kwa, and I’m defending the territory that our ancestors have defended for thousands of years.</p> <p class="western">Our friend Manuel, who is a land defender and has written a number of books on the subject, has described injunctions as a “legal billy club”. The Yellowhead Institute wrote a report on injunctions and how they’re used against indigenous land defenders. Almost 100% of the time that a company seeks an injunction against indigenous people, the courts grant it. And then a very very small percentage of the time that indigenous people apply for an injunction they are granted. So, we saw that recently in the case of the Mi'kmaq people and they’re lobster fishing rights. They were able to get an injunction, but that’s really really rare. And its still up to the racist police to enforce it – and we saw in the Mi’kmaq case that they stood there and didn’t do anything while their lobster were literally being set on fire. So, we’re dependent on this system that is inherently racist, and was developed and created to hunt us down and kill us.</p> <p class="western"><b>What do you expect to happen in the coming months and years?</b></p> <p class="western">I see the pipeline dying, because there’s really no economic benefit, there’s no social benefit, there’s no political benefit. There’s no benefit to this pipeline to our community, or to the province, or to Canada. It’s really been dead in the water for quite some time, and I hope we can assist in the killing of the pipeline.</p> <p class="western">I see the Wet’suwet’en people – we’ve started this process of reasserting our jurisdiction. I think I’d like to build a place, out on the Yintah. All the frameworks that we would need to really implement our jurisdiction and effectively manage our territories again are already in place. We already have all of the systems that we need, that our ancestors had, in order to do that. It’s just the jurisdiction of these other governments, the colonial governments, that seem to be getting people hung up on just doing it.</p> <p class="western">I also see this not just being a Wet’suwet’en thing – there are so many First Nations across so-called Canada that are starting to say “we didn’t sign anything over either!” So, I really see a unification happening. It’s started already and I see that growing.</p> <p class="western">There’s already been a lot of work done between the Wet’suwet’en people and the settlement government here, at a municipal level. The relationships that have been built are pretty strong. There needs to be a lot more education for everyone around what Wet’suwet’en governance looks like, and what our goals are.</p> <p class="western">I see a lot of work. It may not happen in my lifetime but one can dream – I see a lot of change, and I think that’s going to be really uncomfortable for a lot of people, and I expect backlash because change is hard, even if you want it to happen. But I think that’s the landscape here, in this province and in this country right now. It’s not going to end – the “Indian problem” is still here.</p> <p class="western"><b>That leads to my last question: how can people in Canada and further afield be showing solidarity?</b></p> <p class="western">I think that changes, it fluctuates, from day to day. Right now, we have a callout for direct action, and it’s really a call for all of our relatives, all of our indigenous nations to start asserting their sovereignty. So, calling on settler supporters and allies to support them<b> </b>in doing that, whereever they are and whatever that looks like. Whether it’s taking direct action against a project that is invading a territory, or protecting their inherent rights – like which is happening with the Anishabe and the moose moratorium, or the Mi’qmak and their lobster fishing.</p> <p class="western">A lot of these projects have offices in places all over the world. KKR, for example, is one of the major investors in the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, and they have offices in London and in New York. I know there is a supporter group in the UK who have targeted the KKR offices. There’re also contractors who are working on these projects – they can be targeted.</p> <p></p><div alt="A large group of people stand behind a banner reading &quot;Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en, no CGL, no RCMP&quot;" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_full" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="8a6a11be-b601-43ae-9cb9-63f50eb23936" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/49504486782_55a776606c_o.jpg?itok=F1aVQ9Cj 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/49504486782_55a776606c_o.jpg?itok=F1aVQ9Cj" alt="A large group of people stand behind a banner reading &quot;Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en, no CGL, no RCMP&quot;" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <p class="western">I’ve got messages from different people who have helped to create content – whether it’s an Instagram post series, or pamphlets to hand out at local actions, or holding webinars. I think those things are really important too, because I think the majority of people here in Canada hear the word “Wet’suwet’en” and they don’t really have all of the information. They’ve seen it on the news, and they know about us because the railways or the highways were shut down and they were inconvenienced. So, getting the information out there is always super helpful.</p> <p class="western">And you can’t discount the monetary contributions either. There are always going to be legal fees, it costs money to run the camp. We’re feeding people and housing people. We have a camp truck and I got a call this morning that it’s broken down, so there are very real, everyday things that are happening that cost money. We have an Amazon wish list which people find it easy to use. Its super nice when I go to the mailbox and someone’s sent us wool socks!</p> <p class="western"><b>So, there are no excuses for showing some solidarity!</b></p> <p class="western">I also want to promote the short documentary, called “Invasion”. It’s 20 mins long, and we are also working on a feature film that will be out in a year or two. Folks can host an online screening of those films.</p> <p class="western">  </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-information field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author information</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--authors-and-bios paragraph--id--_71 paragraph--view-mode--bio-only"> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/114" hreflang="en">Canada</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Police militarisation theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/racism-and-citizenship" hreflang="en">Racism and citizenship</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/repression-protest" hreflang="en">Repression of protest</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/equipment-training-and-tactics" hreflang="en">Equipment, training and tactics</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/who-profits" hreflang="en">Who profits?</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42337&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="isTmrcbwibIh6ycl3rjfccmIxkk6LEk5lOnrnykFHCk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Mon, 25 Jan 2021 10:45:26 +0000 Andrew 42337 at https://wri-irg.org Guatemala: guilty plea in trial of indigenous anti-mining leaders murder https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/guatemala-guilty-plea-trial-indigenous-anti-mining-leaders-murder <div data-history-node-id="42336" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 21 Jan 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The former head of security at a Guatemalan nickle mine, on trial for killing a local indigenous leader, has submitted a guilty plea.</p> <p>Adolfo Ich - a Maya Q’eqchi’ teacher and community leader who opposed the Fenix nickle mine - was shot in 2009. Mynor Padilla was found guilty of homicide on Wednesday 6th January. At the time of the killing the Fenix mine was owned by the Canadian company Hudbay Minerals.</p> <p>In 2018 a group of indigenous woman started a law suit against the company, alleging that in 2007, <a class="ext" href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/13/guatemala-canada-indigenous-right-canadian-mining-company" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">police officers, soldiers, and private security personnel attacked their village of Lote Ocho</a>, in eastern Guatemala, and burned dozens of homes in a bid to drive the community from their ancestral land. Several days later, the women say they were repeatedly raped by men linked to the mine, including some wearing uniform.</p> <p>The mine reopened in 2014 and is now owned by a Russian company called the Solway Group. In 2019 the Guatemalan supreme court accepted a petition to suspend operations until pending consultation with the local indigenous communities.</p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/239" hreflang="en">Guatemala</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Police militarisation theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/repression-protest" hreflang="en">Repression of protest</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/racism-and-citizenship" hreflang="en">Racism and citizenship</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42336&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="tH1caOxqYWOZLptt1urd_P8hI5Tnn2mAGzssybf_wLc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Thu, 21 Jan 2021 13:46:44 +0000 Andrew 42336 at https://wri-irg.org La defensa de la vida en contextos de extractivismo minero y militarización de los cuerpos – territorios en Bolivia https://wri-irg.org/es/articulo/2021/la-defensa-de-la-vida-en-contextos-de-extractivismo-minero-y-militarizacion-de-los <div data-history-node-id="42327" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2021-01/cantumarca-hermanas-corriendo.jpg?itok=OzmZY_6S 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-01/cantumarca-hermanas-corriendo.jpg?itok=kFE4TbF7 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-01/cantumarca-hermanas-corriendo.jpg?itok=kFE4TbF7" alt="Women in Cantumarca Bolivia" title="Women in Cantumarca, Bolivia. Source: colectivocasa.org.bo" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">[node:field_image:title]</div> <time > 13 Jan 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-dynamic-twig-fieldnode-author-name-twig field--type-ds field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Author(s)</div> <div class="field--item"> <span>Angela Cuenca Sempertegui </span> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Unbridled exploitation of nature brings with it socio-environmental impact, violation of rights, expropriation of land and violence. One of the most aggressive activities affecting the environment, people’s bodies and territories, is mining extractivism.</p> <p>‘Extractivism’ is a model of economic and political development established by governments, characterized by the extraction of large amounts of natural resources from the land, destined for export as raw material, with no or minimal processing (Gudinas. 2013) and its aim is the accumulation of capital.</p> <p>The extractivist capitalist model inflicts destruction on Mother Earth and the consequences are born by the poorest populations, by women and by indigenous communities.</p> <p>Extractivism prevails in many ways, it relies on co-option, criminalization, as well as militarization. The latter uses violence and repression as tools to deprive communities of natural resources. And it is countries who, in collusion with transnational companies, legitimize expropriation of land, enacting laws to criminalize social protest and exercise power, militarizing land. For example, in Bolivia, Law 367 of 2013 penalizes the “subjugation” (invasion and occupation) of mining concessions  with up to eight years in prison. In addition, articles 99 and 100 of the Mining and Metallurgy Law No. 535 of 2014 criminalize individual and collective actions that prevent mining activity, authorizing the use of public force to safeguard mining rights. It is worth noting that this law was drawn up in consultation with only those involved in mining, despite communities and social organizations demanding to be consulted.</p> <p>In Latin America these practices are very common, they are backed by legal protection and are aggravated by increased foreign investment in the framework of extractivist policies, whether or not the governments are progressive or conservative. On the other hand, there is increasing mobilization and resistance by communities fighting the expropriation of common goods, by women defending their rights, and who hold patriarchal and criminal extractivism accountable for this.</p> <p>Through some experiences in Bolivia and the accompaniment of the National Network of Women in Defense of Mother Earth (la Red Nacional de Mujeres en Defensa de la Madre Tierra), we want to highlight the features of mining extractivism and the militarization of  bodies-territories, and also acts of resistance in defense of life.</p> <h2>Militarization and repression for access and control of natural resources</h2> <p>In the community of Mallku Khota (from the Aymara meaning "Lake of the Condor"), where there are four lagoons at the top of a chain of hills and whose waters are used for agricultural production and to supply the water to the populations of Norte Potosí, a foreign mining company from Canada (South American Silver) arrived in 2012, without any prior, free and informed consultation, intending to mine indium, gallium and silver. Throughout this process, the population experienced different forms of violence:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Sexual Violence: Women from the community were sexually assaulted by workers of the mining company, outsiders who came from other places to work. These cases went unpunished.</p> </li> <li> Physical and psychological violence: Police officers guarding the mine entered the homes of community members in the early hours of the morning, with the aim of taking indigenous leaders prisoner and preventing resistance to the mining project. They used tear gas, beat the women, terrorized families, frightened children had to escape to the hills, many were lost and even beaten. The police broke up a meeting between the company and the community with gunfire, killing a member of the community, this case remains unpunished.</li> <li>Criminalization of social protest: An indigenous community leader was taken prisoner and accused of other acts unrelated to the conflict for instigating defending the water lagoons and attempting to keep them unpolluted. Later the community leader was cleared of any blame, but the effects of the arbitrary detention and the suffering of the family remained forever. </li> <li>Communities put pressure on the government with mobilizations, marches from the community to the seat of government, demanding that the mining concession be reversed. After Direct Nonviolent Action by hundreds of residents to protect their water sources and to protest against private investment, the government acted to take back the mining concession from the transnational company. Currently, the government still intends to hand over natural resources to foreign companies.</li> </ul> <p>Communities in different regions and in other countries suffer violence to their bodies and their land as has happened in Mallku Khota. Companies and nations are becoming militarized and repressive because of access to natural resources:</p> <blockquote><p> “Greater resistence is met with more militarization"</p> </blockquote> <h2>Environmental violence against women</h2> <p>Environmental impact continues to affect places where there is mining: highly polluted rivers, spoil heaps, communities without drinking water, without land to cultivate, and women receive a different impact from mining extractivism on their bodies and on their land. Women sustain life, they are responsible for reproductive and productive activities (the latter has increased due to a rise in male migration), on a daily basis they have to manage to supply water and food to their homes, in addition to all the extra burdens including health problems, impact on their sources of work such as land, excessive work-load, stress and worry.</p> <p>From collective reflections with the National Network of Women in Defense of Mother Earth, we coined the term ‘environmental violence against women’, understanding that by harming Mother Earth, women's lives are being put at risk, affecting their right to water, health, food, work, the economy, to live in a healthy environment, aspects of the right to life. Just as the patriarchal model is imposed on women, so extractivism affects Mother Earth, trying to subdue, dominate and subordinate her. Militarization is the extreme way in which a state legitimizes the exercise of power. It is a way of controlling people, territory and bodies. It has to be understood that these territories are not only physical places, but are part of their culture and way of life, it is where their sacred places, their ancestral heritage and their medicines are, where humans have established reciprocal relationships with Mother Earth.</p> <h2>Nonviolent direct action in defense of territory and rights</h2> <p>Resistance to extractivism stems from the struggles of communities and the women who defend their rights, organising collectively. In 2013 the National Network of Women in Defense of Mother Earth was set up, made up of women from communities affected by mining and from communities that do not want mining in their territories. The organization enables the strengthening of resistance, with exchange of knowledge, awareness campaigns, training from a peripatetic School of Women Defenders that travels to communities, reaching women in their own territories.</p> <p>It is very important to give the name ‘environmental violence against women’, on bodies and territories, caused by mining extractivism. For this reason, we have worked in community and collective investigations, managing socio-environmental conflicts and actively pursuing complaints. Action against the commodification of life is being promoted with campaigns, rallies, press conferences, vigils and peaceful marches, and life is being put at the center, which is why self-care practices and collective care are incorporated.</p> <p>Alternatives to mining extractivism are being promoted from living in harmony with Mother Earth, ancestral knowledge, rejecting forms of repression and violence. Being part of the Antimilitarist Network of Latin America and the Caribbean - RAMALC, allows us to weave new views on the militarization of bodies and territories, it means being coordinated and supported to continue resisting.</p> <h3>References</h3> <p>Colectivo CASA. 2013. Mineria con M de Machismo madre Tierra con M de Mujer. Publication</p> <p>Gudynas, E. 2013. Extracciones, extractivismos y extrahecciones. Observatorio del Desarrollo</p> <p>RENAMAT. 2014. Violencia Medio Ambiental contra las Mujeres. Information leaflet</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-information field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author information</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--authors-and-bios paragraph--id--_69 paragraph--view-mode--bio-only"> <div class="field field--name-field-bio field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Colectivo CASA Bolivia - RAMALC</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/183" hreflang="en">Bolivia</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Police militarisation theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/resistance" hreflang="en">Resistance</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/gender-and-sexuality" hreflang="en">Gender and sexuality</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42327&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="1W1ukwbfQfoefac9HDrRlN7TBJ1K9qdeF0T-SNWRc-Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Tue, 12 Jan 2021 17:37:11 +0000 Natalia 42327 at https://wri-irg.org Report: European and Israeli arms sales to Mexico https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/report-european-and-israeli-arms-sales-mexico <div data-history-node-id="42320" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 07 Jan 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>A new report published by an international coalition of peace organisations explores the way arms companies in Europe and Israel are fuelling violence in Mexico. The report - called "Deadly Trade: How European and Israeli arms exports are eaccelerating violence in Mexico" is based on research by eight organizations and a review of more than 9,000 pages Mexican military documents never before made public. It can be accessed online here: <a href="https://stopusarmstomexico.org/deadly-trade/">https://stopusarmstomexico.org/deadly-trade/</a></p> <p>The report explores how weapons companies based in Europe and Israel have exported more than 238,000 firearms to Mexico for use by police between 2006 and 2018, in addition to thousands of weapons for military use. Gun homicides and other violence by state forces and criminal organizations increased dramatically during this period, while policies in arms exporting countries that neglect or violate human rights have contributed to the violence. Weapons identified in the report include machine guns military-grade assault rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles, semi-automatic handguns.</p> <p>The report identifies a number of companies exporting weapons to Mexico, including:</p> <ul> <li>Beretta: sold 108,660 weapons including 25,000 rifles and other long guns</li> <li>Heckler &amp; Koch: 19,123 firearms, such as pistols, assault rifles, machine guns, and launchers. Half of the 10,000 G36 rifles exported ended up being used by police in states they were specifically banned from exporting to.</li> <li>Sig Sauer: between 2011 and 2019, Sig Sauer sold at least 13,174 firearms for use by police in Mexico. In April 2020, Sig Sauer exported 50,000 pistols to Mexico from the US for use by the newly formed National Guard.</li> <li>Walther: since 2006, Mexico has received 3,098 pistols manufactured by Walther</li> <li>Israeli Weapons Industry: in 2012 an end use certificate submitted to the U.S. State Department by SEDENA (<span class="aCOpRe"><span>Mexican Secretariat of National Defense)</span></span> requested the export of 1,010 Galil assault rifles manufactured by Israeli Weapons Industry to Mexico, at a value of US$1.7 million.</li> <li>FN Herstal: including over 4000 MINIMI-machine guns and 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns.</li> <li>Česká Zbrojovka: exports include 2,600 CZ 805 BREN assault rifles and CZ P-09 5,000 handguns.</li> </ul> <p>The report also identifies cases of serious human rights abuses carried out by police units known to use weapons produced by European and Israeli arms companies. For example, weapons produced by Beretta and Heckler &amp; Koch have been used by police units involved in the forced disappearance of 43 student teachers from the Ayotzinapa Normal School in September 2014, and National Gendarmerie officers - who are armed with weapons produced by Czech company Česká Zbrojovka - on April 6, 2016 arbitrarily detained and tortured a 17-year-old adolescent.</p> <p>The report was written by: Global Exchange (US), OPAL (Italy), American Friends Service Committee (Israel), Ohne Rüstung Leben (Germany), NESEHNUTÍ (Czech Republic), Vredesactie (Belgium), Agir Pour la Paix (Belgium), Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, and the Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos (Mexico) It can be accessed online here: <a href="https://stopusarmstomexico.org/deadly-trade/">https://stopusarmstomexico.org/deadly-trade/</a></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/144" hreflang="en">Mexico</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/267" hreflang="en">Czech Republic</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/101" hreflang="en">Germany</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/166" hreflang="en">Belgium</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/228" hreflang="en">Israel</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/112" hreflang="en">Italy</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Police militarisation theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/equipment-training-and-tactics" hreflang="en">Equipment, training and tactics</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/who-profits" hreflang="en">Who profits?</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/blurring-lines-between-police-and-military" hreflang="en">Blurring the lines between the police and the military</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42320&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="m9U0ABE3IZkwkjIFXsTXQoVRoBhDLuV7_eB5wS2LgpQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Thu, 07 Jan 2021 11:45:25 +0000 Andrew 42320 at https://wri-irg.org US Congress votes to block military aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/us-congress-votes-block-military-aid-el-salvador-honduras-and-guatemala <div data-history-node-id="42315" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2021-01/2175442761_5a40f27bcd_k.jpg?itok=TRZszdrX 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-01/2175442761_5a40f27bcd_k.jpg?itok=2NfkbiaV 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2021-01/2175442761_5a40f27bcd_k.jpg?itok=2NfkbiaV" alt="Soldiers from the USA and Mexico stand in a line, firing machine guns" title="U.S. Army Soldiers and the El Salvador Army Parachute Battalion fire Minimi weapon during a small unit familiarization program platoon exchange in San Salvador, El Salvador, May 2006." typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">[node:field_image:title]</div> <time > 05 Jan 2021</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On December 21st the US Congress voted to approve an omnibus finance bill that – among many other things – included restrictions on foreign military financing for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The ban - which was pushed by Rep. Norma Torres (D-Pomona), the <a href="https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-norma-torres-syrian-refugees-20151125-story.html">only Central American immigrant serving in Congress</a> – doesn’t include security aid from the Pentagon to fight drug trafficking.</p> <p>The move has been welcomed by solidarity organisations like the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), <a href="http://cispes.org/article/congress-restricts-us-foreign-military-financing-el-salvador?language=en">who said the move reflects growing concerns in Congress</a> about the Bukele administration’s authoritarian tendencies. CISPES highlighted President Bukele’s use of the El Salvador’s armed forces to pressure the country’s legislative assembly to approve a $109 million dollar loan from the Central American Economic Integration Bank (BCIE) to finance the “Territorial Control Plan,” a primarily hardline policing and militarization initiative, and the militarised response to the Covid-19 pandemic.</p> <p>The State Department's <a href="https://2001-2009.state.gov/t/pm/65531.htm">Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program</a> "provides grants for the acquisition of U.S. defense equipment, services and training .. [in order to] enable key allies and friends to improve their defense capabilities and foster closer military relationships between the U.S. and recipient nations." $5.6 billion is distributed to more than a dozen countries annually – in 2020 <a href="https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-12-29/us-cuts-military-aid-el-salvador">El Salvador received</a> $1.9 million.</p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/204" hreflang="en">El Salvador</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/239" hreflang="en">Guatemala</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/242" hreflang="en">Honduras</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42315&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="BAQA3qwAYXuTkPDNmp31E1ZOXkx3C4c_N_fqFyjxvdY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Tue, 05 Jan 2021 13:46:38 +0000 Andrew 42315 at https://wri-irg.org Korean water cannon used against democracy protesters in Thailand https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2020/korean-water-cannon-used-against-democracy-protesters-thailand <div data-history-node-id="42220" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2020-11/50519281337_07b8786db5_k.jpg?itok=CBD3H7JJ 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2020-11/50519281337_07b8786db5_k.jpg?itok=weBc5Y99 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2020-11/50519281337_07b8786db5_k.jpg?itok=weBc5Y99" alt="A number of Korean activists stand behind a large banner holding signs" title="Korean activists take part in a protest against the water cannon exhibited at Korea World Police Expo. Source: World Without War " typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">[node:field_image:title]</div> <time > 02 Nov 2020</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Water cannon produced by the South Korean company Jino Motors has been photographed being used against pro-democracy protesters in Thailand. The cannon was reportedly exported to Thailand in 2012 for use by the Royal Thai Police, for 24 million baht (US$770,000). The vehicle is capable of firing tear gas as well as water.</p> <p><div class="embed-media embed-media--rich-twitter"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en" xml:lang="en">Among the trucks is a black one with the logo that reads, "Jino"—short for "Jino Motors," a SK company. This vehicle was the first of its kind in Thailand, imported in 2012, with a South Korean police official at the time saying the truck will make it easier to handle riots <a href="https://t.co/OWxeYijtau">pic.twitter.com/OWxeYijtau</a></p>— Joseph Kim (@josungkim) <a href="https://twitter.com/josungkim/status/1318506382157492225?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 20, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div></p> <p>Thousands of mainly young Thai activists have taken part in protests demanding the reform of the monarchy, which holds a huge amount of power and cultural significance in the country. Human Rights Watch <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/10/17/thailand-water-cannon-used-against-peaceful-activists">has described how the Thai police have aggressively broken up protests</a>, using water cannon laced with blue dye to mark protesters, as well as baton charges and other violent tactics. The state has announced state of emergency powers which allow the Thai police to respond to protests with impunity.</p> <p>Six similar vehicles produced by Jino Motors were exported to Kenya in 2017, according to <a href="https://www.defenceweb.co.za/land/land-land/kenyan-police-take-delivery-of-jino-riot-control-vehicles/">DefenseWeb</a><font face="arial, sans-serif">. Jino Motors has also exported to Syria, U.A.E, Iraq, Yemen, Indonesia, and many other countries, according to a <a href="https://youtu.be/j5KXhBlqxUA">promotion video</a> made by the company.</font></p> <p>Members of WRI's affiliate in South Korea were part of a coalition of groups who held a press conference and action denouncing the sale of "K-water cannon" and other weapons used by oppressive police forces around the world at the Korea World Police Expo held online - but normally held in Seoul - at the end of October. Jino Motors has been a regular exhibitor at the event. Baek Doraji, a family member of Paik Nam-ki, who was killed after being hit directly by a water cannon in 2015, sent a message which was delivered at the press conference. Doraji said "Five years has passed since my father's case, and the same tragedy is being repeated in other countries. I hope that the embarrassing export of weapons of destruction ends immediately."</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/465" hreflang="en">Front Page</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/169" hreflang="en">Korea, South</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/189" hreflang="en">Thailand</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Police militarisation theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/equipment-training-and-tactics" hreflang="en">Equipment, training and tactics</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/repression-protest" hreflang="en">Repression of protest</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/resistance" hreflang="en">Resistance</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42220&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="GR8VJX5a8rtdE-9OFrMO5_kbP-1Jg2HUDsEu2J4sT5Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Mon, 02 Nov 2020 11:43:20 +0000 Andrew 42220 at https://wri-irg.org Militarising the pandemic: how states around the world chose militarised responses https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2020/militarising-pandemic-how-states-around-world-chose-militarised-responses <div data-history-node-id="42164" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2020-08/49869302436_2552d832d0_k.jpg?itok=4KsBm4dc 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2020-08/49869302436_2552d832d0_k.jpg?itok=erVpwvYi 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2020-08/49869302436_2552d832d0_k.jpg?itok=erVpwvYi" alt="A soldier stands in a street with a gun, wearing a face mask." title=" Military officials secure quarantine checkpoints, Manila. Source: Flickr/ ILO Asia-Pacific, CC3.0" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </picture> <div class="caption">[node:field_image:title]</div> <time > 21 Aug 2020</time> <div class="field field--name-dynamic-twig-fieldnode-author-name-twig field--type-ds field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Author(s)</div> <div class="field--item"> <span>Andrew Metheven</span> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“Shoot them dead.”</p> <p>These were the orders of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, on how the countries soldiers and government should use a “martial law-like” approach to enforcing the strict lockdown imposed to limit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Stories of abuse and police killings for infringements of the quarantine lockdown soon followed, including the shooting of a drunk man, young people being locked in a dog cage, and alleged violators of the curfew being held without food and water. Over 1000 people in the Philippines have been arrested for breaking lockdown conditions, and Human Rights Watch has criticised the govnerment for using tactics similar to those in its “war on drugs”, in which the police have killed thousands of people, including house-to-house searches and encouraging neighbours to report others in their community they suspect of having symptoms of Covid-19.</p> <p>These approaches are not limited to the Philippines’ - a number of governments have been criticised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelete, <a href="https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25828&amp;LangID=E">who said that</a> "Emergency powers should not be a weapon governments can wield to quash dissent, control the population, and even perpetuate their time in power.” Understanding the militarised nature of these lockdowns helps us to understand the nature of militarised policing and the threat it poses to the wellbeing and freedom of our communities, and why it needs to be resisted and challenged. Outside actual war zones, encounters with police forces might be many people’s most direct experience of militarisation, and they are impacting a huge number of people’s lives. Before the pandemic hit it was clear militarism was becoming increasingly normalised; now, considering the huge threats of the pandemic, the risks of extreme violence at the hands of militarised police forces around the world become even more extreme.</p> <p>When we talk about “militarisation”, we are referring to states using practises, systems, strategies and mindsets that are akin to those used by armies engaging in warfare. The “warrior mentality” has been a theme pushed by trainers delivering <a href="https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/dave-grossman-training-police-militarization/">workshops for police forces in the USA</a>, describing an approach to policing that sees members of communities are a threat to be countered and controlled, prioritises violent – even lethal – methods of managing conflict, and creates an “us versus them” mentality. This approach, coupled with military-grade weapons and often poor accountability – is a toxic mix in any situation, and many governments around the world have responded to the coronavirus pandemic with lockdowns enforced by militarised police forces.</p> <p>Militarisation goes beyond individual acts of violence; it relies on a complex and intersecting web of systems and structures. Militarised violence is organised, deliberate, and depersonalised, driven by patriarchal and racist values, and more often than not targets the poorest and most disenfranchised sections of our societies.</p> <p>Beyond the violent imposition of curfews and lockdowns, militarisation is also occurring when militaries dominate the role of managing the states response to the pandemic. Examples of countries where this is occurring include Indoensia, where a number of retired generals are in key decision-making positions, including the health minister and the head of the taskforce coordinating the government’s response. It is therefore unsurprising that the government is using hundreds of thousands of troops to enforce rules on social distancing and wearing masks.</p> <p>The militarisation we see taking place through the pandemic hasn’t come from nowhere, it is a symptom of deeply rooted militarised mentalities. We can see this in the <a href="https://www.e-ir.info/2020/04/22/militarization-in-the-age-of-the-pandemic-crisis/">language employed in states’ response</a> to the virus; “war-footing”, “rally the troops”, “mounting an assault”. The values of militarism drive the rhetoric in the response, which in turn supports militarised responses and ultimately enables violence and oppression.</p> <p>There are a variety of ways that governments militarised their response to the pandemic. Understanding these helps us to build a picture of how militarism operates, and identify opportunities to challenge it.</p> <h1>El Salvador</h1> <p>Human Rights Watch <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/15/el-salvador-police-abuses-covid-19-response">has reported that El Salvador’s police forces</a> have “arbitrarily arrested hundreds of people in the name of enforcing restrictions” and that the country’s president, Nayib Bukele, has used Twitter and nationwide broadcasted speeches to encourage “excessive use of force and the draconian enforcement of measures”. Members of the public were arrested and arbitrarily detained for not wearing face masks even though this was not mandated by the government, or for going out to buy food or medicine.</p> <h1>South Africa</h1> <p>In March, police forces in South Africa <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/28/south-africa-police-rubber-bullets-shoppers-covid-19-lockdown">fired rubber bullets</a> at shoppers queuing outside a supermarket in Johannesburg as the lockdown there came into effect, and videos showed heavily armed police and soldiers patrolling very poor neighbourhoods where residents have limited capacity to self isolate, beating members of the public with whips. In April the security services were accused of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq2rRt3Xnzs">killing as many people enforcing the lockdown as the virus itself had killed</a>. Collins Khosa was killed by security forces in his own home on April 10th after soldiers spotted what they believed to be a cup of alcohol in his yard (South Africa banned sales of alcohol during the lockdown).</p> <p>Thato Masiangoako, a researcher for the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa told Reuters that “This brutality and violence is not at all new. What is new is that during this lockdown, a harsher spotlight has been shone on these abuses… Security forces were deployed mainly to poor black areas like high density townships. More affluent areas have been shielded from the violence.”</p> <h1>Sri Lanka</h1> <p>By mid-May over 60,000 people in Sri Lanka had been arrested <a href="https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/over-60000-arrested-sri-lanka-violating-covid-19-curfew">for breaking the country’s lockdown conditions</a>. The country’s inspector general has curtailed citizen’s rights to free expression, ordering police to arrest those who criticise the governments coronavirus response, including “scolding” officials and pointing out “minor issues”. The government’s taskforce responsible for managing the response to the pandemic is being run by General Shavendra Silva, a military commander who, according to Human Rights Watch, “faces credible allegations of <a href="https://translations.state.gov/2020/02/14/public-designation-due-to-gross-violations-of-human-rights-of-shavendra-silva-of-sri-lanka-under-section-7031c-of-the-department-of-state-foreign-operations-and-related-programs-appropriations-a/">war crimes during the final months of Sri Lanka’s</a> long civil war.”</p> <h1>Serbia</h1> <p>As well as using the army and militarised police forces to violently impose lockdowns, states have used similar violence to respond to protests against their handling of the crisis. In Serbia, the “strongman” Aleksandar Vucic was criticised for holding elections on 21st June – in which his Serbian Progressive Party won a landslide victory but were boycotted by opposition parties – and escalating the crisis by relaxing the rules on large gatherings, before imposing a strict curfew after winning the election. Protesters demanding his resignation attempted to storm the parliament building <a href="https://balkaninsight.com/2020/07/10/serbian-protests-police-brutality-mapped/">were beaten and teargassed by riot police</a>, who targetted journalists and indiscriminately attacking individuals who posed no threat and were a long way from the protest. Police fired flares at close range from vehicles and beat people sat on park benches.</p> <h1>If not militarism, then what?</h1> <p>States choose militarised responses for a wide number of reasons: because other systems and structures are deprived of resources; many see the military as resourceful, decisive and effective in ways that civilian/non-military systems can never be; violence and the threat of violence is an effective way of creating fear maintaining control; because of a belief that, in an emergency, states only option is to use coercive and authoritative means to enforce measures that will ultimately benefit their citizens…</p> <p>As movements around the world push for a green recovery to the huge economic impact, we should also be using the opportunity to consider how and why many states turned to such militarised responses to the pandemic, and what our alternatives would be. Militaries squander huge amounts of resources that could have been used, over many years, to build stronger health and social care systems. Global Spending on the military in 2019 is estimated to have been $1917 billion by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the highest level since 1988 and a 3.6% increase on 2018 levels. When such huge amounts of resources are pumped into militaries it is unsurprising that militarised approaches and narratives dominate, but we need to be clear: militarism isn’t the only option, militarised approaches aren’t neutral alternatives to systems that should be run and managed by civilians, and we need to continue to push for approaches to managing emergencies that are equitable and just.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-information field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author information</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--authors-and-bios paragraph--id--_49 paragraph--view-mode--bio-only"> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/465" hreflang="en">Front Page</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/168" hreflang="en">Philippines</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/204" hreflang="en">El Salvador</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/232" hreflang="en">Serbia</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/136" hreflang="en">Sri Lanka</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/230" hreflang="en">South Africa</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/702" hreflang="en">Covid-19</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Police militarisation theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/repression-protest" hreflang="en">Repression of protest</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/what-militarisation-policing" hreflang="en">What is the militarisation of policing?</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42164&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="uuQkUlC7V2AHAGAZkbqn-uX4ueg6sac54YDVBrSv954"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Fri, 21 Aug 2020 08:25:39 +0000 Andrew 42164 at https://wri-irg.org