Tag Archives: police

UK Police Testing New Chemical Weapons for Crowd Control

10 May

by Claire Carter, Cross Posted from The Telegraph

london-riots

Tests of the Discriminating Irritant Projectile (DIP) – a form of gun that will fire an irritant substance like CS gas or pepper spray – are believed to be in the late stages.

The gun has a far greater range than a Taser, which can be fired from 21 feet.

It was put forward for testing along with ideas to use skunk oil pellets and anti-laser technology by Government scientists as a method for controlling future protesters in the wake of the 2011 riots, which took place across the country.

Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman told police news website http://www.policeoracle.com: “The Discriminating Irritant Projectile can be fired from a baton gun and has a quantity of micronised CS in the nose cone.

“The range of a Taser is 21 feet – if there is an operational requirement to incapacitate somebody at a distance, the DIP can be deployed from up to 131 feet away.”

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Fronteras y Cuerpos (Borders and Bodies)

28 Jun

por Russ McSpadden / arte por Jill Lavetsky

for the English version click here

En algún lugar en las afueras del viejo pueblo minero de Ruby -no es nada más que un pueblo fantasma- y no tan lejos de la frontera Arizona/México, corrimos detrás un grupo de migrantes. Ellos se movían rápido atravesando el cañón que cruza San Luis y las Montañas Atascosa. Eran jóvenes, mayormente mujeres, y estaban nerviosos. Les ofrecimos agua, comida, con algunas palabras en español, y el guía me ofreció agua y comida, en inglés. Él estaba inseguro de mis intenciones. Yo expliqué que vimos a la migra por la carretera de Ruby y luego nos despedimos – good luck, buena suerte. Ayudando en la lavada de ropa vi que el grupo se detuvo a recoger unos calcetines que habían dejado en una cubeta. Un par de calcetines viejos manchados de sangre se quedaron colgados en un árbol de manzanita.

Una semana antes, un buen amigo formó parte de un equipo humanitario que encontró el cuerpo de una mujer joven, quien había fallecido unas horas antes en medio del desierto abierto a un par de millas de Ruby. Se supone que el grupo de ella fue dispersado por la Patrulla Fronteriza por helicópteros, por drone (aviones piloteados a control remoto) o hombres a caballo, y ella se perdió a causa del pánico y se desvió hacia la sección del Parque Nacional Coronado para morirse de sed. A través de un contacto, mi amigo se enteró que la mujer estaba buscando a su esposo y a su hijo en Texas. Su esposo lloró al teléfono cuando se enteró de las noticias.

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Thousands Blockade Ski Resort Development in Bulgaria

18 Jun
PHOTO: A protester is detained by police during a flash mob organised by environmental protesters in central Sofia June 14, 2012. REUTERS/Dimitar Kyosemarliev

A protester is detained by police during a flash mob organised by environmental protesters in central Sofia June 14, 2012. REUTERS/Dimitar Kyosemarliev

Dimitar Kyosemarliev/REUTERS

Police detained nine activists after over 1,500 people blocked a major Sofia intersection late on Thursday for a second day in a row in a protest against the controversial changes.

Chanting “We want nature, not concrete” and “We want veto on the forests law” over 100 people while police tried to push them out of the road.

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Eugene Po-Po Pick On Little Kids, Then Mace Moms

28 Apr

While CFD is out in the woods occupying the Goose timber sale, their friends in town are busy Occupying trees as well.  It seems like the local media mostly didn’t notice, so Eugene Occupy the Trees had a small march. It was called by some a “kids’ march”, and was indeed a family friendly event before some big, stinky police decided to mess with the kids…

[Occupier] Lotus says officers were trying to hand out stickers to some children, and that’s when the problems escalated.

“She said, ‘Don’t take that. Don’t give that to my son, and I don’t want you to have that. You’re not welcome here.’ And then he reached out to give him another sticker, and then she reached out and slap her son’s hand away and made contact with cop and so she hit his hand,” Lotus said.

The officer didn’t arrest the woman because of the large crowd, but then approached her a short time later to make an arrest.

“Another person interfered with that arrest and both were subsequently arrested. There was some physical resistance, and that’s when pepper spray was used,” [the Po] said.

“They took her and literally threw her on to the ground. Her girlfriend was pepper maced, and it was just a really overblown police response. The entire area was full of vehicles and the kids were there screaming,” Lotus said.

Seriously? Eugene Po-Po giving unwanted objects to kids and then macing their Moms in broad daylight. Why? Because they can get away with it in today’s Eugene, as well as widespread treatment of Occupiers like scum.

A.C.A.B. of course, but it’s notable that the Eugene Po have long been under the impression that street kids (or those who look like street kids) are not actually people.

They’ll get theirs.

Want to join the Cascadian Ecoinsurrection? Come out to the Cascadian Rondy, June 20th-24th.

P.S. Click here for some reports from Occupy the Trees in Tasmania.

Peru Mining Protest Turns Deadly in Puerto Maldonado

15 Mar

Andean people protest against Newmont Mining's Conga gold project during a march near the Cortada lagoon at Peru's region of Cajamarca, November 24, 2011.

[EF! Newswire note: the politics behind this story are tricky. We suggest reading more background on recent mining struggles to get a clearer picture of the context in which these protests have occurred.]

Peruvian protests against government plans to regulate small-scale mining left at least three dead and 50 wounded in the southern Amazon jungle today, the government said.

The miners are protesting against tougher penalties for illegal mining.

Local officials said police were far outnumbered by the protesters, who are trying to take control of the airport at the city of Puerto Maldonado.

The miners say the new rules will put them out of work, but the government says the sanctions will encourage miners to get the necessary permits.

An estimated 50,000 miners do not have a licence to operate.

Poisoned rivers

The government says large areas of jungle have been destroyed by illegal mining and large portions of the area’s waterways show high levels of mercury, used in the mining operations.

Officials say they want the miners to obtain the correct permits and to abide by environmental rules, but the protesters accuse the government of wanting to hand over mining concessions only to large multinational companies.

The latest protests erupted after talks between the government and the miners broke down on Tuesday.

Regional officials said more than 10,000 miners tried to seize government buildings, markets and the airport in Puerto Maldonado.

Regional President Luis Aguirre described the situation as “untenable”. “You can hear gunshots throughout the entire city,” he said.

Police have asked for reinforcements as 700 officers were outnumbered by more than 10,000 protesters.

Informal miners also held protests in two other regions, in Piura in Peru’s northwest and in Puno in the southern highlands bordering Bolivia.

Peru is one of the world’s major gold producers and high prices have sparked a boom in recent years.

The government has urged the miners to return to the negotiating table for more talks scheduled for Friday, but it is not clear so far if the miners will attend.

Reposted from BBC News

 

Eco activists detained at industrial wind energy test site

26 Jul

By Jakob Vesterager

cross-posted from here

COPENHAGEN, July 26 (Reuters) – Police in Denmark detained six environmental activists on Tuesday protesting the felling of trees in a forest to make room for a research centre for wind turbines.

Protesters said they were not opposed to the centre, but to the location.

The test centre is meant to further Denmark’s position as world leader in wind power, commonly seen as environmentally friendly renewable energy as it consumes no fossil fuels and produces no emissions.

The protest began 10 days ago at Thy in windy northwestern Jutland where Denmark’s wind industry aims to test giant turbines up to 250 metres high (820 feet).

“We are not against the centre, we are not against the wind industry — on the contrary,” Kent Klemmesen, chairman of the campaign against the project, told Reuters. “We are against the location, because we feel there are far better alternatives.”

Protesters argue that the effects of the huge windmills on human and animal life have not been studied adequately and the 1,200 hectares (2,965 acres) of forest should be preserved.

Though tree felling has begun, Amos Stenner, an activist who spent five hours up in a tree on Tuesday, said he was not giving up. “It is very possible, that I will go up a new tree tomorrow,” he told Reuters.

The test centre project is run by the Danish Technical University DTU, with support from industry, including wind turbine manufacturers Vestas and Siemens and state-owned DONG Energy.

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Animal activists protest police shooting of bear in Clifton, North Jersey

23 Jul

BY HANNAN ADELY

Cross-posted from here

Animal activists are planning a protest Sunday to condemn the recent fatal shooting of a bear that was seen crossing back and forth on Route 46 in the city of Clifton in North Jersey. The protest will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the intersection of Clifton and Van Houten avenues in Clifton. Animal activists said police should have used non-lethal methods to deal with the situation Wednesday, when the 79-pound male bear was spotted about 2:30 p.m. near Valley Road.

“We think this was complete overkill or overreaction,” said Elaine Dunn, a member of the Bear Education and Resource Group and a Bloomingdale resident. “This cub did not need to be shot.”

City police said the bear had not exhibited dangerous behavior, but was put down in a wooded area because it was creating a hazardous traffic condition by crossing back and forth on Route 46, near Route 3. Detective Sgt. Robert Bracken said the police’s stance has not changed since the day the bear was shot, when he said police did it because of the risk to the public. “At this time, we have no further comment,” Bracken said.

Activists said police should have waited for workers from the Division of Fish and Wildlife to arrive on the scene so they could tranquilize the bear and relocate it to a safer area. They said a deer or dog caught crossing the road would not have been shot with bullets.

One woman who saw the bear in a parking lot outside the office complex where she works in Little Falls said she was “extremely disappointed” with the police use of force. “This little bear cub was clearly lost and hungry, was crossing the road and not harming anyone,” said Jessica Ciccarelli.

But a spokesman from the state Department of Environmental Protection said Clifton Police followed proper procedures.

“It’s at their discretion,” said spokesman Larry Hajna. “Local law enforcement on the scene — they have to make decisions regarding public safety.”

Hajna said the yearling bear was the same one that was seen earlier in the week at locations in Fairfield, Cedar Grove and North Caldwell, where home video captured the bear taking a dip in a residential pool.

Clifton police said the bear sighting was highly unusual for the city of 82,000. The DEP has about a dozen sightings of bears in urban areas like Clifton each year, Hajna said.

For more information also visit here

Photo credit: HBarrison

People’s Tribunal against the Criminalization of Protest in Ecuador

29 Jun

Written by Sofía Jarrín

During three days in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, hundreds of representatives from several Latin American countries gathered to share experiences and strategies during the Continental Conference in Defense of Water and Mother Earth. The event took place between June 17 and 23, and was organized as an act of resistance against development projects that threaten this vital resource, Yakumama, our mother water. A letter of intention by the organizers reads, “We hope this gathering will become a permanent process of fellowship to protect water and food sovereignty, to create a new social order in harmony with nature, with justice and equity.” 

 The conference began with a visit to sites where environmental conflicts have taken place, in Cochapata and San Bartolomé, more specifically, in the southern province of Azuay, both areas affected by mining companies. The delegation was composed of the Ombudsman, representatives of national indigenous organizations, the Inter-American Platform of Human Rights, Democracy and Development (PIDHDD), Real World Radio, and a team of FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN) International. There they witnessed cases of abuse of power by developers, often in complicity with state agencies, that are laying out mining projects despite clear opposition from the communities where they plan to implement them.

In Cochapata, for example, a community of about 7,800 people, there has been great resistance against the construction of a dam by the mining company Explorsur SA. Seven community leaders were accused of sabotage and terrorism for engaging in public protest, and were recently sentenced to eight years in prison. This occurred despite the fact that the Constituent Assembly had granted them amnesty in July 2008, recognizing their role as environmental defenders. Since then, all seven have been in hiding with serious financial and emotional consequences to their families. Unfortunately, like in many other cases, the courts favour private interests instead of communal decisions on how to manage land and water resources. Currently, there are more than 189 pending cases of terrorism and sabotage in Ecuador.

Back in 2007, at the beginning of his government, President Rafael Correa made a public statement setting the stage for what was to come. “Don’t believe in romantic environmentalists. Anyone who is opposed to development in this country is a terrorist,” he said about the community of Dayuma, Orellana province, who at the was time protesting the environmental devastation in their territory that resulted from oil drilling in the region. The protest was met with police repression and 25 people were detained.
For this reason, one of the main objectives of this conference was to expose these kind of cases, thus exemplifying the ongoing criminalization of protest in Ecuador. An integral part of the conference was a Court of Ethics that analyzed “the criminalization of defenders of human rights and nature.” This people’s court took place on Wednesday, June 22, with the presence a jury of four international authorities: Elsie Monge (Ecumenical Commission of Human Rights, CEDHU, Ecuador), Raul Zibechi (writer and journalist, Uruguay), Leah Isabel Alvear (poet and academic, Colombia), and Mary Hamlin (International Movement for People’s Health). They listened to more than four hours of testimonies and 17 cases of people accused of terrorism.
“Democracy can only be guaranteed when citizens are guaranteed their rights to protest and resistance,” testified Ramiro Avila, a lawyer and professor at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar. “These laws are being used to suppress protest and should be immediately repealed.” Avila explained that the law under which the right to protest is criminalized in Ecuador dates back to the early republic, based on the Penal Code of 1920.

The current government of Ecuador, under President Correa, is driving an aggressive development program that is fueling social conflicts all around the country, mostly around mining and oil industries and the control of water sources. Unlike other countries such as Peru and Bolivia, large-scale mining is new to Ecuador and it’s expected to have severe consequences to its many ecosystems. According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, there are 1990 registered mining concessions in the country, causing serious concerns among civil society, particularly campesinos and indigenous people. “The social leaders are speaking out to defend their human rights, but instead of welcoming them the State is criminalizing their right to protest,” said Fernando Gutierrez, the National Ombudsman.
The most prominent case is that of four top indigenous leaders, all of them charged with terrorism and sabotage: Pepe Acacho, vice president of the National Confederation of Indigenous People (CONAIE), Marlon Santi, ex-president of CONAIE; Delfín Tenesaca, president of the Kichwa Conferedation of Ecuador (ECUARUNARI); and Marco Guatemal, president of Indigenous and Campesino Federation of Imbabura (FICI). They were tried for participating in marches against the Water and Mining Acts during the ALBA Summit in Otavalo in June 2010.
“Is it a crime to defend the water? Is it a crime to defend Mother Earth?” said Carlos Perez, an indigenous leader of Azuay. “Ecuador was pioneer in recognizing the rights of nature, thus the Constitution should be above a criminal code created in times of a dictatorship.” Ecuador was the first country to recognize the Rights of Nature in its Constitution of 2008.
The jury’s decision did not make itself wait. The verdict given was resolute, not only in acknowledging that people opposed to the government’s extractive activities are currently living in an atmosphere of fear and criminalization in Ecuador, but that the State is directly responsible for promoting and maintaining this situation. “These cases confirm that there is a systematic practice to discipline social protest and thus eliminate it,” reads the verdict. “While justice is employed to criminalize the defenders of nature, it remains passive before human rights violations committed against them and against nature.”
It furthermore recommends that the President refrains from making public statements that “delegitimizes and stigmatizes” defenders of nature and human rights. To the judicial powers it recommends to comply with the amnesty granted by the Constituent Assembly in 2008 to all people prosecuted of crimes against the State under a ambiguous Penal Code that is largely considered obsolete.
Although this Court of Ethics does not have jurisdictional powers, it does hope to fill up the space created by the State’s omissions of abuses committed against peaceful social protesters and its exoneration of private companies “that operate in the country with impunity.” Correa´s government has yet to pronounce itself before the court’s decision.
Cross-posted from here

Italian police and protesters clash over Alpine rail link

28 Jun

Some 60 people were injured when police and protesters clashed over the construction of a high speed rail link between France and Italy. Environmentalists say the railway would destroy a picturesque Alpine valley.

Scores of people were injured in northern Italy as police confronted protesters opposed to the construction of a high-speed rail link between France and Italy on Monday.

Some 60 individuals – about half of them police officers – had to go to hospital for injuries sustained in the violence, according to the country’s medical emergency services.

Police said officers were injured as protesters threw firecrackers and rocks while demonstrators said that some activists had been beaten.

Protesters, includíng environmental activists as well as local residents, oppose construction of the line between Turin and Lyon, claiming it will destroy the picturesque Alpine valley known as Val di Susa.

The confrontation began as 2,500 officers began to dismantle wooden barricades aimed at preventing construction workers from accessing a tunnel boring site.

‘Urgent need to start work’

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has said that work must start by June 30 to prevent Italy losing funding for the project from the European Union, worth hundreds of millions of euros. Construction costs for the link are estimated at 15 billion euros ($21 billion).

Environmental group Legambiente said there should be an “immediate end to all the violence” and claimed the government had made a “grave error” by sending police in to clear the barricades. “Batons are not the instrument of good politics,” said Legambiente leader Vittorio Cogliati Dezza.

France and Italy signed a deal in 2001 to build the new rail connection, which is to be a strategic link in the European network and allow travel time between Milan and Paris to be slashed from seven to four hours.

Further protests have been announced, with a demonstration in Rome planned for Tuesday.

Author: Richard Connor (dpa, Reuters)

Editor: Martin Kuebler

cross-posted from here