Terrorism with fire

A Prelude: The Peace & Friendship Treaty of 1752.

It is agreed that the said Tribe of Indians shall not be hindered from, but have free liberty of Hunting & Fishing as usual: and that if they shall think a Truckhouse needful at the River Chibenaccadie or any other place of their resort, they shall have the same built and proper Merchandize lodged therein, to be Exchanged for what the Indians shall have to dispose of, and that in the mean time the said Indians shall have free liberty to bring for Sale to Halifax or any other Settlement within this Province, Skins, feathers, fowl, fish or any other thing they shall have to sell, where they shall have liberty to dispose thereof to the best Advantage.

Just over 20 years ago I was in Canada for a human rights conference and the two main stories surrounding the conference were the abuse of political dissidents by China and then-current attacks on M’kmaw/Mi’kmaq peoples attempting to make a living by hunting, fishing and harvesting according to the rights set out by treaty with the Canadian government. Those rights included the right to a modest living (I believe the court’s language was “moderate”, but I’ll have to check on that) from harvesting lobsters.

Immediately white commercial lobstererers took issue. The white lobster harvesters had dramatically overfished the local waters, and with highly restricted seasons and catch, they saw respecting treaty rights as a threat to their ability to survive.

…And, yes, it was. It still is.

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The Story of July 21: Three offensives

You’ve likely already read the thread I posted about the personal experience of being exposed to tear gas, how your body responds, how your mind panics. But of course that doesn’t tell people much about what actually happened – the narrative that one might get in a newspaper. This post is more about that: the story of late July 21st and the earliest bit of July 22nd and the rally that happened in front of the Federal Services Building [Correction:] Justice Center and the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland.

The nightly protests themselves are a sort of jamboree. There are people who take it upon themselves to be leaders. They speak and initiate chanting. But they’re mostly limited to use of bullhorns, which simply aren’t loud enough to reach the whole crowd. So if you don’t work your way to the front, it takes you several rounds of a chant before you can pick it up – except the obvious and most frequent chant, “Black Lives Matter”. That one gets started a lot.

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The chaos of tear gas

Okay, folks.

This is 2:42 seconds of a critical time in last night’s protests, taken around 11:30pm Pacific time on the night of July 21st in front of the Hatfield courthouse. My BFF and I are in the front rank, the only people in front of us are a couple of press people who walk briefly in front of us. You won’t see it, but about halfway through someone with a shield comes up and kneels in front of me to protect me (though I didn’t want it or ask for it). I didn’t tell the shield carrier to buzz off and find someone who actually wanted protection, but if this is ever you, please ask permission before you actually touch someone’s body. My shield carrier actually grabbed my arthritic knees in what they thought was a reassuring gesture just before the tear gas was fired. Don’t be that person, okay? Okay.

Now the video:

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Loving Day

Well, I missed it by two days, but let’s do this anyway: Fifty-one years ago on Tuesday, a mere 99 years, 11 months and 3 days after we passed a constitutional amendment requiring states to stop with the racial discrimination already, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that yes, Virginia, there are limits to constitutional violations and stop Freuding persecuting the Lovings already, okay?

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Lycée Arago Arrests Reminiscent of Rampant Illegality in Trump Inauguration Arrests & Prosecutions

Nearing a year and a half ago now protestors in DC demonstrating against Trump’s inauguration were subjected to mass arrest, in many cases without probable cause. The treatment they received was shameful and illegal (though it is unlikely that any court will ever punish the officers involved), and the prosecutions that followed have been worse. The occupation of a high school in Paris, France on the 22nd of May (coincident with a larger protest march nearby) is now granting the French legal establishment to fuck things up just as badly as we have in the US.

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Fascist Policing: Milwaukee Edition; AKA No One Is Talking About Sterling Brown

I’m not sure why, but since the video of Sterling Brown’s mistreatment was released no one on FtB seems to have covered the malicious violence police committed against Brown, a rookie NBA player who may not be a superstar (yet) but is already playing a large contributing role for his team in his first year. From that, we can guess he’s making significant money and had significant local fame even before this incident put him repeatedly in the news. (BTW: I Have Forgiven Jesus spoke about this in anticipation of the video’s release, but we did not yet know what it showed.)

It’s been hard for me to start this piece. This story falls in an awkward place for me. It lacks the immediate, universal concern that appears to exist here on FtB when cops kill someone, but it’s also far more serious than the quotidian racism in policing that I also cover.

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Fascist Policing: Sacramento Edition II

Today I’d like to talk about the story of a man who wasn’t beaten by the cops, wasn’t arrested by them (at least in this encounter), wasn’t even searched by them. I want to talk about his story because it goes to the heart of the Black encounter with fascist policing today: the everyday, relentless, low-level harassment of Black residents of the US.

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Fascist Policing: Cops Have Lost The Morel High Ground

PINAC recently posted a story about entirely routine police abuse of authority:

“We let them in and as soon as the police officer walked in he asked us why we were eating mushrooms and posting about it online,” the man posted.

…John Garrison of Darlington, Maryland said he tried to explain to the cop Morel mushrooms are a “native choice edible mushroom similar to truffles.” “He wasn’t convinced,” Garrison recalled ….

“I figured a police officer would know what illegal drugs look like.”

Eventually, a second cop showed up and Garrison showed her the Morels he’d dug from the trash and she immediately identified it as a Morel. [Capitalization of “morel” in the original – cd]

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