Why We Need the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation More than Ever

Keep the news pure!

Mind You

By Dr David Laing Dawson

Hungary is swinging to the right, on the verge of fascism. Far right parties are gaining in much of Europe. Trump is the next president of the USA. The pendulum has been prodded in the direction of tribalism by a wave of migrants and, I would venture to guess, the Internet.

I wondered how it would appear in Canada. And it seems to have arrived in the form of Kellie Leitch with her proposed test for “Canadian Values”, and now her wish to dismantle the CBC.

The CBC. What timing. We have suddenly arrived in an age some are calling “post-truth”. False news can be disseminated as quickly and widely as real news. The New York Times is competing with a kid in Moldavia on his I Mac. And his news is always more interesting, more sensational. To compete with this kid, the National Enquirer…

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On Beating Extinction and Refusing Eviction: A Letter to #NoDAPL’s Frontline

I deeply share your prayers!

Transformative Spaces

20161119_115044 Chicagoans shut down a Citibank branch in solidarity with #NoDAPL. (Photo: Kelly Hayes)

I write these words on what’s a cold night in my city, and a much colder night where my heart is — with my friends in Standing Rock. My writing, which typically centers movements, often sways between news and analysis. My coverage of #NoDAPL has been no exception. But this piece is neither news nor analysis, because these words are for you, my people, for our Protectors and resistors — for those who aren’t seeking to be heroes, but who are nonetheless members of heroic movements and communities.

To you I write these words, on the night the governor of North Dakota has issued you an eviction notice, like so many notices issued to so many displaced people. One of the ironic distinctions of course, is that marginalized people are usually pushed out into the cold by…

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On Donald Trump and White Leftists Who Want to Build Bridges

My favorite bridge was the one built by Native Americans to get to Turtle Island on Thanksgiving! #NoDAPL #StandingRock #NoGenocide

Transformative Spaces

I have seen a number of posts on social media urging people on the left not to write off everyone who elected Trump as racist or misogynistic. We need to connect with some of those people, we’re told, as their decisions were grounded in despair and disillusionment. I have some thoughts to share with those who would make such arguments. These thoughts come from a place of love, but please understand that I mean every word.
To me, there is no distinction between racism that is named as such, because it fits some obvious social mold, and the brand of racism practiced by those who are out for their own white selves, and simply don’t care if some of us live or die, whether refugees drown at sea or for lack of safer space, or whether Black people are gunned down by police with impunity in cities around the country…

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Thanksgiving and Native Struggle: Why It’s Okay to Be Grateful

Be a voice of information in this struggle! #NoDAPL #StandingRock #NoGenocide

Transformative Spaces

14902928_1834291693479275_2001700593204699895_o November 4 in Standing Rock, a Water Protector watches from a distance as police brutalize Native people. (Photo: Johnny Dangers)

Thanksgiving angst has hit new highs this week, and with good reason. We’ve preemptively argued with each other online about whether or not to argue with our families in person, because, well, politics are that fucked right now. White nationalism is on the rise and with each passing day, Donald Trump still exists. And perhaps most pertinently, this day, that’s false narrative is irksome and hurtful every year, now stands in contrast to the reality of colonial violence, playing out on a historic scale in real time.

Since last spring, more than 200 Indigenous nations have converged in Standing Rock to resist construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and in keeping with US tradition, law enforcement has waged war against those peoples. Water Protectors have been battered, tortured, tear gassed…

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#NoDAPL Eviction Announced: Will You Keep Fighting With Us?

#NoDAPL #StandingRock #NoGenocide

Transformative Spaces

14917209_1834292066812571_2296314898723987447_o Water Protectors square off with police earlier this month. (Photo: Johnny Dangers)

As people from around the country continue to converge in Standing Rock, and less than a week after police blasted Water Protectors with water cannons in freezing temperatures while gassing them in a confined space, the Army Corps of Engineers has lived up to a long-held tradition of the United States government — the displacement of Native peoples. In a letter addressed to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II, the Army Corps outlined its plans to remove Water Protectors from their frontline encampment areas on December 5. In what we can expect will be a violent spectacle, reminiscent of the violence we have already witnessed during this struggle, Indigenous people will once again be faced with forced relocation for the sake of white wealth. While the government has at times voiced sympathy for the Protectors, such actions are, of course, both historically consistent…

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Anonymous Just Took Down Website of Company that Sells Concussion Grenades to DAPL Cops

Claire Bernish November 22, 2016 1 Comment

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Anonymous suddenly took an active role in the battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, knocking offline the website of ‘less-than lethal’ weapons manufacturer, Safariland.com — whose tear gas canisters, concussion grenades, and other weapons were used by police against peaceful water protectors in an all-out assault Sunday night.

image: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/safariland.png

One young water protector, Sophia Walinksy, now faces the possibility of amputation, after one such device exploded point blank on her arm, shredding it down to the bone. A 13-year-old girl was shot in the face with a rubber bullet, and two tribal elders suffered cardiac arrest during the brutal police offensive and had to be resuscitated on scene.

Amid a complete blackout by the negligent corporate media, police from some 20 agencies and five states, led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, unleashed an over six-hour assault on water protectors, launching tear gas and concussion grenades, firing rubber bullets, and — perhaps most perilously and insultingly — soaking the captive crowd of around 400 with icy cold water in frigid temperatures.

Walinsky, according to witnesses and a statement via her father, Wayne, had been delivering much-needed water to the group on the Highway 1806 Backwater Bridge when what is believed to be a concussion grenade exploded on her arm, ripping through flesh and muscle, leaving bone exposed.

Beginning early Monday morning, Unicorn Riot, which had been reporting from the bridge overnight, returned to the scene to gather evidence and discovered spent munitions shells with markings from Safariland — including fragments of Stinger grenades.

Anonymous DeadSec, under the Twitter account @AzureDeadSec, took responsibility for taking down the Safariland site, tweeting, with a link to prove the downed site:

“@TMTalways @WorldAnonLegion @UR_Ninja @NoDAPL TANGO DOWN! Stop selling weapons being used against Water Protectors.”

Morton County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Maxine Herr hubristically claimed in the Los Angeles Times that Walinsky could not possibly have been hit by anything from police, and must have been rigging a makeshift explosive device of her own to receive such an injury.

“It wasn’t from our law enforcement, because we didn’t deploy anything that should have caused that type of damage to her arm,” Herr boldly contended“We’re not sure how her injury was sustained.”

Thanks to Unicorn Riot’s careful inspection of the scene, however, the sheriff’s department appears to be lying through its teeth.

Prior to the DeadSec takedown of the Safariland site, the description of Stinger grenades — identical to the pieces found at the site of the police assault on water protectors — indeed sound as if they would readily cause the horrific injury Walinsky endured:

“The Stinger® OC Grenade is a maximum effect device that delivers four stimuli for psychological and physiological effects: rubber pellets, light, sound, and OC. The Stinger® Grenade is most widely used as a crowd management tool by Law Enforcement and Corrections. The Stinger® Grenade has an initial 1.5 second delay that initiates fuze assembly separation, followed by another .5 second delay before the blast which is sufficient to project the rubber balls and chemical agent in a 50 foot radius.”

If such a grenade landed on the young water protector’s arm, that 50-foot blast radius would be concentrated in a reduced space, and could obviously cause severe injury and disfigurement.

Safariland’s CS gas (tear gas) canisters also littered the area where police launched the altogether disproportionate assault on Standing Rock Sioux and other water protectors, and — again prior to the site being taken offline by Anonymous — described symptoms such as induced panic, and possible cardiac arrest.

Such weapons, though they might be employed by police for crowd control under the broad characterization of less-than lethal, nonetheless can and do maim and even kill.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department noted one officer received a head wound from a projectile launched by someone in the group of water protectors. However, police at Backwater Bridge launched the offensive from behind body armor, helmets, and riot shields, and were backed by blast-proof military vehicles — water protectors, in marked contrast, had nothing to shield themselves from the onslaught of chemical weapons, projectiles, and lower-intensity water cannons.

Those present in the group reported being choked with tear gas and then inundated with water, freezing clothing to skin almost immediately in the 23° weather. Scores suffered hypothermia, at least 20 water protectors had to be hospitalized, some in serious condition — and more than 165 people reported injuries of varying degrees.

Considering Safariland’s insidious weapons directly contributed to the suffering — and, in one case, permanent disfigurement, if not amputation — of peaceful water protectors whose only goal is to preserve clean drinking water for this and future generations, Anonymous’ takedown of the site makes sense.

Sophia Walinsky is currently enduring multiple surgeries at the Minnesota hospital where she was airlifted in an attempt to preserve her arm, but it still isn’t clear whether that will be possible. A GoFundMe campaign to assist her with medical expenses can be found here — if you are unable to contribute, please consider sharing the campaign.

Standing Rock Sioux water protectors face even tougher times ahead in their battle to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, with temperatures this winter expected to be even lower than the frosty average. There are many ways you can help them this winter, a list of suggested items to donate and further information can be found here. You can also voice your concerns about police treatment of water protectors by contacting those responsible for the pipeline, and a suggested list can be found here.

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/anonymous-standing-rock-website-grenade/#tpRPmOfyuy0zmlrj.99

Water Cannons and Razor Wire: What Happened Last Night At Standing Rock

VP-elect Spence is in this heavy and deeply. Look at all of the Indiana troops in ND! Columbus, OH, too, and, for the life of us, the National Guard! #NoDAPL #StandingRock Shut down the banks that finance this pipeline!

Transformative Spaces

15181193_10154614442205309_5371675409350988633_n Water fired from the water canons that battered protesters in freezing temperatures last night froze to the razor wire of a police barricade. (Photo: Redhawk)

This afternoon, hundreds of water protectors, many of whom were injured by law enforcement last night, are peacefully assembling in downtown Bismarck to protest the egregious colonial violence inflicted upon Water Protectors on Highway 1806 last night. When gathering in Bismarck, which is 90 percent white, Protectors are frequently met with calls to “go back” where they belong — the irony of which is apparently lost on the white residents of Bismarck.

Last night, as the temperature in Standing Rock plunged below 30 degrees, hundreds of people were blasted with water cannons near the Oceti Sakowin camp. Water Protectors on 1806 were also hit with percussion grenades, sprayed with mace, hit with rubber bullets and tear gas, and otherwise abused by the law enforcement. For nearly a month, Water Protectors have…

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