Monday, July 20, 2020

Not Your Normal Warm Fuzzies

The Oregon Dept. of Justice is suing The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshalls Service, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (your friendly ICE agents) and the presidents very own, dedicated Federal Protective Service. Their presence in Portland since July 14 has not been invited, and although Ted Wheeler, the Mayor  of Portland has asked them to go home, they seem impervious to suggestion. They are accused of civil rights abuses (just a little kidnapping of protesters, and journalists now and then). And state prosecutors will pursue criminal charges against a federal officer who slightly injured Donovan La Bella,  a protester, shooting him, not below the waist as use of force protocol demands, but in the head, which will require reconstructive surgery, and a titanium plate to stand in for a fractured skull. Paraphrasing Mark Twain: No one was hurt. Only a protester was assaulted. His mother is quoted as saying of her son: “He’s 6 ft 5. [Whoever shot him] has to be a terribly trained marksman to be off by 3 feet to hit him in the forehead right between the eyes.  If he’s that bad of a shot at such a short distance, he shouldn’t have a gun.” Mrs. LaBella is given to understatement.

Feds arrive in Iraq-war camo and clouds of smoke
Portland is just the trial balloon, following 53 days of Black Lives Matter protests, which your kind president described as “out of control,” making sure the right kind of presidential discipline would set matters straight. Plans for expanding the onslaught are set for Chicago and other cities. But in Portland, aside from unsightly graffiti, and some thrown rock projectiles, demonstrations have been amazingly peaceful. It’s just that the protests are for the wrong kind of thing. Had they been rallies favoring war, or decrying the latest enemy, a little noise and destruction might have been overlooked, possibly even encouraged. But these protests decry racism, and in a country gone dark, that’s the wrong kind of protest. It needs to be quelled, and Portland is as good as any place to start.


 Coming to a City Near You

Journalists are beginning to frame the unprecedented use of federal forces in cities nationwide as attempts by the #45 administration to sow pre-election intimidation and  chaos, and to distract a souring public away the raging pandemic, and the collapsing economy. The plans projected for the next 12 cities include: agents’ refusal to identify themselves or reveal what agency they serve, badges “mistakenly” left at home, rented vehicular transport in unmarked cars and vans, no arrest warrants, and kidnapping of  random protesters who are arrested with no explanation. Portland’s municipal police are reported to have cooperated with them. The ACLU is suing the Trump administration over its use of Secret Police, and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has announced plans to introduce an amendment barring the Trump administration from deploying federal law enforcement to U.S. cities as backlash grows over White House use of unidentified agents to crack down on protesters and detain them without cause. And the chairs of the House Oversight, Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees called on the inspectors general of the Justice and Homeland security Departments to open an investigation into the administration’s use of federal agents against protesters in Oregon.

Feds in lock step
But the director of Homeland Security made it clear not only he refuses to leave but intends expanding his services to cities nationwide.


World leaders and corresponding death figures

Relish those blue skies?: world mayors call for car-free city streets.

Palestinians reiterate call for sanctions to stop Israeli Annexation.

More than 200 national DNC delegates calk for withholding U.S. military aid to Israel if annexation goes forward.

Israel drafts secret list of hundreds of officials who may stand trial for war crimes.

Israel’s Gantz, PM-in-waiting and running coalition partner urges plan by Netanyahoo to annex part of West Bank and Jordan Valley shelved.

World-wide protests in Hong Kong, in Russia take creative turns.

Russian potest dolls

ACLU and State of Oregon sue federal agencies over protest enforcement.

Oregon Senator Merkley vows amendment barring #45 from deploying paramilitary squads onto U.S. streets.

Reducing homicides and nonfatal shootings 45% and more, Chicago peacemakers offer proven alternative to policing.

17 states sue #45 over deportation threats to international

Federal court orders administration to accept new DACA applications.

Kumeyaay Nation protest stops border wall construction

Bolivians hit streets against puppet Añez government.

Crocodile tears: NYT acknowledges coup in Bolivia, shirking blame for its supporting role.

Significant coalition forms as climate strikers and racial justice #StrkeforBlackLives join forces July 20.

Administration rescinds dangerous policy targeting international students.

Resolution to halt 5 G passes Hawai’i County planning board.

In big win for solar, Federal judge panel rejects attack on rooftop solar in U.S.

FERC unanimously dismisses New England Ratepayers Association’s petition to end net metering, which would have denied solar owners fair compensation

National Coalition to End Urban Indigenous Homelessness demands removal of Seattle police from homelessness team.

By unanimous vote, City of Asheville,  Carolina Council votes to provide reparations to Black residents and their descendants.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear wants to give black residents health coverage.

LA school board member introduces motion to phase out the practice of law enforcement policing our schools.

Amid calls to defund police, Detroit leaders weigh in on alternatives.

Code of silence breaks as Florida cop fired and arrested after being turned in by other officers.

Opposition to ‘pause’ on Johns Hopkins private police force grows.

Washington NFL team drops racist name following decades of activism.

Tennessee Federal Judge blocks sweeping abortion ban.

Citing likelihood of “extreme pain and needless suffering” US judge halts resumption of federal executions.

Responding to massive resistance, LA takes steps to close its central jail within one year.

UK trade unionists back campaign to free journalist Assange.

In virus news (what else is there?) governors from at least 18 states, including Michigan, backtrack on plans to loosen restrictions.

Nationwide nurses strike to demand vital PPE.

Thousands strike at Maine’s Bath Iron Works Shipyard.

Three-drug treatment of interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin, proves much more effective than remdesivir

Texas teachers union ponders striking over lack of virus precautions.

In unanimous 5-0 vote, S.F. Community Choice aggregator refuses PGE’s offer of nuclear power from Diablo Canyon NPP.

Monterey Bay Community Power also turns down nuclear energy.

Massachusetts may become second state after Maine to adopt instant runoffs with vote this fall.

Patriotic millionaires mark tax day with call to tax the rich.

Following 3-year struggle, Amazon is taxed $210-240 million a year,, providing tens of thousands of green jobs by building permanently affordable social housing.

Anti-#45 GOP groups urge Republicans to vote for Biden.

Kesha Davalos-Grijalva with dozens of others camp outside virus-stricken Aurora immigration jail over a moth, demanding release of all inside including her husband.

Artists install anti-#45 living statues around D.C.


HEADLINE: Pressure mounts to free black girl imprisoned not doing homework. Stocks and dunking next?

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