Riots & Abuses At Papua New Guinea Immigration Detention Centers

One dead, 77 hurt in riot at PNG immigration centre

AFP — One person was killed and 77 injured as tensions boiled over during a second night of violence at an Australian immigration detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, officials said Tuesday.

Thirty-five asylum-seekers broke out of the same facility on Sunday evening, with several hurt, as unrest flared about their fate under the Australian government’s hardline policies.

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said there had been a rolling series of largely peaceful protests, starting a few weeks ago, that culminated in the violence of the last two nights.

Monday’s unrest began when detainees pushed down internal barriers in the camp and the riot “escalated quickly with several hundred transferees” rushing to dismantle external fencing.

Security staff used shields to push back the mob while PNG police mobilised to capture those who had escaped, firing at least two shots, Morrison said, before order was restored.

“The news of a death is a great tragedy,” he said, adding that the man died from a head injury en route to hospital.

“This is a tragedy but this was a very dangerous situation where people decided to protest in a very violent way and to take themselves outside the centre and place themselves at great risk.”

…Manus Island is one of two remote Pacific camps used by Canberra in its punitive offshore detention policy.

Under the scheme, aimed at deterring people-smugglers, any asylum-seeker arriving by boat or intercepted at sea is transferred to Manus or Nauru for processing.

If they are judged to be genuine refugees, they will only be offered permanent resettlement outside Australia.

The United Nations refugee agency has condemned the camps as “harsh” facilities that “impact very profoundly on the men, women and children housed there”.

Morrison said that despite the unrest, the immigration centre had not been destroyed and was still operating.

Fled For Their Lives

Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition said tension with groups of locals, who oppose the camp, had been building throughout the day. He said the attacks began after power was cut to the detention centre.

He alleged the perimeter fences were breached, after staff were evacuated, by locals armed with machetes, pipes, sticks and stones who carried out “savage attacks”.

“If there are asylum-seekers outside the perimeter fence it’s because they’ve fled for their lives late last night from those attacks,” Rintoul told ABC television.

“It must be clear now that asylum-seekers cannot live safely on Manus Island. They should never have been taken there. Asylum-seekers must be brought to Australia,” he added.

This account was denied by Morrison, who said it “is not consistent with the reports I have received”.

He added that security contractor G4S “have advised that there was no one who came from outside and sought to disrupt or attack people on the inside which led to the perimeter fence being breached.” Full Article From AFP

Manus Island: One dead, 77 injured

ABC footage of a riot inside the Manus Island detention centre on Sunday night. A second, ‘more serious’ incident occurred on Monday night.

theguardian.com, Tuesday 23 July 2013

Nauru riot was inevitable, say Salvation Army staff

“Since the opening of the Nauru Regional Processing Centre [NRPC] there have been incidents of unrest that have re-occurred in escalating seriousness. Salvation Army staff in Nauru have been predicting such a tragedy for a long time,” the statement says. Continue reading

The Facebook Comment That Ruined a Life

“The fact is, the case should be dismissed,” he says. “He didn’t do anything wrong. … That’s what dictatorships all around the world used to do. They’d say, ‘If you confess to your crimes against the state, we will let you go.’ I mean, fuck you. I didn’t do anything wrong. … ‘Just admit you’re a witch or we’ll burn you. Why won’t you just admit you’re a witch?'”

Dallas Observer – “Approximately one hour after Justin Carter posted a sarcastic comment on a Facebook thread, his life began to ­unravel.

The first reaction occurred behind the scenes, in another country. The 18-year-old Carter had no way of knowing that, while he did grunt work at a drapery shop in San Antonio, a person in Canada saw his comments — posted 60 days after the Sandy Hook school-shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut — freaked out and initiated a 24-hour chain reaction of insanity that would wind up with Carter facing 10 years in prison.

Carter’s comments were part of a duel between dorks, and may have had something to do with a game with strong dork appeal called League of Legends. But the actual details and context of the online exchange are, in the eyes of Texas authorities, unimportant. Prosecutors say they don’t have the entire thread — instead, they have three comments on a cell-phone screenshot.

One of the comments appears to be a response to an earlier comment in which someone called Carter crazy. Carter’s retort was: “I’m fucked in the head alright, I think I’ma SHOOT UP A KINDERGARTEN [sic].”

Carter followed with “AND WATCH THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT RAIN DOWN.”

When a person writing under the profile name “Hannah Love” responded with “i hope you [burn] in hell you fucking prick,” Carter put the cherry on top: “AND EAT THE BEATING HEART OF ONE OF THEM.” (The Austin police officer who wrote up the subsequent report noted: “all caps to emphasize his anger or rage.” )

That’s when someone in Canada — an individual as yet unidentified in court records — notified local authorities. Because Carter’s profile listed him as living in Austin, the Canadians sent the tip to the Austin Police Department. Along with a cell-phone screenshot of part of the thread and a link to Carter’s Facebook page, the tipster provided this narrative: “This man, Justin Carter, made a number of threats on Facebook to shoot up a class of kindergartners. … He also made numerous comments telling people to go shoot themselves in the face and drink bleach. The threats to shoot the children were made approximately an hour ago.”

…Based on a Travis County prosecutor’s belief that there was probable cause to charge Carter with a third-degree terroristic threat — which carries a penalty of two to 10 years — a judge issued an arrest warrant. U.S. marshals traced Carter to the drapery shop in San Antonio, where he worked, and handcuffed the cherub-faced, brown-haired teen. Until that point, his only brush with the law was a temporary restraining order two years earlier.

After his booking into the Bexar County Jail, authorities discovered that he actually lived inNew Braunfels — Comal County. After his transfer there, his bond was increased from $250,000 to half a million dollars.

According to Carter’s attorney, Don Flanary, the 18-year-old suffered brutal attacks in the Comal County Jail during the four months he was held there.

Police records allege that, upon being booked into Bexar County Jail, Carter stated, “I guess what you post on Facebook matters.”

He had no idea.” Full Story on Dallas Observer

When Corporations Pay What They Owe

I’m sure that most everyone is familiar with the commercials concerning mesothelioma-“If you or a loved one has been harmed, call 1-800-Jackpot and we’ll help you get your $$$ today!” Okay, so I paraphrased a bit but that’s the gist of the commercials. The impression given is that corporations now realize a terrible wrong was done and they are more than happy to set things to right…to monetarily atone for their crime(s) against humanity, the earth & the Average Joe Worker…

Uh-huh. Well now…back here in the Real World of lawyers, depositions and corporate ass-hattery, it seems that those heartfelt commercials are just a teensy-weensy bit misleading. Last week my dad had to give his depositions for his Meso claim. Because of the nature of his work, his claim cannot be pinned down to one company or location…in other words, he worked on multiple construction sites for multiple employers; he didn’t work for one company or in one shipyard so his claim is harder to prove or trace to just one corporation that could be held liable.

Before he went into the depositions, we figured that no matter what, it wouldn’t be that bad…I mean, this is just one little old man trying to get a few thousand dollars…how hard would they fight this? It’s already been established that asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma; precedent is set, agreements were reached years ago that settled all of this so what could they argue about? Depositions are just standard, routine, nothing to really worry about. Surely, the corporate lawyers would be courteous…go easy on him…he’s just one small man, right?

Or not. What he thought would be a few hours turned into one solid week of being grilled for several hours of each day. “I was under attack, man! One lawyer was downright vicious…” he said. He sounded so exhausted, so wrung out…and so stressed from feeling like he got too tripped up trying to answer their endless streams of questions. Questions precisely designed to trip him up.

Mind you, he’s not out for millions of dollars here. For his age, his case isn’t really worth as much as a younger man diagnosed in his 50’s would be, for instance. We got that. Understood and well, understood. But there ARE extra medical costs being incurred and considering that the ‘safety masks’ approved by his industry were filled with asbestos, there should be something due to him for what he’s suffering now. Surely they won’t fight too hard about all of this..?

Except, they are. They did. The lawyers tore an old man up as if he had all the power in the world.

To be fair, not all of the companies involved in his case are fighting…one of them has made a settlement already. Sweet, eh? Uh-huh. They settled for a whopping $125,000. Now, for our family & my dad’s financial position, that is one HELL of a deal and certainly not something to bitch about. Except, here’s the back-end of the settlement…the corporation filed for bankruptcy and under all of the legal gobbledy-gook of the Superfund arrangement, what that means is that they only have to pay 1/8 of a penny on every dollar of each settlement. By the time the fiat-dust settles & lawyers take their fee, Dad will net just under $700. But on paper, the company shows they’ve paid out $125,000 in blood money. My, my, don’t they look like a generous bunch of roses?

My head is still reeling. Even with everything I know about corporations…the lobbying, the shitty deals, misdeeds, destruction, tax-evasion…even still, I am sitting here just stunned by how this is playing out. It’s one thing to know about in the abstract, “Corporations are immoral entities” but it’s entirely another thing when you watch someone you love get bitch-slapped by a corporate hand.

Unmotherfuckingbelievable. Inconceivable that a corporation would bother pissing on a dying man in his mid-70’s. And yet, after stumbling across this video about the history of asbestos claims…I’m only really surprised that I can still be surprised by the lengths these corporate monsters will go to in order to protect their profit lairs…er, shares…

Florida Ordinance Makes It Illegal For Homeless To Use Blankets

The Libertarian Republic “…But outside it was 17 degrees and raining and sleeting, and if you were homeless, you had to consider that if you used a blanket to shield yourself from the elements, that you might be hauled off to jail for a violation of a local ordinance prohibiting using blankets, cardboard, or newspaper to cover yourself. 

This was part of a series of ordinances which prohibited using public restrooms for washing your face, panhandling, and “camping”. Though the mayor’s office and members of the city council tried to say that these ordinances were not targeted at the homeless, email correspondence between them and other city officials proved otherwise.

The anti-camping ordinance went the furthest in it’s limitation of basic civil liberties, making it essentially illegal, not only to cover yourself for any reason, but also effectively making it illegal to be homeless. It was a tough ordinance to fight, because if you opposed them, it gave the impression that you were supporting blight in the city. Not to mention the city council wasn’t interested in having the discussion. The then council president either would cut people off or have them thrown out during the public discussion.” Full Story on The Libertarian Republic

The ordinances were passed, in spite of the public outcry.

Iraq: Security Forces Abusing Women in Detention

“The abuses of women we documented are in many ways at the heart of the current crisis in Iraq,” Stork said. “These abuses have caused a deep-seated anger and lack of trust between Iraq’s diverse communities and security forces, and all Iraqis are paying the price.” 

Truthloader- “A report released today reveals that Iraqi security forces have illegally detained thousands of women and subjected many of them to torture, ill-treatment and even sexual abuse in order to extract confessions from them. These confessions have then been used against them in court and resulted in the execution of at least one woman.

We spoke to Joe Stork from Human Rights Watch who explained that these women are being used as kind of “hostages” against male relatives wanted by the state, and that many of them face long-term stigma as a result of their ordeals.”

Read the report from Human Rights Watch Here

Human Rights Watch – The 105-page report, “‘No One Is Safe’: Abuses of Women in Iraq’s Criminal Justice System,”documents abuses of women in detention based on interviews with women and girls, Sunni and Shia, in prison; their families and lawyers; and medical service providers in the prisons at a time of escalating violence involving security forces and armed groups. Human Rights Watch also reviewed court documents and extensive information received in meetings with Iraqi authorities including Justice, Interior, Defense, and Human Rights ministry officials, and two deputy prime ministers.

“Iraqi security forces and officials act as if brutally abusing women will make the country safer,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “In fact, these women and their relatives have told us that as long as security forces abuse people with impunity, we can only expect security conditions to worsen.”

In January 2013, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki promised to reform the criminal justice system, beginning with releasing detained women who had judicial orders of release. A year later, the brutal tactics of security forces remain essentially the same and hundreds of women remain in detention illegally.” Full Article Here

Syrian Children Study While Bombs Fall Nearby

RT – “Russia’s foreign minister has urged the US to maintain contacts with all sides in the Syrian conflict, except for jihadist groups. Sergey Lavrov, speaking after talks in Moscow with Syria’s opposition leaders, also welcomed the rebels’ willingness to take part in the Geneva negotiations, set to resume next week. But while politicians push for a breakthrough – time is running out for people living in the warzone…”

Click to learn more. School Days: A lifeline for Syria’s young minds.

Soldiers Burn Down Cambodian Homes for Chinese Company

Cambodia1

TruthLoader – “Soldiers representing the Chinese company Tianjin Union Development Group have forcefully evicted 29 families in the Koh Kong province of Cambodia and burned down their homes and crops. In 2008 the Tianjin Union Development Group was granted 36,000 hectares of land by the Cambodian government in order to construct a multi-billion-dollar tourism zone in the previously protected Botum Sakor National Park, complete with hotels, casino, golf course, seaport and highway.

What development means in Cambodia — “The Playground”

“We’ve heard of China’s buying sprees. That it’s plowed billions of dollars into some of the poorest nations in the world. But the story we don’t know is what this money means for the people there. In Cambodia, the cost has been devastating. More than 700,000 people have lost their homes — others their lives — while China buys the former killing fields for resorts, hotels, and exclusive residences. And as this country of genocide descends into another era of chaos and violence, some whisper it’s the second coming of Pol Pot.

But one woman has fought back. In this fast-paced narrative, Terrence McCoy follows Vanny Tep’s quest to save Cambodia from China’s money. Leading a small, fiery group of women, Vanny has sparked a grassroots movement from one of the most daunting slums in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Her battles are against the Cambodian government, Chinese companies, and a male-dominated society. Powerful and profound, “The Playground” takes us across Cambodia to discover the true meaning of a global Chinatown.”

The Lost Spirits

The Lost Spirits is a documentary following the lives of a Native American family living in Queens, New York. In recent years, many conflicts have plagued their tribe and stirred up controversy within the town. It began with the removal of their family cemetery to build a road in the 1930’s. The artifacts and burial items mysteriously went missing. The acres of land they used to own was snatched by the government for back taxes, and the remaining land is landlocked by the surrounding owners. The Barron family, members of the Matinecock and Montaukett tribes, could never seem to get their voices heard. This film is to show people who they are, what happened in their lives, and the future of American Indians in Little Neck, New York.

Wiki – The Montaukett or Montauk people are a Native American tribe of Algonquian-speaking people from the eastern end of Long Island, New York. They are related in language as well to Native American tribes who lived across Long Island Sound in what is now Connecticut and Rhode Island. Native relics and ruins are still visible at Theodore Roosevelt County Park, just east of the village of Montauk, New York.

Montauk people historically spoke the Mohegan-Montauk-Narragansett language, also known as the Algonquian Y-dialect, similar to their New England neighbors, the Pequot and the Narragansett. Native Americans living on Long Island eventually became identified by European settlers by the place name in which they lived, such as the Montauk and the Shinnecock, artificially identifying the peoples separately and erroneously into “tribes”, although they all shared the same culture and language. The Native Americans of the east end of the Island shared a common culture with each other and with other groups along most of the northern shore of what is now called Long Island Sound, while the west of Long Island were the culturally and linguistically distinct Lenape groups that lived in all of what is now New Jersey and in parts of what is now eastern Pennsylvania and the northern shore of Delaware.

The Montaukett Indian Nation is an unrecognized tribe of individuals who claim descent from historic Montaukett people. The Montaukett Indian Nation did not become extinct but have “their own government in the position and administration of Chief Robert Pharaoh.” Additionally, the nation has over 600 members on its original tribal roll.” The nation claims a relation to the language and culture of the now federally recognized Shinnecock Indian Nation in neighboring Southampton.

The entirety of Montauk was sold in 1890 to Arthur W. Benson “subject to the rights of the Montauk tribe of indians” noting the existence of a few members and their families. A case brought pursuant to a 1906 New York State legislative to enable the Montaukett to establish claims to land through deeds from 1660 through 1702 failed with the tribe being found to be extinct for the purpose of making any such claim. The 1686 Dongan Patent allowed the Montauk Proprietors to purchase the remaining unpurchased lands between the ponds and east of Lake Wyandanee (Lake Montauk), a purchase that was made in 1687.

The Montauk Friends of Olmsted Parks/Montauk Trustee corporation claims to be the successor to the proprietors of Montauk that entered into the deeds with the Montauketts. It remains before the court making claims through the Indian deeds and the 1686 Dongan Patent and Charter. The Montauketts have been unsuccessful in getting their title back. The Montauketts recent concern has been to develop a museum and learning center in the county park.

The New York State Assembly approved the 2013 Montaukett Act, which reversed the century-old state declaration that the tribe was extinct.”

The Lost Spirits Full Length Documentary

END:CIV – What Would You Fight For?

Based in part on Endgame, the best-selling book by Derrick Jensen, END:CIV asks: “If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?”

“A fierce critique of systematic violence and industrial civilization, End:Civ is not intended for garden-variety environmentalists. If you are anywhere below, say, an 8 on that sliding scale of pissed off, then this film is going to scare you…which means you should watch it.”

-Eugene Weekly

1aquote-derrick-jensen“There are very sober people talking about the possible death of entire oceans. The end of fish. If that’s not worth fighting for, what is?” Activist and author Derrick Jensen asserts that industrial civilization is murdering the planet and it must be stopped. We need to decolonize our hearts and minds. As soon as our allegiance is to the real world and not industrial capitalism, things become more clear. His books include A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, What We Leave Behind and Endgame.”

END:CIV- “The causes underlying the collapse of civilizations are usually traced to overuse of resources. As we write this, the world is reeling from economic chaos, peak oil, climate change, environmental degradation, and political turmoil. Every day, the headlines re-hash stories of scandal and betrayal of the public trust. We don?t have to make outraged demands for the end of the current global system – it seems to be coming apart already. 

But acts of courage, compassion and altruism abound, even in the most damaged places. By documenting the resilience of the people hit hardest by war and repression, and the heroism of those coming forward to confront the crisis head-on, END:CIV illuminates a way out of this all-consuming madness and into a saner future.

Backed by Jensen’s narrative, the film calls on us to act as if we truly love this land. The film trips along at a brisk pace, using music, archival footage, motion graphics, animation, slapstick and satire to deconstruct the global economic system, even as it implodes around us. END:CIV illustrates first-person stories of sacrifice and heroism with intense, emotionally-charged images that match Jensen’s poetic and intuitive approach. Scenes shot in the back country provide interludes of breathtaking natural beauty alongside clearcut evidence of horrific but commonplace destruction.”

The Square

I watched the documentary, “The Square” on Netflix today and was absolutely blown away by it.  It is a very complex documentary and it touches on issues that every one fighting to make a change in this world can probably relate to: Disorganization, facing overwhelming odds, risk of imprisonment, death…renewal and hope for a better world. I will give fair warning tho – this isn’t for the faint of heart or those who can’t focus on subtitles. It is POWERFUL in so many ways...it is sickening, discouraging, harsh, beautiful, terrifying uplifting, inspiring…what an emotional roller-coaster. I get chills all over again even now as I am sifting through the YT clips to share.

The one thing that struck me more than anything as I was watching, was just how right the ideas behind the Common Ground movement are. No matter what some of our differences may be, it is absolutely imperative that we start learning to look past them and turn our focus to what we have in common with each other. The whole world seems to be edging towards a roaring, revolutionary period as more of US, the peons of the world, get fed up with being stomped on by more and more of THEM – the current power-system holders. As things stand worldwide, THEY can stomp us with sheer force in 2 heartbeats…WE can only stand strong and “win” if we stand arm in arm, tight…Together…

“The Square movie is a documentary about the Egyptian revolution behind the headlines. Follow a group of activists in Tahrir Square, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience…”

“If you take out people & put people just like them from the same circle, from the same regime, then you didn’t take down the regime, you took down people…”

“Our main problem as revolutionaries, most of the time we only object and say, “No” and we never offer alternatives…”

Filming “The Square”

Give Us Cash or Lose Your Kids and Face Felony Charges: Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?!

 Reason TV (November 14, 2013) – “Imagine getting pulled over while on a family vacation and having small-town cops accuse you and your family of being drug couriers. Then imagine hearing that you have two options: Fork over your cash and continue on your vacation or face felony charges for money laundering and child endangerment, in which case you go to jail and your kids get handed over to foster care. That’s what happened to Ron Henderson and Jennifer Boatright while traveling through Tenaha, Texas, a town that regards piracy as just another way to raise revenue.

Henderson and Boatright’s case helped launch a class action lawsuit against abusive civil forfeiture laws, laws which allow law enforcement to to shake down people and cash in. And don’t be fooled by officers tooling around town in Escalades seized from hotshot drug dealers–law enforcement often targets those who cannot afford to hire an attorney to fight for the return of their property.

Officers may swipe your property even if you’re not charged with a crime. Cops can drive the cars they grab, and seized cash has even been funneled to officers’ salaries. Booty is often a large source of law enforcement funding, and last year the Department of Justice pulled in a record $4.2 billion from civil forfeitures…” Full Story on Reason

Through The Eyes Of A Homeless Kid

“Money is important…but not as important as love.”

New Mexico Man Given Forced Colonoscopy by Cops Wins $1.6 Million Settlement

“This is essentially medical anal rape, numerous times over a 12-hour period,” Kennedy said. “I can’t imagine anything more horrifying than what happened to our client. It’s just sadistic.”

A New Mexico man forced by police to undergo a colonoscopy has quietly settled his legal case against officials from Hidalgo County and Deming, N.M. 

USNews – “KOB-TV reports that David Eckert, 64, will be paid $1.6 million by the local governments – $650,000 from Hidalgo County and $950,000 from the city of Deming – to resolve the case, which was filed in U.S. District Court in November.

Eckert’s lawsuit alleged his Fourth Amendment rights were violated after Deming police pulled him over on Jan. 2, 2013, for allegedly rolling through a stop sign. Hidalgo County authorities arrived on the scene and played a role in justifying a lengthy series of medical procedures.

No drugs were found by police in Eckert’s vehicle or within his body by doctors at the Gila Regional Medical Center, who administered two digital anal probes and an X-ray scan, then inserted into Eckert’s anus three enemas and analyzed the resulting stool samples, then performed another X-ray and – ultimately – conducted a colonoscopy with anesthesia.

A judge granted police a search warrant authorizing a probe “up to and including [Eckert's] anal cavity.” The warrant’s limits allegedly were exceeded by the colonoscopy and it’s unclear why that procedure was necessary after enemas and X-rays did not reveal hidden drugs.

Eckert’s lawsuit further alleged the colonoscopy was performed without consent. His attorney, Shannon Kennedy, told U.S. News in November her client was sent a $6,000 bill by the medical center. Eckert refused to pay the bill…” Full Story on USNews

In Memory Of Kelly Thomas

“Two former cops accused of unlawfully killing a schizophrenic California homeless man in July 2011 have been found not guilty.

Kelly-Thomas

Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli had been charged with battering Kelly Thomas with a baton and a stun gun during a vicious beating in Orange County that left him unconscious.

He never recovered from the attack — which was captured on video tape — and died just five days later.

The acquittals came despite what appeared to be damning footage of the then-Fullerton officers continuing to beat the 37-year-old even as he begged for mercy and said he was sorry.

The ruling outraged Thomas’ family and supporters.

“Where do we really find justice any more in our justice system?” the victim’s father, Ron Thomas, told reporters. “It has been proven right here today that they will get away with it. They will get away with it…This is so egregious … the audio, the video … any bad cop can now just walk around and do what he wants to any of us,” the father added.

“We’re all in trouble now.”

╔═══════† ๑۩۩๑ †════════╗
║………….Kelly Thomas…………..║
║ April 5, 1974 — July 10, 2011..║
║…….May He Rest In Peace…….║
╚═══════† ๑۩۩๑ †════════╝

●▬▬▬▬๑۩۩๑▬▬▬▬▬●

Truthloader – “On 13 January, two former police officers in California were found not guilty on all charges in connection to the death of a homeless and mentally ill man named Kelly Thomas back in 2011. Thomas was left bruised, bloodied and comatose after officers beat him for several minutes and used a stun gun on him following a report that someone had been breaking into cars in the area. He was hospitalised and died five days later having never regained consciousness. The verdict has sparked outrage from many Americans..”