The militarization of police agencies from Ferguson to the Middle East

Geronimo ji Jaga Pratt

Geronimo ji Jaga Pratt

Many thanks to the Todo Poder al Pueblo Collective for sharing this article. In the wake of the recent murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the latest intensification of genocide committed against the Palestinian people by Israel with US backing, it’s important to know more about the militarization of the police and the joint training of police forces by these two countries.

We of the El Enemigo Común collective believe that it’s also important to know more about possible ways of resisting militarized police attacks. The author speaks of the point in the Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program regarding the right to self defense against police brutality, but we also think it’s highly relevant to note the successful resistance against the very first attack by a SWAT team in the United States, which was unleashed against the Black Panther office in Los Angeles on December 8, 1969.

Unlike the police attack on the Chicago Panthers four days before, when Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were murdered in cold blood, nobody was killed in the six-hour gun battle between Panthers and the police SWAT team in Los Angeles. Why not? Because Geronimo ji Jaga Pratt showed the LA Panthers how to fortify their headquarters and set up defensive positions. To read more about this important example of resistance, see Mumia Abu-Jamal’s book We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party, page 102.

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Communal Lands: Theater of Operations for the Counterinsurgency

Juchitán Oaxaca: Zapotec Indians show solidarity with resistance to building one of the largest wind farms in Latin America, despite death threats from paramilitary groups paid by companies and protected by the government. (Photo: Santiago Navarro F.)

Juchitán Oaxaca: Zapotec Indians show solidarity with resistance to building one of the largest wind farms in Latin America, despite death threats from paramilitary groups paid by companies and protected by the government. (Photo: Santiago Navarro F.)

By Renata Bessi, Santiago Navarro F. and Translated by Miriam Taylor, Truthout

In 2006, a team of geographers from the University of Kansas carried out a series of mapping projects of communal lands in southern Mexico’s Northern Sierra Mountains. Coordinated by Peter Herlihy and Geoffrey B. Demarest, a US lieutenant colonel, the objective was to achieve strategic military and geopolitical goals of particular interest for the United States. The objective was to incorporate indigenous territories into the transnational corporate model of private property, either by force or through agreements. Demarest’s essential argument is that peace cannot exist without private property.

“The Bowman Expeditions are taking places with the counterinsurgency logic of the United States, and we reported them in 2009. These expeditions were part of research regarding the geographic information that indigenous communities in the Sierra Juarez possess. The researchers hid the fact that they were being financed by the Pentagon. And we believe that this research was a type of pilot project to practice how they would undertake research in other parts of the world in relation to indigenous towns and their communal lands,” said Aldo Gonzales Rojas in an interview with Truthout. A director for the Secretary of Indigenous Affairs in the state of Oaxaca, Rojas ensures that indigenous laws are being instituted and applied correctly in the state.

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Elbit: Exporting Oppression from Palestine to Latin America

Photo: Giles Thomas

Photo: Giles Thomas

By Scott Campbell
June 27, 2014
Upside Down World

Surveillance. It’s in the headlines and on the tips of tongues. As technology offers new possibilities for connection, it also offers new means to keep tabs on people. Surveillance has become seemingly ubiquitous, from the NSA reading emails to drones in the skies. As a nation that has for 66 years been ruling over an indigenous population by force, one of the main countries practicing surveillance is Israel. And it is the Israeli defense industry that has been reaping the profits off of the oppression and surveillance of the Palestinian people.

One of the top occupation profiteers in Israel is the defense firm Elbit Systems. The largest non-governmental defense company in the country, its revenue stood at $2.83 billion in 2010. Using knowledge and expertise gained from assisting in the occupation of Palestine, Elbit has made millions exporting surveillance and defense materiel worldwide – and increasingly so to Latin America. While Israel’s role in arming dictators and oppressive regimes in Latin America during the last century is well known, Elbit is at the forefront of a new wave of Israeli arms industry involvement in countries in the region. Elbit has a presence in at least five Latin American countries, as well as along the US-Mexico border. Far from being benign, the application of its technology should raise concern among those working for human rights in the area.

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Peace Police and Counterinsurgency in Salinas

Peace Police Distribute the “Rules of Conduct”

Peace Police Distribute the “Rules of Conduct”

By Bradley Allen

On Thursday, May 22, a “Massive March Against Salinas Police Brutality!!” was announced for Sunday, May 25 in response to the Salinas Police Department killing three people within the last three months. Some of the march organizers, in collaboration with nonprofit agencies, politicians, and the Salinas Police Department, worked to change the messaging of the protest, and the ‘March Against Salinas Police Brutality‘ became the pacified ‘March for Respect, Dignity and Justice.’

On March 20, SPD killed 42-year-old Angel Francisco Ruiz outside of a Wingstop restaurant, and on May 9, SPD killed 26-year-old Osman Hernandez outside of a Mi Pueblo Market. On Tuesday, May 20, police killed 44-year-old Carlos Mejia outside of Delícía’s Bakery at the corner of Del Monte and North Sanborn. Although videos show the police ruthlessly killing Mr. Mejia, Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin has been working to cover-up the truth of what really happened, and stated that Mr. Mejia was the aggressor and that he attacked the police.

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Justice for Galeano: Stop the War Against the Zapatista Communities!

Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano)

Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano)

On May 2, 2014, in the Zapatista territory of La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico, the group CIOAC-Histórica [with the participation of the Green Ecological Party and the National Action Party (PAN)], planned and executed a paramilitary attack on unarmed Zapatista civilians. An autonomous Zapatista school and clinic was destroyed, 15 people were ambushed and injured and Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano), teacher at the Zapatista Little School, was murdered. The mainstream media is falsely reporting this attack on the Zapatistas as an intra-community confrontation, but in fact this attack is the result of a long-term counterinsurgency strategy promoted by the Mexican government.

More Information: An attack on the Zapatistas is an Attack on Us All | Enlace Zapatista

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Breaking the Curse of Forgotten Places

On the Ground Analysis and Reflections from the Comunitario Movement in Michoacán, Mexico

Comunitario y barricada By Simón Sedillo

The first successful strategy for community based self-defense against the Knights Templar cartel in Michoacán came about on April 15th, 2011 in the indigenous Purépecha community of Cherán, Michoacán.  The implications of the success of this original uprising against the Knights Templar and the narco-government are immeasurable; however, what is evident today is that the strategy has spread contagiously throughout the state and has now even inspired non-indigenous mestizo communities to replicate it.  Since February of 2013 a variety of communities, both indigenous and mestizo, have risen up in arms, evicted municipal police from their municipalities, have evicted the Knights Templar cartel from their territories, and have begun to engage in self-governing strategies founded upon a consensus-based general assembly model.  Most non-indigenous mestizo communities in the state of Michoacán have been known to be racist towards indigenous peoples and communities of the state.  To now see these mestizo communities exercise indigenous strategies for community liberation is truly historic and ground breaking.

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