Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

The People of Spokane vs. Law Enforcement Abuse, Impunity, Corruption, and Cover-up

Archive for the ‘Urgent Call’ Category

Who killed Pastor Scott?

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 3, 2010

Question: Who killed Pastor W. Scott Creech in the parking lot of his business in the Spokane Valley on August 25, 2010?

Answer: One of Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich’s deputies, Brian Hirzel, who was allowed to go on vacation immediately after the killing and before being interviewed about the events. And, of course, the Sheriff’s finest is being interviewed by the Spokane Police Department’s finest so we all know that true justice is just around the corner.

More important perhaps is the need for a thorough going look at our law enforcement and just exactly why they conduct themselves in the ways they do. What is their mentality? What is their training? Why is everyone from a 74-year-old pastor to a pre-teen girl at risk of death, maiming or abuse in any encounter with these individuals?

Let’s start by looking at this photo:

(Photo from Spokane County Sheriff website)i

(photo from Spokane County Sheriff’s website — August 8, 2007)

Do you really want these guys prowling your parking lot or manhandling your daughter if she has a bit too much to drink on high school graduation night?

There are a few other photos at the link below.

https://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/weaponry/

And here is a history (admittedly incomplete) of Spokane area law enforcement abuses — https://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/abuse-laying-out-the-case/

Next to his smiling photo on the Spokane County Sheriff’s website, Knezovich published these increasingly absurd words:

(quote) Your Spokane County Sheriff’s Office consistently invests available resources toward community-wide safety and security, economic viability and the positive, nationwide reputation of our County.

We do so by providing a highly-trained, dedicated team of professionals, working in partnership with our community, through utilizing their unique talents and skills in conjunction with new technology and research based criminal justice training. (end quote)

For Pastor Scott, like so many others in the Spokane County area, there is neither safety nor security nor justice. Clearly, the technology is of little positive use, the research and the mentality it spawns are flawed, and the leadership is on the wrong side of the line that divides our community from those who would bring death, terror and sorrow to our families and neighborhoods.

And as for “the positive, nationwide reputation of our County” to which Sheriff Knezovich refers, one can only ask with all due respect, “What has Ozzie been smoking?”

Posted in License to Kill, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane LE Personalities, Stop it. You're killin' me., Terrorism in Spokane, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | 1 Comment »

End Spokane Police Abuse — Hold Them Accountable

Posted by Arroyoribera on June 12, 2010

End Spokane Police Abuses — Flyer pdf

End Spokane Police Abuses — Flyer Word<img

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Spokane Police Guild, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

URGENT CALL — Spokane Campaign Against Violence Motivated by Hate

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 11, 2008

A CAMPAIGN AGAINST VIOLENCE MOTIVATED BY HATE

Working together to address the increase in random acts of violence against homeless individuals in our community. We hope as a community we can put an end to this appalling and frightening trend.

Central United Methodist Church

518 W 3rd

Tuesday March 18, 2:00 pm

Please RSVP with

Holly Jean Chilinski

Shalom Ministries

Shalom30@qwestoffice.net

(509) 455-9019

*********************************

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/media/video/?ID=844 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003089027_webhomeless27.html  http://thegimpparade.blogspot.com/search?q=spokane  http://thegimpparade.blogspot.com/2006/07/disabled-homeless-man-set-afire-after.html

 

Posted in Ethics, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Racism, Solutions, Testimonies, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

FILM — Up The Ridge: A US Prison Story — Tuesday, March 11, 2008 Magic Lantern

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 9, 2008

Up The Ridge: A U.S Prison Story
A Shocking Look Inside The Incarceration Industry

Film Screening & Public Discussion

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 — 7:30 to 9:00 PM
Magic Lantern Theater, 25 W Main, Spokane

*Due to the graphic nature of this film, it is not recommended for children
Sponsored by November Coalition Foundation and Thousand Kites

For more information call (509)684-1550 or e-mail tom@november.org

Admission is free; donations gladly accepted!

Up the Ridge: A U.S. Prison Story

Up the Ridge: A U.S. Prison Story is a one-hour television documentary produced by Appalshop’s Nick Szuberla and Amelia Kirby. In 1999, Szuberla and Kirby were volunteer DJ’s for the Appalachian region’s only hip-hop radio program in Whitesburg, KY when they received hundreds of letters from inmates transferred into nearby Wallens Ridge State Prison, the newest prison built to prop up the region’s sagging coal economy. The letters described human rights violations and racial tension between staff and inmates. Filming began that year and, through the lens of Wallens Ridge, the film offers viewers an in-depth look at the United States prison industry and the social impact of moving hundreds of thousands of inner-city minority offenders to distant rural outposts. Up the Ridge explores competing political agendas that align government policy with human rights violations, and political expediencies that bring communities into racial and cultural conflict with tragic consequences. As the film makes plain, connections exist, in both practice and ideology, between human rights violations in Abu Ghraib and physical and sexual abuse recorded in American prisons.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisons in Spokane, Racism, Solutions, Surveillance Society, Urgent Call, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Northwest Gang Investigators in Spokane May 19-22, 2008

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 17, 2008

So-called “gang experts” from the Northwest Gang Investigators Association will invade Spokane from May 19 to May 22, 2008, bringing their ever blessed light to shine upon the allegedly serious problem of gangs in Spokane.

It is especially disturbing to see this organization coming to Spokane at this time given the fact that Spokane Police Department is facing a severe crisis of corruption, misconduct, improperly and incompletely investigated police homicides against civilians, a practice of counter-suits against citizens who complain, and an ongoing history of racism in police hiring and policing of the community.

May god help us!

One might recall how in late September 2007 the collective anti-gang brain trust of Spokane — the Gang Enforcement Team (GET) — was involved in a widely publicized scandal as a result of their dissemination of patently false information about a “three-day gang enforcement focus”. The ATF and the GET widely touted their reported “success” in rounding up 70 plus gang members and associates as well as a large amount of weaponry. As it turns out there was only one gun and a handful of gang involved individuals charged with any crime. What was portrayed as a massive anti-gang bust was revealed to be a hoax involving publication of false data and a large scale effort to seed the media with false information. The GET is composed of the Spokane Police Department, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, ATF, FBI, and other unnamed government agencies.

Not surprisingly, the restricted-attendance event has been promoted by Yvonne Morton-Lopez, the non-Spanish-speaking chairwoman of Governor Chris Gregoire’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA). Organizations such as the CHA and the Spokane Human Rights Commission have been at the forefront of organizations promoting “forums” on gangs run by the Spokane Police Department, COPS, and the Gang Enforcement Team.

At recent GET forums in Spokane, presenters have taken already unsubstantiated numbers on gang membership in Spokane and inflated them by 25%, claiming for example that the supposed 900 gang members in Spokane is now 1200.

In an environment of police abuses — corruption, violence against members of minority groups, lack of civilian oversight — and in a community with a significant history of racism, organizations such as the Morton-Lopez’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs and Terry Goetz’s Spokane Human Rights Commission are acting extremely irresponsibly and jeopardizing their organizations’ credibility as defenders of the rights of Spokane’s small minority populations.

(Note: Morton-Lopez has recently been named the head of the Washington State Human Rights Commission. It will be interesting to see how she promotes law enforcement interests and their questionable practices from that position.)

Despite evidence which counters the claims of law enforcement and those such as Morton-Lopez about gangs in Spokane, the campaign goes on. Crime is down in Spokane, according to the police and FBI, despite SPD Corporal Lee’s best efforts to spin the statistics. And that is with 25 less officers than the comparison year of 2004. Yet, the GET and the COPS program continue to promote their Gang Seminars in the community despite the questionable information presented by GET team members.

http://www.nwgia.com/downloads/2008spring_nwgiaconference-reg.pdf

Posted in Gangs?, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

Request for help…

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 17, 2008

With 25,000 hits in 7 months, this blog has clearly become a useful resource.

However, I have other interests of importance such as my blog on Racism on Spokane and my blog on U.S. attempts at destabilizing Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

I would like to invite readers of this blog to help me and those seeking information on the Spokane Police and other issues related to Spokane-area law enforcement.

How?

1) If you conduct a search on a relevant topic, please send me the link or links.  Even the series of words you used in a Google search or the link to that search is useful.

2) If you have an experience or know of someone who has been a victim of abuse, disrespect, or other mistreatment by the police, jails, courts or other “public safety” personnel in the area, please send my the information.

3) If you have written something you would like posted here, please send it to me.

It is helpful if I have a way to reach you but it is not necessary. With an email address at least I can write you back for clarification. I will not publish or use your e-mail, name or personal information unless you request it and give your permission.

Please write to me at SpokanePoliceAbuses@gmail.com

Here are some examples of issues I have not been able to address yet and your help would be appreciated:

  • Followup on the Spokane Police Officer Jay Olsen shooting of Shonto Pete — an innocent man — in the back of the head
  • Followup on the killing of Otto Zehm by Officers Dan Torok, Jason Uberuaga and 5 others
  • Information on the status of the incomplete report by police consultant Mike Worley on the Spokane Police Department
  • Information on the status of the incomplete FBI investigation into the Otto Zehm homicide
  • Background on Utah-based corrections consultant David Bennett whose recent report is being used by Spokane County commissioners and Sheriff’s Office as part of their campaign to convince taxpayers of the need for a massive new jail complex
  • Witnesses to police abuses and misconduct in any Spokane area jurisdictions
  • Witnesses to the blonde Spokane Police woman who was thumping her baton against her open palm at the back of the Spokane City Council Chambers near the end of the presentation by SPD Chief Anne Kirkpatrick on September 17, 2007
  • Information on abuses in area jails and prisons
  • Withholding of public information by area agencies required to release such information
  • Holding of closed meetings by public agencies and entities required to inform the public and hold those meetings in the open
  • Information on spying by the FBI and other law enforcement on peace activists, community activists, and other citizens
  • Information on organizations such as InfraGard and other Soviet-style secret organizations used to recruit citizens to inform and report to the FBI and other law enforcement organizations.

Posted in In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | 1 Comment »

Sound the Alarm — We Will Not Be Silent

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 7, 2008

There are times when to show up in great numbers is itself an act of resistance.

March 19, 2008 is one of those times.

We need to show up.

www.5yearstoomany.org

A CALL TO ACTION: March 19, 2008 will mark the beginning of the 6th year of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. This is the time in which we live. This is our time to respond.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.

(Original video)

*********************************************

As long as the United States is engaged in an illegal war of occupation and as long as it suppresses opposition to that illegal war through constitutional violations at home, there will be increasing dissent and protest at home. We will not be silent! — David Brookbank

We Will Not Be Silent

 

Iraqi Victims — Photos from Fallujah

 

Banning Free Speech and Dangerous T-Shirts

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Protest and Free Speech, Urgent Call, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Spokane Racism — new blog by Arroyoribera

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 29, 2008

Racism in Spokane – a 21st century reality

by Arroyoribera on January 24th, 2008

Racism in Spokane?

Not a topic that will make you very popular among those you know in Spokane, especially if they are white.

Twice today it was suggested to me by whites I know that if people (a category which clearly was intended to include me) are unhappy with the situation of race in Spokane or the white dominance of Spokane or the exclusion of non-whites in Spokane, then I or anyone else with similar concerns can move to Seattle or anywhere else that we chose and where – it was implied – we will see more people of color on a routine basis.

Other interesting reactions to the topic of “racism in Spokane” can be seen in the anonymous postings on the blogs of the Spokesman-Review and even in the Spokesman’s publication/blog for area high school students.

Instead of leaving Spokane, I decided to begin this blog – Spokane Racism.

We will explore not only the perception and reality of racism in Spokane but also the reaction to the suggestion that Spokane is racist as well as the reaction to the evidence that Spokane is racist.

We will look at Spokane’s beginnings through the violent and unlawful taking of the lands of the native peoples and nations that lived, and fished, and roamed, and played, and celebrated, and raised families on this land and along this river.

In addition, we will look at the use and abuse of language and imagery of race, as well as the enshrinement of the areas racist past.

We will look at the history of explicitly racist organizations in the Spokane area from the Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations and Washington State Militia to Phinneas Brotherhood and White Order of Thule.

And we will look at the realities of community and organizational exclusion in Spokane from our media and our local governments to our police forces, our schools, and our cultural life.

I invite those with comments on the topic to send them to SpokaneRacism@google.com

Posted in Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Solutions, Statistics, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

La Coartada

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 11, 2008

La Coartada” (Alibi) del album Contra el Silencio (Against the Silence) por Héctor Kabacoff

La Coartada

Quien se atreve, a pesar de tus cadenas,
A valorarte el acierto o desatino?
Quien puede ser el juez de tu camino
Sin ver al semi-dios que te condena?

Quien puede bendecir tu sacrificio
Sin reprobar el peso de tu yugo?
Quien será el partenaire de tu verdugo
Reabriendo el tribunal del santo oficio?

Se prepara consejo de notables
Para participar de esta coartada
Rehenes de esta farsa descarada
Esta persecución imperdonable

Hay quién alza su voz para salvarte
De las fieras que afilan sus colmillos
Avalando tu sitio en el banquillo
Y esta absurda manera de enjuiciarte

La mesa esta servida y los señores
Van a participar de esta coartada
Rehenes de esta farsa descarada
Esta caza de brujas y de flores

Habrá otra vez jurados y habrá fuego
Cuando vuelvan por cada uno de ellos
Habrá acusados con la soga al cuello
Entre los que hoy jugaron este juego

La mesa esta servida y los señores
Van a participar de esta coartada
Rehenes de esta farsa descarada
Esta caza de brujas y de flores

Habrá otra vez jurados y habrá fuego
Cuando vuelvan por cada uno de ellos
Habrá acusados con la soga al cuello
Entre los que hoy jugaron este juego

****************************

(Lyrics to Alibi translated to English)

****************************

Thoughts of David Brookbank, former U.S. vice consul in Havana, Cuba, upon listening to this song and viewing the video:

The injustices imposed at the individual, family and community level upon tens of millions of people in the United States through the politics, laws, policies, philosophies, religion, and police state of the ruling class, combined with the silent complicity and cowardice of the U.S. populace, are merely a reflection of the injustices which the United States government imposes in our names on the peoples of the world by the tens of hundreds of millions. Yet patience is running short and the peoples of the world are awakening, no longer willing to remain silent, even if those in the U.S. remain asleep. Cuba has survived the coercion of the U.S. for 50 years and this long international witch hunt — a modern day inquisition — and shown the world the meaning of the words “resistance” and “solidarity”. Long live the global struggle against oppression, injustice, and imperialism!

U.S. Imperialist Hands Off Cuba!

Posted in Espanol, Photographic Evidence, Spanish, Urgent Call, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Comments Off on La Coartada

Urgent Call– Protest to close down Guantanamo — Friday, Jan. 11, 2008

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 10, 2008

GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION

Tell the government, tell the community, tell the world

GUANTANAMO MUST BE CLOSED!

108 N. Washington St, Spokane (downtown at corner Riverside and Washington)

Friday, January 11, 2008 at 4 PM

– Bring your signs. Bring your friends. Bring your OUTRAGE.

The Spokane American Legion Building at 108 N. Washington houses the offices of psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the architects of the military’s psychological torture plan used at Guatanamo, Abu Ghraib, Baghreb, and the secret so-called “black sites”, known by thinking people as “torture centers”.

The Role of Spokane, Fairchild, and the SERE/JPRA Program in U.S. Torture and Geneva Convention Violations (this post includes links to the major exposes on Mitchell/Jessen, Guantanamo, and videos of waterboarding, etc.

– Called by PJALS – Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane

Friday, January 11, 2008 marks the 6th year since the opening of the prison and torture center at Guantanamo Bay. As Americans responsible for funding this horror, many of us in Spokane plan to make known our abhorrence of that awful place, and will continue to demand that it be shut down – and shut down in a way that does not involve simply circulating its prisoners to other secret U.S.-run prisons.

PJALS (Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane) 35 W. Main, Spokane WA 99201 509-838-7870

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Protest, Protest and Free Speech, Testimonies, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

2007 Was Worst Year of Iraq Occupation — by Dahr Jamail, IPS News

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 3, 2008

2007 Was Worst Year of Iraq Occupation

by Dahr Jamail, IPS News
Posted on December 31, 2007

http://www.alternet.org/story/72064/

Despite all the claims of improvements, 2007 has been the worst year yet in Iraq.

One of the first big moves this year was the launch of a troop “surge” by the U.S. government in mid-February. The goal was to improve security in Baghdad and the western al-Anbar province, the two most violent areas. By June, an additional 28,000 troops had been deployed to Iraq, bringing the total number up to more than 160,000.

By autumn, there were over 175,000 U.S. military personnel in Iraq. This is the highest number of U.S. troops deployed yet, and while the U.S. government continues to talk of withdrawing some, the numbers on the ground appear to contradict these promises.

The Bush administration said the “surge” was also aimed at curbing sectarian killings, and to gain time for political reform for the government of U.S.-backed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

During the surge, the number of Iraqis displaced from their homes quadrupled, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent. By the end of 2007, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that there are over 2.3 million internally displaced persons within Iraq, and over 2.3 million Iraqis who have fled the country.

Iraq has a population around 25 million.

The non-governmental organization Refugees International describes Iraq’s refugee problem as “the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.”

In October the Syrian government began requiring visas for Iraqis. Until then it was the only country to allow Iraqis in without visas. The new restrictions have led some Iraqis to return to Baghdad, but that number is well below 50,000.

A recent UNHCR survey of families returning found that less than 18 percent did so by choice. Most came back because they lacked a visa, had run out of money abroad, or were deported.

Sectarian killings have decreased in recent months, but still continue. Bodies continue to be dumped on the streets of Baghdad daily.

One reason for a decrease in the level of violence is that most of Baghdad has essentially been divided along sectarian lines. Entire neighborhoods are now surrounded by concrete blast walls several meters high, with strict security checkpoints. Normal life has all but vanished.

The Iraqi Red Crescent estimates that eight out of ten refugees are from Baghdad.

By the end of 2007, attacks against occupation forces decreased substantially, but still number more than 2,000 monthly. Iraqi infrastructure, like supply of potable water and electricity are improving, but remain below pre-invasion levels. Similarly with jobs and oil exports. Unemployment, according to the Iraqi government, ranges between 60-70 percent.

An Oxfam International report released in July says 70 percent of Iraqis lack access to safe drinking water, and 43 percent live on less than a dollar a day. The report also states that eight million Iraqis are in need of emergency assistance.

“Iraqis are suffering from a growing lack of food, shelter, water and sanitation, healthcare, education, and employment,” the report says. “Of the four million Iraqis who are dependent on food assistance, only 60 percent currently have access to rations through the government-run Public Distribution System (PDS), down from 96 percent in 2004.”

Nearly 10 million people depend on the fragile rationing system. In December, the Iraqi government announced it would cut the number of items in the food ration from ten to five due to “insufficient funds and spiraling inflation.” The inflation rate is officially said to be around 70 percent.

The cuts are to be introduced in the beginning of 2008, and have led to warnings of social unrest if measures are not taken to address rising poverty and unemployment.

Iraq’s children continue to suffer most. Child malnutrition rates have increased from 19 percent during the economic sanctions period prior to the invasion, to 28 percent today.

This year has also been one of the bloodiest of the entire occupation. The group Just Foreign Policy, “an independent and non-partisan mass membership organization dedicated to reforming U.S. foreign policy,” estimates the total number of Iraqis killed so far due to the U.S.-led invasion and occupation to be 1,139,602.

This year 894 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq, making 2007 the deadliest year of the entire occupation for the U.S. military, according to ICasualties.org.

To date, at least 3,896 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of defense.

A part of the U.S. military’s effort to reduce violence has been to pay former resistance fighters. Late in 2007, the U.S. military began paying monthly wages of 300 dollars to former militants, calling them now “concerned local citizens.”

While this policy has cut violence in al-Anbar, it has also increased political divisions between the dominant Shia political party and the Sunnis – the majority of these “concerned citizens” being paid are Sunni Muslims. Prime Minister Maliki has said these “concerned local citizens” will never be part of the government’s security apparatus, which is predominantly composed of members of various Shia militias.

Underscoring another failure of the so-called surge is the fact that the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad remains more divided than ever, and hopes of reconciliation have vanished.

According to a recent ABC/BBC poll, 98 percent of Sunnis and 84 percent of Shias in Iraq want all U.S. forces out of the country.

Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist who reports from Iraq.

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/72064/

Posted in Censorship, Protest and Free Speech, Solutions, Statistics, Testimonies, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Death by TASER – The Tragic Death of Roger Holyfield

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 2, 2008

Death by TASER – The Tragic Death of Roger Holyfield

By Christopher Bollyn

11 December 2006

 

I have taken a special interest in the widespread use of the supposedly “non-lethal” TASER weapon after being assaulted and TASERed without cause or justification at my home in mid-August by a so-called “tactical unit” of three out-of-uniform undercover cops.

 

It was, after all, with no small amount of trepidation that I had returned with my family to our home in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, in July 2006, after an absence of nearly one year.

 

We were compelled to leave our home in the fall of 2005 because we no longer felt secure after discovering that two people who had attached themselves to us over a period of years were actually informing the FBI on our comings and goings. Their daily intrusions had forced us to change our telephone number and make ourselves scarce in our attempt to protect ourselves and our privacy.

 

We had only been back at home a week from a trip to North Dakota when I noticed a strange car loitering around my house with three heavily-armed men wearing body armor. I called 911 to report the suspicious vehicle and was very surprised to see the same three heavily-armed men on my driveway 15 minutes later confronting my wife and 8-year-old daughter.

 

Contrary to the police report, these men did not introduce themselves or explain their presence and adamantly refused to identify themselves when asked. When I turned to get my brother from the house, I was suddenly attacked from behind, handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

 

At this point, the unidentified man who acted like the leader of the group (who I later learned had worked with the Department of Homeland Security), applied the TASER gun without warning directly to my back and shocked the hell out of me. As I now know, at that moment I came very close to death.

 

At least 200 Americans have died recently in similar circumstances after being TASERed. Roger Holyfield is one of them.

 

The case of the 17-year-old Roger Holyfield is a very tragic case which should serve as a wake-up call for Americans. If we learn something from his death and save lives in the future, Roger’s death will not have been in vain. If that happens, Roger Holyfield may be remembered as a martyr whose death served to save others.

 

Roger lived in the village of Dow, near the town of Jerseyville, Illinois, and certainly had not had an easy time of things. Although, he was well-liked he had gone through a very difficult period after his father had committed suicide in the spring of 2003.

 

Like many Americans, Roger had been taking an anti-depressant medication, which created adverse psychiatric side effects, which led to additional prescriptions to deal with the side effects. In Roger’s case, an anti-psychotic medication, Geodon, was added to the anti-depressant Wellbutrin, creating a dangerous pharmaceutical cocktail. He had been taking these medications for several years prior to his death and had only recently been taken off them. The record is not clear but it appears he had been in withdrawal and may have begun taking another medication shortly before he died. In any case, prescription medications had affected his behavior at the time of his death.

 

Through the haze of the pharmaceuticals, Roger was looking forward to being baptized the next day, Sunday, October 29. Unfortunately, he did not survive Saturday night in Jerseyville.

 

He was on South State Street, the main drag of Jerseyville, across from the Pizza Hut, the Arbee’s and the Salvation Army store, holding a Bible in one hand and a cordless phone in the other.

 

“I want my Mama, Jesus,” he had been calling, an eyewitness said, when police intervened “tragically“ and ended his short life. As the people who knew Roger said, “He was simply asking for God’s help.”

 

Although he did not pose a threat to anyone “ including himself“ a local police engaged Roger, but rather than alleviate the situation, they created a conflict. Before the conflict was over, some 7 police officers had become involved in the altercation with the 5-foot 7-inch lad who weighed no more than 130 pounds.

 

Furthermore, while it may be annoying, Roger Holyfield’s calling on God was certainly not illegal or criminal in any way and did not warrant any action by the police. If the police had not intervened, Roger would certainly still be alive. On any given day in an American city one is likely to come across a person calling for God’s help. This is, however, certainly no reason to TASER them.

 

At this point the narratives divide: the police version, which is dutifully reported by the mainstream press, says that seven police officers were overwhelmed by a 130-pound person who exhibited super-human strength as a result of so-called “excited delirium.”

 

This “excited delirium,” which does not even exist as a medical or psychiatric condition, supposedly gave Roger incredible strength and then caused him to suddenly give up the ghost – after the police had beaten and TASERed him.

 

The eyewitness narrative is somewhat different. After the police had confronted Roger, the police had provoked him and put him into handcuffs and a squad car. An eyewitness told the local paper, The Telegraph, that there were at least four police cars, two Illinois State Police troopers and another man in street clothes [Johnny Lawson, an off-duty police officer] surrounding Holyfield.

 

Another witness said there were more than enough police officers present to subdue Holyfield without using the TASER shock treatment. The police had also struck Holyfield a number of times during the encounter, according to the witness.

 

One eyewitness, who wishes to remain un-named, spoke candidly to this reporter about what he saw. When only three officers were on the scene, the eyewitness saw how they had apprehended Holyfield. Officer Lawson, who recognized Holyfield, had said, “Take it easy, he’s sick,” the eyewitness said.

 

“Let’s fry the mother ——.” Officer Todd Witt, a new officer on the force, had said, and is the one who delivered the TASERing.

 

Holyfield was put into the squad car, where according to the witness, the police claim he had damaged the back seat. At this point Holyfield was taken out of the car and TASERed again.

 

Although he was handcuffed, police had shocked Holyfield at least twice with the TASER. The eyewitness said he had seen Holyfield “twitching on the ground.” Holyfield’s rolling on the ground had dislodged the TASER barbs, so he was TASERed again.

 

What is unusual in this case is that the TASERing of Holyfield was done with the weapon firing the electrode barbs into the trunk of the 17-year-old youth. TASER International of Scottsdale, Arizona, had not responded to a written request asking about how the TASER was applied to Holyfield. The only training that police receive in the use of the TASER comes in the form of a short DVD-video presentation presented by the company that manufacturers the weapon.

 

Dr. Phillip Burch, deputy chief medical examiner for St. Louis, said he had done an autopsy of Holyfield on Tuesday, October 31, two days after he died. He had seen a number of burn marks on Holyfield’s trunk and had examined one of them closely. Asked if he thought that the TASERing had caused Holyfield’s death, Burch had simply said, “No opinion.”

 

Burch has promoted the idea that Holyfield died of “excited delirium,” although no such condition exists in medical journals. Asked if an autopsy would reveal if Holyfield had died from TASERing or “excited delirium,” Burch said, “not directly.”

 

When asked how “excited delirium” could be claimed as a cause of death when it is not a recognized medical or psychiatric condition, Burch said, “It exists for me.”

 

Roger’s mother, Rita, said that he had been TASERed about 6 times. He had vomited at the scene and his heart had stopped, she said. The paramedics had tried to revive Holyfield using CPR, but his heart had “stopped right there,” she said. The hospital would not comment on his condition.

 

It is very likely that the anti-psychotic medication that Roger had been taking, Geodon, may have contributed to his death.

 

Geodon is known to have a serious side effect on the heart, which can be fatal.  Geodon has been found to change the heart’s rhythm. It is known that drugs, like Geodon, produce rare, dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities.

The risk of these dangerous side effects increases when Geodon is mixed with other medications. The side effects can be so extreme as to induce coma or death.

 

What may have happened with Roger Holyfield is that his long term use of Geodon and Wellbutrin affected his mental condition and compromised his heart. The stress caused by the TASER may have caused Holyfield’s heart to go into cardiac arrest and directly led to his death.

 

Winn Parker, a licensed medical scientist in Palo Alto, California, said that the barbs of the TASER act like a “cauterizing pin” causing damage to the tissue and organs. “His organs got cooked,” Parker said. “Organs are burnt from trauma.”

 

Marion Fulk, a former staff scientist with the Manhattan Project, said that TASERing is very likely to affect the vital organs “especially the heart.” While TASERing probably does permanent damage to the vital organs, Fulk said, in the case of Holyfield, it may have “induced a systematic irregularity in the heartbeat,” he said, leading to his death.

 

More than 5 weeks after his death, his mother still does not have his death certificate. This is being held up, she said, pending the results of the toxicology reports.


As the signs around Jerseyville say, “Jesus saves. TASERs kill. We love you Roger.”

Photo: Roger Holyfield, the 17-year-old boy from Illinois
who was killed by a police TASER on the eve of his baptism.

FOLLOW-UP and UPDATE to

The TASER: A Police Device for Torture and Death

One month after I posted the article about how the police use the TASER torture device to gain compliance, a 17-year-old boy in Jerseyville, Illinois, was TASERed to death. His name was Roger Holyfield.

Roger’s only offense: Holding a Bible and calling for Jesus near the main street of Jerseyville, a town of some 9,000 people near St. Louis, Missouri.

Roger Holyfield was TASERed at least twice while he was already in handcuffs. There were at least 6 officers involved in the TASER assault of the youth who stood only 5 foot 7 inches and weighed 130 pounds. He had also reportedly been beaten.

I have been told that Roger had already been handcuffed and put in a police car when the police decided to take him out of the squad car and TASER him on the site he had arrested – at least twice.

If this is correct, it would indicate that the TASER weapon was used to torture him for something that he had said or done while he was in the police car and already completely subdued. It was not done to gain compliance or subdue him because he was already subdued, handcuffed, and restrained in police custody.

So, why was he taken out of the squad car and TASERed? What does this tell us about the reason he was TASERed? What are the instructions that police receive about how to use the TASER?

I have learned that Roger had been taking anti-anxiety medication, reportedly Klonopin, and that he had only begun taking it “again” five days before he was TASERed.

This raises a whole host of questions about his mental state, medical history, and possible drug interactions, adverse reactions of Klonopin, and how TASERing could be more lethal when administered to a person in a medicated state such as Roger’s. Did the police even recognize that this person appeared to be having a reaction to his medication?

If Roger was reacting to his medication, why did the police respond with force and TASERing rather than calling his parents or a doctor? This is an unfortunate example of the expression critical of police that no situation is so dire that the presence of a police officer won’t make it worse.

The TASER weapon was used on Roger not in the stun-gun mode but in the barb-firing mode, in which case electrodes are fired at the person and pierce his skin as the shock is applied. The weapon was fired at least twice, although we don’t know how many times Roger Holyfield was actually shocked with the 50,000 volt current. When the barbs are attached to the subject, the shock is given by pulling the trigger. Each shock session lasts 5 seconds and releases at least 50,000 volts. It can be repeated as often as desired by simply pulling the trigger.

The medical examiner said that his body had about a half-dozen burn marks on his trunk. This electric current can easily cause the heart to become dysfunctional and go into an irregular rhythm or cardiac arrest. The electric shock can also cause permanent damage to other vital organs.

After being TASERed, Roger vomited and went into a coma as the ambulance workers put him into the ambulance. He died the following day, Sunday, October 29, the day he was to be baptized.

The TASER is an extremely cruel and dangerous weapon that is considered to be a tool of torture in most of the world. Only the United States and Canada allow police to use this weapon routinely.

Amnesty International (AI), the leading anti-torture watchdog organization, has long called on “U.S. state, federal and local authorities to suspend all transfers and use of TASERS and other electro-shock weapons pending a rigorous, independent inquiry into their use and effects.”

AI considers the use of TASERS to constitute “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment – and torture.”

AI has reported that TASER devices are frequently used to torture and interrogate people such as political prisoners and that TASERS are used by police in the U.S. “particularly for torture to ‘gain compliance.'”

The following video from a routine traffic stop in Boynton Beach, Florida, in which an officer TASERed a 22-year-old woman in 1994, shows how the TASER is abused to “gain compliance.”

WARNING – This video is very disturbing to view.

It lasts for several minutes and there are a few points that need to be made:

The woman is TASERed in order to make her comply with the demands made by the police officer to get out of her car. She is not violent or threatening the officer in any way as she speaks on her cell phone telling her friend or relative that the officer is pointing a gun at her.

When she is TASERed she falls from the car onto the street. She falls from a height of at least 3 feet onto the asphalt. This falling from the vehicle apparently injured her arm and could have killed her if she had landed on her head.

When the police finally lift her from the asphalt and she notices her wounded arm, the officer says that she should not have “taken a swing” at the police. The video clearly shows that at no point did she take a swing at anybody. Her wounded arm is from her falling from the car when she was TASERed.

Photo: A TASER gun – a tool of torture and death – is used by police in the United States and Canada. At least 200 people have been killed by this “non-lethal” weapon. Why do we tolerate such cruelty in this society?

http://www.bollyn.com/editor/?id=10369

Christopher Bollyn
10 December 2006

Posted in Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Spokane taser, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Filing a complaint against the Spokane Police Department

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 22, 2007

Let’s see just how anxious the Spokane Police Department is to have its citizens file a complaint against an officer.

The following is from the website of the Spokane Police Department:

How do I file a complaint against an Officer?
Complaints are handled on several different levels. The complaint can be handled in three ways. You can speak with the Officer’s Sergeant, the Shift Commander, or Internal Affairs. The complaint can be taken verbally or in writing. Call 477-5980 and choose option one for Spokane Police, then choose the option for front desk if you would like to speak with the shift commander or Sergeant. Choose Internal Affairs option if you would like to speak to Internal Affairs.

The information provided is as unclear and deceptive as it has always been. Let’s start with the fact that a 7 year old could have written the paragraph. Complaints are handled “on several different levels” and “in three ways” and can be “taken verbally and in writing”. If that is not convoluted and vague enough, only a phone number is provide. No address is provided to file a written complaint. No information is provided on where to obtain a complaint form and, in this day and age of electronic media, no downloadable or printable complaint form is provided.

(The SPD website has a streaming media page, formatted e-mail pages, interactive crime maps and other evidence of technological sophistication. There is zero reason why the citizens of Spokane do not have access to a downloadable and printable complaint form except that the Spokane Police Department has always sought to make it nearly impossible to complain without a citizen feeling threatened, discouraged, harassed and further victimized.)

This is has long been the modus operandi of the Spokane Police Department in regards to citizen complaints. First, discourage complaints by making it virtually impossible to complain. Second, make it very difficult to obtain any information on making a complaint without having contact first with police personnel. Third, make the existence of a complaint form next to impossible to confirm and even harder to obtain.

Without independent civilian oversight of the Spokane Police Department, the people of Spokane will continue to be subjected to the guffaws of the Spokane Police Guild echoing through the Public Safety Building. It will continue to be the most vulnerable and the least represented who will be the most victimized. And that reality will continue to be the legacy of Spokane — a justice system which fails to hold the police to a standard of accountability and oversight which assures our safety and freedom.

(Note: The website of the Spokane Crime Reporting Center, which is joint contracted by the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department, provides even less information on the process for making a complaint of official police misconduct. In fact, they are so anxious to have a complaint filed that they don’t even complete the question in list of Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.spokanecounty.org/crimereportingcenter/faq.asp )

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Solutions, Testimonies, Urgent Call | 1 Comment »

The Shock Doctrine — Naomi Klein (short version)

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 17, 2007

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism — by Naomi Klein

In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the “War on Terror” to Halliburton and Blackwater…. After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts…. New Orleans’s residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened…. These events are examples of “the shock doctrine”: using the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks — wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters — to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy. Sometimes, when the first two shocks don’t succeed in wiping out resistance, a third shock is employed: the electrode in the prison cell or the Taser gun on the streets.

Based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, The Shock Doctrine vividly shows how disaster capitalism — the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies still reeling from shock — did not begin with September 11, 2001. The book traces its origins back fifty years, to the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman, which produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today. New, surprising connections are drawn between economic policy, “shock and awe” warfare and covert CIA-funded experiments in electroshock and sensory deprivation in the 1950s, research that helped write the torture manuals used today in Guantanamo Bay.

The Shock Doctrine follows the application of these ideas though our contemporary history, showing in riveting detail how well-known events of the recent past have been deliberate, active theatres for the shock doctrine, among them: Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973, the Falklands War in 1982, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Asian Financial crisis in 1997 and Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

*************************

The Age of Disaster Capitalism (reprinted in CommonDreams.org)

Calling things what they are — Video conversation between Naomi Klein & John Cusack

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Protest and Free Speech, Urgent Call, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Respond by e-mail: Your help needed in developing this site

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 16, 2007

The goal of this blog, Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present, is to provide facts and insight, as well as commentary and links to related issues on a global scale. In fulfilling that goal, I believe this site has been successful in its 5 months of existence. Nearly 15,000 people have visited the site to date. The items that people are searching for (visible through WordPress statistics feature) are fascinating and indicate widespread interest in the issues of police abuse of powers particularly by Spokane area law enforcement, as well as the closely related issues of fascism at home and military intervention abroad.

Please send your questions, suggestions, articles, corrections, links, and comments to:

spokanepoliceabuses@gmail.com

Besides information on police abuses, police practices, community oversight of police, etc., I am also very interested in ideas on how to better organize the sight, how to more effectively use the categories, links, and other sidebar features.

Basically all feedback, especially critical feedback, is appreciated.

I do not promise to respond to all e-mails. E-mails from fascists, militarists, death squad members, human rights abusers, racists, and police apologists will not be read and will simply be deleted.

I will respond to some e-mails on a selective basis.

Thank you for your help and support.

Adelante, cipote

Boy Confronts Police

Posted in Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

When Others Were Silent, Dennis Kucinich Stood Up and Spoke Up

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 6, 2007

http://www.dennis4president.com/go/issues/

Strength Through Peace

strength_peace.jpgDennis Kucinich is the only democrat running for President who has voted against authorizing the war in Iraq and against funding its continuation. He has proposed a bold, new policy to re-establish America’s place in the world. Diplomacy and a return to statesmanship as the path to strong international leadership. A new policy of investing in our communities and our infrastructure. A new policy of Strength through Peace.
Read more…

A Healthy Nation
insurance_paperwork.jpgHealth care in the US is too expensive and leaves 46 million Americans without insurance and millions more underinsured. Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate for President with a plan for a Universal, Single-Payer, Not-for-Profit health care system.
Read more…

Survival of the Middle Class
mature_couple.jpgFor most American families, the loss of a job or one serious illness spells catastrophe. Stagnant wages, expensive health care and rising education costs are vital issues being ignored by the Congress and White House. A champion of working families, Dennis Kucinich will lead America into expanding opportunities, universal health care, restore our schools and strengthen Social Security and protections for private pensions.
Read more…

Securing Constitutional Democracy
constitution_flag.jpgA corrupt campaign finance system, coupled with vulnerable electronic voting have eroded America’s confidence in our elections. The USA Patriot Act and secret strategy meetings to set policy tear into the very concept of We the People. As President, Dennis will protect individual liberty and privacy and restore balance and fairness in America’s electoral system.
Read more…

A Sustainable Future
turbines.jpgAs the world population soars towards eight billion, critical issues of survival face all of us. Living on a planet of finite resources means that human life can not be sustained indefinitely without careful thought and compassion coupled with political courage.
Read more…

End to Poverty
poverty_iwashere.jpgHalf the world’s population lives on less than two dollars a day. In 2003, 10.6 million children died before they reached the age of five. Without hope and stricken by the AIDS pandemic, religious strife and no opportunity for an education; desperate poverty is a fact of everyday life for the majority of the world’s people. It manifests itself in war, terror and genocide over scarce resources, hopelessness and intolerance. Dennis Kucinich will make it a national priority to fight poverty worldwide. He understands that the path to a safe, strong America is through peace, tolerance and committing our nation to eradicating the root causes of global poverty.
Read more…

Saving Capitalism
business_compass.jpgAs President, Dennis Kucinich will end America’s participation in NAFTA and the WTO. Huge, multi-national corporations ship American jobs overseas, turn a blind eye to human rights abuses and hide behind their lobbyists in Washington. Read more about Dennis’ plan to instill ethics, accountability and fairness in global trade and big business.
Read more…

Posted in In Collective Self-Defense, Protest and Free Speech, Solutions, Urgent Call, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Dr. Tom Jeannot reflects on July 4, 2007 in Spokane, Washington

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 5, 2007

Originally posted to spokaneprogressives and sent to other friends…

July 4, 2007

Hi, friends.

After the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, the Walker Report coined the expression, a “police riot,” to characterize the brutal repression of dissent during those unforgettable hours. American citizens exercising their Constitutionally protected First-Amendment rights to assemble and speak out against the carnage in Vietnam were met with the iron fist of the state, a scenario repeated again and again at places like Kent State and Jackson State, against the Black Panther Party everywhere and MOVE in Philadelphia, and on it goes in a list too long to rehearse now. What is demonstrated is the fundamental incompatibility of the national security state with elementary democracy, even in the limited form envisioned by the Constitution.

A generation later, with the Constitution even more imperiled than it was in that last great hour, the police state with its state security apparatus has descended on the people once more like a cloud of poison gas. The slightest expression of civil liberty suffices to provoke the hydra-headed beast to the brutality of its nightsticks, handcuffs, choke-holds, and paddy wagons.

We are choking on it right now, right here, today.

Last week (on June 27, 2007), Dan Treecraft and Rebecca Lamb merely sought to assemble for the redress of their grievances against the Attorney General of the United States. The occasion of their arrest is a scene repeated in city after city all across the land.

The black community in the US has long been weary of the grim conditions of lockdown now visited upon a tepid left, all too happy to secure the proper permits and pen themselves in the corrals known in this Time of Bush as “free speech zones,” once any one of us is even slightly emboldened to reclaim the public spaces now almost wholly given over to panoramic shopping malls and ersatz theme parks.

In our own local community, cops routinely shoot people and beat them up. I do not want to say it, except that it’s true.

You don’t want to say: pig!

You want to maintain proper decorum and civility, the high road, the civic virtues of polite discourse, only to discover that the discursive practice of the state security apparatus is Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition and the prison-industrial complex, Blackwater and Halliburton, talking and refusing to talk in the voices of a Dick Cheney, a Scooter Libby, or a Tony Snow. When you speak, then, this is how it answers: it answers with men who place themselves outside the rule of law, know no accountability for their conduct, and would as easily maim, kill, or disappear you as go to the country club for cocktails.

You would think we were in Argentina in the time of the Colonels and Chile in the time of Pinochet.

I was there today (July 4, 2007). I’ll tell you what happened on my sworn honor to tell the truth. I should have been arrested and I feel guilty that I was not. It must be remembered that the subject is youth. Bob Zeller came out in solidarity, as did Dan and Jan Treecraft. Otherwise, these young people were high-school aged, in their late teens, and in their early twenties. They are suffocating in the cloud of poison gas that has descended upon Spokane. They lack the lungs to breathe this air.

I won’t tell you how I found out that a group of young people planned to meet in Peaceful Valley under the Maple Street Bridge at five o’clock on the Fourth of July in order to stage a protest against the pandemic of police brutality. Many of the same youth had already met with police violence in Critical Mass and other ways. Many, perhaps most, dress in black. You see them gathered and you think for a minute that you’re on the Left Coast. Many wear the bandanas across their faces made famous again by the Zapatistas. They are not especially well clarified in theory and philosophy: they are broadly, roughly, and approximately anarchists. Last Fourth of July, fifty of them turned out. Today the number was greater, perhaps as many as seventy. Peaceably assembling in the park under the bridge, people talked quietly among themselves until a few minutes past five, when four brief speeches were made. The first speaker gave a history lesson on COINTELPRO. Next came a young woman to talk about the gendered dimension of police brutality today. Since I cannot help speaking, I was honored to speak next, briefly, reminding the comrades of the Battle in Seattle in 1999 and the links of this event to a global movement from Venezuela to South Africa. The last speaker presented a statistical analysis of the numbers of police dead by comparison with other workers to make the point that cops rarely die on the job. Everyone listened quietly and attentively. There was a very good vibe.

While the speeches were being made, the cops started to show up. One of them approached an organizer of the event, but the group demanded that everyone be addressed. He told us, in effect, that the police would withdraw if we followed the simple rules of pedestrian right-of-way and so forth. Everyone agreed. No one was in the mood for a confrontation with the police. Please allow me to repeat this: no one gathered was in a mood to tangle with or antagonize cops. Some speech had an antagonistic, oppositional quality to be sure, and not all speech was decorous, although I cannot recall finding a provision to the contrary in the Constitutional guarantee.

The situation is this: these young people have speech and signs; the cops have sidearms, nightsticks, and all of the other lovely accoutrements of the national security state. After all, they are the police, increasingly militarized, with the full force of the police state to back them up. I presume the young people were in the same mood I was in, having no desire to poke a stick or throw a rock at men with guns, because I figure there’s not exactly what you’d call a balance of forces.

Well then, after the speeches, we fell more or less into order and proceeded to march. The last I heard, such marches are a hallowed American tradition, and what better way to celebrate the revolutionary heritage of the Fourth of July. We kept mainly to the sidewalk, up from Peaceful Valley and into downtown Spokane. We marched around the gods of commerce with their gaudy logos and then made our way into Riverfront Park. Naturally, the park was crowded. Perhaps we took people too much by surprise to react much. It was fun, it lasted ten or maybe twenty minutes through the Park, and then we came round by the clock tower. An organizer invited us to stick around for something to eat and to talk, but the event was essentially over at this point. In fact, I had just made the reasonable decision to go home, get some dinner, walk my dogs, even feeling a little elated to find things coming off so nicely in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

We took up our space by the clock tower and some companions laid out a blanket, appropriately depicting the Flag. People began talking and eating and things were, as someone my age will be sure to say, mellow. Meanwhile, we noticed police forming a perimeter, initially I would say at a distance of about forty yards–SPD and Riverfront Park Security personnel–to the north, and then along the sidewalk to the immediate south of our location. Gradually, choreographically, the perimeter began to tighten. Pretty soon it was hard to ignore the fact that we were being surrounded by about twenty cops. I didn’t count, so I can’t be sure of the number. It was not a small number. I began to think about the talk the one cop had given us under the bridge and how compliant everyone was. But the perimeter continued to tighten, we were surrounded, and now there were two rings of cops, the first closing in on the blanket at center, the second on all points of the compass further out. Then the inner ring of cops started taking pictures with the clever little cameras we have these days, and they were positively starting to crowd the folks now hemmed in on all sides on the blanket. Some of the kids started–I would say, squawking–and then obstructing the camera lenses with the signs we’d been carrying.

You know how it is when somebody comes right up on your personal space? Being an American white “middle-class” white guy, I’m inclined to take this sort of thing as a sign of aggression. I don’t know, maybe it’s different in Hong Kong or Manhattan.

Since I was in the act of leaving at this moment, I must say I didn’t quite see exactly what happened next; I saw it, but I’m not a very good reporter (even though I co-hosted “On the Clock” for over two years with Wil, who was also there and has a much better eye for detail). I was on the outer perimeter. Suddenly, perhaps four cops bum-rushed one young man who was sitting on some kind of canister just off the blanket. Wil told me afterwards that the young man had touched a cop, which I guess was all the provocation they needed (although the whole episode had the feeling of a pretext). You’ll have to remember that the cops were steadily closing in on the blanket area and undertaking this homeland security business of snapping everyone’s picture, and by now the kids-to-cops pixels were rather high-resolution. It looked to me, in other words, like they just wanted any excuse to start roughing people up. You can see the fourteen photographs by going to the link I’ve posted below (from the SR, sent courtesy of Rebecca Lamb). They hauled this one kid off, perhaps as many as four cops heading south with him out towards Spokane Falls Boulevard.

There was a brief lull in the action. I believe people were trying to find their bearings. A crowd was beginning to gather, initially mainly in support of the kids, although as the crowd thickened, I would say to several hundred onlookers by the end, its complexion also changed and there was many a brown-shirt cheering on the cops with some of the blockheads volunteering to form a human chain.

After the lull–I was having one of those slow-motion experiences–near pandemonium set in. Cops were knocking kids down right and left. The crowd began to chant, “Let them go!” On the outer perimeter where I still was, having unsuccessfully tried to call Beverly on my little cell phone gadget to ask her whether I should try to get arrested, a goon, if I may call him that, came up to me and another friend of ours who meanwhile had shown up and could give his own account of what happened, and he told us that unless we vacated, or if we remained where we were we would be subject to arrest for criminal trespass. I’m sure there must be some legal authority for trumping up this charge. Our friend and I stayed right where we were, but it appeared that now that the cops had secured the center of the action at the blanket–under a tree, by the way, where the remaining kids had joined arms–they were cherry-picking various people off to the side to subject them to the same hospitality. So the effect was that this was happening around me but not to me.

Again, it appeared that the cops were singling out certain people on the periphery, then rushing and arresting them. I was even wearing my tee-shirt with the photograph of Fidel Castro shaking hands with Ernest Hemingway, which Wil had brought me back from Cuba; but I guess this wasn’t enough to win me a nightstick.

The SR reporter was there whose name is included below, and I gave him a somewhat impassioned statement, taking the First Amendment, peaceable assembly, free speech, civil liberties, and the Fourth of July as my themes, especially eager to point out that THE YOUNG PEOPLE HAD DONE NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO PROVOKE THE POLICE EXCEPT CONCLUDE THEIR MARCH BY GATHERING AROUND A BLANKET TO SHARE SOME FOOD AND CONVERSATION, bringing to an end what would have been AN UPLIFTING EVENT FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY IN HONOR OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY TRADITION, and a much better way to spend the afternoon than shopping in River Park Square.

Around about then, I left the park and came home, to discover that fully seventeen youth had been arrested on this gorgeous evening in Spokane.

The term, “riot,” connotes mayhem. I use the term, “near-riot” instead because police procedure on this occasion was systematic and orchestrated. It was as systematic and orchestrated as it can be when brutal thugs take out nightsticks and handcuffs and start wailing on innocent youngsters.

Ironically, the absurdly thuggish, unprovoked, and gratuitous police conduct on this occasion enacted the raison d’etre of the occasion itself, to protest police brutality. It was as if they were determined to demonstrate, almost as if it were theater, the very bill of particulars that had been brought against them.

Peace!

Tom

[ More about Dr. Tom Jeannot, the 4th of July, and state repression ]

 

Censorship

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces — by James Petras (CounterPunch)

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 30, 2007

November 28, 2007

Counterattack as Fateful Referendum Looms

CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces

By JAMES PETRAS

On November 26, 2007 the Venezuelan government broadcast and circulated a confidential memo from the US embassy to the CIA which is devastatingly revealing of US clandestine operations and which will influence the referendum this Sunday, December 2, 2007.

The memo sent by an embassy official, Michael Middleton Steere, was addressed to the Director of Central Intelligence, Michael Hayden. The memo was entitled ‘Advancing to the Last Phase of Operation Pincer’ and updates the activity by a CIA unit with the acronym ‘HUMINT’ (Human Intelligence) which is engaged in clandestine action to destabilize the forth-coming referendum and coordinate the civil military overthrow of the elected Chavez government. The Embassy-CIA’s polls concede that 57 per cent of the voters approved of the constitutional amendments proposed by Chavez but also predicted a 60 per cent abstention.

The US operatives emphasized their capacity to recruit former Chavez supporters among the social democrats (PODEMOS) and the former Minister of Defense Baduel, claiming to have reduced the ‘yes’ vote by 6 per cent from its original margin. Nevertheless the Embassy operatives concede that they have reached their ceiling, recognizing they cannot defeat the amendments via the electoral route.

The memo then recommends that Operation Pincer (OP) [Operación Tenaza] be operationalized. OP involves a two-pronged strategy of impeding the referendum, rejecting the outcome at the same time as calling for a ‘no’ vote. The run up to the referendum includes running phony polls, attacking electoral officials and running propaganda through the private media accusing the government of fraud and calling for a ‘no’ vote. Contradictions, the report emphasizes, are of no matter.

The CIA-Embassy reports internal division and recriminations among the opponents of the amendments including several defections from their ‘umbrella group’. The key and most dangerous threats to democracy raised by the Embassy memo point to their success in mobilizing the private university students (backed by top administrators) to attack key government buildings including the Presidential Palace, Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council. The Embassy is especially full of praise for the ex-Maoist ‘Red Flag’ group for its violent street fighting activity. Ironically, small Trotskyist sects and their trade unionists join the ex-Maoists in opposing the constitutional amendments. The Embassy, while discarding their ‘Marxist rhetoric’, perceives their opposition as fitting in with their overall strategy.

The ultimate objective of ‘Operation Pincer’ is to seize a territorial or institutional base with the ‘massive support’ of the defeated electoral minority within three or four days (presumably after the elections though this is not clear. JP) backed by an uprising by oppositionist military officers principally in the National Guard. The Embassy operative concede that the military plotters have run into serous problems as key intelligence operatives were detected, stores of arms were decommissioned and several plotters are under tight surveillance.

Apart from the deep involvement of the US, the primary organization of the Venezuelan business elite (FEDECAMARAS), as well as all the major private television, radio and newspaper outlets have been engaged in a campaign of fear and intimidation campaign. Food producers, wholesale and retail distributors have created artificial shortages of basic food items and have provoked large scale capital flight to sow chaos in the hopes of reaping a ‘no’ vote.

President Chavez Counter-Attacks

In a speech to pro-Chavez, pro-amendment nationalist business-people (Entrepreneurs for Venezuela ­ EMPREVEN) Chavez warned the President of FEDECAMARAS that if he continues to threaten the government with a coup, he would nationalize all their business affiliates. With the exception of the Trotskyists and other sects, the vast majority of organized workers, peasants, small farmers, poor neighborhood councils, informal self-employed and public school students have mobilized and demonstrated in favor of the constitutional amendments.

The reason for the popular majority is found in a few of the key amendments: One article expedites land expropriation facilitating re-distribution to the landless and small producers. Chavez has already settled over 150,000 landless workers on 2 million acres of land. Another amendment provides universal social security coverage for the entire informal sector (street sellers, domestic workers, self-employed) amounting to 40 per cent of the labor force. Organized and unorganized workers’ workweek will be reduced from 40 to 36 hours a week (Monday to Friday noon) with no reduction in pay. Open admission and universal free higher education will open greater educational opportunities for lower class students. Amendments will allow the government to by-pass current bureaucratic blockage of the socialization of strategic industries, thus creating greater employment and lower utility costs. Most important, an amendment will increase the power and budget of neighborhood councils to legislate and invest in their communities.

The electorate supporting the constitutional amendments is voting in favor of their socio-economic and class interests; the issue of extended re-election of the President is not high on their priorities: And that is the issue that the Right has focused on in calling Chavez a ‘dictator’ and the referendum a ‘coup’.

The Opposition

With strong financial backing from the US Embassy ($8 million dollars in propaganda alone according to the Embassy memo) and the business elite and ‘free time’ by the right-wing media, the Right has organized a majority of the upper middle class students from the private universities, backed by the Catholic Church hierarchy, large swaths of the affluent middle class neighborhoods, entire sectors of the commercial, real estate and financial middle classes and apparently sectors of the military, especially officials in the National Guard. While the Right has control over the major private media, public television and radio back the constitutional reforms. While the Right has its followers among some generals and the National Guard, Chavez has the backing of the paratroops and legions of middle-rank officers and most other generals.

The outcome of the Referendum of December 2 is a major historical event first and foremost for Venezuela but also for the rest of the Americas. A positive vote (Vota ‘Sí’) will provide the legal framework for the democratization of the political system, the socialization of strategic economic sectors, empower the poor and provide the basis for a self-managed factory system. A negative vote (or a successful US-backed civil-military uprising) would reverse the most promising living experience of popular self-rule, of advanced social welfare and democratically based socialism. A reversal, especially a military dictated outcome, would lead to a blood bath, such as we have not seen since the days of the Indonesian Generals’ Coup of 1966, which killed over a million workers and peasants or the Argentine Coup of 1976 in which over 30,000 Argentines were murdered by the US- backed Generals.

A decisive vote for ‘Sí’ will not end US military and political destabilization campaigns but it will certainly undermine and demoralize their collaborators. On December 2, 2007 the Venezuelans have a rendezvous with history.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50 year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed). His new book with Henry Veltmeyer, Social Movements and the State: Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina, will be published in October 2005. He can be reached at: jpetras@binghamton.edu

www.counterpunch.org

Democracy Now interview of Petras by Amy Goodman — 11/30/07

Cuba and Venezuela Face US and Colombia — by James Petras

*******************

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Protest, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Urgent — “The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot” — by Naomi Wolf

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 29, 2007

Interview of Naomi Wolf by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman (19 minutes)

Video Text Audio MP3

(Excerpt )

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. Start off with the stories that you tell in your book.

NAOMI WOLF: Well, they’re the stories of societies that were systematically closed down by would-be despots, would-be dictators, whether they were on the left or the right, who essentially developed a blueprint in the first part of the twentieth century to crush democracies or to crush democracy movements. So they’re also individual stories of how people react as a democracy is being closed down.

But I guess the book really began with a very personal story, because I was forced to write it, even though I didn’t really want to, by a dear friend who is a Holocaust survivor’s daughter. And when we spoke about news events, she kept saying, “They did this in Germany. They did this in Germany.” And I really didn’t think that made sense. I thought that was very extreme language. But finally she forced me to sit down and start reading the histories, of course, not of the later years, because she wasn’t talking about German outcomes, ’38, ’39; she was talking about the early years, 1930, ’31, ’32, when Germany was a parliamentary democracy, and there was this systematic assault using the rule of law to subvert the rule of law.

And once I saw how many parallels there were, not just in strategy and tactics that we’re seeing again today, but actually in images and sound bites and language, then I read other histories of Italy in the ’20s, Russia in the ’30s, East Germany in the ’50s, Czechoslovakia in the ’60s, Pinochet’s coup in Chile in ’73, the crushing of the democracy movement in China at the end of the ’80s. And I saw that there is a blueprint that would-be dictators always do the same ten things, whether they’re on the left or the right, and that we are seeing these ten steps taking place systematically right now in the United States.

(end excerpt)

Please use the links above to read, watch, or listen to this urgent call to action.

America Freedom Campaign

47-minute talk by Naomi Wolf author of “The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot” given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus.

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Know Your Rights, Protest and Free Speech, Urgent Call, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

The People vs. Bush — Evidentiary Item #1

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 24, 2007

This brief documentary — accompanied by Taps and Edwin Starr’s ‘War’ (What is it Good For) — makes the case from start to finish for the impeachment and war crimes trials of George W. Bush.

To quote George W. Bush, “Bring it on.”

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Urgent Call: Police Advisory Committee Meeting — 5:30 PM Thurs, Nov 15, 2007, West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt St.

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 11, 2007

(PLEASE NOTE: This is a change of the day of week, time of day and location)

Police Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting

 

Thursday, November 15
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
West Central Community Center
1603 N. Belt St., Spokane WA

The Police Advisory Committee (PAC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Spokane Police Department. As you will see in the information below from the February 2007 SPD Newsletter (see page 6) , the Spokane Police Department likes to portray the Committee as representing the public. However, the committee is run by the police and for the police. While the Spokane Police Newsletter leaves out the fact that the Committee is officially staffed by six senior police staff persons and presents it as a representative of the Spokane people, the history of the PAC, its secrecy, it’s dominance by self-appointed representatives of certain community segments, and its lack of representation of the needs of those communities during many years of turmoil and abuse by the SPD suggest that it has put itself at the service of the SPD.

The PAC has met largely unseen and unknown monthly for nearly 25 years. During that period the SPD has suffered many embarrassments, created many scandals, killed many citizens, and been involved in much corruption. Yet, the Committee, with what are termed “representatives” of various Spokane communities, as had virtually nothing to say publicly. When its members have had things to say–such as when long-time PAC president Rick Mendoza stated at the January 30, 2007 ACLU-sponsored forum at Gonzaga University Law School that the SPD is the “best police department” in the United States–they have often failed to reflect a real understanding of community concerns with regard to the Spokane Police Department.

During the last 10 years of hidden PAC meetings with the SPD, another Spokane organization–the Citizens Review Commission “led” by Rev. Lonnie Mitchell — reportedly never met. The seven member Citizen Review Commission shares three members with the Spokane Police Department’s PAC and has two members who represent police associations (the Spokane Police Guild and the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association). The staff of the CRC is a Spokane City attorney and, of course, a Spokane Police officer. Members serve for three 4 year terms. Though the City of Spokane website provides a detailed description of the mission and purpose of the Police Advisory Committee, the same website provides no explanation what-so-ever of the mission and purpose of the Citizen Review Commission. It is understood that the Commission was formed to address complaints from the community regarding police misconduct. For that reason, it is extremely disturbing that during ten years of repeated controversy and police abuse, the Commission never met.

Both the Police Advisory Committee and the Citizens Review Commission share one citizen member in common, long-time Spokane Police apologist and defender Maria Yates. (Click on her name for information on her history with the SPD.)

———————————————————

From the City of Spokane website: (You will notice this differs from the presentation of the membership of the committee from the information presented in the Chief’s newsletter where no reference is made to the PAC’s six police “staff” members):

Police Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
7 a.m. – 8 a.m.
Monroe Court Bldg., Rm. 300, N. 901 N. Monroe St., Spokane

Police Advisory Committee
Contact: Lt. Rex Olson
1100 W. Mallon Ave
Spokane, WA 99260
(509) 835-4523

Mission Statement or Purpose: To act as an Advisory Board representing various community client groups to the office of the Chief of Police. To function as a sounding board for the Chief of Police regarding community needs and concerns, as well as community response to proposed police programs and procedures. The only term limits are for the Chair and Vice Chair who can each serve only two consecutive annual terms.

Members Title
Rev C.W. Andrews Member at Large
Joan Butler (Chair) Member at Large
Bob Byrne Member at Large
Bob Dellwo Member at Large
Carmella LeBlanc Hispanic Community
Marilou Buan Filipino American Association
Rick Mendoza Spokane Hispanic Business/Professional Assn.
Rev. Lonnie Mitchell SR. Alternate for Bishop Mize/Ministers’ Fellowship Union
Bishop Walton F. Mize SR. President, Ministers’ Fellowship Union
Roger Moses (Vice Chair) Native Americans
V. Anne Smith National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Olmer “Butch” Smith Member at Large
Christy Hamilton Spokane COPS/Block Watch
Rev. Eugene Singleton Ministers’ Fellowship Union
Vang Xiong X. Toyed Spokane Hmong Association
Marie Yates Lincoln Heights/COPS Southeast
Ladd Smith Gay and Lesbian Community
Jan Dobbs Spokane Mental Health
Gheorghe Turcin Eastern European & other continents’ Ethnic Communities/ DOC high-risk release coordination
Russell Smith Lilac Blind Foundation
Staff Title
Anne Kirkpatrick Chief of Police
Jim Nicks Assistant Chief
Bruce Roberts Major
LT. Rex Olson Contact Person
Gill Moberly Major
Gayle Tucker Secretary

————————————————————

Following is the information on the PAC from Chief Ann Kirkpatrick’s SPD newsletter (February 2007):

Joan Butler is the new Chair of the committee. She replaces Rick Mendoza whose term expired. The new Vice Chair is Roger Moses.

The Police Advisory Committee was formed about 25-years ago by the Chief of Police to serve as a sounding board on various issues and concerns of the Department and the community. These can be specific incidents or broader matters of Spokane Police policy and procedure.

Committee members represent the interests of more than 20 groups as well as those of the greater Spokane community. The Police Advisory Committee is an important resource for the Chief’s office. Members provide input and feedback on SPD projects and advise the Chief on theneeds of the community as they relate to police programs. The committee assists SPD in educating citizens about Department policies and the role of community based policing. The committee meets quarterly at various community centers.

Please join us on August 8, 2007. Future meeting dates will be published in the SPD Newsletter.

Current members of the Police Advisory Committee are:

Joan Butler, Chair, at large member
Roger Moses, Vice-Chair, Native American Community
Rev. C.W. Andrews, at large member
Marilou Buan, Filipino American Association
Bob Byrne, at large member
Bob Dellwo, at large member
Jan Dobbs, Community Mental Health
Carmella LeBlanc, Hispanic Community
Rick Mendoza, Spokane Hispanic Business/Professional Association
Bishop Walton F. Mize, Sr., Ministers Fellowship Union
Rev. Lonnie Mitchell, alternate for Bishop Mize
Rev. Eugene Singleton, Ministers Fellowship Union
V. Anne Smith, NAACP
Omer L. “Butch” Smith, at large member
Gheorghe Turcin, DOC and East European & other continents’ ethnic communities
Vang Xiong X Toyed, Hmong Community
Marie Yates, COPS SE
Ladd Smith, Gay & Lesbian Community

POLICE ADVISORY COMMITTEE By: Cpl. Tom Lee

———————————————————————–

During ten years of police abuse and scandal in Spokane, the Citizen Review Commission headed by Rev. Lonnie Mitchell never met.

From the City of Spokane website:

Citizen Review Commission
Members of the Citizens’ Review Commission must have been a resident of the City of Spokane for at least four years by the time the appointment becomes affective. A police background check is completed on all applicants and his or her immediate family. The background check must show no significant recent criminal history. The applicant must agree to the necessary time commitment and must agree to represent the general public. All appointees must undergo a training program of up to sixteen hours in police and commission procedures and must do one ride-along with police.

Commissioners shall serve for 4 (three) year terms.

The Citizens’ Review Commission meets as needed.

Members Title Term Expires
Rev. Lonnie Mitchell, Sr.-Chair Citizen-at-Large 03/31/2008
Vern Burch Citizen-at-Large 03/31/2007
William Ogle Citizen-at-Large 06/08/2007
Douglas Puckett Citizen-at-Large 12/31/2010
Judge Richard Richard, Sr. Retired judge 03/31/2008
Robert Byrne Qualified Member of the Police Guild 12/31/2010
Marie Yates Qualified Member of the Police Lieutenants & Captains Association 03/31/2008
Staff
Mike Piccolo Legal Council
Dave Richards IA Lieutenant

Vacancies: 0

(Though this information is the most current on the City of Spokane website as of July 31, 2007, it would appear that there are in fact two openings on the Committee as the terms of Vern Burch and William Ogle have now expired).

Posted in Educating the Chief, Know Your Rights, Testimonies, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

Know Your Rights: Boy Confronts Police

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 31, 2007

Boy Confronts Police

Adelante muchacho. Eres el futuro del mundo. Defiéndete, cipote, porque los escuadrones de la muerte vienen por ti y tu hermanita. Tus padres ya son viejos y tienen miedo.

El gringo es un hijo de su *&#$%* sin corazón. Vende lo que puede, desde tierras y almas hasta pasaportes y armamentos…..y una bala con tu nombre.

No tengas miedo, chavalito. Son cobardes quienes se esconden detrás de escudos, bastones, ametralladoras, nubes, y velocidades súper-sonicas. Invaden, ocupan, destruyen, masacran y nunca se van. Son imperialistas, matadores, cabrones, y no se van. Torturan, violan, difaman, y no se van.

Párate firme y dále duro, igual como los muchachos palestinos con sus piedras contra los tanques israelíes. Diles que no les tiene miedo. Son matamujeres, mataniños, matapobres. Allá se llaman Pérez y Gutiérrez. Aquí se llaman Torok y Olsen. Anda, juega, y ponte trucha, mi hijo, porque “the man” tiene un plan y no es nada bueno.

Translation — Be brave, child

 Be brave, mi hijo.  You are the future of the world.  Defend yourself, child, because the death squads are coming for you and your little sister.  Your parents are already old and they are afraid.  

The gringo is a son-of-a-*&#$% without a heart.  He sells what he can, from lands and souls to passports and weapons…and a bullet with your name on it.  

Don’t be afraid, cipote.  They are cowards who hide behind shields, and clubs, and machine guns, and clouds, and super-sonic speeds.  They invade, occupy, destroy, and massacre, and they never leave.  They are imperialists, assassins, and bastards, and they never leave.  They torture, rape, and defame, and they never leave.  

Stand firm and give it your all, just like the Palestinian boys with rocks against Israeli tanks.  Tell them that you are not afraid.  They are killers of women, and children, and the poor. There they are named Perez and Gutierrez.  Here they are named Torok and Olson.  Run, play, live, but be ready, my son, because “the man” has a plan and it is nothing nice.

*********

(Both original Spanish text and English translation by David Brookbank.  Origins of photo are unknown.)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Gangs?, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

Acts of Conscience — Spokane Circus Protest — Sept 20, 2007

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 6, 2007

The youth of the world — and the young at heart — are on the move again. Faced with a world of cruelty, torture, destruction, and war, the indomitable human spirit once again arises on a planetary scale to speak truth.

The youth of Spokane are leading the way today!

Heed their call. Take up your sign. Raise your fist. Call out your protest song. Place your body where your mouth is. Forsake the lies of your father and sins of your government. Give your time for your convictions. Bow down to no one. And remember those words–

Muertos pero nunca de rodillas! Dead, perhaps, but never on our knees!

**************************

I am also including this link to Colin Mulvany’s “video journal” on the Circus protest along with the accompanying narrative and commentaries posted by readers. I very much admire Mr. Mulvaney’s work, for ex., the excellent video on the 2005 Immigration March in Spokane. The only comments I would make about the circus protest video and commentary are: 1) To refer to the scantily clad woman as a form of “shock and awe” given the truly criminal and barbarous acts of US destruction in Iraq which gave us our definition of that phrase is to conflate a woman’s body with the 21 century crime of known as “shock and awe”. 2) Note to the blind and unobservant: The young woman, Julie Kelton, is not “naked” and, in fact, other than the claw marks on her back makes a beautiful Victoria Secret model a la the Northtown Mall store or any number of TV towel or shampoo commercials. 3) Is anyone in our vulgar and crass society really as concerned about the children as a couple women in the Mulvany piece proclaim? Did you see the little girl run by and not even look? 4) Given the context of police conduct and relations with the citizens of the Spokane area, Mulvany should have filmed the Spokane Police Officer checking for Kelton’s pasties, and, if in fact he did film it, he should have included it in his video journal. Unless, of course, I misunderstand and Mulvany is not doing news journalism but rather strictly feature journalism. In either case, I do admire his work, but encourage him to continue to remember the news angle.

Posted in In Collective Self-Defense, Photographic Evidence, Protest, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Urgent Call, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Urgent Call — re: Spokane Police Department Tactical (TAC) Team

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 1, 2007

Question: Given the brutal events in Riverfront Park on July 4, 2007, and the unjustifiable conduct of the Spokane Police Department TAC Team, why is the SPD’s TAC Team — according to the Spokane Police Department website — “the only team from a Washington agency providing instruction through the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) on riot control tactics and civil disturbance tactics”?

I call on Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, State Attorney General Rob McKenna, Washington State Senator Lisa Brown, other Spokane area legislators, the ACLU, the Center for Justice, the Washington State Human Rights Commission, and the Spokane Human Rights Commission to demand and initiate immediate investigations of the WSCJTC’s continued use of the Spokane Police Department TAC Team for such trainings.

Furthermore, given the fact that the SPD TAC Team has been conducting such trainings for the WSCJTC, there should be an immediate investigation of the impact upon the performance of police units and individual police personnel throughout the state who have received such training from the SPD TAC, as well as the impact on the public in specific instances in which SPD TAC-trained units and/or personnel have engaged the public with these so-called “riot control tactics and civil disturbance tactics”.

The people of Spokane are involved in an epic struggle to bring a renegade and unrepentant police department under civilian control. Given the atrocities committed by SPD officers over the last several years, elected officials such as Governor Gregoire, Attorney General McKenna, and Senator Lisa Brown, as well as organizations such as the ACLU, the Washington State Human Rights Commission, and the Spokane Human Rights Commission can no longer silently sit out this struggle without suffering the shame and discredit associated with closing their eyes to evident violations of the public trust.

SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.com will continue to provide additional information on the SPD/TAC Team as well as past SPD/TAC members who now work as law enforcement consultants and trainers around the US and world — such as Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak, the retired 27 year Spokane Police Department veteran and former Marine who works for SWAT and tactical training contractors such as Front Range Training and Consulting LLC and Team One Network.

The people of Spokane are now awaiting appropriate investigatory and oversight actions by our elected officials and agency heads at the state, county and local levels, as well as non-profit and governmental civil and human rights organizations.

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

URGENT CALL (10/03/07)–Gang Seminar by Spokane Police Department

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 25, 2007

UPDATED 9/26/07 — At the 9/25/07 version of the SPD/COPS Gang Seminar, the law enforcement-supplied numbers on gangs in Spokane continued their inflationary trend. Though informative and somewhat cautiously presented by a Spokane Gang Enforcement Team member, the typical law enforcement practice of inflating statistics was evident. The COPS program flyer for the seminar uses the numbers of 50 gangs, 900 gang members and 7000 gang associates in Spokane.

With no evidence presented to back him up, the Spokane Police team GET member took those unconfirmed numbers and turned them into 71 gangs and 1200 gang members. While useful for public relations purposes and writing federal grant applications, the poeple of the Spokane area need to be asking more questions and getting more answers from law enforcement prior to accepting these claims by the SPD, SCSO and FBI. As other posts at this blog indicate, the SPD has a practice of manipulating statistical information, information which — not unlike information on the war in Iraq — is controlled by the government agencies involved. In the next couple weeks, more information on the information presented at the SPD/COPS Gang Seminar will be reviewed here.

Meanwhile I encourage you to attend the next SPD Gang Seminar:  

Wednesday Oct. 3, 2007 6-9 PM WSU Riverpoint, Phase One Auditorium, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane

(Warning! Armed and uniformed and undercover Spokane Police officers and other law enforcement including prosecutors and others will be attending this event!)

Wednesday Oct. 3, 2007 6-9 PM WSU Riverpoint, Phase One Auditorium, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane

PLEASE ATTEND!

**************************

Did you know that, according to the Spokane Police Department, 7900 people in Spokane are gang members or gang associates?

Did you know that would represent 3.9 percent of the Spokane population?

Did you know that would represent some 40% of Spokane’s ‘minority’ population?

Do you really believe that?

In an event billed as “What you need to know and what you can do”, the Spokane Police Department and COPS will pump up their racially-tinged public relations offensive against gangs in Spokane with two more forums.

It is extremely important for people to attend these informative sessions. While informative, they are extremely biased, racially-tinged, and intended to stimulate support for law enforcement activities such as profiling and other aggressive police practices with serious civil rights implications.

Do we really want a police force that looks like this to be the sole source of information and the major initiator of community discourse on gangs and all the related issues of poverty, racism, selective law enforcement, etc?

In particular, do you want a police force engaged recently in highly questionable killings and assaults on African-Americans, the mentally ill, and others to be the sole framer of truth with regards to gangs?

Here is how the event is announced by the Washington State Chairwoman of the Governor’s Hispanic Commission, Yvonne Morton-Lopez, on the Comunidades Latinas website:

(quote) September 25 & October 3: Gang Seminars. Learn what you need to know and what you can do if there is a gang situation in your neighborhood. These seminars are open and free to the public from 6 – 9 p.m. September 25 seminar will be held at West Central Community Center, 1603 N Belt and October 3 forum will be held at WSU Riverpoint, Phase One Auditorium, 668 North Riverpoint Blvd. For more information about… the gang forums, please contact Maurece Vulcano, Spokane C.O.P.S. Programs Manager, 509- 835-4572 or e-mail mvulcano@spokanepolice.org . (end quote)

This leads to a series of questions:

Isn’t it time for someone else, other than Spokane Police Department, to step forward and begin to help educate the community on issues of crime and justice in Spokane?

Isn’t it time for organizations such as the Governor’s Hispanic Commission and the Spokane Human Rights Commission (which is helping to advertise the event on their website using law enforcement supplied photos and statistics on gangs in Spokane) to begin serving as forums for intelligent, sophisticated, multi-perspective debate and dialog on issues like gangs, rather than promoting law enforcement’s public relations efforts?

Until the Spokane Human Rights Commission is reconstructed and becomes an effective vehicle for citizen complaints and defense of the abused (thanks to HRC chairman Terry Goetz for his efforts in this regard), until the Spokane offices of organizations like the Governor’s Hispanic Commission and the Center for Justice are professionally staffed by bilingual/bicultural individuals, until there is a functioning civilian oversight mechanism of Spokane police, and until there is credible independent information on the gang reality in Spokane, do we want an out-of-control, homicidal police force to be engaged in aggressive policing in our poorest, most diverse, and least understood blocks and communities?

Please attend this event to listen to the law enforcement slant put on this crucial issue, as well as the response of your neighbors, some of whose attitudes about the poor, youth, minorities, and others may shock you.

Meanwhile, for more information on COPS and COPS-sponsored events, such as Neighborhood Observation Patrol (NOP) Training, please visit: http://wwww.spokanecops.org/calender.htm

Posted in All-white SPD?, Gangs?, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane Police vs. Youth, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

9/11 Truth

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 11, 2007

Lost on George Bush’s Watch

World Trade Towers

War in Iraq

War in Afghanistan

3800 U.S. Soldiers

$450 billion dollars

Habeas Corpus

U.S. Credibility

____________________________________________________________

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Urgent Call: Spokane Human Rights Commission August 2007 Meeting Aug. 28, 2007 6-9 PM East Central Community Center

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 26, 2007

The following note is found at the top of the agenda for the August 2007 Spokane Human Rights Commission Meeting. Despite the fact that the planned presentations by Mayor Hession and Chief Kirkpatrick to the Spokane Human Rights Commission have been postponed for the second time (and this time apparently indefinitely), it is important that concerned Spokane citizens continue to attend these meetings. The Spokane Human Rights Commission has fallen into disuse and disorganization over the last few years. As a result it is essentially a non-player in the debate and discussion on the issues affecting Spokane’s minority communities and vulnerable populations. This benefits no one in community other than those who do or would violate human rights.

*********************************************************************************

(quote from Spokane HRC August 2007 agenda)

Please Note: Due to public input recieved at the July 2007 HRC Meeting regarding the events of July 4th in Riverfront Park and the Spokane Police Department and the desire for public discussion on that issue in the near future, the conversation with Mayor Hession and Chief Kirkpatrick regarding the HRC Ordinance and role of the HRC in the City of Spoakne has been postponed. Once the public discussion on the July 4th events has taken place (a public forum is being organized for September) we will reschedule the Mayor and Chief Kirkpatrick to attend a meeting for this discussion.

(end quote)

Posted in In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

Urgent Call: Protest of Spokane’s CIA-contracted torture engineers

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 20, 2007

The Peace and Justice Action League has announced a protest at the office of Spokane psychologists Mitchell and Jessen, whose reverse-engineering of SERE-JPRA practices on behalf of CIA and U.S. military torture teams has been disclosed by Salon Magazine; Vanity Fair; the Spokesman Review; and the KYRS Programmers Collective Wiki site.

The protest will occur at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 23, 2007 at the corner of Washington and Riverside (map). The psychologists’ office is on the second floor of the American Legion Building in downtown Spokane.

(For reasons of collective self-defense, please bring your camera or video camera.)

The image

The Ultimate Makeover-From Spokane Club (1900) to CIA-Contracted Mitchell Jessen Assoc (2005-2007)

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Urgent call from U.S. Comptroller General

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 15, 2007

Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned

The Financial Times

By Jeremy Grant in Washington

August 14 2007

The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.

David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”.

These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.

Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

“Sound familiar?” Mr Walker said. “In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.”

Mr Walker’s views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress.

While most of its studies are commissioned by legislators, about 10 per cent – such as the one containing his latest warnings – are initiated by the comptroller general himself.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had mentioned some of the issues before but now wanted to “turn up the volume”. Some of them were too sensitive for others in government to “have their name associated with”.

“I’m trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call,” he said. “As comptroller general I’ve got an ability to look longer-range and take on issues that others may be hesitant, and in many cases may not be in a position, to take on.

“One of the concerns is obviously we are a great country but we face major sustainability challenges that we are not taking seriously enough,” said Mr Walker, who was appointed during the Clinton administration to the post, which carries a 15-year term.

The fiscal imbalance meant the US was “on a path toward an explosion of debt”.

“With the looming retirement of baby boomers, spiralling healthcare costs, plummeting savings rates and increasing reliance on foreign lenders, we face unprecedented fiscal risks,” said Mr Walker, a former senior executive at PwC auditing firm.

Current US policy on education, energy, the environment, immigration and Iraq also was on an “unsustainable path”.

“Our very prosperity is placing greater demands on our physical infrastructure. Billions of dollars will be needed to modernise everything from highways and airports to water and sewage systems. The recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis was a sobering wake-up call.”

Mr Walker said he would offer to brief the would-be presidential candidates next spring.

“They need to make fiscal responsibility and inter-generational equity one of their top priorities. If they do, I think we have a chance to turn this around but if they don’t, I think the risk of a serious crisis rises considerably”.

www.ft.com

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http://www.gao.gov/cghome/d071188cg.pdf

[excerpt] America is a great nation, probably the greatest in history. But if we want to keep America great, we have to recognize reality and make needed changes. As I mentioned earlier, there are striking similarities between America’s current situation and that of another great power from the past: Rome. The Roman Empire lasted 1,000 years, but only about half that time as a republic. The Roman Republic fell for many reasons, but three reasons are worth remembering: declining moral values and political civility at home, an overconfident and overextended military in foreign lands, and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government. Sound familiar? In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time. [end excerpt]

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Remember, remember, the 11th of September

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 11, 2007

From the March 2007 Idaho Observer:


Remember, remember, the 11th of September


Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I’ll begin.

Right now, I imagine there are hundreds of soldiers rushing here to kill me because someone does not want us to talk.

They are afraid that I am going to say the things that are not supposed to be said. They are afraid that I am going to say the truth. The truth is that there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? If you look about, you witness cruelty, injustice and despotism. But what do you do about it? What can you do?

You are but a single individual. How can you possibly make any difference? Individuals have no power in this modern world.

That is what you’ve been taught because that is what they need you to believe. But it is not true. This is why they are afraid and the reason that I am here; to remind you that it is individuals who always hold the power. The real power. Individuals like me. And individuals like you.

I have come to offer you a deal. If you accept, I will give you a different world. A world without curfews, without soldiers and surveillance systems. A world that is not run by other men, but that is run by you. I am offering you a second chance.

Four hundred years ago, a great citizen made a most significant contribution to our common culture. It was a contribution forged in secrecy and stealth although it is best remembered in noise and bright light.

To commemorate that glorious night at precisely the stroke of midnight, the edifice of their world will erupt with enough sound and fury to shake the earth. All I ask is that you join me at the gates to watch as the past is erased, the pathway cleared so that together we can start toward a new day.

But, you ask, who am I to make such promises? A fair question but hardly necessary, as you know me already. To know me any more, you need only look to a mirror.

Truth be told, this wasn’t even my idea, was it? If you think back, you’ll remember that night, whispering in your lover’s arms. I became a part of your plan just as you have now become part of mine…

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The “story” above graces the top half of the frontpage on the hardcopy edition of the Idaho Observer for March 14, 2007 and is wrapped around the “V” mask. The concept, inspired by Meria Heller, was taken from the extraordinary film ‘V for Vendetta‘ by the Wachowski brothers. It strikes to the heart of who we are and why we are allowing ourselves to be poisoned and controlled by the petty minions of the horrible men and women who perpetuate global war and human misery for profit. This unjust era will come to an end. The only question is if it will happen on our schedule or “theirs.” Take the time to see the film. Put yourself in it. If so inspired, obtain the accoutrements and become a V.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »