Important Victory in Push to Demilitarize Police

Courtesy of FreeFoto.com

Courtesy of FreeFoto.com

“President Obama just banned the federal government’s transfer of certain military vehicles and weaponry to local and state police departments across America.”

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Our Communities Are Not War Zones!

I recently received this message, and an accompanying petition, in an email from the ACLU:

“On August 9th, local police fatally shot an unarmed African-American 18-year-old named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In the days that followed, there have been massive protests in Ferguson and heavily armed SWAT teams are roaming the streets in response. Our communities are not war zones.”

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Big step: “A Human Rights Crisis”: In Unprecedented Move, Amnesty International Sends Monitors to Ferguson

Later On

The video report and transcript are at Democracy Now! The core of the statement:

STEVENHAWKINS: Well, Amnesty saw a human rights crisis in Ferguson, and it’s a human rights crisis that is escalating. We sent observers down because there was a need for human rights observers. Clearly there are violations of international human rights law and standards, in terms of how the policing is being done on protests. So, for example, we’ve issued reports on, for example, Israel and the Occupied Territories, how tear gas is supposed to be administered—never in an indiscriminate way where children and the elderly could be subject to very harmful effects, even death, from tear gas. So, we sent down observers to be on the ground. We have been thwarted in our efforts to be able to go out on curfew with the police, which would be a clear standard in these circumstances…

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Ten things about Ferguson to keep in mind

Later On

This seems important. Don Hazen, Terrell Starr, Steven Rosenfeld, and Tana Ganeva of AlterNet report at AlteNet:

Ten days after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death by officer Darren Wilson, police and protestors continue to face off in the city of Ferguson. Last night’s protests broke into chaos[3] as riot police descended on the streets of the city in an attempt to disperse protestors.

On Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon deployed the National Guard, allegedly without alerting[4] the White House. The first Humvees have left the National Guard base, according to reports from the scene highlighted in the Guardian. [5]

As the tense situation on the ground quickly evolves, here are 10 things you should know:

1. National Guard trained in fighting protesters

The Missouri National Guard troops being sent into Ferguson are military police, which, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have studied the Occupy…

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