Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Humboldt Shame

When I picked up my Wednesday, November 23, 2011, Times-Standard paper today and the this picture pasted on the front-page, Use of pepper spray at Davis brings back memories of '97 Palco protest; university president launches investigation and read the caption where they used the word, "allege,"  I was instantly enraged – AGAIN!

Allege means to "assert without proof." Then writes, "Eventually, officers swabbed pepper spray on the protesters' eyes in order to remove them." The fact is, they didn't need to "swab" anything in their eyes to "remove them." They used pepper spray just like they us the Taser to force submission and forced yielding - coercive rape at it's essence. The paper, regardless the writer, in this case Dona Tam, never gives-up on the biased propaganda justifying the crimes.

I was out of this area when that incident took place. When people found out that I was from Humboldt County they wanted to know what kind of neanderthal barbarians Humboldt County people had on their police forces? The only conclusion anyone could accept is that these people were not only sick, but sadistically sick.

We're not talking about just the Sheriff and Police Chief and their officers, but the whole damned community. The sickness that permeates this community was quite well defined when the justification for what amounts to a form of sadistic rape legally declared acceptable. What did the people in this community do about the District Attorney, the Sheriff, the Eureka Police Chief and the officers involved? The consequences of those acts that day are clear in the pictures of how the police deal with peaceful people all over the world. No father of any worthwhile value, including one of the girl's father, Jan Lundberg, would ever tolerate their daughter's treatment recorded here for the whole world to see. When you look to the criminal for justice, and get injustice, you are as guilty of the crimes committed as they are.

Shotgun pellets or pepper spray, what's the difference?
When you read articles like this one: Torture’s Future, By ERIC LEWIS in the New York Times and this one by Glenn Greenwald: The roots of the UC-Davis pepper-spraying along with pictures like this of what the heroic police and courageous solders are doing to their neighbors it all kind of jumbles together as something that doesn't involve YOU. Problem is, when you pickup your local newspaper and see similar pictures that happened right in your own hometown and know there is a twenty year legacy of such acts of vile hatred and sadistic barbarity, you've got to face the facts – like it or not.

When Eureka Police Chief Murl Harpham tells the homeowners and business people in Eureka that he has “tough” cops at their beck and call. These are the kind of “tough” people he's talking about. Notice in the accompanying article: Police pay third visit to Occupy Eureka at courthouse – Notice this statement: [O]one woman was arrested Tuesday morning after she allegedly became aggressive with a county employee, Harpham said.” “Became aggressive” in what way justifies an arrest? Raise their voice in objection? And the county employee didn't precipitate the incident with aggressive conduct? That “county employee” kept their business to themselves, just walked quietly by and never said a word or made a filthy gesture? Eureka police officers are, when they want to be, are extremely thin-skinned. Simply asking them a question can be cause for aggressiveness in their minds. Consequently, everyone walks a tightrope when dealing with the police.

These words by Swellsman are worth repeating:
And, yeah . . . the rest of us might want to think about trying to undo some of the power and public relations imbalance that we have allowed to creep into law enforcement’s favor by our past apathy in the face of public abuses. 
Despite what they’ll tell you, and what we’ve been conditioned to believe, the cops are not the law. The law resides in a system, not in a person, not even in a group of people. Cops are merely citizens – just like you and me – who have been given special dispensation to arrest people under certain circumstances and then turn them over to that system . . . and nothing more. 
And it seems to me that America would be a lot better off trying to keep that basic fact in mind.
His blog is located here. Picture source is the Times-Standard and Sharif Kouddous.

[UPDATE :: HUMBOLDT HERALD has an posting on this subject: Humboldt’s history of pepper spray recalled. The comment section is worth considering. By the way, Heraldo's is uncustomarily candid of this longstanding wrong in this community and why he thinks the heavy-handed Government/Police way will ultimately fail.

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