by Rachel and Yvonne
141 Arrests Made at Standing Rock
As Jen wrote about yesterday, paramilitary law enforcement brought in at the camp at Standing Rock to protect against the Dakota Access Pipeline have continued to enact violence against water protectors; yesterday, 141 arrests were made, during which law enforcement “used pepper spray and armored vehicles in an effort to disperse an estimated 330 protesters and clear a camp.” Colorlines reports that there are also claims of “violence by officers against animals,” with several horses injured by rubber bullets and one horse which is reported to have not survived. The report from the Sacred Stone Camp is as follows:
A prayer circle of elders, including several women, was interrupted and all were arrested for standing peacefully on the public road. A tipi was erected in the road and was recklessly dismantled, despite promises from law enforcement that they would merely mark the tipi with a yellow ribbon and ask its owners to retrieve it. A group of water protectors was also dragged out of a ceremony in a sweat lodge erected in the path of the pipeline, wearing minimal clothing, thrown to the ground, and arrested.
While this was occurring, ten Standing Rock Sioux youth had traveled to New York City to try to engage the presidential candidates in at least making a statement on No DAPL; so far neither candidate has addressed the pipeline or opposition to it. The youth performed a water ceremony at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and then traveled to Hillary Clinton’s NY headquarters and Trump Tower.
The Clinton campaign has finally released a statement, but it doesn’t take a stance or make any particular recommendations. Clinton spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa said, among other things, “Now, all of the parties involved—including the federal government, the pipeline company and contractors, the state of North Dakota, and the tribes—need to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest,” a pretty toothless statement given that the Obama administration has already asked the company building the pipeline “to voluntarily halt construction while the Army Corps of Engineers completes a review of the building process so far and how it was approved” and they have clearly declined to do so.
As the 141 arrests were taking place, seven armed white militia members who staged an armed takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge were acquitted of all charges. The Malheur Refuge, as a reminder, “actually sits on lands that historically belonged to the Burns Paiute Tribe and still contains ancestral burial grounds.”
If you’d like to learn more about what the Standing Rock Sioux and other Indigenous people are protesting, you may be interested in the Standing Rock Syllabus! You may also be interested in the legal fees fundraiser for the Sacred Stone Camp.
+ A profile of Misty Plowright, the trans poly woman who’s challenging the Republican incumbent for a Congressional seat in Colorado.
“I’ve been content to stay in the shadows for a long time,” she said. She vowed to keep no secrets, to run an honest race — she wouldn’t hide anything about herself, but she wouldn’t make being transgender a major part of her campaign either. “You can’t escape who you are, but no one should ever vote based on whether you are gay or straight or black or white or blond or red-haired. It should always be about issues and about people.” Regardless of the election’s outcome, Plowright is “breaking barriers” and is an “inspiration to transgender people and allies across the country,” said Jay Brown, communications director for the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ civil rights group. “It is only a matter of time, as progress continues and candidates like Misty lead the way, that we’ll see transgender people in Congress.”
+ A 2011 memo released by WikiLeaks reveals possible ethical conflicts on the part of fundraisers for the Clinton Foundation; it looks as though the firm Teneo raised funds for the Clinton Foundation while also marketing paid speaking engagements and other services from Bill Clinton to the same clients, when “charity work is supposed to be kept strictly separate from the business and personal financial interests of the people directly involved with the charity.”
+ Florida extended its voter registration deadline after Hurricane Matthew, and over a hundred thousand people took advantage of the time to register, but at least 25,000 of them aren’t on the rolls yet. The state says most of them are incorrect or missing information, but a federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Florida to explain what the holdup is.
+ Police in Washington fatally shot a Native pregnant woman last Friday. Renee Davis, 23, had three young children and was struggling with depression. Davis had texted a friend and that friend called the police to check on her. King County’s sheriff deputies arrived at Davis’ house on Muckleshoot tribal lands and that’s when police say they found Davis with a handgun inside with two of her children. It’s unclear what happened next but police fatally shot Davis, an outcome that’s far too common for people with mental illness, especially people of color.
+ An NYPD union is asking police to have citizens sign a “consent to search” form before searching their homes or cars, and to also hand them a card with the officer’s name and badge number when they do. The NYPD is pretty openly refusing to, claiming they believe “the staff of the Civilian Complaint Review Board will most likely accept the complainant’s claim that they were forced/coerced to sign the Consent to Search form,” and saying that it’s the responsibility of the CCRB to “create a training program to advise the members of the Department how they can best employ proactive policing without being subjected to arbitrary discipline from CCRB.” The CCRB itself has not actually said anything about the form yet, so we’ll see how that plays out.
+ The current team of investigators on the case of Eric Garner’s death at the hands of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo have been replaced by new staff in what the NYT calls “a highly unusual shake-up that could jump-start the long-stalled case and put the government back on track to seek criminal charges.”
Law & Order
+ Ten transgender soldiers have formally asked their gender to be recognized by the military. The soldiers are the first to ask the military to legally recognize their gender. The Pentagon’s new policy of lifting their ban on transgender soldiers serving openly went into effect on October 1. Trans soldiers are now able to receive medical care and begin changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon’s system.
+ The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a new lawsuit against Utah’s State Board of Education and three local school districts that challenges a law that doesn’t allow schools to talk about homosexuality. The NCLR says the law discriminates against LGBT people by violating the constitution and state education laws and restricts First Amendment rights of students and teachers. Utah’s “no promo homo” law prohibits the advocacy of homosexuality in schools. The NClR is representing Equality Utah and three individual students: one 7-year-old gender non-conforming boy who has been bullied and beaten up by other students, a gay high school student who faced bullying and was barred from talking about his uncle’s same-sex marriage, and a lesbian high school student who was reprimanded for holding another girl’s hand and told not to talk about it.
+ Tom Doyle, an 85-year-old gay man, was given a small apartment building by his late partner of 55 years, Bill Cornwell. However since the two weren’t legally married and Cornwell’s will was not properly witnessed, the several million dollar building legally falls to the next of kin. Doyle is suing Cornwell’s nieces and nephew’s in court. Doyle didn’t want the proposed solution of letting him live there for five more years and give him $250,000 from the eventual sale.
+ 37 years ago, Adam Crapser was adopted from Korea at the age of 3 by an American couple. They failed to officially seek legal naturalization for him through green cards or citizenship; they later abandoned him and his sibling, and he spent years experiencing horrific abuse at the hands of foster parents. Now he’s facing deportation to Korea, a country he hasn’t lived in since he was three, because he has a criminal record. He’s one of an estimated 35,000 international adoptees who find themselves at risk of the same because of an unclear legal status that was foisted upon them. Crapser says it’s cases like his that prove why we need the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015, “a bill currently being considered by Congress [that] close a loophole in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which automatically grants U.S. citizenship to children adopted by U.S. citizens … the 2000 law did not grant citizenship to adoptees who were already over the age of 18 when it passed, as Crapser was.”
+ This week in impacts of North Carolina’s HB2, CoStar Group Inc has decided to take its new headquarters, with 730 jobs and a potential quarter billion dollar stimulus, to Virginia because of North Carolina’s anti-trans bathroom bill.
+ 40-year-old Mark Feigin was arrested after he made threatening calls to the Islamic Center of Southern California and was found to have “a stash of weapons, including riffles, modified ammunition magazines and ammunition.”
+ A piece on whether Republicans might try to block a Supreme Court nominee for all four years of a Democratic presidency, leaving an 8-justice court for the entire term of a potential Hillary Clinton administration.
+ 200 small businesses in Texas have issued an open letter opposing Texas’s proposed bathroom bill, saying they have “‘a growing sense of dread’ that Texas will follow the path set by North Carolina, where a backlash to a similar law enacted in March will cost its economy several hundred million dollars in canceled sporting events, conventions, concerts and corporate investments.”
+ Two proposed anti-abortion laws in Alabama, one which tried to keep health clinics that provided abortions away from public schools and one that tried to ban a common second-trimester termination procedure, have been blocked by a judge.
+ Thousands of women in Iceland left work several hours early to protest the gender wage gap on a historic day.
+ Dining services employees at Harvard University have been organizing for better pay for quite some time now, recently including a 22-day strike, and have argued that the extremely wealthy university should be paying them enough for them to make ends meet. This week Harvard University Dining Services agreed to pay workers $35,000 a year and cover increased copayments until 2021.
+ Singer Sevyn Streeter was all set to sing the national anthem at this week’s Thunder/76ers game, but was told at the last minute she couldn’t because she was wearing a jersey that said We Matter. She told the Associated Press “I also felt it was important to express the ongoing challenges and ongoing injustice we face as a Black community within the United States of America—that’s very important to me. Yes, we live in the greatest country in the world, but there are issues that we cannot ignore. This can’t be ignored.”
+ This week in good news that still shouldn’t have had to happen, students who report sexual assault at Brigham Young University will no longer face honor code violation punishment for any infractions that may have been associated with the crime, like drinking or extramarital sex.
+ Nonprofit organization Witness has compiled a report called Capturing Hate that analyzes videos of violence against trans people that are shared as entertainment for cis people on YouTube, World Star Hip Hop, Fly Height, and Live Leak.
“These videos are hateful,” the report concludes. “They are captured and shared with the singular objective of amusing viewers, driving traffic, and generating revenue for the ‘shock’ sites that host and promote them.”
In total, the videos were viewed 89,233,760 times, shared 601,300 times, liked 554,143 times, and attracted 230,262 comments. Witness found that the videos overwhelmingly attracted negative comments, including transphobic language and people celebrating the violence portrayed.
+ Words from 93-year-old George Montague, who was convicted for being gay in Britain in 1972. He writes about why he doesn’t just want a pardon; he wants an apology.
The police would also pick up a young, vulnerable guy who had done something wrong and take him to the police station and bully and threaten them. He’d give all the names. That was called the queer list. My name was on the list so I was always very careful. But one day in 1974, I was in the stall when the police came pounding on the door. I was alone and doing nothing wrong but it didn’t matter.
+ Robert Earl Council, incarcerated person and a leader in the prison labor movement who is currently hunger striking, has been transferred from the Holman Correctional Facility just a day before he was supposed to meet with an advocate from the Southern Poverty Law Center who is investigating the suicide of Robert Deangelo Carter earlier this month in solitary confinement. He’s since been transferred again, and a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Corrections has stated that the department “does not publicly disclose the reason for moving inmates for security reasons.”