DeSantis pushes expansion of Stand Your Ground law as part of ‘anti-mob’ crackdown

Gov. Ron DeSantis has drafted “anti-mob” legislation that would expand Florida’s Stand Your Ground law — a move that critics say will allow armed citizens to shoot suspected looters or anyone engaged in “criminal mischief” that disrupts a business.

Lawyers say it’s just one of the many troubling aspects of the draft bill being pushed by the Republican governor in response to police-brutality protests that erupted across Florida and the United States this summer.

“It allows for vigilantes to justify their actions,” said Denise Georges, a former Miami-Dade County prosecutor who had handled Stand Your Ground cases. “It also allows for death to be the punishment for a property crime — and that is cruel and unusual punishment. We cannot live in a lawless society where taking a life is done so casually and recklessly.”

The draft legislation put specifics behind DeSantis’ pledge in September to crack down on “violent and disorderly assemblies” after he pointed to “reports of unrest” in other parts of the country after the high-profile death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a white Minneapolis police officer.

The proposal would expand the list of “forcible felonies” under Florida’s self-defense law to justify the use of force against people who engage in criminal mischief that results in the “interruption or impairment” of a business, and looting, which the draft defines as a burglary within 500 feet of a “violent or disorderly assembly.”

Read More in the Miami Herald…

“Monstrous”: Canadian Police Prepared to Shoot Indigenous Land Defenders, Documents Show

In an exclusive report Friday that outraged human rights advocates worldwide, The Guardian revealed that Canadian police wanted snipers on standby for a January 2019 crackdown on Indigenous land defenders who were blocking construction of a natural gas pipeline through unceded Wet’suwet’en territory.

The Guardian reported on official records—documents as well as audio and video content—reviewed by the newspaper related to the police “invasion” that led to 14 arrests:

Notes from a strategy session for a militarized raid on ancestral lands of the Wet’suwet’en nation show that commanders of Canada’s national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), argued that “lethal overwatch is req’d”—a term for deploying snipers.

The RCMP commanders also instructed officers to “use as much violence toward the gate as you want” ahead of the operation to remove a roadblock which had been erected by Wet’suwet’en people to control access to their territories and stop construction of the proposed 670km (416-mile Coastal GasLink pipeline (CGL).

Indigenous land defenders established the Gidimt’en checkpoint—where the police operation took place—as part of a broader battle against pipeline builder TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada. The RCMP action was an attempt to enforce a court injunction that came in response to the Unist’ot’en camp established on Wet’suwet’en territory in opposition to the pipeline.

Guardian readers responded to the report with swift condemnation of the RCMP’s behavior.

“This is abhorrent and unconscionable,” tweeted Steve Wilcox, a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. American author and journalist Michael Deibert summed up the revelations in one word: “Monstrous.”

Some critics highlighted how police conduct contrasted with the Canadian government’s truth and reconciliation efforts launched under Conservative former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and continued under the country’s current Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau.

Frances Moore, operations and national outreach manager at the Indigenous youth-led Canadian nonprofit group We Matter, wrote on Twitter that she is “saddened that it’s taking leaked documents from the RCMP for Canadians to believe” that police were prepared to show force against land defenders.

Specifically, according to The Guardian:

The documents show that ahead of the raid, the RCMP deployed an array of surveillance, including heavily armed police patrols, a jet boat, helicopter, drone technology, heat-sensing cameras, and close monitoring of key land defenders’ movements and social media postings.

Police established a “media exclusion zone,” blocking reporters from accessing the area. They took care to hide their carbine rifles on the approach to the roadblock because the “optics” of the weapons were “not good,” according to one of the documents.

The documents also show close collaboration between the RCMP and TC Energy: police officers attended company planning sessions and daily “tailgate” meetings, and were privy to CGL’s legal strategy.

Unist’ot’en spokesperson Freda Huson (Howilhkat) connected the RCMP’s militarized approach to the early 2019 operation to a lengthy record of colonial violence.

“In our experience, since first contact, RCMP have been created by the federal government to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their lands,” Huson told The Guardian. “They have proven [that] through their harassment of my people to support Coastal GasLink in invading our territories.”

Although an RCMP spokesperson declined to comment on the specific content of the records reviewed by The Guardian, they told the newspaper that while planning the raid, police took into account the remote location and “the unpredictable nature of what we could face.”

The Guardian noted that its report came as the Wet’suwet’en camps are preparing for a court ruling on an injunction sought by TC Energy that would permanently restrict the Indigenous land protectors from blockading pipeline sites.

By Jessica Corbett | CommonDreams.org | Creative Commons

This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed.

India Orders ‘Staggering’ Eviction of 1 Million Indigenous People. Some Environmentalists are Cheering.

India’s Supreme Court has ordered its government to evict a million people from their homes — for the good of the country’s wildlife. The ruling, issued 2/20/2019, was a startling conclusion to a decade-long case that has pitted the rights of some of India’s most vulnerable citizens against the preservation of its forests. The court […]

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Begins (17th-20th)

(From their own site: weforum.com) With over 400 sessions on the official programme, covering everything from the rise of populism to the global economic outlook, you’d be forgiven for feeling confused by what just happened in Davos. While it would be impossible to condense it all into one article, here are some of the biggest stories.

A new leadership role for China

Before the meeting even started, China was already making headlines: not only was Xi Jinping the first Chinese president to come to Davos, but he was joined by the largest delegation the Asian giant has ever sent. In an address to participants, Xi emerged as a champion of economic globalization, insisting that despite a Western backlash, it still had the power to change people’s lives for the better. It was a message repeated by other Chinese leaders at the meeting, including one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs, Jack Ma of Alibaba. It’s not globalization that’s to blame for America’s woes, he explained; it’s the way the process was managed. Rather than redistributing wealth to all Americans, it was squandered according to Xi.

Where now for Europe?

Sticking to the theme of uncertainty, British Prime Minister Theresa May came to Davos to outline her country’s Brexit plans. Despite her assurances that Britain was still open for business, financial leaders didn’t seem convinced, and spoke to journalists in Davos about their plans for downsizing their London offices. As for the European project more broadly, while its future is still unclear, leaders took to the stage to defend it from critics. National governments need to stop playing the blame game, they said, and instead rally round to save the union.

A new world order

The main sense throughout the meeting was that we’re living through a geopolitical shift not seen since the end of the Cold War – from a unipolar world, with one superpower, to a multipolar one. “We are moving into a world in which you have many great powers,” economist Nouriel Roubini told participants. “These great powers either work together, or there will be increasing frictions and conflicts on trade and currency, on economics and finance.” Change is scary, Alexander De Croo, Belgian’s deputy prime minister, told participants in a session on understanding the rise of populism – a theme that cut across the whole meeting. “What you have is anxiety about a world that is changing,” he said.

What will the new world look like?

The question that kept coming up is what that world will look like. Will it be a return to the 1930s, with a rise in selfish national interests at the extent of the broader good? Not according to Davos leaders. While almost everyone called for a reform to globalization, most people agreed with President Xi: globalization is worth saving.

Here’s another propaganda article from weforum.com on what the future might look like titled: “Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better“:

Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city – or should I say, “our city”. I don’t own anything. I don’t own a car. I don’t own a house. I don’t own any appliances or any clothes.

It might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense for us in this city. Everything you considered a product, has now become a service. We have access to transportation, accommodation, food and all the things we need in our daily lives. One by one all these things became free, so it ended up not making sense for us to own much.

First communication became digitized and free to everyone. Then, when clean energy became free, things started to move quickly. Transportation dropped dramatically in price. It made no sense for us to own cars anymore, because we could call a driverless vehicle or a flying car for longer journeys within minutes. We started transporting ourselves in a much more organized and coordinated way when public transport became easier, quicker and more convenient than the car. Now I can hardly believe that we accepted congestion and traffic jams, not to mention the air pollution from combustion engines. What were we thinking?

Yes, the communist plan to eliminate property will be sold to us with lipstick and rouge. Not taken from us by force. Once we’ve handed over our property rights for convenience as explained in the aboce scenario, the noose will tighten. Property taxes will become extreme moving everyone toward renting or having things provided as a service. Ownership will lie in the hands of the megacorporations who will eventually raise prices, force things on you that you don’t want, etc.

Barrasso Bill Stops EPA Water Rights Overreach

U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), David Vitter (R-LA), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and 23 other Senators introduced legislation to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from taking over all private and state water in the United States. The Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014 […]