Human rights advocates have accused federal law enforcement authorities of violating the Geneva Convention in Portland, Oregon, after they allegedly destroyed medical equipment during the ongoing protests there. On Tuesday night, a video was posted to Twitter by journalist Sergio Olmos, which showed medical supplies and protective gear covered in an orange liquid which is believed to be pepper spray.
It appears that federal officers, during dispersal, pepper sprayed the medical supplies in the tents pic.twitter.com/Y9HGqzcepB
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) July 22, 2020
Article 19 of the 1949 Geneva Convention states that:
Fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.
Furthermore, an article in the 1998 International Criminal Court Statute says:
intentionally directing attacks against … hospitals and places where the sick and the wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives” constitutes a war crime in both international and non-international armed conflicts.
The footage sparked outrage among human rights advocates and prompted a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU announced that they filed a lawsuit against the DHS, U.S. Marshals Service, and the city of Portland on behalf of volunteer medics who have been attending to injured protesters.
BREAKING: The @ACLU_OR is taking federal and local authorities in Portland, Oregon, to court — again.
We’re suing on behalf of volunteer street medics, who federal and local law enforcement are brutally attacking at protests.
— ACLU (@ACLU) July 22, 2020
This is not the first time that medics have complained about being targetted by law enforcement officers. In Portland, the situation is especially controversial because it is unwelcomed and often unmarked federal agents who are accused of attacking medics or medical supplies, but local police across the country have been taking similar actions since the protests began earlier this year. Last month, Human Rights Watch warned that police were intentionally targeting medics at US protests.
Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists tweeted that this was a clear war crime violation.
This is Fubar. The Geneva Convention states that destroying medical equipment is a war crime violation. Yet, here we are in Portland…Attacking medical units violates half a dozen conventions and international statutes, not only Geneva Convention but also International Criminal Court statutes. But hey, Chad Wolf, Bill Barr, and Trump say it’s okay!” Feigl-Ding wrote.
5) folks arguing “but but but Geneva Convention only for armed conflict between uniformed armies”… ha, if that is the only defense of their actions, then one is entirely missing the moral emptiness & heartless callousness of the actions. Also Geneva protects non combatants too.
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) July 23, 2020
There are loopholes that allow governments to use certain force and tactics on its own citizens that would not be allowed on the battlefield, but these loopholes are also highly debated and have come under additional scrutiny in light of the recent protests. For example, while teargas has become a ubiquitous fixture at protests all over the world, it is actually a war crime to use any type of chemical gas on the battlefield. Teargas is technically considered a chemical weapon, but governments have decided that it is acceptable because it is the only way they can get crowds to disperse.
When questioned about their actions towards medics, police maintain that the medics and everyone else in the streets would have been fine if they were to just leave and do as they were told. Protesters say that they have a right to assemble which is being violated by dispersal orders. Police and federal agents assigned to crowd control for these protests don’t seem to be making any distinctions, if someone is in the streets after an order to leave, they are treated as an enemy combatant.
Even the mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler was tear-gassed, presumably by federal agents, when he was out in the streets speaking to protesters about their concerns.
Wheeler has been demanding that the federal agents leave the city for days, but President Donald Trump and the Department of Homeland Security are doubling down on their strategy to suppress the protests, and have condemned the local leadership for what they perceive as a lack of toughness. However, the protests are showing no signs of slowing down, in fact, they have continued to grow and get bigger as federal agents crack down even harder. The protests have even spread to other cities. In Seattle, Washington, protests began in solidarity with the demonstrators in Portland, and against the intervention of federal agents. The protests were eventually declared a riot after looting and vandalism was reported.
DHS reportedly has 2,000 military officials waiting on standby for orders from Trump about which city to deploy in next. These measures are overwhelmingly opposed by most local political leaders, who are mostly Democrats. It is likely that federal agents are on their way to Seattle now, if they are not there already.
Nancy Pelosi Reelected As House Speaker In Narrow Vote
Nancy Pelosi won another term as Speaker of the House of Representatives on Sunday, after a narrow vote.
80-year-old Pelosi will hold the position for a second consecutive two-year term and fourth overall, having previously been elected in 2007, 2009 and 2019.
Pelosi has served as a US representative from California since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the only woman in U.S. history to serve as Speaker and, until the inauguration of Kamala Harris as Vice President, is the highest-ranking female elected official in United States history.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) January 3, 2021
As House speaker, Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president.
During her first speakership, she was instrumental in the passage of many of the Obama administration’s landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the 2010 Tax Relief Act.
BREAKING: The floor of the House of Representatives erupts in applause as Rep. Nancy Pelosi is reelected as speaker of the House for the 117th congress, with 216 votes. https://t.co/z1mlyK1BJN pic.twitter.com/6Wdt3N9ulD
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 3, 2021
Pelosi lost the speakership in 2011 after the Republican Party won a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections.
She retained her role as leader of the House Democratic Caucus and returned to the role of House minority leader. In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats regained control of the House.
When the 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, Pelosi was again elected speaker, becoming the first former speaker to return to the post since Sam Rayburn in 1955.
Under Pelosi’s leadership, the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on December 18, 2019.
Despite supporting the $2000 checks for struggling Americans, Pelosi, along with everyone in congress have provoked anger from citizens who see them as being out of touch with the average people.
The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) estimated in 2009 that Pelosi’s average net worth was $58 million which ranks her 13th among 25 wealthiest members of Congress.
Roll Call said Pelosi’s earnings are connected to her husband’s heavy investments in stocks that include Apple, Disney, Comcast, and Facebook. Roll Call reported that the Pelosis have $13.46 million in liabilities including mortgages on seven properties.
According to Roll Call, Pelosi and her husband hold properties “worth at least $14.65 million, including a St. Helena vineyard in Napa Valley worth at least $5 million, and commercial real estate in San Francisco”.
FAA Responds To Numerous Reports Of A UFO Over Hawaii
The FAA was notified after multiple people reported seeing an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in the sky over Leeward Oahu on Tuesday evening. Witnesses all over the region called into 911 at around 8:30 p.m.
Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said that there were no aircraft incidents or accidents in this area at the time of the reports, but multiple witnesses reported seeing a large blue object fall out of the sky and into the ocean.
Some of the witnesses managed to get video or photos of the incident.
Witness Misitina Sape told Hawaii News Now she captured a photo of the object at 8:26 p.m. near Haleakala Avenue in Nanakuli.
Another witness named Moriah said she had never been a believer in UFOs until she saw the object fall from the sky.
“I started calling my husband and them because they were all in the garage. I was like hey. Come look up there. See if you see what I see. They all said yea!” Moriah said.
They jumped in the car to follow the object and see what it was.
“I don’t know what it was,” she said. “This one was going so fast.”
About three miles down the road, they saw the object fall into the water.
She said that it was larger than a telephone pole but didn’t make any sound when it hit the ground.
“We called 911,” Moriah said, “For have like one cop or somebody for come out and come check em out.”
She also says that they saw another light in the sky after the blue object fell into the water. She says that police saw the second light as well.
“My husband went look up and he seen the white one coming,” she said. “The white one was smaller. Was coming in the same direction as the blue one.”
FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor said the agency received a report from police Tuesday night about a possible plane down in the area “but had no aircraft disappear off radars. And no reports of overdue or missing aircraft.”
Earlier this year, the Pentagon announced the formation of a new task force that will be studying UFOs or “Unidentified Flying Objects.”
The formation of this new task force was revealed last year when the Pentagon acknowledged that military pilots were encountering aircraft that might not have been made by humans.
The new task force was officially revealed to the public after the Pentagon released declassified videos that appeared to show government aircraft interacting with UFOs in the sky.
One of the videos, taken from US Navy aircraft, seems to show the pilots chasing a UFO off the east coast of the United States.
Navy pilots reported spotting the objects flying around 30,000 feet in the air at hypersonic speeds and showing no visible engines or exhaust plumes typical of any known aircraft currently on Earth.
The new agency has been called, The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).
Mitch McConnell’s House Vandalized Over $2,000 Checks
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had his home vandalized this week, after blocking the vote to increase stimulus payments to $2,000.
Messages like ‘WERES MY MONEY’ and ‘MITCH K1LLS THE POOR.’ were spray-painted on the building.
Police said that they don’t have any suspects.
On Saturday, McConnell released a statement to the Louisville Courier Journal which read: “Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society. My wife and I have never been intimidated by this toxic playbook. We just hope our neighbors in Louisville aren’t too inconvenienced by this radical tantrum.”
In 2015, Time listed McConnell as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. McConnell is the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky in history, and the longest-serving leader of U.S. Senate Republicans in history.
During the Trump administration, Senate Republicans, under McConnell’s leadership, broke records on the number of judicial nominees confirmed. Among those nominees were Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh who were recently confirmed to the Supreme Court.
McConnell’s critics have called him by a variety of different nicknames, including “Moscow Mitch”, “Cocaine Mitch”, the “Grim Reaper”, “Darth Vader”, “Rich Mitch”, “Nuclear Mitch”, and “Midnight Mitch.” On some occasions, he has even embraced these nicknames, although he was apparently unhappy with the more recent “Moscow Mitch.”
McConnell has a net worth of $35 million dollars, and many Americans feel that he is out of touch. He isn’t the only US politician that was a target for vandalism this week.
According to a report from TMZ this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had her house vandalized with a pig’s head and fake blood.
Spray painted in black on the white garage door were the messages “$2K,” an apparent reference to the $2,000 COVID stimulus checks that have been held up in the U.S. Senate, as well as “CANCEL RENT!” and “WE WANT EVERYTHING!”
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