Tag Archives: Ferguson Protest

Russia and North Korea Accuse the U.S. of Human Rights Violations in Ferguson

An outbreak of protests were reignited on Monday, after the Grand Jury announced its decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Those protests, which in some cases led to rioting and looting, were met by a militarized police force in the city of Ferguson.

The United States’ response to the protests has drawn criticism from countries like Russia and North Korea, which have been previously criticized by the U.S. for human rights violations.

The Guardian reported that both officials in Moscow and pro-Kremlin bloggers are comparing the recent events in Ferguson to “the Maidan protests in Kiev which began a year ago and ended in February with the overthrow of the Ukrainian president,” and claiming that there is a “double standard in Washington supporting the protesters in Kiev but clamping down on them at home.”

A statement from the human rights commissioner for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Konstantin Dolgov, criticized the United States for using “military methods against peaceful civilians,” which are only “likely to further inflame the situation.

Such a massive explosion of public indignation and the disproportionate reaction of law enforcement bodies confirm again that this is no isolated incident but a systemic flaw in American democracy, which has failed to overcome a deep racial split, discrimination and inequality.

Dolgov went on to say that the United States should focus more on the problems it has in its own country, before criticizing other countries:

The recent events in Ferguson are the latest and most worrying sign yet to American authorities that it is finally time for them to focus on the serious internal problems they have with human rights, using the recommendations of international human rights organizations, rather than using their efforts on pointless and fruitless lectures and propagandistic moralizing with regards to other countries.

A spokesman for the North Korea Foreign Ministry also released a statement criticizing the United States for its inconsistent human rights standards:

This is clear proof of the real picture of the U.S. as a tundra of human rights, where extreme racial discrimination acts are openly practiced,” said the spokesman. “The great irony is that the U.S. tries to measure other countries with its wrong human rights standard, though it is a typical human rights abuser.

Yahoo News reported that North Korea’s criticism came just a week after the United Nations “adopted a landmark resolution urging the Security Council to refer North Korea’s leaders to the International Criminal Court for possible indictment on crimes against humanity.”

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, released a statement urging the United States to practice “restraint,” and to find a “determined effort to root out institutionalized discrimination.”

It is clear that, at least among some sectors of the population, there is a deep and festering lack of confidence in the fairness of the justice and law enforcement systems,” said Zeid. “I urge the U.S. authorities to conduct in-depth examinations into how race-related issues are affecting law enforcement and the administration of justice, both at the federal and state levels.”

Bill O’Reilly calls Al Sharpton a ‘charlatan’ and coverage of Ferguson ‘garbage’

After cutting his vacation short, Bill O’Reilly came back to FOX News today to report on what he calls the “liberal media’s” coverage of the protests and riots in Ferguson, Mo., as “garbage.”

“I came back from my vacation because I am furious,” said O’Reilly, “about how the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown is being reported and how various people are reacting to it.”

O’Reilly goes on to say the riots and looting taking place in Ferguson are a disgrace to the memory of Brown, and the federal investigation into the death of Brown is needed to fully understand and come to the best conclusion about what should be done in its wake.

However, O’Reilly seems to shift the focus from the death of Brown and the response surrounding his death, to railing against Al Sharpton and trying to say “police brutality” is not an issue.

“Al Sharpton has the nerve to insult the American police community,” said O’Reilly.  “This charlatan has the gall to do that and NBC News is paying him.”

O’Reilly also calls out people who are saying police brutality is an issue, and calls it “police efficiency.”  Out of the 12 million police arrests in in 2012 in the U.S., O’Reilly cites the FBI, saying only 400 arrestees were killed by police.  Of the 400, O’Reilly calls many of these deaths justified, but he fails to recognize how police brutality is not just limited to those cases which result in the death of the arrestee.

Later, O’Reilly tries to redirect, once again, the focus of the Ferguson protests and riots back onto the black community by saying “91 percent of black homicide victims are killed by other blacks…”

At the end of his segment, O’Reilly does say he agrees with how President Obama has responded to the situation, saying he was right to call for peace in Ferguson.  “That is his job,” O’Reilly says.

MO Law Enforcement: “We’re Not Sure Who’s a Journalist and Who’s Not”

Ferguson, MO- Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who was placed in charge of security in Ferguson by Governor Jay Nixon, has said that journalists are being arrested due to safety concerns stemming from abounding protests. Johnson blamed unrest and chaos for the detainments and has not yet explained if the arrests of media members will continue or cease.

“I’m going to tell you in the midst of chaos, when officers are running around, we’re not sure who’s a journalist and who’s not,” said Johnson in a recording. “Yes, if I see somebody with a $50,000 camera on their shoulder, I’m pretty sure. But some journalists are walking around, and all you have is a cellphone because you’re from a small media outlet. Some of you may just have a camera around your neck,” he said.

“So yes we are- we may take some of you into custody. But when we do take you into custody and we have found out you’re a journalist, we’ve taken the proper action. But in the midst of it we cannot – in the midst of it, in the midst of chaos and trying to move people on, we have to be safe.”

Scott Olson, a photographer for Getty Images who captured many iconic photos of the protests in Ferguson, was shown being arrested by police Monday despite wearing a large camera and what appeared to be a press pass.

A court agreement was signed August 15th by the city of Ferguson, the county of St. Louis, and the Missouri Highway Patrol Superintendent acknowledging that “media and the members of the public have a right to record public events without abridgment unless it obstructs the activity or threatens the safety of  others, or physically interferes with the ability of law enforcement officers to perform their duties.” It is unclear whether or not the multiple reporters who have been arrested had interfered with police activity.

Johnson also has defended a new rule that prohibits protesters in Ferguson from standing in one place. According to the Huffington Post, protesters were told on Monday by police officers to continue walking, with an exception for those standing in an “approved protest area”.

“We are not going to let groups congregate and build into larger groups because that’s what causes problems,” said Johnson. “Because what happens is, the peaceful protesters gather, and the other element blends in. Now they blend in, and that’s what’s been causing us some issues. So by allowing them to walk, that’s not going to let the other element blend in and define this group.”