FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

State Dept. Condemns Attacks on Russian Peaceful Protests, Ignores Those in America

On March 26, the State Department tweeted, “U.S. condemns detention of 100s of peaceful protesters in ‪#Russia today. Detaining peaceful protesters is an affront to democratic values.” The tweet was in reference to thousands of people participating in peaceful opposition protests in cities across Russia against Putin’s corrupt administration. The Russian media downplayed the protests, and hundreds of protesters were arrested, including Putin opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The State Department’s tweet was hypocritical, as the department and countless other government agencies and officials have remained silent, or even joined the oppressing opposition when peaceful protesters in the United States have been under attack.

Several Twitter users responded with photos of militarized police forces attacking peaceful protests in the last few years across the United States.

“Really? There’s 800+ cases pending against unarmed protesters hit w/mace, water cannons, rubber bullets, etc. at ‪#StandingRock. ‪#NoDAPL,” tweeted Tara Houska, Director of Honor the Earth and former advisor to Bernie Sanders to the State Department. “It wasn’t an ‘affront to democratic values’ when 100s of U.S. citizens were thrown in dog kennels in North Dakota for ‪#NoDAPL” protests.” The water protectors at the Dakota Access Pipeline were met with water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures, constantly maced, hit with rubber bullets and concussion grenades, attacked with pipeline security guard dogs, and several protesters sustained serious injuries. Several journalists on the scene throughout the protests were also attacked and intimidated from reporting, while the local police force ran their own propaganda campaign to perpetuate their own narrative.

Several Twitter users cited the Ferguson protests, where police used military tactics to suppress and intimidate protesters, leading to several lawsuits against the police forces that arrested, beat, and attacked protesters.

In July 2016, a photo went viral from peaceful protests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana of militarized police donned in riot gear detaining an unarmed, young black woman in a dress.

In the United States, protests have been primarily met with heavily militarized police forces and receiving a range of coverage in mainstream media, from no coverage to sensationalizing or inferring violence from protesters, to making overtly racist or false generalizations of protesters. In addition to the media propagating a condescending attitude toward protests, the political establishment has adopted a similar attitude.

Republican lawmakers in states across the country have recently tried to push through legislation that would constrict the civil liberties of protesters. During the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, the majority of the Democratic Party avoided supporting the protests, yet swooped in to exploit a small victory the protests obtained on December 4 when the Army Corps of Engineers temporarily halted the pipeline’s construction. When the pipeline moved forward again under the Trump Administration, Democrats were once again nowhere to be found despite their political opponents continuing to denigrate protesters.

The State Department’s embrace of “democratic values” was also attacked as hypocritical given the department’s embrace of interventionist policies in foreign governments, and approving the sales of billions of dollars in military weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia, that have been using them to commit war crimes and human rights violations in Yemen.

While the criticism toward the State Department’s tweet didn’t argue with their assertion that the Russian Government’s handling of peaceful protests were a violation of human rights and undemocratic, the silence from the government when police forces in the United States have attacked, intimidated, and suppressed protests in the United States has been deafening.

More articles by:

Michael Sainato’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Buffalo News, the Hill, Alternet, and several other publications . Follow him on twitter: @MSainat1

June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
Patrick Cockburn
Attacking Hodeidah is a Deliberate Act of Cruelty by the Trump Administration
Gary Leupp
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He Wants
Thomas Knapp
Child Abductions: A Conversation It’s Hard to Believe We’re Even Having
Robert Fisk
I Spoke to Palestinians Who Still Hold the Keys to Homes They Fled Decades Ago – Many are Still Determined to Return
Steve Early
Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of Oil Can Eddie
Jim Scheff
Protect Our National Forests From an Increase in Logging
Adam Parsons
Reclaiming the UN’s Radical Vision of Global Economic Justice
Dean Baker
Manufacturing Production Falls in May and No One Notices
Laura Flanders
Bottom-Up Wins in Virginia’s Primaries
Binoy Kampmark
The Anguish for Lost Buildings: Embers and Death at the Victoria Park Hotel
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
Jonathan Cook
How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions
Ajamu Baraka
North Korea Issue is Not De-nuclearization But De-Colonization
Andrew Levine
Midterms Coming: Antinomy Ahead
Louisa Willcox
New Information on 2017 Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Deaths Should Nix Trophy Hunting in Core Habitat
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Singapore Fling
Ron Jacobs
What’s So Bad About Peace, Man?
Robert Hunziker
State of the Climate – It’s Alarming!
L. Michael Hager
Acts and Omissions: The NYT’s Flawed Coverage of the Gaza Protest
Dave Lindorff
However Tenuous and Whatever His Motives, Trump’s Summit Agreement with Kim is Praiseworthy
Robert Fantina
Palestine, the United Nations and the Right of Return
Brian Cloughley
Sabre-Rattling With Russia
Chris Wright
To Be or Not to Be? That’s the Question
David Rosen
Why Do Establishment Feminists Hate Sex Workers?
Victor Grossman
A Key Congress in Leipzig
John Eskow
“It’s All Kinderspiel!” Trump, MSNBC, and the 24/7 Horseshit Roundelay
Paul Buhle
The Russians are Coming!
Joyce Nelson
The NED’s Useful Idiots
Lindsay Koshgarian
Trump’s Giving Diplomacy a Chance. His Critics Should, Too
Louis Proyect
American Nativism: From the Chinese Exclusion Act to Trump
Stan Malinowitz
On the Elections in Colombia
Camilo Mejia
Open Letter to Amnesty International on Nicaragua From a Former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience
David Krieger
An Assessment of the Trump-Kim Singapore Summit
Jonah Raskin
Cannabis in California: a Report From Sacramento
Josh Hoxie
Just How Rich Are the Ultra Rich?
CJ Hopkins
Awaiting the Putin-Nazi Apocalypse
Mona Younis
We’re the Wealthiest Country on Earth, But Over 40 Percent of Us Live in or Near Poverty
Dean Baker
Not Everything Trump Says on Trade is Wrong
James Munson
Trading Places: the Other 1% and the .001% Who Won’t Save Them
Rivera Sun
Stop Crony Capitalism: Protect the Net!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail