The title of this post is slightly jarring considering the tag line of the site is “finding fog, documenting beauty”. Sometimes there is more than fog and that may call for a stronger action than “documenting beauty”. This story is worth reading and maybe you too will gasp with Madonna Thunder Hawk’s daughter as you see details written by a police officer.
Years ago I was working in uniform at a well known international function. Police were called in from all over to protect those discussing how money would be managed between the 20 most affluent countries. One close friend of mine heard I was working this “event” and was clear that our friendship was at risk if I chose to wear a uniform, bear arms, and protect those caged closed talks. That friend reminded me financial affluence was being protected, with force, while basic human rights such as access to fresh water were nothing more than platitudes.
The time and effort to train officers for battle and the expected accompanying riots during the G20 was a logistical nightmare. The weapons and protective gear worn were daunting. Uniformed human drones were expensed out of the public coffers to protect those “discussions”. The drones were intelligent people who were told stories designed to justify their comfort, while bearing arms against free speech. The expenses were visually large being everything from sonic weapons and water throwing tanks to small handy dandy pocket books listing all the arrest authorities police may wish to have at the tips of their handcuffs.
When it came to preparations there was many a hushed waiver signed and confidential documents viewed all of which was trimmed with back room briefings where police identified major players – using photographs and untested allegations. I wore this uniform. I attended this event. I am intelligent and I was the armed braun. I enforced “safety” for those talking about world finances. My actions were naive and wrong. My actions showed me just how simple it was for Hitler gather armed masses to do his bidding, capitulating them into committing atrocities we now acknowledge.
Last night the Guelph Film Festival opened with two films, Nucca and Warrior Women. Nucca is powerful and was part of the Sundance Film Festival. Warrior Women is a film documenting “… the story of mothers and daughters fighting for indigenous rights in the American Indian Movement of the 1970s. The film unveils not only a female perspective of history, but also examines the impact political struggles have on the children who bear witness.” Warrior Women concluded with a Skype conversation between the audience and the filmmakers Anna Marie Pitman, Elizabeth Castle as well as and the daughter of Madonna Thunder Hawk, Marcella Gilbert. That conversation crossed the boundary between Canada and the United States and the only thing I could offer in response to the power of this film was a comment, this post, and a question for you, the reader.
The comment was a version of what you are reading now qualifying as a small mark in a tapestry we call history. The comment took internal strength to state publicly. It was rimmed with salted undrinkable tears streaming from my eyes and brought a gasp from Madonna Thunder Hawk’s daughter, Marcy. There is nothing like watching a film, knowing what the riot gear feels like on the body, and then bearing witness watching water hoses being turned on those speaking up requiring treaties signed generations ago be honoured. There is nothing simple about knowing continued silence is a continuation of the offence.
Jt Murphy signing off for shift asking you what you will do with your words today?