Avenger missile launchers are NOT equipment for observation!
On Tuesday, reports emerged that the North Dakota National Guard had sent two Avenger missile launchers near a critical work site near the pipeline. National Guard spokesman William Prokopyk told the Daily Beast the missiles were unloaded and had no authorization to be loaded. The Morton County Sheriff's Department also confirmed these missiles in a Facebook post, saying they were "strictly for observation of ungoverned encampments to help protect private property and maintain public safety."
WTF??? I suppose it’s to deal with the ‘threat’ posed by camera drones?? And on behalf of the harmful fossil fuel special interests…. All the more reason for more and more people to keep supporting this protest.
Worth noting that launching a javelin — the missile mounted in the Avenger air defense modules — costs about 80,000 dollars. To say that such a launch would be a tremendous waste of money simply to take down a camera drone costing 100 to 300 dollars is a pretty huge understatement. And it’s an atrocity that such a system, which was designed to defend the American people from harm, is being used to enforce harm on a local population as well as upon every American and person living in the world by worsening climate change impacts. [emphasis mine]
This, and the bill to legalize running down protesters, signals the Trump-Putin administration's technique to "support" freedom and "protect" citizen rights, as I see it.
While this wasn't a Climate Change protest per se, it signals the new administration's approach to protest - most of the 217 Women's March protesters arrested were charged with felony riot, which carries a 10 year prison sentence.
Demonstrators warn that the crackdown signals a new wave of repression against the protesters, whose mass mobilization was met with riot police violence, National Guard and Department of Homeland Security deployments, heavy surveillance and law enforcement snipers positioned on rooftops.
“These charges are absolutely horrifying....
Jeffrey Light, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer ... agreed with this assessment. “I have been representing protesters for 13 years now, and I have never seen felony rioting charges in Washington, D.C."
... those picked up in the sweep and hit with felony riot charges already endured abuse at the hands of the police. “Our class action lawsuit charges that the police were rounding up everyone on the street without warning and putting them under arrest and using excessive force,” said Light. “There were a number of weapons we haven't seen Washington, D.C. police use in recent memory, flash bang grenades and tear gas. In addition to chemical irritants, they were assaulting people with batons. They were beating people.” [emphasis mine]