One night in March 2000, I was driving to my job as a waitress in a pool hall in Regina, Saskatchewan. I had a green light, and as I went through an intersection driving north on Wascana Parkway, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I looked to the left and simultaneously lifted my foot off the gas pedal. That probably saved my life.
The next thing I remember, I was being helped out of my totaled car by a crying teenager and her male companion. She hadn't seen the red light and T-boned me at a fairly high rate of speed, hitting me at the left driver's side wheel. This then propelled my car head-on into a light post.
I was blacking out but remember mumbling to her that it was OK, that it was just an accident.
The next thing I remember was sitting in the back seat of a police car along with the girl and her companion. The girl was sniffling and calling someone on her cell phone. Then everything went white. I have no idea what, if anything, I said to the officers.
When I came into consciousness again, I was being told to get out of the police car. I was injured, blacking out, and confused.
I asked the two male police officers what I was supposed to do.
One of them answered, "Go find a phone."
I got out of the car and stood on the median. The cops drove away.
I was a young female at least two miles from the nearest public telephone or even the nearest home or store. It was dark. It was cold. I had no money with me. I had no cell phone with me.
I had been abandoned - injured, going in and out of conscious awareness, and confused - by two members of the Regina City Police force in the middle of Wascana Parkway, far from assistance.
I don't like to think about what could have happened to me that night. I could have been beaten up or raped. I could have, in my blacking out state, stepped into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
What did happen that night involved a stroke of luck, a happy coincidence, or some sort of divine intervention.
A kind-spirited man had been working late in one of the darkened office buildings nearby. This was hours after the offices had closed, and it was very fortunate for me that he was still there. The man had just started driving home when he came across the accident. He asked if he could drive me to a phone and took me back into his office building so I could call a friend to come take me to the hospital.
Just two months before that accident, in January 2000, a native man named Rodney Naistus was found frozen to death at the Queen Elizabeth power station in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - the largest city in Saskatchewan about a three-hour drive north of Regina.
A month after that, in February 2000, another native man named Lawrence Wegner was found frozen to death near where Naistus had been found.
Darrell Night, another native man, told police that same month that two officers had abandoned him in the same area on a recent cold night.
After these three stories came to light, they were connected by a Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper reporter to another native man's death in November 1990. Neil Stonechild had been found frozen to death in an industrial area of Saskatoon at that time after last being seen in the back of a cop car.
(Incidentally, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix was the newspaper where I had done my journalism internship just a few months prior to the accident. I finished in December 1999, a month before Rodney's body was found. I had been censored repeatedly at the StarPhoenix while covering the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, Washington, and this censorship motivated me to leave mainstream media reporting.)
After investigation, it was determined that the men had been picked up by city police officers. They were then dropped off in isolated areas in dangerously cold temperatures and forced to walk back into the city. Some of these men made it back to the city. Others like Rodney, Lawrence, and Neil did not.
It turns out that this abandonment in sub-freezing temperatures was a common practise within Saskatoon City Police and very likely within Regina City Police, with incidents spanning at least a decade. This practise was so common that it even had a name: Starlight Tours.
This abandonment of vulnerable people on freezing cold nights was systemic. It was part of the policing culture in the major Saskatchewan cities. It was commonplace, accepted and allowed by other officers and by their higher-ups. It was even laughed about.
My abandonment was no more an isolated incident than Rodney, Lawrence, or Neil's abandonment.
By the time stories like these make it onto mainstream media outlets, they are systemic. They are full-on sociological themes.
There is a culture of corruption and cruelty within the police forces. It is built right into the police forces. I know this because I have experienced it firsthand, just as many, many others have.
When I made a formal complaint to the police service about my abandonment, I was told that nothing improper had occurred. The response from the officer who replied to my complaint was, "It isn't our job to give people rides home."
I guess it also isn't their job to ensure that injured and semi-conscious accident victims receive care or are, at the very least, out of harm's way.
Because of the lack of care and medical advice I received after the accident, I had years of chronic pain from the whiplash I suffered. It still causes me problems to this day.
When I hear a story like the Michael Brown story, a young man murdered by a police officer, I am saddened, horrified, and then enraged at the injustice, the cruelty, the inhumanity, and the lack of value for human life. I am enraged that a human being's life has been stolen and that his or her loved ones will suffer so much pain because of that.
But I am not surprised.
I, a white woman, have also been on the receiving end of police misconduct and mistreatment.
I already knew about the culture of corruption within the police forces - because I had experienced it firsthand more than once. I knew about the abuses of power and the crimes that were committed, allowed, and then covered up by these police forces.
I knew about the Old Boys Club of the fascist police state because the Old Boys Club of the fascist police state had already decided my life was meaningless, too.
I know natives, blacks, Hispanics, and those of other minority races are singled out. I know their lives have far less value within police culture than rich, white people of status and power within society. I know this racism exists, and I know it is utterly repugnant and unacceptable.
But this is not strictly a race issue.
Michael Brown was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson. Wilson shot to kill, firing six shots into the unarmed boy's body with the sixth and final shot through the head. Wilson committed murder, and now he is getting away with it. These are the facts, no matter how they are being justified by middle-class white people, by controlled opposition agents like Alex Jones, or by anyone who prefers to live in ignorance of what's really going on on this planet.
But I've seen white men gunned down in the exact same ways.
Sammy Yatim was an 18-year-old white man riding a street car with a knife in Toronto, Ontario in July 2013. The streetcar stopped, the other passengers got off, and Sammy stood on the streetcar with the knife, calling the 22 police officers that surrounded him "pussies." For that, Sammy was shot nine times - six times after he had fallen to the floor of the streetcar. As he lay on the floor of the streetcar, officers moved in and Tasered his dying body repeatedly. The incident was caught on video and can been seen on YouTube.
On August 11, 2014, just a few days after unarmed Michael Brown was shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri, 20-year-old Dillon Taylor - a white man - was shot to death by police in Salt Lake City, Utah. Taylor was also unarmed. He had been stopped by police when coming out of a 7-11 store. As Taylor pulled up his pants in order to get down on the ground, according to police orders, he was shot twice and killed.
These stories are, of course, just the tip of the iceberg as far as unjustified killings committed by police.
The level of excessive force in incidents such as these across the U.S. and Canada is a clear indicator: the police forces have gone insane. They are shooting to kill in situations that do not warrant deadly force. They have become paid and trained machines that do not sufficiently value human life.
Let us not allow them to divide us along racial lines.
The injustices, injuries, traumas, and murders committed by the fascist police state affect and oppress us all. Every good heart, every good soul, cries out in grief and sorrow at the senselessness and viciousness of it all.
The injustice of Rodney's death, of Lawrence's death, of Neil's death, of Michael's death, of Sammy's death, of Dillon's death burns inside me. The rage at those deaths, the rage at a culture that lets institutional murderers walk free, is a fire that will never go out in me - or in any of the people who stand for justice, truth, and equality on this planet.
This is the fuel that drives me on, that moves my fingers over this keyboard, that motivates me to continue exposing that which is hurting and killing us.
These men did not deserve to die. Their lives were stolen by men who abuse their power and privilege over the people whom they claim to serve and protect. The lives of these men were stolen by the state, and their murderers - employees and enforcers of that state - are too often allowed to walk free, continuing the abuse. Just doing their jobs, after all.
The oppression, injuries, and murders brought down by agents of the state affect us all. The stranglehold of the fascist Global Government with its police and military thugs affects us all.
I saw a horrifying amount of tear gas unleashed by police on peaceful protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. I saw the use of a sonic weapon against peaceful protesters in Ferguson, Missouri - a Long Range Acoustic Device that can stop a person's heart or cause permanent hearing and equilibrium damage.
But again, I was not surprised by this.
My articles that were censored by the Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper in 1999 outlined the early stages of the use of chemical weapons and excessive police force against peaceful protesters in Seattle, Washington.
In 2001, I was working as a researcher at CBC TV News in Regina, Saskatchewan and was again blocked from covering the Free Trade Area of the Americas protest in Quebec City, Quebec. There was an unprecedented escalation of police force at that protest, taking orders from the Global Governors, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police were being called in from across the country. Again, this had not occurred previously in Canadian history. This was most certainly news. But it was not news that the installed head of the newsroom wanted to have covered by me or by anyone else.
So I left that job. I traveled in a 15-passenger van with other protesters, driving all day and night to get to Quebec City. And when we got there, after peaceful marches showing our opposition to the privileged, behind-closed-doors meetings being held there, the riot police unleashed chemical weapons against us from behind a 10-foot chain link fence. Protecting their masters.
They used CS gas (a derivative of cyanide), pepper spray, rubber bullets, and a chemical-filled water cannon. Water cannons have taken protesters eyes out. They have thrown people 20 feet in the air. You can see footage of the FTAA protests on YouTube: Part One and Part Two.
When the protests were over, many of us were sick for weeks from the gas that we had inhaled through the apple cider vinegar-drenched bandanas that covered our noses and mouths. The females immediately got their periods, indicating that there was some type of hormonal disruption caused by the gas.
The use of chemical weapons and excessive force by police and military against peaceful protesters has now morphed into the use of acoustic weapons previously used only by the military in times of combat. You can read more about this in my August 2014 article: The Age of Aquarius: a New Era of Energy Weaponry Used Against the People
As police forces are militarized around the world, given weapons previously used only in combat situations to use on their own citizens, a grand-scale devaluing of human life is occurring. Instead of viewing
individuals as human beings, precious to their loved ones, they are seen merely as combatants to be dealt with, including by
deadly force. Policing culture has shifted away from the service and protection of citizens and toward a
vicious battle or war against those citizens.
The police state of the fascist Global Government has officially been turned against the people.
And anyone who justifies Michael Brown's death is complicit.
Anyone who justifies the deaths of Rodney Naistus, Lawrence Wegner, or Neil Stonechild is complicit.
Anyone who justifies police cruelty, brutality, or misconduct, including against peaceful protesters, is complicit.
Anyone who justifies the abandonment of that scared girl, injured and blacking out, in the middle of nowhere on that cold March night is complicit.
The ignorant can and will continue to justify it all. This is what makes them feel safe and sound in their nice, warm homes at night.
But for those of us who know better, it is our obligation to speak out, to oppose what we see happening from the depths of our hearts and souls. It's happening to us, to all of us, and it's only a matter of time until everyone is directly personally affected.
There are good cops out there within this corrupt police culture, sure. But there is no such thing as a good cop who stays silent and goes along with this abuse.
The spirits of those frozen men are forever mingled with my own. It is the raging desire for truth, justice, and necessary change that keeps me warm at night, that keeps me hot on their trails.