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Bernstein writes: "The latest twist in the 2016 presidential campaign comes with the issuing of warrants for the arrest of the presidential and vice presidential candidates running on the Green Party ticket, Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka. Baraka was notified on Wednesday. Stein had been notified on Tuesday."

The Green Party's candidates for president and vice president of the United States, Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, traveled to North Dakota to express their support for those attempting to close down the Dakota Access Pipeline. (photo: Jill Stein 2016)
The Green Party's candidates for president and vice president of the United States, Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, traveled to North Dakota to express their support for those attempting to close down the Dakota Access Pipeline. (photo: Jill Stein 2016)


Green Party Candidates Face Arrest: An Interview With Green Party VP Candidate Ajamu Baraka

By Dennis J Bernstein, Reader Supported News

10 September 16

 

he latest twist in the 2016 presidential campaign comes with the issuing of warrants for the arrest of the presidential and vice presidential candidates running on the Green Party ticket, Dr. Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka. Baraka was notified on Wednesday. Stein had been notified on Tuesday. According to an extended radio interview on Pacifica Radio’s Flashpoints show on Wednesday, only hours after he had been notified by authorities, Mr. Baraka told host Dennis Bernstein that they were being charged regarding their trip over the weekend to Standing Rock, North Dakota, to stand with the indigenous tribes resisting the oil pipeline expansion through sacred native burial grounds.

Dennis Bernstein: Welcome back to Flashpoints, Ajamu Baraka. You were, in fact, at Standing Rock. You have indicated you had the strongest desire to stand by the indigenous communities. Could you explain why you feel so strongly about this issue?

Ajamu Baraka: We traveled to the site to stand in solidarity with the people, the indigenous resisters there. We had a chance to communicate with folks and break bread with people for a couple of days. We went out to the front line sites to be in solidarity with the folks. We addressed the people and they were very happy that we were, in fact, there. In the process, there were comments being written on the machines the people had commandeered.

And so, as an act of solidarity, we also added our comments to that process. But because we are being surveilled and those images were communicated around the world, the local authorities thought that it would be a proper and good thing to then levy charges against us for criminal trespassing and vandalism. Which is interesting because all of the crimes that we witnessed, and many of your listeners witnessed, in terms of the images we saw coming from those sites, protestors are being attacked with dogs, and all of that. They would then spend their times, resources, and energy in attempting to intimidate us with flimsy charges.

DB: So have you been served by the police? How do you know they are seeking you and Jill Stein?

Baraka: We haven’t been officially served. But we were notified that those charges were pending. They charged Jill yesterday, and then they added me today. It’s been reported in the local press there that the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is indicating that they were going to levy charges against us, and that arrest warrants had, in fact, been issued.

DB: So is this ... do we know if this is the first time in the history of the United States that a presidential and vice presidential candidate have been served with a warrant while they were running for office? I guess Hillary and all those e-mails, and all that stuff … well, nothing there.

Baraka: No charges. We get charged.

DB: You stepped over a certain line when you wrote on the side of a company truck in protest of their attacks on the sacred burial grounds, including using trained attack dogs against peaceful protesters. What did you write on the truck?

Baraka: I said that what we needed in North Dakota was authentic decolonization.

DB: Authentic decolonization.

Baraka: That’s what I wrote.

DB: And what does that mean to you? Obviously, they didn’t like it.

Baraka: Well, it means that basically the issues that are facing the indigenous people are issues that are a reality because indigenous people don’t have full control over their sovereignty, the sovereignty over their land that they originally owned. That this company has trampled on ancestral land, threatening water that they [indigenous peoples] are the protectors of. They have trampled on burial grounds, and the only recourse that the indigenous appear to have is to make appeals to the U.S. authorities and to put their bodies on the line, to try to stop this. Now, if there were not a settler occupation, then they wouldn’t have those kinds of issues. So, you know, if there’s going to be real social justice here in this place we call the United States of America, then we have to address this issue of the rights of indigenous ... the issue of sovereignty and self-determination. And that means that we have to have a process of authentic decolonization. We’re not going to have social justice as long as there’s continuity in this settler colonial project. And that’s a very difficult conversation, because all of us are implicated – those of us who came voluntarily, our ancestors, and involuntarily. We have to have a conversation about what it really means to have a decolonized United States of America.

DB: Are you concerned? If you decide to surrender – I don’t know if you will or you won’t – but these days black men are in danger when they’re in custody of law enforcement. And it doesn’t matter which direction you are facing, you oftentimes end up getting shot in the back. Your concerns about your relationship with law enforcement, and the nature of racism in this country?

Baraka: Well, of course, there are those concerns. I mean, especially when we are talking about North Dakota. Are we’re talking about parts of the country in which, you know, white supremacist activity has been part of their traditions. And a population where only 1% of the population is, in fact, African-American. Yes, there will be that concern. And we are in discussions with our legal team about how we’re going to deal with this.

DB: Remind people what distinguishes your candidacy, and Jill Stein’s candidacy, from the other folks who will definitely not be arrested, apparently in both cases, in major candidates, Clinton and Trump, no matter what they do.

Baraka: I think that’s the most obvious distinction, that we are under arrest warrants as a consequence of standing in solidarity with people who are resisting injustice, people who are resisting the concentrated power of corporate America and the colonial state. That would never happen with the other major party candidates because, of course, they represent the elite. They represent the 1%. And that is the major distinction here. Basically, we stand with the people. We are struggling for a real democracy and social justice, and an end to the colonial project. So the policies that we are advocating for, are representing, and our transitional plan, that is our platform...these are policies that we feel as important, important reforms on the road towards the kind of fundamental change that has to take place in this country for us to really begin to address the ongoing issues of oppression, and structural exploitation here in this country. So, those are the distinctions, that we are about fundamental change, and the other two parties are managing the status quo.

DB: Now, finally, What was going through your mind when you saw these folks release the dogs, use the dogs to attack the indigenous community while all they were doing was defending sacred burial grounds. What were some of the thoughts going through your mind? It must have got you going.

Baraka: It reminded me of all of the colonial struggles that we have seen and been a part of for decades. It reminded me of Birmingham, it reminded me of South Africa, it reminded me of all of these [UNCLEAR 10:49 audio spasm] concentrated white power has used the power of the state to try to maintain its dominance. And the use of dogs seems to be something that has been a permanent part of the process. Dogs were used in the South to run down slaves, enslaved people running from slavery, to run down people who had escaped from prisons, to intimidate Muslim detainees in these black sites and places like Abu Ghraib in Iraq. Dogs were used by the Conquistadors throughout the Americas. Now there’s this relationship between the colonial project and Europeans, and the use of these dogs. So all of that flies through my mind as I follow scenes where these security guards are coming out and using these dogs in a very aggressive and dehumanizing way.

DB: All right, Ajamu Baraka, We’re going to follow this closely. A very amazing presidential campaign takes another turn. Thanks so much for being with us.

Baraka: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.



Dennis J Bernstein is the executive producer of Flashpoints, syndicated on Pacifica Radio, and is the recipient of a 2015 Pillar Award for his work as a journalist whistleblower. He is most recently the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+83 # ReconFire 2016-09-10 11:34
Just when you think this election cycle can't get any crazier....The 1% takes it higher.
I will be proud to vote for MS Stein/Mr. Baraka.
Better Americans won't be found on the ballot.
 
 
+70 # indian weaver 2016-09-10 11:36
Vote for Courage and Honesty, vote Green Party. Vote Green for We The People, or don't vote. Vote Green for peace and freedom, or don't vote. Vote Green for single payer health care, free higher education and a $15/hr. minimum wage, or don't vote. A vote for anyone but Green Party is a vote against We The People, and a vote for anyone but the Green Party is a vote for continued worldwide torture, war crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, terrorism and assassinations by Obama / Biden / Hillary / Trump.
 
 
+38 # economagic 2016-09-10 14:22
"A vote for anyone but Green Party is a vote against We The People, and a vote for anyone but the Green Party is a vote for continued worldwide torture, war crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, terrorism and assassinations"

Thanks weaver. That has been my point all along to the lesserevilists who tell me that if I DON'T vote for one evil or the other I am "wasting" my vote. I see it as precisely the opposite: I would be wasting my vote to vote for evil given the opportunity to vote for good, or at least for a radically (sic) lesser evil.
 
 
+29 # Ted 2016-09-10 13:45
If you would like to learn more about the positions of the Green Party or to learn ways you can support the Green Party's candidates visit;

GP.ORG
 
 
+62 # grandlakeguy 2016-09-10 13:45
So Hillary Clinton violates national security laws and commits what are basically war crimes in Libya, the Ukrane and Honduras and walks away scott free....
but the Green Party candidates are now facing arrest for...GRAFFITI ?????????????

I know which lawbreaker I will vote for...
(Hint) NOT the bloodthirsty hawk!
 
 
+2 # newell 2016-09-11 10:06
And The Donald will do better? I support and will vote for Jill, just as I have voted for 3rd party most of the last 50 years. But if I lived in a swing state I would vote for Hillary in a second. Italy, Spain and Germany all ignored politicians like Trump. They voted their conscience.
 
 
0 # Paul Larudee 2016-09-12 15:15
My vote will be for someone I want, not against someone I don't. But If Clinton and Trump were the only ones on the ballot, I would either not vote or I would vote for Trump. This is because he opposes our military interference in countries around the world and especially in the Middle East. The policies that Hillary has supported since 2001 have resulted in the deaths of at least two million people in the Middle East and Africa and at least 20 million refugees. They are all hoping for Trump and couldn't care less about the consequences for the US population, which don't include a million deaths under any assessment. I prefer to save lives.
 
 
-43 # Billo 2016-09-10 13:54
This is not very "Presidential." While other candidates are campaigning, Jill is getting herself arrested. She should show up (like a President), make some pertinent comments, and then go back to campaigning. But to hang around and get scooped up in the controversy? Not Presidential!

I agree with stopping the pipeline, and respecting the tribal lands. We can all support that.

I will vote for her because she best represents my values, but I am not very proud of her right now. The Green Party needs to find an new candidate for the next election.
 
 
+47 # sus453 2016-09-10 14:08
#Billo, we're both supporting the same candidate, so maybe this is splitting hairs, but "getting herself arrested" probably wasn't her priority. I think by being there for a length of time, rather than stop give a speech and then leave, she sends a message to the Indigenous community at Standing Rock that she and the Green Party are with them in their struggle against the pipeline.
 
 
+67 # grandlakeguy 2016-09-10 14:10
So Jill Stein instead should have participated in the "Candidate's Forum" held Thursday night in New York?

OH! I forgot...she wasn't allowed to attend!

Democracy in action USA style!
 
 
+29 # wcandler1 2016-09-10 16:51
Hey Guys. Jill was brilliant to get charged. Now she can have her day in court and explain why she agreed with the protesters. They will give her a bully pulpit, and she can ask why the other candidates were not there. ..... The pipeline makes no business sense unless we are going to be using fossil fuels for decades.....And nothing makes any sense if we are going to do that. ..... Brilliant! Excellent leader! Remember to vote Green right down the ticket,,,we sure need better dog-catchers.
 
 
-5 # Robbee 2016-09-12 11:27
Quoting grandlakeguy:
So Jill Stein instead should have participated in the "Candidate's Forum" held Thursday night in New York?
OH! I forgot...she wasn't allowed to attend!
Democracy in action USA style!

- stein is too lazy to run in the dem primary - her party is too lazy to run her in all states

now stein and her partner are too stupid to get out of each others' way!

how do they find each other?
 
 
+40 # economagic 2016-09-10 14:24
All of the above; and looking "presidential," given what virtually every president since the last truly global war has been doing, is extremely low on the list of attributes I want in a presidential candidate.
 
 
+48 # djnova50 2016-09-10 14:24
Jill Stein, the People's President. The fact that Jill Stein took the time to stand in solidarity and even write, "I approve this message." shows that her loyalties lie with the rest of us; not the 1%. If she had just gone up to say a few words it would not have had a lasting impact. But, to participate in non-violent civil disobedience will leave the right kind of impression.

Jill has been campaigning. She's been in Baltimore, Louisiana, L.A. She's been standing in solidarity with the folks that tend to get swept under the rug or pushed under the bus.
 
 
+47 # elizabethblock 2016-09-10 15:10
On the contrary. Getting arrested for supporting indigenous rights is exactly what presidential candidates should be doing.
 
 
+28 # lorenbliss 2016-09-10 16:06
@elizabethblock and djnova50: absolutely agree Dr. Stein would be "the People's President" and that getting busted "for supporting indigenous rights is exactly what presidential candidates should be doing."

But in the cases of Dr. Stein and especially of Mr. Baraka, I have real fear about whether they would survive arrest and jail, especially given (A)-the increasing popularity of the Stein/Baraka candidacy and (B)-the death toll associated with the Clintons.

Also I cannot doubt the orders for the arrests of Dr. Stein and Mr. Baraka came directly from Washington D.C. Remember all USian local police are now federalized and militarized.

Wake up, people. The United States truly is the Fourth Reich. Our only genuinely progressive presidential candidates are now reduced to political prisoners, and all resistors now face steadily escalating, ever-more-savag e subjugation.

Meanwhile -- again no doubt on federal orders -- North Dakota has called out the National Guard. Remember Kent State? How long before the mass murders begin?
 
 
-17 # ericlipps 2016-09-10 18:10
Quote:
@elizabethblock and djnova50: absolutely agree Dr. Stein would be "the People's President" and that getting busted "for supporting indigenous rights is exactly what presidential candidates should be doing."

But in the cases of Dr. Stein and especially of Mr. Baraka, I have real fear about whether they would survive arrest and jail, especially given (A)-the increasing popularity of the Stein/Baraka candidacy and (B)-the death toll associated with the Clintons.
Oh, for God's sake, not this again.

If anyone should fear assassination during this election campaign, it should be Hillary Clinton. Half the commenters here sound ready to take a crack at her if only they get a chance.
 
 
+2 # mozartssister 2016-09-11 20:12
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database

This year's statistics so far. Guess which group police have killed the most, per million?
 
 
+13 # Helen Marshall 2016-09-10 20:02
Don't forget those weaponized drones...now legal in North Dakota...
 
 
+1 # mozartssister 2016-09-11 20:11
YES! THIS!
 
 
+12 # dipierro4 2016-09-10 16:17
I was thinking along the same lines, but a little differently: If she had the political skills to serve effectively as President, she would have done her act in a carefully chosen setting, at least getting cited or arrested on the spot, and with more carefully chosen graffiti and the appropriate amount of drama, etc.

But no matter. She is not going to be elected this year at any rate. In spite of this, voting for her is a perfectly appropriate statement, and one which I intend to make.
 
 
+22 # tr4302@gmail.com 2016-09-10 13:57
Why not arrest Bernie Sanders too? He endorsed the movement as well! Several others of note should be charged for endorsing First Amendment rights.
 
 
-11 # ericlipps 2016-09-10 18:12
Quoting tr4302@gmail.com:
Why not arrest Bernie Sanders too? He endorsed the movement as well! Several others of note should be charged for endorsing First Amendment rights.

But Bernie had more sense than to jump in front of cameras to scribble graffiti to make a political point.
 
 
+38 # Anonymot 2016-09-10 14:01
There are no more Democrats or Republicans. The sole honest Americans left are the Greens. The rest are rich white trash.
 
 
-6 # ericlipps 2016-09-10 18:03
Quoting Anonymot:
There are no more Democrats or Republicans. The sole honest Americans left are the Greens. The rest are rich white trash.

Er . . . except for those millions upon millions of Americans who aren't rich, white or trash, but don't vote Green for one reason or another.
 
 
+13 # Anonymot 2016-09-10 18:47
I'm talking about presidential candidates, dummy, not the general public like Hillary did with her 50% "deplorables" charge.
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-09-12 12:14
Quoting Anonymot:
There are no more Democrats or Republicans. The sole honest Americans left are the Greens. The rest are rich white trash.

- such a burden - being a steinbot
 
 
+30 # tedrey 2016-09-10 14:16
There was graffiti before these two candidates added to it. If the other "artists" weren't also issued warrants, it would seem those served to these two were discriminatory, politically motivated and ipso facto invalid . . . i.e, unwarranted. (:-)>
 
 
-16 # ericlipps 2016-09-10 18:06
Quoting tedrey:
There was graffiti before these two candidates added to it. If the other "artists" weren't also issued warrants, it would seem those served to these two were discriminatory, politically motivated and ipso facto invalid . . . i.e, unwarranted. (:-)>

If the other "artists" weren't served with warrants, perhaps it was because they didn't throw themselves in front of news cameras while they were doing their scribbling. It's hard to serve someone you can't find.
 
 
+12 # Helen Marshall 2016-09-10 20:04
A new Troll!
 
 
+29 # Blackjack 2016-09-10 15:09
Even though the MSM refused to give it much more than the merest mention, and even though it's taken awhile, finally RSN has produced an article about the Greens, Stein/Baraka and their stand at Standing Rock. Both political parties, however, are too cowardly to allow the "lesser candidates" to appear in the "debate." I guess that's a good thing for the two "major" candidates, but it is not good for voters and it's not good for democracy.
 
 
+19 # elizabethblock 2016-09-10 15:12
When Palestinians write on the Apartheid Wall they risk arrest for vandalism. Jill Stein, however, will not face a trial in a military court with a 99.71% conviction rate.
 
 
-5 # Salburger 2016-09-11 04:15
More made up "facts" from the anti-Israel faction. Nobody get arrested for vandalism for witting on the anti-terrorism wall.
 
 
+4 # Bryan 2016-09-11 08:15
'' More made up "facts" from the anti-Israel faction. Nobody get arrested for vandalism for witting on the anti-terrorism wall.'>>>.

Nope, Palestines get shot, usually killed for writing on the ghetto wall.
 
 
+8 # Blackjack 2016-09-10 17:33
Are we (and Jill) supposed to be comforted by that?
 
 
0 # Robbee 2016-09-12 11:29
Quoting Blackjack:
Are we (and Jill) supposed to be comforted by that?

- jill who?
 
 
+9 # bobaka 2016-09-10 18:40
The elites manage the serfs well and train them to never switch allegiance. It is fixed at birth and through obedience training that there is only one blackboard to be written on. The commoner is hated and actively persecuted by the elites because any break in the movie introduces hell for the status quo. A "Real"Bernie, a real socialist? Not while the world series is coming. There is only one slate of gods. Always only one. They never favor the rabble or their representatives , never will.
 
 
0 # Jerome 2016-09-14 00:24
A case can be made, that this action was precipitated by calculated – intentional – provocation. Investigate the pipeline corporations and issue arrest warrants for those that conspired to produce escalated insults/abuses/ injuries, which of course ended with the Native Americans and their supporters crossing the line/fence. The obviously provocative bulldozing of Indian burial and important artifact grounds within hours of a court filing that could have stopped them, bulldozing on a holiday weekend, bulldozing while guarded with a crew of arrogant, Mace and attack-dog armed bully-goons… these were designed to ramp up the assault to get the Indians to break the law.
Warrants for Dr. Jill Stein, Ajamu Baraka, Amy Goodman, etc. should be dropped and apologies issued.
 

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