Blackouts

 

jeepney

It was hot and sticky, the condensation was building on my bedroom windows quickly that water began to pool at the bottom of the windows. I could see the city outside of my windows, and the barbed wire fence around our property, were pitch black. The city was experiencing another black out. The brownouts came in waves, whole neighbourhoods could be seen flickering on and off. My p.j’s began to stick to me, the bedroom was beginning to heat up to the same tropical temperature as it was outside, in the tropical Manila heat, there was no escape. I slid opened the window, and felt the slightly cooler breeze on my sweaty face. I heard a rustle below, it was jimmy, one of the young guards. He had his shot-gun around his shoulder and his school book in the other. He was studying to be a lawyer in his spare time, and guarding our house full-time. There were 3 rotations of 3 guards at a time. Jimmy was my favourite, he let me read some of his law books, and allow me to quiz him for his exams. He saw me hanging out of my window and yelled up “no hanging out the window na, you gonna get me in trouble na.  Go na.” I sighed, but knew he was thinking of my safety. We weren’t supposed to have the windows open, especially not during blackouts. I quickly put my head back in, I had tears well up in my eyes, I was hot and felt claustrophobic. I just wanted to have the window open, the sounds outside were terrifying, but the slight breeze was soothing, the sound of gunfire were getting closer, a couple weeks in the Philippines, and you could tell the difference between automatic, semi automatic, rifles, handguns, and firecrackers.  The drone of the air-conditioning was always calming, mostly because it blocked out the frightening sounds of the night, and I never slept without a light on, I was in fact terrified of the dark. I moved one of my chairs by the window, left it open a crack, and somehow fell asleep in the fetal position. At some point, the air conditioning must have come on, because I was freezing, and the lights from outside flooded my bedroom. I crawled back to bed, then woke up shortly to get dressed to go to school.

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Standing Rock

Like most people who don’t keep up with every single bit of news in the U.S (I know, it is shocking considering how many newspapers I read daily.) this, this is just unacceptable.

I have had a hard time wrapping my head around a group of people, who are peacefully protesting and protecting their land (which I am pretty sure is their legal right, I mean, individuals are allowed to bear arms for a lot less across the border) for a basic human right CLEAN WATER. They are being met with militarized forces, using violence. I am not understanding how this can be legal. Am I missing something?

According to the Chemical Weapons Convention the definition of tear gas is:

7. “Riot Control Agent” means:

Any chemical not listed in a Schedule, which can produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure.

Why is this important to know? Riot agents are not prohibited under international law, so technically the police are not technically in contravention to anything. What I find hard to understand, is why are the police so heavily militarized, and why are they baiting a bunch of peaceful protestors? This whole scenario makes no sense in my view. All I know, is everyone in the world has the basic human right to clean water, when a government is jeopardizing a land, a people, and the environment for economic gain, I have a massive problem. I wonder, if the pipeline were to go through a wealthy farming area, where the majority of owners where white, would the same scenario play out.

I am with Standing Rock, clean water, protecting sacred land, and a way of life is important for our future. This video needs to be shared over and over again.