A couple of years ago, when I was newly pregnant and reporting in the West Bank, some of my local colleagues insisted that I skip covering a protest at an Israeli checkpoint. At first, I was resistant to letting pregnancy stand in the way of my work, but they knew from experience that there might be tear gas, and tear gas, they said, causes miscarriages.
They were right: though rigorous studies are few, there is evidence that tear gas is an abortifacient. In 2011, Chile temporarily suspended its use after a University of Chile studylinked it to miscarriage and fetal harm. Investigating the use of tear gas in Bahrain in 2012, Physicians for Human Rights found that local doctors were reporting increased numbers of miscarriages in exposed areas. And UN officials have connected tear gas to miscarriages in the Palestinian territories.
This means it’s likely that police in Ferguson, Missouri, have been spraying abortion-causing chemicals on crowds of civilians. Recently at TheNation.com, Dani McClain wrote about the killing of black youth as a reproductive justice issue, one that goes to the heart of the rights of parents to raise their children in peace, safety and dignity. She’s correct, of course, but if the anti-abortion movement were actually concerned about the well-being of the unborn, then the violence in Ferguson would be a pro-life issue as well.
I had been on the ground helping Al Jazeera America cover the protests and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., since this all started last week. After what I saw last night, I will not be returning. The behavior and number of journalists there is so appalling, that I cannot in good conscience continue to be a part of the spectacle.
Things I’ve seen:
-Cameramen yelling at residents in public meetings for standing in way of their cameras
-Cameramen yelling at community leaders for stepping away from podium microphones to better talk to residents
-TV crews making small talk and laughing at the spot where Mike Brown was killed, as residents prayed, mourned
-A TV crew of a to-be-left-unnamed major cable network taking pieces out of a Ferguson business retaining wall to weigh down their tent
-Another major TV network renting out a gated parking lot for their one camera, not letting people in. Safely reporting the news on the other side of a tall fence.
-Journalists making the story about them
-National news correspondents glossing over the context and depth of this story, focusing instead on the sexy images of tear gas, rubber bullets, etc.
-One reporter who, last night, said he came to Ferguson as a “networking opportunity.” He later asked me to take a picture of him with Anderson Cooper.
One anecdote that stands out: as the TV cameras were doing their live shots in front of the one burnt-out building in the three-block stretch of “Ground Zero,” around the corner was a community food/goods drive. I heard one resident say: “Where are the cameras? I’m going to go see if I can find some people to film this.”
Last night a frustrated resident confronted me when he saw my camera: “Yall are down here photographing US, but who gets paid?!”
as the TV cameras were doing their live shots in front of the one burnt-out building in the three-block stretch of “Ground Zero,” around the corner was a community food/goods drive. I heard one resident say: “Where are the cameras? I’m going to go see if I can find some people to film this.”
Ah, thanks for the tip!
Yeah, kinda my whole evening. Mannheim is currently getting handed a 6-1 loss by a Finnish team, Växjö I think, so don’t hope for to much quality. DEL is still miles behind other established leagues in Scandinavia or Switzerland/Austria.
I do like hockey you see (football not at all) but I usually only watch during international championships because it’s not a popular sport in norway at all. Adler Mannheim is apparently doing pretty well though and people here keep talking bout them
They’re a pretty quality team, they finish in the top quarter, so I would say go if you can!
On another note, if you have time you can watch alot of the Champions Hockey League games with free streaming, since you’re currently in germany. Laola1 for sure, sport1 possibly?
are you saying I should go to a hockey match while I’m here? because I kinda want to.
Oh, if you want to, I’m like very much go for it!!! But that was more about my own hockey love rn (as you might have noticed from this tumblr). Ithink it’s ver much a niche sport in germany still, so it’s not at all a must have experience.
Soccer is probably more typical, I’m sure Mannheim has a team (full disclosure: before I got dragged into hockey I didn’t pay any attention to sport, I’m very much a nerd. I have maybe a buffer of general cultural sports knowledge, the way you can ignore sports in europe but you’re still somehow going to wind up with knowing the number of players on a soccer team, you know? I still don’t watch any other sport still.)
My hockey viewing experience is mainly informed from North American games, and when you compare it to European games, you can clearly see the influence of soccer culture: More varied chants imo and fans that drum different rhythms for different chants. Also I’ve never seen any flag waving in American games, that is probably a difference too.
I actually have no idea about sports outside hockey, so I don’t know if Mannheim is 1st or 2nd league rn? I might have to refer you for more specific questions.