Archive | September 22, 2015

Cities and Countries that Are Rebelling Against Water Privatization, and Winning*

 

By Tom Lawson

Private companies have been working to make a profit from water since the 1600s, when the first water companies were established in England and Wales. The first wave of water privatization occurred in the 1800s, and by the mid- to late-19th century, privately owned water utilities were common in Europe, the United States and Latin America, and began to appear in Africa and Asia.

But the privatization flurry faded, and throughout much of the 20th century water was largely a publicly controlled resource. In the U.S., for example, just 30% of piped water systems were privately owned in 1924, dropping from 60% in 1850.

It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the idea of private companies managing water re-emerged on a large scale. Under Margaret Thatcher, the U.K. government privatized all water companies in England and Wales in 1989 – making it the first country to do so. Coupled with the global emphasis on free market capitalism after the fall of communism, it began the second wave of water privatization that continues today.

Privatizing water was, and still is, encouraged by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which make public-to-private takeovers a condition of lending. As a result, the early 1990s saw a rush of cities and countries around the world signing over their nations’ water resources to private companies.

It is argued by industry and investors that putting water in private hands translates into improvements in efficiency and service quality, and that services will be better managed. Privatizing also provides governments an opportunity to gain revenue by selling off water services, and for companies to generate profit. But with profit the main objective, the idea of water as a human right arguably becomes a secondary concern.

Problems with water privatization often begin to occur soon after the initial wave of enthusiasm – from lack of infrastructure investment to environmental neglect. A 2005 study by the World Bank said that overall evidence suggests

there is no statistically significant difference between the efficiency performance of public and private operators in this sector.”

The most common complaint about water privatization concerned tariff increases, which occur in the vast majority of cases, making safe water inaccessible for many.

Despite these issues, aid agencies, water companies and many governments around the world continue to pursue privatization of water in the name of profit. In 2011, economist Willem Buiter described water as “an asset class that will, in my view, become eventually the single most important physical-commodity-based asset class, dwarfing oil, copper, agricultural commodities and precious metals.”

But opposition to this ideology is mounting. Known as remunicipalisation, more and more communities and governments are choosing to resist and reverse private water contracts. According to a 2014 report by the Transnational Institute, around 180 cities in 35 countries have returned control of their water supply to municipalities in the past 15 years.

To highlight this trend, here are some of the most significant examples of resistance to water privatization:

Cochambamba, Bolivia, 2000

In 1999, the control of water in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third largest city, was handed over to Aguas del Tunari – a new company and joint venture involving the U.S. engineering company Bechtel Corporation. The deal was orchestrated by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, which made it a requirement for Bolivia to retain ongoing state loans. Privatization did little in addressing access to water for the city’s residents – but led to a tripling in water’s cost, and is thought to have contributed to an increase in levels of poverty.

As a result, the people of Cochabamba protested on a mass scale. Tens of thousands took to the streets, and in April 2000, the government reversed the privatization and the city’s water was back under state control. Know as the Cochabamba Water War, the case marked a turning point in the anti-water privatization movement. It demonstrated that private contracts could be overcome by grassroots action, and it paved the way for others to follow suit.

Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.), 2003

Although problems of water privatization are often seen as an issue in the developing world, Western nations are increasingly experiencing remunicipalisation as well. One of the first cities for this to occur in the early 2000s was Atlanta. When United Water took over the city’s water supply in 1999, it promised 50% savings for the public and double-digit growth for the company. But as soon as the company took over, the workforce was cut in half and water quality declined to such an extent that on some occasions residents were forced to boil their tap water. Meanwhile, tariffs increased year over year.

As a result of public anger, and just four years into a 20-year contract, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin reversed the privatization in 2003. Although more than 20 cities in the U.S. have taken back control of water from private companies since 2002, that process is under threat after President Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act into law last year, which seeks to expand private financing for water projects.

Uruguay, 2004

In 2004, Uruguay became the first country to make water privatization illegal by prohibiting the sale and operation of water services to private companies. A referendum was held after two private projects in the country proved unpopular. There was also growing pressure from the IMF for new private contracts tied to loan conditions, and threats arising from free trade investment negotiations with organizations like the World Trade Organization and Free Trade Area of the Americas.

The proposal to make water privatization in Uruguay illegal was supported by more than 62% of voters. It stated that access to piped water and sanitation are fundamental human rights, and that social impact takes priority over economic considerations in water policy. A similar law came into force in the Netherlands that same year. In a 2011 referendum, 27 million Italians voted to repeal a law favoring water privatization in order for their water services to remain public.

France, 2005 – Present

Despite being one of the first countries to involve private companies in water management, and being home to giant global water companies Veolia and Suez, remunicipalisation is surging in France. Since 2005 there have been 41 cases of water being put back into state hands, with more reversals expected in the next few years. After a contract with Suez and Veolia expired in 2010, Paris citizens voted to return their water to public control. Since then, the city’s water supply has been managed by Eau de Paris using a plan of “water solidarity,” which includes discounts for poor households and enables citizens to engage in decisions about water investment and tariffs. In the first year under Eau de Paris, the city saved $46 million and managed to reduce rates for residents.

Ireland, 2014 – Present

Until recently, Ireland was the only Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country with water free at the point of use. But in 2014, the government decided to establish a semi-state company, Irish Water, as part of a 2010 bailout deal reached with the European Union and IMF. With the formation of the company came the introduction of water usage chargers, despite the fact that citizens already pay for water through general taxation. As a result, the move became the most unpopular of all the austerity measures introduced in Ireland since 2008.

In May, the country’s environment minister announced an estimated average household cost of €240 ($272) due to the privatization, and said that water would turn to “a trickle” for those who refused to pay. But people resisted and Irish Water collected less than half the charges due for the first quarter of 2015. Citizens loudly protested the threat of water privatization through song and by taking to the streets in the hundreds of thousands nationwide. In August, a poll revealed that the majority of political parties in Ireland are now in favor of holding a referendum on whether water services should be privatized. With a general election due to take place by April 2016, the people of Ireland could become the latest to reject water privatization, spurring other countries to do the same.

Lagos, Nigeria, 2015

The Nigerian capital, Lagos, hosted a first-of-its-kind water summit in August. The two-day event brought together civil society groups and activists from around the world to look at specific ways of preventing water privatization internationally, and putting forward options for alternatives as companies increasingly put profit before public interest. Lagos was chosen to host the event due to an impending private takeover of the city’s water supply, which is facing ongoing opposition from local people. The summit resulted in the formation of the Africa Coalition Against Water Privatisation, which is working to galvanize a network of civil society and development experts promoting access to water as a human rights issue. –

Source*

Related Topics:

The Privatization of Water*

Fifteen Years of Community-Controlled Water in Bolivia*

The Hopi Call for Water Rights

The Sacred Spirit of Water*

Nestlé’s Selling You Your Water!

Nestle ‘Liberating’ Water from Drought Stricken Indian Reservation*

A Small Town Fights Back When Nestlé Tries to Sell Them Their Own Water*

Illegal to Collect Rain Water, yet Bottled Water Comes from Drought-Riddled Areas*

It Didn’t Stop at Detroit: For Your Water Pay Up or Die *

Detroit in the New Fight for Water Rights*

The Watery Road to Serfdom: After Detroit, Baltimore*

Water as a Weapon in Baltimore*

‘We Won’t Pay’ say Thousands of Irish to Water Privatization*

Anti-Water Privatization Campaigners’ Moral Victory in Ireland*

French Court Rules It Unconstitutional to Cut Anybody off from Water!*

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Scientists seek over 100,000 Seed samples from Gates’ Doomsday Vault*

Scientists seek over 100,000 Seed samples from Gates’ Doomsday Vault*

A Lebanon-based seed bank formerly located in war-torn Syria has requested 116,000 crop samples from an international “doomsday vault” in Svalbard to re-establish the collection elsewhere. It is the first such request since the facility opened in 2008.

Forced from its research farm in Aleppo in 2012, the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas’ (ICARDA), which provides seed stock for dry Middle Eastern countries, wants almost 130 boxes of seed samples out of the 325 it had deposited in the vault in recent years.

“The gene bank wants use to send some of the seeds back this autumn, to grow and harvest them. Then they want to send the new seeds up here again as a back-up,” Norway’s agriculture minister, Sylvi Listhaug, told VG newspaper.

“They will be sent to other countries in the Middle East, since Syria is still affected by war, but for security reasons we will not say where.”

While the Norwegian minister has opted not to disclose the location to which the seeds are to be sent, the creator of Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Professor Cary Fowler, said in August that the centre would re-establish its stocks in Morocco and Lebanon.

“[This centre] had one of the biggest and best collections of wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils,” Fowler told Australia’s ABC News at the time.

“It’s on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, and Aleppo is in deep trouble right now, with a huge amount of fighting going on. We don’t think that seed collection has been lost, as is, right there in Aleppo, but that could come any day now.”

After Aleppo fell to rebels in 2012, the centres’ staff was forced to relocate to Beirut, where its headquarters are still based.

It is estimated that up to 87% of the Syria-grown seeds is now safely stored in a vault deep inside a mountain – the world’s largest facility of its kind – on Svalbard, a Norwegian island 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) from the North Pole.

According to Grethe Evjen, an expert at the Norwegian Agriculture Ministry, the samples will be sent once paperwork is completed, Reuters reported.

This is the first such “return-to-sender” mission in the Middle East since the Svalbard Global Seed Vault was launched in 2008. Since then it has collected 860,000 seed samples from gene banks from across the world, including North Korea and Iraq.

“This shows why it is so important to have a global seed bank like this, as a back-up when things occur in the world, and when there is a risk that important germs may be lost,” Listhaug told VG newspaper.

The seed vault in Svalbard is meant to ensure world food security and biodiversity in case of natural disasters, climate change, and particularly nuclear wars.

Source*

Related Topics:

Gates and Monsanto and the “Doomsday” Seed Vault*

11th Holistic Doctor Found Dead in the Woods*

11th Holistic Doctor Found Dead in the Woods*

UPDATE: Sheriff’s office is calling it as a suicide. They even said this to the NY Times. NY Times contacted me and asked me about it. see link above.

It is with great sadness that I, as gently as possible, break the news on an 11th doctor found dead in less than 90 days. I’ve tried to break each of them with as much tact as possible, under the circumstances.  This has become an unintended series I wrote which I wish would have never happened.  Most are holistic, many we knew and all are a great loss. Now we have the best selling author and Holistic Oncologist of 30 years, Dr. Mitchell Gaynor from NYC was found dead in the woods by his home in Upstate New York outside Manhattan.

There is an outpour of public support and love from his friends and colleagues who are posting about his tragic death on his personal page. His professional page and twitter page have been removed. Again, we knew Dr. Gaynor and have spoken to his staff personally in New York and they confirmed with us that Dr. Gaynor has died. I wish it were a hoax but it is not.

I had just read Mitchell Gaynor’s bestselling  book “The Gene Therapy Plan”  a matter of months ago as we were given an advanced copy by him and were honoured he took the time to send us one.

I am told that Dr. Gaynor apparently died a few days ago after walking away from a car accident.  It also appears from his facebook page he’d had an intestinal flu before that.  UPDATE – Sheriff’s office says despite all that it’s suicide  His body was allegedly discovered over the weekends (we are told)  in the woods behind  his country home in upstate where he loved to walk.

I’d also had “Nurture Nature, Nurture Health” on my list, but hadn’t ever had a chance to read that one.

From his website about this cutting edge doctor who was healing cancer naturally:

“Mitchell Gaynor, M.D., is Founder and President of Gaynor Integrative Oncology and Gaynor Wellness in New York City. A renowned pioneer in the field of integrative oncology for 30 years, Dr. Gaynor is author, physician, speaker and composer of original sound healing meditations. His latest book, “The Gene Therapy Plan – Taking Control of your Genetic Destiny Through Diet and Lifestyle” (due in April, 2015, from Viking Press with a Forward by Dr. Mehmet Oz) provides a revolutionary approach to reverse gene damage associated with aging, cancer, obesity, and diabetes and to prevent future gene deterioration with specific programs that are appropriate for anyone who wants to maximize longevity for themselves, their children and future generations.

Dr. Gaynor has a notable history in the treatment of chronic diseases, particularly cancer, with scientifically grounded therapies that augment traditional modalities.”

I don’t know the details of the death yet. Then again , there are doctors who died months ago like Dr. Nick Gonzalez (also in NYC and Suzanne Somer’s doctor) whose website states that his autopsy results were inconclusive and it didn’t support that it was a heart attack like their initial belief.

As far as Dr. Gaynor? He’d been perfectly healthy as far as we knew the last contact we had with him.

My heart goes out to friends and family and the many colleagues we have in common.

I also want to share a message with all of you: despite what Snopes has written about my articles- I’ve always maintained I don’t know if these are connected. We already have doctors reaching out to us today who are nervous because of the recent spate of deaths of holistic doctors- many of whom we knew. (Snopes actually attempted to debunk an article that was correct and quietly had to change their false info on their site)

So again, it’s always wise to stay aware (I say this to the holistic doctors who contact me- including my better half- one of the best know holistic doctors who is still hanging in there) but if we live in fear that can hurt our immune system and is no way to live either.

So be safe, be aware, but I hope you won’t be scared.

I’ll update you as soon as I know more and am just still in a little bit of shock right now.

Source*

Related Topics:

First Bankers, now Alternative Doctors go Missing or Found Dead*

Five Holistic Doctors Dead and 5 More Missing*

AMA Threatens Outspoken Holistic Doctors*

Now 8 Doctors are Dead or Have Disappeared*

Another Doctor (Osteopath) Found Dead in Her Home*

Thirty Holistic Doctors/Practitioners Poisoned At Conference*

Twenty Daesh/ISIL Senior Leaders Killed during Aerial Attack in Iraq*

Twenty Daesh/ISIL Senior Leaders Killed during Aerial Attack in Iraq*

By Jim W. Dean,

The leaders were planning for conducting terrorist operations during the Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice for hajj)

Iraqi F-16

[ Editor’s Note This was quite a coup by the Iraqis, if true, as Daesh has been generally successful in not having its communications compromised, when they know that is one of the main jobs of the 3000 U.S. advisors there. They rarely use phones and leader communications are usually handled by messenger.

When you are tracking people like messengers, you have a tough call to make on whether to take out their message recipients as soon as you find them, or hold off to see if they can lead you to others, the only way that you can get a batch of them at one shot, as this story claims.

ISIS was able to move in convoy across open desert because someone let them do it

When you can catch them in a big pow wow it is a huge victory, as the new replacement people usually have less experience. And if you get lucky, there might even be a big fight over who the new boss will be. Getting Takfiris fighting among themselves to the point of shooting and car bombing each other is a major psychological operational goal.

The effects of that kind of feuding has been seen in Syria, but it is more difficult to attribute the cause because much of the in-fighting can be over supply routes and controlling territory with the most loot to steal

From Press TV

Twenty senior leaders of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group have been killed in an aerial bombardment carried out by Iraq’s air force in the western province of Anbar.

The president of the Khalidiya District Council, Ali Dawood, told Iraqi News online newspaper on Sunday that the airborne attack targeted a gathering of the group’s senior leaders held inside a house in Khalidiya’s al-Bobali, some 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of the provincial capital Ramadi, adding that the bombing also inflicted great material damage to the terrorist group.

According to Dawood, the leaders were planning for conducting terrorist operations during the Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice), which is one of the most important religious holidays in Islam, to be commemorated and celebrated on September 24.

Five vehicles of the Takfiri group, loaded with “heavy weapons”, were also destroyed in a different aerial bombardment launched by Iraqi fighter jets near Husaybah town, which lies seven kilometres (4.5 miles) east of Ramadi, an unnamed source told the online newspaper.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists began their campaign of terror in the country in June 2014.

The militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.

Units of Iraq’s army soldiers joined by volunteer fighters are seeking to win back militant-held regions in joint operations.

Source*

Related Topics:

Iraqi Shia Militia Rejects U.S. Enforcements in Anbar*

U.S. Tried to Force anti-ISIS Element to Back-off from Anbar Province*

25,000 Shia Gather for the Battle of Ramadi*

ISIL fighters’ Given Death Sentences for Iraq Massacre*

ISIL Leaders Traveling via US Air Force in Iraq*

Top Shia Cleric behind Iraq’s anti-Corruption Drive*

U.S Helping ISIS in Iraq*

Iraqi Forces Arrest ISIL’s US, Israeli Military Advisors*

Iraqi Forces Take Down ISIS’s #2 Abu Ala’a al-Afri*

Iraqi Forces have been Busy doing what U.S. Fails to Do*

Egypt Rapped Over ‘Mass Home Demolitions and Evictions*

Egypt Rapped Over ‘Mass Home Demolitions and Evictions*

A picture taken from the Rafah border of the southern Gaza Strip with Egypt shows an Egyptian armoured vehicle patrolling the area on the Egyptian side of the border on July 2, 2015.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticized Egypt for ‘violating’ international law through ‘mass home demolitions and evictions’ over the past two years along its border with the besieged Gaza Strip.

“The large-scale destruction of at least 3,255 buildings in Rafah to counter the threat of smuggling tunnels was likely disproportionate and did not meet Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law or the laws of war,” HRW said in a report released on Tuesday.

The New York-based rights group said since July 2013,

“the military has arbitrarily razed thousands of homes in a once-populated buffer zone on the border with the Gaza Strip, destroying entire neighbourhoods and hundreds of hectares (acres) of farmland.”

The Egyptian government failed to provide for about 3,200 families in the region during and after their eviction from their homes, the HRW said.

“The Egyptian authorities provided residents with little or no warning of the evictions, no temporary housing, mostly inadequate compensation for their destroyed homes,” the report read, adding, “The Egyptian army has failed to explain why it cannot use… non-destructive means for detecting and neutralizing tunnels.”

It also noted that Egyptian soldiers reportedly received training for detecting and neutralizing tunnels from the US army since 2008.

Egypt has also been pumping water from the Mediterranean Sea into underground tunnels used by Palestinians to transfer essential supplies to the besieged Gaza Strip.

The 84-page report compiled by the rights group includes interviews with 11 evicted families, journalists and activists in Sinai, and satellite images of the buffer zone between March 2013 and August 2015.

Back in October, Egypt’s army created a wide buffer zone along the border town of Rafah north of the Sinai Peninsula. Cairo has repeatedly claimed that the area is where tunnels have allowed ‘militants and weapons’ in from the Palestinian enclave into Egyptian territory.

“Though Egyptian military officials — and occasionally their Israeli counterparts — have alleged that armed groups in the Sinai use the tunnels to receive weapons and logistical support from Gaza, they have not provided proof,” the report concluded.

Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s head for the Middle East and North Africa told AFP that,

“destroying homes, neighbourhoods, and livelihoods is a textbook example of how to lose a counterinsurgency campaign.”

The United States and other Western nations that arm [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi’s government, look the other way when his forces abuse citizens under the dubious logic,” that he is aiding the fight against the Daesh, Whitson also said.

Scores of Egyptian police officers and soldiers have been killed by militants since the overthrow of deposed president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 by the then army chief, el-Sisi.

Source*

Related Topics:

DEBKA Report: Saudi, Egypt and Israel Orchestrated Palestinian Holocaust*

Egypt Blocking Iran Humanitarian Aid to Palestine*

Egypt Blocking Egyptian Humanitarian Aid to Gaza*

The Root Cause of the Never-Ending Conflict in Palestine; and How to Fix It*

US Still Funding Repression in Egypt*

Egypt Seizes Newspaper that States it has Never Executed any Israeli Spy*

Egypt Consolidates Israeli Relations*

Egypt Signs Contract to Import Palestinian Natural Gas from Israel*

Former Israeli Foreign Minister, Livni, Reveals Israel – Egypt Pact to Strangle Hamas*

Israel Considers Full Annexation of Sinai*

Dubai Ruler’s Son Killed in Yemenis’*

Dubai Ruler’s Son Killed in Yemenis’*

Son of the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has been killed in the Yemeni revolutionary forces’ attack in Ma’rib province, informed sources announced, rejecting claims that Sheikh Rashid has died of heart attack.

“Sheikh Rashid and a number of other UAE forces were killed in a Yemeni forces’ Katyusha attack in Ma’rib province and reports on his death as a result of a heart attack are only aimed at deceiving the Emirati people who are demanding withdrawal of the UAE troops from Yemen,” the Yemeni Press quoted informed sources as saying on Sunday.

The UAE news websites had claimed that Sheikh Rashid had died of a heart attack.

The Arab-language al-Ain news website, meantime, quoted people close to Ansarullah as confirming that Sheikh Rashid has been killed in Ma’rib.

Sheikh Rashid was the eldest son of Sheikh Mohammed. Rashid’s brother Sheikh Hamdan is the Crown Prince of Dubai.

A Saudi-led coalition force has been striking Yemen for 180 days now to restore power to Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 6,106 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by Ansarullah revolutionaries of the Houthi movement.

Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi warplanes are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

Source*

Related Topics:

Wahhabism on Trial? How Islam is challenging Al Saud’s Custodianship of Mecca*

Saudi Pilot Kills himself for Massacring Yemeni Children*

Princes Fleeing Saudi after Yemen Missile Attacks*

What’s Behind Israel’s Easing of Restrictions?

Saudi Commander and Soldiers Join Yemeni Forces*

US-Saudi Man-Made Famine Threatens 20 Million Yemenis*

Israeli Officers Captured, Killed in Yemen*

The Oldest Qur’ans are Actually in Yemen, in Danger of Being Bombed*

U.S. Occupies a Yemeni Island*

Saudi Prince Joins the Opposition

Saudi Set to Implode*

Britain is arming Saudi Arabia in Yemen Conflict*

CPS Takes Grandchildren as Grandmother Flees for her Life*

CPS Takes Grandchildren as Grandmother Flees for her Life*

Christian, age 3, was thriving in his grandmother’s care. Now, the family doesn’t know where he is.

It is a bizarre tale of alleged police brutality and CPS corruption that has ended up with a Sacramento grandmother fleeing the state of California in fear for her very life, while the grandchildren she cared for have been seized by the state, with no apparent evidence of any wrongdoing by the grandmother. All Ann King wanted to do was to love and care for her grandchildren while the parents were unable to, allowing the babies to grow up connected to their own family roots. Apparently, that was too much to ask from Sacramento County CPS, because no one in the family even knows where the children are anymore.

Ann King is a former school teacher and day care director, and has cared for children all of her life. She is an avid student of the Constitution and history. Her views are not exactly conventional, and that has allegedly caused some government officials to take issue with her, even though there appears to be no evidence of any wrong-doing on her part. She had reportedly never been in trouble with the law, and had never had any problems with any governmental agency. Then her granddaughter was born.

Parents Give Guardianship of New Baby to Grandmother

The name of her granddaughter is Queen. That is the name that the family gave her. Before Queen came along, her mother, Ann’s daughter-in-law, lost 2 children to the CPS system. Ann was already caring for her next child, a little boy named Christian, age 2. The family feared that CPS would attempt to take the new baby. This is a very reasonable concern, since many CPS departments have the practice of removing newborns from mothers who already have children in the system, whether the reason for removal is legitimate, or the allegations even true, or not. See these previous stories covered by MedicalKidnap.com where this allegedly happened:

Even though the family knew that there was little chance of the local CPS allowing the mother to keep her new baby, they wanted their newest family member to remain part of the family, growing up around relatives and learning about her own heritage. Before Queen was ever even born, they took the pre-emptive measure of signing over custody to her grandmother, Ann King.

She was born on July 2, 2013, 6 weeks prematurely. Ann reports that somehow the notarized papers that were given to social workers mysteriously vanished, twice. True to expectation, CPS took the breastfeeding newborn from her mother’s breast, and placed her in foster care. It took almost 3 months to get CPS to give the baby back to the family and into her grandmother’s care, on October 1. Ann also had Queen’s brother, Christian, age 2, living with her.

Adoption Pushed – the State Would Miss Out on Title IV-E Adoption Bonus if Children Not Adopted

An adoption worker was assigned to work with the family. She repeatedly encouraged Ann to adopt her grandchildren, but Ann refused to do so. She said that she wanted her son and his wife to have the option to parent their own children in the future if they got their lives straightened out. She only wanted the role of guardian of her grandchildren.

Ann also believes that it was this refusal to adopt that is the reason that CPS decided to go after her. As Health Impact News has learned, there is big money, in the form of federal Title IV-E funds, that come to the state whenever a child is adopted. Because Ann refused to adopt Queen and Christian, the state would not be able to gain access to those funds.

Unconventional – Yes; Criminal – No. Family’s Refusal to Get Birth Certificate Draws Scorn of Social Worker

CPS allegedly had a couple of concerns. First of all, the family declined the birth certificate. There are those who believe that a state-issued birth certificate gives the state rights in the life of the child, and Queen’s family are no exception.

According to the CPS records, the baby’s name is London, not Queen. The mix-up happened in the hospital. The family wanted to wait to name the baby until she was home. However, the hospital staff filled out a birth certificate form, which no one in the family signed, and called the baby “London,” because that was what they had heard in the hospital.

Ann laughs as she describes how “London” came to be on the birth certificate that the staff created without the family’s consent: London wasn’t a name at all! It was the code word that the mother was to use if she felt threatened by CPS or a social worker. The family never called the baby’s name while they were in the hospital, considering that to be a family matter.

Grandmother Wants To Use Her Own Paediatrician, Not the State One, to Avoid Vaccines

Also, when CPS followed up after Ann finally got Queen back, they wanted to know when Ann was going to take her to the CPS-approved paediatrician and get her vaccines. Because her brother Christian had already had a bad reaction to some vaccines, Ann decided to forego vaccines for Queen, out of concern for her health. She also wanted to take the baby to her own paediatrician, not the one the state picked for her.

The CPS department scheduled an appointment with the doctor that they wanted to use for January 7. When they also scheduled a court hearing for her to discuss adoption, Ann reports that she interpreted that as CPS saying that the court hearing was more important for her to attend. Yet, later documents would accuse Ann of not showing up or even calling the doctor’s office for the appointment that she did not schedule.

All the while, Ann was planning to take the baby to her own paediatrician, without state interference, for a check-up. But things took a turn for the worse before she could get to the doctor.

Penalized for Queen Being a Small Baby, from a Family of Petite People

Ann admits that, yes, Queen was little. She was born 6 weeks premature, weighing under 5 lbs. On January 13, 2014, Public Health Nurse Roberta Carpenter came to the home and found that she weighed 11 lbs 9.6 oz. On this basis, she told CPS that the baby was at “risk of being failure to thrive.” She was never officially diagnosed as failure to thrive, but the nurse told CPS that “London’s weight was not where it should be according to the growth chart.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, babies generally double their birth weight by 5 months. By the January check at 6 months, Queen had certainly more than doubled her weight. Ann reports that she was growing, and was happy and healthy. At a later doctor’s visit in February, the Kings’ doctor found her to be healthy and had no concerns about her weight.

Queen’s mother and father are petite – only 5’2″ and 5’3″. Many other family members are also small. Queen was growing and was proportional to her small stature, and she was reportedly a very active baby.

However, her small size, to CPS, translated to medical neglect. When they questioned Ann about how much she fed her, she simply responded that she feeds her whenever she is hungry. Like millions of parents who practice attachment parenting, Ann fed Queen on demand, intuitively, not on any set schedule. She didn’t cry, Ann reports, from hunger.

“Why would I keep track of how much they eat? I have been taking care of kids for 30 years!”

Queen had been partially breastfed, whenever her mother visited, and because she was a preemie, she was on the highest calorie formula available.

Creeper in the Neighborhood?

Two days later, Ann’s world went mad. The children were at a neighbour’s home playing with a little friend, whose mother was watching the kids. Ann had gone home to clean house. A little while later, her neighbour called to tell her that there were suspicious people parked in a car on the street. When Ann looked out, she recognized the social worker, Shanna Bunno. She walked to the car to find out what was going on, with video tape going. Shanna told her words that shocked her:

We’re on our way to come and take your children.

Ann asked:

Based on WHAT?

The social worker told her that it was based on medical neglect. Ann told her there was no medical neglect, and asked what concerns she had. Bunno told her that she would let her read the papers when she gives them to her. The passenger in the car was holding the papers, which Ann later learned were the papers for the removal of the children. However, she points out that they were not ever stamped by the court clerk, which she says renders the papers invalid.

Social worker with removal papers. The empty spot in the top right-hand corner is where the court clerk stamp is supposed to be. Source: screenshot from family video. –

Accused of Being Mentally Unstable

Ann asked why Bunno didn’t say anything earlier about them wanting to take the children.

“Well, Ann, I thought maybe you’d be a little mentally unstable about it if I did.”

Mentally unstable? Is that what they call a parent’s reaction when their children are taken from them? Others would likely call it a “mama bear” response. Despite that, Ann’s response in the video was remarkably calm.

In the papers, the reasons for the accusation of Ann being mentally unstable seem to be the family’s refusal to get a birth certificate, her reluctance to vaccinate, the desire to pay for their own paediatrician instead of using the state-approved one, not knowing the precise schedule of when Queen ate since she fed her when she was hungry, her refusal to call Queen “London,” her requests of the CPS department of how they have legal authority and who has jurisdiction, her problems with the “smart meter” installed by the power company, and her assertion that her family are “indigenous people.”

Ann told us about the history of the Moors, and how much of the historical records have been altered. The author’s research into this concept revealed that, though not a mainstream concept, there are people who teach and believe this view. Constitutionally, she has a right to have views that differ from the mainstream.

Ann has never been diagnosed with any kind of mental disorder or instability, and she says that they made it up because she doesn’t swallow everything they say, hook, line, and sinker. Therefore, they accused her of being crazy so they could take the children.

But they didn’t take them that day. Ann allowed her grandchildren to stay at the neighbor’s house, while she went back home to finish house cleaning.

Police Barge into Her Home Without Knocking and Without a Warrant

Later that day, Ann reports that she was on the phone with another friend, and had gone into the bathroom. She heard a “loud noise.” She told her friend she would call back, and went to investigate. She heard a voice say,

Come out with your hands up.

The loud noise was the police kicking in her door! Ann told them that she assumed they had a warrant, since they kicked in her door. She says that the paper they handed her before snatching it away was NOT a warrant. The officer reportedly told her that they were there on suspicion of child endangerment, and asked where the children were. She informed him that, if he showed her a real warrant, she would answer him.

They put handcuffs on her and put her into a patrol car. She reports that a neighbour came out and saw the officers talking, and yelled,

Baby, you better be careful! They are trying to get their lie together, and they are planning to do something to you.

Racist Deputy

After a rough ride with the handcuffs digging into her wrists, this grandmother, who allegedly had never had any altercations with the law before in her life, was taken to the booking area of the Sacramento County Jail. Based on Ann’s requests for them to follow the law and demands for her rights, she says that Officer Daigle told the booking deputy:

This one is a smart ass.

Ann reports that the booking deputy was verbally abusive to her:

She started saying how she hated black people. She told me how she hated my kind, how dirty and nasty we are, and how she hated to even touch me, we are just nasty people.

The deputy allegedly told her to spread her feet on the foot signs on the floor. Ann told her that she would try, but her legs weren’t that long (Ann is 4’11”). Then, she reportedly frowned at Ann, took her left arm and started twisting her wrist and bending her fingers back. Ann screamed out in pain asking “Why?”, and says that it felt like she was breaking her fingers and hand. She kept going, and Ann says that her body instinctively started to defend herself even though she was cuffed and ended up kicking the deputy.

At that point she says that 5 or 6 officers jumped on her and beat her up, cuffed her feet, then they beat her some more. Then they made her apologize to the deputy for kicking her:

Like a slave on a plantation.

They took her to a cell, where she reports that she heard many screams all night.

I heard people being beat all night long.

Move Along – Nothing to See Here

The next morning, there was paperwork, and then she was released. When her daughter picked her up, she asked:

Mom, what happened to your face?

Ann says:

I did not really think about it. My body was in so much pain, I just wanted to lay down.

On her court date of February 5, 2014, she found that her name was not on the roster. She reports that a sheriff told her that the charges had been dropped, and she was free to go. They declined to give her any paperwork stating such, however, saying that it would come in the mail. When it didn’t, she was told she would have to come in person.

Ann – People Know What Is Going On, But Nobody Stops It

She says that she was terrified to go back to that jail after what she went through, so she never got the papers.

I just let it go. These were people I had always looked up to, and taught my children to look up to as well. Only to find out that they were the worst kind of abusers. They laugh about hurting people, but what really saddens me is that everybody working on that floor can hear people screaming. They know what’s going on, including the nurse, and nobody will speak up, while people are being beaten and killed in the county jail.

We really need to get back to the Constitution. Didn’t these officers take an oath to protect the people, not war on the people?

She says that she was never mentally unstable, but she believes that the beating at the jail was intended to make her mentally unstable. Her daughter reports that she had thought that her mother was just being paranoid, and then she saw it for herself. She says that all of the allegations against her mother were based on unsubstantiated hearsay.

This story is truly bizarre.

Calm Before the Storm

The next few months were relatively peaceful, but Ann says that she never went back to the house again where the police took her from.

The children grew and thrived. A doctor in February said that Queen was healthy and doing fine.

There were no hearings scheduled during this time, and things seemed to get back to normal. She didn’t hear anything from anyone in the system. Then, Ann started hearing stories that police and social workers were showing up at various neighbours’ and relatives’ homes looking for her.

CPS Gets Their Way

When she investigated, she learned to her horror that CPS had accused her of kidnapping her grandchildren, and unbeknownst to her, a warrant had been issued on June 27 for her arrest. Her attorney advised her to surrender the children to the Department. After what she had been through in January, she was scared not to comply.

On July 3, the day after Queen’s first birthday, Ann took her beloved grandbabies out to eat, packed up their clothes, including new clothes she had recently bought for them, and drove them to Palm Springs CPS office, where a friend took Queen and Christian inside to surrender them to CPS.

Queen – 5 minutes before going into CPS custody. Her 1st birthday was the day before.

 

Ann Flees For Her Life – In Hiding Today

On July 12, Ann learned that CPS came back to the house where she formerly lived. Her daughter was living there at the time. They had about 10 police officers with them. Some came in the back door, and others through the front, looking for Ann. When they didn’t find her, they left peacefully. Neighbours told her that they came up the street like a S.W.A.T. team, and someone told her that the officers “had been told to make sure she didn’t talk.”

Ann was terrified. Her daughter reports that she literally feared for her mother’s life, because of the extremes that they have gone to already.

Ann fled the state, and now has communicated her story to Health Impact News from an undisclosed location.

The warrant, Ann later learned, “went away,” and CPS now accuses Ann of abandoning the children. But she fears for her life if she were to go home to Sacramento.

The Children’s Whereabouts Unknown Now

No one in the family knows where they are. Various family members have tried to find out information. They have learned that Queen (the state calls her London) and Christian have been separated.

In his grandmother’s care, Christian was happy and thriving. She taught him the alphabet, and by age 2, he could read simple words and recognize many sight words. Now, a family member learned during a call to CPS that they were medicating Christian with psychotropic drugs. CPS allegedly said that this was because of the trauma suffered at the hands of his grandmother and being “malnourished.” More likely, says the family, it is the trauma of being separated from everyone he knows and loves. They fear for his safety.

The children’s parents were allegedly given “the run-around” and were denied requests for visitation. Ann says that they were not drug addicts until CPS took their children. Now, she says that they are devastated and lost without their children.

They fought and fought, but they just gave up. They took her new baby who was breastfeeding, and it destroyed her. My son never smiles any more.

Numerous family members have requested that CPS allow the children to live with the relatives, per federal law, but all have been refused. Ann’s daughter believes that they may have been adopted out, because some family members have been told that they are not legally blood relatives. In fact, they say that they were sent letters by CPS:

Don’t contact us.

The family is hoping and praying that something can be done. The children were never in imminent danger, they say, and they “were NOT abused.” They assert that those were “bogus charges” against Ann.

The children were well looked-after.

No Parent Deserves This”

Ann King says that all she wants is for a family member to get the children back.

Everything that you can do to destroy a child, they did it.

No parent deserves this. No child deserves this.

She says that CPS wasn’t always bad. Their original cause was to help families, she says, but now they are “making orphans, and for what? Money!” It is all “in the best interest of the child,” theoretically.

Nothing saddens me more than that they take a child based on someone’s opinion.

They are not giving up, Ann says.

I’m keeping hope alive. I don’t know how, but we’re going to make that happen. Our prayers are with these children. We genuinely love them.

Call to Action

Anne Marie Schubert is the Sacramento County District Attorney, and she may be reached at 916 874 6218, or contacted here.

Scott Jones is the Sheriff of Sacramento County, and his office may be reached at 916 874 5115, or contacted here.

Source*

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