Beyond the Bricks: Week of 12/02
by Tyler English | published Jan. 17th, 2020
The largest nationwide strike that France has seen in years has disrupted schools and transport, reported BBC. Planned pension reforms that make workers retire later or face reduced payouts have angered workers. The protests stemmed from continued pension and workplace reforms that are extending how long someone must work in order to retire.
Many people such as teachers, transport workers, police officers and lawyers participated in a general walkout.
President Emmanuel Macron proposed a new pension system to replace the already established scheme. This new system would introduce points-based pensions and remove the 42 established pension programs.
On Dec. 5, 2019, around 450,000 people joined the demonstrations in 40 cities across the country. This is excluding Paris, reported BBC; within Paris itself there were around 250,000 protestors.
With the massive numbers of people gathering around public locations, numerous monuments and tourist sites including the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles were shut down for the day.
Transport across the country had also taken a hit from the protests with only five of the 16 metro lines in Paris running. Air France had also cancelled 30 percent of internal flights.
Pearl Harbor Shooting
On Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, there was a shooting at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, reported CNN. This shooting came three days before the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Two civilian shipyard workers were killed and one other worker was injured by the shooter before they took their own life. The third victim was wounded and stabilized at a local hospital.
The commander of the Navy Region Hawaii, Robert Chadwick, was quoted as saying, “we are saddened by this incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
The shooter opened fire in a maintenance area for nuclear submarines, reported CNN.
In another article written by CNN, it's stated that the motive for the shooter was unknown; however, multiple agencies are investigating the shooting.
Chadwick also stated at the time, “we have no indication yet whether [the victims] were targeted or if it was a random shooting.”
Local Law Enforcement Annoyance Law
Many law enforcement agencies in Monroe County are being told not to make arrests under the “police annoyance” law, reported 13WHAM. The law was signed into action by Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.
The law is entitled “Prohibited Harassment of a Police Officer, Peace Officer or First Responder in Monroe County.” The law gives police the ability to arrest anyone if they are behaving in a way that is intended to threaten, alarm or annoy an officer. The individual can be sentenced to a year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter is quoted as saying that the law “is a solution to a problem that does not exist.”
The chief of the Gates Police Department, James VanBrederode, told 13WHAM that none of the 12 departments in the Monroe County Police Chiefs Association will be enforcing the law. However, Patrick Phelan, chief of the Greece Police Department, said that they will be enforcing the law, but that it will not be frequently used.
The issue that police departments are facing is the term 'annoyance' being subjective to each officer, making the law nearly impossible to consistently enforce.