If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Robber Barons and Private Armies All Over Again—Happy Labor Day

by Linda Rodriguez

You may not be aware of the fact that over 3,000 people from over 50 Native tribes have been gathered at a site on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in South Dakota where the Dakota Access Pipeline was illegally trying to cross their land and run an oil pipeline that will eventually be 1,000 miles long (just in the United States) under the Missouri River, source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux and millions of other people (including me and my family down in Kansas City, Missouri). One reason you may not be aware of this, unless you are on my Facebook or Twitter feed, is because the U.S. mainstream media has pretty much ignored this, although it's been going on for weeks. The BBC, the British newspapers, Reuters, al-Jazeera, and many other international news sources have featured continuous coverage of it, but in this country, it's been pretty much only Democracy Now, NPR, one article (late) in the New York Times, and a brief mention on Laurence O'Donnell's TV news show.

The #NoDAPL coalition has taken the company behind the pipeline (owned in part by the Koch brothers) to court, pointing out that there were sacred sites, burial sites, and archaeological sites in the path to be dug up, and the pipeline and state did not consult with the tribe, as they're legally required to do, before going ahead with this dig. The court handed down an injunction, forcing the digging to stop until after the case could be heard in court later this week. Amnesty International, the ACLU, and the UN have all weighed in on the side of the protesters—as have four U.S. government agencies. Things looked good for some legal redress.

Saturday, the company sent workers out to start digging on a burial site with three bulldozers, against the court's injunction. When the protesters told them this was not legal and they must stop, private security contractors hired by the company (not in any uniforms) and armed with Mace and attack dogs disrupted all cell phone reception and attacked the peaceful protesters, including pregnant women and children. Six people were bitten, one hospitalized from being bitten in the face. Many were Maced and needed medical treatment. The protesters stood firm, and finally the workers and security people gave up and left (most likely because of unexpected television cameras). The photo above shows one of the security contractors and her attack dog with bloody mouth taken at the scene. Democracy Now's Amy Goodman was on the scene interviewing the protesters when these attacks took place and filmed it.

This whole scene reminded me of the days of the robber barons when miners and other laborers were organizing and striking against unsafe conditions, child labor, other abuses of the time, and for the 40-hour week, paid holidays, and sick leave. In those days, the billionaires who owned these companies hired private armies of thugs to attack the workers—and in some cases, kill them. So this whole event seemed appropriate, in a bizarre way, for Labor Day weekend. Billionaire-owned companies with private thugs (on the sly, behind the back and against the orders of the court) attacking people defending their land and everyone's water—this all sounded terribly familiar, in a way I would have hoped not to see in 2016, as opposed to 1916.

Once again, however, the courage and strength of ordinary people triumphed, as it did 100 years ago to give us the labor laws we've come to rely on in this country—and Labor Day. May it continue to be so.


KM Rockwood said...

I have little doubt that we have, in many ways, cycled back around to the point where special financial interests are permitted to trample the rights (and lives) of many people and follow only those laws they find convenient. This is a good example of the "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission" attitude some major companies exhibit.

Julie Tollefson said...

A couple of weeks ago, some of my journalism friends (of the few remaining) were discussing this story and the decline in national coverage of important stories like it. One guy likened the media to a forest dominated by TV networks and big newspapers that smothered small competitors and, in doing so, killed off the sources that used to alert them to the important stuff happening at a local level. I think that's ONE of the problems in journalism in general today and I worry about what the continued decline in the field means for the future.

Margaret Turkevich said...

good analogy. The eastern side of the Cincinnati suburbs is threatened by installation of a new natural gas pipeline. All three proposed routes will have elementary schools, day care centers, and heavily populated areas within the blast radius. And the reason why we "need" the pipeline keeps changing.

Linda Rodriguez said...

KM, yes. The security contractors had brought tech that blocked all cell phone reception, so they thought they could do it with impunity and no one any the wiser--since they could always claim the protesters were lying. What they didn't count on was that Amy Goodman and Democracy Now cameramen were interviewing protesters when it happened, so they caught the whole thing on camera.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Julie, I've been appalled at the lack of coverage of this situation. That single NYT article came about because a Native journalist begged a former editor who'd moved to the NYT to get something. The national media have been so transfixed by Trump's constant spectacle that they don't seem capable of covering any other news in the country.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Margaret, when they took the pipeline company to court, it turned out that they didn't even have the necessary permits from the Corps of Engineers to do this, but they think they should be allowed to go ahead, no matter what the courts or regulations say. When (not if) the pipeline breaks and leaks into the Missouri River, drinking water will be ruined for millions of people.

Gloria Alden said...

I think I heard a brief report of this on NPR, but although I have it on much of the day, sometimes I'm in another room. This is horrible, and I can only figure out the lack of coverage is because so much news coverage today if on the Presidential election coming up. I haven't seen it in my local newspaper, but then it leans right considerably, and I watch very little TV. I think this is horrible, and hope they're taken to court and fined for this, and maybe those who used attack dogs will face jail time. I know my grandfather worked for the mines in PA when all those attacks were going on, and it's one of the reasons my father was a strong union supporter.

Kait said...

I'm so glad you wrote this. I have heard bits and pieces about it on the foreign news services that I receive as part of my news feed, but little to zip in the US feeds. This is an atrocity and I hope that the deep pockets of the interlopers do not triumph! Thank you, Linda. Important stuff and so well suited to Labor Day.

Shari Randall said...

Utterly disgraceful, criminal actions. I can't understand why these people are not in jail.
I'm with KM and Julie. I feel that we are moving backwards on so many important issues, and that a major cause is the death of journalism. I basically rely on the BBC for my news. I'm tired of being alternately patronized and infuriated by mainstream broadcast news - pinging between latest viral cat video and the Trump news of the day. This pipeline is a disaster. Just like fracking - the increase in seismic activity in Oklahoma is beyond alarming and I can't imagine why these things are allowed to happen. Oh, wait, I forgot. It's all about money.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, the media is starting to pay a little more attention since these attacks, but basically to interview the sheriff (who wasn't there) who gave false information that the security people were attacked and they and their dogs were seriously injured and the protesters were violent. The video taken by Amy Goodman and Democracy Now as it happened (linked in the blog) shows that all to be lies.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Kait, yes. Though our MSM have not covered it, the rest of the world is watching.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Shari, this is why the robber baron age came to mind for me. It almost seems to me as if we're moving back to that time of ostentatious display of extreme wealth, along with disregard for human life and well-being.

Warren Bull said...

So much of the "news" is covered in partisan ways that it is hard to find reliable information. Big corporations are trying to control things as basic as water.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Warren, you're right. It's easier than ever to find out about something--if you know it's going on. But we relay on the news media to let us know what important things are going on, and they don't all, too often. They have their own ideas of what we should focus on, usually things that will bring them money and make their advertisers happy, and they ignore everything else.