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  • December 17, 2018 4:24 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from CBS Denver

    The Denver Art Museum says 10 works of art were damaged before museum personnel tackled a man on Sunday afternoon and held him until police arrived. The damage occurred in the Hamilton wing.

    Police named Jake Siebenlist, 18, as the suspect. If he had a motive for what he is accused of doing, he gave no indication in court. His hand was cut, bandaged and swollen.

    Numerous pieces of art in the “Stampede: Art and Animals” exhibit did not fare too well either. Among them a piece called “Beware of Cranes.”

    Christoph Heinrich, the museum’s director, said the suspect appeared mentally troubled.

    “When you destroy art in a gallery that’s pretty weird, and he was aggravated and not in a state of mind that was reasonable.”

    Police reported the suspect pushed a glass structure over, and then pushed patrons out of his way. Court documents state, “Siebenlist then began to throw numerous sculptures across the room causing them to break and began shattering other art sculptures into the ground.”

    Heinrich said there was anger and sadness at the museum.

    “This is a totally unreasonable, weird thing. First time in my career and in the history of the Denver Art Museum,” he said.

    The gallery where the vandalism occurred is now closed. The remainder of the exhibit remains open to the public.

    The damaged objects include pre-Columbian ceramic vessels, a 19th century Chinese vase as well as modern and contemporary items. Heinrich believes they can be salvaged.

    “Our conservators are stellar, and I am confident they can conserve and restore most of the objects,” he said.

    Siebenlist has no prior record and was to be released on a personal recognizance bond.

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  • December 17, 2018 4:19 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from CBS News

    Even though the territories held by extremist groups like al Qaeda and ISIS have been eroded, the groups' global propaganda reach is still proving to be an effective recruitment tool, inspiring uncomplicated but deadly terror attacks on U.S. soil, according to the head of the New York Police Department's Intelligence and Counterterrorism bureaus.

    "[T]he unintended consequence of our effectively smashing ISIS and al-Qaeda – the pieces scattered," said Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller in a recent interview with Intelligence Matters host and CBS News senior national security contributor Michael Morell.

    While the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011 and the organization's top propagandist, Anwar al-Awlaki, in 2012 were effective setbacks, the group and, more significantly, its regional successor, ISIS, have maintained a propaganda arm that reaches around the world and often across ideologies, Miller said.

    He listed as examples some small but occasionally deadly terror attacks, like that of the 2017 truck attack by Sayfullo Saipov that killed eight people; the subsequent attempted subway bombing by Akayed Ullah that injured three in 2017; and the 2016 Chelsea bomb plot carried out by Ahmad Khan Rahimi, whose improvised devices injured 31 people.

    In all, and separate from those attacks, Miller estimated the NYPD had foiled roughly 30 terror plots since 9/11. "That's significant," he told Morell.

    "If you look at the threat as we used to find it here in New York City, it was a deep threat and a narrow threat. Very complex," Miller explained. He cited in particular al-Qaeda's "sophisticated" external operations bureau, which was charged with recruiting potential followers, assembling terrorist cells and professionally managing complex plots. "That's a giant threat," he said.

    "The threat today is much lower," Miller continued. "Compared to what it was, it's two inches deep. The problem is it's now miles wide."

    Miller – who from 2011 to 2013 was a senior correspondent for CBS News, and before that held positions with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI – spoke with Morell about the ways extremism is stoked today. He suggested easily accessible propaganda had changed, if not augmented, the types of threats facing the country.

    The approach to radicalization looks to be derived in part, Miller said, from a text written in the mid-2000s by suspected al-Qaeda member Abu Musab al Suri, who argued that the most successful terrorist organization is one that puts itself out of business by creating "the jihad of the individual."

    "'[T]rue success is achieved when the message itself is the driver,'" Miller said, summarizing al Suri's work. "'The authorities can never dismantle something that has no shape. They cannot crush an organization that's already flat.'" 

    Today, Miller said, as propaganda easily reaches potential extremists online, it can have the dual effect of inspiring deadly attacks while also desensitizing them to violence.

    "[T]his is not a system unique to Islamic extremism," he said. "We're seeing that now in some of these right-wing attacks where they're watching the same stuff, and they're in the chat rooms, and they're stirring each other up, and they're pouring gasoline on each other's comments – and it becomes self-propelling," he told Morell. 

    It can also make stopping lone-wolf attacks harder, Miller said, because they become inherently less traceable.

    "If the propaganda is the driver," he explained, "they're not recruiting people, getting them to travel overseas where we would have a record, getting them to go to a camp where we would have foreign intelligence." 

    "When the conspiracy is between this person's mind up here and that glowing computer screen a foot away," Miller said, "that's a very small space to collect intelligence in between. That's a very hard place to get into."

    Further complicating some extremist attacks is their oblique or non-existent nexus to terrorism, Miller told Morell, citing the recent arrest of Cesar Sayoc, the alleged mailer of pipe bombs to prominent Democrats. Sayoc is awaiting trial in federal court.

    Though, as a suspect, Sayoc was known to law enforcement, Miller said, "he would have been a very small blip on the radar."

    "He wasn't any kind of master criminal," he explained. "But first he loses his job. Then he loses his house. Now, he's living out of a van. He's angry at the world because it can't be that he's a failure. The world must be failing him. Whose fault is that?"

    "Sometimes," Miller said, "the terrorism isn't really about the terrorism.

    See Original Post

  • December 17, 2018 4:11 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Training Blog

    Delicious feasts and brilliant decorations are hallmarks of the holiday season. Unfortunately, however, these festive favorites also can pose potential fire hazards. Thankfully, you can enjoy everything that makes the holidays special during this time of year while simultaneously keeping your loved ones safe. Loraine Carli, Vice President, Outreach & Advocacy for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), explains how: “The holidays bring lots of opportunities to cook, entertain and decorate at home, but many of these traditions and activities carry potential fire hazards. Fortunately, there are many steps people can take to ensure that the season remains festive and fire-safe. It just takes a little added awareness and following some basic safety precautions.”

    Holiday Safety Steps


    Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and injuries in the United States, year-round. In fact, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked second and third, after Thanksgiving, for sheer number of cooking-related fires. To reduce the potential risk of kitchen fires in your home this season, follow these suggestions, adapted from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):

    • Declutter the area immediately near your cooking range. Don’t overload a cook-top with pots and pans. Instead, try to prepare and cook dishes in shifts rather than all at once. This helps to prevent grease spills from leaking between pots, sight unseen, and starting a fire.
    • Keep potholders, oven mitts and lids handy while cooking. But keep them clear of open flames. If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, use a flame-resistant oven mitt to pick up a lid and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don’t remove the lid until the food has time to completely cool.
    • When removing lids on hot pans, tilt them away from you to protect your face and hands from steam. If an oven fire develops, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
    • Don’t wear loose fitting clothing while cooking. Long, open sleeves could ignite and catch fire from a gas flame or a hot burner. Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. If you have long hair, tie it back.
    • Smoke alarms can save lives. Make sure they are installed and properly working. Check the batteries and test to make sure alarm is operational.
    • Unplug small appliances when not in use. This will save energy and eliminate potential dangers which could occur if they are accidentally turned on.
    • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency. Learn how to use it. Make sure the fire extinguisher is UL listed and rated for grease and electrical fires. Click here for more details about the different types of fire extinguishers.
    • Avoid the temptation to fry your turkey. These pose several safety concerns, including burn risks and fire hazards. To be safe, if you must fry the turkey, make sure it is entirely thawed out. Ice and hot oil do not mix!
    • Since the above list is not comprehensive, make sure you cook safely this holiday season, by referencing the Consumer Product Safety Commission Thanksgiving safety campaign, Stand by Your Pan, the NFPA’s Cooking Safety Tip Sheet, and the National Safety Council’s “Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season” web page.


    Although Christmas tree fires may not be as common as you may have been led to believe by watching local newscasts, they are deadlier than most other fires. In fact, the USFA reports that one of every 34 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death each year, compared to an annual average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.

    • Since fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, look for one that has vibrant green needles which are hard to pluck and don’t break when touched. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles while it’s on the lot.
    • Place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. And keep the tree base container filled with water to avoid a dry out. Also, make sure your pets don’t drink the water, for their safety and the life of the tree.
    • If you plan to use evergreen swags as holiday decorations, make sure the greenery is fresh instead of dry.
    • Keep greens far away from candles.
    • Clear needles that drop as soon as possible.


    • Make sure indoor and outdoor holiday lights have passed UL or ETL/ITSNA lab tests for safety, which should be noted on the package.
    • Toss damaged lights.
    • Use suitable lights indoors and out.
    • Plug lights into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
    • Turn off your holiday lights each night and whenever you leave the house, or set them on a timer.

    Candles: December is the peak season for home candle fires. The top four days for candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. In December 11% of home candle fires began with decorations, compared to 4% the rest of the year. Keep candles away from your Christmas tree, furniture, curtains, and other décor.

    Decorations: Home decoration-related fires cause an annual average death of one civilian, and injure approximately 41 people, resulting in $13.4 million in associated property damage. Twenty percent of decoration fires start in the kitchen, whereas 17% originate in the living room, family room or den.

    See Original Post

  • December 17, 2018 4:08 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from UNESCO

    From 11 to 12 December 2018, legal experts convened in Monaco to discuss practical modalities on how globally unique marine areas beyond national jurisdiction could potentially receive protection through the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Experts highlighted that the lack of procedures to cover high seas areas might be a mere historic oversight and concluded that minor modifications within the framework of the Convention could allow such protection.

    In 2011, an Independent Evaluation on the Implementation of the Global Strategy by the UNESCO External Auditor recommended the States Parties to the 1972 World Heritage Convention “to reflect upon appropriate means to preserve sites that correspond to conditions of Outstanding Universal Value which are not dependent on the sovereignty of States Parties”.

    Following this recommendation, UNESCO and IUCN published a first report that identified an initial five locations of potential Outstanding Universal Value in the High Seas, including the Costa Rica Thermal Dome, The Lost City Hydrothermal Field, The White Shark Café, The Sargasso Sea, and The Atlantis Bank.

    "It is difficult to imagine that the Convention’s founding fathers' and mothers' vision for protection was intended to exclude half of the planet", said Dr. Mechtild Rössler, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

    When the World Heritage Convention was adopted in 1972, international environmental and ocean legislation was at a very early stage. The United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) would only be finalized 10 years later, in 1982. It was only when UNCLOS became adopted that the distinction between ocean spaces within and outside national jurisdiction became reality. The first hydrothermal vent systems were only discovered in the late 70’s while most of the deep ocean beyond national jurisdiction is still to be discovered by science.  

    The meeting elaborated also on synergies and opportunities for collaboration in the context of the ongoing negotiations of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

    The meeting took place in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and was made possible thanks to the support from the French Agency for Biodiversity and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

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  • December 17, 2018 4:02 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Allied Universal

    Now that the major holidays are upon us, take a few minutes to extend your safety culture. This is not only the time of year for special celebrations, it’s also prime for safeguarding your belongings and assets—especially those you’ve eagerly awaited as gifts or those you stowed away for that special loved one.

    Therefore, it’s important that your employees, colleagues, family and friends are aware of their surroundings and always on alert when partaking in seasonal activities, whether they are shopping, attending a large public gathering, traveling abroad or staying close to home.

    Safe practices at work carry over into the community, and safe practices in the community carry over into the workplace. Here are several ways to stay vigilante so this time of year remains a joyous one:

    While Shopping:

    • Park close to your destination, in a well-lit area and lock packages in the trunk, out of sight.

    • Carry your purse close to your body and stow your wallet inside a zippered pocket.

    • Report any suspicious activity or unattended packages to store/mall security or law enforcement.

    At Your Workplace:

    • Report all solicitors or suspicious persons to security immediately.

    • Be suspicious of unfamiliar people claiming to be repair persons, as thieves are apt to disguise themselves.

    • Make sure your receptionist and/or security team clears any workers or contractors before allowing them into your office.

    At Home:

    • Refresh your holiday lights; consider buying energy-efficient LED types that are cooler than conventional incandescent lights and heed indoor or outdoor use labels.

    • Point any decorative outdoor laser light devices at your home and not towards the sky.

    • Turn off lights or decorations before bedtime, or set automatic timers for six or eight-hour increments to conserve energy.

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  • December 17, 2018 3:57 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Artnet

    A protest at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art saw the fire department called to the scene yesterday. The museum’s lobby was filled with smoke from demonstrators burning sage, a symbolic action meant to mirror the toxic tear gas used on November 25 against asylum seeks attempting to enter the US from Mexico.

    The protest began at noon on Sunday and included speeches, chanting, and music. “Against the toxic clouds produced by Safariland, we burn sage. Smoke that protects and heals, smoke that remembers and honors, smoke that chokes the powerful but smells sweet to us as we assemble for freedom and dignity,” wrote Decolonize This Place in a statement prepared ahead of the action.

    The protest is the most visible and public demonstration to date in an ongoing debate over the presence of Warren B. Kanders, the owner of the company Safariland, on the museum’s board. The flurry of discussion and criticism began on November 27, when an article on Hyperallergic publicized the ties between Kanders, the Whitney’s board vice chair, and Safariland, which manufactured the tear gas used by United States Customs and Border Protection officers on migrant mothers and children at the San Diego-Tijuana border. Kanders has served as Safariland’s board chairman since 1996 and owner since 2012.

    The Sunday demonstration against Kanders’s continued presence on the institution’s board, led by the activist group Decolonize This Place, was held in conjunction with a coalition of other New York City groups. It is one of a growing number of protests drawing attention to unsavory sources of museum funding, from photographer Nan Goldin‘s campaign against museums that accept funding from the Sackler family to environmentalists’ demonstrations against museums funded by BP and other oil companies.

    This wasn’t the only protest against Kanders targeting the Whitney this week, either. A second, unaffiliated protest action took place on Monday morning, led by artist Rafael Shimunov. Together with the group Art V War, he created a guerrilla-style installation of a painting based on a photo taken at the border last month of a mother and her two young children running from tear gas.

    He labeled the work, Mother and her daughters in tear gas (2018) and credited “Whitney Vice Chair, Warren Kanders in collaboration with Trump” as the artist. The artist posted footage of himself installing the work and an accompanying label on a wall on the east side of the Whitney’s galleries earlier today. Shimunov has also launched a Color of Change petition calling for Kanders’s resignation.

    The protesters noted that they were acting separately, but in solidarity with, the staff of the Whitney Museum. Around a week and a half ago, nearly 100 museum employees wrote a letter calling for Kanders to be removed from the board and for the museum to release a statement acknowledging the issue. (Kanders is also a “significant contributor” to the Whitney’s “Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again,” according to the exhibition credits.)

    In addition to handmade posters carried by demonstrators, the Sunday protest also included imagery in the style of Warhol’s art and museum publicity materials, created by Decolonize This Place and the collective MTL+.

    Mimicking the Pop art great’s multicolored screen prints, the artworks feature rows of tear gas canisters (instead of Campbell’s soup), and photographs of activists being gassed at Standing Rock and of Weinberg and Kanders smiling at a museum gala.

    “The immediate goal is that Warren Kanders must go,” Marz Saffore, a member of Decolonize This Place, told Hyperallergic, adding that even if that happens, there are still “dozens and dozens of other issues within the board of trustees at the Whitney.”

    Following the firefighters’ arrival, the protest moved outside and continued peacefully, with flyers explaining the situation being handed out to museum visitors and passersby. Banners reading “WHITNEY MUSEUM: NO SPACE FOR PROFITEER OF STATE VIOLENCE” amplified the message.

    “Museum visitors seemed to be equally divided along lines of befuddled incomprehension and genuine curiosity about the protest,” said artist William Powhida, who participated in the demonstration. “I was approached a few times to answer peoples’ questions and it seemed to me that there is very little public awareness about who Warren B. Kanders is and what his company, Safariland, does.”

    In response to the uproar last week, museum director Adam Weinberg issued a letter reiterating what he views as the museum’s role as a bastion of progressive art, a place for open discussion about difficult subjects, and a venue where underrepresented voices can be heard. In the letter, which did not mention Kanders by name, Weinberg also noted that “trustees do not hire staff, select exhibitions, organize programs or make acquisitions, and staff does not appoint or remove board members.”

    Soon after, the embattled vice chair himself issued a statement noting that he had no control over how Safariland products were deployed. “I think it is clear that I am not the problem the authors of the letter seek to solve,” Kanders wrote.

    Weinberg’s “tepid response to the staff letter” was a big reason Powhida decided to take part in the protest, he said. “The Whitney is one of the most visible contemporary arts museums in the country and I don’t think it should be used—as an institution that is seeking to represent diversity—to art wash or launder the reputation of Kanders,” he told artnet News in an email. “If an artist has a platform and an audience, I think we have a responsibility to amplify messages of groups like Decolonize This Place.”

    It appears the group’s campaign is far from over. “We do not do one-offs,” Decolonize This Place told artnet News in a Facebook message. “But we are also waiting to hear how the Whitney will respond after our action, and whether they will remove Warren B. Kanders.”

    As of press time, the Whitney had not responded to Artnet News’s request for comment.

    See Original Post

  • December 17, 2018 3:00 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Local (Fr)

    Forty metro stations will be shut on Saturday and numerous museums and monuments won't be open to the public, but Paris City Hall insists tourists have nothing to fear.

    Paris and other cities around France are braced for more yellow vest protests tomorrow.

    Last Saturday's protests prompted the city to practically close down for the day with scores of cultural sites including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre deciding to close fearing violence.

    Sites that have confirmed they will be closed on Saturday include the Petit Palais, Musée d’Art Moderne, Musée Cernuschi, Catacombs and Théâtre des Champs Elysée.

    The Arc de Triomphe and the Pantheon will also be closed.

    Paris City Hall tried to ease the fears of any visitors but advised them to avoid certain areas and keep up to date with the news.

    "This social protest movement represents no danger to visitors," a statement on the website said.

    "It will however cause some inconvenience with the exceptional closing of certain museums and monuments, as well as that of some public transport stations.

    "In anticipation of a new demonstration on Saturday 15 December, we recommend that you keep up to date with the situation via our Twitter account Paris Je T'aime, and that you stay outside the perimeter of the processions in order to avoid any uncomfortable situations."

    Police have stated that from 6 am onward there will also be an exclusion zone in place around Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysée, the Assemblée National, Place Beauvau and Hotêl Matignon.

    So far the Louvre, Orangerie, Musée d’Orsay and Eiffel Tower have not said they will change their opening hours so should be open as normal tomorrow.

    The Grand Palais will also be open, but only to visitors who have bought tickets in advance. 

    The Palais Garnier and Opéra Bastille also plan to open, although Opéra de Paris advises anyone planning to visit to keep an eye on their Twitter feed for up to date news, and to double check transport routes as many stations around the capital will be closed. 

    Tourists and residents looking to use the French capital’s underground on Saturday should expect some travel grief caused by both works on the line and temporary closures due to the ‘yellow vest’ protests expected to rock the Paris city centre again this Saturday According to the city's RATP transport network, 40 stations will remain closed.

    Line 1 (Tuileries, Concorde, Champs-Elysees Clemenceau, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George V, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, Argentine) and Line 9 (Franklin D. Roosevelt, Trocadero, Miromesnil, St. Philip du Roule ) will be particularly affected.

    Other lines that can expect delays are Line 2 (Charles de Gaulle-Etoile), Line 6 (Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Kleber, Boissiere, Trocadero), Line 8 (Concorde, Madeleine), Line 12(Concorde, Assemblée Nationale, Madeleine), line 13 (Champs-Elysees Clemenceau, Miromesnil, St. Francis Xavier, Varenne, Invalides) and line 14 (Madeleine).

    The RER C train line running from the northwest to the southeast of the city through the centre of Paris is also forecast to suffer closures (Invalides, Avenue Foch, Porte Maillot and Pont de l'Alma Charles de Gaulle Etoile RER) .

    Buses are also best avoided the RATP warns, as routes are "likely to be deviated, limited or not run at all".

    Most Vélib bike sharing stations across the city will also be closed, with the exception of the 18th, 19th and 20th arrondissements.

    See Original Post

  • December 04, 2018 2:14 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Allied Universal

    Business owners and managers have openly expressed concerns regarding property crime and physical damage to buildings and corporate campuses. Rightly so, as the 2017 Freedonia Report states that property crime accounted for 87 percent of all reported crimes in the U.S. in 2015. 

    Graffiti, broken windows and doors, theft and property defacement are not only unsightly and a nuisance, but also create fear and unease in employees and visitors. Often times, areas with property crime also experience personal theft. 

    Property and personal crimes can have a ripple effect, impacting neighboring businesses and buildings, inviting criminal activity, decreasing property value and business traffic, and having an overall impact on brand reputation.

    Unfortunately, every business or public agency is vulnerable to property crime, but working with your security provider to implement the following three steps, you will be better prepared to protect your assets:

    1. Identify weaknesses

    • Is your business located in a high-crime area?

    • Are neighboring businesses having similar issues?

    • Does your business or building take part in controversial issues?

    • Does your business have a variety of guests/employees?

    • Do you lack physical barriers?

    2. Implement solutions

    • Increase security patrols.

    • Update lighting, barriers and landscaping.

    • Integrate your physical security presence with technology solutions.

    • Utilize access control measures.

    3. Execute response

    • Develop preventive measures for deterring vandals and thieves.

    • Involve the community and neighboring businesses in your planning.

    • Promptly communicate issues to law enforcement.

    • Track crime trends.

    Make the commitment to prevent property crime before your business is adversely impacted. Above and beyond the occasional graffiti and petty theft, these criminal activity can escalate quickly and impact the entire community. 

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  • December 04, 2018 2:10 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Allied Universal

    In less than four months, a multitude of fans, tourists and media will descend upon Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. Whether your event is a major sports event or a Fortune 500 meeting, your business, wherever it is located, needs to be prepared with the right security measures and staff to go the distance to your goal line!  By employing the best security practices, you’ll ensure the safety of your guests and staff and prevent damage to the venue. 

    • Know the Venue and Venue Security Personnel – Every venue requires a specific on-site strategy. What are the entry and exit points? In the event of an evacuation, how would you direct the crowd to avoid panic stampeding and trampling? A contracted, private event security firm should establish a great working relationship with the in-house security team who are the true experts of this venue. Contract security should be in continual touch with the in-house team via their preferred communication method before and during the event.    
    • Communication is Key – The client manager should be communicating with the in-house security team weeks or months ahead of the special event so that client expectations are aligned. What kind of uniforms should event security wear? How often does the client want to hear from security when a problem arises? 
    • Train Staff – It’s important to identify and train staffers as quickly as possible. Schedule a familiarization site walk so that they can surveil the facility layout. Additionally, it’s smart to over staff so if there is an issue, you can call in personnel who are familiar with the venue and don’t need a lot of transition time.
    • Show Time – Prior to the day of the event, all of the logistics should have been orchestrated.  Management will have reviewed post orders with the security officers, the staff is trained and all emergency planning has been finalized. 

    Also, event security needs to work closely with the local police department because every event experience is unique and it’s important to establish priorities for a variety of emergency scenarios.

    See Original Post

  • December 04, 2018 1:10 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Hyperallergic

    On the morning of Friday, November 30, a group of community members gathered at the RISD Museum to pressure the institution to carry out measures to decolonize by restituting stolen artifacts. The demonstration was led by students, faculty, and staff from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), as well as members of the local community.

    The group flooded the front entrance of the museum and announced their call to action, leading with the chant, “Heads up, RISD!” Demonstrators distributed letterpress posters which read, “Heads Up RISD. Decolonization, or Complicity? RISD, you have a decision to make.” The poster also featured an image of the main object in question at today’s demonstration: a bronze sculpture from the Kingdom of Benin.

    The RISD Museum’s possession of this artifact, one of the thousands that have been displaced all over the world, can be traced back directly to violent colonial conquest. During the Punitive Expedition of 1897, British colonists captured and plundered Benin City. They looted and relocated its artworks to Britain, and quickly traded these artifacts to Western markets. Restitution of Benin bronzes has been highlighted in recent global news, most notably by the Bénédicte Savoy and Felwine Sarr report which was released earlier this year. Just last week, the French government agreed to begin a process of complete restitution of artifacts stolen from the African continent. The RISD Museum’s possession of this Benin bronze, brought demonstrators in Providence, Rhode Island today, to call for the same action.

    Virginia Thomas, a PhD candidate at Brown, introduced the action with an acknowledgement that the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (the state’s official name) is home to RISD, an institution which occupies Mosshassuck land (shared by Nahaganset, Pokanoket, Nipmuc, and Peqout tribal nations) and that the RISD Museum “must account for the ways in which the institution, and we as community members, continue to benefit from the dispossession of Mosshassuck from Indigenous peoples.”

    She further announced this assembly as a call-in for the museum to decolonize without delay, and addressed the intersections at which decolonization would take place: “It is with this anti-imperialist orientation and alignment with struggles for Indigenous lands and objects, Black liberation, and a free Palestine that we desire for the RISD Museum to hear our call to disown the Benin bronze from its collections.”

    The Museum told Hyperallergic in an email following today’s action:

    “The RISD Museum recognizes the looted status of the Head of a King (Oba) made by Benin royal artists in West Africa which was given to the collection in 1939. British forces sacked the Benin kingdom in 1897 in a campaign known as the Benin Punitive Expedition. Cities were burned; the reigning king, Oba Ovonranwmen, was forced into exile; and works of art and other treasures were looted. Soon after, museums and individuals throughout Europe and the United States were collecting Benin bronzes. We have initiated a process of communication with Oba Ewuare II and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in Nigeria which has been established to address this very issue. We see this as an opportunity to confront the histories of colonialism that exist within museum collections.”

    While the museum administration is working toward decolonization, the constituency has felt disconnected from the process and was unaware of the updates before today’s action.

    Ariella Azoulay, professor of Comparative Literature and Modern Culture and Media at Brown, was one of the several speakers at today’s demonstration. She recognized the problem at an institutional level and called on individuals with ties to the RISD Museum to support the cause for restitution:

    “The Sarr & Savoy report empowers us in this demand to disown these objects … in the process of undoing colonial geographies and violence … [The report] is the proof that museum workers have the right and are capable of not incorporating, as their own, the voice of the institutions in which they work. They also have the power to leave behind and detach themselves from the institutional persona that they inhabit. The report … is the ultimate proof that those who work in museums can introduce a distance between themselves and a voice of the institution. We are here to remind museum workers that while speaking the voice of the institution, they continue to perpetuate its imperial violence.”

    “Stolen land, stolen people, stolen art,” proclaimed a chant led by a postdoctoral scholar at Brown, Christopher, who requested his last name be omitted. Christopher notes that they are not the first to do this, they are just lending their voices to the movement. We are “doing our part to push forward our practices of accountability,” he says.

    Individuals in the group took turns reading aloud their collective message. They make it clear that they “are not acting as the messenger of existing restitution claims,” and that they are acting “in solidarity with the communities who claim [restitution] by calling for a decolonial approach that goes to the root of the museum’s institutional culture.” Repeating the individual speakers before them, the group demands the museum to willingly “embrace new modes of accountability” and that “RISD respect[s] and respond[s] to these claims with no delay.” A list of demands was also announced. They can be found online.

    After the speakers were finished, the group called in the audience to join them in delivering a letter to John Smith, the museum director. They chanted, “Heads up, RISD” as they marched through the modern wing of the museum and to the narrow hallway where the administrative offices are located. After the letter was received, RISD administration told the demonstrators that they have already begun the restitution process and have communicated with the Nigerian government. The RISD Museum will report back in a couple of weeks.

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