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Tag Archives | Police State
Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:
There is, it seems, grace in the world. Appalled at news that North Miami Beach Police were using photos of young black men for target practice and resolved to “put ourselves in the place of those whose humanity is denied,” dozens of clergy and others have offered their own smiling, sacred pictures to police shooters with the hashtag #UseMeInstead.
The effort sprang from an online conversation between Rev. Joy M. Gonnerman and other pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Facebook group about a police practice – now stopped – they saw as “emblematic of a deeper, systematic problem.” Motivated by “our service to Christ and his call to love our neighbors,” they decided “maybe we ought it make it harder to pull the trigger.”
Peijman Kouretchian, writing at the Metta Center for Nonviolence, from December:
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The streets look like war. Two NYPD police officers were just “assassinated” apparently as revenge for the Eric Garner chokehold death. This is the first major physical attack on actual police officers after the Ferguson riots ignited the #blacklivesmatter movement. Though this was just the act of one troubled person and doesn’t represent the mostly physically nonviolent movement that has been going on, it is absolutely paramount to be clear on what principles we are aligned with as we fight for justice.
Recently I became certified as a Kingian Nonviolence (a system of conflict reconciliation built on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) trainer. The protests bring to mind two important principles from what I learned: “Avoid internal violence of the spirit, as well as external physical violence,” and “Attack systems of injustice, not individuals within those systems.”
When protests breakout there is often an abundance of rage.
Never one to mince words, former Congressman Ron Paul says America is now a police state:
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If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege.
“Dr Ron Paul” by Gage Skidmore – Flickr: Ron Paul. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.
With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.
Norman Pollack writes at CounterPunch:
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The funeral of Officer Ramos on Saturday, Dec. 27, turned into a Fascist spectacle as many in the ranks of the police turned their backs on NYC Mayor de Blasio—a Fascist spectacle because, already heavily militarized, already implicated in wanton killings of blacks nationwide, the police, many coming from far and wide, used the funeral to demonstrate their demand for acting with impunity and their contempt for authority to reign them in. The funeral symbolized the police as enemies of the rule of law, unable and unwilling to bear scrutiny for lawless acts of an ongoing nature but brought to national attention through a sudden condensation of events over the last several weeks. We stand in fear of our own public servants, just as we do toward the CIA on the international plane, a militarization of American life which internalizes, collectively, the repression America as a nation presents to and imposes on the world and internally demands of itself lest its global/domestic Power be questioned.
Sarah Lazare writes at Common Dreams:
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A declaration by the New York Police Department Union that it will engage in “wartime policing” in response to Saturday’s killing of two city law enforcement officers has raised alarm among protesters and civil rights advocates, who ask: “Have we learned nothing?”
A statement released Saturday by the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association—the union for the NYPD—reads, “The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.”
Steven Thrasher, writing for the Guardian, responds, “Wartime?
“After all the analysis of the normalized dysfunction of democracy in America,” writes David Masciotra at Alternet, “launched with the assumption that the political system fails to represent the will of the people, the question remains: what if it actually does represent the will of the people? That the system is actually succeeding in upholding its representational promise might be the simplest and most probable answer to the mystery of America’s comatose slumber in a nightmare of torment for the oppressed and treasures for the oppressors.”
It seems police can get away with anything: choking men who have surrendered; shooting unarmed teens; knocking pregnant women to the ground. While the issues involving race, civil rights and the relationship between law enforcement and communities are essential for examination and correction, few are talking about how all of this fits into the larger pattern of America’s cultural decline and decay.… Read the rest
[Warning: this essay ended up being really long. What can I say? These are deep-seated issues, and much as I wish I could address them adequately with a few GIFs and a listicle, that’s just not going to happen. If you are opposed to reading long articles, turn back now. And if you’re one of those people who likes to open long articles just to leave complaints about how long they are, like some commenters on the last long piece I wrote here, this is your cue to skip straight to the comments section and complain away. You’re welcome.]
It’s rare for breaking news events to line up in any way that is truly meaningful. Though we are increasingly bombarded with updates from TV screens, smartphones and social media, and the occasional printed word, none of it seems to add up to anything.… Read the rest
Abby Martin speaks with attorney and co-host of Ring of Fire radio, Mike Papantonio and former DC police officer, Ronald Hampton, about the decision by a grand jury not to indict New York police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, over the choking death of 43-year-old black man Eric Garner.
via Tech Dirt:
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from the that’ll-teach-the-stupid-public! dept
If you’re like several law enforcement agencies here in the US, there’s a good chance you’ve obtained a heavily-armored vehicle from the Dept. of Defense’s 1033 program. Like much of the military equipment obtained through this program (often with the assistance of DHS grants), an MRAP doesn’t so much address a need as it creates a problem: new law enforcement tools but nothing to use them for. So, rather than save it for terrorists or active shooters, MRAPS and other military gear are co-opted by SWAT teams or deployed against protesters.
Ignoring much of what has happened over the past several months, 15-year police veteran Steve Rabinovich has posted an article (which is actually more of an advertisement for two tactical training companies) discussing the proper care and feeding of your PD’s MRAP.
Now, through the 1033 program, these officers and deputies are prepared to use the proper tools for what threats may come.