police militarization

The quaint town of 23,000…had just accepted a $285,933 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to purchase a Bearcat, an eight-ton armored personnel vehicle made by Lenco Industries, Inc. Since the September 11 attacks, Homeland Security has been handing out anti-terrorism grants like parade candy, giving cities and towns across the country funds to buy military-grade armored vehicles, guns, armor, aircraft, and other equipment. Companies like Lenco have thrived, creating yet another class of government hardware contractors, and a new interest group to lobby Washington to ensure the process of police militarization continues.
The DHS grants have dwarded the 1033 program. At the end of 2011, the Center for Investigative Reporting found that Homeland Security had given out at least $34 billion in anti-terror grants since it’s inception…Police agencies jave a whole new source of funding for their war gear. Just as they'e done with the 1033 program, they’d initially argue that the equipment was necessary “just in case” of the rare school shooting or Al Qaeda attack in Fon du Lac. But once they got it the gear, they use it for drug raids.
In Keene, there was some resistance to the Bearcat…Lenco spokesperson Jim Massery dismissed critics who asked why a town with almost no crime would need a $300,000 armored truck. “I don’t think there’s any place in the country where you can say, ‘That isn’t a likely terrorist target,’” Massery told me. “How would you know? We don’t know what the terrorists are thinking…Our trucks save lives. They save police lives. And I can’t help but think that the people who are trying to stop this just don’t think the police officers’ lives are worth saving.”
It’s a line of argument defenders of militarization use often. Oppose the arming of cops as if they were soldiers, and you must secretly want cops to be killed on the job. But the video Lenco was using to market the vehicle didn’t exactly emphasize negotiation. The camera viewpoint was similar to that of a shooter video game. The soundtrack was AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”. Cops dressed in camouflage toted assault weapons, piled in and out of a Bearcat, and took aim at targets from around and behind the vehicle. They then attached a battering ram to the front of the vehicle, which they then used to punch a hole in the front door of a house, into which they injected canisters of tear gas.
—  Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces by Radley Balko

I keep seeing tweets like “okay so america is a dystopian novel now wheres the 16 year old girl to save us” and other condescending shit like that and i just….

where are the girls who are saving us you ask?

oh i don’t know, they are at the Oceti Sakowin camp fighting for the right to clean water and treaty rights. They are protecting their land and water against heavily militarized police forces.

They are and have been at many Black Lives Matter protests. Girls have fought against police brutality in black communities. Women, in fact, are among the top leaders of that movement.

They are the muslim girls who continue to fearlessly wear their hijabs in public despite rampant islamophobia.

And there were plenty of teenage girls at the women’s marches across the country. 

So while a single Katniss Everdeen figure has yet to emerge, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist. Because young women are protesting every day. They are the Katnisses and the Laia of Serras and the Aelins and the Mare Barrows and the Nehemia Ytgers and the Lihn Cinders that you’ve all read about. These girls exist. 

Realize that the fallacy of most dystopians, and many books, is that they often presents a single cohesive narrative of revolt and change. And in our huge, wide world, that is not how change works. But the books themselves are not incorrect in assuming that young women will be the arbiters of change. They are spot fucking on. 

anonymous asked:

Not all Muslims, not all blacks, but yes all cops? Or am I looking at your post from a wrong angle. I'm in no way "pro-police" and think the police force is nothing more than a bunch of pawns used by capitalists pigs in their hideous game of Chess, but I do also know that if someone shot my uncle and said he was a machine used by the state to kill black people, I would be absolutely disgusted by them, because he's definitely far from that.

Saying not all Muslims and not all “Blacks” (FFS) is not the same thing at ALL. Policing is a JOB. A job where every police office agrees to enforce the laws, no matter how unjust, violent, and evil they are. You acknowledge this yourself in your ask, cops choose to participate in a system that perpetuates injustice. 

Just look at the way that police LEGALLY worked ON ORDERS to break up the Standing Rock protest and prayer camp. An extremely militarized police department used tear gas, armored vehicles, rubber bullets, flash grenades, sound cannons, pepper spray, water cannons, batons, etc. against these unarmed people. They acted on the requirements of their job to perpetuate anti-Native violence and racism. 

Another example would be anti-homeless laws that some states have. There are laws in place to keep the homeless off the street, hell my state has tried to pass laws to make it illegal to feed the homeless. And who enforces these inhumane laws? Who is arresting the homeless and putting them in a system that places fines on these people? Then who is arresting them again for not paying these bullshit fines and keeping them in the system cycle? 

Your totally nice family member who is a cop is a part of this system. Every cop is a part of this system. It’s. Their. Job.


Black Lives Matter activist Janaya Khan explains how we can abolish the whole criminal justice system, including police

“The abolishment movement is about transformative justice. Non prison not police based strategies for dealing with violence and crisis in our communities.”

“The police’s sole responsibility is to manufacture criminals”

She says something along the lines of people only bad because they are depressed or have a bad day. She is delusional.

Basically her argument is that we build prisons just to fill them because they are empty and white people need to profit from it. 

Cart before the horse.

She does not actually offer any solutions for when bad things happen. 

They never do. 

She said police are the ones that manufacture criminals. I guess she believes, no police, no criminals. No one is actually bad until a cop shows up.

If this movement grows, I am glad I am a gun owner. 

I suppose it’s important to acknowledge that there are many right-wing libertarians who aren’t raging ultra-nationalists underneath a thin veneer of liberty rhetoric. I remember back several years ago, when I fell into the right-lib camp, I considered myself a “cosmotarian” – Reason Magazine’s term for someone who was “culturally-liberal and fiscally-conservative”. I suppose these “cosmotarian” types, alongside other “might-as-well-be-a-liberal” types, probably don’t have a hyper-reactionary bootlicker lurking just beneath the surface, and I’m willing to give them that benefit of the doubt. However, I still think “cosmotarians” and other Propertarian-Lite™ types (”socially-liberal, fiscally-conservative”) are intensely naive to the ramifications of their ideology. 

The preferred economic setup will usually have the biggest sway in the social makeup of a society. Top-down economic arrangements are often “socially libertarian” when the dominant class’s power isn’t threatened. Smoke some weed, have a gender-neutral marriage, carry a gun, allow for a nominally censorship-free press, etc – as long as these all take place on the terms set by the dominant class, they can be “peacefully” reconciled into the capitalist status quo. Once dominant class interests are materially threatened by strikes, occupations, direct action, mutual aid, dual power, and cross-racial solidarity, however….then the libertarian pretense goes out the window. A militarized police state and partially-legitimized right-wing militias are the agents who will “restore law and order” when the “degenerate leftists” push for “chaos and depravity”. The right-libertarians who recognize this and openly embrace it are the ones who start dabbling in ultra-nationalism and fascism, the ones who see the class privileges of property and whiteness slipping out of their fingers. Anti-capitalist, anti-racist movements challenge the class structure’s legitimacy and therefore “require” a swift reaction from the powers that be. 

Because “cosmotarians” lack a class analysis of any sort, their perspective is limited to celebrations of “personal freedoms” – a convenience store is allowed to sell gallon-sized jugs of soda, a sales tax is lowered by 4%, an increased minimum wage proposal is struck down, regulations on cars are cut back, etc. At no point does it occur to them that there are dominant class interests at play and that the state manifests itself mostly in accordance with these interests. Thrust the moral dilemma of right-libertarianism-turned-fascism onto them and I do believe many of them might be receptive to some class struggle outlook, but just as many of them will find some circular justification for the rising police state they’re witnessing – ultimately similar to other liberals. 

TLDR: Not all right-libertarian types are secretly fascists, but most of those who aren’t secretly fascists are also intensely naive to the ramifications of their ideology and the natural functioning of the capitalist class system.


Intense photos from Ferguson last night look more like Iraq than the U.S.

Civil unrest in response to the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has received the lion’s share of media coverage. But as protests continus, the authorities’ response has increasingly looked less like police action and more like a crackdown in a war zone.

But it’s not just the equipment

Army veterans return to Standing Rock to form a human shield against police | US news | The Guardian

Jake Pogue, a 32-year-old marine corps vet, returned to the Sacred Stone camp on Friday.

US veterans are returning to Standing Rock and pledging to shield indigenous activists from attacks by a militarized police force, another sign that the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline is far from over.

Army veterans from across the country have arrived in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, or are currently en route after the news that Donald Trump’s administration has allowed the oil corporation to finish drilling across the Missouri river.

The growing group of military veterans could make it harder for police and government officials to try to remove hundreds of activists who remain camped near the construction site and, some hope, could limit use of excessive force by law enforcement during demonstrations.

“We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force,” said Elizabeth Williams, a 34-year-old air force veteran, who arrived at Standing Rock with a group of vets late on Friday. “We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”

It is unclear how many vets may arrive to Standing Rock; some organizers estimate a few dozen are on their way, while other activists are pledging that hundreds could show up in the coming weeks. An estimated 1,000 veterans traveled to Standing Rock in December just as the Obama administration announced it was denying a key permit for the oil company, a huge victory for the tribe.

The veterans camp at Standing Rock.

The massive turnout – including a ceremony in which veterans apologized to indigenous people for the long history of US violence against Native Americans – served as a powerful symbol against the $3.7bn pipeline.

But the presence of vets was not without controversy. Some said the groups were disorganized and unprepared to camp in harsh winter conditions, and others lamented that they weren’t following the directions of the Native Americans leading the movement.

Vets with post-traumatic stress disorder also suffered in the cold and chaotic environment without proper support, said Matthew Crane, a US navy veteran who is helping coordinate a return group with the organization VeteransRespond. His group has vowed to be self-sufficient and help the activists, who call themselves “water protectors”, with a wide range of services, including cleanup efforts, kitchen duties, medical support and, if needed, protection from police.

“This is a humanitarian issue,” said Crane, 33. “We’re not going to stand by and let anybody get hurt.”

On Friday afternoon, as snow rapidly melted during an unusually warm day in Cannon Ball, Jake Pogue helped organize a vets camp area at Sacred Stone, the first camp that emerged last spring in opposition to the pipeline.

“We’re not coming as fighters, but as protectors,” said the 32-year-old marine corps vet, noting that he was concerned about police escalating tactics. “Our role in that situation would be to simply form a barrier between water protectors and the police force and try to take some of that abuse for them.”

Since last fall, police have made roughly 700 arrests, at times deploying water cannons, Mace, rubber bullets, teargas, pepper spray and other less-than-lethal weapons. Private guards for the pipeline have also been accused of violent tactics.

“We have the experience of standing in the face of adverse conditions – militarization, hostility, intimidation,” said Julius Page, a 61-year-old veteran staying at the vets camp.

Dan Luker, a 66-year-old veteran who visited Standing Rock in December and returned this month, said that for many who fought in Vietnam or the Middle East it was “healing” to help water protectors.

Julius Page a 61-year-old veteran: ‘We have the experience of standing in the face of adverse conditions.’

“This is the right war, right side,” said Luker, a Vietnam vet from Boston. “Finally, it’s the US military coming on to Sioux land to help, for the first time in history, instead of coming on to Sioux land to kill natives.”

Luker said he was prepared to be hit by police ammunition if necessary: “I don’t want to see a twentysomething, thirtysomething untrained person killed by the United States government.”

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, founder of the Sacred Stone camp and a Standing Rock tribe member, said she welcomed the return of the vets.

“The veterans are going to make sure everything is safe and sound,” she said, adding, “The people on the ground have no protection.”

At Standing Rock, indigenous activists say the mass arrests and police violence have led many of them to develop PTSD, suffering symptoms that many veterans understand well.

“This historical trauma of indigenous communities in this country is very real. It’s tragic,” said Crane. “The military has a lot of the same problems.”

Aubree Peckham, a member of the Mescalero Apache tribe who has been at Standing Rock for months, was in tears on Friday as she described the way indigenous water protectors have bonded with vets.

“We don’t know how to protect ourselves against the tactical weapons they are using,” she said. “They are getting us better prepared.”

Peckham said the affection was mutual: “We are able to talk about PTSD. And they finally feel like they are understood.”


Bernie Sanders is the epitome of superficiality and shallowness that make up ideological extremists interpretation of modern law enforcement equipment.

That “militarization” is what allows Law Enforcement to be the human shields to protect their citizens from contemporary threats.

Not all Republicans

It’s tempting for a lot of people to say Trump is an anomaly, and in some ways he is. He’s uniquely thin-skinned, especially ignorant, and more vindictive than just about any other prominent politician.

But policy-wise? He’s a basic Republican.

It’s true that he differs on a couple issues with his party, at least rhetorically, but none of them are spurring protests right now. He suggested that the US government should probably negotiate prices with drug companies (which is correct), and has thrown out some wild protectionist ideas, and that’s about it.

Every issue he’s being rightly called a fascist for, every single one, is supported by 95% of elected Republicans.

The Republican Party is going to use Trump’s historic unpopularity to push through historically unpopular plans: repealing Obamacare, privatizing national parks, selling federal lands, cutting social security and Medicare benefits, privatizing schools, attacking sustainable energy, defunding public transportation, strengthening executive power, politicizing federal agencies, controlling women’s bodies, further militarizing police, unreasonable deportations, eliminating state and local wage laws, breaking up unions, the list goes on. And they’ll argue for a “real conservative” in the face of the backlash and the inevitable economic failure they initiated, claiming as they have since Reagan that the last president wasn’t sufficiently conservative enough.

And voters will fall for it, because they so badly want to see themselves, their friends, and their family members as “reasonable Republicans.”

Reasonable Republicans no longer exist, and they haven’t for years.

The Republican Party is Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and Donald Trump. It’s not the party of Jon Huntsman or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was never really even the Party of Mitt Romney.

It is radical, it is fascist, and it must be destroyed without sympathy.

  • city planning: lets give the police a fuckton of money to get fancy ridiculous cars ..... and military grade weapons.
  • city planning: and forget we have a school system at all
  • city planning: after all we make so much money off of sending kids to jail who are failing out of our failing schools. 8)