Let your life be a counter-force to the Stop the Machine
I believe that we are coming to a crossroads as a nation.
Since 9/11, we’ve been traveling down a road bristling with guns, military technology, paranoia and fear. Though most of our aggressive energy has been aimed outside our borders, there has also been a steady preparation for mass violence within the U.S. as well. In the decade since 9/11, our national police forces have been armed with military hardware, and have trained extensively in riot control, with the results that we saw for the first time during the recent Occupy protests.
In the peaceful town of Fargo, North Dakota, report Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz of the Center for Investigative Reporting, “Every city squad car is equipped today with a military-style assault rifle, and officers can don Kevlar helmets able to withstand incoming fire from battlefield-grade ammunition. And for that epic confrontation—if it ever occurs—officers can now summon a new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret.”
Billions of federal tax dollars have been spent nationwide on this kind of military hardware for police, in the name of Homeland Security.
Security from what? Security for whom?
Short of an all-out military invasion by a foreign force, which seems hugely unlikely, these weapons can only be meant to confront an insurgency within our own borders.
Are we thinking about a civil war, then?
Are these police being armed and trained to protect the interests of the 1% against the raging anger of the 99%?
A year ago it would not have occurred to me to ask these questions. But obviously the Homeland Security crowd was already thinking ahead and planning for a time when such armor and weapons would be necessary to “maintain security” and “uphold law and order” on the home front.
Yes, they must have been aware, even as they were cashing in on our ignorance, that there would come a time when no more could be squeezed from the bottom two-thirds of American society. When there would be so many homeless, so many poor, so many disenfranchised, that these people would feel they had no other recourse than violence, and nothing left to lose.
A new report by the National Center on Family Homelessness found that “more than 1.6 million children – or one in 45 children – are homeless annually in America. This represents an increase of 38% during the years impacted by the economic recession.”
I’m sorry, but that is just unacceptable in this country, which likes to think of itself as the wealthiest and most enlightened society on earth.
When you add up all the trials and tribulations being visited on the poor in this country–and “the poor” is a vast category that gets bigger day by day–and you weigh billions in Homeland Security anti-terrorism outfits for police against dwindling food and shelter for children–well, something just isn’t right here. There’s something rotten in the state of America.
And yes, we are at a crossroads.
~ Mayor Bloomberg
[Feel Safer Now?]
I can sleep safe now. Of course, I’m halfway across the country from NYC. Thankfully.
“We thought they were escorting us because they wanted us to be safe.”
And so it begins.
A young man of color arrested in Union Square earlier today doing literally nothing but crossing the street.
I am fucking shaking with anger. This video shows Union Square earlier today. Clearly there is a protest but the area immediately surrounding the guy with the camera is just observers and people milling around. Watch the guy in the red shirt. From the vimeo link:
As you can see at around, a young man in a red shirt, Glenn Daniels Jr, is walking near the sidewalk with hundreds of other protestors. The crowd was attempting to cross the street to continue the march south down Broadway from Union Square. Daniels is peacefully walking with a water bottle, not committing any crime. At he is approached by an NYPD officer and pushed towards the sidewalk. At a senior police officer in a white shirt quickly approaches and grabs Daniels and another young man with a beard and backpack. The lighter skinned man is let go, but Daniels is arrested. The remainder of the video shows NYPD officers cuffing and detaining Daniels.
Unbefuckinglievable. He’s doing fucking nothing.