Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ferguson, MO Cops: Fascist Guns In The (Mid)West

Boomers: remember the days of our youth, when cops were often called "fascist pigs"? Well... they're baaaack! Ferguson, MO police seem to have declared as their enemies not just Blacks... not just Whites... but journalists in general. Two journalists covering the whole sorry business in that ugly little town (Ryan J. Reilly of Huffington Post; Wesley Lowery of Washington Post) were told to leave a McDonald's where they were working and sipping coffee, and when they didn't clear out fast enough (or through the right door), the cops arrested them.  They were not charged... hey, who needs charges if you're arresting "bad" people? Read the reporters' tweets during the incident at the link above.

It's really hard to justify this kind of crap, but from at least the Occupy movement forward, it's been happening more often. Maybe having the Pentagon donate (or sell cheap) its crowd control equipment to a remarkable percentage of the small-town police forces in America is deleterious to free speech, public protest and similar activities we once held to be America's protection against loss of civil liberties. Or maybe these cops in particular are just fascist pigs...

The ACLU has launched an investigation of militarization of America's police forces; goodness knows there's no shortage of material to investigate. Here is the summary, and here is the report (.pdf), titled "War Comes Home." IMNSHO, if military equipment is available to city police forces, inevitably, police operations will more and more come to resemble military operations... and history shows the path after that.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reminds us in a tweet, "This is America, not a war zone. The people of just want answers. We all want answers." Indeed we do, and we'd better get some good answers soon. Meanwhile, if you love your democracy (what's left of it), don't give your police force MRAVs MRAPs and drones. And don't... ever... encourage police to arrest journalists.

Clarification: only the second photo above, of a crowd of protesters keeping their hands in plain sight, is from Ferguson. The police photos are representative of the transformation of police operations into military operations.

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