Sunday, May 31, 2015

‘Don't Call It A Curfew’: BORDC/DDF's Executive Director Comments On Baltimore

This article by Shahid Buttar, executive director of the recently merged Bill of Rights Defense Committee - Defending Dissent Foundation (BORDC/DDF, occasionally DDF/BORDC) considers the serious possibility that the actions of the Baltimore police imposed no mere "curfew" on parts of the city but actual de facto martial law, in response not to a "riot" but to a rejection by demonstrators of an all‑out fully equipped military operation by those police, consciously and brutally imposed on the demonstrators.

The trend toward use of military equipment, gear and tactics by city police departments against protesters of all sorts, most of the latter nonviolent, scares hell out of me, as I am certain it is intended to do. And Godwin's Law becomes less applicable as, incident by incident, protesters are beaten, tased, gassed, pepper‑sprayed etc. in the streets or taken to jail and denied the most fundamental rights of people detained in America. How often is an arrest for protesting peacefully effectively a death sentence, or a jail term without charge, trial, conviction or sentencing?

And when is enough, enough? Buttar depicts a sign at one protest:
These aren't riots. You are watching an unjust system be[ing] dismantled.
One can only hope that interpretation is recognized in the halls of power before protesters are driven to more extreme measures to make their voices heard.

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