So, cops with full blown military gear, weapons and vehicles? Yea, I know, bought on fire sales by locals from feds surplus. But really? Is this what our social order has come to? Press arrested, peaceful protesters arrested and battered with rubber bullets? Really ?
Long ago my firm was commissioned to do advertising to recruit minority and women cops for the city of Houston. I learned a lot from that, including reading about the psychology of those attracted to that field, regardless of race or gender. Our campaign was almost too successful as we produced “too many” applicants. Psych. profile….authoritarian, superiority, got off to power over others. Bullies empowered by a uniform. Our message was different, more idealistic community builders, but the others came anyway.
I am watching Ferguson, MO with horror. Yet another black kid gunned down. The sketchy research says a couple of hundred a year, unarmed. Even the Cato Institute research says that in 2010 there were 1,575 cases of police brutality, 1/4 of which involved police guns and stun guns, with 247 civilian fatalities. Mint Press data says such brutality reports account for nearly 24 % of all misconduct reports made public. The vast majority of these are involving black male citizens.
So what we have there in Ferguson is a full blown war against the people. Not just the few who looted and damaged property, deserving to be taken off the streets to keep others safe. But, massive cadres of militarized riot cops against demonstrators and those trying to cover and get the story out.
If you’ve been in peaceful protests of some scale, you know what I’m talking about. Cops on very nervous, scared horses trampling protesters; holding onto a tree, I saw a young woman’s ankle broken by a charging horse cop. Cops in riot gear when there was no riot. And a mayor proclaiming “Haliburton’s board has a right to meet here”, without regard to the people’s peaceful speech on the streets below. Or, protesters with signs relegated to “protest zones” which were cages, blocks from the political convention center? Rational? The “safety” of the convention attendees, of which I was also one as well as a protester.
So, here you have it now in full view, in all its ugliness. And you may be wondering why Anonymous, the radical hacker group has injected themselves into this Ferguson story with a pledge to help mobilize and empower the people to advocate their right to now have to cower to the “peace officers” in their midst and to impede the communications of the Ferguson police department.
Why these outsiders? Because the insiders, the local elected officials, have been proven impotent to stand with the people, demand a full accounting of the events leading up to this latest killing of a kid and administer peaceful resolution to the people’s grievances.
Instead, militarized cops are unleashed on the citizens of Ferguson to administer authoritarian brutality. If this isn’t a police state, what then would you call it?