‘A Municipal Version of Shock And Awe’

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Ferguson, Missouri last night

What transpired in the streets appeared to be a kind of municipal version of shock and awe; the first wave of flash grenades and tear gas had played as a prelude to the appearance of an unusually large armored vehicle, carrying a military-style rifle mounted on a tripod. The message of all of this was something beyond the mere maintenance of law and order: it’s difficult to imagine how armored officers with what looked like a mobile military sniper’s nest could quell the anxieties of a community outraged by allegations regarding the excessive use of force. It revealed itself as a raw matter of public intimidation.

What I Saw In Ferguson (Jelani Cobb, New Yorker)

Earlier: American Rage

9 thoughts on “‘A Municipal Version of Shock And Awe’

  1. Zynks

    I’ve been thinking about this militarization of the police in the US, and the explanations blaming terrorism just don’t add up. 9/11 was 13 years ago, and their police forces were transformed much later. They even had Timothy McVeigh’s attack back in 95.

    So, what really triggered these changes? Here is a theory: the Occupy movement. The point at which the ‘forces to be’ realized that losing control was a possibility.

    1. Paolo

      Gun manufacturers flood the streets with guns so the cops tool up even more so the gangs spend more on guns ……

      The wider problem is that US weapons companies are responsible for arming people all over the world. Even the large Mexican cartels are armed by US dealers. Guns are traded for cocaine and weed.

      This 2nd amendment bullshit affects everybody, not just US citizens.

    2. Odis

      The American proles are being paid less and less. Not so you would notice. The problem is that the good manufacturing jobs have all been moved to the far East. And I’m told that they are working on robots for flipping burgers. Sooner or later the 99% might get uppity.

  2. Planet of the Missing Biros

    The answer is this. The greatest threat to all totalitarian governments is of course, the people.

    The further a system of government moves away from the people it is supposed to serve, the closer it gets to the people who really control it.

    Modern western governments are little more than administrators working on behalf of international business interests. They change laws that get in the way of accountability and making profits.

    They standardise legislation across the world to reduce localization of business practices. They chip away at privacy, freedom of speech. They lower levels of social welfare and state subsidy in order to divert that cash flow into the hands of privatization and private banking. That makes people more desperate to take poor quality jobs and never having the time or money to re-train.

    Governments don’t work for you. They work for people who are trying to create a new class of modern slaves, all scrambling around for unsecured jobs on minimum wage (Jobbridge), never able to set up their own business. The banks will take their homes off them and won’t give them a small business loan. Even the credit unions are being stolen by the Central Bank.

    Big corporates will take all the leases in the local shops to squeeze out the small trader and replace them franchises which provide low paid jobs and take all the profits out of the community. They’ll even put wood and brick in them to make them look cutsie and local. They might even hire a Downs kid for extra mmf. But behind that thin veneer is the sound of profits leaving and occasional visit from their UK/Eire rep in a cheap navy two piece.

    Governments are also there to take bribes to allow the production of GM seeds which don’t need pollination. They also can’t be replanted so you can’t grow your own vegetables and fruit. It would be illegal to try, like copying a DVD or downloading a film. You can’t keep livestock for your own use without a license. Soon, you probably won’t be able to grow your own food without one.

    The EU tried to bring in legislation making it illegal to service and fix your own motorbike. They said it was for safety reasons but it’s about creating a market for those repairs and making people spend money. And it’s more than that. It’s just a litmus test, a toe in the water to see how many other things it be applied to like fixing your own car or your roof or electrical repairs.

    Legislation is very often introduced under the guise of health and safety or protecting your consumer rights. It’s usually about facilitating people who have never even set foot in your country and never will. It’s about making life easier for very few people to make even more billions.

    And all this seeps into the marrow of people. Some know what’s going on, some just feel it and don’t know why they are angry and anxious all the time. All it takes is a spark. One act of aggression from the figures of authority and all hell breaks loose.

    They’ll be called looters and rioters. But many have been looted their whole lives by poor governments and bailed out banks.

    Even if they steal a television or small a few windows, the insurance will pay out for it and the premiums will ultimately paid by the very same people.

    The rich never pay for anything.

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