The militarization of police forces...
New York, NY - In an instructive coincidence, the passage of the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) by the US Congress came on December 15, 2011, the same day as the official start of US forces' pullout from Iraq . One front in the US' post-9/11 conflicts closed overseas, as another front seemingly opened at home. Now awaiting President Barack Obama's signature, which will turn it into law, the NDAA would further entrench here at home some of the defining features of the United States' extraterritorial campaign against political violence by non-state actors, continuing the onward march of the so-called "war on terror" through the American homeland. For years, my students, my colleagues and I have been dealing with the realities of indefinite military imprisonment without trial, and of trial before untested and unfair military commissions.
This article is cross-posted from Al-Akhbar.com with permission from the author Max Blumenthal New York – In October, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department turned parts of the campus of the University of California in Berkeley into an urban battlefield. The occasion was Urban Shield 2011, an annual SWAT team exposition organized to promote “mutual response,” collaboration and competition between heavily militarized police strike forces representing law enforcement departments across the United States and foreign nations. At the time, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department was preparing for an imminent confrontation with the nascent “Occupy” movement that had set up camp in downtown Oakland, and would demonstrate the brunt of its repressive capacity against the demonstrators a month later when it attacked the encampment with teargas and rubber bullet rounds, leaving an Iraq war veteran in critical condition and dozens injured.
More troops—13,500—will be deployed to cover the London Olympics than are currently stationed in Afghanistan. This frightening statistic opens Stephen Graham's powerful and harrowing piece on Olympic 2012 security for the Guardian . Arguing that the London Games will see the largest mobilisation of military and security forces since the second world war, Graham, author of Cities Under Siege , warns that the effects “will linger long after the athletes and VIPs have left.” As estimates of the Games' immediate security costs double (from £282m to £553m) Graham highlights the hypocrisy of spending on this scale, All this in a city convulsed by massive welfare, housing benefit and legal aid cuts, spiralling unemployment and rising social protests.
The paramilitarisation of policing—Stephen Graham on BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed By Tamar Shlaim / 06 January 2012 Stephen Graham appeared on Radio 4's Thinking Allowed to discuss Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism with Laurie Taylor and Melissa Butcher of the Open University. Graham explains how military ideas of controlling space, honed in war zone cities like Baghdad, are being repackaged and sold to civilian police in Western cities. Concepts like 'smart' CCTV which attempts to identify suspicious behaviours in urban crowds, & the creation of fortified enclaves in certain areas, modelled on the Iraqi Green Zone, and the use of surveillance drones are all being imported back to Western cities after being developed in foreign warzones.
Fargo police Capt.
December 22nd, 2011 | by Alice K Ross | Published in Bureau Reviews , Bureau Stories Please support our work - share this article One stop closer to Robocop? Since the September 11 attacks, the US federal government has given more than $32bn (£20bn) in security grants to local police forces. As the Center for Investigative Reporting reveals , many forces have used this for a combat-gear spending spree, including Kevlar helmets, surveillance drones and assault rifles.