The State Police
In a continuation of the police state that has engulfed the US once again, I offer you This little piece regarding how bad things are getting.
Turn to Philadelphia, and were protestors accused? Yes. But convicted? Mostly not. In fact, the enormous majority of the cases brought against activists were dismissed, in no small part because of the revelations about undercover police tactics that came out in court. Legal documents revealed that in violation of Philadelphia law, the police infiltrated protest groups, spied on organizers, instructed city housing officers to shut down buildings on specious pretexts, police provocateurs provoked violence. Federal, state and local police, it turned out, were working together with the Secret Service – and the basis for at least one group of search warrants was a report produced by a extremist right wing think tank, the Maldon Institute. One targeted demonstrator, arrested while walking down the street, made history when he became the first American ever accused – but not convicted – of brandishing a cellphone with intent to commit a crime. Bail was set at $1million.
All of this, it should be said, was long before the PATRIOT ACT.
Why go into all this history? Well look at this way, the very same guy who was police chief in Philadelphia is now advising the city of New York on policing the RNC. After Philly, John Timoney became the chief of police in Miami where he oversaw the militarization of that city in advance of the protests targeting the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit. A judge presiding over the cases of protestors arrested there told the Miami Herald that he personally witnessed no less than 20 felonies committed by police officers during the FTAA demonstrations. Miami got $8.5 million in federal funds "for security" from the money approved for spending in Iraq[my italics]
I doubt if any of the officers who committed those felonies were arrested, tried, convicted and jailed for those offenses. The reason why this stuff is getting attention is because unlike the prevailing police state that has been in various black communities since we've been here in the States, "wholesome" and "impressionable" white youth are being locked up and brutilized and parents are worried that it could be thier kid next.
The one thing I do have to say is that I have witnessed the Anarchist work first hand and they have had a habit of brteakign out and doing what they want when they want, which can be a bad reflection on the larger group. However, I have never seen Anarchists, in NY, destroy any property. And given that the "intelligence" agencies are very willing to plant antagonists into organizations, i would not be surprised at all if such provocateurs were in fact the source of violence.
Now some people, think that such actions by the state are all good. Their basic argument is that they feel that they can sit at home and say whatever comes to mind. They can sit in a cafe and talk and have no police bother them, they see talking heads on TV argue for or against a particular position and say to themselves "see there's free speech." What they fail to realize is that getting ones voice on the airwaves is nearly impossible without the "approval" of the gatekeepers and most gatekeepers want cash. Furthermore, most of the people who hold the "all good" position don't find themselves on the "wrong side" of policy. They fail to realize that they test of democracy is not what is done to those that you agree with, but what is done for those who disagree.
The arresting of people on the street on trumped up charges, in order to prevent them from exercizing their "right" to assemble is clearly unconstitutional. It is the same as what the US charges Cuba and China for doing. I repeat this is the same behavoir that human rights organizations condemn in many countries around the world. Just because a country has the most nukes and the [temporarily] most powerful economy does not exempt it.