Police Militarization Sweeps Across the States at #OWS Protests

November 18, 2011
By

Demonstrators from Occupy Wall Street have been subjected to the New York Police Department’s careless and abundant use of pepper spray, rubber bullets and now even Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) are being reported. But, Occupy Tampa is reporting something equally disturbing; a tank.

The police department’s Tactical Response Team (TRP) paraded a tank at the Occupy Tampa protest downtown. But, now they’re reporting that this tank, this obvious tank, did I mention that it’s a tank?, is simply a rescue vehicle and you can in fact, clearly see the words written on the side, however, the drama promoted speculation and certainly intimidation — and deservedly so.

The city of Tampa’s website, states “Rescue 2″ is a “12-ton Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)… can be used for search and rescue during a natural disaster or terrorist attack.” Can you say, overkill? We can only conclude that protesters exercising their right to Free Speech are deemed as a terrorist threat.

The right leaning Yahoo news states the absurd:

I have to admit I’m really surprised that so many of the protestors are making such silly conjectures, implying that the tank might be used violently against the protestors, or that the TPD are so afraid of them they need to hide behind a tank.

Yahoo news, in its infinite wisdom has failed miserably at reporting the news, which is an ongoing effort for them. I suggest if their writers can’t report the news, perhaps looking at pictures won’t be too daunting a task:

This young man is only the recent bloodied victim of the NYPD. In Oakland, a Vet, Scott Olsen was shot in the face by their ‘to protect and serve’ police department and he’s only recently been discharged from the hospital. There is an extremely long list of police abuse which has taken place, but far be it for a news reporting site to actually report the fucking news without bias.

In Seattle this week, an 84-year-old community activist, a priest and a pregnant teenager were pepper-sprayed. Today the mayor of Seattle apologized for the use of pepper spray.

Portland’s mayor has yet to apologize:

CBS reports, “Norm Stamper, who was the police chief in Seattle during the chaotic anti-World Trade Organization protests in 1999, recently had to say about police violence in the latest uprising:

More than a decade later, the police response to the Occupy movement, most disturbingly visible in Oakland — where scenes resembled a war zone and where a marine remains in serious condition from a police projectile — brings into sharp relief the acute and chronic problems of American law enforcement. Seattle might have served as a cautionary tale, but instead, U.S. police forces have become increasingly militarized, and it’s showing in cities everywhere: The NYPD “white shirt” coating innocent people with pepper spray, the arrests of two student journalists at Occupy Atlanta, the declaration of public property as off-limits and the arrests of protesters for “trespassing.”

(My bold)

The presence of our new militarized police force is an attempt to silence the people – by any means necessary. Homeland Security has been spotted at several protests and one source reports that the FBI is involved (but whatever you do pretend the obvious looking tank isn’t a tank).  The tank at Occupy Tampa is speculated because a Tea Party protester has never had to encounter such issues. This isn’t commonplace but increasingly we’re growing accustomed to this military-type feel of our police departments nation wide.

Ideologues justify these extreme measures; with the increase in usage of powerful weapons utilized by the police on peaceful protesters, it’s only a matter of time before their Freedom of Speech is face-to-face with a military-style tank as well. When these nefarious actions take place they may not be, ‘armed this time’.

Tea Party supporters claim that their Conservative style hoard are not violent.  The assassination attempt on President Obama this week was allegedly perpetrated by a right winger. Of course, propagandists are attempting to lay blame on the Occupy movement.

Facts are ignored often:

Mr. Ortega-Hernandez’s family had reported him missing in Idaho Falls last month, after he drove away in the Honda Accord, the complaint said. The Secret Service has said it did not have Mr. Ortega-Hernandez on record as having made any threats against the president. But after the shooting, several acquaintances said he had been fixated on Mr. Obama.

Besides the one friend who told investigators that Mr. Ortega-Hernandez had said he believed the president was the “Antichrist” and that he needed to kill him, another friend said he stated “President Obama was the problem with the government,” was “the devil,” and that he “needed to be taken care of.” The second friend also said he appeared to be “preparing for something.”

Mr. Ortega-Hernandez has had legal problems in Idaho, Texas, and Utah, including charges related to drug offenses, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer, officials have said. He is said to be heavily tattooed, with the word “Israel” on his neck and pictures of rosary beads and hands clasped in prayer on his chest.

(my bold)

Right wing partisans are claiming that Occupy is a leftist pro-Obama movement attempting to aid in his reelection — they can’t have it both ways. If the movement is supposedly pro-Obama, then why did the failed assassin have a fixation on our president? Spin, rinse, repeat.  “There is no violence on the right”, keep saying it mantra style — except for the Norway shooter. And with the exception of Dr. Tiller’s murderer. We could do this all day but the fact is, all groups should be concerned over the overwhelming militarization of our police.

Fox News reports this movement is fading away. So, if that’s true, why the military-style presentation? The fact is, Occupy is growing exponentially with each intimidation tactic utilized. Well, gifts come in all sizes/packages.

Tom Servo, the author of the Yahoo ‘article’ in question concluded his highly biased post with, “Unfortunately, I was unable to get any comments from any TPD officers on the “Rescue 2″ and why they felt the need to bring out to the protest.”

Yes, Tom, you left out volumes. How absurd of us to speculate.

Image: Chron.com

Image: Washington Post

Image: Global Post

Image: Daily Intel

Image: @Oceanshaman

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  • Gen Vanasco

    This is horrible. A shame on our nation. Those are brave young people fighting for all our rights.

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