Nighttime police raids on Occupy movement part of pattern

Discussion in 'Civil Rights & Privacy' started by Cartoon Peril, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Sorry, but that doesn't inspire confidence in me. I don't want to live in a country where shoot-em-ups are going on left and right anymore than I do a country where cops are free to Mace, beat, and shoot at will.
  2. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Ideally I'd like to see harsh laws enacted that restrict what law enforcement personnel are allowed to use in the way of offensive equipment. If they're limited to the same weapons the citizenry is allowed to carry then a lot of these instances of police misconduct will disappear for their lack of ability to perpetrate them.

    It's like speed cameras or red-light cameras. They should be outlawed not only because of the money-grubbing contracts that the manufacturers strike up with city governments, but because police should be forced to "play fair." Yeah, fair to speeders and fair to red light runners. Not because we want or need more speeders or intersection collisions but because we must be very careful to avoid engendering a culture of free reign and advantage for authorities. Radar detectors and GPSes/smartphones with Trapster only go so far.
    TravelnMedic likes this.
  3. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Whole thing is just insane. Tents=terrorism in terms of police response.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  4. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    Pretty much, and most of the local gun shops i went to were pretty picked over by noon except for high end weapons (>$5K MSRP). Cheaper then dirt offering bushmaster AR-15 for $599 didnt help things either and the local one sold over 300 in 2 hours. Then again its hard to pass up deals that are better then the LEO discounts, and ammo prices that havent been this low since before 9/11.

    Im not implying i would start something but if government is going to ramp up the heat then I will stand on my 2nd amendment rights and defend them till they pry my gun from my cold dead hand. Still have to go through the paperwork for sales from dealers but private sales have none, but then thats where most people are getting them now a days.

    Celtic Whisper - Amen
  5. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I don't see any comparison between radar/red-light cameras and weapons.
  6. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    No real functional comparison, no. It's more one of principle - the radar & cameras, like the military kit that police departments are getting, give them a massive advantage over the population at large. Catching traffic infractions used to require them to post personnel along the road, thus forcing them to prioritize and allocate resources carefully. Now they can throw up some cameras to do a police officer's job for them and couple it with an unreasonably arcane contest procedure that makes it nearly impossible for a motorist to fight back against a ticket.

    Likewise with weapons, which we're seeing in the case of Occupy, UC Davis and the Tampa Tank. The right of the people to peaceably assemble used to be not only guaranteed in law, but enforced practically by the simple limited resources of police departments. With only guns (with which officers had to be judicious because pulling the trigger very likely meant killing someone - Kent State is a classic example), police had to think carefully about how to respond to protests they or their government masters didn't like. Same for their lack of protective gear - cotton uniforms don't offer much in the way of protection when/if they piss off the protestors, so they had to be mindful of their approach because it could go from civil to "kill or be killed" with the citizenry having a clear advantage through numbers. Government, through its scarcity of resources, was forced to respect the rights of the people.

    Now, however, with police departments having become increasingly militarized and now apparently getting even more military handouts from DHS and DOD, it's much easier for them to violate the rights of the people with impunity. Consequences for using "crowd control" equipment like ADS, LRAD, chemical sprays, tasers, and tear gas are less severe (though legal repercussions shouldn't be - one good thing that may come of the UC Davis incident) than those from discharging firearms so there is less psychological impediment to their application. For as horrible as it was, consider how much worse the public outcry would have been if John Pike had walked up and down that line of seated students, firing live rounds into them at near point-blank range. We've seen the unfortunate effect of diminished judiciousness resulting from the proliferation of "less-than-lethal" weaponry.

    Same goes for the body armor, though I'm not as worried about that. Time was, a police officer overstepping their authority and crossing a group of protestors was liable to end up in the hospital from simple hand-to-hand violence. Again, they had to be careful and were forced to at least consider the rights of the people, even if only for their own survival. Now we see cops decked out in all kinds of armor and plexiglas shielding confronting unarmed protestors. Where previously, a single officer could be taken down by one or two citizens, now it would require several more to overwhelm and overpower them due to protective gear that those same citizens would be either forbidden to purchase or unable to afford.

    Granting that the original intent behind armoring and arming law enforcement personnel may well have been benign or even benevolent (e.g. protection from PCP-raging/'roid-raging junkies, protection from street gangs with no respectable sociopolitical agenda who are just engaged in turf wars or gratuitous mayhem), it has had the effect of granting them such an imbalanced advantage over the populace that it's now much, much easier for corrupt governments to suppress protests and social-reform movements without the citizenry having as much of a chance of fighting back or defending themselves.

    -There's no practical way to defend against ADS without targeting and disabling the emitter. Wrapping oneself in aluminum foil is about it and you have to be 100% covered or you might as well have not bothered at all.

    -Pepper spray or mace can be neutralized through chemical treatments and skin washes but there's no reasonable expectation for everyone engaged in a protest to have access to them or to have them in their possession when it counts most.

    -Tear gas can be defeated through the use of gas masks but those limit visibility and can be pulled off by police.

    -Rubber bullets would require similar armor to what police are wearing in order to be adequately stopped. Same goes for batons.

    -LRAD can be defeated through the use of industrial ear protection. That's about the easiest one.

    -Tasers would require hardened bodysuits made of insulating material (rubber) to stop. The rubber suits you can buy at the local fetishwear store are way too thin - the taser probes would tear right through them. You'd need something that's the strength of the equipment subway crews use when they work on live rails.

    Given that there's no way of knowing what tools a police force would deploy, protestors would have to be wearing full-body rubber underwear inside a tinfoil wrapping under their clothes, then kevlar over their clothes, then gasmasks on their faces with Bilsom Viking V3s over their ears (have fun trying to communicate with other protestors through those - I can walk down a line of 20 aluminum stamping presses with zero ear discomfort with them on) and have chemical neutralizing agents in their pockets in order to be reasonably prepared for all eventualities. And that's assuming the police don't just throw all pretenses of civility to the wind and break out armor-piercing bullets.

    The manufacturers of the weapons and armor don't care - a dollar earned is a dollar in the bank and their bottom lines are secure.

    Citizens aren't going to band together and get their own ADS or LRAD to point back at the police (never mind that they're probably legally forbidden to anyway) and they're not going to be as effective with pepper-spraying/macing/teargassing back either as they're less organized and police will likely have had training on how to push through such efforts.

    The best we can hope for in the absence of police-restricting laws would be for another company (ProtesTec Inc., The Protestor Protectors) to start up and specialize in putting together some kind of integrated defense equipment that neutralizes and nullifies some of these advantages. Nothing offensive, nothing that would be too easy a political target (you can hear the politicos now: OMG they make COP-KILLING GEAR!), just something to render the PD's expensive suppression toys useless.
  7. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Totally understand what you're saying about overwhelming police power. But I am talking about principle: I don't see, in principle, the similarities between radar/red-light cameras and overwhelming police power. I know the argument, but I don't buy it.
  8. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Hmm. Well, where I'm coming from, it seems to me like it's a matter of making things too easy for police either way. The principle in question would be a balance of power between police and citizenry, and in any dispute the power should go to the citizenry. Cameras (more so than radar, which usually requires a human operator) let police stop devoting human resources to an enforcement activity without incurring the (ostensibly) negative result of removing those resources. It tips the balance, allowing them reduced effort with no reduced return. Doesn't help that the particular enforcement activity that is addressed is a revenue-generator and also allows the cameras to be easily paid off, meaning there isn't even that much of a money/people tradeoff to be made. Temporary hit to the bankbook for the initial investment on the camera equipment, but it pays for itself and then keeps bringing in the ticket revenue.

    On the one hand, I agree that reckless drivers do pose a danger to society. On the other, automation of police function seems, at least to me, to pose another danger of another kind.

    My $0.02 worth.
  9. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  10. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    How Elite Media Strategies Marginalize the Occupy Movement
    by Jackie Smith
  11. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Bottom line: it is illegal for the CIA to be involved in domestic surveillance; therefore, according to Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, if the CIA is in fact involved in this illegal activity, as they told her, they wouldn't have it in their records because they don't keep records of their illegal activities!

    Try that for logic.
  12. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    New riot shields will suffocate protesters with sound waves
  13. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Just a thought -- the police are usually way out numbered at these events. They only succeed in bullying their victims because their victims still have just enough respect for their presumed "authority" that they comply, and then there are the "non-violent" sheep that just sit on the ground and take it.

    Eventually a crowd is going to turn on them and it isn't going to be pretty, especially not for the "authorities" who are perpetuating the violence. As with airline hijackings, once the equation changes, it will change forever. At that point, only a greater evil (e.g. the Soviet occupations of Hungary & Czechoslovakia in 1956 and 1968) can maintain the status quo.

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