Tuesday, February 02, 2010

More things that make you go hmmmm.....

WLOS, the regional ABC network affiliate in Asheville, is reporting that four Asheville police officers have been attending a special training at a federal center in Alabama.
The topic? How to handle with mass protests, angry protestors, and deal with large groups of unruly people. The center in Alabama is the only national training facility that conducts the DHS-funded trainings, which often center around maintaining public order in the aftermath of widespread terrorist attacks. Hypothetical attacks, of course.
One of the Asheville officers attending the training commented that they were being instructed in the use of several new crowd control weapons designed to manage groups of protestors. But then he asserted that the intent was to merely counteract the devices of protestors(??), and not to suppress peaceful demonstrations.
Hmmm. Based on what we've seen in recent years - national political conventions come to mind - it doesn't seem to much matter whether the crowd is peaceful or not. But I digress.
It makes me wonder, conspiracy nut that I am, just what the feds are expecting. Obviously there is always a chance of a massive terrorist attack, but does it follow that mass demonstrations would necessarily ensue - or riots, mayhem, and looting? (Gawd forbid we have any looting - after all, stealing with impunity is reserved for the Wall Street cartel).
And I don't recall seeing unruly public mobs after the attacks on 9/11/2001. But perhaps something bigger or qualitatively different than that is being expected by those "in the know".
Currently we're not seeing large demonstrations happening with any frequency, anywhere in the U.S. The problem that occurs to me seems to be quite the opposite - a population of citizens that are not only ill-informed by both design and choice, but also unwilling to commit to peaceful public assembly in order to send a clear statement to the PTB.
Harriet Fraad, writing in Tikkun magazine, asks "Why are Americans passive as millions lose their homes, their jobs, their families, their hopes of justice, and the American dream? Why do Americans remain disorganized at home while their European and Asian counterparts flood into the streets and strike in militant, organized protest? Why do others believe in their potential to reclaim their lives while we do not?"
Good question. I've asked it many times - WTF is wrong with us as citizens? Fraad has a thought-provoking take on this question, and her article is well worth the read. Check out her piece that appeared on Alternet here.


Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

I think...predict, actually, that next December will look very different from now.

The wheels are in motion. Things are going to start changing quickly.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

Probably public officials will be claiming that all their crowd weapons are "non-lethal" - you know, like the taser. Which has "only" killed some 300+ people so far. Mostly people that were no actual threat at all, I might add.
Can't wait to see what the next generation of "non-lethal" the police state will be packing!

12:15 PM  

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