The American military is prohibited from deploying within the United States, but local law enforcement organizations are becoming increasingly militarized, as surplus gear from the Pentagon flows to main street.
Even without military gear, the horrifying regularity of police violence against black and brown people continues unabated in marginalized communities.
Over-policing and excessive use of force against protesters has resulted in deaths from the Haymarket Affair in 1886 to the student massacres at Orangeburg, Jackson State and Kent State to the bombing of MOVE and the siege at Ruby Ridge.
The Federal Aviation Administration has authorized the use of surveillance drones in US airspace, and local police departments are beginning to purchase drones, armored personnel carriers, and other military equipment. These tools can be used to carry out surveillance, invade privacy, and suppress nonviolent protests, threatening constitutional rights of Americans in jurisdictions from coast to coast.
North Dakota is stretched thin in its battle to protect the Dakota Access pipeline construction: Costs are nearing $15 million, and police reinforcements are diminishing.
Not allowing the government to control the narrative when it comes it the suppression of the dissent is what a free press is supposed to do. The attempted prosecution of Amy Goodman and possible prosecution of Deia Schlosberg is about reestablishing government control of this narrative.
The response by North Dakota and Morton County to the Water Protectors highlights several very serious issues plaguing our country. It brings to the forefront the legacy of colonialism and racism, that has culminated in the disrespecting of the sovereignty of indigenous people, as well as, the use of state violence against those who try to retain their sovereignty. It is part of a larger trend of law enforcement viewing democracy as the enemy and responding to protest with military style gear and tactics. Finally, it demonstrates the willingness of the state to trample on dissent in order to defend corporate profits. “
DOJ has to go back to the drawing board and come up with some clear rules for law enforcement at all levels to take responsibility for reporting who it is they are killing. As Director Comey said, “It’s ridiculous — it’s embarrassing and ridiculous…”
Library Worker Heroically Defends Patron’s Free Speech, Is Brutally Arrested in Library Where He Works
“For someone to be assaulted and then arrested for asking a question, in a public library of all places, is abhorrent. The library should be a place where people of all points of view can feel safe and welcome.”