Whether 1930's Germany or Pittsburgh, PA, USA in 2009, it would appear that sound advice is not to get caught in the same neighborhood as stormtroopers wielding clubs (baby seals would do well to heed this same advice). I'm very pro-police (for obvious reasons), I just lost a cousin who was a firefighter...hardly would I be confused with an SDS activist if I was back on Pitt's campus. But is it necessary to whack a tiny, 110lb. girl in what look to be tight, low-rise jeans with a wooden stick? Anyone know the victim/perp. in this incident, caught gleefully for us on video?
"Activists with the Thomas Merton Center and other groups today [9/28] blasted the police response to a Friday night protest in Oakland following the G-20 Summit, calling it a "military-style occupation" that resulted in the gassing and arrest of dozens of bystanders, including students and journalists."Click on video link below for video coverage of the full TMC response. Read more: http://is.gd/3RtHM
The Criminal Behavior of G-20 Police in Pittsburgh
Political Opinion by Tim King Salem-News.com
A disintegrating set of morals are allowing American cops to become the Gestapo and Stormtroopers of yesterday.
(SALEM, Ore.) - U.S. media outlets are writing about the new LRAD or "audio cannon" device used on demonstrators Thursday at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh in a way that only brain-dead sold out scoundrels can. LRAD stands for "Long Range Acoustic Device" and the name does not betray the weapon's objective.
It is a "hands off" tool that blasts out an extremely high pitched sound. I wouldn't be surprised if it actually has the ability to drive people stark raving mad. It's a futuristic fascism device if described accurately.
Americans, especially journalists writing about this, should be horrified by this new form of police abuse. I predict that it will ultimately be the last straw in a society that has too high of a threshold for this type of torture. The device disburses crowds by emitting a high decibel sound so painful that it causes people to freeze and try to run. Apparently they can not always do this.
Picture your fellow Americans, they could be any age, in a state of pain that is "excruciating", according to those who have experienced it. Like the Taser, which is frequently present when suspects die, (even though the company claims it is very safe), there is no way the LRAP is good for people, at minimum, how could it not cause permanent hearing loss?
It is only the latest weapon that police are drawing to use against us, our children, and theirs. Rogue cops all over the nation abuse people with Tasers on a regular basis, and that company profits and profits. Good thing, their team of lawyers is very busy wrestling with death-related claims, even if they beat most of them.
Then you have the American gestapo (translates to secret police) movement of unmarked police cars sneaking around, nailing the unsuspecting through trickery and deceit. California bans the practice, it is taking place every day in Oregon, and Washington's fleet of poser police cars are everywhere in that state. Unmarked means, among other things, they can abuse people and not be identified. They want to keep you confused and guessing, that is the new police approach in the United States.
Unmarked traffic enforcement allows criminals to replicate police very easily and strike victims. The police don't care, almost across the board, and they will tell you that. Why should they? They love using your tax money to sneak up and nab you in a spendy traffic violation.
Considering the hypocrisy of a nation that constantly lauds its supposed "freedoms" so damned often, especially while justifying wars like the one in Iraq, the U.S. government is as criminal, dangerous and immoral than any other in the world. Oh, but how we go on about our greatness, and we are so quick to criticize other nations when their police roll in and control crowds.
The saddest thing is that all of the good police officers in America get lumped into the pot, just like the media when we as an industry screw up. There are great people in law enforcement, they need to take this bull by the horns, learn to develop dialog, and abandon their reckless policies of mowing down people and clubbing them and gassing them and now, using this terrible high technology device to control them.
When people demonstrate in Iran in large numbers, police attack them, use tear gas and crack skulls. In the U.S. when people demonstrate in large numbers, police attack them, use tear gas and crack skulls.
We have fooled ourselves into a false sense of security. The capitalistic spirit of this nation is only out to profit, and the rules are being quickly tossed to the side.
Crossing the Line
If the day comes, and it will, that these devices are used on disabled veterans, then the gloves come off Uncle Sam, whoever you are. We may well be at the beginning of the end. No decent country or government or president allows this type of torture to take place. Every SOB that uses one of these is an enemy of the American people, the American way and the sacrifices that our countrymen have laid down for us.
They didn't serve our red white and blue flag in order to lead us to this. Pittsburgh, your city is sick, twisted and totally immoral. We as Americans have a right to demonstrate and protest.
I don't think Americans are going to put up with it. I don't know who will take the reigns, it could be the Senate or Congress, it could be regulatory agencies, but it will happen. Those demonstrators are using their rights as Americans to speak out and they are being denied their most basic right of free speech.
If they break laws and threaten private property, then police are within their rights to control and arrest them. No problem, but put that high tech crap on the shelves and ban it from our society. The biggest problem, clear as day for all to know and see, is that police are ratcheting up the violence. People who demonstrate will inevitably respond in kind.
G-20 demonstrators are speaking out about climate change and human rights. This is what they are being treated like animals over.
Tick tick tick Pittsburgh, you went way over the line and we are all going to remember you and your city went way over the line with this. We will write about it for years to come and you are the new Beijing. Happy? I hope the people of Pittsburgh undertake a campaign to replace the politicians there from the top to the bottom and you might as well dismiss every officer that took part in this event. Any group mobilizing in that regard should contact us, we'll cover what you are doing.
I just wonder what would happen if these devices were used on the angry "Tea Party" activists who are against Obama's Stimulus and Healthcare ideas.
Ever heard of the Nuremberg Trials? Those guys were "following orders" too.
I think Tony Norman said it best in the Post-Gazette.
"Once upon a time, people in Western Pennsylvania knew authoritarianism when they saw it. It had an unmistakable odor about it -- like the smell of Pinkertons and sulfur wafting up from the steel mills of Homestead.
It didn't wear makeup or attempt to justify itself with flowers or candy. Authoritarianism used to be honest about its own brutality -- and it didn't care much who noticed. When it looked in the mirror, it recognized its reflection. With a wink and a smile, it exercised its prerogative for violence at the slightest provocation. It kissed its brass knuckles and its twirling baton and expected you to do the same.
Over the years, authoritarianism has learned the value of mounting a charm offensive before it comes out swinging. Though it has gotten a face lift or two over the years, it still exhibits the same contempt for democracy it always has. Though it douses itself with perfume and wears a loincloth made of shredded pieces of the Constitution, it stinks of rotten eggs, rubber and pepper spray. When it is doing its business on the streets, it expects you to avert your eyes -- and God help you if you ever question its authority or tactics.
Last week, authoritarianism came back to Pittsburgh. Like any long-lost uncle, it came bearing gifts: national and international media exposure that would take $100 million to achieve, $35 million in cash injected into the local economy and a cavalcade of world leaders who took time from their oligarchies back home to admire the solidity of our fences and barriers Downtown.
All authoritarianism wanted in exchange for these goodies was our soul -- starting with our civil liberties. Our civic leaders, flattered by the "prestige" that comes with hosting a G-20 summit, quickly obliged. Who would miss a little thing like civil liberties, anyway?
For three days, Downtown was emptied of four-fifths of its population and replaced with 4,000 cops who spread out to different parts of the city when ordered to do so by some invisible democracy-hating high command.
The cops given the task of imitating Darth Vader's stormtroopers were a grim bunch. They volunteered to come here from other parts of the country, attracted by the mercenary pay and the opportunity to exert the kind of force on a civilian population their own civic leaders would never let them get away with. Pittsburgh now has the dubious distinction of being the only place outside Russia where sonic weapons were used on a civilian population.
Dressed entirely in black, the irony of the cops' villainous-looking protective gear was lost to them but apparent to everyone they gassed, pepper-sprayed, knocked to the ground and arrested without cause. Yesterday, the city released a list of 190 people, including several journalists, arrested during the summit. Cameras were damaged and film destroyed in a clumsy and bare-knuckled attempt to abrogate the First Amendment.
"As a group, the police responded admirably," Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said resisting the urge to identify with people close to his age, but more diminished in power and stature. Mr. Ravenstahl couldn't afford to acknowledge what anyone with access to YouTube can see with their own eyes -- that there was a full-scale breakdown in public order on the part of the cops. The images of the brutal assault on Pitt students and passers-by caught up in an indiscriminate and chaotic police sweep at the University of Pittsburgh on Friday night will surely be a cautionary tale to the next American mayor silly enough to consider hosting a G-20 summit.
An occupation like the one Pittsburgh experienced can't help but change the way people view cops and their civic leaders going forward. For three days, thousands of militarized strangers took possession of our city, ostensibly to "protect" foreign and domestic leaders most of us would never see, much less meet. As one critic of the police action said during a news conference at the Thomas Merton Center yesterday, if the planners of future G-20 summits really want to ensure smooth, dissent-free experiences for the world's leaders, why not have the conferences at military bases?
Security for the G-20 in Pittsburgh is put conservatively at $20 million. There was an estimated $50,000 in damage to windows and storefronts caused by anarchists in a few neighborhoods on the East End. But more than a few windows were broken last week. Something ghastly happened to us.
We proved we were willing to give up something very precious to us for a few days in the international spotlight. We invited authoritarianism into our homes and promised not to whimper while it danced on our necks. This is truly pathetic.