Published on Sep 11, 2017
Published on Sep 11, 2017
It’s open warfare in the streets, just a few miles from our border, and if it had happened in the United States then we’d be talking about it for months.
August 29th, 2017
Whenever a debate rages over the merits of establishing more stringent border controls with Mexico, both sides argue about whether or not illegal immigrants hurt the economy, or if these people are burdening our public services. They argue about whether or not the flow drugs from the southern border is corrupting our youth, or more importantly, if we need to worry about cartel violence spilling over our borders.
But these issues are referred to in abstract terms. When people argue about Trump’s border wall plan, they hurl their favorite statistics at each other and call it a day. What they really need to experience, is not an argument. They need to see the violence in Mexico with their own eyes.
They need to see things like the following video. This was shot last week in the state of Tamaulipas, which borders Texas. It shows a firefight between the Gulf Cartel and a Mexican military unit.
When people talk about the cartel violence in Mexico, it’s easy to compare it to the gang violence that we have here. That’s because when you talk about it in abstract terms, all we can imagine are drive-by’s, intimidation, and street brawls. But what’s going on in Mexico is totally different. It’s open warfare in the streets, just a few miles from our border, and if it had happened in the United States then we’d be talking about it for months.
With permission from
July 26, 2017
“Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner. The typical lawmaker of today is a man wholly devoid of principle — a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him, he would be cheerfully in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism. It is the aim of the Bill of Rights, if it has any remaining aim at all, to curb such prehensile gentry. Its function is to set a limitation upon their power to harry and oppress us to their own private profit.”
— H.L. Mencken
Let’s not mince words.
Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law enforcement official, would not recognize the Constitution if he ran right smack into it.
Whether the head of the Trump Administration’s Justice Department enjoys being the architect of a police state or is just painfully, criminally clueless, Sessions has done a great job thus far of sidestepping the Constitution at every turn.
Most recently, under the guise of “fighting crime,” Sessions gave police the green light to rob, pilfer, steal, thieve, swipe, purloin, filch and liberate American taxpayers of even more of their hard-earned valuables (especially if it happens to be significant amounts of cash) using any means, fair or foul.
In this case, the foul method favored by Sessions & Co. is civil asset forfeiture, which allows police and prosecutors to “seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime.”
Under a federal equitable sharing program, police turn asset forfeiture cases over to federal agents who process seizures and then return 80% of the proceeds to the police. (In Michigan, police actually get to keep up to 100% of forfeited property.)
This incentive-driven excuse for stealing from the citizenry is more accurately referred to as “policing for profit” or “theft by cop.”
Despite the fact that 80 percent of these asset forfeiture cases result in no charge against the property owner, challenging these “takings” in court can cost the owner more than the value of the confiscated property itself. As a result, most property owners either give up the fight or chalk the confiscation up to government corruption, leaving the police and other government officials to reap the benefits.
And boy, do they reap the benefits.
Police agencies have used their ill-gotten gains “to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear,” reports The Washington Post. “They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.”
Incredibly, these asset forfeiture scams have become so profitable for the government that, according to The Washington Post, “in 2014, law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did.” As the Post notes, “the Treasury and Justice departments deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, the FBI reports that burglary losses topped out at $3.5 billion.”
In 2015, the federal government seized nearly $2.6 billion worth of airplanes, houses, cash, jewelry, cars and other itemsunder the guise of civil asset forfeiture.
According to USA Today, “Anecdotal evidence suggests that allowing departments to keep forfeiture proceeds may tempt them to use the funds unwisely. For example, consider a 2015 scandal in Romulus, Michigan, where police officers used funds forfeited from illicit drug and prostitution stings to pay for … illicit drugs and prostitutes.”
Memo to the rest of my fellow indentured servants who are living through this dark era of government corruption, incompetence and general ineptitude: this is not how justice in America is supposed to work.
We are now ruled by a government so consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population that they are completely unconcerned if essential freedoms are trampled in the process.
Our freedoms aren’t just being trampled, however. They’re being eviscerated.
At every turn, “We the People” are getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.
Americans no longer have to be guilty to be stripped of their property, rights and liberties. All you have to be is in possession of something the government wants. And if you happen to have something the government wants badly enough, trust me, their agents will go to any lengths to get it.
If the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights.
Here’s how the whole ugly business works in a nutshell.
First, government agents (usually the police) use a broad array of tactics to profile, identify, target and arrange to encounter (in a traffic stop, on a train, in an airport, in public, or on private property) those individuals who might be traveling with a significant amount of cash or possess property of value. Second, these government agents—empowered by the courts and the legislatures—seize private property (cash, jewelry, cars, homes and other valuables) they “suspect” may be connected to criminal activity.
Then—and here’s the kicker—whether or not any crime is actually proven to have taken place, without any charges being levied against the property owner, or any real due process afforded the unlucky victim, the property is seized by the government, which often divvies it up with the local police who helped with the initial seizure.
In a Kafkaesque turn of the screw, the burden of proof falls on the unfortunate citizenry who must mount a long, complicated, expensive legal campaign to prove their innocence in order to persuade the government that it should return the funds they stole. Not surprisingly, very few funds ever get returned.
It’s a new, twisted form of guilt by association, only it’s not the citizenry being accused of wrongdoing, just their money.
Motorists have been particularly vulnerable to this modern-day form of highway robbery.
For instance, police stole $201,000 in cash from Lisa Leonard because the money—which Leonard planned to use to buy a house for her son—was being transported on a public highway also used by drug traffickers. Despite the fact that Leonard was innocent of wrongdoing, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the theft on a technicality.
Police stole $50,000 in cash from Amanee Busbee—which she planned to use to complete the purchase of a restaurant—and threatened to hand her child over to CPS if she resisted. She’s one of the few to win most of her money back in court.
Police stole $22,000 in cash from Jerome Chennault—which he planned to use as the down payment on a home—simply because a drug dog had alerted police to its presence in his car. After challenging the seizure in court, Chennault eventually succeeded in having most of his money returned, although the state refused to compensate him for his legal and travel expenses.
Police stole $8,500 in cash and jewelry from Roderick Daniels—which he planned to use to purchase a new car—and threatened him with jail and money-laundering charges if he didn’t sign a waiver forfeiting his property.
Police stole $6,000 in cash from Jennifer Boatright and Ron Henderson and threatened to turn their young children over to Child Protective Services if they resisted.
Tenaha, Texas, is a particular hotbed of highway forfeiture activity, so much so that police officers keep pre-signed, pre-notarized documents on hand so they can fill in what property they are seizing.
As the Huffington Post explains, these police forfeiture operations have become little more than criminal shakedowns:
Police in some jurisdictions have run forfeiture operations that would be difficult to distinguish from criminal shakedowns. Police can pull motorists over, find some amount of cash or other property of value, claim some vague connection to illegal drug activity and then present the motorists with a choice: If they hand over the property, they can be on their way. Otherwise, they face arrest, seizure of property, a drug charge, a probable night in jail, the hassle of multiple return trips to the state or city where they were pulled over, and the cost of hiring a lawyer to fight both the seizure and the criminal charge. It isn’t hard to see why even an innocent motorist would opt to simply hand over the cash and move on.
Unsurprisingly, these asset forfeiture scams have become so profitable for the government that they have expanded their reach beyond the nation’s highways.
According to USA Today, the U.S. Department of Justice received $2.01 billion in forfeited items in 2013, and since 2008 local and state law enforcement nationwide has raked in some $3 billion in forfeitures through the federal “equitable sharing” program.
So now it’s not just drivers who have to worry about getting the shakedown.
Any American unwise enough to travel with cash is fair game for the government pickpockets.
In fact, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been colluding with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and local police departments to seize a small fortune in cash from American travelers using the very tools—scanners, spies and surveillance devices—they claimed were necessary to catch terrorists.
Mind you, TSA agents already have a reputation for stealing from travelers, but clearly the government is not concerned about protecting the citizenry from its own wolfish tendencies.
No, the government bureaucrats aren’t looking to catch criminals. (If so, they should be arresting themselves.)
They’re just out to rob you of your cold, hard cash.
Think about it for a moment. You pay a hefty fee just to be able to walk free. It’s called income tax. As former presidential candidate Ron Paul recognizes, “The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government.” And if you refuse to pay any of that so-called income tax, you’ll be severely fined and/or arrested and put in jail.
One more thing: you don’t really own your property. That is, your house or your land. Even when you pay off the mortgage, if you fail to pay your property taxes, government agents will evict you and take your home.
This is not freedom.
There was a time in our history when our forebears said “enough is enough” and stopped paying taxes (a pittance compared to what we are forced to shell out in taxes today) to what they considered an illegitimate government. They stood their ground and refused to support a system that was slowly choking out any attempts at self-governance, and which refused to be held accountable for its crimes against the people. Their resistance sowed the seeds for the revolution that would follow.
Unfortunately, in the 200-plus years since we established our own government, we’ve let the corporate elite and number-crunching bureaucrats pilfer our bank accounts to such an extent that we’re back where we started.
Once again, we’ve got a despotic regime with an imperial ruler doing as it pleases.
But what if we didn’t just pull out our pocketbooks and pony up to the federal government’s outrageous demands for more money? What if we didn’t just line up to drop our hard-earned dollars into the corporate collection bucket, no questions asked about how it will be spent? What if, instead of meekly tolerating the government’s ongoing efforts to rob us blind, we did something about it?
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if the government can just take from you what they want, when they want, and then use it however they want, you can’t claim to be anything more than a serf in a land they think of as theirs.
It’s up to “We the People” to demand reform.
These injustices will continue as long as we remain silent.
As American journalist H.L. Mencken observed:
The American of today, in fact, probably enjoys less personal liberty than any other man of Christendom, and even his political liberty is fast succumbing to the new dogma that certain theories of government are virtuous and lawful, and others abhorrent and felonious. Laws limiting the radius of his free activity multiply year by year: It is now practically impossible for him to exhibit anything describable as genuine individuality, either in action or in thought, without running afoul of some harsh and unintelligible penalty. It would surprise no impartial observer if … the goddess of liberty were taken off the silver dollars to make room for a bas-relief of a policeman in a spiked helmet. Moreover, this gradual (and, of late, rapidly progressive) decay of freedom goes almost without challenge; the American has grown so accustomed to the denial of his constitutional rights and to the minute regulation of his conduct by swarms of spies, letter-openers, informers and agents provocateurs that he no longer makes any serious protest.
In other words, make them hear you.
And if they won’t listen, then I suggest it’s time for what Martin Luther King Jr. called for when government doesn’t listen: “militant nonviolent resistance.”
By Greg Calise, Guest author
July 15, 2017
We have overlords, trans-dimensional beings who have invaded Earth many thousands of years ago. In the ancient legends, they are known as the gods. The Gnostics knew of them as the Archons. Don Juan called them The Predators.
They are our overlords, and they have constructed a matrix, or false covering of illusions, to cover the Earth, which keeps us captive.
These overlords have recruited many minions to keep us in line. In the past, there were the royal bloodlines and priests which acted as the minions. Today we have the same scenario, but the royal bloodlines are hidden as heads of states.
The high priests are no longer found only in the traditional religions, but have found their way into new age and as spiritual teachers.
We also have the social and cultural leaders that do their part to keep the herds in line. We have the peoples champions who steer sections of society to where they are wanted. These are too numerous to mention.
As soon as I hear that someone is thinking that another authority, another person, has the rights over their mental and emotional and attitudinal and psychic life, I’m worried about that person. Because I know that that person has some very serious psychological and existential problems, right off the bat.
Then that person is going to be a part of a herd, or will be a controller of a herd, or be manipulated by the herd, or whatever you want to call it. But you will never find that person doing any good in the world. Not any real necessary good at all.
Its a contradiction of terms. They may be sold the illusion, or delusion that they are doing wonderful work, because they gave to Live Aid or the next stupid charity that pops up out of the woodwork. [They are] the peoples champions that lead you away. – Michael Tsarion
All of these minions of the overlords do their jobs to steer us away from the Truth. Wherever you look, you are being confronted by charlatans pointing you in the wrong direction. I know, I went through 50 years of being led down dead ends and detours.
Of all of the many spiritual teachers I have met, almost every one of them were fakes and charlatans. I feel the same about most of what I read and watch.
If you consider also the social leaders, politicians, the media, judiciary, military and police, etc., they seem to have a pretty tight grip on the populace. Most people are completely hypnotized into believing whatever they are told by their leaders.
Most people are so embedded in the system, that they will fight to protect it. They have been hypnotized into believing that the artificial world they live in is real. They see anyone that wants to expose the truth as the enemy.
So you see that anytime someone speaks the truth, they are immediately slandered as tin hat wearing crazy conspiracy nuts. So because most people believe in the illusion, they gladly protect it. They fight and die to uphold the very prison in which they exist.
These minions are the gate keepers, and their jobs are to keep us from finding the gate, the doorway to true freedom from their prison. So they will lead us astray, far away from the gate. The gatekeepers closest to the gate are the spiritual charlatans.
They pretend to give you spiritual truths, but in reality, they steer you back into the matrix. They may even entice you with little pieces of actual truth, but they are incased in deceit. They use the truth as bait to capture you.
The internet and bookstores are filled with these charlatans. Parrots, plagiarists, thieves, ego trippers, even perverts and psychopaths; the scandals abound. The sheer number of these fakers that spring up are innumerable. They are a dime a dozen.
Every day, new teachers, guides, channels, coaches, gurus and authors appear on the internet. And they all have agendas money, followers, fame and recognition, proselytizing their message, even sexual favors and other deviant reasons.
Many of these charlatans know that they are deceiving, but also many have no idea. They actually believe that they are conveying truth. I was in an ashram where everyone was convinced that their scriptures and gurus were truth.
Later I realized that it was one big con game where everyone involved (including the gurus) was deceived into believing it all to be true. These are the most dangerous deceptions, those propagated by true believers.
These deceptive teachers and teachings can usually be spotted, but not always so easily. Some of them are quite expert at deceiving.
The first thing I notice is if the teacher is genuine; that he has actually realized what he speaks, that he is honest, kind and without agenda. Then I discern the message; Is what is spoken the truth? Where does it lead one? What is the agenda?
“There’s a plethora of disinfo tools laced into the alternative spirituality arena. If it disempowers, it’s wrong. If it directs your allegiance, it’s wrong. If it robs you of your sovereignty, it’s wrong. If it’s dogmatic and hierarchical, it’s wrong.
“Most lies and lying systems have all of those traits, while other aspects are more subtle. There are other attributes but to me the ones above are the most prominent. The so called New Age Movement is rife with phony baloney trips, messiahs and deliverance doctrines.” – Zen Gardner
The spiritual truth is not subject to some religion, guru or teaching. It cannot be taught or given. It is who you are at this very moment. Search who that is.
“Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness.” ― Eckhart Tolle
The Self is here and now, it is the only Reality. There is nothing else. – Ramana Maharshi
One can know oneself only with ones own eye of knowledge, and not with somebody elses. – Ramana Maharshi
The ultimate truth is so simple; it is nothing more than being in ones natural, original state.
It is a great wonder that to teach such a simple truth a number of religions should be necessary, and so many disputes should go on between them as to which is the God-ordained teaching. What a pity! Just be the Self, that is all. – Ramana Maharshi
The absolute truth is simple: It is as it is. You Are that truth. Search for it within your inner territory, as you will not find it out there, even within the higher dimensions. Stop chasing the phantasmagoria and take the inner journey. Ignore the merchants in the marketplace.
Truth is nothing new. It is nothing to be achieved or acquired. It is timeless, eternal and has been revealed throughout the ages by those who actually realized it.
There are no new techniques, healings, teachings, working with energies and the rest of the new age smorgasbord. Question everything.
“Self-betrayal is a grievous matter. It rots the mind like cancer. The remedy lies in clarity and integrity of thinking. Try to understand that you live in a world of illusions, examine them and uncover their roots. The very attempt to do so will make you earnest, for there is bliss in right endeavor.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“There is no reaching the Self. If the Self were to be reached, it would mean that the Self is not now and here, but that it should be got anew. What is got afresh, will also be lost. So it will be impermanent. What is not permanent is not worth striving for. So I say, the Self is not reached. You are the Self. You are already That.” – Ramana Maharshi
So we find ourselves in a dilemma, where even if one was interested in the truth, there are innumerable gatekeepers to lead one astray. One must have proper discernment to traverse any path in this world, especially on the path of truth.
Don’t believe anything. Find out for yourself.
As they say, Buyer beware in the marketplace. or as Michael Tsarion says, The question is not have I been sold a lie, but have I bought a lie.’
This show was way ahead of its time: Vaccines, chemtrails, Big Pharma, corporatism, militarization of the police, and more, was all predicted by Chris Carter long ago.
Let’s face it, the American dream, if it ever existed, has turned into a farce of epic proportions.
With permission from
July 12, 2017
“Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? The constitutional theory is that we the people are the sovereigns, the state and federal officials only our agents. We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily. We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.”
—Justice William O. Douglas, dissenting, Colten v. Kentucky, 407 U.S. 104 (1972)
Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America.
It’s all a lie.
There can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force.
What is this language of force?
Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality.
This is not the language of freedom.
This is not even the language of law and order.
This is the language of force.
Unfortunately, this is how the government at all levels—federal, state and local—now responds to those who choose to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in public and challenge the status quo.
This police overkill isn’t just happening in troubled hot spots such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, Md., where police brutality gave rise to civil unrest, which was met with a militarized show of force that caused the whole stew of discontent to bubble over into violence.
A decade earlier, the NYPD engaged in mass arrests of peaceful protesters, bystanders, legal observers and journalists who had gathered for the 2004 Republican National Convention. The protesters were subjected to blanket fingerprinting and detained for more than 24 hours at a “filthy, toxic pier that had been a bus depot.” That particular exercise in police intimidation tactics cost New York City taxpayers nearly $18 million for what would become the largest protest settlement in history.
Demonstrators, journalists and legal observers who had gathered in North Dakota to peacefully protest the Dakota Access Pipeline reported being pepper sprayed, beaten with batons, and strip searched by police.
More recently, this militarized exercise in intimidation reared its ugly head in the college town of Charlottesville, Va., where protesters who took to the streets to peacefully express their disapproval of a planned KKK rally were held at bay by implacable lines of gun-wielding riot police. Only after a motley crew of Klansmen had been safely escorted to and from the rally by black-garbed police did the assembled army of city, county and state police declare the public gathering unlawful and proceed to unleash canisters of tear gas on the few remaining protesters to force them to disperse.
To be clear, this is the treatment being meted out to protesters across the political spectrum.
The police state does not discriminate.
As a USA Today article notes, “Federally arming police with weapons of war silences protesters across all justice movements… People demanding justice, demanding accountability or demanding basic human rights without resorting to violence, should not be greeted with machine guns and tanks. Peaceful protest is democracy in action. It is a forum for those who feel disempowered or disenfranchised. Protesters should not have to face intimidation by weapons of war.”
A militarized police response to protesters poses a danger to all those involved, protesters and police alike. In fact, militarization makes police more likely to turn to violence to solve problems.
As a recent study by researchers at Stanford University makes clear, “When law enforcement receives more military materials — weapons, vehicles and tools — it becomes … more likely to jump into high-risk situations. Militarization makes every problem — even a car of teenagers driving away from a party — look like a nail that should be hit with an AR-15 hammer.”
Even the color of a police officer’s uniform adds to the tension. As the Department of Justice reports, “Some research has suggested that the uniform color can influence the wearer—with black producing aggressive tendencies, tendencies that may produce unnecessary conflict between police and the very people they serve.”
You want to turn a peaceful protest into a riot?
Bring in the militarized police with their guns and black uniforms and warzone tactics and “comply or die” mindset. Ratchet up the tension across the board. Take what should be a healthy exercise in constitutional principles (free speech, assembly and protest) and turn it into a lesson in authoritarianism.
Mind you, those who respond with violence are playing into the government’s hands perfectly.
The government wants a reason to crack down and lock down and bring in its biggest guns.
They want us divided. They want us to turn on one another.
They want us powerless in the face of their artillery and armed forces.
They want us silent, servile and compliant.
They certainly do not want us to remember that we have rights, let alone attempting to exercise those rights peaceably and lawfully.
And they definitely do not want us to engage in First Amendment activities that challenge the government’s power, reveal the government’s corruption, expose the government’s lies, and encourage the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices.
You know how the Charlottesville mayor characterized the tear gassing of protesters by the riot police? He called it an “unfortunate event.”
You know what else is unfortunate?
It’s unfortunate that these overreaching, heavy-handed lessons in how to rule by force have become standard operating procedure for a government that communicates with its citizenry primarily through the language of brutality, intimidation and fear.
It’s unfortunate that “we the people” have become the proverbial nails to be hammered into submission by the government and its vast armies.
And it’s particularly unfortunate that government officials—especially police—seem to believe that anyone who wears a government uniform—soldier, police officer, prison guard—must be obeyed without question.
The rationale goes like this:
Do exactly what I say, and we’ll get along fine. Do not question me or talk back in any way. You do not have the right to object to anything I may say or ask you to do, or ask for clarification if my demands are unclear or contradictory. You must obey me under all circumstances without hesitation, no matter how arbitrary, unreasonable, discriminatory, or blatantly racist my commands may be. Anything other than immediate perfect servile compliance will be labeled as resisting arrest, and expose you to the possibility of a violent reaction from me. That reaction could cause you severe injury or even death. And I will suffer no consequences. It’s your choice: Comply, or die.
Indeed, as Officer Sunil Dutta of the Los Angeles Police Department advises:
If you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me.
This is not the rhetoric of a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people.
This is not the attitude of someone who understands, let alone respects, free speech.
And this is certainly not what I would call “community policing,” which is supposed to emphasize the importance of the relationship between the police and the community they serve.
Any police officer who tells you that he needs tanks, SWAT teams, and pepper spray to do his job shouldn’t be a police officer in a constitutional republic.
All that stuff in the First Amendment (about freedom of speech, religion, press, peaceful assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances) sounds great in theory. However, it amounts to little more than a hill of beans if you have to exercise those freedoms while facing down an army of police equipped with deadly weapons, surveillance devices, and a slew of laws that empower them to arrest and charge citizens with bogus “contempt of cop” charges(otherwise known as asserting your constitutional rights).
It doesn’t have to be this way.
There are other, far better models to follow.
For instance, back in 2011, the St. Louis police opted to employ a passive response to Occupy St. Louis activists. First, police gave the protesters nearly 36 hours’ notice to clear the area, as opposed to the 20 to 60 minutes’ notice other cities gave. Then, as journalist Brad Hicks reports, when the police finally showed up:
They didn’t show up in riot gear and helmets, they showed up in shirt sleeves with their faces showing. They not only didn’t show up with SWAT gear, they showed up with no unusual weapons at all, and what weapons they had all securely holstered. They politely woke everybody up. They politely helped everybody who was willing to remove their property from the park to do so. They then asked, out of the 75 to 100 people down there, how many people were volunteering for being-arrested duty? Given 33 hours to think about it, and 10 hours to sweat it over, only 27 volunteered. As the police already knew, those people’s legal advisers had advised them not to even passively resist, so those 27 people lined up to be peacefully arrested, and were escorted away by a handful of cops. The rest were advised to please continue to protest, over there on the sidewalk … and what happened next was the most absolutely brilliant piece of crowd control policing I have heard of in my entire lifetime. All of the cops who weren’t busy transporting and processing the voluntary arrestees lined up, blocking the stairs down into the plaza. They stood shoulder to shoulder. They kept calm and silent. They positioned the weapons on their belts out of sight. They crossed their hands low in front of them, in exactly the least provocative posture known to man. And they peacefully, silently, respectfully occupied the plaza, using exactly the same non-violent resistance techniques that the protesters themselves had been trained in.
As Forbes concluded, “This is a more humane, less costly, and ultimately more productive way to handle a protest. This is great proof that police can do it the old fashioned way – using their brains and common sense instead of tanks, SWAT teams, and pepper spray – and have better results.”
It can be done.
Police will not voluntarily give up their gadgets and war toys and combat tactics, however. Their training and inclination towards authoritarianism has become too ingrained.
If we are to have any hope of dismantling the police state, change must start locally, community by community. Citizens will have to demand that police de-escalate and de-militarize. And if the police don’t listen, contact your city councils and put the pressure on them.
Remember, they work for us. They might not like hearing it—they certainly won’t like being reminded of it—but we pay their salaries.
“We the people” have got to stop accepting the lame excuses trotted out by police as justifications for their inexcusable behavior.
Either “we the people” believe in free speech or we don’t.
Either we live in a constitutional republic or a police state.
We have rights.
As Justice William O. Douglas advised in his dissent in Colten v. Kentucky, “we need not stay docile and quiet” in the face of authority.
The Constitution does not require Americans to be servile or even civil to government officials.
Neither does the Constitution require obedience (although it does insist on nonviolence).
This emphasis on nonviolence goes both ways. Somehow, the government keeps overlooking this important element in the equation.
There is nothing safe or secure or free about exercising your rights with a rifle pointed at you.
The police officer who has been trained to shoot first and ask questions later, oftentimes based only on their highly subjective “feeling” of being threatened, is just as much of a danger—if not more—as any violence that might erupt from a protest rally.
Compliance is no guarantee of safety.
Then again, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if we just cower before government agents and meekly obey, we may find ourselves following in the footsteps of those nations that eventually fell to tyranny.
The alternative involves standing up and speaking truth to power. Jesus Christ walked that road. So did Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and countless other freedom fighters whose actions changed the course of history.
Indeed, had Christ merely complied with the Roman police state, there would have been no crucifixion and no Christian religion. Had Gandhi meekly fallen in line with the British Empire’s dictates, the Indian people would never have won their independence.
Had Martin Luther King Jr. obeyed the laws of his day, there would have been no civil rights movement. And if the founding fathers had marched in lockstep with royal decrees, there would have been no American Revolution.
We must adopt a different mindset and follow a different path if we are to alter the outcome of these interactions with police.
The American dream was built on the idea that no one is above the law, that our rights are inalienable and cannot be taken away, and that our government and its appointed agents exist to serve us.
It may be that things are too far gone to save, but still we must try.
by Tyler Durden
For at least three decades, experts have noted the growing militarization of America’s police forces. The proliferation of Special Weapons and Tactics forces, or SWAT forces, is the most obvious example of that trend. Originally, such units were designed to deal with exceptionally dangerous situations (such as mass hostage incidents) in which lightly armed police would be outgunned. Not surprisingly, the first SWAT contingents originated in America’s largest and most dangerous cities.
That situation has changed dramatically. Small cities and even some modest-sized towns now have such heavily armed units utilizing military hardware and traveling in armored vehicles. They look—and act—far more like military combat units than anyone’s traditional conception of police. And the missions of SWAT forces have greatly expanded since their original formation. Increasingly, local authorities use them in routine matters that involve little or no danger of major violence from the targets of police action.
Needless to say, the neighbors were both stunned and alarmed to see such an operation take place in their quiet community. One mother stated: “I went to my daughter’s room and looked outside their window to see if I could get a better view of what was going on, and there was a man in fatigues with a sniper rifle laying in my neighbor’s driveway.”
Unfortunately, such incidents have become all-too-common as local authorities seek new missions to justify the existence of SWAT teams and to keep the personnel alert and well trained. The expansion of SWAT units and missions is closely correlated to the existence of federal programs making surplus military hardware available at little or no cost to local police forces.
Such deadly toys have become a prime justification for law enforcement budget increases and the receipt of federal grants in communities around the country.
The war on illegal drugs has been the primary justification that authorities use to create and expand SWAT units, and antidrug raids are their primary mission. The drug-war rationale has some plausibility, since narcotics traffickers are sometimes extremely violent criminals. As concerns about terrorism became more salient, especially after the 9/11 attacks, that mission augmented the drug-war justification. Politicians, even in small communities with virtually a nonexistent possibility of being a terrorism target, highlight the alleged danger (along with the menace of illegal drugs) to pump-up police budgets and gain the military hardware from Washington.
Thus far, efforts to rescind or even curtail the federal program have proven unsuccessful. The militarization of America’s local police proceeds unabated. That is an alarming development. General Colin Powell, at the time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, observed that the military’s purpose is to “kill people and break things.” Military forces operate in enemy territory and tend to view all people there as potential adversaries who could prove deadly to them.
The purpose of America’s police forces is (or at least should be) totally different. Their legitimate role is to protect the life, liberty and property of people living in a free, constitutional republic. It is extremely unwise to confuse or conflate that role with the function of the U.S. military. Yet, that is what is occurring at an alarming rate.
The Posse Comitatus Act, which Congress passed in 1878, severely restricts the role of the military in domestic law enforcement. Unfortunately, that restriction has experienced significant erosion in recent decades, with some prominent political figures deriding the statute as “archaic.”
Even if the language of the act remains more or less intact, it will have little relevance if the proliferation of SWAT units continues. SWAT personnel are combat soldiers in everything but name. It matters little if they are technically police operating as part of a local government if their weapons and tactics are those of an occupying army. The old adage that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, applies to the SWAT phenomenon. The sight of such combat forces deployed in civilian neighborhoods in the United States is jarringly reminiscent of the images Americans once believed confined to repressive police states. It is tragic that such images are now the norm in America itself.