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Stirring Up Trouble Part 2

A follow-up to an earlier post about police infiltrating protests. Today the New York Times has an article about memos that have been released as a result of a lawsuit. The memos state very bluntly that police use what they call "proactive arrests," covert surveillance, and intimidation techniques at demonstrations.

One point the memos reveal is that despite the denials made by the police department, they do in fact infiltrate the demonstrations in order to pass on misinformation.

The reports also made clear what the police have yet to discuss publicly: that the department uses undercover officers to infiltrate political gatherings and monitor behavior.

Indeed, one of the documents - a draft report from the department's Disorder Control Unit - proposed in blunt terms the resumption of a covert tactic that had been disavowed by the city and the federal government 30 years earlier. Under the heading of recommendations, the draft suggested, "Utilize undercover officers to distribute misinformation within the crowds."
In another report, a police inspector praised the "staging of massive amounts" of armored vehicles, prisoner wagons and jail buses in the view of the demonstrators, writing that the sight "would cause them to be alarmed."
Daniel M. Perez, the lawyer representing the people arrested at the animal rights demonstration, argued that the police tactics "punish, control and curtail the lawful exercise of First Amendment activities." The Police Department and the city have said that preserving public order is essential to protecting the civil rights of demonstrators and bystanders.

Mr. Perez maintains that the police documents, taken together, show a policy of pre-emptive arrests. The draft report discussed how early arrests could shape future events. "The arrests made at West 59th Street and Fifth Avenue set a 'tone' with the demonstrators and their possible plans at other demonstrations," the report stated.
Capt. Timothy Hardiman also took note of what he saw as the helpful presence of city corrections buses, which are used to transport prisoners and have reinforced windows, protected by metal grids.

"It was useful to have buses with corrections officers on hand," Captain Hardiman wrote. "They also had a powerful psychological effect."
Mr. Perez said the show of force sent a deliberate warning to people expressing their opinions. "The message is, if you turn out, be prepared to be arrested, be prepared to be sent away for a long time," he said. "It sounds like something from a battle zone."

Demonstrators arrested during the economic forum were held by the police for up to 40 hours without seeing a judge - twice as long as people accused of murder, rape and robbery arrested on those same days, Mr. Perez said.

So, they arrest people before they've committed a crime, they line the streets with cops in riot gear and corrections buses to intimidate protestors, and they deliberately spread misinformation in the hopes of goading people into committing a crimes so that they can be arrested and hauled away on a bus. In order to protect the public.

It sounds to me like the public need to be protected from the police. This isn't the behaviour of a democratic country. This is the behaviour of a fascist state. The gendarmes "protecting" us from the stresses of dissent and free thinking. "Stop protesting. It's just un-American."

They want to cry about how there are rioters and violent protesters that they need to deal with. Well, it's true that there are violent factions in lots of demonstrations. They should arrest people who are destroying public property, setting fire to things, breaking windows, cause, gee, there is a law against that. But 5 cops don't need to tackle and beat down a 135 pound 17 year old cause he started to spray paint a bus stop. They shouldn't be allowed to arrest people who haven't committed a crime in order to "set the tone" and cow the demonstrators. They shouldn't be allowed to silence dissent. They shouldn't be allowed to send in plainclothes cops to incite a riot. I'm pretty sure there are laws against incitement, and there are certainly laws about entrapment.

You don't like being called "pig"? Well, how about "gestapo"?

By min | March 17, 2006, 8:36 AM | Liberal Outrage


I prefer "the Fuzz".

P.S. Why are liberal crybabies like you and Sandra Day O'Connor always whining "Fascism" every time a cop beats you with a stick for speaking?