I'm continually floored. How can we, supposedly a free society, condone the militarstic over repponse to peaceful protests? WE MUST ALL CONDEMN IT!
I first saw the report on the police over respose to recent protests at Common Dreams. I was shocked, but if you've been following things (including some blog posts here) about the increasingly militaristic tone of policing, I guess it shouldn't be surprising.
THEN, another story, this one at The Intercept, details some more abuses. If you haven't seen the now famous picture of Ms. Ieshia Evans, obviously no threat, being arrested by cops in full riot gear (this was in Baton Rouge, LA), you need to. Read about riot police storming a lady's yard to arrest protesters - where she had given them premission to be (also in Baton Rouge)! Read about the protester arrested while giving an interview (in Rochester, NY). We should all be outraged about this truly thuggish behavior on the part of those who should be serving and protecting US (guess we need to wonder who they are now serving and protecting).
I e-mailed the police chief in Rochester to express my dismay, and will work on some phone calls to Baton Rouge tomorrow. I will update if I receive any responses (not likely, though).
Folks, are you not yet alarmed about the way policing is being militarized? Are you not yet alarmed at the attack on protest and dissent? Are you not alarmed and awake to the dangers to our democracy (or what SHOULD be a democracy)? Well, if not, the alarms are sounding. WAKE UP!!!
I e-mailed Rochester PD and called Baton Rouge PD. Seemed to just be getting runarounds. So I called the mayoral offices of both cities and expressed my concerns and told them the actions toward the protesters were making their cities look bad. I don't know if telling that to some receptionist helps in any way (that's all we seem to encounter if we want to give feedback - that or some automated phone message box or an e-mail form that may or not be read...), but at least I'm trying. If anyone is interested, the phone numbers are:
Baton Rouge, LA Mayor's office: 225-389-3100
Rochester, NY Mayor's office: 585-428-7045