Tear Gas, Guns, & Riot Squads: The Police State's Answer To Free Speech Is Brute Force

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

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.

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.

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, “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.

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.

Frankly, 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 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.

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 … 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.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, 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 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.

Comments

junction Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:08 Permalink

The United States is following in the footsteps of Nazi Germany.  Out has gone the Bill of Rights.  Shelter in place or else.  The law of the nightstick.  Tear gas, SWAT raids and judges who rubber stamp most police state actions, including unlimited wiretapping.   

Free Man junction Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:39 Permalink

Well, there were the ‘Nazis’ with the mythological '6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers' and there were the ‘Nazis’ without the mythological ’6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers’.The '6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers' are laughable, scientifically impossible frauds. see the 'holocaust' scam debunked here:http://codoh.comNo name calling, level playing field debate here:http://forum.codoh.comWhy have supremacist Jews have been marketing the '6,000,000' lie since at least 1869?http://balder.org/judea/New-York-Times-Six-Million-Jews-Since-1869.phph…

In reply to by junction

TheLastTrump (not verified) Free Man Wed, 07/12/2017 - 09:02 Permalink

Your buddy Putin says you're an IDIOT, & I agree.   “This reminds me of anti-Semitism,” Putin said. “The Jews are to blame for everything. An idiot cannot do anything himself, so the Jews are to blame. But we know what such attitudes lead to. They end with nothing good.”

In reply to by Free Man

malek TheLastTrump (not verified) Wed, 07/12/2017 - 11:34 Permalink

Great, you reply with a totally one-sided view yourself and expect to be be taken (more) serious?

Tell us where Putin said "The Jews are to blame for nothing."
Or even just where anybody had said with a straight face "the Jews are to blame for about 2% of ills, which is in proportion to their population percentage."
(Plus links to sources would be generally helpful.)

If you can't do either, you're just bullshitting your way out of reality.
Meaning YOU're the idiot.

In reply to by TheLastTrump (not verified)

J. Peasemold G… junction Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:41 Permalink

The United States is following in the footsteps of Nazi Germany.  Out has gone the Bill of Rights.  Shelter in place or else.  The law of the nightstick.  Tear gas, SWAT raids and judges who rubber stamp most police state actions, including unlimited wiretapping.Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition! J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock 

In reply to by junction

what happened junction Wed, 07/12/2017 - 07:31 Permalink

Why are we following in the footsteps of Nazi Germany?  The answer lies in the public sector who were promised too much, and now there is not enough money in the coffers to pay up.  In some states, the Unions, who can implicate the political establishment, are taking increasing share of the budgets and increasing taxes for the rest of us.  We are working for the public servants, they are oppressing the citizenry. 

In reply to by junction

wisehiney Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:20 Permalink

Real cops are from your known community.Brutish bastards are for stringing up, just like their British forefathers.Try talking to them.If they fuck you, stridently fuck them right back.

Sudden Debt Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:26 Permalink

Simple. America has spread tyranny allover the world.Rape, killing woman and children, drugs, you name it!And it's all comming home. Nobody should complain and take it as the proud American that agreed with it when they did it in other countries.In all, Americans are the least deserving a democracy and freedoms. And as nobody showed any mercy against all those countries they destroyed, it's only normal that norbody gives a fuck about what's happening in America.Americans don't have problems when other Americans get violated. It's "others"And they all think they can make a stand on their own... funny.In society, there's 2 kinds of people and only 2.There's those who have money and who have rights.And there's those who don't have money and don't have rights.All pretty simple.You can disagree but I didn't make it up, it's the facts of life. Imagine this:You put 10 Americans in a room. They all get a knife.And you say: for every person you kill you get 200.000 dollars.Would you feel safe? :)

snblitz Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:26 Permalink

There was a time when officers of the law were keepers of the peace.

Today the police are the opposite.

Consider that they bring a gun to a traffic stop.

Free Man Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:35 Permalink

This is really what the Zionist dominated US & EU want censored:The '6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers' are scientifically impossible frauds. see the 'holocaust' scam debunked here:http://codoh.comNo name calling, level playing field debate here:http://forum.codoh.comThe 'holocau$t' storyline doesn't hold up to scrutiny so the usual enemies of free speech call for more censorship to hide that fact."Alone the fact that one may not question the Jewish "holocaust" and that Jewish pressure has inflicted laws on democratic societies to prevent questions—while incessant promotion and indoctrination of the same averredly incontestable ‘holocaust’ occur—gives the game away. It proves that it must be a lie. Why else would one not be allowed to question it? Because it might offend the "survivors"? Because it "dishonors the dead"? Hardly sufficient reason to outlaw discussion. No, because the exposure of this leading lie might precipitate questions about so many other lies and cause the whole ramshackle fabrication to crumble."- Gerard Menuhin / righteous Revisionist Jew, son of famous violinist 

Free Man gespiri Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:44 Permalink

No, it goes back to at least 1869.Supremacist Jews have been marketing the '6,000,000' lie since at least 1869?http://balder.org/judea/New-York-Times-Six-Million-Jews-Since-1869.phph… up & put up a fight,The '6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers' are laughable, scientifically impossible frauds. see the 'holocaust' scam debunked here:http://codoh.comNo name calling, level playing field debate here:http://forum.codoh.com

In reply to by gespiri

Allen_H gespiri Wed, 07/12/2017 - 07:41 Permalink

Here is quite a good run-down on the whole fraud. A short but good article which should be spread around.http://www.thebirdman.org/Index/Jews/Jews-History&ScripturalOriginOfThe… prophecies in the Torah require that 6 million Jews must "vanish" before the state of Israel(Isis/Ra/El trinity/mockery) can be formed. "You shall return minus 6 million." That's why Tom Segev, a jewish(corrected) historian, declared that the "6 million" is an attempt to transform the Holocaust story into state religion. Those six million, according to prophecy, had to disappear in "burning ovens", which the judicial version of the Holocaust now authenticates. As a matter of fact, Robert B. Goldmann writes: ". . . without the Holocaust, there would be no Jewish State." A simple consequence: Given six million Jews gassed at Auschwitz who ended up in the "burning ovens" (the Greek word holocaust means burned offerings), therefore, the prophecies have now been "fulfilled" and Israel can become a "legitimate state". --Unknown#Even though it is not a reality, they used the lie as a path to their means.izraHELL should be torn down to rubble, remember that NYC police even go there for training! And have an office in izraHELL, have you ever heard of such things? It is out in the open, all can see. The USSA is fully controlled by the (((terrorist))) jew tribe.Loads of your money and equipment goes straight to izraHELL, If there was no support from USSA, it would not survive 10 years on its own. They have occupied Palestine and stolen that land. There is a difference between jews and Israelite! And in izraHELL the jewish synagogue of Satan rules, thanks to the Rothschilds.Terrorist USSA do izraHELLs bidding, faithful slaves of Satan.

In reply to by gespiri

meditate_vigorously (not verified) Free Man Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:58 Permalink

I was going to post something along these lines.

If you really want to see the Commissars crawl out of the woodwork and find out just how much protection the 1st Amendment affords you, just try to question the Holohoax.

In reply to by Free Man

cherry picker Free Man Wed, 07/12/2017 - 07:33 Permalink

What about those people who survived Auschwitz and others and their stories?Even Albert Speers admitted to the efficiency of the whole operation and he was one of the top guys.The pictures, videos, from America and Russian sides?People may not like Jews but I have a hard time believing it didn't take place.  However there were a lot more non jews than Jews dying there.  Jehovah's witnesses were targets as well.The pictures of all the bombed out places in Europe and Japan etc is testament to how cruel that whole business was.  Genocide was more likely than not.

In reply to by Free Man

TheLastTrump (not verified) Free Man Wed, 07/12/2017 - 08:55 Permalink

The Nazi's and Muslims are on the same side, idiocy.   “This reminds me of anti-Semitism,” Putin said. “The Jews are to blame for everything. An idiot cannot do anything himself, so the Jews are to blame. But we know what such attitudes lead to. They end with nothing good.”

In reply to by Free Man

Gordon_Gekko Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:38 Permalink

"using their brains and common sense instead of tanks, SWAT teams, and pepper spray "How do you explain this to a DEMENTED and CRIMINAL mafia ruling the US today?

Ajax-1 Wed, 07/12/2017 - 02:58 Permalink

The author is full of shit. The author conflates Freedom of Speech as a dog whistle to somehow legitimize illegal behavior of Marxist agitators. When riotors break windows, throw rocks and obstruct motorists, they are not peaceful protestors. I applaude when the cops put their boots up the asses of these degenerates. 

TheLastTrump (not verified) jughead Wed, 07/12/2017 - 08:53 Permalink

"When riotors break" Learn to speak English doofus. The word "when" is a qualifier. He was not "painting with an overly broad brush", YOU ARE... because you can't follow a logical statement without inserting your pre formed opinion into it.

In reply to by jughead

jughead Wed, 07/12/2017 - 06:35 Permalink

Cops...and their bosses...long ago forgot that their best weapons were their brains. Today there are way too few brains in either law enforcement or in the political class that owns them.  Now force is their only tool.  When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. 

Offthebeach jughead Wed, 07/12/2017 - 07:33 Permalink

Up until The Progressive Era ( 1880 ) citizens of all classes were invested in their cities, and cops walked with a badge, a whistle and a stick.  This was for 300 years.  No cops are law en-FORCE- ment of unpopular, detested legislatures and a daily snowstorm of laws, rules, codes, regulations.......You take the kings coin, you do his bidding.

In reply to by jughead