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Posts Tagged ‘Civil unrest’

The Honeywell T-Hawk drone. How would you like one of these babies following you around? If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about, right? Right?

One more time! (Say it with me.) “Weapons and tactics developed for use in war zones can and will be used against the American people.”

In places such as Kabul, Gaza, and Baghdad, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) hovering over homes, following suspects, and tracking enemies of the state are a daily reality.

So where are the high-tech drones buzzing to next? Miami-Dade County, natch!

The Miami-Dade Police Department is poised to become the first large metro force using drones in its aerial missions. The department finalized a deal to buy a drone called T-Hawk from defense firm Honeywell and officially applied for permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last month to begin flying it around the county.

Read the rest at Miami New Times.

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File this article under “civil unrest.” The year 2011 may well be the year of the popular uprising as austerity hits home throughout the developed world. The unrest will be more acute in Europe than in the U.S. because the U.S. isn’t as highly socialized and fewer people are dependent on government largess—so far.

Unions are gearing up for a demonstration in the spring against the Government’s massive cuts in public spending, predicting it will be a “huge” national event.

The TUC is organising the protest in London on March 26 and said that by then, the impact of the austerity measures will have started to take hold, with an expected loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

Union members from across the UK are set to join the demonstration in London’s Hyde Park, which will follow a series of protests in recent weeks against increases in student tuition fees and cuts in public services.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “People have yet to feel the full impact of the Government’s cuts. When they do – as we saw with the cancellation of the schools building programme – they have been angry.

“But in 2011 thousands of people will lose their jobs and councils will have little choice about slashing away at popular and vital services.

“As it becomes more and more obvious that the cuts bear down on those who did least to cause the crash, while those who were responsible continue to live in their bonus-driven super-rich bubble, people will get even angrier.”

Read more at The Independent.

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From ICxTechnologies:

“Vantage point is everything when it comes to surveillance. SkyWatch™ units provide a high level platform for an array of surveillance options. Every tower includes the basics for the comfort and safety of the officer inside through adjustable heat and air conditioning, tinted sliding glass windows and comfortable seating. And no matter the application, only one person is required to set up and deploy a unit.

“The SkyWatch can easily be relocated and is rugged enough to handle even the most primitive off-road conditions. And all models are adaptable for cameras, radios, public address systems and other equipment integration.

“Now, one officer can cover an area previously requiring three or more personnel.”

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They can record and videotape and wiretap us all they want, but try to record “an official” in a public space and you could be looking at hard prison time. This is the 21st Century one-way mirror: They can scrutinize us, but we can’t scrutinize them. What, did you think you were their equal or something?

Michael Allison, a 41-year-old backyard mechanic from southeastern Illinois, faces up to 75 years in prison for an act most people don’t realize is a crime: recording public officials.

Allison lives in Bridgeport, Illinois, and often spends time at his mother’s house in Robinson, one county to the north. Both towns have abandoned property (or “eyesore”) ordinances prohibiting the parking of inoperable or unregistered vehicles on private property except in enclosed garages. These rules place a substantial burden on hobbyists like Allison; to obey the law he must either build a garage—which he says isn’t an option, given his property and his income—or register, plate, and pay insurance on every car he fixes up, even though he never drives them on public roads. So Allison kept working on his cars, and the city of Bridgeport kept impounding them: in 2001, 2003, and 2005.

In 2007 Allison filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging the law was a violation of his civil rights and a scheme to collect revenue through impound fees. He then resumed tinkering with unregistered vehicles in his mother’s driveway in Robinson. By Allison’s account, police officers in Robinson began harassing him with threats of fines or arrest for violating that town’s ordinance, though Allison alleges the harassment was personal—retaliation for his lawsuit back in Bridgeport. That’s when he began recording his conversations with cops.

Read the rest at Reason.com.

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The Washington Post has published a lengthy and comprehensive article about the U.S.’s domestic spy grid that’s worth reading in its entirety. Here’s a telling remark from the introduction, something we’ve been observing at “Government Against the People” since the blog’s inception:  “Technologies and techniques honed for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan have migrated into the hands of law enforcement agencies in America.” We first pointed out this principle in a December 2009 post and have done so again in several posts subsequently. This migration of weapons, tools, and weapons from the battlefield to the homefront is one of the most important principles to understand as our country is incrementally locked down and tyranny is introduced to the Land of the Formerly Free.

Who are the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan? Anyone who resists the corporate-colonial occupiers. Who are the domestic terrorists here at home? Anyone who resists the wholesale, high-tech violation of privacy and liberty being committed by a rogue government, with corporate sponsorship, against the people. In short, a domestic terrorist is anyone who believes in and stands up for the Enlightenment Age ideals upon which our nation was founded.

Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.

The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation’s history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The government’s goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States.

Other democracies – Britain and Israel, to name two – are well acquainted with such domestic security measures. But for the United States, the sum of these new activities represents a new level of governmental scrutiny.

This localized intelligence apparatus is part of a larger Top Secret America created since the attacks. In July, The Washington Post described an alternative geography of the United States, one that has grown so large, unwieldy and secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs or how many programs exist within it.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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That pesky Constitution. Only conspiracy theorists and members of al-Qaeda insist that it be adhered to.

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office has a new mobile booking unit. It’s a bus bought and outfitted with a $300,000 grant from the state to help police officers get back on the street more quickly after an arrest.

The mobile booking unit is equipped with everything required to book suspects, from cameras for taking mug shots to fingerprint equipment and multiple computers.

A temporary lock-up area has room for nine prisoners.

Sheriff Daron Hall said he hopes the mobile unit will cut booking time in half.

“The average arrest in Nashville takes an officer out of his or her zone an average of four hours,” Hall said.

Right now, an officer has to drive downtown, then wait to appear before a commissioner. On the bus, the suspect would appear before a commissioner via teleconference.

But there’s a missing step that’s causing some concern: the officer never appears before the commissioner.

Attorney David Raybin said the officer’s sworn statement before the commissioner is a crucial step that can’t be cut out.

It’s unconstitutional. It’s illegal. The warrant is worthless if you do that,” Raybin said. “The felony bus makes a lot of sense, but it’s a step backward if they are going to cut out the constitutional requirements.”

Read more at Nashville News.

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A law banning protests would be straight out of Soviet Russia or Communist China. As the looting of the people accelerates and the state removes the velvet glove from its iron fist, all pretenses of being a free, open, and tolerant society are being abandoned.

Scotland Yard will consider asking the Home Secretary to ban further student marches should the levels of violence which have marred the recent protests continue, Britain’s most senior police officer said yesterday.

More than 180 people have been arrested after four protests in London against the Government’s proposal to increase student tuition fees.

The most violent scenes were witnessed last week, when protesters clashed with police in Parliament Square. The clashes left 12 police officers and more than 40 protesters injured. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall came under attack as they were driven to a charity event nearby.

Read more at The Independent.

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