FTAA protest
I don’t know if you’ve ever participated in a protest, but if you have you know that it’s a high adrenaline activity. There is a kind of euphoric high that comes with exercising the right of peaceful assembly and peaceful protest with those of like minds — it’s the ultimate expression of democracy. And there’s a dark fear down in the pit of your stomach that extremists on either side of the protest line will provoke violence. When a peaceful protest turns violent, everyone loses. You can only hope that the provocateurs who infiltrate most well-publicized protests, and the police and other security forces on the other side, show restraint.

In Miami, there was no hope of such restraint from the new supercharged ‘homeland security’ forces. They were whipped up into a frenzy by wildly exaggerated reports, including reports from the local police chief, of armies of anarchists descending on the streets to protest the FTAA. They were armed with millions of dollars in new high-tech enforcement equipment they were eager to test out. They equipped the mainstream media with ’embedded’ military outfits so they could safely film the show. And they knew the FBI, Homeland Security and others were watching this as a test of next year’s security procedures for the Republican and Democratic national conventions. In short, they wanted violence, and were told to expect it.

Our mother ship,, has launched a series of stories on the erosion of civil liberties in America since the Bush regime seized power in America in 2000. The story of the FTAA protests leads off the series. It fulfils my worst fears about what has happened to an America polarized by fear, by political opportunism, by apathy, by an overwhelming sense of powerlessness, and by ignorance. It’s title, This is Not America, reflects the views of seniors caught up in the police state that Miami was turned into, a rehearsal of what ‘Homeland Security’ would like to see all of America become.

Please read the whole article. What happened was nothing short of a police riot, a juiced up, power-happy paramilitary gang of government sanctioned and heavily armed mobsters running through the streets of a major American city indiscriminately beating, shooting at, arresting and abusing innocent and unarmed civilians, many of them not protesters at all, most of them in retreat from the unprovoked onslaught of a police force run amok. After it was over, it was declared a ‘success’ and a ‘model’ for dealing with future dissent.

I was scheduled to be in Miami during the week of the protests, at a business meeting. At the last minute we were notified that we should move the meeting to another venue. The meeting was changed to Chicago, and our Miami offices, on advice of police, were closed for the entire week. The police state was clearly planned in advance, and they didn’t want any business people getting in the way. If they’d witnessed what the protesters did, they might have seen what is happening to America. And the anti-democracy forces now in control in America didn’t want that. Not yet.

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  1. Rajiv says: TRADE MEETINGJudge: I saw police commit feloniesA judge who said he witnessed some of the anti-free trade protests complains in open court about how police handled the demonstrations.By AMY DRISCOLLadriscoll@herald.comA judge presiding over the cases of free trade protesters said in court that he saw ”no less than 20 felonies committed by police officers” during the November demonstrations, adding to a chorus of complaints about police conduct.Judge Richard Margolius, 60, made the remarks in open court last week, saying he was taken aback by what he witnessed while attending the protests.”Pretty disgraceful what I saw with my own eyes. And I have always supported the police during my entire career,” he said, according to a court transcript. “This was a real eye-opener. A disgrace for the community.”

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Thanks, Rajiv, for this link and for the one to the LinkTV interview of Dennis Kucinich.

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