Heavily armed and armored, camouflage-clad storm troopers swarmed across the city, pointing rifles at citizens and journalists, firing tear gas and blasting with sound cannons the crowds that were standing in their own yards and business parking lots, or walking down the streets. An armored vehicle with a machine gun mounted on top rolled past in a show of force.
A scene from some Third World dictatorship or from Communist China? No. It’s right out of middle America.
The response by the St. Louis County Police Department to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was to demonstrate the overwhelming force of a military occupation in an effort to intimidate the populace into submission. It served to do the opposite.
Rather than disperse as ordered, residents stood in defiance, shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and holding their hands in the air as a symbolic gesture to descriptions by multiple witnesses of Brown’s actions as he was shot multiple times. With crowds growing — and growing increasingly militant by throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at their oppressors — the local police were relieved of patrol duties by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and replaced by state police, led by a black former resident of Ferguson, Capt. Ron Johnson.
Johnson came to Ferguson as a peace officer rather than an oppressor; and like a light switch had been turned, the tensions of the crowd subsided and protests became peaceful. Johnson walked the streets with protesters, listened to their concerns and showed he was on their side rather than on the side of their occupiers.
The crowd stood up to tyranny and won — at least temporarily. That changed Friday night. After some looting began, police again moved on the crowd but did little or nothing to help those being looted. On Saturday, Nixon declared a state of emergency and curfew. The curfew was largely ignored and the police brought the military equipment back. It erupted again on Sunday night when police moved in with teargas and smoke canisters and rubber bullets.
It’s the second time in recent months that American citizens have stood to defy a militarized assault. Back in April, armed goons from the Bureau of Land Management began rustling Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle in order to free up land he’s been grazing for years so that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, his family and his cronies could make what they considered better use of it. It was land to which Bundy claimed ancestral grazing rights, land he claimed belonged to Nevada rather than the U.S. government.
After a video went viral that showed armed BLM agents siccing dogs on and shooting Tasers at Bundy family members, members of Oath Keepers and other patriots — many of them armed — showed up at the Bundy ranch to stand up to the BLM, which was bringing in heavily armed and armored troops of its own.
A tense standoff ensued. Some of the highest-ranking members of the U.S. government called Bundy and his supporters domestic terrorists. President Barack Obama considered deploying the military to drive Bundy and his supporters off the land. Some reports identified special forces members among the BLM agents on the scene.
In the end, the armed aggressors backed off and dispersed.
The militaristic style response by the St. Louis County PD is not surprising given the rising militarism of local police across the country. I began warning you of this several years ago in articles like “The Violent Militarization Of Local Police,” “Local Law Enforcement More Dangerous, Thanks To Trickle Down Of Military Equipment, Militarized Mindset,” and others that can be found in our Power of the State section. It is a natural and predicted outgrowth of the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, which has created an us-versus-them mindset between the government and those it views as its subjects and has resulted in the U.S. having the largest prison population in the world.
The increasing interaction between local police and unconstitutional federal law enforcement agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the passing out of federal dollars to local agencies for training and equipment purchases and the proliferation of military hardware and weaponry have turned peace officers into oppression officers with military training, military equipment and the natural outgrowth of that: a military mindset.
Of course, blacks have for years been subject to special scrutiny and abuse by local police, but their complaints are usually dismissed by the majority that has been propagandized into believing that anyone falling on the wrong end of a police encounter must have been guilty of something and was, therefore, deserving of the abuse, no matter how egregious. Self-styled “law and order conservatives” are quick to dismiss the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th Amendment rights of blacks and those who they think look like thugs or criminals or drug dealers whenever they have an encounter with police that ends badly. If they got shot, those “law and order conservatives” say, then they deserved it.
It appears that Ferguson police may have a history of not only abusing innocent people, like many other LEO (legally entitled to oppress) agencies, but of officers’ committing perjury in order to cover their abuse.
With a history like that, and with the militaristic response that followed, it’s certainly not surprising that Ferguson residents would suspect that their chances of learning the truth about the Brown shooting and seeing any punishment meted out to the LEO if he did — as it appears — go too far in administering his form of justice to a suspected strong-armed robber would be nil.
Another newly leaked document from DHS predicts an increased “anti-government violence of the next year.” Of course, the regime has been peddling this for several years with DHS missives and reports warning that enemies of America include people who believe in small government, fly the Gadsden flag, store food and water, served in the military, photograph landmarks or oppose gun laws.
But if there is anti-government violence in the next year, it will be because an abusive and oppressive government kept pushing Americans until they wouldn’t be pushed anymore. And if the government fears that if it pushes too far there will be anti-government violence, that is a good thing.
Update 1 (7:32 a.m.): After protests turned violent with claims by police that shots were fired in their direction and amid reports of more looting, the Missouri governor deployed the National Guard overnight to help restore order. The human rights group Amnesty International also announced last night that it was sending a team to observe the events. It’s the first time a human rights team from the organization has ever been sent to the U.S. -BL