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Shutting down websites, tasering nonviolent people to death, stealing your cellphone (and its data), arresting nonviolent activists, it's getting pretty crazy out there.

Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher faces 10 years in federal prison for auction abuse. (photo: Courtney Sargent/Deseret News/Rapport)
Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher faces 10 years in federal prison for auction abuse. (photo: Courtney Sargent/Deseret News/Rapport)



The American Police State Is the 'New Normal'

By Jared Spurbeck, Y!News Contributor Network

26 June 11

 

ccording to The New York Times, the FBI just raided a data center in Virginia and seized many of its servers, causing websites owned by "tens of clients" to go offline - including those belonging to people who hadn't broken a law, and were not suspected of any crime.

It may seem silly to get upset about the police taking down websites you don't use. A certain quote may come to mind, though, as we look at other ways that the police in America abuse their power.

Tasering nonviolent people to death

A 72-year-old woman named Kathryn Winkfein got tasered not too long ago after she lost her temper at the cop who pulled her over. Her offense? Shouting at him.

Luckily, she "learned her lesson" about talking back to America's authority figures. She was also awarded $40,000 in damages, which her County Constable, Richard McCain, complained was a reward for "bad behavior." Apparently putting 50,000 volts through the heart of someone's great-grandma is not bad behavior, as long as you wear a police uniform.

Winkfein was lucky. In what Digby calls the "Taser Atrocity Of The Day," a man who took groceries without having paid for them was tasered continuously for 37 seconds, after he became "aggressive and was communicating loudly." He died in the hospital.

The police officer who killed him was suspended for five days.

Stealing your cellphone (and its data)

Recordings of government workers performing their duty are, by law, in the public domain. So if you think a police officer is going to do something untoward, try filming him so you have evidence. Right?

Not so fast. Prepare to have your cellphone taken from you and stomped on. The Miami Beach, Fla., police in particular have a history of doing this, and they aren't alone. But the people who have their phones stolen and vandalized by the police are lucky; a man named Michael Allison faces up to 75 years in prison for trying to record a judge, and was arrested without any warning.

Meanwhile, the Michigan State Police are taking people's cellphones when they pull them over for traffic violations, and using "extraction" devices on the phones. The ACLU is trying to find out why they're doing that, but the police department placed a price tag of over $500,000 on their Freedom of Information request. How much justice can you afford?

Arresting nonviolent activists

Want to feed homeless people free meals in the park? Prepare to be arrested. Or how about dancing in front of the Jefferson Memorial? Prepare to get tied up and beat up.

Our country's police has a long history of suppressing nonviolent activists, and it hasn't stopped with the Civil Rights Era. Environmental activists like Tim DeChristopher are served 10-year prison sentences for civil disobedience, that harms no one but impedes oil companies' profits. Meanwhile, the FBI labels nonviolent activists as "domestic terrorists."

They were recently granted more power to go through your trash and your data, so expect things to only get worse. Actually, expect things to get worse in general. The police state is the new normal.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+17 # Guy 2011-06-26 12:07
The Canadian police forces have taken a page out your training manuals for sure,given what transpired during the G20 in Toronto last years.Or I guess they all sing from the same hymnal.
 
 
-8 # TARA 2011-06-27 04:46
WEL I AM SHOCK READING THESE POST THIS DOE SNT HAPPEN IN NEW YOR IF A COP EVER DID THAT TO ME OR MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS HE AND THE WHOLE NYC POLICE DEPT WOULD BE VERY SORRY.
 
 
+65 # simple truths 2011-06-26 12:17
After Einstein' 70th birthday in 1949 he became if anything more outspoken. Here are just a few of his observations around that time:

'I believe America may totally succumb to the fearful militarization which engulfed Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. There is real danger that political power and the power to influence the minds of people will pass increasingly into the hands of the military, which is used to approaching all political problems from the point of view of military expediency. Because of America's supremacy, the military point of view is forced upon the world.'
 
 
+35 # DaveM 2011-06-26 12:20
We face the prospect of a very frightening environment indeed when the result of good behavior can be the same as that for bad behavior.
 
 
+8 # TARA 2011-06-27 04:51
AGAIN I WILL SAY THIS ONLY IF THE PEOPLE ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN.
 
 
+7 # S. Wolf Britain 2011-06-27 13:54
But, very sadly, most of them do. Heck, most of them refuse to believe it's even going on. Look at how few articles there are like this one, even in the "semi-mainstrea m"; and certainly very rarely in the actual mainstream, except on local TV news which then usually, and promptly, drops the story(ies) and doesn't bring it and/or them up again. The truth is, the entire country is going more and more insane. There have been over 300 taser deaths across the country; but, instead of being treated like the police brutality and murder that it is, and should be treated as it is, the cops are allowed to get away with it more and more. So, you still think most "Amerikans" aren't allowing it to happen? Please don't dream on!
 
 
+44 # Sheila Cook 2011-06-26 12:32
If you want to see the future of our country I suggest you read Naomi Klein's book, The Shock Doctrine Chapters 2 & 3. She describes what happened in Chili after the CIA directed a coup to overthrow a democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. The country was practically destroyed by shock and terror: Fighter planes bombing homes. Tanks in the streets. The population was reduced to a state of constant terror. People were dragged from their homes, tortured, murdered and dropped by helicoptor into the ocean. Unemployment, poverty and inflation soared. Social programs were eliminated, national assets privatized and the country turned into a police state in less than 24 hours. Pinochet did everything at that time that the republicans in the US are now trying to do to this country. If we allow them to get away with it we will experience what CHili went through in the '70s and 80s. We must stand up to the Republicons. It's happening faster than most people realize. The coup in Chili happened overnight. It could happen here unless we fight back. Send a postcard to the president at 1600 Pensylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500 and tell Obama - Don't cave in to the republicans AGAIN. We need you to be strong. Keep your campaign promises. Our future depends on it.
 
 
+29 # Glen 2011-06-26 13:17
It isn't just Republicans encouraging such controls, it is also local police, judges, and even churches. There are instances in which I had little sympathy with the "protesters" for various reasons, but in the case of folks working at a decent projects or individuals such as Mrs. Winkfein just being human, or surveillance abuses, yes, something should be done.

What to do? We have corporate power in addition to government controls to contend with. Where do we begin? And don't think democrats are not complicit in all this, either.
 
 
+10 # tomo 2011-06-26 19:21
You're right, Glen! Democrats are very complicit. The "normalizing" function of Barack Obama is his main function. By looking young, stylish, optimistic, and intelligent, he is presiding over the transformation of the United States into a "banana republic." As he smiles out at us past his teleprompter, all this claptrap of criminals in high places is, as the article suggests, becoming the "new normal." People are incredulous when I say he is far more dangerous than Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann--but neither of them could come close to his performance in sanitizing what is, in itself, unspeakably obscene.
 
 
+16 # Glen 2011-06-27 07:07
When attempting to discuss the two parties and the takeover of both, I am met with disdain. Folks are clinging to the past and past myths concerning both parties, not recognizing or refusing to recognize that the system has changed dramatically. The entire system has been corrupted and as I have said in the past, it is nothing more than a stage show of monumental proportions, supported by some amazing actors. Those actors also include the media, knowing what they are doing and never flinching in their lies.
 
 
+6 # Capn Canard 2011-06-29 12:45
I am with you Glen, I believe our political system has been thoroughly usurped by the power of money.
 
 
+9 # tomo 2011-06-26 19:12
Sheila, I welcome your reference to Naomi Klein and THE SHOCK DOCTRINE. I think of those who have not read it as living in a state of irresponsible innocence. They have not awakened to the real world. I have friends who think "only a conspiracy nut could believe the CIA killed Kennedy." Well, look how the CIA conspired to destroy Allende. Surely, Kennedy (read his American University Speech of early 1963; call it up on the Internet) was a much bigger impediment to their puerile games than ever Allende was. Trouble is, the elegant young president of today--Barack Obama--has decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. He's gone over to the Dark Side and is, currently a promoter of the fun and games Kennedy eventually forswore.
 
 
+3 # TARA 2011-06-27 04:54
DARK SIDE WHERE DO YOU PEOPLE GET THIS CRAP FROM. WOW I AM AMAZED HOW STUPID THE PEOPLE OF AMERICAN HAVE BECOME. DO YOU THINK THIS IS NEW THE COPS WERE ALWAYS BEATING PEOPLE REMEMBER THE 60THS THE 50THS THE 70THS WAKE UP PEOPLE THIS IS NOTHING NEW NOW IF YOU ALLOW IT TO KEEP HAPPENING THEN THE ONLY FOOLS ARE YOURSELVES.
 
 
+2 # S. Wolf Britain 2011-06-27 14:12
Well, I "thumbed-up" your comment, but you're severally dreaming with your hope(s) for ObamaCON. There's no way he's going to ever keep most of his campaign promises. He works for these "Republicons" as you call them, the neoliberals/neo cons who are completely taking over this country with corporate-fasci sm, totalitarianism , tyranny, despotism and repression. You and Naomi Klein are exceedingly correct, unfortunately; we ARE in grave danger; but most "Amerikans" refuse to wake up, grow a True American (Patriot) spine, (re-)develop "America's founding courage(ousness )", and take this country and government back before it's too late, if it isn't already too late. Hell, most of them refuse to even see what things are coming to here; and that's the primary reason we're in dire straights in this country...

(Continued below.)
 
 
+1 # S. Wolf Britain 2011-06-27 15:20
(Continued from above.)

...We haven't learned from history, and that it repeats itself; and most "Amerikans" believe the lie that what happened in Chili supposedly can't happen here (even though it is, RIGHT NOW, and right in front of their noses)! Do you see how apparently screwed we are because of all this?! Seriously, God help us all! And GO Naomi Klein (and Naomi Wolf, etc.---we better all completely face what these people are all warning us about, and are so right-on about, or we're doomed as a country and world)! Once more, God, PLEASE, help us all; by, primarily, waking us all up, blessing us with a backbone, and gracing us with the Power to save this country and world from global repression and enslavement!
 
 
+3 # Capn Canard 2011-06-29 12:48
Shelia, absolutely! Klein hits it out of the park. Excellent book that eviscerates Milton Friedman's anti-democratic and disgraceful theories and concepts. In line with Ayn Rand's clownish "Objectivism".. . retarded
 
 
+25 # DesignCreature 2011-06-26 13:43
welcome to the new world we used to think of as science fiction.
 
 
+29 # reiverpacific 2011-06-26 13:57
Corporate power and control + militarization of the police + domestic spying and under the cover of dark arrests + military interventionism =----??? (Clue; it begins with "F").
It's very much like Spain in Franco's time, Indonesia under Suharto and Paraguay under Stroessner (from personal experience).
 
 
+18 # maheanuu 2011-06-26 14:23
Man, am I glad that I am no longer an american!!!! The only difference between you and Nazi Germany is the years and the modernity of your country... Perhaps the IQ's of the Germans was higher also....

I for one will never return to the country of my birth, nor do I use the word american to describe me.. I trust my "adopted" country a thousand times more than I trust anyone in the US Government..
 
 
+12 # jwb110 2011-06-26 14:47
If American voters were a corporation do you think we would get better treatment? We could hide our assets, escape taxes, and wield power like the big boys.
Maybe Americans have to look at new ways to be heard.
 
 
+3 # TARA 2011-06-27 05:00
LOL RIGHT POST........... .
 
 
+27 # rom120 2011-06-26 15:55
Welcome to the "democratic" country of the USA. I get a kick out of it when the USA lectures other countries on Human Rights issues.
 
 
+2 # TARA 2011-06-27 05:02
WELL I HEARD THAT PETETUS WANTS TO TORTURED PEOPLE TO GET INFO LOL WOW IF THIS IS THE BEST YOU HAVE TO HEAD THE CIA I SUGGEST YOU MORONS IN WASHINGTON BETTER ALL START LOOKING FOR NEW JOBS.
 
 
+19 # Canewalker 2011-06-26 16:10
It would be wise to confront fascism SOONER rather than later!

"Wake up and smell the fascism" t-shirts anyone?
 
 
+7 # Peacedragon 2011-06-26 19:03
Maheanuu,

If you don't mind would you identify your new country?
 
 
+8 # giraffee2012 2011-06-26 21:18
It starts with the corrupt Supreme Court
http://www.readersupportednews.org/off-site-news-section/194-194/6384-congressman-calls-for-investigation-of-clarence-thomas

Thomas MUST be impeached.
Vote 2012
 
 
+7 # BradFromSalem 2011-06-27 10:08
This is the result when freedom is redefined as primarily an economic issue. When we allow the economic powers to run our country and confuse morality with sexuality issues, true moral issues that deal with right and wrong, life and death are gone from our culture.

We have bestowed special allowances to our law enforcers (and politicians) by saying they have a responsibility to meet a higher standard than the rest of the population. What we miss when we do that, is that they also need special exermptions to balance that off.

Those very exemptions allow them to illegally confiscate your property, and place the methods of their exercise of duty out of the view of the public.

The cleansing light of day will bring back our freedom. Especially the freedom to commit acts of spontaneous public dancing.

Try It.
 
 
+2 # cblf28 2011-06-27 21:47
Let us goose step into history.
 
 
+3 # Pickwicky 2011-06-28 10:47
Add together President Bachmann plus police state and what do you get? How about jail terms, even death sentences, for abortions (patients and doctors) and for homosexuals? Farfetched, you say? Read more about Bachmann--and her husband.
 
 
+6 # rm 2011-06-29 06:36
I'm afraid that we are in for increasing police brutality and control for the forseeable future. The ruling elite of the US has decided to lower the general living standards and to transfer the wealth that once resided in the middle class to themselves. This cannot be done without severe police repression. Essentially, the ruling elite is stealing the wealth of the middle class in a violent armed theft -- the arms are the police state.

All of the police brutality works as a teaching moment for americans -- everyone knows that next time it may be me who is tasered, shot, beaten, or arrested and convicted of some idiotic crime-sounding charge.
 

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