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Max Blumenthal begins: "Yesterday, the New York Police Department deployed a strange new weapon against the tens of thousands of demonstrators who converged downtown for the largest protest in Occupy Wall Street's two month history: the LRAD sound cannon."

An LRAD sound cannon deployed against G-20 protesters in Pittsburgh G20, 09/24/11. (photo: Dean Putney)
An LRAD sound cannon deployed against G-20 protesters in Pittsburgh G20, 09/24/11. (photo: Dean Putney)

Introducing the LRAD Sound Cannon

By Max Blumenthal, Al-Akhbar English

18 November 11


Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns


Tested on Palestinians, perfected on #OWS protesters: Introducing the LRAD Sound Cannon.

esterday, the New York Police Department deployed a strange new weapon against the tens of thousands of demonstrators who converged downtown for the largest protest in Occupy Wall Street's two month history: the LRAD sound cannon. NYPD officers reportedly blasted Occupy protesters with rays from the LRAD cannon while they sang the American national anthem near Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park (photos here), establishing an atmosphere of fear and intimidation that lasted throughout the evening.

Designed and manufactured by the San Diego-based LRAD Corporation, which was formerly known as the American Technology Corporation, the Long Range Acoustic Device sound weapon is the latest innovation in crowd suppression technology. It is portable and powerful, capable of transmitting a focused ray of 140 decibels of sound at a crowd of people, generating painful cranial vibrations so profound ear plugs become useless. According to LRAD promotional material, the sonic weapon "provides military personnel with a powerful, penetrating warning tone that can be followed by clear voice broadcasts in host nation languages to warn and shape the behavior of potential threats."

In June, LRAD sold $293,000 worth of its 100X and 500X sound canon systems to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The contract was part of Israeli Army Commander Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi's investment in $35 million in suppression systems in anticipation of widespread unrest in the occupied West Bank that was to have been prompted by the Palestinian Authority's statehood bid at the United Nations.

The Israeli Army has refined the use of LRAD systems on the civilian population of Palestinian villages engaged in the unarmed popular struggle against Israel's illegal military occupation. Demonstrators in the village of Beit Ummar have been repeatedly assaulted by Israeli forces armed with LRAD systems, including on October 7, when the Israeli army used the LRAD to attack unarmed demonstrators protesting against the abuse and isolation of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

I first visited the Beit Ummar area in the spring of 2009, joining a group of international and Israeli activists as they protected the village's farmers from fanatical Jewish settlers from the colony of Bat Ayn, who had repeatedly assaulted them as they attempted to work their fields. As soon as I arrived I witnessed a group of Jewish children from Bat Ayn charge down a hill while chanting, "Death to Arabs!" at the farmers.

In January 2011, settlers shot a Beit Ummar resident, 17-year-old Yousef Fakhri Ikhlayl in the head, leaving him brain dead. The settlers could not carry out their deadly violence without the protection of the Israeli Army, which invariably defends them while crushing unarmed protests in Beit Ummar with disproportionate force.

Beit Ummar has carried on its unarmed popular resistance struggle against impossible odds. The village has been severed in half by a settler bypass road, Highway 60, which occupied Palestinians are forbidden from traveling on. Numerous graves in the village cemetery were desecrated in order to build the Israelis-only highway. Not only are village residents surrounded by army pillboxes and preyed on by extremist settlers, they have been transformed into experimental gerbils in the global pacification industry's laboratory of doom.

Having been tested on a defenseless, occupied population in Palestine, the LRAD made its grand debut in New York City yesterday, where local police forces targeted American citizens peacefully protesting against economic exploitation. The peculiar weapon system symbolizes the creeping Israelification of America's local police forces and the Palestinianization of all who challenge the predations of a zero tolerant 1 percent master class.

As the blogger Ayesha Kazmi recently wrote to Occupy movement participants, "So welcome to the War on Terror. Your first lesson, if your views happen to counter the established narrative, expect to be dehumanised, then treated like a terrorist." your social media marketing partner


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+77 # DavePrice 2011-11-18 18:39
Homeland Security was involved in 18 Coordinated strikes against the peaceful occupiers and now they roll in Military Hardware. After seeing all the old women and little girls getting maced and beat on with night sticks, i'm sure these same police will abuse this and thus abuse " We the People" with unreasonable force. We need NATO to step in and stop this Atrocity!
+12 # Glen 2011-11-19 07:17
Right, Dave. What will be used against truly violent protesters? Bunker busters?
+79 # mwd870 2011-11-18 18:56
Fuck the LRAD Sound Canon and everyone who uses it against peaceful protesters. How ironic the latest innovation in crowd suppression technology is manufactured by an American company. How much did this pointless weaponry cost when cutting spending is supposedly a priority in the House and Senate. This (borrowed) money could have been used to help Americans in need or toward reducing the national debt. When did this country become a military state?
+10 # Karlus58 2011-11-19 11:15
+41 # Virginia 2011-11-18 22:56
Title 42 section 1983. Deliberate Indifference. There is an attorney some where who can sue the individuals that gave the orders and those who carried it out. Start with mayor - immunity flys out the window...
+39 # DaveM 2011-11-18 23:06
To my knowledge there are no legal restrictions on the possession of powerful amplifiers and PA speakers, which operate in virtually the same manner as the LRAD "cannon". Indeed, plans can be found online for various devices intended to produce pain or "distraction" at a distance, which are constructed from home audio components. Perhaps we should "arm" ourselves? I cannot imagine any possible use the average citizen might find for this device. However, I never imagined that our police would use such things against our own people.
+31 # overanddone 2011-11-19 04:33
Your mistake is in thinking they are our police and we are their own people. They are the bought and paid for agents of the 1%, you (99%) are not their people.
+35 # CL38 2011-11-19 00:28
We need the ACLU to investigate this. involved. The OWS protesters are not prisoners that the police can torture to force them to leave. These are American citizens from all races, classes and neighborhoods who are guaranteed the right to rally, protest and free speech.

What is this, Nazi Germany, Mayor Bloomberg? Is that your legacy to NY?
+26 # Helen 2011-11-19 00:51
What is President Obama doing about this?
+21 # 666 2011-11-19 10:22
What has our glorious leader ever done - except capitulate? Where is st obama during these protests and the trampling of our constitutional rights? He's probably planning another fund-raiser with the 1%...
+6 # RLF 2011-11-20 06:43
Sure...he is capitulating like the Vichy gov. !
+5 # RLF 2011-11-20 06:43
O is making sure the police have money for cannons and everything else they might want like the good republican he is.
+16 # tonenotvolume 2011-11-19 01:39
For all of you whom are or seem to be advocating violence, it just gives the bullies what they want. The 99% occupiers have proven pretty adept at changing strategies in a non-violent way. If we can't be there, then let's not push a violent fringe to the forefront. Resist, Rebuild, Reclaim
+19 # Glen 2011-11-19 07:06
"Democracy don't rule the world,
You'd better get that in your head;
This world is ruled by violence
But I guess that's better left unsaid."

Bob Dylan

Appropriate for just about everything happening in the world today. Thanks to the U.S. and Israel, the future will bring perpetual violence.
+17 # NaturesSon 2011-11-19 08:52
Interestingly, it may be possible to design and assemble protest signs that serve as shields against an LRAD. They will be a little heavier. I'll get to work on one right away!
+10 # humanmancalvin 2011-11-19 09:41
Reading threads regarding the continued protests in Eygpt, the right-wingnuts post about the scary Muslim Brotherhood imposing Sharia law there soon to be exported to the good ole' USA. What I do not see in the land of the boogeyman Islam is protestors getting clubbed and/or maced for expressing their views. Whats that you say? A third world country gives its citizens more respect for their political views? Well obviously, yeah. For every single republican (I recently stopped capitalizing the word, out of utter disrespect) voted into office America loses one more right.
+13 # 666 2011-11-19 10:43
Those same right-wingnuts criticizing sharia law only want to impose a (similar) good ole-testament fashioned theocracy in this country (at least on the 99%). If you thought the Taliban were bad it's only because they weren't Christians. I'm not trying to pick on Christians, since some religious laws may be worthwhile in our current situation: we could stone mcdonalds etc for selling cheeseburgers; we could burn at the stake and seize the assets of the wall-street usurers for idolatry and heresy; we could stone the whores in congress; We could try bush-cheney-oba ma war criminals for murder... but of course, even in a theocracy, the 1% would still be above god's laws...
And for all you vengeful librarians reading this at the cia, I'm not advocating violence. it's called sarcasm.
+7 # eric_frodsham 2011-11-19 11:24
It's not just the republicans. It's the folks in control which ever side they are on. Revolution is never easy, here we start!
+3 # RLF 2011-11-20 06:45
Remember the criticism when Iran started getting violent with it citizens or, for that matter, Libya?
+8 # B-Aware 2011-11-19 11:18
As I admire the younger, braver souls who carry on the Occupy movement, I am comforted by a single line from Milton’s sonnet, “On His Blindness”: “They also serve who only stand and wait.” For the memory of that line, I am indebted to a high school English teacher of more than 60 years ago. So, what place is there for me, and others of similar circumstance, in this bold attempt to change our government into a democracy of the people? Must we only stand and wait?
At this moment, I can try to make a mild improvement in the only political party that shows concern for the 99 percent. I am pushing for a pledge by the House and Senate campaign committees to stop giving financial support to those Democrats who oppose the President’s American Jobs Act. Chief among these is Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who votes against the 99 percent most of the time and is up for reelection next year. I hope you will join me in signing a petition to this effect. It needs your support, and it needs for you to send it to as many friends as possible. You will find it at
+1 # RLF 2011-11-20 06:48
The jobs act doesn't have a chance in hell. It was only introduced so that Obama would have an excuse to give a tax holiday to corporations with their foreign profits...and have political cover.
+17 # jwb110 2011-11-19 11:27
Only a jerk like Bloomberg would order a sound cannon to surpress the singing of the national anthem.

Stop paying your taxes America! You are supporting and buying the weapons that are being used against you. Start with a General Strike and then a Taxpayers Strike. The longer we wait to put down this Fascist movement whose purpose is to enslave us the more people will be harmed, like the elderly and Veterans who have already be injured.
It won't be any more difficult to do it now.
+8 # heraldmage 2011-11-19 12:31
The NYC peaceful protesters exercising their Constitutional right of assembly should sue the City for pain & suffering with possible hearing damage.
All over the nation law abiding peaceful protesters are being tortured and media is being prohibited from reporting the actions of the government against its people. The 99% need to petition the UN & USA human rights commission(HRC) to investigate & protect the people from torture, physical abuse & arrest by government for participating in Constitutionall y guaranteed legal assembly. Unfortunately for the people of USA the 1% own the not only our government but the UN paying the bribes with the 99%'s taxes.
It is time to either organize a Constitutional Congress or co-opt the progressive independent parties and develop a platform to resolve the nations problems like; public funding of political campaigns and require news & current events programs be broadcast as a public service. Once the platform complete require candidates to agree in writing to implement it upon election. Change will only come by replacing both ruling parties. We have tried in the past present grievous's only to receive weak legislation filled with loop holes or legislation restricting rights. It will take 3 election cycles for complete change but we can take control in 1
+6 # Bruce Gruber 2011-11-19 13:25
Is there any substance to the theory that intensified sound wave frequencies generated by these LRAD weapons of mass disruption cause impotence within 50 feet of their source and that pregnant victims of the weapons cause fertilized eggs to dissolve?
+12 # feloneouscat 2011-11-19 13:51
Attack by conventional or unconventional weapons is still an attack. They NYPD continues to amaze me in how it doesn't even bother to question "are these action even legal?".

When you have the police attacking peaceful protesters, they lying their collective butts off, keeping news media at bay (to prevent full disclosure of their actions) - one has to ask what kind of a police state is this?
+6 # Bluesguy 2011-11-19 16:03
Quoting feloneouscat:
Attack by conventional or unconventional weapons is still an attack. They NYPD continues to amaze me in how it doesn't even bother to question "are these action even legal?".

When you have the police attacking peaceful protesters, they lying their collective butts off, keeping news media at bay (to prevent full disclosure of their actions) - one has to ask what kind of a police state is this?

It is the same old one, from about 1926, or 1776, or 4000 BCE; DEBT, Fear, and internal self-censorship coupled with thought/languag e dissonance;that 's why people who otherwise might be sympathetic, etc, to Occupy's get angry when you try to get them to reawaken what they've managed to suppress, with alcohol, TV, disguised psych-med's.
We must persevere; we owe it.
0 # CL38 2011-11-22 13:58
Didn't the Bush/Cheney cabal sanction use of loud, non-stop noise and music to torture "prisoners" of war?
0 # Tom Wells 2011-11-28 10:29
Discussion of a sound weapon brought back the memory of something I read back in the 70s regarding the terminal effect of sub 10Hz signals on the human body. Point being... if anyone wanted to get really ugly with one of these things it could be done. Just found this on Google. Be informed:

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