Whose streets? Our streets?
Whose police? The Secret Service's police.
As you see the feeds and images from the local "law" enforcement attacks and raids upon peaceful citizens, legal observers, medics, videographers, and even Food Not Bombs! ... as you read of illegal seizures of phones and computers ... you're likely asking "where have I seen this before?" The answer: at the 2000 and 2004 nominating conventions.
As with this convention, the Secret Service (once part of Treasury, now part of
Fatherland Homeland Security) was in overall command at those conventions.
Except the "snatch squads", chemical weapon attacks, midnight raids, farcical "search warrants", detention of videographers, and "pre-emptive" attacks on peaceful meetings aren't secret anymore: they're "in your face". By design -- just as in the authoritarian states whose leaders the Pentagon nurtured in the School of the
Assassins Americas -- the machinery of repression under Fatherland Homeland Security is now quite visible.
In authoritarian states, official violence -- and fear of violence -- serves to quell dissent.
Sure seems to be working on the MSM and the major party politicians.
The systematic violence and illegal arrests/detentions aren't a bug: they're a recurrent feature. The Secret Service collaborates with Federal and local "law" enforcement to deny us peaceful public assembly and non-violent civil disobedience. As we can see in the Twin Cities, the SS can always find local goons who go to work with guns on their belts to help out.
At a secret location, security officials will meet daily -- large video screens in front of them -- sharing surveillance data to be gathered during the Republican National Convention. Out in the streets, St. Paul police will field 3,500-plus officers -- a third of whom will make up mobile field force units dedicated to crowd control.
A mobile nuclear detection unit is at the ready, officials say, and the U.S. Coast Guard is set to deploy helicopters that can carry "ready assault forces" trained to drop from the sky to take on hostile threats, said Coast Guard spokesman Thomas Blue.
The Secret Service, charged with designing and implementing the convention security plan, must be "prepared for the worst," spokesman Darrin Blackford said this week.
Minneapolis City Councilmember Cam Gordon expressed his concerns in January, 2007
One line in the memo sparked my concerns further: The Secret Service and Homeland Security will have the final decision making authority on protestors." To me, that sounds a bit like giving the fox the keys to the henhouse.
As we've been learning since Friday, Cam Gordon was prescient.
Depsite the best efforts of Green Party Councilmember Gordon, the majority of the Council handed over the Minneapolis PD to the Secret Service's Convention "Security" Plan.
Section 5.3. Security and Related Protective Services.
(a)The City agrees to provide police and fire protection and assistance as shall be adequate to the needs of a convention the size and unique nature of the Convention and as specified in a Convention security plan to be jointly prepared by the Host Committee, the City, and the COA and subject to approval by the COA, with advice from a professional security consultant designated by the COA for the Host Committee (the "Convention Security Plan"). The Convention Security Plan will include, without limitation, the use of City's Police Department and will
(i) provide for security and crowd control (both inside and outside all applicable venues located in the City) and traffic control for activities related to the Convention during the License Periods; (ii) set forth the respective roles and responsibilities of the City law enforcement personnel (the "City Police"), the United States Secret Service, any security force of the Convention Complex, other private security personnel, and other federal, state, and local agencies; and (iii) take into account the requirements for security, crowd control, and traffic control in other cities in which earlier presidential nominating conventions of both political parties have been held.
The Secret Service's Convention Security Plan is subject to approval by the COA. What's a COA? The city services agreement helps out with the defintion: just so we know who tells the Secret Service what to do.
Committee on Arrangements for the 2008 Republican National Convention (the "COA")
The Republican Party Convention's shock troops: that's the COA.
Like all successful parasites, both corporatist parties occupy their local hosts long enough to reproduce for the next round. For the privilege of "hosting" the nominating
pageants conventions, the parties demand the local host cities sign "city services agreements" that effectively surrender control of local law enforcement -- the cities' "immune systems" -- to Convention Security Plans.
Officials from the RNC were in [St. Paul] last week to meet with the host committee and city officials before the city service agreement was reached Friday. The host committee expects to reach similar agreements with Minneapolis and Bloomington before completing a contract with the RNC.
Just as in Minneapolis, St. Paul's leaders surrendered their sovereignty to the Secret Service.
The city will provide 24-hour security and medical and fire services for delegates and convention officials, according to the city service agreement.
But once the convention is declared a National Security Special Event, the U.S. Secret Service will play the major role in setting up security standards.
Yep. The same partisan Secret Service that even gave conflicting testimony before a Federal Judge Magistrate...
Secret Service agents - under oath in court depositions - accusing one another of unethical and perhaps even illegal conduct in the handling of Mr. Howards's arrest and the official accounting of it.
...in the false arrest suit filed by a citizen arrested for politely complaining to Cheney under false charges of physically assaulting Darth.
For the Rethugs and other corporatist royalty, mere criticism seems to feel like a physical assault.
In true paranoid fashion, the Rethugs and corporatists violently attack when they merely fear criticism. Unlike most paranoids, the GOP and the corporatists they serve have an entire nation's goverment to fight off the speech that so terrifies them.
On behalf of the corporatist tyrants ruling America -- for whom speech is a threat --
Fatherland Homeland Security and the Secret Service ruthlessly enforce silence.
Just like the collaborating "Good Germans" I was raised to despise for their complicity with fascism, the St. Paul and Minneapolis Police are merely following orders. Right?
America, what a country: at least for the corporatists who rule the Twin Cities this week.
[photo credit: Lindsay Beyerstein]