By Joe Wolverton, II, The New American
April 26, 2010
Within one month of the November midterm elections, a specially tasked unit of the United States Army will be on alert and ready to deploy within the borders of the United States to quell “civil unrest” that some fear may afflict the nation in the summer months prior to the elections.
Predictably, advocates of the unlawful deployment of our military use fear to foment support of this action. They call to mind the summer of 1968 when riots and demonstrations decrying the country’s prolonged conflict with Viet Nam plagued some of America’s large cities. The summer of 2010, they advert, could be “our long, hot summer of discontent.” In order to prevent that eerie specter from becoming reality, proponents encourage Americans to welcome the calming presence of armed American troops patrolling potential hotspots.
The subordination of such an outfit, known as the Consequence Management Response Force (CCMRF), under the command of US Army Northern Command (NORTHCOM) was documented last year by this writer in The New American. Lest any suppose that such an overt act of tyranny be the product of our current President’s fertile fascist imagination, that account related how President Barack Obama was simply carrying out the historic reassignment implemented by President George W. Bush, who in 2008 claimed that as commander-in-chief, the President, was authorized by the Constitution to use the armed forces as he saw fit, congressional opposition notwithstanding.
In response to the Bush administration’s pronouncement, the Cato Institute published a warning of the dangers of using a brigade of the United States Army as a domestic police force. The Cato Institute article reported that the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team would be brought home from Iraq and combined with 15,000–20,000 other soldiers to form the new unit. NORTHCOM’s website claimed the size of the unit composed of servicemen from all branches of the military would not exceed 4,700 personnel.
Typically, that estimate falls far below the actual number of regular army troops assigned to the force. According to reports, the CCMRF is composed of 80,000 troops and has been drilling at Fort Stewart, Georgia (home of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division) since being redeployed from Iraq.
The duration of the CCMRF’s domestic policing assignment is open ended. Army Colonel Louis Vogler, the chief of NORTHCOM future operations, told the Army Times:
“Right now, the reponse force requirement will be an enduring mission. How the [Defense Department] chooses to source that and whether or not they continue to assign them to NORTHCOM, that could change in the future. Now, the plan is to assign a force every year.”With such vague marching orders, there is little wonder that many fear that such a force could be used to support a coup or enforce the executive branch’s will on any gathering deemed “unruly,” “dangerous,” or disruptive of the peace.
Every year, year after year in perpetuity, the United States Army will place one of its brigades at the command of NORTHCOM, and by extension of the President, with the power to patrol and quell any flare ups of civil unrest, including “crowd control … or chaos.”
In a frightening description of the unit’s training and mission directives, Colonel Roger Cloutier, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, practically crows about the arsenal of tactical weapons that will be placed at the unit’s disposal. Colonel Cloutier asserts that his troops are training to use “the first ever nonlethal package” of weapons that will be used to “subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.”
The “package” referred to by Cloutier includes spike strips to slow or stop traffic, bean bag bullets, tasers, shields, and batons.
In apparent ignorance of the Posse Comitatus Act, which expressly forbids the armed deployment of federal troops within the borders of the United States, Colonel Cloutier muses that he “can’t think of a more noble mission than this.”
“We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home … and depending on where an event occurred, you’re going home to take care of your home town, your loved ones.”It is the very acme of irony that an active duty commander in the United States Army would use such language to exult in the absolutely illegal deployment of his unit as a police force endowed with lethal law-enforcement power within the “home towns” of America. The United States already has a force dedicated to help the American people; as a matter of fact it has thousands of such forces. They are known as the police and they are already lawfully and loyally serving the public good in every small town and sprawling metropolis from coast to coast and border to border.
He continues in the same lofty spirit: “I don’t know what America’s overall plan is — I just know that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are soldiers, airmen and Marines that are standing by to come and help if they are called. It makes me feel good as an American to know that my country has a dedicated force to come in and help the people at home.”
Finally, the citizens of this Republic, the palladium of liberty, must understand the staunch, unwavering opposition of our Founding Fathers to the use of the national armed forces in response to domestic civil unrest. Their words and warnings could be no clearer. From Sir William Blackstone (whose Commentaries on the Laws of England were of unparalleled influence on the Framers) to Thomas Jefferson; from Patrick Henry to James Madison; our learned forbears were unanimously aligned against any use of “standing armies” inside the borders of this nation.
Here is but a sampling of their statements, which should serve as testimony against the deployment of any unit of any branch of the United States Armed Forces with the ostensible mission of imposing order in the towns and cities of this nation.
Henry St. George Tucker in Blackstone’s Commentaries:
“Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”Patrick Henry of Virginia:
“A standing army we shall have, also, to execute the execrable commands of tyranny; and how are you to punish them? Will you order them to be punished? Who shall obey these orders? Will your mace-bearer be a match for a disciplined regiment?”The Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788:
“That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power."The Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention:
“As standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil power.”North Carolina’s Declaration of Rights of 1776:
“That the people have a Right to bear Arms for the Defence of the State, and as Standing Armies in Time of Peace are dangerous to Liberty, they ought not to be kept up, and that the military should be kept under strict Subordination to, and governed by the Civil Power.”
April 27, 2010
The G20 summit will be held on June 26-27 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, preceded by the G8 summit which will take place in Huntsville, Ontario. The secretive meetings will be attended by world leaders, finance ministers, central bank governors, along with thousands of other delegates. It will be the largest security event in Canadian history exceeding the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Downtown Toronto will be turned into a security fortress with fences, barricades, checkpoints and street closures thus greatly affecting local residents.
While the G8/G20 summits will attract their share of peaceful protesters, other more radical and fringe elements may try to capitalize on the event. Agent provocateurs might also be used whose actions could then justify a police crackdown and as a means to demonize all demonstrators.
The G20 summit will deepen police state measures, as well as further integrate local, provincial, federal law enforcement agencies and the military. Security for the upcoming G20 summit will be the responsibility of the Integrated Security Unit, “comprised of the RCMP, the OPP (in the G8 context), the Canadian Forces, Toronto Police Service, Peel Regional Police and other law enforcement and security experts who will work collaboratively.”
Ed Boltuc, a member of the G20 planning team for the Toronto Police Service stated:
“The Olympics that you saw recently in Vancouver was actually the largest security event ever to take place here in Canada. The G20/G8 surpasses that completely.”The Globe and Mail reported that as many as 10,000 uniformed officers, along with a 1,000 private security guards will be deployed together with an unspecified number of Canadian soldiers. Foreign dignitaries attending the meetings will also have their own security detail.
He went on to say, “There’s going to be a massive — absolutely massive — presence of police and security on the ground like you’ve never seen before.”
The federal government security costs are expected to top $179 million. As part of the operation, a two fenced security perimeter will encircle the Metro Convention Centre and nearby hotels where delegates will be staying. The RCMP are entrusted with protecting the inner security zone which will be controlled by a 3-metre-high unscalable fence, as well as five levels of security screening.
Toronto police will be in charge of the outer zone and will deal with any protests beyond the perimeter. Canadian Forces responsibilities involve, “large-scale operational planning, land and air surveillance, underwater safety and security for the venues and some logistic and ceremonial functions. Support also includes drawing on the CF’s ongoing partnership in the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD).” Heightened security will begin two weeks before the summit.
In order to gain access to the outer security zone, residents and workers will need to be registered or accredited. Designated free speech zones will also be put in place for demonstrators.
Toronto Police have announced that they will be using an old movie studio as a temporary jail to house unruly protesters during the event. The G8/G20 summits have become a platform for protests on issues such as social justice, anti-globalization and the environment. A government website section entitled Information for Demonstrators points out that freedoms of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are not limitless.
The Criminal Code of Canada contains provisions that limit certain activities including blocking or obstructing a highway, causing a disturbance, mischief, riots, unlawful assembly, breach of the peace and others. Some of these laws could be subjectively enforced and just as government grants you rights, they can just as easily take them away.
Most protesters will probably remain peaceful, but some groups and individuals might have different ideas. In the past, police have been caught using provocateurs at rallies and activists need to be mindful of those who may attempt to infiltrate their ranks and engage in unlawful behaviour. Council of Canadians spokesman Dylan Penner wants the government to promise it will not use agents provocateurs like it did at North American Leaders Summit in Montebello, Quebec, back in 2007.
In advance of G20 summit, some Toronto activists have been subjected to harassment and intimidation by police. Similar tactics were also employed in Vancouver before the Olympics.
People in Toronto are already getting a taste of what to expect during the G20 summit. A recent training exercise simulated a hostage taking in the concourse level of Commerce Court, in the downtown core of the city. The operation was comprised of Toronto Police Emergency Task Force, along with private security personnel. The joint exercise was designed to train police and security guards on how to communicate through a shared radio system.
During the G20 summit, private security will play an important role in crowd control and emergency response. This is part of the continued merging of the public and private security sectors. Another training exercise involved two military helicopters flying around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and then landing in front of the CN Tower. This was to test the capability of the landing area and practice transporting delegates to the venues site.
These various security drills are intended to check coordinated responses and ultimately to confirm readiness for the summit. They are also used to further acclimate increased police and military presence.
More than anything, it is protests and the threat of terrorism which are used to justify these huge security operations. The deployment of the military alongside police is increasing with their roles seemingly interchangeable. Police tactics and training have become more militarized. New weapons and technology first developed for the military are often being incorporated into police departments.
At last year’s G20 summit in Pittsburgh the LRAD, which is capable of emitting painfully loud blasts of sound, was turned against protesters. This illustrates a more aggressive approach in trying to control public dissent. Events such as the G20 have become a testing ground for new police state measures and a trial run for a military style occupation.
In June, downtown Toronto will essentially be on lockdown with rights and liberties severely restricted.
September 25, 2009
In the videos here, we get an idea of what the federalized and militarized police in Pittsburgh really think of the First Amendment. The victims shown below are not government provocateurs or anarchists, but middle class students.
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Updated 6/20/10 (Newest Additions at End of List)