Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/28/small-towns-dont-need-military-helicopters
Small Towns Don’t Need Police With Guns.
Not news to anyone who has been paying attention since BEFORE the invasion of Iraq, but an important reminder of how the authoritarians consolidated their power and the loyalty of their mercenaries.
A small essay i wrote on the militarization of the police
“Socialists take a class view of law and order and do not accept the idea that policing is somehow ‘broken’ and is in need of reforms. We do not have a nostalgic memory of a romanticized past with the friendly ‘bobby on the beat.’ We look, instead, toward a future society where community harmony can be maintained without the intervention of armed representatives of the state and the abolition of the social conditions which lead to unacceptable disorder and harmful violence.”
Couldn’t FEMA use some of that equipment for disaster relief? Especially the helicopters. Or state emergency management agencies? I think when the cops are decked out in military gear, and riding in military vehicles, they think they ARE the military, and anyone not in uniform is the enemy.
Not very cost effective. There’s very few places in the lower 48 that can’t be accessed by the National Guard’s 6X6 trucks. I’ve been told by military mechanics the smaller “Huey” helo’s burn approx.$1000 of fuel an hour (the larger ones even more), and the military applies 10 hr. of maintenance for every hour they fly, and keep in mind these are 1985 dollar amounts. When you add the costs of pilots and mechanics the price tag goes up even further. That’s a lot of monetary resources, that could be applied to the people who need help, during a disaster.
Most small towns can’t afford the maintenance on these military monstrosities. The cost to replace just one dry-rotted tire on an MRAP? $850, not including installation.
Or repurposed for sane training of peace officers who understand the word intervention.
Defund the police should mean, among other things, ending EVERY SWAT-type paramilitary police unit in the country. Also, every time an unarmed person of color is shot or killed by the police, they must be made to understand that their precinct house WILL BE BURNED TO THE GROUND. Period, Guaranteed. Maybe they will finally start to rein-in their goose-stepping, neck-stomping, storm trooper, fascist toy soldier wannabes.
If the government take all the money spent on weapons for one year and puts it towards fixing the environment, we’ll be in a lot better shape than we are now in. Do It Now!!!
40 Years ago, we had huge warehouses filled with equipment for the land war inside europe.
Air national guard is flying, buzzing above daily here.
We’ve had 70 years of making the military and violence romantic and necessary through television programs and movies. In the back of our collective subconscious, we’re still fighting indigenous peoples for their land and terrified of slave uprisings. From Westerns always culminating in a fight scene with Indians, to cops and robbers shows(remember The FBI). Then the speed of the plot line increased, the violence became more widespread, and we lapped it up. After all, we were slogging through an endless war somewhere, money didn’t go as far, and it made us feel like real men. Reality TV cropped up right at the end of a reality TV Presidency(Raygun), and one of the stars of that cesspool was Cops. Always with a person of color as the perp. Always with guns and sirens. Stayed on the airwaves for way too long.
Every movie now involves some kind of military action, it seems, especially those geared to young white males.
Until we de-fang the dominator culture, where might makes right and violence is the only solution, and that people of color are always potential criminals, we’ll keep on using the police and military as tools to keep us in line. As for giving up firearms even in small towns…never happen.
Consider this one statement and how it led to the present moment. The US was founded on the premise that white males were individuals with no social ties or commitments, their only raison d’etre was to own as much private property as possible by any means necessary. Explains why socialism has had such a hard time gaining ground here, and why we have no respect for each other. “It’s my property and I have a right to do whatever I want with it, including calling the police with their guns! Get off my lawn!”.