Get Ready for the Crackdowns
by Kelley B. Vlahos
March 27, 2012
The show of paramilitary force at the national party conventions held since the 9/11 attacks has been nothing less than shocking, though the vast majority of America doesn’t know it because they weren’t there, or they simply don’t care.
Still, since the Occupy movement has brought on new and creative crackdowns on Constitutionally-protected protest activity in towns and cities all over the country, you can bet that when it comes to security at this summer’s Republican and Democratic Party confabs, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Antiwar protesters nevertheless plan to join demonstrators of myriad stripes, many under the Occupy rubric, as they converge on three major events this spring and summer, beginning with the NATO summit in Chicago in May, the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August, and the twin Democratic confab in early September.
Authorities are taking preemptive measures against planned demonstrations at these events on two fronts: one, mobilizing a massive militarized police and National Guard presence with the latest technology and weaponry, including street surveillance cameras, at least one fully armored SWAT vehicle with a turret, Tasers, tear gas and the like; and two, creating new municipal codes and laws to cordon-off public spaces from use, and establishing “security zones” that will limit the impact of Constitutionally-protected protests.