More encouraging news has emerged from northern California as the military police state event Urban Shield will not be invited back to Oakland next year. It was just last week that the San Jose Police Department announced that it was getting rid ofthe 15 ton MRAP (Mine Resistant Armor Protected) battlefield vehicle that it had received from the federal government. The conference, which draws militarized police types from across the country as well as features international guests is a soiree of vendors selling their wares, police worship and “training” exercises. This year’s event was to include such simulated actions of a terrorist attack on the Golden Gate Bridge and an airliner going down into the bay. The San Francisco Chronicle website, SFGate.com described Urban Shield in an article entitled “Huge Urban Shield law enforcement trade show rolls into Bay Area” from which I excerpt:
The $250,000 armored personnel carrier was impressive, in an intimidating way. The robot cameras that could take a bullet and keep moving offered a quantum leap in safety during shootouts, and the .308-caliber sniper rifle could drop a target at 870 yards.
But that’s not what really struck Redwood City SWAT Officer Rick Meure at Friday’s Urban Shield vendor display, the biggest trade show of the year in the Bay Area for local law enforcement and emergency crews.
He liked the dummy spurting fake blood from a jagged leg stump. It’s not that he’s a ghoul – it’s just that you don’t often see a $50,000 dummy that closely approximates the sort of horrors that cops encounter all too often.
“Look at this medical equipment here, look at the dummy, look at the technology – it’s amazing,” Meure said, waving a hand at the bustling booths at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center. “Sure, there’s gun stuff, but we need the other equipment, too. And this is an extremely useful place to see that.”
The militarization of police forces has become a hot debate topic since heavily armed officers confronted protesters in Ferguson, Mo., after a white officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager last month. Images of police seemingly decked out for war had critics asking whether such displays might inflame, rather than calm, situations.
But the hundreds of officers and brass swarming the trade show Friday had only one take on all the equipment on display: From the BATT-V armored carrier capable of repelling .50-caliber rounds to the S.W.A.T.-brand boots a few booths away, with their extra-nonslip soles, everything was a tool for police coping with an increasingly dangerous world.
An “increasingly dangerous world” as well as a very lucrative one ever since the 9/11 attacks became the biggest cash cow in history. After the towers fell, the surveillance, police state and military industries have continued to expand exponentially. They are paid for by the U.S. taxpayer at the expense of cutbacks to things that are actually beneficial to society. Urban Shield receives funding from the big government monstrosity that is the Department of Homeland Security and as such Americans are funding their own enslavement by the police state. Unfortunately, with things being what they are in this land of plenty for fear pimps and hucksters seeking to profit off of the constant fright of the sheeple, the money will continue to be fed into the sucking black hole of fascism. This year there were local protests as the awareness of the dangers of a failure to differentiate between the proper role of domestic police and war zone soldiers has spread in the aftermath of Ferguson, Missouri. The extent of the debate led to Oakland’s Mayor announcing that Urban Shield would not be invited back next year. According to a story at SFGate.com entitled “Oakland will not host Urban Shield next year, Jean Quan says”:
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has announced that Urban Shield, a trade show and training exercise for law enforcement and emergency crews, will no longer be held in the city.
The four-day event, which costs $1 million and is funded by the federal government, brings about 200 law enforcement organizations to the area, mostly from city and county police agencies. Emergency crews – nurses, ambulance workers and others – also attend the event.
Hundreds protested this year’s event, a combination of a trade show with heavy weapons and emergency preparedness drills, Friday in Oakland.
The militarization of police forces has become a national topic of debate after police officers in Ferguson, Mo., confronted crowds of citizens protesting the shooting of an unarmed black teenager last month.
“As to Urban Shield itself: Urban Shield is a regional preparedness training exercise for law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services and has been held in Oakland for the past two years. The event will not be held in Oakland next year,” Quan said in a statement Friday. “The City Administrator’s Office will be asking our agent not to pursue another contract.”
Mayor Quan’s stance is commendable but in a nation that has been so well conditioned to worship authority and kiss the whip I don’t imagine that Urban Shield will have much trouble finding another venue come 2015.