Tyrannies will be avoided only with respect for all rights

Morning Call

by Paul Carpenter

This morning, as you are walking up the steps to your church, a squad of Allentown police officers will besiege you, grab your Bible and tell you that some of the beliefs of this church are adverse to good order.The officers say a neighbor complained about you going to this church, but they won’t charge you with a crime and will return your Bible in a day or two.Sound a bit far-fetched? In principle, it is not. The same Bill of Rights that prevents government authorities from telling you which church to attend places equal emphasis on preventing those authorities from violating other rights. …. Last Sunday, I discussed the case of an Allentown man whom police went after because a neighbor told them he was armed. He had a license to carry the gun and did nothing illegal, but the police stole the gun (they call it ‘’seizure”) and did not return it until the following day...

//www.mcall.com/news/local/all-5tyrannies.6571190sep07,0,3445869.column



Tyranny on display

TruthDig
by Chris Hedges

09/08/08

St. Paul is a window into our future. It is a future where, as one protester told me by phone, “people have been pepper-gassed, thrown on the ground by police who had drawn their weapons, had their documents seized and their tattoos photographed before being taken away to jail.” It is a future where illegal house raids are carried out. It is a future where vans containing heavily armed paramilitary units circle and film protesters. It is a future where, as the protester said, “people have been pulled from cars because their license plates were on a database and handcuffed, thrown in the back of a squad car and then watched as their vehicles were ransacked and their personal possessions from computers to literature seized.” It is a future where constitutional rights mean nothing and where lawful dissent is branded a form of terrorism. The rise of the corporate state means the rise of the surveillance state. The Janus-like face of America swings from packaged and canned spectacles, from nationalist slogans, from seas of flags and Christian crosses, from professions of faith and patriotism, to widespread surveillance, illegal mass detentions, informants, provocateurs and crude acts of repression and violence. We barrel toward a world filled with stupendous lies and blood...

//www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080908_tyranny_on_display_at_the_republican_convention/



How far from a police state?

CounterPunch
by Howard Lisnoff

09/08/08

Just how close is the United States to becoming a police state? The events at the Republican National Convention, where 800 arrests took place, can answer part of that question. Those arrests dwarfed the 152 arrests at the Democratic National Convention. The history of the U.S. since its emergence as a superpower in the 20th century addresses the rest.St. Paul, Minnesota served as a testing ground for “riot” control during the Republican National Convention. Both protesters and members of the media were beaten and jailed without discrimination or consideration of their First Amendment rights to assemble and for the press to report the news. The great majority of protests were peaceful. Police used sticks, percussion grenades, tear gas, pepper spray and preemptive raids to create the aura of total control of the area around the convention site. Merely by their appearance in the heavy, daunting gear of S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons And Tactics) teams, that made them seem as figures out of a science fiction movie, could they create fear among those gathered to protest the convention...

//counterpunch.org/lisnoff09082008.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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