Schools Are Not Gun Free Anymore!
From one extreme to another. First our governments won’t allow anyone to be armed in our schools to protect our kids so we have crazies flocking to gun free schools and theaters shooting and killing at will…now’, we have campus police looking like special Opp’s
By de Andréa
September 10, 2014
In 1968, students at Columbia University staged a mass uprising, joining other college campuses in protesting not just the war in Vietnam, but their school’s collaboration with the Institute for Defense Analysis, a Defense Department affiliate that researches weapons technologies. Today, weapons produced by that institute are used by the US military throughout the world—and by campus police forces across the country. The war has come home. Part of Obama’s expanding Gestapo SS?
Yes in the picture… is a grenade launcher that has been issued to the campus police where your daughter goes to school - by the Obama Regime. Are your children safe now? Who is going to protect them from the heavily armed campus police? I guess they’re not going to use pepper spray anymore!
This is all thanks to the Pentagon’s 1033 program, which allows the Defense Department to unload its excess military equipment onto local police forces, and it has ‘quietly’ overflowed onto college campuses. According to documents obtained by the website Muckrock, more than 100 campus police forces have received military materials from the Pentagon. Schools that participate in the program range from liberal arts to community colleges to the entire University of Texas system. Emory, Rice, Purdue, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just a few on the list.
In 1990, Congress enacted the National Defense Authorization Act, including the magnanimous section 1208, which since 1996 has been known as program 1033 to share government surplus such as typing paper auto parts and radio equipment. I don’t think Congress had modern combat equipment in mind. Over the last 17 years, this trickle-down gift economy has distributed more than $4.3 billion worth of equipment, according to program administrators. And in the last 6 years in conjunction with his Department of Homeland Security, Gestapo SS for short, Obama has shared advanced military equipment to arm local police and now campus police.
You might want to warn your child about the mine fields around the perimeter of their school.
As Ferguson police rolled up to peaceful protesters in military-grade tanks, firing tear gas and rubber bullets, President Obama ordered a review of the program, which reached new highs in regifting under his tenure.
It’s clear why a review of the program is in order, because it isn’t clear at all what sort of equipment these colleges are supposed to be receiving. David Perry, the president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, told Politico that 1033 mostly funnels “small items” to college police forces for daily use. These could be anything from office supplies or uniforms or car parts, but it’s probably not all that tame. Campus Safety magazine recommends that universities take part in the 1033 program to cover a range of needs from storage units to grenade launchers. That is, after all, what Obama used the program to achieve isn’t it?
But program 1033 doesn’t even come close to explaining all the ways in which campus and local police have been militarized over the past six years. Colleges can also apply for Homeland Security grants, the same ones made available to every municipal police department in the country. In 2012, UC Berkeley tried to use the program to purchase an eight-ton armored truck. After a backlash, university officials ultimately decided the truck was “not the best choice for a university setting.” The following year, Ohio State University acquired a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle. So far, it has yet to run over a mine.
Several campus police forces have also been vigorously trained in paramilitary tactics since 2008. In a country where SWAT teams raid private residencies more than 100 times a day, mostly in neighborhoods where minorities live, reported by the ACLU the decision to train campus officers in this overindulged art of war is a vote in favor of military policing tactics on the part of institutions of higher education, even before the training is ever put to use.
In the 1960s, campuses went into lockdown because students were occupying buildings; now, they often go into lockdown because campus police are itching to stretch their military muscles. Horrible crimes have been committed with guns at colleges, but using the Virginia Tech massacre and other shootings to justify turning universities into police states is disingenuous considering that campuses are still so-called GUN FREE ZONES - and these tactics clearly aren’t making them any safer. But amped up fears have made it easy for the Pentagon and local law enforcement to align with campus police while being met with little pushback.
Just last month, campus police at Cal State San Marcos put the university on lockdown based on intelligence that a man was walking around campus with a gun. The suspect, they later learned, was armed only with an umbrella. In December 2013, American University in Washington, DC shut down its academic operations to search for a reported gunman who turned out to be an off-duty police officer. On Wednesday, Denison University and all other schools in the district of Granville, Ohio, were locked down after police received a phony threat of an impending shooting.
Concurrent with increasing lockdown drills and stockpiling of weapons is the stifling of student dissent. In 2009, during the G-20 Summit, student protestors at the University of Pittsburgh were demonstrating peacefully on their campus when cops demanded they disperse, then quickly proceeded to arrest several of them. Police sprayed pepper gas at passersby and onto the balconies of residences where students were watching the scene below.
There was also the infamous mass pepper spraying of Occupy demonstrators at UC Davis in 2011. Police used CS gas, pepper pellets, and beanbag rounds on UC student protesters throughout 2012. When students and workers at UC Riverside publicly demanded the scaling back of university privatization in a number of sectors, they were met with batons and paintball pellets. Now they may be facing grenade launchers and M16’s
The list of infringements upon student dissent, student space, and student bodies, is too long to enumerate here. Yet, importantly, it is also impossible to quantify, because incidents are never added up and detailed funding records never corralled into a comprehensible database. In the absence of serious oversight and accounting, narratives are stitched together, stories swapped, and a picture of violent state surveillance and control emerges. The picture squares with what we see in cities, towns, and communities across America. Every police arrest is a Special Opp’s Mission.
And it squares with much of what’s taken place in response to the defensive killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in important ways, including the swiftness and brutality with which police met peaceful protestors in Ferguson. The protest didn’t become violent until the protesters were attacked with a seemingly combat operation. Most of the protesters in Ferguson and those marching in solidarity across the country are young, and young people are more likely to support curtailing police power than their aged peers.
A few weeks ago, activist and journalist Mariame Kaba asked on Twitter: “How can we build a movement to divest from police? Is there a way for us to do this? Can we go after local police budgets?”
Young people in solidarity with the people of Ferguson and the families who have lost sons and daughters at the hands of militant police are poised to illuminate these connections between education, state surveillance, and state violence in a uniquely powerful Way
Thanks for listening – de Andréa
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