Police

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Police Powers Bill: Preparing for Class War

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 8:45pm in

Tags 

UK, Police, Repression

image/jpeg iconoppression.jpg

The Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill has given rise to a wave of ‘Kill the Bill’ protests and demonstrations across the country, and has been criticised for the wider powers it gives to the state in general and more specifically to the police.

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Cartoon: Welcome back to school

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 04/09/2021 - 7:50am in

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Fresh audio product

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 03/09/2021 - 6:54am in

Tags 

Radio, Police, Protest

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link):

September 2, 2021 Paul Passavant, author of Policing Protest, on the change in how cops treat protesters since the 1960s • Marisol Cantú and Shiva Mishek (co-author of this article) on how activists won a shift of public funding from cops to social services in Richmond, California

Dick by name…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/08/2021 - 4:10am in

The usually right wing Nick Ferrari yesterday interviewed the Commissioner Of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, on LBC. She maintained that : She was “very disappointed” that @ExtinctionR are returning to London this month. She says she doesn’t believe London supports such disruption and describes it as “frustrating”. Perhaps the disruption of flooding or of... Read more

SpyCops: How the UK Police Infiltrated Over 1,000 Political Groups

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 06/08/2021 - 9:06am in



The new MintPress podcast, “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip-hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations about which it is in the public interest to know — including intelligence, lobby and special-interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. The Watchdog goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media.

Since the 1960s, the U.K. police have been charged with surveilling and infiltrating some 1,000 political, environmental or social justice organizations. Much of this involved undercover work. As part of their false personas, many officers entered romantic relationships with activists, leading to the births of a number of children whose mothers were completely unaware of their partners’ double lives. More than 20 women have come forward to claim they were “raped by the state” in such a way.

Today, The Watchdog is talking to Tom Fowler about the so-called “Spycops” scandal in the United Kingdom. Fowler is a veteran activist from South Wales involved with a number of groups that were spied upon and infiltrated by police. His work can be found at SpyCops.Info, where he hosts a weekly podcast that shines a light on police malfeasance.

In this conversation, Fowler notes that after the spectacular success of the anti-Vietnam War movement in the United Kingdom, the police have looked for any way to prevent other widespread radical movements from gaining momentum. In time, this technique expanded to the point where spy cops had infiltrated virtually the entire New Left, as well as the environmental movement and anti-war groups. Greenpeace, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, and the Fire Brigades Union were all targeted.

So effective was this strategy that, at one point, the National Secretary of the Troops Out [of Northern Ireland] movement was an undercover police officer. On the other hand, the police showed no interest in surveilling violent far-right gangs or organizations, with which they became almost tacitly aligned.

And while so many commentators complain about the excesses of cancel culture, the police are known to have worked with the private sector to maintain a secret blacklist of radical subversives (i.e., people who were the best union organizers), who were barred from jobs in their professions. In this sense, they became the enforcers for the upper class.

The police have been less than forthcoming throughout the Spycops scandal, attempting to deny as much involvement as possible. To what extent is this policy still in place? And what techniques do police continue to use to infiltrate and derail any movement challenging the status quo? Fowler and Lowkey discuss all this in a free-flowing and explosive conversation.

MintPress News is a fiercely independent, reader-supported outlet, with no billionaire owners or backers. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube

Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic, political campaigner, and a MintPress video and podcast host. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique, and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network, and The Peace and Justice Project founded by Jeremy Corbyn.

The post SpyCops: How the UK Police Infiltrated Over 1,000 Political Groups appeared first on MintPress News.

Policing by numbers

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/08/2021 - 9:29am in

I much enjoyed this tweet from David Schneider: At a time when many of us are paying increased council tax for extra police simply because government cannot allegedly, afford them – shooting ourselves in the foot seems now to be a government precondition….... Read more

They’re Normalizing Police Robots By Calling Them “Dogs”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 01/08/2021 - 11:39pm in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/22a13c736d04b81f2f5da1c3bf0ee62f/href

Hawaii police are defending their use of pandemic relief funds for a robotic “police dog” made by Boston Dynamics which scans homeless people’s eyes to see if they have a fever.

“If you’re homeless and looking for temporary shelter in Hawaii’s capital, expect a visit from a robotic police dog that will scan your eye to make sure you don’t have a fever,” says a new report from Associated Press. “That’s just one of the ways public safety agencies are starting to use Spot, the best-known of a new commercial category of robots that trot around with animal-like agility.”

“Acting Lt. Joseph O’Neal of the Honolulu Police Department’s community outreach unit defended the robot’s use in a media demonstration earlier this year,” AP reports. “He said it has protected officers, shelter staff and residents by scanning body temperatures between meal times at a shelter where homeless people could quarantine and get tested for COVID-19. The robot is also used to remotely interview individuals who have tested positive.”

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This has understandably elicited criticism from civil rights advocates.

“Because these people are houseless it’s considered OK to do that,” Hawaii ACLU legal director Jongwook Kim told AP. “At some point it will come out again for some different use after the pandemic is over.”

This report comes just days after we learned that police in Winnipeg have also obtained a “Spot” robot which they intend to use in hostage situations.

Winnipeg Free Press reports:

The Winnipeg Police Service is set to acquire a pricey dog-shaped robot, to be used in hostage situations, that’s already been ditched by police in New York City.

“Spot” is made by Boston Dynamics, which sells the device for US$74,500. Winnipeg police are spending $257,000 to acquire and use Spot. The 32-kilogram robot “has the ability to navigate obstacles, uneven terrain (and) situations where our traditional robot platforms can’t go into,” said Insp. Brian Miln at a news conference Wednesday.

Months earlier the New York Police Department cancelled its lease of the same type of robot they obtained last year following public outcry. More from AP:

The expensive machine arrived with little public notice or explanation, public officials said, and was deployed to already over-policed public housing. Use of the high-tech canine also clashed with Black Lives Matter calls to defund police operations and reinvest in other priorities.

The company that makes the robots, Boston Dynamics, says it’s learned from the New York fiasco and is trying to do a better job of explaining to the public — and its customers — what Spot can and cannot do. That’s become increasingly important as Boston Dynamics becomes part of South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Company, which in June closed an $880 million deal for a controlling stake in the robotics firm.

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To be absolutely clear, there is not actually any legitimate reason for any normal person to refer to these machines as a “robotic dog”, or a “high-tech canine”, or by a cutesy cliché name for a pet. These are robots. Robots that are being used by police forces on civilian populations. If the robots being used had two legs, or eight, they would not be able to apply such cuddly wuddly labels, and public alarm bells would be going off a lot louder.

Which is of course the idea. As AP noted above, Boston Dynamics is acutely aware that it has a PR situation on its hands and needs to manage public perception if it wants to mainstream the use of these machines and make a lot of money. Because it’s a known fact that westerners tend to be a lot more sympathetic to dogs than even to other humans, arbitrarily branding a quadrupedal enforcement robot a “dog” helps facilitate this agenda.

On-the-ground robot policing is becoming normalized today under the justification of Covid-19 precautions in the same way police around the world have normalized the use of drones to police coronavirus restrictions, at the same time police departments are rolling out dystopian systems for predicting future criminality using computer programs and databases.

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This is all happening as the French army is testing these “Spot” robots for use in combat situations, years after the Pentagon requested the development of a “Multi-Robot Pursuit System” which can “search for and detect a non-cooperative human subject” like a pack of dogs. New Scientist’s Paul Marks reported on the latter development back in 2008:

Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University is an expert on police and military technologies, and last year correctly predicted this pack-hunting mode of operation would happen. “The giveaway here is the phrase ‘a non-cooperative human subject’,” he told me:

“What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed.

We can also expect such systems to be equipped with human detection and tracking devices including sensors which detect human breath and the radio waves associated with a human heart beat. These are technologies already developed.”

These developments always elicit nervous jokes about Terminator movies and the idea of Skynet robots going rogue and enslaving humanity, but the far more realistic and immediate concern is this technology being used on humans by other humans.

For as long as there have been governments and rulers, there has been an acute awareness in elite circles that the public vastly outnumber those who rule over them and could easily overwhelm and oust them if they ever decided to. Many tools have been implemented to address this problem, from public displays of cruelty to keep the public cowed and obedient, to the circulation of propaganda and power-serving religious doctrines, but at no time has any power structure in history ever produced a guaranteed protection against the possibility of being overthrown by their subjects who vastly outnumber them.

The powerful have also long been aware that robot and drone technologies can offer such a protection.

https://medium.com/media/91ea6a69c286bfc664d079f67a06283f/href

Once the legal and technological infrastructure for robotic security systems has been rolled out, all revolutionary theory that’s ever been written goes right out the window, because the proletariat cannot rise up and overthrow their oppressors if their oppressors control technologies which enable them to quash any revolution using a small security team of operators.

Or, better yet, fully automated technologies which can fire upon civilians without the risk of human sympathy taking the side of the people. According to a recent UN report, a Turkish-made drone may have been the first ever to attack humans with deadly force without being specifically ordered to.

Live Science reports:

At least one autonomous drone operated by artificial intelligence (AI) may have killed people for the first time last year in Libya, without any humans consulted prior to the attack, according to a U.N. report.

According to a March report from the U.N. Panel of Experts on Libya, lethal autonomous aircraft may have “hunted down and remotely engaged” soldiers and convoys fighting for Libyan general Khalifa Haftar. It’s not clear who exactly deployed these killer robots, though remnants of one such machine found in Libya came from the Kargu-2 drone, which is made by Turkish military contractor STM.

So at this point we’re essentially looking at a race to see if the oligarchic empire can manufacture the necessary environment to allow the use of robotic security forces to lock their power in place forever before the masses get fed up with the increasing inequalities and abuses of the status quo and decide to force a better system into existence.

What a time to be alive.

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Policing Without Cops Finds Its Way from Oregon to New York

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/07/2021 - 6:00pm in

East coast transplant

A few months back we wrote about a program in Eugene, Oregon called CAHOOTS that dispatches social workers instead of police to certain nonviolent 911 calls. The results have been impressive: CAHOOTS has decreased the number of harmful interactions between police and people with drug or mental health issues. It has also saved the city millions of dollars, since CAHOOTS’s operating costs are only about two percent of the police department’s budget, yet it handles about 20 percent of calls to the cops.

But the big question has always been whether the CAHOOTS model could work in larger, more diverse cities, where issues of policing, mental health, drug addiction and homelessness are deeply connected to racial discrimination. (Only about two percent of Eugene’s residents are Black.) 

Now, there’s evidence that it might. New York City just piloted a similar program that dispatches behavioral health specialists to mental health crisis calls. The program, called B-HEARD, launched last month in Harlem, where teams of three social workers responded to over a hundred 911 calls. Some 95 percent of the people B-HEARD responders approached accepted their help, compared to 82 percent who typically accept help from police or EMS workers. 

The B-HEARD responders were also more meticulous about what kind of help they provided, sending fewer people to hospitals and more to community-based health centers. The pilot’s success has already convinced the city to expand it, increasing the number of B-HEARD dispatches from 25 percent of 911 calls to 50 percent. “This is great news,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman. “A smarter approach to public health and public safety. A smarter use of resources. And the evidence… shows that responding with care works.”

Read more at NPR

Use your words

Neuroscientists will tell you that making art can be mentally stabilizing, which is why Kathy Friedman, a Toronto-area writer who struggles with mental health issues, decided to launch a series of writing workshops for people like herself. “I’d been writing creatively since I learned how to hold a pencil, and I’d been dealing with mental health issues for almost as long. But I had never really put the two together,” she says.

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Now, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Friedman runs Inkwell Workshops, an organization that holds free weekly drop-in writing seminars for people who have experienced addiction or mental health challenges. Each class is led by a professional writer who has struggled with mental health issues themselves. These days, the workshops are held virtually, attracting about 20 participants each time (before the pandemic they were larger) and in some cases have even led to published work — a series called “New Writing from Inkwell Workshops” just had its fourth book in the anthology put out by one of Canada’s largest independent publishing houses.

Lately, the group has worked to encourage more participants from Indigenous groups, many of which struggle with high rates of addiction and mental health challenges. “We don’t just want to say to people, ‘You’re welcome to join us,’” Friedman told the Toronto Star. “We want to be able to say, ‘You’re welcome to join us, and we have created this space with you in mind.’”

Read more at the Toronto Star

Making moves

How do you convince a bird to relocate? In the old-growth forests of the Oregon coast, scientists are leveraging one particular seabird’s desire for company.

seabirdCredit: esle9 / Flickr

The marbled murrelet builds its cozy nests in the branches of old-growth trees, a habitat under threat from the commercial logging industry. To lure the birds out of harm’s way, Oregon State University biologists have been broadcasting the recorded calls of murrelets to encourage them to move to safer parts of the forest. It turns out the murrelets follow the sounds of their feathered friends when deciding where to nest. After trying out the trick during the 2016 breeding season, the scientists found that four times as many murrelets nested where the recorded calls were broadcast as in the control area.

Crucially, even after the broadcasts stop, it appears that the birds remain in their new locations once they’ve moved there. “They’ll return year after year to the same stand to nest as long as there are no changes,” said one OSU biologist. “Despite their solitary nesting habits, marbled murrelets are still a sociable bird.”

Read more at Hakai

The post Policing Without Cops Finds Its Way from Oregon to New York appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

When it’s a good time to be a criminal it is evidence of government failure

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 26/07/2021 - 8:41am in

Johnson’s recent article in the Sunday Express, which is also likely to be the subject of a speech on Tuesday, received short shrift from the Secret Barrister who pointed out: Johnson’s idea that “making this country safe is the single best and most effective way of levelling up” is empty rhetoric when you fail to... Read more

Entrevista a Xuân Rayne: Vietnamita, anarquista, trabajadora sexual

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 15/07/2021 - 7:56am in

image/jpeg icon1675F567-5CBA-4201-B131-F27992FCB93F.jpeg

Entrevistamos a Xuân Rayne, una anarquista vietnamita y trabajadora sexual no binaria afincada en Estados Unidos, para que nos explique la intersección de sus identidades, los caminos de la solidaridad internacional entre los trabajadores del sexo y cómo los trabajadores en general pueden estar con los trabajadores del sexo.
Xuân utiliza cualquier/todos los pronombres.
A translation of our interview with Xuân Rayne into Spanish. Translated by Grupo Anarquista Aurora.

Es necesario comprender que el Estado es la fuente clave de la explotación. No puede ser la solución a la misma.

Xuân Rayne

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