In a previous post, we published a letter to Betsy DeVos written by Jesse Hagopian regarding the Secretary’s appearance in Bellevue, Washington hosted by the right wing think tank the Washington Policy Center.
To provide context for those who are not familiar with the Puget Sound area, Bellevue is across the bridge from Seattle and basically a suburb of Seattle.
As with the reception Seattle provided Michelle Rhee a few years ago, a Northwest style welcome was also given to Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Because a video is worth, I don’t know, a 5,000 words, I thought it best to provide the following clips:
Maybe it’s just me, but those cops all lined up at the protest, look like the Emperor’s Storm Troopers from “Star Wars.”
The increasing militarization of the cops has led to a situation where they are not here “to protect and to serve” the people, but “to protect and to serve” those in charge, while they view the people as the enemy.
Zorba, I agree.
Did you also notice the cops on the rooftops? They must be protecting DeVos from all those mean teachers, students and parents.
DeVos has one of the largest security contingents of anyone in the cabinet and probably thanks in part to her brother Erik Prince who heads the private security company Blackwater. Prince is also one of Trump’s security advisors, see https://theintercept.com/2017/01/17/notorious-mercenary-erik-prince-is-advising-trump-from-the-shadows/.
It’s costing tax payers millions to keep DeVos from getting too close to the rest of us.
By the way, for more on Blackwater, see Democracy Now Amy Goodman’s two interviews with Jeremy Scahill: Blackwater Founder Erik Prince, the Brother of Betsy DeVos, Is Secretly Advising Trump https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/18/scahill_blackwater_founder_erik_prince_the and Jeremy Scahill on Trump Team: A Cabal of Religious Extremists, Privatization Advocates & Racists https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7j7PUEVvo0A.
Also, Scahill wrote a book titled Blackwater. Here is a video of Scahill talking about Prince and Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JxGSY2YC14.
Here is a recent article about Prince and his desire to create a private Air Force,https://theintercept.com/2016/04/11/blackwater-founder-erik-prince-drive-to-build-private-air-force/.
I wonder if the Secret Service, the Marshals, and local police think about the fact that when enough people are fed up and decide to follow Thomas Jefferson’s advice to nourish the tree of liberty, any security protecting the tyrants are going to become targets too.
This has happened in every popular revolution throughout history I’ve read about. That’s why so many of the guards of tyrants have turned against those they protect because they want to survive.
A few facts to think about.
There are an estimated 270 to 310 million firearms in the United States, and almost 22-million military veterans who know how to fight. The endless wars since World War II in addition to constant fear mongering in the media has turned the United States into an unstable improvised explosive devise (IED) that could explode anytime.
I agree and the 1% know it hence so many militarized police departments.
True, the oligarchs know the explosion is coming. Militarizing the police was never meant to protect us against ISIS and Al Qaeda. Those police are there to protect Trump and his masters.
But the people are heavily armed and millions of the people who fought in one or more of this country’s endless wars know how to wage war. If the revolution has a strong leader that organizes his or her forces, the police, no matter how militarized, will not stand a chance.
“In 2008, state and local law enforcement agencies employed more than 1.1 million people on a full-time basis, including about 765,000 sworn personnel (defined as those with general arrest powers). Agencies also employed approximately 100,000 part-time employees, including 44,000 sworn officers.”
In addition, violent urban street gangs match the police in numbers and are often better armed, and that doesn’t’ even count all the Americans that own firearms and those that are combat vets.
And as with the American Revolution, know the territory better than the occupying police force
The high school where I taught had a barrio on two sides. When I started working in the district the other two areas on the other side of the school were part of a cattle ranch where the cattle roamed and fed.
The multi-generational street gangs in the barrio, in the lowlands between the railroad tracks and the ranch, were so dangerous, the police often did not patrol those streets at night. I remember arriving at school on a Monday to discover all the parking lot lights had been shot out and classroom doors were riddled with bullet holes. The district sent every custodian from all of their schools to fill the holes and paint them over before the students started to arrive. They got the job done. When the students arrived, the shattered glass was gone from the parking lot, the bullet holes filled and fresh paint on every door. The high school had its own squad of campus badge carrying police who patrolled the hallways on ten speeds and they carried walkie-talkies.
Every morning starting at 6:00 AM, a two-man team of custodians rolled around with an electric flatbed cart loaded with paint cans, rollers, and brushes to get rid of the gang graffiti that sprouted on walls and door almost every night. Mondays were the worst day because the gangs had two days to cover surfaces with their signs.
It was so bad that when a developer built new homes for the middle class where the cattle ranch had been, they couldn’t sell the homes if the streets flowed through to the barrio so they built walls in the middle of streets to block the traffic flow between the homes in the barrio and the new middle-class development.
Some families in the barrio took the developer to court to get one wall torn down because for some of them that new street made it easier and faster to reach work or new shopping centers popping up in the new development that stretched for miles through the foothills away from the high school.
The high school where I worked was ranked a 3 on a scale of 10 in the state of California where they started ranking schools before the 21st century arrived. Seven miles away in the new development a new high school was built that ended up earning itself a rank of 9 out of 10. No gangs. No poverty. Many Asians.
The barrio families that went to court lost that battle and that wall, too high to climb over, stayed in place. It was still there when I retired from teaching in 2005. One side was covered in gang graffiti. The city painted the middle-class side every day.
A tale of two communities
Flowing into the same high school.
The Trumpists won’t pay attention until we take Thomas Jefferson’s advice about what we have to do to nourish the Tree of Liberty.