‘Violence Flaring, Bullets Loading’ — The Militarization of Our Cities
You’re probably not old enough to remember first-hand Barry McGuire’s song “Eve of Destruction,” in which he laments, “Violence flaring, bullets loading. You’re old enough to kill but not for voting.”
(Actually, I’m pretty sure all those gerunds got their ending g‘s removed during the song, but I left the g‘s on because they made the headline cleaner looking. Sound reasoning, huh?) Anyway, that particular song was about the Vietnamese War and the accompanying dissent and turmoil here at home.
We were able to end that mess by giving Americans the right to vote when they turn 18 — and the South Vietnamese the right to defend themselves all alone as we cut off all funding and support.
The reference point here is Ferguson, Mo., and the ongoing demonstrations. To be honest, the overriding significance of the whole issue kind of slipped by me until I read today’s techdirt with a post by Mike Masnick on how the “law” in Missouri is not allowing the press the freedom to cover the demonstrations — even after signing a court order to do just that!
Nor are they allowing the demonstrators much in the way of freedom of expression.
Masnick also introduced me the photographic work of Getty photographer Scott Olson, who was even arrested by police while trying capture news photos in Ferguson (see noninterference pact above).
If you want to graphically experience how the police in America have become our adversaries and armed themselves to the teeth to do so, then take a look at Scott Olson’s collection of Ferguson pictures here: