THE CREEPY WEAPONISING OF THE NATO WEST
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Throughout the West, the once conventional police now take on the role of a menacing army of occupation. Recruited from men and women who do not fit into conventional work opportunities and then poorly trained they then find themselves in protective gear carrying weapons in armoured vehicles of a type denied to the armed forces.
Many police personnel are burdened by the thug mentality the Black and Tans were notorious for. Undoubtedly, cops accept that their foremost duty is to protect the state from the will of the people and in this are natural allies of the Press Corp.
This raises the question; who and what does Western governments really consider to be the greatest threat; a foreign power or people power? Taking a look at the difference in equipment used by the under resourced armed forces and the State Police the answer suggests the West’s regimes are increasingly fearful of a Revolution of the Peoples Will. In Britain, France and Germany, Spain too, hundreds of thousands of people support anti-government rallies, at their peril and own risk.
Growing numbers of Canadian police agencies have added armoured vehicles to their crime-fighting arsenals, beasts on wheels that go by such names as Thunder 1, BearCat and Grizzly.
Several are retired military combat vehicles that have been modified and donated by the Canadian Forces. Other police agencies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase custom-built armoured trucks from private speciality manufacturers.
Scenes of heavily armed and armoured police clashing with unarmed protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of an unarmed man, have sparked discussions on both sides of the border about the ‘creeping militarization’ of police and accusations that they are wasting money on ‘toys for boys.’
But police officials in Canada defend their procurements. Even if these heavy-duty vehicles are sitting in a garage most days of the week, some have not been deployed even once, they are said to be necessary for dealing with hostile and potentially life-threatening situations such as hostage-takings, incidents involving barricaded gunmen or active shooters and the execution of high-risk search warrants, officials claim.
These sorts of toys do put the public in danger. They do escalate conflicts. They do create sort of an image problem for the police where they aren’t our protectors but they are our oppressors. Michael Spratt, an Ottawa criminal lawyer, said the money spent on purchasing and maintaining these vehicles would be better used for crime prevention.
‘I’d rather have a mental health crisis worker or a social worker on the street every day than a BearCat in the garage.’
The Department of National Defence confirmed Thursday it has donated five six-wheeled armoured vehicles to police agencies since 2007, a Grizzly armoured personnel carrier to Edmonton police in 2007; two Cougar armoured vehicles to the B.C. RCMP in 2010; and one Cougar each to the New Glasgow and Windsor, Ont., police in 2013.
Police officials in New Glasgow and Windsor said their vehicles have not been deployed in a real-world situation, but tactical officers continue to train with them.
‘It’s like insurance,’ New Glasgow police spokesman Const. Ken MacDonald said. ‘Our police force wants to prepare for anything we may encounter.’
Edmonton police spokesman Scott Pattison said the force doesn’t use its Grizzly often because it purchased a new armoured vehicle last year called a B.A.T.T., or Ballistic Armoured Tactical Transport vehicle, from Michigan-based The Armored Group. Nobody has presented evidence that would suggest this is an essential part of local policing.
Several other Canadian police forces have purchased custom-built armoured vehicles. In 2012, the RCMP purchased 18 armoured trucks from Navistar Defence Canada for $14 million.
According to the RCMP website, the vehicles are equipped with gun ports, sentry hatches, a protected observation station, an elevated ladder platform system, a fire detection/suppression system and infrared lighting. They can carry a full emergency response team, plus an additional 450 kilograms.
The Ottawa and Saskatoon police services spent about $365,000 each in recent years on armoured vehicles, called BearCats, from Massachusetts-based Lenco Armored Vehicles.
The Vancouver, Montreal and York Regional police departments, meanwhile, have each about the same amount of money on armoured vehicles, dubbed Thunder 1s, from Quebec-based Cambi International. Officials said vehicles are deployed one to three times a month on average.
University of Ottawa criminologist Michael Kempa remains sceptical of the need for the military hardware and says the public ought to scrutinize these purchases.
‘Nobody has presented the evidence that would suggest this is an essential part of local policing,’ Kempa said.
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