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from Police State USA.
While some would have you believe the biggest stories of 2013 were about twerking celebrities and over-hyped real-life courtroom sagas, much bigger events were happening with far more lasting national significance. The foundation of an American police state is already laid and coming into full bloom, while most of the country remains blissfully focused on sports, reality shows, establishment pseudo-news, and other distractions.
While all of the injustices that took place in 2013 would require an encyclopedia to cover adequately, this list is designed to illustrate certain trends and significant stories from the past year. If Americans don’t fix their apathy and disengagement toward causes that matter, we can expect these trends to continue toward their logical conclusions: an increasingly repressive police state dominating the lives people inside these borders and beyond.
Checkpoints, Warrantless Searches Become a Way of Life
(Source: AP/The Sacramento Bee, Randall Benton)
The state of the 4th amendment is in truly bad shape, given the prevalence of warrantless checkpoints and warrantless bag searches being used all around the country for various reasons. No longer restricted to airport terminals, the unconstitutional tactics are now being used in subways, bus stations, on bridges, at parades, and anywhere else the government can get away with them. This is facilitated by the palpable fear of terrorism and with financial incentives from the federal government.
In what was dubbed “Operation Independence,” the federal government along with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department staged a high-visibility terror drill in the LA subway this July. Deputies dressed in paramilitary garb teamed up with agents from the TSA and DHS to require travelers to open up their bags and prove their innocence before being allowed to commute. These tactics have sadly become commonplace in many major cities.
Security measures at major events have gotten increasingly invasive. At the annual ‘Mackinac Bridge Walk’ in St. Ignace, Michigan, up to 40,000 walkers were subjected to warrantless bag searches in the interest of event security. In Chicago, warrantless bag searches were performed on public sidewalks during a celebratory parade for the Blackhawks’ hockey championship, and were again performed along the 26-mile track of the Chicago Marathon. A famous parade in Pasadena, California, is used as an excuse to search the interiors of hundreds of vehicles who wish to park on public streets.
The “stop and frisk” phenomenon was alive and well in 2013. The appalling practice …read more