10/06/2034 11:31 PM ET

RACE

Being Free From Military Invasion Is A Human Rights Issue

Katie von Beurich
Huntington Courier Associate Cities Editor

CC BY 4.0 BEST OF THE MARINE CORPS - May 2006 - Defense Visual Information Center by Expert Infantry | Writer image: CC BY 4.0 My Face by Rachael | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
A file photo of just one of the pieces of equipment American citizens should not have to expect in their neighborhoods.
Last night the police departments of three major American cities effectively invaded black communities they were tasked to serve and protect.

This wasn’t the average, run-of-the-mill, breaking-down-the-door drug bust. The equipment they used was emblematic of a police force which has been transformed from enforcing justice, to invading and killing U.S. citizens.

Here is a partial list of the equipment used in Cleveland, Philadelphia and Detroit:

M1 Abrams tanks
Armored Personnel Carriers
Heavy machine guns
Dreadnought helicopters
Guided missiles
RPGs

If this doesn’t look like a list of equipment and vehicles you would expect a police department to utilize, you would be forgiven. The U.S. Army deployed the same materiel in the war in Nigeria.

Let me say that again: the U.S. Army deployed the same materiel in the war in Nigeria. I don’t mean the same models are being used. I mean the actual units being used in American neighborhoods were purchased after seeing service in the Nigerian jungle against Boko Haram.

Killing more black bodies.

What this effectively means is that your friendly local police force now likely has the same capability as the 3rd armored division. And more troubling, capability usually matches up with intent. Think about it – would the Philadelphia P.D. buy tanks if they weren’t planning on using them? Does anyone really believe that police departments are spending $2.5m per unit for ceremonial purposes?

Of course not. They’re intended for use in urban combat. That most of them have been purchased in the past five years is a testament to the rapid rise of courageous black activists and the extent to which they have authorities afraid of their sovereign independence.

And really, I don’t blame black communities. They saw police departments readying themselves for war, and decided they needed to take measures to protect themselves. So they created Sovereign Black areas and in some cases built walls around them (Philadelphia). In others, they erected barricades at key neighborhood entry points (Detroit). In all of them they commenced patrols and enforced laws which councils of local community leaders came together to agree upon as best for their community.

But now those same communities are under occupation. Black bodies lie dead in the street. Military-grade helicopters fly over black houses launching missiles into living rooms.

The right to not live under military occupation is a human right. It’s a human right in Palestine, it’s a human right in Tibet, and it’s a human right in Germantown. The right to grow up without being threatened by military hardware is a human right. The right to live without having 7.62mm caliber bullets fired at your family is a human right.

In the United States, we used to think self-determination was a human right, too.

I guess that time is gone.
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