Sunday, December 4, 2011

Even Bahrain's Use of 'Miami Model' Policing Will Not Stop the Uprising

Bahraini leaders have hired the architect of Miami's brutal policing methods, showing their disregard for reform

In 2003, as a photography student in Chicago, I travelled to Miami to cover protests by trade unionists and other activists at a meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. I had just returned from witnessing the repressive tactics of the Israeli army against Palestinians – invasions, curfew, violent crackdown on unarmed protests – but never expected to see them deployed at home in a US city.

I was shocked when I reached Miami and found it similar to a West Bank town under occupation. The city was largely empty save for police vehicles speeding in every direction and helicopters hovering above. Once the protests began, it was impossible to move more than a few feet in any direction without confronting the police and their brutality. The thousands of police dressed in full riot gear and armed with teargas, rubber bullets, batons, electric tasers – all of which were used against protesters and journalists – were everywhere around Miami.

The "model", as Miami public officials called it at the time, was the brainchild of police chief John Timoney. After leading the head-bashing of protesters as Philadelphia's police commissioner during the Republican party's national convention in 2000, Timoney was hired by Miami and given more than $8m to introduce a level of police brutality unlike any we had ever seen in the US.

Read on...

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At December 4, 2011 at 4:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democracy / Military backed dictatorship......It's getting harder to see the difference.


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