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News ::
Police State City, FL (english)
20 Nov 2003
When is a police state not a police state? When officials tell us so.
Hyatt Press Room, Miami -

No, Miami is not a police state. Movement has been severly restricted, walls are up, and if I was told otherwise I would have to say that some public spaces and malls are under police occupation. Funny looking bike police protected by hockey helmets ride in large circles blocking off streets while one block away there are the heavy troops armed with paintball pepper spray guns, tazers, tear gas canister launchers, billy clubs, bean bag shot guns and weapons the likes of which I have never seen.

Bus routes are either closed or diverted several miles out of the way. Some Metrorail stations are closed and the smaller Metromover is shut down all together. Downtown, even away from the wall, police barricades are everwhere. Walking is still possible, but beware: I was calmly informed by police that today is not a good day to wear black. I pretended he meant it was hot.

Does this sound like a police state? Sure does, feels like one too. The German tourists I was trapped on a bus with while we drove around and away from downtown for an hour or so believed so as well. Oddly all this police presence was allegedly needed to protect the FTAA from protesters who, well, just weren't out yet. The big obstruction was, and now still is, the police.

But this isn't a police state and we know this because Luis Lauredo, the executive director of the FTAA Miami, said so. He also claims that the radical elements that may be present in the protests cannot possibly be anti-FTAA because "they can't even spell it." That is as true as it is original - by that I mean he stole it.

The fact of the matter is that Miami is indeed a police state, but those responsible refuse to accept the reality of what they have done. This gives us laughable statements about how "NAFTA has been good for both American and Mexican workers" from Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans and others who like to think they did something good rather than stoke their growing greed.

How do they plan to enact an economic plan that requires near martial law just to talk about? In a word: Denial. They need us to play along when they tell us how well it will work, how free it will make us, and how the poor will become rich. Fortunately we know better, and those in the street will shatter the illusion.
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