Posted August 22, 2008
Why Protesters in Denver and Minneapolis will be Treated Like Terrorists
Demonstrators are descending on the national political conventions in Denver and Minneapolis to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech; meanwhile government law enforcement, intelligence, and security agencies are planning to treat dissidents like potential terrorists because of a reliance on flawed research, hyperbolic assessments, and political bias.
Social science research into the handling of demonstrations at major events across the United States since the Seattle protests in 1999 reveals a pattern of distorted threat analysis and repeated police abuses. Just published is the book Policing Dissent by Luis A. Fernandez, with the subtitle Social Control and the Anti-Globalization Movement. It is the social control of radical political dissent that is at the heart of government political repression, and Fernandez joins a long line of analysts who explain how the erosion of civil liberties is always justified by fanning fears of violence, civil unrest, and terrorism.
Fernandez observes that: