Urban Shield is a general emergency response exercise that focuses on containing and suppressing civil protest and so-called anti-terrorism activity within the USA. So it is both disheartening and insulting that the Urban Shield 2.0 War Games were held here in Oakland, California where the world renowned Black Panther Party for Self-Defense organized to eliminate police brutality and espionage against African-Americans and other marginalized communities.
Although this 3-day event, held the weekend of October 25th, 2013, was all but ignored by mainstream media, it was well attended by global weapons dealers, private security corporations, surveillance companies, worldwide, as well as local law enforcement agencies. Many received tactical training on the use of chemical weapons in urban settings from elite members of Israeli Special Forces. Who better to teach terrorist tactics against civilians than those responsible for terrorizing Palestinians in their homeland (Palestine) for more than half a century? Is Oakland to Urban Shield what Palestine is to Israeli commandos?
According to the Urban Area Security Initiative’s Bay Area Homeland Security Strategy 2012–2014, “…the Bay Area is home to many international and domestic terrorist organizations, making it a prime location for potential terrorist attack.” (http://disarmamentactivist.org/feed/) However, the Bay Area is home to many freedom loving, justice-seeking, every-day citizens, multi-cultural entrepreneurs, community activists, cultural artists, and human rights advocates. Are “we, the people” the 2.0 War Game participants are planning to go to war against?
These days Occupy-Wall-Street participants and other civilian protestors are scrutinized, the homeless are criminalized, the poor are stigmatized, and the people are penalized both in this, and by this homeland. US citizens as well as America’s foreign allies are spied upon. Personal privacy has become extinct since cyber-security, GPS locators and other computer programs monitor our every move and capture every aspect of our lives. Are we victims, citizens, targets, or the enemy?
Inside the myth of freedom, the general population is quickly becoming “public enemy” to a plethora of private entities that happen to be funded and supported by government agencies. Not much homeland security can be expected when urban weapon and assault games are being held in one’s community. On the contrary, Oakland’s Urban Shield 2.0 War Games typify how we, the people are being terrorized by America’s homegrown, homeland insecurities. Maybe there is more to fear than fear itself. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “… when the people fear the government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people there is liberty.” For more visit http://www.constitutioncampaign.org/blog/?p=15372#.UnK2yhC2XXM