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by James Corbett
January 24, 2012
Welcome. This is James Corbett of The Corbett Report with your Eyeopener report for BoilingFrogsPost.com.
With TSA abuses back in the headlines, continued concern over the NDAA and other legislation codifying martial law, President Obama’s unchallenged use of his self-proclaimed authority to assassinate American citizens without trial, and an increasingly bewildering array of tracking, tracing and pain-compliance technology being used against law-abiding citizens, more and more people are becoming aware of the police state that currently exists in the US, and indeed throughout much of the so-called “free world.”
With this understanding comes a certain amount of apprehension: after all, the enemies of liberty are organized and persistent, and they inhabit positions of authority. The defenders of liberty, meanwhile, seem few and far between, and more time seems spent convincing others that the police state even exists than in working to dismantle these systems of control.
What these concerns obscure, however, is the simple fact that the police state constitutes a mental prison as much as a physical one, and that part of its power is in convincing the public that it is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful. Once that illusion is shattered, the police state can be seen for what it is: a system of coercion that can only function if a majority of the people go along with it.
In recent years, an increasing number of people have been revolting against police state authority, some with light-hearted humor, others with nothing more than a camera and the courage to use it, but all with the understanding that rights can only be safe-guarded by a vigilant population that refuses to submit to arbitrary and intrusive authority.
Ironically, it is the very technological development that has allowed the progenitors of the police state to create their databases, cameras, and Big Brother surveillance state systems that is increasingly enabling the average citizen to fight back against that system, a point so obvious that it has even been addressed by the bought-and-paid-for establishment mouthpiece “news”:
With the realization that more people are wielding and using their cameras as a tool to keep the so-called authorities honest has come an inevitable backlash by the system.
In 2009, the UK went so far as to pass a law deeming anyone so much as suspected of taking a picture of a police officer as a criminal. When confronted by a massive backlash against the law, including a protest in Trafalgar Square in January 2010, the London Metropolitan Police attempted to assure the public that it was there policy to allow filming or photographing of public places and police personnel. As late as last month, however, a photographer in Mansfield was threatened with arrest by two “police community support officers” for having taken photographs in a public space.
In the US, police around the country have tried again and again to arrest citizens for photographing or filming their actions, and these cases have been thrown out again and again by judges. Although laws vary from state to state, the vast majority of states have unambiguous laws that allow for the filming of public officials in public spaces.
One person campaigning for greater awareness of these laws is Carlos Miller, proprietor of the website “Photography is Not a Crime.” He has twice been arrested for filming the police and has twice beaten those charges, and has engaged the Miami-Dade metrorail security on multiple occasions despite the metrorail’s stated policy of allowing photography at its stations.
Earlier this month, I had the chance to talk to Carlos Miller about the ways that an informed populace can help in the fight to keep public spaces open to photography and video by simply arming themselves with a camera.
Another key aspect of the police state control grid are the myriad tracking technologies that are used to keep the population docile and compliant. With just 1 percent of the world’s population and over 20 percent of its CCTV cameras, it is difficult for the average UK resident to escape the all-seeing eye of Big Brother. But with the help of organizations like No-CCTV, the public is increasingly becoming informed about strategies for engaging local councils and having the cameras removed, sometimes with remarkable results.
Earlier this month I talked to Charles Farrier of No CCTV UK about the work his organization is doing in helping British citizens combat the police state in the UK.
Emboldened by their growing numbers and empowered by new technologies, more and more copwatch groups, independent news websites, citizen action campaigns and individuals are resisting the police state through a variety of means. As always, the number of people who are actively involved in protecting our waning civil liberties may not be a majority, but the numbers are growing by the day and the technology for disseminating information has leveled the playing field between the oppressor and the oppressed like no other time in human history.
And as with so many struggles, those struggling against the power of the police state are realizing that their greatest power lies in merely resisting the system and refusing to go along with the arbitrary dictates of the so-called rulers. And with that simple act of mental liberation, the understanding that the system requires our cooperation in order to proceed, the masses are once again discovering that behind the pomp and circumstance, Big Brother is not so frightening after all.
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