riot gear’s evolution – 1968 on steroids

This New York Times Opinion Pages editorial column takes a look a the changes in apparel for law enforcement responses to civil protests over the years. And just last week Hillary was condemning the folks in Myanmar for repressive governance. In early 2011, the United States imposed a series of sanctions on Myanmar for “a general disregard by the Burmese military for the human rights and civil liberties of the people of Burma.” H-m-m-m … and the differences between Myanmar and Cairo and Syria and Oakland and Seattle are … ?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In the above link to” Seattle,” the article focuses on former Seattle police chief, Norm Stamper’s observations on the law enforcement response. Stamper is the author of the 2006 book, “Breaking Rank: A top cop’s exposé of the dark side of American policing.”]

“Just as the styles of protest have changed from one generation to the next, so have the styles of protest policing. Technological advances, training innovations and changing attitudes toward the right to assemble have all shaped the way the police handle the challenges of large demonstrations. During the 1960s and ’70s, police officers treated many protests as a threat to the social order and responded with brute force. In the 1980s and ’90s, demonstrations tended to be less confrontational and the police responded with more accommodating tactics.

“Following the “Battle in Seattle” protests against the World Trade Organization in 1999, a more restrictive, preemptive and aggressive form of protest policing emerged at the 2003 protests in Miami over the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The current Occupy demonstrations … read the remainder of the article here.

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