NYPD Security Theater

Taking the lead from Trump’s federal officers in Portland, the NYPD targets an anti-police brutality march on 25th Street and Second Avenue. Without warning, six or seven plainclothes freaks on steroids grab an 18-year-old, homeless transwoman, throw her into an unmarked van, and drive off. The next day it goes viral on social media.

The police and the corporate media in NYC accuse the young woman of having spray painted the lenses of 6 police cameras. Is it true? I have no idea. But it’s clear what’s going on here.

This is NYPD security theater designed to make normal people (like me) afraid to go to a protest, any kind of protest. It’s designed to create the impression that anytime, anywhere, for any reason, a militarized big city police department (who have obviously been given tracking information on your cell phone by the big tech companies) can swoop out of the crowd and drag you off to a black hole somewhere in a gigantic city of 10 million people, where you might (after spending a few days in some Covid-19 infected cell) eventually get to see an NLG lawyer. They will then trump up some kind of bogus charge, which the media will dutifully repeat, and “conservatives” will believe without asking too many questions.

In short, the NYPD want you to see this. They’re flexing their muscles in public. They’re trying to show us who’s boss. “Fuck you civilians,” they’re saying. “You’re nothing. You have no rights. We can disappear you any time we want.” The astonishing thing about it is that it really isn’t working. In spite of the obvious collusion between Trump, big city police departments like the NYPD, and the corporate media, the protests go on. The American ruling class has been so delegitimized the propaganda is no longer working. Bill De Blasio, their front man in NYC, a 6’5″ moral and intellectual dwarf of a man, is an utter laughing stock. Even black propaganda designed to intimidate, not to convince, is starting to fall flat. A minority of far-right-wing Americans support Trump and the police. Most Americans are just standing by on the sidelines thinking “what the fuck is going on.” At some point, people are going to be so fed up with this rotten system, they’ll just kick down the door, and the whole thing will come crashing down.

8 thoughts on “NYPD Security Theater

  1. John Thurloe

    It doesn’t help that these protests are ineptly organized. When I was the chief marshal, we knew that police would have undercover units about. I assigned Watcher squads to observe and ferret them out. They are not very hard to identify. We closed in with cameras, bullhorns and a picket of marshals to surround them. Paint balls do a good job of marking their cars. We used spray glue on them followed by feathers. They really didn’t like any of this but being marked and ridiculed sent them on their way.

    Of course in the U.S. just arm your marshals with guns. Lots of guns. I like that black militia. Who wants to try cop stunts with them?

  2. John Thurloe

    So get your own army. There’s way more of you than them. Put a cordon wall between. With guns if that’s allowed. Also, pop-up demos at other sites. Small, fast moving. Depletes their numbers. I remember the great May 9 demo in Toronto. The cops tried to pin many thousands into a small area. We just blew out in 50 directions. They lost all control. We surged up Yonge St. Always hold the initiative. They should never see what you’re about to do. They are left in reaction mode. All their tactics have been seen before. Make sure they don’t see yours.

    1. srogouski Post author

      Pop up demos might work but there has to be a way of organizing them without cell phones. Peter Thiel and Palantir are obviously feeding the police everybody’s digital information. That’s my guess at what happened here. They track someone’s phone before they do a dramatic snatch and grab for the media.

      There have actually been shootings in Seattle and Austin (I believe). Right now the left is far from being organized for “armed struggle” and every time guns have been used at one of these demonstration it’s just led to random violence. The black group who paraded with guns at Stone Mountain is a right wing, antisemitic group and I wouldn’t be surprised if they had the secret permission of the local police.

  3. John Thuloe

    I acknowlege your tactical advice. Throw up an intervening picket of marshals. I would do this in a heart beat. Issue the orders, commands.This really matters. It tells the marchers that they are secure.Buddy, you need to act in an insiring manner. Tons of cameras. Be seen as protecting the ordinary protesters. Have relief services ready to go. Lots of water, food, rest areas. Parade the press about. Make sure your people get their time in the sun. So to speak.

    My name on the Police Prade Permit. We’ve got Queen’s Park. 40K. Big stage, sound, music. The numbers has cowed the cops some. We are too many. Several cars push their way forward. They have banners proclaiming the Ukraine. I direct them to be surrounded by other banners. They get pocketed. The cops throughout are completely out of it. We quietly thump the shit out of them.

    Tell me there isn’t plenty of room for creative tactics.
    I’m used to this. That under necessity, comrades of all sorts would rally to.
    Think about that. People unnoticed lining up. Fresh troops.

    1. srogouski Post author

      Protests can always be organized better. On the other hand, the anti-war protests in 2003 were large, well-organized, and did absolutely nothing.

      I think the fact that the current protests are organized against the police is what’s really significant. The police (at least in NYC) have always used these storm trooper tactics. The ruling class, at least in NYC, mob every protest with cops because they want to make every political issue about “order” and “public safety.” But the Covid-19 crisis has made that talking point much less effective.

      The ruling class, especially in NYC, botched the response back in March. So any pretense of concern about “public safety” is going to fall flat. In the meantime, people are beginning to see the police for what they are, the private enforcers of the wealthy against the working class.

      1. John Thurloe

        Yes, they have botched things. Lost their nerve, lost the initiative. No else has made this point. It creates an opportunity but organization and discipline is required. The business of marshals is to protect the demonstrators. Arms would be useful where lawful but only in very competent hands. And really as a show of strength but not to be used. The rest is good field commanders and good tactics and a fast moving protest. Always, always, the cops want to bottle you up. Detachments to spread down many streets only to re=form at designated places. This stuff isn’t hard. People understand and will figure out you can’t herd cats.

        This has all been done before. No need to re-invent the wheel.


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