Urban Shield – North Texas Drills For Martial Law
It’s going to look like martial law has been declared in parts of north central Texas this weekend. The region’s first Urban Shield training exercise is being conducted at an assortment of twenty different sites and points in between.
Heavily armored vehicles, heavily armored police, SWAT teams, paramedics and bomb squads will abound as this DHS-funded exercise, marketed and advertised as a counter-terrorism drill, is held.
The Arlington City Council described it as “an exercise in preparedness, preparedness for man-made and natural emergencies” aimed at ensuring that the public stays safe. “That’s all this is.” It sounds like someone in the council is a little sensitive as to speculation about their motives.
Tye Bell, the police spokesman for the City of Richland Hills, commented to the Dallas Morning News, “To me, it’s a comforting thought to know that help is out there if and when you need it.”
Tye might be comforted, but it’s having the exact opposite effect on many others. Not everybody is pleased. The idea of an armed presence similar to that which took over in New Orleans or Boston is offensive and unnerving to many.
Douglas Bell, a 33-year-old military veteran spoke before the Arlington City Council and expressed his feelings. He said, “You’re bringing them here to go through our homes like they did in Boston, and I’m really concerned over that. What happened in Boston won’t be allowed here by the population…The way they went through people’s homes, the way they pointed weapons through people’s windows…I do not think that that should be allowed in our city.”
Approximately two dozen people showed their opposition to the “militarization of our police force” at the Arlington City Hall.
Resident and military veteran Jacob Cordova also spoke out, “Call it what you want but when you are locked down, not allowed to leave your homes, work, or go to school while militarized units of police roll down your streets pointing rifles in your faces like you’re in Iraq or Afghanistan, coming into your homes without warrants and searching you, that is martial law,” he said.
The group coordinating the event, Cytel Group, conducts these types of events all over the country, as a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security.
Once again, one needs to ask for the reason and the justification as to why these huge and hugely expensive drills are necessary.
An exercise to practice controlling large groups of people in a militarized fashion on American soil at gun point is not something that we should just accept as normal police activity. It is not a traditional part of policing. It is a byproduct of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. The battle against the invisible so-called enemy of terrorism is being used effectively as a scare tactic to force us to compromise our liberties.
We’d be better off taking our chances with a little confusion in the event of an actual emergency and holding on to our freedoms. The price we are paying in liberty cannot be recovered through any amount of false security.
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