Can you feel the freedom?
Political conventions are National Security Special Events (NSSEs), a designation that helps local police departments obtain large federal grant packages to buy surveillance and riot equipment, creates restrictions on First Amendment speech, enables cities to lock down and deny the public access to public space, and puts the Secret Service in charge of security operations.
It’ll take some public records digging to find out exactly what kinds of special toys the local police in Cleveland have purchased in advance of their big show (one request has gone largely unanswered), but we know a little about what kinds of technologies officers in the city and county already possess. Here are some technologies protesters and others visiting Cleveland this summer will likely face as they express their First Amendment rights.
Also, the EFF, ACLU, and INSI have some good resources available online:
- Attending Protests (United States)
- Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests
- Protecting yourself from tear gas
Freedom is something assumed. Then you wait for someone to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free.— Quinn Norton (@quinnnorton) December 23, 2015