Monday, April 5, 2021

We Should Think more about Weaponized Autoism at Protests

At both the US Capitol and our State Capitol, there are now Jersey-type barriers and other heavy barricades. Our new Police Station is recessed from the roadway, and the landscaping interposes barriers between the street and building. In the years after 9/11 we all have learned the vocabulary of anti-terrorist design on the street and building setback zone, and at least some of these features are now just background noise, banal elements not to be noticed any more.

Weaponizing cars successfully (April 3rd)

We still haven't fully considered the ways our autoism has been weaponized, however.

This driver had sped up and nearly hit people:
Weaponizing the truck for intimidation
(via Twitter)

At the protest a little over a week ago, a motorcade from out of town with big trucks (and quite likely big guns also) had assembled and was driving to Salem to intimidate. By design the trucks constituted something of a light armor division. Their targets were not buildings, but were people.

White supremacy is out in the open here
and armored by a truck (via Twitter)

After the Police had said very publicly to avoid the area and take detours, the only reason to drive through the counter-protest, and to stay in a car or truck, was to be aggressive and intimidating. 

And, as we saw from the attack at the US Capitol, people are weaponizing their vehicles, which carry lethal power and force, but whose use, at least until there is someone dead or seriously hurt, finds legal cover as ostensibly reasonable mobility in our autoism.

So here in Salem Police framed people on foot in the street as "congestion" and as the primary problem, even though the ones in the big trucks employed the greatest firepower and threat force. "Might makes right" too often prevails.

As Police were trying to bring a conclusion (Twitter)

Police may need to give greater thought to policing traffic violations at the protest site as part of the way they handle protests. Why should dangerous driving, employed as intimidation, get a pass? This autoism appears to be part of the way protests and counter-protests get unequally policed.

After nearly hitting a person intentionally,
the driver made a dangerous turning maneuver
(via Twitter)

Another instance of intimidation
(With a martial metaphor, Feb. 2020)

1 comment:

Kirk said...

Meanwhile in red states, there is proposed legislation to protect drivers who commit vehicular violence:
Web results
Republicans Push Anti-Protest Laws in 25 States, Protect Drivers Who Hit ...