Why We Must Protect Next Year’s Boston Marathon from Ourselves
2013-04-25 0:00

By Dave Zirin | Films For Action


If emerging victorious after being down 3-0 to the Yankees in the 2004 playoffs should have taught us anything, it’s that the people of Boston are tough as hell and never lose faith. After Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon and the following days under lockdown, we are already seeing that resilience emerge. Already, people in the city are talking about how the Marathon next year is going to be bigger and better than ever. Already runners are signing up in droves. Already according to one website, the race in 2014 could have “15 to 20 times” the number of people attempting to qualify. As Raymond Britt, a Marathon analyst who ran the 26.2 mile course for 13 consecutive years said, “We believe it’s an extraordinary sign of the running community’s desire to support Boston. They want to come to Boston in 2014 to defend her honor, take our race back from evil, to prove the spirit of freedom will prevail over all.” Bloomberg News also ran a story about the commitment of runners to retake Heartbreak Hill in 2014.

I in no way doubt that next year will be a celebration of the city’s stouthearted fortitude. I have no doubt that people will arrive in droves to witness “the spirit of freedom prevail.” But I do think we need to separate the bravery of those who will gather in 2014, and what the security imperatives will undoubtedly be. We need to critically examine what’s proposed and, if necessary, raise our voices in protest.

Safety is paramount of course but there is a difference between safety and submitting without dissent to being under a kind of martial law. I want to describe the possible dystopic scenario that next year’s marathon could bring and I’m not pulling this out of a pamphlet written by Glenn Beck. I’m speaking from the experience of having been in Vancouver right before the 2010 Winter Olympics, South Africa right before the 2010 World Cup, and London right before the 2012 Summer Olympics. In each of these cities, “security” meant raiding the homes and offices of "people of interest." It meant spying on activist groups planning legal protests. It meant a particular level of surveillance and harassment of black and brown communities, especially – but certainly not exclusively – the Arab and Muslim communities. It meant displacement of many of the homeless and those in nearby low-income housing to create a security perimeter. It meant, in the case of London, surveillance drones flying overhead. In all of these cities, there were so many video cameras that you couldn’t so much as scratch your behind without fearing that someone was making a note. In all of these cities I felt safe, but safe in the way you feel in quiet, empty campground. It’s eerie, even if you aren’t thinking about the collateral damage needed to feel so “safe.” In all of these cities, after the games, much of this top-notch surveillance equipment becomes a “normalized” part of law enforcement. As one police chief said when I was in London, “It’s not like we can just put them back in the box.”

[...]

Read the full article at: filmsforaction.org



Related Articles
9/11 Flag at Young AZ Victim’s Funeral: Poignant or Propaganda?
Thanks for RESCUING us! Police searching House By House in Boston
The House Passes CISPA ’Cybersecurity Bill’, Boston Bombings Invoked As Reason


Latest News from our Front Page

Pro-Israel bias: BBC admits editorial breach in interview with Israeli defense chief
2015-05-23 7:58
The BBC has reached a “provisional finding” to uphold complaints made by Palestinian activists that the broadcaster breached its editorial guidelines in a “soft” interview with the Israeli defense minister. Complaints focused on BBC journalist Sarah Montague’s alleged failure to challenge controversial claims made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Journalist Amena Saleem, who works with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), wrote ...
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
2015-05-23 7:31
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech" 1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person? 2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes Do ...
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
2015-05-23 7:36
FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
2015-05-23 7:13
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
2015-05-23 6:43
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senate’s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations. A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
More News »