Artists' Television Access


(Matt Ehling, 2002) in its BAY AREA PREMIERE

Thursday, November 21, 2002, 8:00 pm, $5

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Within recent years, the formerly bright line separating U.S. military operations from domestic police work has become increasingly blurred. From Waco, to the WTO protests, tactics once reserved for wartime combat are being used in domestic law enforcement operations with increasing frequency.

The United States has traditionally recognized a separation of the roles and jurisdictions of its police and military forces. The Posse Commitatus Act, which provides much of the legal foundation for military-police separation in America, has been severely eroded by numerous executive orders and congressional actions, opening the way for military involvement in civilian law enforcement.

During the 1980s and 90s, the Pentagon began supplying both military training and surplus military hardware to domestic law enforcement agencies. Paramilitary SWAT teams, utilizing urban combat tactics, sub-machine guns, and armored personnel carriers, now exist in 90% of American cities with a population of 50,000 or more.

In addition to providing weaponry and support, the military has also become involved in domestic law enforcement in an operational capacity.

“Urban Warrior” investigates the history of this trend as it has evolved over the last three decades, and examines case studies of militarized policing ranging from the Seattle WTO protests, to the Elian Gonzalez raid, to the SWAT team shooting of Miami resident Richard Brown.

PLUS the latest video reports from across the Indymedia network!

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