Police State Symposium and Workshop
A police state is a type of government controlled by a police force in a political way. Instead of serving as law enforcers, police officers in such a state secretly supervise citizens’ activities. The police state is suppressive, and it uses force to keep in check the economic, social, and political lives of citizens. In most cases, such governments do not have judicial and administrative organs similar toother regular countries.
The US government is not a total police state, but there are elements of police state. The FBI secretly monitors the activities of the citizens. A proper example of it is the COINTELPRO saga of the 1960s. The FBI secretly monitored African American Activists during the reconstruction period. The state wanted the black people to conform to the existing rules and stop fighting for their rights. They were threatened by the uprising blacks who they always treated as inferiors. To make the black people conform, the state used the FBI to come up with COINTELPRO to neutralize black politicians and activists.
The government feels threatened by social movements because they see them as acts of insubordination. The police state targets social movements to try and limit any opportunitiesforthe movement to growin numbers and challengethe existing government system.
Police State uses surveillance and brutality to keep activists and their leaders in check. The FBI secretly follows the actions of targeted individuals and groups. Spying is done through listening in on conversation, using spies and following the target. By doing so, they gain information about the target which they use to neutralize the target.
Most social movements employ grass roots methods to influence public policy or regulations. A relevant example of grassroots organizations were those used during the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s. Such movements influenced policy that led to black people being granted equal rights. Police state uses counter insurgency to neutralize such groups. When activists are in public holding a rally, police officers are sent to forcefully disperse the meetings. Brutality is often employed, and many people end up getting hurt.