Citizens' Voice is a platform for people-driven news and opinion. Be the opinion leader. Write and submit an 800-word op-ed with a one sentence bio and head shot.
Journalist Naomi Wolf offers some useful guidelines for writing an op-ed - Read More
by Ryan Bird
In response to "Violent 'Thought Crime' Raid in Seattle" – in which Jennifer Slattery reported on a violent and unconstitutional arrest in Seattle -- I wish to call upon all local and worldwide internet activists to overload the local law enforcement agencies with demands to find and prosecute this and similar illegal acts of violence.
If we are to overcome this issue of law enforcement using bully tactics, with intent to intimidate individuals and populations who engage in free speech, we must start addressing the people we have in positions of law-enforcement power that WE as people employ with our tax dollars.
With the power the internet grants us to voice our opinions instantaneously across the world, we must focus our voices on the local crimes like these to call out law enforcement officials to work for their actual employers, the people. If we can put pressure on all local Seattle law enforcement agencies by sending hundreds, or even thousands, of emails toward state and federal law enforcement, as they are all employed by the people through taxation, we can put an end to this. We must demand the service for which we are paying.
Emails to law enforcement are not enough though: we must hold a meeting with the Seattle city council member in whose jurisdiction this arrest took place, and we must demand accountability and then report here what that council member had to say.
The federal government is a non-local law enforcement body that is in the process of forcing power over local communities from a remote location. Additionally, they are intimidating the local law enforcement to act in the name of the government's interests, rather than acting in the local community's interest. If we deal directly with local law enforcement, by way of emails, phone calls, and rallies, and start to demand that our local officers act in defending the local people against such acts as this, I think that we can reclaim the service which we already pay for as our own, and no longer leave law enforcement under the control of the 1%.
All it takes are voices in large numbers to make them accountable for what they are supposed to be doing, which is protecting people from violent acts such as those described by Slattery. And when law enforcement cannot respond in time to protect citizens against violent acts directed at them by law enforcement agents, they must then carry out independent investigations to find out who committed these excessive acts, and bring those agents to justice.
This may be a final test of the people we have employed in law enforcement using our tax dollars. If local Seattle and other law enforcement agencies cannot demonstrate that our tax money is being spent on our own local citizens’ behalf, by addressing these issues of excessive invasiveness in arrests and abuses of local people’s constitutional rights, then maybe it is time for the people of Seattle and other jurisdictions to press for a newly organized, newly funded law enforcement system, one that enforces basic human rights and is transparent and accountable to the people for whom they are supposed to be working.
:: photo courtesy of WEBN-TV, via Creative Commons license ::