Archive for October 7th, 2013

Securing the Homeland

by lizard

If you’ve never been exposed to the FEMA concentration camp meme, then I suggest starting with the RationalWiki depiction:

Though exact claims about the purpose and nature of the camps vary from one crank to another, a common theme is that they will be used to detain dissenting US citizens after the consolidation of the North American Union in preparation for the establishment of a one-world government. The camps allegedly come complete with boxcars for moving people around and plastic coffins for burying them. (Why not just burn the corpses Nazi-style?)

Establishing that this meme is crank terrain is standard operating procedure when it comes to any subject covered by Alex Jones and the other circus animals that populate conspiracy culture, thus ensuring any examples of actual, albeit temporary, internment spaces can be easily dismissed.

And there are examples.

Last November, post-Superstorm Sandy, some refugees of the storm ended up in a creepy tent city. The source of this link is Reuters, not Prison Planet:

It is hard to sleep at night inside the tent city at Oceanport, New Jersey. A few hundred Superstorm Sandy refugees have been living here since Wednesday – a muddy camp that is a sprawling anomaly amidst Mercedes Benz dealerships and country clubs in this town near the state’s devastated coastal region.

Inside the giant billowy white tents, the massive klieg lights glare down from the ceiling all night long. The air is loud with the buzz of generators pumping out power. The post-storm housing — a refugee camp on the grounds of the Monmouth Park racetrack – is in lockdown, with security guards at every door, including the showers.

No one is allowed to go anywhere without showing their I.D. Even to use the bathroom, “you have to show your badge,” said Amber Decamp, a 22-year-old whose rental was washed away in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

The article goes on to say that, although FEMA had a presence, the internment camp was being run by the state of New Jersey. I say internment camp because of how folks were “relocated” to this space:

Sabol, who is unemployed and whose rental home was washed away in the hurricane, remembers being woken up on Wednesday at the shelter she was staying in at Toms River High School. Conditions there were “actually fine,” said Sabol.

Sabol was told that she had half an hour to pack: everyone was getting shipped to hotels in Wildwood, New Jersey, where they would be able to re-acquaint themselves with showers, beds and a door.

Sabol and about 50 other people boarded a New Jersey Transit bus, which drove around, seemingly aimlessly, for hours. Worse, this week’s Nor’easter snow storm was gathering force, lashing the bus with wind and rain.

After four hours, the bus driver pulled into a dirt parking lot. The passengers were expecting a hotel with heat and maybe even a restaurant. Instead they saw a mini city of portable toilets and voluminous white tents with their flaps snapping in the wind. Inside, they got sheets, a rubbery pillow, a cot and one blanket.

There was no heat that night, and as temperatures dropped to freezing, people could start to see their breath. The gusts of wind blew snow and slush onto Sabol’s face as her cot was near the open tent flaps. She shivered. Her hands turned purple.

For me, it’s not the space these people ended up in, but the effort to compel relocation that I find extremely unsettling. But in the aftermath of a natural disaster, the capacity of federal/state authorities to reimpose law and order is on constant creep.

In August of this year, another example of an internment camp was introduced, this time by the city council of Columbia, South Carolina. The main population targeted was Columbia’s homeless population, but the camp also accepted people getting discharged from prison:

City council members in Columbia, S.C., recently voted unanimously to criminalize homelessness.

Concerned that Columbia has become a “magnet for homeless people,” and that businesses and the area’s safety are suffering as a result, council members agreed on Aug. 14 to give people on the streets the option to either relocate, or get arrested, according to the city’s “Emergency Homeless Response” report.

Cooperative homeless people will be given the option to go to a remote 240-person bed emergency shelter, which will be open from September to March. The shelter will also be used as a drop-off for people recently released from prison and jail, too.

A hotline will be set up for passersby to “report” a homeless person that needs to be removed, additional police will be dispensed to monitor the streets and vans will escort the homeless to the shelter.

While some advocates have decried the decision, council members say it’s a “temporary” solution that will eventually lead to a more sound resolution.

Luckily the backlash to this was enough to cause the council to rescind their plan to force homeless people into an internment camp.

Maybe they realized there are no sound resolutions to homelessness because there are no sound resolutions to address unemployment, addiction, mental illness, access to health care, stuff like that. Those simply aren’t priorities in our slowly collapsing crony capitalist system. Keeping zombie banks from collapsing is the priority, and because that is the number one concern to those in positions of power, the methods of keeping people under control must be properly funded.

And, according to this piece by Ellen Brown, it looks like that is what is happening with the Department of Homeland Security:

Reports are that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is engaged in a massive, covert military buildup. An article in the Associated Press in February confirmed an open purchase order by DHS for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. According to an op-ed in Forbes, that’s enough to sustain an Iraq-sized war for over twenty years. DHS has also acquired heavily armored tanks, which have been seen roaming the streets. Evidently somebody in government is expecting some serious civil unrest. The question is, why?

Read Brown’s article, and you’ll get the picture. It’s not pretty.

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