James Wolcott makes a disturbing point in reacting to the NYPD’s use of LRADs — Long Range Acoustic Devices, a.k.a. sound cannons — against Occupy Wall Street protesters. He quotes from an ACLU report on the damage inflicted on the human body by these devices, and writes:
This is what happens when counterterrorism becomes the justification for the high-tech, SWAT-team-mentality militarization of police enforcement. Had police departments possessed such weaponized disrupters during the civil rights era, they would have trained them on freedom marchers, so much tidier than the water cannons unleashed in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963.
The same battles are still being fought. The cops have a new arsenal, but the people have picture phones.