Thursday, June 23, 2011

First as Tragedy

Kenny Green, tool
From the Sentinel: City of Santa Cruz Hires First Alarm to Harass the Homeless in Harvey West

It was only a year-and-a-half ago when another group of kooks and weirdos (Take Back Santa Cruz) set out to sanitize the Harvey West area. Now, it's First Alarm. The rent-a-pigs are unarmed and are trained to make arrests. Like surveillance cameras, the presence of police or security forces accustoms us to their presence and works to regulates behavior. If today Santa Cruz is used to seeing unarmed First Alarm patrols, then tomorrow (when it's "necessary") we might not raise an eyebrow when we see them strapped.

As the excluded are becoming further excluded, as those without find themselves with even less, police infrastructure is spreading and reinforcing itself. To have to say it again is practically embarrassing. But, as policing develops in Santa Cruz, it's important to stay abreast of the developments. Moreover, it is important to expand our capacity for conflict with the intensification of social control in fresh and exciting ways.

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