December 11, 2012

Domestic War: A Not-So-Innocent Shot from Michigan's "Right to Work" Protests

Lansing Capital helmets

Just like Wisconsin last year, people have been flooding into the Michigan statehouse to protest the union-undermining “right to work” legislation. As a counterpoint to “occupation euphoria,” however, there was this photo this morning taken by a photographer for the Detroit Free Press showing riot gear parked in an office in Lansing.

If depressing, the power of riot helmets seeming to germinate amongst the file cabinets shows us how ephemeral boundaries are when the suppression of progressive movements are involved. Just like the people’s access to “the people’s house” is tenuous, its chilling to see our local police (having, post-9/11, turned paramilitary) bringing domestic war and its staging right into the bureaucratic space.

(photo: Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press caption: Helmets and riot gear sit ready to go at an office in Lansing as crowds begin to amass on the Capitol steps Monday.)

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Michael Shaw
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