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Challenge City-Wide Lockdowns

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From Federal Street, Boston.  4.19.13 @ 9:40 AM.  Any other day it is filled with people.
Federal Street, Boston. 4.19.13 @ 9:40 AM. Any other day it is filled with people. by Brian Birke

I don't recall in my life or my exposure to US history a previous episode where a whole city was locked down, with a combination people told not to  leave their homes, public transportation shut down and all vehicular traffic stopped. 

With the threat of flooding of the subways, the subways were shut down in NYC. But the city was not locked down. 

When there is something dangerous going on-- a gun-fight, a hostage situation, a gas leak-- police have historically cordoned off areas of a few blocks. 

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Sometimes there are road-blocks that police use to check for people on the run. 

But shutting down a metropolitan area-- 4.6 million people-- that was going too far. 

Many people will argue that it worked. The police shut down the city and the on-the-run suspect was captured. That is ridiculous, poor logic. There is no reason to conclude that the lockdown led to the capture. On the contrary, the fugitive, Tsarnaev, was seen AFTER the lockdown was ended, when a man came out of his house. 
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If the use of a metropolitan area-wide lockdown is accepted by the public, the media and legislators, it can and almost certainly will become a precedent that will be used in the future to lock down other cities, other metro areas and perhaps even whole states or collections of states. 

If the powers that be can lock down a city based on the argument that they have to hunt for terrorists and protect citizens, then the government can simply tell us that there is a terrorist threat that is top security. They can create boogeymen who we know nothing about and then use "them" to lock down a city or larger area. They can take away the most basic rights-- the rights to walk out of our homes. 

If you extrapolate this policy just a little, then any policeman can tell you not to go anywhere, can order you to stay in your house indefinitely. This is a very slippery slope. 

Police do currently have the legal power to give some orders to some people at some places. Those powers are limited. Abuse of them can lead to appeals for unreasonable arrests and even lawsuits that result in financial damages paid by the city that employs the police. 

When the powers of the police and of government are expanded so greatly there is a great risk that the limitations of police power-- important limitations that are essential for preventing abuse of police power-- something I have seen many times, particularly during activist protests-- there is a huge risk that the restrictions and limitations will be weakened or eliminated entirely. 

I realize the position I am taking will yield criticism-- that many will say that the police did what they had to do. I disagree. I believe the police did far more than they needed. I believe that what they did was not successful. It failed and perhaps delayed an earlier capture of the fugitive. The all day lock-down "brought the tenth largest metropolitan area in the US to a complete standstill," as Melissa Harris Perry described.  That's right. Over 4.6 million people were locked down. Do the math. Eight hours times that population and you have 36.8 million hours of house arrest.   

HOUSE ARREST!!   That's what criminals are given as punishments. This is what happened in Boston. People were under house arrest. You can argue I'm just framing it that way. Hell yes. Why would it not be considered in all the different possible lights?

To summarize, my position is that the lockdown of such a large area was unprecedented, did not work, should not have been done, should have its legality questioned and challenged and there should be legislation that bans  it ever happening again short of invasion-- and that contingency for invasion is already on the books. 

There are all kinds of conspiracy theories arising. People are asking a lot of questions and sometimes leaping to conclusions. Those are different conversations. This issue I am raising may or not be a part of those theories. But it seems to me that it is one that should get mainstream discussion and assessment. 

The US, since 9/11, has been sliding more and more towards becoming a nation where rights are being restricted and taken away, moving more towards becoming a police state. 

2009 Police Presence at Pittsburgh. comment by photographer: -20 Finance Ministers have robbed Pension Plans, Looted 401 k's, Foreclosed Mortgages, Smashed Dreams, and Ruined Lives, yet they get this sort of Police Protection. by Bill Perry

There are many people who make excuses, who say that if these restrictions of our rights keep us safe, they are okay. They are making a huge mistake. Ben Franklin got it right when he said, " Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

The use of such a massive martial collection of forces is another question that should be challenged, as is the use of private security forces as some have observed were present at the finish line of the Marathon. But those are separate issues I am not addressing here, though they deserve attention and discussion, since it looks like neither of those worked either.

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)

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As I recall from my California 8th grade civics, t... by Steve Shapiro on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 11:37:40 AM
Boston marathon bombing happened on same day as 'c... by Deborah Dills on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 11:43:10 AM
A controlled bomb explosion on the day of the Bost... by Dennis Kaiser on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 6:32:38 AM
exists of any controlled explosions on the day of ... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 7:48:42 AM
..... of controlled explosions that would be going... by Dennis Kaiser on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 10:15:33 AM
to that information - from a reliable source. ... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 11:46:10 AM
... by Dennis Kaiser on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 2:33:54 PM
all the news channels were reporting that police i... by Rob Kall on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 3:45:41 PM
given all of the false and inaccurate information ... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 6:27:25 PM
this is the new precedent we can expect. While eve... by Michael Shaw on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 11:53:53 AM
'The US, since 9/11, has been sliding more and mor... by 911TRUTH on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 12:00:07 PM
That picture of troops in the house is a real eye ... by Deborah Dills on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 2:26:31 PM
this is some scarry stuff... by Keith Hupp on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 3:40:30 AM
We are not alone in thinking this way, Rob. See cl... by B. Ross Ashley on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 12:20:55 PM
Bombs are weapons of mass and possibly indiscrimin... by Matthew Peters on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 1:56:40 PM
"To combat an unknown number of terrorists, who wo... by R.A. on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 4:10:50 PM
Rob Kall wrote: "I don't recall in my life or my e... by R.A. on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 3:57:49 PM
The day the city was locked down was during an int... by Ellen Faden on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 4:58:26 PM
I have to agree that it's scary to see so many peo... by Susana Falcon on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 5:24:35 PM
This came to me by email, from a reader: The " loc... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 5:37:24 PM
As the global financial situation continues to dow... by Cynthia Piano on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 6:28:08 PM
  If this country turns into a police state, ... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Apr 21, 2013 at 6:56:52 PM
in many respects America is already a police state... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 1:44:01 AM
Greetings,   Rob, the part of Hampton, NH k... by Kellis R. Solomon on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 12:50:13 AM
about how the Boston lock down is but a precursor ... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 1:32:06 AM
... getting rations of BS when I said although the... by Hooker Jay on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 6:27:30 AM
Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 7:09:45 AM
House by house raids with innocent Americans being... by Andrew Steele on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 7:39:31 AM
the house and its numerous occupants were targeted... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 7:59:17 AM
These were door to door searches. This has been a... by Andrew Steele on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 8:08:38 AM
I'll be on  The Marc Steiner Show,  a pu... by Rob Kall on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 1:58:43 PM
it seems to me that we as citizens opposed to "loc... by laurie steele on Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 12:25:27 AM
 "When  fascism  comes to America,... by Deborah Dills on Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 12:40:21 PM