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View Diary: Is The NYPD The 'Biggest Gang' In New York? (11 comments)

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  •  cops in South America thinking the same way (2+ / 0-)
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    Tonedevil, Randle Aubrey

    I read somewhere that cops in South America are basically deciding to fight gangs by adopting a similar mentality: treat the city like a territory that they have to claim and hold against heavily armed and highly aggressive rivals. With a gang, you're not dealing with crime as crime: you're dealing with an identity and a culture - a ghetto mafia for whom crime is merely the means to the end of wealth and power.

    In Sicily in the 1930s, Cesare Mori - Mussolini's "Iron Prefect" - broke the original Mafia with a combination of fighting fire with fire and building the presence and power of the Italian state as a rival to the Mafia's claim to protect the people.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 10:49:47 AM PDT

    •  also, this is standard counterinsurgency practice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, Randle Aubrey

      Assume all the locals are hostile, and aggressively and systematically neutralize them: either by killing them (in this case, arresting them on anything you can) or by intimidating them into no longer supporting the insurgency.  An occupying power can only lose by refusing to occupy; yes, you're constantly antagonizing the population, but if they're too scared to act on it, then so what? ... and the alternative is leaving and ceding the territory to the insurgency.

      The cops can either operate like they're in enemy territory - surrounded by gang members and their civilian supporters - or withdraw and create lawless "no-go zones" where the gangs are truly in control.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 11:17:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're on the money with all of this. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil

        This is precisely the 'creeping militarization' of the police I was talking about. I didn't get into great detail about it because it distracted from the story, but you can trace all of this back to the 'War On Crime' started in the early seventies, and see how it ramped up during the 'War On Drugs' and again today during the 'War On Terror'. It's changed the way cops think, act, and commiserate, and most importantly, how they treat the populace. Like you said about gangs themselves, you're dealing not just with criminal activity, but with identity and culture, where breaking the law becomes a means to the end of upholding it strictly for the wealthy and powerful. Thanks for commenting!

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