[lbo-talk] crime rising in US cities

Dwayne Monroe idoru345 at yahoo.com
Tue May 22 11:38:07 PDT 2007


And what are you doing to stop this?

Speculation is good fodder for discussion lists, but what we lack now is coordinated collective action against these trends.

Dwayne, I'm not trying to pick on you personally, but I read too much hopeless talk on this list lately. We CAN do something about these things, but those of us who are already doing something need more comrades on the barricades.


Quite right.

In the run-up to the 2006 referendum on "Operation Blue Angel" - the silly James Bond-esque name for Phila's video surveillance program - I added what I suppose you could call my insider knowledge, (of the technical details) to local efforts to educate the public about the project's potential depth, scope and intrusiveness.

It was, and is, difficult work for two reasons: a.) people want something done about violent crime and almost anything which appears precise, effective and decisive will receive tacit, and often, enthusiastic support and b.) right now, the whole thing seems rather vague and science fiction-y to people who don't know how far surveillance methods - and the state will to deploy them - have developed.

Which, as you no doubt know from long experience, is where education and related activism come in.

In any event, the referendum passed in May of last year. The city, or rather, telebots deployed by the city, made at least 350,000 phone calls to residents urging them to vote yes. Which they did in what local media described as "overwhelming numbers".

Defensive actions are now required. Even so, the game is not over, not by a long shot. Unlike some, I'm far from depressed and certainly don't feel defeated by either increases in crime stats or the local government's response (though I understand the temptation to indulge in comfy catastrophism).

By the way, for anyone interested in reading the details of Operation Blue Angel here's a link to a pdf -



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