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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.)

  • Scarabus

    What’s in those filing cabinets? Something the public should know? The public will never find out, because between them and the information stand the paramilitary police.

  • Shirley

    What immediately struck me most about this photo (besides the fact that the helmets look like so many bowling balls) is the “State Police” vest or armor or whatever it is at the upper left. Tilted at such a sharp angle, I read those words first as “Police State.” Very appropriate, isn’t it?

  • black_dog_barking

    Suit up boys, time to project some power, let the people know who’s in charge! Put the *rule* in rule of law.

    Having lived my life in a “right to work” state I’ve come to realize the opposite of Right to Work is Right to Get Paid.

  • LanceThruster

    The gathered helmets look like pachinko balls waiting to be put into play.

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