Operation Atlas Targets New York City

Revolutionary Worker #1193, March 30, 2003, posted at http://rwor.org

The Bush administration's war on Iraq has blossomed on the home front. Calling New York City "the front line of the war on terrorism," the government has moved quickly to militarize the city. This giant city, in which 40% of the population is foreign born, is one of the most anti-war cities in the country according to opinion pollsters.

Soldiers in camouflage uniforms carrying M-16 rifles are stationed in airports, rail stations, and subways. Specialized National Guard units have been brought into the city from upstate. Elite police units with names like Hercules and Samson dash about the city in vans, jumping out with submachine guns-- supposedly "to keep the terrorists off balance."

Roving police checkpoints are everywhere, with special units guarding bridges, tunnels, Wall Street, and the studios of major television networks (from both terrorists and antiwar protesters). Special police squads jump on busses to look for anything "suspicious." Airspace over the city has been restricted, while police boats accompany the Staten Island ferry.

Mindful of the powerful student walkouts on March 5, state officials advised schools to prepare for "lockdowns."

The city's mini-police state has been dubbed "Operation Atlas." Directing it are a retired Marine Corps general as head of the Police Department's Counterterrorism Bureau, and a former official of the CIA who heads the Police Department's Intelligence Division.

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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