Thursday, July 05, 2018

Security Theater is All About Getting You to Get it Backward

There are any number of versions of the story that contain this flaw, but I'll go with an opinion piece incorporating it -- Jim Geraghty at National Review.

Title: "How an Anti-ICE Activist Shut Down Liberty Island"

Sub-Title: "Notice Which Side of the Immigration Debate Is Forcing the Evacuation of Liberty Island"

Some text, emphasis mine: "What better way to ensure that a lot of people have their Independence Day ruined than to perform a dangerous political stunt that requires the evacuation of Liberty Island?"

None of the above claims are true.

It wasn't an anti-ICE activist who shut down Liberty Island. It was the US Parks Police.

They weren't "forced" or "required" to evacuate the whole place just because one activist climbed part of the Statue of Liberty, any more than Therese Patricia Okoumou was "forced" or "required" to do the climbing.

Okoumou and the police both did the things they did because they decided to do the things they did, and they both decided to do those things for the same reason: To attract attention to their respective causes.

Okoumou's goal was to call attention to the plight of abducted and separated immigrant families.

The goal of the police was to convince us that everything, everywhere, all the time, constitutes a threat to our safety that only they can be trusted to deal with at the expense our time, money and obedience.

Guerilla street theater on one hand, establishment security theater on the other.

The crowds (the "public") should have told those police offers barring doors and ordering evacuation to either get out of the way of their enjoyment of "public" property, or get trampled.

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