Why Are US Universities Arming Themselves With Grenade Launchers?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions looks on during a vigil ceremony marking the September 11 terrorist attacks at the Department of Justice on September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo: Zach Gibson / Getty Images)

A program that supplies university police with surplus military equipment is enjoying a renaissance under Trump and Sessions. Most of the military gear is going to campuses in states with the highest poverty rates, where the weapons will be used not only to repress student protests but also to perpetuate racial and class divides between campuses and their surrounding communities.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions looks on during a vigil ceremony marking the September 11 terrorist attacks at the Department of Justice on September 11, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Zach Gibson / Getty Images)

Sending an ominous signal to student protest movements nationwide, universities across the US are once again able to equip their police forces with castoff military gear, tying them ever more intimately into the military-industrial complex.

In August, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced at a Fraternal Order of Police convention that Program 1033 would resume providing ex-military equipment to police organizations, including university police departments.

Program 1033 has been running since the 1990s but was stopped two years ago by President Obama. Part of the program’s initial aim was for “use in drug enforcement by federal and state law enforcement.” As we well know, the “war on drugs” has been an abysmal failure.

At least 117 educational institutions are now armed and armored. This is the state of higher education in the US.

As part of the program, already at least 117 colleges and universities received surplus-military gear. At least 117 places of higher education felt they needed military gear. At least 117 educational institutions are now armed and armored. This is the state of higher education in the US.

Jen Day Shaw, associate vice president and dean of students at the University of Florida, <a class="colorbox" rel="nofollow" …read more

Via:: Truthout

      

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