US, Canada and European Governments Actively Preparing for Widescale Civil Unrest?

This blog entry noted european think tank forecasts of civil unrest in the US as a consequence of the economic crisis.

It was reported back in September 2008 that -

U.S. troops returning from duty in Iraq will be carrying out homeland patrols in America from October 1st in complete violation of Posse Comitatus for the purposes of helping with “civil unrest and crowd control” – which could include dealing with unruly Americans after a complete economic collapse.

In February 2009, news reports have highlighted that the US Army is purchasing a significant ($6M) amount of riot gear.

Another article published in February highlighted increased urban warfare training drills by the US Army in cities around the US.

Other news reports have highlighted past “behind the scenes” preparation by the US government relative to even a modest level of anticipated civil unrest, such as the advance preparation of massive prisoner holding pens which were put in place for expected mass arrests during the Denver Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Denver

Denver

Recently, a bill entitled the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (HR 645) was introduced in the US Congress in January. It calls for the establishment of six national emergency centers in major regions in the US to be located on existing military installations.  The stated purpose of  the “national emergency centers” is to provide “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster.”   Some pundits say that this bill is in reality establishing domestic internment camps since HR 645 explicitly states that the camps can be used to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.”

In Canada, the RCMP is actively recruiting for 2,000 new officers.

Also interesting is that in 2008, the Canadian and US Government signed an agreement to use each other’s troops in civil emergencies.

UK newspapers have reported that European leaders fear civil unrest over the worsening economy, and that:

Europe’s top politicians are so rattled by the prospect of growing protests that they have arranged an emergency leaders’ summit in March to deal with growing tensions.

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