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Guest WSQT

Montgomery County considering CURFEW on under 18

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Guest WSQT

In Montgomery County, MD, upscale developers in Silver Spring are complaining to the police about young people under 18 hanging out. Due to curfews in DC and PG County, and maybe police harassment at Gallery Place, Silver Spring has become one of the few places people under 18 or young looking without ID documents can hang out without fear of arrest. Apparently the wealthy owners of Silver Spring's fancy new buildings don't like that very much! Everyone wants to make sure they don't have teenagers it seems!

 

At the request of the police, the county executive-and no doubt developers-Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Irvin, who represents Silver Spring, has introduced curfew legislation similar to DC's law, which DC cannot effectively enforce. Councilmember Marc Elrich, to his credit, is saying the idea needs further study, a way of blunting the momentum and putting it on the back burner.

 

The complaints from business owners center on teens in general, yet they say this law is "needed" to prevent gangs from coming to Silver Spring in the future. This, in turn, means the real target of the law is young people of color-especially Montgomery County's Latino community. Out of fear of gangs that are not even going to Silver Spring, the police and developers want to see young people and expecially young people of color swept off the streets by armed police in ALL of Montgomery County, even places 20 miles from Silver Spring. They have gone so far as to propose that Rockville and Gaithersburg, where the proposed county law could not apply, would have to pass curfews too, for fear of becoming "curfew-free zones!"

 

What have we come to when rich suit-and-tie developers have the power to order police with guns to arrest or detain people simply for being under 18 and out at night? Don't they understand that just ONE negative encounter with the police is enough to turn many young people into permanent enemies of all law enforcement and all of the people who stand behind it? Don't they understand that the REAL gangs, including MS-13 and even a few jihadi groups, recruit in the very prisons they send people to?

 

In Iraq and Afghanistan, when people are treated as insurgents, many of them become insurgents. That was how the resistance in Occupied Iraq grew. It began with a few former members of the government attacking US troops, especially after an incident involving a US helicopter, a flag on a mosque, and police aggression against a crowd. Soon attacks mushroomed, and the US responded with a policing model of raiding people's homes. Many of those raided decided to become insurgents themselves, and withing months the war mushroomed. Less than a year later, those 4 Blackwater thugs were strung from that famous bridge in Fallujah, and it was ON!

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