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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 36, No 11 May 30th, 1973


Profits and the Police

Profits and the Police

During the demonstration in March against the U.S. military bases at Harewood and Weedons, the police used new tactics against the demonstrators. They grossly over-reacted to the demonstrations, employed military personnel and helicopters and other equipment, and had obviously had training in anti-demonstration techniques. The police officer in charge of this affair, Chief Superintendent Gideon Tait, has since advocated the police acquiring their own helicopter.

Earlier in the year a team of instructors travelled throughout New Zealand giving all police staff special training in police methods in counter demonstrations against the proposed Springbok tour. New Zealand has its share of police who have received training in this field in the United States and Britain.

Thus the "People's Voice" wrote in an introduction to an article by Claude Bourdet, a leading French journalist, on the United States Government's programme of training police forces throughout the world.

In its drive to protect and promote American business interest abroad the U.S. Government has directly or indirectly trained one million policemen throughout the world in techniques for suppression of internal dissent.

This was reported to the International Congress on Disarmament and Peace, recently held in Paris, by the American writer Michael Klare, author of "War without End: American Planning for the next Vietnams" (Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1972.) and one of the organisers of the North. American Congress on Latin America.

The Klare report and the discussion that followed stressed the enormous efforts of the U.S. in police training abroad. The Agency for International Development (AID, Washington) has a "Public Security" branch which alone spent $35 million in 1969 and which besides its credits for police equipment granted to American satellite countries, also trained a large proportion of the police of these countries in its "International Police Academy" in Washington. In Brazil, for example, 455 policemen were trained during a ten year period in the U.S. and they in turn trained 100,000 Brazilian police. Some 15 American "police advisers" are now stationed in Brazil and in South Vietnam there are 200.

Methods of torture used against the opposition by the police in Brazil, South Vietnam and many other countries are entirely "made in USA". The AID financed the deportation of South Vietnam political prisoners from mainland prisons to the "tiger cages" island, Con Son. After the protests that followed the discovery of these horrors by two American Congressmen, the AID supplied another $400,000 to build 288 solitary cells at Con Son. In addition to AID funds, the Pentagon distributed money to train para-military police in various countries, including 12,000 men from the Saigon army. Another US agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, aids the training of secret police around the world.