Miami is under siege. Taking over an hour to get to my hotel from the airport in what is normally a ten minute ride was the first sign. It soon became clear that Miami has been terrorized by groups of thugs wearing uniforms. Even though the protests are a few days away the city saw fit to practically shut down the entire downtown core.
Small businesses are boarded up as shopkeepers are terrorized by a mean cocktail of authority and fear. In one shop (the only one open on the block) the manager told me he couldn't wait until the protestors got here so that business might "pick back up" but with gangs of cops clutching batons like a cross between a sexual aid and a torture device business was low. "I just wish they'd leave...this is overkill" he said.
Even the Miami Herald reported that that the curbing of rights has gone too far. The city ordinance states "no person may carry or possess with the intent to unlawfully use any hard materials...that are capable of being thrown or projected". Jim Defede, writing in the Herald said that the "rules are so broad they give police unlimited discretion to decide who to arrest". There is nothing new in this but it is revealing to know that the police are now feeling threatened by reading glasses, car keys and water bottles.
There are no newspaper boxes or garbage cans in the streets. I'm not sure that's a bad thing regarding the newspapers but it would make me feel better to have a place to chuck garbage less the authorities arrest me for carrying a coffee cup as a weapon. The downtown has been stripped bare with several buildings boarded up and locked down. Acute paranoia rules the city.
Packs of swine roam the streets and are found on every street corner. They infest Miami, bark useless orders and generally harass the locals. They have made the streets very unsafe. As usual the poor face the brunt of their abuse. Homeless shelters have been emptied (apparently terrorists may decide to use them as cover). Those of us staying at the high class downtown hotels do not encounter a similar fate. It is in these places you will truly find warmongers, terrorists and murderers hiding among us.
There have been arrests. On Saturday as swine swarmed a man in the street three bystanders were arrested. Their crime was the act of observing the swarming. A legal observer who was called to witness the scene was also arrested for "obstructing" the sidewalk. Since downtown Miami is pretty much a ghost town, that must have been one tiny sidewalk or one giant legal observer. The real truth is that the state is out of control.
In other developments the Sun Tower was evacuated on Monday due to a mysterious unidentified odour. Perhaps it was the stench given off from the Intercontinental across the street where the architects and gangsters plot their next steps against the people and the planet.
Dave Bleakney, postal worker