Militarism and the police

How our streets became battlefields
16 May 2021
Article

Militarism is the glue that underpins violence being meted out to people around the world at the hands of the police and security forces. It will continue to sustain the violent, abusive, racist, oppressive policing that looks to uphold an oppressive and destructive status quo. It affects every one of us, so it is everyone’s concern.

Photo credit ChrisHuggins/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

In 2014, Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking mass protests. Although the Ferguson police force numbered just 53, its response was ‘akin to the deployment of an army in a miniature warzone’.1 Stun grenades, tear gas, rubber bullets and baton rounds were fired at predominantly young, African American protesters, by police officers driving armoured vehicles and carrying automatic rifles. Police snipers aimed their weapons at the crowd. Journalists were arrested and ‘treated as enemy combatants’.2

The events in Ferguson show that militarism and war no longer correspond to the image of two opposing armies lined up on a battlefield, charging at one another in an event with a clear beginning and end – defeat, in which the winner takes all. War is – and in fact has always been – much more pervasive and complex than this. But today, it depends on a process of militarism and militarisation and is experienced in a multitude of ways every day by ordinary people around the world; wars are being fought in our streets, against our communities.

Militarism is (unsurprisingly) rooted in, and defined by, the norms and values of traditional state military structures designed to fight wars. It is characterised by hierarchy, discipline, obedience, order, aggression, and hyper-masculinity. A militarised institution is one that has embraced the values and practices of militarism. It is therefore not limited to the armed forces, as other institutions embrace its values and practices, whether police or border guards. Similarly, it includes both the overt practice of violence by these institutions as well as the culture that justifies it.

A useful model for understanding the relationship between physical violence and its structural and cultural conditions is Johan Galtung’s ‘typology of violence’. Galtung uses the image of an iceberg to show how physical (or ‘direct’) violence relies on and is driven by hidden ‘structural’ and ‘cultural’ forms of violence. Direct violence sits above the surface of the water, representing the physical violence experienced every day. Structural and cultural violence make up the larger iceberg that sits, invisible, below the surface. These include the systems and structures that are racist, sexist, or in some other form treat people as less than fully human. Cultural violence resides in the stories and myths, the values and norms that perpetuate, obfuscate, or sustain the direct, indirect and structural forms of violence experienced by women, men and children worldwide. From ‘poor people are lazy’ to ‘our police need to be able to protect themselves’, cultural violence creates the conditions for both direct and structural violence.

In this model, militarism is cultural violence, an expression of the values and norms that perpetuate militarisation in training, command structures, decision-making, and on the streets. It is built, as Cynthia Enloe argues, around a ‘package of ideas’ that ‘work to inoculate us to the ideas that the world is a dangerous place that there are naturally those who must be protected (“feminine”) and, conversely, those who must protect (“masculine”)’.3 These mark out clear dividing lines between groups needing protection – the ‘in’ group – and those that pose a threat – the ‘out’ group.

Militarisation therefore goes beyond and deeper than the practices of particular units, equipment and weapons, specific crowd-control tactics, or heavily armoured vehicles. It includes the underlying cultural assumptions that support and sustain that violence, the narratives that make that violence appear ‘normal’ or acceptable. It also is deeply embedded in lines of social division, where groups are targeted because of their ethnic identity, nationality, class, religious faith, gender or sexuality, or simply because they challenge the status quo. This is because the role of the police is, ultimately, to protect the state and its economic interests. Nothing illustrates this better than the differing response to the recent riot by far-right extremists of the Capitol building in the US, compared to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.4

What is militarised policing?

For many, ‘militarised policing’ immediately conjures up images of riot police, armed with tear gas and rubber bullets, backed up with water cannon, violently suppressing mass protests. Or maybe we think of a SWAT team, using overwhelming force to enter a building to apprehend a suspect. The officers are almost always male, helmeted, have their faces hidden, are clad head to toe in black body armour, and are carrying multiple weapons – maybe tear-gas launchers, or military-grade automatic rifles – driving armoured vehicles. They move in formation and use overwhelming force and violence. Militarised police units look and behave like soldiers waging a war.

The nature of this militarism is context-specific, but the police forces we see today are rooted in long histories of violence and oppression, stretching all the way to genocide. In the US, the police forces emerged from paramilitary slave patrols. The Metropolitan Police in London was modelled on and recruited from the military and drew heavily on the experience of its founder – Robert Peel – in Ireland before being replicated in other British colonies.5 It is a history that continues. First Nation groups in Canada, for example, who are today non-violently defending their territories against extractivist projects, are being repeatedly attacked by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), a unit with a history rooted in colonialist violence.

Although there is evidence that, in some contexts, the militarisation of policing is increasing (with the adoption of more military equipment or tactics), it is a myth this is a new process, ‘a break with a past in which police and military powers were more clearly defined and categorically distinct’.6 This clear division has never been the case, because the relationship between the police and military has always been deeply intertwined with colonialism, the establishment and maintenance of nation states, and the protection of capital. These processes and relationships are ongoing and evolving, but have perhaps evaded the attention of antimilitarist activists and others. In his book A Critical Theory of Police Power, Mark Neocleous points to the example of tear gas, which was used as a weapon by both the military and the police before being banned from warfare between states – while remaining a weapon of choice for police departments operating within states.

As Neocleous argues, states ‘have never cared that much whether it should use a particular technology for only certain types of people or certain types of problems’. In some countries there is simply no distinction between the police forces and the military – the recent brutality in Myanmar illustrates this, where the police force is in fact one branch of the military, as it is in many other countries.

In South Africa there was ‘little difference between the army and the police under apartheid’7, and despite post-apartheid attempts to demilitarise the police (by changing the ranking system away from that used by the military, for example), the South African Police Service has shifted back towards a more paramilitary approach, for example in regard to policing protests.

So, this isn’t a new problem, but neither is it going away. The militarism that sustains militarised police forces is a problem for everyone. Accepting this means that many more of us are ‘antimilitarists’ than might immediately think of ourselves in this way. Feminists have long argued that the ‘personal is political’ – that everything is a feminist issue. Environmental movements like Extinction Rebellion are recognising that in order to limit the impact of climate breakdown they need to be as much democracy activists as climate activists.8 I would argue similarly that ‘antimilitarism’ needs to be embraced far beyond the traditional ‘peace’ movement, to be one of the cornerstones of all popular movements.

To challenge his pervasive militarism, however, we will need to confront a number of its key features – which will be explored in more detail below – in order to weaken its cultural and structural grip:

  • (extreme) violence is readily embraced as a response to conflict
  • difference and diversity are perceived as threats to be subdued or eliminated
  • control, discipline, hierarchy, and often hyper-patriotism is paramount
  • In hyper-militarised contexts, the behaviour and attitudes associated with the military become the norm by which all other behaviour and attitudes are defined and measured.

Violence and conflict

Protestor arrested in Chilean demonstrations. https://www.flickr.com/photos/pauloslachevsky/
Protestor arrested in Chilean demonstrations. / Photo credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/pauloslachevsky/ (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
It is stating the obvious to say that militarised police are violent, but it is important to understand the purpose and nature of their violence.

When faced with conflict, human beings can respond in various ways, and often choose solutions which avoid violence; we are very good at negotiating, communicating, and cooperating – as well as of course submitting to those more powerful than us. Violence in our societies isn’t uncommon – experienced by victims of crime, women abused by their intimate partner and other forms of ‘domestic’ abuse, and others – but the way armies and militarised police units plan and prepare for the use of overwhelming violence is specific and in some ways unique.

A key example of militarised policing is in suppressing protest and dissent. Social movements come into conflict with the authorities in various ways – like lobbying, protests, and direct action. Authorities also respond to those conflicts in various ways, sometimes reaching for militarised options. This violence is planned, trained for, repeatedly rehearsed, and is often delivered in a calculated way that aims to disorientate, overwhelm or eliminate the perceived enemy or threat. Through the lens of militarism, conflict stops being something that drives change and transformation; it becomes a threat to be neutralised – the individuals and groups driving conflict become enemies akin to a foreign invading army. Militarised violence – whether conducted by armies or police forces – is planned, deliberate, and controlled (though of course, it can often run to excess even when measured by its own standards). Violence of this nature relies on its perpetrators’ obedience to orders, the dehumanisation of its victims, and a heightened perception of threat.

The experiences of the democracy movement in Hong Kong serve as a recent, particularly extreme, example. In response to protests against new authoritarian laws, the state used huge levels of violence, meted out with an array of weapons and technologies by thousands of police officers, to subdue and suppress pro-democracy campaigners. While these tactics are being deployed by an authoritarian government, we have seen similar examples of police violence levelled against activists across the world – Chile, France, Germany, Indonesia, Myanmar, South Africa, South Korea and the US – to name but a few. Another key narrative in this culture war is the framing of ‘security’, a term on which militarised institutions have claimed something of a monopoly, justifying violence, surveillance, control, order – a militarised framing that perpetuates insecurity for many, and perpetuates the violence of militarised institutions. Paul Rogers, a scholar on security issues, has described the militarised approach to security as ‘liddism’ – elites use violence to ‘keep the lid on things’ and maintain control9 rather than transform the social and economic structures that lead to the pot boiling over in the first place.

Training

How police officers are trained is an essential mechanism of militarisation. Writing for The Atlantic Rosa Brooks describes how polices officers being trained in the US were shouted at and dehumanised on a regular basis, and explored how the ‘paramilitary training’ police officers receive leads to atrocities like the murder of George Floyd: When police recruits are belittled by their instructors and ordered to refrain from responses other than “Yes, Sir!,” they may learn stoicism—but they may also learn that mocking and bellowing orders at those with less power are acceptable actions... Many police recruits enter the academy as idealists, but this kind of training turns them into cynics, even before their first day on patrol. And although most police officers will go through their entire careers without ever firing their weapons, others will inevitably get the wrong lessons from their paramilitary training, and end up like the fired Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin [the police officer charged with the death of George Floyd].10

Every year police forces worldwide are receiving training from the military. Thousands of US police officers receive training from the Israeli military in crowd-control tactics, the use of force and surveillance11 which has, according to Amnesty International, led to US police officers being placed ‘in the hands of military, security and police systems that have racked up documented human rights violations for years’. Police trainers like David Grossman have driven a ‘warrior mentality’ into policing, using workshops, seminars and training where participants are told ‘We. Are. At. War. … And you are the frontline troops in this war. There is no elite unit showing up to save your bacon when the terrorists attack. You are the Delta Force. You are the Green Beret. You are British SAS. Can you accept that?’12 Writing for Mother Jones , Bryan Schatz describes how the approach of trainers like Grossman is rooted in military training, designed to increase their recruits’ capacity to kill: ‘The military has long taught its troops to kill through a process of conditioned response—aim, shoot, aim, shoot—that’s meant to override the part of the brain that asks, “Should I be doing this?”’.13The training also seeks to reinforce seeing the world in distinct binaries, a key feature of a militarised mindset: ‘us versus them’, ‘friend or foe’, ‘enemy or ally’, often reinforced by a sense of impunity. These narratives drive home the perception that police officers on the street are akin to soldiers on a battlefield, where poor and marginalised communities as well as people engaging in protest and activism, quickly take on the role of the enemy advancing.

Governments and state agencies – nationally and internationally – play a significant role in supporting the continued militarisation of police forces. For example, the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) – which provides police units involved in oppressive, militarised violence against the people of West Papua14 –was founded by the Indonesian and Australian police forces, and lists the Canadian RCMP, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and UK Policing as partners.15 These transnational policing networks also offer key opportunities for solidarity; the Make West Papua Safe campaign is working with activists worldwide to hold foreign governments accountable for their support for Indonesian police violence.

Equipment

While the equipment available to police officers shouldn’t be our only focus when exploring militarisation, we should not ignore it. Research conducted in 2017 shows a clear link between the nature of the equipment police officers have to hand, and the number of people they kill.16 The researchers argue that this is similar to the ‘law of the instrument’ – when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and when you have the sort of equipment an army uses, everything looks like the sort of threat faced by military forces in war zones.

One feature of militarised policing is the use of ‘non-lethal’ weaponry, including projectiles like rubber and plastic bullets, baton rounds, and bean bags; chemical weapons like pepper spray and tear gas; and vehicle-mounted weapons like water cannons. There is a growing market for such weapons,17 and companies are providing an increasing range of products to fill the market. For example, the Flash-Ball has been used by police forces in France against movements like the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests). The manufacturer claims that the gun has the stopping power (i.e. the ability of a firearm to stop a target) equivalent to a .38mm handgun (or ‘a Mike Tyson knock-out punch from up to 10 meters’18), or, as described by Laurent Thines, neurosurgeon and chief clinician at Besançon teaching hospital, as ‘like having a 20 kilograms of concrete block thrown on to your face or head from one meter’.

As well as ‘non-lethal’ weapons, it is also very common for police officers to carry weapons identical to those used by military forces. In the US, the Department of Defense has, since 1997, transferred more than $7.2bn in military equipment to police forces around the country through the 1033 programme, which gives them access to military equipment – including mine-resistant vehicles, grenade launchers and automatic rifles. Research has shown that police forces that receive this equipment become more violent.19

Often – especially for those living in wealthy countries – there are direct links between those facing oppression and violence in one country and our own. Equipment and weapons are sold internationally, which offer opportunities for international solidarity when identified weapons are used to commit particular acts of violence. Activists in Germany, for example, have taken Heckler & Koch to court over the sale of 4,686 G36 assault rifles illegally sold to Mexico and used in the kidnap and disappearance of 43 students in the infamous Iguala massacre.20 Similarly, a leaked memo detailing a massive shipment of tear gas from South Korea to Bahrain allowed activists worldwide to take swift action to stop the shipment.

A number of organisations monitor and research arms sales and the behaviour of police and military, identifying weapons, vehicles and personnel. Projects like RiotID link grassroots activists with skilled researchers, using social media and printable guides to help activists identify weapons used by police forces.21 My organisation – War Resisters’ International – publishes short, accessible summaries of arms companies and the equipment they sell,22 and map instances of militarised policing.23

Protecting the ‘in’ group from the ‘out’ group

No Pipelines graphic on the back of land defender at blockade of railyard in Vaughan, Toronto, Ontario in February 2020. Photo by @jasonhargrove
No Pipelines graphic on the back of land defender at blockade of railyard in Vaughan, Toronto, Ontario in February 2020 / Photo credit @jasonhargrove (CC BY-NC 2.0)
As we explored in the introduction, militarised police forces often stand on the dividing lines between ‘in’ groups and ‘out’ groups, sustaining inequalities and oppressive power relationships. We can expect climate breakdown and endemic economic inequalities to make these divisions starker. Another factor is the increasingly extreme methods of energy extraction in which states and private companies are penetrating new areas, digging deeper, moving fossil fuels over greater distances, and destroying the environments on which many people depend for their survival.

This is clearly playing out in Canada, where indigenous peoples like the Wet’suwet’en in British Colombia have been resisting the occupation and destruction of their lands by companies intent on mining minerals, or using their land as routes for gas pipelines, with the full backing of the state. In the case of the Wet’suwet’en, the RCMP, which was formed in 1873 as the ‘North-West Mounted Police’, just six years after Canada was established as a nation state, have been enforcing an injunction brought by CoastalGaslink Pipeline.24 The RCMP have repeatedly supported extractivist projects including pipelines and hydroelectric dams, and have been described by indigenous communities as being like ‘an occupying foreign army’.25 Notes from an RCMP strategy session showed that officers argued for ‘lethal overwatch’ – meaning the deployment of officers prepared to use lethal force – during the operation to clear the Wet’suwet’en’s Gidimt’en roadblock.26 The raid was conducted by RCMP officers dressed in military fatigues, carrying assault rifles, and 14 people were arrested.

The raids prompted a huge wave of direct action across Canada and more widely, with street protests and activists blocking railway lines.

In Brazil, the police adopt similarly heavily militarised approaches, ostensibly to apprehend members of drug gangs, but often operating in communities that are historically ostracised and marginalised. Writing in 2020, César Muñoz, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, described how ‘police open fire recklessly, without regard for the lives of bystanders’.27 In the first four months of 2020, the Brazilian police killed over 600 people. Muñoz speculates that the poverty of the communities that experience such brutality explains why police officers in Brazil feel able to operate in this manner.

Militarism struggles with difference and diversity because, at its root, it is defined by conformity and order, so those who don’t conform are soon perceived as a threat, or potential threat, to be eliminated. This mentality drives a perception that communities that don’t conform are inherently hostile territory that require pacification. Militarism takes the logic of the battlefield and transposes it into streets and communities. Large crowds are seen as ‘mobs’, and gatherings become ‘riots’. With this heightened sense of threat, police officers are more likely to make mistakes, misreading situations and rapidly escalating to the use of lethal violence;28 and it is invariably on lines of deeply embedded discrimination that this happens.

Normalisation

Writing in the New Statesman, the British political journalist Paul Mason described a scene at a train station in a major city:

It was, at first sight, just an ordinary rush hour scene at Birmingham's New Street station. Three cops from the British Transport Police ordering flat whites in a cafe, amid a short break on what must have been a busy shift. One was armed with a pistol and kevlared-up, the others were wearing stab vests and bulky tactical clothing. All were equipped with earpieces, tasers, pepper sprays – and all were tense, scanning the busy street intently as they waited for their drinks. Sadly, this level of kit, this intensity and militarisation of policing now looks so normal that few in the coffee bar gave them a second look.29

Of course, the UK is an outlier; in many – if not most – countries, it is simply the norm for police officers to carry firearms. The significant thing here is not the equipment, but the normalisation of militarisation; deeply concerning, because it suggests that the public accepts, and perhaps even condones, these processes when they need to be confronted and questioned. The militarisation of police forces is not a new process – as we saw in the case of the RCMP in Canada, there are examples of police units still active today with roots in colonial history that were specifically set up to oppress and subjugate.

Such processes are ongoing and continue to pervade our lives, as well as political discourses, in different ways. For example, in the UK there were significant protests throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and yet there were ‘no riot cops’ 30 but by the 1980s the riot shield became ‘the ultimate symbolic barrier between the powerful and the powerless’ as a growing ‘presumption towards aggression and offence in riot policing’ 31 took hold globally. Mason identifies a specific event– the breaking up of a trade union protest at a printworks in Warrington, on 30 November 1983, when riot squads were used to break up a picket line – as a ‘turning point’ in how police forces in the UK deal with public order. Mason argues that there was no debate in the 1980s regarding the militarisation of the police in the UK.

Similar processes occurred in the USA as SWAT teams established in the 1960s shifted from responding to terrorist threats and hostage situations, to becoming a routine part of daily policing. In 1980 there was an estimated 3,000 SWAT raids, increasing to 50,000 in 2006 and 80,000 in 2012.32

Militarisation in Mexico has happened in an even more extreme manner, and we can identify similar processes of normalisation, as ‘temporary’ deployments of the military in ‘auxiliary’ roles in 2006 became a permanent fixture of life in Mexico, with the armed forces ‘effectively substituting for –rather than merely supporting – the police’.33 In 2018 the government tried to change the law to allow the military to expand its role when deployed in ‘interior security’ operations. Though the Supreme Court ruled this proposed legislation unconstitutional, the day before the ruling, President López Obrador (commonly known as AMLO) announced a new 40,000-strong, military-controlled National Guard, which began operations in mid-2019. The Guard is a hybrid force made up of the army police, naval police and federal police, which López Obrador said should show ‘military discipline’.34

People around the world are experiencing similar militarisation of the police forces, defining what is ‘normal’. As soon as these processes come under scrutiny we see them for what they are: violent, oppressive and discriminatory. These processes often take place behind the scenes, as political leaders demand more power and control in order to keep some parts of their populations ‘safe’; they are inherently difficult to challenge or question, because dissenting voices are often targeted by the very systems they seek to challenge. Of course, this militarisation directly benefits some parts of society – assets are protected and inequalities sustained – while for others they are simply invisible. But nowhere are they inevitable or neutral – they are an active choice by people with power, who will use moments such as the current Covid-19 pandemic to expand militarisation to coerce and control and to enforce lockdowns and curfews.35 It is of course difficult to say what the long-term impact of this will be, but security forces have rarely given up powers handed to them.

We are all antimilitarists

Our planet is at a junction point – we have stark choices to make as we face complex ecological, social and political challenges now, and in the years ahead. Some power-holders and decision-makers will seek to perpetuate the existing order, which is characterised by rampant economic inequality, racism and other forms of structural discrimination, and a destructive, exploitative consumptive use of the finite natural resources. ‘Solutions’ to these problems will be technical and technological, not transformative, and sustaining this status quo will continue to rely on increasingly militarised and enforced boundaries between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, the ‘in’ and the ‘out’ groups.

Militarism is the glue that underpins violence being meted out to people around the world at the hands of the police and security forces. It will continue to sustain the violent, abusive, racist, oppressive policing that looks to uphold an oppressive and destructive status quo. It affects every one of us, so it is everyone’s concern. Militarism is therefore, not just an ‘issue’ for the peace movement, as it drives and sustains much of the injustice and violence experienced worldwide today.

We can only fully respond to the ecological and social crises facing humanity and all forms of life, and do so in ways that are radically transformative, by demilitarising the institutions that sustain the status quo. We are only just beginning to understand fully what that might mean, but it is clear that a world transformed will be a world demilitarised.

1Swaine, J. and Holpuch, A. (2014) ‘Ferguson police: a stark illustration of newly militarised US law enforcement’, The Guardian, 14 August. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/14/ferguson-police-military-restraints-violence-weaponry-missouri

2Swaine, J. (2014) ‘Michael Brown protests in Ferguson met with rubber bullets and teargas’, The Guardian, 14 August. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/14/ferguson-police-teargas-rubber-bullets-michael-brown

3Taylor Crockett, S., Bock, A., Hardy-Fanta, C., and Witbeck, A. (2016) ‘Cynthia Enloe Student Roundtable: “What International Feminist Activists Have Contributed to Anti-Militarist Social Theorizing”’, Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, 4(3). , available https://scholarworks.umb.edu/humanarchitecture/vol4/iss3/6/ [accessed 13 October 2020].

4‘”Now the world gets to see the difference”: BLM protesters on the Capitol attack’, NPR, 9 January 2021. https://www.npr.org/2021/01/09/955221274/now-the-world-gets-to-see-the-difference-blm-protesters-on-the-capitol-attack

5Neocleous, M. (2000, 2001) A Critical Theory of Police Power. London:Verso Books, p. 4.

6Ibid., p. 3.

7Pollecutt, L. (2015) ‘Our police are militarized and that needs to be addressed’, in The Broken Rifle. War Resisters’ International. https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2015/our-police-are-militarized-and-needs-be-addressed [accessed 8 March 2021].

8Monbiot, G. (2020)’Extinction Rebellion is showing Britain what real democracy could look like’, The Guardian, 16 16 September. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/16/extinction-rebellion-britain-democracy-protest-westminster

9Rogers, P. (2010) ‘Beyond “liddism”: towards real global security’, OpenDemocracy, 1 April. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-liddism-towards-real-global-security/

10Brooks, R. (2020) ‘Stop Training Police Like They’re Joining the Military’, The Atlantic, 10 June. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/police-academies-paramilitary/612859/

11Newton, C. (2020) ‘Does the militarisation of US police encourage excessive force?’, 2 June.https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/6/2/does-the-militarisation-of-us-police-encourage-excessive-force

12Featherstone, S. (2017) ‘Professor Carnage’, The New Republic, 17 April. https://newrepublic.com/article/141675/professor-carnage-dave-grossman-police-warrior-philosophy

13Schatz, B. (2017) ‘“Are you prepared to kill somebody?” A day with one of America’s most popular police trainers, https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/dave-grossman-training-police-militarization/

14Make West Papua Safe: https://www.makewestpapuasafe.org/faqs

16Delehanty, C., Mewhirther, J., Welch, R., and Wilks, J. (2017) ‘Militarization and police violence: The case of the 1033 program’, Research & Politics. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2053168017712885

17‘Non-lethal weapons market top key players, share analysis, future growth insights and regional outlook by 2022’, AP News, 22 September 2020. https://apnews.com/press-release/wired-release/weapons-manufacturing-products-and-services-government-regulations-asia-social-affairs-6aa446389f56b72a0fecf1988fe4e3ea

18‘France brings a new weapon to the less-lethal field’, Officer.Com, 15 June 2007. https://www.officer.com/home/article/10249735/france-brings-a-new-weapon-to-the-lesslethal-field

19Kommenda, N. and Kirk, A. (2020) ‘Why are some US police forces equipped like military units?’, The Guardian, 5 June. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/05/why-are-some-us-police-forces-equipped-like-military-units

20‘Heckler & Koch's illegal arms deal with Mexico’, DW, 20 February. https://www.dw.com/en/heckler-kochs-illegal-arms-deal-with-mexico/a-47596609 [

24Gouldhawke, M. (2020) ‘A condensed history of Canada’s colonial cops’, The New Inquiry, 10 March. https://thenewinquiry.com/a-condensed-history-of-canadas-colonial-cops/

25Richardson, C. (2020) ‘Raid of Wet’suwet’en part of Canada’s ongoing police violence against Indigenous Peoples’, The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/raid-of-wetsuweten-part-of-canadas-ongoing-police-violence-against-indigenous-peoples-131118

26Dhillon, J. and Parrish, W. (2019) ‘Exclusive: Canada police prepared to shoot Indigenous activists, documents show’, The Guardian, 20 December. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/20/canada-indigenous-land-defenders-police-documents

27Muñoz, C. (2020) ‘Brazil suffers its own scourge of police brutality, Americas Quarterly. https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/06/03/brazil-suffers-its-own-scourge-police-brutality#

29 Mason, P. (2019) ‘In a new age of authoritarianism, we need to question the militarisation of the police’, The New Stateman, 16 October. https://www.newstatesman.com/2019/10/new-age-authoritarianism-we-need-question-militarisation-police

30Ibid.

31Ibid.

32Brooks, R. (2016) How Everything Became War and the Military Because Everything: Tales from the Pentagon. New York: Simon & Schuster, p. 298.

33Wilkinson, D. (2020) ‘The militarization of public security’, El Universal. https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/05/mexico-militarization-public-security

34 Melimopoulos, E. (2019) ‘Mexico’s National Guard: What, who and when’, 30June. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/6/30/mexicos-national-guard-what-who-and-when

35For examples of such use of militarised policing, see War Resisters’ International edition of The Broken Rifle on this subject: https://wri-irg.org/en/boletin/broken-rifle/113/broken-rifle