15 March 1999
February 8th the us military invaded Kingsville, Texas. for practice. black helicopters swooped down, troops disembarked & blew up the local policestation. there was gunfire. people were terrified. 911 was hopelessly jammed. it was a practice maneuver.  

the scenario the military imagined was that it was y2k, and the government had declared martial law. a few zealous gun nuts refused to waive their 2nd amendment rights and barricaded themselves in the police station.  

the troops come in and burn them to the ground.  

It is illegal to use military troops as domestic police, 
according to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. 

and, rehearsing this imagined scenario, they invaded a real small town, with real citizens, using real weapons, breaking real windows, burning the real police station with real fire. with the consent of a handful of high-level city officials, who lied when questioned afterward, and who did not breathe a word of warning to the populus that their peaceful town was going to be the stage for a pretend invasion of the most powerful military in the world, which is allowed to invade any country except this one.  

razor shouting flashing gunfire bayonette rapidly flashing like a badge in the night. a sleepy moonless night, a night of insonia terror gunfire black helicopters violation of civil rights invasion by their own country, uniquely well-positioned to attack. ordinary people who spent their lives building the town were betrayed by the mayor and the chief of police, and the streets where their children played were for a night full of the sounds of automatic weaponry, aimed at nothing. the black helicopters the whir of the rotor slicing their hearts like meat. having lived there, and grown lawns and gardens and paid mortgages and taxes and voted and paid attention and cared and (not San Antonio whose mayor refused to host the exercise) could easily have been killed by a stray bullet, a stray bullet, a bullet that, fired at an invisible nonexistent enemy, a theorectical armed citized, passed through the enemy that wasn't there and hit something else, blown it to the ground, turned cement to gravel, buildings to spent bent matchsticks, destroying people's confidence and hope and security for a night of whooping fun exercises in the dark of a town none of them would visit. 

don't worry about y2k, worry about the military. don't worry about y2k, or the military will have an excuse to prevent civil unrest. don't worry about y2k. i've got a bag or two of beans, come on over, the place will be unlocked. don't worry about y2k, we'll finish my beer and enjoy the calm. don't worry about citizens rioting in the streets, worry about the police rioting in the street. worry about national security, and worry about whose security. 

listen for the sound of them. we all need to stand against them together, to remind them that they are us, that they are of the same citizenship as us, that we went to high school with them and now they are cops.  

we need to take back the country peacefully. when the computers crash, we need to take back the peace. 

Newspoetry at Spineless Books