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Find Some Local Terrorists. Get a Free Tank.

Posted on August 8, 2013

In a bid to bring armored vehicles to the small, capital city of Concord, New Hampshire, the local police department is trying to exploit peaceful activist groups such as Occupy New Hampshire and the libertarian Free State Project as “terror threats.”

Through a right to know request, the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union (NHCLU)—as part of an ongoing project against the militarization of local law enforcement agencies—obtained a grant filed by the Concord Police Department requesting $258,000 from the Department of Homeland Security for an armored BearCat vehicle.

“The State of New Hampshire’s experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type,” the grant states, adding that—with groups such as the “Free Staters” and Occupy NH active and presenting “daily challenges”—the “threat is real and here.”

“It’s far from clear to us why an armored vehicle would be necessary to address what are generally, by and large, non-violent movements that in fact provide little or no threat to the security of our state,” said Devon Chaffee, executive director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.

Calling the police grant “absolutely false and absurd,” Occupy NH points out that the group—better known for litter pick-ups and “too-polite political bird dogging”—has not been functioning since July of 2012 and has not had a “notable Occupy gathering since April of 2013.”

“Occupy New Hampshire has a statement of non-violence,” they continue, adding that the libertarian Free State project has a “non-aggression principle.”

According to Concord police chief John Duval, last fall the city council “unanimously” approved the grant application.

Described by Duval as an “armor-plated box on wheels,” the Lenco BearCat G3 has been requested for use in responding to acts of terrorism involving “chemical, biological, and radiological materials as well as explosive gases” and smaller-scale crises such as “suicidal and hostage situations.”

Concord hopes to join other New Hampshire towns Keene and Manchester, who already own BearCat tanks.

The controversy comes amidst a growing call against the militarization of police forces where—with federal funding—neighborhood officers are being “armed with the weapons and tactics of war.”

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17 thoughts on “Find Some Local Terrorists. Get a Free Tank.

  1. Texas Chris says:

    At what point does America wake up to a police state? SWAT armored soldier cops? Nope. Full-auto assault weapon cops? Nope.

    Now it's armored vehicles… Why not an Abrams? An F-16? A couple of 155mm Self-propelled?

    Our system is designed in such a way that the people are to be equally as well armed as the government. When the scales tip in favor of the government, then people tend to die.

  2. Rabelrouser says:

    So the governing bodies consider the average citizen as nothing more than a terrorist, and their stated purpose is for the ability to control such. But in what senario? That in which the citizens rise up against a government that decides it has absolute control and authority over every aspect of the citizens lives? Or when the false economy finally collapses and the citizens are hungry and without? Or that the division formented amoung the citizens is allowed to get out of control?
    It would appear, to the reasonable and rational thinking person, that this growth of force has a definitive purpose. One that seems to lead to the same conclusions; The fight of the governance is not against those who would do great harm to the people, but the people themselves.And it seems that any excuse, real or preceived will do.
    But this apparently is also being staged from the top down in governance through "grants". So again, what does that say? Are the American people a threat to themselves, or the governing bodies?; and any excuse will do in putting those bodies in a position of control by great force? http://modernmilitiamovement.com

  3. let's see: purchase, maintenance, training, spare parts…this is where our tax doilars are going?? yet there are over 13% unemployed nationally (including those who have given up searching or are underemployed in temp agencies). New Hampshire has an approx. 5 to 6% unemployment rate, with approx 38,000 persons unemployed (June).

    At roughly $285,000, the Lenco Bearcat can pay for one week of unemployment at $300 each for 950 persons.

    It's also interesting to note that in the City of Concord's Capital Improvment Plan (CIP) for FY 2012-2103, nothing about a Lenco Bearcat is mentioned as a need for "Fire & Life Safety", yet over $2.5 million IS needed for mainly the fire department new build and renovations (same line item). Over $10 millon is expressed as a need for the entire city–mostly to be borne by "operating revenue" (taxes).

    Oh yeah, and this neat little tidbit also in the CIP:

    "Monitor the development of the cloud computing email system to determine the outcome of the FBI security concern.
    If resolved, implement the Cloud solution. If not resolved, implement the in-house solution." (so what is the "FBI security concern??").

  4. Bill Smith says:

    What next? “We need an armored vehicle because the citizens are protesting our acquisition of an armored vehicle”.

  5. Bill, I was just thinking that having an armoured vehicle is a great way to attract Molotov cocktails or similar techniques — in which case, the next grant will ask for 20…

  6. Johnthelibertarian says:

    Looks like time to get a new police chief [and put the fire under the feet of his replacement]

  7. Johnthelibertarian says:

    Looking up the video on the vehicles, it looks like they're more prepared to CRUSH citizen protests than to "PROTECT AND SERVE"… Edwin Vieira warned of this in his books on re-instituting the CONSTITUTIONALLY RECOGNIZED MILITIA [under STATE, NOT FEDERAL CONTROL]… the time is very, VERY late to reverse this trend toward a police state

  8. Hmm…if i lived in New Hampshire, I'd find it tempting to mix up some thermite, put it in a Coke can, and put it on the hood of the BearCat over top of the engine block, at some time when nobody is inside. Maybe having an engine melt down on one would get the debate mainstreamed. Then again, maybe doing that would make it easier to get 20 more.

    I know that in Keene, the population was overwhelmingly against it, and they still got the tank.

  9. You have it all backwards; think of all the jobs being created at the BearCat plant… 😉
    (Sorry, I just had to say it.)

  10. It’s been obvious from past Occupy protests the police are engaged in constant acts of provocation (shooting tear-gas canisters directly at unarmed protestors’ heads from near point-blank range, pepper-spraying unarmed protestors in the face, clubbing/striking unarmed protestors who are clearly not a physical threat to police but merely voicing their dissatisfaction with the way the country is being run). The police do this to try & trigger a violent reaction so the protestors can be demonized and marginalized by the corporate media.

    This is an old Cointelpro tactic that dates back to the Vietnam war era. The most notorious example was the 1970 Disneyland riot in Anaheim, where undercover FBI informants who had infiltrated the antiwar movement staged a peace rally, then ran amok in the theme park (the press was onhand having been tipped off in advance) punching Minnie and Mickey and trashing the place, so as to discredit the entire antiwar effort.

  11. madmemere says:

    Sadly, as a native New Hampshireite I can attest to the fact that NH does have a lot of "redneck yahoos", in both local and state law enforcement agencies, who consider themselves "a military force unto themselves" – -they suffer from the "power of the badge and gun syndrome" and don't even begin to grasp the concept of "Protect and Serve"; they tend more to "Bash and Destroy"! On the other hand, NH has a lot more "good guys" who really DO "Protect and Serve" – -Thank you, God! Just a PS -I've been away from my "home state" for 19 years, but manage to go back to visit, at least once a year; it's amazing how much "more clearly" you see things when you've been away for awhile.

  12. madmemere says:

    James – A better, for effective tactic would be to shove that can into the mouth of their mobile cannon, then go for the engine block!!

  13. madmemere says:

    Sorry, that should have read "better, more effective tactic" – -my fingers just get carried away sometimes!

  14. Butch Rechis says:


  15. And they die without trials.

  16. Concord, NH is the very definition of sleepy New England hamlet (not to mention Keene!). It's mind-boggling that cops would think they need to prepare for some sort of urban combat situation there.

    I always disagreed with those Free State Project-ers picking NH. The only free thing about NH is its license plate slogan. It is pretty redneck fascist otherwise, as opposed to libertarian. Plus it has a constant influx of massholes migrating from the Boston area. Bad choice.

  17. 2WarAbnVet says:

    All the folks in Concord need to say is that the Tea Party in in town, and two tanks would be in the mail tomorrow.