The events of January 6 2021 demonstrate yet again just how serious political violence is in the U.S. But, what form did this violence take? (1/24)
There has been a lot of talk about whether or not January 6 represented a coup attempt. Perhaps similar to Wilmington, NC in 1898 (2/24)(…)
But, I will let the debate about coup terminology continue...(3/24)(…)
Others have argued that the political violence took the form of lynching (4/24)()
But this assumes the violence was communal and did not necessarily target the state. The explicit aim of this violence was to target (and possibly lynch) political leaders. The direct targeting of the government, means the possibility of a civil conflict… (5/24)
So, was January 6 2021 the beginning/continuation of a civil conflict? (6/24)
The short answer is not quite. But, we should be worried...(7/24)
According to @PRIOUpdates @UU_Peace, armed conflict is when a "there is a contested incompatibility that concerns government and/or territory where the use of armed force between two parties, of which at least one is the government of a state,... (8/24)
...results in at least “25 battle-related deaths” in one calendar year."… (9/24)
The Armed Force (National Guard) did eventually deploy, moving the event passed a “law and order” situation. (10/24)
But, thankfully, we did not reach the 25 “battle-related deaths” even as some insurrectionists clearly thought they were going to battle. (11/24)
A second reason why we have not reached the point of civil conflict is the lack of an organized challenger. (12/24)
The insurrectionists were not organized enough to constitute a formal armed group. This means, however, that the lack of organization, cohesion, and coordination is stopping this from becoming more violent, even reaching a civil conflict. (13/24)
The good news is that most groups are weak and fragmented and never reach the point of full formal organization. (…) (14/24)
What can be done to prevent civil conflict? The literature on preventing is clear: strong states defeat insurgent groups. For example, see the classic (Fearon and Laitin 2003) The U.S. needs to demonstrate the strength it already possesses. (15/24)
It already has the security capability to root out this domestic terrorism. Indeed, it has a (racist) history of infiltrating and dismantling groups. For example, the Black Panther Party. (…) (16/24)
Moreover, years of post-9/11 expansion of surveillance technology as well as increases in militarized policing mean that the capability is already there. (…) (17/24)
So, why is it not being used on white supremacist groups? (18/24)
One reason is because white supremacists have infiltrated the security forces in the U.S. (19/24)(…)
A second reason is that vast amounts of spending was taken away from (right-wing) domestic terrorism and shifted to “foreign” terrorism.… (20/24)
A third reason: from a bargaining model of war perspective, government leaders might also see the cost to take on these groups as too high because some are politically aligned with them. (…) (21/24)
Additionally, the takeover of the capitol revealed information to white supremacist groups: It revealed that the government is not as well defended as they thought… (22/24)
What needs to happen (very fast) is a shift in existing resources and a shift in priority. The government must raise the costs of using violence. This includes arresting all those involved and dismantling the groups using all the tactics available. (23/24)
We have said "it cannot happen here" too many times. It can and has happened here. Not acting now threatens to put this country into a civil conflict. (24/24)

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More from @sabrinamkarim

7 Jan
Why did the (U.S. Capitol) Police fail to contain yesterday's insurrection? My thoughts on strategic and tactical police restraint and racism (a thread) (1/20)
The media, policymakers and the police are attributing the failure of the police to a lack of preparedness. But, there are multiple layers to explore.
First, the National Guard and Federal law enforcement agencies are not trained in crowd control. The tactical units responsible for crown control in the streets of DC include the DC Washington D.C. Metro Police Special Operations Division.
Read 20 tweets
6 Jan
What is the institutional design of law enforcement in the US (particularly Washington D.C.)? Here are some answers:
In general law enforcement is decentralized, with police agencies institutionalized at the municipal, county, and state level.
But there are a number of Federal Law Enforcement Agencies that have set jurisdiction and power. They lack coordination and cohesion. They are also mostly all controlled by the Executive. (As is the Washington D.C. National Guard and the Department of Defense)
Read 25 tweets
2 Jun 20
1.What is the history of policing and militarization within the borders of the US? It isn’t pretty. (@ProfPaulPoast like tweet thread)
2. Policing in the U.S. emerged out of racism with origins from slave patrols and from the growth of capitalism in the early 19th century, as well as due to the “Native American threats” See:…;…
3. The end of the US Civil War and reconstruction brought expansions in securitization with the growth of the U.S. Marshals and the post office. Yes, the post office had an investigative branch used for surveillance.

Read this by Jonathan Obert:…
Read 22 tweets

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