MOSCOW, December 1 (Sputnik) – The US government allocates funds for military surplus programs while cutting the budgets that tackle social issues, closing schools and advancing the agenda of the American ruling class, Derek Ford, Syracuse coordinator for the Answer Coalition told Sputnik Monday.
"The amount of money that the United States government is spending on military, is completely appalling and ridiculous and it is not used to maintain peace, it is not used to promote democracy, it is used to advance the agenda of the US ruling class," Ford said, adding that at the same time social programs in the United States are underfunded, infrastructure is crumbling, schools are being closed and social programs are being cut.
As part of a military surplus program, the Department of Defense is giving mine-resistant vehicles together worth $5.7 million to Syracuse and eight other local governments in the United States.
Derek Ford pointed out that the police "certainly don't need that tank that can withstand mines, Syracuse is not a battlefield." But the police across the United States "feel increasingly threatened by a growing people's resistance movement and that is one of the main reasons behind the militarization of police in this country."
"I think we are going to see an increasing level of police brutality, and even more repression of protesters, of people expressing outrage and assembling. That's the main consequence of this," Derek Ford told Sputnik.
The mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle in question is worth $658,000 and resembles those used in Iraq to protect soldiers from improvised explosive devices (IED) attacks. Syracuse is a city with a population of 144,669, as of 2013 and MRAP will become yet another tank at police's disposal, on top of the BearCat. According to the US government's 1033 program, hundreds of other local governments will soon receive surplus US military equipment.