Episode 130 Lorna Byrne & Your Guardian Angel on We Don’t Die Radio Show
Guardian Angels: 22 Photos Of New York’s 1980s Saviors In Action
Alone, they are everyday members of society, but together they are the Guardian Angels. Founded by New York native Curtis Sliwa, the group was created as an answer to the high crime rates that plagued New York City in the 1970s. Then a night manager at a McDonald’s in the Bronx, Sliwa started giving back by initiating a group volunteer effort to clean Fordham Road. In doing so, the group not only received awards from the city but also began to witness a new found pride among their fellow community members, leading Sliwa to direct his dedicated team in a new direction. With crime and crack on the rise and budget deficits and police presence on the decline, the volunteers worked to fill in the gaps needed to keep order in the city.
Only 13 members strong at the time, the group took to the number 4 subway train, unarmed, in search of gang activity, muggers, and drug dealers, detaining any law breakers until police could arrive. Their mere presence was said to have deterred countless criminal acts, and once people got wind of the work that Sliwa and his crew were doing, other New Yorkers wanted in. With an even larger community now behind them, on February 13, 1979, the Guardian Angels were officially formed. The group now has affiliates in more than 100 cities around the world, including Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo, the latter of which is home to the organization’s second largest chapter. Their worldwide efforts have even acted in the face of terrorism, with members of the Richmond, Virginia chapter pumping gas for residents too afraid to exit their vehicles during the 2002 sniper attacks, for example.
Today, the Guardian Angels can still be seen patrolling the streets and subways of New York, prompted to increase their presence after an uptick in subway slashings in 2016 had city residents riding in fear once again. In keeping with their primary purpose of empowering local communities, the Guardian Angels also provide self-defense classes for people of all ages, as well as youth outreach and mentoring programs which are primarily held at the Guardian Angels Community Service Center in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. For more images of a pre-gentrifying New York City, check out these photos of New York in the 1970s and 1980s as well as these 1980s images that capture the era when the New York City subway was the most dangerous place on Earth.
US Announces “Guardian Angel” Program to Protect Sleeping Troops Day Before Sleeping Afghans Killed – emptywheel
It was announced on Thursday that among a number changes General John Allen, Commander of US troops in Afghanistan, put into place is a program to provide additional security over US troops as they sleep. Remarkably, on the very next day, nine Afghan policemen were gunned down by an apparent Taliban infiltrator. Perhaps Afghan security personnel are even more in need of guardian angels. The so-called guardian angels provide an extra layer of security, watching over the troops as they sleep, when they are exercising, and going about their day. Among the new measures introduced, Americans are now allowed to carry weapons in several Afghan ministries.
As described, these security measures are an acknowledgment that green on blue killings of US and other NATO forces by Afghans are an increasing problem. Further complicating the prospects for Afghan security personnel to take over as NATO troops withdraw is an incident today in which an Afghan police officer drugged and then killed nine of his colleagues before apparently collecting all their weapons and then speeding off in a truck to rejoin the Taliban. A member of an Afghan militia promoted by the American military to protect rural villages drugged his colleagues and killed at least nine of them as they slept on Friday, the third deadly incident involving the irregular guard force in March. The killings added to concerns about the militia, known as the Afghan Local Police. Touted by American military commanders as a way to give Afghans a larger stake in battling the insurgency, the local police program has been assailed by rights advocates and many Afghans for bringing former Taliban and criminal elements into positions of armed authority.
An Afghan policeman killed nine colleagues in an attack in eastern province Paktika, the governor’s office said on Friday, the latest in a string of rogue shootings that has also targeted foreign forces. Although they mostly attack US-led coalition forces, they have often carried out assaults and bombings against the Afghan army and police.
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