People vs Police Tanks

Politics & Current Events, WTF?

We know from marketing material that Lenco BearCats are protected against .50 BMG rounds.

…but it's not clear how well they fare against mobs of protesters pushing them off of 50' bridges.

Details from Egypt.

Perhaps now that the arms race on the street has resulted in criminals equipping themselves with gravity, police should be issued with the Strong Nuclear Force so as to keep their edge.

Last 5 posts by Clark

39 Comments

38 Comments

  1. Chris Simmons  •  Aug 15, 2013 @6:19 am

    The first thing I thought when I saw the picture above is that it was a screencap from the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V.

    I'm still not so sure it's not …

  2. Xenocles  •  Aug 15, 2013 @6:42 am

    But of course they are equipped with the strong force… it's just not very long range.

  3. Clark  •  Aug 15, 2013 @6:43 am

    @Xenocles

    But of course they are equipped with the strong forceā€¦ it's just not very long range.

    Van der wah-wah-wah!

  4. Lewis Baumstark  •  Aug 15, 2013 @7:05 am

    It simply means bridges and overpasses will be removed from the list of approved "Free Speech Zones".

  5. Jeremy  •  Aug 15, 2013 @7:15 am

    I think any army would be quite satisfied with force powers, even a clone army.

  6. I was Anonymous  •  Aug 15, 2013 @7:49 am

    @Clark,

    I believe that's Van der wahl-wahl-wahl….

  7. chembot  •  Aug 15, 2013 @7:51 am

    Why bother with a short range force like the nuclear when the other infinite range force, electromagnetic, has proven so fruitful. Tasers, lasers, heat rays and radars already provide unlimited entertainment for all of those mini dictators of the proletariat.

    Besides, the plaintive wailing of "Don't destabilize my nuclei, bro!" just doesn't have the same euphony on youtube as "Don't tase me, bro!"

  8. Xenocles  •  Aug 15, 2013 @7:53 am

    The electromagnetic force… now that's a quark of a different color. (Probably not, technically, but who can resist a decent pun?)

  9. En Passant  •  Aug 15, 2013 @8:19 am

    Van der wah-wah-wah!

    That's soooo punk!

    They slipped the covalent bonds of Earth,
    And mushed their faces on clods.

  10. deskmerc  •  Aug 15, 2013 @8:20 am

    For some strange reason, I forsee "unlawful stochiastic ooze" in our future.

  11. ckfinite  •  Aug 15, 2013 @8:46 am

    To look at the engineering side of this, AFVs like the Bearcat don't respond very well to long falls, as their armor rapidly overloads the suspension even if they land on their wheels. In this case, it's likely that this vehicle was a total constructive loss, as it would appear that the force of the impact overwhelmed the structural strength of the risers, rather unsurprisingly.

    To be hopelessly pedantic, though, AFVs like the BearCat and larger, like the Striker or the BRDM-90 or even the Bradley and BMP-3 aren't actually tanks, per se, as they're designed to be personal carriers. Tanks are specifically designed as fighting vehicles, and don't (generally, with the exception of the borderline Merkava) carry infantry.

  12. mud man  •  Aug 15, 2013 @9:19 am

    I don't see nearly enough people in the area to push that thing through a guardrail and over the side (look at the other two pix). Perhaps the driver was attempting to run down a protester and fucked up. The philosophy point would be that these people are their own worst enemies. No destruction like self-destruction.

  13. ckfinite  •  Aug 15, 2013 @9:25 am

    @mud man
    This looks more like a driving mistake, rather than something that the protesters did. The BearCat weighs something like 8 tons, and isn't easily lifted without machinery. In addition, it appears that the people inside were unable to disembark before it flipped, seeming to indicate that the flip was rather faster than one would expect from unprepared people.

  14. Scott K  •  Aug 15, 2013 @9:36 am

    @ckfinite

    Or uniwlling to disembark because they feared the consequences of not having any armor between themselves and everyone else.

  15. Mark - Lord of the Albino Squirrels  •  Aug 15, 2013 @9:53 am

    *Now* I understand why the military there wanted so much input on drafting their new Constitution. At first, I thought the amendments the military was proposing made no sense:

    "The right of citizens of Egypt to vote shall not be a bridge."

  16. wgering  •  Aug 15, 2013 @9:54 am

    Well shit, now they're going to get hovertanks.

  17. Sam  •  Aug 15, 2013 @9:58 am

    police should be issued with the Strong Nuclear Force so as to keep their edge.

    Time to start marketing my Gluon Disruptor.

  18. Hoare  •  Aug 15, 2013 @9:59 am

    The is a blatant example of wasting gravity in the third world. Americans should do what they can to conserve gravity now! while you still can!

    Take the time to move things from an upper shelf to a lower shelf. Don't even use the shelf in the closet. Simply set the stuff on the floor. Every little bit helps.

    The US is 5% of the worlds population but uses 63% of the worlds gravity.

    Just a 2% loss of gravity would have catastrophic consequences; ie; all NFL quarterbacks would have to be replaced when they failed to complete a single pass.

  19. Clark  •  Aug 15, 2013 @10:14 am

    En Passant

    Van der wah-wah-wah!

    That's soooo punk!

    Speaking of punk, if I had any EE chops I'd solder up a guitar effects box that gave a really repulsive distorted sound.

    I'd call it the Van der wah wah pedal.

    They slipped the covalent bonds of Earth,
    And mushed their faces on clods.

    Genius.

  20. Al  •  Aug 15, 2013 @10:35 am

    Argh. That's it. I can't take it any more.

    The vehicle in the picture and the BearCat are NOT tanks, they're APCs. No tracks, no large caliber main gun mounted in a turret, no heavy armor (That is to say armor that can deflect small arms fire. Yes, I know Lenco says the BearCat can resist .50 fire. I'd like to know excatly what they mean by "resist.") ergo not a tank.

  21. EH  •  Aug 15, 2013 @10:49 am

    So…who owns this Lenco company, anyway?

  22. V  •  Aug 15, 2013 @11:10 am

    @mud man
    No sign of the railing on any of the pictures I've seen so far. I think the railing was gone before the armored vehicle got near it.

    @Al
    Can you identify the tube-like thing on the right back part of the roof?

  23. Hoare  •  Aug 15, 2013 @12:31 pm
  24. En Passant  •  Aug 15, 2013 @12:41 pm

    V wrote Aug 15, 2013 @11:10 am:

    No sign of the railing on any of the pictures I've seen so far. I think the railing was gone before the armored vehicle got near it.

    I'm so relieved! deskmerc on Aug 15, 2013 @8:20 am made me terribly pessimistic about civil liberties.

  25. Darryl  •  Aug 15, 2013 @2:06 pm

    Al, whatever they are, I think the point is that police don't need them and therefore should not have them.

  26. Al  •  Aug 15, 2013 @2:07 pm

    @V

    Antenna casing, smoke generator or fording exhaust would be my guesses. It doesn't look at all like a weapon. Too big to be mounted outside of a turret.

  27. Jim  •  Aug 15, 2013 @2:43 pm

    It wasn't pushed. Here is a video from afar.

  28. Nathan  •  Aug 15, 2013 @3:40 pm

    It wasn't flipped or pushed off, it was driven off.

    Here is the video.

    Watch about halfway up the screen, on the mostly unoccupied road stretching horizontally to the left. It drives over, rams a van/bus, starts going in reverse and promptly forgets about the "look in the direction you're moving the vehicle" rule.

  29. Stormy Dragon  •  Aug 15, 2013 @3:52 pm

    The news site I first saw this at described the photos as "horrifying", which left me rather confused as to why I was supposed to feel horrified on behalf of a bunch of thugs who tried to run down an unarmed crowd in a tank and ended up getting the tables turned on them.

  30. George William Herbert  •  Aug 15, 2013 @4:29 pm

    They didn't try to run down the unarmed crowd; if they intended to run down the unarmed crowd that would end with a bunch of squashed dead bodies on the overpass and the armored vehicle backing away slowly again.

    You don't even need an armored vehicle to demonstrate this; if someone tries to carjack you, even a small gang, and they don't have guns, running them all over in self defense is both practical and remarkably easy.

    Nothing those people had would have breached the armor; they could have just sat there unmoving in the truck. They decided to back away (not sure out of fear, or to de-escalate).

  31. Stormy Dragon  •  Aug 15, 2013 @4:43 pm

    Your description of police engaged in a massacre of what had up until then largely non-violent protestors as "self defense" is positively Orwellian.

    Did you also congratulate the PRCA on their de-escalation when they were forced to defend themselves from Tank Man and his brutal shopping bag attack on their armor column?

  32. George William Herbert  •  Aug 15, 2013 @8:09 pm

    Stormy Dragon: Please re-read, more carefully.

    I did not describe the Egyptian police's actions as self defense. Their actions were described in para 1 and 3. Para 2, where I mention self defense, is "…if someone tries to carjack you," referring to individuals in the US and reading this blog.

    I don't *know* what they were trying to do, but they evidently did not run over a whole bunch of people, because there weren't a whole bunch of dead people lying on the ground on that overpass. Nor is there any sign in the videos they seriously tried to run people over; when a crowd approaches and starts to surround them, they back away (and over the edge) rather than forwards to squash the crowd ahead of them.

    With 500+ dead there is clearly police violence against protesters going on. Who's at fault for what, whether the protests stayed peaceful or became violent in response or before police started shooting, is not clear from media coverage. Granted it is entirely possible and probable that the Egyptian Police started the serious violence.

    "The Egyptian Police" – as a group – becoming violent does not mean "the three Egyptian Policemen in that particular armored truck" that drove off the overpass committed or were trying to commit a massacre when they drove off it. Backing away instead of engaging compound low and rolling over the crowd coming towards them is counterevidence of such intent. They could still have tried to do that, or have done something earlier off camera, or I could have missed something in the video. But the immediate response was backing away (and over the edge) rather than squashing a bunch of people.

  33. Dr. Wu  •  Aug 15, 2013 @9:47 pm

    That'll buff out.

  34. V  •  Aug 16, 2013 @1:48 am

    thanks Al, Jim

    @Hoare thanks for pointing out the railing. No that's a streetlight that fell down with the vehicle. I meant the tube like thing on the roof in this picture.

    @George William Herbert

    But the immediate response was backing away (and over the edge) rather than squashing a bunch of people.

    Agreed. Though that's after running into a van that's in the middle of a small crowd, which is not particularly safe.

  35. Sami  •  Aug 16, 2013 @9:26 pm

    Isn't the Strong Nuclear Force a bit of a sharp escalation? All the protesters have is gravity, which is the weakest force known to physics. Your argument is equivalent to suggesting that the police need actual nuclear weapons because the protesters are throwing rocks – surely machine gun emplacements and RPGs would be sufficient.

  36. JustAnotherPHfanboy  •  Aug 17, 2013 @6:43 pm

    @Sami sez:

    "Isn't the Strong Nuclear Force a bit of a sharp escalation?  All the protesters have is gravity, which is the weakest force known to physics.  Your argument is equivalent to suggesting that the police need actual nuclear weapons…"

    I take it you don't have a STEM background.  Neither Clark nor anyone else mentions "nuclear weapons".

    The reference is to one of the four basic forces (also known as "Fundamental Interactions") of the universe.  (i.e., Gravity, the Strong force, the Weak force, and Electromagnetic — I'm ignoring intermediate states, such as the Electroweak).

    Bottom line, Gravity trumps the Strong force.

  37. David  •  Aug 18, 2013 @5:59 am

    @JustAnotherPHfanboy

    I take it you don't have a STEM background

    I take it you don't have a background in reading comprehension, analogies, and wit. Try Sami's comment again while bearing in mind the relative strengths of the gravitational force and the strong nuclear force. Then check your unreined, kneejerk arrogance at the door and try to feign a sense of humor.

  38. JustAnotherPHfanboy  •  Aug 18, 2013 @10:41 am

    Touché!

    It was late (for me, at least), and when I'm tired facetious remarks just give me a crew-cut as they pass over. <sheepish grin>

    It was definitely a Doi! moment, as I had been thinking about about the energy required to form the Electroweak, and was (erroneously) considering the energy dissipated as the four forces separated, per the so-called "Grand Unified Theory".  This, of course, has nothing to do with the relative strength of the individual forces.  Hence, the stupor-state reasoning, and why I seldom comment on most boards.

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