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What became of Ludlow DEATH SPECIAL

Early urban assault vehicle used to suppress miner strikes at Ludlow and Forbes camps in Colorado
One of the weapons deployed against the striking miners of Ludlow, was an early armored car nicknamed the “Death Special.” Its steel plated sides emboldened mine guards to run their mounted machine gun through the union camps. What became of the intimidating machine? Does it sit in a prairie museum, or was its metal armor recycled? Recycled, definitely.

The Death Special was improvised by the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency who were the hired strike-breakers, and built at CF&I’s own steel works to use against its striking employees. At Ludlow the steel-plated vehicle was driven alongside and through the tent colony, its searchlight used to harass the sleeping strikers. Its guns took shots at the tents which left haphazard victims killed or maimed.

World Wars One and Two produced many armored vehicle designs, but the Baldwin-Felts model was unique for being a civilian model. You can recognize its lines in the modern urban assault vehicles which metropolitan police departments have determined to arm themselves, in the war against what, meth-lab pill-boxes?

No, these armored police cars are deployed against public protest, in the name of riot-control. By their paint jobs, neither camouflage nor emergency neon, they are obviously intended to intimidate. If the Baldwin-Felts and Pinkertons are going to reinvent themselves as Blackwater and Triple Canopy, why not also their weapons of choice?

Virginia State Troopers protect Crystal City from antiwar protesters
This one was used to mark the line over which the A.NS.W.E.R. marchers were not to cross, when they marched against the Pentagon and its weapons suppliers in Washington DC.

Aurora City Police deploy urban assault vehicle against peaceful demonstration
This vehicle was bought by the Aurora Police Department, out of the $50 million allocated to Denver for security for the 2008 DNC. Notice on its intimidating black sides, it says “Emergency Rescue.”

Deployed downtown Denver at the 2008 DNC
Here it is aimed at you.

Riot police facing off the RNC demonstrations
St. Paul at the RNC.

DPD armored emergency rescue unit at night
Denver.

5 thoughts on “What became of Ludlow DEATH SPECIAL

  1. I saw one of these vehicles (last photo) in Manitou the other day at the park with the train- It was just sitting there looking menacing with the usual compliment of goons/cops/pigs hanging around it. It said on it something like El Paso….

  2. While I am not in favor of Police forces “Militerizing” themselves I feel the need to make a couple of comments here. The reason the side of that one Aurora police vechiel states ” Emergancy Rescue” is that it is intended to be used to recover injured or otherwise police & civilians from the line of fire (ie- the North Hollywood shoot out where cops lacked the aromer aginst gun toteing sickos). I realize this may seem like window dressing but I ashure you this is the intent. You can call the presance of such equipment over kill or escalation on the police behalf,but even though the majority of protest groups are peaceful there are those whose intent is to do nothing but harm. I am sorry,when faced with such possibiities they must be prepared to defened themselves,other protestors,bystanders and yes property and these cars play a roll in that. Apologies as to spelling & grammer as I am typing this on my cell while medicated following a painful tooth extraction.

  3. We know the ones whose intent is to disrupt, intimidate and commit massive assaults.

    They’re called “police” by their apologists and StromTrooper Murdering Fascist PIGS by those of us who know them a little bit better. Unfortunately their way of introducing themselves is to march down the street beating people down, firing at them, gassing them and backed up by these Urban Tanks.

    Loudly screaming Imperialistic Orders that we obey them unconditionally Or Be Punished.

    They’re Uniformed Cowardly Thugs.

    They always were and never will change.

    It was pigs like them who crucified Jesus.

    The only difference between the PIGS at the G20, at the various Political conventions and rallies,

    And the Gestapo and SchutzStaffel troops who herded people through the streets and into Concentration Camps and mass graves..

    Or the Roman Police who crucified Jesus is the insignia on their armor.

    You might notice that when the TeaBags, who call themselves “revolutionaries” but are instead a mob incited by the Same Corporate Overlords who own the Police, when they get together with High Powered Rifles displayed and the distinct intention of inspiring Terror in all who oppose them, JUST LIKE YOUR PIG HEROES… When the PIGS show up in their Armor and their Armored Vehicles it’s not to protect themselves from the self proclaimed “Revolutionaries” is it?

    It’s to provide backup for the “Revolutionaries”.

    You ought to grow yourself a set of BALLS instead of being a Suck-Ass Bootlicker for your Police State.

  4. You people are all WRONG (except you steph) the armored trucks are used to protect the officers inside them (who are simply doing their jobs and their civic duty) from the idiot with a Molotov or the lunatic with an gun in a crowd of people as well as to provide transport for criminals and if they intimidate people at protests then it is to keep them from becoming violent.

    For that matter why are you intimidated by them?

    And probably the saddest thing about all of this is that I’m a sixteen year old kid and yet I’m the ONLY one to point this out.

    I’m proud to say that I have a family member in every branch of the military as well as a godfather in the police and a best friend who will soon become a police officer and that it is vehicles like these that keep them safe on the ground.

    Most sincerely
    Louis Rockefeller

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