THE US MILITARY has demonstrated a heat beam weapon it describes as a non-lethal ‘active denial system’.

The system sends a sudden wave of heat as an electromagnetic beam and it can be used to target individuals as well as wider groups of people.

The beam involved uses the same millimetre-wave technology used in airport body scanners, according to the Pentagon, and it works by heating water molecules in the tissue to induce an irresistible urge to turn away.

Defence experts involved in the project say that although the beam’s transmitter is 100 times more powerful than a standard microwave, the radio frequency involved does not penetrate deeply enough to cause injury.

We’re pretty concerned that police departments are going to get ahold of this tech and use it to disperse lawful gatherings. The increasing militarization of our police is a threat to democracy, and we haven’t seen a lot of self-control employed with other ‘non-lethal’ technologies, such as tasers. We must insist on our right to assemble peaceably, and not let politicians deploy this to police, though the latter will request it, naturally.