Is real life imitating the Onion again?

This story is just unreal.

Police Taser boy with broken back 19 times

When police arrived, they found Hutchinson under an overpass on U.S. 65 Saturday morning, Springfield’s KY3 News reported. The boy had fallen 30 feet off the overpass and was lying on the shoulder.

When the boy didn’t respond to police, they Tasered him, repeatedly.

What the fuck?

However, Ozark police say the wounded boy was a threat.

“He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him,” Capt. Thomas Rousset said. “He is making incoherent statements; he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers.”

Because it’s completely unexpected for someone in extreme shock to say incoherent ramblings..

Authorities say their use of a Taser weapon should not be questioned, because they were trying to help Hutchinson to safety.

“It’s a big concern for the officers to keep this guy out of traffic, to keep him from getting hurt,” Rousset said.

What the Flying fuck?

I can’t believe this story is real. Is a joke site like the Onion? This is just too unbelievable to be true.

Quote of the Day: There's no good cops

Where oh where art the good cops?

Image by JOE MARINARO via Flickr

Hamakua skewers the classic police apologetics that “therey’re not all bad” in a very amusing way

Honestly? Fuck that. I am judging them all by the apathy of the many. I agree with the earlier post, and I believe every single fucking cop should stand up and strike every time one of these rare (yeah fucking right) bad apples “steps” out of line.

I have cop friends too, with cop families, and cop dinner tables, … with you know what? Fucking cop stories… I have heard them and I can observe the attitudes, of not just the cops, but the family, the friends, the other co workers…. It’s like a bunch of racists… except remove “race” and replace it with “us” and “them”. Meaning cops and non-cops.

Don’t give me any crap about how you have cop friends. You aren’t fooling anyone singing their defense or their praise. They should be held to a higher standard, and in fact are held to a much lower one… and you make excuses for the good ones? There are no good ones, there are apathetic ones and bad ones.

Forgive the rant, but I hate apologists.

And fucking don’t forget, they weren’t drafted, or forced to become cops, they CHOSE to become cops… it’s not like a color of skin, or ethnic background, it’s a fucking power grab.

That’s exactly it people. If there are good cops out there, they fail to publicly display it. They fail to condemn the action of their colleagues. They fail to stand up to abuse being dished out in front of them. How many times have you seen a video of one police officer getting putting his body between a police officer and his hapless victim, even forcing them away if needed? How many times have you seen a suspect being released from a questionable arrest due to the actions of another officer? How many strikes and marches by police officers have you seen against police corruption?

Perhaps such incidents exist, but they are not simply the minority, but such an overwhelmed minority that they might as well not exist. If police officers really showed that they were willing to fight on the side of the people, perhaps those people (who are not servile apologists of power) would fear them less and respect them more. And then, those few good cops, who have proven their goodness, might even be allowed in an anarchist cafe if they are sufficiently known.

But until then, it’s safe to assume that the cop you see in front of you, is as rotten as the rest of his peers. It’s not that good cops may not exist, it’s that the good ones don’t become cops, leave the force or stop being “good” eventually.

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To Serve and Protect…

The largest and most brutal street gangs are those paid by your taxes.

Here’s something to challenge your paradigm in case you still believe the police are there to serve and protect you

Watch the second and third part as well (not to mention the whole thing). Especially the last story (starting at the end of part two and the whole of part 3)  is gut wrenching in the callous and inhumane behaviour of the police, not to mention how the state naturally protected its hired thugs from legal backlash.

And then you wonder why Anarchists feel threatened by police presence and want them nowhere near them.

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How would anarchists deal with problems in contemporary society?

Are anarchists naive in their solutions to problems in contemporary society? No, we simply recognise the harmful long-term effects of statist intervetnion.

Many Ahmedabad's buildings were set on fire  d...
Image via Wikipedia

Recently someone in /r/Anarchism inquired what action should Anarchists ought to take against violent crime in contemporary society, something which triggered quite a thought-provoking discussion since this is a subject which does not really have an easy or simple answer. The subsequent misconstruement from a non-anarchist who happened to be browsing the subreddit at the time, triggered me to put my thoughts down on the general subject of anarchist problem solving and hopefully present a perspective that makes sense and does not sound simply “naive.”

One of the most basic concepts of anarchism, and one that people – who routinely dismiss anarchist solutions – do not know or refuse to understand, is the idea that it’s the methods we use to try and change the world that define how society will look like after we’ve succeeded. To put it more simply: Changing the world via authoritarianism, will create an authoritarian society. Changing the world via violence, will lead to a violent society. Using “bad” tactics, will lead to “bad” society. And as naturally follows, using the right tactics, will lead to the right kind of societal result.

As such, when anarchists see something something that is not right, they look for ways to fix it, that are compatible to the future society they wish to have. And since the two main cores of that future society will be direct action and mutual aid, any way to resolve a contemporary problem will most likely revolve around them primarily. The problem arises when the current society as it exists makes such methods difficult or outright unviable. This, more often than not, is because to allow them would undermine the legitimacy and requirement for the state itself.

In practical terms this means that anarchists will initially try to find a solution to a social ailing which they can implement themselves, via their own power, and when that is lacking by the cooperative power of the community affected by the problem. They will not immediately turn to the state’s aid, even when that is easier to do (in mental and physical effort) because we recognize that not only are most of these problems the result of state action in the first place, but to go to them for solutions only serves to de-power us in favour of those who caused the problem and more often than not, creates peripheral problems that are of equal or greater intensity.

The cop that you empower and trust to protect you from violent crime and activity you wish to prevent, ends up performing it itself, either as a form of corruption (i.e. turning the blind eye to the criminals who can pay him) or as a result of the authority and power that only he possesses (i.e. bullying, uncalled violence, violation of rights etc). And whereas you could fight alone or with your community against crime, you are now powerless against the police.

The judge that you empower and trust to take the objective and right decisions, ends up following the rules that have been decided for society by biased people (politicians), has far more connection (and therefore bias) towards the wealthier society due to his status and is easily manipulated by money (i.e. who can buy the best laywer). As a result, justice is skewed towards the rich, sometimes in very crass ways. Much like the previous example, a distributed, democratic solution would serve a justice that was far closer to the real sentiments of people, which is in fact why trial by jury was implemented (and subsequently corrupted by the way the system works), but as the system stands now, your only options for justice are via costly and time consuming means, which of course end up favouring those with spare time and/or money.

So instead of this, we try to find a way which would be both anarchistic and viable. In the discussion above, people (inlcuding me) attempted to posit answers to the long term problem of violent crime in contemporary society. We recognize the limitations we have to work with, i.e. that as long as the state, capitalism and gross inequality persist, violent crime will never go away, and thus propose solutions which are effective in the short and in the long run. The person who dismissed anarchism because of its proponent’s unwillingness to use state power to combat violent crime only looks at the short term solution and even worse, from a punitive, rather than a reformative perspective.

But the problem is not how to stop this particular gang of thugs in the short term. It doesn’t really matter when the system you empower to do this, will endlessly grind more people into this lifestyle and as long as communities of people cower in their homes unless the police comes to help them – not to mention when those thugs come out of the inhumane prison system far worse than they entered it. It’s like fighting fire with oil. Sure,if you use quite a lot of it, you may end up smothering the flames for a bit, but not only did you create a mess of the place in order to do this, but it wouldn’t take a lot of effort now to end up with even a worse conflagration than before. Just a spark.

Let me present you an example from my own life to see what my own actions and perspective are.

Almost one year ago, me and my girlfriend finally moved together into a larger house. The area we live in is a classic German residential one. As a result there’s a lot of teenagers around who are bored and alienated from society, especially German society which is ridiculously uptight. As one would expect, there’s also the usual samples of discontent youth who just don’t care about the rules enforced on them. The Germans call them “Asis” which basically means “anti-socials” and don’t really want them around. Not because they’re dangerous per-se, but because they’re unruly and will most likely give you the finger if you try to tell them to follow “The German Way”.

As a result, most residents around here, many of which are middle-aged or old try to get rid of them whenever they see them and their main course of action of course is to (threaten to) call the police. This means that the Asis end up in a nomadic style, moving around the neighborhood every time some old fart threatens to call the cops because they don’t like their presence (they’ll imagine some excuse). Eventually some of them ended up sitting close to our balcony, boozing, smoking and whatever and I really couldn’t care less. Not only did we not care if they sat there all day, but my girlfriend at some point even waved at them in friendship.

And it seems that was a mistake. Shortly after this, snowballs started pelting our balcony window now and then, something that is quite shocking if you’re having a calm night watching a movie or something. I didn’t notice it often because I’m either not here or in my own world behind the monitor. However the gf is really starting to get upset about it, not just from the snowballs per-se, but because some of them ended up breaking a plant pot or two and she’s afraid one of them if going to think to throw of beer bottle eventually, which our window will probably not survive.

Now a typical German would have called the Police a long long while ago but my gf (who is slowly moving towards anarchism herself) didn’t and asked me what our joint course of action should be. She had already tried talking, explaining, shouting, and even approaching them in person and she was at the end of her wits. They seemed not to listen and whenever we tried to go down to speak to them, they thought we were trying to catch them or something, and run away.

Now this is difficult situation for me as we need to find a solution to this problem (stuff on our balcony likely to break and we need to then pay for replacement) but I am loathe to involve the state. Thinking about it, we’ve decided that our first actions would be to somehow reach out to them and explain what effects their actions have. The original idea we have is to see when they’re around and then go down to talk to them. If they flee when they see us, we could try to leave them a message and a beer or two, and explain within how we really don’t mind them around but we would appreciate them not breaking our stuff. Will it work? Hopefully. If not, we’ll adapt our tactic.

There is always the case that nothing we think of will make them stop. There’s always the case that my solutions are foiled because I unfortunately live in the current society and not a future anarchist one. I could try to organize something like a neighborhood watch or something similar but given the community’s rather large alienation from each other (a normal middle-class city-dweller’s mind frame really, exaggerated by the German ideas) and my personal language isolation, it will most likely fail. Thus it may come to be that I will indeed have to call the police. The difference is that I will do it as a measure of last resort, and fully recognize that I had to involve them mostly because of the mess they, and all they stand for, have caused. I will rightly blame the state, not thank it, for taking away all my options except going to the state. Much like I would blame a Mafia, not thank it, when my store doesn’t “accidentally” burn down while I pay them for “protection”.

That unfortunately I sometimes may have to go against the ideal solution I would like to have is simply an indication of the non-ideal system we live in. It is not a betrayal of principles any more than working for a capitalist or renting an apartment is a betrayal. We’ve been forced to live in an unfair system which very often leaves us with no choice. However the difference is that as anarchists we will explore all other possibilities which are closer to how we’d like things to be done, before accepting a bad option. And then agitate and point to the unfairness of being left with no choice but to perpetuate evil practices.

In short, anarchists may be visionaries but we are are also pragmatic. We will first try to exhaust the options which would be compatible with our future society before moving on to the “lesser evil” solutions as a measure of last resort when no other possibility is left for us. And even then, the consequences of not taking the “lesser evil” solution need to severely overwhelm the negative effects of such actions, which anarchists are often all to aware of.

Also see:

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To serve and protect

See how the police abuses activists just because they don’t show the mandatory consent.

This is what you get when you give a lot of power to a small minority (and only to a small minority) of people in order to “protect” you.

We had to wait again, with the handcuffs on, in the bus outside the prison for about one and a half hours. One protester was begging the police over and over to be allowed to go to the toilet, but was continually ignored or refused. The protester asked if the police wanted him to pee in his pants on the bus floor. In response, two policemen dragged him outside, smashed his head hard against the side of the bus and told him something the rest of us could not hear. After this, the protester was dragged back on to the bus, still in desperate need of the toilet.

Fucking, fucking pigs!

I’m certain all of you will rest better knowing that all those scary pacifists are being practically tortured for your protection. We can’t have the unwashed masses crashing the party of the ruling elite now can we?

Impressions from the Anti-Capitalist demonstration in Mannheim Sep 2009

We’ve visited the Anti-Capitalist demonstration in Mannheim in 26 Sep. 2009 and these are our impressions.

One of my latest attempts to figure out the Anarchist circles in my current place of residence, as an expat without a good grasp of the language, was to visit the anti-capitalist demonstration that happened yesterday noon in Mannheim. This was the first time I’ve seen such a demonstration in Germany so I wasn’t exactly certain what to expect, as my experience with it is mostly from Greece. A contact informed me to “expect repression and german demo laws” so the start was a bit ominous.

Unfortunately on the way there, we were a bit lost in finding our way around Mannheim so we ended up coming a bit late to the fun (about 20 mins) but hopefully the shouts and slogans of the demonstrators led us to the place everything was happening.

By far, the very first thing one notices is the very strong police presence. There were about 150-200 Anarchists in the middle, surrounded with banners and all around them where at least 50-100 policemen. The way the police had formed a wall around them was making it painfully obvious that this was a group of people “normal citizens” shouldn’t be interacting with. The feeling of domination by the police was painfully obvious as they were trying to contain the protesters.

It’s difficult to explain how much implied threat such a police presence registered. For all non-Anarchist onlookers, the police block gave all the “right signals” the state wanted to pass, that the people contained therein where dangerous elements you must be protected from. Furthermore, the heavy use of cameras all around the protestors and also towards onlookers made it even more obvious that your presence there was being noted, even if you were simply curious as to what the whole thing was all about. “Nothing to see here, move along. If you don’t then perhaps you need to be watched” was the feeling I was receiving.

Proof of such sentiments was further provided by Liriel, as an outsider looking in and with experience in previous German protests, she informed me that she’s never felt so threated before in her life for simply being in a public location, watching the proceedings. The police’s implied “You shouldn’t be here” attitude was very hard to ignore to such an extend that you’ll probably be reading soon another post in the Division by Zer0 written by Liriel about the whole thing.

If that wasn’t enough, the police made it painfully clear who is supposed to be watching whom here. As soon as I tried to take some pictures of the police presence, an officer walked over to me and in no uncertain terms made it clear to me that if I was to take one more picture of the police, he was going to take my camera and smash it. His hostility was unmistakable and during the protest, I saw him do the same thing to other onlookers 2-3 more times.  Needless to say that didn’t stop us from taking pictures but only made us do it less obviously.

Soon more Anarchists gathered and we ended up with a large-ish group of people chanting and clapping on the outside of the enclosed group (including me). Needless to say, this didn’t make the police very happy as people could talk to onlookers now and spread leaflets freely. More than once the police tried to enclose the outside groups as well, especially if they became too loud but always people would disperse and reconverge a bit later to chant from the outside once more.

Once the demonstration started moving, the same situation kept occurring again and again, many people would follow the march from outside the police enclosure and chant along with the protesters. As the outsiders became more and more loud, the police would attempt to enclose them as well, on occasion running  in front of us in order to block our way and redirect us within  the main procession. People would then run backwards or split in side streets and meet up the process 100 meters later. No less than three times did I see the police taking to chase protestors who were trying to avoid being kennelled in like some danger to society.

By far the most humorous part of the demonstration was when the protest was passing in front of a bank. The police had already made a human wall in front of the bank, one assumes to prevent any random people rioting in that general direction. As we were passing it, I made a comment like “Now we can plainly see what the police are here for” which made a few people around me laugh out loud. But this is in fact the truth. Even though during the process the police never felt the need to protect anything else, as soon as the banks were involved, they sprang to preventative measures, showing their true duty as the gendarme of the plutocracy.

The rest of the march was uneventful, if humorous at times as one looked at the police’s desperate attempts to control the Anarchists. Eventually we reached the main train station where the whole thing halted and soon after the Anarchists within dispersed just as quickly as they had gathered. In fact it was quite strange the way it happened. I half expected it to be a break among Anarchists and Police so that each side could go grab some drinks and food before continuing. We milled around for a bit until we were certain nothing more was going to happen and then left.

In the end, I believe there must have been around 300 anarchists present and about 100 police, which is quite a big presence if one thinks about it. Unfortunately the whole demonstration was still quite small which further reinforces my belief that Germany (as well as most of the first world) has not yet felt the real effects of the looming crisis. I think that once the shit hits the fan, there will be far a bigger civilian presence and police repression. Future will tell.

Of course, just because in Germany things are not bad enough to make for big protests, doesn’t mean that the same applies everywhere…


PS: Comic event of the day: As we were walking past a small market area parallel to the bigger march, we were shouting various anti-capitalist slogans. People weren’t really afraid of us and many were joking around. One stall-keeper asked us what this was about and when we explained she exclaimed: “Pirate Party Woooo!”, which was amusing to say the least. Not just because she confused our politics, but also because it showed how popular the Pirate Party in Germany has already become.

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