Sunday, November 20, 2011

To Protect and to Serve

Now, as regular readers will know, I'm not the world's biggest fan of the occupy movement. I think there is much wrong in this world and much to protest about; trying to stigmatise the banking industry through spurious and clearly false claims to be representing the 99% strikes me as a pretty crass basis for a global protest movement, though. That said, those carrying out these protests should be allowed to do so. They certainly shouldn't be pepper sprayed in the face by a bovine, corpulent cop who either is too stupid to know or too ignorant to care that he is clearly going to be filmed by someone.

There's international outcry over this; and legtimately so in my not at all humble opinon. But there are a couple of points to make here. Firstly, let's tone down the hyperbole - this isn't, as I saw someone on Facebook stating, the moment when the revolution starts. Kent State - a far more terrifying example of police brutality - went past without provoking a revolution, as have similar actions by police on both sides of the Atlantic, so the actions of this pot-bellied pig are unlikely to provoke anything more than a very vocal but equally very fleeting furore. The second point is that the police across the world need to remember that their actions need to be proportional; thus, sitting back and letting rioting mobs tear up shitty parts of London is not an appropriate police response; nor is pepper spraying seated protestors in the face. And this sort of brutal, disportionate response does nothing other than increase the sympathies for the protestors among people like myself who are circumspect at best about these protestors.

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