June 17, 2001
6:00 AM   Subscribe

I generally don't have anytime for large scale protest's (wto riots - and mayday riots) and i dont agree with them when they start a vicious offence. Police are only defending themselves with water cannons and tear gas - *BUT THIS* is completly out of hand....
posted by monkeyJuice (18 comments total)
If you saw the video, the Swedish Police seemed completely unprepared for the events. They were firing 9mm pistols at the crowd-- not exactly the control measure of choice in Western Europe.... or even in places where they regularly use live fire on crowds.

Had they been prepared with non-lethal weapons they would not have been threatened the way they felt they were. It's an outrage in terms of logistics alone.
posted by FPN at 6:50 AM on June 17, 2001

The Swedish police force suffers from the most stupid restrictions I've ever heard of. They can't fire teargas or water-cannons, but they can fire guns? What is that?

Anyway, these travelling rioters/looters (calling them "protestors" is doing a disservice to the real protestors) have to be stopped. "Ya Basta!", the white overalls and other, similar thuggish organizations are only out to vandalize, and they've certainly achieved that goal in Gothenburg. This can't go on.
posted by frednorman at 7:00 AM on June 17, 2001

There was a substantial, peaceful protest in Göteborg that received virtually no mainstream press attention; the same thing happened in Quebec City. I am afraid that the news media, with perhaps the exception of the CBC here in Canada, has every reason to ignore the real story and focus on the vandals.
posted by tranquileye at 7:26 AM on June 17, 2001

I agree — the people have been ignored on this issue for years. Their only chance to speak to power is constantly suppressed or as tranquileye notes, ignored. Ireland voted against expanding the EU, now their own PM is setting up a framework to do an end-around against their democratic mandate with the help of the EU.

Stopped? As long as world leaders serve institutions instead of people, this will go on, and it will get worse.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 7:28 AM on June 17, 2001

While I certainly do not approve of police shooting protesters in the back, I will point out two of Larry Niven's laws:

1. Don't throw shit at a man with a gun.

2. Don't stand next to a man throwing shit at a man with a gun.
posted by hadashi at 8:04 AM on June 17, 2001

Perhaps more important than diverting the attention of the press, these violent outbreaks allow world leaders (Dubya chief among them), to dismiss all dissent as being the ravings of a few thick headed wackos.

Watch as Bush panders to the will of the "silent majority".
posted by aladfar at 8:49 AM on June 17, 2001

people wearing balaclavas are just up to no good.

but yeah, if you're looting, and causing bodily damage to cops, maybe a 9mm cap to the ass is the behavioural modification you need.
posted by jcterminal at 9:23 AM on June 17, 2001

Umm... My own personal law? Do not piss off one of a group of men with guns.

If you do, you're asking to get shot. Police don't fire those weapons that often here in the US because there's a horrible, unecessary backlash whenever they do, (100's of people get killed every week by drunk drivers, maybe one or two do every week by police firearms, and do we have protests for the innocent drunk driving victims? No! We have them for the f!@#ing slimeballs who were doing stupid shit to men with guns! OOps, sorry, tangent).
posted by SpecialK at 9:28 AM on June 17, 2001

SpecialK: And how many people die of traffic accidents of any cause every day, drunk driving aside? How great a percentage of those who die in such accidents die as a result of drunk driving? And people still aren't demanding alternatives to cars? You're logic is seriously warped here. Besides, America has done plenty in reaction to drunk driving in recent years, among them forcing states to change their drinking age from 18 to 21. Heard of that one? One of the president's own daughters has been cited for violating that state's drinking age laws twice in the past year. Then MADD has tried to change, with some success, the alcohol limit from .10 to .08.

Granted, I agree that no one should taunt law enforcement under any circumstances, but the U.S. Bill of Rights and the UN Delcaration of Human Rights might give you an idea as to why police use of lethal force is considered a big feakin' deal (with people on the right and left and everywhere in between).
posted by raysmj at 11:11 AM on June 17, 2001

K: Not to mention gigantic fines for DUI, massively increased patrolling since the mid-1980s, etc.
posted by raysmj at 11:12 AM on June 17, 2001

Monkeyjuice missed an article right next to the one he linked, which makes it clear the Swedes are quite happy with what they did and would not hesitate to do it again.

And I don't blame them one bit. The activities in Sweden were not "protests," they were full-scale violent riots. Read this Reuters story for details. The police were heavily outnumbered, they were intentionally taunted, widespread looting occurred, fires were set, and much intentional damage was inflicted on innocent peoples' property. This isn't "protesters with puppets" any more.
posted by aaron at 11:38 AM on June 17, 2001

Personal Law: I never go to "peaceful demonstrations" that look like they'll be something other than advertised, and leave when a peaceful demonstration begins erupting into something else. In fact the last time I found myself at a "peaceful demonstration" I felt like a pariah standing on the outside looking in. It is an act of futility. It is like chasing the wind.

Avoiding "demonstrations" which will obviously deteriorate into something worse doesn't work for people who lose sight of the goal. More importantly, it doesn't work for people who realize they're not being heard. Unless there is immediate satisfaction during a peaceful demonstration, and steps are taken to insure you're being heard, well people just start getting frustrated. Sometimes people arrive frustrated.

Earlier in this thread someone pointed out that there have been peaceful demonstrations which the world media chose to ignore. Why? Because peaceful demonstrations are BORING. Whereas showing an anarchist in the foreground screaming obscenities and throwing rocks at a line of black garbed men holding shields that have police etched into them and slowly marching forward, well that just looks better for the Evening News Report, eh? It's a more eye-catching visual image. If Tom Brokaw spent all his time reporting on all the peaceful demonstrations of the world, no one would tune in. They wouldn't get their ratings points. Dan Rather would find himself replaced by reruns of The West Wing.

Zealots who want to be seen on the evening news so their message will get across are gonna turn violent. They want the attention. They'll throw rocks or blow up cars or whatever it takes to be heard. By then it's the sound of the explosions that are heard and not the message, but like I said, they lose sight of their goal.

Why do you think terrorists do what they do? You think they just wake up one morning and go, "hmm... I think I'm in the mood to blow up stuff." In many cases these people have tried everything else they know to try, and the only thing which gets results for them is violent behavior. Of course, they never stop to think that maybe the reason why that's the case is cuz the belief structure which leads them down that dark path is flawed. By the time they start thinking that it might be a good idea to take civilians hostage or hold a city under threat of property damage and loss of lives, well there's just no talkin' sense to 'em.

And believe me, it's not a long walk of logic from "peaceful demonstration," to "violent demonstration," to "terrorist activity." Especially when you sense no one's listening.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:03 PM on June 17, 2001

And how many people die of traffic accidents of any cause every day, drunk driving aside? How great a percentage of those who die in such accidents die as a result of drunk driving? And people still aren't demanding alternatives to cars? You're logic is seriously warped here.

My logic is warped? I don't think so. Put the additional elements into the puzzle, and see what you get.

Elementary boolean logic:
-Protestors attack police and police respond with gunfire.
Q - Protesters attack police
R - Police respond with gunfire
Z - Attacking police is something you need to do.
--Therefore, if not Q then not R (Negation law) means that "If protestors do not attack police, then police will not respond with gunfire." This is a practical solution because attacking police is not something you need to do to go through your everyday life (Z)

-Innocent victims get killed by drunk drivers.
Q - Innocent victims get killed
R - by drivers
S - Who are drunk
- This one's a little trickier. Innocent victims get killed by drivers, but they're killed more often by drivers who are drunk. Therefore, if we can control S, then we can control the join of RS, and Q will not happen. Driving is something that needs to happen in most areas of the country to get through every day life. (Note that attacking police with guns is not something you need to do to get to the grocery store.) If you happen to encounter R (Another driver), you have a small chance of being killed. If you happen to encounter an RS join (A driver who is drunk) you have a slightly higher chance of getting killed. But it's kind of sad if you get a QRS join, because the innocent driver got killed just for going about his everyday life. Also, there is a small chance of this happening and the small chance isn't really preventable... The US tried prohibition, and we've had police crackdowns and increased patrols and sweeps, and it still happens.

What does this all mean?

Attacking police is something you do not need to do to get through every day life. It's not something you need to do in the course of a peaceful protest. Therefore, people who do attack police don't really deserve as much attention as we're giving them here, because thank goodness the police cleaned their genes out of the gene pool. If I go and attack a cop tomorrow and he shoots me because I'm stupid enough to attack him, well, thank goodness I didn't reproduce before I got killed.

Oh yeah, and prove that my logic above is flawed, raysmg. You apparently have tunnel vision, because you forgot to take other things into consideration, which you need to do to build a logic model.
posted by SpecialK at 12:40 PM on June 17, 2001

Not taking your bait, Special K. Bye-bye.
posted by raysmj at 1:10 PM on June 17, 2001

Peaceful demonstrations on the news are boring because the news bite formula allows for only 30 seconds. Hardly enough time to give background on why exactly the protesters are so upset.
posted by keithl at 1:18 PM on June 17, 2001

So, SpecialK, you think its ok for a cop to shoot someone who taunts him? Or is it only ok if the person throws a rock at the cop? Or are you just trolling?
posted by Doug at 2:33 PM on June 17, 2001

Doug, I've been here long enough for you to know I don't troll.

What I'm saying is that if you want to protest, fine. Protest. If you want to beat up cops, fine, you'll get shot.

It's not OK if the cop shoots someone for yelling at him, stop being rediculous. What I'm trying to say here is use a little common sense... if you're going to throw stuff at a cop, well, the cop might throw something back, in the form of gas-propelled lead! I'm sure that takes a rocket scientist to figure out.

Common sense, people.
posted by SpecialK at 4:04 PM on June 17, 2001

really, the only difference between the "protestor" and the cop, is that the cops weapon was a lot smaller and a LOT faster.
posted by jcterminal at 5:29 PM on June 17, 2001

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