Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
On the topic of indifference...

The other evening I took our child to the theatre and we took the tube back just one stop. When we got into the train there was a man collapsed on the ground. Everyone just avoided him, but nobody was doing anything. I decided to activate the emergency alarm but waited until we got to the next station (our destination) as there's no point in alerting the driver in the middle of a tunnel. The driver called someone in the station and waited for a few minutes until someone came down. A woman came over from the next car over and when she saw the man on the groung she said "he's just drunk asleep". I felt very uncomfortable throughout. I was convinced people must be thinking I was unnecessarily delaying their journey. I also did not want to do anything with the man myself. I just meekly waited for staff to come and do whatever they needed to do. But, to the woman's dismissive comment I thought, if any of us passed out in the tube for whatever reason, wouldn't we want help to be called?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:05:50 PM EST
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Reminds me of when I had my bike accident.  I'd fallen off, my bike was still half in the road and I was sat on the kerb clutching my face, bleeding.  A car drove past me, slowed down and I saw people peering at me through the windows. Then they speeded up again and drove off. Nobody asked me if I was ok, they just all had a good look and left me there, at about 8pm and dark.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:14:01 PM EST
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ie to answer Migeru's question, yes it would have been nice for someone to show some concern in that kind of situation.  

I'd say it is far removed from the one DoDo was in today though since I was obviously moving and capable of sorting myself out. Frankly if I had been in that situation today and thought about trying to help, I doubt I would have because I just wouldn't have known what to do, I'd have been too shocked by it. That's a different reaction to one of not wishing to be inconvenienced by stopping to help someone.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:31:35 PM EST
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from hanging out and caretaking the dying, i've discovered that you give a lot to a very enfeebled person just by 'holding space' with them, especially in situations when words are superfluous or inappropriate.

my first reaction would be to try and let the person know, without touching or moving them, that they weren't alone, or worse, surrounded by people who remained oblivious to their plight.

getting proper medical attention should also obviously be a top priority..

but only just less important would be trying to express solidarity and compassion.

that's a great story in magnifico's roundup this morning about an illegal immigrant who gave himself away to being arrested as the price to help a child who was in a car accident.

he should be offered an honorary citizenship!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 06:58:50 AM EST
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I don't know about the London underground, but in Paris the train will only stop at the next station when pulling the alarm - the reasoning being that that stop is less than a minute away, and the quicker way to get doctors on the scene inside the wagon is by being at a stop...

I also remember seeing someone on the ground in a station, apparently a drunk diabetic (only found out afterwards). Someone had already called the firemen, and when I enquired about it, and seemed ready to stay a bit, they took the next train... Better behavior.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:46:24 PM EST
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In the London Underground the alarm just alerts the driver, it's really an emergency alarm, not an emergency brake. I suppose emergency brakes only make sense in overground trains. Underground they're just a liability.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 06:08:36 PM EST
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Back in the 80's I was in Londen with a friend and two girl friends.
We were on the tube, destination Victoria station.
Tube overcrowded. we, first time in London feeling uncomfortable.
Suddenly, 2 meters away a man collapses...people moving up to make place he can fall on the floor and everybody looking elswhere.
Man on the floor starts to shake hevemently and making loud strange noises.
My friend and I make are way to the man by pushing violently people aside. The same moment, from the opposite side, a very young woman kneels near the man's head and put her fingers in the mouth of the man to grab his tongue.  She gave us instructions what to do and said this was a heavy epileptic case.
Fucking nobody else was doing something to help and people were even reluctant to make some place.

Suddenly , the speakers gave a loud beep and a very quiet voice announces the train wouldn't stop in Victoria station because of a bomb-alert.(It was the very same day an IRA bomb exploded in Tower museum, killing German tourists).

Nah, train accelerated while my friend and I were trying to hold the violently shaking man on the flour to avoid harming himself and the young woman franticly trying to keep his breath going on.

2 minutes(ages) later the train stops, everybody is leaving and other people enter the train.
I couln't find an emergency thing whatsoever, so I ran to the door and can yell to a man in uniform "call an ambulance" he replies "are you sure?" and I say "godverdomme yes!" The man starts to run and I feel the doors are closing, the girl friends came to help to keep the doors open so the train couln't leave.
Angry people all around, luckily after a few minutes a professional rescue-team arrived and took the man with them.
Nah, welcome to London.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 06:28:30 PM EST
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I'm getting old, this thing happened 17 July 1974.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 07:02:25 PM EST
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