Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
... really, take a moment and consider if you are not overdoing your cynicism. I called it learned helplessness before, but I see this often - people being way to good at thinking of ways for a reform to fail, and not vetting their pessimism right. Specifically. You really think any politician is knowingly going to order a cop to be a law-breaking thug on camera, and get away with it too?

Uhm. Not bloody likely.

by Thomas on Sun Jun 16th, 2013 at 04:34:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The more likely problem is going to be political resistance to implementing such a system at all, due to the above. Might in fact be the reason it is not done currently, and puts a really depressing spin on the way lots of places view citizens recording cops. The police are agents of the social order, if they are doing their jobs even remotely right, all of their actions should stand up to the light of day.
by Thomas on Sun Jun 16th, 2013 at 04:38:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 16th, 2013 at 07:57:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You give this briefing prior to the event:

This is a controversial visit, and as such we must be prepared for attempts by protesters to force a confrontation with the delegation of foreign dignitaries. I would like to stress the importance to our relationship with the visiting country of keeping the delegation safe and keeping the event running smoothly. But I would also like to stress the importance of respecting the democratic rights of protesters to gather and voice their concern in an appropriate manner.

If the police disperse a lawful protest during the event, you release the following statement to the press:

The police was given clear instructions to respect the democratic rights of protesters to gather and voice their concern. It is deeply regrettable that individual officers have taken their desire to keep the delegation safe to inappropriate levels, and a full inquiry will determine the level and extent of culpability.

If the police fails to disperse a protest that annoys the foreign dignitary, you send the following memo to the chief of police:

The august foreign dignitaries were accosted by protesters representing their domestic opposition parties outside the headquarters of one of our large export businesses. This left the delegation with with the highly unfortunate impression that the government condones, or perhaps even supports, opposition protests at official state visits. Such support would, of course, be a gross violation of long-standing diplomatic protocol.

It is the view of the foreign service that the conduct of this event should be examined for possible lessons on how we may better ensure that future visits proceed smoothly.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 16th, 2013 at 07:48:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
During the Stuttgart 21 protests, the police were told to be confrontational so that "violence-ready elements" among the protesters will 'show their true face'. "Confrontational" meant unprovoked tear gas attacks and baton charges and pepper spray into people's eyes from short distance.

When asked to justify their behaviour, police claimed that they were provoked by violent protesters who used pepper spray themselves and threw stones, and showed two videos as proof. The date/time of the videos was blackened out. Later the same videos were shown in court, with date/time exposed, proving that those events happened hours after the initial police attacks.

(If you speak German, check this TV report for the details.)

The scandalisation and exposure of this case of requested-from-above police violence is not unconnected to the fact that victims were mostly 'decent' middle-class and upper-middle-class people who couldn't be assumed to have been some Black Bloc idiots who 'got what they deserved'. When it hits hard-leftists, working-class youth or immigrants, the evidence will get much less media play.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jun 16th, 2013 at 02:48:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series