[editor's note, by Migeru] For the front page, the video above the fold and the Om below it.
(Hat tip to Sam at moon of alabama for the link)
[For those without video access, here's the story.]
Actually, that's not the story, it's a whole other "student gets tasered" situation, and maybe the following is written to pre-empt any such behaviour in UK academic establishments--or anywhere where the line between security and police is getting hazy, and anywhere where restraint = taser = no lasting effects = effective = okay method of police asserting their will = when the police come, you already lost = no negotiation = policing by power not consent = accepting one's lack of power =
...ach...rememeringgiap, as always:
wasn't it diogenes who sd the first thing you should do in a rich man's house is to spit in his face
"Diogenes is the first person known to have said, "I am a citizen of the whole world" (cosmopolites). This was a radical claim in a world where a man's identity was intimately tied to his citizenship in a particular city state. An exile and an outcast, a man with no social identity, " wikapedia
and then (he must have done a search)
"In the rich man's house there is nowhere to spit but in his face" diogenes
a subtle but real difference
All taken from Moon of Alabama, and my thanks go out to Berhard, as always.
Yes, the difference between spitting in a rich man's face as a necessary (self-imposed) act and spitting in a rich man's face as a necessary (there's nowhere else to spit--and who could want to spit? In a rich man's house?...)
High tensions and storms in teacups
Tasering students--Montysano over at Moon of Alabama related the carrying of weapons (fists are weapons--tasers are weapons--guns are weapons--bricks are weapons) to the Virginia Tech massacre.
So, for me, all the connections are...frying...the obvious paths look the same as the crazy ones.
Make that a triple ach
Right. The video. My thoughts
The guy's questions are no more than the sort of questions we ask here all the time. Check out the guy behind him, not the police but the guy in the suit: he (I think) makes the decision to stop the questioning.
Also: The audience applauds (I think) because the guy didn't just ask his question and wait for an answer--so they were just saying "Thanks, police, for shutting up the windbag."
But then the guy says "What did I do wrong?" He isn't going to play the game--okay, so far, so "Chuck him out the night club."
But then he starts shouting "HELP! HELP!" And that should have been the point (I think) where some greater intervention was needed (someone walking to the front and asking Kerry to intervene, or someone at least raising their voice and saying "Hold on a minute"--that kind of thing)--but then the guy goes down, people can't see what's happening, and the guy's voice is louder then softer and Kerry makes his joke ("I'll answer his question...you know...unfortunately he's unable to come up here and swear me in as president")--and that's the moment: the joke, the six police on the guy, that's all normal...the over-policing of a person who asked the kind of questions asked here at ET, and maybe even (cough cough) with the insistence on making our point through the question...and then the guy says...well just after he yells HELP...HELP! the policeman in front of him points a finger and says, loudly (so all around him for a good few rows in all directions will have heard: he said it loud to be heard:
"You will be tased if you don't t--"
The guy on the ground says "I'll walk out of here, just let me go."
And I can imagine on the ground he's trying not to be cuffed--so that's resisting and it must be police policy: "They resist, you tase."
So they tase, and THEN you hear an audible (to me) intake of breath.
And maybe that's what a lot of student-age people in the U.S. are pondering now--coz they clearly never thought it would happen, sorta like seeing a guy being dragged out of a club, and then whack whack WHACK! Up against the wall and fists straight to the face--woah!
And then...a guy says "Holy Shit!"
And the guy on the ground is yelling "No, no", like he's in pain, and he doesn't stop (what does it feel like to be tased? Maybe a couple of police officers would like to tase each other so we can see? Sorta like when they have to go into a room where tear gas is released, so's they know the effect...)
How stun guns work?
Stun gun uses high voltage and low amperage to temporarily disable an attacker for several minutes. Stun gun does not rely on pain for results. The energy stored in stun gun is dumped into the attacker muscles causing them to do a great deal of work rapidly. This rapid work cycle instantly depletes the attacker blood sugar by converting it to lactic acid. In short, he is unable to produce energy for his muscles, and his body is unable to function properly. Stun gun also interrupts the tiny neurological impulses that control and direct voluntary muscle movement. When the attacker neuromuscular system is overwhelmed and controlled by the stun gun he loses his balance.
When a stun gun touches both probes against the assailant's body for ½ second, it will startle the assailant, giving him some pain, muscular contraction and shock. For 1-2 seconds, it will cause muscle spasms and a dazed mental state. For 3-5 seconds, it will cause loss of balance and muscle control, total mental confusion and disorientation, leaving him dazed. Under no conditions can you suffer a charge back to your own body, even if the assailant touches you while you are using a stun gun on him.
So while the guy is going through that process--which lasts 3-5 seconds (and he's moaning "No, no, no") a girl can't take it and starts screaming at them to stop it--so THERE was the reaction--and I think maybe I'd've been the same coz up to then they were treating it as a "police as bouncers" situation.
All of which--and the next bit isn't news--it makes me agree with this comment (from Millman's link t'other day):
[...]the arrest triggered a protest by a group of University of Florida students Tuesday. One of them, Benjamin Dictor, called the arrest "an assault on reason itself."
"For a question to be met with arrest, not to mention physical violence, is completely unacceptable in the United States," Dictor said.
though that's not the quote I was looking for, but someone said they needed to get all security OFF the campus--was that someone here or at moonofalabama? (IANAJournalist, clearly.)
Reading around the subject, I was dragged in by the "He's a prankster, he's done this before, he wanted to cause a disruption" info. And, maybe this is just a UK ref. but I've never liked Trigger Happy TV precisely because I feel for all the poor schmucks (c'est moi) who aren't in on the joke and so they don't know how to react.
But now I remember Hunter S. Thompson's words, lots of 'em--he was Mr. Civil Liberties among other things--to the effect of: "This is a lifestyle bust."
Or: Tasering you today--in the exact scenario above--is acceptable if your past is unclean (with definitions of "not pure" to follow.) Ach...very badly expressed. This seems to me to be one of those "I could have been there" moments, and also it seems to me to be one of those "If that's unacceptable but you allow it to happen, what does 'unacceptable' mean (if I accepted it--if I didn't try and stop it) and what will I do the next time something unacceptable happens.
For me, arresting (trying to arrest) and then tasering someone because someone else (the guy in the suit--on my reading) decided the questions had gone on long enough--it means the guy giving that order won. If the crowd had reacted badly--if they'd blocked the doors, or demanded Kerry stop until the guy was released (my preferred solution)--the cops were reacting, is my point, and if they meet no resistance they will continue to react that way. And solidarity--always solidarity, and sudden solidarity when two people look at each other and say--out loud--"No way, that is NOT allowed"--and make that connection: next time, WE won't let it happen to US--
And then (as an idealist) I can ponder what US means....but let's start with two people who will look out for each other and together look out for those around them (including taking preventative actions in extremis--and yes, lines are hazy, so here's one: If the police want to taser someone who isn't being directly violent to another "non police" person--and here I mean, as I think DoDo wrote, that the police have long training in restraint techniques..or should have? I mean, those cops...in the U.K. security is not a high-pay position)...
Okay, let me put it this way: Imagine the same thing happening at the Liberal Democrat Conference.
Here's a bit of HST.
For two days and nights I'd been running around the streets of Chicago, writing longhand notebook wisdom about all the people who were being forced, by the drama of this convention, to take sides in a very basic way...("Once again," I had written on Monday night, "we're back to that root-question: Which Side Are You On?"). And now, with this joint in front of my face [a guy had just said 'You're the guy who wrote that book on the Hell's Angels, aren't you? Here, have a joint.'-rg], it was my turn...and I knew, when I saw the thing, that I was going to smoke it; I was going to smoke a goddamned lumpy little marijuana cigarette in front of the National Guard, the Chicago police and all three television networks--with an Associated Press photographer standing a few feet away. By the time I lit the joint I was already so high on adrenaline that I thought I would probably levitate with the first puff. I was sure, as I looked across the sidewalk at all those soldiers staring back at me, that I was about to get busted, bayoneted and crippled forever. As always, I could see the headlines: "Writer Arrested on Marijuana Charges at Grant Park Protest."
Yet the atmosphere in the Grant Park that night was so tense, so emotionally-hyped and flatly convinced that we could all be dead or maimed by morning...that it never occurred to me not to smoke that joint in a totally public and super-menacing scene where, as the demonstrators had chanted earlier, "The Whole World Is Watching." It seemed, at the time, like a thing that had to be done. I didn't want to be busted; I didn't even agree with these people--but if the choice was between them or those across the street, I knew which side I was on, and to refuse that joint would have been--in my own mind--a fatal equivocation. As I lit the thing I realised that I'd lost the protection of the press pass, or at least whatever small immunity it carried in Chicago, if any. That billy-club jolt in the stomach [a policeman had stabbed him in the guts with his club when HST had said "What the hell do you think it is?" to the policeman's comment that the thing around HST's neck was "not a press pass"--rg] had altered my notions of press-leverage.
With the joint in my hand, glowing in the night as I inhaled, I figured, well, I may as well get as numb as I can. Then, in a moment of fine inspiration, I took a nice lungful and handed the joint to the AP photographer standing next to me. His face turned to putty; I might as well have given him a live hand grenade...and then...then...like a man stepping up on the gallows, he put the thing to his lips and inhaled...
...and I knew I was home free, or at least I wasn't going to be busted. He'd been standing there very cool and observant waiting for something to happen on the front lines while he stayed on the balls of his feet ready to run when the bayonets came; I could almost feel him over there, a heady presence, vaguely amused at this flagrant felony being committed under the eyes of the National Guard and taking sides, himself, by declining to photograph us...and it would have been a fine Chicago Tribune--style photo: "Drug-Crazed Hippies Defy the Flag"...and then, it was his turn. When he put the joint to his lips and drew on it very skillfully I knew he had measured the balance of terror and decided that it was safe, under the circumstances, to smoke a joint in public.
CHICAGO--SUMMER OF '68, from FEAR AND LOATHING IN AMERICA, pp113-118