FUCK THIS. stop trying to get the good photo and help your comrades. We will never get anywhere by snapping photos of our comrades being beaten and taken away. In this situation, you should stop worrying about the good photo and hug your the person being arrested, pulling them towards the rest of the demo. If everyone did this, instead of taking pictures or chanting “shame shame” over and over, there would be far less arrests and we would be in a much stronger position to actually command the streets.]]>
Unfortunately, yes. We know this, at a gut level (hell, we see it in their eyes every time one of these guys faces us down) but it’s pretty hard to say it out loud. Most of us are optimists and we want to give others the benefit of the doubt.
But these are cops who’ve been through 15 years plus of Giuliani, Bratton, Broken Windows, and Ray Kelly training. The objective is order, order, and always more order. I know the history of policing in the US, and of course this has always been the rationale for policing and its systematic (but more often than not, randomly brutal) character. But it’s taken both an academic and a paramilitary direction since the mid-1990s. These people are extremely well-organized, well-coordinated, and they are have been training to think in ways we haven’t. They haven’t read the same books we have, they have no respect for civil liberties unless they might get caught (highly unlikely); there’s very little common ground.
They’ve also had a whole lot of normal psychological features of the human personality tamped down through their training and years on the force. It’s not hard for their superiors to lead them — with sufficient egging on — to the conclusion that people taking to the streets in protest is a step away from terrorism. Once that riot face shield goes down, they turn into something completely alien. What do they see, when they look through those face shields at us, weighed down with 50 pounds of zip ties, shin guards, flash grenades, body armor, and batons? What’s happening their heads?
It’s true — we don’t really know, and we’ll never know. But the behavior since November speaks for itself — deeds, not words, tell the truth. Most refuse to treat us like human beings or carry out normal conversations, they approach every march as if it were D-Day, and God help you if you try to assert yourself verbally toward any of them.
The power of the gun rules the minds of these men and women. Until we begin to realize this and think about what it means for the future of the movement, we’ll continue to be herded around like sheep. I’m sure, as they sit in their mobile vans, watching real-time video with face-recognition technology, reading up on each individual in the crowd and clicking through their social media bios, that they’re laughing their asses off at our incompetence.]]>