Saturday, June 26, 2010

Social activism: The violence must stop

In anti-corruption activism by far the greatest documented physical threat to persons is police violence

by Denis G. Rancourt

Never mind property damage to out-of-control corporations, what about actual harm to persons?

Who gets hurt and has their democratic right to protest and civil rights violated?

The protesters do. They get physically corralled, sound cannoned, pepper sprayed, shot at close range with "rubber" bullets, beat to hell with batons, thrown about like rag dolls, tear gassed for just being there, arrested on false pretext, illegally detained, cuffed for hours, and more.

And this is without even analyzing the impact of agent provocateurs, a widespread practice that has not been punished by state prosecutors or denounced by police (HERE).

Sooner or latter the police are going to forcefully cause someone to bang his/her head and die (when they don't kill dissenters and civilians while in custody).

Why the hell doesn't the corporate media report the widespread police violence in proportion to its occurrence...? We need a check and balance on police behaviour.

There is a far greater probability of a person being physically harmed by police at a legitimate demonstration, or being forced through the ordeal of being falsely arrested, than of a person being physically harmed by a 3am lobby fire at a local bank branch.

Let us put the risks to persons and to democracy in perspective.

The Ottawa RBC fire says "pay attention and look at the role of financial institutions in causing misery". The police repression says "activists and critics will not be tolerated".

It is no longer an exaggeration to state that Canada has adopted a police state stance and practice. The police intimidate, interrogate, and round up activists on false charges before high-profile demonstrations, to quash democratic expression, and publicly vilify their targets with outrageous propaganda (HERE).

Those who vehemently call for the suppression of activists are those who most feel the need to defend their deference to authority. They are the slaves by choice who vie for the master's recognition and who insist on being oppressed fairly. They advance that one must earn the privilege of being fairly oppressed.

The rest of us want freedom and democracy, the real deal.
BREAKING NEWS - June 26, 2010:
Radio interview: Police violence against journalist Jesse Freeston (Real News Network)
See also these posts about the Dalai Lama and pacifism: HERE.
And this post about hatred: HERE.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Collins said...

You are right that most of the time, the media doesn't really cover what happens to (peaceful) protesters. That's because it is appalling, and it is a circular problem of paranoia. Can the media cover the government acting irresponsibly? Sometimes not.

I saw this happen in NYC around the time of the Republican National Convention. People who were simply walking home or to the subway were corralled and thrown into makeshift prisons (Guantanamo on the Hudson) to protect GW Bush. They weren't even doing anything and were oftentimes unaware of the convention. This was barely covered on the news. Hardly anyone even believes it happened, but I know it did.

Last year, in Pittsburgh, police went crazy on peaceful protesters who, I think, were trying to see what was going on in terms of the World Monetary Fund (I believe) meeting. That, too, was barely covered.

Would we have know about the craziness in Iran last year were it not for Twitter coverage by the people?