Thursday, May 03, 2007

Police brutality at LA rally

By Heraclitus

I've had trouble exercising any but the most reptilian portion of my brain lately, so I don't have much to say about the police swarming in on a peaceful May Day rally in LA and doing their damnedest to provoke a full-scale riot. Seriously, check out this post by The Unapologetic Mexican; at the very least, you really have to watch the two videos at the end, especially the second one, which shows the LAPD attacking local journalists. So far as I can see, it's impossible to interpret the actions of the police as designed to do anything other than escalate the violence.

The police claim, on one video, that they tried to break up the rally because a group of young men were "provoking" them. If true, I think this may be the most damning explanation possible. A handful of youngsters taunt a group of police, so the police start firing tear gas and rubber bullets into a crowd of thousands of peaceful protesters? After driving them from the park, they continue to drive them down residential streets, shooting rubber bullets at them? They eventually try to block them in so they arrest all of them for...what, exactly? I don't necessarily agree with everything Nezua says about the larger implications of this action (though I do think this is no time for complacency), but that doesn't matter. What does matter is that the actions of the LAPD can in no way be defended or excused. The only petition I could find online is on the ANSWER web site (sigh), but I urge everyone to contact the mayor of LA somehow or other. The ANSWER petition demands the firing of LAPD chief Bratton, but I added that a major review and overhaul or training and operations needs to be undertaken to prevent such incidents recurring the future (you should spirit yourself off to write something, secure in the knowledge that it will be more compelling and less bureaucratic than the line I just wrote). I think it would be very short-sighted, if not foolish, to think this is only of importance to people currently living in LA.

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  • At least the bullets were rubber and not full metal jacket. Many of us still remember Kent State -- remember students shot in the back and remember how our kids were taught that armed hippies were attacking the National Guard.

    Who knows how this will be portrayed 20 years from now?

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 1:05 PM  

  • This is totally f-ed. Non-lethal though its tactics may be, the state is encouraging and, in this case, actively engaging in a campaign of terror against immigrants. Where is the media? Where are the bloggers? Ugh.

    By Blogger James, at 6:51 PM  

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