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Re: police thugs
Apr 07, 2009, 12:11
dave clarkson wrote:
"But as there is a requisite level of moral bankruptcy required to do the job"

Where do you get your facts from?

The job is to enforce the law, any law, with the requisite intimidation and violence that ensures obedience. It is not their job to question the validity of the law. If the law changes - even to the polar opposite of the law they previously enforced - they use as much force as it takes to ensure compliance. The same cops that were busting queers in 1966 were busting queerbashers in 67.

This works well as long as those inventing laws have our best interests at heart and are infallible.

But even then, it requires the officers themselves to ignore what they feel about the laws. To use whatever violence it takes to ensure obedience with rules, any rules as long as they're handed down from above, is moral bankruptcy.

machineryelf wrote:
this seems a bit harsh, I suspect most of the police force joined as innocent youths expecting to do good for the general public.

I've no doubt of that either. But that's not the way it goes and their main task becomes assertion of authority rather than public good or even obeying the law.

It would help if they went along with their sworn duty 'to uphold the law without fear or favour'.

machineryelf wrote:
I suspect your vision of the police is probably skewed by the fact that your involvement with them is generally in a situation that is in some way confrontational.

There's a good chunk of that, but so what? Anyone can be nice in situations where there's no real problem. As people who are in charge of confrontational situations and meant to pacify them, it's their behaviour when anything challenges them that they should be judged on.

I used to be someone who argued for engagement with the police but I've been worn down by being around them so much and seeing what they do. The same officer who is all 'you'll find a lot of us agree with you, my daughter's a vegetarian you know' will, 20 minutes later, put on a helmet and batter the head of anyone who happens to be near them.

It's not just from that stuff, though. I've also seen several friends join up and seen what it's done to them (interesting variety of responses; one playing along for a while but then becoming disillusioned and leaving, another becoming more and more bigoted and really getting into it).

It's not just protests either, it's in seeing stop and searches, and just standard city centre stuff. Their capacity for escalation is astonishing, and its chief engine is their will to enforce obedience above all other concerns.

machineryelf wrote:
all that said, the video you posted of the police action at G20 was appalling, there were numerous completely pointless batterings of innocent bystanders and I would hope the police responsible would be identified and kicked out, there is no justification for actions like that.

But - and this is the point I'm really trying to make - the police in that video aren't making an 'error of judgement' or being the occasional rogue officer. They are enacting a predetermined plan that they have practiced.

None of those officers will be disciplined, they obeyed orders and the situation worked well for the police. They will go home, job well done, and they will do it again another day. Those who designed the operation will be pleased and promoted.

It doesn't matter if deep inside they have moral feelings. Pretty much everyone does. It's how you act on those feelings that counts. How many police officers, ordered into a situation like the one in the video, would refuse to do it? How many who did it would refuse to do it again?

Any that don't - and my guess is that's all of them - should correctly be branded as scumbags.
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