NATO “Riots” vs Ferguson

I am on a deadline but I don’t want to let the morning slip away without these images.

During the recent NATO meeting in Chicago, there was plenty of violence. Google NATO POLICE CHICAGO and you will see truncheons, blood, arrests, and angry statements about police states. Here’s a typical picture.

There are no semi-automatic rifles pointed at protestors. It’s not nearly as terrifying as what we’re seeing in Ferguson, MO.

Once these rifles are out, everything changes. 
That’s not an excuse for the Chicago PD, which has certainly had its problems dealing with peaceful protests (as well as its own history of police brutality). But I’m struck by the ways in which this is a suburban 
Watch these 60 seconds or so from Jake Tapper @CNN. He looks at the protestors, peaceful, calm. He looks at the massive police presence. “It doesn’t make any sense!” he says. And that’s right, it doesn’t … unless you understand that the goal here is about enforcing compliance. Then it makes lots of sense.

CNN’s Jake Tapper Going In by 3030fm

I just want to show you this, Don. I just want to show you this, okay?
This is just give you an idea of what’s going on. The protesters—here’s
this main intersection—the protesters have moved all the way down there.
They’re about half a block down. Here, Don, watch with me. They’re all
the way down there. Okay? Nobodies threatening anything, nobodies doing
anything, none of the stores here that I can see are being looted.
There’s no violence. Now I want you to look at what is going on in
Ferguson, Missouri, in downtown America. Okay? These are armed police.
With machine, not machine guns, with semi-automatic rifles, with batons,
with shields, many of them dressed for combat. Now why they’re doing
this, I don’t know because there is no threat going on here, none [pointing to protesters] that merits this [pointing to police line].
There is none. Okay? Absolutely there has been looters, absolutely over
the last nine days there has been violence, but there is nothing going
on, on this street right now, that merits this scene out of Bagram.
Nothing. So if people wonder why the people of Ferguson, Missouri, are
so upset, this is part of the reason. What is this? [gesturing to police line] This doesn’t make any sense. 

One Reply to “NATO “Riots” vs Ferguson”

  1. Betsey Langan says:

    I just saw this article on the Washington Post and thought immediately of your writings on the cult of compliance.

    To me, it reads like classic abuser rhetoric: "I'm only hurting you because you forced me to".

    With a side of "Be nice; it's tough to be a cop." Yes, it is. And one of the ways it's tough is that you should – you must – be the one who "…can keep your head when all about you /Are losing theirs and blaming it on you". ["If", Rudyard Kipling]

    The author gives several examples of how he's handled and de-escalated situations. Bravo. Because he's a "good cop", he seems to think we should a) ignore those who aren't, and b) accept the range of the power he claims and submit meekly.

    Cult of Compliance, indeed.

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