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View Diary: Riot Police Used Against Peaceful Supporters of Striking Walmart Workers (140 comments)

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  •  It's intimidation (3+ / 0-)
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    kurt, chuckvw, happymisanthropy

    By your logic, the police might as well have trained machine guns on the crowd, just in case, right? Now, that is obviously hyperbole, but can't you see that there needs to be a limit to preparing for the worst? There needs to be a balance?

    It is not unreasonable that the police be asked for a proportionate response. Their job is to assess the likelihood that a situation is going to go bad.

    "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

    by Lost Left Coaster on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 11:52:05 AM PDT

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    •  You admit your analogy is hyperbole... (2+ / 0-)
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      thestructureguy, howarddream why would you claim that your analogy demonstrates my logic?

      It is not conceivable to you that I mght approve of helmets, face shields, and protective masks, which pose no threat to anybody, but would not approve of machine guns being trained at  non-violent protestors?  

      There's been no allegation that anyone trained a machine gun at anyone here, or did anything remotely equivalent.  I would have vigorously opposed such a response.

      •  You're saying that the cops cannot (1+ / 0-)
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        know in advance what the protestors will do, therefore, they must be prepared for the absolute worst, right? Even if a small group of mostly middle aged peace activists block a street in a coordinated and orderly act of civil disobedience, they must be prepared for, I don't know, violent anarchists who weren't even present to fall out of the sky, and therefore they must wear full body armor?

        I'm just wondering why such preparation should stop at full body armor? Why shouldn't they go further? Admittedly, they don't really know what will happen, just as none of us know what will really happen when we step foot outside each day.

        My point is, the deployment of such equipment is not an act of neutral preparation. Objects change the range of potential actions that a human can take, and their very presence affects people wearing them, holding them, and in their presence. And objects have an affective potential that goes beyond their simple, denoted use. For example, a club has an affective potential that supersedes what it can do when swung by a human arm. The presence of the club changes how the protestors are affected. It may intimidate them, it may strengthen their resolve, it may fill them with fear, it may fill them with defiance, it may make them more likely to be violent, or less likely, but the point is that a cop holding a club is not merely keeping it at the ready, in case it is needed; he or she is also making a point, and affecting other humans, whether he or she is conscious of it or not.

        And often they are conscious; have you ever heard a line of riot cops thump their clubs on their shields? Do you think they do that merely to warm up their wrists?

        These objects are for intimidation, not only for the people present, but for viewers at home too.

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:42:56 PM PDT

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        •  Your are making a slippery slope argument (1+ / 0-)
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          Obviously, the cops didn't prepare for violent anarchists falling from the sky because that is not even a remote possibility.  The cops may have been prepared for the unlikely, but they did not prepare for the impossibe.

          Again, you are moving beyond what the cops here actually are alleged to have done.  Nobody swung a club or even unholstered a club to my knowledge.  Nobody thumped a club on their armor.  If a crowd was becoming violent and the police were outnumbered, such a show of "intimidation"  might be warranted.  Here, it was not warranted-- and so the police didn't do it!  See how that works?

      •  Machine guns pose no threat to anybody unless (0+ / 0-)

        they are loaded and the safety is off so why not?

        There is no saving throw against stupid.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:50:05 PM PDT

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