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View Diary: The Turkish People Have Killed Their Fear Of Authority (61 comments)

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  •  This is something that has always puzzled me (13+ / 0-)

    Protests in America and Canada always end up being repressed a lot faster and more brutally than in France, Italy, Greece and by the look of it Turkey.

    I used to think it was because US/CA police is that much scarier.

    Then I talked to some people and found that generally protesters over here keep assuming police will be civil and do not take precautions such as bringing their moped helmets or expecting tear gas and so on.

    Now what puzzles me is, given the historical record, WHY that is.

    I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

    by spiritplumber on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 08:54:55 PM PDT

    •  I think many Americans were conditioned to believe (4+ / 0-)

      those methods were to be used exclusively on other people.  Minorities, especially Black Americans, occasionally college students and union members were the domestic folks requiring brutal responses.  

      The spiraling circle of inclusiveness got smaller; those on the outside might as well be one of the 'other people'.  Those newly arrived on the outside probably would be the ones who bring t-shirts and signs to a protest when they should, figuratively, bring light bulbs filled with paint.

      On the other hand much effective protest in the US was nonviolent.  Perhaps the ratio of protesters to police to indifferent onlookers would tell the tale.

      •  I see the point and will do some stats (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        deep info, akze29, harlinchi

        and "nonviolence" only works if the other side faces consequences for initiating violence.

        (I am not nonviolent, by the way: my personal rule is never start fight, always finish them. It's pretty sad when I have to use de-escalation methods on LEOs, which has happened once).

        I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

        by spiritplumber on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 12:08:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't consider myself nonviolent either. (0+ / 0-)

          People far more brave than I have used it effectively, though.  If no one sees the violence against the nonviolent, the protest would appear to have been wasted.  Letting indifferent onlookers see the brutality, either in person, on TV/Cable or on the 'Net, enables them to become involved by their disgust if not their active participation, by joining in.  

          The number of indifferent onlookers in Turkey seems small, encouraging a more aggressive protest action.  The number of onlookers during the Civil Rights protests seemed high, encouraging nonviolence to generate disgust.

          Thanks for the question and response!

    •  Nonviolence worked really well for a while. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spiritplumber, ybruti, kyril

      It was a tactic made particularly effective by women protesting in the late 19th century, and has been heavily adopted since then.

      Go back before that, and you will see extremely violent protests in the US, and the protestors were NOT repressed quickly.

      •  Granted, but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akze29, kyril, harlinchi

        it's working less and less well. Have a most-sociopathic-wins-and-taks-all environment for long enough and people will care less and less who has the moral high ground. I do not think this has happned yet, but it's where it threatens to go. If I had a countertactic, I'd propose it, but I do not.

        I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

        by spiritplumber on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 01:01:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They do? (0+ / 0-)
      Protests in America and Canada always end up being repressed a lot faster and more brutally than in France, Italy, Greece and by the look of it Turkey.
      Why is it then not a single one of the dozens of protests I've been at since 2010 been repressed?

      This sort of talk is through the looking glass. I'm off to find that caterpillar.

      •  What in the world do you consider (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Celtic Merlin

        IS repression?

        American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

        by glitterscale on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 05:01:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know the police doing absolutely nothing (0+ / 0-)

          doesn't qualify as repression. And the police doing nothing is what happens 99% of the time. 100% in my experience.

          Have the police fucked up badly at times? Yes. That is clearly documented. NYC LEO Tony Bologna was clearly not acting as a professional LEO. Nor was that LT from the California university was out of line. The asshole who shot the guy in the face with the beanbag round (or was it a gas cannister?) deserves prosecution.

          But these are the exceptions to the rule. The suggestion - seen here often on DK - is that Americans cannot protest w/o fear of oppression.

          Well that's just [pick your own word I'll go with] lunacy.

          •  Again (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Celtic Merlin

            what do you consider repression?

            American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

            by glitterscale on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 10:05:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Preventing expression (0+ / 0-)

              Now what do you have to say about the fact police excess is vastly over-reported here on DK?

              Have some sauce Mr Gander.

              •  "Vastly Over-reported"? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                glitterscale

                My contention is that there should be NO police excesses at all.  The shit that the cops did to the Occupy encampments and demonstrations was not merely unconstitutional in many cases, but criminal as well.

                The fact that people here are unhappy with such abuses of authority does not constitute "over-reporting" in any way.  Discussion of same in several diaries with varying viewpoints is also not "over-reporting."

                You know why there aren't any diaries about cops NOT abusing Americans?  Because nobody gets - nor deserves - any publicity for doing their job the right way.

                Celtic Merlin
                Carlinist

                Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

                by Celtic Merlin on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 05:37:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  So it is okay by you that (0+ / 0-)

                protesters get beat up, kettled for hours and then tear gassed when they have no where to go, bottled up in vans for hours until they are forced to soil themselves, taken to jails and crammed in together and not allowed to sleep, eat or defecate and those that don't get that treatment get slammed into car fenders, plate glass doors and what ever else is handy (and oh by the way if you have a medical condition don't ask to keep your meds!)

                All that is okay, but us expressing our dismay and displeasure displeases ....YOU?

                American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

                by glitterscale on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 05:17:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're right (0+ / 0-)

        Long time reporters and photographers reporting from Greece and now Turkey say the crackdowns were more brutal than anything in the USA. Seattle was a picnic comparatively.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 11:19:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Americans tend to look down on people (4+ / 0-)

      who protest like the dirty f**king hippies they detest. That attitude makes sure they don't see themselves in the protesters and therefore don't go out and support them.

      What is strange to me is that a great deal of the folks on this site feel the same and will not support protesters and will not go out and join them. And get upset because people within the protesting groups are often of several different opinions about why they are protesting. They have a difficult time understanding about coalitions.

      American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

      by glitterscale on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 04:51:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I stopped helping out at Occupy (4+ / 0-)

        when one of the people there keyed my car while I was unloading solar panels and cell phone chargers I had built for SFO and Oakland. I actually caught the guy for a moment, and he just went "whatever" and ran off. Very off message :(

        http://www.youtube.com/... This is how you make sure your phone can run RA or qik at a protest and not crap out after 20 minutes. This can be done quickly and with no prep. If you order th parts instead of going to rat shack, and get them in some quantity (50/100) you can make these for literally two bucks each.

        I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

        by spiritplumber on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 10:32:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because we are conditioned to believe (9+ / 0-)

      that the government is ours and represents us. As such, most of us have not historically viewed the government as our enemy. It has taken the right wing A LOT OF WORK and A METRIC TON OF MONEY to dislodge this idea and replace it with the notion that government is bad and dangerous, and they've done it by going back to the Revolution==that's why all the goofy tri-corner hats and 18th-century hijinks. That's also why they have more success in the South, which has a more recent history of seeing the federal government of the U.S. as an enemy than anywhere else in the country. When I was a kid, even though there was a lot of disillusion about the government--Vietnam, Watergate--people still believed the government was basically good.

      So what does that mean about attitudes toward police?

      If you were living in a true democracy, policemen, for the most part, would not be your enemies. They'd be the ones defending the laws that the majority of the people support (that's why they're laws, in an actual democracy). So, police would be basically good, with the occasional bad apple.

      Now admittedly, I've over simplified here, because certain populations of people have never had such an easy relationship to the U.S. government:  primarily black people and Native Americans. But the majority of the American people are powerfully conditioned to believe that the government is not their enemy, and that there are serious restraints on what the government can do to you.  It makes it a real shock when the police act like thugs.

      Like I'm sure it was a shock during Occupy for, journalists to show a press pass and say "I'm press," and have a cop say "Not tonight, you're not."

      The greatest voice is the voice of the people-speaking out-in prose, or painting or poetry or music; speaking out-in homes and halls, streets and farms, courts and cafes-let that voice speak and the stillness you hear will be the gratitude of mankind.

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 05:59:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More people turn out (5+ / 0-)

      by far in those countries.

      When Occupy was pulling in a hundred thousand in New York, a million was turning out in Madrid or Barcelona --and Spain is a country 1/4 the population of the US.

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