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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011 edited
    Alan Tyson:

    Oh, another video of government troops attacking the rebels in the Middle-Eas... wait, what?

    Edit: Looks like Oakland Mayor has a Facebook profile where she congratulates the police. The comments are still unmoderated.
  1.  (10239.283)
    You make it sound like flashbangs are worse than tear gas. If I were a protester, I would much rather the police were using flashbangs instead of tear gas...

    ... then again, I guess the point would be that it would be better if the police were using neither, so I'll shut up now. Video won't load where I'm at, so I'm spouting off without knowing what I'm talking about.
  2.  (10239.284)
    Every time I read about the police opening up with excessive force like this I can't help thinking 'Didn't you people learn anything from Spider Jerusalem? Why don't you have people with cameras on the rooftops around where the protests are taking place? Get some long lenses and high ISOs and document this shit from above the fray.' And then part of me thinks that potential lens glint on a rooftop from a 500+mm lens is probably the last thing that you want when there are trigger happy cops gassing people in the streets.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2011 edited
    @govspy: Yeah, I probably could have worded it better. I meant that the use of tear gas was confirmed, but we're not certain flashbangs were actually being thrown into the crowd, there are some people saying what they heard and saw were just the gas canisters exploding.

    Although it seems like (and, full disclosure, this is just speculation on my part - I don't know the exact protocol for the use of flashbangs in police work) if tear gas is used to disperse a crowd, flashbangs would only disorient and, temporarily, immobilize same crowd - people under the effects of a flashbang grenade don't tend to go anywhere for a while, as it's most people's instinct to go prone and cover themselves up when their senses are cut off, rather than run around blind and deaf. Flashbangs would only be useful if the police were going in for a mass arrest, which doesn't seem to have happened tonight. Now that I've cooled off a bit, that, combined with the gas canister theory, makes me doubt flashbangs were actually in use tonight.

    @David: Some people were doing just that, actually. There's a long, long list of OPD badge numbers floating around, and the Occupy Oakland Livestream has been running through the entire event (which is damn impressive, considering that the stream I was watching is being run off a laptop's built-in webcam).
  3.  (10239.286)
    @Alan Yeah, pretty much. Flashbangs are a useful "non-lethal" tool that cops use to disorient and distract mass targets. For the most part, the negative affects of flashbangs are much less severe than those of tear gas, but If I knew cops were using flashbangs, I'd be much more likely to stick around than if they were tossing tear gas.

    Wouldn't you know it? This conversation has reminded me of a story.
  4.  (10239.287)
    Unless you WANTED the people to go prone in the middle of a tear gas cloud. Which maybe it's just my general theory that way too many cops are high school bullies that never did anything with their lives so they became cops to get that same mightier than thou feeling, that brought me to that conclusion. I mean, if I WAS a psychopath, that seems like a pretty good tactic.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2011
    @jamie coville:

    Thanks that was an interesting put a lot of thought into that.

    I am not sure how the distribution of the necessities of life, like food first and foremost, would work in such a society. If it's free, then how do you avoid people from going to the shops and buying everything so that there's nothing left for anybody else?

    You'd probably need introduce rationing...would everybody be entitled to the same amount of stuff?

    Ideally I think money should work in such a way that people who contrubute most to the common good get the most money. The problem is that it just hasn't worked that way so far, people find ways to work around that so that they get an unfair share...nepotism, corruption, crime always creep into the system. People are greedy...or some of them, anwyay.
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2011
    Just saw this from Twitter: Officers throw a grenade into a group tending to a wounded protester.

    I have literally never been so angry as to be incapacitated. I don't even know what to say to something like this.
  5.  (10239.290)
    I'm a huge proponent of the Resource Based Economy. There would need to be a huge shift in our culture and way of thinking for it to work. I hate to use the word but, "re-education" is really the only way to explain it, and it would be more like true education about the world we live in. The facts are that NO ONE should be withheld food, clean water and a place to live. There's no reason why banks should demolish homes that are sitting on the market because no one can afford them when there are millions of homeless people. It doesn't make sense. We shouldn't be throwing away good food, when there are billions of hungry people in the world. In no way does that make sense.

    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2011
    Some real good brain fuel/arguments on here. there's nothing much i can add to it all.

    Now for some slight light relief...

  6.  (10239.292)
    @rickiep00h: mother FUCKER.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2011
    @rickiep00h: that's so fucked beyond belief. Just tweeted and facebook posted that video. people need to see that
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2011 edited
    @rickiep00h, Argos, Billy Bragg has that clip up on facebook, i was just coming over here to share it. At least it's being widely shown. Some people really do enjoy their jobs a bit too much. And i bet the bastard gets off scot free with it.

    (edited to fail miserably at embedding the vid clip), here's a link instead.

    Ok, i don't know how that worked but it did. I'm off to sacrifice a beer in thanks to Ariana, goddess of the Whitechapel interwebs.
    • CommentAuthorandycon
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2011 edited
    Guy was an Iraq Vet that got hit with the tear gas can and is in serious/critical condition
  7.  (10239.296)
    RE: Cop throwing flashbang/tear gas grenade at people HELPING a wounded vet:
    There aren't words for how that makes me feel. Who wants to bet NOTHING happens to that cop? I can't tell if that's a flash bang or a tear gas canister that goes off. Seems like a flash bang, either way, I just can't believe anyone would do that. I just..I don't even know. It makes me angry and sad and just goes to show the hell of a world we live in. I know it's not a "real" grenade and at least they were using rubber bullets. But what happens when an officer "forgets" to load the rubber ones instead of his usual ammo? Then what do we do?
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2011
    After a few minutes of quiet contemplation, I think I'll let Madeline Kahn describe how I feel.

    And now some more screaming at a wall for a few minutes.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2011
    The term 'rubber bullet' is a bit of a misnomer, they're really more the size of grenades, and they're fired from a hand held launcher not a pistol. And I'd hope the police don't have actual frag grenades to load into the launchers instead.

    Weapons like these are properly referred to as 'less lethal', because you can still quite easily kill someone by hitting them in the face with a kilogram chunk of plastic.
  8.  (10239.299)
    Let me start off by saying I'm not defending the actions of the above police officers. I'm only trying to correct information about the intended use of non-lethals, or more appropriately, less-than-lethals..

    Rubber bullets aka baton rounds come in various sizes, either fired from a grenade launcher, or in rubber flechette rounds fired from a shotgun. The grenade launcher type is the one I've dealt with the most, and you would use the same device to fire bean bag rounds (aka flexible baton rounds) as well. Both are designed in several types depending on range. Technically, the long range rounds are considered lethal if used for shorter range. For example, the 100 yd round is considered a lethal round if used for distances under 50 yds.

    Police are not authorized to have fragmentation grenades. Period.

    Yes, less-than-lethals have caused fatalities. The term less than lethal, or non-lethal is applied in reference to how the device is intended to be used, under appropriate circumstances, before resorting to using lethal weapons. The few fatalities resulting from less-than-lethals are far less than if less-than-lethals were not used at all.

    These officers are obviously acting outside their authority, and I personally feel ashamed for the law enforcement community that this behavior is being allowed to continue. It seems as if the worst possible staff are working the protests across the country in some sort of misguided attempt to intimidate protesters and keep them off the streets. There is really no defense against an enemy with the full force of the law behind them. The best advice I can give would be to keep distance, document as much as possible, and when given orders by police, show reluctant compliance. By that I mean, when given instructions or orders, you can refuse, but as officers increase aggressive actions, backing up or giving small amounts of ground may prove wise in the long run. Having a picture of yourself face to face with a cop in riot gear might look great on your Facebook page; but you're still going to jail. Granted, a lot of the things these protestors are fighting for may be considered worth it, but nine times out of ten, unless you have some spectacular evicence of police wrongdoing, when you go to court, the cops usually win. I may sound cynical, but I call it realism. It doesn't make it fair, but that doesn't make it any less true.
  9.  (10239.300)
    ...and then you have shit like this...

    U.S. border agent jailed for improper arrest of suspected drug smuggler
    A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to two years in prison for improperly lifting the arms of a 15-year-old drug smuggling suspect while handcuffed — in what the Justice Department called a deprivation of the teenager’s constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force.

    The defense claimed that the smuggling suspect was handcuffed because he was uncooperative and resisted arrest, and that the agent had lifted his arms to force him to the ground — a near-universal police technique — while the other agents looked for the drugs.
    So you have an officer doing standard procedure to arrest an illegal immigrant bringing in illegal drugs, and you arrest the officer? And then Oakland police are acting insanely, apparently with their local government's blessing. Fucking upside down.

This discussion has been inactive for longer than 5 days, and doesn't want to be resurrected.