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Protesters vs. the Police: whose rights require more protection? Options · View
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 9:14:07 PM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 6,274
Location: West Coast
On the eve of the G20 Summit, there has been much controversy about the rights of police to contain the onslaught of protesters (both peaceful and violent) versus the rights of private citizens to carry out protests.

When the G20 took place in London, there was criticism over a technique called "kettling" where protesters were contained or corralled for hours at a time without food and water. Officials were once again questioning whether the "balance" and "public safety" is all on the side of allowing the police to carry out long containments or whether such imprisonment does not after all breach fundamental rights. In London, one woman who was being "kettled" for several hours suffered a miscarriage due to police aggression. There was also criticism that many of the police officers called upon to work during the protests were inexperienced and not sufficiently trained, and that fear may have led to police violence that may otherwise have not been necessary.

On the other hand, you have the potential for violent protest. The black bloc's involvement in radical anti-establishment hostility, vandalism and rioting is a very real threat that often overshadows the notion of peaceful protesters. In Toronto, there have been weapons found stashed in various strategic places in the city, bicycles that are "unrideable" planted on city streets to be used by protesters intending to throw them under police horses to disrupt police attempts to contain them.

Last night a law was secretly passed that will allow police to request ID, search and detain anyone coming within 5 metres of the blockade, even though they are on the other side of the fence.

My question is... do you think protesting is an effective way to create change?
Do you think police should have more freedom to enforce public safety at any cost, including random searches, detainment and "kettling"?
And, do you think that if someone is attending a protest like this, they should reasonably expect to incur whatever injuries, tear gas, and detainment may come as a result of their presence and involvement in a potentially volatile situation?

Discuss...



MrNudiePants
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 9:45:57 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,141
Location: United States
I'm all for peaceful protest as a means to effect change in policy. Peaceful protests changed the entire political climate in the United States during the Viet Nam era. Some would say that it changed it for better and some would say for worse, but no one would deny that the protesters DID cause change. Bear in mind, though, that I'm referring to purely peaceful protests - the kind of which Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King would approve. I believe that part of the act of protesting is to show solidarity to a cause - it's hard to ignore thousands of voices all raised up in unison. Another part of protesting is to upset the status quo - to get in the way, to be a bother. Large crowds can block city streets, impeding traffic. Sit-ins can be staged to block entrances and exits to buildings, to block sidewalks, and generally to be a pain in the asses of those against whom you're protesting.

I also believe in the tenet, "Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes."

If you choose to take part in a sit-in that blocks all entrances to the venue where the G20 summit is being held, expect to be arrested and charged with loitering, or general rudeness, or whatever. If you choose to make your protest violent, then the law enforcement officials should have the right to take whatever steps are necessary to protect themselves, their mounts, their partners. Protesters who choose to throw firebombs should expect to be shot. Protesters who choose to throw "unrideable" bikes under horses legs should expect to get arrested for felonious cruelty to animals, obstructing justice, interfering with police officers, or whatever other crimes fit the bill. Protesters who choose to vandalize buildings and cars should be arrested and charged with whatever crimes fit their offenses as well.

Peaceful protest should be treated as such. Violent protests should be met with equal or greater violence, until the protest is quashed (or has become peaceful again, with all violent offenders off the streets). Do unto others as ye would be done to, on a slightly grander scale...

DamonX
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 10:05:37 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
MrNudiePants wrote:
I'm all for peaceful protest as a means to effect change in policy. Peaceful protests changed the entire political climate in the United States during the Viet Nam era. Some would say that it changed it for better and some would say for worse, but no one would deny that the protesters DID cause change. Bear in mind, though, that I'm referring to purely peaceful protests - the kind of which Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King would approve. I believe that part of the act of protesting is to show solidarity to a cause - it's hard to ignore thousands of voices all raised up in unison. Another part of protesting is to upset the status quo - to get in the way, to be a bother. Large crowds can block city streets, impeding traffic. Sit-ins can be staged to block entrances and exits to buildings, to block sidewalks, and generally to be a pain in the asses of those against whom you're protesting.

I also believe in the tenet, "Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes."

If you choose to take part in a sit-in that blocks all entrances to the venue where the G20 summit is being held, expect to be arrested and charged with loitering, or general rudeness, or whatever. If you choose to make your protest violent, then the law enforcement officials should have the right to take whatever steps are necessary to protect themselves, their mounts, their partners. Protesters who choose to throw firebombs should expect to be shot. Protesters who choose to throw "unrideable" bikes under horses legs should expect to get arrested for felonious cruelty to animals, obstructing justice, interfering with police officers, or whatever other crimes fit the bill. Protesters who choose to vandalize buildings and cars should be arrested and charged with whatever crimes fit their offenses as well.

Peaceful protest should be treated as such. Violent protests should be met with equal or greater violence, until the protest is quashed (or has become peaceful again, with all violent offenders off the streets). Do unto others as ye would be done to, on a slightly grander scale...


I agree. I myself have witnessed these idiots rant about "right to protest" while braking windows and knocking over mailboxes. During the Olympics here in Vancouver, the streets were constantly filled with such"professional protesters." I am also reminded of Seatle a while back when the protesters were all up in arms after they got tear gassed while trying to knock down the barricade and break into the inner compound. I actually wouldn't mind if they were actually protesting something, but they seem to just get off on social disobedience rather than advancing a worthwhile cause.
Guest
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 10:12:57 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 535,127
DamonX wrote:
MrNudiePants wrote:
I'm all for peaceful protest as a means to effect change in policy. Peaceful protests changed the entire political climate in the United States during the Viet Nam era. Some would say that it changed it for better and some would say for worse, but no one would deny that the protesters DID cause change. Bear in mind, though, that I'm referring to purely peaceful protests - the kind of which Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King would approve. I believe that part of the act of protesting is to show solidarity to a cause - it's hard to ignore thousands of voices all raised up in unison. Another part of protesting is to upset the status quo - to get in the way, to be a bother. Large crowds can block city streets, impeding traffic. Sit-ins can be staged to block entrances and exits to buildings, to block sidewalks, and generally to be a pain in the asses of those against whom you're protesting.

I also believe in the tenet, "Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes."

If you choose to take part in a sit-in that blocks all entrances to the venue where the G20 summit is being held, expect to be arrested and charged with loitering, or general rudeness, or whatever. If you choose to make your protest violent, then the law enforcement officials should have the right to take whatever steps are necessary to protect themselves, their mounts, their partners. Protesters who choose to throw firebombs should expect to be shot. Protesters who choose to throw "unrideable" bikes under horses legs should expect to get arrested for felonious cruelty to animals, obstructing justice, interfering with police officers, or whatever other crimes fit the bill. Protesters who choose to vandalize buildings and cars should be arrested and charged with whatever crimes fit their offenses as well.

Peaceful protest should be treated as such. Violent protests should be met with equal or greater violence, until the protest is quashed (or has become peaceful again, with all violent offenders off the streets). Do unto others as ye would be done to, on a slightly grander scale...


I agree. I myself have witnessed these idiots rant about "right to protest" while braking windows and knocking over mailboxes. During the Olympics here in Vancouver, the streets were constantly filled with such"professional protesters." I am also reminded of Seatle a while back when the protesters were all up in arms after they got tear gassed while trying to knock down the barricade and break into the inner compound. I actually wouldn't mind if they were actually protesting something, but they seem to just get off on social disobedience rather than advancing a worthwhile cause.



That's one of the problems with some protests some of the people probably don't have any real clue why they are there. As said it should stay peaceful. Yeah right.



Dancing_Doll
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 10:28:06 PM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 6,274
Location: West Coast
These large scale protests never seem to stay peaceful.

Peaceful protesters should be against the idea that the Black Bloc has arrived to cause public chaos just because they get off on being professional protesters. The real issues start when you end up with the mob mentality where even a moderate protester can get swayed into joining in looting and rioting. Most damage occurs after the marginal few escalate it to the point that people who might never have considered violent protesting get swept up into the momentum and start to join in.

There is already uproar among protesters over the fact that snipers have been placed on various buildings as a protective measure.

In my opinion, when you walk into protesting where violence is a possibility (such as with the G20), you have to assume you may get injured, detained or maybe even killed.

I think police should have more rights than they do now in terms of enforcing public safety. As it is now, with their riot gear and riding around on their bicycles and horses, they are at a disadvantage because they have be reactive to the unknown, and even while being reactive, the concern of what would be deemed as "reasonable vs unreasonable force" is always coming into play and affecting their judgment in the moment... thereby restricting their instincts about what may be required.

I think protests like these should almost have a separate set of laws (considering it's almost turning city streets into a war zone), and law enforcement should have more leeway granted to do whatever they have to do to protect themselves and maintain order. If they have to arrest, detain or shoot... I say, go for it! Maybe that will dissuade some of the more violent groups that are doing this for an adrenaline rush instead of for an actual cause...


Jillicious
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 11:20:44 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/28/2009
Posts: 1,293
Everyone has the right to free speech. On the other hand we have the responsibility to have some tact. Do your thing and say your peace but don't infringe on the rights of others in order to do it.
The police show up to these events because they have shown in the past that they can't stay peaceful. The police may even agree with the protesters. But it is there job to keep things under control.
It isn't about who has more "rights" but more about who is choosing to not be responsible. Political policies are not going to change because someone waived a sign with a few words on it.

Thousands of user submitted stories removed from the site. You are nothing without your users or their freely submitted stories.
Guest
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 11:32:07 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 535,127
MrNudiePants wrote:


I also believe in the tenet, "Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes."




This about says it perfectly
DamonX
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 2:51:33 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
Yes, many protestors bitch about "freedom" and "democracy" but then try and advance their agenda by impeding the actions of others. They bitch about "police states" but utilize their actions in order to produce such "police state" reactions so they can then say "see! this is what a police state look like!"

What really bothers me are the black mask wearers, that like to run around breaking windows and then compare themselves to Kent State or the March on Washington. Gimme a fucking break.
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 3:07:38 PM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 6,274
Location: West Coast
Well...I've been watching the live streaming escalation of violence and general mayhem in Toronto today (merely a few hours into the two day G20 Summit), and I have to say that I'm quite frustrated by the restrained response of the police. In their effort to not appear heavy handed, they have let protesters (mainly the Black Bloc anarchists) escalate things to the point of getting within one block of the security fencing barricade.

Police cruisers have been set aflame to burn unattended in the city streets, endless store and bank windows smashed, projectiles fired at police, molotov cocktails, and the general feeling is that things have escalated way beyond what was originally expected (security efforts carrying a 1 billion dollar price tag too!).

These are not protesters, these are anarchist criminals, and I think there should be separate rules governing how they are treated and what "rights" they are supposed to have in situations like this.

So far, there has been some tear gas, and riot police skirmishes, but certainly not enough response in my opinion.

Cop cars, and street cars were actually planted in the streets for protesters to take their violence out on, hoping they would get tired, but so far, they are still going strong. This is bullshit. They are probably high on amphetamines or meth... no need for sleep or down time...

It's only a few hours into the two day event, and the city is basically being destroyed already... The "rights to protest" have created a passive response by law enforcement because of fear of being criticized for use of excessive police force. In my opinion, they should use all the force they need to in order to take back the streets!


DamonX
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:17:24 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
Dancing_Doll wrote:
Well...I've been watching the live streaming escalation of violence and general mayhem in Toronto today (merely a few hours into the two day G20 Summit), and I have to say that I'm quite frustrated by the restrained response of the police. In their effort to not appear heavy handed, they have let protesters (mainly the Black Bloc anarchists) escalate things to the point of getting within one block of the security fencing barricade.

Police cruisers have been set aflame to burn unattended in the city streets, endless store and bank windows smashed, projectiles fired at police, molotov cocktails, and the general feeling is that things have escalated way beyond what was originally expected (security efforts carrying a 1 billion dollar price tag too!).

These are not protesters, these are anarchist criminals, and I think there should be separate rules governing how they are treated and what "rights" they are supposed to have in situations like this.

So far, there has been some tear gas, and riot police skirmishes, but certainly not enough response in my opinion.

Cop cars, and street cars were actually planted in the streets for protesters to take their violence out on, hoping they would get tired, but so far, they are still going strong. This is bullshit. They are probably high on amphetamines or meth... no need for sleep or down time...

It's only a few hours into the two day event, and the city is basically being destroyed already... The "rights to protest" have created a passive response by law enforcement because of fear of being criticized for use of excessive police force. In my opinion, they should use all the force they need to in order to take back the streets!


Of course. We don;t want to be seen as a police state by preventing vandals and malcontents from damaging private property. After all...isn't it everyones "right" to be able to throw Molotov cocktails and knock over mail boxes??? Maybe its good though, since any police reaction would obviously be viewed as a heavy handed slap in the face of "democracy" d'oh!
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:31:28 PM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 6,274
Location: West Coast
DamonX wrote:
Dancing_Doll wrote:
Well...I've been watching the live streaming escalation of violence and general mayhem in Toronto today (merely a few hours into the two day G20 Summit), and I have to say that I'm quite frustrated by the restrained response of the police. In their effort to not appear heavy handed, they have let protesters (mainly the Black Bloc anarchists) escalate things to the point of getting within one block of the security fencing barricade.

Police cruisers have been set aflame to burn unattended in the city streets, endless store and bank windows smashed, projectiles fired at police, molotov cocktails, and the general feeling is that things have escalated way beyond what was originally expected (security efforts carrying a 1 billion dollar price tag too!).

These are not protesters, these are anarchist criminals, and I think there should be separate rules governing how they are treated and what "rights" they are supposed to have in situations like this.

So far, there has been some tear gas, and riot police skirmishes, but certainly not enough response in my opinion.

Cop cars, and street cars were actually planted in the streets for protesters to take their violence out on, hoping they would get tired, but so far, they are still going strong. This is bullshit. They are probably high on amphetamines or meth... no need for sleep or down time...

It's only a few hours into the two day event, and the city is basically being destroyed already... The "rights to protest" have created a passive response by law enforcement because of fear of being criticized for use of excessive police force. In my opinion, they should use all the force they need to in order to take back the streets!


Of course. We don;t want to be seen as a police state by preventing vandals and malcontents from damaging private property. After all...isn't it everyones "right" to be able to throw Molotov cocktails and knock over mail boxes??? Maybe its good though, since any police reaction would obviously be viewed as a heavy handed slap in the face of "democracy" d'oh!


Exactly! I think that the Black Bloc should be treated as a terrorist organization and appropriately handled that way.

Peaceful protesters should not want to be associated with them either. Being violent and destroying public and private property certainly doesn't help give sympathy for the causes being represented. Nobody will remember the messages of the peaceful protesters... just the level of mayhem created by a rogue anarchist group that don't stand for anything other than criminal behaviour. Media coverage is only about the violence now, not on the issues that the original groups were actually protesting (which seemed to be the point of it all).

I saw footage of one random private citizen intervening and wrestling a brick out of the hands of a black bloc protester that was smashing a bank window... Too bad there aren't more people like him willing to stand up for what's right.


BrindleChase
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:34:56 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 5/12/2010
Posts: 132
Location: www.forlorn-hope.net
There is a fine line between peaceful protesting and riots. There are always those who will provoke altercation and the fallout is never pretty.

Having worked on the law side of a riot, it gets very messy. Too often you see video footage, where someone shoves a cop and the cops them beat the tar out of five people in the general vicinity. People scream foul, excessive force...etc. Let me tell you, when you're in a crowd of 10,000 people, angry people and your side is marked with badges, and you're outnumbered 200 to 1, when someone strikes you, even if a shove, you lash out instinctively. You often don't even know who attacked you, but your response is one of fear, survival and knowing you are in serious danger. Its not excessive force, its uncontrolled fear. I've been there. I've been trampled. I've had beer bottles thrown at my head from behind. I've been hit with an axe handle from behind.

The police don't want to hurt anyone, except just like with the protesters, there are a few bad apples. I believe everyone has the right to protest, but the instant ANYONE moves that right to supersede anyone elses right, it is forfeit. Your right to protest does not give you the right to smash my car, tear down my house, break my windows, hit me, shove me or terrify my children. It doesn't even give you the right to block the road so I cannot pass.


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darkchallenger
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 10:23:06 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/24/2010
Posts: 157
Location: On the trails somewhere, United States
I can say that when the GOP had their convention in St.Paul, hundreds of people were arrested. Many of them had simply been shopping and had nothing to do with the protests. Anyone out in the downtown area had a good chance of being arrested simply for being on the streets of an American city. Bike riders were singled out and arrested as a security risk. Tourists taking pictures of landmarks had their cameras seized. Essentially the citizens of St. Paul were guilty of being in their own city during a political convention. A highly suspicious thing to be doing apparently. Were there some bad eggs among the protesters? Yes. Who was I more fearful of? The authorities.
DamonX
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 10:44:37 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
Dancing_Doll wrote:
DamonX wrote:
Dancing_Doll wrote:
Well...I've been watching the live streaming escalation of violence and general mayhem in Toronto today (merely a few hours into the two day G20 Summit), and I have to say that I'm quite frustrated by the restrained response of the police. In their effort to not appear heavy handed, they have let protesters (mainly the Black Bloc anarchists) escalate things to the point of getting within one block of the security fencing barricade.

Police cruisers have been set aflame to burn unattended in the city streets, endless store and bank windows smashed, projectiles fired at police, molotov cocktails, and the general feeling is that things have escalated way beyond what was originally expected (security efforts carrying a 1 billion dollar price tag too!).

These are not protesters, these are anarchist criminals, and I think there should be separate rules governing how they are treated and what "rights" they are supposed to have in situations like this.

So far, there has been some tear gas, and riot police skirmishes, but certainly not enough response in my opinion.

Cop cars, and street cars were actually planted in the streets for protesters to take their violence out on, hoping they would get tired, but so far, they are still going strong. This is bullshit. They are probably high on amphetamines or meth... no need for sleep or down time...

It's only a few hours into the two day event, and the city is basically being destroyed already... The "rights to protest" have created a passive response by law enforcement because of fear of being criticized for use of excessive police force. In my opinion, they should use all the force they need to in order to take back the streets!


Of course. We don;t want to be seen as a police state by preventing vandals and malcontents from damaging private property. After all...isn't it everyones "right" to be able to throw Molotov cocktails and knock over mail boxes??? Maybe its good though, since any police reaction would obviously be viewed as a heavy handed slap in the face of "democracy" d'oh!


Exactly! I think that the Black Bloc should be treated as a terrorist organization and appropriately handled that way.

Peaceful protesters should not want to be associated with them either. Being violent and destroying public and private property certainly doesn't help give sympathy for the causes being represented. Nobody will remember the messages of the peaceful protesters... just the level of mayhem created by a rogue anarchist group that don't stand for anything other than criminal behaviour. Media coverage is only about the violence now, not on the issues that the original groups were actually protesting (which seemed to be the point of it all).

I saw footage of one random private citizen intervening and wrestling a brick out of the hands of a black bloc protester that was smashing a bank window... Too bad there aren't more people like him willing to stand up for what's right.


Another injustice of these conferences occurs when important issues are lost in the media spectacle created by the rioters. Some people actually attend these conferences to gain support and increase awareness of important global issues, such as health care in third world nations, AIDS, or environmental protection, but yet are drowned out by the idiots breaking windows and setting cars on fire. The messages are lost amidst the media circus, since people would rather view footage of someone getting beaten up by a cop than hear someone talk about infectious diseases in Bangladesh.
Guest
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 11:01:12 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 535,127
the G20 summit is a ludicrous joke. Nothing of importance will be accomplished. The summit was held in Pittsburgh and as a Emergency Services provider we had to work through it all. Most of the "protesters" actually had no idea what they were protesting. A whole lot of press coverage about protesters being arrested and what happened to them. Most if not all deserved to be arrested.

In addition the only "resolutions" passed were to continue to study the proposals. Nothing concrete happened and nothing ever will. The summit is a joke and the only global organization that is a bigger joke is the UN.
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