Saturday, April 11, 2009

'This is not a riot!'

I'm assuming everyone's seen this already, but if you haven't...



And now read this report.
The history of the 'this is not a riot' tactic can be found here - a great round up of links.

UPDATE: via Avaaz: 4000 signatures already

Bystander Ian Tomlinson was hit by a policeman and died during G20 protests last week. The right to peaceful protest is a vital part of our democracy -- tell the Home Secretary and the Metropolitan Police to fix the flaws in British protest policing now and prevent any more deaths like this:

Sign the petition!


This is starting to feel like a watershed.

This week, rather helpfully for police press officers battling negative headlines, news broke of a big anti -terror raid. It is a mark of how cynical people have become that there has been some speculation that it was rushed forward not by accident but by design. And so cock-ups become viewed as conspiracies.

Look. If the men picked up in the operation are guilty of planning to attack people, then I am thankful to the police and security services for swooping in and arresting the suspects before they could do harm. It is a hard job they do. But they have not yet been charged.

Having a police and security service that we trust to protect us and keep the peace will never stop being essential. But today, this Easter weekend, a few weeks away from what's being billed - by police, for heaven's sake - as 'the summer of rage', it feels like trust in politicians and police is crumbling. It's the pictures that tell the story. Twenty-first century technology means that those that survey us and govern us can sometimes be caught in the blinking light of still-new media, supported by good old-fashioned journalism, and held squirming to account: exposed to a million pairs of eyes; trapped in unedited pictures on a million screens, images captured, flickring and flashing round the world - unstoppable, uncensorable, unspinnable.

If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear.

I bet they're sorry they came up with that line now.
Now that we all carry cameras.

UPDATE: reports from the front line

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