Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Just Observing

Just Observing

Have in my hands a new book, "At Risk", written by Stella Rimington, the former head of Britian's MI5. Though it's a novel, like "Overworld", which is a memoir, it's another lesson in tradecraft. I find the intelligence world fascinating, but reading about it is as close as I intend to get, except for a few people who are friends and fellow writers. In any case, Ms Rimington writes a hell of a good book.

Heard an interesting discussion this morning about political word-handling. PR, in short. Believe it was David Brock of Media Matters who explained that in the public relations world of BushCo, "crisis" may become "challenge" which will become "opportunity". He was talking about the Social Security dismemberment this admin hopes to pull off. I do, of course, recall that the original reason for waging war on Iraq was WMDs, which eventually morphed into freeing the Iraqis, etc.

Breakfast on the patio was fun. J and I had just finished when B showed up. Then A came, announced a friend was coming. Shortly friend J sat down--by then we'd moved another table over to ours, then W strolled in. Poor waiter ran back and forth with everyone ordering separately and as they arrived. Immediately, A and J, who hadn't seen each other for awhile went into a catch-up conversation of their own. J, B, W and I talked politics, morality, religion, police work, protest marches, the border situation and money.

In talking about protest marches--we had one recently here--we talked about the situation of unruly marchers and why the police do what they do, when they do, and how the protester should respond. It had a lot to do with mob psychology. For instance, if the protestors are to stay on the sidewalk, and one steps off onto the street, he/she will be immediately ordered by a police officer to step back on the sidewalk. If they're smart, they'll simply do that. If they're not smart and protest, the officer will take hold of them and arrest them. Just that simple. It's for safety.

The protester was ordered to the sidewalk...because if he stays off and proceeds to walk on the road, other protesters will do the same, and shortly they're everywhere and things can get out of hand very quickly. So say he refuses. That is disobeying a direct and lawful order, and cause for arrest. At that point the officer will take hold of his arm to put him back on the sidewalk. If he still resists and continues to argue, the officer will put him in an armlock and chokehold and take him away. The reason being that at any sign of a confrontation, other protesters will begin to crowd over to protest on the protester's behalf and add their arguments as to why the protester should be allowed to walk on the street or argue (free speech), and then a mob begins to form and the next thing you have a riot, and people will get hurt. If the protester begins to fight, he will be hit on the leg with a baton, and put on the cement to be handcuffed. By then, one or more officers have come to the scene to help control the other protesters or aid the officer to avoid an all out riot. Bottom line, if you protest in a march and an officer gives you an order, don't argue, don't ask why, just obey it, because what he's trying to do is to keep calmness and order and not have one person's behavior cause the situation to escalate into real trouble where people are injured.

And yes, the birds did get some biscuit crumbs before the others arrived.
It's a wrap.

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