Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Has this complete knob-end saved American democracy? "

The tasering of Andrew Meyer, a participant in a college Q+A session with John Kerry at University of Florida, has me baffled. I don't get Campus Cops. They seem to operate outside of any kind of control, have no accountability and be worse than useless

But this?

At 1'44" the mic is cut and instantly the police are on Meyer. In my previous experience people give up talking out of embarrassment no more than about 30 seconds after a mic is cut, so the instant response seems like bad crowd management.

Around 2'50" you can kear Kerry talking in the background. He says "Let me just say [that?]... because it's a very important question". Evidently Kerry has a) no beef with the question per se, and b) no intention of talking to the "law enforcement" present.

At 3 minutes in, Meyer is on the floor with several police on top of him. He asks what he did, and begs not to be tasered. At this point he is vociferous but not actually moving anywhere. 3 bursts of taser fire can be heard being "discharged" into Meyer.

In all seriousness, I've seen far more obnoxious questioners than Meyer at academic conferences, and political events, before. Never seen any of them end up on the receiving end of a police action, violent or otherwise. Even this egregious overkill was at the hand of rentabrawns. I have to say, the tasered chap was up there for pomposity and pushiness, but that's not the point.

Guardian Unlimited Talk is leaning towards the POV of the taser-happy cops, surprisingly[1]. I think it's more because we brits find pompous windbags insufferable, and not because we think that free, all be it a bit whiny, speech is a taserable offence. Post 118 sums it up best:

"YusufAlBinDoonrapub - 05:27pm Sep 19, 2007 GMT (#188 of 202)

"Has this complete knob-end saved American democracy?"

[link whilst it lasts]

Totally brilliant: that comment sums up the masterly balance/total fence sitting for which Guardian readers are justly famed. Someone else suggests that he should have yelled "Now we see the violence inherent in the system".

Bartlebooth - 07:54pm Sep 19, 2007 GMT (#264 of 314)
...What did he do that warranted being asked to leave? Dragging someone away for asking Kerry, of all people, a waffly, confused question seems like the acme of dramatic irony.

[1] The Guardian is the left leaning broadsheet in the UK. It's readers are known for being sandal wearing, muesli eating, bike riding liberals[2]. The Guardian Unlimited Talkboard (GUT) is divided into two factions - the Guardianistas, and the right wing reactionaries who hate everything the Guardian stands for. Sometimes, however, an extremely funny one slips through

[2] It may confuse visitors from the USA in particular, that the term "woolly liberal" is not tantamount to the term "baby eating satanist" over here. The Guardian likes to send up its own image and did so with a fantastic wallchart, by the talented Posy Simmons, featuring stereotypical Guardian readers. Done with TFIC, the chart was a straight up parody of the nature wallcharts that they introduced to the UK Newspaper market in 2006. Guardian readers are, usually, secure enough in their liberalism and even sometimes, (whisper it), socialism, to be able to self satirise. One of the many reasons why I find the Guardian very comforting in these insane, taser-ridden times.

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