Blind Strike

{September 20, 2007}   Tasers, apathy, our Kent State

First of all, Republicans successfully filibustered an attempt to restore Habeus Corpus this week. I made no phone call to congress. I did watch television yesterday.

You’ve probably heard about the UF kid, Andrew Meyer, who got tazered at a John Kerry speech on Sept. 17, 2007:

Why did no one stand up for this kid? The obvious answer: because they didn’t want to get tasered. But the students’ reactions (laughter, applause) reveal more than just fear. On this clip you can hear exactly one woman screaming for the cops to stop. But why didn’t John Kerry, Mr. Vietnam Vet against the war, intervene? Of all the people in the room, he was the one who could be sure he would not be tasered or unduly harrassed by police. He actually continues to answer the guy’s question as the po-po take him down (in a way this shows Kerry was sympathetic, but it also demonstrates that all the years he’s spent in the senate have castrated him).

Compare the reaction of these UCLA students to the library tazering of their fellow student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, Nov. 14, 2006. At the end you will hear a cop threaten one of the protesters with getting tazed too. They got in the cops’ faces. There was, relative to the Andrew Meyer incident, an en masse reaction to the unnecessary use of force:

For years, as our rights have gradually eroded and our friends have come home in ziplock bags, I’ve wondered, where is the line? When will people get pissed off enough that they will rise up–nonviolently–against this oppressive bullshit? For our parents’ generation it was the Kent State shootings. What will it be for us? Would you risk your own body to protect a stranger who was being tasered unnecessarily? Would you risk arrest for peaceful protest when you could be labeled an enemy combatant and thrown in jail indefinitely, without the right to petition to have the your arrest reviewed in court?

I don’t know whether to run or fight, but I can’t pretend this isn’t happening. We are in some serious shit in the United States. I felt it at the University of Alaska, this apathy, this fear, and I’m fucking sick of it!


Shir'yah Viksva-Grushky says:

this is a test comment for Erin. Erin, if you can read this, touch your toes three times while looking backwards into a mirror and reciting BANANACABANA. When you stand up again, your head will be attached to your ankles, and your feet will be sprouting from your neck. Walking will be a bitch, but it will be much, much easier to scratch your feet.

Shir'yah Viksva-Grushky says:

There is no line. Nobody ever rises up unless (1) it involves the acquisition of new and interesting sex & drugs or (2) it involves the acquisition of money/economic/material benefit. No matter what they might say, you can reduce the motives to 1 and 2.

besides, too many of us are having too much fun gently squeezing the final choaking gasps out of our dying american empire, and nobody wants to be the ones who kill it and have to hang around with the corpse.

But i’m a pessimist. That must be why I work in civil rights for a living.

anyway, regarding tazers, my friend runs the Southern California ACLU’s anti-tazer program. There’s been a lot of organizing around that issue here. In the south (I assume you mean U Florida) people are accustomed to laughing at things like lynch mobs. But i’m a pessimist. That must be why I live in california.

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