Thursday, March 08, 2007

Apathy Jack writes:

So I went to an anti-Clint Rickards march tonight.

Now, while I do strongly believe in the cause, it really was a reminder as to why I stopped thinking protest could ever actually solve anything.

The first thing my friend PETALS and I saw when we arrived at the massing group was a protestor dressed all in black, wearing a veil over her face. She carried a placard which suggested that someone called Richard’s new post should be in Antarctica. She obviously cares deeply about this issue: deeply enough to dress in mourning clothes; deeply enough to make and carry an angry sign; just not deeply enough to actually know the name of the man she so vehemently hates.

The next thing I noticed was the young socialist-looking chap holding a large sign which boldly proclaimed: COPS RAPE. I asked PETALS what she thought my chances of surviving were if I followed him with a sign saying MAORI STEAL?

I asked her quietly.

I was then handed a leaflet espousing the evils of vivisection. On site for three minutes before someone tries to co-opt the rally for their own special-interest group. Usually it only takes half that amount of time...

The speakers were pretty good – keeping to the issue at hand (although Laila Harre
did keep referring to International Womens Day as International Working Womens
Day and threw in a lot of stuff about unions...).

Then they opened the mic to the public.

The first speaker pointed out that rapists did not come out of a void. No, they were
created by the police. And of course the only way to dismantle the rapist-factory that
is the New Zealand Police Department is to overthrow the corrupt system it defended.
Of course the revolution the speaker assured us was coming should take care of that...

Then someone spoke calmly and rationally about helping women and children who had been abused. Deciding that we couldn’t have that, a woman took the mic and gave a several-minute long spiel about how in the genealogy of the gods, the gods were not men, but rather the sky and the earth. After being shouted down by the crowd who finally got sick of her, the mic was turned off and taken away from her. Another speaker came forward, but halfway through the speech the genealogy-woman attempted to wrestle the mic from her to continue ranting.

Now, here’s the thing: The majority of the people there were not morons. The majority of placards stuck to the point. The majority of speakers got their points across articulately. I know I’m just focussing on the bad stuff. I saw Span there, and she seemed in far higher spirits than I was, so I know it was just me puting my own jaundiced spin on it. But in ten minutes Nightline is going to be on, and what do you think they’re going to show footage of?

It’s people that ruin every revolution, it really is...

10 comments:

Psycho Milt said...

I must say it's heartening to see someone else gravitating to the "grumpy old man" end of the political spectrum.

Ms Klake said...

I don't like or respect the anti-cops attitude that some people are using in reference to this case. I think it undermines everyone. It puts the police on the defensive and says very little about the rapists themselves. But I do suppose the protests are ample opportunity for all sorts to peddle their agendas, even their theories on the god's.

Anonymous said...

Dude I went too. And I so know what you mean about the morons. It's sad because they undermine what is a very important issue. It drives me crazy.

RSJS said...

Remind me what the march was in aid of? I get the "rape is bad" thing, but they were not (as far as I could tell) picketing anyone saying that rape was good...

Span said...

As Jack said, I was there too:
http://spanblather.blogspot.com/2007/03/marching-forward-together.html

Somewhat inevitably I had a more positive experience than Mr Grumpy. Hasn't that always been the case? ;-)

RSJS, it was a rally and march for International Women's Day, and the focus this year was an end to rape and violence. IWD is a public holiday in Russia you know.

RSJS said...

Ah, riiiight. The media somewhat skewed it to make it about the police, whose only involvement in rape I'm aware of is being chartered to arrest rapists.

Rich said...

"Cops rape" - well there's some truth in that.

Being a cop is a choice, unlike being Maori, which is a fact of birth.

The police force (which is primarily to enforce social control, not to protect individuals) is an attractive career for those who want to want to be in a position of power. Bullies in other words. So it's fairly likely that a proportion of cops will be have a propensity to acts of rape and other violence.

Coupled with the fact that police are in a strong position to cover for each other, and have long had an informal tradition of doing just that, and it's pretty unsurprising that a fair few rapes (200 allegations for example) have been commited by cops, or that very few convictions have resulted.

I have no suggestions for how to fix this, apart from an anarchist takeover and peoples militias :-)

Accepting that the number of police is limited by a lack of suitable people would be a start however - meaning that we'd probably need to have a force at most half the size of the current one.

Apathy Jack said...

""Cops rape" - well there's some truth in that."

Yeah, just like there's some truth to the statement: Maori steal.

Some cops rape, just like some Maori steal - that doesn't mean that generalisations are helpful.

Sure, a bunch of bullyboys become cops - and trust me, I've charged more police lines than most people I know, so I'm no friend to the constabulary - but going too far down the path offered by that logic, you then realise that pepole only become doctors to kill elderly patients, people only become accountants to embezzle from their clients, and people only become fire fighters to set fires.

But that's a pretty bleak world view to take...

Anonymous said...

I work with a Russian lady, she was telling us all about how they would spend the day revelling in flowers, wine and each others company. Sounds like every country should celebrate like that

Span said...

Having seen how sexist Russia is, perhaps a little bit of protesting to go with the flowers, wine and company wouldn't be a bad thing...