Who Watches The Watchmen?

Now, I try to avoid posting anything overtly political on here partly because it is not really the function of the blog and partly because writing politically online feels, to me, like shouting at a wall. But I can’t quite let this one slip by, so:

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You are probably all aware of it already. ‘Who Watches The Watchmen?’ is the meme, of course, or it will be. (The Watchmen film release could not have been more timely.) And the answer, evidently, is that we do. 

I realise that the police in the video are not necessarily indicative of police in general, but this is deeply important. Given that they want it to be illegal to film or photograph them. Also it is noteworthy that before this footage was released, the police were claiming that they had had no contact with the man and were obstructed by protestors when they tried to help him. Watch the video again. Are the police trying to help him? Are there any protestors in the way, or throwing bottles? Where are the sinister, hooded anarchists that the tabloids were full of? Where are the foamy-mouthed, cidery-smelling hordes? My point is that the brainless Mail and Co. are complicit in this for convincing the British public (and indirectly the police) that the G20 protestors were nothing more than a dangerous nuisance, a bunch of privileged twits out to cause some trouble and assuage their middle-class guilt, who deserved all the scorn and beatings that they received.

I’m going slightly off-topic there though. The reason I’m posting this is that it feels like the thin end of the wedge is widening. If CCTV is to be used for the protection of the people, as is the claim, then why was no CCTV footage released prior to the eyewitness video released today? If the scene had not been recorded by an eyewitness, what lies would we be being told right now? There are a number of alarming factors.

Next time there is a protest organised for a cause with which I have some sympathy, I’m going to go. Protesting is important – the only reasons that the British government doesn’t really pay attention to protests are that they are too small and too infrequent. It’s a vicious circle – little is achieved, so less people go, so less is achieved. This has to change. Look at Iceland. Regular significant protests forced a coalition government, putting a temporary end to the damaging short-termism of party politics.

There is now an additional reason to protest – purely for the sake of it. Purely because it is legal and we can and yet the actions of the police last week seem to indicate the opposite. If people let this slide then it will continue to slide. That is the probably the single most important point that I’m trying to make.

So please come with me next time if you can, and you don’t object to the principles. There are enough causes. MP’s expenses. The treatment of Ian Tomlinson. Climate change. The torture of Binyam Mohamed. The general May Day protests. The DNA database. The communications database.

Forgive the proselytizing and the rambling. But please, if you agree, and you think that what happened last week was wrong, pass the video/meme on. For people inclined the same way as me, it will hopefully tip the balance.

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3 Responses to “Who Watches The Watchmen?”

  1. Richard W Says:

    I shall join you Fletcher! I’m counting the days til i can dress up like Guy Fawkes and go V for Vendetta on sombody’s ass, with all the grace and cunning i can muster.

  2. There were quite a lot of V masks at the G20.

    The thing that made me very, very angry about this episode is that the police initially tried to justify the actions of that officer by saying that he thought Mr. Tomlinson was a protester. Implying that it’s ok to assault somebody, to attack them from behind when they are not being confrontational or violent, as long as they are protesting.

    This chap died, and that is very sad for his family, but it is just as sad that it took him to die to get any attention on the actions of the police that day. They were repeatedly, consistently, and unjustifiably violent when dealing with peaceful protesters, and they are only being called on it now because of this man’s dodgy ticker.

    • fellhouse Says:

      Yep… I don’t think much of the media would have had any sympathy either if a) he had been a protestor, AND b) he hadn’t died. Well. It did happen to protestors who didn’t die, as you say Ken, and the media weren’t overly concerned. (Except the Guardian, obviously.)

      Sad.

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