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8th-Apr-2009 11:37 am
Izzy and I went to see The Boat that Rocked last night.It was great; Richard Curtis definitely still has it was full of everything that makes British films great. It even had a male-bonding scene over tea and biscuits. Ruined, sadly, by the same-as-everything marginalisation of female, gay and chromatic characters. It passed the Bechdel test with one line, but failed to show the relevant characters as anything other that support to the straight white men.

Then I came home to the news that police in my city attacked a innocent man without provocation and caused his death.

In my city. In my country.

I can only echo what Penny Red said
Men die in London every day. But this death was different. This was unprovoked murder, at police hands, and I didn't know this man in life but I am sitting here in tears, because, you know what?

I genuinely trusted them.

That's what bites: I trusted them. I didn't trust them to behave altogether decently, because I'm a frothing little paranoid Red, but I did actually trust the police not to assault unarmed old men with heart conditions, at least until I had concrete evidence to the contrary. I read the reports and I thought: that's dubious, but it's probably an accident. I mean, we should investigate it and everything, but I'm sure it's going to turn out to have been an accident. A man with a weak heart gets caught in the crowd. Tragic, but not police murder. The police don't target innocents without provocation, they don't beat people to death with sticks, not in my city. Not in this country. We don't do that here, I mean, especially not since that cock-up with De Menezes. The police wouldn't do that, would they? Not in this country.

Well, now they do.

I'm not sheltered or very naive; I've travelled and I watch global news and I read, but I've only ever lived in London and the home counties, and I'm conditioned to trust the police. They're not model citizens by any means, obviously. They're famously racist and misogynistic when dealing with suspects, victims or their own colleagues. They sometimes protect their own interests. They make horrendously tragic and avoidable errors in judgement. Some of them are arseholes. They're flawed, and human, and have room for improvement.

But this - I do not expect police officers in Britain to hit an innocent bystander - who even then didn't look well, shove him to the ground and then stand around menacingly while he stays down. Then lie about it and say they tried to help.

Ian Tomlinson was murdered by police.

In my city.

[Coverage on Liberal Conspiracy]

ETA: Follow up protest this Saturday which I won't be able to make
8th-Apr-2009 11:49 am (UTC)
I don't want to overlook the horror of the other part of your post, but you have an asterisk next to "what makes British films great" which goes nowhere. You're teasing me with nonexistent footnotes! (I may or may not have scrolled further down my flist, as though one of my other friends would magically have included your footnote in their post, but then, I'm not very bright.)
8th-Apr-2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
Bless you.

Sadly I ended up including the footnote in the paragraph, as it wasn't very long.
8th-Apr-2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
The official excuse appears to be that tensions run high at such events and physical confrontations are inevitable.

But what use are the Police if they can't be trusted to keep their heads in such situations? No matter how high tensions are running, we need to be sure they won't indiscriminately attack innocent passers-by!

Edited at 2009-04-08 12:44 (UTC)
8th-Apr-2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
Ew. That 'official' excuse makes me sick. It's not an excuse at all!
8th-Apr-2009 01:54 pm (UTC)
"They're famously racist and misogynistic when dealing with suspects, victims or their own colleagues."

Surely that blanket 'they' is as dangerous as the blanket 'they's behind the misbehaviour of the force's bad apples.
8th-Apr-2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
Actually, you're right, it is a dangerous blanket statement. I felt the 'famously' qualification implied that I was talking about the institution and reports of behaviour more than the individuals?
8th-Apr-2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I thought that was probably what you were getting at, but at times like this I think it pays to phrase these things very precisely, because getting more Us Vs Them is precisely the last thing which'll help.
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