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We Have A Winner — Why Now?
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We Have A Winner

Vizzini Award for Language Abuse [Second Class] to University of California Police Captain Margo Bennett for her redefinition of “violence”.

In Digby’s article, Asymmetrical Violence, we discover this quote:

“The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence,” UC police Capt. Margo Bennett said. “I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest.”

Captain, if the English department of the University decided to pound you to a pulp with dictionaries, they could plead ‘defense of the language’.


1 Steve Bates { 11.12.11 at 11:16 pm }

Maybe they could pound her to pulp FOR dictionaries… new ones. My two good dictionaries are old and getting a bit worn; I’d buy a couple of the new ones. You could market them under the brand name “Copperplate” … <grin_duck_run />

2 Bryan { 11.12.11 at 11:55 pm }

Speaking of language abuse…

So, we were right, the student didn’t do anything, so they had to create a ‘crime’ – felonious arm-linking with intent to annoy.

They aren’t familiar with the concept of ‘ex post facto’ being unConstitutional, any more than with the concepts of the First Amendment.

This is how you make law enforcement impossible. No one will talk to you; no one will trust you; and no one will believe you.

3 hipparchia { 11.13.11 at 9:17 am }

she’s right, y’know. refusing to follow police orders forces, absolutely forces, them to resort to lobbing tear gas canisters and spraying rubber bullets into crowds and beating people with their batons.


4 jams o donnell { 11.13.11 at 9:43 am }

What is the Frakking colour of the sky in her world. Christ she is a frakking idiot (to use BSG proganities!).

Seriously this woman is a bloody idiot, Perhaps if you wish t use a good sized dictionary to pulp her, try the full OED and supplements!

5 Bryan { 11.13.11 at 12:43 pm }

I fully expect Sarcasm and Satire to be listed as felonies by the time this is over.

This is called ‘escalation’. A certain number of people are of the mind that if they list traditional non-violent protest methods as ‘violent offenses’, they will ‘show the cops what violence is’, a type of ‘show and tell’ to educate the police.

If the Berkeley police had lined up and began pushing the crowd back, there might have been some sense to what they were doing. That thrusting with the baton is part of that tactic. What they actually did was assault individuals with no purpose other than inflicting pain. There was no planned and coordinated action, it was individual officers attacking people. The attorneys who sue over this are going to shred the department on that fact.

6 Steve Bates { 11.14.11 at 2:04 am }

jams, do borrow my OED for the purpose. My OED is bigger than your OED. Mine was printed in 1937, and runs to 10 volumes. You could almost bury someone in it.

7 Bryan { 11.14.11 at 10:12 pm }

There is an old ‘investigative technique’ that involved putting someone on a slab and then putting a board atop of their body. The ‘detectives’ then added stones on top of the board to convince the ‘defendant’ of the necessity of telling the ‘truth’ by confessing. The OED would certainly be a suitable replacement for the stones.

8 Badtux { 11.15.11 at 1:27 am }

I was watching the live feed so I saw what happened before the YouTube video started. The cops decided to arrest one specific person, and the crowd kept pulling him back. That’s when the cops pulled out their clubs and started whacking students to get them to back away from the one person they wanted to arrest. This was done with an utter lack of skill and complete lack of thought, if the crowd had decided to overwhelm them they would have been overwhelmed. The instant where a cop clubbed a student by poking the student in the stomach with his club, the student automatically reacted by grabbing the cop’s club, and then the student realized he had a cop’s club in his hands and let go of it as if it were made of fire, is sort of telling — if that student had wanted to hurt a cop, all he would have had to do was duck and yank. Forehead to nose and that cop would have had a broken nose. But he *didn’t* want to hurt a cop, he wanted to be non-violent. So he let go of the club.

If this had been a violent demonstration, that was just *one* of the cops that would have gone to the hospital, because the UCB PD was completely outmanned. For some reason the surrounding cities aren’t doing mutual aid with them anymore. Something to do with them having a habit of beating up non-violent students at demonstrations. Funny how that works, eh?

– Badtux the Observant Penguin

9 Bryan { 11.15.11 at 11:47 am }

Not that I want to increase unemployment, but there have to be better candidates for police jobs in California than those I’ve seen. They don’t know what they are doing. or what the laws are. There are plenty of ways to harass the hell out of people using the law, I know because I’ve done it, but you have to do it legally, and that requires some finesse, not brute force. There is too much paperwork involved in the use of force.

You don’t close in on people, invading their personal space. unless you are actually going to do something, because you are increasing your risk of injury for no purpose.

10 Badtux { 11.15.11 at 6:34 pm }

Bryan, the core problem is that it is extremely expensive to live in the Bay Area. So a variety of things happen — 1) The majority of policemen working for Bay Area jurisdictions don’t actually live here, they live in the Central Valley and commute four hours a day to work and back, meaning 2) they’re grumpy from two hours of bumper to bumper traffic by the time they get to work, and 3) they have no actual connection to the city they’re supposed to be policing, they don’t know the city, they don’t know the people, they don’t know the culture, they drop in as if from another planet (and believe me, Modesto or Stockton *IS* another planet from Berkeley), and they don’t have any respect for the people they’re supposed to be policing (who are not bass-fishing boat-owning pickup-truck-driving deer-hunting rednecks like their neighbors in Modesto or Stockton thus are beneath contempt) and the lack of respect is reciprocated. And finally, 4) budget cuts have resulted in police officers being laid off and mandatory overtime for the remaining officers, meaning everybody is tired and cranky and morale is in the crapper, meaning they just don’t give a sh*t anymore, if they get fired, f*** it.

And then, finally, it’s the free market in operation. California decided, in 1978, to gut its tax base and starve its government of the funds to operate. The free market says that if you don’t pay market wages for good people, the good people will go elsewhere. That’s happened to policing in California — the good people go elsewhere, where they’ll get paid probably the same as in California but the cost of living is *much* less — meaning that the cops they *do* get are either a) not too bright, or b) join for reasons other than making a living, reasons that might have more to do with, say, enjoying beating people up, than with making a living. And while there’s supposedly psych tests and such to screen those folks out, you know as well as I how that kind of thing gets watered down when police forces are desperate for warm bodies to fill the ranks.

So anyhow, usually all of that doesn’t make much difference because we just don’t have much crime here and thus the fact that our police forces are full of poorly-trained short-timers and burnout cases doesn’t really matter too much. Until said police forces are called upon to exercise professionalism beyond the minimum required for a routine traffic stop. At that point… well. You see.

– Badtux the Bay Penguin

11 Bryan { 11.15.11 at 10:05 pm }

Yeah, I worked on the edge of the city of Rochester, and while it was supposedly ‘the suburbs’, it was actually city people looking for bigger yards for their kids. We would get officers from small towns in upstate New York come to the city and join local departments, and they didn’t understand ‘the rules’. Country people tend to be louder and don’t understand about ‘personal space’, which is very important in a crowded environment. You make a lot of noise or bump into people in a city bar and you are going to end up beaten to a pulp and left on the sidewalk, if you’re lucky. It is a different culture.

We always went away from the city to have a beer after work, because there is no way they would survive if we went to my neighborhood bar.