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All demonstrations banned in Munich

By mithrandir in News
Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 12:09:37 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

A Bavarian court has banned all demonstrations in and around Munich, Germany for the duration of the NATO Conference on Security.


The Conference is to be held this weekend (Feb. 1-3), with over 250 delegates from NATO member countries and Russia. Over 100 different groups have already declared to stage protests and demonstrations in order to disrupt the meeting and prevent it from happening.

One group, The Alliance Against The Munich Conference stated that its members and supporters will meet in the Munich city centre on Friday and Saturday to.... do some shopping.

The Munich Chief of Police, Roland Kolle, welcomed the ban, saying that it is necessary to prevent Munich from becomming a second Genoa, where over 230 demonstrators were injured and one killed last year during the G-7 summit.

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All demonstrations banned in Munich | 87 comments (80 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
FAr too cursory. (4.75 / 16) (#1)
by Hechz on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 09:30:49 AM EST

This is an EXTREMELY important topic, in the current global climate. Democracy, free expression and civil liberties are being sacrificed in the western world in the name of security.

Who's security. Security of what? Goods? Accounts? markets? ceratainly not civil liberties, freedoms, and democracy. These points or the antithesis of these points should be brought up, why is this good/bad. Just regurgitating the news is not enough.

That is unless this were posted as MLP.

The physical security of the people who live there (3.33 / 9) (#11)
by bke on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 10:46:55 AM EST

It's their security that is being protected. Noone is taking away the right to protest from those who disagree, just their right to do it where everyone knows there will be violence and destruction. I think the ban is a good thing, let people protest away from the meetings, that way it will be fewer people getting cought between the police and the violent contigent that always seems to show up for anything big these days.

And this is important becuase without the peacefull legitimate protestors around them these hooligans will be understood for what they are: a small bunch of extremists.

--
Read, think, spread!
http://www.toad.com/gnu/whatswrong.html
[ Parent ]

Location Location Location. (4.83 / 6) (#18)
by priestess on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 12:00:03 PM EST

So people are allowed to protest, just so long as they do it somewhere where nobody will notice? You're allowed to come into the area to shop, we like people shopping, you just can't come to talk about politics and tell people your opinion. This sounds fair to you?

Pre.........

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
I disagree. (2.66 / 3) (#24)
by Tezcatlipoca on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 01:17:33 PM EST

This groups have a track record of attracting violence and disruption (if it is a minority of them or not it does not matter, the protesters have done very precious little to differentiate themselves from violent thughs).

As long as they can't coordinate peaceful demonstrations in full collaboration with the authorities (that are more than happy to help) more and more obstacles will be put in their way, and rightly so.

Western democracies are bad, but they are not that bad, many other groups both local and international, can demonstrate peacefully in Western democracies (I have seen rallyies of all kinds in London, Berlin, Mexico City and Hamburg, all of them peaceful. Why only the antiglobalization movement has problems is pretty clear: they hide violent people and does not do enough to route them out).




---
Those who sleep can't sin.
Those who sin, sleep well.

[ Parent ]
Bans Based On Content (5.00 / 3) (#33)
by priestess on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 02:11:55 PM EST

This groups have a track record of attracting violence and disruption
So do football games, but nobody would even think of banning all of them, even when the odd one does get canceled there's a fuss.

Most of the other demonstrations you mention are designed to change voter opinion in a democracy. This is well and good, but nobody GETS to vote for the NATO leader, or the WTO council or whatever, and that's the whole point isn't it?

I find it particually akward that the worlds governments are starting to ban demonstrations based on their political casue. You may demonstrate about Fox Hunting, or Hill Walking or the Health Service or whatever but you may only disagree with your government in specifically pre-defined ways. You will not interfere with the global conspiracy's work!

Youch. I don't even particually agree with the demonstrators, Globalisation done properly would be a force for good but I can see what worries them.

Pre..........

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
the demonstrators concern (5.00 / 2) (#40)
by fhotg on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 04:05:08 PM EST

I don't even particually agree with the demonstrators, Globalisation done properly would be a force for good but I can see what worries them.
"anti-globalization" protesters do in general not protest against globalization as such. The label is terrible misnomer. There is no better catchy label though, because what they are against is a whole bunch of interelated issues escaping a single-word definition. And the protesters themselves do not have a homogenous agenda.

From what else you've said, I believe you would agree with many on many issues.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

Demonstrations have been allowed before. (none / 0) (#61)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 07:39:57 AM EST

The antiglobalization protesters have been allowed to demonstrate in many different ocassions. To say that they are targeted is most disingenous. It is only after many demonstrations gone the wrong way that a ban is impossed for the first time.

The comparision with football hooligans is completely ludicrous: in most responsible countries draconian laws have taken place (confiscation of passports, closed circuit cameras during games, report to local police during the games). Antiglobalization demonstrators so far have not faced such level of control so I just can't accept the comparison. You also seem to imply that all anti-globalization demonstrations will be banned from now on, which is at most speculation and completely baseless.

A ban like this is not to prevent an ideology to be shared, it is simply to avoid violence. All the examples of people demonstrating have done so peacefuly and respectfuly. When other people have choosen violence (right wing groups) they also have problems to get permission to demonstrate, and rightly so.

Anti-globalization people have got a point, but if they want to have a greater impact they MUST clean their act together, specially stop conspiracy theories and concentrate in democratic ways to look for change. Violent demonstration is not such a way in societies that offer plenty of avenues to promote change.

Finally if people don't like how NATO or the WTO is ran then the proper way to affect change is to influence local politicians to reform these bodies.

International organizations, by their own nature, can't be run by direct democracy, but from the moment they are supported by legitimate goverments they gain that legitimacy as well (many countries' constitutions give national goverments the power to create these institutions in behalf of the people they represent, and in many cases international treaties are incorporated into the body of national law).






---
Those who sleep can't sin.
Those who sin, sleep well.

[ Parent ]
And how would they do that? (none / 0) (#68)
by ksandstr on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 03:01:49 PM EST

This groups have a track record of attracting violence and disruption (if it is a minority of them or not it does not matter, the protesters have done very precious little to differentiate themselves from violent thughs).
I suppose that you have a suggestion how they'd actually differentiate themselves from the "violent thughs" in an effective manner? Because as far as I can tell, whenever a member of a self-described peaceful protest group is interviewed or quoted, they tend to emphasize their non-violence.

And forget about "they should organize, and wear distinctive clothes during protests" -- most of these people favor a strictly decentralized approach to politics. Being forced to become a member of a "legitimate protest group" is something that they wouldn't do even if hell froze over tomorrow.



Fin.
[ Parent ]
Who's harming 'the people who live there'? (none / 0) (#57)
by jslag on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 11:19:49 PM EST

If you look at Seattle, the only harm befalling residents trying to get to work or home was random teargassing and rubber bullets from the police. Maybe the German courts can keep the populace safe by keeping the police away for the duration?

[ Parent ]
Um, no... (none / 0) (#66)
by Stickerboy on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 12:36:32 PM EST

The radical, violent minority of protesters at Seattle caused millions of damage in smashed cars, shops, and other property.

Those cars and shops belong to people, citizens of the United States with their own right to not have their personal property smashed by these hooligans. Because the vast majority of protesters tolerated the presence of these criminals (i.e., they did not stop them from acting, and they did not turn them over to the authorities), the police had to step in. In order to prevent complete anarchy, and to stop these criminals, the police then had to disperse the mobs in order to make arrests.

There's your harm. Would you like it if some person protesting government action smashed the windows of your place of residence? It's not allowed behavior in civilized society, and the police took the only action they could in order to stop worse from happening.

If the "vast majority" of protesters had simply overwhelmed and stopped the criminals from acting, the protest would have gone on untouched. But I guess that would have to assume that protesters act rationally and thoughtfully.

[ Parent ]
Mom&pop shops, in downtown Seattle? heh (none / 0) (#69)
by ksandstr on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 03:05:55 PM EST

Those cars and shops belong to people,
Um, the last I heard, McDonalds was a multinational megacorporation (with very little social conscience, but that's beside the point). I'm finding it rather hard to believe that a McDonalds or a Starbucks would be run by mom & pop.



Fin.
[ Parent ]
You're missing the point (none / 0) (#71)
by Stickerboy on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 04:20:48 PM EST

Whether or not those shops are owned by "mom and pop" operators, or multinational corporations, they belong to somebody with their own set of rights. And unless you, yourself, are willing to give up your own rights to what you have (and I certainly am not about to give up mine) than those people or corporations have the right to expect protection of that property from destruction, the same way you have protection from me coming over to your residence and trashing your computer.

Whether or not big multinational corporations or private citizens own that property is irrelevant. Pointing out the difference is like pointing out the difference in evil between killing 100 people or 150. The important point is that all rights, held by anyone, need to be protected, and the destructive protests were infringing on those rights.



[ Parent ]
My thoughts exactly (none / 0) (#67)
by ksandstr on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 02:56:24 PM EST

Well, not the entire comment, but a part of it. That wasn't explicitly mentioned. Whatever...

Indeed, why don't the protesters gather in their home towns etc? I mean, many protests in many cities should in theory mean more media coverage while also being harder to completely trivialize in the aforementioned media, compared to the "one massive protest" approach. I mean, the protestors would reach a larger number of real people, instead of the suity types who couldn't care less about public opinion (as long as it can be ignored; at that point they'll pay some lip service and proceed as before).

This approach would have the additional bonus of the filth not being able to centralize their "security efforts", perhaps leading to less of the mutual provocation that seems to be always present at the maximalist protests. (Though, there were repots of supposed video footage of black-clad provocators being protected by the police. Either this was lost in the ultra-violent school raids executed by the aforementioned pigs or it was just hearsay.)



Fin.
[ Parent ]
A ban is a good thing. (4.00 / 10) (#3)
by FredBloggs on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 09:36:50 AM EST

Demonstrations used to (in the UK) hold up traffic while the marchers made their point known. In this brave new age of marchers officially clearing them with the authorities (police and local councils), roads are closed, traffic diverted, and marches/demonstrations occur so frequently that even the first timers question `hang on, there were thousands of us on the march - why didnt it make the news?` is worth little more than a wry smile.
Perhaps an illegal demonstration is the only way you`ll get your point across to the public (via the media)?

A ban (2.60 / 5) (#10)
by fhotg on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 10:43:09 AM EST

violates the constitution. Still a good thing ?
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]
in Germany?(nt) (2.83 / 6) (#13)
by physicsgod on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 10:58:58 AM EST



--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Probably not (1.60 / 5) (#15)
by bke on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 11:06:07 AM EST

Can't say that I know much about German laws though... What bothers me more is this 'We have the right to meet/protest/riot every' mentality these people have. And they have the stomach to claim that this is somehow coverd under freedom of assembly (I do realise that it might be in some states). But there is no moral right to be able to assemble everywhere. I'm sure most of these people would seriously mind me staging a large protest rally on their front porch...

--
Read, think, spread!
http://www.toad.com/gnu/whatswrong.html
[ Parent ]

Front Porch (5.00 / 7) (#19)
by priestess on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 12:03:50 PM EST

Nobody thinks the right to assembly means right to assemble anywhere, we're talking about a public place. There's almost certainly a public square in the town center that's practically designed for this kind of thing, there is in most cities, but now the only thing you're allowed to use it for it Shopping. Nobody want's to protest on your front porch, they want to use a public space for a public purpose.

Pre.......

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
I`m in the UK, this story is about Germany... (4.40 / 5) (#17)
by FredBloggs on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 11:42:08 AM EST

...what does the (presumably United States) constitution have to do with anything? (Having said that, Bush probably thinks Munich is in Sweden).

I was being slightly sarcastic. Personally i dont care if demonstrations are banned or not; they dont make any difference.

"Cor blimey, you know, i was staring at this girls tits in the Sun, and i heard a noise - looked up and saw a demonstration about anti-globalisation and it really made me think...do we really know who is making the decisions behind the scenes...decisions which affect me but over which i yield no power...play no part in the process. What do you reckon? I was going to go down the footy on saturday, but i think instead i`ll hang around outside Camden Town tube handing out flyers. I have to play my part in the non-violent revolution which will make the world a better place."

Yeah, and if we all hold hands and sing, maybe all the rich people will give away all their money to the poor and homeless.

[ Parent ]
Isn't a Munich (2.60 / 5) (#20)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 12:25:52 PM EST

one of those guys guarding the harem?



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
*chortle* (none / 0) (#38)
by stinkwrinkle on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 03:03:06 PM EST

No, way, dumbass, those are "Unix".

[ Parent ]
hoppla (3.66 / 3) (#21)
by fhotg on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 12:53:16 PM EST

what does the (presumably United States) constitution have to do with anything?
I was of course referring to the German constitution. That doesn't change the fact that I didn't read your comment carefully and answered some kilometres besides the point.
I was being slightly sarcastic. Personally i dont care if demonstrations are banned or not; they dont make any difference.
The fact that they become banned might make its way to somebodys ears, and that's what you were saying I guess.
Yeah, and if we all hold hands and sing, maybe all the rich people will give away all their money to the poor and homeless.
You're implying there is a cause to actually do something, against the rich peoples will, or what ?? Take care you terrorist, you're on the list.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]
Is anybody else bothered by the protests? (2.44 / 25) (#7)
by karb on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 10:14:13 AM EST

I read a little bit of the propaganda of these groups trying to find out why anybody would hate NATO.

To sum their feelings, I think the thought of these groups is that participating governments are corrupt. The people are not fully in control of the governments. Therefore, the governments are illegitimate, and their activities must be disrupted.

Screw you. I do support my government, and if most people didn't agree with me, we would all be in munich.

To me, this is about the ability of a small group of people to try to override the will of the vast majority. It is not about free speech at all. I feel like the activist groups are counting on manufacturing these apparent restrictions to free speech to gain support. In reality, as I've said before, they are basically trying to force their will because they are evidently unable to garner popular support.

I'm starting to wonder if these protests mirror the rise of the nazi party to prominence. All it would take is some sort of recession ...
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?

nah.. (3.71 / 7) (#8)
by rebelcool on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 10:25:02 AM EST

the nazi rise had to do with a bunch of things. The great depression was one (this dinky recession now doesnt compare), and perhaps more importantly, the german shame at having to accept responsibility for WWI, as dictated by the Versailles treaty.

Let's not forget the brownshirts they employed to terrorize opponents and cause nationwide mayhem...

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

brownshirts (1.60 / 5) (#9)
by karb on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 10:41:40 AM EST

Yeah, that's what I was thinking of when I made the comment ... although you are correct, I guess, there is no great shame (until they lose in the NHL all-star game, that is), and no great economic crisis.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]
Let's not forget... (4.60 / 5) (#16)
by Sanityman on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 11:33:47 AM EST

...that the Nazis were a democratically elected govenment that got out of hand when the checks & balances in their constitution broke down.

Methinks it's not the protesters ('rioters' is a little pre-judgemental, don't ya think?) that resemble the Nazis - certainly not at Genoa. A little early in the thread for Godwin, isn't it?

Sanityman



Disclaimer: Whatever organisation you had in mind, I'm not representing it.
If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
[ Parent ]
Well (3.00 / 1) (#32)
by Delirium on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 01:51:01 PM EST

The Democratically elected government that was "appropriated" so to speak was a very shaky and weak government that never really got off the ground. It was an attempt to instill democracy after WW1, and it essentially failed, collapsing into dictatorship. Not entirely the same as today's situation.

[ Parent ]
No, they weren't. (4.00 / 1) (#37)
by stinkwrinkle on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 03:00:46 PM EST

Nazis never got a majority in the Reichstag. President von Hindenburg had to appoint Hitler chancellor, the Nazis never had enough votes to put him in.

[ Parent ]
Those who do not know history .. (2.50 / 2) (#47)
by fhotg on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 06:05:15 PM EST

are doomed to repeat it.

By summer 1932, the Nazis were by far the largest party in the Reichstag.Appointing chancellors was the president's job, from 1930 to 33 he appointed three of them, heading minority governments, he didn't like Hitler. They mainly ruled by executive orders. All of them were failures and had no support from Reichstag and people, so he finally appointed Hitler in Jan. '33, hoping he would get together a majority, so that Hindenburg could stop ruling as quasi-dictator. (Big bug in constitution here)

On Feb 28. a terrorist attack damaged a prominet building (Reichstag fire). The Nazis blamed an evil enemy (the communists) and invoked an article of the constitution that allowed the suspension of civil rights in case the homeland was danger, public safety and stuff. That was the foundation to change the constitution to a dictatorship, because now the Nazis could arrest and terrorize the rest of the parliament to get the necessary majority.

Just so you know.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

It`s not history repeating itself (1.00 / 2) (#79)
by GaussZ88 on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 06:00:23 AM EST

but historians.

[ Parent ]
Nazis are not a good example.. (3.00 / 1) (#46)
by goatse on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 06:04:22 PM EST

..but Vietnam is a perfectly good examples of a democratically elected government totally destroying another country over what was basically nothing more then a game of chess (with the Russians).

The good news is that all the U.S.'s traditions point towards more or less true democrasy. Yes, we had people like boss tweed and the current corperate funding of campaigns, but the basic tradition is democratic and it's unlikely to change.

Anyway, I think the U.S. is going through a second wave of "industrial revolution" style side effect and experiencing all the acompianing problems: Rober barons (Bill Gates), political bosses (campaign contributions), etc. We will clean it up once it gets bad enough, but I think we have a lot lower to go first.


[ Parent ]
Apathy (3.66 / 3) (#26)
by Woundweavr on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 01:21:25 PM EST

I dont think most people care enough to write a letter to a Congressman (or even vote) enough about most issues let alone go to Munich. While most don't support the group, most also don't support the other side unless you include the purely apathetic.

Just stop with the Nazi references. Everyone knows its a cheap trick and doesn't influence anyone at this point.

[ Parent ]

hey now!! (none / 0) (#36)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 02:47:45 PM EST

Yes that may be their motive, but they have the right to get their messege accross to other people. they have the right to let others know why they are protesting........

the fact of the matter is that both violent and non violent(if you can antagonise an attack on your group) protests work....they get you on the news and get people at least thinking "what the heck are they thinking!!" some people will actualy bother going and finding out why they protested....when that happens, the protest worked.

I do not condone violent acts against police, but I do condone antagonising police and officials so you can get yourself arrested or even hurt at the hands of the authorities....this creates more sympathy and is more effective than acting violent.


[ Parent ]
why do that? (none / 0) (#65)
by Lenny on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 12:09:22 PM EST

this creates more sympathy and is more effective than acting violent.

Good causes don't need sympathy. What you're talking about is marketing.


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
[ Parent ]
you always ned to market your Ideas (none / 0) (#85)
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 12:47:57 PM EST

otherwise you will not get people to support you.

think of all the good causes out there......

world peace
stoping child abuse
stoping hunger

all of those things are considered noble causes, but you know what.......with out marketing and ad campagns, people would not have much motivation to act.

marketing is how you get people motivated to act in your favor, which is the goal of all protests.

[ Parent ]
2 sides (none / 0) (#86)
by Lenny on Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 02:08:56 AM EST

it is considered evil when big business does this. but its ok to use for protests? no matter what yuou call it or what reason you use, it is manipulating people...i think it is bullshit


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
[ Parent ]
no, that's not really what they're doing (none / 0) (#83)
by karb on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 09:31:54 AM EST

Yes that may be their motive, but they have the right to get their messege accross to other people. they have the right to let others know why they are protesting........

If this was all the protestors were doing they Never Would Have Been Banned. The protests, as I understand them, are for the specific purpose of disrupting the meetings.

And from this stems my protest. When you try to claim that your rights to free speech include barring other people from practicing free speech ... you've become a (insert insulting political faction here).

That's why I said that being banned is exactly what the activists were seeking ... so they could draw attention to themselves, even though they are the ones attempting to suppress speech.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

Thanks for playing (2.60 / 5) (#41)
by broken77 on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 04:05:35 PM EST

I invoke Godwin's Law. You lose.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

nt (none / 0) (#84)
by karb on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 09:36:00 AM EST

But when there's such a strong resemblance to the nazi storm troopers I think it's exempted. I'll contact ESR and have him fix it. ;)
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]
I love government B.S. (4.50 / 16) (#23)
by wji on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 01:11:29 PM EST

Judging by who killed and injured protestors at Genoa, if the Munich authorities were seriously trying to protect demonstrators, they'd be banning police.

You know, looking at many of these comments I think a few K5ers could use a tutorial in basic civil liberties. Regardless of whether you agree with protestors -- and I don't know how you could disagree with their stated desire to avoid being U.S. flunkies -- the right to freedom of assembly is next to freedom of speech among the most important liberties. If groups are planning violence (of course, NATO can plan all the violence it wants, and that's OK, but I won't get into that) then arrest their members for conspiracy. Don't use them as an excuse to shut down everyone's speech.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

Competing rights and liberties. (2.40 / 5) (#28)
by Tezcatlipoca on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 01:26:06 PM EST

There is a very simple rule of common sense: my rights and freedoms end were the rights and freedoms of others finish.

These protestors have shown once and again that they don't respect the property and safety of other people, thus they don't deserve to get permission for their demonstration. There are many other demonstrations around the year in any major city, the anti-globalization protesters are notorious for failing to behave in a sensible manner.

In every single civilized country any demonstrators need to inform the authorities of any planned activities, then it is to the authorities to evaluate if such activities are compatible with the respect to the rights and liberties of the rest of the population.

The anti-globalization protesters, even in Genoa, have shown that they don't know how to behave in a democratic society and thus have given enough arguments to any self respecting authority to stop them demonstrating.


---
Those who sleep can't sin.
Those who sin, sleep well.

[ Parent ]
All those other protests (4.00 / 1) (#34)
by zhermit on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 02:16:04 PM EST

The only reason that the Black Bloc has gained such prevalence is because nothing else even makes the media bat an eye. Protests are so common these days that even the local nightly news doesn't bother with them - unless someone gets hurt, or a storefront gets smashed. All they care about is ratings, and a bunch of people peacefully protesting isn't interesting to the general populace.

Personally, I hate the stigma that's become attached to anti-globalization protests. But do you really think the general population would know about them if no violence ever erupted?


I have a sig?
[ Parent ]
Nonsense! (4.75 / 4) (#44)
by greenrd on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 05:24:01 PM EST

These protestors have shown once and again that they don't respect the property and safety of other people, thus they don't deserve to get permission for their demonstration.

That's ridiculous. As regards property that only applies to a tiny minority, and as regards safety of other people, even tinier.

Should soccer matches be banned because a small minority go around beating each other up and the others "fail to control them"?

The anti-globalization protesters, even in Genoa, have shown that they don't know how to behave in a democratic society and thus have given enough arguments to any self respecting authority to stop them demonstrating.

I see no essential difference between that form of argument and saying after a race riot: "These blacks have shown that they don't know how to behave in a democratic society and thus have given enough arguments to any self-respecting authority to stop them demonstrating". Well, perhaps you would say that, as well.

The point is, my right to assemble cannot be taken away because my political opinion marks me out as belonging to a group a tiny minority of whom commit acts of violence. (a) It's not fair to remove our rights because of a minority which are not under our control; (b) Preventing crimes by removing our rights before we've actually committed any crime is unacceptable.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

The Bloc (none / 0) (#49)
by fhotg on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 06:24:14 PM EST

..tiny majority ... not under control
While it is true that the bloc constitutes a minority, albeit a big one, the whole movement consists of nothing else than minorities. They're not out of control. They know what they're doing and are successful with it.

I'd say a minority considers their tactics "bad", most don't hallucinate themselves into ethical delusions where a McD. window more or less would make a difference.

Most criticism concerns the effeciency of the tactic, and those who believe the picture transported by the main stream media would be worth considering argue agains those who think it's pointless trying to influence drones who form their image of reality from just said media.

A pretty broad consensus seems to tolerate a diversity of tactics, as long as you don't put other people in danger. The bloc certainly has some know-how to get people out of danger.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

Even more so... (none / 0) (#59)
by afc on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 01:36:56 AM EST

Should soccer matches be banned because a small minority go around beating each other up and the others "fail to control them"?

Of course not, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't end up in jail afterwards. As a matter of fact, the comparison is highly ellucidating, because these so called protestors behave in much the same way as hooligans at football matches, i.e., they are simply lawless rascals.

I see no essential difference between that form of argument and saying after a race riot: "These blacks have shown that they don't know how to behave in a democratic society and thus have given enough arguments to any self-respecting authority to stop them demonstrating". Well, perhaps you would say that, as well.

I can't answer for the previous poster, but I can't tell you there's more than one tune to be sung to that beat. Not everybody (and believe me, not a few blacks) consider rioting a legitimate form of protest. Just like in the other cases, people who assault other people's property and physical integrity are just plain bona fide criminals. This example is even sillier than the hooligan one.
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

another hater (none / 0) (#63)
by Lenny on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 11:35:19 AM EST

Judging by who killed and injured protestors at Genoa

The police were ambushed in a jeep. One of the protesters raised a fire extinguisher above his head. Before he had a chance to slam it into the back of a police officer's head, he was shot. This story was confirmed by several eyewitnesses. Oh yeah, and those eyewitnesses were protesters.

avoid being U.S. flunkies

*snicker* *snicker*


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
[ Parent ]
Durr (none / 0) (#70)
by ksandstr on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 03:09:53 PM EST

Before he had a chance to slam it into the back of a police officer's head, he was shot.
Twice. In the head. At close range. Most people who have had any weapons training know that if you need to stop someone, you shoot them in the center of mass. Which is a whole lot lower than the head.

To me, that sounds like the member-of-the-carabinieri had ample time to take careful aim.



Fin.
[ Parent ]
On the contrary (none / 0) (#72)
by Stickerboy on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 04:30:33 PM EST

Most law enforcement and military personnel who take advanced firearms training learn to shoot in two areas: the head, and center of mass.

The reason being, shooting through the head is a lot better of a guarantee of stopping someone than shooting them center of mass. Failing that, without a clear shot to the head, they're trained to shoot for the center of mass (the chest and heart).

That's why law enforcement snipers go for head shots in hostage situations. There's less time for the criminal to do something after he's shot, like kill the hostage.

And as a side note: with a clear shot and at that close range (less than 5 meters), for someone who's taken a decent amount of weapons training, a head shot would take no more time to prepare than shooting for the center of mass. As for the two bullets, law enforcement personnel are taught to "double-tap", shoot twice at the same target, just to make sure. Standard procedure.



[ Parent ]
bullshit (none / 0) (#74)
by Lenny on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 04:54:51 PM EST

The reason given (in the US at least)for shooting someone center mast (apparantly you have not had any weapons training) is to stop foreward progress. A good reason for aiming at the torso is that is is a big target that holds many organs. Anyone that has had any medical training knows that if you want to stop someone, shoot them in the head. Besides, we don't know what the officer was aiming for, or if he even aimed for that matter. His shooting was justified, and thats what counts.

To me, it sounds like the protester had ample time to decide to try to kill the officer.


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
[ Parent ]
Another compulsive defender (none / 0) (#73)
by wji on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 04:50:00 PM EST

The police were ambushed in a jeep. One of the protesters raised a fire extinguisher above his head. Before he had a chance to slam it into the back of a police officer's head, he was shot. This story was confirmed by several eyewitnesses. Oh yeah, and those eyewitnesses were protesters.

The entire sequence of events was captured by a Reuters photographer. A bunch of violent protestors surrounded a police van and started smashing windows, etc. One of them was Carlo Giuliani, who raised a red fire extinguisher over his head to throw through the rear window. He was shot twice and run over.

Actually, I wasn't really thinking of him when I wrote that. The entire summitt was a litanny of low-level terrorism carried out by the Genoa police. The midnight raid on activists' headquarters where dozens were quite brutally attacked, pre-emptive strikes with tear gas and projectiles, use of agent provacateurs, unlawful search, arrest, and detention... basically the Genoa police were drawing from the old blackshirt playbook. A pretty good account can be found here.

>>avoid being U.S. flunkies
> *snicker* *snicker*

I hardly think 'snicker snicker' contributes to any meaningful debate. Is what you mean to say 'that is outside my previously considered knowledge, therefore I will not consider it'?

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]

i doubt it (none / 0) (#75)
by Lenny on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 05:32:54 PM EST

A pretty good account

The beginning of the title is State Terrorism...And it is the most slanted article that I have read in quite some time.

Is what you mean to say 'that is outside my previously considered knowledge, therefore I will not consider it'?

Actually, I think the term flunkie is funny. Funny considering that the US is the only "superpower" left in the world. If the most successful country in the world is a flunkie, then it is time to redefine the term flunkie.


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
[ Parent ]
US (none / 0) (#80)
by linca on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 07:16:33 AM EST

is not, in my opinion, and in that of many other people, the most "successful" country in the world. Not everybody equals success with power. A coutry that has difficulties making a proper democratic election, for example, is not that successful.

Also the term "flunkie" wasn't referring to the US but to their European allies, or, as the US want to see them, their dogs. That is the problem us Europeans have with the NATO.

[ Parent ]
Only the beginning (4.70 / 10) (#25)
by TON on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 01:20:03 PM EST

The government has thrown down the gauntlet. They never seem to learn that this plays right into the hands of protesters. It's hard to get as many people riled up without an obvious us-against-them.

We'll have to see what happens when all those "shoppers" happen to run into each other downtown. The results should be interesting. Just let me make clear that I don't want to see massive violence.

"First, I am born. Then, the trouble begins." -- Schizopolis

Ted


I think the problem is... (4.52 / 19) (#27)
by chrome koran on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 01:22:04 PM EST

that, unlike Gandhi, MLK, and many others, the current generation of protest leaders seem unable or unwilling to exert any semblance of control over their followers. So, we end up with results like those in Seattle and Genoa.

I am all for freedom of speech and the right to protest -- those may be the two most important rights any of us have. However, if we use them to do millions of dollars worth of damage to an area of a city, we are shooting ourselves in the head.

Who thinks this does a cause any good? You set a fire or throw a brick through the storefront window of some small shop -- how does that help? Is the owner of that little sandwich shop the one driving NATO policy? No, he's just some poor schmoe trying to run his own small business. Now he has to file an insurance claim, his rates go up, and he has to pay a deductible out of pocket. You think this convinces him to listen to what you have to say? HA! It convinces him that you are a dangerous radical who should be night-sticked, tear-gassed, shot with rubber bullets, etc.

What happened to passive resistance? Where are the people who allowed themselves to be arrested and even beaten in Selma? You're right, that was miserable hard work. But guess what? It worked in the long run. Because every time a news camera captured an authority figure beating up a non-resisting protester, another 10,000 people took the time to wonder who was actually the bad guy. When the protesters fight back, destroy property and do things which the average citizen finds offensive, they play right into the hands of the authorities they are trying to bring down.

You can't win these wars with violence...the government can always out violence you and they will make it look like you were the instigator. Even if it isn't you or your group that is causing the problem, you will be lumped in with the troublemakers. You must denounce the actions of the radically violent publicly and loudly, and tell the people that they have nothing to do with your cause. And most importantly, you must distance yourselves by acting peacefully and as a cohesive unit. Anarchy doesn't convince any of mainstream society to trust you or fight for your cause...what it does is recruit more violent and disgruntled people who see rioting as an intelligent form of protest.

Should the activists in Munich create another scene like that which occured in Genoa, you will see a lot more banning of protest and peaceful assembly throughout the western world. Perhaps people should think about that before they decide to confront the Munich police...

"Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."
Mohandas K. Gandhi

Different foe (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by Woundweavr on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 01:40:17 PM EST

While I agree that what amounts to random rioting will not change anything, I do not know that nonviolent protests will either. When the people that protestors are claiming are injust are corporations, and the media is corporate itself, it will spin the protests as it wishes. While this is not the case in NATO, the protests against corporate entities has created this attitude.

IMNSHO, the only way to change it to try and take the media out of overtly corporate hands. However, I have no idea how to achieve this, so my suggestion is about as helpful as a book on how to build a boat while you are drowning

[ Parent ]

Amen to that Brother! (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by chrome koran on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 01:49:38 PM EST

On that fateful day in 1986 when I heard that General Electric was buying RCA and thereby acquiring NBC, I knew we were in trouble...

[ Parent ]
Case in point (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by zhermit on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 02:23:30 PM EST

The government/media can spin this in ways that are beyond even the most organized of protesters. For example: the recent raid of raisethefist.com. I don't agree with what the guy was pushing for, but I really don't agree with the government's branding of him as a terrorist. It's a deadly word these days, and the government's going to use it as much as possible. How long before these protests are banned because they are a "haven for terrorists?"



I have a sig?
[ Parent ]
One comment (5.00 / 2) (#39)
by broken77 on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 04:03:18 PM EST

that, unlike Gandhi, MLK, and many others, the current generation of protest leaders seem unable or unwilling to exert any semblance of control over their followers. So, we end up with results like those in Seattle and Genoa.
Well, with the current incarnations of protests (from what I can tell, it began in Seattle), you have many different groups who have no connection with each other all coming together to protest. Each group has different ideals and methods of protest. The Black Bloc, as a whole, has no problem with civil disobedience and property destruction. And other illegal activities such as "unarresting". Who do you purport has control over this group of people? Nobody does, they're on their own.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Well, they're anarchists... whaddya expect? (none / 0) (#48)
by John Miles on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 06:20:08 PM EST

I mean, say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it's an ethos!

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
Correction (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by pattern on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 05:45:08 PM EST

unlike Gandhi, MLK, and many others, the current generation of protest leaders seem unable or unwilling to exert any semblance of control over their followers

Actually, despite his reputation as a "man of peace," every time MLK gave a speech in a town, there was a riot the day afterwards.

There were riots in India while Ghandi was fasting.

Jesus was a rather gentle soul. His post-mortem followers were something else entirely.

Just so we don't lose our sense of perspectives here...



[ Parent ]
Correction? (none / 0) (#58)
by afc on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 01:17:18 AM EST

Jesus was a rather gentle soul. His post-mortem followers were something else entirely.

Which post-mortem (sic) followers? St Peter? St James? St Paul? All of them? Of course, they were something else. They were merely human.
--

Information wants to be beer, or something.
[ Parent ]

Argh (2.66 / 3) (#52)
by boyde on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 08:21:15 PM EST

for god's sake, these people do not want peaceful discussion, nor liberal concurrence. They are not liberals, they are not socialists, they are certainly not, as I presume you have noticed, conservative; the people you see smashing in windows and looting are there because they believe we should be living like in the good old days - strongest survive, blah, blah, blah. They believe that the only way to be alive is to fight for life; comfort and ease is no way to live. I would have to agree, but I am unfortunately that most sinful of people, I see that everyone has a point. The capitalists, the socialists, the guys who forsake it all to live in the woods, wiping their arse with bark, the tree-hugging hippies (that me, before anyone gets all righteous), everyone. I believe that a single point a flat surface does not make. To consider that the Afghani's, (to be topical) are incorrect and obviously wrong is stupid, not to mention arrogant. it stinks of considering oneself better....oh arse. Another monologue I can see myself convincing that the self-same person was wrong - "this sentence six lines down is better." "no! this one!" " Ha! keep writing, I bet I can convince you"

If I just keep writing will I end up right?

~D

--'You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.' - Atticus Finch

-Booze is for the weak. And the drunk. And those who wish to be drunk. And those who wish to sanitise wounds. Dammit, god bless booze!! - boyde
Rolling around in the muck is no way to get clean.
[ Parent ]

Most sinful of people (none / 0) (#82)
by chrome koran on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 10:46:16 AM EST

I thought I was pretty sinful, but I guess I was wrong, because I can't see any point in all of that...

If you're going to try writing trolls, you should practice a bit more first. :-P

[ Parent ]

Mass Demonstrations Expressing Popular Concern (4.00 / 5) (#30)
by irreplicant on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 01:48:16 PM EST

I can almost accept that you want to protect the small businesses of downtown Munich. That's fine. Rioting doesn't help anyone.

Why don't they ban football games?

Liberty will never be free.

Quite right (none / 0) (#51)
by boyde on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 07:56:41 PM EST

Rioting does not help anyone, 'cept for the looters and the freeloaders. However, to bracket those who protest as potential rioters is a constriction of what is considered fundamental rights in a democracy - the right to protest with a voice about that which you do not belive to be correct. Perhaps this is no longer a right, perhaps this is the case, I have my opinions on this, but please, do not state this as the case to then take it away.

furthermore, the down-town small businesses of Munich (does such an entity still exist in the Western World? A small business in the city centre? I fear not.) should think why this is happening, what have they done, why would a group have such hatred? Sure, the small-holder is not to blame,, but who is? If there is something wrong, which most rational folk believe (yes?), then we must not attribute such actions with irrationality, but rather look first to see if what we have done may have caused these actions. If this is the case, and we find said actions detrimental to ourselves beyond the measure of our gain, perhaps we should reconsider our actions, choose a path that produces a gain that produces more benefit....oh fuck.

Does anyone else ever feel they are caught in a recursive loop where the break clause is consistently different?

we are all going to die. when you are dead you won't give a damn. you won't havbe choice about giving a damn. choose what you will. if someone disagrees then talk to them. if they wont talk then kill the fucker. do not consider yourself right, just consider the fact that no-one is right. there is no good or bad, there is no right or wrong. you are all dead. you are not special. do what you will. just don't be suprised if your will gets you killed. being dead doesn't hurt. dying hurts for, at the most, a few months of a life that must, judging by comments posted, be now measured in decades. embrace the pain. contrast is everything. the more pain yu experience the better the good stuff feels.

this is not to say that pain should be sought, that is stupid, rather that one should not be surprised when they are hurt. shit happens. bite the bullet, feel the emotion, move on. live life. fear is the biggest killer.

I'd just like to say, I like this place, you people say it like you feel, (or so it seems); keep up the good work.

Remember, there is only what you experience. the world is your feelings. don't try to be objective, that path leads to ruin.

~D

--Lawyers, I suppose, were children once. - Charles Lamb

--avoid large quantities of alchohol and the internet. such a union was never fated for happy times. - Boyde
Rolling around in the muck is no way to get clean.
[ Parent ]

Arbitrary actions (5.00 / 6) (#42)
by myshka on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 04:47:55 PM EST

The relative merits of the protesters' or organizers' positions notwithstanding, the situation highlights a very worrisome trend - arbitrary suspension of legal rights or customs at the government's whim. Does it really matter that the government is democratically elected, if, once in office, it can revoke citizens' rights without notice and without any accountability outside of potential repercussions at future elections? Pushing the argument a bit further, if the government has the authority to suspend the fairly basic right of assembly, why wouldn't it use that authority to suspend, say, elections or term limits or the ability of opposition candidates to hold rallies?

I admit that there is no indication that the German government is traveling the path of totalitarianism, but the potential repercussions on one of the foundations of a successful modern democracy - predictabily in laws and their enforcement - really bother me.

So Where is this NATO conference exactly? (1.00 / 1) (#43)
by jazman_777 on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 05:12:57 PM EST

In the Burgerbrau Keller? No wonder they wouldn't want any "demonstrations".

A troubling hypocracy (5.00 / 5) (#50)
by StephenGilbert on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 07:08:00 PM EST

Over 100 different groups have already declared to stage protests and demonstrations in order to disrupt the meeting and prevent it from happening.

Why do so many protest groups think the answer is to prevent these meeting from happening? Just as the protesters should have the right to assemble, so should those groups that they are protesting against.

More than troubling, really. (3.28 / 7) (#53)
by Stickerboy on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 08:21:38 PM EST

It's hard to fault the police of every nation for reacting the way they have, and here's why:

100 groups of protesters who are doing nothing more than trying to disrupt meetings whose members have every right to assemble is rather disingenuous. I'm reminded of the violent dispersion of protesters in Seattle during the WTO meeting after the protests had turned violent, and property was getting smashed and policemen were being attacked. One protester said in a TV interview that their "right to freedom of speech" was being taken away. I find it hard to give credit to people whose sole goal is to prevent others (the government representatives) from enjoying the same rights that they have... namely, the right to assemble and meet peaceably. And yes, once the line is crossed between a protest to state your views and a protest to hinder the meeting, it no longer becomes a protected assembly. I'll refrain from restating the old cliche about rights and people's noses.

In Genoa, the protester was killed after the riots turned violent and destructive. Was it a mistake, and an overreaction to the demonstrator's actions? Yes... but in the same way that violent protests are an overreaction to globalization policies. If protesters would police themselves, and keep the protests nonviolent and nondisruptive, than the police would have no need to intervene so forcefully. The police can't act until the violence begins, which makes specifically targeted arrests impossible in a mob situation. They're damned if they do, so now their next recourse to prevent violence is to invoke the "clear and present danger" clause of restricting people's freedoms, and now, at least in this message board, they're damned if they don't. But at least they don't have to deal with violent protests this way and risk more death and damage.

An important note: if you're planning a protest, and the only way to catch my attention or otherwise make a point is to smash a brick into a policeman or a shopwindow, the cause you're arguing for isn't worth it. Arguments on this board of "Well, that's the only way they can get noticed," are a load of bullhonky, as my Grandma would say. Fists don't win arguments, they just enforce the fact that might makes right. If the arguments hold enough water on their own, then they'll convince enough people to get things changed through legislation, or the courts. If they can't convince enough people, then those arguments need to be seriously reconsidered before tossing that stone.

Yes, Mr. Antiglobalization Protester, someone might actually *gasp* disagree with you! Someone who came up with their own set of views rationally on the same subject, without conspiring about it with dark, ulterior motives. It is considered all right to have a differing view on a subject; and those representatives from different governments have every right to express those different views and assemble to talk about it.



[ Parent ]
thinking about this a little off (4.50 / 2) (#54)
by joshsisk on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 08:49:47 PM EST

If protesters would police themselves, and keep the protests nonviolent and nondisruptive

You guys are talking about protesters as if its a tightly organized group.

You are dealing with 100s, if not 1000s of different groups of people, plus people who come on their own and are in no group.

Trust me, I know a lot of activists and MOST of them don't get along with the "black bloc", the hadcore anarchists who do most of the violence. But it's not like even the "black bloc" is a real group- I mean, they are anarchists- it's a loose association of people.

I know several people who were at the Seattle protests. They just stood around and waved signs, but they got tear gassed like everyone else, because of a relatively few violent people.
--
logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
[ Parent ]
Black Bloc (3.00 / 1) (#76)
by davidduncanscott on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 06:04:08 PM EST

I'm curious, not meaning to be provocative: have any of your acquaintances considered something along the lines of pointing to those few anarchists and saying, "There they are, those are the troublemakers who are making us look bad"?

I don't mean in the heat and confusion of the protest, of course, but afterwards, or even beforehand. As it stands now, after each one of these some presumably-decent protestor stands on camera and says, "But it wasn't us, it was those darned anarchists!", and we believe them less and less each time. Indeed, when the rest of us talk about "self-policing", I think we'd be perfectly happy with, "willing to testify against these assholes". As it is now, I've got to view the attitude as one of tacit acceptance of the violent tactics. At the very least, your friends are being used as cover, and I'd think they'd start to resent it after a while.

[ Parent ]

they do resent it. (none / 0) (#87)
by joshsisk on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 01:24:20 PM EST

This is a bit belated of a response, but I didn't notice your response, and figured I'd answer.

As far as the tesifying goes, I think that would leave a bad taste in most people's mouth. Especially considering a lot of the people protesting think that the (American, at least) judicial system is seriously flawed and skewed.

Besides, one of the things about the "Black Bloc" is that they don't give their real names (many if not most have nicknames/punk names), usually wear bandanas and hoods when they perform an action and avoid being photographed. Many of them move around a lot, travelling around the country/world. How would you testify against them, or even identify them if you wanted to?
--
logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
[ Parent ]
Not speech (none / 0) (#81)
by linca on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 07:28:04 AM EST

The WTO, the NATO, etc... are not "groups of people peacefully assembling". They are ruling the world, and assembling together to decide what the respective governments will be allowed to do. They are not speaking to each other, they are making laws.

But of course, in Boston they were destroying the properties of innocent citizens in the 1770's... I thought the Independance war was violent; it was won with fists.

About Genoa : a fair amount of the "violent protestors" were provocateur agents, i.e. cops making sure the demonstrations would become violent. And NOTHING excuses the sacking of the Genoa Social Forum, the beating of non-violent protestors in the police quarters, and forcing those protestors to praise Mussolini.

[ Parent ]
Fundamental difference (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 04:52:11 AM EST

Just as the protesters should have the right to assemble, so should those groups that they are protesting against.

These are not fully comparable situations. If you are acting in your role as a citizen in a "democratic" country, you have the right to freedom of assembly. But in your role as a "representative of the government", performing an official function, you simply don't. You are tied to a mandate; you are supposed to represent the interests of your constituency, and your actions and words in your official role are subordinated to this.

One of the protesters' key arguments is that the meetings involve the people's representatives overstepping their mandate, and acting against the interests of their constituencies.

Whether the protesters are right in this or not is, of course, a live controversy. But claiming that the representatives of the people are covered by the right to free assembly in this particular function is plain wrong.

--em
[ Parent ]

Manufacturing consent ... (3.00 / 2) (#55)
by pyramid termite on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 08:50:09 PM EST

... by setting up a Potomkin village where there is no dissent. 1984 is alive and well.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
What if the US did this? (none / 0) (#56)
by bleach on Fri Feb 01, 2002 at 11:15:35 PM EST

If this happened in the United States, kuro5shin would be up and arms about the horrible things those American's do.

Thank god our bill of rights guarentees that we have the right of assembly. *whew*


#define CODE "\270\105\000\000\303";
int (*foo)();main(){foo=CODE;printf("I like to %d\n",foo());}
current situation in germany (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by IceDog on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 09:42:20 AM EST

It is not like we dont have the right of assembly, but there wasnt any time left to go to the highest court of germany so that we have the right to make a succesful demonstration against it. Not the whole government of germany agreed about not allowing people to demonstrate. Im sure many of the states that take part in the conference asked the german political leaders to do so, because they knew what happened in Genua. There were actually demonstrations going on last night (peaceful) till the police took the demonstrants to the police department. The protestors have reached their aim, the story is on CNN, here at kuro5hin and everywhere else, so media attention is there. Dont think germans are sissies and just do what the government tell them to do. And think about it, maybe you have the right of assembly, but for how long ? Not really sure and maybe this is not the right place, but with the recent laws in the USA, your rights are pretty damaged, arent they ? At least no cops can bust my house at 4 am in the morning with 20 officers and a SWAT team, just to get a computer and ask me about the webpage i did.

[ Parent ]
In the U.S., historically: (none / 0) (#77)
by cp on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 06:12:26 PM EST

Unconstitutional laws/injunctions could always be challenged after the fact. This reflected the general principle that the Bill of Rights is binding on all branches of the government, the ordinary necessity of ripeness, and the reality that there often isn't time to vindicate rights otherwise.

Of course, Walker v. Birmingham (1967) changed all that. Assholes.

[ Parent ]

Yes! (1.00 / 1) (#64)
by Lenny on Sat Feb 02, 2002 at 12:01:48 PM EST

It's nice to see that the US is not the only evil empire in the world. I really hope to see several hundred comments from all the people that post hateful messages about how the US gov't opreses its people and stifles their rights. But somehow...I dont think that is going to happen...wonder why?


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
That's Munich alright (1.00 / 1) (#78)
by scruffyMark on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 02:08:29 AM EST

That's the Munich I remember - conservative, reactionary, and valuing order more than rights.

Bavaria is apparently the only state in Germany where the laws against 'fishing expeditions' don't apply - there is no requirement of probable cause for police searches, etc. there. This was explained to me by some plainclothes cops who were searching through my pockets, backpack, etc. I had apparently committed the highly suspicious act of being between the ages of 15-30, and walking from a Shell service station back to the campground I was staying at... After that incident I just didn't feel safe around cops until I left the city.

[ Parent ]

All demonstrations banned in Munich | 87 comments (80 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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