Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Aww Stick a Pin in Him!

There was an item on the news tonight as a repercussion of police vs protester scuffles during last weekend's APEC conference. Apparently, some Police Officers had removed their identification badges. These are traditionally laminated badges providing their name rank and local command adhered to their gear with a pin. Much like the badges you receive at posh conferences, the ones you like to keep because they're substantial, not just a piece of paper wedged into a cheap plastic safetypin clasped holder. The intimation by protesters was that they couldn't identify their abusers. (All in all the protests were peaceful, off the main path and just a storm in a teacup). However a couple of the hire a hippy bunch were thrown roughly to the gwound centuwian . . . and nobody called to welease Wodger.

It's not often I take the side of the police although my experiences with them have been fair and pleasant. I am not a lawbreaker and I don't go out of my way to antagonise. However, the police defense was that the pins in the back of these badges could be used as a weapon. (If you managed to grab one between the AK-14 pointing at you and the pepper spray).

These complaints reminded me of a story my father used to tell me about his Uncle Billy. This man was a stocky textile factory worker. Lived in Great Harwood which no longer exists since the boundaries of Greater Manchester were re-drawn in the 70's. He was about 5' 7" chunky, wore a navvies pea jacket, a flat cap and leather clogs and undoubtedly rode a bicycle to work. The only photograph I have of him is with my diminutive 7 year old father, looking for all the world like my NaughtyNeph at the same age and two enormous black labradors which I suspect were actually Newfoundlands. Uncle Billy was unremarkable except for two details which have stuck with me all these years. He died in the second world war in some battle in France and I now have his medals of honour and he once pricked a Police horse with a pin and started a riot during a union protest.

As a horse owner, I abhor the act. As an act of protest, what a great way to put the wind up a 16 hand hunter, just stick a pin in it's flanks and watch the poor rider flummux (now there's a word you don't hear very often) about what to do with his protesting horse whilst surrounded by flat capped Mancunions on the rampage.

So, after an internal enquiry, the protesters are threatening to release photos of those police who did not wear their ID and the offending police have been cleared and cloth badges ordered to be adhered to their riot gear so that protesters know who's beating the shit out of them.

What I want to know is what sort of name badge will the rent a crowd be wearing so that they can be identified as the horse pricking, antagonistic, flag weilding, shit heads they are . . .apart from one rally involving school children . . the APEC protest was all the usual suspects, the same idiots showing up, they're known to police. The career protesters who put themselves in harm's way for their 15 minutes of fame. I've been banging on about doing something re human rights but for crying out loud. . . putting yourself up as a professional protester and being caught on the evening news with your hands behind your back and four policemen on top of you isn't the way to do it. Unfortunately, the news camera also captured a picture, albeit in the background, of a very, very young officer bleeding from the head. He should have used his badge and stuck a pin in the buttocks of the dreadlocked loser on the ground. No handcuffs required.

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