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Madrid's HiTech Shanty Town

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the hey-buddy-can-you-spare-some-watts? dept.

214

Alien54 writes: "As reported in CNN, a hi-tech shanty town has arisen in Madrid, Spain, complete with pirated utilities and computer access. Known locally as El Campamento de Esperanza (The Camp of Hope), it is now a village of about 1,200 inhabitants, with libraries, bars, hot showers and cafeterias serving daily meals. They are skilled engineers and technicians, formerly employed by Sintel Telecommunications, a Spanish telecom company that filed for bankruptcy protection in 2000. With a mixture of ingenuity and tenacity, the workers have transformed their claim to $10 million in unpaid wages and refusal to accept forced resignations into a national issue, by squatting on the property where they used to work." Such a thing could never exist in the U.S. for longer than it took to load up the tear gas grenade launchers.

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Re:fubar (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#181908)

fubar says: One can sympathize with the protesters, but they have to understand, that's business, and over here in the US it does happen regularly (people getting laid off without pay) I'm spanish and work near them. They have worked for about six months without been paid. They want to be paid for their work

Re:You're damn wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#181909)

> Cops are often small, small human beings.
> The type that got made fun of in junior high
> and could never get dates. Give them guns and
> clubs, and you get the crimes that I listed.

For someone supposedly trying to point at abuses of prejudice from the police you dish out a very aweful injustice yourself. Do you truely think those you describe could ever grow up wanting to hurt innocent people? Then you have very little grasp of reality. Those in the circumstances you describe often grow up to be very humble and honourable people with a real desire to uncover the exact same issues you are describing.

What you have said here started off well but you have proved that even wise words can come from an idiot. Think about what you're saying, some of those picked on, were picked on for standing up against the crowd, for being themselves when pressure to conform was highest, for not allowing the other picked on kids to go it alone. For helping the weakest amongst them. Being Heroes if you like. Yes, we hated them at school but look back again, they are the least of our wories in society now. In fact, you are probably still one of their nighmares.

If I were to try such amatuer psychology I'd guess that the brutal police you describe are made up of those often on the giving end in junior high.

I think you'll find its a whole mixture of things that leads to that behaviour and the last thing that causes it, is what happened when someone was 14.

History of what happened (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#181910)

http://www.granma.cu/ingles/ener5/6mafia-i.html

Spanish opinion (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#181911)

Well... this one company was government owned till they sold it out to a guy who took the money and ran. so nowe the workers have some complaints about the government's actions. And the reason why they protest andf don't seek a new job is bacause they are owed 6 months wages and they have rights. They have legal rights protecting them from being fired just like that (unlike the US) and that's the demand. I live just across the street where they are camping and I happen to know the story well. My last comment goes to those who try to take a story like this and use it to speak about other societies and show comtempt: You deserve no answer and no attention, loser.

You must see it... (A Spaniard Impression...) (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#181912)

They are living there since January 29... And that camp is huge! And is the first impression you get when you arrive to Madrid. But things are really hard there, with 34 people died since January, and 7 suicides... :( And one cool message: They have a huge sign at the entrance of the campground saying "Sorry for any inconvenience... We are currently improving the Society!"

There's more to it (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#181913)

Sintel was a profitable comp. with big contracts with Telefonica, the ex-monopolistic Spanish telco. The Spanish right wing government sold it very cheap to Mas Canosa, yeah... the miami cuban mafioso, who proceeded to dismantle everything for as much he could get and forgot about the company. So what the workers are asking the geovernment why the fuck did they sold the company to that scumbag....

Re:You're damn right (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#181914)

Are these the same "peaceful protestors" who threw molotov cocktails and golf balls at police, smashed hundreds of shop windows, and basically rioted for a few days?

Re:Correction: (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#181916)

Watch the first part of the tape, before that part. Rodney King was very violently resisting arrest, striking the police officers several times in the process.

Re:Someone mod that AC up! Re:Spanish opinion (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#181917)

I'm not so sure about that. If I am paying you to do a job for me, and I decide that for some reason I no longer wish to pay you to do that job for me, why should I be forced to continue paying you for a job I no care for you to do?

Re:sigh, here we ago again (3)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#181920)

Uhh, you can't protest illegally in the US without being a criminal, as should be pretty self-evident. You can of course still protest legally all you want. Occupying someone else's building is not a legal form of protest, so of course they'd be driven off if this were to happen the US. I'd be pissed if a bunch of "protestors" were camping on my front lawn too.

Re:You're damn wrong (3)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#181921)

Uh, that he did it? Regardless of whether or not he went to jail, he did it, and cops all over America are commiting other crimes as well. I think what got that guy was the media. If it hadn't been reported nation wide, his own police unit probably could have covered it up enough.

So by your logic, since cops are evil since a few cops commit crimes, black people are very evil, because many black people commit crimes. Yay for collective labelling.

Re:You're damn right (4)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#181922)

And many people also don't know that the cops were firing tear gas in response to Molotov cocktails and golf balls being thrown at them. The protestors only stopped throwing them when they RAN OUT of molotov cocktails and golf balls.

Hell, even the ironically named "Indymedia" admitted this [indymedia.org] .

Re:Couldn't exist in the US... (2)

stripes (3681) | more than 13 years ago | (#181927)

The US has more people in prison, by percentage, then Stalin did in the former USSR.

The US drug war is pretty damn bad, however Stalin killed a whole whole whole lot more people then we have arrested (so far), let alone killed. Directly at least. If drugs were legal a lot of current drug related and organized crime death would probably be significantly reduced.

Re:I wonder where these beggars get money (2)

stripes (3681) | more than 13 years ago | (#181928)

but if you'll read the blinking article, you'll see that the sqatters aren't "demand[ing] guaranteed jobs from government," they're asking the government to force their former employer to hand over the back pay it owes them, and to punish that US-based employer

I don't know that they want guaranteed jobs, but they want the old ones back:

the workers have transformed their claim to $10 million in unpaid wages and refusal to accept forced resignations into a national issue.

Emphasis added, otherwise a direct quote from the CNN article. I totally agree that they should receive pay for any period they worked, I don't know enough to say anything about getting their job back.

Re:sigh, here we ago again (4)

LynXmaN (4317) | more than 13 years ago | (#181931)

OK, nice points from a foreign country, now let me explain this to you.
I live in Spain ans I work on a internet tech company.
1- Living here in Spain is as expensive as living in usual places in the US, but far more cheap than living in NY or in SF.
2- Most of the companies here doesn't permit siesta, that's a wonderful image created in foreign countries by people of the south of Spain, in big cities (like Madrid or Barcelona) people get 1 hour to eat, 2 hours as maximum (depending on the company policy) and in this time you cannot do siesta
3- This tech people have gone to unemployment and they have offers to go to another companies, but they are in their right to protest because the company that went to bankrupcy is owned by a country company (Telefonica), and they don't want to pay the pendent wages, that's quite miserable from the government and Telefonica (considering that telefonica is miserable per se).
4- Get off your image of Spain, come here and try to do some work, you'll get amused.
That are my 0.02 Euros =P

Re:You're damn wrong (1)

Uruk (4907) | more than 13 years ago | (#181933)

While the AC is clearly either naive or a troll (his "If he hadn't run, he wouldn't have gotten shot" logic is hilarious), ad hominem attacks aren't much better. I thought far more of your post before I got to the end.

Taking a guess that the poster is probably white isn't an ad-hominem attack, unless it's recently become somehow bad to be white in America that I didn't know about.

Thinking of the readership of slashdot, with the SES factors of income it takes to be interested in technology, have internet access, and percentages on the internet, I think it's fairly safe to guess (although I have no way of knowing that I'm right/wrong) that the poster was white. The reason I was pointing that out is that its very common for whites in the suburbs who have never seen inner city cops to act as apologists for cops because they never see the things people are so angry about when it comes to the cops.

That's what I was trying to sum up when I said that. And I don't think it's an ad hominem attack. If I tell you "you are a white man", do you think that it's an insult or an attack on your character?

Re:You're damn wrong (1)

Uruk (4907) | more than 13 years ago | (#181934)

For someone supposedly trying to point at abuses of prejudice from the police you dish out a very aweful injustice yourself.

Tell me, do you think they're equivalent? I may be unfairly representing cops, that's just my admittedly heated opinion about them from the kids in my highschool that I've seen go on to become cops.

Do you truely think those you describe could ever grow up wanting to hurt innocent people? Then you have very little grasp of reality. Those in the circumstances you describe often grow up to be very humble and honourable people with a real desire to uncover the exact same issues you are describing.

Certainly there are good people who were like that earlier in life. What I'm trying to say though is that the occupation of police officer may attract good people who want to make the world a better place, but it probably also attracts people who want to have authority and power over others. Cops make split second decisions on whether people live or die, and we both know that there are people out there that this really appeals to. Those are just the people that shouldn't be cops. IMHO, those are the types of people that end up committing these crimes against the people they patrol.

What you have said here started off well but you have proved that even wise words can come from an idiot. Think about what you're saying, some of those picked on, were picked on for standing up against the crowd, for being themselves when pressure to conform was highest, for not allowing the other picked on kids to go it alone. For helping the weakest amongst them. Being Heroes if you like. Yes, we hated them at school but look back again, they are the least of our wories in society now. In fact, you are probably still one of their nighmares.

Why is it that of the entire post you pick out this one small portion of my personal opinion to attack? Did it hit a raw nerve of some sort? I was like this on highschool too, but I didn't end up becoming a cop. I wasn't one of the people who picked on those kids, so I doubt I'm still in their nightmares, but I'm not sure why you feel the need to attack me as an "idiot" for expressing personal opinion.

You're damn right (2)

Uruk (4907) | more than 13 years ago | (#181935)

Such a thing could never exist in the U.S. for longer than it took to load up the tear gas grenade launchers.

Yeah...not many people know that the Quebec protesters stopped getting tear gassed only when the cops RAN OUT of tear gas.

The cops in the US (and surrounding US events, like the meeting in quebec) certainly aren't as shy as the cops in other parts of the world. I mean, they do shoot unarmed black men who are running away. They do sodomize suspects in bathrooms with broken broom handles. They do shoot guys something like 40 times for pulling wallets in a dark alley. And they do beat the bejeezus out of motorists who aren't offering any resistance.

Re:You're damn right (5)

Uruk (4907) | more than 13 years ago | (#181937)

Blaming the US for the Quebec police is stretching things.

Ever hear about the Quebec or Candian police doing anything like that when the US isn't involved? The meeting may have taken place in Quebec, but it was about North American free trade. The main proponent of which is the US, who also tends to deal with its citizens like that when they protest.

Of course you always have a few bad incidents, and with a watchdog media that needs to fill the insatiable news demand of america, any incident gets blown out of proportion.

Exactly how do you blow out of proportion a dude getting sodomized with a broken broom handle while in custody? Nobody needs to sensationalize that, that's just plain torture. Also, while you talk about the crimes cops commit in a very blase way as "a few bad incidents" I have to wonder how many times this sort of thing happens and it's never reported. You probably prefer the american cops to other countries because here in america they don't use nazi tactics, keep people's rights away from them and torture them. Oh but wait...they do.

Re:You're damn wrong (5)

Uruk (4907) | more than 13 years ago | (#181938)

1) unarmed black (or white) men shouldn't run away, at night when an arrest warrant is being served. If he hadn't run, he wouldn't have gotten shot.

Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see the logic that running away from a cop deserves the death penalty. It's all so clear now.

2) The guy who sodomized the poor guy with a broken broom handle is now serving a lengthy stretch in a state prison, so what is your point?

Uh, that he did it? Regardless of whether or not he went to jail, he did it, and cops all over America are commiting other crimes as well. I think what got that guy was the media. If it hadn't been reported nation wide, his own police unit probably could have covered it up enough. That's another thing that makes me sick about cops. Their loyalty to one another forces them to lie for one another even when they know that one of their members is in the wrong.

Cops are people, and people break laws, what is important is that they are punished when they do.

But only when they get caught, which isn't very often. And even when they do get caught, it's a citizens word against a cop's. Who is the judge listening to?

4) Last I heard, the guys that beat down Rodney King are doing a stretch in a federal prison.

Whether or not cops are in prison has nothing to do with what I'm talking about, which is that they are often extremely brutal motherfuckers that are often willing to do some pretty nasty things to people. Cops are often small, small human beings. The type that got made fun of in junior high and could never get dates. Give them guns and clubs, and you get the crimes that I listed. Just because somebody went to jail for them doesn't mean they're any less horrible or any less likely to occur in the future.

But then again, you're probably a middle class whiteboy who doesn't have to worry about these types of things, since you're never a target. What do you care?

Life imitates life imitating art imitating life. (3)

alumshubby (5517) | more than 13 years ago | (#181941)

Now I know why I like Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, and William Gibson so much: This story reminds me so strongly of various plots and settings from their works. Highly cooperative high-tech squatter camps? Now if they just moved to the Golden Gate Bridge, or just outside of a high-tech research facility in Lousiana, or a bunch of floating junks orbiting a privately-owned surplus aircraft carrier, I'd really come down with acute deja vu.Cyberpunk is fun to visit, but sometimes I'm not too sure I'll want to live there.

Re:sigh, here we ago again (5)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#181945)

Siesta isn't lazy hours, it's sanity. Your body's natural rhythm is to slow down at around 2PM.

And just *imagine* how much nicer your life would be if you could knock off for a little nap in the midafternoon. Hell, give it a try for a month -- I'll bet you'd *never* want to go back.

One of the problems with the American headspace is that "live to work" is the meme, instead of "work to live."


--

Corrupt government == "that's business" ? (2)

XNormal (8617) | more than 13 years ago | (#181946)

Since the whole thing resulted from government intervention it kinda makes sense to demand government intervention is setting it right.

Having no government intervention at all would be even better, but it's a long way from A to B.

-

Re:You're damn wrong (1)

TWR (16835) | more than 13 years ago | (#181947)

And you miss the point. Anyone who thinks the US sucks is free to leave. The moron poster he is replying to clearly thinks that cops in the US are animals on the warpath, while cops overseas are sweet and kind. I bet he has no experience with cops in most parts of the world. Maybe he should take a trip and see what they're like.

As for what he is doing to stop police brutality in America, he is posting to Slashdot. Gee, how effective. When I see him doing something besides posting absurd deductions from specific cases to generalizations (one of the most common logic flaws, but an annoying one in a place frequented by logicians), I'll take him seriously.

But for all of his passion about police brutality on Slashdot, his home page is dedicated to GNU projects and world overpopulation. Funny, that. If he thinks the world is overpopulated, he should find the nearest cliff and jump off of it. Or maybe he should attack one of those evil American cops, since apparently they're just mad killers.

-jon

Re:You're damn right (2)

TWR (16835) | more than 13 years ago | (#181948)

Exactly how do you blow out of proportion a dude getting sodomized with a broken broom handle while in custody?

By generalizing from one to many. You know, the police officers who did that were men! All men just can't wait to sodomize other men with broom handles! Or so your logic goes.

-jon

Re:fubar (2)

TWR (16835) | more than 13 years ago | (#181949)

Um, working without getting paid is being a slave. Spain does have welfare for the unemployed, no? Better to be unemployed on welfare than a slave.

If my company didn't pay me for two pay periods, I'd leave and not come back. Even if I couldn't find a tech job, I'd leave. Flipping burgers in McDonalds pays better than nothing. Staying around for SIX FREAKING MONTHS hoping to get paid is insane.

-jon

Re:Couldn't exist in the US... (2)

TWR (16835) | more than 13 years ago | (#181950)

First of all, what does locking people up for using drugs have to do with anarchy? Isn't that the opposite of anarchy?

Secondly, by "cults" you are probably referring to Churches. Can you provide a citation for your quote? Can you show support for this citation's opinion from some 20's ministers organization?

-jon

Re:You're damn right (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 13 years ago | (#181953)

Hmm, you just mentioned the word: PROPORTION.
That's just what's missing in the US system: proportion.
How in the hell (!) can a cop or any one else use death as a proportional reaction to some infringement of property....

This is the bad variety of capitalism!

Re:Correction: (1)

Amanset (18568) | more than 13 years ago | (#181954)

Umm .....

The footage I saw showed a man lying down hardly moving, except for the occasional attempts to stand up. During all of this a beating was raining down on him. When you are having the sh*t kicked out of you, self-preservation kicks in. It is human instinct. Any attempt to "resist" arrest by that point was as a direct result of the "arresting" methods.

There has to be a cut-off point. Rodney King may have resisted arrest, but by the time the police had finished with him he was long past the point where he was resisting to a point that they could not cuff him. The fact is they overdid it, badly. IMHO (and somehow I think the opinion of the law as well) if they are resisting then the police can use forceful tactics UNTIL they can arrest him, not play with him like a cat plays with a mouse until they get bored.

Hmmmm..... (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 13 years ago | (#181955)

complete with pirated utilities and computer access.

I wonder how the people whose utilities and bandwidth are getting stolen feel about this.

Such a thing could never exist in the U.S. for longer than it took to load up the tear gas grenade launchers.

It is truly amazing how people are ignorant of history. Mass non-violent action is quite common in US History going back hundreds of years.

Re:sigh, here we ago again (1)

Pugget (21006) | more than 13 years ago | (#181957)

> You can of course still protest legally all you want.

This is, of course, bunk. Read up on the DC protests earlier this year. Take a look at all the restrictions to protesting on public grounds and then *you* tell me if people are still trurly free to protest in America's capital.

Re:Couldn't exist in the US... (1)

Nex (23489) | more than 13 years ago | (#181958)

Happens here every day. They're called startups. Nex

Max (4)

British (51765) | more than 13 years ago | (#181967)

This sounds like something out of Max Headroom, where even homeless people had TVs lying around.

Tear gas? (2)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 13 years ago | (#181968)

They're engineers! They probably have invented better gas guns than the budget-cut cops. ;-)

ERTW
------

fubar (4)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#181972)


"The days are very long and you have to keep yourself busy," said Jose Maria Casado, who used to install cellular antennas.


One can sympathize with the protesters, but they have to understand, that's business, and over here in the US it does happen regularly (people getting laid off without pay) and shamelessly by many in the technology industry [see FuckedCompany [fuckedcompany.com] ] however most people here simply move on to other jobs.

Are things that bad in Spain where they have to protest in such fashion because there are no jobs or something? Personally I would get another job and move on with life. Perhaps after I got another job I would use my own money to take them to court in an appropriate fashion as opposed to sitting around waiting for someone to listen.

Yes I know protesting for a cause is semi politically correct, but being without work isn't going to pay my bills, and I'll be damned if I forcefully made myself live in a camp town when I could do as I said, make money then take them to court. They're lucky Spain doesn't have FEMA [fema.gov] over there or that shit'd be over quickly

sigh, here we ago again (1)

selectspec (74651) | more than 13 years ago | (#181973)

Such a thing could never exist in the U.S. for longer than it took to load up the tear gas grenade launchers.

Such a thing wouldn't happen in the US because our unemployment rate is 4.5% while Spain's floats around 11%. Such a thing wouldn't happen in the US because those skilled workers would have been paid more while they were employed, and would have been hired the week after they were fired. Such a thing wouldn't have happened in the US, because the cost of living in the US is about 4/5ths the cost of living in Spain and tech costs about 1/2 the cost in Spain. I love Spain. It's a beautiful country. I wouldn't want to work or run a business there. The Spanish work lazy hours (Ciesta), regulation and red-tape abound, and it is impossible to get anything done. Great place to visit though. Friendly warm people.

Re:sigh, here we ago again (3)

selectspec (74651) | more than 13 years ago | (#181974)

Actually it has everything to do with what he was saying, because he's missing the point entirely. This Madrid shanty town has nothing to do with protest rights and has everything to do with fundemental flaws in the Spanish Economy, which despite its hurculean efforts towards reform still has some problems. His jest at the US is completely ludicrous, and it is symbolic of the liberal rant that dominates this site.

Re:Life imitates life imitating art imitating life (1)

nebular (76369) | more than 13 years ago | (#181975)

Actually the Golden Gate Bridge and the various other squatter villages that were described in Gibson's novels were the most facinating to me and were the aspects of the novels that I most wanted in real life.

However yes this High tech squatter village is quite impossible here in North America, mainly because they're all within easy access of the police. Gibson got around this problem by using the Golden Gate bridge. Basically the people just climbed to the very top of the towers and waited until the police left them alone.

Re:Life imitates life imitating art imitating life (1)

nebular (76369) | more than 13 years ago | (#181976)

I believe the term cyberpunk at it's simplest is a combination of the idea of cyberspace created by william Gibson, and the anarchistic lifestyle hardcore punks lived, but applied across society.

Basically I think cyberpunk is a society that has become technologically advanced to a point in which the world has become a true global village and thus the governments can no longer truly control anything and power has turned over to large corperations. basically because of the intrustion of the networked computer into everyone's lives the world has gone into a state of anarchy.

Cyber = networked computer punk = anarchy

Re:You're damn right (1)

Yodalf (83088) | more than 13 years ago | (#181977)


Yeah...not many people know that the Quebec protesters stopped getting tear gassed only when the cops RAN OUT of tear gas.


huh? Quebec city is my native city. I was there during the tear gas fest and, believe me, police never ran out of teargas. Truckloads of the stuff was swiftly sent from the USA as quickly as needed to replenish supplies.

What people might not know about, is the fact that many people have been shot at with anti-riot guns. Some of them in the face (one guy had a serious throat injury). Also, the tear-gas grenades were, many times, used as projectiles, and shot directly at people (with the grenade launchers). This is a big no-no and should never have happened. But it did.

Also, don't forget that the tear gas attacks were performed into a very residential area. The result: one woman, alone with her child in her appartment, got a rubber bullet break one of her windows, and tear gas freely flowing into her appartment.

_That_ is what most people might not know about.

Here are a few pictures i took:

http://real.ath.cx/Sommet2001/best.html

Re:Morals and Freedom (2)

jidar (83795) | more than 13 years ago | (#181979)

Unfortunate, but true. Well, more power to the world. It will be nice if there ever comes a time when no significant distinction can be made between one country's freedoms and the next country's freedoms.

Re:sigh, here we ago again (3)

jidar (83795) | more than 13 years ago | (#181980)

All of which doesn't have a god damned thing to do with what he was saying. Since your reading comprehension appears to be straight out of... well, a US public school, let me help you. His statement was in reference to the fact that you can't protest in the US anymore without becoming a criminal.

Another success story (1)

letchhausen (95030) | more than 13 years ago | (#181981)

from the front lines of deregulation.....

Reminds me of SoMa in San Francisco (1)

acacia (101223) | more than 13 years ago | (#181990)

>"Such a thing could never exist in the U.S. for longer than it took to load up the tear gas grenade launchers."

I don't know. Have you been to SoMa (South of Market) in San Francisco lately? :-)

You know that you really suck when.... (5)

Bill Daras (102772) | more than 13 years ago | (#181991)

.....you realize a bunch of squatters living under blue tarps in a self-created techno-ghetto probably have faster Internet access than you

Re:You're damn wrong (1)

jcsmith (124970) | more than 13 years ago | (#181996)

What about all the good police officers you don't hear about? Saying all cops are bad based on the quebec riots or any other single incident is just as stupid as saying that all the protestors in Quebec were violent protestors that were destroying private property.

Re:Couldn't exist in the US... (4)

small_dick (127697) | more than 13 years ago | (#182001)

Anarchy?

The US has a drug war.

The US has more people in prison, by percentage, then Stalin did in the former USSR.

The prohibition laws against drugs and alcohol were proposed by the USAs cult leaders, who complained that "one could not properly serve the lord while under the influences of these substances"

America's prison industry is the fastest growing segment of the economy.

Treatment, not tyranny.
Free America's POWs. End the drug war.

For more information, see:
http://www.lycaeum.org/drugwar/buckley1.html



Treatment, not tyranny. End the drug war and free our American POWs.

Re:You're damn wrong (1)

Ibby (130127) | more than 13 years ago | (#182002)

You know, I read your post, and it is viable, and I agree with most of it to a point. But then I look at your .sig, and get very very confused...

National issue? (3)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 13 years ago | (#182009)

Here it would not be a national issue.

Here in the USA, many people seem take the attitude, "Get over it and work for a living or If you any good, you'd get another job.

How many times have you walked by a building with two people picketing and not paid attention to why they were picketing? It seems as though many people don't care about an issue until it effects them.

Re:You're damn right (2)

dmccarty (152630) | more than 13 years ago | (#182014)

Having grown up all over the world, I can say without a doubt that the US police forces are some of the best and most professional on the planet. In all the cases you've outlined, the stories made major news headlines because major news networks are located here. If other countries had half the journalists and handycam-toting citizens that we do then you'd see a lot more horrific stories and images done by other police forces around the world.
--

Re:sigh, here we ago again (1)

de Selby (167520) | more than 13 years ago | (#182015)

This is genuine curiousity, here. I've heard that spain allows it's police more power than here in the US.

Since you seem to have at least visited Spain, can you tell me if the police have regulations on the max time a person can be held; do they have to inform the suspect of his crime, rights, etc.; and, in general, what's your take on them.

Re:fubar (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#182023)

Thats great, get out your resume in an economy with 12% unemployment and just wait for the calls to come back to you..

You are pretty clearly used to working in an employees market - I hope you never get to see what life is like in a employers market.

Hi tech indeed... (2)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 13 years ago | (#182037)

Quote from the article:
He placed his hand on a shopping cart filled with softball-sized rocks and said: "If they come to evict us we'll be ready."

They must be big George Lucas fans, if they're adopting Ewok technology to fight the evil empire...

Re:You're damn right (5)

imuffin (196159) | more than 13 years ago | (#182041)

I haven't grown up all over the world, but I have visited all over the US, and I've had cops point guns at me and treat me generally like shit more times that I can count. Once, when working a trade show in San Jose, I had to get a cheap hotel room on the "bad side of town" because all the rooms in the city were full. The next morning the cops busted in with six guns pointed at me, drug me out of the room in my underwear and then searhed my room immediately after I denied them permission. Why? Because I rented a car the day before that had been reported stolen a year in the past. The cops were rude and very rough, and after I showed them proof that I had just rented the vehicle, didn't even apoligize. I've had several similar run ins with the law in Europe (The Netherlands, Spain) and I can say that each time the cops were much more polite. The best thing: when I reach into my pocket or bag for a passport or something, they don't freak out and point their guns at me!

Re:Madrid isn't a 'he' - offtopic (1)

jos3000 (202805) | more than 13 years ago | (#182042)

I know someone called Milan. He doesn't have cyber-rebels though.

Re:sigh, here we ago again (1)

NortonDC (211601) | more than 13 years ago | (#182043)

Really? So why is it that Spain has the highest incidence of psychiatric disorders in Europe?

Re:sigh, here we ago again (1)

mother_superius (227373) | more than 13 years ago | (#182048)

ok... lazy hours? They should be forced to work during those hours, because it's your right as an American citizen to buy from them and have them produce during those hours? Our do they have a right to be lazy? [marxists.org]

Re:fubar (1)

mother_superius (227373) | more than 13 years ago | (#182049)

ok... fine. Let's say you're one of them. You always CAN go get a job then and leave them behind. Now about them. It's their perrogative to not work. They don't owe you anything. You can't make them work. Should they be forced to work , because it's your right as an American citizen to buy from them and have them produce? Or do they have a right to be lazy? [marxists.org]

Re:Life imitates life imitating art imitating life (1)

mother_superius (227373) | more than 13 years ago | (#182050)

Could you tell me what a cyberpunk is? That really doesn't have anything to do with punk as I know it. I always thought cyberpunk was a punk, but he's got a computer or something. And this was not sarcastic, even though it probably sounds like it.

Re:Life imitates life imitating art imitating life (1)

mother_superius (227373) | more than 13 years ago | (#182051)

hmm. I guess that makes a little sense, but with corporations ruling, it wouldn't be anarchy. Anarchy is a lack of rulers.

Also, punk is much more than just anarchy. Just being an anarchist doesn't make you punk. The labor strikers in the 30s who were anarchists were not punks. It's also not utopianism. Perhaps cyperhippy, although it doesn't have the same sound to it, would be more appropriate.

But thanks for explaining it.

This could never happen in the U.S. (1)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 13 years ago | (#182053)

Well, if they expected teargas, which if I'm not mistaken is fired in metallic magnetically reactive canisters, I would think that they could potentially set up a perimeter with electomagnets that would probably do a fairly effective job, if they have the materials needed to attract the fast moving canister. Granted they'd have to put quite a distance between the electronics and the magnets, or shield the hell out of them, but they could really really annoy the hell out of beseiging force's abilities to use non-deadly measures.

<sarcasm> Of course, here they'll just send lawyers at them, since as we know, lawyers must have some super power that causes us to need them in the quantities that we have... </sarcasm>

I still think that if one ever is going to build a compound that one thinks would be beseiged by a government agency, the first rule should be to have a larger audio system, so you can pump Bauhaus' Bela Lugosi is Dead at them at all hours of the night and day... *grin*


"Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."

Madrid isn't a 'he' (1)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 13 years ago | (#182054)

Madrid is a city in Spain. If you are over the age of thirteen and you don't know that, I really have to start to question the education system that you came through, for most students study Eurpoean history in high school, and learn about Spain and its cities at SOME point...

"Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."

Re:You're damn right (2)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 13 years ago | (#182055)

On the same token though, I have had trouble with being pulled over in a bad part of town supposedly for squealing tires, which was a class one misdemeanor, when the cops really should be looking through bad areas (alley ways, etc) to get the real creeps. The officer that cited me didn't even note that I had a witness, my passenger, but he noted that he had a witness, another officer. The fuckhead (and I only use the term because it truly does fit) didn't even have his facts straight, and I had to go into court and explain all of this to the prosecutor, who felt that the officer was wasting his time by making him prosecute something that had LOTS of holes in it.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the police, I might get pissed at some specific officers, but that is an officer by officer assessment. We see in the news places like Cincinatti, where the police DO seem to have a problem, and probably need to be severely cleaned up, but many places do have decent forces. I just wish that the departments would hold the officers more accountable for what the do, and if they constantly issue citations that are struck down in court, the officer needs to come under scrutiny.

Just my two cents...

"Titanic was 3hr and 17min long. They could have lost 3hr and 17min from that."

Re:I wonder where these beggars get money (1)

Morphy3 (227773) | more than 13 years ago | (#182056)

> Anyway, it looks so socialist to demand guaranteed jobs from government...

No no no... the term "socialism" is soooo passe. Now we refer to it as The Green Party Platform [greenparty.org]

and yes... jobs are guaranteed. A decent economy and industrial base, however, are not.

What, no social sophistication? (1)

Futurepower(tm) (228467) | more than 13 years ago | (#182057)


"Such a thing could never exist in the U.S. for longer than it took to load up the tear gas grenade launchers."

He seems to be saying that the U.S. government prefers violent rather than socially sophisticated solutions.

Re:You're damn right (1)

danielobvt (230251) | more than 13 years ago | (#182058)

Uh... okay. Blaming the US for the Quebec police is stretching things. I will still take the US police forces over the ones in 95-99% of the other countries in the world. Of course you always have a few bad incidents, and with a watchdog media that needs to fill the insatiable news demand of america, any incident gets blown out of proportion. They do provide security for more than a quarter of a billion people(many of whom should take more interest in their protection, but thats another issue).

Re:fubar (1)

danielobvt (230251) | more than 13 years ago | (#182059)

Stupid people then. Miss one pay period and I would suddenly become very paranoid. Miss 2 and out go the resume and phone calls.

Re:fubar (1)

acceleriter (231439) | more than 13 years ago | (#182060)

Yo, homeslice. These people did work for their money. One of the things they are protesting about is unpaid back wages. Don't go all Ayn Rand on them because they're after money they're owed. Hell, Rand would think it was OK to blow the place up over that.

Re:fubar (1)

acceleriter (231439) | more than 13 years ago | (#182061)

The bombing part was a reference to The_Fountainhead. Sure, continuing working without pay is just as bad a plan as lending to someone in default. I just hope you're never in the position of having that be your only option.

Re:fubar (1)

n xnezn juber (243178) | more than 13 years ago | (#182063)

NEWSFLASH: Ayn Rand blows up telecom plant.

These people were working for how long without pay? If they are putting that much trust ($10 million dollars worth) into their company, that is their first mistake. If they demanded their compensation as soon as they missed their first pay check they wouldn't be in as bad a situation.

The post I was replying to (did you read it) was saying that these people took pride in their work and didn't want to move on which as I said is perfectly fine. As it became obvious that they weren't being paid at the first missing paycheck, then at that point they chose to take pride instead of money.

This is now kind of non related but I should clarify the issue of trust. Suppose you get a paycheck every two weeks for $5000. You are basically giving the company a loan during the time you work and after the two weeks is over, you expect the payment. You trust the company will pay you what they owe. For most lenders, if a borrower defaults on a loan, they don't usually offer the borrower another loan. The first loan is basically their acceptable risk. If you loan someone $5000 and they don't pay it back, do you lend them another $5000 and when they default on that another $5000?

If you read the article you would also see that these people are also demanding that the government give them jobs. And just what principle does this fall under?

Re:You know that you really suck when.... (1)

Demerara (256642) | more than 13 years ago | (#182068)

Yeah - better wine, tapas and music too.

Correction: (1)

Whatever Fits (262060) | more than 13 years ago | (#182070)

If you saw the full tape of the Rodney King beating, you might have a different thought on it. They did beat him mercilessly, and they went overboard. The problem is that he deserved a good beating for refusing to stay down when they finally got the guy. No, they shouldn't have whacked the guy so bloody hard, but that is why the cops who did this beating are NOT IN JAIL!! They got off with a reprimand because the judge saw the WHOLE TAPE. Our media didn't allow us to see the whole tape as it was more sensational to just show a couple of cops whacking the back of some poor black man's head. They didn't show him resisting arrest.

Sorry, my rant for the day. I just get so fed up with people's uninformed opinions when the reason they are uninformed is because of an intent to deceive by the media.

Re:You're damn right (1)

Pooua (265915) | more than 13 years ago | (#182071)

Exactly how do you blow out of proportion a dude getting sodomized with a broken broom handle while in custody?

By pluralizing and generalizing a single incident. Urak used the plural form each time he referred to a lone incident or individual. There are many thousands of police officers spread across thousands of miles, but some people have chosen to voice disgust with the US police force in general on the basis of vague, overstated cases.

Re:You're damn right (1)

Pooua (265915) | more than 13 years ago | (#182072)

The cops in the US (and surrounding US events, like the meeting in quebec) certainly aren't as shy as the cops in other parts of the world.

You mean, like in Russia, where the police cracked down on public intoxication by arresting offenders, taking them out to the countryside and beating the daylights out of them? Or, Haiti, where they are likely to rape lone, unarmed women? Or, Mexico, where many police officers operate kidnapping and drug rings? Even a casual survey of world-wide police activities turns up a lot worse things than exist in the US.

I mean, they do shoot unarmed black men who are running away.

Your sentence construction implies that US cops in general have have repeatedly shot fleeing, unarmed Black men. The fact is, only a few officers have shot anyone, and there are even fewer cases in which unarmed, fleeing Black men were shot. Thus, it is inaccurate for you to refer to US police officers in this fashion.

They do sodomize suspects in bathrooms with broken broom handles.

You used the plural form, so I would expect you to be able to name at least two people treated in this manner. I don't think you can do it. So, I have to wonder why you characterized US police in general by a single incident in one corner of a very large country?

They do shoot guys something like 40 times for pulling wallets in a dark alley.

Name two.

And they do beat the bejeezus out of motorists who aren't offering any resistance.

Fleeing in a motor vehicle at 100 mph *IS* offering resistance. Other than that, I should note that I have been a US motorist offering no resistance to police for 20 years, but I have never been beaten by the police, nor have I witnessed any other motorist treated in this fashion, though some certainly would have deserved it.

Re:sigh, here we ago again (1)

Pooua (265915) | more than 13 years ago | (#182073)

All of which doesn't have a god damned thing to do with what he was saying. Since your reading comprehension appears to be straight out of... well, a US public school, let me help you. His statement was in reference to the fact that you can't protest in the US anymore without becoming a criminal.

If that's what he meant, that's what he should have said. That isn't what he said. Though I didn't write the post to which you replied, I came here to write a post identical to it. My big gripe with Michael's big gripe is that he completely overlooked the fact that in the US, there would be serious consequences to an employer who left their workers with $10 million in unpaid wages. It is highly unlikely that US police would use tear gas on people in that situation, because we don't let things reach the point of having a bankrupt company keeping its campus open with such a large backlog of unpaid wages.

Even if Michael *had* posted what you think he meant, I would still take issue with it. There are many protests in this country in which the protesters are not arrested or charged as criminals. What you cannot do is chain yourself across someone else's property and expect to no consequences for your actions. You cannot throw rocks, hit people, make threats, trespass, impede or shut down legitimate businesses and expect to walk away at the end of the day without a criminal charge. That's the way it should be. Otherwise, protesters become just a bunch of terrorists. At that point, the nation starts going into civil war. I think you should carefully consider whether your cause is really worth widespread death, terror and destruction before you start making non-peaceful demonstrations.

Re:sigh, here we ago again (1)

Pooua (265915) | more than 13 years ago | (#182074)

I'm happy you have so more chances to be shot to death than me.

You more than make up for it with the bad drivers on your unsafe highways and with the Basques.

Great country the US.

Yes, it is; it is the greatest country that has ever existed.

Re:Couldn't exist in the US... (1)

Pooua (265915) | more than 13 years ago | (#182075)

The US has more people in prison, by percentage, then Stalin did in the former USSR.

At it's peak, 1 out of 3 Russians served time in the Stalin-era Gulag. That's a bit higher percentage than citizens in the US with prison time.

Re:You're damn right (1)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 13 years ago | (#182076)

Replace Quebec protests with the Seattle protests and you have the same police brutality, plus media coverage that blamed 'those damnable peaceful protesters!'

Re:Someone mod that AC up! Re:Spanish opinion (1)

sysop0130 (267927) | more than 13 years ago | (#182077)

They have legal rights protecting them from being fired just like that (unlike the US) and that's the demand. Yeah, we do have rights against that sort of thing.

Re:fubar (2)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 13 years ago | (#182080)

From the article:
With a mixture of ingenuity and tenacity, the workers have transformed their claim to $10 million in unpaid wages and refusal to accept forced resignations into a national issue.

Getting royally screwed isn't just "business." Besides some people take pride when they help build something and are not simply willing to move on. Sometime standing up for principle is better than making money. Too bad that is something that doesn't count for much in America.

---

Not Insightful, but maybe Interesting (1)

WoefullyFat (324813) | more than 13 years ago | (#182082)

I don't think part of an argument as to whether or not cops are "small small people" who could never get a date in highschool, and the ramifications thereof re:brutality is particularly insightful. It is kinda interesting, in a car wreck kind of way, though.

Someone mod that AC up! Re:Spanish opinion (1)

jonathanjo (415010) | more than 13 years ago | (#182083)

Well... this one company was government owned till they sold it out to a guy who took the money and ran. so nowe the workers have some complaints about the government's actions. And the reason why they protest andf don't seek a new job is bacause they are owed 6 months wages and they have rights. They have legal rights protecting them from being fired just like that (unlike the US) and that's the demand. I live just across the street where they are camping and I happen to know the story well.

(emphasis added)

Thank you, AC, for expressing it more clearly and concisely than I could have. Workers in other countries need protection like that. Employers need to be accountable. Not subject to arbitrary laws that tie their hands, but accountable.

Re:I wonder where these beggars get money (3)

jonathanjo (415010) | more than 13 years ago | (#182084)

Anyway, it looks so socialist to demand guaranteed jobs from government...

Pardon me, Mr. or Ms. Burbilog, but if you'll read the blinking article, you'll see that the sqatters aren't "demand[ing] guaranteed jobs from government," they're asking the government to force their former employer to hand over the back pay it owes them, and to punish that US-based employer for (as they see it) screwing the workers by abandoning the Madrid company.

This is one of the problems with this particular global economy, and with the corporation as an economic unit. The corporate structure separates the owners of a business with the operations of that business, and allows for no accountability for corporate actions. The "globalization" that protesters complain about is simply a further separation of work from money, so they're in separate countries, so them that calls the shots don't even need to think about them that does the work.

We in the US need a similarly robust culture of protest against corporate injustice. It existed in the early 20th century, the era of the muckrakers, the Sherman Antitrust Act, and the labor unions (yes, I know unions have gone way off track, but the impetus to form them was real). What we need is a squat-in like in the article, not a sit-in by rich kids in some president's office at an elite ivy-choked institution, but by laid-off workers at a corporate site. Whoo hoo!

Re:You know that you really suck when.... (1)

yassax (416227) | more than 13 years ago | (#182085)

seriously wouldn't doubt it.. my lan i'm hooked up to is so unreliable i wish i was back using my 56k modem... wait what am i thinking...

Re:You're damn right (1)

yassax (416227) | more than 13 years ago | (#182086)

heh i goto ohio-state university.. i'm used to tear gas and knee knockers:) LETS HEAR IT FOR THE COLUMBUS POLICE DEPARTMENT!!!

New form of strike (1)

andres32a (448314) | more than 13 years ago | (#182094)

Its about time... We are probaly going to see this kind of strike from this point on everywhere. Jobless high techs will just do what they know best, and whats happing in the Castellana is just of an exmaple og that. Wonder if Che guevara would have been a /. reader?

Re:You're damn wrong (1)

limekiller4 (451497) | more than 13 years ago | (#182095)

An AC (aren't they all?) wrote:
"You know, you do have the option of leaving this country if you don't like it."

How about if we stick around and try to correct what we think is wrong? Call me nuts, but running away from a problem instead of facing it is called "cowardly" where I come from. Oh, wait...

My .02,

Re:You're damn wrong (1)

limekiller4 (451497) | more than 13 years ago | (#182096)

Uruk writes:
"Taking a guess that the poster is probably white isn't an ad-hominem attack, unless it's recently become somehow bad to be white in America that I didn't know about."

From Dictionary.com [dictionary.com] :

"ad hominem [dictionary.com] : adj. Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason: Debaters should avoid ad hominem arguments that question their opponents' motives."

It goes on for a bit, you should check it out. The Latin root literally means "to the man". You've actually gone a step further, equating being white/affluent with clueless, but that's not even nessesary to qualify for this award. Bringing up the fact that I'm French is an ad hominem attack since it is an appeal to my motives rather than an address of my argument. It matters not one iota if being French is deplorable or if you even make any conclusion from that point. Bringing up anything at all about your opponent's person is classified as "ad hominem". Really. =)

My .02,

Re:You're damn wrong (3)

limekiller4 (451497) | more than 13 years ago | (#182099)

an AC (aren't they all?) wrote:
"2) The guy who sodomized the poor guy with a broken broom handle is now serving a lengthy stretch in a state prison, so what is your point? "

Uruk replied:
"Uh, that he did it?"

Not to mention that not a single police officer that heard Volpe bragging about the incident reported it. This, to me, is more telling than the act itself. Sodomizing Louima was the act of one coward. Everyone keeping silent points to an entire system which teaches cops that such things are tolerated. I can't condemn an entire force for the actions of one, but I can sure as hell condemn them for not throwing that one to the lions. And yes, you did address this, I just wanted to elaborate a bit.

Uruk added:
"But then again, you're probably a middle class whiteboy who doesn't have to worry about these types of things, since you're never a target. What do you care?"

While the AC is clearly either naive or a troll (his "If he hadn't run, he wouldn't have gotten shot" logic is hilarious), ad hominem attacks aren't much better. I thought far more of your post before I got to the end.

My .02,

Re:You're damn right (1)

PLBogen (452989) | more than 13 years ago | (#182100)

The Seattle protest are funny if you sit down and think about it. All the leftist force mobalized to protest Globalization. But look at leftist doctrine.. Worker of the World Unite? Isn't that Globalization. Hmm.. If globalization is a left wing goal and isolation is a rightist goal. Then the leftist protests were only helping the rightist. Sounds like the hippies got the short end of the stick next time.

Re:You're damn wrong (1)

PLBogen (452989) | more than 13 years ago | (#182101)

You know what I would like to see the percent of Cops that break the law... I have a feeling that number would be the same as the number of citizens that break the law. Wouldn't that be funny. See the thing is Guy sodomizes co-worker and is caught. Zero publicity. Cop sodomizes prisioner. The media goes nuts. We always treat Cops, Politicians, Movie Stars, etc. As if they are better but the truth is they are the same. As more my town. The police force is mostly hispanic (which breaks one sterotype) and for the most part they are pretty nice people. And this is one of the ten largest cities in Amrerica.

Re:Add my vote too (1)

PLBogen (452989) | more than 13 years ago | (#182102)

Read Locke's Treastise on Gov't sometime. We give up freedom for the common good. Your definition of freedom is anarchy. Should I be free to drive drunk? Should I be free to shoot someone? Should I be free to rape someone? No, No, No. True sometimes the government goes to far (damn liberals) and puts laws on private choices. But its also true drinking and smoking age limits were put into place because the majority of Americans wanted them. You have to remember thanks to politics the US Gov't doesn't do shit unless most people agree...why? Because they all want to be re-elected.

Re:Life imitates life imitating art imitating life (1)

PLBogen (452989) | more than 13 years ago | (#182103)

Cyberpunk is a high-tech outside the laws group. It is hackers, illegal-cybernetics, and the whole sha-bang of charecter types from Gibson et al books

Re:Couldn't exist in the US... (1)

PLBogen (452989) | more than 13 years ago | (#182104)

True the Drug War is a mistake... but that only effects a very small part of the population. Ghettos mainly. Stalin didn't have so many in prision because he just killed them. Also the KGB kept the people in line so they were afraid to break the law. Alchohol prohbition was proposed by Women's Sufferage advocates. And it was a direct result of giving the women the right to vote. The majority wanted it. Our Drug policies are not as harsh as most countries. That quote about the prison industry has been circling around since Euguene Debs said it back near the turn of the century. I almost garruntee that the tech-sector beat it out until the Nasdaq adjustment. But I do agree legalize the softer stuff and tax it to hell.

Re:sigh, here we ago again (1)

GPLwhore (455583) | more than 13 years ago | (#182112)

Well, not anything ...
There are milions of Spaniards there so some things are getting done.

Re:National issue? (1)

GPLwhore (455583) | more than 13 years ago | (#182113)

"Get over it and work for a living or If you any good, you'd get another job. "

.... and there a courts to take this issue to before one resorts to picketing.

BTW. If you go to work for somebody you assume some risks, just like everybody else. Take your time, research and then make more informed decision.

Re:Viva La Guerra Civl (1)

GPLwhore (455583) | more than 13 years ago | (#182114)

Viva Franco !

Haga la guerra, no paz.

Re:Couldn't exist in the US... (1)

GPLwhore (455583) | more than 13 years ago | (#182115)

Would you want anarchy to take over the law ?
This what this whole process amounts to.

Re:Morals and Freedom (1)

amz9 (456904) | more than 13 years ago | (#182120)

"...a time when no significant distinction can be made between one country's freedoms and the next country's freedoms."
I feel that time is coming, has been since the middle of the 1800s.
It's just that the waves of freedom have to overcome the cement of oppression. "Waves" vs "Cement"? No contest! Just takes time and the friction of suffering...

Morals and Freedom (2)

amz9 (456904) | more than 13 years ago | (#182121)

I applaud the Spanish folks! Being moral demands being free. The new "waves" of "freedom" that are surfing the biosphere somehow smell freer than this old American air...
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