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Anonymous Clashes With D.C. Police During Million Mask March

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the remember,-remember,-the-something-something-something dept.

News 388

Daniel_Stuckey writes "Scheduled to coincide with Guy Fawkes Night, a centuries-old day of remembrance typically celebrated in Great Britain, the Nov. 5 protest is something of a tradition for the hacktivist collective. Anonymous, which is often identified by the Fawkes mask used in the Hollywood blockbuster V for Vendetta, hosted a similar rally in 2011, dubbed 'Night of a Thousand Masks.' Protesters in Washington, D.C. clashed with police before noon. By approximately 10am, an arrest was made. The incident was livestreamed, and Anonymous claimed that the individual was grabbed and arrested after stepping off a sidewalk and into the street. A spokesperson for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department declined to comment."

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388 comments

Stay behind the line! (5, Insightful)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 6 months ago | (#45343611)

I've never understood why protesters obey the rules and regulations of protests. I understand protesting, but for god's sake people, staying behind the line, or really keeping up any fabricated reason not to go to jail, is silly. The whole reason for a protest is to go to jail. It's not just to go to jail, but to have so many people go to jail that there is no feasible way that they can house them all. In the end, the point should be to overwhelm not only the people that you are protesting against, but to also overwhelm the police that have to look each person in the eye and arrest them. All protests should carry on without violence, without resistance, until the jails are filled.

"Fight the power" means just that, however there are 2 pieces of the power - law-makers, and law-enforcers.

Re:Stay behind the line! (5, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343615)

OK. You go first.

Re:Stay behind the line! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343647)

This is Slashdot. Maybe ten years ago, maybe. Today? No. No frickin' way!

How can I show up to work tomorrow if I'm in jail?

Give me a blog post about violence in video games by a third-rate hack tech-journalist so I can express my superiority and fuck off. I've had a long day.

Re:Stay behind the line! (4, Insightful)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 6 months ago | (#45343807)

Right. So if that's the case, if people do not feel their cause is important enough to go to jail for 24 hours, then it's more likely that they're protesting in order to "have been there maaan", or something cheaper. In that case, the police take a different mindset, and that mindset is the scary one (probably because the police don't have respect for them at that point).

Protesting is supposed to be an event that brings to light the truth behind logic and order's place in society.

Re:Stay behind the line! (4, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343821)

Being arrested is not a badge of honour, kid.

And having states arrest people for protesting should not be a goal.

Re:Stay behind the line! (5, Insightful)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 6 months ago | (#45343891)

I never said anything about honor or a goal. You're basically telling me that surfers that say "Dude, sometimes you slam into the coral and get cut, but that's all part of it", are not surfers, but rather they are seeking honor, and slamming into the coral is the goal.

No. All I was saying is that if you're out there protesting, then it should be something that you feel strongly about. So strong, that you are willing to go to jail for a few hours, at the very least. Protests only "work" when the powers that be change something. All else is not protesting, but simply hanging out. I'm not suggesting rioting, or anything like that, but you've gotta do more than sit around waiting to be pepper-sprayed by people that have no respect for you anymore - because you're such a pansy (this would be their mentality).

Re:Stay behind the line! (4, Insightful)

Yetihehe (971185) | about 6 months ago | (#45343917)

So strong, that you are willing to go to jail for a few hours, at the very least.

Nope, now you can be accused of terrorism [commondreams.org] and held for a month just as an example or slapped with a nice fine of several thousand dollars for costs of detainment.

Re:Stay behind the line! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344161)

Are you saying that the police state has won? Isn't there anyone "brave" left in the "land of the free"?

Re:Stay behind the line! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343897)

It is, if it was for a good reason. How good some reason is is anyones own opinion. The earlier you protest by going to jail the less violence overall will be needed. If it goes all the way to full scale civil war, well, the weren't enought protests, or the protesters weren't listened to.

Re:Stay behind the line! (1)

Strawser (22927) | about 6 months ago | (#45344077)

go to jail for 24 hours

That might sound better if the protest were out in the Loudoun or Fauquier county suburbs, but you're talking about Washington DC. The hell if I want to spend a night in one of their jails.

Re:Stay behind the line! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344135)

I can't, if I get arrested in an Anonymous parade/protest, I'll lose my job with the NSA.

Re:Stay behind the line! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343633)

I couldn't agree more, except for the fact that people want to improve things trough protest and not go to jail. While the idea of just flooding the already full jails seems interesting the problem is that people, surely even you yourself, do not want to go to jail.

Either way the arrest seems quite silly, I just hope the guy gets to go home soon.

Re:Stay behind the line! (4, Insightful)

palemantle (1007299) | about 6 months ago | (#45343643)

Going to jail as a protest isn't much of an option in the US of A. It doesn't matter if you are acquitted, yours chance of gainful employment are shot for good.

I don't know if *you* would still do it given the chance. I know I wouldn't

Re:Stay behind the line! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343909)

I don't know if *you* would still do it given the chance. I know I wouldn't

Then you haven't found anything important enough.
You would probably not mind living in a fascist dictatorship as long as you aren't among the people being harassed by it, at least not enough to actually stand up against the law enforcement to protect the victims in such a case.

Re:Stay behind the line! (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343651)

"I've never understood why protesters obey the rules and regulations of protests."

Maybe because getting arrested isn't anywhere near the worst thing that can happen. You don't even have to be involved in the protest these days for the police beat you to death for looking at them funny.

Re:Stay behind the line! (0, Troll)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 6 months ago | (#45343657)

The whole reason for a protest is to go to jail.

What the fuck are you talking about? You only go to jail for protesting for two reasons:

1. Your protest is illegal, perhaps because your country bans protests, or you're intentionally trying to incite a riot.
2. You decided to be a dick and smash stuff up instead of just marching peacefully.

I think you've confused protest with coup.

Re:Stay behind the line! (5, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | about 6 months ago | (#45343767)

Ghandi and Dr. King would tell you that peaceful protestors who break no laws often go to jail. You know, a cop whacks you over the head with a night stick, knocking you unconscious and then arrests you for sleeping on the sidewalk. Freedom to peacefully protest no longer exists in the US.

Re:Stay behind the line! (5, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#45343815)

Freedom to peacefully protest no longer exists in the US.

Thousands of people gathered in DC to protest NSA surveillance just a few weeks ago. Tens of thousands of people gathered all over the country in July for "Restore the Fourth". I don't know of any arrests or conflicts with the police.

Re:Stay behind the line! (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about 6 months ago | (#45343879)

In a country of 300 million people, I think you need a bit more than "tens of thousands" across the country for the government to feel threatened. Peaceful protest is all well and good - but as long as people continue to work, and the government knows there will be no violent uprising, why would they care? Did those protests achieve anything at all?

Re:Stay behind the line! (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 months ago | (#45344147)

No, disorganized (and even organized) protests with fuzzy demands which aren't actionable don't typically achieve much. If you want an example of how to do protest right, channeling minority anger into political power, look at the Tea Party. For God's sakes, don't emulate some of their goals, but certainly look at their methods.

Re:Stay behind the line! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344145)

Right, and let us all see how the change sweeps through the country. The NSA are so friggin scared of a mass of people standing around with signs... Why, I'll bet that they all roll over on their backs (the equivalent to standing behind the line), and that data center in Utah is going to be recycled to house the healthcare reform website to better help Americans have health care.

Re:Stay behind the line! (2)

ninlilizi (2759613) | about 6 months ago | (#45343769)

I'm inclined to agree with you. With the exception of some magic stick determining weather a protest is 'legal' or not.
If your giving thought as to the legality of a protest. Then its not a protest. It's mearely Acceptable Decent.
Acceptable Dessent being the smoke and mirror trick that presents an authoritarian regime to the world as a democracy.

Re:Stay behind the line! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343681)

Nope, that's using a political movement to justify vandalism. Provocators like you discredit peaceful protesters.

Re:Stay behind the line! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343693)

You're going to need a lot of apples.

Re:Stay behind the line! (5, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 6 months ago | (#45343723)

All protests should carry on without violence, without resistance, until the jails are filled.

One should not protest unless ready to start a revolution. And once that decision is made, protesting is not the optimal path to victory.

The day the reasonable people decide it's time to start a revolution won't be marked by a large protest, but by fire and blood and horror.

Re:Stay behind the line! (3, Funny)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343779)

One should not protest unless ready to start a revolution.

One time in band camp we thought it was unfair that they were increasing our dues so instead of petitioning for a review we set fire to the buildings and killed all the band leaders and took their wives as spoils of war.

Re:Stay behind the line! (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 6 months ago | (#45343905)

One should not protest unless ready to start a revolution.

One time in band camp we thought it was unfair that they were increasing our dues so instead of petitioning for a review we set fire to the buildings and killed all the band leaders and took their wives as spoils of war.

Ignoring the sarcasm, that was the system teaching you how to only protest inside the accepted limits.

As you've probably understood by now, the world is not Band Camp. If your bank increases your fees, petitioning for a review will get you nothing.

If the government spends your taxes in a way you disagree with, and the election system makes you unable to change that, you can decide between shutting up, protesting and revolting. Of those three options, protesting causes the same amount of change as shutting up, except in the case where it gets you a net loss.

Re:Stay behind the line! (2)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 months ago | (#45343757)

The reason for many protests is to show support for a cause. Not to get arrested.

Re:Stay behind the line! (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 6 months ago | (#45343827)

Oh, and what good does that do?

No, the reason for a protest is to inspire those in power, to change something. The only time that the powers that be change things that they don't want to change, is when they have to change them. A really large group of people, acting in accordance with protest laws, are merely standing around with signs. Unless everyone in the country was out there standing around (not working, not allowing the system's wheels to turn) then the powers that be can simply look at the crowd and think, "there's all the idiots in the world" and go about their normal routine.

I hate to bring race into the subject, however (in America) only black people have successfully protested since I've been born. But they did it in another (to me, wrong) way. They were actually called riots rather than protests. MLK protested a lot, and got arrested a lot. And in the end, achieved something.

Re:Stay behind the line! (3, Informative)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 6 months ago | (#45343991)

A protest shows a number of people sufficiently concerned about a cause that they agree to "waste" an afternoon for it. And if they are so concerned, they will probably remember this cause the time the next elections are up. And that's why politicians care about protests if they are huge enough

Re:Stay behind the line! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344013)

Failing feeble, "legal" methods, history shows that bloody revolution is the very best way to change those in power without the need for inspiration.
Further ,many more "protests" can be exercised at once, providing a therapeutic relief for the populace and hours of entertaining media to be shown again and again.
Lest we ever forget , again.

Re:Stay behind the line! (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 months ago | (#45344035)

Oh, and what good does that do?

In my opinion, none whatsoever. Others disagree, and feel that a public show of support can cause change. I may be wrong an they may be right.

Re:Stay behind the line! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343789)

With private prisons? They'd happily collect funds with 100% of the population jailed. Alas the "Birmingham flood" option isn't available to us nowadays.

Re:Stay behind the line! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343819)

I think you're confusing protest and riot.

Did you see the 1968 Chicago convention? (1)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#45344039)

You can see it well in the movie "Medium Cool" which was filmed during these protests.

In Chicago, you obey the rules or you get your head split open.

Re:Stay behind the line! (1)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#45344085)

The big problem with getting arrested and "go to jail" nowadays is that you stand a really good chance of having employment problems down the road.

It used to be that a municipal arrest record for something like this wasn't really that big of a deal, especially if your potential employer wasn't located in that municipality or it wasn't your home address. Records required manual search, the charges were almost always misdemeanor disturbing the peace-type charges and it was functionally invisible.

Nowadays, these records are trivial to search nationwide and in many cases even an arrest alone (regardless of reason and without a conviction) may get you rejected for employment. This comes up for criticism all the time in the media, but there are plenty of stories of people who get arrested and then released right away who find themselves unable to get jobs, rent apartments or sometimes even get a loan because of an arrest alone.

Sure, the protest is noble and taking risks for the cause is part of the ideal, but the risk isn't being shoved in a cell for 48 hours, the risks are being denied a lot of economic choices for years.

Re: Stay behind the line! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344111)

I was under the impression that convicted criminals lose their right to vote. To me it seems like you are promoting some kind of non-democratic political system. Anarchist perhaps?

Re:Stay behind the line! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344127)

You need to read Ghandi's writings.

"An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of nonviolence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by nonviolence. This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment."

However, not Ghandi, nor other leaders such as MLK, would suggest you break JUST laws to reach you goals.

Yeah, the Park Service is smarter than that (1)

sirwired (27582) | about 6 months ago | (#45344139)

The Park Service has no interest in "filling up the jails" with non-violent protestors. They can't have unruly mobs making the city unusable, but also have to make sure people have the ability to petition the government for the redress of grievances.

If you want some non-violent arrests during your protest, all you have to do is ask. The Park Service will work out with you how many of your Warriors For Freedom will get photogenically arrested, and all you have to do is have your designated arrestees stand still long enough to get cited for obstructing the sidewalk. You'll get zip-tied, taken to a ramshackle holding facility, fill out some paperwork, pay a nominal fine, and they then release you; they probably even give you a copy of your arrest record as a souvenir.

If you want to "fill the jails" you are going to have to get violent, because they simply won't hold you for being non-violent. In any case, I thought the whole reason for a protest was to get those in power to change their minds. How is "filling the jails" an inherent part of that?

Arrest them all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343617)

Anonymous is a bunch of mindless vigilante manchildren and idiotic trolls. Maybe if mommy has to go bail them out they'll grow up.

Re:Arrest them all (4, Interesting)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343625)

The establishment really ought to love "Anonymous". Unlike every successful movement, it has no direction and no organisation, therefore it will make no progress. It's just a bunch of kids saying, "We're not very happy about stuff and we think someone should do something about it!"

Re:Arrest them all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343667)

I like how your username is "Joining Yet Again". You know, in case we thought your ID was too low and didn't take you seriously. Now tell me how I'm wrong and your name is somehow clever, superior

Re:Arrest them all (0)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343679)

Wild guess: you donned a mask last night, and unable to explain your actions beyond "row row fight the powah v for vendetta neva 4give neva 4get fawkes was the only person to ever enter parliament with honest intentions LOLOLOL", you're.. err.. attacking my username?

Re:Arrest them all (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#45343835)

Eppur si muove: here we are, discussing them, yet again. Giving one name to voice various kinds of social unease, whether it's with Scientology, the NSA or power companies, seems to have been rather successful from a publicity perspective.

Re:Arrest them all (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343975)

Unlike every successful movement, it has no direction and no organization

Errr.... you think 'every successful movement' had direction and organization when it began? Uh, no. It's true of some movements, where an objective is fairly easily identifiable in the latter stages, but throughout history a significant number of 'movements' have started as a mess. See just about every 'movement' ending in a revolution.

Re:Arrest them all (5, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 6 months ago | (#45343673)

Anonymous is a bunch of mindless vigilante manchildren and idiotic trolls. Maybe if mommy has to go bail them out they'll grow up.

Why hello there, tool of the police state!

After the government is done jailing all the people exercising their 1A rights whom you didn't support because they said things you disapprove of, they'll get around to you.

Some things about, and actions taken by, Anonymous I support. Others I disagree with.

But I'd fight to the death for their right to speak out, because I understand that if they can be silenced, so can I or anyone else.

Strat

Re:Arrest them all (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | about 6 months ago | (#45343933)

Well they're BlueStrat, they have done more harm than good, putting innocent bystanders in the middle of their hackings to prove their point which you should never do if you're trying to prove a point.

Re:Arrest them all (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343939)

But I'd fight to the death for their right to speak out, because I understand that if they can be silenced, so can I or anyone else.

Manning and Snowden spoke out about much more important matters. They don't have the right to it and neither can travel freely in the U.S.
Free speech isn't about the right to scream racist slurs. It is about the right to speak out against the government.

I doubt very much that you would be willing to fight to the death for free speech. If you would you would be out on the streets rioting now.

Re:Arrest them all (-1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 6 months ago | (#45343943)

You fail by signing your post. It doesn't make your message any more serious/believable/valid, it just makes you look like a douche.

Re:Arrest them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343959)

But I'd fight to the death for their right to speak out, because I understand that if they can be silenced, so can I or anyone else.

I call BS. Precisely what fighting and what injuries have you sustained? Wankers' wrist doesn't count.

Re:Arrest them all (2)

spiritplumber (1944222) | about 6 months ago | (#45344057)

I got in a brief fight with a policeman over a girl's right to speak her mind once. Being trained in de-escalation and the lifting of heavy inert objects, I won that fight. Your turn.

London too (3, Interesting)

biodata (1981610) | about 6 months ago | (#45343645)

Scuffles with police when Anonymous set fire to their electricity bills outside Buckingham Palace as a symbolic act of protest against the price of staying warm in winter. (source BBC news).

Re:London too (4, Funny)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343665)

Maybe it's time to stop supporting three political parties all of which are further to the right than Thatcher.

But I guess everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere sometimes involves wearing a mask and burning stuff.

Re:London too (3, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 6 months ago | (#45343737)

Maybe it's time to stop supporting three political parties all of which are further to the right than Thatcher.

But I guess everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere sometimes involves wearing a mask and burning stuff.

Yes, because supporting the left, who believe the solution to all problems is to grant government even more power and control, will nip that abuse of government power and control right in the bud.

Yup, right in the bud.

Bud, zoom, gone.

Makes perfect sense.

Strat

Re:London too (5, Funny)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343753)

In the spirit of things, I choose to set fire to your strawman.

Re:London too (3, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 6 months ago | (#45343843)

Maybe it's time to stop supporting three political parties all of which are further to the right than Thatcher.

But I guess everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere sometimes involves wearing a mask and burning stuff.

Yes, because supporting the left, who believe the solution to all problems is to grant government even more power and control, will nip that abuse of government power and control right in the bud.

Yup, right in the bud.

Bud, zoom, gone.

Makes perfect sense.

Strat

In the spirit of things, I choose to set fire to your strawman .

You use that word...I do not think it means what you think it means. Yes, the "set fire to your strawman" line is cute, but you really should have waited to trot that one out in a reply where it might have made sense.

The left advocates for a stronger, more powerful government because that's what is required to implement and manage things like wealth redistribution/entitlements and nationalized services and resources. They themselves admit as much.

Therefor, if the problem is government power & control being abused, putting people in charge who will grant the government even more power & control (the left) is antithetical to the goal of reducing/eliminating government abuse of their power & control.

Strat

Re:London too (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343865)

In the UK, we have a very powerful government. It just doesn't exert its power in the interests of the people.

So, again, tear down that straw man.

Re:London too (2)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | about 6 months ago | (#45343951)

In the UK, we have a very powerful government. It just doesn't exert its power in the interests of the people.

That's exactly the point. The UK government has a lot of power that it uses to further its own interests, rather than the interests of the people. The problem is that people (and government officials) will almost ALWAYS act in THEIR OWN self interest, not the interest of "the people."

That's the general idea behind American Conservatism. The government will always act in its own interest and against the interests of "the people," so we should limit the amount of damage they can do by having the government in charge of as few things as possible.

Re:London too (5, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45344009)

I see you're preaching for the Church of American Conservatism, and I am not interested in your leaflets.

I don't want to change the size of government. I want the people to take back control of government.

You're just trying to sell me a power vacuum.

Re:London too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344037)

The left advocates for a stronger, more powerful government because that's what is required to implement and manage things like wealth redistribution/entitlements and nationalized services and resources. They themselves admit as much.

They do, do they?

I realize it's hard for you to think outside the binary left/right model you imagine the world to be, but it might come as a shock to you that much of the 'left' is actually quite the opposite. And arguably, if the capital L Libertarians in the US paid more than lip service to libertarianism, there would be little ideological difference between left and right-leaning libertarians.

As the other poster said, you deal in strawmen, which is evident by your broad generalizations about 'the left'. Strawman are for simpletons.

Five things to know about Guy Fawkes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344015)

http://hollywoodlife.com/2013/11/05/guy-fawkes-day-five-things-to-know-remember-the-fifth-of-november/

Re:London too (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#45343825)

Your "less spending, small government, no interference" talking points don't work when the encumbent right wing party's pushing through regulation-of-the-press bills, threatening to cut the BBC's funding unless they get back in line, and adding billions of pounds worth of extra administrative layers to the health system. The UK's Conservative party believes in treading lightly where business is concerned, but they're not exactly shy about expanding their footprint when it comes to social control.

Re:London too (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343845)

The primary purpose of the conservative party is to legislate in order to funnel money to their sponsors.

It doesn't believe in small government, but in privatised government, where the DWP channels billions to ineffective Work Programmes and medical assessments to line the pockets of private providers, and creates a "Universal Credit" welfare scheme which is nothing more than subsidising employers who do not pay a living wage; where the NHS must fire its managers so it must hire pricey healthcare management companies; where HMRC chases people over a few £100s of debt but turns a blind eye to avoision in the millions; where essential services are privatised, subsidised when they need to do something unprofitable, and bailed out because they're too big to fail,,,

Despite rumours to the contrary, if there are two things the Tory party is not, it is 1) of small government; 2) capitalist. It is corporatist, in the Italian sense.

Re:London too (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 6 months ago | (#45343867)

Your "less spending, small government, no interference" talking points don't work when the encumbent right wing party's pushing through regulation-of-the-press bills, threatening to cut the BBC's funding unless they get back in line, and adding billions of pounds worth of extra administrative layers to the health system. The UK's Conservative party believes in treading lightly where business is concerned, but they're not exactly shy about expanding their footprint when it comes to social control.

Britain's "right wing" would be wildly liberal/progressive/left in the US. Britain simply has one leftist party with a branch that is slightly more moderate.

Strat

Re:London too (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343893)

You need to get rid of your US-centric perspective.

To the whole world, the two mainstream US political parties are quite far to the right.

The Tory party in the UK is idealistically somewhere between the Democratic and Republican parties, but can't get rid of various left wing initiatives (e.g. the NHS) because they're too popular. It's trying hard to make them dysfunctional, and will probably succeed eventually, but that's where we are for now..

Re:London too (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 6 months ago | (#45343901)

The UK's Conservative party believes in treading lightly where business is concerned, but they're not exactly shy about expanding their footprint when it comes to social control.

Which is very different from the Labour party who believes in treading lightly where business is concerned, but are not exactly shy about expanding their footprint when it comes to social control.

Or the Lib Dems which are about half way between the two.

I vote for none of the above for what little good it does.

Re:London too (4, Insightful)

RDW (41497) | about 6 months ago | (#45343747)

``No,'' said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, ``nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards role the people.''

``Odd,'' said Arthur, ``I thought you said it was a democracy.''

``I did,'' said Ford. ``It is.''

``So,'' said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, ``why don't people get rid of the lizards?''

``It honestly doesn't occur to them,'' said Ford. ``They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.''

``You mean they actually vote for the lizards?''

``Oh yes,'' said Ford with a shrug, ``of course.''

``But,'' said Arthur, going for the big one again, ``why?''

``Because if they didn't vote for a lizard,'' said Ford, ``the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?''

Re:London too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343705)

Scuffles with police when Anonymous set fire to their electricity bills

And then they all went online to pay them anyway.

Re:London too (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343745)

Well, the cheapest energy plans are Direct Debit, so the money would be taken automatically.

And they have online statements, so these would just be printouts.

The greatest shame is thinking about how much HP made from these printouts, and Time Warner from the Guy Fawkes masks.

Re:London too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344103)

And they have online statements, so these would just be printouts.

Excellent... so to protest electricity bills, they pay their electricity, and then use more electricity to print out the bill to protest? This sounds ineffective.

Occupy Sandy (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343671)

Did you catch the NYTimes article on undercover agents at these protests, it's so bad in New York, that undercover officers infiltrate 'Occupy Sandy' the hurricane relief effort!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/11/nyregion/undercover-just-about-everywhere.html?_r=0

But the agent provocateur problem is more serious, officers starting or attempting to provoke crimes that can be used to justify mass arrests, e.g. from the NYT article:

"One of the large, undiscussed questions of such surveillance is how civic dialogue can be influenced or distorted by police agents — perhaps as provocateurs, or possibly with no motive beyond maintaining cover. During the Republican convention, after a group making a film was arrested, a redheaded man standing on the street pounded on the back window of a police van, urging that the people inside be let go. A day later, the same man was videotaped being briefly put under a fake arrest, leading to tumult in the street from others who objected to his incarceration. They were unaware that the man was an undercover police officer who was walked down the street by uniformed officers, hands behind his back but uncuffed, and sent on his way: catch and release. "

Re:Occupy Sandy (5, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343687)

If you don't know about agents provocateurs, you really ought not to be at a protest - it's like crossing the road without knowing that you might have to check for traffic.

IOW, protest leaders need to give some basic training to protesters.

Re:Occupy Sandy (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 6 months ago | (#45343911)

If you don't know about agents provocateurs, you really ought not to be at a protest

Wtf? How are you supposed to tell the difference between the police acting like assholes towards a normal citizen and the police acting like assholes by planting an agent provocatuer.

Re:Occupy Sandy (5, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 6 months ago | (#45343935)

How often do undercover agents actually provoke action from protesters? Over here (NL), it is usually the Autonomen, a group of hard core "professional" protesters, who join otherwise peaceful protests with the specific intent to stir up trouble. These groups have also been used by mayors as a convenient excuse to ban certain protests (usually far right wing marches); they issue the permit for the march, wait for radical leftists to announce a counter-demo (sometimes even helpfully calling them to let them know something's up), and then cancel the permit on grounds of public safety concerns. It's highly likely that these radical groups have been infultrated with government agents, and while I do not think it's these agents who get legitimate protests cancelled, it would not surprise me either if it turns out they are.

Just wondering: what exactly are the legalities of the use of agents provocateur? At the very least the agents themselves could be charged with inciting riots, but someone is giving them orders, and that someone is following someone else's policy or "polite request", it seems to me that some very serious charges could be levelled at the people up the command chain. That is, if anything ever came of inquiries into such matters.

"Day of remembrance"? (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#45343709)

It was a celebration of the capture and execution of anti-government forces, with some vaguely anti-Catholic undertones, not a remembrance of their efforts. It has since metamorphosed into a politically neutral excuse to set off some fireworks and eat hamburgers on soggy November nights, and I'm all for using it as an ironic de-facto civil liberties day, but let's not be mistaken about its historical origins.

Re:"Day of remembrance"? (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 6 months ago | (#45343715)

Indeed. America celebrates independence. Britain celebrates that someone failed to achieve independence. Both equally bullshit, but ours is more funny.

Re:"Day of remembrance"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344087)

Britain celebrates that one stultified, intolerant regime wasn't replaced by an even more stultified, intolerant regime. Fawkes' people were trying to replace the King with his Catholic daughter in order to bring about a theocratic, Catholic government. Hardly independence.

Re:"Day of remembrance"? (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 months ago | (#45343783)

The burning of Guys atop bonfires is a celebration that the plot failed. The setting off lots of explosives is a celebration of the fact that it could have succeeded and a reminder to our elected officials not to be too complacent. Most of us just watch the fireworks...

Re:"Day of remembrance"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343791)

It was an enforced celebration of the capture and execution of anti-government forces. A reminder about what happens when you try to overthrow the king.

This protest is sponsored by... (5, Funny)

fufufang (2603203) | about 6 months ago | (#45343713)

...Time Warner Inc.'s Guy Fawkes masks.

Also Guy Fawkes failed to blow up the Parliament in real life, so this mask is a mask of fail.

Re: This protest is sponsored by... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343889)

In all fairness, anonymous did set up a few sources for the masks for the very reason of ensuring the proceeds did NOT go to time warner. I don't know how many of their marchers went through the effort of purchasing through these providers however.

Re:This protest is sponsored by... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343923)

Guy Fawkes succeeded in giving the people of the UK the idea that they could ex plode politicians, we need to remember that. (typo to avoid being put on a list)

Re:This protest is sponsored by... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343925)

What is funny about it that the movie was mediocre - not bad but also not great and ultimately forgetable.

Re:This protest is sponsored by... (1)

taylorius (221419) | about 6 months ago | (#45343999)

Guy Fawkes did fail, but Anonymous's mask design originates directly from the film "V for Vendetta", in which **probably unnecessary spoiler alert** parliament was successfully blown up.

So anonymous is celebrating (1)

wiredog (43288) | about 6 months ago | (#45343887)

anti-Catholic hatred? Nice. That'll certainly get them some converts! Nothing like a little one-minute hate to bring in the plebes!

Re:So anonymous is celebrating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344107)

You couldn't be more wrong and you can't even spell pleb you pleb. Anonymous dress up as Guy Fawkes (famous catholic plotter who failed to blow up the Tory government) who was lionised in V for Vendetta.

But always remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45343957)

With protests you are expressing your faith in the ability of the regime to change what you are unhappy about.

Not sure who said that or even if I'm quoting it correctly.

Depends on what you're protesting about (2)

taylorius (221419) | about 6 months ago | (#45343961)

If you're protesting about a corporation's activities (Don't buy Nestle Products, Monsanto GM corn etc.) then you are working within the system, protesting to raise awareness of your issue, and Western states typically allow this (note the use of the word "allow"). However, if the object of your protest is the government itself, then sooner or later you will inevitably need to break their "rules of protest". No government is going to submit to a revolution without a fight.

I was aware of detainment for 3 individuals... (1)

The Pirou (1551493) | about 6 months ago | (#45344019)

A 'medic' was allegedly pulled over a barricade because he was holding Scissors; I'm not sure what happened with the other two. People were off the Sidewalk ALL day through 6pm EST without genuine interference by authorities, though when the main group split at one point there was rumor that a few more got picked up when they stayed behind at the White House and authorities weren't so overwhelmed by numbers. Otherwise, the protest was fairly benign as far as Police action until someone threw a foam ball over the fence at the White House shortly after dusk; The Police line began shoving a few protesters and throwing a camera or two on the ground while the bomb dogs checked the inside of the fence.

Some hilarious background on DC protest arrests... (4, Informative)

sirwired (27582) | about 6 months ago | (#45344023)

I read an article several years ago on how the Park Service handles protests...

DC of course hosts a very large number of government protests. Since most of those protests take place on land managed by the US Park Service, they handle protest management. They are required to reasonably let protestors do their thing, but they also have an interest in preserving the other uses of the land; namely for tourism, recreation, and of course the business of government and the functioning of the city.

Now, if they come down like a sack of bricks on protestors, the Park Service will end up looking like a bunch of thugs, and get slapped by the courts. But if anyone that wants to protest can do anything they want, it would make it difficult for DC to function as a city. Different groups also need different space allocated for their protests. (Six different groups protesting six different things can't get their message out if they are all mixed together in an undifferentiated mob.)

Now, protestors like to be arrested; it makes for good PR, nice photos, fundraising, member recruitment, whatever... but few activists actually want to do anything violent or damaging or spend any time in prison, get beat by riot police, etc. And the Park Service has more important things to do then sending people "up the river" for doing something illegal (but not especially violent) during a protest, like vandalism, blocking traffic, etc., and they also don't want those disruptive offenses to take place. (And they especially don't want a protest to degenerate into a violent mob while trying to get arrested.)

So what does the Park Service do? A couple things:
- They actually negotiate arrest counts, protest locations, timing, etc. in advance of the demonstrations. If you want to protest in a high-profile location, like in front of the White House, your protest can't last too long, and the arrest count the Park Service will agree to will be low. Protests in less photogenic locations can be larger.
- The "arrests" are usually for violation of the "Kodak Moment Rule"; basically, you can't stop in one place so long you obstruct others trying to take photos. This is about the least disruptive thing possible, anywhere, to get arrested for. You'll get zip-tied, taken to a holding facility (a warehouse in SE), fill out some paperwork, pay a $50 fine, and get released (it's even convenient to Metro!) I doubt they do anything with your new "criminal record" other than stuff it in a filing box.

The article had an anecdote about a NORML-backed protest and their negotiations; NORML wanted a large number of protestors on a certain day right in front of the White House. The Park Service negotiator complained that there were already three other protests scheduled that day, and his participant count and requested number of arrests was too large; so the Service offered a larger protest in front of Treasury, (just across the street) instead. The guy from NORML challenged the Park Service lawyer to a joint rolling contest to settle the dispute.

The Park Service lawyer won.

Another fun fact: After the Park Service got accused over the years of being racist/anti-semitic/muslim/sexist/baby-killing/woman-hating/jewish/white-oppressing/Nazi/etc. Tools of the Oppressor, they stopped releasing protest/march participant estimates. They do estimate how many people show up for each protest, but don't release the info because they were invariably accused of inflating/undercounting (depending on who was complaining) every single gathering for pretty much every cause.

Re:Some hilarious background on DC protest arrests (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344083)

The "arrests" are usually for violation of the "Kodak Moment Rule"; basically, you can't stop in one place so long you obstruct others trying to take photos

So what you're saying is that a line of police officers, like the lines one will often see "facilitating" a protest, are risking citizens arrest by mere virtue of obstructing the view through protesters camera-phones?

SWAT Dynamic Takedown, for "Jaywalking" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45344045)

Yep, this is the government you party people have voted in over the years.

Dear America, you are a bunch of idiots. You see this shit go down all over the world - the result of electing the worst possible candidates, every single time, and yet you just follow the lemmings in Europe and South America over the cliff.

Wake up already. Your founding fathers had it right. The government is supposed to be small and weak compared to The People it is working for, and it is supposed to be able to be easily replaced if it gets out of line.

You've gone right back to all the shit you complained about in your Declaration of Independence.

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