Monday, September 6

NYC Police state activities continued

Steve Gilliard has a post up with stories of others caught up in the dragnet of overreaching security concerns during last weeks Nuremburg on the Hudson. I only want to deal with a couple of examples, from the many cited in the two articles he adresses.
I have previously written about the treatment faced by foreign journalists from countries with reciprocal visa programs, that have been detained and deported because they did not have a special journalist visa, little advertised but recently enforced, a wonderful example of the loss of transparency, sought by this secretive administration. Lets look at the actions RNC security forces took against a credencialled German journalist for Die Zeit a German Newspaper.
Author Irene Dische was covering the Bush speech for the German paper Die Zeit. Dische said she was sitting in the press stands with the artist and graphic novelist Art Spiegelman when police removed them both from the press stands and questioned them about their T-shirts. Spiegelman's T-shirt said "Pray for a secular society"; Dische's featured the word "Bush" and Chinese characters. She convinced police it said, "I love Bush" (it meant shit on Bush and flush him away) and was allowed to return to her seat. On her way back, an usher handed her an American flag and told her to wave it.

Ok, you have got to be shitting me, right. I mean it is ridiculous enough that this practice of banning anyone who is not a lockstep supporter from campaign rallies, speeches, and other events along the campaign trail, but to take these tactics to the National Convention, and apply them to a credentialed journalist is beyond pale. Then to shove an American flag in the German reporters hand and expect a foreign born journalist who is here to do a job, to wave it like a good little patriot? WTF, is Krystallnacht scheduled for next week, are you Fucking kidding me. Lets see if National Socialist related Brownshirt pogram activities are waiting round the bend.

When she refused to take it, she "immediately felt a hand on my shoulders," she said, and police quickly ushered her off the convention floor and into a station set up inside the Garden. They called immigration officials to check on her American status and questioned her for over an hour. She also convinced them to Google her on the Internet to prove that she was a legitimate writer. When she called her daughter, Emily, and spoke to her in German, one detective barked, "You don't speak in a language we can't understand here." Finally she was escorted to the street, with the police, Dische said, "trying to make nice the whole way."
You know friends, I don't have any problem with security as long as it is acctually affective and is used with restraint. I certainly do not think that it is a good idea to empty the short bus, and put mentally defective, myopic, unintelligent xenophobes, in charge of security. This is just asking for all manner of abuse, likely while a real threat tiptoes by with a suit case nuke. Beyond pale, the embarassment of the world. Another example from the same article this time a guy simply on his way home from work.
Indeed, some people were arrested on the mere suspicion that they might be protesters. Ever since thousands of protesters on bicycles snarled traffic last Friday, bike riders have reported being singled out by the cops. On Wednesday, Kenneth Scott Kohanowski, a lawyer, was riding home on Fifth Avenue from his office to his neighborhood in Chelsea when he was arrested for reasons still unclear to him.

"I stopped and asked the officer why we couldn't go down Fifth Avenue," he wrote in an e-mail. "He told me to keep on moving and I insisted on knowing why I couldn't proceed toward my apartment. At that point, he shoved me ... then threw me against a magazine kiosk. A dozen other officers then jumped on top of me. They then arrested me and booked me for disorderly conduct ... I have never been arrested before. The police in this city are out of control with the RNC in town."
This dovetails nicely with a recent email I recieved from a friend who lives in Brookly and works in Manhatten, and uses a bike as his main form of transportation, I wrote about that earlier. Now to think about it I haven't yet recieved a reply, Hope you are OK JH. In any event, go over there and read the rest. In his attempt to cow tow to a party that has little use for him on a national level, Bloomberg will likely find himself out of a job come election time. Good riddence Jack-ass.