Zur deutschen Fassung dieser Beobachtung.
On my travels around the world, I like to attend protests. Especially when I find the demands of the people worthy of my support. But even when not, protests or even revolutions are an excellent place to learn about the dynamics of the respective society. When protesters and counter-protesters clash, it’s very practical to be in the middle of it all, as I can get a picture of two sides at the same time.
Demonstrations also provide an opportunity to observe how the government deals with its citizens: brutally or politely, in a military or a civil manner, respectfully or criminalizing. As we currently see in the United States, some countries who think of themselves rather highly, aren’t really doing so well. (My home country of Germany is not a very good example either.) Heavy artillery is often brought in far too early and the policemen show up in fighting gear. When the fighting dogs are let loose, one wonders whether the issue of de-escalation was perhaps neglected at the police academy.
Quite different so in Bolivia: There, the police also have dogs, but they don’t bite anyone. On the contrary, the police bring dogs to protests on the verge of erupting into mayhem, so that both parties in a conflict are distracted from the quarrels about new elections or the deforestation of the jungle and all exclaim in unison: “Oh, look at the cute dog!” The dog can be petted, fed and photographed. And swoosh, there’s peace in the streets again.
The purpose of the Grim Reaper, however, did not become clear to me.
- More stories from Bolivia.
- More about politics.
- And more dogs.
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I think what’s happening in the US right now is a combination of TOO many peaceful protests gone unheard, the perceived permission for hatred by the Government and the tweeting Orange Idjit, and the frustration of the pandemic lockdown with all the jobs & businesses lost. It’s a bunch of things all coming together, but the White Supremacy and the killing of unarmed people (especially people of color) by police has gotten worse and worse.
People in this country feel helpless. The government has been hijacked and rigged. If change doesnt come in November, the violence will get worse.
Whenever I see the videos of police violence (of which there are many), I wonder what has been happening in all the years before everybody had a camera ready. And I wonder what’s happening behind closed doors. :-(
I looked at the statistics, and in 2019 alone, police in the USA shot and killed more people than (West) German police shot and killed since the end of World War II. Granted, the United States have four times the population, but still, something is off here.
Funnily enough, if anything is funny about this subject, the records for the German police even show how many bullets were fired. In 2018, police in all of Germany, after all a country of 82 million people, fired 54 shots, with 11 people killed. And there may still be some unnecessary killings in there, because they are sometimes a bit gung-ho, too.
The 2nd amendment and the NRA and the gun manufacturers are part of the problem. Our beyond ridiculously huge military is part of the problem (a lot of cops are ex military) and the sense of entitlement in the “American Dream” that’s taught in school is part of the problem.
Growing up where and how I did, I’m used to diversity of all kinds. Other states and areas are still in post WWII attitudes. The U.S. has been broken for a while. I’m glad the rest of the world sees it. I guess the Orange Idjit did something good by being so inept.
The recruitment line from military to police is worrying indeed. Especially when you have a police with tanks and stuff. And if someone served in Iraq or Afghanistan and saw enemies everywhere, it may be hard to change the mindset when you are still walking around heavily armed.
I was most impressed by the police in the UK, where most officers don’t even carry a gun or a baton. They are just friendly and nice (most of the time).
I lived in London during the riots in 2011 and someone from the government suggested to bring in water cannons against rioters. And the police said: “Actually, we don’t have any water cannons in England.” They only had a few in Northern Ireland, which at times was a civil-war like situation.