Sunday, January 10, 2010

The police state we live in

Sydney Festival First Night was an immensely fun night: the city was heaving, Al Green was spectacular in his brief set, and there was a lot of other stuff happening which I comprehensively ignored but I was glad it was happening nonetheless. The night was marred only, as usual, by the extreme presence of police which seems to accompany any Sydney event in the 21st century.

These are not the sort of people who are going to catch Osama bin Laden should be rock up with ten tonnes of C4. These are run of the mill, gun-toting officers who mull around the city streets and parks, intimidating and purveyors of gloom. People who have repeatedly proven themselves to be unreasonably trigger-happy in some of the most non-threatening situations a police officer could expect to face. It is a travesty that they can parade about the city's premier cultural event with guns proudly on display.

You've got to hate people, surely, to become a cop. You've at least got to enjoy hurting people. If you like people and you want to perform some sort of public service, you become an ambo or a fireman or something. Only an obsession with weaponry and violence lead to the force.

And this sort of anti-social bitterness was demonstrated perfectly when a gang of police officers interrupted a young busker outside David Jones and disbanded his crowd of listeners, who were excitedly singing along to 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. It was an utterly harmless performance, and I was quietly disappointed nobody king-hit the arsehole who broke it up.

If police are going to be present, and armed, at such events, they should do actual policing and keep us safe, rather than just throw their egos around spoil the party.

1 comment:

  1. I think perhaps you're going a little overboard on this.

    Sure, the police have occasionally shot someone who in hindsight they probably haven't. But by the same token, violence is not unknown in Syndey. The presence of punch ons and glassings is increasing. Perhaps the reason maintain such a heavy presence is to try and prevent this behaviour.

    I got pulled up by the police not long ago - over a dozen cops came after me because someone saw me in my army gear and thought I was carrying a rifle (I wasn't). You know what? I'm glad the police came in force, and I'm glad they were armed, because not much else, short of TAG-East is going to stop some nutter with an F88.

    My other question is, do you know what operational orders the police were under for the event?

    You claim that people want to be cops in order to hurt people, and because of a facination with weaponary, and a few lines later lament that nobody king hit an officer of the law who appears to have done nothing beyond the scope of their authority and exercised reasonable force in doing so.

    In proclaiming what you have, you appear to be nothing but a hypocrite, and an ignorant one at that.