Thursday, July 30, 2009

Time To End The Sickness Of Proper Docility

Praetorian Presumptions

"Here's how it breaks down from the statist perspective: When civilians carry firearms because they don't know who the bad guys are, we're being pathologically insecure; when police not only carry them but routinely use them to make others submit to their will without reasonable cause, they're merely exercising a professional prerogative.
As things presently stand, any reaction to police other than immediate, unconditional submission is treated as a threat to "officer safety" and grounds for arrest or the exercise of lethal force. "The rule is, if a police officer stops you in a car or on the street, he's the captain of the ship, and whatever he says goes,"
insists Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police. "If you've got something to address, do it later. Do what he says, or else only bad things can happen."

Do what he says, or else only bad things can happen.

Isn't that the essence of any illicit demand made by a criminal or terrorist?"

"At some point, common Americans – both inside and outside the jury box – are going to have to rediscover the ancient and indispensable right to resist unlawful impositions by police. We need to bring about an end to the culture of impunity that has taken root and begun to flourish in law enforcement.
The best way to do this is not by trusting police to police themselves, or expecting the political class to do likewise, but to recognize, in law and practice, a principle articulated centuries ago by John Locke: A criminal who acts under the color of government "authority" is simply a criminal, and should be dealt with, by the citizen, in appropriate fashion."

It wasn't always this way. Americans used to be known for standing up for themselves, for cockiness in facing up to bullying, for questioning authority, and this wasn't too long ago either. Every July 4 the flags get waved and fireworks boom and it's been turned into a government love fest and 1/2 off sale at Macy's, but it started as a celebration for the guts to say 'fuck you' right in authority's face when authority oversteps it's bounds.

Maybe no story captures this courage better than The Battle of Athens.

In 1946 after the war several thousand GIs came home to McMinn county, Tennessee, a place pretty much savaged by depression and for years a place where corrupt officials brutalized the citizenry and kept control of elected offices. The ex soldiers decided to challenge the local government politically but when they begged the FBI and department of justice to oversee the election processes all they received was silence. That's when it got interesting.

"The election was held on 1 August. To intimidate voters, Mansfield brought in some 200 armed "deputies". GI poll-watchers were beaten almost at once. At about 3 p.m., Tom Gillespie, an African-American voter, was told by a Sheriff's deputy, "'Nigger, you can't vote here today!!'". Despite being beaten, Gillespie persisted; the enraged deputy shot him. The gunshot drew a crowd. Rumors spread that Gillespie had been "shot in the back"; he later recovered. (C. Stephen Byrum, The Battle of Athens; Paidia Productions, Chattanooga TN, 1987; pp. 155-57).

Other deputies detained ex-GI poll-watchers in a polling place, as that made the ballot count "public". A crowd gathered. Sheriff Mansfield told his deputies to disperse the crowd. When the two ex-GIs smashed a big window and escaped, the crowd surged forward. "The deputies, with guns drawn, formed a tight half-circle around the front of the polling place. One deputy, "his gun raised high ...shouted: 'You sons-of-bitches cross this street and I'll kill you!'" (Byrum, p. 165).

Mansfield took the ballot boxes to the jail for counting. The deputies seemed to fear immediate attack, by the "people who had just liberated Europe and the South Pacific from two of the most powerful war machines in human history." (Byrum, pp. 168-69).

Short of firearms and ammunition, the GIs scoured the county to find them. By borrowing keys to the National Guard and State Guard Armories, they got three M-1 rifles, five .45 semi-automatic pistols, and 24 British Enfield rifles. The armories were nearly empty after the war's end.

By eight p.m., a group of GIs and "local boys" headed for the jail to get the ballot boxes. They occupied high ground facing the jail but left the back door unguarded to give the jail's defenders an easy way out."

"At about 2 a.m. on 2 August, the GIs forced the issue. Men from Meigs county threw dynamite sticks and damaged the jail's porch. The panicked deputies surrendered. GIs quickly secured the building. Paul Cantrell faded into the night, almost having been shot by a GI who knew him, but whose .45 pistol had jammed. Mansfield's deputies were kept overnight in jail for their own safety. Calm soon returned: the GIs posted guards. The rifles borrowed from the armory were cleaned and returned before sun-up.

In five precincts free of vote fraud, the GI candidate for Sheriff, Knox Henry, won 1,168 votes to Cantrell's 789. Other GI candidates won by similar margins.
The GIs did not hate Cantrell. They only wanted honest government. On 2 August, a town meeting set up a three-man governing committee. The regular police having fled, six men were chosen to police Athens; a dozen GIs were sent to police Etowah. In addition, "Individual citizens were called upon to form patrols or guard groups, often led by a GI. ...To their credit, however, there is not a single mention of an abuse of power on their behalf." (Byrum, p. 220)."

Some ruthless fucks only respect force.


Anonymous nick z said...

Some ruthless fucks only respect force

Couldn't agree more. This is why, imo, the corporate ruling-class essentially has key figures working for them within the pacific majority that prescribes pacificism at all times and opposes violence no matter how bad things get, including in cases of self-defense.

I have found that no matter how much i try to tell absolute pacifists that violent methods are sometimes necessary in self-defense, they shout me down, warn me that such an attitude will "make me one of them", and ignore me if i continue.

They also seem to ignore the bullies and thugs who laugh at them while showing more respect to people willing to stand up to them and fight for their rights.

31/7/09 8:03 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

there's a former sheriff, richard mack (he has a website that i don't recall at the moment--google it if interested) who lectures on the real duties of local sheriff and police officers. he gets it. it's his opinion that the best way to break the fascist restraint is for local sheriffs to do the "just say no" to any gov't agenda that violates the rights of the people...and if necessary, to call up the posse.

i used to be a pacifist until i removed the pacifier.

31/7/09 10:54 PM  

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