Emmanuel Goldstein at the RNC

Emmanuel Goldstein at the RNC: The latest of many horrific first-hand accounts of getting arrested in New York...

22 Responses:

  1. cryllius says:

    Well, now I pretty much feel like shit. I don't know how he covered everything so well after living through that.

    I can't come up with anything to say after merely reading it.

  2. lars_larsen says:

    Wow, I'm speechless. Just reading that entire account gave me a panic attack. I bet if I actually had to go through that I would have had a full blown heart attack.

  3. mattallen says:

    Man thats some scary stuff... gee I'm glad I don't live in the States... oh wait... Australia _is_ the 51st state :(

    It makes you want to _be_ a terrorist reading that... if thats what 'freedom' is then I want to be on the other side.

  4. ioerror says:

    San Franciscos protests against the war in Iraq had similar arrests. The people were held in similar conditions. This was obviously a much larger scale.

    We aren't headed anywhere anymore. It's here. Our perception is finally starting to shift and people are starting to get it.

    I spent some time with Eric right before all of this happened (at the 5th hope) and it was pretty obvious that people in NYC were jaded from the 9/11 attacks. But even still, he was hopeful about the protests and never once even jumped the gun thinking that this would happen. He was not looking for this and it found him.

    I am sure lots of people will bash on him for writing this, talking about how hacking should be without politics, etc. At some point, people need to realize that this isn't a partisan issue. It's a our-country-is-falling-apart-issue. We live in the dystopia future we all once enjoyed reading about, it's a shame we don't have flying cars for under 500k.

    • flipzagging says:

      That story made me physically ill. But I don't know about dystopia. America's endured a lot over the years. In 1970, some kids got shot dead at an anti-war protest.

      I don't believe this is the end-state of some process. The pendulum is swinging the wrong way again and it has to be brought back.

      • jlindquist says:

        In 1970, some kids got shot dead at an anti-war protest.

        After reading that piece, I wonder how close we are to that again. The level of hostility and violence we've seen directed by police at unarmed protesters--Seattle during the WTO, San Francisco as another reader mentioned, Boston, and now New York, is disturbing. I thought it was clear in Seattle that those cops were looking for an excuse to cut loose, and unfortunately, those black-clad "anarchist" fuckwits were happy to provide it. I'm very impressed with the protesters in New York, it seems there was a concerted effort to stay peaceful. Yet NYPD was hostile to the point of brutality--a friend's wife was beaten and arrested just for being on the sidewalk. What would've happen if someone really had given them a reason to drop the gloves?

        It takes a lot of effort for me to remember there are still some good New York cops out there. <lj user=jayrtfm>'s friend's roommate sounds like one of them. But I've lost a lot of respect for that organization as a whole. They won't get the awe and respect from me that September 11th earned them. All this convention leaves them is disgrace.

        Sadly, I fear it's a matter of time before somebody's kid winds up shot dead on the street in the middle of a protest. Who wins the election won't make much of a difference, except perhaps to delay it a little. There seems to be an attitude in city governments and police forces that protest isn't worthy of respect, only hostility.

        I don't believe this is the end-state of some process.

        No, you're quite right, it's not. It's 1968 again, just without the "Kill! Kill!" chants. (Like the Chicago Democratic machine, it's kinder and gentler, but just as powerful.) We can come back from it.

  5. I'm impressed that all of the images and audio that he recorded before having the cameras and tape recorder confiscated survived. Not like he could have done much (or proved any of this, really) if it hadn't. Yet another example of the cops ineptitude.

    • jwz says:

      It kind of freaks me out that people have to resort to e.g. writing phone numbers on their arms. We clearly need more effective (stealthier) gargoyle technology.

      • zhixel says:

        This is the kind of thing that happens and makes me think Steve Mann isn't totally nuts.

      • flipzagging says:

        Yeah. Maybe I'm weird but halfway through I started thinking, just wait for 2008. He'll have a camera phone under his fingernail.

        But I wonder if raw data matters any more. The Abu Ghraib pictures haven't moved public opinion much, and they were way worse than any media that could have come out of NYC.

        • volkris says:

          Fortunately some people seem to not have lost their rational side, reacting soley to the emotions brought on by images.

          The Abu Ghraib pictures didn't move people too much because they either didn't care or were able to keep their heads long enough to consider the story behind them.

          • Rational people realize that the Abu Ghraib photos are of activities that are part of our efforts to bring progressive democratic values to the Middle East. By introducing them the world of homoerotic S&M, we are breaking through their anti-gay bias.

  6. jayrtfm says:

    A friend who was arrested just showed me copies of her arrest report, which lists multiple charges involving her bicycle.
    Since she was a little girl, she has never owned a bicycle, she doen't ride one (she rollerblades everywhere) and her roomate who is a NYC cop can testify to that at her trial.

    • taffer says:

      Hope he still has a job after that.

    • legolas says:

      can testify to that at her trial.

      Which is what I wonder most about: is anyone doing anything legally against this sort of thing? Filing complaints about this one (class action against the nypd? ;-) etc? Just so this thing gets some followup, and someone fired if possible...

  7. coldacid says:

    Remind me to avoid NYC if I ever travel to the States.

  8. simmonmt says:

    While I'm certainly not condoning some of the more egregious things the NYPD did, I think a bit of perspective might be in order here.

    Consider the requirements placed on the NYPD. This place is already a pretty high value target, and for a week it was going to become even more high value. The President *and his family*. The Vice President. Two sitting governors. At least two Senators. And probably some I forgot. AQ wants to disrupt the election? This would have been a pretty good time and place to try.

    They also know to expect hundreds of thousands of out-of-towners, some number of whom are making no secret of their plans to actively cause trouble. Among other things (this from news reports), telling protestors not to give out their names when arrested, and basically to make it as difficult as possible, procedurally if not physically, for the arresting officers. Oh, and they've designated 8/31 as the day of civil disobedience. Nothing much happened that I saw, but some of the claims made beforehand were certainly enough to raise the wariness level a bit.

    Given the nature of crowd behavior and the way it can turn ugly in a second, you can't really accept anyone's assurances that everyone will be nice (especially when many of the more vocal people are promising just the opposite) -- you have to plan for the worst case.

    Furthermore, if anything did happen, and if it was caused by someone trying to blend in with the crowd -- someone who, heaven forbid, they arrested and immediately let go -- it'd come straight out of their asses. The same people who are complaining now that they were too harsh would be all over them for not doing enough.

    So you mix those together in the bureaucratic (risk-averse) mind, and what do you get? Oh yeah, and throw in some crappy equipment, which couldn't possible have sped the procedure along. You get something like the process that Goldstein went through. The people at the Pier have no idea why or how you were arrested, or what you were or weren't doing at thet time. Suddenly everyone's an innocent bystander. They're going to have set up a process that's not optimized for time, but rather for making sure they know who you are before they let you go. What they're going to come up with isn't going to be the Hilton -- it's not even going to be the hostel.

    As I was reading through his account, I figured that he was one of the people who were stuck there for three days, the way he kept going on about starvation and dizziness from lack of sleep, etc. Then at the end you find out that he was locked up for a grand total of 33 hours. That's not even a day and a half. Two apples, two mini cereal boxes and a crappy sandwich won't win you awards from a nutritionist, but it hardly counts as starvation.

    Again, I'm not saying I agree with some of the tactics used -- the cop who assaulted jlindquist's friend's wife should clearly spend some time in a cell himself, and the officer who ordered the arrest of Goldstein's group should be facing some disciplinary action himself unless he had a damn good reason. I'm simply saying that a bit of balance is called for.

    Given what they were told to expect, I think the NYPD did pretty well, with the exception of some cases where they clearly overstepped their bounds. Apply the realism filter, and in many cases what seems to have happened is what you get when a large number of people get arrested, expecting to be immediately freed, aren't, and discover that gosh, it's not actually that much fun being arrested.

    • jakichan says:

      Reading this made me angry. Very angry. While no one was physically abused by the police they did emotionally abuse folks, no doubt. But then I'm not surprised, since the vast majority of folks I know who have become cops are not there to "protect and serve" but rather to power trip and carry a gun. Makes you hope for massive lawsuits so the "officers" can be abused by the legal system the way they abused others.