Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Getting tough on (insert trumped-up charge here)

Hippies back in the day had a name for cops like the Tennessee highway patrolmen captured in action by an arrested reporter's still-running video camera.

That would be "fascist pigs."

You know, the kind who body-slam a working member of the media to the ground as he tries to get out of their way. The kind heard trumping up phony charges against him on the spot.

If Nashville Scene reporter Jonathan Meador was publicly intoxicated Friday night, sobriety in Tennessee must be a state so grim as to provoke unending suicidal musings.

AS REPORTED by the Scene at the time:
Another round of arrests is under way at Legislative Plaza, where just after midnight some 20 Occupy Nashville protesters linked arms, awaiting arrest in violation of the Capitol's newly enacted curfew. A 10-minute warning was issued at approximately midnight, and some 60 to 75 Tennessee state troopers stood ready to enforce it.

Among those under arrest is evidently Scene reporter Jonathan Meador, who has been covering the protests. A fellow reporter asked the trooper arresting Meador if he really intended to lock up a journalist there to cover the events. According to the reporter, the trooper replied, "You want to be next?"
BENITO MUSSOLINI'S Blackshirts, no doubt, were scarcely less professional than this.

You have the law, and then you have a lawful society. Some of the most thuggish and lawless regimes on earth are exceedingly scrupulous in their application of "the law." I'm thinking of the Chinese troops at Tienanmen Square, for one.

ALL ACROSS America, we see the kind of law that's scrupulously enforced when it comes to a bunch of people engaging in civil disobedience to make the point -- one obvious to 99 percent of Americans -- that "s***'s f***ed up." That, by the way, was the text of my favorite protest sign ever, seen during an Occupy New Orleans march through the French Quarter week before last.

Then we have the law that's scrupulously ignored when Wall Street investment bankers blow up a nation's economy while enriching themselves to a degree far surpassing any measure of "obscene." An official wink and Gallic shrug, of course, comes only if lawmakers haven't been scrupulously bought in the service of scrupulously deregulating all manner of financial shenanigans that once were scrupulously forbidden.

But if one points that out, we have laws today (and "fascist-pig" enforcers) to deal with inconvenient truth-tellers . . . and the ones who document what they're saying.

Like "resisting arrest" and "public intoxication."

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