Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Police State: bring it on

Jo'burg metro police have upped the intensity of their spot searches for traffic offenders who have failed to pay fines, or who have warrants outstanding for their arrest. Earlier this year there were random roadblocks to check licences, and now they're surprising people in restaurants. Over 500 people have been arrested. On friday night, during the spot raids they arrested 4 illegal immigrants and someone in possession of drugs. Good for them, you say, it's about time the police in this country got off their butts and started to do something.

At least, that's what you'd say if you were sane. But it seems that restaurant-goers are in an outrage over this. Why? Your meal got disturbed for a short while, and five criminals got arrested. These same people bitch and moan about the police not doing anything when they get mugged or hijacked or broken into, but when the police do something, heaven forbid it should disturb your meal or cause you discomfort in any sort of way. If i had been there, i would have applauded as they detained said criminals and marched them out of the restaurant.

People keep saying it's an invasion of privacy. What?? You're in a public place, idiot. Any policeman can stop you in the street and ask you to produce your ID, just like any TV Licence Inspector can ask you to produce your licence, and even ask you to allow them to enter your home to check if you have a TV. You don't have to co-operate, but why wouldn't you? The only reason not to co-operate with a policeman doing his duty is if you have something to hide. how much effort does it take to say 'No problem, officer, here's my ID. No, no, thank you, and keep up the good work!'

Fucking retards. Complain when the police don't do their job, complain when they do. You should all just choke.

56 heads would have exploded today if i had the power. Count yourselves lucky.


Blogger kleinbaas said...

Fuck the restaurant-goers. They're just bitching.

But. Restaurants aren't public places. Right of admission reserved.

The only reason not to co-operate with a policeman doing his duty is if you have something to hide.
You miss the point, mf.

1. You trust the authorities to do their duty in a right and just manner. Try telling that to the apartheid activists. Sure, this isn't twenty years ago, but the frontiers have not disappeared, merely shifted.

2. We all have something to hide. Without exception.

3. Check your assumptions: five criminals got arrested. That's pretty close to the "They use drugs so they must be evildoers!!1" line of reasoning.

I'd argue that the majority of important social changes have been made by activists doing illegal things. Drug possession may be illegal, but does that make it right that you be arrested for possession in a public place? No - that only makes it lawful.

August 30, 2005 12:30 PM  
Blogger moonflake said...

1. By signing the social contract you agree to trust the authorities, and they agree to leave in place mechanisms for appeal. That's called democracy, and it's different to the two other extremes - anarchy where you don't trust the authorities and despotism where you can't appeal against them - in that it works.

2. I have nothing to hide. I have no warrants for my arrest, i have no traffic fines (in fact i've never had a traffic fine), i've paid my tv licence, my car is licenced, my driver's licence is valid, and i have never committed a crime.

3. Drug possession is a crime. Committing a crime makes you a criminal, that's the definition of the word. At no time did i say drug addicts are evil. They are sad, pathetic individuals who need to be arrested, tried, and sentenced to compulsary rehab. Drug peddlars, on the other hand, are evil and deserve much worse. Especially the ones that sell to children.

Hmmm, yes, we should all remember that a terrorist is only a terrorist until his side wins. After that he is an activist.

August 30, 2005 1:09 PM  
Blogger kleinbaas said...

2. No, you just haven't been caught yet! You've never listened to music obtained in breach of copyright? Smoked weed? Parked illegally? Exceeded the speed limit? Oh, please. I'm sure you can come up with plenty more. Wherever our personal belief in what is right conflicts with a law governing us, we have something to hide. We do have the right to appeal against those laws, of course but -

1. Despite Democracy's* social contract, change seldom happens the way you imply. Few attempt to change the law before they break it. If caught, a few accept their responsibility and are financially, or perhaps even literally, martyred in the process. This is the cost of social change, and where democracy falls short of its ideals**. In the meantime, the rest of us continue to do what we see as right, hiding what makes us criminal.

3. This was me nitpicking. I'm pointing out that you're not a criminal until you're convicted. I would give you the benefit of the doubt - by assuming that you know they have since been convicted - but I don't give that benefit to other readers. Language shapes thinking, often for the worse. Labelling someone a criminal is demagoguery.

At no time did i say drug addicts are evil.
Agreed. But nor did I suggest that. I mentioned drug use as an example of where the law has criminalized a significant number of otherwise law-abiding people.

*We both mean democracy in the modern sense of a constitutional republic. This is a footnote for a reason.
**Before this becomes an argument about systems of government: Its the best we have so far, but that certainly doesn't make it perfect.

August 30, 2005 11:09 PM  
Blogger moonflake said...

i'm not interested in engaging in, in small bursts of text, the kind of debate best had over drinks at a party. The discussion is veering off the topic into the realms of socio-philosophy. I will state my position one last time for clarity, and then i'm done:

I am complaining that the same people who say 'make laws! deal out justice! catch criminals!' get upset when it turns out that this might inconvenience them slightly. Well guess what, a bullet in the face is a much bigger inconvenience. Shut the fuck up and stop whining you hypocrites.

I have nothing to hide, and police are welcome to ask me for my ID or driver's licence any time they like, because they will be doing their job and that is what i expect of them and why i pay taxes. If that resulted in me being charged with a crime or misdemeanour of which i was guilty, i would co-operate and take my licks.


August 31, 2005 9:37 AM  
Blogger Synkronos said...

We were discussing this last night at Moonflake's house, and I feel that what they were doing was right (screening people for misdemeanors), but that quite possibly the way they went about it was wrong. It sounded a lot like they were intimidating people more than making a serious attempt at actual police work. That being said, I don't know the details other than the sketchiness that was passed on to me.

And moonflake, that should be never comitted a _major_ crime.

August 31, 2005 9:40 AM  
Blogger kleinbaas said...

Heh, we never disagreed about the point of your blog post:
kb: Fuck the restaurant-goers. They're just bitching.

synk: Major or minor - I can't see how the distinction is relevant. It is still something to hide.

I'm not interested in engaging in the kind of debate best had over drinks at a party.
No debate for me! I come back one-year!

August 31, 2005 2:08 PM  

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