|Scarfed from CNN TwitPics|
Yes, it was a big day in Anaheim yesterday as there was a regular Sunday protest at the Police Department Headquarters (The Robo-troopers above are in the parking lot behind the building and a brick wall and so they and their Machines are cut off from most people's view out in front of the Police Headquarters.) There was also a memorial for Manny Diaz.
I saw a bit of both via the Ustreamers and Global Rev's coverage on the Livestream (we still have these competing formats, but it appears that Ustream is far and away the more popular for streamers, with Global Revolution on Livestream often streaming Ustream coverage of Revolutionary doings hither and yon.)
I did not watch any teevee coverage -- if there was any, and I haven't checked so far this morning.
The Po-Po Troopers were Out and About, and they wanted everybody to see, oh my yes, Mister Gittes. (It's a reference from Chinatown. If you haven't seen it or haven't seen it lately, I recommend that you sit yourself down and watch that puppy till your eyes bleed if you want to know what makes the LA and the Southland tick. It's a nasty business...)
Tim Pool captured one arrest on video at the Police Headquarters, but not whatever "started" it -- assuming anything did. Tim was peering over the wall as Other Troopers (Orange County Sheriff's Deputies, I think he said) were marching about in the Parking Lot of Doom when a squadron of Po-Po in their everyday riot get ups took off after some poor sod (or...?) running across the front entrance drive of the building.
It was a somewhat disconcerting scene. Tim took off after them, recording what seemed at the time a Typical Arrest of a Random Demonstrator -- demonstrator thrown to the ground, big-butted police wrangling arms and legs, handcuffs applied, victim hoisted up by arms, paraded away -- but there was more than a little odd about it. As if it had been... what's the word... staged. I don't know that it was, but still it seemed distinctly odd for the context of the day's events and the protest involved, and it took place in the most obvious possible location. You can see the arrest and its immediate aftermath here:
You will note that the police are chasing one black-clad individual who is revealed to be a rather sturdy-looking (white) man who appears to be clean-cut and in his mid-thirties when fully trussed up, unmasked, and paraded away by his guards under orders of the horse police. He does not respond when members of the crowd shout "What's your name?!" -- which has become almost a routine ritual during protest arrests so as to be able to identify and find the arrestee in the labyrinth of the local penal systems.
But I watched and said, "Now wait just a darned minute."
Black Blocs have not been part of the Anaheim protests over police murders and police brutality, and one black clad individual does not a Black Bloc make by any means. OC and LA Occupies have provided logistical support for the protests and a few rather easily identifiable protestors (blue hair is sort of a give away), but that's about all. The protests are organized and conducted by members of the community, those who are being most directly affected in Anaheim and the surrounding communities, and the Sunday protests have been going on for years.
There were dozens of cameras on scene, and many of them surrounded the arrest-scene, which quickly turned ugly -- or was it "ugly?" The horse police -- who had been on the other side of the street I thought -- moved in rather quickly to block off the arrest from view from one side, and other officers including sheriff's deputies, formed a cordon sanitaire on the other sides, pointing their weapons at the crowd and the media and ordering them to "Get back!" A horse police officer orders the arresting officers to parade the suspect toward the police headquarters building, but what happens to the arrestee from that point is "not entirely clear" -- to use one of Tim's favorite phrases -- as the police cordon forms a protective line in front of the barricades that are blocking off the entrance to the police building. There is no paddy wagon on scene. So far as Tim can determine, nobody knows why Dude in Black was chased and arrested, and nobody knows what happened to him. Nor, apparently, does anybody know who he is.
Was this a classic "Wild West show"?
When I was a kid in LA, I would go to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, which had been there forever, rather often, and one of the highlights of these adventures was the "wild west shoot-em-up show" -- which was highly perfected at Knott's Berry Farm, cleansed and sanitized at Disneyland. There were also times when stars of the Movie and TeeVee Westerns would put on shows of their own, sometimes in the streets in Downtown Los Angeles, or at shopping center openings or what have you. I actually had a dream about Knott's Berry Farm overnight, and that's part of why I'm making the connection this morning.
Would they actually do something like this, stage an arrest of one of their own for the purpose of a) entertaining the media, b) intimidating the crowd of protestors? Of course they would! Youbetcha on stilts.
So I'm going out on a limb and suggesting that the dramatic arrest and the display of weapons that Tim caught on video yesterday in Anaheim was quite likely staged for the cameras and for the purpose of intimidating the crowd. I could, of course, be wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me.
Yesterday was a memorial day for Manny Diaz, and it was a day of protest of his killing and of the other killings by Anaheim police and of police repression and brutality in the Anaheim community that has been going on for many a long year.
The Po-Po saw it as another opportunity to display their weapons and their determination to suppress any protest that they didn't control, and to prevent the emergence of any protest movement in Anaheim that would threaten The Powers That Be in any way.
What's been going on in Anaheim since the police shooting and killing of Manny Diaz -- including the additional shootings since then -- has been a very dramatic (and unfortunately deadly) demonstration of what this ongoing struggle in America is about.
The other day, I pointed out that Manny Diaz's mother has essentially all the moral authority in Anaheim these days; the police and the civic officials have none. That's a very, very fraughtful situation.
American officials don't really know how to deal with it. The officials in Anaheim have chosen to further threaten, brutalize and intimidate protestors against their stupid and counterproductive policies, and they've decided to shoot -- and sometimes to kill -- more in the face of these protests. Every time they do that, they diminish their own authority, but they can't seem to help themselves.
The image of the police in Anaheim is almost surreal at this point. The armaments and transport and uniforms and weapons they got out yesterday for the weekly protest against police brutality, and the panoply of it all in a display against a few hundred protesters at most was literally ridiculous. It was laughed at by the crowds. "What are you so afraid of, pendejo?" They had all these horse police, all these weaponized and militarized forces with their APCs and their camo-suits, all these riot cops, all these "mutual aid forces," all these deputies in riot helmets with their sticks out, and there was a relatively small crowd of protestors, laughing at them, taunting them, telling them to "go away."
Eventually, they did. They sort of evaporated into Nowhere from whence they came.
And it got to me. They can kill all the Mexicans they want -- and there is no way around the fact that all this armament is on display, and the shootings are continuing because the Mexicans in Anaheim are "agitated" and it's highly racially charged -- but in the end, The Man is still going to take their pensions away. All their service to The Man is going to amount to nothing, and all the killing and brutality they engage in will ultimately win them nothing.
They -- the Po-Po -- are nothing, just as you and I are nothing, in the eyes of their Betters. It's all been on display in very stark terms in Anaheim this past week and more, and people who see it are revolted and disgusted.
In the end, once civic authority is shattered, who is left? What is left?
"Let's go to Disneyland!"
And then on Anna Street, the very moving memorial for Manny Diaz took place right next to the site where he was shot and killed. Hundreds of people formed a circle and celebrated their lives and his life, in a characteristically Mexican/Native American ceremonial for the dead that doesn't quite comport with Anglo custom, but so what?
At this point, who cares what Anglos think or Anglos want in Anaheim?
Let them go to Disneyland.
They no longer matter.