jeudi 30 avril 2009

Era of repression

We are in the midst of a culmulative radicalism. The state, long since aware of the dangers of its own economic system, has built of an armory of repressive measures using whatever comes by as an expedient. The attacks of the early twenty first century on urban centres can be seen as the start of an acceleration of already existing and underlying drift towards the closing down of any non Parliamentary political opposition (the latest 'pre-emptive' arrests of eco-campaigners in Nottingham, increased police infiltration into 'opposition groups', for example), the thorough and systematic suffocation of demonstrations (the violence is nothing new of course) via new police techniques, the legally endorsed infringement of personal communications and the arrests of innocent people on trumped up charges of terrorism. We are aware of all this.

Not so much publicised is the aggressive campaign state forces have been waging on 'no go' areas. In France, the liberal media has bemoaned the Sarkozy inspired withdrawl of 'proximity policing'. This is the idea that saturating quarters with police can prevent disorder. In the UK, the police are intervening more aggressively but without about as much success statistically. We are not interested in crime figures, (but generally they are not good - burgalries up and so on). What is interesting about the latest bit of info from Liberty (no real left wing organisation it has to be said) is that the police not only can turn any area into a virtual prison, but that they have used 'Section 60 powers'. These powers can turn an area into a police search free for all, essentially criminalising everyone who lives in an area that comes under such jurisdiction. T"he figures showed that there were 53,000 section 60 searches in 2007/08 with most of them in London, Birmingham and Liverpool." That's quite a lot of searches. It's more like an active policy.

The point of the report is that police searches of people (which hardly ever result in prosecution let alone conviction) have 'surged' since 2005. (The MSM word 'surge' is interesting. The 'surge' in Iraq was the state's response to increased disobedience in Iraq. The violence is not working agress more, is the message from on high to the grunt on the street). We know that rozzer over here needs little encouragement, (the Facebook quote of a snout drooling about 'bashing some hippys [sic]', as a stray example...) but even so the tripling and doubling of police searches (not very nice to-be-on-the-receiving-end-experiences at all) on black, Pakistani and white working claszs people - the report doesn't say that but is glaringly obvious - is chilling nonetheless.
It shows the state knows where the flash points will be, Liverpool, Birmingham and London, mainly, and who will need closing down and how much the police need the practice in this type of repression. The heading in the MSM has it that the only salinet feature of the report is that there are more searches of black and Asian people than ever. In reality, there are just far more searches in general.
The quickly gathering storm is taking a familiar shape.