Officers of the peace?
Editors, Asheville Global Report,
We live in a strange time, a time when the world around
us is dissolving into a plot not unlike that of a Phillip K. Dick novel.
Our Attorney General has a burgeoning side career as a gospel singer.
An Austrian action hero with a notable record of sexual abuse allegations
is governor of California, and, despite all the consoling jokes, has
a serious eye on a bigger prize (did you know that even now, Orin Hatch
is working on initiating a clause that will allow naturalized
immigrants to run for president?) Freedom is signified by
falling squarely in line with your nationalistic, flag-bearing, SUV-
driving, Hillfiger-wearing, perfect lawn and white picket fence having
neighbor, while anyone with and inkling of independent thought risked
being labeled a terrorist supporter. And the police, those
officers of the peace, are becoming mongers of violence
and fear, a force riddled with cold and brutish thugs prowling the streets
to defend the financial interest of the privileged elite.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Asheville Police Department has done
it again. On October 31st, with the grace, agility, and intelligence
of a pack of wild hyenas, the APD turned an act of PEACEFULLY disobedient
revelry and delight into an event of catastrophic disarray and panic.
Very bad choices were made, and, I suspect, that those choices were
not made by accident. While I understand how, in the face of a late
night spontaneous parade the officers felt that they had to do something
to assert their power, I am forced to wonder what exactly it was that
they hoped to achieve by their following course of action: the officers
pulled into the front lines of the parade and violently grabbed a person,
SEEMINGLY, at random. However, I find it worthwhile to note that this
person was a slender female, and, if we look at the history of botch
jobs the APD has performed during acts of civil disobedience, we will
notice a pattern of the like. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POINT TO REMEMBER.
Naturally the specter of the large men violently handling the woman
generated (and I choose that word with purpose) a strong reaction from
the crowd, many of which were her friends. This opened up an opportunity
for the officers to channel their aggressiveness into a rain of mace
and taser(!!) fire. By that point, the people on the receiving end of
their violent actions really were being chosen at random. (I overheard
one person calmly asking an officer why he had been tazed for sitting
on the sidewalk...the officer did not respond.) Being a completely sober
participant and observer of that nights events, I can attest that
there were at least a dozen other courses of action the APD could have
taken, had they wished to peacefully disperse the crowd in a calm and
rational manner. I do not believe that this was ever their intention.
In fact, it seems to me that the APD has taken very deliberate steps
on multiple occasions to raise the tension to a point of panic, thus
discrediting their opponents, and giving themselves an open license
to live out a fantasy of violent domination and indulgent righteousness.
This behavior can no longer be tolerated, and we have a right, as the
citizens who pay their checks, to demand better from these supposed
Death row a mockery of accountability
I regret that my utter slave wages do not permit me to
contribute even a pittance to defray costs of you generously sending
me the newspaper.
I have some comments regarding Duncan Campbells piece on ps of
AGR# 248, regarding US clears drug cure for death row inmates.
I am a prisoner in the murderous state of Floriduh; although not on
death row I have a death, rather so-called life sentence, meaning I
was sentenced to the rest of my life in prison. Im opposed to
the death penalty. One reason is that it represents a mockery of accountability.
People are killed for killing, but why arent governments held
to the same standard? Shouldnt Uncle Sam kill Florida for killing
people? Shouldnt George kill Jeb? Should Cain have slain Abel,
or when he did, should he have been cursed? (Cain, by the way, did not
suffer the death penalty for the first murder.)
If prisoners have a right to refuse psychotropic medication, how can
governments justify waiving that right in order to commit more murder?
Of course, no incompetent prisoner can waive that right to refuse. Seems
prisoners only [have] one absolute right, to die. Death and taxes, right?
Hogwash and soul butter! The prisoner to be murdered doesnt pay
the bill, and the death penalty costs more.
The Eighth Circuit US Court of Appeals for years has maintained its
own brand of criminal insanity. Curing crazy convicts in order to slay
them is but the latest atrocious move. Whos next? Case closed!
Thank you for sending AGR,
APD is out of control
Editors, Asheville Global Report,
It was about 1am on Halloween, and the most frightening
thing lurking the streets of our city was the Asheville Police Department.
As occurred last year, a couple hundred masquerading celebrants, to
the obvious delight of passersby and the few automobile drivers who
happened to be on the road at so late an hour, took their holiday cheer
to the streets of our city for a spontaneous and festive parade of ecstatic
song and dance.
And as occurred last year, this joyful act of pure liberty offended
the sensibilities of a local political culture of authoritarian banality.
With even greater callousness than we have seen at previous encounters
between lovers of freedom and the mechanized goons of APD, the first
officers arrived on the scene (Lexington Avenue between College and
Walnut) and immediately began pepper-spraying, firing tazers at, and
tackling the peaceful revelers. This was, no doubt, a provocation because
moments later about twenty police cars had filled the avenue with the
clumsy brutes ready to subdue with overwhelming force any attempts by
citizens to defend themselves from this unwarranted assault.
The day after Halloween saw an escalation of APD presence and harassment
on Lexington Avenue. People were detained on the street, intimidated,
and questioned regarding their connection with all of the
excitement; posters were ripped down from lampposts and street
kids were shooed and/or arrested. In a pathetic attempt to coerce
information out of individuals, a few people were told that
they match the description of someone who allegedly assaulted
an officer. APD officers said they were hunting down the ringleaders.
An officer went around to all of the business owners on Nov. 1 to let
them know that APD is at their service as they try to shore
up support from business owners for their heavy-handed bullying tactics.
APD claims that officers were assaulted on Halloween. I did not witness
any such thing. I did witness officers assaulting people who love and
are not afraid of freedom. I would not, however, feel an inkling of
remorse if individuals did stand up to police abuse and their violent
attempts to crush our freedom by returning some of the pain and humiliation
that these shells of human beings inflict with impunity on a regular
basis in our communities.