Blader Digest: Mace to Your Face

There is nothing more deplorable than a society who justifies the use of “less-than-lethal” tactics on people who sit on the ground.

We’ve all seen the news: protestors shot by riot cops in Oakland, pepper-sprayed in New York and on the U.C. Davis campus, and so on.

They occupy the same public grounds and college campuses that we are routinely removed from because a few people decide what others may do. Lawmakers make the laws, and we are supposed to blindly follow them without retribution.

Why? Only because people want stronger regulation of corporations, thus ending the idea that a business has the same entitlement as a human being.

We, as bladers, have all experienced the use of aggression and hostile tactics for minor violations of laws designed to squash our desire to do what we love—defacing public property, trespassing, disorderly conduct, and illegal camping.

I personally have felt the wrath of choke-slamming police at Bitter Cold. There I was, handcuffed in the back of a police car because I didn’t put up with a police officer shoving me at a hotel I was a guest, as one police officer held a can a pepper spray right up to my eyes. It wasn’t the shock of knowing their force wasn’t justified, but knowing that they could do whatever they wanted and I was powerless to stop it.

Now, the democratic system makes our process appear to follow the notion that even the smallest of infractions should be met with brute force to quell any kind of uprising.

What’s worse is when there is political divide over whether these people have it coming. Some of the people in this country are so entrenched in the rules they’ve lost sight of what is correct in a supposedly free country.

The Occupy movement is far from perfect. Some of the tactics involved in it are complete head-shakingly contradictory and full-blown hippie commune shit. Then again, they’re doing something worthwhile besides camping otherwise there wouldn’t be such a full-scale uproar about it.

Protestors shame those officers who will do anything to those who raise their voice or disobey an order, but they are too callous to care.

Here in San Francisco, the people in the crowd obviously won’t be the poster children for capitalism because they are fighting against it. Here, they have classes (one of which includes yoga that my girlfriend teaches) and peace marches. No one here has been pepper-sprayed and beaten because despite it being San Francisco, there seems to be a little bit of sanity.

A raid here was canceled because politicians supporting the crowd were among the cause. Those people were lucky.

Dressed in riot gear with the names on their uniforms blacked out, these pro-government forces have shown, repeatedly, that they have no problem putting anyone in a jail cell. Or the hospital.

They are unified. Even the Oakland mayor admitted to consulting with mayors and leaders of other cities on when to dismantle encampments.

These are police officers who took oaths to uphold the law, but the law is skewed in their favor. They are the few who are allowed to carry lethal and non-lethal force with them at all times. If they unjustly use that force, they are judged not by the system of law they testify in, but to their superiors, who are judged not only on their performance but that of their subordinates as well.

It is a system behind closed doors where the average punishment is paid time off (a.k.a. a vacation). After years inside this system, they are given pensions where citizens pay them not to do anything.

And the public rallies behind them because they, too, believe that whatever force is needed to stop even the smallest of infractions.

And it doesn’t help that retardation and acceptance spreads quicker than the pepper spray…

Much like Star Wars, the Empire is striking back against the rebels. The problem is instead of one masked man dressed in black, there are legions of them.

Something has shaken the brutality alive and if I’ve learned anything in journalism it is this—if you’re doing something right, people will try to fuck you up to send a message. If you’re doing something wrong, they’ll still try to fuck you up if they can get away with it.

Thanks to the vigilance of the internet, people aren’t getting away with it. The images of sheer brutality of the police are circulating around ad nauseum. The pepper-spraying cop even turned into an internet meme, casting a nearly comical light onto his actions.

If they are unified against us, we must unite against them.

I say we ignore all the bullshit and the rhetoric (Get a job! Shut up and go to work! etc.) and bind together with those who withstand even worse treatment in the same public grounds we share so we can blade.

We should unite over the realization of how quickly our governments will use their private armies to disperse people under the guise of municipal infractions when the right to peaceably assemble to protest our government using free speech is guaranteed to all people of this country under the Bill of Rights.

It’s either that, or we continue to let them do as they please to others and wait until they come for the rest of us.

It’s the same post-script of society that prompted Martin Niemoller to write the following only after he spent eight years in a Nazi concentration camp:

“First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Then again, this isn’t Nazi-era Germany. This is America. Land of the free, home of the brave…

Ah, fuck that style of thinking. We’re giving up our rights each day by doing nothing. It’s working well for so many people, but chances are you aren’t one of them. If it is working for you, remain silent because when you step out of line for something you believe in, don’t expect anyone to hear your cries.

So, yeah, just keep blindly buying shit you want because it’s new, fancy, and shiny. Don’t think about where your money goes and what’s being done with it. Actually, do whatever the fuck you want because I’m sure when the day is done, all that shit will fill the void that is inside your apathetic heart.

Or you could actually support something that supports you.

If you must spend your money on something to make you happy, fuck a flatscreen TV and buy blading shit. Lots of it. Give the gift of shredding this holiday season.

Oh yeah, and fuck the police.

Blade or Die,

Brian Krans

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