(This column was published in the North Shore News on July 25, 2001)


It's the same movie, with same players

By Leo Knight

Well, here we go again.


Another meeting of the leaders of the Western democracies, another so-called demonstration by the anarchist losers who perpetually turn up any time they can push their way into the world's spotlight, another example of police trying their best to do their jobs and being criticized for doing exactly that.


I'm really trying to understand all of this. Really.


Some butthead tries to wallop a police officer over the head with a fire extinguisher and gets shot for his trouble. Who cares? Why should the world's media give it more than a passing mention in a round-up buried deep in the news section?


No, really. Who cares? Well, apart from whatever excuse for a human being that whelped that butthead, who cares?


Do I sound callous? Cynical, mayhaps?


Well, indeed I am.


Sick and tired would also be an apt way of describing my thoughts in the wake of the Genoa riots. Sick and tired of the police being pilloried for trying to keep order in the face of the violent anarchists bent on creating as much mayhem as humanly possible.


And who takes the blame?


As always, it is the police. Yeah, you remember them, those men and women who deliberately put themselves in harm's way to protect the rest of us. No matter what they do in these situations, it seems to be wrong.


Good Lord, after enduring the APEC-kerheads, the Battle in Seattle, the Riot at the Hyatt, the WTO in DC, the Wreck of Quebec, exactly why in the world are we still giving the anarchists any more credibility than afforded to a skid row axe murderer? And, why in the name of all that's good and great on God's green earth, would we criticize those who would deliberately stand in front of the rocks, paving stones, petrol bombs, knives and machetes to try and do their jobs?


The day after the riots in Genoa, the police staged a pre-emptive raid (at a school, no less), and arrested 40 Germans, 15 Italians, 13 Spaniards and others from the U.K., Poland, Canada, Turkey, Switzerland, Greece, Lithuania and New Zealand. Seized in the raid (again, I point out, at a school) were such basic implements of peaceful protest as: two sledgehammers, one pick-axe, numerous short-bladed knives, several pieces of long jagged wood, wigs, helmets and petrol bombs.


Also displayed by Italian police at the follow-up press conference was the jacket of a police officer with a five-inch slice in it caused by the knife of one of the poor excuses for a human being who didn't reckon on the police officer wearing a Kevlar vest.


The Associated Press reports stated, "protesters said dozens of them were beaten up by police during the raid." Pardon me while I try and keep my lunch down.


More than 200 Italian police officers were injured during the riots caused by a small band of lunatics in Genoa. They suffered injuries caused by little things like being hit in the head with a cobblestone, stab wounds, burns from petrol bombs and other such things that you couldn't even conceive of putting yourself in the position of being hurt by.


Yet, newspaper headlines are somehow suggesting the police have done something wrong. This is no different than what happened in Quebec where the taxpayers are going to spend several million dollars to examine the actions of the police.


For what?


Ted Hughes should just turn over the transcripts of the APEC-kerhead inquiry and change the dates. Hey, it's all the same movie with all the same players. And somehow, they are given a measure of credibility they clearly do not deserve by the mainstream media in this country.


It's time to call these situations for what they are. It is time to draw a line in the sand. If they wish to protest, that's fair enough. Use violence to achieve whatever dubious and wooly-headed aim, and the full weight of the law coupled with adverse public opinion should be their reward. Certainly not media support or criticism of the police for trying to do their job and protect the rest of us.


Think I'm wrong? Well, I'll tell you what, the next time one of these things occurs, the police should simply say "Hey, you don't like the way we try and deal with these things, no problem, then we won't attend."


If you have a problem with the way the police handle these situations, see what happens when they don't show up to get bricks thrown at them and have petrol bombs explode above their heads.


Then the screaming will really be intense.






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