Tasered

Shortly after watching the video of Mostafa Tabatabainejad getting Tasered five times at the UCLA library (posted by Matt), we left town for a weekend in Houston, but the forces of antiproduction, particularly police authority and mechanisms of surveillance, seemed to pop up everywhere I went. Probably only more aware of it because of the disturbing video (not to mention the frightening pro-police students and commentators), but that’s the point, isn’t it?

***

On our way out of town, my partner was apparently driving a little fast–our speedometer doesn’t work–and changing lanes without signaling. A state highway officer in an unmarked car pulled us over and let us know that he’d been following us for at least 20 miles. Kind soul that he was, he let her off with a warning and told her to be more careful, slow down, and use her signal. His final words to us were, “After all, you never know who’s behind you.”

***

Late one night I caught the end of Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. Silly, yes, but it makes the noir and gangster nerd inside of me laugh. Anyway, during the summation scene, the butler-cum-Nazi played by Carl Reiner says, “The ones who saw were the enemy.” Which reminded me that in the Tabatabainejad video, the witnesses are told that they’d better obey or they’ll get Tasered themselves.

***

The Netherlands banned burqas:

Dutch to ban wearing of Muslim burqa in public
By Alexandra Hudson Fri Nov 17, 1:58 PM ET

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch government agreed on Friday a total ban on the wearing of burqas and other Muslim face veils in public, justifying the move on security grounds.

Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk will now draw up legislation which will result in the Netherlands, once one of Europe’s most easy-going nations, imposing some of the continent’s toughest laws against concealing the face.

“The cabinet finds it undesirable that garments covering the face — including the burqa — should be worn in public in view of public order, (and) the security and protection of fellow citizens,” the Dutch Justice Ministry said in a statement.

The debate on face veils and whether they stymie Muslim integration has gathered momentum across Europe.

The Netherlands would be the first European state to impose a countrywide ban on Islamic face coverings, though other countries have already outlawed them in specific places.

The move by the center-right government comes just five days before a general election. The campaign has focused so far on issues like the economy rather than immigration because most mainstream parties have hardened their stances in recent years.

Last December Dutch lawmakers voted in favor of a proposal by far-right politician Geert Wilders to outlaw face-coverings and asked Verdonk to examine the feasibility of such a ban.

Because veils were worn for religious reasons, she had feared new legislation could come into conflict with religious freedom laws. But she said on Friday this was not the case.

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4 thoughts on “Tasered

  1. I just came across Fanon’s “Algeria Unveiled” [the pdf online] – which I’ve yet to finish reading, but it’s of some interest. The publication dates is 1965, but I think it was written earlier than this – but appeared in a volume called (somewhat prematurely perhaps) Studies in a Dying Colonialism Though Fanon’s third world nationalism (albeit posed as strategic) leaves a lot to be desired, there are some gems here.

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