Friday, August 19, 2005

Crowd Control as Heroic Battle

I have a friend in the National Lawyers' Guild of Chicago who sent me a link to the NLG's page where they have now published the Chicago Police Department's training manual for crowd control. Just read the blurb from the NLG:
Crowd Control -- Special Response Team Training -- The Chicago Police Department's training materials on crowd control. Editorial note: Sound boring? Au contraire. Who would have thought that Chicago's finest are taught to imagine themselves as Spartans oiling themselves for the fight to the death before the climactic battle at Thermopylae? Or as part of the massive Macedonian phalanx confronting Darius' Immortals at Issus? Liberal education is not dead, certainly not at the CPD. Also, if you've attended a demo lately, see which participant category you fall into on page 11: "'Single-issue' terrorist," "Emotionally Repressed," "Criminal Opportunist" or "Swept-in Bystanders & the Curious."
I really recommend going to the link. The police also reference the Chicago 1886 Haymarket bomb incident. They note that 8 anarchists were "brought to trial." They don't mention that four were executed, one committed suicide in prison, and all were posthumously pardoned by the Governor. They don't mention that the cause of the bombing was the police attack on a peaceful crowd, while speakers were still speaking, or that the meeting where the bombing happened was a response to the police shooting, the day before, of four striking workers.
My sense, based on reading these instructions, complete with notes to be attentive to first ammendment considerations, is that, while this may be the manual for the official training, that it can't be the "real" training guide. Perhaps there's a nudge-nudge wink-wink element in the training sessions that we can't see in this pdf. My primary experience with DAN (other than having my bags searched repeatedly in airports before I changed my state drivers' licence) was in Philadelphia 2000, where the police were widely praised for not using violence. One of the most important police tactics used there was arresting protesters before the demonstration even happened, confiscating and destroying puppets made for the demonstration, and charging everyone in the house with "blocking traffic."
And yes, folks, that happened before September 11th and the department of future crime.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure the content of the document was disturbing, but all I could focus on were the myriad misspellings and grammatical errors. The public is supposed to entrust its safety to a group of people who can't figure out how to use spellcheck? Yikes.

Anonymous said...

I was going to say exactly the same thing... then I saw this.... Wierd [sic]!

Anonymous said...

Ok, now I have my own original comment to make: check out the 4-way taxonomy of protesters on p9: "Single-Issue Terrorist," "Emotionally Repressed," "Criminal Opportunist," and "Swept-in Bystanders & the Curious."

Don't that beat all.