Don't talk to the police, Part 2

Via Rad Geek I found some great footage that demonstrates just how difficult it can be to be silent in the face of aggressive police tactics:

When this guy tried to remain silent, the cop threatened arrest for "impeding an investigation". It's important to know that cops can lie. Legally, they are under no obligation to be honest with you in any way, shape, or form. So how are you possibly going to be able to negotiate with these people?

Remember, you live in occupied territory. Your country has been conquered by a foreign power from the city-state of Washington, D.C. These cops are the troops. The sooner you stop depending on the government, the police, or any institution outside yourself for your safety and the protection of your "rights", the better prepared you will be for these kinds of encounters.

A freedom based on myths of rights and liberties upheld by strangers is no freedom at all. If you want to be free, build your freedom in the real world: on your ability to choose your attitude, to control yourself, to select your values, to opt-out of the system to the extent possible, and to pick your battles. Don't blow it trying to showdown with the occupation authority, especially when they have the upper hand.

One more thing: it may seem like a contradiction for me to say that, while you should operate as if none of your rights will be upheld, you should exercise your right to remain silent. I don't think you should remain silent because you have the right. Stay silent because:

  1. They are unlikely to compel you to talk. If they torture you, obviously nobody would blame you for talking. And yes, that probably won't happen - but this is what I'm talking about: retooling our expectations to reflect our actual experience, not our theoretical rights.
  2. Stalling the cops is the safest and simplest way to interrupt their occupation activities. Why should you not "impede their investigation"? By holding the cops up at the scene, you're doing the community a small favor - the amount of time you delay them keeps them off the streets causing possibly worse trouble.

It's in that same spirit of passive resistance that I'm considering following a rule of refusing to sign any future traffic tickets. Of course, signing a traffic ticket is not an admission of guilt; it just means you're pledging to show up for your court date. The alternative to signing is going before a magistrate, which means arrest. If you can possibly afford the inconvenience, it is one way to drain the occupation force's resources.

What other ways can we passively resist and gum up the administration of the American occupation? I'd be interested in your thoughts.

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Written on Saturday, June 07, 2008