Thursday, September 28, 2006

When Handcuffs Are In The Script

France is the land of the many, well-rehearsed street demonstrations. The manif ballet always follows the same script:

Police vans arrive a couple of hours before. Street vendors install their merguez dog stands. Organizers distribute pins, banners, and other logo'ed gear. Demonstrators gather. The procession begins, along an officially agreed route and schedule. Street cleaners follow about a hundred yards behind. Police and vendors fold up and go home. If all goes well, it doesn't take more than half an hour for the streets to get back to normal -- as if nothing happened. Except for a faint smell of merguez in the air, and angry drivers stuck in traffic.

That's France -- and Paris in particular. But in La-la-land, nothing beats a good, muscular action script. Plans for a street demonstration on L.A.'s Century boulevard today included 400 of the marchers signing pledges agreeing to be arrested at demo time. They took [acting] classes on how to behave when handcuffed. Parking has even been prearranged for them while they remain in custody. Now, that is organization -- if not quite democracy. Full report in the L.A.Times.
modified photo Google Images
[More on the Ritualized Resistance in CityBeat]


Janet said...

alors là, prendre des cours de menottage pour aller à une manif, c'est aussi époustouflant que de faire connaissance avec l'hôtel de Frank Ghery au milieu des vignes....
magnifique votre blog Frog!

LA Frog said...

Merci :)