Thursday, August 18, 2005

The name is Blair, Ian Blair

The Guardian published yesterday new details from the inquiry on the Stockwell shooting, in which the innocent Brazlian Charles de Menezes was killed by the police. It now appears that…

He didn’t jump the ticket barriers.
He wasn’t wearing anything unusual.
He didn’t run away – he ran for the train.
He wasn’t aware he was being followed until his very last moments.
The police seized him a few seconds before he was shot; they even held his hands.
The whole thing started because one of the surveillance officers went to piss while de-Menezes was leaving the building.

According to a poll by the Economist from the end of July, 65% of the British public thought the police were justified to open fire at the time of the shooting, only 20% disagreed.
Two thirds of the public gave the State the benefit of the doubt when an innocent man was gunned down on the Underground.

70% of the British Public backed the ‘shoot to kill’ policy, never stopping to ask:
Who shoots? Who gets shot? Who makes the decision?

The Economist was the only – as far as I know – mainstream British newspaper to speak clearly against “shoot to kill” policy. Disgustingly Neo-liberal as this paper may be, I have all the respect for it for doing so. The ‘left wing’ Guardian, cowardly and double-faced as ever, called the shooting a ‘blunder’; it backed ‘shoot to kill’ while making the lame point that the public should have been ‘better prepared’. Yes: an informative campaign for State executions on the tube, that’s what’s we’re missing. And please provide it in translation, big print, and Braille.

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