14
Aug
11

Good cop – bad cop

Riots in London. A woman jumping out of the window reminds me of other jumps, back in August 1961, on Bernauer Strasse. Good cops, bad cops, here it comes again.

Last week I visited the Ordnung und Vernichtung exhibition at the Deutsche Historisches Museum about the horrors perpetrated by the police during the Third Reich. And running up to the 50th anniversary of the Berlin wall we did read quite a bit about the DDR Vopos and their Schieβbefehl (order to shoot).

How much police should there be in a democratic State? Difficult question. But the question should be preceded by “how much education and opportunities are in there for citizens? is it true democracy or just a smattering of democracy?”.

In the end mistakes will always be made. The crucial thing is to learn from them. The auto-critique shown by the German Police in this extremely tough exhibition is something I’ve never seen in Italy. I’m thinking to Bolzaneto. How many of those Italian policemen fit the picture of “vocational ambition, group pressure and esprit de corps, sadism and personal gain” among those involved in the beating of peaceful protesters in Genoa?

Maybe Britain and Italy could use some auto-critique too. Critics to “the system” and “to society” wearing Adidas hoods and looting the shops are not credible and are plain criminals: order and rules are necessary. Still, justice and social justice should be the basis where to start from. In France we had the banlieues, in London Tottenham, nothing like that in Italy yet, but the ingredients are the same, oder?

Fire Photo: The Guardian


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