Concrete web-magazine

13Jan/140

How to keep your city safe

Last time, we faced the curfew in Hamburg with a bit of humor. This time we can report that the cit of Hamburg has revoked the curfew.

Maybe the widespread criticism, the protests or even the fact that the US-embassy issued a travel warning for the city (which is a major trading port and a commercial hub)... Not at all, at least according to the Office for Inner Affairs. The measure was ended, because it was a success, the municipial government claims. There have been no attacks on police officers during the time of the curfew.

Again, Simpsons did it before:

lisarockkeepstigersaway

Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, dear.
Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Oh, how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn’t work.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: It’s just a stupid rock.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
[Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money]
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.
[Lisa refuses at first, then takes the exchange]

7Jan/140

Bad Cops

Parts of the northern German city of Hamburg have recently been placed under a curfew*, following police reporting an attack on a police station during which a officer was supposedly hit with a stone in the face at arms length by a left-wing activist and consequently hospitalized. On the 21st of December, riots had already shook Hamburg as police had stopped a demonstration for the squatted social center "Rote Flora", against gentrification and for migrant rights. Supposedly, the demonstration had attacked officers shortly after start by throwing rocks and fireworks.

But - surprise! - neither attacks happened as the police reported them. Their claims about the demonstration on the 21st had to be retracted after mere days, because videos published by protestors clearly contradicted police claims. Now the police also had to withdraw their reports about the attack on a police station on the famous Reeperbahn, after a local lawyer had gone public with witness testimonials. Even the cops now have to admit: their officer was injured some 200 meters away, likely in an incident completely unrelated to the current political upheavals in the city. The Reeperbahn is a popular entertainment strip and violent clashes are a common occurence - and the police is currently not doing much to make friends.

Given that the entire report about a brutal attack on a police officer by left-wing rioters was medially exploited by the authorities and the police unions, the immediate reaction should be an end to the curfew* which, after all, was put in place as a direct reaction to the supposed attacks. Police demands to be allowed the use of tasers and threatening to use live ammunition on protestors should also be withdrawn. But who am I kidding, of course the curfew is still in place and the police of course still phantasizes about brutalizing the unruly masses.

Facing such conditions, maybe a bit of humour will help us to bear the situation and overcome the odds? This and a fitting theme song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fWPsjod8_E

* I use the word curfew here for readability purposes. The "Gefahrengebiet" however is not strictly a curfew but rather an area defined at will be the police, within which they are allowed to stop, control and search any individual without legal boundries. They can furthermore ban any individual from the area or even arrest people for up to 24 hours without judicial control. The "Gefahrengebiet" legislation in Hamburg is unique within Germany.

7Dec/130

Some Puerto Rican guy

It's been almost nine years now since Oury Jalloh died in police custody in Germany. Almost nine years in which the cops insisted the man set himself on fire, with his hands restrained on his back, lying on a fire-proofed matress, using a lighter that was found almost miracleously amongst the court exhibits - not on the crime scene.

But, surprise, he didn't set himself on fire! At least that's the conclusion of a fire and explosion investigator paid for by anti-racism activists.

Instead we're now looking for "unknown third party". That's the likeliest conclusion after all, if the man didn't kill himself. It's not like we would look towards, well, maybe the cops who supposedly didn't notice the fire alarms, who were responsible for the investigation and who insisted on the suicide theory all the time?

So, let me guess what the "unknown third party" looks like:  Puerto Rican. Of average Puerto Rican height.

3Dec/130

Seen it before…

Seen it before... is an upcoming seperate feed on Concrete, featuring short tongue-in-cheek commentaries. The premise is to explain events in the very real world by comparing them to pieces of pop-culture we've all seen before.

So stay tuned.