Sunday, July 9, 2017

How to overestimate your "enemy" by a factor of 10 and still fail

So, guess what, the G20 summit in Hamburg brought the usual riot porn.

Endless repeats of black clad people throwing stones and bottles, some fires, burnt cars.
Breathless tallies of injured police officers from the start. Number of injured protesters or bystanders remain unknown.


How many of the police were injured in what should really be called "friendly fire" incidents?

Very probably most.

Forget about the looted supermarket and fires set nicely in the middle of the street, where they don't engulf buildings and burn people to a crisp.

Let's talk about the fearmongering weeks before the summit. Government officials have been working on planning for what feels like forever at that point.
Meetings have been held, people have been yelled at more than you will ever know.

Law enforcement and the spy agencies have drawn up plans for just about everything, from mass casualty events to the mundane "porta-jails".

And - important - although everybody stresses the unique nature of the event, almost all plans are bog standard. So, if you had read this old post on "crowd control" in Frankfurt a few years ago, you would know what to expect.

The bog standard includes the same warnings by the domestic spies ahead of every major event, with a nice round figure of potential militants, or "people likely to engage in violence".

10 000, the spooks wrote.

In the end, it is always about one tenth, about 1000 to 1500.

Same old, same old.

Even before the first journalist gets kicked or beaten by police, politicians call for harsh sentences for acts of violence.

On Twitter and Facebook, the "radical center" comes out with rallying cries to support law enforcement. The Germans are still working on calls to "support our troops", not fully reestablished for historical reasons.

The very same "centrists" who stay silent on wars brought about by the states gathering to solve the world's problems foam at their mouths over looted iPhones or robbed beer.
The intellectuals among them go back penning justifications for more mass murder and "good terrorism" the next day.

Once everything is over, journalists who have not been beaten up by the police or had their equipment stolen by protesters will sit down and try to come up with a new and exciting way to describe the riots.

This time around, it is "Event", which is Denglish for what we might describe as an entertainment event. To make the newfangled meme stick, it helps if you can add that you were at Arab Spring demonstrations in Egypt and Tunisia - it gives you extra street cred.

Next up are the criminal psychologists who explain why the police tactics were a massive failure.

Next time?

The blogster has a plan that is guaranteed to work. This very post you just read is the plan.

All we need to do next time is change a few locations and we can run it as if it were brand new.

Nobody will notice.

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