Felix Writes: The state, your enemy

DigitalThoughts / The state, your enemy

At the end of last year, the US was about to pass a law to allow for the indefinite detention of anyone, without a trial. Since January 1st, that law has passed. Never mind that one of my American friends had a goddamn panic attack upon finding out about it; you'd think we're safe as citizens of other countries, at least.

Not so.

About a week ago, it was decided that a student from the UK, running a website that's perfectly legal in his own country, can be extradited to the US because his website is supposedly illegal there. Imagine Iran knocking on the British Empire's door with a similar request.

But that's not all. Just two days ago, in a move of unprecedented proportions, the FBI has shut down file sharing website MegaUpload and arrested everyone involved with it, down to the graphic designer. The problem? MegaUpload was operated out of New Zealand, with servers in the Netherlands and Canada, and the people arrested were citizens of various European countries.

Which begs the question: if a foreign thug can march into my own country and arrest me, just like that, why am I paying for an army and police force?

Apparently, so they can beat me up if I disagree with the government.

By now, you may have heard about the demonstrations in Romania. For over a week now, thousands of demonstrators in dozens of cities go out in the street every day to demand the resignation of President Băsescu and his cronies, including the Prime Minister (and all his cabinet). Ever since that started, the former is nowhere to be seen, while the latter is even more robotic than usual.

And ever since that started, a very curious dance happens almost every day. The demonstrators gather up in the early afternoon, demonstrate peacefully for half a day then, at the exact same hour -- 23:00 -- a few vandals pop out of nowhere, throw some stones and bottles at the cops and vanish, leaving them to start beating up on those people who were there the whole time and did nothing wrong.

Suffice to say, nobody was fooled, including the European Union who recently declared sanctions against Romania. Watching images of cops completely ignoring the vandals right in front of them only to arrest honest people moments later is telling. And how come none of that is happening in any of the other 60+ cities where such rallies are taking place?

That's frighteningly reminiscent of the "Mineriad" in June 1990, when thousands of so-called miners invaded Bucharest to break up the rally at the exact same place -- Piața Universității. Even as a naive kid (and I was horribly, painfully naive as a kid) I remember being struck by how all of them had impecable, identical clubs which looked nothing like improvised weapons.

Well, we're not in 1990 anymore. The sleeper has awakened.

2012-01-20