crossing the police line

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police lineI had to cross the police line this morning.

But before I could cross I had to give my name, my address and my reason for passing.

In the road parallel to ours, a young man had been shot last night. This morning every road leading out from the site was cordoned off, their occupants not free to go about their business.

I don’t know if they have found the man who did the shooting. I hope they do and that they shut him away for several years in a place where he can learn empathy, life skills and qualifications for future work, so that when he emerges he can re-enter society without feeling the need to shoot people. That is, if society lets him.

But that’s far in the future. A future that I hope won’t mean more police lines and less freedom.

What concerns me is that I did not challenge the police officer’s questioning of me. Perhaps because I needed to get to work and decided this was not the best time for rebellion. But when is? And at what point do the requests of our protectors and politicians become so normal that rebellion becomes too difficult to contemplate?

Sensible people would suggest that I pick my battles. But sensible people do not start revolutions. They may take up the slack once change has happened – bringing the necessary bureacracy to a once vibrant and charismatic regime.

Should I have refused to give my details? Or should I post a petition to number10.gov.uk, start a campaign, blog about it?

I fear that bit by bit I am allowing my freedom to be stolen for the sake of tenuous security. I worry that I am allowing my fears to be manipulated for the sake of others’ love of power. I am considering not crossing the police line…

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2 thoughts on “crossing the police line

  1. I think it’s very important to choose your battles – this is not a good one: people are likely to say “of course we should be protected from murderers”. Ghandi always tackled causes that were clear and obvious areas of injustice. You need to be clear that enough people feel strongly about the issue so you’re not caught out in front with your pants down while everyone melts away. In the early church martyrs were shining examples of resistance, supported by the people – not lone heroes seeking a spectacular suicide!

  2. it seems like yesterday, although it several years ago I first read this blog. Yet it haunts me, sort of stays with me, asks me the question, it’s not a small question, no it’s a rather large question, should I cross the police line today? Should I step out from societies restrictions today? Or is today the day to conform? What will it be today? Am I too tired to have my own viewpoint, or just too apathetic to ask the question?

    Strange isn’t it the things that have is coming back? Things are sticking our brains that rattle around and around asking questions, leaving no answers.

    It’s good to be asked the question thank you.

    Paul

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