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[Nettime-nl] "Rodney King" the Dutch way... PURE DENIAL
Tjebbe van Tijen via Chello on Tue, 26 Jun 2012 21:08:47 +0200 (CEST)


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[Nettime-nl] "Rodney King" the Dutch way... PURE DENIAL


"Rodney King" the Dutch way... PURE DENIAL ... or in other words believe the police and not what has been filmed by a passerby through the yes of his phone camera. A video witness movie put on the Internet about two Rotterdam police functionaries doing an arrest of what had now come to be knows as a "non-aggressive drunken" man from Letland, was shown last week on television. People trusting their own experienced eyes of knowing how the arrest of a non-agressive drunk should look like, felt this to be the non-professional way of doing such a thing. Also the trained eyes - we assume - of the editorial board of Dutch National television (NOS Journaal) thought so and they did broadcast theYouTube witness movie, A Rodney King incident in the style of the 3 March 1991 beating up of a black man beaten up by Los Angelus police, an event by chance captured on video by someone with an amateur video camera, and subsequently broadcasted on public television. 

The video can be watched at this URL:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWBRCB4HkXY

The Dutch way is that the whole affair is in process to be smoldered and extinguished by Dutch police and justice authorities, who do carry such a strong feeling, that anything they do must be right, and even more so because it concerns a non-Dutch so called East European and on top of that 'a drunken man', that they simply close their eyes to what can be seen on the video and state that the whole procedure was correct. 

"In de doofpot stoppen" we call that in Dutch, it translates formerly as "hush up a thing" but the Dutch metaphor is more material and points back to the time of the use of small pieces of coal for heating contraptions that would keep your feet warm in winter. As coal does not 'switch off; when you do not need it any more, there was the invention of an extinguisher of burning coal: a metal pot with a lit that fitted so well that no fresh oxygen would reach the piece of burning coal, resulting in it being extinguished.

In - now - historical cartoons one sees often a depiction of the 'doofpot' to illustrate a political 'cover-up'. The authoritarian nature of Dutch society - often not recognised as such - with a press that does little counter-play when it comes to such blunt denials of given facts, has once more been proven. 

Recently the formal head of the local police of Amsterdam, the mayor of the town Van der Laan, had the courage to comment on a series of mobile phone movies, showing a group of policemen (and women) beating along into a non-resistant trained group of squatters, had the courage and wits to say on television "this does not look good" and adding that he would have had the case researched. It was an exception that proves the rule, I have to say with regret.

Police, Rotterdam mayor and a Justice spokes-woman have tried to throw lots of sand in our eyes, speaking about an incomplete documentation and that without what happened before one could not judge what can be seen on the video. Another bystander, the girlfriend of the man who was taking the video was quoted by them as having said that the man before the violent arrest was "behaving aggressive." In a later reaction that  same lady said that the authorities had "twisted" her words and she also has taken contact with newspapers to have her words corrected in that way.

See this link (in Dutch) about her views:
http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2686/Binnenland/article/detail/3277405/2012/06/26/Dronken-Let-was-niet-agressief.dhtml#.T-nxqnTjF9Q.facebook


A nice example of the Dutch 'doofpot' metaphor can be found on this independent critical media web site: http://www.argusoog.org/spotprent-vd-week-wk15-–-doofpot/

Tjebbe van Tijen 26/6/2012
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