Tjebbe van Tijen on Wed, 27 Jun 2012 13:45:44 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> "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

The video can be watched at this URL:

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

"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:

A nice example of the Dutch 'doofpot' metaphor can be
found on this independent critical media web site:

Tjebbe van Tijen 26/6/2012

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