Not one police van was on duty, the number of vans were equal to the double length of the street. Darkly dressed police officers framed the street that occasionally takes me from work to the supermarket. On edge, prepared for aggression, violence, hatred, they stood there waiting – ready for the possible collision of ideological opinions.
I could say that I had never seen so many police vans before, but this would be a lie. I saw them there at the same place last week, the week before that, and several times before. One demonstration following another with the frequency of ocean waves.
Being an outsider, a guest in this country, a temporary passer-through:er, I make it my business to not meddle in the politics. I have opinions, a political standpoint that I am willing to share with anyone who listens, and a few who probably does not really want to listen, but I avoid public displays of political views. Maybe this is the coward’s world view, but it does not feel right to make the bed that somebody else has to lie in, regardless of how justified it may seem in my eyes.
As I passed the police vans once again without inquiring who is demonstrating against what this time, I found myself thinking two thoughts. First, that the world has become such a hateful place. Perhaps it always was, but lately hate seems to drive people to a degree I cannot recall previously. Injustice, crimes against humanity, violence, manipulation, plain human evil – all to a degree that seem to has escalated beyond the point of repair. I too find myself filled with unbecoming levels of hatred when I see what is being done – and I, once again cowardly, often simply avert my eyes from the news – desperately tired of knowing. At the same time dangerous forces in the east, west, south and north have been woken from the slumber that should never have ended, only to blame whoever is enough of a stranger to be judged liable. That was why there were many police officers there.
If my first thought was that of hopelessness, my second thought was soaked in cynicism: Do these people believe that their demonstration makes any difference? Demonstration for yellow one week, demonstration against red the next, followed by a counter demonstration saying “down with orange”. I am not against demonstrations and public displays of opinions and displeasure, but I find the extent of necessary police force presence unsettling. Not taking any part in the demonstrations I guess I hold an uninformed view, but it strike me as the purpose of this demonstration battle is not to encourage improvement or to open a discussion, but to spread even more aggression, violence and hatred.
2 thoughts on “Magdeburg Monday demonstration”
On the topic of off-duty policemen, here's something disturbing. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/02/son-deceased
I fear I might not have myself clear. I did not mean to criticize the presence of the police – or their behavior, they were only there doing their job. What I was trying to capture was the underlying reason to why they had to be so many: What has our world come to if a "peaceful" demonstration needs to be protected to such a degree?
To relate to your point it is of course unacceptable when people in power possitions, such as that of the police, abuse this power for their own gain or to strengthen their own askew ideology.