Category Archives: Question Authority

The Strangely Affirming ‘Film the Police’

There is something oddly affirming about this rap video ‘Film the Police’. (Warning: cruelty and bad words you probably don’t want your toddler learning.)

I am not usually a big fan of rap; although I’ve heard a few very striking and wonderful rap pieces, on the whole my liking for rap tends to be one notch above ‘take it or leave it': I’ll take it if there’s nothing else on.

Why then do I say a rap video about police brutality is affirming? For one thing, I am cheered that this piece of resistance starts with a judicial trope. The counter-culture assuming the judicial robe is older than I am (and even I just barely recall here come da judge), but it is still cheerful to see it continued, or revived. There’s still some deep resonance about the idea that the rule of law might be something that can be appropriated and turned on the powers that be.

Even more affirming is the central assumption: publicizing state-sponsored violence can end it. And it might be true.

Posted in 99%, Law: Criminal Law, Question Authority | 1 Comment

Saul Alinsky Would Be Proud

I don't have a “feminism” category, as I usually leave that to Ann Bartow, who does feminism better than I can. But in this case, Amanda Marcotte has already done all the work.

QuestionAuthority.gifAnd, strangely, I did't have an “activism” category either until now. Via Pandagon we learn of a high school rebellion against a very stupid “no bags” policy.

As any woman reading this is immediately thinking, the problem with not letting students carry even small bags to school is that female students have a very real need to carry pads and tampons. The danger of bleeding through your pants is statistically much higher than the danger that you’re going to turn out to be a school shooter, but that fact didn’t give the assholes who passed this policy pause.

Realizing that it’s a bit problematic to leave female students bleeding from between their legs with no way to plug it up, the school has tried to compensate by allowing students who are currently on their period to bring small bags to school during their period, but no other time. Anyone who was ever a teenage girl and remembers the high percentages of creepy men—many who work in schools—who enjoy humiliating you by prying into your privacy can see the immediate problems with this policy.

And, in fact, kids were being humiliated by the guards.

The students organized a protest reminiscent of Saul Alinsky's chewing gum rebellion, described in Rules for Radicals. (The students at a strict school complained they weren't allowed to do anything except chew gum. He suggested that they chew lots of it, and leave it around until the administration agreed to their demands.)

The small Sullivan County school has been in an uproar for the last week. Girls have worn tampons on their clothes in protest, and purses made out of tampon boxes. Some boys wore maxi-pads stuck to their shirts in support.

After hearing that someone might have been suspended for the protest, freshman Hannah Lindquist, 14, went to talk to Worden. She wore her protest necklace, an OB tampon box on a piece of yarn. She said Worden confiscated it, talked to her about the code of conduct and the backpack rule — and told her she was now “part of the problem.”

Which shows that we have another school where the kids are smarter than the administration.

Question authority!

Posted in Question Authority | 4 Comments