Wednesday, March 07, 2007

It Seems That They Can’t Just All Get Along

From the “rights of man” to the flight to ban:

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
What began as a good natured attempt to suppress whistle-blowing by abusive care-givers in old age homes, as well as propagation of mobile-phone videos by “happy slappers”, finds itself fitting in perfectly with the continental predilection to suppress any telling but illuminating showing of their warts - without which there is no improvement or change.
The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision approving the law, which came exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991.
Basically, this tries to make it illegal to report bad news to anyone other than the Police, unless you’re a “professional” journalist – which means, of course, you’ve been thoroughly indoctrinated into believing in the preciousness of the social status quo by having fear of one thing or another drummed into you.

- With thanks to Strummin’ Joe

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