Let's Play A Game: Anarchist Or Photo Op?

from the take-your-pic dept

Last week, there were student protests in the UK, concerning massively increased fees, and apparently on the fringes of the protests there was some violence, which of course the press picked up on, because “if it bleeds, it leads.” Or, in this case, if it “kicks in a glass window, it leads.” Apparently a whole bunch of newspapers all carried the same photo on their front covers. I’ve posted all nine such covers after the jump, but here are a couple just to give you the idea:

However, as some have noted, what may be more interesting is that if you look at a wider lens version of a similar image, you see that the guy kicking in the glass appears to be surrounded by a ton of photographers. In fact, the whole thing almost looks like a setup, with every single newspaper cropping out the photographers:
It looks like the wide angle shot was taken either seconds before, or seconds after the shot used by all the papers, but it’s pretty close. Of course, with so many photographers, it does seem a bit odd that the newspapers all seemed to use a single photograph for their covers. What happened to the images from the others? Anyway, see the nine covers after the jump.

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Comments on “Let's Play A Game: Anarchist Or Photo Op?”

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Jackie Danicki (profile) says:

They also took over the roof of the HQ of the ruling party, the Tories, and dropped two fire extinguishers onto the ground below – narrowly missing killing a police officer, from what I’ve read. This photo is pretty darn perfect, so I can’t really fault them all for using it – a bunch of upper-middle-class white boys on the roof of a building isn’t nearly as evocative.

ac says:

Re: Get my best side...

that’s a good point. there are a bunch of people surrounding this one “rioter” all with what appear to be enthusiast class cameras, one with a tripod set up and a bobby watching. Random acts of violence happen too quickly for this sort of scene to set up. that or this person was kicking the window for 5 straight minutes trying to break it, in which case, that bobby is in no hurry.

Jake says:

If anyone’s wondering why the police aren’t reacting, there were about twenty protesters for every cop and the riot squad was nowhere nearby (something the right-wing papers have been collectively ripping them a new one about), so they were ordered not to intervene unless it looked like the rioters were going to lynch someone.

Mind you, the political party whose headquarters is being wrecked in that picture is also slashing the police budget, which will mean lay-offs and a gutted pension scheme. One can’t help but feel that even if the police had been capable of putting down the riot, their hearts wouldn’t really have been in it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

They are different (the upraised arm is posed differently).

The Express pic actually seems to be from a slightly different position as well, a bit to the right.

Only the Express pic seems to show the expansive gaggle of photogs as well.

The cropped version is a great shot, imo, if not telling the whole story. Not surprised it’s being so widely used.

crade (profile) says:

Re: One more thing

Anarchism is a myth. Without rules, whoever can will obviously just take over and makes their own rules. It’s not like we haven’t seen this happen before. You can call them a gang instead of a government if you want, but it doesn’t change anything.

Everyone just wants the government to enforce their own version of what they think the rules should be. People who claim they want “less” government are full of crap and just want differently focused rules.

akston (user link) says:

Re: Re: One more thing


> Without rules, whoever can will obviously just take over and makes their own rules
> Everyone just wants the government to enforce their own version of what they think the rules should be

You should look up Libertarianism – by which I mean the modern sense of the term. It avoids both these pitfalls by making it the government’s job to protect individual rights and *nothing else*. The principle is to remove the initiation of force and fraud from human relationships.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 One more thing

You might find this focus of rules to be “natural”, but someone who thinks differently (plucked from a communal tribal society for instance) might think this particular focus of rules is very restrictive on their rights and lobby for “less government” where the government isn’t controlling what things they are allowed to use and where they are allowed to walk.

PunksUndead says:

Re: Re: One more thing

“Anarchism is a myth. Without rules, whoever can will obviously just take over and makes their own rules.”

Obviously you have no idea what Anarchism means.

“Anarchy: It is NOT bombs, disorder or chaos. It is NOT robbery and murder. It is NOT a war of each against all. It is NOT a return to barbarism or to the wild state of man. Anarchism is the very opposite of all that.” ~Alexander Berkman

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: One more thing

You might be right. I always though anarchism meant one of these things (you know, from the dictionary):
1. The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished.
2. Active resistance and terrorism against the state, as used by some anarchists.
3. Rejection of all forms of coercive control and authority:

Gabriel Tane (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: One more thing

I’m with crade… except I wouldn’t call it a myth, I’d call it an excuse to be angsty. The only ‘anarchy’ I’ve ever seen (outside of setting up a 5 year-old?s birthday party) is rebellious youth who flock to anarchy as a way to do whatever they want without consequence.

My favorite illustration of this is from Something Positive: http://somethingpositive.net/sp12102002.shtml

“This is anarchy! Where the strong rule the weak and guess where your place is Puglsey? Anarchy is your sixth grade gym class for all eternity!”

akston (user link) says:

Photo Ops

This is certainly interesting, given the exact same thing happened at the London G20. See here – http://statismwatch.ca/2009/04/01/g20-protests-riot-police-or-rioting-police/

I don’t know if this is a smoking gun, since at the Toronto G20, the photographers almost outnumbered protesters and police combined. It wouldn’t have taken them long to close ranks around this guy.

Anyways, the experience here in Toronto proved that the thing to look out for is the feint rather than outright provocation. The police drove a bunch of police cars up, menaced the crowd briefly, then fell back – an open invitation to douchebaggery in the service of globalization. http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100626/100626_G20_protests/20100626/

From the article:

James Ruehle, a 49-year-old contractor from Pickering, a half hour’s drive from Toronto, saw the burning of the three police cruisers.

Ruehle was stopped in his truck at the lights at the corner of King and Bay streets in the city’s financial district as the protesters approached.

Three police vehicles zipped past the line of traffic into the intersection, where they stopped with lights flashing. A group of about 20 to 30 police then began to congregate but an officer Ruehle thought was a police captain ordered them back.

“The cop was yelling at them ‘Back up!’ ‘Put your batons down!”‘ said Ruehle.

The police in the cars, he said, then amazed him by backing off, leaving the cruisers running in the middle of the intersection with their lights flashing and doors open.

“It was like an invitation G(to the protesters),” said Ruehle.

Guess what images were all over the media?

gojomo (profile) says:

This just in: pointing a camera at someone changes their behavior

You see this lots of times at protests and picket lines. As soon as filming (or a live news ‘stand-up’) starts, behavior changes: chants start, marching begins, signs are repositioned, people crowd around. Cameras off, back to waiting around.

Of course the same applies to officials and law-enforcement: as soon as there’s awareness of a camera, postures/tone/behavior changes.

You can’t fully trust any photo or video as an accurate representation of the same area without a camera.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

What's up with the glass?

Looking at the pictures that are different I notice that the glass isn’t different in any of them. One would think, if he’s in the middle of kicking in a window, the glass position would change at least a little in the quarter of a second it took him to lower his arm.

Now that I look even closer, those aren’t three different pictures taken within a fraction of a second, those are three different kicks. That’s why the one guy isn’t in the Guardian picture, he had time to walk out of frame.

Unless that guy was acting, that glass should have changed is some significant way. That guy didn’t do that damage to that window.

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