Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Climate Camp

The fact that the Police have refused to rule out "kettling" coralling/containment and the possible use of blared music to soothe the savage breast or some such is not too far removed from practices condemned as heinous when adopted by torturers.

Remember the blasting of music as Psyops to force General Noriega to surrender when he'd walled himself up in the Vatican's Embassy after the Americans had deemed him no longer a political asset? The official line was that the music was blasted out to prevent the gathered media from eavesdropping on the delicate negotiations proceeding inside the building. But why then opt for the likes of Guns N Roses "Welcome To The Jungle" and Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" to an opera lover like Noriega (and professed hater of Rock & Roll). If they wanted to soothe his mood and make him more amenable, some nice Puccini aria, or even some panpipes beloved of homeopathy suites would have done the trick surely? No, they were trying to screw with his mind.

Scroll forward to Abu Ghraib 'interrogations'. The theme music from "Barney" (inane toddler TV show) and Metallica's "Enter Sandman" played on endless loop as part of the breaking down of the prisoner's mental state. Psychological torture plain and simple.

And now it lingers in the background as a possible tactic against Climate Camp.

My question is are the artists so employed happy to allow their music to be utilised in such a way? Is there any way for them to prevent it happening and thus show solidarity with those being tortured. If they have no power to prevent it, can they at least sting the military/Police for performance rights money? You know Metallica will for a start off... You could feasibly argue that within the confines of a prison in Iraq, such a case for public broadcast would be hard to cinch. But out in the open at Greenwich Park? With hundreds of thousands of witnesses outside the camp, also having their ears assailed? Pretty public to my ears.

So Climate Campers, if the authorities do choose to blast your eardrums to try and make your occupation a little less tolerable, be sure to keep a log of every track played and the time and frequency and send off to the Performing Rights Society to ensure the Cops have a large bill on top of the overtime claims. Then it might force them to rethink their approach.

Have a glass of carrot juice on me.

1 comment:

Agnieszkas Shoes said...

funnily enough, I've got a piece coming out in an anthology of urban writing about kettling - or, more generally, about the use of water in crowd control. Fascinating topic.