How police control non-violent protesters

Some  things never change:

Outside the American embassy on Strandvägen and along the streets leading to it, 412 policemen were struggling with about twice as many demonstrators. The police were equipped with tear gas bombs, pistols, whips, batons, cars, motorcycle, shortwave radios, battery megaphones, riot dogs and hysterical horses. The demonstrators were armed with a letter and cardboard signs, which grew more and more sodden in the pelting rain. It was difficult to regard them as a homogeneous group, for the crowd comprised every possible kind of person, from thirteen-year-old schoolgirls in jeans and duffel coats and dead-serious political students to agitators and professional trouble-makers, and at least one eighty-five-year-old woman artist with a beret and a blue silk umbrella. Some strong common motive had induced them to defy both the rain and whatever else was in store. The police, on the other hand, by no means comprised the force’s élite. They had been mustered from every available precinct in town, but every policeman who knew a doctor or was good at dodging had managed to escape this unpleasant assignment. There remained those who knew what they were doing and liked it, and those were considered cocky and who were far too young and inexperienced to try and get out of it; besides, they hadn’t a clue as to what they were doing or why they were doing it. The horses reared up, chewing their bits, and the police fingered their holsters and made charge after charge with their batons. A small girl was bearing a sign with the memorable text: DO YOUR DUTY! KEEP FUCKING AND MAKE MORE POLICE! Three 190-pound patrolmen flung themselves at her, tore the sign to pieces and dragged her into a squad car, where they twisted her arms and pawed her breasts. She had turned thirteen on this very day and had not yet developed any.

From The Laughing Policeman, by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (1968)


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