A Different Kind of Diffusion

A friend recently posted a link to this photo in the Jakarta Post.

The caption reads, “Female police officers dance to diffuse the tension at a fuel price hike rally in Surabaya, East Java [Indonesia], on Thursday. The police later fired tear gas into the crowd to disperse the rally.”

It’s unclear whether the dancing was a spontaneous action, or a planned tactic. It seems to have been somewhat coordinated, though — the two women in the middle, and to a lesser extent the one on the right, appear to be making the same movement.

During a protest, the police are the representatives of the state, the actor against whom protesters are directing their grievances. I’ve never heard of police employing lighthearted strategies to address the threat of violence in a protest setting. Have you? Of course, the fact that these dancing police officers are female makes their choice of tactic that much more interesting.


Filed under Daily Disruption

3 responses to “A Different Kind of Diffusion

  1. Grzegorz Piotrowski

    In the TV documentary Antics Roadshow by Banksy there is a story of a British riot police car using the melody of an ice cream van instead of its police siren, which lead to decrease of the tension between protesters and the police.


  2. Pingback: I am what I think that you think I am…. STRATEGIES FUNCTION and ROLE of POLICE and POLICING « invincibleignorance

  3. When a demonstration of the student movement blocked a street in Berlin in October 1967, a police officer attempted to demoralize participants with an excessive use of humor. He used the police PA system to crack jokes for two hours. He also promised to play dance music to make the students move.


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