For the past several years the month of May has borne witness to The Purple Hatter’s Ball, a music festival at Suwanee River State Park, FL, that celebrates the life of Rachel Hoffman. Rachel is a relatively well known victim of the USA’s “war on drugs.” She was murdered in May, 2008 on a rural road in Tallahassee, FL by two young men who were not drug dealers, but had nonetheless been approached by Rachel because a friend had told her they could sell her $13,000 worth of drugs and guns. The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) had used a minor marijuana possession charge to pressure Rachel–who used, but did not sell drugs–to participate in this “sting” operation, and on that night in May she had $13,000 of U.S. taxpayer money in her possession. Her communication with the TPD’s officers running the sting failed, and the teenagers who had made no attempt to obtain either the drugs or guns they told Rachel they could provide her ended up shooting her, taking the money, and escaping (they were eventually arrested, several days later, as they began spending the cash). In short, the TPD created a drug buyer who did not exist, allowed her to locate drug dealers who weren’t, botched the electronics, and one person died while two petty teenage criminals became murderers, generating grieving and loss across three families, along with hundreds of friends. Continue reading
Tag Archives: G8/NATO protest
While at the anti-NATO protest I became especially intrigued by the clothes/costumes worn by the different activists – particularly those associated with the “Black Block”/Anarchists. Clearly, there are important elements of “dressing to impress” and identity formation at work. They do not all appear to be consistent but they likely never are.
Below are some of the interesting things we observed:
Below one sees that the NFL (National Football League) and MLB (Major League Baseball) are proud “sponsors” of anarchists, an essential component of any radical wardrobe. I wonder about the teams. There are also some uses of head scarves found in the Middle East (does anyone know what the light green one represents?)
This will be the first of a few posts on the interesting things Will Moore and I observed in Chicago this past weekend while conducting an observational study of the G8/NATO protests that builds on, and extends, Clark McPhail’s approach. Our goal was to systematically evaluate the variation and escalatory dynamics present within contentious state-dissident interactions. For a description of the project, see Matt Baggetta’s post or visit our site: http://tinyurl.com/protpol. We will update that site later with additional information regarding this project.
Last year I ran some embedded survey experiments with Rose McDermott and Dave Armstrong regarding protest-protest policing. At one point, we sought to determine if responses would vary according to the race/ethnicity of the protestors and police. One dyad concerned black police and white protestors. To this, several readers questioned whether black cops “policed” white protesters.
While there were a large number of white officers and protestors at the event, there were also specific moments when the police force was almost exclusively African American with a predominately white protestor presence.
Below are some of the images that I shot.