|November 3, 2012|
I’m sitting at home one day a few weeks later, early hours, bang, bang! Seven o’clock in the morning. I was just about to open it but they banged through. I was so calm, they were shouting so loud, all red in their faces, shouting at the top of their voices, “GET ON THE FLOOR!” I go, “I’m not resisting.” My dog didn’t bite nobody. They searched my house. They go, “We’re arresting you for violent disorder.” I’d seen myself on Sky News, it showed me getting beaten up, and me throwing a few punches, so I knew they’d get me. Got to the police station around half past eight, and was there all day.
The next morning went to court, got bail—I wasn’t expecting to get bail—and went back to get my dog. It was like they’d seen a ghost. At first they said they didn’t know where my dog was. When they came back with my dog, its nose was busted, it looked terrible, it was weeing blood. I go, “What did you do to my dog?” They told me that’s how it was when they got it. I know they beat my dog. It was traumatized; it wouldn’t go near anyone else for a while.
I went to the Crown Court in Wood Green, pleaded not guilty. Now I’m just waiting for the trial. They said that they have a picture of me throwing a rock. I admit, I did throw a rock, but it didn’t hit anyone. That was well after I got beaten up. If it wasn’t for some young people, I’d have got beaten to a pulp. Young kids throwing bricks and stones at the police to stop them from hitting me. Hoodlums and thugs stopped me from being beaten to death. I felt comfortable being amongst them. In the crowd, there was a lot of people talking about lots of things, really interesting things too. About Mark Duggan [black British man who was killed by police immediately preceding the riots]. At the time the Steven Lawrence case [a murdered black teenager whose killers were not convicted for almost twenty years] wasn’t up—people saying they knew who the killers were, but they couldn’t touch them. Saying the police started off the rioting by picking on some young black boy—they beat him to the floor for no reason, and that’s how it spread. I saw mostly young black guys getting beats.
This is what I keep hearing: it’s not a police service, it’s a police force. They’re just getting more and more power and authority. You can’t trust them. People aren’t stupid. Some people think this is all planned and all—the riots were all planned—by a bigger group, the Big Society, or whatever the government’s trying. A lot of people are saying, they want riots to happen, so they can force certain things on the people. Say there was another riot now. Now the government’s got more rights. They could do things like logging everyone’s mobile phone. I think they’re trying to get more control over the population, and mold us into how they want us to be. I feel we’re all slaves. They’re frightening the public—where I was standing, it was the police causing the fear. With the trial, it doesn’t matter what I say or what evidence I bring. They’ve already decided that I’m guilty. And because it’s the riots, the sentence will be five times worse. I’m going to get a big, long sentence.
Make any cento you want! But try to make it as good as you want it to be. You don’t really want Seidel’s freedom. His poems are licensed by privilege, prestige and money — lots of all three. His deliberate transgressions look like power — to poets, any use of power looks like freedom. But I just read all Seidel’s work, straight through, and I think he’s wearing golden handcuffs.
Pale Youths in Love
I remember when I was a pre-teen and they moved into a loft across the street from me in Tribeca, where I lived. And an older neighbor friend told me they were living in her building, on the top floor. I saw him at my corner deli, and on the street smoking, but never her. At night, I sometimes looked up at their windows and saw their lights on. He was not very impressive in person. Cute, but no big deal.
What is Work?
Without a written record, we cannot know with certainty how the earliest humans thought about work, but the importance of sharing food and other resources means that prehistoric work embodied at least an element of serving the needs of a community rather than just those of an individual and his or her immediate family.
You may also like :
There is a trite and obvious thing to say about Iceland, and that is that it looks like the moon. Descending into the Keflavik lava fields the other day, on an Icelandair flight from Paris, I was permitted to feel annoyed and a bit superior when I overheard the virgin French tourists behind me exclaiming as they gawked at the land below: Mais il n'y a rien là! By 'nothing' I thought perhaps they had meant 'no Michelin stars', but then one of them added, as if on cue: C'est comme la lune!
While straitened budgets and shrinking resources present difficulties for all of us within the university system, some of the most vulnerable people affected are graduate students. Occupying a liminal space as apprentices within the profession, students enrolled in master’s and doctoral programs often find themselves facing a situation in which opportunities for professional development have become occasions for exploitation.