Sherwood Syndrome. Police againts demostration.

Sherwood’s Syndrome.
Author: David Piqué i Batallé
Tutor: Lola Vallés
Barcelona 12/11/2009

Project “End of Master” of the General Commissioner of the Mossos d’esquadra (Catalan police corpse).
Master’s Degree in Public Security Policies. Ouberta University of Catalonia (UOC)

David Piqué, Senior Commissioner for Territorial Coordination of the Mossos d’esquadra (Catalan police corpse), responsible for coordinating the work of all the Mossos police stations in Catalonia, number two in the Corps, died in September 2016, after having taken the stage in April 2012, during a speech on the Security Corpses day, when he encouraged the fight against street protests in the city, which he called “urban guerrillas”. “We will look for them, they can hide wherever they want because we will look for them, either in a cave or in a sewer that is where the rats hide. Nor will it help them to hide behind an acronym, or an association, or a hood, or a magazine, or an assembly that does not represent anyone, or even behind a university chair. It is not enough to put the social objective to any activity to justify breaking the rule,” he said in a speech he gave shortly after the March 29 general strike, in which there were serious riots in Barcelona.

These kinds of statements are the tip of the iceberg of his End of Master’s work that Piqué elaborated some years earlier on the squat and antisystem phenomenon in the Barcelona neighbourhood of Gracia, “El Síndrome de Sherwod” (Sherwod’s Syndrome). We highlight some quotes from this “MANUAL OF VULNERATION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS”, written by the head of the Mossos, which says things like these:

Page 28-29:

Even if the concentration or demonstration, which is what we are talking about, is not expected to be violent enough, it can be provoked a little, with little justified and not at all peaceful detentions a few days before to warm up the atmosphere. Preventive “raids” can also be carried out on places where people close to the ideology of the conveners are usually found, with the excuse of looking for drugs or whatever is necessary.

The “raid” will be especially badly done and with humiliating treatment to ignite more spirits, if necessary.

The foreseeable consequence of these previous behaviours and the design of the police device is that it will end with a “pitched battle”.

In addition to the previous strategy, as soon as some uncontrolled group begins the violent actions, the police units do not even move and when the violence begins to be generalized, the police action is deliberately delayed until the damages produced are socially unacceptable. It is then when police charges are produced, that at no time want to be dissuasive, it is not disguised.

They go directly against the demonstrators, who are already considered vandals, and they are attacked with sufficient speed so that they do not give time to escape and the physical confrontation is provoked.

In this stadium, the demonstrators attack the police with everything they have and what they have let them have, they are really defending themselves, but it doesn’t seem so. They have been cornered. Violence between agents and demonstrators is unleashed, personalised and out of control.

It’s what you want. Innocent victims begin to appear – collateral damage is now being said – Those who have shunned the confrontation, find themselves with the rest of the police units that close the passageway and do not detain them – prisoners – the dispersion is not voluntary, it is a blow of defense (truncheon) and any sign of resistance is answered with exaggerated forcefulness and massive detentions.

In the battles of antiquity, it was when cavalry was sent to chase those who fled while infantry exterminate those who have surrendered on the battlefield.

This tactic is not unique to totalitarian regimes, it is also too common in many Western democracies. Perhaps it may be due to two factors: one political strategy that does not consider any other option than to view the problem as a public order conflict and the other, in which control of the street and demonstrators/activists is entrusted to undisciplined, vindictive and provocative police units.

Page 25-26:

The anti-system groups in general know that, for different reasons, their actions have more social and media repercussion if they take place in certain spaces. On the contrary, these spaces – the most open ones – are the most unfavourable (for the anti-system) from the point of view of police tactics. We are referring to l’Eixample, part of Sants or any open terrain that allows a rapid mobility of police officers. In classical military theory, it would be the ability to mobilize cavalry or light infantry units on the flanks.

As we said before, Sun Tzu was in favour of winning without fighting and this could be achieved through various strategies and the one that has always been more successful, has been, “who surrounds the enemy, wins. […]” The most studied cases are those of the battle of Cannas where Hannibal defeats the Roman army led by Gaius Teratius Varron and the battle of Alesia where Julius Caesar defeated the Gauls definitively and took Vercingetorix prisoner […].

Returning to police tactics of the first terrain – open – and with sufficient police force. In this case, you don’t want to repress the riots or stop the offenders, you simply avoid them. This is achieved by extraordinarily limiting the ability of the demonstrators to move around them completely.

This is done at the moment of concentration which, as we know where it will take place, has made it possible to make a fine mesh filter at the points of forced passage through the meeting point. The objective of the filter is the same as in the Klausewitz model, to requisition dangerous objects of any kind – because later there will be physical contact – and to avoid anonymity. From that moment on, the concentrates already know that the demonstration will go wherever the police want and will last until the demonstrators decide to disperse. This dispersal is done slowly, letting people out little by little and in very small groups to avoid regrouping outside the circle.

In these situations, the feeling of frustration and helplessness of the demonstrators is very high and they often generate violent reactions from some individuals when they are aware that they have lost all capacity for initiative. These moments are delicate and it is necessary for frontline agents to avoid individual provocations or collective attempts to break the circle.

Let’s think that policemen are less than a metre away from those surrounded. The objective is not to make arrests, only to immobilize. The feeling of defeat among the demonstrators is very high and moral is very “touched”. There have been no injuries – they have no martyrs – nor have they been arrested – heroes. They have even tried, unsuccessfully, to denounce the police for illegal detention or violate the right of movement. If it is planned correctly, the prosecution must be warned of the application of this tactic to avoid these denunciations. If it goes well, it has won without a fight.

Page 32:

“Police units specializing in public order begin to be less permissive with demonstrations and rallies, which are likely to occur for the duration of the political debate. In any case, if the number of demonstrators were excessive, perhaps it could be used to allow enough vandalism to occur along the way to intensify the debate on the antisocial behaviour of the anti-system movement and allow public opinion to link these groups to the squatting phenomenon.

Page 34:

“The selective detention of leaders should be sought in order to charge them with common crimes and to avoid the condition of “martyrdom”. The more protests, the more arrests, until the little support they have, especially if they prove the “privileges” that can be achieved with proper integration into the system, without renouncing some of the postulates that inspire them.

“We will look for them, they can hide wherever they want because we will look for them, be it in a cave or in a sewer which is where the rats hide. Nor will it help them to hide behind an acronym, or an association, or a hood, or a magazine, or an assembly that does not represent anyone, or even behind a university chair. It is not enough to put the social objective to any activity in order to justify breaking the norm”.

David Piqué i Batallé

From the Gene Sharp Manual to Sherwood’s Syndrome.

Politics as war, journalism as weapon and the vote as revenge.

“Looking for the builder of the building (‘the theatrical writer’=’the demiurge’)
I have travelled without pause the circular path of many lives.
Now I have found you and I have penetrated your being.
You will never build me any house again!”

Gautama Buddha

Democracy no longer represents the strength of the people, but their weakness. The absolute loss of power of a people who, believing themselves strong, refuse to recognise reality, immersed in the dissatisfaction of paralysing leisure, in the lethargy of a society divided into a multitude of opposing foci. We have lost Democracy, we have lost it, the former citizens, reduced to consumers of non-existent products, which we strive to create, which we try to understand.

Nobody recognises the validity of an opinion different from their own; of theirs at that moment, rather, in the face of the changing consciences plunged into the drowsiness of false tinsel behind which the true power, the power to create information, hides the terrible reality that we boast about not seeing.

In the wake of that idea of Democracy as Strength of the People, returns an archaic concept, prior to the Athens of Pericles, glossed by Plato in the “Timaeus”: Democracy as the work of the Demiurge, that lesser and imperfect demon/god who tries to build the world in the image and likeness of a divinity resplendent in its perfection.

What in Platonism was imperfection, in the “new civil religion” is transformed into evil. The Universe of the Gnostics represents a gradation, from the subtlest (God) to the lowest (matter). Thus, the Demiurge -the Kabbalistic Malkuth- as creator and computer of the material world, becomes incarnation of evil, imprisoning men and chaining them to material passions.

Today’s Demiurge arises from a dark and perverse idea, closer to the nihilism of a Cioran than to Plato’s idealism. In Platonic and Gnostic philosophy, he is the architect or universal soul, the ordering principle of the pre-existing elements (“monotheism is not incompatible with the existence of inferior demiurges”).

Ordo ab chao; the order that walks towards chaos. The bourgeois order of the welfare state, collapsed by an excluded social majority, whose welfare has never been more than a dream, of which they now wake up clamouring chaotically for their right, introduces the Social Entropy as a saint and sign of a Democracy that only keeps its name; name whose meaning is in permanent reconstruction, in a world accustomed to the unlimited that is now overwhelmed by the limits that constrain us and drown us in anguish; a limited world that faces the struggle to remain at the limits of life. Of a dignified life in which, apparently, we do not all fit.

Thus, entropy is the degree of disorder and chaos that exists in nature. It is the second principle of thermodynamics, which can be defined as “progress for destruction” or “the disorder inherent in a system”. This principle establishes that at every instant the universe becomes more disordered; there is a general, but inexorable, deterioration towards Chaos.

The current loss of the concept -and the utility- of Democracy, is tributary of our passions, alien to any intelligence: We do not admit the will of the majority as will of all. This is the great evil that leads us through this nightmare into which we have turned life, where death is seen as liberation from its torment. Hundreds of thousands of people voting for the rights of their pets – forgetting not only the rights of their fellow human beings, but even their own – give a glimpse of the antisocial bias that is taking hold of the world; that has taken hold of us. We are – we are – building a childish society, servile to the powerful and cruel to the underprivileged; a society that censors Little Red Riding Hood’. We can all feel like victims and we can all become executioners. It is the effect of Fear, where Totalitarianism germinates.

Umberto Eco affirms that the word “fascism” became a synecdoche that is used for dissimilar manifestations of totalitarianism, both in Europe and in America. In 1995 he wrote a text describing 14 characteristics of what he called “Eternal Fascism”. This does not mean that all of them can be organized into one system; but it is enough that one of them is present to allow fascism to develop.
Let us enunciate them:

  1. The cult of tradition;
  2. The rejection of the modern;
  3. The cult of action by action: “Action is beautiful in itself and must be carried out without any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of castration.” An autochthonous fascist, the military man Aldo Rico who organized a coup against Alfonsín’s government, said “that doubt is a boasting of intellectuals”;
  4. Disagreement is betrayal;
  5. Fear of difference;
  6. Appeal to social frustration: “One of the most typical characteristics of historical fascism was the call to a frustrated middle class, a class that suffers from an economic crisis or feelings of humiliation and that is frightened by the pressure of poorer social groups”;
  7. Obsession with a conspiracy: “The easiest way to solve the conspiracy is to appeal to xenophobia”;
  8. Humiliation by the wealth and strength of its enemies;
  9. Pacifism is trade with the enemy;
  10. Disdain for the weak;
  11. Everyone is educated to become a hero;
  12. Machismo and militarism;
  13. Selective populism;
  14. Eternal Fascism speaks a kind of neolanguage: “All the Nazi or Fascist school books used a particular vocabulary” (Enrique Carpintero – ).

We offer them, from two points of view, that appear to be different in a perfect and destructive symmetry, the strategy of the power of the very few to dominate the many (“Sherwood’s Syndrome”), and the timid response of the advance party of the many in defence of the aggressions proffered by the very few, the holders of the Power of Fact, non-elective powers, imposed by the reality of the accumulation of capital that has become a Financial Power that claims to be global and total (Gene Sharp Manual), the defence of the violence exerted against all by the small group formed by the owners of our information, by the modelers of our opinion, making the peaceful confrontation the allegedly liberating talisman of our frustrations, without realizing that the defence of Democracy can only be based on the development of Democracy itself, on respect for the will of a majority from which we disagree, respect that is based on the cornerstone of Freedom of Expression: I assume the will of the majority, which I do not share, as my own, precisely because I can try to change it through Freedom of Expression.


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