Monday, February 20, 2012

Belgian riot cops get water cannoned by striking firemen

Water cannons, primarily used for firefighting, were first used for riot control in Nazi Germany. They were also used extensively during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s in the US. Photos of riot cops attacking civil rights protestors with dogs & water hoses are iconic of that historic struggle. But the massive social force of that movement also led to their abandonment as an assaultive weapon in the US. They are still a common weapon used against social protest in many countries, including Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Indonesia, & several others. They use extreme pressure & cause many injuries including eye injuries, broken bones, ruptured internal organs. Police are now trying to inject dyes & electrification into the water. So it does the heart good to see Belgian riot cops guarding a government office in Brussels getting water cannoned by firemen protesting cuts to their pensions (Feb. 10th). (Photo by Wu Wei--Xinhua/Landov)

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