zondag 1 april 2012

The Ikea of riot control

Open Street Map does a better job than Google maps.
The Situationists critique of urbanism was inspired by the redesign of their city. Paris recreated by city planning to make it easier for the police to control it; this in the light of France's long history of revolutions and uprising. San Francisco Digger Emmett Grogan gives an riot-control-through-architecture example for New York: Tompkins Square Park in the Lower East Side of New York. This park has a long history of political dissent and rioting (even OWS was planned here) and its architecture has been adapted to meet any infringes protesters there might want to make on public order.
Tompkins Square Park had been the setting of many riots earlier in the city, and after they took place, several city departments and agencies got together and redesigned the park, stringing it with so much cast-iron fencing that gave the place the look of of a labyrinth and made it virtually impossible for any crowd to move anywhere en masse. The four-foot-high iron railings were placed randomly throughout the park, successfully dividing it up into small sections, and at the same time, separating into easy-to-handle groups any large mob that might gather. Also, in case of trouble, there were handball and basketball courts in the north-east section of the park enclosed and encircled by thirty-foot-high chainlike fences - that could quickly be converted into a makeshift jail or temporarily holding facility for prisoners apprehended during a mass arrest. 
I would love to know more about this...

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Now I know why US playing court fences are so high. I always thought they were ugly and made the courts look like prisons. Chalk another one up to intuitiion

  2. This strategy is also mention in this good podcast on situationism. It says that the cops now understand the society of the spectacle better than the protesters: