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"War On Terror" Board Game Confiscated In UK 598

Posted by kdawson
from the security-theater-as-low-comedy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The board game The War On Terror is a satirical game in which George Bush's 'Axis of Evil' is reduced to a spinner in the middle of the board, which determines which player is designated a terrorist state. That person then has to wear a balaclava (included in the box set) with the word 'Evil' stitched onto it. Kent police said they had confiscated the game because the balaclava 'could be used to conceal someone's identity or could be used in the course of a criminal act.' Balaclavas are freely sold all over the place in the area." Schneier has blogged this stupidity, of course.
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"War On Terror" Board Game Confiscated In UK

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  • Police thugs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:22PM (#24617849)

    All too often Police confuse "fighting crime" and "protecting the peace" with authoritarian "because I said so and I have a gun" mentality.

    I refrain from a rant, but the more police I meet, the more I hate the police.

    • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bryansix (761547) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:24PM (#24617901) Homepage
      I agree with you there. Sometimes Police take matters in their own hands when they should be busy enforcing the actual laws on the books. In addition many police just act above the law when off duty simply because they are police during the day. Really the police should be policed more rigorously then the general public.
      • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Atheil (1184445) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:55PM (#24618449)
        I don't disagree with this, they should be policed more rigorously than the general public, and they usually are. If a cop comes under investigation for a crime, it is a lot more likely to make it to Court than if it is a private citizen, at least in Canada anyways. The best solution to this problem is to allocate more money to police budget so that you have more people wanting to become police officers (since now you'll have an actual benefit to the amount of work they have to do) and can be pickier with who you choose.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          and can be pickier with who you choose.

          And actually fire people when they abuse their power. If police were actually penalized for egregious abuses of power like this, we wouldn't have enough police officers to generate revenue for the city.

        • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:39PM (#24619281)

          In Canada recently a women's car was hit from behind by an off-duty cop in the wee hours of the morning, after being pulled over by an on duty cop.

          The off duty cop was returning from a cop party, he was not given a sobriety test and all the cops who were asked to testify as to his soberness declared that they could not recall.

          This is just one example from many.

          I totally distrust the police. The only attitude to take is us vs them. We are expected to testify against offenders but the police will *never* testify against their own.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Atheil (1184445)
            Specific instances of police abuse of authority does not prove that "all police are evil and should be punished." If anything police are proven to be human. The cops involved in that incident should have been fired and/or charged, and I don't disagree with that. However, saying all police are bad from a specific instance is like saying all black people are bad because a black person robbed you one time. Yes, I'm equating hating the police to racism because they're both discrimination against a group for act
            • Re:Police thugs (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:24PM (#24620749)

              Oh, no, there's a slight difference:

              Cops mostly have a similar mindset and agenda. The majority of people have had negative personal experiences with the police. The police force works as a unit to accomplish its goals and protect its members.

              Black people are generally very diverse and may have a variety of motivations and agendas. The average racist has not had any negative personal experiences with black people and hates them based on assumption and hearsay. Lastly, there is no evidence of a vast racial conspiracy. The black community is notorious for its fragmented nature and black people rarely strive to do anything as a group.

        • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Insightful)

          by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday August 15, 2008 @03:24PM (#24619943)

          I don't disagree with this, they should be policed more rigorously than the general public, and they usually are. If a cop comes under investigation for a crime, it is a lot more likely to make it to Court than if it is a private citizen, at least in Canada anyways.

          Wow, that is certainly not the case in the US. In my state we actually have special exemptions in our handgun laws for police officers because normal people convicted of domestic violence are not allowed to carry concealed pistols... but so many police officers have such a conviction, they made sure to exempt them. My brother used to be a cop. When pulled over for excessive speeding, the police saw he was a cop, chatted a bit, and let him go with no mention of the speeding, not even a warning. I suppose a lot of that falls under the category of police not being investigated when they are likely suspects in crimes, but in general the police are not policed well in the US.

        • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Insightful)

          by k1e0x (1040314) on Friday August 15, 2008 @03:55PM (#24620399) Homepage

          I don't disagree with this, they should be policed more rigorously than the general public, and they usually are. If a cop comes under investigation for a crime, it is a lot more likely to make it to Court than if it is a private citizen, at least in Canada anyways. The best solution to this problem is to allocate more money to police budget so that you have more people wanting to become police officers (since now you'll have an actual benefit to the amount of work they have to do) and can be pickier with who you choose.

          Are you kidding me? You want to pay them MORE?? Are you insane?

          Here is what happens.

          1. Cops do something terrible. (Tazer a man to death, shoot an unarmed man at point blank range, raid the wrong house and shoot grandma, dump a quadriplegic out of his wheelchair, etc.)

          2. The police department starts an official investigation.

          3. The officers are suspended with pay. This is in effect a paid vacation.

          4. After several months the department concludes that no wrong doing took place.

          5. Police officers involved in the incident return to work, and sometimes are even promoted.

          I can cite case after case after case of this happening.. search google for "police cleared of wrong doing" .. it will make you sick.

      • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kalirion (728907) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:02PM (#24618577)

        There should also be an effort made to ensure that the Police are in fact aware of what the laws are.

      • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:16PM (#24618853) Homepage Journal

        The only way law enforcement can truly hold any power over mind is if the command equal parts fear and admiration.

        With this lack of discretion becoming more common, people are losing both.

      • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Informative)

        by EchaniDrgn (1039374) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:32PM (#24619129)

        Case in point: I sold a car (on a trailer) to an off duty police officer. When I said I'd tow the car to his place because the registration wasn't current he said he could just drive it home. I pointed out the expired tags and he said, "It's OK, if I get pulled over I'll just Badge 'em."

        I wish I were lying.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They don't have guns, this is the UK

      • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Informative)

        by damburger (981828) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:44PM (#24618259)

        Since when did our police not have guns? The unarmed bobby on a bicycle toting a whistle is very much a thing of the past.

        As one unfortunate Brazillian man found out, our police have guns and they are all too happy to use them.

        • Re:Police thugs (Score:4, Informative)

          by Sockatume (732728) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:48PM (#24618361)
          They don't have guns. Firearms Units are the only police officers authorised and trained to use firearms. Jean Charles de Menezes wasn't shot by some random bobby who took the law into his hands, he was shot by a specialist Firearms Unit which had been readied for possible use against a terrorist suspect in his neighbourhood, whose superiors should've known what they were doing.
          • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:13PM (#24618781)

            Though, I do worry a bit about the highly trained specialist Firearms Unit shooting *eleven* dumdum bullets at the guy on a busy subway train. Three of the bullets actually missed at close range.

            It doesn't sound like the work of a trained marksman, it's the sort of behaviour I would expect of a scared lunatic.

            • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Sockatume (732728) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:20PM (#24618909)
              Indeed, the lofty positions and training of all involved just makes it worse. They're supposed to be the anti-terrorist elite, and they stalk some random guy around London for an hour, let him onto a train, and shoot him to bits in front of the passengers? Begging their pardon, but even if he had been a terrorist, their reactions would've showed a staggering degree of ineptitude. From investigation to execution, it was just plain bad policing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Faluzeer (583626)

        Hmmm

        It is more accurate to state that the majority of Police officers in the UK do not carry guns. There are, of course, specially trained officers that do carry guns are part of the course of their normal duties.

    • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 (716938) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:28PM (#24617967)

      I am older, and was raised to always trust a policeman.
      As an adult, I rarely say this: My parents were wrong.
      The Republic is now an Empire.. with the centurions carrying assault rifles
      Rei Publicae Scutum no longer...

      • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:42PM (#24618211)

        I am older, and was raised to always trust a policeman.
        As an adult, I rarely say this: My parents were wrong.
        The Republic is now an Empire.. with the centurions carrying assault rifles

        when I traveled to the UK, many years ago, I ran into the same sentiment - that 'ask a friendly policeman on the corner' if you need help or have a question. nice friendly guys (....)

        that ship has sailed. now, the current wisdom is to never talk to cops (2) [youtube.com] never talk to cops (1) [youtube.com]

        this is BOTH a copy AND a lawyer giving this advice!

        clearly, they are not anymore representing 'the will of the people'. they are anti-freedom and you would be best advised to consider the huge risk by even talking to them, even if you are innoncent. a slip of a casual word CAN be used against you and there is never ever 'off the record' when you talk to cops.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Wildclaw (15718)

          when I traveled to the UK, many years ago, I ran into the same sentiment - that 'ask a friendly policeman on the corner' if you need help or have a question. nice friendly guys (....)

          that ship has sailed. now, the current wisdom is to never talk to cops (2) [youtube.com] never talk to cops (1) [youtube.com]

          Wow, you are completly misrepresenting those videos. Neither one says anything about not talking with the neighbourhood police. If you are a witness, victim or simply have a question they don't apply.

          The videos specifically address the issue of being a suspect or in a position where you can become a suspect. In that kind of situation you shouldn't volunteer anything freely as it is never in your own interest to do so. Instead just shut up, repeat your rights, be polite and call a lawyer. That is just simple

      • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:51PM (#24618409)
        We have nothing to fear but the state itself
        • by houghi (78078) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:10PM (#24618735)

          Sounds like the beginning of a MOnthy Python scetch:
          We have nothing to fear but the state itself.
          -And fear.
          What?
          -We have to fear fear itself.
          Oh yes. We have nothing to fear but the state itself and fear.
          -And terrorists.
          We have nothing to fear but the state itself and fear and terrorists.
          -And ...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fredy Villanueva, Montreal.

      yeah, moral of the story is if you're a teen don't play dice outside, or else expect to be shot dead by cops when they come to harass you for making the grave mistake of not being born white.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Atheil (1184445)
      I don't hate police, mostly because I respect their job and understand the difficulties that arise from it. For instance, they were probably sent in there to confiscate all materials related to crimes. It wasn't that they decided "hey, lets go steal this board game" it was lets take everything in here that could possibly be related to crimes in any way. That being said, I do agree that it is ridiculous that they took the board game, it's just not a good enough reason to "hate the police."
      • Re:Police thugs (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CrackedButter (646746) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:39PM (#24618159) Homepage Journal
        But why don't they have the capacity to think. Can't they go back to the station empty handed and simply say all they found was a board game?
        • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Informative)

          by Atheil (1184445) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:48PM (#24618343)
          According to the article "The satirical board game was confiscated along with knives, chisels and bolt cutters, from climate protesters during a series of raids near Kingsnorth power station, in Kent, last week." So they actually just grabbed a ton of stuff. It's not like the only thing they took was the board game. I agree that they probably should have been more selective, but generally they prefer to be on the thorough side, versus the nicer side.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jason.sweet (1272826)
          Not exactly. TFA indicates that the raid was on an environmental group, presumably planning or preparing for an act that could be considered and act of terror. If you are investigating an alleged terrorist, confiscating a box with the word "terror" printed on it is probably erring on the side of caution.

          Nothing in TFA indicates whether or not the raid was justified, but it is pretty clear that the group's ownership of the game was not the cause of the raid.
      • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:42PM (#24618209)

        it's just not a good enough reason to "hate the police."

        I'm not going to go on my typical police rant, but this is not an isolated incident, but a general pattern of behavior seemingly for police everywhere.

        I know a LOT of police. I have a step brother who is head of a police union. I have plenty of stories.

        The police almost NEVER come to your door to "help" you. Even if they save your life, keep your mouth shut. In Boston the last few years we've had fairly peaceful celebrations after some sports wins, and the police are leading the homicide and injury count.

        In dorchester and southie (Boston, MA) under-achievers became criminals or cops. The cops are worse.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Why not? They are given power and responsibility beyond a normal citizen. They should be held to a higher standard.

      • Re:Police thugs (Score:4, Insightful)

        by anonicon (215837) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:11PM (#24618743)

        Atheil said: That being said, I do agree that it is ridiculous that they took the board game, it's just not a good enough reason to "hate the police."

        May I credit you as the inspiration for the Atheil Doctrine?

        The Atheil Doctrine

        The probability that the police are considered trustworthy, professional, and "not worth hating" is inversely proportional to whether you've been the recipient of police criminal behavior, misconduct, or overzealousness.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thangodin (177516)

      Agreed. There may be many good police, but you only need a few bad ones...

      The main problem with giving police discretionary powers is that many police have no discretion.

    • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Informative)

      by sm62704 (957197) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:57PM (#24618497) Journal

      I refrain from a rant, but the more police I meet, the more I hate the police.

      I don't. Refrain, I mean; here's my rant from January- Police State: In USSA, cops hassle YOU! [slashdot.org] The police ought to serve a good purpose, protecting us from robbers, thieves, rapists, murderers, etc. But all too often the police themselves are the villians [illinoistimes.com]. The last link is about a cop here in central Illinois who was charged with 49 felonies including one count of obstructing justice, three counts of criminal sexual abuse, seven counts of criminal sexual assault, seven counts of armed violence, 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, and 21 counts of official misconduct. He plead guilty to TWO MISDEMEANORS and got off. Anybody else would have been behind bars for the rest of their lives.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by corbettw (214229)

        I'm all for highlighting examples of police corruption and brutality, but that second article you linked to raises more questions about the prosecution than the cop involved. Seems like something especially shady was going on (especially with the possible FBI investigation into the prosecutor).

    • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kamokazi (1080091) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:05PM (#24618635)

      To be fair, from TFA:

      "The satirical board game was confiscated along with knives, chisels and bolt cutters, from climate protesters during a series of raids near Kingsnorth power station, in Kent, last week."

      The game was one of the items they took along with the real dangerous stuff. They were presumably caught planning a break-in to a power plant (the article is scant on important details, and chooses to focus on the board game). It's still kind of stilly that they took the game, but realizing that they had knived and devices intended to break into and probably sabotage a power plant puts a whole different perspective on the situation. I would chalk it more up to police officers being overcautious (or clueless) and siezing anything that could possibly be considered evidence of their intentions. Had they has other baclavas, they probably would have siezed those as well).

      • Re:Police thugs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pluther (647209) <pluther@usaRABBIT.net minus herbivore> on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:37PM (#24619233) Homepage

        "The real dangerous stuff" is "...knives, chisels and bolt cutters..."

        I have all of those in my home, too. Along with even more dangerous stuff like shovels, hedge clippers, wire cutters, electronics tools, chemicals, an axe, a lawnmower and a couple of rakes.

        I also have a good deal of satirical materials, including a card game about Nuclear War.

        And I've even been involved in "climate protests" - there are even pictures of me online before the Iraq invasion carrying a mass-made sign proclaiming "Go solar, not ballistic".

        Yet, it's never even occurred to me to try to "break into and probably sabotage a power plant". Not even when I lived near one.

        Perhaps I'm safe because I don't own a balaclava?

    • Re:Police thugs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rilian4 (591569) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:42PM (#24619319) Journal
      "...authoritarian 'because I said so and I have a gun" mentality.'"

      ...and you wonder why some of us fight to keep the right to bear arms in this country. This is precisely what happens when you allow only police and military to carry weapons...the loss of freedom to the people.
  • by jayveekay (735967) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:22PM (#24617855)

    One of which is that this is great publicity for the game and will surely increase sales.

  • by Nathan Boley (1042886) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:24PM (#24617907)
    I wonder how much did the board game creators paid the police 'confiscate' the game? Talk about cheap advertising.
  • by BitterOldGUy (1330491) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:25PM (#24617921)
    Terrorists can use special cards such as "suicide bomber", "plane hijack" and "WMDs" to advance themselves.

    They need the "Police in free country crack down on their own people for idiotic reasons and abusing their authority thereby turning free country into a less-free country thereby aiding the terrorists" card.

  • by UberHoser (868520) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:27PM (#24617951)

    Why would you wear a dessert on your head? I mean I can see it if the game was like "Spin the bottle" or something of that ilk...

  • by Chief_Wiggum (1341031) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:27PM (#24617955)
    Because when I think 'hijacking an airplane', I think about wearing a balaclava with the word EVIL stitched to my head.
  • Make a list (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:29PM (#24617979) Homepage Journal
    They better get started confiscating things because I've got a lot of identity concealing items around.

    -Any article of clothing
    -Towels
    -Sheets
    -Paper Bags
    -Ski masks
    -My Hands
    ...
  • Context, context (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:33PM (#24618051)
    This was a raid (of uncertain provenance) on a protest outside a power station. The other items seized are "knives, chisels and bolt cutters". It seems to me that the police took the balaclava under the quite reasonable assumption that someone was going to put it on and break into the station using some of the tools. That it was part of a board game is entirely incidental.

    If the police seize a pack of ladies' stockings from your home, that's absurd. If they seize a crate of ladies' stockings, bank plans, and a toy gun from your car outside a bank, that's reasonable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by petes_PoV (912422)
      >If they seize a crate of ladies' stockings, bank plans, and a toy gun from your car outside a bank, that's reasonable.

      Not if the bank is in a row of shops containing a toyshop and a lingerie store,

  • Context (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:36PM (#24618095)

    The satirical board game was confiscated along with knives, chisels and bolt cutters, from climate protesters during a series of raids near Kingsnorth power station, in Kent, last week.

    Here's the thing: a bunch of people were protesting by chaining themselves to gates and generally impeding operations at a power station. The police came along, hauled them off, and took away the tools they were using. Knives, chisels, bolt cutters, and balaclavas.

    It's got nothing to do with balaclavas being illegal, any more than bolt cutters are illegal. It's got nothing at all to do with the game itself. It's the fact that the masks were being used in the process of shutting down a power station.

    Did anybody spot that most of the article was dedicated to describing the game and its distribution hopes, as if it were a game review, while the confiscation itself got just a single sentence in the article? This is a fucking advert. The creators, from Cambridge, heard about it, and got their mate at the local paper, in Cambridge to write about it as a favour. This is a local paper, and the event the article is supposed to be talking about happened in Kent, 100 miles away.

    • Re:Context (Score:4, Informative)

      by garyok (218493) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:12PM (#24618765)

      This is a fucking advert. The creators, from Cambridge, heard about it, and got their mate at the local paper, in Cambridge to write about it as a favour. This is a local paper, and the event the article is supposed to be talking about happened in Kent, 100 miles away.

      Sounds plausible, but no. The Cambridge News article [cambridge-news.co.uk] is actually a word-for-word re-print of a story in The Independent [independent.co.uk], a national newspaper. The Indie published 2 days earlier, if you check the dates. And the Cambridge News didn't attribute the story. Naughty.

      Unless these publishers of War on Terror have got some really cool pals in the UK national press, it looks like a sense of whimsy, local colour, and what looks a lot like a penchant for plagiarism are the real reasons behind the publication of this article.

    • Re:Context (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:32PM (#24619145) Journal

      Here's the thing: a bunch of people were protesting by chaining themselves to gates and generally impeding operations at a power station.

      Your citation for this? Climate Camp [climatecamp.org.uk] was a peaceful legal protest from everything I have read.

      Yes, you are right that this is more an issue of the protest than the board game - the article is rather misleading to miss this out. But last time I looked, police confiscating things because they don't like what you are protesting about is just as worrying a thing, if not more so.

      The actions of the police have been criticised by politicans (one MEP was at the event) [guardian.co.uk]

      Also see:

      http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/08/405874.html [indymedia.org.uk]

      http://www.hippyshopper.com/2008/08/climate_camp_a_report_from_the_front_line.html [hippyshopper.com]

      Unless you have evidence that the board game was seized as part of crimes committed, please refrain from spreading misinformation about "shutting down a power station", and making the "protester == illegal" assumption.

      (Personally I don't have a strong opinion on the issues being protested either way, but I do have concerns about police action, and I was alerted to these events from a friend who was present as a Legal Observer and witnessed these events.)

  • Bloody pigs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by damburger (981828) on Friday August 15, 2008 @01:38PM (#24618135)

    The UK police are a serious threat to liberty, and I say this as someone who used to work for them.

    They are monumentally petty, generally taking the view that who they arrest should be based on who they don't like the look of rather than who has done something wrong, and then sort out the crime they are to be charged with later.

    A common method is to approach people whose appearance suggests poverty (normally written down as "looking suspicious), and intimidating them until they do something that could be construed as resisting arrest or assaulting the officer, then haul them away and throw them in a cell.

    They then whinge about having to do loads of 'paperwork' which basically translates to 'its difficult to pin crimes on everybody we haul in'. Having been on the paperwork end of policing I can safely say that if someone has be caught for a specific crime (rather than hauled in for wearing a tracksuit and leaned on) then it isn't hard to get them convicted.

    The majority of policing in the city I worked in (where I saw every file that went through the local magistrates court, albeit briefly in most cases) consisted of protecting the property of city businesses, banging up drunks, and bullying chavs.

  • Technically the spinner is a munition, developed specifically for US intelligence.

  • by Chris Pimlott (16212) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:24PM (#24619009)

    The official site [waronterro...rdgame.com] seems to be slashdotted, but there's plenty of info at the Board Game Geek entry for the game [boardgamegeek.com].

  • by Conspicuous Coward (938979) on Friday August 15, 2008 @02:31PM (#24619109)

    This isn't about police confiscating some stupid board game, which TFA practically reads like an advert for.

    This is about far more widespread use of police powers to harass and intimidate demonstrators protesting the planned construction of a new coal fired power station near Kingsnorth in Kent.

    There was a large, week long "climate camp" attended by around 1000-2000 people near the site. Police used intimidatory tactics such as blanket stop and search of anyone approaching the site (with confiscation of such dangerous items as penknives, children's crayons, and apparently board games) there were night-time raids on the camp, confiscation of food supplies and bicycles, low flying helicopters over the camp at night, etc. etc.

    On the final day of the "camp" there was a march to the gates of the existing power station, after about an hour at the gates the police announced via megaphone from a helicopter that the march would be over at 1 pm; and threatened the use of dogs and riot batons against anyone who remained, as well as arrest under section 14 of the public order act.

    Some people did break into the power station in an attempt to make their point, I don't want to pretend that no laws were broken, but the protest was entirely non-violent. The police response was disproportionate, and designed to intimidate protesters rather than uphold the law.

    All in all the police spent some £3 million intimidating a group of entirely peaceful, and largely law abiding people exercising their democratic right to protest.

    The powers granted to the police under recent criminal justice and terrorism legislation passed by the Labour government are sweeping, and disturbing for anyone who believes in little things like freedom of assembly. Most people don't really realise the extent of it until they do something the government disapproves of, the media don't really make a fuss, and so public protest is practically non-existent. Given the total lack of public awareness of or response to these incidents I think it's likely things are going to get far worse for anyone who dares challenge authority in Britain. That's what we should be talking about, not making light of the situation by focusing on some inane story about a board game.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Friday August 15, 2008 @03:02PM (#24619611)
    After digging some more, I'd like to redact at least part of my argument in my post, "context context", above. The Independent's version of the story [independent.co.uk] explains in more detail, and in particular how the authors of the game came to realise it had been taken in the raid.

    Following a series of raids on the climate change camp near Kingsnorth power station, officers displayed an array of supposed weapons snatched from demonstrators: knives, chisels, bolt cutters, a throwing star â" and a copy of the satirical game, which lampoons Washington's "war on terror".

    Okay, making off with the balacalva, I get it. Maybe taking the board game as well, because it's a whole set, sure. Making off with them, then displaying the board game as part of the success story?! Are you kidding me? At what point does "satirical board game" become a serious part of the investigation?
  • by CambodiaSam (1153015) on Friday August 15, 2008 @03:11PM (#24619751)
    Perhaps I missed the explanation on a previous thread, but the "signed" tag seems to be reoccuring. My only recourse is start counter tagging with "unsigned". Is this some sort of new slashdot meme or is the joke literally on just me.
  • What's a Balaclava? (Score:3, Informative)

    by glassware (195317) on Friday August 15, 2008 @03:19PM (#24619867) Homepage Journal

    I had no idea what the word meant.

    Of course we can look it up - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balaclava_(clothing) [wikipedia.org]

    The answer is that a balaclava is what I normally think of as a "ski mask". Covers the face.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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