I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since my arrest last week and talked to a few people and I’ve come to a firm decision.
As far as I can determine, you do indeed have the legal “right” to stop anyone and everyone on the street and demand their identification, name and birthday and ID numbers, writing it down in your stupid notebooks. I realize that you “must” do this because frankly you’re too lazy and incompetent to do anything else and would be unemployed if recording IDs was removed from your job duties. All you’d have left to do is sit around the station house or go out and harass gypsies.
I for one however am not going to play along. It’s called civil disobedience. I don’t care if it’s technically illegal for me to refuse giving you my ID at any hour of the day or not because I’m not going to be obedient. You’re going to have to keep hauling me down to the station and I’m going to keep making a ruckus because if I can’t change the system at least I’m going to do my best to clog up the works.
This obsession of yours is some East German Stasi bullshit. It’s Communist-era Securitate crap, this monitoring and checking people’s IDs for no reason at all. You cowards hiding behind your anonymity and cheap blue uniforms have stopped me a total of four times in my years here in Romania, each time without me being suspected of anything. I’ve just been going around doing my business, not harming anyone, and yet you came up to me and started with this fascist bullshit simply because you allegedly have the legal right to do so.
Some of you hide behind masks, the rest of you hide behind your cheap polyester uniforms, refusing to give out your name even to people you’ve got locked up in your crappy police station, threatening to keep them “all night” if they don’t obey your commands. Your salaries are paid for with public money and yet no one knows how much you take home, what your department budget is or even what your names are.
You don’t have an “Internal Affairs” department or any kind of office where I can file a complaint against your abuses and hope to have an objective arbiter review your actions. You run away from me when I have my camera so from this day forward I shall never leave my house without it, a film record being my only insurance against you abusing your already overinflated authority.
I realize that you don’t know the community, have never bothered to patrol the streets in your jurisdiction despite the fact that the city is split up into zones (precincts), that you could barely find my house even with me in the back seat telling you where it was. Not one of the three of you even knew the cross streets! If I hadn’t been there you would’ve gotten lost in your own “zone” that you supposedly work in.
I’ve been in a hell of a lot of taxis in this city and 99% of cab drivers can find where I live without my help but then again they’re actually out there on the streets, unlike you, who are hiding back at the station when you’re not in town running personal errands on the clock.
You carry guns in a country where they are severe restrictions on the civilian population owning them and yet you do not properly guard your weapons. You bring them into secure areas where there are prisoners that haven’t been searched, prisoners whom you don’t know at all, who could snatch them out of your holsters and turn them against you. You have no clear rules of engagement and would probably end up shooting an innocent bystander if you ever had to fire your weapon in the line of duty. It’s only due to the peaceful nature of your city that you rarely get a chance to demonstrate your dangerous incompetence.
I realize that you’re used to a scared, cowed populace which is well-trained on the necessity of constantly having to prove who they are, so your “job” is easy and mundane. But I for one refuse to be good, refuse to be obedient and refuse to be a party to immoral and authoritarian laws. When you can accuse me of committing a crime other than failing to possess ID then I’ll be happy to give you my digits.
Until then, leave me alone or be prepared to get stuck with me for a few hours (or hell, all night), where I will once again be emphatically informing you that no, I will not do what you tell me.
A human being, not a number for your files