As much as this newswire photo is informative, documenting pre-emptive raids on activists by Minneapolis police on Friday night and Saturday, it is particularly curious for the abundant presence of the media.
What the photo evokes, as well as echoes, is the utilization of the visual press as an instrument of the state. On top of the morality and legality of harassing activists and placing them in so-called “preventative detention,” the other issue here is how much the media — as a de-facto embedded force — is being used by “the man,” in advance of the convention, to send a message. (What is particularly ironic is also how members of indy media, especially videographers, have been the target of these raids, the goal being a blackout on a non-corporate eye on the protests, civil disobedience and the police and/or para-military response to both.)
Finally, what the photo demonstrates — in a way most people hardly seem to blink an eye over anymore — is how much, after Cheney/Bush’s elective war in Iraq, people seem to automatically accept the policy of preemption.
(image: Matt Rourke/AP. St. Paul, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008)