streets discipline


People I’ve seen around the streets of Seattle, such as:

- A man coming from Nordstrom dressed like he’d walked out a period drama.

-A hulk of a man, dressed in a bright magenta suit with orange and magenta hair

-A friendly, cheery man I’ve seen multiple times, sometimes dancing to street musicians, with a long black skirt over legs covered in sores.


“It was like something from the civil war”: the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave

On June 18, 1984, at the height of the UK Miner’s strike, the National Union of Mineworkers arranged what was intended to be a routine mass picket at the British Steel coking plant in Orgreave, South Yorkshire.

Instead, 8000 miners and 5000 police officers – although these numbers are disputed, especially on the side of the police, who may have brought as many as 10,000 men – fought for hours in what has since become one of the most controversial events in recent British history.

In the intervening thirty years, the police involved, (and their superiors), have been accused of brutality, assault, perjury, collusion, perverting the course of justice, and abuse of public office. Not a single miner charged was convicted, and South Yorkshire Police had to pay thirty-nine of those arrested £425,000 in an out of court settlement. It is widely believed by many to be one of the most glaring examples of state violence in contemporary Britain.

The miner’s strike defined its decade. Following the revelation in March 1984 that the government intended to close twenty coal mines, with seventy to follow, mass walk-outs and strikes started immediately. The strike is usually seen as the most important domestic event of the era, as the defeat weakened union power in Britain immensely, and set the stage for five more years of Thatcherite rule.  

The tiny village of Orgreave in South Yorkshire had a population almost exclusively employed in the mining industry. Arthur Scargill, the strike leader, considered the Orgreave coking works to be crucial to the success of the strike, and, after finding out that the plant was having more coal delivered than the amount that had been agreed, sent picketers from all over the country to prevent coal being delivered to the plant. The formation of such lines to prevent delivery was standard practice during the strike.

Initially, the strike was business as usual. The strikers played football, and many removed their shirts. When the lorries arrived to fetch more coal, the order was given for the ‘push’, where miners charged at police lines in an attempt to break them. There was some back and forth for some time, and deployment of mounted police. All of this was reasonably standard for picket action.

However, the police did something new to the UK, and deployed riot police, armed with batons and short shields, and wearing riot gear. The miners panicked, although eventually calm was restored, and space was cleared for the lorries to get through. What happened next is subject to much debate, but what is certain that the miners retreated and were chased by police. The miners were outnumbered and forced to run across a railway line, and some had to climb down the embankment of the bridge, and across the rails. 

It is not disputed that the miners threw stones at the police. But it is widely asserted by the miners that the police response to what amounted to minor resistance was immense and brutal. The miners allege that the police had deliberately pulled picketers out of the crowd to beat them. They charged them with horses and and continued to hit and kick them after their arrest.

Photographs taken at Orgreave show numerous picketers being dragged away bleeding, sat on by officers, and police beating picketers who were not resisting. It has been asserted that the police tactics were the first usage of the deeply controversial kettling technique in the UK. The iconic photograph of Lesley Boulton, a member of Women Against Pit Closures and an unarmed woman, raising her hand to defend herself against a mounted police officer with a baton, became the defining image of the picket.

Ninety-five strikers were charged with riot and unlawful assembly. Riot carried a mandatory life sentence. One of the defendants, Arthur Critchlow, said that he was beaten after arrest by two officers armed with truncheons, and that during his trial he believed utterly that “the state could do what they wanted.” Ultimately, all the trials collapsed, but no officer was ever charged with misconduct. Michael Mansfield QC, who defended many of the miners, said that the evidence given by South Yorkshire Police was “the biggest frame-up ever.”

So: you’ve read all this, and you’re asking, but why does this matter? Because the Battle of Orgreave was a turning point for Britain, and not for the better. Protest became more difficult after Orgreave. Thatcher used the police force more and more as her personal army, to deal with what she considered to be a dangerous revolutionary movement that needed to be crushed at all costs. Thirty years after Orgreave, officers who beat unarmed fifteen year old boys in the street have never faced discipline. Even police officers involved in the Battle claim that it was a travesty. A BBC investigation found widespread evidence that commanding officers in the South Yorkshire Police deliberately fabricated evidence, and that dozens of written “statements” given by officers present at Orgreave were identical.

We are all, in a sense, Thatcher’s children. We live in the shadow of what she destroyed. It is inconceivable that it should take thirty years for basic justice to be done, but that is the world she left us. Hopefully we will finally get an inquiry. But do not believe anyone who tells you that we need to move on from Orgreave. We never got a chance to move on from Orgreave. The working class of Britain have lived with the consequences of Thatcher’s regime for thirty years. Stop being frustrated that people won’t stop harping on about the past, and recognise that you might be angry if it took thirty years for justice to be done. The miner’s strike ended, but the systematic attack, degradation, and smearing of the working classes in Britain have not, and that’s why Orgreave matters. We are all Thatcher’s children. That means you, too.

Trigger Discipline: Two Way Street?

Trigger Discipline or TD for short, is one of the most basic firearm handling practices there is. Don’t put your finger on the trigger of a gun even if it isn’t loaded or a magazine isn’t present.

No matter where you go, whether gun forums, Facebook pages about guns or Tumblr’s gunblr community, if you have bad TD, you’re going to get called out on it. I think I’ve even seen comments calling out Mikhail Kalashnikov for his lack of TD sometimes.

But this is about a different type of trigger discipline which had been on my mind for a long time because its a pet peeve of mine.

While I was at work at the gun shop and taking photos of cosignment guns, a regular customer comes in and notices what I’m doing. I like to take my photos on a flat surface but my customer suggested using an cartridge/bullet to prop the gun up so it’s raised at an angle. Basically like the reference photo below.

I told the customer I really never liked the idea of placing an inanimate object inside of the trigger guard, resting against the trigger and relying on gravity and positioning to keep the pistol balanced.

It’s the same basic fundamental principle of proper trigger discipline, you don’t stick anything in the trigger guard, your finger, much less an inanimate object, near the trigger.

Some people will say it won’t do any harm cause a bullet or pen or whatever you use to prop your guns up can’t pull a trigger. In the same mindset, if the gun had a round chambered and was loaded, would it still be a comfortable practice to insert an inanimate object against the trigger? You could, but its something I wouldn’t do with my own guns.

It could be argued that triggers are too heavy to be accidentally initiated by an inanimate object (ex. gun loses balance while propped up). That is true to some degree, but not all guns are made equal. My 1911 has a 1.5 lb trigger. Compare that to my .45-70 revolver with a 15 lb trigger.

Whether or not you stick a Sharpie in your firearm’s trigger guard when taking pics, I’m just going to say to keep that area clear unless you intend on using it.

DAY 2904

Sopaan, New Delhi                Mar  14,  2016                  Mon 11:37 pm

Birthday - EF - Amita Fatima Zohra Daheur

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

to you a wish of greetings and love from all the Ef .. may you be blessed with all that you desire and all that you hope to achieve .. love from us all Ef ..

A crew break and one that they most deserve .. a break from work for me too .. but does that really matter .. work is the essence of the daily .. when it stops, and it shall some day, the essence shall fade away and all that shall be left shall be the work .. 

So work .. for that shall stay .. all else may not ..

Wandering through some of the more elegant regions of the city, you cannot help but admire its wide clean organised streets and lanes .. the discipline of traffic at lights .. the respect for the pedestrian, and a general attitude towards ‘swachata’  .. there is an ‘air about India’ here, taken in the right spirit of course ..

There is an anxiety for the work to be done .. for the morrow, for the scene for the accomplishment of its worth .. and to be able to see its final result .. all in good time .. but anxious all the same .. 

There is huge appreciation of those here on this Blog and among the Ef that comment and design and send missives of great love and affection .. I feel burdened at times for I am unable to reciprocate all .. all that I would wish to .. but I also know that each one of you understand my predicament .. that is so precious for me .. not being able to read or respond does not take you to any distance .. does not alienate you from me .. indeed it brings you even closer .. for in a weird way I keep thinking of you .. you that I have not been able to reach .. thought is enlightening .. a physical response too .. but the thought lingers a while more, I think .. 

Medical facilities that make effort to not look like medical facilities, is a remarkable idea and process .. so when one sees one and indulges in its presence, there is just more that medical that gets attached to it .. a hand painted wall from prominent painters and artists as you slide into the tubes of investigation, do distract your perceived anxiety to a more acceptable environ .. no I did not do any sliding, just an observation as one taken about such facility .. it is most easy for one expression or word to be caught by those that excel in catching them and building them up to a sensation world wide ..

So before all else I am well and in writing condition .. 

your love and your affection flows through each pencilled colour of these impressions and for this I am most thankful ..

My love 

Amitabh Bachchan

The X-Games has been under some heat this week from riders from around the world as they announced the 2015 schedule, minus the anticipated street discipline. 

Ratings? Empty stands? One less course to build? Who knows the answer to the cut back but Ride BMX hit up some industry icons for a quote. 

Photo: Brian Kachinsky rail manual in 2009 by Jeff Z.