Dem Coppers Never Stop

Let’s preface the post with this touching little ditty:

The story of Ned Kelly, the Australian outlaw, reminds me of the police brutality that many protesters have experienced in the Occupy Wall Street protests. In both cases, we have an imbalance of power. From NYPD’s recent scandal to the unnecessary force used on annoying protesters, it seems like a throwback to the rough n’ rowdy days of Australia. Bushranger Ned Kelly had a bundle to say about unjust acts of police, and for good reasons too.

The coppers were on his case since he was knee high. It seems, from the basic research that I have done, that the Kellys were blamed for all the crimes in their general vicinity. You’re returning a horse to your neighbor? You must have stolen it. Tirty days in da gaol!

And let’s be honest. The authority had to blame someone… For example, at age 14, Ned Kelly was arrested for protecting his sister from physical abuse by one Ah Fook the Pig Farmer. Sure, he may have gotten a little carried away with Ah Fook’s bamboo stick when hitting him back, but who wouldn’t beat a guy up for slapping a relative over a cup of creek water? Pshaw.

Poor Ned continued to experience the injustice of the corrupt penal system throughout his life. So, eventually, Ned Kelly is tired of being falsely accused. Might as well live up to all the hype, eh? So he robs some banks. No big deal. But the people loved him. Ned robs a bank, then  burns all the townspeople’s mortgages. Cha-ching, everyone is in love. The police, of course, did not take kindly to this proverbial mooning at their authority. So after an epic Tombstone-esque showdown, in which Ned wore crazy armor that scared the bejeesus out of dem coppers, Ned Kelly is hanged for his sins.

What is most striking is the universality of his fight of against the Man. The Fight started when that one fiery sword angel shoved Adam out of the pretty park, and hasn’t stopped since. There is almost always an imbalance of power, and it’s rather rare to find an authority that doesn’t take advantage of their position. Take the doctor from Indiana that has been selling prescriptions for sex. Or the Miami policeman that was driving recklessly on his way to an off-duty job. Imbalance of power usually leads to abuse of power.

And I just can’t help but wonder if we need to pull a Ned Kelly (hopefully a more successful one) to end the corruption and “tyranny” of some of the police forces in America.

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