#1 By: Cory Doctorow, February 20th, 2014 23:03
#2 By: Steve Heath, February 20th, 2014 23:30
What desperately small minds those wannabe cops have. What a tragic and meaningless life to look at people at play and feel threatened. Fun is such a foreign concept for so many people.
#3 By: Sam Paul, February 20th, 2014 23:35
Too bad we're aren't seeing Pussy Riot beatings on BB.
Too bad Snowden hasn't spoken out about that either.
#4 By: Marc, February 20th, 2014 23:38
I'm pretty sure there's a special place in hell for mall cops like these.
#5 By: Boundegar, February 20th, 2014 23:46
Most mall cops aren't little Hitlers; they're just ordinary folks with a shitty low-paying job. I'm sure a few of them get off on the little ounce of power that comes with the uniform, but most of them would see the steampunk gang and think: Oh hell, how do I not get fired? They're sometimes barely trained at all, and certainly not trained to respond to flash mobs of creative people.
Also - banned from the mall? Seriously? You think mall cops keep a binder full of photos of "banned kids" which they carefully memorize for future reference? Come back a week later and you're already forgotten - unless you bring your skateboard.
#6 By: Jardine, February 20th, 2014 23:51
Or your steampunk clothes.
#7 By: phosphorious, February 21st, 2014 00:03
Whenever libertarians tell me that governments are more oppressive than businesses, I always laugh. And cry a little too.
#8 By: David Forbes, February 21st, 2014 00:04
Sheesh! You'd think that the mall management would love to have a couple dozen well-dressed people in their place for a change.
#9 By: retepslluerb, February 21st, 2014 00:08
Well, over here ignoring a valid ban against entering could result in a criminal case. It's not that easy to achieve, yet possible. I assume that it's even worse in countries with authoritarian and law-and-order leanings like the US.
So while you might slip through the access control, getting caught might look uncomfortable.
That said I wonder why the people waited fit the police. You throw me out? Okay, I'll go. But I'll surely let the press know and McDonald's main management, whom I'd treat as co-responsible.
#10 By: Another Kevin, February 21st, 2014 00:13
What, I'm the tenth message in the thread and no authoritarian apologist has showed up yet? Sloppy!
#11 By: Cory Doctorow, February 21st, 2014 00:13
Wrong. Under the Canadian Tresspass to Property Act -- a piece of 19th century legislation still on the books and actively pursued by mall cops -- if you return after a notice prohibiting entry, you're trespassing and liable to fines and jail time, and Intercon were active in pursuing both against children they'd issued notices to.
#12 By: Tim, February 21st, 2014 00:16
Mall cops freak out over steampunk meetup, call the real
#13 By: HubrisSonic, February 21st, 2014 00:19
They just left? Hunh, what kind of punks were they...
#14 By: billstewart, February 21st, 2014 00:19
#15 By: billstewart, February 21st, 2014 00:29
Those mall cops? They were all dressed the same. Almost like a ... gang, or something. Wearing what could be thought of as gang colors, unless white doesn't count as a color.
It sounds like a bunch of store managers have a reason to complain to mall management about how they're treating potential customers, certainly including the carousel, McD's, the Comics&Stuff store, and the place in the mall where some of the steampunks had previously bought parts of their outfit.
#16 By: Kelly , February 21st, 2014 00:38
They are already in it. Not really sure why the cosplayers wanted to go there, however.
#17 By: Jeff, February 21st, 2014 00:39
What if, say, they were in the US?
#18 By: Stephen Frost, February 21st, 2014 00:48
Great post, Cory.
The Westfield Group is an Australian company that owns 91 god-awful shopping centres designed to murder a small part of your soul each time you enter. A quick look at its extraordinarily diverse Board of Directors will probably help you understand why Westfield mall cops shit their pants when they see cosplayers. Note that one of two female Board Members is Judith Sloan, one of Australia's leading "libertarian economists". By a happy coincidence, Sloan is also the Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, whose founder and Chairman is Frank Lowy (also Chairman of the Westfield Board).
#19 By: Jonathan Colvin, February 21st, 2014 01:09
Hilarious, I also got banned from College Park by Intercon, as a university student. My crime was looking askance at a not-smart-enough-to-be-a-real-cop who was hassling some kid. It was pretty amusing, at one point I think he actually said "you wouldn't believe the power I have".
#20 By: TheGlitchEcliptic, February 21st, 2014 01:18
Let's not jump to conclusions. The security officer on the ground doesn't get to make the rules - their employer or "the client" does. Sometimes those rules are stupid and senseless. You still have to follow the rules and adhere to your employer's policies.
If you're a security officer and you don't like the policies your employer has in place, your only real option is to find employment elsewhere. But with unemployment where it is currently, and where it's liable to stay for a long time to come, that leaves officers in a sticky situation where they have to ask themselves just where they're willing to draw the line. Any half-decent officer will of course up and quit in the face of illegal or amoral behavior, and future employers will typically look on that favorably as a mark of character.
But in this case, the mall didn't really do anything amoral or illegal - just stupid (and yet entirely within their rights.) The mall also didn't ask the officers to do anything amoral or illegal - it simply required them to enforce the mall's publicly posted rules by asking the patrons to leave. When the patrons failed to do so, they legally became trespassers and the police were called.
By all accounts, the security officers involved in this incident did nothing wrong. They didn't behave inappropriately, they didn't break any rules, and they didn't do anything illegal. We're not even told they were rude or unpleasant. I find it hard to fault them over their employers without actual evidence of some sort of wrongdoing.
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