Hostis Primer: Riots

PDF, For Printing / For Reading August 13-16 1965, the blacks of Los Angeles revolted. An incident between traffic police and pedestrians developed into two days of spontaneous riots. Despite increasing reinforcements, the forces of order were unable to regain control of the streets. By the third day the blacks had armed themselves by looting accessible gun stores, enabling them to fire even on police helicopters. It took thousands of police and soldiers, including an entire infantry division supported by tanks, to confine the riot to the Watts area, and several more days of street fighting to finally bring it […]

Hostis Primer: The State

PDF, For Printing / For Reading Japanese director Nagisa Ōshima’s 1968 film Death by Hanging begins with the execution of an ethnic Korean man, R. Miraculously, the hanging does not kill him; in fact, the only effect of the hanging is that it erases his memory. Taken by surprise, the officials argue about how to proceed. After frantic deliberation, they decide that an execution is only just if a person realizes the guilt for which they are being punished. They do not let R go, but rather endeavor to make R admit his guilt for a crime that he has […]