I'm not sure how many of you will have heard of the Guardian Angels (The Alliance of Guardian Angels) before - it was a good while ago I first read about them myself, but just recently I came across a short promotional video documentary sort of thing showcasing them "in action" and thought I'd share: GUARDIAN ANGELS DRUG RAIDS AND ARREST IN HOUSING PROJECTS SPECIAL on Vimeo Now, there is undeniably something decidedly walty about them. The beret, the gay code names, the way former McDonald's night-shift worker and organisation founder Curtis Silwa plays up to his role like he's some sort of FBI bigshot... But for all the posturing, it's still pretty ballsy the way they seem genuinely willing to step up in crappy areas, slam drug dealers against walls and excercise their right to make citizens' arrests, especially Stateside where one would have thought you stood a pretty good chance of being blown away doing that sort of thing. Sure, the fact that they pretend they're throwing down with Al Capone's hit squad in the above video while doing it is lame, but at least they really are doing something which makes a tangible difference. More significant than the stuff they try to sell peole on above though are the "safety patrols" which are at the heart of the organisation, providing something which looks suspiciously like good old-fashioned preventive beat policing - the need of which the Guardian Angels' mere existence shows as having never gone away, and which has been sorely missed in our own country since it was all but scrapped in the late '60s by Jenkins and co. Senior British police naturally hate them and the organisation is limited to one tiny London-based chapter, with jealous Ian Blair types decrying them as a "vigilante group" and peddling that tired old line about ordinary people not "taking the law into their own hands". I think this misses two fundamental points though: that the police were never supposed to be much more than citizens in uniform themselves when Peel brought them in, and that the common law of the land has always been in the individual's "own hands" because it belongs to everyone. I personally could never get involved with an organisation whose members look so utterly ridiculous if it did exist here on any scale, but I must say I'd be thrilled if we had a bit more of their sort of activism in Britainand a lot less of the predominant sort that always seems to involve either preachy middle-aged singers demanding my money or mobs rioting outside the Israeli embassy.