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The New Barbarians

The M$M are reporting that the Occupy movement has turned violent, but tend to gloss over who is committing the violence. Press releases from police departments are printed or broadcast as facts, without a mention of the hours of video from the action that clearly show who the aggressors are.

The Oakland Police say they have collected the contents of the camp and are storing them until the rightful owners claim them, despite the video evidence showing them destroying everything. They kept the media away from their assault on the encampment, so there is no ‘unbiased reporting’ of what happened. The police have also been sending requests to Google to have videos taken down from YouTube – videos that show the attacks for anyone to judge who was violent.

One of the more egregious videos is of an individual laying in the street right in front of a cluster of officers who made no effort to assist him, but when others went to help him, they tossed in another tear gas canister.

Now cities are using the excuse of violence to clear out Occupy encampments. I would tell the mayors that if they don’t want violence in the streets, don’t let their police departments attack people.

I hope everyone is aware that the ‘laws’ that the encampments are breaking were enacted to hide the homeless, not to maintain public safety. The sole purpose of these ordinances is to make the homeless as invisible as possible.

Update: From the Baltimore Sun blog: Unions, including police, ask mayor to “stand down” on Occupy protest. These people don’t want violence, they want negotiations. It is up to the mayor to decide if she wants all hell to break loose, like Oakland.

5 comments

1 jams o donnell { 10.27.11 at 10:03 am }

I wonder if we will see violence in London soon. The Met is now looking to force Occupy protestors from the grounds of St Paul’s cathedral.

The Canon of St Pau’s has just resigned on the grounds that “the church should not put its name to any course of action that may lead to violence against the protesters”

We could be seeing in London soon what has gone on across the US. Our cops are not totally clean when it comes to public order policing as the death of Ian Tomlison indicates.

2 Bryan { 10.27.11 at 11:53 am }

I’m solidly in the ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ school of peace keeping. If all they are doing is camping and talking, I’m happy to let them do it. They want to march, hey, if you can shut down NYC for St. Patrick, why not Occupy.

We both know that supporters of teams are a bigger violence problem than political groups, but no one suggests attacking ManU or Arsenal supporters. If is was OK to camp out at a bookstore for the latest version of a Harry Potter novel, or an Apple retailer for the latest gadget, what’s wrong with doing it for politics?

3 Steve Bates { 10.27.11 at 4:16 pm }

Of all the ancient concepts of English (and hence American) law, the notion of the commons is the one suffering greatest abuse in the past century or so. There seems to be no place physical or legal in modern society in which individuals or groups can expect to be “let alone,” as various judges have put it. The notion of your right to mind your own business in public without harassment, together with your rights of assembly and petition, has all but vanished in the modern police state (forgive my bluntness, but that’s what it feels like these days). And some of these police departments are quite literally asking for trouble. I am concerned that this could end badly… through no fault of the demonstrators.

4 Bryan { 10.27.11 at 5:35 pm }

Since some police agencies have apparently given up on winning the respect of the community, they have decided to make the community fear them. Instead of fear they have generated hatred.

With the gun laws being loosened and more and more people carrying weapons in public spaces, this will definitely end badly. If the police refuse to respect the people, the people will act accordingly.

5 Steve Bates { 10.27.11 at 6:12 pm }

On a related topic, Will Bunch has written a book about the Oct. 1 “Battle of the Brooklyn Bridge” and about OWS more generally. FDL Book Salon interviews him about it. Definitely worth a read.