The Mayor of Oakland has admitted the obvious, that there is a coordinated multi-state effort going on to attack and dismantle the camps. Violent pre-dawn raids by riot squad police began happening this week as THE PEOPLE were forced out of camps from Oakland and Portland on the West Coast, to Zucotti Park in New York. Timing? This Thursday, Nov. 17th will be the anniversary of the two-month old movement to restore democracy and take our country back from the corporate control of the 1%.
The stories of police brutality towards Occupy citizens are endless. Here’s a woman showing the court order to police, only to be punched in the face by an arrogant cop. Didn’t they pledge “to protect and to serve?”)
Today a judge in NY ruled against OWS in their efforts to move back in and continue sleeping in the park, but the legal team will continue the fight for the right of the people to assemble and seek redress of grievances as is supposed to be our right in a true democracy. Protesters are said to be allowed back into the park now, but without any camping gear. The response of the protesters is that we will continue in a peaceful fight, for peace is the immutable power. Regrouping is happening in every city and a bigger worldwide event is expected on Thursday.
While police in heavy militarized riot gear forced out the protestors in Portland, Oregon, the protestors began chanting “Peace” and “We Love You” as the police violently forced them out. Police erected barbed wire topped fences to stop them from returning to the park.
In Seattle, police peppersprayed a blind woman and a minister, among many, many, others. One can only hope babies and children (like the one in the photo below), were far away from the police terror squads.
In Zucotti Park, police trashed the camps and confiscated bicycle powered generators worth about $800 each. These generators were brought in after police had confiscated more conventional generators (on the pretext of “safety”) that were running heaters to keep people from freezing overnight.
I watched a Democracy Now broadcast from Zucotti Park – they were the only media present. Police in riot gear and sanitation department workers were dumping broken up tents, air mattresses, bookshelves, sleeping bags, clothing — everything that had made up the encampment – into large dump trucks. The sanitation workers said the stuff was going straight to the dump, although the eviction notice said that people could reclaim their belongings “with the proper ID”. During the broadcast, 200-300 people remained in the park with arms locked. Suddenly some people began running out exclaiming that police were viciously beating the remaining people with billy clubs, men, women and children. Democracy Now was unable to get close enough to film this brutality.
The horrific display of violence by the police, who at this point have been revealed as no longer serving the people, but as merely security forces of the oligarchy, will only further strengthen the movement. You cannot be brutal towards peaceful people without the masses realizing and coming to their aid.
There is an excellent article on Alternet about the militarization of American police force that has built up since the “war on drugs” and under the “Patriot Act” – and how such a militarized police force becomes part of a police state used against the very people it is supposed to “serve and protect”.
What is amazing and sad is that so far, few of the individual police officers seem to have realized that they are attacking themselves – the 99%. Police are not the wealthy overlords, but are their servants. I recently re-watched “Gandhi” and I wondered, who watches movies like this and identifies with the British troops that fired on unarmed women and children who were peacefully assembled? Who identifies with Darth Vader’s storm troopers instead of the ‘good guys” in Star Wars? Evidently, members of today’s police force grew up with fantasies of being the faceless force of tyranny crushing democracy.
One Egyptian member of Arab Spring was here in solidarity with OWS, as the movement to rid ourselves of the corrupt overlords and create a free, sustainable, peaceful civilization spreads world-wide. He said, “the police are the same everywhere…in any country“. How sad, and how true.
I suppose only when they’re fired for showing a bit of compassion or speaking out will they finally wake up.