Change can happen quickly. In the last days of the Berlin Wall, protestors estimated that it would fall within two years. Two weeks later, the wall fell…largely because East German guards refused to shoot at their fellow citizens any longer. So it is with this global movement to reshape our society into one that is more just.
This photo is from Germany, and shows several police officers who have removed their helmets and escorted fellow citizens in the recent Occupy action that blocked access to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt Germany. This photo was posted by Occupy Frankfurt in support of the decision of the police to keep peace and support the people of Germany, rather than simply acting as the armed force of the elite.
By working together with the citizenry, these officers have shown themselves to be shining example of cooperation and humanity. They have also shown that without the vicious militarized police violence and agent provocateur tactics used in the U.S., such events can be an incredibly peaceful, empowering, and unifying force for the citizenry.
These particular officers joined the crowd of 20,000- 25,000 members of “Blockupy“, a group that has called for blocking access to the European Central Bank, to protest the madness of “the Europe-wide austerity dictate by the (creditor) troika of ECB, the EU Commission and the International Monetary Fund.’
Does anyone else find it ironic that it is German police forces that are being such a great example of humanity, dignity and DEMOCRACY, while in the self-proclaimed “land of the free” armored police are beating, pepper spraying, and arresting masses of people for exercising their constitutional right to protest? Germany is so ahead of the US on many different fronts: Universal healthcare ,free education, and clean energy are just a few examples. A time-traveler from the WWII era would be amazed!
And, happily, we have seen some members of the law enforcement community here in the U.S. who are doing just that. One of the most outspoken and visible supporters of OWS is retired police Captain Ray Lewis, who stood with the people during an Occupy event and was arrested with them in protest of the behavior of his fellow officers. Captain Lewis risks losing his police union membership, pension, insurance, and legal assistance by participating with Occupy (and even officers who have committed crimes suc as violent beatings or sexual assaults often keep their union membership).
We are in open Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and all Occupy movements across the nation. We’re starting off Day 1 with a mass e-mail to all police departments throughout the US. We want them to know that they ARE part of the 99% and to get involved with the movement. We openly support positive communication between Police/People and we encourage you to do the same.”
During the earliest days of Occupy Wall Street, there were reports that about 100 blue collar police officers refused to come to work in to come into work in solidarity with OWS. Their corporate masters were probably NOT amused. As more police officers realize that they are being used to support a system that is predatory, unjust, and unsustainable, more will join us. We are on t he same side, and it only remains for enough of them to understand this fact. When enough of these officers awake from the authoritarian-obedience model, there will be change.
And this article points out that most police officers are NOT bashing heads with glee.
No matter how you want to look at it though, the New York Police are Occupying Wall Street with us. They are there every day. They stay as long as we stay. Most of the time, there is very little tension, and most of the police do not want physical conflict. Their pensions are being cut also. They are losing their jobs as a result of a bad economy in most cities and towns. In fact, many city cops still have their jobs JUST to police the Occupy Movement.
Imagine the day that more police officers remove their helmets and riot gear, and put down their weapons and join together with the people working for justice and human dignity. Can you see it in your mind? The black, anonymous “storm-trooper” uniform comes off, to reveal a fellow human being, who only wants to be able to provide for his/her family. Imagine, instead of arresting meditators, officers sit down and join in. Instead of bashing drummers and musicians, officers pick up an instrument and begin to play along. Imagine hardened hearts opening. Imagine demonstrators welcoming them as long-lost family. Imagine the healing. And imagine how quickly things change when there is no longer an armed blue line protecting the status quo.