Sunday, November 20, 2011

#OWS More Police Brutality -The Militarization of police & Denying US Citizens Their Right To Peacefully Protest

" The now-viral video of police officers in their Robocop costumes sadistically pepper-spraying peaceful, sitting protesters at UC-Davis (details here) shows a police state in its pure form. It’s easy to be outraged by this incident as though it’s some sort of shocking aberration, but that is exactly what it is not. The Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta adeptly demonstrates with an assemblage of video how common such excessive police force has been in response to the Occupy protests."  Glenn Greenwald at Salon. com November 20, 2011

Video of Police Mercilessly Pepper Spraying  Students at DavisUC Occupy Protest Followed By Beatings and arrests
Non-violent protesters eventually force Police to retreat
Police Forces in America Becoming Robocops working For The Big Corporations and the 1%  while Being Armed As If America Itself Was a War Zone

And another song for the Occupy Movement

Bruce Springsteen sings Bob Dylan's Protest Song

 " Chimes Of Freedom "

Video of War Veteran being beaten by police at Oakland
also note the police officer cursing and swearing at the peaceful protester-odd since so many in the media are upset when Occupy protesters use such language.

Note: #ows protests still growing and gaining support around the world.
It is gaining support in large part because the proiests are a model for the most part of non-violence non-cooperation tactics and have condemned any violence by protesters or police.
Violent acts by protesters can only hurt the Occupy movement.
As Joan Walsh points out locking arms sitting on the ground is a non-violent action.

All Occupy protesters should borrow a lesson from these students who were pepper sprayed and yet did not resort to violence who kept as still as possible while being pepper sprayed. Unable to start a physical violent confrontation the police were forced to retreat. If a few students threw things or even hit police officers then the police would have had an excuse for beating and arresting students.

Forcing police to drag you away is also non-violent and non-cooperation.Not helping the polcie arrest you or to facilitate the arrest is OK as long as itt is non-violent.
As for shouting at the police phrases such as shame on you or stop the violence etc is non-violent and is better than giving in and either committing acts of violence or loudly mindlessly swearing at the police or calling police officers names. Doing so just ratchets up the tension and confrontation and is seen by many members of our socity as not just bad manners but an excuse for police to use excessive force.

This is a longer video version of the pepper spraying incident at UC Davis
After vicious non-proked pepper spraing of students sitting on the ground the police are forced to retreat as the protesters chant to the police "shame on you" and "you can leave" .

and according to eyewitnesses things got worse after the initial pepper spraying as pointed out in an article at The Atlantic.

Too Much Violence and Pepper Spray at the OWS Protests: The Videos and Pictures by Garance Franke-Ruta at The Atlantic , November 19, 2011

Junior faculty member Nathan Brown, an assistant professor of English at Davis, says what actually happened was even worse than what's shown on the videos, and has called on U.C. Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi to resign -- a call that has since last night become a petition. His description:
Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.
What happened next?
Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

The face of police cruelty
UC Davis cops casually pepper-spray non-violent protesters, but watch how the students win
by Joan Wash at , November 19, 2011

I’ve seen so many shocking photos and videos of police brutality against Occupy Wall Street protesters and their far-flung supporters around the country. But there’s something about this now-viral video, of a UC Davis police officer casually and cruelly pepper-spraying a line of non-violent protesters, and the way the students responded, that symbolizes both what the movement is up against – and how it ultimately wins. It’s below. Be sure to watch the whole thing, because as sickening as it is to see the red pepper-spray hit students directly in their faces, it’s as inspiring to see how they react, and how it ends – at least for now.

...What the UC Davis protesters did Friday was non-violent. What the cops did in response was brutality. The video is very hard to watch. But if you watch the whole thing, you’ll see the remaining students begin to chant “Shame on you!” and slowly move toward the police. And you’ll see the cops begin to retreat, maybe because their work is done, but maybe because they’re feeling the moral and political power of that non-violent crowd. Some of the cops really do look ashamed, including Pike himself (in my opinion; you might see it differently.)

This is how we win. Imagine how different it would look if some self-appointed “revolutionary” decided it was time for a “diversity of tactics” that included violence in Davis on Friday.

also see commentary from Glenn Greenwald at also points how the brutality of non-violent protesters by police is fueling the widening of the movement in the USA and elsewhere.
Greenwald also points out how since the 9/11 attacks the local police forces in America have been militarized and that their resorting to violence has become all too common across the USA.
The acceptance of violence by the police is the trickle down effect of the American government , the media and a large segment of the population who approve of the abuse and torture of so called "detainees" that is those who are considered terrorist suspects.
The argument goes that since America is at war the people are not permitted to voice their grievances against the government or American institutions such as the Big Corporations or the military or police forces because any such anti-government protests are seen as being acts of treason. Odd though this did not apply to the Tea Party protesters or to the verbal attacks on President Obama .

The roots of the UC-Davis pepper-spraying by Glenn Greenwald at Salon.comNovember 20, 2011

...Pervasive police abuses and intimidation tactics applied to peaceful protesters — pepper-spray, assault rifles, tasers, tear gas and the rest — not only harm their victims but also the relationship of the citizenry to the government and the set of core political rights. Implanting fear of authorities in the heart of the citizenry is a far more effective means of tyranny than overtly denying rights. That’s exactly what incidents like this are intended to achieve. Overzealous prosecution of those who engage in peaceful political protest (which we’ve seen more and more of over the last several years) as well as rampant secrecy and the sprawling Surveillance State are the close cousins of excessive police force in both intent and effect: they are all about deterring meaningful challenges to those in power through the exercise of basic rights. Rights are so much more effectively destroyed by bullying a citizenry out of wanting to exercise them than any other means. These two short video clips — regarding the openly abusive treatment of Bradley Manning and the extra-judicial attempt to destroy WikiLeaks...

and ...The second exacerbating development is more subtle but more important: the authoritarian mentality that has been nourished in the name of Terrorism. It’s a very small step to go from supporting the abuse of defenseless detainees (including one’s fellow citizens) to supporting the pepper-spraying and tasering of non-violent political protesters. It’s an even smaller step to go from supporting the power of the President to imprison or kill anyone he wants (including one’s fellow citizens and even their teenaged children) with no transparency, checks or due process to supporting the power of the police and the authorities who command them to punish with force anyone who commits the “crime” of non-compliance. At the root of all of those views is the classic authoritarian mindset: reflexive support for authority, contempt for those who challenge them, and a blind faith in their unilateral, unchecked decisions regarding who is Bad and deserves state-issued punishment.

...This is the most important effect of the Occupy movement: acts of defiance, courage and conscience are contagious. Just as the Arab Spring clearly played some significant role in spawning, sustaining and growing the American Occupy movement, so too have the Occupy protesters emboldened one another and their fellow citizens. The protest movement is driving the proliferation of new forms of activism, citizen passion and courage, and — most important of all — a sense of possibility. For the first time in a long time, the use of force and other forms of state intimidation are not achieving their intended outcome of deterring meaningful (i.e., unsanctioned and unwanted) citizen activism, but are, instead, spurring it even more. The state reactions to these protests are both highlighting pervasive abuses of power and generating the antidote: citizen resolve to no longer accept and tolerate it. This is why I hope to see the Occupy movement — even if it adopts specific demands — remain an outsider force rather than reduce itself into garden-variety partisan electioneering: in its current form, it is demanding and re-establishing the indispensable right of dissent, defiance of unjust authority, and sustained protest.

also see: The Cops We Deserve by Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic ,Nov. 20, 2011
and so it goes,

No comments: