11.19.2011

freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, as long as you don't mind being beaten and abused


Further to an older post "the definition of a police state depends on where you live - what country, and what postal code ", I present these without comment, because what is there to say?

Police drag OWS protester by her hair

Police officer calmly and methodically uses chemical agent on nonviolent protesters

Video and commentary on above here.

Democracy Now!: Paramilitary Policing of Occupy Wall Street: Excessive Use of Force amidst the New Military Urbanism

That'll learn 'em to exercise their First Amendment rights. And "pepper spray" is a bit of a misnomer. It's not the pepper you sprinkle on your scrambled eggs.

Thanks to James.

12 comments:

Sarah Gates said...

This is only a sampling of the most egregious examples too - I saw a peaceful protester thrown to the ground by the NYPD Thursday morning, and then literally dragged half the block to the paddy wagon. That seemed to be par for the course near Wall Street that morning, I was sorry I had to go to work, or I would have probably ended up in one of those wagons myself.

The private security now watching Zuccotti Park is just as bad - worse, given their secrecy. (When you ask them who they work for, they are "not at liberty to say.") Tuesday morning, then picked up a protester, a man HOLDING IN HIS HAND the restraining order saying that they could not evict us from the park. (Later overturned, but at the time, totally valid.)

Video of that here.

One of the other things I found disturbingly evocative of a police state was the police checkpoint in front of Trinity Church - corporate ID required to go south on Broadway there Thursday morning. (I found this out by walking north from a conversation with the clergy, who were out in force in front of the church, but had left the restricted area by the time I realized that it WAS one.)

Oh, and I prefer Frank's Red Hot Sauce on my eggs, thanks.

laura k said...

Thanks, Sarah. I should have said, but hopefully readers of this Blog know, that the links in this post are just a tiny sampling, not meant to be the sum total Thanks for your contributions as well.

James said...

Here's an interview with one of the UC Davis students.

You have to wonder about the mindset of someone who would not only mace unarmed people at point blank range (with a spray designed to be used from at least 15 ft away), but do it in front of dozens of cameras, as if there was no reason to think anyone would think it wrong -- and then to lie about why he did it, in direct contradiction of the evidence from those dozens of cameras.

James said...

This was a brilliant follow-up by the students:

The video above, shot and posted by Lee Fang, was taped this evening as UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi walked to her car while students lined the sidewalk and roadway, sitting and locking arms in complete silence.

allan said...

You have to wonder about the mindset of someone ...

Here is his thought bubble:

"I am the police and I can do whatever I want to whoever I want. I will not be punished in any sort of meaningful way."

allan said...

And the files and film in those cameras have an liberal, anti-police bias. They are terrorists and a threat to our way of life. They should be banned.

laura k said...

You have to wonder about the mindset of someone who would not only mace unarmed people at point blank range (with a spray designed to be used from at least 15 ft away), but do it in front of dozens of cameras, as if there was no reason to think anyone would think it wrong -- and then to lie about why he did it, in direct contradiction of the evidence from those dozens of cameras.

I do wonder about this - seriously. Is he so besotted with his own power that he believes he is untouchable? Does he simply know he is untouchable because cops are never punished for their crimes against citizens? Is he just a stupid, brutal person? (All of the above?)

This was a brilliant follow-up by the students

I just saw that at the OWS Library blog! Excellent.

laura k said...

Here is his thought bubble:

"I am the police and I can do whatever I want to whoever I want. I will not be punished in any sort of meaningful way."


I suppose that's it. Incident after incident occurs, by the hundreds and thousands, cops are never punished, and they know that no matter what, the system will back them up.

James said...

Former US Poet Laureate Robert Haas describes being beaten by police at UC Berkeley.

James said...

A friend and former lawyer describing his experience dealing with police:

A good percentage of the St. Louis Metro PD cops that I dealt with as a public defender were "lucky" enough to become cops and therefore be licensed to behave like that; had they not become cops they'd have spent considerable time in jail for what was essentially the same behavior.

laura k said...

James, great link and GREAT quote!

James said...

The pepper incident from four different cameras at once.