Sunday, May 6, 2012

U.S. police getting more dangerous?

"Many of these arrests are carried out in such a way to guarantee physical injury. The tone was set on that first night of March 17, when my friend Eileen’s wrists were broken; others suffered broken fingers, concussions, and broken ribs. Again, this was on a night where OWS actions were confined to sitting in a park, playing music, raising one or two tents, and marching down the street. To give a sense of the level of violence protestors were subjected to, during the march north to Union Square, we saw the first major incident of window-breaking in New York. The window in question was broken not by protestors, but by police—using a protestor’s head. The victim in this case was a street medic named José (owing to the likelihood of physical assault and injuries from police, OWSers in New York as elsewhere have come to carry out even the most peaceful protests accompanied by medics trained in basic first aid.) He offered no resistance.
Here is a video of the incident. The window-breaking begins at 3:45."

My experiences with protests have not included such police activity.  We've had some cops making arbitrary decisions against us.  One time the police parked a paddy wagon right next to our protest.  I've always wondered which side they were planning to put in there.  But I've never seen such constant physical abuse by police as is happening now.  I don't understand it, unless it's just a new militarization of the police since 9/11.  Also, I think it could be a response to Black Bloc tactics, such as happened in the Battle in Seattle.  The police just assume protest = vandalism (thanks Black Bloc!).


Here's a few more bizarre police actions from today's news:

"In a surreal turn of events, I counted 36 police officer, 8 of them on motorcycles, all there to contain and supervise roughly 50 civilians offering their help to law enforcement. 'Why the resistance?' the civilians implored.'“We’re offering assistance!'"

"Four generations of a Georgia family were evicted at gunpoint by dozens of sheriffs and deputies at 3am last week in an Atlanta suburb. The eyebrow-raising eviction, a foreclosure action, might have been another anonymous descent into poverty were it not for Occupy Atlanta activists who tried to help the family stay in Christine Frazer’s home of 18 years."

I don't get it. I really don't get it.

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