Indicating that the ruling elite of the United States is little different than that of the ruling elite of Egypt’s Mubarak, or Libya’s Gadaffi, or Syria’s Assad, New York City’s billionaire mayor Bloomberg, having failed to resolve the matter of Zuccotti Park’s occupation by willfully ignoring of it, then by ridicule and the complicity of mainstream media’s attempts to trivialize it, and by numerous tactics intended to bring it into disrepute and dissolution, finally ordered “New York’s finest” to do what they are trained to do: bash heads.
In the days which followed the NYPD eviction of OWS from Liberty Park, similar police assaults were mounted on encampments throughout the country. That these seemed more or less simultaneous promptly raised the suspicion that there was some kind of national coordination, and sure as heck, Oakland’s Mayor Quan, whose police forces had severely injured an Iraq war vet a few weeks ago (and did so to another shortly afterward), blurted out in a BBC interview that she had been in on a teleconference with 17 other mayors about what to do with the burgeoning Occupiers. Subsequent information suggests the FBI, DHS, and other Federal “law enforcement” agencies were involved. Among the tactics used were the release of prisoners who were told that if they went to the Occupy encampments they would not be arrested, and that there was free food, etc. Likewise were people with mental disorders told to go. As sure as the sun rises, not long afterward Occupy people were dealing with homeless and criminal people, and promptly the press began to discredit the encampments, saying they were really gatherings of the homeless and junkies, and, well, they really were a public dangers, dirty, etc. This of course is standard psy-ops stuff, and doubtless our authorities, on seeking advice, got an earful of “good ideas” to use. That they happened nationally points to a coordination. For more on this see this.
Dressed in black Darth Vader costumes, with bullet-proof hi-tech fabrics, our current police no longer even pretend to be the friendly guy in blue, the cop on the beat. Instead they are militarized forces, the purpose and function of which is to protect the ruling elite and their “property,” and as has clearly been shown in the last years, to suppress dissent. From the Bush administration’s “free speech zones” to the present, the area for exercising one’s supposed Constitutional rights of free assembly, and free speech have been steadily encroached upon by the government. The corporate forces which have purchased Washington and local governments, have long since seized control of the mass media, turning it into a 24/7 propaganda machine which works exactly like Pravda in the old USSR. Where possible, as was the case in the first days of OWS, they simply ignore and do not report. When circumstances make this tactic fail, they then do what they can to marginalize and dismiss – as the early reports that it was merely a bunch of latter-day hippies, bongo players and spoiled I-pad toting college kids. The New York Times did this in spades. When that failed to collapse the movement, and instead – thanks to the internet and social networking tools – it expanded and took root in many more cities. At this juncture our authorities seem to have realized that their own propaganda was not true, and that Occupy posed some kind of serious threat to their “system” and the serious police harassment began, with the usual parade of plain clothes cops, provocateurs, and the criminal and drug elements arrived, directed by the police to do so. Promptly came Bloomberg’s eviction notice on the grounds of hygiene and the need to clean up the place. Later came the complaints of criminality. And step by fumbling step, as if carefully planned, Bloomberg and authorities in other cities misread and mis-stepped their way – just like Mubarak – into taking measures which expanded Occupy exponentially. The round-up on Brooklyn Bridge, a transparent trap, boomeranged and the next day OWS got much bigger. And last week’s eviction served the same purpose, and several days later by police estimates (nearly always low) 32,500 people were out on the streets to close down Wall Street. Not seeming to understand the dynamic in play, the authorities let loose their dogs of war:
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
“In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states (Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland), it is now illegal to record an on-duty police officer even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.”
The police state is coming. No, it is already here.
And, back to an old story, once again, surprisingly on the Krugman column, I was censored by the dear old New York Times, once again. Actually a handful of days ago they censored everything I sent. Here’s what I wrote that was not deemed “fit to print:”
The Republican Party of today is totally against the national welfare while it is completely for the national warfare welfare system. It will cut anything that serves the community at large and feed the military-industrial complex (99% composed of Republicans in the corporations that manufacture our glamorous weaponry). That is it, plain and simple.
OWS is serving notice that this gaming of the system is over, while the corporate push-back to OWS is serving notice that a police-state is A-OK with them.
Watch it happen on a street near you. Quiver, quake and die, or resist.
For 3 decades America’s right-wing “conservatives” have successfully played their flim-flam game of shifting income and all wealth to a tiny percentage while directing the “lower-classes” to fight among themselves over matters of race, sexuality, religion, and dividing up the crumbs falling off the table. As usual among such people, they have blinded themselves to the consequences of impoverishing the many while enriching the very few. Though owning the media and the government, though vastly advantaged in the powers which govern most of society’s actions, they have done as nearly all plutocrats do and turned themselves into their own worst enemy. Mayor Bloomberg, who quite literally bought his office, is a billionaire estimated to have assets and wealth equal to 17 billion dollars. He is the second richest man in New York. The first is David Koch, oil-man and right-wing ideologue who funded the Astroturf Tea Party (which we note has shrunk into near invisibility.) In sending in the black-shirts of the NYPD Bloomberg has tipped his hand, and that of the oligarchy which presumes to rule the country.
These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the Flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the Flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.
Franklin D Roosevelt, June 27, 1936
‘I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
-Louis D. Brandeis
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
From the American Declaration of Independence
I read rather too much in the newspapers, trying to keep my fingers on the pulse of the present. In the last few weeks or so, as the Occupy movement has been battered by the kinds of psy-war tactics described above, but as well by police-state actions such as those pictured – of cops dressed-to-kill as it were, acting out orders which need only another step before the “non-lethal” weapons are replaced by the other ones – I have noted increasingly items from across the political spectrum which are like the one I print below (taken from a NY Times reader-response section). The references to the events in the Middle-East, the use of the words “police-state” – once reserved for those of us on the” far out hysterical fringe” – and the recognition that something is wildly amiss are now commonplace, as is the suggestion, not long ago considered unthinkable, that America is politically and socially disintegrating. This would suggest that Occupy has served well as a trigger for the underlying social ferment of which major shifts are distilled. The police, and those in the hierarchy which uses them, are doing their job well to help focus public consciousness on what is really happening.
I’d always believed that the United States of America was different from all other countries in the world because of our respect for and willingness to accommodate political protest, and that when that tolerance broke down, it was a rare aberration in a nation where the police were trained to deal with political speech and action with calm, patience, and understanding of the rights of the people to protest.Clearly, however, the response of the last 2 months to the “Occupy” protesters indicates that my former belief was a myth. The incidents of official over-reaction have been widespread, fueling a movement that probably would have died out, had the official response not clearly proven that the protesters have a valid point.
Had these been meaningless protests by a few malcontents, they would have been dismissed with a few insincere platitudes. But Occupy has clearly struck a nerve and the wounded beast is responding with violence.
Despite claims that they were threatened, it is clear that the Davis Police created a violent situation as did the police in Berkeley, Seattle, Denver, New York…
Until today, this lifelong Republican viewed the occupy protesters with ambivalence, if not disdain. But today and going forward, I am with them.