Wednesday, October 26, 2011

OccupyOakland as a case study in Shattering the 99%

Uh-huh, this towns full of money grabbers
Go ahead, bite the big apple, don't mind the maggots
Shadoobie, my brains been battered ~ Shattered, The Rolling Stones

"Christ this'll stain the Department for years."
L.A. Confidential
The images from the Police dispersing OccupyOakland apparently with tear gas, "flash-bangs", and shotgun fired beanbags rounds (all of which the Oakland PD deny using) are disturbing. But, not shocking. These actions are what the 1% want from Police across the country. The Police have always been tasked with keeping the Demos in line, mainly with petty criminal statutes but when necessary by mass arrests in sweep and clear paramilitary type operations. So, as in Boston and other cities the Oakland Police Chief and Command Structure have just ensured enmity between Police Officers and People for a couple decades.

As always Police Officers are put in the worst position, just like front line soldiers, because the Rich and Powerful REMFers never, ever place their "skin in the game". Just remember while the 4 am raids are going on, Racist Limbaugh is "Dreaming of Riots in Denver."

Now, the Occupation protests present a huge tactical and logistical nightmare for Public Officials and Police Officers. There is, unfortunately, a likelihood of crime occurring in these make-shift encampments. Plus, when one adds in the waste management and trash disposal issues, not too many cities want a shanty-town to grow up in their midsts. But, the thing that is really driving the massive arrests and violence against American citizens is the message they are bringing;
Stop catering to and enforcing the Whims of the Wealthy. Stop the Classacre upon the Middle and Working Classes.
The Big Picture success of OWS has been the shifting of the focus from austerity measures (i.e. The Massive Transfer of Wealth Upwards) and to addressing the struggle of the 99% and the terrible burden the Entitled 1% have caused with their blatant criminal greed and thievery. OWS has caused a fundamental shift, which the 1% are desperate to shut down.

But, to me the #OccupyRevolutions more impressive accomplishments are how, in less than a month's time, their experiment in direct democracy is succeeding, while also handling the day-to-day issues of food preparation & distribution network, internal security measures, medical services, trash removal and sanitation. As a Police Officer and a Big Government loving liberal I applaud their efforts to regulate, clean up, and police the area.

When I first went downtonw to OccupyChi, I was encouraged because some of those early members had already created a police liasion. It seemed the protesters had at least grasped the idea that working with the Police to accomodate small rules would help them avoid the crackdowns the NYPD and Michael Bloomberg were exerting upon OWS.

I thought eventually the OccupyChi Protesters and the everyday down-in-the-streets Chicago officers could work to ameliorate conflicts. It would bring together a positive police presence in the encampment whom the protesters could learn to trust.

It is my opinion that officers conducting spot checks, watching for plain sight crimes and roving meet and greet patrols, amongst the Protesters while they are on public property or in the early morning hours would have fallen under the standards established by the Courts in the Terry v. Ohio ruling (Terry Stops). It could have kept unsavory or criminal elements away from the Protesters and would not have been a violation of 1st or 4th Amendment Rights.

Well, this of course, was not to be as OccupyChi has twice been cleared from Grant Park after midnight raids from the Police. The repeated raids, sweep-and-clear mass arrests, destruction of property and iron fist tactics are not going to stop.

Now after such over-the-top brutal methods the Protesters will never agree to having small bands of roving officers wandering through their encampments. Once again the 1% have successfully parlayed the Us v. Them Game.

I DO NOT agree with and shall never agree with these type of tactics. Early morning raids, tear gas, mass detentions conducted on the Protesters for what amounts to a Municipal Park District Ordinance Violation is Unconstitutional.

But, what every Police Officer should realize is once the People are crushed, once the Middle Class is forever obliterated, once we are reduced to Wage Slaves chained irrevocably to be cogs in the machines of industry and war, only a small cadre of police will needed, the rest will be disposable.
In New Jersey, about 4,000 police officers have lost their jobs in the past two years (2009-2011), said Anthony Wieners, president of the state’s Policemen’s Benevolent Association.

1 comment:

Murr Brewster said...

And that's not hyperbole, my friend. Reducing us to wage slaves has been the point all along.