Saturday, November 19, 2011

This is How Bad It's Gotten

Watch this video. Right now.

This is what America has sunk to.

No, let me amend that. America has always treated its minorities this way when they get "out of line". The police have been defending their own privilege using overly violent means for years.

This is something different. This was a cold, calculating, pointless assault on these protesters. There was no move to arrest or detain, and certainly none of the violent resistance that pepper spray is supposed to be used to deter. This doesn't fit any sane rules of engagement for police, and yet the officer didn't even do this furtively, afraid of being caught. He calmly walked up and used a burning, blinding chemical weapon on these kids' faces.

What's worse is that they aren't even defending their own privilege. Cops aren't wealthy. They aren't powerful...not really. They sure as hell aren't part of the 1% of wealthy Americans that are at the center of this, nor will any of them ever be part of that group.  Their own pensions are being raided to pay for the bailouts; their own children are facing a lifetime of un- and underemployment. Their own family members are out of work, and may never find work again.  They're defending the privilege of a tiny mob that they will never, ever belong to: a mob that created the intolerable future that America now faces.

Yet here we are, with a police officer betraying everything his badge and his country stands for, in order to protect people who neither acknowledge nor appreciate it. People who are, frankly, being utter douchebags about the whole thing.

Edit: One of the protester chants sums it up pretty well. They shout, repeatedly: "Who do you serve? Who do you protect?"

Good question. In fact, it's the only question that matters.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Congratulations, Mayor Bloomberg!

No, really. We should give the guy a hand. He's given the order for the cops to clear Zucotti in the middle of the night, and he's accomplished a lot of things in doing so!

-He's confirming every negative thing that Occupy has ever said about the attitudes and behavior of the ultra wealthy elite that he belongs to;

-He's going to radicalize absolutely everybody who has come anywhere near that park by sending in riot cops with batons and pepper spray, meaning that a lot of potentially-reasonable people are now going to be both furiously angry and rigidly defiant; and

-He's going to make sure that the clearout is a big story, by preventing the media from sending helicopters overhead to show what's going on, and by (allegedly) having his officers take the press credentials away from people. Not that that'll stop people from seeing what's going on: there's a nice live feed going on right here on UStream, and everybody in that park is going to be furiously recording every minute action of the police. What it will do, though, is give the media the opportunity to talk about its absolute favorite subject: itself.

As I type this, they're saying that the people in the kitchen are being tear gassed. TEAR GASSED. How the hell can you justify that? What kind of idiot would write rules of engagement that even considered that?

I'm not sure. I do know what kind of idiot gives the order though. So take a bow, Bloomberg. You just made yourself a parkful of martyrs.

Edit: And now there's video out of them roughing up protestors. And here's video of them using tear gas.