Who are these police people and who do they serve?

Since the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street movement the police have emerged in a certain negative light around the world. From Athens to New York City to Melbourne and beyond Police have faced off with protestors in ways that have nothing to do with the images commonly seen on American crime drama television shows.  Some have a penchant for pepper spray, others for smashing people into the ground, and some for teargas.  It’s been ugly in Oakland, Boston, New York, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles,  London, Liverpool and other cities around the world. If you haven’t seen the police in action then blame your mainstream television stations and newspapers. Much can be found on youtube  and on the sites of the occupy camps.  Oakland now has a weekly Saturday night protest against police brutality.  Get the feeling something has gone a bit wrong somewhere along the line? When did the police become the private army of the mayor of New York City–or any city? Who do the police now protect and serve?  Here are just a few examples of police actions which were originally seen live via livestreams online—yes, livestreams not via your television screens.

Oakland

Melbourne

Bloomberg “I have my own private army in the NYPD which is the seventh biggest army in the world.”  Olbermann segment.

Occupy Greece 

Riot Dog

Now famous Pepper Spray at UC Davis

A montage

Occupy Oakland’s media site http://hellaoccupyoakland.org/

Occupy Oakland’s information site  http://occupyoakland.org/

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11 Comments

  1. slpmartin said,

    January 27, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Janice Joplin sang…”freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose..” some of these police behaviors would be considered attempted rape/or rape if conducted by the general public. 😦

    • February 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Yes Charles, if “we” treated people as the Police have been treating protestors everywhere, “we” would be in the pokey for assault or worse.

  2. bwhite21 said,

    January 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I was downtown in NYC this week for the first time in a long time. I decided to see how construction was coming at the WTC site. I used to work around there and so I was walking by the park across from Liberty Plaza as I often did. I noticed I guy with a ski cap and a carry-on bag standing at the edge of the park. His eyes were darting back and forth. I laughed because he was so obviously undercover. A whole ton of police surrounded the park. I thought about crossing through the park, but the presence of all those police was a little off-putting, although I doubt they would have stopped me. I was wondering what they were all doing there. Then it hit me-Zuccotti Park. There was no once a time before 9/11 where there were great sculptures in the park that fooled you into believing they were real (some were sitting playing chess). Before Occupy many food vendors parked adjacent to the park, because people would go to eat. Perhaps they will return in the Spring. I doubt the foreclosure crisis will be ending so soon.

  3. artistatexit0 said,

    January 28, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Just awful!!! You wonder what goes through these brutes’ heads when they are hurting people?

    • February 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Al, that’s something I’ve been wondering about for quite some time now. “Brutes” is a good word.

  4. Stafford said,

    January 31, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    It starts when we change the nature of the economy. Economies develop to serve those who participate in them and start with butchers and bakers and candle stick makers, ie, people who offer goods and services direct to customers. Then economies of scale create opportunities for people to work for corporations who soon dictate wages, hours worked and on the consumer end, offer only those goods and services that are most profitable. Then we are locked into working for corporations and being fed by corporations that become so huge that they dictate to politicians how they will govern.
    So now people exist to serve the economy and that destroys dignity and work satisfaction unless counting your money and showing it off is a source of human dignity and purpose.
    Government by the people for the people has now gone and with manipulation of information by corporate media we have lost our reliable information streams. Internet freedom is next.

    • February 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Stafford you may be interested to know that Josh Fox who made the film “Gasland” was just arrested in DC at a meeting on fracking because he tried to film for documentation the hearing. Yeah, information is knowledge and power and WE are not supposed to have either knowledge or power. New Feudal Order is here and smacking everyone around.

  5. WordsFallFromMyEyes said,

    February 5, 2012 at 10:48 am

    The comments were as interesting as your article – this was a hugely interesting read. All the occupying was big news here in Melbourne for a while, and I am interested it continues with passion in the US. I’ll be watching.

    • February 19, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      WordsFall–occupy continues in America and around the world. People have occupied a starbucks near a universtiy in Istanbul for 77 days now demanding better food and education from the university. London, Belfast, Dame Street, Oakland, Liverpool, Tampa–continue “occupy’ actions.
      Glad you you enjoyed the post and the comments.

      • WordsFallFromMyEyes said,

        February 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm

        Thanks for the update, 47whitebuffalo. I am actually interested. I first didn’t know what kind of difference such an occupation could make. I’m still not sure – what, knock a few corporations off their perch? You can’t do that by sitting in the town square.

        I sort of don’t get the connection except that, obviously, it brings attention to the cause… but not change to the cause.

        I am heaps interested. These locations you mention, they’re real landmarks. History always happens in these places, & maybe I can’t see it, but it is happening now – change. It TOTALLY stunned me when the Berlin Wall came down. That was SO extra ordinary.

        As for Starbucks, who have nothing to do with the university except that they’re placed near it (& they’re a corporation), I wonder if they mind? As it continues, it seems there’s subtle support? Or they’re just powerless. I don’t know. Here in Melbourne ‘Occupy’ hasn’t been on the news for a while (2 weeks) so I don’t know where it’s at. Did the media get sick of it (which means they no longer abstractly support it, by their attention), or are people still there, collecting their dole/not working, just occupying a space in town & FEELING like they’re changing the world? And the business people who came down from their offices & joined it, they’re annual leave now spent, have they gone back to work because they need to pay for their family’s upkeep (men&women business people).

        I truly hope my comment doesn’t seem negative/unsupporting – I am actually just openly saying what runs through my mind about it all. I don’t know what’s really happening, whether anything is really happening. Maybe I’m such a Doubting Thomas, I don’t believe it until I see a wall crumble down. I don’t know. But I love to remain informed on this one.

        Sincere regards, N’n.

  6. March 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Hello Words. Well taking a public space to protest is like having a visual aide to bring attention to issues. In the case of Occupy Wall Street to actually do more than sit on one’s rump alone in a room and grump about the far reaching consequences of the rampant greed of Wall Street Corporations and Banks brings together like minded people –instead of leaving them in isolation. Protesting visibly is one way of drawing attention to what is WRONG–instead of ignoring it. People who are in the same space at the same time make connections that otherwise would not be possible. Before a wall of any sort can be brought down people have to decide to take it down. That does not happen in a vaccum. Btw, the mainstream media in the States totally ignored thousands of people protesting 24/7 in Madison, WI. But, the media of OTHER countries did not ignore it: BBC, Al Jazeera, RT and Democracy Now! covered those protests. As for OWS here the media at first ignored it, then tried to get coverage, then was shut out by the mayors and police. The coverage remains the provence of the people who stream events via their laptops and phones—which then incurred risk in NYC and other cities when police targeted such streamers for ARREST even though they violated NO laws.
    Now maybe you consider all things to be Just Fine in your part of the world but here and elsewhere people face serious issues due to the consequences of Corporate money running poltics and city policies.
    Mainstream media has ignored the growin homeless problem in the states–especially the depth of the foreclosures that have forced peopel OUT of their homes due to illegal banking activities.
    The occupy movement may not solve anything but such people have yanked their heads OUT of the sand and fog and are looking at what’s going on in the world.
    Btw, the WI people who occupied the state capitalin Madison BEFORE there was OWS have now collected over one million signatures to Recall Gov. Walker—twice the required amount. On Sat there where 64,000 people in a protest celebration in Madison. Now if you think 64,000 people celebrating their year long work of political protest means NOTHING — then ask yourself if your thinking makes you part of the solution or part of the problem? Or just blissfully unaffected by the issues others see as important?
    what have we learned in America? That the mayors of NYC and Oakland consider teh Police Departments their private armies. That our msm is under corporate control and will not cover protests in order to NOT advertise ongoing protests that might bring MORE people into the streets. That our first ammendent rights have been and will ignored by anyone wanting NO protest of the corporartions and banks and bailouts that the ordinary people are NOT responsible for but which we are paying for. We have learned that people like Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Quan hold their own communites in contempt.
    If nothing else the occupy movement has shown a lot of people just how the land lies in America when it comes to protesting anything. We are not all our ‘image’ is cracked up to be. Ain’t that a shame.


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