Why the Police Riot in New York Really Matters

“The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the

fear of resistance.”

- Thomas Paine

QUICK HIT: Shock Doctrine Hits NYC

Why the Police Riot in New York Really Matters

By Mark L. Taylor
The Daily Call (9/29/11)
By now well-informed Daily Call readers have seen the video of the worst of New York’s “Finest” going Robo Cop on young ‘Wall Street Occupied’ protesters.
While there were numerous incidents of unprovoked physical assaults, violent arrests and abusive language by those who are supposed to be setting the standard of safe law abiding public behavior, the most publicized incident involved the deliberate, close quarters pepper spray assault of several young women who had been corralled and contained by police behind orange barriers and were not causing any trouble.
There is no clearer evidence of the growing fascism than the image of government police brutalizing peaceful civilian protesters in the shadow of the tax payer bailed out Wall Street banks.
If you watch the video in the Lawrence O’Donnell link below (excellent commentary, BTW) you can view a slow motion version which clearly shows white shirted Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna moving swiftly up to the corralled area and deliberately pepper spraying the innocent young women. He makes sure to spray a wide arc to catch them all and then quickly turns on his heel and retreats, tucking the gas canister back in his belt holder.
The assault was captured by a number of cameras from different angles and the illegality of the unprovoked attack on peaceful protesters is clearly documented.
These goons are NYPD commanders?
Other videos of the weekend arrests included stomach turning assaults, usually instigated by the white shirted commanders. Video also showed many blue shirted beat cops handling the crowds with polite commands and requests. The commanders seemed bent on stirring things up, which leads one to ask, how the hell did they become supervisors, but more importantly why the systematic violence on non-violent protesters by the command?
If you haven’t seen the Naomi Klein “Shock Doctrine” talk on the Daily Call website ( http://www.thedailycall.org/?page_id=1529 ) I urge you to take the time. You can watch the six segments in about 45 minutes.
Klein’s 2007 book “The Shock Doctrine” details the systematic process used by international corporations and the United States government through the CIA, or in the case of Baghdad, the U.S. military, to take down, take over and privatize national governments. The process came out of the work of right wing economist Milton Friedman and was road tested under the supervision of Pres. Richard Nixon in Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s CIA-backed fascist coup of the democratically elected government of Chile’s Salvador Allende in 1973.
The basic steps are as simple as they are deadly effective:
  • · Gin up a national or international crisis of some sort. It can be economic (as here and now), diplomatic, terrorism or war.
  • · While the populace is reeling in confusion ram through radical laws to destroy labor unions (sound familiar Wisconsin?), eliminate civil rights, jail opposition leaders and privatize public resources.
  • · Before the population fully awakens from the shock of what has occurred institute random violence, detention, torture and disappearances to scare the hell out of the population and keep them subservient.
It’s no accident
These NYPD commanders weren’t just going gonzo on their own. Watch the videos up on the net and see how all the white shirted commanders go out of their way to push, grab, tackle, shove, punch, throw to the ground and – yes – pepper spray innocent people. Look at the shocked disbelief of many of the blue shirted street cops and read the reaction of one of them in the story below. In the midst of the chaos triggered by their command many tried valiantly to keep things calm. Others, unfortunately, betrayed their oath, joined in with their outlaw commanders and smeared their badges with shame.
These actions are step three of the Shock Doctrine – it had nothing to do with justice or maintaining order. They were meant to intimidate other protesters and the mere random, capricious selection of their victims - with women often most brutalized - is designed to sow seeds of terror in order to break and silence dissent.
Now word is out that the NYPD are targeting anyone with a camera, you know, just like the government thugs did in Egypt’s Tahrir Square.
As readers know, any time the Daily Call announces a protest or march I always urge folks to bring along their video equipment. Thus far, Wisconsin law enforcement have conducted themselves professionally. I have been most concerned about outside influences disrupting protests, as Gov. Walker discussed in the recorded conversation with someone he thought was billionaire David Koch. I believe the presence of cameras actually dampens likelihood of violence.
For those who can afford it, I would suggest getting smaller less obvious cameras. Let’s hope I’m just being my typical worrying self, but should things shift – as I expect they soon will – video documentation is essential to getting the word out on the web to expose the brutish powers like those in New York this past weekend lined up against the people for what they really are - fascists.
There is no clearer evidence of the growing fascism than the image of government police brutalizing peaceful civilian protesters in the shadow of the tax payer bailed out Wall Street banks. As was said by someone far more eloquent than I at a similar time of government sanctioned brutality, “you don’t need a weather man, to know which way the wind blows”.

Why I Was Maced at the Wall Street Protests

By Jeanne Mansfield
Boston Review (9/26/11)
My boyfriend Frank and I are heading toward Liberty Square to check out what’s going on at the Occupy Wall Street protest, when we stumble upon the afternoon march toward Union Square. So we join up and walk along behind. The crowd looks like maybe 300 people, mostly punk-styled kids and folks carrying their computers (for live streaming, we found out later) and some aging-hippie types. People are beating drums, blowing whistles, carrying signs, and chanting: “Banks got bailed out, you got sold out!” and “We are the 99 percent!” and “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street!” and of course the classic “This is what democracy looks like!”
All in all, it starts out as a pretty good time. There are police, but for the most part they are walking behind the group casually, just beat cops bantering and laughing, keeping an eye on things. There are around 30 of them. We reach Union Square, circle it a couple times, and join the human microphone. The human microphone consists of one person speaking or shouting, and then everyone within earshot repeating, thus, a human amplifier, albeit with some delay. After about fifteen minutes, we are on the move again, the crowd spurred toward the United Nations by the messages transmitted from the human microphone.

One of the blue-shirts, tall and bald, stares in disbelief and says, ‘I can’t believe he just fuckin’ maced her.’

As we circle Union Square, about twenty NYPD officers haul out orange plastic nets (the kind used to fence off construction sites) and close off the road, diverting the crowd. But the detour, too, is closed, leaving us only one option: straight down Broadway. The lighthearted carnival air begins to get very heavy as it becomes clear that we are being corralled. The main group, about 150 protesters, keeps on down the street, but the police are running behind with the orange nets, siphoning off groups of fifteen to twenty people at a time, classic crowd control.
A new group of police officers arrives in white shirts, as opposed to dark blue. These guys are completely undiscerning in their aggression. If someone gets in their way, they shove them headfirst into the nearest parked car, at which point the officers are immediately surrounded by camera phones and shouts of “Shame! Shame!”
Up until this point, Frank and I have managed to stay ahead of the nets, but as we hit what I think is 12th Street, they’ve caught up. The blue-shirts aren’t being too forceful, so we manage to run free, but stay behind to see what happens. Then things go nuts …

Pepper Spray Cop Has History of Abusing Protesters. Cops Targeting Those With Cameras

By Adam Martin
The Atlantic (9/27/11)
When a New York police officer walked up to a group of female protesters immobilized behind a makeshift fence and pepper sprayed them before calmly walking off, seemingly unaware he had been captured on video, he became the latest symbol of the New York Police Department’s apparent inability to deal with small-scale civil unrest in a reasonable way. In a city that has seen its share of deadly, full-fledged rioting and the most infamous terrorist attacks in history, the police force is trained to respond to the gravest of threats, but as a New York Times story on Tuesday pointed out, it has lost the ability to tailor that response down to meeting low-level civil unrest. That seems to be a years-long trend, exemplified by Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, who has had several lawsuits filed against him for his role directing arrests of protesters in the 2004 Republican National Convention.

On Twitter, where the #OccupyWallstreet hashtag generates several hundred messages an hour, attention has turned to a reported police backlash against those filming the response to protesters. One Anonymous-related Twitter account wrote, “video crews have been assaulted, some repeatedly, while attempting to film police actions against protesters.”

According to a 2007 lawsuit unearthed by Anonymous activists, who released Bologna‘s personal and family information on Monday, the NYPD veteran participated in the arrest of one protester who got into an altercation with a driver during the convention. The protester, Posr A. Posr, has sued Bologna and the department for keeping him confined to a pen on Pier 57 after his arrest instead of processing him through a normal booking facility. Posr’s is one of seven federal suits that name Bologna or include him as a John Doe because of his role as a captain in the police department, in complaints about the way the New York Police Department handled arrests during the convention. The department arrested about 1,000 protesters and kept them in a makeshift facility on Pier 57, where, according to Posr’s suit, there was limited seating and the ground was covered in toxic grit.
At the time, The New York Times reported that the police response had effectively silenced the protesters. Later lawsuits meant the bureaucratic fallout from the controversial arrests was heavy …

A Clarion Call to Join the Wall Street Protests

By Arun Gupta
AlterNet (9/27/11)
What is occurring on Wall Street right now is truly remarkable. For over 10 days, in the sanctum of the great cathedral of global capitalism, the dispossessed have liberated territory from the financial overlords and their police army.
They have created a unique opportunity to shift the tides of history in the tradition of other great peaceful occupations, from the sit-down strikes of the 1930s to the lunch-counter sit-ins of the 1960s to the democratic uprisings across the Arab world and Europe today.
While the Wall Street occupation is growing, it needs an all-out commitment from everyone who cheered the Egyptians in Tahrir Square, said “We are all Wisconsin,” and stood in solidarity with the Greeks and the Spaniards. This is a movement for anyone who lacks a job, housing or health care, or thinks they have no future.
Our system is broken at every level. More than 25 million Americans are unemployed. More than 50 million live without health insurance. Perhaps 100 million Americans are mired in poverty, using realistic measures. Yet the fat cats continue to get tax breaks and reap billions while politicians compete to turn the austerity screws on all of us.
At some point the number of people occupying Wall Street — whether that’s 5,000, 10,000 or 50,000 — will force the powers that be to offer concessions. No one can say how many people it will take or even how things will change exactly, but there is a real potential for bypassing a corrupt political process and for realizing a society based on human needs, not hedge fund profits.
After all, who would have imagined a year ago that Tunisians and Egyptians would oust their dictators? …
(Editor’s Note: Most of the issues erupting around us have not just sprung out of the ground overnight. Instead, there is historical context and an often interconnecting cast of characters. Quick Hits is designed to provide more in-depth understanding about what is going on. While the videos and article links may be longer that most offerings, they still provide a valuable way to get up to speed on important issues in – usually – an hour or less. - Mark L. Taylor)

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