Eviction and Enlarged Freedom
By Charles M. Young
After watching the Packers beat the Vikings on Monday Night Football, I had insomnia, so it was kind of an accident that I checked my email at 2 a.m. and discovered the police were clearing Zuccotti Park. Everyone had been expecting an eviction since it all started on September 17, but not expecting it at that particular moment. On my cell phone, there were several frantic texts from Occupy Wall Street begging for community support. So I hopped on a slow subway and arrived at Chambers Street about 3 a.m.
About a half mile north of the park, I was alone on the sidewalk for a couple of blocks. The only indication that something might be wrong was the racket of several helicopters with spotlights. Walking down Church Street, I ran into little clumps of stragglers who described a scene in which hundreds of police in full riot gear arrived at the park and presented a demand that the occupiers pack up their stuff and leave. If they did that, the police said, the occupiers would be allowed to return in a few hours without tents or tarps, after the park was cleaned. Bloomberg had tried that transparent ruse before, so a violent police eviction ensued with dozens of arrests, pepper spray and baton whacking, as the occupiers linked arms and tried to hold their space. Bloomberg and his cops also promised that everyone would get their belongings back after the eviction. But this also was a transparent ruse, as the the police tossed everything, including the 5000-book library, randomly into dump trucks that were in all likelihood destined for a landfill or garbage scow.
“Hey, there goes my tent!” said a kid at the corner of Fulton and Church, pointing at an overloaded dump truck roaring by about 3:30 a.m.
“Heil Bloomberg! This is Nazi Germany, not America!” said one guy giving the Nazi salute to dozens of cops.
“Hey, there are people being shot in the head right now in Egypt,” said another guy.
“That’s supposed to make me feel better about this?” said the first guy.
“I’m just saying that calling the cops Nazis isn’t non-violent communication,” said the second guy, obviously a graduate of the Non-Violent Communication Workshop in the park.
“Do the cops look like SS troops or not?” said the first guy.
At the corner of Cortlant Street and Broadway, one block north of the park, an impromptu general assembly of about 100 people was debating tactics in front a long line of police...
For the rest of this article by CHARLES M. YOUNG in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new award-winning independent online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.
Police State Tactics:
Is There a Coordinated National Program to Try and Unoccupy Wall Street and Other Cities?
By Dave Lindorff
The ugly hand of the federal government is becoming increasingly suspected behind what appears to be a nationwide attempt to repress and evict the Occupation Movement.
Across the country in recent days, ultimatums have been issues to groups occupying Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, and most recently New York, NY, where the Occupation Movement began on September 17. The two most recent eviction efforts, in Oakland and New York, have been the worst.
The police attacks have had a lot in common. They have been “justified” based upon trumped up pre-textural claims that the occupiers are creating a health hazard, or a fire hazard, or a crime problem, generally on little or no evidence, or there has been a digging up of obscure and constitutionally questionable statutes, for example laws outlawing the homeless. Then the police come in, usually in dead of night, dressed in riot gear and heavily armed with mace weapons, batons, plastic cuffs and tear gas, or even assault rifles in some cases and so-called flash-bang stun grenades--all weapons to be used against peaceful demonstrators.
So violent has been the response that some returned veterans have condemned the police for using weapons and tactics that are not even permitted by occupying troops in war-torn countries.
“We definitely feel, especially in a movement like this that has arisen so quickly in a number of cities, that there will be a coordinated national effort to try and shut it down,” says Heidi Bogosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, which has been playing a key role providing legal services to the new movement.
“We see the scapegoating of these movements, the attacks at night, and in general tactics designed to terrorize and to scare protesters away. I can’t see this as anything other than centrally coordinated.”
One indication of that coordination may have been a conference call among 18 city mayors which was confirmed by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan in a radio interview on San Francisco station KALW. Dan Siegel, an Oakland attorney who worked as an advisor to Quan, but who resigned in disgust after Oakland police and law enforcement personnel from a number of surrounding jurisdictions brutally drove occupiers there out of their park using tear gas, supposedly non-lethal ammunition (bean bags and rubber bullets) and flash-bang grenades in a night-time raid in the early hours of November 14, says that phone conference call took place, significantly, while Quan was in Washington, DC...
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new award-winning independent online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.
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