Posts Tagged ‘OWS’

Jon Stewart was on comedic fire Monday night when discussing the pepper spray incident at UC Davis.  And when he said in defense of a secular Thanksgiving,

“It’s my favorite holiday!  Name another holiday where you can get drunk in front of your kids before 2 pm.”

Last week Jon was on a break.  I need to laugh every day darnit!  Thank goodness he is back this week.

OWS protesters on the University of California Berkeley Davis campus were sprayed with pepper spray.  The officers used industrialized pepper spray containers bigger than my hairspray can.  I’ve never seen such a thing before.

The Chief of Campus Police is shown in this video from ABC saying that the use of force was appropriate and necessary because the officers felt threatened by the students who had surrounded them.  There are several problems with this explanation.

First, why the large canister of pepper spray?  In NYC OWS protesters were sprayed with the tiny individual canisters and the crowds there were much larger, much more boisterous and standing up in a more threatening posture. I have to wonder why the officers came to the scene with such big canisters….its as if they planned to spray a large group of people before they arrived.  Not only that, it can’t be standard procedure to use those large canisters.  Watch the video.  Do you see the amount of spray that gets discharged?  Everyone there, including the other officers and people encircling the seated students would have been affected by such a diffusion of pepper spray (believe me, I know from first hand experience that stuff can hit you from several feet away even if you’re not the target).    So the idiots doing the spraying were not only hurting the students but probably also impairing the other officers.  Smart, real smart.

Second, on the video (and there are many different angles taken by many different bystanders) shows that the students being sprayed are completely passive and in vulnerable positions, sitting with linked arms.   This is a classic non-violence technique used since Ghandi first started protesting against injustice in South Africa about a century ago.  The officers know they’re not going to have any trouble with the string of students on the sidewalk.  And for that matter, anyone wanting to walk through that area could have walked around the sitting students to continue on their way.  So they weren’t blocking off the area from anyone.  There was no real justification to spray those seated on the ground.

Third, if the officers were threatened by the encircling crowd of students and bystanders, why did they not spray them instead.  If it was their intention to break free, then why not use the pepper spray on those who were hemming them in instead of the peaceful students at their feet?

Fourth, if the officers were truly threatened by the encircling crowd of students and bystanders why didn’t they have their batons drawn.  I believe I only saw one officer do so and the second he pulled out is baton, the crowd immediately moved back.  The crowd’s reaction was instantaneously more passive and retreating.   If the police wanted to leave and leave without being overwhelmed by the crowd, why didn’t they do what training dictates?  That is to form up into a tight circle facing outward (think Roman testudo formation) with drawn batons and the smaller pepper spray canisters at the ready, and use that as a wedge to move out of the crowd, asking people to let them through BEFORE using force.  The officers should know that threat of force and use of actual force are two different things and either can be used to great effect.  Since they’d already seen the crowds willingness to move back on the right side, they should have taken advantage of that and moved out of harms way IF they were really scared of the encircling crowed.

Finally, by attacking the passive students on the ground they pissed off the students encircling them.  Bystanders who were just watching became motivated to become participants, which is the exact opposite of what the police would want to happen.  In other words they increased the vulnerability of their position by provoking the surrounding crowd in a completely unnecessary way.  Why not get footage of the students protesting and then leave the circle IF they’re REALLY in danger.  Arrest the students later IF they actually violated any laws.  Why confront the students in this kind of situation?

As one protester victimized by the officers that day stated, “it was a show of power”.  She was absolutely correct.  This assessment of their actions has finally prompted University officials to put two officers and the chief of police on administrative leave.  No matter what happens to those officers, ultimately UC officials need to ensure that their officers take a refresher course on “the use of force” and how to handle “protesters and crowd control”.  And they need to follow that up periodically to reinforce it.

Oh, and one more thing….never bring an elephant gun to shoot a sparrow.  It kinda makes you look like a douche bag.

This is what we’re up against. Here’s the classic case.  My relative….I won’t name him/her because if he/she were to read this, he/she would be offended because clarity isn’t their strong suit.  Let’s just say that William Faulkner himself would have trouble crawling out of or explaining the rotting carcass that is my family……

So….where was I…oh yes, talking about my family, God love em.  I had posted on Facebook an Occupy Wallstreet Poster that said:

Why is it easier to believe that 150,000 Americans aer being lazy than 400 Americans are being greedy?

And then another relative responded with:  “LOL”

I don’t know if he/she meant that they agreed or disagreed (I really hope it was agreed) and then I got this from another “relative”.

Think he drank Obama’s kool aid

Okay, that sent me into the stratosphere, so here is what I wrote to my “relative’ in reply.

Occupy Wall Street has nothing to do with Pres. Obama….the Democratic Party may try to claim it but they really can’t. saddest of all are the people they speak for like you *******, don’t give them any credit. America is doomed because you all have bought into the conservative bullshit being fed to you 24/7 by the mainstream media (meaning Fox news, CNN, etc). All Americans struggling to survive who fight for the rights of millionaires who never earned a damned thing in their lives are just voting against their own best interests. This comes from a person who has worked her ass off since she was 14 years old and has a graduate degree. I went to high school with those over privileged assholes who work on Wall Street today and I garauntee you they didn’t earn a single penny. Meritocracy is dead and so is America.

I fully expect to get a WTF from my mother and all relations in the southeastern part of the country very soon, because that’s what they do, dontcha know?  If you say the truth covered with sugar and a smile, it passes muster.  Better yet, couch it in Bible verse and none can gainsay you.  But say the truth, on point, and drawing blood? Well that, by golly, is out of lines.  Did I ever mention I’m the black sheep of my family?  I’m the one that says “Wake up motha-ffers there’s an elephant in the mashed potatoes and he ain’t taking names! And guess what, he’s saying you’re all full of sh*t!”

The typical response is bland smiles, gritted teeth and “oh my, whatevah are you making a fuss ovah!  Why, Tina, you muss be ovahwrought!  Well some people just don’t know how to control themselves…..”  Indeed, I’m practically foaming at the mouth. I wonder why?  Hmmmmmm……..

Could it be that my ‘relative’ is someone who is not in complete touch with reality, seeing himself/herself with an astounding lack of clarity and living off the forbearance  of others for many decades. He/she has no idea that the society that he/she claims to support, the conservative ideal he/she dreams of, would have him/her homeless and uncared for until he/she was nothing but a dead statistic.  I could go into details but it would be cruel.

Suffice it to say, he/ she knows not of what they speak.  And so goes this country.  I am haunted by the fact that he/she represents no small portion of the electorate in the America of 2012.

Hey Jealousy

Posted: October 26, 2011 in The Economy
Tags: , ,

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone reporter/blogger, once again proves that he is the master of explaining facets of Recession in a way that anybody, even our short-sighted, self-absorbed galtian overlords can understand.  Here he is addressing the latest conservative criticism of OWS:

 “When you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money.”

You really should read the entire thing.  This, a thousand times, this…..