The Police Are Not the 99 Percent
They are the enemy, unless they disobey orders and join us (photo by Adam Lempel):
I am sick and tired of hearing people say the police are one of us. They are not. They are the enemy. They do not exist to protect us. They don’t give a fuck about your safety or your rights. They are there to serve the corporate state. Sure there may be some cops who oppose the measures they have been ordered to take, but those who feel this way and nevertheless trample on the Constitution must be called out for their cowardice, and as a whole the police are a gang of thugs paid to protect the oligarchs who control America. We do ourselves a disservice by failing to recognize the enemy when we see it. Unless they choose to disobey orders and obstruct the corporate state, which I urge them to do, the police are not one of us. We must never stoop to their level, but rather continue our nonviolent resistance, which is the only way to defeat them because they fear and don’t understand the language of peace and love.
Anyone who questions these accusations should attend an Occupy Wall Street rally. You will see yourself surrounded by a long phalanx of officers riding on motorcycles, accompanied by dozens on foot brandishing guns and batons. They are trained to look tough and menacing. They bark orders and ignore us when spoken to. And when they attack they are ferocious, like guard dogs let loose from the leash. They throw punches, swing nightsticks and fire pepper spray indiscriminately. They attack everyone in sight, including journalists. On Saturday they trampled on an 81-year old Holocaust survivor at Times Square. And they almost always provoke in an attempt to create conditions to carry out such flagrantly illegal and inhumane actions. It seems only a matter of time before they actually murder somebody.
When people are given a license to use violence they will invariably abuse their power. There is a perverse Freudian undercurrent in all of us to dominate others. When the law awards cops free reign to unleash violence, many will transfer their general anger over problems at home or with women onto whoever happens to be in their path. They relish battle with sadistic pleasure. For many, this is fun, an occasion for a good laugh.
I cannot tell you how many people I’ve interviewed who told me they were brutally subdued for exercising their right to protest, arrested with cuffs unnecessarily wound as tight as possible to cut off circulation, and hauled into paddy wagons, where they were forced to sit for hours on end, unable to move, given no access to water and suffering from the beatings inflicted on them earlier. Often one of the prisoners needs serious medical attention. But the police guarding the paddy wagon just ignore the pleas for help. They usually laugh. A friend of mine was severely hurt during his arrest. His arm may never fully recuperate.
On Saturday evening, as I left Times Square at around 7:30, I saw a massive throng of police cars charging towards the protest. There must have been hundreds, I hadn’t seen anything like it since 9/11 (I’m from New York). It was clear something significant was about to occur. Sure enough, 92 demonstrators were arrested, while others were beaten and harassed. Their crime? Participating in democratic action. In some cases cops lifted barricades and started pressing them against people. In others they charged at the crowd on horseback.
Later that night at Washington Square Park the police were ready for us. They were determined not to let us occupy another park in New York. It’s impossible to articulate the sense of outrage I felt when after eleven o’clock the NYPD stormed the area with hundreds of officers, many dressed in riot gear, others riding on horses. Buses to ship us off to prison were parked on the streets and along the sidewalks. They were looking for a fight.
Perhaps the most astonishing thing about the showdown is the simple fact that Washington Square Park belongs to us. Even more so than Liberty Square, which is a private/public park, Washington Square is entirely public property; we fund it with our tax dollars. Bloomberg and all the other scumbags running things have absolutely no authority to tell us to leave. How dare they arrest 14 people! If the NYPD were really there to protect ordinary citizens in a truly democratic system we would be giving the orders to the NYPD to leave. But alas, they exist to serve Bloomberg and the oligarchs.
This fact is on sorry display for all to see in a video taken the other day of people who closed their CitiBank accounts in protest of the corporate coup that has hijacked our democracy, as illustrated by Chase’s $4.6 million donation to the NYPD. The police locked the protestors into the bank as punishment before incarcerating them. One woman cried “shame, shame” as an undercover cop pulled her aside, pressed her up against the wall and arrested her. While watching this video one wonders, could this really be happening in America? But folks, this is how far we’ve come. For those who didn’t realize it before, the crackdown on Occupy Wall Street is a serious wake-up call about just how draconian our police state has become.
So let’s be clear about something. The police are not one of us. Those who refuse orders to revoke our rights and take off their uniforms deserve commendation, and I urge officers to be on the right side of history and join us. But as far as I know none has done so. As such, they are all slaves at best and criminals at worst. The slaves do not deserve our sympathy. I keep hearing that we should feel for them because they have families too and are just doing their job; they need to put food on the table and pay medical bills; we’re fighting to protect their pensions and stave off budget cuts. Those who feel this way are entitled to their own opinion.
Personally, I am not fighting for the police. I don’t care about their pensions, and I hope they do face budget cuts, especially from corporations like JP Morgan Chase. They are human, but they are trained to behave like animals. It’s in their nature to mindlessly follow orders, and they unleash their frustrations and feelings of inferiority on us. They are the corporate state’s henchmen. They know they are at war with us. We must never thank or applaud them for “letting us” do anything, whether it be to continue occupying Liberty Square or to allow us to enter the park from more than one location. It’s not theirs to give. It all belongs to us. They belong to us. They work on our dime. And we, not fascists like Bloomberg, should be giving them orders on how to protect the people, not the corporations.
The only way to defeat them is to refuse to respond in kind, but rather show respect and let the public see the state-sanctioned savagery for themselves and choose between love and hate, change versus the status quo, and the rule of law versus injustice.
Great footage of Times Square brutality,courtesy of Paul DeRienzo and Joan Moossy
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Great clip of Marine confronts cops: “there’s no honor in this,” very moving
“I am not moving,” powerful video
Luke Rudowski of wearechange.org gets beaten and pepper sprayed by cops
Tagged with: Chase arrests customers • Chase donates 4.6 million • Civil disobedience • know your enemy • nonviolent resistance • obstruct the corporate state • Occupy Wall Street • the police are not the 99 percent
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