occupations sweeping the nation

Scenes From a Civil War: Cops Vs. Crying Mothers

Hello, retired Police Captain Ray Lewis! Today has been interesting. Sorry we haven’t had more to offer. The real story is happening as a live event, created by real people, and the total absence of political leaders is one way to both judge its authenticity and dismiss any real need for “news media” — even when that “news media” is just some ongoing joke/word-terrorism project, like Wonkette. Anyway, here are some bits from what’s going on, tonight, in America.

“I was there to take down the names of people who were arrested… As I’m standing there, some African-American woman goes up to a police officer and says, ‘I need to get in. My daughter’s there. I want to know if she’s OK.’ And he said, ‘Move on, lady.’ And they kept pushing with their sticks, pushing back. And she was crying. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head,” says Smith. “I walk over, and I say, ‘Look, cuff her if she’s done something, but you don’t need to do that.’ And he said, ‘Lady, do you want to get arrested?’ And I said, ‘Do you see my hat? I’m here as a legal observer.’ He said, ‘You want to get arrested?’ And he pushed me up against the wall.”

— Retired New York Supreme Court Judge Karen Smith, working as a legal observer after the raids on Zucotti Park this Tuesday, via Paramilitary Policing of Occupy Wall Street: Excessive Use of Force amidst the New Military Urbanism

The Bat Signal hit the ugly Verizon building during tonight’s march on the Brooklyn Bridge. It looked fantastic:

Beautiful.

Hundreds and hundreds of people were arrested in cities across the country, for protesting the kleptocrats and their enablers in Washington, for protesting years of economic collapse, decades of vicious greed, an era of amorality.

Here’s a woman being pepper sprayed, in the face, by riot cops in Portland.

In New York, the cops even arrested a New York city councilman!

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154 comments

  1. memzilla

    More and more, our world is looking like a cross of the original Rollerball (each industry vertical is owned by one corporation) with John Carpenter's They Live (world in poverty except for the 1%, who are aliens).

    Obey. Consume. Marry and Reproduce.

    1. emmelemm

      I came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I'm all out of bubble gum.

      /best ever in the history of ever

    2. tessiee

      It's amazing how prescient "They Live" was (although its message was also true during the Reagan empire when the movie came out), and how many people still refuse to put on those f@#king sunglasses.

    3. DaRooster

      I still have some shades from the 80s (Phonets) I wonder what I would see if I looked at the Koch Bros… probably not any worse than they already look.

    1. imissopus

      In that spirit, here is a piece from the new issue of the L.A. Weekly about how Occupy and the LAPD have been communicating. The NYPD could learn a few things: http://www.laweekly.com/2011-11-17/news/the-zen-o

      There were some arrests today when OLA protested in front of the B of A building downtown, but from all accounts it seems to have been pretty mellow and the LAPD apparently did their job without bashing any heads. See, NYPD, it can be done.

  2. PhilippePetain

    It's great, here in Portland, all of the hipsters are "so over" all of this. Fucking bourgeois bastards. What does it fucking take?

  3. RadiosTyrone

    Police Captain Ray Lewis is one of those piss smelling, pot smoking, unemployed, rapist, Alinskyite, anti-capitalist, communist, anarchist, Obama/Pelosi/Democratic endorsed, anti-semite, union thug, uncivilized, violent, jealous of succes, spoiled, job killing, parasites I've been hearing so much about on right wing radio…right?

    1. imissopus

      Even worse: he worked for the government. So he's just a fat cat living off a giant taxpayer-funded pension that he uses to travel to New York to march with these dirty hippies.

    2. mrpuma2u

      You forgot Soros-funded, Barbara Streisand/Susan Sarandon talking point spouting, Barney Frank worshiping, Michael Moore endorsed, and a couple more, but I have only had one cup of coffee so I can't think of the rest. He probably is shacked up with a Cadillac driving welfare queen.

      Needz moar Billy klubbin of dirty hippies!

  4. SarahsBush

    That bat signal might be the coolest protest thing I've ever seen. I hope the other occupations adopt it.

    But maybe put it on something not as shitty as the Verizon building.

      1. SarahsBush

        I'm gonna go with New York Stock Exchange. Though I'm pretty sure visibility and logistics probably played a bigger factor in the decision.

    1. memzilla

      I'd like to see the Laser Of Truth aimed at the Rethuglican-controlled House with "CRIMINALS ARE HERE —>" illuminating it.

  5. ttommyunger

    Not quite buying this interview with the fellow in the uniform. He knows the lingo, but he doesn't quite sound "right" to me. The outfit is not quite kosher, either. Oh well, I'm just a cynic, I suppose.

    1. flamingpdog

      I have an old friend who is in the radio news business in Philly. I asked her on Facebook is she knows anything about this guy.

      1. ttommyunger

        I'm thinking he should be arrested-for his own protection. I just don't feel good about him. Can't put my finger on it.

    2. Guppy

      Apparently he was chief in Philly, so that's probably why the uniform looks "off" from a NY perspective.

      And despite what Hollywood might think, Philly sounds more like B'more than NY, so that could be the "sound" problem you're having

    3. dinkybossetti

      I live outside of Philly, and the Philadelphia PD confirmed to local media that he is a retired police captain from here.

        1. finallyhappy

          hey, Frank Rizzo was our police chief and then mayor- strange vibe to you is normal in Philly. The uniform is his dress blues.

  6. Millennial Malaise

    I went to a OWS spokes meeting this week – my first – and it was unorganized as hell. And I could easily pick out the assholes within the organization. The kind of people who emerge in every group of humans and serve mostly to disrupt shit and hear their own voice.

    Anyway, as they were going over todays events, they mentioned something about a light show and I was sad I couldn't see it in person. With the strike that just went down, that's fucking sweet ass messaging! Good work, comrades!

    1. bureaucrap

      Actually that happens all the time. Most of the time it's simple fraud /bribery/ extortion/ dui. Getting arrested for trying to represent the majority of his/her constituency is a new one, though.

  7. Dashboard_Jesus

    great post WJ, I personally LOVE to see what's goin' on in NY, these young folks are AWESOME! here in my crappy little red sate of Indiana the elitist preppy frat boy governor (BUT a man of the PEOPLE!) ordered the 'removal' of the handful of Occupy folks from the statehouse lawn…yeah it's OUR property you piece of shit 'My Bitch Mitch' Daniels, fuck your puny white corporate whore ass all the way back to your fucking mansion in a gated community!

      1. Dashboard_Jesus

        funny that's just what I forgot to add at the end, "ask me how I really feel about these assholes"…unfortunately living in a state like Indiana with the severe amount of mental retardation among the general 'public' tends to make me react in a kind of Repugnant Tourettes syndrome, I can't even THINK about these assholes without letting out a stream of expletives

  8. Mumbletypeg

    "And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head,” says Smith."

    Weeping for my country. No Rinse, just stuck on ever-fucking-lasting Repeat.

  9. Jukesgrrl

    Apparently Bill-O doesn't agree that today was interesting. New Hounds reported today, "… O’Reilly pronounced the movement dead. Americans are on to the 'reprehensible' and 'all kinds of depraved' behavior and, therefore, the movement it's over … 'overrun by thugs, anarchists and the crazies who intimidate,' O’Reilly concluded. 'So the Occupy Wall Street movement is dead. Finished as a legitimate political force in this country. And that’s a good thing.'"

    Could somebody shine that bat signal on his studio?

    1. Dashboard_Jesus

      well if Bildo Lielly sez it's over then it's OVER, cuz even a fucking moron like him would know when it's time to STOP with the *depraved behavior* (but only when he's served with a subpoena of course) Loofah anyone? Falafel goes in, tabouli spewed out, WHO can explain it?!

    2. Barrelhse

      'overrun by thugs, anarchists and the crazies who intimidate,'
      He has no idea what he's talking about. Most of is are still right here.

    3. Bluestatelibel

      Those facts are about as correct as all the factual inaccuracies in his latest smear book on Lincoln.

    4. MzNicky

      Yes well, Bill O'Reallly would certainly know, wouldn't he, having his clammy bloated finger on the pulse of the nation and all. I think we can take this as a great big "viva la revolucion!"

    5. tessiee

      "Apparently Bill-O doesn't agree that today was interesting. New Hounds reported today, "… O’Reilly pronounced the movement dead."

      Translation: "Pay attention to me! Pay attention to me!"

  10. donner_froh

    One guy was arrested with blood streaming down his face. He was charged with grand larceny for "stealing a deputy inspector's hat". Must be quite a hat.

    Earlier Mr. Watts's prior arrests at Occupy Wall Street, the police said, involved resisting arrest on Sept. 24, loitering in disguise on Sept. 28, escaping from a prisoner van on Oct. 14 and having stolen orange mesh fencing on Oct. 28.

    This guy could be an agent provocateur or just a really busy boy. Whatever the case, escaping from a prisoner van shouldn't be a separate charge. If the NYPD can't keep him secure it's their problem.

    Info from a NYT blog.

    1. Biff

      Nice. I got the added charge of resisting arrest just for wiggling my cuffed hands from behind my back, because my right shoulder can't take the strain without dislocating. 'kin cops, man…

  11. el_donaldo

    Not to burst anyone's bubble, but if you click on the Verizon building pic, it takes you to the Tumblr of some dipshit truther. And you really got to tell those people to fuck off the movement.

  12. user-of-owls

    Rumor has it that many of the children of Mexican cartel leaders are being forced to cancel their Spring Break plans in the US because their folks are worried that it's just too dangerous up here right now. The concerned parents are suggesting safer alternative vacation spots like Syria and the Congo.

      1. user-of-owls

        Au contraire! It was most assuredly funny last year!

        Well, at least "funny" in a sort of "Oh-No-Ken-Ran-Out-Of-Valium-Again" way.

    1. sati_demise

      he got arrested first thing in the morning. he predicted his own arrest. I dont know why a plant would advocate for "Inside Job"

  13. Numbat_Dundee

    General Smedley Butler reincarnated!
    "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

    1. tessiee

      OK:
      1) this is an awesome quote
      2) Smedley Butler was instrumental in overturning a plot by, among others, Chase Bank and Prescott Bush to overturn FDR's presidency and install a fascist dictatorship (I am NOT kidding): http://www.cracked.com/article_15974_7-insane-con
      3) He became a career military Marine Corps General even though his first name is "Smedley", ergo he has giant brass balls.

      1. Dok-cupy Everything

        Then again, it was easier to be named "Smedley" back in those days, just as long as you remembered to tie a fashionable onion to your belt.

  14. sati_demise

    The hope is we create & diversify our own media and the corporates go out of business.
    That alone would change the world.

    Livestreaming saved many people from getting killed today, no doubt about it.

  15. Negropolis

    “I walk over, and I say, ‘Look, cuff her if she’s done something, but you don’t need to do that.’ And he said, ‘Lady, do you want to get arrested?’ And I said, ‘Do you see my hat? I’m here as a legal observer.’ He said, ‘You want to get arrested?’ And he pushed me up against the wall.”

    Really, fuck you; fuck you very much, officer. Ugh. I said good day, sir!

    Soon, all your bases are belong to us. Remember.

  16. paris biltong

    Outstanding local press coverage. The NY Times considers that the Woody Johnson Jets' ignominious loss to the Jeebus-led Broncos is more newsworthy.

    1. marionetta

      Lawyer or law student from National Lawyers' Guild or sometimes the Civil Liberties Union; they document overreach (can you say beatings) by the police and may provide legal advice on site.

    2. finallyhappy

      well, we have legal observers at the polls to check on election fraud- I would gather these observers- seeing how much police brutality has gone on- are checking to see if the police are acting inside the law(and I guess not is the answer)

    1. Dok-cupy Everything

      Oh, don't worry, it's the same one we've had all along. Hey, it doesn't even distribute smallpox-infected blankets anymore, so, progress.

  17. Ruhe

    Last weekend I ended up playing golf in a group with a guy who couldn't wait to yammer on about OWS protesters. I interrupted him mid-rant and asked him how his 401K was doing "cause mine is worth shit." "What these people are protesting" I said " is that a lot of what goes on on Wall Street right now is not about investment and the creation of wealth, it's about finding new ways to siphon wealth out of the economy." Then I striped my driver 250 down the middle. "And if you keep pissing me off talking about this stuff I'm gonna do that to you all day." I don't know that I'd have the cajones to risk getting arrested but I promise that I won't let anyone around me in even the most casual setting get away with distorting what's happening in Manhattan. Go, kids, Go!

  18. boobookitteh

    Not only is this response to the protests brutish and painfully un-American, but it's really just making people more sympathetic. People like me, middle aged, middle to upper middle class people who originally thought well of the protesters if shaking our heads at their pollyanna-ish idea that this would make a difference, and what I thought was misplaced anger.

    However, every pepper sprayed protester, every person arrested for exercising their 1st amendment rights, every nasty, brutish cop doing the 1%'s dirty work, the utter silence from our political leaders, the media blackout – all of it makes me and people like me more and more supportive.

    So, well done.

    As a PS, I heard on the news this morning that Mayor Meninno will not be evicting Occupy Boston as requested by the Greenway Conservancy. And when Mumbles Meninno has a smarter strategery than you, you are in serious fucking trouble.

    1. tessiee

      "every pepper sprayed protester, every person arrested for exercising their 1st amendment rights, every nasty, brutish cop doing the 1%'s dirty work, the utter silence from our political leaders, the media blackout – all of it makes me and people like me more and more supportive."

      It somewhat reminds me of the Civil Rights movement, and how venal, foolish, and spiteful some of the opposition was (that is, when it wasn't outright murderous).

  19. freakishlywrong

    The fucking Republicans just passed a another CR, and in it is hundreds of millions of Ameros cut from..wait for it..Police Departments. I think you're beating up the wrong folks, coppers.

  20. Chet Kincaid

    On Rachel Maddow's show Thursday night, she framed her coverage of the OWS events in terms of "two tracks": one being the protests, the other being the House voting down Obama's high speed rail plan. She wondered out loud if these two tracks would ever come together, then brought in Melissa Harris-Perry. They talked around the main issue so much that I wondered if Rachel even realized she had brought it up.

    It's absolutely important that the people in power realize that people are pissed off, and the base of anger is so broad that it cannot be dismissed. But we are naive if we think these protests are going to force Congress to do anything. The Republican Party controls the Doomsday switch on all legislation, and they cannot and will not listen. They would collectively call their own grandmothers slut crack-whores if they went downtown to protest.

    There is an attitude that the movement is somehow pure and righteous because no politicians have come around to exploit it for their own "immoral purposes" — heinous acts like getting into office and voting on things the movement cares about. 'Round about September 2012, everyone's going to realize that this is a pretty stupid attitude. By then, of course, it will be too late to harness the momentum of OWS and find a slate of candidates who can run across the country to move toward taking back the House and shoring up the Senate.

    Are there any Progressives out there who want to WIN, or is this just primal scream camping therapy?

    1. Steverino247

      Oh, they're out there, but the rules for getting on the ballot are pretty useful for keeping things the way they are. You almost always have to be registered to a political party, for example, so "independent" voters are out of luck. Here in CA, you're not independent, you're No Party, politically agnostic. Anybody new to the local political scene is feared by the "established" members of the various parties, even if the established party is incredibly weak. The truth is that all parties in the United States can be taken over by a small group of organized folks as was proved by Pat Robertson in his Presidential run. The problem is that those assholes have been replaced by Libertarians who finally figured out that their Third Party runs were useless.

      1. MzNicky

        This is the problem: No one but he who is selected by the RNC or DNC will be president. No one will be able to achieve office without millions and millions of dollars. Thus, hegemony is preserved before the first vote is ever cast. This is one of the things OWS is saying — the corporatocracy exists unto itself. The "democratic" system is fucked. We need to scrap this shit and start over.

        1. Chet Kincaid

          It's not about the Presidency, it's about Congress. I am continually amazed that people do not take this lesson from the monumental Democratic fuck-up of the 2010 elections.

      2. Chet Kincaid

        That's the point. "Independent" parties are a pipe dream. If Progressives want to be where they can actually change things, they had better figure out how to run an insurgency within the Democratic Party. I don't accept all of these "you know how it is…" excuses.

        But let's all look down our noses at how the filthy Tea Party did it, while they continue to hold our future hostage! At least we have the moral high ground!

    2. Negropolis

      I agree, though, I'd advise you do what you have to do, and everyone else do what they feel they have to do. There really is no need to keep up this criticism. If you want to "WIN" in whatever definition you want to win in, than go out in do it. If someone else wants to win a different battle and/or in a different way, you let them do that without the never-ending, bitter brow-beating. Movements are made up of different parts.

      1. Chet Kincaid

        Your "Comment Police" act is getting pretty tiresome. I'd advise you to just ignore anything I write that's longer than two sentences, if I am oppressing you so horribly. The whiny lecturing is a pain in the ass.

  21. V572625694

    Last night wingtard jock Mark Lewin was hyperventilating about OWS and these awful, awful people with the drugs and their "sex acts" and how he does NOT identify with them because they are upsetting law and order — and then, because that's his schtick, he'd segue into a commercial pitching GoToMyPC or some gold peddlers or whatever in a relatively normal tone of voice, which reminds you that his anger is a pretense, a performance…but still it was possible to feel something that seemed a bit like fear, and to the extent you could bear to listen at all it was encouraging.

      1. V572625694

        Have to settle for drum circles, as the oppressors won't allow amplification, without which there can be no rock'n'roll.

    1. tessiee

      "wingtard jock Mark Lewin was hyperventilating about OWS and these awful, awful people with the drugs and their "sex acts""

      *perks up*

      So… Sex acts, you say?

  22. El Pinche

    At first I was waiting for him to pepper spray and beat the shit out of anything that moved, but then i opened my third eye. Ray's a good man…we're not used to that.

  23. Beetagger

    Time to start tearing down shit… statues, banks, politicians. Let's go all Berlin Wall on their asses. Capturing a few violent cops and making hostage tapes would be fun too.

  24. WeHaveIssues

    It is one thing to have friction with corporations – those that want profit at all cost and in some cases will kill and cover-up the evidence to protect their $$$. It is another thing entirely when our elected government officials and our tax payer law enforcement groups turn violent on citizens just for the sake of using violence – because they can.

    Every cop needs to think this through a little harder in their thick skull – are you for your family, your kids future, your neighbors or are you a tool for the 1% to protect their money bags, hoping they spittle a little your way now and then?

    1. mayor_quimby

      My thoughts exactly. As I said upthread, that shit fucked up ATL nightlife permanently. Now we have a dormant luxury highrise construction hole where all our bars and party spots used to be.

  25. SenileAgitation

    The NY Post today (and local Fox 5 News in NY last night) pushing the theme of how much these thoughtless protester ninnies are inconveniencing their neighbors (betters?) with this foolishness… inconsiderate OWS!

  26. Generation[redacted]

    And now, guys I used to get stoned with in high school are on facebook complaining about the "rampant drug use (pot)" at the OWS protests. Oh how the times they are a-changing!

  27. NotYerGaryBusey

    AKA: The namesake of MY cat.
    Disappointing cat name that turned out to be. All he does is lay on top of me like Andre the Giant. He does NOT appreciate Sleeper Holds or Iron Claws.

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