By David Atkins, Hullabaloo
The NYPD cleared Zucotti Park early this morning, using pepper spray, LRAD sonic devices, batons, and ultimately bulldozers. As I write this at 1:30AM pacific time, the situation is still fluid, with protesters gathering and marching in various places around the city as the police corral crowds wherever they appear.
DATELINE: 11.15.11 13:13 pm
Editor’s Note: The situation remains very fluid, so we have collated various reports.
By Dave Lefcourt
Early this AM police raided OWS & forcibly removed protesters sleeping in tents. Dozens of arrests were made. Earlier Monday police closed down the Occupy Oakland encampment arresting 33 there. What these authorities fail to understand is their actions will only galvanize protesters resolve to continue their protests which are based on ideas, problems and issues which can’t be destroyed by dismantling their encampments.
Early this morning starting around 1:00 AM, police in riot gear raided Zuccotti Park in New York, home of Occupy Wall Street and forcibly removed protesters sleeping in tents. Dozens of arrests were made of those who refused to leave. Sanitation workers came and dumped belongings into trucks and cleaning crews from the owner of the park, Brookfield Properties followed using power washers. Protesters who left the area vowed to meet up later this morning in nearby Foley Square to plan their next move.
If the infrastructure of a police state is created, it’s only a matter of time before those aggressive powers are used.
What happens when a government builds a massive, unaccountable police apparatus to thwart infiltration by a foreign menace, only to see the society it’s supposed to protect take to the streets for entirely different reasons?
It looks as though we may be about to find out. The Occupy protests have been mostly peaceful, with a few fairly dramatic exceptions. But the sight of a huge police presence in riot gear is always startling, and tactics that have been honed in Europe (such as “kettling”) against anarchist actions have not been as common in the United States as elsewhere. More standard forms of crowd control, such as the aggressive use of pepper spray and “rubber” bullets have so far been the outer limits of the police use of force. But it is hardly the outer limits of the possibilities.
By Phil Rockstroh
According to the New York Times, “Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Tuesday defended his decision to clear the park in Lower Manhattan that was the birthplace of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, saying “health and safety conditions became intolerable” in the park where the protesters had camped out for nearly two months. …“New York City is the city where you can come and express yourself,” the mayor said. “What was happening in Zuccotti Park was not that.” He said the protesters had taken over the park, “making it unavailable to anyone else.” The mayor’s comments at a City Hall news conference came about seven hours after hundreds of police officers moved in to clear the park after warning that the nearly two-month-old camp would be “cleared and restored” but that demonstrators who did not leave would face arrest. The protesters, about 200 of whom have been staying in the park overnight, initially resisted with chants of “Whose park? Our park!” Law enforcement officials said about 150 people were arrested, most of them in the park. Most were held on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
For days now, we have endured demonstrably false propaganda that the fallen soldiers of U.S. wars sacrificed their lives for “our freedoms.” Yet, as that noxious nonsense still lingers in the air, militarized police have invaded OWS sites in numerous cities, including Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, and, in the boilerplate description of the witless courtesans of the corporate media, with the mission to “evict the occupiers”.
Kelsey De Santis and Justin Timberlake at the Marine Corps Ball. Disgraceful that the make-believe syndrome in America has reached such grotesque proportions. Is this what our Marines are fighting for?
BEEN ABSENT A WHILE, swamped with those inevitable “other” things we must attend to while keeping the dialog going. I missed the exchanges here. Anyhow, let’s get to business.
Don’t you all feel great this morning to live in this great and free republic-er, democracy-the very best in the world, and to see, also, that the American Dream is alive and well?
Yes, folks, fairy tales still happen in America. Where else could a lower middle class kid in a Marine uniform get a date with a Galactic-class celeb like Justin Timberlake, just by “asking”…? Only in America, folks. That’s why the media are giving this important story saturation coverage. Those willing to die to protect “our freedoms” can literally have anything in America—anything. Which is bunk, of course. Both subject and predicate. In a companion article on this site, my colleague Phil Rockstroh puts his finger on this scandalous pretense with his usual perspicacity:
Freedom rises despite cops and soldiers not because of them. And that is exactly why those who despise freedom propagate military hagiography and fetishize those wearing uniforms–so they can give the idea of liberty lip service as all the while they order it crushed. (See The Police State Makes Its Move: Retaining one’s humanity in the face of tyranny)