The real faces of the Occupy movement dispel the stereotypes the 1% and their lackeys would like you to believe. To hear them tell it, the brutality is justified in the name of enforcing the law. It’s easy to forget that among the masses of people at the various occupy protests that each is a human being. Each protester is someone’s son or daughter. They may be someone’s brother or sister; someone’s father or mother; someone’s significant other. They certainly are someone’s advocate. They take the risks of police brutality and arrests because they advocate for those who have jobs, families and things that mean they can’t be in the streets every day. They advocate for those who search for the jobs that the right wing’s “job creators” keep saying they will create.
Yes, in some ways they are warriors against the class warfare declared by the 1% and their minions on Fox “news”, in Congress or in the right wing blog-o-smear. There are real ‘casualties” in the name of intimidating the 99%, including those who identify with the 1% or the so called 53%. Contrary to the 1%’s claims, the occupy movement have been victims of violence. The most serious injuries were incurred at Occupy Oakland, during this assault on the protesters.
The person you see on the stretcher is a Scott Olsen. He took two tours of duty in Iraq – a war the 1% wanted, a war that was based on lies. He stepped up for his country then and ultimately he was doing exactly the same thing at Occupy Oakland.
After a “non-lethal” projectile landed on Olson’s face, other protesters tried to help him, as seen in this video.
Unlike the 1%’s stock photos used for their propaganda campaigns, this video footage is actually about the brutality of the people who were at OccupyOakland. Scott Olsen is not a pop up character. He is a real human being with family, friends, and a love for freedom for the 100%.
According to The Guardian:
“Scott Olsen is in a “critical condition” in Highland hospital in Oakland, a hospital spokesman confirmed.
Olsen, 24, suffered the head injury during protests in Oakland on Tuesday evening. More than 15 people were arrested after a crowd gathered to demonstrate against the police operation to clear two Occupy Oakland camps in the early hours of Tuesday morning.”
His condition was since been upgraded to “serious”
The head injury is, in fact, a fractured skull.
This is what getting hit in the face with a “non-lethal” projectile looks like.
Twenty-four-year-old Scott Olson contradicts the stereotypes invoked by the one per cent and their useful idiots. He contradicts the assertion that the occupy protesters are people who don’t love their country. This man voluntarily joined the military and put his life on the line for his country during two tours of Iraq. In other words, he actually stepped up and put the most valuable thing anyone has on the line: his life. It is an ironic tragedy that Olson survived fighting for freedom in Iraq, only to be critically injured while protesting for freedom here in America.
Scott Olson is neither the first nor the last person to be injured. His injuries are the most serious, reflecting the escalating violence by the one percent and for the one percent.
Here is a photo of another protester’s wound from a “rubber bullet” used to injure another Occupy Oakland protester.
According to the Occupy Melbourne 43 injuries were sustained by peaceful protesters.
“Our observers have witnessed and been told of numerous incidents of excessive force and violence against the peaceful protesters,” said Erin Buckley, coordinator of the legal observer team. “We are very concerned at the level of violence, and concerned particularly about the welfare of young people who have experienced significant police brutality today.”
From a press release on October 24:
Occupy Melbourne’s lawyers have 43 statements detailing shocking injuries inflicted by police on peaceful protestors. These include eye-gouging, punches to the face and back of the head and the deployment of pepper spray, including on children. The OM legal team is still receiving statements.
And this, from a press release, also on October 24th.
Should any future actions be agreed upon by tomorrow night’s General Assembly, they will be conducted in a peaceful and non-violent manner. Occupy Melbourne’s participants have repeatedly reaffirmed their commitment to peaceful and non-violent activity at previous General Assemblies. (my italics)
This is what violence against non-violent protesters looks like in Melbourne.
Here in the United States, violence on the orders of the 1% has escalated in various places, including Oakland, Denver, and Atlanta, DC and let’s not forget New York City.
The pattern is emerging. Local politicians claim to respect the 1st amendment rights of the protesters, with the usual caveat, as long as they obey the law.
Then there’s an eviction notice, with claims that the evictions are “temporary” to clean the protest sites.
Typically, the evictions begin with ‘readouts“, as reflected in this report in the LA Times about the eviction at Occupy San Francisco:
“YOU ARE SUBJECT TO ARREST,” said the message from Chief Greg Suhr, admonishing protesters that officials have noted ongoing violations of city ordinances against camping, sleeping, open fires, public urinating and defecating, littering and the use of propane tanks.
“The San Francisco Police Department stands ready to facilitate lawful 1st Amendment activities,” Suhr said. But “these acts have been and continue to be violations of the law for which you are subject to arrest.”
In addition, the city’s Department of Public Health posted a warning at the Occupy site Tuesday calling it an “imminent public health hazard” and citing numerous violations of the health code.
Ironically, a cause for eviction? There are too many homeless people drawn to the protests, as reflected in this report:
“The Occupy Movement in Albuquerque began October 1st, 2011 in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. Today, in spite of a last minute written appeal by NM State Representative Brian F. Egolf faxed to the President of the University of New Mexico, #OccupyBurque’s Camp Coyote has been evicted.
The reason? Too many homeless people are being drawn to the protest site at Yale Park, a prominent site on Central Avenue, and since I was a kid, always a quiet refuge for the homeless whom are now, most unknowingly, being used as a pawn in a classic game of class warfare.”
Accoding to USA Today, several other citings are planning to evict Occupy protesters. Providence, Rhode Island; Minneapolis, Minnesota and Atlanta, Georgia which threatened evictions last week.
Of course, there are new rules, such as protest curfews, which sort of defeats the purpose of the occupy protests. Predictably, as the one percent probably knows, the protesters make an effort to address the one percent’s grievances, as was the case in Chicago:
In Chicago, protesters complied with police requests to clean their area, piling unused signs in a box and sweeping debris from the sidewalk.
“We’re trying to maintain a peaceful environment,” says Shawn Riley, 25, a college student and ex-Marine who joins the protests between classes.
As predictably, the one percent will claim that talks failed or the occupy movement didn’t do enough. Police will be ordered to evacuate. Predictably, the occupy protesters resist evacuation because ninety-nine percent of the population really is too big to fail.
The police predictably enter in dramatic form. Here’s an example of drama, intended to intimidate. This occurred in Atlanta.
“With helicopters hovering overhead,” the police moved in last night and arrested more than 50 demonstrators. Local news station Fox 5 was there at the scene when police arrived.
Here are some photos from Occupy Oakland depicting the Tent City of the occupy movement and following its destruction. Similar property destruction occurred in other locations, including Boston, and Denver.
It then escalates to a presence of police in riot gear armed with everything from night sticks to the sort of tear gas projectile that injured Scott Olson. There are arrests, and subsequent releases.
Clearly, the one percent still doesn’t understand the obvious issues that made the Occupy movement gain support here in the United States and around the world.
The only lesson they seemed to have learned is over zealous pepper spraying really looks bad politically, not to mention legally.
Balogna’s statement to the media after the incident shows there are some police officers who need to learn that pepper spraying a woman for crying or screaming is acceptable in America. Not only makes him look bad, but also leads some people to incorrectly assume that all police are like Balogna. Thankfully, most police officers are not like Officer Balogna.
“The police commander whose over-zealous use of pepper spray on Occupy Wall Street protesters was caught on video believes he used the correct amount of force and ‘would do things the same way’ if given a second chance.”
Here is what the one percent and their apologists don’t understand. Most Americans identify with the issues that the Occupy movement stands for. this is noted in a reported by the New York Times.
“With nearly all Americans remaining fearful that the economy is stagnating or deteriorating further, two-thirds of the public said that wealth should be distributed more evenly in the country. Seven in 10 Americans think the policies of Congressional Republicans favor the rich. Two-thirds object to tax cuts for corporations and a similar number prefer increasing income taxes on millionaires.”
For the one percent and those who identify with them, if you are still puzzled, Sarah Jones explains the reasons for the occupy movement very succinctly.
“Here’s four things we can demand right now:
1) Reinstate Glass-Steagall
2) Reverse Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
3) Pass a law that you cannot deliberately lie and call it news, similar to Canada’s Canada’s Radio Act
4) Campaign finance reform”
One mistake the one percent make over and over again is not that they get resort to ordering violence too soon. It is that they order violence at all. There is absolutely no justification for any sort of violence. Just look at what the police in Ireland are dealing with protesters, minus the drama and violence.
The next mistake is brutality against the protesters brings more Americans to the cause. There is a lot of anger with politicians who are indifferent to the concerns and issues of the dwindling middle and working classes. They are angry for many reasons, but it boils down to one thing: The one percent declared class warfare on the ninety-nine percent, as reflected in Anomaly100’s article.
The third mistake is the belief that somehow ninety-nine percent of the population will be satisfied to be servants or de facto slaves to the one percent.