Here is the video from Current:
Keith Olbermann asked Scott Olsen if the degree of the militarization of the police at Occupy protests shocked him. Olsen answered, “I don’t know. On one hand, it shocks me a lot. On the other hand, it doesn’t because our nation’s peace officers have been militarized over the past ten years to combat terrorism, but they’re combating anybody with an opinion.”
Later, Olbermann asked Olsen what he wants to see Occupy achieve. Olsen said, “Really, I just want to see more people get involved with real democracy to build a democratic nation. With that I think we need to end our wars, all of them, and that’ll do our country a great service.”
Scott Olsen made two really important points. One of the largest legacies of George W. Bush and the neo-cons isn’t in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is right here at home where police departments all around the country have been transformed into paramilitary operations that are designed to react to a terrorist threat or event, but as we have seen with the reaction to Occupy Wall Street, this same apparatus can also be used to suppress the rights and liberties of American citizens.
Police departments by definition are supposed to keep the peace, but in the hands corrupt, terrified, or weak politicians, the mission to keep the peace has morphed into a violent suppression of speech. Not all police officers and police departments have engaged in this activity, but those who do are disgracing an entire profession and soiling the reputation of law enforcement.
Scott Olsen defined what the Occupy movement represents to many Americans when he discussed democracy. Occupy Wall Street arose because many Americans feel like they no longer have a voice in a political system which is for sale to the highest bidder. Occupy is real democracy in action. It is the people standing up and speaking out, and that is what terrifies the one percent and the governmental puppets that they have purchased.
The 1% wants to kill Occupy because they dread the prospect of the American people waking up and getting a taste of real democracy. Instead of destroying the desire for real democracy, the tactics of intimidation and brutally are nourishment that cause the dream to grow.
Scott Olsen isn’t a victim or a symbol. He is the embodiment of the resilience of a movement. They may have fractured his skull, but they couldn’t kill his ideas. Those ideas burn in millions of minds, and they represent a flame that can never be extinguished.