University of California at Davis students staging a sit-in have been attacked by school police with massive doses of pepper spray. The use of weapons against tuition-paying students by the university is grounds for removal of any administration officials with knowledge of these tactics. This is disgusting. Students have a long-standing tradition of free expression on their campuses. Sit-ins are a harmless and excellent way for students to express outrage. The pepper-spraying police should at the very least be discharged. There should also be legal charges brought against them.
The spectacle of the university going after its students with weaponry and armored police thugs is simply outrageous. It’s an appalling act of stupidity and cruelty. This school should be hammered with lawsuits and public outrage. While Penn State University allegedly rapes small children, University of California blasts pepper spray into the faces of its kids. What the fuck may I ask is going on in this country? Our higher education system has typically been the only thing giving our country an edge internationally. Now it would seem that even that system is cracking.
It seems clear that every single protester at every protest nationwide should be armed with a canister of pepper spray to use against police. Their faces are vulnerable under the helmet guards. Every single protester with pepper spray. It looks to me like the time for passivity might be ending. There is a tactic that I think could be used against police. It would be the singling out of an individual officer by hundreds of protesters. The surrounding of a single officer might put the police ranks into a very uncomfortable position.
The ‘Protect IP’ bill before Congress would give corporations and the government the power to completely shut down internet sites without any due process just for posting a single copyright infringing link. So for a site like Facebook, if a single user posted a single copyrighted something or other, the government could simply pull the plug on Facebook and turn it off.
But chances are the law would be used to stifle expression and ideas from smaller sites. The government would simply have to accuse a site of being engaged in piracy and that site would be effectively terminated.
That’s a terrifying abuse of power. It would complete destroy the internet and anything resembling freedom of communication. This is a glaring example of how a small number of large corporations have taken total control of the Unites States government.
Rachel Maddow does a wonderful piece on the freedom of speech aspects of Occupy Wall Street. She contrasts the police at University of California’s Berkeley campus shoving students with batons to the 1964 Mario Savio speech in support of free speech for students. The police violence against students last week happened on the very plaza that celebrates Savio’s great speech.
On the orders of New York mayor Bloomberg, the NYPD staged a brazen and unwarranted attack on the Zuccotti Park protesters of Occupy Wall Street late last night, removing and destroying the entire camp. This assault on Occupy Wall Street appears to be a coordinated nationwide effort with police departments in various cities operating in near concert.
New York has been foolish. The police should not have done this.
There are major protest activities approaching this week. The police assaults may be an effort to head things off before any more major statements can be made by the movement. However, it would be my guess that now all the gloves come off. It would not be unreasonable for massive numbers of protesters to shut down the entire Wall Street area. I think now the movement will be justified in the general public opinion when it escalates its actions. My guess is that if it wasn’t yet, Wall Street is about to become ground zero.
However, it has now become clear that the Zuccotti Park protesters last week surrounded an emergency medical technician to prevent him from taking a mentally ill patient to hospital. The EMT’s leg was broken in the scuffle. That story fits in perfectly with the experience of a Rolling Stone reporter who was surrounded and prevented from interviewing someone. One of those acts is a serious crime committed by the protesters against an emergency worker. The other is an infringement of the right to freely speak with another person. It is also an attempt to prevent a journalist from doing his or her job. I do not support such actions on the part of the protesters. But those are not reasons to destroy their encampments.
Here is Keith Olbermann excoriating mayor Bloomberg for his raging stupidity:
Here’s a television news report about the NYPD raid:
Tomorrow, Saturday November 5, 2011, is Bank Transfer Day. That means that Americans everywhere are moving their money out of big banks and putting them into smaller local banks and credit unions that are FDIC insured. The Occupy Wall Street movement is having serious consequences and is beginning to wake people up to how easy it is to change things when millions decide to act. The big banks have been making life very difficult for many people through absurd fees, rates and indecipherable rules meant to empty pockets. But the problem is actually much more serious than that. Big banks are actually putting lives at risk through illegal foreclosures all across the United States. Masses of people are boiling with anger that is going to reach a critical overload. Moving money out of these banks into credit unions is a common sense approach to smacking big banks. But this event is just a warm-up. What we are practicing for is the eventual ability of the population to move almost overnight to totally destroy a chosen corporation. The ability to do so is almost here and will make itself apparent in very short order. I’m talking about a population that will be able to pick a corporation – say a major auto manufacturer for instance – and totally liquidate that corporation. This will be a weaponized and highly focused form of boycott, but it will be characterized by extremely sudden mass decision-making unlike anything ever seen in history. Get ready for it. Start your warmup tomorrow by moving to a credit union or small local bank.