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:
I believe that the eventual success of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is spreading to many cities across the United States, depends upon its ability to change law. Ultimately, the movement must lead toward an amendment to the Constitution that bans corporate mixture with and influence over the state. It will resemble the separation of church and state, but it will be somewhat more precisely worded.
Powerful unions have joined with the protesters at Occupy Wall Street. The movement is exploding across the nation, taking root in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. The protests are a direct reaction to the inability of the government to fairly tax its people even in the face of a major worldwide financial catastrophe. With the shrill and irrational assertions of Republicans and their Tea Party people sounding like some sort of majority opinion, people are getting out in the streets to show what the real majority really thinks.
Django’s Ghost has posted a stirring and rather enthralling video compilation of the ongoing and exploding phenomenon known as Occupy Wall Street. The film is set to several rock & roll protest songs and it gets across the feelings of rising anger and the public’s growing awareness that it can in fact stop the corporate takeover of the United States.
The protesters seem to me to be a rather intelligent and well-behaved crowd. Some of the New York police however appear to be overeager. Cops always end up on the wrong side of these things. They never get it right. Many of them seem to be pretty easy-going, but there are always the brutes that come stomping in and make a mess of things.
I love the way the crowd is so heavily armed with photographic equipment. The protesters are their own journalists!
This movement is spreading quickly. It’s come to Los Angeles at City Hall and is springing up in other cities as well. People are angry about the corporate takeover of their country and their Supreme Court. Losing a President to corporate interests is one thing. That is rather expected. Obama jerked us all around and then turned into a cheeseball from General Motors. But when our Supreme Court gets bought out and turns into a boardroom… well, that is a terrifying problem. That is just about the end of the line. A democracy cannot survive the corruption of the judicial branch.
Here’s an excellent BBC documentary on the origins of punk, hip hop and disco in the New York City of the 1970s. It was a hard time in the city but it held a wild energy that kept pressing up and inventing new things. What hit me about this film is how good Patti Smith really is.
New York since then, however, seems to have signed an unlimited contract with the Gap as a retail outlet. I think anyone with a streak of punkishness in them moves out to Los Angeles.
Do you know who Ryan Trecartin is? You better. He’s making the wildest and best videos to be found online or in a gallery anywhere. This piece is about to open with six others to form an epic at the Museum of Modern Art P.S.1 in New York. It’s a warped and wicked view of corporate career life and behavior as practiced by characters whom I suspect would not even want to be considered normal. They spout company lingo and get it all twisted back inside of itself until it starts to sound like perfect sense and is just as valid as what you hear daily in the offices of any company. Trecartin is onto the fact that our economy has failed and millions of people are out of work because their jobs were bullshit to begin with. At minimum, 75% of jobs in corporate America are completely unnecessary. They are a busy-work scam based on particular rhythms and mannerisms and they produce nothing at all. The characters in this video revel in their uselessness. They gloat, the whine, they insult, they mock. They are amped up to be as irritating as possible. Their voices grate like demented cartoon characters. These videos are like the visions of a child computer in orbit that scans human beings and then tries to reproduce them but gets it wrong. These are digital creatures more than they are actual human characters.
Not to mention the fact that Trecartin’s intentionally clumsy and cheeseball imagery is simply gorgeous. The videos are extremely deceptive. They are so freely expressive as to be nearly psychotic. But always just enough under control to imply meanings with great subtlety. Right now these films of Ryan Trecartin represent the avant-garde’s leading edge.