New York — The scripted excuses provided by mayors around the country to justify their police-state tactics in rousting peaceful occupation movement activists from their park-based demonstrations now stand exposed as utter nonsense, and, given their uncanny similarity in wording, can be clearly seen as having been drawn up for them by some hidden hands in Washington. the same can be said of the brutal tactics used.
If Mayor Jean Quan in Oakland, or Mayor Mike Bloomberg in New York, had been genuinely concerned about the health and well-being of the people in the encampments in their cities, they would not have dispatched police suited up in riot gear and armed with pepper spray and big clubs into the camps in the dead of night, as each did, and as other mayors are doing. They would not have used tear gas and guns firing projectiles like so called “bean bags” and rubber coated bullets, as police in Oakland reportedly did on several occasions — weapons that can cause severe injury and even death on occasion, especially when fired at close range.
They would not have stormed encampments that are known to have pregnant women, children and even babies living in them.
Rather, they would have come in during broad daylight, peacefully, and accompanied by health inspectors and other personnel who could to try to help solve any problems.
In Bloomberg’s case, if he really cared about the safety and well-being of the protesters, he would have long ago had the city set up a bank of port-a-potties near Zuccotti Park, so protesters could relieve themselves without having to foul the streets. And he would certainly not have barred demonstrators from setting up tents, forcing people, in increasingly harsh weather, including one heavy unseasonal snowstorm, to survive under plastic tarps laid on the cold flagstones over their sleeping bags.
If public safety were seriously an issue, as Quan, Bloomberg and the other mayors have also tried to claim, police would have been told not to direct vagrants and people with mental problems from around the city to head for Zuccotti Square, as New York’s Police Department was caught doing. Instead of acting like thugs and an occupying force penning in demonstrators, police would have worked out a coordinated system with demonstrators to help protect those in the park from any sexual predators or mentally unbalanced persons who might have entered the park to cause trouble.
Actually, the regions in and around the encampments have never been safer than they are now with all those demonstrators on hand. Take Center City in Philadelphia. The area on Dilworth Plaza and around City Hall has always been a scary place to find one’s self alone at night because so few people actually live there, making lone pedestrians up on the street or down in the tunnels of the train station or subways easy targets for muggers, rapists and thieves. The same is certainly also true of downtown Oakland and of New York’s financial district. If there have been crimes committed by people in the encampments, they are few and far between and mostly minor, and it is almost a certainty that overall crime and especially violent crime is down significantly in the areas where the protests are being staged.
There can be no real justification for the growing number of paramilitary police assaults against the occupation camps.
These coordinated assaults on the Occupation Movement are clearly happening not for the reasons stated, but because the ruling elites, particularly the powerful bankers and financiers on Wall Street, and the Obama administration in Washington, are frightened by the growing popularity of the protests, by the movement’s rapid spread to cities across the country, large and small, and to the resonance that chants like “We’re the 99 percent!” and “Banks got bailouts! We got sold out!” are having among the general population of the United States.
Bloomberg and Quan, and the mayors of other cities from Atlanta to Dallas to Portland to Seattle and back to Boston who have been unleashing their police forces on peaceful protesters in their jurisdictions, have been doing the movement a great favor by brutally attacking protesters’ right to demonstrate and present their grievances. The corporate media, which at first tried to ignore the occupations, have had to cover the assaults — even if they misreport them. And the images of idealistic young people being thrown on the ground, hammered with batons, and sprayed in the face with pepper spray, are deeply upsetting to most ordinary people. Workers are increasingly angered and aroused, and many are touched by the support for their struggles being manifested by the young student demonstrators.
And importantly, the enemy of the public is being given a face.
No longer is it just a bunch of unidentified and overly aggressive cops. Now it’s clear that it is the mayors, and whoever it is in the background who is giving them their marching orders, who are instructing the cops to go in and bust heads.
Mayor Bloomberg — a man reportedly worth $19.5 billion, up a staggering $1.5 billion over the last year while other Americans are becoming poorer — is in fact the perfect symbol of what is wrong with today’s America. Having this greedy “one per center” issue the marching orders to the police in New York makes it absolutely clear what this repression is about.
With this wave of assaults, the Occupation Movement is being forced to shift gears — to move out of the cramped spaces to which it has been confined and to become an uprising for economic justice, instead of just an occupation as an act of protest. Zuccotti has been reoccupied, but the movement is busting out of the police barricades that surround the square.
Perhaps a group of young musicians standing on a street corner at 66th and Broadway just off Lincoln Square in New York City, just off Lincoln Square in New York City, doing a “mic check” routine at 11 pm the evening after the police assault on Zuccotti Plaza, said it best with their sign, which read: “Nostalgia for the Student Protests of the Past Dies Here!”
The ’60s are over. It’s the ’10s now and rebellion is in the air.
Half a Country and Half a World Away
Victor Dricks is up to his usual tricks.
Dricks is the Region IV Public Affairs Officer for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). He’s based in Arlington, Texas, nearly 1500 miles away from Southern California. Half a country, and half a world away…
On Saturday the North County Times (nctimes.com ) published a commentary by Roger Johnson, asking for IMMEDIATE shutdown of San Onofre Nuclear Waste Generating Station. He got IMMEDIATE action: On Monday the NC Times published Victor Dricks’ response! Somehow he had heard about Roger Johnson’s commentary and must have worked weekends to counter it. I wonder if he collected overtime pay or just comp time for his efforts?
At any rate, congratulations, Roger Johnson! You’re scaring them!
Below … Roger Johnson’s excellent follow-up to Dricks’ drivel.
Our reactors can explode, just like theirs did. Our spent fuel can burn, just like theirs did.
In fact, what happened at Fukushima Dai-ichi isn’t over, isn’t as bad as it can get, and isn’t being fully reported! A recent busload of reporters, finally let in to “see” the plant for the first time since the accident, weren’t allowed off the bus, even though they were each dressed in full-body protective hazmat suits, to add to the 480,000 hazmat suits used so far at Fukushima Dai-ichi.
The NRC would have you, the public, FORGET FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI. More than eight months after the tragedy, Dricks isn’t even close to spelling it right, and he won’t dare to give the NRC’s official estimate of how many people Fukushima Dai-ichi will eventually kill (cancer takes many years to develop).
Of course, the NRC doesn’t make such estimates. It would be bad for business.
The NRC and the nuclear industry wants the public to think that our reactors, spent fuel pools, and dry casks are somehow less vulnerable, less dangerous, and better protected through better regulatory oversight than Japan’s were.
But it’s all lies.
Fukushima USA has nearly happened many times already: At Brown’s Ferry in 1975, at Three Mile Island in 1979, at Davis-Besse in 2002, during an earthquake a few months ago at North Anna, from a tornado near Calvert Cliffs a few years ago, and so on. It’s just a matter of time before a nuclear plant in America melts down, and there is a 2 in 104 chance it will be one of San Oofre’s and about a one in 25 chance it will be one in California — NOT counting any increased probability due to our nearby seismic faults and tsunami risks, or our aging/embrittlement issues, workforce issues, etc.. It assumes all other nuclear power plants are equally-poorly run, poorly built, poorly maintained, and have their own environmental risks that weren’t properly considered. 104 reactors. 104 mistakes.
The only way to significantly change the odds is to shut San Onofre down immediately and forever. The longer the fuel has cooled, the safer it becomes, and the less of it we make, the less we have to protect and guard for millions of years. Extremely toxic radioactive waste is created at San Onofre at the rate of about 500 pounds PER DAY.
Nuclear energy is a dangerous and costly mistake. it can easily be replaced with cleaner alternatives. Nuclear power is profitable for a select few, who use official mouthpieces such as Victor Dricks to lull the public into accepting the enormous and unnecessary risk nuclear power presents.
But Dricks’ lies can’t change the facts. His resignation should be demanded by all citizens who want their paid servants to tell the truth.
Russell D. Hoffman lives in Carlsbad, California. He is an educational software developer and bladder cancer survivor, as well as a collector of military and nuclear historical documents and books. He is the author and programmer of the award-winning Animated Periodic Table of the Elements. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
RTAmerica on November 17, 2011
Not only are police cracking down on the Occupy movement protesters but also on journalist. According to some reporters police have denied them access to cover the Occupy movement. In New York reporters with NYPD press passes are being physically removed from the scene and some even arrested.
Israeli paper Israel-Ayom reports today about a recent ‘Congressional bill’ that would require the “American administration to support Israel in a move deemed necessary to defend itself against the Iranian nuclear threat.”
Five Republican congressmen who visited Israel last week disclosed the bill.
The bill states an “expression of support for Israel’s right to defend its sovereignty and to protect the lives and safety of its citizens and use all necessary means to confront and eliminate the nuclear threat that emerges from the Islamic Republic of Iran, including use military force in the absence of other diplomatic means available in the near future.”
The initiator of the bill is Rep. Doug Lamborn (Colorado).