Monday, September 26, 2011
Using Chemical Weapons Against "Their Own People"
This disturbing video of protests related to the "Occupy Wall Street" encampment in downtown New York City, shows peaceful protesters in a mesh pen set up by police being attacked, unprovoked, by cops with so-called pepper spray, a non-lethal chemical weapon.
The longer video below shows considerably more violence on the part of the police, who are shown assaulting and physically abusing other protesters, also unprovoked. There's dragging of young women by big burly cops, and the unbelievable scene where a copy kneels on a protester's neck so he can cuff him.
I confess to not knowing much about the groups behind these protests. I read some good things and things that concerned me. I haven't been down to the site of the protests to see for myself who they are. But no matter, they're fighting a good — if a little unfocused — fight and apparently, they have provoked Mayor Bloomberg's notoriously repressive police force into showing its true colors. This is the same police force cited for abuse of free speech outside the Republican convention a few years ago; the force that is constantly being reprimanded for its racist "random search and seizure" policies, and its frequent gunning down of unarmed African-Americans guilty of being black.
I noticed this disturbing trend of penning up smaller protests a few years ago: it kind of freaked me out when I went to a peace rally and found it herded behind metal barriers onto a side street out of sight. It's now clear what stage two of this pen 'em up philosophy is.
This is a clearly a violation of people's rights to free speech and protest. Not surprising. I think government at all levels is clearly freaked about the possibility of the worldwide protests of the past year spreading to this country. Somebody explain to me how this is different, other than by degree of severity, than what repressive Middle Eastern regimes are doing? Hello Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Israel?
Somewhat related thematically, be sure to read up on the protesters in California now convicted of exercising their right to free speech in protesting the Israeli Ambassador. Disturbing stuff.
(Thanks to Joe.My.God. for hipping me to both videos.)