Posts tagged repression
Posts tagged repression
A woman blocks the entrance to Congress as riot police stand guard in Guatemala City, Wednesday Nov. 23, 2011. Protesters are demanding that Congress approve the Ley de Vivienda, or Housing Act, which would allow them to attain legal titles to the lands where they built their homes. (Rodrigo Abd)
I like how her face is all “No fucks given”
The National Lawyers Guild is calling for nearly 300 Occupy L.A. protesters arrested early Wednesday to be released from jail.
The majority of the 292 protesters were taken into custody for failing leave a City Hall park after police issued a dispersal order early Wednesday, city officials said. A smaller number also were cited for resisting arrest.
All are being held on a minimum $5,000 bail until they are arraigned by a judge — a process that can take up to two days.
Attorney Carol Sobel of the lawyers guild said protesters should be released with notices to appear before court and not be punished “for exercising their 1st Amendment rights.”She said she several attorneys said they had not been able to visit their clients behind bars at the Metropolitan Detention Center because the jail was closed because of staffing problems and the large influx of inmates.
Sobel rebuked city officials for being too focused on its plan of moving in on protesters and — neglecting to plan for what came next.
“They had this elaborate plan,” she said. “But they didn’t have a plan for arresting them.”
The city attorney’s office has not yet been asked to file charges by the Los Angeles Police Department, according to Chief Deputy City Atty. William Carter. But Carter said that will probaly happen soon.
Carter said the city probably would press charges in many of the cases, but noted: “We will review each case individually.”
From the Philadelphia branch of Workers World Party, 11/30/11
Some members of Occupy Philly want to keep insisting that “the police are our friends.” They are “our relatives,” some say.
Some of our relatives may be right-wingers who support what the 1 percent does – that makes them politically “right” but not correct – just relatives. There is nothing one can do about who is connected to you by blood – but any thinking person can choose who you consider “friends.”
Friends do not beat up on other friends. Friends do not open cans of pepper spray into the faces and throats of their friends. Friends do not trample each other purposely on horseback. Friends do not stab one another. Friends do not arrest one another. Friends do not bring one another to court – or threaten to imprison one another. Friends do not purposely injure each other so severely that it leads to hospitalization.
When you say “we did nothing to provoke the police,” is the message to the oppressed communities that they “did something” to provoke the police? Is this the message that the Occupy Movement, which claims to stand for social change, really wants to convey?
We also ask you to consider how this sounds to members of the Black and other oppressed communities, who also may have relatives who are police, but who have repeatedly been victims of police brutality. These communities are also part of the 99% - mostly on the bottom economic rungs.
Some members of Occupy Philly say that “police are part of the 99%” or that they are “union members.” Economically this may be true, and yes, the Fraternal Order of Police claims to be a “union” representing police. But police have never functioned on behalf of the economically disadvantaged. That is not part of their history. Their role has been and remains one of protecting the private property interests of the 1%. Failing to do this, they would be fired.
The police have systematically been used to break the strikes of other unions, thus calling into question the validity of their “union” status. It does not matter what class or economic strata the individual police come from – what matters is which class or economic strata they serve. The FOP has long ago given up the right to be classified as a “union”. Just ask Black police officers who have been forced to file charges of racism against this organization.
In Philly the police department was formed in the 1800s by organizing gangs of Irish immigrants to be pitted against the growing abolitionist movement and later former enslaved Africans moving to the north. This racist history carries forth into the 20th century and beyond.
From 1989 to 1995 there were 2,000 documented citizen complaints against the Philadelphia Police Department. During a two-year period in the mid-1990s, the city paid $20 million in damages to 225 people who were beaten, shot, harassed or otherwise mistreated by police. The 39th Police District scandal in 1995 led to the dismissal of 1,400 criminal cases where cops ignored suspects’ rights and sometimes framed them outright.
In 2009 a group of Black Philadelphia police officers filed a federal lawsuit against their department, alleging an online forum geared toward city police is “infested with racist, white supremacist and anti-African-American content.”
During Frank Rizzo’s tenure as police commissioner in the 1970s, the predominantly white police force was feared and hated in the Black and Latino communities because of its brutality and racism.
Police attacks on the Black Panther Party, the MOVE Organization and the public led to many demonstrations. This period is chronicled in the documentary film “Black and Blue.”
Black journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal wrote about many of these cases. Abu-Jamal was also targeted by the police. In December 1981 he was shot, kicked and beaten by cops and subsequently sent to death row for allegedly killing of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal continues to maintain his innocence, and millions of supporters around the world maintain that he was framed by the cops, who were desperate to silence this “voice of the voiceless.”
Philadelphia police are not only brutal. They are notorious repeat offenders.
During a 1978 confrontation with police in Powelton Village, four cops dragged MOVE member Delbert Africa by his hair, then kicked him in the head, kidneys and groin. Like the Jones case, this brutality was also captured on video and later led to the indictment of three officers on assault charges. In February 1981 a judge acquitted the cops. Delbert Africa was subsequently arrested and is now one of the MOVE 9 prisoners serving a 30 to 100-year term. The three acquitted cops went on to participate in the murderous assault on the MOVE house on Osage Avenue on May 16, 1985. A bomb was dropped on the house, killing 11 children, women and men and burning down the entire block.
Early in the morning of November 30, 2011, hundreds of cops, some on horses, evicted Occupy Philly from City Hall, then surrounded supporters. Some police violence occurred, with 50 arrested. Video can be seen here: http://occupyphillymedia.org/video/police-attack-occupy-philly
Similar raids and attacks took place in Los Angeles this morning. This is not by accident. Yes – the police could have demonstrated more brutality – as they have in numerous other cities where Occupy movements have come under attack. That Philly and LA showed even limited “restraint” had more to do with the images that the two cities most identified with police brutality hoped to project than any other factor.
Had this been a “protest” of the right-wing Tea Party there would never have been a police presence. The police would have looked the other way – as they have repeatedly when Tea Party activist show up in public bearing arms.
If the Occupy movement is serious about standing up for the rights of the majority of people whose living standards have been pushed down under the weight of a global economic crisis that has only benefited the very wealthy, then we also have to be serious about the role played by the state apparatus that protects and defends the economic system that allowed this to happen.
While we were focusing our energy on the arrests of our friends, a piece of legislation passed the U.S. Senate today that should have all of us up in arms.
The Senate voted on a bill today that would define the whole of the United States as a “battlefield” and allow the U.S. military to arrest U.S. citizens in their own backyard without charge or trial. This should be sounding an alarm with every Occupy participant across the U.S. – because this is directed against the movement we are part of.
Police in Los Angeles and Philadelphia stormed Occupy Wall Street encampments under darkness Wednesday to arrest or drive out some of the longest-lasting protesters since crackdowns ended similar occupations across the country.
Dozens of officers in riot gear flooded down the steps of Los Angeles City Hall just after midnight and started dismantling the two-month-old camp two days after a deadline passed for campers to leave the park. Officers in helmets and wielding batons and guns with rubber bullets converged on the park from all directions with military precision and began making arrests after several orders were given to leave.
The raid in Los Angeles came after demonstrators with the movement in Philadelphia marched through the streets after being evicted from their site. About 40 protesters were arrested after refusing to clear a street several blocks northeast of City Hall, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. They were lined up in cuffs and loaded on to buses by officers. Six others were arrested earlier after remaining on a street police that police tried to clear.
Washington, Nov 30 (Prensa Latina) - U.S. police forces dismantled on Wednesday camps of protesters in Los Angeles and Philadelphia during another day of governmental repression against the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.
Riot troops disrupted the Californian City Hall Square early Wednesday morning forcing OWS members protesting against social and economic inequality in the U.S. to leave the square.
A similar operation occurred in Philadelphia, where police forces arrested 40 people after clearing Dilworth Square and warning protesters they could not resume the demonstration, by order of the mayor’s office.
Head of Police Charlie Beck told CNN news channel that nearly 1,000 officers participated or collaborated in the raid, arresting nearly 200 people.
Popular demonstrations began two months ago as a replica of demonstrations in Spain and protesting corporate financial greed and the excessive power of banks.
On September 17, the OWS took to the streets to denounce the global economic and political crisis.
From Joe Piette:
Hundreds of cops, some on horses, evicted Occupy Philly from City Hall after midnight, then surrounded supporters. Some police violence occurred, with 50 arrested. Video can be seen here: http://occupyphillymedia.org/video/police-attack-occupy-philly
Jail solidarity taking place today at the Roundhouse. Prearranged plan to converge on Rittenhouse Square, in Center City’s wealthiest neighborhood, at 4pm today will be next flash point.
As cities around the country have swept Occupy Wall Street camps from their plazas and parks in recent weeks, a number of mayors and city officials have argued that by providing shelter to the homeless, the camps are endangering the public and even the homeless themselves.
Yet in many of those cities, services for the homeless are severely underfunded. The cities have spent millions of dollars to police and evict the protesters, but they’ve been shutting down shelters and enacting laws to prohibit homeless from sleeping overnight in public.
In Oakland, Atlanta, Denver and Portland, Ore., there are at least two homeless people for every open bed in the shelter system, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In Salt Lake City, Utah, and Chapel Hill, N.C. — two other cities that have evicted protesters from their encampments — things are better but far from ideal. In Chapel Hill, according to the HUD study, there are 121 beds for 135 homeless people, and in Salt Lake City, 1,627 for 1,968.
Dozens of Occupy Philly protesters remained in a park outside Philadelphia’s City Hall on Monday after ignoring a Sunday evening deadline to leave, unsure whether police would enforce an eviction order and vowing to stand firm if they did.
Mayor Michael Nutter told protesters Friday that they had until 5 p.m. Sunday to pack up the tents and other creature comforts they have used while staying in Dilworth Plaza since the beginning of October, two weeks after Occupy Wall Street in New York prompted sympathizers to erect encampments in city centers across the nation. Occupy Wall Street was evicted in mid-November, and other Occupy camps have faced similar fates.
UC Davis Campus. If you pepper spray one of us, you better pepper spray all of us.
Today, Occupy Princeton wore green in solidarity with the UC Davis occupiers. I had a green scarf and a raised fist all day.
“Tear Gas: The most effective agent used by employers to persuade their employees that the interests of capital and labour are identical.” — T-Bone Slim, humourist, poet, songwriter, hobo and labor activist in the Industrial Workers of the World.
New York City: Tens of thousands march from Foley Square across the Brooklyn Bridge in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, November 17, 2011.
Photos by Brenda Sandburg
A few of the many acts of police brutality during Occupy Wall Street’s National Day of Action: in Portland, Los Angeles and New York City, November 17, 2011.
New York City: Occupy Wall street demonstrators flood the streets of lower Manhattan near the New York Stock Exchange during a National Day of Action, November 17, 2011.
New York City: Police attack Occupy Wall Street protesters in Manhattan’s financial district, November 17, 2011.
By 11:30 am on the N17 Day of Action, at least 200 arrests were reported. Demonstrators on the verge of liberating Zuccotti Park. NYPD has used military sound weapon against protesters and “Terrorism Unit” team members spotted.
Meanwhile, the mainstream media, NYPD and Bloomberg officials are spreading false rumors of a planned shutdown of the subway system by OWS — what is actually planned is a speakout on the subways starting at 3 pm.