Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Occupy's "American Spring"

Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Irma Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly

The Occupy Movement is rearising from an in initial American Fall, as the major banks attempt to sink the economy, to a new American Spring.

Occupy Wall Street (#OWS) in attempting to recapture that spirit attempted to reoccupy the literal ground that brought it to prominence. The police state would not stand for it. Mayor Bloomberg's private army has standing orders to prevent that at all costs apparently.

Occupy Los Angeles meanwhile has taken advantage of the warming weather to plan more actions. Its recent International Women's Day Saturday celebration was less well attended than hoped, but nevertheless allowed for planning and the formation of new committees. Food Not Bombs provided free food, Lili Hayden the music, Margaret Prescod (host of Sojourner Truth on KPFK.org) the media attention, and new and returning occupiers the energy.

That Saturday was very peaceful, not so subsequent activities. Social activism comes at a price, and often that price is tolerating severe police brutality and official abuses before earlier allegations are even settled.

Yesterday, six LAPD officers were found guilty of depriving a Hispanic man of his civil rights and life, dragging him from his home and beating him. His family was awarded 3.2 million, scant justice for commonplace crimes under color of law but justice nonetheless. Do pending Occupy court cases stand any such chance?

Will the NYPD be held accountable for ignoring a handcuffed female's epileptic seizure, indiscriminate baton waving glee, photographing irises for some Brave New World Order tracking, punching civilians in the face on a routine basis, attempting severe bodily injury by massive head trauma like police smashing people's heads in to walls, concrete, and plates of glass? That, it seems, depends on what society is willing to tolerate. Even so intolerant a place as Singapore stands up (see inset).

If no one speaks, if no one joins peaceful demonstrations or actions protesting police abuses, why would it not continue and escalate?

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