From Tahrir Square To Zuccotti Park: Bloomberg's Police State
Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak tried shutting down social media during Tahrir Sq; Bloomberg barred media from Zuccotti coup
[Speaking Truth To Power]
This week Mayor Michael Bloomberg used the New York Police Department (NYPD) to stampede upon the constitutional First Amendment rights of New York City’s Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Is the escalating violence—initiated by the NYPD, and armed forces across the nation, against peaceful protesters—an indication America’s elites are imposing ruthless police state tactics to quell political dissent?
On Thursday’s “Day of Action,” thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters participated in marches commemorating the two month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In New York, among the demonstrator’s goals was a disruption of the New York Stock Exchange and a triumphant march across the Brooklyn Bridge. Nearly 300 were arrested in these defiant acts of civil disobedience coming in the wake of Tuesday’s raid on Zuccotti Park.
Tuesday morning, with an imposed blockade against media coverage, Bloomberg’s NYPD ferociously ejected Occupy Wall Street protesters from their encampment at Zuccotti Park. After an abrupt notice of their intent to clear the park, police charged in, where many had been living, and started smashing and trashing the belongings of protesters.
Tents were ripped up and torn down. Many civilians were beaten and brutalized, including Washington Heights Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez who was arrested for allegedly resisting arrest and obstructing government administration. On an interview with Democracy Now, Councilman Rodriguez confirmed that after his arrest he was locked inside a police vehicle for two hours. Around 200 hundred people were arrested during the raid. Besides their bodies, protesters witnessed their belongings being removed by the New York City Sanitation Department.
The attack on Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, in New York, mirror similar violent crackdowns by police against other "Occupy" encampments in places like Oakland, Portland, North Carolina, and Denver. In a BBC interview, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan implied, perhaps inadvertently, that these actions are being coordinated by national law enforcement entities when she said “I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation.”
Oakland has been the scene of extremely violent attacks by police against demonstrators. In one such attack, veteran Scott Olsen—who survived two tours in Iraq—suffered a fractured skull after he was hit in the head, probably, by a flash bang grenade or by an M-80, fired by Oakland police. An M-80 is a type of large firecracker which is illegal in America. A flash bang grenade is, supposedly, a “non-lethal” grenade. A flash bang grenade reportedly killed SWAT Officer Fred Thornton, in North Carolina, earlier this year.
Moreover, Minneapolis Examiner reporter Rick Ellis gave details of a “background conversation” he had with an unnamed Justice Department official and found evidence of coordinated action between cities and municipalities about how to evict Occupy encampments and participants across the country. Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the FBI are advising mayors and leaders on how to stop protesters. Part of the strategy, is to do exactly what Mayor Bloomberg did: attack in the early morning hours and prevent media coverage from reporting these actions.
At a City Hall press conference, Bloomberg said “I have become increasingly concerned–as had the park’s owner, Brookfield Properties–that the occupation was coming to pose a health and fire safety hazard to the protestors and to the surrounding community.” The billionaire mayor also stated “The park was becoming a place where people came not to protest, but rather to break laws, and in some cases, to harm others.”
Mayor Bloomberg deceitfully claims he’s “concerned” about “hazard to the protestors” and “harm” coming “to others.” No doubt, he’s concerned about how the Occupy Wall Street movement is—financially—harming those “others,” who like himself, represent the greedy one percent. The idea this billionaire mayor cares about “hazard to the protestors” is a damn lie. Aren’t the main “hazard” and “harm” of the Occupy movement coming from the brutality being inflicted by the thuggery of far too many on Bloomberg’s NYPD?
Isn’t it ironic that it is police—and not the protestors—who are initiating violence, while mayors like Bloomberg lecture us on the need for “law and order?” We’ve all seen ubiquitous footage of police gassing, beating and terrorizing protesters engaging in peaceful assembly. We must now seriously ask these questions. Do American politicians really respect the First Amendment rights of citizens? Is the idea of constitutional rights just an illusion governments will trample whenever they deem it fit to do so? Who are the police really protecting and serving when they’re mercilessly mauling everyday people?
It’s becoming increasing clear that those, like Mayor Bloomberg, who pontificate about lawlessness, are nothing more than fanciful frauds. Think about it; while these "upstanding" leaders allow innocent protestors to be arrested, they’ve not arrested a single thieving banker or Wall Street swindler. Why is it that none of these Wall Street criminals have been subjected to prosecution? Is it because they bankroll the whole crooked political system?
These iniquitous politicians pervert any righteous concept of true justice. Currently, they’re doing everything to smother the social upheaval created by their system of economic inequality. These “leaders” are so out of touch with the people they pretend to serve, they never saw this uprising coming. Mistakes like we’ve witnessed during the Arab Spring, are now being made. Remember when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak attempted to shut down social media in a failed attempt to disrupt the Tahrir Square protestors and diminish media coverage? Isn’t this similar to Mayor Bloomberg barring media access to Tuesday’s raid? Didn’t this backfire just as it did in Egypt?
Why isn’t corporate media vociferously objecting to this unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment? When government blatantly breaches the “law” doesn’t this undermine their credibility? Is the establishment media now so hopelessly compromised they can’t even defend the First Amendment?
The Occupy Wall Street movement—contrary to Bill O’Reilly’s wishful thinking—is far from dead. Everyday, more Americans are waking up, rising up and speaking up for the ideal of a more economically equitable America.
It’s about time.
"Speaking Truth To Empower."
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