Wall Street Protests and Police Thuggery

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[Speaking Truth To Power]

For nearly two weeks, their passionate protests were largely ignored.

The local and national political establishment refused to acknowledge their concerns. So did “mainstream” media.

Then came the pepper-spraying and brutal beatings—administered by those who’ve taken an oath “to protect and serve.” Just who were the New York Police Department (NYPD) serving by attacking peaceful protesters on Wall Street?

New York Commissioner Raymond Kelly now says the Internal Affairs Bureau
will be investigating the attacks perpetrated upon citizens at the
Occupy Wall Street protests, last Saturday, when around 100 people were
arrested. The protests, ongoing for two weeks now, are an apparent
reflection of the anxiety many Americans face with a staggering economy
linked to the financial chicanery of Wall Street.

With the unemployment
rate stuck at 9.1 percent, and many people losing their homes, pension’s
etc., similar protests are now emerging in other states. Some unions
are now joining the Wall Street protests. And, on Friday, over a
thousand people marched on 1 Police Plaza to protest the violent actions
taken by police.

The Occupy Wall Street protest, which has taken up encampment at Liberty
Plaza, also known as Zuccotti Park, is unique. For one thing, it has no
particular leaders, per se. In fact, a website https://occupywallst.org/
dedicated to the protesters reads “Occupy Wall Street is leaderless
resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political
persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99%
that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.”

The decision to investigate the police brutality, against these
protesters who were expressing their First Amendment right, is a far cry
from what authorities were saying just a few days ago. Earlier in the
week, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne claimed the use of pepper-spray was
done appropriately and “sparingly.” Browne also complained that the
protesters didn’t have a permit. “If you have a permit, the police will
accommodate for things like diverting traffic,” Browne said. “If you
take a street for a parade or protest without a permit, you are subject
to arrest.”

No doubt the broadcast coverage, by Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC‘s "Last
Word," exposed the atrocious conduct of members of the NYPD to many New
Yorkers and the nation. Video footage, played by O’Donnell, shows
peaceful protesters being pepper-sprayed and others being attacked for
no apparent reason. One particular policeman, by the name of Deputy
Inspector Anthony Bologna, is shown pepper-spraying several people all
of whom were not attacking anyone, or, resisting arrest.

Officer Bologna has an existing lawsuit against him for false arrest and
civil right violations, stemming from incidents which occurred during
the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. During the
convention, some 1,800 people were arrested for protesting against the
Iraq War. An activist hacking group, known by the name Anonymous, was
the first to reveal Officer Bologna’s name. In response to the outcry
over the heavy-handed treatment against the Occupy Wall Street
protesters by police, NYPD spokesman Browne claimed the NYPD have
“been the victims of this.”

When the NYPD ponders why it has a plummeting credibility and public
relations problem, it should analyze ridiculous statements like this one
made by Browne. Does the NYPD expect fair-minded people to believe
them when they spout such obvious nonsense? Was the NYPD the victim when
Officer Bologna pepper-sprayed a woman directly in the face? Was the
NYPD the victim when Officer Bologna charged retreating protesters to
pepper-spray them? And was the NYPD the victim when a press cameraman,
who was just doing his job, was violently thrown to the ground by NYPD

African-Americans know of this level of police brutality all
too well.

Where are the “mainstream” media voices on this important story when
peaceful protesters are being attacked, by police, in such a thuggish

The truth is: this story reveals the perverse power Wall Street has on
all sectors of the American political system—and on the media. For while
America’s establishment media treats this story as an afterthought, and
the demonstrators as "weirdos," the Occupy Wall street protests are
receiving major coverage on the international stage. Is America’s
establishment media trying to hide this story from the American masses
because they fear it will stir up more resentment in other Americans who
share the sentiments of those now protesting Wall Street?

Think of it, the media routinely digs up the full criminal history of
low-level criminals, so, why can’t they tell us the names of those who
torpedoed America’s economy because of their avarice? Isn’t it
interesting that while corporate news outlets give wall-to-wall coverage
of events in Libya, they decide to ignore a major mushrooming story
right in their backyard?

The reality is the NYPD—and media—are more dedicated to the protection
of wealthy Wall Street criminals than they are to the American people’s
welfare. This is why the NYPD decided to terrorize protesters who dared
to protest against the master thieves of the universe. And the media,
which is invested heavily in Wall Street, is attempting to cover-up the
real story here. How is it not one Wall Street banker, or speculator,
responsible for the greatest thievery in world history and the crashing
of the American economy has been arrested, while peaceful protestors

In a radio program, Mayor Bloomberg, was asked how long he would allow
protesters to campout in Zuccotti Park. In response, the mayor said
“We’ll see. You’re worried about sanitation, and you’re worried about
lots of different — there’s lots of laws on the books of what you can do
in parks and that sort of thing.”

This answer is similar to an excuse that was used, in 2004, to justify
the denial of a permit request by anti-war groups, who were planning a
protest rally at Central Park. On that occasion, the Parks Department
denied the permit, for an anti-war rally, because they said it would
damage the grass on Central Park’s Green Lawn. Although that permit was
denied on such specious grounds, the rock group Bon Jovi was later
allowed to have a concert there.

Some, like NYPD spokesman Paul Browne object to the lack of a permit by
the protesters. Does the lack of a permit trump the First Amendment
right of “the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
Government for a redress of grievances," or, doesn’t the Constitution
matter anymore?

The Occupy Wall Street protest is an expression of the growing
frustration many Americans have as they witnessed the financial
devastation of their lives caused by those who claim to love America,
while they destroy the future of many Americans to enrich themselves.
The American people have the constitutional right to protest against
these Wall Street swindlers. And they have the right to do so without
being attacked by New York’s “finest.”

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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