OWS BODY BLOW? November 23, 2011Posted by wmmbb in Human Rights, Peace, US Politics.
Was the removal of the tents and facilities of the Occupy Wall Street Movement a knock-out blow?
If so take a bow Michael Bloomberg in the red corner, who exercised executive prerogative. This is a victory for cleanliness, order and sanitation in Zuccotti Park, if nowhere else. The operation represents a success for military planning, which is not inconsequential since planning is so closely associated with socialism and corporations. All in all, to bring forward the troubling thought at the back of my mind a through making the connection, it must be very good for the nation, since police actions were coordinated across the country.Even after the eviction of the campers, it was extraordinary to see the number of police in the riot gear ready for action.
There are other troubling aspects that ought to be top of the mind considerations that surprisingly or not were ignored by The New York Times and possibly other media. Was the eviction a lawful action executed in accordance with the full requirements. For example was it necessary to destroy personal and common property? Why was it necessary take action in the early hours of the morning? What about the First Amendment claims of the protesters? What is the purpose of city parks if not be place where people gather peaceably?
The violence was incipient in the planning of the action. It was not just violence against the human rights of people but against democracy and democratic process. David Lindorff is on the case against overt violence. He writes:
The thuggish attacks on the peaceful protesters of the Occupy Movement are even more brutal than were many of the attacks on the Civil Rights Movement marchers of the 1950s and ’60s. The only thing lacking right now from those dark days are the murders and the dogs, but no doubt those will be next, as the movement demanding economic justice for the 99% and punishment for the 1% builds further.
Back in the 1950s, an earlier president, former Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhour, witnessing the atrocities of local police in Arkansas and other jurisdictions, did the right thing. He ordered out the National Guard to defend the civil rights of young black people who wanted to be able to attend public schools and colleges, and those week-end soldiers defended the people and the Constitution and kept the cops and their dogs at bay.
Now President Obama must do the same thing. Whether or not his Department of Homeland Security and his Justice Department have been orchestrating the attacks on demonstrators in the Occupy Movement, Obama must now order out the Guard and instruct them to defend the protesters and the Constitution. It would be a welcome new assignment for the Guard, which for the past decade has been wrongly shipped out of the country to help wage imperialist wars on Iraqis and Afghans.
If the past is a guide, the forecast will be that the President will remain silent.
Michael Moore reports on a proposed nine point vision statement to OWS, and a set of demands. I tend to agree with all of what is said. However, I draw attention to the vision statement, restated:
[We envisage a just society] where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely
to get jobsto do the necessary human work but to grow and flourish as human beings . . .
And his suggested demand to:
Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can’t run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)
Murat Cem Menguc essay at Informed Comment(Global Affairs) is a perspective from an immigrant in a multicultural city. He writies:
An immigrant always searches for inclusion, and in New York, at the aftermath of 9/11, the experience of inclusion became fragmented. Since that day, the city behaved like a disjointed puzzle, trying to keep itself together, yet it’s multicultural fabric dissolved under the constant threat of popular conservatism and gentrification. The US mainstream media of the post 9/11 perpetuated an appalling ignorance of world economy, international politics and history in general. Authorities patronized and patriotized the public spaces with blunt expressions of white male Christian chauvinism that had outright fascist tones. Any warming sense of solidarity, was privatized, and had to be experience behind closed doors, in the company of one’s immediate family and friends. The Occupy Wall Street protest changed that. As one of the protesters I had interviewed stated, this time the protest did not go home, and stayed in the public sphere. It refused to be privatized.
Glenn Greenwald’s observations appear to hold up as events unfolded:
The reason the U.S. has para-militarized its police forces is precisely to control this type of domestic unrest, and it’s simply impossible to imagine its not being deployed in full against a growing protest movement aimed at grossly and corruptly unequal resource distribution. As Madeleine Albright said when arguing for U.S. military intervention in the Balkans: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” That’s obviously how governors, big-city Mayors and Police Chiefs feel about the stockpiles of assault rifles, SWAT gear, hi-tech helicopters, and the coming-soon drone technology lavished on them in the wake of the post/9-11 Security State explosion, to say nothing of the enormous federal law enforcement apparatus that, more than anything else, resembles a standing army which is increasingly directed inward.
President Obama was given an opportunity to respond to recent events when interrupted by a “mic check”.