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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Attacks on the Occupy Movement & Police Brutality




How the 'Democracy' in the West is Skin Deep

We often hear lazy reference to the ‘democracies’ in the West. It is true that there are certain long-standing democratic rights that have been won against the ruling classes, but democratic freedoms, especially in the United States, has always been skin deep.

As the reports below who, the attack of the state against the Occupy Movements in Los Angeles and Oakland have been anything but democratic. The mailed fist of the US State has been shown in all its glory. The US, which has presided over the open justification of torture and murder abroad, the ignoring of all the Geneva Convention with Guantanamo and the Patriot Act and associated legislation which has enabled any US citizen to be arrested and held indefinitely by the US military, to say nothing of the powers that Obama has taken to order the execution abroad of any US citizen, have found their resonance nearer home

To those with any illusions in the role of the Police one only needs to ask when the Police have raided factories for breaches of health and safety legislation, when they have raided Wall Street or the Stock Exchange or any of the financial houses in order to seek out the gamblers and inside traders.

We have the ongoing spectacle of the Metropolitan Police and Rupert Murdoch’s News International Corporation. Instead of accepting assurances from NI that only ‘one rogue reporter’ Glenn Mulcaire was involved in the hacking, the Met could have raided the News of the World and Sun newspaper offices, seizing computers and other equipment as they have never hesitated to do with anarchist left-wing or direction action groups. Instead they wined and dined with NI Executives, employing NI personnel in their PR department.

Everywhere in the world, without exception, the Police are the agents of state repression and the enemies of freedom. When even the military crack and ordinary soldiers become won over, the police are the last and most devout supporters of the repressive state and the interests of property and the rich.

Because that is the purpose of the Police. To defend property against the propertyless. That is why, when claiming to uphold the ‘rule of law’ the Police implement those laws which best serve as an excuse for repression. Obstruction means holding a political stall, not a shop displaying its wares. Fox hunting is illegal but Police still turn their attentions to hunt saboteurs. Incitement to racial hatred is also illegal but the Police defend the EDL.

Let us not forget, 'democracy' in the West is therefore to put a facade on existing economic equalities. Its ultimate purpose is to protect those inequalities. It prefers social concensus, but is perfectly happy, if needs be, to repond with whatever savagery is necessary. Hence the punitive terms of imprisonment for this summer's rioting.

Tony Greenstein


By Yasha Levine, eXiled Online
December 3, 2011

Yasha Levine is editor of the eXiled.com

I finally got home Thursday afternoon after spending two nights in jail, and have had a hard time getting my bearings. On top of severe dehydration and sleep deprivation, I’ve got one hell of pounding migraine. So I’ll have to keep this brief for now. But I wanted to write down a few things that I witnessed and heard while locked up by LA’s finest…

First off, don’t believe the PR bullshit. There was nothing peaceful or professional about the LAPD’s attack on Occupy LA–not unless you think that people peacefully protesting against the power of the financial oligarchy deserve to be treated the way I saw Russian cops treating the protesters in Moscow and St. Petersburg who were demonstrating against the oligarchy under Putin and Yeltsin, before we at The eXiled all got tossed out in 2008. Back then, everyone in the West protested and criticized the way the Russian cops brutally snuffed out dissent, myself included. Now I’m in America, at a demonstration, watching exactly the same brutal crackdown…

While people are now beginning to learn that the police attack on Occupy LA was much more violent than previously reported, few actually realize that much—if not most—of the abuse happened while the protesters were in police custody, completely outside the range of the press and news media. And the disgraceful truth is that a lot of the abuse was police sadism, pure and simple:

* I heard from two different sources that at least one busload of protesters (around 40 people) was forced to spend seven excruciating hours locked in tiny cages on a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. prison bus, denied food, water and access to bathroom facilities. Both men and women were forced to urinate in their seats. Meanwhile, the cops in charge of the bus took an extended Starbucks coffee break.

* The bus that I was shoved into didn’t move for at least an hour. The whole time we listened to the screams and crying from a young woman whom the cops locked into a tiny cage at the front of the bus. She was in agony, begging and pleading for one of the policemen to loosen her plastic handcuffs. A police officer sat a couple of feet away the entire time that she screamed–but wouldn’t lift a finger.

* Everyone on my bus felt her pain–literally felt it. That’s because the zip-tie handcuffs they use—like the ones you see on Iraq prisoners in Abu Ghraib—cut off your circulation and wedge deep through your skin, where they can do some serious nerve damage, if that’s the point. And it did seem to be the point. A couple of guys around me were writhing in agony in their hard plastic seats, hands handcuffed behind their back.

* The 100 protesters in my detainee group were kept handcuffed with their hands behind their backs for 7 hours, denied food and water and forced to sit/sleep on a concrete floor. Some were so tired they passed out face down on the cold and dirty concrete, hands tied behind their back. As a result of the tight cuffs, I wound up losing sensation in my left palm/thumb and still haven’t recovered it now, a day and a half after they finally took them off.

* One seriously injured protester, who had been shot with a shotgun beanbag round and had an oozing bloody welt the size of a grapefruit just above his elbow, was denied medical attention for five hours. Another young guy, who complained that he thought his arm had been broken, was not given medical attention for at least as long. Instead, he spent the entire pre-booking procedure handcuffed to a wall, completely spaced out and staring blankly into space like he was in shock.

* An Occupy LA demonstrator in his 50s who was in my cell block in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center told us all about when a police officer forced him to take a shit with his hands handcuffed behind his back, which made pulling down his pants and sitting down on the toilet extremely difficult and awkward. And he had to do this in sight of female police officers, all of which made him feel extremely ashamed, to say the least.

* There were two vegetarians and one vegan in my cell. When I left jail around 1:30 pm, they still had not been given food, despite the fact that they were constantly being promised that it would come.

* There were 292 people arrested at Occupy LA. About 75 of them have been released or have gotten out on bail, according the National Lawyers Guild. Most are still inside, slapped with $5,000 to $10,000 bail. According to a bail bondsman I know, this is unprecedented. Misdemeanors are almost always released on their own recognizance, which means that they don’t pay any bail at all. Or at most it’s a $100.

* That means the harsh, long detentions are meant to be are a purely punitive measure against Occupy LA protesters–an order that had to come from the very top.

An Occupy LA demonstrator in his 50s who was in my cell block in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center told us all about when a police officer forced him to take a shit with his hands handcuffed behind his back, which made pulling down his pants and sitting down on the toilet extremely difficult and awkward. And he had to do this in sight of female police officers, all of which made him feel extremely ashamed, to say the least.

* There were two vegetarians and one vegan in my cell. When I left jail around 1:30 pm, they still had not been given food, despite the fact that they were constantly being promised that it would come.

* There were 292 people arrested at Occupy LA. About 75 of them have been released or have gotten out on bail, according the National Lawyers Guild. Most are still inside, slapped with $5,000 to $10,000 bail. According to a bail bondsman I know, this is unprecedented. Misdemeanors are almost always released on their own recognizance, which means that they don’t pay any bail at all. Or at most it’s a $100.

* That means the harsh, long detentions are meant to be are a purely punitive measure against Occupy LA protesters–an order that had to come from the very top.

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March and Occupation in Solidarity with OccupySantaCruz »


CALIFORNIA – On Friday, November 18, students at UC Davis followed UC Berkeley protests the previous week and set up tents in the UCD quad in solidarity with students and faculty beat at UC Berkeley and the occupation movement. When UC police ordered a dispersal of the quad, non-violent protestors sat down and linked arms. At this point, Officer Pike retrieved a can of pepper spray and casually sprayed sitting students three times. An angry crowd began to gather around the police, demanding they leave — after which, the police conceded and left. Demonstrators gathered and called for a rally that following Monday. On Monday, some 5-10,000 students, workers and faculty gathered in the UCD quad and held a General Assembly. The UC Davis GA last Monday ratified a call for a strike for today, November 28. Solidarity actions have been organized at multiple other UC campuses. Among the top concerns include resignation of UCD Chancellor Katehi, some form of accountability of UC police or no police on campus (see UCD English Dept.), and no tuition increases. Today is also the first day of the UC Regents meeting that was rescheduled due to planned protests; this meeting will be teleconferenced from several locations including UC Davis.

Updates:

6:00am – UCSC business building Hahn has been shut down with students blocking entrances. Read more

10:50pm – Around 500 present at different teachins at UCD.
~1pm: Some 200 students at UC Davis have occupied Dutton Hall, reportedly in solidarity with students who shutdown Hahn student services at UCSC
2:45pm – UCSC Hahn student services is occupied by 100-150 students. Specifically the financial aid office and surrounding halls. Support will be needed.
3:50pm – Occupied Hahn is holding a General Assembly right now.
4:15pm – Occupied Hahn GA is over and will reconvene at 7pm.
6:45pm – Occupied Dutton has decided to stay the night
7:15pm – Occupied Dutton has decided to stay for the next two weeks with three demands:

1) Katehi’s immediate resignation
2) Cops off campus, with alternative safety force (to be worked out)
3) Immediate freeze on tuition

~11:30pm – Occupied Hahn at UCSC has decided to stay for at least the night. The previous General Assembly that helped establish the Hahn actions today previously approved the same demands that Occupied Dutton ratified today in solidarity with Davis students. An assembly will be held at the occupation at 9am, with another GA to follow later.

Tuesday, 29 November
~11am – Hahn occupiers decide to vacate the building to allow student services to return to their normal function, including Disability Resources. Upon vacating the building, occupiers have supplied a list of demands to the administration.

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