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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taibbi on the UC Davis macing:

Awesome piece, love the wrap up:

Taibbi Blog:

Was absolutely mesmerized last night watching the viral video of the UC-Davis pepper-spraying. It was totally amazing, simultaneously one of depressing and inspiring things I’ve seen in many years.

To recap for those who haven’t seen it: police in paramilitary gear line up in front of a group of Occupy protesters peacefully blocking a road. Completely unprovoked, they decide to douse the whole group of sitting protesters with pepper spray. There is crying and chaos and panic, but the wheezing protesters sit resolutely in place and refuse to move despite the assault.
Finally, in what to me was the most amazing part, the protesters gather together and move forward shouting “Shame On You! Shame On You!” over and over again, and you can literally see the painful truth of those words cutting the resolve of the policemen and forcing them backwards.
Glenn Greenwald’s post at Salon says this far better than I can, but I think there are undeniable conclusions one can draw from this incident. The main thing is that the frenzied dissolution of due process and individual rights that took place under George Bush’s watch, and continued uncorrected even when supposed liberal constitutional lawyer Barack Obama took office, has now come full circle and become an important element to the newer political controversy involving domestic corruption and economic injustice.
As Glenn points out, when we militarized our society in response to the global terrorist threat, we created a new psychological atmosphere in which the use of force and military technology became a favored method for dealing with dissent of any kind. As Glenn writes:
The U.S. Government — in the name of Terrorism — has aggressively para-militarized the nation’s domestic police forces by lavishing them with countless military-style weapons and other war-like technologies, training them in war-zone military tactics, and generally imposing a war mentality on them. Arming domestic police forces with para-military weaponry will ensure their systematic use even in the absence of a Terrorist attack on U.S. soil… It’s a very small step to go from supporting the abuse of defenseless detainees (including one’s fellow citizens) to supporting the pepper-spraying and tasering of non-violent political protesters.

SKIP TO THE BOTTOM, ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE:




It was bad enough when we made police defend the use of torture and extrajudicial detention; now they’re being asked to defend mass theft, Lloyd Blankfein’s bailout-paid bonus, the principle of Angelo Mozilo not doing jail time.
How strong can anyone defending those causes be? These people are weak and pathetic, and they’re getting weaker. And boy, are they showing it. Way to gear up with combat helmets and the submachine guns, fellas, to take on a bunch of co-eds sitting Indian-style. Maybe after work you can go break up a game of Duck-Duck-Goose at the local Chuck E Cheese. I’d bring the APC for that one.
Bravo to those kids who hung in there and took it. And bravo for standing up and showing everyone what real strength is. There is no strength without principle. You have it. They lost it. It’s as simple as that.

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