OAKLAND, California, May 2, 2012 (IPS) – It was May Day and Oakland was bathed in sunshine. Union workers staged militant actions; immigrants and allies marched for justice with brass bands and drummers; spontaneous street parties erupted.
There was also tear gas, flash bang grenades, screams, vandalism and arrests on Oakland Streets.
“Today, as we stand in solidarity with labour, as we stand in solidarity with immigrant workers, as we strike against this exploitative economic system, we also stand up to police violence and state repression,” Laleh Behbehanian of the Occupy Oakland Anti- Repression Committee told a rally in Oscar Grant Plaza, the space renamed by protesters for a young unarmed African American man killed by a transit police officer.
A woman who was pepper sprayed during during a raid on Occupy Seattle last week is blaming police after she miscarried Sunday. Video from IowaBoyDave, uploaded to YouTube Nov. 21, 2011.
Jennifer Fox, 19, told The Stranger that she had been with the Occupy protests since they started in Westlake Park. She said she was homeless and three months pregnant, but felt the need to join activists during their march last Tuesday.
Today, the Oakland Police Officers Assn. issued a statement publicizing the conflicting orders coming from the Mayor’s Office, while efforts to recall Mayor Jean Quan have begun.
Additionally, the officer who shot Oakland protester and Iraq Vet, Scott Olsen, has been identified by Anonymous as Deputy Sheriff Scott Bergstresser, of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Dept., Emergency Services Unit (Badge #1342).
The disease is police forces in a nation of laws violating those laws, those who are supposed to protect the public safety making it more than clear to us here at VT that they are willing to stoop to criminality to work for the 1%.
My point? It isn’t just the banks. We are no longer a nation of civil law, no longer a nation of accountability, and those who would limit OCW (Occupy Wall Street) to demonstrations against banks may very well be working for the other side.
Olbermann interviews Michael Moore who says, “I think there needs to be a multi-pronged approach” urging civil disobedience locally as well as nationally, and refusing to move out under a foreclosure notice since no one owns your mortgage any more. “The banks lost them,” he says, when they bundled them into their little Ponzie schemes.
Orange County prosecutors charged two veteran Fullerton police officers in the death of a mentally ill homeless man, accusing them of a callous cascade of violence against Kelly Thomas as he begged for his life.
Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas on Wednesday said what began as routine questioning by police devolved into a “beating at the hands of an angry police officer,” with other officers eventually joining in. He stressed that Thomas did not provoke the attack and that all of his movements were purely defensive.
The surviving family members of Kelly Thomas, who was brutally murdered by Fullerton Police (Orange County, California) in July, rejected an offer of $900,000 not to pursue civil action. [Image: Kelly Thomas]
The pre-planned assassination of a gang member by London’s thug cops on August 4th set off a fresh wave of riots in the Tottenham area. When this BBC anchor didn’t like what 68-year-old journalist and former Black Panther Darcus Howe, had to say about it — the interview became hostile.
“One of the officers grabbed the neck and began punching me,” Salvati said in an interview with the Star[on June 23]. “(He) mentioned something about ‘These are your rights.’ You know? Like: ‘You think you have rights? These are your rights.’”
After the barrage of bullets stopped, while Susan Bartholomew was lying on a concrete walkway of the Danziger Bridge, the men shooting at Bartholomew’s family ordered her to raise her hands. But Bartholomew recalled realizing that would be impossible.
“I couldn’t do it, because my arm was shot off,” she said softly. “I raised the only hand I had.” ~Times-Picayune
The trial of five current and former New Orleans police officers accused in the Danziger Bridge shootings case in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina began Monday morning in federal court in New Orleans. The defendants are former officer Robert Faulcon, who resigned not long after Katrina; Sgt. Kenneth Bowen; Sgt. Robert Gisevius; officer Anthony Villavaso; and retired Sgt. Arthur Kaufman. ~Times-Picayune
So I saw my friend today after 48 hours in the slammer. His head bruised and battered, knots on his head and bruises down his arms.
Thursday morning he started his day driving from Asheville to a nearby town. A cruiser had pulled behind him and followed until moments later when the gumballs began to flash. My friend pulled over and when the thug got to his window my friend asked if he was speeding. Without a single word the thug opened his car door and ripped him out of his car, threw him violently to the ground while screaming to stop resisting the assault.
With threats of taser, several more Asheville thugs joined in the melee and began to beat him about the head while he lay on the ground. After the knee was applied to head on the asphalt and the cuffs were on they threatened him with arrest.
Mass Arrests, Tear Gas, Sound Weapons used Against WIU Students
By Reality TV
At Western Illinois University last week, police broke up the annual campus block party with LRADs, piercing the eardrums of partying students. Journalists were threatened with arrest for daring to video the police. University president Alfred Goldfarb is responsible for bringing this action against the student body. Student journalist Julio Rausseo reviews video footage and recounts the abuses:
The recent public release of a video capturing police brutality that resulted in seven Houston police officers being fired while only four have been charged with misdemeanors has prompted fresh outrage. In the video above, we see 15-year-old Chad Holley running from the cops after a robbery on March 23 of last year. After being knocked to the ground by a police car, he immediately rolls onto his stomach and puts his hands behind his head. Before cuffing him, Houston police begin kicking him in the head and punching him several times in a clear felonious assault.
Note that one cop, standing between the boy’s legs, kicks him in his groin four times, and smashes his knees in an apparent attempt to break them. Another cop slugs him several times while others hold the boy down.
Walking like an Egyptian pharaoh more than an Egyptian, during Hillary Clinton’s talk on free speech on Tuesday at George Washington University, she allowed the arrest and brutalization of a silent protester, Ray McGovern, who since his retirement from the CIA has been actively protesting war. The university’s newspaper, GW Hatchet, reported Clinton’s words:
“What happened in Egypt and what happened in Iran, which this week is once again using violence against protesters seeking basic freedoms, was about a great deal more than the Internet,” Clinton said. “In each case people protested because of deep frustrations with the political and economic division of their lives.”
Dear readers, for those of you who live near Appleton, Wisconsin, I will be reading from my book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2600 Philip Lane (just south of East Calumet Street), on Sunday, 2-13, at 6:30 p.m.
By Robert C. Koehler
It was just a routine murder.
Last June, police accosted a young man at an Internet café in the city of Alexandria. He had just filmed their drug deal, or he simply refused to show them his ID. Whatever the provocation — accounts vary — they slammed his head against the table, dragged him outside as he screamed, beat him viciously for 20 minutes. That was that. You can pick up the body later.
In a thug society, power is as power does. And in Egypt, power flowed from the top — from, indeed, beyond the top. It flowed from the superpower that had been a cornucopia of military aid, nearly $2 billion a year, to President Hosni Mubarak for the last 30 years. In return, Mubarak had to be a useful friend to that superpower: open his prisons for secret torture operations, acquiesce to Israel’s blockade of Gaza and, of course, keep the oil flowing from Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, his only obligation was to stay in power, and he did so with a simple and basic brutality. Do what we say or we’ll kill you.
Doesn’t it seem like almost everything is becoming a crime in America now? Americans are being arrested and charged with crimes for doing things like leaving dog poop on the ground, opening up Christmas presents early, not recycling properly, farting in class and having brown lawns. But is it healthy for our society for the police to be involved in such silly things? Every single day the United States inches closer to becoming a totalitarian society.