Friday, December 02, 2011

OWS 1138

Watching and reading about the Occupy Wall Street protests and the out of proportion responses initially left me having trouble reconciling the image of heroic police officers I maintain with the violent thugs that seem to be acting to protect the status quo of the powerful.

But that confusion did not last long. What I quickly realized was that the authorities acting in brutish ways are not new. It was just new to me. There exists in America entire cultures that for them the authorities sweeping in and busting their skulls is just same stuff, different day. There are communities in every city that rarely or never observe an heroic action, a helpful hand or someone who promises to make it all better. To the disenfranchised "To Protect and To Serve" means nothing except state-sponsored graffiti on official cars and vans.

It was by accident of birth and economic status that I was surprised the local governments and their foot soldiers would douse protestors with chemicals, arrest them without cause or as a flimsy excuse for convenience to teach the uppity a lesson and inflict injuries. It was me being a Caucasian, middle-class male that afforded me the opportunity to be insulated from the atrocities and violation of rights many others are victim to on a daily basis.

I should have known better. When I was in The Biz many years ago I made it a point to not issue citations to the economically challenged dude operating a rusted-out Chevy if I couldn't write a ticket to the wealthy guy driving a Porsche for the same offense. I knew position had privileges but I tried to make things a bit more equal. I was never in a situation to witness or be a part of the kind of crack-down Law Enforcement is currently inflicting on peaceful activists.

The dismay, shock and anger so many are now expressing is probably also an eye-opening experience. This generation is removed from the repercussions of crossing the bosses and monkey-wrenching their plans. The scale of what is going on today with Occupy Wall Street is similar in scope, if not message, to the 1960s Peace and Civil Rights movements. The practices of the Occupy movement are something that today's protestors have only heard about from their parents, grandparents or read about online or in books. Many were not prepared for the depths the powerful will sink to in order to force obedience, obeisance and to ensure everyone keeps buying junk, junk and more junk on ever-dwindling paychecks.

I've even come to believe that for the most part the only reason crimes are solved and police intercede at all is because the populace at large absolutely would not accept utter anarchy. If common street crime many live with daily encroached on their manicured lawns a certain group of people would do more than change donations to the political candidate of their choice. They would be shrill as an air raid siren with a broken off-switch. Annoy a few million of the upper-class base and changes would definitely be made starting at the top, something those in charge are terrified of. So a thin blue line is drawn, not between chaos and order but between those in power and the people. Once again stating the obvious there are already a vast number of Americans who have been experiencing this for decades if not centuries.

I'm not saying that Law Enforcement is bad from top to bottom. There are caring, heroic members out there who are just doing their jobs in the best way they can. But it is clear that when the pepper spray canisters and riot batons come out, they reveal who they really work for.

It isn't us.

10 comments:

  1. And thus is "ThatsMySkull" removed from my Favorites.

    Bye. Hope your sorry ass doesn't need to call a cop any time soon. And that you soon learn what a fringe astroturf group of nutball squatters you have aligned with.

    You'd think a comic fan would appreciate the irony of backing a criminal gang that takes direction from an "Anonymous" foreign masked mastermind.

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  2. Well, I don't know how I'll continue without your patronage but starting today I'll give it a try.

    I'm actually pleased you don't agree but I'd challenge you to thik about what the authorities are doing not only to the disenfranchised but to those protesters whose only offense, if any, are not moving out of the way fast enough.

    Anyone living on te wrong side of the tracks is familiar with proactive punishment.

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  3. "Hope your sorry ass doesn't need to call a cop any time soon. " So what you are saying is you hope I am in need of help, but because I disagree with beating up people, I should instead be left to suffer or die? Nice. Why don't you just threaten me directly instead of this cowardly, round-about way?

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  4. Nothing much to say to Odkin. Folks like that live in their own special little hell.

    Me, I'm just fine here. =)

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  5. If I read my logs and his anger correctly, then Odkin is from Tempe, Arizona and may be associated with the Police, a Government office or knows and supports someone who is. The log shows the IP coming from the vicinity of the police department. But it's Tempe so maybe everything in that town is within a half mile of every other place and it is just a coincidence.

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  6. Swamped with finals so late to read and comment, but this is a great post and a very thoughtful sentiment. Kudos.

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  7. What a tool Odkin is! In many ways. If I read your post correctly you were in law enforcement, and your perspective is fresh, accurate and very welcome. You certainly do not need his type here, no loss at all in my humble opinion. I agree with you completely, there was/is a show of force that is totally unnecessary. And for what end? To flex your muscle just because you can?! My father was a military MP and later on a cop, if he was alive today he would be appalled at the pepper spraying and other tactics being used by these idiots. This is America, the right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully is not just a right it is WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DO! For some of us it is ALL we can do. And I'll be damned if I'm going to sit back and watch the 1% carve our hearts out, especially while being supported by people like Odkins! The man needs a history book and some real life experience! Something is VERY wrong with our society if we vilify the peace activist and idolize the capitalist without a conscience!

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  8. A truly wonderful piece and one of the best you've written. Linked to it via my Facebook page.

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