No comment

The student’s name: Joe Diaz. His account of his arrest and the assault he suffered can be read here. The event occurred last December and was publicized by Kevin Carson on his blog.

Occupy Wall Street protesters evicted from Zuccotti Park

The New York City Police Department, currently embroiled in scandals which are so common (ticket fixing, gun running and contraband smuggling, rape, killing of the unarmed, surveillance of the innocent, identity-biased stop-and-frisk searches, etc.) that they now define its very existence, added to its current scandal list when its members “rioted” (see this and this) while removing Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park in Manhattan. The protesters reoccupied the Park while celebrating the sixth-month anniversary of its emergence.

Sadly, not much has changed for the better since 1996 when Amnesty International released its infamous report on the NYPD’s human rights violations. To be sure, the Department’s political and corporate paymasters would not have it any other way.

The Department of Homeland Security observed the Occupy Movement

English: Seal of the United States Department ...One may find among the Stratfor email cache just released by WikiLeaks a Department of Homeland Security Assessment Report which discussed the ‘threats posed by’ the Occupy Movement. The report begins with this passage:

Mass gatherings associated with public protest movements can have disruptive effects on transportation, commercial, and government services, especially when staged in major metropolitan areas. Large scale demonstrations also carry the potential for violence, presenting a significant challenge for law enforcement.

It is clear that this report prejudges a movement that has never committed itself to using violence to achieve political goals. Its commitment to non-violent methods is so unlike the official commitment to using violent methods when confronting the Occupy Movement. It is a well-established fact that law enforcement departments in numerous cities have used violent techniques to suppress the legal exercise of a citizen’s First Amendment rights. There are also reasons to believe that the Department of Homeland Security along with similar federal agencies coordinated the suppression of the Occupy Movement that occurred late last year. It is both ironic and unsurprising that the disorder surrounding the Occupy Movement originated mostly from the actions of the police.

The Oakland Police Department nearly murdered another Iraqi Veteran

Making America Secure

According to a Guardian report:

A second Iraq war veteran has suffered serious injuries after clashes between police and Occupy movement protesters in Oakland.

Kayvan Sabehgi, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is in intensive care with a lacerated spleen. He says he was beaten by police close to the Occupy Oakland camp, but despite suffering agonising pain, did not reach hospital until 18 hours later.

Sabehgi, 32, is the second Iraq war veteran to be hospitalised following involvement in Oakland protests. Another protester, Scott Olsen, suffered a fractured skull on 25 October.

Odd as it may seem, “Oakland police were not immediately available for comment.” Where were they? Did the Department shut its doors for the day? Was it a local holiday? A birthday of someone important? Were they then aware that they had violated the human rights of a veteran and a former Ranger? Were they hiding in shame?

The story does not end here, however. As PhoenixWoman reports:

Not a single major American media source with a nationwide focus and a large viewership or listenership could be bothered to stop their preoccupation with broken windows [in post-general strike Oakland] to care about a man’s broken body — much less to notice that he was the second Iraq war vet to be injured nearly to death by the Oakland cops, and but one of dozens of innocents who got shot with rubber bullets, beaten, gassed, and flash-banged, often apparently as they were trying to stop the black-bloc types.

Hey, US mainstream media! If you wonder why we don’t trust you, now you know. [emphasis in the original]

In fact, the Guardian broke the story!

Civil libertarians condemn the Oakland Police Department

The larger reason for the condemnation:

The Oakland Police Department (OPD) flagrantly violated its own Crowd Management and Crowd Control Policy and foundational principles of international human rights law during its dispersal on Tuesday morning of peacefully assembled citizens at Occupy Oakland.

The precipitating cause: The OPD distinguished itself during a recent skirmish with Occupy Oakland activists when it critically wounded an Iraq War Veteran, Scott Olsen, by hitting him with a rubber bullet and then attacking those protesters while they were helping the stricken Olsen.

The complete text of the document can be found at CounterPunch.

Scott Olsen down in Oakland, CA

Eyes on the NYPD

David Lindorff, a veteran journalist addressing the significance of the Occupy Wall Street protest, rightly claims that:

Probably the biggest accomplishment of the Occupy Wall Street movement to date has not been the light these courageous and indomitable young activists have shined on the gangsters of Wall Street, as important as that has been. Rather it has been how they have exposed the police of the nation’s financial capital as the centurions of the ruling class, and not the gauzy “people’s heroes” that they have been posing as since some of their number, along with many more firefighters, nobly gave their lives trying to rescue people in the doomed World Trade Center towers on 9-11.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, a member of the establishment, did his light-shedding part in this excellent piece:

As O’Donnell reminds his viewers, gratuitous and illegal police violence is common in America. For some Americans, the police officers they face in their lives are little more than armed thugs, authorized by the state to abuse them, protected by the legal system in which they serve. Lindorff, knowing this and knowing that the police have had an aura of legitimacy since the 9.11 attacks, closes his article by pointing out that:

Even the corporate media, which for days had tried to pretend nothing was happening in Lower Manhattan, have finally been forced to report on the despicable police abuse of these brave kids.

The farcical mythology of police as heroes in blue is over.

Sad to say for those good cops who are just trying to protect and serve, the pigs in their midst have shown the true nature of NYPD policing, and unless we start seeing good cops coming out and denouncing the violent and un-Constitutional behavior of their thuggish colleagues and especially their even more thuggish supervisors, it will be hard going forward, at least for this reporter, not to laugh when someone next refers to cops collectively as “heroes.”

State terror in New York City

Let us call this officially authorized and unpunished (so far) behavior by its right name: