They Want All Our Money And All The Power

As an artist, my job is to show aspects of life on this planet at this time.  Naturally, what things I choose to show are appropriate areas for decision making by my colleagues and me.  Ranting and raving about these subjects in not my role in my work.

This blog, however, is a place for me to make judgments and to formulate opinions.  Readers, be warned about this post.

The relentless procession of images, both visual and verbal, of the current brutal assault by police on peaceful protesters is an outrage about which I choose not to be silent.  It is inhumane, cruel, and illegal.  I believe that there may actually be a case for its being a crime against humanity.


Photograph of police attacking unarmed protesters

Description of a scene that occurred on Saturday, October 15th as protesters marched up 6th Avenue to join the massive protest at Times Square from Christopher Ketcham’s article Denunciation and Disruption of TruthDig, October 25, 2011 :

“In a flash, Credico has broken through the scooter barricade, is across the street, dashing among the White Shirts, his face grotesquely twisted, the cigar gripped tight, as if it would scatter all authority, the officers surrounding him, jabbing and pushing at him though he’s done nothing but speak his mind and wave the cigar. He’s demanding the reason for Vincent’s arrest.  Credico is right up in the cops’ faces and they’re knocking him around. ‘Get your fuckin’ hands offa me,’ he’s screaming. ‘Get your fuckin’—’ He disappears in a wall of cop, and I’m figuring he’s a goner, headed to the same van where Vincent was hauled, still smiling that tall smile. ”

I witness now the virtual conflation of dissent with terror by those who have profited from the acts of terrorism in 2001 whose cause is still not clear in order to further terrorize the population of this and other countries.  I am not saying that the government of the US was responsible for the events of September 11, 2001; I am saying that those events are still shrouded in darkness and I don’t know who was responsible.  I am also saying that the military-security-corporate complex and those whom they reward in government have profited enormously by using those attacks as pretext for drastic changes in the US and for enormous profits, directly or indirectly at the expense of the population.

Hand in hand with a vast abrogation of civil liberties, these interests have effected the radical militarization of police forces in the country.  The police response to the constitutionally guaranteed right to dissent and to assemble is now a military one appropriate for an invasion or attack, not for peaceful protest.  Police in riot gear now routinely serve arrest warrants! Citizens are increasingly beaten, tasered, and shot by police.

Peaceful protesters are trampled by horses

leading to this

They are run over by police motorscooters:

And, sprayed with chemicals, beaten and bruised.

Ray McGovern after manhandling by the police

The US has a long history of police brutality and the use of the military to suppress political dissent.  During my lifetime, the use of attack dogs and fire hoses on peaceful civil rights demonstrators,

and the murder by National Guard riflemen of students at Kent State still live in my memory.

Things are different now and worse.  There has been less public outrage and much more complicity by the majority of people in this country.  Terrorism, especially after the attacks on civilians of 2001, has been a good weapon for the corporate powers who want all our money and all the power.

At the time when civil rights activists were attacked, the events were shown widely on national television.  The media reporting of the Kent State Massacre was important in furthering and broadening within the society a greater resistance to the Viet Nam war.  Today, the corporate owned media fail to show the extent of the repression and often frame what coverage there is to make protesters the offenders.

Fortunately, the mass arrests and police violence against completely peaceful protest at Occupy Wall Street are garnering more accurate coverage from corporate media.  In part that is true because of the skillful use of media by the protesters who have established a global internet television presence, who film everything from many angles with their cameras and cell phones which they then distribute via their own network and on sites like youtube and facebook  They chant quite accurately, “The whole world is watching.”

Protesters photographing and filming police

Ironically, by not relying on the corporate media, supplanting them with people’s media, they have forced the corporate media to do a somewhat better job.  There is a larger message here about the power of their experiments, as they call them, in alternative organization and another way of life.

Frankly, I would rather suffer an attack by real enemies, which actually I suspect is not very likely, at least not right now, than the prolonged attack on us currently underway by the New York Police Department and the federal law “enforcement” agencies.

I would dismiss the “theater” aspect of the police violence, were it not for the fact that these cops of farce, the soldiers of the corporate army, regularly turn vicious and beat, run over with motor-scooters, imperil with police horses, spray with dangerous chemicals, and otherwise attack peaceful people.  Let us call things by their right names.  These are not police, but soldiers, equipped and trained for military actions.  These actions are turned on us.  We have become the enemy.


Let me also not despair, however.  The recent refusal of the police of Albany to move on Occupy Albany despite orders from somewhere above is encouraging.  Read article here.

And the formation of #OccupyMarines, a group of veterans of the service branches who support the occupation and want to enlist the police to protect the protesters is very inspiring.  The national organization is currently calling for marines in Oakland to show up there and support the occupation which was brutally attacked earlier today.  May many of them hear the call.

People willing to face the brutality are probably our only hope of stopping the militarized brutality of police in this country and the corporate entities that it defends.  Will the people win?  I hope so.  The corporate masters will stop at nothing to get what they want.  Only massive resistance by people can win against that.


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