*mexikaresitance.com note: Hate to break it to everyone, but we have been living in a police state since 1492.The list contines to grow. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The essentially unprovoked police attacks on protesters, bystanders and journalists at Occupy protests around the nation. The continuing murder of (mostly young and black) men by police departments around the nation with few or no legal repercussions to the murderers. The growing surveillance state and the denial of basic freedoms via emergency legislation in cities facing political protest usually from the left. The permanence of that legislation even after the protests have ended. The continuing pursuit of “material support” charges against antiwar and solidarity activists involved in work against US and Israeli policies. The infant US police state is no longer learning to crawl; it has learned to walk and will soon be stomping its boots in a neighborhood near you.
Anyone following the Occupy protests since last fall is well aware of the response of the authorities. It can best be characterized as brutal and with little regard for civil liberties. This is the case even though many of the protesters were/are white-skinned and from middle class backgrounds. It is fair to say that this demographic fact gave the protesters more press coverage while it also prevented the police from carrying out even more brutal attacks. Young black and Latino men going about their daily lives generally have more to fear from the police than the Occupy protesters. That being said, it is useful to take a look at some recent comments regarding Occupy Oakland, the police attacks on the group and the response of officials and others.
In short, the response to the Oakland protesters commitment to defend themselves against police attacks has caused some potential rifts in the Occupy movement. Those rifts have been covered well on this site and across the media universe. It is not my intent to continue those discussions here. Instead, I would like to paste a quote from a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice that goes a long way towards explaining law enforcement’s perception of the Occupy movements tactics, This quote first appeared in a San Francisco Chronicle article on February 11, 2012 discussing the police tactic of kettling. For those unfamiliar with the tactic, it essentially involves surrounding a group of protesters in an area where they have no escape, then arresting them all. Sometimes the arrests are preceded by a series of gas attacks and various physical attacks by the police.