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Yasha Levine Released From Jail, Exposes LAPD’s Appalling Treatment Of Detained Occupy LA Protesters…

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By Yasha Levine, an editor of The eXiled. You can reach him at levine [at] exiledonline.com.. Cross posted from The eXiled

Yasha Levine was forced to surrender his freedom, as well as his shoe laces…for his own protection

I finally got home Thursday afternoon after spending two nights in jail, and have had a hard time getting my bearings. On top of severe dehydration and sleep deprivation, I’ve got one hell of pounding migraine. So I’ll have to keep this brief for now. But I wanted to write down a few things that I witnessed and heard while locked up by LA’s finest…

First off, don’t believe the PR bullshit. There was nothing peaceful or professional about the LAPD’s attack on Occupy LA–not unless you think that people peacefully protesting against the power of the financial oligarchy deserve to be treated the way I saw Russian cops treating the protesters in Moscow and St. Petersburg who were demonstrating against the oligarchy under Putin and Yeltsin, before we at The eXiled all got tossed out in 2008. Back then, everyone in the West protested and criticized the way the Russian cops brutally snuffed out dissent, myself included. Now I’m in America, at a demonstration, watching exactly the same brutal crackdown…

While people are now beginning to learn that the police attack on Occupy LA was much more violent than previously reported, few actually realize that much—if not most—of the abuse happened while the protesters were in police custody, completely outside the range of the press and news media. And the disgraceful truth is that a lot of the abuse was police sadism, pure and simple:

* I heard from two different sources that at least one busload of protesters (around 40 people) was forced to spend seven excruciating hours locked in tiny cages on a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. prison bus, denied food, water and access to bathroom facilities. Both men and women were forced to urinate in their seats. Meanwhile, the cops in charge of the bus took an extended Starbucks coffee break.

• The bus that I was shoved into didn’t move for at least an hour. The whole time we listened to the screams and crying from a young woman whom the cops locked into a tiny cage at the front of the bus. She was in agony, begging and pleading for one of the policemen to loosen her plastic handcuffs. A police officer sat a couple of feet away the entire time that she screamed–but wouldn’t lift a finger.

• Everyone on my bus felt her pain–literally felt it. That’s because the zip-tie handcuffs they use—like the ones you see on Iraq prisoners in Abu Ghraib—cut off your circulation and wedge deep through your skin, where they can do some serious nerve damage, if that’s the point. And it did seem to be the point. A couple of guys around me were writhing in agony in their hard plastic seats, hands handcuffed behind their back.

• The 100 protesters in my detainee group were kept handcuffed with their hands behind their backs for 7 hours, denied food and water and forced to sit/sleep on a concrete floor. Some were so tired they passed out face down on the cold and dirty concrete, hands tied behind their back. As a result of the tight cuffs, I wound up losing sensation in my left palm/thumb and still haven’t recovered it now, a day and a half after they finally took them off.

• One seriously injured protester, who had been shot with a shotgun beanbag round and had an oozing bloody welt the size of a grapefruit just above his elbow, was denied medical attention for five hours. Another young guy, who complained that he thought his arm had been broken, was not given medical attention for at least as long. Instead, he spent the entire pre-booking procedure handcuffed to a wall, completely spaced out and staring blankly into space like he was in shock.

• An Occupy LA demonstrator in his 50s who was in my cell block in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center told us all about when a police officer forced him to take a shit with his hands handcuffed behind his back, which made pulling down his pants and sitting down on the toilet extremely difficult and awkward. And he had to do this in sight of female police officers, all of which made him feel extremely ashamed, to say the least.

• There were two vegetarians and one vegan in my cell. When I left jail around 1:30 pm, they still had not been given food, despite the fact that they were constantly being promised that it would come.

• There were 292 people arrested at Occupy LA. About 75 of them have been released or have gotten out on bail, according the National Lawyers Guild. Most are still inside, slapped with $5,000 to $10,000 bail. According to a bail bondsman I know, this is unprecedented. Misdemeanors are almost always released on their own recognizance, which means that they don’t pay any bail at all. Or at most it’s a $100.

• That means the harsh, long detentions are meant to be are a purely punitive measure against Occupy LA protesters–an order that had to come from the very top.

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156 comments

  1. Sleeper

    Look the OWS folks should expect this sort of treatment -

    The powers that be and their minions are terrified that what we are seeing is the beginning of the American Spring which in time has the prospect of destroy the foundations that the 1%s stand on.

    Don’t be surprised if the police / courts violence continues and intensifies. These guys are scared.

    1. patricia

      Expected or not, it should cause all of us, including you, Sleeper, to make a huge stink about such rotten behavior. Our contributions to the protest are as vital as what they are courageously enduring on our behalf.

      1. justamug

        Totally agree. It would be great if the Occupy protestors could get pensioners involved. They could act as a layer of protection. The public may be insensitive to police brutality against young people, but not against grandma and grandpa.

      1. rotter

        Theyre going to lose thier pensions anyway, and many of them will also lose thier jobs, to private police operations too – if they do thier jobs for thier masters. The Police are textbook stooges. What were they called in Warsaw? The Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst I think. Our cops are even worse in a way, I doubt the Ghetto Poliza did much of the actual beating.

  2. Rick Cass

    And it will only get worse. Bradley Manning is the example of what we will face as we continue to occupy our country.

  3. Jill

    It’s all coming home, all of it. This is SOP for military detention (light version). Yes it is deliberate. The techniques described and their effects have been studied/utilized by military interrogators. Congress is about to make military detention without trial of American citizens the “law”. (See Glenn Greenwald for that info.)

    Patricia is correct, scream like hell about this. Unless we stand up, the govt. will understand they can do this to people and get away with it. Ultimately, that may be true. We are facing rather overwhelming force. But we have a chance if we try, while their success is assured should we do nothing.

    1. orionATL

      yes, this is our legacy,

      our american legacy for invading and occupying iraq –

      a legacy bequeathed by two presidents, their subordinate executives, the corporate media, and our federal judiciary,

      none of whom have demonstrated sustained regard for the first ten amendments to the constitution designed specifically to protect individual american citizens from their government.

  4. psychohistorian

    The public that doesn’t reach out to alternative news sources will never hear anything close to the truth about what happened in LA or anywhere else in “Western Democracies”. They will be fed BS and lies.

    Another example of media lies is the recent UK strike where the BBC said there were “tens of thousands” and the alternative press said there were two million. One of our priorities needs to be expansion of alternative news sources that are not controlled by the global inherited rich.

    1. patricia

      I wish the Occupy had some competent and well-placed people to help them recapture the phrase “Public Broadcasting System”. If we could become another channel in the cable tv packages, it would make a huge difference.

      1. banger

        You touch on something very important. The problem with the American left is that it is unable to organize itself into effective collective action. I don’t consider the OWS actions anything other than a series of gatherings which has been an interesting start to something but that something needs to go into creating a tight and disciplined movement that has some bite. I see no sign of this happening.

          1. andrew hartman

            i can’t wait for next spring either. except for some random people shitting
            in tents, banging on drums, and weirding along with the people’s mic,
            the OWS movement will be as gone as big bill haywood.

    2. Jack

      Video cameras are getting quite cheap now and they should be hidden and sprinkled throughout the area so that there are no longer “out of sight” areas. Are all the detainees going to do the following?

      Spend exclusively cash and or write checks from credit union or small non money center banks? Use only no fee credit cards paid off at the end of every month?

      What about next April? Are they going to file their income tax returns? It seems to me that the powers that be are asking for a tax rebellion with all this high handedness. It is the duty of all citizens to participate in the voluntary income tax system. Taxes are the price you pay for civilization. Of course, if you are treated in an uncivilized manner by the government then perhaps you are no longer represented by that government and the relationship has been severed?

    1. walter_map

      No one has responded to you because you’re all too easily identified as a mere provocateur.

      Thank you for your ‘input’. You’re dismissed.

  5. kms

    Thanks for posting this… I needed to know this. But what do we do? How do we stop it? Scream like hell- Where? To whom?

      1. kms

        I know you were well intentioned, but how do I believe that the guys who didn’t hesitate to force men and women to piss themselves with their arms losing circulation behind their backs are going to listen to an email from me? There’s got to be a real way to fight this… Somehow

        1. patricia

          Also support the OWS with your presence and/or financially and across the web.

          Do not be deceived into insignificance. The only power we have is activated by the singular multiplied in every direction. It is only your job to know your job, do it, and keep on doing it.

          It is likely that my email to the LAPD will simply be deleted by the first person who reads it. But it is something. And that small gesture is as good for me as it is for the possibility.

          And what is the possibility? That even though we can’t change the minds of the corrupt, we can collectively and over time, change the system so that the corrupt no longer thrive.

          I’m not just being Patty-positive, here. I am telling you the only way it will work.

        2. scraping_by

          Exposure is a beginning. Lubyanka prison, where the KGB beat and tortured opponents of the Soviet regime, was noted for being blank to the outside world. This wasn’t because the secret police wanted to hide the fact they were brutalizing opponents of the regime. It was to keep the threat vague and thereby more fearsome.

          The Gestapo, of course, worked almost exclusively at night and its prisons, also, were places where opponents were hidden from view.

          Concealment is part of any criminal enterprise. While few people will instantly go to outrage (some will buy into the smokescreen), for most it will be one more step toward rejecting a gang posing as a government.

        3. banger

          That way is the same way that has always been open to us but that we refuse to take. Organize in disciplined units and take effective action. Getting tortured or beaten by cops is not what I call effective action. Fighting the last war is always a sure recipe for defeat–the system has gamed the whole demonstration and non-violent resistance technique. The only reason it worked in the sixties is that the United States was in a PR struggle with the Soviet Union and didn’t want to look bad and (this is important) the U.S. was still, more or less, operating as a Constitutional Republic and I don’t believe that is the case anymore.

    1. Thorstein

      What to do to stop it? Further down this queue, Gordon makes the observation that occupying public spaces is not an effective measure against private hoards. Rather, he suggests, we should embark on a door-to-door campaign to convince our neighbors to withdraw our collective assets from *one* TBTF bank. We must learn from the predators’ tactics: divide and conquer. Pick out *one* “carefully-chosen” bank and apply as much collective pressure as we can mount against that *one* bank. We will not desist until our demand is met. What is that demand? Gordon proposes the restoration of Glass-Steagall. Yearning to Learn proposes the movement could be called “Withdraw Wall Street”. Readers of NC, which bank should that be? Which TBTF bank is *most* evil and *most* exposed to financial pressure from consumers?

      I recall a similar campaign a few years back to boycott *one* oil company at the pump. Not sure what happened with that; it could be instructive.

      One drawback to the plan I can see is that most of my neighbors have nothing to withdraw. They are in debt up to their ears. Still, I think if I knocked on their doors, I’d be delivering an important political epiphany–if political, electoral action retains any social efficacy anywhere in this world.

  6. brian

    don’t believe for a second this isn’t being run by the feds and TSA according to their direction

    1. Seal

      right – the Feds are in on this totally – see Naomi Wolf’s rebuttal in the Guardian today “NYPD is, to some extent, DHS”

  7. Psychoanalystus

    “Both men and women were forced to urinate in their seats. Meanwhile, the cops in charge of the bus took an extended Starbucks coffee break.”

    I am moved to see the LAPD and all its heroes so proudly support their multi-national coffee-shop corporate monopoly.

    Go Starbucks Corporation! Corporation! Corporation! Corporation!

  8. Seth

    This is state terrorism, plain and simple. It is using violence — torture, in fact — to intimidate potential dissenters.

    And the fact that the Obama Administration endorses these tactics says everything you need to know about Barry Fucking Obama.

          1. Maximilien

            Can’t you see someone perusing photos of recent Peace Prize winners:

            2010: LIU XIAOBO for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.

            2009: BARACK OBAMA? WTF?

            2008: MARTTI AHTISAARI for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts.

    1. Doc Holiday

      And what’s our choice for the election next year, some republican nightmare that will be just as bad, if not worse? I hope OWS can make political impacts and offer some third party voice that will steer all the debates next year. The main problem and paradox is the decentralized leadership issue. If Ms Warren would step up as a presidential candidate for OWS that would help….

      1. rotter

        Really, Truly, i hate to be a wet rag but PLEASE dont get your hopes up about “Ms. Warren”. Shes just another Apologist for the rotten Imperialism we are dying of.

        1. banger

          That’s simply not true. Warren is someone in the Establishment along with many others who wants to improve our lot–she’s been at this a long time and she is the real deal.

  9. don

    This is absolutely sickening. And no, it should surprise no one.

    Lets not be naive that we live in a democracy, a country that respects human rights. Let us not forget that this country is founded on the genocide of Indians, and of slavery. Let us not have any illusions of what this nation is made of, its history, its reality, no matter the ideals we have been fed since our birth, the values we supposedly hold so dear. All of this is nothing but ideology . . . nothing there to be re-captured as if it is of some lost past.

    I have been an activists nearly all my adult life. Now in my mid-50′s, I grow tired and cynical, not surprised by US brutality, whether inflicted upon the people of Central America, Iraq, Afghanistan . . . or upon protesters by an ever more militarized police.

    The destruction of our natural environment, the loss of civil society, the colonization of our very way of thinking, leaves me all the more tired, so much so that with each passing day I entertain the idea of moving out of this country. But then I remind myself that the tentacles of the corporate state that I detest extend ever so far, into each and every nook and cranny conceivable. Living in a cabin in the forest, a place most would think of as being very remote, I yearn to be even more remote. No, I do not want to simply wilt and give up the fight. But my will to do so lessens each day.

    Please excuse my self-indulgent confessional.

    1. patricia

      don, you have lived all your life inside a violent empire, fighting. Perhaps it is no longer your job. Another generation has taken it up. Large empires can’t be broken in a single generation. And this is a LARGE empire—it is nearly global, built on international CORPORATIONS running baldly on the corrupt idea that greed is the sole virtue of humanity.

      Perhaps if you feel like keeping a finger in, you could throw some well-learned advice to the next bunch. Only if you felt like it.

      I wish you respite.

    2. ambrit

      Dear don;
      Don’t feel alone there. I’ve struggled through my fifty something years to try to realize a civilized existence. When we were young, this country had ideals and noble aspirations. People of all races and creeds were going to live peaceably together. People were going to have decent lives and want for little or nothing. Public life was going to be just and vibrant. What was more, we all knew that we had the ability to do all these things.
      Now we try to hold on to civilized values in the face of a degraded and corrupt system. Be of good cheer don, we are the new Stoics. As someone above said, we can take a rest secure in the knowledge that a new generation has taken up the banner of freedom and justice. Sometimes, survival is enough.

      1. Sock Puppet

        Ambrit, I remember those days too. We sold out for “Morning in America” and cheap gas. We only have ourselves to blame.

        1. Blissex

          «We sold out for “Morning in America” and cheap gas.»

          This brings us back to the first huge turning point in USA economy and culture: the Carter presidency.

          On one hand he tried to get Real Americans to plan for a comfortable post USA-Peak-Oil economy, and middle class middle aged (especially female) voters punished him savagely for that, choosing instead the savior who gave them a mirage of luxurious retirements via endless tax-free capital gains if only they betrayed everything else.

          Since then all presidential candidates promise the same, no one dares to tell Real American voters that planning is better than wishful thinking, as Carter demonstrated what happens who does that.

          On the other hand arguably Carter initiated some of the more authoritarian neocons style policies. That part of his legacy survives and has been amplified by his successors.

          Democracy is primarily a mechanism by which voters suffer the consequences of their choices, and democracy in the USA is still working well that way.

          1. Sock Puppet

            I agree. Carter was the last president who dared tell the truth. No one will make that mistake again. I think the Iran hostage crisis was a big factor. Of course that was blowback for deposing a democratically elected government and installing the Shah. Hardly Carter’s fault.

          2. MontanaMaven

            Yes, Carter embraced Milton Friedman’s flim flam and deregulated trucking and airlines. Under the Democrats and Carter they passed a bill to lift the cap on usury. States had caps on interest rates, but this bill allowed federally chartered savings bank and chartered loan companies to be exempt. Wages weren’t raised and jobs were eliminated in the 1980s so people were driven to accumulate more and more debt at these horrifying high rates. Working people, the 99% that don’t work for the 1%, haven’t had anybody working for them in a long time.

      2. Blissex

        «People of all races and creeds were going to live peaceably together. People were going to have decent lives and want for little or nothing. Public life was going to be just and vibrant.»

        Those dreams were killed by the race riots. And by the insane reaction of the McCarthy era Democratic party to them. And by the right fully taking advantage of both as a fantastic opportunity to bring back bits of Dixie.

  10. Skippy

    Neighborhood sweeps next? Check points? Curfew’s with roving patrols and shoot first ask questions later policy?

    Skippy…Land of the Free or Land of your right to_submit too_your Oligarchic Betters (value for money thingy).

    1. Psychoanalystus

      Coming to a neighborhood near you, Skippy. I understand it will start in Darwin, Northern Territory, and will sweep on down all the way to Tasmania. They call that “keeping an eye on China”…LOL

      1. Skippy

        Never really left…Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN)

        The OTHRSPO industry partners for JORN Lockheed Martin Australia Electronic Systems Pty Ltd (LMAES) (formerly RLM Pty Ltd) and the Alice Springs Facility (BAE Systems Australia) are key contributors to the CoE, supported by SMEs offering relevant niche products or capabilities.

        http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/esd/jp2025/jp2025.cfm

        The JORN is so sensitive it is able to track planes taking off and landing in East Timor 2600 km away. It is able to detect a Cessna 172 aeroplane. Current research is anticipated to increase its sensitivity by a factor of one hundred beyond this level.[11] It is also reportedly able to detect stealth aircraft;[4] aside from the fact that most stealthy aircraft are optimized for defeating much higher-frequency radar from front-on rather than low-frequency radars from above, JORN is reputedly able to detect aircraft wake turbulence. Project DUNDEE[20] is a cooperative research project, with American missile defence research, into using JORN to detect missiles.[21] The JORN is anticipated to play a role in the Strategic Defence Initiative, detecting and tracking missile launches in Asia.[22]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jindalee_Operational_Radar_Network

        Skippy….are they putting Ketamine in every thing these days?

  11. craazyman

    Holy Cow, this is an Albert Camus moment.

    There should be an iPhone Albert Camus REBEL app. You just point the phone’s camera at the dude with the plastic hand ties passed out in the cage pissing in his pants because he doesn’t think banksters should financially rape the populace, and it pulls up an appropriate quote from THE REBEL, like this one from the introduction.

    “Our criminals are no longer helpless children who could plead love as their excuse. On the contrary, they are adults and they have a perfect alibi: philosophy, which can be used for any purpose—even for transforming murderers into judges. . . . On the day when crime dons the apparel of innocence — through a curious transposition peculiar to our times — it is innocence that is called upon to justify itself.”

    -Albert Camus, THE REBEL

    1. ambrit

      craazyman;
      Try a look at an older French film, “Elevator to the Guillotine” for a New Wave take on the subject. Well worth a look.

  12. Arcadio de Jesus

    And then, we criticize other Countries for civil roghts violations, we should be ashamed, for trying to teach democracy to others and don’t live the way we tell them they should live.

    1. walter_map

      That’s just the cover story. The Soviet States of Amerika obviously has no intention of spreading ‘democracy’. They can’t actually ‘spread democracy’ from where it does not exist except as a thin pretence. Judging from trends it is clear that they do intend something and are pursuing certain goals, and those have nothing to do with ‘democracy’.

      Honestly.

    2. scraping_by

      The conflict of the message and the facts has always been a sore point with US Government Public Diplomacy. That’s a real position in the State Department, by the way.

      One example in the Cold War was praising democracy as the better alternative to Communism. This was a difficult sell in such US-backed dictatorships as Saudi Arabia and Iran. But that was seen as a mechanical problem to get around rather than the fundamental contradiction it was.

      One of the buzzwords of the New World Order, Globalization, the Banker’s Regime, trickle-down economics, etc., is “freedom.” The buses of LA showed the banksters’ definition of freedom, at least for the great mass of us.

  13. thomas

    I live in Europe, and have some little knowledge of Police repression in France, including during social movements.

    Two years ago, I was randomly arrested because I was sitting in UC Berkley at the wrong moment. (66 arrested for occupying wheeler hall : http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2009/12/11_wheeler.shtml).

    My conclusion after a small group journey in jail was that USA is in a very nice full scale fascism state, where police is more than the state’s blind hand : it is a fully unpersonalised huge machine. The “processing” through jail was scary not because of the men we were facing, but for the concept of a clinical huge facility where one man’s action makes no sense anymore. The whole thing is just a machine.

    Only outnumbering the machine can lead somewhere. Maybe we are somehow not that far from the point?

    1. Blissex

      «USA is in a very nice full scale fascism state, where police is more than the state’s blind hand : it is a fully unpersonalised huge machine»

      Ah but it is like that because it generates lots of profits: there have been cases of judges given incentives by private prison companies to convicts more people for longer sentences, and prison unions regularly campaign openly for the same, and donate funds to politicians who legislate new crimes or longer sentences.

      And this is enabled by the median voters, for whom wasting tax money on schools and hospitals is exploitation, but there are never enough prisoners and long enough sentences, because better safe than sorry.

      The USA security apparatus runs a nice fascist state because only politicians who sponsor more repression get elected by fearful and malicious voters.

      As I wrote somewhere else, USA voters have collectively decided that they wish “fuck everybody else”, and they are getting that (they never paused to think that each of them is part of someone’s “everybody else”).

  14. tom allen

    well, sure, haven’t you been arrested before? I guess it sounds a bit harsher because it’s in LA not Iowa City, but still, you’re just a brick in the wall. why are you surprised?

    you look like a good young kid. sorry to have to break it to you that you don’t always get the vegan breakfast at the lockdown, dude. and pissing your pants in public sucks, doesn’t it? or sleeping on concrete floors? or having a record follow you all your life? bwahahaha. dick. :-)

    LOL. no, seriously, things are fucked up, and I’m behind you, but really? what did you expect? meh, things will change soon enough if we help them along. one day at a time….

    1. Darren Kenworthy

      Just because a tiger will eat me if it can doesn’t mean I should quietly let it. I won’t hate the predator, but I will resist, fearlessly.

  15. Westcoastliberal

    Isn’t it funny how our leaders commended the protesters in Egypt and the other middle eastern countries when they were in the streets “marching for democracy”, but when it happens in THIS country all the sudden protests must be broken up due to “health concerns.
    This crap is shameful and yes I agree the 1% is scared to death. If they keep this type of mistreatment up it’s going to result in A LOT MORE OF US out in the streets!
    If you agree with me that collapse is becoming unavoidable, don’t despair, prepare! http://www.collapsenet.com/262.html

    1. killben

      You took the words out of my fingers!

      When it comes to ensuring that the status quo is maintained it does not matter whether it is Syria or US or UK. The guys in control will do their utmost to maintain their status quo in their territory while yapping about it when it hapepns in some other country. The rats in control are all the same beneath the polished veneer!

      But I still have hope. After all Qaddafi was driven out and beaten to death in a country he ruled with a iron fist! So a time will come for these rats too! Only thing is many people will suffer till such machinations are overthrown!

      1. casino implosion

        In days of old, it was customary for the richest man in the land to rule as king. Bloomberg, New York’s wealthiest citizen, is thus, by reason of long tradition, our monarch and it’s only right and proper that he should command his own Army.

  16. Henry Hub

    I am old enough to remember the riots of the 1960s that swept the large cities of America. Most of this was from inner city blacks. These people had been so brutalized by the police that they started assassinating the police. Killing them in the streets. “Off the pigs” was their cry. Let’s hope that we don’t return this dark period in U.S history. A history that is often suppressed.

    1. Blissex

      «I am old enough to remember the riots of the 1960s that swept the large cities of America. Most of this was from inner city blacks.

      This riots were awful in themselves, and they were largely what killed the Great Society mood. The white working and middle classes started to wish for authoritarianism and destroying social security to punish the minorities that had participated in the riots.

      The riots happened as the civil rights of minorities had been restored and they had been allowed to share the same safety net as the whites. The working and middle classes interpreted the riots as originating from a vile feeling that if concessions to the underclass had been made, this meant that they felt weak, not out of generosity, and that weakness could be taken advantage of.

      The white middle classes felt betrayed, and the left treated them with contempt, and the right were happy to pander to their resentment.

      «These people had been so brutalized by the police»

      Nothing new there. Actually something new: it was tradition but also resentment.

      «that they started assassinating the police. Killing them in the streets. “Off the pigs” was their cry. Let’s hope that we don’t return this dark period in U.S history. A history that is often suppressed.»

      I think that this has never been forgotten or forgiven by the white working and middle classes, especially the irish/jewish/italian ones from which the police staff were largely recruited.

      1. Sock Puppet

        So true, Blissex. The shadows of those riots are long. Black cities like Newark and Camden have never recovered. Whites are still imprisoned by their fear. Black men are more likely to go to jail than college. If you’re a black inner city male, Dittmer’s libertarian dystopia never left.

  17. Ray Phenicie

    Look to the French and Russian revolutions for similar historical precedents. This movement will fail against the superior military force of the current tyrannical regime. Unless a superior military power can be aligned against the United States government, as the French did at Yorktown with the British army, the peaceful protesters will continue to be mowed down.

    Sad and tragic as it is, I feel this quote is again all that matters here. I’ve put this around the Internet since I first had an IP connection and will continue to until democracy is restored in this country.

    This line in particular needs to become the progressive mantra

    ‘Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.’

    “Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”

    “This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others. ” Frederick Douglass, 1857

  18. jmc

    Oh yes, I remember the Exile. Was n’t it that paper that used to have Mark Ames writing customer reviews of moscow whores. Very edgy…

    Jeeze, this Levine guy, what a whiny little idiot.

    Guess what? When the LAPD tell you to disperse, you disperse. It does not matter how self-righteous you are. The law is the law. Dont like it. Run for office and change it. Cannot persuade enough people to vote for you. Tough. Get over it.

    This whole piece reeks of middle class arrogance and entitlement. How dare the police treat me just like anyone else when the get arrested after resisting the police and verbally abusing them.

    Create a confrontational situation then dont be too surprised when those whose job it is to enforce the law dont go out of their way to be nice to you.

    The whole piece just goes to show just how pure Cargo Cult the whole OWS scene is.

    1. patricia

      “Jeez, this [jmc] guy, what a whiny little idiot.”

      “His whole piece just goes to show just how pure” submissive the whole authoritarian conservative scene is.

      He can’t think big enough to see something other than the corruption he is sunk in. It upsets him. He throws insults.

      “Tough. Get over it.”

      “Guess what? It doesn’t matter how self-righteous you are.”

      Nope, sure doesn’t.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Spoken like a true authoritarian Brownshirt follower. Those who don’t immediately comply with orders should expect to be beaten, tortured, and imprisoned indefinitely — without whining. On your knees, assume the position, and prepare for the broom handle.

      In related news, “Deranged Senate Votes for Military Detention of All Terror Suspects and a Permanent Guantánamo”
      by Andy Worthington

      In a vote worthy of the Roman Senate, our own Knesset just voted 93-7 to approve indefinite detention without trial of terror suspects including American citizens and the permanent status of gulag Gitmo. The legislation drafted by the beloved Lieberman, Carl Levin, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain enjoyed near unanimous support worthy of any AIPAC sponsored bill. But surely they’ll never come for jmc, as long as he remains a loyal collaborator.

  19. steve from virginia

    This is how it is, getting arrested.

    It’s unpleasant. You are confined, it is awkward and painful. There is no place to go to the bathroom, no food, no furniture … it’s dirty and noisy. That concrete floor is hard, there is vomit, blood, people in need of medical attention and sometimes, death.

    The cops don’t care, why should they? They have jobs and you don’t. The people the cops put in the ‘can’ deserve to be there. The protesters don’t appear to be treated any differently than the common criminals which are probably treated worse.

    A big problem with #OWS at the moment is that it operates at the level of ‘cops’. Until it reaches another level — effects the actual workforce — the ‘system’ will be content to deal with the #OWS by throwing cops at it.

    The establishment really has protesters by the short hairs: their resumes. A criminal conviction is an employment death sentence and both the cops and the business establishment know that. This is a difference between #OWS and the civil rights and Vietnam protesters. A lot of employers didn’t favor segregation or the war, all employers favor employees with clean records. Few employers will hire someone with a past of publicly bashing employers.

    This is a contradiction that undermines #OWS where the persistent protesters are those that the employers would not employ, under any circumstances. These folks the system considers bums and hobos.

    The next direction for #OWS is outreach, not protests. People need to start opting out of a system that does not give them a chance. This includes opting out of taxes, debts, work, banks and other economic activities.

    Three things anyone can do; pay your debts (and don’t take on new ones), throw away the TV and get rid of your car. Bankrupting the businesses is far more effective than complaining about them.

    1. Gordon

      I’d like to see one of the big banks go down. Stop protesting in the streets, stop making an obvious fuss, and go door to door advocating that everyone help take down a carefully chosen TBTF bank.

      People who were inclined could also short that bank.

      There would be one demand – Bring Back Glass-Steagall or _____bank get’s it!

      1. Yearning To Learn

        This is an excellent idea, best I have heard in some time. It could be called “withdraw wall street”

        Then again it shoulld be more positive like “take back your life!”

        There must be a way to do this similar to the nov 5 campaign…

      2. JC

        This is a FABULOUS idea.
        I like your brilliance!
        And, where better to find out what perfect bank that might be than to inquire on this site?

        1. Gordon

          I think Yves would say the most vulnerable bank is BOA. The idea would be to move everything from whatever bank is most vulnerable and every subsidiary of that bank. Even if the stuff got moved to Citibank or Chase bringing down one particular bank would definitely send a message.

          In retrospect I don’t know if the campaign should call on people to short whatever bank is chosen. The law (which applies to us little people,) might have something to say on that.

    2. banger

      Very good–times are different. We have an opportunity to play in the real world and establish our own systems by creating well-organized collective institutions that provide for our well-being apart from the outer system. That is the road to power. I say this because it is obvious to me and has been for some time that we are headed towards a neo-feudal system which, at this point, is still open ended and allows for alternatives. Americans are not yet so tightly controlled as they might be if we don’t start creating credible alternatives.

      1. Goin' South

        You and I are pretty much on the same page on this. Every movement has had a component that included intentional communities, mutual aid in locales where the movement had resources, educational outreach, etc. This is indispensable. I believe it eventually leads to the birth of a counter-society that replaces the old, corrupt, collapsing system.

        At the same time, confrontational civil disobedience does help create space for such an effort. Your comment above about the limitations of CD in our current circumstances was spot on, but that doesn’t mean that CD doesn’t serve an important purpose.

        My reaction is to salute those willing to take these beatings and arrests and respect the way they’re helping my efforts.

        1. K Ackermann

          CD can be effective, and in this day and age… so can strife. The asymmetric gulf is wider than ever.

          A $6 DSP, some directional mics, and a 50-cal machine gun is something nobody would want to tangle with or resort to, but it would be nice to build a few to show how simple, cheap an lethal an autonomous weapon could be. In the lighter side, a low-power laser shined briefly on some eyes from a 3rd story window. Chloroform is cheap and simple to make and great for inducing naps. Telemetry can be gathered with a portable spectrum anaylizer to fine-tune the jammers flying in the model airplanes buzzing overhead (the one’s not spraying evil-smelling liquid.) Padlocks and chains for the doors of police stations. Software beacons constantly broadcasting suspicious chatter on the internets, and it can get very heavy from there.

          I only mention this because the way the cops are going, people are going to die, and when the reality of the cops killing citizens for peacefully demonstrating in the USA, then there obviously will be consequences. If they are not the consequences of justice, and we the people are marginalized by a government gone off the rails, even to the point of killing us, then a rapid course correction will be needed. In Iraq, citizens and security alike were dumped with drill bits still in their heads. I’d think we would want to move faster than that could happen.

    3. JTFaraday

      “The establishment really has protesters by the short hairs: their resumes. A criminal conviction is an employment death sentence and both the cops and the business establishment know that”

      Yeah, I don’t know. Jerry Sandusky’s “extensive background checks” permitting him to work with children didn’t exactly turn anything up.

      Eh. But, you know, not everyone can actually think things through so you have a point.

      1. JTFaraday

        Of course, they own they the future, not you. Down the road “protested massive state failure and criminal” could be a line on someone’s resume.

        1. steve from virginia

          It certainly could be but not with the current regime, and by that I don’t mean government, rather our order of business and political management. These things are ossified.

          Another problem is the management as designed will compromise, co-opt or imprison ‘alternative’ leadership, from #OWS or any other group. Look at the Tea Party, originally intended as a ‘Justice on the Crooked Bankers’ movement, now a branch of the GOP.

          Alternative leadership is necessary and any movement exists in order to become the birthing ground for that leadership. Having a decentralized decision making structure is sensible — it prevents #OWS from becoming ‘Free Huey 2.0′ — it also guarantees it falling into irrelevance or being co-opted.

          Somehow the movement (or others) must find a way to allow new leadership to emerge and for new institutions to form. Part of the problem here is everyone is Warhol’s child, waiting for ‘someone else’ to fix things so everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame.

          Nobody is going to fix anything, the pop culture has to be destroyed b/c it is what gives everyone their scripts and roles to play, it is simply a form of advertising for the managers’ products.

          Keep in mind, system managers are actors, reading scripts, behaving in ways their marketing teams suggest the audience expects them to behave. It should be obvious there is no real leadership on the part of the establishment. When #OWS indicates it has no leaders it is at the same level as the bankers, governments and other parts of the establishment.

          Gingrich a leader? Obama? Merkel? Gimme a break!

          The best approach is for the movement to deal with matters as moral issues: both Vietnam war opposition and civil rights gained ascendancy when they became matters of right and wrong rather than success for one group or another.

          #OWS must avoid becoming another giant child whining for a larger slice of the American-style waste-based economic pie. Ain’t gonna happen b/c the pie is disappearing fast for 1- and 99%ers all. Soon enough (2012?) pie will go completely.

          Then what?

          1. JTFaraday

            You should go on a Nation Magazine cruise. I hear the after dinner hand wringing is excellent!

            :)

          2. F. Beard

            Ain’t gonna happen b/c the pie is disappearing fast for 1- and 99%ers all. steve from virginia

            You confuse money with genuine capital (the pie).

            Yes, the pie is shrinking but only because the money is. And what is money? Mere bookkeeping entries? Unjust bookkeeping entries? Indeed they are unjust to a large extent.

  20. Benedict@Large

    No insult intended, Mr. Levine, but where the hell have you been? There is not one single thing you’ve described here that hasn’t been standard police treatment of detainees across the US for (in my [white] experience with it, at least) well over a dozen years; far longer, I have been assured, if you are black. Our police, when they believe no one is looking, have turned into savages because no one (including apparently you) has ever held them to account for their savagery. No one bothered to believe when time and again we from the bad side of the tracks complained of this; surely, as John Mitchell advised us all, you believed we must have done SOMETHING to deserve it. Now you learn it is otherwise.

    Now you learn that when you see an apparently insane officer clubbing everyone within the reach of his nightstick, or perhaps a seemingly unruffled officer pepper spraying a row of docile protesters, it is not because this is the rare officer acting out his unresolved childhood issues. It is merely the average officer, perhaps tired or stressed from a too long shift, forgetting that someone is actually looking on this time.

    So now it’s happened to you, Mr. Levine, and you think it’s surely that someone on high has ordered some conspiratorial reprisal against your political misbehavior. You must surely think you matter a lot.

    No, Mr, Levine, it’s just another day in the neighborhood.

    1. patricia

      You could look at it, instead, as finally having a window for you to be heard about what you’ve been enduring for way too long. You could look at it as an opportunity to make some changes in what‘s been happening every day in the neighborhood.

      Rather than cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      Bah, I’m going to sleep.

    2. Blissex

      æstandard police treatment of detainees across the US for (in my [white] experience with it, at least) well over a dozen years; far longer, I have been assured, if you are black. Our police, when they believe no one is looking, have turned into savages because no one (including apparently you) has ever held them to account for their savagery.»

      Oh no! They are held to account. If the police behave in a less than vicious and brutal way with perpetrators their political sponsors get punished by voters who want more brutality, pain and suffering to be inflicted onto threats to their tranquillity and prosperity. For example there is a widespread perception of sexual abuses among prison inmates, and this is widely cheered and cherished by voters. Prison is not supposed to be a fun holiday they say. Culprits should have thought about that before trying to STEAL THE PROPERTY of a voter.

      The median voters want to teach a big nasty lesson to their perceived enemies. As a result the police have been given arrest and conviction targets by their political sponsors, and told to achieve them one way or another (sometimes if not often by fabricating evidence or destroying evidence), and to never go wimpy on the culprits (unless of course they are respectable bankers working for everybody’s prosperity).

      The median voters regard OWS and similar as particularly vicious threats to their prosperity: median voters just want stocks and house prices to go up, and perceive the OWS protests as something that could threaten the tax-free capital gains that they deserve so much.

      The median voters want these vicious parasites in OWS who threaten stock and share prices to be treated without white gloves and no indulgent softness.

      1. Sock Puppet

        Spot on. The median voter needs to be woken up and engaged. That means demonstrating a vision of a life that’s more enjoyable as well as more just and sustainable. Living in a tent in a park is not it. OWS has gone beyond a distraction to being counterproductive. They are alienating the 98%. Oh, I know the 98% are wrong, but they’ve been wrong since 1980 and they are not going to stop until they see something better.

  21. ormond otvos

    hey, the militia nuts have manuals describing the best places to shoot people wearing body armor. And I imagine almost all of the returning troops are getting tired of being crapped on after several tours with a target on their back, or butt.

    things likely will get nasty. there are so many more of us than them that it’s only a matter of time before the lid blows. FDR was smart enough to take matters into his own hands, but Obama seems unable to shake of the chains of his upbringing as a good white boy.

  22. Denis

    I’ve long considered the US to be a Police State I’d pay a premium to avoid when flying across the Atlantic. (Yes, immigration and TSA are that bad.)

    In Europe, we’ve a country (Germany) where it would be unconstitutional not to revolt when the government is so out of sync. And another (France) that historically doesn’t bother with this kind of legalese before doing so.

    This begs the question: where are the pitchforks?

  23. cripes

    Let me see, physical abuse. Check. Denial of medical care? Check. Deprivation of food, water, a place to lie down or sleep? Check. Ignoring or ridiculing physical pain? Check. Excessive bail? Check.

    Is it despicable? Yes.

    It’s also the kind of treatment..and worse…that “criminal” detainees have received for decades at the hands of American police. And little has been said or done about it.

    As a society, we have passively sat by while this has gone on for years.

    1. rotter

      That is more than a little true and completely to the point. lets not si by and doing nothing any longer.

    2. Amateur Socialist

      It’s worse than that. In a nation on and off again distracted by the specter of “job killing deficits” we manage to completely avoid looking at a fairly ugly metric:

      The USA has 4% of the world’s population, but 25% of its prisoners. What does that say about us? Why do the implications including the significant financial ones get such scant attention? Who benefits from the existence of this prison-industrial complex? Why is the human and financial cost of this figure so rarely addressed by any minor political candidate or party much less any major ones?

  24. willow

    Not sure what you were expecting when you got arrested. There were ways to conduct a lawful assembly, but to defy the reasonable parameters and insist on leaving all the tents up was going to have consequences. I went down to OccupyLA…people were just laying around in the tents and shooting the bull. Personally, I am concerned about how many tax payer dollars you cost us in Los Angeles because you couldn’t just get out of the tents and protest and assemble lawfully? Many support the cause just not the methods.

    1. Darren Kenworthy

      The attitude of aquiesence you advocate has cost the taxpayers upwards of 7.7trillion dollars (that we know about) in handouts to the criminals who caused our latest financial crisis.

      There is no reason for a massive police response to misdemeanor public camping violations other than state sponsored terrorism. These are costs the powerful choose to (make us) pay so that hey may continue to benefit from out submission. You “owe” the people willing to resist on your behalf your vocal support.

    2. banger

      I sympathize with what you say and I’m not crazy about the OWS kinds of protests but that’s what we have. However, that is no reason for the deliberately cruel tactics of the police. I find the thugishness of American urban police forces utterly destructive to our society. Sadism and brutality is encouraged and allowed. They have contempt for all citizens, not just demonstrators–ok, they don’t have contempt for the rich since in their culture power=virtue. I’m generalizing here but the average police officer has degenerated quite a lot since 2001.

  25. NRA

    Two words for the not-to-distant future: Unregistered Handguns

    It’s only a matter of time before the government starts taking away the weapons from law-abiding citizens who registered their handguns like good little sheep.

    You also want to stockpile some ammo.

    They’re already making it difficult or impossible to get ammo since a gun isn’t really useful without bullets.

  26. Doc Holiday

    The cops are total idiots, because they are being screwed by wall street, just like everyone — so why are they protecting the people that are screwing them, unless the cops are just evil sadistic bastards….

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/­2011-04-15/losing-84-cents-on-­dollar-reveals-runaway-u-s-pub­lic-pension-shortfalls.html

    … The nine trustees of the Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System made a series of decisions that taxpayers and 10,748 active and retired cops are now paying for. The board embraced bad investments, ignored warnings of weak financial controls that enabled its attorney to steal $1.2 million and set up conflicts of interest among its advisers, according to a review of thousands of pages of documents obtained under the state public records act and more than 50 interviews.
    “It was like a gigantic playhouse,” says Nick Congemi, 68, chief of the Greater New Orleans Expressway Police in Metairie, who for years criticized the system’s leadership and investments. “These people have taken the futures away of good, decent law-enforcement officers who thought they could depend on this for the rest of their lives.”
    $479.6 Billion Deficit

    1. Harley Warren

      Ya know I was wondering when someone was going to mention this…

      I also clicked on your link at Bloomberg and it’s eerily missing…. too old?

      Wouldn’t happen to have a back up would ya?

  27. Doc Holiday

    There are obviously lots of police pensions funds across America that have been impacted by wall street greed, yet the police are focused on protecting the public properties of wall street, while taxpayers pay massive amounts of overtime to cop unions — like well over $20 million for the OWS protests. There will be a choice that cities have to make in future budgets, i.e., do citizens want to continue increasing pay for cops and their pensions, their overtime and add to their list of new expensive toys — or will city budgets need to focus on teacher pay and fixing roads and providing other infrastructure costs? And, while I’m at it … what about the cost of all the fees to prosecute the citizens that are demanding freedom of speech — that wasn’t in the budget, and what about the additional equipment cost for cops for fuel and SWAT teams and riot gear and all the shit being sent out to wage war on Americans?

  28. eldad

    The world’s largest democracy. What a joke. And they are launching wars to restore democracy.
    Piggish capitalism, demonstration against him considers betrayal. A anti-democratic and stupid country is America.

  29. Patriot

    The comments on the Exiled site are pretty hilarious, especially when the “Exiled Censor” gets involved.

  30. JC

    The following stands out as a real possibility,…but what bank would that be. Anyone know?

    Earlier, Steve from Virginia said: The next direction for #OWS is outreach, not protests. People need to start opting out of a system that does not give them a chance. This includes opting out of taxes, debts, work, banks and other economic activities.

    Three things anyone can do; pay your debts (and don’t take on new ones), throw away the TV and get rid of your car. Bankrupting the businesses is far more effective than complaining about them.

    Gordon says: People who were inclined could also short that bank.

    There would be one demand – Bring Back Glass-Steagall or _____bank get’s it!
    Reply
    Yearning To Learn says:
    December 3, 2011 at 7:48 am

    This is an excellent idea, best I have heard in some time. It could be called “withdraw wall street”. Then again it shoulld be more positive like “take back your life!” There must be a way to do this similar to the nov 5 campaign…

    1. JC

      oops, sorry. The central idea didn’t get copied.
      Here it is: I’d like to see one of the big banks go down. Stop protesting in the streets, stop making an obvious fuss, and go door to door advocating that everyone help take down a carefully chosen TBTF bank.

    2. Gordon

      “Brink back Glass-Steagall or Citibank* gets it!” Cue pictures of Cleavon Little with a gun to his own head.

      The important thing here would be to bring back Glass-Steagall the right way, which is to repeal the legislation that ended Glass-Steagal. Let a bunch of bank-owned congress-critters write “The New Glass Steagall” and you can bet it won’t read the way we’d like.

      * “Citibank” is an example only. Some strategic work would need to be done to determine which bank is most vulnerable.

  31. pathological self respect

    Only one thing keeps this police state going: Joe Blow can’t face his degradation. You want so bad to think you’re a respected citizen or a hardworking success or a worldly, educated person, or a voter or a taxpayer or even, pathetically, an American, whatever that is, but come on.

    http://exiledonline.com/max-blumenthal-how-israeli-occupation-forces-bahraini-monarchy-guards-trained-u-s-police-for-coordinated-crackdown-on-occupy-protests/

    You’re helpless as a Palestinian with fat Isreali fingers up your butt, surplus humanity, randomly culled from the herd for genocidal extermination or mobbed by crazy horking string Jews on the street. You’re a cringing victim praying that you won’t be singled out. Levine and his ilk are heroes, but the state can depend on ordinary people who don’t want any trouble. They desperately need to pretend that they’re not cringing slaves.

  32. RSDallas

    You OW’S are not going to be effective until you all unite and travel to Washington, change your cause to “Occupy Washington” and begin demanding that our great Nation be returned to the Republic that our fore fathers intended it to be. Make your demands simple: (1) End the Fed and allow the government to coin and distribute money. (2) Force both branches to set term limits. Congress 2 – 2 year terms. Senate 2 – 3 year terms. (3) Repeal Obama Care. (4) Force a balanced budget amendment.

  33. Praedor

    Taking your shoelaces is not merely a “for your safety” issue (to prevent you from hanging yourself I supposed). It is also to prevent you from defeating your flexicuffs. You can “burn through” those flexicuff/plastic zip tie cuffs with the correct shoelace type by using it as a friction saw. They take the laces to prevent you from doing this (there are obvious ways you can counter their taking your laces – use your imagination and do so to prepare for the possibility of being arrested at a protest. If they use metal cuffs on you (unlikely in a mass arrest scenario) you can either learn (online) how to pick the locks on them or can acquire a universal plastic handcuff key. Again, use your imagination on how to conceal it.

  34. Praedor

    Also…you have to get over being “embarrassed” by “stuff”. Instead, change your thinking and be PROUD to do whatever you have to do to get by (taking a dump, peeing, etc). It really is just a matter of mind over matter (I’m military and the survival, escape and evasion, and prisoner of war training drills that into you pretty well. It IS mostly all psychological and that is entirely up to YOU).

  35. Amateur Socialist

    A thought experiment occurred to me in the wake of the first crackdown at OWS in Manhattan:

    I had a flight booked home a few days later to visit family. What if I showed up at the airport ready to travel with all my bags ready to go, IDs and travel documents in order, but tried to get through TSA wearing an orange prison jumpsuit? I entertained the idea for a few hours, even pricing them online – they are ridiculously cheap if you buy the “real thing”. But I abandoned it when I realized how much it probably complicated getting home to see my nephews and niece.

    But I’m still thinking about showing up at work occasionally wearing one. Just like the black armbands from the 60s, a visible sign that I’m paying attention even while I continue to play my part in the machinery of my fortune 500 employer (a part I guiltily admit I feel lucky to still have). If the authorities get nosy I can smile and say I’m showing support for the local university sports teams (UT longhorns, burnt orange school color).

    One person walking into a facility employing thousands wearing an orange jumpsuit is a crank. A dozen is a trend. Hundreds is… what? And unlike Guy Fawkes masks I can still do my job perfectly fine in one.

    This story reinforces my interest in acquiring a few of these – if they are going to treat us like prisoners why not dress like one? Imagine the shopping malls and transit stations populated by handfuls of people wearing orange prison jumpsuits. The point isn’t the signifier chosen, the point is what can we make them make illegal? If standing in public with other citizens has been made illegal out of convenience for the authorities, what else will they try to restrict to keep us from identifying each other’s common interests? Might be fun trying to find out. The Yippies understood this very well. Abbie Hoffman we need your genius now more than ever…

  36. Gil Gamesh

    One supposes it still must be a shock for the professional and middle-class readers of NC (if there are any rich readers, forgive the oversight) to read of state brutality against non-violent demonstrators, fellow Americans, fellow citizens. For the poor, people of color, anti-establishment, pro-justice activists, no shock, but sad recognition. And yes, the US has a long history of waging violence against its won, relatively powerless, who dare assert their rights and claim privileges due them in theory, but never meant to be in fact. But, I’ll argue we have crossed thresholds of basic decency and humanity: most or many Americans approve of torture, our vast penal system, capital punishment, wars of choice. Utter moral rot, in the most relgious nation on earth.

  37. F. Beard

    All this trouble over mere money, mere electronic bookkeeping entries that could be changed in a flash.

  38. MontanaMaven

    I got to interview Yasha Levine in the last year of my radio show in 2009. Great guy. Smart and courageous. Always goes all out for the story. We have few investigative journalists left and we should support them.

  39. F. Beard

    I’ve sometimes wondered if LA is not “Babylon the Great” mentioned in the Book of Revelation. It is a major seaport, has 7 hills, and leads a rich lifestyle.

    Also, if LA is liberal then why are its cops fascists?

  40. Crazy Horse

    For those of you who have been following the progreess of the Indefinite Detention For Everyone bill through the Senate, it appears that the Obama administration is serious about vetoing it. The Administration’s argument for killing the bill? By defining the circumstances under which an American citizen may be indefinitely imprisioned without trial, it would unduly restrict the existing powers of the President which now include assasination without restriction or judicial review.

    1. F. Beard

      Ha,ha!

      The bad news is the world may be ending.

      The good news is that it will be a small loss.

      And the really good news is that my loved ones will be Raptured out of here first!

      Yet one must carry on ala Jonah, for the sake of the children (and much cattle besides). :)

      1. reslez

        Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.

        My interpretation was that God would keep the good and faithful workers here and toss out the worthless ones. I know the evangelicals have a different spin and like to imagine a “Rapture”, but I’d rather stay here and fight.

        1. F. Beard

          My NASB footnote says the one will be taken to judgement; the other will enter the Millennium is the implication, I guess.

      2. Psychoanalystus

        The word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible, and one must go through some pretty twisted self-delusional mental gymnastics to believe in such a fairytale of a doctrine.

        1. K Ackermann

          I have a list of names of those who will be raptured, but I’m not just giving it away for free.

  41. Psychoanalystus

    It is pretty evident that this country has long passed the point of no return toward Fascism. As much as I sympathize with the OWS, I am highly skeptical that they can stand up to the police and military corporate state that this nation has turned into. Therefore, at this point the only sensible option left to sensible Americans remains emigration. There are many normal, vibrant, safer, and far healthier places on this planet where you can spend your lives. I highly recommend that you read a brand new book by an excellent author, and also watch the clip below with the same author. He moved to Mexico several years ago, and at one point in the lecture he speaks about his decision to emigrate. He states that he only regrets not having emigrated 20 years earlier. I too think emigration is the only rational option left.

    The book:
    Why America Failed: The roots of Imperial Decline, by Morris Berman

    The lecture video clip about the book:
    http://www.tvw.org/media/mediaplayer.cfm?evid=2011110059

    1. swi

      That is defeatist. US is epicenter. If US is Fascist, so will be your expat paradise cum (client) state.

      The elite will be very happy to hear the following:

      a) “Let’s have a revolution e.g. Change the system.” They love this since they have been running revolutions far and abroad for decades (if not centuries ..) and know exactly how that game is played.

      b) “This country is toast. I’m leaving for x”. They love this since you likely belong to a more cerebral, and thoughtful subset of citizens. They want you out of the country! No buddy, YOU MUST STAY. Are you a citizen? Did you pledge an oath to this Nation? Keep it: stay the course.

      c) “CORPORATIONS”. They love this since corporations are just their little plants in their ‘the amazing, the incredible, the eternal private money printing plantation’. (Try “INTERNATIONAL FINANCE AND BANKS” if you really want to get them upset.)

      -

      Power /still/ resides with the government. (Otherwise the “CORPORATIONS’” employees wouldn’t shuttle back between NYC and DC.

      Take back the government. Occupy Government.

      1. F. Beard

        (Try “INTERNATIONAL FINANCE AND BANKS” if you really want to get them upset.) swi

        Yep. It’s absurd but we are at the mercy of counterfeiters but not for much longer, Lord willing.

        Power /still/ resides with the government. (Otherwise the “CORPORATIONS’” employees wouldn’t shuttle back between NYC and DC. swi

        Excellent point. BTW, I expect the Repugnican plan is to out-FDR the Democrats. They have tricked the Demos into going out on a right wing limb and now will saw it off.

  42. Lindsay

    The LA police department has a _long_ history, going back to the depression era or maybe earlier, of uncivility, cruelty, illegal treatment of civilians, and general incompetence. Woody Guthrie wrote about them, as have other students of American social history. During the 30s, the LA police stationed people at the Arizona border and turned back Oakies fleeing the Dust Bowl. No surprises that they treated their prisoners from Occupy camp so badly.

  43. mk

    Mayor Villaraigosa’s address – please send him an email: mayor@lacity.org

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ my email to him this morning (included full text of this NC post and link)

    Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,

    As a local real estate agent, I am highly aware of the illegal practices of banks via securitization of the mortgage market and how that relates to people losing value on their homes, their pensions and 401Ks, illegal foreclosures, etc.

    There is no place for people to get their grievances addressed and that is why the Occupy Movement was born.

    I just read an eye witness account of the recent arrests of protesters and it doesn’t line up with what you reported in your press conference (have included that report by Yasha Levine with link below – he compares LAPD treatment of protesters to that of the Russian police in Moscow and St. Petersburg of protesters who were demonstrating against the oligarchy under Putin and Yeltsin! Yasha Levine was an eye witness at both events, there and here in Los Angeles!).

    How are we to ever resolve the issues of the 99% if our elected representatives refuse to address our issues in a peaceful and productive way? They will not be resolved with sadistic police practices as reported by Yasha Levine (see post below for specifics). What lies ahead if you continue to respond with an army armed to the teeth for violence against peaceful citizens? Are we now Iraq? Are we now Libya? Afghanistan? Pakistan? Egypt? Are you now like Mayor Bloomberg who recently was bragging to the 1% at MIT that he has the 7th largest army in the world to hammer the Occupy protesters in New York?

    How about figuring out how to respond to peaceful protesters as if we are actually a democracy? How about some respect for citizens (especially while in police custody!)? During your press conference it would have been much better if you had actually tried to address some of the issues/grievances that the citizens of Los Angeles are trying to deal with instead of all that BS about how peaceful the eviction was.

    ELECTED OFFICIALS MUST STOP VIEWING AND TREATING PROTESTERS AS IF THEY ARE AN ENEMY (and stop passing laws that criminalize us for standing up for our rights). WE PAY YOUR OVERPRICED SALARIES AND FOR ALL THAT MILITARY EQUIPMENT THAT YOU USE AGAINST CITIZENS. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!

    I support the Occupy Movement.

  44. Mark Kane

    Thank you, Yasha Levine, for describing your detention by the LAPD and the treatment of your fellow detainees. I want the President to step in and expose this to the rest of us.

  45. Bill

    May God strengthen us all for the onslaught that will soon be placed against us . Shame on the LA police , shame on California leadership , shame on our Washington leadership. May their conscious deny them peaceful sleep and the ability to NOT LOOK ANOTHER MAN IN THE EYE . May they be a shame to their families , to their parents . May they grow to despise themselves . May they reap what they sow. They have brought it on us all .

  46. Sean

    That’s why citizens who pay taxes to put those P.O.S cops on the street should do something about it. Fuck cops!! They all deserve to be shot in the head!

  47. Doc Holiday

    Revealed: how police lost control of summer riots in first crucial 48 hours
    Damning leaked report says officers had to use own phones as equipment shortages led to chaos in forces’ response
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2­011/dec/03/police-summer-riots­-hours

    The report is the first detailed account of the riots from the viewpoint of the rank-and-file police, who felt that some officers were left “directionless” due to severe communication failures.

    Among the failings highlighted by the federation, which represents 136,000 officers, were chronic problems, particularly in London with the hi-tech digital Airwave radio network. Its failings were one reason why officers were “always approximately half an hour behind the rioters”. This partly explained, it said, why officers kept arriving at areas from where the disorder had moved on.

  48. Steve

    And how this will all end: the detainees will file complaints of police misconduct. The investigation will be vetted through all levels including the ‘independent’ police commission and the chief, before a determination that there was no misconduct.

    If it’s anything like the response to a (unrelated to the Occupy movement)complaint I filed against LAPD, they may even determine the alleged event underlying the compaint never happened.

    Ultimately, the city will settle the lawsuits brought by detainees, while only today complaining of the budgetary shortfall. Maybe furloughing some officers from the chief on down wouldn’t be such a bad way to balance the city’s budget?

    But the problem isn’t the chief as much the mayor and city council who continue to standby and give their tacit approval.
    Or, do we blame the voters?

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