#OWS Guest Post: Denver Police Use Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets, Batons and Pepper Spray On Protesters

Police pointing “non-lethal weapons” at protesters and media:

Police pointing "less-than-lethal" weapons at photographers and non-violent protestors

Rubber bullet wounds:

More photos of rubber bullet wounds from police shooting 21 year old out of tree at Occupy Denver

Rubber Bullet Wounds on Andrew Cleres age 21 at Occupy Denver


Pepper spray:

There are reports – just as in Oakland – of police attacking people while they were trying to help the injured:

Man being SHOT w/ riotgun while assisting injured persons

The problem is militarization of police departments and the use of anti-terror laws to crush dissent.

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  1. Richard Kline

    I would go further: the police do not choose to initiate actions of this kind. Their civilian superiors do. I’ve watched multiple videos of the police deployment in Denver today, both at the action on the Capitol steps, at a later action to crush the camp put up today, and at the perimeter of the latter sight (links off off occupydenver.org). Look at the faces of the cops: they do _NOT_ want to be there. The are miserable, and very edgy. They were ordered to push into a large, agitated crowd numbering in the hundreds against resistance, and it was certain that it would get physical, though all of the force was from the police side. These cops don’t want to be doing this, that’s my read looking at it; they wear a badge and follow orders though, it comes with their territory, whether good cop or bad.

    Who initiated the orders to crush the Denver Occupation on a daily basis. Michael B. Hancock is the Mayor of Denver. Hickenlooper is the Governor. Both are Democrats. Both have been _deeply_ hostile to the Occupation since day one, and have repeatedly sent police to physically remove peaceful demonstrators, and to harass those who maintain a presence. The Occupiers in Denver are directly adjacent to the State Capitol, which is why the State Patrol is the lead agency. The Mayor of Denver and his allies on the City Council have initiated an expanded ‘no vagrancy’ ordinance since existing law doesn’t give them enough room to use force. Occupier activists away from the site have been arrested with maximum force as well; some of them ending up in the hospital, others facing excessively trumped up charges. There aren’t laws that permit the authorities to disperse political assemblages in this matter; this is part of why occupations have gained ground in other areas. The present authorities in Denver _don’t really care about the law, they care about the power_, and believe that they are the only ones who posses and are allowed to deploy power. They are wrong. Their power comes from the people and the 99%, not the other way around.

    What is occurring in Denver is of course sourced in the wider goals of the Forward Movement of the Occupations, but it transcends those now. The Mayor of Denver and the Governor of Colorado have declared themselves the rulers of what speech and what rights are permissible, where, when, and by whom; these two reserve to themselves the right to deploy full police powers to removed a few dozen people from a patch of grass (although the main actions such as Denver’s rally before the police action attract as many as 2000 as today). This isn’t for the sake of that patch of grass, folks; it’s for the sake of suppressing the public’s rights to challenge official policy and prerogative, and to challenge the financial oligarchy of wealth that hides behind the police and the hierling politicos. Hancock and Hickenlooper doubtless fear that the critique of the Occupation will ‘interfere with their careers.’ They are right, because Hancock and Hickenlooper are, by the force of their actions, lined up fully with the 1% against the citizens of their state of 99% of the country as a whole. hancock and Hickenlooper need to be held fully accountable for their egregious misconduct, both now, and at the ballot box. The Occupation in Denver needs our fullest support. Militarized responses to popular activism cannot be tolerated.

    1. purple

      Police departments are attracting an inordinate percentage of sociopaths, because there is a general knowledge that they are unaccountable.

      For many cops, violence is not a reaction to a situation but an endeavor in and of itself. For a sociopath violence requires no excuse.

        1. Skippy

          @thread above.

          It has been my observation that most police officers join for economic reasons. Not much else.

          If one was to crate a study of potential candidates, psychological profiling at entry level, subsequent key stages of development and resulting buy product. I would venture to say the system filters in place, function as designed.

          Skippy…as noted above, police operate under orders. It is a distraction to engage them. Better to focus on the command chain and hit it where it hurts…its back pocket and its veil respectability.

          1. Dan

            It’s important to let these cops know that Wall Street
            is weakening or going to take their pensions. This has
            to be communicated via signs or other means. Once an
            idea is in your head, it’s there.

          2. EH

            …as noted above, police operate under orders. It is a distraction to engage them. Better to focus on the command chain and hit it where it hurts…

            Bureaucratically, yes, but in the heat of the moment I think the occupiers would do well to engage the officers directly. “We know you don’t want to be here.” “You’re miserable right now.” “Some of you agree with us.” Just add chanting people and get into the officers heads with the lines we’ve all been saving for the TSA goons next time we fly.

          3. Skippy

            Yes by all means engage them as fellow human beings but, no need to throw ones self into a wood chipper to make a point.

      1. Richard Kline

        So purple, historically that has been the case, though I would argue that this is _less_ the case than it has ever been. The original police forces of the early 19th century were, essentially, large, corrupt _official_ gangs hired by the public authorities to control all the other gangs and social undesirables. It was widely understood that many individuals involved practiced routine graft, embezzelment, shakedowns, and yes murders, but that was tolerated as long as the ‘official gang’ was not in league with the ‘unofficial gangs.’ The gradual professionalization of the police in the 20th century has significantly changed that, especially after WW II. Many departments only accept college graduates, and efforts have been made to weed out ‘bad cops,’ usually defined, however, as financially corrupt rather than violent ones. Yes, there have always been sociopaths in the ‘official gang.’ Where is the protection better?

        The history of policing is in fact quite interesting as a social history (I’m no expert). Something further to understand is that public police were widely created by _liberals rather than by conservatives_. Conservatives were quite willing to simply bring in the military and summarily hang or shoot those the disliked domesticly, just as was standard policy for colonies or externally. Liberals, however, feared with some justice that empowering the militaries in that way would normalize powers that could be used against them since historically militaries _had_ been deployed against liberals by conservative aristocrats. So the liberals were eager to charter paramilitaries with minimal armaments who would nonetheless ‘preserve social order,’ i.e. keep the laboring class and the social undesirables firmly under the thumb of repression so the liberals could get on helping themselves to the money lying around to be made if the people could only be shoved out of the way: Denver, everything old is new again, hey?

        But it’s important to understand that the police moving against the Occupiers in Oakland or Denver are not necessarily bad individuals with personality disorders or fascist mentalities. Yes, there are bad cops. The guy who beat a homeless, mentally ill man to death with a taser unit in Riverside County recently; Anthony Bologna in New York who has repeatedly used excessive force for political and personal revenge: these are guys who should never be allowed to hide behind a badge again. —But even _that_ doesn’t mean that most bad cops are sociopaths per se. Real sociopaths will keep well out of the way, but pick off the demonstrators by ones and bunches at the perimeter to get on with the repression well away from the cameras.

        But the cops in Denver, they do what they are ordered to do; that is part of their oath and wearing a badge. They are, some of them, trained for riot control, to clear areas and preserve public order. If a mob of gun-toting rascists congregated on the same patch of lawn we see in Denver with the express goal of lynching ‘some illegals’ a few blocks away in the really miserable slums of that city, these same riot cops would be called to respond. And many of the same techniques would be used. Think what your response might be then: use of force by the authorities is complicated, it’s not open and shut. The pictures we see above are of a demonstrator who took station in a tree in an area the police had been ordered to clear so as to remain; he was shot multiple times with rubber coated steel bullets and pepper spray concentrations to force him out; this wasn’t necessarily because the person involved loved the idea—maybe they did, maybe they didn’t—but because they were ordered to proceed and those were the methods with which they were equipped and instructed to use.

        The problem, to me, is that the order to clear was a bad order. The civilians behind that order are wrong, and abusing their authority to order the police to proceed. My personal solidarity with the injured Occupier and all the rest is because their cause is just, their actions are nonviolent, and their right to act in this way is both widely endorsed and even more widely accepted as a just and normative expression of political concern. Some of the cops in this action may be ‘bad cops’ but the root problem lies with the corrupt order that was given them. Once they were engaged face to face, they would have scant choice except to deploy their armaments or retreat, and they were not going to retreat because it’s their job to advance. The civilian command behind that cop with the gun is the truly culpable party, to me.

        1. Whatever


          Principle IV states: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him”.

          This principle could be paraphrased as follows: “It is not an acceptable excuse to say ‘I was just following my superior’s orders'”.

          1. John L

            Just this week NY police were seen marching while holding signs saying “just following orders”.

            Are they so ignorant to not realize that claim didn’t work at Nuremberg and it shouldn’t work now?

            As for the pepper spray, the rubber bullets, the horses, the tasers, the sound weapons, the flash-bang bombs? When you start militarizing your police with all sorts of nifty anti-riot goodies, rest assured they’ll use them when they get the chance.

        2. Externality

          It is not a defense, under international or US constitutional law, that they were ‘just following orders.’ The officers’ orders were clearly illegal and they should have refused to follow them. Unlike American soldiers — or the elderly Germans and Eastern Europeans still being prosecuted for ‘just following orders’ during WW II — the officers would not have been imprisoned or executed for refusing to carry out their orders. At worst, the officers would have lost their jobs and had a smaller pension to look forward to. Do their pensions mean more to them than their country?

          1. JTFaraday


            “hancock and Hickenlooper need to be held fully accountable for their egregious misconduct, both now, and at the ballot box.”

            The ballot box doesn’t work. There really is no alternative candidate that is not going to be subject to the same top-down pressure to make war on the public that H&H are no doubt themselves subject to.

            They need civil rights cases brought against them, and we need a whole new civil rights movement.

            Many of the particular problems that we face, including our heightened economic problems due to the crisis, are ultimately traceable back to the fact that we have been systematically disenfranchised in our own country, which is entirely run by a few insular cliques and their hired hands (and I don’t mean the local police) with the cooperation of the passive and those who don’t or can’t think.

            The time to end the reign of terror has arrived.

          2. Paul Walker


            I would add campaign contributions in the case of the administration who through their silence advocate the use of this force. Combine this with the oxymoronic policy that states “extrajudicial execution is judicious” and what we witness is the intellectual underpinning of enforcement actions by the KKK are the de facto law of the land.

            Slave ships to plantation economy to emancipation to Plessy to Brown to Harvard Law to Constitutional scholar to Klan justice

          3. Richard Kline

            So JTFaraday, I’m much in sympathy. The ballot box is only one tool, and presently a very weak one. I’ve spoken to that before in comments here at NC which you likely haven’t seen. However, simply because it’s a poor tool is no justification for throwing it away. Hancock and Hickenlooper _fear_ the ballot box; it can impact their decision making in the mid-term and long-term. And even if those who replace them are no better, the execution of ‘political careers’—Jean Quan is _done_—tends to concentrate the minds of the lackeys of the 1%. Voting should not, cannot, and will not be the primary means of action of the Forward Movement of the Occupation, but it will take many kinds of actions at many levels to get this wheel to turn round so it stops crushing the faces of the 99% into the mud. Voting is just another tool, an easy one to use in passing, and a right of the citizenry as well. I don’t get caught up in it, but I do support using it for what it’s worth in many cases. This would be one such . . . .

    2. CaitlinO

      Is it just a coincidence that the cities which have shown the most rabid response to Occupy – NY, Oakland, Denver, Atlanta – are all governed by Democrats/Independents?

      Do they have a reason to feel more threatened by this movement given that their guy is up for re-election? Or is it a similar dynamic as Clinton cutting welfare and Obama putting Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block? These profound betrayals of progressive valus can only be possible politically when accomplished by the more progressive party.

      1. Richard Kline

        So CaitlinO, no, it’s anything but a coincidence, in my view as evidently in yours. And you left out Chicago, which is critical. This latest round of ‘necessary police action’ began when Mayor 1% in Chicago (Rahm Emanuel, a card-carrying member of the 1%, check his networth and employment history) used the cops _repeatedly to forcibly clear Grant Field in the heart of Chi. He wanted some political cover, for himself and for his former boss in the White Man’s House. I forget the party affiliation of the Mayor of Nashville and the Governor of Tennessee; don’t be surprised if either or both are Democrats also.

        Why aren’t Republicans leading the charge? Pretty obvious isn’t it: they hope to tar the Democrats as ‘pinko agitator sympathizers’ for the just beginning election cycle to come, and to use that as a rallying cry to Republican voters. The Republicans are all TOO HAPPY to have the Occupations continue, and as messily and disreputably as possible, which is why Republican provocateurs have been spotted going into Occupation Zones and trying to set of protestors with drug paraphenalia. There have been attempts to tag the Occupations as ‘anti-Semitic’ too, which have fallen flat because of obvious visible evidence to the contrary. The Republicans would love for the Occupations to continue until Election Day, 2012—at which point they’d sent National Guard and Homeland Security to ‘dispose of the pissant dupes’ or the like. The Democrats know this, which is why the Democrats are worried.

        I am of the view, it’s conjecture but I’ve raised it before, that the word went out through Democratic Party channels going into this past week that Democratic mayors and governors who didn’t get on with ‘clearing out the homeless sickos’ were dead to the Democratic Party and would never get another dime from the centrally controlled campaign funding sources. There are the locations listed above, and Mayor Villarigosa in LA, a Democrat who had to that point been openly supportive of Occupy LA, also made statements to the effect that ‘our patience is limited’ during this round. There were also articles in the NY Times—look folks, these things are linked, this is how it’s done—early last week before the latest round of repression explicitly stating ‘the patience of the authorities appears to be running out.’ One guess on who their sources were for that contention.

        The cops are being thrown under the bus along with the rest of the 99% is part of what I’m saying. Emanuel, Obama, and their ilk would love to get footage of Occupiers assaulting offiers—“There, see that; and in the line of duty, too!”—and know full well that THE POLICE will be blamed for injuries. The authorities are hiding behind the badges of the front line in these unjust and corrupt orders-to-clear which are anything but well-grounded in law. The Nude Democrats and Bamacrats are hiding behind the local authorities. And the money is hiding behind them all. Follow the chain of command and you’ll find who’s responsible, these cops aren’t going out and muscling the populace on their own intitiative.

        1. sleepy

          The mayor of Nashville is a democrat. The governor of Tennessee is a republican.

          The site that is occupied in Nashville is a state property–a civic center around the state capitol building. Prior to the Nashville arrests, the civic center had been open 24/7 for any activity. The governor recently ordered a curfew, obviously in retaliation against the occupiers. The local magistrate judge has refused to sign arrest warrants and has released those arrested.

          Across the state in Memphis, the occupiers are also in a civic center plaza type area. But that area is city-owned, and the city has basically said that the occupiers are free to stay as long as they want.

        2. Richard Kline

          So sleepy, thanks for the clarification. I’ve looked in on some of the video and news reports of the Nashville action, and they are very stirring. It is such a pleasure to hear the peoples’ mic in action in a Middle South accent!

          The governor did attempt to change the ‘rules’ after the Occupations was on site for some time, which obviously is a no-no. And the exemplary actions of Magistrate Tom Nelson need far more visibility than they have received. He simply ordered Occupiers released as he found, correctly, _no justification in law_ for their arrest. It was simply force majeure, not any legal arrest. I have said before that it is my view that many in local authority and government, many working honestly within the larger bureaucracies, are not complicit with the abhorrent exploitation and distortions of the 1%. We see it here again: an honest officer of law and government, at work for the citizenry. Actions such as Tom Nelson’s are of great importance to the larger success of the Forward Movement of the Occupations: this thing is going to take all of us to get change, including police and magistrates for they have powers of non-cooperation with injustice too.

      2. HowlingPig

        Just playing the odds- most large cities have democratic mayors even in otherwise conservative areas. Actually, progressive mayors are relatively rare since mayoral races are generally decided in primaries that favor well-connected and well-funded candidates- wall street and law-and-order democrats predominate

        1. Richard Kline

          So Howling, why did these mayors and governors move on the Occupiers? You miss the point. One would expect more major city Democrats to stand back and let things proceed. Let’s be clear: there is no widespread _local_, vocal constitutency calling for clearances of these and other Zones. Sure, local businesses convey their displeasure in private. But the local opposition JUST ISN’T THERE. Local major newspapers are uniformly negative, but even they _can’t get local notables or even passersby on RECORD_ disparaging the Occupations for the most part. Polls in all of these cities show overwhelming majority support for the Occupations, because, just as you say, those consitutencies are generally Democratic, and in principle inclined toward the concerns of the Occupation. So do the math. The constituencies support the Occupations. Local business hasn’t weighed in vocally against. Why do the orders go out?

          Hey btw HowlingPig, who do you _really_ work for?

          1. James Cole

            You answered your own question:

            “Sure, local businesses convey their displeasure in private.”

            Who do you think the “local businesses” are? The dudes with the food trucks near the encampments who are rapidly entering the 1% ? No, it’s the downtown business communities which almost certainly includes local offices of too-big-to-fail banks, insurance companies, other chamber of commerce types– in other words, campaign donors!

      3. rd

        The Occupys are clearly disrupting the narrative of the Democratic Party which is supposed to be on the side of the little guy. Obama, Rahm & others can’t figure out why these people are showing up 3 years after Bush left office.

        The Republicans don’t mind if people like this are camping out, as long as they are not the Tea Party which would be their own.

        It is interesting that the potential presence of weapons is being used as an excuse in some of the crackdowns while last year there was lots of photos of Tea Party activists at public assemblies with handguns without any police reaction.

        Many of the iconic photos, film footage, and events of the 20th century were of the over-reaction of the authorities against unarmed peaceful civilians (South Africa, India, US civil rights, Vietnam War protests, Tianneman Square, etc.). Eventually the unarmed civilians won their causes, some got statues and national holidays, while the over-reaching authorities were relegated to the dust-bin of history whith a footnote along the lines of “He was an idiotic jerk who didn’t get it”.

        1. EH

          The narrative of the Democratic party, like giving sweetheart settlements for mortgage fraud and cutting Medicare and Social Security? No, the occupations are a challenge to authority, not party. Think of elected officials constituting a layer of authority that is supposed to cover all citizens.

      4. Dessalines

        The Democrats are trying to avoid a Chicago ’68 at next year’s convention in Charlotte. These assaults are preemptive strikes to avoid an embarrassment.

        1. Mark P.

          Since such a preemptive strike is pretty much guaranteed to have the opposite effect re. 2012, it is a deeply stupid move on their parts.

    3. kathleen wroblewski

      Sociopaths and psychopathic personalities, never have any thoughts of anyone else, it is power and control. No concience they never take blame of responsibility for wrong doings. Seems that we like these people types or hire them because they are believable in what they say, however, it is only for personal gratification and monitary needs. It dosn’t matter the the associations such as government, police, corporations they are even in our homes.

      Found a couple of good reads: The Daily Beast: War of the Economists, Michael Maiello

      ” The Road to Serfdom” Hayek ECONOMIST


      Our government can never go broke !!!! Things I never knew myself or by any poor man.

      Charles Montaldo, aboutcrime.com Do you know a psychopath

      Snakes in Suits Babiak and Hare When psycopaths go to work

    4. Capo Regime

      Will say that a lot of the regional leadership in the U.S. is a bit trigger happy. For all their faults (and they are legion) the D.C. police and municipal leadership have been exemplary on the Occupy front. Port a Potties in freedom plaza and a very light police presence (though they can deploy very quickly). Good set up in McPherson Square. D.C. cop told me there is no accounting for those crazy crackers out west……

      1. craazyman

        hey, that made me smile.

        good news from the hometown for this “I’ve never really been a New Yorker, I Just Live Here” type. And I’ve NEVER been a Giants fan. ha hah.

        Now if only Beck and the ‘Skins can beat the Bill’s today. :)

      2. rotter

        Remember Washington is THE political town. If they had not learned to accomodate protest, the govt would have collapsed in the late 60’s. Im glad they arent killing or beating anyone up to this point.

      3. EH

        Every media outlet that has more than one news desk has a DC bureau. Since DC has reps from practically every single news organization in the world, it would be a publicity firestorm if the occupiers there were manhandled.

    5. Justin

      I would go further: the police do not choose to initiate actions of this kind.

      Bullshit. Unless their nervous systems are hacked by some secret puppet program, they choose to obey and act as they do, whatever the orders.

      1. ultragreen

        According to a news article in Reuters, today in Oakland (Nov. 1) the police are complaining that the Oakland mayor has backed off from cracking down on the OWS protesters. Downtown business people are complaining about the same thing. They seem really disappointed that the mayor won’t allow them to crack open any more skulls. The protesters have now reoccupied the park and set up tents.

        So it appears, Justin, that your suspicion of police motives is correct and that Richard Kline is too optimistic.

        1. Nathanael

          Oakland PD is known to have a deeply sick, violent, and abusive culture — look up its history. I really think it won’t change until heads roll there.

          NYPD faces a similar problem, with a sick, violent, evil man sitting in the police chief’s chair and encouraging bad behavior. But it had a pretty good record immediately before the current chief got into power, so only the upper levels seem to be seriously infected with violent hostility, and the rank and file seem nervous and unhappy about the situation.

    6. Paul Tioxon

      Colorado and Denver is the home the extractive industries, mining, timber, oil and gas. The Colorado School Of Mines, and the legacy of Rockefeller presage the armed response of the state against its unarmed and non violent protesters. But what do you expect from the place where the unspeakable massacre of women, children the families of miners, encamped to strike for a better life than that of human pack mule.



    7. redleg

      The cops do not need to confront protesters. If TPTB really want protesters to simply leave, all they have to do is cordon off the park, and wait for them to run out of food/fuel/water (or get sick of the unsanitary conditions) and let the people leave one by one. No violence on the part of TPTB and the protesters get to protest.
      TPTB clearly want to teach a harsh lesson to those that will upset the status quo. Either that or they lack the imagination to plan and execute a siege. My $$ is on the former.
      If there is a Lexington moment (and I hope there isn’t) I’ll muster for the Concord that follows.

  2. Lloyd Blankstein

    You 99% of suckers thought fighting us, the 1%, would be real easy? Good luck (and you will need it) !!

    1. kathleen wroblewski

      What kind of threat is this ? I feel sorry for you.

      Oh, the joys of more wealth than you are worth, mean people suck.

  3. ambrit

    The militarization of the police forces was one of the guiding principles of the Armys’ School of the Americas; our contribution to authoritarianism and oppression in the western hemisphere. The natural progression of this thinking is for the semi-clandestine establishment of ‘death squads’ to ‘nip in the bud’ opposition movements. I’ve said before, and reiterate now; who ever guaranteed that the methods we’ve been teaching our neigbhors to the south won’t come back north to haunt us?
    My first thought about this trend was to recall Dr. Johnsons’ famous aphorism: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
    Then I began digging deeper and found these gems: “He that wishes to see his country robbed of its rights cannot be a patriot,” and, “It is unpleasing to represent our own affairs to our own disadvantage; yet it is necessary to shew the evil which we desire to be removed.”
    As I remarked concerning ‘Boss’ Bloomberg earlier, being in fear of your own populace, and these violent moves by the ‘authorities’ across the nation clearly show such fear, is strong evidence of a loss of legitimacy. People with such propensities are organic dictators, and have no place in a democracy. Indeed, they are the essence of anti-democracy
    It can’t happen here? Hah! Just watch.

    1. EH

      I think the militarization of police is simply a natural outgrowth for the skills of the unemployed war veterans who join the forces.

  4. Skippy

    Part of the reason to militarize the police was to reduce or discontinue the utilization of National Guard units.

    1. krick

      You mean the National Guard troops that we send to Iraq in place of actual Army troops because they cost less? The only thing they guard these days are national interests in other countries. I get a kick out of the National Guard recruiting spots on the radio that try to pretend that the job of the National Guard is to help people here in the USA when there’s a national disaster. What a load of crap.

        1. CaitlinO

          Yeah, that’s the National Guard I remember, too. Way too untrained and inexperienced to handle policing duties.

          1. psychohistorian

            And then we sent them to be cannon fodder in the middle east.

            I was down at Occupy Portland/OR today and met a couple of Veterans that had served multiple posting, had been blown up a bunch and looked both physically and mentally damaged. They are very angry at the treatment of one of their fellow Veterans in Oakland.

            As someone with a TBI for the past 5+ years and trying to heal from it as a 57-63 yr old, I shudder at the lack of support that we are giving the Veterans with TBI and PTSD problems. I am lucky to have a fairly high IQ and 57 years of life experience to rely on with my recovery. I truly believe we are not providing the level of mental health services to our Veterans with these problems and will reap social horrors for this disregard and disrespect of our Veterans supporting the wars of the 1%.

            We need to laugh the global inherited rich out of control of our society and into rooms at the Hague where they can be prosecuted for our social degradation.


      1. sleepy

        I teach a few criminal justice courses. While there are a wide variety of students, there are always 3 or 4 formerly foreign-deployed guardsmen who are in the classes in order to become local cops. While police departments have always recruited former military, today it seems to be approaching a prerequisite.

        I should add that not all, by any means, of those types of students are “bad” in the sense of this thread. Just that there is more and more militarization of local police departments–where I live, too, those sorts of jobs may well be the only high paying jobs available for returning vets–that federal anti-terror and drug war money keeps rolling in for hiring.

      2. redleg

        Krick and rd: yes.
        The NG is supposed to be for disaster response or other State (as in the 50, not the Fed) use, but given the recent warfighting use the NG is not 100% prepared for the normal pre-2002 duties. Katrina showed this to be the case in spades. Full muster of the NG units, but w/o full muster of equipment…

  5. rafael bolero

    All good comments. I just posted elsewhere: Denver in my time, early 70’s, was the center of peace, eastern mysticism, and counter culture. Then, militant christianity took over CO Springs, the AF Academy, and we have this. An important comment above, is the attraction of sociopaths to police work. A historical truth. Clockwork Orange + 1984. This will not be easy, but let’s swing.

  6. Skippy

    In the day, the N.G. was a part time gig, pocket money and weekends with big toys. Mostly comprised of service units to active duty needs in times of conflict, this has changed. Or the last bit of your service contract X active – 6 years + reserve or N.G. to fulfillment.

    My point is that they were weekend warriors, not what you want for paramilitary uses, to much *Trigger Fear*. Now utilizing military training techniques and hiring ex vets and deploying them against the citizenry…well you get my drift.

    1. sleeper

      From here it appears that :

      1) The authorities are following a standard script – first denigrate the OWS folks – they are dirty, they use drugs, they defecate in the parks and so on essentially they are not like us. This is a classic means of shaping public opinion. Esentially the oposition is dehumanized and then any thing that is done to the oposition is acceptable.
      2) The media for the most part follows the standard script and fails to do the most basic reporting – are the OWS really dirty ? Do they really shit in the park ? Can a real reporter visit the OWS ? Or will the press continue to follow the party line via google ?
      3) And the central question is simply ignored – Do Americans have the right to peacably assemble ?

  7. ebear

    “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”
    — Mahatma Gandhi

  8. ftm

    The repressive overreach is caused by politicians aware of the potential of the movement. Mayors do not want giant “hoovervilles” to grow in the center of their cities. These settlements are far to illustrative of the true condition of life for many Americans. That is why the physical occupations are so important, without them no one really takes note of how bad things are.

  9. Norman

    What’s with the E-mail not being sent? This is totally out of character for N.C. Some sort of censorship?

  10. hello

    talk about the victory of Orwellian-double speak….the accurate jargon (used by many weapons makers and police departments themselves) is “less-lethal weapons” NOT “non-lethal.”

    1. aletheia33

      that means they only partly kill you.
      accurate for the condition of many survivors of iraq it seems to me.

  11. Jill

    This coordination is coming from the top. DHS tipped its hand when a Nashville judge refused to cooperating with the police on arresting protesters. TN DHS came forward to try to convince the judge to sign their arrest warrants.

    To others, officers take an oath to follow the Constitution. They do not take an oath to preserve and protect the illegal accumulation of wealth and power at the top.

    The techniques they use are ones brought over from military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clearly the govt. will use every tool in its tool box–propaganda, use of laws as a weapon and direct violence to suppress our rights. They are afraid and they are going all out to quash this movement. So we need to double our numbers to show that we will not let them destroy our rights.

    1. redleg

      The oath is to “defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic”. Much more explicit than following the Constitution.
      At least in the officer corps, we are actually trained to say “No” to illegal orders, and how to document the illegal order against the inevitable UCMJ (legal) action that follows. Not everyone in the military has the guts to be the first one to say “NO”, but we are seeing the first ones already. That means that saying “NO” requires incrementally less guts as the movement continues. A large portion of the military will back this movement given enough time and enough violence by TPTB.

      1. aletheia33

        “we are seeing the first ones already.”

        can you source? have any police or other personnel actually refused an order at an occupy site?

        or is this not your meaning?

        1. ultragreen

          This has happened in Albany, NY. The police chief and his department refused to follow the orders of the mayor of Albany and the governor of New York (Cuomo) to crack down on the protesters. They said that there was no need to use violence against them because they were being peaceful.

  12. Capo Regime

    I wonder if Hillary will make the same speech she made about the right of protestors to not be attacked in Egypt, Libya, Syria? Hmm, well you know, ummm all options are you know um on the table (head nod to look concerned) to deal with regimes that oppress peaceful protestors. These regimes will be dealt with harshly for violating human rights norms. I believe Obama has also made such speeches……Hypocrisy at work.

    1. sleepy

      Well, now that you mention it, it brings to mind that little speech Hillary was giving about the rights of peaceful protests when Ray McGovern stood up in the room with his back to madam secretary. He was quickly pounced on by security, injured, and dragged away.

      She did not miss a beat in her speech while this was happening 30 feet in front of her.

      So, in answer to your question, I think not.

  13. LeeAnne

    Of all the distractions from the real issues, this right/left, democratic vs republican is the dummist.

    Bloomberg in New York City claims to be an ‘independent’ while his radical right wing agenda is out in the open for anyone to see. Anyone that is other than the press and MSM in general.

    Militarization of police has been accomplished at home all over the US and the Western World (just google ‘forfeiture’) through the UN enforcement of US drug prohibition enforcement policy including forfeiture laws exported from the US to the rest of the world.

    Just for a little color. Our recent appointment to head the US/UN Drug Prohibition agency, recently renamed UNODC is Here at Wiki

    Yuri Viktorovich Fedotov (Russian: Ю́рий Ви́кторович Федо́тов, born 1947) is a high level diplomat of the Russian Federation. Currently he serves as the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at the rank of Under-Secretary-General after having been the ambassador to the United Kingdom …

    ” …Russian drug policy is one of, if not the most horrible in the world’

    1. rotter

      Thanks for bringing that up. It should be widely understood that the millitarization of police departments and the corrosion of civil liberties(including forfeiture) did not start with the GWOT, be with the “war on drugs”. It was Nixon who began it, though it has grown to encompass fullfil and surpass his wildest nightmare dreams.

    2. Externality

      In 2010, the Obama administration brought the Russian drug czar, Viktor Ivanov, to the US to warn Californians against legalizing marijuana by passing Proposition 19. Ivanov, a former KGB officer, warned of “catastrophic” consequences for California if voters passed the measure over the objections of Russian and US government officials. Proposition 19 narrowly failed, receiving 46.5% of the vote.

      From Foreign Policy magazine:

      Russia’s top drug official warned in an interview with Foreign Policy on Friday of what he called the “catastrophic” consequences of marijuana legalization measures like California’s upcoming ballot initiative, saying darkly that widespread legal drug use would produce “psychiatric deviations” and will only encourage drug addiction.

      Viktor Ivanov, a former KGB officer and prominent member of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, even took the unusual step of going to Los Angeles earlier this week to “conduct a campaign against legalizing marijuana in California,” as he said in the interview. He also came to Washington this week to meet with U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske and U.S. Afghan envoy Richard Holbrooke to discuss anti-poppy measures in Afghanistan and call for an intensified program of aerial eradication.


      But California’s laxity, it seems, was particularly startling to him. “I hadn’t known about it before and I was absolutely shocked when I was in the city and saw these posters saying that you can get marijuana for medical purposes,” he said. He met with Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Sheriff Leroy Baca to voice Russia’s opposition to the measure. Noting that U.S. President Barack Obama has also expressed his opposition to legalization, Ivanov described it as “one of the cases where Russia and the U.S. agree completely.”

      (emphasis added)

  14. LeeAnne

    and, lest we think Egypt is behind us, and a model to follow for freedom in the US, <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.96d95c3fd42ca7857401bd927260fa13.6a1&show_article=1"<breitbart

    Several thousand protesters in Cairo called on the ruling military on Friday to promptly transfer power to a civilian government and exclude old regime figures from politics.

    The protesters in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt’s uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February, chanted “down with the military” and called on the ruling generals to “return to the barracks.”

    Egyptians worry about continued post-Muburak transitional Military authority and suppression. The Hillary regime change, let’s give peace a chance, and get ready for a vote plan?

    Egypt will vote for a new parliament starting on November 28, but parties and activists who spearheaded the anti-Mubarak revolt fear his supporters will enter parliament, either as independents or members of newly formed parties.

  15. pdx

    Oh, for Christ’s sake. What’s with all the Clinton bashing all of a sudden? Is someone worried that she might challenge Obama in 2012? Go astro-turf elsewhere.

    1. Skippy

      I visualize it like this…the last 40ish years of party politics is like one of those….Bacon inside a Chicken, inside a Goose, inside a Turkey and back into the hole form, of the former, a Pig.

      Skippy…stuffed with an assortment of herbs and spices…slow roasted for seemingly eternity over an opening to Hades.

    2. Jill


      I notice the use of terms like: “the Hillary regime” on all “left” wing sites (often in the articles as well as comments). I believe this is a way to distract Obama supporters from confronting what Obama is doing. (I have begun to see comments about, “well if McCain were president…” I would have thought after 3 years, that piece of propaganda wouldn’t work anymore!)

      Hillary is an employee of Obama. They are on the same page, but she says what she’s told to say.

      1. JTFaraday

        HRC is not, strictly speaking, Obama’s “employee.”

        She has “her own,” so to speak, ideas about these kinds of things–at least to the extent that the decrepit and insanely corrupt US “International Relations” community permits *anyone* to have “their own” ideas about things.

        Or don’t you remember the the flagrant intimidation of any and all dissenters in the run up to the War in Iraq?

        Which is precisely why Obama put the obliging HRC in the SoS position in the first place, just as he put his Robert Rubin re-treads and Teh Boyz from Goldman Sachs in all his economic and Treasury positions.

        They’re all in it together, up to their necks in it, and they all need to be removed. Root and branch.

        And this is not an Obama supporting site.

  16. invient

    to be fair, earlier yesterday one protester pulled a cop down to the ground… it was quickly diffused, by the surrounding crowd.

    Also, another protester pushed on the back of a police motorcycle trying to topple it (I assume), and the cop got off and chased him down…

    I know at-least one rubber bullet incident was due to a protester not getting out of the tree… I think it was excessive to shoot him, they could have just pulled him out…

    1. rotter

      First of all, do you have any proof of these episodes of resistance (i think they would be good for morale anyway).If not, then dont spread them around on the internet.Second, killing and injuring people with millitary hardware would ONLY ever be justified if the police were under lethal attack. Period. If they are claiming otherwise, then this IS a police state society and we ARE obligated to resist with whatever means exist for us.

      1. FJ_2

        Yes. Someone should be pointing out that clearing through force is beyond the pale. You can’t attack someone for refusing to leave. You have to pick them up and carry them. You cannot shoot gas or anything else at a peaceable assembly. It is outrageous brutality.

        1. aletheia33

          as the marine sergeant screamed in times square at the police:

          “these are unarmed people!
          why are you hurting them?”

          it seems pretty straightforward to him. i’ll go with him on that.

  17. don

    Should OWS evolve into a mass movement for radical social change, I expect police repression to be enforced on the basis that the movement poses a threat to the domestic economy, and is thus cloaked as a threat to national security.

    1. CaitlinO

      The fuggin’ banks are a threat to the national economy. A country that no longer has sovereignty over its economy no longer enjoys national security – see Greece. The banks are the single greatest threat to US national security.

      1. EH

        ha ha, yeah. they aren’t going to open that can of worms by blaming clearance operations on a bad economy.

  18. doom

    Since this country is now an illegitimate predator state roughly at the level of Myanmar or Saudi Arabia, the only remaining guidelines are based on moral suasion by civilized countries:


    There’s no point citing a constitution that’s revoked or laws that are exercised for repression, not protection. People will have to start from scratch reconstructing a society. A lot of them will die.

  19. D Johnson

    If these protesters are arrested due to a FALSEW national security charges, how about jailing all the republicants and dems who are trying to bring down our country with their anti-everything votes? This shameless crew is more of a threat to the people of this once mighty nation than any amount of legal protesters.

  20. Paul Walker

    General Dyer is now in charge of government, markets, their organs and the rule of law which underpins it all.

  21. Abigail Caplovitz Field


    I have some expertise in policing, and I agree both that cops generally aren’t sociopaths (although generally they protect the ones among them) and that the militarization of the police is a big part of the problem.

    I think too the many “non-lethal” weapons are part of the problem. When protesters really are non-violent, as #Occupy has been, generally cops can arrest and clear by using their hands to pick people up and carry/drag them to a cop car or mobile substation or whatever. But nobody thinks to do that.

    I think if a cop’s choices were hands, baton and gun, in these situations they’d choose hands first. It’s actually harder to beat someone with a baton than it is to stand at distance and shoot things at them. The appeal of the weapons is that they’re relatively risk free for the police, whereas laying hands on someone isn’t. But cops shouldn’t expect their jobs to be risk free.

    The police lose their legitimacy and thus their effectiveness as a means of social control when they are perceived as habitually excessive in their use of force. And that means riots.

    The stakes are *really* high right now, and the political leaders had best be very careful in deciding whether or not to clear the protests. If clearing, they should order the police to just pick people up and carry them away, responding with additional levels of force only in response to documented escalation on the protesters’ side. And if the protesters want to maintain the moral high ground they currently have and which rallies others to their cause, they best not escalate.

    1. EH

      If you had expertise in policing, you would know that none of these tools are considered “non-lethal.” They have all been termed “less-lethal” for quite a few years now, after a few, shall we say, “false advertising” claims brought against the manufacturers.

        1. psychohistorian

          My read on “less-lethal” is that it has d/evolved like the regulation of Wall Street.

          As Obama has said, the fleecing we received from Wall Street is probably legal but not very moral.

          Less-lethal is just as deadly but has a patina of legality to it in more circumstances.

          Its all good……for the global inherited rich.

          Not so much for the rest of us.

  22. fran

    Excellent interview with Jeff Halper! Very good source of information and understanding – about subduing dissidents, the militarization of policing worldwide and in the U.S. and how Israel specializes in the techniques and weaponry used for this purpose.

    We, the People, have become the ‘enemy’! if we are not happy with being exploited.

  23. Bill Drake

    Those being attacked with chemical weapons have an absolute right to defend themselves. A can of wasp/hornet spray will reach at least 50 feet with dramatic results – those splatter sheilds the cops wear won’t protect them from wasp spray. They will be out of action PDQ – although if they receive proper treatment there will be no long-term damage done. Serves the assholes right for attacking American citizens who have peacefully assembled to demonstrate for their constitutional rights.I know that I will have a can or two in my backpack when the time comes. You betcha!

  24. saddlenode

    this is class war folks. when will you realize it?
    this is how the corporate-state élite treats you and it’s only getting worse. if OWS expands and starts to look threatening they’ll start killing you. maybe it’s time to give’em back some love.

    1. psychohistorian

      I took your calling for giving them some love in return as a fallback to tthe violence of the 20-30’s. Look at what it got us then, barely 60 years and we are at it again.

      It is time to end this global class system peacefully now to insure the results.

      We need the right spark to get millions in the streets saying NO MORE!

  25. Of2Minds

    Some of the thread revolves around whether police officers “want” to shoot, beat, teargas protestors. Don’t officers have the prerogative, really an obligation, to refuse to execute unlawful orders? The regulations and police guidelines for conduct certainly rule out many of the violations that we have observed. The state and federal constitutions are yet a bigger hurdle. Wouldn’t the police unions defend officers, who refuse to beat protestors, from sanctions? Couldn’t individual officers object and stop all the violence? It’s hard to remain sympathetic towards the officers as they continue these assaults. Individual police officers could stop the violence merely by following the guidelines and laws that govern their conduct. What am I missing?

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