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Archive for May, 2012

Whether you agree with the Occupy Wall Street movement or not, there is one thing we can all agree on: that police officers should not be sexually assaulting protesters, using senseless violence on people who have not broken any laws (or even on those who have) and inhibiting freedom of speech.

Over the past few days many article have come out about the brutality and police state tactics used by the New York Police Department recently.

Many reports have focused on straight up violence on peaceful protesters, let’s not forget the women peppersprayed by New York’s finest while they were sitting down, clearly not being a threat. Or the peaceful protesters at UC Davis that were sprayed with pepperspray so strong that it is illegal for California policement to carry. 

See an interesting article here about the excessive force used against UC Davis students: http://bradhicks.livejournal.com/459368.html

In more recent cases NYPD has systematically begun using sexual assault as a tool against protesters. These incidents began around March 17th, in mass. The cases began all of a sudden and are not few in number, suggesting that an order or other acknowledgement by superior officers was made to use this tactic. One women’s wrists were broken when she yelled at an NYPD officer after he grabbed her chest. She was breaking no law at the time (not that it matters, no one should be sexually assaulted by a police officer at any time regardless of what they are doing, breaking the law or not).

For more information read here: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/05/david-graeber-new-police-strategy-in-new-york-sexual-assault-against-peaceful-protestors.html#Subscriptions

This article also includes a video of a medic at the most recent Occupy march on May Day. The medic was breaking no law and the police decided to use his head as a battering ram to break a window in New York during a peaceful parade to Union Square.

Despite such incredible violence being used against peaceful protesters in New York and other major cities in the United States, resistance by the citizens that these police are sworn to protect has been limited. This is possibly due to the complete lack of reporting on these cases by mainstream media.

As you may notice these articles have all appeared in alternative media sources. After attending the massive peaceful (on the protesters part) May Day event in New York City, it is clear that Occupy Wall Street is not receiving the media attention that it deserves. This may be due to the fact that many news agencies, along with the politicians, are in the pockets of the corporations, banks and other institutions that the Occupy movement is trying to challenge.

For more information on the poor media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement see here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-r-barber/may-day-media-mayhem_b_1475336.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

Overall the May Day rally was much larger than I personally expected. The May Day marches and rallies were very festive, upbeat, and hopeful. The mainstream media coverage focused on it more as a somber event or as a failed general strike. The day was very successful however and a wonderful show of the power we still have despite the brutality and immorality of the people who are supposed to protect us: the police.

In response to increasing police brutality by NYPD a law suit has been brought up against NYPD by New York city councilors, Occupy activists, and a former Iraq veteran. One protesters camera was reportedly taken from him, not returned after he was released from jail and when he went back to the station to retrieve it he was arrested again and the police officers were told to smash his camera which held evidence of another protester’s arrest.

This law suit is calling for the creation of a federal position to oversee the NYPD police department, the police force that Mayor Bloomberg has called his own personal army.

For more information about these arrests and the alw suit see an article here: http://www.alternet.org/rights/155282/is_the_nypd_out_of_control_new_lawsuit_takes_on_bloomberg’s_’private_army’/?page=1

Keep your eyes out for more information about the law suit and you can post other articles about NYPD’s police brutality or other cities police brutality below in the comments section. We should all be sharing whatever information we can to make up for the silence of mainstream media.

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