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Thugs amuck

Whose side are the police on? Apparently, the side of the corporate masters and exploiter bankers. This is a scene from Occupy Oakland, where the police are targeting protesters rather brutally.

As is par for the course, the thugs are lying. Here’s what the Oakland PD had to say:

Q. Did the Police deploy rubber bullets, flash-bag grenades?

A. No, the loud noises that were heard originated from M-80 explosives thrown at Police by protesters. In addition, Police fired approximately four bean bag rounds at protesters to stop them from throwing dangerous objects at the officers.

It’s right there on video, a policeman tossing something that went bang right in the middle of a group trying to help an injured man. There is no excuse for that. None.


Photographic proof that the Oakland PD is lying.

Comments

  1. wilsim says

    I know i have an anger problem – something like this happening to people close to me, especially someone i love, would cause me to rage and probably get myself hurt.

    What the fuck is wrong with our police?

  2. Bee says

    Every time I get a little bit hopeful that things are looking up in the USA, I see something like this.

    Everyone, from the cop, to their commanders, to the politicians deserves to be racked over hot coals for this.

  3. Ichthyic says

    This is a scene from Occupy Oakland, where the police are targeting protesters rather brutally.

    I spoke to a friend who participated in the Occupy Syndney rally, and she told me the same thing happened there.

    several broken knees, busted ribs, cracked skulls.

    excuse was:

    “It’s a no camping zone”

  4. says

    This is the best way to spark a revolution, and if the authorities think these folks are just foolish hippies, they need to rethink.

  5. Ichthyic says

    I have to say though, if the cops just used tear gas, instead of rushing the crowds in full riot gear with batons blazing, that’s an improvement over what happened in the 60s and 70s.

    it’s even an improvement over the LA riots of ’92. Hell, the cops actually shot (with bullets)5 people in that one. I have no idea how many were injured, but it was in the hundreds.

    of course, in that case, the cops were running too:

    http://www.losangelespolicemisconductlawyerblog.com/2011/04/lapd-police-flee-angry-mob-la-riots.html

  6. Chris V says

    Golly! Looks like power protects power in any guise. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Greece, Oakland…doesn’t seem to matter. BTW, ever notice that it’s almost always the progressive dudes that get offed?

  7. timberwoof says

    The police were looking out for everyone’s health and safety.
    “Police officials said they had acted because of health and safety concerns and allegations of violence and alcohol abuse at the camp. “It was apparent that overnight camping would have to end due to health and safety issues and continued violations of the law,” said an Oakland police department (OPD) statement.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/26/occupy-oakland-protesters-further-violence?newsfeed=true

    So to make sure that the protesters were healthy and secure, the cops had to beat them up and throw explosives at them. Does this break anybody else’s brain?

    Oakland Police are known for other barbaric practices:

    “Known as “BUMP,” or “Basic Use of Motorcycle Push”, in Oakland police parlance, the city’s policy was approved by chief Richard Word early this year and gives cops wide latitude to hit people with their thousand-pound Harley-Davidsons. ”
    http://www.labournet.net/world/0307/oakland1.html

  8. Ichthyic says

    …if the authorities think these folks are just foolish hippies, they need to rethink.

    actually, most of the larger protests in the 60s and 70s (that weren’t specifically anti-war) were for much of the same reasons as the current ones are.

    the idea that all the hippies were “foolish druggies” is a fiction carefully constructed to make people reject them as a group.

    you saw the counter-hippiedom in the 80s, but now, 40 yeas later, it’s a new generation, and you will indeed see the media trying to portray them as “foolish” or “ultra liberal” or even, dare I say it… Hippies.

    If you think the hippies failed because they were foolish, it’s you who needs to rethink.

    I do hope that the global nature (over 2000 cities participating at last count) will mean that attempts to locally downplay the actions will not have as much success, but still, mark my words, eventually you will see most media outlets describing participants in very similar terms to what you would have seen the “hippies” described in the media in the 70s.

  9. Ichthyic says

    ever notice that it’s almost always the progressive dudes that get offed?

    It’s been that way for hundreds of years.

    look at the turn of the LAST century in Europe, and you will see the “communists” and the “leftists” as being the ones getting offed.

    In large numbers.

  10. Epikt says

    timberwoof says:

    The police were looking out for everyone’s health and safety. “Police officials said they had acted because of health and safety concerns and allegations of violence and alcohol abuse at the camp.”

    I wonder if they shoot Stanford frat boys in the face when they “abuse alcohol.”

  11. tomh says

    I lived in Oakland from the sixties throught the eighties. This is par for the course for Oakland police. No surprise.

  12. stan says

    The police* aren’t on anyone’s side; they’re not particularly invested in one side or another. Rather, they’re simply thugs (and opportunists). They’re probably pissed that they have to babysit a protest instead of cracking the skulls of niggers, spics, and fags, and they’re taking it out on an otherwise innocent crowd** (and hoping for herd protection of their own).

    It’s brutal, it’s thuggish, and it’s reprehensible, but it’s not the police ‘taking sides.’


    Stan

    * Obviously not all police officers are racist, sexist, opportunist thugs, but clearly that profession draws many of that sort moreso than most other professions, and just as clearly that profession provides a lush environment for fostering or even encouraging such vile behavior. I speak of the dicks within the police force, and I am aware that I paint with a broad brush. This is fair, I argue, because police are in a unique position, through which they can preempt justice (for good or for ill). Wherever there are truly ‘good’ cops, they should band together and root out the evil among them — they should police themselves. That such internal policing is not taking place (asshole cops like the tosser in the video — sorry, flash-bang tosser — are protected by their precincts rather than outed by them) is enough to vilify even the otherwise ‘good’ cops; being a good cop means not standing silent in the presence of evil cops.

    ** Just as not all cops are pricks, clearly not all of the protesters are innocent. Insofar as it is difficult at times to know the one from the other, it is also remarkably easy most of the time, and yet the thuggish behavior from police continues. Just as the ‘good’ cops ought to out the evil cops, so too should the innocent protesters out the criminals in their midst.

  13. Cat of Many Faces says

    the poor man with the head injury had served 2 term in iraq. what nice homecoming huh?

  14. Sally Strange, OM says

    Thank you for highlighting this. I followed the news all last night and finally went to sleep, disgusted and horrified, only to wake up to a near media blackout.

    Speaking of things you don’t see in the media…

    Albany, NY: Police defy orders, refuse to arrest Occupiers

    Albany Police refused to enforce a curfew by Albany Mayor, Gerald Jennings and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    The police have refused to interfere with the 700 peaceful protesters who moved to and assembled on grounds owned by the city at a portion of the park prohibited for protest.

    Amongst the protesters were families with children and elderly persons who in the eyes of Albany Police and State Troopers were not committing serious acts of trespass and this low level of offence was according to Times Union the reason that orders by the Governor and Mayor were disobeyed.

    On State Police spokesperson said:

    “We were ready to make arrests if needed, but these people complied with our orders. We don’t have those resources, and these people were not causing trouble. The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor.”

    David Soares who is Albany County District Attorney said:

    “Our official policy with peaceful protesters is that unless there is property damage or injuries to law enforcement, we don’t prosecute people protesting. If law enforcement engaged in a pre-emptive strike and started arresting people I believe it would lead to calamitous results, and the people protesting so far are peaceful.”

    Apparently Albany police seem to be clearer on what their priorities are, and whom they are supposed to be protecting.

  15. Ichthyic says

    Apparently Albany police seem to be clearer on what their priorities are, and whom they are supposed to be protecting.

    progress!

  16. A. R says

    Am I surprised at this: No. Though I do wonder why officers would act against their own interests (as members of the 99%). Of course, there are reasons, including power intoxication etc.

  17. nemo the derv says

    It’s fairly simple.

    Any group that has not been properly astroturfed must be crushed.

    Maybe they should do what the “peaceful”teabaggers do and bring guns?

    Of course, Oakland hasn’t exactly had a lover affair with it’s police in the last 2 years.

  18. Ichthyic says

    If I needed to provide evidence that this movement will be spun as “confused hippies”, then let me start with THIS:

    Confused Coalition of Hippies, Anarchists, Commies and Alinskyites “Occupy” Wall Street For Days of Rage Protest

    trust me, you’ll be GLAD to call yourself a hippie when this is all said and done, because there is no difference between the protests then and now.

    hippies were not confused, were not the enemy, were not foolish.

    If those participating in the current protest do not understand this, they are doomed to fail, just as the hippies did (for the most part).

  19. says

    I have to say though, if the cops just used tear gas, instead of rushing the crowds in full riot gear with batons blazing

    is there such a thing as half-full riot gear? because all that seems to be missing here are the leg and arm protectors and the shield (which might be hard to carry at the same time as those guns)

  20. nemo the derv says

    Occupy Oakland said they were going to resume at 6pm
    It’s 6:22 p.s.t. right now.
    I’ll check the local news and see what’s up.

  21. Ichthyic says

    all that seems to be missing here are the leg and arm protectors and the shield (which might be hard to carry at the same time as those guns)

    naww, the shields these days are light, you can still carry your shottie in your other arm.

    seriously though, I have to say that THIS, as bad as it was, was nothing compared to the brutality shown to protesters in the 60s and 70s.

    you want to see violence?

    check out the Police Riot on Aug. 28 1968 in Chicago.

  22. Cicada says

    Watching Q&A this week on Australian television, the “They’re young unemployed kids having fun, and aren’t sure what they’re actually protesting, but they want to end capitalism” idea has taken hold among the Australian right wing.

  23. Aquaria says

    It appears that at least two other cities sent cops to help, those cities being San Jose and Palo Alto.

    Now the Oakland PD is trying to do the runaround, saying that they can’t comment on other departments who were there, and those departments are saying they can’t comment on what the Oakland scumbags were doing.

    Sign the petition demanding an investigation into theses assholes here:

    http://www.couragecampaign.org/OccupyOakland

  24. raven says

    One thing any government fears above everything.

    People in the street protesting.

    It means they are losing control.

    Ask LBJ how that worked for him.

  25. raven says

    What’s fueling this isn’t a bunch of hippies who by now are all but mythological.

    It’s an unemployment rate of 9.2% that shows no sign of going down.

    The median family income has dropped 10% in the last 3 years.

    An economy that is crawling along at best.

    A lot of Americans, particularly the young adults, are struggling in a never ending battle to make ends meet. And losing too often. They should be upset.

  26. Ichthyic says

    What’s fueling this isn’t a bunch of hippies who by now are all but mythological.

    which of course this means is that it wasn’t really a myth fueling the protests in the 60s and 70s, either.

    “a bunch of hippies” IS the myth.

    and it’s the same myth being applied to the current actions.

    if you don’t get this, you will fail.

    I’m dead serious.

    The progressive movement has NEVER succeeded in creating long lasting institutional change in the history of human civilization.

    it has been crushed mercilessly at every turn, in every country, by those who don’t want to give up power and utterly, utterly fear anarchy.

    if you want things to really change now, I can assure you that you will not only need to understand this history, you will need to find some NEW way to address the issue.

    protests will not be sufficient in and of themselves.

    THAT is the message people should learn from the “hippies”.

    Otherwise, when the protests die down, and the “hippie” spin comes to dominate the media (and I’ve already documented that starting to happen), then we will all settle in to our ever more well-defined lives of serfdom.

    And before you think to strike the head off the snake…

    what do you propose to do to replace it?

    will YOU volunteer to be the body politic? Will you personally take responsibility for changing the way public trading of stocks works?

    if not, who then?

    It is not enough just to remove the problem; we, each of us, have to take responsibility to create the changes we want.

    if there’s to be a revolution, let it be ala France, but afterwards, the people who actually have good ideas as to a better way to do things NEED TO STEP UP.

    Imagine what things would be like now, if the people protesting in the 60s and 70s ALL became involved in politics, or education say.

    We replaced W with Obama?

    not fucking good enough. We need to replace W with fucking Paul Ehrlich, or Neil deGrasse Tyson, or PZ Meyers, or… YOU!

    Be angry, sure. But after that, STEP THE FUCK UP.

    or nothing, NOTHING, will ever change.

  27. lordshipmayhem says

    I think what we’re seeing is the backlash of fear caused by Vancouver, British Columbia and Burmingham, England. Both started off peaceful – especially the Vancouver situation – and suddenly and quickly turned violent, completely out of the local cops’ control and threatening peoples’ lives. In the English riots, innocents were killed by the mob, and many were left homeless.

    The report on the Vancouver Hockey Riot back in the spring of this year laid the blame on Vancouver Police for not vigorously hustling the crowd away, for letting them gather and reach critical mass. (There was the booze factor too…) These other police forces have gotten the critiques and are not prepared to make what they perceive as “the same mistakes”.

    The cops aren’t there to guarantee you an unfettered right to protest. They’re there to try to keep things from getting to the “torching entire neighbourhoods” level of “out of hand”. In short, to keep the peace as much as feasible.

    The Tea Party twits at least went home at suppertime, having run out of witty and erudite things to say (granted, that was about five seconds into their typical rally). On the other hand, these protesters have been staying the night, for several nights straight.

    I expect the cops to be getting antsy in plenty of other towns and cities. The last thing they want is an American version of the Birmingham riots. I’m not saying that I’m on their side or not on their side – just, I wasn’t surprised, why were you?

  28. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    In short, to keep the peace as much as feasible.

    Which they achieved by attacking a bunch of unarmed people with chemical agents.
    Color me doubtful.

  29. zugswang says

    Yes, because never in the history of policing have they ever exhibited a disproportionate use of force against anyone. Ever.

    Oh, wait. Except for all those times they did, and not just at large gatherings or protests. Hell, it happened right there in Oakland just a little while ago when a handcuffed black guy got shot to death.

  30. Sally Strange, OM says

    http://www.ustream.tv/theother99

    Spontaneous march in NYC, in solidarity with victims of Oakland police brutality, seems to have taken the NYPD somewhat by surprise. They tried to kettle with orange mesh, but people just grabbed the mesh and moved it out of the way.

  31. Sally Strange, OM says

    I’m not saying that I’m on their side or not on their side

    “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.”

    –Howard Zinn

  32. says

    That video made me feel sick.

    …and I know it’s not just one police force, or one country, that has this problem of Police stupidality… (stupid brutality?)

    I’d like to see them try break up a ‘Scream 4 Truth’ protest, with Kyo from DIR EN GREY in the crowd. That would be funny seeing him break them in half with just a fell look.

  33. says

    Seriously, how can this freaking country lecture the rest of the world about freedom and then do crap like this without a sense of irony? The mind boggles.

  34. Father Ogvorbis, OM says

    Seriously, how can this freaking country lecture the rest of the world about freedom and then do crap like this without a sense of irony? The mind boggles.

    It’s called exceptionalism. The US is so exceptionally perfect (and Christian) that no matter what we do is exceptionally right and perfect (as long as the collective Christian Right agrees with what is being done).

  35. Geral says

    I hate riot police. By their very nature, they move beyond policing duties and take on a quasi-military role. By dressing in intimidating black armor, they dehumanize other people and themselves. Riot police only serve to antagonize crowds and really should not be deployed UNLESS absolutely necessary.

    Sending riot police to clean out a park of protesters is insane. Makes me pissed off too. I mean fuck, with their armor and shields they look like they belong in the medieval times.

  36. Alcarin says

    Just wondering but whom attacked 1st? i heard some people say that OPD did, i hear some say OWS did. Anyone know? (source would be nice) Thank you :)

  37. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Just wondering but whom attacked 1st? i heard some people say that OPD did, i hear some say OWS did. Anyone know? (source would be nice) Thank you :)

    Where do you propose we find that information? Everyone who reports either was there or is getting their information from someone who was there. Police say it was Occupiers; they also say they didn’t use flash grenades, and that they only used tear gas in self-defense. From what I’ve seen, Occupiers aren’t sure whether people threw things at police to start out with as police claimed, but it’s fairly certain that the police were firing tear gas canisters and things-that-go-boom at people who weren’t doing anything.

  38. Lou Jost says

    I’ve posted this elsewhere today but want to post it here too–

    Oakland has always been famous for its brutal lying police and its prosecutorial abuses against “liberals”. They are most famous for arresting and prosecuting an environmentalist leader who was the victim of a car bombing (Judi Bari, plenty of links on the web) in 1990 —they charged her for bombing herself!!!!! She had been fighting against excessive timber harvests and was probably bombed by industry operatives.

    She eventually charged the Oakland Police Department and FBI for framing her and violating her constitutional rights. She and her companion won 4.4 million dollars in damages. Today, it is ironic to read the overly-optimistic press releases which followed that judgement:

    “On June 11, 2002, a federal jury returned a stunning verdict in favor of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney in their landmark civil rights lawsuit against four FBI agents and three Oakland Police officers.”

    “The jury unanimously found that six of the seven FBI and OPD defendants tried to frame Judi and Darryl in an effort to crush Earth First! and chill participation in Redwood Summer. That was evident in the fact that 80% of the $4.4 million total damage award was for violation of their First Amendment rights to speak out and organize politically in defense of the forests.”

    “It’s really beyond our wildest dreams,” said Darlene Comingore, Judi Bari’s friend and executor of her estate who stood in for her as co-plaintiff in this suit. “We hope the FBI and Oakland and all the police forces out there that think they can violate people’s rights and get away with it are listening because the people of the state of California and Oakland today said, ‘No, you can’t. You can’t get away with it.’ “

  39. ryk says

    eh, who cares if someone threw some crap at the cops, the are armored up with shields, helmets, visors, elbow/knee/shin guards, gloves, kevlar vests something like a tossed bottle isn’t going to harm them (even if it doesn’t bounce of their shields) unless it’s filled with flammable liquid…

    from what I saw the other day (Tuesday), they had cop cars from pleasanton, uc berkeley, california highway patrol, and an armored truck from union city, and that was just what I observed in a short period of time. It looked like they pulled cops from all over the bay area.

  40. imthegenieicandoanything says

    I know who is really paying the police – out of our pocket – and the cops (though many are reluctant in this) know who is REALLY paying them (though when they get their pension cuts, they may start thinking about why they are doing the work of such scum).

    The media pretends NOT to know (that’s THEIR only job now – not knowing and providing an oddly one-sided “balance” to the dirty facts.

    The average Joe is the only one clueless enough noy to know. And dumb enough, too often, to root from a position of fear, envy, and shame for those oppressing others. But even most of them will understand eventually. Too bad people of worth have to suffer, even die, to make this clear.

    As much as I love America, it’s a totally fucked nation largely involved in doing evil, wasteful, and stupid things just because it can. For now.

    What goes around really does come around, though.

  41. says

    I hate riot police. By their very nature, they move beyond policing duties and take on a quasi-military role. By dressing in intimidating black armor, they dehumanize other people and themselves.

    Which is very stupid. It makes them obvious targets.

    When cops militarize, they seem to decide that their new “toys” are appropriate for suppressing their neighbors and fellow citizens. But police forces are going to tend to attract authoritarians because that’s the kind of job authoritarians like to do – you get a vicious cycle going as the cops get dumber, more prone to violence, and better equipped for it.

    Any cop who is out there gassing protestors or busting heads needs to remember that there are, literally, millions of rifles in private ownership and that every person they hit may have friends that aren’t as mild-mannered.

  42. julian says

    @Alcarin

    Who attacked who first is irrelevant. The police escalated the situation to a level they had no right to. If you shove me I do not have the right to knock to the floor, curb stomp you and then punch out your friend. I can defend myself and I can respond to force only with equal force. I cannot try to ‘put’ you down unless letting you continue puts me or someone else in real danger. Danger which these police officers were not at any point in. They acted like street thugs and deserve to be disciplined accordingly.

  43. says

    is there such a thing as half-full riot gear?

    It’s “half riot gear” if you’re just wearing it. It’s “full riot gear” if you start a riot while you’re wearing it?

  44. julian says

    I would also like to point out that, at least from my limited understanding of them (although I’d defer to anyone with actual experience using them), flashbangs aren’t supposed to be used that close to someone because they can cause real and very painful damage. In fact I think a police officer died from accidently setting one off not to long ago.

  45. julian says

    In fact I think a police officer died from accidently setting one off not to long ago.

    Thanks wikipedia.

    Link

  46. The Ys says

    Just spotted a Twitter post stating that 50 Marines are on their way to Occupy Oakland. Not sure if those are vets, active duty, or what…but they sound pissed. It was posted by a Sgt. Scott Williamson.

    I think the Oakland PD really fucked that one up.

  47. Clausentum says

    at the turn of the LAST century in Europe, and you will see the “communists” and the “leftists” as being the ones getting offed.

    Add up the victims of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot just for starters and see how many noughts you have to knock off to come to the number of communist and leftists getting offed as you say.

    ..and “progressives” was frequently the self-description used by communists in the UK at least when, for some strange reason, “communist” had a slightly eerie ring to it.

    It’s the tactic of these anti-democratic mobs of course, to feign peaceful intentions while trying to provoke the police into an over-reaction which they can exploit.

    Your former hero Obama is going to carry the can for any breakdown of public order that these actions are likely to lead to, but I guess it’s naive to expect any consistency from you guys when you sniff an opportunity to help yourselves to someone else’s money.
    Or perhaps you’ve now decided he wasn’t fairly and democratically elected?

  48. julian says

    Add up the victims of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot

    You mean all the protesters and dissidents they had their police wipe out in the interest of maintaining order?

    It’s the tactic of these anti-democratic mobs of course, to feign peaceful intentions while trying to provoke the police into an over-reaction which they can exploit.

    You know this applies here how, exactly?

    when you sniff an opportunity to help yourselves to someone else’s money.

    Ha!

    Oh god, you’re pathetic.

  49. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    It’s the tactic of these anti-democratic mobs of course, to feign peaceful intentions while trying to provoke the police into an over-reaction which they can exploit.

    Anti-democratic mobs… Like the ones holding democratic assemblies… who have been made fun of relentlessly by most media for not putting forth enough specific policy demands because of their consensus-based democratic style… those anti-democratic mobs?

  50. says

    @clausentum
    Even if your idiotic assumption that the protesters were provoking the cops were true, the cops’ massive overreaction means that their training were wasted on them.

  51. raven says

    Clausentium the Fascist:

    Add up the victims of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot just for starters and see how many noughts you have to knock off to come to the number of communist and leftists getting offed as you say.

    Gee, you must have forgotten Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Pinochet, the Argentinian Junta, Nixon, and a bunch of other bloodthirsty Fascist murderers.

    Oh, I get it. Those are your heroes.

  52. nms says

    I don’t think that was a flashbang. However, the internet tells me sting grenades have been used in the past by Oakland police, during anti-war protests in 2003.

  53. maureen.brian says

    I think clausentum is arguing that the Communists, along with other elements of civil society, should not have assisted the local population in driving Mosley and his British Union of Fascists out of their neighbourhood. Even though the powers that were had sent the Metropolitan Police to protect the fascists!

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

    Wind him back a couple a reels and he’ll be complaining that the Chartists should never have been allowed to campaign for universal i.e. male suffrage. A couple more and he’ll be taking those guys out of the hall in Philadelphia, before they can even have their collective portrait done, to be shot by redcoats before they get just too uppity.

    Sorry, c, but history is onto you and the truth always seeps out in the end.

  54. puppygod says

    I probably get flack for this, but I don’t think that there is anything wrong with the police. Well, there might be, but lack of proper training or over-agressive tactics is not the core of the problem, but rather the result. As Stanford prison experiment (and way too many examples in the history) shown you don’t need explanations like ‘police is thugs’ or ‘police attract autocratic and cruel people’ to explain why one group of people is going medieval on other group of people. It’s within our behavioural pattern (our – ‘we’ as species). Comments about ‘street thugs’ are imho part of the problem – it’s otherizng them and fuelling the problem. Our goal shouldn’t be fighting the police, but making them join us. I know it’s hard and goes against the nature, but it’s important if we want to win.

    The problem isn’t police. The problem is system that pits police against citizens.

  55. Sally Strange, OM says

    I probably get flack for this

    Trolling? I hate it when people do this. Just state your damn piece, don’t try to deflect criticism that may be, for all you know, just a figment of your imagination.

    The problem isn’t police. The problem is system that pits police against citizens.

    Well duh. I mean, we’re not idiots here. At least, I’m not. I do note that policing tends to attract authoritarian personalities, but that’s to be expected. The problem is indeed with the system.

    See? That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now that the flak has failed to materialize, doesn’t it seem like your self-deprecating opener only weakens your statement and makes you look like you doubt your own position, or perhaps like you’re deliberately trying to stir things up?

    That’s why everyone everywhere should immediately swear to stop prefacing their opinions with “I know people are going to hate me for this…” or some variation thereof. Direct, clear communication! Have faith in your ability to make a strong case, even if people disagree with you!

  56. Sally Strange, OM says

    As for clausentem, *yawn*

    Just another authoritarian, doing what authoritarians do best: rationalizing, justifying, and even reveling in the abuse of power.

  57. Clausentum says

    maureen.brian @64:

    Ah, a good old-fashioned English leftie, as dotty and inconsequential as ever, and still arguing that the commies, because they didn’t always put babies in mincing machines, should be elevated to Mother Teresa status.
    And apparently not aware that we now have universal suffrage and institutions, which, while not perfect, have brought about freedom and unprecedented prosperity for the western world.

    As for history, that’s what makes a conservative: the knowledge that these things are historically very exceptional, that attempts to “reform” often lead to states being hijacked by dictators or extremists (or religionists while we’re on pharyngula) and that there’s a lot to be said for continuity and stability.

    The hypocrisy behind these protests is that even passive protesters are using force if they don’t comply with public order requirements, and have to be physically removed.

  58. linzel says

    Whenever I see something like this I think of the original planet of the apes movies. The third or fourth, when the apes collectively rampage under Caeser. Anyone else get these images from riots? I know nothing of literature but I cannot help but think those movies/books have some meaning/connection to challenges to authority.
    Anyone know?

  59. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    The hypocrisy behind these protests is that even passive protesters are using force if they don’t comply with public order requirements, and have to be physically removed.

    Your definition of “force” is strange and interesting.
    No actually…
    I mean stupid.
    Your definition of “force” is stupid.

  60. maureen.brian says

    One: I’m proud to be a leftie.

    Two: I do not regard Mother Teresa status as elevation. Have you not read Mr Hitchens?

    Three: I’m very well aware of the freedoms we now have but unlike you also aware that their acquisition can be quantified in the number of broken heads, stitched up prosecutions and “disappearances” it took to get them.

    Four: unlike you, I’m aware that too many people in positions of power – includes police – behave as though the rights above were not inalienable and reclaimed by us but, rather, as something the rich graciously gave us and which can be taken away whenever they become inconvenient.

    Five: you want a fight? shall we start in 1215 or, more relevantly, in 1381?

    Six: as Sally Strange, OM, says – yawn.

  61. Ichthyic says

    Add up the victims of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot just for starters and see how many noughts you have to knock off to come to the number of communist and leftists getting offed as you say.

    This is way off base. The purges of Stalin and Mao have NOTHING to do with what was happening in Europe at the turn of the century, and two, just like atheism wasn’t the reason Stalin put forth the purges, it wasn’t communism either. Not even dishonest to bring this up, it was just utterly inane on your part.

    but, let me fill you in on some actual history that’s relevant:

    The Bolsheviks in Germany at the turn of the century weren’t the ones killing people, they were the ones being railroaded by a old hierarchy of rich nationalists afraid of giving up their pretense of power. The leftists were formed by people dissatisfied with the empire building efforts of the previous century, the ubernationalism of the right, and the plight of the working class before, and especially AFTER WWI. Does this sound familiar? It fucking well should.

    It was the same in France, and Italy…

    Whenever there was talk of unionizing or “radical” ideas like real democracy or marxism, the people involved were typically jailed on trumped up charges, while the right wingers, who often were the ones actually involved in the violence, were let go or not even charged.

    Hell, the socialist “revolution” in Bavaria was won with less than a dozen casualties. It was UTTERLY CRUSHED by the nationalists in response, and way more than the original people involved were slaughtered as a reprisal. In fact, in an odd twist, Hitler himself was living in Bavaria at the time, and was initially charged with being a socialist, and that might have been the end of him right there, if he hadn’t said he hated the socialists and acted as informant.

    Information supplied by Hitler helped to track down several soldiers involved in the uprising. His officers were impressed by his hostility to left-wing ideas and he was recruited as a political officer.

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERhitler.htm

    so, IOW, the rise of the Nazi party, and its leadership, including Hitler himself, were all wrapped up with Nationalism, fomented by the old hierarchies of rich folk at the time.

    this is all a matter of public record, including the huge bias against leftists in the courts at the time as well. Though if you want to enjoy reading the history of this period, I’d recommend Richard Evan’s book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Third-Reich-Richard-Evans/dp/0143034693/ref=pd_sim_b_11

  62. Ichthyic says

    oh why do I bother?

    Clausentum is a fucking idiot.

    well, maybe someone else will pick that book up and read it.

    I think people should really take a week or so to really learn about and understand what was going on in Europe even before WWI.

    The similarities with what’s happening now in the US are uncanny.

    Evan’s book is a great read besides; the detail and scholarship is unmatched by any other work documenting this time period, and everything in it is cited up the wazoo.

    He also presents it in an overlapping time-line of events that makes it quite easy to grasp, and his writing style lends itself to the topic as well.

  63. Ichthyic says

    As for history, that’s what makes a conservative:

    …the very ignorance of it, as you have shown us all time and again.

    yup.

    that’s what makes a “conservative” alright.

    always has.

    always will.

    you’re an ignorant fuck. Anyone ever tell you that?

    oh, yeah, that’s right, EVERYONE ON THIS BLOG.

  64. Ichthyic says

    This may cheer you up slightly, Ichthyic

    well, at least religion didn’t ruin that guy’s principles.

    :)

    OTOH, it’s an Anglican church, so that’s almost agnostic right there anyway.

    Hell, I’ve met Anglican priests, who were also professors, who were also publicly admitted atheists.

    …and nobody cared.

  65. julian says

    Though if you want to enjoy reading the history of this period, I’d recommend Richard Evan’s book:

    Great, something else for me to read…

    I mean

    Great! Something else for me to read.

  66. Ichthyic says

    …also, OTOH, the church loses one more principled person, leaving yet more fuckwits in his place.

  67. Teshi says

    How different this is from OccupyLSX, which is (mostly) happily camping away outside St. Paul’s Cathedral, drawing some mild interest from news outlets.

    While I have some sympathy for the cause, or rather, with the frustration that prompted the Occupy movements, they are quite (and I’m trying not to be rude)… empty. I agree that fiscal inequality is growing and that this is a bad thing, and I agree that in countries where unregulated banking caused a financial collapse, banks should be more strictly regulated.

    But are the camps there to achieve this, or are they– as they claim– simply there to increase awareness of the amount of responsibility financial institutions have for the current economic climate. If the latter, it does need to be less about communism and more about deliberate education.

    Of course, the police violence is inexcusable, whatever the message or lack thereof.

  68. bad Jim says

    I don’t know what the Oakland Police Department is like now, but forty years ago they were renowned for their brutality. They constituted the bulk of the “Blue Meanies” terrorizing the Berkeley campus in the winter and spring of 1969, culminating in the People’s Park riot on May 15, in which one man was killed and another blinded by shotgun fire.

    You actually get somewhat used to tear gas when you’ve been around it for a few months.

    Now I’m old and live in a different part of the state, but I’m proud to have a niece who has been actively protesting the case of a homeless schizophrenic who was beaten to death by cops in Fullerton.

    It’s depressing to find how little has changed.

  69. Clausentum says

    Ichthyic @ 72c

    why do I bother ?…

    why does anyone?

    I’m well aware of German history of the time, and don’t need your book. I acknowledge many of your facts, but there’s one very important one you’ve omitted: Rosa Luxemburg, and Kurt Eisner & Co. were trying to hijack a country from a democratically elected government (left in fact, SPD), just as I said in my post above.

    The elements that suppressed the communist putsch were acting at the behest of the democratically elected SPD government. This gave Hitler & Co. their chance and drove many people into their arms. A textbook example of what happens when two factions see their interests in polarising the situation.

    Wonder why you left that little detail out.

  70. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    If the latter, it does need to be less about communism and more about deliberate education.

    Of course, the police violence is inexcusable, whatever the message or lack thereof.

    Oh, of course, cluck-cluck.

    Goodness me, cluck-cluck.

    Mercy, I’m glad you’re here to really care about the issue and not at all here to purse your lips and pretend it’s all-so-very, well, you know.

    Cluck. Oh, my – cluck.

  71. julian says

    Wonder why you left that little detail out.

    Me, too. A right winger taking advantage of an ignorant populace by raising fear of a leftist takeover and using a democratically elected government to pass the bills he needs to make himself even more powerful sounds like it would have helped bolster Icthyic’s point. Then again, Icthyic really didn’t need it.

  72. says

    clausentum

    Ah, a good old-fashioned English leftie, as dotty and inconsequential as ever, and still arguing that the commies, because they didn’t always put babies in mincing machines, should be elevated to Mother Teresa status.

    As a communist, I’m deeply offended by any comparisson with Mother Teresa. But the fact that you think that old fraud and cruel bastard to be a good person speaks volumes.

    I’m well aware of German history of the time, and don’t need your book. I acknowledge many of your facts, but there’s one very important one you’ve omitted: Rosa Luxemburg, and Kurt Eisner & Co. were trying to hijack a country from a democratically elected government (left in fact, SPD), just as I said in my post above.

    Well, thank you for making it so easy to show your deep level of cluelessness.
    You know, Rosa Luxemburg was murdered by the SPD in January 1919, the first free elections for the constitutional assembly were held on January 19th (guess why they had to murder some prominent communists before that date), the first parliamentary elections were on the 20th of June 1919.
    Before that, as everybody knows, there was the German Imperium, which was of course not a democracy, with the emperor having quite a lot of power and the parliament having very little, and well, women were cattle anyway.
    In the meantime, yes, the Social Democrats joined ranks with the conservative nationalists, having no scruples to shoot their former comrades and friends.
    So, now, if the first democratically elected government didn’t happen before summer 1920, how can a dead woman have tried to hijack it?

  73. Aquaria says

    they are quite (and I’m trying not to be rude)… empty.

    Then you’re not paying attention.

    I agree that fiscal inequality is growing and that this is a bad thing, and I agree that in countries where unregulated banking caused a financial collapse, banks should be more strictly regulated.

    Oh how very white of you to condescend to agree!

    By the way: That stuff isn’t empty.

    If the latter, it does need to be less about communism and more about deliberate education.

    Phenomenal cluelessness.

    Are you really so ignorant that you don’t get that a key component of OWS is to make people aware–i.e., EDUCATE them–about the crap that’s going on in their own country? Do you even have one fucking clue why they’re having to do it this way?

    When you have zero access to the levers of power, to the media, to controlling what people can learn, you educate the only way you can! They are doing it this way because this is the the only avenue left to them!

  74. says

    Just spotted a Twitter post stating that 50 Marines are on their way to Occupy Oakland.

    The characteristic tipping-point of revolutions or insurrections is when members of the military begin joining the insurgency. I don’t think this is anywhere near at that point, yet.

  75. says

    flashbangs aren’t supposed to be used that close to someone because they can cause real and very painful damage.

    They’re explosives. They can burst an ear-drum or burn an eyeball. Probably the best way to describe them is “a lot better than a fragmentation grenade” – which doesn’t exactly mean they are nice. It’s typical statist bullshit, in other words: getting whacked on the head with an oak club is better than a .223 in the guts so you’re expected to just crawl away and be happy that the minions of authority only wounded you when they could have outright killed you.

  76. KG says

    Rosa Luxemburg, and Kurt Eisner & Co. were trying to hijack a country from a democratically elected government (left in fact, SPD), just as I said in my post above. – clausentum

    It is absurd to describe the Ebert government as “democratically elected” at the time of the rising in Berlin – his SPD won 110 seats out of 397 in the elections of 1912 (none were held during the war). It came into office only because the military wanted to shove responsibility for Germany’s defeat onto civilians and the left. After the proclamation of a republic (without a constitution) in November 1918 it had no constitutional right to rule – and nor did anyone else. (The rising, incidentally, was not controlled by the parties to the left of the SPD, the USPD and the newly founded KPD (the Spartacists), but was largely spontaneous.)

    However, the SPD won the largest share (37%) of the national vote for a constituent assembly on 19th January 1919, the USPD getting less than 8% (the KPD did not take part), so it seems clear there was not the degree of popular support for a social revolution that would have made it feasible. Had the SPD leadership thrown their weight behind it things might have been very different, but since they had already sold out their principles by supporting the war – the fatal failure of the European reformist left as a whole – that was always unlikely. Instead, they chose to ally with the generals and the forces of the right.

  77. Clausentum says

    you’re an ignorant ……. Anyone ever tell you that?
    oh, yeah, that’s right, EVERYONE ON THIS BLOG.

    I was aware I was sticking my head into a leftist lion’s den.

    Amongst the brayings, only a couple of substantive points requiring clarification:

    Giliell @84:
    The pre-war elections to the Reichstag were considered to be fair enough even if the Tag didn’t have full powers at the time. After November ’18 it was the body with the best legitimacy to act as government till the first post-war elections.

    Julian @83 “raising fear of a leftist takeover” :
    To imply that the fears of a radical communist take-over were all the creation of the right is a new level in disengenousness.
    In Bavaria they actually succeeded in seizing power after losing the elections. In Berlin they had used violence against the government and were planning to putsch.
    At about this time, Giliell’s friends were busy ousting the first democratically elected body (Constituent Assembly) in Russia and soon to get some practice in the arts of massacre on the (revolutionary) Petrograd sailors who had imagined there might be some freedom in a communist country.

    Ps: sorry about giving offence with Mother Teresa thing was a bit clumsy: I was referring to the public estimation of her and not her works in this world.

  78. littlejohn says

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkg-bzTHeAk
    It’s time to put the band back together.
    As for the cops, ask yourself: Why would any normal person want to be a cop?
    Cops are high school graduates looking for a license to be bullies and get back at the smart kids who went to college.
    I’m older than PZ. I got tear-gassed in the 60s. I’ve got a bad back, but I’m ready to hit the streets again.
    BTW, that WAS a flash-bang the cops threw at innocent people to prevent them from aiding the Iraq vet the cops shot in the head with a tear gas canister.
    No cop will go to jail for this, just as no Ohio national guardsman went to jail for the Kent State Massacre of 1970.
    The wealthy are destroying this country out of greed and the fear a black man might get re-elected. Not taking sides is to take sides. Fuck the pigs.

  79. Anubis Bloodsin the third says

    Government authorities all over the globe are basically shitting themselves….they know they are in deep smelly doo doo.
    They are desperately trying to downplay the marches and crush their own citizens in the process.

    They know this could easily escalate, but are not sure where it will actually end up.
    Best to stamp down hard and by their action they reveal just how out of control and scared they really are.

    There are vague and troubling rumours that Europe will once again be at war within its own borders if a solution to the chaos is not found and like real fast, and it looks a long way from that preferred scenario at the moment.

    Countries around the world are trembling, they have just realised just how close they are to a meltdown in their own authority.

    A post apocalyptic society would be a nightmare for those that live like kings by imitating lice.

    Revolution is in the air and toilet paper sales soar.

    Best wishes to the injured protester and may the Oakland cops get fucked over real bad for their transparent lies.

  80. says

    clausentum
    I see you’re dodging the question:
    How could a dead woman try to hijack a government?

    Oh, and from your own link:
    Wiki says:

    The Reichstag had no formal right to install or dismiss the government. Legislation was shared between both the Reichstag and the (then) Bundesrat, which was the council of the reigning princes of the German states.

    So, that’s what counts as “democratically elected” nowadays (apart, again, from the fact that half the population never had a chance to vote on that farce of an assembly anyway.

    KG has already explained why, even if you considered the 1912 Reichstag to be democratically elected the Ebert government can hardly be called democratically elected.
    It would be like calling the provisionary government in Egypt at the moment democratically elected.

    I also notice that you’re trying to discredit anything I say by claiming I supported massacres.
    Now we do have a the start of a genuine ad hominem here.

    BTW, how come: people camping for weeks in the heat of the Tahir-place: good!
    People camping for a few days in a park in the USA in late autumn, probably going home or to friends for a shower every other day: end of the western world!

  81. Q.E.D says

    Can’t help but notice that Teabaggers carrying semi-automatic weapons at an Obama speech results in no police violence.

    But Occupy activists protesting the excesses of capitalism get shot in the head with tear gas cannisters.

    Someone is going to have to help me understand “health and safety concerns” that require shooting cannisters of chemical agents at unarmed people.

  82. says

    Can’t help but notice that Teabaggers carrying semi-automatic weapons at an Obama speech results in no police violence.

    Because cops really don’t like beating armed civilians? I can’t figure why.

  83. Anubis Bloodsin the third says

    #95 Q.E.D

    ‘Someone is going to have to help me understand “health and safety concerns” that require shooting cannisters of chemical agents at unarmed people.’

    Erm that would be the health ans safety concerns pertaining to the corporate bankers…or is that Wankers?.. and their lackeys and puppet muppets in government.
    They are shitting bricks and reacting as the guilty but wealthy always do…kick, or in this case shoot, a few poorer folks…it makes them all pink gooey and cosy inside.
    Their self righteous preciousness bone gets tickled rather nicely.
    Although they would have preferred live ammunition but ‘what ya gonna do in this PC dominated and stuffy boring pedestrian world accept blame Obama?’

    They are very concerned!

  84. KG says

    How different this is from OccupyLSX, which is (mostly) happily camping away outside St. Paul’s Cathedral, drawing some mild interest from news outlets. – Teshi

    Because OccupyLSX has not (yet) been attacked by a gang of armed thugs. There has been a good deal more than “mild interest”: the protestors have been denounced and slandered in the right-wing press, as one would expect, and the issue has been prominent on the BBC news.

    It seems very likely an injunction will be taken out against the protestors by the City of London Corporation. This interesting body is the municipal government for the “Square Mile” – London’s financial district, and is controlled by financial interests: it has a unique electorate, with the 6,000 or so residents being massively outvoted by over 30,000 voters nominated by management of the businesses with premises in the area – which are mostly banks and other financial institutions. If that is granted* and the occupiers refuse to leave, we may well see similar scenes to those in Oakland. The Metorpolitan Police are used to getting away with killing or badly injuring innocent people – the case of Jean-Charles de Menezes being one recent example. (In the more recent case of Ian Tomlinson, a policeman is being prosecuted for manslaughter. However, this follows a police campaign of lies about the incident, a sham investigation by the so-called “Independent Police Complaints Commission”, and a decision not to prosecute. The campaign was only derailed by video footage obtained by The Guardian and taken, IIRC, by an American banker, and the subsequent verdict of a coroner’s jury that Tomlinson was unlawfully killed.)

    Whether St. Pauls will join the CLC in requesting an injunction is not clear. The canon chancellor of the cathedral, Giles Fraser, is what passes for a leftie in the CoE. He originally asked the police to leave the cathedral steps when the protestors moved into the cathedral grounds. He’s just resigned his post, a clear sign that the cathedral management as a whole are siding with the financiers, but they may prefer to let the CLC do their dirty work.

    * Normally the courts can be relied on to protect the interests of the ruling class, of course, but there are apparently considerable legal complications, as the grounds of the cathedral are a patchwork belonging to different bodies, and some common land, so drafting a legally sound injunction may be tricky.

  85. says

    Someone is going to have to help me understand “health and safety concerns” that require shooting cannisters of chemical agents at unarmed people.

    Because it’s really unhealthy to shoot chemical agents at armed people?

  86. julian says

    Can’t help but notice that Teabaggers carrying semi-automatic weapons at an Obama speech results in no police violence.

    Police officers are more often than not bullies or willing to tolerate bullies among their ranks. Bullies and their enablers don’t fight people capable of fighting back. That would require them to fight someone on equal footing which they are in now way trained or equipped to do.

    Besides. The tea party has political backing. Who’s protecting or trying to back these protesters?

  87. says

    The Metorpolitan Police are used to getting away with killing or badly injuring innocent people – the case of Jean-Charles de Menezes being one recent example.

    True. Though, by way of a nitpick, the Met does not have primary jurisdiction in the City; the City of London has its own (very small) police force.

  88. KG says

    Anubis Bloodsin the Third,

    Government authorities all over the globe are basically shitting themselves….they know they are in deep smelly doo doo.
    They are desperately trying to downplay the marches and crush their own citizens in the process.

    They know this could easily escalate, but are not sure where it will actually end up.
    Best to stamp down hard and by their action they reveal just how out of control and scared they really are.

    Government authorities are shitting themselves mostly because of the financial crisis and threatened return to recession in the US and Europe, not because of small demos. However, they do know that things for the broad mass of people in those countries are going to get a lot worse – indeed, they are intentionally bringing this about by an escalation of class warfare to an intensity unseen since the 1930s – so they probably see a need to crack a few skulls now in order to make clear what’s coming to any serious resistance.

    There are vague and troubling rumours that Europe will once again be at war within its own borders if a solution to the chaos is not found and like real fast, and it looks a long way from that preferred scenario at the moment.

    [citation needed]

    There are? I’ve not heard them. Who is supposed to be going to fight whom?

  89. Teshi says

    But they now have the ear of the nation! OccupyLSX has a website, has had and continues to have media attention and yet I’m still struggling to understand why most of their message seems to be about communism and modeling a new society. They have actually said they haven’t decided what the message is yet.

    As I said in my post, if it is about educating people about what is financially going on in the country– which OccupyLSX seems to be, roughly, about– why am I not being inundated with specific data about what I should know and what I should demand be changed?

    I get that there is a general message there: Financial inequity with the balance of fiscal power belonging to the finance world is wrong and should be fixed. Is that the message I am meant to get?

    You claim it is white of me to “condescend to agree”. I *am* white and I understand that does give me avenues of power by default that not everyone is able to access, but I’m not sure how that makes my general agreement with the cause invalid.

    For clarity, I am specifically talking about OccupyLSX, as that is relevant to the media that I follow. It may be that the situation in the US is different and that the protest movements have not achieved, say, the same level of sensible media coverage and most if it remains to be about cops beating up protesters (or, I guess, if the media is censoring it, lazy protesters inconveniencing grown-ups)

    *

    Josh, if you have specific problem with what I said, please articulate it so I can address it as best I can. Clucking at me doesn’t give me a heck of a lot of information about what the problem with what I said is!

    *

    The US and the UK, and every other country that has an Occupy protest, have different problems, and different levels of problem. We may be entering cross-purpose conversation territory if we are lumping them all together beyond what I have already said about growing inequality.

  90. It'spiningforthefyords says

    Dear Clausentum,

    Fuck off, you troll asshat.

    Get a job after bathing, too.

    Yo’ mama.

    Enjoy the dungeon.

    — An unfriend

  91. says

    Whose side are the police on? Apparently, the side of the corporate masters and exploiter bankers.
    Obviously they are on the side of the people who pay their salaries: the lobying, campaign contributing corporations who have the money to buy off whomever they need to in order to make the votes of the people irrelevant.

  92. Steve LaBonne says

    I hope these cops get their salaries cut in half and their pension plan cut to ribbons. Maybe then they’ll figure out whose side they belong on.

  93. PaulS says

    So we applaud the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings yet brutally subdue protests in the US? Does anyone else notice this consistent hypocrisy of the good ol’ USA? Killing Bin Laden – good (yeah – we did it! Ra ra). Killing Ghadaffi – bad (they did it. Boo).

    Gimme a break.

  94. says

    Obviously they are on the side of the people who pay their salaries: the lobying, campaign contributing corporations who have the money

    A lot of cops make money “off duty” as private security for corporations.

    There’s a rather depressing article on Counterpunch about this:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/10/financial-giants-put-new-york-city-cops-on-their-payroll/

    “The corporations pay an average of $37 an hour (no medical, no pension benefit, no overtime pay) for a member of the NYPD, with gun, handcuffs and the ability to arrest. The officer is indemnified by the taxpayer, not the corporation.”

  95. KG says

    Teshi,

    As I said in my post, if it is about educating people about what is financially going on in the country– which OccupyLSX seems to be, roughly, about– why am I not being inundated with specific data about what I should know and what I should demand be changed?

    What sort of idiot are you? Why would you expect a no-doubt disparate group of people among whom there are unlikely to be financial experts to spoon-feed you and tell you what to do? They do, as it happens, list some key facts about the UK economy, and the vast shift of wealth towards the already wealthy.

    The US and the UK, and every other country that has an Occupy protest, have different problems, and different levels of problem. We may be entering cross-purpose conversation territory if we are lumping them all together beyond what I have already said about growing inequality.

    That is the problem, dummy: the key element that is the same across all the countries where OWS-type occupations are happening.

  96. Shriketastic says

    The most disgusting, most egregious thing about that video is the desperate screams of “HELP HIM!” from the protestors as they go back to try and help Scott Olsen.

    The police cordon remains impassive, unmoved… Except for one cop who slowly slinks back behind the ranks, and then tosses a flashbang.

    I don’t care *where* you stand on the Occupy protests, that kind of behaviour is disgusting and inhumane. It shows a callous lack of empathy and a wanton enjoyment of violence.

    That officer will not be reprimanded or held accountable.

  97. Teshi says

    Well, I don’t expect to be spoon fed, but I was wondering if they had specific ideas about how to equalize things. What you are saying is that these people know, in fact, less about what to do about the inequality problem than I do. They are just trying to draw my (or possibly other people’s who were not already aware of this inequality?) attention.

    Yes, the basic element of inequality is the same (and I can see we agree on that fact) but the symptoms/causes are different. For example the Key Facts explain that social mobility is very low in the UK, but what it doesn’t say the British education system is grievously two-tier and doesn’t prepare people of a middle or lower socio-economic status anywhere near as well as those who are wealthy for top-end jobs. On the other hand, the US’s health care system is non-existent and puts people in a lower socio-economic bracket at a significant health disadvantage that is inexcusable in a developed country. The police’s over-the-top issue is an issue specific to the US, for example. These are equality issues that are different and there are many more areas specific to each nation involved.

    Saying, “the nation is unequal” is a start. Identifying specifically where those issues are specifically is surely a key part of making progress that comes right before “how can we as a society work to help to mitigate these issues and try to decrease equality?”

    This is what I mean by “empty”. If a teacher scrawled “fix this” on an essay, or a student told a teacher her/his class was “bad” you would be absolutely justified in expecting them to be able to elaborate further.

    Perhaps that is not what this protest is about and I am expecting something it is not planning to deliver. Perhaps you are right and saying there is inequality is enough.

  98. Teshi says

    @KG #110

    KG said:
    “What sort of idiot are you? Why would you expect a no-doubt disparate group of people among whom there are unlikely to be financial experts to spoon-feed you and tell you what to do?”

    Well, I don’t expect to be spoon fed, but I was wondering if they had specific ideas about what needs to be fixed and how to go about it. What you are saying is that these people know, in fact, less about what to do about the inequality problem than I do. They are just trying to draw my (or possibly other people’s who were not already aware of this inequality?) attention.

    Now, I already have some ideas about what the problems are so perhaps I’m not the audience?

    KG said:
    “That is the problem, dummy: the key element that is the same across all the countries where OWS-type occupations are happening.”

    Yes, the basic element of inequality is the same (and I can see we agree on that fact) but the symptoms/causes are different. For example the Key Facts explain that social mobility is very low in the UK, but what it doesn’t say the British education system is grievously two-tier and doesn’t prepare people of a middle or lower socio-economic status anywhere near as well as those who are wealthy for top-end jobs. On the other hand, the US’s health care system is non-existent and puts people in a lower socio-economic bracket at a significant health disadvantage that is inexcusable in a developed country. The police’s over-the-top issue is an issue specific to the US, for example. These are equality issues that are different and there are many more areas specific to each nation involved.

    Saying, “the nation is unequal” is a start. Identifying specifically where those issues are specifically is surely a key part of making progress that comes right before “how can we as a society work to help to mitigate these issues and try to decrease equality?”

    This is what I mean by “empty”. If a teacher scrawled “fix this” on an essay, or a student told a teacher her/his class was “bad” you would be absolutely justified in expecting them to be able to elaborate further.

    Perhaps that is not what this protest is about and I am expecting something it is not planning to deliver. Perhaps you are right and saying there is inequality is enough.

  99. Clausentum says

    It’spiningforthefyords @105
    so I’m dungeoned? What an honour: shown how phoney the pretensions round here to being open to rational debate are.

  100. TheOtherLilith says

    What about the thugs that tell girls what to do? Why are you slut shaming? Yeah, blame Franc again. You should. His penis stays up. You’re worse than a pedo Myers. You’re a Watson-o. miss piggy fetishist. yeeew. beyond gross.

  101. says

    Wow, I just want to add- Pharyngulites know their history.

    I’ll be the first to admit I don’t. I graduated from the worst high school in my state. I also smoked a lot of pot then. This may or may not be the reason I didn’t learn much.

    But damn, WWI history is so amazing!

    Ichthyic, I love you. Let me steal your babby.

  102. Ewan Macdonald says

    The most disgusting, most egregious thing about that video is the desperate screams of “HELP HIM!” from the protestors as they go back to try and help Scott Olsen.

    The police cordon remains impassive, unmoved… Except for one cop who slowly slinks back behind the ranks, and then tosses a flashbang.

    I don’t care *where* you stand on the Occupy protests, that kind of behaviour is disgusting and inhumane. It shows a callous lack of empathy and a wanton enjoyment of violence.

    That officer will not be reprimanded or held accountable.

    Someone mentioned this earlier but during the G20 protests in London a man named Iain Tomlinson died after being shoved by a policeman. Anyway, this was comically whitewashed by the police, as you’d expect, with one more outrageous lie being that the police were attacked as they tried to help a fallen, injured man. A while later a video emerged showing, er, something very different:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/09/g20-video-ian-tomlinson-death

    Here you can see that a single, solitary object was thrown at the people helping the fallen (who are clearly not police), at which point the self-policing protesters advised the thrower and others to “back the fuck up.” The police helpfully stood by, silent and passive.

    With good reason are the Met considered by many to be unfit for a liberal, democratic society.

  103. Matt Penfold says

    Someone mentioned this earlier but during the G20 protests in London a man named Iain Tomlinson died after being shoved by a policeman. Anyway, this was comically whitewashed by the police, as you’d expect, with one more outrageous lie being that the police were attacked as they tried to help a fallen, injured man. A while later a video emerged showing, er, something very different:

    Well there is some good news to report because the officer accused of pushing Tomlinson is to be tried on a charge of manslaughter next year.

  104. says

    German history:

    the actions taken by the SPD in 1919 were more than unfortunate, but remember that the SPD was thrust into their position by the conservatives trying to foist responsibility for the lost war on to them. And originally the split in the movement had occurred due to disagreement of tactics, i.e. the SPD still wanted to work within the system and change it (which had also led to its decision to support the war, which in 20/20 hindsight was a stupid move), where the Communists wanted to overthrow it. And the person mainly responsible for coming down hard on the uprising, Gustav Noske, saw his career on the national level effectively ended in 1920 and sent away to a Prussian province.

    Ironically enough the SPD was the main party that supported the Weimar system. The poster blaming the Communists for its downfall disregards the fact that the conservative elites and its parties were doing their best to undermine and discredit the newly minted democratic system. It was them who invited the Nazis to join the government, in 1932 there were two elections to the Diet (there is no word like “Tag”), and the Nazis had seen their share fall from 37% to 33%. (Of course the fact that the KPD had around 14-20% would have meant that the only alternative was having a minority government, but the president could have used his considerable powers to continue supporting such a government instead). Until the Preussenschlag of 1932, the SPD state government of Prussia remained the strongest bastion of democracy.

  105. Matt Penfold says

    And in the interests of being fair, the investigation into Tomlinson’s death was hampered by the fact the first post mortem examination was carried out out a doctor not on the list of pathologists approved to do PMs in London, and who was later found guilt of professional misconduct in respect of other post mortem’s. There is an investigation taking place into his conduct in respect of Tomlinson’s PM.

    The initial findings from the first PM indicated that the push was not a factor in Tomlinson’s death. Subsequent examinations have come to the conclusion it was.

  106. says

    #114: There’s something so silly about someone complaining about being banned in the comments. Doesn’t the fact that you’re complaining say something about that?

    #115: You’re freaking insane.

  107. KG says

    Saying, “the nation is unequal” is a start. Identifying specifically where those issues are specifically is surely a key part of making progress that comes right before “how can we as a society work to help to mitigate these issues and try to decrease equality?”

    This is what I mean by “empty”. If a teacher scrawled “fix this” on an essay, or a student told a teacher her/his class was “bad” you would be absolutely justified in expecting them to be able to elaborate further. – Tishi

    They did elaborate further – in the “key facts” which you evidently had not bothered to read. But since this is an international movement, and since capitalism is an international system, it clearly makes sense to focus on what is in common between the countries involved: the vast increase in inequality over the past few decades, the vicious class war being waged by the very rich (the “1%”) against the rest of us, and the full-scale crisis of capitalism this has produced. It’s clear that the occupiers, while they may not be the most politically sophisticated people, have a much better grasp of these essentials than you do.

  108. lazybird says

    Clausentum says:

    …there’s a lot to be said for continuity and stability

    The problem, which you have yet to understand, is that the current situation is not stable or sustainable.

  109. Clausentum says

    lazybird –
    granted that you’re correct, what has to be done to make it stable and sustainable? The apocalypse, which some above some above are calling for, explicitly in some cases, implicitly in others?
    Or perhaps the boring old political process, which admittedly strains one’s patience, but building consensus and broadbased acceptance will always be like that?
    I’ve always believed that a true democrat must have a good sense for the lesser evil, and be prepared to accept it.

  110. Dr. Pablito says

    Here is an email from the mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan, who regularly sends out city updates to people who subscribe to it. I thought that rather than letting my city continue to look lousy in the eyes of the world, I could get some reading in front of people and appeal for some common sense and ask people to tone down the violent rhetoric. How would your city look if things went this way? How many of you personally know public service employees: cops, firefighters, EMT’s, local politicians? For the most part, they’re trying to do the right thing, particularly here in Oakland, where our city budget is totally in the tank. We cannot afford this kind of destructive BS, and I want people to consider the possibility that both cops and protesters are to blame here. Sure, the OPD is engaged in ass-covering maneuvering and dumb, violent crap, but the protesters had three days’ worth of warning to please stop camping in the public park in front of city hall or else the cops were gonna roust them. They chose to stay put. And when the Occupy people came back for more? With knuckleheads deliberately trying to escalate the whole thing? Who wins? Occupy Oakland people can come back every freaking day and have meetings and teach-ins and all kinds of stuff as far as pretty much everyone is concerned, including the mayor and the cops and many, many citizens of Oakland. But we’ve let the most extreme, confrontational protesters control the debate now.

    ——
    This week’s newsletter is delayed due to our focus on the recent events concerning Occupy Oakland.

    We support the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement: we have high levels of unemployment and we have high levels of foreclosure that makes Oakland part of the 99% too. We are a progressive city and tolerant of many opinions. We may not always agree, but we all have a right to be heard.

    I want to thank everyone for the peaceful demonstration at Frank Ogawa Park tonight, and thank the city employees who worked hard to clean up the plaza so that all activities can continue including Occupy Wall Street. We have decided to have a minimal police presence at the plaza for the short term and build a community effort to improve communications and dialogue with the demonstrators.

    99% of our officers stayed professional during difficult and dangerous circumstances as did some of the demonstrators who dissuaded other protestors from vandalizing downtown and for helping to keep the demonstrations peaceful. For the most part, demonstrations over the past two weeks have been peaceful. We hope they continue to be so.

    I want to express our deepest concern for all of those who were injured last night, and we are committed to ensuring this does not happen again. Investigations of certain incidents are underway and I will personally monitor them.

    We understand and recognize the impact this event has had on the community and acknowledge what has happened. We cannot change the past, but we are committed to doing better.

    Most of us are part of the 99%, and understand the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. We are committed to honoring their free speech right.

    Finally, we understand the demonstrators want to meet with me and Chief Jordan. We welcome open dialogue with representatives of Occupy Wall Street members, and we are willing to meet with them as soon as possible.

    The City posts regular updates on the city website that you can view at http://www.oaklandnet.com.

  111. Dr. Pablito says

    … and you know, PZ, we don’t happen to have that many “corporate masters” and “exploiter bankers” located in downtown Oakland, CA. We’d probably be thrilled if any “corporate masters” would give Oakland a couple of bucks. Oakland Police Department doesn’t have any corporate masters I know of.

  112. Brandyllyn says

    I was sitting at home when the news broke on twitter that Oakland police were using tear gas (confirmed) and rubber bullets, flash-bangs, and beanbags (unconfirmed at the time) on the Occupy Oakland Protesters. I have never in my life been so mad and my first response was to go down there with bottles of water to do what I could to help.

    That night, I helped wash tear gas out of the eyes of a 56 year old grandmother. I saw four people try and help a lady in a wheelchair outrun a cloud of tear-gas. I saw a group of policemen throw a tear-gas canister into a group of people standing showing the peace sign. I saw a man bleeding and stuttering from where the police had hit him just above his eye with a projectile. And before the night was over I got gassed myself. This wasn’t a response to a riot, this was a better armed body of militants using an absurd amount of force on unarmed people.

    I haven’t been a fan of Occupy Wall Street in the past, I’m not sure how they think what they’re doing will accomplish anything – but what happened Tuesday night was unconscionable. It doesn’t matter what political side you’re on – either you or your children were attacked by their own government in Oakland.

    If that doesn’t piss you off, I don’t know what will.

  113. Brandyllyn says

    Oh, and my ‘favorite’ part of the night, a man threw a wad of money into a policeman’s face yelling “Will you protect us now?”

  114. maureen.brian says

    I second KG @ 125.

    But, Teshi, where have your been these last few years? How come it took people camping in St Paul’s Churchyard to alert you to the fact that something is amiss?

    Here’s a little booklist for you ….

    Will Hutton, The State We’re In – revised edition this year, originally published 1996 or thereabouts

    Richard Wilkinson + Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level, 2010

    …. both on amazon.co.uk and almost any bookshop, both under a tenner and if your library has not been slashed in the cuts then there too.

    (High-powered academics are to note that I have deliberately gone in at the any-literate-idiot level rather than pontificate or put Teshi off.)

    There’s a TED talk by Richard Wilkinson which is not very exciting but might ease you in. Once you have your head around these then following Will Hutton in the Observer and Paul Krugman in the New York Times will keep you in touch with what’s happening.

    Note especially what KG says – it’s not that the detail varies we need to worry about but the fact that the whole system globally is on its knees.

    What can you individually do? Not a lot as a single person but having the knowledge to resist the City’s PR machine – the government and most of the media – is a good starting point.

  115. alkaloid says

    Dr. Pablito shortened:

    “I warned you I was going to hit you if you didn’t get me a beer. It’s not my fault your face got in the way of my fist.”

  116. julian says

    How many of you personally know public service employees: cops, firefighters, EMT’s, local politicians?

    Prof. Myer’s son is Cavalry Officer in the U.S. Army, many of the posters here are prior military and I think a couple are social workers. But I guess none of those groups count as real Americans either.

    but the protesters had three days’ worth of warning to please stop camping in the public park in front of city hall or else the cops were gonna roust them.

    What do you think a protest involves, exactly?

    I want to express our deepest concern for all of those who were injured last night, and we are committed to ensuring this does not happen again.

    Really? Take away the CS gas and flash bangs and give your police officers a crash course on the proper escalation of force.

  117. illuminata says

    Per Daily Kos, the Oakland PD lied about using rubber bullets. More than a few live round shells were found on the ground afterwards and there is a picture of a cop, smiling with his gun loaded with what are clearly live rounds.

    There’s another piece on Daily Kos that shows some posts from s police message board that shows just how much the police care about fellow citizens. Specifically, they are tossing around ideas on how to make sure protestors can’t i.d. them later on, and about how they local govt’s need to “remove the shackles on us and let us do our jobs” – which, as they go on to explain is beating “liberals” to death.

    We need to stop romanticizing the police and police culture.

  118. lazybird says

    Clausentum

    Here in the US the boring old political process is the problem. Major changes are desperately needed: campaign finance reform, elimination of the lobbying branch of Congress, elimination of the Electoral College, reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, a universal health care system, repair of the social safety net, an FDA and EPA that aren’t subsidies of the Chamber of Commerce, the list goes on. Right now the chances of any of these changes happening is pretty much zero, and that’s the way the 1% want it. If you want an apocalypse, just keep on with business as usual.

  119. Sally Strange, OM says

    Hey Teshi,

    There’s this thing that happened in my town recently–a teach-in regarding the politics and policies of OWS. It was very informative and interesting. I live-tweeted it, if you’re interested – my Twitter handle is @SallyStrange and I used the hashtag #owsteachin for most of the tweets.

    I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a teach-in, or something like it, in your vicinity too. Go use the google machine a seek it out.

    Ass.

  120. CJO says

    and you know, PZ, we don’t happen to have that many “corporate masters” and “exploiter bankers” located in downtown Oakland, CA.

    Dumbass. Yes we do. According to the City’s 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Wells Fargo employs the 2nd-most people in Oakland after Alameda County. For instance.

  121. julian says

    We need to stop romanticizing the police and police culture.

    They are people with weapons. Right wing, fuck commies, I’m holier than thou people with guns.

    Yes they have a dangerous job.

    Yes they do a vital service for society.

    No we should not treat them with anything other than suspicion in cases like this. Why? Because they have a history of corruption and abuse, lying about corruption and abuse and have guns.

  122. Rolan le Gargéac says

    mikeg @120

    And so too did the droogs turn their backs on little Alex…

    And this is why we must viddy well little brother !

  123. CJO says

    OPD are fucking thugs. And hardly a one of ‘em actually lives any closer to downtown than Walnut Creek. They aren’t citizens of Oakland, they feel no kinship with us. They imagine themselves as zookeepers who get to go home to their cushy fake-overtime-funded suburban homes.

    And don’t get me started on BART cops, who operate like a poorly trained private security squad, and they can’t stop killing innocent people every couple of years.

  124. RahXephon, un feminist nucleaire says

    Dr. Pablito obviously doesn’t understand what civil disobedience is about.

    Clausentum, why do you continue to post here? It’s pretty clear that you’re universally despised. Based on your posts, I’m guessing you just get off on your persecution complex. Yawn indeed.

  125. mouthyb says

    FYI: those of us who teach are also public employees, if we teach at a state U or public school.

    *flips off Dr. Pablito* If that’s your logic for who should get listened to, a narrow definition of “real ‘muricans” you need to clean out your ears.

  126. Shriketastic says

    [blockquote]the protesters had three days’ worth of warning to please stop camping in the public park in front of city hall or else the cops were gonna roust them[/blockquote]

    The freedom riders were warned that they would be arrested if they tried ridding the busses down south, so what else can you expect when they did it? They obviously should have seen that the KKK would torch their bus while they were locked inside, under the watchful eye of state and municipal police.

  127. KG says

    granted that you’re correct, what has to be done to make it stable and sustainable? – clausentum

    Instability and unsustainability are an unavoidable consequence* of allowing market forces to determine production decisions, because such a set-up rewards short-termism (yes, a few decades, the normal planning horizon of even the most forward-thinking firms, is short-term). But in the present case, it is precisely the huge concentration of wealth and income that has taken place over the past few decades in the rich countries**, that underlies the crisis. Median real household incomes have stagnated and in the last decade even fallen in the USA and parts of Europe. Demand continued to rise because a vast asset/credit bubble was allowed – indeed encouraged – to form, helped by financial deregulation: millions of people borrowed more and more, in large part against the rising market price of their homes. Now the bubble’s popped, as it was bound to do, demand has a strong tendency to fall, and banks are reluctant to lend. Hence businesses fail, and the loss of jobs reduces demand further. At present, the BRICS and many other poorer countries are still growing strongly, but it’s unlikely that can survive a new recession in the rich countries. Austerity programmes are making matters worse, and “quantitative easing” (allowing banks to create more money) isn’t working because they’re not lending it. The most important component of a solution is simple: reduce inequality. This could be done in a number of ways – the quickest would be simply to give every adult a sum of money – as an alternative to yet more “quantitative easing”. Because the poor spend a larger proportion of their money than the rich, redistribution toward the poor raises demand. Nationalising insolvent banks and keeping them in public ownership would allow the government to break the “bankers’ strike” which is depriving many businesses of the funds they need.

    Somehow, I don’t think the above suggestions will appeal either to clausentum, or our lords and masters.

    *Which is not to say they do not occur in other types of political economy.

    **It’s happened in poor ones as well, but the effects there have been different.

  128. Amphigorey says

    I live in Oakland and I attended last night’s protest. Fortunately, it was peaceful and there were no cops out, no tear gas, and no rubber bullets. There were about 3,000 of us in the plaza having a general assembly. I have to say, witnessing the people’s mike is quite a thing. (People’s Mike: A way of crowdsourcing amplification so that everyone can hear what’s being said. Whoever is addressing the crowd speaks in short sentences, which the crowd repeats. It’s surprisingly effective.)

    Many of the protestors in Oakland went to San Francisco to support Occupy SF, as it was reported that there was a planned police raid. The raid didn’t happen, but there was far more police presence in SF than in Oakland last night, so I’m glad many Oaklanders headed to SF to stand in support.

    Sometime between 11 and 12, the general assembly at Oakland called for a vote on a general strike for November 2. Out of 1500 people who voted, it passed with a 97% majority. More information at http://www.occupyoakland.org/

  129. uncle frogy says

    I think it is kind of funny.
    The rich and greedy want more power and want to control the whole game they can convince enough of the want-a-be’s to believe them about taxes and the economy and let them keep running things to let them advocate austerity plans that do not effect the rich and powerful with all this “it is the only thing we can do to regain prosperity”.
    The effect is of course to increase the disparity. But they are kind of in a trap they made themselves.
    To increase profits they have to cut costs which mainly effects the people who do the work by either cutting wages directly or outsourcing labor to place with even lower wages than could be tolerated by their own native workers, it is happening the same way everywhere.
    They also must cut as many social benefits as is possible to lower government costs there for lowering any tax burden that they might be expected to pay.
    The funny part is inherent in the competitive system they have set up.
    They are all in competition and do not work in concert. They depend on the prosperity of the market as a whole to succeed, to make the system work but each one lowers the purchasing power of their own workers there for decreasing the health of the market in total.
    They also depend on that market being educated and literate and also connected. they themselves need the market connected, the free flow of information is paramount to timely business decisions.
    You can not have a modern market economy with an ignorant uneducated desperate poor population they just do not have any way to buy anything to increase your profits and there by your power.
    An educated and connected population is much harder to control and harder to lie to.
    The reality of the situation tends to become self evident.
    All governments all societies all cultures are based on an agreement. It can be induced by fear or common interest or history or filial affection but it is at the base an agreement. It looks like there is a growing fraction of the population that want some changes in the agreement.
    What kind of changes has not been decided but the dissatisfaction is clear from all sides both the right and the left.
    It is clearly not working as it is.
    uncle frogy

  130. JediBear says

    Yes, let’s take our power-to-people anti-greed-and-corruption movement and turn it against people who have every reason to sympathize with it. Good job, Oakland. *facepalm*

    Did Police misbehave? Yes, but really only a little. Are they lying? Apparently.

    The apparent lie is a little baffling though. To be clear, that is *not* a flashbang.

  131. says

    “To be clear, that is *not* a flashbang.”

    It went flash, and it went bang. WTF do you think it was? It wasn’t teargas.

    The cops attacked peaceful protesters and then lied about it.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting […] abridging the […] the right of the people peaceably to assemble”

  132. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Yes, but really only a little.

    Yeah, it’s really only a little wrong to throw explosive devices into a group of people trying to help a man with a head wound. It’s right after chewing gum loudly in an elevator.

  133. Amphigorey says

    Apparently, the Oakland PD may not *technically* be lying about the flashbangs and rubber bullets; there were 16 other agencies there that night from all around the Bay Area. It’s quite possible that the grenades were thrown not by OPD but by cops from another jurisdiction.

    However, if that’s the case, it’s even worse: it means that OPD was unaware of what other police were doing in downtown Oakland. That’s a huge problem.

  134. Ichthyic says

    In Bavaria they actually succeeded in seizing power after losing the elections.

    and the reason they managed to do it with so few people directly involved (essentially 8 people) was?

    BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE IN BAVARIA WANTED A SOCIALIST STATE.

    Bavaria did not like the Nationalists, did not like the idea of empire building, felt they were being taken advantage of…

    yeah.

    Goddamn you’re a complete fuckwit.

  135. Ichthyic says

    I’m well aware of German history of the time, and don’t need your book.

    no, you’re really, REALLY, not.

    that’s why I wrote what I did.

    you’re not only ignorant, your willfully fucking ignorant.

    I look forward to your inevitable removal from this blog.

  136. Ichthyic says

    Rosa Luxemburg, and Kurt Eisner & Co. were trying to hijack a country from a democratically elected government (left in fact, SPD), just as I said in my post above.

    Right, so for example, W was democratically elected.

    you’re an idiot.

    I’ll just keep repeating this until it becomes clear to you:

    You.

    are.

    an.

    idiot.

  137. Ichthyic says

    …by the way, here’s WHY Bavaria was actually in the vast majority in FAVOR of taking the country over from the Nationalists, because:

    Hitler was appalled by the revolution. As a German Nationalist he disagreed with the socialist belief in equality.

    that’s right, asswipe, the reason Bavaria REQUIRED a revolution was because the people felt that the Nationalists were removing the initial egalitarian ideals they felt were a natural part of their social life all the way up to WWI.

    The crushing of organized worker groups, the demonization of entire cultural and political groups… this was what the Nationalists were fomenting at the time. This is exactly why I encourage people to read about this time period, because you will see the EXACT same behaviors repeating themselves in Western Societies for generations afterwards.

    It never went away.

    but, of course, people like Clausentum have their heads way too far wedged up their asses to get what history is trying to tell them.

  138. Ichthyic says

    Did Police misbehave? Yes, but really only a little.

    yeah, but the problem is, when people misbehave towards the cops, it’s usually empty bottle or small rocks, which rather don’t affect someone in riot gear much.

    OTOH, when the cops misbehave, they use things like tear gas cannons and rubber shotgun bullets.

    against unarmored targets, these can cause serious damage, as the pictures clearly show.

    so, it’s simply not an equal situation.

  139. Ichthyic says

    The apocalypse, which some above some above are calling for, explicitly in some cases, implicitly in others?

    only in your tiny mind would overhauling market trading and promoting egalitarian economic policy constitute “Teh Apocalypse”

    seriously, you should really just shut the hell up.

  140. Ichthyic says

    pelamun at 122 crystallizes with an example what was happening in larger Germany at the time period I was referring to:

    The poster blaming the Communists for its downfall disregards the fact that the conservative elites and its parties were doing their best to undermine and discredit the newly minted democratic system.

    It was a propaganda blitz, looking to blame anyone and everyone (but the nationalists themselves) for weakening empire and nationalist idealism.

  141. says

    I still have yet to see how a grenade that goes ***FLASH BANG*** yet releases no gas is not a flash bang grenade.
    ++++++++++++++++
    “Apparently, the Oakland PD may not *technically* be lying about the flashbangs and rubber bullets; there were 16 other agencies there that night from all around the Bay Area. It’s quite possible that the grenades were thrown not by OPD but by cops from another jurisdiction. ”

    The officer who threw that grenade is on tape, OPD called them in, OPD is responsible. No weasel words allowed. But I get your point.

    A real OPD would have immediately arrested that cop, (yeah, right), and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon. And the cop who shot the Iraq veteran point blank with a tear gas canister.

    And all the other cops who stood by and did nothing while a man who was critically injured while harassing the first responders should be charged with conspiracy.

    And while the mayor has apparently reigned in the cops temporarily shouldn’t necessarily resign yet, she should walk the talk.

  142. Amphigorey says

    I’m particularly appalled by City Councilmember Ignacio de la Fuente, who went so far as to commend the cops for their actions on Tuesday, and went on to say that he hadn’t even seen the videos of the cops misbehaving.

    He’s got his head in the sand, and he’s exposed himself as an asshole. I hope he doesn’t get re-elected when his term’s up. (I don’t live in his district.)

  143. says

    I still have yet to see how a grenade that goes ***FLASH BANG*** yet releases no gas is not a flash bang grenade.

    sheer nitpickiness, probably, since apparently that name stuck to a particular type of military-grade stun grenade.

  144. says

    I hope he doesn’t get re-elected when his term’s up.

    lol

    where I come from, that would have been “fire his incompetent ass”, not “oh my, let’s hope that after he finishes his current contract, it will not be extended”. how… civil… of you.

  145. says

    Ichthyic,

    that said, I do think it is one of the tragedies of the German workers’ movement that it split up into Social Democrats and Communists in 1919. But it was probably inevitable, given the disagreement about strategy and the war.

    The SPD chose to fully support the new state, with all the compromises that entailed. But a democracy can’t function if a considerable part of the elite are not on the same page.

  146. nms says

    “To be clear, that is *not* a flashbang.”

    It went flash, and it went bang. WTF do you think it was?

    lolwut

    And yes, it is sheer nitpickiness, because this is the internet.

  147. Ichthyic says

    But a democracy can’t function if a considerable part of the elite are not on the same page.

    but who were really the elite in the sense you mean it back then?

  148. says

    but who were really the elite in the sense you mean it back then?

    The bureaucrats, the military leaders, the entrepreneurs. They didn’t exactly embrace the new Republic

  149. Ichthyic says

    The bureaucrats, the military leaders, the entrepreneurs. They didn’t exactly embrace the new Republic

    OK, I just didn’t quite grasp it from the way you worded it.

    and yeah, none of them were on the same page, that’s for sure.

  150. Gazza says

    Question: what is the difference between the pirates of the Israeli military illegally boarding an aid flotilla and murdering nine of its participants including a US citizen, or Mubarak’s use of armed thugs to murder protesters fighting for their freedom and the police shooting protestors in the head rubber bullets and tear gas and throwing grenades into a crowd?

    Answer: None

  151. Ichthyic says

    Answer: None

    well, technically people died in some of those instances and not in others.

    I *think* I get your point though?

    That it’s just protection of currently established authority?

    maybe you should explain it more clearly, if this is what you mean.

    It works both ways though:

    What’s the difference between the Brixton riots, the Watts riots, and the more recent Nairobi/Kenya riots?

    Here’s another question:

    Say you are a small business owner whose store is in the middle of a protest rally that might turn violent.

    Should you be more concerned if there are, or are not, police present?

  152. says

    the pirates of the Israeli military illegally boarding an aid flotilla

    Things aren’t that clear on this front, especially not on international waters. The UN found the blockade to be legal, but that Israel had used “excessive force”, and should have waited until the flotilla was closer to the shoreline.

    But let’s not derail this thread with arguing over this issue.

  153. nemo the derv says

    do you know why the San Francisco raid was cancelled?
    It’s because 11 city council members were there…….watching.
    Oaklands mayor is still in Washington.
    The difference between Oakland and San Francisco has never been more clear.

  154. John Phillips, FCD says

    Did Police misbehave? Yes, but really only a little.


    That’s a bit like claiming that the RCC only misbehaved a little in claiming it was the only true arbiter of morals while doing everything in its power to protect its kiddy raping priests.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.

  155. says

    oops – CS gas is actually very fine crystals of irritant not “gas” and are distributed with a small explosive charge or propellant gas, sort of like a roman candle.

    “flashbangs” are more powerful than an M-80, by a pretty good margin, and can cause serious injuries if you’re strong-stomached you can google for “stun grenade injury” image search. They’ll blow a fist-sized chunk out of you if they are right up against you. A bad riot scenario involves a flashbang thrown into a crowd and a person falls down on it before it goes off – that could be fatal.

  156. says

    Conversation, cookies and tea are probably the only “humane” crowd control weapons, unfortunately cops aren’t very big on using them because you look silly drinking tea in black body armor.

  157. se habla espol says

    How many of you personally know public service employees: cops, firefighters, EMT’s, local politicians?

    My stepson is a cop, a lieutenant in a small sheriff’s department.
    Recently, he complained to me about yet another cop he had to fire for being a bully. He thinks they’re just about gone from his department — he hopes so, anyway.
    Not all cops are good; not all cops are bad. Is there any justification for pretending they are all the same?

  158. says

    If a cop knows that another cop committed a crime and the first cop doesn’t arrest them or report it to their superior, then the first cop is an accessory.

    Are there any cops who go through their career never having known of another cop committing a crime? No fixed parking ticket, no fudging a police report, no stretching of the “reasonable suspicion” to justify a search? Never ever saw any of that?

    Then that cop is a good cop.

    Otherwise, no. Bad cop. There are degrees of bad, you realize. Yes, cops are human, but they must be held to a higher standard, not a lower one.

    How many cops currently meet that? How many cops report every minor police crime they see? How many good cops are there?

    I’m afraid to know the answer.

  159. says

    How many cops currently meet that? How many cops report every minor police crime they see? How many good cops are there?

    I agree, and I think it’s probably impossible to be a good cop all the time, without fixing a single parking ticket or buying milk while on duty.

    But there are differnces in crime and there are limits.
    Sure as nobody here can say that they never speeded, or parked in a no-parking area or jaywalked.
    But just like those minor offences don’t make you a bad person, they don’t make a cop a bad cop.
    Shooting at people and covering it up on the other hand, does.

  160. says

    A person caught speeding will get a ticket. A cop WONT.

    And regular people are not given the power to destroy other people’s lives if they feel like stopping a stranger and lying on a report. Cops are.
    Regular people are not given guns by the government and the power and authority to kill others with them. Cops are.
    Regular people are not given the direct, person-to-person, face to face power of government. Cops are.

    Cops are just people, drawn from the same pool of citizens as the rest of us, but they MUST be held to a higher standard. If they can’t stand up to that, then they may be pretty nice individuals, but they simply are not qualified to be given the job, the powers, the gun. Period.

  161. julian says

    A bad riot scenario involves a flashbang thrown into a crowd and a person falls down on it before it goes off – that could be fatal.

    Exactly.

    Any idiot can tell you you do not set off any explosive in the middle of a group. There’s a good chance you’re going to hurt someone badly. It’s like these cops don’t even know the basic safety rules for the weapons they’re handling or think they’re off at a range and can do whatever they want to the dummies.

  162. says

    Jafafa Hots

    A person caught speeding will get a ticket. A cop WONT.

    Well, depends. With automatic speed-cameras where no human ever looks upon those things, the owner of the car gets the ticket sent home, unless there is of course a program that deletes all cops from the data ;)
    I think we#re talking about two vastly different systems of traffic rule control here, but that’s not the point.
    My point was that we engage in minor misdemeanours every day, without being caught, fully knowing that it’s wrong.
    But most people draw a line at serious stuff.
    Sure, cops should set an example and be better than the rest of us, but as long as their offences are limited to “forgetting” a parking ticket and accepting coffee and doughnuts, I’m willing to cut them some slack.
    But that doesn’t explain the violence riot police are showing, nor their disdain for human life.

    I got already freaked out when they arrested people on Brooklyn Bridge. Only an idiot or a criminal could have given such an order, but hundreds of police officers engaged in a probably perfectly legal, probably textbook mass-arrest that could have easily led to many deaths.

  163. Ron says

    This reminds me so much of the “Bonus Army” purge of the 30’s. Troops and police led by McArthur (yep .. that hero of WW2 and Dwight Eisenhower, yep.. that one too) attacked a peaceful crowd of WW1 veterans in Washington, DC … they proceeded to bludgeon, gas, ride down on horseback, and bayonet these unarmed men who scared the impotent Republican government who were languishing politically as the Depression cruchsed everyone in America.

    If they’ll do it to veterans who did their dirty work for them (I am a veteran myself)they’ll ride down some college kid in a heartbeat.

  164. KG says

    blockquote>Fuck the police. – Fuck cops

    It’s not often you see a post where the message and the nym are interchangeable.

  165. se habla espol says

    Jafafa Hots says:

    Are there any cops who go through their career never having known of another cop committing a crime? No fixed parking ticket, no fudging a police report, no stretching of the “reasonable suspicion” to justify a search? Never ever saw any of that?

    Then that cop is a good cop.
    Otherwise, no. Bad cop. There are degrees of bad, you realize. Yes, cops are human, but they must be held to a higher standard, not a lower one. How many cops currently meet that? How many cops report every minor police crime they see? How many good cops are there?
    I’m afraid to know the answer.

    Your rule seems to be a bit simplistic ‐ again, using the example of my stepson. (I usually call him and his brother my sons, because calling them ‘stepson’ sounds like disowning them. Read on for the reason behind the exception.)
    When he first joined the force, his father was also on the same force. The father was well known to be a bad cop, but was protected by the politicians in his family. He loved his father but couldn’t abide becoming a bad cop himself.
    He didn’t have an immediate fix for the problem, so he took his mother’s advice: “Success is the best revenge.” It took years of being the good cop in the family, but he has stayed honest, and outlived the bad cop and the political protectors. He now has the ability to keep the department clean, and he uses it.
    Please don’t bother behaving like a xtian: don’t judge a person based on your personal beliefs, without knowing what’s really going on.

  166. says

    Not to change the focus, but due to cost of green coffee beans tanking. One should assume sales of coffee makers and espresso machines to be a popular gift item for Christmas this year. Just Sayin.

  167. says

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