If the Occupy Movement is “as American as Apple Pie,” Why are Our Police Beating and Arresting Us?

by on November 11, 2011 · 15 comments

in Anna's Video Pick, Civil Rights, Popular

….and lobbing tear gas canisters and shooting rubber bullets at us?


“And so, demonstrating like this is as American as apple pie. We have been marching up and down and demonstrating throughout our history…” Former Secretary of State Colin Powell

Why is there the footprint of a jack boot in the America pie?

We’ve all seen by now the “the people’s” videos of non-violent women in NYC being surrounded with orange net and pepper sprayed by the police, the “the people’s” videos of a young Iraq War vet at Occupy Oakland lying gravely wounded from a police projectile and the “the people’s” videos of non-violent Berkeley students being brutally punched back with police batons. And we’ve seen all too many “people’s” videos of police in full riot gear advancing upon non-violent Occupy encampments all across the country. Add to that the accounts in the “alternative” media of occupiers held for hours in police vans and forced to urinate and defecate in those very vans.

If this strikes you as a gut wrenching, jaw dropping response to “American pie,” you are naively and seriously mistaken that the 1% and their loyal minions are going to right their wrongs against the American people without a helluva fight.

The fight is waged through their wholly owned corporate media and via their virtually wholly owned influence over the political sphere. It’s a sweet sweet deal for them that municipalities send out a paramilitary police force that is part of the 99%, funded with the tax dollars of the 99% to wage war against the 99%. The joke may be on us, but we are not laughing at this institutionalized sadism.

The corporate media is the iron hand in the faux velvet glove that exists to provide an Occupy movement narrative that frightens the citizenry enough for them to have their anxieties soothed by an excessive and aggressive police response. The initial response of simply ignoring the movement became impossible. There has therefore been a relentless attempt to paint the Occupy movement as “The Other”—dirty bongo playing hippies, smelly homeless, Marxists, anti-Semites, Nazis, exclusively white middle class people, the deranged, the dangerous, socialists, sexual libertines, the lazy, the drug addicted and poop smearers.

It doesn’t matter that the descriptions are contradictory. It does not matter that the descriptions are not reality based. The impetus is to throw everything up against the wall and see what sticks in the public consciousness.

The corporate elite are not capable—yet, of full control over the public consciousness. The people’s videos, the alternative media and social networks provide minute by minute real time reporting about what is happening. Those testimonies keep growing as the movement keeps growing. The repugnant and mendacious corporate media narrative that the Occupy movement does not represent the real America, and that the Occupiers are not real Americans dissolves with every video, alternative media report and Facebook post.

The question is not whether but rather for how long will the 99% accept calling in storm troopers against teachers, students, the unemployed, the homeless, the poor, those who have lost their homes, those who have lost their jobs, the old and the young, the union laborer, the retired librarian, the uninsured, and the races and ethnicities woven through all of those. We are not The Other. We are your neighbor. We are your family member.

We are you.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar d November 12, 2011 at 6:23 am

Sorry to have to be the one to break it to you Ms. Daniels…

You’ll accept it. fake protests and jackboots are the the only things more american than apple pie. Every decade or two wannabe hippies buy some tents at walmart, hold hands in the street and sing songs like “give peace a chance” until cops beat them. Then they go home , get old, and become upper middle liberal class moderate social democrats or working class stiffs in the MI complex. 99% will pay their taxes – the wages of the next generation of riot cops in america as well as the wages of their military so that it might police the world.

If 50% of america felt the way 99%ers claim to feel about global or even american economic iniquity the world would look very different than it does, and these protesters would be busy making the changes they cry about, rather than spending ineffectual months squatting in city parks where kids would like to play.

the 99% represents more like 10%, and that 10% just chats about it.

Their pretension as well as their submission to authority are both typical.

What 99% of them seem to fail to understand is that “The Corporate Elite” don’t need to control americans, your own complacency and self delusion does it for them.

You are my visible minority neighbor, you are my laid off lesbian librarian aunt, you are an activist who stands in solidarity with Palestinians 3 weekends a year. And you probably couldn’t spell “Rare earth minerals from the Congo” if it was printed on the back of your (Made In China) iphone. My paying your way into an ivory tower establishment institution won’t fix your willful and blissful ignorance. It will probably only serve to deepen your own false, smug, idea that you are a caring world citizen because you buy genmod organic.

Thanks for shopping walmart.


avatar Frank Gormlie November 12, 2011 at 10:45 am

Hey “d” – you are seriously mistaken, my friend. Which history book are you reading? Your snide response to Anna that every decade or so “wannabe hippies” get their tents from Wal-Mart , hold hands in the streets, get beaten and then go home, is way off course, out of line, and verges on being an apologist for the 1%.

(BTW – tents have never been part of protests until now, and Wal-Mart didn’t exist decades ago.)

Have you heard what happened to Jim Crow? Have you read how the feminist movement destroyed “official” male supremacy? Did you know that your fellow Americans – whom you disparage so easily – mounted the largest, anti-imperialist movement in the earth’s history during the Vietnam war?

Read Howard Zinn’s “People’s History” for starters. Margaret Mead famously said that all social changes begin with the actions of a small group.


avatar RB November 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Have you heard which party was responsible for the Jim Crow Laws?
I have heard that the one hundred years of Jim Crow Laws were enforced by Democrat politicians.


avatar Nancy November 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm

RB, are you trying to imply that they are like the Democrats of today?
The DemocratIC politicians are also the ones who overtuned the Jim Crow laws, not the Republicans, and the Democratic politicans, not the Republicans, are the ones fighting for the rights of all minorities today.


avatar annagrace November 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm

RB- you know of course that the Jim Crow Democrats split off, because of the civil rights issue, and become- ta-da- Republicans! This was, as you know, part of Nixon’s southern strategy.
BTW- none of this has anything to do with the topic.


avatar RB November 12, 2011 at 8:41 am

Perhaps it will be a long wait for the Occupy movement because 99% of Americans respect the work of the police (storm troopers), private and public property, and can communicate their positions without exaggeration.


avatar annagrace November 12, 2011 at 9:38 am

RB & d- the not unexpected response from the 1%’s loyal minions, but don’t expect a thank you note from them.


avatar Lost Sailor November 13, 2011 at 9:58 am

Isn’t it remarkable that “d” characterizes the Occupy movement as ‘walmart hippies’ and ‘10%’ and essentially insignificant and then FEELS DRIVEN to write a 1000 word essay on why?
If the movement is insignificant, and no threat to their little tea party, then why worry? Why bother to find obscure corners of the political alternative world and go on a witch hunt?
And why does RB need to play word games with history? If RB wasn’t historically DUMB AS A POST he-she would have includes the FACT that the ‘jim crow democrats’ are today’s republicans in the south and mid-west. When a liberal point of view concerning social politics, namely race evolved beyond the north in the democratic party, it was rejected wholesale by the south and parts of the mid-west.
Attributing the this non-sense to democrats when in fact it’s a new fad amongst the neo-cons, is simply demonstrating a lack of ability to formulate one’s own thoughts based on what’s visible to the naked eye and relying instead on a brain-dump from fox (aka Braino ).


avatar RB November 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm

When I was touring Princeton this summer, the first half of the tour focused upon Woodrow Wilson. There was the tour, by the student leader, of the site of the office of Wilson when he was President of the University. There was the the tour of the world famous Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs. There was the speech about the quality of their liberal faculty in the Wilson School. After about twenty minutes of this student run program, my son, who just completed AP US History, ask me if I thought they knew Wilson was a segregationist and introduced segregation in federal offices. I told him I was sure the student did not know this and I would bet it did not make any of their history books.

Look, the Supreme Court ended the Jim Crows Laws, not protestors, not republicans and not democrats. And believe it or not Lincoln was a republican.


avatar Brandt Hardin November 12, 2011 at 11:46 am

Every time you lock up a peaceful protester, it exemplifies and exposes the police state which we live in here in America. Police brutality is running rampant under orders from Governors who have their pockets lined with Wall Street and Special Interest monies. Stand up and lend your voice to the global protest with the information sources and art listed on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/occupywallstreet.html


avatar Bill Ray November 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm

The solution is to get rid of the two party system that infects our society. And the exchange of money for favor.


avatar Robin Martin November 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Bill Ray – I couldn’t agree more.


avatar mr.rick November 12, 2011 at 10:09 pm

When things get totally intolerable, and enough kid’s get filmed getting thrashed, enough people will form an opinion and vote or something,things will change. Nothing is gonna move legislatively (or not much) until next november. Unless someone is pushing from the outside, the #ows crew, and could exert enough pressure to scare enough politicians… If something tragic happens. That could spark something. The thing that scares the 1% is the unaccountable. Something will show up and the stock market will crash and it will be “Katie bar the door.” As soon as enough people feel like Larissa feels, something will bust. The 1% is trying to pressure an incident with enough magnitude to put on a loop and point. “Look how bad they(us) are. It’s all probabally gonna be riots in the streets next summer. Either #ows breaks it’s no violence vow or the 1% blows it and that will turn the tide. Remember, a few burning buildings or a couple of dead bodies will be a small price to pay to keep the status quo. Maybe it will get bad enough for some number of 1%ers to jump off the Empire State Building? Get ready far a battle any way you go.


avatar Sharon November 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Occupy wall street is not as American as apple pie in fact it is the exact opposite. It is a bunch of people thinking there doing good but in reality are clueless of what the average American wants. For one, most Americans want to go live a peaceful life free from political non sense. It is one of the reasons the country is falling apart, the average person has not interest in the political system and just assume elected officials do the right thing. This allows a few loud people to steal the spotlight of the media which as airways to fill. They fail to see how the politicians, lobbyists and labor unions leaders have been exploiting the middle and working class. One of the Unions you marched with in nyc, TWU local 100 is one of the biggest example’s of leeching the working public with work rules and over generous wages and leaving the public to pay an array of taxes, fees and criminal tolls to pay for it all while the agency that runs the system is swimming in debt. Two glaring examples of many is two person train operation(only need one person as most of the world including san fran do) that sucks $300 plus million a year in un needed spending . A second example which is also a major green house gas issue is work rules that require express buses from the outer boroughs to return empty back to the bronx, queens, brooklyn and Staten Island (20-40 miles each way, 3 mpg diesel buses) when there are empty manahattan depots that can store these buses. These buses then run back empty in the afternoon. The money saved could be used to provide increased surface and reduce job killing taxes . Unions are needed to act as a counter balance but todays unions are corrupt to the bone Since most states require you to pay into the union they run accountable to the movement and not there members


avatar Goatskull November 14, 2011 at 8:46 am

“It is one of the reasons the country is falling apart, the average person has not interest in the political system and just assume elected officials do the right thing.”

That’s kind of the whole point of OWS.


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