What the Media Didn’t Tell Us When Police Swept Through Occupy LA

by on December 7, 2011 · 84 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Popular

The General Assembly during earlier days at Occupy LA.

My Occupy LA Arrest

by Patrick Meighanblogspot / December 6, 2011

My name is Patrick Meighan, and I’m a husband, a father, a writer on the Fox animated sitcom “Family Guy”, and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica.

I was arrested at about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning with 291 other people at Occupy LA. I was sitting in City Hall Park with a pillow, a blanket, and a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Being Peace” when 1,400 heavily-armed LAPD officers in paramilitary SWAT gear streamed in. I was in a group of about 50 peaceful protestors who sat Indian-style, arms interlocked, around a tent (the symbolic image of the Occupy movement). The LAPD officers encircled us, weapons drawn, while we chanted “We Are Peaceful” and “We Are Nonviolent” and “Join Us.”

As we sat there, encircled, a separate team of LAPD officers used knives to slice open every personal tent in the park. They forcibly removed anyone sleeping inside, and then yanked out and destroyed any personal property inside those tents, scattering the contents across the park. They then did the same with the communal property of the Occupy LA movement. For example, I watched as the LAPD destroyed a pop-up canopy tent that, until that moment, had been serving as Occupy LA’s First Aid and Wellness tent, in which volunteer health professionals gave free medical care to absolutely anyone who requested it.

As it happens, my family had personally contributed that exact canopy tent to Occupy LA, at a cost of several hundred of my family’s dollars. As I watched, the LAPD sliced that canopy tent to shreds, broke the telescoping poles into pieces and scattered the detritus across the park. Note that these were the objects described in subsequent mainstream press reports as “30 tons of garbage” that was “abandoned” by Occupy LA: personal property forcibly stolen from us, destroyed in front of our eyes and then left for maintenance workers to dispose of while we were sent to prison.

When the LAPD finally began arresting those of us interlocked around the symbolic tent, we were all ordered by the LAPD to unlink from each other (in order to facilitate the arrests). Each seated, nonviolent protester beside me who refused to cooperate by unlinking his arms had the following done to him: an LAPD officer would forcibly extend the protestor’s legs, grab his left foot, twist it all the way around and then stomp his boot on the insole, pinning the protestor’s left foot to the pavement, twisted backwards. Then the LAPD officer would grab the protestor’s right foot and twist it all the way the other direction until the non-violent protestor, in incredible agony, would shriek in pain and unlink from his neighbor.

It was horrible to watch, and apparently designed to terrorize the rest of us. At least I was sufficiently terrorized. I unlinked my arms voluntarily and informed the LAPD officers that I would go peacefully and cooperatively. I stood as instructed, and then I had my arms wrenched behind my back, and an officer hyperextended my wrists into my inner arms. It was super violent, it hurt really really bad, and he was doing it on purpose. When I involuntarily recoiled from the pain, the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement. He had my hands behind my back, so I landed right on my face. The officer dropped with his knee on my back and ground my face into the pavement. It really, really hurt and my face started bleeding and I was very scared. I begged for mercy and I promised that I was honestly not resisting and would not resist.

My hands were then zipcuffed very tightly behind my back, where they turned blue. I am now suffering nerve damage in my right thumb and palm.

I was put on a paddywagon with other nonviolent protestors and taken to a parking garage in Parker Center. They forced us to kneel on the hard pavement of that parking garage for seven straight hours with our hands still tightly zipcuffed behind our backs. Some began to pass out. One man rolled to the ground and vomited for a long, long time before falling unconscious. The LAPD officers watched and did nothing.

At 9 a.m. we were finally taken from the pavement into the station to be processed. The charge was sitting in the park after the police said not to. It’s a misdemeanor. Almost always, for a misdemeanor, the police just give you a ticket and let you go. It costs you a couple hundred dollars. Apparently, that’s what happened with most every other misdemeanor arrest in LA that day.

With us Occupy LA protestors, however, they set bail at $5,000 and booked us into jail. Almost none of the protesters could afford to bail themselves out. I’m lucky and I could afford it, except the LAPD spent all day refusing to actually *accept* the bail they set. If you were an accused murderer or a rapist in LAPD custody that day, you could bail yourself right out and be back on the street, no problem. But if you were a nonviolent Occupy LA protestor with bail money in hand, you were held long into the following morning, with absolutely no access to a lawyer.

I spent most of my day and night crammed into an eight-man jail cell, along with sixteen other Occupy LA protesters. My sleeping spot was on the floor next to the toilet.

Finally, at 2:30 the next morning, after twenty-five hours in custody, I was released on bail. But there were at least 200 Occupy LA protestors who couldn’t afford the bail. The LAPD chose to keep those peaceful, non-violent protesters in prison for two full days… the absolute legal maximum that the LAPD is allowed to detain someone on misdemeanor charges.

As a reminder, Antonio Villaraigosa has referred to all of this as “the LAPD’s finest hour.”

So that’s what happened to the 292 women and men were arrested last Wednesday. Now let’s talk about a man who was not arrested last Wednesday. He is former Citigroup CEO Charles Prince. Under Charles Prince, Citigroup was guilty of massive, coordinated securities fraud.

Citigroup spent years intentionally buying up every bad mortgage loan it could find, creating bad securities out of those bad loans and then selling shares in those bad securities to duped investors. And then they sometimes secretly bet *against* their *own* bad securities to make even more money. For one such bad Citigroup security, Citigroup executives were internally calling it, quote, “a collection of dogshit”. To investors, however, they called it, quote, “an attractive investment rigorously selected by an independent investment adviser”.

This is fraud, and it’s a felony, and the Charles Princes of the world spent several years doing it again and again: knowingly writing bad mortgages, and then packaging them into fraudulent securities which they then sold to suckers and then repeating the process. This is a big part of why your property values went up so fast. But then the bubble burst, and that’s why our economy is now shattered for a generation, and it’s also why your home is now underwater. Or at least mine is.

Anyway, if your retirement fund lost a decade’s-worth of gains overnight, this is why.

If your son’s middle school has added furlough days because the school district can’t afford to keep its doors open for a full school year, this is why.

If your daughter has come out of college with a degree only to discover that there are no jobs for her, this is why.

But back to Charles Prince. For his four years of in charge of massive, repeated fraud at Citigroup, he received fifty-three million dollars in salary and also received another ninety-four million dollars in stock holdings. What Charles Prince has *not* received is a pair of zipcuffs. The nerves in his thumb are fine. No cop has thrown Charles Prince into the pavement, face-first. Each and every peaceful, nonviolent Occupy LA protester arrested last week has has spent more time sleeping on a jail floor than every single Charles Prince on Wall Street, combined.

The more I think about that, the madder I get. What does it say about our country that nonviolent protesters are given the bottom of a police boot while those who steal hundreds of billions, do trillions worth of damage to our economy and shatter our social fabric for a generation are not only spared the zipcuffs but showered with rewards?

In any event, believe it or not, I’m really not angry that I got arrested. I chose to get arrested. And I’m not even angry that the mayor and the LAPD decided to give non-violent protestors like me a little extra shiv in jail (although I’m not especially grateful for it either).

I’m just really angry that every single Charles Prince wasn’t in jail with me.

Thank you for letting me share that anger with you today.

Patrick Meighan

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Brandt Hardin December 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm

This is a disturbing account to say the least but thank you for your bravery in sharing your experience. When will we start holding officers accountable for their brutality and excessive use of force? Evicting protesters is Unconstitutional and endangers the basic rights of EVERY last American. Is this the country we were raised in, were men and women are beaten, gassed, pepper-sprayed and arrested for their disapproval of the government? We have to be careful to protect our Constitutional Rights! Raise awareness and do your part with these free posters I designed for the movement on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/11/propaganda-for-occupy-movement.html

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avatar Brendan K Callahan December 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Don’t break the law then. It’s not unconstitutional. If you’re there after the park closes, you’re breaking the law. Just because you are exercising Free Speech, doesn’t mean you can break other laws willy-nilly. I certainly can’t go shoot someone, and say it was a form of protest and get “Oh, sorry, didn’t want to infringe on your rights.”
The First Amendment has nothing it in that allows you to break the law — and except for certain, detailed exceptions, you won’t get arrested for exercising it (We already know that not all speech is protected, re: fire:: theater). You will however, risk arrest if you break the law, such as being in a park after hours. None of you got arrested for exercising your free speech — you got arrested for violating the law about being in the park after it’s closed.

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avatar W. Hat December 10, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Did you just compare protest by staying in a park after (arbitrarily enforced) curfew to shooting someone?

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avatar john December 11, 2011 at 1:44 am

Well right below we have someone comparing America to Syria, so while I would initially agree on the absurdity of his analogy it’s not like outrageousness is being displayed by just one side of the discussion.
I frankly don’t quite get the comparison either, but it doesn’t dismiss the valid point he is making so let’s not seize upon it alone.

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avatar jazzie December 11, 2011 at 9:53 am

Brendan is correct. In addition, the first amendment does not allow you to break laws. In fact, the government itself has the right to determine time, manner and location of protests. You do not get to protest anywhere at anytime for any issue without possibly breaking laws. And, you do not get to rightfully occupy public space that then precludes other people from using it. Your movement does not trump everything else.

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avatar John December 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

The issue isn’t that they were arrested. The issue is that they were subjected to unnecessary and terroristic force during the arrest. The same methods we generally claim are only reserved for those “other” “bad” countries… We lead Egypt and Syria by example.

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avatar Wolface December 21, 2011 at 4:22 am

I’m finding it incredibly hard to believe you are agreeing to a) there being a law about staying in a park after dark, and b) you are inhuman enough to feel it is ok to be forcibly arrested in the manner described for doing so.
Yet the country you live in, however beautiful it is denies you the right to your own ‘freedom’ by ramming laws down your throat, and treating true criminals by making them officials…

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avatar T.L. Willis December 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Brendan K Callahan, you are missing the point, which is that your country no longer has equal rights for your own people. Mr. Meighan was fighting back and trying to save YOUR constitutional rights, something you seem to take for granted. I am glad that you don’t ever do anything wrong and I don’t believe Mr. Meighan has ever done anything seriously criminal either so I can only pray that you are NOT dragged from your car, tasered and beaten because you happened to drive through a TSA stop-check without your I.D. or because you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Quite frankly, I don’t think you would survive it.

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avatar Brendan K Callahan May 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I am not missing the point at all.

First, insofar as the Constitution — my family helped conspire the Boston Tea Party. My aunt is Mary Dyer — you can find her statue facing Boston Common where she was hung in 1666 — for refusing to stop preaching her religion.

When they started marrying gay couples in SFO in 2004, I sold my 1080p projection TV and sound system — to pay for the flight from Iowa and stay to help marry. I am a HUGE supporter of civil rights and civil disobedience and actively encourage it — with ONE caveat — that if you practice civil disobedience, you risk being treated as a criminal (which you are under current law), you risk arrest and imprisonment — and when you overwhelm the police’s capacity to deal with so many people — you risk less-than-ideal conditions. In essence, you ARE giving up safety — for freedom.

That being said, if you do it, STFU and do it. You take whatever risks there are, and you roll with them. Anyhow, here’s the eloquent version of that, from a rabble-rouser, Ms. Anthony:
“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences…”

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avatar DrMesmer December 13, 2011 at 10:34 am

That’s just it…the police were breaking the law, not the Occupiers. The Park regulations apply when no special permission is given. The LA City Council gave the Occupiers Special Permission to be there after hours, for “as long as needed” in mid Oct. And the Mayor dosen’t have the authority to undo that invite, only the city council does…That’s one of the reasons Amnisty International is pondering getting involved, attacking invited guests and destroying all thier belongings…that’s a serious crime!

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avatar Sue Long December 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Brenda, I find it hard to understand your stance on this incident. These people were not just arrested, they were abused. Is this the way you would expect to be treated if you went over the speed limit, ran a stop sign, or forgot to turn on your headlights at dusk? Those are all things you could easily do to break the law also, is this how you would expect to be treated….really? Where did you come up with I can’t shoot anyone, the only violence that occured was from the police. If your daughter was in the park after curfew, is this the stance you would take with her? Not only do we have laws to follow so do the police and I think we need to be much more concerned about their behavior than the protesters. The police in general are getting by with their breaking the code of conduct and violence and we need to be worried about that enough to put a stop to it. Not to mention that we need to fight for our constitutional rights as we are losing them more everyday. Scares me.

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avatar Brenda McFarlane December 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Thank you for protesting. Thank you for writing about your experience so clearly.

I was just listening to an NPR story about a Syrian protestor who was beaten-tortured-daily. They threatened to hurt his family and friends. They wanted him to confess to organizing protests (for which he would be killed). They wanted him to give names of other protestors. They held him and beat him for a long time. He has escaped his country. He says this experience will help him teach his sons and grandsons how precious freedom is. I wondered if I would have the courage to fight to make my country a better place if I knew I might be arrested, tortured, or even killed.

I come home and read Patrick Meighan’s experience in LA and I feel so sad. Our country condemns other countries’ behaviors. Can we not see our own hypocrisy?

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avatar Farar Rose December 9, 2011 at 7:07 am

Beleive me Brenda, if you do stand up to make your country a better place you will be arrested and brutalized; and perhaps they wouldn’t kill you, but as this story depicts, you would be left to die if you couldn’t survive the brutal conditions they force you to suffer. We should all be saddened by the hypocrisies of our goverments (cities, states and federal), but should be even more enraged by them. They are trying to force the people into violence so they can excuse their brutal tactics, but there is NO EXCUSE for the way our citizens are being treated and their rights are being literally trampled upon. O.W.S.!!!

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avatar Lauren December 7, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Dear Patrick,

I have tremendous regard for you and all the protestors everywhere who have been arrested.

I went to Occupy LA the day and late into the night after the 12:01 moment that marked the “illegal” occupation. It was touching to see the LA Occupy movement. An entire community with as you mentioned a medical tent and so much more.

As you accurately point out, the garbage issue was A LIE. Unfortunately, one of the many lies and misrepresentations floating around. While I was there a couple thousand or more people had showed up to show support. Yet, even with that crowd individuals were walking around performing their cleaning up duties.

How disappointing and outrageous that you and others are being assaulted. Who have we become as a country? Where is our sense of fairness and justice, our humanity? How have we come to demonize hard working individuals? We are the problem, not the individuals and corporations whose greed is taking down our country – and the world.

I just want to say again how much it means to me that there are individuals like yourself who are willing to actually put yourself on the line. Non-violently facing a huge number of police in riot gear coming at you must be frightening. I feel frightened standing 10 feet away from smaller numbers.

Knowing there are people such as yourself gives me HOPE. A commodity I’m rather short on these days relative to our political system.

Thank you. Occupy.

Warm regards,
Lauren

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avatar Robin Edgar December 8, 2011 at 8:07 am

Thanks for your testimony Patrick.

This is VERY disturbing news and makes it difficult for me to believe that the U.S.A. aka The Land Of The NOT So Free is not well on its way to becoming a totalitarian police state. . .

I can happily and Truthfully report that Montreal police behaved much better during their none-the-less completely unnecessary forcible eviction of Occupy Montreal from Square Victoria in Montreal up here in Soviet Canuckistan.

Sincerely,

Robin Edgar

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avatar Robert December 8, 2011 at 9:02 am

What is this country comming too. This makes me sick, pretty soon they will call Occupy a terrist act than we will be in trobble . The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which was passed by the Senate with a vote of 93 – 7, is a perfect example of this. Contained within this massive defense bill is a provision crafted by Democrat Charles Levin and Republican John McCain which mandates that anyone suspected of terrorism against the United States be held in military custody indefinitely. This provision extends to American citizens on American territory.

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avatar anon2269 December 10, 2011 at 12:23 am

think the UN will send help to protect americans from the army?

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avatar Kellen December 12, 2011 at 7:54 am

The mandated military custody does not extend to American citizens, however it’s not barred as an option. It’s just not mandatory to do it with American citizens.

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avatar Jen December 15, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Ooops, the UK’s already done that. I’m guessing the US will soon follow. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/dec/05/occupy-london-police-terrorism-document

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avatar Don Galivan December 8, 2011 at 11:35 am

People keep saying the cops are with the 99%. I’ve seen little evidence of this. From now on when we refer to the 99%, we should not include cops. Instead they should be made honorary members of the 1% they are so vociferously defending.

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avatar Shark Monster December 8, 2011 at 11:06 pm

“From now on when we refer to the 99%, we should not include cops.” Nor should labor ever turn out for the police. If they want to be Little Eichmanns, they have to do it on their own.

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avatar anon2269 December 10, 2011 at 12:25 am

they are just mercniaries bought by the 1%. all rich evil ppl buy mercenaries

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avatar Gavin December 10, 2011 at 5:44 am

You’re ridiculous. Of course police are in the 99%. You can’t just pick and choose who falls into this category. Grow up Don.

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avatar jazzie December 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

Don, you won’t have a credible movement of the 99% if you demonize those that don’t agree with you, or those that have to do their jobs. It’s ridiculous to especially demonize the police who essentially have to arrest you when you break the law. Why not stop breaking the law? Wouldn’t that make more sense?

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avatar Gregory December 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

The police are sworn to protect the 1%. The harsh reality is that all we have our us, unfortunately we won’t wake up until it’s too late.

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avatar Charles Carter December 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Patrick, please, please, please sue the bastards! Loss of revenue is the only thing they understand and the only way to stop them. Unless someone does this it will continue.

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avatar Robin Edgar December 8, 2011 at 7:12 pm

If many people were affected by this police brutality, some of which *could* be considered to be torture, it may be possible to file a class action suit.

I would also suggest filing complaints with appropriate human rights and civil rights organizations, including any that specifically deal with police brutality and abuse of power. Obviously the ACLU and Amnesty International come to mind but there may be several others including local and state-wide organizations.

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avatar PAUL SANFORD December 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm

My friend Matt Gubser, whose stand – up comedy is often political and always incisive, shared this article with me.

Patrick shows how important it is that the middle class be there for these events. As Matt says, the big surprise is they were doing it to people who weren’t black.

The article also demonstrates how important it is that people with Patrick’s writing skills experience these events, report them, and have their reports circulated in answer to the “mainstream” press.

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avatar anon2269 December 10, 2011 at 12:26 am

yes thank god for communicators, doesnt matter how true or justified your story is if its poorly worded

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avatar Trevor Torseth December 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Thank you for your bravery. It will not be forgotten by me.

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avatar Suzanne December 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Thank you for your action, and telling your story, and juxtaposing it to Charles Princes story. What a racket.

It would seem to me you have several witnesses to cruel and unusual punishment, as well as likely a number of other crimes committed against you and other protesters. Any chance you’ll be filing civil charges?

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avatar Robin Edgar December 9, 2011 at 5:05 am

It might even be worthwhile looking into the possibility of bringing criminal charges against police officers guilty of the worst acts of brutality.

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avatar Suzanne December 9, 2011 at 11:24 pm

The police were just following orders , I imagine–criminal charges against those that issued the orders sounds good to me. I think the DA needs to file criminal charges, which is why I said civil charges. I am all for accountability, criminal or civil works for me. I really hope he does file, It will take uber courage. Thanks for the reply, Robin.

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avatar Ray December 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I keep waiting for the announcement of the class action lawsuit against the offending cities and their militarized police departments. There is certainly a large enough class in each city and together the class would be huge. I think you could rightly claim collusion as this has been well documented and the Oakland Mayor admitted as much. The systematic abrogation of due process and human rights would seem to be a slam dunk case. If a single case of any magnitude was brought and successfully adjudicated the chilling effect on the entire authoritarian system would stop these illegal persecutions of an entire class of individuals. They can’t hide behind law and they cannot defend a multimillion dollar suit that is as well documented as this.

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avatar Olivia December 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I’m sorry that you and the other peaceful protesters were treated so badly. Your vivid description of what happened to you made me feel sick. We may not share the same political views, but I am truly sorry this happened to people in America. I hope our once great country can come together somehow and move forward.

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avatar Billy December 8, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Thank you for getting this word out. My question is: why aren’t you suing the police station? They clearly used brutal force against willing arrestees. This is illegal, and I urge you to protect your (and everyone’s) rights by filing a lawsuit against them. With no repercussions, how can we expect change?

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avatar anon2269 December 10, 2011 at 12:27 am

waste of time/money

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avatar Doubting Thomas December 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I’m at the point of telling Occupy to find a more constructive way to fight back… but this is messed up. Completely unsurprising based on the NDRA2012, of course (as someone mentioned earlier). Which would give cops leeway to incarcerate anyone indefinitely; all they have to do is define the protesters as “under suspicion of belligerent acts towards the US”, and they can do anything they want.

So much for hoping the Dems would hold the financial charlatans responsible… they’ve been in on it the whole time, with the Reps. The cops are just paid off by big finance, or at least ordered by the mayors who ARE paid off by big finance. They want business as usual, the way it’s been the past thirty years. Since they’re too dumb to learn enough math to understand their models, they resort to buying insurance on buildings and torching them, with us inside. Who are we, little gnats that we are, to get in the way of their easy parasitic profits?

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avatar Bill December 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I stayed up all night, watching one news channel and tivoing another. This account is very extreme compared to what the close up multiple cameras actually showed. Arrests of this particular group around the tent were very calmly undertaken, each protestor spoken to by a single cop, asked to move to their right a foot or so, then cuffed, stood up and walked calmly to the arrest point. I watched the removal of each and every protester in this group of about 20 encircling the tent; those who voluntarily aided the officers and those who simply went limp and were carried to the bus. Only one person physically resisted and fought with the officers. There were 1400 officers in total, covering the 10 square block area around where the protest was to limit access to the area, and lining the sides of the road to keep people out of the street and onto the sidewalk. There were not 1400 SWAT team officers beating up protesters.

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avatar Robin Edgar December 9, 2011 at 5:14 am

I *was* going to ask if there was any video footage and/or photographs of the arrest phase of what Patrick describes here. I would be quite surprised if there was none at all. Has anyone checked YouTube for footage yet? The mainstream media don’t always broadcast that kind of footage even if they have it. I was more than a little bit annoyed by how mainstream Montreal media left the taped off Occupy Montreal area when more or less ordered to do so by the SPVM media relations officer. In fact I chastised them for complying so readily. . .

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avatar jazzie December 10, 2011 at 8:19 am

when I read this guy’s account, I had a hard time believing him. Thank you for giving another account. I, too, would be curious to know if there are any videos.

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avatar slopester December 26, 2011 at 6:30 am

Jazzie, you need to be more critical in what you accept as “an account” of events. Bill was not there, he merely watched what 2 different news channels chose to broadcast. Rest assured, the police do these kinds of things and it will profoundly change your life and perspective of our “society” forever if you are ever at the receiving end of such treatment by those that take an oath to serve and protect. It does not have to happen while protesting, you can just be in the wrong place at the wrong time ……

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avatar Bill January 28, 2012 at 11:56 am

slopester, I watched it live – unedited – from a camera directly overhead of the circle and one on the ground. Both live, unedited.

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avatar Judith Gomez December 8, 2011 at 11:36 pm

This leaves me to suggest we propose a Civil Wrongs Bill and criminalize any act that prevents someone from enacting upon or performing a civil right. Of course, you would just be told Mr. Meighan, that you were not arrested for a civil right, you were arrested for not leaving a piece of property or defying police orders, resisting arrest or some other such nuance that the extended abuse of police powers chronically allows for.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, passed 93-7, by the Senate, allows for any one of us who speaks his or her mind, to be arrested at the discretion of prosecutors for what they deem an anti-American view, for an indeterminate period, without access to friends, family or even a lawyer or due process in being charged – much like in your case, only for again, an indeterminate period of time. Your family may never learn your whereabouts.
All it takes is someone’s grudge against you or your child to get the ball rolling. We won’t need divorce or small courts any longer. Muslims in NYC are already subject to this via the NYPD; this was highly publicized originally and is now shadow news.
Forbes Magazine made me aware by the following quote of a Petition on the White House site, already started (link info below near my signature to the petition) to VETO this bill. “I seriously don’t care if you’re a liberal or a conservative or a libertarian or a Zen anarchist. So long as you aren’t Carl Levin or John McCain, the bill’s architects, you can join the Civil Liberties Caucus”
We do not want to lay awake at night wondering where someone we love is and never finding out.

Regards,
Judith M Gomez, DC http://wh.gov/jeY

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avatar Judith Gomez December 8, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Sorry, the link lit up like that, it was not suppose to. I didn’t think it would without the WWW.

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avatar Robin Edgar December 9, 2011 at 5:17 am

Your description of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 suggests to me that it contains clauses that violate the American Constitution. Can it be challenged on constitutional grounds?

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avatar Max December 9, 2011 at 4:43 am

I despair. And hope, like a faint heartbeat, struggling to be heard, that these protests will continue. Continue to grow. And continue to push the police and their handlers to react. The portion of the 99% who are watching, standing by, judging, vacillating, or just unsure, need to see / hear / feel the real threats that the 1% represent. The brutality of the police, directed as it is from their overseers, will continue to bring more people to actual versus theoretical support. (This includes me).

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avatar surfsideking December 9, 2011 at 9:45 am

Patrick – as terrible as what you went through was, I can only hope that the relationship you have with your co-workers and the visibility of your chosen art form can create an episode that can bring snarky awareness to the issues at hand that only Family Guy can and South Park fumbled the ball on… however, I also realize that like Bill O’Reilly, your boss is also RuMur and the script could die as quickly as it is created. Keep fighting the good fight in whatever ways you can brother. God Speed. Thank you for you service

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avatar Robin Edgar December 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I second that e-motion.

I *was* going to suggest the same basic idea of basing a Family Guy episode on your experience but SurfsideKing beat me to it.

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avatar Patrick December 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

If they were able to do the 420 episode they shouldn’t have any problem with this episode (if it ever gets made).

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avatar roberto December 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Dear Patrick,
We live in a State of Law so that people like you can be arrested!
Were you expecting the officer to sit down next to you and begging you to leave? It doesn’t work like that in real life, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Were you scared by the police uniforms and weapons? They are bad aren’t they?
You decided to confront the police and then you complaint? Man up! I would have throw the key away!

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG December 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm

“Man up,” is a contorted expression invented by redneck assholes w/ no conscience whatsoever. The only thing that ever determines what a man is, & the only thing that ever will determine what a man is shall be DNA.

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avatar john December 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Since it’s obvious Roberto didn’t coin the phrase you’re only erecting a strawman with the argument. His point is salient, by locking arms together they were challenging the police, their actions in effect saying we have the physical ability to prevent you from arresting us.
When the police showed they have a similarly ingeniusly developed tactic to overcome this, he complains how brutal it was. What did he think would be the outcome of a challenge to the police that they did not have the physical force to beat them? They would argue that their actions were non violent but violence is only one factor in a test of physical will between humans. Locking their arms together would be using each individual’s strength, the LAPD has a job they are instructed to do and would be expected to accomplish it using any means available to them within policy guidelines.
What Roberto said about a society of laws is a point you can’t get around. OWS is not the only people with the right to enjoy and utilize these public spaces they were asked to leave. For several weeks their presence was tolerated, their message was heard, their first amendment rights of peaceful assembly to protest was recognized. After this, what more do they think is due them? Since they never even had a clear list of demands or plans, I’m not sure even they could answer that.
At that point the laws passed by the majority that collectively say you don’t have the right to be a PITA and obstruct the right of the majority to conduct business and enjoy public spaces pretty much takes precedent, and if you lack the common sense that tells you not to challenge police in a physical confrontation a lesson is usually swift and painful.

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG December 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm

The phrase is a symbol of the person’s lack of understanding of the entire movement called Occupy. Oftentimes the right wing noise machine, the cacaphony of hypocracy, touts that this is a nation of laws and then breaks an abundance of them.
To protest unfairness is not unlawful; to petition the gov’t for grievance is not unlawful. Shall we “man up” & take the abuse longer?
Just recall what Negroes had to experience in the 60′s to obtain some rights.
What is due the Occupy participants is change. We seek change so we can enjoy some of what the 1%ers enjoy. We seek change so that our children can enjoy some of what the 1%ers enjoy.
If you state there is not a clear list of demands, then you apparently are tuned into the right wing cacaphony of crap. Requests are there. Demands are there.
Wish lists are produced. And yet deaf ears are everywhere. We are simply starting to walk forward from the back of the bus, & it’s a very long aisle to front door where we can exit the oppression of the 1%ers & the govorporation.

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avatar john December 10, 2011 at 11:26 am

The things you speak of are far wider in scope than what the author could have any influence over, what Roberto meant was if you want to challenge the police to a physical confrontation you should be ready to face the consequences of that decision.
As for me being “tuned into the right wing cacaphony of crap” I’d like you to support such an implied insult by substantiating your claim and linking to this clear list of demands you say exists.

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avatar unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG December 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

No. Do your own research.

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avatar john December 10, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Oh I have because it came up in discussion in another article here at the rag, and I spent about an hour searching the internet, both to preserve my credibility and assure myself I wasn’t spouting nonsense and knew what I was talking about.
This is why I claimed they had no clear list of demands nor plans (for a legitimate replacement for the necessary institution they wished torn down). If you wish to come along and offer a credible rebuttal, insulting at that, that my facts are wrong and that something exists that I can not find, it’s a no-brainer that it’s up to you to provide it and educate me about what you think I am lacking in knowledge on this issue.

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avatar Doubting Thomas December 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm

John,

I am not part of the Occupy protests, but do think the philosophy of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, at the very least in this instance. The enemy in this case, are the investment banks that exacerbated a few thousand subprime home loan defaults into the mortgage crisis, into what we now call the financial crisis.

Your theory on mobs resisting police arrest is understandable. Except these are peaceful protesters; nothing seems to happen unless civil disobedience turns into taking a stand. Rosa Parks was arrested for something just as dumb, but it was symbolic. Except I’m pretty sure she wasn’t given nerve damage for the sake of being given nerve damage. The cops involved here sound like they were under instruction to make the detention as painful as possible, so that the protesters would not want to come back.

You sound capable of constructing coherent cognitive sentences. You also do know several key facts about OWS, which is why I said it was an ineffectual protest that needs to disperse and morph into something more effective. Therefore, I’m going to assume you know why people aren’t happy with the information you present.

I disagree with you because of the rights we have from the first amendment, being peaceful protest, assembly and petition. Police abuse here seems rather obvious, don’t it? Give someone an inch, and don’t complain, and they take a mile. I hope that the powers that be don’t interfere with something you care about, like your assets, and you don’t feel inspired to protest. Because the only protests that aren’t pepper sprayed nowadays are the ones that I don’t think you or any sane citizen of this country would want anywhere near here.

But the reason that I’m disappointed is that you seem at peace with the way things are. Why is that? If you’ve done your research, you’ve heard about the new bill passing congress, with McCain and Levin’s addendum to it- the ability to detain indefinitely any citizen that has been deemed under suspicion of being a “terrorist”, the definition of which on the books right now is so broad if you have seven days of food in your house, you’re under suspicion of it at present. That ostensibly means that it’s there to lock up anyone who is thought to be a danger to the rest of the country.

That worries the CRAP out of me. It should worry you too. Because we’re not talking about partisan anything. We’re talking about being allowed to protest. Patrick’s story, if true, is representative of the brutality people under orders are capable of. Do you really find it credible that they wouldn’t lock you up (don’t even have to give you a phone call) and put you somewhere, if ordered to by one mayor, governor or another? Political leaders, especially of smaller constituencies, are quite susceptible to influences far and wide.

There’s an amorphous argument here because this isn’t a simple problem. Yes protesters were in violation of the mayor’s order, which could be roughly translated into being in violation of the law. But not only are they protesting the pardon of crimes with a reach so far that it affected you, your family, and most families around our world; the police here either breached their use of force continuum, or it needs to be revisited. People sitting down and locking arms does NOT warrant pepper spray, which is only supposed to be used in self defense. If you think it does, then perhaps there’s a limit to how far such a dangerous idea should be spread. Because if so, you don’t belong in this country. Were this the revolutionary war, you would be a British loyalist.

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avatar john December 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm

You needn’t have ruined an otherwise respectful, intelligent reply toward progressive discourse with jabs like this:

“Because if so, you don’t belong in this country. Were this the revolutionary war, you would be a British loyalist.”

Particularly in light of the fact I volunteered to serve four years in the military during the height of the cold war in the most dangerous peacetime occupation in the military (flight deck on a carrier) because I despised repressive regimes like Iran and the USSR.

Where I think we may strongly differ on opinion is feeling that at the point in time when Occupy LA was broken up and arrested as described in this piece, they had something worthwhile to say or should have their actions put up on that revered pedestal of constitutionally protected free speech and right to assembly.

Municipalities gave them that right for several weeks, the public and media heard what they had to say. It was something that needed to be said, they “shot their wad” so to speak and it was time to head home but they did not.

The solution to the problem was not presented by this group, okay? Seems to me they think that merely hanging around forever and being a PITA was going to get something done.

This is almost reminiscent of the way Sean Connery, in an interview with Barbara Walters, justified the point in which a man could find himself striking a woman. Something like “It’s when you give her the last word in an argument…. and she takes that last word… but it’s just not enough and she keeps… on… going.” (He went on to say he’d use the back of his open hand, and with restraint. Barbara begrudgingly admitted he had a good point, and reminded viewers he’d been happily married for 25 years)

Back to OWS, they were not deprived their free speech at all. They had their time in the sun, common sense says to move on. They didn’t. It’s because the whole thing was so ill conceived they thought complaining was enough, and once they spoke they could only look around and think “well now what do we do?” and some figured “we’ll just stay put and see what happens”.

At a month or so after it started, most of the population didn’t see them as exercizing free speech but disturbing the peace. The police have a job to do, and while we’d like to think there is a distinction between physically assaulting a police officer and presenting an immovable obstruction when you are told to disperse or be arrested, the law doesn’t make such a distinction. Either is defined as actively resisting arrest and the police are trained and legally allowed to do what they need to do to get you to comply with the lawful orders issued by a sworn peace officer.

It always amuses me when people point at the Rodney King incident or throngs of peoople facing riot squads or even more peaceful confrontations such as this and try to appeal to my sensibilities and get me to envision that it could happen to me too, that police are violent brutes who victimize average citizens on sheer whim. No that’s not going to happen, and I’ve been arrested a few times and never feared the police would work me over. Perhaps that is because I know the law and know about following a lawful order of a peace officer, and if I led cops on a dozen mile chase and they told me to get down I damn sure would.

The author of this is akin to someone who starts a blaze at the fire rings in OB and after downing a six pack starts leaping over it and after a few times falls in, and now he wants sympathy for it. Well buddy that’s a damn shame what happened but what did you expect? There’s a reason most people don’t do that.

And you don’t have to attack those of us who are just pointing all this out, or imply we don’t think there is something wrong with the system.

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avatar Doubting Thomas December 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm

You’re right, I got too emotionally involved in my response and I apologize; your reply was nothing like some of the others I’ve seen on a few other sites, which were akin to “banks didn’t do anything wrong, and damn hippies have it coming”. It’s just worrying to see things like this becoming more and more common (or maybe I’m just more aware of them now). And like it or not… I may hate the Nazi’s message, but freedom of speech allows them to believe what they believe, like it allows me to believe what I believe (Christianity). When you start drawing lines as to what’s okay to say and what’s not, it becomes very difficult to keep that line from moving.

I don’t disagree with you that OWS already said what it needed to; I believe I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that they need to move onto something more productive. You’re right, they are not Rodney King, being beaten for no reason. I saw them like MLK perhaps; civil disobedience is still disobedience, and therefore breaking the law. Pepper spraying the “civil” protesters, the ones who commit no acts of violence, seems like a breach in the use of force continuum. Again, if it isn’t, then it needs to be revisited.

My feeling is that the only way to make any kind of change in this system is to become wealthy and powerful enough so that they can’t ignore you anymore. That’s the only thing the bastards we’re fighting against seem to understand. Luckily enough I have talents that are uncommon and considered valuable in this day and age, enough so to have started a venture (hopefully) able to achieve this. (I’m sure everyone who starts a business thinks this in the beginning). But that’s years away, when a good portion of this struggle will already have been fought. I want capitalism back, not corporate socialism. Privatized profits, privatized losses; not privatized profits, socialized risk. Something that should really scare the larger investment banks is that in a lot of schools they like to recruit from, like the one I went to, nobody looks up to them anymore, and the kids who want to work for them are reviled and ashamed to say it out loud. They have tainted their image in the eyes of my generation for the rest of our lives. This means that there will be a generational gap in talent, where those who would have gone into the industry do not; in twenty years, this will be VERY noticeable.

I too have had nothing but good things to say about my run-ins with the police. If one is polite, respectful and non-confrontational, then the cops tend to go as leniently as they are allowed to. Hell when I was a kid, even the times when they SHOULDN’T have, they did. That’s part of why it was so shocking to see all of this; some protesters were being dicks and were arrested, but it seemed that they were a small minority. It was the pepper spray on the crowd of people just sitting down that got to me.

I know from personal experience and from my friends’ fathers (and one’s mother) who are police officers that most cops are not like that… that’s why I assumed that it was a minority of jerks. It terms of it happening to you- the problem is that all it takes is the wrong combination of circumstances; ALMOST happened to me once, with a douchebag cop in town. Luckily some of the nicer ones were on duty at the time, and took over the incident. (fun fact- this particular officer was taken off the force after it was revealed that he had abused his power and sexually assaulted several women he pulled over. He always dared them to do something, and the last one finally did)

Also, thank you for your service to our country.

avatar Doubting Thomas December 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm

And in response to Sean Connery, to risk the ire of the feminists who might visit this page…

EDITOR says: You risked it, and I deleted it

avatar john December 12, 2011 at 2:28 am

To clarify the point about Sean Connery (for admin) it should be said I don’t condone spousal abuse, domestic violence or any of that and the example was not given as a reason to hit women but how the escalation in a conflict between anyone, make or female, police or protestors, often requires going to another level when words cease to be a useful tool.
Perhaps I used the Connery example because at the time it aired it raised a lot of eyebrows but when people watched it they had a hard time arguing with the logic as presented, and even Barbara couldn’t deny it.

avatar DrMesmer December 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm

took me about 45 seconds…
Occupy DC list of demands:
1.INVESTIGATE, ARREST AND TRY THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis in the following notable cases: (insert list of the most clear cut criminal actions).
2.CONGRESS ENACT LEGISLATION TO PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY BY REVERSING THE EFFECTS OF THE CITIZENS UNITED SUPREME COURT DECISION which essentially said corporations can spend as much as they want on elections and no disclosure is required about who’s giving to who.
3.ACTION ON GLASS-STEAGALL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass–Steagall_Act — Wiki entry summary
4.CONGRESS PASS THE BUFFETT RULE ON FAIR TAXATION SO THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE & CLOSE CORPORATE TAX LOOP HOLES INCLUDING PROHIBITION ON HIDING FUNDS OFF SHORE
5.CONGRESS COMPLETELY REVAMP THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
6.RE-ESTABLISH THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES IN THE U.S. SO THAT POLITICAL CANDIDATES ARE GIVEN EQUAL TIME FOR FREE AT REASONABLE INTERVALS IN DAILY PROGRAMMING DURING CAMPAIGN SEASON. The same should extend to other media
7.CONGRESS ENACT SPECIFIC LAWS THAT EFFECTIVELY BUILD A WALL BETWEEN THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY AND THE U.S. MILITARY
LA if not illegally evicted would have presented there list within weeks, many Occupy sites are developing their demands list and finding common ground amongst the 3000 sites, a central meet-up is planned in Phili to create an offical unified list, democracy takes a little time, afterall we were in parks…Illegal eviction because the City Councle gave us permision to utalize the City Hall park “as long as we needed” and the mayor can’t legally undue that invite…that’s just the law! Now Amnisty International is considering taking up this event as an examply of “crimes against humanity” to persue in 2012. Would be wise not to end up on the wrong side of history, Occupy is right…Wall Street is criminal and has created mass suffering. Who could defend Charles Prince without being paid to do so?

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avatar john December 11, 2011 at 2:11 am

Well that’s a nice piece of information, thank you for bringing it. I hope you don’t think it was terribly relevant to this discussion as it would be really grasping at straws to say it was. Occupy Wall Street never had cohesive list of demands, Occupy Los Angeles had no such thing either and getting a list of demands together should have been something to do before they even started.
My point stands that at the time of the eviction they weren’t on a course of action that was clear to anyone other than appearing to to be a disruptive presence with nothing to accomplish. This is why public support had evaporated and why people weren’t too sympathetic about police using strong arm tactics.
You won’t find too many people on the side of anarchy.

As for that list well there is some salient and actionable content in there. Too bad it’s sandwiched between the ignorant (#1) and the ridiculous (#7).

Finally for this:

“. Would be wise not to end up on the wrong side of history, Occupy is right…Wall Street is criminal and has created mass suffering. Who could defend Charles Prince without being paid to do so?”

We’ll chock that up to you getting so caught up in a rant you tossed in some useless rhetoric- I don’t see anyone in this forum defending Wall Street, and implying people who might disagree with you are paid by corporate villains to express those opinions is the kind of talk you hear from paranoid delusional conspiracy theorists.

I think we all agree Wall St. needs an overhaul if not many aspects of our whole socioeconomic system. The discussion here (IMO) is about balancing the right to free speech and peaceful assembly with the responsibility public officials have to keep peace and order in communities, and what happens when police get in the middle of it.

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avatar Brendan K Callahan December 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I see someone doesn’t know how to have an actual discussion.

http://obrag.org/?p=50803&cpage=1#comment-189543

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avatar Patty Jones December 10, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Or, we’ve been out (we have lives too) and weren’t able to approve your initial comment until now. Hope you had a pleasant evening, we did.

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avatar Gregory December 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Yes, you are right Roberto, and when your day comes, as it soon will, I hope that you maintain your allegiance to your local police force.

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avatar anon2269 December 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Dear Mr Meighan and anyone it may concerned, please upload any evidence you can find on the cop that abused you to Googles Youtube.com (or anywhere on the internet really). “Anonymous” wants to show him and his family something about his friend anthony bologna. Stay vigilant, Hero

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avatar Bob December 9, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Patrick is right, we need to hold those accountable for the largest heist in history! The government is funded and run by the very insestuous financial system that rules the world and pushes for a global institution of banking. Lehman brothers, Goldman Sacs and their cronies in the Federal Reserve have instituted the largest conspiracy known in the modern world! the rabbit he is deep and now we are seeing what these people have dine to our once free nations financial system! With congress bought and paid for, a puppet presidency and a watered down judicial system, it wont be long before these people systematically dismantle our soveirn nation and force us to live under a fascist style of governance under a global banking system! They are devaluing everything to buy it all up for penies on the dollar and just lime in Greece they will force us to accept all types of austerity measures as they gobble up the last vestiges of our infrastructure! Peaceful protest will not work, it didn’t in 1776 and will not now. Tyrants do not bend, they do not make amends, they conquer, rape and pillage! The two headed monster known as the two party system MUST go, the beast has one body and gives the illusion of separation while in the shadows it devoures all! Left and right are but a way to keep us separated to inturn take us down! Do not fall into the blame game of politics look to those that are the true instigators of the financial system, they are the enemies of this nation! Much thanks to those like Patrick and the others that stand up in the face of tyranny, your sacrifice is not in vane!

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avatar Doubting Thomas December 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Spot on. Read up on S.1867, the completely bipartisan bill with an innocuous sounding name. It was under a media blackout until a few days ago. It’s not too hard to believe where the inspiration for several key inserts are, is it?

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avatar surfsideking@aol.com December 10, 2011 at 8:33 am

everybody SHOULD man up.. including the police – a great way for citizens to stand up against police brutality in this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8lkBRWpx9Q&feature=share

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avatar Gordon Wagner December 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Would it be so difficult to dream up some outflanking maneuvers? Remember that scene in “Aliens” when the spaceman shoves his shotgun down the throat of one of the attacking aliens and blows its head off? Anybody got a quarterstaff? Or some wasp spray? SoRRY OfFICER I was trying to spray that wasp’s nest right above your head as you were crushing my feet… nonviolence is just sheep baah-ing on the way to the slaughterhouse. Where are the indictments of the “too big to fail” banksters? This is a freaking POLICE STATE. Anyone noticing that yet?

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avatar Brendan K Callahan December 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Let’s not forget his update to this post, not shown here (for obvious reasons — it was posted before it he wrote it):

UPDATE (12/9/11): Hey all, thank you for the nice thoughts from many folks who have read this account. One necessary clarification about the 7 hours spent by the roughly 100-of-us in the Parker Center parking garage immediately following our arrest:

though we were indeed forced to kneel on that parking garage pavement for an extended period and though we did in fact have our hands tightly zipcuffed behind our backs for that entire seven-hour stretch on the pavement, and though we were barred from standing and moving for that time period, the LAPD officers, in point of fact, did allow us to shift ourselves out of the kneeling position onto our butt-cheeks, our side-legs, etc., as necessary. At the very least, when we began to do so, they did not stop us. I apologize for implying otherwise.

I also want to say that I don’t consider my above-described treatment at the hands of the LAPD to be, in any way, uniquely-brutal, or that I was especially victimized. Yes, getting arrested and going to jail was scary and sometimes painful and it generally sucked, but jail is supposed to suck. Again, the point of this blogpost is not that I was treated especially poorly by the LAPD officers who arrested, processed and held us. The LAPD officers were just doing their jobs, as they understood them. The point of the blogpost is simply to contrast the legal response to nonviolent protestors against the the legal response (or, rather, non-response) to the perpetrators of the largest act of coordinated larceny in economic history, for whom the next arrest will be the first one.
Best,

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA

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avatar DrMesmer December 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

“Those who make nonviolent revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.”
President John F. Kennedy
If not in parks with other community members, making food, sharing medicine, playing drums, developing allies within the legal system to prosecute these “white-coller crimes”, addressing the media and bringing about simple justice via Occupying…then what? Crashing planes into IRS offices, shooting welfare employees, bombing symbols of the Banking system, killing cops…
Great job Mayor Villarigosa!

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avatar john December 11, 2011 at 2:20 am

“…then what? Crashing planes into IRS offices, shooting welfare employees, bombing symbols of the Banking system, killing cops…”

How did “Occupy Wall Street” turn into “we’d like an extended stay at Gitmo, please!”?

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avatar DrMesmer December 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm

The point is we were peacefully expressing our concerns, daily meeting and developing our list of demands, petitioning our grievanceses to local government as well as media and interested organzations…without that avanue desperate people who have lost everything; house, job, savings…then family, friends and hope, tend to do desperate things. “a hungery man is a angery man”…we have seen this kind of violance already. I was suggesting that without a viable counter movement to Wall Strreets MASSIVE crimes and it’s ripple into our country as a “Financial Crisis”…we will see more acts of desperation and violance. Exactly what JFK was refering to in that quote…maybe JFK would be scared of being taken to Gitmo today for speaking such radical truths?

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avatar Laura Finney December 11, 2011 at 8:07 am

Patrick,
Please keep this. You and others may need to testify to the United Nations and Frank LaRue if Obama doesn’t Veto the new Terrorist Detainment Law. Frank LaRue ( a special Envoy of the UN) has already taken notice of the injustices here oppressed on protestors freedoms.
Thank you for your service, in our Revelation for freedom from Corporate power, greed, and oppressions.
Best Regards,
Laura Finney

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avatar Karen December 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I am grateful that you and people like you are involved in these protests. I m sorry that you were treated so badly.

The other thing that bothers me is why am I not seeing news about the Occupy Wall Street movement every night on my six o’clock news? I can find out what celebrity acted badly but not about news of these movements, or how protesters are treated. This is real news. I fear the “news” stations are helping the American people fritter away their freedoms, by just concerning themselves with ratings and how much they can charge for their comericals rather than reporting the real news going on around the country with the American people.

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avatar william December 13, 2011 at 6:47 am

ok, all i gotta say is if you break the law, you better be prepared to deal with the consequences. i’m familiar with police techniques (although not law officer myself) and while yes, they may have been simplifying their job by destryoing tents (turning it into abbondoned refuse that requires no paperwork) their compliance techiques were (where they twisted ankles and arms) are standard procedure. THEY’RE INTENDED TO BE PAINFUL TO INDUCE COMPLIANCE!!! when protesters refused to comply, the police the USED THE LEAST AMOUNT OF FORCE NEEDED TO INDUCE COMPLIANCE. THAT’S THEIR JOB. now if they’d repeatedly tasered or pepper sprayed individuals right off the bat, or used their nightsticks, that might of been excessive, as is they were doing something the military calls

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avatar Lorna Buratto December 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm

It is gratifying to me that there are so many responsible and intelligent people on this site from whom I have learned so much. Thank you. I do wonder about the use of the “Nuremburg Defense” to excuse the behavior of police when they over-react and illegally commit unnecessary acts of brutality. Also, I don’t believe that the decision of when and how to peacefully demonstrate is up to anyone but the demonstrators themselves. Who appointed these outsiders as on- site monitors who deign to “allow” us to temporarily exercise our rights as long it amuses them? I peacefully say to them, “Up yours”! The movement does not require the “permission” of others who falsely claim they are looking out for the freedom of others who are being denied the privilege of using the park after 12.00 a.m. Puhleeeease! Either they are unashamedly behaving like fools because they don’t know better or they think the demonstrators won’t notice how foolish they are.

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avatar william December 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm

“Nuremburg Defense” ? really? the police killed no-one, broke no bones, didn’t even use pepper spray. all i’m saying is quite being such a fucking pansy about getting rough handled by the cops. as for them doing their duty, how many crimes have occured at these protests, because the police are simply overwhealmd? they don’t have the manpower to continue to ensure the safety of the demonstrators, so they dispersed them, using a MINIMUM amount of force. how many demonstrators actually DIED from police actions? NONE, because they are highly trained professionals. by contrast, how many protesters routinely die in 3rd world countries? the arab spring demonstrations? dozens to hundreds. the police here fired no weapons, n mace, no battons, no tasers. so quite fucking whining about getting roughhandled by men and women whose DUTY is to TAKE A BULLET FOR YOU if that is what’s needed. men and women who risk their lives every day to keep you safe as you protest. one last poimt: the police never know when someone who seems passive might flip out and pull a weapon. again they deal with deadly dangerous criminals every day, some of whom seem quite friendly–right up until they kill their wife, child, a total stranger.

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avatar Doubting Thomas December 14, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Highly trained professionals indeed. I’m generally in support of law enforcement, with family friends as civil servants, and nothing but good personal experiences to relate. But refusal to call out the jerks on the force, the ones who just like using their power to hurt others, is nothing but a slap in the face to the good cops out there.

It’s just as bad as refusing to call out the charlatans who give a bad name to investment banking, bringing disgrace to the money managers who actually provide grease for main street’s economic engine.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/05/18/iraq-war-veteran-jose-guerena-killed-by-arizona-swat-team/

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avatar Frank Gormlie December 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

William, I believe you are missing the entire point here. Police overwhelmed? They brought in 1400 officers to deal with several hundred peaceful protesters. They didn’t have the manpower to ensure the safety of the demonstrators, so they dispersed them? You gotta to be kidding. You either are buying the “official line” or else you just are not at all sympathetic to the Occupy movement. If it sounds like a duck, walks like a duck, it’s a cop.

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avatar Terrie Leigh Relf December 15, 2011 at 11:01 am

Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m wondering if charges are going to be brought against LAPD, SDPD and so forth for their unnecessary brutality.

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