Sunday, September 25, 2011

NY Times Sends Arts Critic to "Cover" Wall Street Occupation

The Grey Lady has stuck her long nose up in the air and given a mighty sniff, finally deigning to publish a story on the ongoing "OccupyWallStreet" demonstrations in its dead tree edition.  After more than a hundred people were arrested on suspicion of being pedestrians Saturday, the Times take is that the whole mass protest is nothing but an amateur hour performance by airheads.

Readers were outraged at the tone of the article, which carried the subhead: "Demonstrators on Wall Street this week seemed to lack hard knowledge about the system they were fighting."  The reporter, one Ginia Bellafante, chose to make the lead paragraph all about a topless dancer who's been waiting all her life to cavort on Broadway.  Further down, she writes:
The group’s lack of cohesion and its apparent wish to pantomime progressivism rather than practice it knowledgably is unsettling in the face of the challenges so many of its generation face — finding work, repaying student loans, figuring out ways to finish college when money has run out. But what were the chances that its members were going to receive the attention they so richly deserve carrying signs like “Even if the World Were to End Tomorrow I’d Still Plant a Tree Today”?
Reader reactions were universally scathing.  Barbara of Mexico/New Mexico writes: "Considering this is taking place in the heart of the financial district, and that other major media is covering it well & seriously ( Al Jazeera, for one, is doing an excellent job), it is quite sad and very revealing the New York 'paper of record" chooses to treat this movement with such superficiality".

The tone of the piece is easier to understand in light of the fact that Bellafante is not a political reporter or even a metro beat reporter.  She is a Times arts section critic, who in the past has written about HBO miniseries and other TV fare.  She now does something called the Big City column. That's right: The Times couldn't be bothered to send a political or news reporter to cover the populist dissent.  They sent somebody to write it up as an entertainment piece, a whimsical look at the passing parade of weirdness in the Big Apple. 

Bellafante took the most heat recently for her negative review of the HBO series "Game of Thrones" -- spawning a revolt in the blogosphere from fantasy fans, accusing her of (surprise!) literary snobbery.  Here is how she explains her philosophy: "Writing criticism is completely personal and often impressionistic. I write from a perspective that is my own, not one that seeks to represent a big tent of varying opinion."

Assigning Bellafante to cover Manhattan's version of the Arab Spring speaks volumes about the Times editors, and their choice to treat it as some sort of  amusement for the elites. They can spend millions subsidizing safely-distanced reports by Tommy Freedom and Nicky Kristof on the Egyptian revolution, and  government crackdowns in Syria and Bahrain --  but I guess they couldn't come up with cab fare for them to ride the few blocks from Times Square to Zuccotti Park to watch our own indignados getting pepper-sprayed.  For real coverage, check out the links in my previous posts, or just troll the Internets. Here, for example, is some real reporting from New York 1, the local 24 hour news channel. The truth is out there, in plain sight and out of the control of the editorial boards of the American corporate media.

Just Another Day of Street Theater or Maybe a Lost Episode of "Law & Order"


Anonymous said...

Brilliantly stated, Karen. Thank you.
The other Times article that had me howling in the tent (above the sound of my darling coyote pup neighbors) was the one about the OFA "hard sell" tweet. Glad the Times covered it (credit where due.)
I'll write more about that recent OFA "hard sell" tweet later, about to lose cell reception.
Camp Obama, Homeless Edition

Anne Lavoie said...

"Gunning For Wall Street, With Faulty Aim" - NYT, September 25, 2011.

I disagree with their title. I don't think the aim was faulty. The woman who got half-naked got her points across, drawing the attention of the NYT, producing coverage of this event when nothing else worked. If it wasn't for those Wall Street guys peeping out the windows with their tongues hanging out and calling it in to NYT for a photo, NYT might have continued with their coverup. But they just couldn't resist!

Despite signs carried with messages on them, many related websites, and the location being at Wall Street, the media claims they couldn't really figure out what the message was. NYT figures that if they act like they don't get it, they might not have to cover the message. It's like pulling teeth. They didn't act this way for Tea Party rallies.

The NYT decided this is a freak show with no 'there there' so they don't need to keep putting in on their pages. "Nothing to see here. Move along!" they are telling us, just as their corporate owners and advertisers ordered.

Ciara said...

I'm reminded of the old saying that "You know a story is really old when it appears in the New York Times." Okay, it doesn't entirely fit here except for the basic idea the Times doesn't have much of a rep for getting out there and staying on top of things.

Sending an arts critic? Please. (And one with the philosophy that "criticism is entirely personal"?)

If there had been no topless woman, I suppose they would be complaining that the protest was boring instead of puzzling.

The Times has recently had some fairly good editorials, but it has basically always been a very establishment paper. Back in the 1980s I followed a trial in NY federal district court that pitted the CIA against the IRA (the Irish one). There were some blockbuster revelations about the CIA and they led to the acquittal of five IRA gun suppliers. I was so looking forward to the big story in the Times -- but they covered it only as a bizarre result that couldn't quite be accounted for.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to provide the above link to the Times article on former small donors (and campaigners) for Obama peeling away.

In response, OFA is asking its remaining volunteers (the ones they "culted" at the official Camp Obama, not to be confused with the far superior "Camp Obama, Homeless Edition (registered trademark)" to "Make a hard ask. Be clear about what you want and when you need it."

Well... Okay! 

Dear Mr. President:

Your campaign told me to "make a hard ask." To: "Be clear about what you want and when you need it."

Here it is:

I and tens of millions of long-term unemployed Americans need a job. Many of us need a roof over our heads. We need these things NOW. Before many of us perish in the winter.

Camp Obama, Homeless Edition

P.S. No thanks to you for betraying those of us moderate Democrats and progressives who gave your 2008 campaign so much time and effort. Adding (literally) insult to injury by calling us "sanctimonious purists" for asking you to hew to your campaign promises (or for asking you to at least FAKE it a little more energetically) was just... gravy. 

Anonymous said...

PS: @Anne Lavoie,
You really said it. I grimaced when I read about the topless girl. Now I think I'll send her my thanks.
Your final two paragraphs were spot on, too. Thanks for pointing out the Times' refusal to see what's right in front of their face.
About the Times reporter who wrote the article on the protests: I'm torn as to whether we should invoke her name. We may inadvertently propel her career at the Times.
One thing I CAN say in favor of the Times: it intro'd us to Karen, one of the Times' greatest critics. And the outraged comments Posted in the Times comment section in response to the protest article were brilliant. And reassuring.

Pat Reynolds said...

I'd like to use this comment section to shamelessly plug the Save America's Postal Service Rally to be held nationwide on Tuesday Sept. 27. I have included a link with a map of all the rallies. If you are near one of these sites, please stop by to show your support, postal workers will appreciate it!

Karen Garcia said...

If you go to a rally, please send us a report and pics and I will be happy to publish in a regular blog post. Thanks and good luck.

Pat Reynolds said...

The rally in my congressional district is 100 miles away and only a couple of hours from when I have to be at work, so unfortunately I will be unable to attend. However, I will get the entire scoop from my union and report back to you. Thank you so much for your interest and support!

Valerie said...


Good luck! I have been thinking about the tribulations of the postal workers a lot lately. Do take pictures and DO write up and account. We support you!

Anne Lavoie said...


Congress manufactured this financial 'crisis' when it passed a law in 2006 requiring USPS to prefund retiree health care benefits for current as well as yet unhired and maybe unborn employees for the next 75 YEARS, and gave them only 10 years to do it. I think Congress was trying a new twist of 'Starve the Beast' in order to provide them with an excuse to eventually privatize.

Also USPS overpaid $82 Billion into the federal retirement systems over the years, and has not been refunded this money. According to Ralph Nader, USPS could easily be in the black to the tune of over a billion dollars without any further job cuts or office closings.

To see Ralph Nader's letter to Congress with more complete details, go to

If anyone needs to have their jobs cut or salaries and benefits slashed, it is Congress.

Valerie said...

I want to thank you so much for introducing me to the best political article I have read this year.

Fred Drumlevitch said...

With regard to the pepper spraying of anti Wall Street demonstrators, I'm going to simply re-post here the comment that I made months ago on The Lede blog of the New York Times, in response to their post "Echoes of Rodney King in Karachi and Miami", June 10, 2011, . Although no deaths have yet been attributed to the police acting against Wall Street protestors, I think my comment is still relevant with regard to the basic situation of abuse of state power, and my prescription to reduce it --- just remove the adjective "deadly" in the first sentence of the second paragraph of my old comment (which was written about two incidents that did involve killings done by "law enforcement").

"All law enforcement personnel --- civilian, military, or paramilitary --- should be required to wear a device which captures and instantaneously transmits both video and audio of their complete actions while on duty to an untamperable archive, the records of which are subject to both domestic and international subpoena. Additionally, each agent should be required to display, on the front and back of his/her uniform, a high-contrast multi-digit identification number with numerals at least 10 centimeters high.

Given the power that law enforcement wields, the worldwide history of abuses of state power, and the implicit credibility that law enforcement has to jurors and judges in trial situations, there is urgent need for at least a minimum standard mechanism to monitor the exercise of deadly power in the name of the state. Any nation unwilling to implement that is neither civilized nor democratic. And any law enforcement personnel who are unwilling to have their actions monitored do not deserve the public trust, and should not be able to exercise power as agents of the state."

Pat Reynolds said...

Thanks for the kind words. It's nice to know there's support in the blogosphere as opposed to the all too common bash the postal workers meme.

Anne Lavoie,
Very well put! A simple accounting maneuver is all that is needed to solve this republican induced crisis.

Valerie said...


Very good idea and excellent justification for such needed technology. And I agree. Good police officers should welcome it as it protects them from false accusations in addition to having the capability of recording crimes as they happen.

The American security state has been growing at an alarming rate since 9/11 and most of it, under the radar of the American public. While we have been distracted by our economic woes, the government has, under the guise of fighting terrorism, been revving up the power of security forces that can easily be turned on people protesting in the streets.

Wait and see, those in power will start using the "domestic terrorist" allusions as more and more of the Middle Class get fed up and join the ranks of the protesters.

And protesters will have more than the police to contend with. "Security" companies like BlackWater were assigned to "keep the peace" and "control rioting" in New Orleans after Katrina. Jeremy Scahill wrote a great essay on this

Fred is absolutely right. We need to get out ahead of this while we still can. It only benefits the good police officers and might help restrain the bad ones.

Denis Neville said...

Yves Smith is “beginning to wonder whether the right to assemble is effectively dead in the US…Welcome to the Police State: NYC Cops Mace Peaceful Protestors Against Wall Street…”

As Richard Kline said, “What I find relevant if wholly unsurprising is that for the MSM this protest - underway for a week! - got zero coverage until the cops start dragging people away in handcuffs. That is the image that the MSM wanted and wants. That is a learning experience for the organizers, too. I see this protest as a start, and the most important thing about it is that it was put on at all. The goals and participation will build over time if those involved use it as a jump off point for further work.”

This is class warfare. There can be no peace so long as millions are unemployed, homeless, and hungry, living in poverty, while the privileged few continue their ruinous destruction of our lives, and sanction what happened on Wall Street.

History sure does rhyme. Police again and again take, and will take, the side of the rich and powerful.

What is missing today is the courage and militancy of the early 20th century. The veal pen reeks.

Who are today’s Bill Haywood, Mother Jones, Joe Hill, Eugene Debs, Rose Scheiderman, Emma Goldman? There needs to be massive, united direct action without the treacherous occupants of the veal pen. The bottom 99 percent must recognize the power of their numbers. Many thousands need to be mobilized, meetings, conventions, parades, to yield the influence and power that is needed. Protests divided against themselves will not prevail against this plutocracy. Direct action is democracy.

“Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew,
Which in sleep had fallen on you.
Ye are many; they are few!”

- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Masque of Anarchy: Written on Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester

Let the “good times” roll for the rich and powerful.

“It was never good times in England since the poor began to speculate upon their condition. Formerly they jogged on with as little reflection as horses.” - Charles Lamb

Ciara said...

Pat, fwiw I've been a strong supporter of the USPS for years. It's true that back in the 1980s service often left a lot to be desired. That was put to rights long ago, however, and the postal system offers Americans one of the best bargains available to us. The issue of labor and unions rights is very important. Even apart from that, though, does it never occur to any Republican to wonder what will happen to a country that begrudges its citizenry an efficient postal service?

Fred Drumlevitch said...

@ (everyone): Great post by Karen. Great comments and relevant links.

I had already seen the article noted by Anonymous about Obama's well-deserved problems with small donors. (I guess a politician CAN'T fool all of the people all of the time). Great, no-nonsense answer by Anonymous to Obama's question. Somehow, though, I don't think that's the answer he was really looking for! (But as that old saying about lawyers questioning a witness in court goes, a politician shouldn't ask a question for which he doesn't know the answer. He should know that.)

I hadn't previously seen Valerie's recommended Jeremy Scahill article about Blackwater operating in post-Katrina New Orleans. Truly frightening.

Nor had I seen Denis Neville's recommended Yves Smith article on the Wall Street protesters. Yes, for years now, any demonstrators --- no matter how peaceful --- challenging major governmental, political, or economic institutions find themselves on the receiving end of spying, interference, or outright suppression by police or "security" forces, and marginalization by the mainstream media. That is, of course, outrageous, but I also try to think of the cup as half full, rather than solely half empty. As I see it, the attempt to defeat the basic right to protest tells me that the plutocracy is actually very scared of what they know is a massive amount of frustration and anger simmering beneath the surface. They fear that if substantial protests take hold here, it won't be long before there are uncontrollable demands from the people for economic and social justice.

And I want to echo Valerie's thanks to Kat for the link to "Barack Obama VS Those Craaaazy Republicans..."

Zaguan said...

I too was astounded by the sardonic tone of this Bellafante person's reporting. My son has been down there on Wall St. since the beginning of this thing. Meanwhile I'm sitting here in Albuquerque, New Mexico (which is NOT part of Mexico) looking for good reporting of what indeed is going on.

Film of the police actions posted on YouTube are shocking. Clearly not anything we expect from a professionally run police Dept.

The Reader Comments on the Times article are telling. Pretty much everyone reading it thinks it's about time SOMEBODY got up an yelled some about things such as the Citizen's United Supreme Court opinion which recently granted corporations the same rights as individual human citizens. Except that the opinion actually granted corporations greater rights because the decision has now opened the door to unlimited political donations by these in-human entities.

I pray the NY Times is reading this commentary. If so, perhaps they will send out a real reporter next time. People are mad as hell, and they have a constitutional right to speak out.

rosswolfe said...


Despite the fact that I'm usually bored with the New York Times' lukewarm left-of-center reporting, I must say that they are completely correct in dismissing this latest show of incoherent protest. Equating the occupation of Wall Street in Manhattan with the "Arab Spring" is pure delusion. The numbers swelled to a mere 1,500 in the early days of the demonstrations, but have dwindled to only about 200. If this is what passes for leftist or radical politics these days, it is only a sign of the universal degeneration of the Left.

I have written my own (Marxist) critique of the protests on my blog: Regressive "Resistance" on Wall Street: Notes on the Occupation


Karen Garcia said...

Incoherent protests are at least a start. Better 250 than 2. These things sometimes have a way of catching fire and growing. There have been previous marches and sleep-ins in NYC this year that were never covered at all.

Moreover, these "incoherent" young people are overeducated, underemployed and angry, and are actually quite articulate when they're not being pepper-sprayed. More power to them. Hopefully when the cold winter sets in and they all go home, they can hone their organizing skills and catch up on their reading. It's only the beginning.... give them time.

rosswolfe said...

Obviously I'm not going to expect a coherent and unified understanding of the relation of theory to practice from these protesters. Given the present state of the Left, such questions are barely ever even posed. What I would like to see is a meaningful message or platform established on a solid critical analysis of society as a whole. In other words, not exhibitionistic theatrics with mindless slogans and women baring their breasts for no apparent reason.

And I'm not sure where you're getting the impression that these young students are so articulate. All I have heard out of the mouths of those protesters who have been interviewed are puerile banalities issuing from a generalized discontent with the status quo. Sadly, I can't share your optimism about the potential of this demonstration sparking broader protests or even deepening the level of political engagement of those who are involved already. In the end, I feel that such displays only perpetuate the dead-end culture of protest that so impotently fetishizes and celebrates "resistance" of any sort whatsoever.

Anne Lavoie said...

Wow, looks like we have someone who wants to lead our movement! "Put on your marching shoes! March with me!" says our new fearless leader, Barack Obama. Or at least that's what he said to fellow Blacks at a Congressional Black Caucus event.

He even scolded them to "stop crying, stop complaining, stop griping" etc. No, his children weren't there, so he wasn't talking to them. He was talkin' to the 'folks', saying "I listen to some of y'all" Can you imagine his talkin' to the honkies on Wall Street that way?

So just when you thought our anti-corporate- takeover-of-everything-including-the-government movement might lack leadership, we have Obama putting out the marching orders to harness the anger and energy of his troops, or those he hopes are his troops. He assumes all Blacks automatically are his.

Not being a wordsmith like Karen, I cannot come up with the right word, but I am thinking 'co-opt' or 'appropriating' or maybe even 'stealing' a movement for his own campaign is something that he might do, or even seems to be doing as the anger and frustration boils up in America.

Desperate times (or a desperate man) require desperate action. He will lead with words, from the rear, so he can dump us like a hot potato (again) as soon as he wins re-election. Or that would be the plan anyway.

We have already seen Obama testing the waters, trying his strategy out on environmentalists. Towards the end of the recent protest in Washington against the planned Canadian Tar Sands project, it was noticed that protesters suddenly started wearing Obama t-shirts and pins, and the word went out not to criticize Obama. They even cancelled Ralph Nader's speech after inviting him. That was our first hint.

Remember how angry and frustrated we all were after suffering patiently for 8 long grueling years under George Bush? That energy was captured and funneled by and FOR one candidate named Barack Obama, and look what he did with it. Let me put it simply: He hasn't broken any promises to Wall St.

So once again, beware of the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Kat said...

I'm glad you liked it. Good stuff over there.

@ everyone, tell me how to get out of this dysfunctional relationship I have with the NYT. I still subscribe for Sunday delivery. It is not like this article is anything out of the ordinary.
Looked at the most emailed articles and maybe everything we need to know is right there: no.7 Whatever happened to the American Left?
no 2: Is junk food really cheaper.
Well, at the NYT putative liberals have moved on to demonizing the poors for their food choices. That's the best we can hope for.

Jay - Ottawa said...

So the Wall Street demonstration is over? After one week of open-ended protest the demonstrators were swept up like trash and carted off in time for Monday’s opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange? The city’s interest in keeping the financial district open for business and tourism and the myth of calm in America trumped the people’s right of assembly and petition?

Well, thank God! and the Supreme Court, and our men in blue. The rights of newly-minted corporate persons were made safe by an extra term mayor who happens to be a billionaire.

Meanwhile, not that far from the hosed-down streets in the financial district a more acceptable and patriotic gesture of defiance is nearing completion. It’s at the site of what facilitators of the Security State consider the first battle of Armageddon. The proud tower will be exactly 1776 feet high in celebration of a Declaration of Independence gradually being eclipsed by new declarations and fast action and giant agencies assuring our descent into vassalage. The edifice will be called The Freedom Tower. Mr. Bloomberg will be one of the principals on hand to cut the ribbon at its dedication.

Over the years we’ve all heard about surveys asking the man in the street whether he’s for or against one or two sentences becoming law. You know the drill. These sentences would stay the rough hand of the police, the military, the bureaucrats or the elites themselves from lording it over the rest of us. Most men in the street being interviewed respond that they are firmly against the establishment into law of any of the wild provisions just read to them. Of course, each of the rejected provisions is a verbatim quote from the Bill of Rights.

It’s not only the ignorant who reject simple readings of the Declaration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. With each new term of the Roberts Court the Bill of Rights is trimmed a little more, in particular the Fourth Amendment. The concerns of Jefferson, Mason, Gerry and Madison were justified after all.

On October 6, and the days following, we’ll have another go at the matter in Washington, D.C. The demonstrations should be big. MSM coverage will be unavoidable. In a few weeks, with the unfolding of democracy on a broader scale we’ll see whether the right to assemble on the commons in order to petition the stewards of government we elected still exists as a viable right -- or is sooooo history. Let’s see whether the Arab Spring moves west as an Autumn of Change in America. Let’s see whether, as Canadian poet-composer Leonard Cohen would have it, “Democracy is comin’ to the USA….”

If the elites and their muscled agents continue to disregard the Fourth Amendment, will they eventually overstep America’s high threshold of tolerance for repression? Will they set off the spark? Or will the once-great democracy, having borne the torch of freedom for centuries, fall into darkness and vassalage -- not with a bang, but with a whimper?

Valerie said...


Wonderful comment! Informative and sardonic - I give it the Sardonicky Award (not that ANYONE has appointed me head of the committee or even TO the committee!).


First, I tend to think what little the MSM is bothering to report is purposely only showing the shallower comments by the protesters in order to trivialise this movement. As I understand it, there are a lot educated, articulate people participating. Many still have jobs they have to go to every day so they aren’t in attendance all the time. Many are older and their old bones just don’t camp very well these days. I remember the Seattle protests against the WTO. There were lots of articulate, intelligent people with very clear philosophical reasons they were there protesting, yet it is near impossible to find media coverage of THEIR comments. Remember the media is looking for a circus and many of the journalists still employed (They have axed the ones they can't control.)are lazy stenographers looking for the easy story. I know a guy who is an established reporter at KOMO in Seattle. He won't cover a story that doesn't allow him to be home for dinner every night at 5:30. He interviews the most outrageous, clownish people he can because they make for the most entertainment and allow HIM to give the public HIS take on the issue.

Second, at least these people are out there - which is more than I can say about you and me. Apathy is what is killing this country - not the Tea Party or the Republicans or the Corporate Democrats. So give these people a break. They are already being criticised by the Right and the MSM, they don't need the Left picking them apart.

Third, why don't you write to them and tell them that you would be happy to work with them to establish a clearer platform? I imagine they would happily add another soldier to their ranks. It is easy to criticise out here in the “cheap seats” but more work to get involved.


Save a tree and read it on-line. Unless I am hunting down one of Karen's comments or reading something someone else from the blogospere has recommended, I tend to skip most of it these days. I just don't trust their take on issues anymore. Oh, Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story are wonderful as are a few others, but on the whole, I think it is just more proof that the MSM is a captured industry.

Valerie said...

If any of you out there are like me and reluctant to give your credit card information to Paypal (or whatever), I wrote to the Elizabeth Warren Campaign and asked for a snail mail address to which I could send my contribution in a check.

Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts
P.O. Box 960405
Boston, MA 02196

DreamsAmelia said...

@Zaguan and others--the LiveStream continues its ongoing coverage of Occupy Wall St at

Michael Moore just arrived and spoke, Sept. 26, 7:15 pm...

The coverage is spotty, but ongoing....I've had it on a back browser window of my computer pretty much since it started...I have only heard inspiring attempts at consensus building/conflict resolution (esp. at General Assembly meetings each evening) seems like a group of people our elected leaders would do well to emulate...absolutely NONE of the hyper-partisan rhetoric and name calling you hear every day on the floor of Congress via C-Span.
Truly inspiring.

Anne Lavoie said...


You don't have to pay for any NYT subscription to read unlimited stories online for free. I don't subscribe and I greatly exceed the 20 article/month limit (more like 200), month after month, and never get cut off. I use Mozilla Firefox for my browser - not sure if that makes a difference.

As far as quality goes, ummmm... they're better than most American newspapers? If you really want to know what's happening in this country, nothing beats the foreign press. I've learned things that the American press simply ignored. The 'Downing Street Memos' comes to mind as one prime example. The Guardian, Spiegel, and Al Jazeera are good. I also read Chinese newspapers online.

BTW, the Lesser or More Evil article was excellent! Thanks for pointing it out.

Anne Lavoie said...


Too funny that you considered me for a Sardonicky Award because as I was writing it, I felt like I was channeling Karen, like a mind-meld! (Play Twilight Zone theme here.) So thanks, that was a high compliment.

Valerie said...

A friend wrote this to me about the New York Protest. I thought he had some excellent points so I am sharing his words.

“Something similar happened to G20 protesters in Toronto last year. There must be a script somewhere that teaches the police how to corral peaceful demonstrators and hurt them publicly by way of telling the rest of us to not even think about joining them or doing the same thing elsewhere. Because -- see the pictures, smell the gas -- nobody cares and you may get seriously hurt by the cavemen cops. Meanwhile, our TV glorifies cops in show after show, so clever in sleuthing, so sharp in the lab, so just in the streets. Cops do nice stuff and they're not all hard or corrupt; but the bottom line for their existence has always been to protect the people of means. Like tea baggers, most cops come from the lower middle class, lack understanding about the rationale behind the Constitution & Bill of Rights, and will, whenever asked, work against their own interests by bashing the skulls of their fellow citizens.”

Fred Drumlevitch said...

"Identified: NYPD Officer Who Maced Peaceful Protesters":

"Occupy Wall Street: 'Pepper-Spray' Officer Named in Bush Protest Claim":

Valerie said...

Thanks for the link, Fred, which included not only a slow motion video of the event but also provided the public with links to the mayor's and the police commissioners office. I already lodged my complaints.

Once again proving what an important blog this is.

Anne Lavoie said...

Bloomberg deliberately set the stage by publicly stating for the record that he fully expected riots in the streets soon. This was right before this planned peaceful demonstration unfolded.

In my opinion, that created a bias against the demonstrators, created an expectation of violence, and laid out the justification for a harsh police crackdown. If the public didn't hear it that way, the police certainly did.

He's a smart man who knows how to cover his own butt and that of his police force. They don't just work the system, they ARE the System.

New York City is a Police State, with more money for policing and anti-terrorism than many countries. Now we learn they even have the capability to shoot down an airplane. They operate virtually autonomously in their anti-terrorism campaign. That should scare all of us.

I think we should boycott NYC, including paying subscriptions to the NYT which is censoring our news. Anyone who goes to or lives in that city is risking their lives and liberties.

"With Liberty and Justice for all" - Words to live by.

James F Traynor said...


Anonymous said...

Karen, thought you might be interested in this.