Hey, hey, hey.. Gooood-bye!
November 14, 2011 10:52 PM   Subscribe

Occupy Wall Street is building the barricades at this very moment. NYPD has begun clearing Zuccotti Park.
posted by ReeMonster (2900 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite

 
Live feed: http://www.livestream.com/occupynyc

Another live feed: wbai.org
posted by spinifex23 at 10:54 PM on November 14, 2011


http://www.livestream.com/owsoccupyseattle is also providing a mirror if the main feed gets overwhelmed.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:55 PM on November 14, 2011


Good grief.
posted by darkstar at 10:57 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Live coverage from Reuters.
posted by zabuni at 10:58 PM on November 14, 2011


Holy fuck. Hope everybody makes it out of this okay.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:58 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


They were pointing out what they say is an LRAD across the park.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:59 PM on November 14, 2011


Shit. The NYC crowd is probably the strongest and most organized. If they're kicked out of this park then perhaps they'll find another place? NYC folk, where would another, better place be?
posted by zardoz at 10:59 PM on November 14, 2011


And now we see what the true occupying army is in the cities of America.
posted by hippybear at 11:00 PM on November 14, 2011 [50 favorites]


Our republic is failing... many, many millions. If we remain a republic is to be seen.... but I no longer have hope...

It's all begining to be lost....

I's time to let the world burn...

For as long as we remain...

I'll see you all in the shadows.

Be safe.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 11:01 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I's time to let the world burn...
For as long as we remain...
I'll see you all in the shadows.


*facepalm*
posted by joe lisboa at 11:04 PM on November 14, 2011 [95 favorites]


Seriously, if you are trying to undermine the credibility of OWS, keep it up.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:04 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Mefi's Own Lore has written a piece that is sadly, way too appropriate.
Their main complaints seem to be that politics is influenced by people with political influence, and that powerful people have all the power. In other words, they’re protesting the futility of their own protest. That’s the sort of recursive, discursive incursion I can get behind.

If the vaguely defined “1 percent” have all the power, then no amount of sign-waving, slogan-chanting or locale-occupation will have any influence. So if the protests end in any status other than quo, then the 1 percent is a myth, normal people have plenty of influence, and the protestors were just wasting everyone’s time.

However, if the Occupy movement dies without inspiring any substantial changes in the U.S. political scene, then it will prove that they were right all along.

In other words, the Occupy movement can only succeed by failing completely.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:11 PM on November 14, 2011 [94 favorites]


I would like to see discussion of the allegedly confirmed police planted agent provoceteur mentioned in the deleted duplicate thread.

I have no doubt whatsoever that such a thing is possible, but having confirmation is notable, and I'd like to hear about it.
posted by flaterik at 11:11 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure alluding to the NYPD as an "occupying army" is especially helpful to the Occupy cause. From what I've been reading, neighbors have been complaining about crime and noise and refuse attendant to OWS, and local businesses even staged a small counter-protest to draw attention to the losses they've sustained. It seems that a substantial and growing number of citizens object to OWS and want them moved, and the police are responding to those calls.

During the weekend events in Portland, Occupy participants characterized the mayor's decision to clear them out (peacefully) as "violent." I suppose there's a school of thought that sustains that, that any kind of force qualifies as "violent." But if that's the route, then I wonder if the occupation itself doesn't qualify. Certainly, "building barricades with tables and pieces or scrap wood" would.

I hope no one is injured in New York, protestor or police.
posted by red clover at 11:12 PM on November 14, 2011 [14 favorites]


Come on, it's not like these OWS idealists have some sort of right peaceably to assemble, or to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, or to be secure in their persons and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:14 PM on November 14, 2011 [144 favorites]


I'll see you all in the shadows.

In these golden years.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:14 PM on November 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


If the vaguely defined “1 percent” have all the power, then no amount of sign-waving, slogan-chanting or locale-occupation will have any influence.

The problem is that the 1 percent have too much power, not all the power. Which also nicely takes care of this supposed inconsistency.
posted by grouse at 11:16 PM on November 14, 2011 [46 favorites]


Well, they do -- but they don't have the right to play drums 24/7 and irritate the shit out of everyone who lives nearby.

I kinda think not reining in the drummers was the proximate cause of their eviction.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 11:16 PM on November 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


Curiously, Questlove of the Roots was a major tip-off on this (for me, at least!)... made a Storify link here of his tweets. Read this on Twitter, fired up a livestream and now I'm here. Technology is amazing.

I really do hope that no one gets hurt. And I really do believe that these types of actions will only make the message clearer and stronger. Godspeed.
posted by raihan_ at 11:16 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


The other NYPD raid thread that appeared moments after this one (and was taken down as a double just a quickly) said something about the OWS people positively identifying a particularly rowdy provocateur as part of the official NYPD presence. Anybody know anything more about this, with links to confirm? I had suspected that the police had plenty of moles in Zuccotti, but this could be pretty big if true.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:17 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


OSF, about that link... could you really post it? (You left it out. Your link points to this post.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:17 PM on November 14, 2011


these OWS idealists have some sort of right peaceably to assemble, or to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, or to be secure in their persons and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.

This is what I was responding to.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 11:17 PM on November 14, 2011


I kinda think not reining in the drummers was the proximate cause of their eviction.

Or the best possible excuse.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:17 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


YES. YES. FUEL THE FIRE!!!

Please, detain them for 72 hours without any legal counsel. Yes, please do it. Please arrest everybody!

This would be great. 200 years from now, maybe this incident will be the footnote about when "it" FINALLY started.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:17 PM on November 14, 2011 [14 favorites]


It's Wall Street. Nobody lives nearby (and I say that as someone who used to live about as close as anyone lives to "nearby." It's not at all a residential area.)

Tahrir Square stood strong. Let's see what happens here.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:19 PM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


I kinda think not reining in the drummers was the proximate cause of their eviction.

Or the best possible excuse.


Yes, of course. But why would they just hand the cops such a good excuse?
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 11:20 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


From what I've been reading, neighbors have been complaining about crime and noise and refuse attendant to OWS, and local businesses even staged a small counter-protest to draw attention to the losses they've sustained. It seems that a substantial and growing number of citizens object to OWS and want them moved, and the police are responding to those calls.

Well, painting a group which is voicing opinions you're not comfortable with as dirty criminals who are disrupting the status quo of what you had before is a pretty effective way to make them into an "other" which can be acted against.

The point of a protest is to disrupt "business as usual" in an attempt to make what previously had been tuned out into something which cannot be ignored.

The nation-wide police actions against the Occupy movement only show that The Powers That Be feel that they're coming too close to the mark, and that if they aren't disbanded they soon won't be able to be ignored on any meaningful level.

So now we see the paid occupying armies moving in, doing the bidding of the Powers, and doing their best to make sure this all dies on the vine before the fruit even begins to develop.

Anyway, I'm not the first person to call the NYPD an occupying army. Both them and the LAPD have been called that for decades now in various contexts. The only reason police forces haven't been called that in other cities and towns is largely because there haven't been real occasions to see them in action against the civilian citizens of those places.
posted by hippybear at 11:23 PM on November 14, 2011 [16 favorites]


Because "excuse" and "reason" do not mean the same thing. Reasons are legitimate, excuses are not.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:23 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's the post from Skygazer that was deleted:
WBAI.Org radio in NYC is reporting that a huge NY Police presence has amassed around Zuccotti park.

OWS sent a Tweet and SMS broadcast at a little after 1:00AM announcing that the New York Police Department has begun the eviction of the Occupy Wall Street.

A WBAI radio reporter on the scene said the police are being very aggressive and tearing everything down. Although they made a big show of removing the American flag first and folding it military style.

There is also confirmation from the WBAI reporter on the scene that a provocateur (black with beard dyed blond) was identified by the movement tonight as in the past few days he has instigated trouble and harassed women in the park and tonight was part of the police presence.

The occupiers are chanting: THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING.

Other links:

LiveStream

WBAI Stream

CBS overhead helicopter (should return soon. Refueling.)

OWS Twitter page.
posted by taz at 11:24 PM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


During the weekend events in Portland, Occupy participants characterized the mayor's decision to clear them out (peacefully) as "violent." I suppose there's a school of thought that sustains that, that any kind of force qualifies as "violent." But if that's the route, then I wonder if the occupation itself doesn't qualify. Certainly, "building barricades with tables and pieces or scrap wood" would.

How is building wooden barricades violent? Barricades don't hurt anybody, and they're certainly no threat to cops with body armor and lethal weapons -- these are a couple of turned-over tables we're talking about, not a bunker covered in hardpoints.

Or is any attempt to resist "peaceful" unconstitutional police action now "violent" simply because it involves something other than immediate and total capitulation?
posted by vorfeed at 11:24 PM on November 14, 2011 [35 favorites]


Including this here from the duplicated thread.
A WBAI reporter mentioned earlier an unconfirmed report that a provocateur (black with beard dyed blond) was identified by the movement. He'd been instigating trouble and had been harassing women in the park and tonight was part of the police presence.
The reporter hasn't mentioned the provocateur in a while, what he's talking about is how there is a huge pile of people's belongings being trashed and ruined by the police. Also, he's expressing sadness with the NY Sanitation workers who're are taking part in this./
posted by Skygazer at 11:25 PM on November 14, 2011


Come on, it's not like these OWS idealists have some sort of right peaceably to assemble, or to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, or to be secure in their persons and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Although their demonstration was mostly peaceful, the incessant noisemaking, piling up of all manner of refuse, the smell, and the enormous loss of revenue for local businesses is why this is happening. Hell, I support their CAUSE 100% but I've been to the camp a number of times and it was a loud, stinky mess. That, and the whirlwind of negative press about the other protests across the country is why the raid is on. Oh well. It was bound to happen. Will be interesting to see what their next move is.
posted by ReeMonster at 11:25 PM on November 14, 2011


Ah...oops. Thanks, Taz!
posted by Skygazer at 11:25 PM on November 14, 2011


At Tahrir Square, there were people ready to engage the security forces in running battles if the need arose. And LOTS of people came out, not some tiny group.

Who will engage the New York security apparatus in violent resistance? No one. It's become a phony little army. You'd have to be insane to fight them.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:25 PM on November 14, 2011


Or is any attempt to resist "peaceful" unconstitutional police action now "violent" simply because it involves something other than immediate and total capitulation?

Yup, pretty much. If you don't follow a police order, you're violating something and need to be immediately subdued and arrested.
posted by hippybear at 11:26 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Cleaning" the park = destroying laptops, camera equipment, personal documents, etc.
posted by hermitosis at 11:28 PM on November 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


Yes, of course. But why would they just hand the cops such a good excuse?

Maybe cause drumming is good. Drums are good. People need more drumming, more music, more rhythm in their life. It's fun, it's compelling, it brings people together in a spirit of communality. It's been working like that for thousands of years.

Also, what oneswellfoop said just above.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:28 PM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Looks like the media is being ordered away, including the CBS helicopter that was hovering over Zuccotti park earlier.

Just got a text from OWS saying the cops have cleared a 2-4 block radius around the park. And there are reports of pepper spray being used.

The "People's Library" has been brutally demolished by the police.

...

posted by Skygazer at 11:32 PM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Maybe cause drumming is good.

Yes. Drumming IS good. Drumming is what I do for a living.

But the drumming at OWS was equivalent to Peruvian pan flute music, only 50x more annoying.
posted by ReeMonster at 11:34 PM on November 14, 2011 [17 favorites]


@ANIMALNewYork: NBC journalist, Post reporter, Daily News, among others are and assembling trying to challenge NYPD as a group. #ows
posted by azarbayejani at 11:34 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the NYC Mayor's office Twitter: Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps. Protestors can return after the Park is cleared. #ows

Tough to understand how that jibes with a 2am police raid.
posted by auto-correct at 11:34 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I won't call it authoritarianism necessarily, maybe it's just a painfully bourgeois schoolmarm mentality, but whatever the name: the idea that the terrible inconvenience of a few loud noises or bad smells would justify a massive police crackdown on a completely nonviolent protest, with possible mass arrests forthcoming, shows some serious lack of ethico-political perspective.

(And yeah, this has already been said, but bears repeating interesting that protesters' unplanned, random property destruction is "violence" but planned, large-scale police property destruction is just maintaining order.)
posted by RogerB at 11:35 PM on November 14, 2011 [37 favorites]


It's Wall Street. Nobody lives nearby (and I say that as someone who used to live about as close as anyone lives to "nearby." It's not at all a residential area.)

I think the people at 55 Liberty might disagree. The entire Financial District is a lot more residential than it was just a few years ago.
posted by Guernsey Halleck at 11:36 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Protestors can return after the Park is cleared"

Yeah right... If they can get through the phalanx of NYPD which will be stationed around the square and throughout the neighborhood?

I don't trust that "leave and come back later" announcement at all. Once they're dispersed, why let them back in to amass once more?
posted by hippybear at 11:38 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes, this is clearly all about trying to clean up a loud, dirty, dangerous part of the city.

The city always sends cops, special equipment, and spends tens of thousands of dollars in overtime pay trying to clean up the city. Zucotti park just happened to be the last speck of dirt in the 5 boroughs.
posted by cell divide at 11:38 PM on November 14, 2011 [46 favorites]


This still isn't on any cable news that I see. Michael Jackson's doctor warranted interruption of regularly scheduled programs.
posted by hypersloth at 11:39 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Could people please shut up about the drumming? It's become the standard derail in any OWS discussion anywhere.
posted by wayland at 11:40 PM on November 14, 2011 [29 favorites]


ph Socks, there are (per the Census) 153 people out of the tens of millions in Greater New York living on the eight blocks surrounding the park; it's downtown in a commercial district. The vast bulk of these neighbours are in the block west of the park, which is also adjacent to the decade-long major construction project that is the WTC site, and which is plenty noisy.

Previously, the drummers had gone as late as 10:30 PM, which is an ungodly late hour in fucking New York City, where all good Citizens are in bed by 9. Luckily, they'd reached an agreement to only drum during lunch time 12-2 and the evening rush hour, 4-6. Boy, are the cops faces going to be red when they find that out.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:40 PM on November 14, 2011 [19 favorites]


@CBSNews says WCBS expects live feed from #ZuccottiPark to resume after chopper refuels, but NYPD trying to clear air space #OccupyWallStreet

TIME writer @ishaantharoor says NYC police threatened me with arrest for just standing on the sidewalk, two blocks away from the park. Mood turning ugly

Wired writer @quinnnorton Yeah me too RT @_rosiegray: Me: "I'm press!" Lady cop: "not tonight" #ows
posted by finite at 11:41 PM on November 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


Yeah, MSNBC is still showing reruns of their nightly opinion hours. Hardball With Chris "Either My Promotional Photos Are All 15 Years Old Or Else We Have One Hell Of A Photoshop Department" Matthews is happily running without any interruption.
posted by hippybear at 11:41 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sadly, I have to go to bed now. I'll see what the interwebz news sources have to say tomorrow. I hope everyone remains safe and free.
posted by hippybear at 11:42 PM on November 14, 2011


Not only is what is happening in the park what a police state looks like, not seeing what is happening in the park on the corporate owned major media is also what a police state looks like.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:43 PM on November 14, 2011 [149 favorites]


24 hour news cycle my ass.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:47 PM on November 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


I really hope that media suppression backfires as hard as macing the penned in women did. Absolutely unacceptable.
posted by flaterik at 11:48 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Or is any attempt to resist "peaceful" unconstitutional police action now "violent" simply because it involves something other than immediate and total capitulation?

I'm not on the side of the police, but removing trespassers from private land is not unconstitutional.
posted by atrazine at 11:48 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some off-camera guy on the live stream just now said the police had forced the press too far away from the park to see what's happening. Said he'd seen them taking press credentials off of reporters. Seems NYPD is making a very concerted effort to prevent this from being reported.
posted by RogerB at 11:48 PM on November 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Not only is what is happening in the park what a police state looks like, not seeing what is happening in the park on the corporate owned major media is also what a police state looks like.

With no compelling video and no significant reports of violence, the skeleton overnight crews will report the news at the half hours, but there's really no reason for them to go wall to wall on it.
posted by Jahaza at 11:48 PM on November 14, 2011


With no compelling video and no significant reports of violence, because they have been removed by police, the skeleton overnight crews should make the fact that they have been pushed away from the action the top fucking story.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:53 PM on November 14, 2011 [38 favorites]


This is crazy and yet, utterly compelling. Late night raid, terrorism units, means of transportation being blocked, people being driven out of a peaceful protest in a park where they were legally able to stay. I should be in bed right now, but I just can't stop keeping up with this situation.

The limiting of press access is the fishiest part of all this though.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:53 PM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


means of transportation being blocked,

The MTA web site doesn't show any unusual bridge or subway closings.
posted by Jahaza at 11:54 PM on November 14, 2011


Not only is what is happening in the park what a police state looks like...

...it's also what has been happening at protests in North America for as long as I can remember.
posted by Hoopo at 11:55 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is weirdly the best thing that could possibly happen to the Occupy movement, which I think was guttering a little bit in the last week. It's going to blow up now.
posted by hermitosis at 11:55 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I checked the MTA site as well about 20 minutes ago, but the word was that entrances were blocked.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:57 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


With no compelling video and no significant reports of violence, because they have been removed by police, the skeleton overnight crews should make the fact that they have been pushed away from the action the top fucking story.

Interestingly, they have internet access in the cable network news rooms! They can watch the live stream and see that there's not widespread violent confrontation going on in the park.
posted by Jahaza at 11:57 PM on November 14, 2011


Also, this will surely (at least, temporarily) chase out some of the nastier cruft that had started to gather in Zuccotti in the last few weeks.
posted by hermitosis at 12:01 AM on November 15, 2011


Atrazine: I'm not on the side of the police, but removing trespassers from private land is not unconstitutional.

But this is not strictly "private property." It is something BrookField Real Estate established for "Public Use," in exchange for a special easement that allowed them to circumvent zoning laws.

They had to promise to pay for the upkeep of it. And I'd say if Zucotti Park isn't for public use than the easement they were given, which I'm sure was lucrative in order for Brookfield to go through this deal (although it rings of cronyism to me), than Brookfield should pony up with dollars for the easement it received.
posted by Skygazer at 12:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [20 favorites]


There have been people--young, educated people--on my Facebook stream linking to the live feed of this and crowing that it is like Christmas come early that these "hippies are getting hoofed", and how they wish the chirpy girl hosting the live stream would also get clubbed because her voice is getting on their nerves. Naturally, they're no longer on my Facebook stream.

I feel sick.
posted by Phire at 12:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


Phire - TELL THEM SO. You don't need to argue with them. Just tell them that you find their opinions entirely unacceptable and you will no longer listen to them.

Evil opinions should not go unchallenged.
posted by flaterik at 12:04 AM on November 15, 2011 [22 favorites]


Phire, tell those people I hope that they are being compensated well by their masters. Otherwise they are suckers.
posted by wuwei at 12:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Live Stream from Al Jazeera English
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seems NYPD is making a very concerted effort to prevent this from being reported.

From Twitter via zabuni's Reuters link: @antderosa 11:33 PM: I just spoke with the CBS News desk and they were told to leave the airspace above Zuccotti Park by NYPD 11:34 PM: CBS News had the first news helicopter in the area above the park and were forced to leave. 11:39 PM: RT @RDevro: Police are now pushing the press off the block. They just took the press pass off ab NBC news anchor. 11:53 PM: RT @RDevro: The NYPD are now setting up a "pen" for the press as far from the remaining protesters as they can place us.
posted by hattifattener at 12:07 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is weirdly the best thing that could possibly happen to the Occupy movement, which I think was guttering a little bit in the last week. It's going to blow up now.

I hope you're right. I can't help thinking, though, that the current mindset in America is so defeatist that people will just take this as yet another win by the 1% and lose a little more hope. It'd be one thing if it looked like there was a media firestorm over it, but I don't think it'll be more than a flash in the pan. I guess we'll see what happens...but I could definitely see this as the beginning of the end, just as easily as I could see it as the beginning of the next phase.
posted by troublesome at 12:12 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is what I've let my Facebook "friends" know.

Via Twitter:
OWS Library: NYPD has closed the airspace above the park to prevent news helicopters from filming them. It's an unprecedented violation of free press.

Rosie Gray of Village Voice: Me: "I'm press!" Lady cop: "not tonight".
posted by Phire at 12:12 AM on November 15, 2011 [29 favorites]


The media is not broadcasting, but tens of thousands are awake and watching and reporting, that will prime the pump for the AM media forces.
posted by hermitosis at 12:13 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The main OWS page from the FPP is chilling:
3:08 a.m. heard on livestream: "they're bringing in the hoses."
3:05 a.m. NYPD cutting down trees in Liberty Square
2:55 a.m. NYC council-member Ydanis Rodríguez arrested and bleeding from head.
posted by Phire at 12:14 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll see you all in the shadows.

Does that line get you laid? I'm guessing...no.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:15 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is what terrifies me every time I hear about the militarization of police forces. The LAPD is armed to the teeth with large-scale pain and compliance devices.

I hope these people stay safe. The cops should realize that they're protesting on their behalf, against their employers.
posted by spiderskull at 12:15 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


OWS Twitter: #nypd destroying personal items. #occupiers leaving with their belongings are being stopped #ows #occupyallstreets.
posted by Phire at 12:16 AM on November 15, 2011


Although their demonstration was mostly peaceful, the incessant noisemaking, piling up of all manner of refuse, the smell, and the enormous loss of revenue for local businesses is why this is happening. Hell, I support their CAUSE 100% but I've been to the camp a number of times and it was a loud, stinky mess.

According to the imperialist running dogs at the San Jose Mercury News, the Occupy Oakland camp which was (peacefully) dismantled earlier this evening has accumulated over 36 tons of trash. doubtless pointing this out is going to be derided as hippie punching, but the fact is that when your encampment smells like a toilet it is not a good advertisement for your cause.

Could people please shut up about the drumming? It's become the standard derail in any OWS discussion anywhere.

Well, now you know how some of us feel about drum circles.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's inconceivable on what grounds they can intimidate, harass, and remove the press with such impunity.

Also, in terms of the Sanitation workers who were brought in, I wonder if they might actually be cops.

The frightening thing is the level of tactical thinking that went into this, from a city government nonetheless? Who designed this? Who did the city consult with for this? Why are there (it's being reported) twin rotor Chinooks hovering overhead?
posted by Skygazer at 12:17 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


what else can an encampment smell like? where do you want all the shit and trash to go? should protests only happen if they're sanitized? maybe over there in the free speech zone (between the hours of 3 and 3:30, please, have your papers in order).
posted by nadawi at 12:19 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


the Occupy Oakland camp which was (peacefully) dismantled earlier this evening has accumulated over 36 tons of trash. doubtless pointing this out is going to be derided as hippie punching, but the fact is that when your encampment smells like a toilet it is not a good advertisement for your cause.

28 tons of that was "debris" and 8 was "green waste." Are you some kind of synesthete?
posted by one_bean at 12:19 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


they have to bring all their big boy toys out - it excuses the budget for those things.
posted by nadawi at 12:20 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, now you know how some of us feel about drum circles.

Actually, complaining about and/or making fun of drum circles is the norm. There's been plenty of those kinds of comments. Really. More than enough. And it is, in fact, a derail.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:21 AM on November 15, 2011 [20 favorites]


I wish OWS the best, and I'm sure they'll handle this well however tonight turns out. I just want to say that this is absolutely preposterous:
If the vaguely defined “1 percent” have all the power, then no amount of sign-waving, slogan-chanting or locale-occupation will have any influence. So if the protests end in any status other than quo, then the 1 percent is a myth, normal people have plenty of influence, and the protestors were just wasting everyone’s time.
The same argument could be made against every single social movement in history: if women are really excluded from political influence, the suffragettes won't be able to win themselves the vote; if blacks are really excluded from power, the civil rights movement won't be able to influence anything; if the French really hold all the substantial levers of power in Algeria, Algeria must necessarily remain French. The argument of every liberation movement is that the elite benefit at everyone else's expense under normal circumstances, without upheaval and chaos and the conscious self-assertion of the majority, and the only way for the victims to change the situation is by behaving in a way outside the bounds of normal acceptable behaviour.

The "vaguely defined 1 per cent" (how can you be more specific than saying the majority of income gains have gone to the top 1% of the income distribution?) have all the power when, and only when, the 99% restrict themselves to voting every couple of years, donating to telegenic candidates, and paying dues to quietist trade unions. They must be uppity, unreasonable, radical, irresponsible, dangerous, and unrealistic, precisely because these perjoratives are defined as the kinds of behaviour that might result in a disturbance to the current order.
posted by wwwwwhatt at 12:21 AM on November 15, 2011 [103 favorites]


anigbrowl, I sincerely hope that when things get bad enough that even you need to protest something that the police treat you well whether you stink or not.
posted by auto-correct at 12:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


* put Les Miserables on his iPod *
posted by Jimbob at 12:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Try typing "Zucotti Park" and see what happens on Google Maps...
posted by MattMangels at 12:22 AM on November 15, 2011


They're arresting some members of the press.

Good.

Maybe these members of the press will find their goddamn spines.
posted by tzikeh at 12:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [33 favorites]


Oh wait, actually it's working again. For a while it didn't show up, just went to a map of the whole USA. Still fishy.
posted by MattMangels at 12:23 AM on November 15, 2011


"According to the imperialist running dogs at the San Jose Mercury News, the Occupy Oakland camp which was (peacefully) dismantled earlier this evening has accumulated over 36 tons of trash. doubtless pointing this out is going to be derided as hippie punching, but the fact is that when your encampment smells like a toilet it is not a good advertisement for your cause. "

Two things: First off, I'm skeptical of early estimates like that, no matter the paper — especially since the source has an incentive to be misleading and there's no independent confirmation. Second, the amount that was actually trash versus the amount of "debris" that was busted tents and sleeping bags would have a fairly significant effect on how I viewed the sanitation.
posted by klangklangston at 12:23 AM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


MattMangels: Try typing "Zucotti Park" and see what happens on Google Maps...

Holy SHIT. Are they fucking kidding? What the fuck is happening right now? How is this happening?
posted by tzikeh at 12:24 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Matt - still not working for me.
posted by tzikeh at 12:25 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope you're right. I can't help thinking, though, that the current mindset in America is so defeatist that people will just take this as yet another win by the 1% and lose a little more hope.

People aren't hungry enough, yet. When enough of the former middle class has nothing to lose and remembers losing it, you will see change. Until then you will see snarky comments on facebook.

People are too damned short sighted to do anything but gawk until the the shit hits the fan for them personally.
posted by dibblda at 12:25 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


The guy doing the live stream is now being interviewed by a CBS news person with a camera. The press is getting through. Trying, at least.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:25 AM on November 15, 2011


Oh wait, actually it's working again. For a while it didn't show up, just went to a map of the whole USA. Still fishy.

No, not fishy. Leave the paranoia out of this. You are only helping to discredit a movement with genuine grievances.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:26 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


MattMangels I've been having problems with Maps all night. For boring stuff. I don't think it's related.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:27 AM on November 15, 2011


the fact is that when your encampment smells like a toilet it is not a good advertisement for your cause.

Sure, which is why some encampments (Occupy Providence, for instance, which has the benefit of being much smaller, it's true) keep things as clean as they can. But that's on them to do, not the cops.

Seriously people? Trash? Drum circles? You want to take away peoples' right to peacefully assemble because drum circles annoy you? Fuck you. Fuck you and your miserable, myopic, self-centered view of the world. I don't love drum circles either but it'll be a cold day in hell when I'll put that ahead of other peoples' constitutional rights. (Also, you bust up a drum circle by deploying a sound cannon at 3am? In what world does THAT make sense?)

Say it with me now: I do not have the right to never be inconvenienced or annoyed. They do have the right to peacefully assemble. End of story.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:27 AM on November 15, 2011 [180 favorites]


NewYorkObserver NewYorkObserver
Just spoke with credentialed CBS reporter Manuel Gallegas outside barricade "They're kicking everybody out, write about it."
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:28 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Skygazer: But this is not strictly "private property." It is something BrookField Real Estate established for "Public Use," in exchange for a special easement that allowed them to circumvent zoning laws.

Yes. Cutting & pasting one of my comments from a previous thread:

Civil rights attorney's take on the legal status of public assembly in Zuccotti Park / Liberty Square. At 1:15 he says: Commission for City Planning is the default jurisdiction over the park's legal open hours and public assembly rules. Rule change procedure for changing open hours requires public hearings and takes at least 50 days to go through. To have full legal force, they would have to give notice, hold an open committee hearing, hold a vote of the Commission to change park open hours.

1:53 Brookfield Properties doesn't have authority or power of law behind their prohibition handouts or recently posted (now removed by protestors) regulations trying to get protestors out.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:31 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


what else can an encampment smell like? where do you want all the shit and trash to go? should protests only happen if they're sanitized? maybe over there in the free speech zone (between the hours of 3 and 3:30, please, have your papers in order).

A protest and a permanent encampment are two different things. There is nothing morally superior about wallowing in the dirt; sanitation is a basic good. I'm quite supportive of the Occupy Santa Rosa crowd in a nearby county, because they had the good sense to draw up a code of conduct and prevent their camp from degenerating into a public nuisance. Turns out that working with the city on logistics pays dividends.

28 tons of that was "debris" and 8 was "green waste." Are you some kind of synesthete?

'Green waste' is a euphemism for organic matter. In much of the Bay Area food scraps, diapers go in a green waste bin, recyclables like glass, aluminum, plastic go in a blue bin, and regular trash goes in a black bin.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Uh... apparently all the feeds inside just went down too. Not sure if this is an action by the police or an unfortunate technical malfunction.
posted by cyphill at 12:32 AM on November 15, 2011


You can hear bits and pieces of the police radio feed from the area here:
http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?action=wp&feedId=8905
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 12:33 AM on November 15, 2011


The main feed went down. There is another live feed here: http://www.ustream.tv/TheOther99
posted by yertledaturtle at 12:33 AM on November 15, 2011


Police action, I think. There's reports of nearby residents being kept in their buildings, and final arrests being made.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Uh... apparently all the feeds inside just went down too. Not sure if this is an action by the police or an unfortunate technical malfunction.

They had a different livestream guy on the phone with the first one a minute ago -- sounds like the police are dragging people out "one by one". He said people were "getting violent", also.
posted by vorfeed at 12:34 AM on November 15, 2011


cyphill: All the feeds? They've been cutting in and out for me. Back up now.

Not nearly as bad I know, but the fact this is being done in the middle of the night, and that I've been writing an essay on 1933-39 Germany for the past week means I have this poem stuck in my head:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

---Martin Niemöller
posted by Canageek at 12:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


One cop on the police radio just asked another if he is "committed to protesters right now." He was. Ridiculous.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 12:35 AM on November 15, 2011


anigbrowl wrote: Turns out that working with the city on logistics pays dividends.

Or it gets you laughed at and later pepper sprayed in the face, as happened elsewhere.
posted by wierdo at 12:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


"I told you so." - Ray Bradbury
posted by black rainbows at 12:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am so angry about this. And as the child of an abusive father I've learned long and well that the safest thing to do with my anger is to turn it against myself. But you know what? Fuck that noise.

Because what we're learning now, tonight, for the first time or for the five hundredth time is that we're all the children of abusive fathers. I don't mean that your literal father literally abused you. But that the police--the people who are supposedly protecting us, supposedly keeping us safe--are in fact abusing us. Are in fact one of the greatest threats to our individual and collective well-being.

Make no mistake about this--they are trying to destroy the movement. They are trying to strangle the voice inside of you--the voice inside of everyone one of us--that says, This is wrong. It's wrong that people are starving while food rots in warehouses and sits on store shelves. It's wrong that bankers were given bonuses while the economy was still collapsing due to their machinations. It's wrong that ordinary people have essentially no say in the decisions that effect their lives and futures.

And not only is it wrong, but more importantly--it doesn't have to be that way! That's the most threatening, the most powerful, the most important thing about Occupy Wall Street, about the world people collectively built in Liberty Park--it's a microcosm, a tiny example, of a different way of living. Of relating to each other. That's what they're trying to kill.

And we can't let them. They can re-occupy the physical space, they can use brute force to break up the encampment--there's no way we can stop that. But we can't let them kill the movement. We can't let them murder the dream. You can't let them strangle the voice inside of you saying, this is wrong. It doesn't have to be like this.

The cops--loyally serving the %1--are trying to break the spine of OWS. Let them instead be kicking up a hornet's nest. Let a flood of anger be unleashed--but not an unfocused, storming destructive anger. A constructive anger. An anger wedded to hope, to a vision of transformation. Let all that the cops scatter tonight turn into seeds which spread all over--across the country, throughout the 99%, into the entire world.

Let this be the night that a thousand more occupations are born.
posted by overglow at 12:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [27 favorites]


To those of you who have been to Occupation sites out of sympathy for the cause & found things to be dirty & smelly: did you even try to pick up trash? Wash dishes? That kind of mundane stuff is really REALLY important, but it's so often ignored. Help the Occupation out and clean! It's a public service & the exercise burns calories! C'mon and be a VOLUNTEER OF AMERICA!
I've spent several days each week since October 10th down at the Occupy Bloomington Indiana site at Peoples' Park, picking up all of the trash I could find, changing all of the big trash cans, occasionally washing dishes, and staying up all night to ensure that the other Occupiers could get some sleep. Not all of the bits of "revolution" are the glorious, heroic kind.
posted by frodisaur at 12:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [42 favorites]


Their main complaints seem to be that politics is influenced by people with political influence, and that powerful people have all the power. In other words, they’re protesting the futility of their own protest. That’s the sort of recursive, discursive incursion I can get behind.

If the vaguely defined “1 percent” have all the power, then no amount of sign-waving, slogan-chanting or locale-occupation will have any influence. So if the protests end in any status other than quo, then the 1 percent is a myth, normal people have plenty of influence, and the protestors were just wasting everyone’s time.
This is a bunch of jibberish. Lets suppose we could measure power. Let's call our unit of measure "the dollar". If the richest person had $105 and the poorest person had $95, the the poorest person would have about 90% as much power as the richest person.

On the other hand, if you gave the poorest person $0.01 and the most powerful person $5*109, which is actually about how things are distributed today, the richest person is actually nearly infinitely more powerful then the poorest. How much more can Bill Gates do in the world then a homeless person?

That's the problem. The idea that you can't measure inequality or whatever is nonsensical.
posted by delmoi at 12:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [20 favorites]


Ah well, so they'll finally get what they wanted all along which is a good old ruck with the cops spread over social media.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:38 AM on November 15, 2011


The riot police moved in with zip cuffs and teargassed the occupiers in the food tent
by JoshHarkinson via twitter 8:35 AM +0 GMT

Then they wrestled them to the ground and cuffed them
by JoshHarkinson via twitter 8:35 AM +0 GMT

Everyone I witnessed being arrested was resisting peacefully
by JoshHarkinson via twitter 8:36 AM +0 GMT

posted by Chichibio at 12:39 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't love drum circles either but it'll be a cold day in hell when I'll put that ahead of other peoples' constitutional rights.

Nobody has an unqualified right to speak or peacefully assemble under US law. Those rights are subject to certain limitations, including what are known as "time, place, and manner" restrictions. For instance, the government cannot prevent you from saying that the president should not be re-elected, but it can prevent you from doing so in a residential neighborhood at 2 am with a megaphone.

If you believe the law should permit all-hours drum-circling no matter how much it inconveniences or annoys other people, that's fair. You can advocate that position, including petitioning your representatives. But it isn't the present state of the law.
posted by red clover at 12:40 AM on November 15, 2011 [17 favorites]


Try typing "Zucotti Park" and see what happens on Google Maps

It directs me to Zucotti Park in Manhattan, as I'd expect… what does it do when you try it?
posted by hattifattener at 12:40 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


@frodisaur I really don't think it is about hygine if they are doing it at 1 am in the dark. Just saying.
posted by Canageek at 12:40 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


East/West coast coordination? I watched Oakland get copified last night (OO is, however, back in Oscar Grant plaza as I type this) and now this in NY. Despite the crude attempts at oligarchic unity I suspect the protesters have WAY more up-to-date communication systems and equipment than the cops do.
posted by telstar at 12:41 AM on November 15, 2011


The frightening thing is the level of tactical thinking that went into this, from a city government nonetheless? Who designed this? Who did the city consult with for this? Why are there (it's being reported) twin rotor Chinooks hovering overhead?
Well, this is bloomburg, the NYPD we're talking about here. These guys are pretty efficient, I would imagine, and they have a pretty huge budget.
posted by delmoi at 12:42 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


In much of the Bay Area food scraps, diapers go in a green waste bin

For San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Berkeley this is just a flat-out lie. I'd love to know what your definition of "much of the Bay Area" is.
posted by one_bean at 12:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just listening to the police radio, and it sounded like the "Bronx Task Force" is reporting in for duty at Zucotti. I'm sure the residents of the Bronx are really getting fed up with the drumming.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 12:45 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hattifattner, I heard someone on the Livestream feed say that Google Maps wasn't giving directions to the park, so I tried typing "Zucotti Park" into the search box (it wasn't listed as a suggestion) and I just got sent to a map of the USA. But I tried it a few minutes later and I got what you'd expect.
posted by MattMangels at 12:46 AM on November 15, 2011


The Ustream video seems to be better than the livestream video right now:
http://www.ustream.tv/theother99
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 12:47 AM on November 15, 2011


Josh Harkinson's twitter is definitely one of the important ones to read right now.
He [the policeman trying to remove Josh from the park] told me if I stayed in the park I could get hurt. I pointed out that there was no chance of that. I had just been standing around. Cleanup already done for the most part. Then he dragged me in front of a dump truck that was backing up. He said, "Look, this dump truck is backing up, you could get hurt."
posted by tzikeh at 12:48 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


Is there a reason people are spelling it Zucotti instead of Zuccotti?
posted by sbutler at 12:48 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


All this talk about the smell and the unsanitary conditions is such bullshit. It's been the narrative that many of the municipalities in conjunction with overhyped nonsense on the news. Liberty park was no dirtier or disorderly than any active campsite, there were a lot of people going through everyday, and what active working space where something important is being germinated and worked on isn't messy to some extent.

Don't buy into it,. It is prime grade A Bullshit, encouraged by Fox on a daily basis. I refuse to even acknowledge it at this point. What's happened tonight is an incredible abuse of Speech rights and Freedom of Assembly.
posted by Skygazer at 12:51 AM on November 15, 2011 [22 favorites]


I think it's probably relevant that this raid is occurring two days before this.
posted by wwwwwhatt at 12:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is this a photo of a LRAD unit?
posted by Minus215Cee at 12:55 AM on November 15, 2011


Just to be contrarian, I think this cleanout is the best thing that can happen to the OWS movement. honestly, what was the exit strategy? Nobody knew where the encampments were going. The occupations were shifting from protest to just homeless camps, with increasing problems. The point has been made, its clear lots of people are supporting the protests. It's time to move to phase 2, and the police repression is rejuvenating the movement.

Keep cool, stay non-violent, figure out the next move. My suggestion? #occupyvotingbooths
posted by msalt at 1:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


Al-Jazeera is live, globally from the park. No other news outlets are live, even locally. Most aren't covering it at all.
posted by tzikeh at 1:04 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those rights are subject to certain limitations, including what are known as "time, place, and manner" restrictions. For instance, the government cannot prevent you from saying that the president should not be re-elected, but it can prevent you from doing so in a residential neighborhood at 2 am with a megaphone.

Nice try there, but the legal status of those protesters in Zuccotti Park is hardly a settled question.

But apparently it should be my responsibility to prove that the protesters shouldn't get evicted by riot squads in the middle of the night, rather than it being the government's job to prove that they do have the legal right to evict the protesters? That seems right to you?
posted by mstokes650 at 1:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


msalt: My suggestion? #occupyvotingbooths

Only works if there's someone to vote for who a) isn't in Big Business's pocket; and b) will have any kind of political clout if they're not.

(Hint: there isn't.)
posted by tzikeh at 1:06 AM on November 15, 2011 [29 favorites]


What fucking cowardice to go in under cover of darkness, and to keep the press away. The government of this city disgusts me more and more.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:07 AM on November 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


Is this a photo of a LRAD unit?

Looks nigh-on identical to this picture from Wikipedia, so I would guess yes.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:08 AM on November 15, 2011


My suggestion? #occupyvotingbooths

It's not an either/or.
posted by hattifattener at 1:10 AM on November 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


[i]msalt: My suggestion? #occupyvotingbooths[/i]

I'd love for that to be a real option, but I watched a completely corrupt mayoral election get bought and sold here in San Francisco last week while people supporting Occupy SF and marching with Occupy Oakland asked me to "vote for them, because they hadn't had time to research."

If the whole point is to throw the bastards out and make changes, you should fucking throw the bastards out and make changes when there's a chance to do, goddammit.
posted by one.louder.ash! at 1:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Canageek:
No, you are correct. Consider my statement a comment on what anyone can do at any time for their local Occupation. And yes, other Occupations do still exist and are not under immanent threat of eviction. Sorry about the derail.

As for NYC, Oakland, Denver, etc.: in a way, their evictions don't really matter, because now, all across the country, a WHOLE bunch of disgruntled people who have been watching this country steadily move in a pro-Big Business direction for decades have gotten a glimpse of just how many of us there actually are. You see, this isn't a whole bunch of Occupations, this is ONE Occupation. I am on the same team as those people in Zuccotti Park. The Occupation of the Mind is more important than any park.
posted by frodisaur at 1:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


anigbrowl wrote: Turns out that working with the city on logistics pays dividends.

Or it gets you laughed at and later pepper sprayed in the face, as happened elsewhere.


Let me get this straight: Occupy Santa Rosa worked with their local city council, went to the public meetings at city hall and participated in them using the existing procedures for public meetings, and ended up with the council voting to grant renewable camping permits. But that's irrelevant because things went differently somewhere else where none of that happened.

To those of you who have been to Occupation sites out of sympathy for the cause & found things to be dirty & smelly: did you even try to pick up trash? Wash dishes? That kind of mundane stuff is really REALLY important, but it's so often ignored. Help the Occupation out and clean! It's a public service & the exercise burns calories! C'mon and be a VOLUNTEER OF AMERICA!

Yes, it is important. I suggest the Occupy movement would be doing a whole lot better if they had made that a priority or themselves from the get-go instead of leaving it for other people, because if you're going to launch a populist movement then demonstrating some consideration for your fellow residents is a Good Idea. To turn your question on its head, why would someone want to join in with or pitch a tent alongside people who have demonstrated a complete lack of respect for their own campsite? Does the phrase 'don't shit in your own nest' ring any bells? I know that mass consumerism has resulted in an unhealthy excess of chemical grooming products that most people don't need and which are bad for the environment, but that doesn't mean that having your campsite smell like a sewer is better.

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. You guys defending the right to have a dirty encampment seem oblivious to the fact that you're alienating a majority of the people who pass by you every day. They're not sheeple or conditioned by the mass media or controlled by lizards, they have an understandable and entirely reasonable aversion to things like head lice and random violence. My parents-in-law (who are from North Vietnam and speak little English) thinks it's some sort of weird gypsy encampment/street party despite my wife's best efforts to explain that it's a sort of political movement.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:23 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


I watched a completely corrupt mayoral election get bought and sold here in San Francisco last week

It was more boring than it was corrupt, which is amazing achievement considering there were like 20 people running for mayor. If elections could be as galvanizing as this OWS business you'd see more people at the polls.
posted by quadog at 1:23 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crowd massing at Pine and Broadway...several hundred at least...seem fired up.
posted by telstar at 1:25 AM on November 15, 2011


Video of the kitchen tent being gassed(?).
posted by fight or flight at 1:27 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The problem with #occupyvotingbooths is that voting happens so rarely. What you need is a movement that sustains these values between elections. That's the brilliance of Fox News—it keeps folks riled up enough that when voting time comes they're raring to get out and do something about it.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:28 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


anigbrowl, I think the reason people are taking offense to your comments is that there's a schism in the discourse here. Some people want to talk about wealth inequality, the power of corporations and the right to assemble. You want to talk about drum circles and the cleanliness of the protests.

I don't think you're taking crazy pills, and I get that you're trying to make a point about how the protests could be more effective. But it really comes across as if you care more about the smell than the substance.
posted by auto-correct at 1:31 AM on November 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


I wish I could write a lot more but I'm tired, and people have said much of what I would say.

I strongly suggest and hope that every American attempts to practice their 1st Amendment rights as soon as possible - annoying drum circles or not. Do it for yourself, not the OWS or 99% movement, which is currently fragmenting under attack and pressure and a lack of support and has many known problems. Realize that people have problems, and those people don't speak for you.

Do it for yourself. Don't take part in process or assembly if you don't want to. Just show up and observe. Bring a sack lunch. Be a tourist. Go look and watch with your own eyes. Maybe carry a gentle sign reminding that it's nice to share or care.

If only so you can see with your own eyes how restricted it actually is now. You will be outraged by how little the Constitution is being respected or taken seriously, especially the right to assemble. And petition.

Spend enough time doing it and you'll be shocked and dismayed how the police are really mainly tools of Corporatism. This violence against assembly isn't new. It's been going on for a long time.

Meanwhile I just watched the people in the park read the 1st Amendment and NYPD is apparently preparing to reply with mounted police and chemical weapons and truncheons.
posted by loquacious at 1:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [20 favorites]


Oh no. Oh no no no.

Peaceful public demonstrations are not the problem, they are a means to a solution. They are what we can point to and say, look, people can do that! This is how we can expect people not to seek violent solutions to our problems.

If this Occupy thing gets crushed with violence in the end, it will be very bad news. The use of "non-lethal" weapons that are tantamount to torture is not helping things any, either.

The thing that holds the United States together is the recognition that there are public, non-violent solutions to problems that are basically fair. Something you could point to and say, hey, put down that brick, that bat, that gun. Work out your problems; talk it out, see a mediator, go to court, by whatever means. If you laugh at this, well, that's a symptom of the problem -- that recognition has been eroding lately. This is doing nothing to rebuild it.

Over the long arc of history, the people's greviances do get handled eventually, one way or another. The purpose of democracy is to allow it to happen peacefully and fairly. When short-sighted people attempt to use petty means to put it down, they only make it worse when justice, terrible justice, arrives.

(As for Lore's piece above, well, he's written better.)
posted by JHarris at 1:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [16 favorites]


Gödel was right. As always.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 1:34 AM on November 15, 2011


For San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Berkeley this is just a flat-out lie. I'd love to know what your definition of "much of the Bay Area" is.

No, it's a careless mistake because it was 1 in the morning. Diapers should, in fact, go in the black bin. I was answering someone else's question about what "green waste" meant, a phrase that I didn't write but which appeared in a news article that I linked to. Some places do compost diapers. Sheesh.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:35 AM on November 15, 2011



Gödel was right. As always.

He may have been completely right, but I found his conclusions inconsistent.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


You guys defending the right to have a dirty encampment seem oblivious to the fact that you're alienating a majority of the people who pass by you every day.

See, I think the incongruity here is that's not what people are defending. They're defending the right to gather in peaceful protest. It's fine to not totally agree with OWS. I have misgivings about OWS. I'm sure many of the people you're responding to have things they don't like or think could be more effective within OWS. That's not the point. The point is that the police launched a raid on a nonviolent protest, are refusing to allow any sort of press coverage, and there are some very disturbing reports about police behavior--mostly unsubstantiated (it looks like the tear gas story was actually a fire extinguisher), but, well, it's hard to substantiate things when you're not allowing news reporters or helicopters, isn't it?
posted by kagredon at 1:40 AM on November 15, 2011 [16 favorites]


[SF's mayoral election] was more boring than it was corrupt, which is amazing achievement considering there were like 20 people running for mayor. If elections could be as galvanizing as this OWS business you'd see more people at the polls.

I guess we should cancel public financing and ranked-choice voting then. Clearly making the electoral process too inclusive and democratic has unacceptably dampened revolutionary ardor, and we should go back to traditional mudslinging and scorched-earth politics.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:41 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Max Blumenthal's twitter:
People are planning to stay here until rush hour 7 am. The whole occupation is at bway and pine. #ows yfrog.com/nxq7tjxj
I'm pretty sure the NYPD are going to end up regretting doing this on a weekday.
posted by fight or flight at 1:42 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trending on Twitter:

Trends: New York · change
#StorageWarsPromoted
Zucotti Park
#iwannabe
The NYPD
Foley Square
LRAD

#HottestPeopleOnTwitter
Broadway and Pine
#juliet
Hate Sleeping Alone
posted by Skygazer at 1:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, it's a careless mistake because it was 1 in the morning. Diapers should, in fact, go in the black bin. I was answering someone else's question about what "green waste" meant, a phrase that I didn't write but which appeared in a news article that I linked to.

Then maybe it's time to stop posting for the night. The person "asking" what green waste meant was me - I was pointing out that your linking to an article claiming that Oakland removed 30 something tons of trash from the encampment automatically implied that it all smelled like shit. I pointed out that you were wrong. You suggested it was 5 tons of diapers. But seriously, if you're worried about the smell, go down and work on it. It's not you vs. them.
posted by one_bean at 1:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


You guys defending the right to have a dirty encampment seem oblivious to the fact that you're alienating a majority of the people who pass by you every day.

My hometown is pretty filthy. I sure hope nobody razes it, though.
posted by wwwwwhatt at 1:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


Something important I also want to point out is that "freedom to assemble" means a lot more than simply meeting for an afternoon of waving signs and express some mild discontent with a carefully planned schedule of a march and a few speakers, all according to the permit.

The most important thing I saw happening here in Seattle was people of all ages and backgrounds meeting for the first time and talking and exchanging and inventing new ideas.

It means the ability to build and share libraries. The freedom to share food. The freedom to meet without a set or declared agenda.

Smash the kitchens and tents, throw away the libraries, make it impossible to actually assemble while preserving only the veneer of assembly?
posted by loquacious at 1:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [16 favorites]


The Ustream feed guy has a bunch of people on his case for filming people letting the air out of police tires, and he claims some guy came up to him and put an elbow his throat. Quite an argument going on right now...
posted by MattMangels at 1:55 AM on November 15, 2011


did you even try to pick up trash? Wash dishes? That kind of mundane stuff is really REALLY important

...and it's something grown-ups can do themselves.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:56 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Some ugliness on the Ustream feed right now. Looks like anarchists up to mischief are trying to shut down the photographer. Guy is saying they're police provocateurs.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:56 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kinda believable that those were police provocateurs, since they were so quick to violence.
posted by telstar at 1:58 AM on November 15, 2011


Some ugliness on the Ustream feed right now.

Yeah, I've been watching that. Those "anarchists" or whatever are incredibly creepy.
posted by Skygazer at 2:00 AM on November 15, 2011


That Ustream guy has a lot of eyeballs now and he -and the provocateurs- know it. Now he's reporting that some 'protesters' attacked a cop. It doesn't bode well.
posted by biddeford at 2:03 AM on November 15, 2011


I think it's interesting that they are still using the human microphone (HM) as opposed to just acquiring a bullhorn now. It would seem that all the legal permitting of assemblage is moot given that they are moving their encampment or protest.

I wonder if it is more that the HM is ingrained and folks are used to doing it now or if it is intentionally saying "we will still keep your rules..." I lean toward the former.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 2:04 AM on November 15, 2011


See, I think the incongruity here is that's not what people are defending. They're defending the right to gather in peaceful protest.

You're missing the point. That's like saying the 1% are defending the right to have a functioning economy that creates good middle-class jobs. I'd wager that many of them sincerely believe that laissez-faire capitalism is the swiftest route to mass prosperity, but if so, then many of them are quite blind to the numerous shortcomings of the laissez-faire approach. Likewise I'm sure most of the Occupy protesters sincerely believe in making a peaceful protest, and I support them in that, but they have lost sight of their own numerous shortcomings.

There have been multiple episodes of minor violence emanating from the protesters, and several protest sites have degenerated into an unsanitary and unsafe public nuisance. It pains me to say so, but some of the Occupy protests have gone down the same bad road as the tea Party. I find making excuses for the Black Bloc just as reprehensible as the second amendment wankery and intimidating behavior of the Tea Parties, and the persistent refusal to take responsibility for anything bad reflects incredibly poorly on the occupy movement just as it does on the tea partiers.

It doesn't matter how good your intentions are if your actual behavior is perceived negatively.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


It doesn't matter how good your intentions are if your actual behavior is perceived negatively.

Tell that to the NYPD.

I get your point just fine, but I still think there are two totally separate arguments going on in here. One is whether OWS's shortcomings are such that they are failing in their stated mission, and the other is whether the NYPD should respond to the shortcomings by forcibly evicting people in the middle of the night while maintaining a media blackout.

If this kind of dark-of-night attack had happened to the Tea Party, I would be upset, in spite of being pretty much diametrically opposed to their politics. Wouldn't you?
posted by kagredon at 2:14 AM on November 15, 2011 [20 favorites]


Is this stream working for anybody?
http://www.livestream.com/occupynyc

I'm currently watching
http://www.ustream.tv/TheOther99

Are there any others?
posted by Defenestrator at 2:20 AM on November 15, 2011


http://occupystream.com broadcasts a number of streams.
posted by syzygy at 2:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this stream working for anybody?

not for a while.

Are there any others?

http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution

Which is splitting their stream with the ustream feed depending on which one has something showing (mostly the ustream feed)
posted by enobrev at 2:22 AM on November 15, 2011


Defenestrator, the Ustream.tv/TheOther99 is the only thing going right now, and the guy is doing a pretty excellent job of covering ground and doing good camera work.
posted by Skygazer at 2:24 AM on November 15, 2011


Tell that to the NYPD.

When the OWS encampment resembles a public health hazard, then you're giving the NYPD the excuse they need. There are a lot of people that find the protests objectionable on a practical rather than a philosophical level and that are calling city officials to complain.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:27 AM on November 15, 2011


but some of the Occupy protests have gone down the same bad road as the tea Party.

Like the rapes, the ODs, and the people pooping all over the streets?
posted by codswallop at 2:30 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are there any others?

The CBS helichopter is currently up on broadway (IIRC).
posted by titus-g at 2:31 AM on November 15, 2011


I just left Pine and Broadway, am home now and watching on livestream. This has been such a depressing night. I can't even begin to describe how heavy the police lockdown was- everyone was pushed at least a few blocks away from Zucotti park. Every street and intersection was manned with armies of police in riot gear, no matter how far away from encampment I tried to circle. The overwhelming show of force (shock and awe!) sent out to remove what's a relatively small group from a small concrete patch of parkland and stop press or onlookers from witnessing the police actions defies any explanation other than the powers that be find the ideas being expressed at OWS to be so threatening that no amount of force to stop it is too much. I have never said we live in a police state. I am saying it now.
posted by stagewhisper at 2:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [60 favorites]


When the OWS encampment resembles a public health hazard

Nope, sorry. You know what really is a public health hazard? The American healthcare system.
posted by mek at 2:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [63 favorites]


When the OWS encampment resembles a public health hazard, then you're giving the NYPD the excuse they need. There are a lot of people that find the protests objectionable on a practical rather than a philosophical level and that are calling city officials to complain.

If the point is to stop OWS from disrupting the surrounding area, why did NYPD go in at 2 in the morning after corralling anyone with a press badge far away from where they could cover the ensuing events? I still haven't seen a logical explanation for this.
posted by kagredon at 2:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


stagewhisper: I can't even begin to describe how heavy the police lockdown was

When I first tuned into the CBS feed 1/2 an hour ago or so, there really were an impressive number of people out in the street. It took a moment to click that it was actually a massive fuckload of cops corralling and kettling a significantly smaller number of protesters.
posted by titus-g at 2:49 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seems to be moving to Foley Square
posted by adamvasco at 2:51 AM on November 15, 2011


I can't get over the clearing of the press. Then again, they got away with the "free speech zones" a few years back, so nothing should surprise us at this point.
posted by theredpen at 2:55 AM on November 15, 2011


So we're using police state tactics to protect laissez-faire capitalism?
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [24 favorites]


You know what really is a public health hazard? The American healthcare system.

Nope, what is a real present public health hazard is para-militarized cops armed with fully automatic machine guns, these guns loaded with ammunition banned by the Geneva Convention; pointed at unarmed, non-violent protesters, the cops not following the most elemental safety practices by NOT pointing their weapons at people and keeping their fingers off their triggers. Their ammunition is live and lethal over a mile's distance, so if they miss their primary target or get a ricochet, little seven year old Susy Parker asleep in her bed 9 blocks away is going to get a rapidly-expanding hollow point bullet to the brain. It's going to take ONE cop opening fire because someone threw a water balloon at him and, just like that recent incident in Florida, every cop present will empty multiple clips, striking dozens of innocent bystanders and even their fellow officers.

And the sad ending to all of this, this possible Kent State moment x20, will be that most of the people killed will not have viewed the police as their enemy. It's a tragedy that has been prevented in other municipalities but between watching the actions in Oakland and NYC, I feel those are the two flashpoints from whence will rise a new version of Ohio. And I feel absolutely wretched that these lives must be spent this way to bring about change.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 3:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


I'm watching the choppers over Zucotti from my window half a mile away.

Feels like a police state more than ever around here.

Hey NYPD, just following orders huh?

I'm closing my last remaining account with Chase bank today in solidarity. (already closed a chase account, 2 credit cards, and a Merrill lynch brokerage acct).

If you haven't transferred your money out of a too big to fail bank, today would be a good day to do it.

The movement will get stronger. Next stop; general strike.
posted by spitbull at 3:04 AM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


NPR keeps parroting Oakland about how much the police activity is costing. Pro tip: if you are worried about cost, you might not want to shoot people in the head with tear gas cannisters who will sue the shit out of you for their (non socialized) medical bills.
posted by benzenedream at 3:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Simple solution wrt cost: don't surround people with an insane amunt of cops and choppers. The cost will go down considerably.
posted by jaduncan at 3:10 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. You guys defending the right to have a dirty encampment seem oblivious to the fact that you're alienating a majority of the people who pass by you every day. They're not sheeple or conditioned by the mass media or controlled by lizards, they have an understandable and entirely reasonable aversion to things like head lice and random violence. My parents-in-law (who are from North Vietnam and speak little English) thinks it's some sort of weird gypsy encampment/street party despite my wife's best efforts to explain that it's a sort of political movement.
Where's the empirical evidence that people, in large numbers, are being alienated? (more so then they otherwise would be, that is) I mean, it's all well and good if Occupy Peoria works with it's local city council, but OWS was intended to be an act of civil disobedience. If the original protest had simply been something in the middle of nowhere, with a permit, and dissipated when the permit expired, none of this would have ever started in the first place. The only reason Occupy Peoria matters is because of the movement that has actually started.

Anyway, the reason I ask about empirical evidence that people are being alienated is because we often hear about how people need to present a certain image, or whatever to be taken seriously but how true is that really? If a bunch of protesters gathered up with placards declaring "Ice cream is delicious" I doubt that people would stop eating icecream because they found the protesters themselves uncouth. The "99%" messaging is pretty inclusive, and lots of people feel they are getting screwed over by the banks pretty hard.

I've seen polling that indicates OWS is pretty popular, particularly with independent voters. Now I'm hearing that people are being 'alienated' but where are the polls?
He may have been completely right, but I found his conclusions inconsistent.
I'm not sure what AndrewKemendo meant, exactly but Gödel thought he found a 'bug' in the constitution that could allow the U.S. to become a fascist dictatorship.

I'm watching the Ustream now. They were doing the human microphone thing, then the streamer took off to look at other things. I have to say it's really damn brilliant. I've seen it used to interrupt political speeches and so on.
It doesn't matter how good your intentions are if your actual behavior is perceived negatively.
Yeah, like other people said: What about the NYPD, or the Oakland PD for that matter. Perception is a form of power. If people have a positive view of you, that gives you power. But it's not the only way you can get power.

And keep in mind there were plenty of Agent Provocateurs causing trouble in the civil rights movement. People have a really, really, sanitized version what actually happened during the civil rights movement. Plenty of people hated MLK, jr while he was alive.

---

Also, I found this comment in the 'check-in and chat' window on the Ustream
TheClitSlayer is this a joke? You bums get a job and stop crying. Ron Paul 2012!
posted by delmoi at 3:12 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Oh shit... "Our stream, earlier, was over nine thousand"
posted by delmoi at 3:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


It was over 11k at some points as I was watching in the past couple hours.

I'm just glad they found a place to hang out and not get terrorized for a bit.
posted by Defenestrator at 3:24 AM on November 15, 2011


Has anyone said, why today? What's the "official" line for why they chose this morning to do this?
posted by Houstonian at 3:34 AM on November 15, 2011


Call 212-766-3200 with a credit card ready if you want to order food for Zuccotti refugees in Foley Square in NYC.
posted by delmoi at 3:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is gonna be a banner day for Corte Cafe.
posted by Houstonian at 3:36 AM on November 15, 2011


Hope they're ready.
posted by Defenestrator at 3:37 AM on November 15, 2011


Menu for Corte Cafe. Do you think you order something specific, or just say, "Send $X worth of food out"? Phone line is busy...
posted by Houstonian at 3:40 AM on November 15, 2011


Mayor Bloomberg's statement on the eviction of Zucotti park.
posted by omnikron at 3:51 AM on November 15, 2011


If the point is to stop OWS from disrupting the surrounding area, why did NYPD go in at 2 in the morning after corralling anyone with a press badge far away from where they could cover the ensuing events? I still haven't seen a logical explanation for this.

Seriously? You can't formulate a good, logical reason for such tactics? Darkness provides cover. Moving in at night maximizes your control over the crowd. It also minimizes the actual number of protesters present, since there is a good portion of them that leave the scene at night. Corralling the press 1.) keeps them out of the way, and 2.) controls what they see/report. Seems logical to me from a tactical standpoint.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


> did you even try to pick up trash? Wash dishes? That kind of mundane stuff is really REALLY important

...and it's something grown-ups can do themselves.


So why don't people try to help do it? Never mind at protests, why not do it at your own damn city park? You see trash there too, right?

I swear that's relevant -- the whole "grown-ups can do this for themselves" attitude is the exact kind of self-centered, "fuck you, I can take care of myself other people should be able to do the same" attitude that is getting us into this mess. It's a short hop from that to "fuck you, I earned my billions, others should be able to as well."

What happened to "why not do something FOR other people for a change"? Why NOT pick up trash that isn't yours and improve things for everyone? Why NOT let the people getting off the subway get out first? Why NOT go to the smaller local shop and support them rather than going to wal-mart because it's cheaper?

Because "let the people getting off the subway off first" and "pick up trash that isn't yours" is how you build up to "the last shall be first" and "picking up people that aren't you and yours" and it's how the world improves for ALL of us, not just you.

For fuck's sake, grown-ups can do things themselves, but even grown-ups need HELP with shit now and then, you know?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:19 AM on November 15, 2011 [57 favorites]


After watching these live streams for a couple of weeks, I know I won't be able to take the broadcast TV news even vaguely seriously ever again. I hereby pronounce "The News" dead as Khaddafi.
posted by telstar at 4:19 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


"Corralling the press 1.) keeps them out of the way, and 2.) controls what they see/report. Seems logical to me from a tactical standpoint."

The laaand of the freeee, and the home of the brave.
posted by jaduncan at 4:20 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


My parents-in-law (who are from North Vietnam and speak little English) thinks it's some sort of weird gypsy encampment/street party despite my wife's best efforts to explain that it's a sort of political movement.

Couldn't it be all three?
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This wave of police actions is only going to spawn a counterwave of even more strident protests
posted by Renoroc at 4:39 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm struck by how reasonable Bloomberg's statement sounds, to be honest. It doesn't match the reality of what happened -- describing that militarized raid and suppression of press as "members of the NYPD and Sanitation Department assisted in removing any remaining tents and sleeping bags" is farcical, and this is a real problem this country is going to have to own up to sooner or later. But I have trouble refuting arguments for reasonable restrictions on indefinite camping in a public space.

Seriously, I've been going in circles on this, because I am totally behind occupy, and I can't justify why. If someone were to ask me whether anyone should be allowed to set up camp in a public space indefinitely, I would say maybe, but I recognize we have laws against that and I can understand the need for them, because public spaces might otherwise become tent cities and eventually slums. I can respect the need to regulate such behavior because of the negative effects on the surrounding area as well as health risks to the inhabitants of such places, and the loss of the space which is meant for the public. This is essentially Bloomberg's argument, and the argument of every mayor who I've heard speak on the topic.

Does the fact that they are occupying it for a political purpose change things? I don't know. If they were right-wing nationalists would I be cheering them on? Probably not. Somehow the content of this message is what makes it important, and it trumps everything else. Often the message is derided, or the messenger ("they don't even know why they're protesting; they're lazy and should get jobs; etc") which seems to imply, to me, that IF the message was good enough and the people righteous enough, we would let them stay. But as soon as you say this out loud -- that you are requiring eviction because of what they're saying, or who they are, you've instantly lost on the first amendment. So of course the mayors are talking about health and safety, because it's all they CAN talk about. (But at the same time once I say right-wingers aren't allowed, *I'VE* lost on the first amendment. You see the difficulty of this position.)

But was this brutal police response consistent with health and safety, or with putting down a revolution? Did they respond with such force only because they feared the protesters might become violent, or did they do so because the protesters are threatening the powerful? It feels like every action is consistent with the latter, yet designed to be explained as the former. So to with the endless erosion of rights since 9/11, ostensibly in the name of safety and security, but perhaps really done to cement power for the powerful? Sometimes it feels like we live in Wonderland, where nobody says what they mean, and everything is an illusion. To the point where I wonder if maybe I am imagining all this persecution of the vulnerable; maybe's it's not even real, like they say. But if that's the case, why would they need to clear the press?
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:45 AM on November 15, 2011 [21 favorites]


My parents-in-law (who are from North Vietnam and speak little English) thinks it's some sort of weird gypsy encampment/street party despite my wife's best efforts to explain that it's a sort of political movement.

My parents-in-law, being Korean, would wonder what the hell these kids are doing sitting on their asses in parks. Back in the 80s (and many times before and since), Koreans from all walks of life took to the streets (and died in their literal thousands, in total) because they were hungry for democracy, and just weren't going to take that old shit any more.

I've often thought in the past couple of months that the OWS folks, bless their hearts, could learn a few lessons from the Korean people power movements of the late 20th century.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


PP: actions speak louder than words, which has always been how one can saw through the psyops bullshit.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:48 AM on November 15, 2011


Shit
posted by angrycat at 4:51 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


They're not allowing the protesters into City Hall to hear Bloomberg's press conference: http://www.ustream.tv/TheOther99
posted by enobrev at 4:52 AM on November 15, 2011


I remember seeing news films of Korean protests. The cops were wearing helmets and carrying clubs. And the protesters...were wearing helmets and carrying clubs.
posted by tommyD at 4:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


News is they crushed the library.


I'm going to go throw up and never stop.
posted by The Whelk at 4:58 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


And the protesters...were wearing helmets and carrying clubs.

Not always.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:00 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


People have a really, really, sanitized version what actually happened during the civil rights movement. Plenty of people hated MLK, jr while he was alive.

Lies. A bunch of good black and white folk marched hand in hand, sang 'we shall overcome' without resistance, and then LBJ passed the civil rights bill out of the goodness of his heart.
posted by the mad poster! at 5:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [17 favorites]


It's a short hop from that to "fuck you, I earned my billions, others should be able to as well."

That's hyperbolic. Expecting some level of personal responsibility for the actions of others and how they affect the people around you doesn't lead you immediately to a "fuck you, I got mine" end game. There are a lot of hops in between.

For fuck's sake, grown-ups can do things themselves, but even grown-ups need HELP with shit now and then, you know?

If you're expecting help from those you're deriding (aka, the people who aren't letting people off the subway, or aren't helping pick up someone else's trash, or are shopping at Wal-Mart), you can't be baffled that they don't want to help you.

It's this kind of senseless "you're all the problem" spraying that does the OWS movement trouble, because it's not about the 1%, it's about the 90% who don't completely agree with your ethical beliefs. I wear a Kenneth Cole bag and a suit to work and have experienced nothing but derision and contempt from the OWS movement here...and I work in community economic development trying to change the community I live in for the better.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 5:06 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


This NYTimes article reports only 200 people were in the park and only 70 arrested. Are those numbers agreed upon? I had the impression there were a lot more people there.
posted by Perplexity at 5:29 AM on November 15, 2011


My father said that British police used thermal imagining at their encampments and showed that nearly everyone was going home at night to sleep. He probably heard that on Fox News, but I think it might be true regardless.
posted by gerryblog at 5:32 AM on November 15, 2011


This NYTimes article reports only 200 people were in the park and only 70 arrested. Are those numbers agreed upon? I had the impression there were a lot more people there.

Even people who believe in economic justice often like to sleep in their own bed.
posted by jaduncan at 5:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the mayor's statement:

From the beginning, I have said that the City had two principal goals: guaranteeing public health and safety, and guaranteeing the protesters' First Amendment rights.

But when those two goals clash, the health and safety of the public and our first responders must be the priority.


Methinks the mayor has gotten it exactly backwards.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


This NYTimes article reports only 200 people were in the park and only 70 arrested. Are those numbers agreed upon? I had the impression there were a lot more people there.

Gothamist says there were 400 in the park as late as 3 am.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:33 AM on November 15, 2011


There's one aspect to Zucotti Park that everyone glosses over - it's technically private property. I think it's too much to ask Brookfield Properties to take on the liability of a permanent, 24 hour protest. If something were to go wrong (through crime, or a fire, or someone suffering injury from exposure to the elements) there are sure to be a line of lawyers standing by with ideas on how to make someone pay.
posted by double bubble at 5:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thermal imaging, that is, though I'm tickled by the idea of what thermal imagining might entail.
posted by gerryblog at 5:34 AM on November 15, 2011


If you're expecting help from those you're deriding (aka, the people who aren't letting people off the subway, or aren't helping pick up someone else's trash, or are shopping at Wal-Mart), you can't be baffled that they don't want to help you.

So, you're saying that disapproving of selfishness is a bad thing now?....When did that happen?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe if the Mayor was so concerned about health and safety he could put up some potties and a first aid tent and make sure there were a couple friendly uniforms within earshot and maybe have a fireman wander through every other day to point out problems? JUST A THOUGHT
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [36 favorites]


If the police army so outnumbers the protestors, and the protestors can keep them out until rush hour, then at least the scale of the raid will be harder to hide, and some of any traffic disruption will be the result of official tactics. :-/
posted by -harlequin- at 5:37 AM on November 15, 2011


My father said that British police used thermal imagining at their encampments and showed that nearly everyone was going home at night to sleep. He probably heard that on Fox News, but I think it might be true regardless.

This, as with most Fox News stuff, was not true/incredibly misleading. It was the right wing press, not the police, and the camera was found not to be able to reliably pick people in tents up when turned down to the lowest sensitivity. The resulting photos were proven to be unreliable when the same camera was rented and people intentintionally went into tents and were not detected.

Fox News: we agitprop, you decide.
posted by jaduncan at 5:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


There's one aspect to Zucotti Park that everyone glosses over - it's technically private property.

As mentioned upthread, it's technically property made available for public use, which is a different animal altogether from simple "private property."
posted by titus n. owl at 5:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


I never should have let my guard down! Thanks jaduncan.
posted by gerryblog at 5:39 AM on November 15, 2011


@EmpressCallipygos: Sadly, I think that turning selfishness into a virtue has been a project of a significant section of the right for some time now.

Of course, heaven forfend that working and middle-class people develop the kind of healthy selfishness that demands a society organised in their interests, rather than rigged to serve a corrupt minority.

What I'm wondering is if anyone will take a leaf out of Anonymous's book and find a way to name, and then take direct vengeance on, the individuals responsible for this grotesque violation of citizens' rights.
posted by lucien_reeve at 5:39 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like three helicopters just buzzed past my building, no idea whose.
posted by The Whelk at 5:40 AM on November 15, 2011


My father said that British police used thermal imagining at their encampments and showed that nearly everyone was going home at night to sleep. He probably heard that on Fox News, but I think it might be true regardless.

That was published in one of the London newspapers, but later debunked.
posted by PercussivePaul at 5:42 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


[I understand that people may feel their blood boiling about events, but please let's not turn this discussion personal and/or use it as a way to vent by attacking other users]
posted by taz at 5:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


My father said that British police used thermal imagining at their encampments and showed that nearly everyone was going home at night to sleep. He probably heard that on Fox News, but I think it might be true regardless.

If you need some hard evidence, from the Guardian: Occupy London empty tent claims based on "rubbish science".
posted by fight or flight at 5:44 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've been to Zuccotti Park three times. The first two times (late September and early October) I was able to enter the park, buy myself a halal chicken on the food cart, find a place to sit, and have my lunch while checking out the protesters. In other words, I was somewhat able to *use* the park - the protesters were definitely occupying it, but it wasn't an overwhelming presence (never mind the constant fucking drumming, of course).

I had to go to Jersey City last week and decided to stop by again on my way back after I got of the PATH, and maybe do the same thing - go in there, check out what's going on. This time I couldn't. Zuccotti park became a tent city, packed to the gills. It was hard to go in, impossible to move in there, not to mention the shitload of *very* dodgy looking types walking about. I'm sorry to say folks, but the whole thing had become a very real health and safety hazard. The silver lining was that the drummers were on a curfew, but outside of that, it was clear that Zuccotti Park was growing out of control.

Another thing that called my attention was the SHITLOAD of cops around the area, needed to police the thing. The apparatus just looked expensive, with all the overtime NYPD must be spending on it.

So yesterday I saw the news that on Thursday, to mark the 2-month anniversary of the occupation, the protesters were planning on shutting down the NYSE and then march to Brooklyn Bridge, which struck me as the most idiotic of moves at this point. Honestly, if that was really the plan, the protesters overstepped their bounds, and there's the result now.
posted by falameufilho at 5:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Though I abhor the eviction and the NYPD's tactics (and the NYPD), in some way I see this as forward movement.

OWS will only get anywhere if its got enough staying power to persist for years, and the live-in-tents fever-pitch thing isn't sustainable for that long. If the movement can be destroyed by being thrown out of a couple of encampments, then the movement isn't sustainable. If it can be destroyed by a winter, it isn't sustainable.

I think/hope there's a lot of desire to reorient OWS to put it onto a more sustainable and longterm long-game footing, and this might provide just the impetus that we need.
posted by tempythethird at 5:53 AM on November 15, 2011


As mentioned upthread, it's technically property made available for public use, which is a different animal altogether from simple "private property."

Sure, but in the world we live in, there's going to be a grieving parent who will be willing to believe that Brookfield is negligent in allowing the protest to continue regardless is how misguided it was for their idealistic child to attempt to sleep outdoors through a blizzard. From the company's perspective, that's risk of, at a minimum, significant legal costs.
posted by double bubble at 5:57 AM on November 15, 2011


So long as the reasons that led to the Occupy protests doesn't go away, I don't think the protests will either. There's always another spot to gather, at least until every city decides to go full-on police state and forbid all public gatherings.

Zucotti was the start, but I doubt it's the finish. I hope it isn't.

Re the "dodgy types" and trash, etc, I had seen from several sources reports that cops themselves were directing homeless people to go to Zucotti; and of course they tend to have gotten indifferent to dirt, which is what living on the street does to you. At any rate, would the city have allowed portapotties or other means of alleviating sanitation issues? Doubtful.

As others have said, it's...interesting the extreme amount of police manpower and resources devoted to what has been a very peaceful protest by and large. Considering that your average major city usually has other crimes to deal with, ones that actually threaten the lives and health of citizens.
posted by emjaybee at 5:58 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, you're saying that disapproving of selfishness is a bad thing now?....When did that happen?

I'm not, I'm saying that saying "you're selfish, now come help us" is a pretty self-destructive position to take.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 6:02 AM on November 15, 2011


hippybear: "Or is any attempt to resist "peaceful" unconstitutional police action now "violent" simply because it involves something other than immediate and total capitulation?

Yup, pretty much. If you don't follow a police order, you're violating something and need to be immediately subdued and arrested.
"

Oh for pete's sake.

By your logic, all that's necessary to silence dissent is to have police officers demand that people disperse every time there's some kind of protest. And if the protesters don't, well, then they are being violent and any kind of force is acceptable to subdue them.

Oh wait, that is exactly what has been increasingly happening.

I like the term nonviolent resistance. You are resisting, but doing so in a non-violent way. If I lie down and refuse to move, I am causing physical harm to no one, whether or not I am disobeying police orders to do so. If and when they forcibly remove me, they may or may not choose to use violence to do so, but I have been non-violent. Their violence is their own fault, not mine.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Gothamist is reporting a restraining order prohibiting the NYPD from interfering with protesters returning to the park.
posted by clockwork at 6:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


wwwwwhatt: "I think it's probably relevant that this raid is occurring two days before this."

For posterity, "this" is the November 17th International Day of Action, abbreviated as N17.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:08 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm saying that saying "you're selfish, now come help us" is a pretty self-destructive position to take.

*shrug* If that's how you interpreted what I was saying, I'm not sure what I can do about that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:08 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


msalt: "Keep cool, stay non-violent, figure out the next move. My suggestion? #occupyvotingbooths"

Oh sure, just after #occupycandidateswhoarentshillsforcorporateinterests
posted by Deathalicious at 6:10 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


emjaybee: "I had seen from several sources reports that cops themselves were directing homeless people to go to Zucotti"

I am going to call bullshit on that for the 1000th time. I am not say it didn't happen at all, as the odd cop may have felt like trolling the occupation by sending a homeless guy their way, but accounting for the bulk of dodgy people (not all of them homeless, a lot of them just fucking dodgy types looking for some action, whatever you can define as action) on a police action of sending them to Zuccotti park assumes that homeless people and dodgy types would never go after free food and shelter by themselves. Occam's razor, people. There's a party going on 24/7 with free food, shelter and college girls and you expect these guys to not show up?
posted by falameufilho at 6:11 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The word on Twitter is that they've got a restraining order against the police and the marchers who left the park on a Direct Action (planned in advance and unrelated to this raid? a spontaneous response to the raids to get some people out of the park for a few hours and fire them up to retake it later?) are on their way back to retake the reopened park. A call is going out for reinforcements, and lawyers have been called in to serve the restraining order directly to the police at the park. This ain't hardly over yet.
posted by Scientist at 6:13 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The live stream is pretty interesting now, they're presenting the court order, trying to head back to Zuccotti: http://www.ustream.tv/TheOther99
posted by Perplexity at 6:15 AM on November 15, 2011


The dude on The Other 99 stream is going around telling people about the temporary restraining order. Gears are turning as both NYPD and the Occupiers figure out what to do with this.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:16 AM on November 15, 2011


As a former New Yorker I really have to emphasize what an awful lie claiming the government wants to do anything remotely connected to cleaning part of the city is.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [24 favorites]


I'm somewhat amused by the idea that people are now inspired to take Foley Square, in addition to Zuccotti Park. Way to manage blowback, NYPD.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:21 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


double bubble, that doesn't change the legal realities of what the park is and that it isn't simple private property.
posted by titus n. owl at 6:22 AM on November 15, 2011


I honestly think it's for the best to shut these things down for the winter, anyway. Everyone who made contacts there should keep in touch, and spend the next few months planning for the spring. Bigger and better and more organized.
posted by empath at 6:23 AM on November 15, 2011


free food, shelter and college girls
posted by falameufilho

"Girls," huh?

You continue to confirm my initial impression of you at every turn.

Know this for a fact: every ham-handed effort by the police state we live in to shut this movement down has, to date, led to a nearly exponential increase in public support and recruitment. This will be no different.
posted by spitbull at 6:26 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


kagredon: "When the OWS encampment resembles a public health hazard, then you're giving the NYPD the excuse they need. There are a lot of people that find the protests objectionable on a practical rather than a philosophical level and that are calling city officials to complain.

If the point is to stop OWS from disrupting the surrounding area, why did NYPD go in at 2 in the morning after corralling anyone with a press badge far away from where they could cover the ensuing events? I still haven't seen a logical explanation for this.
"

Yeah, isn't much easier to clean up when it's sunny and you can actually see what you're doing? No wonder the police accidentally destroyed so much private property. Oh, if only they'd had the foresight to do this during the day. Or even come up with some kind of logistics plan so the occupiers could gather and pack up their things! They'll do things better next time, when they have more than 2 months to come up with a plan.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:26 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


For all the talk about garbage, drums, and whatnot, let's take a moment to consider this:

Of all the city's resources, they deployed a militarized NYPD against the encampment at Zuccotti Park.

Is that really about health and safety? About noise? About possible fire code violations?

Come on.

That's repression. And that was going to happen whether or not there was a smell, there were drums, or whatever.
posted by entropone at 6:26 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


.
posted by likeatoaster at 6:27 AM on November 15, 2011


Oh no, "dodgy types" in addition to noise and bad smells? Arrest everyone immediately! I'm beginning to think that the police apologists among us believe LRAD, batons, and pepper spray to be cleaning devices. Let the mighty hand of Cop sanitize our great nation from head to toe!
posted by RogerB at 6:27 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


...because public spaces might otherwise become tent cities and eventually slums....

If true, we should examine just why people would choose to live in tent cities or slums. Political protest aside, the only reasons I can think of for people making such a choice is that it is the only one they have, or they are mentally ill. In either of those cases, making the activities illegal seems like the wrong approach.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:28 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


...the protesters overstepped their bounds, and there's the result now.

Why is the implicit assumption always that the protestors have to know their place or stay inside some "bounds" but NOT that big banks and insurance companies need to?
posted by DU at 6:28 AM on November 15, 2011 [17 favorites]


If that's how you interpreted what I was saying, I'm not sure what I can do about that.

You went from talking about the selfish behaviour of everyday people to "pick up trash that isn't yours" in a conversation about OWS and the city's (legitimate or not) trash concerns, so if there's something I'm missing here, please let me know.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 6:29 AM on November 15, 2011


If that restraining order is real, that's amazing. I hope these OWS folk hang in there.

Be brave. Clench fists.
posted by dazed_one at 6:31 AM on November 15, 2011


Cops aren;t obeying the order, groups are at land owned by Trinity church, which has allowed them to stay.
posted by The Whelk at 6:31 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whenever I'd stopped by OWS, I was always staggered at how organized it was. I wouldn't have known where to start, as far as randomly stopping by to clean.

Also, word is that Trinity Church will host the Occupiers.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:31 AM on November 15, 2011


...that was going to happen whether or not there was a smell, there were drums, or whatever.

Full support of OWS, anarchist, glad of this morning's injunction against the police, &c, &c. However, this WOULDN'T have happened, definitely not today, if the people in the park had actually had their shit together enough to clean and manage it. Yeah, they were hobbled by the city's choice not to allow portapotties and generators. Yeah, they were being constantly intimidated by a huge police presence all the time. But they had a whole heap of political good will, and not a lack of money on which to actually set up cleaning crews, some sort of planning committee for tents, self-imposed curfews and standards of behavior, etc. Being a filthy anarchist means being an iron self-disciplinarian, not a carefree hippy. If the place wasn't littered with garbage and developing a seedy element, this raid wouldn't have happened. Not today, at least.
posted by cthuljew at 6:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, I didn't know Frank Miller had this much influence. (seriously though, stay safe)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I didn't see fucking trash anywhere in the plaza at any fucking time and I was there all the fucking time.
posted by The Whelk at 6:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [26 favorites]


However, this WOULDN'T have happened, definitely not today, if the people in the park had actually had their shit together enough to clean and manage it.

I do not believe that for one single second.
posted by inigo2 at 6:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


there WAS an organized clean up crew and they were amazing
posted by The Whelk at 6:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [16 favorites]


I agree OWS should become more robust and better organized. I'm not in a position where I can camp out in a park for a week (my six year old wouldn't get it) but I'm in full support of the movement even as it currently exists. Tear this shit down, set it on fire and start over. Wouldn't be the first time.
posted by PuppyCat at 6:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the place wasn't littered with garbage and developing a seedy element, this raid wouldn't have happened.

You really believe that? Really?
posted by Think_Long at 6:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


PercussivePaul: "If someone were to ask me whether anyone should be allowed to set up camp in a public space indefinitely, I would say maybe, but I recognize we have laws against that and I can understand the need for them, because public spaces might otherwise become tent cities and eventually slums."

Slums are also a form of political protest. They are an signifier that the economic system in which those people live is so fundamentally unjust that the possibility of legally obtained housing is unreasonably difficult. Yes, many in the OWS can afford things like rent and food, but still. Distasteful as they are, slums serve an important purpose: they broadcast the existence of poverty.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Saw this thread, turned on CNN, thinking they'd be covering the story in some way; instead, I get stories about Black Friday shopping, Jay-Z getting the GQ cover, and the Penn State creepercoach.

Crappy News, ow.
posted by weirdoactor at 6:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


That's repression

Well look - if its really repressing the voice of the people, then the people will rise up again, if its clearing out a bunch of people looking for "Free food, shelter, and college girls" no one will care. As others said above, it was inevitable that something like this would happen.

Bloomberg's and Kelly's decision making just seems terrible here, unless they are using polling that says most NYers disagree with the OWS movement, in which case its the will of a large group of people (who yes, might be acting against their own interests it must be said). My read was the movement was not grabbing popular support at the rate it needed to in order to grow - w/o getting into a discussion on why that is - and the protest was likely to slowly wither away.

Note: I tend to think it was a terrible decision, and I tend to think the movement will continue, hopefully get stronger, but I don't think Bloomy is willfully stupid. He's a lot of things, but not that.
posted by JPD at 6:35 AM on November 15, 2011


I was there last week and walked all around the park. I didn't notice any garbage or foul smells. Not sure where this meme is coming from, but it's not reality.
posted by gwint at 6:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that, until this matter is heard on the date set forth above, respondents/defendants are prohibited from:
(a) Evicting protesters from Zuccotti Park, a/k/a Liberty Park, exclusive of lawful arrests from criminal offenses; and/or
(b) Enforcing "rules" published after the occupation began or otherwise preventing protesters from re-entering the park with tents and other property previously utilized.
The restraining order is making the rounds online right now.
posted by RogerB at 6:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


I agree with what was said above. in recent weeks Occupy has seemed increasingly fixated on the right to sleep outside in winter, to the exclusion of everything else. But this is not sustainable, especially in the context of increasingly violent confrontations with police. Someone is going to get killed defending what started out as *symbolic* but seems now to be becoming the actual focus.

The movement needs to be bigger than encampments now.
posted by gerryblog at 6:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


If the place wasn't littered with garbage and developing a seedy element, this raid wouldn't have happened.

This explains why even the poorest NY neighborhoods (not to mention the subway) are always sparkling clean. The city cares deeply about cleanliness.

How about we stick to the real explanation: The Powers That Be want the protests to stop.
posted by DU at 6:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


If the place wasn't littered with garbage and developing a seedy element, this raid wouldn't have happened.

There already were organized cleaning crews, there already were standards of behavior, there already were strict curfews on things like drums, etc. which is why there was almost no litter at Zuccotti Park.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


because @Iron_Spike is a pearl beyond price

"Before OWS, The Repub's fave topic was the lack of jobs. Post-OWS? "Get a JOB!" Srsly? No disconnect at all there? Great work, everybody."
posted by The Whelk at 6:39 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


You really believe that? Really?

Absolutely. It may have lasted another month or two before the huge and inevitable raid.
posted by cthuljew at 6:39 AM on November 15, 2011


More from Twitter:

Michael Hastings, contributing editor to Rolling Stone: Mayor Mike "Mubarak" Bloomberg said journalists were barred from covering the raid "to protect members of the press." #ows

How brazen would you have to be to release an official party line involves the admission that the police evacuation plan was so aggressive and indiscriminate that it necessitated the "protection" of bystanders...?
posted by Phire at 6:40 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


cthuljew, as someone who was there, a lot, recently, let me say it was both the cleanest fucking tent city I have ever fucking seen and not once did I pick up any "seedy element", maybe it was all the grandmothers and grad students helping out. They where blocking my view of the seedy.
posted by The Whelk at 6:41 AM on November 15, 2011 [27 favorites]


AND IN NYC POLITICAL NEWS: Christie Qunin is going to have to come up with some SUPER AMAZING EXPLAINATION about why she doesn't truck with any of this blocking the press shit if she wants my vote.
posted by The Whelk at 6:42 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The latest tweet from the Mayor's Office- MB: We were ready to re-open the park at 8am, but will wait until court order - which we haven't seen yet - is clarified. #OWS Court order- that's the restraining order he's referring to?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:43 AM on November 15, 2011


People complaining about the dirtiness of the camps - do you really believe that public sanitation is the reason the police cleared them out? Do you really think that the police are that concerned about odor control? I live a few miles south of a sewage treatment plant; in order to get downtown I have to take a bridge that goes directly over it. It will make me gag if I leave my windows down. Should I call the police?
posted by desjardins at 6:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


That tweet from the Mayor's office is totally ridiculous, as the parties were served sometime around 6:30am.
posted by likeatoaster at 6:44 AM on November 15, 2011


I remember when the city ordered the NYPD to clean out that garbage filled empty lot near my friend's place in Bed-Sty with all the rats and needles ....oh wait.
posted by The Whelk at 6:44 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


The Whelk: I will take that under due consideration. I'd read a few stories that contradicted what you said (for what good that is), and am in part responding to what I've seen a bit of at OccupyMN, where there is some mess and disorganization (although having fewer people and not allowing tents mitigates things a lot). If what you're saying is right, then, well, fuck da police (and the State, etc), and this was just another raid on another peaceful protest. I just get upset when I hear about supposedly left-wing people completely failing at self-organization, as I've heard about these protests all around the country — with, of course, varying amounts of spin and credibility. I perhaps spoke more harshly than I should have.
posted by cthuljew at 6:45 AM on November 15, 2011


Probably would not have happened on a Republican watch, it occurs to me this morning. In that people could maintain the illusion that only if they were in control, things could change for the better. It took a Democrat (with a platform of change) to show people that the system is broken and not changing without the system changing.

Very interesting times.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:45 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


We were ready to re-open the park at 8am, but will wait until court order - which we haven't seen yet - is clarified

The hearing's at 11:30, right? So are they just going to ignore the order until they get their "clarification", meaning wait until the hearing is over?
posted by Think_Long at 6:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is there a general strike happening? The sanitation department hasn't picked up trash or recycling here in Brooklyn for over a week now.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I understand your skepticism cthuljew, but the Wall Street encampment was better run then the majority of music festivals I've been to. Hell it had more services then some towns I've lived in. The infrastructure! The Planning! The resources! They had grey water recycling for christsakes.
posted by The Whelk at 6:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


desjardins: The dirtiness wasn't a good reason for this to happen. Without it as an excuse, this wouldn't have happened yet.
posted by cthuljew at 6:47 AM on November 15, 2011


How brazen would you have to be to release an official party line involves the admission that the police evacuation plan was so aggressive and indiscriminate that it necessitated the "protection" of bystanders...?

A good amount of the powers that be in NYC are basically organized thugs. (Good time to relisten to this.) But until now, for all his faults, I didn't count Bloomberg in among the thugs. Guess I was wrong.
posted by tempythethird at 6:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a crazy thought experiment, let's start from the presumption that the city is acting in relative good faith and see if we can make that work.

Bloomberg increasingly gets reports from his advisers that the city and/or Brookfield is facing immense legal liability and public outrage if someone dies or is seriously hurt in the camp. From a public health perspective, indications are that the level of sanitation in the park has become unacceptable. Additionally, local interests are increasingly losing patience with the protest (there are people who live nearby, though admittedly not right on the park; more importantly to me, there are about 20 or so vendors who make a shoestring living selling food to office workers down there, including the world's nicest chicken and rice guy, and I worry about how they're making out).

So let's say that the decision to clear the park was made, and maybe you don't agree with the reasons, but they're not so terribly nefarious. It's a decision that really comes from a balancing of competing interests in a way you have to do in a crowded city. Frankly, the city's general willingness to leave people alone at Zuccotti Park for two months has purchased them a little credibility in my book.

Given that decision has been made, is there any other way this could have been executed? There's a lot of concern being expressed over the paramilitary police, etc., but let's face it, protesters would not leave if asked nicely. This is probably the minimum level of organization and force that could plausibly guarantee that they could clear the park without anyone getting hurt.

I don't really know what I think about it, but I'm not so certain this is such an evil thing. I just think it's worth complicating our understandings of what's going on beyond this us/them oppositional logic.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 6:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


The media narrative wins again in general, and at least makes a very strong showing on MetaFilter. Protesters have to be fucking perfect. But cops and government? Well, shrug! Cops gonna cop; government's gonna gov.
posted by ignignokt at 6:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [35 favorites]


The sanitation department hasn't picked up trash or recycling here in Brooklyn for over a week now.

MASSIVE POLICE RAIDS ON BROOKLYN IN INTEREST OF PUBLIC SAFETY.
posted by Think_Long at 6:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Also: imagine what it's like to be handled by police and see the press being hustled out of sight.

Imagine.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:48 AM on November 15, 2011 [22 favorites]


Is there a general strike happening? The sanitation department hasn't picked up trash or recycling here in Brooklyn for over a week now.

I dunno where you are, but our recycling day is Tuesday morning, which happens to have been Election Day last week, which is one of those holidays that city workers have off but nobody else thinks of. So there was a lot of recycling sitting on the curb for a long while this week.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 6:49 AM on November 15, 2011


The other side
posted by The Whelk at 6:49 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


I support Occupy, and I do earnestly want to see dramatic radical change. But what can I do to help? I sit here at work in Central Illinois in a medium-sized town where I think there might be a smallish #occupy movement but I have only seen them once. I have to pick up my three-year old daughter after work and make sure she has dinner and fun and is read to before bed time. I can't risk losing my job.

I believe, and am outraged. But what can I do?
posted by tr33hggr at 6:49 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


The seediest thing I saw at OWS was when a guy was being loud and unhappy and then the other Occupiers drowned him out by singing "You Are My Sunshine."

The seediest thing I ever heard of? here was a sexual assault at OWS. The (alleged) perpetrator was booted from the park and his picture was posted all over the place to prevent him from ever, ever coming back.

This is basically exactly what happened in my neighborhood when there were four or five sexual assaults (and attempted rapes). The perps were not caught, but their sketches are everywhere.

Even for all that, I don't consider Park Slope to be all that seedy. The cops certainly haven't raided us (yet).

MB: We were ready to re-open the park at 8am, but will wait until court order - which we haven't seen yet - is clarified. #OWS Court order- that's the restraining order he's referring to?

Yes. The City has to appear at a hearing at 11:30am to show cause.

I'd read a few stories that contradicted what you said (for what good that is), and am in part responding to what I've seen a bit of at OccupyMN, where there is some mess and disorganization (although having fewer people and not allowing tents mitigates things a lot).

I've been stopping by Occupy quite a bit. Check my Flickr if you don't believe me. Those "stories" are completely off.

I can't speak for OccupyMN, just as - at the risk of sounding curt - you can't speak for OWS. I believe you if you say that OccupyMN has a hygiene problem. However, at OWS, there is a very palpable sense of order. It feels more like a little town than it does like a stereotypical tent city.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:50 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Given that decision has been made, is there any other way this could have been executed? There's a lot of concern being expressed over the paramilitary police, etc., but let's face it, protesters would not leave if asked nicely.

Are you SURE they wouldn't have done?

As for "other ways this could have been excecuted" -- advance notice, informing residents that this WAS mandatory but giving them a few hours to pack up their stuff, would have been VASTLY preferable to storming in at 4 am, chasing everyone away and then tearing down tents -- including tearing down the medical tent while someone was inside of it being treated -- and ripping everything to pieces with their bare hands.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:52 AM on November 15, 2011


occupiers on the march.....
posted by The Whelk at 6:52 AM on November 15, 2011


Though their cause is just and right, I am a bit leery of how they make themselves felt. They have been largely ignored by the entities they would change: Wall Street and Congress. Those two groups have gone merrily on their way, paying no heed to those crying for change.

Is there a way to make legitimate issues and complaints made so as to bring needed change?
what ideas come to mind?
posted by Postroad at 6:53 AM on November 15, 2011


OWS will only get anywhere if its got enough staying power to persist for years, and the live-in-tents fever-pitch thing isn't sustainable for that long.

I respectfully beg to differ.
posted by Jilder at 6:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]



Is there a way to make legitimate issues and complaints made so as to bring needed change?
what ideas come to mind?


Revolution?
posted by dazed_one at 6:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


and ripping everything to pieces with their bare hands.

Hey you think when you're dumping 5 thousand books into a sani truck it ever crosses the mind of the people doing it that destroying a library is what the bad guys do?
posted by The Whelk at 6:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [43 favorites]


March has split into two, some going back to the plaza, some at the Trinity property
posted by The Whelk at 6:55 AM on November 15, 2011


they are about to reach the plaza...

http://www.ustream.tv/TheOther99
posted by The Whelk at 6:57 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


So let's say that the decision to clear the park was made, and maybe you don't agree with the reasons, but they're not so terribly nefarious. It's a decision that really comes from a balancing of competing interests in a way you have to do in a crowded city.

There's a mental change that needs to happen, but hasn't happened yet. These protests aren't something to be tolerated for a month or two, and then enough's enough.

We live in a society that has failed so thoroughly that, until major reforms happen, there will be no normal. We do not get normal. We should learn not to expect normal.

This is what instability looks like. The only way to get rid of it is to make the needed reforms, or to become a police state. Bloomberg and the like don't yet realize this. They think they can say "enough's enough" without resorting to Iranian tactics, but they can't. They'll realize this soon enough.
posted by tempythethird at 6:57 AM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


ha ha a black bloc jerk just got GROUP SHUNNED
posted by The Whelk at 6:57 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


and they're right in front of the ghostbuster's fire house!
posted by The Whelk at 6:58 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Another shallow eyewitness's two cents. I was there over the weekend, and my impressions were:

The park was completely choked up with tents, making it hard to move around. You've got to have your shit very together when operating above capacity like that, and I thought they were more or less up to the task. The level of organization was impressive. Donations being taken in and handed out, the kitchen, the teach-ins, etc. Apart from some of the people, it was not smelly; certainly not the open sewer Bloomberg was making it out to be.

As for the memetics and optics, my impression was one of stagnation. On-site, the energy and importance of the 99% movement was diluted in the mix of the standard issue lefty grab bag of causes. Please don't misunderstand me! I'm not against freeing Tibet, building schools in Chiapas, or feeding the homeless. But I'll admit that my selfish priority is re-establishing the social contract at home. (My pet issues: Campaign finance reform, class consciousness, reinvigorating Labor, making Democrats act like Democrats.) IMHO, now that the dialog has begun, a diaspora might not be a disaster.

Finally, wow there was a big police presence. They also struck me as really well organized. In hindsight, I should have recognized the pieces being put into place.
posted by whuppy at 6:58 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


fuck these occupy guys. As part of the 99%, it really pisses me off that they think they are speaking for me.
posted by H. Roark at 6:59 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since when is Howard Roark part of the 99%?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:00 AM on November 15, 2011 [34 favorites]


Is there a way to make legitimate issues and complaints made so as to bring needed change?
what ideas come to mind?


Your point's a good one, Postroad.

I think protestors are reacting to the fact that they don't really have a realistic way to "speak" to the government and the business world. The problems are too deeply entrenched to really discuss in a concrete way. It took something as silly and absurd as camping out near Wall Street to get masses of people to even talk about those economic issues which had been boiling for the past 30 years.

The best choice at this juncture would be to feverishly campaign for local and national politicians who will help fix the problems which have plagued the United States.

Electoral reform would be my number one issue, if I had to pick one. Campaign finance reform as another, if I had to pick two. Both of those would have to be Amendments, though, which is rough considering the group of jerks that we have in Congress, a few exceptions here and there.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:00 AM on November 15, 2011


tr33hggr: I believe, and am outraged. But what can I do?

Everybody's a specialist in something. I'm in Iceland, a whole ocean away, and while I do my tiny bit for Icelandic change, I've also done some translation work into Icelandic for OWS. It's a million degrees removed from anything that will change the world, it is what I can do and at the very least it won't hurt the cause.

You have knowledge and contacts that no one else has, find a way to channel that. There are tons of various OWS working groups and a network of local organizations that support OWS or are in sympathy with their aims. There is plenty you can do, all you have to do is go look. Start Googling, start asking your friends and acquaintances. You probably won't change the world on your own, but just like it take a thousand ants to build a mound, it takes a thousand humans to change anything.
posted by Kattullus at 7:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]



fuck these occupy guys. As part of the 99%, it really pisses me off that they think they are speaking for me.
posted by H. Roark at 9:59 AM on November 15 [+] [!]


Funny thing; I'm fairly certain the OWS people would fully endorse your right to voice your dissent with them in a protest. I bet they wouldn't get the cops in to evict you were you to do so.
posted by dazed_one at 7:02 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


tr33hggr: I believe, and am outraged. But what can I do?

Educate yourself. Find a part of the movement that you find interesting and maybe confusing and check a book out of the library that seems like it might have something worthwhile to say about it.

Become more politically active, especially in local politics where your voice carries more weight. Call or write your local government and let them know that you support the Occupy movement, and that you vote in local elections.

Check up on the activities of whichever Occupations are closest to you and maybe make a point of stopping by if you can, when there's an event such as a march or a teach-in or a featured speaker that interests you.

Send donations of money and/or supplies, if you can afford it. Your support and solidarity would be greatly appreciated by the people who are making the commitment to actually go out there and protest in person.

Follow the movement on the internet, keep up with developments, and talk to people about what you're hearing and seeing. Keep the conversation going, make sure that people know that you know that the world is fucked up, that you can see through the lies, and that you're outraged and want change.

These are some possibilities, anyway. There are thousands of ways to commit to making positive social change. You don't have to be out there, not everyone can be. But you can still be a part of reshaping our society.
posted by Scientist at 7:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


On-site, the energy and importance of the 99% movement was diluted in the mix of the standard issue lefty grab bag of causes

See also: Anti-war protests, 2003 and 2004.
posted by empath at 7:04 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Damn UStream guy's battery is dying, he's been daisy chaining the camera off a mac book
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 AM on November 15, 2011


thanks for updating here, whelk.
posted by qnarf at 7:05 AM on November 15, 2011


So UStream guy accidentally gave out his phone number on the air while trying to get a new battery, which caused everyone on the internet to phone him, which cut off his stream (it was from a camera phone) so that's a nice bit of 21st century detail right there.
posted by The Whelk at 7:09 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


I love this goofy, affable conversation on UStream about getting the guy a new charger.

See also: Anti-war protests, 2003 and 2004.

You know, though, in retrospect, I don't think there was anything those marches could have done anyway. The Bush Administration had war fever. The US had war fever. The falseness of the WMD accusations wouldn't be proven until later. The failure of the neoconservative prediction that they'd "welcome us as liberators" wouldn't be proven until later.

Which is not to say that those marches weren't also plagued with "FREE MUMIA" etc.

(NB: I didn't see "FREE MUMIA" at OWS until about a month in. Good job, guys!)
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:10 AM on November 15, 2011


"we're dealing with the trolls" "trolls?" "You know ....internet."
posted by The Whelk at 7:13 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The problem with marches is that everyone involved knows that that's all they are. That's what makes OWS different and makes me so excited about it as a whole. Everyone knows that the marchers will show up, make their demands "heard", and then leave. Which means, 24 hours from now, the only evidence that there had been a march is the abandoned cardboard signs. Occupy is here to stay. Occupy you might be able to ignore for a month, but two? Three? Six? I hope actions like this will make it grow. I really hope this raid brings a lot of new blood into the mix.
posted by cthuljew at 7:14 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Police, bull horns, on motor bikes "ON THE SIDEWALK. THE SIDEWALK!"
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 AM on November 15, 2011


(oh and in the chat channel, to combat people reposting his number, they're flooding it with fake numbers, I love you internet)
posted by The Whelk at 7:17 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Funny you should mention that, empath. At the beginning of OWS, several of my bleeding heart compadres' reaction was to point'n'laff at the dirty hippies. (OK, that's not fair. It was more like condescension to their naive and ineffectual ways.) I had to send them a bunch of links to bolster the case that this was something different. After telling them about this weekend I'm getting a bunch of toljya so's. Sigh.
posted by whuppy at 7:17 AM on November 15, 2011


they're like six blocks away now.
posted by The Whelk at 7:17 AM on November 15, 2011


* put Les Miserables on his iPod *

Glad I'm not the only one listening!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:19 AM on November 15, 2011


Whelk, where are you and what's their route?...I've heard a few conflicting things.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:21 AM on November 15, 2011


Sizable homeless encampments certainly shouldn't be permitted in New York City parks so I for one am glad. While I hate Giuliani, I think he would have handled this better than Bloomberg did.

Looks like I may have missed my chance to go down there and see it. This whole time I really wouldn't have known that OWS existed if I hadn't occasionally read about it online.
posted by knoyers at 7:21 AM on November 15, 2011


I'm at home watching the stream, the peel off march is right in front of the Hilton Millennium right now
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 AM on November 15, 2011


At the beginning of OWS, several of my bleeding heart compadres' reaction was to point'n'laff at the dirty hippies.

I thought OWS was incredibly stupid at first. Then OWS changed my mind.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Arrestees for this morning are being released, all headed straight to Duarte Square"
posted by The Whelk at 7:23 AM on November 15, 2011


they're at the park, police still blocking it off.
posted by The Whelk at 7:24 AM on November 15, 2011


Police not letting anyone in. Barricades are still up.
posted by The Whelk at 7:24 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the live updates Whelk
posted by Think_Long at 7:26 AM on November 15, 2011


First they ignore you - check
then they laugh at you - check
then they fight you - happening right now
then you win.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:26 AM on November 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


U stream battery dead, now showing clip of a performance from a while ago, and I can not for the life of me get livestream to work.
posted by The Whelk at 7:27 AM on November 15, 2011


I believe, and am outraged. But what can I do?

I don't know how much I can do to help OWS other than be a silent supporter -- or support in the ways suggested by Kattullus and Scientist -- but my belief is that you are already helping by not falling for the media/government/law enforcement meme that these are a bunch of dirty hippies that need to be cleaned out to make life normal again for all of the "rest" of us. That meme has multiplied in the past few weeks, for whatever reason, after a very brief window during which the movement was given at least some sympathetic coverage by the media. Now it's dirty hippies 24/7. I look at the one-sided coverage being given the Occupy Oakland movement and cringe -- but then what did I expect from the Chronicle and the Contra Costa Times (the Times' coverage is actually slightly less rabidly "clean the bums out" than the Chronicle's).
posted by blucevalo at 7:27 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


How are the barricades up? Isn't that directly violating the restraining order, which explicitly states that the NYPD are "prohibited from preventing protesters from re-entering the park"? What the fuck, like you can just ignore a restraining order if it suits you?
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:27 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


While I hate Giuliani, I think he would have handled this better than Bloomberg did.

Wait.

You're saying that the mayor that got accused of 35 First Amendment violations during his stint as mayor, and lost 22 Civil Rights violations lawsuits, would have handled a First Amendment issue better?

Are you out of your cotton-pickin' mind?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:27 AM on November 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


Top stories on Today Show (NBC) this morning: Penn State nearly 15 minutes, Justin Timberlake, Pippa Middleton. Was something interesting happening across town from the studios? Who knew?
posted by Stoatfarm at 7:27 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


If anyone missed it, Deathalicious and wwwwwhatt observed that Thursday 17 November is International Day of Action, aka #N17.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:28 AM on November 15, 2011


I thought OWS was incredibly stupid at first. Then OWS changed my mind.


Interesting. I had almost the exact opposite opinion. For the last three years I've been sitting around waiting for people to wake up to the fact that we were losing this crisis as a way to roll back decades of terribly de-regulation, and I thought OWS was going to be people finally figuring that out. Once they made it clear they weren't interested in working towards that, but instead was some much bigger amorphous movement I sort of gave up. Admire what they are doing, don't think they are likely to be successful even though I would like them to be.

Also the early days student loans thing really really struck me as politically deaf. Not something you can build a mass movement off of.
posted by JPD at 7:29 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Occupy is here to stay. Occupy you might be able to ignore for a month, but two? Three? Six?

It's obvious that the city governments aren't ignoring this, and have no incentive to allow this to go on indefinitely, as it can cost millions a month in city maintenance and law enforcement.
posted by FJT at 7:29 AM on November 15, 2011


Giuliani would have left the city tarred and feathered if half the stuff he did to clean up the city was caught on cell phone cameras and posted to YouTube.
posted by griphus at 7:29 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


YEOWZA he's back. Kinda. They are trying to deliver the court order to the police.
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 AM on November 15, 2011


Giuliani would have had everyone shot and fed to geese
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm glad to see 'em go - its about time.
posted by blaneyphoto at 7:31 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Police are refusing to acknowledge the order. ......
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 AM on November 15, 2011


griphus: "Giuliani would have left the city tarred and feathered if half the stuff he did to clean up the city was caught on cell phone cameras and posted to YouTube."

Do you think pre-Giuliani New York was a better place or just disagree with the methods?
posted by falameufilho at 7:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The antiwar protests of 2003 are, in part, directly responsible for OWS. In that they didn't work. I was there, they were amazing...so many people you never actually got to the end of the route before the march ended. But the media dismissed it and nothing changed and nobody in power gave a shit. So liberals were demoralized and concentrated on the elections, got Obama in, briefly felt hope, then that crashed again as we realized how much he lacks any true liberal values. (or at least the will to act on them).

And then everything went to hell economically and stayed there. And Tahrir Square happened.

And here we are. What's next? It's not going to be "everyone goes home and shuts up" because we're all still screwed.
posted by emjaybee at 7:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Each and everyone one of these officers is in violation of a court order, sir do you know? Do you know about the court order stopping you from doing what you're doing now? He says No."
posted by The Whelk at 7:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm glad to see 'em go - its about time.
posted by blaneyphoto at 10:31 AM on November 15 [+] [!]


The cops, because of the restraining order, right?
posted by dazed_one at 7:32 AM on November 15, 2011


I'm glad to see 'em go - its about time.

You do realize that nobody is going anywhere, right?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


A thought, after being appalled at seeing how aggressively (and how easily) the press was cowed and pushed out of the picture by the cops -- this seems like a place where do-it-yourself UAVs could come in really handy. Rather than big, noisy news choppers -- citizen journalists sending up small, quiet cameras with wings, painted matte black. They don't have to be fancy, $6K pieces of kit (best not in any case, because a drone that isn't controlled by the police could escalate the tension unnecessarily) -- you can make a UAV carrying a $37 HD pocket camera out of balsa wood. I don't know that much about the technical specifics -- could you create a reliable eyes-in-the-sky livestream? How quiet can the motors get, and how tightly can they be controlled? What about thermal imaging, for what's going inside the tents during the police raid? -- but I'm looking forward to learning. I enormously admire the courage of the livestreamers on the ground, but I want records of the raid that can't be taken out with a baton or a phone call, and which provide a comprehensive look at the riot squad (and which doesn't put people into immediate danger in the line of fire). This would be a great hackerspace project. Festo Penguins for the people!
posted by finnb at 7:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [20 favorites]


Top stories on Today Show (NBC) this morning: Penn State nearly 15 minutes, Justin Timberlake, Pippa Middleton. Was something interesting happening across town from the studios? Who knew?

Now it's dirty hippies 24/7. I look at the one-sided coverage being given the Occupy Oakland movement and cringe -- but then what did I expect from the Chronicle and the Contra Costa Times (the Times' coverage is actually slightly less rabidly "clean the bums out" than the Chronicle's)

Propaganda and lack of media control is a bitch isn't it?
posted by lpcxa0 at 7:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


hey NPR, do you want another cent of my donation money? Well why not live coverage of the super exciting thing happening in the middle of a major world city?
posted by The Whelk at 7:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [31 favorites]


Police are refusing to acknowledge the order
Then it's time to send in the National Guard, like they did in the 50s.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just wanted to weigh in as another person who went to OWS last week and it wasn't smelly at all. It was very crowded.

I went by Foley Square about 30 minutes ago and there were about 20-30 protesters there, a bunch of them in sleeping bags around the fountain. There was a lot of press and two of the few protesters there had full facial tattoos. I wouldn't be surprised if they figured prominently in some MSM "lookit those rabble-rousing freaks" coverage.
posted by Mavri at 7:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you think pre-Giuliani New York was a better place or just disagree with the methods?

The latter. Not to Godwin this for the sake of a Godwin, but his cleanup of NYC is definitely a "at least the trains run on time" sort of affair.
posted by griphus at 7:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


CNN finally mentioned the OWS story...for thirteen seconds. The Jay-Z on the cover of GQ story got four and a half minutes. Sigh.
posted by weirdoactor at 7:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you think pre-Giuliani New York was a better place or just disagree with the methods?

Honestly, I think a couple elements of pre-Giuliani New York were indeed better.

Some elements were improved, yes, but at what cost? How much money did the city lose paying for Giuilani's defense when he violated the Constutition?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


International Day of Action

Oh gee, they're really invoking Tiananmen Square? The poster does look nice, but I don't really see much relation between Tiananmen and what's going on in Zucotti Park.
posted by FJT at 7:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Great idea, finnb. Here's a lo-tech variant: Stash a whole bunch of cheapo cameras everywhere and turn them on (remotely if possible) when the hammer's about to drop. Also! How about tethering them to helium balloons?
posted by whuppy at 7:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was pretty heavily covered on NY1 this morning, which is to be expected. It was kind of like, weather, fine? traffic fine? Ok, let's look at this shot of the mayor's podium and wait for the press conference to start.
posted by sweetkid at 7:38 AM on November 15, 2011


Regarding the OWS library that got trashed - anyone know what titles were in the collection? Had a bibliography been kept?
posted by Hesychia at 7:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


according to scanner people are marching down Broadway to return to Liberty/Zucotti
posted by The Whelk at 7:38 AM on November 15, 2011


From the mayor's statement:

The dangers posed were evident last week when an EMT was injured as protestors attempted to prevent him and several police officers from helping a mentally ill man who was menacing others..

Throughout, and especially in Oakland, the homeless, mentally ill and drug addled have been regarded as dangers or threats--both to the movement and to the police and residents nearby. They're seen as unwanted parasites by some movement participants, and used as pretexts for police crackdowns.

Yet homeless people, drug addicts and the mentally ill are the gravest, most representative symptoms of the problem of maldistribution of wealth, not troublemakers or parasitical hangers on. They exist in such numbers because of deep flaws in the flow of money and healthcare. They suffer most from the system, and should be treated as the core of any movement for justice.
posted by Gordion Knott at 7:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [42 favorites]


At the beginning of OWS, several of my bleeding heart compadres' reaction was to point'n'laff at the dirty hippies. (OK, that's not fair. It was more like condescension to their naive and ineffectual ways.) I had to send them a bunch of links to bolster the case that this was something different.

It is something different, but it's really kind of a symptom of a problem with society. OWS is 'unrest' of a peculiar and unusually organized kind, probably made possible because of twitter, facebook and other forms of social media, but it's still civil unrest and has the same cause as other forms of civil unrest. If this particular manifestation of that unrest is put down by police tactics without attacking the underlying cause (economic inequality, lack of political representation and so on), then it's going to keep popping up in more and more forms, and the tactics used to suppress it will become more and more authoritarian, and the unrest will adapt more and more radical tactics to oppose the suppression. It's a spiral that's going to be hard to stop without either some real political leadership in Washington or a miraculous turn around in the economy.
posted by empath at 7:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


and this would be them - http://occupystreams.org/item/occupy-nyc-liberty-plaza
posted by The Whelk at 7:38 AM on November 15, 2011


could you create a reliable eyes-in-the-sky livestream?

Someone did something like this in Warsaw. Although I don't think that was broadcast live.
posted by Serf at 7:39 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Once they made it clear they weren't interested in working towards that, but instead was some much bigger amorphous movement I sort of gave up. Admire what they are doing, don't think they are likely to be successful even though I would like them to be.

The amorphousness wound up being a strength in addition to a weakness. OWS will not directly produce useful legislation, of course. However, it has reframed political discussion among people who would otherwise be disconnected from one another or apathetic in general. OWS itself featured many political fringe types and kooks, but it has produced useful conversations amongst people - even, say, my liberal-ish Rockefeller Republican mom, who liked Bush in 2000, but who grew to hate Republicans eventually, especially when the Tea Party.

When I would stop by OWS, I'd get into conversations here and there, especially with moderate-looking people who were trying to figure out either unclear or extreme sign-holders. It always seemed like it was actually pretty easy to draw out common ground between myself, a 19-year-old with no clear political agenda, a Marxist in his early 40s, and a moderate working guy in his 50s who liked Reagan but feels uneasy about America nowadays. I have OWS to thank for helping start some of the only really productive discussions about how our government keeps repeating the same class of mistakes that it made during, say, the Savings and Loan debacle.

My hope, which may or may not come true, is that people will remember OWS as being a weirdly articulate interruption in the usual conversation. In the back of their minds, some people will always be thinking - is this just more of the usual self-serving 1% bullshit? How does this benefit myself and everyone else? What can we do differently?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:39 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Regarding the OWS library that got trashed - anyone know what titles were in the collection? Had a bibliography been kept?
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Apparently Oakland has some dissent in the ranks of the mayor's office, very interesting.
posted by lpcxa0 at 7:41 AM on November 15, 2011


sa·ni·ta·tion·sub·ju·ga·tion (noun): when a mayor suspends freedom of the press in order to "clean".
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 7:42 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I agree with what was said above. in recent weeks Occupy has seemed increasingly fixated on the right to sleep outside in winter, to the exclusion of everything else. But this is not sustainable, especially in the context of increasingly violent confrontations with police. Someone is going to get killed defending what started out as *symbolic* but seems now to be becoming the actual focus.

The movement needs to be bigger than encampments now.


I agree. This problem of survival logistics overwhelming the attention to communication and message and growing the numbers of the movement is a serious one. In the last OWS thread I posted this great observation from an interesting piece by Hendrik Hertzberg:
For O.W.S., though, there is danger ahead. Winter is coming. The strategy of static outdoor encampments is straining the patience even of sympathetic mayors in cities like Oakland, where last week riot police stormed the site and a Marine veteran was left in critical condition. If the weather and the cops pare the numbers in the camps, it’s far from unimaginable that ideologues in the mold of the Old New Left—people for whom the problem is “capitalism” per se, as opposed to a political economy rigged to benefit the rich at the expense of the rest—could end up dominant. As it is, the Occupiers’ brand of romantic participatory democracy can too easily render their decision-making vulnerable to a truculent few. In the most notorious example, Representative John Lewis, the revered civil-rights hero, was prevented from speaking at Occupy Atlanta—not because the crowd didn’t want to hear from him (the great majority did, as they signalled, in the movement’s semaphore language, with raised hands and wiggling fingers) but because one man clenched his fists and crossed his forearms, thereby exercising a consensus-breaking “block.” A vegan filibuster, you might say. The pollsters tell us that Americans like O.W.S.’s essential message. They like the Occupiers, too—not as much as they like the message, but more than they like the Tea Party. But if the pressures of hypothermia, frustration, and correcter-than-thou one-upmanship converge to push them toward more provocative, less mellow forms of civil disobedience—“occupying” a nice warm state capitol building, for example—the messenger
posted by Miko at 7:42 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


finnb, the citizen camera copter thing has been kinda done recently. Although I've no idea if it's a live stream (rather doubtful).
posted by hat_eater at 7:43 AM on November 15, 2011


arrests happening as people attempt to re-take the square, cops continue to defy court order.
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


straining the patience even of sympathetic mayors in cities like Oakland

That level of ignorance is not going to produce insightful analysis.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 7:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez Arrested, Injured at Occupy Wall Street Raid
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


100 cops inside the park, more and more people surrounding it.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


A helluva lot more brown people in the streams than have been portrayed in MSM accounts. Lots more non-hippyish, middle-aged, respectable-looking folks, too.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Visual
posted by The Whelk at 7:48 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Propaganda and lack of media control is a bitch isn't it?

Right, that's exactly what I think I was saying. But yeah! It's a real bitch and a half!
posted by blucevalo at 7:48 AM on November 15, 2011


Is anyone else F5ing to see if The Whelk has new info? Great stuff!
posted by weirdoactor at 7:48 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish I had enough faith in the people of this country to imagine rank-and-file police defying their orders and joining the protesters ala the February Revolution. That would be so cool to see....
posted by cthuljew at 7:49 AM on November 15, 2011


whelk, which stream are you on? i'm not finding one that works...
posted by qnarf at 7:49 AM on November 15, 2011


This one is working now: http://occupystreams.org/item/occupy-nyc-liberty-plaza
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:50 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seeing that picture that The Whelk just linked made me sort of panicky freak-out laugh to see all of this happening on Liberty Street.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:50 AM on November 15, 2011


I'm not on any stream, I'm following twitter, Alternet has some reports out in the field
posted by The Whelk at 7:50 AM on November 15, 2011


A helluva lot more brown people in the streams than have been portrayed in MSM accounts. Lots more non-hippyish, middle-aged, respectable-looking folks, too.

Yeah, when I was there, I was really struck by the number of middle-aged to retirement aged people, and the diversity. There were a couple of older ladies sitting together knitting. I really wish I'd taken a picture of them, but I was too shy to ask. The media has badly misrepresented the demographics of the OWS people.
posted by Mavri at 7:50 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution works but it's the group at Canal, not down at the plaza.
posted by The Whelk at 7:51 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


A helluva lot more brown people in the streams than have been portrayed in MSM accounts. Lots more non-hippyish, middle-aged, respectable-looking folks, too.

This seems true overall and is something that makes me really excited about how this movement can be different.
posted by Miko at 7:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


apparently the protestors are reading the court order aloud to the police.

http://twitpic.com/7eii7u
posted by The Whelk at 7:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


thanks whelk and moonpie
posted by qnarf at 7:53 AM on November 15, 2011


A helluva lot more brown people in the streams than have been portrayed in MSM accounts. Lots more non-hippyish, middle-aged, respectable-looking folks, too.

Hippies were a minority at OWS. Most of the people at OWS were pretty damn respectable-looking, especially on the north side. Lots of middle-aged and older people, groomed no differently than anyone else on the streets.

My completely unscientific take on the OWS demo was that the hippies hung out at the drum circle, the gutterpunks hung around the "smokes and phones" kiosk, the knitting grandmas hung out on the west side, and everyone else hung out on the north side. The tall guy with the Chinese flag just sort of roved the circumference - he was like one of those sucker fish you put into aquariums.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:53 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


Thanks for the OWS Library link, Whelk!
posted by Hesychia at 7:53 AM on November 15, 2011


Thanks Whelk, great updates. And MANY thanks for the link to the library site. I have tons of books sitting about, time to put them to good use!
posted by tr33hggr at 7:54 AM on November 15, 2011


Mayor says removed property is in "storage"
posted by The Whelk at 7:54 AM on November 15, 2011


There are now more people marching around the perimeter of Zuccotti than were in it when the NYPD closed it down.

New sign on the barricade
posted by The Whelk at 7:55 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Whelk, what are the best hashtags for this?
posted by Miko at 7:56 AM on November 15, 2011


"#nypd ordering ppl surrounding prk 2 keep moving in circle"

OCCUPY CAUCUS RACE
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:56 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


new sign on the barricade -

Oh that sign "for passive recreation" that is golden.
posted by tempythethird at 7:57 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


(from twitter) NYPD: Not one of you thought "You know, if this were a comic book, someone in a cape would be kicking our ass for this."

Court hearing is set for 11:30
posted by The Whelk at 7:57 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


The strategy of static outdoor encampments is straining the patience even of sympathetic mayors in cities like Oakland

Hertzberg is great, but Jean Quan is not a "sympathetic mayor," she's a vacillating bureaucrat who was on the other side of the continent when the Occupy movement started there.
posted by blucevalo at 7:57 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME.
posted by davelog at 7:57 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Miko #OWS is good and general but following the @OccupyWallStreet twitter is good too, @elliotjustin is there on the scene and @Alternet has reporters there
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 AM on November 15, 2011


and in pure triva news "And if it matters to you Hollywood fans, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was around #OWS chatting, filming the scene w/a little camera and monopod."
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does not look they are complying, stand off existing, police may very well be in contempt of court
posted by The Whelk at 8:00 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is getting bad - I'm reading across twitter feeds that people are still being arrested at Zuccotti with the police refusing entry even in light of the new court order.
posted by lpcxa0 at 8:00 AM on November 15, 2011


Are there any streams up?
posted by quodlibet at 8:01 AM on November 15, 2011


Oh that sign "for passive recreation" that is golden.

(cut to a shot of a man sullenly tossing a ball to another man, who simply stands there and lets the ball bounce off of him)
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [35 favorites]


Mayor Bloomberg confirms that he is "the decider" in this morning's #OWS press conference.

Man yells at cop: "you are the occupiers. You're occupying our park"
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


If NYPD is held in contempt of court, who would arrest them? The county sheriff? The state police?
posted by weirdoactor at 8:02 AM on November 15, 2011


Occupy Toronto is being evicted right now
posted by saturday_morning at 8:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good to see at least one NYPD captain was having fun last night.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 8:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


There is going to be sweet, delicious blowback if NYPD is found in contempt of court.

People who wanted to roust the occupiers will now be on the other side of the law and order argument.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:03 AM on November 15, 2011


Man continues "you're union guys. We're so proud of you and the work you did on 9/11. Look at the position they put you in"

Tweets have split between the people there and the people heading to the courthouse.

Damnit, someone get a livestream up
posted by The Whelk at 8:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is President Obama AWAKE?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:04 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


@TanaGaneva RT @AriBerman Others live-tweeting from zuccotti park: @allisonkilkenny @JoshHarkinson @nancyscola @elliottjustin #ows
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on November 15, 2011


Is President Obama AWAKE?

Skyrim.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [60 favorites]


Is President Obama AWAKE?

Yeah, but Shilling for the Finance Industry is too cozy and doesn't want him to get out of bed yet.
posted by cthuljew at 8:06 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sticherbeast's was better.
posted by cthuljew at 8:06 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


chuljew's was much more accurate.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:08 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Some occupiers making nypd style announcements to cops: nypd, ur in violation of court order, please move out of our way #ows
posted by The Whelk at 8:08 AM on November 15, 2011


There is going to be sweet, delicious blowback if NYPD is found in contempt of court.

Yeah, but you know as well as I do that the NYPD is more-or-less invulnerable. There might be a show trial or some slapped wrists or, at worse, someone important has to fly a desk for the rest of his career (at full pay, of course) but they're not going to suffer.
posted by griphus at 8:08 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


For those asking this stream is up right now

http://occupystreams.org/item/occupy-nyc-liberty-plaza

Not 100% sure where they are at but many are getting arrested right now.
posted by Phantomx at 8:08 AM on November 15, 2011


Another arrest. Interestingly they're bringing arrested INTO park (to make an example?)
posted by The Whelk at 8:08 AM on November 15, 2011


Ha, I was an intern in an office where Lucy Billings worked as a poverty law advocate. She's fucking brilliant.

Also, I think Bloomberg misread the situation here, and the testiness that is creeping into his voice during the PC is going to certainly bite him in the ass.
posted by angrycat at 8:09 AM on November 15, 2011


"I'M A JOURNALIST"
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 AM on November 15, 2011


BACK ONLINE

http://www.ustream.tv/theother99
posted by The Whelk at 8:10 AM on November 15, 2011


I've been very critical, increasingly critical, of OWS over the past weeks but one thing that makes my blood boil is police violating the law, whether during the clearing of the park or after the court order. NYPD needs to be handed a defeat here.
posted by Anything at 8:10 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Not to Godwin this for the sake of a Godwin, but his cleanup of NYC is definitely a "at least the trains run on time" sort of affair.

Some of the responses to OWS clearly illustrate the huge benefit to the powers that be of keeping the trains running on time. People will tolerate -- even defend -- an astonishing level of injustice and curtailing of freedoms, so long as they aren't personally inconvenienced.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 8:10 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Cops with clubs moving into Canal Street Protest
posted by The Whelk at 8:11 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]



SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME.


The sign does not say it's a crime. I'm all for the protestors, and I am sure I will get blasted for this, but it is a privately owned park and the owners have the right to allow or not allow whatever they want. There are signs at the strip mall down the road from my house that have signs posted saying no skateboarding or bicycling allowed. Presumably for the safety of those not doing those things and to protect themselves against potential lawsuits if someone is injured.
posted by holdkris99 at 8:11 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Confirmed 200 arrested in total, more arrests going on, 5 min from the court hearing to review the injuction, every one of the protestors has a copy of the injustion.
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 AM on November 15, 2011


Can't somebody call in some cops to enforce that restraining order?
posted by dazed_one at 8:12 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


er 15
posted by The Whelk at 8:13 AM on November 15, 2011


holdkris99: See this, this, etc.
posted by cthuljew at 8:13 AM on November 15, 2011


everyone waiting for news from the court.

"You can see the NYPD enforcing a private rule and not a public law" Another march has arrived at the plaza singing We Shall Not Be Moved.
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 AM on November 15, 2011


...what the fuck, I turned away and it turned into barely concealed low intensity counter-insurgency.
posted by jaduncan at 8:14 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


The NYPD's calculus is pretty obvious - they had to basically ignore the show-cause order for 3h 30 - not a long time. I assume they think they'll win the hearing this morning, and it is a much more dangerous operation to remove the protestors from the park when they know its coming.

Probably why they did't get a court order in the first place, and I'm sure they assumed they would get hit with the order they got this AM.

Again, not stupid people. The risk is they get held in contempt, but given either they'll win or lose later today that's actually not a huge threat.
posted by JPD at 8:16 AM on November 15, 2011


Oh man the last thing salvaged from the park was an American flag, which is now being marched around.
posted by The Whelk at 8:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Can't somebody call in some cops to enforce that restraining order?

I'm not sure if you're being ironic, but the NYPD operates as a single unit, like an army. Regardless of the law of the situation, you do what they tell you to do. The higher-ups say bust the protestors, you bust the protestors. The fact that there's a restraining order doesn't matter because a) you're not going to get into shit for breaking the law because there's a whole big, complicated system set up to keep you from getting in trouble like that (unless you're the fall guy) and b) any shit you get into from breaking the law is trumped tenfold by shit you can get into from not doing what the NYPD tells you to do. The NYPD can protect you against your breaking the law because they told you to, the law can't protect you from the NYPD deciding you're a liability.
posted by griphus at 8:17 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've been very critical, increasingly critical, of OWS over the past weeks but one thing that makes my blood boil is police violating the law, whether during the clearing of the park or after the court order. NYPD needs to be handed a defeat here.

This is what I meant about blowback. NYPD will face no serious legal consequences to this, but Bloomberg's actions could turn public opinion further towards OWS.

However, the city is showing by its actions that it's all too willing to violate court orders to get the Occupiers out. Compare this response to the response faced by the people who caused, directly or indirectly, the 2008 financial crisis. Compare this response to some of the seemingly nutty things that OWS had been crowing about. It turns out that they've been basically right about a great deal of things.

The government is far more interested in clearing out a tent city than it is in actually upholding the law, let alone than it is interested in improving society.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:17 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


BoingBoing is reporting that the barricades have been torn down?
posted by cthuljew at 8:17 AM on November 15, 2011


more and more media appearing, "sometimes we don't allow media close to police action for their protection" which I read as police officers are a threat to journalists.
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I remain fucking amazed with my jaw on the floor. Deliberately ignoring a fucking court order like it didn't even exist. As if the courts don't even matter. What happens when the NYPD chief gets convicted of contempt of court? Can he just refuse to go to jail? Maybe they'll just arrest the fucking judge, just for fun. Damn.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:18 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


If NYPD is held in contempt of court, who would arrest them? The county sheriff? The state police?

The New York City Sheriff is
...the chief enforcement agency for the New York State Court System. The Sheriff and Deputies service a great variety of mandates, orders, warrants and decrees for the Courts. ...

Based on Federal, New York State and City laws, statutes, acts and procedures, designated members of the New York City Office of the Sheriff have the authority and power to:
1. Execute any arrest, warrant, order or judgment, etc., for the New York Supreme, Family, Surrogate’s, County, Criminal, District, City and the Civil Courts.
posted by Jahaza at 8:18 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, I've read all of that, maybe I misspoke. I did not mean that they have any kind of right to enforce what they post on the signs, but certainly, as owners of the park, the have the option to do what they can to keep the park safe for all people using the park
posted by holdkris99 at 8:18 AM on November 15, 2011


Barricades look up on the stream - http://www.ustream.tv/theother99
posted by quodlibet at 8:18 AM on November 15, 2011


Oh, and if the city thought that the policing was the expensive bit, they might be just about to have an exciting conversation with their lawyers about breaching a a court order using force in a first amendment case.
posted by jaduncan at 8:18 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


barricades have been torn down?

No, they have not.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:18 AM on November 15, 2011


Legal point of order: since the temporary restraining order was obtained sometime this morning (I think in response to the eviction), and then the hearing was set for today (11:30am), aren't the police within their legal authority to not recognize the order until the hearing happens and issues a result? At the point the hearing date/time was set, doesn't the situation get put on hold until the outcome is available?

I don't know enough about the legal nuances; genuine question. Also, please correct me if I have the timeline wrong.
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:18 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


What happens when the NYPD chief gets convicted of contempt of court?

That's like asking "what happens if the president gets convicted of treason?" circa Iran-Contra. It just doesn't work like that even if the facts are clear as day.
posted by griphus at 8:19 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes everyone go watch the stream, I'm just repeating back info

Barricades still up, some batons unholstered
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


ceribus peribus: no, the reason that it was a temporary restraining order was that it was supposed to be in effect only until the hearing could take place. It is specifically supposed to prevent the police from doing anything (like evicting people) before the hearing.
posted by enn at 8:20 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Er, I thought that the City got a stay of the restraining order pending the hearing this morning. Is that wrong?
posted by angrycat at 8:21 AM on November 15, 2011


Bloomberg's actions could turn public opinion further towards OWS.

I totally agree with you, but that's so obvious I really believe they have a bunch of polling that shows people are tired of OWS.

Deliberately ignoring a fucking court order like it didn't even exist.

I'm not a lawyer - is there someone here who can speak to the difference in practice between a show-cause + TRO as compared to more permanent forms of court orders? I suspect that might be at the root of why the NYPD is so willfully ignoring the order.
posted by JPD at 8:21 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]




Yes everyone go watch the stream, I'm just repeating back info


Yes, and also please donate to the cause for the stream.
posted by holdkris99 at 8:21 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


angrycat, that's incorrect.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:22 AM on November 15, 2011


angrycat, I don't think that's accurate.
posted by enn at 8:22 AM on November 15, 2011


I assume they think they'll win the hearing this morning, and it is a much more dangerous operation to remove the protestors from the park when they know its coming.

I agree that the NYPD would probably win a hearing, but you're not supposed to violate the restraining order in the interim.

Legal point of order: since the temporary restraining order was obtained sometime this morning (I think in response to the eviction), and then the hearing was set for today (11:30am), aren't the police within their legal authority to not recognize the order until the hearing happens and issues a result? At the point the hearing date/time was set, doesn't the situation get put on hold until the outcome is available?

Your understanding is wrong. The police do not have the legal authority to ignore the restraining order. The restraining order issued by the court forbids the police evicting the occupiers, from preventing the occupiers from entering, and from enforcing the new rules. Check the bottom of page 2.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:23 AM on November 15, 2011


National Lawyers Guild atty. tells me they're seeking instant contempt finding for NYPD. Unsure what'll happen if cops don't comply

Video of scuffle from a few minutes ago.
posted by The Whelk at 8:24 AM on November 15, 2011


A massive dawn raid, and when told the leave, those fearless intrepid investigative reporters response is "right away sir!"?

Journalists, Newspapers, Media keep whining about going out of business, and that bloggers can't and don't do the kind of investigative reporting that Real News Agencies can.

It's all true. But the whiners overlook that they're not doing their job, and haven't for years. And when you don't do your job, you end up unemployed. Not because the system is rigged (it is), but because you deserve to be.

Like when the Whitehouse was pushing a case for starting a war, and the press investigation of the politics and agendas was to ask hardball questions like "Shit YEAH! Let's go to WAR! Because... YEAH! WOOO!"

Buying news is something I do. Subscriptions, etc. A huge reason newspapers are going out of business is because they offer nothing of value. By choice.
posted by -harlequin- at 8:24 AM on November 15, 2011 [20 favorites]


Jahaza, do you have the number for the NY Sheriff's office? Should we be calling them and voicing our support for their enforcing the court order?
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 8:24 AM on November 15, 2011


I swear that's relevant -- the whole "grown-ups can do this for themselves" attitude is the exact kind of self-centered, "fuck you, I can take care of myself other people should be able to do the same" attitude that is getting us into this mess. It's a short hop from that to "fuck you, I earned my billions, others should be able to as well."

Or 'fuck you, I'm protesting, so I don't have to pick up my trash'?

What happened to "why not do something FOR other people for a change"? Why NOT pick up trash that isn't yours and improve things for everyone? Why NOT let the people getting off the subway get out first? Why NOT go to the smaller local shop and support them rather than going to wal-mart because it's cheaper?

Actually, I do pick trash that isn't mine, I hold doors open for people as a matter of course, I shop local by choice and always have. I think it's very important to walk it like one talks it. I do not respect the people who drop trash in the street. Usually I'll just put the trash in the bin, but occasionally I'll walk right up to them and put their trash back in their hand and tell tehm to that they ought to put it in the trashcan. That usually makes them mad; too fucking bad.

Because "let the people getting off the subway off first" and "pick up trash that isn't yours" is how you build up to "the last shall be first" and "picking up people that aren't you and yours" and it's how the world improves for ALL of us, not just you.

So where does dropping trash fit into this picture?

For fuck's sake, grown-ups can do things themselves, but even grown-ups need HELP with shit now and then, you know?

Is this like day 1 of Occupy when #needsoftheoccupiers included a birthday cake?

Hertzberg is great, but Jean Quan is not a "sympathetic mayor," she's a vacillating bureaucrat who was on the other side of the continent when the Occupy movement started there.

Really.

In July 2010, Quan along with fellow City Council member and mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan were investigated by Oakland police for their actions during a protest following the manslaughter verdict of former BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle. Police claimed Quan and Kaplan joined a "human chain" which prevented officers from clearing a street, while the two countered they were acting as "peacekeepers".

Quan had impeccable progressive credentials right up to a few weeks ago.

The government is far more interested in clearing out a tent city than it is in actually upholding the law, let alone than it is interested in improving society.
posted by anigbrowl at 8:26 AM on November 15, 2011


National Lawyers Guild atty. tells me they're seeking instant contempt finding for NYPD. Unsure what'll happen if cops don't comply


as they should, but it seems like that's exactly what the NYPD's cynical ploy was. They knew they real hearing would be underway before the OWS could get any other court orders submitted and signed.

Also would it be a mischaracterization to say the TRO/Show-Cause is basically "Don't change anything until you've explained to the court why you want to make those changes" rather than "They have a legal right to be there"
posted by JPD at 8:27 AM on November 15, 2011


A massive dawn raid, and when told the leave, those fearless intrepid investigative reporters response is "right away sir!"?

A friend-of-a-friend is a journalist for a well-known NYC media org. He's in custody right now. Careful not to paint with too broad a brush.
posted by saturday_morning at 8:27 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


They didn't get a stay? Shiiiiit. Thanks for the correct.
posted by angrycat at 8:27 AM on November 15, 2011


Given that it's a State court, in an imaginary small-scale facedown I'd suppose it would be the NY State Police that would be in a position to enforce an injunction or TRO against NYPD officers. However, it's entirely impracticable in this situation. I suppose in fantasy-land a governor might attempt to use the state's National Guard, but that's even sillier. (And I'm not sure how that worked under posse comitatus, even when southern governors did it during the civil rights struggle.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:28 AM on November 15, 2011


The salvaged flag is now inside the park...
posted by The Whelk at 8:28 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


holdkris99: "it is a privately owned park and the owners have the right to allow or not allow whatever they want"

That's the crux of the issue, right there. The assumption that private property magically supersedes the owner's obligation to the larger community is a ruinous fantasy.

You don't own any property but by the consent of those around you. The great "innovation" of our economic and legal system is to make it appear possible to get around that axiom—for a limited time. But the axiom isn't a rule, it's an observation.

You don't legitimately own a park if you deny the public the peaceful use of it.

The larger point is that you don't legitimately own your profits if they are earned by inflicting harm on the commons. MOST of the money on Wall Street harms the commons, and for that reason, the occupation of private Zucotti Park is a superb symbolism.
posted by maniabug at 8:28 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Thanks for the clarification; I guess I was thinking that granting the hearing (instead of denying a hearing) automatically bestowed a stay on the TRO.
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:29 AM on November 15, 2011


The number provided to us to complain against violation of our court order has been shut down.
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 AM on November 15, 2011


Also would it be a mischaracterization to say the TRO/Show-Cause is basically "Don't change anything until you've explained to the court why you want to make those changes" rather than "They have a legal right to be there"

The latter. On its face, the TRO explicitly forbade the police from evicting the occupiers, preventing the occupiers from entering the park, and enforcing the new park rules.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:29 AM on November 15, 2011


over a dozen media now at park. Better late then never guys.
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 AM on November 15, 2011


at courthouse "Lawyer jokes Bloomberg/Brookfield's lawyers prob sitting in a penthouse sipping champagne before showing"
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 AM on November 15, 2011


You're saying that the mayor that got accused of 35 First Amendment violations during his stint as mayor, and lost 22 Civil Rights violations lawsuits, would have handled a First Amendment issue better?

Yes. Giuilani, what with his fascist personality, would never have tolerated squatters and homeless people literally moving into a park and compromising cleanliness, quality of life and public safety in the vicinity for several months. And he would have been right in my opinion. And by the way the First Amendment forgot to mention the right to be a squatter in a park.
posted by knoyers at 8:31 AM on November 15, 2011


The larger point is that you don't legitimately own your profits if they are earned by inflicting harm on the commons. MOST of the money on Wall Street harms the commons, and for that reason, the occupation of private Zuccotti Park is a superb symbolism.

but,
You don't legitimately own a park if you deny the public the peaceful use of it.


I don't necessarily buy that. That's way to general of a statement. There are plenty of privately owned parts (in Texas anyway) that completely deny access to the public.
posted by holdkris99 at 8:32 AM on November 15, 2011


*owned parks.

Freudian slip there maybe.
posted by holdkris99 at 8:32 AM on November 15, 2011


Police are shoving, ignoring restraining order. "I don't think the officers seem to care that they're breaking the law."
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 AM on November 15, 2011


On its face

yeah - that's kinda what I'm getting at. I can read the actual doc, the question is really about the nature of TRO/Show-causes vs Permanent Injunctions. Ignore what the actual doc says.

Would explain why the NYPD isn't apparently too concerned about the repercussions of ignoring the TRO for a few hours.
posted by JPD at 8:32 AM on November 15, 2011


Look, the media should definitely be covering the fact that *it was barred!!!* from covering this. That. That is a Huge Story. However, anyone who is complaining that the journalists are a bunch of wusses for not finding a way in to the square was not on the ground last night, It was impossible. The entire surrounding area including the #2 subway station was in complete lockdown. There was no way in. Trust me on this.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Police are refusing to talk to the cameramen, of course.
posted by The Whelk at 8:33 AM on November 15, 2011


The entire surrounding area including the #2 subway station was in complete lockdown.

Some entrances of the Wall St. 2/3 stop are STILL in lockdown.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:33 AM on November 15, 2011


I would love to see the police physically rip the American flag from a protester's hand, and I would love to see that picture on the front page of every newspaper. It would be the photo of the century.
posted by desjardins at 8:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


yes the media needs to repeat "we were barred" as loudly as possible, now is the time to throw a freaking fit.
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


UStreamer is collecting badge numbers.
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Exclusive prediction: the NYPD may let the protesters in if the hearing is going badly, then turn around and argue in the same hearing that no ongoing harm is occuring and everyone should understand that the confusion prevented them reasonably being expected to tell the police that people were allowed into the park until that moment.

Side note: there is really nothing that Obama won't ignore until it's safe to make noise, eh?
posted by jaduncan at 8:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


And by the way the First Amendment forgot to mention the right to be a squatter in a park.

...and the Second Amendment mentions being part of a militia, and the Fourth Amendment doesn't mention electronic wiretaps.
posted by weirdoactor at 8:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't think the officers seem to care that they're breaking the law.

The law might as well not exist if you can't enforce it.
posted by empath at 8:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"How many legions does the pope have?" in other words.
posted by empath at 8:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


First Amend does mention right to assemble.
posted by angrycat at 8:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's incredibile, banks get 16 TRILLION dollars (google for it) in bailout, banking profits are high, banksters bonus are still high and some people complains that OWSers maybe are "smelly" and "piling up" a lot of trash?

Sanitation problem in a small public park is a problem?

50 million U.S. people without health insurance and 50 million U.S. people living below the poverty line, these are fucking huge problems, nevermind some trash in some park.
posted by elpapacito at 8:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [34 favorites]


there is really nothing that Obama won't ignore until it's safe to make noise, eh?

Due legal process is running it's course. Not quite sure what you expect him to say or do. Send in the national guard?
posted by anastasiav at 8:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes. Giuilani, what with his fascist personality, would never have tolerated squatters and homeless people literally moving into a park and compromising cleanliness, quality of life and public safety in the vicinity for several months. And he would have been right in my opinion.

You might want to ask what it means when you find yourself siding with somebody you yourself describe as a fascist, because it would mean violating the rights of protesters that you can't comprehend except through epithets.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Police are shoving, ignoring restraining order. "I don't think the officers seem to care that they're breaking the law."

So if you defend yourself with force against police who are using force against you in violation of a restraining order, well obviously they'll call over a bunch more officers and beat the shit out of you and possibly maim you for life, but would you be be likely to prevail in court?

The idea of prevailing in court in the USA regarding a citizen using force to defend against an officer seems like such a mythical impossible unicorn to me. But this situation is so bizarre...
posted by -harlequin- at 8:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this was as close as I could get, and while I was there camera crews from news stations started finding this intersection after being even blocked much further away anywhere else they attempted to get a view from. You could at least see the corner of the camp being dismantled from this vantage point (especially with a zoom lens).
posted by stagewhisper at 8:37 AM on November 15, 2011


yeah - that's kinda what I'm getting at. I can read the actual doc, the question is really about the nature of TRO/Show-causes vs Permanent Injunctions. Ignore what the actual doc says.

Not clear what you're getting at. I'm not a lawyer yet, but from my experience in both the classroom and the real world, the whole point of a TRO/SC is that you are forbidden from doing certain things until you show cause. The reality of prosecuting the NYPD aside, you do not ignore TROs in anticipation of winning the hearing. That would be missing the entire point of why TROs exist.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Side note: there is really nothing that Obama won't ignore until it's safe to make noise, eh?

Oh for fucks sake, leave that axe out of this thread. Obama is on a flight to Australia. Would you like him to address the nation from Air Force One above the Pacific when this situation is about as fluid as can be at the moment? Get a grip, please.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


physically rip the American flag from a protester's hand

Is that, in fact, what happened? If so then yes that would be a great picture!! I am a consultant for a Textbook company that is trying it's damndest to revolutionize, not to strong a word I don't think, the high school textbook industry here in Texas to take control of textbook content away from the ultra right wingers that now have a firm grasp on it. That picture would be great for a textbook we are currently working on.
posted by holdkris99 at 8:38 AM on November 15, 2011



So I took a minute to clarify my confusion on posse comitatus and National Guard or State Defense units.For anyone interested, here's the explanation from a military perspective, as published in an Air Force journal in 1999:


Since Posse Comitatus does not directly apply to National Guard units, which are under the control of state governors, National Guard units have been nationalized under particular circumstances to place them under federal control and legal constraints. Civil rights unrest during the 1950’s and ‘60’s, rioting during a Democratic Party National Convention, and riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles were all events that strained the concepts of strict separation of National Guard and federal forces. Recent events have pointed out serious misconceptions of the law.

Contrary to popular thought, the prohibitions against using regular troops or federalized National Guard units in law enforcement are not absolute. The exceptions and enabling structures are written into the language of the statues. The Constitution has always required the President to be the keeper of public order. If the President receives a request from a state governor for assistance to quell public disorder, the President may issue a proclamation to the effect that order has broken down, and that those responsible must disperse. This proclamation is similar to the pre-1947 Riot Act. If order is not restored, the President may direct the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense to apply whatever assets may be necessary to do so. Because of its plenary nature, this presidential authority is not subject to judicial review.

posted by snuffleupagus at 8:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


You don't legitimately own a park if you deny the public the peaceful use of it.
What a bunch of nonsense.
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:39 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like this is a very inconvenient time in American history for the president to be on his way to Australia.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:39 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Actually I think every protester should be holding an American flag (they're fighting for the future of our country, no?) so the police have to rip it out of their hands when they're arrested. No burning, no spitting on flags by protesters - they must show complete respect for the flag so the cops are forced to be the ones that throw it to the ground. Soon there would be flags trampled by police boots.

The symbolism would be awesome.
posted by desjardins at 8:39 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


complaining that the journalists are a bunch of wusses for not finding a way in to the square was not on the ground last night, It was impossible.

They had helicopters, and went away when told.
posted by -harlequin- at 8:40 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a crazy thought experiment, let's start from the presumption that the city is acting in relative good faith and see if we can make that work.

I’m glad that someone is stopping to ask this, because all the speculation about trash cleanup and night vs. day seems a bit futile. The fact that other parts of the city are left to rot isn’t inconsistent – it’s a symptom of the very thing being protested. So sure, the park might not be currently kept to standards expected in this neighbourhood. Cleanup at night? I don’t know about NYC, but major city maintenance projects sometimes occur at night in my town. So maybe. But why in the world would you need to remove the press? That’s what casts this well beyond the possibility of reasonable people behaving reasonably. That’s taking the leash off your junk yard dog. You don’t get to pretend you aren’t responsible for what happens next.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:40 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wonder if there's footage of the library being destroyed. That, just as much as the flag, would wake a lot of people up.
posted by felix at 8:41 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


You don't own any property but by the consent of those around you. The great "innovation" of our economic and legal system is to make it appear possible to get around that axiom—for a limited time. But the axiom isn't a rule, it's an observation. You don't legitimately own a park if you deny the public the peaceful use of it.

Yes you do; that's what a garden is. The whole concept of a rule of law is that you can gain title to something by process, instead of being dependent on the whims of your neighbors. That's why covenants designed to exclude people of an unpopular ethnicity don't stand up in court.

The larger point is that you don't legitimately own your profits if they are earned by inflicting harm on the commons. MOST of the money on Wall Street harms the commons, and for that reason, the occupation of private Zucotti Park is a superb symbolism.

That goes both ways. I haven't been to the Zuccotti park encampment since I don't live in NY, but the poor state of the Occupy Oakland encampment (which has now been cleared out) exemplifies the tragedy of the commons problem that you are talking about. Becoming a mirror of what you oppose is not an effective approach, and I'm sorry to say that this is what has happened to some parts of the Occupy movement. How many time do you (generic you) want to have to disavow the black bloc or their ilk before you grasp the nettle and kick them out of your movement because they are poisonous to it?
posted by anigbrowl at 8:41 AM on November 15, 2011


NYCLU twitter feed is saying the lawyers are waiting for a judge to be assigned. That's bad news, because they might not get Billings.
posted by Mavri at 8:41 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jahaza, do you have the number for the NY Sheriff's office?

Contact info for the sheriff is here.

Should we be calling them and voicing our support for their enforcing the court order?

I think the court has to tell them to enforce the order, I don't think they do it as a general matter of their own initiative, but I'm not an expert.
posted by Jahaza at 8:41 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like this is a very inconvenient time in American history for the president to be on his way to Australia.

Well next time be sure to fax him the itinerary you would like him to have in advance, thanks.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:41 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


First Amend does mention right to assemble.

In Clark, Secretary of the Interior, et al. V. Community Creative Non-Violence et al., 468 U.S. 288 (1984), the Supreme Court held that camping regulations do not violate the First Amendment. I cite the case purely for trivia. NYPD does not have applicable camping regulations to cite, so this case isn't really on point, although it is relevant to other Occupies.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:42 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


You don't legitimately own a park if you deny the public the peaceful use of it.
...
What a bunch of nonsense.


Look, these are all overgeneralizations. The classic metaphor for property ownership in our legal system is a "bundle of sticks," those sticks being a collection of rights regarding the control, use, etc of the property.

Depending on how the park was created, transferred, etc., there may or may not be restrictions on it such that its owners wouldn't "legitimately own [the] park" if they "den[ied] the public peaceful use."

I think it was intended more as a statement of principle than law, anyway.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:42 AM on November 15, 2011


So if you defend yourself with force against police who are using force against you in violation of a restraining order

The correct answer is to not defend yourself with force, get it on camera, and collect your payday in the courts later.
posted by empath at 8:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not clear what you're getting at.

Is ignoring a TRO is generally seen as less greivous than ignoring a more permanent injunction. Are the risks of being held in contempt lower

16 Trillion saying things that are wrong doesn't help your cause. The 16 trillion number exists because of really weird way someone calculated the total sum of money lent out, such that overnight lending was counted for every day it was leant out. It would be like saying someone lending you $100 bucks, but that you have to say "Hey kosher if I not pay you back today" was actually lending you 3000 if you kept it for a month, while if I lent you $200 bucks and said pay me back next month I lent you $200.
posted by JPD at 8:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The symbolism would be awesome.

That seems like a gimmick to me. If a police ripped the flag from someone who was peacefully carrying it that would be a story. But holding a flag and then purposefully breaking some law to be arrested just so the flag would be taken from you by the police? Come on. They would also take a hot dog from you if you were holding it. Gimmicks like that are for FoxNews.
posted by holdkris99 at 8:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


City just served opposition papers @karenmcveigh1 is following it live.
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 AM on November 15, 2011


NYT reports the flag incident this way:

A man in a dark suit and a green vest took an American flag from a protester and carefully furled it as the protester was handcuffed. And the arrests continued.

Not sure why it's dated tomorrow.
posted by Oddly at 8:44 AM on November 15, 2011


snuffleupagus: I was also reading up on Posse Comitatus; that lead me to the very interesting Insurrection Act article.
posted by weirdoactor at 8:44 AM on November 15, 2011


I haven't been to the Zuccotti park encampment since I don't live in NY, but the poor state of the Occupy Oakland encampment (which has now been cleared out) exemplifies the tragedy of the commons problem that you are talking about.

FWIW, my friend visited Occupy Oakland, and she said it was an entirely different beast than OWS. Different attitude, very tense, sort of dirty. OWS may have been shaggy and strange, but it was very clean and peaceful.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:44 AM on November 15, 2011


Lawyer Jeffrey Rothman #OWS says he tried to serve emergency order on police to allow protesters back to park but they refused to accept it
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 AM on November 15, 2011


there is really nothing that Obama won't ignore until it's safe to make noise, eh?

Due legal process is running it's course. Not quite sure what you expect him to say or do. Send in the national guard?


Fuck yes send in the national guard, to protect the protesters and the press from their unlawful treatment by the NYPD.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 8:45 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Immaculately dressed bride in white carrying bouquet tries to squeeze past crowds if #OWS supporters lawyers and press at room 315
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I asked some questions about Right to Assemble here. Might be a good place for you folks to start if you're wondering about your First Amendment rights, including some sites with court cases, limitations, etc...

Some interesting links inside the thread.
posted by rich at 8:46 AM on November 15, 2011


@allisonburtch I was there. The deputy refused to receive it. It is all on tape they were served.

posted by The Whelk at 8:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


holkriss99, Zuccoti park is operated in a public manner, without restricted access. You're splitting hairs, presumably because you hold the concept of private property sacred. What is actually sacred is public property, if it can be called property at all. Mind you, I'm no socialist, but to conceive of private property outside the larger and more fundamental context of global wellness is our civilization's hallmark failure.

blaneyphoto, that is a trenchant analysis and I am forced to concede your point.
posted by maniabug at 8:46 AM on November 15, 2011


But holding a flag and then purposefully breaking some law to be arrested just so the flag would be taken from you by the police?

I made no mention of purposely breaking laws. Plenty of people at OWS protests have been arrested for standing on the sidewalk and other legal acts. Hell, people have been maced in the face for no apparent reason.

Also just to be clear - my photo comment was hypothetical - I have no evidence it actually happened, I was speculating if it were to happen.
posted by desjardins at 8:47 AM on November 15, 2011


H. Roark: fuck these occupy guys. As part of the 99%, it really pisses me off that they think they are speaking for me.

At first, I wanted to laugh along with folks who saw the distinct disconnect in Howard Roark complaining about OWS, with the notion that he was somehow in the 99% (OK, he started out poor, but that's beside the point).

But I'll address you're concern: are you pissed off about what they're saying, or how they're saying it? Do you really think those bank bail-outs have worked out as planned? Do you think that the government has a transparent and ethical relationship with large business interests? Do you really think that the costs of your healthcare are reasonable and realistic? If so, I see how you think OWS doesn't speak for you.

But if you're pissed off because they're camping in a park and banging on drums to say what they think, then try to overlook the method, and work on spreading their message, because it's also your message.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


presumably because you hold the concept of private property sacred

I live in a rental and have never owned property, so, no, I don't hold it sacred.
posted by holdkris99 at 8:48 AM on November 15, 2011


Part of the park "cleaning" appears to include posting up nice, fancy new rules signs.

posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:49 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually I think every protester should be holding an American flag (they're fighting for the future of our country, no?) so the police have to rip it out of their hands when they're arrested. No burning, no spitting on flags by protesters - they must show complete respect for the flag so the cops are forced to be the ones that throw it to the ground. Soon there would be flags trampled by police boots.

The symbolism would be awesome.


Yeah, because a piece of cloth being abused is so much more important than an American citizen being abused. Just like an US Military veteran being shot in the head by police is more important than the hundreds of American civilians being shot by police.

Symbolism has its place, but this is not one of them.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:50 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Part of the park "cleaning" appears to include posting up nice, fancy new rules signs.
So, will these new park hours on this sign be enforceable?
posted by holdkris99 at 8:50 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think this thread will be derailed by discussion of the purpose of OWS, etc... and is better focused on the main issue here right now, which is the right to peaceably assemble.

On top of that, there is a court order that is being ignored by the police. While I may or may not agree with the methods and lack of clear message/ignorance of the financial systems and the constant use of the 'bailout' talking points, I do believe in people's right to assemble and rule of law.
posted by rich at 8:51 AM on November 15, 2011


...and the Second Amendment mentions being part of a militia, and the Fourth Amendment doesn't mention electronic wiretaps.
posted by weirdoactor at 8:34 AM on November 15


The Second Amendment is just the right to bear arms and condonation of militias (debated whether that means a society of armed men or actual militias). If you consider OWS a militia, which I wouldn't, does the Second Amendment mean that the government's forces would have to ignore any "militia" that is defying them? Of course not. The government may have done various things that are unconstitutional over its history and at present, but that is neither here nor there...

First Amend does mention right to assemble.
posted by angrycat at 8:36 AM on November 15

I doubt that the framers meant that any random group of people can just settle down on any public or private land. That would mean that there is no such thing as private property.

You might want to ask what it means when you find yourself siding with somebody you yourself describe as a fascist, because it would mean violating the rights of protesters that you can't comprehend except through epithets.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:36 AM on November 15

a) My siding with Giuliani is hypothetical. b) The city is right to maintain cleanliness and order.
posted by knoyers at 8:51 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The city is right to maintain cleanliness and order.

I'm pretty sure NYPD is the one that disrupted the order last night.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Due legal process is running it's course. Not quite sure what you expect him to say or do. Send in the national guard?

Naw. Let's not get outrageous here.

September, 1957: (Little Rock, Ark.) Formerly all-white Central High School learns that integration is easier said than done. Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the "Little Rock Nine."
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:53 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


b) The city is right to maintain cleanliness and order.

Please demonstrate how they have done either.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:53 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I doubt that the framers meant that any random group of people can just settle down on any public or private land. That would mean that there is no such thing as private property.

We don't need to get into an argument over constitutional originalism here. This is not unexplored territory. It's well settled that there are some public forums that are limited, in terms of speech access. Parks and city streets are not typically in that category.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:53 AM on November 15, 2011


Due legal process is running it's course. Not quite sure what you expect him to say or do. Send in the national guard?

Pretty sure the last time an entire city government violated a court order the President stepping up to address it was universally recognized as the right call.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:54 AM on November 15, 2011


fuck these occupy guys. As part of the 99%, it really pisses me off that they think they are speaking for me.

fuck that guy standing in the street blocking traffic, it really pisses me off that he thinks he is speaking for me.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


...and here come the paddy wagons
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rebuilding of #OWS starts tonight at 6pm, Liberty & Broadway. Bring books.
posted by The Whelk at 8:55 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


angribowl: How many time do you (generic you) want to have to disavow the black bloc or their ilk before you grasp the nettle and kick them out of your movement because they are poisonous to it?

You're right, and I agree with your criticism of that element to the extent that it's true to varied degrees in the regional occupations. However, the rule of law is limited by the extent to which the law is sound. Our law tends to favor private over public interest. Obedience to laws is at a lower level than adherence to principle in Kohlberg's stages of moral development.
posted by maniabug at 8:56 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I doubt that the framers meant that any random group of people can just settle down on any public or private land. That would mean that there is no such thing as private property.

The problem with that characterization is that this is not a 'random group of people'. And I would argue the framers did, in fact, mean to allow folks to settle down on any public land in order to assemble and promote their cause. For this is exactly what the British did NOT allow the framers to do, and what the framers saw as necessary to allow any group to voice their issues without being silenced by others.
posted by rich at 8:56 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


desjardins: "Also just to be clear - my photo comment was hypothetical - I have no evidence it actually happened, I was speculating if it were to happen."

I didn't seem to be speculating - you were kinda willing it to happen.
posted by falameufilho at 8:56 AM on November 15, 2011


Is ignoring a TRO is generally seen as less greivous than ignoring a more permanent injunction. Are the risks of being held in contempt lower

Good questions. I can't give you any sort of authoritative answer, but I was not under the impression that violating a TRO is any less legally serious merely by dint of being temporary. It all depends on the circumstances and, especially in the case of something like contempt, the judge.

The de facto immunity of the NYPD has more to do with their cavalier attitude than the fact that they had a TRO against them. Legally, you're not supposed to violate TROs any more than you're supposed to violate permanent injunctions, but as a practical concern, if you know that they're not going to imprison NYPD en masse for clearing out the occupiers, then I can see why they'd just say "fuck it" and ignore the order.

I would LOVE it if the judge went ballistic and sent a relevant higher-up to jail for even a week, but that will never happen.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:56 AM on November 15, 2011


but to conceive of private property outside the larger and more fundamental context of global wellness is our civilization's hallmark failure.

I don't know if it our "hallmark failure" but it is a big one, no doubt. I did a paper once about some clashes between Native Americans and some colonists in the 1680's and, to briefly sum up, after numerous attacks on some native people, they retaliated and attacked, killing several people and burning houses. One of the survivors of the attack sent a letter to a man who lived in the town but was absent during the attack that said something to this affect:

Your house and barn were burned and destroyed. Your livestock was either slaughtered or taken. Your fence, however, is still in good standing. Your wife was killed.
posted by holdkris99 at 8:57 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Naw. Let's not get outrageous here.

September, 1957: (Little Rock, Ark.)


Eisenhower Federalized the guard to prevent the Governor from misusing them to frustrate the enforcement of the Supreme Court's order. We're nowhere near Brown v. BOE yet.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:57 AM on November 15, 2011


President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the "Little Rock Nine."

1) It took some time to get to that point. Didn't happen overnight.
2) The city in that case was in contempt of a Federal Court order, not a state or county court. Jurisdiction does make a difference here.

Which is not to say that I don't think it will come to that. But one of the virtues of our country is that we let the courts do their thing first, rather than simply having the president send in the army every time a local government does something that might or might not be in violation of the constitution. I like living in a country where the courts have the first say.
posted by anastasiav at 8:58 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Man that girl on Global revolution has a mouth on her

Protestors shouting "THEY WANT YOUR PENSIONS! THEY WANT YOUR INSURANCE! YOU KNOW THEY ARE TAKING IT AWAY FROM YOU!" to the cops.
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Occupy Wall Street Faces Evictions, from The Atlantic "In Focus" photoblog.
posted by emelenjr at 8:58 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


How many times do the police want to disavow rogue officers before they grasp the nettle and kick them out of the force? Or does that logic only apply to protesters?
posted by jaduncan at 8:59 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


knoyers: my point was that the Constitution isn't black and white; its (outdated*) edicts are shaped by court cases and legal precedents. Saying what isn't included in the particular Amendment isn't germane or helpful.

* we need to have a Constitutional Congress to bring the Bill of Rights into a 21st century context
posted by weirdoactor at 8:59 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's well settled that there are some public forums that are limited, in terms of speech access. Parks and city streets are not typically in that category.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:53 AM on November 15


Being allowed to protest in a park doesn't mean that you can live in the park.

"Order" isn't a homeless settlement existing in the middle of a major city without public hygiene. That's unacceptable.
posted by knoyers at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lot of good information here, lot of hyperbole as well. And yeah, someone should get tossed in the clink for a few days for violating the TRO.
posted by edgeways at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2011


The Whelk: "There are now more people marching around the perimeter of Zuccotti than were in it when the NYPD closed it down.

New sign on the barricade
"

Activities not expressedly forbidden in this notice: Since when is camping a more realistic threat to the harmony of a park than littering is? Yet it's not mentioned at all in the notice. You'd think this notice was specifically targeted at a group of people intending to sleep or set up camp in the park, and not a general set of rules that they just happened to be put up today.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


More arrests, more shouting " Who are you protecting? They don't care about you!"
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Due legal process is running it's course. Not quite sure what you expect him to say or do. Send in the national guard?

The president would have to federalize the national guard to be able to send it in. Even Eisenhower used both the full on army (The 101st Airborne) and the federalized National Guard for the Little Rock 9.
posted by FJT at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2011


What is actually sacred is public property, if it can be called property at all. Mind you, I'm no socialist, but to conceive of private property outside the larger and more fundamental context of global wellness is our civilization's hallmark failure.

Although I agree with your underlying point, you're making an 'end justifies the means' argument. We've established a process for deciding whether property is public or private, and OWS rather cleverly took advantage of that - one of the reasons that the campers were not immediately kicked out under existing laws about camping in public parks was that they were not on city-owned property to begin with, and Brookfield, the actual owners, didn't rush into court demanding their ejection.

But the thing is, making that approach work requires a degree of mutuality. If you take advantage of the public-private distinction to get established but then deny that the property owner has any private rights at all, then you're trying to have your cake and eat it. This thread is full of such reasoning. People are willing to excuse all sorts of things that they roundly and rightly condemned when the Tea Party did it because they happen to agree in this case. Tea party protests and leaves litter somewhere? Those antisocial fucks. Occupy leaves litter? Hey man, you've got to look at the bigger picture. Tea party types stand around with pistols on their belts? Scary intimidatory tactics. Occupy protesters wear masks and combat fatigues and chant 'fuck the police'? Hey, they're just speaking truth to power.

Process and methods are important. So's some basic intellectual consistency. Cops are selfless heroes when the issue is pensions or collective bargaining, pigs when they're lining your protest route. And so on. This is the basic reason that people have been urging OWS to develop some organization and articulate what it stands for since the beginning. If you don't define yourself, then other people are going to do it for you. I agree with Empath that the best thing that can happen to the Occupy movement right now is to go home and have a serious think during winter, then come back in Spring with something more coherent.
posted by anigbrowl at 9:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


Jesus fucking Christ - straight-faced comparisons with Tiananmen Square and the Little Rock Nine three posts apart? Are you guys for real?
posted by falameufilho at 9:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Man that girl on Global revolution has a mouth on her

I was sort of expecting to hear chants along the lines of "YOU! ARE! THE 99!" when it came time to square off against beat cops. I sort of still am. Give it a try, OWS?
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


you do not ignore TROs in anticipation of winning the hearing.

In principle I agree, but it's not surprising to me that the NYPD is doing so. Think about their side of it: They were in the middle of executing a large-scale crowd-control action under volatile circumstances. Their primary goal was to clear the park, but a close second was to prevent the situation from escalating into riots and/or violence. Somebody up the chain probably felt like the decision was, "Disregard this order temporarily and deal with the fallout later, which may include legal consequences," or "Comply with this order temporarily and deal with the fallout later, which may include violence and injuries." Without making any comment whatsoever on whether I agree with defying a court order: I do see the logic.

On a more general point, I find the injunction a bit inconsistent. To my understanding, the Occupy movement has worn its illegality as a badge of honor. I know less about OWS than about Occupy Boston, and maybe this is less true in New York. But my understanding was that the entire Occupy movement has eschewed permits deliberately and as a political statement. As a result, now it looks like: When the occupation was left be, illegal was cool. When the police come knocking, it's off to court for protection. You can't have it both ways—or rather, you can, but it doesn't look very good to your fellow 99%ers. I expected the nonviolent protestors to line up peacefully and quietly for their arrests, pay their fines, and then re-occupy. That's the action that I thought was consistent with their message.
posted by red clover at 9:02 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


we need to have a Constitutional Congress to bring the Bill of Rights into a 21st century context

I kind of agree with this, but suspect in our current climate it would result in a deadlock at best, and at worst it would just serve to enshrine a lot of current culture war topics.

A Constitution Congress that is sequestered for 2 years before they can begin to draft a document... perhaps
posted by edgeways at 9:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eisenhower Federalized the guard to prevent the Governor from misusing them to frustrate the enforcement of the Supreme Court's order.

Tangent: Eisenhower is the missing link between OWS and the Republican Party. Not the Tea Party. Eisenhower. Dude was all over public works and the common good, while also providing for strong defense tempered with skepticism of the military-industrial complex. Military discipline combined with respect for service and sacrifice.

Since when is camping a more realistic threat to the harmony of a park than littering is? Yet it's not mentioned at all in the notice. You'd think this notice was specifically targeted at a group of people intending to sleep or set up camp in the park, and not a general set of rules that they just happened to be put up today.

To be fair, littering is already against the law in NYC. Banning littering would be sort of like banning murder.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


next question - how do you serve the NYPD? Is just handing the docs to any officer count as legal service? Or was that lawyer grand standing?
posted by JPD at 9:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


How many times do the police want to disavow rogue officers before they grasp the nettle and kick them out of the force? Or does that logic only apply to protesters?

With all due respect, this isn't quite an accurate comparison -- there's a difference between an all-volunteer group of activists dis-inviting one of their number, and an institution removing a paid employee.

Not that I'm excusing either group from failing to do so when necessary. Just pointing out that the situations are both very different, so a one-to-one comparison like this isn't as possible.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:03 AM on November 15, 2011


This scares the shit out of me because it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better, because the status quo has a lot more to lose right now than a few thousand books and some tents. Those who want to make a change have to ante up more than those who will resist that change.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


haltingproblemsolved: "Good to see at least one NYPD captain was having fun last night."

The photo caption: "An Occupy Wall Street protestor draws contact from a police officer near Zuccotti Park". Yes, that's one way to right "gets beaten by"..."draws contact from".

Officer: "Help, this guy keeps attracting my baton towards his face!"
posted by Deathalicious at 9:04 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


right write
posted by Deathalicious at 9:04 AM on November 15, 2011


ON GIULIANI:

I've been a New Yorker for 25 years, and Giuliani was a terrible, terrible mayor in every way - and almost every New Yorker I've met, left or right, agrees with me.

First, if you give him credit for "cleaning up" the city, you have to explain why the crime rate fell more in most other major metropolitan areas than in New York City.

Second, if there's one person responsible for the deaths of all those firefighters in the WTC, it's Giuliani, who scarfed the money that was supposed to be used for radios for the firefighters and put it into security for Gracie Mansion.

Giuliani also took the largest surplus in the city's history and wasted it on crap. He was the one to cut back the pothole fixing budget, saving the city millions in immediate expenses but costing them tens of millions in lawsuits, because lawsuit costs don't appear on the main budget.

He was the one who really destroyed New York City nightlife by shuttering clubs on the slightest pretext (usually that people were dancing without a permit, no really!)

He was an abysmal mayor, and New Yorkers do not remember him fondly at all.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:04 AM on November 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


Hanging personal belongings from trees, or hanging out in the trees in general

Zachary Running Wolf is up a tree in Oakland, I believe. (The name is known to be as he spent a not insignificant part of my time as an undergrad up a tree. Otherwise he's just 'some guy up a tree'.)

Of course, we've fallen into some strange alternate universe where @dailycal is worth reading.
posted by hoyland at 9:05 AM on November 15, 2011


Daily News: Our reporter @mblysiak reports he has been arrested at the 6th Avenue park in New York City
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lawyers for #OWS have just left room 315 St court saying they have been served with "something" from mayors office and need to read it
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


lupus_yonderboy, my husband is a very liberal person, has lived in Manhattan since 1974, and thinks pre-9/11 Guiliani was a spectacular mayor. YMMV.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


With all due respect, this isn't quite an accurate comparison -- there's a difference between an all-volunteer group of activists dis-inviting one of their number, and an institution removing a paid employee.

There is. The police are paid to uphold the law and there specifically to uphold it. They should not just be disinviting their number, they should be arresting them. It is, after all, their actual job that they have taken money to perform.

Whereas disinviting people from open invite meetings is somewhat more tangental.
posted by Francis at 9:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


We've established a process for deciding whether property is public or private

Yeah, it's pretty simple. The government declares that public money belongs to the private bankers, and we give it to them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [17 favorites]


if there's one person responsible for the deaths of all those firefighters in the WTC, it's Giuliani, who scarfed the money that was supposed to be used for radios for the firefighters and put it into security for Gracie Mansion

Really? Giuliani more to blame than the terrorists?
posted by holdkris99 at 9:06 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


we need to have a Constitutional Congress to bring the Bill of Rights into a 21st century context

I wouldn't trust the current collection of fuckwits on capitol hill to rewrite the vehicle code.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:07 AM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


From legal observer: question is over permanent structures in the park, what does "permanent" mean re: tents, etc
posted by The Whelk at 9:07 AM on November 15, 2011


falameufilho: "Jesus fucking Christ - straight-faced comparisons with Tiananmen Square and the Little Rock Nine three posts apart? Are you guys for real?"

Maybe they see the writing on the wall. Right now it's just pinching pennies and hoping you don't get sick; in 10-20 years, if things don't improve, over half of the country will be slaves to permanent crushing debt, without any right to personal time or space. Yes, we "have" the freedom of speech and we're not being discriminated against for the color of our skin, but the threat to our freedom and livelihood is no less in danger.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:08 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


Tea party types stand around with pistols on their belts? Scary intimidatory tactics. Occupy protesters Police agents provocateurs wear masks and combat fatigues and chant 'fuck the police'? Hey, they're just speaking truth to power.

A speculation...
...informed by track record
posted by -harlequin- at 9:08 AM on November 15, 2011


Legal observer: "We've been preparing for this for weeks. We have the best 1st amendment lawyers in the city." @alternet
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The police are paid to uphold the law and there specifically to uphold it. They should not just be disinviting their number, they should be arresting them. It is, after all, their actual job that they have taken money to perform.

I'll admit that I don't know the specifics, but I imagine that -- as is the case at any workplace -- there are procedures in place that deal with lawbreaking employees, or employees who have been accused of same. These procedures are in place to protect the employees from false arrest, and they take some time.

With an all-volunteer force, though, you can simply tell someone "dude, go away, we don't want you here." Granted, the accused party can just say "fuck you" and keep showing up; my point is that the "go away/fuck you, I'm staying" back-and-forth is different from the investegatory process that would take place in a workplace, is all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:09 AM on November 15, 2011


b) The city is right to maintain cleanliness and order.

Not at the cost of constitutionally-guaranteed liberties, no, it isn't.

This is a well-worn quote, but "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

If true for safety how much more true for a little temporary "cleanliness and order"?

We've established a process for deciding whether property is public or private

As far as this goes, as has been mentioned several times previously, Zuccotti Park is not exactly either. I was trying to track down the actual easement or agreement that Brookfield has with the city re: Zuccotti Park by looking it up on ACRIS, as it certainly ought to be a publicly-recorded document, but being not all that familiar with New York City I'm having a tough time figuring out which of a couple possible easements/agreements it is. Does anybody have the exact name of the Brookfield entity that owns the park? (Doesn't seem to be "Brookfield Office Properties" as some news articles erroneously stated -- closest I get is Brookfield Properties Office Partners, Inc..) Or block and lot numbers for the park?
posted by mstokes650 at 9:09 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is just one of the first of soon to be many confrontations between the People and their Police State in the next few years. The upcoming ones will be bigger and bloodier until even the corporate owned media will not be able to ignore what is happening. How do I know this? History. The very same things happened in the 1900-1935 period as workers began to demand their basic human rights. It took over 30 years of increasing riots and police confrontations until we got an FDR and a New Deal and the oligarchs released a bit of their grasp on the country's wealth. The same thing is happening today and it's only going to get nastier.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:09 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


True EC, it is different. The NYPD could remove any officers from street work and put them on desk work. Unlike an all-volunteer group, they can order said cops to do so. In this way, they are far more responsible for known violent cops being on riot duty than anyvolunteer org anisation could be.
posted by jaduncan at 9:10 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


for reference, what the library used to look like
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


read the court order here
posted by The Whelk at 9:13 AM on November 15, 2011


The NYPD Didn't Want You To See Occupy Wall Street Get Evicted
posted by homunculus at 9:13 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good thinking, mstokes. This nyc.gov page on Privately Owned Public Spaces might be of some assistance.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:14 AM on November 15, 2011


Maybe they see the writing on the wall.

Um, but Tiananmen didn't lead to greater democratization in China. If anything, China is more centralized than ever, and the Party much more entrenched and having solid support, because economic gains in China ARE creating a new middle class that exchanges stability for autocratic rule. Yes, this is generalization, and I know there's a lot of people that are not gaining too.
posted by FJT at 9:14 AM on November 15, 2011


"Jesus fucking Christ - straight-faced comparisons with Tiananmen Square and the Little Rock Nine three posts apart? Are you guys for real?"

I'm just responsible for myself, and you won't find me making Tiananmen or Tahrir comparisons. (I was in Egypt during the protests and in Cairo from day 3. Seeing that particular comparison makes me want to punch people in the face, but that's my problem.)

I made the comment about the Little Rock Nine in response to the idea that the President could or would not send the National Guard to protect constitutionally protected interests, but the points made subsequently, particularly about Federal vs. state/county courts, are completely valid, and I appreciate them.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:14 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Zuccotti itself is apparently not a POPS, but still...)
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:15 AM on November 15, 2011


They were pointing out what they say is an LRAD across the park.

Use of Sound Weapon Provokes Lawsuit Two Years After Pittsburgh G20
posted by homunculus at 9:15 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Really? Giuliani more to blame than the terrorists?

Urg, I intended to write one American. Yes, clearly the terrorists were the prime culprits.

roomthreeseventeen: There are probably a lot of other people who also still like Giuliani - it's a big city - but even amongst the right wing here he has not worn well in memory.

I'm curious as to why your husband supports him? Does he really believe that "Giuliani cleaned up the city" and if so, how does he reconcile that with the fact that most other large cities in the US cleaned up more and faster in the same time period?

Or is it the business with the bullhorn?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:15 AM on November 15, 2011


Barricades being removed? Maybe?
posted by The Whelk at 9:15 AM on November 15, 2011


This picture from The Atlantic's In Focus is a pretty chilling representative of the two sides of this skirmish, I think.
posted by Phire at 9:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


lawyer says a high court judge signed emergency order at 6.30am within an hour they had served all lawyers involved but police refused
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 AM on November 15, 2011


Actually, the entire series is worth looking at, as always.
posted by Phire at 9:16 AM on November 15, 2011


next question - how do you serve the NYPD? Is just handing the docs to any officer count as legal service? Or was that lawyer grand standing?

Not just any officer, no. Per CPLR 311(2), you'd serve "to the corporation counsel or to any person designated to receive process in a writing filed in the office of the clerk of New York county."

I would bet a very shiny nickel that the TRO was properly served as soon as humanly possible. I don't think we'll see a service issue in the hearing today.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:16 AM on November 15, 2011


lupus_yonderboy, I think it has a lot to do with how dangerous our neighborhood (UWS) was back then.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:17 AM on November 15, 2011


Frankly I am kind of looking to Wisconsin to see how the end game plays out in the Recall Walker movement (which officially just got started collecting signatures), as a bellwether to the OWS movement. Remember Wisconsin? The protests there last year make OWS look like small change.

There is a lot of "fuck yeah the revolution is starting" floating about, but... you know? There was a lot more in the 60s and that kind of petered out into the overindulgence of the 70s and the backlash of the 90s. Just because there is some agitation right now does not guarantee sustainability or longevity. Indeed, sadly, I think it is more likely that we will see sparks of violence that end up killing some high level officials then anything dramatic that changes the system.
posted by edgeways at 9:17 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy: "He was an abysmal mayor, and New Yorkers do not remember him fondly at all."

Let me guess - these are the same people who think Bloomberg is Hitler.
posted by falameufilho at 9:17 AM on November 15, 2011


By what process do we get The Whelk nominated for some sort of award for his coverage here?
posted by holdkris99 at 9:17 AM on November 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


Statement from the owners of the park.
posted by modernnomad at 9:19 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


anigbrowl: would the difference between a congress and a convention be amending, versus starting from scratch? I believe we need to do the latter, using the current document as a template.
posted by weirdoactor at 9:19 AM on November 15, 2011


As a former (or more accurately a current non-using) addict, picture 8 is rather disturbing.
posted by holdkris99 at 9:19 AM on November 15, 2011


Photos of the early morning raid



Guardian On The Scene liveblog

From Global Revolution stream "Everything is on camera and it looks really bad."
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


> Let me guess - these are the same people who think Bloomberg is Hitler.

Am I supposed to respect the fact that you ignore my factual arguments entirely to emit a statement like that?

I personally feel that Bloomberg is a far more competent mayor in every way - his handling of mundane issues like traffic, the parts and that sort of thing is head and shoulders above Giuliani.

But I live in New York City and actually read the local newspapers and the backpages of the "paper of record".

If Bloomberg weren't entirely lacking in respect for the rule of law, he'd be a decent mayor. Of course, he has no less respect for it than Giuliani...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:21 AM on November 15, 2011


the PARKS...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:21 AM on November 15, 2011


Jesus fucking Christ - straight-faced comparisons with Tiananmen Square and the Little Rock Nine three posts apart? Are you guys for real?

Absolutely dead serious.

Philippines Yellow Revolution 1986
Tienanmen 1989
Czechoslovakia Velvet Revolution 1989
Berlin Wall Falls 1989
Croatia Log Revolution 1990
Iran Kurdish, Shiite Uprising 1991
Zapatista Rebellion 1994
Albanian Revolution 1998
Indonesian Revolution 1998
Serbia Bulldozer Revolution 2000
Georgia Rose Revolution 2003
Ukraine Orange Revolution 2004
Lebanon Cedar Revolution 2005
Kuwait Blue Revolution 2005
Kyrgyzstan Tulip Revolution 2005
Burma Saffron Revolution 2007
Arab Spring 2010
Occupy Wall Street 2011

Are you starting to see a trend here?
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


In other words, the Occupy movement can only succeed by failing completely.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:24 AM on November 15, 2011


I hear that transit workers union and working families party just intervened as plaintiffs in #OWS case in #NYC
posted by The Whelk at 9:24 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


And I'm sorry for the derail - this is really irrelevant, but people should be aware that by all objective measures, Giuliani was a wretched mayor. If you have any factual rebuttals, lay them on us, but I'm going to try to stay on topic myself.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:24 AM on November 15, 2011


Ustream "Other 99%" is reporting Trinity Park has been raided.
posted by rich at 9:24 AM on November 15, 2011


Are you starting to see a trend here?

Are you absolutely dead serious?
posted by holdkris99 at 9:25 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah, it's pretty simple. The government declares that public money belongs to the private bankers, and we give it to them.

How's life on the Ron Paul campaign? Take your agit-prop somewhere else.


hahahaha, what?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:26 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Are you starting to see a trend here?


Listing things in chronological order isn't a convincing argument that they are linked or have the same root causes, or the same effects, or whatever. If you've got an argument that OWS is the same as as the Arab Spring or the fall of the Berlin Wall, make it.
posted by modernnomad at 9:26 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


Take your agit-prop somewhere else

How very USSR of you.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:27 AM on November 15, 2011


I should clarify: police put away outer ring of barricade. Still two layers around #zuccotti though

(note italics means I'm quoting from twitter. I'm following @samgf @elliottjustin@alternet and @karenmcveigh1 )
posted by The Whelk at 9:27 AM on November 15, 2011


Are you starting to see a trend here?

Are you absolutely dead serious?


History may not determine it to be Occupy Wall Street 2011. Remember, Egypt had protests against Mubarak long before the Arab Spring occurred. But those protests in the past allowed for what happened with the Arab Spring in Egypt.

As one Occupier said in a video: ‎"even if nothing else happens here... it's enough because what started here is going to continue in other ways."
posted by SollosQ at 9:28 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are you starting to see a trend here?

Yes, human beings have been revolting for a long time.
posted by FJT at 9:28 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Marching 2 city hall now. Incredibly energetic as news comes in that Supreme Court has backed us!! Is it true?! #ows http://pic.twitter.com/u8iCjcld
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:29 AM on November 15, 2011


Three layers of barricades? That park better fucking sparkle.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:29 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dominic Rushe has been speaking to lawyers about the legal issues raised by the decision of mayor Michael Bloomberg to clear Zuccotti Park earlier.

Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, has marched back down to Zuccotti Park with several hundred protesters. He says Michael Bloomberg should be "held in contempt" for violating a court order allowing the protesters back in to the park.

Hundreds of cops are blocking them from getting back in. "There have been half a dozen arrests. These are riot cops, it's pretty rough and a clear violation of the order," he said.

Ratner said the court battle now being waged in a court room at 60 Center Street in Lower Manhattan was "critical first amendment issue."

"If there is ever a case of 'expressive protest' this is it," he said.

Freedom of speech is protected under the first amendment of the US constitution. Different types of speech have different levels of protection and political speech is the most sacrosanct of all.

"Expressive protest" is the right to express a plotical opinion through action, the most famous, and controversial, example being the burning of the US flag.

"Occupying the center of Wall Street as in protest against the damage that these protesters believe those who work there have done to this country could not be a clearer example of expressive protest," said Ratner.

posted by The Whelk at 9:29 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Attendant: Your highness, the masses are revolting!
The King: Quite.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:29 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes, human beings have been revolting for a long time.

You're tellin me; they stink on ice!
posted by griphus at 9:29 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Plaza quiet, arrests at other squares, canal, trinity.
posted by The Whelk at 9:30 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is a lot of "fuck yeah the revolution is starting" floating about, but... you know? There was a lot more in the 60s and that kind of petered out into the overindulgence of the 70s and the backlash of the 90s. Just because there is some agitation right now does not guarantee sustainability or longevity. Indeed, sadly, I think it is more likely that we will see sparks of violence that end up killing some high level officials then anything dramatic that changes the system.

Here's the deal though; the economy was better then. It was much easier to shrug and walk away or get distracted by your job and your personal life in the 70s-90s. Now, we have record numbers of unemployed, many of them young, energetic, and indebted college grads. They don't have many distractions because they can't afford them. They don't have a career to distract them, they can't afford to start a family and have kids, or buy a house, or travel, or start a business, or do much of anything. And many of their elders who used to have those things have lost them. People are hurting in a way they have not been in the lifetimes of most (maybe all) of us here.

Don't think 1970s. Think 1930s. Or even earlier in the 20th century. We are re-fighting those battles because the people at the top want to undo all the good the reforms we won last time have done. They want to be robber barons again. They've very nearly succeeded.

But meanwhile the common rabble like you and me have less and less to lose.
posted by emjaybee at 9:30 AM on November 15, 2011 [19 favorites]


Great minds, griphus, great minds ...
posted by joe lisboa at 9:30 AM on November 15, 2011


#OWS lawyer - back from reading papers- say this opposition is unconstitutional - there should be judicial review. Still waiting hearing
posted by The Whelk at 9:32 AM on November 15, 2011


room 410 in the courthouse is the hearing room, apparently
posted by The Whelk at 9:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


20 people arrested at Trinity, they say they never gave permission for protesters to use their property.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:33 AM on November 15, 2011


A bit ...graphic

Teargassing Of the Kitchen at OWS last night

posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes, human beings have been revolting for a long time.

They aren’t talking the language of mid-twentieth century liberalism, where everyone puts on blindfolds and cuts slices of pie to share. The 99% looks too beaten down to demand anything as grand as “fairness” in their distribution of the economy. There’s no calls for some sort of post-industrial personal fulfillment in their labor – very few even invoke the idea that a job should “mean something.” It’s straight out of antiquity – free us from the bondage of our debts and give us a basic ability to survive.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


marches moving from Trnity/Canal down to plaza.
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on November 15, 2011


Jesus fucking Christ - straight-faced comparisons with Tiananmen Square and the Little Rock Nine three posts apart? Are you guys for real?

"Miss Parks, would you please just move to the back of the bus? It's not like this is as bad as slavery."
posted by dhartung at 9:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [22 favorites]


20 people arrested at Trinity, they say they never gave permission for protesters to use their property.

Ouch.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:34 AM on November 15, 2011


4 reporters arrested on 6th and Canal (as part of those 20). So, now, does this add in the issue of Freedom of the Press?
posted by rich at 9:34 AM on November 15, 2011


Marching 2 city hall now. Incredibly energetic as news comes in that Supreme Court has backed us!! Is it true?! #ows

What on earth? What does that even mean?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm reminded of what Matt Taibbi said in another recent post:
This is a profound statement about who law enforcement works for in this country. What happened on Wall Street over the past decade was an unparalleled crime wave. Yet at most, maybe 1,500 federal agents were policing that beat – and that little group of financial cops barely made any cases at all. Yet when thousands of ordinary people hit the streets with the express purpose of obeying the law and demonstrating their patriotism through peaceful protest, the police response is immediate and massive. There have already been hundreds of arrests, which is hundreds more than we ever saw during the years when Wall Street bankers were stealing billions of dollars from retirees and mutual-fund holders and carpenters unions through the mass sales of fraudulent mortgage-backed securities.

It's not that the cops outside the protests are doing wrong, per se, by patrolling the parks and sidewalks. It's that they should be somewhere else. They should be heading up into those skyscrapers and going through the file cabinets to figure out who stole what, and from whom. They should be helping people get their money back. Instead, they're out on the street, helping the Blankfeins of the world avoid having to answer to the people they ripped off.
posted by homunculus at 9:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [34 favorites]


NYT reporting 4 reporters arrested at Trinity
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 AM on November 15, 2011


Don't think 1970s. Think 1930s. Or even earlier in the 20th century.

Hold the phone, I think we've just gone off the deep end here. If you're seriously discussing revolution as occurring, then we're in trouble. The thing with other countries vs. the US is, the US is HUGE, both population and land area wise. The only time I remember where a country of similar size and population was fundamentally shaken up and had a flat out revolution was when the ruler's changed from Qing China to the Communist Party of China, and that took 100 YEARS!
posted by FJT at 9:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone want some cake to shove up your ass along with our rights, how about a souvenir constitution as well?

I'm sure the police will have a dedicated staff to assist you with that. Because we watch out for your best interests and public service is out #1 goal.
posted by lpcxa0 at 9:37 AM on November 15, 2011


Tea party types stand around with pistols on their belts? Scary intimidatory tactics. Occupy protesters Police agents provocateurs wear masks and combat fatigues and chant 'fuck the police'? Hey, they're just speaking truth to power.

A speculation...
...informed by track record


Sure, everything bad that ever happens is done by provocateurs. This is the left-wing version of 'guns don't kill people, people do.'
posted by anigbrowl at 9:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


What on earth? What does that even mean?

In New York the trial courts are called the Supreme Court. The highest state court is the Court of Appeals. It is very weird and confusing.
posted by jedicus at 9:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Quan had impeccable progressive credentials right up to a few weeks ago.

Whatever Quan's "credentials" may have been a few weeks ago, she has handled this episode and others before it miserably, and there's a movement afoot to recall her, so she's not exactly the most well-liked person in Oakland right now.
posted by blucevalo at 9:39 AM on November 15, 2011


In New York the trial courts are called the Supreme Court. The highest state court is the Court of Appeals. It is very weird and confusing.

Ah, so it is! Thanks for the explanation.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:40 AM on November 15, 2011


Marching 2 city hall now. Incredibly energetic as news comes in that Supreme Court has backed us!! Is it true?!

Sort of. Not SCOTUS, but the New York Supreme Court, ordered by Justice Lucy Billings.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:40 AM on November 15, 2011


lupus_yonderboy: "He was an abysmal mayor, and New Yorkers do not remember him fondly at all."

Let me guess - these are the same people who think Bloomberg is Hitler.


Actually, no. Bloomberg is FAR from perfect, but he's not Hitler, and he's even done some things I approve of and think he handled well (this is not one of them, but there are a few things).

And I still think Giuliani was an egotistical fucking tool.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:40 AM on November 15, 2011


dhartung: ""Miss Parks, would you please just move to the back of the bus? It's not like this is as bad as slavery.""

Hm. No.
posted by falameufilho at 9:41 AM on November 15, 2011


What? Since when do masks (actually protection against tear gassing) and combat fatigues (a style of dress I see more of in Hoboken FFS than at the protests) become the equivalent of pistols? If looks could kill...
posted by stagewhisper at 9:41 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tea party types stand around with pistols on their belts? Scary intimidatory tactics. Occupy protesters wear masks and combat fatigues and chant 'fuck the police'? Hey, they're just speaking truth to power.
A mask and a particular style of pants is just as intimidating as a gun?
posted by cdward at 9:42 AM on November 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


"@nancyscola: Mass confusion over where the #Zuccoti Park hearing is meant to be. Wandering herd of press, #ows folks."

There's some cheering on the Global revolution livestream
posted by The Whelk at 9:43 AM on November 15, 2011


Alternet is reporting that the today is also the day of the Brooklyn Bridge arraignments.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:44 AM on November 15, 2011


Judge Michael Stallman assigned to hear the #OWS restraining order case, says @karenmcveigh1. Here's his biog http://bit.ly/spSbfp
posted by The Whelk at 9:45 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Current chant "We are the 99%! So Are you!"
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


@MattBinder Judge Stallman will hear over the #OWS case. For those unfamiliar: in 2006 he told the city they couldn't stop the Critical Mass rides.
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Whelk, thanks for doing such a super job on this.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:48 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Whelk has been guaranteed a place in Internet Valhalla.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:49 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


global revolution went dark...
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 AM on November 15, 2011


and back
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 AM on November 15, 2011


Hold the phone, I think we've just gone off the deep end here. If you're seriously discussing revolution as occurring, then we're in trouble. The thing with other countries vs. the US is, the US is HUGE, both population and land area wise. The only time I remember where a country of similar size and population was fundamentally shaken up and had a flat out revolution was when the ruler's changed from Qing China to the Communist Party of China, and that took 100 YEARS!

I'm not sure what phone you think we should be holding. I didn't say 1770s, I said 1930s. Which were not a revolution, per se, in the US (which is what I was discussing) but were a time of marches, civil unrest, riots, labor movements, increased regulation of business, etc. etc.
posted by emjaybee at 9:51 AM on November 15, 2011


I can just imagine the conversation:

Bloomberg: So what now? They have a TRO!
Kelly: So what? It's Billings? She's some activist ACLU bitch. Fuck them! It'll get overturned at a real hearing!
Bloomberg: We just drew Judge Stallman...
Kelly: Awwww fuck...

posted by Talez at 9:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, where are some of you anti- OWSers getting your information from? Masks were cause for arrest from very early on at OWS and anyone wearing one was warned to remove it by the OWS group themselves. Have you even been around any of the protesters at all? The misrepresentations about the protesters that a lot of people have been making are just insane and out of line with the reality of what has been happening here in the real, non-virtual world of the occupation. Every time I'm there and then compare my experience with the alternate reality that gets spun online I feel like I've fallen into some uncanny valley.
posted by stagewhisper at 9:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


mobilization being planned for Thursday in NY.
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM on November 15, 2011


falameufilho: "dhartung: ""Miss Parks, would you please just move to the back of the bus? It's not like this is as bad as slavery.""

Hm. No.
"

Are you telling me that MLK Jr would be on the side of the state in this? Seriously? Do you even fucking know your history?
posted by symbioid at 9:55 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


NYT on reporters being arrested, media black out (linked again)
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


first hand account of the library raid
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The private-property argument is not as ironclad and simple as some people here think. Zucotti Park is zoned POPS (privately owned public space). That is a specific and legal zoning status in NYC. It is different than a normal private property.

IANAL and am not an expert in NYC zoning laws, but POPS is definitely different than run-of-the-mill private property.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:56 AM on November 15, 2011


OWS protestors to march en mass to Plaza with lawyers.
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM on November 15, 2011


@macfathom is inside the courthouse room, so follow him for live legal updates
posted by The Whelk at 9:57 AM on November 15, 2011


symbioid, I THINK what falameufilho is trying to say is that OWS is a petty thing compared to the Civil Rights movement, rather than "MLK would be on the side of the state".

Granted, I'm fairly confident that history will prove that cynicism wrong, but we won't know for a few years yet.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:58 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


"The new park smells like Clorox and broken constitutional amendments."
posted by ChuraChura at 9:59 AM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


About 100 #ows protesters marching south blocking all traffic on Broadway heading toward #zuccotti. No cops. Pic: http://ow.ly/i/llbQ

"Do you like the new park? It smells like Clorox and broken constitutional amendments."
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you think OWS is "petty" in compared to the civil rights movement, you need to read more.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:59 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


If you think OWS is "petty" in compared to the civil rights movement, you need to read more.

Oh, I agree. I was just clarifying what I saw falameufilho's position was.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:00 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zucotti Park is zoned POPS (privately owned public space).

Ah, so it IS a POPS. The confusion must have to do with the interaction of that status and the zoning variances the owners have obtained.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:00 AM on November 15, 2011


The City Comptroller John C Liu has issued this statement:

Going in and forcibly removing the protestors in the dead of night sends the wrong message. City Hall should have continued to talk with the protestors in the light of day if it wanted them removed, instead of evicting them in the middle of the night. There seems to be no compelling reason for this action at this time. The protestors have a right to be heard.

posted by The Whelk at 10:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


What? Since when do masks (actually protection against tear gassing) and combat fatigues (a style of dress I see more of in Hoboken FFS than at the protests) become the equivalent of pistols? If looks could kill...

Spare me this 'protection against tear gassing' excuse. People were wearing masks and bandanas before there was any tear gassing, and masks enable the agent provocateurs everyone says they are so worried about. If protesters refused to accept masked individuals in their midst then it would be an awful lot harder for bad actors to hijack legitimate protesters, because they would be so easily identifiable on camera. Masks give authoritarians a convenient excuse to crack down, as well as giving vandals a convenient excuse for mayhem.

If you're really worried about tear gas, hold a wet rag up to your face when they start shooting it. Dressing up like a bandit in advance is a losing tactic.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are you telling me that MLK Jr would be on the side of the state in this?

I think that "hm, no" comment was in the voice of Rosa Parks, refusing to move to the back of the bus.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:02 AM on November 15, 2011


also, not mentioned too much, ALL equipment in the media tent was destroyed, thousands of dollars of equipment.
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


anigbrowl (sorry for murdering your handle upthread), sometimes the ends do justify the means, and sometimes they do not. Disruptive means are only justified when the end is to improve an even more disruptive status quo. At the present time, the dominant civilization on earth is doing calamitous damage to our only home. Private property is small potatoes by comparison.

Of course the littering is bad on both sides.

That said, I agree that taking up a chunk of real estate is probably not be the best way for OWS to move forward. Now that it has coherently addressed the power center, the movement needs to take up the harder task of addressing the millions of citizens from which that power is derived. It needs to convince regular people that the boom is over, and that the economy needs to be shrunk, localized, and decentralized in as controlled a fashion as possible.

This will be rough going, if OWS tries to tackle it, because much of the OWS constituency is still clamoring for its slice of boom pie.
posted by maniabug at 10:02 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


City Comptroller John C Liu has decided he doesn't want to be City Comptroller come the next election cycle.
posted by griphus at 10:02 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]



"Order" isn't a homeless settlement existing in the middle of a major city without public hygiene. That's unacceptable.


Speak for yourself. I believe that it's not only acceptable, it's necessary. If all other tools for maintaining a basic standard of living have been taken away from a substantial minority of the population, they have every right to inconvenience those that have played a role in taking away those tools.

Re Guiliani: I agree with lupus_wonderboy. I've lived here in NYC since the early 80's. I, along with the vast vast majority of people I have spoken to on the subject of Guiliani, agree that he was a nightmare of a mayor. The few people I've found that liked him seemed to have had a more casual relationship with what was going on in NYC during his reign.
posted by newpotato at 10:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


The only time I remember where a country of similar size and population was fundamentally shaken up and had a flat out revolution

German Revolution took a matter of weeks.

what falameufilho is trying to say is that OWS is a petty thing

No, he's just dismissing their grievances as petty. It's a pretty standard reactionary tactic, so I suggest treating him accordingly. He may even be astroturf.
posted by dhartung at 10:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you think OWS is "petty" in compared to the civil rights movement, you need to read more.

That is a distinction that is going to need a few more years to evaluate. It may.. or may not turn out to be a watershed moment, or something lost in the shuffle of time. Everyone thinks their cause is the most-importaint-thing-ever when they are in the midst of it. So now is not the time to assign historic context, now is the time to actually try and make history.
posted by edgeways at 10:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, if the hearing ends well, as I guess it's going to, this whole thing will have completely blown up in Bloomberg's face. Which is a good thing.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:05 AM on November 15, 2011


WELL A WHOLE SHITON OF CHEERING JUST BROKE OUT
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


"WE'RE GOING HOME! WE'RE GOING HOME!"
posted by The Whelk at 10:06 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


no confirmation yet, only source is livestream
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anyone have any actual inside info on what the courts take on this is?
posted by griphus at 10:07 AM on November 15, 2011


Bi-lingual chanting!
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, where are some of you anti- OWSers getting your information from? Masks were cause for arrest from very early on at OWS and anyone wearing one was warned to remove it by the OWS group themselves. Have you even been around any of the protesters at all?

Somehow this code of conduct hasn't made it over to the west coast. Everyone was all fired up on behalf of Occupy Oakland when they were marching into the ports and so forth, so you have to take the rough with the smooth. I don't want to sound patronizing, but when you present an argument of the form 'masks are protection against tear gas and not intimidating at all' then saying they've never been tolerated rings kinda hollow.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:07 AM on November 15, 2011


sounds like they're still arguing in the courthouse
posted by The Whelk at 10:08 AM on November 15, 2011


German Revolution...

Germany's population NOW is about 82 million in a land mass about a bit smaller than California. In addition, both Germany's were members of international organizations and had peace time foreign troops occupying it's borders. The US has a population exceeding 300 million in a land mass that's approximately the same as China.

What I've been saying is that comparing two countries isn't always apples to apples. Obviously China isn't the United States isn't Germany. But to ignore one while relying on the other is missing the bigger picture.
posted by FJT at 10:08 AM on November 15, 2011


City Comptroller John C Liu has decided he doesn't want to be City Comptroller come the next election cycle.


yeah - he's openly running for Mayor despite his own little fun filled ethic scandal.

(also calling posters with long-term track records Astroturf is bullshit)
posted by JPD at 10:08 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Court rules for OWS.
posted by QIbHom at 10:10 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Read the letter that Brookfield Properties, the owners of Zuccotti Park, sent Mayor Bloomberg http://nydn.us/v23ufj

Police have met the march down broadway - trying to shove everyone onto the sidewalk, chant "Contempt Of COurt! Contempt Of Court!"
posted by The Whelk at 10:10 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"watch out for the white shirt, he hurts people - don't touch me!"
posted by The Whelk at 10:11 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can the personal attacks and accusations go to MetaTalk or just go away, please? It's really okay if someone disagrees with you. It doesn't mean they're evil.
posted by Dojie at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


QIbHom, I think that's the old order. Billings isn't the judge anymore.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


yeah - he's openly running for Mayor despite his own little fun filled ethic scandal.

Wait, really? Who else has thrown their hat in for that?

Court rules for OWS.

Amazing. I have to go to the Middle East to get factual analysis on something happening a 45-minute train ride away from me.
posted by griphus at 10:13 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


What will they need in terms of donations after moving back in?
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:13 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can the personal attacks and accusations go to MetaTalk or just go away, please? It's really okay if someone disagrees with you. It doesn't mean they're evil.

For real -- this is clearly a sensitive topic upon which reasonable people can have opposing views. No need to demonize those with different takes than you -- the accusation of one user being "astroturf" a few comments up is absurd.
posted by modernnomad at 10:13 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


unconfirmed reports of court ruling- awaiting confirmation
posted by The Whelk at 10:14 AM on November 15, 2011


As usual, the best coverage of US News comes from Al Jazeera.
posted by ColdChef at 10:14 AM on November 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


I have to go to the Middle East to get factual analysis on something happening a 45-minute train ride away from me.

Only if you want the news of 8 hours ago.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:14 AM on November 15, 2011



What? Since when do masks (actually protection against tear gassing) and combat fatigues (a style of dress I see more of in Hoboken FFS than at the protests) become the equivalent of pistols? If looks could kill...

Spare me this 'protection against tear gassing' excuse. People were wearing masks and bandanas before there was any tear gassing, and masks enable the agent provocateurs everyone says they are so worried about. If protesters refused to accept masked individuals in their midst then it would be an awful lot harder for bad actors to hijack legitimate protesters, because they would be so easily identifiable on camera. Masks give authoritarians a convenient excuse to crack down, as well as giving vandals a convenient excuse for mayhem.

If you're really worried about tear gas, hold a wet rag up to your face when they start shooting it. Dressing up like a bandit in advance is a losing tactic.


Oops. you forgot to answer why they are as bad as pistols.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:15 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


ColdChef, that Al Jazeera article is old.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:15 AM on November 15, 2011


anigbrowl, firstly I am talking about OWS NYC, I have not been to other occupations. Secondly I'd ask you kindly to stop putting words in my mouth. The masks are not tolerated at the encampment. There were not masked groups at the encampment. I'm primarily talking about the Anonymous masks, but people with bandanas were urged to remove them while at the camp. People who were on the front lines last night can't really be faulted for a choosing to protect their nose and mouth with a bandana in anticipation of being gassed. Law of averages, etc. However, I saw *very few* (2-4?) doing so from my vantage point, which was, btw, on the front line.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:15 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


More OWS reported forming on West Broadway
posted by The Whelk at 10:16 AM on November 15, 2011


Amazing. I have to go to the Middle East to get factual analysis on something happening a 45-minute train ride away from me.

"Amazing"? We're talking about American media here. This story is a lower priority than the Michael Jackson's doctor and Kim Kardashian's divorce.
posted by Hoopo at 10:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


ColdChef, that Al Jazeera article is old.

I'm not sure which article you're referring to, but I'm talking about the coverage in general.
posted by ColdChef at 10:17 AM on November 15, 2011


Good work, The WHELK-y.

Carry on.
posted by Skygazer at 10:18 AM on November 15, 2011


construction workers cheering the OWS march from scaffolding!
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm not sure which article you're referring to, but I'm talking about the coverage in general.

That's awfully disingenuous.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 10:19 AM on November 15, 2011


#OWS lawyer to court: "This was a deliberate response to one of the most profoundspeech-activities in this country since the 1960s.

Livestream down
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM on November 15, 2011


(and back)
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 AM on November 15, 2011


"WE'RE GOING HOME! WE'RE GOING HOME!"

Isn't that what the police wanted in the first place?
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:20 AM on November 15, 2011


Brookfield lawyer to court: We're not limiting free speech, just tents. This is private property. #ows
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 AM on November 15, 2011


anigbrowl (sorry for murdering your handle upthread), sometimes the ends do justify the means, and sometimes they do not. Disruptive means are only justified when the end is to improve an even more disruptive status quo. At the present time, the dominant civilization on earth is doing calamitous damage to our only home. Private property is small potatoes by comparison.

I understand why you feel that way. But my view of history is that undirected populism almost invariably leads to a worse result, and I have a great deal more faith in institutions than I do in crowds. So while I'm a big believer in government by the people for the people, I think people often overlook the government of the people - whether they're up in the penthouse suite or protesting out on the sidewalk. Zero-sum, lowest-common-denominator arguments are, to my mind, a large part of the problem.

That said, I agree that taking up a chunk of real estate is probably not be the best way for OWS to move forward. Now that it has coherently addressed the power center, the movement needs to take up the harder task of addressing the millions of citizens from which that power is derived. It needs to convince regular people that the boom is over, and that the economy needs to be shrunk, localized, and decentralized in as controlled a fashion as possible.

I can't help thinking that the massive deleveraging that's been taking place in markets over the last few years (not just the stock market, but the economy as a whole) is the very thing so many people are protesting against. Upthread someone linked to a poster for a day of action scheduled later this week. Demand #1 on that poster was a rejection of austerity. Likewise, I think the existing public pension system is unsustainable, and that this is at least as big a problem as the lack of universal healthcare or widening income gaps. But nobody on the left likes talking about that, because it's one of our sacred cows.

Now, I'm absolutely for ending Bush tax cuts, raising capital gains taxes, and cutting corporate welfare and subsidies to defense contractors, among various other left-wing desiderata. But that's only one half of the problem. What I'm objecting to at bottom is the facile and self-defeating notion that it's all someone else's fault. The right thinks that, and claims that cutting spending is the answer. The left thinks taxing the rich is. The reality is that there is going to have to be some of both, and neither side wants to give up anything.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:21 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's going to be interesting when the NYPD Union is left as the only union not supporting the movement. Given the ranks of most unions are drawn from the same demographic, I'm curious to see how my friends who are in the NYPD and consistently speak of OWS as a bunch of whiny, asshole, drug-fucks are going to react when their brothers and sisters in the Teacher's Union, etc start showing up en force in the OWS protests.
posted by spicynuts at 10:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


March has reached Plaza chanting This Is Our Park!
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 AM on November 15, 2011


The right thinks that, and claims that cutting spending is the answer. The left thinks taxing the rich is. The reality is that there is going to have to be some of both, and neither side wants to give up anything.

No, the right thinks that and the left just sort of capitulates while claiming they're trying their best to reach a consensus. They've given up everything, and not in the "fought for it and lost" way. That's the problem.
posted by griphus at 10:23 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


NYPD - 200 in custody, chant of "Where's My Books?"
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 AM on November 15, 2011


"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. "--Harry S. Truman

" In the spring of 1968, when Martin King was marching (and Robert Kennedy was campaigning), King was determined that massive, nonviolent civil disobedience would end the domination of democracy by corporate and military power. The powers that be took Martin Luther King seriously. They dealt with him in Memphis. " Jim Douglas
http://www.ratical.com/ratville/JFK/MLKactOstate.html
posted by eggtooth at 10:24 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


hundreds of protestors surrounding the still barricaded park
posted by The Whelk at 10:26 AM on November 15, 2011


The left thinks taxing the rich is. The reality is that there is going to have to be some of both, and neither side wants to give up anything.

That is just an entirely untrue statement. The leftist institutions you trust so much are begging for a balanced deal and being rebuffed.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:27 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


standoff
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on November 15, 2011


Huh. So news of the eviction at Zuccotti park was front-page Yahoo news, as was the court order (albeit presented in rather biased form with plenty of quotes regarding "public safety" and "hazardous sanitary conditions"). For about two hours. Now all of a sudden there is absolutely no mention of OWS anywhere on the Yahoo site. The story has completely vanished. I'm generally not the biggest conspiracy booster, but the media's overall treatment of this story has certainly made me wonder.
posted by Go Banana at 10:29 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


The powers that be took Martin Luther King seriously. They dealt with him in Memphis.

No one has said so here, but this is also part of the appeal to me of OWS remaining "leaderless" or at the very least refusing to make one person the figurehead. Because one person can be taken out. A mass movement that works on consensus as opposed to the will of one person or a small group is a much more difficult and amorphous opponent.
posted by emjaybee at 10:30 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


"The Media" has also been arrested here so...not everyone is in on the conspiracy
posted by spicynuts at 10:31 AM on November 15, 2011


anigbrowl, firstly I am talking about OWS NYC, I have not been to other occupations. Secondly I'd ask you kindly to stop putting words in my mouth. The masks are not tolerated at the encampment. There were not masked groups at the encampment. I'm primarily talking about the Anonymous masks, but people with bandanas were urged to remove them while at the camp.

And I'm telling you that it's a problem her on the west coast. go back and have a look at the thread about Occupy Oakland and the ongoing problem of vandalism and property damage there, which has badly undermined the protests and thus the movement as a whole. It's a fact that people like to shift blame to the police as provocateurs, while at the same time expressing tolerance of or even approval for black bloc type anarchists. It seems to me that part of why OWS got cleared out last night is because Occupy Oakland turned a corner when someone got shut just outside the encampment the other evening. Insofar as OWS has been providing some financing to OO, folks need to be mindful of the fact that the actions of one group reflect on the other.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:31 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


protestors spilling into surrounding area.
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on November 15, 2011


was that a flash of lighting?
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 AM on November 15, 2011


Go Banana: It's the top story for me on Yahoo News.
posted by demiurge at 10:32 AM on November 15, 2011


A mass movement that works on consensus as opposed to the will of one person or a small group is a much more difficult and amorphous opponent.

Also, it is much more difficult to defame a faceless group than an individual. If there were a single leader, that leader could be painted with any number of defamatory brushes that are specific. In this case, defamers are left with using pronouns like 'they'.
posted by spicynuts at 10:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


and now there is an accordion-led polka-chant - we've hit peak surrealism here.
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


Judge: Are you saying use of generators and semi-permanent structures is protected as speech?

Levine answers judge: power of this symbolic speech is that it is a 24-hour occupation.

posted by The Whelk at 10:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Whelk, I just thought the same thing upon seeing that!
posted by mothershock at 10:34 AM on November 15, 2011


And I'm telling you that it's a problem her on the west coast. Okay, well that's an opinion you've formed about about #OO and I'll add that to the others I've heard about that particular occupation. There's no need to misrepresent anyone else's statements and actual experiences in order to get that opinion across though.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Insofar as OWS has been providing some financing to OO, folks need to be mindful of the fact that the actions of one group reflect on the other."

Nothing personal, but when folks talk about "concern trolling", this is what they mean.
posted by facetious at 10:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


and now there is an accordion-led polka-chant - we've hit peak surrealism here.

It isn't led by a dude in a Boba Fett helmet, is it?

Every time something accordion-related happens in this city...
posted by griphus at 10:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Huh. Somehow it just became Paris, May, 1968. Situtationism has broken out.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


I went back to look at the occupy Oakland thread and I saw an Iraq war vet had his skull fractured by the police so you can see the police actions are wrong here in New York.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, it is much more difficult to defame a faceless group than an individual.

Yeah, but it's pretty easy to dehumanize a faceless group, since they have no face.
posted by FJT at 10:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "Judge: Are you saying use of generators and semi-permanent structures is protected as speech?

Levine answers judge: power of this symbolic speech is that it is a 24-hour occupation.
"

Just as much speech as those little green pieces of paper that we're not allowed to censor, no way no how!
posted by symbioid at 10:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Non, Je ne regrette rien, Bunny Ultramod
posted by The Whelk at 10:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eyes without a face was a pretty fucking sweet song, if I do say so myself.
posted by symbioid at 10:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


[some comments deleted: you know where to go if you can't stop with the personal attacks here.]
posted by taz at 10:37 AM on November 15, 2011


I'm curious to see how my friends [in NYPD] are going to react when their brothers and sisters in the Teacher's Union, etc start showing up en force in the OWS protests.
posted by spicynuts


The way NYPD always reacts, with corruption, volence, disrespect for citizens' civil rights, and absofuckinglute impunity.

The PD by definition cannot join the sodality of labor. They're the turncoats. They sold out their brothers for silver and a chance to exercise their general sociopathy.

Seen too much in this town. There are good cops, but they are committed to a corrupt institution.
posted by spitbull at 10:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's going to be interesting when the NYPD Union is left as the only union not supporting the movement.

The NYPD has more than one union.

Given the ranks of most unions are drawn from the same demographic, I'm curious to see how my friends who are in the NYPD and consistently speak of OWS as a bunch of whiny, asshole, drug-fucks are going to react when their brothers and sisters in the Teacher's Union, etc start showing up en force in the OWS protests.

That would be how they're reacting right now. The UFT has been a major backer of the Occupy Wall Street Protest for weeks, including providing office/warehouse space.
posted by Jahaza at 10:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pas de replâtrage, la structure est pourrie.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Likewise, I think the existing public pension system is unsustainable, and that this is at least as big a problem as the lack of universal healthcare or widening income gaps. But nobody on the left likes talking about that, because it's one of our sacred cows.

This is pretty straightforward, I think: if you think America's pathetic public pensions are "at least as big a problem as the lack of universal healthcare", you are not on the Left and can't give comradely advice or talk about what "we" should do. This isn't an insult, it's a plain statement of fact: although you may be a liberal in the classical sense, you need to be substantially to the right of center to hold such an opinion, by any realistic and generally accepted definition of the left-right divide.

The right thinks that, and claims that cutting spending is the answer. The left thinks taxing the rich is. The reality is that there is going to have to be some of both, and neither side wants to give up anything.

I cannot conceive of any interpretation of the last few years of American politics that would give the result that the left has been too stubborn and uncompromising.
posted by wwwwwhatt at 10:40 AM on November 15, 2011 [19 favorites]


The way NYPD always reacts, with corruption, volence, disrespect for citizens' civil rights, and absofuckinglute impunity.

I didn't meant the NYPD as an institution. I mean my actual friends - individuals who post shit on facebook like "Good job by Team Blue last night" who have wives who are teachers, relatives who are construction workers, etc. I did not mean what will they do while on the job, I meant will they turn against their relatives and continue to spout the same derogatory ad hominem bullshit when their wives are on the other side of the street.
posted by spicynuts at 10:42 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


video of the early morning raid - Daily News
posted by The Whelk at 10:42 AM on November 15, 2011


FJT: "
Hold the phone, I think we've just gone off the deep end here. If you're seriously discussing revolution as occurring, then we're in trouble.
"

Nah, I got into an argument about this with some knucklehead conservative the other day. Basically, what we're looking at is a return to the sentiments of the 20s and 30s when people thought socialism looked a hell of a lot better than what they were getting.

As hated as the New Deal is by conservatives, there's no question it was a panacea designed to forestall an actual socialist revolution in the United States. I think the desires are the same now: make things fair, put people to work, give us a real safety net, don't siphon off all the wealth of this country to the people who don't even need it.

Other countries manage to allow corporations to do things like write up contracts without treating them as people with the same rights as (and, let's be honest, often more rights than) actual human beings.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


"the most important thing we need here in Zuccotti: we need people"
posted by The Whelk at 10:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The protest movements that worked (Civil rights, Vietnam, Ghandi) all faced violent reactions...in fact, it was those reactions tn the face of non-violence that made those protests so effective, galvanized public opinion, ect.. 1. Violence towards the protesters is inevitable. 2. Maintaining non-violence in the face of violence is the key.
posted by eggtooth at 10:44 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Basically, what we're looking at is a return to the sentiments of the 20s and 30s when people thought socialism looked a hell of a lot better than what they were getting.

I think we are going to see a surge of radicalism. Nothing fills the ranks of the American left like disappointed liberalism.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:45 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Levine answers judge: power of this symbolic speech is that it is a 24-hour occupation.

It's not without precedent either come to think of it. In the US, do you have those Falun Gong booths set up outside Chinese embassies?
posted by Hoopo at 10:45 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Judge: Are you saying use of generators and semi-permanent structures is protected as speech?

Levine answers judge: power of this symbolic speech is that it is a 24-hour occupation.
posted by The Whelk



Wow. And damn right a tent is free speech. This is street theatre. We need our sets.

Fuck, they call pornography and cross burning free speech too.
posted by spitbull at 10:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


BTW FJT I'm not calling you a knucklehead conservative. My point is that a return to 30s sentiment doesn't mean revolution, just serious economic reform. The knucklehead conservative thought that FDR was an idiot socialist when in fact he pretty much single-handedly saved American capitalism.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Coordinated crackdown?
posted by symbioid at 10:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


WHERE TO MAIL BOOKS TO THE PEOPLE'S LIBRARY
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I cannot conceive of any interpretation of the last few years of American politics that would give the result that the left has been too stubborn and uncompromising.

You've never read MetaFilter, I see.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:48 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


2. Maintaining non-violence in the face of violence is the key.

Well, to be sure, there was always tension even in the CRM on this point. King on one end of the curve, Malcolm X toward the other, the Black Panthers somewhere down the asymptote.

As hated as the New Deal is by conservatives, there's no question it was a panacea designed to forestall an actual socialist revolution in the United States.

I'm putting these points in deliberate proximity. An argument could be made that without the threat of an actual revolution, little will change.
posted by dhartung at 10:48 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


NYC lawyer to judge: tents aren't the message; tents are to keep protesters from getting cold.

#OWS Lawyer: 1st amendment isn't just freedom of speech; also assembly.

posted by The Whelk at 10:49 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, it is much more difficult to defame a faceless group than an individual.

I find it trivially easy to make fun of the tea party, and I'm not the only one. I think the linked article is worth reading, as is this one. A movement that can't agree on its own aims enough to nominate anyone as a spokesperson is a movement that's going to end up being defined by whoever passes by. Frankly, I think Occupy has been outstandingly lucky so far by having semi-decent legal representation in New York, at least. It's the same with the 90% consensus threshold at the general assembly, that's why Occupy Oakland was unable to agree to exclude the black bloc crowd despite some ~75% of attendees being in favor of doing so.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:49 AM on November 15, 2011


yikes - from the morning raid.
posted by The Whelk at 10:50 AM on November 15, 2011


When Obama returns, I'm sure we can expect a swift and decisive response to this attack on American values.

Sorry. Couldn't even keep a straight face typing that.

When he returns, I'm sure his campaign staff will find a way to co-opt the movement and get him re-elected so he can return to business as usual.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:51 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


This wasn't only about the 1% shutting down the 99% and their right to protest. This was also about the top quintile not wanting to be confronted with the true state of their society. Homeless people, the unemployed, and the rest of the "undesirables" are fine as long as they are hidden away from sight. They're not allowed near Wall St. They are not allowed to voice their opinion or present the slightest inconvenience to the powerful, or to the immediate minions of the powerful.

The punishment of trying to have a voice when you have no power is harassment from a police force that is sworn to protect the public, but we all know who they really answer to. No officer gets fired for failing to help a regular citizen. In fact, they kill people every day and are surprised if they get anything more than a paid vacation. On the other hand, if they piss off their superiors, or the boss' boss' boss, they know their career is over.

In singles the undesirables are silenced immediately. The police show up, ask them to move along, threaten them with arrest for "disturbing the peace." Failure to comply to their arrest for this crime could constitute resisting arrest. Struggle during your arrest, and now you're guilty of assaulting an officer. In groups this enforcement becomes more challenging, but as we've witnessed over the past couple of months, there is no expense too large to eventually silence everyone. The public has the right to say whatever they want, at a time and place that the rich and powerful deem appropriate. So much for Freedom with a capital F.

The sad, sinking truth about the structures of power in America is that they are not built to uphold principles, or to protect people. Our society is now solely concerned with keeping up appearances, hoping for another economic upturn while we pretend that everything is alright.

Personally, I hope that the lies and deceit do work. I hope everyone gets out and votes in people who place fair tax measures, for the rich and the corporations, so we can balance the budget and get people back in school, and back to work at their government jobs, and god forbid even have public works projects to save our fracturing infrastructure by putting more people to work. I hope the downward cycle gets reversed by real investment in domestic manufacturing and technology as we gather ourselves to face the impending twin disasters of overpopulation and environmental chaos. But every time I hear someone complain about being inconvenienced by the poor, or by protestors, as if they had committed the ultimate sin by speaking up when they should have been quiet, I lose some of that hope.

Freedom: use it, or lose it.
posted by deanklear at 10:51 AM on November 15, 2011 [36 favorites]


#OWS Lawyer: 1st amendment isn't just freedom of speech; also assembly.

Does anyone know who is appearing for OWS? They've said "a top 1st amendment" attorney - do they have someone in the courtroom now who will be able to argue this through to SCOTUS?
posted by anastasiav at 10:51 AM on November 15, 2011


This is pretty straightforward, I think: if you think America's pathetic public pensions are "at least as big a problem as the lack of universal healthcare", you are not on the Left and can't give comradely advice or talk about what "we" should do. This isn't an insult, it's a plain statement of fact: although you may be a liberal in the classical sense, you need to be substantially to the right of center to hold such an opinion, by any realistic and generally accepted definition of the left-right divide.

No, it's a plain statement of your personal opinion. You are not the arbiter of fact any more than I am.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ustream is donating HD cameras with modems and extra batteries to OWS, the video will never go down
posted by The Whelk at 10:53 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Judge: I'll consider. Hope to have decision by 3.
posted by The Whelk at 10:53 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


TENSION
posted by The Whelk at 10:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


UGH hurry up Judge
posted by wheelieman at 10:54 AM on November 15, 2011


@ anastasiav

@macfathom is tweeting from the courtroom, and has mentioned the name Al Levine as a (the?) lawyer for OWS
posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 10:54 AM on November 15, 2011


Cops four deep
posted by The Whelk at 10:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


About 100 #ows protesters marching south blocking all traffic on Broadway heading toward #zuccotti. No cops. Pic: http://ow.ly/i/llbQ

I joined this group as they passed my office on Broadway and Duane. Group very peaceful, chanting. We got several blocks in the street before a police line of scooters formed in front of and behind us. After a few minutes standing still in the street, the march moved to the sidewalks. I was very impressed by how thoughtful the protesters were. After the cops blocked us, people around me were saying, "Is this what we want to get arrested for?" The consensus was that they needed to focus on getting to the park.

There was a tense standoff for a minute while it wasn't clear if we'd move off the street when a scooter drove close to a marcher, leading to calls of reckless endangerment. Protesters and cops faced each other, and one scooter cop pulled out his baton. Chilling to see in real life. After a couple of minutes the protesters backed away and continued marching peacefully.

The driver of one of those enormouse cranes honked as we went by, which was awesome. I made to ZP, but then I turned around. It was very crowded, I'm claustrophobic, and I am too much of a weenie to risk arrest.

As I was walking back up Broadway I see a long line of NYPD vans heading south. My thoughts are with the brave people at the park. After a long, peaceful day, I think the NYPD is going to push things into ugly.
posted by Mavri at 10:56 AM on November 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


Does anyone know who is appearing for OWS? They've said "a top 1st amendment" attorney - do they have someone in the courtroom now who will be able to argue this through to SCOTUS?

SCOTUS is quite some distance in the future, and there doesn't need to be that kind of continuity of representation.

This article suggests they have considerable depth on their team.
posted by dhartung at 10:57 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I want to kiss that judge. Seriously. That is what an American patriot sounds like.

spicynuts, I see the distinction but I don't think cops in general (or NYPD in particular) observe it so nicely. I have heard countless episodes of overt trash talking, racism, and "go team blue" crap from cops at many protests and in other random other on-the-job contexts, having lived in NYC for 15 years (and grown up nearby). The other unions have already been a significant presence at OWS. They cannot live in a bubble hitherto isolated from sharing the experience of disempowerment with their brothers and sisters for any reason other than a conscious choice and a significant capacity for rationalization. Cops are their own class. For hire.
posted by spitbull at 10:57 AM on November 15, 2011


anigbrowl - it's a statement of fact about how the political spectrum is aligned.

Your particular frame about unsustainable pensions is a right-of-center frame. That's not really open to dispute.

For example, no major left-of-center economic think tank agrees with you. The Center for Economic Policy Research, Economic Policy Institute, ThinkProgress, etc. all disagree with your statements in the strongest terms possible.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 10:58 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


No, it's a plain statement of your personal opinion. You are not the arbiter of fact any more than I am.

It goes without saying that anything anyone writes is their personal opinion.

Let me restate the problem in a perhaps more conciliatory way. The Left doesn't mean being a liberal, opposed to prejudice, in favour of good pragmatic ideas, or any of that. The term refers to a movement in history that has used public assembly, mass organisation, street politics, and collective action to diminish the power of the market and increase public wealth. Expansion of the public sector and bolstering of wages and pensions are among its great historical achievements. That's what the term has meant pretty much forever. If you think the Left should stop using street politics and adopt a platform of cutting public pensions, that's a totally respectable position, but it's not a position that exists within the spectrum of left politics; it's a criticism from outside that tradition's premises.
posted by wwwwwhatt at 10:58 AM on November 15, 2011 [19 favorites]


Homeless people, the unemployed, and the rest of the "undesirables" are fine as long as they are hidden away from sight.

I've thought it quite telling how their presence is used as a double-edged sword. First, in that OWS cannot possibly represent the 99% because, you know, they're in a first world country and all and have it so damned good. Second, in that the very presence of those who obviously don't have it so damned good is itself a discredit to the movement.
posted by dhartung at 10:59 AM on November 15, 2011 [16 favorites]


I'd be surprised if the court regards the overnight use of tents as being protected speech. I would think that Clark would control, although perhaps it could be distinguishable by dint of Zuccotti being a POPS and there not being any relevant camping restrictions. I guess we'll see.

My expectations are low, sorry to say.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:00 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Squadron and Nadler just weighed in:

"We agree that Zuccotti Park must be open and accessible to everyone – OWS, the public, law enforcement and first responders – and that it is critical to protect the health and safety of protesters and the community.

We have also been urging the City to have a zero tolerance policy on noise and sanitation violations, and to make the results of its enforcement public.

But we must balance the core First Amendment rights of protesters and the other legitimate issues that have been raised.

The City's actions to shut down OWS last night raise a number of serious civil liberties questions that must be answered. Moving forward, how will the City respect the protesters' rights to speech and assembly? Why was press access limited, and why were some reporters' credentials confiscated? How will reported incidents of excessive force used by the police be addressed?

On the issue of Brookfield's rules, we are very concerned that they were promulgated after the protesters arrived; the specific legal questions on this topic are being addressed where it is appropriate – in the courts.

Whatever the courts rule, the City's actions here must not be a backdoor means of ending the free exercise of protesters' rights.

Irrespective of this incident, OWS is now bigger than Zuccotti Park, and no one has the power to silence this national movement."
posted by jaduncan at 11:00 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Democracy Now reporter Ryan Devereaux, who is also filing for the Guardian today, is with the hundreds of protesters who have returned to Zuccotti Park, birthplace of the movement.

Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters have returned to the financial district plaza they've used as a base of operations for the last two months. Citing a court order issued this morning establishing their right to enter Zuccotti Park – which they describe as Liberty Square – the demonstrators marched on the plaza late this morning.

As they approached the square, police officers directed the marchers into a chute of barricades that led to a dead-end. With the pen full, protesters demanded the police let them free. Individuals steadily began to create spaces between barricades and within a short amount of time took the sidewalk surrounding the perimeter of the plaza.

"We want our park now!" the protesters chanted, as the police directed them to keep moving along the sidewalk. Many carried this morning's court order in their hands and often challenged police officers to respond to it. Protesters repeatedly told the NYPD they were breaking the law by barring them from the park.

The arrival of a substantial march to Zuccotti Park has increased the number of Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in Lower Manhattan. The demonstrators have spilled out in areas surrounding the now-cleared park.

The protesters are waiting to hear if the New York state supreme court will side with the owners of the plaza and enforce rules that prohibit tents, tarps and other materials in the park, or let them back in. The crowd, mostly made up of younger people, is passing time cracking jokes via the Peoples' Mic call-and-response system. Meanwhile, in one of the towering office buildings that overlooks the plaza, workers have collected at their windows to watch the demonstrators in the streets below.

posted by The Whelk at 11:02 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


wwwwwhatt, i have plenty of friends on the left who think street politics are an ineffective way of securing the meaningful change we seek. you may be right that historically those tactics have been the first resort, but it's unfair of you to dismiss anyone who believes in non-traditional tactics as somehow not part of a very broadly defined political grouping ("the left"). adapt or die.
posted by modernnomad at 11:03 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am enormously proud of the people there protesting today.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:04 AM on November 15, 2011 [16 favorites]


My god....how dare you people try to have an opinion that can't be labeled! BURN IT WITH FIRE!
posted by spicynuts at 11:04 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not at the cost of constitutionally-guaranteed liberties, no, it isn't.

This is a well-worn quote, but "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

If true for safety how much more true for a little temporary "cleanliness and order"?


If the private owners of Zuccoti park want OWS gone at least temporarily so that they can clean their property, and don't want people sleeping there, then I don't even see ambiguity in this situation. Their right to enjoy and run their property is also constitutionally guaranteed. They may also have the right to change their minds about the use of their own property.

While I am hardly an expert on "POPS," it can hardly be meant as carte blanche to have a permanent shanty town there.

Speak for yourself. I believe that it's not only acceptable, it's necessary. If all other tools for maintaining a basic standard of living have been taken away from a substantial minority of the population, they have every right to inconvenience those that have played a role in taking away those tools.

Re Guiliani: I agree with lupus_wonderboy. I've lived here in NYC since the early 80's. I, along with the vast vast majority of people I have spoken to on the subject of Guiliani, agree that he was a nightmare of a mayor. The few people I've found that liked him seemed to have had a more casual relationship with what was going on in NYC during his reign.
posted by newpotato at 10:03 AM on November 15


The fact that poverty exists obviously does not mean that the poor can ignore private property or violate laws and ordinances (and OWS is hardly synonymous with people who couldn't maintain a basic standard of living anyway).

I hated Giuliani as mayor too, but I think he would likely have done a better job than Bloomberg on OWS in that he might have acted more decisively.
posted by knoyers at 11:05 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Senator Daniel Squadron, just for context.
posted by jaduncan at 11:06 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


If money = speech (c.f. Citizens United), and if one can purchase a tent or some tarps with money...
posted by andreaazure at 11:08 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]



Homeless people, the unemployed, and the rest of the "undesirables" are fine as long as they are hidden away from sight.

I've thought it quite telling how their presence is used as a double-edged sword. First, in that OWS cannot possibly represent the 99% because, you know, they're in a first world country and all and have it so damned good. Second, in that the very presence of those who obviously don't have it so damned good is itself a discredit to the movement.


dhartung, can you explain this comment a little more? I don't completely understand it (serious question).
posted by sweetkid at 11:09 AM on November 15, 2011


I find it amusing that I am relying on media outlets in Britain and Qatar for reasonable and prompt reporting about a major American protest.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 11:09 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


might be starting to rain....
posted by The Whelk at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2011


I find it amusing that I am relying on media outlets in Britain and Qatar for reasonable and prompt reporting about a major American protest.

Yeah, well, Britain and Qatar have to rely on America for reasonable and prompt reporting of celebrity gossip, so I guess it all evens out.
posted by griphus at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


flash of lighting.... damn you dramatic nature.
posted by The Whelk at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


anigbrowl, we're pretty much on the same page. Interesting thing, financially the top 1% has a longer way to fall in the inevitable austerity phase, but I think the unwillingness of the 99% to countenance their part in the austerity is an obstacle to a meaningful public dialog and threatens to derail the OWS movement more than any police action.

You're also right about the fallibility of mass populist movements based on the tearing down of the bad—they routinely drop the ball when it comes to building the good to replace it. That building needs to be done on the kind of localized personal level that doesn't tend to vulcanize movements. Notably, it doesn't need to wait for movements either, and it doesn't need to throw out the baby with the bathwater by devolving into anarchy. My original point was that the sacred cow of private property should not be erected as an obstacle to this movement many of whose concerns are healthy.

An interesting point of view about revitalization movements here.
posted by maniabug at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, raining and temperature is dropping.
posted by rich at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2011


Media outlets in Britain and Qatar don't really care if America comes out looking bad.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:12 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


anigbrowl - it's a statement of fact about how the political spectrum is aligned. Your particular frame about unsustainable pensions is a right-of-center frame. That's not really open to dispute. For example, no major left-of-center economic think tank agrees with you. The Center for Economic Policy Research, Economic Policy Institute, ThinkProgress, etc. all disagree with your statements in the strongest terms possible.

I'm not into political frames, and I don't look to think tanks to form my opinions. The San Francisco Civil Grand Jury is not a right wing think tank. Neither is San Jose's Office of the City Auditor. Neither is the Little Hoover Commission. I'm sorry to be the boring math-and-accounting type guy, but this is an actual honest-to-god problem.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:12 AM on November 15, 2011


THE ACCORDION ANNOUNCES THE RAIN
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


They may also have the right to change their minds about the use of their own property.

I don't think they have complete freedom to decide how the space is used:

[Spaces like Zuccotti Park] owe their existence to zoning laws, passed in 1961 and amended numerous times since, that allowed developers to build taller structures in exchange for creating and maintaining plazas, atriums, passageways, and other spaces, all supposedly open to the public.

source

Exactly what obligations and restrictions this places on the property owner I can't say.
posted by Serf at 11:13 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


WHERE TO MAIL BOOKS TO THE PEOPLE'S LIBRARY
I'd like to donate some books, but it's not clear to me what I should be sending: Is this library supposed to be full of books on populist causes and such as educational/inspirational material, or a general purpose library to give people something interesting to do to occupy their time, or what? Thanks.
posted by Flunkie at 11:14 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


THE ACCORDION ANNOUNCES THE RAIN

band name.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:14 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Regarding the people complaining about the noise caused by the drum circles:
"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security comfort will not have, nor do they deserve, either one"
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:15 AM on November 15, 2011


At presser on courthouse steps, #OWS lawyer Gideon Olivef asked what if judge doesn't rule for them. A: we'll consider options

Flunkie, both. I donated both Zinn and Pratchett.
posted by The Whelk at 11:15 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fact that poverty exists obviously does not mean that the poor can ignore private property or violate laws and ordinances

It does mean that if the population of the poor grows to the point where they start occupying private space, the social contract is in serious trouble. As a society, you can either address these issues or pretend they aren't happening and hope there's not a country-wide revolution.

I believe in a mix of capitalist, socialist, and libertarian policies. All philosophies can make sense in different situations. But a large scale revolution could land us in a fascist totalitarian state, or a socialist totalitarian state, or a state without a functioning government. None of which are going to be good for anyone.

Right now the people still demanding to keep their tax cuts and still demanding free government money to prop up the financial system think that the police can keep a lid on things while the rest of Americans get zero — and I mean zero — relief during this economic crisis. How many more times can the protestors and police clash before there's an incident? It's a stupid gamble, but knowing the arrogance of the people in power, it's not that surprising.
posted by deanklear at 11:15 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


band name.

...for a Colin Meloy solo project.
posted by griphus at 11:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Interesting thing, financially the top 1% has a longer way to fall in the inevitable austerity phase

Everything that has happened in the past three years completely contradicts this. The austerity phase has been happening, and the rich are getting richer.
posted by one_bean at 11:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


can you explain this comment a little more? I don't completely understand it (serious question).

Not my comment, and not speaking for dhartung, but this is how I read it:

At the beginning, there was a lot of noise around how OWS was just a bunch of privileged kids with iPhones and college degrees complaining that the world wasn't quite as much their oyster as they wanted it to be. There was this very real sense that OWS was much more, say, the 33rd through 98th percent than it was the 99%.

Now, they are saying, there's homeless people in there! It's dirty and uncouth and crime-y and they've got to clean it out so that it can be safe for ordinary people (read: 33rd through 98th percenters) to use again!

And this seems like a double standard, a little, even if it's not necessarily being imposed by the same people in both instances.
posted by gauche at 11:16 AM on November 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


Cop occupying the tree. Hah.
posted by klue at 11:16 AM on November 15, 2011


Interesting thing, financially the top 1% has a longer way to fall in the inevitable austerity phase..

The thin starve before the fat lose weight.
--Stanislaw Lem
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:18 AM on November 15, 2011 [25 favorites]


"The Media" has also been arrested here so...not everyone is in on the conspiracy

I'm almost surprised that there are no pre-approved, embedded reporters that the authorities can separate from the rabble (ie: independents). Maybe if there's an outcry about lack of coverage that's what will happen next.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:18 AM on November 15, 2011


the new OCCUPY newspaper has hit the crowd. Handing it out to people singing "this land is your land, this land is my land."
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lady at CNN asked why they're not covering OWS "Not enough interest"
posted by The Whelk at 11:19 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


okay things are now loud and confusing
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 AM on November 15, 2011


Good points, gauche.

I don't see how protestors having iPhones is of any more interest than an East German having a Trabant. Likewise, when the homeless start folding into the mass protest...I mean, what did you think would happen? That the homeless would start counter-protesting?

If you ask me, and no one did, I think it's part of that whole "crackpot realist" mindset. To many people, there can't possibly be any fundamental economic problems in the US. Fundamental economic problems are for other places and other times, but never here and now. Anything which suggests that there are such problems is obviously not real.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:20 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lady at CNN asked why they're not covering OWS "Not enough interest"

Never forget that corporate media outlets don't give a damn about audiences. Their job is to sell advertising to other corporations, not to inform the public.
posted by deanklear at 11:21 AM on November 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


And this seems like a double standard, a little, even if it's not necessarily being imposed by the same people in both instances.

And depending on how the homeless/undesireables were treated/provided for by the OWSers in the camp (one assumes relatively well), the double-edged sword is also an indictment of the institutions outside the camp and their failure to provide same.
posted by notyou at 11:21 AM on November 15, 2011


Does anyone know if there's video at all of the library getting destroyed? That would be an iconic figure for the movement. Watching the police destroy books says something, and might help convince a lot of people who are on the fence about the entire thing. Might make a lot of people ask, "are we the baddies?"

A well designed website which includes pictures/videos of the book destroying along with calls to donate books to the movement would be a great move at this point. Something clean, professional, maybe a white background.
posted by formless at 11:21 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


It seems to me that part of why OWS got cleared out last night is because Occupy Oakland turned a corner when someone got shut just outside the encampment the other evening.

This story seems to have disappeared from the media, beyond being used as a justification for the police action in Oakland, but I haven't seen anything establishing that the shooting had anything to do with the encampment. That someone would be shot for unrelated reasons in downtown Oakland seems entirely plausible to me.
posted by hoyland at 11:22 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this library supposed to be full of books on populist causes and such as educational/inspirational material, or a general purpose library to give people something interesting to do to occupy their time, or what? Thanks.

I was there Sunday and it had plenty of books on populist causes and education/inspirational material—as well as cookbooks, novels, and a hodgepodge of all sorts of other interesting books. Donate whatever!
posted by good day merlock at 11:24 AM on November 15, 2011


That someone would be shot for unrelated reasons in downtown Oakland seems entirely plausible to me.

The saddest part is that if they couldn't connect it to discrediting the protestors, it wouldn't be news.
posted by deanklear at 11:24 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


On the "the park is private property" note, something I don't often hear anybody mentioning is the original, actual Boston Tea Party. A bunch of aristocrats dressed up like street people (actually, Native Americans, but bear with me here), trespassed upon a sailing vessel, confiscated valuable commercial inventory that was owned (here I'm guessing) by a private individual or a corporation, and destroyed that property for the sole purpose of making a political point.

That is vandalism and destruction of private property as political speech.

That was the original Tea Party.
posted by gauche at 11:27 AM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


OWS news is on top of drudge now. Wasn't a couple hours ago. The lead photo is of 3 cops holding down / cuffing a dude face down in the gravel. A little surprising.
posted by Perplexity at 11:31 AM on November 15, 2011


Sticherbeast: I was merely expanding on dhartung's point, but thanks!
posted by gauche at 11:31 AM on November 15, 2011


news of the eviction at Zuccotti park was front-page Yahoo news, as was the court order (albeit presented in rather biased form with plenty of quotes regarding "public safety" and "hazardous sanitary conditions"). For about two hours. Now all of a sudden there is absolutely no mention of OWS anywhere on the Yahoo site. The story has completely vanished.

It's back as the top story, Go Banana. FWIW.


If the private owners of Zuccoti park want OWS gone at least temporarily so that they can clean their property, and don't want people sleeping there, then I don't even see ambiguity in this situation.

Then you are simply mouthing off, knoyers, ignorant of the most basic legal distinctions concerning that special property that have been discussed several times, in this thread, on Metafilter, and in the mainstream press.

Zuccotti Park is not simple "private property". Nor is it spelled "Zuccoti", since you clearly need help googling.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:31 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Via the Occupy Judaism facebook page: A marcher reported that his Torah (actually, Tanakh) was destroyed during the raid.
posted by albrecht at 11:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Perplexity, the average Drudge Report viewer won't be rooting for the same person you are.
posted by emelenjr at 11:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


OccupyToronto just got their eviction notices.
posted by saucysault at 11:33 AM on November 15, 2011


This story seems to have disappeared from the media, beyond being used as a justification for the police action in Oakland, but I haven't seen anything establishing that the shooting had anything to do with the encampment.

The shooting victim had been sleeping in the Occupy camp, but other than proximity there's no reason to think the camp was the cause of the shooting. Could have been a drug thing, could have been a personal grudge, could have been that he said the wrong thing to a passing hoodlum. The significance of it is that because of the ongoing confrontation between black bloc anarchists and the OPD, there were no police in the vicinity at the time, and the escalation of public danger provided an excuse for the shutdown.

That someone would be shot for unrelated reasons in downtown Oakland seems entirely plausible to me.

It's plausible, but still unusual. It's disingenuous (of a small minority at OO, not you) to accpet or even endorse the smashing up of downtown the previous week and then say 'Oakland is violent, what can you do' when someone is shot in the same place a few days later. It was a highly foreseeable outcome of the anarchists' attempt to establish a police-free zone.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:33 AM on November 15, 2011


all this mention of "white shirts" is giving me Windup Girl shivers.
posted by The Whelk at 11:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Statement by 11 NYC council members: "We condemn the violation of the 1st Amendment rights of the protesters" http://thkpr.gs/va9Fym


.@JoshHarkinson was possibly the only journalist inside Zuccotti Park during #ows raid. See what he saw: http://bit.ly/s4ciIb
posted by The Whelk at 11:35 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was a highly foreseeable outcome of the anarchists' attempt to establish a police-free zone.

Nearly a hundred people died of homicide in Oakland last year. I guess it's a police free zone year round.
posted by deanklear at 11:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


REBUILD THE LIBRARY - 6pm Tonight
posted by The Whelk at 11:36 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


It was a highly foreseeable outcome of the anarchists' attempt to establish a police-free zone.


Interesting. What are other murders the highly foreseeable outcomes of?
posted by facetious at 11:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


sweetkid, gauche was close enough. Or try:

Got a job? Got a home? Whaddaya protestin' fer, then?
Got no job? Got no home? Whyncha out lookin' fer one, then?
posted by dhartung at 11:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


That was the original Tea Party.

Not really sure what you're getting at. Lots of stuff that happened during the Revolution (during revolutions generally) becomes instantly impermissible once a new government is put into place.

I'm sure that people involved in the Whiskey Rebellion thought they were following in the best traditions and methods of the American Revolution -- and arguably, they were -- but that didn't stop the Federal government from sending in the army to quash it.

If the American Revolution had failed, it would probably be viewed with about the same level of contempt that the Whiskey Rebellion is today (just a violent tax protest).

You can get away with all sorts of violence in retrospect, but only if you win.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:39 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


On the "the park is private property" note, something I don't often hear anybody mentioning is the original, actual Boston Tea Party. A bunch of aristocrats dressed up like street people (actually, Native Americans, but bear with me here), trespassed upon a sailing vessel, confiscated valuable commercial inventory that was owned (here I'm guessing) by a private individual or a corporation, and destroyed that property for the sole purpose of making a political point.

The tea partiers were smugglers whose business was being disrupted by the East India Tea company, which was able to import tea at lower cost than they could following the Tea act of 1773. Of course, part of the problem was that the EIC was paying tax on the tea, and thus any buyers of said tea were indirectly being taxed to support the hated British government. Funnily enough, all the tax from the tea was held locally and used to pay the salaries of public officials. A modern analogy to this would be an occupation of Goldman Sachs' offices by the managers of small independent hedge funds. It would be funny if Zuccotti park turned out to be full of closet MBAs, I must admit.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:41 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


While I realize that this is tangential to the larger issue of the raid going on in here and the 1st Amendment implications, Anigbrowl, I think your point about public pensions is exactly why we need the conversations OWS sparks. I like institutions too, and almost bordering on technocratic views of public policy issues.

Public pensions are only an issue directly because of, in OWS parlance, the vulturous and corrupt actions of the 1%. I don't want to retype this post, but all the CBO reports and TT numbers are cited. In summary though: Social Security is solvent through mid-century, with the exact years fluctuating by 3-6 because of the indeterminate length of the recession and debt structure. And even codifying the Bush Tax cuts for those making under $250,000 would extend SS through to the next century. Adding to that post, the Social Security fund actually used to pay out more than it brought in as far away ago as 1983, with that issue fixed until now. But, with interest accrued, even though Social Security paid out more than it brought in this year, their amount of money still GREW, and will continue to grow through 2022.

Also conveniently left out of the SS debate is the fact that it is legally prohibited from adding a single cent to the Federal debt, and has never done so and will never do so. And the whole demographic age crisis is manufactured as well. Again, apologies for the lack of linkage but you can check out Dr. Munnel's work at the Boston College Center for Retirement Studies. 65 is pulled out of thin air; an ideal not a reality. In today's labor market, the age for reduced benefits is 62, for normal benefits currently 66 (and will increase to 67 without specific Congressional Intervention before I'm even 40) and right now, full benefits are only achieved at age 70. Raising the retirement age to a nominal 67 would raise the effective retirement age for low-income Americans ("the 50%"), defined as when one can leave work with over $600 to live on per month, to 84(!) years old.

But pivoting to the issue of generalized public pensions beyond Social Security, yes, nationwide state and local public pension companies are facing a $1 trillion dollar shortfall, which would be the case if their stock returns continued at a 2.4% rate. But, at least in RI's case, assuming an 8.25% rate of return will eliminate that shortfall, which is actually below the historical average of 10% RoR, and is a number that is more than reasonable as explained in this Journal of Policy Reform article.

Additionally, there is this flawed argument that the pension issue originates in the fact that people are getting older now. I'll try to find a link, but a Buck Consultants study established that each year added to post-65 life expectancy only adds .2 to .3 percent to the typical pension plan annually. Life expectancy once you've reached the age of 65 is only 5 years higher now than in 1940 (78 to 83) and is optimistically projected to increase by a mere 10 months by 2021. Therefore, in the last 70 years, pension obligation costs have only risen by about 1% per person, whereas GDP has increased by about 600%. But public pension plans have consistently been attacked and private pensions have been weakened, leading to this perception that pensions are bad. But in reality, private pensions are wildly profitable because of regulatory reform in the 70s, adding 14 cents to each share of a company like GE. As Forbes magazine reported, in 2000, the average pension plan for every company in America was fully funded to cover all past, current and projected future employees benefits in perpetuity without a single extra cent of contribution. But utilizing deregulated accounting rules, large corporations "converted trillion dollars in pensions and retiree benefits into immediate dollar-for-dollar benefit for the company" through restructuring and downsizing deals and used loopholes to actually cut benefits, while using pension law to balloon executive pension plans into the range of, say, 4.4 billion in obligations at GE, with $573 million pilfered from employee pensions directly to executives since 2008.

Pensions are an Occupy issue, and need to be fixed, and this is the only narrative that can reclaim the debate from its currently false bearings.
posted by Chipmazing at 11:42 AM on November 15, 2011 [47 favorites]


I'm still trying to get caught up with all the coverage in this tread, but let me reiterate the point that it is absolutely police state tactics 101 to force the press out of the area before a raid. They don't want their actions documented, because they know full well that there won't be any flattering photos or footage of their actions; anything taken is going to show them to be bullies using way too much force on people nonviolently engaging in their civil rights.

I want the cops to be the good guys here, I want them to recognize how much in common that they have with the protesters, and that they can help to maintain a safe and clean environment without resorting to armor, clubs, tear gas, and sound attacks.

But more and more, I'm seeing that the police have decided to continue their role as a militarized occupying army without the best interests of the people at heart.

I hope that the cell phone cameras non-press photographers and videographers were able to document as much of this as possible and get it out there. Because nowadays, it's a lot harder to not be caught on film, no matter how hard you might try.
posted by quin at 11:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Boston Tea Party now fits neatly into a narrative involving opposition to taxation without representation. The OWS message does not seem to have been as clearly articulated or understood, which is probably why it's not getting mentioned.
posted by Hoopo at 11:45 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


NYC filing opposing TRO.
posted by Jahaza at 11:45 AM on November 15, 2011


Not really sure what you're getting at. Lots of stuff that happened during the Revolution (during revolutions generally) becomes instantly impermissible once a new government is put into place.

My point was more that there are at least two (arguably) popular movements going on: the "tea party" and the OWS. The former seems to have a lot invested in the protection of private property against interference in the form of taxes or regulations. The former also seem to see the latter as a bunch of lawless anarchists and hippies.

The contemporary "tea party" are named after an event that is far more violent and disrepctful of private property than anything that has happened at OWS. And that's funny to me.
posted by gauche at 11:46 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Les Mis song I'm rocking.
posted by klangklangston at 11:47 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


After 230 years, the Boston Tea Party has been misunderstood and coopted by other movements to fit neatly into a narrative involving opposition to taxation without representation. Give us 200 years and we'll see what narrative OWS fits into.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:48 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


the complete list of books lost during the raid on the library
posted by The Whelk at 11:48 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


To many people, there can't possibly be any fundamental economic problems in the US.

Indeed. This is the basis of the term "American exceptionalism", of course.
posted by dhartung at 11:49 AM on November 15, 2011


Retired Philadelphia Police Chief among protestors at Plaza.
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


wait the verdict may be out?
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM on November 15, 2011


....false alarm.
posted by The Whelk at 11:50 AM on November 15, 2011


the complete list of books lost during the raid on the library

NYPD confiscated and destroyed the Bible. Let's make that a meme, ladies and gentlemen.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:51 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Welk thank you so much for all you do
posted by wheelieman at 11:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Something tells me the library is going to have a billion copies of A People's History of the United States, but they're going to get one more just in case.
posted by Flunkie at 11:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


LOTS OF SHOUTING
posted by The Whelk at 11:53 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh wait this is video from last night.
posted by The Whelk at 11:53 AM on November 15, 2011


They destroyed the poetry of ee cummings? Those bastards! This is NowWar
posted by Chipmazing at 11:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I TAKE IT BACK!
posted by wheelieman at 11:55 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


in minutes now.....
posted by The Whelk at 11:56 AM on November 15, 2011


They destroyed TekWar by William Shatner? THIS IS TEKWAR!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:57 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Well, the judge did say 'try to get it out before 3p' right? He might take a little longer, there's going to be a lot of heat over this either way.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:57 AM on November 15, 2011


After 230 years, the Boston Tea Party has been misunderstood and coopted by other movements to fit neatly into a narrative involving opposition to taxation without representation.

Yes, that's why I used the word "now."
posted by Hoopo at 11:58 AM on November 15, 2011


I like how "the protesters may have had a significant number of items that could potentially be used as weapons."

Unlike, say, the NYPD, which were packing actual, honest-to-god weapons and wearing body armor.
posted by gauche at 12:01 PM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Got a job? Got a home? Whaddaya protestin' fer, then?
Got no job? Got no home? Whyncha out lookin' fer one, then?


They're protesting living in a country where people's ability to have a home, a job, health insurance, social services, etc., are at the behest of the 1% of the population who destroyed the economy to make a short-term flood of cash.

@joeycomeau put it well this morning: Every time someone says that the protestors just need to get jobs, I just hear, "know your place."
posted by kagredon at 12:02 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Chipmazing, that link of yours is worthy of an FPP in my opinion.
Since accounting rules rewarded employers for cutting benefits, retiree benefits plans soon morphed into profit centers. Retiree plans became handy earnings-management centers at the expense of the retirees. Yet as workers’ retirement benefits were cut, “supplemental executive pensions” ballooned along with escalating deferred compensation. “Today,” reports Schultz, “it’s common for a large company to owe its executives several billion dollars in pensions and deferred compensation.”

It’s these growing “executive legacy liabilities” that account for much of the “growing pension costs”. Executive liabilities are often large, growing, underfunded or unfunded, and hidden, buried within the figures for regular pensions.

“With no punitive damages under pension law, employers face little risk when they unilaterally slash benefits, even when promised in writing, since they can pay their lawyers with pension assets and drag out the cases until the retirees give up or die.”
If I were the Incredible Hulk, about half of my building would now be in pieces.
posted by deanklear at 12:05 PM on November 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


“@nydailynews: Occupy New Jersey announces that they will march to Penn Station at 5pm in support of #OWS http://bit.ly/teL47L
posted by The Whelk at 12:06 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


no less than 3 helicopters above the square.

OWS had a TRAINED WEATHERMAN who had access to radar to give them accurate predictions
posted by The Whelk at 12:07 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I'd like to occupy an umbrella right now."
posted by The Whelk at 12:07 PM on November 15, 2011


apparently, according to eyewitnesses, the police tried an LRAD attack but it fired on them instead.

Tee Hee.
posted by The Whelk at 12:08 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


You dont need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows
posted by wheelieman at 12:09 PM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


Nearly a hundred people died of homicide in Oakland last year. I guess it's a police free zone year round.

People getting murdered on Broadway in the middle of the afternoon is unusual, I'm happy to say. I do not understand a few people's compulsion to justify the mass vandalism that followed the march to the port, and fail to see how smashing the windows of local businesses like Oaksterdam advances the cause of political reform. To their credit, the legitimate Occupy protestors were out early the following day helping to clean up.

chipmazing, you make many good points about pensions, but citing abuses at companies like GE has little to do with the public pension issue and things like spiking and overtime abuse. It's beyond the scope of this discussion, but I'm not really really a fan of public unions for the same reason that FDR wasn't; to me there's a fundamental incompatibility going on there because the government is quite different from a private employer. I think EO 10988 was a bad idea, and open the door for Barry Goldwater's extremely toxic brand of republicanism. I come from long lines of (European) public servants on both sides of my family and simply can't sign on with public sector collective bargaining. To me bargaining is an activity that should be confined to the marketplace, which is to say the private sector.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:09 PM on November 15, 2011


THE ACCORDION ANNOUNCES THE RAIN

band name.

...for a Colin Meloy solo project.


So colour me disconsolate
But I'm bound now for the Prussian Consulate
For to find a home that isn't quite so mean, dear

I left my love at the occupation
I found myself short of remuneration
Your fascist pomposity couldn't keep the park too clean, dear

(hurdy-gurdy solo)

(ritual chanting)

(fade to 9.5/10 Pitchfork review)
posted by gompa at 12:10 PM on November 15, 2011 [22 favorites]


A modern analogy to this would be an occupation the destruction of Goldman Sachs' offices by the managers of small independent hedge funds.

The original Tea Party didn't occupy. They destroyed private property. That's part of the point I keep trying to make. There is precedent in this country for political actions that are a lot worse, a lot more disrespectful of the market, than breaking rules-that-might-not-even-apply about staying in a park overnight or putting up tents or even -- heavens save us -- being dirty and smelly and hungry.

I'm not saying that OWS should destroy private property. I think that would be a terrible idea. I'm saying, some of the complaints about how radical and alienating OWS is being could maybe use a little perspective.
posted by gauche at 12:10 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I burned through my entire daily allowance of favorites in this thread alone, but All Tomorrow's Favorites for you, The Whelk.
posted by kagredon at 12:12 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


@joeycomeau put it well this morning: Every time someone says that the protestors just need to get jobs, I just hear, "know your place."

Bless the squire and his relations
And keep us in our proper stations.
posted by emjaybee at 12:13 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Are there alternative streams to theother99 (globalrevolution)?
posted by klue at 12:13 PM on November 15, 2011


Cops now clearing the sidewalk
posted by wheelieman at 12:16 PM on November 15, 2011


more confirmations of sound weapon used last night
posted by The Whelk at 12:16 PM on November 15, 2011


police are moving...
posted by The Whelk at 12:17 PM on November 15, 2011


AND OF COURSE THE FEED GOES DOWN NOW
posted by The Whelk at 12:17 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


What costumes shall Thee Whelk wear
To All Tomorrow's Favorites?
A double-y link from who-knows where
To All Tomorrow's Favorites.
And where will he go and what shall he do
When cortex comes around?
He'll turn once more to Meta Talk
And snark behind the fold.
posted by griphus at 12:17 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Livestream back
posted by The Whelk at 12:19 PM on November 15, 2011


Only 1,000 people every heard the Velvet Underground, but every one of them made a Whelk-based, OWS-themed parody.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:19 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


PEPPER SPRAYED A PUPPY
posted by The Whelk at 12:20 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not saying that OWS should destroy private property. I think that would be a terrible idea. I'm saying, some of the complaints about how radical and alienating OWS is being could maybe use a little perspective.

And I'm getting tired of pointing out that we actually had quite a bit of property damage here in Oakland last week, of both small local businesses as well as evil horrible corporate chains. I have a negative view of violence as a medium of political discourse because I'm Irish and have seen where that goes in an up close and personal way, and I don't like it at all. YMMV.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:20 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Three or four #OWS tagged tweets reportin that the City, the same city involved in the case, has asked the Judge to recuse himself. Also reported that the judge agreed and stepped aside.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:21 PM on November 15, 2011


It's back as the top story, Go Banana. FWIW.

Top story listed for me on Yahoo is still "Worst Car Flops of 2011". Top news story is "Navy Seal's Bin Laden book called a Lie". No OWS coverage anywhere. WTF? Anyways, glad it seems to be getting news play. I'm tiring of arguing with outrageously misinformed people on Facebook. Though why I'm optimistic enough to think that the people who really need to pay attention to these events will suddenly start doing so is beyond me....
posted by Go Banana at 12:21 PM on November 15, 2011


WAIT WHUT
posted by The Whelk at 12:22 PM on November 15, 2011


rumors spreading, waiting for confirmation
posted by The Whelk at 12:24 PM on November 15, 2011


I wonder what will happen if the judge rules against the occupiers. I can't imagine it'll be good.

Three or four #OWS tagged tweets reportin that the City, the same city involved in the case, has asked the Judge to recuse himself. Also reported that the judge agreed and stepped aside.

The hell? I'm seeing the same (unsourced, never-sourced) tweets. Also, people are specifically claiming that the judge who signed the TRS must so recuse herself. Why?
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:24 PM on November 15, 2011


Wait can someone explain what happens if she recuses herself?
posted by griphus at 12:25 PM on November 15, 2011


Can a protester protect him or herself from LRAD or other acoustic devices with earplugs or protective wear?
posted by HabeasCorpus at 12:26 PM on November 15, 2011


NYCLU hasn't tweeted anything about a recusal. I'd rely on them for now. Their earlier updates about the case were accurate.
posted by Mavri at 12:26 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Note that the first unsourced #ows #recuse hit for that story is from some PR firm.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:26 PM on November 15, 2011


It's incredibile, banks get 16 TRILLION dollars (google for it) in bailout, banking profits are high, banksters bonus are still high and some people complains that OWSers maybe are "smelly" and "piling up" a lot of trash?

Sanitation problem in a small public park is a problem?

50 million U.S. people without health insurance and 50 million U.S. people living below the poverty line, these are fucking huge problems, nevermind some trash in some park.


This is the issue, isn't it. No one has the balls, or maybe even the ability, to deal with the real issues that need to be deal with. But we have police, and police are good at clearing parks, so let's just do that instead.
posted by auto-correct at 12:27 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Note that the first unsourced #ows #recuse hit for that story is from some PR firm.


Phew.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:27 PM on November 15, 2011


The part of this story that most people are going to care about is that the park is now clear and people can start using it as a park again (an open space and a refuge from the city that nobody monopolizes for their exclusive use). And from that perspective, it's a local NYC story and not a national one.
That's how it's playing out with our tiny local protest, anyway. Local news: we are clearing out Olympic Plaza because protesters are hogging the space, and the rest of us just want a place to sit on our lunch breaks.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:28 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Report from lone reporter who was able to sneak back into the camp
posted by stagewhisper at 12:28 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


in the courthouse, lots of cops waiting the verdict
posted by The Whelk at 12:29 PM on November 15, 2011


Nobody uses Zuccotti Park as a real park.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:29 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was sort of expecting to hear chants along the lines of "YOU! ARE! THE 99!" when it came time to square off against beat cops. I sort of still am. Give it a try, OWS?

I've seen and heard it personally. I like it but it doesn't seem to be very effective.

I witnessed one Seattle PD officer respond to a direct, personal appeal with (and I quote) "No, I'm not like you. I'm proud to be a house nigger."

The officer who said this was African-American. I wanted to throw up.

I don't know how to say this without it sounding like hyperbole but we have a very serious and dangerous problem with law enforcement in this country. The job attracts violent, sadistic thugs who get off on violence. That's what they signed up for. The expression on some of their faces as they swing their batons is one of sexual pleasure and gratification.

I used to see the same expression on my severely abusive/sadistic step-dad's face when he'd beat me, and it's fucking terrifying to see it employed under the color of law and order. It makes me physically sick.

I briefly had a job as a data entry technician at a police station. I manually keyed in parking tickets, as they were in the process of computerizing their ticketing system. The things I overheard most/all of the police in the station when they thought I was listening to my headphones and doing my data entry were sickening.

There was a protest scheduled somewhere in the city (which shall remain nameless) one day and the cops were excited about it, making jokes about how many hippy skulls they were going to crack. They were making jokes about anally raping protesters with their batons - while stroking their batons suggestively and commenting that they wished they could use bigger batons. Several officers were talking about what they liked best about protest duty - kneeling on someone's throat or their face - and comparing tactics about how to best hurt people without getting into trouble for police brutality. They were literally discussing how to "accidentally" drop people on their faces after hog-tying them.

This isn't some officers "letting off steam" and joking under stress. This was a small, quiet police department. They weren't under stress - this was the very overt and direct enjoyment of violence.

This is what a police state looks like. The fetishism of brutality and violence. The militarization of municipal police departments. The complete disregard for the will of the citizens they're supposed to be serving and protecting.


Unsurprisingly, people don't want to hear or acknowledge these things. People want to respond "But that's just a few bad cops!" without knowing if it is actually true or not, because if it's not true, well, the alternatives are too terrifying for most to admit to themselves.

Yeah, it's terrifying to think that these people - the people that are supposed to be there to protect you, your family and your home - are actually mostly just thugs. That they don't really have any real function beyond brutality and violence.

That the same officer that you call to your house to take a (mostly useless) police report about a burglary or the same officer you would call if you were sexually assaulted is the same exact officer that would get off on beating you down with a club if you dared to exercise your First Amendment rights, and then laugh about it back in the locker rooms.


If you're realizing and accepting this, you now know why people of color don't call the police when shit goes down in the inner cities. It's because calling the police often made things worse in very real ways. You also now know why the Rodney King riots happened.

That boot that Orwell talks about? The one stamping on a human face, forever? It's not a military boot. It's a police boot.

And increasingly there's no difference between the two boots except the foot inside of it.


Please, please stand up. Our collective future and well being depends on it. Hell, my very life depends on it. I need access to health care. It doesn't have to be free, it just has to be affordable. If you're not angry enough to do it for yourself, feel free to do it for me. Do it for the adult life I lost and wasted being marginalized. Do it for the books I wasn't able to write because I still haven't found long term care for my severe PTSD and depression. Do it for the children I chose not to have.

Do it for your children.

We may not get another chance at this, ever. It may even already be too late.
posted by loquacious at 12:29 PM on November 15, 2011 [105 favorites]


THE VERDICT IS GOING TO BE READ
posted by The Whelk at 12:29 PM on November 15, 2011


AND HERE...WE...GO.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:30 PM on November 15, 2011


YOU DONT HAVE TO YELL
posted by wheelieman at 12:30 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


The part of this story that most people are going to care about is that the park is now clear and people can start using it as a park again

Funny, because almost everybody seems to be commenting on the police arresting journalists, destroying a library, and refusing to obey the law. I am not sure who these "most people" are, but it doesn't really matter what most people think, as most people don't turn their thoughts into activism.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:30 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


LIVE AERIAL VIEW
posted by The Whelk at 12:31 PM on November 15, 2011


That's what they're saying on the livestream, but NYCLU says no decision yet.
posted by Mavri at 12:31 PM on November 15, 2011


OH GOD THE WAITING
posted by The Whelk at 12:32 PM on November 15, 2011


YES
posted by The Whelk at 12:33 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Judgement in favor of OWS
posted by yertledaturtle at 12:33 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think I can hear the internet holding its breath.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:33 PM on November 15, 2011


LET US IN
posted by The Whelk at 12:33 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


F5F5F5F5
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:34 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aargh, I hope they don't get all excited by a possibly fake verdict and overrun the barricades. They need to sit tight for now.
posted by Mavri at 12:34 PM on November 15, 2011


Huzzah! But what about the camping restrictions, etc.?
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:34 PM on November 15, 2011


I'm not talking about Metafilter, I'm talking about the legions of ignorant Facebook friends people are mentioning upthread. I'm talking about people like my parents and my co-workers. Protests are a non-event to them, but a permanent tent city in a city park crosses a line for them, and they'd like to have their public park back.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:35 PM on November 15, 2011


EVERYONE WAIT IN A STATE OF CAT LIKE REDINESS
posted by The Whelk at 12:35 PM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


I CAN'T CLENCH ANY HARDER
posted by griphus at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


AH BAD SOURCE THIS IS LIKE TORTURE
posted by The Whelk at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2011


Oh, so no real verdict yet?
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2011


False alarm, damn!
posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2011


I JUST WANT TO BE ABLE TO PEE DAMNIT
posted by The Whelk at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Protests are a non-event to them, but a permanent tent city in a city park crosses a line for them, and they'd like to have their public park back.

And I am saying that history is made by those who act. Every change inconveniences somebody. If they don't take to the streets about it, they're just an upset person with an opinion.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:37 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Am I the only one who feels almost the way they did on the morning of September 11, 2001? I'm so frigging tempted to buy a ticket to New York it's not funny.
posted by Mooski at 12:37 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've been to Zuccotti Park three times. The first two times (late September and early October) I was able to enter the park, buy myself a halal chicken on the food cart, find a place to sit, and have my lunch while checking out the protesters. In other words, I was somewhat able to *use* the park - the protesters were definitely occupying it, but it wasn't an overwhelming presence (never mind the constant fucking drumming, of course).

I had to go to Jersey City last week and decided to stop by again on my way back after I got of the PATH, and maybe do the same thing - go in there, check out what's going on. This time I couldn't. Zuccotti park became a tent city, packed to the gills. It was hard to go in, impossible to move in there, not to mention the shitload of *very* dodgy looking types walking about. I'm sorry to say folks, but the whole thing had become a very real health and safety hazard. The silver lining was that the drummers were on a curfew, but outside of that, it was clear that Zuccotti Park was growing out of control.

Another thing that called my attention was the SHITLOAD of cops around the area, needed to police the thing. The apparatus just looked expensive, with all the overtime NYPD must be spending on it.

So yesterday I saw the news that on Thursday, to mark the 2-month anniversary of the occupation, the protesters were planning on shutting down the NYSE and then march to Brooklyn Bridge, which struck me as the most idiotic of moves at this point. Honestly, if that was really the plan, the protesters overstepped their bounds, and there's the result now.


I will buy you a year's worth of halal chicken if you'll drop this bullshit excuse for violating people's constitutional rights.

The police chose to overcommit themselves. That's not a result of the protest.
posted by odinsdream at 12:38 PM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


OOZBARK? AARDVARK!
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:38 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not talking about Metafilter, I'm talking about the legions of ignorant Facebook friends people are mentioning upthread. I'm talking about people like my parents and my co-workers. Protests are a non-event to them, but a permanent tent city in a city park crosses a line for them, and they'd like to have their public park back.

Maybe, and this will depend on how OWS handles its outreach and reporting of this event, but I bet there are a lot of people who might be meh on OWS, but would have some pretty strong reactions to how the city of New York handled things. Sure, people want their park back; but do they want it back at the cost of the police being allowed to forcibly evict them at any time in defiance of the courts? I don't think so, and if that's what people hear about, you are going to see a lot of people sit up and take interest.
posted by kagredon at 12:38 PM on November 15, 2011


LET THE WHELK PEE
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:38 PM on November 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


Am I the only one who feels almost the way they did on the morning of September 11, 2001?

Possibly.
posted by holdkris99 at 12:38 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


LET THE WHELK PEE
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:38 PM on November 15 [+] [!]


It's not the catchiest slogan I've ever heard...
posted by orrnyereg at 12:39 PM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Isn't the term for arguing that people shouldn't do such and such a thing because certain other people potentially wouldn't like that thing referred to as "concern trolling?"
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:40 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm talking about the legions of ignorant Facebook friends people are mentioning upthread. I'm talking about people like my parents and my co-workers. Protests are a non-event to them, but a permanent tent city in a city park crosses a line for them, and they'd like to have their public park back.

Yeah well thankfully those people have absolutely no power, at all. Which is ironically sort of the point
posted by crayz at 12:40 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


LET THE WHELK WHEE?
posted by holdkris99 at 12:40 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]




Am I the only one who feels almost the way they did on the morning of September 11, 2001?


7:30 am or 9:30am?
posted by spicynuts at 12:40 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Attorney Alan Levine JUST said there's no decision but "my assumption is we're gonna win"

NO JINXY
posted by The Whelk at 12:41 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


another group marching from Foley sq to the Plaza
posted by The Whelk at 12:41 PM on November 15, 2011


orrnyereg: "LET THE WHELK PEE
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:38 PM on November 15 [+] [!]


It's not the catchiest slogan I've ever heard...
"

But it's got a good beat and you can dance to it.
posted by workerant at 12:41 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


#OCCUPYWHELKSBLADDER
posted by griphus at 12:41 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


FREE THE WHELK PEE!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:41 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the 9/11 hero-worship of the NYPD has come to an end. EMS and firefighters are still beloved.
posted by Renoroc at 12:41 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


7:30 am or 9:30am?

7:30: oh shit gotta go to class
9:30: class got cancelled lol
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:41 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


#Ows Lawyers leave clerk's office, but say no decision yet.
posted by The Whelk at 12:42 PM on November 15, 2011


It sounded there, momentarily, like they're yelling "Let Whelk Pee." I think it's really Let Us In.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:42 PM on November 15, 2011


Is being a news conduit a good excuse to not go my publisher's party?
posted by The Whelk at 12:43 PM on November 15, 2011


I don't see how we could possibly allow The Whelk to urinate considering the violence that occurred in Oakland.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:43 PM on November 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


Really? You were lol'ing at 9:30?
posted by spicynuts at 12:43 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Once you've gone, The Whelk, I will gladly refill your bladder with the finest liquors.
posted by whuppy at 12:43 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is being a news conduit a good excuse to not go my publisher's party?

Do you need a good excuse?
posted by holdkris99 at 12:44 PM on November 15, 2011


If The Whelk didn't want NYPD storming his bathroom, maybe he shouldn't have peed in it.
posted by kagredon at 12:44 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


And I am saying that history is made by those who act. Every change inconveniences somebody. If they don't take to the streets about it, they're just an upset person with an opinion.

I agree. I'm just offering an explanation of the indifference or outright support of the police you may be hearing from people you know. And from the media. It's not that they disagree with the protester's message, they're just thinking about the occupation from a different angle than you are.

Yeah well thankfully those people have absolutely no power, at all. Which is ironically sort of the point

I'm not clear who you're talking about here. The people who want the parks cleared have the support of the government, media and police.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:44 PM on November 15, 2011


But it's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

I assume it's only available as a torrent.
posted by argonauta at 12:44 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


The people who want the parks cleared have the support of the government, media and police.

I think their media support dried up, and they may not have the support of the courts.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:45 PM on November 15, 2011


Woman showing court order to cop gets decked in the face.

Really? You were lol'ing at 9:30?

No, all jokes aside. However, I do remember being at Washington Square Park. Someone was asking where the towers were. A nasal woman then replied, very loudly, "YOU CAN KEEP LOOKIN' FOR THE TOWERS...BUT I DON'T THINK YOU'RE GONNA FIIIIIND THEM!" That was sort of funny, amidst the chaos.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:45 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Current Guardian Liveblog
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:46 PM on November 15, 2011


It does mean that if the population of the poor grows to the point where they start occupying private space, the social contract is in serious trouble. As a society, you can either address these issues or pretend they aren't happening and hope there's not a country-wide revolution.

The US isn't remotely on the brink of revolution or even major social unrest as was last seen in the chain of riots of the late '60s. "The population of the poor" is not challenging the government or its authority at all. Right now anyway, OWS is a small movement and has not posed a significant threat to the status quo. I doubt it will.

Then you are simply mouthing off, knoyers, ignorant of the most basic legal distinctions concerning that special property that have been discussed several times, in this thread, on Metafilter, and in the mainstream press.

Zuccotti Park is not simple "private property". Nor is it spelled "Zuccoti", since you clearly need help googling.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:31 AM on November 15


Thanks for the helpful spelling lesson.

Because a park is open 24 hours, I wouldn't infer either that a) multitudes of people are allowed to squat there; b) open 24 hours means that the owners relinquish all rights to exercise control of their property.
posted by knoyers at 12:46 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ha..that is actually funny.
posted by spicynuts at 12:46 PM on November 15, 2011


Mayor's office going out of their way to dispel rumors of the library's destruction: Property from #Zuccotti, incl #OWS library, safely stored @ 57th St Sanit Garage; can be picked up Weds.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:47 PM on November 15, 2011


^Securely held by the ample cargo capacity of garbage trucks.
posted by entropone at 12:48 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Right now anyway, OWS is a small movement and has not posed a significant threat to the status quo. I doubt it will.

Well, we'll see. I hope you are wrong but I suspect you are right. Let's find out by letting them exercise their rights under the constitution.
posted by josher71 at 12:49 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


yeah, but the OWS folks first have to claim their stuff, and then they have to wait to see if anybody else claims it.
posted by angrycat at 12:51 PM on November 15, 2011


Property from #Zuccotti, incl #OWS library, safely stored @ 57th St Sanit Garage; can be picked up Weds.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _________
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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _,,,--~~~~~~~~--,_ . . . .\ ._________/
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posted by Faint of Butt at 12:51 PM on November 15, 2011 [37 favorites]


The police chose to overcommit themselves.

Indeed. Let's review Madison, again, shall we?

The number one direction that was provided by Chief Tubbs of the Capitol Police Department, Chief Wray of the Madison Police and myself was that we were going to ensure that it was a safe gathering, and that we were not going to be protecting marble; we were going to be protecting people's rights to assemble and their right to free speech, because we knew this was a highly charged gathering. -- Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney, one of the supporting departments
posted by dhartung at 12:52 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Property from #Zuccotti, incl #OWS library, safely stored @ 57th St Sanit Garage; can be picked up Weds.

Amy Goodman: "... we were there watching as the sanitation workers trashed almost every physical item in the park, dumping them into dump trucks. And when we asked them where they were taking the property that had been completely trashed and was put into garbage trucks, they said, 'To the dump.'"
posted by ryanshepard at 12:52 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nonsensical cop on the Livestream: "You can't stay here! You can't leave! But you gotta move! You can't stay here! You gotta move!"
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:53 PM on November 15, 2011


they seem to be pushing people into already cramped areas.
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on November 15, 2011


knoyers : Because a park is open 24 hours, I wouldn't infer either that a) multitudes of people are allowed to squat there; b) open 24 hours means that the owners relinquish all rights to exercise control of their property.

You need to start paying more attention. There are fixed rules for how the 'owner' of a privately owned public space in NYC can set and change rules, and they include requiring the owner to publicize suggested rule-changes 50 days before those changes go into effect, and also require that a public hearing be held to discuss the proposed rule-changes.

So get your FACTS straight and quit blowing hot air about a subject that you're obviously completely misinformed on.
posted by syzygy at 12:53 PM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


it is getting very shouty
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on November 15, 2011


The Occupy Wall Street encampment was cleaner, safer, friendlier, and (much) quieter than my neighborhood (Washington Heights, uptown) on any given warm night. Less public urination, too, despite the city's remarkably mean-spirited refusal to allow the installation of porta-potties until just 10 days ago. The "quality of life issues" cited in the city's brief are orders of magnitude worse every weekend night in the East Village. Mayor Bloomberg's decision to bring in riot cops and clear out Liberty Park in the middle of the night is only and exactly a capitulation to the demands of his plutocrat cronies.
posted by jcrcarter at 12:54 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


The coverage I saw on CNN a few moments ago lasted about a minute.
posted by XMLicious at 12:54 PM on November 15, 2011


looks like the camera man is getting kinda manhandled, tense but not danger zone
posted by The Whelk at 12:55 PM on November 15, 2011


Amy Goodman: "... we were there watching as the sanitation workers trashed almost every physical item in the park, dumping them into dump trucks. And when we asked them where they were taking the property that had been completely trashed and was put into garbage trucks, they said, 'To the dump.'"

So was Goodman inaccurate/exaggerating or is the mayor's office lying and they don't actually have OWS property and/or they have taken photographs of other books that are not in fact part of the OWS library?
posted by modernnomad at 12:55 PM on November 15, 2011


Yeah, they pulled that "Oh, your stuff is safe" bullshit here in Seattle, to.

By "safe" they mean "destroyed and crushed in a sodden pile".

Tents and camping gear and books are fragile. So are cameras and laptops and phones. If you just scoop them up and then throw them in a truck (compacting trash truck or not) without properly packing and stowing them, they tend to tear and have broken poles and be effectively useless.

The destruction is intentional. The seized belongings aren't actually "safe" unless you consider "landfill ready" to be "safe".
posted by loquacious at 12:55 PM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


knoyers: With the new barricades comes new rules, including posted signs that state that the park is closed from 10p to 6a.
posted by andreaazure at 12:55 PM on November 15, 2011


More than likely, some got sent to the dump, some got sent to 57th St. and there's basically no way to figure out what went where.
posted by griphus at 12:55 PM on November 15, 2011


camera is geting good cop bad copped
posted by The Whelk at 12:56 PM on November 15, 2011


griphus we have a list of the books at least
posted by The Whelk at 12:57 PM on November 15, 2011


With the new barricades comes new rules, including posted signs that state that the park is closed from 10p to 6a.

The problem is that this isn't legal or enforceable.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:57 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "it is getting very shouty"

Getting? Oh, you mean there, not here.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:57 PM on November 15, 2011


Yeah, I can't really imagine that the city willingly undertook overseeing the chaos of having a bunch of jumbled-up belongings and asking people to prove their the owners. I think it was all trashed.
posted by Mavri at 12:58 PM on November 15, 2011


cameraman needs a snack, a nap, and a buddy
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:58 PM on November 15, 2011


I'm not thrilled with my source - but OWS on FB just posted this: Occupy Wall St.
UPDATE: Judge has ruled in favor of OWS returning to our park. Reclaim our home now!
posted by cdalight at 12:59 PM on November 15, 2011


Heh.

"Sorry, some water got in your laptop. And several bootprints. No clue what happened there, that's how it was when we picked it up."
posted by jaduncan at 12:59 PM on November 15, 2011


Officer Garcia is sad about the puppets
posted by The Whelk at 12:59 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


PUPPIES
posted by The Whelk at 12:59 PM on November 15, 2011


No word on puppet puppies
posted by The Whelk at 12:59 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


griphus we have a list of the books at least

True. But but the city has basically an iron-clad defense in that "we just gave the books to whoever showed up," assuming that's what they are going to do. OWS isn't nearly an organized party enough to be able to defend themselves against the city's claim that the books not on the list just walked away.
posted by griphus at 1:00 PM on November 15, 2011


More than likely, some got sent to the dump, some got sent to 57th St. and there's basically no way to figure out what went where.

"Democracy Now" also reported sanitation workers stealing drums from the park this morning ("they're trash and we're taking them from the trash" was the quote, I think.) My guess is that a lot of cameras and laptops became "trash", too.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:01 PM on November 15, 2011


(i would like to formally apologize to the metafilter server right now)
posted by The Whelk at 1:01 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


And it's already being questioned - back to lurk (appreciatively - you people are phenomenal, even when you get a bit snippy with each other :)
posted by cdalight at 1:01 PM on November 15, 2011


(not that I approve of that, to be clear. I just know people it's happened to.)
posted by jaduncan at 1:01 PM on November 15, 2011


"The new park smells like Clorox and broken constitutional amendments."

Sorry about that, guys. Sometimes a guy just wants to rub himself on things, ya know?
posted by clorox at 1:01 PM on November 15, 2011 [29 favorites]


Ejavelation?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:03 PM on November 15, 2011


Thank goodness the Other99 livestream guy took a break. I was getting worried about him.
posted by Mavri at 1:04 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "it is getting very shouty"

Getting? Oh, you mean there, not here.


That was my first thought, too, but actually I think people have been pretty civil in this thread--a bit of snippiness here and there, but decent for what's about to become a 1000+ comment post.
posted by kagredon at 1:06 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


odinsdream: "I will buy you a year's worth of halal chicken if you'll drop this bullshit excuse for violating people's constitutional rights."

I'll take you up on that. I love me some halal chicken.
posted by falameufilho at 1:06 PM on November 15, 2011


Hey, it's a handoff. Cool.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:08 PM on November 15, 2011


would-be mayor, @ChrisCQuinn, weighs in: If reports of excessive force, restrictions on press are true, "these actions are unacceptable"

Gonna have to a little better then that but I like your union background so .....
posted by The Whelk at 1:09 PM on November 15, 2011


Ustream seems to be back up.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:09 PM on November 15, 2011


Dammit I have gotten NO work done today.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:10 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Over a thousand comments and only half of them are from The Whelk! (Just kidding, thanks for keeping us informed.)
posted by Navelgazer at 1:10 PM on November 15, 2011


@adrian_parsons: #OWS protester: "the cops have occupied Zucotti Park, we're just trying to figure out what their demands are.
posted by The Whelk at 1:12 PM on November 15, 2011 [20 favorites]


Whelk: where would you like donations sent in your name?
posted by felix at 1:13 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Bladder and Bowel Foundation.
posted by Kattullus at 1:14 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the Whelk has exceeded the recommended 10% comment limit.
Just kidding! Thanks for the updates - I can't watch the streams at work.
posted by charred husk at 1:15 PM on November 15, 2011


Cause it came up (SELF LINK) I am in this, every cent will go to OWS, donations for the library can be found ...upthread and they are going to need so much more support after this - I'd wait for a decision then see what everyone needs.
posted by The Whelk at 1:16 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Looking at the photos that The Atlantic posted, those tents may be "available for pickup" at some point by their original owners, but they will be in small, damp bundles and unsuitable for use ever again…which is pretty much what I imagine the cops had in mind.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:16 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mayors office photo shows OWS Library books not trashed. (via NY Times).
posted by Jahaza at 1:16 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer: "Over a thousand comments and only half of them are from The Whelk..."

Very tempted to make a "just like old times" or "so it's Tuesday then?" joke but only if everybody -- especially him -- promises to take it in the spirit intended, which is very much one of love and appreciation for allowing me follow along with events since I've woken up this morning from a trusted source.

The same thing with my comments on 'shoutiness' here -- it has been fairly civil, and, to be honest, a completely lack of shouty in a thread like this would be not only impossible but maybe even a little disappointing. Some things are worth getting riled up over.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:16 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whelk: where would you like donations sent in your name?

Here
, asked him on MeFi Mail earlier
posted by holdkris99 at 1:16 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


A) I want to move to New York*
B) I want America to be a better place
C) I want to high-five everyone who contributed to this vast, exciting thread


*WRAL Headline News: Members of the so-called "Occupy Raleigh" movement on Tuesday turned down an offer to set up a base in a downtown parking lot, saying it didn't meet their needs. I think it is the "so-called" that gets my goat. Well that and the comments dripping with contempt for the Occupiers.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:17 PM on November 15, 2011


we've just switched to the courthouse? cam
posted by The Whelk at 1:18 PM on November 15, 2011


Still no decision? This is outrageous.
posted by tr33hggr at 1:19 PM on November 15, 2011


they are being way nicer to that shouty guy then they need to be
posted by The Whelk at 1:19 PM on November 15, 2011


back to courthouse? cam
posted by The Whelk at 1:20 PM on November 15, 2011


I don't really know what I think about it, but I'm not so certain this is such an evil thing. I just think it's worth complicating our understandings of what's going on beyond this us/them oppositional logic.

Simply, if this doesn't register as an evil thing, you need to recalibrate your sense of what's evil.
posted by odinsdream at 1:20 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Still no decision? This is outrageous.

GIVE US US PEE
posted by Hoopo at 1:21 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


In an effort to lower my blood pressure, I am now reading all of Whelk's comments in the voice of the announcer from SuperFriends.
posted by griphus at 1:21 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


they are being way nicer to that shouty guy then they need to be

These are the kinds of dialogues that need to happen though.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:22 PM on November 15, 2011


Meanwhile...
posted by burnmp3s at 1:22 PM on November 15, 2011


We will bring Lexcorp down.
posted by The Whelk at 1:22 PM on November 15, 2011


CNBC camera is pointing at the wrong courthouse.
posted by Mavri at 1:22 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


In an effort to lower my blood pressure, I am now reading all of Whelk's comments in the voice of the announcer from SuperFriends.

I tried, but I wound up with George Takei, which is all right, I guess.

"waaaay NICER to that shouty guy than they neeeed to beeee."
posted by kagredon at 1:22 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Simply, if this doesn't register as an evil thing, you need to recalibrate your sense of what's evil.

On my sense of what's evil, this would be very low on the list. On the list sure, but very very low
posted by holdkris99 at 1:24 PM on November 15, 2011


I'm going to get another cup of coffee which will make the verdict come instantly as soon as my back is turned.
posted by The Whelk at 1:25 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stream in courthouse now, everyone waiting, looking at the door...
posted by The Whelk at 1:26 PM on November 15, 2011


A watched courtroom never boils.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:27 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Griphus if you don't put those up on soundcloud I will be super disappointed.
posted by murphy slaw at 1:27 PM on November 15, 2011


Stream in courthouse now, everyone waiting, looking at the door, get on the floor, everybody walk the dinosaur...
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:27 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


OCCUPY JURASSIC PARK
posted by The Whelk at 1:28 PM on November 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


These are basic civil liberties. I know these!
posted by griphus at 1:29 PM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


Well I think the NYPD (and all of us) learned a valuable lesson today:

1) Wait until twilight
2) Evict media
3) *Remember to disable cell phone and wireless access points in the area*
4) Forcibly remove protestors
5) Bring in cleaning crew and generate footage of cleaning operation to give to press
6) Erect barricades

Those BART officials didn't have to put up with any TRO nonsense, did they?
They didn't get narrated by the Whelk either
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:29 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


THE WHELK HAS TO PISS LIKE A PACHYCEPHALOSAURUS!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:29 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


headdeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddeskheaddesk RT @whitehouse: Today is America Recycles Day. Find out what you can do:
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Forgive me if this has been answered, but what are the option for the City of the judge rules in favor of OWS? Does a favorable judgement mean that the barricades must immediately be moved, or will we just be looking at a legal counter action?
posted by holdkris99 at 1:30 PM on November 15, 2011


If the cops illegally evicted people from the park and confiscated their belongings and those items get lost/damaged, can the police or city be held culpable? Will there be any repercussion for the cops/city due to the illegal police action?
posted by dazed_one at 1:31 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


*if the judge
posted by holdkris99 at 1:31 PM on November 15, 2011


Dear White House, what is the correct way to recycle a ruined tent?
posted by murphy slaw at 1:31 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Quote from an e.e.cummings poem: "I will not kiss your fucking flag/there is some shit I will not eat."
posted by eggtooth at 1:31 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Today is America Recycles Day. Find out what you can do:

See, this is why I don't do drugs.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:31 PM on November 15, 2011


dazed_one: class action, most likely.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:32 PM on November 15, 2011


THE WHELK HAS TO PISS LIKE A PACHYCEPHALOSAURUS!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 13:29 on November 15 [+] [!]
Better than a micropachycephalosaurus, knowwhatimean?
posted by wintermind at 1:32 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Will there be any repercussion for the cops/city due to the illegal police action?

Yes. The City will pay its lawyers handsomly to argue that it is immune from suit for acting in the public good. This argument will persuade a judge.

That's not a researched legal opinion, mind you.
posted by gauche at 1:33 PM on November 15, 2011


If the cops illegally evicted people from the park and confiscated their belongings and those items get lost/damaged, can the police or city be held culpable? Will there be any repercussion for the cops/city due to the illegal police action?

Yeah, NYC has been here before. They'll be lawsuits and they'll be settlements and it's all going to cost a TON of money. Good thing I pay my NYC income tax!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:33 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Once you've gone, The Whelk. . .

You don't go back?
 
posted by Herodios at 1:34 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Will there be any repercussion for the cops...

Is there ever?.
posted by Hoopo at 1:34 PM on November 15, 2011


Karen McVeigh, says matters are not much clearer inside the supreme court building, where there are reports that the judge may not issue his ruling until 5pm.

on that note the coffee now has bourbon in it
posted by The Whelk at 1:34 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Also, for all the cops who disobeyed a restraining order, what are the penalties for someone who breaks a restraining order in the US?
posted by dazed_one at 1:35 PM on November 15, 2011


Forgive me if this has been answered, but what are the option for the City of the judge rules in favor of OWS?

Further legal action as the cops continue to do what the City tells them to regardless of what is going on in the courts.

If the cops illegally evicted people from the park and confiscated their belongings and those items get lost/damaged, can the police or city be held culpable?

The city/NYPD will claim those objects were in that condition when they were picked up.

Will there be any repercussion for the cops/city due to the illegal police action?

They might be able to eke out an "I'm sorry you're an asshole"-style apology from the NYPD but that's about it. At the worst, some shmuck who drew the short straw is going to be flying a desk for the rest of their career.
posted by griphus at 1:35 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be fair, the cummings poem is:

"I will not kiss your fucking flag"

straightway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)
posted by holdkris99 at 1:35 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


All this concern for lost & stolen items - weren't several people arrested? What happens to them? They're still in jail, right?
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:36 PM on November 15, 2011


on that note the coffee now has bourbon in it

you liar, it had bourbon this whole time.
posted by Think_Long at 1:36 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will there be any repercussion for the cops/city due to the illegal police action?

This is the NYPD, the same organization that stops and frisks 600,000 people per year with no probable cause; people who are just coincidentally black or latino.

They are not too concerned about what is legal, or what is right.
posted by deanklear at 1:36 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


By the way, I'm not naive and I understand that the cops will get off lightly. Just wondering what the law is.
posted by dazed_one at 1:36 PM on November 15, 2011


#Teamsters' General Executive Board unanimously passes resolution in support of #OWS protesters bit.ly/rURjsZ
posted by The Whelk at 1:38 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Whelk: on that note the coffee now has bourbon in it

On the one hand, two diuretics in one cup. On the other hand, you won't care.
posted by Kattullus at 1:38 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


wait, there was a LITERAL tug of war with an American flag between a protestor and cop? Sometimes life resembles editorial cartoons
posted by The Whelk at 1:39 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


All this concern for lost & stolen items - weren't several people arrested? What happens to them? They're still in jail, right?

My understanding is there are active efforts to identify them and get them out, but since there's no absolutely sure way to take a complete headcount of who was in the park/who is accounted for now, it depends on friends/relatives/the arrested folks being able to get in contact with the people in charge of the legal efforts.
posted by kagredon at 1:39 PM on November 15, 2011



Someone did something like this in Warsaw yt . Although I don't think that was broadcast live.


More of this is absolutely vital to getting out information during media blackouts that are going to become increasingly common.

A fairly simple version to heft a live streaming iPhone should be pretty cheap.
posted by odinsdream at 1:39 PM on November 15, 2011


While we all wait in anguish, why not distract yourself with this Rorschach test: NYT "Public Opinion and the Occupy Movement".
posted by hat_eater at 1:39 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


electricity has been restored to the park, with the lit walkways
posted by The Whelk at 1:40 PM on November 15, 2011


Hey, got any plans Thursday? Maybe we can meet for coffee or a socio-political revolution? http://november17.org/

posted by The Whelk at 1:42 PM on November 15, 2011


I know this question might make me sound like a dum-dum, but why do the protesters want/need anyone's permission to protest? Shouldn't they just be peacefully marching to Zucotti Park regardless of what any judge says, then letting the cops beat and arrest them when they get there? Isn't that how civil disobedience works?

(Please know that I'm asking out of actual curiosity. It just seems like when you're protesting against the oligarchy, asking that same oligarchy for permission might be missing the point.)
posted by weinbot at 1:43 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


#OWS lawyer Yetta Kurland days they're making copies of decision, will be released shortly.
posted by The Whelk at 1:43 PM on November 15, 2011


From Nick Pinto: #OWS lawyer Yetta Kurland days they're making copies of decision, will be released shortly.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:43 PM on November 15, 2011


macfathom Nick Pinto
#OWS lawyer Yetta Kurland days they're making copies of decision, will be released shortly.
posted by CancerStick at 1:43 PM on November 15, 2011


JINX YOU OWE ME A COKE
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:43 PM on November 15, 2011


WOAH
posted by CancerStick at 1:44 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


it's a glitch in the Matrix.
posted by Foosnark at 1:44 PM on November 15, 2011


Wow.
posted by TheMidnightHobo at 1:45 PM on November 15, 2011


A fairly simple version to heft a live streaming iPhone should be pretty cheap.

I think these remote helis just aren't cheap enough considering the very high probability you lose them behind "enemy lines".
posted by smackfu at 1:45 PM on November 15, 2011


OWS lost
posted by CancerStick at 1:45 PM on November 15, 2011


OWS lost.
posted by omnikron at 1:47 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


HOLY SHITBALL FUCK
posted by The Whelk at 1:47 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Judge rules OWS cannot camp in ZP.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:47 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who's next?
posted by zomg at 1:47 PM on November 15, 2011


OWS lost

APPEAL THAT SHIT.

This isn't over.
posted by kagredon at 1:48 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is complete bullshit, but I have a feeling things are only going to come back stronger.

I just lost my job. There's no doubt in my mind that I will be using my free time to help the movement.
posted by defenestration at 1:48 PM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


PREDICT MASS CITY SIDE FREAK OUT IN 3 2 1
posted by The Whelk at 1:48 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Occupiers will be able to come back into ZP, just not with any equipment which could facilitate camping, such as tents or sleeping bags.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:49 PM on November 15, 2011


Well, it's been a while since we've had a old-fashioned riot in the city.
posted by griphus at 1:49 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh god.

was going to go to the gym after work tonight but something tells me that heading straight for home may be a wee bit safer.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:50 PM on November 15, 2011


NYCLU
Our lawyers looking into decision now

posted by The Whelk at 1:50 PM on November 15, 2011


And the man in the black said everyone attack and it turned into Zuccotti Park blitz...
posted by Slackermagee at 1:50 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]



Well, it's been a while since we've had a old-fashioned riot in the city.
posted by griphus at 4:49 PM on November 15 [+] [!]


Been a while since you guys have had a good old fashioned revolution too...
posted by dazed_one at 1:51 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The legal apparatus behind OWS will appeal. The more interesting question to me is what the protesters will do. Overtake the park? Go elsewhere to camp?
posted by Mavri at 1:51 PM on November 15, 2011


I just lost my job. There's no doubt in my mind that I will be using my free time to help the movement

I am so sorry.

OWS lost


I am so sorry.

More bourbon all around.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:51 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


No riots would be best. For the cause, for the people involved, for public opinion, for everything. So please let's not hope for riots.
posted by lydhre at 1:52 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


"get out of my face"

"is this out of your face"

"if he does it again arrest him"
posted by The Whelk at 1:52 PM on November 15, 2011


Yeah, no riots please.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:52 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


THE % OF COFFEE AS FLUIDS IN THIS CUP IS GETTING DANGEROUSLY LOW
posted by The Whelk at 1:53 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


No riots would be best. For the cause, for the people involved, for public opinion, for everything. So please let's not hope for riots.

Yes, this. Stay peaceful and safe.
posted by kagredon at 1:54 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


wait, there was a LITERAL tug of war with an American flag between a protestor and cop? Sometimes life resembles editorial cartoons

Possibly not more than this one. /sidetrack

why do the protesters want/need anyone's permission to protest?

One would think not, but despite vaunted principles of free speech, there exists a delicate legal framework for such things in the US. As a practical matter, it may or may not prevent people from getting arrested.

So please let's not hope for riots.

The more the legitimate routes of protest are marginalized and cut off, the more likely the illegitimate routes become. Don't think this isn't a strategy.
posted by dhartung at 1:54 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Whelk, I'm at work on Wall St. Can I bring you some more coffee?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:54 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm at home uptown, but thanks.
posted by The Whelk at 1:55 PM on November 15, 2011


AND AGAIN LO THE ACCORDION
posted by The Whelk at 1:55 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


presser now: they will continue to occupy wall street, disappointed in the ruling tonight: no sleeping bags, tents.

New site already picked according to stream
posted by The Whelk at 1:56 PM on November 15, 2011


So is anyone up for camping on the Mall in tents for a few months to protest the shoddy treatment of the poor and the shoddy treatment of protesters who would like to camp? Case law suggests that were tents and sleeping therein integral to the protest, they could not be disallowed. They can if they just make protesting more convenient, apparently.
posted by wierdo at 1:56 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The decision.
posted by Mavri at 1:57 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone in Chicago want to bring me bourbon?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:57 PM on November 15, 2011


Damn, I was going to bring my famous guacamole tomorrow.
posted by Cerulean at 1:57 PM on November 15, 2011


The ruling does not say sleeping bags, the issue permanent tents, permanent structures. City said in court that they would let ppl in
posted by The Whelk at 1:57 PM on November 15, 2011


Yeah, no rioting please. The fact that this whole episode happened without anyone getting shot or hospitalized is a feature, not a bug. (And a little surprising, actually).
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:58 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


For the last three years I've been sitting around waiting for people to wake up to the fact that we were losing this crisis as a way to roll back decades of terribly de-regulation, and I thought OWS was going to be people finally figuring that out. Once they made it clear they weren't interested in working towards that, but instead was some much bigger amorphous movement I sort of gave up. Admire what they are doing, don't think they are likely to be successful even though I would like them to be.

Also the early days student loans thing really really struck me as politically deaf. Not something you can build a mass movement off of.
Yeah you're definitely accomplishing a lot more nit-picking the people who are actually doing something on the internet.

Really this kind of attitude is just ridiculous, essentially that if a protest can't somehow 'appeal' to some mythical demographic who judges these things it shouldn't happen. And of course what the mythical demographic really cares about is appearance and image. They don't care about the actual issues, but they'll side with anyone in a suit. Or whatever. Frankly people never even bother to define or even name this silent group they just assume it exists and just go from there, as if it was obvious that the important thing here is they see the right image out of all of this. And anything that detracts from that, even if it's something that could easily be made up or planted by the other side makes the protest worthless.

So it's a metric that's guaranteed to fail. On the other hand, the status quo has no standards imposed on it whatsoever.

I mean, do you people think that the general public is going to start loving wall street and Bank of America because they heard Zuccotti park smelled bad? What is the actual thing that happens as a result of all this negative image reinforcement.
Is President Obama AWAKE?
Why would Obama even care about this? Whatever happens it's up to the city and state governments, not the federal. If the city/state is violating the constitution it's up to the courts to correct that. It would take years for something like this to wind it's way up to the supreme court, and the Roberts court would probably just side with NYPD anyway
posted by delmoi at 1:58 PM on November 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


permanent tents

Maybe I need to step away and get some coffee and actually grade a bit, but how does "permanent tents" make any goddamn sense as a phrase?
posted by kagredon at 1:59 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


So is anyone up for camping on the Mall in tents for a few months to protest the shoddy treatment of the poor and the shoddy treatment of protesters who would like to camp?

I like the way you think
posted by crayz at 1:59 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


guys i'm tapping out.

good luck

stay safe

we're all counting on you
posted by The Whelk at 1:59 PM on November 15, 2011 [39 favorites]


occupy in shifts.
posted by yertledaturtle at 2:01 PM on November 15, 2011


Some people get sooo sentimental
posted by Cerulean at 2:01 PM on November 15, 2011


Major round of thanks for The Whelk.
posted by genehack at 2:01 PM on November 15, 2011 [21 favorites]


Judge who denied the extension to the injunction: Stallman.

Judge who ordered injunction: Billings.

OMGWTFBBQQ.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:01 PM on November 15, 2011


Thank you The Whelk!
posted by erisfree at 2:04 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Three cheers for the Whelk!

Hip-hip-hoor... 5-0!
posted by griphus at 2:05 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


So is anyone up for camping on the Mall in tents for a few months to protest the shoddy treatment of the poor and the shoddy treatment of protesters who would like to camp?

Hey, guess who had that very idea? In 1968? He'd be glad to see it finally happen, I am sure.
posted by Miko at 2:05 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm no good at guessing, who?
posted by omnikron at 2:06 PM on November 15, 2011


Hitler.
posted by griphus at 2:07 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


About those dump trucks- one small victory we had was forcing one of the trucks to back up rather than try to pass through the intersection. I took a short video of the action (also as you can see things were a little tense last night, hence my short temper today. Apologies to anigbrowl.)
posted by stagewhisper at 2:07 PM on November 15, 2011


Hey, guess who had that very idea? In 1968? He'd be glad to see it finally happen, I am sure.

Is that like the reverse of Godwin's Law?
posted by Foosnark at 2:07 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank you so much The Whelk!
posted by TheMidnightHobo at 2:07 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zombie Gerrard Winstanley.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:07 PM on November 15, 2011


Eroops, I can not make link. Here's another try. Poor People's Campaign - A Dream Unfulfilled. Also, This Weekend in 1968: The Legacy of Resurrection City (great multimedia slideshow, looks so eerily contemporary).
posted by Miko at 2:08 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


God damn, that slideshow is good. I think I might make a Resurrection City FPP.
posted by Miko at 2:10 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


OWS will fail, if only because things aren't quite bad enough yet for it to have a broad popular appeal. My fear is that by the time things are really that bad, it won't matter that people are dissatisfied because democracy, as we understand it, will have already been swept away by the elites.

Make no mistake: since the founding of this nation, we have only retained the barest minimum of democratic process by the permission and behest of our economic and political elites (who have often been the same people since roughly 1615). If democracy ever becomes terribly inconvenient for these two groups -- regardless of what "party" they belong to -- then democracy will be set aside.

Here's what I envision. Over the next decade or two, the Democratic and Republican parties will grow increasingly concerned over domestic unrest and both will advocate increasingly authoritarian security measures. Homeland Security spending will triple while social security and healthcare are slashed.

Eventually, real efforts will be made to curtail the media and the internet. We may see a Chinese-style internet system, where all computers (and their users) must be licensed in some way. Laws may be enacted which, while not blatantly denying freedom of speech, will Make Life Very Hard for anyone who speaks up too loudly, or in unapproved ways.

In the long term, I see the Democrats and the Republicans colluding to form some kind of Unified National Front or something. Not quite combining the two parties, per se, but maybe agreeing to a certain number of "set principles" (Defense spending Good, Homeland Security Good, Big Business Good, Tax Cuts Good, Unions Bad, Socialism Bad, Civil Unrest Bad) and running under a unified ticket. We may even see a Dem-Repub President/Vice President duo in our lifetimes. They'll run under a "America United for Liberty" ticket or something. Something that sounds super patriotic. There won't be any real opposition.

And then we'll be a one-party state. It won't be a socialist state. It won't be a wholly fascist state either. It will, for all intents and purposes, simply be the legitimate, public face of the economic power structures that dominate our country. It will be the "stamp" of approval for everything that the banks and hedge funds and defense contractors want done.

It will, in essence, be a business-ocracy. A government who's job is simply to facilitate money-making and the acquisition of wealth. The closest historical precedent I can think of is perhaps the Barbary Pirate state -- except instead of raiding the Italian coast, our government will just make it easy for business to raid our livelihoods (and receive financial compensation from the businesses in return).

And to be completely honest, I'm sort of beyond caring now. Empires come and empires go. Ours is going. And that is, in the long run, probably a good thing. We murdered countless people and cultures to build this nation that we are now mourning over. Do the Souix mourn our passing? No. And neither do I. Nations built on blood will drown in blood.

Life goes on, and all good and bad things must come to an end. In the end, I'm okay with that. You should be too.
posted by Avenger at 2:10 PM on November 15, 2011 [19 favorites]


Thanks Whelk!
posted by Navelgazer at 2:11 PM on November 15, 2011


THE % OF COFFEE AS FLUIDS IN THIS CUP IS GETTING DANGEROUSLY LOW
posted by The Whelk at 13:53 on November 15 [+] [!]
Oh my god -- you're creating insanely powerful homeopathic coffee! More bourbon, quickly!
posted by wintermind at 2:12 PM on November 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


Life goes on, and all good and bad things must come to an end. In the end, I'm okay with that. You should be too.

Our forefathers were the ones who slaved, murdered, raped, pillaged, and stole. Like HELL am I going to sit down and not fight to fix things where I grew up.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:12 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


And then we'll be a one-party state. It won't be a socialist state. It won't be a wholly fascist state either. It will, for all intents and purposes, simply be the legitimate, public face of the economic power structures that dominate our country. It will be the "stamp" of approval for everything that the banks and hedge funds and defense contractors want done.

The Rise of Illiberal Democracy [pdf]. More recent home edition.
posted by dhartung at 2:16 PM on November 15, 2011


It will, in essence, be a business-ocracy.

Corporatocracy is the word you're looking for.

I mean, corporations are already people. Maybe we should just have election to decide which corporate mascot we want to pretend is our leader for a couple of years.

Pillsbury Doughboy/Hamburger Helper Hand in '12!
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:16 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pillsbury Doughboy/Hamburger Helper Hand in '12!

I'm voting for the Google tribute to Les Paul!
posted by zomg at 2:18 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't '12 the year of the Depends Adult Undergarments? Maybe I'm muddled.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:19 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


@avenger i could just deal with it

yeah, but nahh though
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:20 PM on November 15, 2011


And then we'll be a one-party state....It won't be a wholly fascist state either.

Sez you.
posted by emjaybee at 2:21 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think even better, Oligarchy is the word you're looking for. The moment corporations start working, the elite can move on to something else. Corporations aren't all that old a strategy, maybe 500 years; it'll have a lifespan too, and something else will come after. But the elite will always do their level best to remain an elite.
posted by Miko at 2:21 PM on November 15, 2011


Life goes on, and all good and bad things must come to an end. In the end, I'm okay with that. You should be too.

Thanks, but no thanks. The thing that I find most promising about OWS is that it's throwing off this kind of fatalism, which was depressingly prevalent during the Bush years, got better a bit during Obama's campaign, and then spiked back up when it became apparent that voting for hope and change did not guarantee hope and change.

Yeah, it's easy to say "fuck it, the corporations run everything and always will." But wouldn't you rather fight it?
posted by kagredon at 2:21 PM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


since the founding of this nation, we have only retained the barest minimum of democratic process by the permission and behest of our economic and political elites (who have often been the same people since roughly 1615)

ZOMBIES!! I knew it.
posted by ob at 2:22 PM on November 15, 2011


nah
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:23 PM on November 15, 2011


It will, in essence, be a business-ocracy.

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:24 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


er STOP working. When corporations STOP working. Like my brain, apparently.
posted by Miko at 2:25 PM on November 15, 2011


actually this is the clip disregard that other one
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:26 PM on November 15, 2011


This has been a great thread, and a much needed distraction for my day. Civil (mostly) and well informed. Thanks to The Whelk. Thanks for carrying us into battle.
posted by deezil at 2:27 PM on November 15, 2011


My political science professor in college always used the term "Elite Plurality" to describe how America is governed .There are several factions, but aint none of them the common man.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:30 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Avenger: Good use of the world-weary-grad-student-taking-the-long-view-and-pitying-the-deluded-chumps-who-still-care voice! When I catch myself sounding like that it usually means low blood sugar. Here's what I envision: a whole bunch of citizens getting together peacefully on November 17 to call foul on the plutocracy (rule of the rich). Come on out if you can be bothered; it might be fun.
posted by jcrcarter at 2:30 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Spare me this 'protection against tear gassing' excuse. People were wearing masks and bandanas before there was any tear gassing, and masks enable the agent provocateurs everyone says they are so worried about. If protesters refused to accept masked individuals in their midst then it would be an awful lot harder for bad actors to hijack legitimate protesters, because they would be so easily identifiable on camera. Masks give authoritarians a convenient excuse to crack down, as well as giving vandals a convenient excuse for mayhem.

If you're really worried about tear gas, hold a wet rag up to your face when they start shooting it. Dressing up like a bandit in advance is a losing tactic.
What are you talking about? Seriously, the stone throwing, etc, didn't seem to prevent the Egyptian uprising from being successful, why will it prevent OWS from being successful? What's the actual causal result that leads from 'dressing up as a bandit' to 'losing'? Like how does it cause you to lose? What, specifically, do you lose?

Are people going to start supporting the big banks because OWS protesters wear bandanas? I don't really understand how that could happen.

Anyway, it sounds like you're just making things up anyway, I don't see too many people with masks in the photos and live streams I've been looking at. Except for the cops, of course.
posted by delmoi at 2:30 PM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


OWS lost

Mother fucker.
posted by quin at 2:31 PM on November 15, 2011


IAmUnaware: "It will, in essence, be a business-ocracy.

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
"

GODDAMNIT CAN WE STOP WITH THAT QUOTE? Corporations are NOT the same thing in Fascism as they are in the modern or even historical concept. That doesn't mean that Fascism ended up not being controlled by business interests, but "corporations" in the fascist conception was conceived as different social bodies. There would be a "corporation" of workers (in the US sense it might be considered the AFL-CIO), for example.
posted by symbioid at 2:34 PM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


.
posted by schyler523 at 2:36 PM on November 15, 2011


I think I'm coining Symbioid's Law for that quote. It's like the hitler thing, but for modern american corporatist politics. Thanks!
posted by symbioid at 2:36 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, thanks Whelk.
posted by schyler523 at 2:36 PM on November 15, 2011


Some protesters back in the park!
posted by uniq at 2:36 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


And people are trickling back into the park.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:37 PM on November 15, 2011


Really this kind of attitude is just ridiculous, essentially that if a protest can't somehow 'appeal' to some mythical demographic who judges these things it shouldn't happen.

I don't think it's a mythical demographic OWS doesn't appeal to; it seems more like they're preaching to the choir and frankly pissing off people who aren't inclined to agree with them. Here in Vancouver, according to the local news morning, the Occupy people enjoy the support of 29% of the City, while 60-something% want them to pack up and leave. Personally I don't get the big deal; they're not really obstructing much from what I can tell, so what's the problem?

In terms of the tactics of OWS, they don't appeal to me so it's possible I'm in the mythical demographic. I don't understand what purpose it serves to be camped out indefinitely in a park, sorry. I've been to a fair few protests over the years, although they've been in response to the Iraq War or Bush visits or similar things. It was something concrete, and we wanted to shut things down and make people hear us, so we shut things down and marched through downtown. It didn't accomplish what we wanted, but we also got the police baton treatment and the tear gas treatment, and more recently this stupid "kettling" business. It got on the news a little bit, but so were the black bloc kids and the idiot white dreadlock guy the newspeople seem to find at every single rally they go to, and it did little to bring people to our side. Some people even cheer on the police.

Maybe you're right and things will be different this time, but I don't see it and I don't get what's so different about this protest. I'm not even convinced of why this is a good way to protest inequality. That said, I don't think the battle is lost if you lose the right to camp in a park. This isn't about the right to camp in a park.
posted by Hoopo at 2:41 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't give up yet. To counter-act some of that fatalism:

Since accounting rules rewarded employers for cutting benefits, retiree benefits plans soon morphed into profit centers. Retiree plans became handy earnings-management centers at the expense of the retirees.

My dad grew up during the time when you dedicated your life to a corporation. He's been with GM for 30+ years. Through the split-off of his division into Delphi, then the purchase by a Chinese firm.

Throughout that entire time he was a loyal employee, moving up to middle-management and voting Republican the entire way.

A few years ago, the company decided to cut their promised benefits and pension plan by something like 30%, with the help of a bankruptcy filing.

In 2008, for the first time in decades, my dad voted for a Democrat: Obama.

A few weeks ago my parents came out to visit me in Seattle. We walked by Westlake Center, where the occupation was at the time. My dad was thrilled, talking about the revival of the energy of the 60s and how they were in the right. Later that evening, after hanging out all day, I dropped them off at the hotel. He promptly went back out and walked around the encampment, talking with some of the participants about why there were there.

Earlier today, I heard on the radio a discussion about the NBA lockout. Stupid entertainment news, right? But what was interesting was what they were talking about. "How can normal people really get upset or relate to these negotiations about million dollar salaries?" The conversation was framed in the context of a 1% vs 99% discussion.

It may be a dirty and dangerous path, but people are waking up.
posted by formless at 2:42 PM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


Did the cops let them in or did they jump the barricades?
posted by Mavri at 2:43 PM on November 15, 2011


And I'm preparing for a solidarity rally here in Seattle. Stay safe, NYC!
posted by loquacious at 2:43 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just read the decision.
To the extent that City law prohibits the erection of structures, the use of gas or other combustible materials, and the accumulation of garbage and human waste in public places, enforcement of the law and the owner's rules appears reasonable to permitthe owner to maintain its space in a hygienic, safe, and lawful condition, and to prevent it from being liable by the City or others for violations of law, or in tort. It also permits public access by those who live and work in the area who are the intended beneficiaries of this zoning bonus.
So simple. Sorry friends, but this is what democracy looks like. It's not a thing where we all get together (WE ALL GET TOGETHER) and scream at each other (AND SCREAM AT EACH OTHER) in very digestible soundbites (IN VERY DIGESTIBLE SOUNDBITES). Or where we make decisions by wiggling our fingers. That model a name, and it's not "consensus" - it's called mob rule.

If I were a dreamer, I would hope the OWS learned a valuable lesson today. But that's asking too much. Now we have to cower in fear because the harbingers of doom are already forecasting a riot. THE MOB DID NOT GET WHAT THE MOB WANTED SO THE MOB WILL BURN PILLAGE AND RAPE. And all will be excused of course because (1) it will be nothing compared to what the bankers have already done to us and (2) those guys burning pillaging and raping were agent provocateurs, of course. No true scotsman burns, pillages or rapes.

And despite the events of today - a somewhat civil disbanding of the protesters from private property, the protesters getting their day in court and the opportunity of arguing their case and in the end still retaining the right to protest in the very place they were before, there will still be those around here who say THIS IS WHAT A POLICE STATE LOOKS LIKE.

You know what, no, fuck you, this is not a what a police state looks like, because actually a police state looks like this. If you can't see the distinction, there's something wrong with you.

We don't have a perfect system. There is no perfect system. There's a lot of shit that's wrong and that needs fixing. But the scorched earth approach, the let's start society anew undertones I'm picking up from the OWS rhetoric gives me the fucking creeps. So yes - go sell that utopia somewhere else. Honestly, I don't care much for the status quo, but I prefer that to world ruled by the mob of Zuccotti Park.
posted by falameufilho at 2:44 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Aww, man, sounds like NYPD destroyed Zuccotti's human-powered bike electricity generators.

So much bullshit.
posted by loquacious at 2:46 PM on November 15, 2011


NYPD is letting people back into into Zuccotti Park. I'm watching the ustream, I just saw someone set down 5 books and tape up a sign "Library." And immediately, someone else set down a 6th book next to them.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:46 PM on November 15, 2011 [26 favorites]


GODDAMNIT CAN WE STOP WITH THAT QUOTE? Corporations are NOT the same thing in Fascism as they are in the modern or even historical concept. That doesn't mean that Fascism ended up not being controlled by business interests, but "corporations" in the fascist conception was conceived as different social bodies. There would be a "corporation" of workers (in the US sense it might be considered the AFL-CIO), for example.

The AFL-CIO is a body (or group of bodies, that categorization depending on exactly how you view its leadership) that absolutely influences political policy in ways that the common man might consider underhanded (lobbying). Like any political body, decisions are frequently beneficial for the common man only when the gain for those in control of the body is greater than the inconvenience. It's a great example of the way that the brokenness of the system has crept thoroughly into even something that ought to be one of the strongest advocates for the rights and privileges of the workers.

But please, throw your temper tantrum and bring out the poorly thought-out pedantry. Always good for the cause.
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:48 PM on November 15, 2011


I still want someone to go to jail for blacking out the media.

The more this goes on, the more it becomes about unacceptable actions by the government with respect to the protests. Like many of you, I have some misgivings about the protests themselves and what they can possibly accomplish economically.

But when it comes to police violence and information suppression... those are two things that cannot stand. We cannot show the government that these are tactics that WORK. There must be unacceptable blowback.

That does not mean I endorse violence or riots. But whatever the reaction is, it must teach the government that these are things that are not done.
posted by flaterik at 2:48 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Earlier today, I heard on the radio a discussion about the NBA lockout. Stupid entertainment news, right? But what was interesting was what they were talking about. "How can normal people really get upset or relate to these negotiations about million dollar salaries?" The conversation was framed in the context of a 1% vs 99% discussion.

Eh, that's not really anything new though - people have been pissing and moaning about the "undeserved" and "exorbitant" NBA salaries for years, usually under the guise of thinly veiled prejudice (somehow they never seem to have any problem with the exorbitant incomes, greed, and luxury of the super-rich, mostly white owners).
posted by dialetheia at 2:49 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


So about an hour and a half or so ago, I was looking here and I thought to myself, "This is a decent source of information. Good for them."

Then about five minutes later, as I was taking a smoke break, I realized "Wait, so I'm happy that a major newspaper has limited coverage of a major event in its own city in the fucking city blog. How low have I set the bar?"

I know it's a weird thing, given everything else that should have flipped a switch that's happened in the past 24 hours, but if anybody is keeping a tally, add +1. It's just too damn much to keep second guessing what I know is right based on what I think might be the different course of action. I've been broken. And actually it feels kind of good.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:49 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


THE MOB DID NOT GET WHAT THE MOB WANTED SO THE MOB WILL BURN PILLAGE AND RAPE

What are you watching? I saw polite, educated people patiently waiting for the police to remove barricades so they could legally re-enter the park. Nobody is suggesting that the OWS method of communication is a viable model of government, but it is a viable model of protest and doesn't really gel with anything you just wrote.
posted by omnikron at 2:51 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


falameufilho - What I'm afraid of is that if the government continues to perceive the tactics it's been using as acceptable, we just get closer and closer to syria.

Just because other police states are worse does not mean we are not living in a society that is rapidly becoming one.
posted by flaterik at 2:52 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eh, that's not really anything new though - people have been pissing and moaning about the "undeserved" and "exorbitant" NBA salaries for years, usually under the guise of thinly veiled prejudice (somehow they never seem to have any problem with the exorbitant incomes, greed, and luxury of the super-rich, mostly white owners).

You're right, the pissing and moaning about the NBA salaries isn't necessarily a new thing, but this sounded like something more then that. Unemployment and the economy were brought up. And they were discussing both the players million dollar salaries and the owner's billion dollar income/profits.
posted by formless at 2:56 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


So -- they're letting them back in so they can kick them out again?
That does not sound like a good plan for a peaceful city.
posted by angrycat at 2:56 PM on November 15, 2011


Forcibly removing the press to be able to forcibly remove a peaceful protest out of the glare of public view and destroy large amounts of their property? I'd say it's a difference of degree rather than kind, falameufilho.
posted by jaduncan at 2:58 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh, that's not really anything new though - people have been pissing and moaning about the "undeserved" and "exorbitant" NBA salaries for years, usually under the guise of thinly veiled prejudice (somehow they never seem to have any problem with the exorbitant incomes, greed, and luxury of the super-rich, mostly white owners).

"Thinly veiled prejudice" doesn't explain (most) NHL hockey fans (mostly white) contempt for NHL hockey players (mostly white) back when the NHL owners (mostly white) locked the players out.

Neither does it explain most Americans' contempt for labor* anytime there's a dispute between management and labor. Heck, class doesn't even explain that. At least with pro sports it's "billionaires versus millionaires". But when it's billionaires versus grocery clerks? Same contempt.

Discouraging.



----------------
*It's different here at MeFi. Visit the Jalopnik or Autoblog comment threads, say, whenever the UAW is mentioned. Hoo boy.
posted by notyou at 2:58 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


omnikron: "What are you watching? I saw polite, educated people patiently waiting for the police to remove barricades so they could legally re-enter the park."

I am not talking about the actual protesters - I am talking about people in this thread that started predicting a riot IMMEDIATELY after the verdict was made public.

flaterik: "Just because other police states are worse does not mean we are not living in a society that is rapidly becoming one."

Please. Do you listen to yourself saying these things?
posted by falameufilho at 2:59 PM on November 15, 2011


I just saw someone set down 5 books and tape up a sign "Library." And immediately, someone else set down a 6th book next to them.

THE MOB WILL SELF-ORGANIZE A LIBRARY
posted by dhartung at 2:59 PM on November 15, 2011 [32 favorites]


falameufilho: Now we have to cower in fear because the harbingers of doom are already forecasting a riot. THE MOB DID NOT GET WHAT THE MOB WANTED SO THE MOB WILL BURN PILLAGE AND RAPE.
Huh? Mob? No! Jeez - get a grip. What's so creepy about the observation that health care is a human right? Or pointing out that the military/industrial complex has gotten way too greedy and way too powerful? Is it scary and weird and illegitimate to call for a more just society? Or is your argument that one shouldn't complain about the increasing militarization of civil space until the tanks actually start firing?
P.S: Bush II suspended Habeus Corpus in 2006.
posted by jcrcarter at 2:59 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know what, no, fuck you, this is not a what a police state looks like, because actually a police state looks like this. If you can't see the distinction, there's something wrong with you.

You're confusing police state for Stalinist Purge.

A purge would be when you simply have your political opponents killed off.

A police state would be when you have your political opponents isolated, blocked off from the media, arrested, tarred their employment prospects (via the arrest and public shaming) and harassed them until the end of their days for their momentary involvement in a social movement.

Take a look at the Tea Party rallies, very much for what the oligarchs in the US want: no taxes, no guvmint. They walked around with bloody rifles and no one bothered them.

Take a look at the OWS rallies, very much against what the oligarchs profit from. They are unarmed, non-violent in rhetoric, and are met with gas, batons, cavalry charges, LRADs, stun rounds, flash bangs, and all the rest. It kinda looks like a minor Chinese dissent rally.

We might not be as bad of a police state as China, but that doesn't mean we aren't going down the same road.
posted by Slackermagee at 3:00 PM on November 15, 2011 [19 favorites]


To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the decision.

The point of the protest was not "we demand the right to live in Zucotti Park." It was, and still should be, that people are fed up with income inequality and not being properly represented by their government because said government is too busy representing moneyed interests.

I've seen this with Occupy STL too -- protests specifically targetted toward curfew laws rather than addressing the real problem.

On the other hand, the fact that the police are responding with media blackouts, pepper spraying puppies, destroying books, and shooting Iraq veterans in the head does rather point to another problem that has to be addressed.

I know a New York cop. I used to think he was quite a decent upstanding liberal reasonable guy. I had to block him off my Facebook feed because of all the anti-"hippie" stuff he'd been posting in the past few weeks. I suspect the cops have been learning, one way or another, to think of OWS protestors as "the enemy" and that frightens me.
posted by Foosnark at 3:02 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know what, no, fuck you, this is not a what a police state looks like, because actually a police state looks like this.

Frog, I know that pot feels perfectly comfy, but you really might want to keep an eye on the temperature.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:02 PM on November 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


Jesus, falameufilho, calm down. The "overtones" you're worried about are few and far between and mostly expressed in moments of anger or frustration.

What did OWS ever do to you, seriously? It's just a bunch of people protesting in an unconventional manner. They're not clubbing puppies in the streets. And if they were to actually burn and pillage and rape, I'd be right there with you condemning it, but so far, OWS at least has a strong bias towards peaceful protest.

If you are so concerned that OWS is doin' it wrong, maybe you should participate and try to change it.

And here's the thing about police states; they don't always happen overnight. We may not live in one now in your opinion, but if our rights to assemble and speak and have privacy continue to be eroded, then we may get there sooner than you think. Better to protest now then wait till it gets worse.
posted by emjaybee at 3:03 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


flaterik: "Just because other police states are worse does not mean we are not living in a society that is rapidly becoming one."

falameufiho: Please. Do you listen to yourself saying these things?


yes. do you? I happen to believe the more people that think it's OK that hippies get bashed, the more likely we are to soon have people believe that shooting them will be ok.

Care to make an actual argument, or just be jerky? Because telling me I don't know what I'm saying isn't arguing.

If you're not upset about the violence and media blackout, I don't understand you at all.
posted by flaterik at 3:03 PM on November 15, 2011


...the let's start society anew undertones I'm picking up from the OWS rhetoric gives me the fucking creeps.

The fucking creeps, eh? Heh. Those same undertones, unlike anything on the American social/political landscape in many a year, have been filling me with a hope and optimism
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:05 PM on November 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


Among other things, I continue to be enraged by the idea that because other countries are worse, I'm not allowed to be upset about how mine is being run.
posted by flaterik at 3:06 PM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


But why would they just hand the cops such a good excuse?

Because it's people being people. I remember (during the first Gulf War) people on our college radio station complaining that the station might be shut down by the FCC for their war protest activities. I would always respond that, if they were so concerned about being shut down by the FCC, they probably shouldn't swear on the air so much. Fell on deaf ears.
posted by davejay at 3:07 PM on November 15, 2011


Slackermagee: "Take a look at the Tea Party rallies, very much for what the oligarchs in the US want: no taxes, no guvmint. They walked around with bloody rifles and no one bothered them."

They walked with bloody rifles yes - in places where walking with bloody rifles is legal.

Did any Tea Party rally converted into a tent city that became an endless nuisance to the city and the community? Did any Tea Party rally announce in advance that in the following couple of days they would shut down the New York Stock Exchange and march on the Brooklyn Bridge (where they marched one month ago, prompting 700 arrests)?

Can't you see the difference? Really? I fucking hate the Tea Party, I think they're a herd of ignorant fucks who never stop to think about the consequences of the shit they want to push forward, as long as the shit is ideologically pure. Guess who's also like that? You guessed it - OWS.
posted by falameufilho at 3:07 PM on November 15, 2011


Yeah, it's apologists for the police state who join metafilter who give me the creeps.

Them and NYPD.
posted by spitbull at 3:07 PM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Please. Do you listen to yourself saying these things?

Please. Do you listen to yourself saying these things?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:08 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'mma be heading down to Occupy Toronto... Link is to a song my housemate wrote about OT.

we struggle together you call it letting off steam
cause they don't believe in the impossible dream
of a world redesigned and rethought and redreamed
of the french revolution brought into being

oh we'll try not to fight to yell or offend
but sometimes the future one has to defend
cause they're thte utopians
they believe it's enough
just to bring to the people more and more stuff.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:08 PM on November 15, 2011


Again, falmeufilho, don't you thnk that intentional barring of the independent media in order to violently disperse a peaceful protest and destroy a large percentage of their property is at best democratically problematic?
posted by jaduncan at 3:11 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


We imprison more people than China or Russia. Not per capita, in pure numbers. We run the world's largest prison system, with an incarceration rate which has quadrupled since 1975. And as this and other recent events demonstrate, we have a government which is more than willing to deploy overwhelming police force to stop peaceful people from doing legal things which the powers that be see as politically inexpedient, up to and including journalism.

The whole are-we-a-police-state discussion seems on par with asking whether we should leave the NYPD's barn door open now that the mounted patrol is in Zuccotti Park.
posted by vorfeed at 3:13 PM on November 15, 2011 [17 favorites]


So police violence, media suppression, and destruction of property aren't enough for people to start worrying about living in a police state? We have to actually have a few bodies on the ground before we can call a spade a spade?

Considering the weapons assembled, all it would take is one bottle thrown in anger at the wrong time, and I bet the resultant escalation of violence against the protesters would yield a few deaths.

Thankfully, that hasn't happened yet, because if the videos I've seen of cops punching people for just waving papers and shouting are any indication, the police are looking for a fight.
posted by quin at 3:14 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think they're a herd of ignorant fucks who never stop to think about the consequences of the shit they want to push forward

Remind me, what is that consequential shit OWS is pushing?
posted by omnikron at 3:15 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Quotes from guy on the stream on Ustream.
"everyone is smiling"
"Everything was lost but this is what we needed"
"Time to rebuild"
" More unified then ever"
"police are smiling"
"people handing out flowers"

Juxtapose that with falameufilho's : " THE MOB DID NOT GET WHAT THE MOB WANTED SO THE MOB WILL BURN PILLAGE AND RAPE.
posted by yertledaturtle at 3:15 PM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


'Occupy' crackdowns coordinated with federal law enforcement officials

...according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.... while local police agencies had received tactical and planning advice from national agencies, the ultimate decision on how each jurisdiction handles the Occupy protests ultimately rests with local law enforcement.

....in several recent conference calls and briefings, local police agencies were advised to seek a legal reason to evict residents of tent cities, focusing on zoning laws and existing curfew rules. Agencies were also advised to demonstrate a massive show of police force, including large numbers in riot gear. In particular, the FBI reportedly advised on press relations, with one presentation suggesting that any moves to evict protesters be coordinated for a time when the press was the least likely to be present.


"On background" quotes to an Examiner.com reporter, for what that's worth.
posted by dhartung at 3:15 PM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


Did any Tea Party rally converted into a tent city that became an endless nuisance to the city and the community? Did any Tea Party rally announce in advance that in the following couple of days they would shut down the New York Stock Exchange and march on the Brooklyn Bridge (where they marched one month ago, prompting 700 arrests)?

Can't you see the difference?


That you have to go to greater lengths to get your message out when a national cable news network isn't acting as a dedicated megaphone for your views?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:16 PM on November 15, 2011 [24 favorites]


omnikron: "Remind me, what is that consequential shit OWS is pushing?"

That's a good fucking question, let me tell you.
posted by falameufilho at 3:18 PM on November 15, 2011


Counterpunch.org-- How The Oligarchy Gets Politicized
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:18 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't agree with what spitbull said, but you ought to get your glass house bricked over before you start picking up rocks.

You're the one that started with "fuck you" and insulting my intelligence in THIS thread.
posted by flaterik at 3:18 PM on November 15, 2011


Thought experiment: a waterproof sleeping bag is probably not a structure. How about a bivvy bag? I guess there's always the vagrancy laws to consider at that point.
posted by jaduncan at 3:18 PM on November 15, 2011


"So police violence, media suppression, and destruction of property aren't enough for people to start worrying about living in a police state? We have to actually have a few bodies on the ground before we can call a spade a spade? "

probably...
posted by eggtooth at 3:20 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


[Couple comments removed, spitbull and falameufilho please cut it out.]
posted by cortex at 3:20 PM on November 15, 2011


Wow, that stepped down from "a mob who will burn, pillage, and rape" to an "endless nuisance to the city" really fast.
posted by XMLicious at 3:21 PM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Can't you see the difference? Really?

Marching around in fraped in faux flags and patriotism vs freezing my ass off showing solidarity for the working poor? Yeah, I see a huge difference between the two movements. Why can't you?

As for annoying the community: I was under the impression that the people living a couple blocks around Zuccotti park are, by and large, rich NIBMYs that are part of the "lets take a dump on the working class to balance the budget" crowd.

Its what's happening in Vancouver, we're close to the West End CondoLanders who get a ton of editorial space in the local papers. The guys that commute into the DT core from Surrey to make their coffee? No space in the paper, no voice in the opinion polls, but hey, they're who were protesting for.
posted by Slackermagee at 3:22 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


THE MOB DID NOT GET WHAT THE MOB WANTED SO THE MOB WILL BURN PILLAGE AND RAPE.

Are you trying to sound ridiculous? Because you sound ridiculous.

You know what, no, fuck you, this is not a what a police state looks like, because actually a police state looks like this. If you can't see the distinction, there's something wrong with you.

As soon as the protests reach a critical mass, the only thing that will protect the protestors from overreaction by the state is the media. There were media blackouts all over Syria, and last night, over Zuccotti Park. That is a dangerous similarity, among other dangerous similarities, to the way American authorities are responding to the Occupy movement nationwide.

In the past, American authorities have killed American citizens to maintain order. It may have not happened last night, but the stage is being set. There are millions of people who are out of work, out of insurance, and out of options. There are people like you perpetuating the idea that they don't deserve a future, and that any response other than bland apathy is a crime. And there are people in positions of power who rather like keeping all of the money, even if it means that Americans don't have equal access to schools and jobs. It doesn't matter to them.

You can pretend that these people don't exist, and you can also pretend that a country full of police dressed in full riot gear rounding people up for daring to speak up isn't a threat to your freedom. If you care about keeping it for very long, I'd recommend you take better care of it.
posted by deanklear at 3:22 PM on November 15, 2011 [24 favorites]


Attempting to step up as a citizen or other journalist at a protest or police action has been dangerous for a long time.

I've been at a number of protests (or non-protest police activities like arrests or shutting down raves or nightclubs) and very often the act of attempting to record or photograph police action or violence is extremely dangerous and invites violence, threats or arrest. I've seen people targeted and attacked where the officer will attack the camera with batons, pepper spray/mace or projectiles, attempting to destroy it.

A photographer friend of mine had his arm shattered in about 30 places during one of the numerous and infamous police-instigated riots in Huntington Beach, California. The so called riot? It was a Huntington Beach 4th of July block party. Without warning HBPD stormed a peaceful street of neighbors and friends in riot gear and started a riot.

He had his 35mm SLR with him as he always does, and he started taking pictures. Two officers started screaming at him "get out of here with that!" and started swinging batons at the camera. They chased him into an alley, and when he tried to protect the camera with his arm they smashed his arm. Then they destroyed the camera and exposed the film and left him in the alley without medical aid or charging him with anything.

When he tried to file the complaint report they laughed at him and mocked him.


So why did the professional media withdraw?

A registered press pass is barely protection from this same violence. As far as I know - in NYC they're issued by multiple agencies including NYPD. They can be revoked. If a reporter's pass is revoked - they usually get fired. And it's not like reporters have a lot of job security these days.


But what is different now is the sheer number of cameras. The fact that people can stream directly to the internet. The fact that a digital file on flash memory isn't so easily destroyed by a baton as film. There are cameras watching and protecting the citizens with cameras.
posted by loquacious at 3:26 PM on November 15, 2011 [19 favorites]


XMLicious: "Wow, that stepped down from "a mob who will burn, pillage, and rape" to an "endless nuisance to the city" really fast."

For the second time: I was mocking the people ON THE THREAD who started predicting a riot SECONDS after the verdict was made public. I personally don't think there will be actual riot, pillaging and rape tonight.
posted by falameufilho at 3:26 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been following this thread like crazy today, whenever I could snatch a refresh on the iPhone. I really appreciate it. It seems like one of the few sources of actual news.

Flunkie, I'm glad you're sending Pratchett. Every time I think of police actions against OWS, I think of Night Watch; then I promptly feel like an enormous nerd. And then I feel wistful. There wasn't any magic in the pertinent parts of that book -- it was just that Vimes could actually appeal to a sense of community in the watchmen, to allow them to see others as human. What member of the NYPD -- of any major American metropolitan police department -- would ever stop to think of such a thing? The streets are full of vermin and filth, as far as they're concerned. So many of them don't seem to believe that they deal with real citizens.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:28 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dressing up like a bandit in advance is a losing tactic.

In the Police State that U.S. citizens are now living, photographs of protesters are taken and put into an FBI database (and probably NSA and CIA and who knows what wall as well). Photographs are then run through highly advanced facial recognition software and matches are made with other protests so that those who the government deems "organizers" can be identified and summarily harassed (no airplane flights for you!).

Masks help defend against this kind of intrusive government invasion of privacy and anigbrow, if you don't understand or believe this than you simply have not been paying attention.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 3:28 PM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Maybe discussion instead of mocking would be a better idea all around.
posted by troll on a pony at 3:28 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


For the second time: I was mocking the people ON THE THREAD who started predicting a riot SECONDS after the verdict was made public. I personally don't think there will be actual riot, pillaging and rape tonight.

You can walk that back but you did call them a mob:

but I prefer that to world ruled by the mob of Zuccotti Park.

It was also a pretty good prediction, that's usually how riots start after a protest. That or the police start really, really misbehaving.
posted by Slackermagee at 3:30 PM on November 15, 2011


troll on a pony: Maybe discussion instead of mocking would be a better idea all around.

This is the single greatest eponysterical moment in MeFi history.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:31 PM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


In the Police State that U.S. citizens are now living

FFS I can't. Yeah, I'll go take a walk.
posted by falameufilho at 3:31 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


(and excellent advice, too)
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:31 PM on November 15, 2011


THE MOB WILL SELF-ORGANIZE A LIBRARY

Favorite comment of the day.
posted by deanklear at 3:33 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


My friend's son lives in Brooklyn, active activist, was advising people there in the beginning of Occupy...was saying :"don't wear masks because the police can arrest you..."
posted by eggtooth at 3:35 PM on November 15, 2011


Thought experiment: a waterproof sleeping bag is probably not a structure. How about a bivvy bag? I guess there's always the vagrancy laws to consider at that point.

JakPak
donated a whole bunch of these jacket-tent-bivvy bag things to Seattle, and they were really cool and a lot of people actually slept in them in the rain and said they were quite warm and comfortable.

SPD just changed the rules to not even allow a ground cloth. No tarps. No umbrellas. No sitting on the ground. For a long time before they were officially allowing no sleeping, but after the tent ban - they'd just park their squad cars among the camp and flash their lights and spotlights and sirens - and they'd also go around kicking or pushing people with batons to prevent sleeping.

Then they just banned sleeping entirely, as well as laying (and sitting) on the ground.
posted by loquacious at 3:35 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've got it! Blow up tents!
posted by eggtooth at 3:38 PM on November 15, 2011


Remind me, what is that consequential shit OWS is pushing?

What the hell?

I thought this was a bunch of people who are fed up with whats going on, camping peacefully in a nyc park to get visibility. As an added byproduct, it kinda annoys the rich...some of whom are the powers in the gov't (yes, totally f-d up).

So now they're using police...whoa.

Yes, ok. Perhaps OWS does not have a mission statement, a company directive, or even a 100% agreed upon tenet like Salomon Smith Barney, but everyone is kinda pissed because they are poor.

THAT is what OWS is about. People are so poor, they can camp out for weeks at a time. They have no job, no home...and this is what happens to people.

The ONLY criticism I have of OWS is the "O". It gives the grassroots movement a rather military feel. I am almost certain that had the movement's name been "Camp Wall Street", it would have given a more peaceful or serene sound to the movement. It would have been harder to get riled up about "Camp". But I'm also wondering if not including the "O", would have garnered this much support.

Oh well, I'm proud of these people. I don't see any reason not to be proud of people who take peaceful, collective action to strengthen their voice.

God damn American heroes.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:40 PM on November 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


As everyone knows, only homeowners have the right to achieve an unconscious state. It goes with the responsibility.
posted by mek at 3:40 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've got it! Blow up tents!

I'm going to assume you mean inflatable.

It would still be considered a structure or shelter.
posted by loquacious at 3:42 PM on November 15, 2011


No sitting on the ground
Honest to God I read this and my eyes filled with tears. How the hell can they ban sitting on the ground? It isn't looting, it isn't littering, it isn't blocking traffic or being a safety hazard. Shit. Everyone in Seattle should go out now and SIT ON THE GROUND.

Take the blinkers off. Stop viewing this through a political filter. This is the most important right we have as citizens of the United States of America. We have Freedom of Speech and we pity any poor slob in any country in the world where they don't have Freedom of Speech. Yet, we are allowing our government to decide when and where and how long and under what conditions we can exercise that right. If we don't flex our muscles now we will become flabby and lose the ability to ever use our rights. Prey God this hasn't happened all ready.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:45 PM on November 15, 2011 [19 favorites]


Seems to me the OWS folks need organized shifts - how impressive would it be to have several hundred or thousand of people show up simultaneously for "shift change" every eight hours or so?
posted by stenseng at 3:45 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, a shitton of folding chairs.
posted by stenseng at 3:48 PM on November 15, 2011


But calling it ?permanent" brings up all that quantum physics thing....courtworthy?

...can't be too serious, I mean me, now.
posted by eggtooth at 3:48 PM on November 15, 2011


Police are denying entry to Zuccotti Park to anyone who has a bag, according to the NYCLU. eg. this book bag was deemed unacceptable.
posted by mek at 3:49 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


How the hell can they ban sitting on the ground?

You can get a ticket for sitting on the sidewalk here in freedom-loving San Francisco. There was a ballot question and a whole lotta people here voted for it. I find this discouraging.
posted by rtha at 3:52 PM on November 15, 2011


But calling it ?permanent" brings up all that quantum physics thing....courtworthy?

...can't be too serious, I mean me, now.


Your Honor, the ban on permanent structures is acceptable and just but the City of New York has violated the laws of causality by claiming that our tents will be permanent. How can they know we won't be leaving within the month without them having pre-arranged the outcome regarding the persistence of our tents?

Also, they are all pooty neutrino heads.

Thank You, Your Honor.
posted by Slackermagee at 3:52 PM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Guitars, footballs also denied entry.
posted by mek at 3:54 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish more people liked to passive aggressive protest. I would just stop occupying the park but call the police to report a crime every time someone entered it with a briefcase or sat down for a picnic.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:57 PM on November 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


Guitars, footballs also denied entry.

Astonishing. It is just as well that I am not there; I would end up thrown in the slammer for sure.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:00 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


> That's a good fucking question, let me tell you.

Signs you might be a reactionary who is just flat-out scared of all change: you don't know what those protesters stand for, but you're absolutely certain that the stuff they stand for would have terrible consequences, goshdarnit!
posted by mstokes650 at 4:01 PM on November 15, 2011 [16 favorites]


Astonishing. It is just as well that I am not there; I would end up thrown in the slammer for sure.

If you and everyone who felt that way showed up and stayed peaceful we would all run a better chance of not being arrested because there aren't enough jail cells. That's what happened the other night at Portland.

And it's what has happened before at other protests throughout the last century, and it's worked.

And if you do manage to get arrested? You'll probably released fairly quickly. They don't have enough cells.
posted by loquacious at 4:05 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


For many years I've been saying that we are a police state waiting to be enacted.

So many people are saying that the protesters are getting what we deserve because we're breaking the law. So when it comes down to it, you can't; protest without a permit, erect any structures/tents, make noise, sit down, stand in place without a destination, feed people for free, refuse to follow an officers instructions, etc., etc., et.al. all with calls of terrorism(!) and riots that make digging up every law on the books necessary. If every law in the USA were enforced rigorously, the 99% would be behind bars(instead of just mostly the people of color).

If you want to have your precious free speech, go get a blog. If you want to peaceably assemble, there's a corporate café on the corner, just please don't disturb the other customers, you could get arrested.
posted by a_green_man at 4:05 PM on November 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


Guitars, footballs also denied entry.

SHUT UP, BE HAPPY
posted by Hoopo at 4:07 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Occupy movement: city-by-city police crackdowns so far
posted by homunculus at 4:09 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you and everyone who felt that way showed up and stayed peaceful we would all run a better chance of not being arrested because there aren't enough jail cells. That's what happened the other night at Portland.

And it's what has happened before at other protests throughout the last century, and it's worked.

And if you do manage to get arrested? You'll probably released fairly quickly. They don't have enough cells.



When I was at the WTO protest in Seattle in 99, they had the same situation - they just locked up protesters for hours on end inside of charter buses...
posted by stenseng at 4:10 PM on November 15, 2011


The official catechism of reasons for people to shrug and roll their eyes at this eviction:

OWS were too broad-minded: they won't say what they stand for.

OWS were too narrowly focused: they should have supported cutting pensions.

OWS tried something too new and strange to achieve change. They should have just stayed home and waited for the elections to roll around. Maybe this time it will work!

Unlike previous movements for social change, OWS attracted some unstable mischief-makers. No mass movement can be supported unless it attracts only the pure of heart.

Unlike previous movements for social change, OWS caused a nuisance. No movement can be supported unless it is absolutely convenient to all spectators.
posted by wwwwwhatt at 4:10 PM on November 15, 2011 [26 favorites]


GA has started and there is livestream coverage.
posted by mek at 4:10 PM on November 15, 2011


loquacious: "Then they just banned sleeping entirely, as well as laying (and sitting) on the ground."

Good point - I don't see The Right to Sleep listed in your precious bill of rights, citizen.
posted by symbioid at 4:14 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you and everyone who felt that way showed up and stayed peaceful we would all run a better chance of not being arrested because there aren't enough jail cells.

I'm not discounting your calls to stay peaceful, because I think right now it helps the movements public perception. But don't forget Pier 57.

I wouldn't count on any strategy that underestimated the ability of the police to lock citizens up. We're very good at that in the US.
posted by formless at 4:14 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Been following this all day-thank you Metafilter-$5.00 well spent!
posted by PHINC at 4:14 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was at the WTO protest in Seattle in 99, they had the same situation - they just locked up protesters for hours on end inside of charter buses...

Yeah, confirming this happens. I know the guy who was the sole person arrested at the Atlantic Yards Groundbreaking protest in Brooklyn, and he says that in lieu of a holding cell, the police stopped a passing city bus, kicked off all the passengers, and kept him held up in the bus for a couple hours. (They were expecting more arrests; there were none.)

Still think people should come down and protest anyway if they wish. But "if we outnumber the cells they can't hold us" advice may not be quite as sound.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:16 PM on November 15, 2011


Signs you might be a reactionary who is just flat-out scared of all change: you don't know what those protesters stand for, but you're absolutely certain that the stuff they stand for would have terrible consequences, goshdarnit!

Speaking as someone who supports comprehensive campaign finance reform and ending corporate personhood as a legal definition, I am flat-out scared that OWS's agenda is becoming all about being allowed to camp on municipal property indefinitely, and that a lot of energy that could be put towards the slow, unsexy process of gradual change at the level of your own city, county or school district or whatever is being diverted towards a movement that is clearly making a lot of people feel very righteous and historically relevant, but may not end up changing anything when all is said and done.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:16 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Speaking as someone who supports comprehensive campaign finance reform and ending corporate personhood as a legal definition, I am flat-out scared that OWS's agenda is becoming all about being allowed to camp on municipal property indefinitely, and that a lot of energy that could be put towards the slow, unsexy process of gradual change at the level of your own city, county or school district or whatever is being diverted towards a movement that is clearly making a lot of people feel very righteous and historically relevant, but may not end up changing anything when all is said and done.

To an extent, I agree, but I can't help but feel that seeing what happens when people actually try to exercise their right to peacefully protest *might* be what it takes to propel this thing closer to a critical mass, awareness-wise...
posted by stenseng at 4:20 PM on November 15, 2011


Unlike previous movements for social change, OWS caused a nuisance. No movement can be supported unless it is absolutely convenient to all spectators.

I know this isn't a popular position around here, but this is actually the exact opposite of my opinion on the eviction from the park. They should make themselves as much of an inconvenience for people as they possibly can.

OWS were too broad-minded: they won't say what they stand for.

I don't see anything wrong with this. It's been a whole mess of stuff at the Occupy site in my town, including 9/11 truthers...in Canada. The message is often vague and/or confusing.

Anyways, yes a lot of people have their own reasons why they don't mind that OWS is not allowed to camp in the park. They're not all on-message and harmonious, kinda like OWS but without camping in a park. I don't care either way. I don't think camping in the park is central to what they're fighting for, but it's possible I don't get it.
posted by Hoopo at 4:22 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


We may see a Chinese-style internet system, where all computers (and their users) must be licensed in some way

That's not how the Chinese internet or personal computer systems work. China's SIM cards do require real names to purchase, but China's robust gray and black market activities make it laughably easy to circumvent the rules.

For being used as the police state bogeyman so much (not only in this thread, but everywhere), there seems to be a lot of ignorance on what China does and doesn't do, and what exists on law and what exists in real life.
posted by FJT at 4:22 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Late to the party here but,
No, fuck you, this is what a police state looks like.
Anyway, esprit de l'escalier ...
posted by zomg at 4:26 PM on November 15, 2011 [17 favorites]


Amen zomg!
posted by jeffburdges at 4:30 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, zomg, I think that's about perfect fucking timing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:30 PM on November 15, 2011


Holy crap. They're having a 2,000-4,000 person general assembly?

This is going to take forever. I hope everyone got a good meal. The ustream guy Tim is on 20 hours of being awake.
posted by loquacious at 4:30 PM on November 15, 2011


Well played, zomg.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:31 PM on November 15, 2011


I've got it! Blow up tents!
posted by eggtooth at 6:38 PM on November 15 [+] [!]


Moonbounces? Excellent idea! That would certainly lighten the mood a bit.
posted by cheerwine at 4:34 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Flunkie, I'm glad you're sending Pratchett.
I'm sorry to disappoint, but that was The Whelk, not me. Pratchett was not among the books I sent.
posted by Flunkie at 4:34 PM on November 15, 2011


It's "Burning Man"@ Gone political!
posted by eggtooth at 4:37 PM on November 15, 2011


Just to respond to the well-intentioned person upthread bemoaning no viable candidates: Jill Stein. Jill's campaign language is nabbing a lot from OWS right now, but make no mistake, she's not a hanger-on: she's been running fantastic, big-money-free campaigns in Massachusetts for about a decade.
posted by threeants at 4:38 PM on November 15, 2011


Global Revolution feed is also showing Seattle, protester talking about pepper spray being used
posted by desjardins at 4:38 PM on November 15, 2011


Listening to the Human Microphone from mek's link above. It looks and feels so optimistic. It's so about time.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:40 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"It's so about time."

what do you mean?
posted by eggtooth at 4:44 PM on November 15, 2011


I mean it's long past time for people to be taking to the streets to protest the economic and civil rights repressions that have been going on this past decade.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:46 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, I was stuck back in that quantum thing, so, when you said:"I't's so about time" I thought you were channeling Heisenburg or something, so I'm grateful to know it was the perfect common sense statement that it was.

And beautiful it is.
posted by eggtooth at 4:52 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


And there's a very angry march that just went by my building up here just north of downtown Seattle. A lot of drums and whistles and shouting and a whole lot of "fuck you's" and "get backs" and it faded.

I haven't left yet 'cause I'm old and my back is fucked.
posted by loquacious at 4:58 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish people calling OWS a mob, or entitled, or whatever negative impression they have, could spend some time with them. The 30 minutes I spent with them today--marching, surrounded by cops, on a very tense day-- impressed me so much. They were calm, positive, organized, and thoughtful. Even though their group had been violently handled last night, there was no sign of bitterness or hatred.

I think the fact that they spent all day outside those barricades at the park speaks volumes. How easy would it have been for them to forcibly "enforce" the TRO by jumping the barricades? They stood there for hours peacefully, even though the city was flagrantly violating a court order.
posted by Mavri at 4:58 PM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh, how to get possessions back? You'll need to show up within the next couple of days between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. You will need to bring photo id with you, receipts (!) and photos (!) in order to prove the items are yours. (Oh, and you'll need to fill out a claim form). So you can trade staying off any police or government watch lists for the remotely possible ability to reclaim your (likely damaged) belongings in the event you have photos and receipts handy for them.
posted by stagewhisper at 4:59 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Good collection of photos from today at: http://cryptome.org/info/ows-19/ows-19.htm
posted by yertledaturtle at 5:01 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"And now comes the hard part. We have to decide what legal strategies, if any, we want to use to limit the police in this space."
posted by oinopaponton at 5:01 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"We know this-- they're gonna regret messing with us."
posted by oinopaponton at 5:04 PM on November 15, 2011



"We know this-- they're gonna regret messing with us."

Wow...that could be either side.
posted by eggtooth at 5:05 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, it's all sad and stuff that they lost the case, but everyone seems to have forgotten the much more interesting question:

What happens to the police force that ignored a court order???
posted by cthuljew at 5:09 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


What happens to the police force that ignored a court order???

The protesters are considering legal action, just discussed at the GA.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:12 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


After the Brooklyn Bridge arrests, I know that there were groups of people organized to go and meet folks who were arrested as they were released (to give them a snack and a friendly face). Has anyone heard of anything like that being organized for the people arrested today?
posted by cheerwine at 5:13 PM on November 15, 2011


stagewhisper: "Oh, how to get possessions back? You'll need to show up within the next couple of days between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. You will need to bring photo id with you, receipts (!) and photos (!) in order to prove the items are yours. (Oh, and you'll need to fill out a claim form). So you can trade staying off any police or government watch lists for the remotely possible ability to reclaim your (likely damaged) belongings in the event you have photos and receipts handy for them."

Property. "Who own's this property?" Public/Private spaces. Money - It's mine, don't tax me, don't take it. Is this YOUR book? Show me the proof!

Man, it really is all about property and that's totally how they think about it.
posted by symbioid at 5:17 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Occupy New Haven just offered to give displaced OWS protesters a place to sleep.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:21 PM on November 15, 2011


So the people's library is "safely" in storage, but won't be returned, and will eventually be dumped as unclaimed? Nice.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:21 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


There isn't any doubt the U.S. is a police state. There is an outright violent revolution in Syria, not simply overly powerful police state, heck their police state might not last that much longer.

American's never have outright revolutions like that, but the last time so many were oppressed for so long the unions ended up hiring the mob hit men. If people lose faith in their government, then they'll eventually form their own governments, which in-turn eventually legitimizes their own exercise of force.

I recommend that, before that happens, we choose to reimplement Glass-Steagall and break up all the "Too Big to Fail" banks. Institute some more popular-deliberative legislative processes too, maybe not a national general assembly, but something meaningful. Ranked voting too.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:24 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's OK. Who doesn't have a photo and receipt for their books, pens or clothing? Hamburger, etc.

Let's hope nobody stores their receipts on their laptop...or, indeed, has the same model of laptop as another person. Or, indeed, that NYC has organised crime capable of making fake receipts. Or bent cops who just went Christmas shopping in the loot. But luckily literally none of that could ever happen.
posted by jaduncan at 5:29 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, and just one random note:

How is this thread not titled "Pick up that can"?
posted by jaduncan at 5:31 PM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


What happens to the police force that ignored a court order???

Not a whole lot. Their lawyer might get sanctioned, or the city might be required to review its administrative procedures or subject itself to judicial monitoring for a few years (following years of litigation, naturally). I hope you're not imagining that it gets dismantled and the Court mandates the creation of a People's Police or something, because you're going to be bitterly disappointed if that's the case. It improves the chances for protesters to recover economic and/or punitive damages for civil rights infringements if they get a favorable verdict (and if they sue, expect litigation from third parties seeking compensation for their inconvenience during the protest as well).
posted by anigbrowl at 5:32 PM on November 15, 2011


If people lose faith in their government, then they'll eventually form their own governments, which in-turn eventually legitimizes their own exercise of force.

Bingo. Also, if people lose faith in the ability of the justice system to ensure that justice is served, they will create their own parallel justice system to ensure that justice is served. And that path is a dark and scary one.

Making the system work again is, in the general sense, better than scrapping it and starting anew. I just hope that in this case, we haven't already gone too far for it to be practical. For everyone's sake.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:35 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


(I know this is a dead serious matter, and this is a silly thought, but... my associated girl and I have been watching boston legal in a huge marathon so it's on my mind. I know it's about as far from a realistic depiction of the legal process as possible, but I can still wish there was an Alan Shore for the protestors, can't I?)
posted by flaterik at 5:37 PM on November 15, 2011


I hope you're not imagining that it gets dismantled and the Court mandates the creation of a People's Police or something, because you're going to be bitterly disappointed if that's the case.

Well, the NYPD has played the role of People's Police Volkspolizei pretty well in this episode...
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:38 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seattle is apparently holding a sit in at 5th and Pine after solidarity march, and just voted to remain in the intersection and is apparently risking mass arrest.

Livestream.
posted by loquacious at 5:41 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just got back from the Occupy DC camp in McPherson square. Very tidy and organized, nice, bright folks with lots of energy and hope, though they do have a few needs.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:42 PM on November 15, 2011


Cops are at Zuccotti now. Not sure what's going on.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:45 PM on November 15, 2011


I wish people calling OWS a mob, or entitled, or whatever negative impression they have, could spend some time with them. The 30 minutes I spent with them today--marching, surrounded by cops, on a very tense day-- impressed me so much. They were calm, positive, organized, and thoughtful. Even though their group had been violently handled last night, there was no sign of bitterness or hatred.

Mavri: welcome to the movement. You can stop saying "them" and start saying "we."

I spent 4 hours at Occupy Seattle one night, and I started saying "we" the next morning and have done ever since. Reducing OWS to just the people who have the capacity to camp out undermines the movement, the solidarity of the 99%. You don't have to camp overnight to be part of it! Just claim your space in this movement, and start doing what you can do. Maybe that's picking trash once a week, or bringing notepads or hand-warmers. Maybe it's donating money or warm clothes, or offering to let someone shower at your place. Maybe it's offering to make copies for the legal team, or to maintain a web forum or do some print design. Maybe, honest to God, maybe it's just correcting people online who say that OWS is an entitled mob, or a bunch of dirty hippies, or a patchouli-soaked hot mess of whiteboy dreads and pot smoke.

It's a diverse movement with diverse needs. You belong here as much as anyone does.
posted by KathrynT at 5:50 PM on November 15, 2011 [33 favorites]


That Occupy Seattle intersection bullshit is making me really mad.
posted by Errant at 6:01 PM on November 15, 2011


I bought a pizza for Occupy Tampa last Friday, after spending the better part of the week in a hellacious run-around with Bank of America, trying to get them to undo a $575 charge they'd stolen. (They own the nearly-foreclosed mortgage for a grace period, nothing I can do about that until it's over, at which point I will run away from those fuckers so hard I will kick dust up in my wake.)

It was cold for Tampa, that night, highs in the low fifties, and plenty of wind off the river. There's no cover at Curtis Hixon Park where they are, just concrete and the downtown wind-tunnels. Not half chilly. I figured warm food would be appreciated, and I wanted to do something to stick it to the man after the week I'd had.

I walked up to the one information table that TPD grudgingly allows them to have, and looked around a bit lost for the moment, until I was approached by a guy named Pepe who I recognized from news stories about his arrest for, I forget what exactly, I think he was "being an object on a sidewalk." (TPD's terms, not mine. We're just debris around here.)

I said: "Hey. I have cash. Y'all want dinner?"

I shared introductions with my new activist pal Pepe, who recommended a good pizza place about two blocks away, and off we walked to go get some cold and hungry activists some dinner. We chatted the whole way there and the whole way back, about political stuff and personal stuff too - "How do you not know about pirates if you grew up in Florida?" "Catholic school!" - and I bought the last pizza the place had, before they closed. It was a XXL double-triple cheese pie, gigantunormous, and Pepe willingly carried it back because he'd been outdoors for days and his hands were cold.

When we got back, something happened that I did not expect. Pepe set the pizza down, cupped his hands around his mouth, and bellowed.

Pepe: "MIC CHECK!"
Everyone: "MIC CHECK!"
Pepe: "THIS IS JULIE."
Everyone: "THIS IS JULIE."
Pepe: "SHE BOUGHT US PIZZA!"

They cheered, applauded, and I got hugs from two of them. The pizza was set down on one of the big concrete park-boundary blocks and opened up - they swarmed, and the thing vanished in 30 seconds flat. I think they ate the box too. Good thing I'd already had dinner.

"We're all family here," I remember one guy telling me that night. "Look, you got all this family now."

I spent most of the following Saturday there, where I met a lot of people, signed up for stuff, and participated in all kinds of things. That Friday night, though, was when it changed from a "them" to an "us" for me, because I have never before in my life felt so welcomed or safe among a crowd of strangers on a city sidewalk at night.
posted by cmyk at 6:07 PM on November 15, 2011 [85 favorites]


Watching Rachael Maddow right now evening and she's covering the police raid on the protesters. Nice reference from her to the Mario Savio speech
posted by Poet_Lariat at 6:08 PM on November 15, 2011


Really? Why does it make you mad?
posted by felix at 6:10 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


From reputable pollster Public Policy Polling:
Going to have some pretty bad numbers for Occupy Wall Street tomorrow...movement not wearing well with voters
posted by Rhaomi at 6:10 PM on November 15, 2011


There is a sense in which we've already gone that far, one more dead town's last parade, the Tea party has flows small planes into buildings and shot representatives.

All the Tea party's anti-tax sentiments ultimately stems from the federal government destroying it's own legitimacy through illegitimate spending, i.e. graft. Yes, obviously the Koch brothers' right-wing machine redirects that sentiments against 'entitlement' spending, rather than the more deserving military and DHS/TSA graft. Yet, both movements stem from an underlying rejection of the legitimacy of our rulers. In fact, we might owe the Koch brothers thanks for pealing off anyone incapable of recognizing bank CEOs as our rulers.

As an aside, all the southern Italian mafia families started as local government resistance against the unification of Italy, which gives them an incredible history and internal legitimacy. Real democracy is afaik the only way to prevent low-level political violence, i.e. assassinations, kidnappings, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:11 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn right. The Tea Party is the political face of organized right wing militias -- check out the Joe Miller campaign in Alaska, for example, not just the astroturf production of the Koch Brothers. Don't tell me they are or ever were primarily civil or democratic. They infiltrated town halls in order to shout down and intimidate duly elected officials.

Who's a "mob," then?
posted by spitbull at 6:13 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Because that's one of the busiest intersections downtown, at rush hour, when people are trying to get home to their families. It's inconsiderate and disruptive to the very people they claim to represent, and not every siren is a cop. Obstructing roadways is not just annoying and alienating, it's also dangerous to people who aren't them. A march is one thing, and I could live with that, but the whole point of Occupy is that they set up and don't move, and that's a problem for me.

I do not think they should be pepper-sprayed or have the shit beaten out of them for it, and it absolutely sucks and is a travesty that that's happening right now.
posted by Errant at 6:17 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


My fear is that by the time things are really that bad, it won't matter that people are dissatisfied because democracy, as we understand it, will have already been swept away by the elites.

One of the most terrifying things I've ever read. Time for an uprising now.
posted by tr33hggr at 6:18 PM on November 15, 2011


I have to agree that occupying commuter traffic routes is a TERRIBLE idea for protestors, just from a strategic perspective. That's the best way to generate a lot of bad will, VERY quickly.
posted by flaterik at 6:20 PM on November 15, 2011


Do you need to occupy the route completely? Why not simply hand out photos of protestors wounded by police violence?
posted by jeffburdges at 6:22 PM on November 15, 2011


Errant: well hopefully you, and everyone else who's inconvenienced, reflects on what has driven these people to do that, and what the 'opposing team' is doing and has done to this country.

"We're human beings!...There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all." -- Mario Savio
posted by felix at 6:23 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


People have blocked traffic for all sorts of things. And typically, your first knowledge that its happening is just "okay, all of a sudden traffic is horrible. I'm hungry, and tired, and just want to get home to eat. what the hell is going on? oh, it's those protestors i heard about. well, fuck them, this is obnoxious!" is really a not unreasonable train of thought. at the very least, it's not going to be an uncommon one.

we should not make it difficult for people to identify with the protest. it should be as easy as possible. that's the whole point. when you fuck with people's commutes, they're going to turn against you. they just will.
posted by flaterik at 6:27 PM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


My husband will have walked right through the protest on his way home. When he gets here, I'll ask him what the mood was like.
posted by KathrynT at 6:29 PM on November 15, 2011


My husband will have walked right through the protest on his way home. When he gets here, I'll ask him what the mood was like.

Can we wager a favorite as to what his mood will be?
posted by Slackermagee at 6:34 PM on November 15, 2011


Thanks cmyk - lovely story.
posted by tr33hggr at 6:35 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Errant: well hopefully you, and everyone else who's inconvenienced, reflects on what has driven these people to do that, and what the 'opposing team' is doing and has done to this country.

Oh, for fuck's sake, I don't need a lecture on the evils of capitalism and entrenched power or the tyranny of the plutocracy. I'm pretty sure I can agree with the message and the movement and then also think that this is a shitty thing to do.

I don't know where you got your sports metaphor "opposing team" from, or why you are implying that I think this is a game.
posted by Errant at 6:37 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


or why you are implying that I think this is a game.

But Errant, it IS a game! The best of games.

The Game of Thrones.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:41 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not the Game of Thrones: The Great Game.
posted by absalom at 6:45 PM on November 15, 2011


RT on Goldman Sachs ripping off Libya, et al. (June)
posted by jeffburdges at 6:48 PM on November 15, 2011


Or War Games. "The only way to win is not to play."*

*totally NOT my opinion
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:49 PM on November 15, 2011


He says that nobody was there, they were all peppersprayed. He was bummed because he wanted to join, however briefly.
posted by KathrynT at 6:53 PM on November 15, 2011


*peppersprayed and removed
posted by KathrynT at 6:54 PM on November 15, 2011


Rhaomi: "From reputable pollster Public Policy Polling:
Going to have some pretty bad numbers for Occupy Wall Street tomorrow...movement not wearing well with voters"
Good thing they're not politicians or a political party then, eh?
posted by symbioid at 6:56 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Going to have some pretty bad numbers for Occupy Wall Street tomorrow...movement not wearing well with voters"

Good thing they're not politicians or a political party then, eh?


One would think that a group claiming to represent the 99% would have some interest in how the 99% was feeling. If OWS is serious about generating broad societal change, then they need the support of that society; without it, OWS is just another group lobbying for their own interests.
posted by modernnomad at 7:05 PM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


There is a sense in which we've already gone that far, one more dead town's last parade, the Tea party has flows small planes into buildings and shot representatives.

No, they didn't.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:07 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


You got your Alphas, Betas and Outsiders. Alphas want to lead and be aggressive. Betas want to serve a leader in exchange for protection. Outsiders don't want to be part of the system. It's so easy to slip into a role because they're programmed in. And even if you're not actively leading or actively following, it's still reflected in attitudes: "don't rock the boat". OWS has to cross the bridge from being just outsiders. I think a few charismatic leaders would be just super. I'm not sure America is ready for a guerrilla egalitarian revolution. Though I guess it doesn't have to be ready as long as it continues to sit back in bemused annoyance until onlookers wake up and go "oh, shit, those people are me!"
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:16 PM on November 15, 2011


This thread was captivating to read on my way home from work. You guys are awesome. Unfortunately I was following the "live news" a couple hours late so I was able to scroll right through the tense parts, heh.

In the interest of using one's skillz to help out - I like web programming and I was trying to come up with something to make that might be a useful resource for those wanting to learn more. A wiki I threw up turned out to be redundant redundant redundant, and after discussions with some fellow wiki-starters there's now an email list of people who are working on creating a single wiki-farm for OWS-related things worldwide. (if anyone is interested in getting involved with that, the email list is at owswiki@lists.riseup.net. I didn't create the list but am on it.)

Anyway a lot of people involved in that group are outside the US and are focused on non-USA-specific issues and general worldwide social and economic justice. I'm into that, it's awesome, etc, but I'd really like to contribute to or create a more immediately-relevant-to-US-citizens resource. I've had a couple thoughts - a location-based election information resource? a 'how economically ethical are the businesses i frequent' chart? - but I've been talking myself out of these ideas assuming already they exist in some form and I'd just be adding more noise where it's not needed. If anyone knows of any needs to this end or existing projects I could get involved with I'd love to know about 'em.

Occupy Boston is getting my winter clothing giveaway box and my personal trash cleanup services as soon as I can get my butt over there. :)
posted by ghostbikes at 7:28 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


You might find opencongress.org pertinent, ghostbikes.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:35 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


You got your Alphas, Betas and Outsiders.

Not really, no. Human beings are much more complicated than that, and being lucky enough to have the generosity and support of well-off friends and family have much more to do with success than some mythical Alpha gene.

While some multimillionaires started in poverty, most did not. A study of the origins of 303 textile, railroad and steel executives of the 1870s showed that 90 percent came from middle- or upper-class families. The Horatio Alger stories of “rags to riches” were true for a few men, but mostly a myth and a useful myth for control.
posted by emjaybee at 8:20 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It must be midnight there by now. Surely something has happened since supper time. Is anyone occupying?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:30 PM on November 15, 2011


I was sort of expecting to hear chants along the lines of "YOU! ARE! THE 99!" when it came time to square off against beat cops. I sort of still am. Give it a try, OWS?

Occupy Chicago has chanted "CPD needs a raise" on at least one occasion.
posted by wayland at 9:37 PM on November 15, 2011


I think one thing that might benefit the movement, but I'm not sure what would actually be needed - from the technical end, is working towards unifying them...

I still think that the ultimate goal should be a national assembly with elected delegates to go bring thoughts/messages of each group and hash out a potential platform to bring back to the local assemblies and have people then verify at the local level an agreement.

I think this type of representation was proposed by one of the anarchists that I read about, but I can't remember who, exactly.

But I think it might work when it comes to dealing with a "message".

Other people are fine not having a message. Some people think having a message somehow distorts it or makes it dirty and corruptible. But I don't think so.

So what sorts of technical tools would help the movement work towards this goal? Democratizing tools? I pictured things like apps/miniradios/transmitters of some sort that could act as the human megaphone. The "Talking Stick" could be a token passed around phones. Voting/ranking systems for discussion online (I think the official occupy has "twinkle fingers" as a "like" button, but that's fairly primitive).

Anyways, I'm sure there's plenty that could be done, but being that I haven't even gotten my ass down to my local Occupy to give them shit that they need, I don't feel I have a right to speak for them at all ("them" -- heh -- "US") until I've been in their shoes and see what their needs are and how it all works.
posted by symbioid at 10:10 PM on November 15, 2011


>>"Going to have some pretty bad numbers for Occupy Wall Street tomorrow...movement not wearing well with voters"
>Good thing they're not politicians or a political party then, eh?


Wait -- if the goal isn't convincing the public, what is it? You just wanna fight police?

That's their game, that's what they do best. You lose the fight and most uninvolved people think you're a dirty violent person, so they flock to whoever is against you. What is that going to accomplish, other than showing off how tough you are?
posted by msalt at 10:15 PM on November 15, 2011


I was down near the Occupy Oakland encampment at Ogawa Plaza post-eviction this evening as I needed to walk by it to get to another place.

Van full of cops rolls up just as I start to walk down the street. They proceed to follow me in slow-motion reverse for three-quarters of a block, all staring me down, waiting to do something.

Apparently it is now a crime to walk downtown at 6 p.m. Police state, indeed.
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire at 10:15 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


It must be midnight there by now. Surely something has happened since supper time. Is anyone occupying?

There was a march after some reports of sexual harassment of female protestors custody. There was a general assembly in Zuccotti at some point, not a lot of details on what happened there. It sounds like they're facing a lot of issues with infrastructure right now--there've been several tweets/livestream conversations about getting drinking water in and distributed to everyone.

TheOther99 ustream right now is showing people gathered right outside the park, apparently while Brookfield send a cleaning crew through.
posted by kagredon at 10:17 PM on November 15, 2011


UC Berkeley shooting terrifies Occupy protestors, students

State of Siege USA: Why Would They Want to Shut the #Occupy Movement Down NOW?

OWS Protesters in Melbourne Ordered to Leave

Somebody posted this in support of #OWS: Flobots - Stand Up
posted by dhartung at 10:19 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Picture of Dorli Rainey, a 84 year old citizen and activist who was pepper-sprayed by the police at Occupy Seattle today. via slog.
posted by formless at 10:20 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Democratizing tools? I pictured things like apps/miniradios/transmitters of some sort that could act as the human megaphone.

IMO it is long past time for Make:-type folk to invent a samizdat network device that will allow us to maintain communications when the government pulls the Internet.

Governments are actively hostile to the use of twitter et al as a tool for political, economic, or social change.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:25 PM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


re: samizdat: Someone half-jokingly suggested we all get HAM licenses at the Tampa General Assembly on Saturday. Wouldn't be a bad idea to have a few on hand, I reckon.
posted by cmyk at 10:46 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just got in from Occupy Seattle (stopped by the SCCC camp on my way home.) I was at the very end of the march this afternoon - got a good view of the first confrontation with police on 4th avenue just before 5pm. I saw no reason for the police reaction. People were swarming toward a running man (the police were chasing him?) The ensuing screaming and police spraying pepper spray was far enough from me that could back off with no problem. After that attack, I moved forward and tried calming people down (trying to neutralize the 'retaliation' mood) although Mama D and the sanctuary woman (who got sprayed) were doing much more; the campers know and trust them. Grandmothers rule.

As I was standing with the medic and one victim (we thought he might need an ambulance), I told an older officer that I was really disappointed in them this evening. He responded with a rant about all he had been through for the past weeks with this movement. I was a bit shocked (but not quick enough to ask, "So, this is a *revenge* thing today?!") I am still a bit wobbly. There were a LOT of police around.

And, not to let the OS 'black_bloc_wannabes' off the hook, the group then went out of control. I left them and walked in the opposite direction. Sorry, Errant that 'intersection sit-in' was a typical stunt of this sub-group that has dominated the camp -- that was simply meaningless, dangerous and egotistical.

When I stopped by the camp tonight I found the 'elders' are getting weary. If the camp falls (*when* it falls), we will start over and take OS back to basic Occupy principles.

Meanwhile, we are counting injuries.
posted by Surfurrus at 10:53 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


a samizdat network device that will allow us to maintain communications when the government pulls the Internet.

It's sort of a solved problem.

I was mulling this over earlier today, when it became apparent how reliant on cellphones the protesters are for communication.

That would certainly change the tone of the politics on the local 2m net...
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:54 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Picture of Dorli Rainey, a 84 year old citizen and activist who was pepper-sprayed by the police at Occupy Seattle today.

... along with a priest and a pregnant woman who was taken away by ambulance (there were two spraying incidents -- once on 4th and then later at the intersection). I also saw the PI photojournalist being treated (he must have gotten it bad, he was completely blind for a while).
posted by Surfurrus at 11:01 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It must be midnight there by now. Surely something has happened since supper time. Is anyone occupying?

Hard to tell. It looks like all live streams from NYC are showing reruns from earlier in the evening or even yesterday. The Other 99 has been in reruns since Tim stopped for the evening. One of the livestream feeds is apparently showing the ousting from Liberty Plaza from yesterday.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:07 PM on November 15, 2011


Surfurrus, I agree. It seemed like a move designed solely to provoke a confrontation with the police, and atypical of the Occupy movement to date. The police response was of course excessive and unjustified.

There's a tweet going around from the PI journalist which suggests that he got a faceful of pepper spray.

Thank you for checking in, and I'm glad you're mostly ok.
posted by Errant at 11:09 PM on November 15, 2011


cmyk beat me to the punch. But just as a followup:

There is historical precedent for using Amateur Radio in that manner, as well... although it's not a well-known story, the Student Information Net was operated during May, 1970 on 20 and 40m. (Net control K1WGM Brandeis University, and W2UC at Union College.)

To say that it was controversial would be a bit of an understatement. I think the reason it's not frequently discussed even in radio circles is that it was not the community's finest hour. Despite there not being a formal prohibition on the use of amateur radio for political purposes (it's more of a self-imposed social norm), there was a lot of intentional interference and general asshattery.

I'm not sure exactly what the reaction would be like to an 'Occupy' net today.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:12 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank you, Errant. I was next to the journalist when he was staggering to the curb -- he couldn't even see. He was treated by the OS medics for quite a while. It looked really painful. I didn't see the elderly woman; she must have been in the middle of the crowd. One person at the camp tonight had his hand bandaged; he said he punched a mail box to keep from attacking the police. I know him as a beautifully articulate and gentle young man. This was a hard day.
posted by Surfurrus at 11:16 PM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Is it just me, or is it legit to call a cop (99%er) who attacks Occupy folks a collaborator? (After viewing photos of the old lady that got pepper sprayed)

And isn't it really the case, after all these years, the problem is still "The Establishment"? The huge structure called "society" which perpetuates the system that keeps the elites in power?

Seems to me, the real message of OWS is simply that, WE are the 99%, and WE ARE the fabric of society. Things WILL change, because WE require it. FULL STOP.
posted by Goofyy at 11:53 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


is it legit to call a cop who attacks Occupy folks a collaborator

Clearly. The police are an arm of the state.
posted by beerbajay at 12:34 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seems to me, the real message of OWS is simply that, WE are the 99%, and WE ARE the fabric of society. Things WILL change, because WE require it. FULL STOP.

Goofyy, can I share that with all my new activist pals on the internet?
posted by cmyk at 1:23 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, they're back in! Zuccatti Park is reoccupied!
posted by biddeford at 1:54 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Going to have some pretty bad numbers for Occupy Wall Street tomorrow...movement not wearing well with voters.

1. Don't let the vagaries of daily polling dampen this movement.

2. These poll numbers are likely directly related to public perception of the crackdowns on OWS encampments. Respond on your own terms, not theirs.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:06 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Photos from last night in Seattle, by Josh Trujillo of the Seattle PI. There are a couple "great" shots of the police methodically and efficiently spraying down the crowd with pepper spray.
posted by Errant at 2:08 AM on November 16, 2011


FFS, SeattlePI, why do you think I want to dismiss a takeover ad every 3rd picture about an anti-corporatism protest? Could you be any more tone-deaf?
posted by flaterik at 2:34 AM on November 16, 2011


On that subject, it is really important for all of us who even *sympathize* with OWS to do everything in our power to strike back at corporate power where it really hurts. The very first easy step you can take is to shut them the fuck up. If you are not rigorously and systematically blocking ads, tracking cookies, and the like in your daily internet use, it takes 10 minutes to set it up and it denies the conglomerates access to reams of information about you, your tastes, your habits, and your politics (by the way). It cuts immediately into the bottom lines of the big companies that own most media in the US. And remember, social media are corporate media. They are not on our side over at Google and Facebook and Twitter or CNN or MSNBC or even the NY TImes. They are in the business of the 1%, and yet we rely on and need their networks and provide them, freely, with a lot of what they need to know to sell us stuff, but also to subjugate us and censor us. BLOCK YOUR ADS! BLOCK FLASH PLUGINS! REFUSE SOCIAL NETWORKING AND TRACKING COOKIES systematically. If millions of people do this, it will disrupt business in this country in a serious way.

The next and more difficult step is to actually not BUY STUFF unless you really need it. And then, when you do, buy thoughtfully, whether goods or services. Bank at a credit union. Buy union-made American products. Buy used. Spend cash. Barter. Avoid paying sales taxes, most of which are collected by state and city governments and used to pay for the police who pepper spray you for saying hey, wait a minute now.

Symbolic occupation of places is one thing. Actual mass protest is another. Our economy depends on mindless consumption. The 99% can, thus, in fact, do real harm to the interests of the 1%. We can all run over to one side of the ship and make it list hard to port.
posted by spitbull at 3:30 AM on November 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


Not, by the say, that I am saying these are substitutes for direct action. But they scale. A few million people turning off the ads and tracking on their browsers is probably the force equivalent of 100 people standing in the rain with signs. But a lot of people aren't ready to commit to actual street protest. And what is more, you can (correctly) convince many more people to be scared of being tracked and databased in every preference and proclivity for eternity than you can of "income inequality" in the abstract, or "police state" in the abstract. Yes, they are watching *you* -- mostly to sell you shit, but the information they collect can also be used to keep an eye on your politics, your sexuality, your friends and networks. Wouldn't you rather opt out?
posted by spitbull at 3:34 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The dude who created that Fela Kuti and De La Soul mash-up album just put out a tune called Who We Are.
posted by gman at 3:55 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


BLOCK YOUR ADS! [...] If millions of people do this, it will disrupt business in this country in a serious way.
Many small companies like Metafilter rely on ads for their income. Those are not part of the 1%.
posted by davar at 4:39 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Many small companies like Metafilter rely on ads for their income.

Support MetaFilter! Never log in!
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:43 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Going to have some pretty bad numbers for Occupy Wall Street tomorrow...movement not wearing well with voters.

1. Don't let the vagaries of daily polling dampen this movement.


This can't be stressed enough. I seem to remember hearing things the last time I was out in the street fairly close to outraged and pretty squarely against popular opinion -- and it didn't make us any more wrong that time, and I wish I hadn't given into the frustration. Further, with this same example, people often start looking at the facts (either differently or at all) and come up with a completely opposite opinion just a few years later. This is a big problem with the need for big solutions, and anybody who thinks a couple of months of camping and a few public opinion polls in the wrong direction is going to break their spirit needs to do something stat to prepare themselves for the long haul. If this is going to work, this needs to be looked at more like a social movement and less like a political campaign.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:01 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


It can be argued that the protestors represent the true America regardless of popular backing, much as it can be argued that de Gaulle represented the true France even if Pétain had the popular support.
posted by klue at 5:20 AM on November 16, 2011


much as it can be argued that de Gaulle represented the true France even if Pétain had the popular support.


ugh. come on with these analogies. This is just offensive.
posted by JPD at 6:10 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


AlterNet:
Who convened the mayors call? In an interview with the BBC, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan alluded to her participation in a conference call with leaders of 18 US cities just prior to the raids on encampments across the country. Mayors' associations do exist, but they do not typically organize police interventions or local decision-making in such detail. Given the abuses of the past, such as the notorious COINTELPRO and other intervention programs that the U.S. government organized during the Vietnam protests, the public has a right to know the details of who organized that call.
Minneapolis Examiner
according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.
(my bold)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:29 AM on November 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Considering the apparently indiscriminate way the SPD are releasing that pepper spray, they have terrible pepper spray karma.
"Report! Which dangerous anarchists did we subdue?"
"An 84-year old grandmother, sir."
"And?"
"A pregnant woman."
"Huh. Anyone else?"
"A guy in a wheelchair..."
"A Black Bloc agitator feigning a disability?"
"It's Professor Stephen Hawking, sir."
"Oh."
"And he had a family of baby otters in his lap, sir. The baby otters are now crying. They don't understand what's happening."
"At least it can't get any worse."
"Sir, we have uncomfirmed reports that Danny Pudi was tickling one of the baby otters when the tear gas hit."
"You have got to be kidding me."
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:41 AM on November 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


the protestors represent the true America regardless of popular backing

what

I can't tell if this is an appeal to to history or patriotism or what... but talking about the "true America" as something distinct from "popular backing" seems both creepily undemocratic and dangerous. There's not a lot you can't justify that way. Down that road lies madness.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:49 AM on November 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


So, Gravy, what you're saying would say there is a conspiracy from within the Obama administration with the several city governments, to limit the free speech rights of these various groups. Oh, and steal/vandalize their property.

I just get disgusted with the casual attitude towards the constitution, these days, from the political folks. It's like they just can't be bothered to make the effort to do things the legal way.
posted by Goofyy at 6:51 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Many small companies like Metafilter rely on ads for their income.

Well, that's too bad, in my opinion. I would happily subscribe to MetaFilter for $10 a year rather than a one time $5 signup to make up the difference. And I'd consider enabling ads on the very few websites where I feel respected as something more than a product to be sold to advertisers. But once you have installed tools to reject and alert you to the ad networks and data-gathering you subject yourself to every time you browse naively, you will be horrified. I just dropped down my Taco information panel and saw that it had blocked over 12,000 attempts to track my web usage in the last month. Fuck that shit.

For those who care about this, I just wrote an AskMe question to help gather tips and tricks for improving privacy and security without going paranoid-overboard. It's here:

http://ask.metafilter.com/201069/Help-Me-Lock-It-Down
posted by spitbull at 6:55 AM on November 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I can't tell if this is an appeal to to history or patriotism or what... but talking about the "true America" as something distinct from "popular backing" seems both creepily undemocratic and dangerous.

I don't know - isn't the Constitution there partly as a balance to ochlocratic whim? Because it means that when there is a groundswell of popular feeling about e.g. curtailing freedom of speech, the Constitution acts as a brake on populist legislation. Obviously, a long-term government not of, by or for the people is un-American, but part of the role of government and the law is to balance out the legislative impact of spikes in popular sentiment...
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:56 AM on November 16, 2011


spitbull "Taco information panel "????
posted by NiteMayr at 7:24 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a web security program.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:33 AM on November 16, 2011


I found it, thanks
posted by NiteMayr at 7:39 AM on November 16, 2011


Well, that's too bad, in my opinion. I would happily subscribe to MetaFilter for $10 a year rather than a one time $5 signup to make up the difference.
Even if all 12.000 active users of Metafilter paid $10/year, that's only $120.000. Not enough to support an owner, a developer and four moderators.

If millions of people start to block ads, as you want, thousands of small companies will go bankrupt and thousands of people who have good jobs now will lose them. In the meantime, I don't think it will actually accomplish anything that's worth that. Big companies will still be big, banks will still have the same amount of power. A tiny amount of big companies will have to shift their focus a bit, and that's that.
posted by davar at 7:53 AM on November 16, 2011


So davar, what's your alternate proposal?
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:13 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I work near Zuccotti Park and was there last night when they began letting the protesters back in. I joined then briefly, and would have stayed longer if I could have. I cried.

I have tried to explain this to people before, but it bears repeating- I have never ever had faith in my country, because my first moment of political consciousness was the first time Bush was elected. I was 12 on 9-11. I spent all of my formative years, in high school and most of college, knowing beyond a shadow of doubt that this country was ruined and that there was no real hope for people like me to change it, that the movements of the 60s had failed and that the best I could hope for was to either sell out or check out. I never thought something like this could happen, I thought it was just simply too late. And I know that this could fail too, but the fact that it is happening at all has moved me in a way I didn't think was possible.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:17 AM on November 16, 2011 [32 favorites]


That examiner article - I can't read it right now - but... it doesn't pass my sniff test - I'm not saying they didn't do that, but...

His ... source seems to just be some random dude claiming to be in Justice? What's this guy's creds? Does he have any contacts, or was this a stranger? It sounds like some guy on the street said this and he has no confirmation of the guys identity.

Grain of salt. Massive grain of salt.
posted by symbioid at 8:19 AM on November 16, 2011


We could imagine a movement to whitelist small business and socially responsible businesses, I suppose. But no, I think a general strike against mindless overconsumption and/or continued erosion of our privacy is bound to have economic casualties, as strikes do. The point is that people who feel they have too much to lose to participate don't yet know what losing feels like.
posted by spitbull at 8:21 AM on November 16, 2011


OWS protester: "we're gonna burn this shit to the motherfuckin' ground... in a few days you're gonna see what a molotov cocktail can do to Macy's."
posted by BobbyVan at 8:24 AM on November 16, 2011


Bloomberg lied about the library and personal possessions not being destroyed.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:26 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Actually, I should mention that AdBlock, Taco (and other such programs) permit you to turn things on selectively on a per-site basis. So I have ads enabled on a very few sites (MeFi being one, although since I would never click on a web ad, I'm not sure what value that has), but I don't let any tracking networks operate on any site. It's very easy to pick and choose your boycott targets, starting from a default of "no fucking way you can follow my browsing from here on out."
posted by spitbull at 8:27 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


OWS protester: "we're gonna burn this shit to the motherfuckin' ground... in a few days you're gonna see what a molotov cocktail can do to Macy's."

Good call. Remember when the Weather Underground and other violent anti-government groups brought the revolution in the 1960s, and fixed everything, and didn't cause a backlash that brought us Nixon, Reagan and Bush? That was awesome.
posted by msalt at 8:29 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yes, BobbyVan, I see that guy talking about molotov cocktails. That's unfortunate, and, from what I've seen, not representative of the movement as a whole. Did you see the part where the cops are handcuffing the elderly lady, too?
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:30 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes. She didn't appear to be in any great distress.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:32 AM on November 16, 2011


No great distress.
posted by spitbull at 8:42 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


So it's okay to be handcuffed for nothing if you're not showing signs of distress? Ricockulous.

And one person is not indicative of a movement.
posted by tr33hggr at 8:43 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


That examiner article - I can't read it right now - but... it doesn't pass my sniff test - I'm not saying they didn't do that, but...

This diary on Daily Kos agrees with you and posts that Rick Ellis is backing down a little from his claims. However the Examiner article is gaining traction: It was discussed by Micheal Moore and Keith Olbermann on the news last night and The Guardian and Wonkette have both run with the story. It may turn out to be a complete fabrication, or the guy may be backing down due to pressure from outside. Paranoia or cynicism?

Unfortunately it is all too believable. Those of us keeping an eye on Homeland Security while they crack down on "domestic terrorism" have always been afraid of just this situation. How far can political dissent go in this country while the Government has such massive and all-encompassing powers at their disposal?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:50 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sorry, should have clarified that photo was Dorli Rainey, 84 year old Seattle grandma. And she wasn't handcuffed, just pepper-sprayed into that undistressed appearance, it's true. So it's nothing, never mind. Story here.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2011/11/seattle_police_pepper_spray_84.php
posted by spitbull at 8:50 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The video doesn't establish that she is being handcuffed "for nothing". The elderly are not above the law.

That said, it's sad to see an old person who has been exposed to pepper spray. From what I've gathered, the woman in the "no great distress" photo has a long history as an activist, and has bravely risked her health to stand in solidarity with her much younger comrades in a confrontation with police. There are attendant risks with that, and I think that it would speak well of the Occupiers if they asked the elderly to move to the "rear echelons" for their own protection when a confrontation with police appears evident. If they are passively (or actively) allowing the elderly to serve as "human shields," I would find that to be morally abhorrent. And to complete the equation, the police should of course use all reasonable restraint when dealing with the elderly.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:51 AM on November 16, 2011


correction: confrontation with police appears evident = imminent
posted by BobbyVan at 8:55 AM on November 16, 2011



OWS protester: "we're gonna burn this shit to the motherfuckin' ground... in a few days you're gonna see what a molotov cocktail can do to Macy's."


And did you see the older man walk by and smile? We have people who rant like that young man all over the city. In the camp they are known and tolerated; others will help bring them down or distract them when they get too far out ("Hey, there is hot pizza over there!").

I am not discounting the anger, nor am I saying that 'ranter' is definitely not a danger to others. I'm just saying ... well, fear of such people who shout (in public?!) is really wasted energy. And these kinds of images/films are way overused by people who seek police state "orderliness".
posted by Surfurrus at 8:55 AM on November 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


You know what else is morally abhorrent? Pepper spraying peaceful protesters.
posted by spitbull at 8:55 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Last night Karl Rove spoke on the topic at hand :
"Who gave you the right to occupy America?” asked Rove to the protesters, apparently unaware of the Bill of Rights. As they repeated their slogan, “We are the 99 percent!” Rove petulantly responded, “No you’re not!” He snidely added, “You wanna keep jumping up and yelling that you’re the 99 percent? How presumptuous and arrogant can you think are!”
I wonder what all that was about? That guy is too savvy to go around riling people up for no reason.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:57 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


What should police do with people who disobey lawful orders? Use nightsticks? Jiu-jitsu? Tasers? It sucks to be pepper sprayed, and it shouldn't be used the way Officer Bologna used it, but it's a legitimate tool.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:00 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


We had a quarter of a million people in Madison, Wisconsin this spring (one weekend, almost as many several others) and somehow the police did not find it necessary to use pepper spray, to my knowledge, even once. Now, BobbyVan, why do you suppose that is?
posted by dhartung at 9:07 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know what else is morally abhorrent? Pepper spraying peaceful protesters.

So we should just let them block the streets whenever they want?
posted by Jahaza at 9:09 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a side note, there is no such newspaper as the "Minneapolis Examiner". What there is is Examiner.com (wiki description), a 'hyperlocal news aggregator' that's branded for dozens of specific markets.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:10 AM on November 16, 2011


There's a petition going around for Trinity Church to offer asylum to Wall Street protesters. (Don't think this has been posted yet, but haven't been able to read all comments.)
posted by ejaned8 at 9:14 AM on November 16, 2011


dhartung: Because the the occupiers of the Wisconsin capitol building had a huge base of support and Gov. Walker deemed it more prudent to wait out a political solution than to treat the protesters like the trespassers that they were. And because most Democratic representatives had already fled the state, the protests were not disrupting much Capitol business anyway...
posted by BobbyVan at 9:14 AM on November 16, 2011


I wonder what all that was about? That guy is too savvy to go around riling people up for no reason.

Rove is betting that the American people have turned against the Occupiers. And he's daring mainstream Democrats - who earlier spoke out in favor of the movement - to defend them.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:16 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


BobbyVan: From what I've gathered, the woman in the "no great distress" photo has a long history as an activist, and has bravely risked her health to stand in solidarity with her much younger comrades in a confrontation with police. There are attendant risks with that, and I think that it would speak well of the Occupiers if they asked the elderly to move to the "rear echelons" for their own protection when a confrontation with police appears evident. If they are passively (or actively) allowing the elderly to serve as "human shields," I would find that to be morally abhorrent.

Also, if they are screwing guinea pigs to death, I would find that to be disturbing.

If I were to find - just hypothetically - that the protestors were sneaking into people's houses while they slept and putting their hands in warm water so they wet the bed, I would find that utterly jejune.

And if it turns out that every single member of the Occupy movement had teabagged an otter? I'd be pretty fashed.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:18 AM on November 16, 2011 [16 favorites]


Be very clear, the police in Seattle last night were not spraying pepper spray because people were doing something illegal. The march had been in the street for almost an hour before the first incident happened. From my point of view, there was a chase that sent police flying into the middle of the group (on their bikes) ... others are saying they saw something at the front that halted and shocked the marchers. Either way, it did not seem entirely accidental. The people were responding to a perceived attack by the police. I'm still asking questions. NO one in the march had been violent or threatening the police (from my point of view).
posted by Surfurrus at 9:18 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Be very clear, the police in Seattle last night were not spraying pepper spray because people were doing something illegal.

Provide some evidence.

The Seattle PI says
Protesters gathered in the intersection of 5th Avenue and Pine Street after marching from their camp at Seattle Central Community College in support of Occupy Wall Street. Many refused to move from the intersection after being ordered by police. Police then began spraying pepper spray into the gathered crowd hitting dozens of people.
How were they not doing something illegal? Did the police not order them to disperse? Were they actually not blocking the intersectuin?
posted by Jahaza at 9:25 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know what else is morally abhorrent? Pepper spraying peaceful protesters.

Jahaza: So we should just let them block the streets whenever they want?

False dichotomy much?
posted by syzygy at 9:26 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


False dichotomy much?

It's not a false dichotomy, it's an actual situation. The intersection was illegally blocked and the police used lawful force to disperse the illegal activity. Whether the protesters were "peaceful" is moot.
posted by Jahaza at 9:28 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I am not a "human shield" BobbyVan. That term was invented to excuse people from their responsibility in taking part in inhumane attacks and atrocities. (We are ripping away the language cover-ups, too.)
posted by Surfurrus at 9:29 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jahaza: It's not a false dichotomy

Wrong. There are worlds of possibilities between the false dichotomy of "let them block the streets whenever they want" and "Pepper spraying peaceful protestors".

Yours is one of the falsest dichotomies I've ever had the displeasure of witnessing.
posted by syzygy at 9:31 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was at the first incident, Jahaza - the one where the worst of the pepper spraying happened (the priest, the blind woman, the 84 year old woman, the pregnant woman, the young teens, the news photographer carrying tons of equipment ...). I did not see the incident in the intersection. That was the second spraying last night.
posted by Surfurrus at 9:32 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's my understanding that the first incident occurred when a 17 year old girl attempted to assault a police officer. The police sought to arrest her, but claim they were obstructed by a crowd of protesters. The pepper spray was used in that instance to disperse the crowd.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:36 AM on November 16, 2011


"Assaulting a police officer"

/raspberry

Whenever you hear that term, it doesn't necessarily mean what you think.
posted by symbioid at 9:40 AM on November 16, 2011


In this case, "assaulting a police officer" was apparently swinging a stick at one of them. Any reasonable person should expect to be arrested for doing that.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:43 AM on November 16, 2011


My anarchist friend was just on the Diane Rehm show, representing Occupy DC. He has a knack for getting himself in the news over stuff like that.
posted by empath at 9:45 AM on November 16, 2011


Here is livestream video from Seattle march last night (condensed; parts missing) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNZ3WwXxRNw
posted by Surfurrus at 9:48 AM on November 16, 2011


cmyk made me cry.
posted by desjardins at 9:56 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Any reasonable person should expect to be arrested for doing that.

And any octogenarian within a hundred yards of any reasonable person should expect to be pepper sprayed.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:57 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Officers say they were trying to arrest a woman who swung a stick at them and had to pepper spray people who got in the way."

Key words: 'Officers say.'

I was involved at a protest a couple years ago where a young woman was pushed by some cops, then reached out to steady herself in the direction of a cop. The police then picked her up and slammed her repeatedly against the hood of a car, arrested her, and charged her with assaulting an officer. There was video of the whole exchange on youtube at the time, but I'm not able to find it right now.

When I was arrested at a protest some years ago, I was charged with carrying a weapon, which, it eventually turned out, was a protest sign. And one I wasn't carrying, even; the police had put the same text on everyone's arrest record.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:04 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wait, so a 17 year old girl waves a stick at a police officer, and you think it's appropriate that she was pepper sprayed and arrested?
posted by Big_B at 10:06 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


... and any crowd out Christmas shopping should expect a line of police bikes in pursuit of a 'dangerous person' to race into them from behind -- at any moment -- pushing and shoving -- and, of course, to spray them with pepper spray should they object.
posted by Surfurrus at 10:07 AM on November 16, 2011


Do we even know what kind of a stick it was? Did it have a flag on the end of it? Or maybe a flower?
posted by ambrosia at 10:08 AM on November 16, 2011


Unless someone has a video of the incident in question, this is all baseless speculation.

We know that some people got pepper sprayed -- unfortunately an elderly lady was among those -- and the police have a plausible explanation for it (they say they were attempting to disperse a crowd that was preventing them from making a lawful arrest). I don't think there's enough info available here to GRAR about, unless the mere fact that an old person was exposed to pepper spray is ipso facto sufficient to deem this an atrocity by the police.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:14 AM on November 16, 2011


I really don't get the objections expressed in this thread and elsewhere. So people are inconvenienced. Yes, and? This happens frequently. Part of life. Is an army of lizard-brained uniforms hopped up on adrenaline and tribalism looking for any excuse at all to wield "lawful force" the proper response to inconvenience? Not a kind of empathic, "well what's up with that? Maybe I should go around or perhaps inquire as to what the deal is perhaps it is important!" Myopic othering; I don't care, fuck them; is a non-civilized response. Lashing out. I keep going back to loq's "house nigger" quote which was horrifying and soul-baring all at once. That and Patty Hearst. So trapped and hypnotized by the system that you cannot conceive of another mode of existence; frozen with fright. I get chills.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:18 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The minister who was sprayed just wrote a long letter to Occupy Seattle: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/occupyseattle/ (FB - sorry; they will republish elsewhere soon) Here is one part:

On Tuesday night a small group of the rag-tag campers of Seattle’s Occupy Movement left their camp to protest the destruction inflicted upon the Wall Street Occupy site. Throughout the march I, as a Pastor in full clergy alb, stole and cross, acted as a peacekeeper placing myself between the police line and the Occupy Movement. On four occasions I stepped between verbal battles between the police and the protesters. The point being that it was evident to all who I was and what my role was in this non-violent march of the few escorted by the many.

The incident was minor in nature. A girl, dressed in Anarchist black waving the Anarchist black flag was plastered side by side with an officer on the bike. They were jawboning each other. At one point her flag was thrust in his direction --- a provocation yes – threatening?—no. The officer grabbed the flag and in the pulling, pulled down the girl. Her friends reacted jumping in to pull her away from the officer. It was at this point that the first wave of pepper spray went off.

Point --- one might think the officer acted within reason, that the officer was suddenly threatened. But with what? By whom? The friends of the offender were grabbing for the girl, they were not grabbing at the police. Basically the officer, and his comrades, were trigger happy as if they couldn’t wait for just this moment. And so the spray went forth.

I leapt to the front and tried to place myself between the parties --- with spray in the air the protesters were also fleeing. Separation between the police line and the protesters was clearly visible … there was certainly no threat of the “mob” suddenly rampaging into the well armed police. The separation had occurred (as can be clearly seen on the video captured by King 5 News). But the spray continued. I walked between the lines, I was alone, I was in full clergy dress, everyone knew who I was and what I was --- with the protesters fleeing and the police line holding --- with my back to the police and my hands waving the protesters to get back --- alone in full alb, stole and cross --- six officers turned their spray on me thoroughly soaking my alb and then one officer hit me full throttle in the face.

I praise the courage and compassion, the discipline and the decency of the Occupy Movement. Out of the rag-tag mob came help, grabbing my hands, leading me (I was blind by then) to the wall and administering care and concern for my well being. The protesters were assembled around all the wounded, and maintained the discipline of nonviolence (granted the nonviolence was in behavior but not language). And they were not afraid. The spraying had been a baptism sealing them into the security of knowing that their prophecy of repentance was indeed the Spirit-Word through them --- it is as if they did not prophecy their very bones would melt within them. Against the wall in increasing pain and burning I realized I was in the midst of church.

posted by Surfurrus at 10:18 AM on November 16, 2011 [27 favorites]


an old person was exposed to pepper spray is ipso facto sufficient to deem this an atrocity by the police.

About the way I see it, yes.
posted by spitbull at 10:19 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, so a 17 year old girl waves a stick at a police officer, and you think it's appropriate that she was pepper sprayed and arrested?


Well, let's be clear - a 17-year old girl was arrested. She may or may not have been pepper sprayed. People who were pepper sprayed included an 84 year old woman, a blind man and a pregnant woman. These people were apparently, according to the police report, either refusing an order to disperse (and to be fair to the police, none of them would necessarily move very fast without a bit of encouragement, especially if they were being held in place by other protestors to act as human shields) or engaging in assaultive behavior.

Of course, when talking about assaultive behavior, it would be remiss not to remember that assaultive behavior covers a lot of ground - for example blowing bubbles with malice aforethought.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:20 AM on November 16, 2011


Ah, ministers, old ladies, girls on bikes with flags, they're all filthy fucking hippie riff raff and deserve whatever they got for daring to challenge the police, who are never brutal or excessive.

/sarcasm
posted by spitbull at 10:22 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Remember that page-by-page analysis of why "Left Behind" was not only badly written but actively sinister, sociopathic, religiously ignorant, heartless and cruel? One thing the reviewer kept pointing out was how, amid all the death and destruction and end of the worldness, the main characters are obsessed with convenience of transit. The vanishing of everyone you ever loved? Not worth a page. Just how hard and long it is to find a cab during the end of the world and you have to walk for almost two whole miles, that's an epic struggle of many pages.

Give me convenience or give me death.
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 AM on November 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


I really don't get the objections expressed in this thread and elsewhere. So people are inconvenienced. Yes, and? This happens frequently. Part of life.

Precisely. I used to work near the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, and FREQUENTLY was similarly "inconvenienced" whenever there was a big event taking place there or there was a VIP staying there. The Waldorf-Astoria is where all the dignitaries stay during the UN General Assemblies, and the police always make sure to keep a WIDE berth between the public and the hotel (and my subway was ON THE SAME CORNER, so they had to shuttle people two blocks out of their way to get into the damn subway).

And that's not to mention all of the frequent times people in New York are similarly "inconvenienced" by police rerouting traffic because of parades, car accidents, etc.

If we are to take the "but they were inconveniencing people" reason as just cause to stop an assembly, then we'd better arrest the entire UN for inconveniencing a hell of a lot more people a hell of a lot more often, plus all the members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (those people shut down Fifth Avenue for several blocks every March 17th!), etc.

And yet we don't do that. So what's the difference?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:26 AM on November 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


Thanks for this, Surfurrus. So it seems that this anarchist flag was thrust like a spear at the police officer, who responded by attempting to take her into custody. By the priest's own admission, the crowd attempted to obstruct the police officer (a crowd that may have included an elderly but experienced and wily activist who has been arrested in the past for refusing to obey police orders). The police officer, probably fearing for his own physical safety at this point given the quick escalation, uses pepper spray to disperse the crowd -- unfortunately hitting an elderly woman and others in the process.

What should he have done? Allowed the girl to get away, emboldening the crowd to commit ever more provocative acts against the police?
posted by BobbyVan at 10:30 AM on November 16, 2011


seanmpuckett: "I really don't get the objections expressed in this thread and elsewhere. So people are inconvenienced. Yes, and?"

So we have everyone saying we should just get outta the way, and we can't inconvenience people because they won't support the cause then. So then what? Go back, hide, and don't make a fuss?

So what if we took it to the other extreme. What if, instead of Occupy, we have "Serve" as in "To serve and protect" (not "To serve man" - that's what we will do with the bankers), and not so much "protect" (though the defense of foreclosed property is one form of protective action that's happened at least once throughout all this). What if we created an army to "serve" and help their communities. "Need groceries picked up while you're out busting your ass? Join the movement, we'll help!" When they taste the camaraderie and community, maybe they too will join. Of course, there's plenty of people who are struggling to survive.

Propaganda of the deed. The good kind. The kind that makes people love you. I think it goes with the spirit of community that's happened.

Our modern economic and justice system is so biased towards distrust. The media teaches it to us, our politics breeds it. How do we enable trust? How do we make it a communal thing? Don't try to make a political donation out of it, that's bullshit - we're trying to avoid "politics as usual" so what if we just said "hey fuck these guys - let's help each other".

This also ties into the Libertarian ethos (in the sense that it's not "The State" enforcing volunteerism for some abstract cause)...

We can't reach everyone, but those on the fence? Those who may even be on "the other side" who agree with local/community style outreach (there's a lot of crossover between "Green"/local values and conservative rural communal values - but there's been a division and a breeding to hate each other over other things...)

Anyways. Let's not "inconvenience" our fellow 99% - let's inconvenience the one percent, and in order to do that, we need to be "hyperconvenient" for the other 99%. I say this, because talk is easy, sadly. But these folks have shown that it can be done, and with more community support and more bonding it makes it easier to build the willpower and communal spirit that's needed.

Just an idea.
posted by symbioid at 10:31 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


WILLY GRANNYOTE!
posted by symbioid at 10:32 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


And yet we don't do that. So what's the difference?....

Permits.
posted by Jahaza at 10:33 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Occupy Wall Street Favor Fading
The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement's support compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall Street's goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42.

Voters don't care for the Tea Party either, with 42% saying they support its goals to 45% opposed. But asked whether they have a higher opinion of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movement the Tea Party wins out 43-37, representing a flip from last month when Occupy Wall Street won out 40-37 on that question. Again the movement with independents is notable- from preferring Occupy Wall Street 43-34, to siding with the Tea Party 44-40.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:33 AM on November 16, 2011


We know that some people got pepper sprayed -- unfortunately an elderly lady was among those -- and the police have a plausible explanation for it (they say they were attempting to disperse a crowd that was preventing them from making a lawful arrest)

Spraying pepper spray into a crowd is not a reasonable crowd dispersal technique, any more than randomly swinging a baton at a group of people is. Pepper spray is supposed to be used in situations where physical violence would otherwise be necessary, where there is no possible alternative to avoid the use of force. It seems to me that it would be extremely unlikely that there would be a plausible reason to use force against each individual member of a crowd unless that crowd was physically attacking the officer.

Increasingly these sorts of less than lethal weapons like pepper spray and tasers are being used as a tool to punish people who disobey police orders regardless of the actual physical threat or situation. This is just one of many incidents, such as the Bologna case last month that shows that trend. This is becoming a problem precisely because police are free to use these tools in situations where they are not at all necessary because they know there will be no serious repercussions for doing so.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:36 AM on November 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


Spraying pepper spray into a crowd is not a reasonable crowd dispersal technique, any more than randomly swinging a baton at a group of people is.

More like a swing and a miss. Pepper spray results in temporary discomfort. Baton swinging can cause serious injury.

What other methods could the Seattle police have used to disperse a crowd -- blocking them from making a lawful arrest -- that would have been safer than pepper spray?
posted by BobbyVan at 10:47 AM on November 16, 2011


Based on my own experiences around the Seattle police, I'm actually just kind of thankful nobody was tased or shot.

Blocking the intersection of 5th and Pine was a dumb move and I'm surprised they went for it, it's way beyond the kind of expression of solidarity with OWS that they seemed to be aiming for. Swift police response was inevitable.

However, I can't seem to reconcile BobyVan's proposed version of events with this photo, which would almost be funny in its sheer Keystone Kops overreaction if it weren't, y'know, horrific.
posted by chaff at 10:50 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everything's "lawful" if a cop says it is.
posted by symbioid at 10:56 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pepper spray results in temporary discomfort. Baton swinging can cause serious injury.

Have a 1999 Duke University study on the health dangers of pepper spray (PDF). Personally, I'd rather take my chances with the baton.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:57 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


However, I can't seem to reconcile BobyVan's proposed version of events with this photo, which would almost be funny in its sheer Keystone Kops overreaction if it weren't, y'know, horrific.

So it seems that pepper spray was used to disperse an ad hoc crowd that gathered to keep a protester from being arrested for attempted assault; then again later when a crowd refused to leave an intersection after being ordered to do so. This picture seems to be of the latter incident.

In pre-pepper spray times, the police would have lined up behind riot shields, pulled out their night sticks, and marched in unison to back up the protesters. Some would have fought back, and you'd end up with broken arms, knocked out teeth and concussions. This is much more humane. In addition, I'm sure the police warned the crowd many times about the use of pepper spray before it was actually deployed in this instance.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:58 AM on November 16, 2011


So it seems that this anarchist flag was thrust like a spear at the police officer

What the priest actually said:

They were jawboning each other. At one point her flag was thrust in his direction --- a provocation yes – threatening?—no.

The "like a spear" bit? Totally invented editorial insertion.

This is how news agencies lose credibility. I imagine the same standards should ideally apply to commentators.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:01 AM on November 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


I live next to a park that is frequently Occupied by a Farmer's Market, frisbee golfers, and dog walkers.

In the summer there is a large festival that really inconveniences me. There is a lot of traffic and people cross the street in the middle of the block. They park in front of my garage and throw trash on my lawn.

About two or three times a year there is a bike race and a marathon that closes down the street in front of my house. I can't go anywhere by car since my house is on the lake side of the street, and I can't cross it.

I suppose I am justified in pepper spraying all these folks?
posted by desjardins at 11:02 AM on November 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is great news, this means I am justified in pepperspraying slow walkers and people who stop right in front of doorways. Man, Christmas shopping is gonna be a snap this year!
posted by entropicamericana at 11:08 AM on November 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Pepper spray everyone!

But watch out for those wily elderly women. They fight back.
posted by spitbull at 11:10 AM on Nov