Which should I be more enraged about — the lack of effect of the OccupyWallStreet movement, or the ever-imminent shutdown of the federal government?
Ted Rall was pretty hard on the mostly-young people taking part in the nonviolent occupation of Wall Street, which is winding down now in the park nearby, having been forced off the main street by violence from the police. Ted’s point was good, though: Why announce you’re going to be nonviolent, when the police routinely taser nonviolent protestors now? Let the police keep their distance a little longer, for fear of a riot beginning. As it was, the NYPD knew they could come in easily with plastic ziplocks for handcuffs, tasers, a minimum of effort, and pepper spray all these people who were not going to do anything about it. The protestors were dead in the water.
Why is it that each succcessive item used in crowd control becomes more harmful? Tasers are used everyday instead of oh, bothering to use one’s hands, and tasers cause a lot of pain, and occasionally heart stoppage; plastic ziplocks are much tighter than any handcuff could be, since that’s how they work — having to be completely tight around the person’s wrists, while handcuffs don’t have to — so ziplocks can cut off circulation, can bruise and cause nerve damage.
In former years, when protestors went limp and nonresistant, it meant the officers had to lift and carry people. Now it means they’ll use electricity on you until you get up on your own damn feet. Also, your hands will go numb. It’s possible they’ll hit you with their fists (as we see in the videos from the OccupyWallStreet group) if you can’t get up on your own. Even if they don’t hit you, you’ll very likely feel the taser a few more times.
This is as bad, or worse, than the early 60s. The taser has simply replaced the billyclub.
It’s maddening when you realize the police are really the foot-soldiers of the big banks and hedge fund companies. That’s who they effectively protect. It is now in the public interest to have fewer police on the street.
We’ll Meet You On The Edge
And now the federal government is about to shut down, again. But the battle is changed. It is now clear that each time the Republican Party does this, we should be insisting on a proper and complete bill, not some “bipartisan” thing, or a bill that’s entirely in the right-wing, billionaire big-bankers’ favor. Let us become brinksmen too. Let the government shut down, this time and every time after this, so we can actually fight for proper funding of jobs, health care, Social Security, and the stuff we need the government to be taking care of.