|84 year-old Dorli Rainey after she was hit by pepper spray by police at Occupy Seattle.|
They came for them in the dead of night, wearing riot gear and carrying assault rifles. Within hours they'd erased any trace of their presence in Zuccotti Park, ripping apart tents, throwing away books, beating, macing, and jailing at will. Not just Occupy Wall Street in New York, but all over the country - Seattle, Portland, Oakland, Chapel Hill and Denver.
In all, over a dozen municipalities coordinated with Homeland Security to crush the occupations.
As was the case in last night's move in New York City, each of the police actions shares a number of characteristics. And according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.
Local agencies were...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.
Clearly, the goal wasn't just to evict protestors from from the public square, but to evict the very idea they were protesting for, and to silence those who were willing to put their bodies on the line for the 99%.
They failed miserably.
|Thousand occupy Sproul Hall at Cal Berkeley|
Less than 24 hours later, 10,000 students and activists marched on Cal Berkeley, the largest protest that college had seen since the Vietnam War. Only a week before, campus police viciously beat back
hundreds of those same unarmed students as they attempted to occupy the commons. But last night they came back, thousands of them standing on the Mario Savio Memorial steps in front of Sproul Hall, renamed for the free speech activist who stood on those same steps in 1964 and electrified the nation with these words:
"There is 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!"
Folks, corporate greed is still killing good jobs. Congress continues to refuse to tax wealthy corporations and millionaires to fund legislation that will put people back to work. And a Congressional "super-committee" is still considering even more drastic budget cuts.
I apologize for the late notice, but events on the ground are moving very fast. Tomorrow, more than ever, we need you to show the 1% that you can't evict an idea whose time has come.
We need you to put your bodies upon the gears.
November 17, 7:00am
Meet at the intersection of Third and Hope
Downtown Los Angeles