From your acting president’s statement to your courage at Dewey Square in Boston yesterday, you are truly role models of all that is best in America. Your courage in Washington, DC in fighting the use of drones with your own bodies, despite pepper spray and worse, athough not covered by our local main stream media, will one day be legendary. Your actions bring honor to “To serve and to protect.”
There has – justifiably – been a lot of posting here on events coming out of Occupy Boston, in particular the confrontation with the Boston Police last night. Nonetheless, the news marches on. Here’s a brief update on what else is up: The Republican presidential candidates had another debate tonight that was focused exclusively on economic issues. I didn’t watch it, but the consensus of observers whom I happen to follow on Twitter was that Mitt Romney did very well and was the clear winner; Rick Perry, despite supposedly undertaking much more strenuous preparation and getting more sleep the night before, did poorly and was the clear loser; and Herman Cain held his own, neither landing any big punches nor doing anything to hurt himself. Also, apparently Cain’s 9/9/9 plan got a lot of attention, which seems likely to keep Cain’s name at the top of the news, which is certainly to his benefit. The other candidates were apparently OK but didn’t do anything to change the dynamic of the race. So for a while, at least, it looks like we’ll be hearing about a two man race – but not the one anyone expected. Perry, of course, has a [...]
Speaker after speaker in Detroit talks about how Detroit was “Screwed the worst” and the vote was to begin Detroit’s occupation on October 14, 2011. As some of you know, I was born in Detroit, raised and schooled in Michigan. I can freely admit that the Massachusetts culture, even after more than 20 years, leaves me feeling like a stranger in a strange land. For example, in Michigan in 1978 anyone could walk into any court house, use a terminal, key in the name of an attorney or plaintiff, and see an active list of all active cases statewide. And despite their financial challenges, that has only improved. Michigan doesn’t claim to be the “Hub” of the world, nor does Detroit claim to be the Athens of America – we shall see if in Detroit peaceful, nonviolent economic protestors are thrown to the ground, dragged, hit with night sticks without resisting. As we all know too well, in Boston all those things happened last night at the order of Mayor Menino, a putative Democrat who appears to support Senator Scott Brown. Massachusetts – you are not better than any other state, not wiser, not truly liberal. Many of your Democrats [...]
…. “Don’t tread on the flowers” and then goes on to say “civil disobedience will not be tolerated”. The flowers, however, are not the only cause for Meninos alarm; He, and the BPD, are presenting an ever shifting array of justifications for the heavy-handed tactics, including lack of permit using too much city resources “anarchists’ have taken over the above mentioned flowers (parkgrounds) and the always useful “public safety at risk”. Lack of permit: the protesters in Dewey Square have not had a permit since day one. Why now, all of a sudden, is a permit so important? This is selective enforcement, if anything.
Mark Leccese concluded his report on Boston.com with this ominous note: “The mayor made it clear in in the interview that more police action is coming. “There is a time and place at which we have to end the encampment, and that time and place will come in the near future, but we have to continue to listen to some of the issues they talk about,” Menino told WBUR. “They have some right issues, but the way they went about it – civil disobedience doesn’t work for Boston and it doesn’t work for anyone.” Stay tuned. This is about to get even more confrontational, and it is unsettling that the Boston Police Department cannot coherently explain the reasons for its actions.”
Mayor Thomas Menino City Hall Boston, MA Dear Mayor Menino: Allow me a few observations following your ordering of last night’s daring nighttime raid on the Greenway. I daresay that more crimes were committed in each of many, a great many, of your city blocks in the half hour during which your forces attacked the camp than were perpetrated by Occupy Boston in all the weeks they’ve been present. Serious crimes, Mr. Mayor. Yet you saw fit to call in some eighteen vans and hundreds of officers to disperse a crowd of passionate activists because you felt that there was some threat to … flowerbeds. Flowerbeds? Beatdowns and a hundred arrests, the ensuing expense of arraignments and the lawsuits that will certainly follow, and most of all jeapordizing the safety of both the citizens and the officers present because you feared for the security of a few gardenias? There were no drugs on site, no alcohol, and no weapons—in fact, the “occupation” zone may well be the only spot in Boston about which that claim can be made! And yet, to your mind, THIS was the most vexing criminal problem in your city last night? Nor were the demonstrators ever [...]
Here is the link for the poll – you get to choose whether you support the police action against Occupied Boston protesters or not, yes no. I know that when I called the Mayor’s response line, the first question was “where are you calling from” – and the fact that the NECN poll currently is running 2:1 in support of police arresting peacefull protesters – and non protestors there as medics or National Lawyerws Guild Legal Observers, and even a reporter or two – Could Tommie Menino and his staff have asked folks to call? Could that happen? I bet it did. If you have looked at the videos, and read the accounts and you do NOT support the 100 arrests and the rough treatment of peaceful people who were not resisting, this is your chance to vote a visible NO.
If you judge the excuses made by the city and its various arms over why the protesters at the 2nd encampment had to go, you can see that this was merely an assertion of authority. There was no legitimate reason to break up the protest as they did. Certainly if the city merely wanted us to think of the flowers, tweet-witness accounts say the police stomped the flower beds about as well as the protesters could have. Tossing the protesters things away was a psychological (as well as practical) tactic by the city to demoralize the protesters and show them “We’re in charge!” If the city wanted them to move they could have negotiated instead of suggesting Emma Goldman had risen from the dead and started leading the movement. But what to do? Well it just so happens that State Police were involved as well according to multiple accounts. Therefore, this has become a de facto statewide issue. Call your state rep or senator. Call the governor, too (I’m waiting for a press response from his office for my blog), but that’s a separate issue. Demand an investigation by the legislature or even better demand protesters be granted some latitude. [...]
Today’s LeftAhead Podcast is on the Occupy Boston movement again, focusing on both the police attacks of the second encampment, as well as the day before. I was there on Sunday to get a view of things and join in as I could, and while I wasn’t able to be there Monday, I stood witness to it, watching the live feeds and twitter well into the AMs. The protesters were peaceful and nonviolent throughout, while the police took a far more aggressive approach. At least a hundred people were arrested, including medics and members of a legal team, while the entire camp was destroyed in a matter of a few minutes, with no regard to what was there. Listen to internet radio with massmarrier on Blog Talk Radio [Update-You can also listen to the show at LeftAhead.com or get it at iTunes.] Finally, I reported on some of the first-hand reports coming out of there today, but there’s more of that at my own blog, including the Mayor’s disappointing statements that fly in the face of our country’s history and democracy.
Mass. NOW 2011 Annual State Meeting! Please join us at the 2011 Mass. NOW State Annual Meeting: Making Economic Equality A Reality: Narrowing the Wealth Gap This year’s Annual Meeting will feature: – A discussion with Mariko Chang, author of the book, Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done about It – An award presentation to our 2011 Legislator of the Year: Representative Kay Khan – Mass. NOW and Boston NOW board elections – The 2011 Mass. NOW State Annual Meeting is free and open to the public. Non-members are encouraged to consider purchasing membership. Light refreshments will be served. Date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm Location: Burns and Levinson, 125 Summer Street, Boston Please call 617.254.9130 or email email@example.com to register. Visit www.massnow.org/events for more information. We hope to see you there!