Ralph Waldo Emerson, America’s greatest philosopher, visited Thoreau in jail.
Emerson asked: “Henry, why are you here?”
Thoreau replied: “Why are you not here?”
— In protest of the Mexican War, 1846
In those crackdowns this week on the OWS, a deep, sinking feeling of nefarious, dark workings:
Questions about the Department of Homeland Securityâ€™s (DHSâ€™s) potential involvement in the violent crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street protests nationwide continue to grow today, with new reports that not only were they sighted at several of the crackdowns but in one case photographic evidence of DHS forces arresting a photographer at a Portland rally.
Apparently, for the powers that be, OWS got too hot for the kitchen.
(Illustration found here).
In the last few days, the operation of the US government in ‘closing down’ the OWS movement in cities across America would have given George Orwell a ‘I-told-you-so’ belly ache.
Reports indicate the nationwide police actions were coordinated events: And according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.
The 1 percent strikes back, huh?
And the pure nasty, mean-spirited approach to clearing New York’s Zuccotti Park makes a situation worse when authority does its so-called duty with glee.
Via Raw Story:
â€œEverything, everything we had: gone,â€ said Chris Carter, a New Jersey native and firefighter who has been part of the â€œOccupyâ€ medical staff since the second day of the protests.
â€œAll the medications we had: Tylenol, cough machine, two AED Defibrillators units, vitamins, an asthma inhaler. Nothing left.â€
Carter pointed out that the medical staff lost more than $4,000 of equipment during the raid, raising a level of frustration in his voice where they likely will have to contact hospitals to handle simple tasks.
New York University law student Dee Armstrong observed how the sanitation department and police were aggressively dealing with all items, not just sleeping equipment.
â€œPolice were cutting the tents so they couldnâ€™t be re-used,â€ she said.
â€œAnd I kept hearing people say, â€˜Give it to the homeless, give it to the homeless.â€™
Then they would throw them into a pile, and I think you could see on any of the footage that they just throw them into this huge dumpster, with claims that it was going to the storage unit.
But how on Earth are you suppose to find your items?â€
She added: â€œSome peopleâ€™s backpacks, textbooks, laptops, there was peopleâ€™s laptops that were just thrown in the sanitation truck where you could see it on the livestream footage.â€
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said OWS is welcomed back to the park, but no tents and other type gear.
And what about Bloomberg?
Matt Taibbi covered that already: Well, you know what, Mike Bloomberg? FUCK YOU. People are not protesting for their own entertainment, you asshole. Theyâ€™re protesting because millions of people were robbed, by your best friends incidentally, and they want their money back. And youâ€™re not everybodyâ€™s Dad, so stop acting like you are.
The entire nationwide/worldwide OWS movement is the neatest single event(s) I’ve seen (and felt) in a long, long time — in fact, the protests might be on a level of the Vietnam-era shenanigans 40 years ago.
Indeed, OWS has opened that nasty can of worms of badly-skewered financial dealings and revealed the banks run the country, and the world.
And despite US peoples’ attitudes about OWS has wavered in the last few days — mainly due to outside interests crashing the party — the bottom line is that now everybody knows there’s a humongous divide between the haves and the have-nots, creating a violent undertaste.
And in response to all this ugly shit by DHS and the like, OWS is calling for “mass non-violent direct action” today in cities across the US — in New York, planned events included “shut down Wall Street;” “occupy the subways,” a plan to gather at 16 hubs, and “take the square,” a reference to Foley Square, across from City Hall; in Portland, Oregon, plans include “occupy banks;” in Los Angeles, organizers called for a protest downtown, shutting down an intersection; and events are also planned in Boston, Minneapolis, and other cities.
Go get ’em!
In capturing this OSW sense, Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture has some passionate words for the state of the US, a passion titillated by anger.
The heated scoop:
In America, we are too busy dropping the kids off at soccer, running around looking for sales and bargains, racing to keep our heads above water.
We seem to forget to get outraged.
Our control over our once Democracy — the one we had a revolution against a monarchy dictating decisions from afar — slips away from us.
Not with a bang, not even with a whimper, but with a 1000s acts of gradual ceding of power to the new Monarch.
We have given up hard won rights to a coordinated attack from all three branches of government; Our Congress has become the legislative branch of eBay — Congressmen are auctioned off to the highest bidder; they even have a Buy It Now button to get specific legislation passed.
The executive branch has fallen under the sunk cost fallacy, afraid to prosecute banks because we spent so many billions bailing them out.
It turns out that even our once venerable Supreme Court is just as corrupted, with lobbyists partying with Justices and backdooring ethics by hiring their wives.
In short, our new overlords are enormously well funded, well connected, relentless and perhaps most of all, patient.
This new King was not appointed by primogeniture, or even Divine Right, but by acquiring enough profits in the free market that they can buy control over society, even as they thwart that free market ideal for their own ends.
We have become, in short, a Corporate Monarchy.
The right question isnâ€™t why am I angry, sad and outraged.
The proper question is, why arenâ€™t you?
Thoreau would have screamed, “Fuck Yeah!”