Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Happens Every Day
This may not be the last video that I post taken during the NYPD riot of September 24, 2011, but it is one of the most graphic and sickening.
One of the reasons the activists in Liberty Plaza haven't made as big a deal about the police abuse they experienced -- especially on the 24th, but ongoing throughout the actions in Lower Manhattan -- is because this sort of thing goes on every fucking day in this country; this sort of thing and much, much worse, and the police almost always get away with it, even get rewarded for it.
So what happened in Lower Manhattan on the 24th was bad, it was inexcusable, in was wrong, and according to the published rules it was illegal. But set that aside for the moment. It was an incident (that is to say, the entire police riot, not just the pepperspraying incident(s) -- another incident involving Anthony Bologna and pepper spray on the 24th has now been confirmed, there had been only a few rumors before). There are constant "incidents" of police misconduct and illegality in this country. They go on all the time.
One reason not to make too big a deal of this particular incident is because there are so many of them. If you want to change things (for real), you've got to acknowledge that fact first, and recognize that what happened in this particular incident -- while horrifying and wrong -- wasn't unique at all. It was an example of the kind of police misconduct that is so commonplace in this country as to be considered routine.
And if you want to fix it, you have to be willing to set aside your own immediate outrage at this or that incident and demand that the whole issue of police violations of law and citizen's rights be taken up in its entirety, and demand that reform of the whole system of policing in this country be undertaken from the ground up.
That's what has to be done.
You can't focus just on one incident, no matter how outrageous.
The whole thing needs reform.
That's part of the overriding mission of the activists involved in the Occupations. Not just reform of the police, but the whole social, economic, and political system from the ground up.
This is why the Occupation actions are truly revolutionary, and why the Powers That Be are truly spooked about these actions whereas they took Wisconsin's protests in stride. The PTB knew they could outlast and eventually win the contest with the unions who were trying to hold on to something. And they did. The won the whole thing.
But this time, the activists are not trying to hold on to something (they don't have, anyway); they're trying to create something new, and they're discovering and demonstrating how to do it as they go.
This is how a revolution -- any revolution -- has to proceed.
Police brutality and lawlessness is a global issue, and it is pervasive in the United States. The activists are right, don't focus so much on the one incident, focus on reform of the whole.
Eyes on the prize.