So I'm just coming across these videos that come from Way Back When: November 2.
Seattle; Direct Action at Bank:
In these videos, we see the extraordinary aggression of the Seattle Police in not only clearing a path through the demonstrators at the bank, but they continue their confrontation and aggression against the demonstrators to the point of absurdity. And they use pepper spray.
De-escalation is not in their play book, and it is obvious from these videos that the Seattle Police enjoy being aggressive with the people they are supposedly there to serve and protect. They like getting in their faces and acting like roided-up pigs.
In the comments to the video of the pepper spraying of the demonstrators in the previous post, note is taken of glee with which at least one of the officers is spraying everyone in the vicinity, even though the demonstrators are already in compliance with those all-important Police Orders. It doesn't matter. The police want to provoke mayhem.
In the Mayor's statement about that incident, he mentions the WTO protests of 1999 (and Mardi Gras in 2001) as excuses for the behavior of the Seattle police in 2011, but anyone who has followed those incidents knows that there is a strong suspicion of plainclothes police provocation. Whether it's true or not, I don't think we'll ever know, but at least the retired Seattle Police Chief who was in charge at that time knows and has clearly stated that it was the aggressive actions of the police that precipitated the destruction that took place during the WTO protests.
Escalation not de-escalation is their motto. Not for the purpose of arrest, mind you. Look at what happens in the second video above. There is a man who repeatedly confronts police -- one officer in particular -- and it's a pissing contest, mano-a-mano throughout. No arrest.
In the following video which was taken in Portland on November 7 or 8 by an outspoken opponent of the Occupy Movement -- someone who apparently thinks it discredits the Movement -- a demonstrator (whether with Occupy Portland or not, it's impossible to say) -- confronts a news crew:
This is textbook anarchist aggro, and really well done, though it's obvious the videographer doesn't get it. The demonstrator is in the news crews' faces constantly, repeating charges over and over, and verbally -- but not physically -- abusing them to the point where they cannot function at all. Which of course is the point of the confrontation. But there is more to it than that. The demonstrator is shaming them for being/serving the 1%. It is likely that the news crew had never thought that they were part of the problem not the answer. It never occurred to them how deeply resented they are for their service to the Overclass. And they get a strong lesson on the sidewalks of Portland by someone who won't shut up and won't go away. Of course it's rude. But it's meant to be an awakening. If any of those people have a conscience, they will not soon forget that encounter and like Norm Stamper, they might just come to a dawning that they have been part of the problem for many years. This is akin to the notion of "taking back" -- or "Occupying" -- the media; but at the same time, an opponent of the Occupation has provided the video of what happened. In other words, he was the media in this case. Much as the video streamers from the Occupations are the media. Anybody can be "media" these days, and the dinosaur Major Mass Media doesn't have to be "taken back" -- it was never "ours" anyway -- or even "Occupied."
It needs to be replaced.
I've been saying that for many years. Bit by bit it's been happening, but the march forward to a real New Media has been very slow, and many people in the so-called New Media have made whole blogospheric careers out of media criticism (not that they can take criticism themselves unfortunately.)
We're at last seeing an acceleration of the process of media replacement and renewal as part of this Movement-Becoming-Revolution. Video streaming, Facebook and Twitter have largely replaced legacy/traditional media coverage of the uprisings. It's axiomatic: you're not going to find real news from the standard outlets -- not even, in many cases, on the blogs. On the other hand, I am very leery of anything that appears on the Twitter feeds because the whole system is infested with provocateurs and there is much "not-news" that fills the feeds.
Finally, I'll bring up The Incident at Town Hall Seattle that was cited by DCBlogger at Corrente.
Oh my goodness gracious deary me.
This was another case of apparent aggro from the activists who went to the Town Hall with the intent (it appears) to disrupt, hijack, and teach those people a thing or two about what's really what.
It was rude, it was at least partially effective.
Some people were turned off by it, of course. Few people really want to be in the midst of a Revolution. Revolutions aren't pretty and they aren't nice and they don't follow the protocols of polite society or panel discussions. That's why they are Revolutions, hello? It is all on video now. See for yourself what happened. Start here: http://youtu.be/fk0eqlMjFU4 There are 21 total videos of the event on this page: http://www.youtube.com/user/Sweatshopfreelife#g/u all labeled "Occupy Town Hall". Make of it what you will.
I will keep saying, "This is a Revolution." "This is THE Revolution." It's happening right here, right now. And there's no stopping it, nor is there any controlling it. It is happening regardless of what any of us may think about it, and regardless of how we want it to proceed. Each of us might -- or might not -- be able to have some minor or perhaps major effect on it, primarily through our participation in the many activities of The Revolution, but no matter what we do or don't do, we can't make it go away and we can't make it go the way we want it to. Even those in the midst of it are finding that out, in some cases to their despair, in others to their delight.
I'm personally torn. I'm very excited by the fact that "it's happening." OMG, after so many years of whining about how apathetic and passive the American people are in the face of outrage after outrage, I am not only seeing them rise up in their multitudes, I am seeing astonishing levels of sheer energy and belief in the possibility of taking charge of our own fate and Building a Better Future.
But I see plenty of warning signs and cautions along the way; I've been very disturbed by some of the things I've witnessed -- though I don't really find the Aggro examples I've posted here to be all that disturbing, whether initiated by the authorities or by the activists. You have to have that kind of tension in order to move forward.
What has bothered me more are the evocations of the Period of Unpleasantness as I call it, when so many people went or were driven to their slaughter in blind obedience.
The most recent evocation was the destruction of the library at the Zuccotti Park camp.
I'm still coming to grips with the issue of destruction/liberation that is coming up more and more as the Raids continue and the piles of Occupy Debris grow. But passivity in the face of destructive aggression (passivity as opposed to non-violent resistance; there is a difference) really bothers me.
Enough blather for this installment. I must tour the Livestreams.
Dignity. Justice. Community. Peace.