Walker Prettyman, 15, of Portland, Oregon; bludgeoned by police in riot gear at a demonstration at Shemanski Park, Portland, December 3, 2011
The media and its associated government PR departments are doing a good deal of high stepping and baton twirling over the Stunning Success of the Nationwide Repress The Occupy Campaign that climaxed with the Spectacular Evictions of the Largest Remaining Encampment in Los Angeles and Other Remaining One in Philadelphia.
And with their high stepping and baton twirling has gone their burning question of whether This Icky Occupy Thing (Ew) is Over With (or Not). They desperately want it to be done with and gone, but given the nature of the beast they can't be sure that these latest Big Ticket Evictions have done the trick.
It's hard to say, isn't it, given that OWS itself has taken office space -- I mean actually leased it -- in Manhattan and most of its activities have moved indoors to what I heard yesterday referred to as "The Deutsche Bank Lobby." How much more "legitimate" and co-opted can you be?
What's next? A Board of Directors and 501(c)(3) status, together with a 501(c)(4) and a PAC? Lobbying your representatives in Congress Assembled? High profile funders? All the trappings of Business as Usual?
If that is the course taken, then the recent evictions and arrests and incidents of brutality really are the Swan Song of the Movement-turned-Aborted Revolution. In some areas, it seems that's been the plan all along.
In other areas radical activists are taking a break for the weather and to regroup. There is no obvious intent to "regularize." In yet other areas, Occupation energy is being re-focused on particularly egregious incidents of foreclosure and other bankster shenanigans.
There have been thousands and thousands of arrests associated with Occupy, and hundreds and hundreds of people have been injured by police action. Deployment of riot police and robocops to suppress Occupations has become routine. In Los Angeles it was a sort of cinematic spectacle.
So far as we know, none of the Occupy demonstrators has actually be disappeared or killed in these actions, but our knowledge isn't complete. There have serious injuries, and some dozens -- or perhaps hundreds -- of demonstrators are being held or prosecuted as political prisoners.
We are seeing the tip of the actual Police State in action. There is far more to it than we will ever see. Think Stasi -- there was the part that everybody in East Germany knew about because they could see it and feel it and practically taste it every day. Then there was the whole subterranean Security State apparat they only found out about after the fall of the German Democratic Republic.
We're only seeing a tiny part of the National Security State in operation against the Occupiers. But we are being shown just enough to put the Fear into us.
Above is another image captured by the Oregonian last night of the police action against the Occupiers at Shemanski Park. Of course it is excessive, ridiculous, absurd. It's intended to frighten the shit -- and the rebellion -- out of you, too.
There was a time citizens would demand justice in circumstances like this. But those times are long gone. We have learned that little or no official action will be taken against any officer who uses excessive force -- even deadly force -- in the conduct of his or her duties. Period.
When big bellied Southern sheriffs did things like this in the Old Days, large parts of the nation cried out in rage. No more. Today, large parts of the nation celebrate acts of repression like this -- even when they agree with the Occupiers tenets.
Wherever Occupations have been deliberately repressed, they have sought to remake themselves rather than to disappear. Our Indignado friends in Spain have an especially long and deep experience in this process. The Indignados haven't gone away by any means, in fact, they have spread throughout Europe.
In this country, every time an Occupation is repressed or evicted, the elements of it spread throughout the region. Spontaneity is part of the process of evolution, and spontaneous actions -- whether they be the take-over of abandoned buildings as in New York, Seattle, Oakland and elsewhere, or the defense of foreclosed homeowners, which seems to be going on everywhere -- keep the Movement alive and limber. Despite the official efforts at repression, there is no way to keep a lid on such spontaneous -- and often simultaneous -- dispersed actions.
As yet, however, those in the seats of power have not yielded or even offered anything of substance to the Occupiers or on behalf of the Movement. Indeed, the refusal to offer anything of substance is part and parcel of the official contempt for the Movement/Revolution and its instigators (on the premise that you don't negotiate with "terrorists"). Increasingly violent repression is the only official response to the Occupations -- except on some University campuses, where routine police violence is being replaced with "dialog" (albeit without any concessions to demands).
While some are eager to declare the Occupy Movement over, more likely we will see a metamorphosis into quite a different animal by next spring.