Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Revolution Continues... ?

While I've been otherwise engaged, events in St. Louis have taken on quite a broad-based character leading to protests and demonstrations and violent police reactions in the city and surrounding areas.

I've watched a bit of Rebelutionar_Z's livestream recordings from the Shaw demonstrations and the sit-down at the Quik Trip, and it's inspiring. People are taunting the police, and the police are reacting with their usual intimidation and violent tactics, and as we saw in Oakland during the Occupy protests, the upshot is that authority loses legitimacy.

The QT action overnight demonstrates how the process works.

The video below is long, but it's easy to scroll through. At about 33 minutes in, the po-po's tank arrives to threaten the demonstrators, and from that point, things get intense. At about 50 minutes in, the videographer is pepper-sprayed in the face -- again, he says it's the second time in three days that he's been sprayed -- and several in the crowd are sprayed as well. Listen for calls of "Medic!" The police follow crowd clearing protocol without resorting to tear gas, but there are reports of "snatch-and-grabs" and violent arrests. These are typically intended to frighten members of crowds into leaving. They usually work reasonably well. But in this case, the crowd refuses to be intimidated after the confrontation, they walk away.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

The police tactics are routine by now, but in this case there's a quality of absurdity made manifest by the police outnumbering the protesters at some points, with the appearance of the tank and the police challenge of camera people. The police claim to be threatened by people with cameras. Indeed.  They are violently arresting sit-down, nonviolent protesters. They hide behind shields, but not everyone in the police line has a shield. One of their vehicles has to be jumpstarted in the street. It's just ridiculous.

"Who do you serve? Who do you protect?"

Obviously, it's not The People.

More videos here.

Others on scene include Tim and Luke. Bella Eiko is in town.

Some mainstream coverage has been occurring as well.

Thousands of people are participating in demonstrations, a fair contingent of youthful anarchists as well as a large group of local and national activists.

The tipping point isn't here yet, but it's coming.

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