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Forum Post: I am Not a Cop

Posted 6 years ago on March 20, 2012, 11:32 a.m. EST by weOccupy (26)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I am not a cop.

Since the earliest days of Occupy Wall Street, I have been as active as I could. I have a family – a wife and children – and so I could not sleep it the park or spend all my time there but I have been immensely thankful for those who could. The issues of Occupy are issues that have impassioned me for as long as I can remember. It took the strength and courage of those willing to uproot themselves and move into public space to turn those issues into action. For that I am thankful and proud.

Unfortunately, a trend has developed which threatens my ability to participate in Occupy NYC events. I have been increasingly accused by other occupiers of being an undercover cop. Perhaps it is because of my age (I am in my late 30s) or maybe it is my style (I do not wear skinny jeans or ride a fixed gear bicycle). More likely, the accusations are the result of the immaturity, naivety and arrogance of my accusers. Whatever the reason, these accusations have become more frequent, more abusive and more threatening.

Outraged at the conduct of the NYPD on #M17, I left my family after dinner on #M18 and went down to march in solidarity with those who had been arrested the day before. Within minutes of my arrival, the accusations began. To my first accuser, I showed my work id (not law enforcement of course), I asked if he was satisfied and whether he now trusted me, his response – “I don’t trust anyone, I don’t event trust myself.” To my second accuser, I explained that I was not a cop and described what I do for a living, his response – “and last week you were a fireman, and the week before that you were a doctor”. To another accuser I went so far as to show on my phone a video clip of local press coverage including an interview with me from my local suburban Occupy’s #F29 ALEC action, her response – “I still think you’re a cop”.

I asked one of my accusers what I needed to do to show him that I was not a cop, his - response, “go push one of them over” as he pointed to a group of uniformed cops. So to satisfy this guy that I was not a cop, I needed to be arrested. Another accuser told me that in order to prove I was not a cop I needed to point to two other people in the crowd who I knew. Is this the barrier to entry? Is that what it takes to be a member of Occupy Wall Street? Is that the secret handshake I need to know to be let in the club? If so, the continuous call I hear in my social media outlets for people to come down and support the movement are hallow and illusory. How can newcomers participate if they are not allowed in?

I grew up in this city - not in the neighborhoods of lower Manhattan where Occupiers confront isolated incidents of police overreaching - I grew up in the Bronx, in a neighborhood where these tactics are a reality of everyday life. It’s with little merit that someone who is likely just now discovering police abuse will lecture me on the deceptive tactics of the NYPD. I was here in the 70s when corruption infected every precinct, I was here in the 80s when police turned a blind eye to the safety of our neighborhoods, I was here in the 90s during Giuliani’s oppressive “quality of life campaign”, and I was here after 9/11 when our liberty was sacrificed for the illusive perception of our security. Judging by their age, I am confident my accusers lived through none of this. What they know about police abuses they have only just learned since September 17, 2011.

I have immense responsibilities – a family and a small business to run. I am the 99% this movement has rallied behind. So while my accusers retreat to the relative safety of their dorm rooms, I return to the reality of my 99% -layoffs, foreclosure, the cost of healthcare, the $80 it costs to fill my gas tank, bills I cannot afford to pay and an uncertain future for my children. Don’t decry the abuses of the 99% when you yourself are unwilling or incapable of recognizing what a member of the 99% might look like. The preconceived notions my accusers have threatens the inclusiveness the movement claims as its foundation.

Forgetting for a moment the personal objection I feel, casually accusing your neighbor of being your enemy suggests a much larger problem within the NYC Occupy movement – paranoia has struck deep and my accusers have handed a victory to those who seek to divide us. It is their intent to pit us against each other and dilute our solidarity. This is just what my accusers have done.

I am not the only one. I have seen others, similar to me, accused by fellow Occupiers of being a cop. The danger is, one person says it and five people hear it, then they tell it to five other people and then maybe a live-streamer points his camera at you and he too calls you a cop. The accusations are threatening and intimidating and may cause us not to participate. If that is the case, if those of us who look like the 99% are not welcome, then who do you represent? For whom are you marching?

Carelessly accusing those who don’t fit your image of an Occupier is hostile, violent and abusive. No doubt there are undercovers amongst us, but painting with a broad brush is precisely what the opponents of Occupy have done to you. The stroke of your brush alienates those who otherwise want nothing more than to stand with you. Occupy Wall Street is the most important movement in generations. Those that carry its banner carry with it a tremendous amount of responsibility; they ought to do so carefully.



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[-] 2 points by eddieblake24 (10) 6 years ago

Thank you so much for this post. I work full time and I cannot be at an encampment 24/7 so I can sympathize with your alienation. When I went down to NYC in November people didn't really give a shit about my expertise in prehospital medicine or anything else I had to offer because I hadn't been there as long as others. You are absolutely right that this current attitude with some of the occupiers discourages average people from coming out to support OWS. My first encounter with OWS pissed me off because of people like this. The majority of people I met down there were students who couldn't really relate to me. Like you I work 40 hours plus some weeks, pay my bills (on time God willing), have other commitments that need to be met and do not have the typically look of an "occupier". It really is a struggle and a lot of hard work to go down for a weekend just to be shit on by the local occupation. Again thank you for this post because you have shown me that there are other people like me loyal to the cause that have also been ostracized for not meeting the OWS "norm". Fight the good fight, fight for what's right. Never surrender, never compromise.

[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

I am pleased you identified with the post but I am disappointed that others have been alienated in one way or another. I do believe that the large majority of the earliest and most devoted Occupiers are as open minded as the movement projects itself to be. Unfortunately, the voices of division increasingly creep through. Those voices come from naive and arrogant kids who think they have joined a club more than a movement. They have a great deal to learn. My 99% reality has been learned by living not by a teach-ins and blogs.

[-] 2 points by Spiri2ual (1) 6 years ago

This is why I stay away from the movement. It is too radical. I do more for the the world by sitting in a meditation room. Hell, I do more by just conversing to people on facebook. OWS isn't some frat with initiations. We need intelligent Thinkers, Nonviolent debators.. anarchists should stay away

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 6 years ago

Shows the true nature of these occupy people you're trying to associate with

[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

Shows the nature of SOME people. As with every movement, there will be positive people and there will be negative people. There are far more of the former in Occupy.

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 6 years ago

Not from what I've seen- everyone here is trying to blame the system for their faults, and are very emphatic about doing so.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 6 years ago

For many, this is the most intense thing they have ever done. Speaking out publicly is also new to many of them. Their reaction to you is simply brought on by the stress of their own social evolution. If they took two seconds to consider how absurd it is to be afraid that people are watching as they publicly protest, I think they would tone down the paranoia just a tad. I'm 34 and like you, have spent many more years as a wage slave than many of those who accuse you of being a cop and others of being trolls. We bring the experience to back up the complaint, don't stress it.

[-] -1 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

There is also the possibility that many of these kids are lemmings following the herd. I am getting the sensse that one the Occupy things to do since the eviction is to lament about subversive police tactics, it's like paranoia is cool. The coolest kid on the block is the one who can figure out who the cop is and what he's up to.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 6 years ago

Curiosity is natural.

[-] 1 points by ancientmariner (275) 6 years ago

Or, perhaps you are a cop, trying to prevent people from rooting out cops from occupy protests. I'm not saying that's the case, but with paid police infiltrators being a REAL problem, it's not hard to see how these issues arrise.

[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

NYPD has successfully infiltrated the mob, the bloods, the crips, the latin kings. Do you really think occupiers with 6 months of activism under their belts are such experts that they know who is who?

What if they are wrong? What if the person they accuse of being a cop in a crowd full of people who have essentially declared war on the cops is just another occupier?

[-] 1 points by ancientmariner (275) 6 years ago

Yes, it's a shame when somthing like that happens, and definately counter productive, but should we blame the occupiers, or the infiltrators? After all, infiltrators can provoke serious police brutality. I don't know the solution. That's one of the effects the infiltrators try to create to separate movemnets from their potential base. I'd find other ways to help the movement if this is a real problem for you. There are a lot of different ways to further the movement:)

[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

How about to just forget it? This is supposed to be a transparent movement isn't it, who cares if they are there? If the infiltrators' strategy is to separate the movement from its base and the solution is for me or anyone else suspected as an infiltrator to find other ways to help haven't the infiltrators succeeded?

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 6 years ago

That's the problem with occupy, it's now mostly paranoid little kids with an overly developed sense of self importance.

There are many problems today that need addressed, but to stand at an occupy rally would be just a waste of time at this point, as they aren't the 99%

Become politically active, vote in primaries and register others to vote.

Start getting involved in ballot initiative to press the issues you care about, circulate petitions, call your congressman, write to the editor of your local paper.

Also try to buy american as much as your able, some of our biggest troubles stem from the global race to the bottom.

Also support other local mom and pop businesses, and encourage others to do so.

When you bank, go with a credit union, by keeping your money there, it's not only safer, but also the profits go to the stakeholders, not shareholders.

Also when you purchase insurance, try participant owned insurers, where the stakeholders (customers and salesforce) are the shareholders.

We can turn this country around, but occupy can't, as it would require work, which scares the bejesus out of them (as does prayer, gasp)

[-] 1 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

I have and continue to do all those things you point out. However, I am not giving up on Occupy. I will not allow the paranoid little kids (i have been thinking of them as 99%rs in training) spoil it. I am an active member of my local suburban Occupy and there is tremendous opportunity here to do things that make a difference in peoples' lives. We are focused on education, housing, the environment, taxes and wealth inequality - you know the stuff OWS used to scream about before they went to war with the NYPD. Occupy is now so much bigger then one group in NYC.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 6 years ago

Pray baby pray! (No one gives a crap what you do in your church or your home.)

Pray that religious nutjob lunatic Rick Santorum wins the nomination. I am!

Everything else you said above - I agree with you 99%. : )

[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

Pray, meditate, do nothing. Whatever gets you where you wanna be.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 6 years ago

I wonder if the people who accused you of being a cop were not trouble makers themselves? I mean, a cop can be 25 just as easily as 35 or 45, and you'd think the NYPD would be more likely to use younger cops for the job, but what would be the point? I mean, if they want to watch an OWS meeting, they can just watch the live stream online, or monitor online announcements about upcoming protests.

The NY General Assembly holds meetings in a public atrium, so obviously OWS doesn't feel like it has anything to hide. If someone accused me of that shit, I certainly wouldn't spend my time trying to prove to them that I'm not a cop (which is impossible to prove anyway).

The people who harassed you do not sound like genuine OWS protesters.

Shit, maybe THEY were cops?

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 6 years ago

I'm still not clear why someone would "accuse" you of being a cop. Even if you ARE a cop, you see the world as others in Occupy see it. You are with us, and we are with you. The courage of your convictions you display in participating in OWS is highly commendable. Don't let others alienate you from acting on your beliefs.

This retired Philadelphia police captain was cheered as a hero by Occupy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw5l0F-pe78

[-] 1 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

The accusation was that I was an undercover cop trying to infiltrate the march. Sorry if I did not make that clear in the post.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 6 years ago

I see. Well, there's a good deal of paranoia that's not unjustified in the movement, as PandoraK wrote below. If you don't mind my asking, is there some particlar thing about your appearance or your actions that might cause someone to think such a thing of you?

[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

No doubt there is reason to believe that the police are monitoring from the inside what is going on. However, I would not say that paranoia is justified. Paranoia will cause you to act irrationally, there is no justification in that. This is especially true when you hurt others in the process. As for my appearance, there is nothing particularly distinct about me other then the fact that I am a white male in my late 30s. I think some of the suspicions may unfortunately relate to race. My very good friend who I grew up with comes with me to actions and marches. He is Latino. I think that even some occupies have stereotypical ideas about race, when they see a white guy and a Hispanic guy our age, they think cops. It never occurs to them that we just come from the same neighborhood and have been friends for over 20 years which is exactly what we told them and what they didn't believe.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 6 years ago

Well, I wish I could provide some solution for you. Unfortunately, I can't. All I can do is offer my hope that you and your friend stay strong and that you continue soldiering on for this movement.

[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

Thanks. We have no intention quitting. We will stay strong and continue the fight despite the immaturity of some.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 6 years ago

I think when paranoia rules, it's time to use the paranoia of others in your favor..."If I am a cop, then you should be glad I am with you and not against you'...

I do remember seeing several videos where the protesters were asking the police to join them...

If it has become uncomfortable for you to physically participate, then find alternative ways to participate.

[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

This article and the report show how deep and covert the NYPD undercover operations are. It is foolish to think that anyone can be sure who is who. Better not to irresponsibly accuse your neighbor.


[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

Here is anothet instance of an Occupier calling out what he thinks is an undercover plant. What if he's wrong about the person he accused? What if he accuses the wrong person?


[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

On the timeline at http://occupywallst.org/ “7:51 PM: NYPD plant is wearing "81 Cardinals outfit", seen walking with NYPD and talking extensively before joining crowd.”

My buddy who goes to marches with me always talks to the cops, he does it to remind them that they are the 99%, that their pensions are under attack and that they should stand with us. So now if he does that he gets called a “plant”.

This has got to stop. These kids think they are playing a game of Where’s Waldo calling out whoever they think is a cop. What if you’re wrong????

[-] 0 points by weOccupy (26) 6 years ago

It was just recently tweeted by @OCongress: Several people are riled up in Union Square right now over what many of them say was an undercover cop trying to incite violence. #OWS

Original Message: http://twitter.com/OCongress/status/182574338267021312

This is getting out of hand. Somene is going to get hurt.

[-] 0 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 6 years ago

Also to be noted is that there are a few who have access to the controls, one way or the other, and have executed many computer attacks from this very forum.

I've personally handed over two computers and I've been told the perps aren't nearly as slick as they think they are with at least one currently jammed up and others to follow soon.

The forum admin has done themselves and the movement a huge disservice by allowing this place to become the Obama Love Fest and DNC.

All the bi-party garbage is allegedly not supposed to be tolerated and in fact, it is as you can clearly see the bot appearing losers who live to do nothing but post non-stop on this fourm, are Federalist DNC communist propagandist, most likely paid to do so as well.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Go figure. Been here 1 day and making judgements? or Are you an incarnation of a shit head who got booted? Do "You" have evidence to back up your statement ( accusation ) of cyber attacks launched from here? Attacks on who by who?

As for bots. There do seem to be a lot of individuals (?) posting and commenting in support of corruption and greed. These trolls one expects.

As for a love fest. Hardly. The Repubs in office have shown their hand that they are against the people to whom they are supposed to serve - "THE PEOPLE" of the USA not the corporations of the USA.

So in a basically two party system what would a rational person expect to see happening.

If we had more independents like Bernie Sanders you would probably see a lot of support going that way.


the original protestor and often too muchly Private Messages


Joined March 20, 2012

[-] 0 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 6 years ago

Making judgments indeed based on actual facts.

Don't worry about who I am, how long I've surfed this forum, or when I created a login. Better yet, you do just that.

Your life is obviously right here on this forum and any who know there is a search feature can quickly see the agenda of you and your cohorts.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

You mean the end of corruption in business and government? The return of government to the people? A healthy and prosperous world for all?

Yep that is pretty apparent to those who look.

As your contributions ( attacks ) are also obvious.


[-] 0 points by VantagePoint250624 (-51) 6 years ago

Look around, you'll see it's even worse here. This slice of the movement is the De Facto DNC, nothing more.

The objective of "getting money out of politics" is just a hook for those who are easily lead about and it will never happen without properly restoring our original constitution and republic, via a convention where changes are then made and the people's government again becomes just that.

This group has no interest in any such action.