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Forum Post: police sympathies

Posted 3 years ago on Nov. 19, 2011, 6:21 p.m. EST by clearmountain44 (48)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

what can be done to make the police more sympathetic to the movement. as strong and as growing as the movement is it is still very vulnerable to being squashed. without a place of assembly and being in the public, wall street's, and the media's faces the movement can be effectively ignored.

how can the movement assure that they maintain the right of assembly in the parks. how to make the politicians REALLY take the movement seriously? no one makes real change unless it is in their self interest. true concessions to the 99% will only be made if the real fear is put into the 1%. i am not at all advocating violence. that would be totally counterproductive. the movement is still a speck of dust compared to the power of the system. how can we make it grow and ensure it's continuance? one small part should be a coherent strategy to make the police more sympathetic to the movement and thus minimizing the chance of either side losing control and giving the system a stronger excuse to take more forceful action and squash the movement

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53 Comments


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[-] 3 points by ljbnomad (20) from Seattle, WA 3 years ago

The interesting thing is that I watched Up with Chris Hayes this morning, where the discussion covered how it has been the media (corporate, like NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, etc.) that has focused on controversial and confrontational moments.

Certainly there has been a lot of lost tempers, and insult hurling, and police members being human and sometimes responsive to the insults and anger. I wish that it was not so, but the nature of being out consistently in the cold and rain and being vocal seems to cause crowds to have some of this happen. Also, a lot of the protesters are protesting without ever actually getting to reach those they recognize to be behind the significant decreases in equitable resources and wealth over the past generation - so the local police and politicians, and people simply going through their day, are getting it instead. :0(

At the same time, a lot of stuff is not being focused on (by the media - which is corporate media) that offers greater balance to the activity: specific speeches by civil rights leaders, visits from policy makers and politicians who are listening, the arrest of the leader of the SEIU, the visits to the stock exchange, etc.

In case you are interested, it is Saturday 11/19 the 1st hour of Chris Hayes that has an interesting discussion: http://upwithchrishayes.msnbc.msn.com/

[-] 1 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

true. I will check it out. your comments remind when Bill Maher on politically incorrect said to a russian opposition leader, "well you have to admit, putin's approval rating are really high" and the opposition leaders response was, "of course they're high. it's being reported by a state backed newspaper!"

[-] 2 points by polkflguy (22) 3 years ago

You can not appeal to their self interest by asking them to risk their job that is certain. They get their orders from officials and that is a big dilemma.

[-] 1 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

yes but police have wide discretion in their actions to be permissive or coercive. neither will jeopardize their job.

[-] 2 points by polkflguy (22) 3 years ago

I do not agree, when they are ordered to disperse a crowd it is expected that the crowd be dispersed. In their defense what would you do, use the spray or visit the unemployment line? You have to understand that even if they agree with the movement they are legally obligated to follow orders or risk termination. It's easy to judge them because it's based on your own self interest but for one minute put the shoe on the other foot and ask your self what you would do and don't kid yourself, be honest, what would you do?

[-] 1 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

most incidents and orders to disperse are caused by individual over-reactions. minimizing that is my point. i do not expect police to disobey direct orders.

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 3 years ago

Nothing can be done to make the police more sympathetic to OWS, or to be more accurate, it really doesn't matter how sympathetic individual police are to OWS. It is the job of police to protect and serve the 1%. They are legally obligated to do so. To do otherwise would undoubtedly not only cost them their jobs but probably also have legal ramifications.

[-] 2 points by misunderstood101 (68) from Los Angeles, CA 3 years ago

Police takes an oath to uphold the law....obey without question to your superiors ......as i will investigate the police i hear is a closed group that hangs together even after work.."my partner is my best friend" so the cop didn't have friends until they joined the force??

[-] 2 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

upholding the law and obeying without question are two separate things.

[-] 2 points by misunderstood101 (68) from Los Angeles, CA 3 years ago

Yes... but who wants too disobey a direct order,get punished maybe harassed by other co-workers if you are not sure of yourself and whats the right thing to do...

[-] 1 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

that is exactly why all the respondents talking about individual legal remedies against individual acts of police criminality while just are a mis-allocation of their energies. shaming the cops like in the salon video at UC Berkely today or, even more radical, trying to get the cops to be sympathetic to the movement will do more. it won't be overnight of course, but it needs to start. they system can tolerate 1000's of cases of police misconduct, nothing will change. but can the system tolerate the police being actively sympathetic with the protesters?

[-] 2 points by misunderstood101 (68) from Los Angeles, CA 3 years ago

Well something must be done..OWS needs sympathetic people on the inside of all opposition camps that is against the movement and who OWS is against before anything can officially be done in my opinion.

[-] 1 points by RufusJFisk52 (259) 3 years ago

police are generally people with a strange sense or morality....they will never care for a movement like ows because it goes against the very nature they have to be authoritarian. Certain people are attracted to the police life and they are no friends of anyone. They like the status quo because they are the govt and the govt has the ultimate power....and the cops get to wield guns and weapons openly.

[-] 1 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

please dont misunderstand me. i agree with you that cops are a different breed for sure. but they are a force that needs to be respected and if possible co-opted. having nothing but contempt for them will not help the cause. to paraphrase someone, "forgive them, for they know not what they do...

[-] 1 points by RufusJFisk52 (259) 3 years ago

they cannot be co opted. Sadly. I dont consider them moral enough. To pick a profession that purposely ignores the constitution and the natural law just to get a pay check.....they are the problem just as much as the 1%

[-] 0 points by Joyce (375) 3 years ago

"what can be done to make the police more sympathetic to the movement" The police love non-violence as well as respect toward what they sacrifice on our behalf each day. But, when resources get stretched and the focus becomes redirected from thefts, homicides, accidents, et. al to  attend to the needs of a movement, a cop might not be all to accommodating. Does this approve non-provoked violence, no.

[-] 0 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

1) OBEY THE LAW. Funny how that one thing does it just about every time. 2) Listen to their lawful police orders. If they tell you to move because you are blocking a sidewalk from other people, then MOVE.
3) Accept responsibility for your actions. If you don't move, then you get arrested. All in your control..to move or not to move.

Move= cops happy with you, no arrest, no pepper spray. Don't Move= well, you figure it out why you're not winning any police friends or influencing people in the 99%

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

how simplistic.

is that prescription you would give to syrian protesters, egyptian protesters, chinese protesters?

now dont twist my words to say that I am saying the police are like these govt's but it is the RIGHT to protest. it is called the first amendment. remember the original tea party and boston massacre? that was becuase english troops said it was unlawful to assemble. damn, know the history of your own country!

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

I do not argue the right to protest. But it does not include the right to shut down a city port, block a bank, take over a park. Grasp that. And then see to the other side how to protest and remain within the Constitution and the laws that generate from it though powers it passes down to the states.

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

our country was based on fighting economic injustice from the british. remember," no taxation without representation" do you really think the 99% are well represented now. it is crony capitalism. you're making the argument the british probably made during the bostom massacre.

[-] 2 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

and you're making a hitler-ization. Use your head, not just mouth words a professor put in there. Do a little thinking. GET arrested, but OWN it, and then fully own the results of your choice to get arrested. NOT owning the results of your actions, and your choices, makes your action ...well...silly. Be proud of getting arrested, don't whine about it!

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

actually I work on wall street. been out of school for 20 years. but regardless i have no idea what you just meant here. own getting arrested? why not try to avoid it? why not protest your rights to assemble noisily. and where did hitler come from? let's not smear.

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

No, you haven't been out of school for 20 years. Your vernacular shows a 17-22 year old w/m. I know that because I've been a sociologist for 20 years. Please don't take people for fools. If someone is going to make the choice to get arrested, then hell yes, OWN it. On the other hand, If you commit to --lawful-- protesting without shutting down any rights of way to other people, then that precludes getting arrested. Point is moot then.

[-] 1 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

colorful but stooping to call me a liar or an idiot is not an argument.

you might be a sociologist for the last 20 years but you don't seem to have much knowledge of the history of countries founding. \

and the vast majority of the protests have been lawful. can we agree on that? tarring the whole movement seems pigheaded to me.

[-] 0 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

Being a naturalized citizen (legal immigration..its easy!) I actually had to take civics and learn. They don't teach Civics in schools. There is no use my arguing with a fool who is plainly wrong about this. You are correct in that most of the protests have been lawful so far. Our own park, we worked with the city to establish guidelines. We agreed we'd vacate on Friday nights so they could continue their concert series. In return, we were allowed to stay. We met with the police regularly to be sure what we could and couldn't do to remain lawful. We believed in what we were doing. It was only after Occupy starting harming the regular workers (the oakland block of the port) that we realized the repetitive rhetoric is a poor excuse for harming regular people who have been victimized economically. And now OWS is calling to close CA ports. That's not peaceful by any stretch of imagination. Its a fool who would see a piece of glass and call it water because that's what he wants it to be.

[-] 1 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

i think the problem in our communication is that there are many occupy movements going on. i am mainly focused on occupy wall street. I admit i don't know much about the occupy oakland activities but the escalation i have heard about it in the papers these past couple of days does not make me happy. they are not helping the movement.

regardless, the ad hominem attacks just lessen whatever it is you have to say. I hope we can agree to leave that out of future posts. i am not interested in flame wars, i am interested in stimulating debate and constructive conversation.

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

and read the constitution, the first amendment give us the right of assembly. it is stronger right than than worrying about keeping the park lawns nice and green so bankers can stroll around their on their lunch hour!!

[-] 2 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

Legally, your rights are not stronger than someone else's rights. Even if you want them to be, because you feel yours are more important or your cause more just.

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

first amendment rights ARE stronger than local ordinances. courts weigh rights against one another every day. and courts have decided that the right of the protesters in zucotti park outweigh local ordiances. or else they wouldn't still be there.

[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

Then why is there currently a opened court case to study this very issue? If what you say is true there is not reason for a court case. The fact of the matter is, it's a lot more complicated than you think.

[-] 1 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

these issues are timeless and constantly come up in responses to new times and situation. laws and rights change.evolve all the time. that is why we have judiciary. of course it is complicated. but I would rather err on the side of protecting first amendment rights than err on the side of park cleanup.

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

Yes, to peaceably assemble. It doesn't say its ok to forcibly occupy, take over, or block other people's right of way. Does it? Nope, that's right, it doesn't. The definition of peaceably assembly, found by all case law, is that you don't infringe on someone else's rights while you do your assembling. Do more than just read. Use your head while you read.

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

yes, I am sure the british used the same argument. oh my gosh, poor bankers had a hard time going to work!! sorry, my sympathies aren't with bankers having a bad day.

[-] 2 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

But it wasn't the bankers that had a hard time getting to work, was it? It was the workers, the 99%. The people who use the subway. Is there brain activity going on in there? Use your own head instead of regurgitating.

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

yea you hear that on fox news. but did you hear any live interviews of workers complaining. don't you think if they could find such people they would air it?. a complete red herring.

[-] 2 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

Sorry, you can't distrust or trust the media whenever it suits your whim. Just because they show or don't show it, doesn't mean its real or not. You know this, or you wouldn't be here.

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

gasp, they took over a park. they shut a port down! what utter barbarism!! in the meantime banks, health insurers, day in and day out make billions nickle and diming the majority of citizens. have some sense of proportions for goodness sake.

[-] 2 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

So if someone pushes a guy off a bridge, its ok for you to do it too? Where is your moral compass? Just because other people murder, doesn't make it ok for you to steal. How irresponsible.

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

what occupier pushed a guy off a bridge? how does occupying a park all of a sudden lead to murder? how do you make that leap?

[-] 2 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

You were justifying Occupy doing illegal actions because Wall street bankers do illegal actions. Your words, not my leap.
"gasp, they took over a park. they shut a port down! what utter barbarism!! in the meantime banks, health insurers, day in and day out make billions nickle and diming the majority of citizens. "

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

once again, have a sense of proportion. you would arrest protesters for minor infractions at best. yet when it comes to wall street crimes, you say nothing and most of all you do nothing.

[-] 2 points by whisper (212) 3 years ago

That's not the point. The point is that the initiation of the use of force and/or coercion must be banned if we are ever to have a free society. Banks, health insurers, those who rely on traffic from ports, etc. Do not have the ability to (legally) initiate the use of force and/or coercion. Only the government does. This is unfortunate. It is our government, not corporations, as such, that have created the problem that exists today. If there is every to exist a free society, the initiation of the use of force must be banned. Government must exist (as was stated in the Declaration of Independence) solely to protect individual rights.

[-] 0 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

...Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it"

how is the refrain no taxation without representation heard over 200 years ago so different from what the protesters are saying now?

[-] 1 points by whisper (212) 3 years ago

Why, it's hardly different at all. My complaint with both is that neither secures individual rights. Only a constitution based on the principles that individual rights exist stemming from the 'right to life' and 'That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men' can do that. Isn't securing individual rights what this movement is about?

[-] 2 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

Sidestepping the issue. Get arrested! Then get real and own the fact that you were arrested by choice to make a point. And no, don't pretend to know me whether Im doing nothing or anything, or everything myself. Unless you go back and read all my posts, then you might be able to say something.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

Logical Fallacy: Two wrongs don't make a right.

[-] 1 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

so i guess you were opposed to the freedom marches in the south in the 60's? they were breaking local ordinances then too. what was the orignal tea party all about but disrupting operations at a port??

i think if you look at this in the broader context of our countries founding to various social movements you will see that what is happening right now is fairly moderate and would have more sympathy for it.

[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

The first step would be for Occupy to stop using imagery and news reports designed to demonize the police. Do not portray them as Tiananmen Tanks as you did in your latest poster. Do not display handcuffed fists with blood dripping down the arms like in the Nov 2nd poster to Occupy Oakland. Do not claim that there are only three types of cops. Do not write paragraphs like this one which insinuates police are targeting minorities within the protesters:

"Such incidents are unfortunately common. Brutal repression has long been a daily reality for people of color, trans and queer people, criminalized drug users, sex workers, and other marginalized communities. But now that the 99% and the Occupy movement are standing up for social and economic justice, we all are subject to those same violent tactics of repression. "

These are Occupy tactics meant to demonize the police and create a rift between them and protesters.

You should be doing the opposite. You should be promoting an imagery of peace (not non-violence - It's not the same thing). The imagery should display policemen and protesters working together to create a better world. Do not scream 'shame, shame" at them when they are being violent, scream "We love you. You are part of the 99%". Repeat this invitation and message of love. Be better than them. This is the correct way to win them over. It will make it much more difficult for them to use violence if they are met with complete peace.

[-] 2 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

i completely agree with you. the movement doesn't need vapid shallow hot heads shooting their nose of to spite their face. the movement should come up with chants to woo the police. how about 15 straight minutes of the crowd shouting "the police are the 99% too" ? sooner or later,some might come around.

[-] -1 points by Joyce (375) 3 years ago

Your prudent suggestion will be ignored. There is an underlying - extreme element at work hopeful to produce chaos.

[-] 1 points by clearmountain44 (48) 3 years ago

you are right that this will be hard. but this is the main challenge of any nascent movement. you, me, others , need to make these "suggestions" constantly on this forum and elsewhere. we first have to win over our own "side" ( yes, I know, embarassing) first.

[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

Yes, I know.

[-] -1 points by Joyce (375) 3 years ago

True but ignored.