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Occupying The Heart Of The Beast: Observations, Impressions And Images From Amid The Multitudes In Liberty Plaza

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And that is something one should bear in mind when considering the subject of the attitudes and actions of the NYPD regarding popular uprisings such as the one ongoing in Lower Manhattan.

In the first few days of the occupation of Liberty Plaza, I stopped by and spoke with protesters and police. (The latter only agreed to speak to me, with much hesitation, and, in a few cases outright contempt, if I promised not to record them or reveal their badge numbers.) I told them that I understand and experience the sort of fear that such dictates, issued from above, level upon a person. I averred the fear instilled in rank and file officers by their "superiors" in the department is similar to the fear that folks in the park possess for police in general.



Phil and his NYPD friends by Angela Tyler-Rockstroh

 

And the fear is identical to that OWS protesters hold in regard to the power Wall Street exerts over their lives.

In this, we, the beleaguered "99 percenters," share a common plight--an affinity of fear instilled within us by economic coercion.

One cop told me it was nothing personal: He appreciated the protest because of the overtime pay he was pulling as a result of it. I asked him if he feared that Wall Street might squander his pension fund, and that, "if you come down with a case of 'billy club elbow' from beating on the folks here"that the crooks on Wall Street might make off with your medical benefits."

Moreover, that if he saw a man trying to rob the pizza restaurant on the end of the block, he had the power to make an arrest, and, by that token, would it be possible for he and his crew -- who it appeared didn't have a lot to do at Liberty Plaza -- could see fit to move down the street a bit"to where the real criminal activity comes down -- billion dollar heists, in fact -- and make a few arrests when the banksters open for business tomorrow? He said he couldn't comment on the subject"but I could tell he found the fantasy appealing.

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But, bear this in mind, when considering the uncivil attitudes and unconstitutional actions of the NYPD regarding street protest such as the Occupy Wall Street activities ongoing in Lower Manhattan, in particular, and the lack of deference to the rights of the public, in general, displayed by police agencies, at both the local and federal level: Police forces, by and large, are bureaucratic organizations, comprised of authoritarian personalities who evince a topdown, militarized organizational structure. Most of the individuals therein harbor a hierarchical concept regarding the exercise of power and possess an unquestioning fealty to the maintenance of order.

Therefore, the police will serve as a defacto private security force for the corporate oligarchs and Wall Street elite, as well as the structure of the National Security State. Accordingly, the safeguarding of individual rights and providing security for those groups and individuals bereft of power means little to them. Even if an individual officer harbors sympathy for those who dissent, his mission is not to protect the powerless; conversely, the mission of police organizations is to maintain the status quo; and the status quo of the present order translates into vast wealth inequity created by an entrenched system in place to protect the powerful (in this case Wall Street Banksters) from the consequences of their criminal activities.

(Apropos, the 4.6 million dollars with which J.P. Morgan Chase, last week, greased the palm of the NYPD.)

Thus Freedom will be pepper sprayed and thrown face first upon the pavement, while Wall Street Banksters' Gulf Stream Jets lift off from the ground and slice the clear, thin air.

There is a sign in Liberty Plaza proclaiming, "occupy everything" and its sentiment arrives at the essence of the situation. Yes, occupy everything, starting with your own heart. Otherwise, it will be commandeered by the forces of the church, the state, the corporation, the bully on your block, the passive-aggressive friend who is "just here to help", even the demands of your own egoist agendas that bore to indifference the heart of the world and soul of the age. If you don't recognize your humanity, who will? Who is more qualified to occupy your life than you? Who is closer to the situation? Who else is qualified to arrive at an original take of the question at hand?

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Occupy Everything by Angela Tyler-Rockstroh

 

And you might find the place to make a stand in the struggle to retake your essential self is in public space, among throngs of others engaged in likeminded struggle"among others who have heeded a similar call and thus have arrived in those equally troubled locations -- the U.S. public arena and the American heart.

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http://www.philrockstroh.com/

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: phil@philrockstroh.com. Visit Phil's website: http://philrockstroh.com/ or at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000711907499

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Years back, the iconic dismantling of the Berlin W... by Phil Rockstroh on Friday, Oct 7, 2011 at 5:21:21 PM
What you do when you walk into the hall of mirrors... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Oct 8, 2011 at 7:11:03 AM
Government by the People tends to protect people a... by . . on Saturday, Oct 8, 2011 at 5:34:42 PM