The Police May Have Seized The Park But The Movement Moves On
By Danny Schechter, author of The Crime Of Our Time
It was strange, after all these weeks, to be on the outside looking in at a new set of occupiers that were there because they have the guns and we don't.
When Mao said that "power grows out of the barrel of a gun" he most assuredly did not have anything like Occupy Wall Street on his mind, but somehow the insight applies.
The recent attacks on Occupy encampments may have their origins in decisions by federal agencies. It has been reported that the Mayor of Oakland admitted that 16 cities consulted or coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security. Many of the cities deny it. Activist Van Jones asked on MSNBC why they don't coordinate on creating programs to satisfy needs expressed by Occupy Wall Street.
Liberty Square/Zuccotti Park had now been power cleaned and was pristine when activists were allowed to reenter without tents or sleeping bags, More than 200 had been arrested in the takeover that included teargas and selective physical violence against resisters.
The Police operated under the cover the darkness. Press was not allowed despite press cards that permit journalists to operate behind police lines. Even helicopters were banned from the air space over the Park.
Soon, all the tents were trashed and gone: Medical, Media, The Kitchen and The Library, as well as all the work group locations that I showed in a film I made a week earlier. To defend the property rights of the owner, the property of protesters was thrown into the garbage.
Now there were cops in command, barricades on the outside and contractors employed by Brookfield Properties, the Park's owner, on the inside, looking all corporate and regimented,
Activists with badges calling themselves the "99%" were soon watching the triumph of authority with pains in their hearts from behind the barricades while a dozen TV trucks set up their antennas to broadcast live on this latest confrontation. They were finally allowed back in through checkpoints set up by representatives of the realty company enforcing rules that did not exist when they moved into the part in mid September.
The tabloid media were gloating earlier in the day, "BEAT IT" was the headline in the Daily News, Rupert; Murdoch's NY Post had been tipped in advance and covered the expulsion like a cheerleader.
Earlier in the day, a liberal judge had temporarily ordered the Police to allow the protesters to return to the Park with their stuff, but the case went back to State Court The cops ignored the ruling and by late afternoon had a new one that exonerated their eviction.
CBS reported, "A New York judge has upheld the city's dismantling of the Occupy Wall Street encampment, saying that the protesters' first amendment rights don't entitle them to camp out indefinitely in the plaza.
State judge Michael Stallman (A liberal who had worked for a liberal City Council member) on Tuesday denied a motion by the demonstrators seeking to be allowed back into the park with their tents and sleeping bags.
CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen reports that the key paragraph in the judge's ruling is as follows: "Here, movements have not demonstrated that the rules adopted by the owners of the property, concededly after the demonstrations began, are not reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions permitted under the First Amendment."