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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 11/20/11

Occupy Evictions: Has War Been Declared?

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Appearing on Occupy Seattle's website, part of an essay by the Reverend Rich Lang described the Reverend's own experiences at a 15 November Occupy Seattle protest, noting: "The police were once conceived to be a citizen force created to serve and protect the public. Today however, the police have been militarized and view the populace as enemy combatants...alone in full alb, stole and cross --- six officers turned their (pepper) spray on me thoroughly soaking my alb, and then one officer hit me full throttle in the face."

At Occupy UC Davis, the police attack upon peacefully sitting students is difficult to watch, but this two and a half minute video does starkly convey the kinds of police action ongoing...

Occupy UC Davis pepper spray *graphic* 11.18.11

If any that are associated with dissent are simply perceived as 'the enemy', what can an already brutal police action become?

At the Seattle protest, it's been widely reported that police there attacked peaceful demonstrators with pepper spray as well, something which video evidence does seem to confirm. Among those reported sprayed was Reverend Lang, a pregnant woman, and 84 year old Dorli Rainey, a retired schoolteacher.

A Seattle PI photographer captured Ms. Rainey moments after the police had pepper sprayed her, leaving her face coated with the powerful but non-lethal weapon. One glance at this work in the Seattle PI photo gallery explains why overnight it has come to define the effective war now being waged upon Occupy and its supporters, the war Ms. Rainey was courageously protesting against.

Within the last week, US police have swept through the vast majority of America's Occupy encampments, cities laying others under effective siege. The role of the US Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security, are the subjects of considerable speculation.

The fact of such a coordinated strike against Occupy, as well as the escalation in the already abusive police tactics, speaks for itself.

It's increasingly obvious to all that the raids upon Occupy's encampments were pursued upon the basis of manufactured pretexts, with the genuine aim being to strike another blow against Occupy, against 'we, the people', while using 'public safety' as a sorry 'fig leaf' to do so.

If any need reminder of how much America's police care about the public's safety, I won't again mention the pepper spraying of 84 year old Dorli Rainey at Occupy Seattle, but will note that the pregnant woman pepper sprayed there was hospitalized, according to AP. In further vivid highlighting of the basis for growing outrage, the following three minute video documents Seattle police 'broadly' spraying chemical weapons into peaceful protesters...

Seattle Police Joke About Macing Occupy Seattle

Aptly describing the kinds of police conduct being seen nationwide, another excerpt from Reverend Lang's writing upon his own experience that day observed, "the only tool in their (the police's) bag is brutality and like a drunken raging father beating wife and kids, the police have increasingly disgraced themselves".

The meaning of 'public safety' in the US does seem to have taken on some decidedly 'Orwellian' connotations of late, as has the US police credo of 'to protect and serve'. The good news is that what our government and its police have become is now revealed, and revealed in a way that all but the blind can see it.

Copyright November 2011

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Ritt Goldstein Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am an American investigative political journalist living in Sweden, and have lived in Sweden since July 1997. My work has appeared fairly widely, including in America's Christian Science Monitor, Spain's El Mundo, Sweden's Aftonbladet, Austria's (more...)
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