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Sun May 20, 2012, 09:53 PM

Today in Chicago I saw the effects of police brutality against peace activists with my own eyes

One thing every activist realizes eventually is that when you stand up for justice you will witness injustice. Many of us were raised to believe that in America people can state their beliefs without fear of getting our heads bashed in by police, that is something that is only supposed to happen in dictatorships it is not supposed to happen in the so-called land of the free.

I am sad to say that the America I learned about in school is a myth, I was aware it was a myth for quite some time but today I witnessed the effects of police brutality with my own eyes and once you actually see people with blood gushing out of their heads after participating in a peaceful protest it effects you in a way that no book or video can prepare you for.

I have been involved in dozens of protests over the past several years, I have marched on the past two Republican National Conventions, I have marched on the School of the Americas, I have marched with Occupy, I have crashed our former Governor's fishing opener, I have been in many marches both permitted and unpermitted and I have certainly seen my share of police abuses but still nothing could prepare me for what I witnessed today.

Last night I got on a bus that left Minneapolis to arrive in Chicago at 5:00 am this morning. Not too many protesters were out yet at that hour as the rally to protest the NATO summit would not begin until much later in the morning, but there was already a heavy police presence. At that point the police were leaving us alone for the most part, but when you see police with batons and homeland security vehicles cruising the streets that early in the morning you know to expect police intimidation, but that still does not prepare you for it.

Despite this intimidation on the streets however police largely left the rally itself alone and I was having a great experience. I got to meet a few people I consider heroes, and I don't use the word hero lightly. First I met Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin who has been one of the lead figures in the anti-war movement over the last decade. Shortly after meeting her I caught Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello practicing for his performance and after waiting a bit I was able to meet him and have my picture taken with him. Tom Morello's music was instrumental in influencing me to become an activist, before I started really trying to understand Rage's music and reading their web page as a young adult I actually held some pretty right-wing views, Rage Against the Machine got me to question those views and I would have probably never became a lefty much less an activist if I had never heard their music. Being able to thank Morello personally for influencing me was something I always wanted to do so meeting him was enough to put me on what I thought would be a permanent high.

A while later I saw a long haired man in brown camouflage walk by and it was a face I was not expecting to see but who I recognized immediately. It was Scott Olsen, the Iraq Veteran and Occupy Oakland protester who became a national symbol of the movement when he suffered brain damage as a result of unprovoked police brutality. I thanked Olsen for his activism, the fact that he keeps fighting despite the suffering he has faced makes him worthy of being called a hero and I let him know that. Little did I know that a few hours later I would witness seeing a couple protesters bleeding from the head and the images of Scott Olsen that I remember seeing on the internet last fall would become all too real.

We marched through the streets of Chicago with hundreds of police officers lining the streets, a few were in riot gear and holding their batons at the ready but most were in normal uniforms and just casually watched as we marched by. We made it to the end of the march without incident and I started looking for where our bus was parked thinking the big events of the day were over and I was about to come home.

As I gathered with some of the fellow Minnesotans I traveled out to Chicago with a fairly large group of what appeared to be Black Bloc anarchists suddenly marched by us. I should make it clear that none of these Black Bloc members were doing anything violent, I had been in the city the entire day and did not witness any violence from any protester it was a very peaceful day. Many people believe that wherever the Black Bloc goes there is violence, but this is quite simply a myth. I have been in many protests the Black Bloc has shown up at and not a single one of them has ever turned violent. As much as the police might want to use the fact that several Black Bloc members marched into the area as an excuse for their actions, the truth is that the entire march was peaceful and wearing a black mask and endorsing anarchism is protected speech as long as there is no violence involved and there was no violence.

That did not stop the police from greatly overreacting however and jus minutes after the Black Bloc marched by a huge line of what seemed to be hundreds of police in full riot gear marched right by me. They lined up right between me and my friend's isolating me from the rest of my group. I started filming with my camera so I could show people just how much overkill there was, but right when I thought I got them all on video another huge group would show up. There were even a small group of them wearing Army green one of whom was wearing a black face mask, they appeared to be military.

A few minutes later I saw my friends who were allowed to leave from behind the police lines and we headed towards a much more quiet street where our bus would meet us. We were far enough away from the riot police that I finally felt safe and things were quiet for a few minutes until I turned my head and saw medics walking two men to the corner where I was sitting with blood streaming down their heads after getting hit by police batons. The medics asked us to form a circle around them with our backs turned to provide a privacy wall so I helped out, but the whole time I stood there I was deeply disturbed. There were hundreds of police in the streets, but the only people helping were the street medics. Hundreds of police to harass protesters, but not a single one to assist a couple of injured demonstrators who appeared to be peaceful protesters (If they were not peaceful they would have been arrested for sure with that large of a police presence so it is a very safe assumption that neither of them committed any crime. As far as I could tell neither of them appeared to be Black Bloc). Eventually a police official did show up when the ambulance was called and that officer was very professional, the rest of the force however deserves no praise at all. Intimidating peaceful protesters is wrong, and beating them over the head is even more wrong. Unless some Chicago police officers face assault charges over this then we need to hold the entire force accountable for allowing this sort of behavior within their ranks.

As for mayor Rahm Emmanuel, he needs to be pressured to resign immediately. His actions are indefensible, he allowed this police state in his city to happen and he needs to lose his office. I know he is not likely to leave on his own, but people need to put enormous pressure on him until he is forced out.

Democracy requires the right of people to speak their mind without risking violence at the hands of the state, until police are held accountable for these sorts of abuses I can not pretend that we live in a democracy.

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Reply Today in Chicago I saw the effects of police brutality against peace activists with my own eyes (Original post)
Bjorn Against May 2012 OP
Autumn May 2012 #1
RKP5637 May 2012 #2
elleng May 2012 #3
Bjorn Against May 2012 #4
TahitiNut May 2012 #32
elleng May 2012 #38
xtraxritical May 2012 #72
IamK May 2012 #5
postulater May 2012 #6
The Wizard May 2012 #64
awoke_in_2003 May 2012 #112
randome May 2012 #7
Bjorn Against May 2012 #9
Peregrine Took May 2012 #16
Bjorn Against May 2012 #27
randome May 2012 #19
Peregrine Took May 2012 #20
randome May 2012 #23
elleng May 2012 #39
Bjorn Against May 2012 #41
elleng May 2012 #44
Bjorn Against May 2012 #48
elleng May 2012 #50
Bjorn Against May 2012 #52
elleng May 2012 #55
Bjorn Against May 2012 #57
elleng May 2012 #59
Bjorn Against May 2012 #60
Bjorn Against May 2012 #26
randome May 2012 #29
Bjorn Against May 2012 #31
socialist_n_TN May 2012 #45
just1voice May 2012 #92
rhett o rick May 2012 #107
randome May 2012 #109
rhett o rick May 2012 #110
elleng May 2012 #10
Hissyspit May 2012 #13
Bjorn Against May 2012 #14
UnrepentantLiberal May 2012 #47
crunch60 May 2012 #62
Peregrine Took May 2012 #11
Hissyspit May 2012 #12
Peregrine Took May 2012 #22
Hissyspit May 2012 #61
sabrina 1 May 2012 #53
2pooped2pop May 2012 #80
randome May 2012 #85
2pooped2pop May 2012 #103
girl gone mad May 2012 #8
Go Vols May 2012 #15
Bjorn Against May 2012 #18
awoke_in_2003 May 2012 #113
randome May 2012 #17
Bjorn Against May 2012 #21
randome May 2012 #24
Bjorn Against May 2012 #25
randome May 2012 #28
Bjorn Against May 2012 #30
randome May 2012 #34
Bjorn Against May 2012 #35
randome May 2012 #68
lob1 May 2012 #105
randome May 2012 #106
lob1 May 2012 #111
Zanzoobar May 2012 #33
Bjorn Against May 2012 #36
Zanzoobar May 2012 #37
Bjorn Against May 2012 #40
Zanzoobar May 2012 #42
sabrina 1 May 2012 #54
starroute May 2012 #43
Bjorn Against May 2012 #46
RZM May 2012 #65
starroute May 2012 #67
RZM May 2012 #69
Catherina May 2012 #73
Fantastic Anarchist May 2012 #74
amandabeech May 2012 #102
2pooped2pop May 2012 #49
tblue37 May 2012 #84
2pooped2pop May 2012 #101
Fire Walk With Me May 2012 #51
Mc Mike May 2012 #66
marasinghe May 2012 #56
Starry Messenger May 2012 #58
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #63
AnotherMcIntosh May 2012 #75
randome May 2012 #78
coalition_unwilling May 2012 #87
JonLP24 May 2012 #77
awoke_in_2003 May 2012 #114
Doctor_J May 2012 #70
Eddie Haskell May 2012 #71
randome May 2012 #76
RitchieRich May 2012 #81
RitchieRich May 2012 #82
randome May 2012 #83
RitchieRich May 2012 #88
RitchieRich May 2012 #89
randome May 2012 #90
awoke_in_2003 May 2012 #115
Eddie Haskell May 2012 #93
Doctor_J May 2012 #94
randome May 2012 #96
Doctor_J May 2012 #98
randome May 2012 #100
Doctor_J May 2012 #116
Egalitarian Thug May 2012 #99
Zorra May 2012 #79
Rex May 2012 #86
randome May 2012 #91
RitchieRich May 2012 #95
randome May 2012 #97
jwirr May 2012 #104
midnight May 2012 #108
bluestate10 May 2012 #117
Bjorn Against May 2012 #118

Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:01 PM

1. Thank you for sharing this

Rec

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:01 PM

2. Growing up in the 60's I can certainly attest to the fact that much learned in

school is a myth. Standing up for your rights in America can easily bring on police brutality and governmental strong arming. And look at what happened at Kent State when they opened up with live fire on unarmed students murdering some of them. America can be extremely brutal, and IMO it's going to get a lot worse.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:06 PM

3. Chicago

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Response to elleng (Reply #3)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:08 PM

4. Big protests in Chicago this week against NATO summit

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Response to elleng (Reply #3)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:28 PM

32. '68


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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #32)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:48 PM

38. Yes, I was there,

friends and acquaintances were assaulted and injured, and I helped get people out of Cook County Jail. Chicago cops knew how to make a public mess of things then.

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Response to elleng (Reply #38)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:49 PM

72. I was there too.

 

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:10 PM

5. chicago democrats know how do do a beatdown.... n/t

 

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:13 PM

6. Shades of Daley!

Thanks for the report.

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Response to postulater (Reply #6)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:20 AM

64. The whole world is watching

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Response to The Wizard (Reply #64)

Mon May 21, 2012, 07:18 PM

112. And no one is doing anything about it...

when it comes to protests, both parties seem to have the same attitude.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:16 PM

7. So you didn't see what happened.

I'm not defending the police but I'm not defending anyone else, either, until I know something of what happened.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:27 PM

9. I saw people with blood gushing out of their heads and police threatening violence

I may not have seen every detail but I saw way more than enough to make a fair judgment, the police conduct today was inexcusable.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #9)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:48 PM

16. Amen to that. I was there, too.

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Response to Peregrine Took (Reply #16)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:15 PM

27. Thanks for being there, and thanks for confirming that I am not making this up

There were many witnesses and I am glad that you are speaking out against the abuses that happened today.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #9)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:51 PM

19. How were the police threatening violence? By forming a line?

Sorry, but I don't want to have to read your entire OP again. There is a lot to go through.

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Response to randome (Reply #19)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:57 PM

20. You have a very short attention span. n/t

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Response to Peregrine Took (Reply #20)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:00 PM

23. Which is why I appreciate short and concise posts.

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:50 PM

39. Right, and even so, the OP said nothing about having witnessed any violence.

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Response to elleng (Reply #39)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:53 PM

41. I did witness violence

I did not witness the blows themselves, but I did witness police threatening peaceful protesters with batons. Threatening people with weapons is violence.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #41)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:07 AM

44. No, threatening people with weapons is NOT violence,

it may be 'assault,' it is not 'battery.' 'Threatening' is a deterrent to violence.

Assault is an act that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact. The act consists of a threat of harm accompanied by an apparent, present ability to carry out the threat. Battery is a harmful or offensive touching of another.

The main distinction between the two offenses is the existence or nonexistence of a touching or contact. While contact is an essential element of battery, there must be an absence of contact for assault.

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Response to elleng (Reply #44)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:14 AM

48. Fine it is assault then, how does that excuse it exactly?

I have always considered assaulting someone with a weapon to be wrong, I have always considered it violence but maybe it is technically "only" assault. That does not change the fact that people should be able to speak their mind without being assaulted with weapons.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #48)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:22 AM

50. Yes, in an ideal world people should be able to speak their minds without being threatened.

Our world is far from ideal. It is their choice whether they go on to speak and possibly subject themselves to battery, actually being physically assaulted.

IMO, the threats need not be excused; presumably the police, or whomever, were seeking to prevent violence, were using the threats as deterrence.

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Response to elleng (Reply #50)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:31 AM

52. Wow, we obviously disagree very strongly on this.

If you think people should have to subject themselves to assault and battery just because they speak out then we are clearly not on the same side on this at all. I will just leave it at that.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #52)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:38 AM

55. On the 'same side?'

I believe firmly in the first amendment. I also think people interested in public matters have rights to speak in their behalf, AND that authorities are entitled to protect the public against violence.

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Response to elleng (Reply #55)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:56 AM

57. If you support assault and battery against people exercising the first amendment...

Then I would say your expressed support for the first amendment rings quite hollow. Bashing in the heads of people at a non-violent protest does not protect the public from violence.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #57)

Mon May 21, 2012, 01:25 AM

59. You appear not to have understood:

I have said, threatening people with weapons is NOT violence; it may be 'assault,' it is not 'battery.' 'Threatening' is a deterrent to violence.

Assault is an act that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact. The act consists of a threat of harm accompanied by an apparent, present ability to carry out the threat. Battery is a harmful or offensive touching of another.

The main distinction between the two offenses is the existence or nonexistence of a touching or contact. While contact is an essential element of battery, there must be an absence of contact for assault.

In an ideal world people should be able to speak their minds without being threatened.

It is their choice whether they go on to speak and possibly subject themselves to battery, actually being physically assaulted.

People interested in public matters have rights to speak in their behalf, AND authorities are entitled to protect the public against violence.

I was in Chicago at the Democratic Convention in 1968. Friends and acquaintances were assaulted and injured, and I helped get people out of Cook County Jail. Chicago cops knew how to make a public mess of things then.

I do NOT support anyone 'bashing in the heads of people at a non-violent protest.'

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Response to elleng (Reply #59)

Mon May 21, 2012, 01:52 AM

60. Assault and battery are not acceptable

And when people choose to speak out they are not choosing to become victims of assault and battery. If they do become victims of assault and battery the perpetrators of that assault and battery should be prosecuted, the police should not be treated as if they are above the law and they should be prosecuted if they do anything to threaten or injure a peaceful person.

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Response to randome (Reply #19)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:13 PM

26. I would consider holding batons up at protesters to be threatening violence

I would suspect if you saw a group of hundreds of people approaching you with batons in their hands you might feel threatened too.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #26)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:18 PM

29. I would suspect that if you saw thousands of people coming toward you and taunting you...

...you might feel a little uneasy yourself.

I don't care about taking sides or being right or wrong. There are no easy answers here.

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Response to randome (Reply #29)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:26 PM

31. But there were not thousands of people coming towards the police

There was no one coming towards the police, they approached from behind. You obviously have no clue what you are talking about.

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Response to randome (Reply #29)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:07 AM

45. There are no easy answers IF...........

you don't know which side you're on. I ALWAYS side with the people against repression and fascism.

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Response to randome (Reply #29)

Mon May 21, 2012, 03:18 PM

92. I would suspect someone harrassing a peaceful protestor

 

What's the point other than bullying?

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Response to randome (Reply #29)

Mon May 21, 2012, 06:38 PM

107. Please dont think your pretense fools anyone. Time and time again police have beaten

and pepper sprayed people that werent endangering them. And what about the hundreds of accounts of police brutality after people are cuffed and put in the buses or cells? They clearly werent endangering anyone. They get worse treatment than the Geneva Convention requires. The police work for the 1% and have a mission to destroy the movement at all costs.

We know which side you stand on.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #107)

Mon May 21, 2012, 06:40 PM

109. No, you don't know what side I stand on.

I suppose you've seen this thread, right?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=712548

The only 'side' I have is to see things for how they truly are.
Police can sometimes behave abominably. They also risk their lives thousands of times each and every day. Is there something about those last 2 sentences you disagree with?

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Response to randome (Reply #109)

Mon May 21, 2012, 07:04 PM

110. I do know you are not standing on the same side as me. You try to rationalize police brutality.

Shame on you.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:34 PM

10. Thanks.

Same thought here.

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Response to elleng (Reply #10)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:44 PM

13. There's all kinds of evidence all over the Internet today.

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Response to elleng (Reply #10)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:45 PM

14. But I did see what happened, maybe not every detail of it but I saw a lot happen with my own eyes

Nearly everyone that is on the two buses from Minneapolis witnessed it as well as did many other people. We may not have seen the batons actually hit, but we saw a great deal both before and after the incident. You are free not to make a judgment as you were not there and you did not see what I saw and what other people saw, but realize that you are not making a judgment because you did not see what happened, we are making a judgment because we did see what happened.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #14)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:13 AM

47. I've seen it happen at an OWS protest in New York.

 

All I can say is, when the police get pissed off, you know someone is going to get beat. And they did.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #14)

Mon May 21, 2012, 03:43 AM

62. I believe you. Let those who question you, take part in a protest , let them

 

experience it for themselves. The outrageous violence against peaceful OWS, has been well documented. I remember Kent State. I salute you for standing up against all the injustice that has overwhelmed our democracy. It will continue, stay safe.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:41 PM

11. How Jesuitical of you.....

I was there. Cops suck.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:44 PM

12. Oh, christ...

Last edited Sun May 20, 2012, 11:23 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #12)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:58 PM

22. Why bring Him into it??? That's the best ya got?? n/t

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Response to Peregrine Took (Reply #22)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:37 AM

61. Well, you did too. :-)

"Jesuitical"

Anyway, I didn't capitalize it. (Just to be clear, I was expressing my disdain for the post to which I was responding.)

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:34 AM

53. Don't worry, there will be video as there always is, which is why the police tried to make taking

their photos, illegal.

We already have seen video of brutality from this weekend, so I do not doubt we will see video of those protesters being brutalized by the cops.

Much as you appear not to want to believe it, since last September, 99.9% of the violence at Occupy protests has happened only when the police showed up. The Police are the violent perps at every demonstration.

They have nearly killed many civilians, who were saved by other protesters, there is plenty of evidence of their brutality hours and hours of footage, from any different angles.

I do not understand your question. When the cops were held back in Oakland for a day, a day when over 100,000 people showed up to both protest their violence against protesters after the near killing of two Iraq war vets, there was not a single act of violence for the entire day. That many people, with minimal police presence because they had so disgraced themselves just days earlier, and not a single violent act.

The police are the violence instigators, every, single time. They are a threat to the safety of American citizens and should be kept far away from citizens exercising their 1st Amendment rights. I don't know why there have not yet been arrests and prosecutions. We are still waiting for the name of the criminal who nearly killed Scott Olsen. It's been months now, their 'investigation' must surely be complete??

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:03 PM

80. witnesses said black bloc did attack the police first

i'm on a cell and can't write it all out again but the vet I spoke to was greatly saddened because according to him, the black bloc did attack the police first.
indy newspaper said police admitted to having infiltrated black bloc. My own feelings while there was that the police at the end were waiting for something to happen. It did appear as though they knew something was going to go down.

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #80)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:42 PM

85. I don't understand how anyone can tell who is who.

Thousands of people pressed together? Is everyone who identifies with 'Black Bloc' wearing black? Do any of the non-Black Bloc protesters wear black?

It's all confusing to me and, I'm sure, to both protesters and police alike.

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Response to randome (Reply #85)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:30 PM

103. yes. they wear all black

and usually remain masked. They look like little ninjas. Kind of stupid really. If I were planning to commit assault or petty crimes the last thing I would want is to be dressed in such a way as to easily identify myself. Perhaps they are thinking that a guy dressed in black is not enough to make any positive ID on that person as there are many dressed like that. They are not all men either. Thee be women as well.

i would not doubt some are with them that are not wearing the gang garb. Yes some protesters may wear black. Most do not for that reason. Also the regular protesters usually only wear bandannas over their faces when there is imminent threat of pepper spraying. Some of the black bloc even have their entire heads wrapped.

try to find some footage of this or basically any other protest and watch. You will very quickly be able ti identify the blac bloc from the rest. Just a black bandanna does not mean black bloc unless it's being worn wen there is no threat.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:24 PM

8. k & r

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:47 PM

15. at what point do we beat back?

Peaceful doesn't seem to work.

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Response to Go Vols (Reply #15)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:51 PM

18. Being peaceful is the ONLY thing that works

Look at the example of Gandhi, him and his followers were victims of extreme violence but they hit back by not hitting back. We can't beat the police with violence but we can beat them with non-violence.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #18)

Mon May 21, 2012, 07:23 PM

113. the general public...

used to be appalled by seeing the police violently react to peaceful demonstrations. Now they just don't seem to give a damn- too worried about the Kardashians and BS like that.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:49 PM

17. It's OWSers on DU who always claim Black Bloc are the violent culprits.

Your opinion that they are not goes against the norm. I confess to not having participated in enough mass protests to have my own opinion.

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Response to randome (Reply #17)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:58 PM

21. Individuals may have made that claim, that does not mean that they are right

There may be a small number of Black Bloc members who have been violent in the past, but the truth is that violence by protesters is rare. On the rare instances it does happen the media makes a huge deal out of it so people like you who don't participate get the impression that protesters are violent. Those of us who do participate know that nearly all protests are peaceful.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #21)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:03 PM

24. I heard of ONE violent effort from the protesters.

Someone threw a bucket at the police. So violence does happen. Any time two large groups are in confrontation, shit happens.

And why are the police there? If they weren't, some stupid yahoo would take it into his or her head to start trashing stuff.

It's inevitable that some on both sides will get out of hand when the numbers are big enough.

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Response to randome (Reply #24)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:10 PM

25. The police don't need hundreds in riot gear batons in hand for a non-violent protest

No one said there should be no police, but there is a huge difference between a reasonable police presence and a massive act of police violence.

I did not hear about the incident with the bucket, if it did happen I would have no problem with them arresting the person who threw it but that would certainly not justify the police using the violent tactics they used tonight against the whole crowd.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #25)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:15 PM

28. There were thousands of protesters in Chicago.

How many police do you think should be present should a riot break out?

And how would the police instantly identify who threw the bucket, wade through a belligerent crowd and calmly make an arrest?

There are no easy answers here.

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Response to randome (Reply #28)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:24 PM

30. If they don't know who did it they should investigate, they should not go into riot mode

There was absolutely no sign that a riot was going to break out, do you think they need huge numbers of riot police every time there is a big gathering of people? Do you think they should have riot police at every big football game or do you think only protesters deserve this violent treatment?Riots after sporting events are more common than riots at protests, so unless you think you should have hundreds of police in full riot gear holding up batons to all college football fans then you obviously want to treat political activists differently than the general population.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #30)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:34 PM

34. Sporting events are contained facilities.

Except after a beloved team loses a championship.

Political protests are NOT the same.

Mass protests like Chicago bring in people who DO want to cause trouble. It happens. Witness the three who were arrested after surveillance videos showed them wanting to make molotov cocktails and cause general mayhem.

Shit happens. You cannot guarantee that all those thousands of people in Chicago were there for strictly noble causes. Most of them no doubt were. But everyone's motives are not the same.

Again, I'm not defending the police or the protesters because I just want to see things for how they are. I would rather there not be a large police presence at protest events. But as I'm not privy to the decision-making that goes into deployments like this, I'm not going to automatically assume that the police are out to get us.

Maybe if you want answers to these kind of questions, you could try to hold a dialog with the city or the police themselves.

On edit: Not trying to run out on an interesting discussion but it's past my bed time!

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Response to randome (Reply #34)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:39 PM

35. The riots at sporting events usually occur when people leave those contained facilities

If you don't support riot police at sporting events but you do support them at political protests then it is clear your reasoning has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with using the power of the state to silence opposition.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #35)

Mon May 21, 2012, 10:30 AM

68. I'm sure some cities ARE prepared for violence when a championship game is being played.

It would be prudent knowing how crazy some people get.

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Response to randome (Reply #24)

Mon May 21, 2012, 06:05 PM

105. I doubt you've ever been to a protest march.

You wouldn't be defending the police if you've ever had to run from them to save your fucking life. And every protest I've been in where there was trouble, the police started it. I've seen it too many times.

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Response to lob1 (Reply #105)

Mon May 21, 2012, 06:11 PM

106. I suppose you've seen this thread.

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Response to randome (Reply #106)

Mon May 21, 2012, 07:07 PM

111. I suppose you've seen threads like this.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12522610

Take it for what it's worth.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:33 PM

33. Put yourself in the shoes of an overwhelmed minority.

 

You may have bashed a few skulls to protect yourself against the unknown. It's scary having a bunch of people milling about.

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Response to Zanzoobar (Reply #33)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:40 PM

36. An overwhelmed minority? Not even close.

The number of police was enormous, and they all had weapons we did not. They were bullies not victims.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #36)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:46 PM

37. I understand, but you were milling about.

 

It could have escalated from milling to walking rapidly. I saw a few video clips of people walking rapidly. It was rather distasteful.

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Response to Zanzoobar (Reply #37)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:51 PM

40. So walking rapidly is a crime that needs riot police to stop it?

The march was rather slow moving so I did not see many people walking rapidly, but even if they were that seems like a rather lame excuse to send riot police after them.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #40)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:54 PM

42. I apologize

 

My flippancy is at this time beyond your capacity to get it. Rage on.

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Response to Zanzoobar (Reply #42)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:37 AM

54. Your flippancy was out of place. If you meant to be sarcastic, and I can't imagine you were serious,

so I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, it might be a good idea to use the tag.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:56 PM

43. You need images?







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Response to starroute (Reply #43)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:08 AM

46. Thanks, I did not take pictures of that incident because the medics wanted privacy

This definitely proves I am not making this story up however.

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Response to starroute (Reply #43)

Mon May 21, 2012, 05:03 AM

65. Off topic . . .

 

But is your sig from 'Bamboozled?'

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Response to RZM (Reply #65)

Mon May 21, 2012, 10:14 AM

67. No, it's from Louis Jordan's jump blues hit from 1946

This is the cleanest version of the recording I could find on YouTube -- most of them seem to be taken off scratched-up 78's -- so please excuse the image. The song has also been covered by a million other people, but this is the original.



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Response to starroute (Reply #67)

Mon May 21, 2012, 11:50 AM

69. Thanks. That must be where they got the bit for the movie

 

If you haven't seen it, it's sort of a Spike Lee version of 'The Producrers,' where a frustrated black TV exec puts together a minstrel show program out of spite. They do a bit that's pretty much based on this song.

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Response to starroute (Reply #43)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:50 PM

73. This is horrifying

I've seen much worse images of violence against activists in my life but they weren't taken in the *home of the FREE*.

Horrifying.

Stand fast Americans.

Thank you Starroute

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Response to starroute (Reply #43)

Mon May 21, 2012, 01:13 PM

74. The guy in the middle pic ....

is a RASH Skinhead.

Red and Anarchist Skinheads ( RASH ) is a left-
wing anti-racist, anti-fascist skinhead group.

Good to see my fellow anti-fascists at the rally.

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Response to starroute (Reply #43)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:19 PM

102. 1968, but with less hair.

The first Hizzoner Mayor Daley must be smiling wherever he is now.

Did the cops wear baby-blue helmets, or did they just go with basic black?

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:15 AM

49. "they stormed the horses. Blood was everywhere"

is what a veteran for peace told me on the train home. I saw none of it as I had already walked away. I did see a overkill in the numbers of the police. A big overkill.
We had gone on and were forced up an alley by the police. We saw many many police running to that final stop of the march. I was angry at them for the over the top reaction. Later I heard that a blac blocker had thrown a brick nd hit a cop in the head. I was angry about that too.

it was going home that I stuck up the conversation with the vet. He was clearly upset when he told me that it was indeed the black bloc that had stormed the police horses. I had not even seen any police on horseback.

He fffelt that we had to stop the black bloc before they got someone killed. If his story is true. He is correct. "they want to bring war t sorry am on cell phone and it wont let me go ddown to lower part of page to correct aything.

am only relaying info. I did not see any of this.

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #49)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:37 PM

84. I don’t doubt that there are some in the Black Bloc who might

want to commit or provoke violence, but I also believe that Black Bloc violence is often actually black ops violence! We have frequently seen it here and in Canada—where peaceful protests are infiltrated by provocateurs who are either actual cops or working with and for the cops.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #84)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:16 PM

101. yes. i agree with that

I am certain the police infiltrate the protestesters and the black bloc are certainly the ones they would most want to join. I believe they had done so in this case and knew shit was going to happen at the end of the march and that is why so many many more police were at the end of the march in addition to the scores of them who flanked the march.

i also believe that is why the media was sitting there as well.

however, that being said, I myself could not be convinced to break windows or assault the police. In other words it may have been the police who directed the black bloc into committing acts of violence but they most likely didn,t go kicking and sreaming but willingly.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:24 AM

51. Video of the brutality.

 

Thank you for marching, and for your story.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #51)

Mon May 21, 2012, 06:10 AM

66. Thanks for the vid.

The audio ~ minute 13 makes it sound like the cops pushed the bb s back toward the east, when they were going west with the flow. And going south was not an option.

Nothing helpful about a 'disperse' order, when avenues of dispersal are blocked off.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:49 AM

56. those of us who couldn't be there with you, Thank You All, Dude.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 01:23 AM

58. k&r

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:05 AM

63. Today I can say that I am ashamed to call myself an American and

 

ashamed I once called myself a Democrat.

Thank you for your first-person account.

I am so upset right now. Words fail me.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #63)

Mon May 21, 2012, 01:29 PM

75. I'm proud to call myself a Democrat and an American. And I'm proud of the protestors.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #75)

Mon May 21, 2012, 01:45 PM

78. Then you're too nuanced for this thread.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #75)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:52 PM

87. Proud of the cops, are you? N.B.: Rahm Emmanuel (Obama's first Chief of Staff) is their boss. Or,

 

put in Madison Avenue terms, "Got Cognitive Dissonance?"

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #63)

Mon May 21, 2012, 01:43 PM

77. I had to share this

At Mon May 21, 2012, 10:33 AM an alert was sent on the following post:

Today I can say that I am ashamed to call myself an American and
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=710396

REASON FOR ALERT:

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=aboutus#communitystandards" target="_blank">Community Standards</a>.)

ALERTER'S COMMENTS:

If coalition_unwilling is "ashamed (that he or she) once called myself a Democrat," why are they posting on Democratic Underground? Such types of postings are made to suppress voter turnout.

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Mon May 21, 2012, 10:42 AM, and the Jury voted 0-6 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: I'm not feeling suppressed as I see it more of a personal view. He's not encouraging anyone to not vote but telling us how he feels. As to the feelings, nothing wrong with feeling ashamed at times.
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: DU has long been open to "liberals" in general, including Greens/Democratic Socialists so long as they do not advocate 3rd Party. Heck, back in the day there were a few, out moderate GOPers who posted here.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #63)

Mon May 21, 2012, 07:26 PM

114. I am a proud democrat...

who is ashamed at what our elected leaders have become.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:31 PM

70. I am surprised that anyone is surprised

Your post is very heartfelt and well-written, but I am unsure of the point, to be perfectly honest. What do you propose be done, that might actually have an effect? This might have been held off when Bush The Stupider implemented Free Speech Zones, but wasn't. It might have been slowed by some very assertive action when it was discovered that Tim McVeigh was a Limbecile, but wasn't. Some serious pushback after the corrupt court ruled on Bush v. Gore might have helped, but nothing happened. When Delay's gangsters violently stopped the recount, a dose of SYG would have altered the course of history, but we of course responded with a lot of huffing and puffing and our usual, "Well, they've overplayed they're hand this time - people will catch on now". Election theft in 2000, 2002, 2004 went without response.

The fascists have won, Bjorn, and a large part of the problem is that we are content to post polemics that garner a lot of rec's.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 12:39 PM

71. War!

The time for peaceful protests is over.

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Response to Eddie Haskell (Reply #71)

Mon May 21, 2012, 01:38 PM

76. The dumbest post on this thread. Violence is never the answer.

And you're basing your call for war on the fact that a few protesters got injured this weekend? Conveniently overlooking the fact that 3 idiots were arrested who were planning their own Molotov cocktail party.

Sorry, but your post is inexcusable.

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Response to randome (Reply #76)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:28 PM

81. Non Violence is the way to go but...

http://socialistworker.org/2012/05/21/scaremongering-in-chicago

The labeling of "terrorist" is utterly not surprising.
Now, they can be locked away forever with no trial.

I remember seeing dumpsters burned in Philly, years ago at the Repub convention. I remember thinking that it was a bit much, but no one was harmed. Perhaps at worst, the dumpsters needed to be repainted.

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Response to RitchieRich (Reply #81)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:30 PM

82. Terrorists???

"...
The three-...--are charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, providing material support for terrorism and possession of an explosive or incendiary device. A judge set bail at $1.5 million for each. Two more men were charged with terrorism-related offenses over the weekend,
..."

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Response to RitchieRich (Reply #81)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:33 PM

83. No, they can't be locked away without a trial.

A bail judge has already set bail for them and they have a defense attorney. You really think the United States government gives a shit about some local yahoos in Chicago?

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Response to randome (Reply #83)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:52 PM

88. Obama’s Signing Statement on NDAA: ‘I have the power to detain Americans… but I won’t’

http://www.aclu.org/national-security/house-fails-pass-amendment-scaling-back-ndaa-indefinite-detention-provisions

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=7b7_1325446607Obama’s Signing Statement on NDAA: ‘I have the power to detain Americans… but I won’t’

Not until the scared masses are convinced all dissent is a form of terrorism will this swing into effect. My point was not that they would personally be effected by this new change, but that they will be a weapon of fear-mongering that brings us a few steps closer

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Response to RitchieRich (Reply #88)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:56 PM

89. i conceed

that you are correct. (obviously) My point was different and I should have stated it more clearly.

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Response to RitchieRich (Reply #88)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:57 PM

90. I despise the NDAA. And the Patriot Act.

Last edited Mon May 21, 2012, 04:01 PM - Edit history (1)

Congress, as usual, over-reacts to prove how relevant they are.

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Response to randome (Reply #90)

Mon May 21, 2012, 07:27 PM

115. and things cannot become law...

without the president signing them into law.

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Response to randome (Reply #76)

Mon May 21, 2012, 03:51 PM

93. Just how ...

did I advocate violence?

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Response to randome (Reply #76)

Mon May 21, 2012, 03:52 PM

94. How's non-violent resistence been working over the last 20 years

of Limpballs' reign? At what point do you suggest fighting back?

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #94)

Mon May 21, 2012, 03:57 PM

96. Do you seriously want to start killing people?

Since OWS started, I have said I want there to be more mass protests. Yesterday, instead of standing against income inequality, it was something to do with NATO.

The vast majority of people don't associate NATO with income inequality. You might say they SHOULD but that's not Reality.

There were remarkably few injuries over the weekend. I'd say the protest was a success except the message was, once again, diluted.

And it's always because OWS has no leaders. Except for Obama, the political parties have no real leaders, either. I wish someone could get OWS more focused.

But, hey, Chicago was a start at something approaching focus.

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Response to randome (Reply #96)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:04 PM

98. The protests aren't working

So I would ask again, at what point would you suggest fighting? You can of course say never. It seems that our entire force would rather get trounced playing fair than win by playing rough. That's a reasonable view, but then you have to learn to love living in a fascist state.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #98)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:15 PM

100. You can't tell me what I have to love.

What is worth fighting for? Physically fighting for? When my life or that of my family is at risk. Short of that, no, I don't think violence is the answer.

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Response to randome (Reply #100)

Mon May 21, 2012, 08:47 PM

116. So if the tanks are rolling down the streets, as long as the guns are not pointed at you

you're going to sit it out. This seems, as I already said, to be the prevailing sentiment among the opposition to the tyranny.

It is good that you have spelled out how much you're willing to endure. I have wondered why there's been no massive fight back. Your post has added some clarity to that issue.

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Response to randome (Reply #76)

Mon May 21, 2012, 04:12 PM

99. No, apparently the answer is to lie back and think of England.

 

...and afflict the comfortable.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 01:59 PM

79. Thanks, brother.

Been there, done that, got several T-shirts.

The 1% will employ/deploy any and every means to stop the 99% from removing them from power.

And Rahm Emmanuel is their fawning and obedient cabin boy.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:44 PM

86. We now see what they meant by, "9/11 changed everything."

Including basic rights enjoyed the citizens.

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Response to Rex (Reply #86)

Mon May 21, 2012, 02:59 PM

91. Congress used that to prove their own relevance.

9-11 changed nothing. Our over-reaction to it changed everything.

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Response to randome (Reply #91)

Mon May 21, 2012, 03:57 PM

95. a poor memorial to those who've died for us...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war (had to add it up myself)

One Million, Three Hundred Ten Thousand, Three Hundred Forty One
1,310,341

It seems like a poor way of honoring all those who gave it all to our country, to preserve our freedom: to take away the freedom they gave their lives for.

I know this sounds mad fucked up, but at 1,314,431 / 3,000 = 436.8
That's 436 soldiers who died to protect freedom for each 9-11 victim.

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Response to RitchieRich (Reply #95)

Mon May 21, 2012, 03:58 PM

97. Not to mention the Iraqis who died needlessly.

I hear you.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 05:01 PM

104. Rahm is just another over proud 68 R. Dailey. But in the end he like Dailey will find out that they

have nothing to be proud of and that they are part of the problem.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 06:39 PM

108. Thanks for sharing your first hand experience about what is going on in Chicago...

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Mon May 21, 2012, 09:35 PM

117. I want to see you criticize the Black Bloc as much as you do cops.

Tell violent cops and Black Bloc people that they are assholes that you want noting to do with. Don't travel with any of them, fucking seperate yourself and keep your mission pure.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #117)

Mon May 21, 2012, 10:11 PM

118. I will criticize all those who engage in violence

If I witness the same level of violence from the Black Bloc I will condemn it just as strongly, but yesterday I did not witness any violence from protesters but I did witness police violence. I am not going to pretend both sides were just as bad when that was not the case at all.

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