We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Criminalizing OWS Protesters

by Stephen Lendman Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 at 1:12 AM

class war

Criminalizing OWS Protesters - by Stephen Lendman

On November 14, the Northern California ACLU and National Lawyers Guild (NLG) sued the Oakland Police Department (OPD) in federal court for "egregious constitutional violations" against Occupy Oakland protesters.

A temporary restraining order was sought to stop them. On November 14, hundreds of riot gear clad police forcefully evicted encamped Oscar Grant Plaza protesters at 5:00AM. At a same day press conference, Mayor Jean Quan said:

"We have to bring the camp to an end."

The ACLU-NC and NLG sued OPD on behalf of videographer Timothy Scott Campbell. Other plaintiffs include Kerie Campbell, Marc McKinnie, Michael Siegel, and NLG Legal Observer Marcus Kryshka.

On November 2, all faced excessive force. Campbell said:

"I was filming police activity at Occupy Oakland because police should be accountable. Now I'm worried about my safety from police violence and about retaliation because I've been outspoken."

According to NLG attorney Rachel Lederman:

"OPD's unconstitutional actions against protesters were wholesale and flagrant violations of Oakland's Crowd Control Policy."

It strictly limits force and prohibits indiscriminate use of shot-filled beanbags and other projectiles against peaceful protesters and crowds.

In fact, authorities nationally want OWS demonstrations ended. On November 15, Occupy Wall Street.org countered, saying:

"You cannot evict an idea whose time has come. We are the 99%. We are everywhere. We are a global movement that is reclaiming our humanity and our future."

America's First Amendment affirms everyone's free expression and assembly rights. Fourth Amendment freedom prohibits unnecessary excessive force.

No matter. On November 14, billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg used goon squad cops to evict protesters. Hundreds earlier were beaten, pepper-sprayed, maced, tear gassed and arrested.

Days earlier, police attacked nearby Berkeley, CA Occupy Cal protesters. Students and youths were beaten, one seriously. About 40 were arrested. Similar crackdowns are happening nationally. Thousands have been arrested.

On October 26, Oakland, CA police attacked nonviolent protesters with tear gas, flash grenades, beanbag shotguns, and rubber bullets. Officers also threatened use of unspecified "chemical agents."

Veterans Against War member Scott Olsen sustained a serious skull fracture when struck on the head by a tear gas canister. Children, elderly and disabled bystanders were affected. Police helicopters patrolled overhead.

America's violence roots are deep. Wars are glorified in the name of peace. Pacifism is considered sissy and unpatriotic. Among Western nations, its homicide rate is highest. Gun owning is considered an inalienable right.

Violent films, video games and sports are some of its most popular. With good reason, its society is called a "rape culture." Constitutionally guaranteed human rights, civil liberties, common dignity and personal safety are more illusion than fact.

"Indispensable state" credentials, exceptionalism, and moral superiority are manipulated false notions to force our ways on others globally.

Kids are weaned on violence. Television and films feature it. Before age 18, the average child watches 200,000 violent acts, including 16,000 murders. Moreover, studies show homicide rates doubled 10 - 15 years after television was introduced. What better way to teach how to kill, beat, brawl and abuse.

Some kids grow up to be cops. From pre-adolescence they've been conditioned to accept violence as normal. They're used to it when asked to quash dissent.

Americans' Free Expression Right to Dissent

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) advances and protects constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. It creatively uses law "as a positive force for social change."

In October 2011, it issued a report titled, "Restore. Protect. Expand: The Right to Dissent," saying:

US history is littered with repressive laws "at the expense of constitutional protections and civil liberties." The 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts restricted First Amendment freedoms.

So did 1919 anti-communist Palmer raids, the 1934 Special Committee on Un-American Activities, its House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) successor, secret FBI COINTELPRO crackdowns, the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the 2001 USA Patriot Act, and other post-9/11 measures.

These and other police state measures expanded government surveillance, eroded habeas rights, formalized military tribunals, permitted torture-extracted confessions, and sanctified violence in the name of national security.

As a result, nonviolent civil disobedience can be called terrorism. Patriot Act provisions criminalized dissent. Innocent people have been arrested, indicted and imprisoned for pursuing their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Using so-called "terrorist profiles," the FBI can investigate anyone for any reason. So can local police working cooperatively with them or alone.

Abrogating constitutional rights entirely may come next. Occupying America against financial terrorism and corporate greed can be criminalized. America's right to dissent is endangered.

Attacks on Nonviolent Protests

In 1999, attacking Seattle global justice protesters was a harbinger of things to come. Tens of thousands rallied for environmental, worker and other rights. Police did what they do best.

Tear gas and pepper spray saturated city streets. Hundreds of riot gear clad cops fired bean bag bullets, rubber bullets and paint balls at peaceful demonstrators. Others were beaten with batons and pepper sprayed. Hundreds were arrested. A state of emergency and curfew were imposed. Parts of Seattle looked like war zones.

In 2003, similar violence targeted Miami nonviolent protests against the Free Trade Act of the Americas (FTAA). Thousands of militarized police filled city streets. More than 40 law enforcement agencies were involved.

Streets were cleared lawlessly. Hundreds were arrested, including journalists and legal observers. Red squad police surveillance and infiltration were used. Congress provided funding.

CCR and others filed lawsuits. In Killmon v. City of Miami-Dade, et al a major settlement was reached. Nonetheless, the "Miami Model" and its Seattle predecessor became prototypes for future crackdowns like those ongoing now.

In today's America, anything can be criminalized, including protests for environmental and animal rights. CCR called the 2006 Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (ACTA) "unconstitutionally vague and overbroad in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments." It criminalized legal politically motivated actions.

"Green Scare" entered the vocabulary earlier. First used in 2002, it referred to legal and extralegal government actions against animal liberation and environmental activists.

The ghost of COINTELPRO returned, including intensive surveillance of political activists, false arrests, and police brutality. What the 1974 Senate Church Committee condemned, Patriot Act and other legislative measures restored.

In 2009, police cracked down hard against Pittsburgh G20 protesters. For two days, the city was on lockdown. Dozens of University of Pittsburgh students were arrested. Police used batons, pepper spray, beanbags, OC gas (similar to tear gas), sound cannons, and rubber bullets.

Ahead of the meeting, thousands of police and National Guard troops were marshaled. Requested permits were denied. Similar measures are employed against IMF and World Bank protesters, others for global justice, some against war, and when Republican and Democrat political conventions are held.

Each time, constitutional rights are denied. Police violence and other repressive measures are used. OWS demonstrators are now targeted and treated like criminals.

On November 13, Portland protesters were evicted. Despite supportive thousands on downtown streets, camp sites in two parks were forcefully cleared. In Salt Lake City, police used bulldozers against protesters. In Berkeley, police used truncheons against peaceful students trying to set up a camp.

Nationwide, thousands of arrests were made. Numbers mount daily. Tent cities are being cleared. Reasons used are bogus. Alleged health and safety issues are raised. So is talk about enforcing local ordinances.

At issue is police state thuggishness, beating up on people for Wall Street and other corporate favorites. Constitutional freedoms are denied. Popular protests globally are targeted.

"Total policing" met London students protesting tripled tuition fees and abolishing the weekly 30 pound low-income family allowance. Entire areas were blocked off. The city was on lockdown.

Section 60 of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act "gives police the right to search people in a defined area at a specific time (and) provides powers to require the removal of disguises at public order events."

Protesters trying to set up camp at St. Paul's Cathedral and Finsbury Square were arrested and dispersed. Erected digital screens told people they broke Section 12 of the 1986 Public Order Act. Some demonstrators were constrained, others attacked.

None of it's justified. In America and across Europe, constitutional provisions, criminal and international law provide effective tools against lawbreakers and potential threats. Why abuse the law when what's on the books works fine. However, nothing there warrants police crackdowns against lawful protests.

Millions across America, Europe, and the Middle East are fed up and want change. At issue is social injustice, political corruption, banker occupation (aka financial terrorism), and repressive blowback against popular opposition to austerity, inequality, and growing human need.

Feigning support, Obama and congressional allies sold out constituents for Wall Street and other monied interests. Unemployment, poverty, lost homes, and other social injustice issues drive protesters for change. Sustained struggle is the only way forward.

No matter what obstacles they face, there's no turning back now. There better not be to have any chance of succeeding.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News



Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM


FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM



PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

The Unification Church with Rev Moon is in La and Orange Counnties J07 9:07AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy