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  1.  (10239.1)
    Several of the Occupy camps in England are reporting getting raided and attacked by the EDL last night. This is from Facebook, and doesn't appear to be getting any news time, so I can give you confirmation as yet, but I'll keep looking.

    Tonight at around 7pm Bristol's second Occupation camp was trashed and I was threatened to have my face bit off, by a male whom I presume was a member of Bristol's EDL firm. I was handed a note by a middle aged woman reading “people of Bristol eviction notice get off our green”. It was obvious from early on who they were so I attempted to engage with them. Nevertheless, I was told they have launched a campaign against Occupy Bristol, this wasn't news to me as its been acknowledged by us for several weeks. Several Occupations around the country have had repeated problems with EDL members. However, ironically the harder the EDL try to defeat the Occupy Movement, the stronger we grow in numbers, power and support.

    If trashing a few tents and issuing threats of violence is supposed to scare us into going back home, they sadly don't know the resolve, determination and outrage we share as an international movement. I've been screwed by this system of injustice and corruption since I was a kid and so long as this body of mine draws breath, I can guarantee I’ll fight with every ounce of determination and faith I can muster to bring it to an end. We don't have enough people at the moment to defend the second camp so its been temporarily disbanded. However, the actions of those who visited me tonight have made me determined without question to do what ever it takes, to inspire, promote, strengthen and spread Occupy Bristol to every corner of this city and beyond. I may be a pacifist but I promise you this, I will have justice for both myself and my family regardless of your ineffectual threats and attempts at intimidation.

    Long live the Occupation.

    From "Occupy Bristol" Facebook page, 20/11/11
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2011
  2.  (10239.3)
    Regarding the UC Davis cop casually spraying mace in a sitting non-violent protester's face:

    I posted a comment on a gawker article, waiting to get off duty to confirm my posting.

    Hi. I'm a law enforcement officer. I've been working for the Federal Government for around 5 years. I worked for the state for around 2 years. I've also been a rent-a-cop in the past for a total of about 5 years as well. (Being a rent-a-cop so far has been the most dangerous of these professions)

    In that time that I've been in my profession, which usually comes down to telling people to do something they don't want to do, or telling people to stop doing something they want to be doing, of course I've had to be physical with people.

    Now, I've solved more situations by talking them out than by using force. A law enforcement officer has far more tools on their belt than weapons. Some of the tools we use are: common sense, staying calm when people are spitting or throwing bodily fluids at you, listening, eye contact, stuff like that.

    In the dozen or so years in this profession, I have never caused violence to someone when they were not being violent to me (or fellow officers), themselves, or others in the area. Never. Not once. I've definitely put handcuffs on someone that didn't want them on, I've used compliance holds on an unwilling participant, and I've held someone from attacking others. I've never punched or kicked someone in a professional setting unless it was life or death, never used pepper spray or any other "less-than-lethal" tool on anyone who wasn't being violent.

    Yes, some protesters have been protesting illegally, but the majority have been non-violent. The same cannot be said for the majority of the law enforcement community involved in these riot teams. I know the types of orders given to officers during riot maneuvers; they are usually the types of orders where officers act in masse, forming a strong line or barricade, to protect a person or place, or to move violent protestors out of an area.

    To use pepper spray at that close a distance, to unarmed and non-violent persons is a choice an officer makes. Legally, he may have been in the right. That says more about the laws we pass and the people we are than it says about whether the protestor was in the legal right or not. Regardless, as someone paid by the taxpayers to protect and serve, this officer made the wrong moral choice. I am sickened by this action, and by other actions I've been hearing about. A report of a pregnant woman beaten and pepper sprayed and ultimately suffering a miscarriage. These stories sicken me.

    Do you know what sickens me more? Someone defending reprehensible behavior. I'm on the police side of the blue line, and I disagree with the police's actions. The sick people defending these actions are on the victim's side of the line, defending the aggressor.

    I can aknowledge why an officer made the choice to do this. I can look into my experience and understand the pressures these officers are under, and know that they are being ordered to do things they don't like doing. I've been there. Enough that it's kept me up at night before. I fully understand what the officer is doing, and I am against it. Those of you that are not law enforcement and haven't done this job, and don't understand what it's like, what gives you the right to assume the man beating you is justified for beating you?
  3.  (10239.4)
    government spy:

    There's been talk about rent-a-cop brutality in Finland in the last couple of years, and some cases where they've been caught using excessive force by someone who's been filming what's been going on with a cellphone camera. When I've been discussing these cases and the job in general with people I know who work in the field, most of them echoed your sentiments in handling the situations. There are always young yahoos who start their work full of testosterone and ready to get physical with the problem cases. It's up to the more experienced guys to tell them, that yeah, they can do that, but before going down that route they may want to think of the fact that he'll probably be meeting the same guy at the same place next week, and the week after that, and the week after that... So, is it really wise to start and escalate...
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2011
    @Gov Spy, great comment, and I wished that the person responsible for the story below showed your kind of restraint.

    Pregnant Woman Blasted with Pepper Spray by SPD Says She Miscarried:

    "I was standing in the middle of the crowd when the police started moving in," she says. "I was screaming, 'I am pregnant, I am pregnant. Let me through. I am trying to get out.'" At that point, Fox continues, a Seattle police officer lifted his foot and it hit her in the stomach, and another officer pushed his bicycle into the crowd, again hitting Fox in the stomach. "Right before I turned, both cops lifted their pepper spray and sprayed me. My eyes puffed up and my eyes swelled shut," she says.
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2011
    The young man with the "THIS" sign is my friend Nick, recent transfer to UCD.

    Proud to be his friend. He has a very reserved, sensible nature about politics. He likes getting as much info as possible before believing something, much less taking action. Fuck you, UCD Campus Police.
  4.  (10239.7)
    If the girl who claimed the police kicked her and miscarried turns out to be a fraud, I will be very pissed.

    She also said she did not plan to pick up medical records at Harborview Medical Center that could document the miscarriage until after a planned memorial service Saturday, and she declined to sign a waiver allowing reporters to obtain the documents independently. She said the baby was a girl, to be named Miracle.

    "I have some stuff to do today," said Fox, who described herself as a homeless former foster child. "I have to get some stuff done."
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2011
    @gov spy, will have every right to be too.
  5.  (10239.9)
    You know, I understand that, perhaps in the protesters point of view, the very real and very terrible things that police are doing to the Occupy protests are being treated very lightly. So I can understand that some might feel that exaggeration is in order.

    Nathan Brown, a Davis faculty member who was on the scene, describes what happened
    Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

    I don't know wether I would prefer this to be true or to be an exaggeration. I would prefer that it would be so preposterous to think it even possible that this could happen in our country. I seriously hope no one just tacked this on because Lt. Pike's deplorable actions weren't bad enough.

    But if this is a falsehood, and pregnant girl turns out to be a fraud, then OWS takes a serious blow to what should be a tide-changing moment. Instead of more people being made aware of the injustices commited by who are supposed to be our law enforcement professionals, all they will (still) think of is lazy, lying liberals.

    Let the truth speak for itself. Don't make things worse.
  6.  (10239.10)
    84 year old woman activist pepper sprayed in Seattle, she has been through it all- WW2 in Germany, saying the same thing is happening here with the media?! That is scary.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2011
    By now, you might have read this piece by Naomi Wolf in the Guardian : "The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy"

    The picture darkened still further when Wonkette and reported that the Mayor of Oakland acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had participated in an 18-city mayor conference call advising mayors on "how to suppress" Occupy protests.

    To Europeans, the enormity of this breach may not be obvious at first. Our system of government prohibits the creation of a federalised police force, and forbids federal or militarised involvement in municipal peacekeeping.

    But I also found a debunking of that story :

    One of her key pieces of evidence is an unsupported and unverified report that 18 mayors coordinated their crackdowns with the Department of Homeland Security. There’s only one problem with that: It’s nothing more than innuendo. Here, let me show you.

    Here are the two links she provides as evidence: One to Wonkette; the other to Both articles point back to this absurd article on the site (a very, very right-wing Phil Anschutz, write-out-of-your-butt-with-no-evidence kind of site). Washingtonsblog goes one step further, updating with this:

    (And for those who are understandably doubtful about as a news source, here’s an AP story from a couple hours ago that verifies everything except the specific mention of DHS coordination.)

    Got that? The headlines on both of these stories (Wonkette and WashingtonsBlog) were splayed across the sites in very large heading fonts: “Homeland Security Coordinated….” and yet the AP confirms everything BUT DHS coordination. Still, that didn’t stop Wolf from ignoring the AP story entirely and writing a piece for the Guardian that included links to bolster her argument that clearly don’t.

    I'll leave both of these article here for your appreciation. Curious to hear your opinions.
  7.  (10239.12)
    The Washington post says OWS is over.

    ...the OWS movement supplied some comic relief, but they were never destined to survive the onset of inclement weather. Good riddance.
  8.  (10239.13)
    @magnusisasillyname - Another WP opinion article posted just minutes earlier (cited/linked directly in the article above) takes the opposite stance. As both writers are part of the same opinion column, my guess is the one that wrote the article you linked is the conservative, and the one that wrote the opposing article is a liberal. The answer is likely somewhere in the middle, but I suspect OWS is hardly dead. It's due to evolve into something more cohesive though, as it's starting to become more focused. Ironically, the very things being done to try and shutter the movement by law enforcement officials and city government are actually helping push the movement to become more focused.

    It will certainly be an interesting thing to watch, either way.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2011
    For some reason, declaring this 'over' reminds me of this classic Onion headline.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2011
    There's some evidence that the kicked-in-the-belly-miscarriage woman has some truthiness issues.

    For those unfamiliar, Crooks and Liars is a very liberal/liberally-biased news blog (think ThinkProgress and TPM if you follow Left-leaning US political news blogs) and have been very supportive of OWS in general. If they're reporting this then there's probably something fishy about the woman.
  9.  (10239.16)
  10.  (10239.17)
    I love that this movement is capable of poking fun at itself while still getting the message out. I feel like it's important, in the kind of cynical culture we have, to not take everything deadly seriously, even if the issues are literally deadly serious.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2011
    I'm still expecting there to be a reference to OWS in the new Grand Theft Auto game. It just strikes me as the sort of thing they'd do at Rockstar North.
  11.  (10239.19)
    As OWS is what some have called an open source protest, here is an API which offers possibilities for protest innovation.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2011
    The LA eviction hasn't even gotten a mention on the news over here.

    Admittedly, we have had a massive public sector workers strike today, and we're currently involved in some sort of diplomatic pissing match with Iran, so it's not surprising.

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