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A personal account of the eviction of Occupy the Midwest

“Hey, would you help me unfurl this banner?”

So I found myself holding a corner of a massive banner, the size of a billboard that read “Police State.” The moment that my friend asked me this question I knew that the attempt to hold the park had failed. What occurred thirty minutes prior – a group of 100 or so people successfully shouting back the police – would not occur again. Pigs amassed in force. Suddenly, the agreement the group had made before the 10pm curfew that no one would talk to the police was forgotten, and politicians from both sides of the situation began to negotiate… well, it was more of the same “Occupy Movement” attempt to convince a city official that we had a right to set up a camp. The ridiculous 1st amendment argument that some people think is a ticket to freedom… because freedom is apparently synonymous with “rights.”

As I stood there, confused about all the conversations I see occurring at the bottom of the hill, pissed off that people are talking with the cops and the mayor’s aid, the police began to multiply. The first group of pigs stood there, rubbing their batons, obviously fantasizing about avenging their earlier show of weakness. As their numbers continued to swell, it became clear that to prevent ourselves from being arrested in the context of civil disobedience, and to end this night with some measure of power, we had to move. With spontaneity, a march was called, this billboard banner leading the way. As we began to walk south, blocking both lanes of traffic due to the size of the sign, the cops stopped their conversations and conceivably received some kind of vague order. They were pissed. They were disorganized.

I found myself on the west side of the street, closest to the sidewalk with my good friend Ryan on my left. The banner was approximately my height, so the fact that I couldn’t see anything except Ryan and the cars parked to my right made me extremely anxious. Less than 20 seconds went by since we crossed into the road and suddenly, I hear screams of “get on the sidewalk!” and “holy shit, holy shit!” I freeze in confusion and Ryan grabs me and pulls me on to the sidewalk. Several feet in front of me I see another protester… already the cops had picked off their first victim. Half of his body was on the sidewalk, the other half in the street, three cops incapacitate him with their knees. After a moment, I realize that this person happens to be a close friend, and I grab Ryan as we yell “let him go!” and “fuck you!” at the cops. To my right I see another friend get chocked by an officer with a baton and taken to the ground, without any provocation or warning. In an instant, this person went from standing in silent shock, to being kicked in the face, as he lies impotent on the concrete. I stand overwhelmed between two of my friends while I watch their identities be stolen by thugs and turned in to defenseless, nameless bodies.

But I yell, and I do what I can to let my friends know that at the very least, we’re all bearing witness to this attack. For a moment I lose track of Ryan as I see pigs lunge after any bystander within their reach, some run away, some get caught. I step back towards a side street to prevent my own arrest – the cops grope for any body they can get their fist around or bring their baton down on; with this kind of disorganized chaos everyone was at risk for their brutality. A moment passes, and I see Ryan bolt down this dimly lit side street chased by 3 to 4 pigs. It was the first time I watched someone run for their fucking life with the fear that if they got caught, they might not make it out. I find myself screaming “RUN RYAN!” But I stand, immobilized. A second passes, another friend also named Ryan (to prevent confusion this person will be referred to as Ry), sprints around the corner and down the street. I instantly realize he is running to ensure that Ryan is not isolated by the cops. I begin to comprehend the gravity of the situation: that two people I deeply love are being chased down a dark street by 6 to 8 cops… and my feet move in their direction, just a little… and then I am struck with the disabling realization that more pigs await behind me. What good am I in this situation? How does my certain beating help my friends? Some white shirt runs a few feet down the street and commands “come back, don’t chase them!” No response.

I glance to my right, I hear a friend shouting, demanding that the pigs who are arresting him explain what he has done wrong. They provide no answer. They read him no rights. They simply take him. Another comrade standing near as this is occurring, letting the pigs know what he thinks of them, gets chosen to go down… he manages to out run the fat fuck.

Another moment has passed. I see strange faces with wide eyes all around me. I feel that I am standing in the center of 360 degrees of tumult. I have not moved. I look back down the shadowy street. Ryan is now on the sidewalk. His face smashed against the concrete. There are at least two pieces of shit taking out their dissatisfaction with their lives on his face and body. He is beaten with feet. He is beaten with an archaic bludgeon they euphemistically call a baton – as though they spin and twirl them on their nights off. I am so scared. I am so fucking scared. I think of his little daughter. This beautiful, little person who doesn’t deserve to have to experience the misery and violence of life so early. They pick him up. The very people who chased him down a street, beat him, now have the power to take away all of his defenses and determine his fate. As he is walked up the street, I see his face covered in something and I pray to a god I don’t believe in that it is dirt. I know it is not dirt, but all I can do is hope that what I just saw didn’t actually happen. His stare is blank. He looked so confused. I was the first person he saw but I don’t think he actually saw me. I asked him, “did they hurt you?” Of course I fucking knew they hurt him, but I just wanted to hear his voice and let him know that this person on the sidewalk gives a shit. His voice quivered, “yes.” One of the pigs is repeatedly yelling, “I fucking showed you respect.”

I watch him be lead up the street and a friend comes out from the shadows and follows behind the three. The same cop who just declared himself such a respectful individual lunges at her, puffs up his chest and shouts “don’t you walk behind me, woman.” She backs up and I start following behind her, up to the main street that only minutes earlier we attempted to march down. As Ryan is being escorted through the crowd, people chant “shame.” And the white shirts start to disperse the crowds.

I find some friends, and we are all in shock. I somehow didn’t see Ry get escorted up the street. I knew what he did, but I can’t imagine how he did it. I don’t have words to describe the feelings I have when I think about him running to help Ryan. I have never seen such love for another person. I have never seen something so full of life. I will never forget what he did that night. I learn that he was also brutally beaten by the pigs. We all know our friends are fucked. They tried to hold on to their autonomy and that is what would most condemn them… later we learned that they were being charged with absurd crimes. How else would the state justify the violence of their paid enforcers?

For those that have never witnessed police violence, I want to make something clear. Nothing about this situation followed the prescription of an arrest – this media image of a “You are under arrest. You have the right…” is not what happens in real life. A friend said it best, what happened Thursday night was some gangsta shit. It was angry, vicious people jumping unarmed protesters and bystanders. It was an attack. It was intentional brutality. They did not follow any procedure of kettling, “less lethal” tactics, etc. Their actions were directly targeting individuals and beating the shit out of them. It was so fucked up.

The rhetoric of violence vs. non-violence is utterly irrelevant and insulting. My friends disappeared for 24 hours. Some strangers, who were weaponized and free from scrutiny, were deciding what was to be done with them. Pigs and judges have been given the power to determine the course of their lives. There is no such thing as non-violence. There is no such thing as safety. These ideas are complete illusions, and one can only hold on to them as long as one has the privilege to avoid the violence that maintains society. As we participate and live our lives, all we are doing is avoiding repression.

I am traumatized. I am having flashbacks, and the more I try to make the motions of my mundane life the more vivid they become. Work, school, friendly conversations all seem completely devoid of meaning. All I can do is tell the story of my experience and force the people I surround myself with to question the society we participate in. I am so fucking angry.

Discussion

51 thoughts on “A personal account of the eviction of Occupy the Midwest

  1. Solidarity from Denver. It’s stories like these that continually remind me that it’s not a problem of a few bad apples: it’s the whole damn barrel. Looking forward to being back in St. Louis for what will hopefully be a summer of action.

    Posted by Connor | March 19, 2012, 8:10 pm
    • here in canada they just like to kettle people .. like in toronto

      i think a laughfest a festival of disguised people on the 18th would throw a f..k into the system

      imagine all the security guards running around in clown masks

      or the military types in drag or boy scouts like zombies or crack dealers on skateboards

      check out ottawa ontario for pretentious zealots and nowhere people

      hell give the people what they want

      consuming everything and giving back pollution

      up against the wall motherfucker

      Posted by Anonymous | March 27, 2012, 1:27 pm
    • This is far far worse than anything I saw in the 1960′s (and I was there) or during the civil rights movement (ditto). I fear it is only a matter of time until someone in the crowd has had enough and brings a shotgun to the police mace and taser party. Then things will get beyond ugly.

      Maybe we need to do away with police altogether, since the police forces lately seem to attract the very worst sort of bullies and sadists. Maybe we need to replace these mohawked, burr-headed marine wannabees with something like the Burning Man Rangers, and then call in the swat goonsquad if things do get violent, otherwise keeping them locked in a basement somewhere jerking off to rambo movies and cop shows.

      Or maybe we just need to sit them all down and make them read Robert Peel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_Principles)

      One thing is certain: I know of no one who still trusts police in any matter, who trusts them to be fair, honest, or even human. This has to change.

      Posted by stevazeno | April 8, 2012, 12:23 pm
    • I thought this needed posting:

      Peelian Principles
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      The Peelian principles describe the philosophy that Robert Peel developed to define an ethical police force. The principles traditionally ascribed to Peel state that:

      Every police officer should be issued a identification number, to assure accountability for his actions.
      Whether the police are effective is not measured on the number of arrests, but on the lack of crime.
      Above all else, an effective authority figure knows trust and accountability are paramount. Hence, Peel’s most often quoted principle: The police are the public and the public are the police.
      However, it has been suggested that Peel’s list of principles was more likely authored by twentieth century policing scholars than by Peel himself; although Peel discussed the spirit of some of these principles in his speeches and other communications, researchers Lentz and Chaires found no proof that he ever actually compiled a formal list.

      Principles of policing

      The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
      The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.
      Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
      The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
      Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
      Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
      Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
      Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
      The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

      Posted by stevazeno | April 8, 2012, 12:32 pm
  2. This brought tears to my eyes.
    I love y’all.

    Posted by T | March 19, 2012, 9:04 pm
  3. Keep your head up, your fighting the good fight.

    Posted by Chris Hensley | March 19, 2012, 10:13 pm
  4. This was a beautifully written account of some ugly reality. You have every right to be angry. You have every reason to be traumatized. Thats exactly what their goal is, to frighten us into obedience. The problem is when the anger gives way to acceptance. We need to stay angry and keep telling our stories and keep standing up for ourselves and our friends.

    Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2012, 12:43 am
  5. <3
    from the northwest

    Posted by a | March 20, 2012, 1:25 am
  6. You show very little class in calling police pigs. If they were wrong then they should be in trouble but if you were wrong then you got what you dis serve. I think the next time you are robbed or you get your ca r or house broken into or heaven forbid one of your family gets murdered then dont call the people you have disrespected call a real pig and maybe the squealing from it will dround out your crying.

    Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2012, 7:19 am
    • Your comments are very small minded. And don’t worry, I won’t call on a pig, I will defend myself just fine with my right to bear arms. Get a clue before you lose your liberty, if you haven’t already.

      Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2012, 8:05 am
    • we’re not all such fucking cowards like you are. I’d never ask the same people who beat up and lock up my friends for help. If you would it’s because you are a coward with no dignity. fuck you.

      Posted by grrr | March 20, 2012, 11:37 am
    • I would rather not use negative name calling either, & i have indeed responded to an arrest by going limp to the ground with an outcome that include handcuffs tight beyond belief & a trip to a jail. Please choose respectful language in person if you can muster it. Peace is possible.

      Posted by Patricia Berg | March 20, 2012, 3:50 pm
      • Peace is NOT possible. When has there ever been peace? The fact that the police (and therefore, the State & Capital) exist is an affront to the very nature and existence of peace.

        For too long, pacifists and other yellow-bellied liberals/reformists have co-opted, recuperated and held back resistance movements here in North Amerika. It’s time to let our rage wash away this scum that is class society once and for all. If you want peace, prepare for war.

        Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2012, 10:41 pm
    • Fuck you. You’re probably a cop.

      Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2012, 10:44 pm
      • and whoever commented before me is right. people get so particular about language.
        love a cop: punch him in the face.

        Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2012, 10:47 pm
      • Oh such a sad state of affairs, anarchists are called cops for speaking openly about the class/social war that unfolds in front of everyone’s eyes on a daily basis. How dare I challenge the entrenched dogmas of liberalism that say we must bow down to the cops while they beat and arrest us?! How dare I challenge the mentality that there can be peaceful co-exististence with the dogs of the bosses?!
        Just as long we can hold on to the moral highground that is non-violence/pacifism, right? This is the problem with the Left – they have a long tradition of losing and seem to revel in it.

        If challenging the State’s monopoly on violence, or hell even calling for people to defend themselves against the police, is grounds to be called a cop/agent-provocateur, it just goes to show how defeated some people are in their hearts and minds. As if ordinary people are incapable of trying to take their lives back, to have some agency… that we may break this spell and fight for ourselves.

        No, I say fuck you. Because when you said “Another world is possible” you were just lying. Going through the motions. Like fucking COPS in comrades’ clothing.

        Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2012, 11:14 pm
    • Pig is the traditional thing to call a violent corrupt police person who is acting like a thug or gangster. If they act like pigs, call ‘em pigs.

      I just hope some day some honorable force whether it be marines or army will actually protect us in an incident like this.

      Posted by anonymous | March 23, 2012, 2:30 pm
  7. fuck the pigs, so hard

    Posted by fritos | March 20, 2012, 10:06 am
  8. solidarity and love to you and your comrades. death to the pigs.

    Posted by grrr | March 20, 2012, 11:38 am
  9. Welcome to the class war. I don’t mean that as a sarcastic thing. I mean it literally.
    The account reads like you just had that moment of clarity, same as me.
    The first time I saw my friends and allies getting beaten for no reason.

    There’s no going back from it.

    Posted by Jer | March 20, 2012, 2:23 pm
  10. acab

    Posted by angryanarchist | March 20, 2012, 4:45 pm
  11. Thank you for the gift of a first person perspective on that night’s events. What the police should be allowed to do and what they are actually able to do, I learned long ago as an 18-wheeler truckdriver cross country. I learned that it is not successful to argue with the one who holds the gun. Police by their nature are simply another manifestation with a different surface appearance than the most dangerous people they are tasked with dealing with. These officers are trained killers and they are always in a state of high tension and liable to do almost anything. Anyone facing them is not to be blamed with having such an awareness. My heart is so sad that our civilization is this way. May the change come soon and may it be a cool one and not too hot. In solidarity.

    Posted by debyemm | March 21, 2012, 8:01 am
  12. I have no issue with the “pigs” calling that’s slang, but the apparent “fat phobia” when you called an officer a “fat fuck” wasn’t appreciated at all. Fatness is rewarded with violence and bullying everyday so ironically you’re perpetuating violence while talking about police brutality. But besides that, which was hard to dismiss, this did touch me. As someone involved in occupy, and was in st louis shortly before winter, I feel this movement wear on my body hearing about police brutality. Stay strong!

    Posted by Aeron | March 21, 2012, 5:21 pm
    • totally valid critique. this language was used to reference the stereotypical lazy, doughnut eating cop… who also happens to be trained and paid to chase people down. it would have been just as poignant if “fat” was left out. while it was not intended to mock anything beyond this vision of a cop, your point is well taken and i apologize.

      Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2012, 1:33 am
  13. Tell me we can have peace or coexist with pigs after you’ve seen your friends beaten to a pulp and recieve a baton to the throat for observing it silently on the sidewalk. Tell me about it after they’ve done irreversible damage to your jaw by kicking you as you lie on the ground handcuffed.
    Fuck you and fuck pigs.

    Posted by BYFC | March 21, 2012, 5:35 pm
  14. Solidarity from Illinois. I am so angry and upset after reading this– I can’t imagine what it was like to have experienced this first hand. Keep fighting the good fight; you are an inspiration to us all.

    Posted by irrelevant | March 22, 2012, 11:18 am
  15. You sounds like a bunch of twelve year olds. I’d prefer if you didn’t bring this nonesense into MY neighborhood. The place where I live and not only depend on the police and local officials to make it a decent place, but work in cooperation with them do so. It sounds to me like the group went there looking for a fight with the police, and a fight they got.

    What exactly were you there protesting? What exactly were you marching for or against? Although our system is far from perfect, it is certainly better than the anarchy the occupy movement seems to love.

    Some of us are doing our best to make the best the lives for ourselves. Working hard, living decent lives, and even trying to make the world a better place. This isn’t class warfare. This is an attack against the police. Do you even live in the city? Do you live in the 3rd district? No? WELL I FUCKING DO. Why don’t you go start fights with the police in your own freakin’ neighborhood and stay the fuck out of mine.

    Seriously. I was 15 years when I was at the Guns n’ Roses riot at the ampitheater. I saw many of the things you saw but never did I once blame the police, security, Axel Rose, or anyone else. It was chaos, pure and simple. A situation that got out of hand.

    I work with juvenile delinquents and as I tell them, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know what can happen if you don’t follow the directions of a police officer. I have no sympathy for you. The occupy movement wants to go around and cause problems and start trouble and then want no consequences for it.

    Posted by Anonymous | March 22, 2012, 6:03 pm
    • you’re not going to get a lot of sympathy on this blog.

      you don’t own the neighborhood, you fuck

      Posted by whatevs | March 22, 2012, 7:41 pm
    • You’re a fucking idiot if you think none of the people involved thursday live in that neighborhood, and you live in a bubble if you think everyone who lives near south grands likes and works with “police and local officials.” I can only imagine how you’d respond if the police (all unarmed) were having an event in a park, and then me and 40-70 or my friends showed up with clubs, guns, tazers and pepper spray, told them to leave and when they did we beat the shit out of them.

      You see through the eyes of a pig and you have a corpse in your mouth.

      Posted by Anonymous | March 22, 2012, 9:30 pm
      • The majority of the people I know who are against the police and are against working to make the neighborhood a better place are criminals. The police are not the 1% and the 1% certainly does not care about the occupy movement or their little protests. If you think you are bringing about any kind of good in the world, you are truly delusional.

        Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2012, 11:38 am
    • How the fuck are you trying to make the world a better place when you’re defending cops who senselessly brutalize people?

      Posted by Fuck You | March 23, 2012, 12:42 pm
    • As a resident of Maryland Heights, I would ask that you work on your critical thinking skills before you come into my neighborhood this summer to see Kiss & Motley Crue at the ampitheater. We are hard working people who don’t take kindly to those who would make extremely inapt comparisons between the G ‘n’ R riot and the events of Thursday evening. We try to keep our neighborhood nice by not going on diatribes that are based on misinformation and misplaced resentment. Thanks.

      Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2012, 1:32 pm
  16. welcome to the jungle baby!

    Posted by fukacop | March 22, 2012, 6:53 pm
  17. i hear theyre up for a reunion tour no? time for some real anarchy!

    Posted by fukacop | March 22, 2012, 6:55 pm
  18. by the way, THIS IS CLASS WARFARE

    Posted by (A) | March 23, 2012, 12:45 pm
  19. March in the streets blocking traffic, taunting the police dept, ignoring the quality of life of the local residents and as is shown on this blog engaging in actions meant to disrupt life in Whatever location you decide to “OCCUPY”. So you come looking for a confrontation break the law by marching in the street and then cry brutality when you get the exact reaction that you were trying to get. This alleged movement has rotted away into what is seen by most of the regular folks in this country as a bunch of spoiled college kids acting like they know what is really important in the world with some older uber liberals sprinkled in to give a sense of perceived credibility. Nobody exept your fellow protesters are impressed with the black bloc tactics, they won’t make a difference to anything and the protests held more or less just to protest something so you can feel like revolutionary martyrs are seen as just that. It started as a noble effort exposing unfair business practices keeping the masses enslaved, but sadly turned into a cliche anti government anti “pig” movement that has marginalized itself, put down the bongo drums and talking sticks, and try to reach someone besides each other with your attempt at hardcore rhetoric.

    Posted by jonny red | March 23, 2012, 11:00 pm
    • I couldn’t agree more. This is exactly the problem I have with this movement. The movement has no creditability. All accounts of the events on that Thursday evening can simply be reduced to your word against theirs. The general public has no way of determining the facts of exactly what happened that evening. My impression from reading this blog is that the movement is essentially organizing and operating an insurgency. An insurgency can only be successful when it has the backing and support of the general public. The stated goals of tearing down the existing system will naturally put you in disagreement with most people. We need proof to give the movement credibility. Where is the video of the events on that night. In my opinion, you should designate several members of your movement to video your interactions with the police. Then you will have proof if the police are truly engaging in unprovoked violence. The lack of this evidence leads me to believe that there is more to the story than is being told. If you have video of the police attacking individuals without provocation the public will support you, your movement will be credible and the police will have a serious problem on their hands. Until you can produce such proof the public, myself included, will look upon you with suspicion.

      Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2012, 8:08 am
      • “pics or didn’t happen!”

        another fucker who thinks they have all the answers, chiming on and on about what the “public” thinks as if they’re are in contact with every single person. you’re really nothing special, another hack standing on the sidelines giving pointers.

        what’s frustrating about this comment is that it reeks of someone who is just sitting on their ass and basically saying that the blood on my friend’s faces were provoked or really just didn’t happen.. and then they are making suggestions that they clearly are not going to do themselves. they are acting as if they are some authority on the matter.

        you’re really so fucking stupid to believe the story of the cops–the folks who lock people up, give them ridiculous charges–over the people who’s faces are scarred. it’s horrifying that some are so prone to side with the very folks who oppress others. are you next going to deny that treyvon martin wasn’t murdered in cold blood because there is no video of it? or because he wore a hoodie and looked suspicious to the “normal public?” you fucking idiot.

        im tired of living in a world where people are so fickle that they can only believe a story if the media, the cops or the politicians say it’s true. it forgets the power dynamics that are quite unfair, namely the power cops, media, etc have to appear legitimate, while we don’t any of that.

        Posted by whatevs | March 24, 2012, 6:36 pm
  20. The fact that the previous posters are willing to take pig accounts of what happened thur. night at face value,
    is a marker of their own individual mindset( “your word against theirs” ) but as usual these liberals then claim to represent everyone. I have to ask why is it so hard to state that your perceptions are merely your own and not claim the mantle of the public as a kind of divine sanction for your ideas?

    Posted by Lin Biao | March 24, 2012, 11:48 am
    • Kind of funny….like calling yourself the 99%…so you don’t claim to represent everyone..just 99% of everyone. The sooner you grow up and stop making it about the cops, the better off you will be in getting your real message out there. If you have s message besides Fuck the cops. You need to be taken seriously in order for people to be open minded to the cause, it is hard for the average citizen to take you seriously, this spring you have been preaching to the already converted and like it or not you have become a sideshow to ne snickered at on the 6 oclock news. I cut my teeth in this arena many years ago, so to be dismissed as hack is funny to me, and the folks who know who I am, and the things I have done, but I know its not about Mr, its about the message. Can you say the same? Stop being laughed at and disregarded by those you need to reach.

      Posted by jonny red | March 27, 2012, 5:00 pm
      • the message in itself of this fucking movement isn’t ‘fuck the cops’. the message is ‘fuck the cops’ BECAUSE THE COPS FUCKED PEOPLE UP, you ratchet drove ass dense motherfucker.

        Posted by (A) | April 1, 2012, 1:37 am
  21. YES SIR !

    Posted by society is fine | March 27, 2012, 11:54 pm
  22. Once again the liberal vox of the masses checks in with the accumulated wisdom of decades of expert leadership. Please wise-father do not leave us adrift without the benefit of your sure insight into the workings of the mass mind.

    Posted by Lin Biao | March 28, 2012, 6:33 pm
  23. god, spineless liberals are so fucking annoying

    Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2012, 1:39 am
  24. i wanna eat a spineless liberal. after reading this wonderful, detailed account of a horrible evening, how can you side with the kkkops & act like yer helping someone by bossing them around? who were you even talking to, some masked people you think you don’t know? yer fucked up, liberals. people got really hurt that night. like forever.
    no justice. no peace. fuck the police.

    Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012, 9:32 am
    • response to the person who wrote: “The majority of the people I know who are against the police and are against working to make the neighborhood a better place are criminals.”

      my perception is that those responding to this story with criticism and who then go on to defend the cops come from a place of relative privilege in our society and do not know what it is like to be targeted by and harassed by the police. our justice system in this country is broken; it has always been. the most fundamental use of the police is to protect the rich from the poor.

      In a hierarchical society, whom do police protect? Who has more to fear from crime, and who has more to fear from police? In some communities, the police are like an occupying force; police and crime form the interlocking jaws of a trap that prevents people from escaping oppressive situations or rescuing their communities from violence, poverty, and fragmentation.

      Historically, police did not develop out of a social necessity to protect people from rising crime. In the United States, modern police forces arose at a time when crime was already diminishing. Rather, the institution of police emerged as a means to give the ruling class greater control over the population and expand the state’s monopoly on the resolution of social conflict. This was not a response to crime or an attempt to solve it; on the contrary, it coincided with the creation of new forms of crime. At the same time police forces were being expanded and modernized, the ruling class began to criminalize predominantly lower class behaviors that had previously been acceptable such as vagrancy, gambling, and public drunkenness.[70] Those in authority define “criminal activity” according to their own needs, then present their definitions as neutral and timeless. For example, many more people may be killed by pollution and work-related accidents than by drugs, but drug dealers are branded a threat to society, not factory owners. And even when factory owners break the law in a way that kills people, they are not sent to prison. (last 2 paragraphs quote from peter gelderloos’ book anarchy works)

      Posted by Anonymous | April 10, 2012, 10:04 pm
  25. Sorry I didn’t see this until now…I was there too. I was standing behind you as you held the banner. When some of the protesters were inciting the police I held up the ‘block’ sign because I did not agree with what the protesters were saying (keep in mind I had never seen police brutality before). So I appoached them, the protesters, and told them that I did not agree with them. One girl told me that they had a right to say what they were saying, and I couldn’t disagree with their right to free speech so I walked away…later we saw that the main crowd was leaving so my friend and I went to pack up his tent. We went to join the crowd. Then a girl called to us saying she needed help with her tent. We went back to help her. As we returned to the sidewalk the police whizzed by us and ‘attacked’ the protesters. Everyone that I could see was walking across the street within the confines of the sidewalk until the police charged after them. That spooked the protesters and then some of them ran ‘catty-corner’ across the street and the police followed THEM. Honestly it was a little comical seeing people holding their tents in the air preparing to march down the street. lol What wasn’t comical was seeing these tents and people being trampled as they ran for the sidewalk. My friend was streaming the whole pursuit(not sure if it was being blocked tho. I’ll have to ask him)…I didn’t see much after that other than the police emerging with batons and bats and arresting people.

    One other thing I wanted to say is that I want to defend the term ‘pig’ as it is used here. THESE police officers really were acting like Swine! They recklessly abused an already-tarnished profession. Real police officers are supposed to protect and serve EVERYONE!!(and a few still do)..not just the corporatists!! Unfortunately they are becoming an endangered species now.

    Posted by hecatesps | April 13, 2012, 3:40 pm

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General Occupy STL Links

Thoughtful Perspectives on other North American #Occupy Movements

Albany, NY: Ben Brucato
Atlanta: ATL IMC / Little Advances
Baltimore: bmorewomentrans
Bloomington, IN: Rififi
Boston: Boston Indymedia
Carbondale: Occupy SIUC
Chicago: selfactivity
Chapel Hill: triANARCHY
Davis, CA: Bicycle Barricade
Denver: Ignite!
Detroit: Third Coast Conspiracy
Gulf Coast: The Raging Pelican
Iowa City: Smooth Spaces
Los Angeles: UnpermittedLA
Miami: Autonomy & Solidarity
New York City: Malcolm Harris
Oakland: Bay of Rage / Hyphy
Philadelphia: radoccupyphilly
Phoenix: Fires never extinguished
Portland, OR: Grey Coast @ News
Richmond, VA: The Wingnut
Seattle: Puget Sound Anarchists
St. Louis: STL FTP
Toronto: ...To the Roots of Capital
Vancouver: Van. Media Co-op
Washington DC: BroadSnark

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