It’s one of those drizzly, autumnal days around here. Usually, just the kind of weather that would send a kitty indoors, to curl up on her humans’ laps, with her tail wrapped cozily around all fours, purring and not letting them get up. But since Ms. Manx is a cyberkitty, and in any case has no tail beyond a stub, she’s restless…and out prowling. And sure enough, she’s found some things for us:
Over at the UK Guardian, Ed Pilkington notes the disparity between what the First Amendment says and how the NYPD seems to be interpreting it. He finds it symptomatic of the brutality of US society in general. Ms. Manx notes that it goes much further and deeper than that; it’s a symptom of capitalism itself, and the UK had its own share of that recently. Remember how the London police brutally “kettled” teenagers during the protests against school fee hikes? Or how they gunned down an innocent Brazilian electrician by mistake for a terrorist railway bomber? Or how they killed a black man for who knows what reason, then cracked down hard on the protests that ensued, characterizing them as “riots” and “looting”? Ms. Manx wants us to understand just one thing: The real rioters are always the police, and the real looters are always those who send them out against the rest of the bottom 99% of humanity. And it’s not only in the US that it happens, it’s just there that it’s happening right now.
Speaking of what’s happening right now, the Stumpy Cat has found something VERY interesting at the selfsame Grauniad: the officer accused of macing or pepper-spraying a group of women (one of whom talks about it here) at the protests has a record of police brutality, and has also been named for it at a protest in 2004 against Dubya. The Manx cattily remarks that such things are typical. They ALWAYS send out the brutal ones when there’s a peaceful protest. They want to provoke violence, so that there will be a pretext for breaking up the protest altogether, or for mass arrests. It’s no more a coincidence than when the vicious prison guard, Charles Graner, was sent to Iraq to torture prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Someone made that decision, someone in the shadows at headquarters. It’s a good start that the brutes are named, but the Stumpy Cat says we need to go further, naming their commanders, both in uniform and out. Accountability has to go all the way to the top.
Meanwhile, Wonkette’s headline here says it all, albeit ironically. Everyone knows since the Beatles first sang about it that the real piggies are the ones in the starched white shirts. But the media have been instructed to ignore the little man behind the curtain, and the fact that the protesters aren’t “green-haired freakers”, as Greg Palast once called them, but just a motley assortment of nice normal folks of all ages from the 99%, isn’t sitting well with the media. Nice people behaving themselves makes for boring video, not to mention no pretext for kettling, head-busting, mass-arresting and protest-breaking. Not the message the corporate media want to be caught sending.
But maybe the media ARE waking up; MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell certainly has, and the Stumpie gives him two big paws up for that. She would also like to tell him to watch his back; the corporate honchos have the knives out. Remember Keith Olbermann?
All the same, it’s kind of shameful that they took ten whole days to get their butts in gear and REPORT this. Guess it helps that Michael Moore showed up, eh?
ADDENDA: While not directly linked to #OccupyWallStreet, a pilots’ strike also took place there today. Maybe they could join forces with the protesters? Some cops are already doing so, from what I hear.
And Susan Sarandon is in the house, so to speak. “I’m just here to be educated,” she says. By virtue of just showing up, she’s already shown herself to be smarter than a great many. The Stumpy Cat gives her a big two-paws-up as well.
Also, don’t miss Yes Magazine’s article on how it all got started, and why.