Sunday, September 23, 2012

Occupy's Special Kind of Violent Arrests

As you can see from this clip Occupy Faith was ready to help the protest on September 17th and our consistent message of civil disobedient--non violence--was the tone of the day, from the protesters' side.

If the story only stopped there. Since I was arrested early in the day I sat in central booking and watched as my sisters and brothers came in as the hours wore on. Many arrived in bad shape, more with curious stories of being taken into custody.


It had to do with an announcement to disperse which should precede the arrest. This often didn't happen, instead, cops would reach into the crowd and nab protesters at random. There's a crowd control technique at work here I'm sure. "Target one, cause confusion in the ranks of protesters, and they'll scatter." With the announcement before arrest version the protesters--now officially recognized as a group by that shout by cops--can solidify and be more problematic for the police.

Now, this is only my estimation but it appears to be the street tactic of the NYPD. Nobody will admit to it but it occurs often enough in Occupy arrests as to seem pretty obvious. I used to think a sketchy detainment was due to an overly zealous cop caught in the testosterone of the moment--but there's a pattern. Occupy protest behavior is based on sticking together. Individuals don't get arrested; friends do. As Lisa Fithian advises, "You always want someone to have your back." If you are in the NYPD facing this kind of crowd sociology you need something to disrupt its cellular structure. That's why many NY arrests of Occupy protesters become chase scenes as cops single out and run down individuals.

A logical option by the cops...too bad it violates the Bill of Rights.

1 comment:

  1. George, in my initial blog post on S17, I said the police and Mayor Bloomberg, those who violated the 1st Amendment rights of the protestors, should be arrested. What are the authorities so afraid of? Don't they read the "Newspaper of Record" which declared the protest a "fizzle"?