Over the last week or so, we’ve seen an effort to forcibly evict occupy protests around the country. These efforts reached their peak when NYC Mayor Bloomberg ordered police to forcibly evict the original occupiers at Zuccotti Park in NYC early this morning.
I feel saddened by the destruction of an incredible community. I feel disgusted by the police brutality demonstrated in these evictions (from Portland to Oakland to NYC). I feel enraged by further proof that the state, and by extension, the police, have the best interest of the wealthy and powerful in mind, rather than the majority of people.
I also feel that whatever happens to the physical spaces of the occupy movement, the effects of this incredible organizing will last. The state may own the sidewalks, the water we drink, and the spaces we occupy–but they do not own our thoughts or our ability to organize.
The news about the various movements is vast and difficult to stay abreast of, but here is a modest round-up of the news related to the evictions and attempted crackdowns.
On Sunday the Occupy Portland (Oregon) contingent was shut down, with more than 50 arrests.
On Monday, Oakland Police 300 strong shut down the Occupy Oakland encampment, arresting more than 30 people. A number of Oakland city officials resigned over the decision. Oakland Mayor Quan admitted that 18 cities collaborated in their crackdown against the Occupy contingents.
Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon talks about Mayor Bloomberg’s defense of the eviction and how it relates to First Amendment rights.
Indian activist and writer Arundhati Roy on Democracy Now: “What they are doing becomes so important because it is in the heart of empire, or what used to be empire,” Roy said. “And to criticize and to protest against the model that the rest of the world is aspiring to is a very important and a very serious business. So…it makes me very, very hopeful that after a long time you’re seeing some nascent political, real political anger here.”
From the Guardian:
The notion that law enforcement is there to protect a wealthy elite from the rest of the population is not news to those protesters from deprived and ethnic minority backgrounds, many of whom have been subject to intimidation in their communities for years, but for those from more privileged backgrounds, the first spurt of pepper spray to the face is an important education in the nature of the relationship between state and citizen in the west.
Add your links to Occupy related news in comments.