The cop group coordinating the Occupy crackdowns

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A national group with ties to Homeland Security helped paln the Occupy Oakland busts

As cities across America evict encampments of the Occupy Wall Street movement, similarities of timing, talking points and tactics among major metropolitan mayors and police chiefs have led critics to wonder: Is some sort of national coordination going on?

The White House says there’s no federal oversight. Speaking November 15 aboard Air Force One, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said “The president’s position is that obviously every municipality has to make its own decisions about how to handle these issues.”

But a little-known but influential private membership based organization has placed itself at the center of advising and coordinating the crackdown on the encampments. The Police Executive Research Forum, an international non-governmental organization with ties to law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been coordinating conference calls with major metropolitan mayors and police chiefs to advise them on policing matters and discuss response to the Occupy movement. The group has distributed a recently published guide on policing political events.

Speaking to Democracy Now! On November 17, PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler acknowledged PERF's coordination of a series of conference-call strategy sessions with big-city police chiefs. These calls were distinct from the widely reported national conference calls of major metropolitan mayors.

The coordination of political crackdowns on the Occupy movement has been conducted behind closed doors, with city officials and PERF refusing to say how many cities participated in the conference calls and the exact nature of the discussions. Reports of at least a dozen cities and some indication of as many as 40 accepting PERF advice and/or strategic documents include San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Portland, Oakland, Atlanta, and Washington DC.

The San Francisco Police Department and Mayor Ed Lee's office did not returned the Guardian's request for comment about the PERF calls by press time. However, Oakland interim Police Chief Howard Jordan was quoted by the Associated Press confirming Oakland and San Francisco police involvement in the strategy sessions.

PERF coordinated a November 10 conference call with city police chiefs across the country – and many of these cities undertook crackdowns shortly afterward.

"We know that there were influential conference calls of private groups that include police chiefs who played key roles in repressing the anti-globalization movement, in order to stage rolling attacks on occupations across the country,” said Baruca Peller, an organizer for Occupy Oakland. “In less than a week an unprecedented number of protesters have been brutalized and arrested, and in many cities such as Oakland these evictions were pushed for by the local one-percent.”

“Occupy Oakland is calling for a national day of re-occupation on Saturday, to let them know that if they can take a national offensive against us, we can take a national offensive in response and we will re-take these public spaces and what is already ours."

According to PERF's website, general membership in the group is exclusive to “the executive head of a municipal, county or state-funded agency that provides general police services. The agency must have at least 100 full-time employees, or serve a population of 50,000 or more people.”

PERF’s current and former directors read as a who's who of police chiefs involved in crackdowns on anti-globalization and political convention protesters resulting in thousands of arrests, hundreds of injuries, and millions of dollars paid out in police brutality and wrongful arrest lawsuits.

These current and former U.S. police chiefs -- along with top ranking police union officials and representatives from Canadian and British police -- have been marketing to municipal police forces and politicians their joint experiences as specialists on policing mass demonstrations.

Chairing PERF's board of directors is Philadelphia Police Commissioner and former Washington D.C. Metro Police Chief Charles Ramsey, who was responsible for coordinating the police response to protests against international banking institutions including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Those protests, and Ramsey's response to massive anti-war demonstrations in Washington DC in the lead up the the Iraq War, often resulted in preemptive mass arrest of participants that were later deemed to be unconstitutional.

Ramsey's predecessor as organization chair is former Philadelphia Police Commissioner and former Miami Police Chief  John Timoney, who is responsible for the so called “Miami Model,” coined after the police crackdown on the 2003 Free Trade Agreement of the Americas protest.
The police response to protesters in Miami lead to hundreds of injuries to protesters. The ACLU won multiple suits against the Miami P.D. over abuse to protesters and free speech concerns.

Prior to the 2003 protest, Timoney was quoted as saying that the FTAA was “the first big event for homeland security … the first real realistic run-through to see how it would work.”

Timoney arrived in Miami with plenty of baggage. At the 2000 Republican National Convention, Timoney coordinated a crackdown that resulted in more than 420 arrests with only 13 convictions, none of which resulted in jail time. As in Miami, there was well documented abuse of some of the people arrested.

Also among PERF's directors is Minneapolis police chief Tim Dolan, who was responsible for the crackdown on protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention. That event also resulted in lawsuits, protester injuries and an outcry from the national press about police brutality and the preemptive nature of the police action.

PERF is more than a mere policy group. Wexler has personally represented PERF at major political events, in face-to-face dialog with police tactical commanders and leadership. That was the case at the 2008 Republican National Convention, where Wexler and Minneapolis Police Chief Dolan coordinated what is widely regarded as one of the most aggressive political crackdowns in recent American history.

Wexler spent the afternoon of October 14 observing Occupy Philadelphia with Philadelphia police commissioner Ramsey.
Speaking to the Philadelphia Tribune, Ramsey said: “They wanted to see what the Occupy protesters were doing here in Philadelphia. As we walked through their encampment, almost immediately they were texting other groups around the country – it was happening while we were there and that was very, very interesting. It’s instant communication, and it’s worldwide. We have to become more adept at using the technology. Our police department has its own active Facebook page as a way of reaching out to the community.”

“Had a great one-day conference in Philly about social media – very pertinent these days with the occupy protests ...” Wexler stated from his twitter account.

As the occupation movement grew, PERF began circulating a publication titled Managing Major Events: Best Practices from the Field. The manual – a copy of which we downloaded -- amounts to a how-to guide for policing political events, and gives special attention to policing “Anarchists” and “Eco Terrrorists” at political events.

The guide encourages the use of undercover officers and snatch squads to “grab the bad guys and remove them from the crowd.” It urges local law enforcement to use social media to map the Occupy movement.

An earlier PERF guide Police Management of Mass Demonstrations advocates the use of embedded media to control police messages, the use of undercover cops to infiltrate protest groups, the use and pitfalls of preemptive mass arrest, an examination of the use of less-than-lethal crowd control weapons, and general discussion weighing the use of force in crowd control.

Comments

(even though I believe Obama that he's not orchestrating it).

Oakland's original pre-emptive action exposed them because other cities were initially tolerant of these camps.

But now the reality is sinking in that these camps cannot be allowed to continue and, by co-ordinating the effort and tactics, no own city is exposed.

This story sounds like merely stating the obvious. Mayors routinely talk to each other and have meetings etc. It would be a much bigger news story if they weren't co-ordinating!!

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 18, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

where did major municipalities get the extra funds to buy all the weapons for use agains unarmed civilians? The dept of homeland security. Thats why these douments are calling the protestors terrorists. It makes it easier for them to justify the use of funds. We knew the war on terror would eventually come home.

Posted by krissy on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 6:53 am

Ever been to a municipal courtroom on a weekend to pay a traffic fine? They've got money coming in the wazoo. Next time you have a measure to pass "emergency service" funding vote NO.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 22, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

PERF might be familiar to some readers as one of the leading mouthpieces for TASER International, having produced shoddy federally-funded research promoting Taser use. There hasn't been nearly enough investigation into the funding for PERF, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if you found TASER International hiding under that rock.

Posted by pdquick on Nov. 18, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

Dear Seattle Mayor McGinn,

Did you see were the retired Police Chief of Philadelphia got arrested at occupy NY? He called the NY City police; “‘obnoxious, arrogant and ignorant’”. Now the NYC Police and the Seattle Police have something in common! Please get your officers to respect people and knock off the pepper spray free for all. This occupation movement has just begun, and if the City of Seattle and their police treat them as they have, you are setting up a terrible mess.

Sincerely,
Kenn

Dear Mr. President,

There is a very large demonstration being planned for January 20th, 2012 at the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart street in Seattle, - and at every Federal Courthouse in the United States.. There are many groups organizing and "gearing up" for this demonstration. I will be promoting and advertising it. This "occupy movement" has only just begun. I suggest you figure out your plan of action and response; The rules of engagement; - Need a way better understanding of what is going on; - than during WTO in Seattle. Treat the people like they are the enemy, and they will become it.

January 20, 2012 – Move to Amend Occupies the Courts!

Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark this date — Occupy the Courts — a one day occupation on Friday January 20, 2012, of the Federal Courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States and as many of the 89 U.S. District Court Buildings as we can. (I am inspired by Doctor Martin Luther King who said; "a true revolution of values", ... "there comes a time when silence is betrayal"., "people are not gonna be silenced".). Move to Amend will lead the charge on the judiciary which created — and continues to expand — corporate personhood rights.

Please Sign the petition to amend the Constitution for revoking corporate personhood at:

movetoamend.org

Dear Human Being,

There is a meeting Saturday December 3rd, 2011, from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm at the Capitol Hill library branch at 425 Harvard Ave. E., in Seattle. This meeting is for the demonstration being planned January 20th, 2012; at the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart street in Seattle. ( People and organizations involved, permits, porta potties, promotion, organizing, staging, sound, event speakers, entertainment, first aid, water, and stuff.)..The meeting room is reserved and holds 50 people and I would love to fill it up! Please inform interested people and organizations!)(This event is not sponsored by the Seattle public Library.)

President Obama said; "Failure is not an option". I agree with him, except he failed to complete that thought.
I say; Failure is not an option, failure is a given".

Capitalize On This Occupation

Too big to fail;

Is failing.

Too big to fail;

Is not success.

Too big to fail;

is a failure literalized.

http://open.salon.com/blog/kennspace/2011/10/28/corporate_occupation_of_...

Posted by Kenn Space on Nov. 18, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

Dear Seattle Mayor McGinn,

Did you see were the retired Police Chief of Philadelphia got arrested at occupy NY? He called the NY City police; “‘obnoxious, arrogant and ignorant’”. Now the NYC Police and the Seattle Police have something in common! Please get your officers to respect people and knock off the pepper spray free for all. This occupation movement has just begun, and if the City of Seattle and their police treat them as they have, you are setting up a terrible mess.

Sincerely,
Kenn

Dear Mr. President,

There is a very large demonstration being planned for January 20th, 2012 at the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart street in Seattle, - and at every Federal Courthouse in the United States.. There are many groups organizing and "gearing up" for this demonstration. I will be promoting and advertising it. This "occupy movement" has only just begun. I suggest you figure out your plan of action and response; The rules of engagement; - Need a way better understanding of what is going on; - than during WTO in Seattle. Treat the people like they are the enemy, and they will become it.

January 20, 2012 – Move to Amend Occupies the Courts!

Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark this date — Occupy the Courts — a one day occupation on Friday January 20, 2012, of the Federal Courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States and as many of the 89 U.S. District Court Buildings as we can. (I am inspired by Doctor Martin Luther King who said; "a true revolution of values", ... "there comes a time when silence is betrayal"., "people are not gonna be silenced".). Move to Amend will lead the charge on the judiciary which created — and continues to expand — corporate personhood rights.

Please Sign the petition to amend the Constitution for revoking corporate personhood at:

movetoamend.org

Dear Human Being,

There is a meeting Saturday December 3rd, 2011, from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm at the Capitol Hill library branch at 425 Harvard Ave. E., in Seattle. This meeting is for the demonstration being planned January 20th, 2012; at the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart street in Seattle. ( People and organizations involved, permits, porta potties, promotion, organizing, staging, sound, event speakers, entertainment, first aid, water, and stuff.)..The meeting room is reserved and holds 50 people and I would love to fill it up! Please inform interested people and organizations!)(This event is not sponsored by the Seattle public Library.)

President Obama said; "Failure is not an option". I agree with him, except he failed to complete that thought.
I say; Failure is not an option, failure is a given".

Capitalize On This Occupation

Too big to fail;

Is failing.

Too big to fail;

Is not success.

Too big to fail;

is a failure literalized.

http://open.salon.com/blog/kennspace/2011/10/28/corporate_occupation_of_...

Posted by Kenn Space on Nov. 18, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

Kenn- Excellent posts and good letters for people to copy and send but you posted it twice.

Stan

Posted by Stannous Flouride on Nov. 18, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

Last time I looked, protesting en masse was a constitutionally protected right in democracy. Punching and pepper spraying peaceful protesters is unlawful, even those wielding tents and sleeping bags.

In addition, to mobilize all these cops is an irresponsible allocation of taxpayer resources, especially when the protesters aren't doing anything but marching, meeting, and chanting.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2011 @ 11:44 pm

I know it is great fun to blame the police for violence to the innocent, lamb like protesters, but it is a fabrication. The reason police get involved is because these events aren't policing themselves. I have watched these events, I have seen police move in, and have witnessed the "abuses" of police. The violence starts with people being violent and resisting, lashing out violently to police enforcing a law, and the protestors protecting them. These "movements" aren't peaceful and have created a lot of crime and unnecessary violence. The media loves to trumpet police violence but rarely ever list the reason why: they are being met with resistance, which is also violence. If these groups would self-police, work with them and coordinate with them instead of propping them up as a false enemy, you would be more respected. As it is these "occupants" are seen as nothing more than hypocritical, wet behind the ears trouble makers.

Of course they coordinate, how is that a surprise, OWS is coordinating and purposely causing problems just to bait the police. You want to pick a fight, don't be surprised if the guy you are picking on stands up to it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

Spoken like a true propagandist . You make blanket assertions with no specifics, no time, no location, no accountability, and no verifiability.

What you say makes no sense. Occupiers are a thoughtful bunch, overwhelmingly committed to non-violence. All that aside, it would be STUPID for unarmed demonstrators to instigate violence against armed, shielded and militarized police battalions.

Any incidents of violence among the Occupiers are statistically insignificant. I am unaware of any that have been recorded on video, while the videos of police violence are everywhere. Sadly, it would appear that the only place where Police are in the 99% and Occupiers are in the 1% would be in incidents of violence.

You FAIL.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

I wonder how many of htese trolls are on the payroll of Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford, some government agency, or (a new suspect for me) FERC? I believe that anti-war forums were deliberately disrupted by active and reserve duty military during Bush's war on Iraq. Let me amend that - I know they were. What I don't know is if they were encouraged or paid to do it? Did they get combat pay to go in and pick fights, try to demoralize, confuse, obfuscate, lie to Americans exercising their constitutional rights doing what they thought was best for the country? It turned out they were right of course. The same is true for Occupy today. It seems the attacks are more strident, and greater in number. I've offered a reward for anybody who comes forward to admit they were a paid troll, and is willing to answere questions about their work. I've suggested maybe anonymous could dig into this. Looking for more ideas.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2011 @ 10:03 am

"...resistance, which is also violence."

The "resistance" engaged in by OWS protesters is "non-violent resistance." Only a warped Orwellian authoritarian worldview could construe "non-violent" as "violent."

The OWS protesters are not setting up the police officers as the enemy. Quite the opposite, in fact. They have continually asked the police to do their jobs--protect the people's right to peaceably assemble, prevent the abuse perpetrated by some of their fellow officers. They have continually reminded the police officers that they are also being disadvantaged as part of the 99%, that they are losing their pensions, their collective bargaining rights, and more, because of a rigged system where real, documented law-breakers are not punished even after repeatedly breaking the law.

The police should take the initiative to work with the OWS movement, help them police the gatherings, and help protect their First Amendment Rights. They should teach the protesters how to manage infractions of the law if they arise. They should provide a means of communication for reporting criminal behavior. Instead, many of the police supervisors ("white shirts"), who are there to stop violence and prevent officers from engaging in violence, are the ones actually starting it. The police should exercise better judgment with respect to OWS protesters and find ways to ensure public safety through collaborative means rather than impose public order through authoritarian means.

Non-violent resistance and protests will sometimes result in conflict. Unless it is uncomfortable for those in positions of power, very little will change. The key point, however, is that the resistance and protests are *non-violent*. Using projectiles, chemical agents, and other types of weapons (e.g., LRAD) are forms of violence. The police are using them on unarmed citizens. Not the other way around. If the police are subjected to violent resistance, they have every right and a responsibility to stop that violence. They do not have the right, much less the responsibility, to invoke violence upon non-violent, unarmed citizens exercising their Constitutional Rights.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

I've also been watching the protests, and the only violence I have seen has been on the the part of the Police using illegal, violent, abusive and restrictive actions against those who have a CONSTITUTIONAL right to protest.

It seems many Americans haven't seen peaceful protest in their lifetimes. They seem to think that civil disobedience demands swift and violent assault!
They pick and choose who gets to have the rights they cherish, suggesting that as long as you shut up, you can speak out.

You can have the right to protest as guaranteed by your constitution, as long as you don't actually use that right. And if you feel you must use that right, you'd better make sure I personally agree with everything you stand for, otherwise I'll be a total hypocrite and revoke your right to protest.

Yep, that's pretty much every so-called Christian Republican in a nut-shell right there! ;)

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 7:23 am

you are blind in both eyes

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

It strains credulity to think these folks actually believe the trash they write.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

Your ignorance of the facts is truly astounding this far into the Movement. Main stream media, is my guess, where you are getting your information. Investigate before you propagate your intolerance for those who are trying so very hard to make a positive difference in a world where equanimity is hard to come by.
I do not mean to attack you. I only wish you to investigate, read about what it is that we hope to accomplish out here

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

Hey, Dr. Mengele, are you serious? One side has a collective human message about economic repression and the other a fist. What is it that you don't understand? I only hope it creeps into your living room so you can get the gist of it. Or maybe you're one of the Gestapo...

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

Ya gotta wonder who really instigates the violence ... can anybody say "plants"?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 22, 2011 @ 8:00 am

resistance is not the same as violence.

they are distinctly different, and your equating of the two only solidifies my view that the occupy movement is in the right...

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

so who is using the billy clubs and the pepper spray? who is herding who into certain areas? who is beating up who?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

You assume we live in a democracy....oh yes, we go through the bi-annual and quadrennial charade of voting, we write letters to the editor and we can demonstrate...all as long as the real principalities and powers are not shaken. Once the latter takes place - democracy diminishes in direct proportion to the threat the P & P experience....

Posted by Tom on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

"PERF began circulating a publication titled Managing Major Events: Best Practices from the Field. The manual – a copy of which we downloaded"

Can I get a copy of the report please?

Posted by @NEFreedomRide on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 12:42 am

@NEFreedomRide , the document is the first result in a Google search for "Managing Major Events: Best Practices from the Field":
http://www.policeforum.org/dotAsset/1491727.pdf

Posted by d14n on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 8:35 am

That report is from June... the article seems to imply that there are later editions. :)

Posted by @NEFreedomRide on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 11:01 am

The police and in general the armed forces are the military might of the ruling class and to expect them to protect the people is an illusion generated by the lack of class awareness, these forces have for centuries done what you see today and much more in need be. Who do you think orders them to beat people and more, and why do you think they do what they do? Misunderstanding! No. This is class war and can get uglier and much more bloody. Please wake up!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 7:17 am

Where is the PERF best practices manual? The times demand that it be widely disseminated. Enough peaceful and innocent protestors have been bloodied, brutalized, and beaten already. The nationwide wave of police violence demands that the peaceful protestors on whom it crashes at least know what's coming. If the SFBG actually has a copy of the PERF Best Practices Manual, it should published online ASAP.

Posted by Accountability on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 7:51 am

that the Best Practices are to be friendly, non confrontational, to communicate and show that you (police) are there to protect Protesters and everyone. They say that the turtle outfits should not be worn except and until the need arises as it precipitates trouble.

It points out that the peaceful way is always the best. They play down the times the police have been out of control, NOLA and Seattle but you ought to read the Vancouver section.

I would hope a lot of us read that then start calling our police Chiefs and insist they read it and pledge to go with the peaceful, non threatening formulas that have worked so well.

On the other hand if they start arresting people we need to stop bailing out and stay in jail. That's what the Freedom Riders did. They stayed and stayed and stayed. And they sang. The Police finally wised up that they were feeding a whole lot of people....

Posted by Sam Dobermann on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 7:06 am

The people giving the orders to the cops are telling them to be violent on purpose. Their aim is to terrorize the protesters, hoping that they will go home in fear. We are witnessing the beginnings of a bloody fascist era if we don't stand firm.

Posted by anonymous on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 10:04 am

Where is the PERF best practices manual? The times demand that it be widely disseminated. Enough peaceful and innocent protestors have been bloodied, brutalized, and beaten already. The nationwide wave of police violence demands that the peaceful protestors on whom it crashes at least know what's coming. If the SFBG actually has a copy of the PERF Best Practices Manual, it should published online ASAP.

Posted by Accountability on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 7:52 am

@ Accountability , the document is the first result in a Google search for "Managing Major Events: Best Practices from the Field":
http://www.policeforum.org/dotAsset/1491727.pdf

Posted by d14n on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 8:36 am

thanks

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 1:02 am

Those OWS protestors are so weak and whiny that it's pathetic. A dose of pepper spray, a nightstick bop upside the head, a little pavement rash, and they're screaming "police brutality!" They don't know what real police brutality is. Try protesting anything in China, the Middle East, or anywhere else in the Third World. You'd be mowed down en masse with real bullets. Or your tents would be crushed under tank treads with you in them. Or you would just be gathered up and quietly "disappeared", and weeks later your closest relatives would get a bill for your burial in some mass grave. Quit your sniveling, it's getting really annoying. You have no idea how good you've got it.

Posted by jespasinthru on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

you would like to meet and discuss your aggressive comments toward protesters with me in person, you fucking pussy mother fucker.

Does that sound like a plan?

Posted by anonymous on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

Issuing threats to other commenters without using your real name. Such bravado leaves me stupefied.

Those kids at UC Davis make you look like the pussy you are - it's assholes like you who give OWS a bad name.

Posted by guest on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

reasoned self defense is going to have to become part of the equation, just as it was for the Black Panthers.

And I have no intention of doing anything to that gutless little troll pussy.

My calling him out for a real life meet up, was just to get him to internalize what a pathetic coward he is. Get him to understand what it would really mean if someone actually got up in his face over his bull shit aggression toward others.

When someone is on the attack like that, it is not always the move to just sit back and put up with it. There are times when bullies must be stood up to. What may seem to be a minor little troll attack now, could become a way of thought, as was hate for the Jews in Nazi Germany, if it is simply allowed to pass too often without challenge, festering like an infected wound.

So take a breath, and go to youtube and watch some speeches by Malcolm X, so that you can get a little perspective on what we are facing, and how we need to resist.

Posted by anonymous on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

And they weren't using violence to do so. Nor were they using violence when they confronted the Chancellor as she left the campus. Their actions made a difference - yours so far, have not.

Maybe you should read some of Malcom's later works, where he discovers the commonality of men while at Mecca.

And look in the mirror when you're using the words "bullshit aggression." That's exactly what you're showing here.

Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

Did I say that self defense has to be violent?

Most of the self defense activities of the Black Panthers were in fact nonviolent. Simply a show of will to defend themselves if necessary.

Interesting that it was you, who automatically assumed that self defense is equivalent to violence. It looks like perhaps you are the one who has an underdeveloped sense of self defense, what we are facing, and what resistance means.

Still, there are times when one must fight back violently and when to not do so is foolish. Should the Lebanese not have violently ejected Israel from their country?

Do you want to go down there and tell them that they should have simply peacefully protested Israel's occupation? You would be wrong.

And in Malcom's final speeches he made clear that the oppressed must fight back, and I quote "By any means necessary."

If you do not understand that message, you don't know shit about Malcolm.

Finally, let me introduce you to a quote from the founder of modern nonviolent resistance...

“He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden.”

Mohandas K. Gandhi

Your airy fairy view of nonviolent resistance is mistaken, foolish, and dangerous to those you seek to protect.

Posted by anonymous on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 9:55 am
and

I would add that that troll was inflicting an extremely violent verbal attack, and was not going to stop unless someone threw it back in his face.

Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 10:37 am

I don't even call it violence when it's in self defense; I call it intelligence.

--Malcolm X

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 11:00 am

I specifically chose the handle Aragorn, because the character Aragorn fought back when necessary.

I object to you using the avatar that I created to advance a view that is naive and doesn't fit at all the way I would approach the movement.

anonymous is right.

A rose colored view of the methods and purposes of nonviolence is foolish, and liable to get people hurt, as the police inevitably up the level of violence on us.

This uprising is not going to be a cakewalk, and we need to be strategic, and not pretend to saintliness.

Such pretense is a form of arrogance as well.

Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 10:25 am

The eyes of the masses are bright and clear as snow. Turn to their judgement on this issue. Speak clearly - lay out the facts! If the masses approve of a move to passive resistance in this rebellion - then we, as its forward leaders do the same. However. We can always act as the spear of the nation - a shining edge pushing our comrades forward past the point they have felt "comfortable" in the past. After all, a revolution is not a tea party - it is not so refined, so gentile.

Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 11:39 am
Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 11:52 am

Nobody should protest injustice or diminishing of freedoms until they are gone completely. Then, of course, everyone will be so restricted by Big Brother that no movement will ever be able to gather and accomplish restoring freedom... but I guess that is okay, since you say so. Hey, one question. Where are we on the scale to becoming what we are fighting against in foreign countries? It looks to me like we have already been there for quite some time.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 6:30 am

Last I heard, China and Middle Eastern countries don't have a Constitution that guarantees them the rights to the freedom of speech, the freedom to assemble and the freedom of the press. If understood correctly, it isn't that you object to infringement of our Constitutional rights, it's that you think that protesters are getting off easy by not being punished more severely for exercising them as they would in more oppressive regimes. Would it be okay to complain if we had a Tiannamenn Square type incident?

Did you know that more have been arrested now than were arrested during the Iran Green Revolution? And your expertise at defining "police brutality" would exceed that of an unarmed, non-violent ex-Army ranger walking alone who suffered a lacerated spleen and ended up in the ICU and emergency surgery, correct? Or a two tour Iraq vet who escaped the war without injury but was fired in the head at point blank range by a "non-lethal" canister and suffered a skull fracture and brain injury, likely with permanent damage? And a female student, who as of last report, was still in ICU after pepper spray being directed in her face, mouth and down her throat while her head was held in place? Funny thing is that people like you are always the first to yelp like a pup when it happens to you. The bullies always make the biggest cowards.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

Incredibly retarded...lol Guy...we are not in Chine, the Middle East, or the Third World yet but they're working on it. Have been for years. And you know that if you are a long standing American Citizen.

So, in the interest of where we are "America" and the ideals we hold true, at least those of us willing to hold on to them, stop with the Orwellian and irrelevant noise.

Your lack of awareness is what got us into this mess and obviously you have no interest in cleaning it up, but instead comparing it to the Third World...lol

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

Another genius who says "it's not as bad as somewhere else, so don't worry about it".

Just because it could be worse doesn't mean that there isn't any reason to change it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 22, 2011 @ 5:31 am

"I want to be very clear in calling upon the authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters.

The people have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere.

I also call upon the government to reverse the actions that they've taken to interfere with access to the internet, to cell phone service and to social networks that do so much to connect people in the 21st Century.

At the same time, those protesting in the streets have a responsibility to express themselves peacefully. Violence and destruction will not lead to the reforms that they seek.

Shortly after I was elected president, I said that all governments must maintain power through consent, not coercion. That is the single standard by which the people will achieve the future they deserve."

Posted by US President Barack Obama on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

why did the left scream so much about Tea Party people then?

Posted by matlock on Nov. 19, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

The Left did not object to the teabaggers right to show up and parade around screeching for lower taxes and less regulation.

The Left did and does object to the claims by the corporate press that this was a 'grassroots movement'.

It is the Republican base, rebranded by FOX News and Koch brothers-funded outfits like Americans for Prosperity.

That's all. Now try finding a clue for yourself, for a change.

Posted by The Left on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 6:03 am

The left howled about every aspect of the tea party. Good for them. It's a bit late in the game to be making your claims.

blah blah blah Koch blah blah
blah blah blah Soros blah blah

Two peas in a pod.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

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