First-hand account of Occupy LA arrest

Patrick Meighan, a writer on Family Guy, describes his arrest at Occupy LA, part of a brutal crackdown on 292 protesters whose belongings were destroyed and who were then subject to cruel (and in Mieghan's case, possibly crippling) detention. Meighan explains why he did it:

So that’s what happened to the 292 women and men were arrested last Wednesday. Now let’s talk about a man who was not arrested last Wednesday. He is former Citigroup CEO Charles Prince. Under Charles Prince, Citigroup was guilty of massive, coordinated securities fraud.

Citigroup spent years intentionally buying up every bad mortgage loan it could find, creating bad securities out of those bad loans and then selling shares in those bad securities to duped investors. And then they sometimes secretly bet *against* their *own* bad securities to make even more money. For one such bad Citigroup security, Citigroup executives were internally calling it, quote, “a collection of dogshit”. To investors, however, they called it, quote, “an attractive investment rigorously selected by an independent investment adviser”.

This is fraud, and it’s a felony, and the Charles Princes of the world spent several years doing it again and again: knowingly writing bad mortgages, and then packaging them into fraudulent securities which they then sold to suckers and then repeating the process. This is a big part of why your property values went up so fast. But then the bubble burst, and that’s why our economy is now shattered for a generation, and it’s also why your home is now underwater. Or at least mine is.

Anyway, if your retirement fund lost a decade’s-worth of gains overnight, this is why.

My Occupy LA Arrest, by Patrick Meighan


  1. If I didn’t know better (and I don’t), I’d say that the police are actively trying to piss away any remaining trust and goodwill they have. I can’t think of why they’d want to do that, but it’s hard to envision any other result of such mass brutality.

    1. “it’s hard to envision any other result of such mass brutality.”

      – Many survivors will struggle with post-traumatic stress. It’s extremely common in activist communities.

      – Many survivors will keep quiet to avoid the victim-blaming.

      – Many people who might consider protesting will avoid protesting for fear they will be beaten, gassed, shot, and/or raped.

      1. That last one, especially. The threat is implicit that if you raise your voice in public protest, and place yourself in public space as is protected under your constitutional rights, you very well may suffer permanent physical and emotional damage. So, you might just want to stay home. Especially if people are counting on you, like your family.

        This is a clear message from the seat of authority. You have no other recourse for grievance other than waiting until election day. And election day is a rigged game.

        This violence will not stand, man.

        1. Oh yes, the violence will stand. It will stand right up until the army of another nation finally breaks the gates of the American concentration camps. Of course, that will never happen because the entire world will be a smoking and radioactive ruin first.

      2. Maybe groups planning a protest like this should take a bit from the military (if captured) and instruct participants on what to expect from the police so it isn’t as big of a shock when it happens.  There could even be mild simulations of the shoving, pepper spraying, general abuse, etc.

        1. I don’t know how much good that would do… it’s kind of like suggesting Civil Rights Movement-era protesters should have practiced getting sprayed with fire hoses and attacked by police dogs. It would hurt like hell and wouldn’t do much to lessen the impact of the real thing.

        2. In a lot of the Occupy marches and movements I’ve been to, it’s been common to hand out fact sheets about your rights, what the police can and can’t do (and what they will do).  People pass around sharpies to write the number of the NLG on their arms.  

          I think the simulations are an interesting idea, what would you see the logistics of it being?

  2. Gotta give the guy credit, that’s a clearly written and quick summary of the situation.  Well said.

  3. I just sent a polite and respectful email to Mayor Villaraigosa ( asking him how he intends to respond to the brutal police attack on the non-violent protesters.

    1. Probably by backing up his buddies in the police force?

      Would you realistically expect anything different?

  4. “It was horrible to watch, and apparently designed to terrorize the rest of us. At least I was sufficiently terrorized. I unlinked my arms voluntarily and informed the LAPD officers that I would go peacefully and cooperatively. I stood as instructed, and then I had my arms wrenched behind my back, and an officer hyperextended my wrists into my inner arms. It was super violent, it hurt really really bad, and he was doing it on purpose. When I involuntarily recoiled from the pain, the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement. He had my hands behind my back, so I landed right on my face. The officer dropped with his knee on my back and ground my face into the pavement. It really, really hurt and my face started bleeding and I was very scared. I begged for mercy and I promised that I was honestly not resisting and would not resist.”
    Do that to enough people and it will create a handfull of terrorists. Wonder how the planning of the violence level is done?

  5. I’m amazed this guy writes for Family Guy, and that this account is so well written. Zing!

    But seriously, Mayor Tony Villar (real name) will be hearing from me about this as well.  

    1. Tony Villar’s not really his real name. He was born Antonio, and Villar is just his “maiden name”, as he changed it to Villaraigosa when he married Corina Raigosa.

      Besides that, I don’t see how it’s at all relevant here. You say the name as if it’s supposed to be an embarrassment to him or prove a point. It reminds me of all the birthers calling Obama “Barry Soetoro”. Since when is using a nickname and an old/unofficial last name damning evidence of incompetence?

      1. I believe it is evidence that he was pandering to a certain base of voters in LA while climbing the political ladder.  Not that this is a crime or anything, but it certainly adds to the sleaze-quotient of that dirtbag in my mind. 

        1. I believe it is evidence that he was pandering to a certain base of voters in LA while climbing the political ladder.

          What demographic is he pandering to? People with lots of letters in their surnames? Men who want to share their wives’ names but hate hyphens?

        2. Don’t be ridiculous.  He was going by ‘Tony Villar’ when he was an outspoken MECHAista back in the day.   If he wanted street cred in the Latino community, he’d  have kept that name, and if he was ‘pandering’ to Aztlan-fearing white people, he’d have changed it to something less obviously ethnic.

          Villaraigosa isn’t my favorite politician ever, and isn’t any particular friend of mine – but when you call him a ‘dirtbag’ and revile him for his ‘sleaze-quotient’, all you do is reveal that you don’t know him at all, and don’t know anything of substance about LA politics.

        3. I’m with the other people here wondering what base he’d be pandering to by taking the name Villaraigosa. My first guess as a WoW nerd is the blue dragonflight.

  6. So committing a serious fraud that directly affects tens of thousands of investors directly and imperils the whole banking system is not a crime.

    Assembling to raise awareness about such things and demand that something be done about them is in fact, oddly enough, a crime.

    Who would have guessed?

    BTW, if your city is having a 12/12 event, be there.

    1. More like assembling for weeks on end in a place not designed for extended living, and staying after a lawful order to leave, is a crime. Specifically, it’s trespass.

      1. Thank goodness they’re cracking down on misdemeanor trespass to protect fraudsters, then. If that doesn’t merit seven hours in a stress position, I don’t know what does.

        1. I’m not sure where I said I thought the reaction was warranted. The comment I was responding to seemed to imply that these people were not committing a crime, which is demonstrably false. Trying to make these people into completely innocent victims is unhelpful. Focus on the issues that really exist: excessive use of force, failure to exercise discretion, etc.

      2. … which is a misdemeanor. So everyone guilty of a misdemeanor should get attacked and tied up and shoved to the ground on their face and held in custody for minimum 25 hours with $5000 bail? Or just the ones that annoy you?

          1. Jerry’s an apparatchik who wouldn’t dream of calling for the arrest and conviction of some of his best buds. He’s one of the boys, doing what they do best: taking advantage of the powerless, secure in the knowledge that the victims lack the resources and connections that would constitute a real threat to his safety.

            Thank you for the link, btw. I noted that Sandusky, after being released from PC, returned to his lovely home located right next door to an elementary school. Perhaps the judge skimmed the document summarizing the grand jury’s findings. So in case the judge happens to pop on by BB, I’ll pitch in and let him know that, in addition to at least 50 counts of sexual assault, the man raped a ten-year-old.

            While I don’t associate with rapists, I do have friends who’ve become enmeshed in the legal system for minor crimes mostly related to possession of the wrong intoxicants and the color of their skin. Reading of Sandusky’s treatment by the court, I thought I was reading a piece of speculative fiction. 

      3. On public property no less.   Maybe this coming election they can just put up “No Trespassing” signs at polls too…..

      4. And warrants insane, brutal violence against people who have surrendered?

        You do realize that your complacent sevility to state power does not make it any less likely that you will be its next victim?

        1. You do realize that your complacent sevility to state power does not make it any less likely that you will be its next victim?

          I hate to say it, but I hope he is.  It seems to be the only thing that would pull some people’s heads out of their ass and realize what’s going on there.  Maybe then he’ll quit being a pawn and join this American struggle for our freedoms… maybe…

        1. Reasonable time, manner, and place restrictions on speech are allowed under the First Amendment. Under any interpretation of that standard, this action was constitutional.

      5. It was an unlawful order.  Under the Constitution, American citizens have an inalienable (another word for absolute) right to assemble and petition the government.  There is no expiration date, nor are there hours of operation attached.

        That is the supreme law of the land, superior to the order or legislation of any other authority in this country absent a Constitutional amendment.  The end.

        (It is truly amazing and somewhat alarming the number of people in this country who do not grasp the concept of inalienable rights.)

        1. You keep saying that – but when you bestow your absolutist interpretation of the First Amendment on us, and then pronounce ‘case closed’ (as you have in the past), you seem to be ignoring the fact that you don’t have the jurisdiction to decide such things and then declare the case closed.

          Who does?  Well, you might want to consult Article III , Sections 1 and 2 of the US Constitution.  I know you don’t care much for the Supreme Court and its opinions, but they’re the ones who have ultimate jurisdiction over “all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution”.

          It doesn’t matter how loudly or how often you repeat your opinion of how the Constitution should be interpreted – the opinions of cranky blog commenters do not override the opinions of the Supreme Court.

          And I for one am grateful for that.

          1. So what is the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment then?  The Amendment doesn’t provide for exceptions to the right to peaceably assemble.  I have never read of exceptions to that rule.  States and municipalities do not have the right to overrule the constitution… that is part of the constitution as well.  So all these “safety” ordinances they impose to justify crushing dissent are unconstitutional, period.  If you have some FACTS to add that contradict these propositions please share…

          2. Your respect for Article III of the Constitution is laudable.  Why do you simultaneously subject the First Amendment to the “jurisdiction” of the Supreme Court?  

            Article III states that the judicial Power shall extend to all cases arising under the Constitution.  It does not metaphorically or otherwise grant the Supreme Court or any other Court jurisdiction over the First Amendment.

            Article III Section 2 in particular has been routinely ignored by the Federal Courts of late in cases where the State of Arizona was sued by the Federal Government (and where 20 states sued the Federal Government).  Those cases were unconstitutionally heard and ruled on by District Judges even though the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction and is therefore the only Court in the nation that can hear the case.

            Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is subject to “such Exceptions and Regulations as the Congress shall make” so no, the Supreme Court’s word is not absolute and is, in fact, subject to the same checks and balances as any other branch of government.  

            how often you repeat your opinion of how the Constitution should be interpreted

            You dispute, then, the people’s right to peaceably assemble and further, you recognize the authority of the Government to restrict that right.

            Rights so restricted are no rights at all.  We may as well crown them one and all and call them kings and queens.

            And I for one am grateful for that.

            May we be thankful our grand and munificent rulers are here to restrain the other guy, lest freedom ring.

          3. YanquiFrank

            You seem to not really understand constitutional law at all.

            Knowing your rights is the first step. Understanding what they mean is an important second step.

            Current SCOTUS interpretation of rights does allow for them to be restricted, so long as it is done so with a law of general applicability. See., for example, Employment Division v. Smith.

            So, as long as “safety ordinances” apply to everyone and can’t be shown to be specifically employed to abridge free speech, SCOTUS would probably find them constitutional, judging by current case law.

        2. It was an unlawful order.  Under the Constitution, American citizens have an inalienable (another word for absolute) right to assemble and petition the government.

          Not to be pedantic, but… ah, what the hell, this is the Internet…

          “Inalienable” dose not mean absolute — from a constitutional perspective  there are no absolute rights.

          Inalienable means that the right can’t be transferred or repudiated, but that doesn’t make it somehow absolute. Freedom of religion is inalienable, for example, but it’s not absolute (you can’t, for example, say “human sacrifice is my religion” and expect to get away with murder).

          (Yes, it is amazing how many people don’t grasp the concept of inalienable rights, but I’d have to number you among those people.)

      6. Well, they don’t seem to have a problem with the Skid Row shanty town which is just a few blocks from City Hall. That would seem to be a bigger problem than some protesters on public property. Oh, but right, the bums aren’t threatening the corporatocracy.

      7. Why does this guy hate America so much?

        Yep! This dude hates America so much that he can’t bear to see Americans asserting their constitutional rights to assemble peaceably and petition the government for redress of grievances.  He thinks local park regulations trump our highest rights as US citizens.

        Notice I did not address mister Aaron’s points in the second person. I cannot bring myself to directly address anyone so unpatriotic.

      8. Just like those selfish Syrian protesters, am I right? If only our army would respond and just kill protesters there wouldn’t be so many of them.

    1. “They” won’t fire the police because “they” are the 1% who use the police to make sure the rabble mind their betters.

        1. Unfortunately, by refusing to pay taxes, (if it was even possible to do so,) in addition to police salary, one would also stop paying for road upkeep, the power bill at the local library, grandma’s medical care, junior’s teachers’ wages, uncle’s veterans benefits, etc. We need to stop this behavior, not by refusal to pay taxes, but by exposing their bad behavior and making it visible to everyone we can. 

          1. The police force would be one of the last things to go if we start dismantling the government. It would be goodbye schools and libraries and parks first.

  7. While I consider any writer on Family Guy to be a Demigod, I would like to remind him that 60% of those applying for mortgages during the boom lied about their income.  Citibank and its executives evidently werent the only greedy players- so were the majority of homebuyers.

    1. Just a quick question for you Paul232: After ALL the news reporting that has gone towards showing the housing debacle to be largely generated by banks and illicit lending. Do you believe that this mortgage crisis was a coordinated effort by a bunch of low income con artists (60% is a HUGE figure) or do you think- as countless news agencies, government investigations, bank CEO confessions and eye witness accounts have corroborated- that a handful of multinational banks, and unscrupulous lenders coordinated an effort to make a profit by knowingly lending money to people (who they told to lie- or else lied for them- about their incomes on the forms) in order to get them the loans for the sake of short term profit. 60% of the poor would have to be like the largest conspiracy in human history in order to generate the hit the economy took. You really believe that?

    2. When I applied for my home loan before all this madness, I had to provide several months worth of paystubs in addition to the mortgage company calling my employer to verify the info. They also ran credit checks to see how much I had out in loans already. In fact, I had to pay off my car loan to qualify. In the business world, it’s called ‘due diligence’.

      1. When I applied for my home loan before all this madness, I had to provide several months worth of paystubs in addition to the mortgage company calling my employer to verify the info. They also ran credit checks to see how much I had out in loans already. In fact, I had to pay off my car loan to qualify. In the business world, it’s called ‘due diligence’.

        When I was looking for a cash-out refi loan, Wells Fargo was the only bank that turned me down. Needless to say, I do my banking with them, since they were the only ones paying attention. They also didn’t need the government bail-out. Coincidence?

        1. You can believe Wells is better than the rest, but your belief flies in the face of reality.  Wells was just as badly off as many of the other megabanks in 2008.  Wells borrowed a little under $50 billion from the FED, and even more from TARP.  Not to mention MBS purchases made at par to remove all the dreck from their balance sheet and dump it on the taxpayers — thats you.   Wells lended heavily into the California mortgage market, which if you’ve noticed, is decimated.  They are responsible for originating hundreds of billions in fraudulent loans.  If you want to bank with an honest bank, go to a credit union.

    3. The difference being that it’s the lender’s job to evaluate the claims of the borrower. If the banks hadn’t been corrupt, the people lying about their income (often at the suggestion of the loan officer) wouldn’t have mattered. 

      1. Studies have shown that more often than not, it was the mortgage brokers who lied about stated income as they were the ones who filled out the forms.  They also promised people they could afford loans they couldn’t, and anyway, they could always sell for a profit because the market was constantly rising.  Not to mention those many millions who bought in fear that prices would rise out of their range who are now paying mortgages on houses that are worth substantially less than the mortgage.  The meme that debtors are responsible for this mess flies in the face of a thousand years of bankster chicanery.  This credit bubble was a classic banker generated bubble the world has seen hundreds of times over the past centuries.  

    4. And I would like to remind you that mortgage providers (who earned very attractive intensives for signing up “customers” they knew were unqualified) routinely forged documents, and when this was kind of activity was discovered and brought to the attention of management, nothing was ever done. SO, in fact, we don’t really know whether home buyers were lying (although we do know the banks were), and anyways, if the mortgage provider was doing their job, a mortgage application would consist of more that simply asking a customer “So, how much would you say you make in a year, Jo?”

    5. According to well placed sources inside Lehman Brothers (you may have heard of them:  largest bankruptcy in the history of mankind – 12 figures), an overwhelming number of loan applications were forwarded by the lender with the income section blank.

      Let’s not equivocate on responsibility here.  After all, aren’t we constantly told by these Captains of capitalism that we need to take responsibility for our own actions? We’re generally being reminded of this while we’re being fired or denied employment or a raise or benefits.

      Further, had those banks simply followed their own lending policies, false income statements would have been uncovered immediately and would have led to the denial of the loan application.

      1. EXACTLY. These “Captains” of “capitalism” and ostensibly of free markets are anything but, and have shown themselves to be devoid of ANY integrity. 

    6. It is also worth remembering that a portion of the 60% who lied about their income were quite dead during the transaction.  Probably the same dead people that vote in mayoral elections across the country.

    7. This is part of the big lie and unfortunately too many buy into it, apparently including you Paul232.  The vast majority of people did not lie — if any lying was done it was by mortgage brokers too interested in commissions to worry about silly things like repayment (there have been numerous studies showing this, google “new economic perspectives” + “lenders-put-lies-in-liars-loans”).  People were told they could afford the loans and in fact most could.  The problem started when all this “AAA” MBS paper was seen for what it was — liars loans and balloon loans that would explode (of course people were promised they could refinance before the balloon payment hit – ha ha ha).  Were some people foolish?  Sure,  but many more were desperate and refinanced their homes to make up for the stagnant and falling wages of the past 30 years.   And even more are continuing to make their payments, or would be if the collapse didn’t cost them their jobs.  And of those still making their payments, many are underwater.  Meanwhile, the bankers who made massive bonuses off all these fraudulent loans got bailed out and are making even more than ever, while continuing to make irresponsible and unethical bets on European debt or any other risky paper they can get short term yield from.  To lay this scam at the feet of at worst foolish individuals is to turn history on its head.  Banks have been pulling this sort of extractive and fraudulent lending for centuries — or don’t you know anything of banking history?  They knew exactly what they were doing which is why they feel such a threat from OWS — they know better than anyone how badly they screwed and robbed us.  So please, before you start repeating the plutocracy-spread lies, do some real reading and research, and stop blaming mostly innocent people for a devastation they had nothing to do with creating.  Sure maybe 1 in 100,000 purchasers were flippers trying to make a quick buck before the collapse came, but its unjust to apply a penalty to all for the actions of a few, especially when its the poor and middle class who are punished while the wealthy banksters get rewarded with more and more taxpayer dollars that we and our children will be repaying for decades.  I wonder what you will say when the next crash hits — who will be to blame then?  Everyone but the banksters and government stooges I’m sure.

      1. So, YanquiFrank.. do you think Paul232 absorbed any of that?  I doubt it too… but thanks for trying anyway.

    8. Actually, a lot of times it was the loan middlemen who cooked the books. There was an interesting discussion on  KPFT’s  “Occupy the Airwaves” tonight with a UHD professor of property law and a lawyer who defends mortgage fraud cases. Most of the time the loan negotiator either encourages the fraud, or directly engages in the fraud. The banks didn’t care much, they put up the money and  then sold the loan off to other banks that bundled the loans into securities. So the banks really had no reason to worry about fraud or even regular bad loans. They could pass the loan off to an investment firm for a small profit and not worry about the risk.

      And it all would have worked if housing prices and the ability of most people to pay kept going up. But even in 2004 I thought “They be buildin’ too many houses”. The whole system was unsustainable .

    9. Where’d that 60% figure come from. Also, whose fault is it that Citibank gave NINA (no income no asset check) loans? Who loans money without even bothering to see if you’ll be paid back? Oh yeah, people who know they’ll get $13 billion in secret loans from the Fed, and then $7 billion in “emergency funds” to spend on executive bonuses. Great job banks.

    10. In fact, these lenders are required to do due diligence to make sure that the income is reported properly. Also, in many cases, the lender would actually be the one who would alter the income line in order to push the home loan through.

  8. While the Charles Prince rant is accurate I think the post should highlight the brutality of the treatment. There is some really nasty behaviour there.

    an LAPD officer would forcibly extend the protestor’s legs, grab his left foot, twist it all the way around and then stomp his boot on the insole, pinning the protestor’s left foot to the pavement, twisted backwards. Then the LAPD officer would grab the protestor’s right foot and twist it all the way the other direction until the non-violent protestor, in incredible agony, would shriek in pain and unlink from his neighbor.

  9. This is Exactly How, the story of the financial meltdown and the “Occupy” (and “Indignados” movement)  should be told and will be told. 

    The Occupiers are breaking the law peacefully, committing misdemeanors at that. Big Friggin’ Deal! Because they are fed up.  Fed up with felons who are even more dishonest than those who pull off a gun and demand cash. Those at least don’t pretend to keep you from harm.

    They then get criminally brutalized by some who are willing to become the lesser felons. 

    On behalf of the really big felons, who got richly rewarded for bringing down the economy with their out and out malicious fraud. 

    On behalf of the arch-felons who got a great country like the U.S. into debt and wasted lives with nonsensical warfare, who most likely set up the right environment for the brutality in question.

    Just a reminder to all those huge fakes who then pose as all around law-and-order types to troll the people who are fed up. If they weren’t falser than a thirteen dollar bill they would first be clamoring for the real criminals to be punished.

    Whew! It’s important to have writers down there. It’s even more important than having just reporters.

    1. The Occupiers are breaking the law peacefully

      With all due respect, they are not breaking the law.  The right to peaceable assembly supersedes all other law: All judicial orders.  All findings of the Supreme Court.  All Acts of Congress.  All executive orders.  All state laws.  All ordinances, wherever enacted.  All of it.

      It is a violation of the Constitution to abridge, obstruct or otherwise deny any American citizen their right to assemble peaceably and to petition the government.   American citizens have an absolute right to assemble.  

      Any statement to the contrary is a myth and only serves to provide a means by which all other Constitutional rights will be lost.

      All that said, “arch-felons” is a work of genius. Keep using that. :)

      1. Man, do I hate being forced to advocate for the Adversary, but sometimes your black-and-whiteness just forces things outta my mouth that I’d rather keep within.  I’m not about to say or imply that Occupiers in general are breaking laws and deserve any punishment whatsoever, but just as the tired ol’ “hollering ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater” exception to free speech moderates somewhat our absolute right to free speech (Congress, at any rate, usually not passing laws about what one can and can’t say out loud in commercial entertainment venues in any case), so can the agile mind imagine certain circumstances under which the inalienable right peaceably to assemble can occasionally be abridged.

        Convicts, for an easy example, do not always enjoy a completely unfettered right to assemble, however peaceably.  And minors enjoy surprisingly few “inalienable” rights of their own, especially when under the direct supervision of their school.  I was a senior in high school when Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier came down.  A school need not tolerate student speech, the Court declared, “that is inconsistent with its ‘basic educational mission,’ even though the government could not censor similar speech outside the school.”  And this applies to an 18-year-old high school senior, old enough to vote and die in the military, yet needing a hall pass to hit the john, and subject to consequences and repercussions should he decide to voice a viewpoint unpopular with the authorities.  Remember BONG HiTS 4 JESUS?

        The right to peaceable assembly supersedes all other law: All judicial orders.  All findings of the Supreme Court.  All Acts of Congress.  All executive orders.  All state laws.  All ordinances, wherever enacted.  All of it.

         I’ll go ahead and quote some Wikipedia to remind you what judicial review entails:

        As part of their inherent duty to determine the law, the federal courts have the duty to interpret and apply the Constitution and to decide whether a federal or state statute conflicts with the Constitution. All judges are bound to follow the Constitution. If there is a conflict, the federal courts have a duty to follow the Constitution and to treat the conflicting statute as unenforceable. The Supreme Court has final appellate jurisdiction in all cases arising under the Constitution, so the Supreme Court has the ultimate authority to decide whether statutes are consistent with the Constitution.

        That authority to interpret the Constitution gives the Supreme Court an astonishing (and occasionally appalling) degree of wiggle room.  It’s all very well to argue, for instance, that the Citizens United case was a gross misinterpretation of the First Amendment, but it’s now the settled law of the land, never mind what the Shade of Thomas Jefferson thinks.  Until we can gin up a new Amendment or somehow get the Court to revisit and reverse it, we’re gonna have to live with it.

      2. And my point is…

        That IF they are breaking the law, it’s something TRIVIAL TO INSUBSTANTIAL. 

        CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE often involves breaking the law.

        They are QUITE IN THEIR RIGHT TO DO SO. There is nothing trivial or capricious about demanding REDRESS over SERIOUS matters, over serious FRAUD and serious CRIMES against the NATION and against INVESTORS, SAVERS and the PUBLIC.  It’s even CIVIC DUTY.

        Tolerance of civil disobedience would mean that if you HAVE to ACT against people engaged in same, you ACT with the MINIMAL, PROPORTIONAL means and with a GOOD MOTIVE, after exhausting ALTERNATIVES.

        Intolerance of it means using DISPROPORTIONATE MEANS, when you DON’T HAVE A GOOD CAUSE TO ACT. Which is CRIMINAL except in places like IRAN where they don’t know about CIVIL RIGHTS. 

        The MOFOS who pass for cops in LAPD have committed serious CRIMES. Ostensibly to prevent this from growing and these people from continuing to demand justice.

        I hope, however, that the occupiers will go home, begin a political movement and base it around getting government to work for them. Which INCLUDES DEMANDING FULL AND UNFORGIVING RETRIBUTION  from THE CRIMINALS, JUSTICE, NO LESS NO MORE. Those responsible for the FRAUD and MELTDOWN of 2008, and for the VIOLENCE and REPRESSION of 2011. Just to keep the next ones NICE AND HONEST.

  10. I too emailed Mayor Villaraigosa with my disgust. I thought our fine LAPD was past this sort of gross mis-use of power and violence. I guess that was just mis-placed hope.

  11. With respect, if you’re upset about this or any other matter, sending an email to a politician is unlikely to get a proper response.  May I please direct your attention to and the suggestion there?  It’s a short listen, and writing a letter as described takes more effort than an email, but it’s far more effective.

    1. Except for writing to the US Congress. For them you have to use a phone call.  Letters take months to reach them because they’re held for postal inspection and sterilization ever since the anthrax attacks in 2001.

      1. they’re held for postal inspection and sterilization ever since the anthrax attacks in 2001

        Wow… I just read that part and it really made me think….

        We live in crazy times.  That sounds like a quote straight from the dialog within a cheesy science fiction film, but it’s our sad reality.  sigh…

  12. When I first got involved with activism 20+ years ago, it was very common for any run-of-the-mill demonstration to include a little bit of civil disobedience. Especially in the anti-war/anti-nuclear movement, there were many activists who regularly sat down in front of doors or gates or elsewhere where they knew they would be arrested. Some people I’ve met racked up literally hundreds of misdemeanor trespass arrests as a protest against the harmful policies of multinational corporations and the governments who work for them.

    For the most part, these activists were released on a minimal bail, or even on their own recognizance, which was totally reasonable, as they weren’t going anywhere, and they weren’t going to commit any crimes other than these symbolic acts of protest. When they were arrested they were perhaps not treated with an excess of dignity, but they were almost never seriously abused in police custody, nor was their incarceration extended to absurd amounts of time to prevent them from participating in other organizing.

    Over the last 11 years, we’ve seen an increasing militarization of policing in this country. Not only in the realm of big-ticket items like newer jails or sound cannons, but down to the level of individual officers being kitted out like stormtroopers and told they are the only thing standing between hordes of “terrorists” and the safety of their families. They are taught to hate and fear any protester, with well-payed, uncredentialed “experts” warning them about ridiculous dangers like anthrax or IEDs that are never actually found at any protests. Then too, district attorneys have discovered that, even in the absence of any actual evidence of a crime, they can manipulate the courts and the grand jury system to harass activists, piling on so many charges (often with “terrorism enhancements” and conspiracy indictments) that it becomes impossible to fight them, leading to many plea bargains by people who were innocent of anything but exercising their First Amendment rights.

    For many people, this transformation of “standard operating procedure” in the policing of their communities has been virtually invisible. Certainly, on the rare occasions where it has been properly reported by the corporate media, it has been chalked up to the proverbial few bad apples or as some kind of once-in-a-lifetime aberration, provoked by the demonstrators. In fact, as those of us who follow these things are aware, there is an overall pattern that stands out very clearly. Since the security forces were humiliated in Seattle in 1999, they have collectively made it their mission to use every method at their disposal to crush dissent and hound the dissenters into personal ruin. Billions of dollars have been spent for one reason and one reason only: No cop wants to be responsible for losing another “Battle of Seattle”, and they will grind anyone’s face into the pavement to ensure that it doesn’t happen to them.

    Preemptive mass arrests. Verbal, physical and sexual abuse of detainees. Women, people of color and queer people being targeted for extra abuse. Ongoing surveillance activities against peaceful dissenters and groups. Abusive prosecutions of leading activists. Blackballing and harassment of students and employees who dare to speak out. I don’t think we need to engage in any hyperbole in comparing these repeated violations of civil rights to any other time or place. Things are really bad, right here, right now. And based on the information we have available, they’re going to get a lot worse before they get better.

  13. This is disgusting.  There are no other words to describe it.  When I was growing up, I was taught by my parents to respect police officers.  That’s police officer, not cop.   I was introduced to numerous high-ranking members of the Los Angeles Police Department, including Lieutenants and Captains, at least one of whom went on to graduate from law school and join the California Bar.

    I have since been disabused of my respectful opinion based on the stories I have heard in the past few months.   Someday I will instruct my children never, ever to place their trust in a police officer.

     1,400 heavily-armed LAPD officers in paramilitary SWAT gear streamed in

    That this is permitted to take place on American soil is offensive to the Constitution and to every person who has ever stood in defense of our rights.

    Were this a military formation, it would be called a “Battalion” and would be commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel, two ranks below a General in the Army and equivalent to a Commander in the Navy.

    a separate team of LAPD officers used knives to slice open every personal tent in the park

    Destruction of private property in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

     the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement

    Who can defend this and on what grounds? 

     They forced us to kneel on the hard pavement of that parking garage for seven straight hours with our hands still tightly zipcuffed behind our backs.

    Violation of the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

     they set bail at $5,000 and booked us into jail

    Violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition against excessive bail. 

    But if you were a nonviolent Occupy LA protestor with bail money in hand, you were held long into the following morning, with absolutely no access to a lawyer.

    Violation of the Fifth Amendment guarantee of counsel and right to due process.

    It should be a sobering observation for everyone how quickly the violation of American rights becomes routine and it should call into question the motives of those who directed the police to do so.

    1. You’ve enumerated violations of three Constitutional Amendments. THREE!

      That’s a pretty serious charge; you know how harshly they can be punished for failing to meet their quota.

    2. All Facts.  Not a single thing you typed is incorrect.  Its been like this for at least 10 years but it is clearly reaching a peak.  Like Ive said since childhood. 

      Either it will see the errors in and fix itself.(NEVER!)
      It will implode into itself from pure GREED and IGNORANCE.

      Im pretty sure we know whats next, its literally inevitable they will ruin everything.  Maybe people forgot but the government pretty much is in the 1% so OWS is literally going up against a government solely biased against them, if thats not bad enough they are as corrupt as a 9 dollar bill.

      The guy on the corner traded his “THE END IS NEAR” sign, it now reads
      Quote me on that.

      1. The guy on the corner traded his “THE END IS NEAR” sign, it now reads THE END IS NOW.

        – D Wyatt

  14. The reason why the Citigroup CEO, or any of the other financial ‘wizards’ escaped prosecution is because Obama is a moral coward.  He won’t act, even when he knows it’s the right thing to do, because he’s so concerned with getting re-elected.  Medical marijuana, the immigration problem, civil rights vs. state secrets, Gitmo, the financial collapse, you name it, he ducks it, and does his best to maintain the status quo.  When he does act with ‘moral courage’ he has to have a crowd of 10,000 people holding–or is it forcing–his hand to get it done (gays in the military as one significant example.)  (He’s full of courage, that one.)  Which begs the question, assuming he’s re-elected, what, exactly, does he plan to do with the next four years?  If he isn’t going to lead, we can always elect another seat warmer.  

    1. Precisely why he will never be re-elected.  Everyone expected big things and they got the exact same Bullshit.  Campaign=say this, say that, smile and nod.   Presidency=Forget this, Forget that, smile and nod.

      The only change was the change I have to take to the grocery store to feed my children and myself when Im lucky to have enough.

      To be perfectly honest I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that he was saying the same BS from every president since I was born.  I told everyone but at the time they saw me as a jerk, now everyone agrees with me…..and others.

      TO FULLY DISCLOSE:  Ive seen right through every president since I was 8 years old.  I kept hoping to see a genuine person become president, and every election year I heard the same politician speak that completely proved how fake they were.  Then every president backed out of their promises and became jokes.  “read my lips, no new taxes” (least not until im in office eh hehehehehhe.)

      IT TRULY, HONESTLY, wasnt until I heard ron paul speak that I had any faith in any presidential hopeful since birth.  Its just such a shame that people want to stick to picking sides )Dem,Rep(.   At least when the chips fall we will know whose fault it was, every last republican and democrat.  For they ALL were to busy standing on their sides yelling at each other and making fun of “third party” or “independent” hopefuls who were spouting truth.

      Everyone laughed at ron paul and ross perot, the simple fact is if you watch very old footage of them you will see they were DAMN NEAR PSYCHIC they predicted the future surprisingly well.

      1. Obama’s Presidency has been disappointing on many levels, but your account ignores the reckless, willful damage inflicted on your country by a bloody minded Republican opposition. If you’d pulled back Bush’s tax cuts you would be in far better shape.

        1. And Obama gave a huge tax cut to the working poor and most of the middle class. Have you filled out the “Making Work Pay” worksheet on the back of your tax form? You got a pretty big tax cut. I used to have to forward new hire paperwork to my company’s HR department. They were totally into the Payroll Tax Holiday,  a smart supply side hiring stimulus to big business. You want unemployed people to get hired? Stop taxing businesses who hire people for a few months after the hire.

          The employer share of the payroll taxes is one of the most regressive taxes around. Obama cut it.  Obama is a pro at demand side tax cuts and pretty cool at supply side tax cuts where it counts, by cutting the taxes of businesses that want to spend money and hire people.

          Millions of Americans benefited from Making Work Pay and businesses saved hundreds of millions of dollars with the payroll tax holiday.

      2. The first rule of Boing Boing Club is don’t talk about Ron Paul unless he’s the subject of the post.

    2. Oh pish posh. He isn’t paid to change those things, please. Obama is no different from any of the other ones. They’re all hand picked to maintain the status quo.

      1. Actually, he is paid to do those things.  Will of the people ring any bells?  Protect the rights of the minority from the tyranny of the majority?  Enforce the law?  That’s the job of the President, not just boring terrible speeches and writing up budgets that overfund our national security obsession and underfund our civic infrastructure without, you know, actually paying for anything.  We’ve had those kind of ballsy Presidents before:  Washington, Lincoln, FDR.  Presidents who had a pile full of guts, and the experience, knowledge and insight to make it happen before they entered the highest office in the land.  Fuck being cool.  Cool is for kids in high school and Joe Camel.  And if Obama doesn’t believe he’s paid to change these things, what exactly is he there for?  To make speeches about how he wants more people to have college degrees?  Yeah, that’s inspirational, particularly when we’re experiencing record levels of unemployment for those with degrees.  Let’s admit it:  he’s the first black President, he sorta kinda got national healthcare going, and he killed a terrorist has-been.  He’ll get his place in history, but everything else…Kinda pathetic.  

    It was about 10 years ago, the day after I had just bought my first new (to me) car and was installing the alarm.  In full view on the seat were my purchase papers for my hot rod, the box, manual, wires, remote.  The hood was popped and I was working on it when I was assaulted by a cop.  It just happened to be the EXACT same cop from the day before when I was pulled over after JUST purchasing the car.  SO HE KNEW ME.
    Before I go any further I should mention I dont commit crimes, never have.  Guilty of speeding and thats it.  This wasnt the first or last, it was just the worst.

    He shoves me into the fender and twists my arm behind my back yelling about stealing cars, I say “man you know me, you just pulled me over last night.”  He yells shut up and proceeds to super clamp the cuffs sideways.   I used to box so I know a thing or two about wrists.  THIS IS A SPECIFIC TACTIC THEY USE, JUST LIKE THE TENDON STRESSING FOOT LOCK THE PROTESTERS WERE PUT IN….
    Your wrist=Oval, metal cuffs=oval, put cuffs perpendicular and squeeze until arm lengthens by 1/4 inch.  Or better yet, put your hand on your knee, grip firmly with other hand and pull wrist apart to catch a gentle glimpse.
    It was dislocated about 1/4″ of an inch for about 8-10 minutes in the back of the car, of course it swelled and turned purple.   He rifled through my things, then sat laughing at me with his partner while I was wincing in serious pain.   At the 10 minute mark a “white shirt” arrived, meaning a higher up, he immediately saw my red face and my purple hand and uncuffed me, even apologized.  BUT THE DAMAGE HAD ALREADY BEEN DONE. 

    For the next 3 years I could so much as hold a full gallon of milk in that hand.(DOMINANT RIGHT HAND.)
    For about 6-8 I couldnt do a push up to save my life and a pull up was completely out of the question.   Now I still have days when it bothers me, but for the most part its healed due to constantly working with it.  I have occasional shooting pain and while it is stronger it, unfortunately for me, will likely bother me the rest of my life.


         I probably should ad that Im a white guy, he was a younger and smaller black guy, and he said racial things to me on both occasions.  Trailer trash, white trash, animal, devil were all used.  At no time did I get lippy or confrontational in any way, I merely asked him to stop, asked why, and begged him to loosen them just a little.  See folks RACISM isnt dead.

    It is hard to believe for some folks that they would do all these things to unarmed non-violent and INNOCENT AMERICAN PEOPLE having not suffered it yourself. 
    Im sick of seeing it happen, but Im happy mainstream America is seeing it for themselves without having to be PERMANENTLY DAMAGED.

    Good luck America, it seems you died a while back when nobody was looking but youve been sick as a dog long before any of us were born.  Absolute Corruption, corrupts absolutely.

    They have made everything illegal, go back in your homes and count the sheeple.

    1. This white guy know whites invented racism, and that 9 out of 10 race hate incidents are whites attacking some minority. This white guy also knows most of whites claiming to victims of a black hate crime end up having no supporting evidence whatsoever. There lots of people that hit back after they’ve been hit. We’ve all watched  our “angelic” children do it in the rear view mirror.

      How many black churches have been blown up in hate crimes? Hundreds.
      Does anybody ever remember a predominantly white church being blown up for any reason? No. It did not happen.

  16. You know, I used to buy into that whole ‘police officers/soldiers are people too,’ they are ‘just doing their jobs,’ ‘it’s just some bad apples,’ etc.

    But here’s the truth: every violent and injurous regime in history has relied on the ACTIONS AND OBEDIENCE OF THE ENFORCER CLASS to follow illegal and anti-human orders.

    It’s the complete and utter cowardice of these people, who choose time and again to murder, oppress, and others, in violation of all morality…for simple fear of losing their jobs…that is completely inexcusable. It’s the very lowest of human behavior.

    If the enforcers stop demonstrating the very lowest kind of human cowardice, the whole edifice falls apart.

    If police or soldiers continue to draw a paycheck for following corrupt orders, they are the lowest of the low and deserve no shelter.

  17. If Obama and his Democratic Party allies want to know why I now refuse to vote for them, look at how badly #occupy protesters in cities with Democratic mayors were treated. I was keeping track just for this reason.
    There’s quite literally no difference between the actual actions from LA Dem Mayor Villaraigosa, supposed Progressive Portland mayor Sam Adams, and a true fascist like Scott Walker in Wisconsin. They all treated protesters brutally. We know part of the reason why, too. Obama’s Homeland Sec’y chief ordered it be done on two conference calls about the #Occupy protests supposedly organized by the National Conference of Mayors.

    Obama and Scott Walker’s ACTIONS are exactly the SAME. They only talk different.

    I changed my voter registration in Oregon to the Working Families Party. Matt Damon has helped get the that party up and running in New York state.

    1. If Obama and his Democratic Party allies want to know why I now refuse to vote for them

      If you think this is bad, imagine the horrific economic depression (yes, even worse than it is now) if McCain and Palin where in control right now?

      Democracy isn’t a video game where you push a button and get the result you may want right away.  It’s a longterm, slow struggle where you fight for lesser evil time and time again…  perseverance is key.

      Lesser evil.  Sometimes less is more.

      Take a long, hard look at these people below.  And, while you are it, please look at the voting records of democrats versus republicans and garner a more educated opinion before you decide to cast a vote for republicans by not voting at all and throw out the baby with the bathwater.

      You think this is bad… you haven’t seen NOTHING yet.  And don’t think there aren’t (possibly) some crafty things going on if you strain your ears past some of the background noise.

      There’s a tiny amount of hope that Obama will end up being a trojan horse in his second term.  There is absolutely no hope… zero from any republican (including Ron Paul).

      1. Obama has been more Conservative than Ronald Reagan. Probably more Conservative than President McCain would have been, too.

        Obama’s health care plan was stolen from Bob Dole.  Reagan raised taxes most of his Presidency, and Reagan never executed an American citizen without a trial like Obama did with drones strikes.

        If McCain were President, we could replace McCain with a challenger who’s really from the left side of the political spectrum.

        I refused to accept this lesser evil BS ever again.  I’m deeply sorry I ever voted for Barack Obama. I should have voted for Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate. I am not voting for Barack Obama again. I’m now registered Working Families Party (Matt Damon’s got them launched in New York.).

        1. I refused to accept this lesser evil BS ever again.

          You can refuse to accept reality all you want, but it still doesn’t change the voting records.

          I should have voted for Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate.

          Agreed, we all should have or Dennis Kucinich as well.  But that would also be ignoring the realities of our current, corrupt political system.  You would have needed to vote for Cynthia and also come up with a few hundred million dollars (for starters) to help reach other Americans who are victims of manufactured consent.

          To say McCain/Palin would have been better than Obama is absolute folly and going more on your gut than actual research and certainly not looking at the voting records.

          Hell, I doubt you even bothered to read the link I gave you earlier, did you?

          You really think McCain/Palin would have even set foot into that territory whatsoever or any of the other gains we’ve had under Obama? NOPE, please educate yourself.

          Do I like Obama?  NO.
          Is Obama doing evil things.  YES.
          Is he a lesser evil? YES.  Look at the voting records.

          Reagan never executed an American citizen without a trial like Obama did with drones strikes.

          You’re kidding, right?  You’re talking about this guy, correct?

          You can vote for the green party all you want, but don’t do that until you do all you can to support the OWS movement which is literally our last hope to save America right now.

          Once the OWS movement gets large enough and more Americans become educated voters, then we can actually get people in power who care about the American public at large.

          But, once again, this isn’t a game.  It’s a long, difficult struggle of persistent progression.  Furiously clicking a button in anger will do nothing but usher in yet more evil instead of lesser evil.  And we’re so filled to the brim with evil already… more evil will be the tipping point to full retard.  And, then you’ll wish BUSH was back in office.

          1. When you make a comment and Disqus accidentally puts it in the spam bin, you could e-mail me to check. But instead, you tried to make the same comment five times. What do you think happens to the spam filter’s perception of you when someone whom it already thinks might be a spammer makes the same comment five times?

            At this point, you can reasonable assume that the spam filter will start regularly snagging your comments for a week or two.

        2. When you say Obama has been more conservative than Reagan, you mean tax rates are lower now than when Reagan was in power, because the Republicans have control of the senate and are blocking all reasonable attempts at fiscal responsibility, deliberately implementing a scorched earth policy on the country they claim to love, just so idiots like you will spout this sort of bullshit, right? That’s your point is it?

          Edit: Sorry that and astroturfing for Matt Damon for some reason.

        3. I refused to accept this lesser evil BS ever again.  I’m deeply sorry I ever voted for Barack Obama. I should have voted for Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate.

          The problem is people like Dean, Kucinich & Paul keep dropping out of the elections before most Americans ever get to vote for them.  They are too accepting of the conventional wisdom that says they can’t win if they don’t superstar early in the primaries.  Which is, mathematically & logically, just nonsense.  They should go on a third party ticket (the Greens would probably take Denis Kucinich, and the Libertarians would take Ron Paul), and they’ve got a damn good chance of winning against the Romneys, Palins and Bidens.

          PS:  I did vote for McKinney.  Even though she’s kind of an anti-jewish nutbag.  If nobody votes for the Greens, they can’t stay on the ballot, and I want them on the ballot.

          PPS:  Registering Republican lets you filter the Republican primary.  You can still vote Working Families in the general, you know.

  18. Is this a reflection of Charles Beck’s policies?

    Like so many of these other stories, this makes me feel rage like I’ve never known before. Call me a troll but I understand supporting some police departments. Some have behaved better than others. But when they misbehave I believe they do tremendous harm to those communities they don’t “like” and this is only just becoming part of the broader national conversation. Ask many poor or middle class African-Americans and they can tell you this was already the sorry state of policing in many areas.

    With regard to the LAPD, this is the Rodney King police department after all. Why do you think the LA riots happened? It was an overnight phenomenon? Suddenly African-Americans were angry over one incident? I’m admittedly privileged to only wonder in this regard but I’m inclined at this point to think we’ll find a history of abuse that lead up to the riots.

    Also Chief Charles Beck was in C.R.A.S.H. See

  19. I’m not American, but from outside the gatherings in the US are starting to look more and more like the ones in the Arab Spring countries, and we all know how those end up.

    Thing is, the US right now could be where, say, Libya and Iraq was twenty years ago, when the dictators there simply massacred opposition and went on with their lives, only to go down recently when their time was up. 

    I’m saying that because it seems much of the scare and strong-arm tactics seem to be working, for the moment at least, in supressing any serious threat to the present order.

    AND, the police etc seem to have a very, very large contingent of heavily armed right wing Americans behind them.

    So, back to twenty years from now. The interim is a period of uneasy stability as the dictators forcibly maintain it through terror. There may even be spells of  where the society seems to be chugging along quite nicely. They did in Libya, and Iraq.

    And then dissent kicks in again. We’re talking 2030, 2040, just as the oil starts running out. 

    By which time I’ll either be dead or too old to care. Thank goodness.

  20. How long before the injustice spurs even the most even tempered to lash out in retaliation?
    How long before the incipient imprisonment of people in their own countries?
    It doesn’t stop at the carrying of personal firearms to fight off the mob.

  21. As a child I remember my father telling me “Never trust the police” and “All police are bullies”. This was from a man who never committed a crime, was a stand up republican voter, a veteran of Korea and Vietnam, served in both the Navy and the Airforce, a retired NCO of the Airforce, a volunteer firefighter, and a hell of a man.
    When I was a child, I thought he was wrong. I was spoon fed the propaganda by the media and I ate it right up. These past 10 years have shown me how very wrong I was.

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