NYPD and Bloomberg vs. Occupy Wall Street: "Just hit them"

"[W]hat's been pretty seriously under-covered is this past weekend's amazing outburst of out-of-control NYPD tactics on Occupy Wall Street," writes Choire Sicha at the Awl, along with a roundup of links and videos illustrating just how out-of-control those NYPD tactics are.


  1. I wonder how easily an organized group of people at the front end of a crowd could surround, extract to a safe location and dampen the behavior of a violent individual?

  2. I was there, and it was horrifying how violent the NYPD were.  They attacked and beat a troupe of bagpipe musicians who were in town from Brittany for St Patrick’s Day.  They had played in the parade earlier in the day, and thought it would be fun to play for Occupy Wall Street.  For the high crime of playing bagpipes on St Patrick’s Day, the police attacked them with clubs, shoving them across the street and against the wall.  A good friend of mine saw an officer destroy one of the musician’s bagpipes with his baton, then punch the musician in the face.  Welcome to America.

      1. The NY Observer wrote a quick blog piece about it (below), but I haven’t seen much else.  The reporters weren’t really paying attention at that point in the night.  The park was full of people and energy, but we were staying in the park, not marching off in the streets or anything.  The NYPD had been weirdly antagonistic in sporadic episodes throughout the day, but the attack on the bagpipers seems to have set the police off and really started their brutality in earnest.

        I’m surprised this didn’t set off a minor diplomatic incident. These people were cultural ambassadors from France!  I realize it was a little late to be playing bagpipes, but that’s at most a ticket-able offense, and at any rate, we usually look the other way for holiday-appropriate celebrations.


  3. If I was in OWS treasury committee I would authorize the purchasing of 100 of those riot suits featured on boingboing a few days ago, shield and batons. Spend a few days outside of NYC drilling 100 die-hard volunteers and meet the cops action for action. 

    1. And if I was in the NYC treasury committee I’d pay OWS to run my officers through nonviolence training.

  4. There is a very simple way to solve this problem. Refuse to serve NYPD at any establishment. No donuts, coffee, or hot dogs. Scorn them at every opportunity.
    Another tactic, throw blood filled balloons at them and tell them it has HIV. That will clear the SOB’s. The movement needs to adapt or be crushed.

    1. …and this is how the Weather Underground gets started.  Again.

      I hope there is some way you can be antagonistic without being completely vile.

      1. You mean the guys that bombed empty buildings?

        Go ahead and fact check that.  When the Weathermen became Weather Underground they consciously decided to only bomb empty buildings and made elaborate plans to make sure the buildings were actually empty before detonation.

        Not that they weren’t radical or violent and some members of WU went on to do some stuff that was actually heinous.  But WU has gotten a much worse reputation than they deserve because of the Obama/Ayers guilt-by-association thing. 

        1. >  You mean the guys that bombed empty buildings?

          Yes.  If your argument is they were not as bad as the wacko-right say they were, than I would agree.  I met Bill Ayers after a talk he did a few years back, and he seemed the imagine of the reformed culture warrior.

          However even he admitted what the Weather Underground did was criminal, dangerous and blatantly counterproductive to it’s goals.  

          If you or anyone in the Occupy movement begin to propose anything even resembling the Weather Underground, weather it be simply destruction of property to violence, the entire country will turn on you faster than you can say “we are the 99”.  You think that is police brutality above?  Just wait when the swat teams raid your house and the house of everyone you’ve chatted with in the past week, gunning down anyone who twitches with automatic weapons in “justifiable self-defense”.  And the country, which overall likes it’s material things and people, will watch and cheer.

          The tactics a movement uses may be irrelevant to it’s purpose, and either effect or ineffective, but history will always view the two as entangled.  The civil rights movement is taught in middle-school history classes because it changed the country, not because of it’s numbers or money or catchy phrases, though it needed all of these, but because of it’s strategy and tactics; by peacefully advocating for justice in the face of brutality and cruelty.  The image of police dogs attacking children, or cops beating marchers while they lined up to get beaten was what won the hearts of America.  

          I do not know what can change them now.  But using faux chemical weapons and what is essentially terrorism against law-enforcement is so incredibly short-sided…    I don’t have words to describe how terrible an idea that is.

    1. Just fine because we’re watching videos of us getting beaten, not street wars. You know MSM has the “Occupiers attack police” headlines pre-written and ready to go. Every time we’re beaten, thrown around, extra-judicially arrested, and tormented, the police further assume the role of protecting a broken and dying system rather than themselves. I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s tough but worthwhile to control the pituitary response of getting violent. Stick to principles because the NYPD and National Park Police and Oakland PD sure as hell aren’t.

    2. Hows that nonviolent protest tactic working out?

      What @trees123:disqus said… and so far we’ve influence everything from legislation to the SOTU address and the movement is ONLY roughly six months old.

      With violent protest we’d be yet another impatient, lazy, useless gesture to be dismissed.  Kind of like your post.  See how far violence will get you, friend.  You’ll be a laughable stain against the wall and nothing more.

      Instead, we are slowly (but surely) gaining strength and spreading ideas that are fostering action.  We are getting more and more powerful.  THAT’S exactly why we ARE a threat to the establishment.

      You can go get some fast food, knee-jerk, reactionary, lazy, impatient, fruitless, bullshit violent temper tantrum “accomplished” or you can cook a healthy meal and educate yourself:


      It’s up to you.

      1.  I don’t think you understand the proper use of the term “friend” or the spectrum of violence. Violence isn’t always lazy, incompetent, thrashing.

        You might be unable to conceive of the effective use of violence, but that does not mean it does not exist. Violence isn’t always angry youths with a “circle-a” and a poorly formed concept of anarchism; sometimes violence is a coordinated and intelligent use of force, even sabre-rattling can be effective provided one have a sabre. The ability to be beaten repeatedly may be effective in the long run or it may not but to call the suggestion “knee-jerk” without considering it is a bit of pot meet kettle IMHO.

        Some people simply see no reason to wait until we’re in the same boat as Syria or Egypt, etc. (decades of codified violent suppression) before responding in kind.

        1. Violence isn’t always lazy, incompetent, thrashing.

          Yes, sometimes there’s very astute, methodical, precision violence. Usually involves trains, ovens… lots of paperwork.

          Violence isn’t always angry youths with a “circle-a”

          Yes, sometimes they wear fancier logos and have awesome concepts of anarchism. A bullet in the head from someone like that feels far more poetic than from a sloppy, angry youth.

          The ability to be beaten repeatedly may be effective in the long run or it may not

          It’s not the ability to be beaten… it’s the ability to have the strength, class and resolve to withstand brute stupidity and in the face of it, show who the REAL bad guys are. It’s working already and is only making us stronger.

          If you want a blueprint for the destruction of the Occupy Wall Street movement, then simply listen to right wing radio. They explain through their hyperbole and lies against the movement what they really want us to be doing. They want us to be violent, ineffectual and stupid. All the things that will destroy us.

          Some people simply see no reason to wait until we’re in the same boat as Syria or Egypt, etc. (decades of codified violent suppression) before responding in kind.

          This isn’t Syria or Egypt. Violence will only turn the American public against the movement.

          Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of the American public that has joined and/or supports the movement understands that violent protest will only set us all backwards.

          I don’t think you understand what’s going on here. We’re not trying to fight against the USA and its armed forces. We are taking over the USA and its armed forces, capisce?

          This will take time, persistence and educating one another along the way. Never underestimate the power of education. The corporatists sure as hell haven’t; Just look at their incessant attacks upon our educational system, Internet, etc.

          “Knowledge is the pathway from slavery to freedom.” – Frederick Douglass

          1.  Godwinning isn’t really an intelligent tactic, I mean it certainly does a great job of ensuring that people who are not well educated and tend to already be aligned with your own principles feel a sort of boost but preaching to the choir is kind of masturbatory (not that I’m not a fan of masturbation) but it does more to push those who are less inclined to lend an ear and who may oppose your position to continue to eschew your views.

            It also paints you as either very sophomoric or very lazy if the only intelligent use of violence you can think of is the National Socialists. You’re ending up using the same kind of half-baked rhetoric that anti-vegans use “Hitler was a vegetarian!” aka the logical fallacy of “guilt by association” or “argumentum ad Nazium”.

            As for wanting to destroy the U.S., well that depends on how you define the U.S. or how much of that which one might wish to destroy is part of the U.S.

            Maybe from where I’m standing I do want to destroy the U.S.

          2. Godwinning isn’t really an intelligent tactic

            It’s wasn’t a tactic; I was simply mocking your promotion of violence as an intelligent tactic for the OWS movement (which is as ridiculous as it is sophomoric).

            It also paints you as either very sophomoric or very lazy if the only intelligent use of violence you can think of is the National Socialists.

            Maybe it would be better if you described to me (and Homeland Security) the specific violent acts you think would positively affect the state of our nation?

            You are obviously blinded with dogma. I’ve already stated very clearly with specific examples of how and why the OWS movement is growing because it does not condone violence.

            Please show me how that’s wrong? Explain to me how the OWS movement would grow and positively change this country with violence?

            As for wanting to destroy the U.S., well that depends on how you define the U.S. or how much of that which one might wish to destroy is part of the U.S.

            Speak for yourself. I want no part in destroying the USA, I’ll leave that to the corporatists who’ve done a fine job of that already.

            Helping to make positive, systemic change of a corrupt system isn’t destroying it… it’s upgrading it. Blowing shit up will only further entrench and embolden the corrupt system.

            You’ve been playing too many video games.

            Maybe from where I’m standing I do want to destroy the U.S.

            You’ll only succeed in destroying yourself.

            Once again, this is the United States, not Syria. It’s 2012 and the only reason the OWS movement is here now is because this is the only time something like this could ever occur in history. We have communication tools that no other people have ever had in human history. To ignore this fact is absolute folly and that’s what you’re doing when you propose that the OWS movement needs to resort to senseless violence to achieve anything.

            I’ll trade 10 intelligent, informed people with internet against 2000 armed teabaggers lost in the dark woods any day.

  5. if there is a more corrupt group of people in the universe other than the scum wall street.fed.reserve bankers it is the cops. We are repeatedly reminded that the cops usually do the wrong thing. Wether it is letting a citizen gun down a teenager in cold blood or beating non violent offenders on the streets of our once free nation.
    Make no mistake about it,they are following orders from a very dark secretive bunch of hooligans. Their secret is being brought to light this year. They desperately do not want this to happen or we will see them as they truly are. Parasitic greed demons.
    Their timeline manipulation has no options for this year of 2012.
    They know this. They are afraid of us and are trying to send a violent message to discorage us from standing up to their injustice. They know we all are on the same page. Stay strong OWS, they are afraid of YOU.
    We are one!

  6. Oh, it’s “Bloomberg”! That totally changes the story from when I first saw the title and read it as “Boomerang”.

  7. Occupy Everywhere is a theme struck here by Arundhati Roy describing capitalism run amok in India: 


    Some will find it particularly instructive to read the comments. A world apart from the decency expressed by most of the contributors here. Boing Boing’s locals come across as a very decent and human slice of humanity in comparison to the jackals and hyenas at Outlook India. 

  8. Your input is no longer required citizen. Return to your domicile peacefully and watch TV.

  9. Chicago Convention The Whole World is Watching 1968
    Nothing Changes.  The irony is some of these protestors went on the become bankers and stock brokers

    1. You know, there were plenty of conservative youths in the 60s. Most everybody that I know who protested in the 60s and 70s is still doing it one way or another.

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