NYPD police brutality at Occupy Wall Street

I woke up this morning to find this shared on my Facebook.

I’ve been hearing and catching stories of the brutal arrests and show of police violence on Wall Street almost since the protests began over 10 days ago.  Of course, this isn’t at all unique for the NYPD, who are as notorious amongst activists and the city’s poor for their brutality as much as they are lionized by the city’s politicians and elite.  This summer two socialists activists were hospitalized after suffering a random, completely unprovoked beating by NYPD officers in a subway station.  Also let’s not forget the stories of the NYPD’s dastardly tactics at the 2004 Republican National Convention where cops unjustly arrested several hundred protestors and even dressed in Yankees jerseys reading “Babe Ruth 3” while they plowed into protestors on mopeds, like it was a game.

In case you haven’t been following the stories coming from Occupy Wall St. here’s an excellent summation of the events of the protest and the lead up to it.  Additionally, here are some disturbing photos of the police violence and arrests here.

The police brutality in New York is not only not unique in New York, but given the recent, tragic execution of Troy Davis in Georgia; case after case of racist racial profiling against undocumented immigrants by border patrol; police complicity and justification of rape and sexual assault; police violence against protestors and rioters in London; police violence across the Arab World as rebellion spreads across the region, etc, etc., we should start to make the connection that police brutality is systemic.  Police brutality cannot be explained by stories of “bad apples” or “a few troublemakers” (as the MSNBC reporter above mentions), as it is far too commonplace across the globe, and continuously comes out time and again at moments of rebellion and struggle.  They are the armed guards of a system of exploitation, brutality and violence, the world over, and when that system comes under threat they will inevitably reveal the nature of their role in that system.

For a socialist perspective on the police and their role in capitalist society I would recommend checking out this brief presentation at WeAreMany.org.

Here are some songs that aptly express my feelings for the NYPD, and the police who murdered Troy Davis, Oscar Grant, and who continue to protect despotic and exploitative systems and regimes the world over.

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2 Responses to NYPD police brutality at Occupy Wall Street

  1. Pingback: Should I Go And Should I Stay? « www.lucypeel.com

  2. Ross Wolfe says:

    One of the most glaring problems with the supporters of Occupy Wall Street and its copycat successors is that they suffer from a woefully inadequate understanding of the capitalist social formation — its dynamics, its (spatial) globality, its (temporal) modernity. They equate anti-capitalism with simple anti-Americanism, and ignore the international basis of the capitalist world economy. To some extent, they have even reified its spatial metonym in the NYSE on Wall Street. Capitalism is an inherently global phenomenon; it does not admit of localization to any single nation, city, or financial district.

    Moreover, many of the more moderate protestors hold on to the erroneous belief that capitalism can be “controlled” or “corrected” through Keynesian-administrative measures: steeper taxes on the rich, more bureaucratic regulation and oversight of business practices, broader government social programs (welfare, Social Security), and projects of rebuilding infrastructure to create jobs. Moderate “progressives” dream of a return to the Clinton boom years, or better yet, a Rooseveltian new “New Deal.” All this amounts to petty reformism, which only serves to perpetuate the global capitalist order rather than to overcome it. They fail to see the same thing that the libertarians in the Tea Party are blind to: laissez-faire economics is not essential to capitalism. State-interventionist capitalism is just as capitalist as free-market capitalism.

    Nevertheless, though Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy [insert location here] in general still contains many problematic aspects, it nevertheless presents an opportunity for the Left to engage with some of the nascent anti-capitalist sentiment taking shape there. So far it has been successful in enlisting the support of a number of leftish celebrities, prominent unions, and young activists, and has received a lot of media coverage. Hopefully, the demonstrations will lead to a general radicalization of the participants’ politics, and a commitment to the longer-term project of social emancipation.

    To this end, I have written up a rather pointed Marxist analysis of the OWS movement so far that you might find interesting:

    “Reflections on Occupy Wall Street: What It Represents, Its Prospects, and Its Deficiencies”


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