My 37 hours with the NYPD

My 37 hours with the NYPD
Why it is important for occupiers to see the inside of the prison-industrial complex.

One final thought after these illuminating 37 hours. The story of Occupy Wall Street is impossible to tell removed from the story of the prison industrial complex. What makes OWS necessary is a story of a failing educational system. It’s a story of privatized prisons. It’s a story of predatory lenders, lack of affordable housing, and a complete absence of jobs in the most marginalized communities, who are often black or brown. It’s a story of a so-called drug war meant to imprison black and brown youth as a means of generating profits for the 1 percent. The NYPD have shown they will arrest accredited and unaccredited journalists alike. Official credentials don’t work as a protection.

That said, journalists – like activists – shouldn’t be afraid of going to jail. If and when we do get arrested it is not an inconvenience, or something that we shouldn’t be subjected to. It’s a chance to refocus our outrage, a chance to tell the most important stories, a chance to bear witness to the horrors of our criminal justice system. I don’t think the NYPD will ever offer me official credentials, but I won’t be asking them for any. Our right to observe and document police misconduct is not contingent on the approval of the authorities. And if the police think that intimidation is going to stop this movement, they should know better by now.

Ex-Seattle chief: ‘Occupy’ police use ‘failed’ tactics

Ex-Seattle chief: ‘Occupy’ police use ‘failed’ tactics

In the years following 9/11, the federal government provided military equipment to police forces across the country and instilled in them a military mindset, all in the name of homeland security, the former police chief says.

“The intentions are easily understood but it was a hopelessly misguided policy,” he says. “What we see now is even the tiniest rural police department dressed out in battle fatigues and Swat uniforms, sometimes driving armoured personal vehicles and making every marijuana bust a military operation.”

The Miami Model

The Miami Model [film online]

“Miami is where the creeping militarization of police tactics vis-à-vis political protest was congealed,” she said in an email. “Not only in numbers but in equipment the Miami police outnumbered us and widely employed militarized strategies to overwhelm people.”

The Miami Model, or what former Seattle police chief Norman Stamper dubs “paramilitary policing,” now seems an entrenched framework for dealing with large, often nonconfrontational protest movements.

Robocops vs. the occupiers

100 CUNY Students Attacked by NYPD at the Public Board of Trustee Hearing at Baruch

100 CUNY Students Attacked by NYPD at the Public Board of Trustee Hearing at Baruch

WE CONDEMN the use of police violence against CUNY community members who were protesting peacefully at the public Board of Trustees Public and Budget Hearing at Baruch College on November 21, 2011. We also reject the official statement[2] released by the administration of the City University of New York regarding those events.

STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF peacefully entered the Baruch lobby to attend the public meeting of the Board of Trustees and were immediately met by a line of police carrying large wooden truncheons and blocking access to the building. Students who were on the official roster of speakers were also denied access. At no time did the students, faculty, and staff attempt to push past the massed police officers, nor to confront them physically in any way. The police directed us to the first-floor overflow room where the meeting would be televised live. Knowing that our voices would not be heard in the broadcast room, we decided that we would hold an assembly in the lobby and allow people to tell their stories and testimonies of experiences as students at CUNY. Most of us sat down on the ground so that speakers could stand and be heard.

THE POLICE ATTACKED US shortly after we sat down and began pushing us toward the wall, responding to our peaceful, lawful protest with physical confrontation…