So I was getting all ready to enumerate the various Occupy sites that weren’t on national TV because they weren’t being harassed by the mayors or the cops (see this previous post of mine and its accompanying comments thread) and then a whole bunch of other stuff came up:
— Too bad this memo showing lobbyist and banker efforts to discredit the Occupy movement (h/t David Dayen) turned up during the Weekend News Black Hole, because I’m betting it will be flushed down the establishment media memory hole by Monday morning.
— Oh, look! Portland, Oregon police chief sez cops couldn’t respond to a rape victim because those darned Occupy protesters were jumping in front of pepper spray streams. Um, except the rape in question happened two days before the victim called it in, and the call came on a non-protest day. And why do the cops feel the need to pepper spray unarmed peaceful protesters, anyway? Nobody pepper sprayed the guy who showed up to an Obama rally with a gun, did they? And nobody teargassed any of the Tea Partiers going around with signs proclaiming “We Came Unarmed (this time)”, right?
— UC Davis police chief Annette Spicuzza claims the cops had no choice but to pepper spray the Occupy folks on campus there: “She said officers were forced to use pepper spray when students surrounded them. They used a sweeping motion on the group, per procedure, to avoid injury, she said.” Oh, really? That’s not what the video shows. (See also above. See also here.)
— Can you say “Stasi”? NYPD sending obvious plainclothes cops into churches visited by Occupy members. This is an old FBI tactic: Show up at someone’s place of work or worship and ask seemingly innocuous questions about him or her. Most times, the bosses will be so freaked out and/or afraid of the FBI that they’ll just fire the targeted employees outright, which is exactly what the FBI wants them to do.
— Why is keeping Occupy alive so important? John Cassidy explains:
Last year, when Republicans in Congress were trying to torpedo the Volcker Rule, which placed tight limits on proprietary trading by big banks, I spoke with Barney Frank, who was then chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. This is what he said: Public opinion and the people can overcome the vested interests, but they have to be mobilized. If they aren’t mobilized, the vested interests can win out.
However it happened—and I don’t think even the organizers know the answer—the very act of occupying Zuccotti Park unleashed a nationwide political mobilization the likes of which hasn’t been seen in a long time. If the encampments disappear and everybody goes home, how can this mobilization be sustained? And without the mass mobilization, what are the prospects of any real political change?