Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Observations from the Edge 11.15

My horoscope today said that I feel like I am in the eye of a hurricane right now and that isn't too far off. By this past Sunday I was so tired of seeing Penn State trashed I stopped watching the news and didn't go anywhere near twitter. Than I woke up this morning to the green light flashing on my Droid and was surprised to find that the NYPD had raided Liberty Square like thieves in the middle of the night, arrested over a hundred, and tore down all the tents. Once again they used the excuse of cleaning the camp for Brookfield Properties but this time there was no warning. Rather than spiraling it down even farther the news seems to have pulled me out of my funk for now.

I felt guilty for having slept through the eviction so I went down to Liberty Square to see what was left and found absolutely nothing. Everything was gone and replaced by about 50 of New York's finest leaning on the barricades that now held back nobody. All that was left of the encampment was a single middle aged man holding up a sign that read “re-occupy Wall Street.” I was taking some shots when I saw one of the cops walking towards me and thought better of adding to the morning's arrest tally so I moved on to Foley Square where I found maybe a hundred survivors of Bloomberg's raid.

At Foley I heard a rumor that the mayors of the occupied cities were working together to clear out the encampments. The idea being to flood the media with so many events no one city would take the a beating in the coverage. It didn't take much looking to see this might be true as Denver and Salt Lake City were cleared on November 12th, Portland on November 13th, Oakland on November 14th, and New York City today. Maybe it's all a coincidence and maybe it isn't. This rumor later morphed with a printed report that many of the raids were planned with the assistance of the Department of Homeland Security which quickly sparked a new hashtag, #PoliceState.

Mayor Bloomberg evidently thought he could get away with no coverage at all this time as reporters were held blocks away from Liberty where many were arrested and some beaten. One reporter for Mother Jones was told if he stayed in the park he could get hurt. This after he tried to photograph an injured protester being loaded into an ambulance. In the possibly the biggest crock of bull I have ever heard Mayor Bloomberg said the decision to clamp down on coverage was made to "protect the members of the press. We have to provide protection and we have done exactly that." Beating as protection, what a concept. Another tactic of questionable legality was the clearing of the airspace over Liberty during the raid, something NYPD has no authority to do.

Thanks to a court order OWS members are streaming back into Liberty Square as I finish this. It may however be a pyrrhic victory of sorts as the judge ruled OWS may be there but may not camp or set up tents in the park. As temperatures dip lower and lower at night I fear it's now only a matter of time.

In all likelihood the weather option has been his highness the Mayor's option of choice all along.

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