Sunday, November 13, 2011

Who is Ordering the Arrest of Demonstrators?

During the early 20th Century the Socialist Party had about 1,000 elected officials. Over 70 were mayors. Some of them kept their police forces from attacking striking workers. Now in the 21st Century who is ordering the attack on demonstrators fighting for the working class?

"Time to Occupy the Democratic Party" says:

"But Oakland is hardly alone when it comes to Democratic mayors ordering mass arrests of Occupiers for exercising their First Amendment rights. In fact, aside from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg - a Republican turned independent - most of the mayors involved have been Democrats. Boston's Mayor Tom Menino had 141 people arrested on October 11. Under Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, roughly 300 Occupy supporters have been arrested in a series of attempts to set up a stable base camp. In Atlanta, 52 protesters were arrested on October 26 under orders of Mayor Kasim Reed, who said the “last straw” came when a man carrying an AK-47 joined the demonstrators. But the man was rejected by the Occupiers, and what he did was legal under Georgia law. Besides, no Tea Party demonstration was ever shut down because someone there was carrying an assault weapon.

The weekend after Olsen was shot in Oakland, 27 Occupiers were arrested in Portland under Mayor Sam Adams, and 25 were arrested in Denver, under Mayor Michael Hancock. The Denver arrests were particularly violent as police in riot gear attacked peaceful demonstrators with tear gas and pepper spray pellets. Dozens more have been arrested in Des Moines, St Louis, Cincinnati, Seattle, Sacramento, and San Francisco - all with Democratic mayors.

While some mass arrests have been deliberately planned, and very professionally handled by police, the predominant pattern has been much more troubling: Despite a grudging admission that people have a right to protest, Democratic mayors have generally viewed Occupy demonstrators in a negative light, and have not shown much interest or inclination in any sort of productive relationship. The city of Los Angeles was a noted exception initially, with city council members even visiting them, and passing a supportive resolution, but more recently both the mayor and an initially enthusiastic councilmember have begun to talk about shutting them down."

At least Albuquerque has some support from City Council, even though the police have helped to shut down Camp Coyote and arrested people. It is time to get out and vote as Left as possible while staying in the streets that are ours!

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