A lot happened in Chicago over the weekend at events related to the demonstrations against NATO. Depending on where you go or who you ask, you get a different picture. It's a real kaleidoscope of images and viewing angles.
I want to look at some of the kaleidoscope, then add things up.
■ First this image (click to big):
as referenced in this tweet:
United front of bike-cops and long-baton riot troopers protecting Chicago from vegans with flags twitpic.com/9nhnhy— Kenneth Lipp (@kennethlipp) May 21, 2012
Remind you of this? It should — they're back. Per Sam Seder, there were also anecdotal reports of LRAD deployments.
■ Next this taste from the Chicago Sun-Times:
Chicago Police in riot gear battled with [...] protesters at Michigan and Cermak on Sunday, with officers raining down baton blows, pushing taunting protesters back and leaving some bloody.I've left this report brief (and edited) because I've read many non-mainstream accounts that conflict with those from mainstream media, whom I strongly suspect of "framing" rather than reporting.
I suggest you do likewise — strongly suspect the mainstream media of "framing," not just reporting.
■ But this really got my attention. Via David Swanson (my emphasis and some reparagraphing):
A huge crowd gathered for several hours and marched for over two miles in the hot sun to oppose NATO and U.S. wars on Sunday in Chicago. Finishing the march outside the NATO meeting, numerous U.S. veterans of current wars denounced their previous "service" and threw their medals over the fence, a scene not witnessed since the U.S. war on Vietnam.Swanson adds editorially:
This event, with massive turnout and tremendous energy, saw the participation of numerous groups from Chicago and the surrounding area, including students, teachers, and activists on a variety of issues ... No one can have been disappointed with the turnout, but it might have been bigger if not for the fear that was spread prior to Sunday. In the face of that fear, Sunday's action was remarkable.
The fear was the result of a massive militarized police build up, rumors of evacuations, the boarding up of windows, brutal police assaults on activists, preemptive arrests, disappearances, and charges of terrorism.
A segment of the activist world plays into these police tactics, wearing bandanas, shouting curses, antagonizing police, and eroding credibility for claims that violence is all police-initiated. Yet the vast majority of the crowd was disciplined, nonviolent, and effective.
It is critical that the people of Afghanistan know the people of the U.S. oppose what NATO is doing to them.Agree or disagree, that was the message.
UPDATE: More images of the soldiers' protest here.
■ About those "disappearances" you might start here. There are many more reports like that. It paints yet another picture, this time of covert police intel ops, likely infiltration, and "preventive" uncharged detentions.
Were there also agents provocateurs sprinkled among the boys in black? You guess.
What does this add to?
These images sum to an establishment that's frightened and feeling under siege. They are afraid that Occupy will have an effect and are determined to stamp it out.
This is excellent news, in my opinion. It means:
- Occupy still has their attention (thank you, spirit in the sky).
- The Masters of the State are determined — stupidly in my opinion — to make themselves and their cops the news; to send a message, as it were.
What to do next
It seems clear that Occupy leaders (you know you exist) should be certain to embrace non-violence. You don't have to police your ranks (the cops will do that for you — by infiltration and by beating). But define violent attack (yes, even against property) as outside the Occupy Movement circle.
I've expressed that argument here. The additional reason is infiltration.
You know you will be infiltrated, Occupy. You've certainly been infiltrated already. The first mark you should put on someone espousing violence is "cop candidate". You'll be right at least part of the time, and you can't afford to be wrong, to assume the sincerity of the violent.
If you divide around violence, you will shrink and ultimately fail. If you unite against violence, you retain the best PR advantage you have — "We're not the 1%. We're not Them."
In my opinion, this is your most promising growth path.
And your success matters. As I wrote earlier, the whole rest of the resistance, of which Occupy is just a part, needs you to grow. Critical mass.
To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius