I continue to be baffled at the overreaction of the NYPD toward OWS in Manhattan. This video is from this morning; see the cop run up behind a guy in a green T-shirt who was just walking. The cop whirls the young man around and punches him.
Either some among the NYPD are Neanderthal thugs, or someone is paying them under the table to punch the hippies. Of course, both could be true.
BTW, the young man’s name is Felix Rivera-Pitre. He says he is HIV positive and that the cop drew blood and had better get tested.
According to CBS News, the cops claim protesters were throwing bottles and garbage at them. If true, surely someone caught it on a cameraphone. I’ll wait to see the video.
However, young folks, whatever you do — don’t fight back. That’s what they want you to do. Don’t give in to the temptation. Well, unless you think they’re about to kill you, I suppose. And don’t provoke the cops unnecessarily. Just go about your lawful business, and let the blame be entirely on them if they stop you. It’s what Gandhi would do.
In another incidence of PSHSD — post sixties hysterical stress disorder — someone in Boston is claiming that the “hippies” spit on a woman in a Coast Guard uniform. I’m with Susie on that one — highly unlikely.
Polls show that a majority of Americans have a favorable view of OWS, and the Right is going to do everything it can do to tarnish that approval, including making up stories about spitting at people in the armed services. There’s no way to stop that.
But this is where the Greater Asshole rule comes into play. If the people slandering OWS appear to be the bigger assholes, then the slander shouldn’t hurt much. However, a few undisciplined hotheads could undo everything and neuter the demonstration.
I hope the Zuccotti Park crew understand that occupying a plaza is not a movement; it’s a symbolic act. It could become the anchor of a movement, or not, but that movement requires popular support if it is going to effect change. They can camp on the plaza a hundred years; if the public turns against them, eventually no one’s going to care.