20 November 2011

The Founders and Police Brutality

The real tragedy of the police brutality we're seeing in the attacks on Occupy is that we have the means to stop it but we let the 1% take it away from us.

The Founders anticipated what we're seeing, citizens rising-up to protest their government's actions and they feared the government's response. They knew professional "peacekeepers" would act as we've seen our militarized police act so they gave us the Second Amendment.

The notion of a professional police force acting responsibly is foolish. Ultimately, all professionals must be loyal to their profession. That's what drove the Founders to add the Second Amendment to the Constitution. It's not about guns. It's about ensuring our police and military are civilians called to service, that is, a militia, common citizens bearing arms for the benefit of their communities not to earn an income. What's a professional going to do when his commander tells him to pepper spray protestors? Pull the trigger or refuse, knowing he'll be fired?

The Founders thought they had a better way. They thought the guy next door, called for crowd control, wouldn't unload a can of pepper spray into your daughters face. They gave the People the right to control the security forces but we've allowed the 1% to pervert the Second Amendment. We've allowed a gun industry lobby, the National Rifle Association, to use the Second Amendment to sell guns. They've manipulated public policy to create private profit.

Now we have to march in protest to get back the government the Founders gave us. It's a shame and a tragedy we have to endure the consequences of our complacency but it's the only way to fix the problem we created.

06 November 2011

Defending Occupy

Comments at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, stltoday.com, site seem overwhelmingly to be anti-Occupy, most recently on this story:St. Louis officials say time for Occupy protesters to leave plaza. Commenters seem to believe the violence and crime now being more frequently reported damns the Occupy movement.

That troubled me.

I believe the underlying reasons for Occupy to be progressive and good for the country but have to admit the crime and violence are a problem. We can't expect to gain the support of Americans if they see police in riot gear hauling-away protestors every night on TV. That creates a very bad impression and might be enough to marginalize the movement.

One way to combat that impression is to remind America that Occupy is attracting a variety of persons. As one blogger notes:

...Keep in mind that the whole Occupy Movement is one big populist shindig. It may vary from place to place,but the "Occupations" are full of people from all over the polticial spectrum. Some see this "broadness" as a really good thing. Some, like me, question it. Combine a so called leaderless movement with no common political oreintation and what do you get? Who is to say, who represents what, who is to do what, what tactic is correct, which slogan to shout, what sign to hold up? At some point the Occupy movement has to decide what it wants to be and whose interest it wants to represent...or it will implode. For how long can you have anarchists, Marxists, Ron Paul supporters, right wing libertarians, dogmatic pacifists, liberals, feel good people, angry people, people who intend to defend themselves and more, capitalists, petty bourgois, workers, unemployed. business owners, professionals, anti racists, racists, and all that and more in an "ain't we got fun" atmosphere?


If we can't defend Occupy, it is doomed.