According to Chris Hedges, this kind of thing is really scaring the insiders:
In other news, the NY Times hasn’t noticed other than the snide article I linked to yesterday. The Guardian reports that the name and info of the cop who maced people have been released:
Activists connected to the Occupy Wall Street protests have published the name, phone number and family details of a senior New York police officer they accuse of using pepper spray on peaceful female protesters at a march on Saturday.
The officer was named in Twitter posts and on various activist websites as NYPD deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, of Patrol Borough Manhattan South.
The posts also cite an apparent civil rights charge against the officer dating from 2007.
YouTube footage of the incident, which has been widely circulated since Saturday, appears to show a white-shirted NYPD officer firing the spray into the eyes of the protesters, who are penned in by other officers with orange netting. As the officer walks away, two of the women crumple to the ground, screaming in pain.
There were several clashes between protesters and police at the march in the financial district on Saturday, during which there were 80 arrests.
Hacker collective Anonymous claimed responsibility on Monday for posting Bologna’s details, which they said was in retribution for the attack.
There is even a sympathetic piece in the WaPo Post-Partisan, which no doubt gave Charlie Lane an aneurysm:
You may have heard about the Occupy Wall Street protests, now entering their 10th day in New York. Several hundred activists have taken over Zuccotti Park near Wall Street since Sept. 17, and this past Saturday they were joined by over a thousand more. The NYPD, displaying their famously light touch, has arrested dozens of activists, including members of the protest’s media team, and even maced innocent protesters. (The occupation’s Twitter hashtag, #occupywallstreet, and its livestream have plenty more details.) Despite this pressure, the protesters have vowed to stay in the park for the foreseeable future.
Then again, you can’t walk around New York without bumping into some demonstration, so does this protest deserve attention? It’s easy to say that these are just (mostly) college kids with nothing better to do; or to make fun of their demands, which range from ending wealth inequality to ending war; or to use more extreme protesters to dismiss the rest. And it’s easy to believe that the protesters’ cause will be forgotten as soon as the demonstration ends. It’s easy to react this way, because that’s how many protest “movements” have panned out in the past. But this movement is different because of the bleak situation facing the country, especially its youth.
Demonstrations are stronger when protesters are denouncing a target that directly affects them. In 1971, President Nixon’s decision to end student deferments sparked a new wave of antiwar protests on campuses around the country. Many believe the lack of a draft severely weakened protests against the Iraq war. In 1932, the Bonus Army was able to gather thousands of veterans to Washington because their cause was not someone else’s poverty but their own.
Similarly, these demonstrators are protesting not only for a cause but for themselves. Just as many young people in the ’60s and ’70s feared becoming cannon fodder in Southeast Asia, so, too, do many today fear for their futures. The figures are astounding. Three years after Wall Street crashed the economy, youth unemployment stands at 18 percent, double the national rate, while youth employment is at its lowest level since the end of World War II. And because the graduate who spends a year unemployed will still make 23 percent less than a similar classmate a decade later, the young unemployed will feel these effects for years. The average college graduate now carries over $27,000 in debt at graduation; not surprisingly, then, more than 85 percent of the Class of 2011 moved back into their parents’ homes, the highest number on record. Not to mention, when this long recession is finally over, the young get to face reduced Social Security, Medicare and other benefits, largely (though not entirely, of course) because their parents and grandparents decided to let their descendants pay for their tax cuts, their wars and their bailouts.
The Business Insider, which is basically what you get when you cross a Wall Street insider/fanboi blog with TMZ (Where are the Stars of Baywatch Now? or Click Here to See Tech Execs Before They Were Famous!), had the ultimate piece in trolling from some blue-blood CNBC hack:
We decided to take a stroll through their encampment at Zuccotti Park this weekend and here’s some things we noticed:
Poor hygiene: While wandering through the camp site, I asked several people how long they’ve been there and if they’ve taken a shower. Some people said they would go to friends’ apartments to clean up. However a bunch of the protestors confessed to me that they have not showered since the start of the movement. In my opinion, the smell is extremely pungent. And the camp site is littered with trash, cardboard and garbage bags piled up.
Nudity: At least two women had their naked breasts exposed. Apparently, it is legal. (I asked a police officer nearby.) But there’s no question it’s inconsiderate. The site is surrounded by popular tourist destinations in the Financial District and there are tons of families with young children that frequent those locations.
Drugs: Another thing that caught me by surprise was the use of marijuana. I walked right by a protestor smoking weed in broad daylight. The police must have been just 20 feet away too. If you’re at a protest site surrounded by hundreds of police officers and trying to get out your important message out, then it’s probably not the best idea to light one up!
I’m relieved to know that exposed breasts are in fact legal in NYC, and that is something I can completely endorse. At any rate, the protests appear to be spreading despite the media blackout from major news organizations, who only noticed the protests (like me) when the cops started acting like thugs. So maybe once again, I was wrong, and they didn’t need a coordinated message- they just needed people to get up off their ass and to get out there and do something. Even if that means a DFH drum circle.