Moral Low Ground


Retired NY Supreme Court Justice Karen Smith Roughed up by Cops for Intervening in Brutal Beating of ‘Occupy’ Protester’s Mom

Judge Smith (Photo: NY State Unified Court System)

A retired New York state Supreme Court justice was shoved into a wall by NYPD officers after she intervened in an attempt to stop officers from brutally beating the mother of an ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protester on Tuesday morning.

Judge Karen Smith told Democracy Now! that she was working as a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild, immediately identifiable as such by her day-glo neon green hat, when she witnessed a shocking incident of police brutality.

“I was there to take down the names of people who were arrested,” she explained. “As I’m standing there, an African-American woman goes up to a police officer and says, ‘I need to get in. My daughter’s there, I want to know if she is OK.’ And he said, ‘Move on, lady,’ and they kept pushing with their sticks, pushing back and she was crying… he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head.”

Smith knew she had to do something to stop the horrific attack.

“I walk over and I say, ‘Look, cuff her if she’s done something, but you don’t need to do that.’ He said, ‘lady, you want to get arrested?’ I said, ‘Do you see my hat? I’m here as a legal observer.’ He said, ‘Do you want to get arrested?’ and he pushed me up against the wall.”

Sadly, such brutality is all too common across the nation as police resort to heavy-handed tactics to deal with overwhelmingly peaceful ‘Occupy’ protesters. In Seattle, 84-year-old Dorli Rainey, a former mayoral candidate who stands all but 4’10” (1.47 m), was attacked with chemical weapons on Monday. She wasn’t alone; a priest and a pregnant teen were among the many peaceful protesters who were pepper sprayed. The pregnant girl required hospitalization.

“My problem is not only with police brutality, it is with the progressive getting worse attitude of the police,” Rainey, who grew up in Nazi Germany, told Democracy Now!  “I was tear-gassed… in Seattle when the WTO was there in Seattle. And I also was in a workshop with Arundhati Roy when she was in Seattle for theWTO. These locations, while they were pretty violent outside, were not nearly as bad as what we see now. It is getting progressively worse. Our freedoms are getting curtailed. And I just listened to the press being banned at Wall Street—this in a country where we export our sort of democracy all over the world at gunpoint.”

Rainey appeared on Current TV’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night, where she said implored people to stand up for what’s right and to “take one more step out of your comfort zone.” “It would be so easy to say, ‘Well I’m going to retire, I’m going to sit around, watch television or eat bonbons,’ but somebody’s got to keep ’em awake and let ’em know what is really going on in this world,” she said.

No one is immune from police brutality as the ruling class circles the wagons and dispatches its gatekeepers (the police) to crush the ‘Occupy’ uprising. No one. Not old ladies, not military veterans who fought the one percent’s wars against poor people in far-flung lands. On two separate occasions, two War on Terror vets were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after police in Oakland, California violently attacked ‘Occupy’ demonstrators. On October 25, former Marine and Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen was shot by a police projectile that fractured his skull and sent him to the intensive care unit with a swollen brain. Days later, Kayvan Sabehgi, a former Army Ranger and veteran of both the Iraq and Afghan wars, was brutally beaten by police in downtown Oakland. He ended up on the operating table with a lacerated spleen after being denied proper medical attention for the better part of an entire day.

Nearby, peaceful and unarmed students at the University of California, Berkeley were attacked by riot police on their own campus.

It’s not just protesters who have been brutalized and arrested. New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was beaten bloody and arrested at Tuesday’s violent ‘Occupy Wall Street’ eviction in Lower Manhattan. Also arrested was Paul Newell, the Democratic District Leader for New York’s 64th Assembly District.

And chillingly, journalists have also been targeted for beatings and arrest for nothing more than doing their jobs. NYPD officers told reporters that “you’re not press tonight” as they roughed up and arrested employees of NPR, the New York Times, the New York Post, NBC and other outlets big and small after the powers-that-be decided to black out media access to the Zuccotti Park/Liberty Square eviction site.

This blatant disregard for First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, assembly and the press is highly disturbing, to say the least. But rather than dissuade demonstrators, concerned citizens and the media from carrying on or covering the ‘Occupy’ phenomenon, police-state tactics will only embolden and enlarge the movement. After all, it was after Americans saw images of civil rights and peace activists being savagely attacked by police in the 1960s that public opinion turned in favor of those movements.

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  1. LibbyNovember 18, 2011 at 9:56 amReply

    I wonder if you have heard about peaceful protestors being attacked by riot police at McGill University on Thursday, November 10. Some had to be hospitalized because they were so badly hurt. Tear gas and pepper spray were used gratuitously.

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 18, 2011 at 9:59 amReplyAuthor

      No, I didn’t , but thank you for informing me. Just goes to show that police brutality is universal, even in our friendly neighbor to the north.

    • McGill StudentNovember 27, 2011 at 1:36 pmReply

      The protesters at McGill were NOT peaceful. For one thing, 14 students forced their way into the administrative building, which is by all means violent trespassing since they stopped people from leaving.

      Secondly, the “peaceful” protesters attacked the regular police by throwing things at them. This resulted in riot police being called in. Even though the riot police did use excessive force, the protesters were definitely NOT peaceful.

      • Ben FentonNovember 30, 2011 at 8:35 pmReply

        Entering a building is not violence. Beating people with nightsticks and pepper spray is violence.

        • bobby bDecember 2, 2011 at 3:47 pmReply

          Being part of a mob forcing its way into a building, denying the occupants of the building their right to go about their business, and refusing to obey lawful instructions from the police to end their aggressive mob takeover are, indeed, acts of violence.

          “Violence” doesn’t simply mean “physical acts which impede my actions.”

          • Inquiring MindsDecember 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm

            So, Rosa Parks was violent for refusing to obey police? Ghandi was violent for not complying with “lawful instructions”? Martin Luther King’s occupation of the court was an act of violence?

            I think perhaps you need to re-lookup the definition of the word, I don’t think it means what you think it does.

            Also, there is the idea of moderation. If someone bumps into you you could spray them with pepperspray, or you could also club them in the head with a night stick. You could also find out if the guy meant to bump into you before you attack him.

            Always embarrassing when it turns out the guy was staggering away from a mugging after being stabbed, and you finished him off by cracking his skull open.

  2. SamuelNovember 18, 2011 at 4:48 pmReply

    I’ve always had a propensity toward violence. Man, I wish I were a cop right now – it’s like a free-for-all on everyone and anyone! My dream come true!

    • Erin WinslowNovember 19, 2011 at 12:26 pmReply

      Get some therapy instead! This will do both you and the world a lot more good.

      • HryflexNovember 19, 2011 at 7:09 pmReply

        To me, Samuel’s comment sounded satiric. But it’s so difficult these days to tell.

        • Allan SNovember 26, 2011 at 12:16 pmReply

          That really is the worst part… he probably was satiric, but i bet these brutalizing cops really do feel that way (seriously)… i am happy though that the protesters peacefulness is infuriating for them… so infuriating that they do resort to violence… pretty infuriating huh 🙂

    • johnNovember 19, 2011 at 12:37 pmReply

      Samuel you sound like a disturbed idiot. Consider MMA if you need that level of violence.

      • BrandonNovember 19, 2011 at 10:07 pmReply

        He isn’t suited for the MMA. He couldn’t handle being hit back which is why he said he’d like to be a cop. They attack without the fear of retaliation because as soon as one person fights back the rest of the cops brutalize them for doing so.

      • BillcoNovember 26, 2011 at 11:30 amReply


        That’s the sound of satire flying over your head.

        That accusatory ignorance is why the world hates americans.

        • MRLNovember 26, 2011 at 9:22 pmReply

          WHOOSH! That’s the sound of an American swift kick in your ass for speaking for the world. That kind of unthinking arrogance is why you’re considered by ME to be a damn idiot! Bravo moron.

          • pistolpeteNovember 28, 2011 at 9:17 am

            Oh dear, haven’t you just illustrated his (Billco’s)point perfectly!

    • RichNovember 19, 2011 at 11:02 pmReply

      Unfortunately you are not the only sick & twisted, (I will leave out the profanity) people like you should downright should vacate the planet and leave the wreckage that is left for more correct thinking people!

    • Matthew HardingNovember 20, 2011 at 8:02 pmReply

      stick with cats, asshole.

      • MartyNovember 26, 2011 at 4:43 amReply

        Check that. Stick with humans.

    • SeanRNovember 20, 2011 at 9:30 pmReply

      To Samuel, watch out for what you wish, you just might get it. If you are using “dark satire” to make a point about police mentality, well done.

    • AnnNovember 20, 2011 at 11:52 pmReply

      I also think Samuel’s comment was satire…if it was, perfect!! If not….ewwwww.

    • kENT SchufflerNovember 28, 2011 at 7:30 amReply


  3. LindaNovember 19, 2011 at 5:36 pmReply

    This is the revolution of the world that was predicted several decades ago. . . It is just starting and watch when it spills world over! The “common” people have had enough.

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 19, 2011 at 6:20 pmReplyAuthor

      Let’s hope so, Linda!

      • kENT SchufflerNovember 28, 2011 at 7:31 amReply


  4. HryflexNovember 19, 2011 at 7:15 pmReply

    Correct me if I’m wrong but, if the Revolution is not being televised, it is being broadcast even more widely.

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 20, 2011 at 3:01 pmReplyAuthor

      The perks of living in the information age.

    • FitzNicelyNovember 21, 2011 at 3:17 amReply

      I’m sorry to say that you are wrong. They are only broadcasting the bits they will allow you to see, and attempting to suppress anything that shows up their true nature – witness the First Amendment violations mentioned above.
      Governments are currently trying to limit what can be seen over the internet. Comparisons with Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and Maoist China are pretty easy to make right now.

      • Allan SNovember 26, 2011 at 12:18 pmReply

        I think she was trying to say is that television falls victim to the censorship you speak of, but videos taken with camera phone’s and posted on youtube are harder to control…

        • LynxDecember 25, 2011 at 9:34 pmReply

          …SOPA, anyone?

  5. BrandonNovember 19, 2011 at 10:09 pmReply

    Maybe with all the police brutality being shared with the media, state representatives , and members of the court like this once judge the cops will be held accountable for their severely uncalled for actions against peaceful people.

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 20, 2011 at 1:00 pmReplyAuthor

      And maybe Ron Paul will win the GOP nomination.

      • BrandonNovember 20, 2011 at 4:45 pmReply

        Yeah, I don’t have high hopes of them being held accountable. Maybe one or two instances out of the hundreds, but for the most part, no real chance. Some have already been held accountable but all they did was move the people to another area.

  6. SteveNovember 20, 2011 at 5:55 pmReply

    See protesting is good and completely lawful, but occupation of our nation is not. You don’t like how things are, we get that! But it does not negate the fact that arrests are being made because people are breaking laws. Beatings are continuing because masked and unmasked agitators are throwing projectiles at officers who are securing the perimiters of the lawfully approved areas where “occupations” have been legally permitted to do so. You gain no support by blocking entrances to business. You are making the situation worse when you impede the flow of traffic to those who are actually trying to go to work and pay their taxes so you can demand your free benefits. You’re pissed, so are we, but turning a 21st century problem into a 1960’s lovely drug fest does absolutely nothing in regards to changing anything.

    • Matthew HardingNovember 20, 2011 at 8:06 pmReply


      You sound like the kind of person who has never attended an OWS gathering. Stop watching FOX and step out into the real world. OWS is not about drugs, but it is about social and economic justice. Shame on you for your misrepresentations.

    • SeymoreNovember 20, 2011 at 8:19 pmReply

      Steve you better run home now your TV is calling out for you.

    • SeanRNovember 20, 2011 at 9:25 pmReply

      Steve is half right.True passive resistance requires that you show no anger. If you shout out in anger it will cause a few protesters to lose their cool, and think it’s a battle cry. It’s called taking an agressive porture and it gives both rogue demonstrators and the police an excuse to step up the to “bat.” But if you remain peaceful, don’t obstruct peoples path but simply be present, having public speaking at a podium, educating everyone at the protest to the facts. that will work much better. Power players get so pissed and unhinged if they can’t depict you as a “rabble,” and that’s exactly what you want, to unhinge power brokers to exact the kind of changes we all need. Forget the 60’s, check out the Ghandi style. He shut down an entire empire without so much as raising his voice.

      • FitzNicelyNovember 21, 2011 at 3:19 amReply

        “Steve is half right”
        That’s what you get from half-wits.

        • JoeRNovember 21, 2011 at 1:05 pmReply

          Maybe read what he had to say before jumping to conclusions. Comments like yours demonstrate a higher level of ignorance than Steve.

      • spdNovember 25, 2011 at 11:56 pmReply

        Ghandi abandoned his kids and beat his wife.

        • FletcherNovember 30, 2011 at 9:44 pmReply

          There’s a lot of rumors and mud to be flung about Ghandi…however it still does not change the fact that he lead the one of the most peaceful revolutions in history against one of the most powerful empires the world has ever seen — and won.

    • Wolff AltermanNovember 21, 2011 at 6:50 amReply

      Steve, The vast majority of masked agitators and and those using violence are police officers, not protestors. An officer with a helmet is all but unidentifiable; I’m willing to gamble that not many are giving out their badge numbers to citizens who request them. Occupying our nation? The occupying force is wearing dark blue polyester and carrying clubs and pepper spray. I’ll be more convinced otherwise if they start painting their names and badge numbers on their helmets and uniforms, so that they are accountable. Steve, I was brought up to honor and respect sworn officers; what has eroded that respect over the years is witnessing close up the actions and attitudes of some who wear the badge. I have seen officers many times attempt to provoke a reaction from an individual so that they may react to that. It makes me sick, and I hope you feel the same.

    • Earl R. SadewaterNovember 25, 2011 at 10:06 pmReply

      Steve: I would like to congratulate you for regurgitating a perspective that is clearly not informed by reality; however, since mass media public relations propaganda has brainwashed you, I recommend, The Century of The Self, a documentary on Edward Bernays: in short, .01% decided that democracy was dangerous; therefore, the .01% created the The FED dollar (One FED dollar is too many and 500 Trillion never enough) and consumerism to control and hypnotize the masses. Hence, why you are seeing illusions and delusions of reality. However, there is hope; however, I am under no illusions. You are in the womb. No one leaves the womb by choice. Convulsions push us out while we choke and feel like we are dying.

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 25, 2011 at 10:15 pmReplyAuthor

      Steve: I will admit that I have seen those agitators you speak of throwing things at cops (I was there in Oakland when Scott Olsen was shot in the head and have been to Occupy Oakland and SF rallies & marches), but the “crimes” you mention (blocking entrances, impeding the flow of traffic) pale in comparison to the crimes of the corporate ruling elite and of the Empire that serves that elite’s interests.

    • Bruce MurrayDecember 5, 2011 at 2:10 amReply

      “Occupation of our nation(sic)” is lawful.Your Nation is occupied by Americans. That is what makes it a Nation. The protesters are Occupying. It is an act of protest considered a right in much of the democratic world. The fact that police and federal agencies shutting down those protests, violently, illegally, or unwisely, denies Americans that right. “Beatings are continuing…” WHAT? Proud of working and paying your taxes? Maybe you should be concerned about who is stealing your tax dollars, and your savings. Occupy is not taking from you. FREE BENEFITS? The Wall Street protesters HAVE JOBS. Have job, pay tax, receive benefits: roads, public buildings, 911 service… Taxes PAY FOR these things. They are not free benefits. “You are pissed, so are we…” WE WHO?
      I don’t think you know any thing about America. Read a book.
      [am i feeding the trolls again?]

  7. Richard FormanNovember 21, 2011 at 9:46 amReply

    It’s so sad that the American public is so self centerd that they don’t se what’s truly going on in this country . The government & news agencies are trying to make the OCCUPY MOVEMENT look like a bunch of lazy useless young hippies . But in truth its all ages & most of the people are above 40 . They are nurses teachers firefighters even at times off duty policemen being arested . But they try to keep this off the news . We must keep this movement alive and get the truth out there to the American people and return America back to WE THE PEOPLE !!!!!!! not leave it to the SELFISH FEW ….

  8. motorcycle messiahNovember 23, 2011 at 3:33 amReply

    i got my nose and ribs broken by police at age 22 I was off work for a month .Many years later I lost the best job I ever had over this indecent and after 4 years of unemployment became a speed addict at 35 years of age .my life is ruined by police brutality I can never fix this I suffer every day and because I am an activist for junkies against crime they continue to make me suffer physically medically mentally emotionally ,and they censor my sites to stop me communicating their cruel treatment of their victims we need a change or our children will resort to drugs to escape the injustice of this world so any one out there want to help.regards the motorcycle messiah

  9. Von JohinNovember 23, 2011 at 11:43 amReply

    Talkin’ 99% Blues

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 23, 2011 at 12:08 pmReplyAuthor

      Thanks for that… so true!

    • PenelopeNovember 27, 2011 at 10:38 amReply

      Super song, Von Johin, love it! Rings so true indeed.

  10. Emilio DumphuqueNovember 25, 2011 at 1:47 pmReply

    This is REALLY starting to look like a Fascist take-over! Nearly all the elements are in place, just no one is wearing a swastika. Why hasn’t the justice department arrested these cops?? Why isn’t the FBI doing something??

    • kadaNovember 25, 2011 at 8:39 pmReply

      Because the FBI is behind these actions. The DHS is too.

      Move to China, they value democracy and freedom of speech more than the US.

  11. JimNovember 25, 2011 at 2:54 pmReply

    In the 60’s, these thugs would be called “pigs”.

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 25, 2011 at 4:53 pmReplyAuthor

      Still are, in most circles.

  12. ChrisNovember 26, 2011 at 4:50 amReply

    The occupiers are not “overwhelming peaceful”. Your credibility went byebye as soon as I read that. They overwhelming break the law and not just by resisting police, but are taking part in rapes, thefts, and impeding others’ personal liberties. The Tea party organizers paid THOUSANDS of dollars for each rally. These occupy buffoons don’t pay squat and are causing taxpayers to pay more for increased security and clean up.

    If I went down to the mall in DC with 30 of my friends and didn’t allow patrons to walk on a particular sidewalk or go into a particular store, then didn’t disperse when the police told me to, I WOULD EXPECT TO BE PEPPER SPRAYED. Add in thousands of more people and I WOULD EXPECT TO EVENTUALLY GET BEATEN. No other citizen can do illegal things without penalty, why do occupiers think they are different and get a free pasd?

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 26, 2011 at 8:43 amReplyAuthor

      Not overwhelmingly peaceful? Credibility went byebye? How many Occupy events have you attended? Let’s be reasonable, Chris. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have participated in Occupy protests. Let’s say 100,000 for argument’s sake, although the number is much higher. IF, say, 10,000 of those were violent hoodlums, then Occupy would still be called “overwhelmingly peaceful,” because 90% is, by any measure, an “overwhelming” percentage. Of course, nowhere near 10,000 were violent hoodlums. Not even 1,000 were. How many arrests were for violent versus non-violent civil disobedience? A very, very small number. As for “expecting to be pepper sprayed,” police are not supposed to use pepper spray (it is even banned in wartime under the Chemical Weapons Convention) unless the officer or someone else is in immediate danger of harm. Do your homework and turn off Fox News. It is you whose credibility, if you ever had any, has “gone byebye.” Bye-bye.

      • BillNovember 26, 2011 at 7:47 pmReply

        To Brett W. Thank You. and I would like to add that the mantra of “Chris” also includes a great line. “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is already made up.”

    • georgeNovember 27, 2011 at 10:23 amReply

      Chris, you are just naive…. calling you an idiot would be a compliment…

  13. E. Allsop NeilNovember 26, 2011 at 7:33 amReply

    How can they black out media access to a public place?–do we still have a constitution? Some (not most, I hope) cops have, in my 70 years, been capable of horrific brutality, arrogance, even sadism. I’ve known personally a dozen instances, most for drinking too much: choking, broken bones, throwing a blond twenty-something in a cell full of Hispanics with the words “this guy hates beaners, too” (beaten badly, NOT arrested). Another in ICU all night from cop-inflicted injuries, arrested in a.m AFTER release so city didn’t incur $30,000 debt (he went bankrupt). A woman jailed for two aspirin in her purse. All were white–it’s worse for people of color, and getting more despicable and frightening. Losing freedom of speech: radio, gone already, all Clearchannel out of San Antonio. TV–Fox has news and now sports. Where are we headed? And how can we get out of this handbasket?

    • W'LawpshNovember 26, 2011 at 12:24 pmReply

      “Do we still have a constitution?” Only in theory I’m afraid. In practice it has been superseded by the two federal imperial statutes the Appropriations Act of 1871 and the War Powers Act of 1973. They and large body of federal law introduced by them convert what started out as a constitutional democracy under the rule of law into the existing unconstitutional empire above the law. The US Supreme Court keeps the empire in control by obstructing and ignoring the constitutional question of the legitimacy of the federal imperial statutes. The Court correctly settled in Marbury v, Madison (1803) that constitutional democracy can not survive without judicial review to protect it is existence. The detailed proof as a matter of constitutional law alone, that is to say the constitution’s words and original precedent is all laid out in the website “Might Is Not Right” at

  14. Big ANovember 26, 2011 at 9:11 amReply

    Recall Bloomberg Now

  15. Nick ThabitNovember 26, 2011 at 2:00 pmReply

    The 1% is scared.

  16. EdwinNovember 26, 2011 at 3:50 pmReply

    I can’t believe the people commenting on this that support the police! How can you be so ignorant?!? These people are protesting peacefully and they are getting violently beaten as a result. You guys have no morals – and yet – I bet you call yourselves “Christians”

  17. EdwinNovember 26, 2011 at 3:52 pmReply

    You guys should really watch to see for yourselves what the real cause behind this all is.

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 26, 2011 at 4:15 pmReplyAuthor

      Powerful… yet only half-true. Democrats are only marginally better than Republicans. To paraphrase Ralph Nader, one of my political heros, “the only difference between Democrats and Republicans is the speed at which they drop to their knees when the corporations unzip their pants.” I prefer to call them “Republicrats” because they are effectively two branches of the same imperial, coroporatist party, “USA, Inc.” True voter choice in this country is a myth. Wanna see what a true democracy looks like? Check out the rainbow of political parties that make up the parliament of pretty much any other country. There are everything from communists and socialists on the left to nationalists on the right. That’s what true democracy looks like, not this Republicrat monopoly in which both parties serve the same masters.

  18. Martha StormNovember 27, 2011 at 9:19 amReply

    Corporate mentality has decimated the ranks of freethinking citizens. We do not need hierarchies; we need decent citizens who react on the highest values that human culture has devised over the centuries which basically use and implement the admonition of Jesus Christ to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

  19. georgeNovember 27, 2011 at 10:18 amReply

    America isnt what it used to be and looks like it is going to get worse before it gets better… if it gets better.

  20. p. g, webbNovember 30, 2011 at 11:58 amReply

    A much more effective way to protest would be for every protester or would-be protester to not buy anything for 2 or 3 days. No trips to Walmart or the local supermarket. No buying of gas or burgers at McDonalds. No buying online. Especially now during the “holiday season”. If we took a holiday from excessive consumerism for just a few days – that would get the message across to the 1% where it really would hurt them – in the pocketbook. That would make them sit up and take notice.

    Occupy protester are being portrayed in the local press where I currently live as being villainous anti-American left-wingers who don’t want to work and want a free ride. Th ironic thing is the uneducated rednecks around here who will probably never make more than minimum wage and lead lives of quiet desperation as a result buy that line.

    How about December 10 – 12? That would put the Powers That Be in a total panic and they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. And nobody would get their heads bashed in.

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 30, 2011 at 12:08 pmReplyAuthor

      A great idea!

    • Bruce MurrayDecember 5, 2011 at 1:23 amReply

      There is already a “Buy Nothing Day”. It is completely symbolic. The wealth of the 1% is not held in retail inventory. Cops are beating Elders, Judges, and the press. If you want a hunger strike, lets go, but this is not about cheeseburgers and “rollbacks” Your money is being eaten, whether you spend it or not.

  21. SUPMikeDecember 1, 2011 at 7:52 amReply

    I, too, like the idea of a spending freeze 😉 Unfortunately, every time we have a day off from buying, the monoliths are not perturbed. Do you think that Shell doesn’t know when the facebook “don’t buy gas” event is set to occur? It makes it super-easy for them to lower prices on that day to poach some of the weaker-willed protesters and jack them up the next day. A temporary pause in consumption isn’t going to register on their radars. We have to be mindful to *consume less overall.* This would look something like a National Carpool Month, where for 30 days you try your hardest to never drive anywhere alone. “One-Gift Christmas,” where you limit your presents to one per person. Instead of avoiding Wal-Mart for one or two days, stop buying there completely. Find a smaller, community deli and get to know your clerk. You’d be surprised at the kind of discounts they informally give out to regular customers. Finally – and this one’s tough – get to know your neighbors. I admit that I don’t know my neighbors very well, but this is where the discussion should start. It’s funny how we’re compelled to call strangers on the internet names because they don’t agree with our viewpoint, but we somehow couldn’t care less about the political views of the people in our own communities. If you want to make a change, go out and inform your community about the true nature of OWS. Counter the force of the boob tube. Be your own news service. Grassroots, baby!

    • Brett WilkinsDecember 1, 2011 at 8:26 amReplyAuthor

      I wonder how many Americans can give the names of the people who live to the right and to the left of them anymore?

      • Bruce MurrayDecember 5, 2011 at 1:12 amReply

        “Wondering” is all well and good. But it doesn’t make a very good rhetorical question.
        Are you suggesting that Americans are either living in fear or have no community, or community values? That Institutions[private and public] are systemically dangerous does not mean Americans do not leave the house. The Occupy protests prove that the exact opposite is true.

  22. Lestavius ThomasAugust 2, 2012 at 11:56 amReply

    The badge is just a human made-object. These people are human not objects. “Throw the badge away, Don’t throw the human away” I was told ” I would’ve shot your a** by dothan police officer-Bobbie Ashley” Words as brutal as a strike.

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