The Occupy Wall Street crowd has made no bones about the fact that they want police clashes caught on tape to boost their claims of police brutality. In a disturbing video, protesters taunt police officers with a donut on a string, shouting, "here, piggy, piggy!" while laughing and acting like idiots in New York City this week. The well-trained and exceedingly patient police officers did not acknowledge the morons taunting them and acted with professionalism and dignity. It is quite disconcerting that the police officers, subjected to this idiocy regularly by the Occupy Movement, have gotten little praise for their restraint.
OWS has been targeting the police since the beginning of the movement, as many incidents of protesters goading the police have occurred. Activities, such as throwing bottles and rocks at the police officers, having "F*ck the Police" rallies, trying to tear off police badges, defecating on police vehicles, and even stabbing a police officer, have all been well-documented but have historically been treated in the mainstream media as a group of "fringe" activists, not representative of the Occupy Movement, which will be back in a big way this spring. How many police officers have been hospitalized from actions of the protesters?
The Guardian reports that the Occupy Movement is inviting victims of police abuse to join them at an anti-police rally on Saturday, where they will demand the resignation of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The OWS crowd has been highly critical of the "stop and frisk" policies of the NYPD, which they claim is racist, but is defended by police as pre-emptively stopping crimes by taking guns and criminals off the street. One Occupy organiser, Gary Roland, said that the demonstration is intended to "tell the truth about the victims of human rights violations by the NYPD." Protester Alexandre Carvalho declared that "What we are facing is a police riot breaking loose," and "Union Square, now, will be the new battleground of Occupy because it's public," and added, "If the police are barricading a public space, it's a declaration of war."
Police riot? Battleground? Declaration of War? When will the Occupy Wall Street Protesters denounce this type of rhetoric? Is it any wonder that violence occurs?
Mainstream Media Coverage of Occupy Violence
Interestingly, the standard way of reporting on the Occupy violence has seemed to have shifted from downplaying it (e.g., "mostly peaceful") to simply ignoring the violence altogether. The mainstream media often portrays the OWS crowd sympathetically, even joining in the anti-police rhetoric, like in this story by the Daily Kos, which highlights tweets of protesters angry at the police, with videos of extremely weak "evidence" of police abuse.
This past week, for the highly publicized "million hoodie march" (for Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager killed by a man conducting a neighbourhood watch, who claims to have acted in self-defence), the Occupy protesters threw bottles at the police officers while ironically decrying the violence from the police officers, a fact not reported in the mainstream media. Shocker.