Some things just speak for themselves:
Remember America — the world is watching you as the Seattle police pepper spray an 84 year old liberal activist, a priest and a pregnant woman.
Photo by Joshua Trujillo/SeattlePi.com
“Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate. As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out. Especially since only yesterday the City Government made a grandiose gesture to protect free speech. Well free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crowd and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so captured protesters. If it had not been for my Hero (Iraq Vet Caleb) I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like. It certainly left an impression on the people who rode the No. 1 bus home with me. In the women’s movement there were signs which said: “Screw us and we multiply.””
You cannot kill the 99 per cent.
UPDATE BY PATRICK:
More information about the “Seattle pepper-spray incident” is now available.
Some media outlets already start to call the above photo of the 84-year old the “defining image” of the “Occupy” protest, for example the “Atlantic”:
Seattle photographer Joshua Trujillo captured what may become the defining image of this week of Occupy unrest — an elderly woman being led away from the mayhem, her face covered with pepper spray.
The “Atlantic” also gives us more information about the 84-year old lady:
The woman in the picture is not just any elderly woman, however, as she is well known to Seattle residents. Dorli Rainey is a former school teacher who has been active in local politics since the 1960s. In 2009, she ran for mayor, but eventually dropped out by saying , “I am old and should learn to be old, stay home, watch TV and sit still.” We guess she didn’t learn.
Mediaite called the “iconic” picture “most likely a strong contender for a Pulitzer Prize.”
Also badly hit by pepper-spray was a woman who is two months pregnant.
Seattle police sprays large quantities of pepper-spray over the protesters:
The pregnant woman gets carried away and is afterwards taken care of by medics:
Another picture of 84-year-old protester Dorli Rainey:
A news report tells us the apparent “official reason” for the pepper-spray action – a “seventeen year old girl tried to hit a policeman with a stick.”
Another news clip of the incidents:
This raw-video shows the “main action” in great detail – the protesters being pepper-sprayed despite the fact that they are on the side-walk. The video clearly reveals that the protesters were sprayed at without any good reason, and it’s not surprising at all that the crowd started to get more agitated afterwards.
It’s very painful to look at the USA these days. I know that I am by far not the only one who feels the pain. Clownesque and dangerously ignorant politicians on TV, brutal policemen on the street and peaceful protesters who have good arguments, but apparently don’t find much support in the mainstream and who are also putting themselves in great personal danger, are just some aspects of a political system which slides into a major but also largely “unacknowledged” political crisis.
I don’t want to pretend that all and everything is better in Europe. Some things are probably better, others are not, it also always depends on the particular country, you always have to closely look at the details. But let me ask you one thing: Have you ever heard of riots in connection with “Occupy Frankfurt?”
Probably not, because there were none. But what could be the reason? Why no clashes with the police?
It’s not that the protesters in Germany’s banking capital Frankfurt are not active. They are! A few weeks ago, they erected a pretty large camp in the park right in front of the European Central Bank, at a very prominent location. Several other large banks are in short walking distance. The camp is still there. See some pictures, taken at the various stages of the occupation:
There were also already several large demonstrations:
So where are the police? Where are the riots? Isn’t all this a great disturbance of the peace? The poor bankers from the ECB and from several other surrounding banks have to look at the protesters every day, how displeasing is that? Call in the riot police and clear up the mess!
Well, so your average Republican politician might think. Or even some Democrats. Make the protesters go away. Beat them out of town.
In Frankfurt, the city officials had a better solution: They legalized the camp straight from the start. The campers have a permit! Gone are the riots. Gone is also the “dramatic effect” of “Occupy Frankfurt.” It’s just a footnote in the media. You virtually never see any German police around the camp.
The left-wing German “tageszeitung” reports (translated):
Nobody wants to damage the relations to the (Frankfurt) city’s office for public order. Strictly speaking, the activists have not occupied the place. The city’s office has issued a “special permit” to the campers. Individuals are taking the responsibility. Both sides are satisfied with the cooperation. The office calls the behaviour of the campers “exemplary.” As long as nothing changes, nobody needs to worry about the camp being forcefully removed.
Use your brains, politicians and officials! Put your weapons away, policemen! Try to behave like good and thoughtful citizens in a civilized society! Then you will avoid a lot of trouble, and you will avoid a large part of the population becoming radicalised.