Thursday, November 17, 2011

Occupy Dallas got their turn last night

Here is a compilation of minute-by-minute updates from the Occupy Dallas encampment as scores of Dallas police officers moved in late Wednesday and early Thursday to evict the protest group. There was no violence and 18 protesters were arrested.


4:05a Dallas police arrested 18 Occupy Dallas protesters during the overnight sweep to close the organization's campground near City Hall. Dallas police planned a 10 a.m. news conference to discuss the operation. - Jason Whitely, WFAA

1:49a The police sweep of the Occupy Dallas campground appears to be complete. The peaceful operation took about 45 minutes. Many police officers are now leaving, but dozens will remain through the night.

Entire live-blog here, in reverse chronological order.

Same MO: middle of the night, media restricted, hyper-aggressive use of force.

I'm guessing that it's only a matter of time before Occupy Houston gets the police state treatment. HPD is just waiting on Annise Parker's authorization. And if this were happening in Libya, or Egypt, then people like John McCain would be imploring the United States government to intervene militarily.

Today is a day of action in New York, Houston, and around the nation. Even as Occupy comes in for criticism from previously sympathetic circles, the movement expands.

We are at a necessary evolution point in the Occupy movement. I say "necessary" for two reasons: one, because of the hard truth that cities around the nation simply cannot tolerate camping as a form of free speech, thus necessitating a response to "putting tents up" that is increasingly relying on tear gas, riot gear, and mass arrests.

Two, because they aren't listening. The government, Wall Street, the media: they simply aren't listening yet. Most press coverage revolves around which cities beat the holy hell out of which protestors on any given day or which senior citizen posed such a damn threat to the riot-gear-laden police that they needed to be pepper sprayed, but the underlying messages of income inequality, corporate corruption and a captured government are, unsurprisingly, still being stonewalled.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (and other mayors around the country) doesn't want people camping in his park anymore. Fine, then: he will push the protests into taking another form. That's probably good for the movement, and probably going to be worse for him.

You cannot evict an idea whose time has come.

"When the mayor — and a mayor who's a billionaire, by the way — sends a police force to guard Wall Street and use force against peaceful protesters, that plays right into the hands of this movement's narrative," (Fordham University sociology professor Heather) Gautney said.

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