“Tell me what a police state looks like!” “This is what a police state looks like!”

Police on top

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“Tell me what a police state looks like!”

“This is what a police state looks like!”

This journalist has spent many moments of his life crossing the line of the law…. I have been either detained or arrested for entering the United States with marijuana, speeding twice at 100 mph through the same Texas township, riding a motorcycle wearing colors through New Jersey, shop lifting, adding sit-ins, demonstrating at the Pentagon, visiting Cuba…. all crimes of various degree… Yet, I’ve never been hand cuffed.

What’s with the handcuffs? These new plastic handcuffs now hang like linguini from the belts of police forces across America.

During an Occupy march from Sheridan Square onto Broadway in Downtown LA, as bicycle cops ride herd on the Marchers a single Occupy cyclist appears riding (legally) down the bike lane. In the first image the cyclist is on the ground. Then in an attempt to handcuff him (new super tight circulation stopping lariat plastic — who manufactures these?), LAPD officers pile onto the former cyclist now being mashed into the pavement. The crowd reacts as you would expect. Finally the cyclist is taken away.

The United States of America has become a militarized state. Tens years of war, walls along the border, homeland security, applauding returning veterans on airplanes, soldiers in mufti everywhere, swat teams sitting at the next table when we go out to eat. For a peaceful people we have a lot to be ashamed of.

“Tell me what a police state looks like!”

“This is what a police state looks like!”

The final picture is on LA’s skid row. Don’t go there. Many hundreds, perhaps over a thousand people live in this grid of streets a few blocks from Broadway.

In all our travels, in Haiti, Bolivia, dismal sections of American Indian Reservations, and rural China, we have never seen human beings living in such utter degradation.

Occupy does not turn the Homeless away. Occupy embraces the Homeless. Occupy demands social justice. That is why we arrest them. That is why we handcuff non-violent protesters, then push their faces into the pavement.

“Tell me what a police state looks like!”

“This is what a police state looks like!”

December 21, 2011. Merry Christmas.

 

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