Is the brutal police crackdown on peaceful Occupy protestors across America — pepper spraying senior citizens and punching pregnant women — another perverse example of the “change you can believe in” that President Obama promised while campaigning?
Evidence continues emerging of federal government coordination behind the bloody police assaults on Occupy encampments particularly involving the Department of Homeland Security.
Police in Seattle, Wash., punched and sprayed a pregnant woman (allegedly) causing her miscarriage during an attack on Occupy protestors.
Police in Berkeley, Calif., brutally bludgeoned college students in breaking up an Occupy encampment.
And NYC’s misnamed “finest” roughed up respected 87-year-old literary agent Frances Goldin during yet another strike at the ground zero of the Occupy Movement.
Where former President Bush insulted anti-war protestors with heavy-handed, First Amendment rights abusing tactics, actions against Occupy protestors during the Obama Administration are physically assaultive.
As Philadelphia-area investigative reporter Dave Lindorff wrote recently, the “shocking scenes” of police smashing peaceful protestors are things Americans usually see “going on” in Latin America, the Middle East or Asia.
“President Obama has remained shamelessly silent about this police-state behavior by the nation’s local police forces, all of them armed and armored with the aid of federal Homeland Security grants, and working on the basis of “intelligence” collected by federally-funded Fusion Centers and federally-run Joint Terrorism Task Forces.
“This is the moment that Obama … has to demonstrate whether he is the president of the banks (that fund Obama’s campaigns) … or the people — especially the young people — who worked so hard to put him into office in the first place,” Lindorff stated recently in an article on the award-winning This Can’t Be Happening.net site.
Many still believe in the “change” Obama promised.
A Philadelphia native living in a leafy London suburb south of that city displays an artsy poster encapsulating Obama’s promised change prominently on her living room wall.
Many among America’s political, corporate and pundit classes reflectively dismiss assessments of persons like Lindroff as those of the disgruntled unworthy of consideration.
But those views increasingly voiced are not limited to America.
Last week writer Naomi Wolf wrote in England’s Guardian newspaper also questioned President Obama.
Following the flow-chart Wolf stated “for the DHS to be on a call with mayors, the logic of its chain of command and accountability implies that congressional overseers, with the blessing of the White House, told the DHS to authorize mayors to order their police forces — pumped up with millions of dollars of hardware and training from the DHS — to make war on peaceful citizens.”
While political leaders, their corporate pay-masters and media enablers, curtly dismiss those involved in Occupy as ill-informed, lazy or worse, real outrage from crass economic inequities caused by the corporate class drives these protests stretching from Berkeley to England’s picturesque town of Bath and beyond.
Writer Wolf examined the widely propagandized notion that Occupiers are merely mindless ramblers who love living in tents.
Wolf placed inquires on social media to see what makes these people tick and within an hour received hundreds of responses with the top three being: (1) get money out of politics; (2) reform the banking system; and (3) stop allowing members of Congress from voting on legislation to increase the profits of corporations those congress members personally profit from.
This past Sunday a large sign at the Occupy encampment in Bath, England, blocks from the fabled ancient Roman Bath and the famous Bath Abbey, stated that England’s Barclays bank paid one percent in taxes compared to the 25 to 40 percent rates most wage-earning English residents pay in taxes.
Earlier this month, Barclays reported it generated a pre-tax profit of $7.7 billion U.S. dollars during just the first nine months of 2011 — a rate 19 percent higher than 2010.
While Barclays’ American-born boss recently told world leaders that bankers “have to accept responsibility for what has gone wrong [and] mostly importantly, we have to use the lessons learned to become better and more effective citizens” the British Government equivalent of America’s Treasury Secretary proposed further cuts to the poor and elderly to cover deficits arising largely by bank/corporate greed.
President Obama and Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron both say they support the right of Occupy protestors to protest — but want those protestors to be like children: seen but not heard.
Here’s a novel idea for Obama, Cameron and other world leaders: Not only respect the right of protestors to protest, but act to resolve the wrongs the protestors point out.
There is something grossly wrong when corporations like General Electric, DuPont, Verizon, Wells Fargo and Pepco Holdings (an energy delivery corporation operating in N.J., Del. and Md.) pay zero federal taxes on billions in profits.
If President Obama doesn’t have the political muscle to force Congress’ tea party boot-majority to crack down on corporate tax weasels, at least Obama can stop his charades like appointing GE’s head as his jobs creating czar despite this corporate titan cutting over 21,000 GE jobs across America.
And speaking of jobs, employment generated by renovating Philadelphia’s Dilworth Plaza that Mayor Nutter is citing to evict Occupy Philly folks will not help long-term unemployment in North Philly and Kensington since those construction jobs will go to union workers who live mainly outside of Philadelphia.
Occupy offers world leaders a wake-up call that most continue to sleep walk.
Linn Washington Jr. is a graduate of the Yale Law Journalism Fellowship Program.