Skip to main content

I am really impressed that the Occupy movement is seeing, tracking and discussing the different types of policing. Most importantly the Occupy movement is seeing police as "one of us:"

As many Occupy protesters have pointed out, even as police officers help to safeguard the power and profits of the 1 percent, police officers are part of the 99 percent.

(Alternet)

Within the peace movement there has been a discussion of the difference between a police office and solider,  where "one of us" is the heart of the difference. Policing is a natural function. In fact, peace and protest communities will set up their own type of police force like marshals along side of protest. Also within the policing community, the same discussion of the difference between a police office and solider is also happening. Norm Stamper, who was Seattle’s police chief during the 1999 World Trade Center militaristic crackdown on WTO protesters, now says:

There will always be situations—an armed and barricaded suspect, a man with a knife to his wife’s throat, a school-shooting rampage—that require disciplined, military-like operations. But most of what police are called upon to do, day in and day out, requires patience, diplomacy and interpersonal skills. I’m convinced it is possible to create a smart organizational alternative to the paramilitary bureaucracy that is American policing… By building a progressive police organization, created by rank-and-file officers, “civilian” employees and community representatives… to build trust and mutual respect—qualities sorely missing from the current equation.

(Alternet)

Also within the policing community, the same discussion is also happening. While Norm Stamper lost his job, the erroneous conclusion in policing was that was not enough violence instead seeing that wrong tactics were used. WTO 1999 marked the shift towards paramilitary policing:

Similar tactics, on the part of both police and protesters, were repeated at subsequent meetings of the WTO, IMF/World Bank, Free Trade Area of the Americas, and other international organizations, as well as the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in the US.

(Wiki)

The protesting movement had forgotten the lessons of Martin Luther King and ignored a violent group of protesters called the "Black Block" who broke windows, pushed dumpsters and deflated tires. Those few allowed images of violence to portray the movement.

However media like always only follows the "if it bleeds, it leads" rule.  And just like the media told falsehoods about St Paul 2008 national convention, the media had also told falsehoods about WTO 1999.

The New York Times printed an erroneous article that stated that protesters at the 1999 WTO convention in Seattle threw Molotov cocktails at police.[18] Two days later, The New York Times printed a correction saying that the protest was mostly peaceful and no protesters were accused of throwing objects at delegates or the police, but the original error persisted in later accounts in the mainstream media.[19]

(Wiki)

The good news is that this Occupy movement is dedicated to the ways of peace and have rejected the Black Block tactics. Voices have ranged from the passionately logical to this boldly clear message:

To the cowards in masks who just want to break shit, you aren't helping at all, in fact, you are making things worse for EVERYONE. I have no idea what you have to offer anyone, you basically have nothing positive to add to the conversation we'd like to have. In short, F U, because your idiotic acts of violence and senseless damage of property is certainly going to be used to smear every peaceful person in the Occupy Wall Street movement, so not only are you not adding anything positive, the only thing you are adding is negative.  

(MinistryofTruth at DailyKOS)

After 12 years, both the peace/protest community and the law enforcement community is finally coming to a common vision as expressed by the previous police chief:

But imagine the community and its cops united in the effort to responsibly “police” the Occupy movement. Picture thousands of people gathered to press grievances against their government and the corporations, under the watchful, sympathetic protection of their partners in blue.

(Alternet)

*

If you liked this article then you might like some of these previous articles about community policing and paramilitary policing:

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site