I have little liking for the #occupy folks and have said so before.
There is so much wrong in the police responses to the #occupy evictions that I don’t even know where to begin ranting.
Please, consider the following video:
First, a cop assaults a bunch of #occupiers (he uses unreasonable force against clearly non-violent people who offer no resistance, at least one of whom had to be taken to a hospital for treatment as a result of the assault), then the whole group of cops gets cowed and cowardly runs away when the mob advances on them!
The use of unreasonable force, especially against people who do not resist, is the second worst thing the cops here did. The worst thing they did was to let themselves be run out by the mob. A peaceful mob, but a mob none-the-less.
The lesson here?
If you are non-violent, police will assault you. If you begin to – even just a tiny bit – look menacing, the cops will run away.
This sends a clear signal that the police are willing to neither obey nor uphold the rule of law.
Of course, we have seen this type of a response by police before: peaceful citizens are bullied, beaten and arrested while violent law-breakers go unchallenged. This is true from the Islamist rallies in the UK to Caledonia in Ontario and on and on.
All this type of police response will result in is that all protests will take on a violent streak, if only to protect themselves from police violence. People will loose any vestige of trust they still have in the police,and, by extension, in the rule of law.
How can those calling the shots in the police responses not get it?
Remember the videos from April, the Egyptian crowds shouting “the people want to topple Wall Street”?
Consider it when you warch this video from New York:
They seem to be very busy lately. Here are just two of the little fights they have picked lately: Fox TV (because Anonymous does not approve of their coverage of the #occupy movement) and a Mexican drug cartel (for kidnapping one of their own).
Both of these are rather troublesome, though each for a different reason.
Threatening an attack on Fox (pretentiously scheduled for ‘remember, remember, the 5th of November’), just because they don’t like the way they are describing the #occupy folks, is very ‘easy’ to condemn. The very idea that someone should be shut up (through being shut down) simply because someone else does not like their opinion (whatever that opinion is) is odious and despicable and all kinds of other really bad, more colourful expletives.
It runs contrary to the principle of defending freedom of speech – and is dangerously close to being diametrically opposite to the founding principles (if I may stretch the term in this manner) of Anonymous itself…at least, judging from their past actions and condemnations of corrupt organizations like Scientology.
This is the type corruption which one associates with ‘absolute power’: at first, one considers themselves to stand for justice and all that is ‘right’ but as one begins to feel all-powerful, one begins to defend one’s position/reputation even though it means compromising the very principles that brought one there…
Well, it looks like at least some parts of Anonymous are drinking their own Kool-Aid.
Of course, this shows that the very thing which made Anonymous strong may be its undoing: it is a hydra, with many heads. Is this what happens when one of the heads gets so big, it turns against the more principle-minded parts of the collective?
Because as much as Anonymous or anyone else may wish, we – humans – do NOT have a hive-mind!
We may be capable of acting collectively, when necessary: but to be effective in an extended collective action, we do need a hierarchical structure, if only to keep from interfering with things that other bits of the collective are doing. This is both the strength and the weakness of our species and no amount of technology will deny our nature.
The very autonomous-ness of its members may be the undoing of the whole Anonymous collective if the loose canons among them drag the name of the collective into unfortunate actions like this and thus devalue its brand and sully its reputation.
The second fight Anonymous has picked is much more intriguing.
In a nutshell, this is my reading of it:
Well, this teaches us some things: Anonymous is willing to stand up for their own (good, very good) and they are not afraid to get people killed (bad, very bad).
While I do appreciate the ‘wild justice’ angle Anonymous has taken in the past, there is a big difference between messing up someone’s online life or even forcing them to sell their business – and getting almost 3 dozen people killed.
There is no coming back from ‘killed’!!!
And being killed by a rival gang – not usually a ‘clean kill’, either.
Extrajudicial killings, too – so the information on which these people (yes, people!!!) were killed has never undergone any kind of a judicial oversight or indeed any kind of a test to prove its accuracy!!! That, in my never-humble-opinion, is beyond bad.
If Anonymous is willing to go there – probably justifying it to themselves that they did not do the killings directly, but used the rival cartel as proxy – it is not inconceivable that they would be willing to instigate violence on a greater scale.
That is troubling, to say the least.
H/T: Just Right
If only more of the #occupy folks were like this…
With the Harper Conservatives poised to scrap the long-gun registry, this is a timely message: freedom of speech can only be exercised as long as we have the means to defend ourselves from any government that would usurp onto themselves the power to muzzle us.
Our right to be armed at all times, in all places, is essential for us to retain the most core of our innate and unalienable rights, the very cornerstone of our society: the freedom of speech!
(And, yes, I AM one of the proponents of the idea that ALL teachers ought to be required by law to be fully gun-certified and armed at all times while we entrust our children to their care: it is of little consolation that the best 9-1-1 response times to schools are at under 10 minutes….a lot of kids can be shot by an intruder in 10 minutes! If we entrust our children to their care, each teacher MUST be personally responsible for their protection – even from an armed attack.)
The government’s right to possess and use arms derives from us, the citizens: we may, if we choose to, confer upon the government the right to carry arms and, as our proxy, use violence in our defense as we, the citizens, have the responsibility to. This does not, in any way, abrogate our right – or diminish our responsibility – to do so ourselves at all times.
Any attempt at arms regulation – and I DO mean ANY regulation – by the governmenonly weakens the government’s own power to arm its agents and use violence on out behalf!
As someone somewhere put it:
Video H/T: CodeSlinger
When one of the most rotten, corrupt, contemptible institutions in the history of humanity – the Vatican – calls for world tax to fund an all-encompassing world government which would over-rule the legitimate governments of nation states….
And when that institution speaks as if this was just a ‘speeding up’ of the inevitable course we are now…
And when this call is said to line up with the #occupy goals…
The #occupy folks are still at it – still sounding rather shrill, poorly informed and selfish.
Most are idealistic – yes, I’ll give them points for that. (On the honesty front, that is.)
But they also sound dangerously naive and deeply ignorant. And if we san see the historical pattern, honest idealism coupled with naivite and ignorance is usually a deadly combination.
What makes it even scarier is that some very pragmatic forces have successfully infiltrated the movement and are focusing the idealistic crowds to their own ends. That also is a historical pattern – with grave consequences (pun intended).
Psema4 commented on my earlier post about Anonymous (where I expressed my conviction that these #occupy protests were seeded by them) where he (she?) expressed similar misgivings about Anonymous and left a link to this site: ‘What is The Plan’. (Thank you for bringing it to my attention!)
On the home page, there is this movie:
Was your reaction to the video similar to mine? I think that the neo-marxist semi-anarchist drivel that we hear from the majority of the #occupy people sounds very much like the remnants of this rant…
First things first: the video is demonstrably self-contradictory. At about 7 1/2 minutes, it claims that there is no such thing as membership in Anonymous, while just before the 9 minute mark, it boasts it has 50 thousand members. That is just the most easily demonstrated internal inconsistency within the video… There are a few more, but they would take a long time to pull out and dissect – plus I am sure most people will have picked up on them anyway.
If you find the first part of the video painfully tedious, you can skip forward a bit: ‘The Plan’ comes up at around the 8:40 mark. As Psema4 pointed out, the pattern for ‘The Plan’ as outlined in the video would very much fit in with the #occupy ‘movement’, either as step 2 or step 3…
These people sound a lot like a bunch of insulated anarcho-marxists and elitists who want to take a shortcut to fixing what is wrong with the world. These types of short cuts have a history of becoming very bloody and resulting in great loss of civil liberties.
As long as Anonymous had limited themselves to the role of ‘the man with no name’, I had little problem with them. But playing Russian roulette with a revolution? That is immoral, plain and simple.
Like CodeSlinger said: “End well, this will not!”