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Last updateThu, 02 Jul 2015 6pm

LOS ANGELES Monday, July 6th 2015 8:40

 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Occupy LA: A Salt Lick for Bullies

RETHINING LA - When the LAPD descended from Dodger Mountain and surveyed the battlefield, they must have felt like Goliath who looked at David and bellowed in rage “Am I a dog that you send a boy with a stick?”

The 1400 LAPD were wrapped from head to toe in protective armor that still smelled of mothballs, their training in hostile enemy conflict was untested, and their supervisors had warned them of biohazard dangers and provocateurs.

 

As hundreds of officers in paramilitary gear surrounded City Hall Park and fought to hold back spectators, media, and folks who had arrived in support of Occupy LA, a SWAT style team descended from City Hall in search of their enemy.


They found their neighbors, peaceful protesters who sat Indian-style, arms interlocked and chanting “We  Are Peaceful” and “We Are Nonviolent” and “Join Us.”

At this point, the shortcomings of a training  program that focuses on war and ignores peace were revealed. The bullies embedded within the LAPD found freedom to exercise their demons, to act on the rage they felt when they were denied the opportunity to unleash their skills on a violent enemy.

Faced with a docile crowd, the LAPD gave the instructions to disperse and many of the Occupy LA crowd simply walked out of City Hall Park. Most of them made it to the far side of the LAPD skirmish lines with the exception of some who actually followed the instructions carefully, only to find themselves faced with LAPD officers who then arrested them. This can be chalked up to confusion in the fog of war.

By this time, the Occupy LA camp had been reduced to debris by the LAPD, canopies shredded, belongings scattered, tent poles broken, and the demonstration of power was underway.

The LAPD made an announcement directing those who wished to be arrested to sit on the ground and some sat while others simply walked away.

When the time came to arrest those remaining in City Hall Park, the LAPD asked them to stand and walk out of the park. These people were charged with “failure to disperse” while those who remained seated on the ground qualified for the harsher charge of “resisting arrest.”

Zach Behrens, Editor of KCET, reports that fully 50% of the LAPD ranks have been hired in the last six years, an indication that the gung-ho LAPD of old is now filled with young officers who have been trained in the “constitutional policing” promise of Bratton and Beck.

That training failed to materialize, whether in the actions of those who used pain coercion tactics on peaceful protesters or in the failure of LAPD officers who witnessed their partners as they transformed into vindictive bullies who reveled in petty displays of terror.

The peaceful protesters had prepared for this moment, they had attended workshops where they learned how to communicate peace while subjected to pain and humiliation and yet they were shocked at the commitment to terror they experienced at the hands of the LAPD.

Patrick Meighan offers a well written first person account of his experience as an inner-circle protester, one who saw ankles twisted, wrenched, and then stepped on as bullies began a long evening of small violations that revealed a failure in the LAPD’s ability to train and control its troops.

Tyler Lyle had a different vantage point and his first person journal of his experience as an arrestee also reveals a dangerous and unchecked presence of bullies within the LAPD.

Many have argued that an arrest, by definition, is an uncomfortable experience that starts with the deprival of freedom. The stories of the Occupy LA arrestees are dismissed as the naive complaints of those who failed to weigh the risks when they set out to protest and to participate in voluntary arrest.

On the other hand, the law is quite clear that when an individual’s drive for satisfaction motivates them to inflict injury and pain on another, a serious law has been broken, one much more severe than failure to disperse or resisting arrest.

Was it necessary to use a bean-bag shotgun on an individual in a tree? Perhaps it was poor supervision and simply the wrong tool in the wrong hands.

Was it necessary to use hooks to pull the platform out of the tree, potentially causing protesters to fall to the ground? Again, maybe the supervisors gave bad instructions and perhaps the officers were poorly trained in the fine art of rescuing cats from trees.

Was it necessary to carry protesters out of the park and then toss them to the sidewalk face-first? Hard to dismiss this one as poor supervision, it’s starting to look like resentment and anger empowered bullies to begin acting out.

Was it necessary to zip-tie wrists so tightly that circulation was restricted, causing pain and nerve damage? This is a failure on the part of the supervisors and an opportunity for bullies to quietly inflict major pain while reveling in the cacophony of voices begging for relief.

From the arrestees left to sit in their own waste to the loud music played by the bus drivers to the petty denials of rights and the infliction of a punitive process, the first person accounts of the LAPD’s performance during the liberation of City Hall Park sound an alarm, we are surrounded by bullies in search of victims.

There is no excuse for the behavior of bullies and they have no place in a civilized society, whether at school, on the streets, in the workplace, in a park or in City Hall

Bullies are simply unacceptable.

Even worse than the behavior of bullies is the failure of witnesses to act, to stand up for the victims.

As the LAPD’s sweep of Occupy LA’s encampment took place, it is reported that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stood to the side and observed the hostile arrest of a peaceful occupation, one that reportedly included the antisocial behavior of bullies.

It is on Villaraigosa’s shoulders to account for each and every bully who allowed a passive adversary to inflame their bruised ego in such a way that they acted out and intentionally caused pain and injury to satisfy their sadistic personal demons.

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net .)
–cw

Tags: Occupy LA, LAPD, Mayor Villaraigosa, arrests, City Hall Park, bullies








CityWatch
Vol 9 Issue 98
Pub: Dec 9, 2011

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