The paramilitary bureaucracy and the culture it engenders—a black-and-white world in which police unions serve above all to protect the brotherhood—is worse today than it was in the 1990s. Such agencies inevitably view protesters as the enemy. And young people, poor people and people of color will forever experience the institution as an abusive, militaristic force—not just during demonstrations but every day, in neighborhoods across the country.
- Norm Stamper, chief of the Seattle Police Department during the WTO protests in 1999, via The Nation.
I highly recommend this article - more:
"My support for a militaristic solution caused all hell to break loose. Rocks, bottles and newspaper racks went flying. Windows were smashed, stores were looted, fires lighted; and more gas filled the streets, with some cops clearly overreacting, escalating and prolonging the conflict. The “Battle in Seattle,” as the WTO protests and their aftermath came to be known, was a huge setback—for the protesters, my cops, the community."
"Assuming the necessity of radical structural reform, how do we proceed? By building a progressive police organization, created by rank-and-file officers, “civilian” employees and community representatives. Such an effort would include plans to flatten hierarchies; create a true citizen review board with investigative and subpoena powers; and ensure community participation in all operations, including policy-making, program development, priority-setting and crisis management. In short, cops and citizens would forge an authentic partnership in policing the city."
Anyone who has been at Occupy Wall Street rallies or Occupy rallies across the US (or in Canada!) and has photos/stories they might want to share with a larger audience, or intends on going to a rally in the near future and taking pictures, can get in touch with me via ask box or email. I’d be interested in posting some of them here. (Unfortunately I can’t do anything nice like pay you for this.)
For Zhounder.tumblr.com who has zillions of amazing shots of Occupy Philly.
“We’ll never deal successfully with the many challenges our country now faces if we merely seek what’s possible within the framework of today’s system of political economy,” notes Speth. “Our challenges require moving beyond incremental reform to systemic change that addresses the root causes of our current distress.”