Police Violence and Increased Interest in OWS

It’s become clear that the unprovoked police assault with pepper spray on some young women at Occupy Wall Street two weeks ago exploded attendance at the demonstration when it had already begun to wane. The result is that the Occupy movement has since spread to scores of cities, including a dozen in Canada, where demonstrations will commence this weekend. The graph above also shows that interest from the general public has massively increased as well, once police violence came into play.

Unfortunately, the Boston police have not learned the lesson, executing a middle-of-the-night raid upon the Occupy Boston demonstrators, leading to the arrest of at least a hundred, including a large number of veterans present to offer their support. It’s this last detail that is particularly distressing. American military personnel are invariably described as “heroes” when in combat, but are too often ignored and abused once that service is done: inadequate medical care, joblessness, homelessness, and a suicide rate that exceeds combat deaths.

(h/t Dish for the chart)

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2 thoughts on “Police Violence and Increased Interest in OWS

  1. Michael Happy Post author

    The OWS demonstrations have become so extensive that they now constitute an international Occupy movement. There are 900 demonstrations either under way or pending in the U.S. alone. There are also demonstrations planned in Canada, the U.K. and Australia. You can read about it here.

    The significance of the movement has become impossible even for Republicans to ignore. Some (like Mitt Romney and Herman Cain) — who last week dismissed it as “class warfare” dominated by “mobs” — have begun to cautiously acknowledge it; at least to take the convenient position that they too care about the 99%, which they clearly do not (less than a week ago Cain was scolding the demonstrators that if they don’t have jobs, it’s their own fault).

    That 99%/1% formulation has really taken hold. The effort of the last few days on the right has been to mock it out of existence, but the polling — and the continued rapid growth of the movement — shows it is not working. The fact of those numbers is becoming increasingly difficult to deny.

  2. Michael Happy Post author

    Ian Crouch in the New Yorker takes a look at Occupy Boston and confirms that attempts at intimidation by the police only encourages growth and support of the movement. Story here. Includes video of the police attacking members of Veterans for Peace.


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