Democracy: (noun) Government in which the people hold supreme power, usually through their elected officials.
So this is democracy? This is the much vaunted system that the government purports is better than all other systems(ie- Socialism, Communism)? A system where freedom of speech and the right of assembly, rights which are supposed to be inalienable to its citizens, are trampled upon because a few uppity rich folk(or the 1%. Whichever you prefer to call them)don’t like people protesting down at their precious Wall Street. Where people are brutalized and murdered. Where whole classes or ethnic groups are forced to live in ongoing experiments(we know them better as The Projects). Where the unemployment rate for some is insanely disproportionate compared to others. And a system where when people speak out about the injustices and unfairness of a system that’s supposed to be fair, when the 99% speak out against that disproportionate 1%, as is their right under said system, they are unequivocally “stamped out”, shut down and removed. If this the famous Democracy that everyone wants, then count me out.
I’m speaking, of course, about the Occupy Wall Street movement and how early this morning, at the insanely early hour of 1am, the protestors that make up said movement were “shown the door” by Police(or Gestapo. Whatever you want to call them) and forcibly removed from Zuccoti Park where they were encamped. Removed on the grounds that they “posed a danger”, or “health issues”. Even though all evidence pointed to the exact opposite. All of course, on the orders of your Mayor and proud member of the 1%, Michael Bloomberg(He’s not my mayor. I didn’t vote for him).Some 200 protestors are reported being arrested for any myriad of reasons by the police who are doing so with reckless abandon. Why, they’re even arresting reporters with NYPD & UN credentials. Here are some accounts from the Guardian:
Patrick Hedlund, a news editor for the Manhattan news website a DNAinfo.com, and Paul Lomax, a freelance photographer assigned to DNAinfo.com, were arrested, the website said. Both had NYPD accreditation.
Freelance journalist Jared Malsin was also arrested, wearing a United Nations press pass around his neck –he said on Twitter that he was in a police van with an AFP photographer. Maslin has posted an account and film of his arrest on the East Village Local blog –a community collaboration with the New York Times.
Julie Walker, a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, who was arrested in the early hours of the morning, despite wearing an NYPD-issued press badge.
Matthew Lysiak, a New York Daily News reporter, who was arrested at around 12.15pm today while covering the aftermath of the eviction.
AP print journalist Karen Matthews and AP still photographer Seth Wenig were arrested at the same time as Lysiak, and the pair from DNAinfo.com.. They had been with protesters who gained access to ground owned by Triniry Church at Duarte Square. Police cleared the area, and arrested everyone.
So not only are the OWS protestors’ freedom of speech and right of assembly being denied, but apparently so is, the Press’ freedom of press. And yet we live in a Democracy right?
Seems more and more like a dictatorship to me. Emperor Palpatine would be proud.
[Photo from www.news.nationalpost.com]