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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Blunder

Officer Bologna makes himself useful
In another forum last week, I was engaged in a brief conversation about the nascent #OccupyWallStreet phenomenon:
...I hate to say it, but I think something, er, untoward needs to happen to snap the necks of a crowd, not just larger, but also a little less genteel than the well-meaning organizers of the Oct. event [Rally To Restore Sanity]. And I really do hate to say that.
Another commenter responded:
I don’t think we need to rely on the protestors for that.
To which I replied:
Yes… I was actually thinking of a stupid blunder coming from the “establishment.”
It seems that NYPD officer Anthony Bologna has provided the blunder that I was expecting. It's still too early to tell if this movement - sparked by #OccupyWallStreet and well-tended by the useful idiot Bologna - "has legs," but similar actions have been springing up around the country.

There was an interesting discussion in the thread of yesterday's FDL liveblog, in which the subject of the "goals" of the protests were considered. It's worth linking over and reading it for yourself, if only to enjoy the "fresh air" (as one participant characterized it) of intelligent conversation, so rare in the blogosphere, yet standard fare in the land of the "firebaggers." To summarize, some were concerned that the lack of focus was a liability against the movement. But, I agree with the eventual consensus that keeping "goals" out of the movement is the smart thing to do. For one thing, it is obvious that something is wrong, and everyone knows what it is. Articulating specifics just gives the opposition something to spit and scoff at in the captured "mainstream media." As Chris Hedges put it:
Power elite will define whatever you do as a failure.
In other words, don't feed the trolls.

More on Bologna, from the Guardian article:
The Guardian has learned that the officer, named by activists as deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention.
Somewhere between now and seven years ago, this dog could have been leashed. Never underestimate the thickness of authority. I just knew I could count on it.
The Guardian asked the NYPD to respond to the naming of the officer and the allegation that he was previously the subject of a civil rights complaint, but a spokesman said the department had not yet decided whether to comment.
Kevin Gozstola:
The NYT reports NYPD chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, contends the officer used the pepper spray “appropriately.” It is not surprising that the spokesman would reflexively defend the action.
No, not surprising at all. Perhaps officer Bologna will return to light a few more fires.

I'm counting on him.

Visit today's post by Kevin Gozstola, The Now-Infamous NYPD Pepper-Spraying of #OccupyWallStreet Protesters, for other video perspectives of the Pepper-Spray Incident and Kevin's reporting on it.

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