Again, it seems the only way Occupy Wall Street protesters make national news is if the NYPD violates their civil liberties, arresting them for, as the First Amendment guarantees, “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Yesterday, the Occupy Wall Street protesters marched from Liberty Park up to Union Square, where 80 individuals were ultimately arrested for what the NYPD claims was “blocking of traffic.”
A group of female protesters were “kettled” (that is, corralled like cattle), a tactic used to contain and control protesters, then pepper-sprayed for good measure.
Never mind the fact that these protesters were exercising their First Amendment rights, which guarantees ”the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”; the message here from the government seems to be that they needed a nice authoritarian greeting.
And, of course, this is really the only way the protesters make the national news cycle, owned and operated by corporate media, as we noted in the article “Occupy Wall Street Protest Being Systematically Ignored by Mainstream Media.”
This sort of First Amendment violation should be a cause for concern for every American, whatever the political persuasion. This is a country where gamblers can now pillage the wealth from the lower classes and dodge prison sentences, while those who see a wrong and try to stop it are corralled, pepper-sprayed and hauled off to jail for attempting to petition their government—their government—for a redress of grievances.
Why don’t some of these blue-collar policemen do something for their own people and haul some Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers off to jail for a change?
Watch the video of the NYPD’s use of kettling and pepper spray below—it needs no elaboration.
One final thought: Not one of those police officers step up to the protesters to help wash the pepper spray from their eyes and see if they are alright.
To protect and serve, indeed.