November 16, 2011

#OWS - why police don't think they're the 99 percent

In the light of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's raid on Zucotti Park in New York City, ground zero of Occupy Wall Street, along with actions by the Oakland PD and mayors in other cities, many Occupy supporters, even if not directly involved with the movement, wonder why the police aren't on their side. (This sets aside places like Albany, N.Y., where police are more supportive.) And, it's clear that in NYC, and in other places, police are NOT on the side of Occupiers.

There's several reasons:
1. Police are generally conservative on most social issues, and therefore don't feel that they "relate" very well to the Occupy types.
2. Police often live in suburbs, even if they work in central cities and therefore don't feel so connected to "the urban plight."
3. Police unions are generally connected with narrow issues of pay/collective bargaining. The move to repeal SB 2 in Ohio last month shows this; anybody trying to draw inspiration for anything from Obama's re-election chances to widening support for the Occupy movement needs to get a clue.
4. Power corrupts. As a reporter and editor myself, I know this is true. Link it to what side of one's bread is being buttered by whom, and many cops not only like their own power, they like sucking up the chain of command, not just in the police department, but in municipal government.

Anyway, there's reasons beyond these that the police, without being "bought" by Citigroup et al in NYC, just don't totally relate to Occupiers.

Finally, file this under "not getting the concept." Unless this is a deliberate head fake, announcing that you're going to show up at a certain time and place to try to "occupy" Wall Street itself is stupid. Of course, given that "Anonymous" made a weak-tea threat against Mexico's Zeta's drug cartel a couple weeks back, then quickly withdrew it, this doesn't surprise me.

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