Monday, October 3, 2011

Demos in Manhattan


A NYPD officer was caught on video dousing pepper spray on a small group of penned-in female demonstrators during a New York protest by the Occupy Wall Street group on September 24, 2011.

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have been protesting in Manhattan's financial district since the 17th of this month with the objective of bringing attention to the behavior of banks and financial institutions and what protesters say is their role in creating the problems the US economy is facing now. Generally the protests have been peaceful except for this Union Square incident on Saturday.

In retaliation, an online group that says they are part of the protest in lower Manhattan posted the officer's personal details online, including the names of his family and the address where his children attend school, with the threat "Before you commit atrocities against innocent people, think twice."

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the move was "despicable." Nonetheless, Kelly said internal affairs would look into whether the identified officer acted improperly.

The officers union issued a statement saying the man's motivations in using the spray were out of concern for the safety of officers under his command and the safety of the public. What baloney! Can unarmed women pose a threat?

Interestingly, UK’s 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. Alan Levine, a civil rights lawyer representing Post A Post, a protester at the 2004 event, told The Guardian that he filed an action against Bologna and another officer, Tulio Camejo, in 2007. The case, filed at the New York Southern District Court, is expected to be heard only next year (Webpage, published September 27, 2011).

Fascist police can be found everywhere, don’t they? Give them authority and power and you can be sure they will use them to maximum effect when given the opportunity.

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