Occupy DC’s Tent of Dreams Withstands The Police’s Eviction Attempt

Yesterday, the DC park service tasered an Occupy protester.  This occurred after the protester was cuffed.  The image of a man in p.j.s, and handcuffed being subjected to the taser sends shivers down my spine.

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The man, who is known as “Lash” was in his pajamas, detained and showed absolutely no signs of resisting police.  In fact no reasonable person could conclude that “Lash” could potentially resist police even if he wanted to. Nevertheless, some fool thought it appropriate to tase him. “Lash” was taken to jail.  While Lash was released today, he was given an order not to go to McPherson Square.  Yes, nothing says freedom like an order from the police prohibiting a victim of excessive force from rejoining a protest.

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Following the tasing, Occupy DC announced they would resist efforts to “evict” them, scheduled for today at noon.

Law Enforcement’s official reason was one we heard before in other places.  The police will enforce a ban on camping in the park.

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True to their word, Occupy DC prepared to resist during the anticipated eviction by the Park Service.  Protesters put tents and other belongings in the center of the square so

“that police cannot pick off individuals,  while others are planning civil disobedience in defense of their home and our collective right to protest economic inequality!”

The occupiers also placed a blue tarp over the statue of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson to create the “Tent of Dreams” referring to their slogan: “Let US Sleep So We Can Dream:

 

(image from Flickr)

 

The police arrived seven minutes after noon.  On twitter,   @AaronMoFoFrench commented:

“Cones are out on K Street. Signs tell of ‘Showdown’ with US Park Police. #OccupyDC tensions seem a little high.”

According to @DaveStroup the U.S Park Police came with the intent to evict the occupiers.

“USPP: “enforcement on a case by case basis.” #occupydc” Code:take you one at a time, you let us do that no problem.”

Several people tweeting under the #occupydc observed the large media presence for the anticipated “evictions” noting there was more media than protesters.

Eventually, the police concluded the Occupy protesters were in compliance of the “no camping” ban as noted by  @emilycrockett on Twitter

“Occupiers just told me police sgt told them they are in compliance. Tents open, etc #occupydc

In other words, after using excessive force on him, the police ordered “Lash” to stay away from a protest that was in full compliance with the law.

Upon concluding that the protesters were in full compliance of the camping ban, the police presence took an unpredictable turn, at least compared to the violent scenes we have seen during previous confrontations between law enforcement and Occupy protesters.

@aubreyjwhelan describes the situation:

“Bit tense there for a bit but things have calmed down now. Protesters now telling USPP officers why they occupy. #occupydc

Perhaps the large media presence today explains why the police opted for leaving without evicting anyone, or repeating the scene of using a taser on someone in jammies.  Maybe the tent of dreams, daunted them to the point, that it really became a tent to protect the Occupiers’ dreams and their first amendment rights.

Some argued that the absence of an eviction with the horror that comes with police brutality is a let down.  In my eyes, police brutality remains abhorrent.  The fact that there was no violence today, does not remove the fact that “Lash” was abused yesterday.  Nor does it remove the reality, that violence by the police is becoming way too commonplace.

(Image from The Washington Post)

8 Replies to “Occupy DC’s Tent of Dreams Withstands The Police’s Eviction Attempt”

  1. There is one fear I have, and that the banks start compensating the cops directly so that the cops have nothing to lose.

    Again I call for all tear gas and tasers to be removed from the cops arsenal. They create the problems that occur. The protesters do not bring weapons to the protests, the cops do.

    These people and everyone arrested must bring lawsuits against their police departments

  2. I understand cops are cops. They have to walk around putting their boot on people’s necks because they are outnumbered and must come at us from a position of strength. That being said, if this jerk has a man flat on his face and handcuffed, how much more effin control do you want?! Tasers and clubs shouldn’t be brought to break up a peaceful protest. It’s just that simple. Innocent civilians should not be subjected to clubs, tasers, rubber bullets, bean bags, etc. Why escalate to violence. It’s like, “Well we gotta bring clubs in case things get out of hand”. Well shit don’t get out of hand till buttholes start clubbing people! Must take a real courageous man/woman to taser a restrained person. This being said, I think camping in the city parks isn’t the best way for these protesters to get their point across. I understand their point but I think they’d have been better served, drawing down for the winter, gathering strength, planning, then be ready and rested in the spring. It has to be draining to be out there all winter.

  3. I think there are ways they could vastly enhance their message. And I applaud the concept of what they are doing. But I’m not sure if trashing places is really the best way to do it.

  4. It fucking doesn’t matter if they’re outnumbered or not. The real fact is that the “cops” are PIGS. They are racists (usually), they are bigots (almost always), they love abusing their power, and being aggressive towards people who have done nothing wrong. Their entire existence is to keep us subjugated and in our place. (Sociology has a lot of interesting things to say about the place of law enforcement in society!)

    I’ve lived in this county for 33 years. In those 33 years, I may have been stopped maybe 20 times. Of those 20 times, 2/3 were BOGUS. I’ve been profiled (they admitted it), harassed, even threated with a police dog because I’d accidentally flashed my high beams. I tense up every time I see a pig because I don’t know if I’m going to have problems with them or not.

    Indeed, if I DO get stopped and it’s for a legit reason (usually some sort of equipment failure like a light burned out, or a couple of times because we’d forgotten to renew our tags), and the officer actually acts professional, I report it and tell their headquarters that I appreciated the officer’s professionalism. It doesn’t happen very often.

    (The last time I was pulled, the cop wrote me a $150 ticket for no seat belt, even though I was wearing it. They had a big “Safety” push going on, enforcing the wearing of seat belts. I guess the city fathers wanted more money in their wallets. Oh, and if you fight it, the fine is automatically tripled and you could face other problems if you loose.)

    Before I moved to this God-forsaken county, one of the rare good cops had to speak up in defense of myself and my friends who had been legally target shooting – we were being arrested for possessing “Stolen firearms” (which we owned) when “Ole Sarge” came along and stopped the young punk pigs from dragging us off (and probably confiscating our guns). Oh… the young piglets were also out there target shooting… the “official” reason they accused us of having stolen guns is because we transported them in the trunk and padded them with blankets.

    Anyway,

    The video filled me with rage, because it brought back memories. It also reminded me of all of the stories my LGBT and other friends have told about their experiences. Imagine having a pig tell you maybe you were getting a message when you report having your home torched – burned to the ground (I hear stories of LGBT people experiencing such things on a regular basis, but it rarely makes the news!!!). I’ve experienced such dismissive behavior myself… I had to argue long with the police before they made a report on the last problem we had… racist hate graffiti in front of our driveway (and the pigs kept trying to tell me to forget it, that it was just “kids playing pranks”). They refused to investigate or report anything when someone torched my workshop, and other problems I’ve had were handled in a similar fashion.

    The only police force I even begin to trust is the one for my school – and I still tense up when I see them. I’ve heard nothing but good about them, excepting one old fart (meter reader type) who gave me tickets even though they were bogus… like for parking in a handicapped space when my placard was hanging from the mirror (I’ve had several tickets dismissed by the school because of things like that). I think he was finally let go, and he really wasn’t a police officer in the first place.

  5. AND the judge doesn’t throw them out, and they aren’t pressured hard to drop them, and the evidence is allowed in court…

    My opinion of our legal system is admittedly not too nice.

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