I can’t help but notice the distinctly different reactions of the Police to demonstrations of the Tea Party compared to those of the Occupy Wall St. Movement. You remember when Tea Baggers would show up in demonstrations around the Country threatening violence against the President and the Federal Government in general? Recall the racist and threatening signs? In some demonstrations, Tea baggers openly brandished guns. Yet, there were very few arrests, let alone any police violence directed at them. Contrast their hands off approach to that now being directed at the Occupy Wall St. Movement, which has been virtually non-violent. Massive police arrests and brutality have been witnessed in New York, Oakland, Portland, Phoenix and Berkeley. They are scenes very reminiscent of the Civil Rights Movement with Occupiers, who are not resisting, being beaten with batons and sprayed with chemical agents. Journalists reporting on the police brutality have also been targeted for arrests and beatings.
Why were the threats of the Tea Party dismissed while the non-violence of the Occupiers is met with brutal violence? You might speculate that the virtually all-white and predominantly middle-aged to elder Tea baggers reflected the composition and politics of the police, while the much more diverse Occupier Movement does not, but I don’t think that accurately reflects the front-line officers (many of whom have expressed sympathy for the message of the Movement). The violent suppression of the Occupiers is function of the fact that the movement has grown and now constitutes a real threat to the power behind the curtains. The Tea Party, for all of its revolutionary rhetoric, is actually a tool of Corporate America, funded by billionaires to focus on making government more amenable to their corporate agendas. The Occupiers actually do pose a threat against the real power in this Country. Economic justice is the real revolutionary cause of our lifetimes, and the 1% are not going to give up their wealth and power without a fight.