John Cassidy on NYPD Macing Protesters at Wall Street

NYPD monitoring protesters armed with dangerous signs made out of heavy cardboard

Cassidy writes on the New Yorker blog about how police brutality is aiding the Occupy Wall Street protesters’ cause by bringing media to their side and creating tension within the Bloomberg administration:

“We live in an interest-group democracy, where those who shout loudest and organize most effectively exercise power. Over the past couple of years, Tea Party protesters have been claiming Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and other popular heroes of the Revolutionary War as inspirations in their efforts to emasculate the federal government, slash taxes, and roll back the welfare state. Partly as a result of a vacuum on the left, the Tea Party has already been able to shift the political debate dangerously to the right. Merely to balance things out and protect some things the Tea Party would do away with, the country would benefit from the emergence of an energetic left-wing protest movement. If the actions of Kelly’s goons help, in any small way, to shift things in this direction, it would be to the good.

Should you think ‘goons’ is a bit strong, watch this by now notorious video, or read this article by Jeanne Mansfield, an employee of the Boston Review, who together with her boyfriend got caught up in Saturday’s march to Wall Street from Union Square and ended up with police pepper spray in her eyes. Even some of the beat cops appear to have been surprised at the actions of N.Y.P.D. Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, who walked up to a group of female protesters and, without any apparent warning, let fly with his canister. Mansfield reports one burly beat cop as saying, ‘I can’t believe he just fuckin’ maced her.'”

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