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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let Chicago Cops Show the Nation How to Deal with Protests

Posted by on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Not in the way one might expect. (Skip to the 51 second mark in this video if you want the good stuff).

As in so many other cities today, OWS-allied movements took over various bridges, including the La Salle Street Bridge over the main branch of the Chicago River. The CPD, more known for busting heads and not bothering to take names than for delicate handling of anything, politely let the protesters occupy the bridge for a while. Then they talked to each protester, who agreed to get up and be cuffed and go away for an I-bond. No pepper spraying of 80+ year old women, no busting up of libraries. Let free speech happen. Whether this is the best strategy for the OWS protests to make some political headway, I'm ambivalent. Like Neil Steinberg and others, I agree that the OWS movement needs to register voters and elect people (even sellouts like Obama or other DINOs—who are indeed the lesser of two evils, but let's remember how much greater the greater of two evils can be). But I'd also say that anything which gets the local news to cover you and quote people making your talking points is a good thing for convincing the swing voters. Just let those voters drive home in a timely way. Which is to say, don't let Critical Mass take over this second phase of OWS.

 

Comments (29) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
But that would mean Americans have rights and aren't serfs ...

#AndThenBoehnerCried
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on November 17, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Report this
2
voting for the lesser of two evils is what made the democratic party the republican party & the republican party a nihilist/fascist alliance. that 'lesser of two evils' has become a 'slower than two evils.' same goals, just a different pace. sorry, you can't vote your way out of this one. not in this country.
Posted by philosophy school dropout on November 17, 2011 at 3:34 PM · Report this
3
@2 Glad you dropped out before you flunked out. When the Greater of Two Evils from the 2000 Presidential election shaped the current SCOTUS into the corporate-evil-enabling machine it now is, did you feel satisfied? Anyone who does this absolutist bullshit in the real world is the worse of three evils.
Posted by Chicago Fan on November 17, 2011 at 3:42 PM · Report this
4
Gee, thanks for the history lesson, Chicago Fan. Here's another one for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osocGiofd…

I was living in Minneapolis at the time of the 35W bridge collapse. A fellow programmer from our local community radio station went down with it during rush hour on his way to the station. I was in the process of commuting and got to see more than I would have liked to.

Today event, organized by labor unions, is in support of infrastructure. My understanding is that they, as many others, including myself, don't want this to happen again.

This is politics, it's gone through the wringer since 2007. Shovels Ready and all. Meanwhile, Seattle still has crap bridges. It shouldn't just end with South Park.

If Chicago Fan is a handle of anyone on the staff of The Stranger then you should consider yourself a journalist. Take a deep breath, get a grip, and do a better job doing you job, bro.
Posted by Frozen Few on November 17, 2011 at 3:48 PM · Report this
5
@4, calm down, it's Dan's brother.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM · Report this
6
@3 hey asshole, and what did obama do? he continued the bush policies en mass. hell, he established them as normal. obama abandoned his constituency on day 1 to enact the same agenda the right wants (just at a slower pace). so how'd voting for the lesser of two evils work out for you there? oh & fuck you for being an asshole.
Posted by philosophy school dropout on November 17, 2011 at 3:57 PM · Report this
7
@6, Obama also did a lot of awesome shit that you may not know or give a fuck about, but that matter to a lot of good people, vulnerable people who are better off today because of it. To deny that is to deny truth, which is never worth doing, in the service of any cause.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 17, 2011 at 4:12 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 8
@6,

Thank God you've given up on participating in the political process. Good riddance.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 17, 2011 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 9
@ 6, the solution is getting the Democrats back on track. It isn't not voting Democratic.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 17, 2011 at 4:19 PM · Report this
10
Agreed, I should have taken my own advice, taken a deep breath ... and tried editing.

And agreed. This is an important issue that is getting muddled by "Critical Mass take over" action.
Posted by Frozen Few on November 17, 2011 at 4:20 PM · Report this
11
Voting for Obama? The king of droning brown people on the other side of the world! Who obviously is captured by Wall Street (look at his staff!!!!). Have you no principles?

Just pulling a lever will not save the world. Never has, never will.
Posted by Linda J on November 17, 2011 at 4:34 PM · Report this
OuterCow 12
Voting is only important if we actually have real representatives of the people to vote for, if you care about the long term. One of the ways we can get those people running is by showing them we're willing to vote 3rd party when the two other options are corporate shills. This both encourages real progressives to run, and moderates to run more progressive. But that push needs to be sustained over successive election cycles, which I'll be honest, I have no clue how we accomplish that, but it seems necessary. It's clear the Democrats didn't learn what should have been a clear lesson from 2010, their supports stayed home because the Dems weren't fighting hard enough for them.
Posted by OuterCow on November 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 13
@ 12, the reason third parties don't work is because they get the greater of two evils elected each time. That gets those people back into whichever party they protested before by the next cycle.

OWS has managed to get politicians to start giving them lip service. Even republican Tom Coburn said something about the growing divide between rich and poor the other day. This is where OWS needs to keep going.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 14
Obama set up the conference call to 18 US cities to crack down on Occupy.

Which resulted in MORE people protesting.

It's called consequences.

And there will be more. Until the rich pay more in taxes than the middle class or the poor do (percentage of earnings of any type, not fake accounting gimmicks we all know about).
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on November 17, 2011 at 5:24 PM · Report this
I Heart Flan! 15
Big stuff is goin' DOWN out there: http://goo.gl/fdKB0
Posted by I Heart Flan! on November 17, 2011 at 5:57 PM · Report this
16
Thanks for the great update on Occupy Chicago.

But, Dude, we did and do the voter registration movement. It elected Obama and a Democratic majority in both houses. Still no consequences for the criminals who squeezed massive personal, and still growing, fortunes out of the economic collapse, BUT Obama and the Democrats are working really hard to get a deal with the Republicans to cut Social Security and Medicare. Yes, some people will keep working through the Democratic party, maybe me too, but turning OWS into a voter registration wing of the Democratic party is a guaranteed counterproductive activity. OWS will instantly become nothing. Poof. With little dusty specks circling around the conceptual space it once occupied.

Its ideas are powerful. As long as there are tents and occupation, the ideas keep getting pushed and discussed. Our current media and politicians have been limiting the allowed ideas to the point where people have to work hard to exercise their mind to speak them to eachother. We need this space.
Posted by cracked on November 17, 2011 at 5:58 PM · Report this
OuterCow 17
@13 And the reason the two party system isn't working is because not even the lesser evil party respects the rule of law anymore. I get it, I get it, you guys care more about how worse the greater evil is, we care more about how insanely evil even the lesser evil is. So we have to think long term, what pushes the lesser evil party either back into the light, or into irrelevancy so something useful can take it's place. If 3rd parties start attracting enough votes, establishment candidates will have to deal with that.
Posted by OuterCow on November 17, 2011 at 6:40 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 18
@ 17, no. It's simple. We have a two party system. We will NEVER, not EVER, have a multiparty system. It will fail for the reason I mentioned and that you didn't address at all. Making effective change means working within this framework. Working outside of it means handing victory over to the corporatists.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 17, 2011 at 6:46 PM · Report this
19
Neil Steinberg is a "former" drunk who beat his wife. Google him, if you don't believe me.
And you cite this guy as an authority?
He's a small-time Chicago columnist who was so enraged at the success of Bob Greene that Steinberg wrote entire pieces using a false name just to try and get to Greene.
Steinberg is an asshole.
Posted by Mike Royko II on November 17, 2011 at 7:18 PM · Report this
OuterCow 20
@18 Excluding the presidential race, 3rd party candidates can get elected; Bernie Sanders, Jesse Venture, etc. We can build our way up to legitimacy in the presidential race, but where you say "NEVER" I say "at the very least a great long while". And to address your "the reason third parties don't work is because they get the greater of two evils elected each time" point, if it wasn't for Ross Perot, Clinton would have lost. Are you saying you think Bush I would've been better than Clinton?
Posted by OuterCow on November 17, 2011 at 7:34 PM · Report this
OuterCow 21
*lol, "Ventura". Must have Venture Bros. on the brain.
Posted by OuterCow on November 17, 2011 at 7:35 PM · Report this
22
@12 I think I agree with you more than I don't.
Posted by Spindles on November 17, 2011 at 8:16 PM · Report this
OuterCow 23
@22 With my herd immunity and your gold bullion, nothing can stop us. :)
Posted by OuterCow on November 17, 2011 at 8:35 PM · Report this
wingedkat 24
I'm with you, Chicago Fan.

OuterCow, I used to agree with you. I voted for Wellstone, Nader, and yes, Ventura. Still, I don't think it is as possible to elect 3rd party candidates as you think. The cases you and I cite are essentially flukes, the system works against 3rd party candidates. The best we can hope for is a new party to take over when an old party grows too weak.

If only we could move to a different electoral system, say try approval or even instant run off, then 3rd parties could gain in real significance. I don't see elected democrats or republicans supporting such a measure any time soon, unfortunately.
Posted by wingedkat on November 17, 2011 at 8:42 PM · Report this
25
hey we saw this on 'Babe'.
the little pig asked the sheep nicely and they went into the corral without having to be pepper sprayed or bit on the ass or anything.....
Posted by CPD=little pig. OWS=sheep. on November 17, 2011 at 9:02 PM · Report this
treacle 26
Anyone who says, "Oh, you should get off your duff and vote!", should sign up to Mother Jones magazine website and read this article talking about why *neither* Dems nor Reps give a flying fuck about your silly votes and "opinions", and listen only to the rich.
Posted by treacle on November 17, 2011 at 10:03 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 27
@ 20, you just proved my point. From the right wing viewpoint, Clinton most certainly WAS the greater of two evils. That's why there was no more Ross Perot or Reform Party (at least as credible contenders) after that.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 18, 2011 at 7:48 AM · Report this
OuterCow 28
@27....What? Why are you invoking the right wing perspective here? I, and I assumed you (and tell me if I'm wrong), think Clinton was a better choice than Bush I, and he won because a 3rd party candidate ran. So... "the reason third parties don't work is because they get the greater of two evils elected each time" is false, I gave you an example of where the opposite happened. You can't just magic that into me proving your point.

And I realize that since then they've further rigged the game to make it impossible for 3rd party candidates to run meaningful presidential campaigns. But undoing that corruption is at least a possibility, though agreed, unlikely. That's why I care more about electing 3rd party candidates in non-presidential races.
Posted by OuterCow on November 18, 2011 at 9:12 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 29
@ 28, the lesser and greater of two evils is a matter of perspective. Third parties can arise on the right (e.g. Perot) or the left (e.g. Nader); they attract those fed up with their own party, get the other guy elected (based on their perspective, the greater of two evils), and go back to their own party.

You and I agree that Clinton was preferable to Bush I. The third party voters of 1992 disagree.

I'll concede that third parties can be elected at the local and state level, but most of those politicians have a record of failure as well. Jesse Ventura most likely was elected because he was a famous celebrity and his "no nonsense" demeanor was very appealing. But his administration generated more controversy than change and he declined to run for re-election.

You are right that a third party strategy has to be grown locally and will take a lot of time, but I'd add that they would need to resist the temptation of running a presidential candidate for the first decade or two while they grow; lest they contribute to the greater evil being elected and making everyone who isn't a true believer go back to the old party. I don't think any of them would heed that advice.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM · Report this

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