Much more to say about this when I have more time, but for now, for the record: 400 people arrested, no dispersal order given, never read our rights. Everyone who made it inside the Y is being charged with “burglary”, which is obviously bullshit, and one guy I saw in the kettle and talked with in jail was charged with assault of a police officer for getting his back repeatedly in the way of police batons while lying on the ground.
Fuck the State.
Everybody’s heard the “I Have a Dream” speech, or at least an excerpt. This is in many ways a much more profound speech.
A year ago San Francisco passed the notorious Sit/Lie law, which makes it illegal to sit or lie on a sidewalk between 7am and 11pm. As written, it forbids sitting on the curb while waiting for the bus, sitting on a chair outside your house during a yard sale, or sitting on the ground to repair a flat tire on a bicycle.
Why would such a silly law even be proposed? Why, to further harass homeless people, of course. The law is intended to be applied unevenly. And this is of course what is happening.
On December 11th I was walking through the Upper Haight. This is the neighborhood of San Francisco that had an alleged “emergency” of assaults and harassment by homeless “thugs” that required a new, unconstitutional law to stop it. I was pleasantly surprised to find a band playing from within a recessed entranceway. Their keyboardist was outside, sitting on a chair on the sidewalk (illegal). A group of passers-by stopped and listened, and some of them sat down as well (also illegal). When I sat down we had five (5) people blatantly violating the Sit/Lie law at 1:30pm in the afternoon:
Perhaps, you might be saying, the police weren’t been discriminatory in their enforcement of this law. They just happened not to be there when this crime occurred. Not so. I saw a beat cop approach, and was able to snap a shot before he disappeared into the distance, having not even paused at the gathering on the sidewalk:
This is the “discretion” San Francisco has given its police – this is the “tool” they “need”. They apply the law selectively against homeless people, in blatant violation of the US Constitution.
Brace yourself! It’s three hours of Chris Hedges, but he pretty much lays it all out.
I wanted to highlight one part where he addresses a question from a viewer about white supremacy and white privilege, which he seems to have a very good handle on.
At about 1:32:25 in, @MelkiJRussell asks, “Can Chris talk about the issues a Black man might face saying the same thing he says to a white audience?” to which I think Hedges gave a great answer: Continue reading “Chris Hedges on Occupy and the End of Empire”