Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
A comparison is one way to get some perspective. There’s certainly something of an “apples to oranges” dynamic going on here. But that there is a different treatment for “white collar” and “street” crimes is surely not in question. And when the comparison is between the very expensive collars of the ultra-wealthy banksters, and the mass produced collars of many of the street activists, the comparisons, and contrasts, are very evident.
At Occupy Arrests:
A running total of the number of Occupy protestors arrested around the U.S. since Occupy Wall Street began on Sep. 17, 2011.
There have been at least 7,208 Arrests in 114 different cities (As of May 9, 2012)
Note: Only confirmed arrests are included.
The totals are listed by date, with links provided for each entry.
‘The piling on of Occupy arrests can be seen as a barometer of this government’s intolerance for the First Amendment. Aggressive policing tactics, including frequent gratuitous assaults on protesters and bystanders, are making our parks and streets hostile to the Constitution,’ says Heidi Boghosian, director of the National Lawyers Guild … .’ The National Lawyers Guild monitors Occupy protests and has offered pro-bono legal assistance to thousands of ordinary Americans who have been swept up in arrests. …
Despite use of mass arrests, pepper spray, stun grenades, many Americans report being inspired, not deterred from the experience of being arrested while participating in Occupy actions. (Boghosian) ‘Civil disobedience plays a key role throughout U.S. history; the colonists disobeyed the Crown, the abolitionists disobeyed enslavers, the Black Freedom movement resisted segregation. …’
The guesses I’m seeing are that arrests will increase with the NATO Summit in Chicago and the G8 Summit at Camp David, and at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
Meanwhile, there are the financial institutions of the “too big to fail” size, so far above the law that there isn’t even much pretense of justice being served. Point fingers at those scary socialist Occupiers, or by now even more likely, tell yet another election year story, and ignore the cozy relationship between Electeds and Extra Special Elites.
Shelly Bernal, as Nation of Change:
Wall Street and Their Purchased Representatives
How is it that two years after passage of the much acclaimed Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform (four years after economic crash), Too Big To Fail (TBTF) institutions are not only bigger, but also too big to regulate and too big to jail? Don’t be fooled into believing that because a law has been passed by Congress and signed by the president, it has actually been implemented.
Keep in mind that Congress controls the funding for the federal regulators who are charged with carrying out the reform – Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities Exchange Commission. What would possess members of Congress, who bragged about banning banks from gambling with taxpayer money, to force regulators to strategically surrender significant rules by threatening budget cuts?
Answer: their livelihoods. … What better motivation is there than your career and financial future of your family? The financial sector is far and away the largest source of campaign contributions to federal candidates and parties, with insurance companies, securities and investment firms, real estate interests, and commercial banks providing the bulk of that money. In this 2012 election cycle alone, this industry has already donated $122 million to campaigns of members of Congress.
Campaign contributions are just one piece of the ‘too big to fail / jail’ picture. As Bernal writes, there’s also the “billions of dollars to lobby Congress” and “the high-income revolving door.”
Although Congress wields power over the legislative process and thus, the non-implementation of Wall Street reforms, the White House wields power over the law enforcement process. What would possess a President, who proclaimed loudly that those causing the economic crisis would be held accountable, to not hold TBTF accountable? Answer: his livelihood.
Thinking of the 7200+ arrests and the mostly free ride for the less than 1% at the very top, a follow-up question from those asked by Bernal: what would possess an Occupier to engage in activist / advocacy work? Answer: his or her livelihood. Along with issues of fairness, equality, and justice.
(Poster via Occupy Posters)