I wrote this in the middle of the night as news of the raid on the #occulyla camp was breaking on twitter, half asleep but compelled to get some of my thoughts written down before I fell asleep:
The police are within their duties to do remove occupiers as occupiers are within theirs to commit acts of peaceful civil disobedience. Where law breaks down, in my mind, is when those in the upper echelons of authority usurp the power of the press by controlling who can report when, and by what media, which by extension raises the question of the accuracy and lens through which the truth is filtered.
The people have a right to protest. The land owners have right to evict. Acts of civil disobedience are excellent demonstrations against a show of force. A heavily armed police force moving in to remove resolved protestors is inevitable. What really strikes me, though, and shames me as an American, is that those in power, presumably the mayor of Los Angeles and the LAPD chief of police authorized the communications blanket last night. Restricting the freedom of press, saying who is and isn’t allowed to report, and by what medium, seems to me to be a direct violation of the freedom of press — in spirit and intent if not letter of the law.
I’m sure someone will claim that this was an issue of safety; journalists risk their lives every day in warzones to report the truth. Are these politicians saying that downtown Los Angeles was more dangerous than the battlefields of the world where journalists have lived, reported, and yes, sometimes died? No. They were trying to prevent a potential media disaster should events get out of hand, to act without the accountability of independent observer.
Funny, we’ve damned foreign nations for doing the same to its people but we turn around and do it to our own. Too big to fail. That’s what we thought about the banks, until we had to step in and bail them out. I kind of wonder if the next big thing to fail will be you, the 1%, and who will you turn to to bail you out?