What are human rights? These should be kept in mind when dealing with police brutality.
Skip to [2:08] to start the history of human rights and how they were born. It spread like wildfire, and authority and people with power kept trampling on them. Consistently, power disliked rights. And this is seen through thousands of years. Today, it’s sad to still see it.
Pretty powerful video.
When police officers unlawfully arrest peaceful protesters, they are committing a crime. When they unlawfully arrest peaceful protesters in a violent, degrading, and inhumane manner, then they are committing treason on not only political laws, but the fundamental human rights that every human being is entitled to.If you must break the law, at least have the decency to treat another human being as if they were a human being. The bottom line is that the police are wrong in two counts: unlawful arrests, and violating human rights.
Here is how they have violated these fundamental rights:
This is an awesome group of lawyers working to protect the rights of the protesters. A little info about the NLG
THE NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD is a national non-proﬁt legal and political organization comprised of lawyers, legal workers, law students, and jailhouse lawyers, now celebrating 75 years since the Guild’s founding. We represent progressive political movements, using the law to protect human rights above property interests and to attain social justice.
And of coarse the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) working hard to inform people of their rights whether they’re with the Tea Party or Occupy Movement.
Occupy Wall Street started as a movement many in the mainstream media did not cover. In fact, Occupiers themselves began wondering why CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and others like The New York Times took long enough to substantively cover the protests. However, when the mainstream media outlets were rightfully criticized for their non-coverage, they decided to instead focus on their non-coverage of the protest, and made silly excuses for their slow response
Columnists at well-regarded news outlets who chose to respond concluded that there were plenty of great reasons not to cover Occupy Wall Street. In delineating those reasons throughout this week, they got to write at length about the protestors’ quirks and shortcomings, making their defense of non-coverage of a protest read a lot like colorful coverage of a protest
Of course, Jon Stewart had an astute analysis of the mainstream media’s behavior with only having two settings for their coverage – blackout or portraying the protesters as a “circus”. Fortunately, for those interested in Occupy Wall Street there are other options to get our news especially with the rise in new media, and citizen journalism.
However, for those of us who still watch the news on television or online from “traditional” sources, there was one news outlet that broadcast-ed and included in their headlines, news from Occupy movement almost everyday since the protests started: PressTV, Iranian state owned news network (RT covered OWS as well but my focus here is specifically on Iran).
As I watched PressTV online, I kept wondering why they covered OWS better than our mainstream media, and realized it stemmed from politics as usual – from us tenaciously covering their Green Revolution and focusing on the death of Neda Agha Soltan and named her a ‘martyr’ and face of the revolution. And thus leading to Iran returning the favor, but from that reciprocal-treatment (tit-for-tat riff) from our sensationalization of their Green Revolution, they filled a void that was need, and was blacked-out from our major news outlets.
The most important aspect of this is that both countries want to highlight the other’s human rights violations of protesters, and do a good job at it too. There is no doubt that Iran violated protester’s rights and continue to suppress the press however at the same we need to pay attention to our rhetoric when we condemn their actions and follow our own advice that we give abroad, domestically.
Here is a screen-shot from PressTV that puts OWS-related news under the “Democracy and Human Rights” section, clearly they see OWS as a human right, we should also see OWS as a human right, and condemn police brutality, and let the people exercise their first amendment right. If we strive and stay consistent with our rhetoric we can become that beacon in the world for democracy to flourish.
Arrests within the Occupy Movement have been a topic of massive controversy. Before anyone got involved in a heated debate on police brutality while arresting a protester, it was noted that protesters were getting arrested in the first place.
Should they be arrested?
Are they doing anything wrong?
They claim that the Constitution protects them. The police department begs to differ.
This is one clash that goes beyond the realm of just OWS vs. Authority. This goes back to the roots of the United States politics. Of course there is the Federalist/Anti-Federalist argument, but there is also the tension between supporters of states rights and the central government’s rights. It’s the Constitution versus the laws and regulations that the state implemented. That is the issue.
RT critiquing the response Occupy Wall Street has been getting from the mainstream media.
Elite Media biased against Occupy Wall Street - Glenn Greenwald
Why is the son of the CEO of Chevron and the fiancé of the second highest ranking executive at Citigroup scornful of Wall Street protesters? It’s because this is who our media class is, they are integrated fully into the political class. - Glenn Greenwald
Talib Kweli’s Ode to #OWS [Via Occupy.com]
Great link from PBS Need to Know.
Arresting witnesses for recording police actions
The raids at Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country have earned media attention primarily for their glaring instances of police brutality. But they’ve also tested the boundaries of police authority when it comes to limiting media access to police operations. As many as 30 journalists have been arrested covering Occupy protests, including many who clearly identified themselves as credentialed members of the media. Officials in New York and L.A., for example, have also tried to tightly restrict media access to the Occupy encampments, setting up barricades far away from the actual raids and allowing only hand-picked journalists to go behind police lines.
Civil liberties advocates have decried these tactics as attempts to stifle media coverage of the raids. But the media blackouts are representative of a broader trend in law enforcement in recent years in which the police have been arresting citizens simply for recording official police actions in public places. Twelve states, for example, have adopted “eavesdropping” laws that prohibit people from videotaping police actions without the officers’ consent. And in California, police officials have openly stated that they will arrest people taking photographs without “apparent esthetic value” if those people seem suspicious. Several courts have ruled these policies unconstitutional.