The Smell of Pepper Spray in the Morning

As usual, Naomi Wolfe has the number on the OWS crackdown:

Why this massive mobilisation against these not-yet-fully-articulated, unarmed, inchoate people? After all, protesters against the war in Iraq, Tea Party rallies and others have all proceeded without this coordinated crackdown. Is it really the camping? As I write, two hundred young people, with sleeping bags, suitcases and even folding chairs, are still camping out all night and day outside of NBC on public sidewalks – under the benevolent eye of an NYPD cop – awaiting Saturday Night Live tickets, so surely the camping is not the issue. I was still deeply puzzled as to why OWS, this hapless, hopeful band, would call out a violent federal response.

That is, until I found out what it was that OWS actually wanted.

The mainstream media was declaring continually “OWS has no message”. Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online “What is it you want?” answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.

The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.

No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them.

It’s not just that the OWS movement is getting all up in the face of Wallstreet and thus bringing the ire of their lapdogs in Washington. OWS is now threatening the income of our blessedly corrupt leaders. And thus, the DHS is coaching our militarized police on how to crack skulls.

Much has been made out of the now Internet-famous cop who casually pepper sprayed seated protesters. But what did you expect? You give a cop pepper spray and a baton he’s going to go looking for an excuse to use it. It now appears that excuse came from Homeland Security and with the blessings of our ruling class. OWS is a little more than 2 months old and so far, has been surprisingly peaceful (at least on their side). It will take a miracle for that to last because if history has taught us anything, it’s that those who make peaceful progress impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.