Violence in the Occupied Streets

Is the question will violence happen in the streets again? or is it - when will it happen again?

Nixon is not in the White House but Obama hasn't really stepped up yet to lend his support to non-violence. The silence from the commander-in-chief is deafening. Leader of the free world, the author of "Change"; where is his voice? Instead local mayors and sheriffs are reacting with different measures of police action.

We hear the argument that the Occupy encampments and demonstrations are very good at self-policing. In my recent experience that is true. But this all has happened fast. It's been just over a month. The Vietnam War protests went on for ten years. The Kent State massacre happened in 1970, a full two years after the anti-war movement had driven Lyndon Johnson from the presidency. But five years before the end of the war.

The police are different today. They are part of the 99% even if some of them wear 53% buttons. They see the underside of the American economy everyday. They know how many actual welfare freeloaders are out there and they know how many of the poor were once where they are - just one layoff from being out of a job.

Still when crowds come face-to-face with batons and riot-gear very, very bad things can happen. Some local cop is going to be too tired, too frightened or just a reactionary prick and all hell is going to break loose. There are going to be casualties in this Occupation. On the other hand, there are also going to be a lot more badges, uniforms and military decorations on our side this time around.

tin soldiers and nixon coming
we're finally on our own
this summer I hear the drumming
four dead in o-hi-o