Nearby, peaceful and unarmed students at the University of California, Berkeley were attacked by riot police on their own campus.
It’s not just protesters who have been brutalized and arrested. New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was beaten bloody and arrested at Tuesday’s violent ‘Occupy Wall Street’ eviction in Lower Manhattan. Also arrested was Paul Newell, the Democratic District Leader for New York’s 64th Assembly District.
And chillingly, journalists have also been targeted for beatings and arrest for nothing more than doing their jobs. NYPD officers told reporters that “you’re not press tonight” as they roughed up and arrested employees of NPR, theNew York Times, the New York Post, NBC and other outlets big and small after the powers-that-be decided to black out media access to the Zuccotti Park/Liberty Square eviction site.
This blatant disregard for First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, assembly and the press is highly disturbing, to say the least. But rather than dissuade demonstrators, concerned citizens and the media from carrying on or covering the ‘Occupy’ phenomenon, police-state tactics will only embolden and enlarge the movement. After all, it was after Americans saw images of civil rights and peace activists being savagely attacked by police in the 1960s that public opinion turned in favor of those movements.