Thursday, November 3, 2011

Self-policing and Crime at the Occupy Protests

This addresses the problems with homeless and drug addicts, others, who are NOT PART of the protests mingling with protesters. Some of the more pertinent sections are near the end.  Cross posted from Penigma.
From assault arrest highlights security concerns at 'Occupy' protests
NEW YORK -- Highlighting growing security concerns at “Occupy” protests around the country, a 26-year-old man has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a woman at the encampment near Wall Street where the movement was born.
Tonye Iketubosin, a Brooklyn resident, was arrested late Tuesday and remained in custody Wednesday while the incident was investigated, police said. He had been working in the encampment's kitchen.
The Wall Street Journal reported that police were investigating an alleged attack by Iketubosin on an 18-year-old woman from Massachusetts. The woman told police she accepted his offer to let her sleep in his tent while he went to work at the kitchen early Saturday, but later returned and raped her, the newspaper quoted an unidentified law enforcement official as saying. Charges were pending.
Iketubosin allegedly groped a 17-year-old woman days before that incident, on Oct. 24. He has been charged with third-degree sexual abuse in that case, the newspaper reported.
Brendan Burke, 41, of Brooklyn, who helped start the “Occupy Wall Street” security team, said there had been three or four assaults since the protest began on Sept. 17 committed by two men.
In such cases, he said, protesters “go straight to the police.”
Burke said the security team, which consists of up to ten members and has help from outside groups to help keep the site safe, has non-violent measures for handling aggressors, including encircling them and shouting them down. A community watch group, akin to neighborhood watch, also monitors the site overnight, he said.
“People forget this is the middle of the street,” Burke said. “All walks of life are in here, so it’s not like a bunch of crazy people are in this park. But there is an element in this park that is eating free food, living in tents and being subsidized by the movement. It’s one of the weak parts of the movement, but it’s changing. … It’s just a thing everyone’s working out as we go along.”
He said the protesters attempt to integrate such interlopers into the movement when possible.
“We have also a track record of including troubled kids into the fray of working groups …  and  becoming part of the movement,” he said.
Protesters find allies in ranks of the wealthy
Security issues have bubbled up at some “Occupy” sites around the country in recent weeks.
“Occupy Boston” is looking at measures to deal with taking troublemakers out of the camp, protester Ravi Mishra, 25, said Tuesday. There have been no reports of sexual assault, though they have had to deal with people who are rowdy, drunk or have substance abuse problems, he said.
Some people who were not really a part of the movement have shown up and gotten “up to no good,” Mishra said.
“We’re doing our best to navigate, you know, both sides of the line,” he said. “On the one hand, we want to make sure that we’re not being exclusive by any means, on the other hand, we do understand that there is ... a degree of realism that we have to take with these issues.”
Old guard back in the trenches at "Occupy" protests
“Occupy Dallas” also has had a few security issues arise with people coming to the camp who were not associated with the movement, protester Michael Prestonise wrote in an email.
“Our position is one that might run counter to the continued accusations of our movement primarily consisting of hippies and freeloaders,” he said. “We actively work with the police to enforce the law.”
Prestonise said the protesters had dealt with theft by announcing stolen items at “general assemblies” and conducted their own investigations in some cases. A fire watch team also coordinates security and organizes shifts to maintain an all-night safety patrol, he said.
Both Occupy Boston and Wall Street have tents for women only. Burke said the camp is safe, but people should not think it’s a crime-free zone.
“There’s a myth about this … that it’s not every day America,” Burke said. “We’re just Americans doing our constitutional right. It doesn’t mean that there is a magic spell that will protect you from crime.”


  1. Was it the actual OWS protestors or outsiders that started the riot in Oakland last night?

  2. From the article:
    The woman told police she accepted his offer to let her sleep in his tent while he went to work at the kitchen early Saturday, but later returned and raped her, the newspaper quoted an unidentified law enforcement official as saying.

    This shows what kinda goofy kook you are. A woman gets raped by one of the volunteers and your concern is that nobody thinks an OWS person did it. You are a lunatic.
    A woman got raped and another sexually assaulted by a guy who clearly was part of the OWS.
    And guess what, if either of those two females had been armed, neither the rape nor the assault would have happened. You crazies prefer rape to self-defense against criminal behavior.

  3. Seriously, Anonymous?

    You are assuming that 1. the woman was not asleep when a rape began or was not incapacitated while asleep as part of the rape.
    and 2. that it would have been safe to fire a weapon in a tent in such close proximity to so many people.

    That is STUPID, on the face of it.

    Or do you believe that it is acceptable to wound an innocent person outside the tents in the course of defending yourself? Or were you PROPERLY instructed in gun use that you always KNOW where you are firing?


    The identity of the alleged rapist is known; he is in custody. I'm curious as to why this woman didn't make noise while the rape was occurring, because there were so many people in the vicinity who COULD have come to her rescue. I'm also curious to know if the rapist (alleged) was armed or not.

    Maybe Anonymous thinks it would have been a good idea to get into a shootout in a tiny tent with someone who is also armed, or to try to use a gun against a knife in a tiny tent. Or is not considering that in such close quarters that the gun could as easily have been taken away from a sleeping person?

    The tents that I have seen in the video footage from Zuccotti park are all pretty much those tiny little pop up mushroom type.

    You have absolutely NO basis for your ludicrous and irresponsible statement Anonymous:

    "And guess what, if either of those two females had been armed, neither the rape nor the assault would have happened."

    It perfectly reflects why you are the lunatic fringe aka gun lunatic. You believe that a gun is the answer to everything, when instead it is either part of the problem, would be a complication, or worse. And other than a gun, appropriate or not, you think of NOTHING else as an alternative.


  4. The Occupy protesters have done what they reasonably could - provide security (unarmed), provide women-only sleeping quarters, and if and when something occurs which is a crime, cooperate fully in the apprehension and prosecution of the criminal.

    Give them credit for doing the right thing,not the right wing NUT thing.

    I suppose at a tea party protest, there would be a mass shooting executing an accused criminal without resorting to law enforcement, or the judicial system?

    You idiots are dangerous, to yourselves and others.

  5. Again you show your total lack of concern, their is not even a drop of compunction or compassion for the woman who was raped, instead, you imply it might have even been her fault, she asked for because she didn't scream.
    And you prejudiced, permanently petrified pea-brain can't stop spewing gun this, gun that, gun the other thing. Yet no where did I say gun. I said armed for self-defense.
    Your posts are nothing but coprolite that should be in the cloaca.

  6. So, Anonymous - what kind of weapon would you find appropriate to these women?

    Whether I express it here or not does not determine my feelings of either compassion or concern. Not all feelings have to be on public display to be sincere.

    The question of the woman making some noise to alert others to her situation goes directly to the subject of how the Occupy protesters are attempting to police and secure their safety, so was pertinent. She may very well have been threatened not to make any noise during the rape.

    However it would seem a reasonable question to wonder if this guy thought he would get away with this, and why.

    Or do you never question what you read or hear?

    And you have failed, utterly, to discuss the probability in such close quarters, where a woman is not awake, for her to be physically at a disadvantage.

  7. What other violent crimes do you ignore under the banner of OWS - OCCUPY WOMEN SLEEPING?

  8. Poor anonymous, doesn't like the cops and can't offer a realistic alternative.

    Not to mention that he is a closet anarchist.

    Where does order come from in your world, Anonymous, private security guards who aren't limited by constitutional restraints? That's the free market solution.

  9. Anonymous creams his jeans thinking of the unregulated conduct of Blackwater security goons in foreign countries. It appears to be his favorite fantasy.

    Anonymous stupidly wrote:
    "What other violent crimes do you ignore under the banner of OWS - OCCUPY WOMEN SLEEPING?"

    I don't IGNORE any crime, violent or non-violent, dummy. On the topic of rape, I worked a crisis hotline for a while as a volunteer in college, which included dealing with rape victims. I probably know more about it than you do, and as a woman I believe I have a better understanding of and rapport with the victim than you do, as well.

    I don't let my sympathies distract my brain from critical thinking. I am also aware of the rates of false accusations - an estimated 8%, and despite being a woman, I'm also not willing to demonize men or fail to give someone the presumption of innocence that we should accord them in a criminal accusation, while still being supportive of victims. There is a balance to be maintained.

    More than that, I strongly applaud the efforts of the OWS to properly, non-violently, do unarmed security policing of their participants, and for their cooperation with law enforcement to both prevent crimes where possible, and in a realistic understanding of a movement as large as this, to be sure that if a tiny, tiny, number of illegal actions occur, the wrong-doers are caught and prosecuted. They are doing this without guns very very well.

    Btw - WHAT weapons other than guns do you think would have helped this sleeping woman overcome her attacker and fend off the rape? Pepper spray of any kind in an enclosed tent space would have been a huge mistake; a knife could not effectively been used in such a closed space, and it could easily have been taken away if - as seems likely - the attacker was stronger than the victim. Taser? or some other kind of electronic protection? Using that while entangled in a sleepig bag seems unlikely to succeed. I think we can safely rule out spear, bow and arrow WHAT WEAPON WERE YOU ADVOCATING that would have a better success than calling for help.

    It does strike me as a situation where a good dog might be useful. Bad guys appear to have a significant fear of baring their balls when a canine is baring their teeth.

    And you do know, don't you, Anonymous, that in the rape statistics, there is NO differentiation between attempted rapes and completed rapes? And you do know that 77% of all completed rapes are by people who are known to the victim, not strangers, as this guy appeared to be? One of the problems with rape is that we do not have the same distrust of people we know that we hold towards strangers, and therefore we do not have the same defensive response towards assault that we would a stranger.

    Your notions that if we just weaponed-up more ladies we wouldn't be having the problems with rape is just pure bullshit. There is a lot we can do to prevent rape, to stop it from occurring.

    Guns do not belong on that list.

  10. You may as well just come out and say it was her fault she was raped.
    You have excuse for everything, except your lack of even a tiny bit of empathy for these girls.