Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Are the Police Directing Indigent and Drug Users to Zuccotti Park, in an Attempt to Sabotage Occupy Wall Street Protests?

Transcript of a Keith Olbermann interview with Ryan Devereaux:
DEVEREAUX: Well, it’s a story that’s been floating around the park for weeks now. This is something that people have been talking about. A lot of the folks that are involved in the security operations at the park have been saying that — when they encounter, you know, sort of transient, homeless type of people there in the park — they are hearing reports that the police have been encouraging them to head down to Zuccotti, to “Take it to Zuccotti.”
It’s very upsetting. Particularly, when you consider that some of the people that are arriving to the park have severe psychiatric problems or drug-addiction problems. Why isn’t — if the NYPD is, indeed, suggesting that they go somewhere — why don’t they suggest them to go somewhere that has the resources and the professionals with the capability to handle the particular problems that they have.
OLBERMANN: Any answers occur to you to that rhetorical question?
DEVEREAUX: I mean I — it looks very bad.
OLBERMANN: Sabotage would be — provocateur is essentially — involuntary provocateurs or, in another context, human shields, if you will. That’s the same mentality to it, anyway.
DEVEREAUX: That’s — that’s definitely the sense among the protesters, this is a concerted effort at sabotage. Whether or not we will find concrete evidence that that’s the case, we’ll have to wait and see.
OLBERMANN: Ryan Devereaux, reporter for Democracy Now who’s been at Occupy Wall Street since before the beginning. Great thanks, again, for coming in.


  1. So the homeless are not part of the 99%?

  2. Not particularly; there may be some people who are homeless, certainly many who were unfairly foreclosed upon make up a segment.

    But what appears to be happening is that those who are NOT interested in the politics and economics of the movement are being directed to the protests to both make them appear more 'rag tag', but also to try to put more of a strain on the efforts of the protesters to provide food and shelter to those genuinely participating in the protests. It is an attempt to burden and stress their limited organization efforts.

    Ditto any drug users; if they can insert people they know have a problem, they can very dishonestly then turn around to try to mis-characterize the protest and protesters to discredit them unfairly.

    It is a mean, nasty, ugly, cruel way to exploit people who should be directed to services that genuinely CAN assist them, and it is a very sleazy and fundamentally dishonest tactic by those police. When THAT is how the police act, it is much harder for anyone on the receiving end of such a tactic to have any respect for them or to believe them when they want to negotiate or operate in good faith.

    It undermines both sides acting well, and that is sad, and it does not reflect well on the police, not at all.

    Shame on the cops.

  3. I would think having a spotlight on the homeless and drug users would only amplify the call to tax the 1% to pay for services that these people deserve. Isn't that part of the message from the 99%?

  4. Yes Jim that is correct.

    However it does not help the protests to have people intruded on them by those in opposition, people who do not wish to be part of their protests.

    Further, if it is your contention that this is being done to help those who are homeless or drug users - there are better ways to help. And that becomes completely disingenuous when the police use their presence to justify their actions AGAINST protesters, or when the right wing is using those people to try to delegitimize the protests.

    It puts those individuals in the position of pawns - unwilling pawns themselves, and makes the protesters unwilling players with those pawns in that ugly game.