Read the link about the former poet laureate of the United States entitled “bashed in the ribs”.

                <div class="maincontentModule"><div class="maincontentModuleContainer"><div class="meat">It is time to take a stand. I&#39;m taking mine.  If you tell me the protesters are &#39;dirty hippies&#39;, I&#39;ll reply that the former Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Haas, is not a dirty hippie.  Retired New York Supreme  Court judge Karen Smith is not a dirty hippie. Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis isn&#39;t a dirty hippie.  Retired Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper is not a dirty hippie.  84 year old retired teacher and 1956 immigrant from Austria, Dorli Rainey,  is not a dirty hippie.<br />  <br />Retired law enforcement officers and former combat personnel, and I especially mean former Combat Marines, are not &#39;dirty hippies&#39;.  I am both and I am anti-violence.  But, as with most former Combat Marines and retired law enforcement officers, I am neither a dirty hippie nor fanatical about it non-violence. Bringing violence to me is like bringing a mouse to an eagle.  But I won&#39;t bring it to you. There is a difference.<br />  <br />There is a systemic problem here:  The police are being militarized and used against the citizens.  It wouldn&#39;t matter if all the protesters WERE &#39;dirty hippies&#39;.  If the citizens, ALL OF THEM, are not protected by the Constitution, no one is.  And today, NO ONE IS!  And I AM fanatical about the Constitution. &quot;Color of Authority&quot; is not a free pass to commit crimes.  Neither is holding elective office or being rich. If you support criminal suppression of American citizens, you are supporting another Kristallnacht.  If you don&#39;t know what that was, please research it.  Think about it..<br />  <br />*********************************************************************************<br /><br />From here:  <a href=""></a><br />  When it set up its campsite at Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street was   facing in only one direction: toward the financial heart of the planet   two blocks away.  The police, who promptly surrounded the encampment  and  <a target="_blank" href="">organized</a> their <a target="_blank" href=";rd=1&amp;t=8">own occupation</a>  of the neighborhood, were in a sense facing in the other direction:   toward Ground Zero, where new glass-sheathed towers were rising to   replace those destroyed on September 11, 2001.  The police, up-armored   in full riot gear, with the sort of surveillance paraphernalia,   helicopters, and high-tech cameras that were a far more minimal aspect   of domestic policing before 9/11, were clearly thinking   counter-terrorism.  They were the representatives not just of New York's billionaire   mayor and the bankers and brokers who had previously made the area their   own, but of the ever more militarized national security state that had   blossomed like some errant set of weeds in the ruins of the World  Trade  Center towers.  They were domestic grunts for a new order in  Washington  as well as New York that has, by now, lost the ability to  imagine  solving problems in a civil and civilian fashion.  They represent those who have ruled this country since 9/11 <a target="_blank" href=",_the_united_states_of_fear/">in the name of</a> our safety and security, while they made themselves, and no one else, <a target="_blank" href="">safe and secure</a>.  It is an order that has based itself on <a target="_blank" href="">kidnapping</a>, <a target="_blank" href="">torture</a>, <a target="_blank" href="">secret prisons</a>, <a target="_blank" href="">illegal surveillance</a>, <a target="_blank" href="">assassination</a>,   permanent war, militarized solutions to every problem under the sun,   its own set of failed occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the   closest of relations with a series of crony capitalist corporations   intent on making money off anyone's suffering as long as the going is   good.  Behind the police, <a target="_blank" href="">directly</a> or <a target="_blank" href="">indirectly</a>, stands that bureaucratic monster of post-9/11 domestic &quot;safety,&quot; the Department of <em>Homeland </em>Security.  And behind both of them, <a target="_blank" href="">without a doubt</a>, that giant tangle of agencies -- <a target="_blank" href="">17 in all</a> -- with an <a target="_blank" href="">$80 billion-plus</a>  budget that go under the rubric of "intelligence" and dwarf the   intelligence bureaucracy of the Cold War era, when the U.S. actually had   an enemy worth speaking of. All of this is the spawn of the 9/11 moment, which is why, on   November 15th when the NYPD entered the encampment at Zuccotti Park, a   weaponless and peaceable spot filled with sleeping activists and the   homeless, they used pepper spray, ripped and tore down everything, and   tossed all 4,000 books from the <a target="_blank" href=",_wall_street_by_the_book/">OWS "library"</a> into a dumpster, <a target="_blank" href="">damaging or mangling</a> most of them.  Books couldn't escape the state's violence, nor could the library's <a target="_blank" href="">tent, bookshelves</a>, chairs, <a target="_blank" href="">computers</a>, periodicals, and archives.  Even librarians were <a target="_blank" href="">arrested</a>.    Much was literally trashed and, though "books are pretty sturdy   objects," as one Zuccotti Park librarian wrote me, "when you throw them   into a dumpster a lot of them get destroyed. We have recovered about  one  third of our books and of that number many are far too damaged to   re-circulate."  Novelist Salman Rushdie <a target="_blank" href="">tweeted</a>  a perfectly reasonable response to the police action: "Please explain   the difference between burning books and throwing thousands in the trash   and destroying them." Stop for a moment and imagine what the headlines here would have been   like if Iranian or Chinese police had broken into a peaceful   oppositional encampment and literally trashed its library without a   second thought.  The barbarians!  Imagine what a field day the pundits   would have had.  Imagine what Fox News would have said.  Nothing, of course, had to be this way.  That it was makes it part of   the official legacy of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden.  In the wake of that   day, this is what Washington did to itself, and so to us.  In the   process, it did one other thing: it put the Constitution in the   dumpster.  Which makes it stirring to see, as only <a target="_blank" href=",_this_land_is_your_%28occupied%29_land/">TomDispatch regular</a>  Rebecca Solnit could see it, the return of civil society, of us.  We're   back on the scene a decade later, like the cavalry, and it might just   be in the nick of time.  <em>Tom</em> <blockquote> <strong>Civil Society at Ground Zero <br />You Can Crush the Flowers, But You Can't Stop the Spring </strong><br />By <a target="_blank" href="">Rebecca Solnit</a>   Last Tuesday, I awoke in lower Manhattan to the whirring of   helicopters overhead, a war-zone sound that persisted all day and then   started up again that Thursday morning, the two-month anniversary of   Occupy Wall Street and a big day of demonstrations in New York City. It   was one of the dozens of ways you could tell that the authorities take   Occupy Wall Street seriously, even if they profoundly mistake what kind   of danger it poses. If you ever doubted whether you were powerful or  you  mattered, just look at the reaction to people like you (or your   children) camped out in parks from Oakland to Portland, Tucson to   Manhattan. Of course, "camped out" doesn't quite catch the spirit of the moment,   because those campsites are the way people have come together to bear   witness to their hopes and fears, to begin to gather their power and   discuss what is possible in our disturbingly unhinged world, to make   clear how wrong our economic system is, how corrupt the powers that   support it are, and to begin the search for a better way. Consider it an   irony that the campsites are partly for sleeping, but symbols of the   way we have awoken. </blockquote>                        <a name="more"></a>                         <blockquote> When civil society sleeps, we're just a bunch of individuals absorbed  in our private lives. When we awaken, on campgrounds or elsewhere, when  we come together in public and find our power, the authorities are  terrified.  They often reveal their ugly side, their penchant for <a target="_blank" href=";">violence</a> and for hypocrisy. Consider the liberal mayor of Oakland, who speaks with outrage of  people camping without a permit but has nothing to say about the police  she dispatched to tear-gas a woman <a target="_blank" href="">in a wheelchair</a>, <a target="_blank" href="">shoot</a>  a young Iraq war veteran in the head, and assault people while they  slept. Consider the billionaire mayor of New York who dispatched the  NYPD on a similar middle-of-the-night raid on November 15th. Recall this  item included in a bald list of events that night: "tear-gassing the  kitchen tent." Ask yourself when did kitchens really need to be attacked  with chemical weapons? Does an <a target="_blank" href=";object=%2Fc%2Fpictures%2F2011%2F11%2F17%2Fba-occupydramati_0504578201.jpg">84-year-old woman</a> need to be tear-gassed in Seattle? Does a three-tours-of-duty veteran need to be <a target="_blank" href="">beaten</a> until his spleen ruptures in Oakland? Does our former poet laureate need to be <a target="_blank" href="">bashed in the ribs</a>  after his poet wife is thrown to the ground at UC Berkeley? Admittedly,  this is a system that regards people as disposable, but not usually so  literally. Two months ago, the latest protests against that system began.  The  response only confirms our vision of how it all works. They are fighting  fire with gasoline. Perhaps being frightened makes them foolish.  After  all, once civil society rouses itself from slumber, it can be all but  unstoppable. (If they were smart they'd try to soothe it back to sleep.)  "Arrest one of us; two more appear. You can't arrest an idea!" said the  sign held by a man in a Guy Fawkes mask in reoccupied Zuccotti Park  last Thursday. Last Wednesday in San Francisco, 100 activists occupied the Bank of  America, even erecting a symbolic tent inside it in which a dozen  activists immediately took refuge. At the Berkeley campus of the  University of California, setting up tents on any grounds was forbidden,  so the brilliant young occupiers used clusters of helium balloons to  float tents overhead, a smart image of defiance and sky-high ambition.  And the valiant UC Davis students, after several of them were <a target="_blank" href=";v=BjnR7xET7Uo">pepper-sprayed in the face</a> while sitting peacefully on the ground, evicted the police, chanting, "You can go! You can go!" They went.   Occupy Oakland has been busted up three times and still it thrives.  To say nothing of the other 1,600 occupations in the growing movement. Alexander Dubcek, the government official turned hero of the Prague  Spring uprising of 1968, once said, "You can crush the flowers, but you  can't stop the spring." The busting of Zuccotti Park and the effervescent, ingenious  demonstrations elsewhere are a reminder that, despite the literal  "occupations" on which this protean movement has been built, it can soar  as high as those Berkeley balloons and take many unexpected forms.  Another OWS sign, "The beginning is near," caught the mood of the  moment. Flowers seem like the right image for this uprising led by the  young, those who have been most crushed by the new economic order, and  who bloom by rebelling and rebel by blooming. <strong>The Best and the Worst </strong> Now world-famous Zuccotti Park is just a small concrete and brown  marble-paved scrap of land surrounded by tall buildings. Despite the  "Occupy Wall Street" label, it's actually two blocks north of that  iconic place. It's rarely noted that the park is within sight of, and  kitty-corner to, Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center towers  crumbled. What was born and what died that day a decade ago has everything to  do with what's going on in and around the park, the country, and the  world now. For this, al-Qaeda is remarkably irrelevant, except as the  outfit that long ago triggered an incident that instantly released both  the best and the worst in our society. The best was civil society. As I wandered in the Zuccotti Park area  last week, I was struck again by how much what really happened on the  morning of September 11th has been willfully misremembered. It can be  found nowhere in the plaques and monuments. Firemen more than deserve  their commemorations, but mostly they acted in vain, on bad orders from  above, and with fatally flawed communications equipment. The fact is:  the people in the towers and the neighborhood -- think of them as civil  society coming together in crisis -- largely rescued themselves, and  some of them told the firefighters to head down, not up. We need memorials to the coworkers who carried their paraplegic  accountant colleague down 69 flights of stairs while in peril  themselves; to <a target="_blank" href="">Ada Rosario-Dolch</a>,  the principal who got all of the High School for Leadership, a block  away, safely evacuated, while knowing her sister had probably been  killed in one of those towers; to the female executives who walked the  blind newspaper seller to safety in Greenwich Village; to the <a target="_blank" href="">unarmed passengers</a>  of United Flight 93, who were the only ones to combat terrorism  effectively that day; and to countless, nameless others. We need <a target="_blank" href="">monuments to ourselves</a>, to civil society.   <a target="_blank" href=""><img src="" alt="" align="left" hspace="6" vspace="6"/></a>Ordinary  people shone that morning. They were not terrorized; they were  galvanized into action, and they were heroic. And it didn't stop with  that morning either.  That day, that week they began to talk about what  the events of 9/11 actually meant for them, and they acted to put their  world back together, practically and philosophically.  All of which  terrified the Bush administration, which soon launched not only its  "global war on terror" and its invasion of Afghanistan, but a campaign  against civil society.  It was aimed at convincing each of us that we  should stay home, go shopping, <a target="_blank" href=",_the_united_states_of_fear/">fear everything</a> except the government, and spy on each other. The only monument civil society ever gets is itself, and the  satisfaction of continuing to do the work that matters, the work that  has no bosses and no paychecks, the work of connecting, caring,  understanding, exploring, and transforming. So much about Occupy Wall  Street resonates with what came in that brief moment a decade before and  then was shut down for years. That little park that became "occupied" territory brought to mind the  way New York's Union Square became a great public forum in the weeks  after 9/11, where everyone could gather to mourn, connect, discuss,  debate, bear witness, share food, donate or raise money, write on  banners, and simply live in public. (Until the city shut that beautiful  forum down in the name of sanitation -- that sacred cow which by now  must be mating with the Wall Street Bull somewhere in the vicinity of  Zuccotti Park.) It was remarkable how many New Yorkers lived in public in those weeks  after 9/11. Numerous people have since told me nostalgically of how the  normal boundaries came down, how everyone made eye contact, how almost  anyone could talk to almost anyone else. Zuccotti Park and the other  Occupies I've visited -- Oakland, San Francisco, Tucson, New Orleans --  have been like that, too. You can talk to strangers. In fact, it's  almost impossible not to, so much do people want to talk, to tell their  stories, to hear yours, to discuss our mutual plight and what solutions  to it might look like. It's as though the great New York-centric moment of openness after  9/11, when we were ready to reexamine our basic assumptions and look  each other in the eye, has returned, and this time it's not confined to  New York City, and we're not ready to let anyone shut it down with  rubbish about patriotism and peril, safety and sanitation. It's as if the best of the spirit of the Obama presidential campaign  of 2008 was back -- without the foolish belief that one man could do it  all for civil society.  In other words, this is a revolt, among other  things, against the confinement of decision-making to a thoroughly  corrupted and corporate-money-laced electoral sphere and against the  pitfalls of leaders. And it represents the return in a new form of the  best of the post-9/11 moment. As for the worst after 9/11 -- you already know the worst. You've  lived it.  The worst was two treasury-draining wars that helped cave in  the American dream, a loss of civil liberties, privacy, and governmental  accountability. The worst was the rise of a national security state to  almost unimaginable proportions, a rogue state that is our own  government, and that doesn't hesitate to violate with impunity the  Geneva Convention, the Bill of Rights, and anything else it cares to  trash in the name of American &quot;safety&quot; and &quot;security.&quot;  The worst was  blind fealty to an administration that finished off making this into a  country that serves the 1% at the expense, or even the survival, of  significant parts of the 99%. More recently, it has returned as another  kind of worst: police brutality (speaking of blind fealty to the 1%). <strong>Civil Society Gets a Divorce </strong> You can think of civil society and the state as a marriage of  convenience. You already know who the wife is, the one who is supposed  to love, cherish, and obey: that's us. Think of the state as the  domineering husband who expects to have a monopoly on power, on  violence, on planning and policymaking. Of course, he long ago abandoned his actual wedding vows, which means  he is no longer accountable, no longer a partner, no longer bound by  the usual laws, treaties, conventions. He left home a long time ago to  have a sordid affair with the Fortune 500, but with the firm conviction  that we should continue to remain faithful -- or else.  The post-9/11  era was when we began to feel the consequences of all this and the 2008  economic meltdown brought it home to roost. Think of Occupy as the signal that the wife, Ms. Civil Society, has  finally acknowledged that those vows no longer bind her either. Perhaps  this is one reason why the Occupy movement seems remarkably uninterested  in electoral politics while being political in every possible way. It  is no longer appealing to that violent, errant husband.  It has turned  its back on him -- thus the much-decried lack of "demands" early on,  except for the obvious demand the pundits pretended not to see: the  demand for economic justice. Still, Ms. Civil Society is not asking for any favors: she is setting  out on her own, to make policy on a small scale through the model of  the general assembly and on a larger scale by withdrawing deference from  the institutions of power.  (In one symbolic act of divorce, at least  three quarters of a million Americans have <a target="_blank" href="">moved their money</a>  from big banks to credit unions since Occupy began.) The philandering  husband doesn't think the once-cowed wife has the right to do any of  this -- and he's ready to strike back. Literally. The Occupy movement has decided, on the other hand, that it doesn't  matter what he thinks. It -- they -- she -- we soon might realize as  well that he's actually the dependent one, the one who rules at civil  society's will, the one who lives off her labor, her taxes, her  productivity. Mr. Unaccountable isn't anywhere near as independent as he  imagines. The corporations give him his little treats and big campaign  donations, but they, too, depend on consumers, workers, and ultimately  citizens who may yet succeed in reining them in. In the meantime, a domestic-violence-prone government is squandering a  fortune on a little-mentioned extravagance in financially strapped  American cities: police brutality, wrongful arrest, and lawsuits over  civil-rights violations. New York City -- recall those pepper-sprayed<strong> </strong><a target="_blank" href="">captive young women</a>, that <a target="_blank" href="">legal observer</a>  with a police scooter parked on top of him, and all the rest -- you're  going to have a giant bill due in court, just as you did after the 2004  Republican convention fiasco: New York has <a target="_blank" href="">spent</a> almost a billion dollars paying for the collateral damage already done by its police force over the past dozen years.   The desperately impoverished city of Oakland paid out more than <a target="_blank" href="">$2 million</a>  in recompense for the behavior of the Oakland Police at a nonviolent  blockade at the Oakland Docks after the invasion of Iraq broke out in  2003, but seems to have learned nothing from it. Surely payouts in  similar or larger quantities are due to be handed out again, money that  could have gone to schools, community clinics, parks, libraries, to  civilization instead of brutalization. <strong>Out of the Ruins</strong> Maybe the teardown of Zuccotti Park last Wednesday should be seen as a  faint echo of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Structures, admittedly  far more flimsy, were destroyed, violently, by surprise attack, and yet  resolve was only strengthened -- and what was lost? The encampment had become crowded and a little chaotic. There was the  admirable bustle of a village -- bicycle-powered generators on which  someone was often peddling; information, media, and medic sites whose  staff worked devotedly; a kitchen dispensing meals to whoever came; and  of course, the <a target="_blank" href=",_wall_street_by_the_book/">wonderful library</a>  dumpstered by the agents of the law. There were also a lot of people  who had been drawn in by the free food and community, including homeless  people and some disruptive characters, all increasingly surrounded by  vendors of t-shirts, buttons, and other knick-knacks trying to make a  quick buck. One of the complicating factors in the Occupy movement is that so  many of the thrown-away people of our society -- the homeless, the  marginal, the mentally ill, the addicted -- have come to Occupy  encampments for safe sleeping space, food, and medical care.  And these  economic refugees were generously taken in by the new civil society,  having been thrown out by the old uncivil one.  Complicating everything further was the fact that the politicians and  the mainstream media were more than happy to blame the occupiers for  taking in what society as a whole created, and for the complications  that then ensued. (No mayor, no paper now complains about the  unsanitariness of throwing the homeless and others back onto the streets  of our cities as winter approaches.) Civil society contains all kinds of people, and all kinds have shown  up at the Occupy encampments. The inclusiveness of such places is one of  the great achievements of this movement.  (Occupy Memphis, for  instance, has even <a target="_blank" href="">reached out</a>  to Tea Party members.) Veterans, students, their grandparents, hitherto  apolitical people, the employed and unemployed, the housed and the  homeless, and people of all ages and colors have been drawn in along  with the unions.  And yes, there are also a lot of young white  activists, who can be thanked for taking on the hard work and heat. We  can only hope that this broad coalition will hang together a while  longer. <strong>It Gets Better</strong> And of course just as civil society is all of us, so some of us have  crossed over to become that force known as the state, and even there,  the response has been more varied than might be imagined. New York City  Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez got scraped up and <a target="_blank" href="">arrested</a>  by the NYPD when he tried to walk past a barricade two blocks from Wall  Street while the camp was being cleared. And retired New York Supreme  Court judge Karen Smith got <a target="_blank" href="">shoved around a little</a> and threatened with arrest while acting as a legal observer.   A councilwoman in Tucson, Regina Romero, has become a dedicated  advocate for the Occupy encampment there, and when the San Francisco  police massed on the night of November 3rd, five supervisors, the public  defender, and a state senator all came to stand with us.  I got home at 2 a.m. that night and wrote, "Their vows to us felt  like true representative democracy for the first time ever, brought to  us by the power of direct democracy: the Occupy Movement. I thought of  the Oath of the Horatii, David&#39;s great painting in the spirit of the  French Revolution. The spirit in the plaza was gallant, joyous, and  ready for anything. A little exalted and full of tenderness for each  other. Helicopters hovered overhead, and people sent back reports of  buses and massed police in other parts of town. But they never arrived." Former Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis actually came to Wall Street <a target="_blank" href="">to get arrested</a>  last week. &quot;They complained about the park being dirty,&quot; he said. &quot;Here  they are worrying about dirty parks when people are starving to death,  where people are freezing, where people are sleeping in subways, and  they're concerned about a dirty park. That's obnoxious, it's arrogant,  it's ignorant, it's disgusting." And the Army, or some of its <a target="_blank" href="">most honorable veterans</a>,  are with the occupiers, too. In the Bay Area, members of Iraq Veterans  Against the War have been regular participants, and Occupy Wall Street  has had its larger-than-life ex-marine, Shamar Thomas, clad in worn  fatigues and medals.  He famously <a target="_blank" href="">told off</a> the NYPD early on: "This is not a war zone. These are unarmed people. It doesn't make you tough to hurt these people. <em>It doesn't</em>. Stop hurting these people!"   To my delight, at Occupy Wall Street I ran into him, almost  literally, still wearing his fatigues and medals and carrying a sign  that said, "There's no honor in police brutality" on one side and "NO  WAR" on the other. Which war -- the ones in the Greater Middle East or  on the streets of the U.S.A. -- hardly seemed to matter: they're one war  now, the war of the 1% against the rest of us. I told him that his  tirade was the first time I ever felt like the U.S. military had  actually defended me. Right now everyone is trying to figure out what happens next and  quite a few self-appointed outside advisors are telling the Occupy  movement exactly what to do (without all the bother of attending general  assemblies and engaging in the process of working out ideas together).  So far, the Occupy instigators and Occupy insiders have been doing a  brilliant job of improvising a way that civil society can move forward  into the unimaginable. As for me, the grounds of my hope have always been that history is  wilder than our imagination of it and that the unexpected shows up far  more regularly than we ever dream. A year ago, no one imagined an Arab  Spring, and no one imagined this American Fall -- even the people who  began planning for it this summer. We don't know what's coming next, and  that's the good news. My advice is just of the most general sort: Dream  big. Occupy your hopes. Talk to strangers. Live in public. Don't stop  now. I'm sure of one thing: there are a lot more flowers coming. <em>The first sign </em><a target="_blank" href=",_this_land_is_your_%28occupied%29_land/"><em>regular TomDispatch contributor</em></a><em> Rebecca Solnit carried at an OWS protest said "99% hope. 1% fury." The author of </em><a target="_blank" href="">A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster</a><em> and </em><a target="_blank" href="">Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas</a>,<em> she is working</em><em>, mostly from San Francisco, </em><em>on her 14th book. And marching, occupying, and wondering. </em>   Copyright 2011 Rebecca Solnit </blockquote>                                        </div>                                                      </div>              </div><br clear="all"/><br />-- <br /><div><br /></div>90% of success is showing up.  Getting the math right is the other 50%.<div>-T</div><div>Aut viam inveniam aut  faciamaut viam inveniam aut faciam.</div>  <div>-Hannibal</div><b><br /></b><br /> 

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