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Time for Obama to Act to End Police-State Violence Against the Occupiers

 

The growing number of video clips and photos showing police in Darth Vader-like riot gear assaulting peaceful demonstrators with everything from tear gas and mace to truncheons, point-blank shots with beanbags and rubber bullets, and of course the ubiquitous fist and club, have made a bad joke out of claims that America is either the land of the free or the home of the brave.

Scott Olson, a veteran of America's Iraq War, suffered a severe brain injury that nearly killed him, and left him with difficulty speaking, thanks to a shot to his head by an attacking police officer in Oakland who was firing teargas canisters from a gun-like weapon. Olsen is lucky to be alive and will hopefully recover over time. A comrade, veteran Kayvan Sabehgi, who was retreating from advancing police that same night with his hands tucked in his pockets, can be seen being chased and so brutally beaten by another attacking thug cop that he had to be hospitalized for treatment of a lacerated spleen (although the cops left him writing in agony in a cell for hours before sending him to the hospital).

Old women, pregnant mothers-to-be, and even children have been hit with pepper spray, teargassed and terrorized by police goons in New York, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Dallas, Chicago, Boston and elsewhere in what is almost certainly a coordinated attack on the Occupy Movement being run out of Washington. One 19-year old pregnant woman, struck several times and pepper sprayed (but not arrested) by Seattle Police who were clearing out Occupiers there, suffered a miscarriage several days after suffering the assault. A 70-year old poet and retired professor at UC Berkeley was punched and knocked down by a policeman as he pleaded with the police not to hurt protesting students. His wife had been knocked to the ground just before him.

Americans have been watching these scenes of cops assaulting peaceful demonstrators in shock. They are used to seeing this kind of thing going on in Latin America or the Middle East or Asia, and our own government would always make noises of protest. Now it's happening here at home.

President Obama, meanwhile, has remained shamelessly silent about this police-state behavior by the nation's local police forces, all of them armed and armored with the aid of Federal Homeland Security grants, and working on the basis of "intelligence" collected by federally-funded Fusion Centers" and federally- run Joint Terrorism Task Forces.

This is the moment that Obama, who faces an election in less than a year, has to demonstrate whether he is the president of the banks that have so lavishly funded his first campaign, that continue to pour money into his current re-election campaign, and that are pushing for this crackdown on protests, or the people -- especially the young people -- who worked so hard to put him into office in the first place.

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