Occupy & Police Violence

November 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm (Thoughts) (, , , , , )

The video above is of the University of California police spraying pepper spray on students at UC Davis this week. I can’t even watch the video all the way through. This follows last week’s clubbing of UC Berkeley students, not to mention the scenes of police violence from Oakland, New York, Portland and other cities. There have been thousands more photos and videos of police brutalizing protesters who are just standing or sitting there, who aren’t threatening police in any way. After the UC Berkeley incident, the Chancellor’s letter basically said that the police were “forced” to use their batons and that linking arms is “not non-violent civil disobedience.” Huh?

If you think those are isolated, check out Joshua Holland’s “Caught on Camera: 10 Shockingly Violent Police Assaults on Occupy Protesters” in Alternet yesterday. I couldn’t watch them.

I can’t believe that anyone thinks that raiding camps in the middle of the night, or using batons, tear gas, and rubber bullets is acceptable. I literally just can’t believe that someone somewhere gave the go ahead to any of it. And the rest of us can’t pretend it’s not happening. Regardless of how you feel about the Occupy movement, this is not OK.

Here are some links to other police-related stories that I’ve been following

The caveats being, of course, that there are communities that are brutalized by police every day and no one pays attention. Plus, similar tactics were used to suppress the civil rights movement, except then it was water cannons and attack dogs.

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My Dad, Vietnam, and Veterans

November 28, 2008 at 8:44 pm (Thoughts) (, , , , )


This is a photo of my dad. His name is John. This photo was taken when my parents visited me in California last December.

My dad died on November 19. He was 66 years old.

My dad died unexpectedly, from complications related to pneumonia. He had been in the hospital for about a month.

We have a small family, and we decided not have a formal funeral. But, I want to tell the story of his life, and the story of his death, as a way of processing and dealing with it. Our culture has a way of denying death, and we often don’t talk openly with friends and acquaintances about what is happening with us or our families or our lives. I’ve always been a very open person, and I want to start with a story about my dad and his service in Vietnam.

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