Last night’s LAPD raid is a tough story to convey. Polar opposite views of the same reality.
It was not a case of LAPD brutality or excessive force – not compared to LA’s past experiences, nor compared to New York, Oakland, Berkeley, etc. The reason for police restraint was the cumulative impact of many years of struggle for police reform. From the street perspective, however, it was a massive case of overkill and intimidation which took great bravery to withstand.
In some instances, peaceful demonstrators were literally run over by packs of police. A few people were shot with bean bags because they were occupying a tree house. The encampment itself was obliterated as a site of assembly and resistance. The hundreds who experienced the event do not care much about whether it could have been worse. They feel ejected by the threat of force.
A lingering question is whether it was necessary at all.
That responsibility falls on the Mayor, who gave no reason for the arbitrary deadline for closure. More important is the question of what unifies the Occupiers as this movement moves ahead.
For more, please see The Nation.