This picture went up on Facebook as a funny Halloween joke. For those of us keeping track of the growing number of Occupy Wall Street protesters assaulted by police, this display is a special kind of tasteless and insensitive.
But what if one of the people in that picture making fun of police beating protesters is also a Boise police officer?
The person who posted the picture alleges this is the case:
Boise and Anon, we need verification—if this is true, Boise police think beating you is funny.
Update: The person who initially claimed one of the people in that photo is a police officer has since retracted their statement.
The heart of the problem lies beyond someone wearing a uniform. At best, the general public thinks occupiers getting beaten within an inch of their lives is fucking funny. At worst, the police think so too. Belittlement is a viable weapon: Reduce a movement to a joke, to a Halloween snapshot of two cops laughingly beating some silly hippie Wall Street protester, and the concerns of actual protesters are effectively denied validity.
Somehow, people—including law enforcement–are managing to ignore how poor Scott Olsen is still in the hospital. They’re looking straight past the snowballing numbers of videos where people stand up against the police and are slammed face-first into car bumpers and concrete walls, maced, punched, run over with motorcycles and thrown around like rag dolls. It doesn’t matter to them that “To Serve and Protect” has become the most unfunny of ironic jokes. They’re content to blow it off with a laugh and a photo op at some party in Idaho, then post it online because it was just so great it needed to be shared.
This, guys, is why Occupy Wall Street simply can not give up and go home. If protesters pack up their tents and go home, afraid of police violence or ridicule by a willfully ignorant public, this guarantees the method used to control them shall be escalation. If fear of violence makes people stay home and stay quiet, the violence brought to bear will just increase the next time anyone dares to speak out. If fear of ridicule gives them pause, then surely further bullying will render them compliant.
But if the people out there, with their tents and their cardboard signs and their hopes for a better future, can put fear aside and continue to stand together, even in the face of the mockery and violence of the people who are supposed to be protecting them . . . Well, that’s when things get interesting.
More #OccupyWallStreet coverage and photo galleries on DOOM! Magazine