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I am a retired attorney, educator, writer and journalist as well as an activiist. I enjoy writing Op Ed pieces, legal analysis and political commentary…
Writer, educator, retired attorney, journalist, activist
The author of this editorial, Robert Gammon, is comparing apples to oranges by writing “…In fact, a significant portion of the population, turned off by violent Black Bloc tactics at Occupy Oakland protests, might even think that Pike would be justified.” The Pike this author refers to is UC Davis police officer, Lt. John Pike, who pepper-sprayed a group of peaceful student protesters. The videotape of Lt. Pike’s actions went viral on the internet raising international complaints of police brutality.
The excessive force, callousness and disregard for the peaceful students by Lt. Pike and the UC Davis police cannot be justified on ANY grounds much less the actions of some people practicing Black Boc. As explained by another commentator, Black Boc is a tactic originating in Germany. It is not a group.
The Occupy Movement is just that a “Movement”. As in other movements in history including the Anti-Vietnam War Movement, the Women’s Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, it is made up of thousands, if not millions of people throughout the world , who have come together for a common purpose. As such many individuals in this Movement may do things the public disagrees with…albeit other members of the Movement disagree with.
Nonetheless the tactics of a few among even Occupy Oakland cannot be used to condemn the entire Movement and the other millions of people who are part of it. To do this is illogical, childish and does not consider the historial perspective of any Movement. Moreover, it does not take into account the Occupy Movement is not going away. In fact, for all any of us know, the Occupy Movement will still be around for the next 100 years as the issues underlying the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements still exist and are with us today.
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