Blame the Victim Brutality?

Via on Oct 30, 2011

I will preface this article by saying that I am pro-law enforcement. I know some cops, and they’re good people. I have called upon officers of the law in cases of witnessing domestic violence. I have called them in a couple of cases where my personal  or familial safety was being threatened. I honestly believe that at this point in time responsible law enforcement is essential to the functioning of society.

However, if you think the riot officers who are systematically clearing out the Occupations might be in the right, I suggest that you consider these thoughts;

Breaking the law is sometimes essential to creating social change. Points in case;

* Gandhi and the salt flats (charged with and arrested for theft),
* the Berlin Wall (defacement and destruction of property),
* the Separation Wall in Palestine (defacement  – see Banksy, Separation Wall installation),
* the uprisings of Arab Spring (2011 – Tunisia, Egypt, etc.)
* Stonewall,
* the civil rights movement, and Jim Crow laws,
* nonviolent resistance to nuclear proliferation, human rights abuses, etc.

When this sort of Police/State crack-down happens in other countries (e.g.; Tunisia, Egypt, China, Africa, etc.) we, as Americans, are outraged. When it happens here, we, as Americans, justify the status quo.

Guilt by association is at best lazy and at worst a calculated and ugly reason to use excessive force on a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. In other words, if five “demonstrators” are angry, dangerous, antisocial thugs, those five thugs should be arrested. The actions of those five thugs should *not* be used to justify the harming of nonviolent demonstrators.

Blame the victim mentality is sad, dangerous, and irresponsible. Saying things like, “Well, they’re breaking the law. They deserve what they get.” is, IMO, closely akin to saying, “Well, she’s a whore. She deserved to get raped.” Sorry to use such a shocking example, but really, really think about it before you jump to a defense of  the brutal actions of police forces across the country (NYC, Oakland, Denver…).

Thanks for your time, and your deep consideration.

About Lasara Allen

Lasara is wife to her true love, and mother to two amazing young women. She’s also a best-selling author, an educator, and an activist. Lasara’s first book, the bestselling Sexy Witch (nonfiction, Llewellyn Worldwide), was published in 2005 under the name LaSara FireFox. As of 3/6/2012, after a coaching sabbatical, Lasara has openings for three three-week, individual, personally tailored coaching and mentoring programs. She also has slots in a cohort-model group coaching program available for a limited amount of time. Lasara is available for one-session commitments as well. Make whatever commitment feels best for you. Lasara offers individual coaching on topics such as; * Mental and Physical Health and Wellness - accepting your diagnosis (or that of a loved one) - learning to live with awareness of strengths and vulnerabilities - Learning to live gracefully within your spectrum of the possible * Mindful Relationships - self as primary partner - loving partnerships, friendships and connections - marriages - parenting - family * Spiritual Contemplation and Alignment - Entering into and committing to your spiritual inquiry - Learning to listen to listen for and hear the divine in your life - Inquiring into the role that faith may play in informing your path - The role of meditation, contemplation, and prayer in your practice For more information and endorsements, visit: http://lasaraallen.com/about-lasara/coaching-services/

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4 Responses to “Blame the Victim Brutality?”

  1. Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

    I didn't know that there was any violence happening at the Occupies. No reporting of it whatsoever over here in Europe (that I have seen, and admittedly, I don't watch or read a lot of news).

    • frankhark says:

      Yes, I avoid the news as well and either get it verbally or via facebook (with appropriate caveats). There has been limited violence, but what I find distrubing is the Police insistence that the protestors were violent. And the police will respond with violence.

  2. Lasara Allen LasaraAllen says:

    Oakland, CA: http://www.google.com/search?q=occupy+oakland+pol

    NYC: http://www.google.com/search?q=NYPD+police+brutal

    Denver: http://www.google.com/search?q=denver+police+brut

    The incident in Oakland was by far the worst to date; Two-tour Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen was shot in the head with a police projectile. This resulted in a critical injury. When Scott was down, protestors and street medics tried to get him to safety. An officer threw a flashbang bomb into the crowd, causing a delay in getting help to the downed protestor.

    Scott is out of the coma hes was in for – I think – a day and a half, and has the ability to write, but not to speak. The doctors do not know how well he will recover in the long-term.

    Scott's injury has drawn the most attention, but it is not an isolated incident.

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