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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:34 pm 
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Anyone who has kept up with the news knows about the Occupy Wall Street (et al) movement. Basically it's a motley crew of malcontents not associated with "the tea party." Some are motivated by ideology, some by unemployment, and some by the spirit of protest itself.

In reading about the movement, I came across an article (in the WSJ) which discussed police tactics in handling these unruly and sometimes contentious crowds. The group in New York has amassed in enough numbers and for enough time in that location - on private property - that it's now next to impossible to invoke private property rights and enforce the law. Further complicating enforcement is the disorganized nature of the protest. There is no central theme, there are no organizers, and there is no process. It's just an amorphous group of unhappy people.

With cell phone video cameras.

In fact... BOTH sides are armed with video. The mantra of the New York police is to "avoid YouTube moments." One bad act by one officer can erupt like a novel virus into an explosive atmosphere, thanks to our new and not entirely explored world.

Which got me to thinking... Just how has this affected how we conduct ourselves when pondering the use of force?

I sure wish Rory would contribute. Meanwhile, I know Van will have wisdom to share. ;)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:22 am 
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Don't really want to derail the thread, but I don't think your description of the occupy wall st. movement is entirely accurate. For one thing the central theme is getting the money out of politics and reducing the disproportionate influence the super rich have. It seemed like you were contrasting it with the tea party, but really it's equally fair to describe either group as a motley crew of malcontents. Anyway, on with the discussion of use of force in the context of video cameras.

Personally, it hasn't affected my mindset at all. If anything, it may make me feel slightly better off. And on the whole I'm quite happy with the increased prevalence of video evidence against abuses of various kinds.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:08 am 
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Valkenar wrote:

Don't really want to derail the thread, but...

You just did. So to counter your characterization, I'll quote.

Valkenar wrote:
For one thing the central theme is getting the money out of politics and reducing the disproportionate influence the super rich have.


Wall Street Journal wrote:
But the amorphous nature of the Occupy Wall Street protest, now a month old, has challenged the [New York Police] department's template, presenting police with a leaderless, unpredictable group that marches through the city without notice and without permission.


Quote:
Douglas Schoen, a veteran Democratic Party pollster who has also worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, sent a researcher from his polling firm down to Zuccotti Park last week to conduct what appears to be the very first professional survey of the protesters in New York.

{snip}

Schoen finds reason to be skeptical of the protesters’ professed motivation: the inequities of the U.S. economic system. “The vast majority of demonstrators are actually employed, and the proportion of protesters unemployed (15%) is within single digits of the national unemployment rate (9.1%),” he writes in his essay.

{snip}

there’s this interesting open-ended question (of the protesters) from the poll: What would you like to see the Occupy Wall Street movement achieve? Here are the responses:

  • 35% Influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP
    ...
  • 4% Radical redistribution of wealth
    ...
  • 5% Overhaul of tax system: replace income tax with flat tax
    ...
  • 7% Direct Democracy
    ...
  • 9% Engage & mobilize Progressives
    ...
  • 9% Promote a national conversation
    ...
  • 11% Break the two-party duopoly
    ...
  • 4% Dissolution of our representative democracy/capitalist system
    ...
  • 4% Single payer health care
    ...
  • 4% Pull out of Afghanistan immediately
    ...
  • 8% Not sure


WSJ Letter to the Editor wrote:
Many in the media have been telling us for a month that the OWS movement is the left-wing equivalent of the tea party. The vast majority of tea partiers made it clear that their paramount goal was smaller, limited government; they showed up for one-day rallies, sang patriotic songs, prayed, cleaned up and went home. Mr. Crovitz's new neighbors are unclear about objectives, they've overstayed their welcome and they create a stink.

Matt Hall

Gainesville, Fla.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:12 am 
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Valkenar wrote:
And on the whole I'm quite happy with the increased prevalence of video evidence against abuses of various kinds.

That's the right answer to the wrong question.

Bill Glasheen wrote:
Just how has [cellphone video and YouTube] affected how we conduct ourselves when pondering the use of force?


- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:17 am 
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I'm not convinced by your quotes about occupy wall street, but I'll give this here non-rebuttal in order to prevent further derailing.

Bill Glasheen wrote:
That's the right answer to the wrong question.


No, I definitely was answering this question:

Bill Glasheen wrote:
Just how has [cellphone video and YouTube] affected how we conduct ourselves when pondering the use of force?


To repeat and clarify:

It hasn't affected how I conduct myself when pondering the use of force very much at all. And to the small extent it has, it makes me ever so slightly more comfortable because it's more likely someone will have evidence to exonerate me, than if all there is my word against someone else's, and I'm the only black belt in the room. The video could also condemn me, but given the situations in which I could end up having to use force, it seems less likely.

How is that not an answer to your question?

The "abuses of various kinds" that I'm slightly less concerned about includes people suing me for defending myself.

Another answer is that despite how prevalent cell phones are, it's still only a tiny minority of events that end up captured on video, and not all of those end up on Youtube. So the chances of a random altercation I'm involved in ending up on Youtube are pretty small, anyway. It's a different situation for police, or people who end up in a lot of fights.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:03 pm 
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Wall Street Journal wrote:
"With civilian and police cameras everywhere, the policing of these protests has been as much a video contest as a tactical one," said Mr. Dunn. "The good news here is that no act of police misconduct goes undocumented, but the bad news is that a single incident can come to define an entire event."

The most obvious example of this was when an NYPD deputy inspector was recorded pepper-spraying a group of five women protesters near Union Square. On Monday, one of those who was pepper-sprayed, Kaylee Dedrick, and her lawyer, Ron Kuby, met with Manhattan prosecutors to push for the officer's arrest.

The video of the pepper-spraying incident was viewed by more than 1.5 million people on the Internet. According to one official, it has spawned a new term among NYPD supervisors for a potential policing mistake at the protests: "a YouTube moment."


Valkenar wrote:
it makes me ever so slightly more comfortable because it's more likely someone will have evidence to exonerate me, than if all there is my word against someone else's, and I'm the only black belt in the room. The video could also condemn me, but given the situations in which I could end up having to use force, it seems less likely.


So does video always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:33 pm 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
So does video always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?


No, of course not. The most obvious example is someone getting just the end and not the beginning of an incident. And there are others. Still, having someone take a video that unfairly puts you in a bad light isn't that likely if you aren't a police officer or someone else whose job it is to put themselves into these kinds of situations.

To put it another way, I'm more likely to be the protestor* than the cop metaphorically speaking. Sure, it could go the other way, but when you get into that kind of what-if there's more important outcomes to consider. Basically, the possibility of coming to physical and psychological harm in such a situation is so much more likely than the possibility of being railroaded by an unfair video that the latter doesn't rise to the level of being a serious consideration.


* I haven't been part of these protests.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:50 pm 
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Valkenar wrote:

* I haven't been part of these protests.

Completely understood.

Truth be told, there are a lot of people experiencing some kind of economic hardship - myself included - who understand the OWS movement. In a way, it's a "Rorschach" protest. All who are frustrated in these difficult times and don't feel they have a voice for said frustrations can project their own concerns on the movement. Perhaps that's why "it" is so obvious to you, and to me as well. Only... for different reasons.

We also do the same in many self-defense, law enforcement, and military confrontation scenarios. It's natural to imagine oneself in the thick of it, and ponder how we would have handled the [pick your boogeyman].

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:21 pm 
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Regarding the "problem" police have controlling an unruly crowd:

Check out Vidmag 13. . . Jim Maloney's excellent pressure point course. . . demonstrates that there are lots of ways to quietly and without fanfare, convince someone to move, lie down or whatever.

If you are a police officer, you don't want to be filmed throwing a beautifully executed hook punch to the face of a deserving lawbreaker, when you can appear to be simply grabbing him by the arm and escorting him/her to a different location.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:55 pm 
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Quote:
Douglas Schoen, a veteran Democratic Party pollster who has also worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, sent a researcher from his polling firm down to Zuccotti Park last week to conduct what appears to be the very first professional survey of the protesters in New York.

{snip}

Schoen finds reason to be skeptical of the protesters’ professed motivation: the inequities of the U.S. economic system. “The vast majority of demonstrators are actually employed, and the proportion of protesters unemployed (15%) is within single digits of the national unemployment rate (9.1%),” he writes in his essay.

{snip}

there’s this interesting open-ended question (of the protesters) from the poll: What would you like to see the Occupy Wall Street movement achieve? Here are the responses:

  • 35% Influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP
    ...
  • 4% Radical redistribution of wealth
    ...
  • 5% Overhaul of tax system: replace income tax with flat tax
    ...
  • 7% Direct Democracy
    ...
  • 9% Engage & mobilize Progressives
    ...
  • 9% Promote a national conversation
    ...
  • 11% Break the two-party duopoly
    ...
  • 4% Dissolution of our representative democracy/capitalist system
    ...
  • 4% Single payer health care
    ...
  • 4% Pull out of Afghanistan immediately
    ...
  • 8% Not sure


They forgot finding drunk hippy babes, or don't guys go to protests for that anymore?

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I was dreaming of the past...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:12 pm 
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MikeK wrote:

They forgot finding drunk hippy babes, or don't guys go to protests for that anymore?


Maybe we should do our own research on the subject, Mike.

Exhibit A: Hippie babe
Image

Exhibit B: Hippy babe
Image

I say sign me up! 8)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:21 pm 
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gmattson wrote:
Regarding the "problem" police have controlling an unruly crowd:

Check out Vidmag 13. . . Jim Maloney's excellent pressure point course. . . demonstrates that there are lots of ways to quietly and without fanfare, convince someone to move, lie down or whatever.

If you are a police officer, you don't want to be filmed throwing a beautifully executed hook punch to the face of a deserving lawbreaker, when you can appear to be simply grabbing him by the arm and escorting him/her to a different location.


As someone who has pressure points, triggers and pinches in my toolbox and tries to practice them on the unsuspecting, I have to say maybe/maybe not. If I'm in a situation where I feel I have to throw a punch then often times a pressure point is put aside until later.

Now having trained under someone that sometimes needed to do things on the sly I learned that attacks below the waist and to a persons base can work, and are hard to notice especially in a crowd. You just have to make sure you're willing to get close.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:06 am 
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gmattson wrote:
Jim Maloney's excellent pressure point course. . .

Jimmy Malone is special. He's a natural warrior and he's done his homework. His techniques are tools in his toolkit, but he's a carpenter with or without them.

That general body of work is an important part of the force continuum for a man whose job is law enforcement. And they make for much less paperwork at the end of the day. ;)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:16 am 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
Which got me to thinking... Just how has this affected how we conduct ourselves when pondering the use of force?
- Bill


The same way you would with hostile witnesses around. Nothing's changed except the scope of witnesses no longer bound to the immediate locale.

Valkener wrote:
Don't really want to derail the thread, but I don't think your description of the occupy wall st. movement is entirely accurate. For one thing the central theme is getting the money out of politics and reducing the disproportionate influence the super rich have. It seemed like you were contrasting it with the tea party, but really it's equally fair to describe either group as a motley crew of malcontents. Anyway, on with the discussion of use of force in the context of video cameras.


As someone who's been following the #Occupy movement since before they took up residence on Wall Street, I have a few things to say about this.

If the movement is about getting money out of politics and reducing the influence of the super-rich, why are millionaire actors and others, including Michael Moore, given passes? So far the resounding message from the feet on the street is their beef with corruption on Wall Street. Corruption in politics seems almost completely ignored from the angle of government. So far they've MOSTLY managed to control a theme of non-partisanship, but it's clear they favor Democrats. I think it was wrong for Republicans to instantly go on the offensive about these guys. They're giving Democrats another chance to retrieve their deteriorating chances with the youth vote. Occupy for the most part just seems to want corporations reigned in, without taking the next logical step, government reform.

But what the movement is really about is part of the agenda of Anonymous. The Dept of Homeland Security recently released a report that showed Anonymous is interested in hacking into major portions of our infrastructure, but at this juncture they don't have the knowledge of the infrastructure needed to do this. Massive protests like these help them network and get more people under their umbrella to act. You are going to see more acts unfold as months pass.

Anonymous started US Day of Rage, the precursur of Occupy Wallstreet. On November 5th, they're encouraging people to remove their money from bank accounts at the major banks (promoting credit unions instead). If enough people and organizations (like one church recently that withdrew millions to close their account at BoA) do it, we might see a crash. (Bill, your thoughts on this?)

As for those feet on the street mentioned earlier? The core of them show up for every protest. That's true for the core of what's showing up here in Anchorage, and it's true in most of the major cities. Hey, for them it's a bargain (they don't have to travel). The first day of the protest, the media showed up and got 200 different answers to what it's about. After a week of open meetings, they've organized, consulted lawyers and a slew of political scientists, and are now much more united and focused in message. That's here in Anchorage, and elsewhere (occupy's website is open and available for anyone to look at). Occupy has, however, seemingly handicapped these disparate groups by promoting an ideal of no leadership, so no one can negotiate with city leaders or meet individually with national leaders.

It is a motley group of interests, and they've taken some black eyes from idiots promoting socialism. I'm hopeful they can gather around the idea of reforming government to mitigate corruption, but the agitators inside the movement from Anonymous and elsewhere are promoting full revolution. We'll see how far these people are ready to get jerked around.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:25 pm 
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Jason Rees wrote:
But what the movement is really about is part of the agenda of Anonymous.


I guess I can agree that Anonymous might see some benefits from this, but can you cite anything to back up the stronger claim that movement is really about Anonymous. That seems like borderline conspiracy theoryism, and it's pretty far out of sync from everything I've read about it.

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