Police across the US have been criticised for their actions in clashes with Occupy Wall Street protesters. The man who led the police response to the Battle in Seattle protests at the 1999 WTO meeting blames the post-9/11 militarisation of American policing.

"Law enforcement across the country is pursuing the same tactics that failed so miserably in Seattle," Norm Stamper tells BBC World Service’s Witness programme.

"There’s a lack of patience, there’s a lack of imagination and there are clear over-reactions to the challenges the police perceive. It is all so disheartening."

In November 1999, Chief Stamper was one of the main officials charged with managing the huge numbers of demonstrators who brought the city to a standstill in protests against the launch of a new round of global trade talks…

Chief Stamper says he has learnt his lesson but that other US police forces have not. He blames what he calls the militarisation of the police in America.

In the years following 9/11, the federal government provided military equipment to police forces across the country and instilled in them a military mindset, all in the name of homeland security, the former police chief says.

This should be a thing:


A non-profit community service where police officers can go to help them rehabilitate and find replacement jobs that don’t require them to be morally reprehensible. Kinda like “Cops Anonymous.”

I wonder if this would increase the amount of people who can leave, like the two officers in Denver rumoured to have quit over police treatment of protesters. There are plenty of instances where cops have said that what is happening to protesters is “heartbreaking.” Perhaps this would help. I can’t imagine quitting a stable job is easy to do in this economy.

Does this sort of thing exist somewhere?

A Protester’s Account of the Occupy Wall Street Brooklyn Bridge March


I figured I should write down what happened today, before I forget or before too many stories get muddled together.

My friend, my partner, and I arrived at Zucotti Park around 3 for the march, which began quickly, after everyone shared various rules. (No violence, write the phone number for legal council on yr arm, etc, etc)

We marched through lower Manhattan, and no route was specified, but we were told to not pass the head of the crowd, which was carrying a banner. Cops stood by and kept us on the sidewalk.

Then I noticed we were approaching the Brooklyn Bridge.

Cops were ushering people onto the bridge, but as I noticed we were walking into the roadway, I started to get scared. We climbed over the fence onto the pedestrian bridge. The first half of the crowd continued on the road, while the second half continued on the pedestrian bridge. Cops were flanking both sides of the entrance to the bridge and there was no way to turn back. As we walked up the elevated pedestrian bridge, we heard cops call for backup and they drove 2 police vans backwards up the bridge to where the protesters were. They stopped traffic and then brought vans in from the other side as well and trapped the protesters.

We watched from above as people began climbing the cords and metal of the bridge to escape the cops. People on the pedestrian bridge were trying to pull people up out of the roadway. 

We continued forward into Brooklyn as the cops brought a net onto the bridge from the Manhattan side. 

By the time we gathered into the park in Brooklyn, only a few hundred of us were left.

Cops began surrounding the park, and we all disbanded.

One of my friends was in the area where cops had people corralled. According to her Facebook updates and tweets, and other updates from trapped protesters, a child was arrested, and busses were brought in to arrest every single person. All of the men were taken first, and then all of the women.

They were told they were being arrested for disorderly conduct.

The police led them there and trapped them.

Please reblog this. People need to know what happened, and cops need to be held accountable for their actions.