So yeah, come N-17 in Milwaukee and the resulting occupation of the North Avenue overpass transecting I-43, M.P.D. Chief Flynn made the right call, or at least the call most tactically sound.
This project, a joint occupation of infrastructure across the U.S. on the two-month anniversary of the initiation of O.W.S. had been in the planning for awhile. No matter the amount of secrecy, come N-17, on the day of, at the very least, I am sure that the police had an inkling as to what’d be in the works. Make no doubt about, all participating knew that arrest was potential and some we’re even counting on it considering the predisposition of police departments across the nation and their willingness to arrest and sometimes brutalize.
I’ve argued, and for some time now, that the arrest of and brutality towards occupiers only strengthens the movement. Not that I’m trying to weaken the movement by allowing this tidbit of truth to slip from my mouth, but brutality, police brutality is unacceptable under any circumstance, especially when it rears its ugly heads at citizens exercising their constitutional rights.
It would seem that Chief Flynn was of the same opinion. Rather than marching in with pepper spray and batons in hand, they left us to the elements – a cold Wisconsin night. He knew that one of secondary goals was a “martyrdom” of sorts – maybe not so much a goal, but a known and potential consequence considering our stand on the bridge and unwillingness to vacate. All things considered, I have to begrudgingly admit that his strategy was superior to our own and in some ways feel like he’d won the battle (that’s the tactician in me talking). Furthermore, he utilized the media in ways that’d painted us to be fools.
On that note, the Chief’s manipulation of the media, both on and off the camera, I’ve put together a vid (below) wherein I dismantle his arguments and assertions. I only hope that this message reaches even a 10th the audience his had. In combination with the “Flynn Dialogue,” I also take a moment to evaluate the “violence” associated with the #Occupy movement, or rather and more appropriately, the violence aimed at it as was the case for a scary moment during our occupation and stand at the intersection of I-43 and North Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 17, 2011.
#Occupy is officially two-months old and for the time being, seems to be as strong as ever. Though this movement has been around for only a short time, it seemed like an eternity in waiting for me. The sentiments expressed and awakened in others by the #Occupy movement are notions that I’ve discussed for quite some time here on the “internetz,” topics like campaign finance reform, American foreign policy, corporate person-hood and the growing disparity between rich and poor; but DAMN! Is it not refreshing to see feet on the ground and opposed to asses on the couch, thumbing from one prime-time event to another.
In order to commemorate in solidarity with the newly awakened and veterans alike, I ventured to Milwaukee on the 17th wherein I participated in the peaceful takeover of a bridge, an arterial path of sorts in Milwaukee – the I-43/North Ave. overpass. As we made are way towards the bridge past brother, sister and barricade alike, I sensed a movement, a movement never sensed before, even moreso than that of the anti-war protests I took part in. This was change, these were people and a future, a mutually beneficial future, was the goal. For the first time, the very first time, I thought, “maybe, just maybe.”
* “Phase 4, Reflections” coming tomorrow