The Occupy Police Blotter

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 11 2011 4:58 PM

The Occupy Police Blotter

132331355
A young man with an Anonymous mask, wearing a military uniform, marches with Occupy Wall Street protesters on November 11, 2011 at Zuccotti Park in New York. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

National Review rather brilliantly captures the emerging anti-Occupier line -- These guys are violent crooks! -- by kicking off a blotter to track crimes that occur on Occupied turf. Smart, but a little ropey so far, with a lack of sourcing. And I fear the message might be getting muddled by the definition of what "crime" is. Riots in Oakland? Ugly, violent, sure. But this?

14 Arrested by NYPD in Marches Connected with Park Cleaning: Fourteen protesters arrested despite Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to halt the cleaning of the park.
Advertisement

Arrested for what? We learn that some of the arrests were for offensing like "wearing masks of Guy Fawkes." (New York has a law against public mask-wearing, a useful relic of anti-KKK legislation.) Is the fact of an arrest qua justification for dismissing the movement as violent? Let's be careful. There is actual violence and tumult at some Occupy protests, such as the rape reported at Occupy Dallas. But civil disobedience? That's not violent. That's just often misused as a tactic.

The movement learned early on, after the October 1 arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge, that confronting police power would lead to media coverage. It sure does. But as the movement should have learned last weeked, when Occupiers protested Americans for Prosperity, the tendency is for coverage of arrests to subsume coverage of anything else going on. We haven't heard much discussion of the movement's demands for a while. The gonzo discussion of violence is swallowing that up.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 21 2014 9:18 AM Oh, Boy Prudie counsels a letter writer whose sister dresses her 4-year-old son in pink tutus.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 10:41 AM Taylor Swift Just Went to No. 1 on iTunes Canada With 8 Seconds of Static 
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.