July 12, 2012 : The Tale of the Threatening Bike Stand
That didn't take long. No sooner does the NYPD announce a “link” between a DNA trace retrieved from a March Occupy protest and an unsolved 2004 murder, a day later comes the retraction. As reported here yesterday, NY Times and mucho mas outlets nearly fell over themselves publicizing the alleged “link” to Occupy, offering up salacious headlines.
Today, they take it all back. "DNA Match Tying Protest to 2004 Killing Is Doubted" NY Times now says. Dailybeast.com goes further saying “Occupy Murder Mess Points to Problems With New York’s DNA Database.”
Where to begin? Relying uncritically on NYPD information when the department is already reeling from the Rutgers spying scandal and wide-spread criticism over its stop and frisk policies? The willingness to sensationalize instead of cover the issues? Headlines that misrepresent the story? Playing fast and loose with the facts? The fact that individuals commit crimes, not the communities they come from?
For the haters there's always a next time. Meanwhile, NYT can reflect on Churchill's quote about a lie getting halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
For those curious how long it takes to march 99 miles in sweltering temps from Philly to New York, wonder no more. Morello's Guitarmy arrives yesterday, worn out and jubilant from their long march from the National Gathering, only to be met by the NYPD who welcome the returning troubadours by pushing them back onto the sidewalk at the edge of Zuccotti, resulting in a woman falling and being taken away in an ambulance, according to WSJ Online
Guitarmy plays “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie in honor of the iconic folk singer's 100th birthday. A sample of guitarmy's work may be found here. Activist and sometimes rocker Morello's presence apparently can't halt arrests and deter the heavy police presence, designed to keep protesters out of Zuccotti for good. (video above)
NYPD apparently views Occupy as much more of a threat then anyone could have guessed. And not just your standard Occupy-in-Zuccotti Park-Edaville Railroad meets 1776-rock-festival-scene
The NYPD's mission, if you're able to locate it, is as follows :
..enhance the quality of life in New York City by working in partnership with the community and, in accordance with constitutional rights, to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide a safe environment.
So it is curious that the department finds the presence of an Occupy-sponsored sidewalk bike fix-it stand a contradiction. When faced with such a threat, the cops first conduct obvious surveillance, then move in, to the dismay of the community and passerby.
The group started the repair program in May, towing a bike trailer filled with donated tools to Tweeted locations on streets and in parks. Members provide tune-ups and basic bike repairs, showing people how to fix flats, tighten brakes, and grease chains free of charge. Clearly a threat, just like guitarists. NY Times Fort Greene blog
Blogger Rob Kall, who attends the meetings in Philly, posts the occupy “future vision” which mentions other, similar threats to society :
clean water, air, and food
a strong sense of community
safety for everyone from domestic violence
(All of which – except for gardens -are mentioned on the NYPD's official site.)
Perhaps occupy and the cops can organize a NYC “safe community meet-up” to determine where these two visions of society diverge, exactly. For example, the Occupiers insistence on “free common public spaces “ may be problematic. But then this may be in the constitution too. So there may be room to negotiate.
Occupy's complete“future vision” is re-posted with permission at opednews.com
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