In a tense battle of wills, state troopers and Albany police held off making arrests of dozens of protesters near the Capitol over the weekend even as Albany’s mayor, under pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, had urged his police chief to enforce a city curfew.The situation intensified late Friday evening when Jennings, who has cultivated a strong relationship with Cuomo, directed his department to arrest protesters who refused to leave the city-owned portion of a large park that’s across Washington Avenue from the Capitol and City Hall.
At the Capitol, in anticipation of possibly dozens of arrests, a State Police civil disturbance unit was quietly activated, according to officials briefed on the matter but not authorized to comment publicly. But as the curfew neared, the group of protesters estimated at several hundred moved across an invisible line in the park from state land onto city property.
“We were ready to make arrests if needed, but these people complied with our orders,” a State Police official said. However, he added that State Police supported the defiant posture of Albany police leaders to hold off making arrests for the low-level offense of trespassing, in part because of concern it could incite a riot or draw thousands of protesters in a backlash that could endanger police and the public.
Here’s the money quote:
“We don’t have those resources, and these people were not causing trouble,” the official said. “The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor.”
According to the article, which is worth a read in its entirety, the Albany county district attorney David Soares also pushed back against the pressure to arrest the protesters.
Think Progress reported, before climbing the 2012 ladder, GOP presidential front runner Herman Cain served as the spokesman for the right-wing America’s PAC.
The group spent millions during the 2004 and 2006 election to run political ads on black radio stations — one of which suggested that Democrats wanted to kill “black babies.” Another ad links Democrats to the “Ku Klux Klan cracker” David Duke.
Not only did Cain serve as spokesman, he also performed voice-over work in several ads. One such ad features a man telling another, “If you make a little mistake with one of your ‘hos,’ you will want to dispose of the problem tout suite, no questions asked.” But, as Right Wing Watch reports, Cain went further then lending his voice. He lent his own money — $1 million worth — to persuade African Americans to vote Republican in the 2006 election with these racially-charged ads. The Bush administration called the ads “inappropriate” and the RNC called them “racist or race-baiting in intent.” Listen to Cain in one ad here:
The Occupy Wall Street movement has recently expanded beyond merely occupying parks and other physical territory and is staking out a new realm of metaphorical occupations that includes both OccupyMARINES and Occupy Police.
The inspiration for OccupyMARINES came when Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas confronted police officers who were threatening to arrest OWS protesters in Times Square on October 15,yelling, “Stop hurting these people, man! … How do you sleep at night? There is no honor in this!”
According to Business Insider, members of the new movement began by reaching out to other former marines but “have now called on veterans of other branches of the military to lend their support to help ‘talk sense’ to police and recruit them into supporting the Occupy movement.”
It remains to be seen how successful the group will be and how many veterans it will attract, but it appears to be growing rapidly and gaining support from other progressive organizations. Its webpage, which is credited as “proudly donated by The Pirate Party of New York,”announced on Sunday that the umbrella groupVelvet Revolution will be acting as its fiscal sponsor to accept donations.
A second organization, Occupy Police, has already been spun off “for police in support of the 99%.” The first posting at its website, dated October 21, states, “We are in open Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and all Occupy movements across the nation. We’re starting off Day 1 with a mass e-mail to all police departments throughout the US. We want them to know that they ARE part of the 99% and to get involved with the movement. We openly support positive communication between Police/People and we encourage you to do the same.”