Start The Revolution Without Me?

Don't worry, they will.
photo of Madrid protesters

Protestors in Madrid

As we said last week, the movement starts with you. And that truism was evident all over the world Saturday as protesters gathered not only in Detroit, in Lansing, and here in Ann Arbor (there was a continuous presence all day at Liberty Plaza that varied in size from 25 to 100 people), but all over the world, from Los Angeles to New York, to London, Madrid, Rome, and pretty much all of Europe. Although there were the inevitable clashes with police in the states, protests were remarkably peaceful here. If you follow the news, you’ll know that things got ugly in Rome, but what you probably won’t see in the news are events like this in Belgium, where a cop was captured on video kicking a handcuffed, seated young woman in the face. Which highlights one of the most interesting things about large-scale civil unrest in the 21st century – the revolution doesn’t NEED to be televised. It’s on mobile phones and the internet 24/7. The only problem then becomes sorting out the truth, since a lot of “citizen journalism” is more biased than any traditional media ever could be. A case in point being this story, which first made the rounds as a shorter clip with a caption that said “officer punches woman in face”, and later turned out to be a man who is HIV positive who had already visibly antagonized the cop. Not that the cop’s brutality is in any way less heinous, but facts are facts, and the bright side of the constant presence of cameras (at some events there have been more professional press than protesters!) is that there will always be alternate angles and corroboration or lack thereof. We’re still trying to figure out what exactly was going on for instance in this clip, where protestors are locked INSIDE a Citibank location, and a non-resisting woman OUTSIDE the bank outlet is dragged away by a about a dozen NY cops. Keep it up NYPD, and between actions like this and the Tony Baloney incident the “three strikes” concept may have to be reversed.

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