The video images of police officers pepper spraying like weeds students sitting with locked arms at UC Davis is only the latest example of how it doesn’t matter whether it is China, Egypt, New York or any of the 18 cities with Occupy Movements where Homeland Security is reported to be coordinating police crackdowns around the country, rulers respond with force in the face of change.
But the reaction we’re seeing on the streets of America and around the world is something entirely new and unexpected. It is as though there is an awakening of a planet-wide consciousness, the first ever such in existence, and the period we’re passing through now area the pangs of birth, from the brutality of elites not able to accept change.
The great Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman, who brought over 300 people out from slavery, is often quoted as saying, “I could have saved more if only they knew they were slaves.” That unawareness is what is breaking down as people see an unprecedented concentration of wealth, a dead end unemployment, chains of debt and the difference, only in degree, in security force tactics used in Egypt and police tactics here in the States.
The 99% is beginning to question, recognize and seek to throw off the hand of the 1%, and the only question is how much force will the 1% use to keep its hold on the levers of power.
We’ve seen the pepper spray, the flash-bang grenades and billy clubs being used and we can be sure that the sound cannons and other equipment are being readied if all of the above and handcuffs and detentions don’t stop the demonstrators. But of course they will not, for the same reasons that multinational corporations will not be going back to doing calculations by hand with columns of figures; the times have changed and the same technological innovations that have given multinationals an order of magnitude of greater efficiency than a generation ago, have also given people the ability to control their own dialogue and unite their voices and actions.
Politicians are usually very adept at reading handwriting on the wall and it looks like there will be a lot of it with the demonstrations being planned for the spring.
When the election season really gets going and the Occupy Movements converge on the convention centers, I would not be surprised to see a sea of white folks singing “We Shall Overcome”, hoping the nation’s first black president and his opponent can hear them. That will really be something.