Other cities should follow Columbia’s lead when dealing with Occupiers

Brett Stover

Occupy Wall Street’s (OWS) local branch, Occupy CoMo, was ordered to remove camping equipment and supplies Monday from outside Columbia City Hall.
This demand did not come with a side of pepper spray and baton sticks as it did in too many other cities, which displays the trust and respect Columbia’s government officials have for local citizens.
However, I am greatly disappointed in the response other city’s officials have given to the Occupy protesters in their city’s citizens.
For example, a police officer at University of California at Davis pepper sprayed seated students peacefully protesting by locking arms. Such blatant use of force was an unnecessary use of force from a respected government organization.
In another display of gross overreaction to the OWS protesters, the tactics the New York Police Department used to evict protesters from Zuccotti Park on Nov. 15.  The NYPD shut down airspace over New York to prevent media helicopters from filming the eviction, barred all media from filming the events occurring, destroyed tents and belongings, and arrested approximately 70 OWS protesters. Several reporters were also arrested.
The former New York Civil Liberties Union director Norman Siegel claimed 1,275 books out of 4,000 books housed at a temporary library at the OWS encampment had been recovered, and one-third of those 1,275 books were damaged to the point of being unusable. Siegel also said 2,725 books had been destroyed.

Really? I can hear George Orwell rolling audibly in his grave.
The destruction of books, an act commonly associated with totalitarian leaders and oppressive dictators, is occurring in the United States. A Marine Corps veteran was critically injured at a protest in Oakland. Peaceful students were pepper sprayed by police officers. I am disappointed in these reactions to Occupiers across the United States.
See other commentaries on the topic here.
By Brett Stover