(1) Timoney and Bahrain: (Note today’s possibly irrelevant image–can’t remember where I downloaded it, but it was apparently found in a police van in lower Manhattan recently.) The other day I linked to an article from the Atlantic that gave a useful account of the recent history of police tactics with respect to large protests. We are now in the era of the “Miami model,” which involves “strategic incapacitation.” From that article:
9/11 put the final nail in the coffin of the previous protest-control regime. By the time of the Free Trade of the Americas anti-globalization protests in Miami broke out eight years ago this week, an entirely new model of taking on protests had emerged. People called it the Miami model. It was heavily militarized and very forceful. The police had armored personnel carriers.
And here’s a table comparing the successive policing models:
Now from the Miami Herald and the AP, word that the police chief who developed the Miami model, John Timoney, has been tapped by the government of Bahrain to train its police.
Yet another connection between the protests here and the Arab Spring: we are contending with similar police tactics (though the Miami Model is a step up from the “torture and excessive force” that an independent commission found had been used against pro-reform protesters. Nice to see the U.S. policing community helping undemocratic governments repress more gently. Timoney’s family must be proud. Maybe he can hire Lt. John Pike to help with the training.
(2) Europe: We are cooking up a good account of the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone for our January issue. In the meantime, Dean Baker’s Beat the Press blog has been great about taking mainstream media outlets to task for claiming that the crisis is about “profligate spending.” Only Greece had serious deficits before the financial crisis; Spain, Italy, and the other countries now in trouble had only small deficits or even surpluses. See also Krugman on this point.
(3) Walker to Charge Protesters to Be Pepper-sprayed: This is not from The Onion–it’s true: Walker Intends to Charge Citizens Fee to Protest.
(4) Frank Luntz “Frightened to Death” of OWS: The Republican Party’s version of “framing” guru George Lakoff–in charge of micromanaging the party’s “messaging”–told the Republican Governors’ Association:
“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,” said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. “They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”
Let’s hope he’s right. Check the article out. He’s advising the GOP to avoid the terms “capitalism” and “middle class” and “tax the rich” in favor of “free market system,” “hardworking taxpayers,” and “take from the rich.” Let me test drive those: “We need to take from the rich because the free-market system is screwing hardworking taxpayers (and the rest of the 99%).” I think it still works.
(5) Wall Street and the Criminalization of Immigrants: An excellent piece from the America’s Program.
(6) NYT Piece on the Power of the 99% Slogan: In case you missed it, here it is.
(7) Speaking of Teachers–Bloomberg’s Latest: Here’s the latest outrage from the billionaires who mouth off about education: Bloomberg: If I Had My Way I’d Dump Half of NY Teachers. According to the mayor, a kid is better off in a class that’s twice as big with a better teacher (contrary to all research about how important small classes are). Plus he takes a slanderous swipe at teachers by saying that they are mostly from the bottom 20% of their classes, and from not very good schools. The 1% is on a rampage. #OWS needs to hound this guy until he can’t make a public appearance out side of Bermuda (which would probably suit him just fine).