No Police Liaisons

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Extended discussion of the possibility of having police liaisons. Consensus was that we will not have representatives of this body going to police, but we will deal with police as they come to us, and tactical and security and legal will work together to handle this problem.

2 Responses to “No Police Liaisons”

  1. vets74

    It would be well to consider the needs of OWS and practical matters such as crowd management for nonviolent direct actions. Doing protests does not have to entail getting people arrested. Similarly, OWS can be misused quite easily by individuals who are out scamming money from OWS supporters.

    Liaison with police is a sensible precaution for any group that expects to take people into public places or to do civil disobedience. Police don’t mind seeing civil disobedience that much – not a priority. Thinking we’re going to replace police functions is silly. That did not happen effectively at Zuccotti and it’s not going to happen for the much larger protests spring and summer 2012.

    A more effective liaison with NYPD might have opened the door for a Canadian-style eviction at Zuccotti. People would have left the premises, then been allowed to return and get their belongings. The best of your choices is almost always what matches to the Nine Principles:

    Pledge For Nonviolence

    1. As you prepare for Occupy Wall Street, please open yourself to life, love and the blessings of faith, hope, and charity.
    2. Refrain from violence of fist, tongue and heart.
    3. Walk and talk in the manner of love; for truth and love are the core of life, neither ambition nor the temptations of control.
    4. Sacrifice personal wishes that all might be free.
    5. Observe with friends, with false friends and with your foes the ordinary rules of courtesy.
    6. Perform regular service for others and the world.
    7. Pray or simply ask within to be moved so that all men and women might be free.
    8. Remember that nonviolence seeks Justice and Reconciliation – not victory.
    9. Strive to be in good spirits and in good health. We are the 99% and we must go in peace.
    “Nine Principles” adapted from Dr. M.L.King, Jr., and M.K. Gandhi

    Setting up a working relationship with police fits perfectly with # 5. There’s no point to encouraging lawlessness.

  2. Donald O. Carroll

    I defer to any wise rebuttal to Vets24; nonetheless, I think his/her words are sage.

    As someone arrested as part of the DC17, while I was only trying to keep provocateurs from fomenting dangerous actions that would have resulted in multiple injuries and likely even deaths, which would have destroyed popular support for the Occupation, I think that we do need to formally work towards better herding ourselves—we the flock—to peaceful and calm cooperation amongst ourselves.

    Until we perfect our techniques, we may need a little help. I’m not sure police liaisons are the way to go; but we need to do something that is positive, meaningful and practical here, no doubt.

    The police are working man and women. They are also human beings, and, as such, many of them are sympathetic to the Occupation and to us also, individually, as citizens. It seems mainly provocateurs and those who cannot control their anger (for whatever reason) who demonize the people and thus turn them and their weapons against us. Let’s educate teh working police, rather than fight them, and they will be less likely to dehumanize us.

    For the record, I have also been arrested by hostile police while in peaceful exercise of my civil rights (for political purposes), and it wasn’t no picnic. (The DC arrests were a cake walk, as I have said before; few are that pretty or calm.) Yes, there are bad police officers too, just as there are bad people within the movement. I suggest, for the time being, let them police their own (under the full knowledge that they are under intense scrutiny by us and others).

    If they properly and appropriately cannot police their own, then let’s turn to the courts. If the courts won’t do it, let’s turn to the the media. If they won’t do anything, let’s turn to the people directly; and if not them, then finally to ourselves, for action. Any and all of these tactics can also work in tandem, if we are that organized—no one to the exclusion of the others, necessarily. However, we are not yet at war, and please let’s not pretend we are, as violence is a war we will not win.

    To write the police and formally constituted governments out of the picture, at this juncture, is to jump the gun; and is fundamentally contrary to any principle of non-violence that we claim we cherish or even justified war concepts (as espoused by liberation theologists Robert Mcafee Brown, among others). We will not only alienate the American people by such an arrogant display of contempt. We will also alienate the world community that wants to support us.

    Most importantly, let’s do everything to make sure that no one, we or the Police get hurt or killed. This is beyond politics. And if we/they do, let’s record, investigate, analyze and adapt.

    Pretty please :-)


    Let’s not start this effort with inflammatory politics, just because we want to feel like radicals and heros. That time may yet come, and when it does, I will still be here beside you; in the meantime let’s enjoy the Peace, so long as we can help to preserve it.