OCCUPY EUREKA exposed Militant Behavior of County, City and Police authorities, by Kathy Anderson Oct 2012

Traditionally American society has identified anti-social behavior by way of violent behavior. Sociable people will be willing to talk and mediate through problems with each other rather than come to blows in private meetings or on the streets.


Police are generally called to stop violent behavior, not to be violent without provocation. It is expected in "civilization" that police use force that conforms to laws that cover all people, they are not expected to use violence against peaceful people or groups of people.


During 2011-12 OCCUPY EUREKA held vigil in front of the county courthouse on highway 101. Everyday and night for many months there were homeless and housed people occupying the space 24/7. The public saw what it means to live on the street up close and personal.


People in the county complained to the local political body about the "mess" by flexing their wealthy business and property owner muscles in demand that the police "clean up" and remove OCCUPY protesters. This is exactly the same tactic used on "chasing away" homeless people.


District Attorney Paul Gallegos allowed the police, in full riot gear, to raid OCCUPY in the middle of the night, when folks were sleeping. NON-VIOLENT protesters were dragged out of tents (set up on the lawn), police hit people with flashlights, threw them to the ground, banged them around and stole all their gear. Injured people went to jail with untreated wounds. Later [and prior] the DA would say that this was justified because, hypothetically there could have been a terrorist bomb in a tent. At a peaceful protest, where it is clear that non-violence is the philosophy of the group? Who here is anti-social?


An imaginary, hypothetical weapon caused intelligent men to "shock and awe" people living in tents on public land because they were messy.


Betsy of Channel 3, a local TV station, charged into the camp before this raid and demanded on camera for the person that pooped on a bank in the neighborhood to 'fess up' and showed her personal disgust for OCCUPY. Her public bashing added fuel to the fire in the belly of officials who were unsure of what to do with protesters. It seems a good idea may have been to set up a potty station for people to use, instead violence was thought more appropriate as is done by the majority of towns in this country when dealing with homelessness and non-violent protests such as OCCUPY

Many times through the past 30-40 years advocates for the poor have pleaded with county and city officials to attend to the needs of housing for those besieged by poverty. Homelessness is growing at an alarming rate yet the policies used to deal with the problem continue to be criminalizing the poor rather than working out realistic plans that create safety and affordable housing for them and future generations.

Police are used to run people out of the bushes into the streets, then off the streets and back into the bushes. Poor folks go from town to town, county to county and state to state seeking jobs, housing and safety. Often the police use violence to get the message across that certain Americans are not  wanted in their jurisdiction. Poor people have their bodies beaten and their possessions stolen by the police as a method of discouragement meant to make them move on.

The war on poverty and the war on drugs should never have been proclaimed. There instead should be zero tolerance for violence from anyone towards anyone.

This country, in this authors mind, should adopt "Harm Reduction" principles as a way of mediating between different points of view, but when we have police chiefs like our present Murl Harpham who is in denial about his officers using extreme violence that ended in the deaths of 5 people in a 2 year space of time (2 were 18 and 16) and 1 that in a civil case cost the city 5 million dollars, such horrors will continue.

 


Sincerely, Kathy Anderson, Eureka, CA