Justin Elliot at Salon:
The NYPD is reportedly telling drunks to hang out in Zuccotti Park, apparently as a way to undermine the credibility of Occupy Wall Street.
Harry Siegel reports:
But while officers may be in a no-win situation, at the mercy of orders carried on shifting political winds and locked into conflict with a so-far almost entirely non-violent protest movement eager to frame the force as a symbol of the oppressive system they’re fighting, the NYPD seems to have crossed a line in recent days, as the park has taken on a darker tone with unsteady and unstable types suddenly seeming to emerge from the woodwork. Two different drunks I spoke with last week told me they’d been encouraged to “take it to Zuccotti” by officers who’d found them drinking in other parks, and members of the community affairs working group related several similar stories they’d heard while talking with intoxicated or aggressive new arrivals.
“He’s got a right to express himself, you’ve got a right to express yourself,” I heard three cops repeat in recent days, using nearly identical language, when asked to intervene with troublemakers inside the park, including a clearly disturbed man screaming and singing wildly at 3 a.m. for the second straight night.
Dude. I knew Bloomberg & crew were assholes, but this boils down to a very sneaky attempt to paint the Occupiers as substance abusing indigents looking for handouts, which is NOT what OccupyWallstreet is about. The Occupiers are protesting economic injustice and the total ass-raping perpetuated by the 1% on the other 99% of us. Actually it does occur to me that there would be considerably fewer homeless folks in NY and elsewhere had our Galtian Overlords on Wallstreet not blown up the fucking economy in 2008.