New York Police Hammered Occupy Wall Street Protestors


14 Specific Allegations of NYPD Brutality During Occupy Wall Street – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic

Of the 14, I have selected this one for this posting. I would like all of you to read Mr. Friedersdorf’s full article.

A member of the Research Team witnessed officers arresting a protester. A number of officers took the protester to the ground, and restrained him as he lay face-first on the street. The Research Team member heard the protester cry out, and knelt down to observe the arrest. She then witnessed an officer pull back his leg and kick the protester hard in the face. Another witness also saw the incident. Efforts to obtain the badge number of the responsible officer were thwarted by police, who refused to identify the officer and then took him away in a police van.

14 Specific Allegations of NYPD Brutality During Occupy Wall Street – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic

 

 

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Ethics Bob Journeys to Zuccotti Park, Home of Occupy Wall Street


"Thousands gather at the Subtreasury Buil...

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Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street; Ethics Bob

My buddy, Ethics Bob, has journeyed to the wilds of New York, in particular, the semi-encampment of Zuccotti Park, the home of Occupy Wall Street.

Here’s a little of what he has to say

Zuccotti Park was a friendly place, surprisingly orderly, contrary to expectations from television. People sweeping, others staffing the free food tent, others reading or cheerfully chatting with visitors like me. There was a library, several pet dogs (apparently OWS is dog-, not cat-friendly) and a few baskets seeking donations. I saw lots of American flags and posters, but nothing ugly or much beyond run-of-the-mill progressive political ideas.

That’s been my perception as well, that Occupy Wall Street is replaying elements from previous eras of American Progressivism. Certainly, you can catch glimpses of the Grange, early labor organizers like Samuel Gompers and more than a little Chautauqua.

But there is definitely some new stuff here. These guys are very media savvy and, however, much disdain the fact attracts, the truth is that the Occupy Wall Street Movement is part and parcel of the demonstrations across the Arab World a few months ago. Citizen activism is catchy like the flu. And there is a lot of this flu going around. I expect to see more and more in Europe as their austerity budgets kick in.

Please go to Ethics Bob’s web site. I have provided several links. You should never rely on one paragraph to get the whole sense of his writing.

James Pilant

 

Map of Wall Street and the surrounding streets...Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street « Ethics Bob

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Andi comments on the previous post – The 99 Percenters – Why is New York the Center of their Protests?


This is a comment on a previous post –  The 99 Percenters – Why is New York the Center of their Protests?

(The article was actually motivated by one of my reader’s comments on Facebook and while I hope there are elements of a call for economic justice implied in it, I didn’t have any ethical argument except for inequality itself – James Pilant)

Here’s Andi’s response to the post –

While reading this article, I wondered about the ethics and what the author wanted us to tell. Is it the question whether it is morally right that people do the protests in NY or is it the question if it’s ethically that 1 percent of the population in NY owns about 44 percent of all income?! Or is it the more general question whether it is ethically to do protests in the street?

To answer this question it is necessary to know the definition of an ethical decision. A decision is ethically if it affects others, has alternative courses of action and is perceived as ethically relevant by one or more parties.
By comparing the questions with the definition, it becomes clear that the second question cannot be discussed under ethical terms. Only the questions whether it is ethically to to protests or to do them in NY, has alternative courses of actions.
Therefore I focus on protests and try to state my opinion about it.

To answer the question with the postmodern ethical theory (= decision is morally right if the person follows his emotions in a situation), I would say that doing protests to point to abuses is morally okay because it is a good medium to raise high attention in the press and in tv newscasts. But that’s only half of the story. To answer this question in a more rational view, the combination of postmodern ethical theories and ethics of rights and justice is needed. Here the question of fair procedures or fair outcomes comes up.

Whether protests are morally right or wrong, is difficult. What do you think about the following questions?:

Can a protest really influence decisions that there are fair outcomes for everybody? Or is it only a way to highlight unfair procedures?

My great thanks to Andi for taking the time to comment and not just to comment but to comment with intelligence and insight. I want Andi to know that author identification is up to the contributor. If you want to be clearly identified with e-mail, blog links, etc.., you have only to ask and I will modify the posting.

Thanks!!!

James Pilant

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The “BlackBerry Riots” — What Should RIM Do? (via The Business Ethics Blog)


We have learned that Chris MacDonald quickly analyzes current events for ethical issues and can be counted on to get a post up in a day or less. This is one of those.

Chris MacDonald

My favorite paragraph is this one –

The question is complicated by questions of precedence. Tech companies have come under fire for assisting governments in, for example, China, to crack down on dissidents. Of course, the UK government isn’t anything like China’s repressive regime. But at least some people are pointing to underlying social unrest, unemployment etc., in the UK as part of the reason — if not justification — for the riots. And besides, even if it’s clear that the UK riots are unjustifiable and that the UK government is a decent one, companies like RIM are global companies, engaged in a whole spectrum of social and political settings, ones that will stubbornly refuse to be categorized. Should a tech company help a repressive regime stifle peaceful protest? No. Should a tech company help a good and just government fight crime? Yes. But with regard to governments, as with regard to social unrest, there’s much more grey in the world than black and white.

We’re going to come across this issue again and again. Modern social unrest, justified, unjustified or simply beyond our understanding, is now also a product of social networking. As these machines gain complexity and power, so will the possibilities of social action. We are entering a new world in which a protest or similar action can be organized in very short chunks of times. Flyers and bullhorns are as obsolete as Egyptian hieroglyphs in this new climate of computer assisted unrest.

James Pilant

The intersection of social media with social unrest is a massive topic these days. Twitter has been credited with playing an important role in coordinating the pro-democracy protests in Egypt, and Facebook played a role in helping police track down culprits after the Vancouver hockey riots. But the mostly-unstated truth behind these “technologies of the people” is that they are corporate technologies, ones developed, fostered, and controlled by c … Read More

via The Business Ethics Blog

“We don’t need nuclear plants” in Kamakura (via Japan Nuclear Crisis)


Kanagawa Prefecture is just below Tokyo. Perhaps it is a cultural stereotype, but I consider the Japanese to be much more passive about these things than Americans and Americans much more passive than Europeans.

But there is always something salutary about people marching for their beliefs. It’s a democratic thing.

James Pilant

May 22, 2010 – Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture video report by OurPlanet-TV Despite rain, about 200 people marched on the street of Kamakura behind the banner saying, “Imagine the Future without Nuclear Power Plants”. In the interview, one of the organizers of this protest said that they had fewer participants than the last one on April 10th because of rain, but the people could meet the others who shared similar o … Read More

via Japan Nuclear Crisis

Michigan Kills Democracy, FDA Kills Babies (via Consciously Evolving Our Planet)


Anger and a lot of it.

I’ve been watching it now for years. But I’ve noticed changes in the past few weeks. Generally, I would see tea partiers or the like raging against the government. Now I’m seeing regular bloggers more and more often. They are outraged. They are disgusted. They want something to change.

We’re crossing some kind of line here in America. I don’t understand what’s happening. I can’t help but believe that something is.

This article is well written and thoughtful. You should read it.

James Pilant

In the three years of the Great Recession, more than 5 million families have lost their American Dream. Through foreclosure or short sale, another 6 million face the same fate during the next 3 years. As more than 10% of us endure this particular type of “homelessness”, with its anxiety, shame, and loss, no one has gone to jail. The few who protest openly are mocked or ignored. Corporate profits are at record levels, driven primarily by the incre … Read More

via Consciously Evolving Our Planet

Witches Curse Government


From MSNBC

Everyone curses the tax man, but Romanian witches angry about having to pay up for the first time are planning to use cat excrement and dead dogs to cast spells on the president and government.

Also among Romania’s newest taxpayers are fortune tellers — but they probably should have seen it coming.

Superstitions are no laughing matter in Romania — the land of the medieval ruler who inspired the “Dracula” tale — and have been part of its culture for centuries. President Traian Basescu and his aides have been known to wear purple on certain days, supposedly to ward off evil.

Personally, I’m waiting for Dracula to react to the new taxes.

James Pilant