When Dallas Decides It's Over Being Occupied, That's When Things Could Get Ugly

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Start the countdown. How long will it be before Dallas City Hall decides to evict the Occupy protest campers from Pioneer Plaza? You know it's coming.

If the Occupy Dallas anti-corporate-greed protesters continue to camp out in a park just down the block from City Hall, political pressure will build to get rid of them. At some point that pressure will be felt by City Hall.

So far, the police department has taken a hands-off posture. It won't last. This is Dallas.
As the Occupy movement grows nationally in weeks ahead and becomes more of a factor, the encampment here will become more and more a cinder in the eye of local conservatives. They will want it expunged.

Dallas police have been in nice mode until now, keeping an eye on the protesters, manning a distant perimeter, enjoying the occasional casual chat with a placard-bearing Occupier who ventures near. But who knows what happens when the order goes out to get rid of them?

I happen to think most of our police force is made up of seasoned professionals who can carry out just about any kind of mobilization efficiently and with the proper aplomb. But we also have our hotheads -- witness the incident September 5 of last year when a bunch of Dallas cops whaled the hell out of a young motorcyclist who had been taunting them.

He had been taunting them. No doubt about it. I think if you taunt the cops long enough you get the hell whaled out of you. The problem for Dallas City Hall is that sometimes getting the hell whaled out of you is exactly what you want.

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Stephen Masker
See more photos from last week's march on the slideshow page.
Occupy Wall Street never made a blip on major media radar until the now infamous NYPD Officer Tony Baloney Maced a bunch of women penned up inside an orange plastic barrier. The fact is that confrontation -- especially violent confrontation -- works in the interest of the protest if it's the authorities doing the violence.

Martin Luther King Jr. knew exactly what he was doing when he sent children and old ladies against Bull Connor's police dogs and fire hoses in Birmingham in 1963.

The point of nonviolent protest is not to avoid violence. It's to sucker the other side into doing the violence and then make sure the images get out worldwide. Protest is a morality play. The protesters just have to make sure they're the ones with the morals.

Look, I'm Mr. Negativity, I know, predicting trouble. But I've been to a county fair and a hog auction or two. The moment is not far off when somebody with a lot of juice will call up somebody at City Hall and say, "Get 'em outta there."

Then what?



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79 comments
bb
bb

It is hard to predict how it will wind down. Without a provocateur of the caliber of say Abbie Hoffman, it is hard to get protestors to up the ante. No doubt, DPD can rise to the occasion.

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

I'm not seeing it.  There aren't enough, and there just aren't enough of the hardcore anarchist types that gravitate to the liberal bastions like Seattle and NYC.  They'll sit out in the park, get bored, the NYC protest will eventually get routed (or similarly bored) and they'll go home.  A few hardcore remainders will stay and have to be removed, but I predict they'll do it in the 'I'm not standing up and have read the Alinsky playbook now give me my plastic cuffs so I can make bail' way.

RTGolden
RTGolden

I agree with taxing everyone equally.  Tax the rich at the same  percentage I get taxed.  Tax the upper middle class at the same percentage I get taxed.  Tax the poor at the same percentage I get taxed.  Can't work? on unemployment? Fine, do community service to earn your unemployment benefits.  Clean the park, pick up the streets, organize the damn shelves in the Library so I can find the book I was looking for and someone moved.My point is, it's fine and dandy to throw mud on the evil corporate giants and banking cartels.  When you're done flinging mud, look down at your idle hands, at the mud that still covers them.  That mud represents tax supported education, student loans, price-support programs for agriculture (thus the government is helping farmers keep the prices for food artificially high), welfare, medicaid/medicare, CHIP, TAX DEDUCTIONS (a middle class subsidy), WIC, subsidized mass transit, streets, sanitation, parks, NEA, Public workers' pension/healthcare plans (which yes, the public workers get collective bargaining rights, but we, the taxpayers, who actually pay them, don't get the same rights), etc etc.  We all demand this, that, and the other from the government, for free and you think this is sustainable?  It is time for a flat tax, across the board, and a national sales tax.  forbid tax exclusions for any reason, forbid deductions for any reason.  If a corporation threatens to take their manufacturing overseas, slap them with a 50% import tax.  If a family decides to have 15 kids on a $20k/year income, slap em with a stupid tax.  both sides need to quit slinging mud and see if we can clean up the mess.

Jim Schutze
Jim Schutze

Well, damn. I hate it when City Hall fails to live down to my expectations. Looks like they're going tp handle this the smart way. This just in:

To: MediaFrom: City of Dallas PIORe: Occupy Dallas Protest  The City is working with members of the Occupy Dallas group to obtain a special use permit for the Pioneer Plaza area near the Convention Center.  The City is balancing this group’s first amendment rights with a focus on protecting the protestors and the public - like many other cities across the country experiencing similar protests. The Dallas Police Department has only utilized on-duty resources to address the Occupy Dallas demonstrators.  This is consistent with other demonstrations that have occurred in the city in the past and a function of the police department that is part of the current operating budget.  The Police Department has provided a uniformed presence during the demonstrator’s marches to ensure there is minimal disruption in traffic flow, no disturbances or violation of law and that counter protests do not develop that could lead to disorder.     

Metroplexual
Metroplexual

I Wish

I wish someone would stand up for me....

I wish someone would open up a company near where I live and hire meto work there. I don't know what I'll do for them but hopefully they cantrain me for something. I expect they will provide a living wage, health benefits for me and my family,  retirement package, vacation, family leave benefit and maybe sponsor my son's little league team.

I wish I had dome political clout and some rich guys would open up a big branch of their shipping / warehouse business here and give me some equity for helping them get needed infrastructure from the local government so they can efficiently operate, hire local people and pay property and income taxes. Even though it's my job, I wish the would give me a piece of pie with no investment of my own. 

I wish the bank would lend me money at low interest for a house. Of course I need a 100% loan because I haven't saved enough or wasn't lucky enough to be given a 10% downpayment.Even though I can barely make the numbers work at this time I hope to be earningmore next year and it will be easier to make the payments. I just hope I don't have a child or have to replace my car or incur any unforseen expense that willkeep that from happening.

I wish I had more stuff. It's not fair that Mark Cuban has a big house and an airplaneand I can't even afford DSL to stream Netflix to my HDTV.I think we shoud redistribute wealth so I can participate more in the good life and maybe geta better looking girlfriend

I wish we could have cheap or free energy. It's like my right. But I don't want evil corporationsto provide it using fossill fuels. They are in short supply and cause pollution. Besidesthere are too many people getting rich from it and I'm not. I would prefer the government to do it.  I wish we could give someone a half billion dollars to make solar panels that we can all use and get us off the man's grid. (I wish I knew where that 1/2 bil ended up.)

I wish college didn't cost so much, I have two kids getting ready to go and I haven't saved enough to give them a full ride. They didn't make the great grades to get a scholarship anddon't want to send them to Richland or UNT and work. I wish they could go to A&M or UT so we could go the games and tailgate. If we would raise taxes on the richer maybe college wouldn't cost that much.

I wish life wasn't so damn hard. I see people driving around during the day, playing golf,shopping at the mall but I've got to be here in this damn office surfing the net andconsuming complimentary cookies and caffinated beverates.

I wish some would pay me to stand outside near the Dallas Fed and try an provokethe authorities to arrest me so I can enable Hugo Chavez, Assad and Ahmadinjadcould critize the US for human rights violations and crushing dissent. It's sucha nice day and I could listen to the Rangers on my smart phone. I wish they would lost thought Detroit has more poor people and the deserve it more that the spoiled people of Dallas.

I wish I hadn't spent so much time on Unfair Park today as I didn't get shit donebut did get a few things off my my mind....I wish I had had time to make this rhyme

CR
CR

I'll take one OWS participant with guts over ten corporate led "Tea Party" sheep any day.  BTW, the real tea party folk.... you know those with guts back in Boston 1773 didn't wait for a fucking permit process to make their voices heard.  And where would be today without that act of defiance?  This no fucking frizbee bbq in the park.

DBCOOPA
DBCOOPA

We aren't going anywhere Jim. I'm afraid you are wrong. Personally, your little zines' articles have been pretty unfair to us. Two days ago we saved a homeless man's life who was hypothermic in a wheelchair stuck in the rain. We've been giving up our own tents to house the homeless during the recent storms.

And you just did an article about us that has a picture of a man holding a shotgun on your front page.

I went to school with your kid and I've met you before. You were pretty fair when writing an article about my friend Jay during the high period of his problems years ago. I guess anyone can be bought.

On a personal level, I've completely lost respect for you. This morning KDGE made some unfair comments about us. 1500+ people e-mailed and called their office until we received some recognition from their program director that they were wrong. We settled for "it was a joke." I'm not even going to bother with you. The only time your newspaper gets picked up is when an out of town businessman is looking for a tranny hooker.

Jim Schutze
Jim Schutze

How is it that the patsies and the lay-downs in our society -- the people who stand by half-asleep and drooling while a tiny cabal of plutocrats steal their nation from them -- are the ones who get all tough-guy and macho about denouncing WSO? The occupiers have the guts to strand up against it. The patsies and the laydowns ridicule them for trying. That about tells the story. 

Metroplexual
Metroplexual

I'm reminded ever more frequently of the prescience of "Atlas Shrugged" and "Idiocracy".

Montemalone
Montemalone

I don't like how cities and states require permits to peacably assemble as it is a First Amendment right to do just that.How can asking permission first be a right?

SteveT
SteveT

Forgot to mention:  The above post is from James Howard Kunstler's blog today (kunstler.com)

SteveT
SteveT

Recession Officially Over," The New York Times' lead headline declared around 7 o'clock this morning. (Watch: they'll change it.) That was Part A. Part B said, "US Incomes Kept Falling." Welcome to What-The-Fuck Nation. I suppose if you include the cost of things like the number of auto accident victims transported by EMT squads as part of your Gross Domestic Product such contradictions to reality are possible. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, where are you when we really need you?     I dropped in on the Occupy Wall Street crowd down in Zuccotti Park last Thursday. It was like 1968 all over again, except there was no weed wafting on the breeze (another WTF?). The Boomer-owned-and-operated media was complaining about them all week. They were "coddled trust-funders" (an odd accusation made by people whose college enrollment status got them a draft deferment, back when college cost $500 a year). Then there was the persistent nagging over the "lack of an agenda," as if the US Department of Energy, or the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs was doing a whole lot better.    This is the funniest part to me: that leaders of a nation incapable of  constructing a coherent consensus about reality can accuse its youth of not having a clear program. If the OWS movement stands for anything, it's a dire protest against the country's leaders' lack of a clear program.    For instance, what is Attorney General Eric Holder's program for prosecuting CDO swindles, the MERS racket, the bonus creamings of TBTF bank executives, the siphoning of money from the Federal Reserve to foreign banks, the misconduct at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the willful negligence of the SEC, and countless other villainies? What is Barack Obama's program for restoring the rule of law in American financial affairs? (Generally, the rule of law requires the enforcement of laws, no?)      Language is failing us, of course. When speaking of "recession," one is forced into using the twisted, tweaked, gamed categories of economists whose mission is to make their elected bosses look good in spite of anything reality says. I prefer the term contraction, because a.) that is what is really going on, and b.) the economists haven't got their mendacious mitts around it yet. Contraction means there is not going to be more, only less, and it implies that a reality-based society would make some attempt to acknowledge and manage having less - possibly by doing more.     Instead, our leaders only propose accounting tricks to pretend there is more when really there is less. The banking frauds of the past twenty years were a conspiracy between government and banks to provide the illusion that an economy based on happy motoring, suburban land development, continual war, and entertainment-on-demand could go on indefinitely. The public went along with it following the path of least resistance, allowing themselves to be called "consumers." They also went along with the nonsense out of the Supreme Court that declared corporations to be "persons" with "a right to free speech" where political campaign contributions were concerned - thereby assuring the wholesale purchase of the US government by Wall Street banks.     Praise has been coming in from all quarters for the peacefulness of the OWSers. Don't expect that to last. In the natural course of things, revolutionary actions meet resistance, generate friction, and then heat. Anyway, history is playing one of its little tricks by simultaneously ramping up the OWS movement in the same moment that the banking system is actually imploding, with the fabric showing the most stress right now in Europe. I shudder to imagine what happens when OWS moves into the streets of France, Germany, Holland, Italy, and Spain.     All of the action right now has the weird aura of being an overture to the year 2012, fast approaching as we slouch into the potentially demoralizing holidays of the current year. I don't subscribe to Mayan apocalypse notions, but there's something creepy about the wendings and tendings of our affairs these days. OWS is nature's way of telling us to get our shit together, or else. This means a whole lot more than bogus "jobs" bills and Federal Reserve interest rate legerdemain. It means coming to grips with the limits of complexity and purging the system of the idea that anything is too big to fail. What happens when Occupy Wall Street becomes Occupy Everything, Everywhere?

Observist
Observist

25 GOP talking points summarized with "both sides need to quit slinging mud"... this message brought to you by Fox News.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Jim, the City is thinking like you and is trying to piss them off by giving in to them. Brilliant move, I say. Give them a port a potty. Wait until it freezes--they will go home. If you know anythign abotu Dallas, and you do, is that NOTHING here lasts for very long....

Rooster
Rooster

You should stop now.  You're going to confuse everyone with a message of personal responsibility.

Jim Schutze
Jim Schutze

CR: Great points. These people would have gone to the British and turned in the Minutemen for failure to obtain a firearms permit.

Jim Schutze
Jim Schutze

Dell, I think you need to ... read things more carefully.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Dell--I am sincerely wondering why you and the other protestors, whom I applaud for protesting, are not directing your ire at the politicians who allow Wall Street and the corporations to act the way they do.

I want to understand; would appreciate any insight you have.

Rooster
Rooster

I'd be a lot more impressed with their movement if they developed a coherant message. 

Albert
Albert

In America, we have a long history of ridiculing leftist street theatre.

cp
cp

"Standing up" against Wall Street and "corporate greed" means quit buying computers whose parts were manufactured and assembled in other countries. Or applianceds. Or clothes. Or food. Or those stupid masks that these protesters are all wearing. Now THAT would make a dent. But we aren't doing that, nobody is. Go check out your local Mega Wal Mart or Super Target and you can see just exactly how well these "protests" are making an impact.

If you like your iPad and smart- phone and your internet and your global economy and you like to have those products for cheap, then you are a part of "the problem". Can't have it both ways; there will always be workers in a third world country willing to work for $3 a day so we can have our way of life. So what is 1% contraol the vast majority of wealth? Go down Cuba way and see how well they are doing.  

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Appropriate time, place and manner ordinances do not abridge or inhibit the freedom of speech.

Albert
Albert

Permits are required because of public-safety issues, and in this case, probably the camping.

Mountain Creek
Mountain Creek

Congratulations, SteveT.  That response has earned you a place in Dallas Observer's annual awards.  You are the "Dallas' Best Rambler, 2011"!!  I'm just a little worried about your acceptance speech...

RTGolden
RTGolden

I wish the GOP would take these up as party planks.  I wish the democrats would.  I wish somebody would.  What you fail to realize is I have equal disdain for both parties.  We won't have meaningful change in this country until we have more than two distinct parties with measurable input at the national level.  Independents who caucus with one party or the other are not independent.  Tea party republicans are just republicans in funny hats. Greens are just democrats who wear shirts you can smoke and use really rough soap.  These are rash generalizations, I know, but the underlying point is: You wont get change by doing the same thing over and over again.  Someone once said, something along the lines of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is crazy? Must have had a crystal ball into late 20th and early 21st century American politics.

RTGolden
RTGolden

You idiots better go back to your history books.  It wasn't the unemployed lower class or the over-taxed middle class that organized the Boston Tea Party.  Those people leading and paying for turning Boston harbor into a giant cup of Earl Grey were the wealthy elitists, trying to protect every penny they could from being taxed by the crown.  If you're going to laud and magnify those stalwarts, how can you, in good conscience, protest todays millionaires for doing the same thing?

Drtyoldmn
Drtyoldmn

Jim, did you in a back-handed way just advocate the complete deregulation of firearms ownership?  Gasp!

DBCOOPA
DBCOOPA

I over-reacted. I apologize. I used to read the observer a lot, but it is no longer in my area and I've never been to the site. I didn't know your blog was titled "Get Off My Lawn" and always has a picture of a man holding a shotgun. I hope you can accept my apologize and perhaps even understand my confusion. Some of us have been working at Pioneer Plaza 20 hours a day. Come by. We'll go to Buzzbrews. I owe you a beer.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Right, like the laser-focus of a Tea Party rally against... uh... everything.

Observist
Observist

Huh?  Free trade leads to communism?  You lost me there.

Jim Schutze
Jim Schutze

Jeez, cp. All it takes is a good whack with the tax code.

Max from the Sandspit
Max from the Sandspit

Ahhh sit down Jim and suck yo thumb. You know as well as I that DallAss ain't had a good riot since John Bloom got outed as the author of We Are the Weird by you. 

Montemalone
Montemalone

You can always go over to USA Today, where the pictures are bigger than the words.

Observist
Observist

Seriously CP?, Now you've now turned 180 degrees from sympathy with the 3rd world to embracing radical anti-government conservatism?  RT basically says that any government program that distributes money to almost anything domestic, spefically education, healthcare, or assistance to the poor is "unsustainable".  Notice how the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, unconditional aid to Israel, subsidies to oil companies for "exploration" or any other GOP pet issue isn't mentioned as "unsustainable"?  

The proposed solution is then Steve Forbes' flat tax and a national sales tax - both extraordinarily regressive.   The combination of these two points amounts to "screw the poor" because they're the problem, not the financiers who've pocketed the politicians, caused the financial crisis and are still bonusing themselves tens of millions of dollars every year. 

This is whole statement is 100% in accordance with the Fox/GOP platform, and then topped off with a Fox-like pretense of being non-partisan i.e "fair and balanced".  I was just more succint the first time. 

cp
cp

You can't reason with the unreasonable. He read your very well reasoned post and called it "GOP talking points", rather than actually bringing honest and real debate into the discussion. If you don't agree with their point of view, then your points are nothing but a "message brought to you by Fox News".....

cp
cp

They won't understand you and will call you names. You capitalist pig, you!

Rooster
Rooster

Are you sure about that?

From what I've read these guys are protesting everything from Wall Street to Health Care to Living Wages to (insert liberal cause here).

Observist
Observist

This same stupid smug comment has been made so many times it's worn out.  It's "Occupy Wall Street", not "Occupy Cupertino".  Protesting the excesses of the financial industry, starvation of regulatory agencies, wealth polarization, etc. is not protesting the very existence of corporations.   By this line of reasoning, the only non-hypocrtical protesters would be ones who built smartphones from things they grew in their back yard.

The problem with Wall Street banks is not that they're funding technology businesses, it's that they've bought off politicians to deregulate them to the point they're taxpayer-insured casino gambling houses.  If all they did was traditional investment banking, the financial crisis of 2008 would not have happened.   Meanwhile the GOP would rather the US default on its bond payments than raise income taxes a couple percent on the multi-millionaire bankers we bailed out. 

Rooster
Rooster

You do realize they phone/computer you're typing on was made by a capitalist pig organization, probably funded by an evil Wall Street bank?

Jim Schutze
Jim Schutze

Hey, man, you're the guys who deserve support for having the balls to be there.  

Coleman
Coleman

That's kind of a bullshit line of reasoning, especially considering how much of the Arab Spring overthrows and protests were helped drastically by smart phones and social media.

Observist
Observist

OK, I get it.  An unfocused critique of an unfocused protest.

cp
cp

You just made my point. We enjoy cheap stuff- because that's all it really is, stuff- because poor people in other countries make them for us. For cheap. All because we refuse to pay high prices for what Americans would be willing to work to make that stuff. Of course this iall done through politicians making it better/chepaer/easier for companies to be able to do that. In turn, we Americans shop at Wal Mart where probably no less than three-quarters of their products sold are from foriegn countries, because it's cheap, cheaper than buying a vaccum cleaner from Wal Mart than from Oreck. That's what we as Americans value. Cheap, easily availble stuff 24/7. OF COURSE companies will go to wherever it is cheaper to make and sell products to us! This isn't the 1950's, we've progressed from there and these are some of the consequences. And yes, "protesting" against "corporate greed" is nebulus and non-specific, no matter if it's from a left or right leaning perspective.

Observist
Observist

You've got these poor protesters surrounded... you seem to be attacking from the right, the near left and the far left all at the same time.  First you criticize them for not being specific enough, then suggest a protectionist boycot of products made in other countries, then suggest the protesters don't appreciate the misery in those other countries. 

cp
cp

It wasn't a communist point, it was a third-world country point. So, okay, insert any other third-wprld country where people don't have a whole lot of, well, anything. Meanwhile, the "protesters" here and elsewhere still use their smart-phones and iPads that were made anywhere but here to communicate all their misery with the rest of the world. All I'm saying is that, in America, even the 99% have it a whole lot better than a good two-thirds of the world's population.

Jim Schutze
Jim Schutze

CP, nothing starts with politics as usual. Art is the mother of invention. Protest is performance.

cp
cp

Geez, Jim, if so many more people voted in primaries, it might be a start. But "protesting" in the streets by lolling around in the grass and drumming in circles and playing Frisbee does nothing to whack at the tax code. I know you find it refreshing but I find it depressing that so many people care so much about doing something new and different when all they really need to do in the first place is vote in primary elections. And get all their many like-minded friends to do the same. It's a damn shame that there are so many people out of work that they have time to do this. I get it. But we have a process in America and unless we actually ALL do our parts, then this is nothing but a little ripple in the span of history.  

Max from the Sandspit
Max from the Sandspit

Hey man your favorite Snark one Laura Miller told me you did and Ole Anthony confirmed. Say whats hannened to those nut cases.

Nunya
Nunya

I just think that perhaps some paragraph breaks might have made it more readable and less of a jumbled mess.

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