Pregnant Woman Maced by Riot Police and Miscarries — Serve and Protect?

23 11 2011

UPDATE July 2013: a small measure of justice?

In some places the police were unbelievably violent in their quest to silence the Occupiers. Oakland, California was one of those places. . .This week the U.S. district court in San Francisco awarded a group of 12 protesters one million dollars after they sued the department for police brutality. The dollar amounts vary, with some protesters getting $20,000 and another getting as much as $500,000. . .

The settlement was a step in the right direction for the police department and it was a victory for the movement. The actions of law enforcement officials towards the Occupy protesters across the country were atrocious. Last year the University of California Davis offered each of the students who were pepper sprayed at close range by campus police $30,000…The monetary awards are small but at least they are an acknowledgement. The way the Occupy movement was silenced was a disgrace.

***************************************

What does it mean for armed authoritarian police in riot gear to “serve and protect” — and who is being protected from whom, for what, under what Authority? Are Thinking Citizens ready for this debate, finally?

Pregnant woman miscarries after being sprayed with pepper spray

What follows are comments JJ is making in an effort to marshal moral principle that might transcend a conservative man’s flinging his own authoritarian feces about, all while claiming to be a multicultural minority himself and more compassionate as proven by charitable donations than “liberals.”

About miscarriage following pepper spray, he said without a trace of self-mocking:

unlike many leftists, we believe in law and order and contesting within the system and established norms, and put our lives on the line fighting for it, and unlike anarchists and their fellow travelers, we dont worship killers of cops, judges and soldiers and dont automatically blame everything on police brutality.

That’s what got me trawled/trolled into the conversation, starting with a quote intended to describe the Authority Personality he seemed to fit and drawing a retort from him that he agreed with Fromm but “it goes both ways” (??):

“. . .the individual’s goal must be to become his own authority; i.e. to have a consciousness in moral issues, conviction in questions of intellect, and fidelity in emotional matters. However, the individual can only have such an inner authority if he has matured enough to understand the world with reason and love.

The development of these characteristics is the basis for one’s own authority and therefore the basis for political democracy.” — Erich Fromm, 1957, “The Authoritarian Personality”

If the “it” that goes both ways, is maturing in reason and love (so that we can transcend animal authority and become Real Boys and Girls) then certainly I agree.

Pregnant women are a very specialized “minority” btw. Even those of us who have been one know primarily how to live as NOT one, because it can’t last long. It might be interesting for us to think about that.

First, no one is born that way or stays that way, although Mrs. Duggar comes close.. ;-)

And second, the whole community has a stake in pregnant women, both literally and emotionally: she biologically holds the power within her own body (corpor-al personhood?) to bring forth life and continue the human race, yet to do it, she becomes at her most vulnerable, and is often mistreated for it both by authoritarian individuals and authoritarian society’s rules, laws and cultural hierarchies.

Pregnant women — would it help to rebrand them as citizen creators? — tend to be stunned/shocked/struck (all violent weaponized police control concepts, think about THAT!) by just how dramatically their status change brings out the “authoritarian” in personalities! People get proprietary, want to touch us and tell us what to do and not do, where to be or not be, what to ingest or not, etc etc etc. They call it protection the same way cities and campuses are claiming police violence against peaceful citizens is protection. The same way America’s war-waging is called the defense department . . .

We could have our own reasonable and loving mature debate on, say,

RESOLVED: This culture is more authoritarian toward citizen creators and their corpor-al personhood than toward job creators and corporate personhood.


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35 responses

23 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

The reactions of the STATE to the protesters just keep getting more and more f*cked up. I wrote about this too: http://dontfeedthedoormouse.blogspot.com/2011/11/obama-gets-mic-checked-by-ows.html

I have started posting OWs on a separate blog under the same identity. It was starting to eat the curiouser blog alive.

“…she biologically holds the power within her own body (corpor-al personhood?) to bring forth life and continue the human race, yet to do it, she becomes at her most vulnerable, and is often mistreated for it both by authoritarian individuals and authoritarian society’s rules, laws and cultural hierarchies.”

Ain’t that the truth–hence the rise of the Independent Midwife. But that’s another tangent of this discussion.

I was homeless for a short while before I went into the military. [A long story], and I was about that age. I cannot imagine being pregnant too at the same time.

You-JJ and other female-mother-readers know what I am saying here: But others cannot imagine how vulnerable you are when you are gravid. How weak you become, physically. It was such a departure for me, who has always been very physically present and strong. How quickly you become tired, and when you are hungry–it is literally short order starvation. The baby inside you takes what it needs, regardless of what you have. So if you are hungry, malnourished, etc.,–the baby will leach the very minerals out of your bones to sustain itself.

A homeless 19 year old pregnant woman–Where else should she have been? Other than invisible?

The inhumane treatment by police of peaceful protesters has been eye opening to say the least. It is a replay of the peace protests under the Bush Administration. Lots of Grannies for Peace pepper sprayed and skulls cracked as well. This is a low point in an ongoing saga of state sanctioned police abuse of citizens.

23 11 2011
JJ

Authoritarians are themselves an interesting minority, born that way and unable to choose to be otherwise, comprising about 20% of the population.

Yet they demand the right to decide everything for everyone and impose it by force.

And then having been most willing to behave rudely if not cruelly, to wrap themselves in the mantle of liberty and justice for all . . .

23 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

There will be much that will unfold and give this larger story context and depth.

Of course I do my best to dig bits of that up whenever possible. This protest has already displayed to the rest of the country and the world–how things really are in the United States.

And those folks are not impressed. I suspect that things are about to get even more interesting.

23 11 2011
JJ

About being vulnerable while citizen-creating as a pregnant woman, I was also thinking of how vulnerable to partner abuse at home the pregnant woman becomes, and how typically it is inflicted when she can least protect herself and any other dependent children . . ..

23 11 2011
JJ

And do the police self-righteously pepper-spray the abusive man when they’re called to the scene of that sort of abuse?
Su-ure . . . .

Although imagine it: arriving at such a scene, seeing the battered woman, police officers DO make the out-of-control violent man sit on the floor helpless as they walk around him in a slow circle, pepper-spraying a good long dose. Justifying it as “protection” of public safety. At least then we’d have something to debate for appropriateness.

23 11 2011
Lynn

Thanks for posting. I’m just now hearing the news.

23 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

Isn’t it ironic that the police are more militarized than the vets? And possibly even more so than the military in some cases?

23 11 2011
JJ

Some thoughtful perspective here:

They’re there because they can be. Because, in this country, we have the right to peaceful protest.

Trust me. They are not there because they want to get hurt.

This is a blame-the-victim of historic proportions. Sure, it’s possible she would have lost the pregnancy anyway (though miscarriage at three months is pretty rare for young women). It’s also possible that there were other contributing factors that had nothing with pepper spray and jackboots.

But . . .[b]eing in a car is actually the greatest risk you can take if you’re woman under 35. Should she avoid that too?

. . . It’s misogynistic to ask a woman to live a different life because she’s pregnant. It’s also a complete misunderstanding of what is right for kids. Children should never bear the burden of having sucked the passion out of their parents.

It is, on the other hand, reasonable to ask our government to protect our right to assemble.

24 11 2011
JJ

Beep, here’s what is happening in my hometown: Occupy Y’ALL Street. :)

And you’ll like this part:

Military vets make up some of the most consistent membership.

24 11 2011
JJ

So let’s see, If only the pregnant citizen had been threatening in her politics, calling the president treasonous, trapping public officials, banging on doors (oh, and Republican) the police wouldn’t have pepper-sprayed her? Might not even have shown up, yawn.

After the hearing, he and Assistant Secretary of State Karen Ladd locked themselves in an office and called capitol security and the attorney general’s office. Crowd members yelled and banged on his door, he said.

Delaney wrote that he was “extremely concerned that a member of my staff was put in a position of fearing for his safety” in a letter to the state police.”

24 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

I read that story last night about Occupy Y’all Street. I caught that too. There are so many stories at any given time, that it’s hard to post something about them all. The man they focused on–his plight. He doesn’t sound like someone who is irresponsible. Just unlucky.

24 11 2011
JJ

My original encounter on this subject moved to a talking-point sneerfest all about the EPA as harmful government excess (rather than elites using public police as a private army to control peaceful citizens, really, did you think JJ as a woman was too stupid, just naturally docile or afraid to challenge you?)

Whatever you thought, Mister Pay No Attention to That Pregnant Woman, you’re wrong. JJ is neither stupid, docile nor afraid of you. And her southern manners and sense of fair play that often kept her gently coaxing in past debate, has long since worn down to a nerve-fried nub. So she just posted this:

Whoa, pregnant women, remember? — infinitely more important than the Koch brothers for actual human life to survive and thrive. The boys even with billions, can’t make one beautiful baby absent a healthy pregnant woman.

The ultimate justification for government agency or corporate existence, indeed for any law or rule or regulation or use of resources, is to better serve and protect human life in real life, AS real life.

Doing that requires safeguarding the health of our commonweal in every way, for humanity, not corporate persons.

If something’s not healthy for pregnant women? There’s your real-life enemy.

24 11 2011
24 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

Holy Crap Nance! Thanks for the link.

24 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

He didn’t respond and they tazed him? It’s like we have to walk around with tee shirts on that say !PREGNANT! or !DEAF!

WTF!

He was on a bike. They couldn’t take him off the bike? They couldn’t just follow him ? If he were that incapacitated, he would have fell again at some point–or gone home or just stopped.

27 11 2011
NanceConfer

Here’s another story along these lines — http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/26/1040164/-61-Year-Old-Woman-Beat-Down-by-Cops?via=siderec

Someone needs to have a word with the police.

Who are also doing lifesaving work — http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/27/1040200/-The-least-among-us?via=siderec — even if it means putting people in jail instead of a hospital or a home.

Sad days.

27 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

Then there is the 84 yr old woman–I think you saw that one over at my blog. :(

Not cool.

It’s just one more aspect of demoralizing a population. We cannot help the helpless, therefore we cannot help ourselves. The psychological implications would be far reaching for even the most kind hearted.

28 11 2011
JJ

“Suppressing Nonviolent Dissent: An anthology of police brutality at encampments across America” — lots of chilling videos and still photos, a couple of which promise to become iconic. And there’s a chilling quote from Barack Obama too, making me wonder where in the world is our United States, when despite his commitment, our own domestic elite can command mayors and police to do what the most powerful man in the world refuses to allow anywhere IN that world. . . apparently we are nowhere any more.

I’m thinking we’ve met the world’s excessively violent police force, and it is us (US.)

“I want to be very clear in calling upon . . . authorities to avoid any violence against peaceful protestors. The people . . . have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny. These are human rights and the United States will stand up for them everywhere.”

Barack Obama, January 28, 2011, responding to Egyptians

28 11 2011
bpbproadrunner

I posted a really awesome video that compared and contrasted Obama and other’s quotes about Egyptians with footage of Police violence against American peaceful protesters.
http://thespectrumofbeing.blogspot.com/2011/11/sure-i-am-fed-up-but-this-this-is-way.html

30 11 2011
Crimson Wife

JJ- the alleged miscarriage is a HOAX. The long-time foster mother of the woman making the allegations has called her a “compulsive liar”. See here . She also was noted in an August police report to have been “suffering from a mental illness or drug addiction.” See here.

1 12 2011
bpbproadrunner

Yea, I don’t know about the Foster Mother bit. I can understand the suspicion, but a homeless girl freshly out of the system might be a bit wary of sharing official information about herself with anyone. And I can’t say I really blame her. Call me crazy, but a real mother, could be gentler about her “diagnosis” and description of mental illness when speaking to the press. Her foster-mother’s words make her sound emotionally abusive and dismissive to me.

I also wonder what happened to this young woman to put her in the system at the age of 9, and what happened to her while she was * in that system that might have helped solidify mental illness.

And I would also add, that not being pregnant, would not excuse undue force or brutality by the police.

The press seems like it’s gearing up to crucify her now. And that doesn’t seem like an ethical use of their resources given that she might have a serious mental condition.

1 12 2011
JJ

At least she isn’t also claiming the pregnancy was forced on her by Dominique Strauss-Kahn . . . :(

I’ve seen some of that too, CW. It’s all the reactions and connections that interest me, though, unfortunately real enough apart from the precipitating event. For instance, she WAS there and in photos and video, it’s clear which segments of society are trying to help her and which are not.

1 12 2011
JJ

Mayor Bloomberg btw, said in a speech to MIT:

““I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world. . . .”

1 12 2011
JJ

Reminding myself of something else that relates (in my own warped mind) so I won’t forget to blog it — a great NPR story a morning or two ago, asking what’s in the word pilot, now that flying drones isn’t exclusively the privilege of fighter pilots actually IN the planes.

Apparently the cultural divide between the traditional “real” pilots and the newer ground-console pilots is giving the Air Force headaches aplenty.

1 12 2011
JJ

Will anyone take me up on the proposed debate above?

RESOLVED: This culture is more authoritarian toward citizen creators and their corpor-al personhood than toward job creators and corporate personhood.

1 12 2011
bpbproadrunner

I have to think about your resolution. But with the pilot thing–Well if I were a traditional pilot, I would slap someone silly if they dared called themselves an authentic pilot for flying a drone.

A traditional pilot assumes a lot of risk in the seat. They are in the air in the plane. If anything should go wrong and it doesn’t even have to be shot at–that plane and the crew are the responsibility of the pilot. Drones don’t have ejection seats. Drones don’t report the number of souls on board.

They need to find a different name for people who fly drones, because it is not a pilot.

We don’t call people who push the button on warheads pilots.

Thinking about resolution–I think that the “leadership” culture is authoritarian. I think that the regular-people-culture is just now waking up to that fact.

1 12 2011
1 12 2011
JJ

Here’s the “what’s in the word pilot” link, Beep. Drone Pilots: The Future of Aerial Warfare

So the very thing that protects these pilots — not being in the cockpit — is what makes them wonder if they’re really pilots.

Outside, an F-22 flies overhead — a plane with a fighter pilot in the cockpit. Fighter jets do fly out of Holloman. It helps remind new pilots like Kelly how they are supposed to think of themselves when they’re flying a drone.

“I felt like I was actually flying an airplane. I mean, I actually am flying an airplane,” he says.

At least that’s what he has to tell himself each time he sits at a computer, operating a plane thousands of miles away that he has never seen.

1 12 2011
bpbproadrunner

There is a popular sci-fi series I read, it’s old. It’s the Darkover series by M. Zimmerman Bradly. At one point, during a particular stage of development of this planetary society, horrible wars are fought at a distance.

Their version of the person in the drone, or with their finger on that big red button. And that one person can kill hundreds or thousands of civilians, sometimes poisoning the land and water for generations. {Clearly this is a metaphor to our nuclear capabilities}, and this almost destroys the very fabric of society. Finally a compact is created that states that no man or king or Chieftain may fight a battle that uses weapons that remove the risk from the attacker.

That all battles must involve conventional weapons and by that meaning swords and spears, so that their people may never again sterilize the ugliness of war, taking none of the risk in order to secure a dishonorable victory.

Sometimes, as horrible and bloody as it may seem, that isn’t a bad idea.

We seek to stop loosing loved ones to battles, but at the same time, we are fighting wars on behalf of corporations–pretending that’s it about ideology and not about resources and money.

Drones are not pilots.

The people who fly them are simply drones too. Even if they don’t know it yet.

14 12 2011
JJ

“The Protester” is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year . . .

15 12 2011
JJ

“For capturing and highlighting a global sense of restless promise, for upending governments and conventional wisdom, for combining the oldest of techniques with the newest of technologies to shine a light on human dignity and, finally, for steering the planet on a more democratic though sometimes more dangerous path for the 21st century, the Protester is Time’s 2011 Person of the Year”

15 12 2011
bpbproadrunner

I was sort of surprised by that myself. After all the MSM attacks on OWs specifically after all the gushing over the Arab Spring–I wasn’t expecting much.

It was a nice surprise.

15 12 2011
17 12 2011
bpbproadrunner

Yea. She has been following this for a while. I know she jumped the proverbial gun back when shrub was leaving office. She thought that was going to end in a big event–some kind of coup, but it didn’t. And honestly I could see why she thought that. I was never so glad to see the back of a man. But then I never thought that an administration could be that scary, until now. Obama’s administration scares me too. Because it’s more of the same.

17 12 2011
bpbproadrunner

“So it appears from this document, and from Ms Verheyden-Hilliard’s summary of her conversation to which it refers, that DHS is actively negotiating with at least one of the organisations that submitted the FOIA request, to narrow the scope of what the FOIA will compel the agency to reveal. This letter appears to confirm that DHS is arguing to limit the reach of the entities’ FOIA request: DHS is asking that the request only apply to “senior staff”, which would allow DHS to conceal the involvement of any number of officials and agents below senior levels.”

When I see quotes like that, it can only mean that there is so much material that is discussing OWs protests, that the agency is having difficulties sifting through it all.

Just saying–LOL.

Later in the story when a Truthout journalist reports that DHS claims to be overwhelmed by the number of FOIA requests–well it may be. But it may equally be true that this a backdoor confirmation that they were also *overwhelmed by the number of items that arose in their search as well. An embarrassing largesse perhaps?

“”DHS, on the other hand, appears to have located some documents responsive to my FOIA. I was contacted by an FOIA analyst a couple of weeks ago regarding my request and asked to “narrow” the search for responsive documents to “senior DHS officials” only due to the fact that there were multiple requests DHS received from others for similar documents and the staff, I was told, was ‘overwhelmed’”

Honestly, I was shocked at Holland’s outright attack on Wolf’s credibility in such a public manner. Especially knowing that she had been at the protests and had been arrested and detained at Zucotti at least once before these stories were written.
Not to mention, this isn’t exactly her first rodeo if you know what I mean.

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