The above quote from the rapper Immortal Technique found its way into the Occupy Wall Street protests this morning and into a piece on Democracy Now. The Democracy Now segment included the full rap as well as an interview with Justin Wedes, an organizer with Occupy Wall Street who said, “The reaction has been—and I think the whole world sees it now—that every time that you try to silence peaceful protests, you just get an explosion of new support. And I think that’s what’s happened. And it really bares sort of naked the truth about who the NYPD serve and protect. And if that’s not the people… then we have a problem.”
He goes on to talk about the NYPD’s Paid Detail Unit, which is a unit hired as private security for the New York Stock Exchange, and the bank JPMorgan Chase, which has given the largest single contribution to the New York Police Foundation they’ve ever received, reportedly $4.6 million.
“What we’ve seen happen in the past few weeks on Wall Street with the over-barricading, the over-policing, streetcart vendors have been pushed out of that street. They’re losing business like crazy, so we’ve started to partner with them to source our food and our supplies.” remarked Wedes. “It brings up the question of who is being protected now. ‘Who are we protecting, NYPD?’ We’re not protecting the streetcart vendors. We’re not protecting the local small businesses. You know, is it just the bankers? Is it just the hedge funders and the financial firms? Or does the NYPD have a responsibility, because they’re our—they’re our NYPD—to serve and protect the entire city?”
I’ve just posted images from my upcoming book at GreenIllusions.org