November 23, 2011

Punks of 2011: Could Those Terribly Put-Upon Occupy Peppered Ones Tell Me Again About Their "Suffering"

Dear Occupy Punks, This is what real street battles look like....


Protesters carry a fellow injured protester during clashes in a side street near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Nov. 23.

I don't want to go full geezer here, but at the last street demonstration I was in we didn't stop and complain about a tasty serving of pepper spray. We picked up the tear gas and threw it back. And when they pulled out the shotguns and started blasting away, we ran, dodged... and died.

Here's the last street battle I was in. Shotgun time in Berkeley, May 1969.

Firing at the roofs

James Rector dying from his wounds

That was the last time I was in the streets. It was for the People's Park confrontations back in 1969. Those got serious. How serious? This serious:

Alameda County Sheriff's deputies used shotguns to fire "00" buckshot at people sitting on the roof at the Telegraph Repertory Cinema, fatally wounding student James Rector and permanently blinding carpenter Alan Blanchard. The University of California Police Department (UCPD) claims Rector threw steel rebar down onto the police, however according to Time Magazine, Rector was a bystander, not a protester.[18] As the protesters retreated, the Alameda County Sheriff's deputies pursued them several blocks down Telegraph Avenue as far as Willard Junior High School at Derby Street, firing tear gas canisters and "00" buckshot into their backs as they fled.

At least 128 Berkeley residents were admitted to local hospitals for head trauma, shotgun wounds, and other serious injuries inflicted by police. The actual number of seriously wounded was likely much higher, because many of the injured did not seek treatment at local hospitals to avoid being arrested. -- People's Park - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Let me tell you that when you're in a crowd on the street and the cops start to pump double-ought buck into your faces, you move it. I remember the sound of the shotguns and I remember the running down the side streets and I remember the people showing up with bloody backs and arms and other wounds.

Not faster than a shotgun

Lennon sang: "You say you want a revolution... well, you know/ We all want to change the world. You say you've got a real solution.... well, you know/ We'd all love to see the plan."

Other than that don't come on to me with your whining and puling complaints about eating some pepper spray. Come back after you've dealt with death and blinding and buckshot.

Then we'll talk. Punks.

You want 'street action?' Here's how we did 'street action.' Honey, it tweren't no rock and roll show.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at November 23, 2011 1:55 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Neat! Assholes don't want to deal with guns, pain and reality. The photo of the turkey with shot in his ass and back isn't #00. that is birdshot, maybe #4.

Fuck you if you aren't willing to go the route. Yes, you can die. How real is you desire to effect change; is it your life. Pepper spray is pussy juice. Suck it up and get physical.

I'd love to see your face after a forehead truncheon smack.

Posted by: Peccable at November 23, 2011 3:05 PM

I was at most of the DC ones back then. Got serenaded by John and Yoko (along with 200K others) on my birthday. Some naive shit about "Give Peace a Chance," or something.

I remember tear gas and pepper gas (not a spray , but a canister). I also remember certain cops we knew from the YMCA weight room giving us a pass to me and my buddies. We were the oddest "hippies" (who actually called themselves "freaks" back then), in that we worked out, and hard; more like bikers, actually. Much tougher stuff going on back then, much bigger crowds. #OWS is a Potemkin Village/Lord of the Flies/Childrens' Crusade orchestrated by others. Just a collection of defecating anti-semites who are pissed for having to pay back loans for their major in Vagina Studies.

We live in a "virtual" age, from unreal realiy shows, to styrofoam temples to little pretend wars led by people who are all style and no substance.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at November 23, 2011 6:11 PM

I was 21 years old, in my 3rd year in the Air Force when this was going on. An enlisted guy I worked on Titan II's at Vandenberg AFB, CA in 68-69, then at Barksdale AFB, LA in 69-70 worked on B-52 Hound Dog missiles and Quail Decoys.
I thought it was crap then and haven't changed my mind. Best explanation that made sense to me was that put forth in Horowitz's and Collier's "Destructive Generation" tome.
At least I no longer wish them ill, instead I pray they will grow up and their eyes will open to the real world someday.

Posted by: RileyD, nwJ at November 23, 2011 8:11 PM

You and I are the same age Gerard, but what different experiences we had in those years. I was completely unaware of this incident and knew no hippy types at all. By 1965, I was married to a career Navy guy. My first awareness came in '71 when he returned from his 4th tour in Vietnam. Because of the crowds coming to meet 3 ships coming in, I had to park in the auxiliary lot and walk across the street thru the gate. After all the welcome home ceremonies on the pier, we gathered up his seabag, rounded up our 5 year old, and started toward the gate. When we crossed the street to the car lot, we were met with a bunch of dirty, smelly anti-war demonstrators who dumped a garbage can of raw sewage on my husband, dressed in his dress whites. I was livid, more so because our child had to witness this humiliation of his Dad. I have a hard time in my heart of forgiving the protesters or any of protesters. As far as I was concerned, they were ruining my life and the lives of everyone I knew.

Posted by: Sara (Pal2Pal) at November 24, 2011 1:18 AM

This convocation would appear to be the gathering of the adults. It's good to see you guys; glad we're (still) here.

Gerard, I'm glad you're still with us too. I gotta be honest: I hated you privileged holier-than-thou sonsabitches in the '60s. I am (and was, believe me) only too aware that a lot of my anger is/was based in class resentment, watching kids with more than I'd ever had trying to make sure I felt bad about wanting some for myself and my kid - and by God getting it by myself.

It's been an astonishment seeing you and Horowitz, and I flatter you both by putting you in the same league, come to your senses and devote the latter part of your lives to a public mea culpa. I don't know what it's worth to others, but I have to tell you I'm deeply grateful for the apology.

For all the money I ever have spent,
Be it mine right or wrongfully...
I'd let it slip gladly to my friends
To tie up the ties most forcefully.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at November 24, 2011 6:04 AM

I'm sorry man, but I call "BULLS*IT". "Tell me again about suffering"? Show some pictures of our South Vietnamese allies getting slaughtered when the north took Saigon, instead of some college punks in the wrong place at the wrong time and bragging about it 40 years later. Just what the hell do those dead South Vietnamese look like now? Do you think they're bragging about their "suffering"?

Posted by: Talnik at November 24, 2011 11:29 AM

Well, if you're going to insist on missing the point I guess it's a good thing to miss it by a wide margin.

Posted by: vanderleun at November 24, 2011 2:44 PM

Gerard, "going big" when missing the point has always been a time honored American tradition.

Mr. Obama is a pretty good data point for missing by JUST THAT MUCH....

Happy Thanksgiving, all. We have much to be thankful for.

Posted by: TmjUtah at November 24, 2011 7:51 PM

When the organizers are hoping for a Kent State incident, you know the whining about pepper spray is meant to incite. I've been googling away and am astounded that the People's Park issue was over what to me sounds like anarchist take-over of private property and the conflict is still alive and well. Forces me to wonder what negotiations would have accomplished - I'm guessing nothing. Free speech was never the issue during People's Park, although that would have been a worthwhile cause. I actually agree with Gov. Reagan's comments, although I'd need to do more googling to decide if I agreed with his policies and action. What should the blue state governors and mayors do with the OWS ne'er-do-wells? They are not, nor will they ever be, at risk of shotguns or national guard or even significant attacks with pepper spray. If Berkeley couldn't get People's Park right and still can't get it right, there is no hope of satisfying the lefties, full stop. They can whine and complain and occupy and defecate and urinate and chant indefinitely. They will NEVER be in danger of shotguns unless they make the mistake of bringing that shit to middle-America. They won't. They will do it from the safety of their parents' basements through cyber-attacks, social-terrorism such as distrupting general elections, inciting the opposition and eventually through full out terrorist attacks. There is no reasoning with Leftists. There is no negotiating with them. None. "Let a thousand parks bloom" sounds a lot like "We are the 99%" only now, the People's Park kids are the establishment and the university professors. These OWS kids can't repeat history. Even the Arab Spring, with the help of google and twitter and facebook and Obama, couldn't accomplish its goals. This will come down to something far worse than pepper spray and shotguns.

Posted by: RedCarolina at November 25, 2011 10:53 AM

"Let a thousand park bloom" sounds a lot like "We are the 99%" to me. And if Berkeley hasn't been able to resolve the People's Park conflict by now, then there is no hope we'll satisfy the kooky left, no matter what forces are used, not used or imagined.

via Wikipedia: "[In 2008] Arthur Fonseca, a Berkeley/East Bay Food Not Bombs activist, was quoted in the same article as saying 'Rich people are welcome here as much as poor people, but if rich people want to change the park to make poor people feel uncomfortable, that's obviously a problem.' "

Posted by: RedCarolina at November 25, 2011 10:59 AM

I guess the point did get issed for some, but perhaps it was too subtle. For my part, I went for the free girls. The whole protest thing was bullshit to me even back then. I ws appalled at the treatment of returning vets even then, as were my buddies.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at November 25, 2011 6:36 PM

if Berkeley hasn't been able to resolve the People's Park conflict by now, then there is no hope we'll satisfy the kooky left

The problem is when the left gets what it wants, it changes its mind.

Posted by: Mike at November 26, 2011 5:55 AM

apologies for double comment - I didn't think the first one went through.

Posted by: RedCarolina at November 26, 2011 8:07 AM

Watching a documentary on Frederick Olmsted. Helps me understand the romantic ideals of the elite liberal. The irony is that the very group their bleeding hearts seek to serve is the one which destroys every vision they implement (ideally at the expense of the tax-peyers, mind you). We're seeing it on display with OWS movement and the organizers of the People's Park movement admitted this in the video. Zuccotti was built for OWS 2011?? I think in the minds of many leftists, that is the case. The land in question at Berkeley's People's Park was private property. I very much agree with Reagan's comment. Thanks for this post! I really needed a relevant context for all of this. We have so much to learn about the left. It's quite a matrix and average Americans, Westerners and/or those who have been Westernized don't recognize it in its entirety, let alone the danger of it.

Posted by: RedCarolina at November 26, 2011 8:48 AM