On the Eviction of Occupy LA

By Dennis Loo 

Early Wednesday morning 1,400 police streamed out of their hiding places in City Hall and converging from the nearby streets, quickly encircled and forcibly removed the encampment and the protesters.

The Mayor and LAPD had backed off from their earlier threats to evict the encampment as of 12:01 AM on Monday morning, seeing the large number of protesters (close to 3,000). They instead waited until a much smaller number of people were present on early Wednesday morning, arresting some 300 demonstrators.

Mayor Villaraigosa and LAPD chief Charlie Beck celebrated over the relatively much less violent police action compared to NYC and Oakland, with the Mayor crowing that he had "never seen more professional, restrained force" and repeatedly referring to "constitutional policing." He went on to say that he had the utmost respect for people's rights but that the Occupy protests were not respecting others, a classic case of double-speak.

The LA Times' initial article and various news media such as KPCC's Larry Mantle framed the story in conformity to authorities' framing of the incident, with Mantle declaring that he was "pleasantly surprised" at how relatively peaceful the police were and insisting that the story and any discussion was about this and not the fact that anyone's rights to free speech and free assembly were violated.

Which prompts me to ask the question: if a man rapes a woman and does so without beating her too much and she doesn't bleed in any obvious ways, do we then choose to praise the rapist for how relatively non-violent it was and how "pleasantly surprised" we are that he wasn't more violent?