A nation wide pattern, possibly coordinated among officials from many states, has emerged for how political officials are trying to deal with the occupy protest. In the Northern locations the pattern has been to wait until the cold winter freezes them out. In the warmer climates, where the cold can’t be counted on to crush spirits, overwhelming military style police action is being used to forcefully crack down on the encampments. I call this strategy, “let them eat snow or pepper spray.”
It doesn’t seem like a coincidence to me that so far some of the most aggressive crackdowns have happened first in the warmer cities, those with normally mild winters. Early on in the protest movement the cities of Atlanta, Honolulu, and Nashville were very aggressive in arresting and evicting occupiers. There is of course the infamous eviction of Occupy Oakland. In addition we saw major police force used against Occupy San Diego and recently against Occupy Berkeley.
The recent actions by Mayor Bloomberg in New York City shows he is trying to combine the two tactics into one strategy now that it appears winter alone may not put an end to the occupation. On the day of the first snow fall in New York City, the police took Occupy Wall Street’s generators. Now that winter is fast approaching, last night Bloomberg launched a major raid to clear out Zuccotti Park. The tents and tarps were torn down, with the claimed intent that protester would be allowed to return but without new tents or any other protections from the winter weather. The protesters were first pushed out with overwhelming military style force that resulted in over a hundred arrests, with the plan to freeze out anyone who might dare to come back.
What appears to be happening is that those occupiers that can’t be expected to be frozen out by winter are being physically beaten out if need be. The powers that be seem to have decided on their response to the protest movement that hasn’t fizzed out as officials initially hoped: let them eat snow or pepper spray. Or in the case of Zuccotti Park, both.