Thanksgiving means we should give thanks. Seldom since 9/11 has it been this obvious that we owe so much thanks to the men and women in blue. Occupiers abuse, harass and threaten them and the media blame … the police.
So from the NYPD to Oakland PD and every police department in between, our nation should give an extra special "thank you" to all of those who are on the frontlines dealing with the fiasco that is Occupy Wall Street. Lord knows, the Occupiers sure won't say it. When they aren't calling them "pigs" or chanting "f*** the police," they are throwing paint, batteries, rocks, bottles and feces at those who keep law and order.
One Occupy Oakland protester admitted to MSNBC that her side had started a battle with police by throwing rocks and bottles. That conflict resulted in anti-war protester and Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen being seriously injured. Her view was police should just take the attacks in stride. "I think that the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and flash grenades are a completely inappropriate response to bottles being thrown at police officers who are in full riot gear." Pretty easy to say when you want to be on the giving side of violence.
Even the Soros-funded, left-wing publication Mother Jones agreed police had merely responded to attacks. Reporter James West said "a small, visible, determined group of agitators" turned "violent." "I saw two men throw bottles at the police," he wrote. Then, and only then, police responded with tear gas.
MSNBC "Morning Joe" idiots Joe Scarborough and Mike Barnicle skewered the Oakland police. Barnicle called it "a police riot." Scarborough, who seldom even pretends to be conservative, said police made the scene worse. "We didn't really understand the extent of the brutality till now."
In New York, Denver, Oakland and more, Occupiers have embraced their role as lawbreakers. There have already been more than 4,600 arrests according to Occupy Arrests Twitter feed. "[T]hree Occupy Denver activists have been charged with felonies - including inciting a riot and second-degree assault on an officer," reported CNN this past weekend.
That's typical for Occupy Wall Street. In their world, they are righteous and can commit any crime they want - seizing public or private property, attacking police, blocking traffic, vandalizing buildings and shutting a port. Any attempt by police to arrest lawbreakers is met by a wall of cameras desperate to catch police somehow doing wrong while the morons in the crowd shout "Shame" like some broken record of an '80s Eurythmics song.
Watching the livestream videos of protesters and police is almost too upsetting for anyone who respects police. The Occupiers are contemptuous of any authority - because they are right and The Man is evil. So they continually confront officers with minor or sometimes major crimes. They jump out into traffic, step in front of motorcycles, push police and more. When arrests occur, they swarm officers to take pictures, heedless that they are intruding into an arrest and volatile situation.
Arrestee Brandon Watts became the latest face of the movement when he was nabbed during the N17 "Day of Action" to mark the two-month anniversary of the protest. According to The New York Daily News, "the protester who busted his head open during a bout with cops at Zuccotti Park on Thursday has long carried the reputation of being a fighter."
But there's more. "Watts stood atop a wall inside Zuccotti Park and tossed objects - including a AAA battery - at cops standing outside the barricade along Liberty St., police said." According to the Daily News, he's been arrested four times since September. Do I have any sympathy for this bloody and bloodied moron? Not a bit. Police are the only ones keeping animals like this from destroying the greatest nation this world has ever seen.
And they are being made the fall guy by the media, lefty revolutionaries and cowardly politicians desperate for someone else to blame. Yet lefties at Truthout led with Watts as their first image of "Caught on Camera: Ten Shockingly Violent Police Assaults on Occupy Protesters."
Whether it's the state-sponsored, anti-American Russia Today TV or some crazy American lefty publication, the goal is to turn people against police. The increasingly rabid RT complained the police were operating a "coordinated crackdown" and then went on to show the incidents almost entirely from the whiny protester view.
American lefties are spouting the same garbage. Former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones, who now heads the lefty group Rebuild the Dream, went on CNN praising the alleged "overwhelmingly peaceful" Occupy Wall Street. Then he blamed police for violence. "And most people who have been hurt, unfortunately, whether you are talking about the veteran who was put in a coma, or the reporters that were hurt yesterday, were hurt by law enforcement."
A Times opinion piece by, of course, a Berkeley professor, even described police in "Star Wars" terms as "Alameda County deputy sheriffs in Darth Vader riot gear." That creative writing came from Robert Hass, a former poet laureate of the United States, who also took pains to paint the police as mostly white and blame Reagan for cuts in social spending.
On Twitter, the land most occupied by the protesters, they often rail about a "police state" or bash the police "Gestapo" who dare oppose them.
Even Forbes' contributer E.D. Kain was incensed that police pepper sprayed UC Davis students who refused to move, saying, "the police are public servants, and public servants have no business treating the public this way."
What none of the anti-police crowd will admit is that quisling politicians have placed officers in an impossible situation. They have asked ordinary police forces to face down a movement that openly advocates for a revolution. Arresting revolutionaries and turning them loose hours later does nothing to stop them from seizing new buildings, vandalizing more businesses or attacking more police. Instead, it emboldens them and adds to the criminality.
But police must face them once more - knowing their every action will be videotaped and photographed by dozens or even hundreds of Occupiers. Knowing that they will be assaulted, intimidated, harassed and more by protesters and hackers who act more like the Mafia than peaceniks. And knowing that politicians will constantly undercut their ability to shut down the crimes of these protests until eventually this will cease to be a police matter. Then desperate politicos will likely call for National Guard troops to quell the uprising.
Yet the police keep protecting and serving - not just the whims of the protesters - but the desires of all law-abiding citizens who don't want to turn over America to those who are truly revolting.
It's not much consolation to the police, but thank you, keep safe and have a happy Thanksgiving.
Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.