We do not live in a police state. The overzealous reactions to #Occupy protesters across the country on the part of city police departments is not indicative of a full-scale totalitarian suppression of our fundamental, individual rights. What we are witnessing, however, are abuses of power and the consequences-free behavior of men and women of authority who have the backing of the state.
But sometimes it *feels* like a police state. When an NYPD white-shirt can pepper spray defenseless women and face the music of a 10-day vacation slap on the wrist, you almost have to wonder how close we’re getting to that point. The #Occupy movement, if nothing else, is shining a light on the line.
The latest such ugly, abusive incident took place in Portland on Wednesday, part of a solidarity protest on the “Day of Action.” Veteran Oregonian staff photographer Randy L. Rasmussen was on hand to catch this instantly iconic photo of a protester taking it in the face.
The Oregonian has more on the scene:
It’s been a tough week for women young and old in the Pacific Northwest — 84-year-old Dorli Rainey ate a face full of pepper spray at Occupy Seattle earlier in the week:
That’s messed up, man. That’s just messed up.
PREVIOUSLY IN PEPPER SPRAYINGS:
• 84-Year-Old Woman Pepper Sprayed By Seattle Police at Occupy Protests
• Starting to See a Pattern? Occupy Tulsa Protesters Pepper Sprayed, Arrested
• Doin’ the Haka? Utah Cops Will Pepper Spray You
• Buncha Bologna: Pepper-Spraying NYPD Officer Loses Just 10 Days Vacation