] ] ...the cops wanted to deliver a final message to those still
] ] around. "Bye! Don't come back here!" shouted one. A pudgy
] ] officer gave the finger to an activist with a video
] ] camera. "Put that on your Web site," he said. "Fuck you."
I don't put much stock in this stuff. Peaceful protest rallies over every political idea you can imagine occur in every major city in the US every day. There are examples of inappropriate behavior on the part of the police, such as the way anti-Bush demonstrators were placed in special "free speech" zones during Bush rallies. That sort of stuff typically results in lawsuits. However, for the most part these things go off without incident.
The anti-globalization guys always seem to be the victims of unbelievable police brutality. Why are they so special? Because they incite it. They bring "black blocs" with molotov cocktails and other homemade weapons. They destroy property and threaten lives. Furthermore, the "peaceful" protesters don't show up simply to express their views. They show up with the intent of shutting down meetings of democratically elected governments by surrounding them and preventing people from entering and leaving. Of course this results in serious police retaliation, which always manages to produce a "peaceful" protester with a big fat bruise on her face from a rubber bullet. They haul her out in front of their troops and talk about police brutality. They talk about how they are peaceful citizens just trying to express their views and they are faced with a menacing, evil government.
All of this goes to re-enforce their paranoid belief that they live in this evil police state which will stop at nothing to prevent them from revealing the truth. It produces anger, which in turn produces recruits for the black blocs, makes people more willing to ignore the distinction between expressing views and shutting down meetings, and provides recruiting material for the overall movement ("See, see, they ARE evil.").
The ultimate irony of all of this is that the anti-globalization movement is statist. They are arguing in favor of more government power.
The fact is that when this movement wants to, they can run a protest without incident. They did it several times in the months following 911.