(Yassin 2012) What lies beneath the “violence” discourse

Yassin, Jaime Omar. What lies beneath the “violence” discourse. Hyphenated-Republic. 2012 Feb 4. Available from: http://hyphenatedrepublic.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/what-lies-beneath-the-violence-discourse/. Accessed 2012 Feb 4. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/65DB4c1KP.

Drawing on his experience with Occupy Oakland and with the news media, Yassin diagnoses liberals’ and centrists’ concern with supposed violence on the part of Occupiers as a psychological defense mechanism against recognition of the extent of violence, waste, and incompetence in local government. Police repression of Occupy requires large numbers of officers and is very expensive, all the more so because it is implemented via overtime. Spending on police is used to justify cuts not only to social services, but even to income-generating city offices such as the real estate department. Liberals and centrists have too great a psychological stake in the status quo to allow them to face such problems squarely, so they frame police violence and its expense as necessary responses to violence by Occupiers, rather than considering the reallocation of funds from policing to social services (which would require toleration of Occupy).


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Last revision: April 5, 2013