AP Likens Police in Occupy Atlanta Arrest Story to Insects

According to an unbylined Associated Press report out of Atlanta tonight, when police move in to arrest members of a crowd which won't move when ordered to move, they "swarm." Nice insect comparison, eh? And in case readers didn't get the negative connotation the first time, the AP report used the word again in its final paragraph.

Here are several paragraphs from the report, including an unchallenged reference to Martin Luther King's "Poor People's Campaign" by the "Rev." Jesse Jackson (bolds are mine):


Police arrest more Occupy Atlanta protesters

Atlanta police late Saturday swarmed the area near a city park where Occupy Atlanta protesters had gathered with the intent of staying overnight, making several arrests outside the park as the evicted crowd got rowdy.

Dozens of police officers converged on the area near Woodruff Park on motorcycles, horseback and in riot gear soon after its 11 p.m. Saturday closing time. Police began herding protesters away from the park and installed barricades around it. A police helicopter flew overhead.

... The crowd swelled during the brisk night to several hundred people, as the Rev. Jesse Jackson paid an early-evening visit and some protesters set up tents.

Jackson showed his support for protesters, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported, telling them that the movement was an extension of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign.

Protesters began leaving the park as its 11 p.m. closing time approached. But when police swarmed the area about 15 minutes later, tensions rose as protesters yelled at and taunted police.

Gosh, writing that the police "entered" or "move into" the area would have described matters adequately without the use of such a negative word.

Jackson's comparison to King's Poor People's Campaign is bogus.

The "Occupy" campaign attempts to pit the 99% it claims to represent (and doesn't) vs. the so-called top 1%. Dr. King's Poor People's campaign sought government help for the 13% of the nation mired in late-1960s poverty. According to a 2008 NPR report, the campaign's objective was "help the poor get jobs, health care and decent homes." Unfortunately, Dr. King did not live long enough to see the results of the government's "war on poverty," particularly the social havoc it wrought on government-dependent families. It would also have been interesting to see if he would have resisted the failure-repeating, imagination-lacking, more-of-the-same approaches which have characterized federal anti-poverty efforts in the decades since.

Sadly, we'll never know, because King was assassinated before the Poor People's Campaign began, and those who took over the civil-rights movement, including Jackson, turned it into a vehicle for endless grievance-mongering instead of positive problem-solving.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.