“The Grass Is Closed”

“The Grass Is Closed”: What I Have Learned About Power from the Police, Chancellor Birgeneau, and Occupy Cal « zunguzungu.

Snip from a terrific long-read by Aaron Bady, aka zunguzungu, on his experience at the OWS-inspired “Occupy Cal” protests at UC Berkeley, after campus police violently attacked peaceful fellow student demonstrators (see video above).

found on  Boing Boing.


”At about 11:30 a.m. yesterday, a police officer told me and about eight other students that, and I quote, “the grass is closed.” We were going to sit under a tree and discuss things, and two police officers were watching us vigilantly to make sure we didn’t suddenly do something violent like try to put up tents. As we moved towards the tree, the first police officer stepped up and informed us that we could not walk from the broad concrete steps of Sproul Hall, where about a hundred people were sitting and talking, and sit on the grassy area just to the north of it. “The grass is closed,” she said.

“If you meditate on these words until they become a mantra, you will learn some profound things about how police authority works. What could it possibly mean to declare that “the grass is closed”? Who could have the authority to say so?“

”…/  At the far end of that grassy area, in fact, several people were actually sitting on the grass. But those people were sitting there eating lunch. Because we were part of the group which was sitting on the steps of Sproul Hall, clearly, the grass had been declared off limits to us.“

”To make things more interesting, it immediately transpired that the other police officer had, in fact, already given them permission to sit on the grass. And in an instant, the arbitrariness of the rule was made evident and undeniable.”


Occupy London is a nursery for the mind

Excellent piece. The more the right diss it, the more I’m growing to like them. Rubbish title though.

Occupy London is a nursery for the mind | Madeleine Bunting http://gu.com/p/3324f


Spanish protesters’ vision of change focuses on what people can do together | Oscar Reyes and Hilary Wainwright

Spanish protesters’ vision of change focuses on what people can do together | Oscar Reyes and Hilary Wainwright – http://feeds.guardian.co.uk/~r/theguardian/commentisfree/rss/~3/Z-r8RTS7gXU/spanish-protests-occupy-people-together