Sunday, October 16, 2011

Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas defends OWS protesters

Brave Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas gets a bunch of NYPD with helmets and batons to back off. And they listen.

"Last night at Occupy Wall Street in Times Square, Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas boldly defended the occupiers. Sergeant Thomas calmly asked the NYPD why they aren't protecting the peaceful protestors. The NYPD ignored his questions and continued telling protestors to leave the sidewalk otherwise "they'd get hurt."

Then, in an epic scene, Thomas approached the line of NYPD officers who held their batons.

While many Occupy Wall Street demonstrators had been arrested for merely crossing the street, he exclaimed, "These are U.S. citizens peacefully protesting! These are the people you are supposed to protect!" The 10-15 NYPD officers he addressed dared not to touch him.

Sergeant Thomas continued denouncing the NYPD's actions shouting, "This isn't a war zone! I've served overseas, that's a war zone! Get rid of your batons and helmets!"

After five minutes of severely and loudly criticizing the NYPD, the Sergeant walked away leaving the scorned officers behind. The few people who were there applauded and cheered.

Whether those officers mindset will change is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that the NYPD is conflicted when confronted by Members of our Armed Services. That said, I hope more Marines will join in defending U.S. citizens from megalomaniac individuals leading corrupt financial and political institution. Thank you Sergeant Thomas for defending American's rights to protest. You really are The Few and The Proud."


googleheim said...




Anonymous said...

Sgt Shamar Thomas left a comment on this video -

The Red Capitalist said...

Mike, why all these postings about OWS?? Please focus on MMT??

We have enough economic and political issues to resolve in this country - and having a band of rag-tag protesters who don't have a clue about solutions running amok protesting about their miserable lot in life isn't really helping.

Jim said...

US society excessively looks up to the military and it's a sickness. It's great that this guy confronted the cops, but why make a big deal about the fact he's a marine? What if he was a garbage man? Would it be less noble?

We need to largely dismantle the military, not praise it.

mike norman said...

@Jim: Agreed.

@Anon: MMT doesn't stand a chance in the current political environment. Moreover, while MMT may have the solutions it has been 100% impotent in bringing those solutions to any meaningful political level. MMT has been a total failure in this regard. It's a bunch of academics and quasi-philosophers (myself included) who know nothing about politics, branding, mass marketing, communication, media, etc. For God's sake, Peter Schiff gets a million times more exposure than Warren Mosler. I find that sickening, but it's our own fault. If you can't influence the political system or be a part of it, nothing will get done. These people are not "rag-tag." And what they've done is quite extraordinary. Have you heard anything from the Tea Party these days? NO! That's because of OWS and that's a GOOD thing!

Jim Baird said...


Largely correct, but the social consequences of having members of the military standing up with the protestors shouldn't be underestimated. The police and other authorities (and a large section of the middle class, Tea Party types) are going to see him on "their side" more than some raggedy band of hippies. That's why Vietnam Veterans Against the War was so effective back in the day:

Tom Hickey said...

Hey, Red, I wonder why Randy Wray and a group of UMKC grad students DROVE from Kansas City to Zocotti Park and back in order to exhibit an MMT presence at OWS on Saturday if OWS has nothing to do with MMT. I didn't hear you folks complaining when Warren was running as a Tea Party candidate and addressing the Tea Party.

Get a grip on reality, man. This is how change happens, and MMT is about how to bring about that change.

MMT: It's availability of real resources, not affordability.

MMT; Minsky's financial instability hypothesis predicted the financial crisis and shows what needs to be done to reform the system.

Both the (grassroots) Tea Party and OWS reveal a powerful trend developing. A whole lot of people have woken up to the rip off and are demanding the kind of change that MMT policy options and reform proposals can bring. They just don't know the details yet.

The Red Capitalist said...

Tom, what Randy Wray does is his personal business. Are you saying that he represented MMT there? If so, tell me what the linkage is between MMT and the OWS movement? I see no direct linkage whatsoever.

Mike, I welcome anything that has to do with eliminating the Tea Party and its idiotic proponents like Peter Schiff etc. - but having another mob in its place is not my desired outcome. Yes, OWS has made an impact in terms of noise - but where are the solutions? I see none proposed and I seriously doubt if they have the capability to propose any meaningful solutions, particularly those related to MMT and monetary policy - reforms to our financial system which I would (like you) dearly love to see.

Leverage said...

About military, IMO is very important they stand up.

Check for example this:

Portugal military warns politcians that they won't protect them against byproducts of barbarian austerian policies.

About OWS, protest is right and that's how change happens. Bankers and politicians will crush the people if they don't stand up and bring change, this will force intellectuals and technocrats to challenge their vision and come up with solutions (ie. embrace MMT). Popular movements do not need to bring solutions, but to spoil creativity and social momentum to seek solutions.

It's stupid the status quo is backstopping humanity all the time, and this is how things evolve (for the better hopefully).

Tom Hickey said...

Red, what Randy and other MMT'ers that are interacting with OWS are trying to get across is that MMT is an essental part of the reform solution they are looking for. Just as Warren did at his appearances and talks at Tea Party Rallies.

These people, both OWS and Tea Party, want change. MMT shows the direction in terms of economic policy. Warren has said this, too, and posted on OSW and MMT at his place.

MMT proposals for the 99%

Good discussion in the comments there too.

The Red Capitalist said...

Tom, thanks for the link - very interesting paper from Warren. As usual, I think Warren's (most of if not all of) proposals are right on the mark.

However, having said that, I still don't see the linkage between what the OWS movement and Warren's proposals - it doesn't appear that they are arguing for his proposals - in fact, I doubt if any of them know they exist or understand them?

The reform has to come from the people who run the system - and a bunch of people camping in a park isn't going to put pressure on them to do it - I do appreciate Warren's continued efforts to lobby the key decision makers in Washington - and I sincerely hope he succeeds.

The Red Capitalist said...

1st interview segment - "Solyndra...I don't know of this case study do I decline to comment"

I rest my case.

WillORNG said...

Surely the point is that these people recognise that things are broken and they are open to debate and sharing how to solve it...of course there would then be a need to have a mass people's invasion of professional politics to kick and cut out the systemic corruption and institute centrally funded but genuinely locally people controlled Job Guarantee etc getting fed pols out of the way of allowing the national deficit to do it's job of funding private and foreign net saving/de-leveraging desires?

Tom Hickey said...

Red, Katrina vanden Heuvel hit the nail on the head when she said that protests like this are catalysts of change. They change the political climate so that change can take place, which can only come from decision-makers.

A week ago Eric Cantor was calling the protests mobs that he was concerned about. Now he is saying that he understand that there is too much inequality in the US and something needs to be done about it.

The protests are around the world are sending a message loud and clear that people want real change that benefits them, not slogans and promises. Politicians are influence by only one thing more than money and that is hoards of angry voters.

The point is that the protests are focused on dissatisfaction with the present institutional system, which is not working for a whole lot of people. These people don't know exactly what to do about and really that is not their problem. They want leaders who do know and will act on this knowledge.

In The Effective Executive, Peter F. Drucker makes the point that effectiveness is doing the right thing while efficiency is doing things right. The first priority of executives in getting the job done is effectiveness — setting the right goals and putting policy, plans and methods in place to achieve these objectives incrementally in as efficient a manner as possible.

The existing institutional leadership — military, corporate, financial, and governmental, which exchanges hats through the revolving door — is not doing this successfully enough to "keep the peace" either at home or abroad. When social unrest arises, the leadership has to see this as a vote of no confidence.

MMT economists recognize that a large part of the problem is the pseudo-problem of "affordability." There is no affordability. The issue is availability of real resources, and resources are now abundant rather than scarce, as shown by all the resources lying idle.

The MMT economists and MMT proponent are trying their best to communicate this to the leadership, the media, and the people. So far unsuccessfully. The feeling is that when the protests mature, there will be demands, and those demand should incorporate an understanding of MMT. In the meanwhile the present leadership will be looking for ways out of this predicament, and an understanding of MMT would reveal the way.

The protests are a big deal because they are an indication that big changes are coming, and the MMT world is attempting to position itself to take advantage of this opportunity by providing knowledge.

As a catalyst, protesting is sort of a sine qua non for fundamental change that is resisted by the status quo. A catalyst does not enter the solution itself and becomes irrelevant when a solution is arrived at. Suppression of dissent never works in the long run. Eventually a broken system is repaired, one way or another.

MMT presents a vision of one way to proceed, a way that is simple and available. All it takes is removing some ignorance about monetary economics.

Anonymous said...

I don't share your optimism. Knowledge is power. Without MMT, 99% of the population can continue to be manipulated by the false economic narratives spun by the elite. 'Change' will once again be manufactured, based upon the advice of 'experts'. Control will thus remain with those who hire the experts, or who are themselves in the know, while the rest of humanity can reprise its usual role as economic illiterates.

George Orwell got it right when he said that ignorance is strength.

In the absence of MMT becoming common knowledge, the status quo will continue. The debt/deficit hysteria is as fundamental an assumption as believing the universe revolves around the Earth. It has to be broken.

Tom Hickey said...

Laura, my view, which I think is also Randy Wray's view, is that the next crisis is pretty well baked in, and that it will be the catalyst for either positive change or repression.

Randy has a satire on it, a bit out of date, buit it works.