“We, too, are the 99 percent”

The Oakland, Calif., police union sent an open letter to the mayor of Oakland on Tuesday, saying “we are confused” by the mayor’s decision to beef up the police presence in the Occupy Oakland demonstrations while giving other city employees permission to use sick leave time to participate in the protests.  Here is how the letter began.

We represent the 645 police officers who work hard every day to protect the citizens of Oakland.  We, too, are the 99% fighting for better working conditions, fair treatment and the ability to provide a living for our children and families

Click on  Open Letter from Oakland Police Union to read the whole thing.

The police as a group, unlike hedge fund managers as a group, perform a necessary function.  The campaign for  decent wages, health insurance and working conditions benefits them, the same as everybody else.  What gave the Wisconsin union protests so much power is the open sympathy for the Madison, Wis., police for the goals of the protesters.  Acts of violence against the police, whatever the provocation, are not only harmful to the goals of the movement, but to democracy itself.

Click on What the NYPD Really Thinks of Occupy Wall Street for a Mother Jones article on the situation in Manhattan.

I don’t claim to know what the majority of police officers in different cities think of the protests.  I do know that police officers are all individuals, and they all don’t necessarily think the same thing.

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