Dudebro Occupation

#OccupyBaltimore Discourages Sexual Assault Victims From Contacting Police, Offers Counseling for Perpetrators

[...]

Sexual abuse or assault at Occupy Baltimore is in violation of our values, and will not be tolerated. It is an explicit policy of Occupy Baltimore to prohibit abuse by any members of the community upon another person. Violation of this policy will result in the abuser no longer being welcome at the occupation.


Well that’s totally harsh. How about “Violations of this policy will result in your next-of-kin being told where to find your remains” or “Violators will be beaten until the cops arrive?”

Read the rules. Victims aren’t encouraged to call the cops, they’re allowed to.


Meanwhile:

The Occupy movement has a serious, nationwide problem with sexual harassment, assault and even alleged rape. While local media has dutifully reported on these incidents, the national media hasn’t noticed the problem. As you’ll see, there is even evidence that some Occupy outposts are subtly discouraging the reporting of assaults to police.

Let’s begin with this report of sexual harassment at Occupy Oakland in yesterday’s Oakland Tribune:

City officials said Tuesday they may have to shut down the Occupy Oakland tent city in coming days because it is attracting rats, alcohol and illegal drug use…

This comes on the heels of increasing reports of illegal drug and alcohol abuse, fighting, and sexual harassment in and around the camp of about 100 tents, Boyd said.

This is far from the first time an occupy site has been marred by such things. A man exposing himself was just arrested in Seattle:

A man has exposed himself to several young girls in North Seattle was arrested about 1 a.m. Tuesday, Seattle police said…

Investigators identified the 29-year-old man, who had a birthday Friday, and said they saw on an Internet page that he planned to attend the Occupy Seattle protest.

According to this story, Occupy Portland now has a sexual assault team in place:

Blue armbands are peacekeepers. Medics wear red. Police liaisons wear wear yellow, media specialists wear orange. Purple is food, green legal issues and those who need sexual assault advocates look for pink.

Why do they need this? Because there was a reported sexual assault there just over a week ago:

Police said they are investigating a possible sexual assault in Chapman Square where the Occupy Portland protesters are camping…

Officers were flagged down Friday night at 11:15 p.m. at SW 5th Avenue and Main Street by protesters, Simpson said. Officers learned a woman may have been sexually assaulted in a tent in the square, but she did not want to be identified.

But this isn’t happening just in Portland. At the flagship Occupy event in New York a man was arrested last week after drunkenly groping several women in Zuccotti Park:

protesters got fed up with 27-year-old Dave Park, who frequently showed up drunk to Zuccotti Park and allegedly groped several women, protesters said.

After repeated incidents and failed intervention attempts by Occupy Wall Street’s security team, the protesters finally went to the NYPD for help in removing Park, according to Paul Isaac, a member of the security team.

But in a twist, the victim has declined to press charges:

Police sources said Park will likely not be charged with sexual assault because the victim declined to file a criminal complaint…At a recent meeting of Occupy Wall Street’s nonviolent conflict de-escalation group, those present discouraged protesters from going to police unless absolutely necessary.

It’s not hard to see that the Occupy movement is worried about the bad press such charges might bring.

I already told you about the young woman in Cleveland who says she was raped.


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46 Responses to Dudebro Occupation

  1. Trying to wrap my head around this. While of course posting the link to the facebook pages of my daughter and her friends- lest any of them get any ideas. (Though most are too damn busy trying to maintain good grades and hold down low paying jobs to provide for books and such for the next semester to go to one of these things- better safe than sorry)
    Makes me wonder if large congregations of (for the most part) of young males creates a testosterone/pheremone imbalance that attracts more imbalanced people?

  2. Jadzia says:

    I am not reporting my fucking sexual assault to Koala! [sic]. Just sayin’.

  3. myiq2xu says:

    From a link at Uppity’s place:

    Staten Island resident Matthew Maloney says the weather isn’t going to bother him either – he will just use tarps and two umbrellas to shield himself from the rain. Mr. Maloney, who got out of prison last week, arrived at the site to “be a part of the strength in numbers.”

    Birds of a feather flock together

  4. Mary says:

    Report to the “committee” first , and THEY will decide re the police. In the meantime, the “committee” will provide “counseling.”

    Deeply, deeply troubling. This is NOT ok.

    • elliesmom says:

      Given how many of the gathered are recent college graduates, this approach to dealing with sexual assault is not surprising. Most colleges have their own security personnel who report to the college- not the local police. When a student reports a sexual assault to the college cops, she is often referred to the school’s disciplinary council instead of the real cops. Many schools try to keep the assault and any “trial” or punishment internal. The pressure not to go to the real police may be subtle, but it’s there. Even in a K-12 public school it takes a lot for the police to be called in, and if it can be avoided, it is.

      • True. One of the best things the high school guidance counselor told us when looking at colleges for daughter was to ask the school about not only crime reported to police- but internal school police records. Not enough parents know to ask for that.

      • Mary says:

        True, but it’s still not ok.

        The evidence (rape kit) needs to be gathered as soon after the rape as possible. Negative PR for the “cause” is totally irrelevant.

        Besides, it ain’t up to the damn “committee.” It’s up to the VICTIM what she chooses to do.

        F*ck the “committee.”

      • WMCB says:

        Even campus police have some structure and some training and some accountability, and usually some sort of formal working relationship with the real police. Written policies, etc.

        The campus police are not “Koala”.

        • Mary says:

          Indeed. Thank you.

        • elliesmom says:

          I wasn’t suggesting that it’s OK. Just that the mindset to not call the police has been the norm for them. When one of my fellow teachers was assaulted by a student in her classroom (not sexually – a punch in the face), she was expected to let the school handle it. When the student showed up in her class the next day, she pulled out her cell phone and called the police. The school was NOT happy that she did that, but there wasn’t much they could do about it. Any woman who is assaulted at any of the protests is free to do the same, but many of them have been conditioned not to do that.

        • WMCB says:

          I get what you are saying about the conditioning to handle it “privately” elliesmom. It does put them more at risk.

        • Mary says:

          Fair enough, elliesmom. Your co-worker had every right to make her own choice, which is what I was trying to say.

          Wasn’t jumping you. Sorry if it seemed that way.

          Let’s all imagine that this young OWS girl was your own daughter, and you found out she was “counseled” not to report. Thank goodness this young girl had a college professor who helped her make her own choice.

          Me? I’m still in the “fuck the committee” mode. :)

      • ivyleaves says:

        Interesting, yet in Oakland, CA the public middle schools and high schools are assigned permanent police officers and practically have a substation inside of the school.

      • votermom says:

        I did not know this. I am making sure my kids know that, fates forbid, they are ever criminally attacked, they call 911.

  5. WMCB says:

    I really love how they put a nice little warning in there about false accusation being really serious and bad.

    It is, but why would you want to say that? Trying to send a signal to women that if they can’t prove it with 4 witnesses in broad daylight, they’d be better off shutting up?

    Let’s see, who else in this country likes to set up shadow, quasi-legal systems to take care of their wimmin problems? Oh, that’s right, the fucking radical Islamists who like to cover and stone and behead them.

    • Jennygadget says:

      I just had a twitter exchange w/ someone who is at Occupy Baltimore, and zie said that part re: false accusations was removed before ratification – and the implication (if tweets can hold implications) was “good riddance”.

      It’s still ridiculous that it was there to begin with, and there’s plenty other stuff that is bad, confusing, and badly written – but I did want to give them credit for that. And for responding civilly to my complaints on twitter.

      • myiq2xu says:

        Baltimore Sun:

        The memo was approved by the security committee and put before the general assembly. No vote was taken, but Lewis said it was essentially approved for distribution when no objections were raised. It was first posted publicly by a conservative blogger on biggovernment.com; a Baltimore Sun reporter picked up a copy from the protest site on Wednesday afternoon.

        How did they get an unedited copy?

        Just out of curiosity, was the person you had the twitter exchange with an official spokesperson?

  6. WMCB says:

    BTW, if I were an evil person, I’d love to send a whole gang of toughs into Baltimore and assault “Koala”. Because I’d like to see if he’d go quietly report to the “committee” or yell for the police.

  7. Susala says:

    This is outrageous. Since when is it not okay fo be fucked over by Wall Street but it’s okay for Joe Schmoe standing next to me to in the crowd to fuck me against my will?

  8. HELENK says:

    protest and carry a circumcision knife.
    Almost sounds like they are getting ready for sharia law doesn’t it.
    Women know your place, we will decide. Now if they start collecting stones run like hell. Funny how freedom is only for the few and that usually does not include women

  9. You all know of course that all of this is just made up by fox news ratfuckers. /snark

    • Mary says:

      What we all know, is that the person who typed that claim is NUTS. (not snark) :)

    • elliesmom says:

      And they’ve hired all of the crazies that are there and told them to stand around the edges of the park so that “normal” people won’t be able to see that the people in the interior of the park are their neighbors. It’s time for an intervention.

      • WMCB says:

        That’s just insane. I’ve watched the uncut, longer footage of news crews walking through the crowds and talking to people, as well as some of the livefeeds from the protest itself, and the nutjobs are not some lone person on the edge of the crowd – they are liberally spread throughout the area, in the center of things.

        I”m not claiming they are the majority of those there (though I have no proof that they aren’t, either). But I AM claiming that they are right in the thick of things and few there seem to object to them at all.

        If OWS supporters want to say that the vast majority of the protesters are sane, reasonable, “normal” people, then it’s simple – get your camera and microphone, and go walking through the crowd talking to random persons and SHOW us that.

        The fact that they haven’t done that speaks volumes.

      • Rocky Hussein Squirrel says:

        FOX News hired rapists to attend OWS rallies?

        WTF?

    • Mary says:

      On the other hand, Moose, I have no doubt whatsoever that undercover NYPD officers are interspersed among the crowd.

      NYPD’s not stupid. And I don’t disapprove, frankly.

  10. OldCoastie says:

    and yesterday the occupy people decided to go occupy the Los Angeles school board building… to protest school cuts…

    I musta forgot that the public schools are part of the 1%….

    (good grief!)

  11. gxm17 says:

    Methinks OWS should post these rape prevention tips. And not just OWS, we should plaster the streets with them, whether the streets are occupied or not.

  12. soupcity says:

    Report to the security committee? I don’t like the sound of this one bit.

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  14. Yeah, I waded into the comments at Raw Story about the rape at Occupy Cleveland. ALL the rape apologists there identify as ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’. Uh huh. I can’t even go back over there… I’m afraid to read the replies I’m sure I’ve gotten.

  15. Rae says:

    Thank you for this post. This is a very important discussion to have and I do not think it is getting the attention it deserves.

    I think their language regard to reporting to the police is pretty good; they say that they typically don’t trust the police but that survivors will have community support if they report sexual assault (ie making an exception to their generally anti-police attitude). They have a reason to distrust the police who have maced non-violent OWS spectators and who (in the case of the NYC police at least) have gotten away with rape themselves. The legal system does not deal well with rape, a crime that has very low prosecution and conviction rates. So I can see why it makes sense to provide women with counsel regarding when/if to report, although obviously there should be no social pressure against reporting if that is what they want to do!

    The false accusations line is a little weird; I would much prefer it if the policy explicitly stated that false accusations are uncommon and that the presumption will be that all reports are valid. It is also important that they state that accusations of false accusations will be held to a very high standard (like a taped confession not extracted under duress) so as not to exclude those who report in good-faith. Frankly, the option they took of removing that language is probably the best route, since any statement against false accusations risks reinforcing rape culture.

    I additionally think they need to make pre-emptive attempts to discourage violence against women and sexual assault, such as the above-linked “how to stop rape” tips. Any attempt to address this violence requires educating potential offenders BEFORE they hurt anyone, including teaching men more about how to spot red flags among their peers and sending the message that sexual assault will not be tolerated. That’s why I think their statement that anyone who does this will be ostracized is important, although they do need to do more preventative work.

    I think the statement published here is a pretty good attempt to resolve a serious crime in a new, spontaneous community which prefers not to involve the police. Yet it obviously needs work so critiques like the OP are vital to improving it.

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