The Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government hosted a forum on 30 November called “Mayors on the Front Line: Occupy Wall Street, Flash Mobs and Gun Violence.” Following more than 4,000 nation-wide Occupy arrests, hundreds of cases of police brutality, and media “black-outs,” it is puzzling that the Forum chose to frame mayors as the ones the “front line.” Indeed, in the opening address at the Forum tonight, the moderator said, “being a mayor is the toughest job in America.”
In two simultaneous midnight-hour raids last night police invaded Occupy LA and Occupy Philly. In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter’s police force used horses to forcefully control the movement of demonstrators, as this video shows. A police officer on a horse trampled one woman, Vanessa, crushing and fracturing her foot. She was hospitalized.
In the aftermath of this disgraceful show of force on Philadelphia’s denizens, Mayor Nutter spent the day today touring several schools at Harvard. At the IOP he spoke at length in response to the moderator’s question about the Occupy movement in Philadelphia. Rather than being truthful about the heavy-handed police action Nutter claimed that “no violence” was used and that there were “no injuries.”
While Nutter was still at the Forum Occupy Philadelphia tweeted that after more than 14 hours arrested civilians were released from jail. They also linked to a video of an Iraq veteran’s face being crushed by police on horses at a peaceful protest to draw attention to Nutter’s use of trampling horses.
Tonight at Harvard, he was met with a mic-check.
Mayors Greg Fischer (Louisville, KY), Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Baltimore, MD), and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock were also on the panel. Their commentary echoed Mayor Nutter who said: “We (mayors) run businesses. The business of government.”