By Nathan Revercomb
Yesterday was the infamous Black Friday. The Retail event of the year that moves many businesses from the red into the black financially and accounts for 20 to 40 percent of retail revenue annually. With deep “door-busting” discounts, many shoppers decide to camp out to wait for the sales to start.
However, this activity has exposed a disgusting truth about US capitalism, in light of the many crackdowns on Occupy Movement camps around the nation. Last month, there was a police eviction of Occupy Denver protesters who having been banned from using tents and who were prohibited from camping in Civic Center and Lincoln Parks, resorted to camping in sleeping bags on the sidewalk. This prompted Mayor Hancock to cite a law that prohibits ANYONE from “impeding the public-right-of-way” for ANY REASON with regards to sidewalks.
At Sports Authority’s annual pre-season ski gear sale, Sniagrab. Shoppers camped out on a public sidewalk near downtown Denver. Not only did they not get pepper-sprayed or shot with rubber bullets and arrested by the Denver Police as many Occupy Denver participants have for doing the same thing but, they were actually allowed to occupy the sidewalk with TENTS!
So this begs the question: what is the difference between “Occupy Best Buy” (as the Washington post has dubbed the Black Friday campers) and Occupy Denver (or any of a multitude of other occupations)? The answer in my opinion is that protests are supposed to be protected by the 1st amendment of the constitution of the United States, which is supposed to be the highest law in the land and which is supposed to trump ALL other laws including the law cited by Mayor Hancock as the reason for the Occupy Denver eviction in late October. Capitalism however, is not mentioned anywhere in the US Constitution.
The truth is that the US Constitution has for quite some time taken a back seat in favor of US Capitalism and that peaceful protests have become viewed by the establishment as a threat to national, state, and local security.
This is made even more laughable given the fact that Black Friday has become a very violent event as reported by the BBC. Rife with shootings, pepper spray, assaults and robberies.
In my opinion, Occupy Denver’s next move should be to file a lawsuit to hold the City of Denver accountable for its biased and out-right discriminatory practices.