Dear Friends

10926196_10152498221660974_8550044109746119151_n.jpgI'm feeling a bit better today. Why this "attacks the police" charge is more emotional for me than the "terror" and "menace" charges of a year and a half ago - I don't know why! The ways of the soul are mysterious. Maybe the terror stuff was so comical on its face - even with the year in jail that went with it - I didn't have to fear that friends would suspect me of threatening anyone. (I know I can seem unstable even to my friends, even to my wife.) This time the hyperbole is all in the press, not in the courts, and my supposed actions are a pretext for toughening the policing of our protest. 

I don't know what I could have done differently to avoid being used this way. I was handcuffed in mid-speech. They noticed on the social forums that there was a gap in the videotape, because everyone followed the cops picking up the placards with the victims names from the floor - and that WAS the important thing to see. But in taking the video off me, the police are free to say what they will about my activity in about 2 seconds of missing footage. So I feel outsmarted, and used by the police to begin criminalizing our movement, which was the strategy against Occupy Wall Street. Homeland Security officials were in Grand Central on Monday, watching our drama unfold. I see their extralegal hand in this. 

You see? I started writing to you this morning talking about how I feel, but then I become what I feel: hurt and betrayed. The fact is, I'm better as a clown out there on the sidewalk and this power-gaming is foreign to me. I know one thing: I have a skill for not shouting or shoving when police close in. I'm confident that when we do find that videotape, probably from the police or Grand Central surveillance cameras (we have video of them taping) it will be obvious to you and me, to a jury, to a judge and to the public - that I did not "attack" or "get physical with" or "assault" an officer. I notice, although they took me to the Tombs for a day, that they haven't charged me with anything. What does that mean? They looked at their tapes and found what I know is there. I had my nonviolence discipline in full operation, I was fully aware and was only engaged in preaching until I was cuffed. There was a startling football team-like flood of cops walking on the names, but all I did was preach Peace.