Movies We’ve Seen Before

On November 3, the day after the election, 250 Bard College students staged a peaceful protest in the neighboring village of Red Hook. They sat down in the street in the town’s sole intersection, delayed traffic, attracted curious onlookers and a few insults, and left. That was it. Somehow the event came to the attention of the Kingston police force in neighboring Ulster county, across the river. Thirty Kingston police came to escort the students away. Twelve students were walking back to campus together, when one stepped over the white line on the curb. That was the signal for the 30 cops to jump out of their cars and begin beating the 12 defenseless students. One girl, upset by the violence, fell to the ground and a cop put his boot on her neck. Three students were charged with resisting arrest – one for putting his hand on the arm of a cop who was beating another student. One student ended up in the hospital with a concussion, others were bloodied and bruised. The local press claims that the students provoked the police, in direct contradiction to descriptions by adult witnesses present who are connected with the college. And this is in the relatively liberal enclave of Red Hook, NY. The coming police state has begun, and the only thing that keeps me from anticipating another Kent State is the fact that riot police use rubber bullets these days – I think.

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