Last week, a video went viral showing Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas berating a group of New York City Police Officers who were minding a crowd of "Occupy Wall Street" protesters near Times Square on the Global Day of Rage. Now, that video has sparked an offshoot movement calling on Marines to join the Occupy movement. In fact, it even has its own website and suggested dress code.
First, the video. In it, Thomas, an Iraq War veteran, confronts a seemingly random group of officers, hinting at instances of alleged police brutality:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/WmEHcOc0Sys?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]
The police appear to be simply attempting to move along the crowd when Sgt. Thomas berates and accuses the police of "walking around trying to hurt people." Sgt. Thomas has become a celebrity of sorts for his YouTube tirade, having since appeared on Current TV as a guest of Keith Olbermann, Russia Today, and has visited the Occupiers in Zuccotti Park. Blaze Reporter Buck Sexton noticed Thomas in the crowds Saturday:
Having worked in intelligence prior to joining The Blaze, Sexton notes that there are plenty of former service members who wear the NYPD blues now:
"While Sgt. Thomas is correct– there is no honor in police brutality– it wasn’t apparent then or now that anyone takes the opposite side of that argument. So the implication seemed to be that police actions taken against Occupy Wall Street should fall under the designation “brutality.”
As someone who has stood in the crowd with the Occupiers many times, I’ve never witnessed a violent act initiated by a police officer, nor seen anyone threatened for exercising their 1st amendment rights. I also know that there are hundreds if not thousands of veterans who also served in Iraq and Afghanistan currently wearing the uniform of the NYPD. In fact, the Police Commissioner himself is a decorated Marine and a Vietnam veteran." [Emphasis added]
That said, and seemingly inspired by Sgt.Thomas, a new movement has sprouted up called is "OccupyMARINES," a group that says it "will support demonstrators with organization, direction, supply and logistics, and leadership."
In fact, the group's website even suggests a dress code for those service members coming down to join the protesters:
OccupyMARINES Are Organizing A Dress Code For All Non-Active ‘Occupy’ Military Supporters.
OccupyMARINES Are Organizing Blouses Which Identify Branch
Affiliation Affixed With An OWS Logo For Shirts And Sweatshirts.
1. Dicky’s EMT Black Cargo Pants
2. Ranger Joe’s Corcoran Boots-I XC Jump Black Aviator Boots
3. Blouse Bands
Should Non-Active Military Supporters Present Themselves At Demonstrator Groups In Military Dress Uniform We Ask They Do Not Actively Participate With Group Activities; We Will Honor Our Military Uniforms And The Sacrifices Of Our Brothers And Sisters. Only Non-Dress Uniform Supporters May Actively Participate.
OccupyMARINES makes clear it is not looking for active-duty support, only former service members.
But another movement isn't making that distinction. As Business Insider notes, there's also a movement sprouting up called "Occupy Police." Occupy Police describe themselves as "the 99% protecting 100%."
According to the group's website, Monday marks Day 4 of the "#OccupyPolice movement." The about section of the group's website reads: "There's a misconception that police aren't part of the 99%-- This should end that misconception." It gives further instructions on its website:
- If you are a protester, send us photos of You in Solidarity with Police at your occupation and we will post them to the site
- If you are an officer, send us photos of You in Solidarity with Protesters at your and we will post them to the site
- If you have video showing Police in Solidarity with the people, send it to us and we will post it on our YouTube channel and share it with the world
- Make signs that say "Police are part of the 99%' with "#OccupyPolice & OccupyPolice.org" on the signs, fly the signs in the street then take a picture and send it to us and we will post it to the site
- Tell Police they are part of the 99%
- Tell Police to get involved!
The group plans to hold its first General Assembly live on Twitter Monday night.