As if the news events we've been witnessing over the past few days haven't been disturbing enough, word comes to us that every bit of hardware that was donated to the Occupy Wall Street people from our readers and listeners has apparently been destroyed by the authorities.
We received a great response when we asked people to step up and donate old hardware in the early days of the encampment. Since then, a true community started to take root, complete with a library, Internet access, kitchen, medical tent, and more. It certainly wasn't a utopia and, as with any growing community, there were problems that developed. But, at least from our perspective, it was nothing close to the way the mass media portrayed it which was basically a free-for-all of crime and health violations. To us cynical types, it seemed as if the encampments throughout the country were being portrayed in an overly negative fashion as a prelude to an action that could then be justified as necessary for the public good. That scenario indeed seems to have been played out this week.
But regardless of our feelings on the issue of the camps, one thing seems certain. The equipment that so many of you graciously donated fell victim to the wrath of thuggish behavior of elements of the New York Police Department. How else would each and every laptop wind up being smashed AFTER being seized in the early morning raid and eviction of November 15th? The people inside the camp certainly didn't have the time to do this themselves, bizarre as such a scenario would be. Nor did they possess whatever was used to do this - something on the order of baseball bats, we suspect. The authorities made it clear that they were seizing property to keep it safe. Somewhere along the line, that intention was thwarted, if it ever existed in the first place.
We thank those of you who stepped up and tried to make a difference by donating these items and we're sorry this is how it wound up. But know that your actions DID make a difference and that this won't be the end of the story. We also want to thank those of you who don't necessarily agree with the movement but are willing to approach this with an open mind and question everything you're told, including this. That is what makes the hacker spirit strong.
"Inside the NYPD's Lost and Found"