Two Ways to Attack The Occupy Movement

Another video of cops spraying seemingly harmless protesters with pepper spray triggers outrage, while a high-powered lobbying firm offers to attack with "negative narratives," for a fee.

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Not to be outdone by colleagues in Oakland and New York, police at the University of California at Davis decided to remove a group of seated, passive Occupy Movement protesters by pepper spraying their faces on Friday afternoon. The entire incident is on video, naturally, and it triggered fury among fellow demonstrators and other members of the university, including faculty members who protested what they said were unnecessarily brutal physical actions against the protesting students.

The chief of the U.C. Davis police accused protesters of surrounding officers, according to the Sacramento Bee. But in this video, the officer deploying the pepper spray does not appear to be in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, other opponents of the protest movement, whose goals loosely encompass a reduction in income inequality and greater regulation on a financial industry seen as overly powerful, want to try different tactics.

MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes" obtained a memo from the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford, which proposes to develop an $850,000 "opposition research" campaign against both Occupy protesters and against any politicians who show them sympathy. Democrats could win if they can channel the anger underlying the anti-Wall Street protests, and the memo identifies some races in which banks and investment firms would be better served by electing friendly Republicans instead, MSNBC reported. And the memo warned of further dangers:

According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”

The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. “… (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”

Two of the memo's authors are former aides to House Speaker John A. Boehner, MSNBC noted. So far, no pay day for the lobbyists, though. An American Banking Association spokesman told Hayes' program that the association decided "not to act on (the proposal) in any way."

There's always pepper spray.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.