To serve and protect

In connection with the Occupy Wall Street movement, a friend pointed out what is apparently a recent piece of news from JPMorgan Chase:

JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD’s main data center.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sent CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon a note expressing “profound gratitude” for the company’s donation.

“These officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Dimon said. “We’re incredibly proud to help them build this program and let them know how much we value their hard work.”

This is of course more than a little ironic considering the recent mass arrest of more than 700 people on Brooklyn Bridge.

Incidentally, I am currently reading Direct Action by David Graeber, and I must say that it is truly eye-opening — a very good, sophisticated, in-depth and intelligent account of contemporary activism. If you think Occupy Wall Street is just a bunch of hapless loonies with nothing better to do than camp in a park and eventually get roughed up by police, then this is the book you really should read. Or if wading through 600 page ethnography is not your cup of tea, you may try this article instead.

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