And speaking of Occupy Together protests in other cities besides the Big Apple, it seems at least one conservative magazine editor has admitted to joining Occupy DC as a mole with the intent of causing problems…and was at the incident where protesters were pepper-sprayed at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum.
An assistant editor with a right-wing magazine admitted in a column Saturday evening to posing as part of the 99 Percent Movement in D.C. “in order to mock and undermine” it. Patrick Howley, an assistant editorfor the American Spectator, was committed enough to his deception to be at the vanguard of a demonstration that saw police firing pepper spray and closing a downtown Washington museum.
In his column, Howley says he took part in the demonstration Saturday at the Smithsonian Institute’s Air and Space Museum reportedly directed at an exhibit about the unmanned drone aircraft used by the U.S. and others for spying and, increasingly, targeted killings in far-flung hotspots.
As between 100 and 200 anti-war demonstrators arrived at the steps of the museum — some of them affiliated with a group organizing the “Occupy DC” spinoff of the Wall Street protests — a few intrepid protesters made a rush for the door despite apparent warnings from security guards. One of them was Howley, who recounts that “as far as I could tell I was the only one who got inside the museum.”
Howley’s own words are revealing:
[A]s far as anyone knew I was part of this cause — a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator — and I wasn’t giving up before I had my story. Under a cloud of pepper spray I forced myself into the doors and sprinted blindly across the floor of the Air and Space Museum…
And of course, he got his story. Maybe he got swept up in the moment, maybe he actually learned something about the Occupy Together protests, maybe he’s an adrenaline junkie, maybe he’s just an inveterate liar of the first order. He admits to joining the protest at the Air and Space Museum under false pretenses and cops to being in the thick of things when the pepper spray started to fly.
So yes, no matter what motive you assign to Howley’s actions, the establishment is taking the various Occupy Together protests very, very seriously. If you’re headed out there this week (Occupy Cincy ended up in downtown right on Fountain Square this weekend with peaceful demonstrations) be aware, and be careful.