Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cops of the Rich

Inspired by recent events, my friend Sarah B. refashioned the lyrics to Phil Ochs' "Cops of the World" to fit the police response to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

First, two quick things.

It's hardly a secret by now that J.P. Morgan Chase donated $4.6 million to the NYC Police foundation, but for anyone who hasn't heard about this I've placed a short interview excerpt in the comments section that highlights its importance. (Along with setting a frightening precedent, it seems very likely that this donation -- at the very least -- influenced a certain police action directly related to Occupy Wall Street. And of course it also relates to Sarah's lyrics in a major way.)

Second, for those who aren't already familiar with Ochs (one of the all-time great folk singers), or for those who simply want a reminder, here is his original song (followed by Sarah's reworked lyrics):

Cops of the World (1966)

* * *

Cops of the Rich

Come get out of the way, boys

Quick get out of the way

You'd better watch what you say, boys

Better watch what you say

We've roped you in corners and sprayed you with mace

And tied up your hands to expose your whole face

We are arrest you and tell you that YOU'RE the disgrace

Cuz we're the Cops of the Rich, boys

We're the Cops of the Rich

occupy wall street, mace, police

We pick and choose as we please, boys

Pick and choose as we please

You'd best get down on your knees, boys

Best get down on your knees

We shackle you up if you're part of a plot

We'll shackle you up even if you are not

Your guilt and your rights just don't matter a lot

Cuz we're the Cops of the Rich, boys

We're the Cops of the Rich


We'll meet you with shields in a line, boys

Meet you with shields in a line

The status quo is just fine, boys

Status quo is just fine

We've got to protect the executives' pay

No matter they flushed all our pensions away

Just stop making trouble and do as they say!

Cuz we're the Cops of the Rich, boys

We're the Cops of the Rich


Dump the tents in a pile, boys

Dump the tents in a pile

We'll change the rules all the while, boys

Change the rules all the while

We're confident that your resistance won't last

But still, if it does, you will all be harassed

The public we serve is the public we gas

Cuz we're the Cops of the Rich, boys

We're the Cops of the Rich

occupy wall street, police, brooklyn bridge, mass arrests

We have the Law on our side, boys

Laws are made for our side

Come in our van for a ride, boys

Step in and go for a ride

Stop your complaining that we act too rough

We don't need to catch you in illegal stuff

You're young and you're here and for now that's enough

Cuz we're the Cops of the Rich, boys

We're the Cops of the Rich


Here's a club in the back, boys

Here's a club in the back

You could use a good smack, boys

You could use a good smack

We'll target the ladies and rough them up too

We bloody your noses and cause you to bruise

If only YOU'D stop all the violence YOU do!

Cuz we're the Cops of the Rich, boys

We're the Cops of the Rich

occupy wall street, police, grope

They bankrupted your son, boys

Bankrupted your son

All in the name of good fun, boys

They sure had a lot of good fun!

They own all the money, oh say can you see

And maybe some day they will give some to me

So, like it or not, that is how it will be

Cuz we're the Cops of the Rich, boys

We're the Cops of the Rich



occupy wall street police arrest

occupy wall st police

occupy wall street police

1 comment:

Tyler said...

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to raise this issue, that we’ve just learned. J.P. Morgan Chase donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police foundation. The gift was the largest gift in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police to strengthen security in New York. The money will pay for 1000 new patrol cars, laptops, they say, as well as monitoring software in the NYPD’s main data center. The significance of this, Marisa.

MARINA SITRIN: Well, it’s massive. I mean, this is something, then—-I mean, and ironically too, just a little background, when the protesters, when the occupy Wall Street began, it was not, at first, going to occupy the Liberty Plaza, it was actually Chase Plaza. And, preemptively the police closed off that plaza, even though it was publicly announced and it was supposed to have public access, they closed it off to protesters. So, that’s a potential lawsuit, there already. This is unprecedented, and this relationship, though, I think, is also a political question of how clear it is; the relationship of the banks to...

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, It’s very significant when you have the private corporations supporting public police force. And the same thing in Minneapolis, in St. Paul, during the conventions, also in Denver for the Democratic convention. But, in St. Paul, during the 2008 RNC, they negotiated a special insurance provision with the Republican host committee so that the first $10 million in liabilities for lawsuits arising from the convention would be covered by the host committee.

MARINA SITRIN: Similarly in 2000 in Philadelphia with the Republican National Convention. So, this is actually a pattern we’re starting to see more and more.

AMY GOODMAN: Laurie Penny.

LAURIE PENNY: It’s very interesting, the moment when you understand, as a protester or as reporter covering protests, that the police are there not to protect everyone, but to protect a certain section of society from the rest of that society, and I think what more and more people in America, today, are realizing is that they are the section of society from the 1%, as the Wall Street protesters are putting it, are meant to be protected from by the police. The police aren’t necessarily out to protect everyone equally. That’s what people have been realizing across the world, and I think it’s very, very sad, but indicative of the problems with the massive global crisis with representative democracy.