This is one of the iconic images of 2011, the Wall Street bull guarded by riot police festooned with plastic handcuffs. What started out as a rational police response to peaceful demonstrations, suddenly, at the impetous of industry and government, turned into violent oppression of peaceful demonstrations by a small, vocal and highly visible decentralized dissent.
What is the threat to Wall Street that necessitates this overwhelming militarized police response.
The new year of 2012 threatens to return us to the old years of 1969, 1970, 1972, when the United States government sought to repress a population discontented with the immoral war in Southeast Asia, and to cover up unconstitutional activities within the White House in pursuit of political and economic control.
Thanks to those who persisted in dissent, the rotten core of our government was laid bare, Nixon was forced to resign and the United States was defeated in VietNam.
Unfortunately, nothing changed in the halls of Washington, DC, nor in the corridors of corporate power leading to the Pentagon. Those in power learned the value of patience, learned how to control access to information, and developed enhanced propaganda and opinion control techniques.
It's surprising that a government/corporate oligarchy that has such totalitarian control of its populace without force, has suddenly reversed direction and resorted to overt displays of illegal and unconstitutional force to quell an uprising that seeks only to lay bare the inequality of the present economic regime.
Such is the power of imagery.
We can only hope that the images of 2011 are not replaced in 2012 with images of the past that haunt us still today.