The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy

The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy

Oh hell.

The National Union of Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a Freedom of Information Act request to investigate possible federal involvement with law enforcement practices that appeared to target journalists. The New York Times reported that “New York cops have arrested, punched, whacked, shoved to the ground and tossed a barrier at reporters and photographers” covering protests. Reporters were asked by NYPD to raise their hands to prove they had credentials: when many dutifully did so, they were taken, upon threat of arrest, away from the story they were covering, and penned far from the site in which the news was unfolding. Other reporters wearing press passes were arrested and roughed up by cops, after being – falsely – informed by police that “It is illegal to take pictures on the sidewalk.”

I guess this means they’re scared? The guys in charge, I mean, not just the people getting their rights quite literally stomped upon?

In New York, a state supreme court justice and a New York City council member were beaten up; in Berkeley, California, one of our greatest national poets, Robert Hass, was beaten with batons. The picture darkened still further when Wonkette and reported that the Mayor of Oakland acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had participated in an 18-city mayor conference call advising mayors on “how to suppress” Occupy protests.

At least, finally, it’s getting out that Occupy does in fact have a message… a fairly clear message, despite what the media would have you believe. It’s there. They just don’t want to admit it.

The mainstream media was declaring continually “OWS has no message”. Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online “What is it you want?” answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.

The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.

No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them.

Yes, of course. You can protest the issues and form grassroots movements and picket abortion clinics, no problem. You can tilt at windmills ’til the cows come home and nobody gives a damn, because they know you aren’t even pointed in the right direction, so why would anyone be concerned? But when you take aim at the real problem, at the little man behind the Wizard of Oz screen, then all of a sudden we get to see exactly what all that money can buy. Us, I guess, and all the rights and liberties we thought were worth more than mere cash could cover.


U.S. banks should “undermine” Occupy protesters: memo

U.S. banks should “undermine” Occupy protesters: memo

The four-page memo outlined how the firm could analyze the source of protesters’ money, as well as their rhetoric and the backgrounds of protest leaders.

“If we can show they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent, it will undermine their credibility in a profound way,” said the memo, according to a copy of it on the website of TV news channel MSNBC, which first reported on it.

Welcome to the “augmented revolution”

Welcome to the “augmented revolution”

We are witnessing political mobilizations across much of the globe, including the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and South America. Riots and “flash mobs” are increasingly making the news. In the United States the emergence of the Occupy movement shows that technology and our global atmosphere of dissent is the effective merging of the on- and offline worlds. We cannot only focus on one and ignore the other.

Great city forced to read swill

Great city forced to read swill

From New York to Nashville, from Miami to Seattle, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest America’s shocking income inequality and a broken political-financial system that is designed to ensure that the rich get richer and the rest of us get nothing. It’s the most significant progressive protest movement in years. And yet in America’s most left-wing city, pundits for the San Francisco Chronicle, the city’s daily newspaper, are coming across like the smarmy voice of the Chamber of Commerce. They’re so obsessed with the Occupy San Francisco movement’s illegal encampment, its effects on local businesses and the unruliness of some of its members that they have failed to grasp its historic significance.