The MSM is clearly using MoveOn as the spokespeople for OWS. This is an blatant attempt to fracture the 99% into a Democratic Party organization. The two main challenges (facing the protesters are): (1) an attempt by both the Democratic and Republican parties to co-opt it (see this, this and this); and (2) agents provocateur (see this, this and this) [and here]. [Source]
I pray that the 'powers that be' do not see this movement as an excuse to lock down the nation into martial law. - marypoppins2009, October 9, 2011, YouTube.com
After the "Arab Spring" and unrest in Europe, New York's "Occupy Wall Street" movement may be the latest sign of a global, popular backlash against elites with increasingly shared rhetoric and tactics.
On almost every continent, 2011 has seen an almost unprecedented rise in both peaceful and sometimes violent unrest and dissent. Protesters in a lengthening list of countries including Israel, India, Chile, China, Britain, Spain and now the United States all increasingly link their actions explicitly to the popular revolutions that have shaken up the Middle East.
The slogans on the streets of Manhattan and other U.S. cities also show a host of other intermingling influences, from the British student protests last year to the "indignados" (indignant) anti-austerity demonstrations in Greece and Spain.
What they all share in common is a feeling that the youth and middle class are paying a high price for mismanagement and malfeasance by an out-of-touch corporate, financial and political elite.
When hundreds of protesters blocked London's Westminster Bridge on Sunday in anger at upcoming changes to Britain's National Health Service, they took on slogans from U.S. protesters who describe themselves as the "99 percent" paying the price for mistakes by a tiny minority.
With the economic outlook darkening just as the growth of social media helps disparate groups around the world knit together a global narrative of anger, there may be more to come.
"This is most definitely going to be a multi-year trend, perhaps even a decade," says Tina Fordham, chief political analyst for U.S. bank Citi. "What's interesting is the way you're increasingly seeing these ... strands come together. So far the policy impact has been minimal, but that could change. An extended period of low or no (economic) growth could galvanize these emerging movements into political forces."
While those largely leaderless groups taking to the streets might be getting better at articulating what they are against, they still struggle to define what they actually want. But they are still gaining traction.
Already, the tactic of occupying a location -- be it a park, the central square in an Arab city or a university common room -- appears to be becoming commonplace, allowing debate and providing a focal point from which to engage the media and authority. So too are "days of rage," a term first used during the Middle East risings, not to mention the use of social media and messaging systems to stay one step ahead of authorities.
"SOMETHING IN THE AIR?"
When English student and occasional fashion blogger Jessica Riches, then 21, began posting twitter updates from a student sit-in at University College London late last year, her postings and online interactions inspired like-minded students elsewhere. That led to a string of other "occupations" across Britain and fueled further protests against planned tuition fee rises.
This didn't stop the coalition government pushing through the reforms -- part of a wider debt-reduction strategy -- but now Riches feels she is seeing the beginnings of something more.
"There's definitely something in the air," she says, now avidly following events in New York online and encouraging activists in the United States to "occupy everything."
"In many ways, they remind me of us last year."
What the Internet revolution is doing, some experts suggest, is leading to perhaps a new internationalization of political discourse. If nothing else, different protest trends around the world -- many motivated at least in part by perceived economic grievance -- may be producing a common narrative.
Clay Shirky, a professor at New York University and author of a 2008 book entitled "Here Comes Everybody" on the social change wrought by the Internet, thinks something deep may be happening to the social psychology of a generation.
"If you look at what's happened everywhere, there is some kind of psychological synchronization," he told a meeting in Washington last month at the United States Institute for Peace. "There is a sense among young people that their generation is different. If enough of them behave like that... you might be seeing some kind of generational shift as happened in 1967."
With hindsight, many of the baby boomers who protested in the West and Communist blocs in 1967-68 did not prove notably radical in the rest of their lives. Most settled into mainstream jobs, raised families and moved in a more conservative direction. But many wonder what might happen if the current economic downturn proves more profound and longer lasting.
Today's protesters in the developed world tend to lack the ideological conviction of many of their predecessors. While they might declare themselves frustrated with mainstream politics, globalization and financial markets, there is little of the hankering of yesteryear for alternate ideologies.
MARXIST ANALYSIS IN, SOLUTIONS OUT
"There's enthusiasm for Marxist theory as a tool for analysis," says Tim Hardy, author of UK-based blog "Beyond Clicktivism. "But I haven't seen many calls for Marxist-style statist solutions. There is some interest in anarchist models, perhaps because they're the only thing that hasn't been tried and failed. But there's also just a lot of confusion."
If anything, many of the new generation of protesters could be described more as "militant Keynesians" than anything else: favoring state stimulus, public works and controls to stem the unfettered movement of capital. More often, they appear to be coalescing around individual issues or demands.
UKuncut, for example, an officially leaderless group of which Hardy describes himself as a leading cheerleader and which has formed a U.S. offshoot, organizes flash mobs at businesses they accuse of avoiding tax through offshore dodges.
In contrast, rioters who ran amok through British cities for several days in August, largely a poorer, tougher, more inner-city group than the earlier student protesters, seemingly lacked purpose beyond a desire to flout authority and loot goods.
The Wall Street protesters, early indicators suggest, may come together around calls for financial regulation and tax reforms to redress a widening wealth gap. In doing so, they may end up accelerating trends already visible.
Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama echoed billionaire Warren Buffett in calling for America's richest to pay more tax. Even before the protests, Goldman Sachs had lost around a quarter of its value in the stock market largely because of fears it might face a regulatory backlash.
But at the same time, the financial crisis and its aftermath has also helped fuel the rise in the United States of the right wing Tea Party with almost exactly the opposite demands -- slashing back state intervention in the economy and society.
In the euro zone, a left-wing response against austerity in troubled borrowers in the Mediterranean south -- such as Greece -- is counterbalanced by the rise of Eurosceptics and right-wing parties in the fiscally more frugal north -- Germany, Finland and other core EU states opposed to ongoing bailouts.
"What you're seeing is a loss of confidence in institutions and their legitimacy because they are not seen as delivering," said Jonathan Wood, global issues analyst at Control Risks.
"It's hardly a surprise that it's producing a degree of paralysis. Politics becomes very reactive and it's hard to deal with the bigger issues."
For the protesters of the Middle East dealing with the aftermath of revolutions or facing a sometimes bloody backlash from autocratic elites clinging to power, events in the developed world are all very interesting.
But for many, there are more pressing concerns than how they might fit into a wider global generational zeitgeist.
"I think the bankers in the region are worried," United Arab Emirates-based blogger Sultan Al Qassemi told Reuters via twitter. "But not the Yemeni and Syrian street, if you know what I mean."
The protests began in earnest on September 17, triggered by an Adbusters campaign featuring a provocative poster showing a ballerina dancing atop the famous bronze bull in New York's financial district as a crowd of protesters wearing gas masks approach behind her. Dressed in anarchist black, the battle-ready mob is shrouded in a fog suggestive of tear gas or fires burning. Some are wearing gas masks, others wielding sticks. The poster's message seems to be a heady combination of sexuality, violence, excitement and adventure
October 13, 2011
Anti-Wall Street protesters say the rich are getting richer while average Americans suffer, but the group that started it all may have benefited indirectly from the largesse of one of the world's richest men.
There has been much speculation over who is financing the disparate protest, which has spread to cities across America and lasted nearly four weeks. One name that keeps coming up is investor George Soros, who in September debuted in the top 10 list of wealthiest Americans. Conservative critics contend the movement is a Trojan horse for a secret Soros agenda.
Soros and the protesters deny any connection. But Reuters did find indirect financial links between Soros and Adbusters, an anti-capitalist group in Canada which started the protests with an inventive marketing campaign aimed at sparking an Arab Spring type uprising against Wall Street. Moreover, Soros and the protesters share some ideological ground.
"I can understand their sentiment," Soros told reporters last week at the United Nations about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, which are expected to spur solidarity marches globally on Saturday.
Pressed further for his views on the movement and the protesters, Soros refused to be drawn in. But conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh summed up the speculation when he told his listeners last week,
"George Soros money is behind this."
Soros, 81, is No. 7 on the Forbes 400 list with a fortune of $22 billion, which has ballooned in recent years as he deftly responded to financial market turmoil. He has pledged to give away all his wealth, half of it while he earns it and the rest when he dies.
Like the protesters, Soros is no fan of the 2008 bank bailouts and subsequent government purchase of the toxic sub-prime mortgage assets they amassed in the property bubble.
The protesters say the Wall Street bank bailouts in 2008 left banks enjoying huge profits while average Americans suffered under high unemployment and job insecurity with little help from Washington. They contend that the richest 1 percent of Americans have amassed vast fortunes while being taxed at a lower rate than most people.
BANKING LIFE SUPPORT
Soros in 2009 wrote in an editorial that the purchase of toxic bank assets would, "provide artificial life support for the banks at considerable expense to the taxpayer." He urged the Obama administration to take bolder action, either by recapitalizing or nationalizing the banks and forcing them to lend at attractive rates. His advice went unheeded.
The Hungarian-American was an early supporter of the 2008 election campaign of Barack Obama, who will seek a second term as president in the November, 2012, election. He has long backed liberal causes - the Open Society Institute, the foreign policy think tank Council on Foreign Relations and Human Rights Watch.
According to disclosure documents from 2007-2009, Soros' Open Society gave grants of $3.5 million to the Tides Center, a San Francisco-based group that acts almost like a clearing house for other donors, directing their contributions to liberal non-profit groups. Among others the Tides Center has partnered with are the Ford Foundation and the Gates Foundation.
Disclosure documents also show Tides, which declined comment, gave Adbusters grants of $185,000 from 2001-2010, including nearly $26,000 between 2007-2009.
Aides to Soros say any connection is tenuous and that Soros has never heard of Adbusters. Soros himself declined comment.
The Vancouver-based group, which publishes a magazine and runs such campaigns as "Digital Detox Week" and "Buy Nothing Day," says it wants to "change the way corporations wield power" and its goal is "to topple existing power structures."
Adbusters, whose magazine has a circulation of 120,000 and which is known for its spoofs of popular advertisements, came up with the Occupy Wall Street idea after Arab Spring protests toppled governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, said Kalle Lasn, 69, Adbusters co-founder.
"It came out of these brainstorming sessions we have at Adbusters," Lasn told Reuters, adding they began promoting it online on July 13. "We were inspired by what happened in Tunisia and Egypt and we had this feeling that America was ripe for a Tahrir moment."
"We felt there was a real rage building up in America, and we thought that we would like to create a spark which would give expression for this rage."
Lasn said Adbusters is 95 percent funded by subscribers paying for the magazine.
"George Soros's ideas are quite good, many of them. I wish he would give Adbusters some money, we sorely need it," he said. "He's never given us a penny."
Other support for Occupy Wall Street has come from online funding website Kickstarter, where more than $75,000 has been pledged, deliveries of food and from cash dropped in a bucket at the park. Liberal film maker Michael Moore has also pledged to donate money.
The protests began in earnest on September 17, triggered by an Adbusters campaign featuring a provocative poster showing a ballerina dancing atop the famous bronze bull in New York's financial district as a crowd of protesters wearing gas masks approach behind her.
Dressed in anarchist black, the battle-ready mob is shrouded in a fog suggestive of tear gas or fires burning. Some are wearing gas masks, others wielding sticks. The poster's message seems to be a heady combination of sexuality, violence, excitement and adventure.
Former carpenter Robert Daros, 23, saw that poster in a cafe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Having lost his work as a carpenter after Florida's speculative construction boom collapsed in a heap of sub-prime mortgage foreclosures, he quit his job as a bartender and traveled to New York City with just a sleeping bag and the hope of joining the protest movement.
Daros was one of the first people to arrive on Wall Street for the so-called occupation on September 17, when protesters marched and tried to camp on Wall Street only to be driven off by police to Zuccotti Park - two acres of concrete without a blade of grass near the rising One World Trade Center.
"When I was a carpenter, I lost my job because the financier of my project was arrested for corporate fraud," said Daros, who was wearing a red arm band to show he was helping out in the medic section of the Occupy Wall Street camp.
Since its obscure beginnings, the campaign has drawn global media attention in places as far-flung as Iran and China. The Times of London, however, was not alone when it called the protests "Passionate but Pointless."
Adbusters' co-founder Lasn dismisses that, reeling off specific demands: a tax on the richest 1 percent, a tax on currency trades and a tax on all financial transactions.
"Down the road, there will be crystal clear demands coming out of this movement," he said. "But this first phase of the movement is messy and leaderless and demandless."
George Soros isn't a financial backer of the Wall Street protests, despite speculation by critics including radio host Rush Limbaugh that the billionaire investor has helped fuel the anti-capitalist movement.
Limbaugh summed up the chatter when he told his listeners last week,
"George Soros money is behind this."
Soros spokesman Michael Vachon said that Soros has not "funded the protests directly or indirectly." He added:
"Assertions to the contrary are an attempt by those who oppose the protesters to cast doubt on the authenticity of the movement."
Soros has donated at least $3.5 million to an organization called the Tides Center in recent years, earmarking the funds for specific purposes. Tides has given grants to Adbusters, an anti-capitalist group in Canada whose inventive marketing campaign sparked the first demonstrations last month.
Vachon said Open Society specified what its donations could be used for. He said they were not general purpose funds to be used at the discretion of Tides -- for example for grants to Adbusters.
"Our grants to Tides were for other purposes."
Tides declined to comment.
According to IRS disclosure documents from 2007-2009, the latest data available, Soros' Open Society gave grants of $3.5 million to Tides, a San Francisco-based group that acts almost like a clearing house for other donors, directing their contributions to liberal non-profit groups. Among others the Tides Center has partnered with are the Ford Foundation and the Gates Foundation.
October 8, 2011
Occupy Wall Street, which began with a couple hundred protesters in Manhattan’s financial district Sept. 17, has sprouted “Occupy Seattle,” “Occupy San Francisco” and several other solidarity events in more than 200 cities across the U.S.
The independent events, some simply community discussions, have been loosely tracked with Facebook, Google maps and links lists. Now, group meeting platform Meetup.com is assisting the protesters in their grassroots efforts.
“We were contacted by the good people at Meetup.com, who got in touch because they heard we were in need of some technical assistance and advice,” says a blog post on Occupy Together, a site linked by Occupy Wall Street websites and protest publication The Occupied Wall Street Journal‘s Kickstarter page. “Little did we know we’d go from listing 4-5 locations in one night to receiving hundreds of emails in a day. We were slowing the flow of information because us volunteers weren’t able to keep up.”
Meetup previously worked with activist magazine Adbusters, an early organizer of the protests, on a project called “buy nothing day,” according to Meetup VP of community and strategy Andres Glusman. Adbusters made the introduction between Meetup and Occupy Together, which ultimately decided to use the platform’s free organizing tool, Meetup Everywhere.
Instead of continuing to maintain a list of protests, the site now features a Meetup widget showing 928 Meetups in 906 cities across the world, most added since Oct. 5 — and many with 0 participants.
Organizing on Meetup, a platform designed in many ways for grassroots organizing, has thus far been less common for “Occupy” protesters than organizing on Facebook. In most cases, the Facebook Pages trounce the new Meetup pages as far as attending participants go. The Occupy Wall Street Facebook Page has more than 130,000 Likes. It’s equivalent Meetup page has 23 “occupiers.” Similarly, Occupy San Francisco has 8,672 Likes and just 27 occupiers. A website called Daily Kos plotted the Facebook Pages on a Google Map to make them easier to find.
Meetup has a couple of advantages from an organizing standpoint: a centralized landing page and a format focused on clear actions. It makes sense both the free platform and the unofficial organizers of protest information found it a good fit for Occupy Wall Street offshoots.
Truth be told, both Facebook and Meetup are pretty chaotic as organization platforms. It’s hard to tell who, if anyone, will actually show up to any of the scheduled events. But that, according to Occupy Together, is part of the point.
“The GREAT thing about all of this, is that it’s completely in line with the whole idea of this decentralized movement,” the site says. “Any single person can start an action in their area, and where one stands up there will likely be another to join you.”
Perhaps, but at many of the new zero-participant Meetup locations that have been set up in places such as Jerusalem and Bologna, that one person is still lonely.
Below is Occupy Together’s Meetup Everywhere page:
October 8, 2011
The political class in the district of criminals seems to have a wish – that the OWS protests turn to violence so the cops can be sent in and run them off. Establishment politicians hate the idea of citizens – described as motley by the corporate media – protesting against them.
“They’re alarming, and I’ll tell you we are going to get more of it. We are going to have riots in this country because of what these people are doing,” said long-time Washington fixture, Orrin Hatch of Utah.
Dimly unperceptive as usual, Hatch said the OWS is motivated by Obama’s jobs bill and union leaders like James Hoffa who play the endless partisan game.
He said the feds will cut back on “entitlements” and this will “get people very angry and sooner or later people who basically are dependent upon the federal government and are about to be cut back, yeah, you are going to have lots of problems.”
Rush Limbaugh added his two cents this week when he said Obama is setting up the OWS to riot in the streets.
“On his program this afternoon, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh weighed in on the protests in Downtown Manhattan calling themselves Occupy Wall Street,” Ology reported on Thursday. “He quoted an anonymous friend when he said that it is possible that the White House was behind the protests to some degree and claimed that the Obama Administration wanted to foment riots to advance an anti-corporatist agenda.”
Is Limbaugh back on the Oxycontin? The Obama administration is the most corporate friendly administration since… well, the Bush administration. It isn’t behind the OWS, although more than a few Obama-friendly folks have tried to co-opt the movement.
Establishment Republicans and hot air bags like Limbaugh would love for the OWS to devolve into riots and violence. Short of that, they’d like to see the OWS plowed over by unions and supposedly progressive community groups and other foundation-spawned critters that catapulted Obama into the White House and plan to do it again next year while standing on the stooped back of the OWS.
January 11, 2011
An American trends analyst told a Russian news service recently that in 2011, young people from industrial societies around the world will unite on the Internet to overthrow increasingly ineffective elements of globalism that have driven their economies into depression.
In a wide-ranging interview with Russia Today (RT) on Monday, Gerald Celente made the bold prediction along with a raft of other prognostications on humanity's growing trends.
As founder of the Trends Research Institute, Celente has made a number of highly accurate predictions in the past, including the rise of gold as an alternative store of monetary value and the popularization of hyper-local, organic food commodities. He also accurately foretold the economic collapse, predicting at the start of 2008 that it would happen later in the year.
Thanks to his track record, Celente has been featured by a raft of mainstream media outlets and has a strong following among American libertarians.
His overall prediction for 2011: Get ready for the cyber wars.
"[The Internet is] exposing the corruptness, the ineptitude and the double dealing going on that [governments] don't want the public to know about," he told RT. "The more freedom of information that goes out, they're going to start using cyber war and the war on terror to take that Internet freedom away from America."
He predicted a rising tide of government and private intervention online, with entities acting alongside each other to shut down speech they dislike.
"But in 2011, the game's gonna run out," he said. "...On one end, it's a wake-up call and on the other hand it's [an effort to] screw the people."
"What we saw in England, again with 'off with their heads,' what we saw in Italy with the students taking to the streets, you're gonna see in Spain, you're going to see in Ireland. You already saw it in France. Figure it out.
The US is going to be slower, but it's going to happen here at a different level. Remember, the US has been beaten down and pushed down. You're going to see a revolution world-wide. What's going to unite them in this cause is another major trend: Journalism 2.0.
"The Internet has become the great connector. They all know what's going on. They're all Facebook. They're all together. They have a system where they're interacting and relating. It's a different kind of social network than the other one, but the same."
He added that cyber war and cyber crime -- the likes of which targeted companies that refused to do business with WikiLeaks -- will escalate throughout the year.
"The worse conditions get, the more you're going to see cyber crime. The worse economic conditions go globally, the more you're going to see cyber wars. It's going to be a new element of warfare. It's an Internet nuclear bomb waiting to go off. You can bring down entire financial systems, stop bank transfers. You can blow apart, without ever having to light a fuse, a whole stock exchange... Every major computer-connected industry or service is a potential target for cyber war."
He predicted that government-sponsored cyber war would ultimately follow economic sanctions that fail to produce desired results.
Celente also predicted the rise of "progressive libertarians" in the US, which had already begun as early as 2007 when Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) became popular among not just conservatives, but progressive youth as well.
The hybridization would be "libertarian in the sense of government staying out of people's lives," he said, and progressive "with the government having control of issues where they can make a difference."
This video is from Russia Today, broadcast Jan. 10, 2010.
October 10, 2011
Occupation can lead to ownership, whether or not you want it.
The spread of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement was met with initial hesitation in both the Democratic and Republican parties. That might be an appropriate response to any protests that aim themselves squarely at the establishment, particularly those with goals that are diverse and diffuse as the current protesters' are.
But a consensus is emerging among Democrats that the "Occupy" movement is worth tapping into, even helping along and joining with in some instances.
"I support the message to the establishment," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on ABC's "This Week." "Change has to happen. We cannot continue in a way that does not -- that is not relevant to their lives. People are angry."
To Democrats eager for a liberal antidote to the Tea Party energy that lifted Republicans to power last year, the "Occupy" rallies that started in New York last month and have spread to cities nationwide are tempting to embrace.
In their broadest focus, the protesters channel the indignation Democrats are trying to stir up in the year before the presidential election. The Obama White House is seeking to rally the public for a jobs package and deficit-reduction ideas that argue for the rich and corporate America to pay more -- goals the protesters largely share.
"The protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works," President Obama said last week when asked at a news conference about the "Occupy Wall Street" events.
It may be that occupiers wind up playing a role for the political left that tea partiers did for the right. But Republicans had one significant advantage in taking ownership of the Tea Party phenomenon: they were entirely out of power in Washington when the movement took root.
To occupiers, at least some of the blame for their perceived lack of accountability in corporate America rests with the current Democratic administration. A persistent liberal critique of Obama administration has been its coziness with Wall Street, and the lack of more drastic actions to repair the economy after eight years under George W. Bush.
In that sense, the protests may highlight divisions inside the Democratic Party even more than they motivate the party faithful.
The tea party faced major internal rifts -- including some that almost certainly cost Republicans Senate seats last year -- in its infancy. But most of those divisions have long since healed, as tea partiers work almost entirely in concert with Republicans, with the prospect of defeating Obama next year serving as a unifying influence.
The movement has some Republicans concerned -- worried enough to start swinging back.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has expressed concern about the "growing mobs" that are engaged in "the pitting of Americans against Americans."
Cantor's condemnation of members of Congress who are rooting the protesters on echoes conservative commentators who are belittling and delegitimizing the protests.
"Occupy Wall Street" hasn't matched the Tea Party when it comes to numbers, or to concrete goals, though neither movement could ever boast of being monolithic.
Others have gone farther in denouncing the current round of protests. Tea Party Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., last week labeled the "Occupy" protests as an "attack upon freedom," and suggested that labor unions have hijacked the movement to boost the president's reelection prospects.
"They don't know why they're there. They're just mad," Broun said of the protesters, on ABC's "Top Line."
Anger, of course, respects no political boundaries these days. Many of the Republicans who are now critical of "Occupy" were cheering the Tea Party movement on.
Now it's Democrats who get to learn the lesson: Channeling the emotions of anger in politics is seldom as simple as it seems.
October 8, 2011
Media spokesmen for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations claimed that their operation is totally transparent, with everything subject to democratic discussion in a general assembly of all comers. But eyewitness reports from experienced observers on the ground in lower Manhattan indicate a much different reality behind these bland assurances. Forces appeared to be at work behind the scenes to manipulate the protest movement into a posture of supporting the presidential candidacy of Wall Street puppet Obama.
Eyewitness observers suggest that the deliberations of the general assembly are largely a diversion, and that real power is being increasingly concentrated in the hands of about 20 mysterious and anonymous individuals who appear to make up a kind of covert steering committee that pulls the strings on the general assembly, or else goes around it completely. The members of this cadre of mysterious operatives are not as young as the average demonstrator. The secret leadership is made up of people ranging in age from 25 to over 40, with the older ones occupying the key posts. Many of them appear to be active duty or recently retired military.
A Covert Steering Committee Behind the Scenes?
Attempts to ascertain the names of the behind-the-scenes leaders are met with stonewalling. When pressed to reveal her identity, one female leader gave her name as “Mary MIA.” Another gave his name as “Tony POW.”
If the leaders of OWS want to be transparent, let them make public at least the full names of the people who are actually running the show. No one wants to join a movement with anonymous leaders.
Observers have noticed that almost all of the likely members of the secret steering committee disappear from view between 4 and 6 p.m. each afternoon, right before the opening of the general assembly, for which they then re-appear. It is assumed that they are attending a closed-door meeting, but the general assembly is not officially informed of this fact.
Two individuals who appear to belong to the higher levels of the pecking order in Zuccotti Park are pictured above. The one on the left calls himself “Brendan.” When newspaper correspondents and other media representatives arrive, he is often the one who handles relations with them. “Brendan” looks old enough to be the father of many of the demonstrators.
The person pictured above on the right is a frequent speaker in the general assembly. He also has a role in relations with the press. According to one protester, he may have connections to the US military, but this has not been confirmed. Is his do-rag or bandana a fashion statement, or something else?
Who are these people? Who appointed them? To whom are they accountable?
Who Invited Michael Moore?
The general assembly is supposed to approve all major decisions. In reality, it appears to be occupied with endless deliberations about trivia while the really big decisions are being made someplace else. A case in point are the invitations which have obviously been extended to a whole series of discredited left liberal figures, many of them deeply implicated in inflicting the Obama presidency and continued Wall Street rule on our nation. Michael Moore, Naomi Klein, Mike Myers, and left-IMF ideologue Joseph Stiglitz have all appeared, and a visit by Noam Chomsky, a devoted supporter of the Bush theory of terrorism, is reportedly in the works.
Eyewitnesses have reported that most demonstrators were not happy with the presence of the millionaire Michael Moore, who was using the demonstrations as props for his usual routine of self-promotion. But these objections carried no weight. Regular participants in the general assembly report that they were never consulted about whether to invite these left liberals. It is therefore a good guess that the invitations were actually issued by the secret steering committee. The general idea is once again to reduce the protest movement to a mere auxiliary in the effort to get Obama reelected.
The Consensus Straitjacket
The members of the secret steering committee have taken a leading role in imposing the unwieldy and time-consuming formalism of always reaching a consensus in the general assembly, meaning that any significant opposition can block the implementation of urgent actions. A simple up or down majority vote is not enough. (The last governing assembly of any major nation to give each member a veto over the actions of the whole body was the aristocratic Polish Diet of the 18th century, which was so dysfunctional that it led to Poland being obliterated from the map of Europe – not an example to be imitated.)
The consensus method provides immense comfort to the predatory speculators of Wall Street, since it virtually guarantees that no potent and controversial strategy to break the power of finance capital can emerge. Indeed, it guarantees that absolutely nothing will be able to emerge in an emergency after a rapid turn in the overall situation. The US Congress is paralyzed by a minority, but the consensus rules of the general assembly mean that it can be paralyzed by a tiny clique bent on sabotage. In the background, the covert steering committee is busy creating a series of faits accomplis.
The deliberations of the general assembly are one big filibuster. On October 4, much of the session was taken up with an agonized discussion of whether to buy or knit and sew sleeping bags as the nights became colder. Right-wing commentators hostile to the protests had a field day using this grotesque scene to mock the entire movement.
Those who run the General assembly sessions are known as facilitators. The relation of these facilitators to the secret steering committee is being investigated.
The OWS Declaration: Not One Concrete Demand for Americans
While the General assembly is occupied with questions like what to order for lunch as part of the shipments of free food that mysteriously appear at the demonstration site, the vital issue of program is left to a subcommittee. On October 5, the Olbermann evening news featured a reading of the Occupy Wall Street Declaration, written by protesters Ryan Hoffman and Lex Rendon. This document does not offer an analysis of the current economic crisis. Rather, it represents a laundry list of complaints, many valid and some spurious. Most important, this document contains not one concrete demand, measure, or program point on which the protesters are willing to pledge that they will be fighting for the interests of the American people. In that sense, it is a document of moral and intellectual impotence. It whines and complains, but it will do nothing to combat the widespread suspicion of the OWS movement felt in many quarters because of the Soros endorsement.
Economic demands are absolutely vital. The movement needs to offer specific solutions for the grave abuses and economic tragedies which are plaguing working people. These demands acquire a material power as they gain mass support. To get support from the inner-city ghetto, from the farm belt, from women, from labor, from the elderly, their vital concerns must be directly addressed. These groups absolutely do not need more analysis telling them how bad things are. They already know that. They need to see a social force which is ready to take leadership in accomplishing radical reforms -or else the revolution, as the case may be.
The Associated Press
October 9, 2011
The National Air and Space Museum in Washington was closed Saturday after anti-war demonstrators swarmed the building to protest a drone exhibit and security guards used pepper spray to repel them, sickening a number of protesters.
Smithsonian spokesman John Gibbons said a large group of demonstrators, estimated at 100 to 200 people, arrived at about 3 p.m. and tried to enter the National Mall museum. When a security guard stopped group members from entering, saying they could not bring in signs, he was apparently held by demonstrators, Gibbons said. A second guard who arrived used pepper spray on at least one person and the crowd dispersed, he added.
A number of groups have been demonstrating in the city in the past week. The group that arrived at the museum Saturday included individuals taking part in the October 2011 Stop the Machine demonstration in the city's Freedom Plaza, which has an anti-war and anti-corporate greed message. The group also included protesters affiliated with Occupy D.C., a group modeled on the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City. Occupy D.C. has been holding marches and meetings in Washington's McPherson Square.
David Swanson, 41, of Charlottesville, Va., said he was among dozens of people sickened by the pepper spray. He said he got sick even though he was outside the building when the spraying began.
"I began choking and vomiting and got a headache," Swanson said.
Swanson, who says he has been part of the Freedom Plaza protest, says protesters were not looking to shut down the museum but to make a point about the massive military spending and the use of deadly drones. He said the security officers got aggressive after some protesters unfurled a protest banner inside.
He posted videos on his blog, warisacrime.org, that shows a security officer yelling "Get back" as pepper spray is apparently used. Several people fell to the ground outside in agony as others coughed, rubbed their eyes and fled the building.
Pete Piringer, a D.C. fire department spokesman, told The Associated Press on Saturday evening that medics treated or evaluated a dozen people at the scene but that no one was seriously hurt by the pepper spray.
Legba Carrefour, who is working with Occupy D.C., said a number of individuals joined the march to the museum following an afternoon meeting of the group.
Ann Wilcox, a lawyer working with Stop the Machine, said a 19-year-old woman from Madison, Wis., was arrested by police. She paid a fine and was released later Saturday. Wilcox said the protesters went to the Air and Space museum to demonstrate against a drone exhibit.
The museum has an exhibit, "Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles," that covers the history of unmanned aircraft and their current use as offensive weapons. Drones are often called the weapon of choice of the Obama administration, which quadrupled drone strikes against al-Qaida targets in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, up from less than 50 under the Bush administration to more than 220 in the past three years.
The museum is expected to re-open Sunday.
October 9, 2011
I've been coughing and vomiting, and my head aches from pepper spray. I'll post videos and photos of why at the link above.
We intended to hold signs and sing inside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, protesting its promotion of unmanned drones, missiles, and bombs, including its sponsorship by and promotion of weapons corporations. We don't have any museums promoting health coverage or education or retirement security.
We had marched from the Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square occupations, taking over the streets of DC. The museum knew we were coming. Some of our group got in and dropped a banner. Hundreds of us did not. Instead, we were greeted at the door with cans of pepper spray.
There were three sets of entrance doors. I was among the first to open the third set of doors. A guard shook a can of pepper spray in front of me and demanded that we back out. But a dozen feet away at the second set of doors, people were staggering out and collapsing in pain, having been pepper sprayed in the face. I started to go toward them, but began coughing and vomiting. A lot of people were effected, directly or -- like me -- indirectly by the pepper spray.
It is not true that we assaulted the police. Nobody was accused of or charged with that. I didn't hear about it until later from the media. A young woman named Thi Le was told she'd be charged with assaulting a police officer after she was pepper sprayed and handcuffed, but they switched the charge to disorderly conduct and released her a few hours later.
It is not true that they only pepper sprayed one person. Many people were pepper sprayed.
It is not true that the crowd dispersed. The guards locked the doors and closed the museum. We had not planned to close the museum but to demonstrate and leave. With the museum closed and one of our own in custody, we held a rally on the steps as more people made their way over from Freedom Plaza to join us. We were there for hours.
We will be here for as long as it takes.
Congress comes back to this town on Tuesday.
We're not scared.
We're not discouraged.
We're not fooled.
We've got demands as clear as a blue sky:
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy K Street
And Never Give it Back!
Veterans For Peace issues the following statement from Freedom Plaza, Washington D.C., 6pm Saturday October :
Approximately 50 members of Veterans For Peace participated in a march this afternoon from Freedom Plaza to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. The museum was featuring an exhibit on unmanned drone bombers that a group of about 250 people from the October2011.org encampment at Freedom Plaza intended to protest.
The marchers ascended the museum steps, chanting, “When drones fly, children die.”
They opened the doors at one of the three entrances, and when that entryway became full, they went to the second and third entrances.
VFP Acting Director Mike Ferner said,
“I was at the first entranceway, holding the door open for people to enter. I saw a police or security officer in a white shirt hold his hands up, telling people to stop. The marchers continued and the officer began pepper-spraying everyone. From everything I saw until that moment, there was no reason for the pepper-spraying. The door of the museum clearly said “free admission.” It did not say “Free admission if you are quiet” or “Free admission unless you have opinions contrary to government policy.’Veterans For Peace is one of several groups organizing the October2011.org encampment. VFP is an organization composed of U.S. military veterans from WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars and every period in between.
“This was a clear abuse of authority and a use of force far beyond what was called for. Our members are consulting with National Lawyers Guild attorneys who are working with the october2011.org encampment.”
“We are aware that one of the marchers shoved aside one of the officers. We do not condone this behavior.”
Leftists and Public Workers Hijack the 'Occupy Wall Street' Movement: Protesters Want World to Know They're Just Like UsThe Associated Press
October 9, 2011
As other protesters chanted vigorously around her, Nancy Pi-Sunyer stood off to the side at the Occupy Wall Street rally, clutching her sign, looking a little like a new teacher on the first day of school.
In a way, she was: At 66, this retired teacher was joining a protest for the first time in her life.
"I was too young for the civil rights movement," Pi-Sunyer said earlier this week as she joined thousands of protesters marching in lower Manhattan. "And during the Vietnam War, I was too serious a student. Now, I just want to stand up and have my voice be heard."
As the protests have expanded and gained support from new sources, what began three weeks ago as a group of mostly young people camping out on the streets has morphed into something different: an umbrella movement for people of varying ages, life situations and grievances, some of them first-time protesters.
There are a few common denominators among the protesters: their position on the left of the political spectrum, and the view that the majority in America — the "99 percent," in their words — isn't getting a fair shake.
Beyond that, though, there's a diversity of age, gender and race — in part due to the recent injection of labor union support, and fueled by social networks — that is striking to some who study social protests.
"Most people think this is a bunch of idealistic young kids," said Heather Gautney, a sociology professor at Fordham University and an analyst of social protests. "But the wider movement is remarkably more diverse than it's been portrayed. I've seen a lot of first-time protesters, nurses, librarians. At one protest, the younger element seemed actually to be in the minority."
Pi-Sunyer, who lives in Montclair, N.J., was drawn into the fray on Wednesday the same way many were — via social networks. She saw a post from a friend on Facebook and realized it was time to join.
"I just decided to get off the couch and be in control," she said, holding a hand-lettered sign that read: "Wise OWLS Seek Economic Justice 4 All." (OWLS was a play on the initials for Occupy Wall Street — with an "l'' for little people.) "I was oblivious before. I can't be oblivious now."
Nearby, a speaker in lower Manhattan's Foley Square yelled into a microphone: "I'm tired of sticking my hand in my pocket, and only getting my leg!" The so-called "Granny Brigade" pulled out guitars and played a song. The crowd milled, bearing an endless variety of signs:
"Make Banks Pay!" ''Corporate Greed is Not Patriotic!" ''Give My Professor Health Insurance, Please!" ''Food is A Basic Human Right!" ''Bernanke Burnout!" An optimistic one: "This Is The First Time I've Felt Hopeful In a Long Time!" And a pessimistic one: "Even My Union is Corrupt!"
Cherie Walters wasn't carrying a sign — she WAS a sign. Both the front and back of her shirt were covered in scrawled slogans.
"I came here from MICHIGAN because the top 20 percent are waging class warfare against the rest of the U.S.," it read in part.
Walters, 58, also a former teacher, had driven all the way from Michigan with her husband, Rich. Her biggest gripe: credit card swipe fees, which she said were killing smaller businesses. She also was concerned about unemployment in her home state.
"I'm very angry at how poverty is degrading our people," she said.As she spoke, a much younger protester interrupted her to hand her a leaflet on health care reform.
The couple, who'd been following the protests all week, getting updates via Facebook and Twitter (and posting their own video on YouTube), complained that protesters had been described by others as unruly mobs or young troublemakers. Did she look like a young troublemaker, Walters asked? (At least there was a silver lining, she quipped: It was flattering to be described as young.)
Both Cherie and Rich Walters had protested during the Vietnam War, as students at Central Michigan University. Compared with those anti-war protests, she said, this one was way more diverse — "different ages, colors, even languages," she said. Legal Aid lawyer Steve Wasserman, 63, who joined Wednesday's march with his union and remembered his Vietnam protesting days, agreed.
"The old left was very male-dominated," he said.
Such diversity is what organizers were hoping for, said Patrick Bruner, spokesman for Occupy Wall Street. Since launching the protests in mid-September with a group of mostly young activists,
"we've made a concerted effort to diversify our group," he said, with an outreach committee and caucus groups for people of color, for example, or for women. "We've gradually seen our message resonate with different groups of people."
Organizers also have been encouraging people to tell their stories in a virtual protest on tumblr, the social network, spotlighting people of different backgrounds, each tale of economic hardship ending with:
"I am the 99 percent."
Experts say the role of social networks in building and organizing these protests, like in the recent revolt in Egypt, can't be overstated.
"I've been studying and attending protests for a decade, and Facebook is the most effective organizing tool I have ever encountered," said Michael Heaney, a professor at the University of Michigan.
What the movement doesn't have right now, these experts note, are the same concrete goals of some past social movements — a lack that many demonstrators seem to be embracing, at least for the moment.
"We're a broad range — everyone's affected in a different way," said John Crisano, 27, who'd answered a call for college students to attend Wednesday's protest. "But we're all here because we're upset at the way the government is being run."
Karen Livecchia, 49, agreed.
"For now, it's a lot like the Internet — leaderless, spaceless," she said as she collected signatures at the march, spurred to action by an email from the liberal group MoveOn.org. "It's hard to tell what it will lead to. But I'm not concerned that we don't have specific demands — that will come."
Livecchia, a Harvard grad with a master's from New York University, was laid off 21 months ago from her publishing job, and for her, too, this was the first protest of her life. Her anger was palpable.
"I did everything I was supposed to do," she said. "I have two fancy degrees. I'm from a union home, raised to believe in the system. But you know what? The system doesn't work! It's too polluted with corporate money."
"If it's like this for me," she added, "how about the waiters, and the truck drivers?
What led Abdullah Pollard to the protests, just months after he became a U.S. citizen, was no less than the dashing of his American dream.
Pollard, 58, came to the United States from Trinidad in 1996, and became a citizen in June.
"I didn't feel empowered as an immigrant," he said at Wednesday's march, where he volunteered as a marshal. "Now I am a citizen, and I want to stand up for the downtrodden."
A father of three adult kids, Pollard was laid off in April from his job in telecommunications. He's looking for work again but said it's hard at his age. He feels let down by a country where, he said, "both political parties march to the same drummer — the powerful corporations."
"You leave your own country and you expect things to be better in America, a step or two up from what you left back home," he said. "And then there's this rude awakening.
"America is just not what it used to be."
October 6, 2011
After the New York Police Dept. arrested over 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge last Saturday, six of those arrested filed a class action lawsuit on Oct. 4, alleging constitutional violations for intentional entrapment and false arrest.
“The NYPD engaged in a premeditated, planned, scripted and calculated effort to sweep the streets of protesters and disrupt a growing protest movement in New York,” plaintiffs charged in the complaint.After escorting and leading a group of demonstrators and others well out, the NYPD suddenly and without warning curtailed further forward movement, blocked the ability of persons to leave the Bridge from the rear, and arrested hundreds of protestors in the absence of probable cause. This contradicts police statements to the media:
“They were warned not to walk on the roadway — the people that walked on the pedestrian walkway, there was no issue — the ones on vehicular roadway, they chose to anyway, and they were arrested.”However, in this video, police can be seen leading protesters onto the Brooklyn Bridge roadway.
“This was a form of entrapment, both illegal and physical,” plaintiffs asserted.The suit describes the entire event as a charade by the cops who filmed their use of a bullhorn to warn protesters to leave the bridge. Problem is, the bullhorn was inaudible and the cops had blocked both ends of the protest line.
Plaintiffs cite case law affirming that “the Constitution requires that any ostensible command must be heard by those who are expected to be bound by it.”
Instead, the suit clarifies that “the NYPD engaged in a performance, videotaped it, and sprang their trap. They then set their PR machine into motion, distributing widely edited videos of events to spin a false narrative of events to the public and media.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg applauded the events, saying,
“The police did exactly what they were supposed to do.”Not only do such illegal arrests chill free speech, but they also invade the privacy of citizens engaged in free speech and assembly. Police collected the names, fingerprints and DNA of lawful protesters for the massive police state database. Each of those arrested can now worry their name will find its way onto the federal Terrorist Watch List, since the government considers lawful protest a form of terrorism.
Representing the entire class of those arrested, plaintiffs claim damages for violations of their 1st and 4th Amendment rights. In addition to seeking an undisclosed amount in compensatory and punitive damages, they also seek to have their arrests declared null and void and all records pertaining to the arrest sealed and expunged. If asked if ever arrested, plaintiffs demand the right to respond in the negative, given the arrest was illegal and unconstitutional.
Of note, a post on the JP Morgan Chase website confirms an unprecedented $4.6 million gift to the New York City Police Foundation, made prior to the mass arrest. The money was donated ostensibly as a “gift … to strengthen security in the Big Apple.”
Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks of PEERS and WantToKnow.info ask,
“Now why would this huge bank be donating millions for security in New York City?”Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism also questioned the donation.
“While this effort to supplement taxpayer funding has a certain logic, it raises the nasty specter of favoritism, that if private funding were to become a significant part of the Police Department’s total budget, it would understandably give priority to its patrons.”Represented by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, the suit against Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the City of New York was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Case No: 11 CIV 6957 (Garcia, et al. vs. Bloomberg, et al.).
PCJF recently won $8.25 million for a class action settlement in a similar case. During protests in 2000 and 2002, Washington, D.C. police arrested over 1,000 people using the same trap and detain tactic.
The NY Daily News reports that Mayor Bloomberg “has suggested the city is starting to grow weary of the protesters.” Too bad. We grow weary of Wall Street crimes and our own joblessness, homelessness and exploitation-level wages for those who do have jobs.
Hail! Hail! Karina Garcia, Marcel Cartier, Yari Osorio, Benjamin Becker, and Cassandra Regan for fighting for our inalienable right to assemble and protest.
Rady Ananda specializes in Natural Resources and administers the sites, Food Freedom and COTO Report.
At first, a lot of people thought that the Occupy Wall Street protests would quickly fade away. But they haven’t. Instead, they have grown and they have spread to more cities. But of course New York is still the epicenter of the movement, and what happened on the Brooklyn Bridge the other day made headlines all over the globe. Police arrested more than 700 people under very suspicious circumstances. The arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge appear to have been a staged event by the police. If you doubt this, just read this eyewitness account. As you can see from this video, the police led the protesters on to the bridge and then stopped and formed a line in the middle of the bridge. When protesters attempted to turn around and leave in the other direction, they found that there were police behind them. Surrounded and with no way out, most of the protesters just waited to be cuffed and hauled off by police. So was it the goal of the police to make the protesters look bad by making it look like they were blockading the Brooklyn Bridge? Did someone that wanted to provide fuel for these protests organize this “media event” so that large numbers of Americans would sympathize with the protesters and would want to rally to their cause? Something about that whole Brooklyn Bridge episode just feels really “staged”. - Occupy Wall Street: Mass Economic Riots Are Now Here And America Will Never Be The Same, The American Dream, October 3, 2011
‘Occupy Wall Street’ Organizer: We Are Anarchists And ‘This Is The Beginning Of Revolution’ In America
October 3, 2011
With the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests starting the catch on in the media after the arrests at the Brooklyn Bridge and protests in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Occupy Whatever meme is coming to a city near you. Occupy Dallas! is coming to my town October 6th and I’ll head down there to interview people because that’s what I do. While I was looking up info about the event, I came across a Facebook page that really sums up what is really going on here.
This isn’t a protest against the government.
Not really. The is the guise that it’s under. It’s using the iconography of protest to actually SUPPORT the government status quo – specifically public employees. See, they can’t get a lot of support if they come out and say “Protest to keep out cushy pensions!” because who is going to show up for THAT, right?
Public Employees are going to be showing people how to protest effectively against other public employees, like the police? This is a puppet show Play a little Rage Against The Machine for a soundtrack and the kids won’t notice that they are actually protesting to support the government bureaucrats.
Viva La Status Quo!
It is not bankers who have immense power, but central bankers and their controllers. - Breathing Life Into Phony Wall Street Meme, The Daily Bell, October 3, 2011
October 3, 2011
Despite the sincerity of most Occupy Wall Street protesters and their desire to close down Wall Street and even the Federal Reserve, the movement is quickly becoming a catch-all for socialists and large unions determined to tax millionaires out of existence.
On Sunday, Crain’s wrote that the “ragtag collection of no-name protesters” will be joined this week by “experienced agitators” and a coalition of labor and community groups. The United Federation of Teachers, SEIU, Workers United, Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Communications Workers of America are all expected to exploit Occupy Wall Street this week to push their agenda.
Unions are working to direct the energy of the anti-banker protests into their leftist agenda.
“The challenge is, how do you transfer protest into power?” asked Robert Master, legislative and political director of the Communications Workers of America and a co-chair of the Working Families Party. “At the end of the day, you have to figure out a way to take this energy and turn it into legislation that really changes people’s lives.”
In addition to establishment unions, self-described progressive community groups and other foundation dependent organizations plan to exploit Occupy Wall Street’s momentum. In addition to Make the Road New York, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Alliance for Quality Education, Community Voices Heard, United New York and Strong Economy For All, Paul Joseph Watson reports today that the Soros funded group MoveOn.org plans to attend the demonstrations.
MoveOn.org endorsed Obama in 2008. It fundraised and organized for his campaign “and has become perhaps the lead lobby organization for his policies in 2009, apart from Obama’s own Organizing for America,” according to SourceWatch. It teamed up with the unions SEIU and AFSCME to pressure Republicans to vote for Obama’s pro-Wall Street policies. It spent $30 million during the 2008 election cycle to get establishment Democrats elected.
Most of the so-called community groups listed above support the Millionaire’s Tax, an idea cooked up by the Obama administration after Warren Buffett declared the rich do not pay enough taxes and urged the government to steal more money from millionaires. As I noted yesterday, such taxation schemes invariably “trickle down” to the middle and working classes and usually result in unemployment as businesses either cut back or close down.
After the foundation funded and Democrat supported unions and so-called community groups dilute or takeover the Occupy Wall Street movement, calls for reforming Wall Street and eliminating the Federal Reserve – at present a minority voice in the movement – will be overwhelmed by the same old “progressive” Democrat agenda.
Like the Libertarians behind the original Tea Party movement, the Occupy Wall Street activists who sincerely demand change on Wall Street and in the dominant financial sector will be driven from the movement and replaced by socialist apparatchiks and Democrats funded by Soros and establishment foundations.
Unions and progressives have no intention of reforming Wall Street, as a quick glance at the Obama administration dominated by Goldman Sachs, the CFR, and the Trilateral Commission reveals what the Democrat version of “change” is all about.
Michael Moore admitted that “far left” socialists and Democrats are working to eliminate capitalism and turn America into another third-world cesspool. Not surprisingly, he said ending the Federal Reserve is irrelevant.
Of course he would say that. Moore is a tool of the bankers who will now work tirelessly behind the scenes to dilute the OWS movement and turn it into another irrelevancy and circus sideshow demanding implementation of the same old tired socialist palliatives that only allow the global elite to centralize and consolidate their grip on humanity.The vast majority of the Occupy Wall Street protesters seem to be Obama supporters. Most of the participants in the Occupy Wall Street movement openly talk about how much they admire Barack Obama, and yet 3 of the top 7 donors to Obama’s campaign in 2008 were the very Wall Street banks that the Occupy Wall Street movement is protesting. Obama’s administration is littered with people that used to work for big Wall Street banks, and Obama has been really good to Wall Street. So if the Occupy Wall Street movement was really serious about change, they would be openly protesting Obama. But you don’t see too many anti-Obama signs out there, now do you? It would be really nice if the Occupy Wall Street movement was truly a non-political movement that was focused on bringing economic justice back to this country. The reality, however, is that it was started by far left political groups, and a lot more very liberal organizations are now jumping on board. Hundreds of thousands of very frustrated Americans are going to get involved in these protests without even realizing who is organizing them. According to a recent article by blogger Alexander Higgins, "quite a few very prominent unions are now throwing their support behind Occupy Wall Street: unions are coming out in full force to support the Occupy Wall Street protests." - Occupy Wall Street: Mass Economic Riots Are Now Here And America Will Never Be The Same, The American Dream, October 3, 2011
At first, a lot of people thought that the Occupy Wall Street protests would quickly fade away. But they haven’t. Instead, they have grown and they have spread to more cities. But of course New York is still the epicenter of the movement, and what happened on the Brooklyn Bridge the other day made headlines all over the globe. Police arrested more than 700 people under very suspicious circumstances. The arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge appear to have been a staged event by the police. If you doubt this, just read this eyewitness account. As you can see from this video, the police led the protesters on to the bridge and then stopped and formed a line in the middle of the bridge. When protesters attempted to turn around and leave in the other direction, they found that there were police behind them. Surrounded and with no way out, most of the protesters just waited to be cuffed and hauled off by police. - Occupy Wall Street: Mass Economic Riots Are Now Here And America Will Never Be The Same, The American Dream, October 3, 2011
The Associated Press
October 1, 2011
Protesters speaking out against corporate greed and other grievances were maintaining a presence in Manhattan's Financial District Sunday even after more than 700 of them were arrested during a march on the Brooklyn Bridge> in a tense confrontation with police.
The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in a plaza in Manhattan's Financial District for nearly two weeks staging various marches, and had orchestrated an impromptu trek to Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. They walked in thick rows on the sidewalk up to the bridge, where some demonstrators spilled onto the roadwayafter being told to stay on the pedestrian pathway, police said.
The march shut down a lane of traffic for several hours on Saturday. The majority of those arrested were given citations for disorderly conduct and were released, police said.
The group had meetings and forums planned for Sunday at Zuccotti Park, the private plaza off Broadway the protesters have occupied.
During Saturday's march on the Brooklyn Bridge, some protesters sat on the roadway, chanting "Let us go," while others chanted and yelled at police from the pedestrian walkaway above. Police used orange netting to stop the group from going farther down the bridge, which is under construction.
Some of the protesters said they were lured onto the roadway by police, or they didn't hear the calls from authorities to head to the pedestrian walkway. Police said no one was tricked into being arrested, and those in the back of the group who couldn't hear were allowed to leave.
"Multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway and that if they took the roadway they would be arrested," said Paul Browne, the chief spokesman of the New York Police Department.
The NYPD on Sunday released video footage to back up its stance. In one of the videos, an official uses a bullhorn to warn the crowd. Marchers can be seen chanting, "Take the bridge."
Erin Larkins, a Columbia University graduate student who says she and her boyfriend have significant student loan debt, was among the thousands of protesters on the bridge. She said a friend persuaded her to join the march and she's glad she did.
"I don't think we're asking for much, just to wake up every morning not worrying whether we can pay the rent, or whether our next meal will be rice and beans again," Larkins wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "No one is expecting immediate change. I think everyone is just hopeful that people will wake up a bit and realize that the more we speak up, the more the people that do have the authority to make changes in this world listen."
Several videos taken of the event show a confusing, chaotic scene. Some show protesters screaming obscenities at police and taking a hat from one of the officers. Others show police struggling with people who refuse to get up. Nearby, a couple posed for wedding pictures on the bridge.
"We were supposed to go up the pedestrian roadway," said Robert Cammiso, a 48-year-old student from Brooklyn told the Daily News. "There was a huge funnel, a bottleneck, and we couldn't fit. People jumped from the walkway onto the roadway. We thought the roadway was open to us."
Earlier Saturday, thousands who joined two other marches crossed the Brooklyn Bridge without problems. One was from Brooklyn to Manhattan by a group opposed to genetically modified food. Another in the opposite direction marched against poverty organized by United Way.
Elsewhere in the U.S. on Saturday, protesters assembled in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Boston and Los Angeles to express their solidarity with the movement in New York, though their demands remain unclear. Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have been camped in Zuccotti Park and have clashed with police on earlier occasions. Mostly, the protests have been peaceful, and the movement has shown no signs of losing steam. Celebrities including documentary filmmaker Michael Moore and actress Susan Sarandon made recent stops to encourage the group.
During the length of the protest, turnout has varied, but the numbers have reached as high as about a few thousand. A core group of about two hundred people remain camped throughout the week. They sleep on air mattresses, use Mac laptops and play drums. They go to the bathroom at the local McDonald's. A few times a day, they march down to Wall Street, yelling, "This is what democracy looks like!"
There has been a growing swell of coverage in mainstream media, but there has been loud complaining that their cause hasn't been championed fast enough — or in the way protesters want.
Misinformation has added to the confusion. For instance, a rumor sprang up on Twitter that the New York Police Department wanted to use tear gas on protesters — a crowd-control tactic the department doesn't use. The claim was eventually retracted, one of several such retractions over the past several days. On Friday, a message said Radiohead would be performing in solidarity for the cause, but the band's management said it wasn't playing.
Earlier clashes with police have resulted in about 100 arrests. Most were for disorderly conduct. Many were the subject of homemade videos posted online.
One video surfaced of a group of girls shot with pepper spray by NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna. The woman claimed they were abused and demanded the officer resign, and the video has been the subject of several news articles and commentary. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said internal affairs would look into whether Bologna acted improperly and has also said the video doesn't show "tumultuous" behavior by the protesters.
A real estate firm that owns Zuccotti Park has expressed concerns about conditions there, saying in a statement that it hopes to work with the city to restore the park "to its intended purpose." But it's not clear whether legal action will be taken, and police say there are no plans to try to remove anyone.
Seasoned activists said the ad-hoc protest could prove to be a training ground for future organizers of larger and more cohesive demonstrations, or motivate those on the sidelines to speak out against injustices.
"You may not get much, or any of these things on the first go-around," said the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, a longtime civil rights activist who has participated in protests for decades. "But it's the long haul that matters."
Activists Advertising on Social Network Sites for a 'Day of Rage' on Wall Street Are Linked to ObamaThe term “Day of Rage” finds origin in “Days of Rage,“ a violent set of riots waged in Chicago in 1969 by the Weathermen’s Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. The Weather Underground terrorist organized his “Rage” in an attempt to bring troops back home from Vietnam. Similarly, this most recent US Day of Rage is co-organized by a group that calls itself “The War Resistance League.” Yet despite Ayers’ initial claim that his Day of Rage, too, would be “non-violent,” during the four day rampage that started in Chicago’s historic Lincoln Park, the Weathermen arrived in full-clad battle gear, helmets and weapons in tow, and called on activists to kill the rich and even their own parents. During an interview with Chicago Mag, Ayers, with no regrets, summed up his riot’s intended purpose, stating, ”kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents—that‘s where it’s really at.” - Who Is Behind the ‘US Day of Rage’ to ‘Occupy’ Wall Street this September 17th?, The Blaze, August 19, 2011
Day of Rage on Wall Street:
Protest organizers told The New York Times that about 85 people had been arrested and that about five were struck with pepper spray. Among those was Chelsea Elliott, 25, who said that she was sprayed after shouting “Why are you doing that?” as an officer arrested a protester at East 12th Street. “I was on the ground sobbing and couldn’t breathe,” she said. Police say the arrests were mostly for blocking traffic. Charges include disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. But one demonstrator was charged with assaulting a police officer. Police say the officer involved suffered a shoulder injury. Protest spokesman Patrick Bruner criticized the police response as "exceedingly violent" and said the protesters sought to remain peaceful. [Source]
Protests also are planned for financial districts in Madrid, Milan, London and Paris, according to a bulletin from the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center obtained by Bloomberg News. The NCCIC is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
World Net Daily
September 17, 2011
Social media networks fomenting a nationwide "Day of Rage" protest are reporting that hundreds have gathered in New York City's financial district to protest "Wall Street's corporate plunder."
According to a Bloomberg report, organizers had originally hoped as many as 20,000 would gather in the financial district and "occupy" it through tent cities and civil disobedience, if necessary, for months.
As a loosely formed conglomerate of Twitter, Facebook and online activists – similar to the Arab spring protesters that have been toppling governments in Africa – clearly identifying the goals and tactics of the protests is nearly impossible.
According to the website Adbusters, a group promoting the demonstration, the goal of "#OccupyWallStreet" is to get President Barack Obama to establish a commission to end "the influence money has over our representatives in Washington." The group advocates camping out in Manhattan for months if needed to get the message across.
But the USDayofRage.org website warns against setting up tents and describes the purpose of the protest this way:
"Wall Street is a huge contributor to the political machine, which in turns enables Wall Street's corporate plunder of our nation. Both the Democratic and Republican parties set the bankster agenda because of the money.
"Bought by hard and soft dollars, disloyal, incompetent and wasteful interests have usurped our nation's civil and military power, spawning a host of threats to liberty and national security," the website continues. "We demand satisfaction for the wrongs done to our nation and its people."
New York City's cable news network NY1 spoke with a trio of protesters about the purpose of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations:
The protest aims to take root around the world.
"CEOs, the biggest corporations and the wealthy are taking too much from our country, and I think it's time for us to take back," said one protester.
"What I hope to accomplish is that people who have gotten in trouble on Wall Street actually pay an equal share for what they've done," said another.
"The difference between this and other protests of the past is that we're not leaving, and we're going to stay as long as it takes to accomplish something," said a third.
Activists are advertising on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter for the "Day of Rage" to begin with the "occupation" of Wall Street and continue with protests across the nation in Portland, Ore., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin, Texas.
Day of Rage on Wall Street:
The Department of Homeland Security further issued a bulletin expecting related protests in the financial districts of Madrid, Milan, London and Paris, as well.As WND reported, advertisements claim the protests at Wall Street and nationwide will be "non-violent." However, the official website provides resources, including videos and detailed written instructions, for protesters to engage in "civil disobedience." The resources provided include instructions on how to resist police arrest and disrupt court hearings.
This week, the 'Day of Rage' Twitter feed posted links to what it called "nonviolent civil disobedience training talks." Similar instructions are provided on the website of an affiliated organization, which calls itself "Occupy Wall Street" and is also involved in planning the Sept. 17 protests.
Live Twitter feeds from protesters indicate police presence in Manhattan has been heavy, but no violence has yet been reported.
"Lots of police and barricades," reports Twitter user Ethar El-Katatney, "but strangely quiet."
The use of the term "Day of Rage" recalls the "Days of Rage" organized in the 1960s by the Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization co-founded by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, close associates for years of President Obama.
Numerous radicals, many with direct ties to Obama, are linked to planned protests and other activism scheduled for the coming months.Day of Rage on Wall Street:
Protesters training to incite violence, resist arrest, disrupt the legal system
"People of the world rise up!"
"We are legion."
"Take to the streets."
World Net Daily
September 16, 2011
These and other battle cries were posted on the recent Twitter feed of a group calling itself Take The Square. The organization is one of the social media planners behind the "Day of Rage" protest slated to target Wall Street on Saturday.
WND previously reported how the U.S. section of the protest, complete with a planned tent city in downtown Manhattan, is closely tied to the founders of ACORN and leaders of major U.S. unions, including the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU.
While protest leaders claim they are non-violent, there are indications the protesters are training to incite violence, resist arrest and disrupt the legal system.
The protest aims to take root nationwide.
Activists are advertising on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter for a "Day of Rage" on Sept. 17 to begin with the "occupation" of Wall Street and continue with protests across the nation.
Planners have their own website – USDayofRage.org – which tells protesters to "bring your own tent." The website is not specific about the purpose of the "Day of Rage" other than calling for "integrity" to be "restored to our elections." The site accuses corporations of using "money to act as the voices of millions, while individual citizens, the legitimate voters, are silenced and demoralized by the farce."
Advertisements claim the protests at Wall Street and nationwide will be "non-violent." However, the official website provides resources, including videos and detailed written instructions, for protesters to engage in "civil disobedience." The resources provided include instructions on how to resist police arrest and disrupt court hearings.
This week, the 'Day of Rage' twitter feed posted links to what it called "nonviolent civil disobedience training talks." Similar instructions are provided on the website of an affiliated organization, which calls itself "Occupy Wall Street" and is also involved in planning the Sept. 17 protests.
The use of the term "Day of Rage" recalls the "Days of Rage" organized in the 1960s by the Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization co-founded by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, close associates for years of President Obama.
Numerous radicals, many with direct ties to Obama, are linked to planned protests and other activism scheduled for the coming months.
In March, ACORN founder Wade Rathke announced what he called "days of rage in 10 cities around JP Morgan Chase." Rathke was president of an SEIU local in New Orleans.
The planned Sept. 17 protest appears to be the culmination of Rathke's efforts. Those efforts are being organized by Stephen Lerner, an SEIU board member who reportedly visited the Obama White House at least four times. Lerner is considered one of the most capable organizers of the radical left. He recently organized the SEIU's so-called Justice for Janitors campaign.
As part of his planned protests, Lerner called for "a week of civil disobedience, direct action all over the city." His stated aim is to "destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement."
In an interview about the planned protests, Lerner outlined his goals:
"How do we bring down the stock market? How do we bring down their bonuses? How do we interfere with their ability to, to be rich?"
Forecast for American cities: Confrontation, intimidation?
There are other indications a coalition of radicals and unions are planning chaos using the current economic crisis.
Last month, WND reported that a slew of extremist organizations, some tied to Obama, are preparing protests to coincide with major NATO and G-8 summits in Chicago next May.
Foreshadowing possible violent confrontations, some of the same radical trainers behind the infamous 1999 Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization have been mobilizing new protest efforts geared toward world summits as well as the current economic crisis.
Some of the activists are tied to Obama.
The NATO and G-8 summits are not the only focus of radical groups.
WND reported Heather Booth, director of a Saul Alinsky-style community organizing group, the Midwest Academy, was among the main speakers at the "2011 State Battles Summit" in June at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington, D.C. Booth's husband, Paul, also was a speaker at the union summit. Paul Booth co-founded Midwest Academy in the 1970s.
The four-day summit was organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, with participation from the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest union. An official schedule for the event, obtained by WND, declared:
"Our union is under unprecedented attack in every state. Extremist politicians want to weaken us as we head into 2012. Their tactics include budget cuts, layoffs, privatization and the denial of our very collective bargaining rights."
Continued the flyer:
"New challenges require new energy and new thinking. We encourage union activists to attend this conference and bring their creative ideas on how to overcome the challenges ahead."
Heather Booth participated in a panel entitled "Our Message, Alliances and Best Practices." Paul Booth delivered the opening remarks for the union conference.
Another speaker at the union event was John Podesta, who co-chaired President Obama's transition team. Podesta is president of the Center for American Progress, which is heavily influential in advising the White House. The center is funded by billionaire activist George Soros.
Day of Rage on Wall Street:
Mideast revolutions coming to U.S.?
Citizen Action of Wisconsin, an arm of Booth's Midwest Academy, is part of the Moving Wisconsin Forward movement, one of the main organizers of the major Wisconsin protests in February, as WND was first to report.
The protests were in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's proposal for most state workers to pay 12 percent of their health care premiums and 5.8 percent of their salary toward their own pensions.
WND reported at the time that speakers at the rallies likened the Wisconsin protests to the ongoing revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa while calling for similar uprisings in the U.S.
'Redistribution of wealth and power'
Obama himself once funded Midwest Academy. He has been closely tied to Heather Booth.
Booth has stated building a ''progressive majority'' would help for ''a fair distribution of wealth and power and opportunity." Her husband Paul is a founder and the former national secretary of Students for a Democratic Society, the radical 1960s anti-war movement from which Ayers' Weather Underground splintered.
In 1999, the Booths' Midwest Academy received $75,000 from the Woods Fund with Obama on its board alongside Ayers. In 2002, with Obama still serving on the Woods Fund, Midwest received another $23,500 for its Young Organizers Development Program.
Midwest describes itself as "one of the nation's oldest and best-known schools for community organizations, citizen organizations and individuals committed to progressive social change." It later morphed into a national organizing institute for an emerging network of organizations known as Citizen Action. Discover the Networks describes Midwest as "teach[ing] tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation."
WND first reported the executive director of an activist organization that taught Alinsky's tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation was part of the team that developed volunteers for President Obama's 2008 campaign.
Jackie Kendall, executive director of the Midwest Academy, was on the team that developed and delivered the first Camp Obama training for volunteers aiding Obama's campaign through the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. Camp Obama was a two-to-four day intensive course run in conjunction with Obama's campaign aimed at training volunteers to become activists to help Obama win the presidential election.
Also, in 1998, Obama participated on a panel discussion praising Alinsky alongside Heather Booth, herself a dedicated disciple of Alinsky.
The panel discussion following the opening performance in Chicago of the play "The Love Song of Saul Alinsky," a work described by the Chicago Sun-Times as "bringing to life one of America's greatest community organizers."
Obama participated in the discussion alongside other Alinskyites, including political analyst Aaron Freeman, Don Turner of the Chicago Federation of Labor and Northwestern University history professor Charles Paine.
"Alinsky had so much fire burning within," stated local actor Gary Houston, who portrayed Alinsky in the play. "There was a lot of complexity to him. Yet he was a really cool character."