"…CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead…"
“I was there to take down the names of people who were arrested… As I’m standing there, some African-American woman goes up to a police officer and says, ‘I need to get in. My daughter’s there. I want to know if she’s OK.’ And he said, ‘Move on, lady.’ And they kept pushing with their sticks, pushing back. And she was crying. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head,” says Smith. “I walk over, and I say, ‘Look, cuff her if she’s done something, but you don’t need to do that.’ And he said, ‘Lady, do you want to get arrested?’ And I said, ‘Do you see my hat? I’m here as a legal observer.’ He said, ‘You want to get arrested?’ And he pushed me up against the wall.”—Retired New York Supreme Court Judge Karen Smith, working as a legal observer after the raids on Zucotti Park this Tuesday, via Paramilitary Policing of Occupy Wall Street: Excessive Use of Force amidst the New Military Urbanism (via seriouslyamerica)
It’s getting rather exhausting listening to people try to use the Tea Party rallies as some sort of check on the Occupy Wall Street movement in order to demonize it. While the Tea Partiers do have some legitimate political concerns, for the most part, they were and still are pawns. Why was there constant mainstream media coverage of Tea Party demonstrations? Why were there so few incidents of clashes with police and zero arrests? Why were Tea Party protesters who carried guns, many semiautomatic riffles, untouched by law enforcement? Why were they taken so seriously? Why were they hailed as “patriots?” Why weren’t any Tea Party rallies shut down?
Because the Tea Party in no way threatened the establishment. They demanded completely privatized healthcare, eating right out of the hands of Big Pharma and healthcare insurance companies. They protested against corporate and environmental regulations, allowing big business to essentially steamroll over whatever they please, even if that meant destroying our Earth, with zero accountability. They demanded funding for services and programs that generally help the lower classes like Medicaid, employment insurance, Planned Parenthood, etc. be cut in order to “slash the deficit.” After billionaires like the Koch brothers poured money into their groups, they demanded it was unfair to tax big corporations and the rich because “they’re the job makers.” Maybe we should look at some of their corporate and mega-rich sponsors:
Americans for Prosperity
Castle Rock Foundation
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation
F.M. Kirby Foundation
Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation
Jaquelin Hume Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation
Philip M. McKenna Foundation
Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Sarah Scaife Foundation
George C. Marshall Institute
American Enterprise Institute
Scaife Family Foundation
Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation
Americans for Tax Reform
Family Research Council
John Birch Society
Ensuring Liberty Corp.
Ernst & Young
Fed. of Amer. Hospitals
There’s a major incentive to allow the AstroTurf Tea Partiers, which make up only 18% of the population, to stomp their little feet. There is, however, virtually zero incentive to allow the Occupy movement, which denounces such overreaching corporate power, to even open their mouths and let out a single utterance. So, how do you suppress an all-inclusive movement with legitimate and striking concerns regarding the unequal balance of power? You beat them in the streets and try to do everything possible to cut off their resources because your corporate overlords, guys like Bloomberg who made billions by doing business with Wall Street, said, “jump.” Because you’re part of the 40% the top 1% owns. They buy you with their massive amounts of wealth to do their bidding in order to increase that wealth.
I will give these critics of the Occupy movement one thing though: it’s difficult to figure out how the system really works because of how horribly broken it is. However, it doesn’t take a great mind to understand the very fact that it’s broken in the first place or pinpoint who broke it.
Since today is supposed to be a “day of action” — and certainly hasn’t failed to deliver in this respect — I think it’s important to talk about just what kind of action is desperately needed from OWS. This is where Fanon’s discussion of decolonization becomes relevant. Make no mistake: The wholesale restructuring of the dominant ideologies and institutions of a society is always and necessarily a radically violent act. It was in this sense of the word that Slovenian philosopher and critical theorist Slavoj Žižek could say that “Gandhi was more violent than Hitler: Gandhi’s movement effectively endeavored to interrupt the basic functioning of the British colonial state” whereas Hitler merely “stages a big spectacle of Revolution so that the capitalist order could survive.”
This is the fundamental failing of those who resign themselves to passivity and surrender from the outset according to a ridiculous and inaptly named principle of “nonviolence”: what they create is mere spectacle, devoid of substance — an occupation without seizure of power. Such movements can never formulate, let alone defend what Fanon calls “the minimum demands of the colonized.” Just as Orwell claimed during the Second World War that “the pacifist is objectively pro-Nazi,” so too with OWS. The pacifist now is objectively pro-Wall Street and, regardless of intention, stands should-to-shoulder with members of the financier and rentier classes.
Read the whole thing, it’s really a fantastic analysis.
I'd like to begin by saying I watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report regularly (because I can't tolerate any other news station), and on tonight's episode of the Daily Show Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee talked about the "end" off Occupy Wall Street, and Colbert did a segment called "Occu-bye". I'm pretty sure OWS isn't over, but I just needed some reassurance.
What both programs do, more than make fun of politics itself, is make fun of political media. I haven’t been watching much TV lately myself, but my best guess is that they weren’t calling the end of OWS, they were parodying other media prematurely calling the end of OWS.
Besides that, this is far from over.There are occupations still happening everywhere. The changes we need, the shift in paradigm, have not happened yet. Today is the day of direct action.
“I believe change begins in the streets, and all citizens have the power to make a difference, together we can make our voices heard in the ivory towers of government, so lace up your combat boots.”—Dorli Rainey (84 year old women pepper sprayed at Occupy Seattle)
Law enforcement is there to protect a wealthy elite from the rest of the population
A teenage girl holds a hastily written sign saying: “NYPD, we trusted you – you were supposed to protect us!”
The sentiment is a familiar one. Across Europe, over a year of demonstrations, occupations and civil disobedience, anti-austerity protesters have largely shifted from declaring solidarity with the police – as fellow workers whose jobs and pensions are also under threat – to outrage and anger at state violence against unarmed protesters. Following last month’s police brutality in Oakland, and today’s summary eviction of the Occupy Wall Street camp, American activists too are reaching the conclusion that “police protect the 1%”.
“Who do you guys work for?” Shouts one Manhattan protester, as police load arrestees into a van. “You work for JP Morgan Bank!”
As hard as the NYPD and New York City’s government might try to obscure the truth though, one truth remains: At 1 a.m. this morning, in the heart of New York City, protesters exercising their constitutional rights to free speech and assembly were swept away by the state, while that state also did all it could to prevent media coverage. No matter what one may think of the occupiers or their cause, nothing they’ve done justifies blockading the press or ignoring court orders. Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and other New York leaders who ordered the eviction should take a long, hard look at their handling of the occupation. This morning’s action may not be what a police state looks like, but it’s certainly how one begins.
As New York City police cleared the Occupy Wall Street campsite in Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning, many journalists were blocked from observing and interviewing protesters. Some called it a “media blackout” and said in interviews that they believed that the police efforts were a deliberate attempt to tamp down coverage of the operation.
The city blog Gothamist put it this way: “The NYPD Didn’t Want You To See Occupy Wall Street Get Evicted.”
As a result, much of the early video of the police operation was from the vantage point of the protesters. Videos that were live-streamed on the Web and uploaded to YouTube were picked up by television networks and broadcast on Tuesday morning.
At a news conference after the park was cleared Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg defended the police behavior, saying that the media was kept away “to prevent a situation from getting worse and to protect members of the press.”
Some members of the media said they wereshoved by the police. As the police approached the park they did not distinguish between protesters and members of the press, said Lindsey Christ, a reporter for NY1, a local cable news channel. “Those 20 minutes were some of the scariest of my life,” she said.
Ms. Christ said that police officers took a New York Post reporter standing near her and “threw him in a choke-hold.”
That reporter and two photographers with him declined to speak on the record because they are freelance workers and lack some of the job protections of full-time employees. But as they sipped coffee on Tuesday morning in Foley Square, where some of the protesters had regrouped, they expressed surprise at the extent of what they described as police suppression of the press.
What are your limits, America? You’ve largely looked the other way while peaceful protesters are cleared out across the country under the guise of “order” and “cleanliness,” even when those who come in to “keep the peace” end up creating a huge mess and violation of civil order.
Will you now look the other way as freedom of the press is done away with? Will you now ignore the fact that, in even trying to report on the suppression of civil liberties, you will be targeted by the police state?
In an interview on BBC, Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland admitted that there was a recent 18 city conference call to discuss response to the Occupy Wall Street movement. (via capitoilette.com, at 5:30 mark)
“I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation… .”
This coordinated national response lifts the actions out of the realm of simply state issues and onto a national and federal level. Were any FEDERAL agencies represented on these phone calls! This information needs to be provided.
It is certainly an interesting side-note that, as mentioned on capitoilette.com, that President Obama is in the midst of a nine day trip in the pacific rim? A trip that allowed him to be out of the country for all the recent actions?
…the National Lawyers Guild obtained a court order allowing Occupy Wall Street protesters to return with tents to the park. The guild said the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on Occupy Wall Street protesters.