From NBC Bay Area:
A website claiming to be the official site of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan appeared recently, mimicking the official Oakland website entirely, but adding a statement of support for “Occupy Oakland” demonstrations that did not come from Quan, according to officials in the mayor’s office.
But the website has added a fabricated letter purportedly from Quan apologizing to protesters for the police response to protests Tuesday, where the Occupy Oakland encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza were raided, resulting in dozens of arrests, and police used tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke grenades to keep protesters away from the plaza later that night.
"I offer my sincere apology for ordering the violent repression of the Occupy Oakland encampment in front of city hall," the fake statement stated.
The letter, which was also distributed at Occupy Oakland demonstrations, went on to say that Quan endorsed Occupy Oakland’s calls for a general strike in Oakland on Nov. 2. The mayor’s office released a statement Saturday clarifying that the letter was “bogus.”
Some gems from the “fake” letter:
The Occupy Oakland general assembly has called for a general strike on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, and I heartily endorse this call. The Occupy Oakland encampment was just the kind of experiment in mutual aid and direct democracy that is needed. And a general strike could bring this to a new level. In fact, I want to up the ante to show I’m on the right side of history again.
Oakland was the last city in the U.S. to have a general strike, in 1946, and it was known as a “work holiday.” This harks back to the first call for a general strike in 1832: William Benbow’s pamphlet, “Grand National Holiday,” in which he called a month‐long strike. I propose we do that! … There’s plenty of wealth to go around. We just have to share it… I say ban the banks and abolish money. The people are breaking out of their acquiescence. They can make decisions over their own lives. The Occupy Oakland encampment prefigured a way of life that makes the status quo obsolete. Instead of an exploitative system based on the buying and selling of things and our time, let us create a life of ease, gaeity and pleasure for all, as William Benbow originally suggested. Let us not only shut the city down. Let us take it over and run it in a wholly new way. Together we can make every day a holiday.
If only this were accurate…
“It’s not every day you get to see a night court magistrate smack down the governor of Tennessee,” a legal observer said outside the Metro Courthouse at 2:30 a.m. today, as fog shrouded downtown in mist.
Yet that’s what happened in the early morning hours, as Metro Night Court Judge Tom Nelson told the troopers who arrested 25 peaceful Occupy Nashville protesters at midnight on Legislative Plaza — along with Scene reporter Jonathan Meador, who was attempting to get off the plaza when he was cuffed and hauled off — that the curfew being enforced at the Capitol had no constitutional grounds whatsoever.
“I have reviewed the regulations of the state of Tennessee, and I can find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza,” Judge Nelson told a grimacing trooper, before ordering the immediate release of everyone arrested.
Some 30 additional protesters greeted those released with cheers and chants of “This is how democracy works!” They were last seen at 4 a.m. marching victoriously up Deaderick Street — back to Legislative Plaza.
Meador, meanwhile, greeted news of his imminent release with a tweet from custody: “Can I go home now?” His request of a ride home from Gov. Haslam for the inconvenience was met with silence.
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), longtime civil rights activist, gives long and impassioned speech on the House floor in fierce support of #OCCUPYWALLSTREET and denouncing the actions of the Oakland city government. (26 October 2011)
"Don’t give up, don’t give out, and please don’t give in!"
THE OCCUPY movement’s most powerful unifying factor has been its clear and simple identification of the key problem in American society: the divide between the vast majority of the population—the 99 percent—and the richest and most powerful 1 percent.
This 99 percent/1 percent formulation isn’t just a statement about income inequality in the U.S. today. It’s also an acknowledgement that the 1 percent largely controls the government and is therefore able to rig laws, taxes and regulations in its favor.
If you look at opinion polls on questions like taxing the rich, regulating Wall Street, spending money on jobs, prioritizing economic growth over cutting the deficit or preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare, you’ll find popular, often lopsided, majorities opposed to austerity and in favor of “redistributionist” policies.
Yet the dysfunctional government seems incapable—and not even much interested—in doing much of anything to meet these popular demands. By contrast, Congress acted with tremendous speed—and with little regard for the deficit—to appropriate hundreds of billions of dollars for the banks and other corporations when the financial crisis struck in 2008.
In theory, we’re all equal at the ballot box, and so popular majorities should be able to force politicians to address their concerns. But the Occupy movement has caught fire because millions of Americans realize that the way Washington works in reality bears no resemblance to the political science textbook explanations.
So how does the 1 percent get away with it?
From last night’s press release from the Oakland Police Department:
Q. Did the Police deploy rubber bullets, flash-bag grenades?
A. No, the loud noises that were heard originated from M-80 explosives thrown at Police by protesters.
The San Francisco Chronicle begs to differ:
Protesters scattered in both directions on Broadway as the tear gas canisters and several flash-bang grenades went off. Regrouping, protesters tried to help one another and offered each other eye drops.
Q. Did the Police use tear gas?
A. Yes, the Police used a limited amount of tear gas for a small areas as a defense against protesters who were throwing various objects at Police Officers as they approached the area.
California police resorted to tear gas as many as five times Tuesday, attempting to force hundreds of Occupy Oakland protesters to disperse.
So was it used to make them disperse, or was it used in self-defense? Were flash-bangs used, or were they not used? The videos certainly seem to show that they were used in copious amounts.
This is nonsense. Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan must resign.
The Young Democratic Socialists endorse the Occupy Wall Street movement and its demand for justice. We join the demonstrators in taking a stand against corporate power and neoliberal politicians. These protests have been condemned in the press as class warfare, but in the words of a protestor on Wall Street, “they only call it class warfare when we fight back.”
We must draw on the great traditions of resistance in our history – the Patriots, the Abolitionists, the Suffragettes, Industrial Unionism, the Civil Rights Movement, and the feminist and LGBT movements – and engage our creative imagination in forming a movement for the 2010s. We must bear witness, but we must moreover build power that can challenge the commanding heights of capitalism, and succeed in changing laws in the people’s favor. We must make demands on the state, and we must win. In the spirit of solidarity, we encourage the movement to demand:
- A public jobs program
- The nationalization of failed banks
- Medicare for all
- The forgiveness of student debt
- An end to foreclosures
- Substantial investment in clean energy
We can fund these vital public policies if we reverse the Bush and Reagan tax cuts for the top two per cent, restore effective corporate taxation, and end wasteful military spending. And we can only reverse the decline in working people’s standard of living if we restore the democratic right of working people to unionize.
A Moral Focus for Occupy Wall Street
I think it is a good thing that the occupation movement is not making specific policy demands. If it did, the movement would become about those demands. If the demands were not met, the movement would be seen as having failed. […]
Publicize the Public
Tell the truth about The Public, that nobody makes it purely on their own without The Public, that is, without public infrastructure, the justice system, health, education, scientific research, protections of all sorts, public lands, transportation, resources, art and culture, trade policies, safety nets, That is a truth to be told day after day. It is an idea that must take hold in public discourse. It must go beyond what I and others have written about it and beyond what Elizabeth Warren has said in her famous video. The Public is not opposed to The Private. The Public is what makes The Private possible. And it is what makes freedom possible. Wall Street exists only through public support. It has a moral obligation to direct itself to public needs.
All OWS approaches to policy follow from such a moral focus. Here are a handful examples. […]
This movement could be destroyed by negativity, by calls for revenge, by chaos, or by having nothing positive to say. Be positive about all things and state the moral basis of all suggestions. Positive and moral in calling for debt relief. Positive and moral in upholding laws, as they apply to finances. Positive and moral in calling for fairness in acquiring needed revenue. Positive and moral in calling for clean elections. To be effective, your movement must be seen by all of the 99% as positive and moral. To get positive press, you must stress the positive and the moral.
Remember: The Tea Party sees itself as stressing only individual responsibility. The Occupation Movement is stressing both individual and social responsibility.
Anger over proposed new austerity measures boiled over in Greece on Wednesday as unions shut down the country with what one newspaper called “the mother of all strikes.”
Flights were grounded, and state offices and shops were shuttered on the first day of a 48-hour general strike, the biggest organized protest against austerity since the debt crisis began almost two years ago.
In a remarkable display of political expression, tens of thousands of striking workers marched through the avenues of central Athens, chanting anti-capitalist and anti-government slogans. They gathered before Parliament, where lawmakers were debating a controversial austerity bill that would raise taxes and cut public sector pay and pensions, among other things, ahead of a vote Thursday.