Tag Archive: Occupy Wall St.

May 21 2012

This Is America Under Barack Obama

Our Forefathers would weep.

Occupy Journalists Stopped, Searched, Handcuffed & Interrogated at Gunpoint

by Kevin Gosztola

Under cover of the night around twelve police cars stopped five journalists when they were heading back to where they are staying in Chicago during the NATO summit. All five have been covering protests against the NATO summit for the past few days.

The five journalists included Luke Rudkowksi, who streams as @Lukewearechange, Tim Pool, who streams as @Timcast, Jeoff Shively (@Jiraffa), Dustin & Jess. They are known for their work livestreaming and tweeting out regular coverage of Occupy protests.

There’s more from Tim Poole

There appears to have been a conscious targeting of bloggers and livestreamers. The Chicago police, possibly with help from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI or other federal agencies, appear to be working off a list of “suspected” people or spaces where they must go “check in” on what is happening simply to ensure all is safe. Of course, this is illegal. Without a warrant or probable cause, rights are being clearly violated.

In each of these instances, the police did not inform those detained why they were being detained. The police stopped them to find criminal activity that they could then use against the journalists to make arrests. And so far they have not been able to find any justification for arresting any of these people, but they have been able to briefly frighten and infuriate these journalists and also to impound a vehicle.

Jan 30 2012

The Right To Peacefully Assemble

Over the weekend Occupy Oakland attempted to occupy an abandoned building into into a community center to provide education, medical, and housing services for the 99%. Police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbag rounds and mass arrests. From Occupy Oakland Media

January 29, 2011 – Oakland, CA – Yesterday, the Oakland Police deployed hundreds of officers in riot gear so as to prevent Occupy Oakland from putting a building, vacant for 6 years with no plans for use, from being occupied and “re-purposed” as a community center. The Occupy Oakland GA passed a proposal calling for the space to be turned into a social center, convergence center and headquarters of the Occupy Oakland movement.

The police actions tonight cost the city of Oakland hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they repeatedly violated their own crowd control guidelines and protesters civil rights.

With all the problems in our city, should preventing activists from putting a vacant building to better use be their highest priority? Was it worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars they spent?

The OPD is facing receivership based on actions by police in the past, and they have apparently learned nothing since October. On October 25, Occupiers rushed to the aid of Scott Olsen who was shot in the head by police, and the good Samaritans who rushed to his had had a grenade thrown at them by police. At 3:30pm this afternoon, OO medics yet again ran to the aid of injured protesters lying on the ground. Other occupiers ran forward and used shields to protect the medic and injured man. The police then repeatedly fired less lethal rounds at these people trying to protect and help an injured man.

No one condones throwing objects at police, violence or vandalism but it does not justify the overreaction by the Oakland police department use of military type weapons to stop unarmed protesters.

From Kevin Gosztola who describes the videos below in his reporting on the Occupy movement at FDL:

Recorded video footage from the scene shows officers did not give a dispersal order. They pushed protesters toward the YMCA and would not let them leave the scene as they ordered them to “submit” to the arrest. The protesters then did what anyone would do as a battalion of riot police closed in on them: they found the nearest escape route, which happened to be through an entrance to the building. [*See the 30-min mark of the video below.]

I will not condone the throwing of objects at police, but the video captured by Mills, who was also at the scene when percussion grenades, tear gas and other weapons were being fired by police, calls into question the [statements by the city  that protesters were “charging” police. Yes, they were advancing on the riot police, slowly. A handful, like any protest, were egging on the riot police. But, if you watch the video the moment the riot police move on the protesters they immediately fall back. They do not let the police charge into them, which raises doubts about whether it was ever necessary to fire off any chemical weapons at protesters to force the crowd to disperse.

Sunday night in solidarity with Oakland Occupiers took to the streets in cities across the country:

#SolidaritySunday with Oakland Marches in NYC and Across the US; Bank of Ideas Being Evicted in London

As of 8pm EST, actions are currently happening or planned in response to extreme police violence used against Occupy Oakland yesterday in New York City, Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, Melbourne, Oslo, Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Portland, Tampa, Indianapolis, New Haven, Orlando, Jackson, Des Moines, Hollywood, Baltimore, Portland ME, Tulsa, Denver, St. Louis, Eugene, Nashville, and Detroit. We have also received word that the Bank of Ideas in London is being raided!

At noon today, Occupy DC faces a ban on camping in the parks but will remain in McPherson Square.

We stand with the Occupy Wall Street movement and the right to peaceful assembly.

Jan 01 2012

Occupy Wall St.: Happy New Year, We’re Still Here

“All week! All year! We’ll still be here!”

“Whose park? Our park!”

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The New York City Occupiers took back Zucchotti Park a couple of hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve despite the presence of NYPD and private security:

About 100 people arrived at the park at about 7 p.m., according to witnesses, and someone put up what was described as a small multicolored tent, about two feet tall, made for a child. Two young girls, who were at the park with their mother, began playing inside.

Though the New York City Police Department had officers fanned out throughout the city for the holiday, there were police officers lined up across the street from Zuccotti Park, at the ready alongside private security guards. They stepped in.

Police officers and security guards, who stood at the ready across the street, told protesters to remove the tent, saying it violated rules issued by the park’s owner, Brookfield Properties. Meanwhile, an officer and a guard blocked other protesters, and at least one reporter, from entering the park. Some people disregarded their instructions and squeezed through the spaces between metal barricades along other parts of the perimeter.

That number swelled to over 500 by 10:30 as text messages and signal went out across the city. They draped the piled barricades with Christmas lights and the lighted Christmas tree was wrapped with the Occupy Wall Street banner as the OWS “bat signal” was projected on the side of a building. As the protesters were chased from the park, they took to the nearby streets, drumming and chanting as they marched. Most of the arrests were of demonstrators who were obeying police directions or walking peacefully on the side walk. Many of the protesters and others not involved in the demonstration were “kettled” into groups then arrested for obstructing pedestrian traffic or for moving as directed by the officers. Even legal observers and the press were again arrested and threatened by the NYPD. The observer from the National Lawyers Guild was later released.

Welcome to the United Police State of America where you can be “legally” detained indefinitely on the president’s word.

Nov 24 2011

Occupy Wall St.: Thanksgiving

Occupy Wall Street Thanksgiving

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

This Thanksgiving, Occupy Wall Street is celebrating unity and community with an open feast at Liberty Square. From 2 to 6 p.m. at Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) we will meet to share food, stories and inspiration. All members of our global community are invited to break bread with us.

“This is all about supporting the 99%,” said Megan Hayes, an organizer with the #OWS Kitchen working group, and a former high end chef. “So many people have given up so much to come and be a part of the movement because there is really that much dire need for community. We decided to take this holiday opportunity to provide just that – community.”

More than three thousand individually wrapped plates will be distributed on Thursday in accordance with New York State Health Code. People in the community have opened their homes to cook meals. Roger Fox in New Jersey will be making 250 meals, Mia Valh and Alia Gee are also making large numbers of meals. A lot of community organizations are involved and Liberty Cafe in East NY donates space for the #OWS Kitchen working group.

Locally owned family business, Texas BBQ will be providing 2,000 of the meals. They are being purchased with donated funds and will be served along with the home-cooked meals from supporters and food from the People’s Kitchen at Occupy Wall Street. The Owners of Texas BBQ are Egyptian and are supporters of the Occupy Movement.

Indigenous voices, religious leaders, food justice activists and leaders from peoples’ movements around the world are speaking on Thursday at Liberty Square. Occupy Thanksgiving is a celebration for the entire New York community. All are invited.

There will also be a can food drive. Donations of cans will go to local food banks and pantries throughout NYC.

#OCCUPYXMAS Kicks Off with Buy Nothing Day, Nov 25/26

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

   You’ve been sleeping on the streets for two months pleading peacefully for a new spirit in economics. And just as your camps are raided, your eyes pepper sprayed and your head’s knocked in, another group of people are preparing to camp-out. Only these people aren’t here to support occupy Wall Street, they’re here to secure their spot in line for a Black Friday bargain at Super Target and Macy’s.

   Occupy gave the world a new way of thinking about the fat cats and financial pirates on Wall Street. Now lets give them a new way of thinking about the holidays, about our own consumption habits. Lets’ use the coming 20th annual Buy Nothing Day to launch an all-out offensive to unseat the corporate kings on the holiday throne.

   This year’s Black Friday will be the first campaign of the holiday season where we set the tone for a new type of holiday culminating with #OCCUPYXMAS. As the global protests of the 99% against corporate greed and casino capitalism continues, lets take the opportunity to hit the empire where it really hurts…the wallet.

   On Nov 25/26th we escape the mayhem and unease of the biggest shopping day in North America and put the breaks on rabid consumerism for 24 hours. Flash mobs, consumer fasts, mall sit-ins, community events, credit card-ups, whirly-marts and jams, jams, jams! We don’t camp on the sidewalk for a reduced price tag on a flat screen TV or psycho-killer video game. Instead, we occupy the very paradigm that is fueling our eco, social and political decline.

   Historically, Buy Nothing Day has been about fasting from hyper consumerism – a break from the cash register and reflecting on how dependent we really are on conspicuous consumption. On this 20th anniversary of Buy Nothing Day, we take it to the next level, marrying it with the message of #occupy…

   We #OCCUPYXMAS.

   Shenanigans begin November 25!

But if you must shop

Occupy Protesters: Shop Mom-And-Pop Stores, Not Chains, On Black Friday

PORTLAND, Ore. — Occupy protesters want shoppers to occupy something besides door-buster sales and crowded mall parking lots on Black Friday.

Some don’t want people to shop at all. Others just want to divert shoppers from big chains and giant shopping malls to local mom-and-pops. And while the actions don’t appear coordinated, they have similar themes: supporting small businesses while criticizing the day’s dedication to conspicuous consumption and the shopping frenzy that fuels big corporations.

Nearly each one promises some kind of surprise action on the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

Nov 23 2011

Obama Gets Served By #OWS

Speaking at a high school in New Hampshire President Barack Obama got mic checked by a group from #OWS. His response satisfied his supporters in the audience but failed to condemn the outrageous brutality and abuse by police departments and university police or the over 4000 arrest of peaceful demonstrators and credential reporters while the people who caused the economic crisis are protected by his administration.

“Mr. President, over 4000 peaceful protesters have been arrested while bankers continue to destroy the American economy,” it said. “You must stop the assault on our 1st Amendment rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.”

Obama’s DOJ is falling down on its responsibility to put a check on attacks and violations of the right of peaceful assembly to redress grievances, as well as, freedom of speech and the press. Not only should the police officer who pepper sprayed the students be arrested but so should the officers who beat an Iraq veteran in Oakland, lacerating his spleen and any number of other officers for unnecessary use of force. Mayor Bloomberg should be charged with federal violations of Title 18 of Civil Rights Law for ordering the illegal evacuation of Zuccotti Park violating NY & NYC laws and regulations, and allowing the NYPD to use brutal force against peaceful demonstrators and the press.

DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW

   Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

   For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

   The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

   Section 241 of Title 18 is the civil rights conspiracy statute. Section 241 makes it unlawful for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the Unites States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same). Unlike most conspiracy statutes, Section 241 does not require that one of the conspirators commit an overt act prior to the conspiracy becoming a crime.

         The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

“Countdown” guest host David Shuster and Jonathan Turley, constitutional law expert and professor at George Washington University – and a Countdown contributor – analyze Mayor Bloomberg’s claim that the NYPD are keeping the press from the story “so journalists can be safe.” Turley notes, “The problem is that we’re not getting any responsible public officials who are coming forward saying, ‘This is wrong,'” and as a result abuses against protesters often go without penalty: “They can really get away with this.”

We are waiting for you to condemn police brutality in this country and the bankers, Mr. President.

Nov 21 2011

US Now Poster Child For Suppression of Free Speech

The whole world is watching:

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h/t Suzie Madrak  at Crooks & Liars

From the Gawker:

How Egypt Justifies Its Brutal Crackdown: Occupy Wall Street

Two people were killed in Cairo and Alexandria this weekend as Egyptian activists took the streets to protest the military’s attempts to maintain its grip on power. And guess how the state is justifying its deadly crackdown.

“We saw the firm stance the US took against OWS people & the German govt against green protesters to secure the state,” an Egyptian state television anchor said yesterday (as translated by the indispensable Sultan Sooud al Qassemi; bold ours).

The death toll in Egypt has been reported as high as 33 and while as he Gawker points out, the US may not have killed anyone yet but we have militarized our police departments to do what the US military constitutionally cannot and two Iraq vets have been sent to the hospital with life threatening injuries.

Thank you, President Obama, for going where President Bush dared not.

Nov 21 2011

Occupy Wall St.: You Cannot Evict An Idea

Try as they may, the 1% and their elected and appointed puppets cannot evict an ideas whose time has come. Allowing the police to use strong arm tactics, chemical sprays and other “non-lethal” weapons against peaceful, passive demonstrators flies in the face of logic, constitutional and principles. Curling up in a ball or moving your arms to protect yourself will now warrant you a beating with a baton before you are picked up and arrested.

The latest incident last Friday at the University of California Davis Campus produced massive outrage across the country and around the world over the weekend as millions watched the campus police use military grade pepper spray against students sitting, arms linked, peacefully in a circle. Yes, they surrounded police who claimed the students were threatening. But, in order to spray the students, the officer had to step over the students, leave the circle to get the spray. What cowards.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B Katehi had to walk back her initial statement of support for the campus police actions and held press conference Saturday late Saturday afternoon calling for an investigation of the incident. Outside the building where the presser was held, students had assembled around the building chanting “we are peaceful” and “just walk home.” The chancellor stayed inside for over two hours in an attempt to make it appear that the students were holding her hostage. After student representatives had the students stop chanting and form a three block long corridor, Katehi left the building accompanied by student representatives and an investigative reporter Lee Fang who asks her “Chancellor, do you still feel threatened by the students?” She replies “No. No.”. The video, “Walk of Shame”, the silence of the students speaks volumes:

Chancellor Katehi, under pressure to resign, has now suspended two of the officers involved and ordered the investigation to be completed in 30 days, not the 90 she original stated.

H/T John Aravosis at AMERICAblog, Lee Fang at Second Alarm and Jon Weiner at The Nation

More below the fold

Nov 18 2011

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 63 The Day After The Day Of Action

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

OccupyWallStreet

The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

“I don’t know how to fix this but I know it’s wrong.” ~ Unknown Author

Occupy Wall Street NYC now has a web site for its General Assembly  with up dates and information. Very informative and user friendly. It has information about events, a bulletin board, groups and minutes of the GA meetings.

NYC General Assembly #OccupyWallStreet

Keith Olbermann comprehensively reported on the #OWS Day of Action in NYC and around the country

OWS-inspired activism

by Glenn Greenwald

It was only a matter of time before a coordinated police crackdown was imposed to end the Occupy encampments. Law enforcement officials and policy-makers in America know full well that serious protests – and more – are inevitable given the economic tumult and suffering the U.S. has seen over the last three years (and will continue to see for the foreseeable future). A country cannot radically reduce quality-of-life expectations, devote itself to the interests of its super-rich, and all but eliminate its middle class without triggering sustained citizen fury.

The reason the U.S. has para-militarized its police forces is precisely to control this type of domestic unrest, and it’s simply impossible to imagine its not being deployed in full against a growing protest movement aimed at grossly and corruptly unequal resource distribution. As Madeleine Albright said when arguing for U.S. military intervention in the Balkans: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” That’s obviously how governors, big-city Mayors and Police Chiefs feel about the stockpiles of assault rifles, SWAT gear, hi-tech helicopters, and the coming-soon drone technology lavished on them in the wake of the post/9-11 Security State explosion, to say nothing of the enormous federal law enforcement apparatus that, more than anything else, resembles a standing army which is increasingly directed inward.

Once again Kevin Gosztola at FDL provided a running commentary with videos and pictures of the day events which began at 7 AM EDT:

Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Massive Day of Action to Shut Down Wall Street

Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: ‘Occupy the Subways’ & Brooklyn Bridge March Unfolds

Nov 17 2011

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 62

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

OccupyWallStreet

The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

“I don’t know how to fix this but I know it’s wrong.” ~ Unknown Author

Occupy Wall Street NYC now has a web site for its General Assembly  with up dates and information. Very informative and user friendly. It has information about events, a bulletin board, groups and minutes of the GA meetings.

NYC General Assembly #OccupyWallStreet

November 17 International Day of Action

Call To Action!| Facebook Event | Twitter #N17 | Direct Action Resources

On Thursday November 17th, the two month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, we call upon the 99% to participate in a national day of direct action and celebration!

Robert Reich: “The days of apathy are over”

by Peter Finocchiaro

The former U.S. labor secretary vigorously defends OWS during a speech at Berkeley

Occupy Boston Wins Temporary Restraining Order from Judge

by Kevin Gosztola at FDL

A judge issued a temporary restraining order early this afternoon in favor of Occupy Boston. The order prevents the city from having the police raid the camp in the dark of night, as has happened in Oakland, Portland, New York, and other cities. It does, however, allow the city to evict the camp if there is an emergency (for example, if violence breaks out, if there is a fire, if there is a health/medical/sanitary issue, etc).

Judge Frances McIntyre entertained arguments from the ACLU of Massachusetts and the National Lawyers Guild and the city from 10 am to just before noon. There was a recess and then the court reconvened for another forty-five minutes at 12:30 pm.

During the hearing, McIntyre encouraged the city and occupiers to engage in mediation to come to some sort of agreement about when it would be appropriate and inappropriate to evict the occupation. She asked Howard Cooper (who represented Occupy on behalf of the ACLU of Massachusetts and the NLG) if he thought Occupy Boston would disperse from Dewey Square, the site of the occupation, if there were an emergency. She said, “You might point out to them that there are certain advantages to structure,” because Cooper could not answer definitively on behalf of the General Assembly as they had not discussed this yet.

You can follow Kevin Gosztola Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Massive Day of Action to Shut Down Wall Street at FDL

Nov 16 2011

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 61 We’re Stilll Standing

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

OccupyWallStreet

The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

“I don’t know how to fix this but I know it’s wrong.” ~ Unknown Author

Occupy Wall Street NYC now has a web site for its General Assembly  with up dates and information. Very informative and user friendly. It has information about events, a bulletin board, groups and minutes of the GA meetings.

NYC General Assembly #OccupyWallStreet

Keith’s Special Comment: Why Occupy Wall Street needs Michael Bloomberg

In a Special Comment, Keith contextualizes Mayor Bloomberg’s actions against Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park and how they have – unintentionally – vaulted the movement from a local nuisance to a global platform for the disenfranchised.

Keith isn’t the only one who thinks that Bloomberg did the #OWS movement a favor, so do the #OWS leaders

Occupy Wall Street Leaders: “Bloomberg May Have Done Us A Great Favor”

by David Dayen at FDL

Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement said today on a conference call that the police action to evict protesters from Zuccotti Park will only amplify future efforts, starting on Thursday with a planned day of action that will occur at sites across the country.

“We’re going to get in the streets by the tens of thousands on Thursday,” said a member of the Occupy Wall Street movement, who requested that names not be used. “The energy that has erupted is just being amplified right now … Thursday will be even more militant and defiant than it was planned to be.”

November 17th will be unstoppable

by Sandra

Today, on November 15th, Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD made a cowardly attempt to stomp out the spirited movement that sparked in Zuccotti Park two months ago, only to find the flame has spread too far and wide to be stifled. Hundreds have been arrested in New York City defending the birthplace of the Occupy movement, but what Bloomberg fails to understand is that the movement extends beyond the perimeters of Zuccotti Park. As the Occupy alert from last night reads, “You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.”

The country has woken up – we will no longer tolerate a political system ruled by the interests of the 1% at the expense of the rest of us.

That’s why on Thursday, November 17th, thousands of Americans in every corner of the country are pushing back against Wall Street corruption and greed in their communities. We will do all we can to assert our rights as the 99% and reclaim the American Dream.

Join the 99% on November 17th as we fight for accountability, justice, and democracy. Gather with your friends, family and neighbors to highlight work that needs doing in your community – whether a crumbling school building, deteriorating bridge, or a foreclosed home – and demand an economy that works for all.

This is a pivotal moment in history. Our actions have won national attention and the world is watching – let’s make our message loud and clear.

                 

Obama: Each city must decide how to handle Occupy Wall Street demonstrations

Sure, with just a little direction from Homeland Security and the FBI. Yes, Barack, the whole world is watching.

On Behalf of Occupy Boston Participants Who Fear Second Raid, ACLU of Massachusetts & NLG Attorneys File Suit

by Kevin Gosztola at FDL

The National Lawyers Guild and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts have filed a suit to protect the Occupy Boston encampment in Dewey Square from the kind of militarized police operation that has been carried out against occupations in New York, Portland, Oregon, and Oakland, California, in recent days. [..]

Tomorrow, the ACLU of Massachusetts and the National Lawyers Guild will be part of a hearing before Judge McIntyre at 10 am in Room 1008 in the Suffolk County Superior Court (3 Pemberton Square, near State House and Boston City Hall). Members of Occupy Boston are encouraging anyone in the regional area to come to the courthouse to show solidarity with the occupation.

The Disturbing Silencing of the Press in Last Night’s OWS Raid

by David Dayen at FDL

I’ve heard legal theories that the city of New York has the right to impose restrictions on the time, place and manner of the exercise of free speech. This will obviously play out in a court of law. I don’t know how anyone can reasonably look at the laws and say that the wholesale shutdown of the press, not only from the ground but from the air, is in any way a legal exercise. [..]

When you hear about police state crackdowns in the developing world, you typically hear that they go to knock out the communications first, so that nobody can bear witness to the ensuing repression. Michael Bloomberg learned this lesson well.

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