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2011 October 14 | Activist News
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The Road to World War 3

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Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

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U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

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Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »

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The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

Daily Archives: October 14, 2011

Wall Street protesters confront Bloomberg while he dines at top restaurant as dawn showdown looms over camp clean-up plans

Daily Mail
Oct. 14, 2011

Chanting ‘Hell no! We won’t go!’ hundreds of demonstrators stormed Wall Street today to confront New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, vowing to defend their encampment in Zuccotti Park for a 28th day.
As he dined at downtown’s posh Cipriani restaurant, having endorsed a 7am clean-up of the ‘unsanitary’ Occupy Wall Street encampment, protesters attempted to deliver the mayor a petition with 310,000 signatures supporting the their right to remain in the park. But the mayor refused to come out of the restaurant, instead making his exit out of a back door.

New York City officials earlier ordered Wall Street protesters to clear their sleeping bags and tarps from the park where they started a movement that has spread around the globe and forced CEOs and presidential candidates to take notice.
But demonstrators said they wouldn’t be going anywhere on Friday morning, setting the stage for a showdown with police.

The owner of the private park where the demonstrators have camped out for nearly a month said it has become trashed and ‘unsanitary’. Brookfield Office Properties planned to begin a section-by-section power-washing of Zuccotti Park at 7am.

Occupy Wall Street spokesman Patrick Bruner sent an email to supporters on  Thursday asking them to join the protesters at 6am Friday to ‘defend the occupation from eviction’, wary that the clean-up effort is a dirty trick to end their demonstrations.

Greenpeace director denied entry to Indonesia

Associated Press
Oct. 14, 2011

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia says it has barred the executive director of the environmental group Greenpeace from entering the country because of reports written by the organization about the country.
John Sauven was turned back immediately upon arrival at Jakarta‘s airport on Thursday.
He was supposed to meet with government officials and businessmen before visiting rainforests threatened by ever-expanding plantations.
A spokesman for the Justice and Human Rights Ministry says Sauven was informed through Indonesia’s Embassy in London he would not be allowed to enter even though he’d been granted a visa.

An Open Letter to the Men and Women of the New York City Police Department

http://www.nplusonemag.com
Oct. 13, 2011
By Jeremy Kessler

To the Men and Women of the New York City Police Department:

Last night, we learned that because of the complaints of Brookfield Properties, the company that owns Zuccotti Park, Mayor Bloomberg has ordered the Occupy Wall Street protesters to remove themselves and their supplies from the Park at 7 AM tomorrow. If the protesters don’t leave, Bloomberg likely will order you and your colleagues to forcibly remove and arrest the men and women who have come there to protest the policies, politicians, and financial leaders responsible for the continuing economic crisis. As concerned citizens, we ask you not to follow this order.


Bloomberg and Brookfield Properties claim that the protesters must be removed in order to clean the Park. Anytime thousands of people assemble in a small space, it is not easy to keep things neat. The Occupy Wall Street protesters, however, have shown their desire to maintain a safe and sanitary environment. They have organized sanitation and medical teams to remove trash, clean blankets and sleeping bags, and treat the sick and injured. They also have committed themselves to a sober, nonviolent, and respectful public assembly. As in any crowd, there are some who make the lives of police personnel harder than they ought to be. But as the police assigned to the Park over the last month can attest, the vast majority of protesters are peaceful, passionate, and good-humored. They have come to the park not to wreck property or insult hardworking citizens. They have come to the park because they believe in a fair shake, and know they haven’t gotten it.

Mayor Bloomberg and Brookfield Properties claim that the Occupy Wall Street protest will be able to continue—only without food, medicine, or shelter—after the Park is clean. This is not true. The purpose of the Occupy Wall Street protest is to secure a public space at the center of the American financial system in which ordinary Americans can speak and be heard. When 20,000 protesters marched on Wall Street in May, nobody listened. The reason why Occupy Wall Street has attracted so much attention and gained the support of workers and unions across the nation is because it has held its ground. Unlike the national politicians who caved to the financial elites when they demanded special treatment and the local politicians who caved to a billionaire mayor when he wanted another term, the Occupy Wall Street protesters have not caved. But without food, medicine, and shelter, the protesters will not be able to continue their peaceful assembly.

American citizens have a right to assemble in public in order to communicate with one another and with their elected leaders. The right to public assembly is not a right to assemble for a second, or an hour, or a day. As Americans, we have a right to assemble until we are satisfied that our voices have been heard, and that our leaders are sustaining, not destroying, our safety and our livelihoods.

Across the country, political leaders have cut public services and laid off public employees, including police, because of the economic crisis that has engulfed us. That crisis is not ending anytime soon. Unemployment is at about 9 percent and will remain there for some time—unless another recession hits, in which case it will continue to rise, putting further strain on public services and dooming an entire generation of workers and their families to a lifetime of economic uncertainty. The people who are threatened by this ongoing crisis are not strangers to the New York Police Department. They are your friends and neighbors, your children and your parents.

Full Article Here – http://www.nplusonemag.com/an-open-letter-to-the-men-and-women-of-the-new-york-city-police-department

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Occupy Wall Street and Mayor Bloomberg

Working America
Oct. 14, 2011


(The following is a statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on October 13, 2011)


Mayor Bloomberg runs the risk of standing on the wrong side of history tomorrow. It is clear that what is being threatened in Zuccotti Park is nothing but silencing the voices and stomping out the rights of Americans. Participants in Occupy Wall Street are now in their fourth week of declaring that “we are the 99 percent” because our system is desperately, decisively out of whack—the top one percent is pocketing massive profits and dominating our politics while everyone else struggles to make ends meet. It is shocking that Mayor Bloomberg feels like that’s a message that needs to be silenced. The AFL-CIO stands with Occupy Wall Street and the 99 percent of Americans just trying to level the massively unequal playing field.


Full Article Here – http://www.workingamerica.org/blog/2011/10/13/afl-cio-president-richard-trumka-on-occupy-wall-street-and-mayor-bloomberg/ 

Some NYC protesters plan for civil disobedience

Associated Press
Oct. 14, 2011
By VERENA DOBNIK and MEGHAN BARR 

NEW YORK (AP) — Occupy Wall Street protesters say they will wait and see if they are allowed back into the park that has served as their headquarters for nearly a month before they put up resistance.
But others predicted there will be resistance when a scheduled cleanup of Zuccotti Park begins Friday morning. Protesters believe park owner Brookfield Properties is trying to evict them from Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, where they are encamped and have waged their protest against corporate greed.
Some among the group Thursday night said if the owner does not allow them back into the park after the scheduled cleaning, they will engage in nonviolent civil disobedience. Some 100 protesters have volunteered to get arrested.

Protesters went over various scenarios, including what happens if they get arrested, and if the police are confrontational.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
Officials on Thursday moved to put an end to Wall Street protesters’ month-long occupation of a park that spawned similar gatherings across the nation, setting up a potential confrontation with police and an uncertain future for a movement that claims to speak for the disillusioned middle class.
Demonstrators at the half-acre park in lower Manhattan said they won’t go anywhere at the Friday morning deadline when the park’s owners, their patience worn thin, want them to clear out and stop pitching tents or using sleeping bags. Thursday evening, many trained in civil disobedience. They linked arms and sat down.
The company that owns the private park where the demonstrators have camped out said it has become trashed and unsanitary. Brookfield Office Properties planned to begin a section-by-section power-washing of Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street, at 7 a.m.
“They’re going to use the cleanup to get us out of here,” said Justin Wedes, a 25-year-old part-time public high school science teacher from Brooklyn who was one of about 400 people in the park Thursday night. “It’s a de facto eviction notice.”

Six Demands to Make of Wall Street

Common Dreams
Oct. 12, 2011
By Bernie Sanders

The Occupy Wall Street protests are shining a national spotlight on the most powerful, dangerous, and secretive economic and political force in America.

If this country is to break out of the horrendous recession and create the millions of jobs we desperately need, if we are going to create a modicum of financial stability for the future, there is no question but that the American people are going to have to take a very hard look at Wall Street and demand fundamental reforms.  I hope these protests are the beginning of that process.  

Let us never forget that as a result of the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street, this country was plunged into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  Millions of Americans lost their jobs, homes, and life savings as the middle class underwent an unprecedented collapse.  Sadly, despite all the suffering caused by Wall Street, there is no reason to believe that the major financial institutions have changed their ways, or that future financial disasters and bailouts will not happen again.

More than three years ago, Congress rewarded Wall Street with the biggest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world. Simultaneously but unknown to the American people at the time, the Federal Reserve provided an even larger bailout. The details of what the Fed did were kept secret until a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act that I sponsored required the Government Accountability Office to audit the Fed’s lending programs during the financial crisis.

As a result of this audit, the American people have learned that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in low-interest loans to every major financial institution in this country, huge foreign banks, multi-national corporations, and some of the wealthiest people in the world. 

In other words, when Wall Street was on the verge of collapse, the federal government acted boldly, aggressively, and with a fierce sense of urgency to save our financial system from collapse with no strings attached.

Now that the middle class is collapsing and a record-breaking 46 million Americans are living in poverty, the Federal Reserve has failed to act with the same sense of urgency to make sure that small businesses receive the affordable loans needed to put millions of Americans back to work and prevent millions of Americans from losing their homes. 

As a result, Wall Street is back to making record-breaking profits, handing out record-breaking compensation packages, and taking the same risks that caused the financial crisis in the first place.
Meanwhile, 25 million Americans are unemployed or under-employed; middle class families are making $3,600 less than they did ten years ago; the foreclosure rate is still breaking new records; and the American people are still paying over $3.40 for a gallon of gas.

The financial crisis and the jobs crisis have demonstrated to the American people that we now have a government that is of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent and for the 1 percent, as Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz eloquently articulated.  The rest of the 99 percent are, more or less, on their own.  We now have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major, advanced country on earth.  The top one percent earn more income than the bottom 50 percent and the richest 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans.   

Now that Occupy Wall Street is shining a spot light against Wall Street greed and the enormous inequalities that exist in America, the question then becomes, how do we change the political, economic and financial system to work for all Americans, not just the top 1 percent?

Here are several proposals that I am working on: 

1) If a financial institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.  Today, the six largest financial institutions have assets equal to more than 60 percent of GDP.  The four largest banks in this country issue two-thirds of all credit cards, half of all mortgages, and hold nearly 40 percent of all bank deposits.  Incredibly, after we bailed out these big banks because they were “too big to fail,” three out of the four largest are now even bigger than they were before the financial crisis began.  It is time to take a page from Teddy Roosevelt and break up these behemoths so that their failure will no longer lead to economic catastrophe and to create competition in our financial system. 
2) Put a cap on credit card interest rates to end usury.  Today, more than a quarter of all credit card holders in this country are paying interest rates above 20 percent and as high as 59 percent.  When credit card companies charge 25 or 30 percent interest rates they are not engaged in the business of “making credit available” to their customers.  They are involved in extortion and loan-sharking.  Citigroup, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase should not be permitted to charge consumers 25-30 percent interest on their credit cards, especially while these banks received over $4 trillion in loans from the Federal Reserve. 
3) The Federal Reserve needs to provide small businesses in America with the same low-interest loans it gave to foreign banks.  During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve provided hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign banks and corporations including the Arab Banking Corporation, Toyota, Mitsubishi, the Korea Development Bank, and the state-owned Bank of Bavaria.  At a time when small businesses can’t get the lending they need, it is time for the Fed to create millions of American jobs by providing low-interest loans directly to small businesses. 
4) Stop Wall Street oil speculators from artificially increasing gasoline and heating oil prices.  Right now, the American people are being gouged at the gas pump by speculators on Wall Street who are buying and selling billions of barrels of oil in the energy futures market with no intention of using a drop for any purpose other than to make a quick buck.  Delta Airlines, Exxon Mobil, the American Trucking Association, and other energy experts have estimated that excessive oil speculation is driving up oil prices by as much as 40 percent.  We have got to end excessive oil speculation and bring needed relief to American consumers.

EMERGENCY CALL TO ACTION: Keep Bloomberg and Kelly From Evicting #OWS

www.occupywallst.org
Oct. 13, 2011

EMERGENCY #OWS EVICTION DEFENSE:
Prevent the forcible closure of Occupy Wall Street

Tell Bloomberg: Don’t Foreclose the Occupation.

NEED MASS TURN-OUT, SHOW UP NO LATER THAN 6 A.M.

This is an emergency situation. Please take a minute to read this, and please take action and spread the word far and wide.

Occupy Wall Street is gaining momentum, with occupation actions now happening in cities across the world.


But last night Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD notified Occupy Wall Street participants about plans to “clean the park”—the site of the Wall Street protests—tomorrow starting at 7am. “Cleaning” was used as a pretext to shut down “Bloombergville” a few months back, and to shut down peaceful occupations elsewhere.

Bloomberg says that the park will be open for public usage following the cleaning, but with a notable caveat: Occupy Wall Street participants must follow the “rules”.

NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said that they will move in to clear us and we will not be allowed to take sleeping bags, tarps, personal items or gear back into the park.

This is it—this is their attempt to shut down #OWS for good.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION

1) Call 311 (or +1 (212) NEW-YORK if you’re out of town) and tell Bloomberg to support our right to assemble and to not interfere with #OWS.

2) Come to #OWS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT to defend the occupation from eviction.
For those of you who plan to help us hold our ground—which we hope will be all of you—make sure you understand the possible consequences. Be prepared to not get much sleep. Be prepared for possible arrest. Make sure your items are together and ready to go (or already out of the park.) We are pursuing all possible strategies; this is a message of solidarity.

Click here to learn nonviolent tactics for holding ground.


Occupy Wall Street is committed to keeping the park clean and safe—we even have a Sanitation Working Group whose purpose this is. We are organizing major cleaning operations today and will do so regularly.

If Bloomberg truly cares about sanitation here he should support the installation of portopans and dumpsters. #OWS allies have been working to secure these things to support our efforts.

We know where the real dirt is: on Wall Street. Billionaire Bloomberg is beholden to bankers.

We won’t allow Bloomberg and the NYPD to foreclose our occupation. This is an occupation, not a permitted picnic.

Full Article Here – http://www.occupywallst.org/

Protesters disrupt hearing on US defense spending

AFP
Oct. 13, 2011

WASHINGTON — Protesters disrupted a congressional hearing Thursday on US defense spending, with one demonstrator shouting “You are murdering people!” as police dragged him out of the room.

Eight people were arrested, said Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider, including seven for disruption of Congress and one for simple assault.

Stop the Machine, an anti-war coalition occupying Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington since last Thursday, said seven had been arrested, including Leah Bolger, vice president of the Veterans for Peace organization.


“We are here representing the vast majority of the American people who want the wars to end now and want our tax dollars to be spent on human needs instead of on the war machine,” said Bolger on the coalition’s website.

One by one, protesters stood up and voiced their opposition to US military action, forcing a grim-faced chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck McKeon, to repeatedly bang his gavel to suspend the proceedings.

“How many lives?” said an elderly woman clad in a pink shirt, as a police officer pulled her out of the hall. “How many lives?”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had to halt his opening statement several times as protesters interrupted him.

Public support for the 10-year-old war in Afghanistan — where about 98,000 US troops are deployed — has steadily declined but has generated no massive street protests, with most voters preoccupied with the struggling US economy.

Although the war has become unpopular, a large majority of Americans supported the rationale for the 2001 US-led invasion after the attacks of September 11.

Washington is the scene of two broadly like-minded occupations — one at Freedom Plaza, spearheaded by veteran activists, and a more youthful Occupy DC at McPherson Square inspired by Occupy Wall Street in New York.

Full Article Here – http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gM3g1aNM-y256eUSvpcE1t99AhaA?docId=CNG.7dbe9a730cea189265834a9542aa7568.161 

‘Indignant’ protests to sweep across world

AFP
Oct. 13, 2011
By Elodie Cuzin

“Indignant” protesters, angered by a biting economic crisis they blame on politicians and bankers, vow to take to the streets worldwide Saturday in a protest spanning 71 nations.
It is the first global show of power by the protest, born May 15 when a rally in Madrid’s central square of Puerta del Sol sparked a movement that spread nationwide, then to other countries.
As governments cut deep into welfare spending to try to trim huge sovereign debts, protests have grown and this weekend’s demonstrations are being organised in Madrid, New York and around the world.
“United in one voice, we will let politicians, and the financial elites they serve, know it is up to us, the people, to decide our future,” organisers said in a statement on http://15october.net/.
“We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us.”

The organisers, relying heavily on Facebook and Twitter, say street protests will be held October 15 in 719 cities across 71 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
The protests first took hold in Spain, with a jobless rate of 20.89 percent, rising to 46.1 percent for 16-24 year olds, where activists built ramshackle camps in city squares including Puerta del Sol.
Then they spread to Europe, finding strong backing in crisis-hit countries like Greece, and then worldwide — last month reaching the centre of global capitalism in Wall Street.
In Madrid, Saturday’s protest will end in Puerta del Sol, still the spiritual centre of the overwhelmingly peaceful protests even though the protest camp was dismantled in June.
Three marches will converge on the city’s emblematic square of Cibeles at 6pm (1600 GMT) before proceeding to Puerta del Sol for assemblies lasting through the night.

Wall Street protesters vow to stay put

CNN
Oct. 13, 2011

New York (CNN) — Protesters will resist any efforts to remove them from the Lower Manhattan park where they have been camped for nearly a month, despite Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s order that they vacate the park at 7 a.m. Friday so it can be cleaned, an organizer said Thursday.

“Come tomorrow morning, we will passively resist and make it as difficult a process to remove us as possible,” said Occupy Wall Street spokesman Tyler Combelic. “It’s not an occupation if you can’t occupy the park.”


His words appeared to be backed up by the sentiment of the crowd of more than 1,000 protesters who filled Zuccotti Park Thursday night. “All day! All week! Occupy Wall Street!” they chanted.

Combelic called the mayor’s announcement a “not-so-veiled attempt” to force protesters from the park, setting up a possible confrontation with authorities.

Protesters descended on the privately owned park near the New York Stock Exchange on September 17 to protest the nation’s ailing economy.

“You want to clean up something? Clean up these crooks on Wall Street,” said City Council Member Charles Barron.

Daniel Mintz of MoveOn.Org said he was planning to deliver to Bloomberg more than 350,000 petitions and signatures he received Thursday from supporters around the nation. “The mayor would do a lot better cleaning up Wall Street than cleaning up the plaza,” he said.

“The park is clean,” said Letitia James, a councilwoman from Brooklyn. “The issue of cleanliness is a ruse, a disguise and nothing more than an excuse to end OWS.” Some protesters could be seen sweeping up debris. Others said they have used donated funds to clean the park.

A number of unions have pledged to support demonstrations cropping up in cities nationwide.
Maida Rosenstein, president of UAW local 2110, said members of her chapter planned to gather at the
park at 7 a.m., when the cleaning is scheduled to begin.

“If the mayor thinks he’s going to evict these protesters and end these protests, he needs to know that New Yorkers are watching,” Rosenstein said. “The unions are going to be there tomorrow and are also watching.”

Full Article Here – http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/10/13/us.occupy.wall.street/