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2011 October 28 | Activist News

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 »


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 »

jeff olsen

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 »


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 28, 2011

Occupy San Diego protesters ousted after dialogue ended, police say

Los Angeles Times
Oct. 28, 2011

The San Diego police chief said a decision was made to clear Occupy San Diego protesters from the civic plaza Friday after talks broke down with protesters who refused to remove their tents.

Mayor Jerry Sanders, a former police chief, was informed in advance of the decision to remove the protesters and their belongings from the plaza behind City Hall, said Chief Bill Lansdowne.

An estimated 50 people were arrested in the early Friday morning sweep that took less than an hour.

There were no reports of injuries or use of tear gas. Police used plastic handcuffs to restrain those who were arrested.

“It was textbook,” Lansdowne said.

About 100 San Diego officers were involved, backed by deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.  Lansdowne said he was proud of the officers who arrived about 2 a.m. and ordered protesters to move or be arrested.

“Most of those who were arrested wanted to be arrested,” Lansdowne said.

In the first days of the occupation, police and protesters had a friendly dialogue, Lansdowne said. But in recent days as protesters began erecting more tents, dialogue deteriorated, he said.

Full Article Here – http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/10/occupy-san-diego-2.html 

Business as usual: top directors get 49 per cent pay rise

The Independent
Oct. 28, 2011
By Stephen Foley

The directors of Britain’s largest companies were last night condemned as “elite greedy pigs” for pocketing a 49 per cent pay rise in the past year, while average workers failed even to keep up with inflation.

Unions exploded with fury after the publication of figures that showed how boardroom pay soared in the last financial year, thanks to rising salaries, bonuses and in particular the swelling value of directors’ long-term share plans. The statistics, compiled by Incomes Data Services, provide an annual snapshot of executive remuneration, as reported in companies’ most recent reports to shareholders, and show that the chief executives of the FTSE 100 largest companies earned an average of £3,855,172 last year. That is an average 43 per cent rise and, adding in other directors, total earnings rose by an average 49 per cent.

According to the report, the FTSE 100 chief executive with the highest earnings last year was Michael Davis of the mining conglomerate Xstrata, who pocketed £18.4m, closely followed by Bart Becht of Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Nurofen, Calgon dishwasher powder and Durex condoms.

Steve Tatton, the report’s editor, said the large increases represented the rising value of long-term share incentive plans, which were accumulated over time. “Britain’s economy may be struggling to return to pre-recession levels of output, but the same cannot be said of FTSE 100 directors’ remuneration. The generous remuneration packages that FTSE 100 directors now receive indicate a marked improvement in boardroom fortunes,” he said.
Union leaders’ outrage was only stoked by a second IDS report, also released yesterday, showing that the average private-sector pay award this summer gave workers a raise of just 2.6 per cent – half the most recent annual inflation figure.
“This is another shining example of how the elite greedy pigs who run our top companies behave,” said Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB, which recently published a survey of 294 occupations covering 90 per cent of the British workers that showed they had seen drops in living standards of up to 20 per cent in some sectors.
“Apart from these FTSE directors and chief executives, everyone from plasterers to IT specialists, from travel agents to midwives, and hairdressers to police inspectors has seen the value of their earnings drop. It has got a lot worse in the past year as the recovery stalled,” he added.
The IDS report is set to reignite demands for the Government to curb executive pay, and the Unite union last night called for shareholders to be given more power to hold directors accountable. “The Government should strongly consider giving shareholders greater legal powers to question and curb these excessive remuneration packages,” said the union’s general secretary Len McCluskey. 
“Institutional shareholders need to exercise much greater scrutiny and control of directors’ pay and bonuses. It’s obscene and it shows that the City has learnt nothing during the financial troubles of the last four years.”
The TUC called for worker representation on company boards as a way of trying to narrow the gap between boardroom and shop-floor pay.
“Boardroom pay rewards are a brazen stitch-up,” said Brendan Barber, the TUC’s general secretary. “Top directors have used tough business conditions to impose real wage cuts, which have hit people’s living standards and the wider economy, but have shown no such restraint with their own pay. Reform should start with employee representation on remuneration committees, which would give directors a much-needed sense of reality.” 

Judge approves settlement for black farmers

Oct. 28, 2011
By JoAnne Allen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday approved a $1.25 billion settlement in a decades-old discrimination case by black farmers, clearing the way for them to seek compensation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for being left out of farm aid programs.
The decision helps tens of thousands of farmers who had been denied part of an earlier 1999 settlement because they missed the filing deadline.
U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman wrote in an order approving the agreement that Congress by waiving the statute of limitations has further redressed “the historic discrimination against African-American farmers.” He called the settlement “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”
National Black Farmers Association president said it was “a very important step that should provide assurance to the black farmers that each of their cases will now move toward a resolution.”

The black farmers reached this settlement with the government in February 2010 to compensate them for being left out of federal farm loan and assistance programs for years because of alleged racial discrimination.

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/judge-approves-settlement-black-farmers-042842779.html?nc 

U.S. Army sergeant to be tried for alleged Afghan sport killings

Oct. 28, 2011
By Patrick Oppmann

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (CNN) — It didn’t take long for Sgt. Calvin Gibbs to make an impression on his soldiers.

Gibbs, the new leader of 3rd Platoon, part of the Army’s 5th Stryker Brigade, had served a previous tour in Iraq and another in Afghanistan, and at 6 feet 4 inches and 220 pounds, towered over most of the platoon members.

Gibbs took over the platoon, stationed in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in November, 2009. It was a low point for the group: A massive roadside bomb had injured their previous leader and left the team rattled. Gibbs wasn’t rattled though.

And, as several of his fellow soldiers would later testify, Gibbs promised his men they would have a chance to exact revenge on the “savages,” referring to the Afghan civilian population they were meant to protect.

Nearly two years later, Gibbs, 26, faces a military court martial on Friday for numerous charges, including the murder of three Afghan civilians.

He is the highest ranking soldier charged in what prosecutors say was a rogue “kill squad” that allegedly targeted Afghan civilians and made the deaths look like casualties of Taliban counterattacks.

He has also been charged with removing body parts from his alleged victims, such as teeth and fingers, to keep as souvenirs; planting “drop weapons” to fake attacks on soldiers; and intimidating several of his own unit members from speaking out against the unit’s alleged murder plots and rampant drug use.

After his May 2010 arrest in Afghanistan, Gibbs showed investigators a tattoo on his lower left leg depicting crossed pistols and five skulls. He told investigators the skulls were a way to keep track of his kills in both Iraq and Afghanistan, according to investigative interview notes shown to CNN.

Gibbs has pleaded not guilty. His attorney Phillip Stackhouse did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment. Stackhouse said in a preliminary hearing this summer that Gibbs acted lawfully and that other soldiers who have testified against him were unreliable witnesses.

Gibbs, a Billings, Montana, native who is married with a young son, faces life in a military prison. His trial is expected to last a week.

Twelve soldiers from the Army’s 5th Stryker Brigade have been charged in the case, including five with murder. Three of the soldiers charged with murder — Spc. Adam Winfield, Pvt. Jeremy Morlock, and Pfc. Andrew Holmes — have pleaded guilty in exchange for their testimony. Spc. Michael Wagnon has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of murder, and awaits court martial.

Full Article Here – http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/28/us/afghan-sport-killings-court-martial/index.html

Greek protesters call president “traitor”, halt parade

Oct. 28, 2011
By George Georgiopoulos and Daniel Flynn

(Reuters) – Greeks protesting at austerity measures demanded by foreign lenders blocked a major national parade on Friday to commemorate Greek resistance in World War Two, shouting “traitors” at President Karolos Papoulias and other officials.

The protest in Thessaloniki was echoed at smaller parades across Greece, including in Athens where marchers held black ribbons. It showed the extent of anger at the higher taxes and wage cuts sought by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in return for funds to avert a debt default.

The annual military parade in the northern city is one of the most symbolic events in Greece’s political calendar and commemorates the rejection of Italy’s ultimatum to surrender in 1940. It was the first time it had been canceled.

“The Greek people are now fighting a major battle. They also fought one many years ago today … We must unite to overcome this crisis,” Papoulias said, adding that he had fought the Germans as a 15-year-old boy. “So who is a traitor? They should be ashamed!”

“I came to honor this historic city. There are some who want to prevent this celebration. I am very sorry,” said Papoulias, 82, appealing to Greeks to stand together in the face of the country’s economic plight.

The austerity measures demanded under an EU/IMF rescue of Greece have helped push its economy into its worst recession in four decades, driving unemployment to record levels above 16 percent.
Many Greeks accuse Prime Minister George Papandreou of sacrificing their wellbeing to foreign lenders.

Incidents marred parades and celebrations in towns and cities throughout Greece, held to commemorate the day when Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas rejected a demand from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to allow deployment of his troops in Greece. The national holiday known as Ohi Day, or “No Day”, in Greek.


Despite a deal clinched on Thursday at an EU summit to cancel half the value of Greece’s 200 billion euro debt in the hands of private bondholders, many Greeks are deeply resentful of what they see as foreign meddling in their affairs, reviving memories of the wartime Nazi occupation.

EU paymaster Germany, which has been vocal in demanding economic and fiscal reforms in return for its financial support, has become a target for demonstrators’ derision.

Full Article Here – http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/28/us-greece-protest-idUSTRE79R34J20111028

Anonymous downs Oakland police site after violence

SC Magazine
Oct. 27, 2011

The hacktivist group Anonymous is making good on its promise of digital retaliation against the Oakland Police Department for the force it used against protesters this week.

A distributed denial-of-service attack against the department’s website — www.oaklandpolice.com — is underway, and the website currently is unreachable.

In addition, members of the collective have begun releasing information about Oakland police officers, and the call is out for additional help.

“The time has come to retaliate against Oakland police via all non-violent means, beginning with ‘doxing’ of individual officers and particularly higher-ups involved in the department’s conduct of late,” read an Anonymous statement, posted to Pastebin.

An Oakland police spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

Doxing references the public release of information about individuals.

Anonymous’ operation, dubbed “OpUprise,” comes in response to the actions Tuesday night of Oakland police trying to squash a largely peaceful demonstration organized to protest the clearing of an encampment where Occupy Oakland members had been staying.

Full Article Here – http://www.scmagazineus.com/anonymous-downs-oakland-police-site-after-violence/article/215433/

FDNY Confiscates Generators During “Occupy” Safety Sweep

Oct. 28, 2011

Members of the New York City Fire Department swept through Zuccotti Park this morning to remove generators and other items considered to be fire hazards at the Occupy Wall Street camp.

Protesters say the firefighters came in and announced the surprise safety inspections.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says protesters voluntarily gave up illegal hazards, including six generators and dozens of gas cans apparently being used for heat.

The mayor says the protestors can stay in the park, as long as they obey the law.

“As long as they don’t take away anyone else’s rights to say what they want to say or to not say anything and go about their business safely, quality of life is something we do worry about. As long as they do that, at the moment, it will continue,” Bloomberg said.

“We have bike generators anyway, so we can make do with that for the weekend. We have a lot of sub zero sleeping bags as well. So we’re pretty certain we can keep people nice and warm,” said one protester.

Later today, protesters are expected to hold a rally in Bryant Park before marching to various bank to deliver thousands of letters from the so-called “99 percent.”

Meantime, the NYPD Sergeants’ Union is warning protesters not to interfere with police business.

Full Article Here – http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/top_stories/149792/fdny-confiscates-generators-during–occupy–safety-sweep 

Vigils for Injured Vet, Police Clear Tenn. Protest

Associated Press
Oct. 28, 2011

Anti-Wall Street demonstrators held vigils for an Iraq War veteran seriously injured during a protest clash with police in California as some Occupy encampments came under growing pressure from authorities to abandon sites in parks and plazas.

A crowd of at least 1,000 people, many holding candles, gathered Thursday night in Oakland in honor of 24-year-old Scott Olsen, who is hospitalized with a fractured skull.

Many in the crowd shooed away Oakland Mayor Jean Quan who retreated back into City Hall after trying to address them during a tense late-night appearance. She apologized to Olsen during a hospital visit earlier Thursday.

“I am deeply saddened about the outcome on Tuesday. It was not what anyone hoped for, ultimately it was my responsibility, and I apologize for what happened,” Quan said in a written statement to protesters late Thursday. “I cannot change the past, but I want to work with you to ensure that this remains peaceful moving forward.”

In Nashville, police cracked down overnight on an Occupy protest camp near the Capitol under a new policy setting a curfew for the complex. Officers moved in a little after 3 a.m. and arrested about 30, who were later released after a judge wouldn’t sign the warrants. About 20 protesters who stayed on a nearby sidewalk were not arrested and were still there later in the morning as state troopers stood guard at the steps to the Capitol.

Protesters also held a vigil for Olsen in Las Vegas, which drew a handful of police officers. Afterward, protesters invited them back for a potluck dinner.

“We renewed our vow of nonviolence,” organizer Sebring Frehner said.

The Marine veteran, who won medals in Iraq, has become a rallying cry for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators across the nation, with Twitter users and protest websites declaring, “We are all Scott Olsen.”

Joshua Shepherd, 27, a Navy veteran who was standing nearby when Olsen got struck, called it a cruel irony that Olsen is fighting an injury in the country that he fought to protect.

Despite the financial underpinnings of the protests, Olsen himself wasn’t taking part out of economic need.

His friends say he makes a good living as a network engineer and has a nice apartment overlooking San Francisco Bay. Still, he felt so strongly about economic inequality in the United States that he fought for overseas that he slept at a protest camp after work.

“He felt you shouldn’t wait until something is affecting you to get out and do something about it,” said friend and roommate Keith Shannon, who served with Olsen in Iraq.

Full Article Here – http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/wall-street-protesters-hold-vigils-injured-vet-14831926 

Talk radio hosts get an earful at Occupy L.A. encampment

Los Angeles Times
Oct. 28, 2011
By Kate Linthicum

Conservative talk radio hosts John and Ken showed up at Occupy L.A. for a live broadcast Thursday, setting off a chaotic scene of jostling and shouting. If their aim was to provoke, they succeeded.

The hosts, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, have been mocking the protest on their popular afternoon show on KFI-AM (640). When they entered the encampment of tents surrounding City Hall, accompanied by four security guards dressed in suits, they were quickly flanked by a crowd of several dozen protesters.

Some demonstrators greeted them with smiles and handshakes. Others screamed that they were pushing “right-wing propaganda.” At one point, the crowd drowned out the broadcast with cheers of “We are the 99%.”

A woman walking by who asked about the commotion was told by a protester: “It’s a conservative radio show here to make people sound and look stupid.” Eventually, tensions eased and the hosts conducted a series of interviews with protesters.

The show was the subject of controversy recently when the hosts read on the air the mobile and office phone numbers of a local immigrant rights activist. The activist reported receiving hundreds of hate-filled phone calls as a result, prompting a boycott launched by the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

Full Article Here – http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-occupy-john-ken-20111028,0,3123896.story

Wounded Iraq vet awake after Oakland protest injury

Oct. 28, 2011
By Peter Henderson

(Reuters) – An Iraq war veteran badly wounded in clashes between protesters and police on the streets of Oakland was awake and lucid, hospital officials and family members said on Thursday.

Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old former U.S. Marine struck in the head during Wall Street protests on Tuesday night, had been upgraded from critical to fair condition overnight.

Olsen’s injury has become a rallying cry for the Occupy Wall Street movement nationwide, and Oakland organizers said they would stage a general strike over what a spokeswoman called the “brutal and vicious” treatment of protesters, including the young Iraq war veteran.

At the downtown plaza where he was hurt, several hundred supporters turned out Thursday night for a candlelight vigil in which fellow activists from a group called Iraq War Veterans for Peace addressed the crowd. One drew loud cheers when he said the police chief or mayor should resign.

Olsen “responded with a very large smile” to a visit from his parents, Highland General Hospital spokesman Warren Lyons said at a late-afternoon press conference on Thursday.

“He’s able to understand what’s going on. He’s able to write and hear, but has a little difficulty with his speech,” Lyons said.

He said doctors had not operated on Olsen yet and were waiting to see if swelling in his brain eased.

Olsen’s aunt, Kathy Pacconi, told Reuters in an email that her nephew was showing signs of improvement.

“I believe he knew his mom and dad were there, and tomorrow he’ll be really happy to see his sister, Melissa, because they are really close. Hopefully, he’ll start to improve with her visit,” Pacconi said.
Occupy Oakland organizers said their strike, scheduled for next Wednesday, was intended to shut down the city.


“We mean nobody goes to work, nobody goes to school, we shut the city down,” organizer Cat Brooks said. “The only thing they seem to care about is money and they don’t understand that it’s our money they need. We don’t need them, they need us.”

Spokeswomen for the city of Oakland and Mayor Jean Quan could not be reached for comment.

Brooks said a general strike was a “natural progression” following a crackdown by the city of Oakland early on Tuesday morning in which protesters were evicted from a plaza near city hall and 85 people were arrested.

Full Article Here – http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/28/us-usa-wallstreet-protests-oakland-idUSTRE79Q01F20111028