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2011 October 30 | 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 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street turns to pedal power

Raw Story
Oct. 30, 2011
By Muriel Kane

The Occupy Wall Street protesters who were left without power after their gas-fueled generators were confiscated by New York City authorities on Friday may have found the idea solution in the form of a stationary bicycle hooked up to charge batteries.

Stephan Keegan of the non-profit environmental group Time’s Up showed off one of the bikes to The Daily News, explaining that OWS’s General Assembly has already authorized payment for additional bikes and that “soon we’ll have ten of these set up and we’ll be powering the whole park with batteries.”


Protester Lauren Minis told CBS New York, “We’ve got five bike-powered generator systems that are coming from Boston and we’ve got five more plus other ones that are going to supplement as well so we’re completely, completely off the grid.”

According to CBS, “Insiders at Occupy Wall Street say they expect to have their media center and the food service area fully powered and illuminated by Monday.”

“We need some exercise,” Keegan explained enthusiastically, “and we’ve got a lot of volunteers, so we should be able to power these, no problem. … We did an energy survey of the whole park, found out how much energy we were using. …. Ten will give us twice as much power.”

Full Article Here – http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/10/30/occupy-wall-street-turns-to-pedal-power/

In Tenn. and NY, locals thwart protesters’ removal

Associated Press
Oct. 30, 2011
By TRAVIS LOLLER

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s governor and his administration have twice sent state troopers to handcuff and haul away Occupy Nashville protesters camped out just steps away from the Capitol. And twice, a relatively obscure local official refused to throw them in jail.
In New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly asked Albany‘s mayor last weekend to begin enforcing the 11 p.m. curfew at a park where the protesters have set up camp. Mayor Jerry Jennings declined.

Demonstrators are camping out in public parks in cities across the country, protesting against what they see as corporate greed and inequities in the American economy. Cities are dealing with the differently, some trying to work with protesters to leave peacefully, while others have sent in police to arrest them.
Under Tennessee state law, a judicial commissioner determines if there is probable cause that a crime has been committed. That official in this case has set the demonstrators free, despite Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s efforts.
The magistrate, Tom Nelson, says state officials have no authority to set a curfew requiring the protesters to clear out or face arrest.
“The magistrate’s position is sort of a safety valve to prevent overzealous officers from putting people in jail for no reason,” Nashville attorney Jim Todd said. He said it’s extraordinarily rare when a magistrate refuses to sign off on an arrest warrant. But he supported Nelson’s decision, saying he believes the safety valve worked.
In Albany, Occupy protesters have pitched tents in a city park across the street from the state Capitol. Cuomo has been targeted by the demonstrators for opposing an extension of a temporary tax on people earning more than $200,000 per year. And he wants them out.

Jennings said removing the group would be more trouble than it was worth.

“Some of the governor’s people were pretty firm about our not doing this, letting them stay in the park, but basically, we had allowed this before,” Jennings told the New York Post. “My counsel said we’d be opening ourselves up to civil liability if we forced them out.”
He added that he believed Albany’s left-leaning District Attorney, David Soares, sympathized with the protesters.
“My understanding is he spoke to the Albany police and told them he wouldn’t prosecute,” Jennings told the newspaper.

What the Costumes Reveal

New York Times
Published Oct. 28, 2011
By

On Friday, the law firm of Steven J. Baum threw a Halloween party. The firm, which is located near Buffalo, is what is commonly referred to as a “foreclosure mill” firm, meaning it represents banks and mortgage servicers as they attempt to foreclose on homeowners and evict them from their homes. Steven J. Baum is, in fact, the largest such firm in New York; it represents virtually all the giant mortgage lenders, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

The party is the firm’s big annual bash. Employees wear Halloween costumes to the office, where they party until around noon, and then return to work, still in costume. I can’t tell you how people dressed for this year’s party, but I can tell you about last year’s.


That’s because a former employee of Steven J. Baum recently sent me snapshots of last year’s party. In an e-mail, she said that she wanted me to see them because they showed an appalling lack of compassion toward the homeowners — invariably poor and down on their luck — that the Baum firm had brought foreclosure proceedings against.

When we spoke later, she added that the snapshots are an accurate representation of the firm’s mind-set. “There is this really cavalier attitude,” she said. “It doesn’t matter that people are going to lose their homes.” Nor does the firm try to help people get mortgage modifications; the pressure, always, is to foreclose. I told her I wanted to post the photos on The Times’s Web site so that readers could see them. She agreed, but asked to remain anonymous because she said she fears retaliation.

Let me describe a few of the photos. In one, two Baum employees are dressed like homeless people. One is holding a bottle of liquor. The other has a sign around her neck that reads: “3rd party squatter. I lost my home and I was never served.” My source said that “I was never served” is meant to mock “the typical excuse” of the homeowner trying to evade a foreclosure proceeding.

A second picture shows a coffin with a picture of a woman whose eyes have been cut out. A sign on the coffin reads: “Rest in Peace. Crazy Susie.” The reference is to Susan Chana Lask, a lawyer who had filed a class-action suit against Steven J. Baum — and had posted a YouTube video denouncing the firm’s foreclosure practices. “She was a thorn in their side,” said my source.

A third photograph shows a corner of Baum’s office decorated to look like a row of foreclosed homes. Another shows a sign that reads, “Baum Estates” — needless to say, it’s also full of foreclosed houses. Most of the other pictures show either mock homeless camps or mock foreclosure signs — or both. My source told me that not every Baum department used the party to make fun of the troubled homeowners they made their living suing. But some clearly did. The adjective she’d used when she sent them to me — “appalling” — struck me as exactly right.

These pictures are hardly the first piece of evidence that the Baum firm treats homeowners shabbily — or that it uses dubious legal practices to do so. It is under investigation by the New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. It recently agreed to pay $2 million to resolve an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether the firm had “filed misleading pleadings, affidavits, and mortgage assignments in the state and federal courts in New York.” (In the press release announcing the settlement, Baum acknowledged only that “it occasionally made inadvertent errors.”)

Full Article Here – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/29/opinion/what-the-costumes-reveal.html?_r=4 

Nearly 40 Protestors Arrested Overnight at Occupy Austin

Austin American-Statesman
Oct. 30, 2011
By Andrea Ball

UPDATE at 3:28 p.m.: Watch a live stream of Occupy Austin at Travis County jail here, where demonstrators will be released from jail and protesters are marching to from city hall today.

UPDATE at 1:36 p.m.: City officials are asking Occupy Austin protesters to appoint leaders to work with city officials on developing a consensus on new rules for the group’s occupation of city hall, police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters today.

The loosely organized group could discuss the measure in their afternoon general assembly meeting.

Police arrested 38 protesters early this morning, the most in a single incident since protesters came to City Hall since Oct. 6.

The arrests came a little more than a day and a half after the city posted new rules for the protesters, including a ban on setting up the food distribution table overnight, Acevedo said at a press conference this afternoon during which he and Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald outlined the city’s plans going forward.


“I can tell you that a lot of the changes were made at the request of people I consider to be Occupy Austin,” Acevedo said, declining to name names.

McDonald said they plan to meet with Occupy Austin representatives Monday morning.

The 30 men and eight women who were arrested early Sunday on criminal trespass charges will be released this afternoon, Acevedo said.

Earlier: Thirty-eight Occupy Austin protesters were arrested at City Hall Sunday in a dispute that started over food tables on the plaza.

The incident was the largest group arrest since protesters began a 24/7 occupation at City Hall on Oct. 6. Four people were arrested on Oct. 13 for refusing to leave the plaza while a cleaning crew power-washed the plaza, but since then, occupiers and police have maintained a generally cooperative relationship.

Most of the protesters arrested Sunday were charged with criminal trespass, said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. No injuries were reported.

Full Article Here – http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/blotter/entries/2011/10/30/nearly_40_protestors_arrested.html

Germany’s ‘Occupy’ protesters return to voice anger

Deutsche Welle
Oct. 30, 2011

Thousands of people in Germany have rallied again to protest over the gap between rich and poor. Activists camping outside the European Central Bank in Frankfurt have vowed to remain for the next two weeks.

Thousands gathered across Germany on Saturday to protest over wealth inequalities and a perceived lack of transparency in the financial services industry.

According to police figures, about 2,500 people rallied in Frankfurt to march on a route that took them past the headquarters of both the German national bank and the European Central Bank (ECB).


The activist group Attac, which organized the event, said at least 5,000 had attended.

Members of the Occupy Frankfurt group, which has been camped outside the ECB for the past two weeks, have said they plan to remain at the site for two more weeks.

In Berlin, some 1,000 protesters gathered outside the main city hall carrying plaques bearing the message “Occupy Berlin.”

Other slogans included “Capitalism is crisis” and “We are the 99 percent,” the later referring to figures that show one percent of the world’s population holds almost 40 percent of the world’s wealth.

Satirical swipe

Among the more satirical of the protests was a group of young people dressed in ball gowns and suits, chanting “We are the one percent, we are rich and you are not,” as their slogan.

Full Article Here – http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15498212,00.html

Spanish Indignados a Force in Global Movement

Common Dreams
Oct. 29, 2011
By Aaron Lamm

Occupy Wall Street and its U.S. offshoots pale in size compared to their Spanish cousin, which may be taking a leading role in an increasingly globalized and coordinated movement.
 
In Spain, the Occupy protests are known by the nickname 15M, for the date the started, May 15 and as the “Indignados” for those that populate it.

On Oct. 15, these indignant Spaniards spurred a coordinated global protest that spanned 90 countries and 1,000 cities. In Spain, several hundred thousand people participated, supporting the view that the
Indignados have become an inspiration and coordinating force for actions beyond Spain’s borders.


Spanish public broadcaster RTVE estimated that between 6.5 million and 8 million Spaniards have participated in protests during 2011, and according to polls, 80 percent of the Spaniards support the Indignados’ cause, EU Observer reported.

Recently, a group of Spanish Indignados arrived in Brussels, the EU capital, after they walked there from Spain in a trek that took 80 days. They hoped to bring their case to top EU officials. In a YouTube clip, one of the marchers said, “I speak five languages and I’m a physicist, and I’m
unemployed.”

The labor market in Spain looks grim—according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Spain had an overall unemployment rate of 21.2 percent in August 2011, and during the year various sources have put youth unemployment at about twice that figure. Meanwhile, the Spanish government, like most European governments, has had to introduce various austerity measures to deal with its economic problems.

The Spanish grass-roots citizen organization Democracia Real Ya (DRY), which means “real democracy now” has played an especially important role, focusing on demanding an end to austerity measures and a new approach to democracy. Among other things, they have suggested a whole new European Constitution, created in a way similar to how the new Icelandic Constitution is being written, with the help of crowd-sourcing, bringing in suggestions from the people via social media.
The Epoch Times conducted an email interview with Miguel, a Spanish DRY spokesperson who preferred not to give his last name.

Full Article Here – https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/10/29-5 

Occupy London could be protected by Christian ring of prayer

Guardian
Oct. 29, 2011
By

Coalition of Christian groups plan to prevent forcible attempts to remove tents outside St Paul’s Cathedral

Christian groups have drawn up plans to protect protesters by forming a ring of prayer around the camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral, should an attempt be made to forcibly remove them.

As the storm of controversy over the handling of the Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstration deepened on Saturday, Christian activists said it was their duty to stand up for peaceful protest in the absence of support from St Paul’s. One Christian protester, Tanya Paton, said: “We represent peace, unity and love. A ring of prayer is a wonderful symbol.”


With senior officials at St Paul’s apparently intent on seeking an injunction to break up the protest, the director of the influential religious thinktank Ekklesia, Jonathan Bartley, said the cathedral’s handling of the protest had been a “car crash” and predicted more high-profile resignations from the Church of England.

The canon chancellor of St Paul’s, Dr Giles Fraser, and the Rev Fraser Dyer, who works as a chaplain at the cathedral, have already stepped down over the decision to pursue legal action to break up the camp.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, is attempting to mediate in the dispute. She said she had contacted the corporation, cathedral and protesters to offer a “neutral space” to sort out the impasse. The corporation had not yet responded, she said, although St Paul’s had acknowledged her offer. She said the protesters had been enthusiastic in their desire for dialogue and a peaceful resolution.

“It would have been easy to opt for a line of action that would have led to images of police dragging away protesters, but they want to talk.”

It was claimed last night that a highly critical report into the moral standards of bankers has been suppressed by St Paul’s amid fears it would inflame tensions over the protest. The report, based on a survey of 500 City workers who were asked if they thought they were worth their salaries and bonuses, was due to be published last Thursday.

But publication of the report, by the St Paul’s Institute, has been delayed in apparent acknowledgement that it would give the impression the cathedral was on the side of protesters.

Christian groups that have publicly sided with the protesters include one of the oldest Christian charities, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the oldest national student organisation, the Student Christian Movement, Christianity Uncut, the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust and the Christian magazine Third Way. In addition, London Catholic Worker, the Society of Sacramental Socialists and Quaker groups have offered their support.

A statement by the groups said: “As Christians, we stand alongside people of all religions who are resisting economic injustice with active nonviolence. The global economic system perpetuates the wealth of the few at the expense of the many. It is based on idolatrous subservience to markets. We cannot worship both God and money.”

Full Article Here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/29/christians-defend-occupy-london-protest 

Occupy Denver protesters, law enforcement officers clash; 20 arrested

Denver Post
Oct. 30, 2011
By Jordan Steffen and Michael Booth


In the most violent Saturday in more than a month of Occupy Denver demonstrations and marches, Denver police fired pepper spray and pepper balls at a crowd of protesters in Civic Center and arrested 20 people.

Two of the protesters were held for felony charges after police said an officer was knocked off his motorcycle and other officers were kicked, as they moved into the park to tear down illegal tents.

The first midafternoon confrontation had police and state troopers shoulder-to-shoulder pushing a group of marchers off the state Capitol steps, which is out-of-bounds to protesters without a permit.
Some of the Occupy Denver sympathizers then raced to set up tents in Civic Center, where city officials have allowed ongoing food tables and sleeping bags but not sleeping structures.


Protesters there surged around about eight police officers. Other officers responding to calls for help fired the pepper bullets, which resemble paint balls. One protester filming the scene — one of hundreds of cameras documenting police activity — was knocked out of a tree in the melee.

Five people were arrested in the first conflict, before 3 p.m. Hundreds of officers and SWAT members converged on the park, and Broadway was shut down for hours as police and protesters reached a tense stalemate.

About a dozen of the angriest marchers stood nose-to-nose with police and screamed profanities or anti-Wall Street slogans. Others tried to calm the situation, even while filming.

Just before 6 p.m., with ambulances waiting and police cruisers covering whole blocks around the park, officers donned gas masks and used megaphones to warn protesters that the remaining tents were illegal. Wielding long batons, a few dozen officers pushed into the park and formed a circle around the tents.

University of Colorado student Daniel Ellen tried to jump through a gap to help other protesters he feared were stuck in the tents but was knocked to the ground by police. He stood up and charged at them again, screaming in anger, took a blow to the temple with a baton and was pushed down twice more.

Full Article Here – http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_19223274