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2012 February 4 | Activist News
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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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Daily Archives: February 4, 2012

Occupy D.C. camp raided by police

Washington Post
Feb. 4, 2012
By

Four protesters were arrested and some tents and debris were cleared during a pre-dawn raid on the Occupy D.C. encampment in McPherson Square Saturday.

U.S. Park Police on horseback and on foot with riot gear swept into the park around 6 a.m. Several blocks downtown were closed for the raid, characterized as “further enforcement” of a no-camping crackdown that began Monday.

Despite the show of force, the relations between police and protesters remained largely peaceful. As police swept into the camp before sunrise, protesters didn’t resist but shouted “Wake up!” and chanted.

But four people were arrested when they refused to leave an area in the center of the park where workers were trying to clear tents, bedding and debris.


David Schlosser, a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, said in a statement that parts of the park were being closed for “nuisance abatement.”

“This is not an eviction,” Schlosser said.

The protesters — who had been expecting a raid — felt otherwise.

“We’re being evicted without tear gas,” said Melissa Byrne, a protester from the District. “It’s just not as glamorous” as high-profile closures at Occupy Wall Street and other camps, she said.

Under the rules, protesters are allowed to conduct a 24 -hour vigil in the federal park but not camp out overnight.

After a lengthy negotiation, protesters agreed to remove the “Tent of Dreams” that they had draped on the statue of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson on Monday. Protesters chanted “Solidarity forever” as the tarp came down and some suggested it be preserved in the Smithsonian as part of the history of the Occupy movement.

Full Article Here – http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/occupy-dc-camp-raided-by-police/2012/02/04/gIQAwDoCpQ_story.html?hpid=z1

Police begin breaking up Occupy Austin encampment

Austin American-Statesman
Feb. 3, 2012
By Patrick George and Tony Plohetski

In a surprise move tonight, Austin police officers began breaking up the Occupy Austin encampment, moving protesters who for nearly four months had set up sleeping bags, signs and a makeshift library in front of City Hall.

Armed with city policy adopted Thursday that bans people from the public building during overnight hours, officers began clearing the protesters about 9:30 p.m. They said that they were enforcing new rules that also ban sleeping, camping and storing sleeping equipment on the plaza, mezzanine and amphitheater — the sites that the group has called home since Oct. 6.

Although the effort started peacefully, the mood began to get heated about 10:45 p.m. as members gathered to discuss what to do next. Many yelled “Shame!” and “Freedom of Speech!” at officers and city staff.

A young woman has suffered minor injury in what appeared to be a scuffle with police.

Protesters have now left City Hall, which is completely surrounded by officers. Protesters appear to be marching north on Lavaca Street. A police motorcycle is diverting traffic in front of the the plaza.

About five people were arrested on criminal trespass charges, a city official said.

Full Article Here – http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/blotter/entries/2012/02/03/police_begin_breaking_up_occup.html?cxntfid=blogs_the_blotter 

Occupy activists to protest right-to-work at Super Bowl

Reuters
Feb. 3, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – Anti-Wall Street activists said on Friday they will march to protest Indiana’s new anti-union “right-to-work” law in downtown Indianapolis this weekend, where the New England Patriots and New York Giants will face off in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Organizers of the Occupy Wall Street movement said they expected activists from a number of different unions, including the National Football League Players Association, to participate in the protests.

Greg Lambert with Occupy Indianapolis said the protests would begin each day on the south lawn of the Indiana statehouse, which is located just blocks away from Lucas Oil Stadium, where the NFL championship game will be played Sunday evening.

But he said the group also planned to march both days from the statehouse to Super Bowl Village, a three-block, pedestrian-friendly theme park set up outside the stadium.

On Wednesday, Indiana became the 23rd state to pass right-to-work legislation, a measure that hits labor unions in the pocketbook by allowing organized workers to opt out of paying dues.

Indiana is the first state to adopt such a measure since Oklahoma did so a decade ago and the first right-to-work state in the nation’s manufacturing heartland.

Gov. Mitch Daniels, in office since 2005 and a prominent spokesman for Republicans nationally, said he concluded Indiana needed the new law after several businesses decided to locate elsewhere.

A spokesman for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said he respected the protesters’ right to free speech, and added that unions had been part of the four-year planning process that brought the Super Bowl to the city.

“They have been valued partners and we continue to value their contribution,” communications director Marc Lotter told Reuters.

Organizers of the weekend protests against the controversial measure promised the action would be peaceful.

Full Article Here – http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-super-bowl-occupy-protesttre81300r-20120203,0,4816214.story 

Arrests at Syrian embassy protest

BBC News
Feb. 4, 2012

Five people have been arrested after gaining entry to the Syrian embassy in London during a protest, police say.

The Met said about 150 protesters had gathered at 02:00 GMT after reports of more than 200 people being killed by shelling in the Syrian city of Homs.

Embassy windows were reportedly smashed and demonstrators say police “kettled” people and prevented them from leaving.

BBC correspondent Andrew Plant said he saw about 30 protesters being held in a cordon with no signs of trouble.


Reports of bloodshed in Homs, which cannot be independently verified, come as the UN Security Council prepares to vote later on a resolution backing an Arab League peace plan for Syria.

The draft resolution calls on President Bashar al-Assad to hand power to a deputy to oversee a transition.

‘Massacre’

Anass Toma, a Syrian MBA student, said he had attended the protest in Belgrave Square over the “massacre” in Homs.

Mr Toma told BBC News: “We came to the embassy because there were 300 people killed in Syria today. People are angry. I’m worried about the situation back home. I’ve been in London two years but I’m Syrian, from Aleppo.

“We don’t know what message the Syrian regime is giving out with this massacre today – given the UN Security Council vote… we don’t really understand what they’re doing. But we must stop the bloodshed in Syria.”

Another demonstrator Fazel Hawramy said between 100 and 150 protesters at the embassy were “kettled” by police and prevented from leaving.

“They say that an officer was assaulted, and that until they find who assaulted him, they’re not going to let protesters leave the kettle,” he told the BBC.

He said only one family and a few women had been allowed to leave, with most people sitting quietly and listening to the Koran being read.

A Met spokesman said officers were at the scene and appropriate policing was in place.

Ronan McNern, from the Occupy London movement, said he went to the embassy to support the Syrians’ cause and saw 150 people surrounded by a ring of about 60 officers.

Full Article Here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16884126

Muslims petition attorney general for NYPD probe

Washington Post
Feb. 3, 2012
By Omar Sacirbey

More than 30 Muslim and legal advocacy groups are urging New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to investigate the New York City Police Department after the second scandal in as many weeks involving Muslim Americans.

On Thursday (Feb. 2), The Associated Press reported that it had obtained a secret 2006 NYPD report, “U.S.-Iran Conflict: The Threat to New York City,” which recommended that officers “expand and focus intelligence” at Shiite mosques.

The previous week, it was revealed that a documentary film that critics say demonizes Muslims was shown in 2010 to nearly 1,500 police officers during anti-terrorism training. Several months earlier, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said only a small number of police officers had viewed “The Third Jihad,” sparking charges of a cover-up and calls for NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Browne to resign.


The two incidents show “the need to hold the NYPD accountable for its flagrant use of discriminatory policing practices has never been more glaring and urgent,” Muslim groups said in a Friday letter to
Schneiderman.

Farhana Khera, executive director of San Francisco-based Muslim Advocates, which spearheaded the letter, said city officials had lost trustworthiness, and could not be counted on to conduct a credible investigation.

“The mayor’s office and the City Council have been asked repeatedly to hold the NYPD accountable, and they have not done so,” Khera said. “It’s time for the state to get involved.”

Full Article Here – http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/muslims-petition-attorney-general-for-nypd-probe/2012/02/03/gIQAQJUcnQ_story.html 

Army orders court-martial in WikiLeaks case

Associated Press
Feb. 3, 2012
By DAVID DISHNEAU

HAGERSTOWN, Maryland (AP) — An Army officer ordered a court-martial Friday for a low-ranking intelligence analyst charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history.

Military District of Washington commander Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington referred all charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning to a general court-martial, the Army said in a statement.

The referral means Manning will stand trial for allegedly giving more than 700,000 secret U.S. documents and classified combat video to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks for publication.

The 24-year-old Crescent, Oklahoma, native faces 22 counts, including aiding the enemy. He could be imprisoned for life if convicted of that charge.


A judge who is yet to be appointed will set the trial date.

Manning’s lead defense counsel, civilian attorney David Coombs, didn’t immediately return a call Friday evening seeking comment on the decision.

Defense lawyers say Manning was clearly a troubled young soldier whom the Army should never have deployed to Iraq or given access to classified material while he was stationed there from late 2009 to mid-2010.

At a preliminary hearing in December, military prosecutors produced evidence that Manning downloaded and electronically transferred to WikiLeaks nearly half a million sensitive battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, and video of a deadly 2007 Army helicopter attack that WikiLeaks shared with the world and dubbed “Collateral Murder.”

Manning’s lawyers countered that others had access to Manning’s workplace computers. They say he was in emotional turmoil, partly because he was a gay soldier at a time when homosexuals were barred from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces. The defense also claims Manning’s apparent disregard for security rules during stateside training and his increasingly violent outbursts after deployment were red flags that should have prevented him from having access to classified material. Manning’s lawyers also contend that the material WikiLeaks published did little or no harm to national security.

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/army-orders-court-martial-wikileaks-case-002003208.html