Thursday, December 29, 2011

Civil Rights Activists in NYC Protest Voting Restrictions / Roundup of States' Restrictions of Voting Rights

NY1, December 10, 2011: Protesters March To UN In "Stand For Freedom"

* * *
ANN MCFEATTERS in San Angelo, Texas Standard-Times, December 10, 2011: "Too many states making it harder to vote"

New York University's
Brennan Center for Justice's Comprehensive list of voter suppression laws passed in states, in 2011.

Brennan Center PDF report by Wendy R. Weiser and Lawrence Norden, "Voting Law Changes in 2012"

"Expanding the Vote Abroad, Suppressing It At Home" by Yanick Saila-Ngita – 12/08/11 at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Thankfully, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has woken up and has addressed this issue. (It is not just a matter, by the way, of interest to minorities. A range of people do not need or carry a photo identification ("ID") card for their daily or weekly business. Youths, elderly, MANY people will be barred from voting, because of these new voter ID laws.)
From the Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2011: "Atty. Gen. Holder takes aims at new state voting laws: Atty. Gen. Eric Holder hints that he may challenge some laws placing new restrictions on the voting process. He also proposes that the federal government automatically register all citizens to vote."

TPM< December 13, 2011, "The ACLU sues Wisconsin' voter ID law; cites law as modern day poll tax."

READ THIS PIECE, on the phony non-issue of "voter fraud:" at Think Progress, December 2, 2011: "Despite a 0.0002 Percent Rate of Voter Fraud, Reince Priebus Claims Wisconsin Is ‘Riddled With Voter Fraud’" [Reince Priebus is the Republican National Committee chairman.]
Think Progress recognizes that the notion of rampant voter fraud is a red herring ruse to restrict access to polls, to the right to vote.

Stephen Colbert captured the absurdity of Priebus' argument:
[C]omedian Stephen Colbert joked that “our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small it could be hiding anywhere” . . . .

Martin Bashir (formerly of ABC, now on MSNBC) interviewed Priebus in the context of his arguments that voter fraud is rampant (It follows narration by Think Progress):
. . . Priebus went on MSNBC to defend Wisconsin’s new photo ID requirement and yesterday’s anti-voting rights measure passed by the House GOP. When host Martin Bashir pushed the RNC Chair about his party’s motivations for restricting voting rights, Priebus pointed to his home state of Wisconsin and declared, “I come from a state in Wisconsin that was absolutely riddled with voter fraud, okay?”

BASHIR: Just last night Republicans in the House voted to dismantle the Election Assistance Commission, the sole purpose of which is to make sure states meet voting standards that prevent fraud. Why would Republicans do that if they’re honestly concerned about preventing fraud? [...]

PRIEBUS: Well listen, I don’t want to get into the specifics here, but let me tell you something. I come from a state in Wisconsin that was absolutely riddled with voter fraud, okay? They had the smokes-for-votes exchange in Milwaukee. This is something that has nothing to do with constitutional rights of the people who are committing the fraud, it has to do with the constitutional rights of people under our Constitution that one person gets one vote, not two or three or four or five, by not having reasonable voting standards in this country to make sure that fraud doesn’t occur.
See at right, where I have uploaded Bashir's interview with RNC chair Priebus.
Think Progress closed with these observations:
Research has found that voters are 39 times more likely to be struck by lightning than commit voter fraud at the polls, and 3,500 times more likely to report a UFO encounter.

Voter fraud certainly ought to be prosecuted in the extremely rare instances when it occurs. But Republicans like Priebus are using the false specter of fraud as a cudgel to disenfranchise millions.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg calls NYPD "my own army"; Pepper Spraying ALEC Protestors; OWS Library Trashed

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had the original Occupy Wall Street encampment aggressively shut down. Also, the New York Police Department (NYPD) put the OWS library of a thousand or so documents into the trash. Organizers said that they could only salvage about 10 to 25 percent of the original library.
Bloomberg a few weeks later, in an apparently delusional moment, said that the city's police force was his own private army.
Given the mayor's inclination to micro-manage, we cannot help but think that he had a hand in choosing to have the police hastily dispose of the books. (Of course, very disturbing has been the general reticence by the general commercial media on this matter.)
This trashing of a library is what spurred me to upload the photo of the Guy Montag figure from Francois Truffaut's film version of “Fahrenheit 451” and Heinrich Heine's quote about burning books and burning people. What an irony that the same season that saw the disposing of a library into the trash also saw the violent abuse of people, including the pepper-spraying of non-violent protestors.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg calls NYPD "my own army"; Phoenix Police Pepper Spray Protestors Demonstrating ALEC
Hunter Walker, November 30, at PolitikerNY had the best piece on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's public boast on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, that the New York Police Department (NYPD) is "my own army".

In a speech at MIT [in Cambridge, Massachusetts] last night to discuss the packed sweepstakes to build a tech campus in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg said he prefers City Hall to the White House. Almost immediately after Mayor Bloomberg dampened recent speculation he’s eyeing a White House bid, he added fuel to the fire by explaining why a mayor would be the best person for the job.

Mayor Bloomberg’s recent criticism of President Obama for allowing the debt reduction Supercommittee to fail led many political tea leaf watchers to believe he’s eyeing a potential White House bid. To the dismay of those who hope he’ll mount presidential campaign, Mayor Bloomberg began his speech last night by discussing why City Hall is just fine by him.

“I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world. I have my own State Department, much to Foggy Bottom’s annoyance. We have the United Nations in New York, and so we have an entree into the diplomatic world that Washington does not have,” Mayor Bloomberg said.

At first, Mayor Bloomberg sounded he was outlining why three terms as mayor was enough experience in public office for him, but he quickly switched gears and began characterizing City Hall as the perfect preparation for the White House because it allowed him to buck the Beltway establishment get real on-the-ground knowledge.

“I don’t listen to Washington very much, which is something they’re not thrilled about,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “We have every kind of people from every part of the world and every kind of problem.”

Mayor Bloomberg explained that, unlike Washington politicians, mayors are people of action.

“The difference between my level of government and other levels of government is that action takes place at the city level,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “The cities and mayors are where you deal with crime, you deal with real immigration problems, you deal with health problems, you deal with picking up the garbage.”

You see, according to Mayor Bloomberg, he and his mayoral colleagues are focused on results. It’s the rest of the politicians who are screwing things up.

“At the state or federal level, that’s where the real problems are. You see it particularly in American government at the moment where they are just unable to do anything, and yet, the mayors of this country still have to deal with the real world,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

Mayor Bloomberg closed by expressing the desire for someone with real, executive experience to arrive on the scene and change things in Washington.

“Unfortunately, people at the federal level or the state level typically spend their whole lives in politics, and they’ve never been an executive and it shows,” Mayor Bloomberg said.

* * *

Daily Kos reports that on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, Phoenix, Arizona police pepper sprayed protestors demonstrating against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)'s States and Nation Policy Summit, "Pepper spray at the Arizona ALEC protest, Indigenous elder sent to hospital".

(The right-wing energy barons, the Koch Brothers, are benefactors of ALEC.)

Police drew attention to anarchists armed with nail-filled sticks. Occupy movement members said that the anarchists invaded their movement.
Most problems were blamed on a group of anarchists who were bused in from out of state. According to police, a few wielded nail-filled sticks. Seven were arrested.

* * *
Mediabistro, November 16, 2011: "Occupy Wall Street Library Evicted" [dumped in the trash by the NYPD]

Alternet, November 15, 2011: "City Attacks Information at Zuccotti: Books Dumped in the Garbage, Press Intimidated: Books dumped in the garbage. Press intimidated and shut out. These are not the signs of a functioning democracy."

"That was but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also."
Heinrich Heine, German writer, 1821, whose works were burned by the Nazis in 1933.

Best page for 2012 Republican Party presidential primaries dates, # of delegates, winner-take-all or proportional

My developing table on 2012 Primaries and Caucuses for the Republican Presidential Nomination: (parentheses = probably)
The Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Florida, August 27 (Monday) to 30 (Thursday), 2012.
State Date Caucus or primary Open or closed Winner-Take-All or proportional Number of delegates
Iowa evangelical January 3 Caucus Closed Proportional 28
New Hampshire libertarian but New England January 10 Primary Open to Republi- cans and Indepen- dents Proportional 12
South Carolina evangelical January 21 Primary Open Winner-take-all 25
Florida evangelical, Old South north; cosmopolitan southern section January 31 Primary Closed Winner-take-all 50
Nevada libertarian West; besieged with foreclosures February 4 Caucus Closed Proportional 28
Maine February 4 to 11 Caucus Closed Determined at precinct level (Likely WTA) 24
Table under construction. Corrections, comments are welcome.
Aside from the above table,
the following is the link for THE best site for the races for the 2012 Republican presidential nominating convention:
The Florida and Virginia primaries (January 31 and March 6, and 50 delegates and 46 delegates, respectively) will be pivotal. Florida will be a winner-take-all state. Virginia winner-take-all at the district level; WTA at state level if a candidate gets a majority. These Virginia rules will be moot, since Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were the only ones that qualified for the ballot, one of the two will get a majority, of course.
So, in essence, Virginia is throwing the nomination to Romney, with its ballot qualification rules.

The following states had their allotted delegate counts reduced by 50 percent for moving their primary election dates earlier: New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Michigan.
1,128 delegates are needed for the Republican nomination; 2,255 delegates are available.

The site, "The Green Papers: Presidential Primaries 2012: Republican Delegate Selection and Voter Eligibility", gives a wide range of important details: not just election date, but also indications for primary or caucus, winner take all or proportional, number of delegates:

Other authoritative reference: --but only for first five elections

Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rally in NYC at Koch Bros and at UN, for Voting Rights Which Are Threatened By New Laws

Democracy for NYC

ALERT: March & Rally for Voting
Rights, tomorrow, Sat., Dec.10th


When: Tomorrow, Sat., Dec. 10th, 11 AM
Where: Convene at the NYC office of the Koch Brothers
61st St. at Madison Avenue

March to the UN for a 12 PM rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (E. 47th St. and 2nd Ave.)

Conservative Governors and Legislatures across the country are promoting and passing laws to restrict voting rights-an effort being financed by right-wing financiers, including the notorious Koch brothers. We are in the middle of the most extreme push to limit the franchise for the last 100 years. And it will have a disproportionate effect on students, the elderly the poor and people of color-which will promote a conservative advantage in elections.

The NAACP is leading a response. Sign their pledge here
and join us for the march and rally on the UN tomorrow.

Show up to defend voting rights for all.

For more info about the march, go to Stand for Freedom [a coalition project with NAACP as a lead sponsor].

Common Cause's statement on the Republicans' legislation assaulting voting rights, on the occasion of CC's joining the Stand for Freedom coalition:
Common Cause/NY Stands Up for Voting Rights
Joins the Stand for Freedom Coalition to advocate for more access to the polls on Election Day

Common Cause/NY is proud to join the Stand for Freedom Coalition in advocating for increased access at the polls this year by removing existing barriers, changing registration and voting practices, and ensuring voting rights for all Americans

"It is an outright disgrace that more than two-thirds of state legislatures across the nation are on the verge of taking a huge step backwards with respect to inclusivity and the basic right to vote. Restrictive voter identification laws, the exclusion of ex-felons from voting, and the refusal to increase access at the polls by passing such straightforward laws as early voting and No-excuse absentee voting undermines our core democratic principles. We are proud to support the Stand for Freedom Coalition and show up on December 10th to demand a equitable and accessible voting process on Election day," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director.

Common Cause/NY has consistently advocated for election reform, working to improve accessibility, accuracy, transparency, and verifiability in our democratic process at the city, state and national level. New York State and states around the nation can take the following steps to increase voter participation:

No Excuse Absentee Voting

Amend the state constitution to permit voters to choose whether to vote in person or through an absentee ballot, without having to satisfy requirements currently mandated (ie: a checklist of excuses why an individual can't vote in person).We trust voters to choose their elected representatives, surely we can trust them to determine whether or not to vote in person or through an absentee ballot.

Early Voting

Pass Early Voting legislation which would allow voting at the county board of elections or at an alternate location fourteen days before a general, primary, or special election. Early voting is both convenient and efficient.

Voter ID laws

Eliminate driver's licenses as a pre-requisite to vote. Requiring voters to show a license often disenfranchises the elderly, students, and low income individuals.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Michael Moore's winter entrenchment strategy for more occupations: Occupy the Winter

From Michael Moore's website:

A proposal to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street from Michael Moore

1. Occupy Our Homes. Sorry, banks, a roof over one's head is a human right, and you will no longer occupy our homes through foreclosure and eviction because well, you see, they are our homes, not yours. You may hold the mortgage; you don't hold the right to throw us or our neighbors out into the cold. With almost one in three home mortgages currently in foreclosure, nearing foreclosure or "underwater," the Occupy Movement must form local "Occupy Strike Forces" to create human shields when the banks come to throw people out of their homes. If the foreclosure has already happened, then we must help families move back into their foreclosed homes -- literally (see this clip from my last film to watch how a home re-occupation is accomplished). Beginning today, Take Back the Land, plus many other citizens' organizations nationwide, are kicking off Occupy Our Homes. Numerous actions throughout the day today have already resulted in many families physically taking back their homes. This will continue every day until the banks are forced to stop their fraudulent practices, until homeowners are allowed to change their mortgage so that it reflects the true value of their homes, and until those who can no longer afford a mortgage are allowed to stay in their homes and pay rent. I beseech the news media to cover these actions -- they are happening everywhere. Evictions, though rarely covered (you need a Kardashian in your home as you're being evicted to qualify for news coverage) are not a new story (see this scene I filmed in 1988). Also, please remember the words of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Toledo (in 'Capitalism: A Love Story'): Do not leave your homes if the bank forecloses on you! Let them take you to court and then YOU ask the judge to make them produce a copy of your mortgage. They can't. It was chopped up a hundred different ways, bundled with a hundred other mortgages, and sold off to the Chinese. If they can't produce the mortgage, they can't evict you.

2. Occupy Your College. In nearly every other democracy on the planet, students go to college for free or almost free. Why do those countries do that? Because they know that for their society to advance, they must have an educated population. Without that, productivity, innovation and an informed electorate is stunted and everyone suffers as a result. Here's how we do it in the U.S.A.: make education one of our lowest priorities, graduate students who know little about the world or their own government or the economy, and then force them into crushing debt before they even have their first job. That way has really worked well for us, hasn't it? It's made us the world leader in … in … well, ok, we're like 27th or 34th in everything now (except war). This has to end. Students should spend this winter doing what they are already doing on dozens of campuses -- holding sit-ins, occupying the student loan office, nonviolently disrupting the university regents meetings, and pitching their tents on the administration's lawn. Young people -- we, the '60s generation, promised to create a better world for you. We got halfway there -- now you have to complete the job. Do not stop until these wars are ended, the Pentagon budget is cut in half, and the rich are forced to pay their taxes. And demand that that money go to your education. We'll be there with you on all of this! And when we get this fixed and you graduate, instead of being $40,000 in debt, go see the friggin' world, or tinker around in your garage a la the two Steves, or start a band. Enjoy life, discover, explore, experiment, find your way. Anything but the assistant manager at Taco Bell.

3. Occupy Your Job. Let's spend the winter organizing workplaces into unions. OR, if you already have a union, demand that your leaders get off their ass and get aggressive like our grandparents did. For chrissakes, surely you know we would not have a middle class if it weren't for the strikes of the 1930s-1950s?! In three weeks we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the workers in my hometown of Flint, Michigan taking over and occupying the General Motors factories for 44 days in the dead of winter. Their actions ignited a labor movement that lifted tens of millions out of poverty and into the middle class. It's time to do it again. (According to the Census Bureau and the New York Times, 100 million Americans either live in or near poverty. Disgraceful. Greed has destroyed the core fabric of our communities. Enough!) Here are two good unions to get your fellow workers to sign up and join: UE and SEIU. The CWA are also good. Here's how to get a quick primer in organizing your place of employment (don't forget to be careful while you do this!). If your company is threatening to close down and move the jobs elsewhere, then it's time to occupy the workplace (again, you can get a lesson in how to successfully occupy your factory from my movie).

4. Occupy Your Bank. This is an easy one. Just leave them. Move your checking and your credit card to a nonprofit credit union. It's safe and the decisions made there aren't based on greed. And if a bank tries to evict your neighbor, Occupy the local branch with 20 other people and call the press. Post it on the internet.

5. Occupy the Insurance Man. It's time to not only stand up for the 50 million without health insurance but to also issue a single, simple demand: The elimination of for-profit, privately-controlled health insurance companies. It is nothing short of barbaric to allow businesses to make a profit off people when they get sick. We don't allow anyone to make a profit when we need the fire department or the police. Until recently we would never allow a company to make a profit by operating in a public school. The same should be true for when you need to see a doctor or stay in the hospital. So I say it's long overdue for us to go and Occupy Humana, United Health, Cigna and even the supposed "nonprofit" Blue Crosses. An action on their lawns, in their lobbies, or at the for-profit hospitals -- this is what is needed.

So -- there are my ideas for the five places we can Occupy this winter. Help the foreclosed-upon to Occupy their homes. Occupy your college campus, especially the student loan office and the regents meetings. Occupy your job by getting everyone to sign a union card -- or by refusing to let the CEO ship your job overseas. Occupy your Chase or Citi or Bank of America branch by closing your account and moving it to a credit union. And Occupy the insurance company offices, the pharmaceutical companies' headquarters and the for-profit hospitals until the White House and Congress pass the true single-payer universal health care bill they failed to pass in 2010.

My friends, the rich are running scared right now. You need no further proof of this than to read this story from last week. The Republicans' top strategist met privately with them and told them that they had better change their tune or they were going to be crushed by the Occupy Wall Street movement. They didn't have to change their greedy actions, he assured them -- just the way they talk and PR the situation. He told them never to use the word "capitalism" -- it has now been made a dirty word by the Occupy movement, he said. Only say "economic freedom" from now on, he cautioned. And don't criticize the movement -- because the majority of Americans either agree with it or are feeling the same way. Just tell the Occupiers and the distressed Americans: "I get it." Seriously.

Yes, in just 12 short weeks we have killed their most sacred word -- Capitalism -- and we have them on the run, on the defensive. They should be. Millions are coming after them and our only goal is to remove them from power and replace them with a fair system that is controlled by the 99%. The 1% have been able to get both political parties to do their bidding. Why should only 1% of the population get to have two parties -- and the rest of us have none? That, too, is going to change. In my next letter, I will suggest what we can do to Occupy the Electoral Process. But first we must start with those who pull the strings of the puppets in the Congress. That's why it's called Occupy Wall Street. Always better to deal with man in charge, don't you think?

Let's Occupy the Winter! An #OWS Winter will certainly lead to a very hopeful American Spring.


Michael Moore

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2011 Holiday TV Specials Calendar of Networks, Times

2011 is turning out to be a sad year for the traditional Christmas television specials (especially the cartoons).

Time was, before the dominance of cable by the late 1980s, the animated stories could be seen on the three main commercial networks, ABC, CBS or NBC.

This year, overwhelmingly, the broadcasts are on ABC-Family or other cable companies. (This past Saturday, ABC Family broadcast "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas".)

That said, here are the up-coming Christmas specials on broadcast networks:
(already passed: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer CBS Nov 29, 8PM)

Frosty the Snowman CBS, Friday, Dec 9, 8PM

The Flight Before Christmas CBS, Saturday, Dec 10, 9PM

The Story of Santa Claus CBS, Saturday, Dec 17, 9PM

Saturday Night Live Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas NBC, Tuesday, Dec 20, 9PM

It's a Wonderful Life NBC, Saturday, Dec 24, 8PM

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!, Dec 29, 8PM

source: "What the World is Looking for Web Guide",
I left out the holiday specials on cable networks. The above link lists the rest of the holiday specials, those being on the cable networks.

And from the San Jose Mercury News (
New Year's Eve celebrations -- So you can't make it to that big noisy, sweaty bash this year? No problem, you can party down on Saturday night from the comfort of your couch as TV rings in 2012. (Just remember to vacuum up the confetti in the morning.)
Among the festive telecasts is
"Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2012" (10 and 11:30 p.m., ABC), which has the guys celebrating with Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Florence + The Machine and others.
Meanwhile, on "New Year's Eve With Carson Daly" (10 and 11:30 p.m., NBC), our host is joined in Times Square by JB Smoove, Amy Robach and Drake.
In addition, there's "New Year's Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin" (11 p.m., CNN), featuring our favorite TV odd couple,
and "MTV's New Year's Eve Bash 2012" (11 p.m., MTV), hosted by Demi Lovato and "Teen Wolf" star Tyler Posey.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

December 10: Stand For Freedom March in NYC

December 10: Stand For Freedom March in NYC

This year, two-thirds of state legislatures (Southern AND Northern) have introduced laws that undermine the right to vote. Early voting and Sunday voting are under attack, photo ID requirements will introduce the first financial and document barrier to voting since the poll tax, and racially-motivated bans on ex-felons will wipe tens of thousands off the rolls.

This effort is unprecedented, it is coordinated, and it is targeted. African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, students, working men and women, seniors and immigrants of all colors will be disproportionately affected.

The right to vote is the heart of our democracy. Throughout our history Americans have been murdered for defending this basic human right. We will not let it be taken away from millions today.

Join us on Saturday, December 10th—The United Nations’ Human Rights Day—to proclaim to America and the world:

It’s time to Stand for Freedom. We must protect our right to vote.

11 am: March from the NYC office of the Koch brothers, major funders of anti-voting rights measures, at 61st St. & Madison Ave, NYC.

12 noon: Rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, United Nations East 47th Street & 2nd Avenue, NYC

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Over 32,000 rallied in NYC on Occupy Wall Street 2 month anniversary reported in "November 17: Historic Day of Action for the 99% " yesterday (11/18/11) that over 32,000 people were in the marches and rallies in New York City on Thursday, November 17, 2011.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) estimate was 32,500. television reported Thursday night that the Police Department made the crowd size estimates from its helicopter surveillance of the crowds. At Foley Square, by this writer, there were at least six helicopters in the sky.
The crowds for the anniversary of the start of the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park (Liberty Plaza) were in Union Square, Greenwich Village, Foley Square, the Financial District and the Brooklyn Bridge. Even though the march on the bridge was permitted, the NYPD arrested dozens on the bridge.
About 300 were arrested throughout the day.

Here is the DemocracyNow link for the November 17 coverage.
Huffington Post's coverage of OWS' return to Brooklyn Bridge.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Democratic Mayors, Govs, Repression Against Occupy Encampments

While the pioneering Occupy encampment of the year, our Arab Spring in the autumn, has been Occupy Wall Street, in a city with a Republican mayor, Michael Bloomberg, Democratic mayors figure prominently in the cities with crack-downs today, this weekend, this month, against the Occupy encampments.

Occupy Portland, under Democratic mayor Sam Adams, facing an eviction order for midnight tonight, Saturday, November 12th.
His explanation:
Occupy has had considerable time to share its movement's messages with the public but has lost control of the camps it has created. The cost to the larger community is rapidly increasing. The city itself finds itself at a turning point. Thus, the city will soon temporarily close Lownsdale and Chapman Squares to the public to put an end to public safety, health and crime problems, and to repair the park land.
--From KDRV,
--Actually, one can read a more balanced presentation (with lengthy, uninterrupted statements by an Occupy Portland representative, Jim Olver) at the PBS News Hour site from Veteran's Day, November 11:

My position is this: sadly, with human nature there is often violence and unkempt decorum. Since when have cities demonstrated an absolute record of totally preventing crime and litter? The first amendment, with its guarantee of free speech and assembly, has no exemptions for the prerogatives for police power.
Is it not interesting that this weekend is seeing an almost simultaneous police enforcement of curfew laws / organized repression of free assembly and free speech?

Occupy Oakland, under Democratic mayor Jean Quan, facing police eviction notices: Oakland Tribune:

Occupy St. Louis, under Democratic mayor Francis Stay: a federal judge denied a request for a restraining order to allow them to stay in Kiener Plaza through this weekend: KMOV video:

Occupy Dallas, under Democratic mayor Mike Rawlings, facing a Saturday eviction order as well, in spite of video showing that a police officer pushed a protestor from a planter: NBC DFW:

Occupy Albany: New York State governor Andrew Cuomo (Democrat) has insisted that an 11:00 PM curfew be enforced this evening (Saturday, November 12th) at state-owned Lafayette Park. Yet, Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares (admittedly, also a Democrat) has said that he will not prosecute peaceful violators of the curfew. (AP at:

See the scene across the United States at more occupy events at Free Speech TV:

Have the politicians, police, media forgotten that issues such as wildly out of control CEO salaries, evisceration of progressive tax rates, wealth gaps unseen for a century, went unrecognized, unmentionable by the corporate media or wannabe populist politicians, until the Occupy Wall Street movement arrived on the scene.
Notice that these local and state governments are run by Democrats. Whose party are they? Are they facilitating free speech by people from the 99% Or, by their exclusion of protestors from public assembly, are they more accurately seen as the party of the 1%. Rich people and corporations have spaces in which they can assemble and discuss their views. Cannot the sub-0ne percent people have their own speech in public places of their choosing?

Joan Baez Occupy Wall Street Solidarity Concert, NYC's Foley Square, Veterans' Day, 2011

Long time folk singer and peace activist Joan Baez gave a free concert on Veterans' Day, November 11, 2011. Occupy Wall Street Encampment/Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza to Foley Square.
The commercial media assiduously ignored the event, but contributors to youtube uploaded some of her great songs from the open air New York City concert:
Salt of the Earth:
Joe Hill:
from another vantage point:
Her introduction to her songs and Where's My Apple Pie:

Friday, November 11, 2011

What an AlterNet Correspondent Experienced When He Asked Asbout NYPD Tower Over OWS (Zuccotti Park)

As the story at AlterNet
in "What Happened When I Tried to Get Some Answers About the Creepy NYPD Watchtower Monitoring OWS
There’s a metal monster looming over Liberty Square, but don’t ask questions about it or else. "

don't ask questions or else.

But there was something special about Officer Guzman. He wasn’t one of the 25 police officers I counted standing on the perimeter of Liberty Square that first wintery day. He wasn’t one of dozens more shooting the breeze with their partners inside a police van or sitting alone in a cruiser texting. Officer Guzman spent the day suspended in the air, two stories up, at the corner of Trinity Place and Liberty Street, inside a little metal box that goes by the name Sky Watch.
. . . .
“We have cameras for everything”
Officer Guzman seemed like the strong silent type. At least he looked strong. But what I can most vouch for was his silence. He preferred to let other officers speak for him.
Read on at the original article.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Website URLs for Weekend News Shows

Missed the weekend (Sunday morning) news shows?:
ABC This Week with Christine Amanpour
alas, the previous sunday's episode:
CBS Face the Nation:
NBC Meet the Press:
PBS Washington Week in Review:
CNN Fareed Zakaria GPS:
podcasts (including video podcasts):
CNN Reliable Sources:
MSNBC Weekends with Alex Wit:

CBS 60 Minutes: Full episodes:
60 Minutes Overtime:

MSNBC Rachel Maddow: vlog stream:

Need to Know:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bottles Thrown at Oakland Police, No Rationale for Tear Gas or Police Grenade Fired At Rescuers

Video interview between protestor and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell includes the claim that protestors, on Tuesday, October 25, had thrown bottles and rocks at the Oakland Police.
Acts of violence against the police are unacceptable.

However, it is unconscionable that the Oakland Police have fired tear gas at protestors. One protestor, Marine Corps veteran or two Iraq tours, Scott Olsen, was struck in the forehead with a tear gas canister fired by Oakland Police.

And it is further unconscionable that the police fired a live grenade at protestors that rushed to the aid of Olson after the attack by the police.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Authors: New Technology is Crowding Out Jobs for Real Humans

Two authors say yes, definitely, to this question about jobs for people and new technology:

Are American workers in a race against the machine?

A Love Story: Pepper-Sprayed OWS Woman with Rescuer

See this Daily News story for heart-warming news on how romance blossomed for the woman pepper-sprayed last month by Inspector Anthony Bologna in Union Square, with an assisting protester-medic:

Occupy Wall Street protester who was pepper-sprayed finds romance with fellow demonstrator:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

NYC's Mayor Bloomberg Outlawing Free Speech By Coming Cracking Down on Occupy Wall Street Speech

As this blog says, if permits are required to speak and assemble in public,
then there is no free speech.

We see this in action with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's second declaration of war against the Occupy Wall Street protestors at Zuccotti Park (aka Liberty Plaza).

In These Times, an independent left magazine publishing out of Chicago reported Friday afternoon,
Bloomberg Promises Crackdown on Occupy Wall Street"

The Mayor has declared himself "The State," akin to Louis XIV, with an entrenched commitment to the city's tradition of requiring permits for marches of more than 20 people.

The permit "must" --according to these monopolizers of power-- be obtained from the police department.
Here is the New York Police Department page on the rules of assembled free speech (permit application process).
Here is the actual application for collective free speech in motion (or a parade application).

If there is an assembly in a park, then there a $25 fee. There is precedence for this mayor's denying park assemblage even after an application. In 2004, on the occasion of the Republican National Convention, Mayor Bloomberg denied rally organizers' application.

As In These Times noted:
The problem with these permits, of course, is that they can be denied or revoked for any reason, at any time. It makes the "disobedience" part of "civil disobedience" impossible by preempting any action.

"We will start enforcing that more," the mayor ominously stated when referring to the permits. The Post interpreted that as more arrests looming on the horizon.

As a commenter to the In These Times article added,
When we had rule of law and a functioning Republic, these permit processes and arbitrary denials were held to be unconstitutional. In Shuttlesworth versus Birmingham, the principle of rules for all or none was upheld. City officials can’t limit the rights of some and not others. They cannot arbitrarily set standards using “public safety” as a reason to limit our rights to gather.

The problem is that our courts, including the Supreme Court, are bought and paid for by the same plutocrats that control the Republican Democrat duopoly. Our public spaces are being privatized at alarming rates through gentrification. Privately controlled parks eliminate our Constitutional amendments/rights in one move.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Videos: 10/15 NYPD White Shirt Punching Protestor Only the Latest; List of Abuse Videos

Videos: 10/15 NYPD White Shirt Punching Protestor Only the Lates

A New York City Police Department (NYPD) upper level ("white shirt") was publicized, in video shown on television news, punching a protestor, in the October 15, 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City, with the highest number of protestors in Times Square.
(I do not associate with comments by the video posters or comment contributors.)

Yet a search produces several instances of police officers punching people.

Here is a list, chronological, from oldest, to newest:
Dates in parentheses are (UPLOAD DATES).

NYPD cops punch girl in face on 9.24.2011 (aftermath of punching, purported victim is held and carried by her arms by arresting officers, while she pleads, "please take his badge"):

NYPD Caught On Camera Punching #OccupyWallStreet Protestor In The Face (9/28/11):

NYPD Cop [white shirrt] punches [female] protester in the face during occupy wall street - 14 Oct:

NYPD Cop [white shirt] Punches [female] Protester at Occupy Wall Street, 10/14/11 (3 min version):

#OWS Police Punch Protestors - March On Times Square (10/15/11):

HORSES USED AS WEAPONS!-Protesters document NYPD horses ramming in Times Sq. (10/15/11):

* * *
The most blatant of these police assaults is not yet available as a stand-alone video. This is a video currently being shown on the locally broadcast Times Warner cable channel NY1 (Video available!):

Updated 10/15/2011 05:16 PM
Two Dozen Arrests Made During "Occupy Wall Street" Protest, By: Erica Ferrari

Confrontations occurred between the police and protesters Friday. Violence was captured on video, as a high-ranking police officer could be seen punching a protester in the face. Another protester allegedly had his foot run over by an officer.

As such, police were out in full force Saturday, as protesters planned to march up to Times Square after gathering in Washington Square Park.

"We are going to enforce the law when it's violated," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bloomberg, NYPD Set 10/14 Showdown w/ Occupy Wall St. (OWS) When 10/14, 7 AM Deadline Comes?

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is set to evict the protestors at 7:00 AM on October 14, 2011 from Zuccotti Park (nee & renamed Liberty Plaza). The ruse for this anticipated showdown between the New York City Police (NYPD) and the Occupy Wall Street protestors is to clean the park.

Occupy Wall Street has resolved to clean up the park in the night of Thursday, October 13. This afternoon it has begun carrying out its plan to beat the 7:00 AM deadline to encounter the NYPD's eviction of protestors.

It will be interesting to see whether the cleaning committees beat the deadlines and yet still see the aggressive police eviction of the protestors. Peer elsewhere on this blog's posts this month and you will see a Soylent Green still of protestors being scooped up.
We see the following so far:
New York Times: "Facing Eviction, Protesters Begin Park Cleanup"

From the Associated Press:
Publicity of a public call to defend the park at 6:00 AM:
The protesters' response was to plan a demonstration for an hour before they are supposed to evacuate Zuccotti Park while it is cleaned with power washers Friday morning. They believe the effort is an attempt to end the protest, which triggered a movement against unequal distribution of wealth that has spread across the globe.

Protest spokesman Patrick Bruner sent an email to supporters Thursday asking them to join the protesters at 6 a.m. Friday to "defend the occupation from eviction."

It this a Gulf of Tonkin type of Resolution ruse to provoke a confrontation with protestors and provoke a token violent response from a small number of protestors, and then to cast them in the media as violent, so as to set up semi-military police actions against the protestors

In the same general week of Bloomberg's NYPD eviction of park
comes news (from "The Nation:" "The OccupyUSA Blog for Thursday, With Frequent Updates" blog by Greg Mitchell) of a Denver plan to forcibly evict its protestors:

3:40 Denver campers to be evicted, state governor states. “The governor made the announcement at a press conference with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who read out the law that forbids overnight camping. The three alluded that police action was imminent but provided no details. ‘We’ve been talking to the group every day since Monday,’ Hickenlooper said this morning. ‘And every time we’ve talked to them, we’ve told them it is illegal and unsafe to camp in the park.’ But the protesters, along with some homeless people who have sheltered in the park, have said they’re not going anywhere. ‘This is beyond the governor and the city,’ said James H. Andresen, 58, from New York City.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Planning "Sweeping [OWS] Park" -Soylent Green Days of Occ Wall Street Battle?

Image of police scooping protestors in the 1970s futurist, dystopian film, "Soylent Green."

Will Mew York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg engineer a Soylent Green showdown, or a back-handed approach to sweeping free speech protestors from Zuccotti Park [Liberty Plaza]?"

The peoples' cleanup, already begun.

Bloomberg Announces Zuccotti Park Cleanup While Meeting Protestors: Demonstrators Say Mayor Pulled A Fast One And Is Trying For A Clear Out

October 12, 2011 11:59 PM

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Wall Street protestors are being told they will have to pack up and leave — at least temporarily. However, some activists are now accusing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who personally stopped by Zuccotti Park on Wednesday, of dirty politics.

Greeted by a mix of cheers and jeers, Bloomberg ordered the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators to get out of of the plaza long enough for the area to be sanitized on Friday morning by Brookfield Properties.

However, protestors say the cleanup sounds more like a clear out.

After 26 days of food, trash and other debris piling up high for pickup or recycling, Bloomberg’s office said while protesters “have a right continue to protest…the last three weeks have created unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park.”

“Like wear and tear on what? On marble and concrete? Like how do we wear and tear that?” asked Will Schneider.

Schneider is not alone in his skepticism of the mayor’s cleanup plan. Other occupants are also none too pleased about the his announcement and told CBS 2′s Derricke Dennis that they were keeping the area clean by themselves.

“We are working 24/7; we do not rest. We encourage cleanliness. We encourage everyone to take care of their belongings and pack it up neatly,” said Lauren DiGoria of Clifton, N.J.

Protesters said the city has been trying to get them to leave for weeks, and with this plan to clean the park in stages on Friday, many say there’s now a clever excuse.

But the owner of the park, Brookfield Office Management, claims the area has not been maintained. It wrote to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, saying “conditions at the Park have deteriorated to unsanitary and unsafe levels.”

For video and more of the article, see the WCBS-TV site.

Echoes of Tompkins Square Park battles between police and squatters and protestors, in 1988, 1989, 1995.

See: Radio journalist Paul DeRienzo's site:
The last reference: "Using a tanklike armored vehicle and carrying riot gear, hundreds of officers moved in . . ." --on squatters in city-owned buildings. Shades of Soylent Green?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupy Chicago: Thousands Projected to Protest in Chicago, Much Reacting to Financial Conferences

Today, Monday, October 10, 2011, thousands of protestors are projected to descend on downtown Chicago. It is anticipated to be one of the largest protests to date. Will it exceed the estimated 20,000 marching in New York City last Wednesday?

Reuters' report: Thousands expected at Chicago Financial Conference Protests

The official schedule of the protests, differing rally locations, according to the official Occupy Chicago website.

The Chicago Teachers Union is among organized labor that will be at the protest.

Day 17 Monday (10/10/2011) Schedule of Events:
9am-12pm – Peacekeeper/Civil Disobedience Training (37 S. Ashland @Monroe/Ashland)
1:30pm – General Assembly (Jackson/Lasalle)
3:30pm – Student/Activist march departs for Balbo/Michigan (Jackson/Lasalle)
4:00pm – Meeting time for Take Back Chicago marches (See below)
4:45pm – Marches depart for the Art Institute (See below)
5:20pm – Marches converge (Art Institute of Chicago)
6:00pm – Take Back Chicago Rally finishes (Art Institute of Chicago)
7:00pm – General Assembly (Congress/Michigan in front of Horse Statue)
9:00pm – Occupation/Police Legal Training (Congress/Michigan Horse Statue)
9:45am – March departs from Jackson and Lasalle (Destination to be determined)
see the original Occupy Chicago site for details on what these actions involve.

Occupy Wall Street September 30 General Assembly's Declaration and Resolution

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

Update 10/1/11 – Minor updates to some wording in the facts.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

BREAKING: Washington Square Park Occupied; NYPD Midnight Showdown over 12 AM Curfew

Occupy Wall Street Protestors have taken Washington Square Park, in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York, NY.
The area is adjacent to New York University and is near Cooper Union and the New School, so the area is an attractive magnet for college students.
As NY1 and other minor news outlets point out, a potential showdown looms, as the park is closed for a midnight to 6:00 AM curfew.
Correction: Gothamist gives the curfew as 1:00 AM.
Will the New York City Police Department (NYPD) make this a scene of police brutality against protestors? Make your call: was the violence by night-stick batons, pepper-spray mace, tossing protestors head-first over a metal fence or scaffolding, or charging demonstrators with motorbikes, as shown on the videos on this page? Does the conduct of the officers evince the NYPD's motto of Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect?

Gothamist has live stream video from the protest. As one can see from the Gothamist site, the NYPD wagons are ready.
Excerpt from posting:
Occupy Wall Street Expands to Washington Square Park

Occupy Wall Street is growing! The demonstration, entering its fourth week, has gotten a little too big for Zuccotti Park downtown; today, at around 3 p.m., it founded another encampment in Washington Square Park (they're holding a General Assembly right now).

In most senses it's a smart move: Washington Square Park is a lot bigger than Zuccotti, and it's in a neighborhood dominated by NYU, so they'll have a steady supply of college kids. And the food is much better in the Village, too. (Also: chess boards!) But, as with everything Occupy Wall Street, it's unclear exactly what the plan is; Washington Square Park is a public park (Zuccotti is privately owned but publicly accessible), and theoretically protesters won't be allowed to stay past sunset. One representative told the Post that the group didn't plan on testing the curfew, but another says they "plan to stay... and form a second permanent occupation."

The Whole World is Uploading!: Masked NYPD Charge OWSers with Motorbikes

The Whole World is Uploading!

The revolution began; the NYPD began the counter-revolution!
Police brutality by the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

See the Youtube video, embedding, uploaded at right:
Posted, Thursday, October 6, 2011, by TrutherTube2012

Al Arabiya: Wall Street protesters fed up with both parties

Al Arabiya, October 7, 2011, which picked up story from AP and photo from Reuters

Wall Street protesters fed up with both parties
Despite plans by U.S. President Barack Obama to push for a $443 billion jobs plan that would be paid partly through a tax on the wealthy, Americans are protesting the growing disparity between the rich and poor in the country. (Photo by Reuters)
New York

Their chief target is Wall Street, but many of the demonstrators in New York and across the U.S. also are thoroughly disgusted with Washington, blaming politicians of both major parties for policies they say protect corporate America at the expense of the middle class.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, which began last month with a small number of young people pitching a tent in front of the New York Stock Exchange, has expanded nationally and drawn a wide variety of activists, including union members and laid-off workers. Demonstrators marched Thursday in Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Anchorage, Alaska, carrying signs with slogans such as “Get money out of politics” and “I can’t afford a lobbyist.”

“At this point I don’t see any difference between George Bush and Obama. The middle class is a lot worse than when Obama was elected,” said John Penley, an unemployed legal worker from Brooklyn.

The protests are in some ways the liberal flip side of the conservative, anti-tax tea party movement, which was launched in 2009 in a populist reaction against the bank and auto bailouts and the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

But while tea party activists eventually became a crucial part of the Republican coalition, the Occupy Wall Street protesters are cutting President Barack Obama little slack. They say Obama failed to crack down on the banks after the 2008 mortgage meltdown and financial crisis.

“He could have taken a much more populist, aggressive stance at the beginning against Wall Street bonuses, and exacting certain change from bailing out the banks,” said Michael Kazin, a Georgetown University history professor and author of “American Dreamers,” a history of the left. “But ultimately, the economy has not gotten much better, and that's underscored the frustration on both the right and the left.”

Obama on Thursday acknowledged the economic insecurities fueling the nearly 3-week-old Wall Street protests. But he pinned responsibility on the financial industry and on congressional Republicans he says have blocked his efforts to kick-start job growth.

“I think people are frustrated and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works,” he said at a nationally televised news conference. “The American people understand that not everybody has been following the rules, that Wall Street is an example of that ... and that's going to express itself politically in 2012 and beyond.”

The president has been pushing for a $443 billion jobs plan to be paid for in part through a tax on the wealthy. Republicans have resisted such tax increases.

Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Herman Cain have criticized the anti-Wall Street protests. All the Republican contenders have also pushed back against the demonization of Wall Street. They accuse the Obama administration of setting regulatory policies that have stifled job creation and say his health care overhaul will prevent many businesses from hiring new workers.

In Zuccotti Park, the center of the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, activists expressed deep frustration with the political gridlock in Washington. While some blamed Republicans for blocking reform, others singled out Obama.

“His message is that he’s sticking to the party line, which is “we are taking care of the situation’ But he’s not proposing any solutions,” said Thorin Caristo, an antiques store owner from Connecticut.

But Robert Arnow, a retired real estate worker, said the Republicans need to tell their congressional leaders, “You’re standing in the way of change.”

Quayzy Cayusso, a Web designer, didn’t watch Obama’s news conference even though it was broadcast on TV monitors at the protest site in New York.

“He’s a cool president, but he was given a hard task,” Cayusso said. “He should get some gratitude for what he’s done so far, but he’s been overlooking jobs and not putting much effort into that until now.”
Al Arabiya, October 7, 2011, which picked up story from AP and photo from Reuters

OWS Pop-Up Art Show Set for Sat. 10/8/11, 3-9, at 23 Wall Street, NYC

From an email:

I am writing to invite you to a remarkable moment. Protest artists from all over the city - and the world - have converged onto #LibertyPlaza. You've seen their vast collage of signs, tshirts, video projections and more. Now it's time to take them to Wall Street:

On Saturday, Oct. 8, for 6 hours only, Wall Street will be occupied with art. Not profiteering or credit default swaps. Not disenfranchising The 99% to prop up an unaccountable elite that peddles in influence over our schools, neighborhoods and public spaces. Just art. #OccupyArt.

The site of this magnificent exhibit couldn't be more symbolic: the historic JP Morgan House, gutted and left for years to decay as our financial system collapsed. Inside 23 Wall Street, steps from the world's largest stock exchange, another exchange is happening. A peaceful, non-destructive exchange of creative ideas.

Please come join us from 3-9pm at 23 Wall St. as we, the occupiers of Wall Street, exhibit #NoComment: a pop-up art show inspired by the #OccupyWallStreet movement.

See also these links:
An art show will appear at 23 Wall Street, opposite the New York Stock Exchange:
excerpt from the above:
A fledgling arts community has sprung up in the niche world of Occupy Wall Street, showcasing musicians, dancers, visual artists and spoken word performers, not to mention the thousands of words and pictures that have emerged from the weeks of protest.

“It’s really only a matter of time before a New York Times culture reporter comes down here,” protester Paolo Mastrangelo told Raw Story about the virtual artist’s colony the protest has become. “People show their art, the whole park is a stage, there’s a library, people play music and recite poetry. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a feature on the front page of the Times art section.”

Indeed, a pop-up gallery hosting art inspired by Occupy Wall Street, called “No Comment,” will open across the street from the New York Stock Exchange. Twelve removable, graffiti-covered walls will surround the gallery and then will be displayed near the protest’s heart at Zuccotti Park.

Occupy Wall Street Spreads to Nationally (Other Cities): Over 850 Cities

Occupy Wall Street movement spreads, to 847 cities: Democracy Now: U.S. "Occupy" Movement Grows as Protests Reported in 847 Cities; Obama Notes "Frustration":

Alternet placed the movement in 853 cities: "99% vs. 1% -- The Latest on Occupy Wall St. Movement: 853 Cities Across the World Shoring Up for the Long Haul":,_report_from_the_ground_in_nyc,_occupy_providence_plans_set/

Comprehensive list follows: NOTE scheduled for for upcoming protests.

Occupy Ashland, OR continues:

Ongoing Occupy Portland, OR continues, (Friday, 10/7 report) through weekend, with protestors camping in Lownsdale Park; apparent schedule conflicts with Portland marathon being worked out:
Thousands marched on Thursday, 10/6, photos and video:

Occupy Seattle, WA, marched Friday, 10/7, despite mayor's directive:
police violence video: Police Turn Violent At Occupy Seattle Protest!:

Occupy San Francisco, CA, protest march: Wednesday, 10/5, drew 800:
camp broken up in midnight hours, very early Thursday, 10/6:
video of force used by police: Police Brutality at Occupy SF encampment:

Occupy Los Angeles, CA, ongoing, growing, This weekend, Occupy Los Angeles could gain even more traction. A music festival is scheduled to take place on Saturday at noon at City Hall, and additional actions are expected., scheduled for Saturday, 10/8:

Occupy San Diego, CA, marched Friday, 10/7:

Occupy Tucson, AZ, scheduled for Saturday, 10/15:

Occupy Denver, CO, Friday, 10/7, rapper Lupe Fiasco stopped Occ Denver:

Occupy Dallas, TX (10/6): Occupy Dallas Day One Part 1 of 2 - UNN Newsroom with Alex Ansary:

Occupy Houston, TX (10/6): Civil Rights era protestor leads spiritual song: Occupy Houston spiritual:

Occupy Chicago, IL (10/7): Two weeks in, Occupy Chicago Is Gaining Momentum:
Occupy Chicago protest march scheduled for Saturday 10/8:

Occupy Detroit: organizational meeting scheduled for Monday, 10/10, occupation to begin, 10/21:

Occupy Cincinatti, scheduled for Saturday, 10/8, to rally at 11:00 AM at Lytle Park and march to Fountain Square:|head

Occupy Cleveland, OH Friday, 10/7:

Occupy DC (Washington, DC), Thursday, 10/6: rally at Freedom Plaza:

Occupy Nashville, TN, Friday, 10/7, with VIDEO:
Occupy Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis, Wednesday, 10/5:

Occupy Atlanta, GA: Woodruff Park, Friday, 10/7:

Occupy Miami, FL: protest scheduled for Saturday, 10/8, at the Torch of Friendship, in Downtown Miami's Bayfront Park, at 1:30 p.m:

Occupy Ft. Meyers, FL, organizational meeting scheduled for Saturday, 10/9:

Occupy Boca Raton, FL and Occupy Lake Worth, FL:

Occupy Philadelphia, PA, scheduled for Saturday, 10/8: "The "Let Freedom Ring" march will start off from Dilworth Plaza, next to city hall, at 2:30 p.m. and end at the Liberty Bell site on historic Independence Mall.":

Occupy Atlantic City, NJ, at the Bank of America branch on New Road and Bethel Road in Somers Point, scheduled for Sunday, 10/9, 3 PM: Contact: 609 442 2407 or 609-675 6322,

Occupy Hartford, CT, Friday, 10/7:

Occupy Boston, MA and Occupy Wall Street, New York, NY, Friday 10/7: Ivy League professors speak to anti-Wall Street protesters:

Occupy Maine (Portland): in two different location bases:

"The New York Times" began its reportage with a series of derisive articles. It is beginning to tone down the contempt: Occupy Anytown, U.S.A., Thursday, 10/6:

Contrary to what some in the corporate media are saying (illustrated by Noami Klein on Democracy Now, 10/6, regarding debut of Erin Burnett's glib dismissal of the movement), the protests do have objectives, see this post at the Washington Post: What Occupy DC wants: Less corporate money in politics:

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Videos: 10/5, 9/24 NYPD Violence vs. Protestors

At right I have posted some of the best (? --maybe, most blatant) examples of New York Police Department violence against protestors in the Wall Street area on the evening of October 5 and Union Square on September 24.

Many of these videos were from a late October 5, 2011 post by Jason Cherkis, "Occupy Wall Street: Video Allegedly Shows NYPD Officer Striking Protesters With Baton (Photos)"

I was at this demonstration/ march. Media estimates Wednesday (10/5) night put the crowd size at 5,000 people. I would say that 20,000 was more likely the number of protestors on the march route from Foley Square to Zuccotti Park (renamed Liberty Plaza). The march sponsored by several New York City unions (ATU, CWA, SEIU, TWU, NNU and at late, the UFT) was scheduled for 4:30 from Tweed Courthouse (the City Education Department headquarters). It actually began moving south from the Square at about 5:30. Crowds did not finish reaching Zuccotti Park until around 8:00 PM.

Here is the link for an excellent report by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez at Democracy Now, "Occupy Wall Street March Gets Massive Turnout; 28 Arrested in Police Crackdown"

The lede to the story includes reports of protests across the United States, including Seattle and San Francisco.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Occupy Wall Street actions beyond NYC

Occupy SF, 10/1.

Occupy Chicago --Fed Reserve, 10/2.

Los Angeles City Hall, 10/2.

Occupy Albuqerque, 10/1.

Occupy Miami, Bayfront Park, 10/1.

Occupy Boston, Dewey Square, 10/2. and

Arrests of 700 Occupy Wall Streeters on Bridge; NYC Mayor Bloomberg Says Protestors Victimize Bankers; Implies Protest Will End Soon

(Soylent Green days coming? See bottom half of this post.)
The Guardian of Manchester, of the United Kingdom, Saturday night (10/1/11) wrote of the arrest that day of more than 700 protestors in New York City. They were arrested while blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge is about six-tenths of a mile north of the Occupy Wall Street staging ground of Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza.
"Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested on Brooklyn Bridge
Hundreds held by NYPD – including New York Times journalist – after attempted march across bridge ends in chaos"
OWS protester gave an account of the arrest procedure . . . ENTRAPMENT INVOLVED? DAILY KOS VIDEO LINK FOLLOWS THIS OWS PROTESTER ACCOUNT.
{First hand account of this blogger speaking with OWS protester: the white shirt New York City Police Department (NYPD) higher officials were the main ones doing the arresting. [UPDATE: New York Times report on White Shirts' role.] The protester said that the many of the blue shirt police officers, particularly at the Manhattan side of the protest, were in support of the protesters . . . . The arrest was accomplished by closing off the crowd from both the Manhattan and the Brooklyn ends of the bridge. Then the enclosed or detained protesters were place under arrest. The arresting officers walked the line to arrest all of the protesters detained. Did the NYPD entrap the protesters? There were reports that some NYPD officers split the crowd that was approaching the bridge from the Manhattan end. By this account, the NYPD steered some protesters onto the main pedestrian walk, and they steered some others onto the traffic causeway. If this is so, the protesters' walk-on-the-causeway action was a case of entrapment.}
Daily Kos on October 2 offered this video, making case for entrapment interpretation of Brooklyn Bridge 700 arrest: "Best Video Yet: Brooklyn Bridge NYPD Entrapment!"

Think Progress: "Mayor Bloomberg Claims ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protesters Are Targeting Bankers Who ‘Are Struggling To Make Ends Meet’"

Bloomberg Implies Occupy Wall Street Protest's Days Are Numbered
Mayor Bloomberg made some ominous comments today about the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests that have been going on for nearly two weeks in Zuccotti Park. When he was asked on his weekly radio show whether he'll let the anti-corporate protesters stay as long as they want, he responded cryptically: "We'll see. People have a right to protest, but we also have to make sure that people who don't want to protest can go down the streets unmolested."
"We have to make sure that while you have the right to say what you want to say, people who want to say something very different have a right to say that as well," the mayor told WOR radio host John Gambling. Zuccotti Park is privately owned, but Bloomberg said the park must remain open to the public because of an agreement the owners struck with the city years ago to win zoning code changes. And there's also sanitation to worry about: "The right to protest is part of our culture. It's also true that there are other societal concerns. You're worried about sanitation and you're worried about lots of different laws on the books."
In general, Bloomberg has not had much sympathy for the protesters since they took over the square, despite the fact he predicted something like this would happen. The billionaire criticized them today for a lack of nuance in their arguments, and accused them of targeting the wrong people: "The protesters are protesting against people who make $40,000, $50,000 year and are struggling to make ends meet." He also added, "Those are the people that work on Wall Street in the finance sector...If the banks don't go out and make loans, we will not come out of our economic problems. We will not have jobs."
Here we have a clip from the 1970s film "Soylent Green." Protestors are being scooped to be put in the body of a dumpster garbage truck. Is that the plan New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has for the Occupy Wall Street protestors at Zuccotti Park?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Demo 9/30 at NYPD (NYC) Police Plaza HQ, Against Brutality, In Solidarity with Wall Street Protestors

Demonstrate Friday, September 30, 5:30 to 7:00 PM, at One Police Plaza Headquarters of the New York Police Department (NYPD of New York City) (pass through the Municipal Building arches, opposite City Hall which is on the other side of Park Row. Take 4, 5, 6, J or Z trains.) (Need examples of the brutality? Just see the videos I uploaded or linked here earlier this week.)
Against Police Brutality and in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street Protestors
From protest announcement:
We the undersigned condemn recent police attacks against the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations underway in Lower Manhattan. The NYPD has:

- pepper sprayed people in custody
- violently arrested non violent demonstrators
- curtailed the expressive activities of demonstrators in Liberty Square [renamed from Zuccotti Park --Ed.]

All of this is part of a long standing practice of the NYPD to make public protest extremely difficult, unpleasant, and even dangerous.

Join us in calling for an end to police repression of protests in New York, and to support the ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstration.

Bring signs and soapboxes/milkcrates

NYPD Investigates 9/24 Mace Cop Bologna

Scroll to bottom for pepper-spray health hazards and human rights organizations' condemnation of pepper-spray.
The New York Police Department (New York City Police) has announced on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 that its Internal Affairs office is investigating the activities of a high-ranking, white collar officer, Anthony Bologna. (UK Guardian story, posted late Wednesday afternoon, "Occupy Wall Street: inquiries launched as new pepper-spray video emerges".) The photo identifying Captain Bologna has him with his arm extended for a second pepper spray attack. (In a VIDEO of the second attack we do not see whether the woman in grey to his immediate left gets sprayed.)

This is FOUR days after Captain Anthony Bologna's pepper spray (macing) attack on Saturday September 24 in Union Square on peaceful unarmed protestors, some trapped inside an orange plastic net, was captured on cellphone cameras, videocams and digital cameras, and uploaded the same day on the Internet. After netting the women in the plastic-netted area, Captain walked into a small crowd on one section of sidewalk, and rotated and pepper-sprayed a swath of protestors in a second pepper spray attack.
The Activism site at Suite 101 added: "New York women had been corralled into a mesh pen, when a senior police officer gassed them with capsicum spray. Human rights groups decry the practice.
Read more at Suite101: Occupy Wall Street: Pepper Spray Used on Protesting US Women |

That night, some corporate media news outlets, including WABC-TV (channel 7), broadcast claims of police attacks.

How do they need an investigation? His acts are right there on video.

Guardian UK reported 9/26: "Occupy Wall Street: 'Pepper-spray' officer named in Bush protest claim: Anthony Bologna, NYPD [captain rank] officer named in pepper-spray incident, is accused of civil rights violations at the time of the 2004 Republican national convention protests".

* * *
Pepper-spray dangers and human rights organizations' condemnation of pepper-spray, from American Suite 101:
What is Pepper Spray?

Pepper spray is a common term for a chemical agent based around Oleoresin Capsicum. The components explain its other names of OC gas or OC spray. Others know it as Mace, by the trademark of its main manufacturer, Mace Security International. Some versions may also contain tear gas.

As a lachrymatory agent, pepper spray attacks the corneal nerves in the victim's eyes. This causes pain and temporary blindness, lasting up to thirty minutes. Where it touches the skin, a burning sensation can be felt for up to an hour. It is impossible not to inhale it, which results in upper body spasms and coughing. In a healthy person, there can be difficulty breathing for around a quarter of an hour.
Pepper Spray Can Kill in Certain Situations
Click for original document for pepper spray fatalities discussion.

"Occupy Together" Takes Occupation Wall Street National; Find YOUR Local Big City

Occupy Together ( is a hub for people taking the Occupy Wall Street national,
to a range of big cities across the continental United States.

Here are cities with protests developing:

Occupy Chicago
Occupy Cincinnati
Occupy Cleveland
Occupy Columbus
Occupy Indiana
Occupy Indianapolis
Occupy Kansas City
Occupy Michigan
Occupy Minnesota
Occupy OKC
Occupy Omaha
Occupy OSU (Stillwater)
Occupy St. Louis
Occupy Tulsa
Occupy Wisconsin
Occupy Yougstown

Occupy Binghamton
Occupy Boston
Occupy D.C.
Occupy Hartford, CT
Occupy Maine
Occupy New Haven
Occupy New Jersey
Occupy Philadelphia
Occupy Pittsburgh
Occupy Providence, RI
Occupy Rochester
Occupy Vermont

Occupy Arkansas
Occupy Birmingham, AL
Occupy Charlotte
Occupy Clarksville, TN
Occupy Columbus, GA
Occupy Daytona Beach
Occupy Durham
Occupy Florence, SC
Occupy Greensboro, GA
Occupy Jacksonville, FL
Occupy Knoxville
Occupy Lexington, KY
Occupy Louisville
Occupy Memphis
Occupy Miami
Occupy Mississippi
Occupy Nashville
Occupy New Orleans
Occupy Orlando
Occupy Richmond, VA
Occupy Tallahassee
Occupy Tampa
Occupy Winston Salem

Occupy Albuquerque
Occupy Austin
Occupy Dallas
Occupy Houston
Occupy Phoenix
Occupy San Antonio
Occupy Tucson

Occupy Boise
Occupy Colorado Springs
Occupy Denver
Occupy Eugene
Occupy Las Vegas
Occupy Los Angeles
Occupy Olympia
Occupy Portland
Occupy Sacramento
Occupy Salt Lake City
Occupy San Diego
Occupy San Francisco
Occupy San Jose
Occupy Santa Cruz
Occupy Seattle
Occupy Spokane

Unconfirmed: 100 NYPD Officers Refusing to Work, in Support of Occupy Wall Street Protestors

There are unconfirmed reports (from that:
a growing movement of New York City Police Department officers are banding together with the Occupy Wall Street movement, while the main stream media continues to relatively ignore this escalating event.

The Occupy Wall Street movement issued the following statement on their website:
"Today we received unconfirmed reports that over one hundred blue collar police refused to come into work in solidarity with our movement. These numbers will grow. We are the 99 percent. You will not silence us."

At this point this is an Internet rumor. We need corroborating details, confirmation.

This could be a matter of police not wanting to be identified on cellphone cameras, doing any mischief.

Occupy Wall Street Resources; Russell Simmons, Susan Sarandon Join Protests

(SCROLL DOWN for directory of Wall Street protests resources)
From Mogulite, also the source for the above photo; Simmons is sitting on right, eyes closed or gazing down.
(Scroll below Simmons for Susan Sarandon story.)
Who’s that sitting right there with the determined Occupy Wall Street protesters (or meditators, rather)? It’s Russell Simmons.

Just a quick question. Do these very non-violent protesters have any idea what Simmons is worth? $340 million. Do they know that he wrote a book about how to get rich? Really, it’s called Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All.

Apparently Simmons forgot a bunch of these facts too, as he’s suddenly decided to join the Occupy Wall Street protesters, who are protesting the uneven distribution of wealth (or something like that, they’re not quite sure either). Though we thought at first that the devoted yogi just wanted to get his zen on, he actually (strangely enough) seems committed to the cause. He wrote the following explanation on his website Global Grind:

“Today I will join in solidarity the peaceful protesters at Liberty Plaza in New York City who are “Occupying Wall Street.”

For far too long in this country we have allowed the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.

I believe in a nation where everyone gets a fair share of the fruits of our labor and where everyone pays a fair share for what they receive.

I am asking the United States government to raise my taxes and not allow the Republicans to use this economic recession as an opportunity to strip the basic programs that protect our most vulnerable.

Lastly, I am demanding that the big banks and corporations stop unduly influencing our government to make decisions that are not in the best interest of the majority of our citizens.

We need to re-examine our whole American political system that allows corporations and their lobbyists to rule over the people.”

Susan Sarandon at Occupy Wall Street, Christian Sci. Monitor, 9/28/11, "Susan Sarandon lends star power to Wall Street protests: Susan Sarandon joins Wall Street protests to 'educate' herself. Visits by Sarandon and other high-profile activists are helping 'Occupy Wall Street' gain attention"

"Occupy Wall Street resources. With list of states & cities."
(Keep updating this notice for new organizing notices for this weekend and next week:
Daily updates, links for donations, and an agenda calender. Also, chat, forum, photos & conference. /

Adbusters, the group that originally called this action.
A Great Resource For Finding Info About Sister Occupations And Protests
With a caveat... Please scroll down the page to see links to ongoing and organizing cities When you open the site a few actions are highlighted on the right but a comprehensive list is down a bit further. Links on the list take you to your local organizing committee sites. /

The Dissenter live blogging every day at Fire Dog Lake /

Roar Magazine, Reflections of a Revolution
Commentary, links and updates from actions around the world. /

US Day of Rage:

Twitpic sharing photos of the revolution

Live streams