Archive for the ‘ Response by Government ’ Category

Occupy Capitalism: ‘No freedom of press in London’

NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT CRUSHED PEOPLE WITH HORSES

 

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London Stock exchange occupation blocked

Anti-capitalist protests that started with the Occupy Wall Street movement on Saturday spread to London and other cities.

Thousands of people descended on the area around the London Stock Exchange in a bid to replicate the huge demonstrations which have been taking place in New York.

A spokesman for the protesters said: “We are doing this to challenge the bankers and the financial institutions which recklessly gambled our economy. This occupation and 20 other occupations all around the UK have been directly inspired by what’s happening all across America and especially Wall Street.”

Activists had planned to take over Paternoster Square, where the Stock Exchange is located, but police cordoned off the area. Instead, protesters returned to their previous position in front of St Paul’s Cathedral.

As night fell, they announced their intention to set up a campsite in St Paul’s Churchyard, putting up tents and portaloos on one side of the square. However, Scotland Yard made it clear police would not allow the campsite in front of the cathedral, saying such a move would be “illegal and disrespectful”.

The force said they had made efforts to ensure the protest was largely peaceful. Three arrests were made – two for assault on police and one for a public order offence.

Well-known activists including Julian Assange and Peter Tatchell were among the protesters. Mr Assange, creator of the Wikileaks website, addressed the crowds on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Protests also took place on the streets of Edinburgh and Dublin, which passed off peacefully. More than 100 demonstrators turned out to protest in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, while hundreds also took to the streets of Dublin.

Anna Jones, a supporter of Occupy London Stock Exchange said: “So far, we have already seen a disproportionate amount of force by the police against protesters who are occupying the area outside St Paul’s… The only crime that the police can pin on people is one of having a conversation about real democracy and the unfair and unequal economic system that favours the rich and powerful.”

In Italy, however, police fired tear gas and water cannons as protesters turned the demonstration against corporate greed into a riot, smashing shop and bank windows, torching cars and hurling bottles.

Source:  UK Press Association

Arrests at anti-capitalist protests in London

PROTESTERS at an anti-capitalism rally in London have been arrested.

Three campaigners were nabbed by officers, who managed to stop a planned occupation of the London Stock Exchange.

Several hundred protesters from the Occupy London Stock Exchange movement were stopped from entering Paternoster Square today. It came after reports a High Court injunction had been issued to prevent members of the public from accessing the area.

After the attempt to occupy Paternoster Square failed miserably, the protesters returned to outside St Paul’s Cathedral, a position they have held for several weeks. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange addressed the crowds, talking about police oppression, Wikileaks and the current economic situation.

The protesters’ spokesman said: “We are doing this to challenge the bankers and the financial institutions which recklessly gambled our economy.”

He also spoke of a further 20 occupations being planned around the UK, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Activists carried banners with slogans such as “Bankers got a bailout, we got sold out” and “We are the 99%”.

Canadian Lorena Fuentes, a charity worker, said: “I’m here today because I can’t see why you wouldn’t be and I feel that this is one of the few moments in history where it’s not a protest, it’s an actual movement that’s taken root.

“We’re trying to challenge this myth that there are not enough resources to go around.”

Berlin... German demonstrators take part in protests

Berlin… German demonstrators take part in protests

Protesters also marched in cities across the world in support of those occupying Wall Street, America’s financial centre.

There were demonstrations in New Zealand and Australia, and the movement’s website said that 951 protests would take place in cities across 82 countries. It is unclear whether that target was reached. The group’s website calls for people to “rise up to claim their rights and demand a true democracy.”

Rome... demos over finance fears were all over the world

Rome… demos over finance fears were all over the world

The demonstrations are against corruption and capitalism, and are a reaction to the global financial crisis. The Occupy Wall Street protests began in Canada last month, and have spread across the globe. In Frankfurt, some 5000 people protested outside the European Central Bank.

The movement has received celebrity endorsement too, as a group of 100 prominent authors, including Salman Rushdie and Neil Gaiman signed an online petition declaring their support for the movement.

Source: News Group Newspapers Limited 

Bloomberg: Occupy Wall Street Can Stay Indefinitely

Demonstrators rest at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday that he’ll allow the Wall Street protesters to stay indefinitely.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday that he’ll allow the Wall Street protesters to stay indefinitely, provided they abide by the law, marking his strongest statement to date on the city’s willingness to let demonstrators occupy a park in Lower Manhattan.

“The bottom line is – people want to express themselves. And as long as they obey the laws, we’ll allow them to,” said Bloomberg as he prepared to march in the Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue. “If they break the laws, then, we’re going to do what we’re supposed to do: enforce the laws.”

Bloomberg said he has “no idea” how much longer the Wall Street demonstration will last. “I think part of it has probably to do with the weather,” he said.

Up til now, the mayor has been cagey when asked how long he’ll allow the protesters to stay, replying: “We’ll see.” His words Monday morning signal a stronger commitment to allowing the demonstration to continue unimpeded by municipal government.

Occupy Wall Street calls itself a resistance movement with participants from myriad backgrounds.

Bloomberg, the city’s 108th mayor, has a long track record as a strong defender of first amendment rights. Last year, he passionately defended plans to build a mosque and cultural center two blocks from the World Trade Center, a controversy that dominated media for months.

“This is the place where you can protest,” Bloomberg said last week, calling New York the “most tolerant, open city in the world.”

“Whether it’s the mosque or anything else, this is a city that values people’s rights and gives them the ability to say what they want to say. I think more so than other city that I know of around the world,” he said.

The mayor has also defended the NYPD during several incidents with protesters during the past few weeks.

“We will enforce the law,” he said. “The freedom of speech is the freedom to say what you want to say but it is also the freedom to let people have opposing views, and people that don’t want to…say anything to go about their business.”

 

Freedom Plaza Occupation Meets Pepper Spray At Air And Space Museum

October 8, 2011, 11:22 pm

The people who’ve come from around the country to occupy Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. helped fulfill their promise to “Stop the Machine” by entering, and ultimately closing down for the day, the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum. They chose the museum for its glorification of weaponry in general, its special exhibit on unmanned flying drones in particular, and the tribute it pays to the arms industry by naming its IMAX theater after Lockheed Martin.

Today’s action was proposed at Friday night’s General Assembly meeting on the plaza, most vocally by David Swanson—creator of, as well as much else, WarIsACrime.org. Some initially objected that its meaning might be lost on onlookers, but the idea prevailed.

The march itself—or “stroll,” as it was called, to avoid militaristic jargon—started around 2 p.m. today and reached the museum about half an hour later. Swanson was leading the march, together with members of Code Pink and a contingent of young Wisconsinites. (Also in the lead was confessed agent provocateur Patrick Howley, one of the “hundreds of earnest and principled reporters” whose careers The American Spectator claims to have launched.) Several protesters made it inside and, from the second floor, dropped a pink banner that said, “NO DRONES / END AFGHAN WAR.” But when as many as 500 “strolling” people surged up into the museum carrying signs and chanting, guards used pepper spray to repel them as they got just inside the doorway.

Protesters approach the doors of the Air and Space Museum.

Within seconds, those entering the building turned back, coughing and holding their eyes and writhing in pain. People outside, themselves breathing in the peppery air and coughing, poured water on their faces. Soon, there was a short standoff with police officers, followed by a rally on the steps of the museum and a performance by the Bread and Puppet Theater. Somebody provoked the man playing music across the street to go on a loud rant in his microphone against the protesters, but then he played songs for them. There was an assembly-style discussion. Several model drones—realistic-looking and otherwise—accompanied the group.

When word had come that some of those who had been apprehended would be released on the other side of the building, a group of marchers went there to greet them. They staged a sit-in, blocking the back entrance and singing songs like “This Little Light of Mine” and “If I Had a Hammer.” All the doors of the museum were already locked anyway, and it was closed for the rest of the day. Tourists continued to approach it and many went away angry.

Sit-in on the south side of the Air and Space Museum.

One woman was arrested in the incident, the first arrest of the ongoing occupations in D.C.: 19-year-old Thi Le of Madison, Wisconsin. She was released within a few hours and received by fellow protesters who waited for her outside the precinct.

Protester after trying to wash off the remains of pepper spray.

The outcome of the confrontation remains to be seen—especially in whatever crowds might come to Freedom Plaza on Sunday. An incident with pepper spray was of course a turning point for winning public sympathy for Occupy Wall Street, and it may be again in D.C. But in the case of Wall Street there was no apparent justification. At Air and Space, however, despite the use of probably excessive force by the guards, many outside observers might also see it as a necessary measure of crowd control to protect a national museum. The protesters say they had no intention to damage anything—later on they chanted to police officers and guards, “We are peaceful!”—but this might have been made clearer from the outset.

According to messages on Twitter, members of the separate occupation that began on October 1 at McPherson Square on K Street have made a point of distancing themselves from the action.

Despite some complaints that the reason for targeting the Air and Space Museum weren’t obvious enough, the action surely made a lot of people think about the museum and what it represents in a new way. The signs and props protesters carried conveyed their opposition to ongoing wars abroad and to the celebration of weapons that goes on inside. There were a large number of people visibly identified as veterans taking part, as well as military family members. The idea of going to a museum to admire technologies designed for killing was certainly called into question by this action. Unlike the sites of Occupy Wall Street confrontations, which have occurred on roadways, the target here made sense.

Less successful at first glance, however, was the tactic that ultimately met with pepper spray. The protesters could have sent a powerful message without appearing so threatening to guards, much less to visitors inside. The banner-drop was an example of this. So was the sit-in. But when a large, loud crowd leaves the street and moves toward a building, those leading it should be aware of the effect that they’re having on those in their path, and of the ways they might be antagonizing the very people they’re intending to win.

Movement-building, though, isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it burns.

Source: www.wagingnonviolence.org

Open Letter to Mayor Bloomberg

by David@AmpedStatus.com

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

I read your recent comments regarding the #OccupyWallStreet 99% Movement. You and I both know that your comments were baseless and blatant divide and conquer propaganda talking points. You should be ashamed of yourself. Are you aware of how absurd, ignorant and hypocritical your out of touch with reality statements make you sound?

Here are your words:

“The protesters are protesting against people who make $40-50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet. That’s the bottom line.”

As I said, baseless and blatant divide and conquer propaganda talking points. First of all, you picked the $40-$50k per year talking point because the median household income falls into that range. Thus, you are attempting to divide the population in half. Second, you say we are against people who “are struggling to make ends meet.” Obviously, you have no clue as to what is going on. Perhaps your pathetic propaganda could have worked in the bygone days prior to the internet, but we know that the people, that you so condescendingly dismiss, are smart enough to see through your obsolete and desperate rhetoric.

To further clarify, we are absolutely NOT against anyone for however much money they may make. What we are fighting against are the people and corporations who are responsible for trillions of dollars in fraudulent activity. We are fighting a political process that has been hijacked and rigged against hardworking Americans through a system of political bribery – campaign finance, lobbying and the revolving door – by global financial interests. We are rebelling against economic tyranny. We are defending the United States against an occupying global financial oligarchy.

Our families and our country have endured financial oppression for long enough.

We currently have the most severe inequality of wealth in our nation’s history, and you are the Mayor of the city that has the most severe inequality of wealth in the country. The inequality of wealth in NYC is equivalent to a third-world economy. Inequality in your city is worse than Mexico and Honduras. It’s so bad that you would think that NYC was a banana republic run by a billionaire propaganda mogul who overturned term limit laws.

Oh wait, that’s exactly you!

I would love to publicly debate you on these issues. Perhaps you can come down to a place you once ruled but now has been liberated. How about we meet at Liberty Park this weekend? I know you might be jetting off to your hideaway estate in Bermuda again, like you did that time you left New Yorkers stranded in snow last winter for the holidays. Or maybe you will be too busy making budget cuts. Good thing your crony-capitalist buddies at JP Morgan paid off the NYPD with $4.6 million in bribes. You would hate to have to cut back on them now, wouldn’t you?

So Mayor Bloomberg, would you like to have a public debate at Liberty Park, somewhere else in the city, perhaps at your mansion in Bermuda or at one of your many other multi-million dollar hideaways?

Wow, I didn’t know being Mayor of a city desperately struggling with record-breaking poverty and inequality paid so well.

How do you do it? Perhaps we can break down your wealth during our debate. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

David[@]AmpedStatus[.]com, supporter of the #OccupyWallStreet 99% Movement

Source: AmpedStatus.com

Delusional NYC Mayor Bloomberg Goes On The Offensive Against Occupy Wall Street

By Madison Ruppert Editor of End the Lie

October 9, 2011

The protests appear to be working, at least in the sense that it is forcing Wall Street crony and New York City Mayor and multibillionaire Michael Bloomberg (who literally claimed he didn’t know what the word “responsible” was in court) to out himself as a friend of the elite and an enemy of the people.

Similarly, the mainstream media has continued their veiled assault on the protests, calling it a “stagnant movement that has dragged out for three weeks” among other things.

CNN also pretended that the demonstrations in New York were “marred by scuffles with police” when in fact the “scuffles” were police attacking demonstrators.

The demonstrators have been consistently peaceful, not “largely peaceful” as CNN claims.

When demonstrators are wildly assaulted by police with nightsticks and pepper spray in a premeditated effort, that is not violence on the part of the protest but on the part of the police thugs who are still blind enough to think that they are not being exploited just like the activists are.

Certain people in New York are also complaining about the noise, essentially implying that people should only be able to express their right to speak and assemble freely so long as it doesn’t annoy them.

Bloomberg characterized the protesters as a gathering of self-obsessed job killers seeking to “take jobs form the people working in the city” on his weekly radio broadcast.

Bloomberg’s delusion is beyond measure. Apparently a movement of people seeking economic justice and employment for all is now a movement of people seeking economic inequality and unemployment for all.

He also bemoaned the impact the Occupy Wall Street movement would have on tourism, claiming that it would “take away the tax base we have”.

Again, Bloomberg reveals that he is either absurdly imbecilic, completely divorced from reality or, more simply, yet another lying politician.

According to Mayor Bloomberg, people flocking from around the country to take part in or cover the protests are not tourists, even though they will undoubtedly inject cash into the local economy one way or another.

Bloomberg is therefore claiming that all of the journalists from around the nation and the globe that have migrated to NYC to report on the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations will not stay in accommodations, eat, or otherwise contribute to the city’s economy.

To any thinking person this is laughable, at best.

Even if every single person that has been attracted to NYC by the Occupation stayed in a tent and ate food provided by other activists (which is clearly not the case) the food has to come from somewhere and I seriously doubt that demonstrators are going to travel to another state in order to buy food.

My point is this: no matter what the Occupation is contributing to NYC. How can Bloomberg explain the several thousand dollars the city will get from their highly questionable roundup of activists on the Brooklyn Bridge?

Whine all you’d like Bloomberg, but some of us know for a fact that NYC is going to make money off of this Occupation, one way or another.

Bloomberg also is claiming that the activists are trying to “get rid of” jobs in the finance sector, “which is a big part of our economy.”

“[W]e’re not going to have any money to pay our municipal employees or clean the parks or anything else,” Bloomberg said.

Contrary to Bloomberg’s assumptions, in reality the Occupation isn’t seeking to eradicate the financial sector completely. Instead it is seeking to remove the criminal corporatist cancer that has infected the financial industry.

One woman who called into Bloomberg’s radio show complained that Zuccotti Park, the central hub for the Occupy Wall Street protests and the site of the large encampment, was unusable now.

The woman, named Marsha, whined that, “There’s a general presence of incivility down there, but worst of all are the drums and the shouting. […] What about my rights to use that park?”

Well since Marsha is so unhappy let’s just remove the 1st Amendment if it happens to upset anyone. That seems like a reasonable solution, after all who likes a bunch of people shouting and demonstrating general incivility?

Who has any right to complain when our country has been bankrupted through fraud and the corporatist takeover of our government?

Who has any right to complain when our constitutional rights are treated as nothing more than guidelines that can be tossed aside whenever government thugs deem it necessary?

Who has any right to complain when the government represents the interests of the largest corporations and not the people to whom they are supposed to be beholden?

I agree with Marsha, they should just shut up and bend over! If Marsha can’t hear her television over the hordes of oppressed, defrauded and upset people of America then all of those people just need to get lost.

After all, this is America where you’re only aloud to voice your opinion if it doesn’t bother anyone, right?

Wrong. Marsha is going to have to deal with it and unless some drastic changes occur, she is going to be dealing with it for a long time.

Sorry Marsha, you might want to move to Bahrain where protests are crushed with impunity with the help of American and British equipment.

At least there you could watch TV in silence, at least until you hear the screams of protesters being brutally assaulted and fired upon by security forces.

Unfortunately, Marsha is not alone in her dislike of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution and that pesky right to speak freely and assemble.

One resident who lives a block from Zuccotti Park said, “I have so many problems. We can’t sleep. The sound of the drums – it makes me crazy”. Again, the complaints of one person and their “so many problems” outweigh the concerns of thousands of disenfranchised Americans?

One 60-year-old activist from Long Island called the Mayor out on his myopic rant, “We challenge him to step up to the plate and come down here and talk with us.”

Of course it is a lot easier for Bloomberg to sit in a studio and bemoan the movement and their aim to kill all of the jobs in New York without actually having to face the people affected by predatory lending practices, the corruption of the private Federal Reserve and the general corporatism that has raped the American people.

“There are some people with legitimate complaints, there are some people who just like to protest, and, like everything else, it’s a very complex thing,” Bloomberg said.

Apparently Bloomberg is the arbiter of truth, the sole individual who decides which gripes are legitimate and which are not.

Bloomberg said, “We’re trying to deal with this in a way that doesn’t make the problem grow and protects everybody’s rights”.

What he means is that the NYPD and others have begun to realize that premeditated police brutality andmass arrests only serve to strengthen the resolve of those involved and attract others who see the injustice.

It appears that they are now attempting to find a way which they can avoid revealing themselves as anti-Constitutional thugs while still shutting down the movement.

What exactly this will be is anyone’s guess but the fact that the Occupation has spread to many major cities around the nation isn’t helping Bloomberg’s aims.

If Bloomberg is able to significantly damage the Occupy Wall Street movement, one could expect to see even more activists from other Occupations flood into NYC to counter whatever measures are taken, at least that is what I hope would happen.

As far as the New Yorkers complaining about people expressing their right to free speech and their disillusionment with our corrupt political system and the criminals in the financial industry, as far as I’m concerned I couldn’t care less.

Turn up your TV, slap on some headphones, put on some blinders and keep your head in the sand. It’s not going anywhere any time soon so you’d better just get used to it or start standing up for the rights of your fellow citizens.

Source: The Intel Hub

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