February 29, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson
The Department of Homeland Security feared that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations would turn violent during their height last year, according to a leaked document obtained by Rolling Stone Magazine.
Whether you support the goals of Occupy Wall Street or not, this is yet another example of how the federal agency, which was created under the auspices of protecting the United States from terrorist attacks, is primarily concerned with keeping tabs on citizens who express their First Amendment rights.
“The five-page report – contained in 5 million newly leaked documents examined by Rolling Stone in an investigative partnership with WikiLeaks – goes on to sum up the history of Occupy Wall Street and assess its “impact” on everything from financial services to government facilities,” writes Michael Hastings.
The document also details how much of DHS’ information was obtained through monitoring Twitter feeds from OWS activists, underscoring once again the fact that the federal agency is spying on social media as part of a chilling effect on free speech, belying claims made earlier this month by DHS representatives that the agency is only concerned with messages relating to natural disasters.
Homeland Security’s fear that the demonstrations could lead to violence is summarized in the final paragraph of the document.
“The growing support for the OWS movement has expanded the protests’ impact and increased the potential for violence. While the peaceful nature of the protests has served so far to mitigate their impact, larger numbers and support from groups such as Anonymous substantially increase the risk for potential incidents and enhance the potential security risk to critical infrastructure (CI).”
Not only did Homeland Security monitor the development of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, many of the raids on OWS camps across the country were “coordinated with help from Homeland Security,” according to a Justice Department official.
In addition, the Federal Protective Service, a component of the DHS that is tasked with providing security for government buildings, arrested photographers at Portland’s Terry Shrunk Plaza during an ‘Occupy’ event, illustrating how the FPS is now operating as Homeland Security’s secret police unit. Since 2006, the FPS has been used to spy on dozens of peaceful advocacy groups and monitor scores of lawful protests and political rallies in the name of national security. In 2004, the FPS arrested a veteran for the crime of complaining to his local VA office in Des Moines.
As part of its broadening mandate to crack down on free speech, the DHS is also targeting activists from the other side of the political spectrum.
January 27, 2012
By Ellen Connolly
Sweeping protests around the world made it an extremely difficult year for the media, and tested journalists as never before, the annual report into press freedom reveals.
The annual report by Reporters Without Borders has been released, showing the United States fell 27 points on the list due to the many arrests of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests.
The slide in the United States places it just behind Comoros and Taiwan in a group with Argentina and Romania.
Reporters Without Borders said the heightened unrest around the world resulted in a significant shake-up of the group’s annual Press Freedom Index, which assesses governments’ commitment to protecting media freedoms.
The Paris-based non-governmental Reporters Without Borders has named “crackdown” the word of 2011 in an assessment of global media freedom during a year in which journalists covering sweeping protests were tested as never before.
The non-governmental organisation seeks to defend journalists’ freedom to work and combat censorship internationally.
Despite the big changes, some constants remained. The country with the freest media in the world was Finland, followed by Norway, Estonia, the Netherlands and Austria. Eritrea was last, with North Korea just above.
The United States was not alone in the falling grades: Bahrain fell 29 points because of the crackdown in that country.
January 26, 2012
After TIME recently named “The Protester” 2011′s person of the year, Reporters Without Borders said “Crackdown was the word of the year in 2011.”
Following a year of violent crackdowns on peaceful protests around the country, the United States fell 27 places on the Reporters Without Borders tenth annual Press Freedom Index of 2011 to 47th overall, more than doubling its 2010 standing at 20th.
Reporters Without Borders announced, “Never have journalists, through their reporting, vexed the enemies of freedom so much. Never have acts of censorship and physical attacks on journalists seemed so numerous.”
“Many media paid dearly for their coverage of democratic aspirations or opposition movements. Control of news and information continued to tempt governments and to be a question of survival for totalitarian and repressive regimes. The past year also highlighted the leading role played by citizens in producing and disseminating news.”
Reporters Without Borders said the United States “owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests.” America’s stunning 135% decline was unmatched in terms of the percentage of movement from the previous year.
January 6, 2012
The New York City headquarters of a group cooperating with the Occupy Wall Street movement was swarmed by the NYPD on Tuesday in a raid that left half a dozen people involved with the Globalrevolution.tv website in police custody.
Cops entered the Bushwick studio used by Global Revolution on Tuesday after posting a notice on the door of the space occupied by the group the night before. According to authorities, the space at 13 Thames St in the Brooklyn, NY neighborhood hosted conditions “imminently perilous to life” and had to be vacated by all occupants, although failed to provide any details on what factors had led to such a case. When cops returned the next day and found a handful of people on the premises, they were arrested.
The space used by Global Revolution was the only one that was targeted by the police.
Global Revolution, a website that aggregates live, streaming content pertaining to the ongoing Occupy Wall Street movement, was using the space as a production studio to manage the video output fed to the website.
Nigel Parry, an organizer with Global Revolution, tells The Atlantic Wire that the group had only recently moved into the space for production purposes. While details are scarce regarding the actual inhabitants of the space, Vlad Teichberg, one of the key figures involved with Global Revolution, was living at the site when he was arrested Tuesday. According to Parry, Teichberg had been a resident of the space on Thames St. for at least a year.
December 20, 2011
We Are Change
By We Are Change
“The cops are out of control. They are part of this country’s problem. Not all of them – but many are seriously corrupt and full of egos and attitudes.” –KTRN
We Are Change randomly meets up NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly on the streets on NYC and asks him about the numerous incidents of police brutality during Occupy Wall Street. Recorded 12.16.11.
December 12, 2011
By Deborah Dupre
“The idea that anyone would think corporations are people is beyond ridiculous.” –KTRN
Standing room only, unanimous vote against ‘corporate personhood’: Money is not free speech
Thanks to ground work by the U.S. Green Party, the wave of Occupy Wall Street empowerment and Human Rights Alert, today, Los Angeles became the first major U.S. city to vote against corporate personhood and call for a Constitutional Amendment asserting corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights and that money is not free speech. The vote was unanimous.
The unanimous vote was witnessed in Council chambers packed by a standing room only crowd of hundreds of people as well as an overflow room filled to capacity by enthusiastic supporters.
The resolution was sponsored by City Council President Eric Garcetti and seconded by Council Members Bill Rosendahl and Paul Krekorian with passionate support by Council Members Richard Alarcon, and Paul Koretz.
The action is in response to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that supposedly gave corporations the same First Amendment protections as people and allowed them to spend unlimited funds on campaign finance.
Mary Beth Fielder, Move To Amend – LA founder, who spearheaded bringing the resolution to the LA City Council said, “It’s a great day for Los Angeles and it’s a great day for the United States of America.”
November 29, 2011
By Holly Bailey
“Do you think Obama even read it? Do you think he even cares?” –KTRN
The Occupy movement trailed President Obama to New Hampshire today, where protestors briefly interrupted his jobs speech at a Manchester high school.
Using the so-called “human microphone” method, protestors shouted Obama down just minutes into his speech, calling attention to the arrest of peaceful protestors at Occupy movements around the country.
They were quickly countered by students, who began chanting, “Obama! Obama!”
But after the speech, a member of the movement got close enough to Obama as the president was shaking hands with members of the audience pass him a note, which was photographed by the Associated Press’ Charles Dharapak:
Mr. President: Over 4000 peaceful protesters have been arrested. While bankers continue to destroy the American economy. You must stop the assault on our 1st amendment rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.
November 28, 2011
By Jim Q
“This article is dead on. It just seems most Americans are either brain dead or oblivious. Perhaps they would rather focus on having 2.3 children and living in a house with a white picket fence.” –KTRN
As I observe the zombie like reactions of Americans to our catastrophic economic highway to collapse, the continued plundering and pillaging of the national treasury by criminal Wall Street bankers, non-enforcement of existing laws against those who committed the largest crime in history, and reaction to young people across the country getting beaten, bludgeoned, shot with tear gas and pepper sprayed by police, I can’t help but wonder whether there is anyone home. Why are most Americans so passively accepting of these calamitous conditions? How did we become so comfortably numb? I’ve concluded Americans have chosen willful ignorance over thoughtful critical thinking due to their own intellectual laziness and overpowering mind manipulation by the elite through their propaganda emitting media machines. Some people are awaking from their trance, but the vast majority is still slumbering or fuming at erroneous perpetrators.
Both the Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement are a reflection of the mood change in the country, which is a result of government overreach, political corruption, dysfunctional economic policies, and a financial system designed to enrich the few while defrauding the many. The common theme is anger, frustration and disillusionment with a system so badly broken it appears unfixable through the existing supposedly democratic methods. The system has been captured by an oligarchy of moneyed interests from the financial industry, mega-corporations, and military industrial complex, protected by their captured puppets in Washington DC and sustained by the propaganda peddling corporate media. The differences in political parties are meaningless as they each advocate big government solutions to all social, economic, foreign relations, and monetary issues.
There is confusion and misunderstanding regarding the culprits in this drama. It was plain to me last week when I read about a small group of concerned citizens in the next town over who decided to support the Occupy movement by holding a nightly peaceful march to protest the criminal syndicate that is Wall Street and a political system designed to protect them. My local paper asked for people’s reaction to this Constitutional exercising of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Here is a sampling of the comments:
November 25, 2011
The Raw Story
By David Edwards
“Law enforcement is needed to serve and protect. These actions are not serving or protecting anyone.” –KTRN
A woman who was pepper sprayed during during a raid on Occupy Seattle last week is blaming police after she miscarried Sunday.
Jennifer Fox, 19, told The Stranger that she had been with the Occupy protests since they started in Westlake Park. She said she was homeless and three months pregnant, but felt the need to join activists during their march last Tuesday.
“I was standing in the middle of the crowd when the police started moving in,” Fox recalled. “I was screaming, ‘I am pregnant, I am pregnant. Let me through. I am trying to get out.’”
She claimed that police hit her in the stomach twice before pepper spraying her. One officer struck her with his foot and another pushed his bicycle into her. It wasn’t clear if either of those incidents were intentional.
“Right before I turned, both cops lifted their pepper spray and sprayed me. My eyes puffed up and my eyes swelled shut,” Fox said.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer photographer Joshua Trujillo snapped a picture of Fox in apparent agony as another activist carried her to an ambulance.
Seattle fire department spokesman Kyle Moore told The Washington Post that a 19-year-old pregnant woman was among those that were examined by paramedics.
While doctors at Harborview Medical Center didn’t see any problems at the time, things took a turn for the worst Sunday.
“Everything was going okay until yesterday, when I started getting sick, cramps started, and I felt like I was going to pass out,” she explained.
November 23, 2011
By Patrick Henningsen
“The mainstream media told us that things in Egypt were getting better after the uprising. It seems it’s getting worse, not better.” –KTRN
This week has seen round two take place in Egypt between the ruling elite and public reformers, as protests converged once again on Cairo’s central Tahrir Square. But this time, there will be no help on the way from the beacons of democracy in the west.
As thousands of Egyptians camped out on the square, military police were determined to exhibit the same show of force that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has demonstrated his Zuccotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street activists have been intimidated, beaten and pepper sprayed by law enforcement. On state television yesterday Egypt’s military cited heavy US police action against the Occupy Wall Street movement across America in order to justify their own bloody suppression. Rather ironic.
Clearly let down by the broken promises of their Arab Spring, anti-government demonstrators in Egypt are now calling for a ‘million-man march’ after being met with a violent government crack-down which has already claimed 33 lives and over 1,500 injured, with a steady stream of injured being carried out by motorcycle or on the backs of other protesters to field hospitals set up by volunteer doctors near Tahrir Square.
But Egypt’s military junta is not flinching this time – especially after recently receiving the blessing and full backing of President Barack Obama and US Government to carry on and squash any and all domestic unrest. Watch this shocking video of the junta’s violence towards demonstrators:
US investigative journalist Ralph Schoenman explained during his interview with Press TV today the relationship between Egypt’s ruling military junta and Washington DC. Schoenman states, ”The relationship between the US and the SCAF – the Supreme Council Armed Forces – is that of the imperial sponsor and sustainer relying upon the Supreme Council Armed Forces to maintain not merely the dictatorship, but the oligarchy in power; the protection of capitalism in Egypt on the part of the tiny oligarchy that has usurped all financial, economic and political power for itself.”
Exactly 11 months ago, the world watched as a seemingly organic movement arose in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, calling for the downfall of Egypt’s stalwart US puppet, Hosni Mubarek. It succeeded in capturing the imagination of the world. In terms of a real revolution however – or real progress, Egypt’s own Arab Spring was nothing more the a cruel, staged event used as political leverage by the west in order to shatter the prospect of real reform in Egypt, and also to topple a series of US-non-friendly regimes in the wider Middle East region.
Egypt’s transition last spring was no more than a progression of United States and Israeli long-range foreign policies and corporate goals for the region, and for whatever reasons – one which no longer required the services of President Hosni Mubarek.
New moves on the grand chessboard have been happening between Egypt, Israel, and Jordan, as well as regime change projects to the west in Libya – meaning that the US-UK-Israeli axis powers would require a much stronger police state in Egypt, acheivable only through a solid military dictatorship there.