Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day of Action

Reminder: today is the Occupy movement's Mass Day of Action, with events scheduled all over the country and worldwide.

 
 OccupyWallSt, after a breakfast march to Wall Street itself, will be jamming  the subway system in New York City at 3 p.m. I can hardly wait for Mayor Bloomberg to declare the subway system a pit of filth, disease and rats, and shut down all the trains.  Ditto for the planned march to the bridges beginning from Foley Square, just in time for rush hour at 5 p.m.  Bloomberg didn't care much about bridge traffic the other day when motorists were stuck for hours after he ordered the 59th St. Bridge shut down for the filming of yet another Batman movie.  As is his imperialistic wont, he never bothered to inform the people who live, drive and work in the city that they would be inconvenienced.  Some drivers, seeing a guy in a Batman costume dangling from the span, thought he was a real jumper (Gothamist).

As of this writing, crowds were converging near the New York Stock Exchange -- a phalanx of NYPD troops in riot gear keeping them away from the actual money pit.

Meanwhile that $600 million of MF Global customer money that went down another mysterious pit recently is still missing.  Since former MF (apt initials) CEO, former Goldman Sachs CEO, Former Senator, and Former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine is a VIP and erstwhile Treasury Secretary candidate, nobody is actually calling him a thief -- at least not in the pages of The New York Times.  For now, he is just a doting but ditzy parent of a kidnap victim:

“The lost money is sort of like a lost child,” said Bart Chilton, a Democratic member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. “Every day that passes is more and more concerning, and there’s less and less hope.”

Regulators and investigators are literally living at their desks trying to avoid actually having to charge Corzine with anything. Meanwhile, the people who actually had their life savings, pensions and futures stolen by the Global Financial Cabal are being arrested as they protest near the NYSE. Catch the livestream.

Update: Foley Square livestream is here: http://www.ustream.tv/theother99 (thanks to reader Will).

24 comments:

James F Traynor said...

Karen, you're a real pistol.

Voice of Reason said...

"Thursday is going to be a day of action around the city," Occupy organizer Bill Dobbs declared. "I'm looking forward to going after Wall Street and also galvanizing public support and awareness of what we're about. We are the 99 percent. Like other people in power, [Bloomberg] thinks if they get rid of the protesters, they will also get rid of the cause."

One of Dobbs' deputies was a bit more descriptive: "No more talking. They've got guns, we've got bottles. They've got bricks, we've got rocks ... you're going to see what a Molotov cocktail can do. On the 17th, we're going to burn New York City to the ground."

Now that's an objective we can all understand.

citizen625 said...

The MF Global "cabal" as you call it is just that. With Demo Corzine and all the other equal opportunity thieves guarding the jail, I fear my dollars are lost. Again.
Wall Street is all about short term. Here's how this works: I never trust them again in my lifetime (or my children's). I seek out local opportunities for investment. I never believe a word their idiots like Cramer or Bartiromo say. I pay off my house early. I maintain and fix, as needed, my car. I buy an electric bicycle which is fun and way cheap to operate. I start a small business so I can write off everything possible from my taxes, just like they do.
Go get 'em Karen. You're fun reading and you're doing a job the big guys are too lazy and corrupt to do. Thousandaires don't own the NYT or major media outlets.

Valerie said...

Voice of Reason -

This is a peaceful movement. Everything we want to accomplish can be accomplished by peaceful means and civil disobedience. We cannot allow ourselves to be provoked into retaliatory violence under any conditions. The movement is working well AS IT IS. Any call for violence should be silenced. It is not who we are.

James F Traynor said...

Valerie,

You're right of course, that would be the best way. But what if that way were closed off to us? Certainly the Koch brothers, Cheney and many others would do just that. What then? I don't know.

Will said...

Live streaming of events today:

http://www.ustream.tv/theother99

It's 5:25 pm EST and everyone's marching down to Foley Square.

As our friend Anne likes to say,
Occupy!

DreamsAmelia said...

It is abundantly clear from the haggard look on Bloomberg's face on the photo at NYTimes City Blog right now, that as long as we keep our elected leaders so busy doing damage control from widespread, unpredictable protest, they don't have time to enact their austerity measures. THAT is the purpose/power of protest.

"Unfortunately, some protesters today have deliberately pursued violence," the mayor said. There have been 177 arrests so far, Mr. Kelly said.

Yet the level of police violence is pretty unprecedented too (see bloodied protester's head--verbal accounts of NYPD stealing and erasing cameras, then beating people up, per UStream).

Stark contrast to the white collar crimes: as long as you bloodlessly, but deliberately, write the laws and create "investments" so that you can defraud millions of people to enrich a tiny minority of investment bankers, you not only will not go to jail, you don't have to admit wrongdoing. Or even "find" the lost millions/billions (MF Global, Countrywide, et al). Nor will you get a single drop of blood on your tailored suits, nor ever be mistaken for those "filthy, whiny, entitled protesters."

Despite the disruptions, the legalized fraud and austerity may continue, unabated. But you gotta give people credit for drawing a line and at least saying, "I'm going down fighting." That's what the iconic photos of the 84-year-old pepper sprayed lady and today's cracked head and the Iraq veteran Scott Olsen say to me.

Kat said...

Back from the occupation in my city. Lots of honking horns in support when we occupied a bridge.

Kat said...

How did the NYT know so much about preparations for the crackdown on OWS? Interesting article.
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/11/was-the-new-york-times-embedded-with-the-ny-police-department-prior-to-the-ows-raid.html

Will said...

The live Ustream feed has been down for quite a while now; so, in the meantime, here's a great moment from earlier this evening captured in a few pics for your viewing pleasure:

http://twitpic.com/7fjzvr

http://twitpic.com/7fjyau

Anne Lavoie said...

Here's piece that will make you shudder.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/10/financial-giants-put-new-york-city-cops-on-their-payroll/

James F Traynor said...

Ann,
Read the Counterpunch article on the NYPD and Wall Street et al. Scary it is, but not unexpected.

Valerie said...

James,

Right now, the fact that the protesters are totally peaceful - guilty at best for trespassing and civil disobedience - limits how much violence the police and any other governmental policing agencies (like Homeland Security) can do to us without turning all public sympathy in our direction. They would love for the protesters to get violent - even a small group of them - because then they would have the excuse for a total crackdown. We shouldn't fool ourselves. They can out-violence us a hundred fold.

Plus, we don't want to destroy property or hurt anyone. We want justice, good governance and an economic system that rewards productive work as opposed to speculation. These are all goals decent people can relate to and support. Violence on the part of protesters will only hurt our cause.

I think it is interesting how so many people have an opinion on how OWS should handle themselves - they should make demands, they should get a common theme, they should get a leader, they should change their name, they should get more violent . . . Yet every move the Occupy protesters have made so far has been the right one. I think we should just follow their lead; it is working and attracting more and more of the 99%.

James, I really think non-violence is the way to go. No matter what they throw at us, we have to stay peaceful. Gandhi had it right when he said, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

Will said...

Here's the full story (along with goosebump-producing youtube video) of the Occupy "bat signal" on the Verizon building last night:

http://boingboing.net/2011/11/17/interview-with-the-occupy-wall.html

Love.

Valerie said...

Will!

Thank you for that! I encourage everyone to log on and see what Will is talking about. I have forwarded to all my activist friends. Hope it goes viral!

Valerie said...

Just got around to reading the article in CounterPunch you recommended, Anne. I cannot find the words to explain how angry it makes me that a public police force is rented out to corporations for a song and used against the public that is paying their salaries and pensions. I would hope that this is illegal and a team of lawyers could take the NYPD to court and get an injunction to stop it.

Any lawyers out there reading this who can tell us whether this is a conflict of interest or double dipping by the NYPD? Any chance of this practice being stopped by the courts?

Valerie said...

Oh, and by the way - I talked to a German friend on the phone this morning and asked about the change in university tuition policies in Germany. Once again, George, the font of misinformation, got it mostly wrong. What is it about these Fox "conservatives" that they don't feel the need to research anything thoroughly before speaking with false authority on an issue?

The cost of university tuition is a state by state decision. In Bavaria, where my friend lives, tuition for one or two children is in total $1000 Euros a year. For my friend, however, who has three children at uni, it is free. She said it was totally free, no matter how many children one had in Berlin. So even in the states where there are tuition costs and with the "raise" in tuition, it is nothing like the fees paid in state colleges or universities in the States. By the way, the "raise" didn't just start in the last year. It has been slowly creeping up for the past ten years.

Just thought some of you, who are curious about your world, might like to know the real facts.

Jay - Ottawa said...

@ Will

Thanks for an outstanding link at

http://boingboing.net/2011/11/17/interview-with-the-occupy-wall.html

I've heard that previously (unrelated to OWS) through the rapid technology of texting or twitter -- obviously, I don't do either -- crowds could suddenly appear and disperse on short notice in public places, just for fun, long enough to gain attention but evaporating well before the authorities could figure out how to stop these snap demonstrations. Such tactics might serve as the next stage for OWS II, instead of trying to make their points through a long slog of endurance through winter as sitting ducks for infiltrators, the malevolent, the violent or the police.

As someone pointed out above, the mayor is showing signs of fatigue. Nor can the men and women in blue remain on high alert in full battle gear endlessly. They are few. The 99% are, well, many. OWS, the cream of the 99%, can outlast them with endless snap appearances delivering the message(s) the MSM is reluctant to convey.

As the above link shows, there is a great deal of technical skill, imagination and daring flocking to OWS. Drones and noise machines, catch up with them if you can.

Since Obama has refused to mount the Bully Pulpit. Since Congress is 99% bought. Since most of the males on the Court are corporatists. Since the MSM is full of distraction, obfuscation, propaganda and distortion, the Street has become the last Bully Pulpit to save this democracy. Time to hear short speeches and see snap theater every day from many places. By the people, for the people. Long as it takes to turn the country right side up again.

Nonviolence is key. It's the best way to hold the attention of the uninformed, the curious, the fence sitters, and sometimes even touches the superrich and those who faithfully serve them, about the enduring and brutal violence that results from greed.

Love, sure, sure.
But OCCUPY! -- then disappear.
Again and again.

Neil said...

$600 million missing from MF Global customer accounts is outrageous. Even more bizarre, the practice of secretly using customer funds on house trades may actually be lawful, according to a story in Forbes. Another example of corruption written into the law.

Robert Lenzner of Forbes:

"After an intense day of investigation, I have just discovered that a CFTC rule(1.29) allowed Jon Corzine’s MF Global to use the margin and cash in customers heretofore segregated accounts to amass a risky $6.3 billion investment in European sovereign debt that backfired. Nor did Corzine have the obligation to inform any of these customers he was gambling with their money. Or that he was intending to keep all the profits for himself and his troubled firm. Nothing for the customers."

"The language of Rule1.29 allows "The investment of customer funds in instruments described in 1.29 shall not prevent the futures commission merchant (MF Global) or clearing organization so investing such funds and retaining as its own any increment or interest resulting therefrom." Increment refers to any trading profits or gains."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlenzner/2011/11/08/mf-global-used-customer-funds-in-the-losing-6-3-billion-trade-without-informing-clients/

Obama buddy Jon Corzine is up to his neck in this one.

Anne Lavoie said...

@Jay - Ottawa

New York City and a few other cities already have a Social Media Unit to monitor twitter activity to be alerted and respond to flash mobs. They also use their ubiquitous cameras to accomplish arrests after the fact if they can't get there in time (if a violation of law has occurred).

Here is a good article on the topic from the Christian Science Monitor from this summer, before the Occupy movement began:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2011/0822/Flash-mob-crimes-How-good-are-police-at-tracking-down-culprits

Valerie said...

I think the flash mob style of protesting could be a useful tool in the Occupy arsenal. I think the more variety the better to keep the police off guard and the media and spectators interested in listening to the message.

It makes me sick to think that what Corzine did might be legal. I don't know how anyone can support that obscene level of deregulation. And of course, Obama can't separate himself from his close banker ties. It is a real problem. The Republicans are crazy but it isn't like the Democratic Party is offering a decent alternative.

Jay - Ottawa said...

Karen certainly hosts a fine drawing room for important discussions.

First, we have the benefit of her readings and response on events. Then there is the valued research, alerts and insights provided by many commenters with varied backgrounds. We may not wear silk clothes or beehive whigs but, surely, we carry on in the best tradition of those salons from the 17th and 18th centuries. Dear old Europe, move over.

Anne, thanks for the background on flash mobs, which have had a thuggish bent, according to the CSM article. OWS could lend flash mobs a better reputation by using them for good purpose and, of course, without threatening the person or property of others.

I see OWS stalwarts (to include part-time demonstrators who show up for hours or minutes of action) as an EMT rescue of last resort for a society approaching collapse. Events like the one linked above by Will are an example of how to make good use of the Bully Pulpit abandoned by our compromised leaders.

Even if the police monitor Twitter alerts, I don't see what basis they have or what capacity they can sustain for stopping the sudden assembly of hundreds and thousands of people in the streets precipitating like salt in a supersaturated solution. Can they put all of Gotham under curfew?

If the authorities do try to keep up with a committed OWS effort through a Twitter Monitoring Squad, the police will be exhausted in short order. The article notes that only about 30% of the nation's police forces have any degree of capacity to monitor social networks and even less capacity to respond.

As in other parts of the world, the pampered 1% of the USA, who have been walking all over the working class, has to be brought around to the realization that they are no match for a 99% -- or even a fraction of that number -- determined to resurrect the old motto: "Don't Tread On Me!"

Anne Lavoie said...

@Jay - Ottawa

I don't want to rain on the parade, but the Powers That Be have the authority to declare Martial Law at any time they think public safety is being threatened, or whatever excuse they want. Then if we take to the streets, we are breaking the law, subject to arrest or worse.

I expect next Spring or Summer we will be under those conditions at least somewhere in the country.

Isn't that the history of authoritative regimes against any movement that threatens their power and control?

Anne Lavoie said...

@Jay - Ottawa

One more thing: they can impose curfews and restrictions on how many people can gather at a time, etc. The PTB can create an endless list of justifications for them to arrest us, and the right wing and media will undoubtedly clamor for just that. We need to be ready for those kinds of things to happen.

We'll have to be creative, like the fantastic 'Bat Signal' on the Verizon building. Wasn't that a thing of beauty!

I have a lot of faith in our young people. They are creative and intuitive and know how to combine that with the new technology.

As we used to say in the old days, 'Keep the Faith'.

Occupy!