This is why we care about the revolving door.
Alexander Arbuckle, the defendant in the first Occupy Wall Street case to go to trial, has been found not guilty after video of the incident he was involved in showed him breaking no laws. The Village Voice reports:
“The protesters, including Arbuckle, were in the street blocking traffic, Officer Elisheba Vera testified. The police, on the sidewalk, had to move in to make arrests to allow blocked traffic to move. But there was a problem with the police account: it bore no resemblance to photographs and videos taken that night.”
In an ironic twist, Arbuckle was actually working on a New York University photojournalism project aimed at defending police officers working at Occupy protests when he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
“I felt the police had been treated unfairly on [sic] the media,” he said to the Village Voice. “All the focus was on the conflict and the worst instances of brutality and aggression, where most of the police I met down there were really professional and restrained.”
Occupy videographer and indefatigable live-streamer Tim Pool’s clip was used as evidence along with the NYPD’s own video footage in the trial. The video shows protesters clearly using the sidewalk like they were asked to. (Watch the arrest around minute 35 of Pool’s video.)
“What’s happening is very similar to what happened in 2004 with the Republican National Convention,” Arbuckle’s lawyer told theVoice. “It’s just a symptom of how the NYPD treats dissent.
In the beginning, I was on board. Things happened, things I am not going to get into in this particular post, that made me want to post less and keep a certain amount of distance.
Still, I wanted to believe in the overall cause.
I can no longer make excuses. I can no longer pretend that they represent anything of value.
I just finished speaking with a friend of mine. He was at the Million Hoodie Rally in NYC last night. He was telling me all about how emotional it was. How beautiful it was that people were coming together for something so important. Everything he said sounded amazing and almost spiritual.
My friend is a dreamer. He is a “Glass half full” kind of man. He has a strong belief in Christ and because of this, chooses his words and actions in a way that he believes would make the Lord proud. He believes in leading by example.
I tell you this because one of the topics he and I disagree on is “Anger.” He works diligently to never let his anger show. I believe that to be unhealthy.
When he was finished telling me what he saw and what he did, I told him that I tried to watch the live feed. I told him that I’d only watched for a few minutes because I saw something happen that I could not handle.
I saw OWS people trying, not to integrate with but to change the direction of the route. I saw OWS people screaming for everyone to go to Zuccotti Park. After seeing this and then seeing the arguments of people saying that this was not about OWS, only to have the OWS people say that it WAS, I became physically ill. If there was ever a time when you should have worked to keep the focus on the actual cause, this was it.
I mentioned this to my friend. He went silent. He said nothing. He said nothing for a long while. I could just hear him breathe.
I knew he was angry.
He tried to remain calm while he explained what he saw. He saw the same thing that I did. Only in a different form and at a different location. He saw OWS people yelling that it wasn’t about race and that it would be best to incorporate this into the OWS movement. This man who I love with my entire heart but often feel is far to kind said…
“They wanted us to be unified but only if unity happened in their yard. They are not good people.”
I’ll leave you with that.
“wasn’t about race”
It really sucks when a cause I was behind 100% at the beginning majorly fucks everything up this bad. Good going, OWS.
When I heard about some of the horrible shit that went on at the protests, I had hoped that they would be addressed, because the motive (originally) behind the protests made a lot of sense and brought a lot of attention to income inequality and the disappearing middle class.
Now, they’ve gone and tried to shout over a cause that wasn’t theirs to shout over and then tried to tell those affected what it was and wasn’t about.
I can’t in good conscious support them anymore.
Did the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advise local law enforcemcent officials on how to respond to the nationwide Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest movement and/or play a hands-on role in the dismantling of more than a dozen Occupy encampments last year?
The answers to those lingering questions may be found in the first official release of government documents related to OWS since the launch of the movement last year. DHS turned over hundreds of pages of documents to Truthout Wednesday morning.
read more (and a link to the documents as they are uploaded)
Short version - The mass arrests at Occupy Oakland occurred 4 hours after the violent incidents ended. The arrests occurred during a march which had no protester violence, and the arrests were conducted unlawfully. Protesters marching on a public street were kettled by police after receiving no dispersal order. After the arrests, more incidents occurred back at the main plaza. The media justifies the mass arrest by using a minority of the protesters actions at different times and places. In reality, the flag-burning, street battle, and city-hall trespassing are legally separate incidents. The 2:30pm street battle became the justification for calling the 5pm march a ‘riot’, even though the 5pm march had different people, a different purpose, and no incidents of protester aggression or rioting. Protesters were charged under CA Penal Code 409, which reads:
Every person remaining present at the place of any riot…after the same has been lawfully warned to disperse…is guilty of a misdemeanor.
This was an illegal mass arrest because no “lawful warning to disperse” was given. In order for it to be lawful, the warning must be loud, repeated, location-specific, cite the penal code, and identify the direction to disperse in. This march was simply stopped with a kettle, and the only police announcement stated, “You are under arrest. Submit to that arrest.” The police cannot arrest a mass group of people for the actions of a minority at a different time and place! This post is not about Occupy, it is about the First-Amendment!
Please spread the fact that the mass arrest of 300+ was ILLEGAL - no dispersal order was given, nor was an unlawful assembly declared at the arrest location. The mass arrest was a flagrant First-Amendment violation and Oakland will now be facing more lawsuits AND Federal receivership.
(freakoutnation.com) Three members, Mike, Chris and Tara, of Occupy San Diego were arrested for felony conspiracy when they mic checked the Mayor. No, really.
A significant increase of officials morphing the laws to better suit the Powers that Be is running rampant throughout America. These three ‘felons’ committed the dastardly act of Free Speech, which is clearly a danger to the public at large. (Hide your children!)
Daily Kos reports:
What is felony conspiracy you ask?
PENAL CODESECTION 182-185182. (a) If two or more persons conspire:
(1) To commit any crime.
(2) Falsely and maliciously to indict another for any crime, or to
procure another to be charged or arrested for any crime.
(3) Falsely to move or maintain any suit, action, or proceeding.
(4) To cheat and defraud any person of any property, by any means
which are in themselves criminal, or to obtain money or property by
false pretenses or by false promises with fraudulent intent not to
perform those promises.
(5) To commit any act injurious to the public health, to public
morals, or to pervert or obstruct justice, or the due administration
of the laws.
(6) To commit any crime against the person of the President or
Vice President of the United States, the Governor of any state or
territory, any United States justice or judge, or the secretary of
any of the executive departments of the United States.
There is nothing of a felonious nature committed in the video.
183. No conspiracies, other than those enumerated in the preceding
section, are punishable criminally.
Encompassing our politics is a significant prevalence of money. Those pimping for politicians and corporations are obviously rattled and they should be. This isn’t over.
Smells like scare tactics to me.
Since I put my bumper sticker that says, “Jesus Is With The 99%,” my truck has been keyed and I witnessed a cop spit on the sticker (even though I was wearing my minister collar). Does this piss me off? No, I’m tickled as fuck - it means we’re getting to them!
The “with me or against me” interpretation of Jesus is a common misconception that many Christians have helped to create. As someone who is fluent in Classical and Koine Greek, Jesus is not talking about himself, (I don’t think Jesus saw himself as God, but as a prophet; and so do I), but talking about the way of life he was advocating (loving God and loving people). The gospel of John is the greatest offender in creating a Jesus-is-God and the for-us-or-against-us mentality, which is why it almost didn’t make it into the Bible. I personally don’t care what you call God - even if you don’t call God anything. What matters to me is if you have a passion for social justice, peace, and love of others and the planet. That is the most basic ethic of all the major faiths and should be the desire of all, regardless of the label you find yourself under.
- reddit user RevJarrod
We’re talking about how to save democracy from the plutocratic rule of elite financiers. It’s time to think big.
Capitalist Values Vanish from Wall Street
This week we are reminded again that the ideals of capitalism are a joke on Wall Street, as the heads of the largest Wall Street banks earn enormous incomes while the values of their banks plummet. “According to data from Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove, the heads of major banking groups including JPMorganChase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America (BAC) are out-earning their employees and shareholders even as shares of bank stocks as a group lost about 26 percent [in 2011].” (Ron Haruni, “Big Bank CEOs Walk Away with Big Bucks in 2011”)
The big boys are raking it in again even while the economy suffers through the highest sustained level of unemployment since the Great Depression. More to the point, these very bank executives were complicit up to their eyeballs in helping to crash the economy in the first place! Chase CEO Jamie Dimon hauled in $41.9 million in 2011 while its bank stock lost roughly 23 percent of its value. Lloyd “I’m doing God’s work” Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, walked off with $22 million while his bank lost more than 46 percent of its value.
But, at this point, why should we be surprised? Before the crash, the heads of too-big-to-fail banks made billions in packaging, selling and then betting against toxic mortgage-backed securities that directly puffed up the housing bubble. When they couldn’t escape the crash they helped to foster, they went down on their knees begging for government help. At the same time they publicly claimed all was well, while privately taking in more than $7 trillion in secret government loans. And then after sucking up all these enormous bailouts, they used these nearly interest-free government loans to buy up other banks and lobby to prevent rules that might constrain their gambling activities. Meanwhile, they paid not a dime in personal restitution for killing 8 million jobs in a matter of months, most of which have not returned.
1. Banks should only be allowed to lend directly to borrowers and then service and keep those loans on their own balance sheets. There is no further public purpose served by selling loans or other financial assets to third parties, but there are substantial real costs to government regarding the regulation and supervision of those activities. Goodbye CDOs, synthetic CDOs and the slew of profitable but dangerous financial casino games banks so love.
2. Banks should not be allowed to have subsidiaries of any kind. No public purpose is served by allowing bank to hold any assets “off balance sheet.” A bank should be a bank and not a hodgepodge of hidden accounts designed to fool investors, build up leverage and gamble away with impunity.
3. Banks should not be allowed to accept financial assets as collateral for loans. No public purpose is served by financial leverage. This should put an end to highly leveraged, Ponzi-like financing schemes that have become commonplace within the banking community
4. Banks should not be allowed to lend off shore. No public purpose is served by allowing any banks to lend for foreign purposes. The Cayman Islands should be a resort for people, not bank slush funds.
5. Banks should not be allowed to buy (or sell) credit default insurance. Credit default swaps are financial insurance on bonds that might go bust – think Greece. Auerback wants to eliminate banks from this highly profitable game. Banks that rely on government insurance to protect depositors have no business playing in the markets that buy and sell risk.
6. Banks should not be allowed to engage in proprietary trading or any profit-making ventures beyond basic lending. Unfortunately, the big banks are addicted to proprietary trading. That’s because the big money comes from trading for their own accounts – which is the plushest of all their casinos. MF Global, under Jon Corzine’s reckless leadership, was so addicted to proprietary trading that it seems to have used its clients’ money as a piggy bank to cover its losses. More regulation will never end these games. But what would work is Auerback’s call for simply banning any and all proprietary trading by banks.
(Hot off the wire: Reuters reports that in the last days before MF Global went under, it sold hundreds of millions in assets to Goldman Sachs, the investment bank that Corzine once headed. But apparently, MF Global did not receive payment from Goldman Sachs, when the transaction was cleared through JPMorgan Chase. We don’t know as yet which bank pocketed that money. But this transaction might help explain what happened to the missing client money.)
7. Abandon “too-big-to-fail” and “systemically important” doctrine in favor of a “too-big-to-save” and “systemically dangerous” approach. They should be broken up, so that they are not “too big to fail.” Guarantee the deposits and punish the shareholders. Break the power of finance once and for all. Amen!
Even if you don’t agree with every point, you’ve got to admit that Auerback pushes us to think really big, and rightfully so. After all we’re talking about how to save democracy from the plutocratic rule of elite financiers.