Friday, October 14, 2011

What Are You Going to Do? Beyond A Demanding Occupation by NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN

OCTOBER 13, 2011

Four weeks into its life, Occupy Wall Street has already confounded both critics and well-wishers. Far from twittering away its energies after an initial burst of enthusiasm as predicted (or feared), it appears to have touched something in average Americans in every corner of the country. Nor does the lack of visible leaders seem to affect its durability; a long list of visible issues no doubt more than making up for the absence of prominent names.

This by itself is one huge achievement. Too long have American politics been muddied by the insistence on glitter, the distraction of television charisma extinguishing fundamental political debate.

More significant by far is its other contribution. Packing a wallop the size of Texas, the Occupy movement’s “99% versus 1%“, has hit home as no other phrase in recent times. Like Gandhi’s brilliant 1942 slogan, Quit India, it says it all. That it is here to stay needs no more proof than Dean Baker’s smart heading to his article this morning, “David Brooks, Bard of the 1%“. Like the term, “Catch-22″, 99%-1% is now an indelible piece of the national lexicon. And just as worthy are its authors of this famous praise of the novel’s author, “if Mr. Heller never writes another word, his reputation is (still) high and secure.”

In a sense, then, a great battle has already been won. The usual presidential year network-ballyhooed emptiness of non-issues and side-issues is ready to be replaced by a simple and stunningly obvious statement of fact; one that underlies so many familiar problems – jobs, education, housing, health…even the Patriot Act and the wars real and virtual. Imagine a campaign speech that starts with, “Does the Declaration of Independence begin with, ‘We the 1%’?” Capable (but hopefully, untainted) hands could run that single statement all the way to the end zone, whether the uprights lie in a state legislature, a Governor’s mansion, the Capitol, or the White House.

To many, a disquieting aspect of the Occupy movement is the myriad of slogans that animate its throngs. Even in a relatively small city, an Occupy rally may boast of several dozen unrelated themes, each expressing some issue dear to its proponent. Recently there have been several articles suggesting that these disparate strands be streamlined into two or three succinct demands. One such article by Rand Clifford outlined three focused demands:

1) End corporate personhood

2) End the Fed

3) End military adventurism

Nothing wrong with these, or other equally logical, demands. But I have an even more basic problem, with the entire notion of ‘demanding’. Let me explain.

More than three decades ago in New Delhi, India, I was attending a protest seminar. Speaker after speaker denounced the double dealing and mendacity of the government. At the end of two days of such berating the assembly was set to pass a resolution making demands — of the same government! It was left to one of the last speakers, the writer and thinker Arun Shourie, to gently touch upon the incongruity here. Instead of asking such a supposedly terrible government to do something, he suggested, why don’t you say what you will do? His words have always remained with me.

Similarly, here you are, assembling on the streets because the politicians have sold you out, the higher judiciary has judges who sup with the Koch’s, and the 1% who own all three branches of government don’t care a hoot about you, your jobs, or your lives. To paraphrase what Arundhati Roy once wrote of the Indian elite, they have seceded from their own country and fellow citizens to form a virtual republic. You have recognized what is happening and denounced this 1% as conniving, ruthless, greedy, rapacious, self-serving, even traitorous (what else is profiting by sending jobs overseas, or making fortunes out of national calamities). At the end of it all, you want to make demands… of…these same people and their hirelings?

Instead the Occupy movement needs to have simple things that its supporters can do. What we demand of ourselves makes the difference, not what we demand of the other side [see The Banality of Hype].

When the British Raj, on behalf of the English textile tycoons, decimated the native spinning and weaving cottage industry in India (globalization ain’t all that novel), Gandhi did not run for the Viceroy pleading for increased Indian production quotas. Instead, he went to the Indian people asking them to boycott foreign cloth and wear Indian homespun, even though it was costlier and coarser. It sparked a revolution all its own.

Many years ago in 2004, I wrote an article called American Swadeshi, suggesting that John Kerry or any other American politician could start a prairie fire by doing something similar in America. Kerry, and Obama after him, were never serious about the hemorrhaging of American jobs. The Republicans, of course, actually think outsourcing and Free Trade are all part of Divine Purpose. This is therefore something neither the Democrats nor the Republicans will do. It has to be done by us.

A very simple idea, then. Each time you go to the store, whatever you are buying, note where it is made. If it is made outside the USA (as it is 99% of the time – another 99%-1% issue!), ask the store if they have a made in the USA substitute. If not, either leave saying that you will look for another store where an American-made equivalent is available, or tell them that you will stop buying this non-American-made product after six months. And do. Thousands and thousands of customers insisting on American-made products will make for a groundswell of consciousness, besides sending word up the chain to the 1%, where dollars and cents light up attention as no demand can.

As another well-known slogan goes, Just do it.

NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN lives on the West Coast. He can be reached at

The Consciousness of Guilt Is It Immoral to Vote for Obama? by MIKE WHITNEY

OCTOBER 13, 2011

I don’t like mixing politics with morality, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. What I mean is this: how can anyone cast a ballot for a man who they know will continue to kill people in other countries merely to advance US policy objectives? That’s the question people need to ask themselves.

Under normal circumstances, I can understand the “lesser of two evils” theory of voting, just as I can understand why people would think that Obama would be better president than his GOP opponent. But these aren’t normal circumstances, are they? After all, we’re not just talking about which candidate might be more inclined to protect Social Security or Medicare. We’re talking life and death. The question is whether one is willing to throw their support behind a policy that kills people in exchange for the presumed protection of Social Security?That’s a pretty cynical calculation.

Knowing what we know now, we can say with 100% certainty that Obama will continue killing people wherever he deploys the US military, the US intelligence services and US drones. How can anyone in good conscience sign on to that type of thing?

Now I know people will say,”If you don’t vote for Obama, you’re handing the White House and our children’s future over to crackpots and extremists”.

This is a very persuasive argument, but it’s also misleading. The real issue is whether one is willing to support the administration’s policies, policies that we all know will continue to kill defenseless women and children wherever the US is involved.

At present, there’s only one antiwar candidate on the ballot, Ron Paul. And while I bitterly disagree with him on economic and social matters, these issues pale in comparison to America’s homicidal foreign policy. If the balloting were held today, I would vote for Paul in a heartbeat and I would try to convince others to do the same.

As for those who choose to vote for Obama; that’s fine, only, please, don’t pretend you don’t know what the consequences will be.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at

Latin American Social Movements and the Occupation of Everything From Argentina to Wall Street by BENJAMIN DANGL

Massive buildings tower over Wall Street, making the sidewalks feel like valleys in an urban mountain range. The incense, drum beats and chants of Occupy Wall Street echo down New York City’s financial district from Liberty Plaza, where thousands of activists have converged to protest economic injustice and fight for a better world.

As unemployment and poverty in the US reaches record levels, the protest is catching on, with hundreds of parallel occupations sprouting up across the country. It was a similar disparity in economic and political power that led people to the streets in the Arab Spring, and in Wisconsin, Greece, Spain and London. Occupy Wall Street is part of this global revolt. This new movement in the US also shares much in common with uprisings in another part of the world: Latin America.

This report from Liberty Plaza connects tactics and philosophies surrounding the Occupy Wall Street movement with similar movements in Latin America, from the popular assemblies and occupation of factories during Argentina’s economic crisis in 2001-2002, to grassroots struggles for land in Brazil.

Latin America: Economic Crisis and Grassroots Responses

Almost overnight in late 2001, Argentina went from having one of the strongest economies in South America to one of the weakest. During this economic crash, the financial system collapsed like a house of cards and banks shut their doors. Faced with such immediate economic strife and unemployment, many Argentines banded together to create a new society out of the wreckage of the old. Poverty, homelessness, and unemployment were countered with barter systems, factory occupations, communally-run kitchens, and alternative currency. Neighborhood assemblies provided solidarity, support and vital spaces for discussion incommunities across the country. Ongoing protests kicked out five presidents in two weeks, and the movements that emerged from this period transformed the social and political fabric of Argentina.

These activities reflect those taking place at Occupy Wall Street and in other actions around the US right now. Such events in Argentina and the US are marked by dissatisfaction with the political and economic system in the face of crisis, and involve people working together for solutions on a grassroots level. For many people in Argentina and the US, desperation pushed them toward taking matters into their own hands.

“We didn’t have any choice,” Manuel Rojas explained to me about the occupation of the ceramics factory he worked at outside the city of Mendoza, Argentina during the country’s crash. “If we didn’t take over the factory we would all be in the streets. The need to work pushed us to action.” This was one of hundreds of businesses that were taken over by workers facing unemployment during the Argentine crisis. After occupying these factories and businesses, many workers then ran them as cooperatives. They did so under the slogan, “Occupy, Resist, Produce,” a phrase borrowed from Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement (MST), which has settled hundreds of thousands of families on millions of acres of land through direct action.

In 2008 in Chicago, when hundreds of workers were laid off from the Republic Windows and Doors factory, they embraced similar direct action tactics used by their Argentine counterparts; they occupied the factory to demand the severance and vacation pay owed to them – and it worked. Mark Meinster, the international representative for United Electrical Workers, the union of the Republic workers, told me that the strategies applied by the workers specifically drew from Argentina. In deciding on labor tactics, “We drew on the Argentine factory occupations to the extent that they show that during an economic crisis, workers’ movements are afforded a wider array of tactical options,” Meinster said.

Many groups and movements based in the US have drawn from activists in the South. Besides the 2008 occupation of the Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago, movements for access to water in Detroit and Atlanta reflected strategies and struggles in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where in 2000, popular protests rejected the multinational company Bechtel’s water privatization plan and put the water back into public hands. The Take Back the Land movement in Florida, which organized homeless people to occupy a vacant lot and pairs homeless families with foreclosed homes, mirrors the tactics and philosophy of the landless movement in Brazil. Participatory budgeting in Brazil, which provides citizens with direct input on how city budgets are distributed, is now being implemented by communities across the US.

These are just a handful of movements and grassroots initiatives that provide helpful models (in both their victories and failures) for decentralizing political and economic power, and putting decision making into the hands of the people. In the face of corrupt banks, corporate greed and inept politicians, those occupying Wall Street and other spaces around the US have a lot on common with similar movements in Latin America. Besides sharing the same enemies within global banks, international lending institutions and multinational corporations, these movements have worked to make revolution a part of everyday life. And that is one of the most striking aspects of about what’s happening with the Occupy Wall Street movement right now.

Occupying Wall Street

The organization and activities filling Liberty Plaza in New York are part of a working community where everyone is taking care of each other and making decisions collectively. During a recent visit, a kitchen area in the center of the park was full of people preparing food for dinner with donated cooking supplies. Other spaces were designated for medical support, massage therapy, sign-making and meditation. One area was for the organization of recycling and garbage; people regularly walked around the park sweeping up debris and collecting garbage.

A massive People’s Library contained hundreds of books along the side of the park. As with the cooking, sign-making and medical supplies, the movement had received donated materials and support to keep these operations thriving. Occupy Wall Street also has its own newspaper, the Occupy Wall Street Journal, copies of which were being handed out in English and Spanish editions on nearly every corner of the park. A media center where various people sat around computers and cameras provided ongoing coverage of the occupation.

Within this community were pockets of areas with blue tarps and blankets where people were resting and sleeping, having meetings or simply holding home made signs on display. Singing, drumming, chanting, guitar and accordion playing were also going on in a wide array of places.

Ongoing meetings and assemblies, with hundreds to thousands of participants, dealt with issues ranging from how to organize space in the park and manage donated supplies, to discussions of march plans and demands. Police outlawed the use of megaphones, so people at the park have just been relaying what others say during these assemblies by repeating it through the layers of the crowd, creating an echo so everyone can hear what is said.

At the Comfort Station, where well-organized piles of clothes, blankets, pillows and coats were stacked, I spoke with Antonio Comfort, from New Jersey, who was working the station at the time. Antonio, who had his hat on backwards and spoke with me in between helping out other people, said that the donations of clothes and sleeping materials had been pouring in. People had also offered up their showers for activists participating in the occupation to use. While I was at the station someone asked for sleeping supplies for an older man, and Antonio disappeared into the Comfort Station piles and returned with an armful of blankets and a pillow.

“I’m here so I can have a better life, and so my kids can have a better life when they get older,” he said about his reasons for participating in the occupation. Everything at the station had been running smoothly, Antonio explained. “Everybody works together, and it’s very organized. We’ll be here as long as it takes.”

Adeline Benker, a 17-year-old student at Marlboro College in Vermont who was holding a sign that said, “Got Debt? You are the 99%,” told me that for her – like many other young students participating in the occupation in New York and elsewhere – it was all about debt. “I will be $100,000 in debt after I graduate from college, and I don’t think I should have the pay that for the rest of my life just to get an education in four years.” Benker said this was her very first protest, and her first time in New York City. When I spoke to her, she had been at the occupation for a few days, and would be returning the following week.

Down the sidewalk was activist Tirsa Costinianos with a sign that said, “We Are the 99%”. Costinianos said, “I want the big banks and the corporations to return our tax money from the bailout.” Costinianos had been at the occupation on Wall Street every weekend since it started on September 17th. “I love this and I’m glad we’re doing this. All of the 99% of the people should join us – then we could stop the stealing and the corruption going on here on Wall Street.”

Ibraheem Awadallah, another protester holding a sign that said “Wall Street Occupies Our Government: Occupy Wall Street”, told me, “The problem is this system in which the corporations have the biggest influence in politics in our country.”

These types of encounters and activities were happening constantly in the ongoing bustle of the park, and underscore the fact that this occupation, now nearly into its third week, is as much of a community and example of participatory democracy as it is a rapidly spreading protest.

As the late historian Howard Zinn said, it is important to “organize ourselves in such a way that means correspond to the ends, and to organize ourselves in such a way as to create the kind of human relationship that should exist in future society.” That is being developed now within this movement, from the leaderless, consensus-based assemblies, to the communal organization of the various food, media and medical services organized at the occupation.

Similarly, movements across Latin America, from farmer unions in the Paraguayan countryside to neighborhood councils in El Alto, Bolivia, mirror the type of society they would like to see in their everyday actions and movement-building.

As Adeline Benker, the 17-year-old student at the Wall Street occupation said, echoing the struggles from Argentina to the Andes and beyond, “We need to create a change outside of this system because the system is failing us.”

Benjamin Dangl’s new book Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America (AK Press) is on contemporary Latin American social movements and their relationships with the region’s new leftist governments. He is editor of, a progressive perspective on world events, and, a website on activism and politics in Latin America. Email BenDangl(at)gmail(dot)com.

None of It Makes Sense Bizarre Iranian “Plot” Doesn’t Add Up by PATRICK COCKBURN

OCTOBER 13, 2011

The claim that Iran employed a used-car salesman with a conviction for cheque fraud to hire Mexican gangsters to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington goes against all that is known of Iran’s highly sophisticated intelligence service.

The confident announcement of this bizarre plot by the US Attorney General Eric Holder sounds alarmingly similar to Secretary of State Colin Powell’s notorious claim before the UN in 2003 that the US possessed irrefutable evidence Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction.

The problem is that the US government has very publicly committed itself to a version of events, however unlikely, that, if true, would be a case for war against Iran. It will be difficult for the US to back away from such allegations now.

Could the accusations be true? The plot as described in court was puerile, easy to discover and unlikely to succeed. A Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) informant in Corpus Christi, Texas, with supposed links to Los Zetas gangsters in Mexico, said he had been approached by an Iranian friend of his aunt called Mansour Arbabsiar to hire the Zetas to make attacks. A link is established with the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

None of this makes sense. The IRGC is famous for making sure that responsibility for its actions can never be traced to Iran. It usually operates through proxies. Yet suddenly here it is sending $100,000 (£63,000) from a known IRGC bank account to hire assassins in Mexico. The beneficiaries from such a plot are evident. There will be those on the neo-con right and extreme supporters of Israel who have long been pressing for a war with Iran. In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been vociferously asserting that Iran is orchestrating Shia pro-democracy protests, but without finding many believers in the rest of the world. Their claims are now likely to be taken more seriously in Washington. There will be less pressure on countries like Bahrain to accommodate their Shia populations.

In Iraq, the US and Britain were always seeing Iran’s hidden hand supporting their opponents, but they could never quite prove it. It was also true, to a degree never appreciated in the US, that Washington and Tehran were at one in getting rid of Saddam Hussein and installing a Shia government. There were points in common and a struggle for influence. The same has been true in Afghanistan, where Iran was delighted to see the anti-Shia Taliban overthrown in 2001.

Some Iran specialists suggest there might be a “rogue faction” within the Revolutionary Guard, but there is no evidence such a body exists or of a convincing motive for it to be associating with Mexican gangsters.

Patrick Cockburn is the author of “Muqtada: Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq

Letter to head of local NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally ILL)

Please remove Anne Ganzer from your e-mail list. Thank you.

I regret to inform you that my mother, Anne Ganzer, died on 31, July, 2011.  Please remove her from your mailing list, and also from any financial solicitation lists.  Please DO NOT SOLICIT my father for money for your worthy organization.  The expenses of the funeral and celebration service and brunch, the loss of her social security income (my father is a retired state of Illinois teacher, and they did not pay into social security, and as a result get nothing out of it for their teachers' salaries).

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


Anne did get a lot from her affiliation with NAMI - although so much of what you have to offer is predicated on the unfounded hypothesis that there exists a classification of diseases known as "mental illnesses."  Nonetheless, there powerful dynamics and bonds can be developed when people who have shared experiences come together specifically to speak of those experiences, engage honestly in dialogue, and to let their true emotions out, to share one another's common burden, thereby making the load far more easy to carry.

That said, it mist be noted that a reading of the DSM IV will lead the reader to the most obvious and basic of all conclusions:  that (almost all) of those conditions classified as "mental illness" have no etiology - there is no way to predict the path the alleged "disease" will follow from one individual to the next, nor even to make generalizations accurate enough to have predictive utility, save for this:

A "mentally ill-labeled" human being {MILHB} will ALWAYS seek to go off their medications, and once they stop, they will almost invariably eventually (and rather sooner than later) return to a depressed state (although up the initial cessation of the meds, the MILHB will do some things which appear, most assuredly based on more recent and depressed (even severely depressed) behaviors to be quite out of character {OOCB}. 

But the OOCB, the unbounded joy, optimism, enthusiasm, etc, etc, etc, can be perfectly and logically explained and understand by this analysis:  

After an extended duration of depressed feelings, where the depression is palatable, when the human body's own healing mechanisms {HBOHM} begin to reach a point where they can quell the depression and reverse it, ridding itself of the things (thoughts, ideations, dreams) forming the root cause(s) of the depression (invariably different degrees of loss, which may be psychic or more tangible, depending on the individual.  There are a wide varieties of responses to loss - ranging from rage to grief, to denial, to acceptance, with a couple of others tossed in between.

Furthermore, it is quite unlikely, given that since most of the mental health "experts" {MHE} who have known the  have known the MILHB only in a depressed state (only here is one normally willing to voluntarily surrender his will to taking anti-depressants; a person experiencing a so called "manic episode" {ASCME} only when depressed, as any of you can attest), will never voluntarily surrender the joy and celebration of that moment in time when the depression has been eradicated while the body's attempt at achieving homeostasis through electro-magnetic-bio-chemical changes, has overshot the mark, that the MHE has sufficient knowledge of the "normal" range of emotions and behaviors of the so-called (and entirely mis-labeled) "mentally ill" client.

And too, especially in the case of the parents of a child who has left "the nest," gone out on their own, established themselves in their career, the social circles, their spiritual circles, their various communities, have a CLUE about what that child has become to the other people with whom he (the universal "he" intended to include all human being - male, female, trans-gendered) have the foggiest or faintest clue about what the child has become; about how that child has blossomed; about what that child has morphed into.  And parents being flawed to the extent that they are not perfect, and most of them falling short by omission (things not done for) rather than commission (things done to), are typically NOT ready to even want to know what their child has become (unless the adult child is typically getting many accolades; an accoladed child's honors somehow or another rub off on its parents).

One trained in the scientific method would logically draw these following conclusion, which could then be tested experimentally:

(1) Major depressive episodes are hellish for every one involved.

(2) Medications for MILHB merely mask symptoms; they do not get to root causes.

(3) Until the root causes are fully understood, dealt with, and explored, and options for coping  with the root causes are emplaced, the MILHB will exhibit "classic" symptoms of bipolar
illness, either being "too sad" or "too glad," in the eyes of those legally empowered to make such judgments.

(4) The human body is a miraculous creation, and at all times attempts to keep itself in a state of balance (homeostasis).  When body functions become severely compromised, what is
required of the body to reverse the effects invariably will "over shoot" the mark, and the results will be a "relapse" into the previous state.

(5) The most effective therapy to lead a MILHB out of the wilderness of one extreme or the other is a combination of medication, talk therapy, diet, exercise, choosing to be around
mentally healthy people.

(6) If "mental illnesses" really were medically based, then one could be cured of their mental illness.  Such is NOT the case of the MILHB, for that person can NEVER RECOVER FROM

(7) The diagnostic tools for classifying any of the so-called mental illnesses come from a  laundry list of about 20 behaviors.  For a specific "illness," between nine and twelve laundry list behoviors are selected, and a MILHB who exhibits three or more of these
is deemed "to have it!"

(8) Enough is known about the history of DSM-series and the classification of mental illness to further support that "mental illnesses" are not illnesses at all, but merely a labels  used to classify a MILHB and prescribe a treatment program (typically by injecting potentially lethal drugs to counteract the MILHB's bio-rhythms).  Because a canon of literature exists, it is virtually impossible to sue a mental health professional for malpractice in the event a MILHB's proscribed medication management program cause serious damage, even including loss of life. 

(9) Further evidence that the DSM-series defines not a family of illnesses, but serves only to assist the reader of said series to label a MILHB is suggested by what were formerly included as "mental illnesses," e.g:    

Excessive masturbation
Chain smoking

and by recalling that in the earlier days of classification, the hall mark distinction between a so-called "manic depressive" and a "schizophrenic" was social-economic class:  the upper classes were labeled "manic depressive" and had available rather nice rehabilitation hospitals, while the "schizophrenics' " lot was rather far more bleak.

And thus we arrive at where we are today, with four cohorts permanently vested with propagating the belief that there exists such a thing as a group of illness which are called "mental illnesses:"

The pharmaceutical companies who spend a fortune advertising anti-depressants on TV so that the patients can tell the doctor what they need to prescribe!

The psychiatric community at large, including the teaching colleges and universities.

The legal profession which uses "not guilty by reason of insanity" verdicts to let perfectly guilty well off white people get out of paying for their crimes and having to be left to live amongst the "savages - frequently of darker hue" in the lower 99.

Since "mental illness" is not a classification of disease, but rather a describer of behaviors, the American Psychiatric Association, The American Medical Association, and all the teaching hospitals which have programs dedicated to behvior modification, have been committing medical malpractice for the duration; they have kidnapped human beings (involuntary commitments), poisoned human beings (injection of potehtially lethal drugs against the patient's will), and slandered and libeled human beings because, while one might be cured of cancer, one can never be cured of the various mental illness labels.

What NAMI provides is talk therapy, for the family and loved ones of the MILHB, and possibly for the MILHB too (if they are willing attend meetings, which, I suspect, usually they are not).  You share your experiences in a non-judgmental environment where everybody has experienced pretty much the same thing.  That is comforting, and reassuring, and by voicing one's feelings, one releases them from the grave in which they were buried alive; one has an opportunity to be healed and made well again.

However, for as long as programs of treatment focus only on the symptoms, and not at getting to understanding the root cause of the loss which triggered the depression, the roller coaster ride is but one word, or one triggering event away from taking off again.

Your organization is worthy.  It can BE better and DO better.

Thank you for your attention to these matters,


MARK RAYMOND GANZER, who has had the following labels placed on me at various times:

Manic-depressive, axis II, hypomanic state
Paranoid schizophrenic
Manipulative Personality Disorder
Fractitious syndrome (also called Ganser's syndrome; how ironic)
Borderline personality disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder

In other words, one real sick mother fucker.

What a crock of fucking bull shit; one from which I refuse any more to eat.  You can be cured of the label by moving to where you are given a fresh start, a chance to prove (or disprove) your worthiness and value to community; where your past matters not, only your present, only your future.  You must bury your past and treat as dead all those who love you, but believe you to be sick, all the while refusing to investigate their own pathologies.

Peace and blessings upon you, your family, your loved ones, your home, your organization, and your community,

Mark Raymond Ganzer

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Changing of the Guards: The New Road of the Occupation Movement

Changing of the Guards: The New Road of the Occupation Movement

Rupert Murdoch Declares War On Occupy Wall Street

by ProudProgressive Posted October 10, 2011
Related Topics: Fox News, right wing, Wall Street, Drugs, War, Facebook, Case, Crash, Giant, Fighting, Crime, New York, Pot, Free, Place, parents, Food, cheese

Rupert Murdoch Uses His Media Empire to Declare War On Occupy Wall Street
October 10, 2011
By Jason Easley

In what amounts to a declaration of war against Occupy Wall Street, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has launched a misinformation assault on the 99% across multiple parts of his media empire.

MG: Of course, this was not unexpected - the propaganda wing of the LKBAU (Let's Keep Bidness As Usual Upper Oners would be all over this like flies over shit - an extremely apt analogy

Here is the video from Media Matters:

Steve Doocy quoted almost verbatim from a New York Post article that highlighted the crime, drug abuse and free food at Occupy Wall Street.


Here are some of the parts of the article that Doocy read almost as written on the air,

Wanted for burglary, the drug-addled fugitive said some of his hard-partying pals clued him in that the protest was a good place to be fed, get wasted and crash. "I've been smoking and drinking in here for eight days now," said Dave, booze on his breath and his eyes bloodshot as he lay sprawled on a tattered sheet of cardboard. "I need to get some methadone. Every day, I wake up, and I'm f–ked up." Drugs can be easy to score — a Post reporter was offered pot for $15 and heroin for $10.

Easy now to see why SMACK has become the drug of choice of former pot-heads ... it's all about the $$$$$!

The free chow offered to protesters was boosting the crowd.

there oughta be a law against giving free food to protester - HELL, free food to ANYBODY (although, when a bidnessman writes off lunch with a client, that seems to me to be a whole lot like free food

"People say they are here for the cause, but the real reason is the free food," quipped Cameron, 26, of Jersey City. "On my third day, they had smoked salmon with cream cheese. You know how much smoked salmon is a pound? Sixteen dollars. I eat better here than I do with my parents!"

CAMERON - DUDE - hey mon, you're friggin' 26-years old and living with Ma and PA? You ARE a legacy baby - the lower 99er special - dumber than a rock holding turtles fucking

At one point yesterday, a speaker from Washington, DC, told protesters how to break out of zip ties and handcuffs in case they get collared.

THIS is bogus beyond beliefs - how many of you have ever been cuffed by police? #1 - they cuff your hands behind your back, so, how the fuck are you gonna break out the old ZIP TIES?

The protest vet, Ryan Clayton, 30, demonstrated how use a bobby pin to spring the cuffs open — while claiming he was "not encouraging people to break out of restraints."

News Corp owned Fox News used the quotes from the also News Corp owned Post to substantiate their claims that the people attending Occupy Wall Street are criminals, druggies, and hippies who are only there for the free food. The point of writing such stories and essentially reading them on Fox News is not only to smear Occupy Wall Street, but also to scare News Corp readers and viewers who might be having sympathetic feelings or even considering standing with the 99%.

While to impute motive is simply rude, I think door #2: to scare News Corp readers and viewers who might be having sympathetic feelings or even considering standing with the 99%

News Corp is trying to portray the protests as dangerous places full of shady characters where drugs and sex are running rampant. The Post article even worked in a quote and a reference to Woodstock. The strategy is clear. News Corp is combining their resources to spread an anti-Occupy Wall Street message across multiple media properties and platforms. This is an escalation of their attack on the protesters and their message.

Murdoch is using his vast media empire to declare war on Occupy Wall Street and the 99%. News Corp is now coordinating their message and attacks. The anti-Occupy message has been appearing on several News Corp owned properties individually, but the media giant is now trying to unify the dissemination of their misinformation. News Corp has gone from mocking the protests, to denying the size of the protests, to launching an all-out coordinated misinformation campaign against Occupy Wall Street.

First they ignore us; then they mock us; finally they hire mercenaries to kill us; in the end, we prevail!

News Corp and the right wing media

Here I must complain. What the fuck do you exactly mean by "the right wing media?" Couldn't you have at LEAST named some of the usual suspects? FOX NEWS, COX MEDIA, etc, etc, etc - so that readers or viewers of those media are at least aware of the bias and might use their power as consumers of lies and misinformation to take their "help me understand what's going on" bucks and spend them on some other, hopefully less partisan news hacks.

have been trying for over a week now to slow down the growth of this movement with no success. More people are joining the existing protests, and new protests are springing up around the country. The 99% don't have a Rupert Murdoch, but they do have thousands of people taking to Twitter, Facebook, blogs and websites to report the truth about these protests.

AH .. THIS is the friggin story - the POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA (which has toppled repressive governments in the middle east and Europe). WE have our means of communications, and it is INTANTATER! -- an incurable advantage in the propaganda wars.

The one percent have their media machine churning out their propaganda 24/7, but they are fighting a message war that they are destined to lose.

In the end, only the 1% will listen to their media machine, forever believing their own propaganda, and not even considering that the most dangerous creature in the universe is the salesman who has bought his own line of bull shit, hook line, and stinker!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


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Leonard Cohen performs "Democracy" in the new PBS special LEONARD COHEN LIVE IN LONDON. In 2008, Leonard Cohen, the influential singer/songwriter whose career spans four decades, embarked on his first tour in 15 years. Fans and critics alike hailed the show as a once in a lifetime experience. Now, viewers have a front row seat when PBS presents LEONARD COHEN LIVE IN LONDON, recorded live on July 17, 2008, at London's 02 Arena, one of Europe's largest indoor venues. The special premieres August 1 and airs throughout August 2009 on most PBS stations. Check local listings for dates and times in your area at You can help PBS continue to offer everyone — from every walk of life — the opportunity to experience amazing performances and explore new ideas through television and online content. To donate, please visit
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Fighting Fire With Fire

Now that the Masters of the Universe have commandeered the New York Tax Payers Monies to pay for New York City Police to Taser and Billy Club legally assembled American citizens on wall street, it occurs to me that it will eventually occur to someone to take the following steps, (which, mind you, I am most assuredly not advocating, for to do so would be a very bad thing - I am merely a blogger with a long memory and a deep and abiding understanding of the history of American government's response to those who would peacefully protest for their RIGHTS.

1. To discourage police from doing the job, a bounty should be put out on the Chief of the New York City Police Department. Probably $20,000 would be the right amount, for his execution.

2. In line with the reasoning behind point #1, a similar bounty should be put out on the Mayor of New York City. Probably $2,000 would be the right amount.

3. Again, thinking consistently along these lines, bounties should be put out on the heads of all the civilian advisors to the NYC PD.

4. Bounties should be put out on the heads of all the NYC aldermen (and alderwomen).

5. Funding should begin to bring armed militias into NYC in order to kill police who beat on peaceful, law-abiding protesters. Giving them a taste of their own medicine simply cannot be a bad thing.

6. Using similar reasoning, bounties should be put out on the head of the Governor of New York State, the Lt. Governor, the two U.S. State Senators from New York, each and every U.S. Congressional Representative from the State of New York.

7. Again, unless or until they start to editorialize against using New York City tax payer money to pay for police to brutalize peaceful protesters, the Editor and Owner of every Newspaper in New York City should have bounties put on their heads, as well as the heads of all the TV stations broadcasting from NYC.

8. Immediately, a bounty of $100,000 should be put on the heads of the leading Wall Street Investment Banks - Chase, Goldman-Sachs, etc, etc. Such bounty should be remain permanently in effect.

9. Plans to kidnap for ransom family members of all the Wall Street Investment Bankers holding the title of Vice-President or higher should be implemented. This way, the funding mechanism for the assassinations will remain liquid, and individual donor contributions can be used for the medical care of the injured protesters, or for their funerals.

The whole point is this: If the Banksters want someone to "teach the protesters a lesson," they should use the free market mechanisms and pay for it themselves. To do so, of course would be an act or terror (or war), which might be met in kind, but, WHAT THE FUCK IS THE DIFFERENCE to a beaten, battered, abused protester if they are done in by police or other paid goons? The answer, clearly is, none.

So, if it is to be warfare, AT LEAST FOR A FUCKING CHANGE, GIVEN THE AVAILABILITY OF WEAPONS IN THIE COUNTRY, the number of vets out of work and their skill and experience in killing, kidnapping, etc, let's make it an EVEN FUCKING FIGHT.

And please, understand, I am advocating none of this, just trying to put on a mindset that asks me to walk in the moccasins of a lawfully assembled political protester who feels that retaliation, meeting force with force, in this instance is not only justified, but the mandatory, prudent, and winning course of action.

This was entirely predictable - but I'm not so sure how enthusiastic these cops are about being on the payroll of the banksters who essentially raped

OCTOBER 10, 2011

Who Do the White Shirt Police Report to at Occupy Wall Street Protests?
Financial Giants Put New York City Cops On Their Payroll


Videos are springing up across the internet showing uniformed members of the New York Police Department in white shirts (as opposed to the typical NYPD blue uniforms) pepper spraying and brutalizing peaceful, nonthreatening protestors attempting to take part in the Occupy Wall Street marches. Corporate media are reporting that these white shirts are police supervisors as opposed to rank and file. Recently discovered documents suggest something else may be at work.

If you’re a Wall Street behemoth, there are endless opportunities to privatize profits and socialize losses beyond collecting trillions of dollars in bailouts from taxpayers. One of the ingenious methods that has remained below the public’s radar was started by the Rudy Giuliani administration in New York City in 1998. It’s called the Paid Detail Unit and it allows the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street corporations, including those repeatedly charged with crimes, to order up a flank of New York’s finest with the ease of dialing the deli for a pastrami on rye.

The corporations pay an average of $37 an hour (no medical, no pension benefit, no overtime pay) for a member of the NYPD, with gun, handcuffs and the ability to arrest. The officer is indemnified by the taxpayer, not the corporation.

New York City gets a 10 percent administrative fee on top of the $37 per hour paid to the police. The City’s 2011 budget called for $1,184,000 in Paid Detail fees, meaning private corporations were paying wages of $11.8 million to police participating in the Paid Detail Unit. The program has more than doubled in revenue to the city since 2002.

The taxpayer has paid for the training of the rent-a-cop, his uniform and gun, and will pick up the legal tab for lawsuits stemming from the police personnel following illegal instructions from its corporate master. Lawsuits have already sprung up from the program.

When the program was first rolled out, one insightful member of the NYPD posted the following on a forum: “… regarding the officer working for, and being paid by, some of the richest people and organizations in the City, if not the world, enforcing the mandates of the private employer, and in effect, allowing the officer to become the Praetorian Guard of the elite of the City. And now corruption is no longer a problem. Who are they kidding?”

Just this year, the Department of Justice revealed serious problems with the Paid Detail unit of the New Orleans Police Department. Now corruption probes are snowballing at NOPD, revealing cash payments to police in the Paid Detail and members of the department setting up limited liability corporations to run upwards of $250,000 in Paid Detail work billed to the city.

When the infamously mismanaged Wall Street firm, Lehman Brothers, collapsed on September 15, 2008, its bankruptcy filings in 2009 showed it owed money to 21 members of the NYPD’s Paid Detail Unit. (A phone call and email request to the NYPD for information on which Wall Street firms participate in the program were not responded to. The police unions appear to have only scant information about the program.)

Other Wall Street firms that are known to have used the Paid Detail include Goldman Sachs, the World Financial Center complex which houses financial firms, and the New York Stock Exchange.

The New York Stock Exchange is the building in front of which the Occupy Wall Street protesters have unsuccessfully tried to protest, being herded behind metal barricades, clubbed with night sticks, kicked in the face and carted off to jail rather than permit the last plantation in America to be defiled with citizen chants and posters. (A sample of those politically inconvenient posters and chants: “The corrupt are afraid of us; the honest support us; the heroic join us”; “Tell me what democracy looks like, this is what democracy looks like”; “I’ll believe a corporation is a person when Texas executes one.” The last sign refers to the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, giving corporations First Amendment personhood, which allows them to spend unlimited amounts of money in elections.)

On September 8, 2004, Robert Britz, then President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of the New York Stock Exchange, testified as follows to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services:

“…we have implemented new hiring standards requiring former law enforcement or military backgrounds for the security staff…We have established a 24-hour NYPD Paid Detail monitoring the perimeter of the data centers…We have implemented traffic control and vehicle screening at the checkpoints. We have installed fixed protective planters and movable vehicle barriers.”

Military backgrounds; paid NYPD 24-7; checkpoints; vehicle barriers? It might be insightful to recall that the New York Stock Exchange originally traded stocks with a handshake under a Buttonwood tree in the open air on Wall Street.

In his testimony, the NYSE executive Britz states that “we” did this or that while describing functions that clearly belong to the City of New York. The New York Stock Exchange at that time had not yet gone public and was owned by those who had purchased seats on the exchange – primarily, the largest firms on Wall Street. Did the NYSE simply give itself police powers to barricade streets and set up checkpoints with rented cops? How about clubbing protesters on the sidewalk?

Just six months before NYSE executive Britz’ testimony to a congressional committee, his organization was being sued in the Supreme Court of New York County for illegally taking over public streets with no authority to do so. This action had crippled the business of a parking garage, Wall Street Garage Parking Corp., the plaintiff in the case. Judge Walter Tolub said in his opinion that

“…a private entity, the New York Stock Exchange, has assumed responsibility for the patrol and maintenance of truck blockades located at seven intersections surrounding the NYSE…no formal authority appears to have been given to the NYSE to maintain these blockades and/or conduct security searches at these checkpoints…the closure of these intersections by the NYSE is tantamount to a public nuisance…The NYSE has yet to provide this court with any evidence of an agreement giving them the authority to maintain the security perimeter and/or conduct the searches that their private security force conducts daily. As such, the NYSE’s actions are unlawful and may be enjoined as they violate plaintiff’s civil rights as a private citizen.”

The case was appealed, the ruling overturned, and sent back to the same Judge who had no choice but to dismiss the case on the appellate ruling that the plaintiff had suffered no greater harm than the community at large. Does everyone in lower Manhattan own a parking garage that is losing its customer base because the roads are blocked to the garage?

Some believe that Wall Street is given special privileges and protection because New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg owes his $18.1 billion in wealth (yes, he’s that 1 percent the 99 percent are protesting) to Wall Street. The Mayor was previously a trader for Salomon Brothers, the investment bank made famous for attempting to rig the U.S. Treasury market in two-year notes.

The Mayor’s business empire which bears his name, includes the awesome Bloomberg terminal, a computer that houses enormous pricing data for stocks and bonds, research, news, charting functions and much more. There are currently an estimated 290,000 of these terminals on Wall Street trading floors around the globe, generating approximately $1500 in rental fees per terminal per month. That’s a cool $435 million a month or $5.2 billion a year, the cash cow of the Bloomberg businesses.

The Bloomberg businesses are run independently from the Mayor but he certainly knows that his terminal is a core component of his wealth. Nonetheless, the Mayor is not Wall Street’s patsy. Bloomberg Publishing is frequently in the forefront of exposing fraud on Wall Street such as the 2001 tome “The Pied Pipers of Wall Street” by Benjamin Mark Cole, which exposed the practice of releasing fraudulent stock research to the public. Bloomberg News was responsible for court action that forced the Federal Reserve to release the details of what it did with trillions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts to Wall Street firms, hedge funds and foreign banks.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly may also have a soft spot for Wall Street. He was formerly Senior Managing Director of Global Corporate Security at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., the Wall Street firm that collapsed into the arms of JPMorgan in March of 2008.

There has also been a bizarre revolving door between the Wall Street millionaires and the NYPD at times. One of the most puzzling career moves was made by Stephen L. Hammerman. He left a hefty compensation package as Vice Chairman of Merrill Lynch & Co. in 2002 to work as Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters for the NYPD from 2002 to 2004. That move had everyone on Wall Street scratching their head at the time. Merrill collapsed into the arms of Bank of America on September 15, 2008, the same date that Lehman went under.

Wall Street is not the only sector renting cops in Manhattan. Department stores, parks, commercial banks and landmarks like Rockefeller Center, Jacob Javits Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral have also participated in the Paid Detail Unit, according to insiders. But Wall Street is the only sector that runs a private justice system where its crimes are herded off to secret arbitration tribunals, has sucked on the public teat to the tune of trillions of dollars, escaped prosecution for the financial collapse, and can put an armed municipal force on the sidewalk to intimidate public protestors seeking a realignment of their democracy.

We may be learning a lot more in the future about the tactics Wall Street and the NYPD have deployed against the Occupy Wall Street protestors. The highly regarded Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has filed a class action lawsuit over the approximately 700 arrests made on the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1. The formal complaint and related information is available at the organization’s web site,

The organization was founded by Carl Messineo and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard. The Washington Post has called them “the constitutional sheriffs for a new protest generation.”

The suit names Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Kelly, the City of New York, 30 unnamed members of the NYPD, and, provocatively, 10 unnamed law enforcement officers not employed by the NYPD.

The lawsuit lays out dwhat has been curtailing the constitutional rights of protestors for a very long time in New York City.

“As seen in the movements for social change in the Middle East and Europe, all movements for social justice, jobs, and democracy need room to breathe and grow and it is imperative that there be a halt to law enforcement actions used to shut down mass assembly and free expression of the people seeking to redress grievances…

“After escorting and leading a group of demonstrators and others well out onto the Brooklyn Bridge roadway, the NYPD suddenly and without warning curtailed further forward movement, blocked the ability of persons to leave the Bridge from the rear, and arrested hundreds of protestors in the absence of probable cause. This was a form of entrapment, both illegal and physical.

“That the trap and detain mass arrest was a command-level-driven intentional and calculated police operation is evidenced by the fact that the law enforcement officials who led the demonstration across the bridge were command officials, known as ‘white shirts.’ ”

In April 2001, I was arrested and incarcerated by the NYPD while peacefully handing out flyers on a public sidewalk outside of the Citigroup shareholders meeting – flyers that warned of growing corruption inside the company. (The unlawful merger of Travelers Group and Citibank created Citigroup and resulted in the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, the depression era investor protection legislation that barred depositor banks from merging with high-risk Wall Street firms. Many of us from social justice groups in New York City had protested against the repeal but were out maneuvered by Wall Street’s political pawns in Washington.)

Out of a group of about two dozen protestors from the National Organization for Women in New York City, Rain Forest Action Network, and Inner City Press, I was the only person arrested. There was no civil disobedience occurring. Rain Forest Action Network was handing out fortune cookies with prescient warnings about Citigroup and urging pedestrians to cut up their Citibank credit cards. The rest of us were peacefully handing out flyers.

Chained to a metal bar inside the police precinct, I was grilled on any crimes I might know about. I responded that the only crimes I knew about were listed on the flyer and apparently, in New York City, one gets arrested for disclosing crimes by Wall Street firms.

A mysterious, mature, white shirted inspector who ordered my arrest on the sidewalk, and refused to give his first name, disappeared from the police report when it was filed, blaming the arrest instead on a young police officer. Citigroup is only alive today because the Federal government inserted a feeding tube into Citigroup and infused over $2 trillion in loans, direct investment and guarantees as the company veered toward collapse.

The NYPD at the time of my arrest was run by Bernard Kerik – the man President George W. Bush later sent to Iraq to be the interim Interior Minister and train Iraqi police. The President subsequently nominated Kerik to head the Department of Homeland Security for the entire nation. The nation was spared of that eventuality only because of an illegal nanny popping up. Today, Kerik is serving a four year sentence in Federal prison for a variety of criminal acts.

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a Federal lawsuit on my behalf (Martens v. Giuliani) and we learned that the NYPD had arbitrarily established a policy to arrest and hold for 72 hours any person protesting in a group of 20 or more. The case was settled for a modest monetary award and the repeal by the NYPD of this unconstitutional and despicable practice.

Pam Martens worked on Wall Street for 21 years. She spent the last decade of her career advocating against Wall Street’s private justice system, which keeps its crimes shielded from public courtrooms. She has been writing on public interest issues for CounterPunch since retiring in 2006. She has no security position, long or short, in any company mentioned in this article. She can be reached at

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Protesters rally in downtown Chicago By Andrew L. Wang October 8, 2011,0,7219087.story

The chants of protesters echoed through downtown Chicago this afternoon as marchers descended on theLoop to give voice to a wide cross-section of activist issues.

A crowd of about 700 gathered at noon at Congress Parkway andMichigan Avenue to hear speeches protesting the 10-year-old war in Afghanistan, though references other issues -- including unemployment, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, gay marriage and stopping urban violence -- were sprinkled in.

"There's always money for more wars," Dennis Kosuth, an emergency room nurse at Stroger Hospital, told the crowd. "But there's never enough money for the jobs that we need."

Meanwhile, a crowd of about 200 protesters loosely unified under the Occupy Chicago banner collected at LaSalle Street and Jackson Boulevard, railing against high unemployment, corporate greed and what they argue is the undue influence of cash in the political process {now, while they "argue" the point, does the Chicago Tribune reporter writing this report have any facts on the validity or lack thereof on this matter? Is there in fact "corporate greed and ... undue influence of cash in the political process" or are they just blowing hot air out of their pie holes? Enquiring minds want to KNOW -- and, in point of fact, THIS IS THE FUCKING STORY, which, of course, the Tribune reporter simply misses; as did his editor, etc, etc, etc.

"They talk about not raising taxes on the rich because they create jobs," said Dove Anthony, 43, of Zion. "Yeah, they create jobs in China and other countries."

Police officers patrolled at the fringes of both gatherings, keeping the peace and guiding protesters through streets clogged with weekend traffic (AHEM! The POLICE were the keepers of the peace? Only insofar as they didn't pull out the billy clubs and start whaling on THE ALREADY PEACEFUL AND WELL ORGANIZED DEMONSTRATORS nor did they even TAS any of them ... Let's give full credit to the police, the police chief, and the mayor of Chicago for ordering the cops to keep things in check; to keep their pistols holstered: INDEED, the whole world is watcying!). Tourists gawked and snapped images with their mobile phone cameras.

In the end, the concrete canyons of Chicago's central business district were witness to a great overlapping of issues, expressed through chants, signs and slogans [as] AT a feeling of discontent and disappointment in America's centers of power -- political, military and economic. (Incurably sloppy editing job - as printed, this is not even a sentence; what a difference a letter makes, as in "T" v "s".)

"We are the 99 percent," said Megan Groves, a spokeswoman for Occupy Chicago, in a reference to the 1 percent of Americans the group believes holds the most wealth. "We will not be silent and we demand a voice in our government." (GOOD on you, Megan - this is a slogan that can get a WHOLE lot of people jumpin' on the band wagin - no anarchy, no violins in the streets - just something for the "middle class" that 99% of the country that actually has to budget and can't afford three homes - one to winter in; one to summer in; and one to live the rest of the year in .. WE ARE THE LOWER 99, TYVM!)

The anti-war marchers made a stop at President Obama’s 2012 campaign headquarters in the Prudential Building, with some protesters likening Obama to many of his Republican predecessors in the way he is handling both the war and economy.

(WELL, yes, of course, and he has been acting like a Republican President since he started unofficially taking over and running the country in November, 2007, shortly after the elections, where by he was the driving force to get the bail out moneis for the banksters into the greedy little piggy hands ... BarryO will also reduce social security benefits, and has seen to it that the insurance industry (and pharmacueticals by extension) will make a killing on OBUMMAH DON'TCARE health insurance legislation.)

The group held signs and chanted “This is what Democracy looks like,” (this is HARDLY singin' songs, and a-carryin' signs, mostly say 'hooray' for our side ... indeed this is something ALTOGETHER DIFFERENT from the ragged, scattered, schizophrenic special interest groups of the 60's - each protesting for their one issue, when in point of fact, it was the WHOLE GOD DAMNED SYSTEM that is (1) not working, (2) unAmerican.) among other slogans. Part of the group, some carrying Palestinian flags, also stopped near the Israeli consulate (and did not break any windows, nor did they storm the building, they just demonstrated with their presence ... the power of the J-Street lobby and the stranglehold they have on the discourse in re: the role of Israel in the middle East and whether or NOT the US should continue to funnel billions of dollars into the gullet of the pig Israeli war and repression machine has never come more fully unto scrutinty -- I would assume they {as well as all the 'powers that be'} are praying that this protest will fizzle out, and the sooner the betterer!} near Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue.

While the marchers gathered on the 10th anniversary of the start of the Afghanistan War to call for an end to U.S. military action there, economic issues weren't far from protesters' minds.

David Bachman, 34, of West Dundee, joined the march, he said, because he was dissatisfied with the power corporations wield in the daily lives of ordinary people. A carpenter by trade, Bachman has had trouble finding work and had to liquidate his savings to pay bills. (DUH! It's ALWAYS about the friggin economy; the American people may always do the "right thing" eventually, but it have NEVER been until the impact of not doing the right thing is seen on the old monthly bank statement that you can get our fat, generally contented, mostly ignorant people in the middle and upper middle income brackets (the 25-75 groping; hell, we've even added the 2-24% highest income folks to the rolls of those no longer shy to protest .. in a few short words, "WE ARE MAD AS HALL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!"

"It's a hell of a world we live in," said Bachman, who wore a Public Enemy T-shirt and a Guy Fawkes mask backwards on his head.

At LaSalle and Jackson, in the shadows cast by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Chicago Board of Trade and the Bank of America Center, protesters held signs that read "Are you feeling the trickle down yet?," "Stop corporate sponsored democracy," and simply "Tax the rich."

Occupy Chicago is a spinoff of anti-wall Street protests in New York. They began protesting at the intersection two weeks ago.

President Barack Obama "hasn't done nearly enough. It's been disappointing," said Cheryl Pomeroy, 56, of Oak Park, who wore a hard hat and carried a whiteboard on which was written "Prosecute Wall St."

"The Democratic Party needs a push," she said. "The country needs to see how frustrated the average American workers are."

Chicago Tribune reporter Brent Lewis and the Associated Press contributed.

Copyright © 2011, Chicago Tribune

The LOWER 99 is mad as hell, and no longer willing to take it silently!

Met two activists patriots tonight, in front of the Ogilvy Transportation Center on Madison Street in Chicago. I broke the conversation commenting upon their camping gear. “Gonna be camping around here?” “Definetly.” l “Where you from?” “New York City. We were in Philly this morning, occupying space in front of the Federal Reserve Bank there. Now we're here. There's LOTS of us! Have you heard about us?”

You bet. This is the singly most exciting thing that has happened in my lifetime since Miami, 1972, when the VVAW took over the town, marched through the streets in utter silence, while Ron Kovich and his three wheel-chair bound companions stormed the Republican National Convention, to be spat upon (the only actually recorded episode of anybody spitting on a Viet Nam veteran – all the others are fictions, put in the heads of all too guilible guys who saw RAMBO parts I & II too many times), by, Republican delegates.

We've already raised $40,000 in cash, and we haven't even tried to. We don't need money at this point. We just need PEOPLE to come out and be a part of it. In fact, we've had people telephone wanting to give us HUGE sums of money, several called wanting to contribute $50,000! But we don't have the mechanisms in place for that right now. People have been so nice – they send food over all the time. It's really exciting.l Please, come out tomorrow and JOIN US.

I will lads, you can bet your young asses, I will BE there.

With Love, With Hope, With Faith

DEMOCRACY is comin' to the USA!

Please, click on the link below, and feel the POWER of the PEOPLE!

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