1.Protesters march north from Wall Street. (via Peter Harris)
2.As the march reached Union Square, things turned ugly. (AP)
4.Protesters crawl on their knees after being sprayed with pepper spray. You can see video of this incident here. (AP)
5.(via Peter Harris)
7.(via Peter Harris)
8.(via Peter Harris)
9.(via Occupy Wall Street).
10.Two white-collar police officers arresting a young woman for filming them. (via Occupy Wall Street).
11.(via Paul Weiskel)
13.No drums on Wall Street. (via landonsheely)
14.(via Peter Harris)
15.(via Peter Harris)
16.(via Giles Clarke)
17.(via Giles Clarke)
18.(via Giles Clarke)
19.(via Giles Clarke)
20.(via Paul Weiskel)
21.(via Paul Weiskel)
22.(via Paul Weiskel)
23.(via Paul Weiskel)
24.(via Paul Weiskel)
25.(via Paul Weiskel)
26.(via Paul Weiskel)
27.(via Paul Weiskel)
28.(via Paul Weiskel)
29.(via Paul Weiskel)
31.(via Sam Glewis)
32.All of these people were arrested. (via Sam Glewis)
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Late last night we found out which white collar officer had maced our innocent protesters. We did not release this information as we had not yet come to a consensus on how to approach the situation. Earlier today we discovered that this information had already been released.
Yesterday, an NYPD spokesperson implied that we had edited the video to remove incriminating actions on the part of our peaceful protesters. Here are a few different angles and cuts of the event that we had not previously released:
As you can tell, we did not need to edit the video to implicate this officer in a gross and unconscionable crime.
His name is Antony Bologna. We demand that he is charged for his crimes. We demand that he receives jail time.
We demand that Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly resigns. Not only can he not control his most senior officers, he is involved in actively sheltering them from receiving any punishment.
We demand that Mayor Michael Bloomberg address our General Assembly and apologize for the police brutality and the cover-up that followed.
This was an attempt to make us weak, this was an attempt to destroy or derail our message, our conversation. It has not succeeded. We have grown, we will grow. Today we received reports that over one hundred blue collar police refused to come into work in solidarity with our movement. These numbers will grow. We are the 99 percent. You will not silence us.
Mayor Bloomberg: +1 (212) 788-7550
Deputy Commissioner of Public Information: +1 (646) 610-6700
NYPD Switchboard: +1 (646) 610-5000
First precinct: +1 (212) 334-0611
Make our voice heard. Make sure that the world knows that everyone deserves equal protection, service, and punishment.
Remain true to our principles of non-violence.
Dominant Social Theme: Once the Greeks – and the PIGS generally – get used to austerity, the Eurozone will rebound.
Free-Market Analysis: This story is interesting because it is written by a mainstream journalist and actually tells the truth about Greece – that Greece, or its citizens, are ready to explode. One can extrapolate from Greece to the rest of the EU, or at least its Southern half. Push "austerity" a little further, as a solution to the "sovereign debt" crisis and all Europe may begin to detonate.
It is not just the Southern PIGS which are reeling. It is Northern Europe, too. The Northerners, especially Germany, do not want to pay for Southern profligacy. And Southern Europeans are well aware the fault does not lie with them, especially, but with elite political and financial interests.
It was not the average Greek or Spaniard who borrowed the money that has put the South in debt. The analyses of the European situation make it sound as if each individual was guilty. Not true. The Anglosphere banks arranged the lines of credit that are throttling the PIGS now.
The politicians and private interests accepted the money and buried it in Swiss bank accounts; today, everyone else has to pay. And Mary and Dmitris are well aware of who profited from the explosion of leverage in the 2000s, and who has been tasked with the clean-up.
It is even worse. What is unsaid in the article, despite its bluntness, is that the leverage was calculated to do exactly what it has done. The political and financial classes were in a sense tasked with creating what is now called the "sovereign" debt crisis and they did so deliberately.
This is never mentioned in analyses of the situation. We only read glib vignettes about austerity and predictable IMF solutions having to do with higher taxes, reduced public benefits, a shrinking public sector and lower compensation all around, for those who still have jobs or businesses anyway.
While we often cover the unraveling EU and euro as if it is a kind of force of economic nature, we've also been careful on many occasions to point out that what occurred in Europe was instigated by financial powers at the highest level. And for years, Eurocrats have been talking about how a financial crisis was bound to occur, and that it would be used as a pretext to build a political union out of an economic one.
Just the other day, we reported on an article in the UK Telegraph that presented the latest meme – that the "guilty men" of Europe and Britain – the ones that had backed the EU project most enthusiastically – were going to walk away from the mess without ramifications.
Our problem with the article was that it didn't go far enough. There is an Anglosphere elite and it has coldly and forcefully built the EU from the ground up. These great central banking families that want one-world government are behind the current mess, but as is always the case, those who are really in charge will not be written about, or not by the mainstream media.
We did find, in roaming the Internet, this interesting article by one of our favorite mainstream reporters, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, written way back in 2000. He makes it clear that Washington and its spy agencies were behind the EU project.
Neither the CIA nor other US intel agencies – at the very top – report to Washington. They actually likely report to London's "City," and to the great banking families and their political, military, religious and monetary enablers. That's why we've written on numerous occasions that blaming the EU on Germany or the "Nazis" is just so much misdirection. Here's an excerpt from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's UK Telegraph article, circa September 2000:
Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs ... DECLASSIFIED ... American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement. The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state.
One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA. The documents were found by Joshua Paul, a researcher at Georgetown University in Washington. They include files released by the US National Archives. Washington's main tool for shaping the European agenda was the American Committee for a United Europe, created in 1948.
The chairman was Donovan, ostensibly a private lawyer by then. The vice-chairman was Allen Dulles, the CIA director in the Fifties. The board included Walter Bedell Smith, the CIA's first director, and a roster of ex-OSS figures and officials who moved in and out of the CIA. The documents show that ACUE financed the European Movement, the most important federalist organisation in the post-war years.
In 1958, for example, it provided 53.5 per cent of the movement's funds. The European Youth Campaign, an arm of the European Movement, was wholly funded and controlled by Washington. The Belgian director, Baron Boel, received monthly payments into a special account. When the head of the European Movement, Polish-born Joseph Retinger, bridled at this degree of American control and tried to raise money in Europe, he was quickly reprimanded ...
These days Evans-Pritchard sticks more or less to the larger UK Telegraph "party line," which has to do with the unraveling of the EU rather than who was behind the thing to begin with. But understanding the reality of the EU's formation is important, too. It was set up as a building block of world government and it was likely designed to fail in order to create the impetus for a political union.
The article about Greece – with which we began our analysis (see above) – shows clearly how the elite centralizing strategy is being implemented. But there has been a miscalculation. The Internet was not considered within these plans, which go back decades, perhaps even a century or longer.
Pre-Internet, what's happening in the EU would have been buried under mainstream media misdirection. People might not have understood the larger forces at work. But the EU unraveling along with much else has played out under the merciless glare of the alternative press, and the European tribes are aware of the manipulations that are taking place.
It is realization of these manipulations that informs the article, which is a surprisingly good piece of reporting. It is written by Paul Mason, BBC Newsnight's Economics Editor, who is broadcasting regularly from Greece, and it seems to have concentrated his mind, at least for a while, on what's actually happening.
The article is derived from an interview with a middle class Greek couple that is falling into poverty along with, it seems, the entire Greek middle class. They are furious. "We would like to see the politicians executed," says the woman, Maria, "not smiling."
This article also confirms our past analyses. So much nonsense has been written about Greece and Europe and appears in the mainstream media every day. The generalizations are vast and depersonalize the problem but what's happening in Europe is affecting individuals.
We've written that once the "new normal" became fully evident, once it was clear that the good times of the 20th Century were not going to return, the tribes of Europe – who are far more violent than they have seemed to be, post World War II – would not put up with it. We predicted that "Europe" – the EU – might not survive (neither the currency, nor the union).
The problems are happening to people, individual people, and it is these people, ultimately, who will formulate a response, not "Greece," not politicians, not "working groups" – not even the IMF or ECB. Here's some more from Mason's article:
"Some days we only buy the basics and a few days lately we were not able to buy even those. We have to count our cents to decide between buying bread, milk or butter," says Mary. "Some days are better, but some are difficult. We don't buy clothes any more. People don't go out. There is simply no money around out there."
But what's happening in living rooms like theirs presents the bigger danger to the future of Greece. People are switching off: from politics, from the mass media, from social life. "We would like to see the politicians executed," says Maria, not smiling as she delivers the joke. "Most people are saying this: politicians deserve capital punishment – at the Greek equivalent of Traitors' Gate. It would be a nice time for politicians to be heroes, to stand up and defend the people. But they're not."
"We can't watch the television news any more," says Dmitris, shaking his head. "If you watch it, with the constant uncertainty, it can make your psychology very low. It's like a nightmare we can't wake up from. Perhaps it's fortunate that we've had to cancel our cable TV subscription. I don't trust the media any more: I get all my news from the internet."
Mason writes that that the helplessness that Mary and Dmitris evince can easily turn to rage, giving rise to violence. "As a result Greek politicians have started to worry about something called 'anomie' – a pervasive listlessness, low-level social conflict and the erosion of bonds between the country's citizens and the state."
Mason, to his credit, makes the linkage between that helplessness and what may be yet to come. "Over the past six months," he writes, "I've stood in the middle of Athenian crowds so furious that they will withstand tear gas and endure near-lethal stampedes to make their point ...
"What's been obvious, each time, is the ordinariness of the people involved – bank clerks, interior designers, even a concert pianist once, their faces painted with alkaline liquid against the sting of the gas. But it is this seething anger of those who have never been on a demo that is really frightening – because we have no model for what happens if the middle class of a developed country simply switches off from politics and gives up hope. Not since the 1930s, anyway."
None of this was accidental. How could it be? The EU was not an accident. Central banking is not happenstance. The "crisis" that now affects the EU was long anticipated and was intended to build a closer political union. What was NOT anticipated, however, was the spread of electronic communication and the eventual rise of what we now call the Internet Reformation.
Conclusion: The knowledge of the manipulations by the elite and their enablers are bound to have ramifications beyond what has yet been seen. This is the crux issue of what is occurring. The manipulations that raised the EU, and have now brought it down, were supposed to be secret. But what happens if everyone knows?
|Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, center, attends the International |
Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting during the annual IMF-World Bank
meetings in Washington on Saturday.
The continent's financial woes grabbed the attention of the policy-setting committees of the 187-nation International Monetary Fund and the World Bank during the lending institutions' annual meetings.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the IMF panel that the European debt crisis posed the most serious threat to the global economy and that failure to take bold action raised the risk of domino-style defaults by heavily indebted European countries.
He said the European Central Bank should try to ensure that governments pursuing sound reforms could get loans at affordable rates and that European banks have access to the capital they need to operate. The ECB is the central bank for the 17 nations that use the euro as a common currency.
Global financial markets plunged last week on fears of a possible default within weeks by Greece on its government debt and on worries a default would cause runs on major European banks with heavy exposure to Athens' debt.
"The threat of cascading default, bank runs and catastrophic risk must be taken off the table. Otherwise, it will undermine all other efforts, both within Europe and globally," Geithner said. "Decisions as to how to conclusively address the region's problems cannot wait until the crisis gets even more severe."
Geithner was one of a number of finance leaders demanding forceful action.
Mark Carney, the head of Canada's central bank, called for "overwhelming" the problem with a big increase in Europe's rescue fund for heavily indebted countries.
In an interview with CBC radio, Carney suggested that a European financial stability fund should be increased from 440 billion euros to 1 trillion euros. At current exchange rates, that would be the equivalent of expanding a $590 billion fund to $1.35 trillion.
"You need a big pot of money," he said.
For Christine Lagarde, who took over as head of the IMF in June, the debt crisis has been a tough first test. Lagarde has warned that without strong and collective action, the world's major economies risk slipping back into recession.
To avoid that, finance officials of the Group of 20 major economies pledged on Thursday to "take all necessary actions to preserve the stability of banking systems and financial markets."
But private economists have questioned whether the plan goes far enough to deal with market concerns that a Greek default is a virtual certainty.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said a second bailout package for Greece may have to be re-evaluated because of Athens' problems in fulfilling earlier financial promises.
This re-evaluation could include changing the terms of the voluntary contribution from banks and other private investors to Greece's rescue, two European officials said.
One of the officials said that Germany and other rich euro zone nations, including the Netherlands and Austria, are now pushing for an "orderly default" by Greece. That would entail losses for investors that go beyond the 21 percent cut in the face value of government bonds foreseen under the voluntary contribution. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The comments underline how confidence is eroding among core euro zone countries over whether they can actually save Greece. The Greek debt is close to 160 percent of its gross domestic product and its economy looks set for a fourth straight year of recession.
Stock markets in Europe and the US recouped some of their previous day's hefty losses Friday, but investors remained skeptical about whether the world's leading economies can keep the global economy from going over the cliff.
Despite the modest gains Friday, the worries are piling up for investors. The Federal Reserve warned this week that the American economy is in significant difficulty, while there were several downbeat European and Asian economic indicators.
Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University's Martin Smith School of Business said the great concern is that if Greece doesn't make further painful cuts in government spending and ends up defaulting on its debt, the shock waves will rock big banks in Europe.
He said this would cause fearful investors to sell bonds of other heavily indebted countries such as Italy and Spain, countries with much bigger economies.
"The fear in markets is that the problem will spread to bigger economies such as Spain and Italy. Europe would not have the resources to handle a crisis of that magnitude," Sohn said.
The finance officials at the Washington meeting said they believed that the 17 nations that use the common euro currency were getting the message they needed to move more quickly to reform their surveillance procedures and increase economic support.
I keep hearing the so-called experts say how much better shape the banks are in now than in the last financial meltdown of 2008. To that, I say horse hooey! Any expert worth his salt knows that nothing has been fixed in the financial system. The problems were papered over with fiat currency and the proverbial can kicked down the road—ting ting ting. You will know things are truly getting better when the banks start valuing the assets on their books at what they can be sold for today, not for what they hope to get for them a couple of decades in the future.
Even with what I call government sanctioned accounting fraud, the banks are still in just as much trouble as they were in 2008, and probably more.
Lost in the cliff dive the markets took last week were the downgrades of three very big U.S. banks. There was zero talk of downgrades in 2008, and now Moody’s has cut the debt rating of Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. Last week, Reuters reported, “The government is “more likely now than during the financial crisis to allow a large bank to fail should it become financially troubled,” said the rating agency, a unit of Moody’s Corp (MCO.N). ‘This is crystallizing the fact we’re in a new political reality,’ said Jason Ware, equity analyst with Salt Lake City-based Albion Financial Group.” (Click here for the complete Reuters story.)
The U.S. downgrades go nicely with the widely reported bank insolvency in Europe. One big banker there recently said “numerous European banks would not survive” if they had to value their assets at what they could get for them today. In other words, European banks are also being kept alive with phony accounting. That was not the case in 2008. So, now we have insolvent banks AND phony bookkeeping to make them appear solvent. EU finance ministers are taking criticism from around the globe because they are not printing enough money to bail out their banks. Yesterday, Reuters reported, “After a weekend of being told by the United States, China and other countries that they must get more aggressive in their crisis response, European officials focused on ways to beef up their existing 440 billion-euro rescue fund. Deep differences remained over whether the European Central Bank should commit more of its massive resources to shoring up Europe’s banks and help struggling euro zone member countries.” (Click here for more on this story.) Please keep in mind, the “440 billion-euro rescue fund” is more than $600 billion, and world powers way want more money printed!
Read Full Article
Read Full Article
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.Want to get a sense of the size of the protests on Wall Street…
1,000 + people marched through nyc and many were arrested. the crowd at the park grows each day. if you have not heard from your friends lately … maybe they’re there.
To listen to a political leader at this moment in history is like sitting through a sermon by a priest who has lost his faith but is desperately trying not to admit it, even to himself. Watch Nick Clegg, David Cameron or Ed Miliband mouthing tough-guy platitudes to the party faithful. Listen to Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy or George Papandreou pretending that all will be well in the eurozone. Study the expressions on the faces of Barack Obama or Ben Bernanke talking about "growth" as if it were a heathen god to be appeased by tipping another cauldron's worth of fictional money into the mouth of a volcano.
In times like these, people look elsewhere for answers. A time of crisis is also a time of opening-up, when thinking that was consigned to the fringes moves to centre stage. When things fall apart, the appetite for new ways of seeing is palpable, and there are always plenty of people willing to feed it by coming forward with their pet big ideas.
But here's a thought: what if big ideas are part of the problem? What if, in fact, the problem is bigness itself?
The crisis currently playing out on the world stage is a crisis of growth. Not, as we are regularly told, a crisis caused by too little growth, but by too much of it. Banks grew so big that their collapse would have brought down the entire global economy. To prevent this, they were bailed out with huge tranches of public money, which in turn is precipitating social crises on the streets of western nations. The European Union has grown so big, and so unaccountable, that it threatens to collapse in on itself. Corporations have grown so big that they are overwhelming democracies and building a global plutocracy to serve their own interests. The human economy as a whole has grown so big that it has been able to change the atmospheric composition of the planet and precipitate a mass extinction event.
One man who would not have been surprised by this crisis of bigness, had he lived to see it, was Leopold Kohr. Kohr has a good claim to be the most important political thinker that you have never heard of. Unlike Marx, he did not found a global movement or inspire revolutions. Unlike Hayek, he did not rewrite the economic rules of the modern world. Kohr was a modest, self-deprecating man, but this was not the reason his ideas have been ignored by movers and shakers in the half century since they were produced. They have been ignored because they do not flatter the egos of the power-hungry, be they revolutionaries or plutocrats. In fact, Kohr's message is a direct challenge to them. "Wherever something is wrong," he insisted, "something is too big."
Kohr was born in 1909 in the small Austrian town of Oberndorf. This smalltown childhood, together with his critical study of economics and political theory at the LSE, his experience of anarchist city states during the Spanish civil war, which he covered as a war reporter, and the fact that he was forced to flee Austria after the Nazi invasion (Kohr was Jewish), contributed to his growing suspicion of power and its abuses.
Settling in the US, Kohr began to write the book that would define his thinking. Published in 1957, The Breakdown of Nations laid out what at the time was a radical case: that small states, small nations and small economies are more peaceful, more prosperous and more creative than great powers or superstates. It was a claim that was as unfashionable as it was possible to make. This was the dawn of the space age – a time of high confidence in the progressive, gigantist, technology-fuelled destiny of humankind. Feted political thinkers were talking in all seriousness of creating a world government as the next step towards uniting humanity. Kohr was seriously at odds with the prevailing mood. He later commented, dryly, that his critics "dismissed my ideas by referring to me as a poet".
Kohr's claim was that society's problems were not caused by particular forms of social or economic organisation, but by their size. Socialism, anarchism, capitalism, democracy, monarchy – all could work well on what he called "the human scale": a scale at which people could play a part in the systems that governed their lives. But once scaled up to the level of modern states, all systems became oppressors. Changing the system, or the ideology that it claimed inspiration from, would not prevent that oppression – as any number of revolutions have shown – because "the problem is not the thing that is big, but bigness itself".
Drawing from history, Kohr demonstrated that when people have too much power, under any system or none, they abuse it. The task, therefore, was to limit the amount of power that any individual, organisation or government could get its hands on. The solution to the world's problems was not more unity but more division. The world should be broken up into small states, roughly equivalent in size and power, which would be able to limit the growth and thus domination of any one unit. Small states and small economies were more flexible, more able to weather economic storms, less capable of waging serious wars, and more accountable to their people. Not only that, but they were more creative. On a whistlestop tour of medieval and early modern Europe, The Breakdown of Nations does a brilliant job of persuading the reader that many of the glories of western culture, from cathedrals to great art to scientific innovations, were the product of small states.
To understand the sparky, prophetic power of Kohr's vision, you need to read The Breakdown of Nations. Some if it will create shivers of recognition. Bigness, predicted Kohr, could only lead to more bigness, for "whatever outgrows certain limits begins to suffer from the irrepressible problem of unmanageable proportions". Beyond those limits it was forced to accumulate more power in order to manage the power it already had. Growth would become cancerous and unstoppable, until there was only one possible endpoint: collapse.
We have now reached the point that Kohr warned about over half a century ago: the point where "instead of growth serving life, life must now serve growth, perverting the very purpose of existence". Kohr's "crisis of bigness" is upon us and, true to form, we are scrabbling to tackle it with more of the same: closer fiscal unions, tighter global governance, geoengineering schemes, more economic growth. Big, it seems, is as beautiful as ever to those who have the unenviable task of keeping the growth machine going.
This shouldn't surprise us. It didn't surprise Kohr, who, unlike some of his utopian critics, never confused a desire for radical change with the likelihood of it actually happening. Instead, his downbeat but refreshingly honest conclusion was that, like a dying star, the gigantist global system would in the end fall in on itself, and the whole cycle of growth would begin all over again. But before it did so, "between the intellectual ice ages of great-power domination", the world would become "little and free once more".