Friday, October 28, 2011

Protestors Arrested at Yale Park, Central Ave

UNMPD, APD, and state police removed Occupy Albuquerque protesters after UNM refused to grant a new permit

State police arrested at least 40 Occupy Albuquerque protesters late Tuesday night after UNM administrators refused to renew the protesters’ permit to occupy Yale Park.
Protesters who wanted to risk arrest in an act of civil disobedience sat in a circle holding hands in the middle of Yale Park, while nearly 200 supporters stood around them and on the sidewalk across Central Avenue.
Protesters sang and chanted, “We are the 99 percent,” “This is what democracy looks like” and “Whose park? Our park.” UNM administrators told protester they must leave campus by 10 p.m. Tuesday. Police blocked traffic on Central from Yale Boulevard to Cornell Drive at 11:20 p.m. Those arrested included former Daily Lobo reporter and current Alibi reporter Andrew Beale, student Brittany Arneson and Henry Edwards. One protester resisted arrest.
Protester James Roach said he blames UNM President David Schmidly for the arrests.
“This is a complete infringement on our First Amendment, which is the first right our founding fathers gave us, so to me what’s happening right now is not necessarily the city, but president Schmidly,” he said.
Protesters who didn’t want to risk arrest acted as a “support group” to help and encourage those arrested, protester and support group member Sean Miyaki said.
“We’re kind of like backup, so they’re not going in alone,” he said. More than 20 police cars, prisoner transport vehicles and riot trucks parked behind Rasoi Indian Cuisine on Yale before descending on the protest.
At least 50 State Police, Albuquerque Police Department and UNM Police Department officers wielding zip-cuffs and riot gear formed a police line to force protesters onto the sidewalk.
State officer R. Vigil told protesters he’s “just like you” and he hoped they would leave peacefully.
“We don’t want to be out here,” he said. “A lot of us sympathize with them. We’re just doing our jobs.”
Protesters in the arrest group were arrested without resistance.
Officers touched each protester’s back, on at a time, and the
protester stood to be led away in zip cuffs. The last member of the 22 people voluntarily arrested, Carolyn Hues, an elderly woman, also left without resistance.
Protesters asked police to “join us in peace” and one protester thanked the police force for protecting the state’s residents.
At 12:30 UNMPD and state police asked the remaining protesters to leave Yale Park, which the protesters did without issue.
From there the group sprawled across westbound Central Avenue.
Protester Howard Lackey urged protesters, via a megaphone, to remain peaceful.
“Let’s keep this movement going,” he said. “Let’s keep the streets moving. It’s not our job to block them.”
APD drove through the street occasionally, asking all protesters on the street to move to the sidewalk or the median.
The situation escalated when protester Stephen Williams sat in the streets., and then was drug off by police. He escaped from the officers, and attempted to run away, but he was quickly tackled, maced and zip cuffed.
At the same time, a crowd surrounded him as he was being arrested, and the police responded by threatening to mace and or taser anyone who didn’t move back immediately.
From this point on, the protest calmed down.
At 1:23 a.m. fireworks started going off in the neighborhood near University.
UNM representatives could not be reached for comment late Tuesday night.

Mayor Villaraigosa: Occupy L.A. 'cannot continue indefinitely'

Occupy Los Angeles
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Wednesday that the Occupy Los Angeles encampment outside City Hall "cannot continue indefinitely" and has asked city officials to draft restrictions limiting when people are allowed on city property.
"I respect the protesters' right to peacefully assemble and express their views," Villaraigosa said. "City officials have been in a continuous and open dialogue with the organizers of Occupy L.A. However, the protesters must respect city laws and regulations, and while they have been allowed to camp on City Hall lawns, that cannot continue indefinitely."
A spokeswoman for the mayor said he has also instructed city officials to begin drafting a plan to identify another location for the demonstration.
FULL COVERAGE: Occupy protests
In an interview Wednesday, the mayor said county health inspectors recently visited the encampment and expressed concerns over the cleanliness of the camp. In addition, the demonstration is hurting the city’s lawn and trees.
"The lawn is dead, our sprinklers aren't working ... our trees are without water," Villaraigosa said.
He said he has instructed city officials to begin drafting restrictions limiting when people are allowed at City Hall. That could lay the groundwork for the city to force protesters to abandon the tent city surrounding City Hall where they’ve been camped for nearly a month.
It was not clear how the proposed rules would be different from a current law that bars people from camping in city parks after 10:30 p.m. Police have not been enforcing that law at City Hall and have allowed the 350 or so nightly protesters to camp there overnight. On Wednesday, City Atty. Carmen Trutanich said police should impose the park law.
"To protect the public health and safety of all residents, the LAPD and General Services Police can and should enforce the law in a fair, consistent, and even-handed manner,” Trutanich said. “The law addresses conduct. Enforcement may not be based on the content of any political or personal opinion or message."
Meanwhile, about  a dozen protesters showed up at Wednesday’s City Council meeting to ask lawmakers to allow them to stay. Protester Alex Everett, 26, said he came because he was alarmed by Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s comments to KABC that it was time for protesters “to move on.”
Everett, who moved out of his house and into a tent outside of City Hall two weeks ago, said he thinks many protesters would not leave without a fight. He said if police move in to clear out the protest, like Oakland police did Tuesday, “it will be violent.”
Everett said protesters don’t have a shared vision of how the demonstrations around the country will go forward, and whether or not the emphasis should be on maintaining camps or on trying to elect lawmakers, or get certain financial regulations enacted.
"Victory is different to different people," he said.
Although he believes the occupations will "taper down eventually," Everett said: "This movement's never going to end."

The One Percent: Gigantic Government + Gigantic Corporations = Massive Wealth Inequality In America

Today, there are protests all over America that are targeting "the one percent" and all of the wealth and power that they have accumulated.  Unfortunately, many of the solutions that these protesters are advocating simply will not work and will not lead to less wealth inequality.  To understand this, you have to understand how we got to this point.  Over the past several decades, our federal government has exploded in size and our large corporations have exploded in size.  In fact, we have seen this pattern happen pretty much all over the world.  Governments and corporations all over the globe are getting much bigger.  Whenever you have very, very large concentrations of money and power like that, it is going to lead to massive wealth inequality.  The Occupy Wall Street protesters would like to frame this debate as "socialism vs. capitalism", but the truth is that wherever you find big government you will almost always find big corporations, and wherever you find big corporations you will almost always find big government.  Sure, they spar once in a while, but the reality is that big government and big corporations work in tandem most of the time.  Sometimes big government has the upper hand and sometimes big corporations have the upper hand, but they are both collectivist institutions.

 Wherever you find collectivism in the world, you will find an elite that receives most of the benefits while the rest of the population suffers.  In the United States today, our gigantic government is thriving and our gigantic corporations are thriving and the middle class is rapidly shrinking.  The solution to this is not to replace one form of collectivism with another form of collectivism.  Rather, what we need is to go back to what our founding fathers intended.  They were extremely suspicious of large concentrations of wealth and power, and they intended for us to live in a capitalist system where individuals and small businesses had the freedom to compete and thrive.

Today, Democrats tell us that we need an even bigger government and that we need to redistribute even more wealth to the poor.  But the bigger the government gets, the more poor people we seem to have.  As you will see below, the only people that seem to be thriving from big government are the bureaucrats.
Republicans tell us that we need to make life better for the big corporations.  But the reality is that the bigger our giant corporations get, the faster the middle class shrinks.  The big corporations are shipping millions of our jobs out of the country, and they are magnets for wealth and power.  If you are not aware of how overwhelmingly dominant corporations have become in our society, just read this article.
Democrats should not be defending big government, and Republicans should not be defending the abuses of the big corporations.

Whenever big government and big corporations work together there is going to be massive income inequality, and massive income inequality is not a good thing.
Yes, there are always going to be some people that do much better than others (and there is nothing wrong with that), but we should not have a system which is designed to funnel almost all of the wealth and almost all of the power to a very small minority.
In essence, this article is arguing the following....
Gigantic government = bad.
Gigantic corporations = bad.
This was the view of our founding fathers, and this is what we need to get back to.
Let's take a look at some of the results of our current system.  Let's start with income inequality caused by big government.
Today, the Washington D.C. region has the highest median household income in the entire nation.  According to the most recent numbers, median household income in the D.C. area is $84,523.
So what is the cause of this?
Well, it is not because Washington D.C. is a great center of industry or finance.  Rather, it is because the federal government is spending over 3 trillion dollars a year and is showering huge piles of cash on hordes of bureaucrats.
In a recent article, I noted some of the mind blowing statistics that show how bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are living the high life at our expense....
*When you total up all compensation (including health care and benefits), the average income for a federal worker in the Washington D.C. area last year was $126,369.
*In 2005, 7420 federal workers were making $150,000 or more per year.  In 2010, a whopping 82,034 federal workers were making $150,000 or more per year.  That is more than a tenfold increase in just five years.
*In 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense had just nine civilians earning $170,000 or more.  When Barack Obama took office, the U.S. Department of Defense had 214 civilians earning $170,000 or more.  In June 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense had 994 civilians earning $170,000 or more.
*Last year, federal employees "earned" approximately 447 billion dollars in total compensation.
As I have written about previously, our gigantic federal government also empowers the big corporations to continue to accumulate staggering amounts of wealth and power.  This is one reason why the big corporations contribute so much money to political campaigns.  The big corporations (and the elite that own and run them) have much more influence over the political process than we do.  They have spent decades buying politicians and getting laws passed that tilt the rules of the game radically in their favor.
This is something that our founding fathers did not want to happen.  In a 2010 article, Rick Ungar noted that there were very significant restrictions on corporations in the early days of America....
After the nation’s founding, corporations were, as they are today, the result of charters granted by the state. However, unlike today, they were limited in how long they were permitted to exist (typically 20 or 30 years), only permitted to deal in one commodity, they could not own shares in other corporations, and their property holdings were expressly limited to what they needed to accomplish their corporate business goals.
There was a lot of wisdom to that approach.  Our founding fathers knew that corporations would become giant magnets for wealth and power if they were allowed to grow unchecked.
Today, multinational corporations completely and totally dominate the global economy.  The following comes from a recent article I posted on The American Dream....
Corporations not only completely dominate the U.S. economy, they also completely dominate the global economy as well.  A newly released University of Zurich study examined more than 43,000 major multinational corporations.  The study discovered a vast web of interlocking ownerships that is controlled by a "core" of 1,318 giant corporations. But that "core" itself is controlled by a "super-entity" of 147 monolithic corporations that are very, very tightly knit.  As a recent article in NewScientist noted, these 147 corporations control approximately 40 percent of all the wealth in the entire network
These giant corporations are so dominant that it is nearly impossible to compete with them.  The number of small businesses in America is shrinking fast.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006.  Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.
This is exactly what we would expect to see under "corporatism", but under true capitalism we would expect to see the exact opposite.

As the federal government and the big corporations continue to grow, the middle class is being wiped out.  If you doubt that the middle class is shrinking, just read this article.
Yes, there is a limited role for the federal government to play and there is a limited role for corporations to play.  But right now things are radically, radically out of balance.
This is creating a tremendous amount of income inequality in the United States.  The middle class is being systematically destroyed, and the growth of the gap between the one percent and the rest of us just continues to accelerate.

This was certainly illustrated by numbers that were recently released by the Congressional Budget Office.  The very wealthy have done extremely well over the last 30 years.  For the rest of us, things have not been so great.  The following figures come from a recent blog post by the director of the Congressional Budget Office....
CBO finds that between 1979 and 2007:
  • For the 1 percent of the population with the highest income, average real after-tax household income grew by 275 percent (see figure below).
  • For others in the 20 percent of the population with the highest income, average real after-tax household income grew by 65 percent.
  • For the 60 percent of the population in the middle of the income scale, the growth in average real after-tax household income was just under 40 percent.
  • For the 20 percent of the population with the lowest income, the growth in average real after-tax household income was about 18 percent.
Meanwhile, as a recent USA Today article noted, the middle class continues to falter in the majority of the communities around the United States....
A USA TODAY analysis of Census data found the Reno area was among 150 nationwide where the share of income going to the middle class — generally made up of households that make $20,700 to $99,900 a year — shrank from 2006 to 2010. Metro areas where the middle class' share of income dropped outnumbered those where it grew by more than 2-to-1.
So just how well is the top one percent doing compared to the rest of us?
The following statistics should be a wake up call for all of us....
*According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top one percent is the only group that saw its share of our national income increase between 1979 and 2007.
*According to a joint House and Senate report entitled "Income Inequality and the Great Recession", the top one percent of all income earners in the United States brought in a total of 10.0 percent of all income income in 1980, but by the time 2008 had rolled around that figure had skyrocketed to 21.0 percent.
*Between 1979 and and 2007, the average household income of the top one percent of all Americans soared from $346,600 to $1.3 million.
*In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
*As the "one percent" thrives, the share of the pie being enjoyed by the middle class is shrinking.  According to Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, about 53 percent of all income went to the middle class back in the 1970s, but today only about 46 percent of all income does.
*According to Harvard Magazine, 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top one percent of all Americans.
*The wealthiest one percent of all Americans now own more than a third of all the wealth in the United States while the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
*The wealthiest one percent of all Americans own over 50% of all the stocks and bonds.
*The top 0.01% of Americans make an average of $27,342,212.  The bottom 90% make an average of $31,244.
*This is all happening at a time when the United States as a whole is slipping.  Ten years ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult.  In 2010, the United States fell to seventh.
*Income inequality is not just growing in the United States.  Today, the wealthiest one percent of the earth's population controls 39% of the wealth.
There is certainly nothing wrong with being wealthy.  If you and your family work really hard and provide great value to the community around you then you should greatly benefit.
But a system that is designed to systematically drain wealth from the general population and transfer it into the hands of an ultra-wealthy elite is not what our founding fathers ever hand in mind.  At the time of our founding, England was dominated by big government (the monarchy) and by big business (the East India Company, for example).  Our founders warned us over and over about the potential abuses that can happen when very large concentrations of wealth and power are allowed to dominate a society.

Unfortunately, the Occupy Wall Street movement has it all wrong.  They recognize the overwhelming wealth and power accumulated by the one percent, but most of them are advocating even more collectivism as the answer.

Some of them even say that they want to "end capitalism" altogether.  Michael Moore says that he is not part of the one percent and that he wants to "end capitalism", even though he has made millions upon millions of dollars from his various projects.

But socialism and communism never bring equality.  Like other forms of collectivism, socialism and communism almost always bring more tyranny and they almost always funnel most of the financial rewards to a very small elite.

Others simply wish to see the U.S. government transfer more wealth from the hands of the rich to the hands of the poor.

Helping the poor is certainly a noble goal, and handouts can certainly ease suffering at least temporarily.  But handouts are never a permanent solution and they can cause large numbers of people to end up becoming completely and totally dependent on the government.

Back in 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for 18.4% of all income
So has the plight of the poor gotten better?
No, we now have more than 45 million Americans on food stamps, last year we had the largest increase in the number of Americans living in poverty in U.S. history and the middle class continues to shrink rapidly.
The truth is that what poor and middle class Americans really need are opportunities.  Handouts will keep people alive, but they will not give people hope and a future.

What Americans really need is an environment where they can find jobs or start small businesses.  Unfortunately, the environment for small businesses in this country is incredibly toxic and millions of our good jobs have been shipped overseas.  The big corporations have discovered that they can make even bigger profits by sending jobs to countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.  To say that we need big corporations because they are the ones that "create jobs" is simply not true anymore.

So now we have tens of millions of Americans that we have to take care of every single month.  There is nothing wrong with helping them survive, but giving them even more handouts is not going to permanently solve anything.

We need to have a population that is empowered to work hard, produce wealth and create a bright future for their families.

Instead, what we have is a system that greatly rewards the top one percent and that is pushing all of the rest of us toward poverty.

Gigantic government plus gigantic corporations is always going to equal massive wealth inequality.
The bigger we allow government to grow and the bigger we allow corporations to grow, the worse it is going to get.

So is any of this going to change any time soon?
Well, considering the fact that the vast majority of our politicians are in the pockets of the big corporations, I would not be getting your hopes up.

Massive Budget Cuts Coming - Take Action to Defeat the Super Committee

The financial crisis of 2008 left some of the major financial institutions teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and buried others. In a desperate attempt to hold the economy together, a bipartisan bill was passed to pump $700 billion dollars into the failing banks. But these were the same people who caused this crisis with wild speculation and the gambling away of huge sums of money on Wall Street. Essentially, the public was asked to pay the private debts of these rich bankers.
Fast-forward three years, and we see both Republicans and Democrats beating a steady drumbeat that we can forget about the faltering economy and high unemployment. What matters is paying off the national debt. But who owns the national debt? You guessed it: the same people who were bailed out in 2008. Private investors, mainly banks and billionaires looking to get rich off interest payments, own $9 trillion of the $13.5 trillion national debt.

When the debt ceiling crisis broke out this past summer, both parties once again prioritized the interests of these bankers. Instead of focusing on the dire needs of working people, they have made things worse by launching a savage program of cuts in essential programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Leading the charge was President Obama, who demanded that cuts to Medicare and Social Security be part of a $4 trillion bipartisan overall “debt-reduction” plan. Those discussions broke down over Republican insistence that there be no increase in taxes.

The bottom line is this: Both major political parties support an agenda of deep cuts, but neither party wants to take the blame for cutting popular programs. So, a deal needed to be cooked up. In August, both parties agreed to cut $2.5 trillion from the budget with no increase in taxes on the super-rich. Just under $1 trillion in cuts would take place immediately, and another $1.5 trillion will be decided on by the so-called Congressional “Super Committee.”

Super Committee

The Super Committee is especially undemocratic. Its members are not elected, but rather appointed from, and by, Congress, with six members from each party. They will have unprecedented power unique to any American legislative institution. On November 23 the Super Committee will decide where to cut this $1.5 trillion from the budget, a plan which they will present to Congress in the form of a bill. This bill cannot be amended, revised or filibustered, only passed or vetoed in an up-and-down vote by Congress. The bill will likely include cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ programs and environmental protection.

If the bill doesn’t pass, $1.2 trillion in cuts will be triggered automatically. One half will be in domestic spending and the other half in military spending. The Super Committee has been meeting behind closed doors since mid-September, with no disclosures to the public. Their intention is to spring their plan on the public as late as possible, in order to reduce the time for angry protests to appear. This committee is nothing more than a bipartisan axe-man to inflict further pain on the working people who suffer the most from the financial crisis.

The fingerprints of both parties are on this deal. Democrats are throwing up their hands as if they had no choice. However, we need to remember that when they had the White House and a filibuster-proof majority in Congress, these same Democrats completely failed to curb corporate greed, end Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, end the expensive wars, or end the devastating pain inflicted on working people and the poor by this recession.

Contrast this to Occupy Wall Street, which has captured the imagination of millions by exposing the richest 1%. According to a recent CNN poll, 63% of Americans agree that any debt reduction in this bill should contain significant tax increases on the wealthy and big business. Instead of exposing the super-rich, Obama and the Democrats struck a deal with Republicans to begin dismantling essential New Deal programs that have been decisive in keeping tens of millions of working people and the elderly from absolute poverty. This shows where their priorities really lie: with Wall Street and the corporate funders who are now being lined up to pay for their election campaigns in 2012.

Just since their appointment, the Sunlight Foundation reports $83,000 in donations to Super Committee members. Contributors included Lockheed-Martin, Phizer, Chevron and Goldman Sachs. We need to expose this fraud of a Super Committee.

These upcoming historic attacks on New Deal programs will do nothing to solve the economic crisis. In fact, they will make it much worse. A key problem underlying this economic crisis is the lack of demand to buy goods, and the spending power of consumers makes up 70% of demand. Drastic spending cuts have only added to the depth of the capitalist crisis in Europe, and they would do the same here.

The problem is that the so-called “job creating” billionaires are hoarding their money instead of spending it to create new jobs. According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. corporations held a record $1.93 trillion in cash on their balance sheets in 2010. The myth that the rich are “job creators” is a lie designed to justify their wealth and to take advantage of the economic recession to slash essential social programs needed by working people and the poor.

Building Resistance

Socialist Alternative says we need to bail out working people, not Wall Street, the banks and the super-rich. Working people have lost over $6 trillion in fallen house prices, yet it is the rich bankers being bailed out. We demand an emergency plan for a massive jobs program to provide everyone with living-wage employment. We need an end to evictions and foreclosures. People should be allowed to stay in their homes and pay an agreed, affordable rent or mortgage.

We didn’t create this crisis and we shouldn’t pay for it. Wall Street and the big banks should pay; it’s their system, capitalism, that is failing. Instead of bailing out the rich bankers who own the national debt, we need to prioritize a massive federal jobs program to get the economy up and running again.

Socialist Alternative, uniting with unions, community groups and individuals, says: “Jobs Not Cuts!” We believe these demands are a first step in mobilizing broad layers of society to struggle against the two parties of Wall Street. We urge working people, young people and the poor to join these protests.

We need to spread the resistance into every workplace, college and community. This can help build a campaign for independent anti-cuts, anti-corporate, pro-worker candidates in 2012, which can be an important step to building a political party of the working class, a party that can defend working people against attacks from big business.

The Super Committee is supposed to present its recommendations on November 23. That’s why Socialist Alternative initiated and endorsed the Jobs Not Cuts campaign being organized for a national week of action November 16-23, to make it clear to Congress that we, as working people, demand:

Hands off Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid! No cuts to education and social services!

We need jobs, not cuts! Fund a federal public works program to create millions of jobs for the unemployed.

Make big business pay! For major tax hikes on the super-rich and corporations!

End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan! Slash Pentagon spending!

Join us! We will be organizing in cities across the country for a national week of action from November 16–23. This unprecedented attack on social services that working families depend on cannot go unanswered! Sitting back and accepting the solution presented by the two parties of big business has gotten us only deeper in crisis, deeper in debt.
The actions in November will hopefully lay the basis for an even bigger period of struggle, beginning once the Super Committee announces its plans and before Congress votes on them on December 23. There is a determination to fight against corporate America, and this struggle can help prepare us for the ongoing battle against the top 1% and the politicians they control.

Occupy Wall Street Launching First Nationwide General Strike In America Since 1946

Occupy Wall Street Launches Nationwide General Strike: First In America Since 1946

Rumors have been flying for a week that the Occupy protesters will be launching a nationwide general strike. We have been biting our tongue waiting for a formal decision.
Mother Jones tweets:
From our reporter at General Assembly just now MT @timmcdonnell: General strike passes with 1184 votes of approval
JackalAnon tweets:
(The last American general strike was also in Oakland).
The strike will occur on November 2nd.
One of the founders of the Tea Party – conservative Karl Denninger –  supports the strike (and see this).
Occupy Wall Street in New York has also been considering a proposal for a general strike. And there are also rumors of a global general strike next year.

Occupy Albuquerque Oct 25 2011 | The circle

Ohio State Rep Introduces Law That Requires Politicians & Judges & Banke...

The entire issue is ludicrous, but this makes sense given the legislative circumstances in Ohio. If they are going to drug test welfare and food stamp recipients, then drug test everyone who receives a public salary.

Related story (this is hilarious):

MOCKINGBIRD: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA

"You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month." - CIA operative discussing with Philip Graham, editor Washington Post, on the availability and prices of journalists willing to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories. "Katherine The Great," by Deborah Davis (New York: Sheridan Square Press, 1991)
As terrible as it is to live in a nation where the press in known to be controlled by the government, at least one has the advantage of knowing the bias is present, and to adjust for it. In the United States of America, we are taught from birth that our press is free from such government meddling. This is an insideous lie about the very nature of the news institution in this country. One that allows the government to lie to us while denying the very fact of the lie itself.

The Alex Constantine Article

Tales from the Crypt
The Depraved Spies and Moguls of the CIA's Operation MOCKINGBIRD
by Alex Constantine
Who Controls the Media?
Soulless corporations do, of course. Corporations with grinning, double-breasted executives, interlocking directorates, labor squabbles and flying capital. Dow. General Electric. Coca-Cola. Disney. Newspapers should have mastheads that mirror the world: The Westinghouse Evening Scimitar, The Atlantic-Richfield Intelligentser . It is beginning to dawn on a growing number of armchair ombudsmen that the public print reports news from a parallel universe - one that has never heard of politically-motivated assassinations, CIA-Mafia banking thefts, mind control, death squads or even federal agencies with secret budgets fattened by cocaine sales - a place overrun by lone gunmen, where the CIA and Mafia are usually on their best behavior. In this idyllic land, the most serious infraction an official can commit __is a the employment of a domestic servant with (shudder) no residency status.
This unlikely land of enchantment is the creation of MOCKINGBIRD.
It was conceived in the late 1940s, the most frigid period of the cold war, when the CIA began a systematic infiltration of the corporate media, a process that often included direct takeover of major news outlets.
In this period, the American intelligence services competed with communist activists abroad to influence European labor unions. With or without the cooperation of local governments, Frank Wisner, an undercover State Department official assigned to the Foreign Service, rounded up students abroad to enter the cold war underground of covert operations on behalf of his Office of Policy Coordination. Philip Graham, __a graduate of the Army Intelligence School in Harrisburg, PA, then publisher of the Washington Post., was taken under Wisner's wing to direct the program code-named Operation MOCKINGBIRD.
"By the early 1950s," writes formerVillage Voice reporter Deborah Davis in Katharine the Great, "Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles, plus stringers, four to six hundred in all, according to a former CIA analyst." The network was overseen by Allen Dulles, a templar for German and American corporations who wanted their points of view represented in the public print. Early MOCKINGBIRD influenced 25 newspapers and wire agencies consenting to act as organs of CIA propaganda. Many of these were already run by men with reactionary views, among them William Paley (CBS), C.D. Jackson (Fortune), Henry Luce (Time) and Arthur Hays Sulzberger (N.Y. Times).
Activists curious about the workings of MOCKINGBIRD have since been appalled to f__ind in FOIA documents that agents boasting in CIA office memos of their pride in having placed "important assets" inside every major news publication in the country. It was not until 1982 that the Agency openly admitted that reporters on the CIA payroll have acted as case officers to agents in the field.
"World War III has begun," Henry's Luce's Life declared in March, 1947. "It is in the opening skirmish stage already." The issue featured an excerpt of a book by James Burnham, who called for the creation of an "American Empire," "world-dominating in political power, set up at least in part through coercion (probably including war, but certainly the threat of war) and in which one group of people ... would hold more than its equal share of power."
George Seldes, the famed anti-fascist media critic, drew down on Luce in 1947, explaining tha__t "although avoiding typical Hitlerian phrases, the same doctrine of a superior people taking over the world and ruling it, began to appear in the press, whereas the organs of Wall Street were much more honest in favoring a doctrine inevitably leading to war if it brought greater commercial markets under the American flag."
On the domestic front, an abiding relationship was struck between the CIA and William Paley, a wartime colonel and the founder of CBS. A firm believer in "all forms of propaganda" to foster loyalty to the Pentagon, Paley hired CIA agents to work undercover at the behest of his close friend, the busy grey eminence of the nation's media, Allen Dulles. Paley's designated go-between in his dealings with the CIA was Sig Mickelson, president of CBS News from 1954 to 1961.
The CIA's assimilation of old guard fascists was overseen by the Operations Coordination Board, directed by C.D. Jackson, formerly an executive of Time magazine and Eisenhower's Special Assistant for Cold War Strategy. In 1954 he was succeeded by Nelson Rockefeller, who quit a year later, disgusted at the administration's political infighting. Vice President Nixon succeeded Rockefeller as the key cold war strategist.
"Nixon," writes John Loftus, a former attorney for the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, took "a small boy's delight in the arcane tools of the intelligence craft - the hidden microphones, the 'black' propaganda." Nixon especially enjoyed his visit to a Virginia training camp to observe Nazis in the "special forces" drilling at covert operations.
One of the fugitives recruited by the American intelligence underground was heroin smuggler Hubert von Bl�cher, the son of A German ambassador. Hubert often bragged that that he was trained by the Abwehr, the German military intelligence division, while still a civilian in his twenties. He served in a recon unit of the German Army until forced out for medical reasons in 1944, according to his wartime records. He worked briefly as an assistant director for Berlin-Film on a movie entitled One Day ..., and finished out the war flying with the Luftwaffe, but not to engage the enemy - his mission was the smuggling of Nazi loot out of the country. His exploits were, in part, the subject of Sayer and Botting's Nazi Gold, an account of the knockover of the Reichsbank at the end of the war.
In 1948 he flew the coop to Argentina. Posing as a photographer named Huberto von Bleucher Corell, he immediately paid court to Eva Peron, presenting her with an invaluable Gobelin tapestry (a selection from the wealth of artifacts confiscated by the SS from Europe's Jews?). Hubert then met with Martin Bormann at the Hotel Plaza to deliver German marks worth $80 million. The loot financed the birth of the National Socialist Party in Argentina, among other forms of Nazi revival.
In 1951, Hubert migrated northward and took a job at the Color Corporation of America in Hollywood. He eked out a living writing scripts for the booming movie industry. His voice can be heard on a film set in the Amazon, produced by Walt Disney. Nine years later he returned to Buenos Aires, then D�sseldorf, West Germany, and established a firm that developed not movie scripts, but anti-chemical warfare agents for the government. At the Industrie Club in D�sseldorf in 1982, von Bl�cher boasted to journalists, "I am chief shareholder of Pan American Airways. I am the best friend of Howard Hughes. The Beach Hotel in Las Vegas is 45 percent financed by me. I am thus the biggest financier ever to appear in the Arabian Nights tales dreamed up by these people over their second bottle of brandy."
Not really. Two the biggest financiers to stumble from the drunken dreams of world-moving affluence were, in their time, Moses Annenberg, publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, and his son Walter , the CIA/mob-anchored publisher of the TV Guide. Like most American high-rollers, Annenberg lived a double life. Moses, his father, was a scion of the Capone mob. Both Moses and Walter were indicted in 1939 for tax evasions totalling many millions of dollars - the biggest case in the history of the Justice Department. Moses pled guilty and agreed to pay the government $8 million and settle $9 million in assorted tax claims, penalties and interest debts. Moses received a three-year sentence. He died in Lewisburg Penitentiary.
Walter Annenbeg, the TV Guide magnate, was a lofty Republican. On the campaign trail in April, 1988, George Bush flew into Los Angeles to woo Reagan's kitchen cabinet. "This is the topping on the cake," Bush's regional campaign director told the Los Angeles Times. The Bush team met at Annenberg's plush Rancho Mirage estate at Sunnylands, California. It was at the Annenberg mansion that Nixon's cabinet was chosen, and the state's social and contributor registers built over a quarter-century of state political dominance by Ronald Reagan, whose acting career was launched by Operation MOCKINGBIRD.
The commercialization of television, coinciding with Reagan's recruitment by the Crusade for Freedom, a CIA front, presented the intelligence world with unprecedented potential for sowing propaganda and even prying in the age of Big Brother. George Orwell glimpsed the possibilities when he installed omniscient video surveillance technology in 1948, a novel rechristened 1984 for the first edition published in the U.S. by Harcourt, Brace. Operation Octopus, according to federal files, was in full swing by 1948, a surveillance program that turned any television set with tubes into a broadcast transmitter. Agents of Octopus could pick up audio and visual images with the equipment as far as 25 miles away.
Hale Boggs was investigating Operation Octopus at the time of his disappearance in the midst of the Watergate probe.
In 1952, at MCA, Actors' Guild president Ronald Reagan - a screen idol recruited by MOCKINGBIRD's Crusade for Freedom to raise funds for the resettlement of Nazis in the U.S., according to Loftus - signed a secret waiver of the conflict-of-interest rule with the mob-controlled studio, in effect granting it a labor monopoly on early television programming. In exchange, MCA made Reagan a part owner. Furthermore, historian C. Vann Woodward, writing in the New York Times, in 1987, reported that Reagan had "fed the names of suspect people in his organization to the FBI secretly and regularly enough to be assigned 'an informer's code number, T-10.' His FBI file indicates intense collaboration with producers to 'purge' the industry of subversives."
No one ever turned a suspicious eye on Walter Cronkite, a former intelligence officer and in the immediate postwar period UPI's Moscow correspondent. Cronkite was lured to CBS by Operation MOCKINGBIRD's Phil Graham, according to Deborah Davis.
Another television conglomerate, Cap Cities, rose like a horror-film simian from CIA and Mafia heroin operations. Among other organized-crime Republicans, Thomas Dewey and his neighbor Lowell Thomas threw in to launch the infamous Resorts International, the corporate front for Lansky's branch of the federally-sponsored mob family and the corporate precursor to Cap Cities. Another of the investors was James Crosby, a Cap Cities executive who donated $100,000 to Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign. This was the year that Resorts bought into Atlantic City casino interests. Police in New jersey attempted, with no success, to spike the issuance of a gambling license to the company, citing Mafia ties.
In 1954, this same circle of investors, all Catholics, founded the broadcasting company notorious for overt propagandizing and general spookiness. The company's chief counsel was OSS veteran William Casey, who clung to his shares by concealing them in a blind trust even after he was appointed CIA director by Ronald Reagan in 1981.
"Black radio" was the phrase CIA critic David Wise coined in The Invisible Government to describe the agency's intertwining interests in the emergence of the transistor radio with the entrepreneurs who took to the airwaves. "Daily, East and West beam hundreds of propaganda broadcasts at each other in an unrelenting babble of competition for the minds of their listeners. The low-price transistor has given the hidden war a new importance," enthused one foreign correspondent.
A Hydra of private foundations sprang up to finance the propaganda push. One of them, Operations and Policy Research, Inc. (OPR), received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the CIA through private foundations and trusts. OPR research was the basis of a television series that aired in New York and Washington, D.C. in 1964, Of People and Politics, a "study" of the American political system in 21 weekly installments.
In Hollywood, the visual cortex of The Beast, the same CIA/Mafia combination that formed Cap Cities sank its claws into the film studios and labor unions. Johnny Rosselli was pulled out of the Army during the war by a criminal investigation of Chicago mobsters in the film industry. Rosselli, a CIA asset probably assassinated by the CIA, played sidekick to Harry Cohn, the Columbia Pictures mogul who visited Italy's Benito Mussolini in 1933, and upon his return to Hollywood remodeled his office after the dictator's. The only honest job Rosselli ever had was assistant purchasing agent (and a secret investor) at Eagle Lion productions, run by Bryan Foy, a former producer for 20th Century Fox. Rosselli, Capone's representative on the West Coast, passed a small fortune in mafia investments to Cohn. Bugsy Seigel pooled gambling investments with Billy Wilkerson, publisher of the Hollywood Reporter.
In the 1950s, outlays for global propaganda climbed to a full third of the CIA's covert operations budget. Some 3, 000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts. The cost of disinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year by 1978, a budget larger than the combined expenditures of Reuters, UPI and the AP news syndicates.
In 1977, the Copely News Service admitted that it worked closely with the intelligence services - in fact, 23 employees were full-time employees of the Agency.
Most consumers of the corporate media were - and are - unaware of the effect that the salting of public opinion has on their own beliefs. A network anchorman in time of national crisis is an instrument of psychological warfare in the MOCKINGBIRD media. He is a creature from the national security sector's chamber of horrors. For this reason consumers of the corporate press have reason to examine their basic beliefs about government and life in the parallel universe of these United States.

Want To Talk To Vikram Pandit, CEO Of Citigroup? Here’s His Cell Phone Number

This is a brilliant write-up from Gawker.  And shockingly, Pandit has not changed his number since this was published.  I just called, and it goes directly to voicemail.  Gawker has provided suggestions for discussion material (printed below).
Source - Gawker
Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit told a Fortune conference on Wednesday that he "would be happy to talk to" Occupy Wall Street protesters "any time they want."  That's so cool of him!  Here's his cell phone number.  He's waiting for your call.
Things you might want to ask Pandit: Can I borrow $3.4 billion at no interest if I put up a bunch of my worthless shit as collateral?  I promise to pay it back, because I'm just going to lend it out to a bunch of idiots at like 9% interest and book profits.  Or how about you just buy $27 billion of my worthless shit?  No deal?  How about you just guarantee to eat 90% of the losses on that worthless shit up to $300 billion?
You may be interested to know that, according to the Citizen Media Law Project, New York law permits the recording of phone calls as long as one of the parties consents to the recording. So if you feel like it, record your message to Pandit, or conversation if you get him on the line, and send it to us at The Daily Bail.  We'll post it for all to enjoy.
Oh, and if he doesn't pick up his cell, his office line is (212) 793-1201, and his email address is  Tell him hello from The Daily Bail.

Oakland Policeman Throws Flash Grenade Into Crowd Trying To Help Injured...

EU official: banks agree 50 pct cut on Greek debt

BRUSSELS (AP) — Private investors agreed Thursday morning to accept losses of 50 percent on their Greek bonds, a European Union official said, removing the last apparent roadblock to a broad plan to solve the continent's debt crisis.

The deal with private creditors would significantly cut Greece's debt load, the very problem that kicked off the eurozone's debt drama almost two years ago.

At an emergency summit in Brussels, European leaders had already agreed to force banks to raise euro106 billion ($148 billion) by June — partially to ensure they could weather the expected losses on Greek debt.

They also neared agreement on boosting the firepower of the continent's bailout fund to around euro1 trillion ($1.4 trillion) to help it protect larger economies like Italy and Spain from the sort of market pressures that pushed Greece to need a rescue.

While the breakthrough on Greece, the bailout fund and strengthening the banks was a big success for the eurozone, much of the effectiveness of the plans will depend on the details, which will have to be finalized in the coming days and weeks.

The leaders were under immense pressure to finally get a grip on the eurozone's escalating debt crisis after multiple delays and half-baked solutions. Market confidence was waning and fears were growing that the crisis could push Europe and much of the developed world back into recession.

But the third prong of their plan — finding a way to reduce Greece's crushing debts, which are on track to top 180 percent of economic output — had been proving difficult, driving leaders, national finance experts and bank representatives to continue talks deep into the night.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers in Berlin that the goal was to bring Greece's debt down to 120 percent of economic output by 2020.

There were concerns that that would require losses that the banks weren't willing to take on voluntarily. Having a voluntary deal is important because imposing losses on banks can trigger massive bond insurance payments that risk creating huge turmoil on global financial markets.

A European official said early Thursday that a voluntary deal had been reached.

Another official confirmed that the banks agreed to take losses of 50 percent of their Greek bonds. According to Greece's debt inspectors that would take the country's debt to just above 120 percent by 2020.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity pending an official statement.

A spokesman for the organization that has negotiated on behalf of the banks said he would release a statement soon, without confirming the deal.


Thailand slashes GDP forecast after floods

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BANGKOK, October 28 - Thailand’s central bank slashed its economic growth forecast for 2011 to 2.6 per cent from 4.1 per cent on Friday because of floods, suggesting it may focus on supporting the economy rather than on inflation in the near term. The Bank of Thailand repeated it stood ready to call a special meeting on interest rates if that proved necessary.
Economists noted its forecast for headline inflation this year was cut to 3.8 per cent from 3.9 per cent even though supply shortages and transport disruption could force prices up in the final quarter. The BOT left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.5 per cent at a meeting last week, pausing after a year of tightening while it assessed the threats to the economy. Its next scheduled meeting, the last of the year, is on November 30.

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“A drop in industrial production to the tune of 15-20 percent month-on-month cannot be ruled out,” said Rahul Bajoria, an economist at Barclays Capital, Singapore. “I think a sharp recovery [for operations and the economy] is in the making in the first quarter of next year...The risks of a rate cut at the November 30 meeting are rising.”
The Thai baht closed at 30.50 per US dollar versus 30.52 in early trade. The benchmark stock market index was up 2.5 percent, driven up earlier by news on the eurozone deal.
Thailand’s worst flooding in half a century, caused in part by unusually heavy monsoon rain, has killed 377 people since mid-July and disrupted the lives of nearly 2.2 million, until now mostly in the north and central provinces.
Bangkok, the low-lying capital city of at least 12m that accounts for 41 per cent of Thailand’s $319 billion economy, is in danger from run-off water from the north coinciding with the high tide on the Chao Phraya river, already at a record high level.
Television footage showed bumper-to-bumper traffic leaving the capital and the main airport’s departure lounges packed, but the traffic department said it could not put an exact figure on the size of the exodus because much of its monitoring equipment was under water. Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government declared a five-day holiday from Thursday to allow people to leave.
Ms Yingluck said she was considering a proposal to dig channels into some roads in eastern Bangkok to drain water into the Gulf of Thailand, an idea backed by the chairman of the Thailand unit of Toyota Motor Corp whose factories have been badly flooded.
“We need to look into several details on whether it works,” Yingluck told reporters.
The meteorological department warned residents living along the Chao Phraya river they could face rising waters. On Friday morning, on a street in front of the Grand Palace normally bustling with tourists, a two-metre (6 1/2-ft) snake was caught by a motorcycle taxi driver. Residents have also had to contend with crocodiles escaping from flooded farms. While many of the inner-city streets of Bangkok remained dry, the suburbs continued to struggle.
In the riverside shantytown of Bang Phlad, small wooden homes were knee-deep in foul-smelling water with rubbish floating on the surface. Residents carried belongings above their heads, struggling against the current of water pumped back out to the river.
The economic toll continued to pile up across Thailand, Southeast Asia’s biggest auto production hub and a major base for multinational companies, many of which face supply and production disruptions after the floods shuttered at least seven industrial estates north of Bangkok. Daihatsu Motor Co, which makes mini-vehicles for Toyota Motor Corp, said it would reduce work to produce Toyota-badged cars at two Japanese factories next week due to a shortage of parts from Thailand.
But insured losses are likely to be at a manageable level and will not trigger widespread solvency problems, said credit-ratings agency Fitch Ratings.
The defence ministry said 50,000 armed forces personnel were standing by with 1,000 boats and 1,000 vehicles to help evacuate people. A government crisis centre said there would soon be evacuation centres in eight provinces that could take in between 100,000 and 200,000 displaced people.
The government also revised up its estimated damage to paddy crops to around 6m tonnes from the current 2011-12 crop, a 50 percent jump from an initial estimate of 4m.
“The 6 million tonnes damage is just an initial estimate. We need to conduct a survey again after flood water recedes,” Apichart Jongsakul, head of the office of agriculture economy, said. The worsening flood situation could cut Thai production to 19 million tonnes of paddy, he said, nearly a quarter down from the previous forecast of 25 million. Thailand, the world’s biggest rice exporter, has seen about 1.6 million hectares (3.8 million acres) of farmland inundated, forcing the government to cut its estimate for this year’s main crop by 24 percent.
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Ellen Brown on a simple and constitutional way to pay off the United States national debt

Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof.
On the October 16, 2011 episode of The Progressive Radio News Hour with Stephen Lendman, Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt, relayed what a former director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing said in the 1980s (at 13:18):
The government could solve its debt problem by just minting some large coins. That there’s no limit on how many coins they can make, and there’s no limit on the face value of the coin. So today, for example, you could stamp out 15 $1 trillion coins and you’d take care of the debt and you’d have a little money left over. And, a number of economists actually picked up on that, and there’s this whole dicussion out there now about how you could solve the problem with some $1 trillion coins which you would then put in the government’s bank account, basically. So you don’t actually ever spend the coins, but you can draw against them, and it’s a way to create money…
And I wholeheartedly agree with both the constitutionality and simplicity of the proposal.

Ron Paul "What's Catastrophic Is What's Happening To Our Debt & Part Of It Is Our Military Spending"

Freedom Watch 10-26-2011 Nigel Farage Tell it like it is about the Gre...

US allays recession fears with stronger growth

Gross domestic product in the third quarter expanded at an annualised pace of 2.5pc, up from 1.3pc in the second quarter of the year, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

The GDP growth is a just enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising - bad news for the 14m people out of work and an ominous sign for President Barack Obama, who will be facing voters next year.
Households and businesses drove the growth in a quarter marked by the debacle in Washington over the debt ceiling and a heightening of fear in the US over the threat posed to the global economy by Europe's debt crisis.

However, an easing in gasoline prices saw household spending climb at a 2.4pc pace in the quarter, more than double forecasts. American businesses, which are sitting on more than $1trillion in cash, also dug into their corporate pockets to spend on a range of equipment including computer technology and software. Business spending jumped at at 16.3pc rate in the quarter.

The third-quarter figure, which matched the expectations of economists on Wall Street, barely registered with stock markets still digesting the deal that emerged from Europe overnight. While the number allays fears that the world's biggest economy is in imminent danger of a second recession, few were euphoric.

"The components are better than expected," said David Semmens, a US economist at Standard Chartered. "We would look for more momentum from business investment and consumer spending before getting carried away."

There was some encouragement, though, to be taken from the small contribution an expansion of inventories by companies played in the quarter's growth. Inventories climbed $5.4bn, down from $39.1bn in the second quarter, a shrinking that will have proved a headwind during the quarter.

VETERANS FOR PEACE - Official Statement On U.S. Marine Scott Olsen Shot By Oakland Police

Veterans For Peace
Veteran For Peace member, Scott Olsen, a Marine Corps veteran twice deployed to Iraq, is in hospital now in stable but serious condition with a fractured skull, struck by a police projectile fired into a crowd in downtown Oakland, California in the early morning hours of today.  Other people were injured in the assault and many were arrested after Oakland police in riot gear were ordered to evict people encamped in the ongoing "Occupy Oakland" movement.  Olsen is also a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

VFP members are involved with dozens of these local "occupy movement" encampments and we support them fully.  In Boston, for example, our members, wearing VFP shirts and carrying VFP flags, stood between a line of police and the encampment, urging police to "join the 99%" and not evict the protesters.  In that case, several of our members were banged and bruised when the police decided instead to carry out their eviction orders.

In Oakland, last night, a similar thing happened, according to VFP Chapter 69 member and Navy veteran, Joshua Sheperd, who said he went to downtown Oakland "to see if, as a VFP member, I could help still the be between the police and the seemed unconscionable to me that the police use the cover of darkness like that to do what they were doing."  Fortunately, he was not injured in the police assault that left Olsen with a fractured skull

As with virtually every example of the occupy movement across the country, those encamped were conducting themselves peacefully beforehand, protesting current economic, social and environmental conditions in the U.S. brought about by decades of corporate control, a criminal financial industry and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are driving the U.S. global empire into bankruptcy.  These "occupy movement" participants are telling us something we need very desperately to hear.  They should be listened to, not arrested and brutalized.

Police in the majority of cities are acting with restraint and humanity towards the encampments, but Veterans For Peace will not be deterred by police who choose to use brutal tactics.  In fact, as happens with repression everywhere, more people join the cause.  We do believe that the rank and file police officers are part of the 99%,  the overwhelming majority of Americans who are suffering at the hands of an intolerable system.  Layoffs and cutbacks in city after city prove that we must join together to demand justice for all.

We send our very best to Scott Olsen and his family and wish him a speedy recovery to health.

We shall not be moved.
Address for the hospital where Scott Olsen is recovering, if you wish to send a card.
Highland Hospital
1411 E. 31st Street
Oakland, CA 94602

UPDATE - Message from Director, Mike Ferner regarding incident at Occupy Oakland
Brothers and Sisters

I just got off the phone with VFP Chapter 69 member, Josh Sheperd, who was at 14th and Broadway in Oakland early this morning and witnessed much of what happened.

Josh said that after receiving several text messages with news of the Oakland PD taking down tents and arresting people, he decided to go to downtown Oakland and "see if, as a VFP member, I could help still the be between the police and the seemed unconscionable to me that the police use the cover of darkness like that to do what they were doing."

He got to the front of the crowd (see photo link, above) and said he "felt a lot of tension in the air."

Shortly thereafter a barrage of "less than lethal" ordnance, tear gas, bean bags and flash-bangs was fired.  He and the people he was with took off, regrouped, marched through part of downtown and returned to 14th and Broadway.

There, he went to the front of the crowd immediately, waving the VFP flag.  He said the crowd seemed considerably calmer. "It might be just my impression, but there seemed to be a considerable desire for peace and the crowd expressed that."

Next, the Oakland PD issued the "you're going to get arrested if you don't leave" warning.  Shortly after that, Josh said, "People in the rear of the crowd threw eggs at the police and that was the OPD's cue to fire another barrage."

In that barrage, VFP and IVAW member, Scott Olsen was struck in the head with some sort of projectile and was severely injured.  Josh reports that Scott was admitted to hospital and has a fractured skull.  His condition is stable but serious.
Here are two videos, one showing Scott, wearing a VFP shirt, being carried away.

The other has some slow motion footage that shows flash-bangs being thrown by the police, including one into a group of people standing around someone in the street. It's unclear whether that person is Scott Olsen or not.

IVAW Director, Jose Vasquez, said they are keeping up on the situation, have issued a press release and are contacting national media.  They are asking people to call the Oakland Police Dept.

*What you can do:*
  • Call the Oakland Police Department *510-777-3333; 510-238-3365; 510-238-3131
  • Attend a rally at the OPD headquarters later today*
  • Go to the nearest occupation encampment in your vicinity in solidarity*

For more information in Oakland
Josh Sheperd 415-819-1045
Adelle Carpenter (Civilian-Soldier Alliance) 503-860-5168

Mike Ferner, Interim Director
Veterans For Peace
216 S. Meramec
St. Louis, MO 63105

Police brutality in Oakland: day two