NYPD Swarming Liberty Square in Bloody Assault. [OccupyWallSt.org] – It is unsettling in the extreme to watch paramilitary style assaults on peaceful protestors via livestream. Many arrests and injuries today…
DHS Denies OWS Eviction Role. [Salon] – “DHS has not been coordinating evictions with local law enforcement agencies, DHS Spokesman Matt Chandler told Salon. The only exception he said, was Portland, Oregon, where the Federal Protective Service arrested protesters in federally-owned Terry Schrunk Plaza.”
Mayors, police chiefs talk strategy on protests. [The Associated Press] – “As concerns over safety and sanitation grew at the encampments over the last month, officials from nearly 40 cities turned to each other on conference calls, sharing what worked and what hasn’t as they grappled with the leaderless movement.”
The NYC General Assembly called for a national day of non-violent action today to “Resist Austerity, Reclaim The Economy and Recreate Our Democracy” in celebration of the two-month anniversary of the occupation of Liberty Plaza. Striking directly at the symbolic heart of the beast, they surrounded the New York Stock Exchange this morning.
Live updates, including multiple live video streams of activities in New York City are here.
So far, the NYPD have reportedly arrested, among dozens of others, retired Philladelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis and a woman in a wheelchair. The protestors have remained non-violent. Sadly (though not unexpectedly) the police have not. There are widespread reports of police violence, including violence toward members of the credentialed press.
There has been much talk in some circles lately about the “disrespectful” nature of the protests. Mic checks of politicians, crowds blocking streets or entrances to buildings, disruption of people’s daily activities, refusal to obey orders of police to move along quietly – all of this and more is cited by some as an indictment of the movement. They want it to be “polite.” They want it to “show common courtesy.” They want it to “be civil” and “work within the system.”
In other words: GET BACK IN YER CAGE, SLAVE!
When our institutions and leaders once again deserve respect, we will show them respect. When our our democracy has been restored, we may return to polite dinner conversation. Until that day we will shout, we will chant, we will disrupt and we will not obey. Expect flash mobs, student strikes, mic checks, hacktivism and more. Expect increasing numbers of tenacious, loud, defiant people in the streets of cities and towns all across this nation, until her conscience has been found.
God bless all of the rude but righteous on this day of action. May you be safe and may your voice be heard.
Let Freedom Ring.
Today was “American Censorship Day.” It was an effort by an organization called “Fight For The Future” to make our voices heard concerning House Resolution 3261, the “Protect IP Act.” Also known as the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” the bill would allow the government to order Internet Service Providers to block Websites at the request of big money content providers in Hollywood and elsewhere without due process. It would also break DNS, which is the foundation of the Internet. It would subject users to felony charges (with minimum 5 year prison sentences) for singing even a few lines of a copyrighted song on YouTube or Facebook.
Like many other sites, The Daily Dispatch participated by inserting a snip of code that made it appear as if this site had been blacklisted by the U.S. government. It was more than just a flashy gimmick. That is precisely what could happen if this bill passes. Once free speech is abrogated for commercial purposes, it won’t be long before it’s abrogated for political purposes.
If you care about freedom, please visit http://americancensorship.org to learn more, and take a few moments to contact your Representative concerning HR 3261. There is little in life that is more precious than liberty, and in our time, that means freedom of expression online too.
While you’re at it, please consider joining the Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF is the first line in defense of our freedom online.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Admits Cities Coordinated Crackdown on Occupy Movement. [Capitoilette] – During an interview with the BBC, Oakland mayor Jean Quan mentions that she was part of a conference call for mayors of 18 cities to discuss the Occupy Wall Street “situation.” Her statement lends credence to suspicions that the recent raids around the U.S. were in some way coordinated.
UPDATE – 3:57 PM:
Occupy Crackdowns Coordinated With Federal Law Enforcement Officials. [Examiner.com] – I am skeptical about this report, but felt that I ought to at least share it. The reporter cites an unnamed source in the Justice Department who claims that the recent crackdown on Occupy encampments across the nation “was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.” Though I don’t want to tread too far into tinfoil hat territory, I think it’s reasonable to consider the implications of this report should it turn out to be true.
This Is What Revolution Looks Like. [Truthdig] – As one who has reported on revolutions around the world, Chris Hedges sees a familiar story now playing itself out on the streets of Oakland, New York City and elsewhere.
“George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered the era of naked force.”
He is, despite that realization, more hopeful than ever, noting a “twinge of euphoria” that comes with “this utter certainty that the impossible is possible, this realization that the mighty will fall.”
Under cover of darkness, with short warning, on orders directly from Mayor Bloomberg, the New York Police Department moved into Liberty Plaza around one o’clock this morning in full riot gear, with bulldozers, sound cannons and tear gas. What followed was a violent, wantonly destructive and illegal eviction of the Occupy Wall Street protestors.
The Website of the New York City General Assembly has a timeline of events from 1:20 AM to 3:36 AM.
There were widespread reports of credentialed press being physically restrained from covering the raid, yet they couldn’t keep everybody out. Here is one eyewitness report from Rosie Gray of The Village Voice.
According to witnesses, the police treated everything in the camp as if it were garbage. People were not allowed to retrieve even their personal items. Police destroyed the camp kitchen, and apparently even cut down trees in the park. In the end, they used powerwashers to remove the last physical traces of the occupation.
Very shortly thereafter, a New York State Supreme Court Judge issued a restraining order against the city and Brookfield Properties to prohibit them from barring protestors from the site, from evicting them from the site or from enforcing any rule that was not already in place prior to the occupation. As I type this, the protestors in New York City are gathering at Canal and 6th to strategize and to take action.
The raid this morning was the latest in a series of police raids over the past few days against the Occupy movement in places like Salt Lake City, Denver, Portland and Oakland.
Despite these brutal and lawless attacks on behalf of “the powers that be” this movement will not be stopped, because you cannot evict an idea whose time has come. You can’t beat it. You can’t buy it. You can’t bomb it. You can’t bulldoze it.
This moment is nothing short of America rediscovering the strength we hold when we come together as citizens to take action to address crises that impact us all. Such a movement cannot be evicted. Some politicians may physically remove us from public spaces – our spaces – and, physically, they may succeed. But we are engaged in a battle over ideas. Our idea is that our political structures should serve us, the people – all of us, not just those who have amassed great wealth and power. We believe that is a highly popular idea, and that is why so many people have come so quickly to identify with Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement.
— From a Statement by Occupy Wall Street Issued as Police were Massing for the Raid
I stand in solidarity with the protestors in New York City and around the globe. In the now rather infamous words of Anonymous “We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”
Here are some resources for those interested in taking direct action.
There is also this guide on how to occupy.
My wife gave me a Kindle on my birthday back in September, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the device. It’s very nearly the perfect thing for someone who spends a lot of time reading, and I find that I make more time to read as I have more content at hand on the device. I grab it as I’m walking out the door to go just about anywhere, and can usually steal a few moments away to read something of value while waiting in the van to pick up my daughter from school or such.
Of course, one of the first things that I looked for was a Kindle version of the Bible, which was relatively easy to find, but I also wanted to get the daily readings of the Catholic liturgical calendar on to the device. If I don’t make time for any other study or prayer during the day, I can almost always at least make it through those. Surprisingly, although the readings are online in several spots, it was a bit of a hunt finding them formatted for Kindle or other ebook reader.
Fortunately I eventually found Universalis, a site that offers not only the daily readings at Mass, but also the Liturgy of the Hours and the Order of Mass. All of these are available on the Web, for mobile devices or in a downloadable version. They can also be exported to any of the major ebook formats.
As we approach the end of Ordinary Time and the beginning of Advent, the revised Order of Mass for the English speaking world will take effect. For those of us who were born (or who converted to Catholicism) after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council were implemented, some of the phrases we’re leaving behind are all that we’ve ever known. Having the new Order at the ready on my Kindle is really nice, though I’ll probably still slip up and say “and also with you” for a long time yet. I also had to assure my mother-in-law that I was, indeed, reading the Scriptures after she caught me with the Kindle at Mass last Saturday night.
I’ve not yet made it through an entire day praying the Divine Office, but having all of the prayers handy for each day has made it easier to explore this beautiful devotion – and I do aspire to one day adopt the habit of praying the Hours each day.
The online resource at Universalis is entirely free of charge. If you’re interested in the software download or smartphone apps, the full featured free trial version lasts for one month, after that it reverts to a simple calendar version unless you purchase a registration code for a (one-time nominal) fee.
You can click the banner below for more information, including today’s propers.
Richard Muller, a Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley, has been one of the leading skeptics concerning the scientific consensus on climate change. In 2004, he publicly supported the findings of McIntyre and McKitrick challenging Michael Mann’s so called “hockey stick” graph (of temperatures over the last millennium) which showed accelerating global warming.
Muller is the founder and chairperson of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which provides independent analysis of the Earth’s surface temperature records. His most recent study was funded in part by charitable foundations maintained by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers. As you may know, the Kochs have donated significant funding to groups lobbying against the acceptance of man-made global warming, and to other right-wing political causes (including the Tea Party).
As it turns out, the findings of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project were a surprise to Dr. Muller, and no doubt to the Koch brothers as well.
As the BBC reported a few weeks ago, Professor Muller noted “Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the U.S. and the U.K.”
Dr. Muller was also interviewed for a recent report on NBC Nightly News. Here’s what he said.
“The existence of global warming, I think, is pretty much beyond dispute now. I think we have closed the last remaining questions on that.”
There is still much to discover about the effects that we’ll see from global warming in coming decades, and still much debate to come concerning how best to mitigate those effects (and how to deal with the unmitigated ones). We do, however, seem to be beyond the point where honest, reasoning people can continue to deny the problem.
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
― George Bernard Shaw