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.
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.