* CYNICAL POLICE ACTION
This column in the NY Daily News about the growing stratification of the society Occupy Wall Street is building is fascinating. It discusses the group’s stated goal of creating an antirely different democratic/social organization with a new form of decision making and allocation of resources (of which I admit to being fairly skeptical — but then I’m old.) The article discusses how difficult it is to do such a thing and examines the way the culture has broken into two camps — participants and everyone else.
However, fascination at the movement’s growing pains quickly turns to horror when you get to this part:
But while officers may be in a no-win situation, at the mercy of orders carried on shifting political winds and locked into conflict with a so-far almost entirely non-violent protest movement eager to frame the force as a symbol of the oppressive system they’re fighting, the NYPD seems to have crossed a line in recent days, as the park has taken on a darker tone with unsteady and unstable types suddenly seeming to emerge from the woodwork. Two different drunks I spoke with last week told me they’d been encouraged to “take it to Zuccotti” by officers who’d found them drinking in other parks, and members of the community affairs working group related several similar stories they’d heard while talking with intoxicated or aggressive new arrivals.
The NYPD’s press office declined to comment on the record about any such policy, but it seems like a logical tactic from a Bloomberg administration that has done its best to make things difficult for the occupation — a way of using its openness against it.
“He’s got a right to express himself, you’ve got a right to express yourself,” I heard three cops repeat in recent days, using nearly identical language, when asked to intervene with troublemakers inside the park, including a clearly disturbed man screaming and singing wildly at 3 a.m. for the second straight night.
“The first time I’ve heard cops mention our First Amendment rights,” cracked one occupier after hearing a lieutenant read off of that apparent script.
“A lot of you people smell,” a waggish cop shot back later after an occupier asked if he might be able to help find more appropriate accommodations for a particularly pungent and out-of-sorts homeless man.
“The police are saying ‘it’s a free for all at Zuccotti so you can go there,’” said Daniel Zetah, a member of several working groups including community affairs. “Which makes our job harder and harder because the ratio is worse and worse.” …
* POLICE USE BULLDOZERS TO BREAK UP OCCUPY RICHMOND
By David Edwards
Virginia State Police brought in bulldozers at about 1 a.m. Monday morning to clear out an encampment of Occupy Richmond protesters.
At least 15 protesters who choose not to leave Kanawha Plaza after a 45 minute warning were arrested, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Demonstrators had been occupying the plaza since Oct. 15. Democratic Mayor Dwight C. Jones visited the site Thursday to warn protesters they were breaking a city ordinance that forbids camping on public property.
“We applied for permits from city council but, you know, they didn’t accept or decline us getting a permit,” one activist explained to WTVR. “At least them declining it would give us an idea what was to come, but we didn’t get anything. So we started occupying with high hopes and unfortunately this is what it came down to.”
Protesters have vowed to continue their occupation of Richmond even if they can’t do it at Kanawha Plaza.
Watch this video from WTVR, broadcast Oct. 31, 2011. …
* ONE POLICE OFFICER’S REACTION TO OAKLAND/DENVER
By jtraynor, Daily Kos Diarist
I am absolutely SICKENED by the images of police assaulting unarmed American civilians simply engaged in exercising their right to freedom of speech and assembly. It makes me sad to the core of my being to see this kind of highly organized violence against non-violent people by police in the United States of America. …
* SPEAKING UP FOR THAT “1 PERCENT”
By Joe Conason
Lauded by the Washington press corps for his “courage” and “honesty” in confronting federal deficits and the national debt, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., wrote a budget that almost sank the Republican Party — and may still damage its prospects — because he proposed to dismantle Medicare. Yet his party still relies upon Ryan to speak on behalf of its most important constituency, now known in America and across the world as “the 1 percent.”
Addressing the right-wing Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, Ryan sought to discredit Elizabeth Warren — the Massachusetts Democratic senatorial candidate, Harvard faculty member, creator of the Consumer Finance Protection Agency and enemy No. 1 of Wall Street cheaters — for daring to utter an obvious truth. …
* EUROPE’S ECONOMY IS FALLING APART
By Yves Smith
Note the comment at the end, that Sarkozy’s sales pitch to China on the levered up EFSF did not go so well. If the Chinese don’t relent, this greatly reduces of this scheme working, even in the short term. And further note that the flagging European growth is the result of the austerity hairshirt being imposed on highly indebted economies. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has a pointed article on the consequences of the beggar-thy-neighbor German stance.
By Delusional Economics, who is horrified at the state of economic commentary in Australia and is determined to cleanse the daily flow of vested interests propaganda to produce a balanced counterpoint. Cross posted from MacroBusiness
Angela Merkel has been warning for quite some time that Europe’s economic woes will take up to a decade to fix and that it is time for Europe to rethink its economic strategy after years of living “beyond its means”. It seems fairly obvious from those statements that the rest of the world is going to have to get use to Europe moving into a slow growth phase while it attempts to adjust away from what it considers to be unsustainable debt.
In an attempt support the transition while keeping Europe together the European leaders have put together 3 part package to save Greece, re-capitalise the banks and provide a stability mechanism for countries that run into trouble. The problem is that once you understand the technicalities behind what they have come up with you come to realise that real economic growth is the only thing that actually matters. The latest news out of Europe for many of the 17 member nations is not good at all in that regard. …