* KEEP GOING AND DO NOT STOP
Communiqué in Solidarity with the Occupy Movement from Cairo.
To all those in the United States currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in solidarity. Having received so much advice from you about transitioning to democracy, we thought it’s our turn to pass on some advice.
* JEAN QUAN’S ABOUT-FACE
By Lauren Kelley, Alternet
|Quan\’s statement, via the San Francisco Chronicle:
We support the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement: we have high levels of unemployment and we have high levels of foreclosure that makes Oakland part of the 99% too. We are a progressive city and tolerant of many opinions. We may not always agree, but we all have a right to be heard.
I want to thank everyone for the peaceful demonstration at Frank Ogawa Park tonight, and thank the city employees who worked hard to clean up the plaza so that all activities can continue including Occupy Wall Street. We have decided to have a minimal police presence at the plaza for the short term and build a community effort to improve communications and dialogue with the demonstrators.
99% of our officers stayed professional during difficult and dangerous circumstances as did some of the demonstrators who dissuaded other protestors from vandalizing downtown and for helping to keep the demonstrations peaceful. For the most part, demonstrations over the past two weeks have been peaceful. We hope they continue to be so.
I want to express our deepest concern for all of those who were injured last night, and we are committed to ensuring this does not happen again. Investigations of certain incidents are underway and I will personally monitor them.
We understand and recognize the impact this event has had on the community and acknowledge what has happened. We cannot change the past, but we are committed to doing better.
Most of us are part of the 99%, and understand the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. We are committed to honoring their free speech right.
Finally, we understand the demonstrators want to meet with me and Chief Jordan. We welcome open dialogue with representatives of Occupy Wall Street members, and we are willing to meet with them as soon as possible.
* OCCUPY OAKLAND CALLS FOR A GENERAL STRIKE ON WEDNESDAY NOV. 2nd
By Charlie Grapski, Daily Kos Diarist
We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.
We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.
All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.
While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.
The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.
* THINKING ABOUT JAIL, RACE AND THE OWS MOVEMENT
By BobboSphere, Daily Kos Diarist
I’m involved in OccupyChicago. I stand on the corner with a sign for a couple of hours every few days, plus I go to the larger demonstrations. I was arrested over the weekend for a sit-in to defend the medical aid station set up by National Nurses United.
Being in jail for 18 hours was unpleasant, but really, not that big a deal. When I was finally released, there were about 50 OccupyChicago people in front of the cop station throwing a party for us. Most people don’t get cheers and a welcoming committee when they get out of a South Side Chicago jail cell.
As I was being processed out, I saw a few young black guys staring out of their cells. They may have been hard guys on the street, but away from their pals, they just looked like scared kids to me. Whether they had actually even committed crimes was irrelevant. We punish the innocent and the guilty alike.
* WHY THE SEC WON’T HUNT THE BIG DOGS
By Jesse Eisinger
… After years of lengthy investigations into collateralized debt obligations, the mortgage securities at the heart of the financial crisis, the S.E.C. has brought civil actions against only two small-time bankers. But compared with the Justice Department, the S.E.C. is the second coming of Eliot Ness. No major investment banker has been brought up on criminal charges stemming from the financial crisis.
To understand why that is so pathetic and — worse — corrupting, we need to briefly review what went on in C.D.O.’s in the years before the crisis. By 2006, legions of Wall Street bankers had turned C.D.O.’s into vehicles for their own personal enrichment, at the expense of their customers.
These bankers brought in savvy (and cynical) investors to buy pieces of the deals that they could not sell. These investors bet against the deals. Worse, they skewed the deals by exercising influence over what securities went into the C.D.O.’s, and they pushed for the worst possible stuff to be included.
The investment banks did not disclose any of this to the investors on the other side of the deals, or if they did, they slipped a vague, legalistic disclosure sentence into the middle of hundreds of pages of dense documentation. In the case brought last week, Citigroup was selling the deal, called Class V Funding III, while its own traders were filling it up with garbage and betting against it.
By the S.E.C.’s own investigations of and settlements with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, and by reporting like my ProPublica work with Jake Bernstein and early stories by The Wall Street Journal, we know that these breaches were anything but isolated. This was the Wall Street business model. (Goldman, JPMorgan and Citigroup were all able to settle without admitting or denying anything, which, of course, is part of the problem.)
Neither the Citigroup settlement nor any of the others come close to matching the profits and bonuses that these banks generated in making these deals. And low-level bankers did not, and could not, act alone. They were not rogues, hiding things from their bosses.
Last week’s S.E.C. complaint makes clear that the low-level Citigroup banker that it sued, Brian H. Stoker, had multiple conversations with his superiors about the details of Class V. At one point, Mr. Stoker’s boss pressed him to make sure that their group got “credit” for the profits on the short that was made by another group at the bank.
Pause, and think about that. The boss was looking for credit, but as far as the S.E.C. was concerned, he got no blame.
* CHEAT SHEET: WHAT’S HAPPENED TO THE BIG PLAYERS IN THE FINANCIAL CRISIS
By Braden Goyette, ProPublica
Widespread demonstrations in support of Occupy Wall Street have put the financial crisis back into the national spotlight lately.
So here’s a quick refresher on what’s happened to some of the main players, whose behavior, whether merely reckless or downright deliberate, helped cause or worsen the meltdown. This list isn’t exhaustive — feel welcome to add to it.
* THE PIPELINE OF ‘POISON’
By Dahr Jamail
The aftermath of a tar sands oil spill in Michigan has left a community with sickness, anger, and loss of livelihood.
|Deb Miller lives less than 30 metres from the Kalamazoo River in central Michigan, site of one of the largest inland tar sands oil disasters in US history.
In July 2010, nearly four million litres of toxic tar sands crude oil gushed into the river following the rupture of the Lakehead Pipeline 6B belonging to Enbridge Energy Partners, a Canadian oil and gas transportation company.
Meeting with other area residents at the office she owns with her husband on the banks of the Kalamazoo, Miller describes the adverse health effects she has suffered in the wake of the spill, including migraine headaches, burning eyes, a persistent sore throat, and a “cloudy brain” condition that she half-jokingly refers to as “Oil Alzheimer’s”.
The Lakehead Pipeline 6B that burst was built in 1969 to transport regular oil, not tar sands crude – which is as thick as peanut butter and must be injected with chemicals in order to enable transportation.
The Michigan spill is Enbridge Energy’s largest to date in the United States.
Outside the office window, oil cleanup workers wearing white Tyvek suits arrive in a boat, apparently to collect samples from the silvery sheen of the river’s surface.
The river has been closed for over a year.