Arab Spring: Libya over, Syria next, says France
US will pull troops out of Iraq by year-end: Obama
Anna Team led Brahaminical Civil Society backed by India Incs, LPG Mafia, RSS and Media have DIVERTED the Campaign against Corruption which defends LPG Mafia Manusmriti Rule , Foreign Capital Inflow, Free Market Economy and Capitalism!
Have we the GUTTs to align with Global Anti Capitalist Anti CORPORATE Anti Impreialist OCCUPY WALL Street? Then we Have NO Option but to OCCUPY NSE and BSE!
Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time - SEVEN HUNDRED Forty Eight
Montek Singh Ahluwalia has Defended Market Economy saying tha Occupy Wall Street does NOT mean Market Economy is bad! India Incs pleads that the Root of Corruption is neither Corporate Greed Nor Market Economy! Indian Brahaminical media has Blacked out the Worldwide Resistance against Capitalism and Free Market Economy Exclusive! What should we Do? Let us OCCUPY NSE BSE! Are we Ready?
Anna Team led Brahaminical Civil Society backed by India Incs, LPG Mafia, RSS and Media have DIVERTED the Campaign against Corruption which defends LPG Mafia Manusmriti Rule , Foreign Capital Inflow, Free Market Economy and Capitalism!
Have we the GUTTs to align with Global Anti Capitalist Anti CORPORATE Anti Impreialist OCCUPY WALL Street? Then we Have NO Option but to OCCUPY NSE and BSE!
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama on Friday said the United States will fulfill its promise by pulling troops out of Iraq by year-end.
"As promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over," Obama told reporters.
He spoke after a video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Libyan girl carries a TV with a drawing of Muammar Gaddafi as Libyan gather for the muslim Friday prayer at Martyrs Square in Tripoli, Libya, Oct 21, 2011. (AP Photo)
With NATO operations in Libya coming to an end with the killing of Muammar Gaddafi, France on Friday said Syria could be the next target as it pushed for UN taking the "responsibilities" and sanction the "bloody repression".
However, France did not intend to launch unilateral military action against Syria but strictly follow international law in this regard, French foreign minister Alain Juppe said.
With the death of Gaddafi, NATO operations in Libya can be considered over and the new government there was in control of the entire country, Juppe said here.
"Turning to Syria, given the crimes against humanity committed by the Gaddafi regime, France is asking the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities and sanction the bloody repression," he said in a speech at the French Embassy here.
"I hope we will soon reach an agreement on multilateral action that can step up pressure on the Syrian regime," Juppe said.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that the United States had held a preliminary meeting with representatives of the Haqqani network, a group of militants Washington has blamed for a series of attacks in Afghanistan.
The revelation came soon after Clinton, inIslamabad with a heavyweight team of U.S. military and intelligence leaders, warned that tough action would have to be taken against Afghan and Pakistani militants if they did not cooperate in efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and pursue peace.
Clinton was asked at a roundtable with journalists about reports that U.S. officials had met with Haqqani representatives directly, even as Washington demanded that Pakistan take a tougher line on the group.
"We have reached out to the Taliban, we have reached out to the Haqqani network to test their willingness and their sincerity, and we are now working among us -- Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States -- to try to put together a process that would sequence us toward an actual negotiation," Clinton said.
No negotiations are underway, she said.
A senior US official said later the meeting took place in the summer, before September's attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul that US officials have linked to the Haqqanis.
They said the meeting had been organized by Pakistan's powerful spy agency, the Directorate ofInter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which US officials have repeatedly charged with playing a "double game" with Islamist militants and working with the Haqqanis.
"Pakistani government officials helped to facilitate such a meeting," Clinton said.
Pakistan is seen as critical to the US drive to end the conflict in Afghanistan. Clinton, CIA director David Petraeus and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey went to Islamabad to deliver a strong demand for more cooperation on cracking down on militants finding safe havens in Pakistan's mountainous west and northwest.
"We had a very in-depth conversation with specifics," Clinton said at an earlier media conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. "And we are looking forward to taking that conversation and operationalizing it over the next days and weeks. Not months and years, days and weeks."
Later, in her comments to journalists, she added an unspecified warning to the U.S. demand for action.
"I'm warning if we don't handle these safe havens together, the consequences could be drastic for us both," she said.
Friday's media appearances came a day after what had been described as "extremely frank" discussions Clinton and her team held with their Pakistani counterparts.
Pressure on Islamabad has been mounting since U.S. special forces found and killed Osama bin Laden in May in a Pakistani garrison town, where he had apparently been living for years.
The secret bin Laden raid was the biggest blow to U.S.-Pakistan relations since Islamabad joined the U.S. "war on terror" after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
Pakistan's military said the raid was a flagrant violation of sovereignty. U.S. officials wondered whether an ally that receives billions of dollars in American aid had been sheltering the world's most wanted man, which Pakistan denies.
The United States had not publicly spelled out exactly how it wanted Pakistan to handle theHaqqanis but Clinton urged them to persuade militants to join peace talks.
"We think that Pakistan for a variety of reasons has the capacity to encourage, to push, to squeeze ... terrorists, including the Haqqanis and the Afghan Taliban, to be willing to engage in the peace process," she said.
Pakistan argues that it can't go after the Haqqanis because the army has its hands full with homegrown militants, like Maulvi Fazlullah, an Afghanistan-based Taliban leader who was driven out by an army offensive in 2009 but who has vowed to return to fight.
Analysts, too, say the Pakistani military could suffer heavy casualties if it attacked the Haqqanis.Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the network, recently told Reuters he had more than 10,000 fighters under his command.
Clinton said Pakistan would suffer if it took no action.
"You can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors," she said.
Pakistani leaders, however, must tread cautiously because anti-U.S. sentiments run high. In a rare light-hearted moment, one woman in a town hall meeting compared the United States to a nagging mother-in-law, drawing laughter from Clinton and others.
"And you know, once a mother-in-law, always a mother-in-law, but perhaps mother-in-laws can learn new ways also," she said.
Many Pakistanis are angered by US drone strikes against militants in the northwest, and say the country's army is fighting a war based on American interests.
About 90 people staged a protest in the eastern town of Multan against Clinton's visit. In Quetta, capital of the southwestern Baluchistan province, around 150 people burned American flags and hit Clinton's picture with shoes.
BANKS ARE BAILED OUT! PEOPLE ARE SOLD OUT! Who is the 'one percent' rich in USA?BANKS ARE BAILED OUT!
PEOPLE ARE SOLD OUT!
Who is the 'one percent' rich in USA?
Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:37PM GMT
Fortune 500 has issued a list of S&P 500 companies along with their 2010 financial details. Along with American billionaires and millionaires, the 500 companies are believed to form a main part of the "One Percent" rich in America. Recent anti-Wall Street protesters blame the One Percent for their desperate economic situation.
Who is the One Percent in America?
The following are the largest full-service global investment banks which usually provides both advisory and financing banking services, as well as the sales, market making, and research on a broad array of financial products including equities, credit, rates, currency, commodities, and their derivatives.
1. Bank of America
2. Barclays Capital
4. Credit Suisse
5. Deutsche Bank
6. Goldman Sachs
7. JPMorgan Chase
8. Morgan Stanley
9. Nomura Securities
11. Wells Fargo Securities
The following are the top eight diversified financials in the U.S. in terms of revenue in 2010. Fortune 500
1. Fannie Mae .......... $153.82 billion
2. General Electric .......... $151.62 billion
3. Freddie Mac .......... $98.36 billion
4. INTL FCStone ........... $46.94 billion
5. Marsh & McLennan ........... $10.93 billion
6. Ameriprise Financial .......... $10.04 billion
7. Aon .......... $8.51 billion
8. SLM .......... $6.77 billion
The following are the top ten commercial banks in the U.S. in terms of revenue in 2010. Fortune 500
1. Bank of America Corp. .......... $134.19 billion
2. JP Morgan Chase & Co. .......... $115.47 billion
3. Citigroup .......... $111.05 billion
4. Well Fargo .......... $93.24 billion
5. Goldman Sachs Group .......... $45.96 billion
6. Morgan Stanley .......... $39.32 billion
7. American Express .......... $30.24 billion
8. US Bancorp .......... $20.51 billion
9. Capital One Financial .......... $19.06 billion
10. Ally Financial .......... $17.37 billion
The following are the top ten U.S. petroleum refining firms in terms of revenue in 2010. Fortune 500
1. Exxon Mobil .......... $354.67 billion
2. Chevron .......... $196.33 billion
3. Conoco Philips .......... $184.96 billion
4. Valero Energy .......... $86.03 billion
5. Marathon Oil .......... $68.41billion
6. Sunoco .......... $35.54 billion
7. Hess .......... $34.61 billion
8. Murphy Oil .......... $23.34 billion
9. Tesoro .......... $20.25 billion
10. Holly .......... $8.32 billion
Oil & Gas Equipment, Services
The following are the top U.S. firms active in oil and gas equipment and services in terms of revenue in 2010. Fortune 500
1. Halliburton .......... $17.97 million
2. Baker Hughes .......... $14.41 million
3. National Oilwell Varco .......... $12.15 million
4. Cameron International .......... $6.13 million
Aerospace & Defense
The following are the top ten U.S. corporations in aerospace and defense in terms of revenue in 2010. Fortune 500
1. Boeing ........... $64.30 billion
2. United Technologies .......... $54.32 billion
3. Lockheed Martin ........... $46.89 billion
4. Northrop Grumman .......... $34.75 billion
5. Honeywell International ........... $33.37 billion
6. General Dynamics .......... $32.46 billion
7. Raytheon .......... $25.18 billion
8. L-3 Communications .......... $15.68 billion
9. ITT .......... $11.15 billion
10. Textron .......... $10.52 billion
Motor Vehicles & Parts
The following are the top ten U.S. manufacturing companies of motor vehicles and parts in terms of revenue in 2010. Fortune 500
1. General Motors .......... $135.59 billion
2. Ford Motor .......... $128.95 billion
3. Chrysler Group .......... $41.94 billion
4. Johnson Controls .......... $34.30 billion
5. Goodyear Tire & Rubber .......... $18.83 billion
6. TRW Automotive Holdings .......... $14.38 billion
7. Navistar International .......... $12.14 billion
8. Lear .......... $11.95 billion
9. Paccar .......... $10.29 billion
10. Oshkosh .......... $9.84 billion
The number of Americans who are millionaires is about one percent of the population. NPR
Of the 435 members of the House, 244 current members of Congress are millionaires - that's about 46 percent and that includes 138 Republicans and 106 Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks money in politics. In fact, there are probably many more millionaires in Congress, since lawmakers don't have to include the value of their family home and other details. NPR
In 2010, the average winner of a House race spent $1.5 million for his/her campaigns. The average Senate winner spent close to $10 million. Closely contested races are much more expensive. And about half of that money, on average, comes from an elite group of very wealthy donors. NPR
Wealthy Americans have more access to lawmakers than most regular voters and constituents do, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. NPR
The median net worth for a current member of the U.S. House of Representatives was $725,000 in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and the media net worth of a U.S. Senator was $2.4 million. Open Secrets
The richest member of Congress is Darrel Issa, whose net worth was valued between $156 million and $451 million. Open Secrets
Here is a list of the 20 wealthiest current members of Congress and their average net worth, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, based on their financial reports covering calendar year 2009. (The Center plans to unveil its analysis of lawmakers' 2010 financial disclosures later this fall.) Open Secrets
1. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) .......... $303 million
2. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) .......... $238 million
3. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) .......... $174 million
4. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) .......... $160 million
5. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) .......... $160 million
6. Rep. Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla.) .......... $148 million
7. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) .......... $137 million
8. Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) .......... $109 million
9. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) .......... $98 million
10. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) .......... $94 million
11. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) .......... $77 million
12. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) .......... $76 million
13. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) .......... $58 million
14. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) .......... $51 million
15. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) .......... $50 million
16. Rep. Diane Lynn Black (R-Tenn.) .......... $49 million
17. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) .......... $43 million
18. Rep. Richard Berg (R-N.D.) .......... $39 million
19. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) .......... $39 million
20. Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) .......... $38 million
Top Donors to Obama in 2008
The following table lists the top donors to Barack Obama in the 2008 election cycle. Open Secrets
1. University of California .......... $1.6 million
2. Goldman Sachs .......... $1 million
3. Harvard University .......... $0.85 million
4. Microsoft Corp. .......... $0.83 million
5. Google Inc. .......... $0.80 million
6. Citigroup Inc. ........... $0.70 million
7. JPMorgan Chase & Co. .......... $0.69 million
8. Time Warner .......... $0.59 million
9. Sidley Austin LLP .......... $0.58 million
10. Stanford University .......... $0.58 million
11. National Amusements Inc. .......... $0.55 million
12. UBS AG .......... $0.54 million
13. Wilmerhale Llp .......... $0.54 million
14. Skadden, Arps et al .......... $0.53 million
15. IBM Corp .......... $0.52 million
16. Columbia University .......... $0.52 million
17. Morgan Stanley .......... $0.51 million
18. General Electric .......... $0.49 million
19. U.S. Government .......... $0.49 million
20.Latham & Watkins .......... $0.49 million
Top Donors to Bush in 2004
1. Morgan Stanley .......... $603,480
2. Merrill Lynch .......... $586,254
3. PricewaterhouseCoopers .......... $514,250
4. UBS AG .......... $474,325
5. Goldman Sachs .......... $394,600
6. Lehman Brothers .......... $361,525
7. MBNA Corp .......... $350,350
8. Credit Suisse Group .......... $326,040
9. Citigroup Inc. .......... $320,820
10. Bear Stearns .......... $313,150
11. Ernst & Young .......... $305,140
12. US Government .......... $295,786
13. Deloitte LLP .......... $292,250
14. Wachovia Corp. .......... $279,310
15. US Dept of Defense .......... $279,157
16. Ameriquest Capital .......... $253,130
17. US Dept of State .......... $225,330
18. Blank Rome LLP .......... $225,150
19. Bank of America .......... $218,261
20.AT&T Inc. .......... $214,920
The following is a list of top 20 American billionaires issued by the Forbes 400 in 2011. Forbes
1. Bill Gates from Microsoft .......... $59 billion
2. Warren Buffet from Berkshire Hathaway .......... $39 billion
3. Larry Ellison from Oracle .......... $33 billion
4. Charles Koch from diversified .......... $25 billion
5. David Koch from diversified .......... $25 billion
6. Christy Walton from Wal-Mart .......... $24.5 billion
7. George Soros from hedge funds .......... $22 billion
8. Sheldon Adelson from casinos .......... $21.5 billion
9. Jim Walton from Wal-Mart .......... $21.1 billion
10. Alice Walton from Wal-Mart .......... $20.9 billion
11. S. Robson Walton from Wal-Mart .......... $20.5 billion
12. Michael Bloomberg from Bloomberg LP .......... $19.5 billion
13. Jeff Bezos from Amazon.com .......... $19.1 billion
14. Mark Zuckergerg from Facebook ........... $17.5 billion
15. Surgey Brin from Google .......... $16.7 billion
16. Larry Page from Google .......... $16.7 billion
17. John Paulson from hedge funds ........... $15.5 billion
18. Michael Dell from Dell .......... $15 billion
19. Steve Ballmer from Microsoft .......... $13.9 billion
20.Forrest Mars from candy .......... $13.8 billion
Oct 22, 2011
How the West won Libya
By Pepe Escobar
They are fighting over the carcass as vultures. The French Ministry of Defense said they got him with a Rafale fighter jet firing over his convoy. The Pentagon said they got him with a Predator firing a Hellfire missile. After a wounded Colonel Muammar Gaddafi sought refuge in a filthy drain underneath a highway - an eerie echo of Saddam Hussein's "hole" - he was found by Transitional National Council (TNC) "rebels". And then duly executed.
Abdel-Jalil Abdel-Aziz, a Libyan doctor who accompanied Gaddafi's body in an ambulance and examined it, said he died from two bullets, one to the chest, one to the head.
The TNC - which has peddled lies, lies and more lies for months - swears he died in "crossfire". It may have been a mob. It may
have been Mohammad al-Bibi, a 20-year-old sporting a New York Yankees baseball cap who posed to the whole world brandishing Gaddafi's golden pistol; his ticket perhaps to collect the hefty $20 million dangled as the bounty for Gaddafi "dead or alive".
It gets curioser and curioser when one remembers that this is exactly what US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her lightning visit to Tripoli, had announced less than 48 hours before; Gaddafi should be "captured or killed". The Fairy Queenie satisfied Clinton's wishes, who learned about it by watching the screen of a BlackBerry - and reacting with the semantic earthquake "Wow!"
To the winners, the spoils. They all did it; the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Pentagon and the TNC. From the minute a United Nations resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya became a green card to regime change, plan A was always to capture and kill him. Targeted assassination; that's Barack Obama administration official policy. There was no plan B.
Let me bomb you to protection
As for how R2P ("responsibility to protect" civilians), any doubters should cling to the explanation by NATO's secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen; "NATO and our partners have successfully implemented the historic mandate of the United Nations to protect the people of Libya." Anyone who wants to check NATO's protection of civilians just needs to jump on a pick-up truck and go to Sirte - the new Fallujah.
Reactions have been quite instructive. TNC bureaucrat Abdel Ghoga went Colosseum in the Roman Empire, saying, "The revolutionaries have got the head of the tyrant."
United States President Barack Obama said the death of Gaddafi means "we are seeing the strength of American leadership across the world". That's as "we got him" as one can possibly expect, also considering that Washington paid no less than 80% of the operating costs of those dimwits at NATO (over $1 billion - which Occupy Wall Street could well denounce would be more helpful creating jobs in the US). Strange, now, to say "we did it", because the White House always said this was not a war; it was a "kinetic" something. And they were not in charge.
It was up to that majestic foreign policy strategist, US Vice President Joe Biden, to be starkly more enlightening than Obama; "In this case, America spent $2 billion and didn't lose a single life. This is more the prescription for how to deal with the world as we go forward than it has in the past."
World, you have been warned; this is how the empire will deal with you from now on.
Feel my humanitarian love
So congratulations to the "international community" - which as everyone knows is composed of Washington, a few washed-up NATO members, and the democratic Persian Gulf powerhouses of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This community, at least, loved the outcome. The European Union (EU) hailed "the end of an era of despotism" - when up to virtually Thursday they were caressing the helm of Gaddafi's gowns; now they are falling over themselves in editorials about the 42-year reign of a "buffoon".
Gaddafi would have been a most inconvenient guest of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, as he would have relished recalling all the hand-kissing, the warm embraces and the juicy deals the West was begging to clinch after he was promoted from "Mad Dog" (Ronald Reagan) to "our bastard". He would also relish detailing all the shady backgrounds of those opportunists now posing as "revolutionaries" and "democrats".
As for the concept of international law, it lies in a drain as filthy as the one Gaddafi was holed up in. Iraqi dictator Saddam at least got a fake trial in a kangaroo court before meeting the executioner. Osama bin Laden was simply snuffed out, assassination-style, after a territorial invasion of Pakistan. Gaddafi went one up, snuffed out with a mix of air war and assassination.
Power vultures are congesting the skies. London-based Mohammed El Senussi, the heir to the Libyan throne (King Idris was overthrown in 1969) is ready for his close-up, having already established that he "is a servant to Libyan people, and they decide what they want". Translation; I want the throne. He's obviously the favorite candidate of the counter-revolutionary House of Saud.
And what about those Washington think-tank donkeys mumbling that this was the Arab Spring's "Ceausescu moment"? If only the Romanian dictator had improved his country's standard of living - in terms of free healthcare, free education, incentives for the newlywed, etc - by a fraction of what Gaddafi did in Libya. Plus the fact that Nicolae Ceausescu was not deposed by NATO "humanitarian" bombing. v Only the brain dead may have swallowed the propaganda of NATO's "humanitarian" 40,000-plus bombing - which devastated Libya's infrastructure back to the Stone Age (Shock and Awe in slow motion, anyone?). This never had anything to do with R2P - the relentless bombing of civilians in Sirte proves it.
As the top four BRIC members knew it even before the voting of UN Resolution 1973, it was about NATO ruling the Mediterranean as a NATO lake, it was about Africom's war against China and setting up a key strategic base, it was about the French and the Brits getting juicy contracts to exploit Libya's natural resources to their benefit, it was about the West setting the narrative of the Arab Spring after they had been caught napping in Tunisia and Egypt.
Listen to the barbaric whimpers
Welcome to the new Libya. Intolerant Islamist militias will turn the lives of Libyan women into a living hell. Hundreds of thousands of Sub-Saharan Africans - those who could not escape - will be ruthlessly persecuted. Libya's natural wealth will be plundered. That collection of anti-aircraft missiles appropriated by Islamists will be a supremely convincing reason for the "war on terror" in northern Africa to become eternal. There will be blood - civil war blood, because Tripolitania will refuse to be ruled by backward Cyrenaica.
As for remaining dictators everywhere, get a life insurance policy from NATO Inc; Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, Tunisia's Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh were clever enough to do it. We all know there will never be R2P to liberate the Tibetans and Uyghurs, or the people in that monster gulag Myanmar, or the people in Uzbekistan, or the Kurds in Turkey, or the Pashtuns on both sides of the imperially drawn Durand Line.
We also know that change the world can believe in will be the day NATO enforces a no-fly one over Saudi Arabia to protect the Shi'ites in the eastern province, with the Pentagon launching a Hellfire carpet over those thousands of medieval, corrupt House of Saud princes.
It won't happen. Meanwhile, this is the way the West ends; with a NATO bang, and a thousand barbaric, lawless whimpers. Disgusted? Get a Guy Fawkes mask and raise hell.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
My Iron-Clad Demands for Occupy Wall Street: Michael Kinsley
Bloomberg - Michael Kinsley - 18 hours ago
So I sat down to write up some demands for Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Washington and the related groups that have sprung up to terrify the political and financial establishments. ...
Why Occupy Wall Street wants nothing to do with our politicians
Washington Post - Heather Gautney - 3 hours ago
That's perhaps the first question prompted by the swirl of tents, signs, news choppers and police motorcycles that have colored the Occupy Wall Street protests. But there are two other questions we should be asking as well. Is democracy even possible ...
Occupy Wall Street bandwagon still searching for a direction
Vancouver Sun - Sheldon Alberts - 1 hour ago
Galvanized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, the protests began in New Zealand, rippled east to Europe and were expected to return to their starting point in New York. Demonstrations touched most European capitals and other cities. ...
Occupy Wall Street is democracy in action
Chicago Sun-Times - Jeff Ward - 3 hours ago
Come to think of it, maybe this mental return to those halcyon days of my revolutionary youth has been brought on by the recent emergence of the Aurora chapter of the Occupy Wall Streetmovement. Yes! Last weekend, 16 Aurora residents marched in front ...
Occupy Wall Street's Right to Protest Should Be Safeguarded
NewsMax.com - Edward Koch - 1 hour ago
The Occupy Wall Street protests have been going on for about four weeks. The movement's goals have never been clearly enunciated, except for one which relates to the unfairness of our economy. The protesters accuse many on Wall Street of ...
Occupy Wall Street's 'Other 99%' Are Deadbeats Too
US Banker - 2 hours ago
Occupy Wall Street claims it's the voice of everyone who isn't a fat-cat banker. But Occupy Wall Street is teeming with fat cats of a different kind, those who enjoy the perks of a nation that's been living beyond its means—beyond their means—for ...
Occupy Wall Street in Bay City today: Are they looking for a hand out or ...
The Bay City Times - MLive.com - Andrew Dodson - 4 hours ago
17, 2011 photo, demonstrators affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement gather to call for the occupation of Wall Street in New York. Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 marked the one-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. ...
Occupy Wall Street makes its way to St. George
The Dixie Sun - 3 hours ago
Critique and criticism has surfaced due to the Occupy Wall Street movement, and St. George citizens want in. Big cities and small ones alike have started activists groups recently. About 1200 cities worldwide have started Occupy movements, ...
Occupy Wall Street voices from Zuccotti Park: Jonathan Smucker, 33
New York Daily News - Rebecca Davis, Cynthia Ghazali - 3 hours ago
He has been participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement for a week now. He volunteers his time by providing leadership development and training to protesters at Zuccotti Park. Employment Status: "I run my own small business so I have some [time] ...
Occupy Wall Street Protest Drains Police Precincts Across Manhattan
DNAinfo - Jill Colvin, Mary Johnson - 7 hours ago
Police keep watch as demonstrators associated with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement protest in Times Square on October 15, 2011 in New York City. Thousands of people are taking to the streets in cities across the world today in demonstrations inspired ...
Occupy Wall Street should not be ignored
Bowdoin Orient - Craig Hardt - 7 hours ago
Occupy Wall Street was initially dismissed by conservative pundits as nothing more than a fringe extremist movement composed of a cocktail of the most liberal people imaginable. However, Democrats have been reluctant to claim ownership...
How Meetup wins from Occupy Wall Street
Fortune - Alex Kantrowitz - 1 hour ago
FORTUNE -- Occupy Wall Street protests have rapidly spread across the globe this month -- with some help from Meetup. In early October, the NYC based organizing platform integrated its technology into Occupytogether.org ...
An Occupy Wall Street view from within the 1%
CNN - Fred Wilson - 2 hours ago
New York City is in the throes of the Occupy Wall Street protests. What was most noticeable to me was not the protestors and their signs and chants. It was the amount of police accompanying them. It was a massive show of force. And it was scary to see. ...
Occupy Wall Street: Latinos Should Learn From Growing Protests
Fox News - Mariela Dabbah - 3 hours ago
Occupy Wall Street is in its second month, and it's no longer a local movement. What started as a protest against the greed of the financial industry has become a series of protests across the world. Without a unified agenda and, so far, without a list ...
Occupy Wall Street's money man is from Boston
Bizjournals.com - 1 hour ago
Even the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement — a fast-multiplying group of protestors rallying against corporate greed and corrupt bean counters — needs bean counters. Massachusetts native Pete Dutro has emerged as one of the group's chief ...
Occupy Wall Street, support Main Street
Montreal Gazette - Laura Jones - 8 hours ago
Occupy Wall Street has come to Canada. It's also Small Business Week across the country. These events got me thinking about how important it is not to confuse Wall Street with Main Street....
Occupy Wall Street -- For What?
Huffington Post (blog) - 5 hours ago
As a native New Yorker, the Occupy Wall Street movement is one that I try to stay appraised of while attending to my studies at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. I understand the reason behind the movement, Wall Street executive salaries ...
China: Occupy Wall St gets too close
Financial Times (blog) - Kathrin Hille - 5 hours ago
When Occupy Wall Street was no more than an obscure little protest in New York, the Chinese state media were really intrigued by the movement. China Daily, the country's largest English-language daily newspaper, blasted the Western media for allegedly ...
Dunsmore: Occupy Wall Street
Vermont Public Radio - Barrie Dunsmore - 5 hours ago
(Host) As the Occupy Wall Street protests continue to grow, so do calls for these protesters to define themselves and their demands. This morning commentator and veteran ABC News diplomatic correspondent Barrie Dunsmore gives us his...
Occupy Wall Street fails to wow
Moneyweb.co.za - Jerry Schuitema - 10 hours ago
I had a similar thought in following the latest protests of "Occupy Wall Street" or "Occupy Whatever" in different parts of the world. What indeed would this motley group do if they had to deal with the fruits of their "occupation"? ...
Four Iron-Clad Demands for Occupy Wall Street: Michael Kinsley
San Francisco Chronicle - 4 hours ago
Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- So I sat down to write up some demands for Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Washington and the related groups that have sprung up to terrify the political and financial establishments. Not everyone thinks demands are a good idea. ...
OPINION: Occupy Wall Street protests striking a chord
Daily Republic - Greg Sargent - 3 hours ago
Despite nonstop conservative disparagement of Occupy Wall Street and sneering coverage from the mainstream media at the outset, the most detailed polling yet on the nascent movement suggests that the public holds a broadly favorable view of the ...
NYCLU wants camera off of Occupy Wall Street
RT - 1 hour ago
The New York Civil Liberties Union is asking the NYPD to rethink two of them — a pair of cameras targeting Occupy Wall Street protesters. In a letter issued Thursday out of the offices of the NYCLU, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly ...
Occupy Wall Street needs to find its voice
Baltimore Sun - 6 hours ago
All the "Occupy Wall Street" events around the country lack leadership and focus. It's one massive camp-out loaded with energy but devoid of message. I've been waiting for a collective demand to emerge, yet nothing happens. ...
Occupy Wall Street Protesters - American Bankers Are Nazis
YouTube - Oct 19, 2011
An Occupy Wall Street protester tells National Review's Charles CW Cooke that the American bankers are like "Nazis," but is oddly short on specifics. http://www.nationalreview.com.
Occupy Wall Street Protester Wants To Execute "White Collar Criminals"
YouTube - Oct 19, 2011
A protester at Occupy Wall Street tells National Review's Charles CW Cooke that he wouldn't want to be president because of his "dark side," but that if he were he would make a lot of people "bleed," and execute people fairly quickly.
40 percent of financial advisers support Occupy Wall Street
Christian Science Monitor - Joshua M. Brown - 50 minutes ago
Accoridng to an online survey, 58.2 percent of financial advisers disagree with the views expressed by the Occupy Wall Street protesters. But 38.8 percent agree with them By Joshua M. Brown, Guest blogger / October 21, 2011 An maskedOccupy Wall Street ...
Occupy Wall Street movement takes stand against 1 percent
K-State Collegian - 2 hours ago
Occupy Wall Street is the anti-Tea Party. It's a movement cut from the same cloth, but aimed at a different target. The Tea Party formed in response to the bailouts, blaming the government for our woes and interfering with the financial sector. ...
Occupy Wall St. works on community relations
7Online.com - Bill King - 6 hours ago
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Occupy Wall Street protesters have been cleaning up their camp, and now they are trying to mend community relations. But they got an earful Thursday night from neighbors fed up with the nuisance and the noise. ...
Weekly Roundup: Social Media And The Occupy Wall Street Movement, and A New ...
Dowser - 1 hour ago
This week, the nation's eyes were fixed on the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has grown to occupy cities across the US (with varying degrees of success) as well as abroad. Looking at the Occupy Wall Street website, one has the sense of viewing the ...
Occupy Wall Street: The Right Focus
Occupy Wall Street protestors are wise to focus on unequal income distribution-such as the outsize gains reaped by financial-industry companies. Pro or con?
PRO: A GROWING DISPARITYby John Schmitt, Center for Economic & Policy Research
Economic inequality has been growing steadily for three decades. According to the most definitive data, assembled by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, the top 1 percent received 10 percent of all U.S. income in 1979. By 2007, just before the Great Recession, that share had risen to 23 percent.
What most Americans don't know, however, is that before the late 1970s, inequality had been falling for five decades. The Golden Age of capitalism—the 30 years from the end of World War II through the mid-1970s, when gross domestic product, wages, and incomes grew faster than at any comparable period in American history—was marked not by financial excesses and widening inequality, but by equalizing growth and broadly shared prosperity.
Of course, not every Occupy Wall Street protester has reviewed the hard data. But the thread running through the range of grievances voiced at occupations around the country is anger over high and rising inequality.
Few measures would help the long-term health of the economy more than reducing the economic and political clout of Wall Street. The financial sector exists to connect savers with investors and to do so at the lowest feasible cost and risk. In a sensible world, we would view the financial sector as nothing more than a transactions cost to be minimized along the way to producing the goods and services that the economy is really about.
For all the counter-culture on display, Occupy Wall Street is pushing us exactly in this sensible direction.
CON: AN UNREALISTIC GOALby Tim Cavanaugh, Reason.com
Here's the difference between opposing the outsize gains reaped by financial-industry companies and demanding an end to "unequal income distribution." The former is justified anger at a specific abuse of taxpayers by politically connected financiers. The latter is a fool's errand.
No society has come close to making wealth distribution equal. The great egalitarian experiments of the 20th century proved this, as attentive readers have known since the 1957 publication of Yugoslav dissident Milovan Đilas' The New Class: An Analysis of the Communist System, which revealed shocking disparities in quality of life in the "workers' paradises" of Eastern Europe. China gave the world a horrific double-shot of rural poverty and (relative) urban wealth; it is only since the country joined global trading markets that it has seen provincial poverty decline.
At the same time, income inequality in China has grown, as it does in every rising economy. Growing wealth disparities are in fact a sign that overall prosperity is increasing in a competitive marketplace. The economist Gary Becker recently described how this works: "It would be hard to motivate the vast majority of individuals to exert much effort, including creative effort, if everyone had the same earnings, status, prestige, and other types of rewards. Fewer individuals would engage in the hard work involved in finishing high school and going on to college if they did not expect their additional education to bring higher incomes, better health, more prestige, and better opportunities to marry."
Creating general equality of opportunity is among the greatest U.S. achievements. But creating equality of outcomes has caused misery everywhere it has been tried.
Opinions and conclusions expressed in the Debate Room do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg Businessweek, Businessweek.com, or Bloomberg LP.
|Friday, October 21, 2011|
|Occupy Wall Street…and Then What?|
| Most Americans have come to doubt Wall Street's social utility and believe inequality has gotten out of hand. But taxes on the very rich can't be the entire answer, writes MoneyShow.com senior editor Igor Greenwald. |
Leaders and demands are overrated, it turns out, if the goal is to set off a national debate about the way the economy is working…or not working for many.
Both are obvious distractions. Because Occupy Wall Street is about whatever one cares to write on a sign, no one's debating its ten-point platform for a better tomorrow. Instead, a quick and broad consensus has emerged about the injustices and inanities of today.
The financial industry primarily targeted by the protesters is widely reviled, in part because the pay at the top is so egregious and out of whack with the law of supply and demand.
But mostly it's because Main Street has caught on to the fact that the business is not some magic workshop turning the sweat and tears of bankers into gold, and not even just a clever scheme to fleece gullible foreigners. Main Street hates that Wall Street is now a gambling den toying with the livelihoods of millions like so many chips in a poker stack.
Main Street doesn't see results matching the hype about the wonders of financial engineering. Main Street sees flash crashes, housing bubbles and busts, and an inverted pyramid of debt that's proven to be a poor substitute for income gains over the last three decades.
So Wall Street stands convicted in the court of public opinion—and on its home turf as well, to judge from the trajectory of its not-too-big-to-fail shares. It's spending a fortune on lawyers and legal reserves but no longer minting money in the markets, a problem likely to be aggravated by the Frank-Dodd financial restrictions.
The revelations about how Goldman Sachs (GS) treated its clients, in setting them up to be bet against, can't help but do lasting damage to the business model.
The surprising consensus forged by Occupy Wall Street extends beyond financial malpractice and to the premise that growing income inequality is a problem. Solid majorities of Americans in a variety of polls are backing tax hikes for million-dollar incomes. The "job creators" simply aren't creating enough jobs, while health care costs and inflation eat away at worker pay.
But even the majority supporting extra taxes on the very rich can't believe that's the entirety of the answer. The fundamental trends driving the growing income inequality aren't going away, in part because the inequality at home is a byproduct of the global income leveling.
It's also a byproduct of technological change that's wiped out whole layers of middle management and funneled fabulous riches on a scale never before known to man to the globally sourced and networked winners of the economic competition. There are problems a billionaire tax won't solve. Yet they're crucial to understanding the global shortage of demand.
Solutions might include different tax treatment for income earned by entrepreneurs risking their own capital, and the salaries and bonuses that executives at poorly-supervised public companies award to each other. In the financial industry, compensation practices still plainly reward dangerous gambling with other people's money.
We almost certainly need much more direct shareholder democracy, and the ability to quickly and cheaply depose directors who fail to safeguard the interests of investors.
We have yet to reconcile the utility of free markets with the fact the most people crave more stability than such markets provide, especially these days. We have yet to figure out what to do about all the losers of the intensified economic competition.
These are questions that have to be tackled. The answers won't possibly fit on a sign. But they're worth discussing all the same.
The 1% Ain't What It Used To BeOCT 19 2011, 2:53 PM ET 824
Unsurprisingly, Occupy Wall Street have pushed income inequality to the center of the national conversation. Also unsurprising, I think, is the unspoken assumption that income inequality has continued to get worse since the crisis. After all, where are the bankers panhandling for change or standing in line at the food pantry?
But it would actually be quite surprising, if true. The massive, decades-long data set assembled by Piketty and Saez seems to show that income inequality falls during recessions, and particularly during prolonged crises. Crises destroy capital, and top incomes tend to be more tightly linked to capital than those of average workers. If you work for a wire factory that goes bankrupt, you may well have a rough year or two before you find another job, and your income may never fully recover. But if you own that factory, it will be years before you have an income even close to what you enjoyed before--and it's very possible that you'll never get there at all.
Note that this is not an argument about who suffers more during a recession; it is self-evident that a worker who loses a third of their $20,000 annual paycheck is much worse off than an owner who loses two thirds of their $500,000 annual draw. But the measured gap between their incomes will still shrink dramatically.
That's why I was surprised, two years ago, when census data seemed to show that income inequality had continued rising. However, I filed it under "maybe this time is different" and didn't really revisit the subject.
But as it happens, I was back at the University of Chicago this weekend for my tenth business school reunion. And while I was there, I ran into Professor Steven Kaplan, who has done a bit of researchinto what sorts of occupations contributed to rising income inequality. (Shockingly, finance played a large role.) And he told me that my initial assumption seems to be correct: the incomes at the very top started falling in 2008. The Piketty-Saez data, which currently run to 2008, show a little bit of it. But Kaplan has calculated the incomes of the top 1% and the top 0.1% for 2009, and his results show that they continued to fall pretty steeply. (There's nothing more recent than that because tax data take a while to be finalized).
Here's the chart he sent me:
The decline in the share going to the top 0.1% is if anything more dramatic. I threw together a chart based on the data he sent me:
There's an obvious caveat: 2009 was a very bad year for finance, corporations, and lawyers, who drive a lot of the top income. Probably 2010 and 2011 weren't so bad, so these results may well rebound considerably when the data are in. (They also may not; I just don't know.)
Also, this only shows the 1% and the top 0.1%; maybe the 0.01%, or the 10%, are doing really well, but these groups aren't.
The larger question is "how much does it matter"? I doubt Occupy Wall Street will be assuaged by learning that the top 0.1% now only receive 8% of the income earned in the US, even if that number is the lowest it's been since 2003.
But I think it does matter. If we think there's a real problem, we need the best possible data so that we can understand its contours. Income inequality has been rising for so long that people have started to assume that it has just kept rising, even when the data show otherwise. We don't want to spend years focused on income inequality, only to learn that the financial crisis fixed it for us.
(If income inequality is declining, what's all that happening on Wall Street? Well, for one thing, the data I've seen seem to show that whatever has been happening to incomes, unemployment inequality remains very much with us.)
'Occupy Wall Street': Between New York and JakartaWinarno Zain, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 10/19/2011 8:27 AM
A | A | A |
Their ranks include young people in their teens and 20s, and students. They include young adults, workers, the unemployed and university professors.
And they include other groups that have become disaffected by a weak economy. They have received support from celebrities and generous praise from some highly respected politicians. And yes, of course, some of them are well-worn anarchists.
They have camped for two months in Zuccotti Park, lower Manhattan, which is located halfway between Wall Street and the former twin towers of the World Trade Center.
In the beginning, their number was around 200, but it has since swollen to 2,000. And now their movements have spread to other major cities across the world.
As a group they are leaderless. Any member can speak freely on the reasons behind their protests. The unemployed speak bitterly about losing their jobs. Students express their anger because their parents can no longer afford to pay tuition fees and student loans.
They see no future for themselves after graduating. There are also other groups that express their opposition to nuclear power, the privatization of water and political corruption.
But the messages contained within their protests are diverse and lack focus. They appear to be poorly organized. It is not clear what they stand for and what their agenda is, and they cannot articulate this as a group.
Yet, there is a conviction rippling through their ranks that however the global economy works, it does not work for them.
The fact that all protests are targeting the world's financial centers indicates that the financial system is the cause of the protester's misery.
This is especially true in the US, where the greed for profits through reckless bank lending has shaken the financial system, forcing the government to spend billions of dollars to bail out some of the biggest banks in the world. This has halted economic growth, reduced income and thrown millions of people out of work.
It is understandable that most of their anger is directed against the banking system. They feel that the way the financial system is working is unethical.
Banks have been bailed out by using the taxpayer's money, but the banks have not done anything in return. They have not extended credit and mortgages.
The protesters say that they have no problems with capitalism. But they are so outraged that banks have been rigging the system, so that banks have enjoyed profits throughout the good times but then have received bailouts in the bad times.
They see that the banks have got away with privatizing profits and socializing risk, and to them this is just another form of bank robbery.
But behind these eruptions of protest, it is clear that the underlying causes of anger are "economic inequalities" that have been increasing throughout the capitalist world. In the US, income inequality among various income groups has worsened, causing increasing concerns over the polarization of American society.
Such is the depth of inequality in the US that according to the US Central Intelligence Agency's ranking of countries by income inequality, the US is more unequal than either Tunisia or Egypt.
The richest 1 percent of Americans possesses more wealth than the other 99 percent. The 400 wealthiest Americans listed in Forbes magazine have more combined wealth than the combined wealth of 150 million Americans.
This has been made possible because during the era of president Bush between 2002-2007, 65 percent of economic gains went to the richest 1 percent of Americans. According to the US-based Institute of Policy Studies, in 2010, of the 100 highest paid CEOs in the US, 25 CEOs received more take-home pay than the corporate taxes paid by their companies.
The interesting question for policy makers here is how income inequality is related to economic growth? Could income inequality be the reason why, despite billions of dollars of fiscal stimulus and a loosening monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, the growth of the US economy remains anemic?
Robert H. Frank, an economist from Cornell University, probably provided part of the answer. In his new book, The Darwin Economy, he cites that his study shows that among 65 national economies, the more unequal ones experience slower growth on average.
He also found that some national economies grow more rapidly at times when incomes are more equal, and that growth slows down when incomes are skewed.
Economists used to think that economic growth should come first, and that income distribution should be the next policy objective. Many think that income inequality is the price that has to be paid for growth.
But recent findings and empirical evidence both suggest the need to review the way that policies are sequenced with regard to growth and the distribution of income.
Indonesia has been experiencing strong economic growth, but the inequality of income between various income groups is so entrenched. Daily scenes in Jakarta and in other big cities across Indonesia clearly demonstrate how stark the gap has become between the richest few and the poorest majority. Various policies have been implemented to narrow the gap in income distribution, but without meaningful results.
The forces that push income distribution to be unequal are still greater than the forces that attempt to soften inequality through government policies. This situation is not sustainable because at some point in time, if Frank's argument is correct, then growth itself will be undermined.
The protesters also expressed their anger toward government and politicians for their failure to seriously attempt to resolve the economic crisis and unemployment problems.
They see their politicians as being obsessed with narrow political interests rather than the national interest. They feel that they have been cheated by their politicians after they voted for them in good faith.
In Rome, a protester exclaimed, "You see how beholden politicians are to corporate interests, no matter how hard you have worked to get them elected. There is a disconnect."
This sounds very familiar to the people of Indonesia. There has been so much outrage against politicians and government officials in Indonesia.
Evidence emerging from the investigation being conducted by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) reveals how widespread the collusion is between members of the House of Representatives, government officials and businessmen. For a long time, they have subverted the government budget for their personal and political gains.
In New York, protesters are outraged by a dysfunctional government in Washington that is more interested in political posturing in readiness for the 2012 election.
In Jakarta, people are furious at the dysfunctional Cabinet of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which has delivered little. The government and the House will be more dysfunctional in the coming months as they start preparing for the general election in 2014.
People feel they are being abandoned. The only thing is, the Occupy Wall Street movement has not yet spread to Jakarta, for now.
The writer is an economist.
Occupy Wall Street bandwagon still searching for a direction
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Occupy Wall Street bandwagon still searching for a direction
By Sheldon Alberts, Postmedia News October 21, 2011 10:06 AM
NEW YORK — On the corner of Trinity Square and Liberty Street, crouched uncomfortably inside a tiny black metal crate, Charlie Meyers recites a litany of grievances against America's capitalist society.
"The system of corporate greed that we have in the United States causes most of the pain and suffering in the world," says the Occupy Wall Street activist. "It fuels our wars, oppresses minorities, fuels child labour, oppresses women. It rapes our environment, hurts animals. It poisons our own people. What is there not to be pissed off about?"
Meyers is prepared to engage anyone in debate about the specifics of his complaints, but most of the passing tourists and office workers are — perhaps not surprisingly — more curious about his cage.
The 20-year-old says he found the container in a nearby dumpster and thought it a fitting symbol for why he joined the fledgling Occupy movement.
So he dragged it over to Zuccotti Park, plunked it down and climbed in.
"I've been held in a cage by the one per cent my whole life, says Meyers. "But every day I am here, I feel better about the future."
Just what that future holds for Occupy Wall Street is a question the original New York activists are grappling with amid the explosive growth of the movement.
Even as sympathetic outside groups — from labour unions to civil rights organizations to opportunistic Democratic politicians — jump on Occupy Wall Street's bandwagon, the folks who started it all aren't sure what's next.
More than one month after protesters made their stand in this crowded, concrete plaza, Occupy Wall Street organizers have yet to craft a political manifesto or draft a list of demands.
The movement's call for "economic justice" in America — embodied in its: 'We are the 99%" slogan — has been criticized by conservative opponents as the rhetoric of a mob.
None of this troubles Bill Dobbs, a member of Occupy Wall Street's communications team.
"We get hammered all the time — where is the list of demands?" says Dobbs, a veteran activist who arrived in Zuccotti Park on Sept. 17.
"All the energy down here is going into an outcry — ringing alarm bells with the hope that others will pick up the work and get active, and it's happening," he says. "We have gotten people to listen. We have gotten through some of the cynicism that Americans have."
Justin Stone Diaz, a 38-year-old from Brooklyn, shares Dobbs' sentiment.
"As a political model, we'll never demand anything, because we're tired of people in politics demanding things of us," says Stone Diaz, who has been in Zuccotti Park on and off since the third day of the protest.
In an effort to define Occupy Wall Street, commentators have latched onto the notion it is a Tea Party movement for America's disenchanted liberal left.
But it's a label largely rejected by the collection of longtime activists, peaceful punks, idealistic students and modern-day hobos who populate Zuccotti Park.
While the Tea Party organized itself around a few big principles — smaller government, lower taxes and fealty to the U.S. Constitution — the Occupy Wall Streeters bring an alphabet soup of issues to their protests.
Orlando Nieves, a 47-year-old Bronx resident, is unemployed after a workplace injury and has been homeless for a year. He was turned down for subsidized housing and turned out of his apartment after his wife lost her job with the New York public school system.
"I'm wondering, Wall Street got bailed out. Why can't they bail me out?" says Nieves, who has been sleeping on a mattress pad at Zuccotti Park.
While Nieves says he is "angry" at government for favouring the few rich over the many poor, the prevailing vibe in Zuccotti Park is laid back, friendly and at times festive.
"The movement means hope," says Richard Kent Green, a New York theatre actor and director who marched to Zuccotti Park this week, banjo in hand, playing a song he wrote as a tribute to the Occupy Wall Street participants.
"The movement means that people get the basic idea — a very basic idea — that inequality does not work as an economic plan," says Kent Green.
"It has been demonstrated that when there is a stratification of 'the haves' and 'the have nots,' that a nation's economy slows down and becomes very sluggish."
Mindful that some critics have tried to cast Occupy Wall Streeters as unruly or disruptive, organizers have adopted a Good Neighbor policy to maintain smooth relations with local residents.
There is "zero tolerance" in Zuccotti Park for drugs, alcohol, verbal abuse or abuse of public and personal property. Occupy Wall Street participants are asked to "respect health and sanitary regulations" and use off-site restroom and shower facilities.
The group has appointed on-site "community relations monitors" who are present 24 hours a day. The camp boasts a makeshift bookstore, publishes an 'Occupy Wall Street Journal' newspaper, has a medical tent (which police briefly threatened to tear down this week) and a "safe space" for women who stay overnight.
On a soggy and chilly morning this week, volunteers at the camp's comfort station served bagels, fruit, cereal and yogurt to shivering activists.
"By keeping a safe activist camp going, it keeps the revolutionary spirit going," says Stone Diaz.
"The focus is on the positivity, not the politics. We are just here to encourage dialogue."
One criticism that does bother Stone Diaz: Complaints that Occupy Wall Street has accepted more than $400,000 in donations over the past month.
"We are getting criticized for the money people are sending. We never asked for cash . . . it is just coming at us," he says.
Meyers, who has been in Zuccotti Park for 10 days, says there is "some tension" because the plaza is surrounded by armed police officers. Emotions ran highest after a New York police officer pepper sprayed protesters who left Zuccotti Park to march uptown on Sept. 24.
"Sometimes people start to act out, and start antagonizing the police, or start wanting violence, but immediately the group will stop them," says Meyers, who describes himself as a "rational" anarchist.
"I'm not going to starting throwing bricks. You have to respect property rights."
As the Occupy Wall Street action stretched from hours, to days, to weeks, activists have cycled in and out of Zuccotti Park — making for a rotating cast of residents and drop-in protesters.
Indeed, there are distinct groups at Zuccotti Park.
On the periphery, an eclectic collection of flamboyant protesters — including, on one morning, a group of men dressed head to toe in green spandex leotards — seem primarily interested in getting attention from the tourists who have made the Occupy Wall Street site a must-see destination.
Venture deeper into the park, however, and visitors find more determined activists, many of whom say they intend to stay here indefinitely.
"If people can get through that protective barrier of the wing nuts that come down here during the daytime, they can actually see we have a very dangerous, revolutionary experiment going on," says Stone Diaz.
Stone Diaz says he plans to remain in Zuccotti Park through the November 2012 presidential election, though even he isn't quite clear on the protest's long-term goals.
"People ask us what the movement is. It's quite clear - the movement was to Wall Street, the location. We've occupied it. And now we're not moving."
Others activists, like 22-year-old Paul Vidich of Ashford, Connecticut, just arrived at Zuccotti Park this week and are still assessing whether it's worth staying for the long haul.
Vidich, whose most recent job was delivering organic produce by bicycle, said he came to New York "because I figured the only way I could really have a big say in the politics of today would be to do something more radical than the electoral process."
Vidich said he likes the idea that Occupy Wall Street has "a thousand different voices" but believes that will be an obstacle to bringing about societal change.
"I think a lot of people here are into the idea of a long-term push," says Vidich. "But realistically what is going to happen is that people over time will filter in and out as they see nothing really changing very quickly."
Dobbs, however, believes Occupy Wall Street has built up enough momentum that it won't go away, even if protesters are eventually removed from Zuccotti Park.
" 'We are the 99 per cent' has gone into the ether. It has gone into the popular imagination, and it has caused people to think . . . about who gets what, who has a safety net and who gets, as we say, thrown under the bus," Dobbs says.
"This is a populist movement now unfolding and, though people bring many issues to it, at its core is economic justice."
Read more: http://www.canada.com/business/Occupy+Wall+Street+bandwagon+still+searching+direction/5587580/story.html#ixzz1bRKQW7iw
| Moneycontrol » News » Markets » Expert & FII Outlook|
Markets will push European politicians to act: Investec AMC
The situation in Europe will define market moves, believes Archie Hart of Investec Asset Management.
Europe's efforts to solve its escalating debt crisis plunged into disarray as Germany and France could not bridge their differences in time for a summit on Sunday, forcing them to call a second meeting.
"I think the markets will push European politicians into action," Hart said.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Hart said, the banking system is vulnerable to sovereign default in Europe. According to Hart, emerging markets (EMs), which have been growing better than their developed counterparts, will be hit if the Europe worsens.
As a result of the global slowdown, incrementally, Chinese economy is slowing. "China is running a very tight policy stance and we need to closely watch the environment there."
Back home too, the Indian rupee depreciated to a 30-month low to 50.08 per dollar on Friday.
Hart believes there could be a major sell-off in emerging market currencies. "I think high inflation and current account deficit is a concern in India," he said.
He is positive on the long-term India growth story. However, he feels India is still expensive compared to other EMs at the moment.
"The Reserve Bank of India could consider cutting interest rates," he said.
Talking about his sector picks, Hart said, he is positive on oil & gas and is focused on infrastructure. "We are cautious on banks and think consumer stocks are very high valued at the moment."
Below is an edited transcript of his interview with CNBC-TV18's managing editor Udayan Mukherjee. Watch the accompanying video for more.
Q: What is your short-term view of the situation in Europe right now?
A: It's very difficult to call the short-term in markets at the moment because so much will be event driven be it what happens in Greece, how European authorities either protect Greece or deal with any default situation that develops, it will be how the banking system is protected because clearly the banking system is very vulnerable to sovereign default in Europe and a whole lot of issues around that which will depict how markets perform on the downside or how quickly they will pick up. As soon as risk aversion is normalized, I would expect EMs to outperform. Key issues are – we have a lot of serious questions about the financial system in Europe to a lesser extent in America.
Q: When we get to 2012 we have the reality of a fairly weak economic performance expected in Europe and in the US. How do EMs do in that kind of backdrop? What happens once this immediate European problem is addressed one way or the other?
A. If you look at 2010-2011, global growth has actually been 3.6%. That's actually the 40 year average for global GDP. So growth overall has very much been inline with long term averages. What has changed is that 80% of that growth is coming from emerging markets. So that's a major change.
If you look back 20-30 years ago, it was developed markets were driving the global economy now its emerging markets driving that global economy. In a way, emerging markets are already performing extremely well and really are driving the economy. If the European financial system was to be impaired by what is happening in the euro now that would clearly be very negative for European growth. I think EMs will continue to grow at much higher rates than Europe.
Q. Do you think it's conceivable that we continue to have a bear market of sorts in the developed world but a bull market of sorts however modest in the emerging world?
A. The world is globalised and that is a lesson of the 2008 global financial crisis. Everyone had an issue of whether the spark came from America. If Europe has continuing issues everyone will have issues as well with the spark coming from Europe this time rather than the US. It would be naive to expect that EMs will have very strong growth in the event of a major default or major recession in Europe but they will have significantly better growth overtime.
Q: Are EMs concern centered only around the developed world because in the last few weeks we have been increasingly hearing from China saying there might be a hard landing and that's probably rattling a few investors in the region?
A: We talked to a lot of people on the ground in China. At the margin, China's economy is weakening so cement volumes are weak in certain places, property prices have been falling at certain places, property volumes are a bit weaker and railway construction has slowed partly due to safety concerns. As we look at the economy incrementally, it's definitely slowing.
If you look at the credit picture in China, they are running a very tight policy stance. If you are a private company its difficult for you to get funds to run your business, to get working capital and to grow. There are issues around what is happening in China. We will be watching very closely the policy environment in China going forward. It's going to be very important, not just for EMs but for the whole world given it's a huge source of demand particularly for commodities.
2G saga: Court to frame charges against 17 accused tomorrow
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Occupy Wall Street movement
Latest Articles on Occupy Wall Street movement
The protesters of Occupy Wall Street have faced down the police and the city but perhaps its biggest challenger will be the bitter New York winter.
Could "Occupy Wall Street" be the Tea Party of the left? President Barack Obama has dared compare them but both groups see red at the suggestion.
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More Articles about Occupy Wall Street movement
Occupy Wall Street
|This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.|
|Occupy Wall Street|
|Part of the "Occupy" protests|
|Adbusters poster promoting the start date of the occupation, September 17.|
Several hundred "core" demonstrators
Other activity in NYC:
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is an ongoing series of demonstrations in New York City based in Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street financial district, and were initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters. Participants are mainly protestingsocial and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the power and influence of corporations, particularly from the financial service sector, and of lobbyists, over government. The participants' slogan "We are the 99%" refers to thedifference in wealth between the top 1% and the other citizens of the United States.
By October 9, similar demonstrations were either ongoing or had been held in 70 major cities and over 600 communities in the U.S., including the estimated 100,000 people who demonstrated on October 15. Internationally, other"Occupy" protests have modeled themselves after Occupy Wall Street, in over 900 cities worldwide.
In mid-2011, the Canadian-based group Adbusters Media Foundation, best known for its advertisement-free anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters, proposed a peaceful occupation of Wall Street to protest corporate influence on democracy, address a growing disparity in wealth, and the absence of legal repercussions behind the recent global financial crisis. According to the senior editor of the magazine, "[they] basically floated the idea in mid-July into our [email list] and it was spontaneously taken up by all the people of the world, it just kind of snowballed from there." They promoted the protest with a poster featuring a dancer atop Wall Street's iconic Charging Bull. Also in July, they stated that, "Beginning from one simple demand – a presidential commission to separate money from politics – we start setting the agenda for a new America." Activists from Anonymous also encouraged its followers to take part in the protest which increased the attention it received calling protesters to "flood lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street".
Adbusters' Kalle Lasn, when asked why it took three years after Lehman Brothers' implosion for people to storm the streets said:
When the financial meltdown happened, there was a feeling that, "Wow, things are going to change. Obama is going to pass all kinds of laws, and we are going to have a different kind of banking system, and we are going to take these financial fraudsters and bring them to justice." There was a feeling like, "Hey, we just elected a guy who may actually do this." In a way, there wasn't this desperate edge. Among the young people there was a very positive feeling. And then slowly this feeling that he's a bit of a gutless wonder slowly crept in, and now we're despondent again.
Although it was originally proposed by Adbusters magazine, the demonstration is leaderless. Other groups began to join the protest, including the NYC General Assembly and U.S. Day of Rage. The protests have brought together people of many political positions. A report in CNN said that protesters "got really lucky" when gathering at Zuccotti Park since it was private property and police could not legally force them to move off of it; in contrast, police have authority to remove protesters without permits from city parks.
Prior to the protest's beginning on September 17, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press conference, "People have a right to protest, and if they want to protest, we'll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it." The protests have been compared to "the movements that sprang up against corporate globalization at the end of 1990s, most visibly at the World Trade Organization summit in Seattle" and also to the World Social Forum, a series in opposition to the World Economic Forum, sharing similar origins. A significant part of the protest is the use of the slogan, "We are the 99%," which was partly intended as a protest of recent trends regarding increases in the share of annual total income going to the top 1% of income earners in the United States.
Demands and goals
Perceptions vary as to the specific goals of the movement. According to Adbusters, a primary protest organizer, the central demand of the protest is that President Obama "ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington". Documentary film maker Michael Moore said that this protest, unlike others, represents a variety of demands with a common statement, about government corruption and the excessive influence of big business and the wealthiest 1% on U.S. laws and policies. Some protesters say that the President has become irrelevant, and that the other 99% should lead and inspire change. Some media reports characterize Occupy as being opposed to capitalism, and quote participants who are opposed to capitalism.
After two weeks, wrote Salon, the encampment split along two lines: those who want to draft focused demands about the unequal distribution of wealth in the United States; and those who want the protest to remain amorphous and to grow through spectacle. Participatory online discussion forums have been emerging for citizens to submit and vote for specific agenda items.
A "proposal" forum post on occupywallst.org submitted by a single user was misreported as an official list of demands. According to the admin-edited forum post, "[the] content was not published by the OccupyWallSt.org collective, nor was it ever proposed or agreed to on a consensus basis with the NYC General Assembly. There is NO official list of demands." The protest has been criticized for lack of focus and actionable agenda. Ginia Bellafante wrote in The New York Times, "The group's lack of cohesion and its apparent wish to pantomime progressivism rather than practice it knowledgeably is unsettling in the face of the challenges so many of its generation face – finding work, repaying student loans, figuring out ways to finish college when money has run out." Glenn Greenwald responded, "Does anyone really not know what the basic message is of this protest: that Wall Street is oozing corruption and criminality and its unrestrained political power—in the form of crony capitalism and ownership of political institutions—is destroying financial security for everyone else?"
On October 8, an editorial in the New York Times said it is not the job of the protesters to draft legislation; that's the job of the nation's leaders, and if they had been doing it all along there might not be a need for these marches and rallies. Because they have not, the public airing of grievances is a legitimate and important end in itself, the Times said. When interviewed by CNBC, a women who had traveled to the NYC protest from her occupy group in Maine said, "I don't think we should issue a list of demands at all. That's not what this is about. It's about creating a new kind of community, of showing people a new way of relating to one another."
On October 12, the Washington Post asked Kalle Lasn about how he saw the global revolution playing out and how he responded to the criticism of the movement being leaderless and having no focus. He replied, "The initial phase of the revolution, what we are seeing right now, is leaderless, and the protesters are not hopping into bed with any party, even the Democratic party ... As the winter approaches, I think there will be different phases and ideas, possibly fragmentation into different agendas. I think crystal-clear demands will emanate ... The messy, leaderless, demandless movement has launched a national conversation of the likes that we haven't had in 20 years. That's as good as it gets! Not every one needs to have a leader with clear demands. That's the old way of launching revolutions. This revolution is run by the Internet generation, with egalitarian ways of looking at things, and an inclusive process of getting everyone involved. That's the magic of it."
On October 15, an Occupy Wall Street "Demands Working Group" was formed and then "...established a website and fairly educated/articulated list of solutions," including a call for a national convention to be held July 4, 2012, in Philadelphia, according toHuffington Post's Tyler Kingkade.
According to Fordham University communications professor Paul Levinson, the Occupy Wall Street and related movements represent a resurgence of direct democracy where people collectively make decisions for themselves without having elected leaders. Academics who study grassroots democracy are searching for historical examples of leaderless movements as major political parties contemplate how to embrace or distance themselves from the protesters.
The protesters include persons of a variety of political orientations, including liberals, political independents, anarchists,socialists, libertarians, and environmentalists. At the protest's start, the majority of the demonstrators were young;however, as the protest grew the age of the protesters became more diverse, mostly related to the use of social networks. Religious beliefs are diverse as well. On October 10 the Associated Press reported that "there's a diversity of age, gender and race" at the protest.
Some news organizations have compared the protest to a left-leaning version of the Tea Party protests. Some left-leaning academics and activists expressed concern that it may become co-opted by the Democratic party.
Polls and surveys
On October 2, 2011, New York Magazine published the results of a survey of 100 protest participants. When asked about their views of capitalism, 46 stated that they believe capitalism "isn't fundamentally evil; it just needs to be regulated", while 37 believed that capitalism "can't be saved; it's inherently immoral". When asked if they voted in the 2010 midterm election, 39 answered "yes", 55 answered "no", and 5 answered "no, but only because I wasn't 18". When asked about their thoughts on Obama, 40 said they "believed in him, but were let down", one said "he's doing great", 22 "said he's doing the best he can", and 27 "never believed in him".
An October 11 poll showed that 54% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the protests, compared to 27% for the Tea Party movement, and up from 38% in a poll conducted October 6–10. An October 13 survey by Time Magazine found that 54 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of the protests, while 23 percent have a negative impression. An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey found that 37 percent of respondents "tend to support" the movement, while 18 percent "tend to oppose" it.
On Oct. 10 and 11, the polling firm Penn, Schoen & Berland interviewed nearly 200 protesters. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, 98% would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and 31% would support violence to advance their agenda. Most are employed; 15% are unemployed. Most had supported Obama; now they are evenly divided. 65% say government has a responsibility to guarantee access to affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement. They support raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and are divided on whether the bank bailouts were necessary.
In the Wall Street Journal, Douglas Schoen wrote that the protesters reflect "values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people" and have "a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector, and protectionist policies to keep American jobs from going overseas," and that politicians who support them will be hurt in the 2012 elections However, other authors said Schoen misrepresented his results. When asked, "What frustrates you the most about the political process in the United States", 30% said, "Influence of corporate/moneyed/special interests." Only 6% said "Income inequality" and 3% said, "Our democratic/capitalist system." When asked, "What would you like to see the Occupy Wall Street movement achieve", 35% said "Influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP" and 11% said, "Break the two-party duopoly." Only 4% said "Radical redistribution of wealth."
A poll conducted October 12–16 found that 67% of New York City voters agreed with the protesters and 87% agreed with their right to protest. Support was split down party lines, with 81 percent of the Democrats saying they backed the protests, while only 35 percent of Republicans supported them.
According to a survey of Zucotti Park protesters by the Baruch College School of Public Affairs published on October 19, of 1,619 web respondents, 1/3 were older than 35, half were employed full-time, 13% were unemployed and 13% earned over $75,000. 27.3% of the respondents called themselves Democrats, 2.4% called themselves Republicans, while the rest, 70%, called themselves independents
Organizational processes and infrastructure
While the organization calls itself leaderless, the protest in Zuccotti Park has discernable "organizers", according to analysis by Fordham University sociologist Heather Gautney, as well as "stations" that coordinate protest activities and functions (e.g., medical, food, legal, media, security), as well as organizational processes for decision making.
New York City General Assembly
According to the Columbia Journalism Review's New Frontier Database, "The New York City General Assembly (NYCGA) is the governing body of New York City's Occupy Wall Street; it meets every evening at 19:00, where all the committees come and discuss their thoughts and needs. It is open to all who want to attend, and anyone can speak. And while there is no named leader, some of the members do routinely moderate the general assembly meetings. [Various volunteers] update the minutes from every meeting, along with other need-to-know information for organizers. Agreement on issues is reached using the consensus decision-making process."
New York City requires a permit to use "amplified sound", including electric bullhorns. Since Occupy Wall Street does not have such a permit, the protesters created the "Human Microphone" in which a speaker pauses while the nearby members of the audience repeats the phrase (somewhat) in unison. The effect has been called "comic or exhilarating—often all at once." Some feel this provided a further unifying effect for the crowd.
A separate section is set aside for an information/media area which contains laptop computers, cameras, gas-powered generators, and several wireless routers. The generators also provide power for cell phones, and Internet access is available throughout Zucotti Park via these wireless routers. According to the Columbia Journalism Review's New Frontier Database, the media team, while unofficial, runs websites like Occupytogether.org, video livestream, a "steady flow of updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr" as well as Skype sessions with other Occupy-themed protest sites such as in Scotland.
The library provides free access to a collection of books, magazines, newspapers, 'zines, pamphlets and other materials that have been donated, collected, gathered and discovered during the occupation. In addition to the physical collection, the library maintains a web site and an online catalog that is updated as materials are received, and posts updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
On October 6, it was reported that Brookfield Office Properties, which owns Zuccotti Park, had issued a statement which said, "Sanitation is a growing concern... Normally the park is cleaned and inspected every weeknight[, but] because the protesters refuse to cooperate ... the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16 and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels."
Bloomberg News reported on October 10 that "[t]he ground is mostly free of litter" and committees had formed to handle sanitation and comfort issues. As of October 11, a special 311 hotline set up by the Department of Sanitation had not received a single complaint about sanitation at the park.
Many protesters have taken to using the bathrooms of nearby business establishments; one nearby McDonald's restaurant "has become the movement's unofficial latrine". Supporters in New York have also donated use of their bathrooms for showers and the sanitary needs of protesters.
The protesters have constructed a greywater treatment system to recycle dishwater contaminants.The filtered water is used for the park's plants and flowers.
On October 13, New York City's mayor Bloomberg and Zuccotti Park owner Brookfield Properties announced that the park must be vacated for cleaning the following morning at 7 am. However, protestors vowed to "defend the occupation" after police said they wouldn't allow them to return with sleeping bags and other gear following the cleaning, under rules set by the private park's owner—and many protestors spent the night sweeping and mopping the park. The next morning, the property owner postponed its cleaning effort. Having prepared for a confrontation with police to prevent the cleaning effort from proceeding, some protestors clashed with police in riot gear outside city hall even after it was canceled.
Sleeping arrangements, food, and clothing
Somewhere between 100 and 200 people sleep in Zuccotti Park. Because tents are not allowed at Zucotti Park, the protesters that do decide to spend the night sleep in sleeping bags or under blankets. Some blankets and other supplies have been donated.
The Occupied Kitchen costs about $1,000 a day. Volunteers have a Costco account and buy food in the Red Hook Fairway. There are homeless hangers-on, but they're not typical. Some visitors are eating in fast-food restaurants. Volunteers dole out sleeping bags and clothes. The contribution boxes raise $5,000 a day, and supplies come in from around the country. One morning, 90 shipments arrived from around the country, of supplies like rain ponchos and tents. Eric Smith, a chef who was laid off at the Sheraton in Midtown, said that he was running a five-star restaurant in the park.
New York City police
The police department has assigned Rick Lee, a community relations detective assigned to the First Precinct to duty at the demonstration. His duties are to communicate with the protestors on behalf of the police department and to gather information regarding their planned activities.
Cost to the City
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly reported on October 7 that Occupy Wall Street has cost the Police Department $1.9 million in overtime. As of October 12, the overtime cost had risen to $3.2 million.
Crime Within the Demonstrators
Demonstrators at Wall Street have complained of thefts of assorted items such as cameras, phones, and laptops. Thieves also stole $2500 of donations that were stored in a makeshift kitchen. At Occupy Cleveland, a 19 year old student claims that she was raped by a fellow demonstrator.
Chronology of events
Week 1 (September 17–23)
On September 17, 1,000 protesters marched through the streets, with an estimated 100 to 200 staying overnight in cardboard boxes. By September 19, seven people had been arrested.
Week 2 (September 24–30)
September 24: Street marches, mesh nets, and first pepper-spraying
At least 80 arrests were made on September 24, after protesters started marching uptown and forcing the closure of several streets. Most of the 80 arrests were for blocking traffic, though some were also charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Police officers have also been using a technique called kettling which involves using orange nets to isolate protesters into smaller groups.
Videos which showed several penned-in female demonstrators being pepper-sprayed by a police official were widely disseminated, sparking controversy. That police official, later identified as Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, was shown in other videos hitting a photographer with a burst of spray.
Initially Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and a representative for Bologna defended his actions, while decrying the disclosure of his personal information. After growing public furor, Kelly announced that Internal Affairs and the Civilian Complaint Review Board were opening investigations, again criticizing Anonymous for "[trying] to intimidate, putting the names of children, where children go to school", and adding that this tactic was "totally inappropriate, despicable." Meanwhile, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. started his own inquiry.
Public attention to the pepper-sprayings resulted in a spike of news media coverage, a pattern that was to be repeated in the coming weeks following confrontations with police. Clyde Haberman, writing in The New York Times, said that "If the Occupy Wall Street protesters ever choose to recognize a person who gave their cause its biggest boost, they may want to pay tribute to Anthony Bologna", calling the event "vital" for the still nascent movement.
Week 3 (October 1–7)
October 1: March on Brooklyn Bridge and mass arrests
On October 1, 2011, protesters set out to march across the Brooklyn Bridge. The New York Times reported that more than 700 arrests were made. The police used ten buses to carry protesters off the bridge. Jesse A. Myerson, a media coordinator for Occupy Wall Street said, "The cops watched and did nothing, indeed, seemed to guide us onto the roadway."However, some statements by protesters supported descriptions of the event given by police: for example, one protester tweeted that "The police didn't lead us on to the bridge. They were backing the fuck up." A spokesman for the New York Police Department, Paul Browne, said that protesters were given multiple warnings to stay on the sidewalk and not block the street, and were arrested when they refused. By October 2, all but 20 of the arrestees had been released with citations for disorderly conduct and a criminal court summons. The following day, drivers of the City Bus program sued the New York Police Department for "commandeering their buses" and forcing them to cart detained protesters. On October 4, a group of protesters who were arrested on the bridge filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging that officers had violated their constitutional rights by luring them into a trap and then arresting them; Mayor Bloomberg, commenting previously on the incident, had said that "[t]he police did exactly what they were supposed to do".
October 5: Rushing of barricades and second pepper-spraying
On October 5, joined by union members, students, and the unemployed, the demonstration swelled to the largest yet with an estimated 15,000 marchers joining the protest. Smaller protests continue in cities and on college campuses across the country.
Thousands of union workers joined protesters marching through the Financial District. The march was mostly peaceful – until after nightfall, when scuffles erupted. About 200 protesters tried to storm barricades blocking them from Wall Street and the Stock Exchange. Police responded with pepper spray and penned the protesters in with orange netting.
Week 4 (October 8–14)
Inspired by Occupy Wall Street, British protesters organized an occupation of the London Stock Exchange to bring attention to what they saw as unethical behavior on the part of banks. One of the organizers of the protest said the protests are focused against "increasing social and economic injustice in this country". In his opinion, "the Government has made sure to maintain the status quo and let the people who caused this crisis get off scot-free, whilst conversely ensuring that the people of this country pay the price, in particular those most vulnerable."
Week 5 (October 15–21)
On October 15, tens of thousands of demonstrators staged rallies in 900 cities around the world, including Auckland, Sydney, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, and many other cities. In Frankfurt, 5,000 people protested at the European Central Bank and in Zurich, Switzerland's financial hub, protesters carried banners reading "We won't bail you out yet again" and "We are the 99 percent." Protests were largely peaceful, however a protest in Rome that drew thousands turned violent when "a few thousand thugs from all over Italy, and possibly from all over Europe" caused extensive damage. Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in Times Square in New York City and rallied for several hours. Several hundred protesters were arrested across the U.S., mostly for refusing to obey police orders to leave public areas. In Chicago there were 175 arrests, about 100 arrests in Arizona (53 in Tucson, 46 in Phoenix), and more than 70 in New York City, including at least 40 in Times Square. Multiple arrests were reported in Chicago, and about 150 people camped out by city hall in Minneapolis.
During an October 6 news conference, President Obama said "I think it expresses the frustrations the American people feel, that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country ... and yet you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on the abusive practices that got us into this in the first place." When Jake Tapper of ABC News pushed Obama to explain the fact that his administration hasn't prosecuted any Wall Street executives who didn't play by the rules, he replied, "One of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehman's and the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasn't necessarily illegal; it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless." On October 18, when interviewed by ABC news, he said "in some ways, they're not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party. Both on the left and the right, I think people feel separated from their government. They feel that their institutions aren't looking out for them."
Vice President Joe Biden likened the protest to the Tea Party, saying, "What are the people up there on the other end of the political spectrum saying? The same thing: 'Look guys, the bargain is not on the level anymore.' In the minds of the vast majority of the American – the middle class is being screwed."
2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain accused the movement of being "anti-capitalist" and argued "Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself!" Republican Ron Paul came out to refute Cain by saying, "the system has been biased against the middle class and the poor...the people losing jobs, it wasn't their fault that we've followed a deeply flawed economic system." In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cain also expressed his belief that Occupation Wall Street was "planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration", but admitted that he "[didn't] have facts" to back up his accusation.
U.S. Congressman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX) stated, "If they were demonstrating peacefully, and making a point, and arguing our case, and drawing attention to the Fed – I would say, 'good!'"
2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney did admit that there were 'bad actors,' and the need for them to be 'found and plucked out.' Yet, he believes to aim at one industry or region of America is a mistake and encouraging the Occupy Wall Street protests as "dangerous" and inciting "class warfare". He has since softened his initial statement and said, "I look at what's happening on Wall Street and my view is, boy, I understand how those people feel."
2012 Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer expressed support for the movement.
House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, said she supports the growing nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement. Pelosi said she includes herself in the group of Americans dissatisfied with Congress.
Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who caucuses with the Democratic Party, appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermannand supported the protests saying, "We desperately need a coming together of working people to stand up to Wall Street. We need to rebuild the middle-class in this country and you guys can't have it all."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va), in a speech to a Values Voter Summit, characterized the movement as "growing mobs" and said that President Barack Obama's "failed policies" and rhetoric "condon[ing] the pitting of Americans against Americans" were to blame. In response, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney noted Cantor's apparent "hypocrisy unbound", pointing out the Majority Leader's support of the Tea Party Protests and adding, "I can't understand how one man's mob is another man's democracy. I think both are expressions that are totally consistent with the American democratic tradition."
In an interview with The Washington Post, Former Democratic U.S. Senator Russ Feingold endorsed the movement on October 5 stating, "This is like the Tea Party – only it's real... By the time this is over, it will make the Tea Party look like ... a tea party."
The Democratic co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representatives Raúl Grijalva and Keith Ellison announced their solidarity with the movement on October 4. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is asking for 100,000 names on its website which will subsequently be added to 100,000 letters to Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantorexpressing support for the Occupy Wall Street protesters, the middle class, and condemnation of millionaires, big oil, and big bankers.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the protests "aren't productive", although he also expressed sympathy for some of their complaints. On October 8, during his weekly radio show, Bloomberg complained that the protestors are trying to "take the jobs from the people working in the city", and said that although "[t]here are some people with legitimate complaints, there are some people who just like to protest".
Federal Reserve and Bank of Canada
During a hearing before the Joint Economic Committee October 4, 2011, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said, "[P]eople are quite unhappy with the state of the economy and what's happening. They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess, and they're dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington. And at some level, I can't blame them. Certainly, 9 percent unemployment and very slow growth is not a good situation." Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard W. Fishersaid that he was "somewhat sympathetic" to the views of the protestors, and added, "We have too many people out of work. We have a veryuneven distribution of income. We have a very frustrated people, and I can understand their frustration."
Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney cited income inequality and economic performance as the main motivators, calling the protests "entirely constructive".
Various unions, including the Transport Workers Union of America Local 100 and the New York Metro 32BJ Service Employees International Union have pledged their support for demonstrators. On October 3, Transport Workers Union bus drivers sued the New York Police Department for ordering their buses to drive to the Brooklyn Bridge to pick up detained protesters. Union President John Samuelsen said, "We're down with these protesters. We support the notion that rich folk are not paying their fair share. Our bus operators are not going to be pressed into service to arrest protesters anywhere." On October 5, representatives from more than 14 of the country's largest labor unions intended to join the protesters for a mass rally and march.
Noting the growing union support, an article in the liberal Mother Jones magazine said that union support could splinter and derail the protests rather than sustain them because while unions are tightly organized, hierarchical, and run with a clear chain of command, Occupy Wall Street is the opposite in that they are "a horizontal, autonomous, leaderless, modified-consensus-based system with roots in anarchist thought". However, the article went on to suggest that joined together they could work to create a progressive movement that "effectively taps into the rising feeling among many Americans that economic opportunity has been squashed by corporate greed and the influence of the very rich in politics".
1% with the 99%
Several wealthy supporters have joined to support the protest, and have started a blog, westandwiththe99percent in which they say, "I am the 1%. I stand with the 99%," and give their stories.
H.L. Hunt's granddaughter, Leah Hunt-Hendrix, 28, a doctoral student at Princeton writing her dissertation on the history of solidarity, joined OWS protesters, and said. "We should acknowledge our privilege and claim the responsibilities that come with it."
Farhad Ebrahimi, 33, has been participating in the Occupy Boston protest wearing a T-shirt that says, "Tax me. I'm good for it."
On September 19, Roseanne Barr, the first celebrity to endorse the protest, spoke to protesters calling for a combination of capitalism and socialism and a system not based on "bloated talk radio hosts and that goddamn Ayn Rand book."
Educator and author Cornel West addressed the frustrations that some critics have expressed at the protest's lack of a clear and unified message, saying, "It's impossible to translate the issue of the greed of Wall Street into one demand, or two demands. We're talking about a democratic awakening."
Canadian writer Naomi Klein supported the protest, saying, "This is not the time to be looking for ways to dismiss a nascent movement against the power of capital, but to do the opposite: to find ways to embrace it, support it and help it grow into its enormous potential. With so much at stake, cynicism is a luxury we simply cannot afford."
Filmmaker Michael Moore spoke against Wall Street, saying, "They have tried to take our democracy and turn it into a kleptocracy." Rapper Lupe Fiasco, one of the initial supporters of Occupy Wall Street, wrote a poem, "Moneyman", for the protest. Susan Sarandon spoke at the demonstration saying, "I came down here to educate myself.... There's a huge void between the rich and the poor in this country." Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo has supported the Occupy Wall Street protest saying, "Peaceful Resistance. That is what changes the world. We must be peaceful. This movement is about decency."
On October 9, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek gave a speech on Wall Street in which he expressed support for the protests and criticized the capitalist system and the corporations saying that, "They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers. We are awakening from a dream which is turning into a nightmare. We are not destroying anything. We are only witnessing how the system is destroying itself", but also warned that they must not forget why they're there or else the protest might lose its meaning.
Other celebrities lending their support include Anti-Flag, Margaret Atwood, John Carlos, Noam Chomsky, David Graeber,Chris Hedges, Stéphane Hessel, Immortal Technique, Paul Krugman, Jeff Madrick, Radiohead, Russell Simmons, George Soros, Joseph Stiglitz, Jimmy Wales, Kanye West, and Richard D. Wolff,
Conservative radio talk show hosts have commented on the movement. Rush Limbaugh told his listening audience on his October 5 show that: "When I was 10 years old I was more self-sufficient than this parade of human debris calling itself Occupy Wall Street." Glenn Becksaid, "Capitalists, if you think that you can play footsies with these people, you are wrong. They will come for you and drag you into the streets and kill you. They will do it. They're not messing around".
Think tanks and public policy organizations have analyzed the movement. In October 2011, Mike Brownfield of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, argued that rejection of the capitalist system and the policies that OWS protesters advocate, including limits on trade and student loan forgiveness, would not lead to improved economic conditions for unemployed Americans. According to Brownfield, the Foundation believes it is "right to decry out-of-control bailouts and corporate subsidies" and there are valid concerns regarding the economy, unemployment rates and low job creation. However, Heritage argued that capitalism is key to improving the economy and that the movement is focusing on the wrong solutions to the problems they protest: it should be protesting the expansion of government instead of calling for more government intervention.
A group of politically conservative bloggers organized a website entitled "We Are the 53%"—referring to the 53% of Americans who pay federal income taxes—criticizing the movement, modeled on the "We Are the 99%" website. Virginia-based musician and humorist Remy Munasifi released a song, in the style of Bob Dylan, called "Occupy Wall Street Protest Song," which criticized the protesters for not recognizing, in his opinion, how well off they actually are.
Local residents of the area surrounding Zucotti Park have voiced various complaints about the demonstrations. A caller to a radio show complained that the park has been rendered "unusable" by the protestors, and that "a general atmosphere of incivility", together with loud shouting and drums, prevailed; another complained that the drums from the protest, which he said "start in the morning" and get louder in the evening until 11:30 pm, made it difficult for his children to sleep or do their homework. Another resident complained that protestors had been vandalizing and urinating in the vestibule to his apartment building. Responding to a caller complaining about noise and incivility at the park, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said "we couldn't agree more".
President Dilma Rousseff said, "We agree with some of the expressions that some movements have used around the world [in] demonstrations like the ones we see in the US and other countries."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that because there was nothing like a Canadian TARP program, he did not think Canadians were as angry as Americans. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expressed sympathy with the protests, citing high unemployment amongst the youth.
The Chinese state news agency Xinhua said the protests had exposed "fundamental problems" with the US economic and political systems, and that it showed "a clear need for Washington, which habitually rushes to demand other governments to change when there are popular protests in their countries, to put its own house in order."
Prime Minister George Papandreou supported the U.S. protests saying, "We fight for changing the global economic system, like many anti-Wall Street citizens who rightly protest against the inequalities and injustices of the system."
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated, "There are reasons why people are protesting. People are protesting in Wall Street, in Europe about the fat salaries that the bankers are getting when people are being asked to tighten their belts. There is problem of growing unemployment in the United States. There is also worry in Europe. So there are problems which the system must have credible answers to take them on board."
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei commented that the protests are because a "corrupt foundation has been exposed to the American people."
The Korean Central News Agency of DPRK commented that the Occupy Wall Street movement were "in protest against exploitation and oppression by capital, shaking all fabrics of society."
Lech Wałęsa, former president of Poland and cofounder of the Polish Solidarity Movement has expressed his support for Occupy Wall Street and is considering a visit to the site.
Former Premier Mikhail Gorbachev compared it to the perestroika period and the collapse of a superpower, calling the protests justified. He said Americans should put their own house in order before attempting to do such with other countries.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez condemned the "horrible repression" of the Occupy Wall Street activists and expressed solidarity with the movement.
The protests began on Saturday, September 17. Coverage of the event occurred on September 17, stared by foreign press Al Jazeera.  The following Wednesday,The New York Observer reported on the nascent protests in Zuccotti Park.On Friday, September 23, Ginia Bellafante panned the movement in The New York Times. Five days into the protest, Keith Olbermann criticized the media for failing to cover the protests. Joanna Weiss of The Boston Globe found it difficult to take the protests seriously, criticizing Occupy Wall Street for its "circus" atmosphere." In a September 27 article, Lauren Ellis of Mother Jones magazine criticized the movement's lack of a clear message.
Media theorist Douglas Rushkoff criticized the mainstream media for dismissing the protesters. "Anyone who says he has no idea what these folks are protesting is not being truthful. Whether we agree with them or not, we all know what they are upset about, and we all know that there are investment bankers working on Wall Street getting richer while things for most of the rest of us are getting tougher." Rushkoff says that Occupy Wall Street is the first true Internet-era movement, and as such, it does not have a charismatic leader or particular endpoint. Unlike a traditional protest which identifies the enemy and fights for a particular solution, Rushkoff concludes that the protest is less about victory than sustainability, inclusion and consensus.
By October 4, economist Richard Wolff commented that the unclear shape of the movement is "mostly irrelevant" at this early stage and the priority should be to invite all interested parties. Kalle Lasn, co-founder of Adbusters, believed that the protests had gone mainstream and expressed the opinion that "it's become kind of a political left movement in the U.S., hopefully to rival the Tea Party". Appearing on CBS's The Early Show on Saturday, October 8, Michael Daly, of Newsweek and The Daily Beastcharacterized the position of the protestors as a "feeling that there is just a fundamental unfairness. From their point of view, the very people who almost wrecked the U.S. economy on Wall Street continue to get wealthy while working people are struggling to pay their bills. I mean, it comes down to that." On October 11, Katrina vanden Heuvel, who writes a weekly column for The Post and is the editor and publisher of The Nation, said that many if not most of the protesters are wary about embracing the progressive establishment and have concerns about being co-opted. However, she went on to say that, "most understand that the main task ahead is growing the movement, and that may mean going to where the injustice is – to where people are being evicted from foreclosed homes or losing jobs". Pointing to recent legislation, she suggests that the movement has already influenced public dialogue.
MSNBC's Technolog noted that policymakers had failed to address economic problems, and news media had failed to cover the unemployment crisis: "Tracking CNN, MSNBC and Fox, Think Progress found 7,583 mentions of the word 'debt,' compared to 427 mentions of 'unemployment' on all three networks combined." NM Incite said 22% of tweets using the #OccupyWallStreet hashtag voiced general support for the movement, 11% indicated participation in it, 5% described celebrity support, 11% were complaints against the movement, 13% shared news, 6% shared videos, 4% blamed government, 2% blamed President Obama, and 1% blamed capitalism. Douglas Rushkoffcalls Occupy Wall Street, "America's first true Internet-era movement."
Other U.S. protests
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- ^ Dan Rather: Force Behind OWS 'Is a Woman Operating Out of Her Apartment in New York'
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- ^ Joanna Walters in Seattle. "Occupy America: protests against Wall Street and inequality hit 70 cities | World news | The Observer". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
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- ^ Derek Thompson, Occupy the World: The '99 Percent' Movement Goes Global October 11, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
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- ^ Adam, K. (October 16, 2011) "Occupy Wall Street Protests Continue Worldwide" Washington Post
- ^ a b "Tax Data Show Richest 1 Percent Took a Hit in 2008, But Income Remained Highly Concentrated at the Top." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Accessed October 2011.
- ^ "By the Numbers."