A New York City police officer deploys a chemical weapon directly into the face of an unarmed female protester at point-blank range at SW Yamhill, between the JP Morgan Chase bank and Pioneer Courthouse Square. People gathered on the east side of the Steel bridge earlier in the morning to demonstrate in support of the Occupy movement, on the day known as N17. Several people were arrested and the march continued over the lower span of the bridge into downtown, where a rally was planned. Later in the day people were arrested in a Wells Fargo branch downtown for trying to withdraw their own money.
Is this the kind of democracy and freedoms our founding father’s wanted for Americans when signing the constitution?
The history of the United States is rich with progress, innovation and providing freedoms that most other countries around the world only dream of. At least that’s what we were naively taught to believe growing up.
In light of the obvious and blatant stripping of civil liberties and atrocities that have been picked out from a plethora of injustices on Occupy Wall Street protesters, and since the birth of this nation, none has so greatly affected the very state of our rights as human beings as the founders that spoke to our indelible rights, that all men are equal.
But in the face of such a highly held creed, Thomas Jefferson, while a noble gentleman of his time and with great conviction helped write the constitution with a feverish and righteous tone, all the while though he owned slaves. The act in itself speaks volumes of his endevour between stating what was should be held as right and just and actually living up to that modo is a much more stark contrast of reality looking back.
It’s in the hypocrisy of Jefferson’s deeds that partly shaped the foundation to which we as Americans hold this country in its highest regard, while underneath the sacred words within the constitution lay a discord of contradictions to a piece of great literature which still holds to this day worthy of being arguably, one of the most profound statements in the history of humanity. While our sense of historical facts were brought about by an incredibly intelligent man seemingly whose sense of moral justice was keen, he was a politician, a man of power, and his actions spoke a much ominous tone.
While we find ourselves in troubling times still where oppression and intolerance exist, the constitution since its inception, has tried to speak to people’s sense of equality and ideas of right and wrong and to choose a moral path, and rightly so.
Our country was founded on the principles where we sought to rise above the iniquity of tyranny and live as free individuals pursuing that happiness and certain rights that were afforded to us by our founding fathers — and pray tell, in peace.
We’ve been trying to achieve this since the age of enlightenment with the writing of the Bible — our first attempt at trying to understand our world, its people and universe. And even with its juvenile and naively arrogant summation of how everything that came to be in the universe, those words, although contradictory and damaging in many aspect, are still held in high esteemed to this day. Indeed there is no account for rationality when people believe there’s a kingdom of gold and an eternal life of bliss that await after their death.
However, since we as mere mortals are faced with the challenging task to seek that moral high ground, with the written word from our historical perspective, we still find ourselves in the midst of chaos; and at the hand of the most powerful and corrupt people in America — politicians and corporations — the two are uniquely synonymous.
Does anyone think that the constitution really means anything today, especially in light of the police in combat gear inflicting violence on peaceful protesters, and upon journalist, and breaking every basic right that are afforded to Americans by the constitution? The answer is evident.
While Rosa Parks no longer could no longer bear to be pushed aside and treated like as a second class citizen, never more to be sitting behind ‘whites only’ on a bus, her bravery set the civil rights movement in a forward direction for all Americans. The horrific acts that followed that were set upon those who stood in the way of that status quo, however, were met with violence and in many cases, death.
To rise against oppression and injustice is our most ambitious and courageous act that any human being could aspire to achieve. And in those noble moments of standing ones ground in the face of blatant cruelty from our fellow man, whether they’re dressed in police uniform or in a politicians suit and tie, makes it that much more profound a gesture to resist their shortsighted heavy hand of injustice upon peaceful protesters; and yet again still, though the date different, the circumstances dissimilar, the very same brutality sweeps over a movement that challenges corruption at its highest level.
Yes, something needs to be done, and nothing less is a victory. That something is a change that doesn’t favor the most rich, or the corporations that are in the pockets of politicians each bought and paid for from campaign trail up.
While protesting is our basic fundamental rights as Americans, we shout until our throats sore, yet still heard, we lock arms and sit knowing full well the civil disobedience we are partaking in, and we return again to a sweep of raids on the public parks to which we proudly hold our signs of injustice. All this, so the 1% can see and hear just how pissed off every single one of the people who occupy wall street feel about what wall street and our government in Washington did to our dignity and trust — and more so, to our entire country.
It is indeed our dignity and trust that they have stripped away for profits sake when they ‘lawfully’, although unethically, sold off chunks of our mortgages as derivatives to buyers who were eager to buy from sellers who were eager to sell at any expense – and, with the law on their side and no penalties whatsoever enforced. Surely nothing illegal had occurred, but rather something much worse – selling out the American people.
Wall Street bankers, financial firms, mortgage companies and the US government was instrumental of the fiasco that led us into this economic collapse. They got us into this mess, they should be held accountable to get us out of it. Yet there have been no one convicted, much less charged, for the damaging and criminal nature that brought us to economic turmoil.
And there’s a reason for this.
For big corporations, government doesn’t work the same for everyone else outside of it. No, there are privileges given because of manipulations from monies that are greased into the palms of many politicians to persuade their vote in one direction or another — which in turn from law makers (congress) are protected from being penalized.
Sadly, it’s money that rules The United States Congress, and has for quite some time. But now, thousands of Americans who lost their jobs because of the effect Wall Street, they now feel the brunt of what was done by unscrupulous decision making policies in Washington, and the greed from Wall Street corporations, securities firms and banks which were carried out and driven by corporate psychopaths.
There wasn’t just one thing that got us into this economic mess, but a series of actions that set the economic collapse in motion, starting as far back as the Reagan era. The deregulation’s that were enacted by Reagan saw fit to strip away laws that govern transactions that would take monies out of the pocket of the most rich in the nation.
Lobbyist have millions at their disposal to coerce politicians votes, and with that, every ounce of ethics fly out the window and the almighty dollar trumps any shred of moral compass, hands down.
Bill Clinton signed into legislation, laws that would further cut regulations, which gave more power to banks and more money to the most affluent with tax breaks. But we didn’t begin to see the full impact from those deregulation’s until George W. Bush took office and made the most drastic cuts in policies that governed regulations of wall street, the banks, and mortgage lenders. Bush was the home run for his team that won the world series, in terms of making money hand over fist that compromised the entire economic playing field.
Bush’s statement that “every person in American should own a home”, just a few years late, sparked the great foreclosure debacle in history. From his words, and his singing into law, with the help of Ben Burnake cutting interests rates and allowing sub-prime loans to people who in fact wanted to have ‘The American Dream’ of owning a home, mixed for a toxic concoction that put this nation in economic peril.
To that, George W. Bush was singularly responsible for putting this nation in crisis for illegally implementing a war in the middle east for the “War on Terrorism”, which cost this country $1 Trillion dollars, and counting.
The profound and adverse effect that deregulation created from the federal reserved all the way down to loan officers and mortgage lenders knowing full well that these sub-prime loans were a bad deal, although the loans were almost guaranteed that anyone could buy a home, in actuality they couldn’t afford it. But that didn’t stop anyone from getting a house, and the mortgage industry was a willing participant.
The ‘no income qualifying’ loans were spewing out at a rate none has ever before seen. But little did the buyer know or was made aware, that these shady loans would force their financial hand in several years after because of the A.R.M., adjustable rate mortgages, and ‘No Income Verification Stated Loans’. Both had a devastating impact on buyers because in fact no income was necessary to get a loan, and anyone could just “state” their income and on their word, mortgage lenders would finance their loan for a home.
To that, their mortgage began to increase yearly exponentially, until the amount was such that they could no longer afford to pay the mortgage — their debt to income ratio was incredibly disproportionate, making it impossible to pay the exorbitant payment each month — hence the millions of foreclosures that followed.
There were many who were collectively responsible for the millions of foreclosures, the millions of jobs that were lost from of unscrupulous deeds and laws that didn’t protect consumers. But surely, none of this would have happened had regulations been kept in place and the ethics of people saw beyond the profits that they could only greedily presume they would make for themselves.
It was evident government wasn’t going to do anything to help the middle class in their crisis, yet big corporations got their bail out in times of their financial crisis. It was a foregone conclusion that they’d be bailed out by our government, since they were the ones corporate millions of dollars were going to. One hand washes the other.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is a testament to just how despondent tens of thousands of Americans see what the corruption and deregulation has done to this country, and wanting to protest to those inequalities in our country that the very people we put into office, turned their backs on us when we needed them the most. It was clear that politicians in Washington were no longer working for the people, but rather for corporations.
Former Rep. Alan Grayson talks at Brave New Films on November 12, 2011 about Occupy Wall Street and how they have brought the political conversation in America back to where it should be.
There’s a seedy elitist political underbelly that doesn’t want OWS seen or heard, and they’re doing everything possible to meet that objective.
New York’s Mayor Bloomberg and other mayors across the country are at the head of showing us how politically corrupt they are and how they, without any provocation, are stripping the constitutional rights away from the protesters at Occupy Wall Street New York, and many other municipalities.
Mayor Bloomberg’s cronies no doubt are tired of seeing and hearing the OWS protest and because he and his top 1 percent ‘buddies’ are making a stench over OWS movement, their profit persuasions have put a wrench into his next election if something’ isn’t done; and that something is Bloomberg’s enforcing his brutality upon OWS protesters, for in his mind, it is his city, and his police and [he] will do almost anything, and has, to rid the city of OWS protesters.
Keith Olbermann has a special comment about Mayor Bloomberg.
US citizens of all political persuasions are still reeling from images of unparalleled police brutality in a coordinated crackdown against peaceful OWS protesters in cities across the nation this past week. An elderly woman was pepper-sprayed in the face; the scene of unresisting, supine students at UC Davis being pepper-sprayed by phalanxes of riot police went viral online; images proliferated of young women – targeted seemingly for their gender – screaming, dragged by the hair by police in riot gear; and the pictures of a young man, stunned and bleeding profusely from the head, emerged in the record of the middle-of-the-night clearing of Zuccotti Park.
The New York Times reported that “New York cops have arrested, punched, whacked, shoved to the ground and tossed a barrier at reporters and photographers” covering protests. Reporters were asked by NYPD to raise their hands to prove they had credentials: when many dutifully did so, they were taken, upon threat of arrest, away from the story they were covering, and penned far from the site in which the news was unfolding.
The picture darkened still further when Wonkette and Washingtonsblog.com reported that the Mayor of Oakland acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had participated in an 18-city mayor conference call advising mayors on “how to suppress” Occupy protests.
The mainstream media was declaring continually “OWS has no message”. Frustrated, Naomi Wolf reporter of the guardian.co.uk simply asked the OWS protesters. She began soliciting online stating, “What is it you want?” Answers came in from Occupy in the first 15 minutes, she received 100 answers.
Naomi recounts what some of the OWS protesters wrote back to her.
- No. 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics.
Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process.
- No. 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation.
With the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.
- No. 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.
But despite Occupy Wall Street voicing what exactly it is that they want from Wall Street and our government, something sinister was being planned quietly behind their backs.
It turns out that the Department of Homeland Security were coordinating a violent crackdown on OWS protesters on a conference call to several city mayors. One of the 18 leaders who sat in on the call was Portland Mayor Sam Adams. The calls, according to Adams, were organized “to share information about the occupying encampments around the country.” He described the calls to the New York Times as “check-ins to share information and advice on how various cities were handling the demonstrations.”
According to journalist Rick Ellis at the Examiner, Ellis spoke with a Justice official, who claims each of the Occupy raid actions were coordinated with help from not only Homeland Security, but the FBI, and other federal agencies.
For the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be on a call with mayors, the logic of its chain of command and accountability implies that congressional overseers, with the blessing of the White House, told the DHS to authorise mayors to order their police forces – pumped up with millions of dollars of hardware and training from the DHS – to make war on peaceful citizens.
It’s unsurprising that such coordination would demand federal oversight, but it’s also deeply disturbing that a federal agency may have participated in the plot, since the very reason Occupy exists is to address the corruption of the government.
An official said that while local police agencies had received tactical and planning advice from national agencies, the ultimate decision on how each jurisdiction handles the Occupy protests ultimately rests with local law enforcement.
According to this official, in several recent conference calls and briefings, local police agencies were advised to seek a legal reason to evict residents of tent cities, focusing on zoning laws and existing curfew rules.
Agencies were also advised to demonstrate a massive show of police force, including large numbers in riot gear. In particular, the FBI reportedly advised on press relations, with one presentation suggesting that any moves to evict protesters be coordinated for a time when the press was the least likely to be present.
Why on earth though would Congress advise violent militarized reactions against its own peaceful constituents? The answer is straightforward: in recent years, members of Congress have started entering the system as members of the middle class (or upper middle class) – but they are leaving DC privy to vast personal wealth, as we see from the “scandal” of presidential contender Newt Gingrich’s having been paid $1.8m for a few hours’ “consulting” to special interests.
The inflated fees to lawmakers who turn lobbyists are common knowledge, but the notion that congressmen and women are legislating their own companies’ profitsis less widely known – and if the books were to be opened, they would surely reveal corruption on a Wall Street spectrum. Indeed, we do already know that congresspeople are massively profiting from trading on non-public information they have on companies about which they are legislating – a form of insider trading that would send anyone to jail.
Since Occupy is heavily surveilled and infiltrated, it is likely that the DHS and police informers are aware before Occupy itself is of what its emerging agenda is going to look like. If OWS protesters are seeking to legislate away lobbyists’ privileges to earn boundless fees on the legislative process, reforming the banks so they can’t suck money out of fake derivatives products, and, most critically, would be opening the books on a system that allowed members of Congress to profit personally – and immensely – from their own legislation, well anyone who saw those eminent threats would certainly call out the troops on stopping those advances.
There have been many who have voiced their disdain about OWS and how its “annoyance” to their daily lives, and one such Larry M. Elkin of Nyack News and Views and and Founder of Palisades Hudson Financial Group stating, “The Occupy “movement” was never more than a tiny fringe, hyped by breathless coverage of “hundreds” or “thousands” of demonstrators in a park or on a bridge. Tight camera shots and organized shouting can make a small crowd look imposing on a TV screen, as any Persian Gulf theocracy already knows.”
Is it any wonder that a snide and elitist comment would be coming from someone within the financial sector?
Scenes like this below do not look like a “tiny fringe” when they’re taking place around the entire globe on a daily basis.
To be clear, the OWS protesters are in a battle in which members of Congress, with the collusion of the American president and Mayors of major OWS protests, sent violent, organized suppression against the people they are supposed to represent.
Occupy has touched the third rail: personal congressional profits streams. Even though they are, as yet, unaware of what the implications of their movement are, those threatened by the stirrings of their dreams of reform are not.
Our own national leaders, who likely see their own personal wealth under threat from transparency and reform, are now making war upon us. Do everything in your power to protect yourself from harm, your property and your freedoms.
There is no question — democracy throughout the US is being threatened. The right to assemble, the rights of the free press, the right of free speech along with legislators making it more difficult to vote, are stripping away the very core of our democratic society. It’s imperative that we continue on this forward momentum with the Occupy Wall Street movement until we the people have a voice again in this nation that we call home.
And the political and corporate corruption continues.
Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.
The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy.
Basically the banks are stealing our futures. We pay them so we can go to school. We pay them for shelter. We die in wars for them. They destroy our environment, throw us out our homes and they control the government. We can not rely on government to regulate them because they are the government. We live in an oligarchy. The good news is more and more people realize this everyday. We are rising up to resist the illegitimate corporate controlled government.
Details of upcoming actions coming soon. We are just getting started.
The revolution continues worldwide!