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Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

Some of the most important public debate that transformed the political terrain for the 2012 election took place in late 2011 driven by the activists who created the Occupy Wall Street movement. It was the pivotal events of late 2011 set the stage for the tumultuous 2012 election and its titanic sinking of the Right's big money Juggernaut.


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Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

That man is Eric Schnederman. Last night he talked those of us gathered us here for Nertroots Nation and I urge you to watch the video of his speech. He spoke about the Robo-Signing Scandal the distinction between Transactional Change and Transformative Change and the future of the Progressive Movement.

This come from the cover story in the American Prospect about Eric Schnederman's role in the Robo-Signing Scandal. If you can please take the time to read the whole article.

The Man the Banks Fear Most

By Harold Meyerson

The Justice Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the state attorneys general had initiated talks with Bank of America, as well as JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial to arrive at a settlement for these abuses. As the only state law-enforcement official with direct jurisdiction over Wall Street, Schneiderman had been named to the committee the attorneys general had established to negotiate with the banks. He asked his aide how the talks were going.

“I was told it was being handled,” he says. The administration, his aide informed him, had proposed that the banks come up with $20 billion for aggrieved homeowners and former homeowners. Schneiderman wasn’t satisfied. What documents, he asked, had been subpoenaed? None, he was told. Who’d been called in to testify? Nobody, he was told. Most important, what did the banks want in return for paying the penalty? The aide responded that the issue had never been raised. Schneiderman was shocked.

“This didn’t make any sense,” he says. “You can’t negotiate anything like this without knowing what you’re giving up. We get $20 for what? A tie clip? A car?”

Schnederman went to a Conference of all 50 State's AG where the proposed settlement of the Robo-Signing Scandal was the main topic of discussion
The more Schneiderman pressed his new colleagues on the direction of the talks, however, the more displeased he became.

The primary concern of the attorneys general was how much and how quickly the banks would pay and whether they’d be compelled to write down the amount homeowners owed them. Important questions, but what about what the banks wanted in return? That would only come up, Schneiderman was told, at the conclusion of the talks. His Republican colleagues were focusing on giving the banks a less costly alternative to writing down mortgages. His Democratic colleagues were pushing for a prompt payout to beleaguered homeowners. How broad a release the banks would demand had become a side issue.

His message is clear. His success depends mostly on us because its up to us to keep making the transformational change began last year by OWS.  Last year was a solid start, but we must keep building on it to sustain the process of Transformative Change. Its a lot of work but we all need to become a part of it for it to work.

Consider the alternative.

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Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

I'm pissed off! About 70 black clad Anarchists broke away from an unscheduled un-permitted march that started from Occupy Seattle's May Day event at Westlake Park in Downtown Seattle, and they went on a rampage of vandalism smashing store windows and targeting Nike Town in a coordinated and planned spasm of destruction for the cameras. They wanted to hijack the day Occupy Seattle was launching a new season of political activism, and make it all about them and their miniature riot for the media.

I didn't arrive at Westlake Park until after the noon march that was one of two marches the originated at Westlake and weren't part of Occupy Seattle's official agenda for the day's events, so I can't provide a first hand account of what happened, but I sure heard about it on the Seattle radio stations, who were ominously making it out to be a second WTO Protest. When I arrive at Westlake people were abuzz about the earlier events, and many participants I talked to were expressing a lot of dismay and resentment toward the Anarchists.  

I did join the second march "To Stop the Killing" from Westlake Park to the Seattle Center and the John T. Williams Memorial Totem.

During the return march I was near the front and since it wasn't an organized event the  marchers seemed unsure which way to go when they reached a number of intersections, in one case some marchers started up one street only to turn back after going a half a block. So the march seemed to meander its way through the Denny Regrade neighborhood north of downtown.  We ended up going down 1st Ave. and turning left onto Pike in front of the Pike Place Market. Then the marchers slowed down. I was standing on the sidewalk along Pike Street in front of the Planet Hollywood when SPD took some guy's flag away from him behind me starting a tussle that turned into a brief chase when the flag bearer broke away from Police brushing by me as he was tackled by a cop from behind, both of them landing on the sidewalk right in front of me.


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Reposted from dinazina by Lefty Coaster

You saw it here first, friends! A member of "Occupy West Seattle" offers cupcakes to West Seattle cops at our first protest, and they REFUSE - because they're on duty!

Harrowing details below.

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Reposted from Mark Taylor-Canfield by Lefty Coaster

In response to my controversial blog at Daily Kos and a personal phone call, Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West have now invited me on their program to discuss the issue of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the upcoming US presidential election.

I want to thank Dr. West for agreeing to debate this issue with me.

The controversy surrounds my insistence that I will withhold my vote for President Barack Obama, even though I previously served as a delegate for him during the last election.

Dr. West, on the other hand, apparently endorses Obama despite his many outspoken criticisms of the administration's policies.

I have maintained that one of the great strengths of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been it's ability to avoid being co-opted by any particular special interest group or political party. Although some elected officials in the Democratic Party have expressed public support for the occupiers cause, many of these same politicians have also ordered the arrest of protesters and have allowed their civil rights to be violated by law enforcement authorities. The photos from Moscow showing police rounding up demonstrators look very familiar to OWS participants in NYC, Oakland and Seattle...

Given that the national electoral system has been largely undermined and broken by the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision, many participants in the occupy movement feel that there is no place for them in politics. The movement has been an organic expression of their mistrust of the corporate government state from the very beginning. Instead of supporting any particular candidate or party for office, OWS working groups all over the country have been organizing locally. You will find them staging sit-ins outside the mayor's office, protesting in front of the state capitol and coordinating boycotts outside of Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

The many predictions of a certain demise for the occupy movement have proven to be "greatly exaggerated". The activists are committed to taking on important economic and political issues directly by organizing public demonstrations. Without pressure from the outside, even populist public officials are bound to go along with the power elite in Washington, DC.

If the Democrats want some support from the national occupy movement, they will have to prove that they are with the ninety-nine percent! So far, that is not an easily won case. To the contrary, it is more likely that on a national scale, Democratic candidates will receive just as much criticism from the activists as the Republicans. They are both accused of being two branches of the same corporate controlled political party - The "Demopublican Republicrats"...

I am aware that most Democrats don't like to hear this kind of criticism. They prefer to accuse the occupiers of being incompetent and unrealistic - which is a very cynical point of view. The Democrats usually rely on people's fear of the Republicans in order to secure votes from progressive populists. These follks are seen as a captive audience with no other choice but to vote for the "lesser of two evils". This is an arrogant attitude, and one that is also reserved for the Greens and Ralph Nader. Instead of opening their arms and actually creating the inclusiveness that all Democratic candidates proudly proclaim, they simply insult and ignore liberals and progressives who are not part of the regular party establishment.

I am not saying that I want Romney or Santorum as our president! Democrats who oppose my view often jump to that premature conclusion.

What I am saying is that as a voter, I cannot in good conscience pledge my vote for Obama at the present time. I believe it would be a mistake to give in to the Democrats and blindly support their candidate. My first allegiance is with the Occupy Wall Street movement, not the Democratic Party.

There is a lot of time left until the November elections. There should be plenty of time for debate and disagreement in a healthy democratic society. Whether you agree with me or not, I doubt it is now time to "circle the wagons"  - especially since the latest polls show Obama doing quite well against Romney...

I know that my "Open Letter To Dr. Cornel West" has sparked a heated debate and I welcome that.

I look forward to discussing this issue with Dr. West on the air!

Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

Barny Frank makes a point that also keeps being put forward by the Right Wing Noise machine.

“The tea party has been much more effective than occupy. The people in tea party do a much better job of organizing to get their policy views made apart of this process than occupy people. The occupy people do more to make themselves feeling emotionally satisfied”

I don't agree with Barney Frank, but I think its a worthy topic for discussion. Were  Occupy Wall Street's tactics less effective than the Tea Party's? Could better tactics make Occupy Wall Street.s message impossible to ignore in the halls of power?  


Which has more impact?

21%19 votes
47%41 votes
28%25 votes
2%2 votes

| 87 votes | Vote | Results

Reposted from fromcascadia by JustJennifer

BREAKING UPDATE: Fri Feb 10, 2012 at  9:34 AM PT:


"... After refusing the Bobby D show's offer of an interview spot conditional upon their non-appearance at the Powell funeral, Fred Phelps contacted Bobby and gave an interview this morning and has promised to not come to the funeral."

"They have now announced on Twitter

that their Washington trip has been cancelled."

"Organizers of the Occupy Seattle response to Westboro Baptist Church's threat of demonstration at the Powell funeral are relieved to announce that our shielding action is no longer necessary.

In lieu of attending this action, we ask that you donate to The Charlie and Braden Powell Memorial Account at any Wells Fargo bank branch. The proceeds will go to defray costs of the memorial service.

The organizers of this action want to thank all who intended to attend for their compassion, enthusiasm, and good will. However, now is a time of mourning and a time for celebration of the lives of two very special little boys. In that spirit, We hope and pray that the Cox and Powell families can heal in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy. Our hearts and our thoughts are with them."  

[This story author believes the substantial threat of OCCUPY SEATTLE (and various other groups) in the area having organized in this shielding action actually did shield this innocent grieving family from the Westboro Baptist Church's abhorrent message of hate. Thank you OCCUPY SEATTLE. The original story previously posted follows below.... under the orange squiggle:]

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Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

When the Tea Party started gathering the LaRouchies showed up at their rallies. The Tea Party was blamed for the then novel Obama as Hitler posters. When Occupy Wall Street was spreading across the country the LaRouchies showed up at occupations. Fox News used those same Obama as Hitler posters to claim that Occupy Wall Street was Antisemitic. Now a Front Page diarist here has fallen victim to that same confusion.

 The diary on the Rec list makes the implication that Occupy Wall Street has somehow assimilated Lyndon LaRouche's cult of personality. That the two movements have merged citing some dubious claims made in a piece by Allison Kelkenny. Her piece also points out how the two groups tend to mix like oil and water.  

Harlem Gives Occupy Tense Reception

Occupy couldn't exactly kick out the LaRouchies, so they instead shifted the OWS protest several feet down the sidewalk to create space between themselves and the banners that quickly became a much-loathed target for some of Harlem's residents, though many individuals seemed annoyed anyone had turned out to protest the president, regardless of their ideological stripe.

LaRouchies started showing up at Occupy Seattle in Westlake square. They always stood at the far end of the square from Occupy Seattle encampment, and never took part in any GA or mingled with the occupiers. We started gathering volunteers to stand in front of the LaRouchies with their Obama as Hitler signs with our own signs. I took part in this screening effort a couple of times. More than a few heated exchanges between the two groups took place  Eventually they got discouraged and stopped showing up.

Occupy MN: LaRouchies!

TeaPartiers crashing the joint? Of course not.  LaRouchies, the Westboro Church of political gatherings. They’d steamed everyone up, but they were trying to find a common ground. You want Glass-Steagall? We want Glass-Steagall! You want an end to the Patriot Act? So do we! But everyone had a problem with the Hitler mustache. I think reductio ad adolpho is the stupidest type of political placard, and just because the other side did it for eight years doesn’t mean it’s time for them to get a taste of their own medicine. (But still. Snort.)

LaRouchies have become to political protests all across the spectrum what the Westboro Baptist Church has become to military funerals.

Remember how MinistryOfTruth responded to Bill Kristol smearing O.W.S. as antisemitic?

I am in Seattle, Madison and Milwaukee are beautiful and Bill Kristol can suck my dreidel

How dare this gutless unscrupulous hack besmirch this anti-corporate greed and political corruption movement as anti-semitic? The wingnut outrage machine has claimed that nazi's support #ows. It shows just how desperate they are to defeat this righteous movement, and since facts aren't on their side they ahve reverted predictably to Nazi Tourettes.

Conflating the LaRouchies message with Occupy Wall Street's is absurd. While a few similarities do exist we need to keep in mind that the two groups couldn't be more different. The LaRouchies are a top down cult of personality with a fascistic political philosophy. Occupy Wall Street is a consensus building community that rejects following a single leader, that a very progressive political philosophy.  

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Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

The Guardian has a new story about the remarkable Dorli Rainey. At 84 years old her lifelong commitment to progressive citizen activism should be an inspiration to all of us.

Protesters' stories: Dorli Rainey and Occupy Seattle

Over the years, I have been active. I helped close down the freeway when the shooting started at Kent State, when the four students got killed during the Vietnam war . I was involved in the anti-WTO protests and got teargassed. People say to me, "Are you crazy? Why don't you just retire?" I can't. I have to keep on going because there's so much work to be done. I just don't feel like sitting at home and letting the world fall apart.

A lot of my older friends are very involved in the protest movement. One, Father Bichsel , is in federal prison here in Seattle. He just turned 84, too. I would like to educate people so they understand what really is happening. Our first amendment rights are being shredded. The police are being militarised. I taught a course about current events at a community college for senior citizens, and those senior citizens still come to events with Occupy Seattle or Stop The FBI Repression . One of my friends is 90, and she has a big Stop The FBI sign and stands in front of the FBI. It's very gratifying when they tell me that they look at the news with completely different eyes. They used to believe everything they read in the paper, but they don't any more.

My voice is not completely back and my lung capacity is not up to 100% yet. I used to run upstairs, but now I get really out of breath – and that is a direct result of the pepper spray. But I am very happy that I got pepper-sprayed, because finally the media are paying attention. I hope it does not go away. I hope that understanding of the real problems in the world will grow.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dori during my time with Occupy Seattle. I also was part of the march after Kent State that closed down the freeway, and part of the W.T.O. protests. I feel that I share Dorli Rainey's commitment to life long activism.

Occupy Seattle marched yesterday demanding the removal of SPD Chief Diaz for failing to take action to correct the pattern of officers resorting to excessive force in the department.

Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

I was at the entrance to the Port of Seattle's Terminal 18 and I witnessed the brutal assaults of protesters who were already on the ground. I was so outraged by the brutality SPD was using against the protesters it was putting under arrest that I started yelling SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! so loudly that I startled a couple of SPD officers nearby.

The scene at Terminal 18 as police reinforcements were arriving in large numbers.

Rev. John Helmiere, Seattle Priest: Police Kept Punching Me and Punching Me

Rev. John Helmiere says he told police that he came to the Port of Seattle protest because "I'm a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe another world is possible." That response, he says, came just after a cop threw him down and repeatedly punched him in the face.
Helmiere, the founder of Valley & Mountain Fellowship Church in Rainier Valley, has a long narrative posted today on the Valley & Mountain blog about his day at the port's Terminal 18 protest and it's worth a read.

He says that he was repeatedly shouting "keep the peace" to other protestors when officers advanced on the crowd and he soon found himself being thrown to the ground and punched repeatedly before being taken to jail.

I stood before an entrance to Pier 18 of the Seattle Port in my clergy garb bellowing, "Keep the Peace! Keep the Peace!" An officer pulled me down from behind and threw me to the asphalt. Between my cries of pain and shouts of "I'm a man of peace!" he pressed a knee to my spine and immobilized my arms behind my back, crushing me against the ground. With the right side of my face pressed to the street, he repeatedly punched the left side of my face for long enough that I had time to pray that the crunching sounds I heard were not damaging my brain. I was cuffed and pulled off the ground by a different officer who seemed genuinely appalled when he saw my face and clerical collar. He asked who I was and why I was here, to which I replied, "I'm a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe another world is possible." He led me shaking to a police van where began a 12-hour journey of incarcerated misery.

On the lKOMO TV News Rev. Helmiere said was denied medical treatment during his incarceration. He suffered damage to his inner ear during the unprovoked police beating.

Rev. Helmiere also said he wants to reach out to the officers who beat him. What an inspiration Rev. Helmiere is to us all, to follow the path of peace nonviolence and reconciliation.  

Here is a video of Rev. Helmiere made shortly before the beating.

Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

I took part in Occupy Seattle's Port Shutdown protests. When I got home I looked at the coverage and was incensed by the inaccuracy in the Seattle PI's account by an anonymous reporter.

Here is the part of the account I objected to:

Occupy Seattle protests at port lead to skirmish, arrests

 Police said protesters threw flares, paint and rebar.  One officer was hurt after being struck with paint. A reporter witnessed one burning flare lobbed at police during the confrontation, as officers ordered the protesters to move and began wading into the crowd.

 So of course I had I had to call it out in a comment.

I was across the street and two sets of railroad tracks from the barricade the protesters built, watching the police on horseback forcing the crowd across the street watching the scrum on the other side of the street with a couple of other protesters about 25 feet from the nearest police officers when the flare was thrown. It landed on the far side of one of the two sets of railroad tracks from the police officers landing much closer to us than any police officer...

Now for the photos.

Arriving at Hasrrbor Island.

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This is the final installment of a series of three diaries about the West Coast port shut down. Part one is Occupy Seattle - Why We Shut Down The Port Part I (highlighting the Longview ILWU's struggle with EGT), part two is Occupy Seattle - Why We Shut Down The Port Part II (highlighting the SSA/Goldman Sachs connection as it relates to the Port of LA/Long Beach). Today I am writing about police oppression as it relates to the cities participating in tomorrow's port shut down.

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