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Oops, I meant to say, New York Police assaulted female "Russia Today" producer/reporter Lucy Kafanov; striking her with a club while she was filming and reporting during the November 17 Day of Action:

Mass arrests & violence on Broad and Beaver. Officer hit my arm with club. Another photog got shoved. Police beat protesters

She later reports:
my bruise is coming along nicely.

Can you imagine what the reaction of the U.S. media would be if, say a Russian police officer struck a female Fox News reporter in the arm while they were filming a demonstration in St Petersburg?

There have been numerous confirmed, admitted to, reports that American police are arresting, detaining, blocking legitimate access of, and otherwise deliberately interfering with the credentialed mainstream media from reporting.  From not allowing news helicopters into the airspace, to blocking them from walking along the streets to where the protests are occurring, to arresting and, yes, clubbing them, when they are reporting on site, this is a deliberate and ongoing police policy.

While the media is reporting this to itself on tweets and blogs, so far they have refused to go public, and report this part of the story to general public. I am hopeful enough to suspect that many of the frontline reporters would like the media suppression part of the story to be reported, but that it is the editors and higher-ups who are blocking this.  According to the New York Times, but only in an online blog, one journalist told a police officer “I’m press!” and the officer just responded “Not tonight.”. At least 26 reporters have been arrested. Why is this not a front page story everywhere, everyday?

The ongoing police effort at media suppression should be itself a leading news story; front page headlines in the major papers and as a lead story on network news. The most extensive ongoing reporting of this I can find has been by JC Stearns and the folks at RCFP.

This is meant as an action diary. Please call, repeatedly, and demand honest coverage of the police initiated violence, including the suppression of their own mainstream media. When I called out the NY Times in a comment on this, their reporter did actually respond, claiming that a report, in an online only blog piece, counted. Needless to say, the NY Times never included the media suppression in their reporting of the "violence".

Only pressure, shame, scorn and repudiation heaped on them by viewers will have any effect.

EVERYBODY WHO READS THIS, CALL THEM ALL (h/t to Catskill Julie for list):

Associated Press NYC
Ask for Bureau Chief Amanda Barrett
(Can also get contacts for bureaus and reporters in your city from the main operator)

AP Washington

Dow Jones Newswire

USA Today
Dennis Kelly, editor 703-854-6536

CNN Atlanta (national bureau)

212-275-7800 NYC Bureau

Ask for Maureen Bavdek, NYC Desk Editor
646-223-6000 Newsroom Voicemail, follow prompts


NPR national news desk
LOCAL New York

NY Times Metro Desk

NY Daily News City Desk

NY Post
(212) 930 8500




New York 1

(201) 330 2215



WNYC-AM & FM / NYC NPR affiliate

Patricia Willens is the News Director

Fox and Friends

WCBS-AM (All news radio)

WINS-AM (All news radio)

Next up: Was the police attack on the medic tent in Zuccotti Park, with destruction of medical supplies and medical records a HIPPA violation or a War Crime? Hint: both.


Just some feel good video from the Healcare for the 99% contiengent particpating in the November 17 Day of Action last night in Foley Square New York City:

(yeah, that's me, 51 year-old pediatrician who graduated medical school in the 1980s, holding the medical student version of the doctors support sign; lol)

Proof that it is not all young kids out here Occupying:

The young woman in white coat holding up brown banner is the Chief Resident in Family Medicine at the leading program in New York, and a leader in the Doctors for the 99% group:

On the way to the Brooklyn Bridge, the "Bat Signal" for the 99% goes up!

Join us:
Googlegroup Listserv:
NYC Gneral Assembly group site:

Peace & Health


Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:55 AM PST

"I'll Be There"... Where are You?

by DrSteveB

Where are you while we change the conversation and agenda in America?

Today the broad coaltion of the Healthcare for the 99% OWS Wiorking Groups will be out protesting all day as part the worldwide November 17 Day of Action:

Some, like the brave and the good Katie Robbins (seen here at the end of our October healthcare march)...

...are crashing the banksters at the Stock Exchange as I sit at a computer posting this.  

Other's, including me, will be holding a speak-out/die-in protesting the closure of the only hosptial on the westside of Manhattan below 57th Street at 1:00pm

And finally at 5pm many many others of us doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers will be gathering with thousands of others at Foley Square. In our case, meeting-up at the 125 Worth Street building on the northside of the square, symbolic and practical as the site of the NYC Department of Health.

Where will you be for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

"Breakfast" at 7am – Shut Down Wall Street (details here)

"Lunch" at 1pm – Join the activists fighting to save St Vincent’s Hospital

 ■ When: 1pm – 1:30pm
 ■ What: Speak-Out and Die-In
 ■ Where: Corner of 11th Street and 7th Ave (in front of the old Emergency Room)
 ■ 3pm March to Union Square to join the OWS Speakout

"Dinner" at 5pm – Rally at Foley Square

 ■ March with Healthcare for the 99%!
 ■ Meet-Up Point: 125 Worth St at the Department of Health and Human Services
 ■ Meeting Time: between 4:30pm and 5pm.
 ■ Wear your white coats, scrubs, bring signs!
 ■ Then, we’ll march together to the huge demonstration at Foley Square.

Doctors Support Occupy Wall Street Because......

We support Occupy Wall Street because the  private health insurance industry exemplifies the OWS movement’s central  tenet:  its unchecked corporate greed  tramples human need.

We support OWS because  economic and social inequalities make our patients sick.

We support OWS because we  reject a system that forces us to treat patients differently based on the types  of insurance they have and what kinds of treatments they can “afford.”

We support OWS because we  believe in evidence, and evidence shows us that profit-driven health care  raises costs and lowers quality.  It’s  unhealthy for the 99%; only CEOs and stockholders benefit.

We support OWS because our  political leaders, held hostage by corporate money, reject evidence-based  health policies such as a single payer reform that would save both lives and  money.

We support OWS because the  health care economy – like the overall economy – has more than sufficient  resources to take care of 100%, but the resources are siphoned off by  profit-driven corporations in the interest of the 1%.

We support OWS because we took  the oath to do no harm, and our corrupt political and economic systems are  doing all of us harm.

We support OWS because we are  hopeful that we can change our society.

Join us!

Wherever you are, where will you be on Thursday November 17, 2011?

I know where I will be...


Where are you while we change the conversation and agenda in America?

Last Sunday we had more than 99 doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers from our umbrella working group "Healthcare for the 99%" in Zuccotti Park providing free flu shots and other healthcare for everybody who came by.

OWS Receives Flu Shots From Doctors And Nurses

And tomorrow we will be out protesting all day as part the worldwide November 17 Day of Action:

Some, like the brave and good Katie Robbins (seen here at the end of our October healthcare march)
will be crashing the banksters at the Stock Exchange in the morning.  

Other's will be holding a speak-out/die-in protesting the closure of the only hosptial on the westside of Manhattan below 57th Street at 1:00pm

And finally at 5pm I many others of the Healthcare for the 99% will be gathering with thousands of others at Foley Square. In our case, meeting-up at the 125 Worth Street building on the northside of the square, symbolic and practical as the site of the NYC Department of Health.

Where will you be for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

"Breakfast" at 7am – Shut Down Wall Street (details here)

"Lunch" at 1pm – Join the activists fighting to save St Vincent’s Hospital

 ■ When: 1pm – 1:30pm
 ■ What: Speak-Out and Die-In
 ■ Where: Corner of 11th Street and 7th Ave (in front of the old Emergency Room)
 ■ 3pm March to Union Square to join the OWS Speakout

"Dinner" at 5pm – Rally at Foley Square

 ■ March with Healthcare for the 99%!
 ■ Meet-Up Point: 125 Worth St at the Department of Health and Human Services
 ■ Meeting Time: between 4:30pm and 5pm.
 ■ Wear your white coats, scrubs, bring signs!
 ■ Then, we’ll march together to the huge demonstration at Foley Square.

Wherever you are, where will you be on Thursday November 17, 2011?

Let us go out with Dr. Steve Jacoby, pediatrician and longtime single payer advocate, who donated the flu shots the other day out of his own pocket and heart (clicking on image will send you to AOL/ABC vidoe):


Hugely updated, scroll down below, with links and quotes of media supression

Headline: Police prevent CBS News chopper from taking off.
Headline: Police barricades keep credentialed press out of sight of public area.

It is not enough that the corporate mainstream media is owned and controlled by the 0.01% and dependent on their plutocratic comrades for advertising and other support (fyi: main reason Air America failed was organied corporate advertising boycott). When Wall Street Billionaire Bloomberg wants to use Police Power to shutdown the peaceful right to assemble in public space (OWS in Zuccotti) and to seize private property (e.g. tents) it is critical to keep the media out. Just as the U.S military learned after Vietnam, and as president Assad has been doing in Syria, the mainstream press must either be kept out, or emmbedded with minders.

Bridges and  public transit leading into the area were shut down, even though ostensibly it is all public space. Expanded cordron of police keep media from moving through public space, aka: the streets and sidewalks, to report on what is happening. Police keep CBS News chopper from taking off after refueling. When the police barricades are facing outward as well as inward, one asks who is protecting whom from what?

Cell phone video on youtube posted by DFHs are seen only by a few and are dismissable by the general public. But a police state will try to keep CBS from getting real time unedited unminded footage.   Just in case folks on the outside notice that, just as in the so-called riots in the 1960s, it is always the police that start the violence.

Meanwhile OW and supporters such as myself will regather and reoccupy.
See you on Novmemer 17 day of action, wherever you are.

P.S. apologies for no links. Doing this from nyc in transit on cellphone. Based on reporting from the guardian, ny times and reuters.

Updated: Holy cr*p. My little rant, without links, written on a droid phone while going from lower Manhattan (I had tried to make an appearance at Zuccotti in solidarity this morning, admittedly as a token on my way to work, but was blocked by police and so then went to work. FYI my OWS credentials as it were are that I have been going for an hour or so daily since the beginning; and am one of the "leaders" of the Healthcare for the 99% working group; helping organize and participate in various speak-out/teach-ins, marches and other events) to work on NJ tranist train, went to the Rec list.

Okay, now that I am at a real computer I feel obliged to actually put in the links. I will be collecting and adding below links to reports of the medica exclusion. Late in the day, but good for posterity. And, while we are at it, and since this Fahrenheit 451 activity is of the same vein as the 1984esque media exclusion, I will put in the links regarding the trashing of the books from the OWS library.

By the way, even if from their perspective of tactics and strategy there is a logic to blocking the street access to activists coming into the area to support OWS (like me), if they really believed that what they were doing was legal, justified and had public support why would they block the reporters?

If you have to block the media from seeing what you are doing, then maybe what you are doing is wrong?

I think the media blockade, arrests of reporters just for being there and trying to report, is going to backfire tremendously. It is the largest error on Bloomberg's part, and the greatest part of the victory that will come out of this.

 NY Oberserver reported:

The Observer’s Hunter Walker is as close as you can get to the scene: “NYPD is blocking press and others from immediate vicinity of Liberty Plaza” he reports. “Here with credentialed photogs from NYT, WSJ and Reuters they’re also being barred from #occupywallstreet.”

Ben Doerenberg

Over the next 12 hours, both independent and mainstream journalists were prevented from covering the story, and 8 credentialed journalists (including AP, NPR, NY Daily News) were arrested.

New York Observer Politics Reporter Hunter Walker: I was blocked from viewing nypd raid at #occupywallstreet along with reporters from cnbc, nbc, cbs, wsj and reuters

NPR Freelancer Julie Walker and NY Times blog The Local reporter Jared Malsin were arrested by the NYPD, along with an unknown AFP photographer: Am still reporting on #OWS for NPR since being released from jail following my arrest. Catch me at the top of the hour.

Update 1:21pm --- 5 more credentialed journalists arrested, 2 from the Associated Press, 2 from DNAinfo,.com and 1 from the New York Daily News

AP Assistant Bureau Chief Chad Roedemeier: AP reporter Karen Matthews and AP photographer Seth Wenig were arrested by #NYPD while covering #Occupy protests.

New York Daily News: Our reporter Matthew Lysiak says that he has been arrested at the 6th Avenue park

Even Murdoch's NY Post reporters:

New York Times Reporter Brian Stelter: I'm w/ a NY Post reporter who says he was roughed up by riot police as Zuccotti was cleared. He thinks violence was "completely deliberate."  brianstelter 9 hours ago ReplyRetweet Per @LindseyChrist, riot police didn't distinguish between media & protesters. "They took a Post reporter and threw him in a choke hold."
Just as the raid began, the CBS helicopter that was filming Zuccotti Park was ordered to vacate the airspace by the NYPD, as confirmed by Reuters Social Media editor Anthony De Rosa "I just spoke with the CBS News desk and they were told to leave the airspace above Zuccotti Park by NYPD


The NYPD also attempted to prevent media from seeing what was going on from outside the park:

Gothamist reporter Christopher Robbins:".@Newyorkist myself, @_rosiegray @JulieShapiro and NYT's Rob Harris were all forcefully removed from park, past Cortland & Broadway

Christopher Robbins  9 hours ago ReplyRetweet: Ryan Devereaux of Democracy Now, contributor to The Guardian, The Nation and others: “Police parked two NYPD busses in front of press cage, engines running, blocking shots of square. Yelling at media trying to work. #ows

Ryan Devereaux 12 hours ago ReplyRetweet “Police are now pushing the press off the block. They just took the press pass off ab NBC news anchor. #OWS

Ryan Devereaux 13 hours ago ReplyRetweet: NYPD inspector who took press badge from NBC4's @glorioso4ny and refused to give name

Newyorkist 12 hours ago ReplyRetweet Columbia Journalism student and reporter Andrew Katz confirmed that even the Associated Press was kept out: “Walking with an @AP videographer to try and get a better view. NYPD wouldn't tell us why press is being penned #OWS

Andrew Katz 12 hours ago: ReplyRetweet: "Even after the park was cleared, the NYPD continued to prevent press from covering events on public streets: “We are being stopped by police from going further South on Broadway along with a credentialed Japanese TV crew. -NewYorkObserver"

More from the Observer:

Speaking of reporters, the New York Daily News has been trying to keep tabs on which ones have been detained by police: “AP writer Karen Matthews was taken into custody; also AP photographer Seth Wenig and Daily News reporter Matthew Lysiak,” were all noted as having been arrested by the Daily News. Managing Editor Michael Ventura confirmed with The NY Observer that their reporter Patrick Hedlund was arrested at 4:30 A.M. this morning while covering the OWS protests on the perimeter of Zuccotti Park.

A freelance photographer working for the online publication was also arrested. Paul Lomax was arrested at Duarte Square on Canal and Sixth Avenue later in the day as protesters were moving towards the area. Both Mr. Hedlund and Mr. Lomax were wearing NYPD-issued press credentials at the time of the arrest, according to a Mr. Ventura. Hedlund has already been released and received a Desk Appearance Ticket, he added.

Brian Stelter of NY Times

3:00 p.m. | Updated As New York City police cleared the Occupy Wall Street campsite in Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning, many journalists were blocked from observing and interviewing protesters. Some called it a “media blackout” and said in interviews that they believed that the police efforts were a deliberate attempt to tamp down coverage of the operation.

As the police approached the park they did not distinguish between protesters and members of the press, said Lindsey Christ, a reporter for NY1, a local cable news channel. “Those 20 minutes were some of the scariest of my life,” she said.

Ms. Christ said that police officers took a New York Post reporter standing near her and “threw him in a choke-hold.”

Later in the morning, even when there were media reports that Zuccotti Park was reopening, reporters had a hard time getting access to the area. Debra Alfarone, a reporter at WPIX, the CW affiliate in New York City, wrote on Twitter around 8:45 a.m., “And we got kicked out of #zuccottipark again.”

At midday, as protesters tried to claim a vacant lot owned by a church, a confrontation ensued and at least four journalists were led away in plastic handcuffs. The City Room blog of The New York Times said that the journalists included a reporter and a photographer from The Associated Press, a reporter from The Daily News and a photographer from DNAInfo.

From the Gothamist:

During our coverage of the eviction of the Occupy Wall Street protesters early this morning, a NPR reporter, a New York Times reporter, and a city councilmember were arrested. Airspace in Lower Manhattan was closed to CBS and NBC news choppers by the NYPD, a New York Post reporter was allegedly put in a "choke hold" by the police, a NBC reporter's press pass was confiscated and a large group of reporters and protesters were hit with pepper spray. According to the eviction notice, the park was merely "cleaned and restored for its intended use." If this is the case, why were so few people permitted to view it?

NY Daily News:

3:52 PMRoque Planas: In addition to the four reporters whose arrests we blogged about earlier today, The Guardian notes the arrests of another three journalists -- news editor for Patrick Hedlund, freelance photographer for Paul Lomax and freelance reporter Jared Malsin.

3:50 PMKaren ZraickThe Deadline Club of NY has issued a statement on arrests of journalists: "The Deadline Club condemns the actions of the New York Police Department in detaining journalists who were covering the Occupy Wall Street protests today. As the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Deadline Club believes that a free press is a cornerstone of our democracy and opposes any police interference with journalists in the lawful pursuance of their reporting. We urge that any journalists who are in custody be released and that any charges against the journalists detained today be dropped immediately."

1:55 PMRoque Planas: Police arrested writer Karen Matthews and photographer Seth Wenig of the Associated Press while the two were covering the confrontation between police and OWS protesters today, the AP reported. Along with National Public Radio freelance reporter Julie Walker (who has been released) and the Daily News' own Matthew Lysiak, that makes at least four journalists arrested while covering the OWS eviction and ensuring protests today.

Follow the literal trashing of the library at this twitter feed.

Tech Herald secondary reporting:

, if a surprise eviction on the pretense of sanitation and random police violence wasn’t bad enough, the NYPD showed a disturbing lack of judgment when they attempted to shutdown press coverage of the raid, implementing a media blackout by threatening arrest.

It started with a news helicopter being forced to land after the airspace over the park was ordered closed off. Soon after, reports started to come in on Twitter form those on the ground that accredited media, with clearly marked credentials, were being forced to leave the area.

Reporters from the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, NBC, CBS, Reuters, and the New York Observer, were all subjected to the media blackout. According to reports, a handful of journalists were moved far away from the park, but in some cases others were stripped of their media passes and told to leave or be arrested.

As of 03:00 EST, at least two journalists were arrested, and two others from the New York Times left the park in order to avoid arrest. One journalist from NPR was clearly wearing her credentials as police took her away. At last count, 106 people were arrested during the raid.

“Cops at #OWS keep confiscating press passes, then arresting press with and without passes. Illegal and stupid,” said one report posted on Twitter.

Matt Cowgill, commenting from Australia, summed up the mood of many journalists watching the reports on Twitter, in addition to live video from the protesters themselves with, “I don't see how ejecting accredited journalists from a public place is defensible in a democracy.”

“The dumbest thing NYC could do to #Occupy is what they are doing right now. Suppression always has the opposite effect,” commented Keith Olbermann, who was following things online.

“US Democracy has always survived thanks to stupidity of those who'd suppress it,” he later added.

Again, the NYPD’s attempt to block media coverage failed. It was doomed from the start.

At 05:00 EST, CNN was running coverage, using video feeds provided by the protesters, reporters on cell phones, and comments from Twitter. But the real coverage will start later this morning, as Occupy protesters return in force, and Mayor Bloomberg answers hard questions.

With so many protesters carrying with cameras and social media tools, the public was able to learn what was happening overnight, and people remained informed all though the raid. If the NYPD learned anything about the Occupy movement, one would think they would’ve remembered that it is documented and “the world is watching.”

Still, while the effort failed, the very idea that the NYPD would consider stripping a reporter of their media credentials, or threaten them with arrest for doing their jobs is disgusting. There’s just no other word for it. It’s simply disgusting.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if the police lift the local media blackout. It doesn’t matter if they open the airspace above the park. The damage has been done, and the world watched as city officials walked all over the First Amendment.

HuffPo has a collection of tweets, photos and videos from the media as it was/is happening documenting Billionaire Bloomberg's assault on the first amednement.

More updates on the OWS people's library at their website.

End of continuous update mode... for now.


The indispensible economic think tank, the Economic Policy Institute celebrates its 25th year with an inspiring video on Paul Krugman:

Caveat: As wonderful and mostly correct as Krugman has been lately, he sometimes was too supportive of "free trade" based on economic theory, rather then the plutocratic reality. Folks like Robert Kuttner, Robert Reich, and Dean Baker called him out at the time. I have not seen a full follow-up of late from him, regarding the way "free trade" really works to suppress incomes for the 99% and destroy the environment, and otherwise not pay the true and long-term cost of the commons.  As Krugman has come to realize the way international elite really run the game, perhaps he will address this in the context of free trade ideology and economic reality.

Meanwhile, while individuals are never perfect, and leaders not all we want them to be, let us celebrate the moment:


Below is video from last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann show that featured clips from the march in New York City organized by Healthcare for 99% working group at OWS, PNHP, Healthcare-Now and others.  It also has the interview by Keith of yours truly (oy, I gotta learn to not say "uhmm").

Our march started from Zuccotti Square, encircled the for-profit insurance company WellPoint at 1 Liberty Plaza, and then marched up Broadway. At its peak we were at least three blocks long, with estimates others tell me (I was at the front and could not see behind me since we were so packed) of over 1,000. There were separate meet-ups at the for-profit WellCare offices (110 5th Avenue; near Union Square) of about 100 people, and then ending at the site of the closed St. Vincent’s site, with about another 100 people there.  I should note that this was completely peaceful rally and march, escorted courteously (in this instance) by the NYPD.

Healthcare segment starts at about the 0:34 second mark:

Doctors, Nurses and other healthcare workers support Occupy Wall Street because we want our patients to be healthy.

We support OWS because the private health insurance industry exemplifies the central complaint of the OWS movement: unchecked corporate greed threatens human needs.

We support OWS because economic and social inequalities make our patients sick.

We support OWS because we’re tired of being ashamed when we have to treat our patients differently based on the types of insurance they have and what kinds of treatments they can “afford.”

We support OWS because we believe in facts and evidence, and facts and evidence show us that a profit-driven health insurance industry is unhealthy for everyone except for CEOs and stockholders of those companies.

We support OWS because most of our legislators, held hostage by corporate money, consistently refuse to pass health policies that save lives and money, like single payer legislations.

We support OWS because the health care economy—like the overall economy—has more than sufficient resources to take care of everyone, but everyone is not taken care of due to the unfair siphoning of resources by profit-driven corporations.

We support OWS because we took the oath to do no harm, and our corrupt political and economic systems are doing all of us harm.

We support OWS because we are hopeful that we can change our society.

This second clip is local activist video showing the inspirational end of the march at the site of the closed St. Vincent's Hospital, featuring Katie Robbins of Healthcare-Now.

I will be at the Physicians for a National Health Program annual national meeting and leadership training in D.C. this Friday and Saturday. The theme is "Next Steps for Single Payer Advocates in the Obama Era".

Tell me in comments, what message should I bring to my colleagues?

Update: now with more flickr:

Physicians for a National Health Progam for the 99%

more from Health for the 99% march on 10-26-2011

more from Health for the 99% march on 10-26-2011

healthcare for the 99% at St. Vincent's


Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 26, join us at the March Against the For-Profit Health Insurance Industry” action taking place this Wednesday October 26 that is being organized by the Health Care for the 99% (a coalition that as of now includes Healthcare-Now, PNHP, National Physicians Alliance, Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign, CIR, Doctors Union-SEIU, National Nurses United, and others). It is the consensed "official" OWS/NYCGA direct action and march for that day.

3-4:00 PM: For those who can come that early, meet at Zuccotti Park, Broadway & Cedar.
4-5:00 PM: March to or meet at north end of ZPark, 1 Liberty Place, which is Wellpoint.
5-6:00 PM: March to or meet at 110 Fifth Avenue at 16 Street, which is WellCare.
6-7:00 PM: March to or meet at 7th Ave and 12 St, the closed St. Vincent's Hospital.

Details at our website and facebook page.

Of course we were part of the big march from Washington Square Park to Times Square last week; we health and healthcare activists in NYC have added our voices and presence to Occupy Wall Street.

And every Wednesday and Sunday at 5:30 we are holding Teach-in/Speak-outs at Zuccotti Square.  The presence of so many "White Coats" and Scrubs has been great for attracting respectful media attention, including, WPIX Channel 11 (story and video at link; no embed available, and CBS Radio (story and audio at link), and NY1:

Even our local Fox News:

Below are some my own amateur video clips, from the same People's Microphone Teach-in/Speak-out at Zuccotti Park this past Sunday (we meet at Broadway and Cedar, under the "big red thingy":

And some more panorama views of the rest of the scene at Zuccotti Park:

Peace & Health


This is my quickie list of what the problems are and the proposed solutions.  In no particular order and nothing new here, except an attempt to keep each item to a single sentence and a single line (or close to it anyway).  If not quite a bumper sticker, they are still meant to simple, punchy and clear.

Please, in comments, provide lots of constructive criticism and suggestions.  
Both for different policies and better wording.
Please feel  free to help this go viral, spread the word, generate feedback and improvement

No linky goodness, but occasional shorthand signifier references and shout-outs:

The Problems:

- Highest real unemployment since great depression.

- Highest long-term unemployment ever.

- Low wages and income

- Highest income disparity and wealthy inequality ever.

- Over-priced privatization and debt-ization of common goods: education, health, housing.

- Lack of power in the workplace for average citizen; all power to rich and corporate.

- Lack of power in government for average citizen; all power to rich and corporate.

The Economic Solutions:

- Increase minimum wage,

- Eliminate all exemptions to minimum wage.

- Increase wage enforcement.

- Expand earned income tax credit for low-income people.

- Strengthen labor rights and right to organize and collectively bargain.

- Greater progressivity of income tax, lower rates on middle class and higher tax on

- Tax all income the same regardless of source or type – salary, carried interest, capital gains (Buffett but stronger).

- Increase inheritance and other wealth tax to reduce inherited plutocracy and permanent disparity.

- Financial transaction tax to reduce the counter-productive multi-layered meta-financialization of everything (Tobin but stronger).

- Simplify and fix individual income tax code by getting rid of complex deduction that only favor wealthy, make tax table fit on index card (simple does not mean flat).

- Simplify and fix corporate tax code by eliminating loopholes and fancy deductions that favor large and multinationals over small business, make tax table fit on index card.

- Eliminate anti-jobs and regressive payroll deduction jobs taxes, and replace with the increased progressive income and corporate tax.

- Strong bank and financial regulation to keep government guaranteed personal banking separate from the casino everything goes world (Glass-Steagall, Volcker rule, Basel III).

- No governmental promises to back private bankster losses as sovereign debt.

- Massive investment in domestic infrastructure and green economy of the future.

- Undo privatization of what are inherently and essentially governmental governmental functions, including the educational loan system, mortgage guarantees, and of course need to move to single payer health insurance, etc.

- Debt Relief: Mortgage relief on first/only homes; recapture of privatized high-interest
government backed student loan system.

- Strengthen rights of individual workers and organized labor .

The Political Solutions

- Public funding of elections.

- Eliminate corporate personhood.

- Eliminate de-facto bribery and privileged access by campaign contributions.

- Improved definitions of constituency and voting (Gunier).

The World:

- Carbon tax. True cost of the commons must be included in the economy.

- Decrease defense budget.

- Withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq.

- International trade/investment/tax rules must include workers rights, citizen rights and environmental rule (not just freedom for capital but also free labor, free citizens and value of the commons).

Short Term Action

- Continue OWS protests.

- Primary every regressive, corporate democrat, even at risk of losing seat.

- Run economic populists and progressives at every level and in every election from school board, town council, county commissioner, state legislature, and national.

- Don’t stay at home. Register. Vote for most progressive available across all elections.


Social justice, economic equity, universal access to high quality and affordable health care and education are what I consider to be family values.

My family and I just got back from being part of the Physicians for a National Health Program NYC contingent at today's Occupy Wall Street march from Washington Square Park to Times Square.

It was my 8-year old son's first political rally and march; yeah Asher!

Once he finished his coconut pop he joined in the chants. It makes a mom and dad proud.

PNHP NY Metro (which I am active in) joined with the Montefiore Residency Programin Social Medicine(where my wife just happend to be faculty) which is where the "Doctors for the 99%" based out of.  Together as one, we gathered, as part of OWS, at Washington Square Park at 1pm for a Teach-in and Speak-out on the need for single payer as part of real health reform, and then marched up 6th Avenue to Times Square.  

This video show a small part of the health care workers contingent is along the march route on 6th Avenue at about 40th Street:

This video has some interviews with DrDan who is faculty in the social medicine program and some of the residents in training, and shows the scene on 46th Street just off Broadway and Times Square, just prior to when the police started their kettling:

When I was growing up as a straight white male in the 1960s-1970s, my dad (also a straight white male) always said that America was the most just and equitable place. A land of both social mobility and relative economic equity.  

And in many ways it was that, for some, from the 1940s to early 1970s.  But as we know, even as basic civil rights has expanded for so many, we have lost so much else to increasing corporate greed and selfish rich folks and corrupted politics.

I want an America and a world, that is better, that is a more just and more equitable place for my children and their children.  

Those are my family values.

What are yours... Mayor Bloomberg? Governor Cuomo? President Obama? Speaker Boehner and Eric Cantor? Senators McConnell and Reid? Mitt Romney?

Peace & Health.


Fri Oct 14, 2011 at 02:07 PM PDT

Doctors for the 99%

by DrSteveB

Members from a variety of progressive health care groups have been supporting and show up at the NYC Occupy Wall Street movement.

There is a health care for all working group active with the NYC general assembly.  Activists affiliated with PNHP NY Metro, Health-Care Now and the Bronx-based Social Medicine group are all coordinating, with each other and the NYC General Assembly... as well as marching.

Our next event is a "teach-in/speak-out of healthcare workers for the 99%" Saturday, October 15 from 1:00-5:00pm at Washington Square Park, NYC.

There is a big march on the insurance companies tentatively planned for the afternoon Friday October 21.  Details to follow.

There is a nascent Occupy Wall St: Health Care for All Working Group blog site which is mostly for collecting emails for notifying folks of events.  And there is a facebook group Doctors for the 99%.

Anybody interested, especially those who wish to get involved in New York City area, can send me an email (dr.steveb AT  ) or post theirs in comments and I will get you added to the lists.

And anybody who has more information please post in comments or email (dr.steveb AT me.


A small contingent -- including several medical students, a senior officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, senior deans from two different medical schools, why even a few private practice docs, among others -- from the NYC Metro Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program were at today's Occupy Wall Street rally this afternoon in lower Manhattan.

We started on 125 Worth Street, which happens to be both the address for NYC Department of Health and the street adjacent to the rally, and after a few chants (and a few media interviews)...

...we crossed the street to join the main rally in front of the Courts and Federal Building.  And joined up with some nurses and other health care workers.  

For those who don't know, this area in lower Manhattan, which appropriately includes Thomas Paine Park, is where many city, state and federal court houses are, including the courthouse from Law and Order... and the international trade court, the Federal Building housing many government regional offices including Health and Human Services (and the FBI), and many other government buildings including the NYC Police headquarters. Another two blocks over is City Hall.

Alas after only 90 minutes, I had to go home and feed the kids.

Enjoy the video (from about 5 p.m. NYC time).

Solidarity Forever.

Peace & Health

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