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Watching… 18 November 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Occupy Wall Street.

And so, while they couldn’t be an active part of the protest, they stopped to show their support. The sound from this sea shell horn echoing down 6th Ave was haunting and strangely timeless. Marchers cheered in reply. [Robert Johnson Business Insider Gallery]


Whether you agree with protesters or not, they have everyone’s attention    [Robert Johnson Business Insider Gallery]




1. diane - 18 November 2011

oh..that’s a conch, …. they are amazingly loud ….

and look …

..who’s got the conch …

(from Lord of the Flies )


2. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 November 2011

What the fuck is wrong with this fucking country:

Police officer pepper-sprays seated, non-violent students at UC Davis

People need to learn that the cops LIKE hurting people, that appealing to them is useless.

marisacat - 18 November 2011

It seems to be snowballing

wu ming - 19 November 2011

fucking crazy. i was on campus today, at a talk on the other side of campus, and had no idea what was going on, but could hear the police copters overhead. people are furious, there will be a general assembly on monday, that will call for the chancellor’s resignation, among other things.

and on davis of all campuses. amazing how disciplined those kids were. amazing how they scared the cops off, with just chants and smart phones.

Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

those kids were amazing, serious guts to risk submitting yourself to that.

The more they ramp up the police violence, and the more often it fails, the more the authorities seem willing to authorize.

marisacat - 19 November 2011

I see the kids plan a Noon Monday Strike…

Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

check this out, more details about the aftermath:

Police Evicted from Occupy UC Davis after Pepper Spraying Peaceful Protesters

It starts with a group of students quietly and peaceful sitting on the ground and linking arms as they are viciously pepper sprayed by UC Davis police… officers whose job it is to protect them. You can’t see from this video, but reports and photos from the campus newspaper, the California Aggie, show that the students were sitting in a circle around a small group of tents at an encampment in the university quad.

The attack on the students is provoked by nothing except their refusal to obey police orders. The usual chaos ensues for a few minutes. Victims shriek in pain, while some in the crowd frantically search for water. Several of the protesters are cuffed and dragged away, rather than receiving the medical attention they need. It is outrageous. It is unforgivable. And then something amazing happens.

The remaining students, who far outnumber the contingent of police, slowly start to encircle the officers while chanting “Shame on you!” The chants get louder and more menacing as the crowd gets closer, herding the police into a defensive huddle. Officers raise their weapons toward the crowd, warning them to back off, but at this distance and in these numbers, their riot gear would offer them little protection should crowd suddenly charge. Sensing their advantage, the students change their chant to the more defiant “Whose university? Our university!” Tensions rise. One twitchy trigger finger and anything could happen. Then a lone voice initiates the familiar call and response of the human mic:

Voice: “Mic check!”
Crowd: “Mic check!”

Voice: “We are willing…”
Crowd: “We are willing…”

Voice: “To give you a brief moment…”
Crowd: “To give you a brief moment…”

Voice: “Of peace…”
Crowd: “Of peace…”

Voice: “In order to take your weapons…”
Crowd: “In order to take your weapons…”

Voice: “And your friends…”
Crowd: “And your friends…”

Voice: “And go.”
Crowd: “And go.”

Voice: “Please do not return…”
Crowd: “Please do not return…”

Voice: “We are giving you a moment of peace.”
Crowd: “We are giving you a moment of peace.”

The crowd then starts chanting “You can go! You can go!”, and after a few moments the police turn their backs to the crowd and do exactly that, wisely taking advantage of the offered truce, and eliciting cheers and applause from the crowd.

Two quick observations. First, anybody who defends the use of pepper spray in situations like this is not only defending police brutality, but clearly advocating for the incitement of violence. Everybody involved, the officers and the students, are fortunate that the crowd showed such admirable restraint.

Second, anybody who still dismisses civil disobedience of this sort—resisting the removal of illegal encampments—as either inappropriate or counterproductive to the message and aims of the Occupy movement, has their head stuck thoroughly up their ass. This is what democracy looks like.

marisacat - 19 November 2011

oh ffs. seated on the ground, I dunno maybe handcuffed together it looks like it might be… – and a big bad cop pepper sprays them?

marisacat - 19 November 2011

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi has not condemned the police tactics, though she said the incident would be reviewed.

well! She’s a firecracker of decision.

Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

my favorite description of her statement: a flabby glove of bullshit comity rhetoric.

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

As per usual, Chris Hayes refuses to admit that the Democrats are part of the problem, but still interesting …

Exclusive: Lobbying Firm’s Memo Spells Out Plan to Undermine Occupy Wall Street

CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.

According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”

The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. “… (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”


The memo outlines a 60-day plan to conduct surveys and research on OWS and its supporters so that Wall Street companies will be prepared to conduct a media campaign in response to OWS. Wall Street companies “likely will not be the best spokespeople for their own cause,” according to the memo. “A big challenge is to demonstrate that these companies still have political strength and that making them a political target will carry a severe political cost.”

Part of the plan CLGC proposes is to do “statewide surveys in at least eight states that are shaping up to be the most important of the 2012 cycle.”

Specific races listed in the memo are U.S. Senate races in Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada as well as the gubernatorial race in North Carolina.

The memo indicates that CLGC would research who has contributed financial backing to OWS, noting that, “Media reports have speculated about associations with George Soros and others.”

“It will be vital,” the memo says, “to understand who is funding it and what their backgrounds and motives are. If we can show that they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent it will undermine their credibility in a profound way.”

It does seem to illustrate that they still don’t understand what’s happening.

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011


At a Natural Resources Committee hearing Friday on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) mistakenly addressed the professor as “Dr. Rice” while calling his testimony “garbage.”

Brinkley interrupted, saying: “It’s Dr. Brinkley, Rice is a university,” and “I know you went to Yuba [Community College in California] and couldn’t graduate —”

marisacat - 19 November 2011

Some poor schlump couldn’t graduate from CC in the valley? Beyond pathetic.

5. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

I’m always struck when people write/say stuff like this:

In their defense, the police warned the protesters that they would be pepper sprayed if they did not disperse.

it’s understandable that people exercising their right to gather to express their grievances MUST submit OR be tortured with chemical weapons? This country is so enslaved to authoritarianism and conformity …

marisacat - 19 November 2011

Yeah I found that amazing too….

In a photo gallery there, the Robert and Linette team (no idea who wrote it) had a caption that extreme acts by Occupy ”warranted the heavy police presence”. It was a pic of the metal barriers with a line of cops behind it.


6. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

Here’s what attempted co-option of OWS looks like

Having SEIU officials — fresh off endorsing the Obama re-election campaign — shape, fund, dictate and decree an anti-GOP, pro-Obama march is about as antithetical as one can imagine to what the Occupy movement has been. And pretending that the ongoing protests are grounded in the belief that the GOP is the party of the rich while the Democrats are the party of the working class is likely to fool just about nobody other than those fooled by that already. The strength and genius of OWS has been its steadfast refusal to (a) fall into the trap that ensnared the Tea Party of being exploited as a partisan tool and (b) integrate itself into the very political institutions which it’s scorning and protesting.

As I noted several weeks ago, WH-aligned groups such as the Center for American Progress have made explicitly clear that they are going to try to convert OWS into a vote-producing arm for the Obama 2012 campaign, and that’s what “Occupy Congress” is designed to achieve. I believed then and — having spent the last few weeks talking with many OWS protesters around the country — believe even more so now that these efforts will inevitably fail: those who have animated the Occupy movement are not motivated by partisan allegiance or an overarching desire to devote themselves to one of the two parties. In fact, one of the original Occupy groups — as opposed to partisan organizations swooping in to exploit it — has announced its own D.C. occupation to, in part, “demonstrate the failure of the Democrats and Republicans in Congress to represent the views of the majority of people.”

I disagree with the prevailing wisdom that OWS should begin formulating specific legislative demands and working to elect specific candidates. I have no doubt that many OWS protesters will ultimately vote and even work for certain candidates — and that makes sense — but the U.S. desperately needs a citizen movement devoted to working outside of political and legal institutions and that is designed to be a place of dissent against it. Integrating it into that system is a way of narrowing its appeal and, worse, sapping it of its unique attributes and fear-generating potency. Even if you believe the U.S. has some sort of vibrant democracy — rather than a democracy-immune oligarchy — not all change needs to come exclusively from voting and electoral politics. Citizen movements can change the political culture in ways other than working within that pre-established electoral system; indeed, when that system becomes fundamentally corrupted, working outside of it is the only means of effectuating real change. Here’s how former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson put it in The Atlantic when equating the contemporary United States to the corrupted “emerging market” oligarchies which caused past financial crises on which he worked:

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large.

That last phrase is the essence of why I hope OWS, at least for now, remains a movement that refuses to reduce itself into garden-variety electoral politics. What is missing from America is a healthy fear in the hearts and minds of the most powerful political and financial factions of the consequences of their continued pilfering, corporatism, and corrupt crony capitalism, and only this sort of movement — untethered from the pacifying rules of our political and media institutions — can re-impose that healthy fear. When both parties are captive to the same factions, then — by design, as AIPAC has so effectively shown — one can’t subvert the agenda of those factions simply by voting for one party or the other.

Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011
marisacat - 19 November 2011

The whole SEIU is so transparent… stupid mess. and I don’t think it will work.

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

The World’s Longest Post About the World’s Most Peaceful Protest

During the half-mile walk, people bought street popcorn and conversationally discussed pepper spray allergies, fighting for veteran’s benefits, and the words people have been whispering to feel brave in the face of police or political intimidation. In front of the municipal tower, two security guard concierges politely directed protesters to their destination—SPD headquarters and the department’s Office of Professional Accountability—where fresh-eyed 84-year-old activist Dorli Rainey waited, surrounded by members of the press, eager to talk about the Occupy movement and police accountability.

“I would like to get all elected officials in one spot and create a plan that would allow us free speech with more teeth than the resolution the council passed on Monday,” Rainey said. “Tuesday, they let loose the cops. So I would like to see some accountability over there [she gestures at City Hall] and over there [she gestures at the King County courthouse].”

Rainey said she has no plans to file a complaint with SPD’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) for being pepper sprayed on Tuesday. Still, she’d like to see SPD pay for how they’ve treated protesters. “I want their budget cut,” she said. “They need to clean house. Get rid of the poisons. [That pepper spray] was big, like a fountain.”

And she doesn’t regret blocking the street during Tuesday’s protest. “I’d do it again. And if it happens again, it happens… We are losing our freedoms every second we stand around and do nothing.”

marisacat - 19 November 2011

Wow Go Dorli!

Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

“I want their budget cut.”

amen big sis, amen.

marisacat - 19 November 2011

It is perfect isn’t it?

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

What Exactly Is It that Occupy Critics Don’t Get About Civil Disobedience?

Yes, the Tea Party garnered a disproportionate chunk of media coverage and mindshare, partially because much of our corporate media ownership sympathizes with their cause, if not downright instigates it. But say what you want about the teabaggers, they also told a pretty good story. Not a particularly coherent story, or a well-informed one, but a good story nonetheless in that they never shied away from the narrative primacy of conflict. And since reporting is at its core storytelling, conflict is hard for reporters to resist.

Sound familiar?

That, of course, is the whole key to the Occupy movement’s media success: Intentionally or not, it is a movement entirely grounded in conflict. Its name is an active verb that implies conflict, its motto a constant reminder of the economic conflict between the One Percent and everybody else. The ongoing battles to establish and maintain its urban encampments may appear to be a distraction from or tangential to Occupy’s message of corporate abuse and income inequality, yet these standoffs are in fact a palpable actualization of the symbolic conflict that has always been at the movement’s core. And of course the occupiers many skirmishes with fist-throwing, bicycle-shoving, pepper-spraying police provide audiences with conflict as compelling as anything you’ll find on TV. This is a movement so tailored to the era of reality television, I’d be surprised if there already isn’t a show in production.

In other words: It’s a damn good story!

Skip forward to last night’s march, as much a “union photo-op” as that 2009 health care reform rally, only with just a third the participants and an arguably less urgent message (fixing our nation’s bridges, vs fixing our nation’s health care system). But because this time they coordinated with and borrowed the mantle of the Occupy Seattle demonstrators, and because instead of politely and orderly filling a city park, they instead chose to shut down a goddamn bridge, this time they got the media attention they deserved. Helicopters flew, TV news vans descended, and the protesters and their message were featured on the evening and 11 p.m. news.

And this time the “union photo-op” made it not only into the Seattle Times, but smack into the middle of its front page. “University Bridge seized in rush-hour rally for jobs,” the headline declares. Now that’s the kind of media that money just can’t buy.

So to all of you who vociferously claim in the comment threads that you support the Occupy movement’s objectives, but disdain its tactics, I ask you: What exactly don’t you get about civil disobedience? Shutting down bridges and intersections are an inconvenience for ordinary citizens, you argue, while camping in public spaces is an eyesore and a public safety hazard. I even heard complaints about the march on the Sheraton during JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s speech, that it would somehow make a bad impression on out-of-town guests.

Really? So what would you rather they do? Apply for a permit and then orderly assemble in Westlake Park to politely recite their grievances (though not during the holiday shopping season, because that might interfere with commerce)?

Been there, done that. And it doesn’t work.

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

Woman Gets Jail For Food-Stamp Fraud; Wall Street Fraudsters Get Bailouts

Had a quick piece of news I wanted to call attention to, in light of the recent developments at Zuccotti Park. For all of those who say the protesters have it wrong, and don’t really have a cause worth causing public unrest over, consider this story, sent to me by a friend on the Hill.

Last week, a federal judge in Mississippi sentenced a mother of two named Anita McLemore to three years in federal prison for lying on a government application in order to obtain food stamps.

Apparently in this country you become ineligible to eat if you have a record of criminal drug offenses. States have the option of opting out of that federal ban, but Mississippi is not one of those states. Since McLemore had four drug convictions in her past, she was ineligible to receive food stamps, so she lied about her past in order to feed her two children.

The total “cost” of her fraud was $4,367. She has paid the money back. But paying the money back was not enough for federal Judge Henry Wingate.

Wingate had the option of sentencing McLemore according to federal guidelines, which would have left her with a term of two months to eight months, followed by probation. Not good enough! Wingate was so outraged by McLemore’s fraud that he decided to serve her up the deluxe vacation, using another federal statute that permitted him to give her up to five years.

He ultimately gave her three years, saying, “The defendant’s criminal record is simply abominable …. She has been the beneficiary of government generosity in state court.”

marisacat - 19 November 2011

Aside from the unhinged cruelty of it, if people in the US think this is NOT being reported abroad, they are foools. Just like the way the Occupy early days were reported on all the international news services… and to this day.

The day BART here interfered with cell phone, texting (they blocked their own relay systems) and so on capability, when Anonymous was protesting at stations over BART police brutality and killings, it flashed around the world.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 November 2011

Egyptian Feminist Creates Firestorm By Posting Nude Photos Online

In Egypt most Muslim women wear veils, and even if they don’t, it’s rare to see uncovered arms and legs in public. Many Egyptians say they’re deeply offended by what Elmahdy has done, yet somehow her NSFW blog “A Rebel’s Diary” has been viewed 1.5 million times since she published the post earlier this week. The New York Times reports that the blog contains a written explanaton of the protest:

“Try nude models who worked in Fine Art Faculties in the early 1970s, hide all art books and smash naked archaeological statues,” read the statement, alluding to some recent protests staged here by ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafis. “Then take off your clothes and look at yourselves in the mirror, then burn your body that you so despise to get rid of your sexual complexes forever, before subjecting me to your bigoted insults or denying my freedom of expression.”

According to the Associated Press, she also says that the photos are “screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy.”


marisacat - 19 November 2011

Is she great or what?

Many Egyptians say they’re deeply offended by what Elmahdy has done, yet somehow her NSFW blog “A Rebel’s Diary” has been viewed 1.5 million times since she published the post earlier this week

Angry Arab has been reporting that a small number of Salafi women are trying to run for spots on governing bodies (I think in more than one country) and are not allowed to be photographed, as other campaigners are…. Instead the depiction is either of their husband… or of a FLOWER.

At one point he even bought in that it was propaganda and not true, and he posted that, but yesterday (think it was) he posted he had found out it was in fact completely accurate.

It’s so cute how Americans (in particular the Dmocratic party, because what they REALLY are is State Dept paid help/stooges) slobbered all over Imam Rauf and his lunatic lecturing wife Daisy Kahn (he’s a Salafi and they are so “mystical”, don’t you know?), of the Park51 con group, otherwise known as Ground Zero Mosque. I could care less where a mosque goes, but I sure can recognise paid Mosqueteers as I called them.

Hardly matters, since it was nothing more than one more fucked-up-beyond-all-belief Manhattan RE scam, and in the intervening time, it has completely fallen apart.

All it lacked as a circus was shitting elephants paraded thru town.

Right right, moderate Salafis. Geesh.

11. marisacat - 19 November 2011



………………. 😆 … 🙄

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