At 1:20 a.m., the first riot police officers lined up on Atlantic Avenue. Minutes later, dozens of sheriff vans and police wagons arrived and over 200 officers in uniforms and riot gear surrounded the Greenway.Here is video of Veterans for Peace inserting themselves between police in riot gear (RIOT GEAR!) and the protesters. The veterans shout, "We are veterans of the United States of America!" as the police take them down. "Shame!" the protesters shout. "Shame!" Blub.
Police Superintendent William Evans and Commissioner Edward F. Davis watched from across the street. Evans gave the crowd two minutes to disperse from the park, warning that they would be locked up if they did not comply.
The crowd of protesters, energized by the sudden appearance of the Boston and Transit police officers, chanted, "The people united will never be defeated," "This is a peaceful protest," and "The whole world is watching."
About 10 minutes later, the first officers entered the park and surrounded the group. Evans, using a loudspeaker, gave one more warning and then each protester was individually put on his or her stomach, cable-tied, and dragged off as others tore down tents and arrested and detained people on the fringe of the park.
About 100 people were arrested, Davis said.
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Amid reports that some protesters are being paid—reports which may be generated by rightwing agitators who are infiltrating the protests to discredit it—I'm sniffing evidence of more conservative projection: Protesters may or may not be getting paid (and, if they were, well, who cares—many are unemployed people in desperate need of financial help), but the white-shirted police at the Occupy Wall Street protests, who have been widely cited as being more aggressive and violent with protesters, may be part of the Paid Detail Unit, which "allows the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street corporations, including those repeatedly charged with crimes, to order up a flank of New York's finest with the ease of dialing the deli for a pastrami on rye. The corporations pay an average of $37 an hour (no medical, no pension benefit, no overtime pay) for a member of the NYPD, with gun, handcuffs and the ability to arrest. The officer is indemnified by the taxpayer, not the corporation."
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Here's some of the other stuff I've been reading this morning...
Wall Street Journal—Bloomberg: Occupy Wall Street Can Stay Indefinitely:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday that he'll allow the Wall Street protesters to stay indefinitely, provided they abide by the law, marking his strongest statement to date on the city's willingness to let demonstrators occupy a park in Lower Manhattan.NY Daily News—Occupy Wall Street protesters plan 'Millionaires March' to Rupert Murdoch's, tycoons' NYC homes: "A 'Millionaires March' will visit the homes - or, more realistically, the gleaming marble lobbies - of five of the city's wealthiest residents, including News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and conservative billionaire David Koch. Marchers want to present the moguls with oversize checks to dramatize how much less they will pay when New York State's 2% tax on millionaires expires in December."
"The bottom line is – people want to express themselves. And as long as they obey the laws, we'll allow them to," said Bloomberg as he prepared to march in the Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue. "If they break the laws, then, we're going to do what we're supposed to do: enforce the laws."
Bloomberg said he has "no idea" how much longer the Wall Street demonstration will last. "I think part of it has probably to do with the weather," he said.
New York Times—Protests Offer Help, and Risk, for Democrats: "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party's powerful House fund-raising arm, is circulating a petition seeking 100,000 party supporters to declare that 'I stand with the Occupy Wall Street protests'."
WaPo—Conservatives launch 'We are the 53 percent' to criticize 99 percenters: "Conservative activists have created a Tumblr called 'We are the 53 percent' that's meant to be a counterpunch to the viral 'We are the 99 percent' site that's become a prominent symbol for the Occupy Wall Street movement. The Tumblr is supposed to represent the 53 percent of Americans who pay federal income taxes, and its assumption is that the Wall Street protesters are part of the 46 percent of the country who don't."
Honestly, I don't know which is more pathetic: The Congressional Democrats trying to co-opt Occupy Wall Street, or the conservatives trying to discredit it.
Oh, wait! We have a winner of the most pathetic contest:
"If you're concerned about Wall Street and our financial system, the president is standing on the side of consumers and the middle class and a lot of these Republicans are basically saying, you know what, let's go back to the same policies that led us to the great recession in the first place," said David Plouffe, who ran the president's 2008 campaign and now works in the White House.At this point Plouffe might as well just straight-up say: "The American people are fucking stupid and impotent, and we're pretty sure they'll vote for us because Republicans are worse," because pretending as if President Obama's cabinet and cadre of advisers isn't chock-full of Wall Street refugees and his policies aren't designed to maintain the status quo of "Wall Street and our financial system" is as condescending as it is galling.
I believe that President Obama genuinely does not want the US people to suffer because of our profoundly broken and corrupt and unjust economic system, but I also believe that he has no intention of (and "no appetite" for) pursuing solutions the efficacy of which depends on upsetting the Wall Street apple cart. He wants to (magically!) find a way to improve the 99 percent's situation without crimping the 1 percent's style.
And as long as protecting the privileges of the 1 percent is the priority (and it always will be, because his reelection depends on their cash), the assertion that "the president is standing on the side of consumers and the middle class" is manifest horseshit.
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Other important links:
Occupy Wall Street
People of Color Occupy Wall Street
We Are the 99 Percent