Occupy Wall Street
By Chris Francescani

NEW YORK, Sept 17 - A few hundred Occupy Wall Street activists gathered in New York's financial district on Monday but police kept them well back from the New York Stock Exchange, which they had threatened to surround as part of a day of protests marking the movement's one-year anniversary.

The New York Police Department arrested fewer than a dozen activists, led by retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard, who refused to move from a checkpoint along the broad perimeter police had set up to block access to the NYSE by anyone other than exchange workers who showed identification.

Occupy activists had pledged to disrupt the morning commute in lower Manhattan as part of a day of actions in New York and other cities aimed at rejuvenating a movement that has failed to sustain momentum after sparking a national conversation about economic inequality last fall.

The group, which popularized the phrase "We are the 99 percent," gathered early Monday near Zuccotti Park, where a spontaneous encampment became their unofficial headquarters last year, but were again barred access by police.

Several protesters held signs, one saying "END the FED," another reading: "We Are Students, Not Customers."

"What happened here a year ago was a process that cannot be stopped," Pulitzer-prize winning author Chris Hedges said. "What happened here a year ago will ultimately spell the doom of the corporate state."

The grassroots movement caught the world by surprise last fall with a spontaneous encampment in lower Manhattan that soon spread to cities across North America and Europe.

Occupy Wall Street briefly revived a spirit of U.S. social activism, and drew attention to economic injustice.

The group sponsored a series of activities over the weekend, attended by crowds that never exceeded the hundreds. New York police arrested about three dozen people at those events.

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Gahh this article is so full of lies it's absurd.

There were thousands present on Monday and on the days prior; there were almost 200 arrests, not 12.

Y'all is on some bullshit. Sorry.

September 25 2012 at 4:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Everyone receives an entitlement in America....PERIOD!

Big business and the wealthy enjoys entitlements through off-shore tax shelters, tax loop holes, all kinds of tax breaks and incentives that they DO NOT NEED but always end up paying less in taxes then the average JOE through said entitlements.

Republicans are always trying to cut their taxes and give them more entitlements to help the "job creaters". They have failed to explain how these tax breaks that they have been giving the "job creaters" for two years have failed to create jobs.

I am tired of Republicans accusing the poor and the old and disabiled of ruining this country becasue of the entitlements that they have recieved. Which is only a speck of dust in comparison to the entitlements that the rich and big business recieves, yet you hear nothing about! Its always the minorities, poor, disabled fault that this country is in debt! The sad part about this is that they can come up with money to blow up Syria, Iran, or any other country they dislike, but can't seem to bring themselves to help their fellow citizens who are struggling.

September 18 2012 at 12:03 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Yet a class war (another Luntz term) that was coined to cover for the fact that 99% long ago lost that war but is meant to reflect the jealousy of those that work just as hard, and for far more hours than their parents did, just to maintain middleclass status, with no time to enjoy that status and a real fear that they are running out of hours in the day to do so as their wages decline over time, are being programmed to believe that billionaires deserve the 500% their income has ballooned by over the last 2 decades.
Of course more people support billionaires tax rates going up as many of them are so loophole happy, they barely pay any.
Yet the meme is they pay 40%, 50% etc depending on the media source, which shows how little the 99%make not how much 1% pays.

September 18 2012 at 12:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The job creators was a term Luntz developed to replace a myriad of words, like tycoons, capitalists the indolent investor class. Market manipulator class etc. but the one thing they’ve proved is patriotism doesn’t include creating well paid jobs in America when cheap paying jobs outsourced yield a higher profit because the "must have" gadget costs, after shipping, less than half to produce and yet is sold for almost the exact price as an American made similar product the motive is all about profits not jobs as America manufacturers are still hanging on.
If you remove the tax subsidies on job exporters plus incentives, including job exporter loopholes then the local guy would actually show a healthier profit for his patriotism and caring about his workforce but Republican’s won’t hear a word about that because they have several times blocked efforts to cut subsidies for job exporters and remove their tax breaks and also blocked a made in America bill that would have given all the benefits to job importers.
The same applies to the meme that has a noisy minority thinking that if they do all of the heavy lifting for billionaire tax avoiders, somehow they’ll be rewarded but that ain’t going to happen.
50 billionaires make more income in the US than the bottom 97 million paid workers but if you take the secret world of Willard Mittie’s tax records and only look at the one he had doctored to run for President, For Pete’s Sake. You can’t help but note that all things being even slightly true in that prefabricated excuse for transparency is that at best those same billionaires at most and this is a tall stretch, pay 13.9% in federal taxes, That’s 13.9% on an income greater than 97 million people or roughly half of the work force.

September 18 2012 at 11:59 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

A six-year veteran of the United States Marines has posted a powerful photo of himself on the Internet in which he shows his dissatisfaction with the police raid in Oakland, California that put a fellow vet in critical condition.
­A late-Tuesday crack-down on the Occupy Oakland encampment left Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old Marine that served two tours of Iraq, in the hospital in critical condition after a blunt object made contact with his head, fracturing his skull and leading to swelling of the brain. The projectile is believed to be a non-lethal canister fired by the local police as hundreds of cops swarmed on the Bay Area hub of the Occupy Wall Street movement to attempt to thwart protesters.

One marine, Jay C Gentile, posted a photograph of himself on the popular online site Reddit.com holding an image of his fallen fellow Marine in one hand and a sign in his other reading, “You did this to my brother.”

In the first 13 hours that the post, titled “How I feel, as a United States Marine, about what occurred in Oakland” has been on Reddit, it has garnered over 1,200 comments and has accumulated exponentially more views.

Since the post has gone viral online, the user has added to the site that he is located in South Jersey and has been so moved by response on the Web that he now says he plans to attend Occupy movements across America in the coming days.

“I'm very much for the movement and encourage everybody I know to get involved,” the author published as an addendum to the original posting.

“I see this young man and I picture the men and women that stood beside me during my time in, and the men and women that stand in those places today,” he adds. “I know what he went through to become a Marine, what he ate for breakfast most days and how long he was able to talk to his parents with his $10 phone card in a shack in Iraq. He is my brother and, unfortunately, I cannot put the reasoning into words.”

Following Tuesday’s assault on Olsen, Occupy Oakland protesters held a General Assembly on Wednesday and came to an overwhelming consensus to launch a general strike throughout the Bay Area city next week on November 2. Even after multiple raids by the police, thousands of demonstrators continue to wage protests, met with support from other Occupy Wall Street-offshoots worldwide.
Only a day after Sgt. Gentile posted his photo online, he joined RT on Thursday to discuss what brought him to take to the Web to voice his opposition to what was happening all the way in Oakland.
“I wish I had the vocabulary to describe the plethora of emotions I felt,” Sgt. Gentile told RT. Like Olsen, Gentile also served two tours in Iraq. Regardless of where and when he served, however, he said that the sentiments he had would surely be shared with all members of the US Military.
“I knew that I wasn’t the only person that felt that way,” he said. “There are just honestly no words to express the bond that Marines feel for each other. This goes across the service, but it’s very specific for the Marines,” whom he added think of each other “as brothers and sisters — and we mean it.”
Even though he never met his injured comrade, Sgt. Gentile said he thought of him as siblings. “I wouldn’t expect less from any other American, military . . . veteran or not,” he said. “I would expect people to feel this bond. We are all here on the planet together and, like it or not, we are all in this together. I’m thankful an proud to be associated with the people in New York and cities all across this country that share this bond that I share with Corporal Olsen,” he said.

September 17 2012 at 10:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Marine and Iraq War vet Scott Olsen shot in the head by a police tear gas canister. Sgt. Shamar Thomas confronting NYPD. Marines and other former vets join the Occupy Wall Street movement. RT reports on what this could mean for the revolution.
­America’s Autumn – faces covered up, protesters fled from tear gas shot into the crowd by police. At least 97 arrests took place in Oakland, California on Tuesday night. A 24-year-old Marine and Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen shot in the head by a police tear gas canister was unable to even say his name.
A March of Solidarity with the Oakland protesters in New York leads to 10 arrests. Protesters slammed into the ground, and netted by police. Earlier, another marine, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, confronted police treatment of protesters – this can be seen in a video now gone viral on the web.
“The fact that more and more military personnel are joining us shows that they recognize that this is American movement. It’s not about hippies and the negative stereotypes,” said Occupy Wall Street security volunteer Paul Isaac.
30 year old Gary Briggs has served in the National Guard for the last two years. He has come to spend his short vacation at Occupy Wall Street in New York.
“You got some marines here, National Guard, Navy Seals – the more the better,” said Briggs.
The guardsman expressed outrage at the fact that marines are getting attacked at home.
“The cop that did it should be fired and hung up by his balls,” he said.
Others at Occupy Wall Street believe it won’t be long, however, until the police join the crowds instead of restricting them.
“We are going to see a lot of the police officers protesting because they’re going to work 20 years and they’re going to see that their pension is zero,” said Occupy Wall Street security colunteer Paul Isaac.
But even if this doesn’t happen – the movement won't be scared away any time soon with marines and other military vets pledging to have the protesters' back.
“Everybody has banded together, and the rope that’s being created here – no sword will cut,” said protester Will Birnie.

September 17 2012 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

More than 1,000 senior citizens and their supporters marched from Chicago's Federal Plaza to the intersection of Jackson and Clark Street Monday morning to protest proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At the intersection, more than 40 protesters, 15 of them seniors affiliated with the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, stood or sat in the street, arms linked, blocking traffic.

Amid chants demanding that the cuts be forestalled -- with suggestions for alternatives, including tax hikes -- 43 demonstrators were escorted from the intersection (see video, above) by police and issued citations for pedestrian failure to "exercise due care," or for blocking traffic. Those cited included four protesters using assisted mobility devices and at least one centenarian.

Judy Moses said she was glad to receive the citation--her second in her quest to maintain funding for programs that benefit seniors, following an arrest for blocking traffic in December at a similar protest.

"When I was younger, I never did protests," she said. "I was a silent majority. Now, I'm ready to make noise."

Before the traffic-stopping demonstration, an estimated 1,500 people turned out for a rally at Federal Plaza, where community members and activists spelled out the damage that individuals, and the greater Chicago community, stand to bear if funding is cut from welfare programs that benefit seniors. After decades of payments into social security with the expectation of returns, Chicago's senior citizens expressed shock that the federal support they rely on could be reduced.

"We paid into these programs," Patricia Kerz, pictured below, said. "We don't want them tinkering with our investments."

A woman named Florence spoke on behalf of the Service Employees International Union about her struggles raising a son with cerebral palsy, and her dependence on Medicare and Medicaid for his care, and even his mobility. "If his chair breaks, without Medicare and Medicaid, I can’t afford to fix it," she said.

"I've contributed to society, I've done everything I was supposed to do," she said. "I guess my problem is that I'm not rich. I'm just an ordinary citizen, one of millions, saying to Congress: 'Don't cut Medicare and Medicaid,' and 'make the rich pay their fair share.'"

Sen. Dick Durbin expressed his support for the cause to the crowd, and promised he was about to get on a plane back to Washington where he would advocate for seniors, when he was stopped by Rev. Patrick Daymond, a member of Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL). Daymond called on Durbin, and other politicians present, including Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Mike Quigley and Danny Davis, to sign a pledge recognizing that the revenue crisis shouldn't "be charged on the backs of old, disabled people."

Each representatives' "yes" was met with cheers from the crowd, and state representatives and aldermen also agreed to be advocates. Rep. Quigley spoke, highlighting areas of overspending in the military, and Rep. Schakowsky, who briefly led the march that followed, thanked the occupiers and called their concerns "a moral issue, not political or economic."

Daymond pointed out the notable absence of Sen. Mark Kirk, and read the statement to an empty suit propped up on a hanger with a portrait of Kirk's face (photo below). Kirk reportedly did not respond to an invitation to the protest.

Rachelle Ankney, a professor at North Park University, brought students to the rally to represent Northside P.O.W.E.R. (People Organized to Work, Educate and Restore), as allies in the seniors' cause.

"We’re so outraged that we keep giving tax breaks to big organizations, and the people who can least afford to pay taxes are paying the brunt of that," she said. "We can't stand by and watch that injustice--that's why we're here."

Participants in the demonstration said they were "proud of the police" for their handling of the demonstration. Individuals occupying the intersection were escorted to a cordoned-off street corner without being handcuffed, and were issued citations, despite many expecting to spend "one or two days in jail," protester and Senior Caucus board member Gene Horcher said.

"[The police were] perfect gentlemen," Horcher said, posing happily with his citation after his third demonstration advocating for social programs to retain funding. "They realize we're fighting for the same thing."

September 17 2012 at 9:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

A potentially powerful new element joins Occupy Wall Street as military veterans in uniform took to the streets in New York, marching from Vietnam Veterans Plaza to Zuccotti Park Wednesday, enlisting the campaign to spotlight issues of social and economic injustice.

Veterans have "a unique opportunity to continue serving here at home through our participation in this civic movement for change,'' said Andrew Johnson, president of the New York City chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War, which organized Wednesday's march.

Veterans could take an increasingly visible presence in OWS. Some 2.3 million Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and almost half a million veterans last year went to the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care.

Their grievances tend to be deep and personal as they face the challenges of coming home from war. The unemployment rate for veterans, at 12.4 percent, is due to climb as thousands of military personnel flood out of the ranks into an extremely competitive job market, with the Defense Department cutting back on manpower this year and in the years ahead.

Many Iraq and Afghan war veterans have come home with mental health issues, including post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. While the VA is scrambling to provide therapy, counseling and employment support for these veterans, many veterans say such services are scarce and difficult to find.

Ruling on behalf of veterans, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last spring found the VA in violation of the constitutional rights of veterans by failing to provide efficient and effective care and benefits. The court said veterans experience "unchallengeable and interminable delays'' in service, in part because of what it said is the "VA's unchecked incompetence.'' The Justice Department is appealing the ruling.

Veterans' participation in OWS recalls the Bonus Army of 1932, when some 15,000 World War I veterans marched into Washington demanding the payment of bonuses that had been promised. Despite months of protest, Congress refused to authorize the payments and the U.S. Army charged with drawn bayonets and tear gas into the shantytown where veterans and their families had camped.

Late last month, OWS participant Scott Olsen, a retired Marine who fought in Iraq, suffered a skull fracture during a scuffle with police in Oakland, Calif.

September 17 2012 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ohmyboehnertwo's comment

This is for the narrow minded right wing nut jobs.

September 17 2012 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Go ahead right wing nut jobs put down our vets.

September 17 2012 at 10:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


September 17 2012 at 7:50 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

They should all go back to their parents house and live off their parents $ cause you know they don't work!
Sadly this is what will be voting in a feww weeks. SCARY is a better term.All these people did was close small local business people down, some of which had been in businees for over 30 years.It's sad..........

September 17 2012 at 3:51 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply