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Zuccotti Park cleared of Occupiers

Update: People around the world are sending the displaced occupiers food. If you are in the Foley Square area, you can get breakfast there. To order breakfast for the occupiers, you can call Pete at Cortez Cafe at (212)7663200. There is a minimum $5 donation. A local church as opened its doors for sanctuary. There is an impromptu process going on right now. There will be a GA at 7am. It sounds like occupiers are going to Foley Square. They are having a brief moment of silence to appreciate the morning and sticking together through the night. Wahoo-Dorus!

You can follow the action at www.globalrevolution.tv

If you want to register your protest, you can call the NYPD and tell them to stop. Here’s the number: (212)334-0611

Um, I *might* have to head up to Foley Square today to do on the spot reporting. Does anyone want to put up bail for me in the unlikely event that I am arrested? I have papers to read. I can do that as easily in Foley Square as anywhere else.

By the way, to get to Foley Square, see this handy google map.

Update2: There will be a group meeting at 6th Ave and Canal Street at 9:00am.

There are Occupy the Highway marchers headed for DC. Their goal is to arrive in DC on Nov. 23, the day the supercommittee is supposed to present their deficit reduction cuts to Congress. They were in Philadelphia yesterday. If you’re interested, you can catch up with them between Philly and Wilmington, Delaware today. See this page for further details. Occupy the Highway also has a wordpress site here. Dear Paul Krugman, there’s a student named Whitney Blodgett who is giving Princeton a bad name. Could you please administer a strong dope-slap to the back of the head? It’s embarrassing.

Update3: Mike Bloomberg’s statement says something to the effect that protestors were preventing the general public from enjoying the use of the park.  {{rolling eyes}}  Is that the best he can come up with?  Because I never saw anyone prevented from entering or using the park when I was there.  Of course, there were those creepy looking dudes that Karl Rove and Fox News probably hired to scare the tourists away but other than that, no one was prevented from enjoying the park.  In fact, the NYPD was sending the homeless, mentally ill and aggressive indigent down to Zuccotti Park even though some of them were disruptive and potentially dangerous to the people in the park.  Earth to Mike Bloomberg, no one is going to believe that crap.

Update4: Bloomberg is having a press conference at City Hall but the occupiers are not allowed to get into the City Hall.  So the occupiers are going to try to prevent any of the media or press from getting into the building to attend the conference.   Soooo, let’s get this straight, the people who are the subject of the press conference are prevented from attending the public press conference to hear the reason why their protest was silenced.  Ok, occupiers have been alerted by a member of the press that there is an alternative entrance.  They are linking arms to prevent the press from getting in the building.

Occupiers barring the entrance to City Hall

Meanwhile, the younguns have gotten the distinct impression that they were used by Obama in 2008 and aren’t in the mood to help him next year.

Occupiers are now marching to meet with union and religious leaders.

Update5:  Someone just announced that a judge ruled that Bloomberg can’t evict protestors from Zuccotti Park.  Looking for confirmation…

Here is the ruling from Judge Lucy Giddings.  A temporary restraining order was issued at 6:30am.  The injunction is in effect until 11:30am.  Another hearing is scheduled today in an attempt to make the injunction permanent.

Amy Goodman at Democracy Now was on the scene when the eviction happened.  Her report is on http://www.globalrevolution.tv now.

Ok, I can hear Bloomberg in the background.  He calls the arrests, beatings, pepperspraying and the destruction of personal property as “cleaning”.  I’m going to take a guess that the word “clean” was focus group tested. Bloomberg knows what gets to the conservative viewer.  There’s nothing they like more than cleanness and orderliness. Occupiers’ personal belongings were loaded into dump trucks and carted away.  It sounds like the Mayor is going to ignore the judge’s injunction and that Zucotti Park will remain closed until the situation is clarified.

Occupiers can pick up their personal belongings at the sanitation department parking lot tomorrow.  They must provide proper identification. But as Amy Goodman panned across the area where sanitation workers were loading the destroyed remnants of Zuccotti park protestors stuff, it’s hard to believe that anyone is going to find something worth recovering much less identifying as their own.

*************************

Maybe we should have known something was up yesterday when the legal council for Mayor Jean Quan in Oakland quit in disgust and threw his support behind Occupy Oakland. The deputy mayor soon followed.

Or maybe it was the fact that Oakland, Portland and Denver were evicted all at once.

Or maybe it was Mayer Nutter in Philadelphia, newly reelected, who was making noises about OccupyPhilly overstaying its welcome.

Whatever it was, we should have seen it coming.

Details are sketchy because the police aren’t letting journalists near the scene but it looks like the bastards moved in at 2:00am to clear Zuccotti Park. The livestream at GlobalRevolution says that “The police are destroying Zuccotti Park, many arrests, many injured, the police are pushing the press away from the scene. Police are tearing apart library. Broadway and Liberty- arrest teams headed there (Police Scanner)”

You can watch the sanitation workers cleaning the park at globalrevolution.tv.  (They’ve moved on to other things by now)

And here’s a picture that says it all.  NYPD’s finest.

Basically, the police moved in to the park in the dead of night when they thought no one would be looking and destroyed everything, used batons and pepperspray against occupiers and did the bidding of the 1%.

It’s not going to work. They will be back. The genie is out of the bottle. The 1% will never be able to rest easily again because the 99% are all around them. There will be more infiltrations. In fact, the infiltrators are already in place. You can fire the ones you have but a new set of infiltrators will take their place. How are you going to know the difference?

The occupiers in Zuccotti Park were only the ones you could see.

You better be nice because the Zuccotti Park occupiers were models of non-violent resistance. They have no control over what desperate people will do when they’re pushed too far.

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This is a great tent city. I love it. As one observer said, “These people are pretty hardcore. The fact that even one person camps out for this is unbelievable to me.” I’ll say. I really admire their dedication and perserverance. They believe in what they’re doing and are committed to it. So glad to hear that the Occupiers in Oakland are taking Frank Ogawa park back after the cops trashed it and made it a mud pit and… what? That’s not Oakland?

Well, Portland then. Great! I was getting really worried about them last night, what with them getting thrown out of the parks because they had set up a tent city and … um, that’s not Portland either?

Denver? No??

Ok, I give up.

It’s a Twilight: Breaking Dawn fan tent city? And they’re allowed to just pitch tents in front of the theater four days in advance so they don’t miss the first showing of the movie.

Wait, where’s the teargas and pepper impact bullets? Where are the mounted police? Where are the helicopters? Where are the Tea Party grouchy old people muttering about dirty hippies on their lawns? Well, as long as it’s only a bunch of silly teenagers mooning over some vampire-human interspecies snogging. We just don’t want them carrying signs and shouting about letting their little light shine or anything like that.

On the other hand, if Oakland and Portland can’t find a place to pitch their tents, they might want to consider a theater parking lot. Edward or Jacob? Sparkly skin guy or washboard abs?

Friday: No Coffee

All out.  My Ikea stash is depleted.  The lack of caffeine must explain why this account of a fatal shooting at Occupy Oakland makes no damn sense:

After the initial fight, one of the young men called several friends or family members from outside the camp and asked them to come and help him. It’s unknown whether the victim had anything to do with the camp, but Jenkins and several witnesses said they has seen him in and around the camp during the previous week.

When the friends arrived, the dispute escalated into pushing and shoving near the portable toilets adjacent to the plaza.

According to one witness and Occupy Oakland supporter, Rachel Tolmachoff, 55, of Pleasant Hill, a group of occupiers then intervened and tried to get the people involved in the fight to move on. A short time later, they heard between four and six gun shots and saw several men run by.

One of the men involved may have run down into the BART station on 14th and Broadway.

Mike Tarmo, 31, a native of Sierra Leone, said he also saw the shooting.

Tarmo claimed that the group of outsiders simply walked up to a man standing on the steps of the plaza and started beating and punching him.

The occupiers tried to step in, Tarmo said. “There were 20 Occupy guys going to help him, saying, Stop! Stop!” Tarmo says the victim of that physical assault was the same person who got shot.

Jenkins, the other eyewitness, said the victim was an innocent bystander. Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan, said at a news conference the victim may not have been involved in the dispute that broke out in the camp earlier.

Weathering the weather at Zuccotti Park

What??  The Boston Herald wrote that account.  Was the writer doing it remotely via crystal ball, because those things never give you a linear narrative?  I dunno.  I also don’t know if the guy who was shot was an occupier or not or just a gang member or an innocent bystander or one of the men who ran to the BART station.  All very puzzling.  Well, I’m sure they’ll sort it out soon enough but it sounds like Occupy Oakland has some unique problems.  I’m still going with infiltration for a lot of the misbehavior judging by what I’ve seen of occupiers at Zuccotti.  And I expect that the occupation movement will get messy and maybe discouraged.  But then, so did Washington’s rag tag army when they struggled against the British and spent the winter at Valley Forge.  The Continental Congress didn’t have money to equip them and it was only their grim determination and taking advantage of some lucky breaks that turned the war around.

Still, I wish someone in Oakland would take charge for a few days, just to keep the site cohesive and focussed.  Funny how each of the occupations has their own flavor.  Zuccotti feels like a giant open air salon, Chicago is full of merry pranksters, Oakland looks like it has to deal with opportunistic gang members.

****************************

Italy’s government has voted to impose austerity measures becaaauuuse that has been working out so well for all of the other European countries that have tried it??  Is it just me or does it seem that the only people not forced to accept austerity measures are the very people who screwed it up for everyone else in the first place?  And it looks like investors bought too many European government bonds.  In other words, they bet on bonds thinking no respectable country would default or wouldn’t get bailed out by the taxpayers of some other wealthy European country.  This whole financial sector makes me sick.  How our governmental officials let them get away with this, repeatedly, at our expense is something I will never understand.

Paul Krugman explains why we should resist right wing ideoologues’ insistence that social spending caused this crisis as a reason to impose austerity on ourselves:

The euro crisis, then, says nothing about the sustainability of the welfare state. But does it make the case for belt-tightening in a depressed economy?

You hear that claim all the time. America, we’re told, had better slash spending right away or we’ll end up like Greece or Italy. Again, however, the facts tell a different story.

First, if you look around the world you see that the big determining factor for interest rates isn’t the level of government debt but whether a government borrows in its own currency. Japan is much more deeply in debt than Italy, but the interest rate on long-term Japanese bonds is only about 1 percent to Italy’s 7 percent. Britain’s fiscal prospects look worse than Spain’s, but Britain can borrow at just a bit over 2 percent, while Spain is paying almost 6 percent.

What has happened, it turns out, is that by going on the euro, Spain and Italy in effect reduced themselves to the status of third-world countries that have to borrow in someone else’s currency, with all the loss of flexibility that implies. In particular, since euro-area countries can’t print money even in an emergency, they’re subject to funding disruptions in a way that nations that kept their own currencies aren’t — and the result is what you see right now. America, which borrows in dollars, doesn’t have that problem.

The other thing you need to know is that in the face of the current crisis, austerity has been a failure everywhere it has been tried: no country with significant debts has managed to slash its way back into the good graces of the financial markets. For example, Ireland is the good boy of Europe, having responded to its debt problems with savage austerity that has driven its unemployment rate to 14 percent. Yet the interest rate on Irish bonds is still above 8 percent — worse than Italy.

The moral of the story, then, is to beware of ideologues who are trying to hijack the European crisis on behalf of their agendas. If we listen to those ideologues, all we’ll end up doing is making our own problems — which are different from Europe’s, but arguably just as severe — even worse.

Funny how you don’t hear about Denmark, Norway and Sweden in the news.  They seem to be able to keep their fiscal houses in order despite their high level of social spending.  Soooo, there goes another set of beautiful theories destroyed by ugly facts.  Hmmm, is that what the right wingers are counting on?  That most Americans can’t think their way out of a paper bag, that graphs and statistics make their heads hurt and that after a couple of decades of Fox News, they’ll believe any stupid theory?

******************************

Speaking of theories, I have a new one about Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS ads against Elizabeth Warren and other Democratic Senate candidates.  It has to do with cleanliness.  This is based on a limited number of data points but if the hard core Fox News lovers I know are any indication, there are lot of people who are very fastidious about their bodies.  Chalk it up to a long gone era when virginity was prized (for some weird reason that bears no resemblance to reality) and nice girls didn’t indulge in unorthodox sexual activity.  Home Ec was not an elective.  Fastidiousness, cleanliness, keeping one’s personal habits and thoughts tidy or at least being ashamed of them- all very important.  Holy hemiola!, have you ever heard one of them go off about homosexuality??  It’s all about the dirtiness, *physical* dirtiness, that they dislike.  Now, I’m not sure that the typical Fox News viewer always felt this way about a little filth but for some reason, they are now.  Some conditioning from 5 decades ago has been pricked and Rove knows how to work it.  And just think about all that mud at Woodstock…

******************************

The Plum Line Metric

Happy Hour Round Up from Nov. 10, 2011 (opinion bloggers and columnists only)

Male writers cited: 7

Female writers cited: 0

Plum Line Metric: 0/7= 0

Still not even a blip on the radar.  Well, it’s still early.

*******************************

save the rich…

OccupyOakland General Strike Today

Update:  Two protestors haves been hit by a car at the Port of Oakland.  No details on the condition of the protestors yet.  The driver reported that he was frustrated by protestors in the street.  (Confirmed by ABC News.)

Occupy Rochester is expecting to be evicted tonight.

Zuccotti Park is hopping tonight with a silent disco party.

Just  a reminder that Occupy Oakland calls for a general strike today.  If you are in California, check this page to see how you can participate.  And you can watch the LiveStream Here.