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A new trove of heavily redacted documents provided by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) on behalf of filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild makes it increasingly evident that there was and is a nationally coordinated campaign to disrupt and crush the Occupy Movement.

The new documents, which PCJF National Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard insists “are likely only a subset of responsive materials,” in the possession of federal law enforcement agencies, only “scratch the surface of a mass intelligence network including Fusion Centers, saturated with ‘anti-terrorism’ funding, that mobilizes thousands of local and federal officers and agents to investigate and monitor the social justice movement.”

[C]apital is always about growth. You see the newspapers, and what are they saying, they say, ‘Oh, there’s a crisis, we have no growth.’ And people only stop talking about crisis when we get three percent growth minimum. Which means that this form of society we live in is actually given over to compound growth forever. Three percent compound growth forever. Now think of that for a moment. Three percent compound growth on all the resources that we consume. Three percent compound growth on all the money which we accumulate. When capital was about what was happening in Manchester and Birmingham, and that kind of thing in say 1820, three percent compound growth for a long time looked okay. I mean, there were all these areas of the world that hadn’t been conquered by capital yet, you know, Asia, China in particular, there were plenty of places to go.

So where does the three percent growth come from now? The whole world is saturated, saturated with consumer goods, saturated with that growth. And what has to happen is we have to start to think about the move towards about a zero growth economy. and as we think about that, we have to understand very clearly that that is a non-capitalist economy. That is a non-capitalist economy for a very simple reason that capital is about accumulation, it’s about growth.

18 November 2011

Linda P.B. Katehi,

I am a junior faculty member at UC Davis. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, and I teach in the Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. I have a strong record of research, teaching, and service. I am currently a Board Member of the Davis Faculty Association. I have also taken an active role in supporting the student movement to defend public education on our campus and throughout the UC system. In a word: I am the sort of young faculty member, like many of my colleagues, this campus needs. I am an asset to the University of California at Davis.

You are not.

I write to you and to my colleagues for three reasons:

1) to express my outrage at the police brutality which occurred against students engaged in peaceful protest on the UC Davis campus today

2) to hold you accountable for this police brutality

3) to demand your immediate resignation

Today you ordered police onto our campus to clear student protesters from the quad. These were protesters who participated in a rally speaking out against tuition increases and police brutality on UC campuses on Tuesday—a rally that I organized, and which was endorsed by the Davis Faculty Association. These students attended that rally in response to a call for solidarity from students and faculty who were bludgeoned with batons, hospitalized, and arrested at UC Berkeley last week. In the highest tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, those protesters had linked arms and held their ground in defense of tents they set up beside Sproul Hall. In a gesture of solidarity with those students and faculty, and in solidarity with the national Occupy movement, students at UC Davis set up tents on the main quad. When you ordered police outfitted with riot helmets, brandishing batons and teargas guns to remove their tents today, those students sat down on the ground in a circle and linked arms to protect them.

What happened next?

Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.

What happened next?

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

This is what happened. You are responsible for it.

You are responsible for it because this is what happens when UC Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse peaceful protesters through the use of force: students get hurt. Faculty get hurt. One of the most inspiring things (inspiring for those of us who care about students who assert their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly) about the demonstration in Berkeley on November 9 is that UC Berkeley faculty stood together with students, their arms linked together. Associate Professor of English Celeste Langan was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground, and arrested. Associate Professor Geoffrey O’Brien was injured by baton blows. Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, was also struck with a baton. These faculty stood together with students in solidarity, and they too were beaten and arrested by the police. In writing this letter, I stand together with those faculty and with the students they supported.

One week after this happened at UC Berkeley, you ordered police to clear tents from the quad at UC Davis. When students responded in the same way—linking arms and holding their ground—police also responded in the same way: with violent force. The fact is: the administration of UC campuses systematically uses police brutality to terrorize students and faculty, to crush political dissent on our campuses, and to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly. Many people know this. Many more people are learning it very quickly.

You are responsible for the police violence directed against students on the UC Davis quad on November 18, 2011. As I said, I am writing to hold you responsible and to demand your immediate resignation on these grounds.

On Wednesday November 16, you issued a letter by email to the campus community. In this letter, you discussed a hate crime which occurred at UC Davis on Sunday November 13. In this letter, you express concern about the safety of our students. You write, “it is particularly disturbing that such an act of intolerance should occur at a time when the campus community is working to create a safe and inviting space for all our students.” You write, “while these are turbulent economic times, as a campus community, we must all be committed to a safe, welcoming environment that advances our efforts to diversity and excellence at UC Davis.”

I will leave it to my colleagues and every reader of this letter to decide what poses a greater threat to “a safe and inviting space for all our students” or “a safe, welcoming environment” at UC Davis: 1) Setting up tents on the quad in solidarity with faculty and students brutalized by police at UC Berkeley? or 2) Sending in riot police to disperse students with batons, pepper-spray, and tear-gas guns, while those students sit peacefully on the ground with their arms linked? Is this what you have in mind when you refer to creating “a safe and inviting space?” Is this what you have in mind when you express commitment to “a safe, welcoming environment?”

I am writing to tell you in no uncertain terms that there must be space for protest on our campus. There must be space for political dissent on our campus. There must be space for civil disobedience on our campus. There must be space for students to assert their right to decide on the form of their protest, their dissent, and their civil disobedience—including the simple act of setting up tents in solidarity with other students who have done so. There must be space for protest and dissent, especially, when the object of protest and dissent is police brutality itself. You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.

Your words express concern for the safety of our students. Your actions express no concern whatsoever for the safety of our students. I deduce from this discrepancy that you are not, in fact, concerned about the safety of our students. Your actions directly threaten the safety of our students. And I want you to know that this is clear. It is clear to anyone who reads your campus emails concerning our “Principles of Community” and who also takes the time to inform themselves about your actions. You should bear in mind that when you send emails to the UC Davis community, you address a body of faculty and students who are well trained to see through rhetoric that evinces care for students while implicitly threatening them. I see through your rhetoric very clearly. You also write to a campus community that knows how to speak truth to power. That is what I am doing.

I call for your resignation because you are unfit to do your job. You are unfit to ensure the safety of students at UC Davis. In fact: you are the primary threat to the safety of students at UC Davis. As such, I call upon you to resign immediately.

Sincerely,

Nathan Brown
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Program in Critical Theory
University of California at Davis

carton-rouge:

84-year-old Occupy Seattle participant Dorli Rainey, pictured above after being pepper sprayed by Seattle Police on November 15th.

She later wrote about the incident:

“Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate. As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out. Especially since only yesterday the City Government made a grandiose gesture to protect free speech. Well free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crowd and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so captured protesters. If it had not been for my Hero (Iraq Vet Caleb) I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like. It certainly left an impression on the people who rode the No. 1 bus home with me. In the women’s movement there were signs which said: “Screw us and we multiply.’”

(via sonhotropical)

mamitah:

wespeakfortheearth:

occupyallstreets:

Activist were peacefully protesting on their campus at University of California, Davis Quad.

Friday afternoon police showed up in riot gear to disperse the protesters by using pepper spray at point-blank range.

The officer who pepper-sprayed UC Davis students is Lt. John Pike. Give his PD a call. 530-752-1727

How casually and almost robotically, with almost no remorse in facial expression.

This goes to show that to them, we are all cattle, nothing more and nothing less!
This has been going on for long time, only in the shadows and as “isolated” events, mostly towards minorities. And thus easily disregarded by most “common” people.

I guess this is the backside of equality before the law..

(via mamitah)

anonymissexpress:

A national group with ties to Homeland Security helped paln the Occupy Oakland bustsAs cities across America evict encampments of the Occupy Wall Street movement, similarities of timing, talking points and tactics among major metropolitan mayors and police chiefs have led critics to wonder: Is some sort of national coordination going on?

The White House says there’s no federal oversight. Speaking November 15 aboard Air Force One, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said “The president’s position is that obviously every municipality has to make its own decisions about how to handle these issues.”

But a little-known but influential private membership based organization has placed itself at the center of advising and coordinating the crackdown on the encampments. The Police Executive Research Forum, an international non-governmental organization with ties to law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been coordinating conference calls with major metropolitan mayors and police chiefs to advise them on policing matters and discuss response to the Occupy movement. The group has distributed a recently published guide on policing political events.

A very interesting read: Full article

Shot of Ret. Capt prior to his 11/18 arrest at

Based on analysis of social networks, specifically Facebook and MeetUp, the map reveals the distribution of Occupy groups across the globe. Presently there are 826 Occupy groups organized in the United States and 352 organized in other parts of the world.   Canada (50), Germany (48) and the United Kingdom (38) have the highest number of Occupy groups outside the United States; however, other countries, such as Albania, Bangladesh, Chile, Dominican Republic, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan, have also seen the rise of local OWS groups. The spread of OWS is continuing as activists make common cause and form bonds of solidarity with social protest movements at work in other parts of the world (e.g. anti-austerity movements in Greece, ‘Arab Spring’ movements in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, social justice protests in Israel).  While the final form, extent and impact of the OWS movement remains to be seen  it is clear that OWS and similar social movements are redefining how we perceive, engage and understand activism in a contemporary context.

CRP is adamantly opposed to the use of the term “Occupy” but supports the Liberation and Decolonization of Oakland. We have concerns about the current movement’s actual ability to benefit the communities that we serve in East and West Oakland, i.e. the real 99% that has been consistently negatively impacted by the financial and social inequalities systems long before the housing bubbles burst. For this movement to make real change, the struggle must address social and racial issues beyond the economic ones. CRP supports the movement for government reparations to the descendants of African slaves and the honoring of all treaties made with indigenous peoples.

We support the community takeover of the public’s visual space and we reject the notion that private property owners should be sole decision makers of what we look at. We believe that the current abatement standards are disjointed and incomplete and support a more holistic, community-based approach that involves local gardens producing healthy food, block parties connecting neighborhoods together, and creating lasting monuments that help define the area based on its history and its residents while creating a sense of positive self-identity.

gravewisdom:

In response to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s insistence that Occupy Denver choose leadership to deal with City and State officials, and drawing inspiration from the notion that corporations are people, Occupy Denver’s General Assembly has elected a leader: Shelby, a three year old Border Collie. “Shelby is closer to a person than any corporation: She can bleed, she can breed, and she can show emotion. Either Shelby is a person, or corporations aren’t people,” said a Shelby supporter at the time of her election.

Occupy Denver reserves the right to alter leadership status, but for now, Shelby exhibits heart, warmth, and an appreciation for the group over personal ambition that Occupy Denver members feel are sorely lacking in the leaders some of them have voted for on national, state, and local levels. Accordingly, Occupy Denver looks forward to communication with Mayor Hancock and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper sometime this week to introduce their leadership.

Newly-elected leader Shelby will be leading this Saturday’s Occupy Denver march against Corporate Personhood, and invites all other civic minded dogs (and their leash-holders) to join.

- END -

(via socialuprooting)

According to Walter Benjamin (who himself is drawing from Georges Sorel), there are two essentially different kinds of strikes. In the political strike, partisans withhold labor, with the hope that their action—which interestingly is an omission of action—will cause an employer to make certain concessions that the strikers have specified beforehand. Because it is assumed that participants are ready to resume work once certain demands have been met, the strike can be thought of as the means to a determinate end (usually some form of material gain).

By contrast, the general strike is what Benjamin describes as “pure means.” Such an action differs from the paradigm of political activity that seeks only immediately practicable goals—like wage increases, health benefits, and certain modifications to the workplace. The premise of the general strike is this: work will not resume once this or that concession is made; instead, people will show their “determination to resume only awholly transformed work” [my italics]. In a characteristically wonderful phrase, Benjamin writes that the general strike “not so much causes as consummates.”….

We talked about the importance of building a movement that is inclusive, but recognising that the unity of the 99% must be a complex unity. Movements in the past have primarily appealed to specific communities. Whether workers, students, black communities, Latino communities, women, LGBT communities, indigenous people, or these movements have been organised around specific issues. Like the environment, food, water, war, the prison-industrial complex. Speaking of the prison-industrial complex. This is the movement I have been personally associated with. We have tried to call attention to the inoperable damage prison and the prison-industrial system has inflicted on our community. So we have called for a reduction of the prison population. Decarceration - decarcerate Pennsylvania. And we have called for the eventual abolition of prisons as the dominant mode of punishment. But we have also called for the revitalisation of all our communities. We have called for education, health care, housing, jobs, hope, justice, creativity, equality, freedom! We move from the particular to the general. We have come together as the 99%. There are major responsibilities linked to your decision to assemble here in communities. How can you be together? I evoke once more Audre Lorde. Differences must not be merely tolerated but seen as a fund of polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic. Finally, let me say a few words about my home town, Oakland, California. You have heard about the police assault. Scott Olsen remains in the hospital. Oakland General Assembly met in the renamed park Oscar Grant Park and responded by calling for a general strike on November 2nd. Many unions have already supported the call. I end by sharing the language of the poster: decolonise Oakland. We are the 99%. We stand united. November 2nd, 2011, general strike, no work, no school, occupy everywhere. Occupy everywhere.

"The Party of Wall Street has ruled unchallenged in the United States for far too long. It has totally (as opposed to partially) dominated the policies of Presidents over at least four decades (if not longer), no matter whether individual Presidents have been its willing agents or not. It has legally corrupted Congress via the craven dependency of politicians in both political parties upon its raw money power and upon access to the mainstream media that it controls. Thanks to the appointments made and approved by Presidents and Congress, the Party of Wall Street dominates much of the state apparatus as well as the judiciary, in particular the Supreme Court, whose partisan judgments increasingly favor venal money interests, in spheres as diverse as electoral, labor, environmental and contract law.

The Party of Wall Street has one universal principle of rule: that there shall be no serious challenge to the absolute power of money to rule absolutely. And that power is to be exercised with one objective. Those possessed of money power shall not only be privileged to accumulate wealth endlessly at will, but they shall have the right to inherit the earth, taking either direct or indirect dominion not only of the land and all the resources and productive capacities that reside therein, but also assume absolute command, directly or indirectly, over the labor and creative potentialities of all those others it needs. The rest of humanity shall be deemed disposable…

…In the face of the organized power of the Party of Wall Street to divide and rule, the movement that is emerging must also take as one of its founding principles that it will neither be divided nor diverted until the Party of Wall Street is brought either to its senses – to see that the common good must prevail over narrow venal interests – or to its knees. Corporate privileges to have all of the rights of individuals without the responsibilities of true citizens must be rolled back. Public goods such as education and health care must be publically provided and made freely available. The monopoly powers in the media must be broken. The buying of elections must be ruled unconstitutional. The privatization of knowledge and culture must be prohibited. The freedom to exploit and dispossess others must be severely curbed and ultimately outlawed.”

http://davidharvey.org/2011/10/rebels-on-the-street-the-party-of-wall-street-meets-its-nemesis/

Before gas goes into a crowd shield bearers have to be making no progress moving a crowd or crowd must be assaulting the line. Not with sticks and stones but a no bullshit assault. 3 warnings must be given to the crowd in a manner they can hear that force is about to be used. Shield bearers take a knee and CS gas is released in grenade form first to fog out your lines because you have gas masks. You then kick the canisters along in front of your lines. Projectile gas is not used except for longer ranged engagement or trying to steer the crowd ( by steering a crowd I mean firing gas to block a street off ). You also have shotguns with beanbags and various less than lethal rounds for your launchers. These are the rules for a WARZONE!!

How did a cop who is supposed to have training on his weapon system accidentally SHOOT someone in the head with a 40mm gas canister? Simple. He was aiming at him.

The canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Reverend Giles Fraser, spoke on Thursday about his reasons for resigning over the cathedral’s stance towards the protest camp which has been established over the past two weeks.

"I cannot support using violence to ask people to clear off the land," Fraser told the Guardian. "It is not about my sympathies or what I believe about the camp. I support the right to protest and in a perfect world we could have negotiated. But our legal advice was that this would have implied consent.”

Fraser said he decided to resign on Wednesday when he realised he could not reconcile his conscience with the possibility of the church and the Corporation of London combining to evict the protesters from the land outside the cathedral, some of which is jointly owned with the City.

"The church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence," said Fraser, adding that it was apparent that the Corporation of London was clearer than the cathedral authorities about its desire to see the protesters moved on.

"I cannot countenance the idea that this would be about [the eviction of] Dale Farm on the steps of St Paul’s.