Push to End Too-Big-To-Fail Goes Mainstream the paper, Harvey Rosenblum, the head of the Dallas Fed's research department, bluntly calls for the breakup of Too-Big-To-Fail banks like Bank of America, Chase, and Citigroup. The government's bottomless sponsorship of these TBTF institutions, Rosenblum writes, has created a "residue of distrust for government, the banking system, the Fed and capitalism itself." Once people on both sides of the aisle start realizing they agree about breaking up these banks, who knows? It might even happen.
Banking - the Greatest Scam on Earth The Greatest Scam on Earth - The Money Scam! The Money Scam is hidden right out in the open, yet buried in complication and confusion. A retired banker describes simply, the world's Money Scam and the reason every country is now going bankrupt. Private bankers have stolen the money creation process, and whereas once our money was created by the governments, debt-free, it is now created out of thin air and issued as debt with interest charges. In today's banker controlled world, money = debt, debt = slavery and therefore money = slavery --- our monetary systems have become systems of enslavement. Money is created out of nothing, issued as debt, not enough money is created for the future interest payments and inflation steals our savings.
The Koch Brothers And The Theft of The American Dream We are in the battle of our lives. And we are in danger of losing. The enemy is men in Brooks Brothers suits. The 2000 election was the first battle and they won. The Supreme Court of the United States installed a president in the White House. And we let them do it. Al Gore let them do it.
Balboa Park to get wireless internet access The Balboa Park Online Collaborative has reached an important milestone in creating a wireless digital infrastructure for Balboa Park. More than a dozen of the park’s institutions now have wireless access points, ranging from the San Diego Air & Space Museum to the San Diego Natural History Museum, according to BPOC. The wireless coverage extends outside to many of the park’s walkways and promenades. For visitors, that means you can sit on one of the benches on El Prado and check your email or access the Internet on your smartphone or laptop (given the ever-rising cost of individual data plans and the rising demand for bandwidth. such free, public access points are becoming increasingly essential).
NRC Forbids San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant From Reopening - March 2012 San Diego, CA - "The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, citing serious concerns about equipment failures at the San Onofre nuclear plant, on Tuesday prohibited plant operator Southern California Edison from restarting the plant until the problems are thoroughly understood and fixed."
Police Are Using Phone Tracking as a Routine Tool Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.
Some of Christie's biggest bills match model legislation from D.C. group called ALEC It’s called the American Legislative Exchange Council, a little-known conservative group headquartered in Washington, D.C., and funded by some of the biggest corporations in the United States — most with a business interest in state legislation. ALEC has quietly made its mark on the political landscape by providing state governments with mock-up bills that academic and political experts say are, for the most part, tailored to fit a conservative agenda. In recent years, states — particularly those with new Republican governors and legislatures — have been flooded with ALEC’s model bills. Nearly 1,000 of them are introduced every year, and roughly one-fifth of those become law, according to ALEC’s own count. ALEC’s bills are especially attractive because they are written so they can virtually be copied and pasted onto legislative proposals across the land. For lawmakers, it can be an irresistible service.
Japan Nuclear Plant May Be Worse Off Than Thought damage to one of three stricken reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant could be worse than previously thought, a recent internal investigation has shown, raising new concerns over the plant’s stability and complicating the post-disaster cleanup.
Less Visible Occupy Movement Looks for Staying Power Six months after the Occupy movement first used protests and encampments to turn the nation’s attention to economic inequality, the movement needs to find new ways to gain attention or it will most likely fade to the edges of the political discourse, according to supporters and critics.
Brooklyn Bridge Re-Occupied Sunday More than 200 Occupy Wall Street supporters returned to the scene of the proverbial crime Sunday on the Brooklyn Bridge, where 700 Americans were arrested when New York City's billionaire mayor unleashed his "private army" on the nonviolent movement during a similar march Oct. 1. The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has filed a a filed federal class action lawsuit against Bloomberg, New York City, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and many police officers on behalf of the 700 Occupy protesters arrested Oct. 1.
San Onofre Power Plant Misled Federal Regulators: Report The troubled San Onofre nuclear plant in Southern California will remain shut down while investigators try to solve a mystery inside its massive generators – the rapid decay of tubing that carries radioactive water, federal regulators said Tuesday.
Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Arrest The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.
Occupy San Diego Offering $12 Per Hour To Join Their Protests… Are you sick and tired of the rich and corporations controlling decisions about our communities? Do you think its time for banks to pay their fair share? Are you ready to stand up and be a part of the 99% movement? Then join the ACCE Canvas team! •Location: Chula Vista •Compensation: $12/hour + gas mileage •This is a part-time job. •This is at a non-profit organization.
Media: Occupy National and Global
Civil Resistance: A First Look (English) Civil resistance is a way for ordinary people to fight for their rights, freedom and justice without using violence. People engaged in civil resistance use diverse tactics, such as strikes, boycotts, mass demonstrations and other actions, to cause wide-ranging social, political and economic change. Around the world, civil resistance has been called by different names—nonviolent struggle, direct action, people power, political defiance, and civic mobilization—but regardless of which term is used, the fundamental dynamics of civil resistance remain essentially the same.
West Virginia retirees occupy — and win The group fought to have their healthcare benefits reinstated after the company unilaterally dropped coverage for more than 500 retirees and their families. After more than a year of organizing, protests and, ultimately, a physical occupation, the Occupy Century group reached a settlement with the company late last month that will restore those health benefits and grant $44 million to the retirees over 10 years, with up to $25 million in additional contributions to follow.
ACLU blasts Baltimore police for handcuffing schoolchildren The ACLU of Maryland on Friday said it was “appalling” that Baltimore police officers arrested and handcuffed three 9-year-old girls and an 8-year-old boy at an elementary school. The officers arrested the children Thursday afternoon inside Morrell Park Elementary School on aggravated-assault charges. The charges were based on a schoolyard fight that occurred nine days earlier.
2012 Apr 05
Media: Occupy San Diego
Media: Occupy National and Global
TWU Leader Won’t Disown Occupy for Fare-Beating John Samuelsen, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, said March 29 he was “not in any way critical” of the illegal actions of Occupy Wall Street members and dissidents in his own union who, without his knowledge, chained open gates at numerous subway stations a day earlier during the morning rush hour, giving straphangers a free ride.
Organic Food Industry Bought Up by Corporations Like Coca-Cola You may be wondering why some supposedly ‘healthy’ and ‘environmentally conscious’ companies deceive unknowing consumers into purchasing products with hidden additives and fillers. Perhaps one of the main reasons is that a large number of these pseudo-organic brands are owned by their very unhealthy ‘competitors’, such as Coca-Cola and General Mills. In fact, some of your favorite “All Natural” and organic companies may be owned by a corporate giant. Companies like Honest Tea and Odwalla may appeal to health conscious shoppers, but they are actually owned by Coca-Cola — the very same company that is currently fuming over the requirement to change their recipes in order to avoid a cancer warning label.
Police Pepper Spray SaMo College Students During Protest About 30 Santa Monica College students were pepper sprayed by campus police Tuesday evening as they protested a plan to increase tuition. An officer was knocked off balance by the crowd outside a board of trustees meeting and then sprayed the students, Michael Burnett, a chemistry student, told KTLA. The students responded by shouting, "Shame on you!" as pepper spray filled the hallways, said Burnett, 21, who was present for the protest.
2012 Apr 06
Media: Occupy San Diego
Commercial to air on CNN exposes cover-up and radiation leak at California nuke plant (VIDEO) “Friends of the Earth launched a new television ad campaign today targeting the utility Southern California Edison, the operator of the troubled San Onofre nuclear reactors, which are currently closed due to serious safety problems. The ad parallels the threat from San Onofre’s troubled reactors with the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan — and notes that eight million Americans live within 50 miles of San Onofre, the distance the U.S. government advised should be evacuated in the Japan disaster. The ad urges residents to let the utility know that their families come first and that it must keep the reactors closed.” -Friends of the Earth, April 2
Fascism Comes to the Internet: Introducing CISPA After nearly unprecedented pushback against bills SOPA and PIPA, their apparent defeat cannot yet be claimed. Most skeptics presumed that the defeat of the aforementioned would only serve to offer a compromised "SOPA light" at some point to circumvent criticism over government censorship. Well, it didn't take long. In addition to OPEN and ACTA to combat supposed piracy issues in the U.S. and Europe respectively, we now have been presented with a full-on fascist template for Internet control where government and private corporations will work hand in hand under the very broad definition of cybersecurity. The CISPA acronym is probably the most honest of those proposed thus far, and certainly is self-explanatory: the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. Cybersecurity initiatives themselves are framed in such a way as to declare the free and open Internet to be subsumed into national security infrastructure, thus giving it over to the Pentagon, NSA, and other agents for use in surveillance and even offensive war. However, CISPA goes one step further to suggest that all information transmitted on this national security infrastructure is fair game for the prying eyes of the State. Most likely the private sector must bow to any and all demands made, or face being labeled as supporters of terrorism.
Hedges: "No Outcry Within Media" on NDAA We had reported on the show that a group of political activists and journalists testified in a New York Court about why they're suing the Obama administration over the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA. Chris Hedges, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter is also one of the plaintiffs; he joins the show to discuss.
Obama signs insider trading ban into law In what has become a rare scene in Washington, a group of bipartisan lawmakers joined President Barack Obama today at the White House for his signing of the Stop on Congressional Knowledge Act. The legislation, referred to as the STOCK Act is designed to prohibit members of Congress, their families and staff from using any information gleaned while working on the Hill to execute stock transactions.
Is it time to break up the banks? week the Dallas Fed issued an explosive report (PDF) -- predicting America will face another financial crisis and be forced to bail out Wall Street again unless the biggest banks are broken up. This isn't the Occupy movement. The Dallas Fed is one of the most conservative banks in the Federal Reserve system. And it knows first-hand about the dangers of under-regulated banks -- the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and '90s affected Texas like nowhere else. According to The Dallas Fed report, Wall Street's power makes it almost impossible to control because "they have the lawyers and the money to resist the pressures of federal regulation." This means the Dodd-Frank act, which is supposed to prevent another financial calamity, is woefully inadequate.
Capitalism's Dirty Secret: Corporations Don't Create Jobs, They Destroy Them Corporations are not working for the 99 percent. But this wasn’t always the case. In a special five-part series, William Lazonick, professor at UMass, president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, and a leading expert on the business corporation, along with journalist Ken Jacobson and Alter Net’s Lynn Parramore, will examine the foundations, history and purpose of the corporation to answer this vital question: How can the public take control of the business corporation and make it work for the real economy?
Meet the Occupy candidates Activists are running for seats in the same statehouses they occupied. Will the movement get behind them? Hakim, clearly, has a different view. “This is just another medium [for change],” he says, though he’s quick to note, “I’m not running as an Occupy candidate. I want to make that very clear.” In standard political speak, he explains that he wants to represent all his potential constituents.
Small CA Group Wins Over Walmart Quartz Hill Cares, a small group of concerned citizens in the Antelope Valley, CA, claimed a legal victory this week to stop retail giant Walmart. In 2007, the company proposed to build a 100,000 square foot store in Quartz Hill, a small town 70 miles north of Los Angeles. Community members came together in an effort to prevent Walmart from entering their community and potentially selling alcohol in close proximity to the local high school. Despite strong local opposition, many local politicians immediately supported the proposal to build the store. KTLA Channel 5 featured Loretta Berry of Quartz Hill Cares as saying, “The mayor said from the very beginning that this will be built. He said he didn’t care about the citizens of Quartz Hill or the businesses.” The group filed a case with the California 2nd District Court of Appeals. Finally, six years after the struggle began, the court ruled in favor of Quartz Hill Cares this week. The court ruled that the city had failed to meet the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act when they completed the Environmental Impact Report. For now, the group has temporarily blocked Walmart’s plans to enter the area. Berry as quoted in the L.A. Times:
2012 Apr 07
Media: Occupy San Diego
Boehner attends Bilbray's fundraiser in PB But outside, a small group of protesters were seen chanting and holding signs for women's rights. Protester Dave Patterson says his biggest issue is what he calls, the GOP's war on women. "They need to get rid of Bilbray," said Patterson, protester. "They don't want women to have access to birth control and when they get pregnant they don't want them to have access to abortions. I guess for Republicans they want them to be down, home, barefoot and pregnant."
Occupy San Diego, Six Months Later David Abramson, a member of Occupy San Diego, and Jonathan Graubart, associate professor of political science at San Diego State University, talk to KPBS about the Occupy movement.
Occupy San Diego Marks Six Month Anniversary Six months after the Occupy San Diego movement started, there are no longer protestors occupying San Diego's Civic Center. Abramson said over the past six months, Occupy has had several achievements: National Bank Transfer Day, working with unions in an effort to shut down the port and contributing to efforts to stop the SOPA and PIPA bills.
NRC chief heads to sickly San Onofre nuclear plant The twin reactors at the San Onofre nuclear plant have been sidelined, more than 300 tubes that carry radioactive water will be scrapped because of excessive wear, and investigators are trying to figure out why tubing is rattling inside the lungs of the plant — its massive steam generators. Protesters present. Video.
Long Demise of Glass-Steagall A chronology tracing the life of the Glass-Steagall Act, from its passage in 1933 to its death throes in the 1990s, and how Citigroup's Sandy Weill dealt the coup de grâce.
MPAA boss: we're cooking up a new SOPA behind the scenes Former Senator Chris Dodd, head of the MPAA, has hinted to the Hollywood Reporter that he's already greasing the wheels for a new version of SOPA, though he's shy about revealing details because of the public outcry that might ensue.
The Evolution of the Butterfly (Occupy) Renowned cellular biologist, Dr. Bruce Lipton narrates the process of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly over a milieu of imagery in "The Evolution of the Butterfly". The film combines first hand footage from the Occupy Wall Street movement with stylized portraits of the recent economic collapse and gives a backdrop of hope to sometimes bleak reality.
2012 Apr 08
Media: Occupy San Diego
San Onofre barred from restarting until problems are solved The head of the federal agency overseeing the nation's nuclear power toured the troubled San Onofre plant Friday and promised that the facility's reactors would not restart until officials find the root cause of the mysterious equipment problems that have closed them for the last two months. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko toured the darkened plant along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D- Calif.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and talked to Southern California Edison officials about the unusually fast degradation of steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water in the plant's two working reactor units.
SAN ONOFRE: Environmental groups hold protests at nuke plant Friends of the Earth are demanding a full accounting of what went wrong at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The FOE has been running a television ad that contends Southern California Edison is rushing the plant back into service after several problems with tubing forced the generator to shut down, a charge the utility denies. The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory Jaczko, plans to visit the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Friday and is scheduled to take questions from the media at 3 p.m.
Media: Occupy National and Global
Occupy Wall Street Escalates The Battle For Union Square The branch of Occupy Wall Street protesters who have colonized Union Square for the past three weeks continue their nightly standoff with the New York Police Department, which each night deploys more than fifty officers to clear the park and stand guard along a wall of metal barricades to make sure no one gets in. David Graeber, an author who has been closely involved with the movement, read aloud from an enlarged copy of a 2000 federal court ruling that held sleeping on the sidewalk as a form of political protest was legal, as long as protesters don't take up more than half the sidewalk or otherwise act disorderly. The protesters walked across the street to the Bank of America, and started rolling out their sleeping bags. Police officers initially assured the campers "It's all good." Guest reported that around 3:30, two police officers roused protesters sleeping in front of a Citi Bank location and forced them to stand. When protesters again read the officers the law, took their badge numbers, and threatened to report them to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the officers left without making any arrests. Not everyone in the movement is convinced that this standing conflict with the police is the best course of action. Some even criticize the Occupiers' focus on Union Square altogether. "I consider the entire scene at Union Square to be the opposite of what Occupy Wall Street represents," Sheynin said. "The day you arrived here, you displaced a community that had been here for 20 years. You came in in a way that affected other people, you didn't get their consent, and you didn't even try to talk to them." In a statement released prior to the raid of the building, Occupy SF said: In a city with ten thousand homeless people and thirty-two thousand vacant but habitable units, it is a crime against humanity that people are prevented from sleeping through the night as part of a political protest or as a basic human right. The city wants Occupy SF and the homeless off the street – harassing, intimidating, and arresting us every night–so now we are inside creating a vibrant space for health, humanity, and free expression. This building has been empty for five years and was previously a mental health clinic providing a valuable service to the community. Five years ago the Board of Supervisors cut the funding to this vital community center causing many people with mental illness to be put out on the street and become subject to arrest and harassment simply for now existing in these very same streets they were forced into. This funding cut was brought on by the international financial crisis caused by a corrupt banking system which profits off the backs of the 99%.
US Bank closes UC Davis branch, cites "intolerable" Occupy protests Citing the "intolerable" situation created by the daily protests outside the bank's doors, US Bank officials abruptly closed the US Davis branch location at the end of February, ending an agreement with the school that generated upward of $170,000 annually for student activities.
Fault Lines – Occupy Wall Street: Surviving the Winter Even if the camps were cleared, it’s clear that Occupy considered as a movement changed the discourse to include “income inequality” (class), has not (perhaps not yet) been co-opted, has not (perhaps not yet) been successfully demonized by our famously free press, and has also built up social capital, and not in bowling leagues or rotisserie baseball, either. These are tremendous achievements
How Dangerous is the Radioactive Wave Headed Toward the US? A radioactive wave is headed toward the West Coast of the United States courtesy of the Fukushima nuclear disaster? So with nuclear power still wreaking havoc on the environment - why are the Japanese about to flip on more of their nuclear reactors?
The Mainstream Media Ignores Illegal Arrests of Tucson Occupiers On Friday, March 23, Paul Gattone, the lawyer representing many of the Occupy Tucson arrestees, held a press conference to protest the Tucson Police Department’s recent actions against the occupiers at Vente de Agosto park downtown. Despite the fact that five occupiers had been arrested two nights before the press conference, and two the night before, no mainstream media turned up.
Occupy is No Longer About Occupying Public Space, It is About Occupy Action each addressing core issues directly related to why so many thousands of people began Occupying Wall Street to begin with. There’s Fight BAC, a project with the (not at all modest) goal of taking down Bank of America. There’s the effort to fight foreclosures and evictions through occupations, auction blockades or eviction defense.
Occupy Chicago kicks off 'Chicago Spring' with rallies Occupy Chicago called Saturday a citywide day of action. Groups all across the city rallied in 13 neighborhoods. Some events were in Chicago's suburbs, as well. Those gathered talked about a number issues, like foreclosures, residents' visions for their communities and genocide.
US Union Pensions Hole Deepens to $369 Billion The hole in the pension plans of U.S. labor unions now stands at $369 billion, Credit Suisse has calculated with the aid of new reporting standards. This raises the prospect of higher pension contributions for employers and deteriorating industrial relations.
Can Occupy Walk Through the Doors It Opened? Or Will It Paint Itself into a Corner? Seizing on the popularity of Occupy Wall Street, a broad coalition of liberal-left groups and organizations created the 99 Percent Spring, a movement aiming to recruit and train 100,000 Americans to learn the ways of non-violent direct action. However, Occupy Wall Street protesters have expressed mixed feelings about the 99 Percent Spring
Broad Coalition of Journalists and Activists Join in Legal Challenge to NDAA Journalists are pressing forward in their pursuit of the rescue of the Bill of Rights from a federal government determined to hold not only the Constitution hostage, but perhaps indefinitely detain those brave enough to defend it. Seven dedicated plaintiffs have filed a complaint in federal court challenging key provisions National Defense Authorization Act. Specifically, the suit avers that the vagueness of several key terms in that law are creating a dangerous environment for reporters and activists to such a degree that the right of free speech is being infringed.
Supreme Court To Re-Examine Its Citizens United Ruling The Supreme Court has agreed to rule on a case that speaks directly to the previous ruling of Citizens United. Some time ago, the Montana Supreme Court essentially overruled Citizens United based on the idea that a federal law does not override a state law. Montana has very strict guidelines in place to prevent the very corruption that Citizens United invites because they have dealt with precisely this problem in the past. So as Justice Alito was making a fool of himself by insisting there would be no corruption, Montana has a number of laws on its books that says otherwise. You would think that a Supreme Court Justice might have availed himself of that precedent before ruling that it doesn’t exist.
Occupy groups focusing protest on foreclosures local Occupy groups pursue an issue they believe has emotional resonance among America's struggling lower and middle classes. Fighting foreclosures and evictions, activists say, gives the disparate movement a unifying focus and embodies its anti-Wall Street message. It also has offered a way for Occupy -- up till now a largely white, middle-class movement -- to broaden its reach to minorities.
You Can't Leave Occupy Wall Street My last post was called " Why I came to Occupy Wall Street and Why I Left," and I caught a lot of grief from my readers for not giving them what the title promised: I explained why I came to OWS -- that's the easy part -- but I didn't really say why I left. It's going to take a whole series of posts to properly explain why I stopped working on the movement, but I think it'll help ease the suspense if I write a few words about what it even means to "leave" Occupy Wall Street. That verb, I'll be the first to admit, was an inappropriate one.
Radiation from Japan found in kelp off U.S. West Coast Radioactive iodine was found in kelp off the U.S. West Coast following last year’s earthquake-triggered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown, according to a new study. It was already known that radioactive iodine 131 (131-I), carried in the atmosphere, made it across the Pacific within days of the March 11, 2011 tsunami disaster, albeit in minuscule amounts. But marine biologists at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) discovered the radioactive isotope in ocean kelp, which is “one of the strongest plant accumulators of iodine,” within a month of the accident.
An Open Letter To Wal-Mart Upon hearing of Wal-Mart’s plan to open a store in Logan Heights’ and Sherman Heights’ iconic Farmer’s Market building on Imperial Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets, we as community; residents, non-profit organizations, faith, and labor leaders began the process of soliciting the community's input on the proposed store. As part of that process, we have compiled a list of priorities for prospective business partners.
Unions Send Wal-Mart Letter Outlining Requests A handful of community and labor groups have penned an open letter to Walmart concerning the company’s announced intention to take over the farmers' market building on Imperial Avenue in Sherman Heights. The letter states that the groups met with Walmart representatives and consultants on March 29 to discuss the community’s expectations for the store and to request “a legally binding community benefits agreement.” The list of priorities, which letter-signers say were gathered through soliciting direct input from the community, include local hiring, affordable health benefits for employees, traffic mitigation projects, safety improvements, and investment in community programs.
An Open Letter To Wal-Mart The community’s list of priorities includes local hire, affordable health benefits, traffic mitigation, safety improvements, and investment in community programs. All of the issues included are considered vital commitments to meeting the needs of local residents and important for any large retailer interested in being a partner in the success of our community. We believe that the only way to truly commit to those priorities is with a legally binding agreement with the community.
Community's 'open letter' to Walmart Group wants retail giant to commit to local hires, affordable benefits. As Walmart prepares to bring its smaller grocery-format store concept to San Diego, a coalition of unions, neighborhood groups and nonprofits is asking the company to commit to hiring local workers and investing in the community.
Media: Occupy National and Global
Their plan for low-wage America JOBS ARE coming back, but you can forget about a living wage--unless you and your co-workers are organized enough to demand one. That's the real story behind the long-delayed rebound in employment that government statistics have been showing for the past several months.
Occupy takes protest to street -- the one near Bank of America Over the weekend, Occupy D.C. activists established what they hoped would be a permanent camp outside a Bank of America branch near the White House. There was but one tent -- and it was purely symbolic, with protesters sleeping on the street instead. Activists say they're returning to Occupy’s roots.
New jobs added but not enough to satisfy GOP Bernie joins Ed Schultz on MSNBC to talk about Republican obstructionism on the economy. “If you’re asking me, are the Republicans prepared to do whatever they can to torpedo the economy in order to defeat Obama, I think the answer is pretty clear. They have shown that time and time again.”
Why Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse The "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" (in addition to everything else, the Act has an annoying, redundant title) will very nearly legalize fraud in the stock market. In fact, one could say this law is not just a sweeping piece of deregulation that will have an increase in securities fraud as an accidental, ancillary consequence. No, this law actually appears to have been specifically written to encourage fraud in the stock markets.
Occupy escapes eviction Less than 30 minutes after police began bulldozing the Occupy New Haven encampment on the New Haven Green, city officials were forced to halt the eviction when a federal appeals court issued an injunction allowing the protest to survive at least another week.
Occupy Returns to Roots With 'Sleepful Protests' The newest strategy is called "sleepful protest" (#sleepfulprotest, for Twitter users). Over the weekend, Occupy D.C. activists established what they hoped would be a permanent, though purely symbolic, camp outside a Bank of America branch near the White House.
Madison City Council passes resolution recognizing Occupy Madison Resolution passed at the City Council meeting on April 10: NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Madison thanks the Occupy Madison movement and the current Occupy Madison residents for their efforts to address important community needs during this recession and recognizes their potential to be an important resource for this city;
Monsanto and Big Tobacco Blamed for Birth Defects Monsanto, Philip Morris and other U.S. tobacco giants knowingly poisoned Argentinean tobacco farmers with pesticides, causing “devastating birth defects” in their children, dozens of workers claim in court.
Study: Autism Linked to Industrial Food, Environment new study by Clinical Epigenetics, a peer-reviewed journal that focuses largely on diseases, has found that the rise in autism in the United States could be linked to the industrial food system, specifically the prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the American diet.
Monsanto sued for poisoning farmers Members of the "Occupy" movement in the Midwest protest against Monsanto's agricultural practices in front of the Missouri Botanical Garden during the "Occupy the Midwest" regional conference in St. Louis, Missouri March 16, 2012 A lawsuit filed this week claims that the Monsanto corporation, "motivated by a desire for unwarranted economic gain,” knowingly poisoned farmers that were pressured to use the company’s chemicals.
Montreal Students Occupy Banks in 12-Hour Protest Marathon Students in Montreal and across Quebec today continue their protest against tuition increases and austerity measures in education with a 12-hour ¨“marathon of intensive vindication,” according to organizers. Today will see rolling student protests mostly focused against banks. In Montreal, marches leave from Victoria Square every hour and will each take unique routes through downtown. Just after 8am ET this morning, Montreal police dispersed a blockade ot the Banque Nationale tower using chemical weapons, preventing hundreds from getting to work inside. Meanwhile, in Quebec City, 60 protesters occupied a CIBC bank near the National Assembly. When police entered to remove them, the group merely crossed the street and occupied a Banque Nationale branch.
UC Davis Pepper Spray Report Released: Campus Police Force 'Very Dysfunctional' Months after students at UC Davis were filmed being soaked in pepper spray and arrested by police in riot gear after peacefully protesting at their university, a UC Davis 'task force' has finally released a report on the incident today. The report includes a number of criticisms against police and administrative action on the day stating, "The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented." The report is critical of the actions of Police Chief Annette Spicuzza. It states, “the command and leadership structure of the UCDPD is very dysfunctional.” The 190-page Reynoso Task Force Report said the use of pepper spray was “not supported by objective evidence and not authorized by policy.” •The pepper spray used (MK-9) was not an authorized weapon for UC Davis police officers and officers were not trained in how to use it.
Evicted From Park, Occupy Protesters Take to Sidewalks The protesters arrived on Wall Street on Wednesday night carrying bedrolls, quilts and blankets. They spread pieces of cardboard on the sidewalks. Then, as several police officers stood nearby, the protesters made signs with anticorporate slogans.
DOJ sues Apple over price-fixing scheme The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday brought a lawsuit against Apple and several publishing companies over a scheme to fix e-book prices. The suit stems from the 2010 release of the iPad, when Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) reached an agreement with five publishers to release books on its then-new iBookstore. The DOJ said Apple colluded to raise the price of e-books with CBS's (CBS, Fortune 500) Simon & Schuster, News Corp.'s (NWS) Harper Collins, Hachette Book Group, Pearson's (PSO) Penguin unit and Macmillan.
Mitt's off on PBS Mitt Romney supports removing all federal funding for PBS, and if the network is interested in survival, it will be forced to turn to private advertising revenue. "We're not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements," is exactly how he put it, but Romney is neither smart nor funny, so allow me to translate. Advertisements turn children's brains into thin slurry that candy companies and Mc Donalds then build direct pile lines into. That isn't even a hyperbole, as anyone who has heard a child suggest what model of car to buy can attest. It is wrong to advertise to children, and for someone who wants to run the country to so blatantly support it is lunacy. At its best, PBS is a bulwark against the commercial world. Certainly allowing "Sesame Street" to become a toy store dynasty is a mixed bag, but PBS shows themselves are often the purest thing available to young minds. To threaten to take that away to save money is absurd.
Keep Super PACs off PBS and NPR U.S. appeals court just struck down a ban on political ads on public broadcasting.1 That means your local PBS or NPR station could start running nasty attack ads right away.
Iceland forgives mortgage debt of its population The government of Iceland has forgiven the mortgage debt for much of its population. This nation chose a very different way of stopping the crisis from the rest of European countries. It decided to hear the requests of the population and to put politicians and bankers on the bench of the accused three years after their financial excesses would sank one of the most prosperous economies in 2008.
Top Fed Official: “The Moment Is Now” to Break Up Big Banks The nation’s largest banks are “a perversion of capitalism” and “a clear and present danger to the U.S. economy.” The Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation passed in the wake of the crisis “may actually perpetuate an already dangerous trend of increasing banking industry concentration.”
‘Occupy’ as a business model: The emerging open-source civilization The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Occupy Wall Street set up working groups to find solutions to their physical needs. The economy was considered as a provisioning system (as explained in Marvin Brown’s wonderful book, Civilising the Economy), and it was the “citizens”, organised in these working groups, who decided which provisioning system was appropriate given their ethical values. For example, organic farmers from Vermont provided free food to the campers, but this had a negative side effect: the local street vendors, generally poor immigrants, did not fare too well with everyone getting free food. The occupiers cared about the vendors and so they set up an Occupy Wall Street Vendor Project, which raised funds to buy food from the vendors.
Is Wal-Mart good for America? During the last two decades, Wal-Mart has been able to take advantage of the rise of information technology and the explosion of the global economy to change the balance of power in the business world.
10 Big Companies That Pay No Taxes (and Their Favorite Politicians) Between 2008 and 2011, 26 major American corporations paid no net federal income taxes despite bringing in billions in profits, according to a new report (PDF) from the nonprofit research group Citizens for Tax Justice. CTJ calculates that if the companies had paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate, they would have put more than $78 billion into government coffers.
How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’ While many of us are working to ensure that the Occupy movement will have a lasting impact, it’s worthwhile to consider other countries where masses of people succeeded in nonviolently bringing about a high degree of democracy and economic justice. Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different.
UC Davis Pepper Spray "Could Have Been Prevented" The 200 page document concluded that the incident "should and could have been prevented." Those words appear in the first paragraph of the lengthy document. The report also said that the use of the pepper spray "does not appear to have been an objectively reasonable use of force."
STUNNING! Banksters launder foreign drug cartel money as Wells Fargo invests in for-profit prisons Last year, Wells Fargo paid a fine they could easily afford when they had purchased Wachovia bank, after Wachovia got busted laundering $110 Million dollars of drug money for foreign drug cartels. If you're keeping score at home that means if you get busted smoking a joint you go to jail, but if you get busted laundering millions of dollars in drug cartel money you get a slap on the wrist. Now, here's the catch, if you get caught smoking pot and go to jail, Wells Fargo will make a profit off of that too thanks to America's growing for-profit prison system.
Millions Against Monsanto: The Food Fight of Our Lives For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture, aided and abetted by indentured politicians and regulatory agencies, supermarket chains, giant food processors, and the so-called “natural” products industry. Finally, public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back.
Owned & Operated (Complete) Owned & Operated is a mosaic of the world through the lens of the internet. Showing our lives as consumers, under the thumbs of privileged individuals and their methods of control. But the world is awakening, and the experience is something outside the normal rules of social interaction, causing excitement in those who are not served by the current system... and fear in those who are pampered by it.
Battle for the Soul of Occupy First they silenced our uprising with a media blackout… then they smashed our encampments with midnight paramilitary raids… and now they’re threatening to neutralize our insurgency with an insidious campaign of donor money and co-optation. Will you allow Occupy to become a project of the old left, the same cabal of old world thinkers who have blunted the possibility of revolution for decades? Will you allow Move On, The Nation and Ben & Jerry to put the brakes on our Spring Offensive and turn our struggle into a “99% Spring” reelection campaign for President Obama?
Stop the Nuclear Industry Welfare Program The US is facing a $15 trillion national debt, and there is no shortage of opinions about how to move toward deficit reduction in the federal budget. One topic you will not hear discussed very often on Capitol Hill is the idea of ending one of the oldest American welfare programmes – the extraordinary amount of corporate welfare going to the nuclear energy industry.
99 Percent Spring Gets Progressives Using Obama Campaign Rhetoric and Advocating for Inadequate Solutions to the Wealth DivideMove On, Rebuild the Dream, SEIU and its allies are so sophisticated at getting people to work for their Democratic Party agenda. Initially Van Jones tried to turn Occupy into a Tea Party for the Dems, promising thousands of 99% candidates -- thankfully, that did not materialize as Occupy refused his invitation to co-option. Now, they are trying a more discreet approach. They know that to herd cats is a challenge -- unless you put out food! The food here is civil disobedience trainings. Once they get the Occupiers and others in the 99% to come to their trainings they direct them to support the "Buffett Rule for Tax Fairness."
Wells Fargo’s prison cash cow Despite, or rather because of, its role as one of the leading sub-prime mortgage lenders prior to the 2008 crash in the housing market, the bank was handed $37 billion from the U.S. government, a transfer of wealth from the foreclosed upon have-nots to the haves doing the foreclosing – people like chairman and CEO John Stumpf, whose compensation actually rose after his company’s de facto bankruptcy to a cool $18 million last year.
Debate: Occupy Wall Street vs Spring99% Co-optation? There is a debate going on right now within certain progressive activist circles and communities around the country. It’s a debate generally between Occupy Wall Street activists and supporters with those individuals and groups that have coalesced around a loose network called Spring99%. There are accusations from Occupy folks that Spring99% is trying to co-opt the OWS movement. That Move On is a front for the Democratic Party. And there are denials both from activists within the Spring99% network and members of the Occupy movement itself
A13 Occupy Answers New York Stock Exchange 3:53 pm April 13, NYC: Occupy Wall Street gathers on the steps of Federal Hall to counter the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange with "the People's Gong." Police make several arrests and attempt to prevent media from documenting them.
Yes, The 99% Spring Is A Fraud With hindsight gained by googling “MoveOn” and “co-opt” after the fact, I can’t claim that nobody tried to warn me. Many websites with left and even liberal politics had said in so many words, “Be wary of this organization called the 99% Spring. It is a Trojan horse for the Democrats.” I just didn’t read that anywhere in a timely fashion. I’ve had a lot of stuff on my plate lately. That’s my excuse. And in my ignorance, I responded to some spam about “nonviolent direct action training” organized by Move On and got invited to this 99% Spring thing on April 10 at the Goddard Riverside Community Center in Manhattan. Somebody even called me all the way from San Francisco to make sure I was a sincere seeker on the left and would be attending, along with 120,000 others in training sessions around the country
OWS Friday 13, April 2012. For the third consecutive night, Occupy Wall Street protesters used a tactic that many of them hope will emerge as a replacement for their encampment at Zuccotti Park, which was disbanded by the police in November. Norman Siegel, a prominent civil-rights lawyer who visited the protesters on Wednesday night, said a decision by a federal court in Manhattan arising from a lawsuit in 2000 allowed the protesters to sleep on sidewalks as a form of political expression so long as they did not block doorways and took up no more than half the sidewalk.
Ask not who’s co-opting you, ask whom you can co-opt Meanwhile, however, there’s a lot of anxiety running around the Occupy movement’s organizer email lists and in articles being published about the trainings in Occupy-friendly outlets, from Couner Punch to Adbusters. The fear is of course that the movement and its “99%” meme are being co-opted. The 99% Spring, though, is a little different. Who’s co-opting whom, here? And what’s at stake? Mubarak didn’t fall just because thousands of people were camped out in Tahrir Square; he fell because those thousands of people inspired Egyptian unions to stop working, to grind the economy to a halt. Rather than arguing about whether the 99% Spring is co-option or not — spoiler alert: it is — Occupiers can be strategizing about how to co-opt it back even more. How can all these newly-trained troops be mobilized into Occupying? What specific actions can they be drawn into to practice what they’ve learned?
More problems found at San Onofre nuclear power plant Southern California Edison officials said Wednesday that they are now seeing the same unusual type of wear on steam generator tubes at both of the San Onofre nuclear plant's reactor units. In recent months, officials have found unexpected wear on more than 300 tubes that were installed as part of the $671-million replacement of the plant's four steam generators. The new steam generators were installed within the last two years, which made that rate of wear unexpected.
2012 Apr 16
Media: Occupy San Diego
Media: Occupy National and Global
Occupy Grand Rapids holds first rally of 2012, sets date to 're-occupy' downtown Though we may not have seen the Occupy Grand Rapids group downtown recently, members say they are still meeting and will be out in full force this summer. On Saturday, the group gathered at Monument Park in the city for their first rally of 2012. An open mic session allowed visitors a chance to speak out. Members say the next few months will be spent planning to ‘re-occupy’ downtown, beginning on July 4.
SINGLE MOTHER FALSELY ACCUSED OF ENDANGERING HER CHILDREN AT OCCUPY OAKLAND The authorities apparently stop at nothing to intimidate and scare people from participating in a movement that they fear. Stayaway orders, bogus arrests, heavy charges for minor offenses, sham “lynching” laws, and, most recently, deploying the Child Protective Services to attack a single mother for participating in Occupy Oakland.
Can we have hierarchy without oppression? Confucian philosopher Steve Angle recently authored a paper about why some forms of deference and hierarchy do not have to be oppressive, especially if the hierarchy is always changing and evolving. One person aptly defers to another on the basis of a fit between the latter's role, experiences, learning, or skills, and the particular circumstance in which the two find themselves.
Occupy Papua New Guinea Takes On Government, Wins In another example of the power of popular resistance, Papua New Guineans this week appear to have successfully stopped the government from delaying elections and implementing a controversial Judicial Conduct Law that would allow the legislature to remove judges. In front of a massive crowd organized by labor unions, churches, social media groups, and civil society organizations, PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill promised to hold elections on time. The protests were organized in part by student activists and bloggers affiliated with Occupy Waigani, a group that formed last month to occupy Parliament in protest of the Judicial Conduct Law. Among other efforts, Occupiers in PNG are also working to address the exploitation of local resources by corporate interests and unequal development in the country. #OccupyWallStreet stands in solidarity with Occupiers and dissidents everywhere. (See below for a timeline of events in PNG!)
Federal Court Recognizes Chalking Freedom in Orlando Prior to the decision Friday, Orlando officials indicated that they would be appealing an “adverse ruling”. The city would find it difficult to play a purer than thou antichalk attitude in this case. Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer encouraged downtown businesses to chalk their sidewalks in support of the home team Magic when they were in the NBA playoffs in 2009. The city also permits a yearly chalk art festival held by the local Rotary Club. David Baker told Orlando bureaucrats, “The city may not selectively interpret and enforce the ordinance based on its own desire to further the causes of particular favored speakers.”
If 25,000 people rally in midtown, is that a story? vThe Occupy movement, active all winter, has been mostly ignored by the press. Now, along with other groups, it is stepping up its rallies and protests against corporate influence and militarism in America. Will there be any press coverage to speak of?
9 Strategies to End Corporate Rule Corporate power is behind the politics of climate denial, Wall Street bailouts, union busting, and media consolidation, to name just a few. And policies advocated by the 1 percent are bankrupting the middle class. But real people have power, too. Here are some of their most successful strategies.
Exposing ALEC: How Conservative-Backed State Laws Are All Connected To itself, ALEC is an organization dedicated to the advancement of free market and limited government principles through a unique "public-private partnership" between state legislators and the corporate sector. To its critics, it's a shadowy back-room arrangement where corporations pay good money to get friendly legislators to introduce pre-packaged bills in state houses across the country. Started in the mid-1970s, ALEC's existence has been long known but its practices, largely, have not; the group hasn't been eager to tie its bills in Wisconsin to those in Ohio to those in North Carolina.
Why a Fair Economy is Not Incompatible with Growth but Essential to It One of the most pernicious falsehoods you'll hear during the next seven months of political campaigning is there's a necessary tradeoff between fairness and economic growth. By this view, if we raise taxes on the wealthy the economy can't grow as fast. Wrong. Taxes were far higher on top incomes in the three decades after World War II than they've been since. And the distribution of income was far more equal. Yet the American economy grew faster in those years than it's grown since tax rates on the top were slashed in 1981.
Revolution In Europe “This spontaneous and popular movement is not swayed by any political organization, but is propelled by and is a response to the national and collective urge from our hearts. We can produce democratic, fair laws to end extreme poverty…” These sentiments can be heard at any given Occupy rally, but they were spoken in Spain. They could have also come from Greece, or Ireland, or Italy, or any of the European countries where social services and fair wages have been strangled by extreme austerity measures. The renaissance of activism that’s swept this country was sparked far from our shores.
Occupy the movie OCCUPY THE MOVIE will document the Occupy movement’s first year with gritty detail, while exploring its origins, purpose, and future. It will be like no other film you’ve seen, intercutting the dramatic handheld footage of protestors with candid interviews of the movement’s leaders and enemies.
Two thirds of the population of Ireland are boycotting household taxes Ten thousand people took part in todays anti austerity march in dublin, Ireland. They represent over 3 million people that are taking part in a boycott of government imposed taxes on homes. More than 1 million homes have not registered for this tax, and that more 60 percent of the total number of homes, which in reality means more than 3 million people are taking part in the boycott, as the official government figures per household is 3 people per home on average.
Break Up BofA! This music video was created as part of the Doo-Occupy, Bail Out America project, a collaboration between the Backbone Campaign (http://BackboneCampaign.org) and Ariel Zevon to spread best practices in community organizing for eviction protection, student debt relief and other economic democracy causes of the 99%.
Police warn of building takeover ahead of Occupy SF action Police are asking property owners in The City to do whatever it takes to keep members of the Occupy SF movement from squatting. The global Occupy movement against economic disparity has apparently changed tactics in San Francisco, police say, as rumors swirl about a May 1 takeover of an undisclosed property.
NYPD Arrest At Least 10 As Occupy Wall Street Seeks Sanctuary On Federal Property Forced off the sidewalk on Broad Street earlier in the day, Occupiers sought refuge on the steps of Federal Hall, which is U.S. government property. For the most part, U.S. Park Police tolerated their presence, provided they didn't violate a "no sleeping or camping" rule. But as day turned to night, the NYPD continued to make arrests, frequently singling out protesters who seemingly did nothing wrong, and in some cases violently detaining them.
2012 Apr 19
Media: Occupy San Diego
Say NO to Wal MartResidents of Sherman Heights stand against the destruction of the area's historical farmer's market building. Photos
Sherman Heights residents shocked by Wal-Mart actions In stark contrast to promises made to members of the Sherman Heights community, demolition of the historical farmer’s market building began in earnest, April 17, 2012. “During several public presentations, as recently as Monday, Wal-Mart was asked if they would destroy the building to which they repeatedly said they wouldn’t,” explained Georgette Gomez of the Coalition for Safe and Healthy Economic Progress.
San Onofre Still Leads the Nation in Safety Complaints Despite progress in improving the safety culture of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, the plant still ranked highest in the nation last year for both substantiated and unsubstantiated safety complaints at nuclear plants, according to figures from federal regulators.
Shareholders reject exec pay packages Citigroup has become the first Wall Street bank to get a thumbs-down from shareholders over outsized executive pay. At its annual meeting Tuesday, 55% of the bank's shareholders voted against the pay packages that have been granted to Citigroup's top executives, including CEO Vikram Pandit's nearly $15 million for last year and $10 million retention pay.
New Law: Virginia will not cooperate with NDAA detention On Wednesday, the Virginia legislature overwhelmingly passed a law that forbids state agencies from cooperating with any federal attempt to exercise the indefinite detention without due process provisions written into sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act. HB1160 “Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”
2012 Apr 20
Media: Occupy San Diego
Grand Jury To Look Into SDPD Oversight Board Citizens' Review Board Accused Of Showing Favoritism To San Diego Police Officers. A recent 10News I-Team investigation that examined questionable practices inside a local citizens group has prompted a San Diego grand jury inquiry.
Occupy movement turning to shareholder meetings A group called 99% Power -- a reference to those not among the top 1 percent of earners -- says it plans actions at 36 shareholder meetings, with the first big push coming at Tuesday's Wells Fargo & Co gathering in San Francisco.
ALEC Wants You To Pay 750 Percent More For High-Speed Internet A few years ago, the city of Wilson, North Carolina, decided that it would create its own broadband system, which it called Greenlight. The service offered speeds twice as fast as private competitors in the area for a similar price. Soon, the success of the service spread, and a number of other cities began offering municipal broadband systems that were cheaper and/or faster than private competitors’. But state legislators — who received $600,000 in contributions from the telecom industry in the previous election cycle — reacted to the spread of these successful services by undercutting them with a bill that made it very difficult for cities to operate their own broadband systems. One provision in the bill made it illegal for cities to offer broadband services that are priced below their costs.
Walmart execs respond to community's 'open letter'April 14, 2012 Since the announcement, union workers, neighborhood groups, and business leaders signed an "open-letter" lettingWal-Mart executives know their concerns and listed demands that they want considered before construction starts. The list of concerns included making local hires, affordable health benefits, improved traffic flow, safety improvements, and an investment in community programs. "We put a version of the Guadeloupe in tiles against a wall and we have been begging them not to remove because it's something very important for the area, for the community," Fisher said. Wal-Mart agreed to keep the Virgin Mary mural.
Sherman Heights vs. Walmart – Press Conference Today Walmart began demolition of the historic Farmers Market, an iconic building that is an important link to the heritage of the Logan Heights and Sherman Heights communities. This was done without community notice or the preparation of an Environmental Impact Review or even review by the historic resources board which should have occurred prior to approval.
Civil war brewing within OWS? Spring is here and efforts are already being made to revive the Occupy Wall Street movement. When Occupy originally started to sputter, members of the movement insisted that their protests were only readying for round two. But according to some, power struggles have arisen within Occupy. The establishment left is being accused of co-opting the movement in order get President Obama re-elected. Jesse La Greca, activist and writer for Daily Kos, joins us with the latest on the movement.
May Day letter This Mayday will be a show of the strength of the working class--the union rank and file, unorganized workers, unemployed workers, immigrant and migrant workers, workers with disabilities, excluded workers, LGBT workers, and all other sections of the majority voice of the 99%. May 1st will allow us to reclaim our power--the power that drives the economy --AND-- the power that can shut it down. This May 1st will be a crucial step in re-building International Workers Day and the spirit of solidarity and struggle.
Walmart Plans In Sherman Heights Under Fire Community, union and political leaders rallied outside the Farmer's Market Building in Sherman Heights today to bring attention to their battle to keep Walmart from tearing the structure down.
Subsidizing Wal-Mart As part of the Center on Policy Initiatives’ efforts to promote sound economic development and land use policy in San Diego, this study looks at the impact of a large subsidized development on the local community and the region.
Citigroup CEO, Directors Sued For Outsized Executive Pay Packages The complaint filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court accuses directors of breaching their fiduciary duties by awarding more than $54 million of compensation in 2011 to the executives, including $15 million to Pandit, though the bank's performance did not necessarily justify it.
Civil Disobedience on Wall Street The weekly marches on Wall Street have become increasingly well-organized and effective at getting occupiers in front of the stock exchange for the closing bell every Friday.
New Occupy Crackdown Documents Just Obtained by the PCJF Two days before the NYPD’s eviction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, Brookfield Properties' security was in direct communications and sharing information with the US Park Police in Washington DC, and communicating with other cities around the country, according to newly released internal documents from the National Park Service
Bribing Mexico: Walmart Accused of Corruption Eduardo Castro-Wright, the former CEO of Walmart Stores USA, has been accused of leading a $24 million scheme to pay off Mexican city governments in return for permission to open supermarkets around the country. The money was typically paid out to local governments via two of Cicero’s friends from law school: Pablo Alegria Con Alonso and Jose Manuel Aguirre Juarez. These bribes “bought zoning approvals, reductions in environmental impact fees and the allegiance of neighborhood leaders” according to the New York Times. “Permits that typically took months to process magically materialized in days.” The “gestores” helped catapult Walmart into becoming the largest employer in the country with 209,000 workers.
Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle In going through Wal-Mart de Mexico’s database of payments, investigators noticed the company was making hefty “contributions” and “donations” directly to governments all over Mexico — nearly $16 million in all since 2003. Back in Bentonville, Mr. Halter and Mr. Ainley wrote confidential reports to Wal-Mart’s top executives in December 2005 laying out all the evidence that corroborated Mr. Cicero — the hundreds of gestor payments, the mystery codes, the rewritten audits, the evasive responses from Wal-Mart de Mexico executives, the donations for permits, the evidence gestores were still being used.
The Community Vs. WalMart Saga Continues… Unfortunately, a judge has ruled in favor of Wal Mart at this time. Here is a write up from the action, followed by an article on the judge’s ruling to deny the TRO requested by the Coalition for Safe and Healthy Economic Progress
Local Walmart project prevails in court Briggs called the building unique and irreplaceable. "No amount of money, not even Walmart's purse, will put back what they're destroying, and that's what tips the balance of harm to my clients' favor," he said.
Orange County quake could be first on recently discovered fault Monday's temblor, centered in the southern suburb of Laguna Niguel, could be the first measured on a fault discovered only 13 years ago, which runs along the coast from Newport Beach and Costa Mesa to San Juan Capistrano -- close to the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
Bay Area Nurses Announce May 1st Walkout 4500 nurses in the San Francisco Bay Area will walk out of work on May 1st to protest more than a hundred cuts to health care services and RN standards planned -- despite massive profits -- by their hospital chain, Sutter Health. National Nurses United, which represents thousands of nurses with affiliates across the U.S., has long been an ally of Occupy Wall Street
ALEC Hit With IRS Complaint Filed By Common Cause Advocacy group Common Cause said Monday it had filed an IRS complaint accusing ALEC of masquerading as a public charity. ALEC is formed as a nonprofit that brings together lawmakers and private sector organizations to develop legislation and policy. ALEC says its work is not lobbying.
Procter & Gamble Becomes 13th Company To Drop ALEC Joining a dozen other major corporations, Procter & Gamble decided not to rejoin the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) this year, according to a statement from Color Of Change, which launched a campaign against the shadowy right-wing front group behind state laws restricting access to the ballot and “stand your ground” gun laws.
Wal-Mart Bribery Probe: Why the Stakes Are So High The $24 million in illicit payments that Wal-Mart Wal-Mart Stores has been accused of making in Mexico amount to roughly two hours’ revenue for the world’s largest retailer. But if the allegations prove true, the payments could become huge issues for the company, its executives and directors. United States law is among the strictest in the world when it comes to paying bribes to foreign officials.
Six Arrested Picketing Wells Fargo Meeting Protesters gathered on a street corner near an inflated rat that had dollar bills coming from side pockets. They held signs that read: "99 percent take over, topple the 1 percent", and "Up with the people, down with the bankers." Police confirmed six arrests for trespassing.
Occupy movement targets Wells Fargo meeting in San Francisco Several hundred protesters marched to Wells Fargo Bank headquarters in San Francisco Tuesday and a few managed to gain access to the company's annual shareholder meeting and disrupt proceedings before being escorted out by police, San Francisco Gate reported.
What It Really Costs When Walmart Comes to Town The research, done by a Northwest community group, estimates that one Walmart store, which is set to open in a Washington neighborhood, will decrease the community's economic output over 20 years by an estimated $13 million. It also estimates the Walmart will cost the community an additional $14 million in lost wages over the next 20 years.
Mass sick day encouraged for May 1 Two Toronto groups are exhorting Canadian workers to call in sick en masse next Tuesday, on May Day, as a protest against "the attacks of the one per cent."
2012 Apr 26
Media: Occupy San Diego
Irvine City Council Takes Lead Towards Stopping Likely Nuclear Disaster On April 24, 2012, hundreds of concerned citizens flocked to the Irvine City Council chambers to listen to renowned nuclear experts Arnie Gundersen and S. David Freeman and to support motions by former mayor/current city councilman Larry Agran to prevent San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) from going Fukushima.
Irvine City Council opposes San Onofre nuclear plant The Irvine City Council voted Tuesday night to send a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission opposing the San Onofre nuclear plant. The plant has been shutdown since January because of problems with unusual tube wear in steam generators. More than 200 people packed the council chambers for a public hearing on the mostly symbolic letter. The letter opposes the relicensing of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and highlights other concerns over the plant’s operation. During the public hearing, people voiced concerns about evacuation plans, earthquake hazards, health effects of nuclear radiation and safety issues. Many came from San Diego and Riverside Counties.
Media: Occupy National and Global
Occupy the Farm Activists Reclaim Prime Urban Agricultural Land in SF Bay Area Hundreds marched yesterday from the Earth Day rally in Berkeley, California to an empty tract of land to establish a new occupation. Immediately upon arrival, in a beautful dsplay of direct action, solidarity, and mutual aid, the Occupiers began clearing and tilling the land for use as a community farm. Already, over 10,000 seeds have been planted on the occupied farm, complete with chickens.
Roundup Herbicide Linked To Parkinson's-Related Brain Damage Alarming new research published in the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology supports the emerging connection between glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonian disorders.
Going Dutch: 'Game over for euro if Netherlands quits' The caretaker Dutch Prime Minister is still desperate to push through budget cuts and has called on lawmakers to help him. The government collapsed on Monday when Mark Rutter resigned, as it failed to agree on painful measures demanded by Brussels. The political crisis has already been described as a revolt against enforced EU austerity. UK-based journalist and blogger Neil Clark says there's every chance now the Netherlands will abandon the Euro, which he believes would be disastrous for the single currency.
Occupy the Farm: "We're planning the future here." As some of you may have heard, a couple of days ago a coalition of local residents, farmers, students, researchers, and activists took over the Gill Tract, 10 acres of the last remaining Class I agricultural soil in the urbanized East Bay area. Dubbed Occupy the Farm, these American patriots are populating this incredibly fertile and precious patch of land with veggie seedlings, chickens, rabbits and good vibes.
GE Annual Meeting Interrupted by 99 Percent Protesters Hundreds of protesters affiliated with the "99 Percent" movement disrupted the start of General Electric Co's annual shareholders' meeting in Detroit on Wednesday, in an attack on the largest U.S. conglomerate's low tax rate. Outside Detroit's Renaissance Center, thousands more demonstrators swarmed the area, chanting "This is What Democracy Looks Like." They were surrounded by dozens of police, including three mounted units. While several thousand protesters made noise Wednesday in the city's downtown over feelings General Electric isn't paying enough in taxes, three dozen protestors stood up at the beginning of GE's annual shareholder meeting chanting "pay your fair share"
Private Prison Corporations Are Modern Day Slave Traders The nation’s largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America, is on a buying spree. With a war chest of $250 million, the corporation, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, earlier this year sent letters to 48 states, offering to buy their prisons outright. To ensure their profitability, the corporation insists that it be guaranteed that the prisons be kept at least 90 percent full. Plus, the corporate jailers demand a 20-year management contract, on top of the profits they expect to extract by spending less money per prisoner.
3,600 Lockheed Martin Workers Go on Strike in Texas Strikes involving thousands of workers in the "right-to-work" state of Texas are extraordinarily rare. Yet on Monday, 3,600 Lockheed Martin workers, members of IAM Local 776 who make F-35 and F-16 fighter jets in Fort Worth, Texas, went out on strike to protest proposed healthcare and pension cuts.
Bay Area Social Workers Strike on May Day! BAMA will be marching in the Regional March for Dignity and Resistance on May 1, 2012 in Oakland. We are very excited because it brings together so many things that we love: activism, justice, immigrants’ rights, labor rights, yelling in the street and more!
Occupy Wall Street Betting It All on May Day With Big Targets The event intentionally falls on International Workers Day, which is celebrated in countries worldwide, although not officially in the U.S. Occupy is putting their stamp on it by calling for "A Day Without the 99 Percent": no work, no school, no housework, no shopping. So what's everyone to do?
The May 2012 Insurrection For thirty-one magical days beginning this Tuesday, May 1, we take the plunge and Strike! We block the Golden Gate Bridge; occupy a Manhattan-bound tunnel; seize the ports. In 115 cities, we march into banks, erect tents and refuse to leave. We disrupt financial institutions forcing thousands to preemptively close. Five thousand of us pray, dance, sleep on Wall Street and in front of the Fed and if the Bloombergs of the world bring out paramilitary police to intimidate us, we use our social media fire to call out 50,000 more occupiers.
Banks cooperate to track Occupy protesters The world's biggest banks are working with one another and police to gather intelligence as protesters try to rejuvenate the Occupy Wall Street movement with May demonstrations, industry security consultants said. Among 99 protest targets in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday are JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America offices, said Marisa Holmes, a member of Occupy's May Day planning committee.
Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a "cybersecurity crime". Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all.
How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the 1% While many of us are working to ensure that the Occupy movement will have a lasting impact, it’s worthwhile to consider other countries where masses of people succeeded in nonviolently bringing about a high degree of democracy and economic justice. Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different.
Russia Stunned After Japanese Plan to Evacuate 40 Million Revealed A new report circulating in the Kremlin today prepared by the Foreign Ministry on the planned re-opening of talks with Japan over the disputed Kuril Islands during the next fortnight states that Russian diplomats were “stunned” after being told by their Japanese counterparts that upwards of 40 million of their peoples were in “extreme danger” of life threatening radiation poisoning and could very well likely be faced with forced evacuations away from their countries eastern most located cities… including the world’s largest one, Tokyo.
Bank CEOs To Tell Fed Regulation Is 'Unrealistic': Report Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase and the industry's regulation-basher in chief, has called for a sit-down next week between the heads of four of the nation's biggest banks -- JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley -- and Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. Together the four too-big-to-fail banks attending this meeting had $166.2 trillion in "gross notional" exposure to derivatives and the end of 2011, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or about 72 percent of the $230.8 trillion held by all U.S. banks and U.S. subsidiaries of foreign banks.
2012 Apr 29
Media: Occupy San Diego
Media: Occupy National and Global
The Brief Origins of May Day Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers' Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don't realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as "American" as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.
How to beat Citizens United We are about to have the worst presidential campaign money can buy. The Supreme Court’s dreadful Citizens United decision and a somnolent Federal Election Commission will allow hundreds of millions of dollars from a small number of very wealthy people and interests to inundate our airwaves with often vicious advertisements for which no candidate will be accountable.
Battle for the Soul of Occupy Occupy will come out swinging May 1 with a General Strike in 115 cities … A month of visceral nonviolent actions will follow. We will flex our tactical muscles, dream of a new world order and #playjazz like never before.