By Dave Lindorff
DA Vance and McMillan, showing her injury from police abuse ( by ThisCantBeHappening!
Two and a half years after the Occupy Wall Street movement took the country by storm, injecting topics like income inequality and class war into the realm of permissible national political discourse for the first time since the 1930s, the nation's legal machinery of repression has come down like a proverbial ton of bricks on the movement just as nationally coordinated police repression crushed its physical manifestation in late 2011.
The prosecution, and Monday's ultimate conviction of Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan on the ludicrous charge of felony assault against a brutal male police officer who had grabbed her right breast from behind so hard to cause bruising, makes Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. the prosecutorial equivalent of the thug police officers like NYPD deputy inspector Anthony Balogna. Balogna, recall, was the "white shirt" police supervisor who was notoriously caught on video gratuitously spraying several young women directly in the face as they stood peacefully behind a police barricade during the early days of Occupy.
Vance, as Manhattan DA, is doing the same kind of thing with legal prosecutions, making a name for himself by gratuitously prosecuting the wrong people and meanwhile letting the real criminals skate.
Last year, he brought criminal charges against one of the city's tiniest financial institutions, little Abacus Bank, a Chinatown-based community bank, claiming it had committed mortgage fraud. As I wrote here and in the magazine Crain's New York Business, Abacus actually had discovered that a loan officer had been allowing loan applicants to lie about their income and had taken action itself, firing the individual and reporting the situation to the federal Office of Thrift Supervision. But Vance decided to go after the bank anyhow to make an example of it, claiming it was an classic case of the bank behavior that had caused the 2008 financial crisis. In fact, however, as Vance surely knew, Abacus Bank boasts a loan default rate of less than 0.5%, well below the national average of 6%, didn't do subprime lending or deal in loan derivatives, and never cost the FDIC or Fanny Mae a penny.
Furthermore, as I pointed out in my articles, Vance has never sought criminal prosecutions of any of the truly criminal banks that are in his jurisdiction that did commit mortgage fraud on such a massive scale that caused the nation's economic collapse: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citicorp, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers, all of which have or had their headquarters right in Manhattan, which he could have done using New York state banking laws.
Instead of frog-marching the crooked CEOs of these massively corrupt institutions before media cameras to their arraignments, Vance had the media come to Abacus bank to run their cameras as a "chain gang" of young tellers was led out of the bank to an arraignment. The case against Abacus is still awaiting trial, and a court is still considering a motion by Abacus's attorney to have the charges dismissed.
Now Vance has gone after one small person, McMillan, who's only "crime" was defending herself against a violent sexual assault by a police officer...
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new uncompromising four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2306
(Article changed on May 6, 2014 at 13:35)