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General News    H2'ed 5/7/14

Comparing Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party

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On 5 May 2014, Britain's Guardian reported the court conviction of an Occupy Wall Street protester who had become injured by, and who had injured, a NYC policeman who had been part of a team breaking up one of the last straggling OWS rallies. This rally was held at NYC's Zuccotti Park on 17 March 2012.

The Guardian's Molly Kneffel headlined, "Cecily McMillan's guilty verdict reveals our mass acceptance of police violence: The hyper-selective re-telling of events mirrors the popular narrative of Occupy Wall Street -- and how one woman may serve seven years while the NYPD goes free." She reported: "The jury didn't hear anything about the police violence that took place in Zuccotti Park that night. They [also] didn't hear about what happened there on November 15, 2011, when the park was first cleared.

The violence experienced by Occupy protesters throughout its entirety was excluded from the courtroom. The narrative that the jury did hear was tightly controlled by what the judge allowed -- and Judge Ronald Zweibel consistently ruled that any larger context of what was happening around McMillan at the time of the arrest (let alone [about officer] Bovell's own history of violence) was irrelevant to the scope of the trial." Kneffel noted of Ms. McMillan, that, "She and hundreds of other activists, along with journalists like me, had gathered in Zuccotti Park to mark the six-month anniversary of the start of Occupy Wall Street. It was four months after the New York Police Department had evicted the Occupy encampment from the park in a mass of violent arrests." Those arrests had occurred on 14&15 November 2011, when police departments throughout the country, in raids organized by the Obama Administration, invaded OWS encampments and cleared all of them out, effectively ending the entire OWS phenomenon.

Following is a news story that I had submitted to many American news sites on 30 December 2012, memorializing OWS, and comparing it to the Tea Party. This historical review was turned down everywhere, and so will be news whenever and wherever (perhaps not in the United States) it finally sees the light of day (check out its links, to under-reported major news stories):

Occupy Wall Street Is No Tea Party

Eric Zuesse

When the corporate-organized FreedomWorks/Koch "Tea Party" group within the Republican Party bused its adherents to riots they organized in August 2009 against Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who were trying to hold informational town hall events in order to discuss with constituents emerging healthcare legislation, there was no FBI surveillance of those corporate-organized disruptions of legitimate democratic processes. There also were no subsequent FreedomWorks applications for Freedom of Information Act releases of FBI files regarding such surveillance being used against them -- because there was no such FBI campaign against those Republican-organized and Koch-funded protesters.

However, when the grassroots Occupy Wall Street movement organized their peaceful demonstrations against banksters in September 2011, there was massive FBI surveillance used against them. On 22 August 2011 -- over a month prior to the first such demonstration on September 17th -- the FBI sent to its NYC field office a memo marked "Routine," which summarized a "meeting" that had been held with "New York Stock Exchange/Euronext (NYSE)," which had "Discussed ... the planned anarchist protest titled 'Occupy Wall Street', scheduled for September 17." Get that word "anarchist." It's not friendly. And the FBI had already organized for these Wall Street executives; this meeting had itself been organized even prior to this 22 August 2011 memo, not just prior to September 17th.

This interesting information was reluctantly extracted from Obama's "Justice" Department, when its FBI finally mailed, on 20 December 2012, to the nonprofit Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a requested file of massively redacted information regarding the FBI's extensive snooping against the nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement. The FBI was organizing against the OWS movement even before Occupy Wall Street was known to the general public, and they kept on their campaign against it, until it was dead. Meanwhile, the Tea Party Republicans eliminated the public option from Obamacare, and continued to hold hostage the entire nation in order to extend George W. Bush's tax-cuts for the top 1% -- and also in order to push cutting government benefits to everybody else: to slash Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. The public must suffer, while banksters continue to boom -- that's government, under Barack Obama and his "Justice" Department. This is our "democracy." This is today's America.

OWS ended just a few months after it began, on 14 November 2011. That was when Robert Johnson and Linette Lopez of headlined "This Weekend's Occupy Crackdowns May Be The Beginning Of The End For Protest Groups." The very next day, the same reporters bannered "This Week's Occupy Evictions Were Systematically Plotted By The Nation's Mayors," and they quoted Oakland Mayor Jean Quan admitting to a reporter from the BBC, "I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation where what started as a political movement and a political encampment ended up being an encampment that was no longer in control of the people who started them," and she said there that the 18 mayors simply wanted to help "peaceful demonstrators" to "separate themselves from anarchists" -- as if this nationwide crackdown against OWS had been done in order to help "peaceful demonstrators," instead of to help the banksters whose still-unprosecuted frauds against unqualified mortgagees and against trusting mortgage-investors had brought down the American (and largely the world's) economy, in late 2008.

The BBC did not post online, nor otherwise publish, Mayor Quan's startling admission to them. Instead, they simply handed off their audio of it, to "The Takeaway" program of WNYC -- a radio station that's controlled by NYC's Mayor Michael Bloomberg of Wall Street -- which promptly buried it, in passing, during their show that day. (As Johnson and Lopez noted, "they [WNYC] have a partnership with the BBC.") This is how one aristocracy deals with another.

The only comprehensive news report on the systematic nationwide crushing of OWS ended up being posted on the World Socialist Web Site, which headlined on 17 November 2011, "Mayors Conspired to Close Occupy Wall Street Encampments," and which quoted from (but unfortunately did not link to) numerous reports from around the country, which, taken all together, exhibited the effectiveness of the FBI's police-state snooping and tracking of Occupy Wall Street, which had begun even before most Americans knew that there was any such movement for the FBI to snoop against.

In other words, the reason why Barack Obama's "Justice" Department refuses to prosecute even a single one of the mega-bank executives who profited so enormously from having defrauded both mortgagees and the investors in mortgage-backed securities, and who were bailed out by future U.S. taxpayers whose government purchased those remaining "toxic assets" at 100 cents on the dollar, is clear: we live in a police state, and these elite crooks control it. This is not real democracy.

Voters were given a choice in November 2012 between a President like that but whose liberal rhetoric was condemnatory of "Wall Street," versus a private-equity chief, a professional stripper of corporations, whose rhetoric was overtly supportive of Wall Street. And voters chose the former. But this nonetheless is a police state, not an authentic democracy.

I can only cross my fingers and hope that this will be published. After all, there are opposing factions, even within the aristocracy that collectively control this country.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that (more...)
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