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Tuesday, November 8, 2011


From Washingtonsblog

Second City – Dallas – Calls for a General Strike as Part of “Occupy” Wall Street

Second City – Dallas – Calls for General Strike

Occupy Oakland held a general strike on November 2nd which had many tens or even hundreds of thousands of protesters, and which shut down the nation’s 5th largest port.
Before the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas,
Whereas the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas stands in support of Occupy Wall Street which started September 17, 2011 at Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. The movement has now spread across the country and is influencing the world. Occupy Dallas is a horizontally organized resistance movement to counteract the unprecedented consolidation of wealth and power in the world today. The Occupy movement does not have a hierarchy or a formalized structure. The Occupy movement represents those that feel disenfranchised from the current socioeconomic system because of policy passed by our political institutions and the actions of those in control of the unprecedented consolidation of wealth;
Whereas by consensus we view that for the first time in American history, current generations will not be as prosperous as preceding generations. This denial of the American Dream is at the heart of Occupy Movement.
Whereas by consensus we view that the social system has become tilted against us by:
1. Unfair treatment and discrimination against individuals based on Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race, National Origin, Physical Ability or any other factor that minimizes any person’s individual worth
2. The commoditization of individual privacy
3. Profit driven news sources with individual agendas
4. Narrow definitions of what constitutes a family;
Whereas by consensus we view that the Political system has become tilted against us by:
1. Widespread deregulation that has eliminated common sense regulations that have insured long term prosperity and protection from predatory business practices
2. A Tax code that is cumbersome and rife with loopholes and language that favors an economic minority at the expense of the majority of wage earners
3. A Supreme Court decision that has put into place the unprecedented concept of extending first amendment protections to political donations
4. Jeopardizing the future of social security through investiture and privatization schemes
5. By reducing funding to our education system our future generations are provided a lesser education that previous generations received because of increased class size and reduced resources
6. Because of decreasing funding individuals are saddled with higher student loan debt
7. A political system where even the most perfunctory tasks of government are partisan battles;
Whereas by consensus we view that the Economic system has become tilted against us by:
1. A general degradation of the employer and employee relationship namely
a. the practice referred to as “dead peasants” insurance policies where by companies profit from the death of individuals.
b. the elimination of traditional pension and retirement arrangements in favor of 401 (k) investment vehicles.
c. outsourcing of jobs
d. failing or eliminating paid sick leave
e. failing or eliminating paid maternity leave
f. relying on part-time workers rather than investing in full time employees
g. scheduling work hours to insure that employees cannot obtain offered benefits
h. failing to provide a livable wage
i. reducing and eliminating employer based health care coverage
2. Incredible income disparity between management and employees.
3. Active discouragement and intimidation of unionization of the workforce
4. Instituting illogical accounting practices
5. Engaging in unethical business practices that jeopardize the long term financial stability of the country
6. Viewing financial profit as more important than the individual worth of a people.
Then let it them be resolved by the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas through consensus on Date (___________________) that we call upon all people to engage in a General Strike on November 30th, 2011. We implore all people to:
1. Refrain from Buying or Selling any goods or services including but not limited to, any petroleum products, consumer goods or bank transactions; starting at 12:01 am to 11:59pm on November 30th, 2011.
2. Refrain from working for a wage starting at 12:01 am to 11:59pm on November 30th, 2011 excluding those individuals that provide emergency and necessary functions including but not limited to Police, Fire and Medical personnel.
3. Join or form local groups to peacefully protest against the above stated elements.
Please join us in solidarity to make known our grievances and demand substantive change to insure our future.
Dallas will not be the last city to strike.
The New York City “General Assembly” has discussed a general strike for months (I’ve been following the discussion online), and I predict that – within the next couple of months – a lot of cities will go on strike.

Reporters Covering Occupy Wall Street Are Being Targeted for Arrest … Nationwide

Hey Barack, this is happening on YOUR watch!! Are you supporting neo-fascist tactics to silence the media from reporting a major evolving event that is a game changer? Hey Barack, it is likely that your political campaign is scared of this game changing national happening. Barack, step down. You are no longer relevant.

From Washingtonsblog

Journalists Covering Occupy Wall Street Are Being Targeted for Arrest Nationwide

The intimidation and harassment of reporters by authorities has not been confined to widely-publicised hotspots such as New York and Oakland, Calif., but has moved into the heartland, with recent arrests of journalists caught on video in Wisconsin and Tennessee.
The latest incidents came Wednesday night, when police arrested Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Photographer Kristyna Wentz-Graff as she took pictures during a demonstration at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Oakland police arrested freelance journalist and cartoonist Susie Cagle.
They followed the arrest three days earlier of Nashville Scene reporter Jonathan Meador outside of Tennessee’s Capital building. Meador’s arrest was preceded nearly a month earlier by the arrests of three journalists covering protests in New York City.
International Press Institute (IPI) Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie … criticised what she said appeared to be “trumped-up charges” behind many of the arrests.
Soon after the protests began in mid-September in New York City, participants accused the New York Police Department of deliberately targeting for arrest those taking pictures of the police response, including both professional and citizen journalists.
WNET’s MetroFocus reporter John Farley was arrested 24 September while interviewing two women who had been pepper-sprayed. Although he was wearing WNET identification, he lacked an NYPD press credential police reportedly said was required for his release, and authorities later charged him with disorderly conduct. A judge dismissed the charge on Wednesday, but two other journalists arrested on 1 October – New York Times freelancer Natasha Lennard and Alternet’s Kristen Gwynne — still face charges.
Meador was recording video while he spoke with protestors on Nashville’s Legislative Plaza on 30 October when members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol moved in to disperse protestors, pushed him to the ground and arrested him. Although Meador twice identified himself as a journalist, police declined to check his credentials and cited him for criminal trespass and public intoxication. He was given no sobriety or Breathalyzer test, and the head of Tennessee’s Department of Safety later defended the charge, even though he conceded that it was based on an arresting officer’s observation.
Wentz-Graff fared better in Milwaukee, as Mayor Tom Barrett acknowledged that a video of her arrest last Wednesday – reportedly for being in the street as she took photos of protestors – showed that she was indeed wearing press credentials at the time. The journalist was later released without being charged with a crime.
Cagle, however, reportedly now faces a charge of unlawful assembly, even though she claimed she was wearing her press pass when she was arrested.
She told KGO-TV in San Francisco: “I said I was press, I was originally told, ‘We’ll take care of that in a minute,’ and a minute turned into 14 hours at two different jails.”
Cagle, who reportedly will appear in court next month, told local media that she felt obligated to cover the story more than before and that she planned to return to the plaza where she was arrested.

Why Is This Happening?

It is difficult for many Americans to understand why this is happening.  A little background will help explain and put things in context.
Dictators like Egypt’s Mubarak arrest and beat journalists.
For example, journalists covering police brutality against anti-war protesters outside the 2008 Republican National Convention were specifically targeted and arrested. See thisthisthis and this.
Indeed, in a nation sliding towards a police state, even cameras equal terrorism.
For example, a 2003 FBI memo describes protesters’ use of videotaping as an “intimidation” technique, even though – as the ACLU points out:
Most mainstream demonstrators often use videotape during protests to document law enforcement activity and, more importantly, deter police from acting outside the law.
The FBI appears to be objecting to the use of cameras to document unlawful behavior by law enforcement itself.
In a country using anti-terrorism laws to crush dissent, even funnier things can happen:
According to Department of Defense training manuals, protest is considered “low-level terrorism”. And see thisthis and this.
An FBI memo also labels peace protesters as “terrorists”.
Many liberals assume (and the mainstream media doesn’t cover the numerous contrary facts) that such abuses ended when Bush and Cheney left the White House. But as progressive constitutional expert Glenn Greenwald has noted, Obama has attacked our liberties even more than Bush.
No wonder police are targeting journalists nationwide.