Occupy Christmas

International Day of Action – December 25

Archive for the ‘Politicians’ Category

Shame on Mayor Bloomberg (again)

Posted by troublemaker on December 9, 2011

jerrold Nadler Official portrait 112 Congress

Congressman Jerrold Nadler

“It is the mayor’s job, I might point out, to ensure that the Police Department, under his command, obeys the laws and respects the rights of all New Yorkers,” – Congressman Jerrold Nadler speaking against Mayor Bloomberg’s conduct (1)

Imagine a child makes an accusation of molestation. That accusation is not investigated because a politician, rather than a properly trained investigatory body, insists it is not worth investigating. He wasn’t there, but he knows from things the accused told him that the accusations should not be investigated. We’d hope that politician would be out on his ear. Now imagine that politician is in part responsible for the actions of the accused. Guilty or not, we’d hope that politician were on trial for corruption. With respect to potential misconduct by New York police, New York Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t seem to care that his constituents might believe he is guilty of doing just that.

The New York Times is now reporting that Mayor Bloomberg opposes a potential Justice Department investigation into police misconduct at the Occupy Wall Street protest. (1) Think on that for just a moment. The New York police carry out the orders of the New York Mayor. When New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler asked the Justice Department to investigate potential police misconduct under Bloomberg’s administration, Mayor Bloomberg ridiculed the Congressman asking why the Congressman hadn’t done his job in securing more money for that police department.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“If he would spend more time getting us homeland security money, maybe he’d make the streets safer,” – Mayor Bloomberg (1)

“If he could get us more federal moneys, maybe we could make our schools better and we wouldn’t have some of the things that people are protesting against.”
– Mayor Bloomberg (1)

We certainly agree that our public schools could be better funded. As long as there are victims of crime, we certainly agree that law enforcement could use a hand as well. However, we fail to understand why improved schools and security cannot walk hand in hand with concerns over civil liberty violations and abuses of authority. Does Mayor Bloomberg also believe Congressman should turn a blind eye to child molestation and focus all of their time collecting federal funds for New York City? The Congressman certainly does not think so. Of course he doesn’t. You see Congressman Jerrold Nader is also the ranking member on the house Judiciary’s Constitutional Subcommittee.

“It is precisely my job, as the ranking member on the House Judiciary’s Constitution Subcommittee, to ensure that the constitutional rights of all Americans are respected. And it is precisely the job of the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure that alleged violations of those rights are investigated, and that federal civil rights laws are vigorously enforced.” – Congressman Jerrold Nadler (1)

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street / 99% Protesters

Congressman Jerrold Nadler did exactly as he should. Not only because he is the ranking member of the House Judiciary’s Constitutional Subcommittee but more importantly because the alleged police abuse took place in Congressman Nadler’s own district. Congressman, Jerrold Nadler represented the people (99%) because he is a “representative”. Concerned with accusations of police misconduct, he wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr in which he listed concerns over the mistreatment of protesters, mistreatment of the press, unlawful surveillance, and other abuses of authority (2) .

With a net worth of 19.5 billion dollars in 2011 (3), Mayor Bloomberg is the twelfth richest person in the United States (3) as well as the eighth richest man according to Forbes (4). Not only is he part of the 1%, he might well be in the 1% of the 1%. As such, his conduct in this matter illustrates the underline complaint of Occupy Christmas as well as the Occupy Movement / 99% movement as a whole. Our government, any government, should represent its people. Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Mayor Bloomberg have both shown us who THEIR people are.

We hope Mayor Bloomberg will not occupy his office the Christmas after the 2013 election. Maybe Congressman Nadler will apply for the job.

Thank you Congressman Nadler. Shame on you Mayor Bloomberg.

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  1. New York Times: Mayor and Congressman Clash on Police at Occupy Wall Street Protests
  2. Letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
  3. Wikipedia on Mayor Bloomberg
  4. Forbes on Mayor Bloomberg

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Canada becomes the 51st U.S. State

Posted by troublemaker on December 3, 2011

Like most presidents have in the past, President Barack Obama made statements and promises during his campaign which he did not live up to while in office. One of those promises was that he aspired to a transparent government. Why then has there been a fundamental change in border and police policy without little more than a mention? Previously, we pointed to the fundamental shift in the role of the U.S. military. Where previously, the US military was responsible for protecting U.S. boarders, today it has been deployed within the United States for riot and crowd control. Thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act, civil rights have effective been suspended in the United States. If a US citizen is suspected of being a subversive, s/he can be arrested and held indefinitely without the right to a lawyer, court, or judge.

On the heels of the fundamental shift in the function of the U.S. military, an agreement has been struck between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama. Created behind closed doors, that agreement grants armed U.S. law enforcement agents to operate north of U.S. border. In addition to sharing arrest authority on both sides of the shared border, the agreement will result in the generation of shared lists of all persons not only crossing the U.S. / Canadian border but all persons exiting or entering either country. As a U.S. citizen, if you visit Mexico your government will notify Canada. As a Canadian citizen, if you visit Germany your government will notify the United States. (1)

“This process has really been conducted behind closed doors. We’ve had no white papers, no reports — nothing that we could point to say, ‘Here are the pros and cons, here are the drawbacks, here are the things we are considering,’ ” – Micheal Vonn, policy director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association(1)

Although this program will be introduced to the citizens of the United States and Canada as a joint operation intended to combat terrorism, Micheal Vonn, policy director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has been clear in her belief that there has been little Canadian involvement in this joint project.

“It’s contemptuous of Canadian citizenry to unveil a program in which we’ve had essentially no input,” – Micheal Vonn, policy director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.(1)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper agreed to the U.S. terms despite Canadian citizens objection and concerns over privacy issues. He agreed despite concerns expressed by Canadian Assistant privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier. He agreed despite concerns expressed by many other heads of Canadian state.

“…our sovereignty needs protection as this unfolds.” – Canadian Assistant privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier(1)

Although the United States puts forward the notion that this new agreement is intended to improve border security and trade, one has to wonder why the name of the pilot program is “Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness ” (2). The idea seems to be to address the United States and Canada as one country, evidently with a common law enforcement entity.

“To preserve and extend the benefits our close relationship has helped bring to Americans and Canadians alike, we intend to pursue a perimeter approach to security, working together within, at, and away from the borders of our two countries to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries. We intend to do so in partnership, and in ways that support economic competitiveness, job creation, and prosperity.” – From the White House (2)

 

 

  1. The Star on Beyond the Border
  2. White House on Beyond the Border

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New York Mayor Ignores Court Order

Posted by troublemaker on November 15, 2011

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, on orders from Mayor Bloomberg, Zuccotti Park was cleared by police dressed in riot gear.  The air space was made free of news helicopters and the press was kept from photographing, video taping, or otherwise recording the event from within the park or surrounding area.(1) Hundreds of arrests were made, including the arrest of Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez who was present at Zuccotti Park at the time of the raid(2).  Obviously, there are members of New York government who were strongly opposed to the mayors decision.

After the clean up, the park was reopened to the public.  Protesters were welcome back in but they were not allowed to bring tents, tarps, or other camping equipment.  But not for long.

6:30 AM – Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings signs court order which makes it clear that not only will protesters be allowed back into the park, but they may bring their “tents and other property” (2)  However, in what seems to be a response to the court order Mayor Bloomberg ordered Zuccotti Park again closed.  Protesters are expected to obey the orders of police but police and the mayor refuse to comply with a court order issued by a Supreme Court Justice?

Mayor Bloomberg has been clear.  Although ignoring the Constitutional guarantee that the people may peacefully assemble might be a problem with interpretation, the order issued by a supreme court justice was very, very clear.  As police have a duty to enforce court orders, one wonders if Mayor Bloomberg will be the next to be arrested.

 

1)  Occupy Christmas

2) New York Daily News

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Oakland’s Mayor’s advisors resign.

Posted by troublemaker on November 15, 2011

Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland California now openly criticized by police, lawyers, the ACLU, and her own staff (a few of which have resigned).  Following Oakland California’s mayors second decision to again raid Occupy Oakland, her advisors have issued resignations. 

What makes the evictions at Occupy Oakland a bit different than the evictions served on other encampments is that after the first eviction yielded horrific damage to peaceful protesters, Mayor Jean Quan invited the protesters to return to their encampment.  Then once again, she ordered the Oakland police department to use force to again clear the park.  It is as if the police are deer hunting and Mayor Quan is filling the feeders with corn.  It appears her advisers have had enough of her complete and utter incompetence.

Prior to the early hours of Monday November 14, 2010 Dan Siegel was the personal lawyer to Oakland, CA Mayor Jean Quan.  Mr. Siegel Esq. resigned Monday morning at 2:00 AM when he became aware that a second raid on Occupy Oakland’s encampment was imminent.  Putting as much distance as he can between he and Mayor Quan, Mr. Siegel said:

“This whole thing is, I think, kind of like a Greek tragedy for Jean” – Dan Siegel Esq.(1)
 
Later that day, Maor Jean Quan received the resignation of Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu. (1)  Although the Deputy Mayor was not as forthcoming with the reasons behind her decision to resign, speculating that the Deputy Mayor wanted to distance herself from Mayor Quan’s repeated decision to use forceful tactics against Occupy protesters seems like a good bet.
 
Her advisor’s are not the only ones to demonstrate great discontent with the Mayors decisions.  On November 1st, the Oakland Police Officer’s Association issued an open letter to the citizens of Oakland.  In that letter, they explained that on Tuesday, October 25th the Mayor ordered Oakland PD to clear the protesters from the parks.  The letter goes on to explain that the very next day, Mayor Quan invited protesters to return to the parks and resume their protests. (2)   After the Mayor invited protesters back, she again ordered the Oakland Police Department to take action against them by evicting them from the park a second time.
Even her counter parts in other cities have criticized her strongly.

“We really are at a crossroads here. As an elected official, you need to know which side you are on or you will get caught in the intersection, as Jean Quan did,”  – Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin (3)

 

1) The Bay Citizen

2) Open Letter to Citizens of Oakland from the Oakland Police Officers Association

3) Contra Costa Times

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Berkley, CA city council rebukes Oakland, CA.

Posted by troublemaker on November 10, 2011

“I think our police do an exceptional job of protecting people’s civil liberties. We do a much better job than Oakland.” – Berkley Councilman Jesse Arreguin

Berkley City Council has taken a firm stand AGAINST the use of excessive force by police and violations against free speech by those who order such police actions.  The City of Berkly has refused to enter into a mutual support agreement with University Police as well as other law enforcement agencies.  Their reason was stated clearly as an objection to the use of excessive force and free speech violations.

“Council members used news reports of police using excessive force at the Occupy Oakland protests and at previous protests at UC Berkeley as reason for not renewing the agreements that usually are approved each year without fanfare.” – Doug Oakley of the Oakley Tribune (1)

We were thrilled to no end when we read about the city of Reno working with Occupy Reno to provide safe space for the encampment and protest.  But the decision from Berkley city council has taken even a greater step towards civil rights.  Not only has Berkley City Council sent a clear message in support of freedom of speech and the right to protest, it has taken the additional step of officially observing that other municipalities have done the exact opposite.  Bravo Berkley!

Although other mutual aid agreements were approved, a clear statement has been made.  It is now clear that even officials in various branches of our government are starting to understand the concerns of its people.  Bravo Occupy!

1) Mercury News

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Mayor Bloomberg blames victims

Posted by troublemaker on November 6, 2011

Lauren DiGioia
Lauren DiGioia
“I was more victimized by the NYPD who handled my sexual assault case than I was by the assaulter.” – Lauren DiGioia (1)
 
The Constitution of the United States of America recognizes certain innate rights.  Neither the Constitution or the laws which emanate from that Constitution establisher those rights.  Instead, they affirm that each man, woman, and child possesses these rights as a natural part of life.  Among these rights are those defined by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
 
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America (2)
 
What good are these affirmations, these words on parchment, if the government is not willing to support them?  What good are they if victims are treated so poorly by authorities that they feel they become unlikely to report crimes because they feel the authority will be further victimized by police rather than perpetrator?  Lauren DiGioia feels that is exactly what took place when she reported being sexually assaulted.
 
“I’m a perfect example of somebody who went through the process. I followed all the steps of the law, and I felt victimized by it. I felt like I was a criminal, too,” – Lauren DiGioia (1)
 
As if crime is something new in New York city, Mayor Bloomberg indicates the problem is with the victims among the protesters. 
 
“Instead of calling the police, they form a circle around the perpetrator, chastise him or her and chase him or her out into the rest of the city – to do who knows what to who knows whom, I think it is outrageous and it really allows the criminal to strike again making all of us less safe” – Mayor Bloomberg (1)

 Adding fuel to the fire, the New York Police Department is reportedly recycling criminals.  Upon release, criminals are told by NYPD to go to Zuccotti park where Occupy Wallstreet is currently based.

“I have to say…the rumors are true… police are telling people who were recently released from jail to go to zuccotti park.”  – From an Email to Occupy Wall Street’s Facebook Page (3)

 
What Mayor Bloomberg and supporters of the established system for responding to crime seem to be missing is that the business as usual / criminal recycling system simply is not working.  While I do not believe simply casting a criminal out such that he can victimize others is the proper response, the current method of dealing with crime seems to be doing little more than sending people to prison where they learn to become even more proficient criminals.   In essence, the current system does the same as Occupy Wallstreet’s rebuking except to add a time out and further criminal education.
 
So while I do not believe the solution reportedly in use by Occupy Wallstreet is the answer, the very fact that the question remains shows that the current answer (business as usual) just isn’t working.  That, my friend, is what the protest is all about.
 
Occupy Christmas!  Occupy the World!
 

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Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver

Posted by troublemaker on November 6, 2011

Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver Canada has announced that Occupy Vancouver has become entirely too dangerous to continue.  His claimed reasoning is two incidents.  The first was a survived heroin overdose on Thursday November 3, 2011.(1)  The second was today’s discovery of a young lady who apparently died of natural causes on Saturday November 5, 2011. (2)  Although the exact cause of her death has not been released to the public, police refuse to speculate concerning illegal drugs but indicate there was no sign of foul play.  One is forced to wonder about the number of drug overdoses and deaths by natural causes the city of Vancouver sees on any other given Saturday at any other location.

“The mayor said the city’s legal team is working on a way to force out the tent city.” (2)

Even if it is determined that the November 5th death was the result of illegal drugs, Mayor Robertson’s motivation to shut down the Vancouver encampment seem likely to be based on something other than what he claims.  While it is regretful that over indulgance is a serious health risk at Occupy Vancouver, such is certainly the case in many locations in Vancouver other than the Occupy encampment.

If they do not speak truthfully, why should we listen?

1) – http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/11/03/occupy-vancouver-overdose-leads-to-%E2%80%98threats%E2%80%99-against-reporters/

2) – http://www.torontosun.com/2011/11/05/woman-dies-of-suspected-overdose-at-occupy-vancouver-reports

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Mayor McLaughlin marches with Occupy

Posted by troublemaker on November 3, 2011

We have learned not to be quick to believe politicians.  We are less likely to trust their statements concerning other politicians who are competing for the same job.  That said, the Mayor of Richmond, CA and the Mayor of Oakland, CA are not competing for the same job.  The Mayor of Oakland has made one thing clear, she has flip flop her position on Occupy again and again,  she has issued orders to police which violated civil agreements concerning the use of force against protesters, and she has managed to alienate people on both sides of the police barricades.  (see post on Oakland Mayor Jean Quan).  Today, one more thing has become clear concerning Oakland’s Mayor Quan; she has raised the cockles of at least one other Californian Mayor.

On the day Oakland Occupy called for a general strike, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, California spent her morning marching in solidarity with Occupy Oakland.  She marched approximately ten miles from Richmond, California to Oakland, California.  Not only did she make it clear that she supports the 99%, but that she does not support flip flopping politicians.  She indicates such folk are surely fated to be “caught in the intersection”.

“We really are at a crossroads here. As an elected official, you need to know which side you are on or you will get caught in the intersection, as Jean Quan did,”  – Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin (1)

For those few remaining individuals who think the Occupy Wall street, Occupy Oakland and associated protests are nothing more than a few dirty hippies, listen up.  A mayor duly elected by the people now clearly and publicly stands with the protests.  Thank you Mayor McLaughlin.

You may contact mayor McLaughlin’s office at:

Mayor’s Office
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, CA  94804
510-620-6503
510-412-2070 FAX (2)

 

Footnotes:

1. Contra Costa Times

2. http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=55

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