Big Day Of Action Around The Country

A government that says corporate money is “speech” dispatches lines of police to stop actual human-being citizens from actually speaking out. It’s all right there in front of us: Wall Street got bailouts, the rich got tax cuts, corporations got to buy elections, people got job loss and home loss and pension loss and health care loss, protests got crackdowns.

Your call @NYPDnews on Twitpic

(All pics are from twitter streams, clickable for larger, hover over them for descriptions.)
This is a BIG day of action in cities and towns all across the country. Here is a mid-day roundup of just some — just some — of what is going on. Click here to see a map of the hundreds of planned actions across the country. The scope and scale of this is just amazing, and is not at all being conveyed in the media.
Wall Street: Chanting “You’re sexy, you’re cute, now take off those riot suits,” demonstrators marched on the New York Stock Exchange. Retired police captain Ray Lewis was arrested holding a sign that read “NYPD Don’t Be Wall Street Mercenaries.”

Nonviolent, peaceful American citizens being arrested at #Occ... on Twitpic

A tweet: @digby56digby
RT @OccupyWallSt: Some bankers are holding signs that say, “get a job.” Unemployment is at 10% and they’re smug in suits. #N17 #OWS

these counter-protesters say they're trying to get to wo... on Twitpic NYPD v. Goldman salary comparison #ows #n17 on Twitpic

At a Portland, Oregon bridge:

Peaceful arrests have begun in Portland on the Steel Bridge #n17 on Twitpic

Los Angeles: AP: LA protesters march in financial district,

Los Angeles police have begun to arrest about 20 people sitting in an intersection at a rally by Occupy Wall Street sympathizers in the downtown financial district.
Hundreds of people marched Thursday before the small group linked arms around several tents and awaited arrest.

#N17 #OLA She's 82 years old & getting arrested for ... on Twitpic

Iowa City:

#N17 in Iowa City: SEIU Local 199 members were joined by Occu... on Twitpic

Dallas: Reuters: Occupy Dallas protesters evicted, more than a dozen arrested,

More than a dozen people were arrested on Thursday morning in Dallas when police on horseback and in riot gear evicted Occupy Dallas protesters from a site near City Hall where they have been camping for the past six weeks.
There was no violence. Dallas city officials put the number of people arrested at 18, while Occupy Dallas officials said 17 were arrested.

Duluth:

Citizens in Duluth MN took to the #bridges for #N17 earlier t... on Twitpic

Binghamton:

Mayor Ryan speaking at the rally #occupytheforum #ows #occupy... on Twitpic

Detroit: Huffington Post: Occupy Detroit Joins Nov. 17 Day Of Action

Occupy Detroit protesters on Thursday were set to join nationwide protests on the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement’s initial encampment in New York City.
… The group’s day of action comes the morning after Detroit Mayor Dave bing announced the need for significant austerity measures to avoid an even greater financial crisis in the city. In a Wednesday night address, the mayor called for a further 10 percent wage cut for city workers and an increase in worker contributions to health care coverage. Bing city police and firefighters should give the same concessions.

Albany: WGRZ: Occupy Buffalo Joins Demonstrations in Albany, NYC

About 250 protesters gathered Thursday at the Occupy Albany demonstration near the state Capitol, where activists planned to present their grievances to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
Buses from Buffalo, Rochester and other Occupy Wall Street encampments from around the state delivered the protesters to downtown Lafayette Park. Members of public employee unions have joined the Occupy Albany protesters.

Onward to the Capitol #n17  on Twitpic People gathering in Lafayette Park for rally #n17 #OcccupyAlb... on Twitpic

A bridge in Montana:

#N17 This bridge is the number one bridge in the state of Mon... on Twitpic

Denver: ABC7: Occupy Denver Joins ‘Day Of Action’,

The first rally at noon will be at the Denver Municipal Building at 201 West Colfax Ave. The building is across the street from Civic Center Park where the Occupy Denver protesters have been camped out.
The second rally will be held at the Greek Amphitheatre at 6 p.m. in Civic Center Park.
Occupy Denver said the 6 p.m. rally will be a “General Assembly meeting” where they will discuss the Occupy movement as a whole and how the group feels they should progress over the coming months.

Houston: Houston occupiers join worldwide day of action,

“Occupy Houston stands in solidarity with those Occupy movements who have recently come under attack, including Occupy Oakland, Occupy Wall Street and now, Occupy Dallas,” spokesman Dustin Phipps said in a statement. “We continue to assert our right to occupy public space and conduct our first amendment right to peaceably assemble.”
One Occupy protester was arrested earlier this week during an argument with police over tarps the group placed over electronic equipment in Tranquility Park, an ongoing point of contention between the protesters and City Hall.

Columbia:

please RT @nikkihaley  #occupycolumbia being evicted illegall... on Twitpic

Boston:

I pray that they may experience God's love and open thei... on Twitpic

NY Daily News: Occupy Wall St. spreads across the United States has pictures from around the country (not necessarily today) including Minneapolis, Miami, Providence, New Orleans, Lincoln, Seattle, Anchorage, Montgomery, Cincinnati, Burlington, Salt Lake City, Little Rock, Jackson, Ashland, Richmond, Hartford, Casper, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Tulsa, St. Louis, Boise, Honolulu, Salem, Austin and others.
Don’t forget San Francisco, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Oakland/Berkeley, Philadelphia, Muncie, Davenport, Lexington, …
Around The World, Too
London, Sydney, Toronto, Rome and Tokyo … Is this pic really Tokyo?

@ows @occupywallst @occupywallstnyc Tokyo is the 99% #ows on Twitpic

Occupy Colleges
National Student Strike
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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How Wealthy Companies Like Verizon Avoid Taxes

Verizon needs to open a call center, which means a few new low-paying jobs. They get local governments bidding against each other, offering all kinds of tax breaks if only they’ll bring those jobs there. Before the bidding war these jobs will be in the economy somewhere, but local schools, police, etc. will be funded. After the bidding war the same number of jobs open up but schools, police, etc. are not funded — and the 1% are that much richer. Company after company does this. Community after community, desperate for jobs, loses. Schools, police, infrastructure go unfunded. Just who does this help? The 1%.
Earlier this month, the organization Citizens for Tax Justice joined with the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy to release a report, “Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-2010.” The report looked at 280 corporations, finding that 78 did not pay federal taxes in at least one of the past three years and 30 averaged a less-than-zero tax bill in the last three years. Yes, less-than-zero, meaning they got money from the government instead of paying taxes to the government.
Verizon In Focus
Now a report by Citizens for Tax Justice and Good Jobs First, ““Unpaid Bills: How Verizon Shortchanges Government Through Tax Dodging and Subsidies,” looks at one company in particular. I’ve been writing about how Verizon is very, very profitable, but is trying to force its workers to give up ever more pay, benefits, job security and dignity. The company’s workers are engaged in an effort to preserve a middle-class existence.
Yesterday I joined a press call that hilited this Verizon report. The company aggressively manipulated state tax rules, demanded subsidies, and used other methods to end up with a negative federal income tax rate, and receiving state and local tax subsidies in at least 13 states. When setting up call centers, for example, they offer localities the prospect of jobs that that will be created somewhere in US, where the company would have paid taxes to fund schools and infrastructure, but get the localities bidding against each other until they end up making a profit instead of paying taxes.
From the report,

With more than $100 billion in annual revenues and nearly $15 billion in operating profits, Verizon
Communications is a large and prosperous company that should pay a substantial amount in taxes to
federal, state and local governments.

  • Verizon enjoyed some $14 billion in federal and state corporate income tax subsidies in the 2008-2010 period even though it earned $33.4 billion in pre-tax U.S. income during that time.
  • At the federal level, Verizon should have paid about $11.4 billion at the statutory rate of 35 percent during the three-year period. Instead, it got $951 million in rebates, putting its federal tax subsidies at $12.3 billion. Its effective federal tax rate was -2.9 percent.
  • At the state level, Verizon should have paid about $2.3 billion in corporate income taxes during the period but it handed over only $866 million. Its aggregate state rate was only 2.6 percent, far below the weighted state average rate of 6.8 percent. This gave it state tax subsidies of about $1.4 billion.
  • Verizon also used a special tax loophole called the ReverseMorrisTrust to avoid paying about $1.5 billion in federal and state and local taxes on the sale of its landline assets in various states.
  • Verizon also aggressively seeks state and local tax subsidies through credits, abatements and exemptions. There is no centralized reporting on these subsidies but in this report we document $180 million in special tax breaks and grants Verizon and VerizonWireless received in 13 states.

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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Tomorrow’s Day Of Action – A Big Deal

Thursday’s National Day Of Action looks like it will be really big. People will be out doing things all over the country. There will be all kinds of events that say, “We are the 99%!” My favorite is people will be gathering in front of various decaying bridges, to demonstrate that our #1 need is jobs and our #1 place to put people to work is rebuilding our decaying infrastructure.
To find events near you see American Dream Day Of Action at http://november17.org/ and We Are One at http://we-r-1.org/
Isaiah Poole writes about the Day of Action in his post today, The Evictions Won’t Stand: Make Nov. 17 A Day Of National Occupation,

“You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.” That was the message posted on OccupyWallSt.org as early this morning, police began to storm the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.
To prove it, supporters of the Occupy movement have vowed to pull out all the stops to make November 17 a day of national occupation. That day is the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests that sparked a national and international movement. There were already 303 “We Are the 99%” protests scheduled for that day around the country, organized with the help of MoveOn.org. Now those gatherings have added urgency as a rebuke to the efforts to squelch the occupations and silence their voices. As the OccupyWallSt.org statement says, “This burgeoning movement is more than a protest, more than an occupation, and more than any tactic…This moment is nothing short of America rediscovering the strength we hold when we come together as citizens to take action to address crises that impact us all. Such a movement cannot be evicted.”

Bridges
Here are just some of the bridge events this Thursday, Nov. 17:

These demonstrations are part of a National Day of Action against policies that have enriched the 1% and impoverished the 99%. People nationwide will march and rally at structurally unsound bridges and other sites in need of repair to demand that America be put back to work now and that the economy work for the 99% once again.

  • New York, NY – 6 p.m. March on Brooklyn Bridge
  • Chicago, IL – 3:30pm, LaSalle Street Bridge
  • Washington, DC – 4:30 p.m. protest at Key Bridge
  • Los Angeles, CA – 7:00am, 3rd St. and Hope St. in downtown LA (to march and demonstrate at the structurally deficient 4th Street bridge)
  • Philadelphia, PA – 4 p.m., Market Street Bridge, near historic 30th Street Amtrak Station
  • Pittsburgh, PA – 3 p.m., Greenfield Bridge
  • Seattle, WA – 4:00pm, Montlake Bridge
  • Miami, FL – 40p.m., Brickell Drawbridge
  • Baltimore, MD – 4:30 p.m., Howard Street Bridge
  • Boston, MA – 4:30 p.m., Charlestown Bridge
  • Portland, OR – 8:00am, Steel Bridge (east side of bridge)
  • Houston, TX – 3:30pm, Travis Street Bridge
  • Detroit, MI – 3:00pm, 2nd Avenue/94 Bridge
  • Milwaukee, WI – 3:30pm, North Ave pass over I-43
  • Minneapolis, MN – 4:00pm, 10th Avenue Bridge

CWA / Verizon Worker March
The biggest labor action right now is Verizon’s workers who are trying to preserve middle-class jobs from a predatory giant corporation that is trying to send all the money to the 1%. Verizon workers have been marching from Albany to New York City and will arrive at Verizon HQ on Thursday.
I received this statement from the Communication Workers of America:

“The Communications Workers of America strongly condemns the decision by Mayor Bloomberg to forcibly remove protesters from Zuccotti park. In two short months, Occupy Wall Street has focused the world’s attention on the deep frustration felt by working people about an economy that no longer works for the middle class. The 99% have seen good jobs disappear while the rich get richer and the big banks make billions with impunity. Mayor Bloomberg may have cleared the park for now, but Occupy Wall Street’s message cannot be silenced. No one can evict an idea whose time has come.
“Now more than ever, CWA members will join the massive day of action on Thursday, November 17. Verizon workers who have been walking for over a week from Albany, NY — over 150 miles in total — will arrive at Verizon Headquarters at 140 West St in New York City on Thursday at 4 pm to join hundreds of their coworkers in a March to Foley Square. Their message is the same message we are hearing from Occupy Wall Street and beyond: The 99% are standing up against corporate greed and against a government that more and more puts the interests of the 1% ahead of the middle class.

See also from The Nation, Occupy Verizon, Occupy the Labor Movement,

Forty-five thousand union members at Verizon, no longer a majority at their company, are negotiating with a company set on imposing conditions more like those of their non-union co-workers: higher healthcare costs, job insecurity and raises left to management discretion. Workers (most from the Communications Workers of America) struck for two weeks when their contracts expired in August, then returned to work with an agreement to “restructure bargaining.” Since then, Verizon has relented on some insulting but comparatively low-cost concessions, like eliminating the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. But overall it maintains “pretty much the same position they had when we went on strike,” according to Bob Master, who coordinates CWA actions against Verizon in New York and seven other states.

Social Security
If you are in DC, there is a Wake Up Washington rally to stop the “supercommittee” from cutting Social Security, which would harm seniors and the economy. Here is info:
What: Rally with Sen. Bernie Sanders, other Champions in Congress, and hundreds of activists
Where: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 608 (Corner of Constitution and First St., NE)
When: Thursday, November 17, 10am-11am
Repeat:
To find events near you see American Dream Day Of Action at http://november17.org/ and We Are One at http://we-r-1.org/
Also, if you follow Twitter, follow the #N17 hashtag for ongoing information, by clicking here.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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Back To Chrome

Yesterday I wrote that I was switching away from Chrome to Firefox because Chrime crashed so often, and there was a new version of Firefox out.
Whoa – Firefox 8 was just awful! There was this noticeable lag time for everything, the interface is not convenient, and it just felt awkward. Especially when writing posts. Slow, catchy, sometimes it didn’t even sense that I was typing…
So back to Chrome, hoping it will stop crashing all the time.
I’ll try Safari soon, and report back.

Switching Back To Firefox

After a very long run I have given up on Chrome and am switching back to Firefox. Chrome was crashing too often, becoming worse and worse. Let’s see how Firefox does, now that it is at version 8…
And have you noticed that google is getting harder and harder to use, and not giving good results anymore?????
What’s up with this company?

Government Shutdowns Get The 1% What They Want

A while back I was writing about the Republican threat of a government-wide shutdown, and the two-week Federal Aviation Administration shutdown (and Delta Airlines’ anti-union role in that). The shutdown threat was used to force the government to give even more favors and bucks to the 1% and even less to We, the People.
Guess what? The shutdown threats are back.
Last Time
Earlier this year, and then again in September, the Republicans threatened to block the budget from passing and to just let the government shut down. In exchange for allowing the government to continue to operate they wanted favors for the 1% and their corporations, including gutting environmental regulations, gutting healthcare (especially women’s healthcare), and generally gutting the things We, the People do for each other.
They largely got their way. They even shut down the FAA, stopping construction projects in an attempt to gut union organizing. Four thousand FAA workers and about 90,000 construction workers were laid off, and the shutdown cost the government about $30 million a day.
Which Was Which?
The Republican threat of shutting down the government is not to be confused with the debt-ceiling hostage-taking debacle that was engineered by Republicans.
The debt-ceiling hostage-taking involved Republicans threatening to let the government default on its obligations, sending the world’s economy into a tailspin, unless We, the People dramatically roll back the things we do for each other. They got their way, resulting in big cuts plus the “super committee” of the 1% that is currently working on cutting things for the 99%. (The secretive committee is actually talking about cutting Medicare and cutting top tax rates, and calling it “pro-growth.”)
FAA And Labor
In August Republicans shut down the FAA for two weeks, with Republicans trying to get in an anti-union rule. A temporary FAA reauthorization is currently funded only until the end of January. Last week Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, predicted that the FAA “reauthorization” bill would be done, passed and signed by Christmas.
But the anti-labor provision is still in the bill.
Former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said the fights over funding bills like this could “make a grown man cry.” According to The Hill, “We’re working on the 20th-plus extension” of the FAA bill, Mineta said during an interview with The Hill. “That’s something we really have to get resolved, and [with] a long-term bill.”
The Game Is Squeeze-The-Rubes
Here is how the squeeze-the-rubes game is played.
First, cut taxes for the rich. To accomplish this, call it “pro-growth,” make the claim that these cuts will “boost the economy” for the rubes, “bring them jobs,” or basically whatever they need to hear that week to get them to go along. Then borrow a ton of money to make up for the lost revenue, because when the debt comes due you have serious leverage.
Meanwhile, cut government, cut back on education for the rubes, health care for the rubes — they don’t need it, what are they going to do with educations and health, anyway? Cut regulation. Cut enforcement. And, most of all, do what you can to hamstring labor because organized labor is the one remaining force in the country that has some power, and is working to maintain the middle class. because with a strong middle class, government is able to pay down the debt, so there is no cover for all the cuts.
Then, to speed things up, boost the government’s spending on the things that increase your wealth and power. The big one is military. Find something to scare the rubes, watch them run and hide and squeal and let you crank up the military budget, give yourselves no-bid contracts, lucrative consulting contracts, even send pallets of cash to be disbursed to you and your friends.
And, by the way, tax subsidies for your oil and finance companies will drain the treasury pretty fast, too.
Then, when the bill comes due, that’s when the hammer comes down. That’s when you spring the trap. That’s when you can have real fun. You’ve got them where you want them, and you can go to work. Scare the bejeezus out of them with stories of insolvency, poverty, whatever it takes to make them fear the debt. And then crank up the demands.
Congress Plays Along
Members of Congress see this game of squeeze-the-rubes for what it is, and get what they can for themselves, too. Rep. Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, led the two-week FAA shutdown over that anti-union rule. (See The Hostage-Taking Just Keeps Coming – This Time The FAA Shuts Down, Think Default Threat Is A Yawn? The FAA Is Still Shut Down and Delta’s Greed Helps Shut Down The FAA)
Well, according to the Florida Independent, Mica, just months after being involved in the temporary shutdown over “spending” on the FAA was bragging about an FAA grant awarded to his district. Mica said he worked for a provision in that bill to keep unions from being able to organize “said he had used his vote as a ‘bargaining tool’ to gain the support of Senate Democrats” for the grant to his own district.
P.S. Take a look at where Rep. Mica gets the money to run his campaigns.
How The Game Is Played
Watch Jack Abramoff explain in a 60 Minutes segment how it works Once the member of Congress or staffer thinks they might get a lobbying job from you,

ABRAMOFF: When we would become friendly with an office and they were important to us, and the chief of staff was a competent person, I would say or my staff would say to him or her at some point, “You know, when you’re done working on the Hill, we’d very much like you to consider coming to work for us.” Now the moment I said that to them or any of our staff said that to ‘em, that was it. We owned them. And what does that mean? Every request from our office, every request of our clients, everything that we want, they’re gonna do. And not only that, they’re gonna think of things we can’t think of to do.

Perks, Too
Are airlines giving perks to members of Congress and staffers, as they prepare to vote on more favors for the 1%, possible shutdowns of government for the rest of us, even the FAA reauthorization? From Roll Call, Being in Congress Has Perks,

Most major airlines have phones lines dedicated to customers on Capitol Hill, aides and lobbyists told Roll Call. To accommodate their unpredictable travel schedules, Members are allowed to reserve seats on multiple flights but pay only for the one they board.
A spokesman for Delta confirmed the airline has a Congressional call desk and allows members to double-book flights. United Continental Holdings Inc., US Airways and American Airlines, all of which are rumored to have similar practices, did not return Roll Call’s request for comment.
“We get on every single flight,” said one Capitol Hill aide familiar with process. “Every offices uses it. … The scheduler uses it for Members and chiefs of staff who fly.”
The perks have long raised the ire of consumer advocates. “They are treated completely differently from the time they book their ticket until the time they land at the airport,” said Kate Hanni, director of Flyers Rights, an airline passenger advocacy organization.

Short Run Good For 1%, Long Run Bad For 99%
In the short run this game yields great riches to a few. In the long run, of course, getting rid of government defunds infrastructure and education so the economy eventually slows to a crawl. Pitting the parts of the citizenry against each other breeds social chaos, maybe even violence.
What do they care, when they can just hop in their own jots and fly to their own private islands?
Government is us: We, the People. Our government of the people, by the people and for the people exists to reign in the1% and act as a counterweight to the power of their wealth and their huge corporations. That is why We, the People formed our government, to counter the corrupt controlling power of the British King and his aristocracy. That is why we enabled organized labor. That is why we have regulations. That is why we have access to courts to sue giant corporations. It is about one-person-one-vote democracy, not one-dollar-one-vote plutocracy.
What You Can Do
Tell Delta: Stop The Union Busting,

Delta Air Lines is holding billions of dollars in funding for crucial FAA projects hostage by insisting that Congress pass new, undemocratic rules for airline workers trying to organize a union. Delta wants union elections to count workers who don’t take part as voting “No”–an absurd demand that would undermine the entire system of majority-rule voting.
The rules are under debate now, Delta’s powerful allies in Congress are holding up a long-term solution by continuing to insist on the new election rule.
Without a long-term reauthorization bill, job-creating airport infrastructure projects and critical security improvements are on hold. And we run the risk of another FAA shutdown at the end of the year.

Thursday National Day Of Action
Many organizations are calling for a national day of action Thursday Nov. 17, with various events around the country.
Follow the Twitter hashtag #N17 for info.
Occupy Wall Street, on Thursday’s Day Of Action
Interfaith Worker Justice: National Days of Action Against Wage Theft
Check out this We Are The 99% event Thursday,

We’re starting to get the 1% to pay attention. But this system’s still rigged against us: Wall Street is still making billions and taking our homes, and Congress can’t pass a jobs bill. To amplify the economic emergency, we’re making Thursday, November 17, a massive day of action to show “We Are The 99%.

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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Egypt-Style Attacks On Several Occupy Camps

When Egyptians stood up to Mubarak they were met with tear gas and clubs. Once upon a time American had freedom of assembly, speech and protest. Even now, as long as protests don’t take on the 1%, they are OK. But in today’s America-for-the-1% protests, assemblies and speech against plutocatic, 1% rule are met with tear gas and police batons to the head.
Occupy Movement camps around the country follow strict practices of nonviolence and democracy. As with any diverse community of people, there are troublemakers who take advantage of loose organization and predators who prey on others. This is why we have police departments in every city and town. But plutocratic government response is to discourage the Occupy Movement, so government services are denied these citizens. Instead of helpfully serving communities, the frown of disapproving authority is cast upon their activities.
Disgust and fear are powerful propaganda tools, and there has been a remarkable “soften up public opinion” media drumbeat using repeated accusations of bugs, thugs, drugs, muggings, disease, rats, filth, and other disgust and fear-invoking imagery. (Perhaps worst of all in the “shame them” index, even beards and general non-consumerism and non-conformity are described!) So with the ground prepared and the way paved for police actions, Occupy camps in Portland, Oakland, Chapel Hill, St. Louis, Albany, Salt Lake City, Burlington, San Francisco, Denver and other cities were raided over the weekend.
“The 1% And Its Government Facilitators”
Of course in one form or another Occupy actions will continue as long as the 1% continues its extreme shock-doctrine power and wealth grab. There are still scores of other Occupy actions taking place in cities around the country and world.
In Oakland the mayor’s legal advisor posted on Facebook that he has resigned over Monday’s police raid of Occupy Oakland.

His Facebook post: “No longer Mayor Quan’s legal adviser. Resigned at 2 am. Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators.”

Report From Oakland
AlterNet’s Joshua Holland reports on the police action in Oakland, in Thousands of Riot Cops Descend on Occupy Oakland, 32 Arrested,

It’s the explosions and large volume of gunshots that made these actions excessive. The generous use of flash-bang grenades, tear gas and “less lethal” rounds deployed by police in heavy black body armor felt more like the opening scene to Saving Private Ryan than footage of, say, protests against the Vietnam War being broken up by helmeted police swinging batons. While the weapons deployed by police are designed not to kill or maim (if used properly), the visceral sensation of walking through streets dodging explosions and chemical agents while rounds crackle in the air creates an effect similar to that of actual combat – abject terror, disorientation and a sense of unease that lingers for days.

Roundups And Videos
RT has a roundup of of some of these actions, Occupy camps under attack across America
Here is an AP video roundup of some of these actions:

Here is CNN footage of various actions around the country:

Here is footage from an early Occupy event:

What You Can Do
Attend at least one Occupy event.

You may have heard about the “Occupy” protests that are occurring in cities around the country. They aren’t what you are hearing. Please come to one and see for yourself. If you are young, old, white, black, brown, poor, rich, left, right, centrist, even Tea Party you will find people just like you. You might agree, you might disagree, you might love it, you might hate it, but you owe it to yourself to come and see for yourself.
A lot of people feel frustration with the huge and increasing gap between the rich and the poor and the effect this is having on our country, culture, politics and the way we relate to each other as Americans. It seems like everything in the country is now geared toward the top 1%, and the rest of us are divided and supposed to keep quiet and accept this. Somehow the Occupy movement started at just the right time, when just the right number of people were fed up with the way things are going and the lack of solutions coming from our political leaders. It grew quickly, because people were tired of keeping quiet while our government seems to operate only for the benefit of the top few and expects the rest of us to sacrifice to pay for that.
This all brings us a chance to restore democracy not just in our communities, but within ourselves. By attending and participating, we are exercising the “muscles” of democracy, of speaking up and being part of something. The thing is, you won’t just see it, you’ll feel it. You’ll feel what it is like to have so many people around you who agree with you. You’ll feel what it is like to be part of something important.

How To Find One Near You
The “Occupy” movement has now been going on for just over six weeks, and has spread to hundreds of towns across the country. You can probably find one near you. Start at Occupy Together which is at http://www.occupytogether.org/. Take a look at the page where they show you what is happening in your area, using a map. Also, try typing ‘Occupy’ and the name of your town into Google just to see what pops up.
Also see them on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/occupyeverywhere, and http://www.facebook.com/Gilded.Age . Also visit the Rebuild the Dream movement, and, of course, MoveOn.org.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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