The People's Uprisings seen around the world and in the United States will come to Washington, DC, beginning on Thursday, October 6, when thousands will converge to begin a prolonged people's occupation of Freedom Plaza.
Occupy DC: Both Heads of the Beast
25 October 11
15 December 11
When Sascha Meinrath saw the Occupy encampment in D.C., he saw something few others would — a testbed for technology.
Meinrath has been chasing a dream for more than a decade, ever since he was a liberal arts grad student in Urbana, Illinois: community wireless networks. From that small beginning, Meinrath now runs a State Department-funded initiative to create an Internet in a Suitcase — the Voice of America of the digital age.
08 December 11
The mix of protesters from across the country, including union workers, progressive activists and community organizers, said they’re opposed to the corporate greed embodied by the street known for housing special interest groups and offices of major corporations. Adopting the slogan of the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York, the activists spilling onto K Street said they were fighting for the interests of the “99 percent” of ordinary Americans.
Demonstrators celebrated their success after shutting down K Street for several hours on a busy weekday. “Thousands of unemployed workers and community members are engaging in peaceful civil disobedience this week to make the voices of the 99 percent heard above the power of the 1 percent and their K Street money machine,” said Stephanie Mueller, a spokeswoman for the American Dream Movement, a coalition of labor and progressive groups.
25 October 11
President Barack Obama offered mortgage relief on Monday to hundreds of thousands of Americans, his latest attempt to ease the economic and political fallout of a housing crisis that has bedeviled him as he seeks a second term.
"I'm here to say that we can't wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job," the president declared outside a family home in Las Vegas, the epicenter of foreclosures and joblessness. "Where they won't act, I will."
Making a case for his policies and a new effort to circumvent roadblocks put up by Republican lawmakers, Obama also laid out a theme for his re-election, saying that there's "no excuse for all the games and the gridlock that we've been seeing in Washington." READ MORE
22 October 11
Officer Michael Daragjati had no idea that the FBI was listening to his phone calls. Otherwise he would probably not have described his arrest and detention of an innocent black New Yorker in the manner he did.
Daragjati boasted to a woman friend that, while on patrol in Staten Island, he had "fried another nigger". It was "no big deal", he added. The FBI, which had been investigating another matter, then tried to work out what had happened. READ MORE
22 October 11
Mayor Bloomberg is planning Draconian new measures to crack down on what he calls the "disruption" caused by the protesters at Zuccotti Park, and he is citing neighbors' complaints about noise and mess. This set of talking points, and this strategy, is being geared up as well by administrations of municipalities around the nation in response to the endurance and growing influence of the Occupation protest sites. But the idea that any administration has the unmediated option of "striking a balance," in Bloomberg's words, that it likes, and closing down peaceful and lawful disruption of business as usual as it sees fit is a grave misunderstanding - or, more likely, deliberate misrepresentation - of our legal social contract as American citizens. READ MORE
#OccupyMarines Preparing to Occupy America
22 October 11
United States Marine Corps. Sergeant Shamar Thomas in a spectacular moment defended the protesters of Occupy Wall Street while staring into the faces of thirty NYPD officers, and now countless other Marines have organized in an amazing show of solidarity.
Sgt. Thomas' gallant actions in standing up for American citizens being brutalized by the police were shown in a video which has gone viral with almost 2 million views. Marines have joined forces with #OccupyMarines in solidarity with the movement not just in New York, but nationwide:
"OccupyMARINES Are Currently Assessing The Current Situation To Ascertain What Is Currently Needed To Support OWS America. We Are Humbled At The Substantial Support OWS America Has Provided And Ask That Everyone Continue As You All Do While We Implement Organization Nationwide. As We All Know, 'Occupy' Groups Are Being Established Even Now And Would Like To See This Trend Continue." READ MORE
Freedom Plaza Occupation Shuts Down CitiBank Branch
20 October 11
22 October 11
PR will no longer distribute the member station - produced program "World of Opera" to about 60 stations across the country because the show host helped organize an ongoing Washington protest, a network official said Friday evening.
Instead, North Carolina-based classical music station WDAV, which produces the show, said it will distribute the nationally syndicated program on its own beginning Nov. 11. The station said it plans to keep Lisa Simeone as host and has said her involvement in a political protest does not affect her job as a music program host. READ MORE
20 October 11
reelance broadcaster Lisa Simeone was fired from public radio program Soundprint yesterday after NPR took issue with her role as a spokesperson for the Occupy DC protests, despite the fact that she is not officially employed by the organization.
In an email to the Baltimore Sun, Simeone defended her involvement with Occupy DC. "I find it puzzling that NPR objects to my exercising my rights as an American citizen - the right to free speech, the right to peaceable assembly - on my own time in my own life," she wrote. "I'm not an NPR employee. I'm a freelancer. NPR doesn't pay me. I'm also not a news reporter. I don't cover politics. I've never brought a whiff of my political activities into the work I've done for NPR's World of Opera. What is NPR afraid I'll do - insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?" READ MORE
Occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC Calls for Nationwide Citibank Protests
19 October 11
Citigroup, one of the nation’s largest banking and investment firms, reported yesterday that their quarterly earnings are up $3.8 billion, 74% higher than a year ago. This is their seventh consecutive quarter to produce massive profits. They make massive profits while the economy is in collapse. They continue to foreclose on mortgages. They hold back loans to small businesses and consumers. They choke the economy while massively profiting.
"Members of the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC (www.october2011.org) are calling on people across the United States to express their outrage with Citigroup and the banking industry that is making record profits off the backs of the working people, by demonstrating at Citibank locations everywhere on XX October 2011. We are asking people to express their outrage in a very visible and audible way in order to shut these banks down for an hour, for a day—and to continue to put pressure on the banking industry indefinitely. READ MORE
Protesters Occupy D.C.’s Freedom Plaza to Oppose War, Corporate Greed
19 October 11
They’ve occupiedWall Street. A few have occupied, and continue to occupy part of K Street. And now, protesters allied against what they see as government and corporate corruption are occupying a park along Pennsylvania Avenue.
"Their concerns are varied and their rhetoric strong. They use symbols and slogans from activist movements past. No one organization leads them. But the protesters in Freedom Plaza, a few blocks from the White House, have one thing in common: they say they have had enough from the people in power. READ MORE
18 October 11
17 October 11
After leading a march down Pennsylvania Avenue from Freedom Plaza, West, along with 18 other protesters, was arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court Sunday afternoon over their refusal to leave the grounds of the court.
He stated "It's a beautiful day," as he was handcuffed and led away.
West is a prominent African American author, commentator, civil rights activist and a professor at the prominent Princeton University and well - known and regarded for his contributions to the post - 1960s civil rights movement. READ MORE
16 October 11
16 October 11
The October2011.org Movement that is occupying Freedom Plaza, led an impromptu march of 250 people up Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S.Supreme Court where Dr. Cornel West climbed on the steps of the Supreme Court and denounced court decisions that have produced money-based elections that empower corporations. Dr. West was holding a sign that said "Poverty is the Greatest Violence of All." He was arrested because holding political signs on the Supreme Court steps is illegal.
Dr. West spoke to more than 500 people on Freedom Plaza where he said that "if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would be on Freedom Plaza." West described how the struggle against, poverty, war and injustice continues and confidence that the people will succeed. He applauded the occupation as "an inclusive social revolution for all of us" and a "leaderless-leader-filled movement" where people are "finding their own political voices rather than echoing others." READ MORE
7 Freedom Plaza Occupiers Arresred at Armed Services Committee hearing
13 October 11
Seven members of the occupation of Freedom Plaza were arrested at a House Armed Services Committee meeting protesting war quagmires and continued spending on weapons and war. People arrested included Leah Bolger, vice president of Veterans for Peace, and Michael Patterson, Alli McCracken, Nancy Brennan, Michael Scheffer, Julie Macgregor and one other.
13 October 11
Indignant" protesters, angered by a biting economic crisis they blame on politicians and bankers, vow to take to the streets worldwide Saturday in a protest spanning 71 nations.
It is the first global show of power by the protest, born May 15 when a rally in Madrid's central square of Puerta del Sol sparked a movement that spread nationwide, then to other countries.
As governments cut deep into welfare spending to try to trim huge sovereign debts, protests have grown and this weekend's demonstrations are being organised in Madrid, New York and around the world. READ MORE
How 99% Prevented Senators from Working Yesterday
Posted to RSN: 9:11:am:est - 10/12/11
At exactly 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday a few hundred people began preventing any work that might have been done in the Senate Hart Office Building. Until sometime past noon, the noise of incessant chanting and the spectacle of banners, flags, and flyers actually flying down into a large atrium directed the attention of staffers and corporate lobbyists in every window away from their work. For another half hour or so, the police worked to clear people out of hallways and quiet them down. The police closed off access to the building for visitors.
For another hour or more, our friends who had chosen to demonstrate in front of the building displayed giant signs, played thundering music on their drums, and generally kept people away from the now closed building entrance.
Our chants were clear enough for easy comprehension by just about anyone over the age of 3 other than perhaps CNN producers:
"How do we fix the deficit? End the wars! Tax the rich!"
"Senators for sale, go to jail!"
"We are the 99 percent and so are You are the 99 percent and so are We are the 99 percent...."
Videos tell the story: http://warisacrime.org/hart
While a few people inside the atrium chose not to comply with orders to be quiet or disperse and were arrested, most of us were not. Six people were arrested, but I don't know the details of all six arrests. We could do this sort of thing every day without arrests if done right.
Later in the day, in the next building over, the Senate Finance Committee met to discuss ways it could kill off more jobs, including new corporate trade aggreements with Colombia, Panama, and Korea. Four of us, including me, were arrested for speaking up in protest. Others, including Robert Naiman, managed to avoid arrest even while speaking out. This required merely wearing the congressional uniform (a suit and tie) and not being too loud.
I've been told there are good videos and photos of our protestations in the committee hearing but can't find them, so please share if you can. There was also, of course, C-Span.
The Hart Senate Office Building has a multistory atrium with hallways open to it from four sides on the third, fifth, and seventh floors. The three Senate office buildings are connected inside, and have entrances all around them through which you are allowed to simply walk in at any time. It is not difficult to bring banners inside, either stuffed in a backpack or hidden under your clothes. A hundred people or more can make enough noise to halt work in all the surrounding offices. And the police give three warnings before arresting you. (Be careful, though, because it's impossible to hear the police talking during the chanting and clapping by yourself and your friends.)
In committees it is usually possible to hold up signs before the gavel of the chairman or chairwoman bangs the hearing into session. Then, if you speak up, there may be warnings, you may be escorted out, or you may be arrested. It is usually possible to find out beforehand. We knew we were likely to be arrested on Tuesday and did not care.
The downside to being arrested by the Capitol Police is that they can be very slow, and then you can end up with a distant court date that you have no option but to appear for, or you will face a separate criminal prosecution. The police themselves are polite and professional, but they have antiquated computers and not enough of them. They do most of their work by hand on endless pieces of paper, copying information from form to form by hand. They even have typewriters. We were processed by trainees, but training wasn't the only thing lacking. They needed decent equipment and, frankly, decent educations. In the shadow of the government buildings used to pour trillions of dollars into wars and the enrichment of our corporate overlords, the government's own guardians emerge from a magnificently mediocre school system to find employment in an underfunded operation that does the bidding of our fascistic committee chairmen to the extent of its abilities. Average time for processing arrestees on Tuesday was about four hours.
If you have a charge pending as I now do, it can be harder to get released at all if arrested again. So, a strategy that involves arrests, or an effort to fill the jails, can result in a reduction in available people for further actions.
However, we can prevent work in one congressional office building or another, day after day, without necessarily having anyone arrested. At this point I'm leaning in that direction. Unless, of course, Congress discovers the need to end the wars and tax the rich.
11 October 11
A reporter for the American Spectator - who says he "infiltrated" a group of Washington, DC, protesters "in order to mock and undermine" their cause in his magazine - claims he helped incite a riot at the National Air and Space Museum on Saturday afternoon and was pepper - sprayed in the process.
After sneaking past the guard at the first entrance, I found myself trapped in a small entranceway outside the second interior door behind a muscle - bound left - wing fanatic and a heavyset guard. READ MORE
Freedom Plaza Is Now Ours
10 October 11
And we're never giving it back. Our permit for Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, expired, we refused to leave, and the Park Police has just proposed to let us stay for four more months.
We've agreed. We have not said that when the four months are over and the American Spring is here we will leave.
In fact, we intend to make it possible for anyone to visit DC with free accommodations. Just bring a sleeping bag and agree to work with us to pressure Congress, the White House, K Street, the Pentagon, and all the lobbyists and profiteers for peace and justice. We have free food, we have free drink, we have free trainings and seminars, we have tents, we have peace keepers, we have a big victory under out belts, and we welcome all peace makers for they shall inherit Freedom Plaza. We own it. It is ours. It shall remain ours world without end.
The Taste of DC food festival just gave us all their remaining food. Or at least all the individual booths did. Ben and Jerry's just endorsed us. Busboys and Poets just fed us. Businesses that support us will be honored and supported by 99 percent of this country.
So, here's the plan: Bring us your reports from around the country at your local Occupations. Fill us in here in the Empire's Capital. We will fill you in too. We will train and inspire and connect you with the rest of this global movement. Then go back home energized. Come down from New York and go back up. We need to coordinate on a personal level.
Our brothers and sisters in McPherson Square have a growing occupation too. Join them. Join us. We're family. We disrupted the work of the NSA today, and the Association of the Army's convention at which our women had generals crawling under tanks to avoid cameras. We shut down a celebration of Christopher Columbus as well.
And Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. sharp in Our Freedom Plaza we will set off to "welcome" Congress back to town. Join us. We are legion.
The one thing that we need now is money, and you can contribute it at http://october2011.org
Or you can wait for the bankster war machine to confiscate your money, eat your retirement, swallow your healthcare, foreclose on your home, and tax you into debt to pay for plutocrats' profiteering.
It's up to you.
It's up to us.
Dancing On Our Occupation Permit
10 October 11
Sunday night, our permit expired for occupying Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC. So, we threw a dance party, and when we could dance no more, we went to sleep in Freedom Plaza.
We have until 2 p.m. today to remove our possessions. We do not intend to do so. We suspect that if the police want to remove us by force they will wait until evening. So we're throwing a dinner party, and 99% of the country is invited.
Our permit is now the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
"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."
There is no way for the vast majority of people in this enormous country to petition our government for a redress of grievances other than what we are doing. We've phoned, emailed, faxed, and mailed letters. And yet rich people are taxed less than poor people, wars rage on, 65% of discretionary spending goes into the war machine, our social safety net is being shredded, and our environment is being destroyed. So, we're here in person, but most of us cannot afford hotel rooms. We are exercising our First Amendment rights in the only possible way: by camping in Washington, DC, and protesting our government in a manner it cannot avoid.
Whether or not you are sleeping in Freedom Plaza, you can join us there, whether or not the square has been cleared overnight, whether or not we've been arrested, whether or not you've been arrested, whether or not the weather is fine, meet in Freedom Plaza at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, and we will take our grievances to Capitol Hill.
If we are arrested in Freedom Plaza we will return to it. If we are arrested in Freedom Plaza, we want you to replace us in larger numbers. You will not regret the experience.
A friend caught a cab to Freedom Plaza the other day. The cabbie said "If you're one of the protesters, the ride is free."
Stores are saying the same.
Random people are joining in marches when we march through downtown.
We are the 99%, we say, and so are ... You are the 99%, and so are ... We are the 99%, and so are ...
This is an open and welcoming movement. Some of our brothers and sisters are occupying McPherson Square as well, and they can have 500 there with no permit. Join them too.
We need to hold these two squares, not because the marble or the grass is running our government into the ground, but because people from out of town cannot bring public pressure to bear on Congress, the White House, the Pentagon, K Street, or the Chamber of Commerce if we cannot live here.
We cannot learn democracy at home, and let me tell you it is not an easy thing to learn. It takes us longer to talk about a protest action than to engage in it. But we talk about it together. One person, one voice. No corporate persons. No financial voices. Democracy is indeed the worst form of government except for all the other ones.
If the police had come last night, the crowd of dancing demonstrators would have cheered and asked them to join the party.
And I think it's just possible they would have done so.
What do you say we try that again tonight?
10 October 11
The following photograph taken by opednews.com shows a confrontation in the lobby of the National Air and Space Museum between two individuals and an officer shortly before video shows officers with the Museum's security forces rush outside indiscriminately pepper-spraying numerous individuals.
It appears that one of the two in the confrontation with the security officer is Patrick Howley, Assistant Editor of The American Spectator. [See the following photograph in which Howley's Facebook Profile Photo is side-by-side with the person pictured at the Air and Space Museum] Immediately after the incident began hitting the newswires Howley published a "Breaking News" story with The American Spectator online in which he reveals that he had consciously infiltrated the group on Friday with the intent to discredit the movement. He states that "as far as anyone knew I was part of this cause - a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator - and I wasn't giving up before I had my story." READ MORE
10 October 11
Last night, our permit officially ran out in Freedom Plaza. Early in the evening the police reminded us our permit ended at 10PM and they 'had to do their job.' We held an emergency meeting of many of the organizers and decided to stay. We took it to the General Assembly (see 1:49:22 of video) which agreed. We were in solidarity - Freedom Park was paid for by our tax dollars; the Constitution says "Congress shall make no law abridging" our right to freedom of speech and right to assemble to redress grievances against the government. We had grievances, so we were staying.
We decided to dance until the police came for us. We danced and our unity grew stronger. Margaret Flowers and I went up on the stage and danced before a massive replica of the Constitution "We the People in order to form a more perfect union" ... we went to the stage so we could watch for police action. As the permit holders we felt a responsibility to everyone there. We wanted to warn them if we saw the police coming. READ MORE
09 October 11
The National Air and Space Museum in Washington was closed Saturday after anti - war demonstrators swarmed the building to protest a drone exhibit and security guards used pepper spray to repel them, sickening a number of protesters.
Smithsonian spokesman John Gibbons said a large group of demonstrators, estimated at 100 to 200 people, arrived at about 3 p.m. and tried to enter the National Mall museum. READ MORE
Pepper-Sprayed for Peace
08 October 11
I've been coughing and vomiting, and my head aches from pepper spray. I'll post videos and photos of why here.
We intended to hold signs and sing inside the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, protesting its promotion of unmanned drones, missiles, and bombs, including its sponsorship by and promotion of weapons corporations. We don't have any museums promoting health coverage or education or retirement security.
We had marched from the Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square occupations, taking over the streets of DC. The museum knew we were coming. Some of our group got in and dropped a banner. Hundreds of us did not. Instead, we were greeted at the door with cans of pepper spray.
There were three sets of entrance doors. I was among the first to open the third set of doors. A guard shook a can of pepper spray in front of me and demanded that we back out. But a dozen feet away at the second set of doors, people were staggering out and collapsing in pain, having been pepper sprayed in the face. I started to go toward them, but began coughing and vomiting. A lot of people were effected, directly or - like me - indirectly by the pepper spray.
It is not true that we assaulted the police. Nobody was accused of or charged with that. I didn't hear about it until later from the media. A young woman named Thi Le was told she'd be charged with assaulting a police officer after she was pepper sprayed and handcuffed, but they switched the charge to disorderly conduct and released her a few hours later.
It is not true that they only pepper sprayed one person. Many people were pepper sprayed.
It is not true that the crowd dispersed. The guards locked the doors and closed the museum. We had not planned to close the museum but to demonstrate and leave. With the museum closed and one of our own in custody, we held a rally on the steps as more people made their way over from Freedom Plaza to join us. We were there for hours.
We will be here for as long as it takes.
Congress comes back to this town on Tuesday.
We're not scared.
We're not discouraged.
We're not fooled.
We've got demands as clear as a blue sky:
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy K Street
And Never Give it Back!
08 October 2011
Fueled by days of protests in the nation's capital, including marches on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Occupy DC and "Stop the Machine" movements have planned a weekend of events across the city. Friday night, some of the protesters gathered at church near Dupont Circle to mark the 10th anniversary of the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
Sponsored by a long list of anti-war organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War and Military Families Speak Out, the "War Voices" panel at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church prominently featured Afghans sharing their experiences since the American invasion. READ MORE
Bystander Interviews, Music - Freedom Plaza Parade
October 2011 Freedom Plaza Day 1
Stop the Machine!
7 October 11
A sun-soaked noon rally within blocks of the White House brought out hundreds of protesters Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Afghanistan War.
On Freedom Square, sign-carrying demonstrators banged drums, sang and cheered a series of fiery speeches by anti-war activists, who decried the federal government's continued funding of the Afghan and Iraqi wars while calling for cuts to social programs for the elderly, poor and people with disabilities. READ MORE
06 October 11
Even before Adbusters Magazine put out the call to Occupy Wall Street, the October 2011 coalition was organizing an occupation of their own in Washington called "Stop the Machine!" Unlike the "leaderless" occupation on Wall Street - because all participants are, in fact, "leaders" - Stop the Machine! is being organized by veterans of various progressive political movements. The October 2011 coalition includes groups like Veterans for Peace, CodePink, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Progressive Democrats of America and Peace Action.
They have been involved in massive anti-war marches and political rallies dating back to the Vietnam War. They are back this time to establish an open-ended encampment in Washington, DC. Their timing couldn't have been better. They are joining thousands of people around the country who are demanding an end to corporate greed and political indifference. READ MORE
"Stop the Machine!" Begins DC Occupation
05 October 11
A press release from the October2011 coalition announced that "... the People's Uprisings seen around the world and in the United States will come to Washington, DC beginning on Thursday, October 6 when thousands will converge to begin a prolonged people's occupation of Freedom Plaza." The release claimed they were building on Arab Spring, European Summer, Madison and the Occupation of Wall Street.
Some may wonder ... why not join the Wall Street Occupation instead of opening up another front? Kevin Zeese from the October2011 coalition addressed that question: "We have both cross-endorsed our events and see them as synergistic. If you look at the October2011.org website we provide a lot of coverage to the Wall Street occupation, including urging people to attend and support it. Our core organizers attended many of their planning meetings and have been involved with the occupation. Three of our key people were interviewed Sunday, Chris Hedges, Medea Benjamin and Debra Sweet, and a bunch more were in the Plaza. We are mutually supportive of each other." READ MORE
October 6th: This Time Is Different.
This Time We Are Not Leaving!
05 October 11
Another fall day in Washington, DC, another protest. First there was Occupy Wall Street. Beginning Thursday, there will also be Stop the Machine!. The capital's version of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration has been held in Washington's McPherson Square since Oct. 1. Known as Occupy DC, the event has drawn about 10 to 50 people a day, with protesters attending a 6 p.m. meeting and waving signs at people as they leave their K Street offices. The Stop the Machine! event will take place at Washington's Freedom Plaza, on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and Congress. Planners hope to attract thousands of people. The event, which will include speeches and concerts, has been planned for months, said co-organizer Kevin Zeese. "We see this as a synergistic thing," Zeese said. Referring to Occupy Wall Street, he said: "We're glad they broke the ground and got everyone interested in this movement."READ MORE
Lee Camp: Why I Will Be There
05 October 11
Freedom Plaza is next in line to become an occupied territory by disaffected Americans inspired by mass movements that continue to happen globally. Although Occupy DC has been happening since October 1st, according to their website, the Freedom Plaza occupation is expected to be much larger.
It's vitally important that the movement have a stronghold in our nation's capital in order for politicians, lobbyists and the rest of the DC crowd will be reminded every day of the discontent. READ MORE
Dr. Margaret Flowers: Why I Will Be There
Chris Hedges: Why I Will Be There
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