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The OccupyUSA Blog for Wednesday, With Frequent Updates | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The OccupyUSA Blog for Wednesday, With Frequent Updates

OccupyWallStreet catches fire around the country. For yesterday’s blog, click on my name at top. All times ET. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com .Here’s my new book vs. the death penalty and my other current book Atomic Cover-up.

11:15 Killer of eight in Seal Beach, CA, today drove vehicle to scene with Join the Tea Party license plates on it. Just saying.

10:15 Big occupation “party” set for 5 pm on Saturday in middle of Times Square, part of global protests that day. Not sure if #OWS completely behind it or not. A press contact there says that it is.

10:10 Small detail from that new NBC poll: people back Occupy by 2-1 margin (though half not much aware of it).

9:25 Well, this (in PDF form) explains the sudden announcement tonight of a forced cleaning of Zuccotti Park on Friday. It’s a letter from the owners of the space, Brookfield, to Police Commissioner Kelly, dated yesterday (and new to me) complaining about the rabble in the park, unsanitary conditions (attracting rodents, even), “groping” and lewdness, possible damage to underground lighting, the constant delivery of possibly dangerous packages without screening by police, and on and on. Asks for forced evacuation for cleaning and repair—and leaves open whether people should be allowed to come back as before. So beware. Bloomberg has said people can stay “indefinitely”—but under what rules and laws? (h/t Michael Busch).

8:55 Crooks and Liars site ands readers still sending numerous pizzas to camps around USA. They go a big thank you from OccupyIndy just now.

8:50 Light rain in NY but GA reportedly packed and other activities nearby….Atlanta mayor has given camp five days to exit, according to one report—true?…. Boston remains strong two days after assault. Cincy seems hopping. There’s even an OccupyFortWayne.

8:40 College protests set for 4:30 pm ET tomorrow, over 100 involved now. Follow @OccupyColleges.

7:55 Senator Jeff Sessions: #OWS just doesn’t have basic “legitimacy” of those fine folks at Tea Party (half of whom still think Obama born in Kenya).

7:30 Photo of Hizzoner at Zuccotti tonight. He has announced owners of space will give it a full cleaning on Friday board. Remember, his girlfriend sits on their board…

7:00 Mayor Bloomberg in da house at Zuccotti just now. @Rdevro “One protester asked Mayor Bloomberg if Liberty Square could get a permit for amplification equipment. He said no.” And @Buckyturco: “Did anyone tidy up the place before arrived?” More @Rdevro: “And as quick as he came, the mayor is gone. Large, gathering crowd seems to feel their concerns weren’t adaquately communicated.” Someone shouted out, “Get that man a plate of food.”

6:35 Tom Morello says he’s playing Zuccotti Park tomorrow at noon (did same at Occupy LA a few days ago). Perhaps we will see the ghost of Tom Joad.

5:25 Bill Clinton comments on Occupy here. “The Occupy Wall Street crowd basically is saying, ‘I’m unemployed and the people that caused this have their jobs again and their bonuses again and their incomes are high again. There’s something wrong with this country. This is not working for me,’ So I think it can be a good positive debate.”

5:20 From the folks at The Onion: “President’s Job Approval Soars After He Punches Banker in Face.” (h/t Dustin Slaughter)

4:15 NYT graph shows how bankers’ salaries have positively soared since 1983 while that for the rest of us crept up.

4:10 Guy with anti-Semitic sign shows up at Zuccotti today and plants himself in key spot. What to do? Belief in freedom of speech and all that. So another guy stands next to him with sign saying ASSHOLE and arrow pointing at the guy (see photo). This never happens at Tea Party rallies, right?

3:25 Lawrence Lessig’s “Letter to the Occupiers.” Quotes Thoreau and… Kurt Cobain.

3:10 NYC march to JPMorganChase HQ underway. Marchers plan to deliver a fake check for $5 billion to CEO Jamie Dimon.

3:05 As some may know, my main blogging work of the past year has been WikiLeaks, and now Occupy. So this unites them: the Bradley Manning Support Network backs #OWS, noting a vet wearing a “Free Bradley” shirt may have been first arrested in Boston the other night.

2:05 Activists block Wells Fargo HQ entrance in San Fran today, story and photo…. While in NY a 3 pm action targeting JP MorganChase.

2:00 Poll finds #OWS with more favorable support than unfavorable views, by 35–31 percent, with most support coming higher, not lower, earners.

1:55 Re-play of today’s live Jack Shafer–Todd Gitlin chat at Poynter on improving media coverage of Occupy.

1:50 This is two days old but just saw it and like it, Robin Hoods in kayaks in Chicago:

1:40 Yeah, I know, who cares about Glenn Beck, but you might get a laugh out of his #OWS film project. Munchies?

12:50 We noted last week Eliot “Sheriff of Wall Street” Spitzer’s backing for Occupy but now he’s said much more. “You know what I would like to see?” Spitzer asked the crowd. “I’d like to see a petition with a hundred million signatures, submitted to the White House tomorrow morning, saying, ‘Give us a treasury secretary who understands reform.’ Bring Paul Volcker in. Bring in Joe Stiglitz. Bring in Paul Krugman. Bring in Robert Reich. People who understand what can be done and are willing to flex their muscles in a meaningful way.”

11:55 New poll suggests Independent voters favor Occupy over Tea Party, by about 4:3. As if that’s a surprise. PPP promises “full results tomorrow.”

11:40 New from Matt Taibbi, advice to Occupyers to hit bankers where it hurts. Offers five demands. Concludes: “The only reason the Lloyd Blankfeins and Jamie Dimons of the world survive is that they’re never forced, by the media or anyone else, to put all their cards on the table. If Occupy Wall Street can do that—if it can speak to the millions of people the banks have driven into foreclosure and joblessness—it has a chance to build a massive grassroots movement. All it has to do is light a match in the right place, and the overwhelming public support for real reform—not later, but right now—will be there in an instant.”

11:10 “I Am Not Moving” video starting to go viral. Hypocrisy of calling for free speech, assemby, press abroad while cracking down on Occupy here at home.

10:40 Today’s song for Occupyers everywhere, the great Richard Thompson with “We’re All Working for the Pharaoh.” Dogs of money nipping at our heels. Idols rising to the sky.

10:30 From Alternet: The Top 5 Reasons to Move Your Money from Bank of America, even if they do advertise on The Daily Show.

10:25 I’ll drink to this! Long-running Drinking Liberally connects with #OWS starting tonight and every Wed. in NY—meeting at bar for usual at 6:30 and then heading to nearby Zuccotti.

10:15 How would MTV cover Occupy? Here’s how, via interviews with Citizen Radio pair.

10:10 Dave Winer asks, “Did Politics Just Change?” “If politics has changed, it’s now in the domain of tech, completely. You won’t use the web to raise money to buy television ads. Instead, money raised on the Internet will stay in the Internet, helping to build the communication systems we need not just to get candidates elected, but also to govern. Obama could have figured this out, but he didn’t.”

10:00 The Young Turks compare Tea Party and #OWS.

9:20 Amazed that Prof. Irwin “The World’s Leading Authority” Corey is not down at Zuccotti. He is longtime comedian, often on TV years ago, and diehard lefty. I’ve chatted with him a few times and wild guy. NYT piece today finds him panhandling on Upper East Side at age 97—and sending all of the money to Cuba! Meanwhile, he has plenty of dough. A natural for #OWS and would be nice if he shows up and entertains crowd.

9:10 Ponder this: more US military personnel have died by suicide this year than in our wars. And it may be that the economy, more than multiple deployments, are main cause. After much effort, suicide rate among active and recent soldiers has been stablized but still climbing, a good deal, among Reservists and recent vets. Many returning to hopeless situations and family strife caused by that in USA, and of course PTSD in some cases.

8:55 Tweet from @OccupyWallStNYC: “Good morning, campers! And good morning, jackhammers.” That Con, not Tom, Edison.

8:50 James Rainey in LA Times interviews Todd Gitlin and others about why media always seems to get mass social movements wrong.

8:30 A sort of unofficial thirty-second commercial for Occupy by filmmaker David Sauvage:

7:50 Major piece in LA: Remember the movie The Soloist, with Robert Downey and Jamie Foxx, about LA Times columnist and street person he helps return to classical music talent? Book was written by Steve Lopez, the columnist, who is much read out there. Now he has spent a night at the LA #OWS camp, and writes about it today. “I’m happy to report that the sprinklers did not go on. But that doesn’t mean that sleep came easily. After I crawled into my tent some time after 1 a.m., I could still hear the voices of revolution all around me.” (h/t Jon Wiener)

7:40 Today’s laff: The unoccupied Wall Street Journal hit on the “gullible occupiers.”

7:10 US now ranks 93rd in world in “income equality.” China and India, for example, now ahead of us (along with ninety others). (h/t Tim Karr).

7:05 Mark Bittman, more than just a food writer, in Friday NYT column backs Occupy: “If ever there were a time for outrage, this is it. And in stark contrast to those of us who came of age in the ’60s and ’70s—before the decline of American economic hegemony—today’s youth have a frighteningly more difficult future.” And this from Tom Friedman: “When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to Tel Aviv to Wall Street, it’s clear that something is happening globally that needs defining.”

6:55 At important open letter to Boston’s mayor on last night’s bust, via Blue Mass Group… From @OccupyCincy: “Residents of neighboring buildings visit to say: the park hasn’t looked so clean or felt so safe in years.” Also, on night 5, the mayor visited.

6:50 Occupy makes it big, drawing at least a couple of questions, and mutliple references in GOP debate last night. MItt Romney even ventured to suggest that, yes, these folks might have some cause to protest. No booing from audience, that was the shock… If they’re gonna have a PBS guy to host a debate, can you imagine Bill Moyers in that role?… This was a Bloomberg debate and I thought the mayor might announce the candidates could stay “indefinitely” if they did not break the law… Razing Cain: Love fact that title of hit for old punk band 999 was titled “Homicide.” Opens, “I love homicide”… NYT says Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would hurt poor, help rich, especially those who ship money overseas. Other than that: great!

6:45 Seems to be an #OccupyCentralPark plan in the works for 11/11/11 in NYC… Nice history of Zuccotti Park and up to date… Occupation outside London Stock Exchange planned for Saturday.

6:40 Cenk Uygur mocks Erik Erikson’s “53%” plan.

6:30 OccupyBoston reported biggest crowd ever for their GA, day after mass arrests at other site… Cool Boston arrest photo.

From late Tuesday:

Firsthand account of Boston raid/arrests last night, and some new photos.

New NYT piece looks at protests around USA—and fresh crackdowns by police… Plan to occupy Tomkins Sq Park in East Village in NYC overnight Saturday drawing some attacks (see Comments section) here.

Some cool photos (natch) from OccupyAustin. And then there’s OccupyTulsa a bit north.

Obama “goes there,” as Greg Sargent puts it—no, not to Zuccotti Park, but accusing GOP of destroying the economy on purpose. Sargent says not sure Obama has ever gone that far before.

New flyer for OccupyLA is kinda cool. Relations with police there still pretty good, they say.

Seventy-two colleges now confirmed for big Thursday action, follow it @OccupyColleges.

Okay! My man Billy Bragg backs Occupy in piece here. “The time may come when OWS needs to nail a set of demands to the doors of the New York Stock Exchange, but for now, just the fact that so many people across the United States are willing to take a stand against globalised capitalism is inspiring. It shows that, unlike the poor souls in ‘Melancholia’, we are not resigned to our fate, that, as the bloated financial markets career out of control, we are busy working out a new trajectory for our economy, one that will ensure that such a devastating crash never happens again.” And below:

New op-ed by our chief Katrina in Wash Post on Occupy possibly “reshaping” our politics.

CNN covers NYC march uptown, with video. Much more from the Guardian. Elsewhere, Alec Baldwin getting heat to quit those CapitalOne ads.

Greg Mitchell’s new e-book vs. the death penalty is Dead Reckoning: Executions in America (and just $2.99). His other current book: Atomic Cover-Up, on the censorship of film footage from Hiroshima and Nagasaki for decades.

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