Dec 12, 2013
Dec 12, 2013
I cannot help but to think that the masses of people worldwide are getting restless. That thin blue line that protects the state is starting to look like a frail rope. Lou
Laurie Penny meets the Russian punk-protest group.
Pussy Riot aren’t just on tour. They’re on the run.
When we meet in a secret location in central London, they make it clear that this interview is on condition of anonymity. The Russian punk-feminist protest group, two of whose members are currently travelling the world, talking to activists and journalists and raising support for their band-mates in prison, are wanted by their government, who have branded them extremists for their stand against religious patriarchy and the Putin regime. It will be illegal to read or share this article in Russia.
“There’s a media war in our country,” says the one who, today, is calling herself ‘Serafima’, whispering painfully through a sore throat. Since three members of the group, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova, were tried and sent to labour camps last year, Pussy Riot has been attacked in almost every press outlet in Russia. The international outcry on their behalf goes unmarked. “Katya did not realise there was so much support until she was released. When we were in Russia, we didn’t fully understand, but now we see there truly is huge support,” says Serafima. She asks for a translation of a German proverb she knows: “Nobody is a prophet in their own country.”
Because of the very real danger that these young women will be arrested when they go back to Russia, every journalist who speaks to them must promise to reveal no identifying details. We swear to conceal not only their names, but their ages, where precisely they’ve travelled, and any physical description whatsoever. I can tell you that two members of the Pussy Riot are moving from country to country, talking to activists and journalists and raising support for their fellow band-members in prison. But there’s is so much I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you whether they wear their hair short and blonde or long and dark; I can’t tell you if they’re six-foot hardass rock chicks in ripped jeans or slight, nervous schoolgirls. I can’t tell you whether the girl curled in a hard red armchair in the lobby of a nondescript London office block, three off-key chords and thousands of miles from home, is a stranger or your lost little sister. What I can tell you is that she looks tired.
They both look tired. Serafima is pale and rasping and has a nasty-sounding cough which almost prevents her from speaking. They both look ill and drawn and worn-out; somebody’s nan might tell them they look a bit peaky and ought to go to bed with some hot ribena. That’s not an option, though: Pussy Riot have work to do, before they move on to the next city, and there’s almost nothing any of us can do to make it easier. In the end, I offer Schumacher a multivitamin. I pop two out of the foil packet and take one myself, because if I were Pussy Riot I wouldn’t accept huge orange pills from strangers, even if they do come in a jolly box promising that they can keep a narcoleptic elephant awake for a week.
These girls are young. Very young. For their safety, I can’t say how young, but imagine how young you think they might be. Are you imagining it? They’re about five years younger than that. When they arrived I wondered, for a second, who let a couple of moody work experience kids into a clandestine meeting.
I had read their interviews, seen the court transcripts of last year’s show trials, gone to protests where students in home-made masks yelled out solidarity slogans in truly awful Russian, but I wasn’t prepared for this. Not for this frontless vulnerability, this sudden reminder that behind the bright balaclavas are real bodies that get tired and sick, real people who can still have everything taken away from them.
This is how media activism works, when it’s done well. You get to see the flash and dazzle of protest, but you don’t often get to see the toll exacted from individuals, the energy and courage it takes to keep going, day after day, when you’re being attacked in the press and hunted by police. The younger of the two, ‘Shumacher’, closes her eyes in the armchair and doesn’t talk to anybody, grabbing ten minutes of sleep before she has to answer more of our questions. Some Russians have a saying: “A person who smiles for no reason is a fool.” Pussy Riot are not fools.
June 27, 2013
Santiago police responded to hooded protesters in the Chilean capital with tear gas and water cannon, marring a largely peaceful demonstration by more than 100,000 students and union workers demanding fair distribution of wealth.
The violence began ahead of nationwide demonstrations on Wednesday when separate pocket of protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at a police station, prompting a police crackdown. The protesters also stormed a restaurant and used its chairs as barricades, tying up traffic along some of Santiago’s busiest roads, AP reported.
Police arrested 102 people, while four officers were injured in the violence.
The Chilean government had strong words for the demonstrators.
“They are not students, they are criminals and extremists,” Interior and Security Minister Andres Chadwick told a press conference. “They’ve acted in a coordinated and planned way to provoke these acts of violence.”
Teachers, dock workers and copper miners joined students in the national protest, which was described as an effort to highlight social problems ahead of Sunday’s presidential primaries.
Chile, thanks to the largest copper mines in the world, has witnessed a surge in economic growth and investment, which the demonstrators say is not being used for the betterment of society as a whole. The South American country of some 17 million people is afflicted by severe income inequality, as well as a pricey education system that many say prevents the lower classes from moving up the social ladder.
Others say the wealthy should have to carry more of the tax burden.
“This has to do with discontent that is deeply rooted in many sectors of society. But we’re the first ones to sympathize with people who are innocent victims of this violence, because there’s no way to justify these types of clashes,” Andres Fielbaum, president of the University of Chile student federation told state television.
Protests over what has been described as “educational apartheid” have plagued Chile over the last two years as the perception grows that the country’s education system gives the children of wealthy people access to some of the best schooling in Latin America. Meanwhile, the children of poor and middle-income families are placed in dilapidated, under-funded state schools.
The dispute over education reform is set to be a key issue ahead of the presidential elections scheduled for November 17.
More than a million Brazilians poured onto the streets of over 100 cities in this week’s largest anti-government demonstrations yet, protests that saw violent clashes break out in several cities as people demanding improved public services, the spiralling cost of the 2014 World Cup and an end to corruption faced tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets.Picture: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images
In Rio de Janeiro, where an estimated 300,000 demonstrators swarmed into the seaside city’s central area, running clashes played out between riot police and clusters of mostly young men, their T-shirts wrapped around their faces. But several peaceful protesters were caught up in the crackdown as police fired tear gas canisters into their midst and at times indiscriminately using pepper spray.Picture: EPA/OLIVER WEIKEN
A military police officer fires tear gas at protestors during an anti-government demonstration in Rio de JaneiroPicture: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano
On Tuesday night, a party for Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) members was greeted by “Occupy Chicago” protesters, who chanted “banks got bailed out, we got sold out.”
The party was hosted by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at Union Station. The protesters gathered at the one of the entrances of the building near where the party was being held.
“Occupy Chicago” began on September 23, when around 20 people gathered at Willis Tower and then marched to the Federal Reserve Bank to show their solidarity with the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters in lower Manhattan.
Since the beginning of the protest, dozens to hundreds of protesters have demonstrated day-after-day at a busy corner outside the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Tuesday’s protest came after several thousand demonstrators marched through downtown Chicago on Monday to protest against economic inequality, the lack of good jobs and the influence of corporations in politics.
The “Take Back Chicago” demonstration was organized by Stand Up Chicago, a coalition of some 20 community groups and organizations. Protesters from the ongoing “Occupy Chicago” demonstration also participated.
The protesters eventually converged on the Art Institute of Chicago, where members of the MBA were attending an annual conference.
“We all recognize that our industry faces a trust deficit with policymakers and the public and that people in our industry contributed to the events that led to the financial crisis,” the MBA said in a statement ahead of the protest.
“The mortgage professionals who have gathered in Chicago this week are about sustainable homeownership and ensuring access to affordable mortgage credit for qualified borrowers.”
One week before Occupy Wall Street-style demonstrations are expected to begin in hundreds of locations around the world, organizers in several Canadian cities are holding meetings to muster their numbers and iron out their plans for the event.
Demonstrators in New York have occupied a park in the city’s financial district for three weeks, holding frequent marches through the streets to express their frustration with the gap between the world’s wealthiest individuals and everyone else.
In Toronto, nearly 300 people gathered in Berczy Park on Friday for a three-hour meeting on this week’s demonstration. Protesters in the city plan to occupy a space near Toronto’s financial district, but they have not yet settled on a location.
Vancouver police are being kept informed of plans in that city in a bid to keep the demonstration family-friendly, said Min Reves, one of the organizers. “In Vancouver we have a huge number of people who don’t consider themselves activists. Having opened the channel of communication with police, allows them transparency they wanted so they can safely bring their kids,” she said after a packed meeting Saturday set a loose framework for what she promised will be an indefinite occupation.
“We plan to isolate and identify any individuals with violent behaviour. Kids come first.”
Organizers in Toronto, however, have cut off communications with police, reflecting residual anger over policing response to last year’s G20 protests.
The Toronto group has no recognized spokespeople. Its most active organizers are reluctant to speak publicly out of a concern that they could be viewed as leaders in a movement they are trying hard to keep open and leaderless.
Occupy Vancouver is also operating on a consensus basis. Ken Keslo, another self-identified organizer, said a number of participants objected to plans to co-operate with police but they did not win over the crowd that gathered Saturday to strategize.
He is hopeful the BC Federation of Labour and other unions will join to help deliver a mainstream, peaceful demonstration. “I believe the BC Fed will officially announce their support on Tuesday. They definitely have their concerns but I believe they will be there.”
A spokesman for the BC Fed said Sunday no decision has been made.
In Toronto, where the Occupy movement has attracted a mix of experienced activists and newcomers to protests, even coming to an agreement on process was a challenge. “There’s no consensus on having consensus,” one man shouted following a long discussion about the relative merits of voting.
Dave Wakely, president of the local paramedics union, said he plans to help staff a medic station at the Toronto occupation site. He said the movement is just getting off the ground, and it will take time for it to become more cohesive and organized. “People have to work hard to figure out what they want. The general assembly, hopefully, will get us there,” he said.
Michael Goodbaum, president of Rock the Vote, has pledged that organization’s support for the movement. He says he’s aiming to make the event as fun as he can, and avoid the chaos that hit Toronto streets during the G20.
“What we’re trying to achieve is just the most peaceful protest possible,” Mr. Goodbaum said.
Janet Conway, a Brock University professor who is the Canada research chair in social justice, said the Occupy Wall Street movement is different from many protests in recent years because its participants have eschewed uniting under a single demand.
“Issues of clarity around messaging and focus have certainly sparked lively debates,” Ms. Conway said. “But there’s actually quite a lot of resonance on what different individuals are saying [about why they’re participating].”
Groups in Calgary, Victoria and Edmonton are also planning action on Oct. 15.
There is a window of opportunity with the momentum of the occupy “this” protests popping up everywhere and building gaining support from diverse places. Now is the time that a general strike will be most effective and embrace the emerging spirit of resolve building amongst the people at long last. Plenty of people are willing to leave the security of their homes and engage in indefinite non violent rebellion on the streets. Shouldn’t it stand that even more would be willing to do the same in their own homes in solidarity with those brave souls that have taken to the streets in an effort to free us all from the clutches of this greedy evil machine?
No more one day strikes and protests, no more just doing this once a month. We are here to stay It’s time to gather all the fortitude that can be mustered and start “occupy yourself” and not relent until this beast falls once and for all.
There is a window of opportunity in which this will resonate with the people and it can be built upon the growing momentum of the ongoing actions adding enough fuel to the fire in which the overlords will be powerless to extinguish. Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their world. The larger numbers join in, the harder and faster this scourge upon our world will be crushed. Time is of the essence. Unending resolve will be what ends this.
With the provocateurs lashing out in a pointless exercise to crush the growing spirit of rebellion, an ever present and growing “stealth” aspect to this which cannot be provoked with pepper spray or anything else for that matter, will add unmeasurable strength to the overall effort to free the people from the clutches of the corrupt. As the visible side grows so does the support in the shadows that cannot be touched. The effects will be felt. We finally can shut them down by attacking their monetary base.
Everyone needs to sacrifice to make this happen. This is certainly not what everyone wants to hear. Unfortunately freeing the people and restoring liberty comes at a price. Many times before that was paid in blood. If we act now in unity and resolve we can mitigate, maybe even eliminate that heavy price paid by blood. The more we come together and fight this crisis the less blood that will need to be spilled. What we lose by inaction is so much greater than anything we do without for a time. It’s time to whack this mole with every available hammer and in a way where it turns them against their own public opinion. Why not let them help us win the hearts and the minds? So far it’s working wonders. My hats off to all those that have been attacked and stood strong not sinking to the infantile level of behavior shown by the oppressors. It’s make or bake time.
This should have escalated to this some time ago but it’s okay because NOW the world is as ready as it’s ever going to get for an indefinite strike. It may well be outside the comfort zone for some to call for this and be this aggressive but I can say the same about the occupy everything protesters out on the streets. Also, we don’t need to discourage people from doing that. The visibility helps. Support it. We add an alternative for the stay at home people to occupy themselves. Add an additional front to the gathering collective effort. Time for resolve is now, victory is at hand.
It’s time to stop supporting these greedy megacorporations which by their very profit models seek to slowly devour us. Spend a little extra money to do business with the small locally owned enterprises.
It’s long past time to be watching anything this bought and paid for corporate controlled media has to offer. Let them sit there and spin their propaganda to themselves. The rest of us are over this entire lie to the public about everything. What was supposed to be the watchdog for corruption, such as is rampant everywhere, has become the drooling lap dog of the corrupt. They can only continue to exist in this form if we let them.
Pull your children out of the slave indoctrination centers called public schools. We no longer consent to having our children lied to and poisoned against the principles that made this nation great long ago. By going along with this we enable them to wage their psychological war upon the innocent minds of our children. This is something I find wholly unacceptable. And whatever you do, don’t let them force these vaccines unto your families. No matter how much they fear monger about pandemics and the like, realize that they’ve lied about this before. Do your homework. They don’t know how to tell the truth. In their business models truth is not profitable.
Stop using commercial air travel. The TSA is yet another fraudulent abuse of public trust for the sake of profit. The security industrial complex paints we the people as the enemy and gets us to go along with it to protect us from ourselves… It just keeps getting more ridiculous. If security is such a concern why not secure that southern border? It’s all a farce.
Move your money out of all these “too big to fail” banks and into smaller community credit unions.
Stay home from work if you can. Our first priority it to ensure the health and safety of our families, but right after that we must do everything in our collective power to bring down the machine that seeks our ruin at their profit. It is necessary for all of our families collective future for this to be stopped as quickly and decisively as possible.
When the world sees that we the people are pulling out and no longer willing to go along with the abuse the foreign investors will pull their support and further collapse this mess into the crater it so richly deserves.
Each and every one of you out there have it in your power to “occupy yourself” and be part of a quickly growing movement to end the powers that shouldn’t be.
This is ridiculous. I had to surf to England to find good pics of the US Occupy Wall Street movement, as the North-American media is finally showing its true agenda. That is to be the mouthpiece of the 1%. Shame on you North-American media. You make me sick.
By Mark Duell
3rd October 2011
Occupy Wall Street enters third week as protests spread to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and Seattle
Protesters fuming after 700 of their crowd were arrested in New York this weekend for blocking Brooklyn Bridge
Demonstrators plan to greet Wall Street workers dressed as corporate zombies and hold police brutality protest
Film stars such as Mark Ruffalo and Penn Badgley spotted looking around protest camp at Zuccoti Park in Manhattan
New York police are today facing fresh accusations they entrapped and intimidated demonstrators during the Brooklyn Bridge storm at the weekend.
Today protesters allege police allowed them onto a road reserved for vehicles and were then able to round up as many as possible, arresting 700. Meanwhile major cities are bracing themselves for more protests against corporate America as the Occupy Wall Street campaign enters its third week.
Protesters in the ever-growing movement are dressing as corporate zombies in New York and greeting Wall Street workers as they head into the office. A police brutality protest is planned after the 700 people were arrested this weekend for blocking Brooklyn Bridge traffic in the unauthorised protest.
Stars: Actor, producer and screenwriter Mark Ruffalo, left, and actor Penn Badgley, right, visit the Occupy Wall Street protests at Zuccoti Park in Manhattan this weekend
Living dead: Demonstrators with fake money in their mouths and hands march with others dressed as ‘corporate zombies’ as they take part in a New York protest today
Sleepout: A participant in the Wall Street protests sits at an information desk at Zuccotti Park that hundreds of activists are occupying today
Elsewhere: The Occupy Boston movement grew in Dewey Square on Sunday, left, and a girl holds a sign at Occupy LA on Saturday – as both joined forces with New York
Songs: Participants in the Wall Street protests play music on Monday in New York City
The demonstrations, which began in New York two weeks ago, have already spread to Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Denver and Seattle. The arrests of 700 people have only strengthened the resolve of protesters in New York, who have been camped out for the past fortnight and held mass gatherings.
It’s all been sparked by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has seen thousands of protesters camped out in New York’s Financial District for the past fortnight and mass gatherings started nationwide, with the unified purpose of voicing anger at the U.S. banking and political systems.
Some protesters were left angry after the New York Times website reprotedly removed a line in a story inferring that the police tricked demonstrators into going onto the bridge. Famous actors such as Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley and Collateral’s Mark Ruffalo were spotted at the Zuccoti Park camp.
Many of the demonstrators on the Brooklyn Bridge thought they had been hemmed in deliberately by cops. But police denied this was the case. The NYPD claims it gave ‘numerous warnings’ to protesters to stay on the pavement and they were told they would be arrested if they went into the roadway.
Demonstrators are today being urged to dress in business wear with white faces and blood, and will march while eating monopoly money, a spokesman said. The group, which is also speaking out against climate change, want financial workers to see them ‘reflecting the metaphor of their actions’.
Silence: Occupy Wall Street demonstrators occupy a park near Wall Street in New York on Monday as they protest in different ways
Linkup: Protesters shout slogans while holding banners after marching to the courthouse where the trial for Michael Jackson’s doctor continues on Monday in L.A.
Demonstrations: A soldier is seen protesting in New York, left, and this photo, right, from the Occupy Wall Street website seems to be from inside a jail cell this weekend
California: A protester wears an eye-catching outfit this weekend as he demonstrates in Los Angeles as the protests gather pace across the U.S.
Mass movement: ‘Occupy’ protests started in Seattle, left, and Denver, right, this weekend – a clear sign that the sentiment chimes with residents across America
Illinois: Demonstrators hold signs across from the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago while trying to keep dry last Friday
‘At 5am I return to the 24-hour fast food bathroom. It is as hot as a sauna, and we pack in, taking turns using the hand drier. Some are changing, some cutting each other’s hair, some just sitting on the floor to get some warmth into their soaked bones. People tell each other they’re beautiful, reunite, hug, and compare horror stories of the rough night we just survived.’
‘They’re arresting us one by one. I just asked a cop and they said they’re going to arrest all of us. There are hundreds of people who dont have room to sit down. We’re just crammed in.’
‘We walked away realizing what we had just done – spontaneously come together, demand change, and create it, in a movement that we are in solidarity with, but also feel a need for constructive criticism.’
‘The three charges I received from today’s Occupy Wall Street were: failure to obey order, prohibited use of roadway and blocking traffic.’
Police issued more than 700 summonses on Saturday to demonstrators who, despite multiple warnings, took part in the march on the Brooklyn-bound lanes which snarled traffic in the area until the bridge was reopened hours later. Most of those arrested were issued summonses and released.
‘In an hour or two, we’ll be somewhere else protesting,’ said Patrick Bruner, an English major at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, who has been serving a protest spokesman. He added that the group had contingency plans in case the park where they set up a makeshift camp was raided.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, which has garnered the support of celebrities such as filmmaker Michael Moore and actress Susan Sarandon, are protesting against many U.S. issues such as home foreclosures, high unemployment and the 2008 bailouts.
In Los Angeles, more than 100 protesters camped out in front of City Hall overnight on Saturday. Organisers want protests to spread across the country.
Saturday’s march in New York began at 3:30pm local time from the protesters’ camp in Zuccotti Park, in downtown Manhattan near the World Trade Center site. The fire department said it has been to the camp to check for fire safety issues. Protestors have vowed to stay there through the winter.
‘Our concern is cooking, the use of propane tanks and garbage piling up. All we’re concerned about is that everybody is safe,’ an FDNY spokesman said.
The park property is maintained by Brookfield Properties, a publicly traded corporation. In a statement last week the company said it was extremely concerned about the conditions that have been created in the park and was working with city officials to restore the park to its intended purpose.
During Saturday’s protest on the bridge, police used orange mesh nets to surround the marchers in what witnesses described as chaotic scenes with protesters being handcuffed and taken off the bridge. Warnings were given by the police to the protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway.
‘Some complied and took the walkway without being arrested,’ a police spokesman said. ‘Others locked arms and proceeded on the Brooklyn-bound vehicular roadway and were arrested.’
The arrests followed a peaceful march to police headquarters on Friday by more than 1,000 people to protest the arrest of 80 members of the Occupy Wall Street movement the previous week in the Union Square shopping district.
During that march a few women were doused with pepper spray which was captured on video and viewed widely on the Internet. The group has garnered support from some union members including the United Federation of Teachers and the Transport Workers Union Local 100.
Occupy LA: Los Angeles protesters marched from Pershing Square to City Hall to voice their discontent at the financial system on Saturday
California uprising: Views of the Occupy LA protests taking place in Pershing Square on Saturday in Los Angeles, California
Uprising: Demonstrators, pictured on Sunday, are camping outside the Federal Reserve building, in Boston. The group is part of a nationwide grassroots movement in support of the ongoing Wall Street protests in New York
‘They are earnest and know how to play for the cameras. They have internalized slogans that capture emotions but are too often unrelated to solutions. And that is a lost opportunity.’
John Avlon, Daily Beast
‘Up until now, the organizers have seemed to view the decentralized, inchoate nature of the protests as a strength for the nascent movement, not a weakness. The unifying idea has been drawing attention to “the 99,” not offering a concrete policy agenda.’
Ezra Klein, Washington Post
‘Much of the sloganeering at “Occupy Wall Street” is pretty silly — but so is the self-righteous sloganeering of Wall Street itself. And if a ragtag band of youthful protesters can help bring a dose of accountability and equity to our financial system, more power to them.’
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times
‘Economic inequality is a consistent undertone, but at times this occupation has the feel of a music festival; drifting through the square are young people who seem to have walked out of a wormhole from Woodstock.’
Laurie Penny, New Statesman
‘I never imagined more than 700 people would be arrested. Nor did I imagine that I’d be kettled in an area where, ostensibly, protesters and witnesses were allowed to go’
Anjali Mullany, New York Daily News
Evocative: L.A. demonstrators are a range of ages, from 12-year-old Lula Rod, left, wearing haunting face paint, to an middle-aged woman, right, holding a straight-forward placard outside Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday
Star Spangled Banner: One protester in L.A. made use of the national flag to get his point across on Saturday
Actor and screenwriter Mark Ruffalo has been following the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York over the last weekend.
He praised them for standing up for ‘purely American’ values and ‘democracy’.
‘It is a thing of beauty to see so many people in love with the ideal of democracy, so alive with its promise, so committed to its continuity in the face of crony capitalism and corporate rule,’ he wrote in a Guardian comment article.
‘That should be celebrated. It should be respected and admired.’
The anti-corporate protest in New York City entered its third week today, as the city’s residents began to increasingly feel the effect of a mass gathering that began as little more than a dozen students.
Yesterday members of the NYPD moved in and ordered some of those who had camped out to dismantle what police said were ‘dwellings’.
‘A dozen officers came walking toward us with NYPD video cameras pointed at us,’ said John Dennehy, 29, who went straight back to Zuccotti Park after spending hours in police custody. He flashed a police desk appearance ticket charging him with disorderly conduct and prohibited use of a roadway.
On Saturday the United Nations employee joined thousands of protesters who tried to cross the bridge after marching through the Financial District.
Mr Dennehy and three others had built what they called their ‘box castle’ using cardboard mailing boxes to delineate their space on the plaza.
But police told them to remove the structure and plastic tarps they were using to stay dry in a pouring rain also were not acceptable, they said.
Screaming out loud: A man wearing a U.S. flag bandana across his face shows where Boston protesters drew their inspiration from on Friday, while a young woman shouts to make her message heard as hundreds of people converge on Boston Common
Thin blue line: Demonstrators from Occupy Boston stormed their way to the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston during the first night of their protest on Friday
Fledgling protests: The movements in Denver, left, and Seattle, right, this weekend are in their infancies and have so far been more peaceful than the New York version
Under clear skies on Sunday afternoon, protesters could help themselves to food that unnamed supporters donated to keep the encampment running. Some ate pizza they said was ordered for them by a man in Egypt who phoned a local shop to have the pies delivered.
‘A dozen officers came walking toward us with NYPD video cameras pointed at us’
The campers also have been fuelled by encouraging words from well-known figures, the latest actor Alec Baldwin, who posted videos on his Twitter page that had already been widely circulated.
One appeared to show police using pepper spray on a group of women, another a young man being tackled to the ground by an officer. ‘This is unsettling,’ Baldwin wrote. ‘I think the NYPD has a PR problem.’
In Los Angeles, several hundred protesters marched from Pershing Square to City Hall on Saturday, and said they would remain camped at the site ‘indefinitely’, like their New York counterparts.
Organised by a group called Occupy LA, the demonstrators echoed the refrain begun by those on the East Coast, saying they hoped to change economic policies that benefit the richest one per cent of Americans.
Crowd members waved signs, including one that read ‘The Banks Ate My Baby,’ and chanted ‘Hey hey, ho ho, corporate welfare’s got to go,’ the Los Angeles Times reported.
Tired: A protester sleeps on a mattress on the ground in Liberty Plaza on Saturday. The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement has now entered its third week
The activists have even produced their own newspaper ‘The Occupied Wall Street Journal’. It is paid for by funds gathered online via crowd-sourcing websites
‘In the end, what we want to do is inspire working-class people to get involved in the political process,’ Adam Liszkiewics, a 32-year-old USC graduate student, told the paper.
‘In the end, what we want to do is inspire working-class people to get involved in the political process’
The Occupy Boston movement appears the most well-developed of the off-shoot protests, with a sizeable camp, featuring tents, medical supplies and even wi-fi, setting up at Dewey Square, across from the Federal Reserve building.
Tactical groups have been formed, covering legal affairs, food and media outreach, and a crowd in the spot had reached nearly 1,000 on Friday night on the first day of protest, the Boston Herald reported.
Key organisers said they had been to New York to learn from the protests. Matthew Krawitz, an unemployed IT expert, told how he had been in Manhattan for the first day of the demonstrations there and wanted to replicate the scene in Boston.
There were other protests in the city over the weekend, including one outside the Bank of America aimed at expressing people’s anger at foreclosures and the announcement the bank will charge customers $5 a month to use debit cards to access their own money. It resulted in 24 arrests.
President Obama’s old stomping ground has been gripped by the ‘Occupy’ movement as well. A group of activists have gathered in front of the Federal Reserve Bank Chicago as part of a rally to protest against poverty and unemployment in the U.S.
Protestors at Occupy Wall Street’s media area coordinate news updates in Manhattan’s financial district’s Zuccotti Park
The protest in New York has triggered similar occupations around the country by activists angry at the power held by the big financial institutions
The Chicago sit-in began on September 23 with a march from Willis Tower to the bank, the Chicago Tribune reported, with some protesters calling it their Tahrir Square, in reference to the Egyptian capital Cairo.
One demonstrator, Emilio Baez, told Press TV the protest is a ‘direct call to working people worldwide’. ‘This is our Tahrir Square,’ he said of the spot which led to a revolution in the African country. ‘We’ll stay here for months if we have to.’
Meanwhile, more than 100 people turned out for Occupy Seattle on Saturday, with protesters waving signs and mingling peacefully with police.
The demonstrators, however, are only beginning to coalesce and they acknowledge that they need to clarify their goals. Like their New York counterparts, the protesters are seeking for a place in Seattle’s financial district to camp out for the winter.
Denver had its first protest on Saturday, with demonstrators telling 9News that they are a leaderless resistance movement of people who will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of Wall Street. Further ‘Occupy’ protests are planned for San Francisco, Washington DC, Phoenix and Albuquerque.
Meanwhile in New York, one couple apparently out to take photos after their wedding were pictured being caught up in the march over the Brooklyn Bridge, where more than 700 protesters were arrested.
Saturday: More than 700 people were arrested during the protest on Brooklyn Bridge and many were seen being led away in makeshift handcuffs
Photo-op gone wrong: A couple encounters a sea of protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge during Occupy Wall Street demonstrations
It emerged as the New York Police Department said it warned the protesters they would be taken into custody before staging the mass arrest.
The protesters who have been camping out in Manhattan’s Financial District say their movement has grown and become more organised over the last couple of weeks and they have no intention of stopping.
The Occupy Wall Street demonstration started out small, with less than a dozen college students, but has grown to include thousands of people in communities across the country.
Now entering its third week in Manhattan, those spending their days and nights at Zuccotti Park say they’re going to stay as long as they can. New York City public school teacher Denise Martinez joined the protest on Sunday. She says the financial industry isn’t doing enough to solve the country’s economic problems.
The Brooklyn Bridge was shut down and more than 700 people arrested this weekend after protesters camping out near Wall Street spilled onto the New York landmark and blocked traffic.
In a tense showdown, police took swift action – cuffing and dragging hundreds to the sidings – after many of the protesters risked being hit by cars by moving from the walkway on to the road.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2044704/Occupy-Wall-Street-protesters-lured-Brooklyn-Bridge-trap-police.html#ixzz1Zp0lNwN8
Published: 03 October, 2011, 10:12
Edited: 04 October, 2011, 04:36
Defiant anti-Wall-Street activists are refusing to back down, saying more marches against corporate greed and social inequality are in the pipeline.
A new season in a different nation: the Arab Spring has become America’s Autumn.
And on Saturday, New York’s Brooklyn Bridge reminded many of a scene from Egypt’s Tahrir Square. Nearly 800 protesters were trapped, cuffed, arrested and jailed as thousands of activists continued their second week of “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations.
The grassroots movement is campaigning against social inequality and corporate influence over US politics. In the interim, police conduct against peaceful protesters has been called into question.
Just last week, New York City Police attacked “Occupy Wall Street” protesters with pepper spray, prompting public outrage and an internal investigation.
“Many didn’t believe that there would be another dramatic confrontation this weekend after what happened last weekend, after four women were pepper-sprayed while they were corralled by the police, after the NYPD used heavy-handed tactics, punching some protesters,” television journalist Ryan Devereaux told RT. “I think many people didn’t expect that there would be something like that again this weekend. Though I have no reports of pepper-spraying, there were aggressive arrests and there were thousands of people stopped and hundreds arrested.”
Hundreds of activists were charged with disorderly conduct and summonsed to appear before a criminal court. By Sunday, they were back on Wall Street, determined to continue their fight against corporate domination.
“Once you are not afraid to be arrested anymore, the whole entire control of the police state disappears,” says Robert Cammiso, one of those detained. “And when that happens, there are incredible possibilities that are open to us, and suddenly you can imagine a different world and you believe you can be an agent of change.”
The group says it aims to raise national awareness and heal America’s deepening social and economic divisions. “Occupy Wall Street” describes itself as a resistance movement inspired in part by their Middle East and European counterparts.
“We can follow the lead of our brothers and sisters all over the world. The Arab Spring, in Greece, in Spain – we can see that it did send a powerful message,” “Occupy Wall Street” activist Makeba Judge explains. “Ordinary people are not going to stand for corporate greed anymore, and we’re getting up and we’re doing something about it.”
And the reason these activists are focusing on Wall Street, rather than Washington, is because they say you have to follow the money and begin where the largest campaign contributions, donations and lobby groups are coming from.
“We have corporate presidencies. We were told Obama was for change, and we got four more years of Bush again. Before that – his father, the Bush dynasty,” activist Phil Budenick explains. “Corporate greed goes all the way up to the president and this is where the artery, the main pulse of it starts – on Wall Street.”
It is true that these demonstrators have come here with a variety of different messages, but what unifies them is a growing frustration over the US economy, social inequality and corporate influence on US politics. They say if American leaders cannot act, then American citizens will take matters into their own hands to ensure ordinary people’s rights are protected.
23 April 2011
Hundreds of people set up burning barricades and hurled rocks at police as an anti-Tesco protest in Bristol rapidly escalated into a bloody running battle between officers and residents.
A Tesco Express store in the bohemian neighbourhood of Stokes Croft, in the north of the city, was the focal point for the violence, with police claiming that they had uncovered a plot to petrol bomb the store, which opened eight days ago to widespread hostility from the community.
More than 160 police in riot gear, officers on horseback and reinforcements from neighbouring forces fought with protesters for seven hours through the night until dawn yesterday. A swelling, increasingly angry crowd of 300 people upturned bottle banks to gather glass to bombard officers.
Police were accused of provoking violence with heavy-handed tactics, using batons and setting dogs on innocent bystanders, although eyewitnesses noted that officers became more aggressive after a concrete block was thrown at them from a rooftop. Eight policemen, and several members of the public, were taken to hospital.
The riot resulted from increasing tensions between the retail giant and the community of Stokes Croft, where the majority of residents were vehemently opposed to the opening of the store, believing that it threatens local shops and risks wrecking the character of the area, which is dubbed “Bristol’s cultural quarter”. The local regeneration has been credited to its small business owners.
Tesco controls a great deal of the UK grocery market, with £1 in every £3 spent on groceries in the UK going into its tills. As of February, Tesco operated more than 2,600 stores in the UK, the majority of those under the Tesco Express banner.
The Stokes Croft store, the 32nd Tesco in Bristol, was gutted by protesters, who forced up the metal security shutters and lit fires. The shop has been shut, with the message “CLOSING DOWN SALE” sprayed on a placard placed in front. A heavy police presence remained in the area last night, including officers and riot vans, and investigators searching for forensic evidence. No other shop on the street was touched.
The spark for the riot was a police raid on a squat known as “Telephathic Heights” opposite the Tesco Express, based on the belief that a petrol bomb attack on the store was imminent. Hundreds of residents turned out in support of the squatters, who have played a part in regenerating the neighbourhood, and chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!”
“The police steamed in and dogs were used,” said Bristol East’s MP, Kerry McCarthy, who went down to the scene in the early hours of Good Friday after being alerted to the heightening violence, and was herself shoved by police. “There were people being roughly treated.” She described the violence towards police as “obviously very unacceptable”.
The opening of new Tescos around Britain has been met with sustained campaigning. Yesterday’s anti-Tesco protests are the most violent manifestation so far of swelling currents of resentment against corporate giants. Vodafone, Topshop and Barclays have all faced protests in the last six months, in the form of direct action against their shops and branches – demonstrations organised by the activist network UK Uncut, which did not have anything to do with yesterday’s demo.
Anger within Britain’s protest and anarchist movements is mounting, alongside a willingness by some to fight police given the opportunity, after police in London were accused of aggression in dealing with anti-cuts demonstrators last month.
Nick Jones, a primary school teacher, said a peaceful protest quickly turned ugly: “Between 2.30am and 4.30am there were bottles and rocks thrown. I saw a police officer get hit in the face and go down – he was taken away in an ambulance. People had weapons. They had swords and shields. It turned from ‘interesting’ to ‘scary’ very quickly.”
Jessie Webb, a barman at The Croft pub, said police were “heavy-handed” towards a crowd which just turned up to watch the arrests. The police caused it [the riot],” he said. “They turned up in large numbers and it attracted a crowd. Then they charged into them.”
A 22-year-old, who did not want to be named, said he was hit with a baton despite not being involved in the protest: “I saw them [police] hitting people who were definitely not involved in the violence. They were doing random charges and cracking people indiscriminately.”
Jonathan Taphouse, a Bristol photographer, described some officers as behaving “completely out of control”. “It seemed that they didn’t understand the politics of the area,” he said. “It was only a few who kicked off, and there was no real need for a riot,” he added. “Residents were woken up and some joined the protesters. This wasn’t inevitable – the actions of the police caused the reaction.”
Gus Hoyt, a Green Party council candidate for Ashley ward which includes the site of the Tesco store, said he had been “terrified” as the violence escalated, adding that the scenes reminded people of the riots in nearby St Pauls in 1980: “People who remember the 1980s can’t believe this is happening again.”
Ms McCarthy, who is a shadow Treasury minister, added: “I question why the police op was carried out in an area where a lot of people were out drinking. It didn’t seem to be a particularly sensible time to carry out an eviction of a squat that has been there for a long time.”
Avon and Somerset Police said its officers’ actions had been “fully justified”, citing the discovery of petrol bombs and arrests of four offenders who represented “a very real threat”.
Tesco said the store on Cheltenham Road would remain closed while the damage was assessed, but that it would defy local resentment and reopen the supermarket. A Tesco spokesman said: “We strongly condemn the violence in Stokes Croft and the injuries caused to the members of the police who worked courageously to protect the public and businesses in this area, including ours.”
Claire Milne, co-ordinator of the No Tesco in Stokes Croft campaign, said: “The homogenisation of the high street is the antithesis of the creativity that exists here. There is also a strong sustainability and organic movement here.
“Last night was the inevitable result of a retail behemoth setting up in an area that simply does not want it.”
Additional reporting by Christopher Brown
The Campaigners Taking on Tesco
Manningtree, Essex, October 2005
John Caldown, a 54-year-old trader, sat in the path of the 30ft lorries delivering to a Tesco Express and stayed for several hours until the lorries were forced to cancel delivery. He claimed the store was taking local trade and clogging up roads. The store remained open but used smaller delivery trucks.
Shepton Mallet, Somerset, February 2006
Oliver Carter, an environmental activist, climbed into one of the trees set to be felled to make way for a new Tesco. Despite claiming to have vertigo, he stayed put for 11 days until a court order allowed police to evict him.
South-west and Sheffield, March 2008
A “Stop being rotten to chickens” campaign by the animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming organised protests outside three stores in Sheffield and a number in Somerset and Devon after Tesco refused to switch to free-range chicken and eggs.
Central London, April 2009
The words “Every little hurts” were daubed in green paint across 27 Tesco stores by members of a women-led environmental activist group, the Climate Suffragettes. Protesters stencilled the slogan together with a picture of two energy-saving lightbulbs and the Tesco brand name to draw attention to the store’s “Flights for Lights” promotion which offered customers air miles for switching to energy-saving lightbulbs.
Bristol, March 2010
The Tesco Express on Cheltenham Road first hit headlines in 2010 when protesters occupied the site, buried their arms in concrete and superglued themselves to walls. Forty officers including dog handlers and mounted riot police were called in to try and disperse a crowd of some 300 people.
Shepton Mallet, Somerset, September 2010
More than 600 shoppers and traders joined together in a petition against a Tesco café opening at Shepton Mallet’s Townsend Retail Park store. Locals were concerned that it would be a drain on high-street business, and campaigners said that 20 per cent of signatures came from the traders themselves.
Hinckley, Leicestershire, November 2010
Farmers for Action have blockaded Tesco distribution centres with tractors a number of times, most recently at a major depot in Leicestershire. The blockade resulted in a two hour stand-off before senior management were ready to talk.
The Collective Opposed to Police Brutality, which organized the march, said her group was there to denounce the police and the City of Montreal for routinely ignoring decisions by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal that find police guilty of harrassment and racial profiling.
Only a handful of protesters arrested are facing criminal charges such as mischief and assault following Tuesday’s anti-police brutality march in Montreal, a yearly event traditionally marked by vandalism and violence.
About a dozen people were fined for disturbing the peace, but the vast majority of people taken into police custody were fined under Quebec’s Highway Safety Code and released a few hours later.
Although the protesters have a right to demonstrate, said Insp. Philippe Pichet, the Code stipulates people cannot walk in the street without a proper permit.
“The thing is if we know the route we will close the street and if the street is closed they will be allowed to walk in the street, to do their demonstration,” he said.
This year marks the 15th annual protest and as in previous years, organizers refused to disclose their planned route to police.
Hundreds of people turned up to take part in the annual procession, which only lasted about 45 minutes.
The march wound its way across Ontario Street and up St-Denis Street, where some participants were quick to smash bottles and windows, including a front pane at a Gap outlet.
The rowdy crowd chanted and waved placards, but were outnumbered by police officers in riot gear who finally stopped the protesters’ northward surge along St. Denis after a woman was hit in the face with a wine bottle.
This pic is from Athens last summer. Cops have made their stand in the raging ideological war all over the world.
“Then we advised people the demonstartion was over,” said Pichet.
“We asked them to leave the place. Some people did and some people decided to stay on the street and we arrested them,” he said.
Police used several “crowd control” techniques to keep the situation contained, such as stun grenades, which emit grey smoke and high-pitched noise.
“This is no longer a democracy. This is a police state. We have no longer freedom of speech,” said protester Xavier Philippe.
The Collective Opposed to Police Brutality, which organized the march, said her group was there to denounce the police and the City of Montreal for routinely ignoring decisions by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal that find police guilty of harrassment and racial profiling.
THE PEASANTS ARE NOT AMUSED
Pictures of people around the world taking to the streets to show their displeasure of the status quo.
Click play then watch the pics
Actual pictures taken during Dec. 12 week in Europe:
Europeans stage anti-austerity protests(Reuters) – Here are details of recent and forthcoming protests in European countries against austerity policies and other grievances, following clashes in London on Thursday over a parliamentary vote to increase the cost of university education.
BRITAIN:Oct 3 – A 24-hour strike by workers on London’s underground rail system disrupted much of the network and affected millions of commuters. This marked the third such walkout since September in a dispute over 800 planned job cuts. Another 24-hour strike took place on November 28.
October 19 – Trade unions took protests over spending cuts to parliament, promising to fight to protect public services.
November 10 – About 55,000 students protested in London against government plans to raise the cap on university tuition fees almost threefold to 9,000 pounds ($14,000). Windows were smashed and missiles hurled at police at the governing Conservative Party’s headquarters. Around 66 people were arrested.
November 24 – Thousands of students staged walkouts and marches across Britain against planned rises in tuition fees.
November 30 – More than 150 demonstrators in London were arrested during a student protest against the planned rise.
December 9 – Thousands of protesters attacked government buildings and damaged a car carrying Prince Charles after parliament voted to raise the fees.
– Protesters laid siege to the finance ministry, battering open a door as they clashed with riot police. They later smashed store windows in Oxford Street, one of London’s main shopping streets. Mounted police tried to disperse protesters outside parliament.
– Some commentators say the student protests could be a prelude to wider unrest as austerity measures start to bite and hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost in the public sector.
May 4-5 – Public-sector workers staged a 48-hour strike. On May 5, a 50,000-strong protest in Athens led to violence and three people died in a petrol bomb attack on a bank.
June 29 – Police fired tear gas at rioters shouting “burn parliament” in Athens. About 12,000 people joined marches during a strike against raising the retirement age to 65 for all.
July 8 – About 12,000 people marched against pension reform in the unions’ sixth 24-hour strike against austerity measures.
November 22 – Greek private sector union GSEE called for a pan-European strike in 2011 to take joint action against austerity measures.
December 2 – Police fired teargas in clashes with over 1,000 students who tried to break through a police cordon to march on the British embassy in Athens, in solidarity with British students who oppose plans to increase tuition fees, and against austerity and education reforms in Greece.
Fri Dec 10,
December 6 – Greek police clashed with youths hurling petrol bombs in Athens during protests to mark the anniversary of the 2008 police killing of a teenager that provoked the country’s worst riots in decades.
– Three people were injured as thousands marched through Athens. Another rally is planned for December 15 during a nationwide anti-austerity strike.
Dec 8 – Czech public sector workers went on strike against government plans to cut the sector’s wage bill by 10 percent. A union leader said 123,000 workers out of about 600,000 public sector employees joined the strike.
Sept 29 – Spain’s first general strike in eight years, called to oppose spending cuts, disrupted transport and factories but the impact was limited.
December 3 – Spanish airspace reopened a day after a wildcat strike by air traffic controllers paralysed airports and the government declared its first state of emergency in the post-Franco era. The government is pushing through tough reforms and spending cuts to rein in a deficit and ward off market fears it may need a bailout similar to that of Ireland. The walkout disrupted travel for some 250,000 people on one of Spain’s busiest holiday weekends.
November 30 – Thousands of students streamed through Rome towards parliament. Students, who on November 25 occupied tourist sites including the leaning tower of Pisa and the Colosseum, vowed to block proposed changes by Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini.
November 27 – Thousands of Irish took to the streets of Dublin to protest against a looming bailout. The EU approved an 85 billion euro ($115 billion) rescue for Ireland, a day later.
November 24 – Portugal’s biggest unions, the CGTP and the UGT, disrupted transport and halted services from healthcare to banking in protest against wage cuts and rising unemployment in the first joint general strike by the top two unions since 1988.
– A pension reform law was signed into law by President Nicolas Sarkozy on November 9. The reform raised the minimum retirement age to 62 from 60 and the full retirement age to 67 from 65 to balance the loss-ridden pension system by 2018.
– Fierce opposition by trade unions and the public, who staged waves of protests over austerity measures, turned the reform into the biggest battle of Sarkozy’s presidency. The strikes later subsided as the turnout for protests slumped.
(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; David Stamp)