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Occupy Movement Turns Dark as Officials Destroy Encampments

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Occupy Movement Turns Dark as Officials Destroy Encampments

As the Occupy movements in Oakland, Boston, New York and throughout the rest of the county stretch on well past the 2nd month, officials in each city are starting to lose patience, realizing that the American Occupy movement is not going to just go away.

The first sign that times are turning darker for the Occupy movement was when Mayor Jean Quan decided to initiate a massive police force movement to take down the tent city that has sprouted up in Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Police had already raided the encampment back on October 25th, injuring numerous protestors and at one point even severely injuring an Iraq War veteran.

On November 14th, the Mayor and the City Council initiated what essentially amounted to a provocation of violence, as they moved in at 5 a.m. to dismantle tents and arrest protesters.

Prior to the raid, protesters had decided to fill up the intersection of Broadway and 14th Street in preparation. Many of the protesters had even packed up their tents in preparation for the raid.

U.S. Mayors Turn Up the Heat

This action marks the second time Mayor Jean Quan provoked protesters, and it marks a movement by other city Mayors that appears to be spreading across the country, as officials test the water to see how far they can push Americans of the Occupy Movement before protesters decide to start pushing back.

Two members of Mayor Quan’s staff resigned due to her decision – her friend and legal adviser Dan Siegel, and Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu also resigned a few hours later.

Both stated that they were resigning due to Quan’s mishandling of the Occupy Movement.

Seigel told his Twitter followers that he had resigned in protest of the police action, and that the Mayor should, “Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators.”

That isn’t a drug-dealer or “pimp” talking – which is how many media outlets attempt to portray members the Occupy Movement.

That statement in support came from Quan’s own staff – her own adviser and legal council. Most media outlets simply threw that in as a quick blurb, but if you stop to think about it, that says a lot about the importance and the nature of this American movement.

It also makes it pretty clear that at least in Oakland, there’s something rotten in city hall.

dan siegal

New York City Police Provoke Protesters

In a move that made it clear Mayors across America seem to be getting frustrated with the Occupy Movement, Mayor Bloomberg decided to send in police in riot gear to remove the encampment in a Lower Manhattan park.

At 1 a.m. on November 15th, police moved in and started dismantling tents and removing sleeping bags and other belongings.

Protesters locked arms and attempted to remain in the park, but police forcibly pulled protesters apart.  The reason provided for the action was to enforce the “no sleeping and camping rules in the park.”

The fact that these actions have taken place one after the other, only a couple of days apart is no coincidence. In fact, according to a New York Times article, Mayor Quan admitted that prior to her recent initiative to have police raid the Oakland encampment, she took part in a phone conference call with 18 other officials organized by the United States Conference of Mayors.

The conference was to share information about all of the local Occupy movements, but the topic of how demonstrations should be handled was also on the agenda.

It appears that a few of the Mayors are deciding to turn up the heat. Unfortunately, those Mayors might have forgotten important history lessons that they learned in school.

jasmine revolution

The History of Authorities Trying to Crush Dissent

There are other examples of authorities manipulating laws and making up rules in order to crush dissent. These are examples that I’m sure many Americans never imagined would take place in the United States. Unfortunately, there are disturbing similarities between what Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Quan have done, and the examples offered below.

— On February 20 of this year, the Chinese government squashed the rising “Jasmine Revolution” by increasing police presence on the streets, and even completely disconnecting mobile text messaging services and shutting down Internet pages instigating protester to take to the streets of Shanghai and other cities.

— On October 23rd, in Yemen, dictator Ali Abdullah Salah brought military forces into the capital city to crush the threat of pro-democracy fighters in the city. Many thousands of demonstrators have been protesting throughout a number of Yemen cities in protest against corruption and unemployment, but Saleh continues to violently crack down on those popular uprisings.

— On October 16th, NPR news reported on the popular uprisings in Syria, as the people rise up against the Syrian regime. Unfortunately, one Damascus reporter told American journalists that the Syrian regime is using violence to create enough fear that it will hopefully kill the will of the protesters.

“It’s all security, they are in command. The people who think more politically are marginalized.”

Activist Randa Slim of New America Foundation told reporters that the attempt to scare protesters in Syria is only emboldening the people to fight back harder.

“This is a policy that was meant by the regime to break down the resolve of the activists and instead it is strengthening the resolve. It has become an existential battle. It’s either the regime or them.”


Do Quan and Bloomberg Represent the Corporate Regime?

These actions against the Occupy protesters this week marks a change in mood coming from those in power at the city level, toward the populace that has decided to rise up against poor job choices, against corporate greed and corruption, and against a government made up of politicians that are bought, sold and vote along the lines of whatever corporation offers the greatest campaign contributions.

Americans have had enough of the status quo, and it seems inconceivable that leaders like Mayor Quan and Mayor Bloomberg are prepared to frame themselves in the same light as dictators like Ali Abdullah Salah, Bashar Assad, and President Hu Jintao.

It is too late for those Mayors – they’ve identified themselves as enemies of the state, dictatorships of the corporate regime of America, and willing to use force against the American people, if that’s what it takes to maintain their stranglehold on the status quo.

How much does Bloomberg make? Well, he’s worth so much ($16 billion), that he only asks for $1 a year as mayor of New York City. And Mayor Quan – Oakland’s first Chinese-American Mayor, spent a great deal of time traveling back and forth to China earlier this year in order to drum up Chinese corporate investments and business interests between China and the City of Oakland.

Maybe, what these two corporate leaders fear more than anything else, is that the Occupy movement in American may actually gain even more footing than it already has. Maybe they fear a popular uprising that puts their Corporate and financial interests at risk. Maybe – more than anything else – they fear what the Occupy Movement may be capable of, because the bottom line is that if the Occupy Movement succeeds, it’s their personal bottom lines that are at risk.

References and Image Credits:
(1) Washington Post
(3) SFGate
(4) Blogs4Victory
(5) NPR News
(6) ABC News
(7) CS Monitor
(8) Gawker

Originally published on

  • Me

    Good post and excellent tie-in to foreign affairs.

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