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Occupy Everything
October 13, 2011 12:55 PM   Subscribe

After deftly calming negative press coverage of his administration's handling of the Wall Street occupation by announcing that protestors may remain at the privately held public park in lower Manhattan which they have held for 26 days, Mayor Bloomberg has told the activists that they must vacate the premises by tomorrow (Friday) morning at 6AM for "cleaning."

The mayor cited the owner's need to "maintain [the park] in a condition fit for public use" as reason for the public's eviction, and promised that the occupiers would be allowed to return as long as they follow the new rules which bar such occupier amenities as sleeping bags, sleeping or lying down. Some commenters have suggested the real goal is a disruption of the group prior to the planned actions on Saturday.
posted by fartron (435 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Some commenters have suggested the real goal is a disruption of the group prior to the planned actions on Saturday.

Who's actually suggesting otherwise? That's transparently the goal.
posted by odinsdream at 1:00 PM on October 13, 2011 [35 favorites]


This is going to end well. Fuck Bloomberg, he's part of the 1% causing the problems.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:01 PM on October 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


moveon's petition
posted by victors at 1:02 PM on October 13, 2011


Fuckin percenters!
posted by Ad hominem at 1:02 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


basically, we need wombles.
posted by The Whelk at 1:02 PM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


I mean 1%ers like bloomberg that damn percenter!
posted by Ad hominem at 1:04 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


(And having been there recently, I can say it looked significantly cleaner then your average downtown plaza)
posted by The Whelk at 1:04 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bluff, meet Being Called.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:05 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think we can all have our opinions about this without resorting to percentism.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:05 PM on October 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


The whole point is to "occupy", not to come and go when told to do so
posted by moorooka at 1:05 PM on October 13, 2011 [74 favorites]


Yeah, this ain't going to end well.
posted by Jim Slade at 1:07 PM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Fuck Bloomberg, he's part of the 1% causing the problems.

Really? What gives you that impression? I haven't seen anything on Bloomberg Financial News to indicate he's anything but a stand-up guy!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:07 PM on October 13, 2011 [41 favorites]


Fuck Bloomberg, he's part of the 1% causing the problems.
He's actually part of the .0001% who can use their bazillions of dollars to buy high public office. He's not just some garden-variety rich guy making $250,000 a year.
posted by craichead at 1:07 PM on October 13, 2011 [16 favorites]


One per centers are amateurs. Bloomberg's in the .000001%.
posted by stratastar at 1:07 PM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Ad hominem, I first read that as "Fuckin percolators" and was wondering what you had against drip coffee.
posted by mysterpigg at 1:07 PM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I was wondering if it is percentism to hate percenters, after all they are a minority.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:07 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


While they're at it, can Bloomberg make the meth addicts leave the Tompkins, Union Square, and Madison Square parks?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:08 PM on October 13, 2011 [25 favorites]


DAMN IT. You can get my coke from my cold dead body you X-percenter!
posted by stratastar at 1:08 PM on October 13, 2011


a new york winter without tarps and sleeping bags...
posted by Shit Parade at 1:08 PM on October 13, 2011


I always use a percolater, only fuckinh percenters use french presses.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:09 PM on October 13, 2011


The way I read the flyers, they're cleaning a third of the park at a time -- people will only have to move out of each section as it's cleaned, and then they can move back in. It doesn't make the issue of no tents/sleeping bags/lying down any better, but doesn't this mean the park remains 2/3 occupied throughout the cleaning? Saying the premises will be "vacated" seems misleading.
posted by josyphine at 1:09 PM on October 13, 2011


NOT PERCENTIST.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:09 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


The park's pretty damned clean, considering all the people living there.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:11 PM on October 13, 2011


craichead: "He's actually part of the .0001% who can use their bazillions of dollars to buy high public office. He's not just some garden-variety rich guy making $250,000 a year."

Yeah, but if I had to pick a billionaire politician, it'd probably be Bloomberg. Compared to most other NYC politicians, he's one of the good guys (even if that simply means he's the one making, rather than accepting the bribes)
posted by schmod at 1:11 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


moorooka: "The whole point is to "occupy", not to come and go when told to do so"

No doubt -- if they lose the "Occupy" part, the media can really continue with their 'the message is muddled' narrative.

Meanwhile, it seems that the 1% -- and those working for them who are probably less close to actually being the 1% than the vast majority of us supporting from the sidelines -- just continue to make decisions like this that make supportive but apathetic people like me consider getting involved, despite all our own personal problems and inertia. Good job assholes!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:11 PM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Are we supposed to be shouting these posts out as a group as they're typed in?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:12 PM on October 13, 2011 [18 favorites]


"Los Occupiers muy necesito to leavo el parko so it can be cleano y washo. El departmento de policio que enforco. Que sprayo del pepper!"
posted by jbickers at 1:12 PM on October 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


You can sum up the whole thing here if you need to explain it to people

Kreider being awesome again
posted by The Whelk at 1:13 PM on October 13, 2011 [17 favorites]


Sadly, I still work for percenters, but I have decided to become dangerously incompetent.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:14 PM on October 13, 2011 [25 favorites]


I'm sure that back at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, circa 1960, they really wanted those nice young black fellas to leave just because they wanted to wipe down the formica.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:15 PM on October 13, 2011 [48 favorites]


basically, we need wombles.

I'm not sure Wombles would be helpful here.
posted by lordrunningclam at 1:17 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can't they 'occupy' in shifts?
posted by schmod at 1:17 PM on October 13, 2011


Can't they 'occupy' in shifts?

What? They already are - people are regularly coming and going from the site.
posted by odinsdream at 1:19 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell, you mean all those firehoses being used wasn't part of a new combination "water party/public hygiene" program combined with "Playing with police puppies" community work?
posted by yeloson at 1:19 PM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


he's one of the good guys

Good guys respect term limits.

Fuck Bloomberg.
posted by Trurl at 1:21 PM on October 13, 2011 [15 favorites]


I'm not sure Wombles would be helpful here.
We had this lot in the UK.
posted by Abiezer at 1:21 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Can't they 'occupy' in shifts?

Shifts?!? What kind of Syndicate is this anyway?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:21 PM on October 13, 2011


Ugh, just LOOK at those protestors, uh, cleaning up after themselves.
posted by naju at 1:23 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


odinsdream: "What? They already are - people are regularly coming and going from the site."

So, why is it an issue, then, that they can't set up a shantytown if they're able to come and go in shifts? Surely we can find some other place for the protesters to legally sleep in NYC, whilst allowing them to continue their protest? This hardly seems like an effort to break up the protest.

I'm honestly not using this as a strawman, but I'm sure that there's a way for this to be amicably resolved if the protesters would be willing to tone down their rhetoric for just a second.
posted by schmod at 1:24 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


The occupiers should just stay put. Be peaceful, and let the arrests begin! Seriously, think of all the man hours, expenses to the city, and negative publicity which would work in the protesters favor?
Couldn't really ask for better publicity of the movement as videos emerge of police removing free assembling peaceful demonstrators.
posted by handbanana at 1:24 PM on October 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


Ugh, just LOOK at those protestors, uh, cleaning up after themselves.

To be fair, that is DC, where the city gave the protesters 4 more months to occupy Freedom Plaza.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:25 PM on October 13, 2011


promised that the occupiers would be allowed to return as long as they follow the new rules which bar...lying down

It's good to know that in future they will be able to remain in the park so long as they perpetually stand at attention.

The occupiers shouldn't take this lying down!
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:26 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm honestly not using this as a strawman, but I'm sure that there's a way for this to be amicably resolved if the protesters would be willing to tone down their rhetoric for just a second.

I don't really see what you're asking. You're suggesting that the movement set up camp somewhere else while the park is cleaned, then return?

The reason why this is a bad idea has to do with tactics, civil rights, and common sense.
posted by odinsdream at 1:27 PM on October 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm not sure Wombles would be helpful here.

See, I didn't even bother to parse that it didn't make sense, I just forced it to work. As in "The Wombles live underground, so maybe he's suggesting that if all the Occupiers were replaced by Wombles they could just pop under ground when the police show up and then jump back out and resume occupying."

Also, the Wombles must be on the side of the 99%, since we all know that Uncle Bulgaria never wore a suit.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:27 PM on October 13, 2011


Bloomberg should just give Phish a tax incentive to do a couple of shows in upstate NY ...that'll get them protesters movin'...
posted by Busmick at 1:28 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyway... here's the solution: Protesters make a huge effort to make a visible "CLEAN UP THE PARK CREW" and go about cleaning it "FOR FREE."
posted by odinsdream at 1:29 PM on October 13, 2011 [18 favorites]


fuck yeah hippies from 1991!
posted by Think_Long at 1:29 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Wombles quite clearly oppressed Madame Cholet
posted by zemblamatic at 1:30 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bloomberg should just give Phish a tax incentive to do a couple of shows in upstate NY ...that'll get them protesters movin'...

HAR because all them protesters is a buncha HIPPIES that listen to shit music!

I mean, they probably do listen to shitty music but only because 99% of the population listens to what my admittedly snobby ears consider shitty music. Still, that was a weak, cheap shot. Or a cheap, weak shot.
posted by item at 1:33 PM on October 13, 2011 [15 favorites]


Anyway... here's the solution: Protesters make a huge effort to make a visible "CLEAN UP THE PARK CREW" and go about cleaning it "FOR FREE."

OWS has had a Sanitation Committee in place for some time, and they have stepped up efforts considerably today.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:34 PM on October 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


Perhaps they should get up and move only if Mr. Prosser Bloomberg agrees to occupy the space while they're gone?
posted by bondcliff at 1:34 PM on October 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


Immortal Technique is down there, and plans to stay. (Strong language in the video)
posted by cashman at 1:34 PM on October 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm honestly not using this as a strawman, but I'm sure that there's a way for this to be amicably resolved if the protesters would be willing to tone down their rhetoric for just a second.

All we asked is that she move to the back of the bus so we could provide expected service to our other riders.
posted by Trurl at 1:35 PM on October 13, 2011 [35 favorites]


So, why is it an issue, then, that they can't set up a shantytown if they're able to come and go in shifts? Surely we can find some other place for the protesters to legally sleep in NYC, whilst allowing them to continue their protest? This hardly seems like an effort to break up the protest.

Because they have the right to freedom of assembly, it's in the goddamn Constitution.
posted by mek at 1:36 PM on October 13, 2011 [37 favorites]


This is going to end well. Fuck Bloomberg, he's part of the 1% causing the problems.

Actually, he seems to be one of the better mayors New York has ever had.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:36 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fuck petitions. Just go down there right now. And bring your friends. And don't leave.

The Egyptians didn't need any fucking petitions. They stared down tanks, gunfire and tear gas.
posted by empath at 1:36 PM on October 13, 2011 [16 favorites]


The Egyptians didn't need any fucking petitions. They stared down tanks, gunfire and tear gas.

I get your point, but it is not the same.
posted by arveale at 1:39 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I shudder to think who will be mayor after Bloomberg. Every major candidate has already sworn to rip out all the lovely new bike lanes and parkets during their first week in office, in order to pander to the outer boro drivers vote.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:39 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]



Bloomberg should just give Phish a tax incentive to do a couple of shows in upstate NY ...that'll get them protesters movin'...

Yep, they're all just hippies....
posted by Windigo at 1:39 PM on October 13, 2011 [34 favorites]


A little confrontation will only help the movement, as long as they don't end up evicted altogether. See this nice graph from Nate Silver, showing how each clash with the police so far has boosted their visibility.
posted by chortly at 1:40 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, why is it an issue, then, that they can't set up a shantytown if they're able to come and go in shifts? Surely we can find some other place for the protesters to legally sleep in NYC, whilst allowing them to continue their protest? This hardly seems like an effort to break up the protest.

Because a Freedom Zone is not Free.

The goal (or one of the main ones, I think) of OWS is to reestablish citizens as the directors of their social contract by showing their strength in numbers. Bloomberg, and all of his cronies, want very much to stay in control of our government because they like making piles of cash by selling America out instead of working. They especially like their ability to walk away scott free because they know who to call.

Worldwide, people are saying that no aristocracy gets to tell us that we can't afford health care, or an education, or a decent living wage, or time to spend improving ourselves, or being with our family. We get to decide that through our government. Hiding behind invented notions of a person's right to be obscenely wealthy -- even if they have stolen that wealth through legalized theft and continue to abuse their power to grab more -- isn't going to cut it anymore.
posted by notion at 1:42 PM on October 13, 2011 [91 favorites]



I shudder to think who will be mayor after Bloomberg.

The heir apparent, apparently

RE; Hippie. I wish this would die. There is a huge diversity of people down on the plaza, the more visibly alt elements are pretty much cloistered at the west edge, the crowd at the other end is much more Teamsters and Grandmas.
posted by The Whelk at 1:45 PM on October 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


There is a huge operation to have Liberty Square fucking spotless by 6am (Facebook link).

At the emergency General Assembly meeting this afternoon $3,000 was authorized for power washers, and cleaning supplies.

Saying it's for "sanitation" is a fucking joke. If sanitation were the reason, they'd have allowed porta-potties and dumpsters.

Oh, wait a second... Bloomberg's domestic partner sits on the Board of Directors for the company that "owns" Zuccotti Park.

HMM INTERESTING. What a wacky coincidence.
posted by davidjmcgee at 1:45 PM on October 13, 2011 [32 favorites]


So this'd be the violence inherent in the system? Right then.

Can't they 'occupy' in shifts?

This'd actually be pretty powerful, if they could manage it as efficiently as the human amplifier thing. Imagine if every, say, four hours, the whole place emptied out down one direction and refilled tidily from another. Imagine the symbolic power of that - the relentless clockwork arrival of new bodies, the sense of cohesion and community and resolve. I bet it'd be a shock to the 1% in a way that a random pepper spray attack on YouTube would never be. It could go on, indefinitely maybe, playing by increasingly arbitrary rules, demonstrating their absurdity by meeting them all with such calm.

I think this is what Sun Tzu meant about using your opponent's momentum against him. Almost certainly what Gandhi was getting at with the salt march, why King and his allies marched from Selma to Montgomery. To say: Look at this - the system is not only corrupt and wrong, it is ridiculous, absurd.

On preview: I get what you're saying, empath, but in Egypt, there was no ambiguity around the curruption and brutality of the opponent. Whereas in this case, if it turns to riot cops, street brawling and broken windows, it would actually confirm a false argument, perpetuated by the 1% and their adjuncts in the media and the GOP, that these are simply thugs and criminals. It's why the most powerful image of the movement so far might be this one of uniformed airline pilots marching in formation - it's much harder to dismiss.

Imagine if the whole OWS movement met the threat of violence with an image of such orderly calm. I really think it could provide the fulcrum to switch the opinion of the broad middle of the 99% from indifference and mild distaste (many people's default reaction to protest) to admiration and support.
posted by gompa at 1:45 PM on October 13, 2011 [20 favorites]


Because they have the right to freedom of assembly, it's in the goddamn Constitution.

Well, no. "Freedom of assembly" has legal limits. You can't "freely assemble" on someone else's property, for example.

They should be arrested if they're breaking the law. Good. This is what's supposed to happen. That's why call it's called a "law," and why breaking that law is often called "civil disobedience."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:47 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, why is it an issue, then, that they can't set up a shantytown if they're able to come and go in shifts? Surely we can find some other place for the protesters to legally sleep in NYC, whilst allowing them to continue their protest? This hardly seems like an effort to break up the protest.

By itself, perhaps not, but it's part and parcel to moving them around at your convenience till you decide it's time to round em up. Stand em up, gather them in place without their crap and on your terms and fence em in and arrest em.

If they make the site be a constant flow of come and go they can simply use blockades and inconvenience and attrition to bleed it out. They prevent bonding and solidarity and remove momentum.

I say this as someone who, to be honest, has at time ground my teeth over being inconvenience in the District by people with a cause: The degree to which we have demanded that people exercise their free speech in a convenient way for everyone else is shameful.

Living in society isn't always convenient of free of unpleasantness and compromise and inconvenience that result from the actions of others. But we accept that inconvenience so much more readily in everything else than we do the gathering of people who feel strongly enough about something to give of their time and bodies.
posted by phearlez at 1:48 PM on October 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


This "cleaning the park" bullshit is just a police tactic to intimidate and break up protests. It's happening in Austin, too. Four protesters arrested today. I say, don't leave. Stand in the park. Stand in the sidewalk. Stand up in public. Disobey the civil laws of society.
posted by mattbucher at 1:48 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I dropped by my local Occupy rally last weekend here in Bumblefuck Far Northern California and there were very few "professional hippies," in attendance and a lot of regular joes and janes. Good turnout, too, with very little advance notice.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:50 PM on October 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Imagine if the whole OWS movement met the threat of violence with an image of such orderly calm.

This is the plan. From the Facebook page:
Then, Friday morning, we'll awake and position ourselves with our brooms and mops in a human chain around the park, linked at the arms. If NYPD attempts to enter, we'll peacefully/non-violently stand our ground and those who are willing will get arrested.
posted by davidjmcgee at 1:50 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe the OWS crowd should convert to being a Tea Party rally. Somehow, I think the cops would disappear. Or, maybe bring them donuts.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:52 PM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


So, why is it an issue, then, that they can't set up a shantytown if they're able to come and go in shifts? Surely we can find some other place for the protesters to legally sleep in NYC, whilst allowing them to continue their protest? This hardly seems like an effort to break up the protest.


It's not just sleeping, although that's getting the most attention. It's also putting up any kind of structure and leaving anything on the ground. There's a whole spectrum of activities potentially affected by those restrictions beyond just sleep.

I would think about this in two ways: what is the City's motivation for asking for this, and what impact does it have on the protesters?

If the intention is really to clean the park, then why prohibit people from putting tents back up after the cleaning is done? Why prohibit people from leaving their stuff on the ground while they're holding up a placard? If you ask them to move them once, you can ask them to move them twice.

In terms of impact, think about it logistically. Could you find someone else to sleep? Probably. Some people might be in for out of town, though, so now they have to pay money to stay somewhere, find someplace else to camp, or crash at someone's place. All of which will take time and energy -- and they have to find a place to store their camping gear, too. And then they all have to commute, either for the first time (if they were camping out) or more often (if they were already just popping by after work).

If they're commuting, they still can't store anything at the park: you can't leave your stuff lying around, remember? And you can't leave it at the communal tent, because you aren't allowed to bring one. So now everyone is the position of having to remember, every single day, to bring everything they need with them to the park. Placards (possibly heavy and/or unwieldy), food, water, toiletries, phone, laptop...it adds up. And once it's there you're probably going to carry it. Oh, and bring an umbrella: no tarps or tents, remember? Hope it doesn't rain.

Information tents, first-aid areas, food-distribution tables...all of that goes away.

In short: it makes a lot of things much, much harder. The effect of which is that some stuff won't get done, other stuff will get done but take more work, and even more stuff will work just as well but the 'hows' of doing it will have to be re-thought. Consider how much effort is being spent right now trying to clean the park and respond to the request! That's effort that could have gone towards more productive ends, protest-wise. People will have to spent more time and more energy if they want to participate. Some people will probably decide that it isn't worth it for them anymore.

At the very least this is an effort to break up the protest by nickel-and-diming the protesters to death.

At the worst (well, not the worst, but worse-er), it's a gambit to get them to vacate one area, then fence it off. Hey, you moved out for cleaning! That's great! Turns out we lied about the "you can come back afterwards" part, though.
posted by cjelli at 1:53 PM on October 13, 2011 [23 favorites]


Jason Boog adds some historical perspective at his tumblr blog: "Nonviolent Eviction Defense in 1930s New York"
posted by muckster at 1:58 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


At the worst (well, not the worst, but worse-er), it's a gambit to get them to vacate one area, then fence it off. Hey, you moved out for cleaning! That's great! Turns out we lied about the "you can come back afterwards" part, though.

As I said earlier, this is blatantly and transparently the plan if the protesters move.

Immediately a fence will go up, or a line of officers. They may bother with some bullshit excuse like "Oh, the property owner found some faulty wiring that needs to be fixed by construction crews" but the area will not be accessible afterwards.
posted by odinsdream at 2:01 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, wait a second... Bloomberg's domestic partner sits on the Board of Directors for the company that "owns" Zuccotti Park.

I don't know why you put "owns" in quotes, the park is private property. It was built in exchange for the city raising the height allowance for 1 Liberty Plaza. You can say that's a bad deal, but it's the deal the city agreed to in the '60s and it's stil the case today.

I think public plazas are an abomination but for a long period of time the governance of NYC thought it was a great way to construct new parks in the city in a cheap way, without the City actually acquiring new land or being responsible for maintenance. See also: the fucking subway escalators in Union Square.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:04 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, no. "Freedom of assembly" has legal limits. You can't "freely assemble" on someone else's property, for example.

It does, but I suspect we're going to see more caselaw on this Real Soon Now. The "traditional public forum" concept lets government carve out areas for limited use but one of the big guiding bits is what's the expected use. Does the public expect to be able to come and go and assemble there?

Now we're seeing all these funky public/private partnerships. Some years ago I was part of a demonstration about a street in Downtown Silver Spring where the property management folks for the downtown mall were obstructing photography. Their position was that they controlled the entire property, including the street which cars drove down (when it wasn't closed off on weekends and special events) and they could do what they liked.

And sure as shooting, they had leased the property from the city. For $1. I think that was a 10 year term but it might have been 100; I'd have to check our original organizing mails.

That wasn't a one-sided thing. The city wanted urban renewal and this was a way to get it. Tax revenues, etc, there were without question positives for local residents.

But is the stroke of a pen on a lease the deciding factor and something that makes it a place the public doesn't have any inherent right to assemble?

Happily the County Attorney didn't agree and penned a brief. Here's the section Wikipedia has about it:
In response, Montgomery County Attorney Leon Rodriguez said that the street in question, Ellsworth Drive, "constitutes a public forum" and that the First Amendment's protection of free speech applies there. In an eight-page letter, Rodriguez wrote, "Although the courts have not definitively resolved the issue of whether the taking, as opposed to the display, of photographs is a protected expressive act, we think it is likely that a court would consider the taking of the photograph to be part of the continuum of action that leads to the display of the photograph and thus also protected by the First Amendment."
That street still belongs to the city and it simply leased but that seems to be to be not so far from a privately owned park that is run in cooperation with a city and commonly open to all.
posted by phearlez at 2:04 PM on October 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


You can't "freely assemble" on someone else's property, for example.



Yeah this is how the legal argument is going to go down. The park they are in isn't actually a park, it's private property. If the NYPD plans on using this as the time to evict, if they manage it in a way that doesn't inflame people not already down there (A big if, I agree) there isn't actually any legal recourse for the OWS crowd.

The flip side is if the NYPD makes a mess of the whole thing, they probably end up strengthening the movement.

Maybe better of to move to a space that's publically owned? The Park Ave. Median would be crazy, but really would be "occupying wall street". or Bryant Park - catty-corner to BoA's IB Hq.
posted by JPD at 2:04 PM on October 13, 2011


phearlez - the park is sort of a different animal from that. As part of the zoning laws the city basically created a fudge that allows either greater heights or greater densities ( I can't remember which exactly) in exchange for turning some of the property into "public space." I work in a building that for example has an entrance Atrium that is "Public Space" all it really means is that security desk in on the mezzanine. They can still pretty closely control who hangs out in there, and they close it at night.

Legally Zucotti Park is the same thing. Its not a park that they rent from the city, so much as a park they created on their owned property to satisfy the zoning laws. If you knocked the office building down the Park would revert to the property owners.
posted by JPD at 2:11 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why don't the protestors just go to another park that is unambiguously not private property, like Battery Park or City Hall Park or Bryant Park (which is far from Wall St, but closer to the heart of the financial industry, really)? While the legal status of Zuccoti Park, as a privately-owned 'public plaza' may be in question, there isn't really much question as to the ownership of Battery Park.
posted by breakin' the law at 2:11 PM on October 13, 2011


Some of the public parks have other significant problems. Some of the parks close at a set time, whereas others have procedures which you must go through in order to hold an event.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:15 PM on October 13, 2011


City owned parks have stricter regulations- you definitely aren't allowed to sleep there. This park was chosen because of it's private ownership.
posted by MiaWallace at 2:15 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zuccotti Park is owned by Brookfield Properties, which is mostly owned by Brookfield Asset Management. They're based in Toronto! I've never felt so proud! *wipes tear*

BAM has assets of $121 billion. That makes it a small nation. When my employer signed me up for my compulsory pension plan, BAM's assets or subsidiaries were present in almost all of the investment packages available. Somehow, my pension is tied to #OWS with no degree of separation.

I know of few people more opposed to this cold, inhuman, inhumane, out-of-control monetary system than I am, and yet even my old-age livelihood is now contributing to it and is intertwined with it.

We need to start seeing this vast, incestuous network of corporations for what it really is: our actual government. Minus the vote. Which is what the protests are about.

Anecdotally. And sorry about the adjectives. And sentence fragments. I'm on cold medication.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 2:15 PM on October 13, 2011 [45 favorites]


Why don't the protestors just go to another park that is unambiguously not private property, like Battery Park or City Hall Park or Bryant Park (which is far from Wall St, but closer to the heart of the financial industry, really)? While the legal status of Zuccoti Park, as a privately-owned 'public plaza' may be in question, there isn't really much question as to the ownership of Battery Park.

City Hall sends the wrong message, Battery Park is in the middle of nowhere. Bryant Park is doesn't align with the "Occupy Wall Street" message. There aren't that many parks downtown.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:16 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why don't the protestors just go to another park that is unambiguously not private property, like Battery Park or City Hall Park or Bryant Park

Because the agreement with the City to establish Zucotti Park includes a mandate that it be open 24 hours a day. City parks (including the parks on street medians) close at night, by law or regulation and the police could evict the protestors (or arrest them) every night.
posted by Jahaza at 2:17 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


What would happen if all of the OWS occupiers, left without a park, took to arranging themselves into a single protestor spread on each street corner, for thousands of street corners, such that they'd be everywhere and nowhere?
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:18 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Perhaps they should get up and move only if Mr. Prosser Bloomberg agrees to occupy the space while they're gone?

Arthur Dent tried something like that. Didn't work out so well.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:18 PM on October 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


What would happen if all of the OWS occupiers, left without a park, took to arranging themselves into a single protestor spread on each street corner, for thousands of street corners, such that they'd be everywhere and nowhere?

Like pandhandlers?

posted by anthill at 2:19 PM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


City owned parks have stricter regulations- you definitely aren't allowed to sleep there. This park was chosen because of it's private ownership.


You aren't allowed to sleep/loiter in the public plazas either though. No matter what if you want to Occupy a park in NYC you are breaking the law. I mean you just have to accept that as part of the deal, not that its an argument against anything.
posted by JPD at 2:20 PM on October 13, 2011


Why don't the protestors just go to another park that is unambiguously not private property?

posted by breakin' the law at 2:11 PM on October 13

Non-eponysterically eponysterical!
posted by jonp72 at 2:20 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


this is not the first time such gatherings took place in the City. Here then is what happened to finally make it go away
posted by Postroad at 2:22 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


You aren't allowed to sleep/loiter in the public plazas either though.

Except that that's not clear.

It's pretty unambigious that sleeping overnight in a park is illegal and the police can arrest you if you do it.

But I don't think it's clear what legal status the private plaza rules have. It's forbidden, but it's not clear that it's illegal.
posted by Jahaza at 2:24 PM on October 13, 2011


Actually, he seems to be one of the better mayors New York has ever had.

Too low a bar.
posted by emjaybee at 2:25 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


You can't "freely assemble" on someone else's property, for example.

When they finish privatizing everything, there won't be any public property.
posted by empath at 2:26 PM on October 13, 2011 [18 favorites]


Because the agreement with the City to establish Zucotti Park includes a mandate that it be open 24 hours a day. City parks (including the parks on street medians) close at night, by law or regulation and the police could evict the protestors (or arrest them) every night.

Right! Can't believe I forgot about that...

City Hall sends the wrong message, Battery Park is in the middle of nowhere. Bryant Park is doesn't align with the "Occupy Wall Street" message. There aren't that many parks downtown.

I agree with you about City Hall, but Battery Park is literally a five-minute walk from Wall Street. I don't think anyone is going to say "ah, I'm not gonna pay any attention to these guys now that they're four blocks from Wall Street instead of one." Even Bryant Park, it's in Midtown, but that's where most of the finance stuff is, anyway.

I'd guess the issue is, really, the NYPD could kick them out of a public park at night, but a privately-owned park like Zucotti could just change the rules in a snap.

What would happen if all of the OWS occupiers, left without a park, took to arranging themselves into a single protestor spread on each street corner, for thousands of street corners, such that they'd be everywhere and nowhere?

Then they'd kind of be like those Children's International people that harass everyone on the sidewalk. I don't think that would be very effective.
posted by breakin' the law at 2:27 PM on October 13, 2011


JPD, it is, but there's still law on the matter and private property has been found to be a public forum.

Here's the actual memo from the MD county attorneys office [pdf] (actually penned by someone named Ghahhari it turns out) and it addresses these privately owned but public properties on p4-6.

Annoyingly it's not copyable but it amounts up to a laundry list of various appellate circuits around the nation where places where the public had unrestricted access and therefor amounted up to public forums.
posted by phearlez at 2:27 PM on October 13, 2011


You aren't allowed to sleep/loiter in the public plazas either though. No matter what if you want to Occupy a park in NYC you are breaking the law. I mean you just have to accept that as part of the deal, not that its an argument against anything.

The OWS occupiers are not loitering, not even according to NY's strangely expansive loitering statute. Sleeping was not illegal in Zuccotti Park, either. If you think it was, I defy you to find the law stating as such!

Apparently BAM has drafted new rules which would start after the "cleaning," although it's unclear if those rules would survive a legal battle.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:28 PM on October 13, 2011


You know, looking at this potential battle and the question of what would survive a legal challenge makes me think several things.

One, another amusing thing about the intersection of Tea Party interests and the OWS folks. The Tea Party people (I can't bring myself to abbreviate it TP) are all bent out of shape about what they perceive as reckless government employee actions when it comes to their money. Sure enough, here comes a good example!

I linked above some articles about the various DC arrest actions from World Bank protests and how much they have cost the city. One columnist estimated that one of the arrestees effectively made $3,000 an hour for the time he spent in jail. If Bloomberg et all have to round these folks up and arrest them it potentially is real expensive for them.

Two, that may very well be the reason for this cleaning ruse. If they come in and arrest these folks and it fails legal challenge it could be a LOT of money for the city. It will without question mean a bunch of lawsuits.

So if they can get them out and THEN bar re-entry they have a much better chance of making their various arrests (a) not mass efforts and (2) for refusing to obey an order/assault (if they block entry, for example).
posted by phearlez at 2:35 PM on October 13, 2011


If they take the park
You camp on the street
In the middle of everything.
Then you erect your own barricades
Then you strike crews to maintain living conditions
Then you train and equip riot medics
Then you train marshals in arrest resistance techniques
(I have seen that one per ten is effective)
Then you raise posts and put down staggered blocks to dissuade horses
Then you send marches which double as encampment supply lines
Then you vow not to hurt any other living creature, except in self-defense.
But without hesitation, destroy every inanimate object that defies your political will.
They said Egypt was made by a spontaneous gesture. It was not.
It was made by organized political will and absolute defiance.
It was made by torture survivors who withstood it against that day
It was made by ideologues, commies and everything
And they still did not succeed, completely.
If you do anything less you will lose
But more, and you will suffer.
You will suffer
And maybe win.
posted by mobunited at 2:36 PM on October 13, 2011 [36 favorites]


I think it's very likely all the protesters could be arrested tomorrow. The NYPD is the largest police force in the US and they have conducted plenty of mass arrests. They could even resurrect their old holding pen: Guantanamo on the Hudson.
posted by mattbucher at 2:43 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Egyptians didn't need any fucking petitions

It took their crippling the country's economy.

As Ian Welsh notes, the only way anything wlll come from OWS is if they make it more costly to maintain the status quo than to give in to demands - whatever those might be. Even if OWS had the numbers to physically prevent access to Wall Street buildings, much of the work that goes on there could be done remotely now.

Make no mistake. Victory will require mass protests on a scale an order of magnitude beyond anything in America's history.
posted by Trurl at 2:44 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sadly, I still work for percenters, but I have decided to become dangerously incompetent.

I work for percenters too! They are wonderful, kind, generous people, and friends of mine.
posted by eugenen at 2:45 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was made by organized political will and absolute defiance.

Yeah, organized political will of thousands of people. If the OWS protesters were thousands of people with organized political will to face down the police they'd already be doing it and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

The fact (sad or happy) is that they don't have the base of support that the protests in Egypt did.
posted by Jahaza at 2:46 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I first read that as "Fuckin percolators" and was wondering what you had against drip coffee.

it's time 4 da perculator

posted by ennui.bz at 2:46 PM on October 13, 2011


Will be good riddance; they should be resettled in Staten Island
posted by knoyers at 2:48 PM on October 13, 2011


Yeah, organized political will of thousands of people. If the OWS protesters were thousands of people with organized political will to face down the police they'd already be doing it and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

We'll see what happens tomorrow. The call to resist is one of the top stories on reddit and every other social media site right now. And a lot of people were already planning on going out to protest on Saturday.

Mass movements don't start as mass movements. They start as one person, refusing to back down.
posted by empath at 2:54 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe better of to move to a space that's publically owned?

The Streets.
posted by mikelieman at 2:55 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Even if OWS had the numbers to physically prevent access to Wall Street buildings

From a purely obstructionist and symbolic standpoint, I'd love to see this as well. Sadly, I don't think it'll ever happen.
posted by quin at 2:56 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is a transparent ruse to clear the park out permanently. It's just how these things work. Get everyone out for an hour and they'll decide that the park is closed to the public for a month because of some unforeseen sanitary issue...
posted by kaibutsu at 2:56 PM on October 13, 2011


"sanitation" is the perfect cover too, because it reinforces the notion of the 'dirty and smelly hippies' who are running this protest against prosperity.
posted by cell divide at 2:59 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will be good riddance; they should be resettled in Staten Island

And why is that? I'm guessing this is coming from someone who has never actually been here.
posted by Venadium at 3:01 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mass movements don't start as mass movements. They start as one person, refusing to back down.

No. They start as small organized groups with coherent political ideologies, internal discipline and specific practices designed to impose their wills.

Americans need to stop thinking of protest as:

1. Get mad.
2. ?????
3. Protest.
4. ?????
5. Victory!

This is worse then the ?????/profit! method. At step two, kindly organized socialists, student movements, anarchists and union groups wrestle people into step 3, and then get forgotten and generally shat on because people believe the state propaganda sold to them about these groups. And because they cannot even bring themselves to identify with and extend the organized, motivated movement in their midst, they have no clear way to protest effectively.

That's why step 5 never happens.
posted by mobunited at 3:10 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


No. They start as small organized groups with coherent political ideologies, internal discipline and specific practices designed to impose their wills.

Name one.
posted by empath at 3:17 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


So very many people willing to pontificate on how people are protesting wrong.
posted by smackfu at 3:18 PM on October 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


"sanitation" is the perfect cover too, because it reinforces the notion of the 'dirty and smelly hippies' who are running this protest against prosperity.

Sudden, probably very stupid idea: get OWS occupiers to start cleaning up locations and social functions associated with the Top 1%. Bonus points if they very earnestly try to clean these places up, but constantly look as if they're about to barf.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:20 PM on October 13, 2011


If the OWS Crew are wrong, I don't want to be right. Their message is coherent and simple. It is this: The rich people who run corporations are hogging all the wealth.

That's all! It's simple. It's true.
posted by Mister_A at 3:23 PM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't understand mobunited's point at all.
posted by sweetkid at 3:24 PM on October 13, 2011


And why is that? I'm guessing this is coming from someone who has never actually been here.
posted by Venadium at 3:01 PM on October 13


It's true that I've never been to Staten Island, which is one reason it could be a great place for Occupy Wall Street. I think the latter is bs and I'm sick of hearing about it.
posted by knoyers at 3:24 PM on October 13, 2011


Mobunited, your total lack of knowledge of US social movements is showing. The story that goes around about the civil rights movement masks a much messier reality, with many movements and groups working on myriad causes. Many of these orbited a primary cause, ending racism, just as the OWS movement is centered on the cause of stopping corporate corruption of the political system. OWS is on the right track, regardless of the pearl-clutching of arm-chair revolutionaries.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:25 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


At step two, kindly organized socialists, student movements, anarchists and union groups wrestle people into step 3, and then get forgotten and generally shat on because people believe the state propaganda sold to them about these groups. And because they cannot even bring themselves to identify with and extend the organized, motivated movement in their midst, they have no clear way to protest effectively.

Most of the socialists and anarchists I know are working on urban renewal projects. I feel that the above reasoning is age-old and not very relevant anymore; programs like City Year, Teach for America, and Americorps gave an entire generation of young people an understanding of local politics, community organization, and realistic goal-setting.

The Occupy protests are just approaching their first month, and I would argue that the mass movement remains under two weeks old. Because it's a big-tent movement and organized based on consensus decisions, it may take awhile for unified policy positions to be adopted. It may be useful to start looking at the Anarchist movement in Spain in the 1930s. Before Franco came in and killed them all, they had constructed some really interesting anarcho-syndicalist institutions in Barcelona.

Anyway, I guess that this is all a way of me saying that you're not giving the Occupy folks enough credit as pragmatic citizens.
posted by The White Hat at 3:29 PM on October 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


Quoting from this at length:

"But you know what? You don’t pick protests like you pick restaurants or nightclubs. Nobody wants to read your Yelp review of Occupy Wall Street. The great thing about protest activism is that it becomes meaningful once you stop thinking of yourself as a consumer and start thinking of yourself as a participating citizen. So if you have a problem with all of the ripped jeans and Birkenstocks that you’ve been seeing wandering around Zucotti Park, get your buttoned-down ass on a train or subway, and go there yourself, and start talking to people. Invite your buttoned-down friends. You’ll find, first of all, that the protest begins to look more like something you’re comfortable with. And you’ll find, also, that those people who seem so foreign or naïve to you on television actually want the same things that you want, and that it’s easier to get those things once you get over yourself and start making noise about it."
posted by feckless at 3:31 PM on October 13, 2011 [36 favorites]


just as the OWS movement is centered on the cause of stopping corporate corruption of the political system

There's the rub.

Doing that will require public financing of elections and ending corporate personhood - at least one of which will require a Supreme Court very far to the left of the one we have now.

We'll never get that Supreme Court from either of the legacy parties.
posted by Trurl at 3:35 PM on October 13, 2011


I think the latter is bs and I'm sick of hearing about it.

....and your solution is to voluntarily enter an online thread discussing it?
posted by elizardbits at 3:38 PM on October 13, 2011 [17 favorites]


If things don't go well, this has the potential for being a watershed moment in the movement. And I'm sure the importance of handling tomorrow is not lost on the NYPD. I have no doubt they will be at their most tolerant, and probably all we will see are peaceful demonstrators zip-tied and gently escorted to vans. I plan on waking up super-early to watch it unfold.
posted by chemoboy at 3:45 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I work for percenters too! They are wonderful, kind, generous people, and friends of mine.

Maybe you could politely ask your employers to stop raping the rest of us?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 3:48 PM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


The higher one goes up the chain of command, the less connected to the ground that person is.

I've heard there's a large second wave ready to go after Freedom park siege that will make OWSI look like a bunch of fucking hippies.

Everyone who gets arrested will have to go through the courts, and if Bloomburg isn't careful New York City will go completely broke under his watch. One can hold out against a larger adversary only for so long. Yesterday, I was in a class and there were two people who didn't know about the occupation and didn't know what it was about, and we had a group discussion to educate them. Today I met a person who used to be a rich Libertarian but lost the money he made in the stock market; he has finally realized the vital importance of mutual support. "No man is an island" he said.
posted by fuq at 3:52 PM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


NYT is reporting that the OWS's are currently cleaning the park themselves in order to take that excuse away from Bloomberg.
posted by Gilbert at 3:56 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe you could politely ask your employers to stop raping the rest of us?

A distinction needs to be made between the sociopaths on Wall Street who socialized risk and personalized gain without actually creating anything of value to the economy, and other people - call them entrepreneurs or whatever - who actually build companies that create jobs. You can do it too.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:12 PM on October 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


Everyone who gets arrested will have to go through the courts, and if Bloomburg isn't careful New York City will go completely broke under his watch.

Bloomberg is a businessman.

How much money does the city get from Wall Street? A lot, I assume.

Until resistance costs him that much in policing expenses and lost tourism revenue, he will "restore order" by any means necessary - whatever level of violence is required.

The Egyptians didn't get where they are without physical suffering at the hands of the regime.
posted by Trurl at 4:17 PM on October 13, 2011


I would gladly be an occupier, but I have a job. If someone wants to pay me to hang out at one of these the bidding starts at $100,000. Let's send a message!
posted by cjorgensen at 4:19 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


How much money does the city get from Wall Street? A lot, I assume.


Right now it does but those folks obviously don't know how to handle money.
posted by fuq at 4:19 PM on October 13, 2011


those folks obviously don't know how to handle money

Not a problem as long as they can steal ours.
posted by Trurl at 4:20 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not a problem as long as they can steal ours.

I'm out.
posted by fuq at 4:22 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Egyptians didn't get where they are without physical suffering at the hands of the regime.

I'm a little uncomfortable with comparison between the OSW movement and the Arab Spring. Generally speaking, the very act of assembling in Tahrir Square or whatever was a direct challenge to the authority of the regime, and the demonstrations were recognized by the Arab populations as such. The regime had no choice but to respond.

In North America, demonstrations are pretty common, and are not perceived to be a direct attack on authority.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:25 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


A little confrontation will only help the movement, as long as they don't end up evicted altogether. See this nice graph from Nate Silver, showing how each clash with the police so far has boosted their visibility.

I'd say one of the main issues of the movement is now the police and their corporate ownership. Numbers were very small before that pepper-spray incident. Any confrontation will only make the movement more popular, I believe.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:33 PM on October 13, 2011


I wish I wasn't getting on a plane to the midwest tomorrow morning at 8. I would be there otherwise.

Courage, brothers and sisters. Stand your ground. The world is watching.

And Mr. Mayor, the world is watching. New York's reputation as a global city is on the line. Back the fuck off or be remembered as a tool.
posted by spitbull at 4:34 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


In North America, demonstrations are pretty common, and are not perceived to be a direct attack on authority.
posted by KokuRyu


I disagree with this. I think increasingly the occupations *are* being perceived as a direct challenge to the authority of the ruling class and their institutions of control. As they damn well should be.

That's why things are going to get intense. And that will make us stronger.
posted by spitbull at 4:38 PM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't think there will be violence. I think this is a bit of theater to get sanitation workers to face off against "hippies" in order to sway blue collar workers support away from occupiers.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:41 PM on October 13, 2011


I disagree with this. I think increasingly the occupations *are* being perceived as a direct challenge to the authority of the ruling class and their institutions of control. As they damn well should be.

To be blunt, there is no comparison between the OSW movement and the Arab Spring. The citizens of those countries have absolutely no right whatsoever to congregate in public spaces, and risked their lives while protesting. Thousands of people have been slaughtered in Syria for example.

While the OSW movement is exciting and inspiring, it is nothing like the Arab Spring.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:50 PM on October 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


Following mayor Bloomberg's lead, Mahmoud Abbas just announce that the West Bank will he temporarily closed for cleaning. The Israelis from Occupy West Bank will free to return after an hour.
posted by humanfont at 4:52 PM on October 13, 2011 [14 favorites]


Back the fuck off or be remembered as a tool.

Mate, that ship has sailed.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:53 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


A distinction needs to be made between the sociopaths on Wall Street who socialized risk and personalized gain without actually creating anything of value to the economy, and other people - call them entrepreneurs or whatever - who actually build companies that create jobs. You can do it too.

Yeah. I'm not rich, but I know plenty of good people who are. I work and have worked with multimillionaires who actually would fit in okay here, ideologically (notwithstanding the fringe-ier internet revolutionaries who pipe up from time to time). Wall-Streeters are by-and-large useless and deserve much of the ire that's been filling these pages lately, but there's nothing wrong with having money or making money, and I regularly cringe at the crazy eat-the-rich rhetoric around here.
posted by eugenen at 5:10 PM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


And Mr. Mayor, the world is watching. New York's reputation as a global city is on the line.

And remember Mr. Mayor, the 1 percenters are watching too. If you screw this up, they'll just uproot to Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, or any number of places where the climate is better.
posted by FJT at 5:11 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't say that the climate is "better."
posted by The White Hat at 5:21 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


they'll just uproot to Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, or any number of places where the climate is better.

Have you been to any of these places in the middle of summer? It's so humid!
posted by KokuRyu at 5:22 PM on October 13, 2011


At first I thought, 'Thank Christ Guiliani isn't the one handling this, given his propensity to treat protestors with wrath.'

Then I remembered the folks imprisoned in really bad conditions after the 2004 demonstrations and was like, 'Oh. Yeah. Shit.'
posted by angrycat at 5:23 PM on October 13, 2011


Have you been to any of these places in the middle of summer? It's so humid!

Yes, they're humid :P. I've been to Shanghai and HK. I was trying to do a double entendre. Regular climate and "business" climate too.

Honestly, if the protests do get hostile enough, this might be one of the factors (in addition to unabated economic growth in emerging markets) that prompts the big investment banks and funds to head overseas. Of course, this is 10-15 years down the line.
posted by FJT at 5:25 PM on October 13, 2011


I was trying to do a double entendre.

Yeah, I know, I was being silly.

You know, perhaps another way to ensure accountability and transparency is to encourage greater voter participation. It helped get Obama elected, after all. I'm not saying Obama has been a stellar president, but if more people actually voted in elections there might be real change.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:32 PM on October 13, 2011


And remember Mr. Mayor, the 1 percenters are watching too. If you screw this up, they'll just uproot to Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, or any number of places where the climate is better.

And the 99% will still be here, a productive energetic society just waiting to build the future. We'll be just fine without the corporate vampires sucking our blood! :)
posted by kuatto at 5:35 PM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Everyone who gets arrested will have to go through the courts, and if Bloomberg isn't careful New York City will go completely broke under his watch. One can hold out against a larger adversary only for so long.

Bloomberg has been down this path before in 2004. He preemptively arrested the protesters at the Republican National Convention and happily paid to settle the law suit afterwards.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:36 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mayor Bloomberg has told the activists that they must vacate the premises by tomorrow (Friday) morning at 6AM for "cleaning."

Hi. Troublemaker here.

This is what I would do.

4:30am Friday morning-Mandatory wakeup call for all occupiers.
4:45am-Mandatory yoga for all occupiers.
5:30am-Mandatory bathroom break (#2) for all occupiers. ALL OVER THE FREAKING PARK.
6:00am-Let the cleanup begin.

Everybody should go home, take a shower, refresh themselves, attend to personal matters, etc...even sleep in their own beds.

After the weekend: Back to occupy...the now "clean" park.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:38 PM on October 13, 2011


CHARTS: Here's What The Wall Street Protesters Are So Angry About...

A good summary of why Occupy Wall Street movement resonates with many... 41 slides. Fairly written, substantiated with objective data. Hopefully Business Insider isn't one of those "lazy libtard pro-entitlement" publications.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:43 PM on October 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think we all know what happens when you let a protest speak with its assholes.
posted by The White Hat at 5:45 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


All the sanitation workers should go on strike.
posted by various at 5:55 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bloomberg's notice brings back memories of Gov. Walker ordering the Capitol building closed for "cleaning." Those of us who stayed inside moved from floor to floor while bored-looking staff buffed the marble floors. The order did cut our numbers significantly, as the building remained closed for FAR longer than the buffing took. Same shit. Different asshole.
posted by andythebean at 6:07 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Happening in San Diego.
posted by zabuni at 6:12 PM on October 13, 2011


Yep, better to just go ahead and get arrested rather than dance this little dance. Not like the protesters aren't mostly prepped for such an eventuality. Hey, maybe Tony Baloney will come out and mace some more helpless penned in people! That was great for publicity last time.
posted by emjaybee at 6:15 PM on October 13, 2011


Eh, every protest has to end sometime. Far better for it to end due to police intimidation than for it to fizzle for mundane reasons, like winter and people getting bored.
posted by miyabo at 6:26 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


In North America, demonstrations are pretty common, and are not perceived to be a direct attack on authority.

Occupy Wall Street was pretty common when it first started and only Firedoglake was covering it.

It's not pretty common now.

In less than a month, it has grown to the point where the President has had to acknowldge it. The bloviators are speculating how the Democratic Party can co-opt it to their 2012 advantage. Sean Hannity can't shut up about it.

As far as OWS is from effecting change, they're a lot closer than the Powers That Be want anyone to get. If the protesters demonstrate even half the resolve it will need to prevail, it will provoke the kind of police clampdown mounted to quell the London riots.

I don't compare OWS with the Egyptian demonstrators. But since Egypt has been held up in this thread as an example of successful civil disobedience, it should be explained clearly what that entailed.
posted by Trurl at 6:28 PM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is a quagmire! Where's the exit strategy? Why has no planning been done for post protest reconstruction? This can only fizzle out into nothing because even if the 'authorities' wanted to give in to their demands they can't because there are no actual demands out there. Maybe the best compromise would be for all the protesters to take a couple of hours off to pop into the local Apple store to buy their brand new 4S phone while the park gets hosed down then they can all come back and text each other about how they're beating the hell out of big brother capitalism.
posted by joannemullen at 6:43 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


It would be really, really great if commenters could refrain from bullshit of at least two types:

1. Fucking hippies
2. OMG DID YOU KNOW THEY HAVE IPHONES!? MADE BY CORPORATIONS!?
posted by odinsdream at 6:45 PM on October 13, 2011 [23 favorites]


Revolution basics #1: They will not give you what you want, whatever that is, unless they either have no choice, or you make it rationally their best choice (and then they’ll screw you on the reverse side, everything they give you they will take away again, which is what you get for thinking you can cut a deal with such people).
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:47 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Folks might want to be a bit careful lauding what has happened in Egypt.
..in the eight months since Mubarak's departure, the ruling military junta has tried and convicted 12,000 Egyptian civilians in military tribunals, more than in the entire 30 years of Mubarak's rule. The country's emergency laws have not only remained in force since Mubark's ouster, but have been expanded to include such offences as "spreading rumours" and "blocking traffic".

The only group which isn't persecuted by Egypt's military dictators are Islamist hardliners who have been given a free rein to terrorise the country's Coptic Christian minority.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:47 PM on October 13, 2011 [15 favorites]


odinsdream: "It would be really, really great if commenters could refrain from bullshit of at least two types:

1. Fucking hippies
2. OMG DID YOU KNOW THEY HAVE IPHONES!? MADE BY CORPORATIONS!?
"

What I keep hearing is that they just don't want to pay their student loans. Really? The union workers who have been showing up for support don't want to pay their student loans? I think there might be another couple of issues going on!
posted by theredpen at 6:54 PM on October 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe the best compromise would be for all the protesters to take a couple of hours off to pop into the local Apple store to buy their brand new 4S phone while the park gets hosed down then they can all come back and text each other about how they're beating the hell out of big brother capitalism.

The local afternoon-commute host on the Fox talk radio station here in Salt Lake City had a substitute today. His riffing on "the smelly hippies" was blunter than yours. His amusement could only be described as tittering.

At least they know who their enemy is. I don't know if the same can be said for you.
posted by Trurl at 7:00 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bikies have the term 1% embroided on their colours.

A 1%er means "organised crime" to me.

Yes bikies. Not bikers.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:01 PM on October 13, 2011


Also, I'm proud to say that the relationship between Occupy Philly and the Nutter administration stands in STARK contrast to the one between Bloomberg and the OWS at Liberty Square. A recent letter from the city:
"As the birthplace of Free Speech, Philadelphia holds a special place in our Constitutional history. Occupy Philly has chosen Philadelphia as one of the cities to express solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protest. Per our ongoing conversations with various event organizers, the ACLU and attorneys representing Occupy Philly, we are all in agreement that this event can be conducted in a safe and organized way that does not impact the public safety and allows Occupy Philly to forward its agenda while also allowing city residents to continue with their lives. Consistent with these principles, the first six days have held true to those promises. The relationship between organizers and the city is being heralded as a national model on how to celebrate Free Speech in an effective manner."- Richard Negrin, Deputy Mayor
We should all stand in solidarity with the folks at Liberty Square, but it's equally important that we don't let the narrative be one of universal confrontation between cities and protesters.

There are protests in more than 25 states now. Some states have demonstrations in more than one city. Goddamn ALLENTOWN, PA had 60 protesters on site on Tuesday (sidenote: as a proportion of population, that's like the New York protest attracting 11,000). Each demonstration is its own experiment in rule by consensus and negotiation with municipal government, each one an opportunity to show that Civil Society did not go out with league bowling.
posted by The White Hat at 7:18 PM on October 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


I would gladly be an occupier, but I have a job. If someone wants to pay me to hang out at one of these the bidding starts at $100,000. Let's send a message!

You know what, screw this kind of snark.

I have a job as well, and that's why I'm not there as well. But rather than being all witty and urbane about it, you've made up my mind for me -- I'm going to offer some kind of concrete, constructive help.

One of the brief NPR pieces involved an OWS protestor who'd decided to take advantage of one of the free showers that were being donated by people in the city -- people with apartments and who wanted to support in one small simple way. It sounded like there's some kind of address and appointment system.

I'm effectively between roommates, I've wanted to do something to help, I'm just over the Brooklyn Bridge, and I've got time after work and on weekends to be here to let someone use my shower. And I honestly and sincerely WOULD gladly be an occupier, except since I'm a temp that can't get full time work and am just BARELY treading water after having suffered through THIS recession and the ones BEFORE it, I can't spare the time. I haven't been able to spare the time for anything of my own in ten fucking years, and a large part of that is because the system we have is fundamentally broken, and these people are trying to wave giant flags and say "THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT."

Rather than making wisecracks about "who's gonna pay my bills if I'm out there," I'm actually going to SUPPORT them, because they're trying to support ME.

I even have extra soap.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:31 PM on October 13, 2011 [60 favorites]


[removed an over the line comment - please dial it back, thank you]
posted by jessamyn at 8:09 PM on October 13, 2011


Name one.

There were a number of parties in the Socialist Front/CSF. Do you know about the role of the Socialist Front in the Egyptian Revolution? About its linkages with trade unions? Should I start naming trade unions in Egypt, or would you be satisfied with the CSF, or should I name component parties?
posted by mobunited at 8:22 PM on October 13, 2011


Mobunited, your total lack of knowledge of US social movements is showing.The story that goes around about the civil rights movement masks a much messier reality, with many movements and groups working on myriad causes. Many of these orbited a primary cause, ending racism, just as the OWS movement is centered on the cause of stopping corporate corruption of the political system. OWS is on the right track, regardless of the pearl-clutching of arm-chair revolutionaries.

This is some bizarre Chewbacca Defence shit here, kaibutsu. I must be totally wrong that organized political groups are pivotal to effective action because the civil rights movement had organized political groups?

I know that pragmatic strategy may be unfamiliar to you. I mean, you guys spent an entire war whining in your choice of cages.
posted by mobunited at 8:34 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


There were a number of parties in the Socialist Front/CSF

Do you really think the socialist front had fuck all to do with leading the egyptian revolution? Where did you get that from? There were lots of groups with disparate agendas and very little central leadership.
posted by empath at 8:44 PM on October 13, 2011


Do you really think the socialist front had fuck all to do with leading the egyptian revolution

It's "The Judean People's Front" NOT "The People's Front of Judea."
posted by KokuRyu at 8:46 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


There were lots of groups with disparate agendas and very little central leadership.
The (highly politicised) football supporters' organisations played a key role.
posted by Abiezer at 9:05 PM on October 13, 2011


Kokoryu, I did not compare OWS to the Arab spring
posted by spitbull at 9:19 PM on October 13, 2011


bizarre Chewbacca Defence shit here

While you didn't specifically cite the civil rights movement, it's been repeatedly held up as the 'right' way to run a protest by people criticizing from the side-lines, who suddenly count themselves experts on how protest and societal change interact. You said:

[Mass movements] start as small organized groups with coherent political ideologies, internal discipline and specific practices designed to impose their wills.

And went on to make some muddled point about how the involvement of groups like unions and anarchists keep protests from succeeding.

Well, here's the thing. If you don't have groups like these involved, people who know about what it's like to be in the opposition when the hammer comes down, then you've got a protest movement without any idea of how to deal with arrests, legal defense, or even how to organize a meeting in which the voices of the participants actually matter. If you start with a 'small organized group' that runs the whole thing, it ain't democracy, and good luck getting a mass movement behind your gang. FWIW, you are completely welcome to get together with some friends and start a small organized group with a coherent political ideology, and in six months time (or whatever time frame you want to set for yourself) I'd love to hear how that went for you.

KokoRyu: To be blunt, there is no comparison between the OSW movement and the Arab Spring.

One comparison that is worth making is that a lot of the initial people showing up to demonstrations in Egypt and elsewhere were people who graduated from universities and found themselves unemployed, after signing up on a social contract which promised a better life in exchange for sacrificing some productive years at University. This is an obvious parallel to what's happening in the US.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:20 PM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Report from the ground: I am helping to sweep a park that is already immaculate. Strategists are training people in non-violent resistance techniques and providing legal advice en masse. But guys? The park is absolutely spotless.

Meanwhile, it's 1am and the NYSE is being guarded from a non-violent community by police on horseback. Behind barricades. There it is.
posted by davidjmcgee at 9:47 PM on October 13, 2011 [28 favorites]


How many people are there?
posted by empath at 9:48 PM on October 13, 2011


Kokoryu, I did not compare OWS to the Arab spring

Great!
posted by KokuRyu at 9:49 PM on October 13, 2011


At least several hundred.
posted by davidjmcgee at 9:57 PM on October 13, 2011


Several hundred is an incredibly disappointing number. You're going to need several thousand to hold the police off.
posted by empath at 10:00 PM on October 13, 2011


Report from the ground: I am helping to sweep a park that is already immaculate. Strategists are training people in non-violent resistance techniques and providing legal advice en masse. But guys? The park is absolutely spotless.

Meanwhile, it's 1am and the NYSE is being guarded from a non-violent community by police on horseback. Behind barricades. There it is.


davidjmcgee
, stay safe. I've seen cops ride horses into peaceful crowds before, and it's not pretty.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:04 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


There seem to be more people coming all the time. It's growing, if anything.

Thanks. I will br safe.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:12 PM on October 13, 2011


While you didn't specifically cite the civil rights movement, it's been repeatedly held up as the 'right' way to run a protest by people criticizing from the side-lines, who suddenly count themselves experts on how protest and societal change interact.


What protest movement ever did anything else in this country? Seriously.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:14 PM on October 13, 2011


Thanks for the updates, davidjmcgee!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 10:15 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Strategists are training people in non-violent resistance techniques and providing legal advice en masse.

This is really cool. I've only heard bits here and there about the organizational structure, but I'm glad that people on the ground is taking seriously that there is method to what they're doing.
posted by meese at 10:15 PM on October 13, 2011


It is pouring down rain. Thunder and lightning. More people all the time. Now a group working to save the library. It feels positively fucking apocalyptic here.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:22 PM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Denver live feeds.

On the ground

From the air.
posted by empath at 10:30 PM on October 13, 2011


Horses,library, lighting.


The 21st century is so strange.
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Raining like crazy out. I've seen tons of mounted cops in the financial district, never seen them at 1am in the rain? Are they still there?
posted by Ad hominem at 10:38 PM on October 13, 2011


Dear NY OWS: please think Salt March and not battle of Seattle.
posted by The White Hat at 10:41 PM on October 13, 2011


This rain we're having in NYC might help the piss stench, at least. Maybe they won't even NEED to clean it tomorrow. And yeah, I've been down there.. it reeks of piss.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:53 PM on October 13, 2011


All are welcome to enjoy the park for its intended purpose as an open neighborhood plaza, in compliance with posted rules.
posted by unknowncommand at 11:01 PM on October 13, 2011


Maybe this is a reaction to the Billionaire walking tour. Bloomberg is getting some push from the .001%, and now has to clean up the park in the name of tourism.
If you want to talk about tourism then the walking tour should be held bi-weekly. Just imagine the number of people who would come to New York just to scream at the friends and neighbors of the CEO of Chase, a man who has made many people's lives a living hell.
posted by JackarypQQ at 11:11 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mobunited - Holy shit, look at that Bell curve!
posted by XhaustedProphet at 11:17 PM on October 13, 2011


I've been down there multiple times and never once noticed noticed a smell, piss or otherwise, and I am constantly bitching about how my street smells like wet dog and hot garbage.
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It looks like the library is being collected, packed, and put on a truck, to protect it.
posted by The Whelk at 11:23 PM on October 13, 2011


Also, please bring dry socks, apparently.
posted by The Whelk at 11:23 PM on October 13, 2011


I'm working here at home for another hour or so and then heading into the city. I'll scour the house for extra dry socks. By the way, I've been to OSW multiple times over the last few weeks and am always impressed by how clean it seemed considering the sheer numbers of people there.
posted by stagewhisper at 11:46 PM on October 13, 2011


Civil rights attorney's take on the legal status of public assembly in Zuccotti Park / Liberty Square. At 1:15 he says: Commission for City Planning is the default jurisdiction over the park's legal open hours and public assembly rules. Rule change procedure for changing open hours requires public hearings and takes at least 50 days to go through. To have full legal force, they would have to give notice, hold an open committee hearing, hold a vote of the Commission to change park open hours.

1:53 Brookfield Properties doesn't have authority or power of law behind their prohibition handouts or recently posted (now removed by protestors) regulations trying to get protestors out.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:50 PM on October 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


By the way, I've been to OSW multiple times over the last few weeks and am always impressed by how clean it seemed considering the sheer numbers of people there.


The thing that blasted the cynicism in my heart was going down there a few times and seeing how not-trivial and how well-organized everything was. Medics! Library! Press areas! Food! Grey Water systems! I've seen TOWNS with less infrastructure. And yes, it has substantially less litter then your average city plaza.
posted by The Whelk at 11:51 PM on October 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


Billionaire walking tour

Now that is the stuff. Chase's headquarters is on 47th and park, Jamie Dimon wouldn't go below 42nd unless they handed him billions of dollars to go downtown. Which they actually did.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:55 PM on October 13, 2011


Oh. Dry socks sound reeeeeally nice.
posted by davidjmcgee at 12:30 AM on October 14, 2011


People should put a bunch of those charts on big signs and stand next to each other. Like this person, but en masse. Eg,

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE STILL HIGHEST SINCE GREAT DEPRESSION next to
TOP 1% OWNS 42% OF FINANCIAL WEALTH next to
TAXES ON HIGHEST EARNERS = CLOSE TO LOWEST EVER next to
WAGES AS A PERCENT OF THE ECONOMY

I was trying to pick out two for my spouse and myself, but more would have better impact. Even better if someone can make them rhyme, like Burma Shave billboards.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:09 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know, I wonder if the weather has something to do with the timing. Pissing rain today, nice this weekend, beautiful, maybe.
Also, I've been wondering what I can do to support our Philly movement cause it's difficult for me to actually hang out with the occupiers much for health reasons -- maybe I can help with dry socks.
posted by angrycat at 1:33 AM on October 14, 2011


In Dallas, the city told them that they needed $1 million-worth of liability insurance -- the cost is a few hundred dollars, but they have lawyers who are taking it to the federal court. Dallas is negotiating with them, and offering a park directly behind City Hall instead of the one they currently have.

In Houston, groups have filed permits for different fall events and festivals in the occupied park. The protesters were asked to move -- they relocated for the festival last weekend, and are permanently relocating now.

Is there not a park in NYC where the protesters could go? I remember reading that they were already considering a move, because their numbers are getting too big to effectively move around in the current park.
posted by Houstonian at 3:32 AM on October 14, 2011


The cleaning of the park has been postponed.
posted by lilkeith07 at 3:35 AM on October 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


Cleanup of Occupy Wall St. protest encampment postponed (CBS News)
posted by Houstonian at 3:36 AM on October 14, 2011


Whew. Really dodged a rubber bullet there.
posted by The White Hat at 3:57 AM on October 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Husband received an ecstatic call from a friend who's there; apparently thousands of union members showed up in support at the last minute. "It was like a movie!" Perhaps that had a bit to do with it.
posted by emjaybee at 5:50 AM on October 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yippee!
posted by kuatto at 5:50 AM on October 14, 2011


Is there not a park in NYC where the protesters could go?

How about Times Square?
posted by mikelieman at 5:51 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, organized political will of thousands of people. If the OWS protesters were thousands of people with organized political will to face down the police they'd already be doing it and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

The fact (sad or happy) is that they don't have the base of support that the protests in Egypt did.


Well whaddya know.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:06 AM on October 14, 2011


As Ironmouth said way upthread: Bluff, meet Being Called.
posted by fuq at 6:25 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


anyone have any links to firsthand accounts of what happened this morning? Did union members really show up en masse?
posted by Think_Long at 6:28 AM on October 14, 2011


The fact (sad or happy) is that they don't have the base of support that the protests in Egypt did.

The protests in Egypt started with one woman, alone.

It has to start with a small group.
posted by empath at 6:33 AM on October 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


apparently thousands of union members showed up in support at the last minute.

Wow.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:34 AM on October 14, 2011


This is a good thing - I heard this while I was in the shower this morning, and I felt like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas when he hears that their airport heist is reported over the radio.
posted by glaucon at 6:35 AM on October 14, 2011


Husband received an ecstatic call from a friend who's there; apparently thousands of union members showed up in support at the last minute. "It was like a movie!" Perhaps that had a bit to do with it.

Fuck yeah.

The 'yes we can' marketing bullshit that I fell for a few years back like everyone else (which makes me just as ashamed and angry for being taken in and shedding tears over the fine empty words) ain't got nothing on this kind of people power that seems like gearing up.

I have the tiniest spark of hope right now, the spark that has been banked for three decades, that things have gotten bad enough for some fucking revolution, brothers and sisters.

Make it happen, people. I'm closer to 50 than I am to 40, and I am with you. There are shitloads of us out here who are.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:51 AM on October 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


The 'yes we can' marketing bullshit that I fell for a few years back like everyone else

I'm probably being a dupe, but I genuinely think Obama loves this and needs it. He wants to be FDR, he doesn't want to be Jimmy Carter, but you can't be FDR without a political crisis. It's the job of the people to force the moment, and Obama's job to seize it. I think everything is heading in a good direction right now.
posted by empath at 7:02 AM on October 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


'force the moment'. I like that. There should be t-shirts.
posted by Think_Long at 7:09 AM on October 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


It has to start with a small group.

Yes, it has to start with a small group, but it has to feed on already present extreme dissatisfaction with the social situation.

The dissatisfaction that built up in Egypt with Mubarak who had ruled since 1981 (and was the handpicked successor of Sadat, who had been president since 1970) is not comparable to the amount of similar dissatisfaction with the political system in the United States.
posted by Jahaza at 7:09 AM on October 14, 2011


Koreans to Occupy (their) Wall St
posted by Abiezer at 7:11 AM on October 14, 2011


The dissatisfaction that built up in Egypt with Mubarak who had ruled since 1981 (and was the handpicked successor of Sadat, who had been president since 1970) is not comparable to the amount of similar dissatisfaction with the political system in the United States.

And it doesn't have to be to get big enough to do what we want. No one is advocating a revolution. (well few people are). Right now, they are advocating reform.
posted by empath at 7:13 AM on October 14, 2011


And, I don't know that you can get much more dissatisfied than this.

77% of people think the country is going in the wrong direction (that's rasmussen, but other polls are as bad or worse).

Can someone find public opinion polls in egypt prior to the revolution? I can't imagine it was much worse.
posted by empath at 7:16 AM on October 14, 2011


Did union members really show up en masse?

The NY times post about the cleanup postponement mentions it:
On Thursday night, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. sent a message to members asking them to show up at Zuccotti Park early Friday morning to support the protesters.

By 6 a.m., the crowd had swelled to more than a thousand.
posted by yarrow at 7:16 AM on October 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


'force the moment'

Yeah, I like that.

Also: fuck yeah!
posted by quin at 7:18 AM on October 14, 2011


Folks might want to be a bit careful lauding what has happened in Egypt.

This is a regurgitation of conservative talking points by known partisans.

Toby Young on Islam:
Few people can be in any doubt that Islam is a deeply misogynistic religion. The Vatican's announcement last week that the ordination of women is as "grave" a "crime" as paedophilia didn't do much to advance the cause of feminism, but the Pope begins to look like Gloria Steinem next to most Islamic leaders. Under Iranian Islamic law, for instance, if a woman has sex before marriage she should be punished with 100 lashes and if she commits adultery she should be buried up to her neck and stoned to death. Iranian women aren't even allowed to get sun tans.
The second source, Andrew Roberts, is also terrified of Islam:
[English speaking peoples] stand for modernity, religious and sexual toleration, capitalism, diversity, women's rights, representative institutions – in a word, the future. This world cannot coexist with strict, public implementation of Islamic sharia law, let alone an all-powerful caliphate.
Con Coughlin, the third source, wrote a piece entitled, "When the next bomb goes off in London, blame the judges":
Why don't our judges just come clean and sign up with the Taliban? Every time they are asked to choose between the defence of the realm, or upholding the rights of some Islamic militant who claims his human rights have been violated, the judges invariably find in favour of the latter. Whether it is holding suspected terrorists so that thorough investigations of their activities can be carried out, or pandering to civil rights campaigners such as the odious Clive Stafford-Smith, the judical establishment never misses an opportunity to undermine the government's efforts to protect us from harm.
True enough, Egypt has its problems after their revolution, but if I were serious about learning what those problems are, those are the last three people I would ask. If we're interested in the state and future of a democratic Egypt, wouldn't it make more sense to ask an Egyptian?

Back to the topic at hand, I think it's a telling sign that asking for Wall Street to be held accountable is being compared to an outright coup d'etat. If the entrenched elite or the intelligentsia haplessly attached to them are that scared already, it means we're on the right track.
posted by deanklear at 7:24 AM on October 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Back to the topic at hand, I think it's a telling sign that asking for Wall Street to be held accountable is being compared to an outright coup d'etat.

Oh FFS. I've been to Zuccotti Park and the General Assembly members themselves were endorsing the comparison to the Arab Spring, wiggling their fingers in the air when it was made by an Egyptian addressing the GA and saying things like (paraphrasing), "this is your Tahrir Square."
posted by Jahaza at 7:33 AM on October 14, 2011


Caution is all I recommended, based on the reasonably reliable source I linked. But sure: the story is almost always more complicated than it seems at first glance. That's the principle I was pointing at by linking that Telegraph article in the first place.

If, on balance, Egypt and Egyptians are better off, then I'm happy as fuck. If the 'facts' from the piece I linked are anything like accurate, though, it seems like that might not be so.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:34 AM on October 14, 2011


Right on people. Should be interesting what sort of coverage tomorrow gets.
posted by Sailormom at 7:37 AM on October 14, 2011


This is a regurgitation of conservative talking points by known partisans.

Well, it isn't just that. The most prepared and organized force will be the first to fill any power vacuum, and they'll do it under the pretense of fairness and equality every time. That force is often a nation's military.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 7:43 AM on October 14, 2011


5:30am-Mandatory bathroom break (#2) for all occupiers. ALL OVER THE FREAKING PARK.

Dude that's kinda what has already been happening for a month now.
posted by ReeMonster at 7:49 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been to Zuccotti Park and the General Assembly members themselves were endorsing the comparison to the Arab Spring, wiggling their fingers in the air when it was made by an Egyptian addressing the GA and saying things like (paraphrasing), "this is your Tahrir Square."

OWS is modeled after the protests in Egypt. That is not a secret, and it's not surprising that they consider themselves kindred spirits with people who are from Egypt. Are you actually upset that OWS compares Zucotti to Tahrir?

My point is that protests are not the same as revolutions. OWS does not appear to be asking for a new government; they are calling on their government to do their job. When this is being compared to a revolution, I think it's a sign that they are doing the right thing.
posted by deanklear at 7:52 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


deanklear... the Telegraph blog post is also based on a column by Jeff Jacoby, which is based on eyewitness reporting by Sarah Carr... which you somehow didn't mention. I suppose this is just more conservative talking points:
Suddenly, there was a great surge of people moving back, and something strange happened. Two armored personnel carriers (APCs) began driving at frightening speed through protesters, who threw themselves out of its path. A soldier on top of each vehicle manned a gun, and spun it wildly, apparently shooting at random although the screams made it difficult to discern exactly where the sound of gunfire was coming from.

It was like some brutal perversion of the military show the armed forces put on for the 6th of October celebration three days before. The two vehicles zigzagged down the road outside Maspero underneath the 6th of October Bridge and then back in synchronicity, the rhythm for this particular parade provided by the "tac tac tac" of never-ending gunfire, the music the screams of the protesters they drove directly at.

And then it happened: an APC mounted the island in the middle of the road, like a maddened animal on a rampage. I saw a group of people disappear, sucked underneath it. It drove over them. I wasn’t able to see what happened to them because it then started coming in my direction.

...

The Coptic Hospital tried its best to deal with the sudden influx of casualties. Its floors were sticky with blood and there was barely room to move among the wounded, the worried and the inconsolable.

A man asked if we were press, and whether we’d like to film the morgue if we “were strong enough.”

The morgue was a harshly lit two-room building surrounded by men and women screaming and hitting themselves in paroxysms of grief. In the first room there were two bodies, middle-aged men on the floor next to the fridge, which we were told held three bodies. In the other room there were the bodies of 12 men of varying ages.

A young woman sat by one of them clasping his hand and wailing. Vivian and Michael, who were engaged to be married. Michael had been crushed, his leg destroyed. Next to Michael was the body of a man whose face was contorted into an impossible expression. A priest opened his hands and showed me the remains of the man’s skull and parts of his brain. He too had been crushed.

Outside a woman said out loud to the dead, “How lucky you are, now in heaven!” A man screamed, “We won’t be silent again.”

**

Even while the wounded were still being brought in, state TV was reporting that Christian protesters stole weapons from the army and killed soldiers, and that the busy "foreign hands" are back again, still trying to destabilize Egypt.

There should be a finality in death, an unchallengeable truth when it happens with the simple brutality of last night. But even when death happens on Maspero’s doorstep, it can be rewritten, in order to lend a twisted sense where there is none, to justify the impossible and, above all, to sabotage any attempt to consider that the problem is within us, not without.
posted by Jahaza at 7:53 AM on October 14, 2011


Are you actually upset that OWS compares Zucotti to Tahrir?

No, I'm saying that it's silly to suggest that it is "a telling sign that asking for Wall Street to be held accountable is being compared to an outright coup d'etat" when the OWS protesters are doing the comparing too.

You act like it's some proof of the corruption of the American system that when the protesters "[call] on their government to do their job" it gets compared to a revolution. But this is ridiculous, because the protesters are themselves doing the comparing.

Look, you say, see how scared they are of civil calls for reform, they compare it to revolution! Ignore the fact that we compared our movement to a revolution.
posted by Jahaza at 8:02 AM on October 14, 2011


(I linked to this in the previous OWS thread, but it's mostly dead now.)

Some numbers from a Time magazine poll from earlier this week:

Opinion of Occupy Wall Street protests:
very favorable: 25%

somewhat favorable: 29%

don't know enough to answer: 23%
Agree with the following statements:
"Wall Street and it's lobbyists have too much influence in Washington": 86%

"The gap between rich and poor in the United States has grown too large": 79%

"Executives of financial institutions responsible for the financial meltdown in 2008 should be prosecuted": 71%

"The rich should pay more taxes": 68%
(higher number it's "people with annual incomes of a million dollars or more")
It looks like there's support.

Not so great for optimism though; 56% of people responding thought the protests would have "little impact."
posted by nangar at 8:10 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


This sort of "I know the Arab Spring, and sir, you are nothing like the Arab Spring!" commentary is odd. And as criticism, it's pretty weak. Much along the kinds of things lobbed at feminists, i.e., "You get all angry about abortion over here, when in Saudi Arabia you'd be whipped for not wearing a veil!" Which is true, but irrelevant.

The Egyptians face much more immediate danger than your average American protester. However, our country has, in the last month, given itself the right to assassinate American citizens without trial--overseas, sure, but there is nothing to prevent it happening here. It has supported disappearance and torture. It has allowed, in a million ways, corporate profit to matter more than human lives. The House has, as of yesterday, ruled that it's ok for a hospital to let a woman die if it feels like it's wrong to give her an abortion. Because it cares more about placating its religious extremist base than about letting women die.

And then there's the thousands of people who die every year for lack of access to healthcare.

We don't face machine guns, but that doesn't mean lives aren't at stake.
posted by emjaybee at 8:12 AM on October 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


Jahaza: in your opinion, do you think it would be better if Mubarak were still directing the murderous state police instead of the Egyptian military? I'm confused on your position there.

As far as OWS, I don't think we'll have a productive argument there. You seem to have some emotional attachment to delegitimizing it.
posted by deanklear at 8:13 AM on October 14, 2011


stavrosthewonderchicken: "The 'yes we can' marketing bullshit that I fell for a few years back like everyone else"

Excuse me?
posted by falameufilho at 8:16 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jahaza: in your opinion, do you think it would be better if Mubarak were still directing the murderous state police instead of the Egyptian military? I'm confused on your position there.

My opinion is that people who question whether the outcome has been entirely good or even entirely determined are not merely "regurgitat[ing]" "conservative talking points by known partisans."

As far as OWS, I don't think we'll have a productive argument there. You seem to have some emotional attachment to delegitimizing it.

How could you possibly know this? It is convenient though to dismiss those who disagree with you politically as merely irrational.
posted by Jahaza at 8:20 AM on October 14, 2011


You seem to have some emotional attachment to delegitimizing it.

Jahaza is a devout Catholic, so I imagine that might have something to do with it. (not saying it's bad, just that seeing Coptic Christians suffer at all is going to weigh heavily on a devoted Christian's view of the outcome of the revolution).
posted by empath at 8:21 AM on October 14, 2011


since tim kreider has been getting some love in these wall street threads lately and i've been on a The Pain kick again, i emailed him a link to this thread. tim's response bolded below:

I just blew twenty minutes reading that entire thread and I wish I could somehow contact the poster whose username is Empresscallipygean (near the very bottom) to tell her her post made me want to cheer and I wish it would get widely disseminated all over the internet. I would also like to ask her out.

power to the people, right on
posted by beefetish at 8:23 AM on October 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


Empath, true enough about Egypt, though, I don't really have an opinion there yet beyond "time will tell" and "let's not declare it an unadulterated success yet."

But I read deanklear as suggesting that I had some sort of emotional attachment to deligitimizing Occupy Wall Street, which I don't.
posted by Jahaza at 8:24 AM on October 14, 2011


Ms. Kaseijin and I live in Texas. And we both have full-time jobs which we pretty much require in order to maintain our existence. Joining even the Occupy Austin protests would pretty much be unworkable for us.

But, as EmpressCallipygos so succinctly pointed out -- not being able to be there in the flesh does not mean that you can't help. Send canned goods, clothing, supplies, and money. We've made our donations. Even if you can't be there yourself, you can at least chip in to keep others there and visible in your stead.
posted by kaseijin at 8:28 AM on October 14, 2011


Wow, Bloomberg really is being a dick:
The abrupt decision to call off the clean up seemed to frustrate Mr. Bloomberg. He said that if Brookfield decided that it did still want to clean the park, it would place the city in a more difficult situation.

...

“My understanding is that Brookfield got lots of calls from many elected officials threatening them and saying, ‘If you don’t stop this, we’ll make your life more difficult,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said. “If those elected officials would spend half as much time trying to promote the city and get jobs to come here, we would go a long ways toward answering the concerns of the protesters.”
posted by smackfu at 8:32 AM on October 14, 2011


I swung by the Madison camp last night, picked up a volunteer, and went to Sam's Club. Bought them a shitload of groceries, and when we came back everyone at camp helped unload the car. We got water, peanut butter, jelly, granola bars, bananas, tomatoes, apple juice, grape juice, cups, hand sanitizer and a few other things I forget.

One important thing to buy: SOCKS. Sleeping/standing in damp socks is miserable and dangerous. Other important things to have: TARPS and plastic totes.

Logistics is super-important. I think every Occupy camp should have a few military veterans to show them how to stay warm and set up tents and shit. These 20 year olds are very well-meaning but woefully underprepared.
posted by desjardins at 8:36 AM on October 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


dude, bloomberg got 311 and 212-new-york lit up last night by out of towners like me calling and telling him that we stand with OWS and we don't want them booted out the park. ...
posted by beefetish at 8:37 AM on October 14, 2011


My opinion is that people who question whether the outcome has been entirely good or even entirely determined are not merely "regurgitat[ing]" "conservative talking points by known partisans."

That's what that article was. The article mentioned nothing substantial or meaningful on the other side of the revolution. It was completely one sided, written by partisans who are known for being Islamophobes. It doesn't mean they are wrong, but it does mean that everything they say regarding Egypt should be thoroughly criticized.

The Egyptian people haven't even formed a government yet. They haven't had all of their demands met yet. They are still protesting. To pick out one murderous day after thirty years of murder is convenient, but it is not honest. They may as well have picked a day of lost ground during the American Revolution and called it a failure.

How could you possibly know this? It is convenient though to dismiss those who disagree with you politically as merely irrational.

You keep calling my ideas "silly" and "ridiculous" and you started off with "Oh, for fuck's sake." Just as I said "If they are scared already", I am also saying that you seem to have some emotional attachment. I don't know anything for sure, but I can make educated guesses based on what has been said.
posted by deanklear at 8:38 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish I could somehow contact the poster whose username is Empresscallipygean (near the very bottom) to tell her her post made me want to cheer and I wish it would get widely disseminated all over the internet. I would also like to ask her out.

Tell him I said "thanks, and if you're in the New York area, let's talk." :-)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:38 AM on October 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Empresscallipygean (near the very bottom)

ಠ_ಠ
posted by empath at 8:40 AM on October 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


@beefetish: You can tell Tim to get in line. <3

Signed,

Someone's future Brooklyn flatmate
posted by tapesonthefloor at 8:40 AM on October 14, 2011


smackfu: "Wow, Bloomberg really is being a dick"

Can you explain why is this "being a dick"? Dude's got a city to run. OWS is probably problem #124 in his list. According to the mayor on his radio show this morning (as I heard on WNYC), Brookfield called City Hall at midnight last night saying they would call off the cleaning. I believe Bloomberg is rightly pissed, because if you're going to call it off, why announce it in the first place? The city is now in a much weaker position to negotiate with the occupiers.
posted by falameufilho at 8:41 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The article mentioned nothing substantial or meaningful on the other side of the revolution. It was completely one sided, written by partisans who are known for being Islamophobes. It doesn't mean they are wrong, but it does mean that everything they say regarding Egypt should be thoroughly criticized.

It mentions Jeff Jacoby's citation of Sarah Carr's reporting, which you are still ignoring.
posted by Jahaza at 8:42 AM on October 14, 2011


@beefetish: You can tell Tim to get in line.
Signed, Someone's future Brooklyn flatmate


...I should probably clarify that I am only "between roommates" because the new one has been inaugurated, but has indeed been elected. Just for the record.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 AM on October 14, 2011


[gah -- the new roommate has NOT been inaugurated, rather. ...Hey, I used up all my eloquence impressing y'all with that prior comment.]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 AM on October 14, 2011


falameufilho: "stavrosthewonderchicken: "The 'yes we can' marketing bullshit that I fell for a few years back like everyone else"

Excuse me?
"

You're excused.
posted by Reverend John at 8:47 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


ThinkLong you asked: anyone have any links to firsthand accounts of what happened this morning? Did union members really show up en masse?

I was there, I arrived around 5:30 or so (bearing 6 pairs of new white sports socks) and it looked as though there was less than 1,000 people in the park, which was disappointing, since I figured we'd need higher numbers than that to be able to hold the fort down- obviously the police have no qualms about arresting over 700 OWS protesters in one go since they'd done it before on the Brooklyn Bridge. I had every expectation of being arrested and had legal contact phone numbers written on my arm in sharpie.

I'd gotten some email alerts from a few sources and they all listed 6:00 a.m. as the time to meet at the park so I was still hopeful that the numbers would swell. Early on at the General Assembly an announcement was made that the expected union busses had arrived and a big cheer went through the crowd.

It was difficult to tell from my interior spot in the park how enormous the crowd had grown, but at some point the message went out on the human mic that the streets were filled with supporters, and sure enough as dawn started to filter in we could see that the crowds stretched out all around us. It's hard to describe the exuberant feeling of solidarity, knowing that this huge mass of diverse people were all in this together and all willing to go down with the ship and determined to stay the course in honor of their ideals and for each other.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:47 AM on October 14, 2011 [19 favorites]


why announce it in the first place?

This puzzled me last night and it puzzles me now. If you're going to do a sweep operation like this, why announce it? Announcing it gives the protesters time to prepare, bring in reinforcements, etc. I would expect a true "cleanout" operation to just happen with no (or very little) warning, preferably at a time (say late at night) when the numbers are lower and when there are less likely to be children/handicapped/elderly person there.

I am not relieved that they called it off this morning. Instead, I'm more wary than ever....
posted by anastasiav at 8:49 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're going to do a sweep operation like this, why announce it? Announcing it gives the protesters time to prepare, bring in reinforcements, etc. I would expect a true "cleanout" operation to just happen with no (or very little) warning, preferably at a time (say late at night) when the numbers are lower and when there are less likely to be children/handicapped/elderly person there.

To set the stage for stating that the police were there just to clean the park and would allow the protesters back, hence, protestor resistance would be delegitimized.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:52 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


anastasiav: "Instead, I'm more wary than ever...."

No secret to anyone here that I'm FAR from being in the OWS camp, but honestly, I wouldn't be wary. This was a big fumble by the city, and now the only way people can be removed from Zucotti Park will involve riot police and fire hoses and I think that all things being equal*, Bloomberg is not going to go there, and he shouldn't.

Honestly, I think everybody in City Hall is just praying for the worst winter in a couple of centuries. Because it's either that or the riot police.

* Provided, of course, the OWS people stay nice and well behaved as they mostly have been so far, and that they don't stray too much into residential areas like they did yesterday on the Upper East Side. The beautiful thing about the Financial District is that nobody lives there and the few who do are most likely young couples, recent transplants. So outside of business hours, the occupiers have the place for themselves and have no neighbors to annoy.
posted by falameufilho at 9:00 AM on October 14, 2011


If you're going to do a sweep operation like this, why announce it?

Adding to Ironmouth's explanation, I get the feeling that they still don't really realize what they're dealing with. They're still thinking of the protest as "Irksome group of dirty hippies who will go home and start smoking hemp any moment now," rather than what it is. It seemed like yet another example of The Powers That Be underestimating what they're dealing with--assuming they have the upper hand when they really don't.
posted by meese at 9:01 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


that they don't stray too much into residential areas like they did yesterday on the Upper East Side.

They weren't "straying" they were carrying fake checks spelling out the tax breaks received by the wealthiest.

Per the article "The crowd marched through out the Upper East Side neighborhood, protesting outside the homes of various billionaires and bank owners."
posted by emjaybee at 9:04 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


It mentions Jeff Jacoby's citation of Sarah Carr's reporting, which you are still ignoring.

I'm not ignoring it. I'm placing it within context of thirty years of murder, of both Christians and Muslims. I do not consider that article a solid piece of journalism, because it reflects only one viewpoint and has no context.

If every revolution was judged and abandoned based its worst moments, I doubt we would have any democracies at all.
posted by deanklear at 9:04 AM on October 14, 2011


I was there also, from midnight to 9am. Around 1am it started pouring and numbers started dwindling to the low hundreds, but then around 4am there were around a thousand people, and then sometime between 6am and 7am people started showing up en masse, filling the entire park, so that the people's mic had to operate in four stages, broadcasting the speaker's voice four times.

How about Times Square?

Tomorrow (Saturday) there's a large rally going on -- details here.
posted by suedehead at 9:05 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


emjaybee: "They weren't 'straying'"

They could be licking lollipops and singing hallelujah or having a parade to celebrate sukkot. Whatever. If they keep fucking around next to people's homes, in comes the riot police. That's guaranteed, specially considering City Hall is running out of options, thanks to Brookfield's fumble of this cleaning situation.
posted by falameufilho at 9:08 AM on October 14, 2011


Jeff Jacoby is a right-wing knee-jerk. Nothing he writes is worth reading. I am not familiar with Sarah Carr, but even if she's completely impartial and accurate, anything filtered through Jacoby is suspect.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:11 AM on October 14, 2011


Can you explain why is this "being a dick"? Dude's got a city to run.

Well, is he clearing out the park because the property owner wants them to, or because they want to shut down the demonstration? It seems like he is annoyed that his cover reason was ruined, and he might need to actually take a position on the demonstration rather than just fulfilling the wishes of the private owner.
posted by smackfu at 9:12 AM on October 14, 2011


deanklear, the point is that the Telegraph blog post is not merely "a regurgitation of conservative talking points by known partisans." Carr is not, as far as I can see a "known partisan."

As stavrosthewonderchicken wrote "[c]aution is all I recommended". Clearly, everything is not all hunky-dory in Egypt and pointing that out is not to say that democratic revolution is illegetimate, but merely that we don't know yet whether that one will succeed.
posted by Jahaza at 9:12 AM on October 14, 2011


If they keep fucking around next to people's homes, in comes the riot police.

For a minute there, I thought you were talking about Bank of America, with the fucking around next to people's homes, and all.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:13 AM on October 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


And also I'm sure Bloomberg would have no problem calling the owners of the park and putting on pressure to allow the demonstrations if he wanted to. He's just scolding the other people who run the city because he doesn't agree with them.
posted by smackfu at 9:14 AM on October 14, 2011


I am not familiar with Sarah Carr, but even if she's completely impartial and accurate, anything filtered through Jacoby is suspect.

Which is why I linked to Carr's article (and excerpted a chunk of it) up above.
posted by Jahaza at 9:14 AM on October 14, 2011


Honestly, I think everybody in City Hall is just praying for the worst winter in a couple of centuries.

If only they coulda timed snowmageddon better, huh? They may get a little of what they wish; NYC is close enough that I think the projections I saw about out impending winter in DC may hold. Expectation is more snow than average, though nothing like the epic stuff - around 20", and mostly front-loaded in this end of 2011.

They could be licking lollipops and singing hallelujah or having a parade to celebrate sukkot. Whatever. If they keep fucking around next to people's homes, in comes the riot police.

Do we need to continue that conversation about public forums again? If they're "fucking around" on public sidewalks and streets they have a strong presumption of a right to assemble and speak. If the city has regulations against their behavior that can be shown to the content-neutral and serve a legitimate and significant public interest then they may get rounded up. But the fact that they won't hold themselves to the convenient little area isn't enough for the government to curtail their first amendment rights.
posted by phearlez at 9:15 AM on October 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Clearly, everything is not all hunky-dory in Egypt and pointing that out is not to say that democratic revolution is illegetimate, but merely that we don't know yet whether that one will succeed.

Egypt is just going to be weird given the huge part of the economy that the military participates in. I've heard a number of sources comment that it played a big part in the reason the protests worked the way they did and the military wouldn't act against the people - the people in the military, particularly higher-ups and veterans, derive a lot of their living from the spending and activity of the citizenry. A state of chaos is bad for business.
posted by phearlez at 9:18 AM on October 14, 2011


Oh man how could I forget. Gotta show my lunch spot some love! Anyone down there want cheap chinese lunch and feel like taking a walk, hit up Yip's! $5 for the nastiest most awesome lunch combo ever upstairs or really eclectic salad bar downstairs.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:21 AM on October 14, 2011


A little googling around shows me that Carr, in addition to being a journalist (and an Egyptian dual-citizen) is a researcher for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which is partly funded by those notorious right-wingers at the Ford Foundation (other organizations funded by the Ford Foundation include Planned Parenthood and the progressive--by Israeli standards at least--New Israel Fund).
posted by Jahaza at 9:28 AM on October 14, 2011


“If those elected officials would spend half as much time trying to promote the city and get jobs to come here, we would go a long ways toward answering the concerns of the protesters.”


Promoting the city of New York would go a long way towards implementing a financial transactions tax? Really?
posted by mediareport at 9:30 AM on October 14, 2011


mediareport: "Promoting the city of New York would go a long way towards implementing a financial transactions tax? Really?"

Promoting the city of New York would go a long way towards implementing a financial transactions tax ending the Fed? Really?

Promoting the city of New York would go a long way towards implementing a financial transactions tax abolishing corporate personhood? Really?

Promoting the city of New York would go a long way towards implementing a financial transactions tax forgiving student loans? Really?

Promoting the city of New York would go a long way towards implementing a financial transactions tax LEGALIZING MUMIA? Really?

(FWIW, I think Bloomberg is talking about middle-class jobs)
posted by falameufilho at 9:42 AM on October 14, 2011


Okay! I can't access the "sign up to donate your shower" form here at work, but have bookmarked the link for myself for home.

If anyone else in NYC wants to do that, the link is here.

For anyone else across the country -- check what's needed in your area first (hey, no reason New York should get all the credit), then check here about what else they may need.

Here is where you can donate money or food.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:46 AM on October 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Empress, if we're delivering stuff (sleeping bags, etc) to the park, who do we drop them off with? I'm planning on spending some time down there this weekend, but can't stay overnight.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:52 AM on October 14, 2011


I'm not sure -- I haven't been myself. (Whelk has, so maybe he'll step in.)

I do know (from news reports) that there are sections of the park set up for various needs -- there's a medical section if you have any first-aid stuff, but for sleeping bags you may want to look for what they're calling the "comfort" area, which handles things like distributing clothes and sleeping bags and such. At the very least, they'd probably know definitively where you can bring things.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:56 AM on October 14, 2011


Do we need to continue that conversation about public forums again?

Isn't it a publc forum because it was created for public use on the insistence of the government?
posted by Ironmouth at 9:59 AM on October 14, 2011


I've been down there, too, and didn't notice the different sections. I'll figure it out. :)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:00 AM on October 14, 2011


Yeah, I'd just ask someone where the comfort area is; they're probably equipped to handle donations (or at least they'd probably know where donations are received).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:04 AM on October 14, 2011


Jahaza, no one is disputing Carr's account, or her legitimacy. That doesn't mean that a partisan article referencing her gets an automatic pass. If Carr is your ultimate reference, read to what she has to say:
Change is frightening, even when it is good, and the army is exploiting this for its own ends with the help of state media and some conservative Muslim groups who seem to want to outdo each other in demonstrations of loyalty... For us still to be hearing this shit 6 months after the revolution is devastating. Even assuming that the army doesn’t have a long-term political agenda (protecting its interests, ensuring it gets the president it wants), it has completely hijacked the transitional process through its spectacular lack of political finesse and inability to cede power to citizens.
I can imagine what she would have to say to any of the people who mentioned her in the article.
posted by deanklear at 10:06 AM on October 14, 2011


I have the map they handed out from a day or so ago in front of me, it looks like Comfort Station is on the south side of the square, next to Medic. There's an info/help desk right on the north west corner who gives directions and such.
posted by The Whelk at 10:13 AM on October 14, 2011


(FWIW, I think Bloomberg is talking about middle-class jobs)

Also FWIW, I think Bloomberg is deliberately ignoring the specific proposed demands for changes in the way Wall Street operates - the changes that are one of the main reasons for the protests. Not surprising, given who he is, but that doesn't mean we can't call out his framing for the sleight-of-hand it is.
posted by mediareport at 10:16 AM on October 14, 2011


Today's NYT has an article called Look at these fucking stereotypes (not really, but it should be)
posted by desjardins at 10:17 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do we need to continue that conversation about public forums again?

Isn't it a publc forum because it was created for public use on the insistence of the government?


No. A public forum is such because it was traditionally used in a certain way with a certain level of free access.

Quoting from my friend Kevin; I'm unsure how much of this graf is him paraphrasing or having lifted from a decision.
The Traditional Public Forum: an area which is traditionally understood to be and has always acted as a space for public expression. Think public squares, streets and wide open parks where people are known to congregate to express themselves. The government can only restrict speech when the restriction in question is “narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest”. But, even here certain restrictions, mainly to uphold public safety, order and decorum, are allowed.
So the fact that these folks may wander some surrounding neighborhoods and wave some signs that maybe the residents don't want to see isn't enough for the cops to legally conduct mass arrests.
posted by phearlez at 10:18 AM on October 14, 2011


phearlez: "Do we need to continue that conversation about public forums again?"

Ironmouth: "Isn't it a publc forum because it was created for public use on the insistence of the government?"

*cough*
posted by falameufilho at 10:21 AM on October 14, 2011


That doesn't mean that a partisan article referencing her gets an automatic pass.

But nobody said the article wasn't partisan and nobody said it gets an automatic pass. But you said it was "a regurgitation of conservative talking points by known partisans". But actually, part of what it does is regurgitate some of Carr's facts, which now "no one is disputing".

Carr's facts are some (though not all) of the facts that Stavros references when he writes, "If, on balance, Egypt and Egyptians are better off, then I'm happy as fuck. If the 'facts' from the piece I linked are anything like accurate, though, it seems like that might not be so."

So to use the acknowledged bias of the article (that's how British journalism works, so it's not surprising that it's biased) to dismiss the whole question of whether there may be some doubt as to whether the revolution has been or will be succesful (as you appear to do when you quote Stavros) as some kind of right wing fear-mongering or Islamophobia just doesn't work.
posted by Jahaza at 10:25 AM on October 14, 2011


On the original topic, I want to point people to the New York City news site Capital, which has been running a fair amount of original reporting on Occupy Wall Street.
posted by Jahaza at 10:31 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Legal Observer from the National Lawyers Guild getting his legs run over by a cop on a scooter
posted by Greg Nog at 10:35 AM on October 14, 2011


Today's NYT has an article called Look at these fucking stereotypes (not really, but it should be)

"Mr. Hall is a well-educated young man with a privileged upbringing who says he is following a greater calling than getting a job and making money.

Mr. Vivona grew up in a working-class family on Staten Island and now lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with his wife and two young children. He has been a stockbroker for 17 years, works “13 or 14 hour days” and has done well for himself on Wall Street."

Oh fuck you NYT.
posted by Think_Long at 10:36 AM on October 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Legal Observer from the National Lawyers Guild getting his legs run over by a cop on a scooter

Oh come on.. talk about taking a fall..
posted by empath at 10:39 AM on October 14, 2011


That did look almost cartoonishly dramatic.

This video's a bit fucked up though
posted by Think_Long at 10:40 AM on October 14, 2011


Um Greg you could have put a warning: bone chilling screams tag on that.
posted by The Whelk at 10:40 AM on October 14, 2011


He is in the emergency room though, so it must have been bad.
posted by Think_Long at 10:43 AM on October 14, 2011


Financiers for Occupying Wall Street: "el-Erian [is] a co-CEO of PIMCO, one of the world’s largest — and wealthiest — bond trading operations, with more than $1 trillion under management. Despite being based in Southern California, PIMCO and its leaders are titans in finance. So I called el-Erian to ask him what exactly he saw in this movement that is, in large part, dedicated to combating his industry. . . . "
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:45 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


For the record: the above link is discussing the fact that el-Erian recently blogged in SUPPORT of OWS, rather than being one of the FUNDERS for the project, which I thought was the case from the quote above.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:47 AM on October 14, 2011


Thanks Empress. Apologies for not being clear.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2011


This video's a bit fucked up though

You know what annoys me, the whole "the whole world is watching" chant. I'm not saying anything about the stance of the protesters, but really, to be accurate, shouldn't they be chanting "a couple hundred people on the internet are watching and possibly tweeting each other"?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:57 AM on October 14, 2011


you have to understand that people like el-Erian, Soros, and Chanos - all prominent finance industry people who have come out in support of OWS understand the inherent instability of high and rising income inequality and grasp that the regulatory failures on wall street need to be corrected. The also probably don't think of themselves as being "of" wall street, just someone who has to use the services provided by wall street to do their job. That makes it a lot easier for them to get behind changes that will permanently render wall street less profitable (n.b. I say this thinking it is a good thing)

Also even an extrememly uncharitible reading of voting records and opinion polling would say at least 30% of the 1% are supportive of some sort of change as envisioned by the OWS movement. Maybe not all of what the movement members want, but some of it.
posted by JPD at 11:01 AM on October 14, 2011


shouldn't they be chanting "a couple hundred people on the internet are watching and possibly tweeting each other"?

How do YOU know how many people are watching? The UK Guardian has an entire news section devoted to it.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2011


Jahaza, the title of the original article is: The 'Arab Spring' has unleashed an Islamist mob. If that doesn't make the intentions of that article clear — despite what facts it might reference — we'll just have to agree to disagree. You're mistaking my criticism of one article for a dismissal of all critical thought regarding the Arab Spring.

10th Regiment: There are 7,000 articles in Google News about Occupy Wall Street. Not everyone who wants to be there can be there, myself included.
posted by deanklear at 11:05 AM on October 14, 2011


And went on to make some muddled point about how the involvement of groups like unions and anarchists keep protests from succeeding.


I did no such thing. I believe the opposite -- I *said* the opposite. I noted that what happens is that those groups are *devalued* and without their input, movements peter out.
posted by mobunited at 11:09 AM on October 14, 2011


that they don't stray too much into residential areas like they did yesterday on the Upper East Side.
emjaybee

They could be licking lollipops and singing hallelujah or having a parade to celebrate sukkot. Whatever. If they keep fucking around next to people's homes, in comes the riot police. That's guaranteed, specially considering City Hall is running out of options, thanks to Brookfield's fumble of this cleaning situation.
(Resident 1 percent sympathizer)

Whose streets are we talking about? Our fucking streets, dude. "Residential areas?" Have you ever been to the UES? There are wide avenues full of business just like everywhere else in the city. There are roads and public parks paid for by taxpayers like me (an upper middle class 53 percent whose entirely behind OWS). There are apartments in the financial district too. New York does not divide into free speech zones and private gated communities like some suburban town. Those protesters had just as much damn right to stand on the sidewalk in front of Jamie Dimon's building as they have a right to be in the financial district.

You've clearly got a chip on your shoulder and are going to go down defending the meme that this is a bunch of communist hippies taking over a city that belongs to rich people who own property and stocks. There are 8 million people in this city, and that means millions more working class taxpayers than rich people and their apologists. They own this city's public spaces no less than any billionaire does. If you don't like it, you are free to move to Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, of course.
posted by spitbull at 11:21 AM on October 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


The UK Guardian has an entire news section devoted to it.

10th Regiment: There are 7,000 articles in Google News about Occupy Wall Street. Not everyone who wants to be there can be there, myself included.


There are 7000 articles and an entire Guardian news section about this guy getting punched in the face? That is really sad because there's only 400 (mostly AP repeats) about the series of car bombings that have been happening in Iraq over the last 48 hours, killing dozens.

But really, what does wanting to be there have to do with a guy getting punched by a cop? I wish I could have gone to my firend's birthday party, but it would have been pretty silly to chant "the whole world is watching" while taking a video of him blowing out the candles to post on Facebook of the event. Look, I certainly don't disagree with their stance, but to think that the entire world gives a rat's ass about it, or particularly one guy getting punched by a cop is a tad bit presumptious, no?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:23 AM on October 14, 2011


"who's entirely behind OWS," sorry, couldn't see straight through the blind rage at the entitled claim that only the rich own NYC's public spaces.
posted by spitbull at 11:23 AM on October 14, 2011


gee i wonder where this "the whole world is watching" phrase came from

i wonder if it historically situates an event that it is called out at
posted by beefetish at 11:25 AM on October 14, 2011


phearlez: "Do we need to continue that conversation about public forums again?"

Ironmouth: "Isn't it a publc forum because it was created for public use on the insistence of the government?"

*cough*


Ahh, the old, "your honor, may I cite to the "Princess Bride?" No, you may not.

How many cases have you represented clients in a first amendment situation?

Didn't think so.

Let's break this down, shall we?

Supreme Court jurisprudence on free speech breaks down the ability of the government to regulate speech into public fora and non public fora. Private fora allow for complete restriction of speech based upon the private property rights of the owner. Some public land are not public fora, such as prisons, military bases, and the interior of government administration buildings.

The park in question is an interesting case. It is open to the public, yet it is privately owned. However, the park itself was created in a deal which exchanged the creation of the park for the relaxation of the building height for One Liberty Plaza.

So the question is, what type of fora is Zuccotti Park? It was created as part of zoning incentivization by the government of NYC, with requirements that it be open to the public. May the government restrict speech there? May the property owner? I think an argument can be made (I haven't checked the case law, and there may be some on these types of public-private park lands in NY or nationally), that the park is a public fora, created by the government with the expectation that it is a public forum.

Again, if you've got some case law on this or similar parks, I'd love to see it. But *cough* followed by a link to a youtube clip of the Princess Bride is not a real argument for anything.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:37 AM on October 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


i wonder if it historically situates an event that it is called out at

Perhaps in the minds of those calling it out, but the whole world wasn't necessarily watching in Chicago either, otherwise we might not have had an asshole like Nixon as President. Or maybe we would have, only he would have gotten even more votes.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:38 AM on October 14, 2011


But really, what does wanting to be there have to do with a guy getting punched by a cop?

Because I am watching, along with a few million other people, how these events are unfolding.

I wish I could have gone to my firend's birthday party, but it would have been pretty silly to chant "the whole world is watching" while taking a video of him blowing out the candles to post on Facebook of the event.

Especially since there weren't any policemen around threatening to assault anyone. Well, to be fair, I don't know what sort of parties your friends throw, so who am I to say.

Look, I certainly don't disagree with their stance, but to think that the entire world gives a rat's ass about it, or particularly one guy getting punched by a cop is a tad bit presumptious, no?

The fact that you refer nonchalantly to "one guy getting punched by a cop" is interesting. Expecting scuffles is one position, but accepting them carries far more connotations, like being institutionalized to accept state violence. To further consider it "presumptuous" that anyone would care goes even further. Perhaps you should think about that for a while.
posted by deanklear at 11:41 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


How many cases have you represented clients in a first amendment situation?

Well there are legal niceties, surely, but really, it's a public forum as long as the public goes there and refuses to leave.

More and more public space is getting sectioned off into private areas and 'free speech zones'. At some point, we, as a people, need to make a stand.
posted by empath at 11:42 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fact that you refer nonchalantly to "one guy getting punched by a cop" is interesting. Expecting scuffles is one position, but accepting them carries far more connotations, like being institutionalized to accept state violence.

Provoking escalating state violence is probably part of the goal of the demonstrations (and should be). They ultimately need to shock the conscious of the public.
posted by empath at 11:43 AM on October 14, 2011


I disagree with falameufilho. But he's been reasonably polite about this, and he didn't say that "only the rich own NYC's public spaces."

If you go back to the original comment you're responding to, falameufilho wrote:

No secret to anyone here that I'm FAR from being in the OWS camp, but honestly, I wouldn't be wary. This was a big fumble by the city, and now the only way people can be removed from Zucotti Park will involve riot police and fire hoses and I think that all things being equal*, Bloomberg is not going to go there, and he shouldn't.

I'm not quite getting the "blind rage."
posted by nangar at 11:47 AM on October 14, 2011


Here's a great photo of a NYC construction worker, on the job, holding a sign in solidarity with the protesters outside Rupert Murdoch's home.

Who owns NYC? Go tell the guy in this picture he deserves to be maced and rounded up for protesting where the rich folks expect privacy.

(via Andrew Sullivan)

How long can the one percenters and their thuggish sympathizers keep maintaining the fiction that this is just a bunch of dirty hippie communists who deserve to be hosed down and besieged by dogs and pepper spray when thousands of images of the protests clearly say otherwise?

Just think about how those racist pricks look in classic photos of the civil rights movement's marches -- the ones wielding clubs and dogs and hoses. History looks back at them and sees monsters. Think about it.
posted by spitbull at 11:53 AM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


And no, nangar, he said protesters who march by the homes of rich people deserve to have the riot police unleashed on them. I quoted the relevant passage above. As if Murdoch and Dimon own the sidewalks of NYC.
posted by spitbull at 11:55 AM on October 14, 2011


The fact that you refer nonchalantly to "one guy getting punched by a cop" is interesting. Expecting scuffles is one position, but accepting them carries far more connotations, like being institutionalized to accept state violence. To further consider it "presumptuous" that anyone would care goes even further. Perhaps you should think about that for a while.

Failing to accept a video that has zero actual context of a guy getting punched and arrested, not even the lead in to the punching, is hardly acquiessing to institutionalized violence. Finding it presumptious that few would care globally beyond a set of like-minded first worlders is realistic. I thought this was about the 99% of the country that can't afford to break from the day to day grind because the dice are too stacked against them? I have some rather sad news, 99.99% of the 99% are too busy trying not to become homeless to watch this and to beleive that does not make me an apologist.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:55 AM on October 14, 2011


I don't think he said "deserved". He stated is as a guaranteed outcome. You're putting some loaded words into his mouth.
posted by Think_Long at 11:56 AM on October 14, 2011


(Plus the "blind rage" I referred to was my own, as a NYC taxpayer who doesn't like being told that the $12-15K or so a year I pay in city income taxes and sales taxes doesn't buy me a ticket to walk on the streets where Jamie Dimon lives.
posted by spitbull at 11:57 AM on October 14, 2011


shouldn't they be chanting "a couple hundred people on the internet are watching and possibly tweeting each other"?

Considering the worldwide coverage that happened when those protesters got pepper-sprayed by Tony Balogna--to the point of him becoming a joke on Letterman and Daily Show--I think "the world is watching" is actually quite accurate. There has been quite a lot of foreign press coverage of OWS.
posted by emjaybee at 11:57 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


How many cases have you represented clients in a first amendment situation?

Well there are legal niceties, surely, but really, it's a public forum as long as the public goes there and refuses to leave.

More and more public space is getting sectioned off into private areas and 'free speech zones'. At some point, we, as a people, need to make a stand


I'm sorry, but your interpretation of the case law is incorrect. It is NOT a public forum if the public shows up and refuses to leave.

Let me explain.

first you have to understand regulation of constitutionally permitted activities. The government has the right to regulate constitutionally permitted activities. However, when a court reviews whether or not a government has acted constitutionally, it applies a standard. These standards change depending on the circumstances, what right is being regulated, who is doing the regulating, and if it is not the federal government, whether the 14th Amendment fully incorporated that right into the list of rights that state and local governments are also not allowed to restrict.

When we get to First Amendment rights, we are talking about a fully incorporated right that the States are required to also respect, as of the passing of the 14th amendment. But the test the court uses to determine if the act is constitutional depends on the type of speech and the location. Core Political speech such as OWS is the most highly protected.

However, the government has the right to exclude you from speaking in certain spaces. These are called fora, in the singular, forum. There are public fora and non-public fora. Some government-owned spaces are public fora, some others are non-public fora. Private lands are privately owned and are not fora, and the owners of that area control the expression of speech there. (more on that later).

A public forum can be regulated as to the time, manner and place of the speech.

Take, for example, the White House Situation Room. This is not a public forum, despite the fact that it is owned by the government. The government has the right to restrict you from going in there and speaking. It may even restrict the content of your speech. However, its restrictions in a non-public forum must be viewpoint neutral, which is to say, they can't let Republicans go in there and make a public speech, but bar Democrats. In short, they can say you can't talk about abortion, but they can't restrict only pro-choice or pro-life viewpoints.

Here, we have an issue of what type of fora this is. It is most certainly private property, owned by a non-state actor. However, an argument can be made that it might be a public forum due to its creation via a deal between the city and the private owners. I do not know the state of the jurisprudence on this issue.

The court analyzes restrictions of constitutional rights using a test to determine if the government's action is constitutional--the balance between the government's interest and that of the individual. The tests are (1) rational basis; (2) intermediate scrutiny: (3) strict scrutiny;

Which type of speech a person is being restricted from determines what test the court uses to analyze government action to determine if it is constitutional. Commercial speech is regulated under intermediate scrutiny. Core political speech, such as is here is regulated under strict scrutiny, which means that it must be (1) content neutral; (2) Be narrowly tailored; (3) Serve a significant governmental interest; and (4) Leave open ample alternative channels for communication.

Finally, the other question is this: Even if it is private property, may a private property owner request state action (the police) to regulate speech on its private property? The case Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74 (1980) holds that a state constitution with an affirmative right of free speech may bar state actors from limiting speech on private property.

The NY state constitution, Article I, Section 8 does seem to provide such a right:

Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact. (Amended by vote of the people November 6, 2001.)


This conclusion is supported by a review of the California Constitution that granted affirmative rights to speech in Pruneyard:"Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press."

It would thus appear that the protesters have the right to speak in the park, subject to the reasonable restrictions of the property owner.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:38 PM on October 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


spitbull: "You've clearly got a chip on your shoulder and are going to go down defending the meme that this is a bunch of communist hippies taking over a city that belongs to rich people who own property and stocks."

I didn't say any of that.

Also, spitbull - stop with the ad hominen attacks. If you have something you want to say to me, memail me and say it to me directly.
posted by falameufilho at 12:50 PM on October 14, 2011


Send some socks (nice wool socks for $5.93 a pair, normally $12.50 a pair - I just sent 11 to OWS).

Shipping address:
The UPS Store The UPS Store
118 A Fulton St
#205
Occupy Wall St
New York, NY 10038
posted by syzygy at 12:56 PM on October 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


spitbull: "he said protesters who march by the homes of rich people"

I said RESIDENTIAL AREAS. I never said anything about the income of the people who live on those homes. The UES is an example, because that's where they went. If they went to Bed-Stuy it would be just as bad. Also, not everyone who lives in the UES is rich, as anyone who's ever been east of Lexington Avenue can attest.
posted by falameufilho at 12:56 PM on October 14, 2011


I said RESIDENTIAL AREAS.

Streets and sidewalks are generally considered public fora. No riot police are going to wipe people out--the government would not be able to deny a permit to a reasonable group wishing to march down a street. Especially if core political speech was involved.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:01 PM on October 14, 2011


Let's game out my above post. The property owner can probably clear them out right now based on their failure to follow the rules about sleeping bags, tarps and lying down. Those are reasonable. However, the politics are all wrong for Bloomberg. He is positively harmed by any decision by the Park's board to ask that the protesters be moved because of his girlfriend's presence on the board. He is really hurt by that, actually. His long-time association with big business and Wall Street is also a huge liability. Admittedly, he's not running again, but he wants to have power up to the last minute and he could lose it if he does wrong.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:05 PM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth: "Streets and sidewalks are generally considered public fora."

I'm not questioning the legality of the assembly, I'm not even discussing that. I don't think the NYPD will give a shit if the occupiers start causing "quality of life issues" and public support for OWS drops.

My joke about public forum is that regardless of what the law says, public should mean "owned by all" rather than "owned by some" (or worse, "owned by no one"). The way OWS is using Zucotti Park is more akin to private use. Despite the demographic nonsense they're spouting about "99%", they have basically privatized a public space for a single use by a group that may or may not be representative of a broad swath of the population. Imagine if the Knights of Columbus get mad at the Rotary Club and camp out in Central Park until their grievances are resolved. Is that appropriate use of a public space?
posted by falameufilho at 1:09 PM on October 14, 2011


This is a quagmire! Where's the exit strategy? Why has no planning been done for post protest reconstruction? This can only fizzle out into nothing because even if the 'authorities' wanted to give in to their demands they can't because there are no actual demands out there. Maybe the best compromise would be for all the protesters to take a couple of hours off to pop into the local Apple store to buy their brand new 4S phone while the park gets hosed down then they can all come back and text each other about how they're beating the hell out of big brother capitalism.

In the meantime, maybe you could don a police uniform and run over a protestor's leg with a motorcycle.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:10 PM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Despite the demographic nonsense they're spouting about "99%", they have basically privatized a public space for a single use by a group that may or may not be representative of a broad swath of the population.

That's fucking stupid. You're more than welcome to join them and participate in the General Assembly.
posted by empath at 1:11 PM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ironmouth: "However, the politics are all wrong for Bloomberg. "

That's absolutely right. That's why everybody in City Hall right now is probably praying for the worst winter in history. Or for the protesters to start misbehaving and therefore causing public support to drop.
posted by falameufilho at 1:12 PM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


[folks - try very hard to keep this focused on topics and not people, please? At the point at which it becomes one person vs everyone, please go to email. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 1:13 PM on October 14, 2011


empath: "That's fucking stupid. You're more than welcome to join them and participate in the General Assembly."

You can also buy stock in the companies whose evil influence in Washington you deplore and vote with your shares. Try that for fucking stupid.
posted by falameufilho at 1:16 PM on October 14, 2011


Despite the demographic nonsense they're spouting about "99%", they have basically privatized a public space for a single use by a group that may or may not be representative of a broad swath of the population.

Wait so . . . what? I can't even parse that.
posted by Think_Long at 1:17 PM on October 14, 2011


Ironmouth: "Streets and sidewalks are generally considered public fora."

I'm not questioning the legality of the assembly, I'm not even discussing that. I don't think the NYPD will give a shit if the occupiers start causing "quality of life issues" and public support for OWS drops.

My joke about public forum is that regardless of what the law says, public should mean "owned by all" rather than "owned by some" (or worse, "owned by no one"). The way OWS is using Zucotti Park is more akin to private use. Despite the demographic nonsense they're spouting about "99%", they have basically privatized a public space for a single use by a group that may or may not be representative of a broad swath of the population. Imagine if the Knights of Columbus get mad at the Rotary Club and camp out in Central Park until their grievances are resolved. Is that appropriate use of a public space?


Actually they will give a shit. Big time. Similar cases get settled for a lot of money because you have a lot of protesters.

In terms of "what the law says" and "what you think it should say," the former controls.

Let me explain. This is not a public fora. it is private property. However, it is open to the public. The affirmative right of free speech means that the protesters can use it pursuant to reasonable requirements by the land owner. They picked this park very, very deliberately. The government can't require a permit there because it isn't public land. So the private land owner must provide the reasonable restrictions, which, for political reasons, it finds quite hard to do.

As for privatizing a public space? Hardly. You are not prevented from going down there and putting up a "Rah-Rah Tea Party" sign. No one could stop you. Hence, they have not converted it to a private use--indeed the protesters are not a single entity. They lack corporate status as a non-profit or for profit corporation.

This is all basic stuff here.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:23 PM on October 14, 2011


Again, if you've got some case law on this or similar parks, I'd love to see it

The link I have above to the memo out of Montgomery County cites many appellate decisions from many circuits about public-private partnerships and restricting of rights, look at pages 4+. It's a few years old but I'd be shocked, given my interest, if I missed hearing about the Supremes picking up the matter. I imagine that since the cases seem to all be in support of the public's right(1) they don't have much interest in addressing it since that means no conflict to resolve.(2)

As these public-private partnerships grow more common I am pretty confident we'll see more law made here as these sorts of conflicts - likely lower profile than this - crop up.

falameufilho, I'm not sure how you call what they have done privatizing. It doesn't seem they're stopping anyone from coming out and expressing a contrary point of view or making use of the space. It may not be real pleasant to hang out, given the crowds, but that's not something that makes it different from if it was simply crowded with general use.

(1) It's certainly possible the MoCo author cherry-picked supporting cases that supported their conclusion but I am presuming a certain basic level of professionalism.
(2) I suppose it's also possible nobody pursued it beyond the appellate level but that similarly seems unlikely.
posted by phearlez at 1:30 PM on October 14, 2011


Despite the demographic nonsense they're spouting about "99%", they have basically privatized a public space for a single use by a group that may or may not be representative of a broad swath of the population.
That's fucking stupid. You're more than welcome to join them and participate in the General Assembly.


There seems to be some confusion about the function of the General Assembly. Functionally, it is a decision making body for the Occupy Wall Street movement (a group of people with shared views), not a general democratic forum for the entire population. This is clear from this General Assembly minutes description of a block:
Block—When we have a proposal, we try to reach consensus. If you block that means you have a moral or ethical concern with whatever is being proposed. A block is very serious. If we can still reach 9/10 majority, even with your block, you are choosing to walk away. We don’t want anyone to walk away, so we will do our best to address all blocks.
In a representative body, the people who disagree with its policies can't walk away. It still represents them whether they like it or not. The General Assembly represents only itself.
posted by Jahaza at 1:39 PM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I didn't say it was a representative body. But they aren't preventing anyone from participating -- ie, it's open to the public.
posted by empath at 1:45 PM on October 14, 2011


Oh hey, Senate hopeful and former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert has started a site in opposition to OWS:

The Occupy Wall Street crowd represents the same flawed values that got our country into this economic mess. They possess a false sense of entitlement and think they should be receiving government handouts and run up the debt on an imaginary credit card by making hard-working Americans and future generations pay for the bill.

Please help us reach our goal of 5,000 petition signatures by October 31! We will be sending the petition to President Obama, calling on him to denounce the angry Occupy mob.

posted by emjaybee at 1:50 PM on October 14, 2011


Forgot to add, story on Leppert found here, has more background.
posted by emjaybee at 1:51 PM on October 14, 2011


That's fucking stupid. You're more than welcome to join them and participate in the General Assembly.

he can go down and say anything he wants
posted by Ironmouth at 1:57 PM on October 14, 2011


Please help us reach our goal of 5,000 petition signatures by October 31!

Yes, 5,000 people signing a petition is a lot of people. But it is completely unimpressive compared to 951 cities in 82 countries.
posted by Houstonian at 1:57 PM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


They possess a false sense of entitlement and think they should be receiving government handouts and run up the debt on an imaginary credit card by making hard-working Americans and future generations pay for the bill.

Could you come up with a better characterization of Wall St. in recent years?
posted by telstar at 2:00 PM on October 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Common ground with Tea Partiers (and, probably, with most people who can't afford to buy their own politician or lobbyists):

I’d like to see protesters on either side of the diagram focus more on cronyism between government and corporations, rather than simply decrying the evils of corporate greed or big government without asking why these things should truly trouble us in the first place.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:36 PM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing about getting Tea Partiers involved is that you can't try to convince 'professional tea partiers', because they are Republican hacks. You need to ignore them and go around them. And also not let Democratic party hacks co-opt OWS either.
posted by empath at 2:49 PM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Occupy Madison explicitly rejected co-option by MoveOn.org unless the democrats took a pledge not to accept corporate money.
posted by desjardins at 2:57 PM on October 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


You can also buy stock in the companies whose evil influence in Washington you deplore and vote with your shares.

And the gabillionaires who have a gabilliion shares will all just roll their eyes when you speak up with your wishes because you only have two shares so who cares, and absolutely nothing will change, until corporate influence on politics is curtailed.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:20 PM on October 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


you can't try to convince 'professional tea partiers', because they are Republican hacks

Agreed. I was thinking more of ordinary folks, such as the nice, well-meaning, right-leaning family friends I occasionally spend time with. They're doing their best to get by and having a hard time of it. Many Tea Party talking points resonate with their experiences, are easy to grasp, and easy for them to remember.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:47 PM on October 14, 2011


Does anyone know where I would bring some nice tents I have to donate to Occupy Boston? Or is anyone going there tomorrow through the Westford/Acton area who could stop and pick them up? They are huge, but wheeled, and would be easy to pull. They can hold probably 6 people each and are good in the rain.
posted by theredpen at 4:39 PM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have this delightful mental image of tents full of protesters being pulled around on wheels. A sort of sit-in parade, if you will.

Meanwhile in Tampa, the rather small camp has been told to clear out all tents, supplies, food, and "personal effects," including things like backpacks and handbags. There's also rumor of Mayor Buckhorn adjusting some ordinances for.. something or other... but that hasn't been confirmed yet. TPD has been trying to clear them out for the past three nights, but the legal team is doing an outstanding job.

I suppose the idea is that if the protesters are made as uncomfortable as possible, they'll give up and go home. I guess they missed the part where the campers started after a miserable rainy day - comparatively, this will be easy going.
posted by cmyk at 5:19 PM on October 14, 2011


Ha, that would be awesome, cmyk. I should have been more clear . . . the tents are huge when set up and the carrying cases are not that huge and have wheels for ease of transport :) They are just normal 6- to 8-person tents from Columbia that I should have put in the yard sale but didn't this year, and I would like to see them go to a good cause for their next home!
posted by theredpen at 5:26 PM on October 14, 2011


The Occupy Rochester GA is discussing a potential partnership with a local anti-foreclosure group, "take back the land". Assuming we reach consensus, we'll probably start occupying local bank owned houses around town. There are probably about 500 scattered across the city, not including the suburbs, so things might get interesting around here. For once.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 6:38 PM on October 14, 2011 [19 favorites]


Wow, thsmchnekllsfascist, that's a really interesting idea.
posted by emjaybee at 6:46 PM on October 14, 2011


I stopped by today for an hour or so and I noticed a few things: a) wow that park is clean, b) what? the occupation team is more entrenched in the neighborhood and have stronger logistics than any public information indicates, c) New Yorkers are experts at lines. The revolution might not be televised but it will be an orderly line. Line over here for Ben and Jerry's, line over there for food, right here is the line for coats, line right there to form a line over there.
posted by fuq at 9:23 PM on October 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


David Chiu, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Addresses #OccupySF
posted by finite at 10:45 PM on October 14, 2011


Occupy Streams: Live video streams of occupy movements.
posted by Houstonian at 2:17 AM on October 15, 2011


Pair of Police-Protester Incidents Adds Fuel to Occupy Wall St.
posted by homunculus at 10:25 AM on October 15, 2011


Right-Wing Rabble-Rouser Leaks Thousands of Occupy Wall Street Emails
posted by homunculus at 12:20 PM on October 15, 2011


Livestream and pics from Times Square.
posted by desjardins at 4:09 PM on October 15, 2011


So with that billboard, are we now actually in the Blade Runner universe? http://gothamist.com/2011/10/15/live_video_stream_occupy_wall_stree_1.php#photo-3
posted by The Whelk at 4:40 PM on October 15, 2011


You know, I am just so proud of the whole world right now.
posted by Houstonian at 4:54 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what Alan Moore thinks about V for Vendetta being one of the major influences on anonymous, and this movement in general.
posted by empath at 5:00 PM on October 15, 2011


I don't know about the current movement, but when they were protesting Scientology it gave him "a warm little glow."

It certainly makes Time Warner happy.
posted by homunculus at 5:15 PM on October 15, 2011


I've been trying to find some good information about the number of protesters, nation-wide. I can find small snippets here and there, but I'd really like a clear report about everything that happened today.

I doubt anything like that really exists, given how there isn't any general organizational power behind all of this... But anyone got some good sources for me?
posted by meese at 5:19 PM on October 15, 2011


This MSNBC article has a bunch of numbers for different locations.

Keep in mind, however, that MSNBC estimates 5,000 in Times Square today on that page, even though WNBC (local NYC NBC station) estimates 10,000 (or possibly even 10-20k earlier on air according to the Gothamist page desjardins linked to above).

So...that probably means as usual no definitive numbers are forthcoming.
posted by nobody at 5:36 PM on October 15, 2011


I don't have it any more, but one article I just read estimated the Times Square crowd as "As many as 1,000." So, that's fantastic.
posted by meese at 5:38 PM on October 15, 2011


NYPD Arrests Woman For Closing Her Citibank Account
posted by homunculus at 5:42 PM on October 15, 2011


Just got home from the Tampa event. It was playful and friendly, lots of kids and dogs, and as before there were folks of all ages and colors and lifestyles. I got some photos that I liked, and I met the most wonderful English Mastiff who showed that she liked me by sitting on my foot. Aaawww.
posted by cmyk at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2011


NYPD Arrests Woman at Citibank
posted by JackarypQQ at 7:19 PM on October 15, 2011


That's horrible.
posted by grouse at 7:48 PM on October 15, 2011


a group that may or may not be representative of a broad swath of the population.

LOL. For a moment there I thought you were referring to the US Congress.
posted by spitbull at 8:31 PM on October 15, 2011


You can also buy stock in the companies whose evil influence in Washington you deplore and vote with your shares.


Oh, I wonder why the unemployed and foreclosed upon haven't thought of that! How simple! Just buy some stock, that's the trick! And while they're at it, maybe they could buy some members of congress like the rich folks do as well!
posted by spitbull at 8:34 PM on October 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, spitbull - stop with the ad hominen attacks. If you have something you want to say to me, memail me and say it to me directly.
posted by falameufilho


I don't use MeMail and even if I did, I wouldn't engage with you privately. And you calling out anyone else for ad hominem attacks is rich pudding indeed.

And I *am* saying it to you directly. Right here. In what possible respect has anything I have said been indirect? I've been speaking specifically to your mischaracterization of the OWS movement and its membership. Directly.
posted by spitbull at 8:40 PM on October 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


THE WHOLE WORLD IS TWEETING! THE WHOLE WORLD IS TWEETING!
posted by telstar at 9:03 PM on October 15, 2011


You can listen to the NYPD on a police scanner here. They're apparently making arrests at Broadway and Prince.
posted by Jahaza at 10:03 PM on October 15, 2011


NYPD Arrests Woman at Citibank

Now can we call this fascism? Or do we get some dumb asshole invoking Godwin?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:21 PM on October 15, 2011


I've been trying to find some good information about the number of protesters, nation-wide.

It was so spread out, and in so many surprising areas. You can go to Google News and type in "occupy" plus the name of any state and find local reports from larger cities and small towns. Really, like I tried North Dakota where the unemployment rate is pretty low -- yup, protests. Mississippi -- there. Oklahoma -- there. Wyoming -- there. Kansas -- there. Puerto Rico -- there.

One woman occupying the tundra outside Bethel, Alaska (population 6400) -- so totally there.
posted by Houstonian at 3:05 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting blog from Mark Cuban on Occupy Wall Street.

It's nice to be reminded that even some of the 1% support some of the ideals of the 99%.
posted by syzygy at 4:23 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Even a few .00001%ers coming out in support of OWS - Howard Buffet speaks about the Occupy Wall Street protests.
posted by syzygy at 4:35 AM on October 16, 2011


On Oct. 6, in Santa Cruz, another issue with closing a bank account -- this time with Bank of America. A bank employee locked them in the building (not the police) and told them, "You cannot be a protester and a customer at the same time."

So, you have to choose. If you protest their greed and want to close your account, an employee can lock you into a building and refuse to give you your money. The bank lobby is like a little holding cell.
posted by Houstonian at 4:40 AM on October 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, I wonder why the unemployed and foreclosed upon haven't thought of that! How simple! Just buy some stock, that's the trick!

Or: Let them eat stock!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:01 AM on October 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


GINI ranking at the CIA's World Factbook.
The more unequal a country's income distribution, the farther its Lorenz curve from the 45 degree line and the higher its Gini index, e.g., a Sub-Saharan country with an index of 50.
The GINI in the US is 45.0, according to the CIA's own ranking - that's 5 points away from the CIA's "Sub-Saharan country" example of high inequality.

The EU GINI: 30.4.
posted by syzygy at 5:09 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This summarises nicely what I've personally found the most interesting thing about the various 'anti-globalisation' protest movements. It's debatable how much they've achieved against their stated targets. But in time, perhaps, what will be more important is the people they've brought together, and how the nature of the internal organisation has developed.

The Fight for 'Real Democracy' at the Heart of Occupy Wall Street
If together these different protest encampments -- from Cairo and Tel Aviv to Athens, Madison, Madrid, and now New York -- express a dissatisfaction with the existing structures of political representation, then what do they offer as an alternative? What is the "real democracy" they propose?

The clearest clues lie in the internal organization of the movements themselves -- specifically, the way the encampments experiment with new democratic practices. These movements have all developed according to what we call a "multitude form" and are characterized by frequent assemblies and participatory decision-making structures. (And it is worth recognizing in this regard that Occupy Wall Street and many of these other demonstrations also have deep roots in the globalization protest movements that stretched at least from Seattle in 1999 to Genoa in 2001.)

[snipped blah about twitter for brevity]

Do not wait for the encampments, then, to develop leaders or political representatives. No Martin Luther King, Jr. will emerge from the occupations of Wall Street and beyond. For better or worse -- and we are certainly among those who find this a promising development -- this emerging cycle of movements will express itself through horizontal participatory structures, without representatives. Such small-scale experiments in democratic organizing would have to be developed much further, of course, before they could articulate effective models for a social alternative, but they are already powerfully expressing the aspiration for a "real democracy."

Meta to above: http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/10/12/occupy-wall-street-a-new-era-of-dissent-in-america/, with quotes from the guy who wrote the book on the ethnography of the global justice movement.
posted by titus-g at 5:38 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the globalrevolution stream, they said that they've been told they must leave the park by 8PM today unless they get permission from the park owners to stay. They seemed unconcerned. The only plan they mentioned is that there is a church nearby that has offered sanctuary -- the church will give them permission to be on their property. Looking at Google Maps, I bet that's Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church which posted a very supportive blog entry about the movement ten days ago.
posted by Houstonian at 6:21 AM on October 16, 2011


We are the 1% - We stand with the 99%
posted by syzygy at 6:49 AM on October 16, 2011


Wow. This fringe, marginal, dirty fucking hippie, anti-capitalist anarchist movement has just been strongly endorsed by . . . Suze Orman, of all people. What's next, Oprah? How long can people like Rush Limbaugh keep calling OWS a movement of "parasites" and "trust fund kids?" (Last link is, so far, my favorite image of the protests other than this one.)
posted by spitbull at 9:20 AM on October 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


#OccupyWallSt sign of the day: "It's Wrong."
posted by homunculus at 10:13 AM on October 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I get a lot of ideas for websites I never create. "I have an idea for a website" usually gets an exasperated sigh, but here you go:

rentanoccupier.com (It's available as of this writing.)

For $100 someone will go down and protest for you. Of you can go protest for someone else for the same $100. This is per hour! For an extra $100 an hour you will hold their misspelled sign.

Seriously, this could be expanded to rentateapartier.com and can be scaled to cover any new protests.

I would love to go to one of these events with a sign that reads "I am being paid to be here." Partially because I would love to see the reactions of the crowds, but mostly because I could use the money.

This would rule in my mind. Everyone wins.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:36 PM on October 16, 2011


How about rentarentier.com?
posted by grouse at 1:39 PM on October 16, 2011


For $100 someone will go down and protest for you. Of you can go protest for someone else for the same $100. This is per hour! For an extra $100 an hour you will hold their misspelled sign. [...] I would love to go to one of these events with a sign that reads "I am being paid to be here." Partially because I would love to see the reactions of the crowds, but mostly because I could use the money.

I think this is is a bad idea and that you are seriously missing the point.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:20 PM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is per hour! For an extra $100 an hour you will hold their misspelled sign.

Do you have any idea how much money the average person in the US gets by on in a day?
posted by empath at 2:22 PM on October 16, 2011


Kidding aside, the VRWRM already has a 'paid to protest' narrative going , c.f. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20111010195522AAdZuQm
posted by titus-g at 3:27 PM on October 16, 2011


VRWRM?
posted by Houstonian at 3:54 PM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Live stream of OccupySF where police are arresting people right now
posted by finite at 12:28 AM on October 17, 2011


Houstonian: Vast Right Wing Rumour Mill™
posted by titus-g at 1:38 AM on October 17, 2011


[A few comments removed, take it to email already instead of arguing in-thread about whether you should take it to email.]
posted by cortex at 7:42 AM on October 17, 2011


A Protester’s Account of This Weekend’s Citibank Arrests
posted by homunculus at 1:03 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish all these people breaking the law didn't get so upset about getting arrested for breaking the law.

I think probably that screaming and crying about it, and also basically lying about what you were doing isn't super helpful.

They didn't get arrested for closing their accounts. They got arrested for being disruptive and refusing to leave. Unless they're making a statement about the right to be obnoxious in a bank, i don't see what they were going for here.
posted by empath at 2:34 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


WHAT (from the BusinessInsider article)
posted by anthill at 4:26 PM on October 17, 2011


Over 1,000 Americans Have Been Arrested Protesting Wall Street, While Bankers Have Dodged Major Prosecutions
posted by homunculus at 4:35 PM on October 17, 2011


Doing that will require public financing of elections and ending corporate personhood - at least one of which will require a Supreme Court very far to the left of the one we have now.

Speaking of SCOTUS and corporate personhood: Supreme Court To Rule On Corporate Personhood For Crimes Against Humanity
posted by homunculus at 5:22 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


anthill: WHAT

The graph represents the amount of excess reserves parked by banks at the Fed. The idea was to pump that money into banks and have them lend it out to spur economic activity, but that hasn't happened.

The Fed does, indeed, pay a low rate of interest on these reserves (.25% at the moment). The Fed announced the policy in October of 2008 (just after the crash). The idea is that the interest is used to offset the opportunity cost the banks incur by not lending the money out to other parties.

There are some who speculate that the unprecedented growth in the excess reserves number could lead to a situation where banks, all of a sudden, decide to take a large chunk of that money out of the fed and put it into the economy, which could spur massive inflation.

You see that the number has been around $1 billion for most of the history of the graph, and I believe it was at about that level all the way back to some time during the Great Depression, with maybe a couple of blips (for instance, you see a tiny blip just after 9/11 - dwarfed by the current number).

</not_a_banker>
posted by syzygy at 5:22 PM on October 17, 2011


anthill: More detailed info on the Fed paying interest to banks on excess reserves here.
posted by syzygy at 5:27 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Martin Luther King Jr.’s Lessons For Occupy D.C.
posted by homunculus at 7:33 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Then Meets Now
posted by The Whelk at 8:06 PM on October 17, 2011


Not sure if this has been posted yet, (these threads have multiplied, occupy metafilter) but the Occupy Writers site has a list of writers who've signed on in support of OWS, and some of them have begun to contribute short essays or prose about the movement, such as this Lemony Snicket piece.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:53 PM on October 17, 2011


Marines Vs. NYPD
posted by The Whelk at 10:59 PM on October 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the Lemony Snicket piece posted by stagewhisper up there ^^. If ever there's been a line that really was funny 'cos it's true....
Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.
posted by titus-g at 12:58 AM on October 18, 2011


I enjoyed this eyewitness account, which has a bonus theoretical frame to it. Third in a series.

All the talk of Working Groups and so on seems vaguely embarrassing, but these people are getting things done and I'm grateful for them.

Her concluding paragraph:
While I too have struggled with my own normative assumptions about what "effective" political mobilization looks like, and had a tremendous amount of anxiety earlier in my participation, OWS has helped me understand ethnographically -- in a lived way -- the power of effects over plans, practices over strategies. I would encourage all of us to expand what is imaginable with Occupy Wall Street, and to acknowledge the fundamental shortcomings of only focusing on a liberal democratic electoral platform, for example. When matter out of place is defended by so many within a social order, it is that social order that is showing signs of change.
posted by col_pogo at 1:02 AM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Doing that will require public financing of elections and ending corporate personhood - at least one of which will require a Supreme Court very far to the left of the one we have now.

Speaking of SCOTUS and corporate personhood: Supreme Court To Rule On Corporate Personhood For Crimes Against Humanity


This is why the problem is Citizens United and not the doctrine of artificial persons. Without that doctrine, a corporation may not sue, be sued, enter into an enforceable contract, or be held liable criminally. That's why you don't get rid of it. It was introduced to prevent abuses. The problem is the Citizens United decision and its ilk. People who want to get rid of corporate personhood are letting the fox into the henhouse and do not understand the law or the history of it. If there were no corporate personhood, the case above would result in the corporation getting off the hook.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:57 PM on October 18, 2011


Over 1,000 Americans Have Been Arrested Protesting Wall Street, While Bankers Have Dodged Major Prosecutions

What are they supposed to be prosecuted for? I don't see what federal or local offense they could be charged with. The idea is getting stronger regulations and higher taxes for them.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:01 PM on October 18, 2011


Well, it is a little hard to figure out how to prosecute bankers when the SEC is destroying all the evidence for them.
posted by mek at 1:12 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


What are they supposed to be prosecuted for? I don't see what federal or local offense they could be charged with.

Fraud.

California's attorney general has tried to sue Countrywide Financial for false advertising over some bait-and-switch ads pitching low interest rates for home refinancing. They'd bury the details about what the interest rates would be in complicated language in the contract, so as to obscure the fact that the interest rates were actually higher than advertised.

Also, some employees from Ameriquest have testified that they were encouraged to falsify mortgage and sell them to Wall Street investors. Other types of faking-the-mortgage-paperwork happened at other banks, people have testified, at the direction of bankers eager to sell even more mortgages in these weird mortgage package deals that were being traded on Wall Street.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:13 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth: It seems that corporate personhood is rife for abuse in other ways - why wouldn't it make more sense to just allow non-person corporate entities to enter into contracts, sue, etc.?

Simply, the principle of least privilege that's widely practiced in data security - start with no permissions and grant essential permissions.

Corporations simply aren't people - there are plenty of functional differences - why shouldn't we craft laws specifically for business cases, and laws specifically for human cases?
posted by odinsdream at 1:20 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, it is a little hard to figure out how to prosecute bankers when the SEC is destroying all the evidence for them.

Jesus! What the fuck!?
posted by odinsdream at 1:39 PM on October 18, 2011


Ironmouth: It seems that corporate personhood is rife for abuse in other ways - why wouldn't it make more sense to just allow non-person corporate entities to enter into contracts, sue, etc.?

Simply, the principle of least privilege that's widely practiced in data security - start with no permissions and grant essential permissions.

Corporations simply aren't people - there are plenty of functional differences - why shouldn't we craft laws specifically for business cases, and laws specifically for human cases?


The problem is the doctrine of standing, one of the oldest and most fundamental doctrines in our legal system. You must have standing to sue and be sued. In order to sue a person, they must have standing. From that, they can be served and the like.

A corporation is a corporate body. It includes trusts, estates, non-profits, university boards of trustees, school districts. They are all corporate bodies. They are all artificial persons.

If these persons were not artificial persons, one would have to find out each and every stockholder and their names and addresses and effect service on each and every one of them.

To make the changes you wish to change would require changing literally almost every law we have that effects a corporate body of any kind. seems stupid when you can just have the doctrine of artificial personhood. every change would give a corporation a loophole to get through if it isn't done right.

the people who are mad about corporate personhood are not lawyers. They were trying to make a point that corporations have grown too powerful in our society. That is certainly so--but not because of the doctrine of artificial personhood. it is because of the immense amount of wealth they control and the fact that Citizens United extends the right to free speech to artificial persons in a way that allows for unlimited donations to PACS.

In fact, the real problem is just the PACs and the unlimited donations. I have zero problem with a corporation being allowed to donate the same amount as an individual. Its fairly limited. I think the unlimited pacs rule sucks, for people and for corporations.

There was a time when corporations weren't reached by the artificial person doctrine. Nobody could sue them. They got away with everything because you had to serve every shareholder and sue all the shareholders individually. It was a disaster. The doctrine is designed to protect real people.

It makes for a good headline "they're treated like people" but the actual facts are far different.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:08 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


What are they supposed to be prosecuted for? I don't see what federal or local offense they could be charged with.

Fraud.

California's attorney general has tried to sue Countrywide Financial for false advertising over some bait-and-switch ads pitching low interest rates for home refinancing. They'd bury the details about what the interest rates would be in complicated language in the contract, so as to obscure the fact that the interest rates were actually higher than advertised.

Also, some employees from Ameriquest have testified that they were encouraged to falsify mortgage and sell them to Wall Street investors. Other types of faking-the-mortgage-paperwork happened at other banks, people have testified, at the direction of bankers eager to sell even more mortgages in these weird mortgage package deals that were being traded on Wall Street.


Those offenses should be prosecuted. But the idea that "bankers" should "go to jail" for unspecified crimes because they were stupid is wrong. They need to be charged with specific offenses.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:09 PM on October 18, 2011


The statement is more like: Many bankers should be in jail but aren't because a corrupt political system and captured regulatory framework have fostered a culture of systematic criminality in the financial sector. To say that throwing the book at the current bankers would fix the financial sector is as stupid as saying killing drug dealers will win the War on Drugs. It's feel good bread-and-circuses stuff, terrible policy. More will pop up to take their place as long as the money is that good.
posted by mek at 2:19 PM on October 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Those offenses should be prosecuted. But the idea that "bankers" should "go to jail" for unspecified crimes because they were stupid is wrong. They need to be charged with specific offenses.

You're certain people aren't trying to form cases?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:51 PM on October 18, 2011


The Wall Street Journal today published an opinion piece by Doug Schoen wherein he blatantly lies about his own poll statistics in order to claim that the majority of protesters at OWS are in united in opposition to free-market capitalism and in support for the radical redistribution of wealth.

(spoiler: his poll showed, at most, only 3% and 4% OWS protesters in favor of those answers, respectively. I guess 3%-4% is the new 99%?)
posted by stagewhisper at 4:19 PM on October 18, 2011


Also, only 3-4% my fellow OWS peeps? I am disappoint.
posted by stagewhisper at 4:21 PM on October 18, 2011


I just learned that under Murdoch, the Wall Street Journal agreed to publish feature articles promoting a business partner in exchange for financial consideration as part of a circulation scam. Since WSJ coverage can apparently now be bought, they have even less credibility.
posted by grouse at 4:28 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it would be a relatively simple fix to write a law saying that corporations are not considered persons for the purposes of 1st amendment protections.
posted by empath at 4:32 PM on October 18, 2011


This is why the problem is Citizens United and not the doctrine of artificial persons.

I think the problem is that the subordinate role of Artificial Legal Entities to Human Beings needs to be clarified. Sure an ALE can contract, etc, but since they don't have a vote, it should be unlawful for these creations to attempt to influence policy.
posted by mikelieman at 5:32 PM on October 18, 2011


I think it would be a relatively simple fix to write a law saying that corporations are not considered persons for the purposes of 1st amendment protections.

You need a constitutional amendment, due to the ruling.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:10 AM on October 19, 2011


This is why the problem is Citizens United and not the doctrine of artificial persons.

I think the problem is that the subordinate role of Artificial Legal Entities to Human Beings needs to be clarified. Sure an ALE can contract, etc, but since they don't have a vote, it should be unlawful for these creations to attempt to influence policy.


so non profits cannot influence policy?
posted by Ironmouth at 9:12 AM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Former Financial Regulator William Black: Occupy Wall Street a Counter to White-Collar Fraud
AMY GOODMAN: And how would these powerful financial entities be held accountable? What exactly should happen?

WILLIAM BLACK: It all starts with the regulators, which is why it’s all not started here, because we have, of course, the wrecking crew, Bush’s wrecking crew, what Tom Frank called them, in charge, and they stopped making criminal referrals. So our agency, in the savings and loan crisis, made over 10,000 criminal referrals to the FBI. That same agency, in this crisis, made zero criminal referrals. If you don’t get people pointing the way and pointing to the top of the organization, you don’t get effective prosecutions. So, in the peak of the savings and loan crisis, we had a thousand FBI agents. This crisis has losses 70 times larger than the savings and loan crisis. And the savings and loan crisis, when it happened, was considered the largest financial scandal in U.S. history. So we’re now 70 times worse. And as recently as 2007, we had 120 FBI agents—one-eighth as many FBI agents for a crisis 70 times larger. And they looked not at the big folks, but almost exclusively at the little folks.

AMY GOODMAN: William Black, you mentioned Bush’s wrecking crew, but we live in the time of President Obama.

WILLIAM BLACK: And we’ve been living for some years in the time of President Obama, and he has done absolutely nothing to reestablish the criminal referral process. And as a result, there are virtually no prosecutions of any elites.
posted by homunculus at 9:38 AM on October 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


Citigroup agreed to pay $285 million to settle a civil fraud complaint that it misled investors in a $1 billion derivatives deal tied to the United States housing market, then bet against the investors as the housing market began to show signs of distress, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday. (NYT link)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:35 AM on October 19, 2011


You need a constitutional amendment, due to the ruling.

Did the ruling rely on the constitution alone?
posted by empath at 12:03 PM on October 19, 2011


You need a constitutional amendment, due to the ruling.

Did the ruling rely on the constitution alone?


CU is binding case law from the highest court in the land. To change the ruling, you either amend the Constitution, or you wait for the Court to overrule itself on precisely the point that you want it to overrule. As much of a longshot as the former is, the latter is even more of a reach.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:09 PM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not arguing that CU isn't binding given the current state of the law. I haven't read CU, I was asking if the ruling was based on corporate personhood being entirely a constitutional principle, because that seems frankly insane to me. I'm fairly sure the word 'corporation' isn't even mentioned in the constitution. It has to be relying on other laws, which can be changed.
posted by empath at 12:11 PM on October 19, 2011


Nah, it's just relying on other case law, which can only be changed by the same court that didn't care to.
posted by mek at 12:13 PM on October 19, 2011


I'm not arguing that CU isn't binding given the current state of the law. I haven't read CU, I was asking if the ruling was based on corporate personhood being entirely a constitutional principle, because that seems frankly insane to me. I'm fairly sure the word 'corporation' isn't even mentioned in the constitution. It has to be relying on other laws, which can be changed.

First off, that's the problem. Nobody reads the decision, yet assumes they know what it is about.

Second, Citizens United isn't about a corporation's right to free speech. Its about whether or not issue advertising by corporations and by unions can be banned within a certain period of the election. Corporations being able to have first amendment rights is old hat. Otherwise, how could a newspaper avoid censorship?

Here's your list of cases finding that a Corporation has First Amendment rights:
The Court has recognized that First Amendment protection extends to corporations. Bellotti, supra , at 778, n. 14 (citing Linmark Associates, Inc. v. Willingboro , 431 U. S. 85 (1977) ; Time, Inc. v. Firestone , 424 U. S. 448 (1976) ; Doran v. Salem Inn, Inc. , 422 U. S. 922 (1975) ; Southeastern Promotions, Ltd. v. Conrad , 420 U. S. 546 (1975) ; Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn , 420 U. S. 469 (1975) ; Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo , 418 U. S. 241 (1974) ; New York Times Co. v. United States , 403 U. S. 713 (1971) (per curiam); Time, Inc. v. Hill , 385 U. S. 374 (1967) ; New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254 ; Kingsley Int’l Pictures Corp. v. Regents of Univ. of N. Y. , 360 U. S. 684 (1959) ; Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson , 343 U. S. 495 (1952) ); see, e.g., Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC , 520 U. S. 180 (1997) ; Denver Area Ed. Telecommunications Consortium, Inc. v. FCC , 518 U. S. 727 (1996) ; Turner , 512 U. S. 622 ; Simon & Schuster , 502 U. S. 105 ; Sable Communications of Cal., Inc. v. FCC , 492 U. S. 115 (1989) ; Florida Star v. B. J. F. , 491 U. S. 524 (1989) ; Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. v. Hepps , 475 U. S. 767 (1986) ; Landmark Communications, Inc. v. Virginia , 435 U. S. 829 (1978) ; Young v. American Mini Theatres, Inc. , 427 U. S. 50 (1976) ; Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. , 418 U. S. 323 (1974) ; Greenbelt Cooperative Publishing Assn., Inc. v. Bresler , 398 U. S. 6 (1970) .

This protection has been extended by explicit holdings to the context of political speech. See, e.g., Button , 371 U. S., at 428–429; Grosjean v. American Press Co. , 297 U. S. 233, 244 (1936) . Under the rationale of these precedents, political speech does not lose First Amendment protection “simply because its source is a corporation.” Bellotti, supra, at 784; see Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. v. Public Util. Comm’n of Cal. , 475 U. S. 1, 8 (1986) (plurality opinion) (“The identity of the speaker is not decisive in determining whether speech is protected. Corporations and other associations, like individuals, contribute to the ‘discussion, debate, and the dissemination of information and ideas’ that the First Amendment seeks to foster” (quoting Bellotti, 435 U. S., at 783)). The Court has thus rejected the argument that political speech of corporations or other associations should be treated differently under the First Amendment simply because such associations are not “natural persons.” Id., at 776; see id. , at 780, n. 16. Cf. id. , at 828 (Rehnquist, J., dissenting).
Corporations do have free speech rights. Otherwise, NAACP, NRA, Sierra Club, the New York Times would not have free speech rights. Indeed, Kraft could be prevented entirely from even putting a word on their boxes by a government law if corporations did not have free speech.

The problem is speech=money. The Court has long ruled that the spending of funds on speech is the same as speech. It tossed out the McCain-Feingold rules based on that formula. That's wrong. It has nothing to do with artificial persons or real persons. Are you really for the Sierra Club not having the right to say what it wants to? That's the position that corporations don't have free speech rights.

Its the money issue. That's the problem money does not equal speech.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:51 PM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wall Street cash still backing Obama: The president has managed to raise more money this year from the sector than any GOP contender.
posted by homunculus at 9:12 AM on October 20, 2011


Long-ish (but worth it) video interview with Chris Hedges from the Times Square march. The last minute or so is amazing and made me cry along with him.
posted by stagewhisper at 2:45 PM on October 20, 2011


Goldman Sachs v. Occupy Wall Street
posted by homunculus at 10:25 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


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