In an attempt to highlight the importance of whistleblowers, Julian Assange chose to have WikiLeaks‘ Collateral Murder footage as background for his speech at the Sam Adams Awards, an award dedicated to whistleblowers. The ceremony was organized by the Oxford Union. As a result of the video playing in the background and unsuccessful attempts to vet Julian’s speech, the Union pulled the live stream from the event and spent two days substituting the US Army massacre footage with their logo. The Union claimed they feared that the US government would take legal action concerning “copyright” of the Apache gun camera footage. Wikileaks advised the Union that by law and practice the US government does not claim copyrights on footage or documents that it produces, the Union still decided to censor the video.
Crowds gathered again outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday as oral arguments took place to determine the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The American people and millions around the world have been enslaved. Here’s how.
“The sanctuary at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew on Clinton Avenue is brimming with donated clothes, children’s books and diapers. The church’s heavy wooden doors are open and the air inside is cool. Volunteers in wool hats and down jackets flit about, chatting with each other as they assemble care packages with toothbrushes and toothpaste and load cars with cleaning supplies and bottled water to deliver to neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Since Saturday, Occupy Sandy, the grassroots relief effort developed by Occupy Wall Street organizers, through networks such as Inter Occupy, has had a main distribution and volunteer training center in the church.
Guided by the same principles as Occupy Wall Street, such as mutual aid and gaining traction through Facebook and Twitter, Occupy Sandy seeks to provide immediate relief to those who need it most. Occupy Sandy volunteers feel they are participating in democracy in action. They didn’t ignore the national election, but it wasn’t the pervading topic at their outpost here. Jamie Munro, 27, began volunteering with Occupy Sandy as soon as the movement began.”*
Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss the story of the group previously criticized for lack of organization organizing to help another cause in New York.
*Read more from Gabrielle Alfiero/ New York Times: http://fort-greene.thelocal.nytimes.com/2012/11/07/occupy-sandy-offers-aid-to…
Finally an admission. An Austin Police Officer admits in court yesterday during a pre-trial hearing, that almost from the Beginning, Occupy Austin was infiltrated by Police, who acted as instigators. Officers also had role in making possible illegal device used in Occupy Houston protest.
An Austin police officer has testified in a pre-trial hearing in Houston about allegations he encouraged criminal behavior as an undercover agent in the Occupy movement.
We did some digging and found court documents from Houston that reveal activists’ allegations that Austin Police Department Detective Shannon Dowell pushed them to break the law.
(via Austin American-Statesman) Soon after Occupy Austin protesters began their months-long demonstration at City Hall last fall, Austin police officials assigned at least three undercover officers to infiltrate the group to gather intelligence on any plans that might break the law.
The officers camped with other participants in the movement, marched in rallies and attended strategy meetings with Occupy Austin members.
The officers also may have crossed a fine line in undercover police work: They helped plan and manufacture devices – often called “lockboxes” – that allowed Occupy members to tie themselves together during a protest in Houston, according to interviews and court records. The use of the devices, which makes it harder for police to break up human chains, resulted in Houston police filing felony charges against seven protesters who had attempted to block a port entrance in Houston on Dec. 12.
The revelations include behind-the-scenes details of the lengths the Police Department went to in its efforts to monitor and control the Occupy Austin movement, which maintained a presence at City Hall for nearly five months. According to court documents, police brass up to and including Chief Art Acevedo approved the infiltration operation.
Police officials confirmed the use of undercover officers in the Occupy Austin movement but declined to comment on the officers’ role in obtaining the lockbox.
The infiltration operation has prompted a high-level review in the Austin Police Department. Assistant Police Chief Sean Mannix said that “we are absolutely looking into all aspects of what their undercover work was.” Mannix would not discuss the specific actions of officers but said he doesn’t think any laws or departmental policies were violated.
It also was the topic of a hearing in a Harris County district court case earlier this week, in which protester Ronnie Garza is seeking to have the charges against him dropped.
It’s not clear who first proposed making the lockboxes. But during the hearing, attorneys and Austin Police Detective Shannon Dowell – who wore a long black beard and was known to Occupy members as “Butch” – disclosed that Dowell had purchased PVC pipe and other materials with Occupy Austin money and delivered the finished lockboxes to group members.
The devices used in the Houston protest are generally built from 5-foot lengths of 5-inch wide PVC pipe with a bolt inserted in the center. Two protesters can put their arms in the pipe and grip the bolt, making it difficult for police to pull them apart.
Garza’s attorney, Greg Gladden, said the case against his client should be dismissed because Dowell and other undercover police played a central role in the charges filed against Garza. While 10 protesters who didn’t use the lockboxes were charged with lower-level misdemeanors, Harris County prosecutors charged Garza and six others with felonies, using an obscure statute that prohibits using a device that is manufactured or adapted for the purpose of participating in a crime. They face up to two years in jail.
“Entrapment is one term,” Gladden said. “Police misconduct might be another term.”
Harris County District Judge Joan Campbell, who initially dismissed the case – prosecutors then took it before a grand jury and obtained indictments – said she plans to decide next week whether the case will go forward.
During a hearing Monday, she expressed frustration at Dowell, who failed to bring records to court that Gladden had subpoenaed. Dowell said he lost a small computer drive containing photos when it apparently fell out of his pocket and into the gutter of a Houston hotel where he had stayed. He added that while he had sent and received emails related to the undercover operation from his work computer, they had been deleted.
Gladden was skeptical of the explanations. “I think he decided it was time the dog ate his homework,” he said.
Although Campbell said she would not immediately force officials to release the names of the other undercover Austin officers Dowell worked with, she might do so in the future.
Mannix said that soon after the movement started, police began receiving reports from participants and other confidential informants that some participants may have been planning to protest in illegal ways.
“We obviously had an interest in ensuring people didn’t step it up to criminal activity,” Mannix said. “There is obviously a vested public interest to make sure that we didn’t allow civil unrest, violent actions to occur.”
The use of undercover officers during the movement surprised some Occupy Austin protesters. During the demonstration, police had touted their relationship with the group, and Acevedo posed for photos with members.
“It’s a shame the Austin Police Department felt they had to pay three officers to spy on us under the guise of protection,” said David Cortez, who said he helped coordinate bank protests for the movement. “The assumption that police were needed to protect folks in their expression of free speech is a farce.”
In the course of defending Garza, Gladden asked who made the lockboxes. The protesters identified a man they only knew as “Butch.” He and two friends persuaded the assembly to let them buy the materials for the lockboxes, Gladden said.
“They solicited money to go to Lowe’s,” he said. “They then built them at home and came back with change and receipts and the devices.”
Mannix defended the officers’ actions.
“If a predetermination had been made that type of device was going to be used, the involved officers almost have a responsibility to ensure the safety of protesters and first responders by ensuring that the device used isn’t booby-trapped or difficult to defeat,” Mannix said.
But Jim Dozier, a criminal justice professor at Sam Houston State University and former director of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, said having the police officers manufacture the devices was risky.
“It doesn’t seem very wise without a plan,” he said. “How did you plan to track them? How did you plan to keep control of them?”
Cortez said Butch was well-known within the Occupy movement. “People liked him,” he said. “He was a personable guy.” Cortez also said he recalled Butch asking him several times “when we were going to stop debating and start taking more action.”
Gladden described a long sleuthing process that used social media to identify Butch. That effort began with an anonymous email to an Occupy Austin member from someone who said that Butch was a former high school classmate of his wife’s.
They then tracked him to Round Rock and, finally, using a high school yearbook photo, identified him as Dowell and discovered he was an Austin police officer.
Original Article by By Tony Plohetski and Eric Dexheimer of The Austin American-Statesman appears here.
- Austin police infiltrated Occupy Austin (statesman.com)
- Austin police occupy Occupy (statesman.com)
- Police admit to infiltrating Occupy Austin, may have acted as provocateurs (engineeringevil.com)
- Police admit to infiltrating Occupy Austin, may have acted as provocateurs | The Raw Story (aboriginalpress.wordpress.com)
Makana tells the FULL STORY as well as sings the full version of the song, “We Are The Many.”
Makana’s guitar tech shot this with a camera phone during his performance for the World Leaders Dinner at APEC, which was hosted by the First Family.
Makana wore an “Occupy with Aloha” t-shirt under his black blazer and sang his newest song, “We are the Many,” an anthem of sorts for Occupy protestors.
He had to be extremely discreet as Secret Service had warned those on site that any phones used to capture photography or video would be confiscated. Since the technician has a guitar tuner app on the phone they were able to justify having it out, but grabbing video was not easy. They were under constant surveillance. Makana likes to have video of his every performance saying, “It’s my art and my right.”
About an hour into his set of generally ambient guitar music and Hawaiian tunes, he felt inspired to share some songs that resonated with the significance of the occasion.
He sang a few verses from “Kaulana Na Pua” (a famous Hawaiian protest song in honor of the anniversary of our Queen’s passing), then segued into Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” Sting’s “Fragile,” and finally his newest song “We Are The Many.”
Makana’s goal was not to disturb the guests in an offensive fashion but rather to subliminally fill their ears and hearts with a message that might be more effectively received in a subconscious manner. He sweetly sang lines like “You enforce your monopolies with guns/ While sacrificing our daughters and sons/ But certain things belong to everyone/ Your thievery has left the people none.” The event protocol was such that everyone there kept their expressions quite muffled. Now and then Makana would get strange, befuddled stares from Heads of State. It was a very quiet room with no waiters; only myself, the sound techs, and the leaders of almost half the world’s population.
If he had chosen to disrupt the dinner and force my message I would have been stopped short. He instead chose to deliver an extremely potent message in a polite manner for a prolonged interval.
I dedicate this action to those who would speak truth to power but were not allowed the opportunity.
The lyrics include, “Ye come here gather ’round the stage; The time has come for us to voice our rage.”
The morning before the performance, Makana said he was initially afraid about singing the piece, but decided to do it anyway because he believes APEC’s leaders are not representing common people.
“It was my message that they are occupying Hawaii right now and they need to do it with aloha and not just say it,” he said. “I don’t personally feel they’ve done that. They are not representing the people they purport to represent.”
Occupy Wall Street gathers on the steps of Federal Hall to counter the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange with “the People’s Gong.” Police make several arrests and attempt to prevent media from documenting them.
Sabu, a 28-year old unemployed father of two, lived in a Lower East Side housing project, which served as the nerve center for a vast network of computer hackers numbering in the thousands and operating around the world. His primary role was to identify weak spots for the hackers to target and then spread that information.
“They caught him and he was secretly arrested and now works for the FBI,” a source close to Sabu told FoxNews.com. - International Business Times
LulzSec is allegedly responsible for billions of dollars in damage to governments, international banks and corporations through their coordinated cyber-attacks.
- Follow Up of the Day: Anonymous Reacts to LulzSec Arrests (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- LulzSec leader Sabu turns traitor, gives up alleged members to FBI (digitaltrends.com)
- FBI Arrest And Charge Top LulzSec Hackers (forbes.com)
- LulzSec’s Top Hacker ‘Is FBI Double Agent’ (news.sky.com)
- FBI: LulzSec leader ‘Sabu’ faces up to 124 years in prison (digitaltrends.com)
- Top LulzSec Hacker Sabu Identified, Reportedly Worked As Government Informant (forbes.com)
- Anonymous defiant after news that ‘traitor’ helped FBI nab LulzSec hackers (blogs.siliconvalley.com)
- LulzSec Arrests of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- LulzSec mastermind helps FBI arrest notorious hacktivists (zdnet.com)
- Consider this: LulzSec’s Sabu didn’t snitch (slashgear.com)
- Five ‘top LulzSec hackers’ to face charges in New York (telegraph.co.uk)
- LulzSec no more? FBI allegedly works with Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka Sabu, to bring down hacking group (100gf.wordpress.com)
- Anonymous LulzSec Hackers Arrested by FBI: ‘Sabu Is a Traitor’ (ibtimes.com)
- Anonymous Reacts To Sabu’s Betrayal Of LulzSec (gizmodo.com.au)
- LulzSec Hackers Arrested (huffingtonpost.com)
- LulzSec’s Alleged Ringleader Helps FBI in Hacker Arrests (pcworld.com)
- Hackers Arrested: LulzSec Leader Was FBI Informant (techland.time.com)
- Anonymous to prevail sans Sabu: ‘He’s traitor; LulzSec long-dead; we have no … – RT (rt.com)
- LulzSec leader Sabu was working for us, says FBI (guardian.co.uk)
Embattled North Minneapolis homeowner Monique White had her day in court Monday morning, and faced the possibility of being evicted from her house this week. But apparent last-minute jockeying between her defense team and attorneys for Freddie Mac postponed her hearing until Friday when she’ll face a jury trial. The postponement, and potential for a settlement, was a small victory for White, her legal team led by Rachel E. B. Lang of the National Lawyer’s Guild and state representative Bobby Joe Champion (DFL, District 58B), and a team of activists from Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) and Occupy Homes. White, a single African-American mother who works two jobs, including the nightshift at a North Minneapolis liquor store, invited Occupy activists into her foreclosed home early last November to fight off eviction.
She and South Minneapolis ex-Marine Bobby Hull (who won his home with a renegotiated mortgage last month) have become pinnacles in the burgeoning Occupy Homes movement and have garnered attention from national media. Freddie Mac moved to foreclose on White after she fell behind in paying her mortgage, which was previously controlled by U.S. Bank. Occupy activists have targeted both Freddie Mac and U.S. Bank with their campaign in recent months, claiming that the financial institutions that were bailed out by the federal government should give homeowners a second chance too.
Approximately 70 activists filled a housing courtroom in the Hennepin County Government Center Monday morning in solidarity with Monique White. They carried red and white roses (“red representing our love for Monique, white representing our hope for a settlement,” said Occupy organizer Nick Espinosa) and raised their right fists into the air as the court was called to order. But the activists remained silent and peaceful as the proceedings were quickly delayed until Friday. “Today is a day that should not be happening,” NOC organizer Steve Fletcher addressed a rally before the court hearing.
“Today is a day that we’ve been trying to avoid for a long time. It’s also a day like any other day. Because in Monique White’s zip code, this has happened twice a day for six years. This has to change. This can’t keep happening twice a day. We can’t keep taking away families’ homes. And if it’s happening this often, there’s a problem with the system and the system needs to change.” Last Friday, the Minnesota Attorney General‘s Office encouraged Freddie Mac to work out a deal with Monique White, but the lender has yet to comply. Over the weekend Congressman Keith Ellison released a statement in solidarity with the embattled homeowner: ?I encourage Bank of America and Freddie Mac to act in good faith and negotiate a solution that works well for all parties and allows Monique and her children to keep their home.? Meanwhile, state senator Scott Dibble and state representative Karen Clark (both DFL) have sponsored a people’s bailout bill, which calls for a two-year moratorium on home foreclosures in Minnesota.
A much anticipated hearing will take place Wednesday at noon at the state capitol in St. Paul. And Monique White remains at the heart of a larger political battle that is escalating in Minnesota and nationwide.
- Occupiers Help Minneapolis Woman Stave Off Freddie Mac Foreclosure Proceedings (thinkprogress.org)
- Occupy MN to Defend U.S. Marine’s Foreclosed Home (occupycyberspace.wordpress.com)
- Ex-Marine Re-Occupies His Own Foreclosed Home in Fight Against Freddie Mac, JPMorgan Chase (occupycyberspace.wordpress.com)
- Houses Being Occupied, Banks Taking Notice: How ‘Occupy Our Homes’ Is Evolving (alternet.org)
- Occupy DC Protests Freddie Mac Foreclosure of One Family (axsmithlaw.wordpress.com)
- Occupy DC Helps Grandmother Avoid Eviction, Stay In Her Home (thinkprogress.org)
- Family Who Re-Occupied Foreclosed Home Resists Eviction (huffingtonpost.com)
- Changes to the Underwater Refinance Plan (bestfloridamortgage.wordpress.com)
- Treasury To Probe Freddie Mac’s Investments (alternet.org)
A new Congressional Budget Office analysis supports the idea that income inequality has grown considerably over the past few decades. As part of his Making Sen$e series on economic inequality, Paul Solman talks to libertarian law professor Richard Epstein, who argues that wealth inequality acts as a drivA new Congressional Budget Office analysis supports the idea that income inequality has grown considerably over the past few decades. As part of his Making Sen$e series on economic inequality, Paul Solman talks to libertarian law professor Richard Epstein, who argues that wealth inequality acts as a driving force for innovation. ing force for innovation.
- Democrats step up income inequality battle (money.cnn.com)
- Alan Krueger: Rising Income Inequality Causing ‘Unhealthy Division In Opportunities’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Link To Lew Rockwell Via A Reader (chrisnavin.wordpress.com)
- The Myth of Income Inequality (thecollegeconservative.com)
- Income Inequality Should be Talked About in “Quiet Rooms” (politicalwire.com)
- Can We Reduce Economic Inequality in America? (my.psychologytoday.com)
- CRS: Income Inequality, 1996-2006 (taxprof.typepad.com)
- Study: Wealth Inequality In America May Be Worse Than It Was In Ancient Rome | ThinkProgress (tribuneofthepeople.wordpress.com)
- More Regressive Tax Code Contributed To Growing Income Inequality Before Crisis: Report (huffingtonpost.com)