Occupy Targets Banks, Courts and Corporations

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EDITOR’S NOTE: I wonder if the media, politicians and pundits realize how these multiple Occupy events are affecting the political narrative this year. The fact that Occupy protests have found their way into some stump speeches and the responses from people surveyed shows clearly that the anger, frustration and demand for changes in our system of government — to conform with the requirements of the constitutional guarantees for individual and states rights — is driving force in the way voters are thinking and acting.
The first clear victory in the Republican party in its nominating process proves it. Gingrich tapped that anger and the desire for someone who is willing to fight with the establishment achieved the first resounding victory, running away with South Caroline despite a diverse field that had been pulling apart the conservative agenda.
The lesson is simple — if you are seen as establishment then you are seen and associated with the big banks, the bailouts and the disease permeating our society and economy in particular. If you are seen as fighting the control of Banks and big corporations over our freedoms and opportunity then voters are responding with favorable reviews and exercising their votes in ways that were unimaginable just a year ago. Except for Gingrich, no Republican candidate even gave lip service to those without jobs, losing homes and losing hope. They all finished very weak seconds, thirds etc. compared to the pugilistic Gingrich.
If the Obama team doesn’t get this message they simply are not listening, because the message is loud and clear, despite pundits assessments to the contrary. The country wants a fighter not a divider and not a compromiser (although compromise, in the end, lies a the heart of getting any laws passed by congress).
The full realization has already hit most of the public. The Banks stole America and the wealth and power that goes with it. The voters want the Banks shoved out of the process and brought down to size so that can be regulated in ways that worked for decades in this country. They want our country’s infrastructure revitalized, with all the jobs that go with it. And they want the tax system to be fair, with those who are well off paying their fair share and not being protected behind the false curtain of “job creators.”
I dare say that nary a politician is going to be elected or reelected even as an incumbent without paying careful attention to this message. That includes Obama who despite his formidable and well financed campaign is going to feel the pinch from voters unless his administration takes the lead and shows some willingness to duke it out with the establishment.
The people are behind those moves — no matter who makes them. And right now, the only candidate who is showing the guts to do it is Gingrich. Obama can easily regain the control of the narrative with more than words — bankers must be prosecuted if they violated the law and not protected under the false narrative that prosecution will result in the fall of the economy, the financial system and the society. It isn’t true. It was never true. And people know it.

“Occupy” targets banks, corporate campaign spending

(Reuters) – Hundreds of Occupy activists clashed with police and stormed a vacant hotel in San Francisco on Friday, capping a day of protests in the city’s financial district and separate anti-Wall Street rallies at federal courthouses across the country.

The rallies were seen as a bid by the Occupy Wall Street movement to reenergize protests against economic inequality and excesses of the U.S. financial system weeks after demonstrators were driven from tent camps in a wave of evictions nationwide.

The raucous takeover of the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco’s upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood followed a march from downtown by about 1,000 demonstrators chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “Cops go home!”

The protesters were met by a phalanx of police in riot gear who had set up barricades at the front entrance to the U-shaped hotel complex, which stands several stories tall and takes up an entire city block.

The crowd surged toward the barriers to try to remove them and briefly scuffled with police, who jabbed protesters with batons and doused them with pepper spray, forcing demonstrators to retreat. Police said demonstrators hurled rocks, bottles and bricks at them, with two officers suffering minor injuries.

Later, a small group of activists who had earlier gained access to the hotel complex flung open the front doors, and scores of their cheering cohorts streamed inside without resistance from police.

“Now we occupy our new home,” organizer Craig Rouskie declared, adding that demonstrators planned to spend the night but expected that police would eventually move in to oust them.

Earlier in the day, Occupy San Francisco protesters staged various acts of civil disobedience at 22 bank branches and other offices in the city’s financial district, including a group who chained themselves to entrances of the Wells Fargo headquarters.

Police said 18 protesters were arrested throughout the day.

“Many banks have taken steps to mitigate the impact,” San Francisco Police Commander Richard Corriea said. Wells Fargo told many employees to work from home, he added.

Donna Vieira, 42, a real estate appraiser, said she was protesting because the bank had “unfairly” foreclosed on her home in Reno, Nevada, last year.

“Nobody is going after the big banks. And loss and pain and suffering doesn’t matter to the regulators,” Vieira said.

OCCUPY THE COURTS

Protesters also turned out under the banner “Occupy the Courts” at some 150 courthouses nationwide to protest a Supreme Court decision in 2010 that protesters complain has led to unbridled corporate spending in political campaigns.

The Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot restrict political speech and spending by corporations, unions and other outside groups, allowing political action committees (PACs) to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money in campaigns — creating what are known as Super PACs.

The ruling in the case known as Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission has led to more than $25 million in spending so far this campaign season by outside groups seeking to influence the 2012 presidential election.

In Washington, a couple of hundred protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court, chanting “Rights are for people, not for corporations!” Police arrested 12 people.

“I don’t see how a real democracy of the people can take place when so much money is in our electoral system,” said Lucy Craig, 36, a protester from New Jersey.

About 200 protesters demonstrated peacefully in Denver outside the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, carrying signs that read “Citizens United Not Fair.”

The nonprofit organization Move to Amend organized “Occupy the Courts” to launch its campaign to amend the U.S. Constitution, seeking to abolish corporate constitutional rights and establish that money is not speech.

Move to Amend had expected up to 25,000 people to rally across the United States on Friday, spokesman David Cobb said. Occupy protest crowds tend to number in the hundreds rather than thousands of people, despite the movement’s headline-grabbing actions and social media savvy.

More than 100 protesters rallied outside the federal courthouse in Boston, while 75 people protested in front of the federal courthouse in Atlanta. In Phoenix, about 50 protesters marched outside the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Court House.

“Four hundred Americans control all the wealth,” said Mickey Mize, a spokesman for Occupy Phoenix. “They are the ones who control the job market, they are trying to control everything from education to our birthrights.”

Protests at federal courthouses in New York City and Charlottesville, Virginia, each drew about 100 people.

Protesters say they are upset that billions of dollars in bailouts given to banks during the recession allowed a return to huge profits while average Americans have had no relief from high unemployment and a struggling economy.

(Additional reporting by Lily Kuo in Washington, Lauren Keiper in Boston, David Beasley in Atlanta, Robert Boczkiewicz in Denver and Tim Gaynor in Phoenix; Writing by Michelle Nicholsand Steve Gorman; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Cynthia Johnston)

 

8 Responses

  1. Occupy Davos build igloos –what is Davos?–a place in Switzerland where about 2600 world leaders and finance folks are meeting at the World Economic Forum. Hotel rooms run $500 so the OCCUPY folks are staying in their own built igloos.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/79364915/Occupy-Davos-Protesters-Build-Igloos

  2. I meant “The post written below…” It was “above” as I was writing. Now, it’s below…

    Still. Not mine.

  3. Enraged,

    The post written above, under my name, is not from me. Although I don’t disagree with what is written, I would ask that whoever is using that sign on please change it to avoid any confusion…

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Neil, shouldn’t you devise a system whereby people are automatically informed that the name they’ve chosen is already in use and they need to pick a different one? After all, everyone else has that system in place.

  4. While his colleagues from the Boston Bruins were visitng the White House earlier today, goaltender Tim Thomas was absent. Here is his personal explanation for why he did what he did. We can only hope more role-models follow in his footsteps.

    Thomas statement on White House absence (via the NHL)

    “I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

    This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

    Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

    This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT”

  5. the fight is just begining,stand up shout out make the stop!!lets show them N E V E R A G A I N!!!! we will not let the abuse onto us!!we must unite and claim america back from these fat cats!! we must fight for our children not to be homeless!!!! for the right to own a home with out trickery inposted on us by all these crooks, call on our leaders to show their colors. so many have a chance to be a heros. this is a war and many are dying, if not physically then spiritally. they make men bend on their knees but none the less we shall not surender!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. CALL TO ACTION –TODAY AND TOMORROW—CALL OUR AG AND OPPOSE ANY BLANKET SETTLEMENT

    OBAMA PRESSURING AGs to settle so he can win re-election.

    when you dial this number, listen, press 6, listen then press 7 and you can leave a message

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/79039854/CALL-TO-ACTION-JANUARY-23-2012-OBAMA-PUTTING-PRESSURE-ON-Attorney-General-Kamala-Harris-TO-SETTLE

  7. Here are the figures sent out via e-mail by Showdown in America.

    Friend,

    BREAKING NEWS: It’s the eleventh hour and the White House is about to strike a deal with big banks.

    President Obama wants to be able to point to the settlement in Tuesday’s State of the Union as a measure of progress towards more Wall Street accountability. But the deal on the table is appalling, especially when compared to 2011 big bank bonuses.

    Proposed total restitution for the millions of Americans who lost their home due to illegal foreclosure tactics: $20 billion1

    2011 big bank bonuses: $144 billion2

    Something is very wrong with this picture.

    $20 billion is only a fraction of what is needed to reduce principal balances on millions of underwater homes; it is shameless that the White House isn’t demanding more money for principal reduction from the same big banks that crashed the economy.

    Can you call the White House right now and tell them to launch a full investigation into Wall Street and make sure big banks are held fully accountable for the crimes that caused so many to lose their homes?

    Right now big banks are sitting on an unprecedented mountain of cash: over $1.6 trillion. According to The New Bottom Line’s Pulling Back the Curtain report2, big banks are set to award $144 billion in bonuses and compensation for 2011. The money is there.

    We need the President to make sure Americans get back to work and keep their homes, not pad the pockets of the wealthiest Americans. He can do this by launching a full investigation of Wall Street, not just letting big banks off with the current sweetheart deal that is on the table.

    Call the White House today and demand that any settlement with big banks:

    1. Includes at least $300 billion in principal reduction
    2. Includes a full investigation into Wall Street conduct leading up to and a during the financial crisis, and
    3. Does not include blanket immunity for big banks from future legal challenges

    Thank you for taking action,

    National People’s Action (NPA)

  8. Yep. I think read something to the effect that the proposed 25-billion-dollar settlement between the AGs and the banks is less the than bank employee bonuses?

    What a joke!

    Can you imagine how far that money could go if it were “spread” amongst the people? Actually, a first round of principle reductions and thus lower payments would have gone a long way to avoid a LOT of foreclosures. Mine included. Moreover, it would have shown good faith on the part of the banks AND some concern on the part of D.C. It’s no wonder people have had it up to here.

    Seems the bigwigs can’t even fake it anymore to appease the lowly populace. They just out and out lie and steal in broad daylight, then legislate and litigate their crimes until they fade into history, hoping all of us will forget. If they would have fessed up, people would have forgiven for the most part. But no, they keep up the charade until they look so bad that we have no choice but to seek prosecution.

    Thankfully, people like those in the occupy movement are sticking their necks out. They are doing it for US! They are the REAL heroes here. Imagine if our military got behind this movement…then you’d see a real fight for our country and our way of life. A much better use of our human ingenuity then functioning as some hired mercenaries fighting for “our” freedoms and “our” safety in some desolate sands thousands of miles away from American shores.
    Right here, right now, is the true battleground for liberty and justice for all.

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