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FSRN July 4th Special - Occupy: Building a New Movement Against Inequality

What does Independence Day mean to you? The holiday can be a time to gather with family, friends and community. But it can also be an opportunity to reassess the direction of the country, the past struggles that secured rights and freedom, the challenges to power that rose up in the face of adversity, and the inequalities that still exist.

White House & Dems Back Banks over Protests: Newly Discovered Homeland Security Files Show Feds Central to Occupy Crackdown


By Dave Lindorff


A new trove of heavily redacted documents provided by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) on behalf of filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild makes it increasingly evident that there was and is a nationally coordinated campaign to disrupt and crush the Occupy Movement.


The ‘Subsidized’ Loan Charade: The US Government is Profiteering on Struggling Students

By Dave Lindorff

The Senate is currently deadlocked on taking action to prevent the interest on new Stafford guaranteed student loans from rising on July 1 from 3.4% to 6.8%, with Democrats saying they want to “pay for” keeping the current “lower” 3.4% rate by closing a loophole that allows some wealthy people to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, while Republicans want to “pay for” keeping the lower rate by eliminating a fund for preventative health care in the 2010 health care reform law.

But what is all this nonsense about “paying for” a supposedly “lower” interest rate of 3.4%?

So then Who in the Hell Are We?


By Dan De Walt


“This is not a reflection of who we are or what we stand for.” 

       -- Jeff Gearhart, Wall-Mart general counsel, on the firm’s Mexico bribery 


[Torture] “is not the norm.” 

       -- Mike Pannek, Abu Ghraib prison warden.


“This is not who we are.” 

       -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the US massacre of 16 Afghan villagers.


“This is not who we are.” 

May Day and the Ass Bomber of Ray Kelly’s Dreams


By Charles M. Young

I got home at 10:00 pm on the nose, and the first thing I did was take off my shoes after 14 hours of May Day marching with 30-40,000 other conscientious objectors to capitalism. My feet hurt, okay? My second priority was turning on the local news, which happened to be Fox Five New York. According to my watch, it was 10:02. I didn’t see the first few seconds of the story, but it must have have been the lead. There was Ray Kelly, the chief of police, talking about...not Occupy Wall Street?, it was a video of him on some talk show, warning of the apparently imminent threat of Arab terrorists “implanting” bombs in their bodies and blowing up airplanes and buildings.

Real Politics Must be in the Streets: The Constitutional Crimes of Barack Obama


By Dave Lindorff


As we slog towards another vapid, largely meaningless exercise in pretend democracy with the selection of a new president and Congress this November, it is time to make it clear that the current president, elected four years ago by so many people with such inflated expectations four years ago (myself included, as I had hoped, vainly it turned out, that those who elected him would then press him to act in progressive ways), is not only a betrayer of those hopes, but is a serial violator of his oath of office. He is, in truth, a war criminal easily the equal of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and perhaps even of Bush’s regent, former Vice President Dick Cheney.


Let me count the ways:


Trolling for Kids: The Empire is Using Hard Times to Help it Recruit More Imperial Troops and Cannon Fodder


By Dave Lindorff


In the militarist society in which we live in these latter days of American Empire, all soldiers are “noble heroes” who have signed up at “great personal sacrifice” to “defend our freedoms,” and we are all expected to pay homage and a great deal of our hard-earned money to support them, both in their brutal efforts to subjugate people in desperately poor parts of the world, and (when they leave the service, either to take jobs in the private sector or to live out broken lives if they were wounded) as veterans.


But let’s be honest about all this.


Yes, The 99% Spring Is A Fraud


By Charles M. Young


With hindsight gained by googling “MoveOn” and “co-opt” after the fact, I can’t claim that nobody tried to warn me. Many websites with left and even liberal politics had said in so many words, “Be wary of this organization called The 99% Spring. It is a Trojan horse for the Democrats.” I just didn’t read that anywhere in a timely fashion. I’ve had a lot of stuff on my plate lately. That’s my excuse. And in my ignorance, I responded to some spam about “nonviolent direct action training” organized by MoveOn and got invited to this 99% Spring thing on April 10 at the Goddard Riverside Community Center in Manhattan. Somebody even called me all the way from San Francisco to make sure I was a sincere seeker on the left and would be attending, along with 120,000 others in training sessions around the country.

The Killers All Around Us


By Dave Lindorff


I've often wondered why so many innocent people who are shot by police end up dead.

Granted that police officers spend a fair amount of time training with their service revolvers, and are thus likely to be better shots with a pistol than your average gun-owner. But even so, in so many cases where some unarmed person is shot by police, the result is death, and it makes you wonder how cops, often in the dark and on the run, manage with their notoriously hard-to-aim pistols to hit a vital organ with such depressing regularity.

Lawyers Guild Expects More Documents: Evidence Homeland Security Coordinated Occupy Crackdown


By Dave Lindorff


If you want to know where the real government of the United States is located, just check out one of the documents received by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund in response to their Freedom of Information Act request to the Dept. of Homeland Security relating to surveillance of the Occupy Movement. That document, from the Secret Service, dated September 17, 2011, the day the Occupy movement began on Wall Street, from the US Secret Service Intelligence Division, titled Prism Demonstrations Abstract, list the location as “Wall Street Bull” -- a reference to the bronze statue of a bull on Wall Street in front of the

 New York Stock Exchange, and the “protectee” as “The United States Government.”

Unemployment Mumbo-Jumbo and Rank Propaganda


By Dave Lindorff


The US stock market jumped up today on word that the number of new unemployment applications fell to the lowest level in four years.

Sounds good, right? It's meant to sound good, but if you look at the number, and if you think about what it really means, it's not good news at all.

What the US Labor Department reported was that new unemployment claims filed for the week ended Feb. 24 totaled 351,000, which was slightly lower than the 353,000 new claims filed the prior week. "Slightly indeed! a better term for this 0.57% decline is "statistically insignificant!

The idea that such a "drop" in new claims would spark a jump in the Dow or the S&P shows how completely divorced from reality investors really are.

This Land is Your Land...Or is It?: Occupy Oklahoma City Sues in Federal Court to Fight to Keep the Commons


By Lori Spencer



Having spent the better part of two months as an embedded reporter with Occupy OKC's camp in Kerr Park (aka Poet's Park) I have often praised both the city and police department. Oklahoma City's occupation has so far managed to avoid the mass arrests and police brutality seen in other cities around the nation. In my opinion, this is largely due to the group's respect for the park and city ordinances, as well as the city's respect for the First Amendment. I frequently pointed to OKC as a model city, setting an example for how a local government and occupiers can peacefully coexist.


Better than Obama: Why the Establishment is Terrified of Ron Paul


By Dave Lindorff



It’s fascinating to watch the long knives coming out for Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, now that according to some mainstream polls he has become the front-running candidate in the Jan. 3 GOP caucus race in Iowa, and perhaps also in the first primary campaign in New Hampshire.


Iraq War Protest Legacy to Arab Spring to Occupy

Film-in-progress traces Iraq War protest legacy

"We Are Many" shows how mobilization in 2003 set stage for Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street

Dec 8, 2011 - On Feb. 15, 2003, the planet experienced the greatest single non-military mobilization of humanity in the history of the world. People in 800 cities (and Antarctica) marched to voice their opposition as George Bush’s countdown clock ticked away the days toward the threatened U.S. invasion of Iraq. Estimates of the total numbers of protesters vary widely but it seems plausible that 15 million took to the streets.

Spies and Provocateurs: Police Spying on Occupy Movement not Likely Limited to Los Angeles


By Dave Lindorff


Word that the Los Angeles Police, who sent in 1200 officers in riot gear to violently rout a few hundred Occupy Movement demonstrators from their LA encampment last week, had earlier sent 12 undercover young officers into the peaceful occupation camp to spy on the activists should come as no surprise.


We Need a 'Rout' of Wolves to Evict the 'Stench' of Skunks Occupying Washington


By Dave Lindorff



The US Congress is such a craven bunch that you really have to turn to Olde English to aptly describe them.


Consider that yesterday, by a vote of 93-7, the Senate approved a National Defense Authorization Bill that effectively defines the US “homeland” as a war zone, and that allows for the indefinite incarceration without trial of anyone, including US citizens and Green Card holders, without trial, in blatant violation of the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution and of fundamental international judicial standards.


13 Hours in the Hole: Occupying an Oklahoma Jail Cell


By Lori Spencer


This is Part II of a series of reports from our traveling correspondent in the American heartland. Part Icovered the arrest of 10 Occupy OKC protesters as they “mic checked” a local Walmart on Black Friday. Part II takes them through 13 hours in an Oklahoma jail. Part III will culminate in the occupiers' final standoff against police as they face a forceful eviction from Poet's Park.

General Strike Rocks Nation: Workers Across Britain Confront Conservative Austerity Demands


By Linn Washington Jr.

London -- Standing on a picket line in front of her work place at a world renowned heart-lung hospital in London wasn’t Jeanette Anderson’s first choice for how to spend her day.  

Arrested for Supporting Local Business: Occupying Black Friday at the Big Boxes in Oklahoma City


By Lori Spencer

Oklahoma City – In the early morning hours of Black Friday, 10 members of Occupy OKC  discovered that chanting “Buy local!” in a crowded Walmart is an arrestable offense in the United States of America. 

National Lawyers Guild Files FOIA Requests Seeking Evidence of Federal Role in Occupy Crackdown


By Dave Lindorff


With Congress no longer performing its sworn role of defending the US Constitution, the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee and the Partnership for Civil Justice today filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the CIA and the National Parks Service to release "all their information on the planning of the coordinated law enforcement crackdown on Occupy protest encampments in multiple cities over the course of recent days and weeks."

Trade Unions Give Occupy Philly An Offer They Can't Refuse


By John Grant



With a $55 million construction contract “imminent” for Dilworth Plaza -- home since early October for Occupy Philadelphia – the city trade unions and those in Occupy Philly determined to hold-out in the Plaza have come to a showdown.

Everything in life is a dialogue with something, and that goes for the bottom-up/top-down dialogue known as the Occupy Movement. The Philadelphia Police are the well-armed arbiter in the middle of this dialogue with the city. The dialogue, however, just got more complicated with the entrance of the job-hungry trades union.

Rebellion in the Air: Quan's Quackery and Bloomberg's Bullshit


By Dave Lindorff



The scripted excuses provided by mayors around the country to justify their police-state tactics in rousting peaceful occupation movement activists from their park-based demonstrations now stand exposed as utter nonsense, and, given their uncanny similarity in wording, can be clearly seen as having been drawn up for them by some hidden hands in Washington. the same can be said of the brutal tactics used.

Eviction and Enlarged Freedom


By Charles M. Young


After watching the Packers beat the Vikings on Monday Night Football, I had insomnia, so it was kind of an accident that I checked my email at 2 a.m. and discovered the police were clearing Zuccotti Park. Everyone had been expecting an eviction since it all started on September 17, but not expecting it at that particular moment. On my cell phone, there were several frantic texts from Occupy Wall Street begging for community support. So I hopped on a slow subway and arrived at Chambers Street about 3 a.m.

Police State Tactics: Signs Point to a Coordinated National Program to Try and Unoccupy Wall Street and Other Cities


By Dave Lindorff



The ugly hand of the federal government is becoming increasingly suspected behind what appears to be a nationwide attempt to repress and evict the Occupation Movement.


Across the country in recent days, ultimatums have been issues to groups occupying Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, and most recently New York, NY, where the Occupation Movement began on September 17. The two most recent eviction efforts, in Oakland and New York, have been the worst.


Penn State's 1st Amendment Victims: We Need Freedom of Speech on the Job Too, Not Just at Home!


By Dave Lindorff


The real story of the Penn State child abuse scandal and coverup is not Joe Paterno or Penn State, or even the abuse of children, as vile as what happened to them is. What it’s about it the lack of basic freedom for workers in the United State of America to speak out.


On paper, we have one of the freest societies in the world. The First Amendment to the Constitution would appear to be pretty damned unequivocal, when it states:


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Bribing the Poor to Win Votes: We Could Use Some of This Kind of 'Corruption' in American Politics


By Dave Lindorff



What a devilishly sneaky guy that Jose Danial Ortega Saavedra is!


Why this president of Nicaragua, and former leader of the Sandinista rebels in their successful 1979 overthrow of U.S.-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle, in order to win re-election this fall, as he appears to have done,  according to the New York Times, “shrewdly adopted policies aimed at pleasing his base of poor and working-class Nicaraguans, including supplying them with government-donated food”!


Why of all the nerve! What a crook and a scheister! Imagine catering to the needs of the poor in order to win an election. How low can a politician stoop?


When It Comes to Jobless Figures Dishonesty and Propaganda Reign


By Dave Lindorff



Once again we got a cheery report from most of the media about employers hiring, albeit “not enough,” and about the jobless rate falling, albeit “it’s still too high.”


The proximate cause of this latest round of propaganda from the corporate media is the latest monthly jobless figure reported out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which said that employers had added 80,000 net new jobs  (actually they found that private sector employers had added 104,000 jobs while public agency employers had pink-slipped 24,000 people), and that the official unemployment rate was 9.0 percent, just a notch lower than last month’s 9.1 percent figure.


A Movie For The Movement: "Heist: Who Stole The American Dream?"

As the Occupy Wall Street movement pushes forward, evolving daily in mission and meaning, its cinematic companion has arrived on the scene. Heist: Who Stole The American Dream? is the latest socially and politically relevant documentary executive produced by Earl Katz, President of Public Interest Pictures. Heist will soon premiere as the fundamental primer on the historical and present-day inequities which gave rise to the Occupy Movement. From its 1930s depiction of Depression Era breadlines to Wisconsin Governor Walker's current assault on Collective Bargaining, Heist tells the story of America in decline due to the excessive greed of corporate executives and politicians bent on destroying the middle class.

$1 Trillion on Weapons Since 9/11

Report: Military Blew $1 Trillion on Weapons Since 9/11

Nov. 2, 2011 - A new study suggests that defense hawks are crying crocodile tears over planned cuts to Pentagon spending.

Capitol Hill conservatives and Pentagon brass fighting cuts to defense spending have argued that the military is limping off the battlefield with decrepit hardware. It's quite the sob story: At a hearing last week, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chair of the House armed services committee, cut his remarks short to literally sob for "these young men that are going outside the wire over in Afghanistan, every day on patrol."

Speaking Events


War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
Tour begins here:

(Invite David Swanson to your town!)


April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
Sign up on FB.


April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
Sign up on FB.



April 14, Bellingham, WA, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, evening

April 15, Seattle, WA

April 16 Portland, OR




Other Events Here.


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