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A recent article in the New York Observer highlights the ongoing challenge Occupy Wall Street faces in preventing the New York Police Department (NYPD) and perhaps FBI infiltrators from creating acts of violence that will turn the nation against the movement.

Mayor Bloomberg and the FBI know that nothing will change the mood of support for Occupy Wall Street faster than having them portrayed as a "violent mob." So, there have been ongoing incidents of what appear to be provocations by the police or infiltrators to create an image of an unruly group of lawbreakers. (Just remember the Brooklyn Bridge incident for one.)

BuzzFlash at Truthout warned of this likely ongoing effort in a commentary on October 4, "The NYPD and FBI Are Trying to Infiltrate Wall Street Protest to Discredit It: Of This You Can Be Sure."

Among the recurring reports of police infiltration and provocateurs is an account today of the incident that led to the NYPD arrest of more than 20 protesters trying to close their Citibank accounts over the weekend.

One of the persons arrested at the Citibank branch, Marshall Garrett, told the Village Voice:

But what was unknown to us and to a lot of people that day, including those in Times Square, was that there were undercover cops already there, paid to be disruptive and to be loud. One undercover cop present [at Citi] was louder than the entire group.

He arrested one of the protestors outside, and slammed her into the wall, and pushed her back into the bank. We all saw him at the precinct with us. He was laughing with the fellow white shirt cops, telling them about what we'd been saying, basically. It was a bit startling how inside their information was - how they were being paid to go to these protests and put us in situations where we'd be arrested and not be able to leave.

In fact, you can see one of the undercover police officer provocateurs in this alarming video. Watch through to the point where this plainclothes NYPD cop arrests a young woman, who is a Citibank customer, for merely being outside the bank branch because she was involved in the protest, but not inside the branch building. It is quite chilling indeed. Four or five NYPD officers just make the woman disappear.

The biggest challenge for Occupy Wall Street will be to uproot covert efforts to discredit the movement by law enforcement agencies that are supposed to protect the Constitution instead of subverting it.


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Maybe there's more to Mayor Bloomberg of New York backing down from having the New York Police Department (NYPD) eradicate Occupy Wall Street than his incestuous and profitable relationship with Wall Street (given his $19.5 billion in wealth from the financial industry and his "personal" link with the owners of Liberty Park).

Bloomberg has used the NYPD as a militarized occupation force in southern Manhattan to contain and suppress a group of Americans intent on outing the financial mismanagement of Wall Street. But he's in a fix.

Apparently, New Yorkers don't agree with the baronial mayor, who likes to give the appearance of being a "common man" from time to time.

The fifth paragraph of a New York Times article updating the mayor's continued thinly veiled disdain for the growing movement for accountability from the financial titans - and for a just society - reveals that the multibillionaire defender of oligarchical rule (after all, he is a role model in this area) is facing overwhelming opposition to his position:

A Quinnipiac University poll released on Monday found broad support for Occupy Wall Street; 72 percent of New York City voters, including 52 percent of Republicans, said the protesters should be able to stay as long as they wanted if they continued to obey the laws. The telephone survey, of 1,068 registered voters, was conducted from Thursday to Sunday.

Those are landslide numbers of New York City residents who support Occupy Wall Street protesters exercising their rights in a democracy.

In New York State, Bloomberg's use of a public police force to defend the entrenched, gluttonous and counterproductive-to-the-national-interest leadership and practices of much of the financial industry is also facing a stiff pushback, according to The Associated Press:

The push for a higher tax on New Yorkers making more than $1 million a year is getting fresh life with a new poll showing overwhelming support, a high-profile rally on Monday and the strengthening Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City.

The Siena College poll found 72 percent of New York voters support the tax to avoid further budget cuts. Just 26 percent oppose the proposal by powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Mayor Bloomberg is using taxpayer money on deploying an occupying police force to try to close down a demonstration of taxpayers guaranteed in the Constitution.

He sounds a bit like King George just before the American Revolution.


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When Andy Borowitz captures the truth of the moment, using satire, you know the ruling elite are on the defensive. There's something all too pathetically ironic about Borowitz's daily headline: "Libyan Government Warns NYPD to Exercise Restraint: Urges NATO Action to Protect American Dissidents."

In a riveting unmasking of hypocrisy, a YouTube video has appeared that masterfully shows the blatant hypocrisy of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton in applying one standard for attacks on protesters overseas - and quite another in the US.

While Obama has given some lip service to the Occupy Wall Street movement, he has qualified that with an upholding of the status quo of a financial sector that cratered the US economy. And he has said nothing about the police brutality in attempts, particularly in New York, to suppress the "right of redress" protests.

Nicholas Kristof wrote in The New York Times:

But anyone who believes in markets should be outraged that banks rig the system so that they enjoy profits in good years and bailouts in bad years.

The banks have gotten away with privatizing profits and socializing risks, and that's just another form of bank robbery.

Yet, President Obama even used Martin Luther King to project a narrative that it's really a bunch of "good people" on Wall Street who made a few mistakes. In his King memorial dedication speech on October 16, Obama predicted that if Martin Luther King were alive today, "I believe he would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there."

First of all, this is not just an issue of struggling unemployed workers; it's an issue of a financial system that needs systemic reform. Second of all, it's not a minor issue of "excesses" as if the chairman of the Bank of America had an extra bottle of champagne for dinner on the company account. It is, as Kristof writes, "another form of bank robbery." Obama, his Treasury secretary and his attorney general are doing very little to prosecute those who conducted the bank robberies, but they are tolerating the arrests of those who are witnesses to the crime.

The reality is that Obama believes in this financial system, even when it has de facto disproved that it can offer much to growing the American economy. It is fossilized, state-sanctioned and subsidized greed. For Obama, who is looking to a record campaign war chest to offset low ratings and a stalled economy, Wall Street money is essential.

The duopoly of the American two-party system, as this video reconfirms, will go to war for the rights of protesters overseas, but champions putting them in jail at home.


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According to the New York Times, Mayor Bloomberg's girlfriend, Diana L. Taylor, sits on the board of Brookfield Properties, the owner of Zucotti Park (AKA Liberty Park). But that's hardly the ownly tie that has resulted in Brookfield becoming an active partner in Bloomberg's efforts to close down Occupy Wall Street.

The current gambit of, in essence, closing the public headquarters of the movement under the guise of "cleaning up" the park, and then imposing rules that would prohibit anything other than pedestrian traffic and sitting on benches, is now delayed. (It had originally been scheduled for 7 AM EST Friday.)

Occupy Wall Street put out a call last night for people to join them in preventing the New York Police Department -- allegedly acting at the behest of Brookfield Properties -- from effectively shutting down the active "headquarters" of the anti-Wall Street corruption and economic inequality groundswell uprising.  In addition, the public advocate for New York City -- a position not well known out of Manhattan, but one with considerable influence in city politics -- challenged Bloomberg's coordinated effort with Brookfield to render inoperative the anti-Wall Street beachhead.

"Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate," according to the New York Times, "had expressed concern over the city's actions as he inspected the park Thursday afternoon and listened to protesters' complaints."

Bloomberg had first tried to use the NYPD -- and perhaps others -- to infiltrate and perhaps bait the Occupy Wall Street protesters into some sort of violent act, which would turn public opinion against them, and allow him to use the sort of excessive police force employed in "The Battle of Seattle" several years ago to cut off the head of the populist surge that has put corporations and Wall Street on the defensive.  That didn't work, even though hundreds of people were arrested after claiming that the police led them onto the street level of the Brooklyn Bridge and then arrested them.

But plan "B" was for Brookfield Properties, which technically owns the public park as a result of it being built in return for zoning variations in the area, to "ask" for police help if plan "A" didn't pan out.

Just two weeks ago, Bloomberg -- worth $19.5 billion and whose fortune comes from an information software and device used by financial firms (along with a growing media empire, with an emphasis on business) -- spoke of a "sanitation crisis" in a rambling attack on Occupation Wall Street on a New York radio program. He implicitly threatened that he would close the site down.  Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Brookfield Properties was expressing "deep" concern about the sanitation conditions in the park.  This was not a coincidence: it was a public relations meme.

Newspaper accounts of the now delayed Zuccotti Park clean up generally accept that the City of New York was planning to have the NYPD arrest protesters who didn't clear the park as a response to a "request" from Brookfield Properties -- and it is true that there is such a written request.

But this is not Brookfield Properties acting on its own.  It could have done that a long time ago.  In fact it could have employed private security guards to clear the park of "temporary residents," by some legal interpretations of its rights as "owner" of the property.

Brookfield Properties is a multi-billion dollar commercial real estate company that is as tight as a tick with  Bloomberg and the Wall Street plutocracy.  It can't make a move in New York City to develop new projects without the approval of City Hall.  It didn't make a move on Zucotti Park (named after the chairman of Brookfield) until the mayor got his ducks in a row and his public relations and legal people felt they could use the "sanitation" ruse, while the mayor claimed -- for media consumption -- that he was in support of the constitutional right to protest. You can bet your last dollar that Brookfield Properties was asked to write its letter to City Hall at the time it did directly by City Hall.  The fact that the mayor's girlfriend is on the board of Brookfield is just symbolic icing on the cake of the oligarchy's symbiotic relationship.

However, due to factors already cited, and the strong legal possibility that the the NYPD could not be called in to Zucotti Park unless Brookfield Properties obtained a court order allowing for such a move, the mayor's office announced just before their scheduled de facto eviction that the police clear-out was being "delayed."

As BuzzFlash at Truthout noted in a commentary last week, "With the price of milk rising so high that many low-income New Yorkers can't afford it anymore, it's hardly comforting to know that...the priority of the multibillionaire mayor of New York is 'helping the banks.'"

Brookfield Properties does not make a move or a statement in regards to Zucotti Park without direction from Mayor Bloomberg's office.  Of this you can be certain.

Nearly every financial firm and multi-national corporation in America is relying on Bloomberg to be their fellow multi-billionaire point man in putting an end to this "insurrection," just like the British Tories tried to do with the American revolution.

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If there is a populist change afoot making the pragmatic case to rebalance economic income in America, Elizabeth Warren is its political voice.

In a nascent campaign for the Massachusetts Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy and now occupied by Republican Scott Brown, Warren has broken through the DC Democratic tacit oath to "see no evil" where it exists in the financial and corporate world.

In a debate this week among Democratic hopefuls vying in the primary for the right to take on Brown, Warren put it bluntly:

The people on Wall Street broke this country, and they did it one lousy mortgage at a time. This happened more than three years ago, and there still has been no basic accountability, and there has been no real effort to fix it.

"Everyone has to follow the law," Warren flatly declared during the debate.

But right now on Wall Street, the only people that the politicians and police are applying the law to are the protesters.

For years, those who corrupted our banking system have gotten away with the biggest financial heist in history - and gotten bonuses and a government bailout for bringing America to its knees.

Shortly after announcing her candidacy this fall, Warren embarked on a "talking tour" in which she violated the Capitol Hill (and White House) commitment to put corporations on some sort of deified pedestal. With her ability to speak in frank, simple terms, she told one gathering: "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his [or her] own. Nobody!" She then went on to list all the ways in which government services, education and research support the private sector and enhance corporate success. (The Internet, it should be noted, grew out of a series of government research projects - and corporations are making billions upon billions of dollars now from this "public commons" research.)

You can't strengthen a financial system by rewarding those who grotesquely undermine the nation through manipulation for personal enrichment - and, to boot, expect the government to provide them with services and educated workers for free.

Warren knows that, and she is offering a welcome dose of common sense. What's more, she's opening up the floodgate for like-minded politicians to, as George Lakoff would say, "reframe" the national debate.

This isn't about class warfare, Warren argues, this is about the reality of how we prosper as a nation.


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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) took to the Senate floor this week to denounce how Bank of America is gouging Americans through excessive charges on debit card "swipe fees."

Debit card swipes, according to the Federal Reserve Bank, cost at most 12 cents (as low as 4 cents) to process, but the banks have historically charged, according to Durbin, on average 44 cents to the retailer. On October 1, a new law went into effect that put a ceiling on the swipe fees at about 24 cents. So, the Bank of America and other banks "too big to fail" are still getting at least a 100 percent profit for every debit card transaction, which is crippling some small businesses.

Moreover, the Bank of America represents the greed that is at the heart of Wall Street by not being content with a 100 percent profit. To circumvent the cap on grossly excessive swipe fees, the Bank of America is now going to charge customers $5 a month as a debit card "use fee."

"Bank of America customers, vote with your feet," Durbin urged in outraged reaction to the new "service charge."

"Get the heck out of that bank," Durbin exhorted. "They are overcharging their customers even for this new debit card reform. It is hard to believe that a bank would impose [such a fee] on customers who simply are trying to access their own money on deposit at the Bank of America."

"After helping to drive our economy off the cliff's edge in 2008, Bank of America was happy to accept a $45 billion dollar federal bailout for their stupidity, their greed and their mistakes," the senior senator from Illinois said with disdain. "And it was just as happy to take that money and hand out $3.3 billion dollars in employee bonuses in the same year 2008."

Remember that if you have a savings account - unless you have a ton of money - in many cases you are earning no interest or just pennies, even though the bank is lending out your cash and getting double-digit returns in loan interest.

Furthermore instead of investing in America, the Bank of America is gouging the nation. On top of that, according to the Los Angeles Times, "Bank of America said it would cut 30,000 workers over several years."

This is legalized criminal behavior. The New York Police Department is arresting the wrong people down in southern Manhattan. What's going on in the Bank of America and many other New York City financial institutions is the looting of the United States.


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With the price of milk rising so high that many low-income New Yorkers can't afford it anymore, it's hardly comforting to know that - as BuzzFlash at Truthout detailed yesterday - the priority of the multibillionaire mayor of New York is "helping the banks."

In a rambling radio interview last week that reeked of royal aristocracy, Bloomberg asked workers to ask not what they can do for themselves, but what they can do for their companies. BuzzFlash is not making this up:

And people in this day and age need support for their employers. If the banks don't go out and make loans we will not come out of our economic problems, we will not have jobs so anything we can do that's responsible to help the banks do that is what we need.

Except the banks aren't making a lot of loans, and there is little demand anyway because there are fewer dollars around for Americans to spend. The banks are still gambling with our money; giving no interest for savings accounts; investing overseas; and handing out big, fat bonuses for their financiers who bet against the US economy.

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg is threatening to shut down democracy on Wall Street.

You might expect that from a man who is worth $19.5 dollars., and comes in 2nd place as wealthiest man in New York City, after one of the Koch brothers. Moreover, Bloomberg made a lot of money as a Wall Street financier, but he catapulted into the multibillionaire category by revolutionizing financial market information and selling a specialized terminal and access services to the financial industry (followed by Bloomberg media services).

In short, his fortune is directly integrated into the Wall Street status quo.

That may be why he told a New York City radio show host last week that "New Yorkers need 'to help the banks.'" The Village Voice headlined its story on the plutocratic pronouncements of Bloomberg, "Mayor Bloomberg: 'We'll See' If The City Will Let Occupy Wall Street Continue."

Bloomberg seemed in a baronial haze, claiming, "The protesters are protesting against people who make $40-50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet. That's the bottom line." Is the mayor mainlining Fox "news" as his source of information? He royally added, "so anything we can do that's responsible to help the banks ... that is what we need."

Yesterday, BuzzFlash at Truthout wrote that there is little doubt that law enforcement officials - at the behest of corporate-backed politicians - are infiltrating and planning ways to discredit the Wall Street autumn of democracy.

In his plutocratic cloud of personal financial interest and self-serving disdain for the right of assembly, Bloomberg resembles a monarchist, not a mayor.

If the Occupy Wall Street movement spreads and grows, you can count on Mayor Bloomberg to pull the curtains down on this exercise in America's basic right of redress.

As Thom Hartmann noted in a book excerpted on Truthout, Thomas Jefferson warned that "the artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent its ascendancy."

Bloomberg is just waiting to snap the mouse trap shut on democracy.


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Of this you can be sure: the New York Police Department (NYPD), Mayor Bloomberg (who made his fortune on Wall Street), the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the White House are doing everything possible to keep the occupation of Wall Street from reaching an "Arab Spring" tipping point.

Populist uprisings are lauded overseas, but they are perceived as a threat to elite corporate governance in the US.

You can be sure that the governmental and law enforcement forces at the highest levels in the US are consulting with Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD on how to keep the Wall Street protest from bursting into a national movement.

If history is any guide, contingencies include infiltrators into the protest movement who will try to entrap supporters of Occupy Wall Street. This is such a common police and FBI tactic that it would take too long to list examples, but you might start with the compelling documentary, "Better This World." It details how an FBI "informant" entrapped two young idealists from Texas into becoming prosecution targets, thus helping to portray all protesters at the 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis as being "radicals."

The corporate mass media that has virtually ignored the protests in lower Manhattan - although the same media will give endless coverage to a couple of Tea Party advocates with misspelled signs blathering on a street corner - will blare sensational headlines if the protesters are perceived as committing even one act of violence, such as throwing a brick through a window.

But imagine if an NYPD or FBI informant, acting as an infiltrator, bombs a Bank of America branch office at night. The entire movement to expose corporate America as legal thieves would be discredited.

Right now, the NYPD - and the FBI - are engaged in low intensity corralling of the protesters. They are playing a waiting game, hoping that the protest will exhaust itself.

But if the participants grow - as appears to be the case with the increasing support of unions and the enhanced credibility of the movement - watch for a law enforcement "false flag" operation.

You'll know about it instantly, because it will probably be the first time you'll see any serious interest in the Wall Street protests on TV. The revolution won't be televised; but the government takedown of democracy and peaceful assembly will be.


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Beyond the emotional punch in the gut of Troy Davis' execution - and the echoing cheers of a GOP debate audience for Rick Perry killing so many people - it is worth remembering the role of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the Davis affair.

Because it was during an appeal to the Supreme Court in 2009 on behalf of Davis that Scalia - and BuzzFlash is not making this up - actually wrote a dissenting opinion that there was nothing in the Constitution that prevented a state from executing an innocent man (or woman).

How does BuzzFlash at Truthout know this?

Because we did a commentary back then on Scalia's jaw-dropping constitutional assertion when the decision was rendered. (The Supreme Court ordered a Georgia court to allow Davis to present new evidence.)

In that 2009 commentary, we quoted from Scalia's dissent:

This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is "actually" innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged "actual innocence" is constitutionally cognizable.

If the Constitution doesn't protect us from being executed even if we are innocent, then, Houston, we have a fundamental problem of human rights in America.

Scalia is considered by some to be a "brilliant legal mind," but there is nothing brilliant about authorizing the murder of innocent people.


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