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Why You Should “Occupy Wall Street” On Thursday



How many more days of inaction by our Congress will it take before more people are outraged enough to join the Occupy Movement? Thursday, on the movement’s two-month anniversary, is the perfect time to be a part of something that is changing the world.


In New York City just past midnight Tuesday morning, hundreds of police officers in riot gear — brandishing truncheons and hurling canisters of tear gas — used their batons and pepper spray to herd unarmed Occupy Wall Street protestors, sometimes brutally dragging screaming activists by their arms and legs in what appeared to be a coordinated nationwide effort to clear Zucotti Park, the largest encampment of the Occupy movement. There were multiple reports of police brutality causing serious injuries, and reports of up to 100 arrests.

Later in the day, despite a judge issuing a temporary order barring the city from preventing protesters from returning to Zuccotti Park, one policeman actually hurled a man over a barrier, literally throwing him out of the park.

READ: Thursday: Occupy Wall Street Massive Day Of Non-Violent Direct Action

The courts eventually sided with Mayor Bloomberg and ruled the protestors could not camp out in the park with tents and tarps.

In Washington, D.C., unwilling to address the issues being protested, members of Congress spent their time voting to change the names of post offices.

“Under the shadow of a potential financial doomsday, House Speaker John  Boehner kept his debt plan off the floor on Thursday night,” Fox News reported. “Instead, he turned legislators to the important business of renaming post offices.”

“With all the challenges facing our nation, it is absurd that Congress spends so much time on naming post offices, congratulating sports teams, and celebrating the birthdays of historical figures,” the Fox News piece was forced to note, quoting a September 2010 speech Boehner had made in Washington.

Promising reform, the newly-minted Republican majority established rules preventing resolutions that commend, congratulate, or celebrate an “entity, event, group, individual, institution, team, or government program.”

“We’re pretty well committed to the House doing substantive work,” Boehner said in May. “All of the commemorative resolutions that used to be brought to the floor of the House, some of them, I thought were quite meaningless.”

Missing from that list of once-common suspension bills is a ban against renaming post offices.

How many more days of inaction by our Congress will it take before more people are outraged enough to join the Occupy Movement?

Dan Siegel, legal advisor to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, resigned early Monday morning after Occupy
Oakland’s camp at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza was closed and dismantled, its tents torn down by police in riot gear. Siegel thinks that Mayor Quan allowed herself to be “pushed to do something that is really contrary to her own values and political instincts.”

How many more instances of police brutality and how many more injured protestors will it take before other advisors resign in protest?

On Thursday, in coordination with labor unions, an Occupy Wall Street “National Day of Action” is
planned – Occupy Wall Street hopes to delay the opening of The New York Stock

An e-mail sent by The New Bottom Line, a group which has allied itself with the Occupy Movement, quoted an Occupy Wall Street blogger who wrote Tuesday morning in the wake of the raid, “This moment is nothing short of America rediscovering the strength we hold when we come together as citizens to take action to address crises that impact us all.”

The email continued, “In the face of these challenges, we need to remind Mayor Bloomberg and the entire 1% that there are tens of millions of us and that we will not be silenced or evicted.

Here are some ways that you can take action, even if you can’t make it to Zucotti
Park Thursday, November 17:

New York and similar raids in Oakland, California, and other cities are evidence of our government
officials siding with corporations. We echo Occupy Wall Street in saying, “You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.”

And after “A National Day of Action”?

As World War I ended, Gandhi, the iconic pioneer of mass civil disobedience, began to focus on the fight for Indian self-rule. In 1919, the British gave Gandhi something specific to fight against — the Rowlatt Act, which gave the British in India nearly free-reign to root out “revolutionary” elements and to detain them indefinitely without trial. In response, Gandhi organized a hartal (general strike), which began on March 30, 1919. Unfortunately, such a large scale protest quickly got out of hand and in many places it turned violent.

A scene from Gandhi, the 1982 film directed by Richard Attenborough, depicts the meeting that led to the call for a General Strike:

PATEL: [To Jawaharlal  Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India ] I must say, Panditji,  it seems to me it’s gone beyond remedies like passive resistance.

GANDHI If I may – I, for one, have never advocated passive anything.

I am with Mr Jinnah. We must never submit to such laws – ever. And I think our resistance must be active and provocative.

AZAD : And what “resistance”
would you offer?

GANDHI: … I want to call on the nation to make that a day of prayer and fasting.

JINNAH: You mean a general strike?

GANDHI : I mean a day of prayer and fasting. But of course no work could be done – no buses, no trains, no factories, no administration. The country would stop.

PATEL: My God, it would terrify them . . .

AZAD (a wry smile): Three hundred fifty million people at prayer. Even the …
newspapers would have to report that. And explain why.

KRIPALANI : But could we get people to do it?

A Wikipedia article lists some notable general strikes:

The largest general strike that ever stopped the economy of an advanced industrial country – and the first general wildcat strike in history – was May 1968 in France.The prolonged strike involved eleven million workers for two weeks in a row and its impact was such that it almost caused the collapse of the de Gaulle government. Other notable general strikes include:

  • 494 BC – The Aventine Secession, Ancient Rome, creating the Tribune of the Plebs
  • 449 BC – A secessio plebis leading to the adoption of the Twelve Tables
  • 287 BC – A secessio plebis leading to the adoption of the Lex Hortensia
  • 1842 – 1842 General Strike, Great Britain
  • 1886 – Walloon jacquerie of 1886 Wallonia
  • 1893 – Belgian general strike of 1893 Belgium Wallonia
  • 1902 – Geneva General Strike of 1902, Switzerland
  • 1905 – The Great October Strike, Russia
  • 1907 – Geneva General Strike of 1907, Switzerland
  • 1907 – New Orleans Levee General Strike, United States
  • 1909 – Swedish General Strike
  • 1909 – Uprising of the 20,000
  • 1912 – Brisbane General Strike, Australia
  • 1912 – Zurich General Strike of 1912, Switzerland
  • 1917 – Australian General Strike
  • 1917 – Brazilian General Strike
  • 1917 – Spanish General Strike
  • 1918 – Swiss General Strike
  • 1919 – Barcelona General Strike, Spain
  • 1919 – Winnipeg General Strike, Canada
  • 1919 – Seattle General Strike, US
  • 1919 – General Strike in Basel and Zurich 1919, Switzerland
  • 1920 – German Kapp Putsch Strike
  • 1922 – Italian General Strike
  • 1920 – German passive resistance strikes at the Ruhr
  • 1926 – UK General Strike of 1926
  • 1933 – French general strike of 1933
  • 1932 – Geneva General Strike of 1932, Switzerland
  • 1934 – West Coast Longshoremen’s Strike, US
  • 1934 – Minneapolis Teamsters Strike, US
  • 1934 – Toledo Auto-Lite Strike, US
  • 1936 – Palestinian general strike
  • 1936 – French general strike of 1936
  • 1936 – Syrian General Strike
  • 1941 – February Strike, Netherlands
  • 1942 – Luxembourgian General Strike
  • 1946 – Indian General Strike
  • 1946 – Oakland, California General Strike
  • 1950 – Austrian General Strikes
  • 1950 – General strike against Leopold III of Belgium
  • 1953 – Hartal 1953, Ceylon
  • 1954 – General strike of 1954, Honduras
  • 1956 – Finnish General Strike
  • 1960 – 1960-1961 Winter General Strike in Wallonia
  • 1968 – French General Strike
  • 1973 – Uruguayan General Strike
  • 1974 – Ulster Workers Council Strike, Northern Ireland.
  • 1984 – Uruguayan General Strike
  • 1988 – Spanish General Strike
  • 1989 – 2-hour general strike of all citizens of Czechoslovakia during the Velvet Revolution
  • 1992 – Nepalese General Strike
  • 1995 – French Public Sector Strikes
  • 1995 – Days of Action, Canada
  • 2000 – Cochabamba General Strike, Bolivia
  • 2002 – Italian General Strike
  • 2005 – Bolivian Gas Conflict
  • 2006 – April 2006 Nepalese general strike
  • 2007 – Guinea General Strike
  • 2009 – French Caribbean General Strikes
  • 2010 – Spanish General Strike
  • 2011 – Oakland, California General Strike in coordination with Occupy Oakland

Oakland General Strike. Photo by Thomas Victor Horton

After Occupy Oakland’s General Strike on November 2, Michael Berkowitz wrote in the Huffington Post, “By any measure, Occupy Oakland’s General Strike on Wednesday was a huge success. It was huge in that media estimates that between 7 and 10,000 protestors participated. And successful in tone and deed, a sometimes serious, sometimes festive exercise in shining a light on what has happened to our country… culminating in shutting down the nation’s 5th largest port, the Port
of Oakland.

“Much like San Francisco’s General Strike of 1934, which was called after two workers were killed by police, Oakland’s General Strike was called after two tour of duty marine Scott Olsen’s skull was
fractured by police. Coincidentally, the third worker injured in 1934’s Bloody Thursday, the one who survived, was also named Olsen.”

If the police brutality increases with incensed officers wielding batons and hurling canisters of tear gas; using pepper spray and firing rubber bullets as peaceful protestors continue to be arrested and injured, a fatality is likely to occur. And someone will probably call for another general strike.

“But could we get people to do it?”

Gandhi’s “Day of Prayer and Fasting” in our sputtering economy would be difficult to pull off; many people simply cannot afford to take the day off work. It would certainly require more planning to mobilize millions than the few days notice that brought out 7-10,000 people in Oakland.

According to, the population of Oakland now stands at 390,724. It took a great deal less than “the 99%” to make quite an impact.

The US Census Bureau puts our population at 312,617,429. A proportunate turnout would yield 5,600,685 – 8,000,978 protestors.

But there are actions that people who did not take off work or participate in a general strike or even an organized event could take that would make an impact.

Can’t or choose not to take off work – pack a lunch instead of going out or if you must eat out, patronize a small, local restaurant or a food truck; drink coffee at home or go to a local coffee shop. Can’t bicycle or use public transport that day – make sure that you gas up the day before. Stock up
on groceries and if you must get the kids milk, patronize a Mom and Pop store, not a supermarket chain. Traveling for business or vacation – plan your trip so you don’t have to fly that day… you get the idea. And so will your representatives.

There are two things that politicians understand – money and votes. That is why according to the New York Times, “It has been a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote — 19 laws and two executive actions in 14 states dominated by Republicans, according to a new study by the Brennan Center for Justice. As a result, more than five million eligible voters will have a harder time participating in the 2012 election.”

In order for the Occupy and our New Civil Rights Movements to succeed we must occupy the streets today and occupy the voting booths next November.


Stuart Wilber. Photo by Mathew Ryan Williams


Stuart Wilber believes that living life openly as a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Allied person is the most powerful kind of activism. Shortly after meeting his partner in Chicago in 1977, he opened a gallery named In a Plain Brown Wrapper, where he exhibited cutting edge work by leading artists; art that dealt with sexuality and gender identification. In the late 1980’s when they moved to San Clemente, CA in Orange County, life as an openly gay couple became a political act. They moved to Seattle 16 years ago and married in Canada a few weeks after British Columbia legalized same-sex marriage. Although legally married in some countries, they are only considered domestic partners in Washington State.  Equality continues to elude him.

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Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?



The passing of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who served the people of California since 1970 in numerous roles, first at the local level, then as a Senator and Chair of powerful Committees, raises many questions about the future, including: What will Republicans, and especially Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, do? Will Democrats be able to replace her on the Senate’s powerful Judiciary Committee and Rules Committee?

Senator Feinstein’s role on the Judiciary Committee for much of this year has been in the news, largely due to her ill health. Some have said the narrow Democratic majority in the Senate and on the Judiciary Committee prevented her from resigning.

There are more Republicans in the Senate (49) than Democrats (48, until Feinstein’s passing), but the three independents who generally vote with Democrats gave them a 51 vote “majority,” with the Senate President, Vice President Kamala Harris, casting the tie-breaking vote 31 times, as of July. Her 31st tie-breaking vote is matched only by one other Vice President, who also cast a total of 31 tie-breaking votes.

What happens now?

READ MORE: ‘These Are Our National Secrets’: Democrat Slams GOP for Ignoring Trump Classified Documents Found ‘In the S——’

Does President Biden’s historic pace of appointing judges – more than the last three presidents at this point in their tenure, end, at least until 2025? As of July, President Biden has nominated and had confirmed more Black women judges (13) than all other U.S. President combined, and placed on the federal bench 44 Black judges in total. Does than also grind to a halt? He has placed on the federal bench at least 27 Hispanic judges.  Earlier this year President Biden nominated two more Hispanic women judges. UC Santa Barbara’s The American Presidency Project noted, “if both are confirmed, President Biden will have confirmed more Latina circuit judges than any President in history.” It also noted, Biden “has nominated 27 AA and NHPI individuals to federal judgeships and 20 have been confirmed. This includes six AA and NHPI circuit court judges.”

And what happens if a U.S. Supreme Court Justice dies or retires?

In April, PBS NewsHour reported, “Republicans blocked a Democratic request to temporarily replace California Sen. Dianne Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, leaving Democrats with few options for moving some of President Joe Biden’s stalled judicial nominees.”

“South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, objected to a resolution offered by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that would have allowed another senator to take Feinstein’s place on the panel while the Democrat recuperates from a case of shingles. Republicans have argued that Democrats only want a stand-in to push through the most partisan judges, noting that many of Biden’s nominees have bipartisan support and can move to the Senate floor for a vote.”

Minority Leader McConnell also made clear his objections at the time.

READ MORE: ‘All Those Biden Towers’ Where ‘Influence Was Used’: Democrat Turns Tables and Mocks Republicans in Sarcastic Q&A

“’Let’s be clear,’ said McConnell in remarks on the Senate floor. ‘Senate Republicans will not take part in sidelining a temporarily absent colleague off a committee just so Democrats can force through their very worst nominees.'”

Given McConnell’s history, including refusing to even allow then-President Barack Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court to get a confirmation hearing, much less an up-or-down vote, it might seem unlikely he will allow Senator Feinstein to be replaced on any Committee.

But, NewsHour’s April reporting may now give Democrats some hope.

“If Feinstein were to resign immediately, the process would be much easier for Democrats, since California Gov. Gavin Newsom would appoint a replacement. The Senate regularly approves committee assignments for new senators after their predecessors have resigned or died. But a temporary replacement due to illness is a rare, if not unprecedented, request.”

Sen. Feinstein also served on several powerful Committees, including Intelligence, Appropriations, and especially the Rules Committee.

Will Republicans allow Senator Feinstein’s replacement to serve on Judiciary, and the other Committees as well?

California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom “must now appoint someone to the U.S. Senate ahead of next year’s election. He has long said he would appoint a Black woman if Feinstein did not finish her term, but he recently specified on ‘Meet the Press’ that he would do so as an ‘interim appointment,'” The San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday. “Only one of the top three candidates to replace Feinstein, Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland, is a Black woman. Polls have shown Lee trailing two opponents, Reps. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, and Adam Schiff, D-Burbank.”

“Republicans have said they would block Democrats from replacing Feinstein on the committee, which must approve President Biden’s judicial nominees,” The Chronicle added. “Newsom has said that without her, Democrats — losing their committee majority — might not be able to get any more federal judges through Congress this term.”

“’I have to remind my friends and progressive colleagues,’ Newsom told reporters last month, ‘if she does resign and the governor, I guess me, appoints someone, we may not get another federal judge out of the Judiciary Committee.’”

READ MORE: ‘Flying Monkeys on a Mission for the Wicked Witch’: Raskin Rips Republicans Over Impeachment ‘Inquiry’

Some experts disagree with “conventional wisdom.”

“The claim that Republicans can and will block DiFi’s [Senator Feinstein’s] replacement on the Senate Judiciary Committee was pulled out of thin air by Democrats seeking a pretext to defend her refusal to retire. It is almost certainly false, and it’s irresponsible to promote this claim as a certainty,” Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who writes about the courts and the law, said Friday.

“Democrats confirmed nearly 100 Biden judges with an evenly divided SJC [Senate Judiciary Committee],” Stern adds. “It just takes somewhat longer.”

Politico on Friday reported, “Democrats will need 60 votes to appoint a senator to fill Feinstein’s role on the Judiciary panel, meaning at least 10 Republicans would need to vote in favor of filling Democrats’ majority on the panel, assuming they move to do so before someone is appointed to the California Senate seat.”

“Senators are typically assigned to committees by unanimous consent, but such orders are subject to debate and can be filibustered. Republican senators could slow, or stop, Democrats from filling the Judiciary roster,” Politico added. “The panel, under Democratic control, has been advancing scores of judicial nominations that Republicans object to. Leaving the panel short one Democratic vote would hamper the majority’s steady confirmation of President Joe Biden’s nominees.”

Back in June, amid clamor from some progressives for Sen. Feinstein to step down, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) warned, “The fact is simple: if Senator Feinstein resigns, Mitch McConnell gets to decide whether Democrats have a Senate Judiciary majority.”


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‘These Are Our National Secrets’: Democrat Slams GOP for Ignoring Trump Classified Documents Found ‘In the S——’



U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) blasted House Republicans for ignoring the hundreds of classified documents photographed on stage and “in the s——” at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence, while going after President Joe Biden who she said not one witness at Thursday’s impeachment “inquiry” had identified what crime he allegedly committed.

“As I prepared,” Rep. Crockett told members of the House Oversight Committee Thursday, “I said, ‘What is the crime?’ Because when you’re talking about impeachment, you’re talking about high crimes and misdemeanors, and I can’t seem to find the crime and honestly, no one has testified of what crime they believe the President of the United States has committed.”

“But when we started talking about things that look like evidence, they want to act like they blind, they don’t know what this is,” Crockett said, waving photographs of boxes allegedly containing classified and top secret documents on stage and in a restroom at Mar-a-Lago.

RELATED: ‘He Knows I’m Right’: Democrat Mocks ‘Scared’ McCarthy and Blows Off Chairman Comer in ‘Very Unserious’ Hearing

“These are our national secrets, looks like in the s—— to me,” she said, as NBC News described her remarks. “This looks like more evidence of our national secrets, say on the stage at Mar-a-Lago. When we’re talking about somebody that’s committed high crimes it’s at least indictments, let’s say 32 counts related to unauthorized retention of national security secrets, seven counts related to obstructing the investigation. Three false statements, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, falsifying business records, conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts related to efforts to obstruct the vote certification proceedings, one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights, 23 counts related to forgery or false documents statements, eight counts related to soliciting, and I could go on because he’s got 91 counts pending right now.”

“But I will tell you what the President [Biden] has been guilty of. He has unfortunately been guilty of loving his child unconditionally, and that is the only evidence that they have brought forward and honestly, I hope and pray that my parents love me half as much as he loves his child. Until they find some evidence we need to get back to the people’s work, which means keeping this government open so that people don’t go hungry in the streets of the United States, and I will yield.”

Congresswoman Crockett’s remarks quickly went viral, with just this video getting 4.6 million views in just four hours.

Watch below or at this link.

RELATED: ‘Flying Monkeys on a Mission for the Wicked Witch’: Raskin Rips Republicans Over Impeachment ‘Inquiry’

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‘He Knows I’m Right’: Democrat Mocks ‘Scared’ McCarthy and Blows Off Chairman Comer in ‘Very Unserious’ Hearing



During House Republicans’ impeachment “inquiry” into President Joe Biden, U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) detailed Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s transition from refusing to allow a vote for an impeachment inquiry to ordering his top Chairmen to initiate an impeachment “inquiry” in the span of just twelve days.

Congressman Frost, the youngest member of the House, called the Speaker “scared,” before turning his attention to the GOP’s witnesses who he said “are not giving us any basis or giving us any evidence or anything,” angering Republican Oversight Chairman Jim Comer, who interjected, “That’s not true.”

Rep. Frost refused to allow the Chairman to interrupt him, and shot back, “Reclaiming my time.”

“These these witnesses are not giving any answers. They’re just asking more questions,” Rep. Frost continued.

While challenging the credibility of the GOP’s witnesses, Frost said there was “one witness who has a lot of questions .. one witness who knows something about accounting but has no real involvement,” and then accused the third witness, the well-known attorney and commentator Jonathan Turley, of “stopping here on his way to his next Fox News hit.”

READ MORE: ‘All Those Biden Towers’ Where ‘Influence Was Used’: Democrat Turns Tables and Mocks Republicans in Sarcastic Q&A

Frost noted that had McCarthy put an impeachment inquiry on the floor for a vote, it “would lose on the House floor and be another embarrassment in the long list of embarrassments in this Congress for the Speaker of the House.”

He added that far-right Republicans  threatened “to shut down the government, something that will happen in just two days.” He also noted, “this is the one that really got to [McCarthy], they said you, you’re about to lose your job and they said we will remove you as Speaker of the house.”

“And that scared him so much that Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, the United States House of Representatives, third in line to the presidency, completely caved due to the threats of people within his own caucus.”

READ MORE: ‘Flying Monkeys on a Mission for the Wicked Witch’: Raskin Rips Republicans Over Impeachment ‘Inquiry’

Pointing to Chairman Comer, Frost on social media said, “He had to interrupt me because he knows I’m right. They say that this isn’t an impeachment, it’s an impeachment ‘inquiry’ to get answers. Then they call up witnesses that are just asking more questions and not providing any answers or evidence. This hearing is very unserious.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.



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