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Flow Chart of Doom

24 Dec

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The Story of Your Enslavement (extremely graphic)

21 Dec

My Occupy LA Arrest, by Patrick Meighan (UPDATE: 12/9/11)

9 Dec

http://myoccupylaarrest.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-occupy-la-arrest-by-patrick-meighan.html?spref=fb

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011

 My name is Patrick Meighan, and I’m a husband, a father, a writer on the Fox animated sitcom “Family Guy”, and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica.

I was arrested at about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning with 291 other people at Occupy LA. I was sitting in City Hall Park with a pillow, a blanket, and a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Being Peace” when 1,400 heavily-armed LAPD officers in paramilitary SWAT gear streamed in. I was in a group of about 50 peaceful protestors who sat Indian-style, arms interlocked, around a tent (the symbolic image of the Occupy movement). The LAPD officers encircled us, weapons drawn, while we chanted “We Are Peaceful” and “We Are Nonviolent” and “Join Us.”

As we sat there, encircled, a separate team of LAPD officers used knives to slice open every personal tent in the park. They forcibly removed anyone sleeping inside, and then yanked out and destroyed any personal property inside those tents, scattering the contents across the park. They then did the same with the communal property of the Occupy LA movement. For example, I watched as the LAPD destroyed a pop-up canopy tent that, until that moment, had been serving as Occupy LA’s First Aid and Wellness tent, in which volunteer health professionals gave free medical care to absolutely anyone who requested it. As it happens, my family had personally contributed that exact canopy tent to Occupy LA, at a cost of several hundred of my family’s dollars. As I watched, the LAPD sliced that canopy tent to shreds, broke the telescoping poles into pieces and scattered the detritus across the park. Note that these were the objects described in subsequent mainstream press reports as “30 tons of garbage” that was “abandoned” by Occupy LA: personal property forcibly stolen from us, destroyed in front of our eyes and then left for maintenance workers to dispose of while we were sent to prison.

When the LAPD finally began arresting those of us interlocked around the symbolic tent, we were all ordered by the LAPD to unlink from each other (in order to facilitate the arrests). Each seated, nonviolent protester beside me who refused to cooperate by unlinking his arms had the following done to him: an LAPD officer would forcibly extend the protestor’s legs, grab his left foot, twist it all the way around and then stomp his boot on the insole, pinning the protestor’s left foot to the pavement, twisted backwards. Then the LAPD officer would grab the protestor’s right foot and twist it all the way the other direction until the non-violent protestor, in incredible agony, would shriek in pain and unlink from his neighbor.

It was horrible to watch, and apparently designed to terrorize the rest of us. At least I was sufficiently terrorized. I unlinked my arms voluntarily and informed the LAPD officers that I would go peacefully and cooperatively. I stood as instructed, and then I had my arms wrenched behind my back, and an officer hyperextended my wrists into my inner arms. It was super violent, it hurt really really bad, and he was doing it on purpose. When I involuntarily recoiled from the pain, the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement. He had my hands behind my back, so I landed right on my face. The officer dropped with his knee on my back and ground my face into the pavement. It really, really hurt and my face started bleeding and I was very scared. I begged for mercy and I promised that I was honestly not resisting and would not resist.

My hands were then zipcuffed very tightly behind my back, where they turned blue. I am now suffering nerve damage in my right thumb and palm.

I was put on a paddywagon with other nonviolent protestors and taken to a parking garage in Parker Center. They forced us to kneel (and sit–SEE UPDATE) on the hard pavement of that parking garage for seven straight hours with our hands still tightly zipcuffed behind our backs. Some began to pass out. One man rolled to the ground and vomited for a long, long time before falling unconscious. The LAPD officers watched and did nothing.

At 9 a.m. we were finally taken from the pavement into the station to be processed. The charge was sitting in the park after the police said not to. It’s a misdemeanor. Almost always, for a misdemeanor, the police just give you a ticket and let you go. It costs you a couple hundred dollars. Apparently, that’s what happened with most every other misdemeanor arrest in LA that day.

With us Occupy LA protestors, however, they set bail at $5,000 and booked us into jail. Almost none of the protesters could afford to bail themselves out. I’m lucky and I could afford it, except the LAPD spent all day refusing to actually *accept* the bail they set. If you were an accused murderer or a rapist in LAPD custody that day, you could bail yourself right out and be back on the street, no problem. But if you were a nonviolent Occupy LA protestor with bail money in hand, you were held long into the following morning, with absolutely no access to a lawyer.

I spent most of my day and night crammed into an eight-man jail cell, along with sixteen other Occupy LA protesters. My sleeping spot was on the floor next to the toilet.

Finally, at 2:30 the next morning, after twenty-five hours in custody, I was released on bail. But there were at least 200 Occupy LA protestors who couldn’t afford the bail. The LAPD chose to keep those peaceful, non-violent protesters in prison for two full days… the absolute legal maximum that the LAPD is allowed to detain someone on misdemeanor charges.

As a reminder, Antonio Villaraigosa has referred to all of this as “the LAPD’s finest hour.”

So that’s what happened to the 292 women and men were arrested last Wednesday. Now let’s talk about a man who was not arrested last Wednesday. He is former Citigroup CEO Charles Prince. Under Charles Prince, Citigroup was guilty of massive, coordinated securities fraud.

Citigroup spent years intentionally buying up every bad mortgage loan it could find, creating bad securities out of those bad loans and then selling shares in those bad securities to duped investors. And then they sometimes secretly bet *against* their *own* bad securities to make even more money. For one such bad Citigroup security, Citigroup executives were internally calling it, quote, “a collection of dogshit”. To investors, however, they called it, quote, “an attractive investment rigorously selected by an independent investment adviser”.

This is fraud, and it’s a felony, and the Charles Princes of the world spent several years doing it again and again: knowingly writing bad mortgages, and then packaging them into fraudulent securities which they then sold to suckers and then repeating the process. This is a big part of why your property values went up so fast. But then the bubble burst, and that’s why our economy is now shattered for a generation, and it’s also why your home is now underwater. Or at least mine is.

Anyway, if your retirement fund lost a decade’s-worth of gains overnight, this is why.

If your son’s middle school has added furlough days because the school district can’t afford to keep its doors open for a full school year, this is why.

If your daughter has come out of college with a degree only to discover that there are no jobs for her, this is why.

But back to Charles Prince. For his four years of in charge of massive, repeated fraud at Citigroup, he received fifty-three million dollars in salary and also received another ninety-four million dollars in stock holdings. What Charles Prince has *not* received is a pair of zipcuffs. The nerves in his thumb are fine. No cop has thrown Charles Prince into the pavement, face-first. Each and every peaceful, nonviolent Occupy LA protester arrested last week has has spent more time sleeping on a jail floor than every single Charles Prince on Wall Street, combined.

The more I think about that, the madder I get. What does it say about our country that nonviolent protesters are given the bottom of a police boot while those who steal hundreds of billions, do trillions worth of damage to our economy and shatter our social fabric for a generation are not only spared the zipcuffs but showered with rewards?

In any event, believe it or not, I’m really not angry that I got arrested. I chose to get arrested. And I’m not even angry that the mayor and the LAPD decided to give non-violent protestors like me a little extra shiv in jail (although I’m not especially grateful for it either).

I’m just really angry that every single Charles Prince wasn’t in jail with me.

Thank you for letting me share that anger with you today.

Patrick Meighan

——-

UPDATE (12/9/11): Hey all, thank you for the nice thoughts from many folks who have read this account. One necessary clarification about the 7 hours spent by the roughly 100-of-us in the Parker Center parking garage immediately following our arrest:

though we were indeed forced to kneel on that parking garage pavement for an extended period and though we did in fact have our hands tightly zipcuffed behind our backs for that entire seven-hour stretch on the pavement, and though we were barred from standing and moving for that time period, the LAPD officers, in point of fact, did allow us to shift ourselves out of the kneeling position onto our butt-cheeks, our side-legs, etc., as necessary. At the very least, when we began to do so, they did not stop us. I apologize for implying otherwise.

I also want to say that I don’t consider my above-described treatment at the hands of the LAPD to be, in any way, uniquely-brutal, or that I was especially victimized. Yes, getting arrested and going to jail was scary and sometimes painful and it generally sucked, but jail is supposed to suck. Again, the point of this blogpost is not that I was treated especially poorly by the LAPD officers who arrested, processed and held us. The LAPD officers were just doing their jobs, as they understood them. The point of the blogpost is simply to contrast the legal response to nonviolent protestors against the the legal response (or, rather, non-response) to the perpetrators of the largest act of coordinated larceny in economic history, for whom the next arrest will be the first one.

Best,

Patrick Meighan
Culver City, CA

#OWS calls for nonviolent solidarity on November 17th

21 Nov

A Message to Trolls Opposing OWS – My note on Facebook

21 Nov
by Kimberley Hannaman-Taylor on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 11:28am

This is a copy of my letter to a FB acquaintance that sent me a link to an image that showed soldiers on one side of the screen captioned: “Those Who Give Everything”  vs. an image of OWS protesters captioned: “Those Who Want Everything.”

I responded to the image thusly:

“This image is offensive. What have you all  (the commentators under the image) done today for your country and/or community other than sit on your asses and bitch about other people’s actions? Shame on all of you.”

I then immediately unfriended and blocked the acquaintance that sent it to me.

He wrote me the following, later that night on Google+.

“hey i dont mean to bug you, and i know you were militantly defriending people. however, youve gotta know that ive spent hours reading the links you shared on your page. also,i know you are pretty deadlocked into your position, but i think if you are not going to address other perspective you will develop a bias (which i guess is only natural?). i guess if one truely wanted to give their life/everything to a cause one could do so via protest/civil disobediance. on the other hand, i dont think protest by itself has everything one needs to better one’s self to better the world. lastly, you are the only person i know of that understands the singularity. that has to count for something right? heh. again sorry to take up your time, but i would really like to continue to follow your coverage, and perhaps celebrate bicycle day with ya’ll eventually.”

I felt pretty humbled by his response and wrote the following in response, which fairly sums up my position over-all and so I am sharing it with you all in an effort to be understood.

Dear (blank):

I apologize for my knee jerk reaction to your post. I must say, I was astonished because I had believed we were simpatico (singularity et al). I found that image offensive on so many levels. To suggest that soldiers give everything while domestic patriots (yes, I believe this movement is the most patriotic motion to occur since the civil rights movement) are acting selfishly is offensive to me.

The ignorance of the trolls is wearing out my patience. I do believe in everyone’s right of expression, but like a bloody accident on the highway, I don’t have to ogle it. The internet allows me to block that which I do not care to view and I’m currently taking the stance that offensive, ignorant propaganda has no place on my page. I don’t care to engage in debate with the unreasonable. Does that make me and my position unreasonable? I suppose you could look at it that way, but it’s better than allowing my faith in humanity to waiver, which it does, ever so slightly, every time I’m exposed to the hateful neo-nazi bs that is running rampant within the opposition. 

I believe this shift is going to occur with or without the xenophobic tyrants who oppose it. I believe the veil will be lifted, is being lifted and that the courage of those who’ve put their necks on the line if only to expose the police state we’re living in as real is a first and crucial step. I’m deeply committed to protecting and propagating this momentum and if I have to lose a few acquaintances along the way to do so, then so be it. 

Whatever you think of OWS and it’s goals and it’s methods, it’s doing these important things: Exposing the truth of our society. Exposing that the police we pay to protect and serve us are actually an army for the financial elite. Exposing that our elected officials are the legal meat puppets of the pirate villains that are robbing our world of it’s resources and human rights. Exposing the mainstream media as the voice of these villains and exposing our society as a dead zone of critical thinking and self absorption. Exposure is our ally. We must look in the mirror, become the change we wish to see in the world, and if need be, give our lives to see the change into fruition. 

I don’t see any other way. The singularity is coming and we can evolve or we can die – first morally (which is nearly complete) and ultimately physically. I choose evolution. Which do you choose? And when?

With hope,

Kimberley

epilogue: I have un-blocked and friend requested him again  in hopes that we can find a common ground and make peace.

Cop at #OccupyDallas blatantly shoving a demonstrator off a 4 ft. ledge before arresting him

20 Nov

We Are All Occupiers – Common Dreams (dot) org

20 Nov

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/18-5

Published on Friday, November 18, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

We Are All Occupiers

People the world over salute the Occupy movement for standing up to injustice and fighting for equality at the heart of empire

This is the text of a speech given by Arundhati Roy at the People’s University in Washington Square, NYC on November 16th, 2011.

Tuesday morning, the police cleared Zuccotti Park, but today the people are back. The police should know that this protest is not a battle for territory. We’re not fighting for the right to occupy a park here or there. We are fighting for justice. Justice, not just for the people of the United States, but for everybody.

What you have achieved since September 17th, when the Occupy movement began in the United States, is to introduce a new imagination, a new political language into the heart of empire. You have reintroduced the right to dream into a system that tried to turn everybody into zombies mesmerized into equating mindless consumerism with happiness and fulfillment.

As a writer, let me tell you, this is an immense achievement. And I cannot thank you enough.

We were talking about justice. Today, as we speak, the army of the United States is waging a war of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. US drones are killing civilians in Pakistan and beyond. Tens of thousands of US troops and death squads are moving into Africa. If spending trillions of dollars of your money to administer occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan is not enough, a war against Iran is being talked up.

Ever since the Great Depression, the manufacture of weapons and the export of war have been key ways in which the United States has stimulated its economy. Just recently, under President Obama, the United States made a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia – moderate Muslims, right? It hopes to sell thousands of bunker busters to the UAE. It has sold $5 billion-worth of military aircraft to my country, India, which has more poor people than all the poorest countries of Africa put together. All these wars, from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Vietnam, Korea, Latin America, have claimed millions of lives – all of them fought to secure the “American way of life”.

Today, we know that the “American way of life” – the model that the rest of the world is meant to aspire towards – has resulted in 400 people owning the wealth of half of the population of the United States. It has meant thousands of people being turned out of their homes and their jobs while the US government bailed out banks and corporations – American International Group (AIG) alone was given $182 billion.

The Indian government worships US economic policy. As a result of 20 years of the free market economy, today, 100 of India’s richest people own assets worth one-quarter of the country’s GDP while more than 80% of the people live on less than 50 cents a day; 250,000 farmers, driven into a spiral of death, have committed suicide. We call this progress, and now think of ourselves as a superpower. Like you, we are well-qualified: we have nuclear bombs and obscene inequality.

The good news is that people have had enough and are not going to take it any more. The Occupy movement has joined thousands of other resistance movements all over the world in which the poorest of people are standing up and stopping the richest corporations in their tracks. Few of us dreamed that we would see you, the people of the United States on our side, trying to do this in the heart of Empire. I don’t know how to communicate the enormity of what this means.

They (the 1%) say that we don’t have demands… perhaps they don’t know, that our anger alone would be enough to destroy them. But here are some things – a few “pre-revolutionary” thoughts I had – for us to think about together:

We want to put a lid on this system that manufactures inequality. We want to put a cap on the unfettered accumulation of wealth and property by individuals as well as corporations. As “cap-ists” and “lid-ites”, we demand:

• An end to cross-ownership in businesses. For example, weapons manufacturers cannot own TV stations; mining corporations cannot run newspapers; business houses cannot fund universities; drug companies cannot control public health funds.

• Two, natural resources and essential infrastructure – water supply, electricity, health, and education – cannot be privatized.

• Three, everybody must have the right to shelter, education and healthcare.

• Four, the children of the rich cannot inherit their parents’ wealth.

This struggle has re-awakened our imagination. Somewhere along the way, capitalism reduced the idea of justice to mean just “human rights”, and the idea of dreaming of equality became blasphemous. We are not fighting to just tinker with reforming a system that needs to be replaced.

As a cap-ist and a lid-ite, I salute your struggle.

Salaam and Zindabad.

© 2011 Arundhati Roy
Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy was born in 1959 in Shillong, India. She studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives, and has worked as a film designer, actor, and screenplay writer in India. Her latest book, Listening to Grasshoppers: Fields Notes on Democracy, is a collection of recent essays. A tenth anniversary edition of her novel, The God of Small Things(Random House), for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize, was recently released. She is also the author of numerous nonfiction titles, including An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire.