Chris Hedges: We’re Losing the Last Shreds of Legal Rights to Protect Ourselves from Oligarchy

Chris Hedges | Alternet | May 5th 2014

Summer-Law-ProgramsThe U.S. Supreme Court decision to refuse to hear our case concerning Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which permits the military to seize U.S. citizens and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers without due process, means that this provision will continue to be law. It means the nation has entered a post-constitutional era. It means that extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil by our government is legal. It means that the courts, like the legislative and executive branches of government, exclusively serve corporate power — one of the core definitions of fascism. It means that the internal mechanisms of state are so corrupted and subservient to corporate power that there is no hope of reform or protection for citizens under our most basic constitutional rights. It means that the consent of the governed — a poll by OpenCongress.com showed that this provision had a 98 percent disapproval rating — is a cruel joke. And it means that if we do not rapidly build militant mass movements to overthrow corporate tyranny, including breaking the back of the two-party duopoly that is the mask of corporate power, we will lose our liberty.

“In declining to hear the case Hedges v. Obama and declining to review the NDAA, the Supreme Court has turned its back on precedent dating back to the Civil War era that holds that the military cannot police the streets of America,” said attorney Carl Mayer, who along with Bruce Afran devoted countless unpaid hours to the suit. “This is a major blow to civil liberties. It gives the green light to the military to detain people without trial or counsel in military installations, including secret installations abroad. There is little left of judicial review of presidential action during wartime.”

Afran, Mayer and I brought the case to the U.S. Southern District Court of New York in January 2012. I was later joined by co-plaintiffs Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, journalist Alexa O’Brien, RevolutionTruth founder  Tangerine Bolen, Icelandic parliamentarian  Birgitta Jonsdottir and Occupy London activist  Kai Wargalla.

Later in 2012 U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest declared Section 1021(b)(2) unconstitutional. The Obama administration not only appealed — we expected it to appeal — but demanded that the law be immediately put back into effect until the appeal was heard. Forrest, displaying the same judicial courage she showed with her ruling, refused to do this.

The government swiftly went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. It asked, in the name of national security, that the court stay the district court’s injunction until the government’s appeal could be heard. The 2nd Circuit agreed. The law went back on the books. My lawyers and I surmised that this was because the administration was already using the law to detain U.S. citizens in black sites, most likely dual citizens with roots in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. The administration would have been in contempt of court if Forrest’s ruling was allowed to stand while the federal authorities detained U.S. citizens under the statute. Government attorneys, when asked by Judge Forrest, refused to say whether or not the government was already using the law, buttressing our suspicion that it was in use.

The 2nd Circuit overturned Forrest’s ruling last July in a decision that did not force it to rule on the actual constitutionality of Section 1021(b)(2). It cited the Supreme Court ruling in Clapper v. Amnesty International, another case in which I was one of the plaintiffs, to say that I had no standing, or right, to bring the NDAA case to court. Clapper v. Amnesty International challenged the secret wiretapping of U.S. citizens under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. The Supreme Court had ruled in Clapper that our concern about government surveillance was “speculation.” It said we were required to prove to the court that the FISA Act would be used to monitor those we interviewed. The court knew, of course, that the government does not disclose whom it is monitoring. It knew we could never offer proof. The leaks by Edward Snowden, which came out after the Supreme Court ruling, showed that the government was monitoring us all, along with those we interviewed. The 2nd Circuit used the spurious Supreme Court ruling to make its own spurious ruling. It said that because we could not show that the indefinite-detention law was about to be used against us, just as we could not prove government monitoring of our communications, we could not challenge the law. It was a dirty game of judicial avoidance on two egregious violations of the Constitution.

[read full post here]

Is Elizabeth Warren the Only Person Standing Between You and Total Bank Domination?

Lynn Stuart Parramore | Alternet | May 1st 2014

elizabeth warrenThere’s really a storybook quality to Elizabeth Warren. How did this cookie-baking housewife from Oklahoma end up staring down the most powerful financial powers on Planet Earth, causing them to tremble in their wingtip shoes?

Seemingly conjured up from the fabled town of Mayberry, a place of bake sales and heart-to-hearts with Aunt Bea (she actually had an Aunt Bea), Sen. Warren seems aware of her mythic dimension: at one point in her new memoir, A Fighting Chance, she refers to herself as “Alice in Crazyland.” As Alice/Elizabeth heads down the rabbit hole to navigate the money-papered halls of Washington, she uses words like “vile” and “shameful” to describe the evildoing of bankers and corporate predators: she’s an outsider from a realm of truer American values who looks upon the upside-down goings on with outraged astonishment, frequently peppering her narrative with her favorite term for disbelief at human folly, an emphatic, “ Really?!?” This Alice among the evil wizards of Wall Street is full of homespun charm and Midwestern wisdom, but in this cynical age, the truly fabulous thing is that her story is true.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren really did grow up among ordinary, struggling people in Oklahoma, and she really did try her very best to content herself with baking brownies and tending her young family before deciding to go to law school. She really did become a crack expert in bankruptcy law and a Harvard professor, and used what she’d learned to challenge the bankers who spent billions purchasing their own facts and unleashing armies of lobbyists to make victims of hard-working, law-abiding Americans.

You get the feeling that Warren’s fight against these financial predators is deeply personal. And from her memoir, you can see why: she’s fighting for the people who raised her, the neighbors she grew up among, the students in her classes, and the people she has met along the way who have lost their homes, jobs and savings through the deliberate traps set by people who measure their income in human suffering.

When Warren goes to Washington to fight for bankruptcy protection for American citizens and later to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she meets a lot of puzzling creatures along the way, including the man who currently presides over Crazyland, Barack Obama. In her telling, Obama is a well-meaning but conflicted man who chose an economic team that backed Wall Street, but one who also believed in her vision for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, despite his failure to secure her leadership position there.

One of the most memorable scenes in the book is a dinner with Larry Summers, the very image of the power elite, who leans back in his chair to offer his guest some friendly advice: She could be an insider or she could be an outsider. Outsiders, he warned, can say whatever they want, but insiders don’t listen to them. Insiders, on the other hand, have access and power, and powerful people listen to them. But insiders understand one rule: they don’t criticize other insiders. Appalled, Warren rejects his advice. Interestingly, Summers is now on the outside, having faded away like the Cheshire Cat.

[read full post here]

Cold War 2.0 and the Threat of Nuclear Warfare – James Corbett



The rhetoric that has been spewed in recent years about nuclear disarmament is, of course, was always just that: rhetoric. The US government has never seriously considered giving up its nuclear stockpile, or even renouncing a first-use nuclear doctrine. As Dr. Yuki Tanaka of Hiroshima University explains, the Obama administration has not simply continued the aggressive Bush-era stance on America’s nuclear arsenal, but actually extended it. In reality, the Obama administration has simply reaffirmed and even extended the existing US nuclear policy allowing for a first-strike, offensive nuclear war against its enemies. Find out more about the nuclear threat in the new cold war in this week’s GRTV Backgrounder with James Corbett. TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=9084

Tennessee Senate Unanimously Votes to Legalize Hemp

Activistpost | April 10th 2014

hempYesterday, the Tennessee state senate passed a bill which some supporters consider the strongest pro-hemplegislation in the country.

House Bill 2445 (HB2445), introduced by Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), would mandate that the state authorize the growing and production of industrial hemp within Tennessee, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on the same.

The bill reads, in part:

“The department shall issue licenses to persons who apply to the department for a license to grow industrial hemp.”

Mike Maharrey, communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center, noted that one word strengthened the bill considerably. “By including the word ‘shall’ in this legislation, it has a great deal of impact,” he said. “This means that rather than keeping it open-ended like other states have done, hemp farming will be able to move forward in Tennessee whether the regulatory bureaucrats there want it to or not.”

‘Shall’ is a legal term which creates a specific requirement far stronger than a word like ‘will.’ The former is more closely interchangeable with the word “must,” while the latter allows leeway for the object of the term to delay. In this case, the bill states that the Tennessee department of agriculture will have a mandate to license farmers for growing hemp.

Three other states – Colorado, Oregon and Vermont – have already passed bills to authorize hemp farming, but only in Colorado has the process begun. Farmers in SE Colorado started harvesting the plant in 2013 and the state began issuing licenses on March 1, 2014. In Vermont and Oregon, hemp farming was authorized, but no licensing program was mandated, so implementation has been delayed due to regulatory foot-dragging.

That won’t happen in Tennessee should HB2445 pass into law. The legislation also ensures that not only will hemp licenses be issued, but the process for doing so will start quickly. It reads:

The department shall initiate the promulgation of rules … concerning industrial hemp production within one hundred and twenty (120) days of this act becoming law

In other words, should the bill become law, the process in Tennessee will start no later than November, 2014.

Maharrey called this “monumental” in comparison to Oregon. That state first legalized hemp farming in 2009 but five years later, farming and production still has not begun.


Experts suggest that the U.S. market for hemp is around $500 million per year.

But, since the enactment of the unconstitutional federal controlled-substances act in 1970, the Drug Enforcement Agency has prevented the production of hemp within the United States. Many hemp supporters feel that the DEA has been used as an “attack dog” of sorts to prevent competition with major industries where American-grown hemp products would create serious market competition: Cotton, Paper/Lumber, Oil, and others.

There are as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and bio-fuel. The U.S. is currently the world’s #1 importer of hemp fiber for various products, with China and Canada acting as the top two exporters in the world.

During World War II, the United States military relied heavily on hemp products, which resulted in the famous campaign and government-produced film, “Hemp for Victory!

Even though soil, climate and agricultural capabilities could make the United States a massive producer of industrial hemp, today no hemp is grown for public sale, use and consumption outside of Colorado, which just began production.

In February of this year, President Barack Obama signed a new farm bill into law, which included a provision allowing a handful of states to begin limited research programs growing hemp. The new “hemp amendment”;

…allows State Agriculture Departments, colleges and universities to grow hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, for academic or agricultural research purposes, but it applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law.

The farming laws in Colorado, Oregon and Vermont go beyond research and into full-scale farming and production, effectively nullifying the federal ban once production begins. Tennessee will join them, and would likely become the 2nd state in the country to actively start an industrial hemp program should HB2445 become law.

Since the Senate included some minor technical amendments to the bill, it will first go back to the state house for concurrence before moving to Gov. Haslam’s desk for a signature.

For Tennessee Residents: Take action today to help pass HB2445 by clicking HERE.
For All Other States: Take action in your state to push legislators to introduce and support bills to legalize hemp farming by clicking HERE

Visit the TenthAmendmentCenter.com where this article first appeared.

More from Activistpost

Rand Paul: Cheney Started Iraq War to Enrich Halliburton

Source:RT America

Last week, continuing the intraparty feud between Republican hawks and GOPers skeptical of foreign intervention, former Vice President Dick Cheney took a shot at Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). But Paul is not likely to be fazed by criticism from Cheney, for several years ago the Kentucky senator was pushing the conspiratorial notion that the former VP exploited the horrific 9/11 attacks to lead the nation into war in Iraq in order to benefit Halliburton, the enormous military contractor where Cheney had once been CEO.  READ MORE:Rand Paul Says Dick Cheney Pushed for the Iraq War So Halliburton Would Profit

5 Ways Congress Has Manipulated You With Bills That Do the Opposite Of What Their Catchy Titles Imply

Source: breakingtheset

Abby Martin goes over five instances of misleading legislation, including bills like the Patriot Act, Clean Air Act, No Child Left Behind, and the Healthy Forest Initiative which do almost the opposite of what their ‘catchy titles’ imply.

McCutcheon, and the Vicious Cycle of Concentrated Wealth and Political Power

(Photo: Public Citizen / cc / flickr)

(Photo: Public Citizen / cc / flickr)

By Robert Reich | Common Dreams

If wealth and income weren’t already so concentrated in the hands of a few, the shameful “McCutcheon” decision by the five Republican appointees to the Supreme Court wouldn’t be as dangerous. But by taking “Citizen’s United” one step further and effectively eviscerating campaign finance laws, the Court has issued an invitation to oligarchy.

Almost limitless political donations coupled with America’s dramatically widening inequality create a vicious cycle in which the wealthy buy votes that lower their taxes, give them bailouts and subsidies, and deregulate their businesses – thereby making them even wealthier and capable of buying even more votes. Corruption breeds more corruption.

That the richest four hundred Americans now have more wealth than the poorest 150 million Americans put together, the wealthiest 1 percent own over 35 percent of the nation’s private assets, and 95 percent of all the economic gains since the start of the recovery in 2009 have gone to the top 1 percent — all of this is cause for worry, and not just because it means the middle class lacks the purchasing power necessary to get the economy out of first gear.

It is also worrisome because such great concentrations of wealth so readily compound themselves through politics, rigging the game in their favor and against everyone else. “McCutcheon” merely accelerates this vicious cycle.

As Thomas Piketty shows in his monumental “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” this was the pattern in advanced economies through much of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. And it is coming to be the pattern once again.

Picketty is pessimistic that much can be done to reverse it (his sweeping economic data suggest that slow growth will almost automatically concentrate great wealth in a relatively few hands). But he disregards the political upheavals and reforms that such wealth concentrations often inspire — such as America’s populist revolts of the 1890s followed by the progressive era, or the German socialist movement in the 1870s followed by Otto von Bismarck’s creation of the first welfare state.

In America of the late nineteenth century, the lackeys of robber barons literally deposited sacks of money on the desks of pliant legislators, prompting the great jurist Louis Brandeis to note that the nation had a choice: “We can have a democracy or we can have great wealth in the hands of a few,” he said. “But we cannot have both.”

Soon thereafter America made the choice. Public outrage gave birth to the nation’s first campaign finance laws, along with the first progressive income tax. The trusts were broken up and regulations imposed to bar impure food and drugs. Several states enacted America’s first labor protections, including the 40-hour workweek.

The question is when do we reach another tipping point, and what happens then?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

About the Author

Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future; The Work of Nations; Locked in the Cabinet; Supercapitalism; and his newest, Beyond Outrage. His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org.

Americans Say 70 Percent of Politicians Use Political Power to Hurt Enemies and 75 Percent Are Corrupted


Government is losing some of the romance that it used to have as people learn about what people do when they have political power,” says Reason-Rupe polling director Emily Ekins. Ekins sat down Reason TV to discuss the portion of the results from the April Reason-Rupe poll focused on the public’s growing distrust of politicians and government. The poll found that Americans believe that seven out of ten politicians use their power to help friends and hurt enemies. Furthermore, respondents believed that 75 percent of politicians are corrupted by lobbyists and campaign donations.

Undermining the Foundations of American Democracy: Supreme Court Abolishes Campaign Contribution Limits

The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision Wednesday in McCutcheon v. FEC overturned a law that allowed the federal government to cap how much an individual could give to multiple federal candidates and committees in a single campaign cycle. The $123,200 overall limit for total contributions to campaigns, parties, and PACs will no longer be in effect, although contributions to individual candidates remain limited to $2,600. Potentially opening the door to a flood of cash from wealthy individuals, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the dissenting opinion, stating that this ruling “perhaps devastates, what remains of campaign finance reform.” Sen. Bernie Sanders discusses the Supreme Court’s ruling with MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow.  In the 2nd video (see below), RT’s Lindsay France looks into this historic ruling.  Read more: How The Supreme Court Just Legalized Money Laundering By Rich Campaign Donors

Say What? Obama Claims US Invasion of Iraq NOT As Bad as Russia’s Annexation of Crimea

President Barack Obama declared the Kiev uprising a moral victory, Crimea’s vote a sham and Russia a brute aggressor, that must be confronted. To prove his points the President cited examples… including comparing the U.S. invasion of Iraq to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

RT’s Gayane Chichakyan takes a look at the narrative being put forward by the White House. READ MORE: Obama lashes out at Russia over Crimea during Brussels speech

Obama Announces Overhaul of NSA Metadata Collection

Source: RT America

The Obama administration is set to release a new proposal that would change the way the National Security Agency accesses consumers’ phone data. Changes would include no longer allowing the NSA to store phone call “metadata,” and would require the agency to access the data from phone company servers instead. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern joins RT’s Lindsay France to discuss whether the proposal offers real reform or is merely window dressing.

South Carolina Illegally Blocks Libertarian Party From Ballot – Ben Swann


Source: Ben Swann

South Carolina has an Equal Access election law which is now being violated. The state is attempting to deny the Libertarian Party a convention in order to prevent having their candidates on the General Election ballot in 2014. The reason.. the state claims it does not have enough money to comply with equal access law.

US ‘Democracy Promotion’ Destroys Democracy Overseas – Ron Paul


By Ron Paul

It was almost ten years ago when, before the House International Relations Committee, I objected to the US Government funding NGOs to meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine. At the time the “Orange Revolution” had forced a regime change in Ukraine with the help of millions of dollars from Washington.

At that time I told the Committee: We do not know exactly how many millions—or tens of millions—of dollars the United States government spent on the presidential election in Ukraine. We do know that much of that money was targeted to assist one particular candidate, and that through a series of cut-out non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—both American and Ukrainian—millions of dollars ended up in support of the presidential candidate…

I was worried about millions of dollars that the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its various related organizations spent to meddle in Ukraine’s internal affairs. But it turns out that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Last December, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland gave a speech in which she admitted that since 1991 the US government has: [I]nvested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine…in the development of democratic institutions and skills in promoting civil society and a good form of government.

This is the same State Department official who was caught on tape just recently planning in detail the overthrow of the Ukrainian government.

That five billion dollars appears to have bought a revolution in Ukraine. But what do the US taxpayers get, who were forced to pay for this interventionism? Nothing good. Ukraine is a bankrupt country that will need tens of billions of dollars to survive the year. Already the US-selected prime minister has made a trip to Washington to ask for more money.

And what will the Ukrainians get? Their democracy has been undermined by the US-backed coup in Kiev. In democracies, power is transferred peacefully through elections, not seized by rebels in the streets. At least it used to be.

The IMF will descend on Ukraine to implement yet another of its failed rescue plans, which enrich the well-connected and international bankers at the expense of the local population. The IMF adds debt, organizes sweetheart deals for foreign corporations, and demands that the local population accept “austerity” in exchange for “reform” that never seems to produce the promised results.

The groundwork for this disaster has been laid by NED, USAID, and the army of NGOs they have funded over the years in Ukraine.

Supporters of NED and its related organizations will argue that nothing is wrong with sending US dollars to “promote democracy” overseas. The fact is, however, that NED, USAID, and the others have nothing to do with promoting democracy and everything to do with destroying democracy.

It is not democracy to send in billions of dollars to push regime change overseas. It isn’t democracy to send in the NGOs to re-write laws and the constitution in places like Ukraine. It is none of our business.

How should we promote democracy overseas? First, we should stop the real isolationists — those who seek to impose sanctions and blockades and restrictions that impede our engagement overseas. We can promote democracy with a US private sector that engages overseas. A society that prospers through increased trade ties with the US will be far more likely to adopt practices and policies that continue that prosperity and encourage peace.

In 2005, arguing against funding NED in the US foreign assistance authorization bill, I said: The National Endowment for Democracy…has very little to do with democracy. It is an organization that uses US tax money to actually subvert democracy, by showering funding on favored political parties or movements overseas. It underwrites color-coded ‘people’s revolutions’ overseas that look more like pages out of Lenin’s writings on stealing power than genuine indigenous democratic movements.

Sadly, matters are even worse now. To promote democracy overseas, NED and all other meddling US government funded NGOs should be disbanded immediately.

Dr. Paul’s 2004 committee remarks on Ukraine and NGO’s:

US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s speech admitting U.S. meddling in Ukrainian affairs:

The US Establishment is Lying about Everything on Ukraine

| Opednews |23rd march 2014

kiev warzoneWith the cat out of the bag about exactly what type of “freedom fighters” that the US is backing in Ukraine, thanks largely to the selfie video of Svoboda party thugs pummeling a Ukranian TV executive it is obvious to any and all outside of The Homeland cocoon that the Obama regime is lying. The unified stone wall of bullshit that is the US state-corporate media parroting the official line on what was actually a neocon instigated overthrow of a democratically elected leader who had just agreed to placate protesters with early elections is truly something to behold. It brings to mind the march toward the unprovoked attack and subsequent occupation of Iraq, a country that did not even remotely threaten the US by the Bush administration and the neocon ideologues that drove policy in the early years of the new American century. The wall to wall vilification of Saddam Hussein was the prototype for the ongoing spree of demagoguery directed at Russian president Vladimir Putin and which has been so withering that it is obvious that this is all about more than Ukraine. It is about Snowden and Syria as well as a pitched battle to save what is the fully mutated form of parasitic global finance capitalism as it continues to devour and destroy.

The video of the beating of Ukraine state television boss Oleksandr Panteleymonov went viral to the extent that even the corrupt US media had to actually acknowledge it. The antics of Senator John McCain’s neo-Nazi pals however was spun accordingly and dishonestly in this AP story “Ukraine Nationalist Antics Seen as Gift to Russia”  from which I excerpt:

The assault, which prompted condemnation in the West, presents an important test for Ukraine’s new pro-Western government.

First, it’s eager to show a modern, democratic face to the world as it enters a landmark political association pact with the European Union. Perhaps more gravely, the nationalist violence plays directly into the hands of Russia’s propaganda spinners: State-controlled media eagerly used the incident to portray Kiev’s leadership as a hive of radical nationalists who terrorize Russian speakers, justifying the Kremlin’s moves to protect them in Ukraine.

Tensions are high in Ukraine as the government debates whether to pull its troops from the Crimean peninsula, where Russian forces are seizing Ukrainian ships and evicting soldiers from military bases. Crimeans are eagerly lining up to apply for Russian passports, while Russian tanks and troops amass near the border with eastern Ukraine.

For Ihor Miroshnichenko, a lawmaker with the nationalist Svoboda party, those scenes of Russian domination were all too much.

And the broadcast of Russian celebrations seemed to add insult to injury.

To vent his rage, he led a group of Svoboda colleagues in storming the office of the First National channel’s chief, Oleksandr Panteleymonov, used an insulting term used to describe Russians and punched him repeatedly, while an aide recorded the scene on video.

“Today Ukraine is in a state of war and in a state of partial occupation by Russia. And when war is going on, giving the air to the enemy — I believe it is state treason,” Miroshenichenko, a former journalist who sits on the parliamentary committee on freedom of speech, told the Hromadske online television channel.

“I cannot imagine that Poland which was occupied by Hitler would give him airtime on the radio so that Fuhrer could explain his position.”

Miroshnichenko admitted that he may have overreacted — although he refused to acknowledge that he actually beat Panteleymonov.

The TV executive said in a statement Friday that he is ready to leave his post, but only if there is a legitimate government decision to replace him.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk condemned the assault as undemocratic.

“These are not our methods,” Yatsenyuk said in a statement. “A country which is going toward the European Union will continue to profess the basic principles and values of the European Community.”

[read full post here]

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors


Worldwide Wave of Action to Keep NYC Mayor Honest

by Worldwide Wave of Action | PopularResistance.org | Mar 20 2014


April 4th ‪WaveOfAction‬ Will Be A Defining Moment For NY City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

NY City Mayor Bill de Blasio won election by using the populist rhetoric of the Occupy Movement. As the former Public Advocate for the City of New York, he rode the momentum of the 99% into office. Mainstream media outlets dubbed him “The Occupy Mayor.” In October of 2011, he even spoke at Zuccotti Park, calling Occupy a “heartfelt movement that’s speaking to what people are feeling all over this country.”


However, since being elected he has made some highly suspicious moves in favor the 1%.

Right from the start, the DNC’s controversial enforcer Rahm Emanuel advised his transition team. He also selected a Goldman Sachs executive to be Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. Perhaps most controversial of all, he selected Bill Bratton as NYPD Commissioner.

Bratton is now serving as NYPD Commissioner for the second time. When he previously served, during the Giuliani administration (1994–1996), he was known as an “anti-civil rights enforcer.” His enforcement style was called the “broken windows approach.” Bratton also served as Chief of the LAPD from (2002–2009). During his time in LA, his record indicates a strong preference toward racial profiling. Bratton also has a long history of being supportive of highly controversial “stop-and-frisk” policies.

As Tom Hayden reported on Bratton’s record, “Well over 70 percent of 2008 LAPD stops in inner-city precincts were of African American and Latinos, a ration similar to New York’s. There was a ‘steep increase’ in arrests for minor crimes, known as Part Two [loitering, DUI, disorderly conduct]…” However, in reporting on Bratton’s time in LA, The Nation magazine wrote, “Many in the LA civil liberties community, from the ACLU’s Ramona Ripston to civil rights lawyer Connie Rice, supported Bratton during his stay, perhaps in comparison to Los Angeles’ long history of abusive policing.”

When Bratton was announced as the new NYPD Commissioner, the New York based Gothamist ran an article with this inflammatory headline, “De Blasio’s New NYPD Commissioner Would Have Crushed Occupy Wall Street Like A Cockroach.” In the piece, they revealed that Bratton “told a former New York City official that if he were commissioner during Occupy Wall Street he would have ‘cleared them out right away.’ And during a speech in Manhattan last year, Bratton bluntly stated that ‘You can’t allow people to occupy public space.’”

All that being said, in early November 2011, while criticizing Mayor Bloomberg’s “troubling” policing of Occupy, de Blasio declared this in defense of occupiers, “My bottom line today is that City Hall should stop the saber-rattling and stop the schizophrenia and just make clear that we’re gonna respect their First Amendment rights and let this play out.”

On April 4th, in honor of Martin Luther King’s legacy of nonviolent civil disobedience, the Worldwide #WaveOfAction is being launched in the Manhattan park that Occupy made famous. Zuccotti Park will once again be filled with people looking to ‪#‎ReOccupy‬. Will de Blasio “respect their First Amendment rights” and let this peaceful campaign “play out”? Will he walk his talk and support the movement that made his election possible, or will he prove to be yet another Two-Party Oligarchy shill? Is Mayor de Blasio a legit supporter of the people, or is he just a Wall Street puppet spouting meaningless propaganda like President Obama?

Show up on April 4 and let’s find out!

Either way, “The People Untied Will Not Be Defeated.” Take heed Mayor de Blasio, this is a legacy defining moment. Which side of history will you be on?