Boston Mayor: Civil Disobedience Will Not Be Tolerated

As complaints rise over mass arrests by Boston police in the Occupy Boston protests, Mayor Thomas Menino decided to add a rather draconian note by announcing ” “Civil disobedience will not be tolerated.” It was a moment reminiscent of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announcing in the 1968 Democratic Convention protests that “the policeman isn’t there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder.”

Of course, civil disobedience has long been a respected form of protest from Henry David Thoreau to Martin Luther King. The framers seemed keen on such rights when including in the first amendment that “Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

It is painful to watch the reaction to these protests. I remain co-lead counsel in the World Bank case (Chang) where we are still litigating the mass arrest of hundreds of innocent citizens without probable cause in Freedom Plaza and Pershing Park.

While offering passing sympathy for protester, Menino draw a bright line regarding any exercise of free speech that crosses the line into civil disobedience: “when it comes to civil disobedience, I will not tolerate civil disobedience in the city of Boston.”

Menino’s comment will only serve to heighten tensions and could be viewed as an encouragement for harsher treatment of protesters. As the home of the Boston Tea Party and John Adams, the comments seem tragically misplaced in both location and time.

Source: Think Progress

111 thoughts on “Boston Mayor: Civil Disobedience Will Not Be Tolerated

  1. I read the following article in the Boston Globe this morning:

    Boston police move in on protesters on Greenway, scores arrested
    By John M. Guilfoil and Derek J. Anderson, Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent

    Boston police moved in and began arresting scores of Occupy Boston protesters who refused to leave a large part of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway early this morning.

    At 1:20 a.m., the first riot police officers lined up on Atlantic Avenue. Minutes later, dozens of sheriff vans and police wagons arrived and over 200 officers in uniforms and riot gear surrounded the Greenway.

    Police Superintendent William Evans and Commissioner Edward F. Davis watched from across the street. Evans gave the crowd two minutes to disperse from the park, warning that they would be locked up if they did not comply.

    The crowd of protesters, energized by the sudden appearance of the Boston and Transit police officers, chanted, ‘‘The people united will never be defeated,’’ “This is a peaceful protest,” and “the whole world is watching.’’

    About 10 minutes later, the first officers entered the park and surrounded the group. Evans, using a loudspeaker, gave one more warning and then each protester was individually put on his or her stomach, cable-tied, and dragged off as others tore down tents and arrested and detained people on the fringe of the park.

    About 100 people were arrested, Davis said. One police officer was hit in the face.

    According to police, no protesters or police were injured.

    A lot of the protesters retreated from the Greenway to Dewey Square when the police arrived.

    Police had earlier warned the about 1,000 protesters to leave the Greenway area, where they had settled hours before, and relocate to Dewey Square or a small, adjacent strip of the Greenway.

    Officials do not want the protesters, who originally settled in Dewey Square, to occupy the space across Congress Street on the Greenway because it recently underwent a renovation project where expensive improvements were added, according to Elaine Driscoll, police spokeswoman.

    Prior to moving in on the protesters, police had closed all the streets in the area.

    Also, the protesters’ chants stopped as their companions were being lead off by police. Some protesters would then yell out the phone number of a lawyer group that would defend them if they were charged.

    As the officers lined up this morning, some members of the crowd shouted, “you don’t have to do this” and “who do you protect, who do you serve?”

    At one point, eight to 10 officers in riot gear tackled and cable-tagged one protester who appeared to be resisting. When the chanting stopped an eerie silence came over the park except for the occasional heckling from remaining members of the crowd gathered across the street.

    Some in the crown also chanted, “down with Menino.”

    John Nilles, 74, a Marine from Medford who served in Vietnam and is a member of the group, Veterans for Peace, said he was knocked down during the arrests.

    He believes he did not get arrested in the chaos because he got knocked down, and banged up his knee.

  2. “I remember seeing people getting their heads bashed in Chicago in 1968.” – Swarthmore mom

    So do I. Let’s hope we don’t see it again… It’s early… and could easily get out of hand down the road…

  3. I have seen only little articles in the national TV coverage and this is first I have seen about this. The supposed liberal media is not so interested in something that should be taken more seriously and given more coverage. I assume the hope is the less the mention, the fewer people will come and it will peter out. Amazing how the Tea Party was covered all over the place, loud and strong. It would be better if there was a cohesive message, maybe that is part of the lack of attention but, to me, just the fact that thousands throughout the country are coming together to protest the government and what is happening to this country is sufficient to to get out the media.

  4. “Mumbles” Menino isn’t revered for his brains….. “History is in ‘da past, wher’ it otta stay!” … ” [W]ho is dis OObama, he thinks he’s Pressydent or sumthin’?”

    BTW, Occupy Boston should advise the folks to make sure their affairs are in order and to prepare a legal will. It could be 2nd Bunker Hill.

  5. I think these police state actions clearly show the elites didn’t have these protests in their day planner. They are afraid. This movement is going straight to the problem, it confronts those who run our nation and who have (are still stealing) the assets of the people.

    It is extremely sad that a mayor would turn on his fellow citizens. This is a dangerous time for all of us. As the ruling elite is confronted they are bringing out their weapons, piece by piece. Whether it is direct violence, GS paying off NYPD, and crackdowns such as this on an honorable, non-violent tradition to obtain justice, the elites will bring every tool out of their tool box. I hope protesters remain strong and united in the face of the police state. This isn’t going to be easy.

  6. I would like to know the mayor’s interpretation of what
    civil disobedience is. Of course violence should not
    be tolerated but doesn’t the word civil imply something
    quite the opposite? I agree that Menino’s statement may
    only heighten the tension that already exists.

  7. Erin Burnett: Voice of the People
    By Glenn Greenwald
    October 5, 2011

    On her new CNN show on Monday night, host Erin Burnett was joined by Rudy Giuliani’s former speechwriter John Avlon and together they heaped condescending scorn on the Wall Street protests while defending the banking industry, offering — as FAIR documented — several misleading statements along the way. Burnett “reported” that while she “saw dancing, bongo drums, even a clown” at the protest, the participants “did not know what they want,” except that “it seems like people want a messiah leader, just like they did when they anointed Barack Obama.” She featured a video clip of herself explaining to one of the protesters that the U.S. Government made money from TARP, and then demanded to know if that changed his negative views of Wall Street.

    This is far from the first time Burnett has served as spokesperson for Wall Street; it’s basically what her “journalistic” career is. She angered Bill Maher a couple years ago when arguing that the rich have suffered along with the poor and middle class as part of the financial crisis, and that it would be wrong to “soak the rich” because they’re already paying so much taxes. She caused Rush Limbaugh to gush over her when she argued on TV in 2007 that all Americans benefit when the rich get richer: “the majority of Americans directly benefit from what happens on Wall Street,” she proclaimed, just over a year before the financial collapse.

    CNBC’s Erin Burnett – Apologist for Wall Street

  8. Andrew Ross Sorkin’s assignment editor
    By Glenn Greenwald
    October 4, 2011

    The Occupy Wall Street protest has been growing in numbers, respectability, and media attention for several weeks now. Despite that, The New York Times‘ financial columnist who specializes in Wall Street coverage, Andrew Ross Sorkin, has neither visited the protests nor written about them — until today. In a column invoking the now-familiar journalistic tone of a zoologist examining a bizarre new species of animal discovered in the wild, Sorkin explains what prompted him to finally pay attention (via Michael Whitney):

    I had gone down to Zuccotti Park to see the activist movement firsthand after getting a call from the chief executive of a major bank last week, before nearly 700 people were arrested over the weekend during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge.

    “Is this Occupy Wall Street thing a big deal?” the C.E.O. asked me. I didn’t have an answer. “We’re trying to figure out how much we should be worried about all of this,” he continued, clearly concerned. “Is this going to turn into a personal safety problem?”

    How interesting that when a CEO “of a major bank” wants to know how threatening these protests are, he doesn’t seek out corporate advisers or dispatch the bank’s investigators, but instead gets the NYT‘s notoriously banker-friendly Wall Street reporter on the phone and assigns him to report back. How equally interesting that if this NYT financial columnist can’t address the concerns and questions of a CEO “of a major bank,” he hops to it to find out what was demanded of him. Sorkin did what he was told, cautiously concluding:

    As I wandered around the park, it was clear to me that most bankers probably don’t have to worry about being in imminent personal danger. This didn’t seem like a brutal group — at least not yet.

  9. Backdoor Bailout Brouhaha: Andrew Ross Sorkin Defends Goldman Sachs
    New York Observer
    By Max Abelson 7/27/10

    In a punchy column this week, the Times‘ Andrew Ross Sorkin provides what his headline calls Some Backup for Goldman on the longstanding A.I.G. controversy.

    Since the early days of A.I.G.’s $182 billion rescue, the government’s money was seen as a “backdoor bailout” of Goldman Sachs, the insurance giant’s biggest trading partner: The Times itself reported the big story that Goldman had as much as “$20 billion of risk tied to A.I.G.,” although the investment bank was already saying that its exposure was “immaterial.” Last Friday the Times did a big new article on how badly an A.I.G. collapse would have hurt Goldman; the “backdoor bailout” phrase has even been used even on DealBook, the Times business blog that Sorkin edits.

    But that “popular narrative,” Sorkin says this week, isn’t right. For one thing, he explains, Goldman had hedged itself by buying lots of insurance on A.I.G. from dozens of other banks. Last Friday’s article, though, said that chunks of the protection came from banks like Citibank and Lehman, who would probably have been too unstable to have made good.

    Mr. Sorkin has made a habit of writing nimble-footed Goldman defenses this year. In April, in a column called A Crowd With Pity for Goldman, he quoted fellow guests at Michael Milken’s big annual conference who thought the S.E.C. suit was “childish.” Last month, in a column called One Crowd Still Loyal to Goldman, he said that despite all the bad headlines, the truth was that “Goldman’s big customers are not bolting.” In between, he wrote a column about support from Warren Buffett, who, as Mr. Sorkin pointed out toward the end, has an enormous stake in the company. And earlier in the year, he explained why the A.I.G. bailout might not be so bad: He quoted two sources close to the firm’s board who once thought the A.I.G. bailout would cost the country $100 billion, but who now think the government might be able to get all its money back.

  10. “Negotiating between impotence and overaggression is difficult. It is often police action that triggers violence at large protest events; research has shown that police crackdowns can quickly transform nonviolent events into violent ones. This was certainly the case in many campus demonstrations of the 1960s and 1970s. …..

    Meanwhile, police forces, particularly in major cities, are well aware that excessive force can energize protest campaigns. Thanks to the hierarchical structure of police organizations, it is easier for a police unit to exercise restraint than it is for protesters, who have no formal structure. …

    This is not to say that the Occupy Wall Street movement is a lawless “mob,” as Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, recently characterized it. People who participate in such protests are typically deeply connected to their community. It is their connectedness that makes them aware of opportunities to protest in the first place. The crowds gathered in the streets of New York and in other cities across the nation, then, are not made up of isolated strangers; they are composed of many small, well-organized groups.”

    Boston Mayor Thomas Menino doesn’t want to end his career with a Kent State Massacre type event as part of his legacy so he needs to roll back the rhetoric and get a handle on his emotions.

  11. What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?
    By Glenn Greenwald
    September 28, 2011

    It’s unsurprising that establishment media outlets have been condescending, dismissive and scornful of the ongoing protests on Wall Street. Any entity that declares itself an adversary of prevailing institutional power is going to be viewed with hostility by establishment-serving institutions and their loyalists. That’s just the nature of protests that take place outside approved channels, an inevitable by-product of disruptive dissent: those who are most vested in safeguarding and legitimizing establishment prerogatives (which, by definition, includes establishment media outlets) are going to be hostile to those challenges. As the virtually universal disdain in these same circles for WikiLeaks (and, before that, for the Iraq War protests) demonstrated: the more effectively adversarial it is, the more establishment hostility it’s going to provoke.

    Nor is it surprising that much of the most vocal criticisms of the Wall Street protests has come from some self-identified progressives, who one might think would be instinctively sympathetic to the substantive message of the protesters. In an excellent analysis entitled “Why Establishment Media & the Power Elite Loathe Occupy Wall Street,” Kevin Gosztola chronicles how many of the most scornful criticisms have come from Democratic partisans who — like the politicians to whom they devote their fealty — feign populist opposition to Wall Street for political gain.

    Some of this anti-protest posturing is just the all-too-familiar New-Republic-ish eagerness to prove one’s own Seriousness by castigating anyone to the left of, say, Dianne Feinstein or John Kerry; for such individuals, multi-term, pro-Iraq-War Democratic Senator-plutocrats define the outermost left-wing limit of respectability. Also at play is the jingoistic notion that street protests are valid in Those Bad Countries but not in free, democratic America.

    A siginificant aspect of this progressive disdain is grounded in the belief that the only valid form of political activism is support for Democratic Party candidates, and a corresponding desire to undermine anything that distracts from that goal. Indeed, the loyalists of both parties have an interest in marginalizing anything that might serve as a vehicle for activism outside of fealty to one of the two parties (Fox News‘ firing of Glenn Beck was almost certainly motivated by his frequent deviation from the GOP party-line orthodoxy which Fox exists to foster).

  12. Methinks da mayor forgot that the Revolution began in Massachusetts. Has his Honah forgotten about the Boston Tea Party and the battles at Lexington and Concord?

  13. Protesters Dressed As Robin Hood Kayak Up Chicago River To Protest Mortgage Bankers Association
    By Zaid Jilani on Oct 11, 2011
    Think Progress

    This weekend, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) held its annual meeting in Chicago. The MBA represents some of the nation’s top foreclosure mills, and has over 2,400 members, including “mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending field.”

    In order to protest the practices of the MBA member companies represented at the meeting, a group of 40 protesters from National People’s Action, working with a coalition called Take Back Chicago, decided to dress as Robin Hood and kayak up the Chicago River. Once the protesters reached the Michigan Bridge, they unfurled a banner that read: “Wall Street: Steals from the 99%. Gives to the Rich. Let’s take it back!”

  14. An interesting interview with Buddy Roemer:

    Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 12:17 PM

    The pro-OWS voice you won’t hear at the GOP debate
    Salon talks with Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer about his push to make the GOP rethink Wall St.

    By Steve Kornacki


    Buddy Roemer won four races for Congress in the 1980s, was elected governor of Louisiana in 1987, and then after being defeated for reelection (by an ex-Klansman and a future convicted felon) in 1991 went into business, serving as CEO of a midsize bank. He is also running for the Republican presidential nomination — not that you’d ever know it. Even while candidates with far less substantial political experience have been invited to the debates, Roemer has been shut out, a streak that will continue when eight other GOP candidates gather in New Hampshire Tuesday night. (Instead, he’ll be watching on television and tweeting along.)

    Roemer, who turned 68 a few days ago, admits that “this has been the most frustrating experience of my life,” and it’s easy to understand why: Just look at the meteoric, debate-aided rise of Herman Cain, a fellow CEO who was drubbed in a Republican Senate primary in his only previous bid for office. The case against putting him in is simple: The stage is already too crowded and time is already too limited — so why throw in another hopeless longshot if you can avoid it?

    Which is why what Roemer has been doing lately is so interesting. While his fellow candidates and most Republican leaders have been jumping over one another to condemn the Wall Street protesters, Roemer has loudly endorsed the demonstrations, invoking Theodore Roosevelt and challenging the GOP to rethink its reflexive defense of the banking giants. In so doing, he has provided a strong case for a debate invitation: The stage may be packed, but there’s no one on it now who wants Glass-Steagall reimplemented. Roemer does, and he says it’s part of a broader debate the GOP needs to have. Salon spoke with him on Monday afternoon about his uphill fight.

    Number two, I think they would hear about money and politics and what I would try to do and reform the system. I’m saying the system is corrupt because congressmen want to get reelected more than anything else. Somebody needs to stand up, and the Republican Party is a great place for it. Theodore Roosevelt said it a hundred years ago. He asked Republicans: Are we going to be the party of privilege and Wall Street or are we going to be the party of small business, plain people, and working America? I would like to ask that question in the next debate. There would be a silence so deep you could hear your heart beating.

    These are questions that Obama needs to answer. And he’s not in the debate tomorrow, but we need a Republican who will stand up to him face-to-face and say, “It’s the money, Mr. President.” I would do that. Think of me as a big broom: I would sweep out the Tim Geithners, I would sweep out the Ben Bernankes, I would sweep out the president of GE, I would sweep out all the crony capitalists, all the lobbyists, all the big PACs, and I would let the American people come run America. You would be amazed at what would happen. We would be strong again.

    (end of excerpts)

  15. DownEast Liberator1, October 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    BTW, Occupy Boston should advise the folks to make sure their affairs are in order and to prepare a legal will. It could be 2nd Bunker Hill.
    That is waaaay harsh!

    Thing is it’s not just Boston….or Chicago…or So.Cal….or Wall St.

    It’s EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!
    Australia and S
    It is a tremble moment and the powder is not damp anymore.

    And even if the occupyers all packed up and went home tomorrow….it would not be over. It will be a violent rape of civil liberties….and go on forever….or someone with some real brain cells and real balls will make the effort to mediate the place between the 2 extrmes. Is anyone wondering what the world will be like if everything continues to be ignored? The world is too big to be ‘owned’ by a few wealthy interests. It s an impossible balance sheet. There has to be some giveback in a real and tangible way that does not include having people wait 20-30 years to get back what it took 40-50 years to earn. We are not the last generation…….

  16. I also remember the 68 Chicago demonstrations and the infamous comments by Mayor Daley. It is obvious that these protests are having an impact or the suits would not be taking such harsh action. This is the start of something important and big.

  17. Can OWS be turned into a Democratic Party movement?
    by Glenn Greenwald

    Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011


    When I first wrote in defense of the Occupy Wall Street protests a couple of weeks ago, I suggested that much of the scorn then being expressed by many progressives was “grounded in the belief that the only valid form of political activism is support for Democratic Party candidates.” Since then, even the most establishment Democrats have fundamentally changed how they talk about the protests — from condescension and hostility to respect and even support — and The New York Times today makes clear one significant factor accounting for this change:

    Leading Democratic figures, including party fund-raisers and a top ally of President Obama, are embracing the spread of the anti-Wall Street protests in a clear sign that members of the Democratic establishment see the movement as a way to align disenchanted Americans with their party.

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s powerful House fund-raising arm, is circulating a petition seeking 100,000 party supporters to declare that “I stand with the Occupy Wall Street protests.”

    The Center for American Progress, a liberal organization run by John D. Podesta, who helped lead Mr. Obama’s 2008 transition, credits the protests with tapping into pent-up anger over a political system that it says rewards the rich over the working class — a populist theme now being emphasized by the White House and the party. The center has encouraged and sought to help coordinate protests in different cities.

    Judd Legum, a spokesman for the center, said that its direct contacts with the protests have been limited, but that “we’ve definitely been publicizing it and supporting it.”

    He said Democrats are already looking for ways to mobilize protesters in get-out-the-vote drives for 2012.

    Politico similarly noted today that “the White House wants to make it clear that President Barack Obama is on the same side as the Occupy Wall Street protesters.” (end of excerpt)

  18. The Kent State Massacre involved Ohio National Guard troops called to the campus by the Republican Gov. Rhodes. The troops came straight from the Cleveland area where they had been deployed the week immediately preceding that weekend escorting trucks in an attempt to break the Teamster’s strike. They had been given no down time but more importantly, during the Teamster’s strike they had been issued rubber bullets which had been reported by the news media. (This is why the kids thought the troops were shooting rubber bullets.) On the way to Kent State the troops were issued live ammo.

    The suits on Wall Street and in Washington are very nervous … and guys like Eric Cantor and Thomas Menino are setting the stage … a word to the wise … use restraint and give them no excuse to shoot at you, no matter what the provocation.

  19. Ben Franklin would be appalled that someone like Menino is the mayor of
    Boston…if it weren’t for civil disobedience in 1775, we wouldn’t be the United States…Menino apparently isn’t educated enough to understand the history of this country…he’s a dumb-ass.

  20. the problem as I see it is that Wall St. is only part of the problem. The other part is a government willing to give bail-outs to Wall St.

    That government is controlled by Democrats who were more than willing to give money to Wall St and who are continuing the failed policies which are holding the economy down. Bush started this mess but Obama has continued it.

    I say the protesters should be protesting in DC as well as every state capital to change business as usual as conducted by various local and state governments and the federal government.

  21. Blouise,
    I remember the Kent State protests and killings all too well. I was a freshmen at Southern Illinois University and after the killings our campus was shut down after protests. I spent the early morning of my 19th birthday in the county jail after getting arrested at one of the protests. A day or two later our semester ended early. The Guardsmen killed those kids without provocation. Sad.

  22. It seems that our superior system; of the people, by the people and for the people has decided to take the Chinese, Syrian, Ejyption, Iraqi, Soviet, British Raj course and kill the people. It hasnt happened yet but you can already hear the rifles cocking.
    The government has in some places chosen to attack rather than defend the rights of the people.
    Only the people can take back those rights.
    Peaceful civil disobedience as practiced by Mohandis Ghandi is proven to turn back the actions of oppressive regimes.
    Please encourage all to maintain the non-violent stance.
    They may kill us but the sacrifice is for naught if we provoke the attack.
    Also alot more people will be killed.
    These cops and/or soldiers are operating under orders from a government that believes we serve them. Be that a local, state or federal government.
    otherwise they would acknowledge the overwheming voice of the people and stand aside.
    They are Machiavellian in their deadly focus and have no respect for your rights
    But let’s spread the word. Let’s get inspired by these truly brave and patriotic Occupiers of Wall St. and anywhere else the movement arises

  23. Civil disobedience is not creating havoc, stopping traffic, interfering with the business of the day. It is peaceful disobedience, knowing if arrested you will pay the consequence of the law – something the Professor expounds daily. Remember? You have laws (made by law makers and twisted into a living form by lawyers) and they are made to obey – or get arrested and speak to the judge and jury. maybe just pay a fine.
    Are there permits for these demos?
    I’ve been in protest marches and the like. Have a point, make it, keep making it with civil consistency, and work with and in the system to work for the change one desires. Or prepare to be disappointed. These people of late have not done it right as of yet. And it will be cold soon in most USA climates. It will help subdue the stench. A lot of the curious and the joiners will dissipate. The lemmings who parrot the chants of the “professional organizers” aka “outside agitators” will have less visitors to rely on for direction as they have hardly any now (other than capitalism hasn’t worked for them because of … x reasons). They have the weird idea that they are the 99% of USA? Really? Disillusioned is a mild moniker for them if that’s the case. They should be complaining about all the social engineering that was the major cause of all the financial troubles – Fanny Freddie and all their minions (including Wall St) that were enabled by rotten legislation. Let us succeed or fail by ourselves, OK Washington?

    “if you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out”, but it will be alright.

  24. raff,

    The kids were throwing stuff at the Guard but you have to know the layout of “blanket hill”. The Guard was at the top of the hill looking down at the kids and the kids were throwing things uphill … naturally the stuff they were throwing wasn’t getting anywhere near the Guard.

    It was a full fledged riot but the Guard was in no danger. Also, my brother in law, who was a student there at the time, had been making beer runs all night the night before and guess who was paying him and his buddies to go get the beer all night … the Guard. A lot of beer was consumed by the Guard that night … the next day they gunned down four kids.

  25. Blouise

    rubber bullets for teamsters, live ammo for collage kids.

    i was only ten at the time, i guess i never realized how scared the government was of students.

    wonder what will happen if they get that scared again?

  26. Urszula Masny-Latos is the the National Lawyers Guild’s executive director for the northeast regional office.

    She was wearing the usual green hat, marked clearly, “Legal Observer,” she was roughed up then arrested last night. Boston police usually respect the legal observers the guild routinely dispatches to public protests. Although she was identified clearly as a “Legal Observer,” Masny-Latos said she was the second person arrested.

    “It was very surprising,’’ she said of being arrested. “Boston police usually respect our legal observers. And they usually leave us alone. … I was legal observing. I wasn’t even chanting anything.’’

    “Four officers grabbed me and dragged me,’’ she said. “I begged them to stop, [told them that that] they were hurting me. I have no idea why they arrested us with such force.’’

  27. Geeba Geeba1, October 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Civil disobedience is not creating havoc, stopping traffic, interfering with the business of the day. It is peaceful disobedience, knowing if arrested you will pay the consequence of the law – something the Professor expounds daily. Remember? You have laws (made by law makers and twisted into a living form by lawyers) and they are made to obey – or get arrested and speak to the judge and jury. maybe just pay a fine.
    Are there permits for these demos?

    From what I have read from the various cities yes….the OWS groups are either pulling permits or are being turned down for permits. I so disagree with you Geeba. I think these groups are doing everything right. They are being goaded and intimidated by the jack boot crowd….they have been peaceful, pepper-sprayed, ignored by th media and representatives despite the numbers and length of demonstrations. This kind of movement doesn’t pop up indiscriminately. To get this many people working together in so many places is truly a spectacular demonstration of Democracy. As far as interferring with the ‘business’ of the day….seems to me this IS the business of the day…..Big $$$business is not the governing force in this Country. If it is, then we are all fucked and at the mercy of whatever external influence Wall st and its $$$$$anipulators will choose to muster….because Washington has preferred to kowtow rather than follow law. The Government is supposedly ‘of the peeps and for the peeps’ and when it becomes deviant we are CALLED to ‘civil disobediance’. It is one of our rights….and responsibilities… assemble. As far as the legal tethering of your statement….it is rather moot if it doesn’t address the real lawlessness in the Country…the ‘havoc’ created by maurauding banks and big business run amok at the expense f the Country and its peoples. Why what the banks and Investment Firms do isn’t called fraud is beyond me….

    so yes, I hope these assemblers can maintain thier purpose and thier cool heads….cause they really are exceptional in my eyes….

  28. “i guess i never realized how scared the government was of students.

    wonder what will happen if they get that scared again?” (pete,)

    History will repeat itself … it always does

  29. The 1% can take the loss … it’s the politicians, lobbyists, and other underlings who get their table scraps from the 1% that stand to lose the most. The 1% will make up their loss through cutbacks in funding to the dogs under their tables.

    Notice it is the politicians who are screaming the loudest and those same politicians are the ones who give the orders to deny permits and give orders to the police.

  30. Added Frank: “I wish I knew that he was willing to listen to my advice, I would have given him some: I would have told him not to impeach Clinton, I would have told his successors not to go to war with Iraq, and I would have told DeLay not to go on the dance show.”
    nifty link! Swarthmore mom …Barny Frank is just so…..frank!

  31. Ministry of Truth (aka Jesse Lagreca) had a couple of physical confrontations with the potential to turn violent. He is no shy wallflower, having been a professional bouncer, but enough happened that he became concerned. Skulking around somewhere in the background was that pustulent boil, James O’Keefe.

    Jesse writes:

    I was physically attacked yesterday at #OccupyWallStreet.

    I arrived at Liberty Square before noon and the crowds were huge. I could hardly walk through the throng of people. Today was the first time I truly understood that I can no longer have the public life I used to enjoy, and don’t get me wrong, I love each and everyone of my supporters, but I simply can’t do the job I want to do when I am at #ows, not without a personal security team. Unlike that crooked snake James O’Keefe, I don’t have money to hire security. I have $300 to my name. O’Keefe has billions backing him up. If I must sacrifice my previous public life on behalf of this movement I will do so gladly. It is that important.

    A man was going berserk, screaming in the face of people and throwing a total tantrum, and when I see that my automatic response is to calm the situation down, that’s what I learned as a bouncer. The man who was pitching a fit got everyone’s attention. We weren’t sure if he is just disturbed or what. I approached him calmly and tried to get him to calm down. Then he got right up in front of me and spit in my face, challenging me to a fist fight right then and there.

    This guy was half my size. It would not have been a fair fight, but reacting was the farthest thing from my mind, considering my current position. This guy was obviously provoking me.
    Soon after, I found out O’Keefe was sniffing around my people’s home. I quickly alerted security and encouraged them to alert the crowd to O’Keefe’s presence and history by using the “People’s Microphone”. We conveyed O’Keefe’s past and description to the occupiers. Soon afterwards, O’Keefe the coward was no longer to be found. Later I thought of the guy who spit in my face. This is me openly speculating, of course, but put two and two together.

    Then I found a rightwing troll out front on broadway conducting misleading interviews. I had met this guy before, and during a debate that started in honest dialogue. The troll conducting the interview asks participants if they want money out of government, then, when the participants respond, the troll interviewer informs them that unions spend more than corporations in elections. The first time I heard this I presented FACTS to the interviewer, which he rejected. I tried to explain to him that unions by definition can NOT spend more money on campaign donations than special interests, and without going into details I hit him with facts until he looked like a fool, and then, when he insisted on inventing facts I gave him a dressing down. Today I saw the same guy and went through the same thing, blazing through his lies until I lost patience because he was wasting my time, so I walked away and gathered a group of protestors to surround him peacefully with a bombardment of questions. If you are going to attack workers I won’t stand for it. By the time we tried to find the guy he had taken off. Damned cowards.

    I tell you, the trolls are coming. The empire has begun to strike back.

    Full story with pictures here:,-skippy-Find-me-at-OccupyWallStreet?detail=hide

  32. RADIO BOSTON, 10/11/2011
    Occupy Boston Arrests Spark First Amendment Debate

    What does the arrest of 129 protestors early Tuesday say about the state of the First Amendment in Boston? When the Occupy Boston protestors began their occupation of Dewey Square about 10 days ago, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he sympathized with their concerns about growing economic inequality in this country. And he expressed support for their right to free speech. Today, he told WBUR he’s still sympathetic, but the mayor said the day will come — and soon — when the protestors will have to leave:

    I think we got to try to work with them as best as we can,” Menino said. “But there is a time very shortly where we hope to ask them to leave the encampment. These type of demonstrations have to end. It’s costing a lot of resources for the city of Boston.

    Adam Ragusea, WBUR reporter
    Carol Rose, executive director, ACLU of Massachusetts
    Urzula Masney-Latos, executive director, Massachusetts chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

  33. Off Topic:

    Domestic Violence Law Repealed By Lawmakers In Topeka, Kansas

    TOPEKA, Kan. — Over the past month, one by one, people suspected in domestic battery cases in northeast Kansas have been set free with no charges against them. Prosecutors say they’re overwhelmed with felonies and, faced with budget cuts, can’t afford to pursue the cases.

    Busted budgets have forced tough decisions by governments and law enforcement officials nationwide, but the Shawnee County district attorney’s move to stop investigating domestic abuse and other misdemeanor cases has angered victims’ advocates who say austerity has gone too far.

    The advocates are also outraged by the response from the capital city of Topeka, where the City Council and mayor repealed the city’s domestic abuse law Tuesday night – a move designed to ensure the city wouldn’t be stuck with the bill for prosecuting such cases.

    “I absolutely do not understand it,” Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said after the vote. “It’s really outrageous that they’re playing with family safety to see who blinks first. People could die while they’re waiting to straighten this out.”

  34. Blouise: “The 1% can take the loss … it’s the politicians, lobbyists, and other underlings who get their table scraps from the 1% that stand to lose the most. The 1% will make up their loss through cutbacks in funding to the dogs under their tables. Notice it is the politicians who are screaming the loudest and those same politicians are the ones who give the orders to deny permits and give orders to the police.”

    Well said.

  35. Regarding “all Americans benefit when the rich get richer”.
    She means no doubt, “all Americans who matter”,
    much as we said “all white males are created equal”.
    Has it ever been different?

  36. The problem is that the $$$inequality is not based on anything that is being addressed in a reasonable or lawfull manner (that would or could) lead to any tenable outcome. And if that inequality were based on hard work or something acceptable….not fraud like or theft-like behaviours…..I doubt people would be so upset. I think we have entered a time where the law itself has become so perverted and divorced from it’s initial reason for being ….that it has become a detrimental force against those who most need its protecting influence.

    In short, the legal system has become the ‘perp’….or the thing that the ‘perp’ hides behind. That is nasty.

    And the whole defunding of the domestic violence protections…..cowardly, shortsighted, spiteful and undermining to the law in general is my first reaction. I suspect after I give it more thought that my reaction will just be a big …..*Huh?*

    So maybe we are just seeing the swamp get drained on the other side, no?

  37. FYI!!!
    “The campaign to marginalize and destroy the growing 99 Percent Movement is in full swing, with many in the media attempting to smear the people participating in the “occupation” protests across the country. However, several of the so-called journalists deriding, and in some cases sabotaging the movement, have paychecks thanks to a billionaire whose business practices have been scorned as among the worst of the financial elite.
    As the New York Times has documented, Paul Singer, a Republican activist and hedge fund manager worth over $900 million, has emerged as one of the most important power brokers within the GOP. Now, it appears that the reporters financed by Singer are at the forefront of efforts to tarnish the reputation of 99 Percent Movement demonstrators:”

  38. from eniobob1, October 12, 2011 at 9:02 am ‘s link…….
    ‘Singer, manager of a $17 billion hedge fund, earned the moniker “vulture capitalist” for buying the debt of Third World countries for pennies on the dollar, then using his political and legal connections to extract massive judgements to force collection — even from nations suffering from starvation and violent conflicts. Singer and his partners have used such tactics in Panama, Ecuador, Poland, Cote d’Ivoire, Turkmenistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to squeezing impoverished countries with sovereign debt schemes, Singer speculates in the oil markets, a practice which can lead to gasoline price hikes here in the United States. The revelation that Singer engages in oil speculation, and also funds Republican lawmakers opposed to oil speculation regulations, was exposed by ThinkProgress using leaked government documents. ————————————————————————————————————————————-
    So why have these people been allowed to influence those in our political infrastructure? Clearly that access is the lynchpin in the endemic repercussion to our stability economically?

    Wall Street had shifted focus to speculation rather than low risk investment…why would private speculators be allowed so much influence if this Industry is so vital and essential to the health and wealth of our Country?

    O r is this the USA’s big ‘whoops’ moment?

  39. SwM,

    In reference to the Washington Post article:

    The Post has gotten it yet. I’m going to draw an analogy to the Upstairs – Downstairs BBC production.

    D.C. is Downstairs. The politicians, lobbyists, admin people are all hirelings in that they do the bidding of and defend the Upstairs because that’s who pays them the big bucks. But the Upstairs folk wouldn’t think of actually sharing the Upstairs quarters with them. Occasionally they might invite Cantor or Obama to stand in the Upstairs parlor but that’s the extent of it. The Upstairs folk would never allow their children to go to the Downstairs quarters to play with the children who reside there.

    Why in the world would the OWSer’s protest Downstairs when the people responsible for the plight of this Nation reside Upstairs? The OWSers go to NYC or Boston, etc because that’s where the Upstairs folk actually live and well, … pretend, to work.

    The OWSers have stated one thing very clearly, politics doesn’t interest them … they’re aiming much higher than that.

    The Post just hasn’t accepted the fact that it’s stuck in a Downstairs town.

  40. OS,

    I’ve seen that video all over the place today … a real career stopper for the cop in the red windbreaker.

    To those following the orders … the politicians will hang you out to dry … keep it in mind.

  41. eniobob,

    Honestly, these representative’s of the 1%’s are quite ridiculous … jesters in the Bourbon Court attempting to dress up the teabaggers as loyal Bourbonites.

    From the mediamatters link: “Indeed, the Tea Party was a movement built on misinformation. And no matter how many times partisans like Noonan try to dress up the past in order to tear down Occupy Wall Street, that’s the true legacy of the Tea Party movement — one populated by profoundly immature people.”

    You gotta love this desperate attempt to do the King’s bidding. If Noonan wants to pretend she’s a true 1%er, she’s going to have to stick some feathers and birds in her hair.

  42. anon nurse,

    Excellent link … one always wonders when viewing pics like the one in that link how many of those cops snuck into the evidence lockers before hitting the streets. They seem be high on something more than simple adrenaline.

  43. Woosty: “So maybe we are just seeing the swamp get drained on the other side, no?”

    I don’t understand your intended use of this sentence, but it reminds me of the advice that Bill Clinton should have given Mr. Obama: It’s hard to remember that your goal was to drain the swamp, when you’re up to your @$$ in alligators.

    (It’s derivative of one pimp telling the other: It’s hard to remember that your goal was to drain the swamp, when you’re up to your alligators in @$$.)

  44. Noah V1, October 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Woosty: “So maybe we are just seeing the swamp get drained on the other side, no?”
    draining the swamp in the vein of cleaning up the corruption….which emerges as the water level goes down. I was thinking in terms of the fancy financial ‘footwork’ and creative banking that is way beyond my understanding but keeps rearing its ugly head….

  45. Violence erupts on Wall Street as protesters clash with police in march on Chase bank
    Protest near the headquarters of JPMorgan Chase bank in Manhattan today
    But Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is reportedly overseas in Asia at the moment
    Demonstrators angry at state of U.S. economy and millionaires tax expiring
    Police pictured taking out elderly protesters as demonstration turned violent
    Last updated at 11:11 PM on 12th October 2011

    Read more:

  46. Woosty said: “draining the swamp in the vein of cleaning up the corruption….which emerges as the water level goes down. I was thinking in terms of the fancy financial ‘footwork’ and creative banking that is way beyond my understanding but keeps rearing its ugly head….”

    Oh, then my swamp comments were apropos of yours. Thanks.

  47. wow,the Europeans are a ‘tougher’ lot than us when it comes to demonstrating. If we , as a Nation, desire to hold our place as an entity that is known for law and not fascist-type violence then I hope there is some reasonable and fair-minded negotiations very soon….it is more than obvious that the people need relief….and that they have been requesting it for a long time. This is a fuse that never should have been lit….

  48. There are only about 35 protesters out in Dallas and the sporting events are packed. At least the Rangers won although I had people from other states calling and telling me they were for Detroit because W was in the stands. He does not own the team currently.

  49. This is a righteous rant by a Marine vet last night in New York. He is letting the police know his feelings about their thuggish tactics.

    I read one report of an 81 year old holocaust survivor being knocked down by police officers. She was reportedly bleeding from her head. Another incident involved a female Italian tourist being arrested, handcuffed and taken into custody simply for being in Times Square at the time of OWS protests. That one is all over the Italian press and they are incensed.

    The police officers seem to be a bit intimidated by the very large Marine vet wearing his medals on his BDU shirt. A couple of them approach him but he challenges them as to how tough they really feel they are–which is apparently not Marine tough.

  50. Has anyone noticed that most of those assaulted by the police are women? Maybe this should be filed under the post about the Global War on Women.

    They can pepper spray and attack elderly holocaust survivors, teenage girls and Italian tourists, but tend to back off when confronted by an angry 250 pound, 6’3″ Marine. Interesting. Says something about the state of their cojones, no?

  51. Good catch X2 OS. Also, heretofore th majority of violence has been done by white-shirts, the supervisors. They are following orders IMO that the city admin may not want to filter down to the blues yet. The level of violence is heating up though with horses now being used.

  52. I’m of the mind that the lack of demands from the OWSMovement is one if not the greatest strength of the movement. It makes them a mirror and doesn’t give the haves and their government lackey’s any thing to negotiate down to nothing. It fosters inclusion by lacking parameters, every group with a bone to pick can join the march. It makes the people who are/should be worried move first to try to assuage the sources of discontent.

    Gietner is promising something- effective something or other- and it’s up to him and his masters to see if it diffuses the anger. If it doesn’t then he can return to doing nothing or step up his game and do more, he’s not playing with a goal that he can negotiate down or say is unachievable but ‘look at what I’ve already done, no go back home and email me further suggestions.’

    It’s driving the pundits and politicians nuts, NUTS, that demands aren’t being made. It’s really quite a brilliant opening gambit.

  53. The Marine is a decorated combat veteran, Sgt. Shamar Thomas from Roosevelt, NY.

    Here is a better video. Note that the police supervisor with the bullhorn tried to get the crowd to move on. And I missed the size of the Marine. Sgt. Thomas is 6’5″ tall and an imposing figure. Any officer would have to think twice about taking him on, especially in front of many video cameras. Note also they seemed to be uncomfortable having their pictures taken.

    This is a much better video of the same incident. Whatever good will the NYPD had garnered from 9-11 has gone.

  54. This is from the AP, 11/2/11:

    Protesters who have occupied a government plaza in MINNEAPOLIS for nearly a month in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement soon will face new restrictions.

    Hennepin County officials said Wednesday they will begin winterizing the plaza between the county building and Minneapolis City Hall this Friday. They said protesters will have to consolidate their possessions and can’t leave them unattended anymore or they’ll be taken.

    The number of portable toilets is being cut from seven to three, and starting Friday no more signs will be allowed.

    County officials also said for the first time that they won’t allow overnight sleeping once significant snow falls or the temperature falls below 25 degrees.

    “We think that it’s a violation of our rights to free speech and free assembly,” said Nick Espinosa, one of the protest organizers. “You don’t put a curfew on the right to assemble, and that’s what they are trying to do on the plaza.”

    Espinosa said the crackdown on signage is “ridiculous.” He said organizers were meeting to come up with some long-term strategies. Some have already agreed to occupy the home of a person who is facing foreclosure _ an option that had been discussed before to help those in foreclosure as well as keep the protest going through Minnesota’s brutal winter _ but he said he imagines some people will chose to stay on the plaza.

    The Minneapolis protest has been largely peaceful through its first 25 days

  55. Another veteran assaulted by Oakland police. This was a bar owner walking home, in direction away from the OWS protest. Police confronted him and when he questioned what they wanted, he was beaten and arrested. Lacerated spleen and then it took him eighteen hours before he got medical attention. The Guardian appears to have picked up the story long before any US media did. At this writing, I cannot find any reference to the story on any of the MSM sites, but it is on overseas news pages and several blogs. The latest is that he is out of surgery and will make a good recovery. The city of Oakland’s insurer is no doubt going to drop them if this keeps up.

  56. raff, it is getting worse. This just in from a little while ago:

    “Protesters this evening gathered near the Washington Convention Center, where the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity was holding a gala. During the multifaceted protests, hundreds attempted to station themselves around all exits leading from the building.

    It was at this point that, along one of the roads leading out of the convention center, a silver Lexus ran through a line of protesters, hitting and injuring three. (All appearances indicate an attempted hit-and-run; however, only one person was taken into custody, and reports indicate that it was not the driver.)”

    Think about it. Silver Lexus. Driver runs over protesters. Driver not arrested. Protester arrested. Three injured enough to require medical care. I repeat, driver not arrested and goes on his merry way in his silver Lexus.

    Link with photos below.

  57. OS, the assault on the Iraq vet was though covered on Countdown tonight.

    Thanks for the story on the attempted hit and run.

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