Posts tagged news
Posts tagged news
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 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.”
Thank God news outlets like NPR are all over what happened there that day. Here’s what NPR has to say about it:
In the end, there was very little force used, in part because this is a new LAPD. It exercises much more restraint than it once did
Thank God for NPR, or we might actually learn about what the LAPD did to Occupy LA!
CBC reporter Kevin O’Leary calls Chris Hedges a “Left Wing Nutbar,” Chris Hedges proceeds to make O’Leary look like even more of a complete idiot.
“O’Leary: Repoter: So, what exactly is everybody complaining about? And also, give me a sense of how much momentum this movement has, because it looks pretty nothing-burger so far. Just a few guys, guitars, nobody knows that they want, they can’t even name the names of the firm’s that they’re protesting against. Very weak. Low budget.
Hedges: They know precisely what they want. They want to reverse the corporate coup that’s taken place in the United States and render the citizenry impotent and they won’t stop until that happens. And frankly, if we don’t break the back of corporations, we’re all finished anyway since they’re rapidly trashing the ecosystem on which the human species depends for survival. This is literally a fight for life. It’s that grave, it’s that serious. Corporations, unfettered capitalism, as Karl Marx understood, is a revolutionary force. It commodifies everything; human beings, the natural world, which it exploits for profit until exhaustion or collapse. And the bottom line is we don’t have much time left.
God, I love Chris Hedges. I think it was a bit of a mistake for him to say he’d never come on the show again, though. Appearing on shows with individuals of opposing viewpoints is a great opportunity to completely dismantle their arguments and get one’s message out, as Chris did so eloquently here.
I am glad he pointed out how inappropriate that anchor’s comment was and that he would not be joining CBC again- I understand the need to respond to misinformation, but no one should feel obliged to tolerate insults from know-nothings who are only going to ignore his words.
Click the link, watch the video, read the transcript, find something inanimate to punch.
Since first entering the race, to be Colorado’s next Secretary of State, controversy has been Scott Gessler’s constant companion. Whether it be his hypocritical public stance on “soft” campaign contributions, the ethics violations of his top donors, blocking Pueblo Country from sending ballots to soldiers, or his efforts to prevent cities/counties from mailing ballots to absentee voters, Mr. Gessler hasn’t made many friends outside of his own party/inner circle.
Now, he’s drawing national attention for his recent decision to re-interpret, and in some cases completely throw out, Colorado’s long-standing campaign finance disclosure laws.
from The Colorado Independent:
Government watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch has been engaged in a legal back and forth with Secretary of State Scott Gessler over a campaign finance rule adopted by the Secretary of State last spring. In a brief filed with a Denver District court Wednesday, Ethics Watch argues Gessler is rewriting the law instead of merely setting forth rules directing citizens on how to abide it, and, in a counter claim, Gessler is asking the court to effectively throw out a constitutional provision he has sworn he would defend as an elected official.
Gessler has asked the court to declare the legal definition of an “issue committee” unenforceable, meaning he effectively would do away with issue committees and the financial and reporting laws that apply to them until if and when the legislature would remake them.
“It’s breathtaking,” Ethics Watch Director Luis Toro told the Colorado Independent. “As a representative of the state, [Gessler] would normally be the defendant in such a case… But he’s effectively asking two private organizations to defend the Colorado Constitution from his complaint. How can he sue two organizations that don’t represent the state?”
To any familiar with his past, as a campaign finance attorney with a long history of battling disclosure rules, Scott Gessler’s actions were predictable. They also join a long, and continually growing, list of Republican moves aimed at crippling the Democratic Party and base nationwide. Gessler has justified his actions by saying they are no different than the Justice Department’s recent decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
Watchdog and ethics groups have countered that Secretary of State Gessler’s stance stands in stark opposition to the state’s history of being defended by its public officials. Many point to then-Governor Roy Romer’s administration defending Amendment 2, which barred the enforcement of many anti-discrimination ordinances in the state, against legal challenges even though the administration did not agree with the measure.
Secretary of State Gessler(R) continues to insist that his actions are intended to protect the free speech of voters. But, while voter ID laws have yet to reach the state, many are beginning to wonder if Colorado won’t be the next state to institute such rules.
In an upcoming issue of Bloomberg Market Watch, to be released in November, an expose on Koch Industries reveals the company may have a number of skeletons in its closet.
From Business Insider:
- Koch Industries allegedly made improper payments to win business in 6 countries over 8 years (through 2008) — a potential violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The company described them as ”activities constitut[ing] violations of criminal law.”
- Koch Industries sold millions of dollars of oil refining equipment to Iran — even after President George W. Bush described the nation as a member of the ‘Axis of Evil.’ The company maintains these sales were legal at the time, and says it has since cut ties with the rogue nation.
- Koch Industries allegedly stole 1.95 million barrels of crude oil pumped from federal lands by falsifying purchasing records, a Senate investigation found. Former workers testified to the “Koch Method,” described as trying “to cheat the producer out of crude oil,” by mis-measuring the oil.
- The company allegedly ignored federal regulations for pipeline safety — resulting in the deaths of at least two people in a pipeline explosion in Lively, Texas in 1996.
Koch Industries’ PR division has been working overtime since late last week, when news of the Bloomberg article first broke. Neither Charles or David have spoken to the press, regarding the article, although I’m sure we can expect an op-ed from one or both of them in coming days/weeks.
Something tells me that this time it just might not be enough though. It’s no phone-hacking scandal, but Koch Industries might be in some hot water if it turns out they violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or violated our sanctions against Iran.
This helps explain the $15 Billion increase since March 2010. A 43% increase in wealth for a billionaire in a few months should be neigh-impossible.
Wadaj Khanfar, the director of Al Jazeera, announced his resignation today after Wikileaks released documents that could prove embarassing to the news organization, the New York Times has reported.
According to the documents, Khanfar held particularly close ties with the U.S. government, to whom he promised the network would provide less critical coverage. He steps down today after running the network for eight years.
The documents allege that Khanfar censored some of Al Jazeera’s coverage of the conflict in Iraq under American pressure to sanitize its coverage, presumably to minimize anti-U.S. sentiment in the Arab world. The coverage in question was to include images of injured civilians, which were allegedly removed by Khanfar.
To an American media outlet, colluding with the government is actually a sign of respectability. Remember when the New York Times hid Bush’s warrantless wiretapping of American citizens for over a year?
“Nine civilians killed by US terrorist attack in famine-stricken Somalia”
You better believe this would be called a terrorist attack if it were perpetrated by anyone other than the U.S.