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Linda LeTendre's Waging Peace
by Linda LeTendre

Waging Peace

A Daily Gazette community blog
Linda LeTendre fights for a peaceful world.

Tahrir Square in NYC

Journalists arrested and blocked from covering story. Wealthy elite forces citizens to stop protest. Police attack peaceful demonstrators.

Sounds familiar doesn't it?

Think this is from Egypt's Tahrir Square? Libya perhaps?

Nope. It's Zuccotti Park in New York City and several other cities across the nation.

In the past few days virtually every Occupy site has been raided by the police at the behest of the “Golden Rule Folks” -- you know, “Them that has the gold makes the rules.”

Occupy Wall Street was raided early Tuesday morning.

Joan Quan, Mayor of Oakland, admitted in a BBC interview yesterday that mayors from 18 U.S. cities across the United States got together on a conference call and orchestrated the attacks on Occupy. Federal agencies were involved too -– like Homeland Security (HS).

Homeland Security? Weren't they created (to the tune of three trillion dollars) to protect us from terrorists? And the threat from a bunch of people in tents playing drums and guitars is?

Well if you're a billionaire (like Mayor Bloomberg) and you bought your election and then bought out term limits so that you could potentially be mayor for life (like Mubarak – oops, sorry, I meant Bloomberg) and there's a group of citizens calling out for waging a class war against them (like asking you to pay your fair share of taxes) I guess you might see that as terrorism. In that context it makes sense that you'd call in your country's anti-terrorism force.

Local constabularies were advised by the FBI and HS to find a legal reason to evict citizens out of the tent cities using zoning laws and existing curfew times. They were also advised to demonstrate a massive show of police power by having large numbers of officers dressed in riot gear. Riot gear for drums and guitars? (I keep thinking of the famous WWII era photo of folk singer Woody Guthrie playing his guitar with “This machine kills Fascists” painted on it.)

The FBI was particularly helpful in suggesting that eviction take place when the press was not to be present. New York's finest went so far as to detain, rough up, arrest and/or bar what few reporters were present.

I watched NBC Nightly News the day OWS was cleared just to see what they had to say about it. The lead story was about the Penn State child abuse scandal, to which they devoted nine minutes. OWS came in second with just under five minutes. They showed before and after pictures of Zuccotti Park, but no footage of the NYPD “clearing” of the park.

What they did not tell you is that they were not allowed to film said “clearing." When the company that owns NBC (GE) and thus owns the news program makes a $14 billion profit, doesn't pay federal income taxes and gets citizens money as a “refund” -- I guess GE is not inclined to give the story much air -– let alone any facts.

As a licensed social worker and a victim of sexual abuse I know that the Penn State story is horrific and tragic and deserves coverage but, in my opinion, if NBC had spent the kind of time and resources covering the OWS movement and what the government did beforehand to shut OWS down and what it did as it shut OWS down, the country and democracy would be better served.

OWS citizens went to a judge and got a court order to go back to Zuccotti Park, went back to the park with said order (they could have been more organized and acted as instruments of peace in the St. Francis of Assisi sense) and the NYPD refused to let them in. (Having a court order and the police ignoring it is not news? We're in big trouble here folks.) Instead they roughed up people. Click HERE to see them punch a woman in the face.

The phone number for NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly is (646) 610-5577 if you'd like to express an opinion.

I love Mayor Bloomberg's reason for the raid, “ and safety concerns became intolerable.” No mention of the six million citizens who have lost their homes thanks to the financial hanky-panky of his friends who, like him, are now wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. What about their health and safety?

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