Chilean Judge Indicts US Military Official in 1973 Killings – CCR Case
Newt Gingrich: “Waterboarding is by every technical rule, not torture.”
Michael Ratner: S.1867 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
Occupy Albany Undisturbed by City Officials
The collusion among mayors and police departments around the country to raid and take down Occupy Wall Street encampments by force has revealed a particular hierarchy of control. However, as listeners may know there is a unique situation with the Occupy Wall St solidarity movement in Albany, New York. Despite the request of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Albany mayor to shut the encampment down at Academy Park, the police refused, then the State Troopers refused. In a memo obtained by the the Times Union, Albany Police Deputy Chief Steven Krofoff stated: “At this time I have no intention of assigning officers to monitor, watch, videotape or influence any behavior that is conducted by our citizens peacefully demonstrating in Academy Park.”
Attorney Mark Mishler:
- The governor, a few days before the occupation started, met with City of Albany officials and, as best as we can figure out at that meeting, sort of all agreed that this wasn’t going to be permitted.
- It seemed to be permitted that people would not be able to stay past the 11PM curfew at the park.
- We have two very independent-minded folks in law enforcement here.
- They took a different view. We have District Attorney David Soares, who was independently elected as an opponent to the Albany County machine and with a lot of grassroots support.
- David Soares say he wasn’t interested in using his office to prosecute peaceful protesters.
- In correlation with that our police chief in the city of Albany, who also came into office as result from a grassroots movement for improved police-community relations. He also said he didn’t want to use the resources of his department to arrest peaceful protesters.
- The mayor, who we believe really wanted to carry out the governor’s direction, was really boxed into a corner and couldn’t do that.
- The park is really 2 parks: half of the park is city-owned, the other half is state-owned.
- We’re now in the sixth week, there are now about 50 tents.
- Essentially completely undisturbed by city officials.
Guest – Mark Mishler, attorney and National Lawyers Guild member.
Occupy Los Angeles Legal Action
Occupy Los Angeles and Occupy Philadelphia were among the encampments forcibly removed last week. Occupy LA demonstrators had expected to be evicted after the mayor announced that the park would be closed at 12:01 a.m. on Monday last week. Late the following night, police in riot gear stormed the encampment and dozens were arrested as protesters chanted and stood defiant through the raid. The more than 500 tents have been taken down. Philadelphia’s Occupy Wall Street encampment was also raided after demonstrators marched to protest their eviction. Up to 40 protesters were arrested.
Hours after the Occupy Los Angeles eviction deadline, protesters filed for a federal injunction that would prevent the police from dismantling the occupation in Oakland Park. The city, mayor and chief of police are named in the lawsuit as defendants. The complaint also says the city engaged in “arbitrary and capricious action in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments by first approving the Occupy presence for 56 days before suddenly revoking permission through the unilateral action of defendants.”
Attorney Carol Sobel:
- We filed papers, we argued that the mayor’s actions were unlawful because the City Council of Los Angeles passed a resolution saying that they could stay there.
- The Council, only the Council has the authority to do that.
- Once that Council acts, he could veto it–he chose not to at the time, back in October–or he could get it rescinded. He chose not to.
- Our position is, the mayor can’t make up the rules as he goes along.
- This is a public forum, we’ve had anti-war marches here, marches to protest the Pope when he came.
- The mayor used to be a friend. The mayor went to the same Guild law school that I did.
- I think that the Mayor is bought and paid for by the developers in Los Angeles. Somebody said to me last night, he’s lost his soul.
- He’s not progressive by any definition of that term. He is the head of the US Conference of Mayors.
- It looks bad for him, I guess, to have the largest Occupy in the country, in his city, at his doorstep.
- LAPD have agreed that they will not come out with a show of force, unless and until it’s needed.
- If you can’t close the park after the fact, then these arrests were all unlawful.
Guest – Civil rights attorney Carol Sobel, a legal advisor for Occupy protests across the country. Carol Sobel is listed as the attorney on the new complaint.
“Collusion in the Defense of the 1% Is No Vice”
As mayors of cities across the country colluded to crack down on the OWS encampments, an international non-governmental organization had coordinated with police chiefs and mayors behind the scenes. The group is called the Police Executive Research Forum. It is an influential private membership-based organization that is marketed to heads of major metropolitan areas as specialists with mass demonstrations. The group has ties to the US Department of Homeland Security and their general membership in the group is exclusive to former executives leading a state or county funded agency that provided police services.
- The Occupy Seattle encampment is on community college property.
- The community college let them stay there but at first they were in a public square and it was a cat-and-mouse game with the police.
- From November 4-10, there were conference calls. Much of the local media coverage was very coordinated.
- This smacks of the operations of some of the high-ranking people the PERF has been associated with.
- The PERF actually does research on less-than-lethal weaponry, such as the pepper spray that has been used in lots of different cities.
- Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia Police Commissioner and the chair of PERF’s board of directors is also on the Homeland Security Advisory Council as are a couple of other board members from PERF.
- There’s an entire industry that has sprung up around the militarization of the police forces. The routine use of SWAT teams now for even non-threatening situations.
Guest – Geov Parrish, a Seattle-based columnist and reporter. He writes the Straight Shot column for Working For Change. Parrish also wrote the article “Collusion in the Defense of the 1% Is No Vice.”