2011-11-26 Occupy Movement, Birth of the Ordinary Hero #OWS

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) began in September and quickly spread, becoming a unifying force worldwide. This movement was initially ignored and ridiculed by the US corporate media. Yet as it grew, it became harder to ignore. Repeated police brutality against peaceful protesters has pulled the Occupy Movement even more into the limelight and galvanized support for it.

A powerful contrast emerged between the militarized police violence and the occupiers’ courage and commitment to peaceful action. As the excessive force on peaceful citizens increased, instant YouTube videos capturing blatant abuses of power with chemical agents and truncheons went viral. The scenes displayed the violence, yet at the same time revealed the strength of ordinary people. Is the Occupy Movement creating a new kind of leader? Perhaps what we are seeing is a birth of the ordinary hero. They are everyday people, young, old, foreclosed, students and unemployed, showing how each of us can become our own leaders. Here are some of the faces and stories of these ordinary heroes:

Kettled and Sprayed

Occupy Wall Street was in its second week when a group started to march from Zuccotti park to Union Square. Two women were kettled in an orange net and maced by NYPD. This disturbing scene was caught on tape, uploaded onto YouTube and widely circulated. Just as the iconic photo of a little girl running from the napalm was a catharsis moment for the Vietnam anti-war movement during the 60’s, similarly this video of two women kept in a cage became symbolic, showing the police working for the 1% and brought public attention to the abuse of power and strengthened the movement.

We Are All Scott Olsen

2011-11-25 Help Stop the Eviction of Occupy Los Angeles on Monday!

Mayor Villaraigosa & Police Chief Charlie Beck announced today at a afternoon press conference that the LAPD would forcefully throw Occupy Los Angeles off of the park areas surrounding Los Angeles City Hall Monday, November 28th at 12:01am. This move is being made although there have been no major incidents to marred the record of 56 consecutive days of peaceful protests at City Hall since the encampment first started on October 1st.

It is being done in spite of the vote by City Council in October to:

ADOPT the accompanying RESOLUTION to SUPPORT the continuation of the peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by "Occupy Los Angeles"

At the time City Council President Eric Garcetti told the campers on the city hall front lawn "Stay as long as you need, we're here to support you," Now it would seem that the city's tune has changed.

To it's credit both the City of LA and the LAPD have taken a decidedly different approach to the occupy movement compared with other major cities, including New York, Chicago, Oakland and Portland where the movement was faced with eviction and police violence almost from the beginning of those encampments. Until now, the City of Los Angeles has allowed the encampment at city hall to establish itself and to grow with a minimum of police and city interference.

2011-11-25 #WikiLeaks News: Cardin bill would endanger Whistleblowers; UK Parliament Debate on Extradition (summary)

At the heart of the problem with the European arrest warrant is the inability or unwillingness of Europe's judges to prevent injustice. - Fair Trials International

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

Summary of UK Parliament debate on abuses of EAW

Various cases where extradition procedures resulted in abuse of Human Rights were debated yesterday, November 24, at Westminster Hall.
Observations were made throughout the debate relating to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, although his extradition was not one of the central topics. The cases of Gary McKinnon, Babar Ahmad, Deborah Dark and Michael Turner were brought up frequently and the ordeals suffered by these UK citizens exposed in depth. For more information on these cases and other misuses of the European Arrest Warrant please visit Fair Trials International.

Specifically regarding the extradition of Julian Assange, two primary issues were raised:

1) despite facing extradition, Julian Assange has not been charged with a crime (the EAW was therefore incorrectly applied as it was not issued for the purpose of prosecution, but investigation)

2) the European Arrest Warrant for Julian was requested by a private prosecutor who is not an official representative.

2011-11-25 Al Nashiri asks ECHR to fast track his complaint against Poland

Abd al Nashiri, a suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole, has asked the European Court of Human Rights to fast track his complaint against Poland, TVP reports. He alleges to have been held and tortured in a prison facility operated by the CIA on Polish territory, and accuses Poland of a failure to investigate his case.

Abd al Nashiri is currently being held at Guantanamo, and could face the death penalty. According to documents seen by TVP, his lawyers ask the ECHR to influence Poland to protect al Nashiri through diplomatic contacts to the United States.

Another criminal investigation into the case is currently underway in Poland. The prosecutor in charge, Waldemar Tyl, has recently said that he expects the proceedings to be "completed" in 2012. He made this statement during a meeting with Alka Pradhan of the Constitution Project. The group is collecting evidence on CIA rendition, and has voiced criticism about the use of the State Secret Act to prevent an investigation on US soil.

For our previous coverage see this link.

2011-11-24 German Pirate Party shuts down Piratepad server after child porn allegations

The entire Piratepad service provided by the German Pirate Party has been shut down after a Berlin based newspaper, Tagesspiegel, received a "dubious e mail" saying that one of the public pads contained links to child pornography. Once the Pirate Party was notified, it immediately shut down the pad in question and reported the case to the police. Berlin State Police subsequently recommended to suspend the entire service to prevent further abuse; the party followed this advice and shut down the Piratepad server, including pads used by its own working groups.

According to § 184b StGB, it is illegal to possess child pornography, and to make it accessible. It is not uncommon for internet users to report such cases to the police in Germany, as any failure to do so could be interpreted as complicity.

The Piratepad service made headlines earlier this year, when the Offenbach based server was confiscated by Darmstadt prosecutors shortly before state elections in Bremen. The raid was motivated by allegations that instructions for a denial of service attack appeared on one of the pads. The Pirate Party filed a complaint about the way the case was handled. Darmstadt District Court would later acknowledge procedural errors.

A few months later, the Pirate Party won 8.9% at Berlin state elections.

2011-11-23 #WikiLeaks News: WikiLeaks Truck retrieved; Rudolf Elmer Support Campaign; Other Updates

I know where the WikiLeaks Truck disappeared to! The same place where civil liberties and the rule of law went. - @JLLLOW

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

The WikiLeaks truck is back with its owner.

ImageDespite assurance by 'an OWS sympathizer judge' that all of Clark Stoeckley's parking tickets had been dropped, the truck was returned with two parking tickets on it and a dead battery, that has since been jumped by the NYPD yet needs replacement.
The judge, according to Clark, the artist behind the WikiLeaks truck project, congratulated him on his work. Clark was then able to pick up his truck at Pier 76 impound.
The truck, he says, was never taken to impound after the arrest. Instead, Police "left it in a bus spot and let it collect tickets until it got towed".
All updates on this story at @WikileaksTruck.


    • Supporters of Bradley Manning marched in San Francisco last night, after the announcement of a pretrial hearing for the alleged whistleblower on December 16. A gallery of photos can be found here.

  • 2011-11-23 Egyptians reclaim #Tahrir as revolution flares up anew

    Dozens killed and thousands injured as protesters take back Tahrir Square in a bid to reclaim their revolution and overthrow the military regime.

    After 9 months of slow-motion “trench warfare”, during which the military transition council hijacked the popular uprising and the world turned its eyes away from the Middle East and towards the protests and crises unfolding in the West, the Egyptian Revolution flared up in mighty intensity this weekend as thousands of protesters fought running street battles with riot police in an attempt to reclaim Tahrir Square and overthrow the military junta.

    So far, the brutal military-police crackdown, which has left at least 33 people dead and more than 1,700 injured, has only appeared to strengthen the resolve of the protesters, who flocked into the square in the tens of thousands on Monday night, forcing the civilian government to offer its resignation and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) to call for emergency talks with leaders of all political parties. Egypt’s first post-Mubarak general elections are scheduled for next week, but there are concerns the vote might have to be postponed in the wake of the violence.

    The street fighting broke out on Friday, after a massive march by moderate Islamists ended with a police attack on a small protest camp that had been erected in Tahrir Square. Outraged at the assault, thousands of Egyptians of all faiths and backgrounds took back the square on Saturday, demanding an end to the brutal repression of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and an immediate transfer of power to a genuine civilian transition government. Clashes broke out at the fringes as some protesters sought to make their way to the Interior Ministry to protest again the regime.

    2011-11-22 #WikiLeaks News: The Disappearance of WL Truck; Senate confronted about Mr Assange’s extradition; Other News

    The UK High Court has recognised Mr Assange is a journalist and WikiLeaks is a publishing organisation. It is not, therefore, just the WikiLeaks organisation that is under attack; it is all of us. - Senator Scott Ludlam

    This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

    WikiLeaks Truck is still missing after it was taken from its owner by the NYPD at Occupy Wall Street. Artist Clark Stoeckley, the owner and driver, was pulled over and subsequently arrested, possibly unlawfully, for ‘obstructing government administration’.

    Image Clark refused to consent to a search [video here] and the truck was towed by the NYPD. He was released from jail on November 18 but the truck, containing his personal belongings, is still in an unknown location. Although Police assured Clark Stoeckley the WikiLeaks Truck was to be found in an impound lot in Brooklyn, the truck never made it to said impound lot.

    2011-11-21 #WikiLeaks News: Hearing for Bradley #Manning on December 16; New Support Campaigns; Cablegate

    The charges against Bradley Manning are an indictment of our government’s obsession with secrecy. - Daniel Ellsberg

    This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

    Image After 17 months in confinement, Bradley Manning will appear before court on December 16, for an Article 32 pretrial hearing, his lawyer announced today.
    The hearing, expected to last 5 days, will take place at Fort Meade, Maryland and will be held publicly “with the exception of those limited times where classified information is being discussed”.
    The primary purpose of this hearing is to evaluate the US Government’s case against Manning.
    Supporters will be outside the Court as he arrives, for a demonstration also tied to the celebration of his 24th birthday on the following day, December 17.

    On December 17,
    please write or send small gifts to Bradley Manning.
    And don’t forget you can also contribute to his defense with a donation.

    2011-11-18 Arrests & Renewal #OccupyLA Day 48

    I just got out of jail a few hours ago. I was one of 300 people arrested Thursday in Occupy Wall St. protests across the United States. In Los Angeles, a total of 67 people were arrested from Occupy Los Angeles, SEIU and Good Jobs LA which combined forces for two back-to-back protests, both of which had as there centerpieces acts of civil disobedience that brought important sections of downtown to a complete standstill as the biggest occupation in the nation took to the streets.

    The first was a march that started at 7:00am to the 4th St. bridge, that brought Figueroa Ave, which at 30 miles, is the longest street in LA, to a complete standstill in the middle of the morning rush hour. This also pretty much shutdown freeway access to downtown, Figueroa is that important. 23 protesters, mostly SEIU members, were arrested in a very orderly, non-violent fashion after the protesters set up tents in the street.

    2011-11-18 #WikiLeaks News: Christine Assange speaks in support of her son, Julian #Assange (video); Other Updates

    The consensus of the Australian people I’ve spoken to… is the credibility loss at the moment globally for the U.S. is coming more from their reaction to WikiLeaks than the leaks themselves. - Christine Assange

    This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

    Christine Assange on the Australian government's failure to protect citizen Julian Assange:
    A video of the speech delivered by Christine Assange at the November 17 rally for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning in Canberra is now available on youtube.


    • The driver of @WikiLeaksTruck, Clark Stoeckley, arrested yesterday at Occupy Wall Street along with a reporter, has been released from jail. He tweeted about his arrest with his hands cuffed behind his back. A video of his arrest can be seen here.

    2011-11-17 #WikiLeaks News: #day4JA with Christine Assange; Rudolf Elmer’s appeal; Other Updates

    It is time for Australia to stand up for its citizens, for its values and for itself as a nation. - Jennifer Robinson

    This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

    Protesters gathered in Canberra this morning for a rally in support of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. The protest happened as U.S. President Barack Obama was visiting Canberra to announce the expansion of U.S. military presence in Australia.

    Outside the Australian Parliament House, chants of Assange and Manning, let them go - Let us have our right to know were heard.
    Christine Assange spoke against the extradition of her son Julian to the United States, declaring: “my son could be extradited to Sweden and then the U.S. in four weeks” where he could face “U.S. style justice”. She then referred to the appalling treatment of alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning - who has been under pre-trial detention in a military prison for 563 days - and the Australian government’s refusal to intervene for Julian Assange’s protection, saying: “The Australian government has done nothing for Julian.” She condemned the attitude of Australian leaders whom she described as ‘star-struck’ by Obama’s presence.

    2011-11-17 Mass arrests at #OccupyWallStreet, protesters block the Stock Exchange

    The #N-17 'Day of Action' called for by #OccupyWallSt to protest for the violent eviction of the camp at Liberty Sq. on the 15th started early: at 7:00 AM hundreds of protesters blocked the intersections leading into Wall Street, actually managing to delay the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange by more than 30 minutes. There have been widespread reports of police violence against protesters practicing peaceful civil disobedience. The NYPD has created a partially militarized zone in downtown New York, after bringing out an LRAD audio cannon to disperse protesters and disallowing people to walk on certain streets, despite presenting valid IDs and press passes. There are at least 100 confirmed arrests, although the number could actually be much higher. Once again there have been reports of violence against members of the press. At 3:00 PM EST protesters will attempt to #Occupy the Subway, later they will head to Foley Square.

    2011-11-16 #WikiLeaks News: a day for Julian #Assange, Stop the Stop Online Piracy Act

    WikiLeaks should be regarded as a service to Humanity. - Geoffrey Robertson QC

    This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

    November 17 is a day of global support for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and Bradley Manning.
    On the occasion of President Obama’s visit to Australia to mark the 60th anniversary of the Australian-US war alliance and the announcement of the expansion of U.S. Military presence in the country, an antiwar protest in Canberra, outside the Parliament House, will start at 10:30 am.

    This protest is also in support of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, who currently risks extradition to the United States, should his application for a Supreme Court appeal be rejected by the High Court and extradition to Sweden granted. In which case the U.S. could apply for his ‘temporary surrender’. This would enable him to be extradited to the U.S.

    2011-11-15 #WikiLeaks News: Julian #Assange files for appeal, #Cablegate News, introducing a New Feature

    A prosecution of Julian Assange for the WikiLeaks publication of secret diplomatic cables would be the worst thing for the press since the Pentagon Papers. - James C. Goodale

    This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

    Today Julian Assange’s legal team filed an application to have his extradition case taken to the Supreme Court, based on the following points:

    1) Whether a European Arrest Warrant issued by a partisan prosecutor working for the executive (i.e. not an independent judge or investigating magistrate in the civil law system) is a valid Part 1 Warrant issued by a "judicial authority" within the meaning of sections 2(2) & 66 of the Extradition Act 2003?
    This point argues that the decision goes against parliamentary intent in the 2003 Extradition Act (see SwedenVsAssange).

    2) Whether a person in respect of whom no decision to prosecute has been taken can be said to be ’accused’ within the meaning of sections 2(3)(a) of the Extradition Act 2003?

    On December 5, in a public hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice (London), the High Court will decide whether these two points are 'of general public importance'. If that is considered to be the case, the appeal will then proceed to the Supreme Court.

    2011-11-15 BREAKING: Occupy Wall Street protesters march to retake 'Liberty Square'

    After the eviction last night, thousands of people are swelling in front of a barricaded Zuccotti Park chanting "Open up the park!". The area is completely surrounded by police forces, however, protesters are waiting to see if a verdict from the court handling a demand against last nights eviction will allow them in again. The argument is that they can't evict the park before showing a decisive cause for it.


    2011-11-15 #OccupyWallStreet evicted by NYPD, occupiers re-assemble in Foley Square

    At around 1:00 AM, November 15th, police forces arrived in full riot gear, batons, pepper spray and tear gas as well as bulldozers to clear out the park. Protesters resisting peacefully chanting “Whose park? Our park!”. Media was systematically blocked from reporting after being penned in, they complained from receiving rough treatment from police, their credentials were ignored and airspace was closed for helicopters.


    Liberty Square (a.k.a. Zuccotti Park) after being evicted.

    2011-11-14 #WikiLeaks News: Call-in for Bradley #Manning Starts Today, Online Privacy Compromised

    Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and other international NGOs that work to expose the wrongdoing of powerful players risk the same fate as WikiLeaks. - WikiLeaks

    This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

    Starting today: a Call-in to The White House and Military to Demand UN Access to Bradley Manning will take place throughout the week: Each day of the week you can help by calling the number for a different official with key influence on the outcome of the case.

    ImageThe Bradley Manning Support Network announces: "we will expand our efforts by organizing mass call-ins to five different government offices, disrupting activities of those whose job it is to silence whistle-blowers with specific demands that can lead to a fairer trial."

    The first two contacts, whose phone lines are to be flooded with calls demanding justice for Bradley are:

    * Secretary of the Army Public Affairs Officer Lt. Anne Edgecomb: 703-697-3491
    * Army Chief of Staff Public Affairs Officer Lt. Col Alayne Conway: 703-693-4961

    2011-11-13 #WikiLeaks News: Appeal hearing for whistleblower Rudolf Elmer, Support Campaigns

    The faster the US 'justice' system erodes its own legitimacy and independence the faster the ground will be set to replace it. - @wikileaks

    This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

    Upcoming Appeal Hearing for WikiLeaks whistleblower Rudolf Elmer

    On November 17, whistleblower Rudolf Elmer's appeal hearing will take place. Prosecution requests 'convicted on all charges' verdict and increased sentence:

    "Prosecution Office Winterthur/Unterland wants to make the case that Swiss Bank Secrecy protects the data in the Cayman Islands and that based on a former employment agreement Swiss Bank Secrecy applies also to Rudolf Elmer working in the Cayman Islands.
    Prosecution Office wants to make the case that Swiss industrial secrecy laws also apply to the Cayman Islands in the case of Rudolf Elmer and accuses him of disclosing Julius Baer’s secrets on how it uses the operation in the Cayman Islands providing Trust & Company, Mutual and Hedge Fund services as well as the administering of Special Purpose Vehicles e.g. offshore companies of Carlyle, Washington D.C. within the Julius Baer Cayman office.

    2011-11-11 WikiLeaks News: Collateral Murder changes US interrogator's views, WL/Bradley #Manning Support

    You could never prosecute WikiLeaks without criminalizing all journalism in the United States. - Glenn Greenwald

    This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

    Collateral Murder changed U.S. army interrogator's perspective on the Iraq war

    On Veterans day, The Atlantic interviews Michael Patterson, a former U.S. army interrogator whose decision to leave the military and current participation in the Occupy Movement (Michael is staying at Occupy DC) were motivated by the video Collateral Murder, released by WikiLeaks on the 5th April 2010:

    "... I ask him what was the switch for him and when. He explained that it was WikiLeaks. It was the footage of the Apache helicopter gunning down Iraqis released by WikiLeaks in April of 2010. Up to that point he had been interrogating Iraqis and using what he describes as psychological torture. He was 10 years old when the World Trade Center was hit. He wanted to fight terrorism in Iraq. He bought into the whole thing, he tells me. He had been looking forward to signing up ever since the 5th grade and then, suddenly, last November, he found himself watching a video of his fellow soldiers gunning down Iraqis on the street and it all changed for him.

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