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Dear friends and readers,

Update (11/17/11): the organization and effort, all of them done similarly, has been engineered by Homeland Security, FBI and other agencies. Now we know their purpose: repress and imprison US citizens.

Last night I watched http://www.democracynow.org/ and saw what was probably the one filmed report of the destruction of the home site of the Occupy movement at Zucotti Park in Liberty Square. Amy Goodman and her producer went down there and managed to walk inside the area and film something of what was going on and the people who had lost all their things who had not been arrested or terrified away. 

The police went first after the site, destroying everything that had been put in place to make it livable, all that had been built up to make a civilized place (like the free library), They brutally arrested people, beat up others.  A lawyer who was part of the group that reached the judge who gave the the stay of execution demonstrated by what he knew of the destruction of other sites in the last few days (Oatland, the Ohio site, Portland) that this is a concerted effort by Fusion and other groups supported by people like the Koch brothers. It was timed to try to stop or diminish the effect of the march on Washington. Those places which had union support or had been effective in doing other things (as when they closed down the port) or were getting more media attention were targeted.

Smaller groups were forming to Occupy foreclosures and had begun to be successful in stopping banks from foreclosing on people's homes. What was happening was the mass media was reporting about this movement; the powerful can't take this growing sore spot.  They can ignore a demonstration or a blog or posting or petition, but not these huge numbers of people in central spots in world-attention-getting cities. I saw last night there was some sort of sympathetic attempt to demonstrate in their favor in India.

A poem by Anne Winter on what happened yesterday/  if the formatting comes to you messed up, try http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/178806. The poem is from her terrific (and prizewinning) 2006 book The Displaced of Capital.

The Mill-Race:  A Wall Street Poem for Occupiers, the Preoccupied and others

Four-fifty. The palings of Trinity Church
Burying Ground, a few inches above the earth,
are sunk in green light. The low stones
like pale books knocked sideways. The bus so close to the curb
that brush-drops of ebony paint stand out wetly, the sunlight
seethes with vibrations, the sidewalks
on Whitehall shudder with subterranean tremors. Overhead, faint flickers

crackle down the window-paths: limpid telegraphy of the
late afternoon July thunderstorm unfurling over Manhattan.
Its set and luminous velocity, long stalks of stormlight, and then the first drops
strike their light civic stripes on the pavement.
Between the palings, oat-panicles sift a few bright
grains to the stonecourse. Above it, at shoulder height
a side door is flung open, fire-exits; streaming from lobbies

come girls and women, white girls in shadowy-striped rayon skirts, plastic ear-hoops,
black girls in gauzy-toned nylons, ripples of cornrows and plaits,
one girl with shocked-back ash hair, lightened eyebrows;
one face from Easter Island, mauve and granitic;
thigh on thigh, waist by waist; the elbow’s curlicue and the fingers’; elbow-work, heel-work,
are suddenly absorbed in the corduroyed black rubber stairs of the bus. Humid
sighs, settlings, each face tilts up to the windows’
shadowless yards of mercuric green plate glass. An
interspace then, like the slowing of some rural
water-mill, a creaking and dipping pause
of black-splintered paddles, the irregularly
dappled off-lighting—bottle-green—the lucid slim sluice
falling back in a stream from the plank edge. It won’t take us
altogether, we say, the mill-race—it won’t churn us up altogether. We’ll keep
a glib stretch of leisure water, like our self’s self—to reflect the sky.
But we won’t (says the bus rider now to herself). Nothing’s
left over, really, from labor. They’ve taken it all for the mill-race.

In close-ups now, you can see it in every face,
despite the roped rain light pouring down the bus-windows—
it’s the strain of gravity itself, of life hours cut off and offered
to the voice that says “Give me this day your
life, that is LABOR, and I’ll give you back
one day, then another. For mine are the terms.”
It’s gravity, spilling in capillaries, cheek-tissue trembling,
despite the make-up, the monograms, the mass-market designer scarves,

the army of signs disowning the workplace and longing for night ...
But even as the rain slackens, labor
lengthens itself along Broadway. The night signs
come on, that wit has set up to draw money: O’DONNELL’S,
BEIRUT CAFE, YONAH’S KNISH ... People dart out from awnings.
The old man at the kiosk starts his late shift, whipping off rainstreaked
lucite sheets from his stacks of late-market newsprint.

If there is leisure, bus-riders, it’s not for you,
not between here and uptown or here and the Bronx.
Outside Marine Midland, the black sea of unmarked corporate hire-cars
waits for the belated office lights, the long rainy run to the exurbs;
and perhaps on a converted barn roof in Connecticut
leisure may silver the shingles, somewhere the densely packed
labor-mines that run a half mile down from the sky
to the Battery rise, metamorphic, in water-gardens,
lichened windows where the lamp lights Thucydides or Gibbon.

It’s not a water-mill really, labor. It’s like the nocturnal
paper-mill pulverizing, crushing each fiber of rag into atoms,
or the workhouse tread-mill, smooth-lipped, that wore down a London of doxies and sharps,
or the flour-mill, faërique, that raised the cathedrals and wore out hosts of dust-demons,
but it’s mostly the miller’s curse-gift, forgotten of God yet still grinding, the salt-
mill, that makes the sea, salt.

See how Iceland's people have managed to topple one of these flunky govt's:


Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution.  But only after much pain.

Geir Haarde, the Prime Minister of a Social Democratic coalition government, negotiated a two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million. But the foreign financial community pressured Iceland to impose drastic measures.  The FMI and the European Union wanted to take over its debt, claiming this was the only way for the country to pay back Holland and Great Britain, who had promised to reimburse their citizens.

Protests and riots continued, eventually forcing the government to resign ...



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
Alice Notley's "I walked into ..."
a great contemporary woman poet, relevant to today:

from The Descent of Alette ["I walked into"] by Alice Notley

"I walked into" "the forest;" "for the woods were lit" "by yellow
street lamps" "along various" "dirty pathways" "I paused a moment"
"to absorb" "the texture" "of bark & needles" "The wind carried"
"with a pine scent" "the river's aura—" "delicious air" "Then a

figure" "appeared before me—" "a woman" "in a long dress" "standing
featureless" "in a dark space" " 'Welcome,' she said," "& stepped into"
"the light" "She was dark-haired" "but very pale" "I stared hard at her,
realizing" "that her flesh was" "translucent," "& tremulous," "a

whitish gel" "She was protoplasmic-" "looking—" "But rather beautiful,"
"violet-eyed" " 'What is this place?' " "I asked her" " 'It would be
paradise,' she said," " 'but, as you see," "it's very dark," "& always
dark" "You will find that" "those who live here" "are changed"

"enough" "from creation's first intent" "as to be deeply" "upset . . . "
"But you must really" "keep going now' " " 'Are those tents" "over there?'
I asked" "I saw small pyramids" "at a distance" " 'Yes, these woods are"
"full of beings," "primal beings," "hard to see—" "because it's"

"always dark here" "Most of them" "need not concern you now" "But
wait here," "someone is coming" "to show you your way' " "She stepped
back into" "the shadows," "turned & left me"


This is so very the picture from the live feed camera at OWS park last night -- absolutely eerie how it characterizes it. I had read Notley but did not recall this... thank you so much.

Nov. 16th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)
US Govt to people f... you
Roaring world "out there" -- just back from driving several places. Fearful the concerted effort against OWS is working. Quiet at home, turning soon to _Song of Lunch_ and glass of wine.

Puts me in mind of Robert Bolt's Man for all Seasons where Alice says to More: Silly man, did you think they would leave you here." Those so keen on the peaceful nature of the Occupy movement should think again.

Nov. 16th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
Des Moines Mayor decent:
From my friend, Kathy:

About 50 Occupy Des Moines demonstrators marched to City Hall Tuesday night to deliver a happy message to Mayor Frank Cownie.

“Thank you Mayor Cownie for protecting our First Amendment,” one sign read.

Protesters had hurriedly organized a march from Nollen Plaza at Third and Locust streets downtown in response to police evicting New York protesters from a park earlier in the day.

They were part of the original Occupy Wall Street initiative that has spawned demonstrations against inequality worldwide.

Several from the Des Moines group thanked police and city officials for allowing them to continue a month-old encampment at Stewart Square, a small park at the corner of East 14th Street and Grand Avenue.

“Bloomberg sucks. Cownie rules,” the crowd chanted at the doorstep of City Hall, referring to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

For about 45 minutes, people took turns voicing their anger over the eviction and ensuing arrests, as well as broader grievances against corporate greed and social and economic inequality.

Demonstrators demanded police instead arrest “corporate criminals” working in skyscrapers overlooking Zuccotti Park in New York City. They renewed a promise to protest the Iowa caucuses in a peaceful manner. They sang songs.

A man briefly interrupted the gathering when he ran in and out of the crowd yelling, “You need a job? Anybody need a job?”

He later yelled an obscenity as he drove off in a car.

But on Tuesday night, demonstrators felt grateful, not angry.

Chet Guinn, a retired United Methodist minister, read a speech recounting the city’s history of standing up for peace and justice, from the 19th-century fight against slavery to schoolchildren protesting the Vietnam War.

“When other cities are using police to shut down occupier tent parks, Des Moines, under the leadership of Mayor Frank Cownie and Police Chief Judy Bradshaw, have been working with us,” he said.

Edited at 2011-11-16 11:23 pm (UTC)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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